Sections: General Index   Present Section: Index   Work Index   Previous: Lecture 3rd – The Various Orders of Spirits; and How to Discern Them   Next: Lecture 5th – The Nature and Constitution of the Ego



(p. 94)







1. WE have chosen to speak thus early in our series of the doctrine of the Atonement, because it is that around which all religious teaching, ancient and modern, pure and corrupt, is alike grouped, and in which it all centres. Constituting thus the pivot and point of radiation of Religion itself, this doctrine, expounded in its pure and ancient sense, is at once the glory of the saint and the hope of the fallen; expounded in its modern and corrupt sense, it is to the latter a license, and to the former a shame and perplexity.

            2. As will by-and-by be fully shown, sacred Mysteries are, like all things cosmic, fourfold, in that they contain, like the whorls of a flower, or the elements of an organic cell, four mutually related and yet distinct Modes and Ideas. And these four are – from without inwards – the Physical, the Intellectual, the Ethical, and the Spiritual. We propose in this lecture to explain the doctrine of the Atonement from each of these points of view, in order to do which with clearness and without fear of misapprehension, we shall first expose the common errors in regard to it.

(p. 95)

            3. The popular and corrupt view of the doctrine of the Atonement presents us with one of the most salient examples extant of that materialism in things religious, which constitutes Idolatry. To commit the sin of Idolatry is to materialise Spiritual Truth, by concealing under gross images the real substantial Ideas implied, and setting up the images for worship in place of the celestial verities. Now, the current doctrine of Christ’s Atonement starts with the irrational, and therefore false, hypothesis, that between physical blood and moral guilt there is a direct and congruous relation, in virtue of which the opening of veins and laceration of muscular tissue constitute a medium of exchange by which may be ransomed an indefinite number of otherwise forfeited souls.

4. In opposition to this and other kindred conceptions, it is necessary to insist on the principle which, being, so to speak, the cornerstone and center of gravitation of Religion, was in our Introductory Lecture prominently placed before the reader – the principle that sacred Mysteries relate only to the Soul, and have no concern with phenomena or any physical appearances or transactions. The keynote of Religion is sounded in the words, “My kingdom is not of this world.” All her mysteries, all her oracles, are conceived in this spirit, and similarly are all sacred scriptures to be interpreted. For anything in Religion to be true and strong, it must be true and strong for the Soul. The Soul is the true and only person concerned; and any relation which Religion may have to the body or phenomenal man, is indirect, and by, correspondence only. It is for the Soul that the Divine Word is written; and it is her nature, her history, her functions, her conflicts, her redemption, which are ever the theme of sacred narrative, prophecy, and doctrine.

5. But a priesthood fallen from the apprehension of

(p. 96)

spiritual things, and only competent, therefore, to discern the things of sense – a priesthood become, in a word, idolatrous – is necessarily incapable of attaining to the level of the original framers of the Mysteries appertaining to the Soul; and therefore it is that invariably in the hands of such priesthood, the Soul has been ignored in favour of the body, and a signification grossly materialistic substituted for that which had been addressed only to the spiritual man.

6. To the thoughtful mind there is nothing more perplexing than the doctrine and practice of bloody sacrifice, commonly believed to be inculcated in that portion of the Hebrew scriptures which is known as the Pentateuch. And the perplexity is increased by a comparison of this with the prophetical books in which occur such utterances as the following:


“Sacrifice and oblation Thou dost not desire: but Thou hast opened ears for me.

“Burnt-offering and sin-offering Thou wouldest not; but that I should come to do Thy Will.

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a lowly and contrite heart, O God.”


And, yet more emphatically and indignantly, the prophet Isaias:


“Hear the word of the Lord, ye rulers of Sodom, give ear to the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah.

“To what purpose do you offer me the multitude of your victims? saith the Lord. I desire not holocausts of rams and fatlings, the blood of calves, and sheep, and goats.

“When you come to appear before Me, who hath required these things at your hands?

“Offer sacrifice no more, your new moons and festivals I cannot abide; your assemblies are wicked.

“My soul hateth your solemnities, when you stretch forth

(p. 97)

your hands I turn away Mine eyes, for your hands are full of blood.”


And again Jeremias;


“I, the Lord, spake not to your fathers, and I commanded them not in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning the matter of burnt-offerings and sacrifices.

“But this one thing I commanded them, saying, Hearken to My voice, and walk in My way.

“But they have set their abominations in the house that is called by My Name, to pollute it.”


