WARNINGS AND INSTRUCTIONS
IN view of the journey before us, I was exercised not a little as to the safeguard of our revelations, fearing equally to leave behind and to commit to our baggage the writings regarded by us as of priceless value, knowing as we did the devices likely to be contrived by our invisible foes for their loss or destruction. Of some only of them had I been able to make duplicates, which relieved me of anxiety on their account, as I could leave one set behind and take the other. But the majority were as yet unduplicated, and I at length hit on the device of carrying these in a wallet which I should on no account unstrap from off my shoulder while en route. Though somewhat cumbersome, the plan was preferable to any other that I could devise, and it left my mind at ease. So it was adopted, and continued to be practiced to the end, and no loss was ever sustained. Nor was Mary without anxiety on a somewhat like score. She had read in the newspapers that a lady, on attempting to land at Dover with a pet-lamb, had been stopped on the plea that the port was not licensed for the importation of live stock, whereupon the owner of the lamb had been compelled to return to France and re-embark for some other port. And she was apprehensive lest her little pet, Rufus, come under the same category of prohibited goods. She managed, however, to the great relief of both of us, to smuggle him through unobserved.
Our homeward journey was not
unfruitful in experience. Having to pass a Sunday in
which was in Jermyn Street, save on foot, Mary was disposed to accept the proffer of a bed rather than risk the walk home – a plan in which I heartily concurred, But, as it proved, things were ordered otherwise, and in a way little anticipated.
We had supped and disposed ourselves
before a comfortable fire, and Mary was giving our hostess an account of our
life and work in
Happily we were able soon to obtain a conveyance, and she
reached the hotel and went to bed before the chill which I had feared for her was able to establish itself.
The arrangement we had made about our pamphlet proved unfortunate for our holiday. Relying on the judgment of the publisher, we had entrusted the translation to a professed litterateur, whose acquaintance with English proved so greatly inferior to his acquaintance with French as to render the task of correction exceptionally heavy; and as this was a task for which Mary was by far the better qualified of the two, it naturally devolved for the most part upon her.
There was yet another circumstance which tended to minimise the benefits anticipated from the rest and change by reason of the anxiety it involved on us. It grew out of matters concerning myself and belonging to a period long antecedent to our association; but it formed so remarkable a contribution to our spiritual experiences as to call for record here. Before coming to the matter itself there is much to be said.
Having come back to
“I am coming up the steps,” she began, “for I see your light at the top.” Then, after a brief pause as if to recover breath and review the situation, she continued: “You have changed much – not for the worse; but I fear that you are floating out so fast that you are losing sight of the influences in this world, because you are so much in relation with those called spiritual. You are as one who is sailing in a boat on the ocean in company with others; but you sail so fast that you seem to lose sight of them and they of you. It is better for you, perhaps, to be free and alone on the waters, where you can follow your course without minding others; but not so good for them. Your usefulness, so far as they are concerned, is more limited, because their ears are not open enough to take in the lessons you have learned before them. So I say to you there are two lines you must hold.
One line represents you, and will lead you far, far out. The other line represents the world in which you live, and is much shorter than the other.
“You forget that while in the body you have begun the life of the spirit. There are many who are unable to begin the life of the spirit even after this life, and must come back to finish the body’s life in a new or other body, because a certain result is foreshadowed in each condition, and they must come back to perfect the body in its relation to the spirit. This happens till they live the life of the spirit.
“I see so many spirits trying to creep in to every attribute of people. Spirits who have not conquered some sin in their own lives delight to find expression for that sin through people who have the same fault and have not cast it under their feet. Till this is done the work of the spirit cannot begin for them. With you the birth of the spirit while in the body has taken place as in only a few here, and your own life has already run forward far into the spiritual condition around you. And thus your body holds its place in the world of bodies, and your spirit holds its place in the world of spirits; and you live really at the present time in both worlds. And, therefore, when you speak to this world, you must not aim at giving to it your own foremost and highest thought, as if you and it were of the same world; but you must rather glance backwards and downwards until you come to the world’s level, and then teach it upon its own level. Or when you attempt to impart to it the results of your own high spiritual condition, you will find that they will pass over the heads of the people, rather than into their hearts and minds. For the hearts and minds of people in this England are so close shut and bound that high spiritual thoughts cannot enter.
“I am told to say also that, in giving your thoughts to the world, you must study how little you can say, not how much; because the little ray of spiritual light, like a thin wedge, may creep in, while the strong wave of spiritual light which naturally would come from your mind could never enter. That is why you sometimes feel that you are completely alone, and barred out from receiving the appreciation and acknowledgment which all honest endeavour merits. It is not because the fruit you would cultivate is not good, but because the seed you plant is too pure to take root in human soil; and the soil must be refined by exhausting its coarser elements first, and a coarse seed serves to refine those elements before it becomes suitable for the growth and development of the higher spiritual thought.”
[After a pause passed in silence.]
“There are four spirits with me in a great temple, high spirits, sitting round
together and in council about you. I am called up to them. It is such a long
way. I was all the time ascending while you were waiting. The land is far
distant, and it is so warm and bright, and filled with influences so pure and
beautiful, that no one of this
and completely than would be possible if you were to dwell entirely in the spirit, as your own tendency is to do, and that your spirit may still be clothed with a human body.
“There are some in the world who will say your work is done. They know not whereof they speak. One phase is nearing its completion, but even before that is done another has begun; and we say that that which you most long for – the results to come of it – you will live to see them, and to gather the fruit of the tree you have planted; and you will hasten the time by retaining your hold on the world and the physical life. Your difficulty is, that the spirit in you asserts itself too much, and completely ignores all the demands of the body.
“That is, by the activity of the spirit, the strength of the body, which should go out sometimes in mere physical relations, is absorbed by the spirit. Whereas, in order to be able to feel the pulse of the world, and to labour effectually for the unfoldment of human nature, you must be in and of the world, and not always shut up and apart from it. You must keep in mind the two lines we spoke of.
