OUR lectures happily concluded, we sought a brief term of recreation before entering on the arduous task of their final revision for publication. Meanwhile another notable sign of the times occurred to mark the year 1881. This was the publication of the Revised Version of the English Bible. The fact of a new translation was welcomed by us, if only as constituting a blow to the idolatrous veneration in which the letter of the old translation was held, a striking example of which we recognised in the ground of the opposition to the proposed revision raised by the excellent Lord Shaftesbury – that it would deprive many pious persons of some of their favourite texts. By which it would appear that men’s blunders were more worthy of conservation than the inspirations of the Holy Ghost, to which he implicitly ascribed the Bible. The manner in which the work was accomplished would have been in the highest degree disappointing to us had we anticipated any other result than was actually attained. For we knew as did no others that the time was the winter solstice of the human soul, and spiritual perception was at its lowest ebb; so that, be the learning expended on it what it might, there would be no insight to guide it. The very first verse of Genesis more than confirmed our gloomiest anticipations. In the Authorised Version, the Hebrew word wrongly rendered “heaven” in the first chapter was rightly rendered “heavens” in the second chapter. In the Revised Version both were wrongly rendered “heaven”.
This error in Hebrew as well as in doctrine was for us, with Chapters VII-X of the Greater Mysteries in our hands, proof positive that the translators had not begun to understand the system of thought which underlies the Bible, and of which the Christ is the personal demonstration. And it was not without
a sense of elation that we reflected that the real and vital translation of the Bible, its translation from the Letter to the Spirit, had been withheld from the magnates of the dominant orthodoxy, backed by the national purse, to be committed to such inconspicuous and poverty-stricken instruments as ourselves. There was an irony about it which argued a keen sense of humour in the divine disposers of events.
We separated for our holiday, my colleague going to her mother at St. Leonards,
and I to a married niece in Warwickshire for whom I had great regard and
affection, but whom I had not seen for many years. But it is on account of an
experience which grew out of the visit that I make reference to her here. Her
father, my eldest brother, a man of great and varied talent, had studied
My niece, who was in no kind or degree a “spiritualist,” took advantage of my recognition of the reality of the spiritualistic phenomena to tell me that she could not help thinking that her father was about her at times, in consequence of her reception of sudden suggestions which she could only ascribe to him; one of which was of such a nature as to lead her to inquire of her husband whether there was any question as to the cause of her father’s death. As he had not heard of any, he replied accordingly. Nevertheless the suspicion recurred, and during my visit she put the same question to me, after telling me what I have just related about her seeming consciousness of her father’s
presence; whereupon I told her of my doubts and the reason for them.
Our respective visits ended. Mary and I returned to
“I don’t understand the meaning of what I have to say, by there is a spirit here who tells me to say to this gentleman that he was a physician, and that he came to his end through poison administered by himself. But it was not intentional; he did not take it for that purpose. He was experimenting with some chemicals, and what he tasted killed him. I am told to say also that W.M. is with him”.
The manner of this message struck me quite as much as the matter. My brother’s cautiousness and secretiveness, especially
in his latter years, had amounted almost to eccentricity; and the way in which, on this occasion, the personality of the speaker and his relationship to me were concealed amounted of itself to a strong corroborative proof of his identity. The initials “W.M.,” moreover, were those of our brother William, also a student of medicine, who was his favourite brother, and had predeceased him by some twenty years.
On discussing together the particulars of this experience, we found ourselves compelled to the conclusion that it was indeed my eldest brother who, desiring to clear up the mystery of his end, had come to his daughter, my niece, then passed into my sphere, and following me home, had prompted Mary with the wish to visit the clairvoyant, whom he then instructed accordingly.
This incident finished, the clairvoyant addressed us jointly, saying: –
“I see something very curious about this lady and gentleman which I am bid to describe. Just at the end of a high range of buildings in some foreign-looking city there is a magnificent fountain, over which stands a monument or statue representing the Archangel Michael transfixing a dragon. This monument, I am told, represents their work. For the angel means Spiritualism, and the dragon Materialism, and they are charged with a mission of which the object is to destroy Materialism in religion by restoring Spirituality. And I see this gentleman resting beside the fountain, and Joan of Arc, in the likeness of this lady, standing by and keeping guard over him”.
It had so happened, but no one in the world knew it save ourselves, that, recognising while in Paris the significance of the splendid fountain and monument of Michael and the Dragon in the Boulevard St. Michel, we had thought that a drawing of it would make an admirable frontispiece for one of our projected books, and had searched the photograph-shops of Paris for a good representation, which we had accordingly purchased, and was then in our possession. (1) The allusion to Joan of Arc as acting as guardian to us was similarly in accordance with our experience as has already been stated.
Mary was so struck by these experiences, that we paid a private visit to the seer, partly to test him further, and partly to obtain
information that might be of practical value. It must be remembered that our very names were unknown to him, and we gave him no clue to what was in our minds, nor said anything that could have suggested his utterances. On entering the lucid state he said, among other things, first addressing me: –
“I see a spirit always going before you, bearing a cross, a simple plain cross, as your guide and symbol. You have about you an old Greek spirit well versed in all kinds of mythologic knowledge; and he holds up a round talisman in silver which he says is your emblem”.
I took this to represent the moon, and thereby the intuition.