7. In the presence of these truly Divine words, what must be our verdict upon certain contrary declarations and prescriptions in the Pentateuch? We must say, as indeed all sound criticism and inference based on careful examination of internal evidence justify us in saying, that the greater part of the Five Books, and especially the chapters prescriptive of ritual and oblations, are of far later date than that usually assigned to them, and are not in any sense the work of the inspired Moses, or of his initiates and immediate successors, but of a corrupted priesthood, in the age of the kings – a priesthood greedy of gifts, tithes, and perquisites; ever replacing the spirit by the letter, and the idea by the symbol; ignorant of the nature of Man, and therefore ever trampling under foot his true and better self, the Soul, whose type is Woman; “taking away the key of knowledge, entering not themselves into the Kingdom, and hindering those who would have entered.” But for these bloody and idolatrous sacrifices, there would have been neither occupation nor maintenance for the numerous ecclesiastics who subsisted by means of them; and but for the false and corrupt conception of a God whose just anger was capable of being appeased by slaughter – and this of the innocent –

(p. 98)

and whose favour could be bought by material gifts, the whole colossal scheme of ceremonial rites and incantations which gave the priesthood power and dominion over the people, would never have found place in a system originally addressed wholly to the needs of the Soul. (1)

Thus, even with the Old Testament alone as evidence, our verdict must be given to the Prophet as against the Priest, seeing that while the former, as the true Man of God directed his appeal to the soul, the latter as the minister of sense, cared only to exalt his own Order, no matter at what cost to the principles of religion.

8. Turning to the New Testament, a significant fact confronts us. It is that Jesus appears never to have sanctioned by his presence any of the Temple services; an abstention which cannot but be regarded as a tacit protest against the sacrificial rites then in vogue. Nor in all the utterances ascribed to him is there any reference to these rites even in connection with the common belief that they were designed as types of the death supposed to be ordained for the Messiah in his character of Redeemer and Victim.

            9. And truly, it is inconceivable that if the special object and end of his incarnation had been, as is currently held, to be immolated on the Cross, a spotless sin-offering for men, in propitiation of the wrath of God against the guilty, no word implying a doctrine so essential and tremendous should have been uttered by the Divine Victim himself, or that it should have been left to later statements of uncertain authorship and interpretation, and chiefly to men who never were disciples of Jesus – Paul and Apollos – to formulate and expound it. Nor can we regard as other than fatuous the conduct of a priesthood, which, while throwing upon the Cross of Calvary the burdens of the salvation of the

(p. 99)

whole world in all ages, and teaching mankind that to the innocent sacrifice thereon offered is alone due their rescue from eternal damnation, yet sees fit to execrate and brand with infamy the very men who procured the consummation of that sacrifice – and to whom, therefore, next to Jesus himself, the world is indebted for ransom from hell, and for the opening of the gates of heaven – Caiaphas, Pontius Pilate, and – most important of all – Judas the traitor!

10. The truth is, that far from depicting Priest and Prophet as co-operating for the welfare of man, the sacred scriptures exhibit them in constant conflict; – the Priest, as the minister of Sense, perpetually undoing the work performed by the Prophet as the minister of the Intuition. And so it is seen that when, at length, the greatest of all the prophetical race appears, the priesthood does not fail to compass his death also, and subsequently to exalt the crime into a sacrifice, and that of such a nature as to render it the apotheosis of the whole sacerdotal system, and to advance the sacerdotal order to the position which, throughout Christendom, it has ever since maintained.




11. At this point another aspect of our subject claims attention. It relates, not to any particular sacrifice, but to the whole question of the origin and nature of bloody sacrifices generally. And it involves reference to influences and motives yet darker and more potent than any mere human desire of gain or power, in exposing which, it will be necessary to speak of occult subjects, unfamiliar, save to those, who, being acquainted with the science of magic, understand at least something of the nature and conditions of “spiritual” apparitions.

12. The effusion of physical blood has, in all ages, been

(p. 100)

