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LETTERS AND ILLUMINATIONS
THE season over, and with it our work in London for this summer, we betook ourselves to Atcham. Here we resumed our life of study, relieving it by occasional visits to a notable member of the Hermetic Society with whom we had recently become intimate. This was the late Walter Moseley, of Buildwas Park, who was both an advanced student of occult science and owner of an admirable library of old and rare books on that subject, which he placed at our service. They proved to be the means of opening to Mary fresh veins of buried knowledges, by serving to recall her recollections of the remote past, and thus to obtain results far transcending those contained in the books themselves.
Meanwhile I was engaged on an exposition of Genesis 1, working out the fourfold meaning assigned to it in the key we had received, (1) and referring each “day” of the creative week to its proper presiding divinity, as indicated alike by the order of the “Seven Spirits of God” enumerated by Isaiah, the “seven great Gods” of the Greeks, the planets, and the colours of the prism, and the character of the work of each day. All these accorded with each other, save that in Genesis the order of the third and fourth days is inverted, with the result of making the earth the third and Venus the fourth of the planets, counting the sun as the first, and also of making vegetation precede the sun, an arrangement which had been a fruitful source of triumph to unbelievers. The manner in which this crux was at length solved for us was as follows: –
I had been discussing it one evening with Mary, but only to find that, while she recognised the difficulty, she did not discern the solution. On the following morning, however, while pondering
it alone in my room, a light was flashed on me which gave a clue to the enigma, but, to my great disappointment, was with drawn before I had fixed and elaborated it. Finding myself unable to proceed, I went to her study to see whether I could recover the idea by conversing with her about it. On my entering the room she signed to me to sit down and be silent until she had finished what she was writing. I knew what that meant, and I saw that she had put aside the work on which she had been engaged in order to write down something that had just been given her. When she had finished she read to me the following reasons why Venus, who is called by Isaiah “the Spirit of Counsel,” is mistress of the Fourth Day instead of the Third; and why Dionysos – the Spirit of Power – (who represents the Earth) is placed before her in Genesis, although her planet is next to that of Hermes (Mercury), the Spirit of Understanding, and inside the earth’s orbit: –
(1) She is the representative of Love, and as such is the enlightener of the eyes and revealer of heaven to earth.
(2) Dionysos represents the centrifugal or outgoing force, which must needs be exercised before the centripetal or indrawing force.
(3) She is of the Soul, and although potentially and virtually first in order, she is not revealed until polarised by means of the body (to which the earth corresponds). So that, although Love be really before Power or Intellect (which is the force of the Mind), yet she wears a veil and is hidden until the Mind reveals her. Similarly Eve, or the Soul, is really before Adam (the personality and its intellect), but is not manifested until he is prepared to recognise her.
This was succeeded by the revelation of the Mysteries of the Kingdoms of the Seven Spheres, as given in Clothed with the Sun, II, xvii, setting forth the correspondence between the seven final clauses of the Creed and the Seven Spirits of God, and consequently the seven planets and their Gods.
When she had finished, I remarked, “But you did not know this last night.” To which she replied, that it had come to her only a few minutes before I entered the room. By which it was clear to me that the illuminating ray, after being momentarily directed on me, had been diverted to her, and she had, as it were, intercepted it higher up, leaving me in the dark in order
that the full revelation of the mystery should come through her, as had so often happened before at the moment when my need for it culminated, in accordance with the design to “exalt the Woman” as the special representative of the soul and intuition.
Two days later she called me into her study to hear the most exquisite of all the hymns to the Gods, which she had received in sleep during the preceding night, the “Hymn of Aphrodite,” throwing yet fuller light on the order of the third and fourth days of Genesis. Though given in Clothed with the Sun, I cannot forbear repeating it here in the connection in which it came: –
THE HYMN OF APHRODITE
1. I am the dawn, daughter of heaven and of the deep: the seamist covers my beauty with a veil of tremulous light.
2. I am Aphrodite, the sister of Phoibos, opener of heaven’s gates, the beginning of wisdom, the herald of the perfect day.
3. Long had darkness covered the deep: the soul of all things slumbered: the valleys were filled with shadows: only the mountains and the stars held commune together.
4. There was no light on the ways of the earth: the rolling world moved outward on her axe: gloom and mystery shrouded the faces of the Gods.
5. Then from out the deep I arose, dispeller of night: the firmament of heaven kindled with joy beholding me.
6. The secrets of the waters were revealed: the eyes of Zeus looked down into the heart thereof.
7. Ruddy as wine were the depths: the raiment of earth was transfigured; as one arising from the dead She arose, full of favour and grace.
8. Of God and the soul is love born: in the silence of twilight; in the mystery of sleep.
9. In the fourth dimension of space; in the womb of the heavenly principle; in the heart of the man of God; – there is love enshrined.
10. Yea, I am before all things: desire is born of me: I impel the springs of life inward unto God: by me the earth and heavens are drawn together.
11. But I am hidden until the time of the day’s appearing: I lie beneath the waters of the sea, in the deeps of the soul: the bird of night seeth me not, the herds in the valleys, nor the wild goat in the cleft of the hill.
12. As the fishes of the sea am I covered: I am secret and veiled from sight as the children of the deep.
13. That which is occult hath the fish for a symbol; for the fish is hidden in darkness and silence: he knoweth the secret places of the earth, and the springs of the hollow sea.
14. Even so love reacheth to the uttermost: so find I the secrets of all things; having my beginning and my end in the Wisdom of God.
15. The Spirit of Counsel is begotten in the soul; even as the fish in the bosom of the waters.
16. From the sanctuary of the deep love ariseth: salvation is of the sea.
17. I am the crown of manifold births and deaths: I am the interpreter of mysteries and the enlightener of souls.
18. In the elements of the body is love imprisoned: lying asleep in the caves of Iacchos; in the crib of the oxen of Demeter.
19. But when the day-star of the soul ariseth over the earth, then is the epiphany of love.
20. Therefore until the labour of the third day be fulfilled, the light of love is unmanifest.
21. Then shall I unlock the gates of dawn; and the glory of God shall ascend before the eyes of men.
22. The secret of the angel Anael (1) is at the heart of the world: the “Song of God” is the sound of the stars in their courses.
23. O love, thou art the latent heat of the earth; the strength of the wine; the joy of the orchard and the cornfield: thou art the spirit of song and laughter, and of the desire of life.