“I should say that you are receiving curious and special revelations concerning religious matters, and especially concerning the reincarnation of spirits, showing how they come back to operate again in the world. I do not understand it, but I am told that I am to correct the belief which spiritualists have that all the spirits who come to them are real, genuine spirits, whereas only some of them are real, the others being ‘reflections’ – I think is meant.”
Then, addressing Mary, he said: –
“A sister of yours is here, who died young, with pure flaxen or golden hair – such a beautiful angel. She lives a part of her earth life in and with you, getting her experiences through you.”
This description exactly fitted a sister who had died several years before Mary was born, and whom their mother – who was no believer in spiritualism, and had never heard of reincarnation – used to say was so like Mary in appearance and characteristics as to make her think that she had come back as Mary.
He then said to her: –
“Have you anything to do with Catholicism? Because I see a luminous cross with
you, and before it a form, covered with a rich embroidered mantle, bends in
adoration. I think it must be an attendant spirit on you, who performs this
worship at intervals. But you will not stay in
“I see two links welded, golden links, so blended that it is impossible to distinguish one from the other. They mean you two. And there is a great work indeed which will be accomplished by you two jointly. Your visions are given you by guardian spirits who show you the things you are to know and do. You are the oracle for an innumerable host of spirits who have been silent for ages, but now intend those things to be known. Joan of Arc is
one of your guides. She has an enormous following of spirits. A person has been to me who fancies herself a reincarnation of Joan, but I told her she was mistaken. You have a marvellous work to accomplish, and you can’t help doing it.
“You were not always a Catholic. I see you as a proselyte. You are destined by a vast band of spirits to carry out a work which you cannot help doing. You will have many difficulties, especially about December next, but will overcome them all, and rise to a position so high you could not have attained it alone and of yourself. Your difficulties will be through people trying to hinder your work. It must be kept as secret as may be till complete. When complete and safely launched all will be easy. Your husband, whom I see, is also under guidance in the interests of your work. Meanwhile you will have to watch and be careful.
“Where you not much troubled at the end of last year and beginning of this by people spreading scandalous tales? Yes! I see it all. The stout lady who took so much trouble to injure you has had her trouble for nothing – no, not for nothing; it will return upon herself. I only wonder she has not lost some of her corpulency by the exertions she made to injure you! Oh, what a figure hers is! I cannot help laughing when I see it. Her conduct has worried you dreadfully; but it will turn to your advantage, and prove the worst day’s work she has ever done for herself. Do not take any action in the matter. Keep as you are, do as you are doing, and I see no possibility of any evil overcoming you.”
Not only was this personal description of Miss Cobbe absolutely correct, but –
as we only learnt some time after this sitting – she had actively busied herself
as described in writing letters and making calls in order to instil insinuations
with the object of making Mary’s position in
For the rest of the year our work was incessant. The revision, first of the
text, and next of the proofs, of The Perfect Way was a task of
infinite toil to both of us. We were determined that the printer’s part of the
works should be as perfect as our own, and it was as if there was a no less
resolute endeavour on the other side to baffle us, so persistent were the
compositors in making fresh mistakes when in the act of correcting previous
ones. Never, probably, was there a book which required so many revises. It
seemed to us that a “printer’s devil” of exceptional malignance had been charged
to baffle and spoil our work. I was a costly book to publish. And it seemed as
if the Gods had foreseen the possibility of its exceeding our means when they
charged our good friend in
her mission in respect of the English edition, Lady Caithness subsequently brought out a French edition at her own cost. It was not, however, without great hesitation and reluctance that we acceded to her proposition in respect of the English edition, so strong was our preference for doing it ourselves. But it was difficult to decline an offer pressed upon us with the assurance of its maker’s conviction that she had been divinely charged with the duty, and should consider our refusal of it as implying our sense of her unworthiness to be thus associated in our work.
It proved impossible to get the book actually published within the year 1881. But we were assured that the time of its appearance fell within the period prophetically assigned for the event which would constitute the “end of the world”. Meanwhile Mary, too, prepared and published an English edition of her “Thése du Doctorat”, under the title of The Perfect Way in Diet, our idea being to issue a series of volumes, to be called “The Perfect Way Series”. But we were unable to carry it out, through the great pressure of other work and Mary’s frequent disablement by illness. The Perfect Way in Diet soon found recognition far and wide as a standard text-book, and was reproduced in various languages.
It was the occasion to Mary of a triumph unique of its kind, we believed, up to that time, and one that I had especial cause to rejoice at; for, having been lampooned in the Saturday Review, she wrote so vigorous a remonstrance to the editor that, fearing an action for damages on account of the apparent impugnment of her professional status, he made an apology so ample as to approach the abject. Meanwhile, though no longer attached to any of the anti-vivisection societies, we suffered no amount of other work to interfere with our efforts in this cause.
One of the difficulties in the way of our completing The Perfect Way in time to appear in that year was due to our constant reception of fresh points of light, which required to be added in. We were all the time conscious of close supervision, one striking example of which was the following: –
It had occurred to me that the Apocalyptic prophecy of the drying up of the
to that of the uplifting of the waters of the
I told her of the circumstance, and then went to my club to consult the necessary books, first directing her to write to a relative who was a professor of Greek. The result was to prove the correctness both of the received version and of the Greek spirit, my mistake having consisted in confounding two words which were so nearly alike as to be almost identical.