a means whereby magicians have evoked astral phantoms or phantasmagoric reflects in the magnetic light. These efflorescences of the lower atmosphere immediately related to the body, have a direct affinity for the essential element, called by the old physiologists, the “vital spirits,” of the blood, and are enabled by means of its effusion to manifest themselves materially. Thus, as one recent writer says, “Blood begets phantoms, and its emanations furnish certain spirits with the materials requisite to fashion their temporary appearances.” (1) Another speaks of blood as “the first incarnation of the universal fluid, materialised vital light; the arcanum of physical life.” (2) The famous Paracelsus also asserts that by the fumes of blood one is able to call forth any spirit desired, for by its emanations the spirit can build for itself a visible body. This, he says, is Sorcery, a term always of ill-repute. The hierophants of Baal made incisions all over their bodies, in order to produce visible objective phantoms. There are sects in the East, especially in Persia, whose devotees celebrate religious orgies in which, whirling frantically round in a ring, they wound themselves and each other with knives, until their garments and the ground are soaked with blood. Before the end of the orgy, every man has evoked a spectral companion which whirls round with him, and which may sometimes be distinguished from the devotee by having hair on its head, the devotees being closely shorn. The Yakuts of Eastern Siberia still maintain the practice of the once famed witches of Thessaly, offering nocturnal sacrifices and evoking evil spectres to work mischief for them. Without the fumes of blood these beings could not become visible; and were they deprived of it, they would, the Yakuts believe, suck

(p. 101)

it from the veins of the living. It is further held by these people that good spirits do not thus manifest themselves to view, but merely make their presence felt, and require no preparatory ceremonial. The Yezidis, inhabiting Armenia, and Syria, hold intercourse with certain aerial spirits which they call Jakshas – probably mere astral phantoms – and evoke them by means of whirling dances, accompanied, as in the case of the sect already mentioned, by self-inflicted wounds. Among the manifestations thus obtained is the apparition of enormous globes of fire, which gradually assume grotesque and uncouth animal forms.

            13. Reverting to earlier times, we find in the writings of Epiphanius, a passage concerning the death of Zacharias, which bears directly on the Levitical practice in regard to this subject. He says that Zacharias, having seen a vision in the Temple, and being, through surprise, about to disclose it, was suddenly and mysteriously deprived of the power of speech. He had seen at the time of offering incense after the evening sacrifice, a figure in the form of an ass, standing by the altar. Going out to the people, he exclaimed – “Woe unto you! who do ye worship?” and immediately “he who had appeared to him in the Temple struck him with dumbness.” Afterwards, however, he recovered his speech and related the vision, in consequence of which indiscretion the priests slew him. It was asserted by the Gnostics that the use of the little bells attached to the garments of the high-priest was enjoined by the Jewish ordinance-makers with special reference to these apparitions, in order that on his entry into the sanctuary at the time of sacrifice, the goblins might have warning of his approach in time to avoid being caught in their natural hideous shapes.

(p. 102)

14. An experience of the writer’s received (1) while preparing this lecture well ilustrates the foregoing citations. Conducted in magnetic sleep by her guardian Genius into a large hall of temple-like structure, she beheld a number of persons grouped in adoration around four altars upon which were laid as many slaughtered bullocks. And above the altars, in the fume of the spirits of the blood arising from the slain beasts, were misty colossal figures, half-formed only, from the waist upwards, and resembling the Gods. One of them in particular attracted the writer’s attention. It was the head and bust of a woman of enormous proportions, and wearing the insignia of Diana. And the Genius said: “These are the Astral Spirits, and thus will they do until the end of the world.”

Such were the spurious phantom-images, which, with emaciated forms and pallid countenances, presented themselves to the Emperor Julian, and, claiming to be the veritable Immortals, commanded him to renew the sacrifices, for the fumes of which, since the establishment of Christianity, they had been pining. And he, able only to see, but not to discern, spirits, took these spectres – as so many still do – for what they pretended to be, and, seeking to fulfil their behests, earned for himself the title of “Apostate.” To the impulsion of spirits of this order are to be ascribed those horrible human sacrifices of which in ancient times Canaan was the chief scene and Moloch the chief recipient. In these sacrifices the Jews themselves largely indulged, the crowning example being that of which the high priest Caiaphas was the prompter.

            15. But idolatry and bloody sacrifice have ever been held in abhorrence by the true prophet and the true redeemer.

(p. 103)

The aspect under which these things present themselves to the eyes of such men is epitomised in the divine and beautiful rebuke addressed by Gautama Buddha to the priests of his day, for an exquisite rendering of which the reader is referred to Mr. Edwin Arnold’s recent poem, “The Light of Asia.” (1) Buddha, it will be observed, classed with the practice of bloody sacrifice the habit of flesh-eating, and included both in his unsparing denunciation. The reason is not far to seek. Man, as the Microcosm, resembles in all things the Macrocosm, and like the latter, therefore, he comprises within his own system an astral plane or circulus. In eating flesh, and thereby ingesting the blood principle – flesh and blood being inseparable – he sacrifices to the astral emanations of his own magnetic atmosphere, and so doing, ministers to the terrene and corruptible. This is to “eat of things offered to idols,” for blood is the food of the astral eidola, and the eater of blood is infested by them.