24. By thee, O goddess, pure-eyed and golden, the sun and the moon are revealed: love is the counsellor of heaven.
25. Cloud and vapour melt before thee: thou unveilest to earth the rulers of the immeasurable skies.
26. Thou makest all things luminous: thou discoverest all deeps:
27. From the womb of the sea to the heights of heaven; from the shadowy abyss to the throne of the Lord.
28. Thy beloved is as a ring-dove, wearing the ensign of the spirit, and knowing the secrets thereof.
29. Fly, fly, O Dove; the time of spring cometh; in the far east the dawn ariseth; she hath a message for thee to bear from earth to heaven!
Being much struck by the resemblance of some of the verses to the following lines which Lucretius addresses to “Alma Venus” I procured his poem to show them to her: –
“Te, Dea, te fugiunt venti, te nubila coeli,
Adventumque tuum, tibi suavis daedala tellus
Submittit flores, tibi rident aequora ponti,
Placatumque nitet diffuso lumine coelum.” (2)
Incredible as it may seem, it is a fact that a clerical reviewer, referring to this and its companion hymn, “On the Communion of Souls,” in one of the so-called religious newspapers, could find for them no better description than “languishing odes to Venus,” and was not ashamed to append his name to the article.
Lady Caithness, who was in London, wrote to us October 31, : –
“Just a line to tell you that I had another wonderful séance yesterday afternoon with Mrs. Spencer Cowper at Eglinton’s, and brought away two slates covered with fine, beautiful writing, consisting of sixty closely written lines, signed Marie, with a cross. You may imagine my delight. All was above board, he holding both my hands with both his as we grasped the slate between us, so that both his were occupied.
“But what I want to tell you is, that Madame Blavatsky had a wonderful séance with him. It seems Mohini and Miss. A. accompanied her. Madame B. told Eglinton that she did not believe in his spirits, but would do so if they could guess her thought and execute it. Presently she said, ‘Oh, Mohini, it is going, going, gone!’ And then, on unlocking the slates, her pearl ring was found between them, taken from her finger and placed there according to her mental desire! She asked if she would get out of her trouble, and the spirits told her she would not do so with clean hands, and wrote her a long lecture, not sparing her at all, telling her she was too ambitious, and had ruined herself and her cause, and saying she should have obeyed those who were wiser and better than herself. Did they mean the ‘Mahatmas’? Eglinton told us that on the day before he had given a séance to Gladstone, who got writing in Greek and in Spanish, and expressed himself as much satisfied.”
Lady Caithness came to spend a few days at the vicarage, after which we went to London to see her, when she insisted on our attending a séance for which she and Mrs. Spencer Cowper had engaged some noted mediums.
To our dismay, it was a “dark séance,” and the manifestations were entirely of a physical order. They certainly were remarkable, being inexplicable except on the spiritualistic hypothesis, consisting as they largely did in producing any objects mentally wished for by the audience. One of these greatly distressed and angered Mary. It was the warm and palpitating body of a dead sparrow, which the “spirits” claimed to have just caught outside, on the roof, one of the party having wished for a bird to be produced. It was our first and our last “dark séance.”
We arranged a sitting with Eglinton, and in order to make it a crucial test, we drew up beforehand two papers of questions, the answers to which were to be written within the locked slates, without the questions having been seen by the medium. One of the papers was placed between the slates with the written side downwards, and the slates were then locked together and held by the medium and ourselves. Presently there was a sound as of rapid writing, the slates vibrating to the pressure, and evincing every sign of writing going on within them, such as the scratching and tapping of the pencil. In an incredibly short space of time the writing ceased, and on the slates being unlocked, the lower one was found covered with fine writing, giving the answers to the questions in the order in which they were written. The other paper remained in my possession, and was also unseen by the medium. Nevertheless the questions on it were similarly answered in the order in which they were written. Not that in every case the information asked for was given, but the answers indicated full knowledge of the questions. Thus, in reply to the question, “How do you perform these feats of writing?” the answer was, “You have no terms in your language in which we can explain the process of writing, but we will endeavour to frame an explanation against your coming again.” To the question, “Why do you deny reincarnation?” (as we had heard they did to other sitters), the answer was, “We do not deny reincarnation; we say only that we do not know.” To the question, “Who or what are you who perform these phenomena?” it was replied, “We are the disembodied spirits of human beings.” Upon this I remarked to the medium that that did not necessarily or properly mean spirits of the dead, since they would be better described as disembodied human beings, but would apply to some spiritual force in living persons put forth in such a way as to be disembodied for the time. The medium admitted the truth of the remark, but refrained from expressing an opinion as to what the operating agencies really were. (1)
One of the most notable products of Mary’s faculty this autumn was the exquisite parable and scathing satire entitled “Beyond the Sunset,” which is contained in Dreams and Dream-Stories, and was received by her in sleep, as also was its charming fellow composition, “The Village of Seers,” soon afterwards.
When in Paris she had one night dreamed these lines, but was unable to retain more: –
A jarring note, a chord amiss,
The music’s sweeter after,
Like wrangling ended with a kiss,
Or tears with silver laughter.
Now, October 7, she dreamt this addition, but never was able to obtain the continuation: –
The high Gods have no joys like these,
So sweet in human story;
No tempest rends their tranquil seas
Beyond the sunset glory.
The whirling wheels of Time and Fate.
* * * * * *
Returning home, she resumed her meditations on the mysteries, aided by the books lent us by Mr. Moseley. The following specimens [which were begun on October 19, 1884] are valuable, both for their suggestiveness and as indicating the pre-natal bent of her mind: –
“It is not idly or without meaning that the Metals have become associated with the Planets and with their divine Patrons. Chemistry is, as its radical implies, truly the dark or secret art, Chemia, at once that which is black or hidden, and that which, being black or hidden, and therefore of the same nature, sees. Plutarch tells us that by the word ‘Chemia’ the seeing pupil of the eye is designated, and we know that the eye is the mystic organ. (1) Chemistry, therefore, is that art by which, rightly interpreted, we may discover hidden matters and read the planets and stars. It is in the science of Chemistry that the doctrine of Correspondences is first unfolded. From the researches of Chemistry, or Dark Art, we obtain the Philosopher’s Stone, so called because Chemistry deals with Minerals, whereof the Stone is the type. And the same art applied to organic life, yields us the Elixir Vitae, so called because the study of this science deals with Juices and Essences. For all tissue in the organic world is but blood coagulate In the mineral kingdom the metallic Radix first presents itself in the experimental process; and seeing that in Metals, as saith Geber, is less perfection than in animals, we can the more freely perfect them. For those things in which Life dominates over corporeal consistency are endued with greater and nobler perfection, namely, that which subsists according to Mind and Soul. In brief, the theory of the dark or secret art is the theory of Transmutation applied to all things; that is, that the key which opens one of Nature’s doors doth open all, and that by Transmutation of Terms every Riddle may be solved. Saith Arnold de Villanova in his Speculum: ‘There abides in Nature a certain pure Matter (Substance), which, being discovered and brought by Art to perfection, converts to itself proportionally all imperfect bodies that it touches.’ And Friar Bacon says: ‘Species are not transmuted, but their subject-matter rather. Therefore the first work is to reduce the body into water (that is, into “Mercury”), and this is called Solution, which is the Foundation of the whole art. Form is ephemeral and phenomenal. Subject-Matter is eternal and noumenal, and applies to all bodies alike.’
