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THE LIGHT OF MEN .
IOWA THE TORCH PRESS NINETEEN SIXTEEN .THE LIGHT OF MEN AN INTERPRETATION BY JOHN BASS CEDAR RAPIDS.
1916 BY THE AUTHOR THE TORCH PRESS CEDAR RAPIDS IOWA .COPYRIGHT.
"Sempiterna Lux! Nee divitias. me modo Divinice Lucis radio illumines." 2021083 . nee honores peto.
FOREWORD This book is not offered as a scientific treatise. a mysticism ena takes on a more satisfying sigmore glorious power. interpreted in the mysticism of the east one may indeed call it the universal nificance. cryptic truths in these days brushed aside . exactly as Schure's Jesus in- and Renan's Vie de Jesus are personal It has been written after years of deep and reverent study. not only of our own Scriptures. It is the conviction of the writer that our own light of the illuminating Christian Revelation. Phenom- now mistakenly called supernatural. but as a personal interpretation terpretations. in the sense in which science is accepted here in the Occident. and above all of the great Ancient that science of Philosophy of the Orient the soul which reaches back to the very horizons of Aryan civilisation. but in comparative religion.
is dedicated. it have borne to the .8 FOKEWORD superstition. seen and discredited as with the clearer. but to whom modern science offers only a stone to the passioning soul which asks for bread. more sublimated vision. fall into their natural and inevitable sequence and take on a revealing light. will. in the hope that it may bear to some of them a the same message that the studies message It is to these that this book which have led up to writer. Neither does the so-called " religion of humanity" satisfy that inward craving which outward activity fails to fill. There are a great number of persons in our day who have discarded allegiance to any formal theological teaching.
. 13 73 213 ...CONTENTS I II III THE DAWN NOTES JESUS OF NAZARETH . ...
I THE DAWN .
a crux of human principles. and passed from it like clouds across the heavens. unstaying wheel of circumstance revolves upon its course. Whenever there has arrived.THE DAWN The world is very. Mighty have arisen and again decayed. leaving as little civilisations permanent trace behind them. and today we may only guess at the scope and manner of their greatness by such few and imperfect remains as have come down to us. obliterated by another. dominated for a time. The face of the earth is one vast historical. very old. the great leader which the stress of the time demanded has never been want- . over- laid. one record swallowed. in the course of the world's evolution. ethnic and moral palimpsest. Innumerable races of men have appeared. as the stupen- dous. inscribed and re-inscribed with the characters of human effort.
becomes the sheerest presumption to assume that Supreme revelation has been vouchsafed exclusively to any single epoch It or people. is untenable. we examine the evidences. and there have been races before us who. though they may have been lacking in that enormous mastery of material agencies which marks our present day. teeming for millenniums with life and the presumable ardent upreaching of such life.14 THE LIGHT OF MEN . and that this age-worn world. if He has arisen almost it seems as by the touch of an enchanter's wand but in reality. God reveals as much of His Mystery and Majesty as the development of the special age or race at that time demands or permits. we shall see that he is the express outcome of the universal need the flower of a universal outreaching for more light.. ing. had reached a spiritual ideal selves to learn. should have been left without revelation until so recent a period as the opening of our own Christian Era. from which we may well humble ourIndeed some of the very earliest traditions we have hint of a spiritual .
For even as the material sun. since for a single instant has it failed to shine. absent. does move upon the face of the waters. darkness seems to be upon the face of the deep but the heart of faith knoweth that f orevermore the Spirit of God . or could it Eons ago God spake and said. light of the terrestrial globe. "Let there be Light I" and there was light.THE DAWN 15 attainment so high that one pauses in awe and wonder before them. True there fall seasons when. Never for a moment has it been. that Light which is the source and fulness of all being. which furnishes the life and comes at times obscured clouds or drifting fogs the earth's so. fogs of a self-centred egoism and skepticism. whether or not. that Light which is the very essence of the Ineffable. Always The Light has been in the world. effable and unending it we cognise . to the perversity of men. forever feeds us. between the soul of man and not of the sun's that in- Life. there rise miasmas of perversion and materialism. which. and never be. beto men's vision by vapours bred of own atmosphere.
take on the fetters of and descend to mingle among men. Human existence takes on the aspect of an arbitrary and relentless juggle of mere circumstance. no goal. We have called these spiritual influxes Great Breaths. but they are specifically to fling traceable to Living Presences glorious Spirits of the Light who. at special epochs of the world's need. to sweep away this which keeps the vision of man holden so that and it does not behold its Sun. a Living Wind clogging veil as it were. And so it comes about that at certain vital crises there proceeds mysteriously from the bosom of the Ineffable a Holy Breath. Creation looms a hopeless maze without a clue. that they may rekindle in the human heart those moribund embers of spiritual earth-life. . At these periods it will seem to the eclipsed spirit as if life presented no adequacy.16 THE LIGHT OF MEN potent storm-clouds of delusion and despair. open once more avenues whereby the races of men may come again into consciousness of their divine source and destiny. no ultimate meaning. clothe themselves with garments of the flesh.
Another beautiful eastern term for them is Lords of Flame. and cause them once more to leap upward in a vital and purifying flame. And the message which every Avatar brings to man is always the same. . Glorious perfected souls perhaps perfected eons before in other universes. separate. or clothe itself in varying symbols. Creeds differentiate. and in appearance. name . or perhaps direct emanations from the Supreme Source. in reality never for one instant separate that they are the living to these And Sanskrit . . one with the Unspeakable temporarily. One may not define precisely the nature of an Avatar. It is enough to know that they are uncontaminate Spirit. Living Presences we give the of Avataras (English. cults arrive and fall. and made one with the Father. but substantially it is the same. set apart for special ends. who can say ? We may not analyse. and that they bring to earth the Spiritual fire.THE DAWN 17 consciousness. expression of the All in all. It may express itself in differing terms. Avatar) literally Incarnation of Deity.
Why enumerate them? They are familiar to every student of comparative religion. beside these great fixed stars. And. and pushed forward into finer possibilities. and has been from all time. great great seers. It is largely by means of such illumined men that primitive society has been moulded. There have been many Avatars. there shine lesser luminaries lesser messengers of the Divine Wisdom. not infrequently the last two The pages of offices united in one person. for finally all creeds resolve themselves into one Reality. Orpheus. Gautama. Osiris. through the long evolution of the world. prophets. Infant races are in the main very like children lusty. they have appeared among men. as from time to time. strong with an expand. free.18 THE LIGHT OF MEN but religion in essence is one. Certain radiant names shine out like blazing stars through the night of a vast past. developed. great high-priests. Krishna. . history and tradition are bright with them. great kings. instructed. Illumined men are these. these are a few of the names.
of fresh social forces. Given an infant race. with a sensitiveness which disappears at intellectual maturity. Like children also they are extremely receptive.THE DAWN 19 ing vitality. though it is vital to them. wayward too with a waywardness born of their very exuberance not easy to coerce. to be led by the magnetism of some dominating personality. but without the intellectual and rational powers which are the stamp of ad- vanced civilisations. Many things which we are too prone to class as superstition are merely the workings of the spirit within crude material. so close that they are apt to confuse the facts of the seen and unseen worlds. comes always an Ava- . through the . hence Nature man 's first concept of God and worship the worship of the sun and planetary bodies God immanent in all his universe? The appearance of an Avatar is coincident with the emergence upon the theatre of the Is not world of a new race. The Mystery is very close to them. They do not reason about that which they perceive. extremely psychically sensitive. but easy. quick play of emotion.
Europe itself in large part still a terra incognita of barbaric and semi-barbaric tribes activities. bearing upon their flux unimagined flotsams to waiting shores of which they could not then even dream. the Avatar of the new disthat dispensation which we call entered the world at a moChristianity mentous hour. The centres of power were to be shifted westward. all Asiatic or northern African tions were decadent. to become the theatre of the new The last waves of the great still race the fourth sub-race of the division of greater Aryan mankind were about to gather to flood in the mighty Roman Empire. with its many ramifications was nationally at birth. and was . New civilisa- were about new continents to be exploited.20 tar to THE LIGHT OF MEN awaken and direct its aspirations. Coevally the great fifth sub-race the Teutonic. and ever further westward. crumbling in the dust of their own exhaustion. to arise. was presently to emerge into Celtic prominence. Jesus of Nazareth. Ancient civilisations with pensation the exception of the small but important Greek peninsular.
traveling upon his trail. to It . to vitalise with the new impulses of a young people. It was a simple matter for Eome. was Alexander of Macedon who prepared the way for Europe and the modern world and it was Julius Caesar who potenBoth these great gentially established it. seemingly to annihilate it it. in realty to assimilate it. Greek modes of thought. the world upon the shores of the Mediterranean. to take over materially and intellectually the fruits of these varied civilisations. Greek culture. and to carry the animus of them to farther limits. to transform it to new issues which they were push to the farthest limits of the earth. Alexander in a sense erals. The conquests of Caesar over the half -wild European tribes conduced to the rendering of all Europe more homogeneous. unified the old world.THE DAWN 21 presently to sweep like a cyclone down upon the Koman civilisation. primarily actuated by personal ambition. unconsciously let loose forces which had far-reaching results. by implanting everywhere Greek ideals. since the synthetic method of the Koman dominion .
for law and order. previous conditions . but this was far from being the case. scintillating through its veil. As. Christian apologists would have us believe that the period preceding our Era was an age of prohibitive darkness and obscurity out of which flashed the revelation as a meteor springs across a night-black sky. there were. . and for lucid.22 THE LIGHT OF MEN tended to stamp upon the lands which they conquered the Roman instinct for system. if sometimes crude. which the coming and plenitude of the Master drew to a focus. if you will. and more or less eclipsed luminance. if one should put a torch to a vast train of accumulated inflammable material. processes in the pursuit of knowledge. a myriad stars of mystic promise a scattered . plenty of it but . It grows out of. All world-culture is an evolution. unknow- when ingly laid ready to the hand. the time came. It was this wide dominion of Rome which. and because of. rendered possible the rapid and extensive spread of Christianity. conflagration must be the outcome. Obscurity there certainly was in the world.
planted the seeds of the new faith correctly. a highwater mark as it were. because all civilisations are in degree subject to cultural influences from civilisation that it from Initiative for advance of course comes from within. the new spiritual impulse. and therefore we are constrained to look upon the Christian revelation rather as a culmination. Three main streams.THE DAWN 23 and we of today might be surprised if we could know to what extent we are indebted to remotest times. One cannot claim for any has entirely evolved itself within. for faith is as old as life Greece. Jewry. The subject of religious origins is always one of much complexity. and of these the Greek animus of course supplied the larger element. One is not accustomed to consider the peoples of ancient Hellas as a conspicuously . is stimulated by anterior conditions. Egypt. of a seething and wide-spread flux of spiritual tides. themselves composite. but it is never safe to predicate the extent to which such initiative without. contributed to water the soil in which were more or.
it is natural that the national expression should be in terms of poetry rather than in those of meta- A That clairvoyant sensitiveness of adolescent races already referred to would make them more or less aware of intangible physics. upon every desolate mountain even and these Presences became . An evocation of ideal Presences dreamed in every stream. and the idealising tendency of their intellections would translate these mysterious phenomena into symbols of power and beauty. . forces. but not after the profound introspective manner of some older ample. of uncomprehended effluences. the very blood in their veins pulsing in swinging rhythms. and gifted with an exotic imagination.24 THE LIGHT OF MEN spiritual race. moral. full of the lyric joy of living. Hence we get a presentment of Nature-worship the most aesthetic which the world has ever known. around them. through every forest. free. virile race. Religious they were. civilisations the Hindu for ex- young. every heroic. Every corner of the land. or intellectual attribute was invested with its tutelary deity.
two kinds of mysticism which are often confused with each other. . and satisfying itself with religious expressions of sensation and emotion. which the less perfect remains of some other lands do. There is the mysticism of the firetouched soul of inter-communion of the above the and the heights deeps beheights neath the deeps. but not penetrating beyond the realm of the astral for its experience. as have been the delight and the despair of the world ever since. in fact. as the case might be. or psychic senses.THE DAWN 25 the objects of fear or adoration. but which are by no means the same. in the day of her artistic and national maturity reared such sublime monuments. both plastic and architectural. touched with an awareness of other planes of consciousness than the physical. To her pan-theogony Greece poured libations and built temples. of an indwelling mystery. There are. And yet these do not seem to bring us that breath of spiritual fragrance. and there is a pseudomysticism of the subtle.
The are however myth. a religion of Beauty. know of Pythagoras that he drank of We the . How far these were schools of speculative science. names of great schools of philosophy. well comparable to the glorious Vedic hymns. we recognise the true mystic spirit. las Ancient Helrevelation. but with the thought floating as it were betwixt external and internal worship. and how far they shrouded a real mystic core. in effect. of great individual philosophers. objectively pagan.26 THE LIGHT OF MEN To this latter class the religion of the Hellenic peoples (taken by and large) would seem to have belonged. No doubt they did sublimate the forces of Nature but it is in studying the career of Pythagoras alone that . is a question. confront us. specific teachings of Orpheus lost in the fogs of time and As we approach the golden age of Greece. was however not without her In the shadowy adumbrations of the Orpheus tradition we trace the outlines of a true Avatar. and the Orphic fragments which have come down to us are hymn-bursts of a high order. It was.
Mystery initiations officially remained. but he endued them with a new life. as the generations went on. and that he greatly inflamed and stimulated the aspirations of men in his day. When in Plato's time we find all citizens of a certain social standing admitted. but.THE DAWN esoteric fountains of India 27 and of Egypt. to initiation into the Eleusinia most solemn and occult of the Greek Mystery cults we must deduce that these initiations . as a matter of course and by way of an educational the finish. The Pythagorean following was extensive. but by the time Greece emerges into the glare of authentic history they were greatly shorn of their pristine significance. was an Adept of a high order. Without doubt Mystery cults had long existed in some form. and had degenerated into more or less of a class privilege. Indeed so drastic was the probathat he tionary training for initiation into these orders that it is likely there would not be any great number of young men of a fibre and ardour to undergo it. void of the exalted meaning and power of the true Mystery. it inevitably dwindled.