“You have now massed together enough of knowledge to fill the coming century. And while you matured those thoughts and sent them forth, there would be an outgrowth coming directly to your own spirit; but it is unwise for you to leave the world wholly behind you. Use the knowledge as you get it, rather than accumulate it, or you will be like people who spend their lives in getting money to be happy with afterwards. You are piling up knowledge as if there were an ultimate which you could reach in it, but when you get up to what now might seem such a point, you would find there is no ultimate in anything. Besides, no future time will be more propitious for the work than the present. You are to bring forth, one by one, the treasures given you, as an artist would bring forth his favourite pictures and hang them up in the gallery of a museum for a world of earnest hearts to gaze on.
“This, too, I am charged to say: – You will make a very great mistake if you give to the world the source and origin of much you have received. If you give the substance of it, they will absorb it in their minds and get benefit; but they will not believe in the source, and would refuse even the cup of cold water that claimed to come from it. Better that the thoughts and ideas be filtered through your mind, or seem to originate from yourself, if ever they are to exercise influence on the world. There is now only the intellect to be appealed to, so that you must speak only as from the intellect. You would fail completely were you to publish the source when you give the lessons you have to teach. Those who know will discern the source of themselves. Others will appreciate the lesson better for its not being disclosed, and, later, will attain the further step of comprehending and believing in the source. The lesson of the thought itself will prepare them for the higher lesson, from which they would turn away if presented to them in the first instance, and be more in rapport with the world. You partially shut the door yourself. Not intellectual society is what you should cultivate; that would not help, but would offend and irritate you by its limitations of intelligence. You want healthful, pleasant, genial associations.”
[In reply to question.] “If your inspiring spirits have ever lived in this world as human beings, it was so long ago that I cannot see when. I see them as heads rather than as bodies, with what seems like clouds, long and floating away, for garments; with colours to express their condition, which is that of Gods or Archangels. I see the thought they wish me to utter. They show me the thought; their thoughts create the imagery, as God by the action of His mind produces the world, and gives form to thought, which is creation.
“These spirits lived more centuries ago than I can count. They are spirits of the world, its controlling influences, who develop up the world’s spiritual life. As I am talking to you I see no country or earth, but water, and I am looking far out over an ocean; and the beautiful temple grows out of the water. The water represents space. Thoughts take form on the walls of the temple.”
Here she paused again, giving me time to reflect on the correspondence between her description of this sphere and the apocalyptic “sea of glass like unto crystal, mingled with fire,” and of those who, as “followers of the Lamb,” of a pure spirit in themselves, are, for their exemption from taint of matter, called “virgins.” Presently resuming, she continued: –
“Now I see another Spirit, just come, of a different-coloured light. Ali the others look up as He comes in through an open space as a ray of light. No one follows Him, but a crowd of voices float in after Him, and He becomes an avenue of high influences between whom and other high spirits He serves as medium. He figured in this world. I see a cross, and One on it wearing a crown of thorns. It is this Spirit; and the suffering He underwent drove out every mortal element of His life. Ordinarily in death a part only of such elements are driven out. But with Him death was a mingling of every pain known to mortals, and He is, in the spirit-life, a perfect medium between the Lord and His spirits.”
[In answer to questions.] “‘Lord’ represents a human element. ‘God’ represents the pure substance of all things. ‘Lord’ is God’s highest mode of operation conceivable by mind, which ‘God’ is not; the utmost extent of the finite. I am not speaking of myself. I hope to rise, some day, to the high level I see. It is that possibility in me that enables me to be a medium – which is all I am now – between those high spirits and you. The Christ is a medium to the Supreme. The Lord is the ‘I’ of Jesus.
“I am told to tell you that life in this world is not in itself degrading. All things in life are good and right. To strangle’ part of your nature is as bad as to strangle the whole. You get good from all relations of life, until they shed themselves; then you outgrow them. To crucify this, to crush the other, is a sad mistake. If Jesus’ life was understood and the things He said, you would find that all the conditions possible to man had been fulfilled by Him, whether in His last life or in former ones. He had used and benefited by them all. From His earliest moment His life was a blending of all spiritual and physical possibilities, and He was completely rounded
out in every attribute that makes the man to-day, but to-day the spirit is dwarfed and only the body is heeded.
“I am told to tell you of your partner, that there are certain things about her to which you cannot yet find the clues; tendencies and experiences in past lives which have not yet expended themselves. They are an element of weakness in her system, and were the cause of her failure. And the wonder is, that when the trial came she was not altogether destroyed and ruined. But the organism was not permanently injured, and the failure was good morally. The effect of the strain upon her brain and spinal system was like the pulling out of a bit of rubber so far as to make it jagged at the edges. Spiritually she is at one with you, but her intellect is continually crossing swords with yours, and this has hindered the work of both. Her perception of outsides is so sharp where persons are concerned as to obscure that of insides. She sees the act and criticises that without looking to the spirit of it. The more the woman is developed in her, the better for your work.
“She is almost two persons, one very near to you, the other often far away and at odds. She is so dependent as the one, so independent as the other.”
[In answer to question about herself.] “I have taken three steps forwards, and am higher than when you saw me before. From passion I have passed to cool judgment, and am not now affected by the feelings and thoughts of my sitters, as spirits often are, and unconsciously take their colour from the sitter’s mind.
“There is a spirit present who was your wife in the earth-life. She has not been allowed to approach you of late, because she was jealous of your present association; but she is much higher now, and is allowed to work for you again. There is a matter in which she is trying to help you now. You will hear of it in due time. There is nothing that you can do in it yourself now. When the time comes you will have to attend to it.
“The only other thing I have to say to you now is, that you must enter more into the world. It is for your own sake as well as for the sake of others. The Master gained force through absorbing the elements of the world and of human life.”