“Thus, as in the mineral kingdom the Formal Light produces Gold, so in the vegetable kingdom it produces the Elixir of the Wise. And what is this Water, or Mercury, into which all things are reducible, but the heavenly Ether or Hera, Mistress of Gods and Men? This also is the Generator, or Protean Water, of all things, the which is symbolised by the silver-footed Thetis, mother of Achilles. For her spouse, Peleus, only won her as his bride by holding her fast in his embrace throughout her many transformations, by which she sought to elude and deceive him. But in all her manifold forms she remained the same, and he knew it, and was not deceived; nor did he relinquish his grasp of her. So he won her, and she bore to him the hero, Achilles, the conqueror of Troy.
“Now, is not the whole tale of the Trojan War Alchemic? For it all arose out of that Apple of Discord flung upon the marriage-table of Peleus and Thetis. Peleus is the Seeker after Truth, the
Philosopher or Lover of Wisdom in its Virgin Essentials; and when at last he has discovered the Alchemic Secret, he begets by this knowledge the Force which is alone able to subvert the stronghold of Materialism. This war costs the hero his life, it is true, but not before he has slain Hector, the terror of the true doctrine; and he dies because on one spot only he was vulnerable and mortal. His Heel was his Judas. Achilles is the typical Solar hero, whom the Sons of Darkness slay, and who rises again and mounts to heaven, regenerate.
“All these Alchemic myths are but parables of the incessant strife between Materialism and Spiritualism. Of the same kind, too, is that which tells how Ixion desired to embrace the true Hera, or original Life, and instead was deluded by a cloud which he took for the Goddess. In like manner are the Materialists deluded who have deified Matter in the place of Spirit, and flatter themselves that they have penetrated to the inmost secret of things, taking an illusion or phantasm for the reality they cannot attain.
“Now, the Alchemists say that the true and Archaic Water is divided into four parts, or hypostatic relations, called Elements. And in the ‘Golden Treatise’ of Hermes it is said that the third part of this Water is coagulate, but the rest are the Weights of the Wise – to wit, Mind and Soul. ‘All the sciences of the world,’ he says, ‘are comprehended in this hidden wisdom, and this and the learning of the art consists in these wonderful hidden elements. Our Stone is from many things and of various colours, and composed from four elements, which we ought to divide and dissever and segregate, preserving the Water (Substance) and the Fire dwelling therein (Spirit) which is from the four elements.’ And again: ‘Know that the hen’s Egg is the greatest help with respect to the proximity and relationship of the Matter (Substance) with Nature; for in it there is a spirituality and conjunction of elements, and an earth which is golden in its tincture.’ So this Alchemic Stone is therefore the Yolk of the Egg and the Sun of the System, and the Leaven in the midst of the three measures of meal. And how, after the reiterated statements of the Alchemists, shall any say that Man is not fourfold?
“But we find in the Alchemic process that the art of Transmutation is not without loss. There is a base residue which is not transmuted. For notwithstanding the Adepts say that metals and all things in the world derive their origin therefrom, yet in all there is some impurity, and therefore a certain weight is lost in transmuting them; but in Gold there is none, but the Formal Light is wholly swallowed up in it without residue. For although all metals have their origin from thence, yet nothing is so friendly to it as Gold (the Soul); it is even like a mother to it, as saith Sendivogius. Out of it also Gold is itself produced.
“The manner of treating metals for transmutation is by sublimation, or, as it is sometime called, fixation, operated over and over again. This Hermetic sublimation is said to change the matter by meliorating, urging on life to its primal state. (Here again is the fable of Thetis and Peleus.)
“So there is a Somewhat, which is refuse and dross, and returns to the eighth sphere. Nine months is the child of the human race
carried in the womb before it comes to perfection. And, as ‘Scipio’s Dream’ (Cicero) tells us, Man passes through nine spheres or cycles of evolution. He is quickened, or made living, in the sixth; in the seventh he is perfected and viable, and may be born alive; but nine is the number of the consummation. In the early months of gestation Man is not truly man, but only an embryon, in the likeness of a fish, a reptile, or a beast – his initial stages.”
In December  I accompanied Mary on a lecturing tour to Leeds, Hull, Birmingham, and Cheltenham, her subjects being as before vegetarianism and vivisection. She had everywhere the same success and recognition as on her previous tour, but also as then a vast amount of physical suffering.
Returning to Atcham, we finally resolved to terminate our connection with the Theosophical Society. (1) It was a resolution slowly and reluctantly formed, and only after taking much counsel with Mr. Massey, who had himself retired from the Society in the previous summer. In our letter of resignation, which was dated Christmas Eve, 1884, we ignored our very strained personal relations with the leading members, and confined ourselves to the reasons put forth in the following letter to the Hon. Secretary: –
“Having decided upon resigning our membership in the London Lodge T.S., we have duly notified our intention to the Treasurer, and now communicate to you, for the information of the President, Council, and Fellows, the following statement of our reasons for the step we are taking.
“But first we will state what those reasons are not. They are in no sense or degree of a personal nature. Whether as regards the Founders of the T.S., the Members of the London Lodge, or ourselves, our decision has been uninfluenced by any considerations of that kind.
“Nor are they founded in any objections to the professed objects either of the Parent Society or of the London Lodge. On the contrary, we have always been, and still are, in full sympathy with those objects; and we recognise – with a writer in the Madras Christian College Magazine of September last – that ‘something like what the Theosophical Society proposes with regard to the ancient religions and literature of India, is an absolute necessity at the present time,’ and that ‘there are great possibilities before the Society.’ (2)
“It is therefore not to the professed objects of the Lodge that we take exception, but to its actual practice, which – in our view – constitutes a departure from those objects, amounting in no small degree to a renunciation of them, and involving an exhibition of intolerance out of harmony with them and with ourselves. For, instead of a sentiment of ‘universal brotherhood,’ we find that of exclusiveness; instead of an ‘unsectarian standpoint,’ we find a narrow sectarianism; instead of seeking to ‘demonstrate the substantial identity of various systems,’ we find one particular system alone heeded; instead of the ‘revival of research connected with occult science and esoteric philosophy,’ and the freedom of opinion and expression indispensable to such research – and distinctly permitted in the prospectus of the Society – we find implicit acceptance required both for persons and for teachings, – no adequate guarantees for either of which have been afforded, – and freedom of expression, whether within or without the Lodge, regarded as an offence; while incidents of the most perplexing character have been allowed seriously to impair the credit, and therein the usefulness, of the Society, without receiving satisfactory explanation, or eliciting a demand for such investigation and reform as would lead to the discovery and removal of the sources of deception.