Shortly after this, I was pondering the passage in question, in search of its
mystical import, having before me the explanation given us of the meaning of the
Euphrates as one of the four rivers of
But this was not the whole of the correspondence. On my
asking her whether she knew that she was referred to in the Book of Revelation by name and function, she laughed and said yes, she had known it for some time, but had not mentioned it, because she wanted to see whether I should find it out for myself. But her maiden name, she added, was referred to in the Bible as well as her married name. For the time which follows the reception of the truth brought by the “kings of the East” is called elsewhere the “acceptable year of the Lord”, the Latin for which is Annus bonus, which allowing for change of gender, is identical with her maiden name, Annie, or Anna Bonus. She subsequently identified the “kings,” or principles, in question with the Right Aspiration, Right Perception, and Right Judgment of the Buddhists, which I further recognised as representing the functions, respectively, of the three intelligent principles in man, the Spirit, the Soul, and the Mind.
We discovered yet another coincidence in this relation. While reading one of Dr. Kenealy’s curious volumes on things occult, Mary came upon a drawing of an antique medallion, representing a king fording a river on horseback, and a statement by Dr. Kenealy that this represented the “twelfth messenger,” who was to complete the series of cyclical illuminations now nearly due, and that the initials of his name would be A.K. And so strong, we afterwards learnt, was the impression on Dr. Kenealy’s mind that, if not himself, one of his family was the destined messenger in question, that he gave several of his children Christian names beginnings with A.
The instruction, “Concerning the Hereafter” (Clothed with the Sun, Part I, No. XL), was received by Mary in sleep shortly after the conclusion of the lectures, and was given in satisfaction of our need for a solution of some difficulties by which we were perplexed. These were difficulties arising out of sundry experiences, our own and those of others, which seemed to imply, on the part of visitants from the other world, alternations or fluctuations of condition, intellectual and moral, such as to render it impossible to regard the various states as belonging to one and the same personality, as they obviously did.
The instruction in question furnished a perfect solution of our problems, and moreover, corrected what we had discerned to be erroneous in the teaching of the authority relied on by such of the spiritualists as recognised reincarnation at all, namely,
Allan Kardec, respecting that doctrine, by showing that he failed to distinguish between the astral phantom and the true soul. As this was a failure common to all mere spiritualists, we were greatly struck by finding from one of our Theosophical friends that what we had thus received accorded exactly with the teaching sent them from India, an agreement which disposed us to pay careful heed to other developments from that quarter.
But what was especially gratifying to us in respect of this instruction was the following: – Having occasion to consult the Kabala, of which our knowledge thus far was of the slenderest, being derived from interior recollections, or from books about the Kabala, rather than from itself, we repaired to the library of the British Museum for the purpose, where, while turning over the leaves of Rosenroth’s Kabballah Denudata, we came upon some chapters which showed us that what Mary had thus received in sleep was a perfect abstract of kabalistic doctrine, even to the repetition of Latin sentences and Hebrew words, all of which she had rendered with perfect accuracy. We saw in this a further confirmation of the conclusion we had long since formed, that the revelation made to us was identical in source, method, and kind with that which had been delivered to the inspired of old, and of which the Bible is the chief surviving depository, being described by the Rabbins of the Kabala as given by God to Adam in Paradise, and to Moses on Sinai, expressions which denoted the state of Illumination. It was some time after this that Mary, on accepting an invitation to meet the noted kabalistic scholar, Dr. Ginsburgh, was led to express certain convictions, whereat he exclaimed, in great surprise, ”Why, that is pure Kabala! How did you come by it?” But not being a believer in the divinity of the Kabala, or in the reality of the corresponding illuminative experiences, he could not be persuaded that she was speaking seriously when she declared that she dreamt it. When The Perfect Way reached the hands of another and yet more notable master of kabalistic lore – more notable because understanding it and knowing enough to be able to believe – Baron Giuseppe Spedalieri of Marseilles, “the friend, disciple, and literary heir” of Eliphas Levi, he at once wrote to us declaring that our book represented the doctrine of the Kabala restored to its original purity which belonged to it while in the sanctuaries prior to its corruption by the Rabbins;
and that the illumination under which we had written it perfectly fulfilled the prophecies of the Hermetists of the later middle age announcing such an illumination as to occur exactly at the epoch in which it had occurred to us. (1) And we subsequently received like testimony from other kabalistisc scholars.
Coming in my reading upon a notice of one of the most famous Hermetists of the middle age, Pico di Mirandola, I was struck by finding him extolled as a marvel of intuitive perception, on the ground that he had at once recognised the divinity of the Kabala. For my own feeling had been exactly the same the moment I came in contact with kabalistic doctrine. It was like a memory recovered, so instantaneously did I recognise it.