A second visit was occupied chiefly with replies to a series of questions connected with psychology and religion with which I had furnished myself, all of which were answered with much perspicacity, and in close accordance, so far as the answers went, with the system of thought contained in our subsequent books. The sitting closed with some personal statements referring to other of my relations, some living and some long dead, respecting none of whom the knowledge could have been acquired by normal methods, their innermost characters and motives, and their attitude towards myself, being described with startling accuracy. And this was the case throughout all these interviews. Every statement within my power to verify proved correct, even to the recent death of two relatives, and the narrow escape of a third, of
whose danger I
had not then heard. Speaking of the person most nearly concerned by these
“You have some relations very near to you in the flesh, but far removed in the spirit – so far removed, indeed, that, spiritually, you are no relations at all. I see two such. The one at whom I am looking now has been very nasty to you, but he has good in him, and it is being developed. That is the cause of his troubles. The spirits have taken him in hand, and are developing the good in him. I do not mean spirits such as I am, but the ministers of God. The other is not so far advanced. He is not advanced at all. The spiritual nature is not yet even awake in him. It is so dead that I doubt whether he will begin to find it in his present life; perhaps not for several lives.”
I come to the incident referred to
at the beginning of this chapter (1) as contributing to the detriment
of Mary’s holiday. Winona’s statement that some matter was pending in which the
spirit of my wife was trying to help me, and of which I should shortly hear,
had brought to my mind an incident which had taken place two or three months
previously in Paris. My American acquaintance, Colonel R––, already alluded to,
when in Paris, had begged me to witness some experiments in clairvoyance he was
making with a young Frenchwoman – a complete stranger to me – whose faculty he
was developing, and I accordingly went. The lucide was a good one,
and at once proved the genuineness of her gift by giving a description of
ourselves, our work, and our mode of life so minute and exact as to transcend
altogether any account she could have received from the Colonel. She further
stated that I was at that very time menaced by a serious danger, of which I
should hear in a few weeks, probably six or more – she could not see exactly –
Attaching little or no importance to
these utterances, and being unwilling to excite anxiety in Mary, I kept this
announcement to myself, and had well-nigh forgotten it, when it was recalled to
my mind by its repetition by
the import of the warnings given me. It was a peremptory demand for a sum of money altogether beyond my ability to pay, on behalf of some speculative transactions long since wound up and dismissed as finally settled, and was couched in terms so hostile as to show that the parties to the conspiracy – for such I at once saw it to be – were at once desperate and unscrupulous. Failing to obtain compliance with their demands, they would use every endeavour to injure my reputation.
Knowing the baselessness of the
requisition and the utter absence of any real ground for apprehension on the
latter score, I was disposed to take no notice of the matter, and to regard it
as a trick, which, having been played without effect, would be dropped. But I
was still pondering it, when, without notice, Mary arrived in
For answer I placed in her hands the letter I had received, assuring her that, serious as it might appear, there was no cause whatever for alarm, as I was in possession of all the documents necessary to acquit me of liability, moral as well as legal; and, in compliance with her suggestion, I instructed a lawyer to make reply for me to that effect. The step proved effective, and
the matter was brought to a satisfactory termination, even to the fulfilment of the prediction that I should not be troubled about it again; for up to the present time no further word about it has reached me.
A review of the whole of the experiences connected with this incident – which I now for the first time communicated to Mary – led us to regard it as a demonstration impossible to be traversed of the ability of the departed to overshadow and safeguard their friends on this side, as well as of the reality of the faculty through which communication is held. Not that the proof on this occasion was stronger than many which had previously been given to us; but it involved elements which took the experience into a rare category. For no less than three several sensitives, absolutely irrespective of each other, had received at different times and places precisely identical intimations purporting to come from one and the same spirit, of whose existence two of them were unaware, concerning a matter about which neither they nor I had any knowledge or suspicion. And the intimations were in every particular confirmed by the event. The suggestion that, even granting the rest, there was no proof of the identity of the personality of the spirit manifesting seemed to us sufficiently met by the consideration that if it were not, either directly or mediately, the person it professed to be, there must be exceedingly elaborate contrivances for deception on the other side, and this for no assignable advantage to the contrivers.
An intense spell of work, extending over three months, was rewarded by her passage of a somewhat dreaded examination in chemistry with the highest notes of approbation. The only abnormal experience during this period was the following: –
Finding it necessary summarily to dismiss her cuisinière for gross misbehaviour, she wrote a letter to the woman’s husband informing him of the circumstances, first showing it to me. Having read it, I strongly advised her to “sleep upon it,” in order to give time for reflection or suggestion, not specifying my reason, which was, that I had grave doubts as to the propriety of prejudicing the husband against the wife, be her fault what it might. Better, I considered, to leave him to make his own discoveries. I had no thought of any physical danger resulting. She assented. The night passed, and the first thing she did on rising was to tear up her letter. She had dreamt, she said, that in passing down the
street a woman had rushed out from a recess and thrown a quantity of vitriol in her face, the pain from which woke her; and she took this for a warning not to be neglected.
On June 22 she received [in sleep], evidently in satisfaction of my need, of which she was unaware, an instruction concerning Christian Pantheism (Clothed with the Sun, I, XXVII), which gave an explanation of the points on which I wanted light, confirming the conclusions to which I had come, and going far beyond them, but with such lucidity as to enable me at once to recognise the results as following inevitably from the premises. It threw, moreover, a great and needed light on the method of the Gospels. The following month brought us the mystical version of the Apostles’ Creed and Lord’s Prayer, which, by rendering the Creed into the present tense, and addressing the prayer to the “God within,” exhibited to our supreme satisfaction the interior character of Christianity proper, to the confirmation of our own independent conviction respecting the non-historical nature of all that is essential in religion; and in such presentation we rejoiced to recognise the death-blow to the superstition which insists on restricting to a time and to an individual processes which are by their nature necessarily eternal and universal.
Desirous of escaping the summer
heats of Paris, and sorely needing the renovation which only the seaside
afforded, we selected Cabourg, near Trouville, for our purpose, her sinister
impressions of Dieppe being still too vivid for her to tolerate the idea of
revisiting that place, otherwise the most convenient and suitable. This time it
was not only for her that such change was needful. My own state was such as to
cause me serious apprehension lest I break down with my work all unfinished,
and while I was still so indispensable to my colleague. To relate the nature
and cause of the ill-health by which I was now troubled is to narrate the most
distressing, in some respects, of all the experiences encountered in our work.