“Concerning the attitude taken by the Lodge in regard to the allegations last named, we would observe that to treat as indifferent – as is now being done – the question whether or not deceptions have been practised by individuals in a position to compromise the Society; and to fall back upon philosophy as the true object of the Society – is not a course open for adoption. It was upon the strength of certain exhibitions of alleged thaumaturgic powers, that the teaching called ‘Esoteric Buddhism’ was commended to and adopted by the Society, and by it introduced to the world. So that to admit the possibility of deception in regard to those exhibitions is to destroy the superstructure of philosophy founded upon them, and thus to deprive the Society of its reason for being.
“It is with profound regret that we have found ourselves compelled to withdraw from the Lodge; but we feel that to retain our membership longer under existing circumstances would be to place ourselves in a false position and one from which no
satisfactory results could accrue either to the Lodge or to ourselves.” (1)
The following letter accounts for the early part of the new year: –
ATCHAM, February 17, 1885.
“DEAREST LADY CAITHNESS, – I was – and so also was Mr. M. – so glad to hear from you, though you wrote only so little news and
only on a post-card. I have copied out the work on which I was engaged; that is, the whole of the Astrology Theologised, which I have registered for safety’s sake, and return to you herewith with many thanks. I intend to make my preface to this book the occasion of setting forth, very briefly, the Hermetic doctrine. I have just been reading the new book of the Theosophical Society by the ‘Two Chelas,’ Fragments of Forgotten Man, and find it silly and shallow. The only suggestive thing in it is an echo of the American prophecy about ‘Vril’ as the coming force which is to supersede even electricity itself. An American is said to have discovered, or rather invented, an instrument which is a veritable rod of Moses; for by means of it matter can be disintegrated, corpses consumed, and all manner of marvels accomplished!
“I have been so very, very busy lately with the translations of the Hermetic books for the Bath series of occult reprints, that I have not had time to get on with my novel, so that is at a standstill for the present. I think they will be a valuable addition to Hermetic literature. They will be preceded by essays written by ourselves. I am hoping to be able to get to London in the spring and take up the Hermetic Society again. I am sure that if only it could be energetically conducted it would have great success. But my health is that of an invalid, and my resources are very small, so that I do not quite see how things are to be managed. Enclosed is a letter which I wrote to Madame de S., after reading the last ‘Scripture’ of the Theosophical Society. But after writing it I concluded it would be best not to send it, because, although Madame de S. is well disposed towards us, she might show this letter to some of our opponents, and a disagreeable result might ensue. I don’t want to enter into a controversy just now, being extremely busy and out of health; so, rather than tear up the letter, I send it to you, thinking that it may be of service to you as a reference when you read the book in question. The extent of the work which lies before us seems so great and overwhelming that I despair when I think of it; and, alas! mankind care so little about it. The idea of a miracle or of an Adept is far more attractive to them than all the knowledge in the world. Write to me as soon as you can. It gives me always the greatest pleasure to hear from you, for you are the one friend with whom I can converse with entire confidence and affection.”
To this I appended the following postscript: –
“Laurence Oliphant’s book, Sympneumata – his Greek term for the ‘Counterpartal Angels of his late master, T.L. Harris’ – has come; ponderous in style and astral in character.”
I reviewed the book at length in Light of April 11th, 18th, and 25th, 1885, the education – doctrinal and experiential – we had received in things spiritual and occult having qualified us to pronounce positively upon it. And not upon it only, but upon all the manifold systems in the course of being poured out on the world as the result of the general opening of the
consciousness of men to the spheres of the unseen, in advance of the ability to discern between them. Every fresh experience served but to confirm the assurances received from our illuminators that the system given to us is an infallible touchstone whereby to test all others, having been delivered expressly in view of the delusions which would inevitably be foisted on the world from the lower spheres to which alone the generality have access.
Among the numerous gratifying and grateful recognitions sent me of this exposé was the following from Lady Caithness: –
“PARIS, April 30 .
“I have this moment laid down the last number of Light, after reading your superb – your truly grand and magnificent – review of Sympneumata. Indeed, I can find no adequate words – no words noble enough to express all I feel about it! I think the principal feeling was one of gratitude, to think that you and Nina [her name for Mary], are in the world at the present difficult time through which it is passing. Each sentence is so brimful of truth and instruction. Thank you a thousand times for having written it. Whilst reading the last number this morning, an impression came to me that the reason you and dear, beautiful Nina are so harassed and tormented in all you undertake, is due to the malevolence of those very astrals whom you so well understand and are determined to expose. (...) I have been delighted to find what an impression her personal appearance and conversation made on many who saw her at my reception last year. So many, both men and women, who were at my recent party asked me if she were present or was expected, and spoke of her with the highest admiration in every way. And yet how little these admirers know what she really is!”
Another accomplished woman of the world, Lady Wilde, expressed herself no less forcibly respecting her “presence,” saying that, “no matter who was in the room, when Mrs. Kingsford entered there seemed to be no one else there.”
The lady referred to in Mary’s letter [to Lady Caithness] had been one of the warmest appreciators of our work, but had to some extent fallen away from us under captivation by the idea of the Mahatmas. Returning soon afterwards, she asked us wonderingly how we had come to escape the glamour to which she and so many others had succumbed; she had forgotten that the altitudes whence our teaching was derived far transcended those of the Himalayan abodes of the supposed Mahatmas, being no other than the peaks of the spiritual Olympus itself.