16. It should be observed that this astral medium and its emanations are incapable of originating ideas, for these are positive entities and come from the celestial or spiritual “heaven.” The astral, being reflective merely, and unsubstantial, receives divine ideas but to reverse and travesty them. Thus, the doctrine of sacrifice and of atonement are true doctrines, and of celestial origin; but the sacrifice must be of the lower human self to the higher divine self, and of personal extraneous affections to the love of God and of principles. But the astral mind, reversing the truth, converts these aspirations into the sacrifice of the higher to the lower nature, of the soul to the body, and of others to oneself. Again, the truth that man is saved by the

(p. 104)

perpetual sacrifice of God’s own Life and Spirit to be his life and spirit, finds a like distortion in the notion that man is saved by taking the life of a God and appropriating his merits. The true meaning of the word “atonement” is reconciliation, rather than “propitiation.” For “Heaven” cannot be “propitiated” save by at-one-ment.

            17. As, moreover, the astral and the physical planes are intimately united, and both are ephemeral and evanescent, of Time and of Matter, that which feeds and ministers to the astral stimulates the physical, to its own detriment and that of the inner and permanent Twain – soul and spirit – the true man and his Divine Particle – since these, being celestial, have neither part nor communion with the merely phenomenal and phantasmal. For the astral emanations resemble clouds which occupy the earthy atmosphere between us and heaven, and which, filmy and incorporeal though they be, are nevertheless material, and are born of the exhalations of the earth. To perpetuate and do sacrifice to these phantoms, is to thicken the atmosphere, to obscure the sky, to gather fog and darkness and tempest about us, as did the old storm-witches of the North.

            Such is that worship which is spoken of as the worship of the Serpent of the Dust; and thus does he who ingests blood; for he makes thereby oblation to the infernal gods of his own system, as does the sacrificing priest to the powers of the same sphere of the Macrocosm.

18. And this occult reason for abstaining from the ingestion of flesh, is that which in all ages and under all creeds has ever powerfully and universally influenced the Recluse, the Saint, and the Adept in Religion. As is well known, the use of flesh was in former time, invariably abjured by the hermit-fathers, by the ascetics of both East and West, and in short by all religious persons, male and female, who,

(p. 105)

aspiring after complete detachment from the things of sense, sought interior vision and intimate union with the Divine; and it is now similarly abjured by the higher devotional orders of the Catholic Church and of Oriental adepts.

            Let us say boldly, and without fear of contradiction from those who really know, that the Interior Life and the clear Heaven are not attainable by men who are partakers of blood; – men whose mental atmosphere is thick with the fumes of daily sacrifices to idols. For so long as these shadows infest the Man, obscuring the expanse of the higher and divine Ether beyond, he remains unable to detach himself from the love for Matter and from the attraction of Sense, and can at best but dimly discern the Light of the Spiritual Sun.

            19. Abstinence from bloody oblations on all planes, is therefore the gate of the Perfect Way, the test of illumination, the touchstone and criterion of sincere desire for the fullness of Beatific Vision.

            The Holy Grail, the New Wine of God’s Kingdom on which all souls must drink if they would live forever and in whose cleansing tide their garments must be made white, is, most assuredly not that plasmic humour of the physical body, common to all grades of material life, which is known to us under the name of blood. But, as this physical humour is the life of the phenomenal body, so is the blood of Christ the Life of the Soul, and it is in this interior sense, which is alone related to the Soul, that the word is used by those who framed the expression of the Mysteries.




20. This brings us to speak of what the Atonement is, and of the sense in which we are to understand it, in its fourfold interpretation.

(p. 106)

First, let us remind the reader, the Cross and the Crucified are symbols which come down to us from pre-historic ages, and are to be found depicted on the ruined monuments, temples, and sarcophagi of all nations – Coptic, Ethiopian, Hindu, Mexican, Tartar. In the rites of all these peoples, and especially in the ceremonials of initiation held in the Lodges of their Mysteries, the Cross had a prominent place. It was traced on the forehead of the neophyte with water or oil, as now in Catholic Baptism and Confirmation; it was broidered on the sacred vestments, and carried in the hand of the officiating hierophant, as may be seen in all the Egyptian religious tablets. And this symbolism has been adopted by and incorporated into the Christian theosophy, not, however, through a tradition merely imitative, but because the Crucifixion is an essential element in the career of the Christ. For, as says the Master, expounding the secret of Messiahship, “Ought not the Christ to suffer these things, and so to enter into his glory?” Yes, for this Cross of Christ – the spiritual Phoebus – is made by the sun’s equinoctial passage across the line of the Ecliptic – a passage which points on the one hand to the descent into Hades; and on the other to the ascent into the kingdom of Zeus the Father. It is the Tree of Life; the Mystery of the Dual Nature, male and female; the Symbol of. Humanity perfected, and of the Apotheosis of Suffering. It is traced by “our Lord the Sun” on the plane of the heavens; it is represented by the magnetic and diamagnetic forces of the earth; it is seen in the ice-crystal and in the snow-flake; the human form itself is modeled upon its pattern; and all nature bears throughout her manifold spheres the impress of this sign, at once the prophecy and the instrument of her redemption.