It was not, of course, to be supposed that the enemy would leave any device
untried to break it down. But the means now taken to that end surpassed any
other yet attempted in subtlety and cruelty. For it consisted in the endeavour
to sow discord between us. We needed not to be told, as we had been told by
Hermes, “Ye are not yet perfected,” to acquaint us with the fact. But we did
not know how imperfect we were.
speaking of Mary, “Spiritually she is at one with you, but her intellect is continually crossing swords with yours, and this has hindered the work of both. Her perception of outsides, where persons are concerned, is so sharp as to obscure that of insides. She sees the act and criticises that without looking at the spirit of it. The more the woman is developed in her, the better for your work. She is almost two persons, one very near to you, the other often far away and at odds. She is so dependent as the one, so independent as the other.”
The description was exact. Intuitionally at one with me, intellectually she was still liable at times to fall under the influence of the pessimistic tendencies which led her to see the worst side and express the harshest judgment of persons and actions. In this lay the essential difference between us. Though recognising her as constituting a larger system and having superior capacities, I could not but see that she was less able to maintain a constant balance between the two modes of the mind, and consequently was as liable to go to extremes in one direction as well as in the other, and this to such an extent as to make it appear for the time being as if the tether which linked her with her centre had been broken, and only the centrifugal tendency had any existence. The process of at-one-ment between the inner and outer, higher and lower, spheres of the kosmos constituted by her had yet to be effected. She could rise into complete union with her innermost, but could not maintain that union. This was a phenomenon on which a light was thrown for me by an instruction in which it was said that the essential difference between the patriarchs and the Christ consisted in precisely this same characteristic. While, therefore, the latter was said to be married to the Spirit, the former were said to live in concubinage, their relations with the divine being fitful only and transitory. Our orbits thus differed as those of a comet and a planet. Hers carried her nearer the sun than mine, but it also carried her farther away.
Such was the liability of which the enemy took advantage at this period, by artfully causing discussion to degenerate into controversy, and controversy into altercation, when any subject arose between us respecting which we saw differently. And it was not all at once that I was able to recognise the source. Gradually, however, this became clear to me, and I was able to discern
as the real instigators extraneous influences which, besides being malignant in themselves, were bitterly antagonistic to our work, and bent upon breaking me down as the only way left to them of breaking it down, having been foiled in their previous direct attempts upon her. Our recent experiences with O. had shown her accessibility to suggestions from such sources through the medium of the astral, when detached from her central pivot. And it by no means followed that in losing one instrument “Apollyon” was left without resources. It might even be that the same instrument was still available for his purposes, though removed from our ken. And I was startled at finding the same idea expressed by her soon after it occurred to myself. For she said that she sometimes thought that O. was trying to get at her again. One thing that served to confirm my belief in the extraneous character of the obsessing influences was her manifest unconsciousness subsequently of having given me any cause to be grieved or aggrieved by anything said or done by her. On one occasion, however, she seemed suddenly to awake to a sense both of the severity of the test to which I had been put and of the effort it must have cost me to refrain from any expression of resentment; for after a short pause, spent apparently in reflection, she said to me, “What a splendid mother you must have had!” – a compliment which I took as the greatest ever paid me, or that could be paid me.
The subtlety with which my most sensitive places were searched out, and the mercilessness with which they were probed by the influences which had now obtained access to us, seemed to me to belong altogether to the infernal. I recalled what I had read about the ordeals of the ancient mysteries, and what I had been told about my having been similarly tested and proved; and how that Plato had said that many begin their initiation in the mysteries, but few complete it. And I only wondered that any should survive to do so if their ordeals approached mine in severity; for the conflict within was such as to realise for me in the fullest sense imaginable the meaning implied by St. Paul when he said, “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” And although I never for a moment faltered in courage or resolution, the tension upon my organic system was so great as to render imminent some rupture of heart
or of head which could hardly fail to be fatal to life or reason. As it was, the heart had set up two beats nearly for one, the pulse ranging from 110 to 120, and the head responded to the disturbance thus induced by setting up noises so loud and shrill that on our journey to Cabourg it was the greatest possible relief to me, when the train entered a tunnel, to keep the windows open in order that the noise without might deaden somewhat the noises within. Meanwhile I sought, but in vain, by rigorous self-examination to discover the cause and the cure for the condition in which I found myself. What if it should become chronic! It was more than my life and reason that were at stake – it was our work; it was she! To lose me would, I was assured, be her ruin for this life, for I was to her as a tether to hold her to her centre.
Our visit to Cabourg failed of its
hoped-for results, but through no fault of the place itself. Nothing could have
been more invigorating than the ozone-laden breezes which swept over its vast
expanses of sand, or the battles with the breakers in which I freely indulged,
swimming being a favourite exercise with me. We had not escaped the enemy by
On our return from Cabourg, Lady Caithness
“26 RUE BOISSI ÈRE, CHAILLOT, PARIS,
“MY DEAR LADY CAITHNESS, – We returned yesterday from a brief visit to Cabourg les Bains, and tomorrow I am going to my work again. I think Mr. M–– has already given you an account of our
the Cardinal Archbishop of
“With regard to the Pope, after much reflection I have decided to postpone my letter to him, until – my apprenticeship at the Faculté being at an end – I may say what I have to say without fear, and may have the weight of my degree to add authority to my representations. I wish my letter to his Holiness to be the opening of the crusade against cruelty to which I intend to devote my life in the future; and I shall not be free to open my campaign until I have the scarlet gown of the Doctorate.