Restless and eclectic. to render itself invulnerable to the storm and stress of earthly life and upon the other. The skeptic popular faiths lost their hold upon men. which sought by a process of intellectual hardening. by a sublimation to provide of the aesthetic sense. ophy of Epicurus. In hidden corners and overlooked sanctuaries the . subtle Greek intellect oc- with dialectics. with scientific cupied speculation. The keen. an inhibition of human emotion. But neither school offered any food for the passioning soul. we After the death of Aristotle. if not before. The world became indifferent materialised. nor the probationary training for them particularly exacting. the philos. sought in another way an anaesthesia against all mortal pangs. with metaphysical negations. The gods were indeed still worshipped. it evolved upon the one itself hand the philosophy of the Stoa. which. but they had lost their potency.28 THE LIGHT OF MEN could neither have been superlatively profound. find philosophy entirely detached from religion. Yet mystery perished not utterly.
in the period forerunning the Christian Era. Pythagoreanism. and which.THE DAWN 29 cryptic truths were cherished and guarded by the chosen few. transmuted into that wonderful movement which we know as Neo-Platonism. with monuments of far greater magnitude and import than any others of which we today have any record. swept far on into the first three Christian centuries. either of men or of na- . embodied the flower of the best Greek spirit. In the period preceding the Christian of the Pythagorean fires Era there was a recrudescence a wave of Neo. Apollonius of Tyana. the Sphinx-land. had fallen from her high estate. we find very much the same social conditions obtaining but with a cerEgypt. which reached its zenith in the person of the great Adept. she preserved through many vicissitudes and cyclic shocks a spiritual profundity and majesty unapproachable. In Egypt. the Mother of Wisdom and of Mystery. And Neo-Platonism. tain difference. quite as much as early Christianity. stupendous Empire of unparallelled longevity. A But the longest-lived. the Sibyl of eld.
and under the beneficent rule of the Ptolemies she took a new lease of life. From paralysing to any spiritual this bondage the further conquest of Alexander delivered Egypt. while the dominance of the arrogant and corrupt Thebaid priesthood hardened the national faith into an iron dogmatism. together with a radical decay at the core. Upon this decadence swept the whirlwind of the Persian conquest. Long dynasties of impotent monarchs emasculated the inherent spirit of things. but empty of the ancient inner light. cruder peoples. and for countless centuries numberless generations of men had resorted to her to drink from her carefully- guarded arcane springs. and held the land in a tyrannous flowering. thrall. precipitated the inevitable desuetude. smothered in pompous ritual. these springs became clogged. much The attrition of and subjection to.30 tions. and no longer yielded the ancient flow. From wisdom time immemorial Egypt had taught to her neighbours. but the race was too . But in the vast social disintegrations which took place in the land. contact with. THE LIGHT OF MEN cannot live forever.
Alexandria. Alexander's foundation. stamped with the peculiar animus of the Greek peoples. religious systems of ancient Egypt have their roots far back in the abyss of time. a dual presentis This subject is ment. It stands recorded in innumerable monuments and documents wherein the Egyptologist may run and read as he may. when the time was ripe. became the centre of the world's learning. the hot-bed of the new religion of Christianity. the too vast. and ever must be. 31 and too spent for any autochthonous reand Ptolemaic Egypt is a Hellenised Egypt. partaking of the quality of both elements.THE DAWN old vival. To her schools resorted the students and mystics of all lands. The brilliant intellect of the Greek. and it was Alexandria which became. an exoteric teaching and an esoteric . blending with that brooding spirit of mysticism inherent in the land and ex- haling from the very soil. And in Egypt the Greek genius took a final and glorious flight. produced a culture of a new order. In every great root-religion there has been. The not the place to treat of them.
teaching. ceive the
THE LIGHT OF MEN
For the multitude, not fitted to remore august knowledges, there will be parables, symbols, ceremonial f omis while the unveiled truths, the wisdom of worlds in;
are reserved for the initiate few.
That Egypt had her secret doctrine, not understanded of the people, and that it was entirely hieratic is clear.
What this innermost
in spite of endwould not documents and endless commentators
be possible to declare with any because the higher Mystery-teachcertainty, ing has, in all lands, been in the main oral;
passed in secrecy from initiate group to initiate
record at all, so cryptic, so veiled in figures as the key to be unintelligible without a key of a cognate knowledge. In the last five hundred years B.C. we
find developing alongside of the official re-
ligion of Egypt, but quite apart
very singular phase of personal religion. This was known among the Greeks as the
Hermes Trismegistus ThriceHermes Trismegistus was
for a long time regarded by the western world as a person, but it is now well known
that the name is generic, and was given to a large body of literature extending over centuries even into the Christian Era.
great deal of the Hermetic literature has been lost in the revolving wheels of time but
has been preserved to us; some practically entire, some in precious fragments, some imbedded like jewels in other
the outward ex-
pression of an inward light, and are documents of inestimable value. These tractates
now called Sermons have recently been rescued from a variety of sources, collated and dated (approximately) in accordance with their own internal evidence, and nobly rendered into English from the Greek and Latin texts by a prominent English scholar.* While these teachings vary someas phases of the same thought in any school individually vary they are in the main homogeneous, and point The to one central system for their origin.
what in character
G. E. S.
THE LIGHT OF MEN
them carry a distinctly Egyptian colouring later ones are tinged with oriental modes of thought, with Greek modes of thought, with nascent Christian thought and ever, as they advance down the centuries,
heightening in spiritual significance.
mogenesis, of "Divine Mind," of human life, of the nature of being, of wisdom, of vision, and of personal conduct. In their breadth, purity, and exalted character we may put
them beside our own gospel of St. John, and feel that the same spirit of ultimate mystery pervades them both. It has been suggested that these Hermetic tractates belonged to the Arcana may be part of the sacred scriptures in fact
of those remarkable esoteric
recluse communities prevalent and coeval with them in point of time, and called by the
names of Therapeut, Essene, and
hold in our hands a key to the earliest aspect of the Christian Religion. Mediterranean Asia has from the most ancient of times
many and varying
forces, both of the mate-
rial and the immaterial worlds. Lying as it were at the feet of those potent seats of An-
cient Wisdom Egypt, Mesopotamia, Iran, and being in with mighty India not so far the track of perpetual commercial traverse
from the places of the far east to those of the then-known west, it could not escape becoming a species of reservoir for the many-coloured streams of thought which poured into it through the ages. The whole story of Asia Minor and of Syria furnishes interesting study; but we only concern ourselves here with an infinitesimal strip of land the south- westernmost littoral that land settled long ago by a few tribes of the Semitic race, and known to us today as Palestine.
The Jews from the moment that they appear in history, although but a handful of men, make a peculiar and indelible impress upon it. Again and again conquered by their stronger neighbours, more than once carried
into captivity, nothing could quench or eradicate the intensity of the racial spirit. From
the bondage in Egypt and the captivity in Babylon the Jews brought much tradition,
fanatical they always remained but their concepts achieved a singleness. a wrathful and jealous God. Neither Pantheism nor the worship of images found any hold in their economy. Narrow. wove into their own destiny.36 THE LIGHT OF MEN inspiration and esoteric lore. God was a great and even terrible person. and gave it its final trend. and which contrasts sharply with the . which the sagest among them must have understood. Their eyes were turned to Jahveh. to be placated by . The traditions de- from these ancient sources they appropriated to themselves. the Jews as a people never progressed beyond anthropomorphic concepts of deity. the Jews certainly were. and narrow. and adapted to their national rived glorification. which moulded the simple but narrow pastoral mind. and an austerity which carried them steadfast through many vicissitudes. complexities of cult about them. a dignity. the one. indivisible God. capable of mercy but prone to anger. but in spite of the fact that they had a secret doctrine enshrined in their Kabalah. fanatical.
exclusive. and engendered in them an expectation of some great destiny in store. as we now know. . and to establish in their midst a mighty kingdom. a puissant prince of this world. an obsession which gave the Jews throughout their many misfortunes a sense of being set apart from other races. Such ideas as these would be natural enough in a small people proud. who was to lift the foreign yoke from the necks of God 's chosen people. From Zoroastrian- ism they had derived the idea that some day there was to appear on earth a saviour for the race an idea which they adapted to their personal needs.THE DAWN rites 37 and sacrifices. Israel was His chosen exclusive Lord of the people. by reason of these very quali. He was furthermore the remnant of people who thus worshipped Him. but numerically weak which. and the authority for which . This saviour they conceived of as a material leader and liberator. but had reference to purely local happenings. many of these passages were in no way prophetic. they sought to find in corroborative extracts from their own sacred writings although.
Only a limited number of Jews embraced the new faith. they held to the expectation that there was to arise one to set them free. . the teachings of Jesus conspicuously non.38 ties. crude. The question naturally suggests itself: why did the new Avatar incarnate as a Jew ? The alternatives would lie between Jewry and Greece those two nations being upon the . and the Jews were no exception to the rule but through all chances. prejudiced. Beside the cultured Greek the Jew was ig- norant. threshold of that new world about to open. THE LIGHT OF MEN had constantly been the victim of the around it. A condition of subjection. is always morally enervating.Jewish took comparatively little hold upon the Jewish mind. with an lustier nations . however mild. Furthermore. as the history of Christianity now lies open to us. irrefragable tenacity. It was essentially the Greek genius which was to carry the gospel light forward into the coming centuries and it was from the passionate schools of Alexandria that was to be flung the torch which should kindle the whole .
or Mysteries of Mithra Mithra being the Iranian name for the sun. although it is not apparent that it had any direct influence it upon early indirectly may have done so. This cult appears to have been a recrudescence of the Magian doctrines of the time of the Achaemenid Kings of Persia. a blend of that with other cults. If this prince had succeeded in his dreams of European . that the ethical- ly austere tradition of the Jews and their uncompromising monotheism furnished perhaps a sturdier primary stock upon which to graft the new faith. for. King of Pontus. or. what is more likely. I refer to the Mtthriaca. which was to spread and flower and fruit far beyond any kenning of the parent stem? One other stream from the sources of the Ancient Wisdom must be mentioned here. Christianity. and to have been at its height under Mithridates Eupator. 39 Why born a Greek ? then was the new Avatar not May it not be. In the period of ferment following the Macedonian conquests it seems to have sprung into great flame in eastern Asia Minor.THE DAWN world.
To the imagination of the conquering Roman legions. It remains to treat more specifically of the Mystery cults.40 THE LIGHT OF MEN conquest. It was enthusiastically embraced. Egypt often referred to as the " Mother of is Mys- tery". had but to enter and take possession. and ready within the great temple of the Spirit. for the first four centuries of the Christian Era. They are said to have been established as a means of spreading the training of the inner teaching to the most advanced souls among the laity. Mystery cults appear to have been of very great antiquity. this splendid cult of the God of Light and of Victory appealed dazzlingly. to oppose a formidable rival to Christianity itself. but the facts probably are that she was only one of many mothers. whereinto the Hierophant. burning. when he arrived. the religious history of the western world would have been quite other than it is. and. where it was to spread like wildfire. and carried back to their own land. and of those who conserved them who constituted as it were so many al. with whom . tar lamps trimmed.
Rather is it a faint. They would be the naturallyappointed guardians and dispensers of the sacred fire but in order to enter the arcanum of higher wisdom. so to refine his vehicles. and at least to glimpse that heart" ever goal of the spirit toward which the pure in strive. a penumbra as it were of some long-past Reality whose sun has sunk too far below the horizon of time for us to catch any true outlines of it.THE DAWN she was coeval. was possible by specific systems of training for a man so to uplift himself. In and history inextricably commingled. unfocussed shadowing-f orth. or the remote past 41 her. and it is not right to treat myth as the product of the imagination. Doubtless in early days * ' enormous occult powers were vested in the priesthoods. a man would need to pass through an . . in order to become an Initiate. All of the great peoples of antiquity held to the idea that there was an exact science of being which might be learned and that it . religion. who antedated we find myth. that he became able to penetrate the unseen world. to master some of its shrouded secrets.
and thus more fit to be its guard- ians. overlaid by sacerdotalism. The pure flame of faith became clouded. obscured. of utter purification of the carnal man. the Sun of Life could not shine upon him. Corruption crept in through the seeking on the part of the celebrants for temporal dominion rather than for spiritual enlargement. If he should derogate from this lofty ideal. The higher powers would forsake them. of austere and undeviating dwelling "upon the mountain both in consciousness and conduct. This is probably what by degrees ' ' tops. as great religions crystallised informalism and outward pageant. to came about. if he should sink into the valley levels of egoism. and then be simulated in order to deceive and corrupt the masses and as the arcane knowledge and power declined in the official hands. and he would forfeit these transcendent powers. the mas.42 THE LIGHT OF MEN experience of entire regeneration. From very early times we find existent in . more purified and selfless. tery and the conservation of the true secrets would pass into other hands.
who led a life of discipline. therefore exwhat the innermost life of any of these communities was we do not know but we do . and Asia Minor were fairly honey-combed by them. Even Greece was not without its ascetic groups men and women surrendered to holy living. know that they were composed of individuals of a lofty type." or those leading "the Orphic life. Egypt. enabled them to enter at will into a state of superconsciousness. At the time of the birth of Jesus there were many such communities of mystics. and again contracting as the people fell away. and known generally as "Orphics." Initiates were bound by the most solemn vows to divulge actly nothing of the higher secrets.THE DAWN 43 many lands communities of Initiates. and of devotion to spiritual and who were able to achieve mentally a higher vibration than ordinary men. which ideals. Syria. of contemplation. but ever inviolately guarding their sacred wisdom. the circumference of their influence expanding at the times of high tides of popular feeling. in which they might receive direct influx from the higher currents .
and lived secluded from the world. that outer world. intermarried among themselves. there were lay-communities who were not celibate. For Essenes . and purity of their lives. Beside these inner schools. and not admitted to the higher initiations. both and giving receiving from each other's spiritual stores. because they practised the healing of bodies as well as of souls. In Egypt these mystic communities were known by the name of Tlierapeutce. from community to comthe munity right hand of fellowship. or healers. and others. The members of these followed the ordinary avocations of life. but held more or less intercourse with the ten by other it. name given Gnostics * the Nazorites. In Syria and Palestine we find the Essenes* the Ebionites. serenity. They were celibates. see note 2. and correlated with them. by whom they were respected for the simplicity. often forgot- but keeping extended toward each is. The general to all of them by the Greeks was or knowers.44 THE LIGHT OF MEN of spiritual truth.
tain deep rhythm running through all the apparent differences." gives a cir- cumstantial account of the outward life in a Therapeut Community near Lake Mareotis. of which he was a lay-brother. fundamentally and in essence. viz. simple and natural matter for them to take . Most likely this description would serve in general as a type for all. The Vision that a man may learn to lose himself in Infinity and therefore there is a cer. is a subject of great complexity therefore.THE DAWN 45 Philo. as well as from further sources. The specific manner of approach may indefinitely vary. All of these transcendental groups had an enormous influence upon nascent ChristianIt becomes evident that it would be a ity. "On the Contemplative Life. but the goal is always the same. we must never lose sight of the fact that. Mysticism is One. Ancient mysticism . in suggesting that the various schools mentioned above were influenced by infiltrations from each other. the Hellenised Jew (about the beginning of the Christian Era) in his treatise.