The discovery in an old book on Occultism of some directions for making a magic mirror made Mary curious at the same time to test both the directions given and her own power of seeing in it. We accordingly had one made. It was of copper, lined with tin, concave, and about four inches in diameter. After spending some time in trying it – it was in the evening of November 6 – she laid it aside, uncertain whether her failure to see in it was due to her own lack of the faculty, or to the defective workmanship of the mirror, its concavity being so imperfect as to prevent the rays from properly converging to a focus. A little later in the evening, while resting on the sofa in the back drawing-room, she found herself lucid, and called to me, as I was sitting in the other room, to come and write down the extraordinary things which were being shown to her. The subject proved to be one of stupendous importance, but to which we had never given a thought; nor had either of us any acquaintance whatever with the history of the period concerned. For it was a description of the composition of the Gospels from manuscripts contained in the Serapeum at Alexandria, and of the subsequent destruction of that library by the Christians in order to conceal their real origin, when the noise and tumult were so great that she begged to be recalled to her outer consciousness, declaring that she could not bear it. On consulting the history of the time, we found that, so far as history goes, all the details seen by her, names, dates, and the rest – although entirely strange to us – were perfectly accurate. And the
account see by her of the origin of the Gospels and the destruction of the Serapeum has since been pronounced by special students of the subject to be the only consistent and adequate explanation ever given. It is Nº. XXXII in Part I of Clothed with the Sun.
For the satisfaction of those who may care to know our respective parts in The
Perfect Way, I give the following table, using the Second Edition for
the purpose: – Lecture I, pars. 1-6 are mine; 7-13, hers; 14-18, mine; 19-21,
hers; 22-24, mine; 26-29, hers; 30-32, mine; 43-51, hers; 52-53, mine; 54, hers,
but taken down by me as spoken by her under illumination; 55, mine; 56 hers;
making 25 pars. to be mine, and 29 hers, in
Lectures II, and III, were written by me mainly from illuminations received by her. Lecture IV is hers entirely, my part in it being little more than that of literary revision. Lecture V was written by me almost entirely from revelations received by her, my own independent contributions to it being pars. 27-29 and 45-47. Lecture VI is hers, with the exception of pars. 28, 29, which are mine. Lecture VII, is mine, with the exception of the italicised portion of par. 3, which is adapted from an illumination of hers, as also is the whole of Part II. Lecture VIII was written by me chiefly from illuminations of hers. Lecture IX is mine, with the exception of portions of pars. 20-23, which were written by us jointly; and 44-46, 53 and 54, which are compiled from revelations to her. The Appendices are all as received by her under illumination occurring chiefly in sleep, the inspiration being both plenary and verbal, with the exception of Nº. X [“Concerning the One Life”] which was intellectually elaborated. (2) All the italicised parts of the book were verbal revelations to her.
This table holds good for the Third Edition, with the exception of pars. 27-41 in Lecture VIII, the greater part of which is fresh matter, written by myself to replace the same quantity in the former editions, in accordance with wishes expressed and suggestions made by Mary shortly before her death. The chief reason for the withdrawal of Lecture V in the First Edition, in favour of that which now occupies its place, was our conviction of the superior importance of the subject of the latter, and the impossibility of including both owing to the book being stereotyped. A secondary reason was Mary’s reluctance to retain an illustration such as that of the “Wandering Cell”, while physiologists were still undecided about the reality of the phenomenon, lest the book be exposed to hostile criticism in consequence of their doubts. (1)
Our good friend in Paris, Lady Caithness, made use of the above table, of which I sent her a duplicate, to mark in her copy all Mary’s parts with a red pencil line and mine with a blue one – these being our “tinctures” – and the composite passages with both. The cover, which was designed by Mary, had in the centre a figure of the “woman clothed with the sun”, to denote the soul and her full illumination by the spirit; at the corners the symbols of the four evangelists and elemental divinities, which signify the four divisions of existence, both within man and without him; and round the borders the texts, “The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day!” and “Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee!” Mary was very proud of this design. The First Edition was bound in the nearest colour to purple that was to be had, namely, a “peacock-blue”, in order – while including the Seven Spirits of God – to combine our own colours, the red and the blue. And the design on the back cover was the symbol of the double triangle, interlaced, which denotes the interlinking of the worlds unmanifest and manifest; and a monogram composed of the letters A, E, and M, being the initials of our Christian names and that of Lady Caithness, which was added to our own in token of her part in the enterprise. And the latter signified her recognition of the book as marking the
introduction of the new dispensation which was to witness the establishment of the “kingdom of the Mother of God” by adopting Anno Dominae, the year of our Lady, in the place of Anno Domini, the year of our Lord, and dating the new era from that time.
There were yet other events, besides those already enumerated, which seemed to us appropriate as symbols to mark the year as the introduction of a new era. These were (1) the introduction of lighting by electricity, in which we recognised a parallel to the vast enhancement of spiritual light through the new interpretation; (2) the accordance to women of equal political rights with men in the Isle of MAN, which was for us a curiously apt illustration of our doctrine of the necessity of the woman to man’s completeness in all planes alike of their manifold nature; (3) the founding of the spiritualist paper, Light, in which we foresaw a medium for the promulgation of our teachings; and (4) the founding in India of that other organ of occult lore, the Theosophist.
The following curious experience, which I extract from my Diary, belongs to the record of this year: –
December 5 . – In common with the generality of people, we have been much exercised about the murder of Mr. Gould by Lefroy on the Brighton Railway, and especially by the persistence of the latter in ascribing the deed to a third person, who, he says, was in the carriage, but who disappeared unaccountable after the murder. And we were disposed to look for some occult explanation.