21. Fourfold in meaning, having four points, and making

(p. 107)

four angles, dividing the circle into four equal parts, the cross portrays the perfect union, balance, equality, and at-one-ment on all four planes, and in all four worlds – phenomenal, intellectual, psychic, and celestial – of the Man and the Woman, the Spirit and the Bride. It is supremely, transcendently, and excellently, the symbol of the Divine Marriage; that is, the Sign of the Son of Man IN HEAVEN. For the Divine Marriage is consummated only when the Regenerate Man enters the Kingdom of the Celestial, which is within. When the Without is as the Within, and the Twain are as One in Christ Jesus.

22. Being thus the key of all the worlds, from the outer to the inner, the Cross presents, as it were, four wards or significations; and according to these, the mystery of the Crucifixion bears relation:

First, to the natural and actual sense, and typifies the Crucifixion of the Man of God by the world.

            Secondly, to the intellectual and philosophical sense; and typifies the Crucifixion in man of the lower nature.

            Thirdly, to the personal and sacrificial sense, and symbolises the Passion and Oblation of the Redeemer.

            Fourthly, to the celestial and creative sense, and represents the Oblation of God for the Universe.

            23. First in order, from without inwards, the Crucifixion of the Man of God implies that persistent attitude of scorn, distrust, and menace with which the Ideal and Substantial is always met by the worldly and superficial, and to the malignant expression of which ill-will the Idealist is always exposed. We have noted that Isaias, rebuking the materialists for their impure and cruel rites, addresses them as “rulers of Sodom and people of Gomorrah.” So likewise, the Seer of the Apocalypse speaks of the two divine Witnesses as slain “in the streets of the great city, which

(p. 108)

is called spiritually Sodom and Egypt, where also the Lord was crucified.” This city, then, is the world, the materialising, the idolatrous, the blind, the sensual, the unreal; the house of bondage, out of which the sons of God are called. And the world being all these, is cruel as hell, and will always crucify the Christ and the Christ-Idea. For the world, which walks in a vain shadow, can have no part in the kingdom of heaven; the man who seeks the Within and the Beyond is to it a dotard, a fool, an impostor, a blasphemer, or a madman, and according to the sense of its verdict, it ridicules, maligns, despoils, punishes, or sequesters him. And thus every great and merciful deed, every noble life, every grand and holy name, is stamped with the hall-mark of the Cross.

            Scorn and contumely and the cries of an angry crowd surround that altar on which the Son of God makes oblation of himself; and cross after cross strews the long Via Dolorosa of the narrow path that leadeth unto Life.

            For indeed the world is blind, and every redemption must be purchased by blood.

24. Yes, by blood and tears and suffering, and that not of the body only; for the Son of God, to attain that Sonship, must have first crucified in himself the old Adam of the earth. This is the second meaning of the Cross; it sets forth that interior process of pain which precedes regeneration; that combat with and victory over the tempter, through which all the Christs alike have passed; the throes of travail which usher in the New-Born. And the crucified, regenerate Man, having made At-one-ment throughout his own fourfold nature, and with the Father through Christ, bears about in himself the “marks” of the Lord – the five wounds of the five senses overcome, the “stigmata” of the saints. This crucifixion is the death of the body; the

(p. 109)

rending of the veil of the flesh; the uniting of the human will with the Divine Will; or, as it is sometimes called, the Reconciliation – which is but another word for the At-one-ment. It is the consummation of the prayer, “Let Thy Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven;” let Thy will, O Father, be accomplished throughout the terrene and astral, even as it is in the inmost adytum, that in all the microcosmic system no other will be found than the Divine.