46 THE LIGHT OF MEN . This in point of fact is what did take place. vital impulse. plus the quickening and irradiate personality of Jesus the Christ. set forth in allegory and parable. or from that of the free-thinker. As we approach this figure the grandeur greatens. The first form then which Christianity took was Gnostic the old. they had always practised. purity. and cause it to fan the fires upon the old altars into a soaring flame. were those which their own brotherly love doctrines enjoined their upon men. eternal. the most majestically mystic figure in history. of the being of man. Whether we regard Jesus from the stand- point of the theologian. imperishable truths. new Avatar unselfishness. What these communities knew about the Being of God. old. veiled in metaphor. the mystery deepens and . Jesus had taught broadcast. and which. And the ethics promulgated by the humility. over the new dispensation and graft it upon the old to catch up the fresh. in own persons. and of the Mystical relation of man to God. was the substance of what. he remains forever the grandest. probity.
to the limited vision of finite existence. in the sense that he is the great exponent of love. he stands as the type of embodied Love. this august Presence will always be the central object of absorbing and reverent study. forgiving. The light which radiates from it is too overwhelming. Jesus may be regarded by us as our Redeemer. always will. Human. 47 He him as it engulfs like a were recedes into it. By the magnetism of this selfless love he drew men to him . in all his relations. as simply that of a man. It luminous cloud. and long-suffering. the all in all. and doubtless. full of tenderness and sympathy for the whole race. compassionate. is obperfected possibly inspired viously not tenable. and. To explain this the real personality objectively.THE DAWN dazzles. Yet to those to whom the life of the spirit is life. outward superlatively human. Is he not the Revealer the Bringer-near ? the personified Presence? Yet who shall adequately explain or interpret this Presence? The Mystery remains. The final personality eludes us. for love is the redeemer of the .
are purest at their sources. but cannot plumb. and ever garner deeper meanings. Even as. but where also . If we would know the pristine quality of a stream. and beyond larger circles again. the power of Love. until the wave-stir laps remotest shores. where they may indeed spread out. the power of Power itself. tions centuries. from the one splash of its impact there will break circles of diverging ripples. he remains folded in this irradiate effluence which we feel. when one casts a stone into a pool. and outside of those other circles. the scope of the effect of these activnever to be measured. so those incomparable words making all allowance for the imperfections of early redac- have come down through nineteen and wake in us today answering vibrations of aspiration and inspiration. We may study them and re-study them. we do not test the waters of the lower levels. Religions. like rivers. the power of Wisdom. The arena of his activities was ities small. Power was in every word which he uttered. a fair estuary.48 THE LIGHT OF MEN Yet upon the subjective side fettered soul.
We follow back to the fountain-head. days. where gush the feeding springs. and others. subtle pollutions from many shores they have laved. According to Epiphanius the first Christians were called "lesseai. and the generations immediately following. The matter of names at this remote time is obscure. we must go back some nineteen hundred years to the time when it was still quick in the hearts of men. but were known by the old names of Nazoraei. limpid and electric. as Essenes. if we would know what the gospel of Jesus the " Christ those good tidings of great joy the it ' i meant to those men and women who received it. Christianity. in these was not even a coherent movement." It is perhaps further suggestive that at about this period the Essene communities seem to have disbanded and disappeared." which suggests Philo's "Esseans or Essenes. For the first fifty years or so these groups were not even called Christians. Ebionites. (Nazorites).THE DAWN they come tus. So. 49 down charged with silt and detriand the complex. . but burning among scattered groups of a fire men.
versed in the tenets and using the wrote his Epissymbology of Gnosticism tles.50 THE LIGHT OF MEN What we tians do know is that these first Chrisby whatever name they may have been called were alive with the flame of the spirit more concerned to live the life. ' ' of the church is attested by many passages . destroy the law or the prophets. that it was not so much a revelation of new truth as a re-awakening. Did not the Master himself de" Think not that I am come to clare. That was to come about later. and to gather high spiritual experience than to weld themselves into an organised body. through more militant agencies. a re-vivifying of world-old truth. who himself bears the essential stamp of the Gnostic. V. of that Ancient Wisdom cherished in the hearts of the Knowers from all time. 17) was well recognised by the Fathers . I am not come to this fact That destroy but to fulfil. ? (Matt. They however formed the " nuclei of those churches" to whom Paul . We have already stated that initial Christianity was essentially Gnostic in character .
from the re- beginning of the human race until Christ came in the flesh. and exalted devotion to God the fuel which fed the altar fires in the Holy-of -holies . states it 51 very succinctly: and Augustine "That which is called the Christian Religion existed among the ancients and never did not exist. brotherly love the actuating principle toward their fellow men. wonderfully sublimated.THE DAWN in the Patristic writings. Wonderfully pure. and that Mystery initiations were practised in the early church. nearer to the ideal which the Master endeavoured to establish upon earth than anything which except sporadically. at which time the true ligion which already existed began to be " called Christianity. harmonious expression. and always subject to persecution has been seen since the first two centuries of his Era. Love was the keynote of it. wonderfully Christ-like was life among a broad. these earliest Christians . " That Christian Mysteries" were of the teaching. is borne out by numerous passages in the writings of the Ante-Mcene Fathers.
" very different from the lurid propa- ganda of Calvin. For reasons presently very little of the literature of these Gnostic Christians has come down to us. place. and fire. The mind likes to linger over the picture of what the history of Christianity in Europe . Heaven seems very near the veil between the seen and the unseen luminously thin. but the study of such precious fragments as we have seems to lift one into another realm. or Romish.52 of their THE LIGHT OF MEN own hearts. and the firm foundations of a mighty temporal dominion were laid very different from the fanaticism of the Middle Ages very different from the rack and torch of the "Holy Of. fice. into a rarefied and clarified atmosphere above the ordinary cleavages of mortal thought. from the Eastern church took . very different from any reign of bigotry and terror whose records be written in tears. under whom the separation of the western. Very different all this from the Chris- tianity of that Gregory. and blood. called great. Here the white light of to be touched upon. spiritual . power permeates the being.
aggressive. In its very nature. And doubtless since in the Eternal Economy there is no such thing that form of Christianity survived which was best adapted to the natures and necessities of the superbly virile. These presently acquired the arrogance of a .THE DAWN 53 might have been had this exalted and gentle form of faith prevailed. self-seeking who. but it was not to It was to go down before the storm prevail. narrow. one may read the secret of the undoing of Gnostic Christianity. of a ranker and narrower presentment. but crude young races which were coming forward. translated it to promise personal benefit to themselves. its purity. not grasping the real significance of the Master's teaching. Saintly natures are never militant. as chance We Almost from the beginning there seems to have existed within the fold of the Prince of an element comPeace another element posed of the more ignorant among the Christ spirits following. never self-assertive. its elusive abstraction. must believe so. They offer an easy target for the arrogant and the masterful.
some fixed code by gan in earnest. in Asia . It was a school intended primarily for children. it acquired a position of authority.54 THE LIGHT OF MEN faction.D. Of this fact the "orthodox" brethren were only too conscious. fanaticism. Ambition. The Caesarising of the new religion by the conversion of the world-emperor gave the needed opportunity and authority. It becomes evident that if judgment is to be passed upon men or things there must be established some standard. but quickly. and the personal lust for dominion sounded the ever- familiar cry of orthodoxy versus heterodoxy. which they shall be adjudged. In the latter part of the first century there was established in Alexandria a catechetical school called the Didascaleion. in the hands of highly trained teachers. Heated controversies over hair-splitting abstractions rent the fold. the first ecclesiastical council was called together at Nicaea. In the Didascaleion were laid the foundations of Catholic Christianity. In the year 325 A. Heresy-hunting be- More than one who had been revered as a saint found himself anathematised as a sinner.
what is worse. amorphous accretion since gathered about them. certain elemen- tary points of dogma were laid down. the materialistic triumphed the idealistic went to the wall. were authorised as the only ones. some scheme of redemption had to be formulated. but their writings. and riveted upon the young religion those chains in which it has travailed aye.THE DAWN . and served as foundation for vast. A creed was drawn up and adopted. . . wherever possible. and. were seized and destroyed or. mutilated and distorted to convey meanings quite other than the originals. even unto this day. under the since the real key to cosmogenesis was in pro- cess of being lost. Many momentous questions were settled (!) A certain number of sacred texts were selected from the great mass of writings of the day. 55 Minor and what a turbulent gathering this council was is a matter of history. title of the canon of the New Testament. The narrow. The famous "Decretals" of a semi-barbaric emperor established final authority. And. Not only were the Gnostic Christians driven forth from the fold. .
etc. the Cathari.). sects (the Waldenses. Very likely others remained pigeonholed in that wonderful Alexandrian library. the Paterini. and in numberless saintly and illumined personalities. the Albigenses. the old flame has burst forth again and again. the Hussites. But the spirit of Gnosticism did not wholly per- In many small schismatic. Three original mystic codices have come down to us. in the year 640 A. the Quietists. . and always persecuted.). But if we accept the latest Trismegistic literature as pertaining to Gnostic Christianity for which there is pre- sumptive evidence then we have a number of early Christian documents of a rare inspiring grace. though not in their entirety. in certain secret societies (as the Rosicrucians. etc.56 THE LIGHT OF MEN Fragments of Gnostic writings have come down to us embedded in the hostile criticisms of their enemies. D. The Nicene Creed (differing somewhat in form however from that in which we now know it) takes precedence in point of time of the two other Christian creeds at least a . conquest. burned at the time of the Moham- medan ish.
were thus converted by those incapable of rightly understanding and interpreting them into a repulsive materialism. The doctrines of original sin. of an endless hell . are such monstrous perversions that it seems incredible that rational and intelligent men should have held them through so many centuries. of a wrathful God. The idea of an anthropomorphic a great person god separate from his . From these of arose the distortions misconceptions Christian theology. Unspeakable mystic truths. at the hands of these more ignorant fanatics. which. It was lae. to the outer world only to be faintly shadowed forth in symbols. and finally of vicarious atonement. received gross misinterpretation and materialisation.THE DAWN named because clauses). evolved out of certain briefer esoteric formufrom the first the property of the Christian inner teaching. 57 hundred years of the Apostles' creed (so of its containing twelve and considerably longer of the Athanasian (which had nothing to do with Athanasius except to use his name). of an omnipotent devil.
sin (in the dogmatic sense) does abshadow not exist. Christian theology has invested Ineffable Deity with purely human attributes. as trees shed . It has greatly dwelt upon things.58 THE LIGHT OF MEN . the lower." Scientifically considered. and is totally unworthy of an advanced civilisation. more animal instincts are eliminated. ties of any sort to the Absolute. they gradually drop away from him. Sin is ignorance sence of the light. God is Informing Spirit. qualities of which any well-developed man would be ashamed. and propitiated by offerings and sacrifices. God has sin "the mystery of sin. universe and implacable toward it a being to be dreaded. Christian theology has made of Christianity a religion of gloom and fear instead of a religion of joy and inspiration. unable to rise to the level of loftier concepts. immanent in all not only created His universe He is His universe. is the idea of the tribal god. As man evolves and becomes established in consciousness. the product of the primitive mind. . born of a crude and superstitious fear. But we may not attribute qualiGod is.
% fixed. causal laws." are children of the light." we are not "children of sin. and at the core of every one of us is the Divine spark. the soul of man We We We gathers that experience by which it is to the breaking of morgrow. through a stupendous evolutionary cycle. Thus does the Creator make us participants in His own divine processes. From incarnation to incarnation. the great potentiality which shall urge us upward. the higher or the lower accomplish our own evolution. and ever upward. There is nothing (in the theological sense) to atone for. th at we may by our own choice of good or evil that is. functioning within the scope of the great. forging slowly to purer and purer estates.THE DAWN 59 their dead leaves in autumn. until we learn to find ourselves in our Source. are not "worms. ever enlarging faculty. There is nothing (in the theological sense) to be saved from." we are not "miserable sinners. ever expanding consciousness. are created creatures of free will. That misdoing al and spiritual laws should bring its own .
