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            UNSYMPATHETIC and, therefore, undiscerning critics are wont to taunt the Hebrews with being but clumsy inventors of myths and parables. Whereas the truth is that their ingenuity in this direction was so transcendent that their inventions have been taken as intended historically, and no search has been made for further explanation of them. Such criticism has resulted from the failure to see that, inasmuch as the soul and nothing but the soul must be the standpoint and theme of a Bible, the soul and nothing but the soul must be the standpoint and key of the Bible. As already shown, the soul is usually personified in the Bible as a woman, and it is in this guise that she constantly appears, either explicitly or implicitly, as the spiritual guide and guardian of man.

            Thus, as Rahab – whose vocation denotes her a soul still in commerce with matter, being as yet unpurified and made “virgin” – it is the soul’s intuition that facilitates the entrance of Israel into the Promised Land. As Jael, her spiritual perceptions deal a death-blow to the lower nature by piercing its representative Sisera – the captain-general of the “Canaanites” – in the forehead, thus denoting the intellect, which of itself is powerless against insight. It is the soul, as denoted by a brook, or stream of living water, that elaborates and provides the “smooth stones” of a doctrine perfect and inexpugnable, wherewith David discomfits the giant champion of the Philistines, smiting him also on the forehead to denote the reason as the unbeliever’s weak point. It is the soul again who, as Esther, the principle of intuitive perception and true interpretation, rescues the true religion, represented by her people, from fatal deterioration through the machinations of Haman, or the tendency to materiality in respect of spiritual things, having first gained favour with the genius of the age as denoted by the king,

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which had already deposed orthodoxy as represented by Vashti.

            And it was from the quarries of the soul that the “stone” was “cut without hands” – the “philosopher’s stone” of a perfect system of thought and rule of life – which destroyed the image of Nebuchadnezzar’s vision, and became a “great mountain and filled the whole earth.” For the image was the symbol of that system, purely materialistic, which represents an intellect, in deed, of gold, but whose feet are of clay and iron, in that it rests solely on matter and force, rejecting outright the ideas of God, the soul, and moral responsibility. And since such are precisely the “stone” and the “image” now arrayed against each other as never before in the world’s history; and as, moreover, the book which records this vision contains also a positive announcement that, after a period which – according to the most luminous expositors – coincides exactly with the present epoch, the “seals shall be broken and the books opened,” and the perfect doctrine be disclosed, it may well be that some who are now living will see the existing materialistic system in Church, State, and Society, miscalled Civilisation, shattered to pieces and cast to the winds, and the “stone,” its destroyer, become a “great mountain and fill the whole earth.” Thus accepted at length as the solution of the problem at once of God and man, it will prove itself to be in very truth the “head cornerstone” of the pyramid of the perfect humanity, so long “rejected of the builders” of the Babels innumerable of systems merely intellectual, which – one and all – have but ministered to and ended in confusion.

            The faculty of intuitional perception is symbolised also by the ass, the appropriateness of that animal for such purpose consisting in its surefootedness, sagacity and unpretentiousness, and the long-suffering it exhibits under the harsh and contemptuous treatment usually accorded to it. It bears on its back, moreover, the mark of a cross. As emblematising the intuition it has a conspicuous place in the blessing pronounced by Jacob on his son Judah, wherein the description of the Shiloh, or Messiah, as “binding his foal to the