The two books referred to in Mary’s letter were eventually
published by Geo. Redway, under the titles of The Virgin of the World, and Astrology Theologised. (1)
On May 15  Mary wrote to Lady Caithness from London, reporting progress as follows: –
“If I had written to you as often lately as l have wished to write, you would have had by this time a score of letters. But I think Mr. Maitland will have told you the best of the news. Our Hermetic meeting last Wednesday was attended by thirty-five people. As you know, we have taken the rooms of the Royal Asiatic Society in Albemarle St. for our reunions. I am still much out of health and unfit for mental work, my head troubling me much. I fear we shall be unable to visit you in Paris this year, greatly as I should enjoy it. After leaving London l think I shall have to go home and remain there quietly till the ensuing spring, as I did last year, unless, indeed, I undertake some lectures in the autumn. I enclose you a form of petition sent me for signature by Mrs. Burton, wife of the British Consul at Trieste. I have already obtained nearly seventy names to it, and I send a form to you, begging you to sign it, and to get all the friends you can to sign also. As you see, it is a petition to Pope Leo XIII, calling on him to instruct the Catholic Church on the subject of humanity to animals, – a long-neglected matter, which I understand his Holiness has promised to take up, if the Christian world shows itself anxious to receive the expression of his opinion. The editor of the Tablet – leading Catholic journal – has also warmly interested himself, and has a petition in course of signature at the office of his paper. So also the Weekly Register, another Catholic paper. And even Protestants are signing the petition in large numbers. Please ask your friends to do the same, whether Catholics or otherwise; for the subject is one, not of theological dogma, but of broad humanity. Vivisection is not specifically mentioned, the basis of the request being as indefinite and general as possible. But I am sure you will agree with me that the expression of the Pontiffs views in favour of the kind treatment of animals is enormously needed in Catholic countries.”
To Mrs. Frederica Macdonald
“27 MONTPELIER SQUARE, May 18, 1885.
“MY DEAR MADAM, – As some correspondence, however slight, has already passed between us, I do not feel that in addressing you I am guilty either of an indiscretion or of an impertinence. I have just read your article in the Fortnightly on ‘Buddhism and Mock Buddhism,’ and I feel impelled to write and thank you for it. It expresses in strong, sweet English, and with clear terseness of phrase,
the exact contention which led me to renounce, first, the Presidency, and, secondly, membership in the camp of the London Theosophists. I am now unconnected with the ‘Lodge,’ whose leader is the author of Esoteric Buddhism; but, being deeply interested in religious science, I have gathered about me a small group of students, who, under the name of the ‘Hermetic Society,’ continue to meet at regular intervals for the discussion and consideration of transcendental doctrine. [I could wish there were some better word than this long and formidable one to express my meaning, but no better one presents itself, and rather than pause over a word, l pass on to express my idea.] You will see, from the enclosed card, that our plan is to ask some one of our number to read a paper on a subject – chosen by himself – every Wednesday. This reading is followed by a liberal discussion, in which the largest share is usually taken by the reader. We have no ‘Mahatmas,’ no miracles, no occultism; our lines are precisely those you indicate as the truest and highest method of religious research; our aim is to instruct and assist one another by facilitating thought. Each of us brings what he can to the common treasury; none of us pretends to ‘initiation’ – unless, indeed, that of the ‘kingdom which is within’ – nor do we profess ‘chelaship,’ or obedience to any external authority. As I read your article, it seems to me that the ideal you describe is that after which we also aspire. Is it asking too much of you to beg you to come to our place of meeting and judge for yourself whether I speak advisedly? So serious and scholarly a mind as yours, so trained and disciplined an intellect, would be a great gain to us. No doubt it is selfishness that moves me to write thus, but a selfishness in which the exterior Ego is not concerned; – a greed for diffusion of thought and increase of light, which surely you will understand and pardon. My office as President of our little group is chiefly that of a hand to gather into our barque all able mariners I may chance to come across. Such a mariner I recognise in you; and, like the phantom in Paul’s vision, I ask you to ‘come over and help us.’
“When you come [I prefer this ‘when’ to ‘if’] make yourself known to me, for, of course, you are a stranger to me in face; although, I think, so much my intimate in thought and tone of mind. As I have mislaid your former letter, I trust this to the publishers of the Fortnightly, and am, very faithfully yours,
The programme of the second session of the Hermetic Society, which was held at the rooms of the Royal Asiatic Society, Nº. 22 Albemarle Street, was as follows: –
The President, on “The Hermetic Fragment, Koré Kosmou, the Virgin of the World.” – April 27.
Mr. Arthur Lillie, on “The Kabala and Buddhism.” – May 6.
The President, on “The Method of the Mystics.” – May 13.
Mr. Maitland, on “The Revival of Mysticism.” – May 20.
Mr. C.C. Massey, on “Karma.” – May 27.
Mr. Maitland, on “The Symbology of the Old Testament.” – June 3.
Hon. Roden Noel, on “The Value of the Historical Element in Christianity.” –June 10.
Mr. Maitland, on “The Intention and Method of the Gospels.” – June 17.
Mr. C.C. Massey, on “Individuality.” – June 24.
The President, on “The Communion of Saints.” – July 1.
Mary’s paper on “The Virgin of the World” was subsequently published as the introduction to our edition of that and some other of the Hermetic books. (1)
The following letter was written by her in reply to some strictures in Light respecting our position in regard to the historical Jesus: –
“l do not think Mr. Roden Noel and the ‘leaders’ of the Hermetic Society are so much in disagreement as Dr. Wyld seems to think.
“The ‘leaders’ of the Hermetic Society have never denied, nor wished to deny, the historic Jesus. They have but pointed out that, not the historic, but the spiritual Christ is the real essential of Christianity and subject of the Gospels.
“I have – speaking for myself – distinctly stated at recent meetings of our Society that I should be grateful to anyone who could reconcile for me the difficulties and discrepancies abounding in the way of belief in the historical Jesus, l should be glad to receive any really logical and scholarly rectification and explanation of the many serious and important misstatements and inconsistencies undoubtedly existing in the Gospels. These difficulties do not concern mere details, but the chief facts of the life itself. I do not doubt the achievements of Napoleon, but then it is a matter of no moment to the souls of the world to-day whether Napoleon achieved anything or not. So neither I nor any other person interested in eternal things cares to verify his history or his acts. As for the miracles, they are no sort of difficulty to me. I am not in the position of the non-Spiritualists. But does not Dr. Wyld see that he proves too much in proving the modern phenomena of Spiritualism to be identical with the ‘mighty works’ of Jesus? What, then, was Jesus no more and no greater than the medium of to-day, but merely a better medium!
“I have said that I should be glad to be able to think the Gospel stories true, because so to think would bring me into closer union and harmony with many friends whose sympathy is dear to me. But, for myself, such a belief would add nothing to my faith in Christ. For I am quite sure that there is, virtually, no such thing as history. The things that are truly done, are not done on the historical plane; nor has any fact in the history of the world ever been truly chronicled. For no man can know any fact, and cannot,
therefore, set it down. The knowledge one man has of any given fact is not the knowledge of another; man is incompetent to know facts, for he has no possible means of knowing them. Only Omniscience can know facts.
“But man can and does know his own spiritual experience, and this is, indeed, the only needful knowledge. Jesus Christ comes in the flesh when He is incarnate in man; and this is the way in which He comes to all mystics – in which only He can come.