. Equally we may.60 THE LIGHT OF MEN nemesis is as fixed a fact as that. To advance or retrograde rests with ourselves. We may move consonantly with them. now and here. our own judges. We may travel the wide path of selfindulgence. we are yet. or we may move against them. every . every desire even. By renunciation in thought and conduct of the lower man. within the scope of these laws. endowed with full choice. or the more stringent one of selfdevelopment. we may infinitely stimulate and extend our advance. Set in an environment of immutable laws. Ourselves must face that self-made record in the hour when we slip off this sheath which we call our body. . we shall get burned. word. as it may be and adjust the equation. every thought. if we put our hands into fire. We may choose between the good or the evil but we are finally our own redeemers. Ourselves must cast up that account debit or credit. Every act. and coordinately the assumption in thought and act of the higher man. is self-registering upon the impalpable ethers of the Astral and from its record there is no appeal.
there would be no basis of truth in either. Spiritual evolution is as fixed a fact as the forces which govern the orbits of the heavenly bodies. We are ac- customed when we speak of religion to think of it as dogmatic formalism. finding it out. ago. wilfully pervert or delay that advance for ages but we can never stay the action of . The idea is very commonly held that there is some ineradicable antagonism between This is a mistake. the fundamental law. it were not. The ancient world found that out ages one. as a hard-andfast theology but religion per se is not that.THE DAWN 61 by disobedience to the call of the highest within us. and the other at the In reality science and religion are centre. . If science and religion. the conception The trouble lies entirely in and use of terms. but one is at the ing thing circumference of things. . and the modern world is in process of sions. It is the perversions of Christian theology. with its false premises and falser conclu- which are responsible for the long schism between science and religion. Science and religion are both studythe same Life-.
a science of things unseen as well as an exoteric science. The trouble with modern science is that it looks at things too much from the outside for there is an eso. tic facts . is a thing of yesterday. nor do they come about through any intellectual processes whatsoever. who have been able to penetrate easily to the realm of and to whom therefore the crypof the invisible world. souls of a more advanced and subtle training. although it can boast many achievements. revealing the well-springs of Being. These things are not the product of ratiocination. and the one furnishes the key to the other. Esoteric teric science science carries the experience of the ages. and the motive impulses of those functionings which we causation. It has been evolved by investigators of a higher type than any now practising. and brings down the lightning-flash of illumination.62 THE LIGHT OF MEN that upleaping flame which unites with the unseen. Exoteric science. and to find them the investigator must turn the search inward. They It is the "fire in the heart" result from the opening of the hidden sluices of Spirit.
if it would be willing to avail It recognises that therein if it . Each new dis- covery changes the focus throws fresh lights. (to uncharted sea. If it would but lay aside its professional egoism and prejudices. the centre and faces at first The Whole. it knows. or shifting. have presented an open book. seething with possibilities. Modern science is by very reason of relative. It knows hand is . and.THE DAWN call 63 It is this aspect of science Nature. Science upon the margins of a it) standing today acknowledgedly vast. which is one with religion. its experimental nature shifting. it must cast its nets would gather further returns. It gets only a fraction of an arc in its survey of the curving horizons. fresh shadows. augments here. Its facts are only fragments of facts. it needs no unusual perspicacity to perceive that they are approaching each other. With religion (we are using the term entirely in its transcendental sense) relativity disappears. . erases there. empyric. although the two sides of science seem to be out of touch. mysterious. partial. It cannot be It stands at partial.
what a sunburst what a The complex would widening of horizons become simplex. as one and indivisible. insidiously. the rationalistic. the scientific minds shall perceive that the founder of the Christian religion is not a myth. creeps creeps. know themselves . not a symbol. the tide of Spirit sweep and science and religion shall again. ! . . but one interacting. stupendous whole. Yea are we not like children playing upon the shores of life. the obscure. the fragmentary and dislocated.64 THE LIGHT OF MEN data of this world-old know- itself of the break with one plunge from circumledge ference to centre. integral and ! harmonious. but an es- . ! And perhaps that day is not so far In that day the practical. So shall . as of old. not a figment of dogma. till the microcosms be all overswept be swept into the macrocosm be not even in aspect parts or fragments. thinking every rocky pool left by the ebb a world in itself? But behold the tide Softly. Nothing can stay it. transparent. By littles and littles it lifts lifts. not an impossibility of any sort.
the Bringer-near. to rise superfluous ballast. They will know that he took upon himself a human form and came familiarly among men that he might stir afresh the darkling waters of the spiritual Bethesda. and to rise to rise. in conventional authority of any kind. until they too shall enter into con- sciousness of the Light. It is not a something vested in dogma. even as an aeronaut lightens his machine by flinging out ing upon all to take up their crosses . in other words.THE DAWN sential 65 and glorious Reality. was the archetype of perfection. men. Chris- . as he is still call. in ritual. They will recognise in him the Informer. so that every man who would might lave himself in the secrets of cosmogenesis. Jesus. the Christ. the Revealer. who would come after him and follow him. Christianity is not a Mediaeval dream. to purge themselves of the lower self of the carnal dross which weighs them down to lighten themselves. and become a knower. In his own person he demonstrated to the eyes of men the power and the glory of Sonship and he called upon all men.
All these things presage a readjustment of ideals and upon . a casting away of the husks of traditional and conventional authority. may be passing better. Except most sporadically. a passing mist.66 THE LIGHT OF MEN tianity is Life. a spirit of iconoclasm. is true enough. that white light which shall illumine the darkest corners of human experience. as so many are doing today. shall and the sooner the Only then men fice clearly find in Christianity not a Sacrioffers a but a supreme Vision. the life of the Spirit functioning through flesh . cannot be said even to have been tried. . and above all a burning restlessness in the minds of men. for the past seventeen centuries. Christianity. Now as then there is change. That the day of dogmatic Christianity. is a moribund superstition. disintegration in social conditions. that Christianity is exhausted. In some respects the present age certain resemblance to conditions prevailing two thousand years ago. of the warped outlook and inlook of the accepted theologies. It is simple fatuity to claim.
We are aware of strange quickenings. ideals of unity. triumphant.THE DAWN 67 every side one may read the signs of the dawning of a new era. Fearless. These are the fore-echoes of the footsteps of the new generations coming forward the young. indefunexpressed power. . subtle stirrings. . it moves toward the light. It will shake eagle flies ters of society the old earth with the hension. whirling. Are not these the ideals of pristine . of re-construction which shall break the fet. and lead it to nobler achievement than it has ever known. which the new Christianity shall give them a sense of the Manifest God a sense of the Immanent Presence in every atom of this pulsing. ideals of brotherhood and the solidarity of man. And . consecrate humanity which shall inaugurate a glorious movement both of iconoclasm and inite vibrations of . a ideals new sympathy. power of a new appreAnd upon the gonfalons of this legion are inscribed great ideals of selflessness. Christianity ? Surely with one thing more . dynamic universe. selfas the confident.
disappointed in results. the passion for holiness. this is the religion universal.68 THE LIGHT OF MEN and spiritual renascence coming of Christ. of privilege. but the scious divinity in so blindly expected reality no material waking of the con- man ? Nothing is done without fire. in thing whatever. need the quenchless fires within the heart." shall not this social exemplify that "second so often prophesied and as a material event. Behind and through all we need the pure flame of a living and indestructible faith. Surely. to Stoicism. candent aspiration. the religion preached and taught over the hills and among the vales of far-away new old This is Palestine two thousand years ago by the . the glowing heats of eternal passion. to burn away from before our feet the chaff of habit. Ethics alone are not enough. Philosophy is cold and leads men. surely This is the religion of Eternal Wisdom. and to fuse the discordant elements of human existence into one irresistible. of We convention. Humanitarianism alone is not enough.
Jesus of Nazareth. In its true essence and power it is just beginning. .* * war-cloud. Do not think that the influence of that teaching is exhausted. The above passage was written before the rise of the great When that has cleared away it will be found to be doubly true.THE DAWN 69 great Avatar.
II JESUS OF NAZAEETH .
" Prepare ye the way of the Lord. when it would seem as if Life were catching its breath in a strained. stern. It is as if Nature were somehow catching her breath. all-compel- In such a silence. there arose the sound of a voice the voice of one crying in ling expectancy. A . some two thousand years ago.JESUS OF NAZARETH 1 Some time before the dawn there comes over the waiting earth a strange hush. but whose vibrations are . The darkness is more profound the silence more intense. unknown. It is a moment between something inpast and gone and something yet to be choate. the Wilderness. the last of the great prophets of Israel. mysterious. of silence as it were. already upon the air. ascetic figure is this of John. Even so. there come moments of pause. The wind dies away and a heavy chill falls. in the mighty march of Time. make his paths straight!" strange.
compose the inner circle of Radiant Ones and dwell in a spiritual consciousness of which we indeed dream. gaunt with fasting and vigil. who having passed every test. I say unto you. among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. was still not as he emerges it A purged as those perfected ones. Behold I send my messenger before thy face." (Matt.74 THE LIGHT OF MEN upon the scene. to vanish from again presently. mighty and inspired soul though he was. which shall prepare thy way before thee. a figure rudely clad in skins. XI 711) By this he meant that John. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea. Verily I say unto you. Jesus himself later said of John: "What went ye out into the wilderness to see ? A reed shaken with the wind ? But what went ye out for to see ? man clothed in soft raiment? Behold they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses. so utterly . For this is he of whom it is written. and more than a prophet. on fire with prophetic vision.
" (John I 6-8) In the desolate places of his a life concerned with the recluse life solemn wrestlings of the spirit. that all men through him not that Light. It is more than likely yet it is enough for us to know that "there was a man sent from God whose name was John. and speaketh of the earth he that cometh from heaven is above all. It does not matter. believe. of the Light. The : physical lineage of a great soul is of no importance whatever. which was in use among the Essenes but which was foreign to the customs of the Jews.JESUS OP NAZARETH but of which cept. to bear witness . and also because he administered the rite of baptism by immersion. 75 we can form yet but little conJohn says of himself: "He that is of the earth is earthly. The same came for a witness." (John III 31) In one of the gospels we are given the genealogy of John. The learned of today in- form us upon plausible authority that John was of the community of the Essenes 2 because of his ascetic practices. He was . but might was sent to bear witness of that Light. with trance.
fearful and timid hearts." (Matt. Over the rugged hills and through the sleepy valleys of Judaea rang the call that a new prophet had arisen in Israel and the . a new hunger.76 THE LIGHT OF MEN command was laid with visions. "Then went out to him Jerusalem. and all the region round about Jordan. it: And world as the herald of a in no uncertain voice he pro- claimed heaven "Repent ye! for the Kingdom of hand!" It was a voice that shook the stagnant and is at lax society of the hour to its core. and were baptised of him in Jordan. multitude responded. confessing their sins. and with high communings the divine upon this man to go forth into the new day. and all Judaea. all flocked to him as the iron filings are drawn to the magnet. that stirred men's souls to a quickened self -search. guilty hearts. as the multitude always responds when a masterful voice of leadership arises in its midst. Ill 5-6) days we should call It was what in these "a great revival" a . Restless and discontented hearts. hearts keyed to a high aspiration.
Why bapthou then. very humble in his heart was John. "When the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him. What then ? Art thou Elias ? and he saith." (Matt. Ill 7-8) Yet. Art thou that prophet? and he answered. And they asked him. Who art thou ? he confessed and denied not.JESUS OF NAZARETH 77 period of enormous religious ferment and excitement. neither Elijah. When he saw many of the Phariing 3 sees and Sadducees coming to his baptism he said unto them O generation of vipers. the critical. but confessed. if thou are not Christ." (John I They asked him further. I am not. who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come ? Bring forth therefore fruits meet ical ' ' : for repentance. nor a prophet?" And then John answered "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. whose shoes I am 19-21 ) ' ' tizest : . and John scored them in burnwords. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I. in spite of his masterfulness. No. and the hypocritcame also. The curious. I am not the Christ.
beflower of manhood presented himself before nignant figure the prophet. Then he suffered him. 5 cried out: "I have need to be baptized of thee. And Jesus when he was baptized went up straightway out of the water and lo the heavens were opened un: ! . slipping unobtrusively through the throngs that crowded the muddy banks of 4 Jordan. "Suffer it to be so now. And then there came a memorable morning when. a beautiful young man in the very a strong. with swift spiritual recognition. Ill 11) By fire. and from his presence there radiated power blended with the most translucent purity. His face was like the morning. and comest thou to me?" To which the beautiful young man made answer." (Matt. John meant Spiritual fire vital essence in . serene.78 THE LIGHT OF MEN : not worthy to bear he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire. And John. for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. that supreme and which all things manifest are vested and held.
and lighting upon him. The story of the Virgin birth we have wholly to discard. not indeed because for "with of its inherent impossibility God all things are possible" but because same legend appears in other. alogical tables of 7 why the elaborate gene- two of the Synoptic gosthrice-purified one. saying This is my beloved son!" (Matt. pels ? No doubt the vessel selected for this glorious birth was a No doubt Mary was herself a rare and developed and inspiration. the human born. And lo a voice from heaven. and is in fact not the depiction of an historical event at all. full of aspiration . a soul soul.JESUS OF NAZARETH to him. but the 6 Jesus was symbolism of a cosmic myth. Ill 14! : 17) of the Jordan Previous to his appearance upon the banks we know almost nothing of Jesus. like any other incarnating Ego. of a father and mother. much older world-scriptures. 79 and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove. If he had not been so considered.
almost fearful joy over the approach- ing event. of an . None other could have seemed worthy. can imagine her brooding in a conse- crated. And then in a stable. Things which we are wont to call supernatural because we are . The advent. must have been to this pure young girl an exalted moment. Avatar is so momentous. amid the meanest surroundings. so stupendous an event that the vortices of Nature are shaken to their very depths. the divine child was born to her. incarnate in the flesh.80 THE LIGHT OF MEN possessing the power of communion with the Spiritual Sources. No doubt too that in trance or dreams she was made conscious of the high We destiny attending her coming motherhood. breathing tender prayers and waiting in rapt surrender till the perfect moment should arrive. Its absolute circumstantial authenticity matters little we may take the fervent mystic spirit of it to our hearts. This. to every true woman the most sanctified of experiences. There exists not in literature a more exquisitely beautiful and poetic passage than the story of the Nativity as it is given in the gospel of Luke.
especially in the orient. or subtle. . Sights and sounds. wonderful and inspiring. much closer to the dim and vast Unseen than we more strenuous and materialistic denizens of the Occident. It is only when the soul is absolutely retired into itself. as in the scene we are now consider- and pressure are upon and imperfect vision flashes upon the consciousness and reveals possibilities still beyond our ken. The veil which separates the planes of consciousness is very thin easily rent. There are strange and vital forces quickening in the unseen. Indeed the glory of the Lord is always shining round about us. but we are too hide-bound with prejudice. compel the inward senses.JESUS OF NAZARETH 81 not yet sufficiently evolved to understand them and so to find them natural are of inevitable and prescient occurrence. too preoccupied with material aims and concepts to perceive it. ing. senses are nearer the surface. or when. Their are very psychic. taking form and shape according to the sensitiveness of the percipients. a special fulness it. that a transient Simple peoples.
) Was there ever penned a sublimer or more ethereal paean? And of the Magi and the star in the east what? . and on earth peace. " And lo the angel of the Lord came upon them. goodwill toward men!" (Luke II 13-14. And the angel said unto them Fear not for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. it is well believable company of childlike souls "shepherds abiding in the fields.) "And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host." whose radiant and communicable joy their receptive natures would translate into concrete terms of exalted imagery. ! : that a . " multitudes of the heavenly host." (Luke II 9. and the glory of the Lord shone round about them. and they were sore afraid. and saying: Glory to God in the highest. to the mystic mood.82 THE LIGHT OF MEN Night and darkness conducing. keeping watch should become over their flocks by night" aware of potential Presences. praising God. as they ever do.
the time would be ripe for the birth of an Avatar. receiving and instructing such as care enough to acquire the higher spiritual wisdom to seek them out. recluse and apart. literally great souls. us.JESUS OF NAZARETH stantially as 83 These too are facts. to a world which does not know nor heed. though not circumhanded down to us. This particular brotherhood dwelt in Persia and although it had been revealed to all brotherhoods that. these brotherhoods have dwelt. men we know as Magi (from the Latin magus) great. since the world of men existed. without this care. might easily perish from among . there have always lived here and there certain small groups of illumined men. when certain stars should 8 be in conjunction. sending forth. All earnest students of the esoteric side of comparative religion are aware that. Far from the distracting tumult and stress of sensuous life. and ever fanning that mystic spark which. these seem to have . mighty vibrations of life and love. Different names are given to them in These particular different races and climes.