            25. This, also, is the secret of transmutation – the changing of the water into wine, of Matter into Spirit, of man into God. For this blood of Christ and of the Covenant – this wine within the holy Chalice, of which all must drink who nevermore would thirst – is the Divine Life, the vital, immortal principle, having neither beginning nor end, the perfect, pure, and incorruptible Spirit, cleansing and making white the vesture of the soul as no earthly purge can whiten; the gift of God through Christ, and the heritage of the elect. To live the Divine Life is to be partaker in the blood of Christ and to drink of Christ’s cup. It is to know the love of Christ which “passeth understanding,” the love which is Life, or God, and whose characteristic symbol is the blood-red ray of the solar prism. By this mystical blood we are saved – this blood, which is no other than the secret of the Christs, whereby man is transmuted from the material to the spiritual plane, the secret of inward purification by means of Love. For this “blood,” which, throughout the sacred writings is spoken of as the essential principle of the “Life,” is the spiritual Blood of the spiritual Life – Life in its highest, intensest, and most excellent sense – not the mere physical life understood by materialists – but the very substantial Being, the inward Deity in man. And it is by means of this Blood of Christ only – that is by means of Divine Love only – that we can “come to the Father,” and

(p. 110)

inherit the kingdom of heaven. For, when it is said that “the blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin,” it is signified that sin is impossible to him who is perfect in Love.

            26. But the Christ is not only the type of the sinless Man, the hierarch of the mysteries; he is also the Redeemer. Now, therefore, we come to speak of the Vicarious and Redemptive office of the Divine Man, of his Passion, Sacrifice, and Oblation for others.

            There is a true and there is a false rendening of this Mystery of Redemption which is the central mystery of the Divine Life, the gold of the target, the heart of Jesus, the bond of all grace, the very core and focus and crown of Love.

This third aspect of the Cross is in itself two-fold, because Wisdom and Love, though one in essence are twain in application, since Love cannot give without receiving, nor receive without giving. We have, therefore, in this double mystery both the oblation and lifting-up of the Christ in Man, and the Passion and Sacrifice for others of the Man in whom Christ is manifest. For even as Christ is one in us are we one with Christ, because as Christ loves and gives himself for us, we also, who are in Christ, give ourselves for others.

            27. But the notion that man requires, and can be redeemed only by a personal Saviour in the flesh, extraneous to himself, is an idolatrous travesty of the truth. For that whereby a man is “saved” is his own re-birth and At-one-ment in a sense transcending the phenomenal. And this process is altogether interior to the man, and incapable of being performed from without or by another; a process requiring to be enacted anew in each individual, and impossible of fulfillment by proxy in the person of another. True, the new spiritual Man thus born of Water and the

(p. 111)

Spirit, or of the Pure Heart and the Divine Life; the Man making oblation on the cross, overcoming Death and ascending to Heaven is named Christ-Jesus, the Only Begotten, the Virgin-born, coming forth from God to seek and to save the lost; but this is no other than the description of the man himself after transmutation into the Divine Image. It is the picture of the regenerate man, made “alive in Christ,” and “like unto him.” For the Christos or Anointed, the Chrestos or Best, are but titles signifying Man Perfect; and the name of Jesus, at which every knee must bow, is the ancient and ever Divine Name of all the Sons of God – Iesous or Yesha, he who shall save, and Issa the Illuminated, or Initiate of Isis. For this name Isis, originally Ish-Ish, was Egyptian for Light-Light; that is, light doubled, the known and the knowing made one, and reflecting each other. It is the expression of the apostolic utterance, “Face to face, knowing as we are known, transformed into the image of His glory.” Similarly our affirmatives is and yes; for in both Issa and lesous “all the promises of God are Yes,” because God is the supreme Affirmative and Positive of the universe, enlightening every soul with truth and life and power. God is the Sun of the soul, whereof the physical sun is the hieroglyph, as the physical man is of the true eternal spiritual Man.

            28. The light is positive, absolute, the sign of Being and of the everlasting “Yes;” and “the children of the Light” are they who have the gnosis and eternal Life thereby. But the negation of God is “Nay,” the Night, the Destroyer and the devil. The name therefore of Antichrist is Denial, or Unbelief, the spirit of Materialism and of Death. And the children of darkness are they who have quenched in themselves the divine Love, and “know not whither they go, because darkness hath blinded their eyes.” Hence

(p. 112)

the Serpent of the Dust is spoken of as “the Father of Lies,” that is, of negations; for the word “lie” means nothing else than “denial.” “No denial is of the truth,” says St. John, “for this is Antichrist, even he that denieth. Every spirit which annulleth Jesus (or the divine Yes) is not of God. By this we know the spirit of Truth, and the spirit of Error.”