“Do you know, I believe it is true
that every one of us men and women who have true missions in the world, and who
are born to be Saviours, must descend, as did Christ Jesus, into Hell, and be
numbered with the dead. I have found my Hell here in the Faculté
de Médecine of
“And when, that night, after leaving the schools, I reflected on all these things, another revelation was made to me on the meaning of the Passion of Christ. I beheld Christ showing the wounds on His hands and feet, and I heard Him say to me, ‘These are the wounds wherewith I was wounded in the House of my Friends.’ Then immediately I understood that passage of the Holy Scriptures, which had always been obscure to me before, and I perceived that the ‘House’ of Christs Friends is the body of those whom He loves, and that when they suffer, He suffers in them and for them out of the love He bears them. God is in all creatures, and the stage of purification by fire (or suffering), through which all being is now passing in this sphere, is the crucifixion of God. Jesus, as the most perfect of Initiates, is selected by the Christian mysteries as the representative of God. He is for them God manifest in the flesh. In His crucifixion, therefore, is seen the type and symbol of God in
creatures, which crucifixion is the means and cause of their purification, and
of their final redemption. ‘These,’ says the Lord God, ‘are the wounds
wherewith I was wounded in the body or person of all who are Mine – who are
“I do not know whether I have succeeded in making this view of the ‘Atonement’ as clear to you as it showed itself to me, or whether it is a new light to you in any sense. To me it reveals the whole mystery of the Cross, and shows me what I before felt but dimly, that the Christ of every age and of every sphere must truly and really bear the sorrows and pains of those whom He redeems ‘in His own Body on the Tree.’ And He does not become the ‘Saviour’ until He has been crucified, dead, buried, and gone down into hell.
“Thus it appears to me that, out of my love to the poor animals who are the dumb of this world, I too must be wounded in their fleshly ‘House,’ and must ‘die’ for them spiritually. That I suffer thus is my warranty that I shall some day be able to redeem them. Therefore I have but to finish my work and to wait until the time is ripe to reap the fruits of it.
“I shall be glad to know how your
affairs prosper now you have returned to
A. MARY KINGSFORD.”
The visit to Monsignor Guibert,
Cardinal Archbishop of
act. Mary, however, was bent on making the attempt, and an introduction was accordingly procured for us through the instrumentality of the Duchesse de Grammont, herself an English-woman and wife of the author of the well-known humanitarian statute entitled, “Le Loi Grammont!” Hence the appropriateness of our reference to her on behalf of our project. Mary accompanied her application for an interview with the Cardinal by the following letter; and when a reply came appointing a time for her call, nothing would do but that I should accompany her not only to the palace, but even into the august presence, much as I shrank from so doing. But her declaration that she always seemed to draw force from me left me no option: –
“Nous prions Votre Eminence de ne pas regarder cette question de Ia Vivisectíon comme une question en dehors de l’action de l’Eglise; c’est au contraire une question intimement liée à Ia Religion et à Ia Moralité, pour les raisons suivantes: –
“1. S’il existe un seul devoir réligieux, assurément Ia conduite que doit tenir les créatures de Dieu l’un envers l’autre est bien du nombre.
“2. Nous ne pouvons pas enseigner aux enfants leurs devoirs envers les animaux, ni punir les personnes qui les maltraitent, tant que le monde peut dire que l’Eglise donne sa sanction aux pratiques les plus atroces que l’on ait jamais imaginées.
“3. Les hommes qui se livrent à Ia pratique de Ia vivisection – M. Paul Bert, par exemple, – sont des hommes que leurs écrits, leurs actes, tout leur passe désignent comme les ennemis de l’Eglise et de toute croyance réligieuse.
“4. La vrai Science est de Dieu, et Dieu n’a jamais ordonné que les connaissances vraiment utiles soient achetées aux prix de Ia dégradation de l’Humanité et des plus cruelles souffrances des créatures inoffensives qui travaillent pour nous et qui sont muettes et sans défense entre nos mains.
“La vraie Science est Ia compagne de Ia Religion, et donne Ia main à l’Esprit du Christianisme; Ia Science qui, au contraire, se trouve opposée à l’Esprit de Jésus-Christ et de Ia Miséricorde est une fausse Science, qui travaille par des moyens méchants et pervers, et dont les partisans sont les ennemis de Dieu.
“5. Il convient surtout à l’Eglise Catholique, à qui seule appartient Ia gloire de reconnaitre Ia Femme Divine en Ia personne de Ia Mère de Dieu, de proclamer Ia règne de Ia Miséricorde et de Ia Charité universelle, et de dénoncer Ia cruauté et l’egoisme de ceux qui font souffrir aux autres les plus lentes et douloureuses agonies afin d’obtenir des connaissances que Dieu n’accorde jamais qu’aux hommes dont les intentions sont conformes à ses lois, et dont le cceur est pur et révérencieux.
“6. II n’est donc pas étonnant que les vivisecteurs eux-mêmes sont obligés d’avouer que jusqu’ici, ils n’ont obtenu aucun résultat sérieux, et que l’un des plus éminents d’entre eux a déclaré que ses esperances n’avaient été nullement réalisées. ‘Nos mains,’ dit-il,
‘sont vides aujourd’hui.’ D’autres professeurs ont avoué que le résultat des expériences faites par Ia vivisection n’est jamais confirmé par les observations pathologiques et cliniques. De nombreux médecins et chirurgiens très renomme, s’accordent à reconnaitre que Ia vivisection ne peut que démoraliser ceux qui s’y livrent sans faire faire aucun progrès à Ia Science. En effet, Ia pratique de Ia vivisection, loin de favoriser Ia marche du progrès, a soulevé dans Ia science des discussions et des dificultes sans fin qui ont empêché d’une manière désastreuse l’application des moyens thérapeutiques, et ont même été cause des erreurs et des illusions des plus funestes.
“7. Nous envisageons les animaux comme les pauvres; car, quoique leur forme soit différente de Ia nôtre, ils ont les mêmes capacités de souffrance, et les mêmes affections que nous; et, loin de nous donner le droit de les maltraiter, Ia Sainte Ecriture nous a commandé ‘d’ouvrir Ia bouche pour les muets.’
“8. Et cela est si vrai, que les plus grands des Saints de l’Eglise ont reconnu que pour suivre Ia Voie de Ia Perfection il faillait même s’abstenir de prendre Ia vie à aucun être vivant, et par conséquent, ils ne se nourissaient pas de Ieur chair, mais se contentaient des fruits, des grains et du pain dont l’homme vivait uniquement dans le jour de sa première innocence.
“9. Cependant, Ia question de prendre Ia vie aux animaux ne touche pas Ia question de Ia vivisection, car Ia vivisection ne signifie pas Ia Mort, – ce qui serait bien peu de chose, – il s’agit ici des tortures les plus atroces et prolongées que l’esprit de l’homme ait jamais conçues.