The birth of any soul into the world of matter must be regarded in the nature of a descent. the Magi knew its that the Avatar had been born. and. in essence. its achievement to break. they knew that he had been born in Judaea Pisces being the astrological sign of Judaea. of a denser or lighter texture as may be. To use a homely electric simile. When the conjunction took place. From its discarnate freedom the spirit winds itself in webs of the material. not. So does the Ego gather in the Objective experience by which to climb in the Subjective. as the record goes. and by taking place in the zodiacal sign of Pisces. an assumption of limitations. The assumption by any Ego of carnal flesh is. at the period of his birth. we may imagine an lamp bound about with webs. as far as possible. but the best part of a year later. They therefore set out upon their long journey. the illusory nature of which it becomes its laborious business to discover. coming into the presence of the holy child. but .84 THE LIGHT OF MEN been the only ones who set out to behold him in the flesh.
and its few waking hours in a wondering effort to adapt itself to its new environment of the Objective. the heat of it shall more and more consume and disperse its bandages. At such moments we are wont to say "scales fall infant. shall moments be suddenly rent in twain. spending three time in sleep. the correlating of the self with the external then." The new-born fourths of its jective. vances more and more. so much less in the Subjective. in its efforts to shine forth. There shall be weaker places too in them. until the consciousness of the latter dwindles to fades. Yet. so much more time in the Ob- from the eyes. as maturity ad- dreams or . sub- . the effort of the rising tide of spirit within to penetrate. Comes next the unfolding of self -consciousness. at which. yielding to the inner pressure. is not yet fully en-souled is in fact spending that part of its little life in the realm or plane of the Subjective from which it has come.JESUS OF NAZABETH 85 which must inevitably darken and cloud the radiance of the light within. As it grows. the balance will dip the other way.
times in the thin places there is a sudden breaking away. even as the light within is of a far more powerful effulgence than belongs to ordi! nary humanity Further than the bald fact that he was taken to Egypt and brought back again. have been this gracious very joyous. the assumption of the limitations of humanity. Thus does the spirit of man find itself. This we characterise as illumination. and the Ego realises that in these flashes it is but taking possession of its own. transcend those enfolding webs. we are not told anything of the infancy and the ! early childhood of Jesus. full of . very winsome must little child.86 THE LIGHT OP MEN Some- vert. but only in degree. in a sense. but we know that very lovely. How else could he be one with man as well as one with God ? But oh the webs which enfold this radiant spirit are of a far finer and more tenuous character. It is in the nature of things that the birth of a baby Avatar should not differ from that of the ordinary child in kind. The assumption of humanity must mean. a letting out of the light of true consciousness.
when the lambent eyes would spirit grow veiled and absent. with what tenderness she cherished and taught her little son. He was twelve years of age. We . Everything being already potential in the expanding intelligence. Ever and anon he would be overtaken with dreamy hours. full also of a precocious intelligence and an in- definable radiating magnetism which all about him could feel. Deep in her heart too was a certain wonder and an ever-growing awe in the presence of something about him which she could not fully understand. and the would seem like a fled bird.JESUS OF NAZARETH an 87 entirely human life and sportiveness . One vivid glimpse we get of the boy Jesus in mid-growth. it would require but a touch to fling open the doors to the treasure house can imagine with what unspeakable joy and pride his young mother watched this unfolding. We should know too that as he grew the boy would quickly assimilate all that there might be in his outward world to learn. and must already have been rarely mature within. yet which none might fathom.
among his young companions yet indefinably The constant expanwas setting him more and more consciously apart from them. It is more than likely also that he learned truths from learned travellers in those car- avans which were continually passing that way from the far orient to Damascus.88 THE LIGHT OF MEN We for his years. He was increasingly aware of that inner light. are told that "Jesus increased in wisdom and stature. material senses. sion of the inner perceptions . precious spices. which. there were borne to . things not yet clear to the intellect limned themselves forth in a radiance which many he could perceive but not yet correlate. noble. and riving the cloudy films of the external." (Luke II 52) and we can visualise the strong. and that. was ever pressing out. rational boy that he must have been easily a leader . and in favour with God and man. and costly weaves. Wonderful dreams and trances the boy must have had also visions in which different from them. sweet. springing from the depths of his own being. with the aroma of sandalwood.
an epitome of its loves. what an excitement this long journey with the large body of neighbour pilgrims to this solemn Jewish festival! And then what a pano- rama ish eyes! the great metropolis opened to his boyIt was indeed a very microcosm of the whole its human world. To one nurtured amid the peaceful pastoral life of Galilee. he being of age now to be admitted to it. spirit the travailing cry of the human race the cry of the soul for its lost heritage the .JESUS OF NAZARETH him hints of mighty knowledges 89 to be gained in the far places of the world. oppressions. its pageants. . its hates. its anguish. its Mighty contrasts indeed of human society! and it is not improbable that despairs! now for the first time there penetrated to his . And then came that momentous journey with his parents to the feast of the Passover at Jerusalem. its vainglory. its miseries. not be assuaged except by In the historic high places of sanctuaries which tradition made worship of the holiest he would witness an empty cry which Spirit may itself.
The spectacular festival week of the Passover being ended. illumined by a touch which suddenly opened the doors to inward chambers of his understanding. until now peacefully shielded from them among his native hills. But there is another side to the picture. the shock all these experiences would bring to the high nature. The life of the spirit was not wholly dead in great Jewish city. We can imagine the thrill. temple learned doctors made them their life study. cinated. ideas. inspirations. expounding orally to those who came them capable of receiving the treasures In among the company of these venerable men wandered the boy Jesus spiritand here he remained fasled. the contingents of guests . the excitement. doubtless to thereof. ery of worship.90 THE LIGHT OF MEN and ostentatious ceremonial. accompanied a very mockby hideous blood-sacrifices. of which he had before been hardly conscious. and let loose a host of thoughts. Their Scriptures shrouded deep and mystic secrets and in the more remote courts and chambers of the the .
after three days. "And it came to pass that. sitting in the midst of the doctors. "And his mother said unto him. Son. and we may presume. why . For three days the agonised search went on then they came upon the lost . to himself not lost but found eternally found and pouring forth question and comment whose penetration and soaring scope stag! gered his elders. having supposed him to be with friends in some other part of the caravan. they found him in the temple. rapt. In anxious panic they retraced their steps to the crowded city. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. boy." (Luke III 46) A wonderful spectacle truly Among the great teachers of the Law and Kabalah a mere lad sitting a lad absorbed.JESUS OF NAZAEETH 91 from Nazareth and many other places gathered themselves together and took their multitudinous. both hearing them and asking them questions. For a whole day Mary and Joseph journeyed before they missed their son. confused departure.
His work was other. It has been usual to assume that because to this trade .92 THE LIGHT OF MEN ' ' hast thou thus dealt with us? Behold thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. was bred Joseph was a carpenter Jesus also indeed we not unf requently hear him spoken of as "the Divine Carpenter. but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart." but there is absolutely not a his father shred of evidence to bear out this assumpUnless as a child he played at carpentering in his father's workshop. . To which swer * ' : the youthful mystic made anHow is it that ye sought me ? Wist ye not that I must be about business ? my Father's And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. Jesus never did use tools. The writers of the gospels are silent as to this part of Jesus' life because they did not know tion." (Luke II 4852) From we find this period until the moment when him with John upon the muddy banks of the Jordan some eighteen years the canonical history of Jesus is a blank.
either because of his mother's conviction that he was divinely called. or perhaps because of some more powerful pressure. but.JESUS OF NAZAKETH 93 anything about it. quickly assimilating all the truths unfolded to him. would lie in- evitably have fact that. the most crucial period of his development. but to have begun work as a comparative stranger. ences at Jerusalem. Many modern authorhave it that Jesus was sent to be educated by the Essenes. he appears not to have been known to the neighbour folk. Jesus was sent to the Monastery of the Essenes at Engaddi near the Dead Sea. he rose so rapidly . If we needin the ed corroboration of this. it would when at the opening of his ministry he began to teach in his native regions of Galilee. some record of this. They did not know anything about it because he was not at home. but there exist ancient esoteric traditions which furnish ities some missing links. The gospel record is a blank. He entered this community as a neophite. Had he been. but this is only a part After the illuminating experi- of the truth. come down to us.
he turned from wandering .94 THE LIGHT OF MEN through the grades of initiation that he soon became a Master there. which cannot be summed up nor estimated. After sojourning some years among the Essenes. asserted by theologians that Jesus was an uneducated man. the young Master passed on eastward to other. wisdom. more profound. Life was an open book to him. ever growing in grace and wisdom. and the inward light irradiated the outward. He held the secrets of creation. prompted by an inward leading. Those sages to whom he . It has been. of meditation. To the sum of human knowledge he added superhuman knowledge. preservation. he could impart the pure stream of Life. centres of esoteric learning and wherever he went the taught quickly became the teacher. power were his. and constantly is. The fact is that Jesus knew everything. but the foregoing confutes this. in the hollow of his hand. Knowledge. drawn directly from eternal sources. dissolution. Yet when. of high communings. went could impart the knowledge of hidden mysteries acquired through long years of devoted study.
form an yet one may hazard a reverent conjecture. After this great spiritual shock. it was inevitable that the soul should seek remotest solitude should be driven far from the vibrations. The heavens The down-rushing literally were opened. had not wholly found himself as Jesus.JESUS OF NAZARETH 95 in far lands to inaugurate his ministry in his own Palestine. glory and the up-rushing glory intermingled. The human knew itself utter- ly divine. the Christ. the jar and fret of the discordant . Jesus. the man. This was reserved for the mystical experience which followed upon his baptism at the hands of John. this illumination as to his real nature. and spirit met Spirit with a sense of union and a joy scarcely conceivable to us who have not experienced it. It would seem that in the burning dazzle of that supreme moment the last impeding thread of the web was dissolved. What was the nature of this chrism? to Perhaps we are not competent adequate concept of it. were fused and at one and knew themselves as one.
There could be no mortal weakness of the sort which we know but that. and we read. above even vegetation perhaps. In some lofty retreat above the . haunts of men. poorer humanity. Light should be tempted in the same manner as we. between the limited ." (Matt IV-1) There are plenty of wildernesses in Judaea grim mountain fastnesses and desolate uplands. with nothing over him but illimitable space the unveiled. but was a test subjective." These forty days with his were probably passed largely in trance. fought out in the realm of the Supraliminal. parching sun by day. personal human element and the unlimited . the pavilion of the stars by night. only and he not the occultist may appreciate It is not to be believed that a Lord of fully.96 THE LIGHT OP MEN to polarise itself with Eternal Real- world ity . or in a superconscious state. Jesus spent forty days in the mystic conflict known to us as "being tempted of the devil. "Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness. That this "temptation" was not of a material order. own spirit. face to face . are tempted.
because of that very transcendence a certain terrible struggle passed is clear. the supreme relation between God and man. not to one people. a nobler empire than the world had ever seen. not one of even the noblest worldly state. He was the Consciousness of limitless power was his. But then that rending. and. Messiah. Dreams of stupen- dous dominion swept over him. . He could consolidate a civilisation which should be far-reaching in its influences.JESUS OF NAZARETH 97 divine Spirit perhaps indeed. lead them through it triumphantly to a new empire an empire as wise as it should be strong." lift them out of their bonds of servitude. He might manifest himself as the expected temporal deliverer of "the chosen people. No. Let the dream pass. passionate cry of the human that cry which was engraved upon his race heart ? But then that mystic message of liberation which he bore. but His message he had incarnated to deliver to all peoples? the message was one of Spiritual dominion. it could not be. kindling by virtue of that power a mighty social conflagration.
regnant poise and purpose which could never be shaken possessed him." The conflict over. that is. for in accepting his mission man. until all men should be " through Christ made free. Ethereal harmonies swept his spirit. ineffable peace and joy enfolded him. for time for all time. the final . the Christ. identified himself all with the travail of humanity." for the realm of the Limitless is full of incorporeal A presences ready to strengthen and cherish every soul who will in trust absolutely sur9 render to them. ignominy and agony. This is but a meagre expression of the sacrificial nature to of such decision. Jesus. the seeming failure. the swift popularity. the excitement.98 THE LIGHT OF MEN Then unrolled before him the pageant of his brief earthly career . all was reviewed and promptly and lovingly accepted. the joy and the acclama- tions of the multitude. then the waning of that popularity under the spell of sacerdotal jealousy and hatred the labour. " Angels came and ministered unto him . the misunderstanding. Jesus was then ready to inaugurate his .
one was the keeper of a public house. Some were fishermen. receptivity. others artisans. and from the is significant men were selected exclucommon people. some husbandmen. He knew he could not touch those hide-bound in preju- . their very simchildlike plicity. of their responsibilities to others. Jesus did not seek out the learned and high-caste in the land.JESUS OF NAZARETH the Sea of Galilee. simple and unlearned men. and absence of dogmatic prejudices rendering them suitable vehicles into which he might pour the inspiration of his divine genius. 99 ministry in his native regions round about "And Spirit into Galilee: Jesus returned in the power of the and there went out a all fame of him through about." (Luke the region round IV 14) to gather His his first move was about him a small group of chosen that these twelve sively men as a nucleus for it new propaganda. He knew that the Sacerdotal party were filled with an inordinate sense of their own importance rather than the importance They were all doubtless of high character .
the and he turned him to " common who people." "And Jesus went about all Galilee. And his fame went throughout all Syria. and those which were possessed with devils. but soon followed by an ever-increasing throng of wondering folk. teaching in their synagogues. and preaching the gospel of the kingdom. and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments." (Matt. and he healed them. and Jerusalem. and those that had the palsy.100 dice THE LIGHT OF MEN and self-esteem. and healing all manner of disease among the people. and Judaea and from beyond Jordan. " heard him gladly. the Master "went about doing good." Companioned by these first disciples. And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee. drawn to him to listen to those words so charged with spiritual power or to be healed of their bodily infirmities. IV is 23-25) nothing more conspicuous or appealing to us than the essential humanness There ." the multitude. and Decapolis. and those which were lunatic.
