The Wheel and the Cross
Om mani padme hum – Crhisti simus non nostri
The Wheel and the Cross
Encounter of Buddhism with Christianity
The basis for a true faith (fides, fidelity)
A true fidelity in harmony with the Light
The Light Above, and the Light inside of us
The Wheel and the Cross
The Buddha-Christ in us, the hope of glory
Fountain of a doctrine and an ethics simple, just and logic
The heart of the new culture of Humanitarianism
And the new institutions to the world harmony
- The Living Truth in Christianity. Bertram McCrie. London, John M. Watkins: 21 Cecil Court, Charing Cross Road, 1915. 43 pp.
Information: This little book was written as an introduction to the message of the two soul-prophets – known in this age as Anna Kingsford and Edward Maitland – namely, to the recovered New Gospel of Interpretation, the doctrine which they were instrumental in restoring to the world, where the Christ is risen again from the sepulchre of historical tradition, to live and reign in the undying soul of man.
In the Anna Kingsford Site we have the complete work The Living Truth in Christianity. The Chapter IX sinthetically describes the relation among the credo of the Buddha Gautama and the credo of the Christ Jesus – the Wheel and the Cross. Below we have the title pages and the Chapters VIII and IX of this work:
THE LIVING TRUTH
By Bertram McCrie
A Summary of the
ESOTERIC CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE
given to the West in the
GOSPEL OF INTERPRETATION
JOHN M. WATKINS
21 CECIL COURT, CHARING CROSS ROAD
– Christ or Caiaphas?
– The Soul Outgrows Dogmas
– Stones for Bread
– An Ideally Perfect Religion
– A House Built Upon Sand
– A New Birth for Christianity
– “Lo, I Am With You Always”
– “I Am That I Am”
– “In the Beginning Was the Word”
– “Seven Spirits Before His Throne”
– The Divine Thought
– Creation and Redemption
– “All Life Is a Burning”
– The Generation of the Soul
– “Know Thy Self”
– The Soul’s Memory
– “Thus Saith the Lord”
– The Fourfold River of Eden
– “Ye Are the Temple of the Living God”
– “Whatsoever a Man Soweth”
– “Made Perfect Through Suffering”
– PURITY, the Key-Note of Religion
– “The Light of Asia,” and –
– “The Light of the World”
– “All Ye Are Brethren”
– The Slaughter of the Innocents
– “Your Hands Are Full of Blood”
– “Thou Shalt Not Kill”
– “The Letter Killeth”
– “The Spirit Giveth Life”
– “Which Things Are an Allegory”
– “Arise, O Soul, and Fly”
– “Work Out Your Own Salvation”
– An Odyssey of the Soul
– Iesous Chrestos, the Perfect Yes of God
– Worship God Only
– “Three that Bear Record in Heaven”
– “Let Us Make Man in Our Image”
– “Unto a Perfect Man”
– “Be Ye Therefore Perfect”
– The Perfect Way: or, the Finding of Christ
– Clothed with the Sun; Being the Book of the Illuminations of Anna (Bonus) Kingsford
– The Story of Anna Kingsford and Edward Maitland, and of the New Gospel of Interpretation
– Anna Kingsford: Her Life, Letters, Diary, and Work
– The Bible’s Own Account of Itself
– Addresses and Essays on Vegetarianism
– Dreams and Dream-Stories
[Added by the compiler of the Anna Kingsford Site:]
– Intima Sacra; a Manual of Esoteric Devotion
– The New Gospel of Interpretation
– A Message to Earth
– The Credo of Christendom: and other Addresses and Essays on Esoteric Christianity.
TO THE READER
THIS little book is specially addressed to that large and ever-growing class of thoughtful men and women who, instinctively recoiling from the void of materialism and agnosticism, yet find that they cannot satisfy the understanding or adequately nourish the soul on the literalism and dogma dealt out by the orthodox Church. Such persons seek in religion something deeper than “morality touched with emotion”; their supreme need is to find within that Christian faith into which they have born all the essential elements of divine revelation.