“10. Des animaux tels que chevaux, chiens, chats, ânes, lapins, cochons d’Inde, pigeons, etc., sont soumis aux souffrances les plus barbares, que puisse inventer Ia génie humain. Ainsi, on les écorche vivants, on Ieur crève les yeux avec des fers rouges, on les crucifie, on les empoisonne lentement, on les brise les os, on leur arrache les nerfs, on leur enleve Ia cervelle, on leur fait avaler des acides corrosifs, on frotte leurs yeux avec des caustiques, on les fait cuire vivants à petit feu, on leur arrache Ia coeur et les entrailles, on les disseque pendant des jours entiers en entretenant une respiration artificielle aux moyens des pompes à l’air, on développe sur eux Ia gangrene, Ia tumeur blanche, les arthrites suppurées, l’entorse, le délirium trémens et autres maladies; on les enduit de térébenthine que l’on enflamme ensuite; enfin on prolonge de toutes manières ces cruelles agonies, qui durent, selon le degré de vitalité, et à force des moyens mécaniques pour entretenir Ia respiration, – des heures, des jours, des semaines!
“11. Tels sont, Votre Eminence, les cruautés qui se commettent chez les ennemis de Dieu, de l’Eglise et de Ia Vraie Science, tels sont les abus contre lesquels nous réclamons avec toute la force dont nous sommes capables, en priant Votre Eminence de vouloir bien adresser au clergé de Paris une Lettre Pastorale contre ces horribles pratiques qui portent atteinte à Ia Religion, à Ia moralité, et qui font Ia honte de notre siècle.
“12. Une fois que l’Eglise aurait ainsi condamné sans reserve les pratiques barbares d’une Science déchue et athée, les Fidèles seront délivrés d’un fardeau pesant, et Votre Eminence rendra par vos paroles Ia joie et Ia confiance aux coeurs de milliers de Chrétiens
qui ont été portés même à douter, Ia bonté et Ia miséricorde, non pas seulement de l’Eglise Catholique, mais de Dieu Lui-même.”
In one respect the result was less
even than I had anticipated. In another respect it was positively gratifying to
me. For, while it revealed on the part of the Church’s chief representative in
The line and tone of the Cardinal
throughout were such as to preclude the possibility of argument. Accustomed to
dictate and to preach to others from the impregnable position of his rank and
office, he was not going to suffer himself to be preached to, and least of all
by a woman. And Mary accordingly came away dumb with amazement and
disappointment, her high hopes utterly evaporated. Determined not to speak
first, I awaited in silence her first utterance with curiosity; and we walked a
considerable distance before it came. At length she exclaimed, “How are the
mighty fallen! I could not have believed it had I not seen it myself. There is
but one word to express the condition of the Catholic Church in
believe all through its own fault. The Gods haven’t come to the rescue a moment too soon. Oh, what a work we have to do! The Church wants as much saving as the world, and will probably be our greatest hindrance to saving the world. Oh, those priests! Those priests! Priests of religion and priests of science, I do not believe there is a pin to choose between them.”
My physical distresses remained unabated, and I feared that the conditions were in other respects also unfavourable to the prosecution of our spiritual work. But the event proved otherwise, and we were no sooner moved to seek to renew intercourse with our illuminators than we found free response.
This we did in writing, a method from which we had long desisted for a variety of reasons, among which was the expressed dislike of our genii to physical means of communication. But on this occasion the promptness of the response seemed to imply their approbation, and the results were as satisfactory as they were singular. The question was as to the order to be observed in the record we had been instructed to make of the Scriptures imparted to us. For containing this [record] we had had manufactured expressly a volume, large, handsome, of superfine paper, with lock and key, and bearing on the cover a solid brass pentagram (1) – symbol of man perfected. And in this book Mary was to write, in her boldest and most picturesque hand, the chapters received by her. And I secretly indulged in anticipations of the time when the book would form one of the most precious possessions of the Church of the Future, as a relic of the seeress and scribe of the New Gospel of Interpretation, and one to look on which the Faithful of the ages to come would make pilgrimage from afar, regarding it with the veneration that now would be accorded to the originals of their own Scriptures, written by the hands of the revelators themselves. The writing was duly commenced, but was destined never to be completed, the requisite health, strength, and leisure not being vouchsafed. And it accordingly stopped short at its initial pages. And only when the record was ultimately made in print was it possible to observe the directions given. And this she did not live to see with her bodily eyes, for it was in her posthumous book, Clothed with the Sun.
The selection and order of the great mass of chapters, those containing the lesser mysteries, was left to our own judgment. One of these was the instruction concerning the spiritual significance of certain animals in which the name “Saturn” was used to denote the “father of priestcraft”; and a doubt arose in her mind as to whether she had caught the right name. On putting the question, we received in writing the unexpected answer, “The word you want is Molech or Cain. They are the same.”
Upon this we referred to Smith’s Bible Dictionary, where – under the heads of Molech and Chemosh – we found the ascription to Saturn of the title of “Father of Priestcraft,” and his identity with Molech fully borne out. Respecting the further identity of Cain with these, the dictionary failed to help us, as it treats him merely from the supposed historical point of view, and takes no account of the principles implied; which, of course, it could not do, as the key to these has long been lost, and it was only now being restored to us; and by means of this we ascertained that what had surprised us was perfectly correct, in that Molech, Chemosh, Cain, and Saturn, and therein Satan, are different terms to express the outermost and lowest sphere of the kosmos, namely, that of matter, time, and appearance, as opposed to the inmost and highest, namely, that of spirit, eternity, and reality. And priestcraft represents the recognition of the former to the exclusion of the latter. Appealing to the sense-nature instead of to the soul, it has for its “father” that principle in man which is denoted by the terms in question.
With regard to the order of the chapters containing the greater mysteries, it was written –
“Put all that relates to the Seventh Sphere at the end of the book. Write the Apostles’ Creed the first in the book, putting all the past tenses in the present. The Creed contains the spiritual history of the Sons of God, and the mysteries of the kingdom of the Seven Spheres. Follow it with the Lord’s Prayer. But before all put, on a single page, I AM.”