Shortly after the murder, Mary saw herself in vision standing on the platform by the carriage in which it took place, and on Mr. Gould attempting to enter it, pulling him back, saying there was a tiger in the farther corner. He, however, declared that it was only a man, and insisted on getting in.
This morning the paper contained an account of Lefroy, who is to be executed to-morrow, saying that he now claims to have acted under some influence which he was unable to withstand – meaning, apparently, some spirit other than himself, who had quitted the carriage, and who was the real murderer. I was in the middle of the account when Mary came down, and, though knowing nothing of what was in the paper, declared, as she entered the room, that she had been up all night in the carriage with Lefroy, and had witnessed the whole scene of the murder; and that during the struggle, which was long and terrible, she had observed Lefroy sitting quietly in the corner of the carriage looking on, and on her expostulating with him for not interfering to prevent the murder, he said, “I see it, but I cannot help it. It is I myself who am doing it. Look! Don’t you see that it is my own very self?” And then,
looking, she found that he spoke truth, and that it was to his double that she was speaking, while the man himself was committing the murder.
One explanation was, that what Mary had been thus shown was the imprint of the murder-scene in the astral light, and what she had taken for the double of Lefroy was his astral body of the previous incarnation which had overshadowed him and impelled him to the deed, he having been a murderer in that life also, and, instead of mending, had cultivated the tendencies which rendered him accessible to the evil influence of his own past self. So that he was, spiritually, of the grade of a tiger. As a matter of fact – if Lefroy’s own confession is to be trusted – he had not entered the carriage first, but had waited to mark down a likely victim, and seeing Mr. Gould alone in the carriage, had then got in. It was quite possible, however, for the apparition of Lefroy to precede his real entrance. And it is possible, also, that the experience was given to her as an instruction to be pondered over, without strict regard to the facts of the case.
This impression received confirmation from a subsequent experience in the same connection, to be recorded in its place.
In the summer of this year she began to keep a Diary for her own private thoughts, in which she had made the following entries under the dates specified: –
August, 15, 1881. – I am going to begin my Diary to-day, because this day is one of sorrowful memory to me – the first anniversary of the death of my dear little friend Rufus. And it is also the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin. There is an association between these two ideas, for is not Maria the same as Venus, and is not Venus our Lady of Love? And is it not from her Golden Book that I got my assurance of the continuance of the life of all creatures, and of the uses of Love towards them? Love’s rising heralds the rising of Justice; our Lady the Enlightener climbs Heaven in advance of the Balance. Sure it is that Love and Justice are one, and the equal rights of all creatures before the Lord God of Spirits are revealed and assured to us by Her who is the Mistress of the Fourth Day. For what are these words – Justice and Rights? How should be known the meaning of either but for Love? And Love is the Woman of Heaven, Maria, Astraea, Venus, Aphrodite, by whatever name she is known and dear to us. Yes, dear Goddess, that sign of Thee in Heaven is my comfort, for I know no sign could be there if the Reality did not invisibly exist. How idle is it to refer us to all this wonderful text-book of the Zodiac, and to expect us to believe that the mere Letter is all there is of it! “Thy word, O Lord, for ever is written in Heaven.” Yea, but the writing is not the word. This holy Lamb, this Lion, this Virgin, this Balance, this Cup-Bearer – they are but so many hieroglyphs of True Persons, whose signatures, so to peak, they are. Can Astronomy satisfy Love? Can the soul be content with symbols? That I love, that I have a soul – nay, that I am a Soul, these are evidences to me that Heaven too loves, that the Universe is spiritual. History is the
Body, Science is the Mind, the Soul is that inner and central Cause which answers to Religion. No one but a fool or a lunatic could suppose that all the wise and illuminated men of all ages and lands combined and agreed to represent these various figures in the Starry Sphere according to one universal chart out of pure fantasy! And if such an assumption be difficult on the face of it, how much more is it difficult – nay, impossible – to the man who has experience of life, and who knows how perfectly these figures correspond to the Intuition of the heart and mind! I need no history, for my part, to convince me of the truth of the Parables of the Zodiac, and of their eternal application to the experience of humanity.
August 22 . – I have just finished Cahagnet’s books on Magnetism, and chiefly that relating his experiences with his Lucide. I suspect that the images he evoked through her, and which doubtless were faithful representations of the persons asked for, were every one seen in the Astral, not in the Heavenly Sphere. I think this because all these Larvae were of one mind, and answered certain questions all in one way, to wit: – Q. Is there any hell, any punishment for evil-doers in the next world? A. None; we are all in the same place, and all equally happy. Q. Shall you ever return to earth and become incarnate again? A. Never. We only live once on earth. Q. But the embryo of fifteen days old, for instance – has it a spirit, and does it never take another body, if at that age it should perish? A. It has a spirit, and if it should perish even at the age you mention it will never again return to earth. Q. What do you do in heaven? A. We continue to do that which we liked doing best on earth. And many other things I find in that book, all of which are reasonable enough if we think of them as conditions and acts of the material mind, but which – if the ancients be in the right of it are not true of the Soul or celestial mind.
Here meditation passed into illumination, thought into perception and full knowledge; and she wrote the chapter, “Concerning the Four Atmospheres,” which stands as I, XXXIX, in Clothed with the Sun, but is there [in the First Edition] wrongly stated to have been received in sleep.