Now valuable as the study of eastern religions may be to such, it will help them most to know that the West has already its own esoteric Christian doctrine, a vital nucleus of religious truth, set forth in certain writings which truly constitute a “Gospel of Interpretation.” Out of storm and struggle the writer was lifted by that inner light which two soul-prophets – known in this age as Anna Kingsford and Edward Maitland – cast in the recovered Gospel upon the very springs of being and deepest enigmas of life. In the doctrine which they were instrumental in restoring to the West the Christ is risen again from the sepulchre of historical tradition, to live and reign in the undying soul of man.
That this little book may lead some to “the Finding of Christ,” is the earnest hope of the writer.
LONDON, Christmas, 1915.
“At the present moment two things about the Christian religion must surely be clear to anybody with eyes in his head. One is that man cannot do without it; the other, that they cannot do with it as it is.” (MATTHEW ARNOLD, in God and the Bible; Pref. p. xiv.)
“The key-note of Religion is sounded in the words ‘My kingdom is not of this world.’ All her mysteries, all her oracles, are conceived in this spirit, and similarly are all sacred scriptures to be interpreted. For anything in Religion to be true and strong it must be true and strong to the Soul. The Soul is the true and only person concerned; and any relation which Religion may have to the body or phenomenal man is indirect, and by correspondence only. It is for the Soul that the Divine Word is written, and it is her nature, her history, her functions, her conflicts, her redemption, which are ever the theme of sacred narrative, prophecy, and doctrine.” (ANNA KINGSFORD, in The Perfect Way; or, the Finding of Christ; Lect. IV, par. 4.)
“Whatsoever a Man Soweth”
IT IS the soul, then, which as the true ego continuously acquires, animates and discards
each of the countless forms of organic life – plant, animal, and human – necessary for its growth in experience and perfecting through suffering, until, as the Soul of Man Regenerate, it has no more need of material bodies in this or any other world, having attained salvation. For the soul, to triumph over and re-create matter, must have full knowledge of matter, to transcend and transmute form it must have complete experience of form. Descending as the ego into generation it must re-ascend by emancipating itself from the power of the body.
Once the soul has polarised and issued into life within an organism it comes under the operation of the law of Consequence, or Karma, and from thenceforth creates for itself bodies or forms which are in their nature and liabilities the exact issue of its antecedent conduct. The capabilities for good or evil of every successive physical embodiment of the ego of man are dependent upon the tendencies for good or evil encouraged by him as the ego in previous incarnations, and so also is apportioned the relative happiness or misery of the ego in the periods between each incarnation. Man’s behaviour now is determining his own future environment and characteristics, and the instrument wherewith his fate is carved he himself forges from the ore of his thoughts and deeds in the crucible of character. Man is the result of his thought – Character is Destiny. It is a law of equity; neither kind nor cruel, only eternally just. To ignore or deny its sway brings unhappiness and perplexity, to understand and use it brings peace and certitude. It is the law of spiritual heredity for the true self.
“Made Perfect Through Suffering”
Thus the cardinal doctrine of evolution is the ancient law of the progression of the soul through transmigration, with Karma as the means both of imprisonment and liberation. It is for the
most part – until the soul learns to distinguish between the permanent and the transient – a way of suffering, yet all suffering comes from within and is therefore merited suffering. And while sorrow, in the sense of impermanence, is inherent in the nature of existence, since existence is a partial limitation or deprivation of Being or God, yet it is the channel unto expansion of consciousness, the way of initiation for the soul. The suffering of the ego in man is an undertone from the octave of the suffering of God in creation. Individual suffering, individual liabilities, can never be understood by the rushlight of one single physical earth-life, but only by the torch of Reincarnation held in the hand of Karma. Therefore although it is difficult to conceive of the passage of the soul through the veil of matter except by the way of suffering and experience, it is possible for the individual so to order his embodied life that all suffering shall be to him as the wings of his ascent towards the Highest.