On October I she received in sleep the instruction, “Concerning the Perfectionment of the Christ,” printed as Chapter XXVI in Clothed with the Sun; and on the 17th she similarly received the instruction, “Concerning the Blood of Christ” (Clothed with the Sun, Chapter XXVIII). The following is her record of the latter: –
“Being asleep, I saw myself in a large room like a library, for it had in it a great many shelves filled with books; and there were several persons in it, to whom I was speaking of the Christs, their origin and mission, and part in the history of mankind. And I spoke much of Jesus, representing that the doctrine of His immaculate conception was to be understood only in a mystic sense, and that all the story we have of His birth refers solely to His initiation, which is the true birth of the Son of God. And I proved this by many texts and passages from the Gospels themselves and other writings. And I spoke also of the origin of Jesus, and how He had been made perfect through suffering. Of this suffering we hear, I said, but little in the one life of His which is recorded in the Gospels. The suffering referred to is a long course of trial and upward progress experienced in former incarnations. And I named some of the more recent ones, but have not been enabled to retain them.
“Coming to His passion and death, I explained that these were no atonement in the sense ordinarily understood. For that God does not take the mere shedding of innocent blood as any satisfaction for the moral guilt of others; but that the mystical Blood of Christ by which we are saved is no other than the secret of the Christs whereby they transmute themselves from the material to the spiritual plane, the secret, namely, of inward purification. And I showed that throughout all the sacred writings the word blood is used as a synonym for life; and that life, in its highest, perfectest, and intensest sense, is not the mere physical life understood by materialists, but the essence of that life, the inward God in the man. And when it is written that those in the highest courts of heaven are they who have made their robes white in the blood of the Lamb, it is signified that they have attained redemption through their perfect attainment of the secret of the Christs. And when, also, it is said that the blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin, it is signified that sin is impossible to him who is perfectly spiritualised and has been baptized with the spiritual baptism. The blood of Christ, therefore, is not the material blood of any man whatsoever. It is the secret and process of spiritual perfectionment attained by the Christ, and that whereby all who, following His method, know God and are initiated, become redeemed and attain the gift of eternal life. And many other things I said, being, as it seemed to me, taught of some spirit, and not knowing beforehand what things I was to say.
“Now I perceived behind me, a little to my right, a beautiful marble image of Pallas Athena, which stood in a small recess in the wall, and there fell upon it a bright golden light like sunshine, which varied from time to time to all the seven colours, but more frequently to the violet than to the others. And the light was chiefly on the head and bosom of the figure, which was clad as a warrior with helmet, shield, and spear. And I could hardly determine, as I looked at it, whether it were a living or a marble form, so lifelike was it.
“A little while later all the people to whom I had been speaking were gone away, and I was in the room alone with my mother. She was in great distress and agitation, regarding me as lost and as an apostate from Christianity; nor would she listen to any explanation I could make on the matter. She wept bitterly, declaring I had broken her heart, and made her old age a sorrow and a burden to her
by my apostasy,
and that I should be utterly cast away unless I repented and returned to the
orthodox belief; and she besought me on her knees to recant what I had said. No
words can convey the intensity of my pain and the trouble of spirit caused me
by this conduct of hers. My mother seemed to swoon at my feet with the excess
of her emotion; and I was on the point of yielding to her entreaties when I saw
the door of the room open and a Spirit enter. He came and stood beside me, and
said these words: ‘Whoso putteth his hand to the plough and looketh back, is
not fit for the
“Then the dream passed away, and I remember no more; but a deep feeling remained impressed on my mind that the scene was but the rehearsal and foreshadowing of something that would actually occur in my future life.”
She fully shared my delight at this exposition, but was especially pleased by the fresh recognition of Pallas Athena as the symbol of the Divine Wisdom, and the exquisite manner in which was intimated the concurrence of all the Seven Spirits of God in the doctrine as thus interpreted, and the dominance among their colours of the gold and the violet, Phoibos and Saturn, Wisdom or Love, and Reverence, the inner and outer, which comprise the whole Sacred Seven.
I am happily able to state, as I do in advance, that, while not altogether escaping reproach from the quarter indicated, she was able, by taking the prognostic as a warning as well as a prophecy, and abstaining from pressing her views on her mother, to minimise the unhappiness of the latter.
On October 28 she received in sleep the experience published in Dreams and Dream-Stories under the title of “The Perfect Way with Animals,” the utterer of which bore the form of a cart-horse, and spoke in that character. Whether it was really the spirit of a cart-horse, or some other who assumed that aspect, was not stated. We were, however, given to understand that, though animals are rudimentary men, it is a great mistake to limit the intelligence of the spirit in them to that implied by their external forms, upon which their power of expression depends.
A desire having been expressed by Lady Caithness, who had now taken up her residence in Paris, to have some of the Scriptures given us read to her, and being mindful of the prohibition imposed, we sought and obtained the requisite permission, the alleged reason for the exception in her favour being that she
was destined to be an instrument in the promulgation of our results when the fitting time should come. A day was accordingly fixed for the reading, but when it arrived Mary was so ill that it seemed impossible for her to go, and the question arose whether – in the event of my being able to leave her at all – I should go alone and undertake the reading without her; and by way of obtaining an answer on this point we sat for some writing, when the following was given: –
“The one in Red guards his privileges, and claims to be present whatever is read.”
As this was from her genius, it was clear that, as he could not be present without her, there was to be no reading unless she was able to go; and we accordingly waited to see if, when the hour for starting came, she would recover sufficiently to make the effort. Meanwhile she lay on the sofa resting, but not sleeping; and I sat by her. Presently, being still awake, but having her eyes closed, she was shown a vision of a large book, containing our Scriptures, open, and surrounded by an iris showing vividly all the colours of the rainbow, and in the air were these lines, which I wrote down at her dictation. They proved to be the sequel of the sentence just written, making the whole utterance run thus: –
“The one in Red guards his privileges, and claims to be present whatever is read.
“For the air is filled with the haters of the Mysteries.