“It does not matter to me, therefore, whether the Gospels are true or not on the merely outer plane. They are true, essentially; and, for my soul, my true self, the historical and the physical are not. Nothing done on that outer plane can save my soul; it must all be transmuted into spiritual terms and spiritual application before it can have any true saving value and grace.
“As for the doctrine of rebirths, I do not want to enter into that question again, because already in these columns, in reply to Dr. Wyld, I once undertook a disquisition of some length about it. There are no rebirths any more for the soul that has found Christ Jesus and is one with God. Unto which grace may we all be brought.
“ANNA KINGSFORD, M.D.”
Abstracts of our own lectures, made by myself, were printed in Light; and an Hermetic Society was formed at Boston, U.S., for the express study of The Perfect Way. Among the earliest results of the introduction of that book to an American public was the following paragraph in a Boston paper: –
“The Perfect Way is the title of a book which has excited great attention in London, and in Boston circles of modern scientific and theosophic discussion, and the name of the author has been sought in vain. Mrs. Waters (Clara Erskine Clement), who has just returned from Europe, solves the mystery. The author of these remarkable lectures is Dr. Anna Kingsford of London, a woman described as having the face and figure of a Greek goddess, so perfect is her beauty. She is of the golden-blonde type, and her manner is one of exceptional dignity and grace. The Metaphysical Club of Boston were deeply interested in The Perfect Way last year. A remarkable book it is, whether one accepts its ideas or not. Dr. Kingsford’s theory of life, in brief outline, is that it is a series of reincarnations, by means of which the soul acquires its experiences; that the deeds and aspirations of one life predetermine entirely the quality of the next incarnation.”
Meanwhile we had received the following letter from Dr. Gryzanowsky: –
March 24, 1885.
“MY DEAR SIR, – Having explained in a letter to Mrs. Kingsford the reasons of my very long silence, and trusting that they will be communicated to you, I need not do more here, I believe, than repeat my cordial thanks to you for having joined Mrs. Kingsford
in her kind inquiry, and to offer you my equally cordial, though belated, thanks for the valuable material you sent me last autumn, and for your highly interesting letter of September 16, to which, without any further preamble, I shall now reply.
“I entirely agree with Baron Spedalieri in admiring your President’s Hermetic Lectures, and that I feel deeply interested in the aims and aspirations of the new Society you may take for granted. My natural disposition is, unfortunately – if I may use such a term – an atomistic one. The term suggests affinities, no doubt, but instinctively I shrink from all collective action. I have never been at heart a citizen; and if I have become a member of many societies, it was not owing to the dangers of polemical warfare (when even Francstireurs may march in rank and file for a short time), but it was owing to my theoretical conviction that the usefulness of societies lies in the collection of money, and that these moneys enable militant authors to get that to which (in countries like Germany) neither a timid and time-serving press nor mercenary publishers will help them – a hearing.
“In most of these cases the co-operation or collective action consists in little more than in the paying of one’s annual contribution, which prejudges nothing. But it is different with societies like yours, which I like to consider more like Lodges and Churches and holy orders. These one ought to join only after mature consideration; and I may mention here what I had no occasion to mention in my letters to Mrs. Kingsford, that the want of discrimination with which Colonel Olcott bestows the honours of Theosophic Fellowship on outsiders had somewhat surprised me. We ought – but I have no right to speak in the first person, – you ought to imitate in this respect either the consummate finesse of the Jesuits or the hierarchical filtration of Freemasonry, both calculated to keep off all peccant matter.
“But whatever else the Hermetic Society may be or aspire to become, it is, in its present nascent state, pre-eminently an association for research, desirous to use the eventual results of the researches as a foundation for its future Church. You have, in your last letter, given me some idea of the vastness of your task: the translating and editing of the Kabala will be an expensive undertaking unless you can count on the gratuitous services of some competent person. But considering what the Swedenborgians have accomplished with regard to the translating and publishing of their sacred books, there is no reason why the Hermetic Society should not succeed in mastering materials far less voluminous. Unfortunately, you complain of the fewness of your members, and the adjourning sine die of your assembly raises some doubts with regard to the future. Should these doubts prove to be unfounded (on which point I hope to be reassured ere long), I would venture to solicit the honours of Hermetic Fellowship.
“You speak of the Chiefs of the Theosophical Society as having ‘discredited’ their cause; also of Mr. Massey’s resignation, and of the possibility of your following his example. All this makes me eager to know some particulars; and with the same eagerness I look forward to the publication of the essay or pamphlet you say you were writing on Thomas Aquinas, or rather on the Pope’s declaration
in favour of his philosophy. That declaration is perfectly logical, and consistent with the spirit of any Catholic or would-be Catholic Church, but the ambiguous and reserved attitude which the Roman Church continues to assume with regard to the question of liberty raised by modern science goes far to show that Leo XIII is not conscious of all the bearings of his own philosophic manifesto, nor of the parallelism of events to which you allude.
“When I was in Siena, last October, I noticed for the first time the beautiful old chancel in the Cathedral, which rests on a well-chiselled group or cluster of allegorical figures representing the Sciences. Perhaps our modern savants would like to preach their gospel from such a pulpit. But the meaning of the Siena architect was obviously that implied by the scholastic philosophy which considered Theology as the irreducible (if not unknowable) residue of scientific investigation, thus resting on, yet soaring far above, the ‘sciences.’ In the scholastic sense, support and subordination are inseparable. – Yours most faithfully,
“LIVORNO, July 15, 1885.
“MY DEAR SIR, – I heartily thank you for your kind letter of June 6, which is a friend’s letter in the truest sense of the term. I thank you (and I wish this pronoun to be taken as a dual) for your kind sympathy and for your considerate request not to write at any length. Of this permission I will avail myself to-day, although l might easily grow eloquent in stating my indebtedness to you and to Mrs. Kingsford for the intellectual and spiritual treasures you have been kind enough to send me. The six numbers of Light containing abstracts of the Hermetic lectures of this year’s session I have read, nay studied, with the keenest interest, and before doing so, took occasion of reperusing the wonderful lectures delivered last year by the President on the Christian Creed. I have been greatly struck with the depth and fitness of that mode of interpretation, familiar though I was with it from the reading of certain chapters of The Perfect Way and its Appendix.
“I am glad you alluded to Swedenborg in one of your lectures, as one feels a natural curiosity to know on what terms you are with the ‘New Church’ people.