            29. Christ Jesus, then, is no other than the hidden and true man of the Spirit, the Perfect Humanity, the Express Image of the Divine Glory. And it is possible to man, by the renunciation – which mystically is the crucifixion – of his outer and lower self, to rise wholly into his inner and higher self, and, becoming suffused or anointed of the Spirit, to “put on Christ,” propitiate God, and redeem the earthly and material.

            30. And that which they who, in the outer manifestation, are emphatically called Christs – whether of Palestine, of India, of Egypt or of Persia – have done for man, is but to teach him what man is able to be in himself by bearing, each for himself, that Cross of renunciation which they have borne. And inasmuch as these have ministered to the salvation of the world thereby, they are truly said to be saviors of souls, whose doctrine and love and example have redeemed men from death and made them heirs of eternal life. The Wisdom they attained, they kept not secret, but freely gave as they had freely received. And that which thus they gave was their own life, and they gave it knowing that the children of darkness would turn on them and rend them because of the gift. But, with the Christs, Wisdom and Love are one, and the testament of Life is written in the blood of the testator. Herein is the difference between the Christ and the mere adept in knowledge. The Christ gives and dies in giving, because Love constrains

(p. 113)

him and no fear withholds; the adept is prudent, and keeps his treasure for himself alone. And as the At-one-ment accomplished in and by the Christs, is the result of the unreserved adoption of the Divine Life, and of the unreserved giving of the Love mystically called the Blood of Christ, those who adopt that Life according to their teaching, and who aspire to be one with God, are truly said to be saved by the Precious Blood of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. For the Lamb of God is the spiritual Sun in Aries, the spring-tide glory of ascending Light, the symbol of the Pure Heart and the Righteous Life, by which humanity is redeemed. And this Lamb is without spot, white as snow, because white is the sign of Affirmation and of the “Yes;” as black is of Negation and of the devil. It is Iesous Chrestos, the Perfect Yes of God who is symbolised by this white Lamb, and who, like his sign in heaven, was lifted up on the Cross of Manifestation from the foundation of the world.

            31. In the holy Mysteries, dealing with the process of that second and new creation, which – constituting a return from Matter to Spirit – is mystically called Redemption – every term employed refers to some process or thing subsisting or occurring within the individual himself. For, as man is a Microcosm, and comprises within all that is without, the processes of Creation by Evolution, and of Redemption by Involution, occur in the Man as in the Universe, and thereby in the Personal as in the General, in the One as in the Many. With the current orthodox symbolism of man’s spiritual history, the Initiate, or true Spiritualist, has no quarrel. That from which he seeks to be saved is truly the Devil, who through the sin of the Adam has power over him; that whereby he is saved is the precious blood of the Christ, the Only-begotten, whose mother is the immaculate ever-virgin

(p. 114)

Maria. And that to which, by means of this divine oblation, he attains is the Kingdom of Heaven and eternal Life. But, with the current orthodox interpretation of these terms, the Initiate is altogether at variance. For he knows that all these processes and names refer to Ideas, which are actual and positive, not to physical transcripts, which are reflective and relative only. He knows that it is within his own microcosmic system he must look for the true Adam, for the real Tempter, and for the whole process of the Fall, the Exile, the Incarnation, the Passion, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection, the Ascension, and the coming of the Holy Spirit. And any mode of interpretation which implies other than this, is not celestial but terrene, and due to that intrusion of earthy elements into things divine, that conversion of the inner into the outer, that “Fixing of the Volatile” or materialisation of the Spiritual, which constitutes idolatry.

            32. For, such of us as know and live the inner life, are saved, not by any Cross on Calvary eighteen hundred years ago, not by any physical blood-shedding, not by any vicarious passion of tears and scourge and spear; but by the Christ-Jesus, the God with us, the Immanuel of the heart, born, working mighty works, and offering oblation in our own lives, redeeming us from the world, and making us sons of God and heirs of everlasting life.

            33. But, if we are thus saved by the love of Christ, it is by love also that we manifest Christ to others. If we have received freely, we also give freely, shining in the midst of night, that is, in the darkness of the world. For so long as this darkness prevails over the earth, Love hangs on his cross; because the darkness is the working of a will at variance with the Divine Will, doing continual violence to the Law of Love.

(p. 115)

            34. The wrongs of others wound the Son of God, and the stripes of others fall on his flesh.

He is smitten with the pains of all creatures, and his heart is pierced with their wounds.

There is no offence done and he suffers not, nor any wrong and he is not hurt thereby.