“Therefore for your sakes the chain must be complete;
“And the light must be refracted round you seven times.
“He who is Red stands within the holy circle;
“And the Violet guards the outermost.
“For the Word is a Word of Mystery, and they who guard it are Seven.
“Beware that nothing you hear be told unless the circle be perfect.
“And this charge we lay upon you until the work be accomplished.
“Fire and Sword and War are against you; you walk in the midst of commotion;
“And your life is in peril every hour until the words be completed.”
Together with this remarkable utterance she received an accession of strength to overcome her attack in time to enable us to keep our appointment. We readily recognised in the “haters of the Mysteries” the influences from whom we had suffered so much. And in the renewed reference to our respective colours and the “Seven Spirits of God” we found a
fresh demonstration of the identity in derivation and character of the teaching given to us with that of the Bible, and understood God’s “Bow in the clouds” to be intended spiritually, and as implying the immanence of God in creation and the perpetual operation of the Seven creative Elohim, or “Spirits of God,” in the spiritual elaboration of man.
The reading was highly appreciated by our auditor, and having long been an ardent student of Swedenborg, she was able to recognise the principles of his method of interpretation as identical with those of ours, and at the same time to recognise our application of those principles as superior to his, as judged by the results. And this was precisely the conclusion to which we ourselves came when the opportunity arose for reading his writings for ourselves, when there was no doubt that he had in many vital respects departed from the canon of interpretation defined by himself, and, instead of correcting, had reinforced the worst errors of the current orthodoxy, even to entirely missing the doctrine of Regeneration and the real genesis of the Christ and nature of the Incarnation.
On December 6 Mary received [in sleep] the first part of the interpretation entitled in Clothed with the Sun, “Concerning the Prophecy of the Time of the End”; the second section of it was reserved until some seven years later. (1) This revelation was a further token to us of the intention to make our work a fulfilment of the Bible prophecies, as it related to the prophecies of Daniel and of Jesus respecting the world’s spiritual state at the end of the age, and its inspirer was no other than the angel Gabriel. She was much perplexed by this change in the personality of her illuminator, who hitherto had presented himself as Hermes, whose Hebrew equivalent is Raphael; but on her mentioning her perplexity to me, I recollected that Gabriel was the inspirer of Daniel, and had told him that he (Daniel) should return and prophesy at the end of the age, whereat she was greatly reassured and awestruck, so vivid was the impression it gave her of the stupendous reality of her faculty and of our work. We gathered from the presence of Gabriel on this occasion – and a subsequent instruction confirmed the impression – that Daniel’s spirit was the vehicle for Gabriel, so that the prophecy
implied no reincarnation for Daniel, but only an overshadowing by him and Gabriel jointly of the prophet of the period in question, as the Baptist by the spirit of Elias. We noted also that, as Michael had been the presiding angel at the time of Daniel, so is he that of the present, as declared both by Daniel and in the Apocalypse he would be. This discovery afforded fresh confirmation of the reality of the experience relating to the mustering of Michael and his hosts, which, as before described, was vouchsafed to me at the outset of our work, namely, in the autumn of 1876. The revelation of Gabriel to Mary was accompanied by a vision of the most terrific signs of impending disaster to the world, plainly visible to her, but unperceived by all others, and indicating the total disruption of the existing order of things.
While sitting by the open window and gazing up at the clear sky one day in the course of this autumn she suddenly saw these lines before her. Their style reminded us vividly of George Herberfs poems: –
“I thank Thee, Lord, who hast through devious ways
Led me to know Thy praise,
And to this wildernesse
Hast brought me out Thine Israel to bless.
If I should faint with thirst, or weary sink,
To these my soul is drink,
To these the magic rod
Is Life, and mine is hid with Christ in God.”
“To the Princess Marie-Christina of
“MADAM, – The festivities which
will celebrate the marriage of your Imperial Highness with the King of Spain
will be signalised by a repetition of the same cruel and barbarous exhibitions
which scandalised Europe on the occasion of his Majesty’s former alliance with
Queen Mercedes. I refer to the State Bull-fights, with which
opportunity for advancing civilisation among your adopted people and for serving the cause of humanity.
“Your Imperial Highness may remember
how in a past age the public gladiatorial fights, which used once to make the
delight of a whole people scarcely less refined than that of modern Spain, were
finally abolished by means of the noble courage of a simple Christian monk who
leapt into the arena, separated the combatants, and appealed to the Emperor and
to the spectators to forbid the repetition of such savage exhibitions. His
brave and generous conduct thrilled the hearts of his auditors, they acknowledged
his interference with applause, and from that day no more blood was shed for
sport in the arena. Your Imperial Highness has in your hands a power surpassing
a thousand fold that of this poor Christian monk. Your exalted position gives
you the right – nay, more, it imposes on you the duty – of refusing to sanction
by your presence those terrible scenes of agony and death which no woman ought
to be able to witness and which no queen ought to favour by her patronage. Let
“Coming from the bosom of a nation
to whom these hateful spectacles are unknown, your Imperial Highness has the
best of reasons and of opportunities for refusing the countenance and support
of your favour to a sport so foreign in its elements to the instincts and
traditions of your own Court. Rather than stoop to the lower level of
“My name, Princess, matters little, nor does my cause need the advocacy of any individual sponsor. I am one of that people whose great sacrifice on behalf of the abolition of the slave-trade gained for them universal respect. In social condition I am wife of an English clergyman, and I am studying medicine in order to achieve .the abolition of the slaughter and torture of animals, whether for food or for science. And my name is
This letter was sent but not
acknowledged. Even for herself it was but a forlorn hope. And she fully
appreciated the force of my reply to her question what I thought of its
prospects – that it was what I should think of the prospects of an appeal to an
intending queen of
(302:1) P. 297 ante.
(310:1) See the illumination “Concerning
Christian Pantheism” (Clothed with the Sun, Part I, No.
XXVII). It was received in sleep on
(314:1) Probably a printer’s error for “hexagram,” which is the symbol of man perfected. – S.H.H.
(319:1) July 1886.
(320:1) In November 1879 King Alphonso XII of