“The interpretation of the Rape of Proserpine (as meaning the descent of the Soul into matter or existence) was, indeed, new to me. The permission granted to her by Pluto of passing six months of the year on the surface of the earth would seem to point to the alternation of seed life and plant life; but then the learned President, or you, might rejoin that the earth-clad soul is a seed, and that these myths are the substratum of more than one mystical meaning, just as Solomon’s Seal or Jacob’s Ladder is a canvas on which all the tenets of the Creed can be embroidered.
“Let me hope that you may soon be able to address a wider circle of readers in one of the monthlies and quarterlies on the important subject you have dwelt with in one of your Hermetic lectures, namely, the modern revival of Mysticism.
“Even in Germany there are signs (albeit faint ones) of such a revival, it being obviously impossible to abide by a world of evolution without sooner or later invoking or postulating an inverted
World of Emanation and Influx, in which, as Paul says, our wisdom is folly and our strength weakness.
“I was glad to hear of the purification (if I may say so) of the Theosophical Society. The difference between ‘Occultism’ and ‘Mysticism’ seems to assert itself more and more, as also the difference between the Western and the Eastern spirit.
“Your and Mrs. Kingsford’s addresses at the Exeter Hall meeting of January 12, as also your article in the Dietetic Reformer of February, I have read with great pleasure; and as to the fairy tale, ‘Beyond the Sunset,’ in the Vegetarian Society’s annual, it is both beautiful and deep.
“I was glad to see Dr. Aderholdt’s translation of it in Baltzer’s Vereins-blatts. Lastly, I have to thank you for the Publishing List of the Bath Occult Reprint Series. I intend to order some of those works after my return from Munich, where I hope to indulge in six weeks’ rest. Not that writing is much of an exertion to me, but reading taxes my eyes.
“I have frequent opportunities of admiring Mrs. Kingsford’s working powers. She seems to work incessantly and on different levels simultaneously. You must both be glad of the approaching end of the London season. To be in London at any time is painful to me, and even Munich, with its comparative dreaminess and with its hermit king, appears almost too much of a town to me.
“The Adams-Coleridge affair has, at last, come to a happy conclusion. Yes, I have no doubt, Miss. F.P. Cobbe had pulled the wires behind the scene, and I cannot think of any other motive but jealousy that could explain this. She is a formidable hater.
“Will you kindly give my respectful and grateful regards to our President, and believe me to remain, yours in cordial friendship,
To Baron Spedalieri
May 24, 1885.
“As your letter to Mr. Maitland chiefly concerns my paper, I have undertaken to reply to it, seeing that you misapprehend the doctrine I had intended to set forth. I assumed at the outset that my hearers and readers would understand Plato and the Kabala, when speaking of the soul’s descent, to speak – after their manner – by means of a personification. The soul indeed descends; but both the words ‘soul’ and ‘descends’ are, in this connection, used figuratively. For our language requires that we should speak of ‘descent’ when we infer a passage from Being into Existence; although, of course, transference from one locality to another is not intended, but only change of condition. And the ‘soul’ that so descends is the soul of the world – Persephone – not a number of individual souls. For the evolution and elaboration of individual souls is accomplished by means of development in material conditions; therefore soul is already individualised before assuming those conditions. That which ‘descends’ into generative states is the Monad, or Divine Substance vivified by the Divine Life. And its first appearance in the sphere of Matter and Time is not as individual, but as diffuse existence; not as self-conscious, but as simply conscious. But the
potentiality of all higher existences is contained and slumbers within it; it is the efficient cause of all subsequent developments.
“‘Persephone’ passes through seven stations, or ‘houses,’ in the course of her unfoldment; and the first of these is wholly rudimentary and diffuse, being the etheric and elemental states of existence. But I affirm further that the soul ‘descends’ by free-will, because, as a Pantheist, I hold that the worlds are not created by God in the popular sense, but that God is immanent in the very substance of the worlds. Wherefore this descent, or putting forth of subjective Deity into objective conditions, is obviously an act of free-will. The Monad – Persephone – is the true Daughter of Zeus, the very substance of God. Her descent is not accident, blunder, or fault, for it occurs with the cognition and express will of Zeus – as we learn from the Platonic mysteries. Therefore creation – or generation – occurs by the free-will of the soul – or Divine Substance – actuated by the Divine Life.
“If we should suppose any other origin for ‘creation’ than this, we should find ourselves placed in a theological dilemma; for we should be obliged to admit either that the Divine intention was frustrated by a catastrophe – which is absurd – or that prior to Creation something was wanting to God – which is no less absurd – to supply which want God created the worlds, and this would be to argue imperfection in the Divine Nature. But the scientific and theosophic explanation is, that Manifestation, or Activity (Creation), is a state of God, during which God becomes Multiple. Not that the other state of Passivity is suspended or interrupted thereby, for both states co-subsist. Time is a fiction, not a reality; and consequently Creation is a Divine state, which Being assumes by means of what the Hindoos call Maya. Waking is not imperfect or wanting in anything because sleeping is absent; nor is sleep wanting or imperfect because waking is absent. Both states are perfect in their own order and quality; and so also are the states of Divine Activity and Passivity. They are simply two states of God, eternally ebbing and flowing, and of them Passivity represents the ‘Night of Brahm,’ – the Nirvânic condition during which consciousness pulsates, so to speak, within itself, undifferentiate and indrawn: a Force potential and unmanifest, reposing in the Pleromic Darkness. In the state of Action, or ‘Day of Brahm,’ the Force becomes creative, and the Dark becomes the Light. This state of activity is the state of the soul in generation.
“There is nothing in this at variance with Hermetic doctrine. All the various forms of the Mysteries – Hellenic, Kabalistic, Neo-Platonic, Buddhist – teach the same doctrine, although variously expressed. And we find the allegory of Persephone, of the Descent of the Souls, the Fall, and Evolution all one and identical, perfectly harmonious and self-evident, when the key which opens all their locks is applied.”
Writing to Lady Caithness on June 15, 1885, she said: –
“I am so hardworked and so very much out of health that it has been impossible hitherto to write and thank you for your charming and acceptable letters. For when I am not busy, I am ill, and as
soon as I recover, I have to get to work again. I am a victim to neuralgia, and have tried three physicians in vain, the last being Mr. O., the mesmerist, who really took great pains to cure me. Under the circumstances it will be quite impossible for me to accept your very kind and tempting invitation to Paris, for I could not bear the journey. And, indeed, if I go anywhere on leaving London, it will have to be a purely health-seeking quest, probably to some sea-side resort. (...)