The cause of suffering and the root of sin are with the soul and not in the exterior personality. It is, in one word, lust. It originates in the negating by the soul of her spiritual nature, the forsaking of her divine centre for the things of sense, desire for the not-God. Renouncing her true identity as spiritual substance she thereby identifies herself with the bodily nature and, falling under the dominion of matter, becomes estranged from her former pure estate. As the sense of right and wrong inheres in the soul she has the will to choose between the inner and the outer, and is free so to choose. But on her lasting choice depends either her final perpetuation as a portion of God’s Self or Spirit, or the ultimate withdrawal of her animating spirit and consequent dispersion or extinction as an individuality. Man is indeed free to accept or deny God –
he is no puppet of the Almighty’s – but his choice is, eventually one between Being and annihilation. The actual occurrence of the latter event may be rare in the extreme, but its possibility cannot be overlooked in a conception of existence that is neither arbitrary nor mechanical.
PURITY, the Key-Note of Religion
WE HAVE now reached a point at which religion ordinarily begins as a practical factor in the life of man. How shall man, as a human being living in a world of sense, overcome the suffering and sorrow born of his sojourn therein, turn his existence to the best possible account, and, becoming aware of his divine nature, establish direct and palpable relations between himself and God? “By doing the Will of God,” answers religion. And as the Divine Will can only be learned individually through the soul, and the soul can perceive and transmit that Will in its entirety and truth only when she herself is whole and pure, it follows that the heart of all Religion is summed up in the idea of Purity, and the one way of salvation is its practice to the uttermost within the system and soul of man. (1) Thus the immediate purpose of religion – when worthy of the name – has always been in some way to stimulate man towards purity of life; and the difference between a living and a dead religious
system is that the former aims constantly at the purification of that inner and real life of man which is the soul, while the latter has become content with a superficial standard of morality for observance by the outward man only.
Now one of the most deplorable features of Ecclesiasticism is its habitual intolerance of all other faiths and religious systems, despite their antiquity, authenticity, fundamental similarity, and standing. It regards them not as friends, but as rivals and foes; not to be understood, appreciated, and – in part at least – assimilated, but to be ignored, depreciated, or controverted. This attitude Ecclesiasticism credits to itself as zeal for its own particular tenets, while it is in fact nothing but the intolerance born of ignorance. But it is an attitude fatal in the long run to the existence of Ecclesiasticism itself, having in it an element of self-destruction.
“The Light of Asia,” and –
This precise attitude towards that particular system of religion, Buddhism, which preceded the advent of Christianity by some five or six centuries has been little short of suicidal to the real success of the latter, having proved disastrous to its hold on all save the ignorant or elementary, the prejudiced, and the conventional classes still dominated by Ecclesiasticism. For the fact is that the doctrine of the Buddha, with its Four Great Truths and its Noble Eightfold Path, its boundless compassion towards all sentient life, its reasonable ethical teaching of development through self-conquest and self-culture, its simple yet profound analysis of suffering and sorrow with the method of escape therefrom open to all, its entire regeneration of the mind, its exalted code of morality and standard of tolerance, peace, and charity – that doctrine is the indispensable forerunner and interpreter of the doctrine of the Christ. In brief, they are not two gospels but
two aspects, the without and the within, of one Gospel. For Buddhism finds its translation and completion in Christianity, and Christianity its inception and foundation in Buddhism.
“The Light of the World”
Thus regarded, Christianity, as religion, takes up the work of perfecting man in heart at that degree of partial regeneration to which Buddhism, as philosophy, has already brought him in mind; and so the former depicts and deals with but the closing stages of the whole great work. Were this recognised the serious foundational deficiencies, those rational, intellectual, and moral ellipses which confront the thoughtful and impartial student of the Christian system, would be largely accounted for, and a step taken towards re-habilitating as a living whole that most mutilated faith. How little they know Christianity who only an historical Jesus know, and leave out of account the way of the Buddha as the ladder that must be climbed to reach the state of Jesus!
(25:1) To adapt a phrase of Thoreau’s, there are nowadays schools of occultism and volumes about mysticism, but there are few mystics. How many of these teachers and writers have yet begun to comprehend that indulgence in such desire as expresses itself in the appetite for flesh-food, alcohol, and tobacco – to name but three elementary lusts of the body – is inimical to the growth and purification of the soul? Yet elimination of such impurity, as the Buddha saw, is an essential and early step on the way to regeneration of even the lower dualism of body and mind.