lived a an ascetic like no philosopher in the He was not John." (Matt. Behold a gluttonous man and a wine . His life was a social life. For all suffer- ing creatures he entertained unbounded compassion for all souls travailing in darkness. The Son of man came eating and drinking. We have mourned unto you and ye have not lamented for John came neither eating nor drinking. an unbounded These qualities love. He man among men. The XI 16-19) relations of Jesus to his fellow-men spirit of sweet were characterised by a and intimate comradeship. and ye say. 101 He was Agora no . to them a new inspiration. He as it were embraced life with both arms. and infusing He himself has replied to his critics : "Whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets and calling unto their fellows and saying. recluse in the desert. . He hath a devil. poignant tenderness and sympathy this were .JESUS OF NAZARETH of Jesus. bibber. sharing in- their every-day experiences. We have piped unto you and ye have not danced. and ye say.
born of the inspiration of his perfect man- him a hood." And again : (Matt. he rebuked them. in Men reposed confidence. XIX 14) "Take heed these little that ye despise not one of heaven face of ones. Little children joyfully to him. and . an entire faith and trust." 10) His rare sensibility ren- dered him peculiarly sympathetic with. for I say unto you that in their angels do always behold the my (Matt. and their elders would have pushed them back. For all he had a gracious word to everyone the touchstones hearts. came naturally and and he gathered them in his arms and blessed them. saying "Suffer little children to come unto me. Upon one occasion when the children seemed to crowd too close about him.102 THE LIGHT OF MEN by which he opened all Almost constantly he was surrounded by throngs of people into whose simple joys he entered and whose woes he alleviated. and forbid them not. . for of such is the king: dom of heaven. XVIII Father which is in heaven. he turned a sympathetic ear.
dried them with her hair. as he sat at meat in a Pharisee s house.JESUS OF NAZARETH 103 appreciative of. addressing the woman. bearing a box of precious ointment in her hands. Once. washed his feet with her tears. and. but Jesus rebuked him through a parable. In one place rendered him lovwe read recorded the names of some who "ministered unto him of their substance. and lastly anointed them with the ointment. ing service. The Pharisee wondered scornfully that he should permit this contaminating touch. and. For frailty he had a God-like pity and forgiveness. Numbers of women followed him from place to place." . and stand? ing at his feet weeping. said. women. "Her sins which are many are forgiven. there came thither a woman of the street. a courtesan. The sisters of Lazarus were his cherished friends. for she loved much. to his gracious acceptance." mother knew him (Luke VIII 3) His the only one of his family who his true nature and who believed on seems to have been constantly of his company.
When Jesus had lifted himself up. And Jesus said unto her." Oh significant judgment. let him first cast a stone at her. ! man taken in adultery to snare go and sin no more. and Jesus was left alone. Woman. Lord." (John VIII 9) Very early in his career we find Jesus mingling familiarly and genially in the cele- . desired that he should render the judgment of the Law that she be stoned to death. worthy to be taken to heart by every man today " And they which heard it. wishing him. Neither do I condemn thee: . and the woman standing in the midst.104 THE LIGHT OF MEN later it (Luke VII 47) And it is significant that was vouchsafed to this same woman wo- to be the first to greet her risen Lord. and saw none but the woman. he said unto her. At another time they brought to him a and. went out one by one. beginning at the eldest. even unto the last. No man. being convicted by their own conscience. where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee ? She said. Jesus' reply was: "He that is without sin among you.
And so. over the rugged hills of Palestine. and more than once he entered the temple at Jerusalem. Now he is preaching upon a mountain side. address that he may command perspective to the great numbers who flock to hear him. but some- we find him in the local synagogues. through desert up- lands from valley to valley. from village to . among . In two instances we know that his compassion for the material needs of his following induced him to exercise his spiritual powers to supply them with food. fertile lowlands. holding great multitudes breathless in the spell of ined eloquence. At another time he offends the Pharisaical sense of propriety by dining with publicans and sinners. For the most part was passed in the open.JESUS OF NAZARETH 105 bration of a marriage feast. at others he fields of his life with them through whispering bearded grain. Sometimes he rests with the twelve peacestrolls fully within silvery olive groves. breathing there words of fiery times power. Again we find in a boat pushed a little an unimaghim sitting way from the shore.
wandered. the Master ing. afar off. and that we have but to reach forth with the selfless trust of little children to find Him. one family. That He is the supreme and tender Father. glad tidings of great joy. austere deity. comforting. teaching. of His substance." are . if we can only rise to the realisation of such truth and claim our her. healing.106 village. but a very ImYea. to sacrifice. through Him. THE LIGHT OF MEN from house to house gentle feet. even as God is Spirit. inspirAnd wherever he went he preached the new evangel the that God is not an be placated with manent Presence. in Him. one great brotherhood and that. and retire into some silent. secluded spot. with a beneficent pres- ence. itage. We read how Jesus was wont often to withdraw himself from all companions. He "went apart to pray. there to spend the night rapt in meditation and communion. so are we spirit of Him. that He is Unspeakable Love. and that all peoples are his children.
upon the human side. but something beyond either. the closing of the senses to outward impressions. permitting us to pass For coninto the higher consciousness. but. must . For it is ward calm that there come high moments when the spirit surrenders itself to the Mystery. Even so we.JESUS OF NAZARETH the recorded words. nor does pure consciousness supervene until sensation and thought are stilled. sciousness is not sensation nor definite thought. it could suffer a certain laceration. Our ordinarv life in the world is as if one . 107 tude lie In silence and in solidrank at the ineffable Springs of Being. The inhibition of active thought. This withdrawal of the spirit from activity was in a sense a necessity for its renewal and refreshment not that the spiritual consciousness could ever fail. withdraw into silence and solitude and comonly in perfect in- mune alone. would we preserve and nourish the Inspiration at the heart of us. is corollary with the flinging open of the doors to the subjective world.
For him too prayer did the striving of a not mean supplication still . there could indeed arise no barriers. The windows to the street must first be closed. small voice that God can be heard speaking to us. and. could not hear the music for the uproar. but the uproar of the world could not fail to be a more or less disturbing element. upon the other side. For him. set We barriers between the planes of consciousness. the perfect one. but in the . For it is not in the whirlwind nor the tempest. receptivity.108 THE LIGHT OF MEN should sit habitually in a room upon one side of which there are windows open to a noisy city thoroughfare. a door into an inner chamber wherein beautiful music is being played. and shut out the finer harmonies up great . the barriers are like to grow ever until we cease to catch even the echoes of the music. with its trivial pursuits and sordid aims. and if we do not often withdraw ourselves and surrender the spirit in utter stillness and more adamantine. The coarser vibrations of the material world. nor the fire not in turmoil or excitement.
they fell on their face and : . his brother. and bringeth them up into an high mountain 10 apart. This is my beloved son. and behold a voice out of the cloud which said. hear ye him. Lord it is good for us to be here if thou wilt.JESUS OF NAZARETH hope 109 as with us. one for thee. let us make here three tabernacles. And when the disciples heard it. He had but to put a touch upon the avenues of sense to find himself at once and wholly within the inward world. and his raiment was : white as the light. one for Moses and one for Elias. And behold there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. James. and John. "And after six days Jesus taketh Peter. behold a bright cloud overshadowed them. While he yet spake. and was transfigured before them And his face 11 did shine as the sun. in that illimitable suffusion of spirit for which one finds no name. Upon one momentous occasion when he went apart Jesus took with him his three favorite companions that he might make to them a revelation of his being. Then answered Peter and said unto Jesus.
lived for us. died for us which unendingly counts. the Christ. who might apprehend it. as that Jesus. the man. XVII 1-8) In these few verses is recorded. almost baldly. mystical and wonderful happening in the Master's life upon earth. consciousness of the channels to the Infinite Source and in the apocalypse of the trans. and be not they had lifted up their were sore afraid. It has been customary for Christian theology to focus upon the crucifixion as the crux of the history of Jesus. And when eyes they saw no man save Jesus only. the mystery of union with the Divine. Jesus." (Matt. figuration in his own person he exemplified to a chosen few. that he as- human own person the burden of the and forever broke its fetters. by living. the most profound.110 THE LIGHT OF MEN And Jesus came and said. touched them. Arise. opened anew for men the sumed in his race. but does this crux not lie rather in the transfiguration? It is not so much that Jesus. and afraid. not only .
language is beggared." No man has ever really looked upon the sun itself. No of light circles . "His face did shine as the sun. . Worlds upon worlds . scintillating refulgence. Even upon this envelope the not steadily gaze without human searing eye may itself. What we behold and call the sun is but the radiation the luminous in which Central Solar Core the envelope shrouds Itself.JESUS OF NAZARETH 111 as a possibility for himself. It is difficult to translate a stupendous ab- straction into the concrete terms of sense. illimit- able. inconceivable. but as an eventuality for the whole evolving race. upon circles of glory . sense to the Supraliminal regions flooded with the unearthly and ineffable subjective light. but finally the sun remains a mystery. yet observe the connotation. doubt Jesus threw the disciples into trance. or inward. and opened the eyes of their subtle. for who may adequately interpret the unspeak- able? Symbols fail. Science postulates the sun as an incandescent body.
the Supreme Effluence pouring through his person shown forth as Light of the Ever-living Son of the EverLight ! . this unimpedlight ed interplay of spirit." (Matt. they fell upon their faces and were sore afraid. "As they came down from the mountain living Jesus charged them. until the Son of Man be risen again from the dead. God! No wonder that the disciples were dazzled. blinded. light light a very sublimation of light everywhere And in this fiery glory. XVII 9) but it is evident that the disciples were too stunned by the magnitude of their vision to grasp its entire significance. the Master swept up. in trembling awe. which (unless by supreme 12 privilege) no man can look upon and live. overwhelmed. clothed with dazzling majesty and power. saying. No wonder that. That only came later. Tell the vision to no man.112 THE LIGHT OF MEN incommunicable splendour. They had looked upon That. when full spritual consciousness had descended upon them. suffused. .
JESUS OF NAZARETH 113 In the hour of the transfiguration the earthly career of the Master may be said to have reached its zenith. by his immense and swift popularity. their Yet for a long time they did not see against him. Therefore he abstained somewhat from the way to make headway . He realised that his time was short. the inevitable storm clouds gathered. and the great spiritual hold which he seemed to have gained over the people. Already. which seemed to be sweeping the land like a tidal wave. and events hastened to their tragic conclusion. Jesus also on his part began to change his methods. but the superhuman phenomenon of the raising. after entombment. From this time forward the skies grew darker above him. and that he must concentrate upon those things which he desired most to unfold. of the dead Lazarus pushed their excitement and rancour to the highest pitch. the astounding cures which he had made. They feared for their own ascendency before the fluent power of this dangerous young reformer. he had incurred the jealousy and enmity of the sacerdotal party.
Jeremias or one of the prophets. the Son of man. art the Christ. Simon Barjona for flesh and blood have not revealed it unto thee. Thou but my Father XVI 13-17) Master which is in heaven. . Wonderful words in these days spake the to his followers. the : .114 THE LIGHT OF MEN phenomena which had occupied so large a part of his efforts. am?" and they had answered. who had Already he had questioned the twelve: do men say that I. it was his mission to establish. "Some say that thou art John the Baptist some. discourses of such . ultimately. and devoted himself more exclusively to inculcating those principles of life which. Also he declared himself his not only to the immediate disreal person ciples but to the world at large. : Son of the Living God. that they ears to hear might recognise the true meaning of his personality and its relation to the lives of men. Elias and others. He said unto them: But who say ye that I am ? And Simon Peter answered and said "Who . And Jesus answered and said unto him Blessed art thou." (Matt.
As for instance when he speaks of his body as "this temple.JESUS OP NAZARETH 115 eloquence. fact is that they understood mentally were not quite ready. which. They fully grasp his meanings is evident. interpretation beginning to do so better than. That the disciples did not at the time The more than they could assimilate spiritually. or the coming of the Christ-consciousness into a human soul. Again . make the immediate appeal. although we are in us. has generally been done. rises into the higher regions of pure spirit. the cloudy imagery is intended to shadow forth the new birth. The message was too stupendous for them. Therefore it is that in general he clothed his teaching in hyperbole. veiling himself in figures and symbols which. that they move the deepest spiritual emotion Even now." In such passages as that in Matthew XXIV 2931. such sublime beauty and power. to the Oriental mind. since the end of the second century. with two milleniums of (much of it how false!) upon them. we can scarcely extract the utter kernel of the esoteric meaning. through conflict and tumult.
as XXV symbolising the reaping of the sowing of man's objective life. Jesus uses the simile of sheep and goats to express the higher and lower qualities in man the latter eventually to be outworn. cast off.116 THE LIGHT OF MEN such a portentous passage as Matthew 31-36 must be construed hyperbolically. the Master began to turn his steps southward to fulfil it. and From the tranquil hills of Galilee. and where a great part of his work was done. and goest thou thither again?" (John thereupon unfolds to them the XI 8) Jesus courses of his destiny. sive incarnations. . Our Lord of Light knew well that there is no place or condition of eternal torment. the Jews of late sought to stone thee. and consumed as dross. with the burden of his destiny upon him. where he loved to linger. eventually to purify 13 to perfect themselves. through succes. the former to enter (to "inherit") the kingdom prepared for the purified soul. but that all souls are permitted. "Master. His dis- ciples sought to dissuade him.