“By the way, have you got some signatures to the petition to the Pope – which l sent you – praying him to cause humanity to animals to be taught and preached to the people in Italy, Spain, and elsewhere? Mrs. Burton, the promoter of the petition, is now in London. She came to see me yesterday, and I am to meet her again on Sunday and also next week, Lady Mount-Temple having asked me to bring her to lunch with her. Mrs. Burton is most nice; you would like her greatly. She reminds me wonderfully of you in some things. She pounced immediately on the picture of the Virgin and Seven Doves on our paper, and asked if it was reserved for you and me only, or whether she might not adopt it too. I said she might, and she then begged me for a copy to take to the engraver’s, and she preferred yours on account of the double Triangle and the Anno Dominae which greatly struck her. So I tore off a corner of your last letter and gave it to her. She says, however, that she shall adopt one alteration, that of putting the Cross in the centre of the two Triangles, as it is in my ring-seal. She also sees visions and is a spiritualist. Her special guide is St. Joseph, she says, and he has appeared to her several times “
(212:1) Illumination “Concerning Holy Writ,” received by Anna Kingsford on October 19, 1878. (See Vol. I, pp. 282-283.) – S.H.H.
(215:1) Anael signifies the Sweet Song of God.
(215:2) “From thee, O Goddess, from thee the winds and clouds of heaven flee, from thee and from thy approach; to thee the variegated earth yields her sweet flowers, and the sky, appeased, shines with diffused light.”
(217:1) Anna Kingsford did not believe that the operating agencies were necessarily souls. Writing to Light of this sitting, she said: – “I asked the communicating spirits two crucial, but perfectly plain questions, to both of which they were unable to reply. Their answers showed perfect cognisance of the terms of the questions, but as perfect an inability to deal with them. Yet they were questions which departed souls would certainly have solved. Not that I think it impossible souls should communicate through mediums. But it is, I believe, rare that they do so, and when they do, it is because they are, temporarily, in a sphere ‘open’ to the earth, and therefore not a sphere of a high order. I believe it is clear, even to demonstration, that the gates of the séance-room open upon a labyrinth of many levels and intricate windings, whence may issue such a medley of voices and shapes as fairly to confound any but a saint or an adept. There are elementals, rudimentaries, embryos, phantoms, souls in prison. We stand in the view and hail of purgatory with all its sevenfold spheres. And to me, and those who think with me, the chief value and praise of Spiritualism lies in this, that it has triumphantly demonstrated, and will continue to demonstrate, the fact that consciousness and intelligence are not necessarily and exclusively connected with a physical organism. The axiom of Materialism is, ‘No brain, no mind.’ The facts of Spiritualism demolish this axiom, and demonstrate the possibility of an everlasting life for the individual, long after the brain has become dust and ashes.” (Light, 1884. p. 519.) The same number of Light also contains a letter from Edward Maitland on the subject of” disembodied spirits.” – S.H.H.
(219:1) The reference here is to the instruction given us by Hermes (Clothed with the Sun, II, xii, Part 2): “The eye is the symbol of Brotherhood among you. Sight is the mystical sense.” (See Vol. I, p. 274.)
(221:1) By their letter of resignation, it will be seen that they terminated their connection not with the Theosophical Society, but with the London Lodge only. They never severed their connection with the Parent Society. (See p. 375 post.) – S.H.H.
(221:2) Anna Kingsford’s views respecting the mission of the Theosophical Society were some years afterwards stated by Edward Maitland to have been as follows: – He says: “Engaged as she herself was in restoring to Christendom the system of Western Mysticism which underlay its religion, and by means of which alone that religion can be interpreted, she regarded the disclosure of the system of Oriental Mysticism – the task undertaken by the Theosophical Society – as an important adjunct to her own work, if only for the demonstration thereby afforded of the substantial identity of the two systems, and therein of the needs and perceptions of the human soul in all ages and places. And she further recognised the simultaneous but independent movements represented respectively by Madame Blavatsky and herself, but as two divisions of one great movement providentially ordained and having for its object the rescue of the world from the abyss of materialistic negation, and the promotion of the spiritual consciousness of the race to a level transcending any hitherto attained save by rare individuals.” – S.H.H
(223:1) The severance by Anna Kingsford and Edward Maitland of their connection with the London Lodge of the Theosophical Society was, at the time, a necessary step to enable them to vindicate their true position, and show the world that Mahatmas and occult phenomena were not necessary to “Theosophy.” They desired to “redeem and resume that name, and save it from being identified with Buddhism, esoteric or exoteric.” Their reasons for resigning their membership in the London Lodge were summarised by Edward Maitland as follows: –
“(1) The inversion [by the Theosophical Society Founders and others] of the true places of phenomena and philosophy involved in putting the former first and resting the philosophy on them, with the result of making the senses and not the understanding the criterion of truth. (2) The insistence [by the said Founders and others] on an implicit recognition of and deference to authority, and the investment with infallibility of the sources from which their teachings claimed derivation. And (3) the exclusive recognition [by the said Founders and others] of the Occultism of the East, to the rejection of the Mysticism of the West – with the restoration and interpretation of which we ourselves were chiefly occupied – instead of such a combination of the two branches of study as would enable them to throw light upon each other, – a combination upon which we considered ourselves bound to insist, inasmuch as it was in consequence of their recognition of our work, The Perfect Way, that the Chiefs of the Society in India had first sought us out and invited us to join the English Branch of it as its President and Vice-President, until which time we held no relations with the Society.”
Edward Maitland says: – “When, later, she [Madame Blavatsky] came to know us personally and to respect us, she frankly admitted that we had been in the right in all our contentions, and our opponents in the wrong, even though she herself was one of the latter” (The Unknown World, 1895, vol. II, p. 90; and see pp. 274-276, 296-297 post).
Some six years after their resignation from the London Lodge (namely, in 1890), Edward Maitland said: – “Not only did the friction engendered of these differences soon pass off, but the causes themselves of the differences underwent considerable modification. And I for one, at least, can look forward with unabated confidence to the time of which it was long ago predicted that ‘many shall come from the East and the West, and shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven,’ understanding by the former expression the mysteries of Brahma, Isis, and lacchos, or Spirit, Soul, and Body – the mysteries at once of India, Egypt, Greece, and Syria, and through them of the true Christianity; and by the latter expression, of a perfect system of thought and rule of life; and when the movements represented by the terms Theosophic and Hermetic will be recognised as having been indispensable factors in achieving this blessed result.” – S.H.H.
(226:1) The Virgin of the World (published in 1885) contains introductory essays on “The Hermetic Books” and “The Hermetic System and the Significance of its Present Revival,” by Edward Maitland, and an Introduction by Anna Kingsford.
Astrology Theologised (published in 1886) contains a Prefatory Essay on “The True Method of Interpreting Holy Scripture,” by Anna Kingsford. – S.H.H.
(228:1) See p. 226, note, ante.
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