A few nights ago I was told in my sleep that the Earth once generated life spontaneously, but that she has long since ceased bearing, and like a mother past the period of gestation, contents herself with rearing and nourishing her children. I do not know how this may be, but of one thing I feel pretty sure: it is, that the typical germ of all life is Thought, and that every living germ is, in its ultimate substance, Thought; and that, therefore, we men, animals, plants, minerals, gases, vapours, are mere agglomerate bundles of so many thoughts, varying according to our kind.
The microscope, indeed, has taught us that all bodies are kingdoms built up of a number, more or less great, of tiny individualities, organised, and having all the properties of life. What, then, causes the ego, which is the resultant of all these personalities, to be but One? And why, for instance, when many thousands of my cellular
subjects suffer in any particular region of my body, should their collective pains affect me with the sensation that I am suffering? Is it not because of the application of that law of sympathy which runs through all the universe, and which makes me identical with all those personalities magnetically connected with my consciousness? To bind is to progress, to develop, to rise, to increase, to eternise. It is Religion. To unbind is to dissolve, to retrograde, to dissipate. It is Irreligion. It is to “Janus Pater” or “Peter Jonas” that the power of binding and unbinding is committed, because the Father of the Church is no other than Saturn himself, the guardian of the outermost, and Lord of the Seventh Day. It is said that to bind and to loose is equivalent to Salvation and Damnation; for to bind is to knead together and to unite; to loose is to scatter and disperse. This binding-power, therefore, is the attribute and prerogative of Time, and what she binds together in matter is bound in spirit also. That which is the means of this binding is the law of Gravitation, which is no other than sympathy, magnetic attraction, affinity. As the body corporate feels and acts and reasons as One, so also is it with the Universe, which is welded together on the same plan, and the sum of whose thought is God. And as the germ of molecular matter is thought, so, therefore, is Mind the originator and not the product of Matter. Gravitation, or sympathy, which holds together in one the myriad corpuscles of my body, and merges all their several consciences in one consciousness, making one vision suffice for the whole kingdom, is the same also in the universe, in the which one Sun suffices to illumine the whole system. For the Sun is the eye of the Macrocosm, filling its whole body with light; and all bodies made after the image of God, or the Macrocosm, are similarly illuminated. Not to have an eye is to be rudimentary, an undeveloped, not a complete person; to be such as would be the planetary system without a sun. To have an eye is to claim brotherhood with the Highest, to have culminated in Personality, and to be a complete individual. When the body corporate thus welded in one, and thus collectively illuminated, makes but a single ego of its many corpuscles it dwells in love, and is eternal by the power of love, or of Religion, which is the same word. But if it fall from love and become irreligious, then it will divide and dissipate and lose its sight, falling into the outer darkness that is beyond the domain of Saturn the Binder. He who loves all works by love, and cannot do the works of Darkness or of Hate – that is, of Cruelty – on any account. If any man think that the works of darkness can be a means to bring him to light, that man is not under the power of love. For the works of love are love, and the joy of one is the joy of all.
August 29 . – It has occurred to me to write a paper taking a new view of vivisection and its practitioners. I will contrast the physician of the day with the physician as he ought to be, defined thus by Ennemoser (History of Magic, vol. I, p. 322): – “He must be a priest-physician. Through his own health, especially of the soul, he is truly capable, as soon as he himself is pure and learned, to help the sick. But first he must make whole the inner man, the soul; for without inward peace no bodily cure can be radical. It is, therefore, absolutely necessary for a true physician to be a priest.”
And this, indeed, was the idea of the primitive
Church, whose priests were all put through a course of instruction in the
healing art; and from the earliest times the two professions of priest and
physician have been united. The curate was the man who cured not only souls, but
bodies likewise. He practiced, in fact, the true Magic, “white magic”, the art
of magnetic healing. But side by side with this true priestly magic, there has
always been the unholy art of the wizard, the art of “black magic,” that of the
man who sought to produce miraculous effects by evil means. To know, to heal, to
work marvels by true magic, it is necessary to live purely, to abstain from
indulgence of the flesh, and to do the deeds of love. All this did not suit the
man of the world, who desired to attain the same results, but without the
self-sacrifice. He had recourse then to devils, and wrung from them by evil
means miraculous powers. To satisfy and to propitiate them, he offered living
oblations in secret places, and sacrificed to them the most innocent victims he
could procure, putting them to hideous deaths in order to obtain the knowledge
or power he sought. The same part is played by the vivisector to-day. He is in
fact a practitioner of black magic; he obtains his knowledge by means of the
exact counterparts of the bloody devil-sacrifices of the wizards, and, like
them, he damns himself in the process. His knowledge may, indeed, be real, but
he cannot ask the blessing of Heaven upon it. We fancy (vain fancy!) that in the
nineteenth century no one practices magic, and that we have expurged the very
word from our dictionaries. Yet, in what shall we say the practices of the
secret devil-worshippers of medieval times differed from those which now go on
in the underground laboratories of the medical school at
It used to be deemed a damnable sin to practice such black arts as these. But now their professors hold their Sabbat in public, and their enunciations are reported in the journals of the day. It is held superstition to believe that in former ages wizards were able by secret tortures and unheard-of atrocities to wrest knowledge from Nature; but now the self-same crimes are openly and universally practiced, and men everywhere trust their efficacy. What is needed is the revival of the true magic of the Pure Life, which heals without blood and gives health without vicarious disease. It is black magic which, in order to cure a patient, first transfers his complaint to an innocent victim. He who accepts health at such a cost shall but save it to lose it.