XX "Then had he so willed. or even retired with his disciples to some secluded spot over the Syrian border. which is called Didymus. and to crucify him: and the third day he shall 18-19) said Thomas. and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests. and they shall condemn him to death. that during that forty days' conflict in the wilderness he had once and forever re- nounced the employment of these for his own personal advantage." (John XI 16) rise again. Let us go also. It would have been a simescaped his to use ple thing mighty thaumaturgic Jesus. power for his own protection and for the confusion of his enemies but we remember ." (Matt. that we may die with him.JESUS OF NAZARETH 117 "Behold we go up to Jerusalem. and to scourge. he could have lived out a life of peaceful spiritual ministry without attracting overt attention or molestation from the . Again. and shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock. could easily have his fate. if he had remained quietly in some corner of these fair upper lands. and unto the scribes. unto his fellow disciples.
unto the Mount of Olives. "The Son of Man came not to be min- istered unto but to minister. and were come to Bethpage. then sent Jesus two disciples." (Matt. Must not the Messias the Deliverer ride triumphing into the city of his kingdom? Every Jew expected this. but in this case his message could not have received its final. treachery First comes the thrilling narrative of the raising of Lazarus at Bethany. its conse- crating crown. Thereit was that he turned his steps once more toward that seething sea of hostility and fore Jerusalem.118 THE LIGHT OF MEN authorities. saying. and to give his life as a ransom for many. and a little later the triumphal entry into Jerusalem. 28) Jesus knew that for the full fruition of XX the seed which he had been planting the law must be allowed to take its course. for there must surely be a triumphal entry. and straightway ye shall find an ass tied and a colt with her loose them and : . "And when they were come nigh unto Jerusalem. Go into the village over against you.
The cabal . into Jerusalem. Hosanna to the son of David! Blessed is he Hothat cometh in the name of the Lord sanna in the highest! And when he was ! come saying. this is of Galilee. 1-11) triumph of a sublime Deliverer Jesus the prophet of Nazareth XXI Oh sublime ! beautiful. and put on them their and they set him thereon. all the city was moved. . and the colt." (Matt. supreme! of humility. is this? And the multitude Who said. And the multitudes that went before. . touching. and brought . and strewed them in the way. the ass clothes.JESUS OF NAZARETH 119 bring them unto me. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way. surrender. ye shall say. and the multitudes that followed cried. did as Jesus commanded them. saying. . and purest abnegation! the spiritual triumph Even now the enemies the of Jesus did not for time being molest him. And if any man say aught to you. The Lord hath need of them and straightway he will send And the disciples went and them. others cut down branches from the trees.
120 THE LIGHT OF MEN against him in the sacerdotal party was for the moment arrested by the rekindled enthusiasm of the people. "Never man spake like this * ' man. but the wonder of his speech disarmed them. yet hesitated as to the method." More than once we read how. Jesus escaped mysteriously out of their midst. Also John 39) 14 Yet Jesus had thrown down the gauntlet to them without in the hollow of their hands. X ." Now it would seem as if his enemies held him but no man laid hold on him. for his hour was not yet come. when hemmed about by the infuriated mob. so that they returned empty handed. At one time they sent certain Pharisees to entangle him in his talk. but the subtle simplicity of his answers put them to confusion. and told the chief priests. ' ' (Matt. XXT 46) this Long before the Sanhedrim had decreed his downfall. " At another time officers were sent to apprehend him. "When they sought to lay hands on him they feared the people. (See John VIII 59. so that "no man was able to answer him a word.
" . The last days of the Master were spent in instructions to his disciples . It required the consummate treachery of one of his trusted one of those nearest to him to betray ones him into the hands of his enemies. Many of their religious observances he had set at naught. and. and . they did not take him.JESUS OF NAZARETH disguise. boldly entering the temple. he overthrew the tables of those who commercialised the holy places. while in scathing diatribes he arraigned the hypocrisy. He had transgressed the law the law which in their eyes was more immutable than even the Solar system itself. avarice. who permitted all these scandals to be "because his hour was not yet come. 121 From the beginning lie had opposed formalism of all sorts. exalted mystical expositions to the chosen few who were pres- ently to be hated of all men for his sake. and thereby incurred the bitter hatred of the priesthood and chief Jews. many of their conventions he had deliberately broken. Now he adopted overt measures. and false pride of the Scribes and Pharisees yet.
122 THE LIGHT OF MEN whose privilege it was to carry on into the dim and troubled future the tradition of his kingdom. Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the Passover? And he said go into the city to such a man. and say unto him. It was as if the Master strove to condense . the last gathering with the "Now the first day of the feast of unleav- ened bread the disciples came to Jesus. to render them so rich in substance that. Mystics of all time have thus been wont to share their simple food. in the memories and consciousness of those who listened to him. The . sacredly wonderful were those last hours together. the Master saith. The custom of sacred communal meals is a very ancient one." (Matt. My time is at hand I will keep the Passover at thy house with my disciples. XXVI 17) Very wonderful very solemnly. . into them the to final essence of his spiritual man. saying unto him. they would ever shine like fixed stars. And then came twelve. message consecrating it by solemn formulae.
but is well known to all mystic Initiates. It not generally understood." (Matt. they will awaken in the vast spaces of ' ' ' ' the unseen answering rhythms of far-reach- ing potency. that there exist 15 That is.JESUS OF NAZARETH 123 6-30) or singing of hymns (cf. down 16 mighty spiritual potential around attract. there am I in the midst of them. when chaunted with spiritual fervour and intensity by a number of voices. that certain sounds special arrangements of vowels and consonants in conjunction have great occult with certain rhythms power. and that. XVIII 20) In using the term "I" Jesus speaks in the cosmic . such things as words of power. This is what Jesus meant when he said. of sonorous chaunts were a feature of these repasts. always us. and lifts quickens them out of themselves into states of higher consciousness. They stir. is XXVI and had an occult significance. "Where two or three are gath- ered together in my name. and bring ity. but not always in activupon the celebrants as it effluence which with them inspiration. Matt. They pour were a stream of spiritual vibrations.
and gave it to them. "And as they were eating. Jesus took bread. them oppressed and overthe Master knowthe immediate and imminent reaing clearly son. Take. even in his aspect of a Christ. In their outward aspect these sacramental meals. all of strained. and blessed it and brake it. eat: this is my body. . with which he was one. and gave to the disciples. John 114. the unity of all men and it was doubtless in this spirit that Jesus sat down with fied . one other who the traitor was Yes.) typibrotherhood.) ' ' the cup and gave thanks. would specifically be there. but only one about to betray him. but that the stupendous potencies of Immanent Spirit. and " And he took among us. He did not mean that he. XXVI 26) (Compare with. the twelve. dwelt "And the Word was made flesh.124 THE LIGHT OF MEN or universal sense. the sharing of the common good. would overshadow and inspire them. the personal Jesus. or lovefeasts as they have often been called. ("Holy banquets" is Philo's name for them." (Matt. and said.
" (John VI 48-50) "If any man eat of this bread he shall live forever. its bread and is wine and its terminology. "I (the Spirit) am that bread of Your fathers did eat manna in the wilder- This is the bread which cometh down from heaven. They were to "eat of his flesh." (Matt. for this is my blood of the new testament (covenant) which shed for many. sciousness of the mystery of Son-ship. .JESUS OF NAZAKETH 125 saying. and of the Immanence of Spirit in man as well as in him. Jesus utilised the ancient ceremonies of the Paschal feast. Drink ye all of it. to illustrate the inner significance of his own mission to man. and the bread that I will give is my which I will give for the life of the i. The disciples were to become partakers with him in this knowledge. that a man may eat thereof and not die. XXVI 27-28) The events of the Last Supper embody a profound symbology. an almost inexpressible abstraction. ness and are dead." Through the re- spiritual grace" they ception and quickening of an "inward and were to enter into conlife.
" is to and to "eat and drink of * ' be touched by that Spirit. all "Jesus knowing that the Father had given things into his hands. so. the vital elements are absorbed to the growth and strengthening of the material body.126 THE LIGHT OF MEN VI of world. and went to God he riseth : ." is to absorb. to drinketh my . The supper over." (John blood dwelleth in me and I in VI 56) The Christ-substance is the "living manna. and. Jesus gave his disciples an example in humility and brotherhood. to eat of Christ's "body. that Spirit of which he was the incarnate expression in other words. and that he was come from God. even as of the material food which we eat. become transformed born regenerated anew. to become saturated with. read substance) is Son Man and the fire of the Living Spirit: it." (John flesh of the 51) "Except ye eat the drink his blood. He that eateth my flesh and him. And this transformation is simply an expansion of consciousness." as well as the "wine of God"." to drink of his "blood. 17 in have no life ye you." (John VI 53) For "the Lord's body" (for body.
and must be. And could Love breathe a diviner benediction? "Peace I leave with you. and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. demonstrating to them in his own person that service to man con- and cannot derogate. and that pure love is. "If I then. my peace I give . verily I say unto you. In the gospel of John there are five chapters of unapproachable beauty devoted to them. Verily. and took a towel and girded himself. that ye should do as I have done to you. your Lord and Master. the servant is not greater than his lord neither is he that is sent greater than he that sent ." (John XIII 14-16) Memorable words spake Jesus to the eleven on that parting night." (John XIII 3-5) From one astonished and reluctant follower to another went the Master in his lowly task. After that he poureth water into a basin. ye ought also to wash one another's feet. ancillary.JESUS OF NAZARETH 127 from supper and laid aside his garments. him. have washed your feet. and began to wash the disciples' feet. For I have given you an exsecrates ample.
the haling before the Roman govering midnight .128 THE LIGHT OF MEN : unto you not as the world giveth give I unto you. he says to them. the flare of torches. and. the dragging into the presence of his priestly accusers. The Master 's earthly ministry was concluded. XXVI hours. hoarse cries. nor him willingly have released the condemnation to death. ' ' ' ' "And when they had sung an hymn they went out into the Mount of Olives/' (Matt. Arise. let us go hence. Event follows event with overwhelming rapidity. who would . the traitor approaching to betray his Lord. in this lurid uproar. the crowning with thorns then the drag. The scenes in the sacred tragedy now hasten to its close. the scourging. The seizure. No longer he tarried. Let not your heart be troubled. neither let it be afraid/' (John XIV 27) The dark hour was at hand. 18 30) to pass the heavy intervening Into the silence and darkness of the broodis projected the tumult of an approaching multitude trampling of many feet. clanking of mail.
one does not willingly linger over his Lord of Light shed mortal sheath and resumed spiritual freedom was characterised by tremendous cosmic and psychic disturbances. "Now from the sixth hour there was dark- . Even so must there come a cyclic shock at the passing of an Avatar from the earth-plane. Ominous storm-clouds gathered. and a weird. fainting beneath the weight of his own gallows. last. the taunts. the curses. lurid. he staggering. and even so it is recorded. We have already noted that the entrance an Avatar sets these harrowing scenes. pile on pile. amid the insults.JESUS OF NAZARETH 129 19 non-resistent ging of the Divine Man through the streets like a criminal. the revilings of the surging fickle mob that mob which only a few days before had been screaming itself hoarse with hosanand the supreme nas. and. The sun became obscured. greenish gloom pervaded the atmosphere. Golgotha the for catastrophe! Except purgation of one 's soul. The hour in which our into the earth-plane of up throughout the Cosmos a stupendous sympathetic vibration.
in consonance. far-rolling sinister of wind Shrill. in direst panic. Father. reverberating thunder-peals. fissures yawned suddenly in the ground. "And when voice. mend Jesus had cried with a loud he said." (Luke XXIII 20 46) At the same moment. men fled all ways at once. arose." (Matt. and shrieking winds. great rocks were torn from their bases. and died away into a boding breathlessness. heaved and shuddered. And the earth. Nature seemed holding herself for a moment in hideous and portentous . into thy hands I commy spirit: and having thus said he gave up the ghost.130 THE LIGHT OF MEN XXVII 45) Heavy thunder-mutter- ness over all the land unto the ninth hour. the most baleful tempest ever known broke over the land. while. ings were heard then nearer. Birds fled in frightened flocks to shelter cattle huddled together in their byres. shrieked gusts across the naked hills. syncope. shaken to her deeps by earthquake. Walls toppled. "And behold the vail of the temple was . in blinding flashes of livid lightning.
. or The astral body is physical body is shed. and many bodies of the saints which slept arose." (Matt.JESUS OF NAZARETH . The body in no more than the cold ashes upon your hearth. and the rocks rent. 131 rent in twain. but to the clairit 21 voyant vision appears the same. It is quite likely that these spirits often pervaded were not perceived. . . fire is not there. The dis- who ''appeared to many" were and appeared not in their material forms but in their astral bodies the envelope in which the spirit remains clothed for some time after the dense. and appeared to many. the embodied spirits. but ness of crucifixion doubtless quickened the sensitivemany persons who were not ordinari- . the exact counterpart of the dense body. The intense elemental disturbances attending the this locality. only more ethereal in substance . graves were opened." (Matt. . XXVII 51) And the Strange apparitions were seen. and the earth did quake. and came out of the ' ' graves. . This XXVII 52-53) is not strictly is the grave ''saints" literal.
So.132 THE LIGHT OF MEN and rendered them for the nonce ily psychic. then. and shall teach men so. Cherishing hands took down the inanimate body from its bloody tree. "Whosoever therefore shall break one of the least of these commandments. adding thereto the final commentary. he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven (of the Spirit) but whosoever shall do and teach them. wrapped it in a linen garment. so that they were able to perceive these appearances. and with lacerated hearts. the same shall . amid tumults and portents. for he taught them as one hav- ing authority and not as the scribes. VII 28) Many precepts for conduct he gave them. the curtain upon the sacred drama. clairvoyant. sorrowing." (Matt. We read that the people who came to listen to the teaching of Jesus "were astonished at his doctrine. and laid it in a new rock-hewn sepulchre. . fell left there the mortal part of Jesus of Nazareth.
but that in no way affects the fundamental principle. even as the condition of a man 's optic nerve the amount which it is to perceive in no way which the sun is Those teachers of modern economics who advance the postulate that morals are the light enabled individually affects the flood of forever pouring forth. and also accompany spiritual enlightenment. man-made products principles of experience not fixed but fluctuant expediencies. Ethics underlie. Ethics are not per se religion.JESUS OF NAZARETH 133 be called great in the kingdom of heaven. fore-run. but they are religion translated into conduct. sibility toward God and toward his fellow man has varied from age to age. se. They are the stepping stones by which a man rises into his higher nature for virtue is a principle. . Man 's sense of his respon. 19) The ethics of Jesus are unequivocal." (Matt. and not a convention. They are an expression of those principles of ab- V stract virtue which we find rooted within all of the great religions which the world has ever known.