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vine, even his ass’s colt to the choice vine,” implies the attainment of the full intuition which is the condition of Christhood, as resulting only from the intimate and sure union between the soul and the divine spirit. For the same reason it is said of Sion that “her king cometh riding on an ass’s colt”; and the Christ is represented as making his entry into the holy city “sitting on an ass.” The other instance in which Jacob refers to an ass when blessing his sons, that of Issachar, implies a failure of the intuition, corresponding to that of Eve, which caused the fall and subjection of both Eve and Issachar. Both saw that the proffered object was “pleasant,” and both succumbed to the sense-nature. As that in man which discerns the angel, the intuition is the ass that arrests the course of the perverse Balaam, pleading its past faithful service against his distrust and ill-usage. And it is the same faculty that, under the designation of the jaw-bone of an ass, enables Samson to confute and discomfit the Philistines. And – to cite but one of the several remaining examples – so paramount was the importance attached to the possession of a pure intuition, that one of the very first charges laid by Moses upon the Israelites after the Exodus, was to “break the neck of the firstling of an ass, unless it was redeemed with a lamb,” the latter denoting a pure spirit. The danger of trusting to the intuition unless so allied, appears in the indubitable fact that just as an unpurified intellect lands its possessor in materialism, so does an unpurified intuition land its possessor in superstition. (1)

            Now, according to the Bible no less than to reason, the problem of the ego in man is the problem also of God in the universe; not of God prior to, apart from, or independently of the universe, but in the universe. For these two egos are complementary and supplementary to each other. Both must be, or neither can be. Man cannot get out of the universe that which is not in it. If there is no universal ego, there can be no individual ego. If there is no individual ego, the universal can find no manifestation, and, therefore, can have no

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being, since that which is is bound to find manifestation. Wherefore the being of either ego involves that of both. Nevertheless, it is impossible to conceive of the same universe comprising two true egos, or, rather, the conception would involve a contradiction of terms by substituting a duiverse for a universe – a thing incompatible with stability. The Bible solves the problem by making the two one and the same, and that one Christ. Christ is for it the perfected ego, and therein God, at once in the individual and in the universal. Doing which it recognises both a microcosmic and a macrocosmic Christ; or, rather, Christ under two aspects, the microcosmic and the macrocosmic.

            Recondite as this may appear, the explanation is simple. The individual human ego is an essence compounded of the innumerable associated consciousnesses, or “spirits,” of the individual human system; which ego, in its regenerate and perfected state, is called Christ. Similarly, Christ, in the aspect now under consideration, as macrocosmic and universal, is an agglomerated personality composed of the innumerable associated spirits of all perfected human egos throughout the universe. And whereas each of these is a microcosmic individuation of Deity – or God made man in the particular – so the being in whom they converge and combine to form one vast perfected selfhood is the macrocosmic individuation of Deity – or God made man in the universal. This is to say that the microcosmic Christ is God individuated in man, and the macrocosmic Christ is God individuated through man. And whereas in the trinity of the Unmanifest – or God prior to and apart from creation – “the Father and Son are,” as the Creed has it, “co-equal and co-eternal”; in the trinity of the Manifest “The Father,” as Jesus says, “is greater than the Son.” For the Manifest never exhausts the Unmanifest.

            Now, the individual ego, thus composed of the associated consciousness of its system, is not limited in capacity to the sum-total of these, but represents them fused into a unity and polarised to a plane indefinitely higher. Similarly, the universal ego, who is constituted of the spirits, and therefore is the spirit, of all

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regenerated human egos gathered from every orb in the universe, is not limited to the sum-total of these his component consciousnesses, but represents them fused into a unity and polarised to a plane indefinitely higher. And from this plane, as a sun of suns, in the heaven of heavens, like the individual ego in its system, he redistributes of that which he has received, yet further enhanced and intensified, to the universe over which he presides.

            It is to this aspect and mode of the Christ that Paul refers when he speaks of all redeemed souls as finally “built up as members to constitute the body of Christ,” each having its fitting place therein. For, as the “Father’s house,” there are in it “many mansions.” Such is the corporate association variously called by mystics the “Grand Man,” the “Celestial Hierarchy,” and the “Church Invisible and Triumphant.” And such is the state concerning which Paul writes: “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (1)

            In these words of Paul is contained the vindication of our contention, that the system of the Bible realises an ideally perfect conception of religion. For to make love for God the means of salvation is to make the attainment of perfection the result of the desire for perfection,