August 31 . – I think I have at last got the clue to the mythos of Hercules. It must be remembered that these astronomical myths
were always at least threefold; i.e. they related first to solar and cosmic phenomena; next, to physical; and, lastly, they had an interior meaning applied to the soul. Hercules, then, is the Sun in his twelve signs, but he is also the magnetic Man (Lodestone), and, correspondingly, he is the Christ-soul, the son of God. Hercules is connected in mythos with Castor and Pollux, the Dioscuri, twin sons of Zeus the lightning God, and with the Dactyls, five of whom were male and five female. The magnetic stone was called the Herculean stone, the magnet, the two poles of which are the Dioscuri; for magnetism and electricity may be comprehended under the image of two inseparable individuals. And as the north pole of a magnet is discoverable only by its attraction to the south pole of another magnet – a fact which may be considered in reference to our globe and to every particle of matter – and as the one electricity is only discovered by means of its opposite, so here we have two Brothers who constantly die and return to life together, one dying that the other may live. These Dioscuri, too, are they not specially connected with the art of Navigation, and is not Hercules named with them as joint-inventor and patron of seafaring? Is not Hercules also named the Astrologer, the Index, the Saviour; and did not the Phoenicians, who were devoted to navigation, use a divining-cup ascribed to Hercules, by means of which they were directed in their voyages? And the two pillars of Hercules, what are they in physical science but the double character of Magnetism and Electricity? And was not Hercules worshipped at Hyettos and elsewhere under the figure of the Stone – a ferruginous Batylus? As for the Dactyls, they are the human fingers, five of which disude positive and five negative magnetism.
Dioscuri, sons of thunder, sons of heaven, are the
James and John of the Christian Zodiac, the Gemini; and their white horses are
the lightning on which they ride. All those who smite, and whose mission it is
to bring down fire from heaven, are termed – as they are – Cabiri, sons of the thunderbolt. All these myths have a
spiritual meaning. Hercules, the lodestone of physical science, is the
Christ-soul of religious science. This stone is the head-stone, the
corner-stone, the white-stone in which is a new name written. It is that stone
of understanding which is the symbol of Hermes, the guardian and conductor of
the Soul, that stone hewn without hands – for indeed it fell heaven, as did the
Batylus – which shall smite in pieces the kingdoms of the world. And
these Dioscuri are the dual powers of the Soul
operating in perfect accord and union. These are the navigators of the
November 13 . – It happens that at times I am not altogether assured in my mind of the certainty of immortality for the soul, or even of the perfect goodness of God. But of one thing am I sure, and that is, that there is not, and cannot be, any half-way house between Atheism and that doctrine which I have. Either the universe is constructed after the manner I hold it should be, or it is not to be believed that it has any reasonable nature at all. Still,
there are some points which I have not yet resolved, and they are these: –
1. How comes it about that it should be Nature’s common habit to ripen or to hatch but one, perhaps, out of thousands of wasted germs?
2. Why are we forced, whether we seek it or not, to destroy life at every step and at every breath, not being able even to swallow a glass of water without immolating myriads of tiny creatures? If it be true that “nothing is small and nothing great in the Divine sight,” why so little care for these many lives?
3. Is it true that predatory beasts are necessary to keep down herbivorous and other innocent creatures, and that therefore, by destroying the first we destroy the equilibrium of Nature?
4. Must we indeed snare and kill for our own protection, and for the security of our crops, such innocent and beautiful creatures as hares, rabbits, moles, pigeons, and other birds, who do no one any harm, and whose habits are gentle and lovable?
5. Must we send to the slaughter-yard our aged and infirm horses and other beasts of burden who have spent their whole lives in our service, and whose very decrepitude is owing to the toil we have exacted of them? Old men look forward to a calm decease in the midst of tenderness and love, surrounded by those for whose benefit they have laboured, and in whose arms they hope to pass away. But the old and faithful dumb servant, whose neck is worn with the yoke and whose knees are bent and weak with the long years of painful and constant work, falls murdered under the blows of the axe in a miserable and foul-smelling den, where often he is starved and wasted for many days before this horrible and ungrateful end. Is it right that violent death should be the reward of so great service?
These questions must all be answerable in a satisfactory manner; otherwise I see no alternative but to drop the thread which, so far, I have unravelled from the tangled skein, and confess with the Agnostics that one can know nothing. For either the system is perfect and without flaw of any kind, or it is no system at all. That is to say that, according to my mind, one must be capable of explaining with satisfaction all things soever, or one must confess that it is impossible to explain the least thing.
“November 4, 1881.”
