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            TO TURN to the consideration of that which Ecclesiasticism has made the arsenal for the establishment of its tenets, that least understood and most ostentatiously idolised book in Europe, the Bible, the first contention is that it – and any other ancient or modern scripture – is only the Word or Revelation of God to man in so far as it is addressed to and concerns the real man, that is the Soul. It matters not what was its genesis in place and time, who were its writers and compilers, or how much authority and veneration

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have through custom been vested in and accorded to its letter and form. What does matter is that it should adequately meet the needs and aspirations of the soul, which are always interior and subjective, and have to do primarily and essentially with processes, states, and principles, and only secondarily and illustratively with things, events, and persons. An actual fact observed by the senses, occurring to a person or persons at a particular time and locality, is not in itself, however remarkable, a divine truth, or even necessarily any evidence of divine truth, though it may serve as an illustration of the application of principles divine, noumenal, universal, and substantial in their nature.


“The Letter Killeth


            In limiting itself by descending from thought into language, from idea into symbol, revelation or religion must indeed have a phenomenal setting to obtain recognition of any kind in an objective world. But inasmuch as the phenomenal and material part of man is not the true and permanent ego it is the truth or principle within the setting that alone signifies, and all else is accidental to it. The setting is relatively true or false according to its ability to reveal or conceal the jewel. Truth in religion, ever metaphysical, is for and of the soul, not the senses. The only fitting robe that she can wear in the terrestrial realm while preserving her celestial purity is the veil of poetry and the garment of mysticism. It is undeniable, however, that such a garment would still leave religious truth more or less invisible to the majority of mankind; and indeed a presentation such as is here outlined can be understood only by those who have reached some degree of intellectual and spiritual development. But it is not disputed that for the masses a further clothing of the Divine presence is necessary in allegory, parable, symbol, or hieroglyph, so that there may be

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always a correspondence of truth on whatever plane they may for the time stand. Nevertheless the image must never usurp the place of the God, or the shadow be substituted for the substance, if religion is not to degenerate into idolatry.


“The Spirit Giveth Life”


            Now it is just this lapse into idolatry that more than any other characterises the treatment Christianity and the Bible have received at the hands of their ecclesiastical guardians, from those of that converted but confirmed sacerdotalist Paul, onwards. As depositaries of spiritual truth they have been materialised almost beyond recognition. To doctrines entirely mystical applications wholly physical have been given, and the possibility of any other application denied. The inner witnesses of reason and understanding have been deposed for tradition and authority. Mechanical assent and observance have replaced faith and the knowledge born of intuition. Persons are venerated instead of the spiritual principles they represent. The history and biography of others have superseded self-knowledge and emancipation. Creed and credulity outweigh conduct and effort. The cross obscures the Christ. And of the world without the Church it is sufficient to say that in its worship of materialism it faithfully reflects the state of idolatry existing within the priesthood order.



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