For his heart is in the breast of every creature, and his blood in the veins of all flesh.

For to know perfectly is to love perfectly, and so to love is to be partaker in the pain of the beloved.

And inasmuch as a man loves and succors and saves even the least of God’s creatures, he ministers unto the Lord.

Christ is the perfect Lover, bearing the sorrows of all the poor and oppressed.

And the sin and injustice and ignorance of the World are the nails in his hands, and in his feet.

O Passion of Love, that givest thyself freely, even unto death!

For no man can do Love’s perfect work unless Love thrust him through and through.

But, if he love perfectly, he shall be able to redeem; for strong Love is a Net which shall draw all souls unto him.

Because unto Love is given all power, both in heaven and on earth;

Seeing that the will of him who loves perfectly is one with the Will of God:

And unto God and Love, all things are possible.

            35. We come now to the last and innermost of the fourfold Mysteries of the Cross; the Oblation of God in and for the Macrocosmic Universe.

            The fundamental truth embodied in this aspect of the holy symbol is the doctrine of Pantheism; God, and God

(p. 116)

only, in and through All. The celestial Olympus – Mount of Oracles – is ever creating; God never ceases giving of the Divine Self alike for Creation and for Redemption.

            God is in all things, whether personal or impersonal, and in God they live and move and have being. And that stage of purification through which the Cosmos is now passing, is God’s Crucifixion; the process of Transmutation and Redemption of Spirit from Matter, of Being from Existence, of Substance from Phenomenon, which is to culminate in the final At-one-ment of the ultimate Sabbath of Rest awaiting God’s redeemed universe at the end of the Kalpa. In the Man Crucified, we have, therefore, the type and symbol of the continual Crucifixion of God manifest in the flesh, God suffering in the creature, the Invisible made Visible, the Volatile Fixed, the Divine Incarnate, which manifestation, suffering, and crucifixion are the causes of purification and therefore of Redemption. Thus, in the spiritual Sense, the six days of creation are always Passion Week, in that they represent the process of painful experience, travail, and passing through, whereby the Spirit accomplishes the redemption of the Body; or the return of Matter into Substance. Hence in the sacred writings, God, in the person of Divine Humanity, is represented as showing the Five Mystical Wounds of the Passion to the Angels, and saying: – “These are the Wounds of My Crucifixion, wherewith I am wounded in the House of My Friends.” For, so long as pain and sorrow and sin endure, God is wounded continually in the persons of all creatures, small and great; and the temple of their body is the House wherein the Divine Guest suffers.

            36. For the Bread which is broken and divided for the children of the Kingdom is the Divine Substance, which with the Wine of the Spirit, constitute the holy Sacrament

(p. 117)

of the Eucharist, the Communion of the Divine and the Terrene, the Oblation of Deity in Creation.

            37. May this holy Body and Blood, Substance and Spirit, Divine Mother and Father, inseparable Duality in Unity, given for all creatures, broken and shed, and making oblation for the world, be everywhere known, adored, and venerated. May we, by means of that Blood, which is the Love of God and the Spirit of Life, be redeemed, indrawn, and transmuted into that Body which is Pure Substance, immaculate and ever virgin, express Image of the Person of God! That we hunger no more, neither thirst any more; and that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any creature, be able to separate us from the Love of God, which is in Christ Jesus.

            That being made one through the At-one-ment of Christ, who only hath Immortality and inhabiteth Light inaccessible;

            We also beholding the glory of God with open face; may be transformed into the same Image, from glory to glory by the power of the Spirit. (1)




(94:1) This lecture was written by Anna Kingsford, entirely, Edward Maitland’s part in it being little more than that of literary revision; and was delivered by her on Monday 13th June, 1881 (Life of A.K., vol. Ii, pp. 17, 19, 33).

(98:1) See C.W.S., part i., No. v., pp. 20-22.

(100:1) Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled.

(100:2) Eliphas Levi, La Haute Magie.

(101:1) Lady Hester Stanhope.

(102:1) Received on the 28th May, 1881, by Anna Kingsford in sleep (Life of A.K., vol. ii., p. 13; C.W.S., part i., No. xiv., at p. 66).

(103:1) P. 139, l. 22. The appearance of this remarkable book constitutes a sign of the times of no small importance.

(117:1) See C.W.S., Part ii, Nos. v., p. 224, and ix., p. 234.



Sections: General Index   Present Section: Index   Work Index   Previous: Lecture 3rd – The Various Orders of Spirits; and How to Discern Them   Next: Lecture 5th – The Nature and Constitution of the Ego