“MY DEAR LADY CAITHNESS, – Thank you very much for your welcome and sympathetic letter. I doubt not that Mr. M––– Keeps you ‘posted up’ in the progress of the Book, which we are doing our utmost to get out as a Christmas present to the world. You can have no idea what a labour it has been, and, I may say, still is. For not only has it been exceedingly difficult to compress into moderate dimensions, and to express clearly in popular language, the enormous mass of truth we have to put forth, but we have also found it necessary to elucidate the texts by means of woodcuts, the designing, copying, and perfecting of which, having been exclusively assigned to me, have occupied a considerable amount of time. The Triangle, which occupies so large a part in your symbolic system
of thought, is now newly exemplified in the threefold united effort by means of which our Book is to be introduced to the world. And it seems to be somewhat significant that the trio thus chosen represents, respectively, three distinct powers, with none of which we could have dispensed.
“The little woodcut which I have had stamped on this paper has been kindly lent me by Mrs. Kenealy. It was cut for use by the Doctor, but he died before the book in which it was to have appeared could be produced. The design is a reproduction from an old picture; hence the conventional stiffness of the limbs and drapery. Apart from this (which is perhaps hardly a fault), I find everything in the symbolism of the picture, and for that reason have adopted it. The divine Mother is, of course, the heavenly Arche, or Wisdom, the primary substance of things manifest, holding in her arms the Life or Spirit, that is God, the vital Principle, who is to the Soul what the sun is to the system. And the Seven Doves are the Seven Spirits of God, or Seven Messengers, the Dove, or Pigeon, being selected as the type of the Carrier messenger. For the Dove it was which went out of Noë’s Ark and brought him back tidings of the cessation of the Flood, bearing in her mouth an olive branch, symbol of Peace and of Wisdom; and the throat of the Dove, encircled by ring resembling the Rainbow, indicates it as the special emblem of the Sevenfold Spirit, whose hues are figured as those of the seven rays which make the One Invisible Light.
“As regards the Book, I am anxious only that it should become known. Once known, I am confident of its success on every plane. But it is no easy thing to reach the public eye and hand. So far as I have yet seen, ‘J.K.’ (Junius Köhn) approaches more nearly to our doctrine than any other writer, and his rule of life is similar to ours. But he is wholly astray in the view he takes of the Crucifixion and of the Miracles of Christ. The first he regards only as evidence of failure on the part of the Messiah (!); the second as evidence of mere adepthship; and he is often, as in the case of the story of the raising of Lazarus, forced – in order to support his view – to attribute to the Christ something very like deliberate falsehood. I have been told that ‘J.K.’s’ peculiarities in this respect are in some measure due to the fact that, being by birth and education a Jew, he has inherited the Jewish prejudice against the person of Jesus, and however greatly he has overcome this by dint of his own intuitive reason, he is still affected by hereditary sentiment to the extent of regarding the Cross as a stumbling-block.
“The interpretation which you suggest of the celebrated ‘666’ is, I think, an admirable one, and commends itself more to my mind than any I have yet heard. The three sixes would thus be the ‘number of the Beast,’ in that the date 1881, would indicate the year which should limit and end his power; the Beast, of course, being Denial, the Spirit of Unbelief and Materialism. ‘His number is 666’; that is, he shall fulfil that number of years, then his fall shall come. And it is also, as you say, the number of the Man, for them – in 1881 – the Man shall begin to succeed the Beast. I regard the prophecy concerning this year as already fulfilled in the production of our Book, which will, for the first time in the world’s history, ‘make straight the way of the Lord’, – the Perfect Way.
“For a long time I have had no visions or direct illumination, but I look on these as suspended merely in order to permit occupation in the active work needed for the production of our Book. And I hope when that is safely launched that I may have time for rest and thought, assisted by the Light which has already taught us all to discern so much. You must remember also that, unlike the ordinary ‘Medium,’ I have no power to attract or influence my ‘Voices.’ If it should seem good to the Gods to show or to tell me anything concerning your special guardian, of course you shall know at once; but, as a rule, the affairs of Souls and their Angels are as strictly concealed from other Souls as are the secrets of penitents by their Directors in the Church. Nor are the communications made to me often of a particular nature. They concern rather principles and interior interpretations, doctrine, and so forth. For these only, or chiefly, hitherto have I found myself clairvoyant or clairaudient.
“I am glad to know you feel interested in my little treatise to which I ventured
to give the family name of the ‘
“I send you herewith a copy of the last number of the Food Reform Magazine, thinking you may be interested in my last letter on Pure Diet therein. Also the Réforme Alimentaire of the Paris Society. – Always most affectionately yours,
ANNA MARY K.”
(25:1) This intention was carried into execution in the case of my little book published in 1884, How the World Came to an End in 1881, which had for frontispiece a drawing made by Mary from the photograph. – E.M.
(32:1) See pp. 168-9 post.
(33:1) There are fifty-six paragraphs in Lecture I of the Second Edition (as also in the Third and Fourth Editions) of The Perfect Way. Paragraphs 25 and 36 are practically quotations. Consequently, nine paragraphs are unaccounted for, except that five of them must have been written by Edward Maitland (to make up the twenty-nine paragraphs). – S.H.H.
(33:2) The Appendices to the first three editions of The Perfect Way have been omitted from the present (Fourth) Edition, and others have been substituted, all such omitted Appendices being included in Clothed with the Sun, which in 1887 (the date of the publication of the Second Edition of The Perfect Way) was not published. – S.H.H.
(34:1) Paragraphs 27-41 in Lecture VIII of the Second Edition, and Lecture V of the First Edition are reprinted in the Appendix to the present (Fourth) Edition of The Perfect Way. – S.H.H.