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and of the consequent endeavour to realise it. It is in this endeavour that man gradually but surely becomes reconstituted of higher because purer modes of his substance, until at length he is re-made of it in its original divine condition. For, as is essential to be understood, all substance is thought-substance, and amenable, therefore, to the will of the individual constituted of it. So that man actually makes himself according to his thoughts and desires and the tendencies encouraged by him in himself (1). To say which is simply to say that in the world substantial, no less than in the world phenomenal, cause and effect are invariable, and the Divine Justice inexorable. Hence it is that, to realise the ideal, man must desire, cherish, and practise the ideal. No matter how low at the outset may be his standard or feeble his will. He may be at the very foot of the ladder of incarnation, “sleeping” with Jacob on the “stone” which, representing the mineral stage of the consciousness in respect of things spiritual, may yet be “raised up” to be of the “children of Abraham.” Or, like the Prodigal, he may be sharing contentedly with “swine” the “husks” of mere materiality. But when, turning from these, he discerns and desires a better than he has or is, and proves his sincerity by making serious and persistent endeavour to attain and to become it, by that very thought and act he “comes to himself,” his true and real self, and plants his foot on the ladder of his spiritual evolution, which, reaching as it does “from the dust of the ground to the throne of the Most High,” will in due course take him to his proper home, the “Father’s house,” proving itself to be in very truth

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a “tree of life.” Jesus, by his recognition of this self and the power to realise it, as subsisting within man, gives the lie direct to the orthodox doctrines of total depravity and of salvation as coming from without; and sets his seal to the Hermetic definition, that man has within himself the seed of his own regeneration and the power to effectuate it. And inasmuch as it is by the pursuit of the ideal, as discerned by the soul, that the Christ becomes Christ, that which is called the “finding of Christ” is no other than the completion of the Intuition and realisation of the Ideal. It is with the steps of the process of such becoming that the Bible, as a Bible, is mainly occupied. For its history of man from Adam to Jesus is no other than the history of the elaboration of man’s spiritual selfhood. And that Jesus was adopted as the typical representative of this selfhood is because, at a crisis in the world’s spiritual history closely corresponding to that which now is, those who, being at once mystics and gnostics, were possessed of the requisite faculty and knowledge, and were divinely charged with the reformulation anew of religion on the basis of this selfhood as the “Immanuel,” or God within man, recognised in him the most advanced soul and perfect initiate of that or of any other period, and therefore as one in whom the process of the Christ – the process, that is, of regeneration – had attained its fullest development, and this by the method accounted the highest, being that which is from within outwards.




(51:1) See note, p. 42.

(53:1) The state here referred to is not to be confounded with that called by modern “Spiritualists” the “summer land,” or with aught of which, as Spiritualists, they have cognisance. Their experiences, in so far as they are genuine, are restricted to the spheres astral, magnetic, and purgatorial, which are extraneous to the individual; whereas the reference here is to the spheres celestial and divine of souls perfected and passed on, having attained the “twofold state” wherein they consist exclusively of soul and spirit, having shed every vestige of materiality, and become, therefore, as said in the Apocalypse, “pure virgins.” But, though thus far removed from the earth-plane, this state is not inaccessible to those who are still on that plane; but the access to it is within, by way of the soul. Hence it is beyond the ken of the mere “lucid” or clairvoyant.

            It is of the state here referred to – a state altogether sublime – that the doctrine of “Biunity,” lately put forward by persons possessing a smattering of occultism and a spurious spirituality is a travesty. – E.M.

(54:1) In a review of some works on Hypnotism, the Lancet says (March 28th, 1891, p. 722): “It is quite impossible to assign any limitation to the influence of mind upon body; which is probably much more potent and far-reaching than we are usually prepared to admit.” This is but one of numerous instances in which modern science finds itself compelled, in respect of its very foundations, to revert to that of a remote antiquity. To allow, as Professor Clifford allowed, that “matter must have little feeling,” is really to fall back on a universal consciousness as the sole real being. – E.M.



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