Ethics then are not crystallised social conventions. are stating only half of the smaller part the proposition. direction. will carry a high or a low standard of moral conduct.134 lected THE LIGHT OF MEN from age to age or race to race. nor regulations of temporary expediency. or a civilisation. or a community. "Judge not that ye be not judged. as gen- erally best adapted to a particular period. but the incentive. Our conduct may thus vary. They leave entirely out of account that vital something underlying ethics which has prompted their evolution viz. for with . the spiritual impulse first operating only as an instinct. . later evolving into conscious self. be spirtually developed or the reverse. in proportion as it Without man would . but are fixed principles founded upon the bed-rock of spiritual law and an individual. but would have remained a ravening beast. ciple this underlying prinnever have evolved any standard of conduct at all. Let us examine some of the precepts for conduct formulated by Jesus. the command to virtue is an abstraction which never varies.
" (Matt. . yea." (Matt." (John VII 24) "When thou doest alms. nay. and with what measure ye mete it shall be measured to you again. pluck it out." (Matt. ." (Mat." (Matt. away. and cast it from thee. for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil." (Matt.JESUS OF NAZARETH 135 what judgment ye judge. and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou . VII 5) "Judge not according to appearances. Let your communication be yea. V 42) "Lay not up for yourselves treasures up- . . VII 1) "First cast out the beam in thine own eye . and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. cut it off and cast it from thee. And if thy right hand offend thee (causeth thee to stumble). nay. swear not at all. V 34-37) "Give to him that asketh thee. let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth. VI 3) "If thy right eye offend thee (causeth thee to stumble). but judge righteous judgment. V 29-30) "I say unto you. ye shall be judged.
"(Matt." (Matt. "Take no thought for the morrow for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself." (Matt." (Matt. bless them that curse you." (John 27) it . but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life.136 THE LIGHT OP MEN on earth where moth and rust doth corrupt and where thieves break through and steal. 44) "Thou shalt love the Lord thy V God with all all thy heart. and pray for X them which despitefully use you and persecute you. and with all thy soul. For what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul ? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" kill the (Mark VIII 35-37) "Fear not them which are not able to kill body but the soul. VI 34) VI "Labour not for the meat which perisheth. do good to them that hate you. "Whosoever will save his life shall lose life but whosoever shall lose his for my sake and the gospel's. 28) "Love your enemies. VI 19) . and with . the same shall save it.
" (John XIII : 34) "If ye love me. no. and the effort seems scarcely worth The while. V 16) These are living principles. certainly not easy of attainment but then nothing worth the having is easy of attainment. wounded perhaps. At moments resolution flags. The feet become weary for a . . bour as thyself. .JESUS OP NAZAKETH . and it may be rocky and broken. (John XV 4) "Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven. that ye love one another as I have loved you that ' ye also love one another. not altogether easy of attainment. Have you ever climbed a great mountain? The upward path is difficult steep. XXII 37-39) "A new commandment I give unto you. a grand code man to live by. keep my commandments. but something urges one on. 137 Thou shalt love thy neighthy mind." (Matt." (Matt." (John XIV 15) " " Abide in me and I in you.
"Not that which goeth into the mouth de- . the word. cause the thought is father to the deed.138 THE LIGHT OF MEN But when the vision attained. the de. Even so the path of righteousness is a mountain climb and it is . The rarefied breezes sweep us refreshingly. what an uplift! We remember no is breath of the higher altitudes grips one. But our responsibilities do not end with outward conformity to the canon the debasing inward impulse must be stamped out be. For upon the mountain top desire becomes aspiration. Our eyes roam transported over an immenThe whole being dilates sity of perspective. sire. not the Master said : Hath to lust "Whosoever looketh on a woman after her hath committed adultery already with her in his heart"? (Matt. well worth while. The heart itself must be made pure the thought. with an exhilaration for which one finds no name. more the weariness in the joy of attainment. So 28) V with all the passions. when the summit breaks.
forthe mouth. and the flowers of grace droop it. We For if we indulge ! ourselves in cher- ishing the tiniest shoot. not in part. XV 11-20) can keep no compromise with ourselves. for then each will be false. that ye enter not into temptation. for either he will hate the one and love the other or else before .JESUS OF NAZARETH fileth 139 a man. We must be drastic in rooting out the weeds which poison our inward fragrance. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts. . And it is this spirit of compromise which puts in default so much of our effort. Jesus has pointed out to us very plainly that "no man can serve two masters. false witness. adulteries. "Those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart. lo in a little it again springs high." (Matt. and they defile a man. this defileth a nications. blasphemies." he admonishes us. "Watch and pray. murders. thefts." (Matt. These are the things which defile a man. XXVI 41) We must not vacillate between two allegiances. but absolutely. but that which cometh out of man.
let 17) him deny himself. ye know these things. Yet Jesus preached not so much abstinence as an elevated temasceticism is perance. a state of poise. The outward ." (John XIII happy "If any man will come after me.140 THE LIGHT OF MEN Ye he will hold to the one and despise the other." (Matt. cannot serve God and mammon." (Matt. XVI 24) he commands. not where the senses have to be fought with and subdued though that is a real enough preliminary but where they no longer hold training any seduction for us because of that wide horizon of the higher consciousness which opens before us. lure be- comes less and less real the inward promise . The self-indulgent can never find And the divine trail of the Master's footsteps. indispensable for the growth of the higher faculties. Impulses of the lower man drop away from us because they have lost their significance. 24) call of VI The our Master demands of those who would in any sense be his disciples both " If to know and to do. if are ye ye do them. this much is true a certain amount of .
higher faculties. finer perceptions. understand. The true disciple therefore is not conspicuously ascetic he is only superlatively simple. (Mark IY. Jesus taught extensively by means of ' l : alle- gories and parables. and. an enlarged manhood. By grander things. He says to the disUnto you it is given to know the mysciples tery of the Kingdom of God but unto them that are without. By this self-subdual then this do we climb." ' ' : (Matt. they hear not. all these things are done in parables that seeing they may see and not perceive and hearing they may hear and not : : . nobler aims. .JESUS OF NAZARETH 141 burns with a deeper and deeper brightness. and an discipline are we fitted for ever-widening and inspiring horizon of hu- man possibilities. see not. neither do they understand. observing everywhere a quiet and cheerful austerity. 11-12) And again " Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they. hearing. XIII 13) He clothed his deeper . seeing.
is man's Son it . . we find that beneath the obvious exoteric meaning there is a profounder esoteric significance. and that those capable of a mystical interpretation would find. In the allegory of the Prodigal the Ego's lower nature which. within the more obvious story. knowing that to the untrained mind such images appeal meaning in with a more vivid pertinence. turns at last to its onlv true soul. the vessel which he has brought may Superficially the parables seem very simple of interpretation. Each mind would draw from it the quality of lesson for which it was individually fit and prepared. played out in the depths of a . but each carries away only so much as contain. studied carefully. Thus do men go to the well to draw water. so that he who runs may read but. the kernel of mystery which he had placed there. wasted and starving through the satieties of the senses.142 THE LIGHT OF MEN figures of speech. Many of them are brief allegorical presentments of the relation of the lower self to the higher self and thus the drama is an interior one.
is ' ' .JESUS OF NAZARETH home 143 the higher Self. calling for recognition. "Ask. "The kingdom ' * of heaven is unto a net which a ' ' man took and cast in- to the sea. There are many figures relating to the kingdom of heaven. (He prepares a banquet. "The kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hid in three measures of meal.. etc. "The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking goodly pearls. And finally we are specifically told that "the kingdom of heaven within you. from within. found herself) and there are many more. and to the centre of being we must penetrate if we would find it." etc. rejoices over) the lower man with spiritual consciousness. or divine "Lightray..) All true enlightment comes from within.e. A similar interpretation may .) The Light-ray suffuses (i." etc. The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king who made a mar- riage for his son.e. be put upon the story of the woman who found a piece of silver (i." burning ever at the final centre of conThe Spirit is ever pressing sciousness. (The Father runs to meet him." like etc.
and ultimately the power of mystical union with the Supreme Source. but because in the inner- most centres of being there comes an indefinable moving by which absolutely we know. nor yet because of . we shall discover are all presenting one and the same idea spiritual finding. the persuasion of the individual experience of any other person. under many and is the varying similes.144 THE LIGHT OP MEN it . The kingdom of heaven is within us and it is the Light-Kingdom. if we look well. Again and again. and shall be given you : seek. in a multitude of forms. this is insisted upon of Jesus. and it shall be It is in the depths of our find opened unto you." and recognise Primal Truth not because of the authority of any written scripture. " own souls that we "the Indwelling Light. noumenon of the very teachings At the very outset we find it set forth in those marvellous Beatitudes. which. the greatness of this The aim of all spiritual teaching of all time being toward the end that the recipient shall develop in himself the consciousness of the Mystery within. and ye shall find knock. .
emphasising the necessity of unworldliness as a preliminary to any such de- velopment. with the higher. or material self -consciousness. The pursuit of material objects. . "He : opened his mouth and taught them. that we taste that pure joy which is blessedness. bring either real or permanent happiness. cannot. his initial discourse. Even as we grasp it. when we centre upon higher things. Its twin It is only pain: its aftermath is ashes. or immaterial self -consciousness which is in . like the irised foam of the sea. the gratification of all desires which are rooted in the senses. when we choose that " better part" which shall not be taken away from us.JESUS OF NAZARETH we naturally 145 find Jesus in this." The poor in spirit are those who have discarded the cravings of the world. is it melts beneath our touch. saying "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. and its attendant restlessness and discontents. This sense of freedom with regard to worldly things comes from transcending the lower. and never does.
yet we have not quite anchored to the spirit." or calm in a steadfast faith in the ruling of the Allpower. (Com'2 pare with Matt. which is within. but such as mourn in this manner shall be comforted by being shown the way of blessedness." with which we associate a certain servile. It would be better rendered as "calm. The things of the world do not satisfy. which is very far from the true meaning. Therefore the kingdom of heaven." This word has been badly translated as "meek. or even hypocritical connotation. mourn for they shall be comforted/' The immediate effect of detachment. and submission to the same. when acquire the sense of the vanity and intrinsic worthlessness of temporal things. for they shall inherit the earth. "Blessed are they that is theirs.146 THE LIGHT OF MEN turn the losing of the sense of separateness and the conciousness of the Unity and Oneness of all things. is a certain unfocussed sadness. XI 28-30) "Blessed are the meek. Those who have become detached from the world we .
"Blessed are the pure in heart. for they shall be filled/' "Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.JESUS OF NAZARETH . He who promotes . God will develop compassion into infinite love. "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness. self-seeking self no longer exists for them. 147 will naturally be humble for what to most of us is the personal." For "see" substitute "know." In such. strife forms. any To know God one must be God-like purified. for they shall see God. hatred." Harmony is the seal of the Law of love. the hall-mark of the passions seeking in all its selfenvy. Because they desire nothing. detached. all things shall be theirs. inharmony. uplifted." for those high perceptions by which spirit cognises Spirit are far beyond the concepts of sense. greed. "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God. which is the portal of the king- dom. discord.
" He who attempts to follow out the path of unworldliness will find himself very likely in opposition to many things convention. rather will he "rejoice and be exceeding glad. neighbours. or Sons of God. who will not . which leads into the kingdom. and therefore opening the gates of righteousness but the verse carries a more esoteric meaning.or sense-plane is thereby inaugurating social harmony. Although the carnal man be wounded. family. society at large. and in) peace of (or passeth understanding." for he will know that he is following the path . own bosoms and there establish spiritual harmony are flinging wide the gates to the kingdom. spare the lash of criticism but no man who has steadfastly fixed his mind upon the higher life will be deterred by these stings. . "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake. Those who subdue the discords within their .148 THE LIGHT OF MEN peace upon the earth. for theirs is the shall enter into the " God which kingdom of heaven." therefore shall they be called the children.
This god-consciousness is our portion. If we would have it reflect holy things images. . as many have . we must purge it of all ignoble it. Refor so joice and be exceeding glad. and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake. We must cleanse and exalt We must make of it a burnished surface which at last. 2-12) fore you/' (Matt. The kingdom of heaven V is within us . .JESUS OF NAZAKETH 149 "Blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute you. will reflect that Divinity . our heritage but to enter into it we shall have to come "clothed upon" with righteousness. and only so. . for. We already discovered. the shows. were bethe which prophets persecuted they . must don that mystic wedding garment that white samite spoken of in the parable of the soul that robe of glory. The Ego is a mirror which we keep clouded with our petty and ignoble aims. heaven is not a place. which is withheld from us so long as we remain contaminate with the lures. the shams of the material world. but a state of consciousness and this kingdom of beatitude is ours now.
Mystical Union might be illustrated by the simile of the water spout upon the sea. Exactly joy. creating centres of excitement which toss its surface into points of lifting waves. saturated with his love. inevitably drawn. could tially is.150 THE LIGHT OF MEN we but realise it. which. they and then fall back. always poten- Devotion and meditation are the paths which lead us to Spiritual Union. sweep on column of dynamic power. to attain this Self is forgotten in devotion. The hu- man lover. become one. No sacrifice seems too great. and does not really live excepting in those hours which he spends in the longed-for presence. lifts itself lifts itself. The . forgets all but the beloved. in a vaprous and the two. Drawn by its attraction up toward the point of downward-reaching cloud. so it becomes with the spiritual lover. The drooping cloud whirls and swirls over the static waters. no service is too exacting. until the point of water is caught by the point of cloud and sucked up into it. Preleap and surge sently comes a wave which lifts itself higher than the others.
JESUS OF NAZABETH
always circling above our
static lives, reaching
for points of con-
which we must make. The Divine Cominvites
not stoop below a certain
We are con!
strained, if we would unite with it, to lift ourlift ourselves, until lo selves to that level the lower touches the higher, and is caught
swept into the mighty rhythm of And the wonderful part of it all,
that the self finds that
it is still itself,
that that with which
none other than
an integer of the ALL.
When the disciples of John came to Jesus and asked him, "Art thou he that should come or do we look for another ? Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see. The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the
poor have the gospel preached
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He would seem to have ut(Matt. XI 3-5) tered these words as a conclusive proof of his
nomena which he adduces
claim to Messiahship; yet these very pheto convince have
increasingly proved stumbling blocks in the minds of the literal and materialistic, who
would bound their horizons by the very limited experience of the five senses. It has become the habit in this so-called
day of ours
to discredit the miracles
of Jesus, to relegate them to the domain of superstition or of fable, and to cast them out of account as something historically spurious. But what is a miracle? The official
definition of the dictionaries
an inmiracle implies the supernatural fringement or violation of natural law and this is the generally accepted point of view. But the word " miracle" is merely the Eng;
lish rendition of the
Greek word "simeion,"
The great prophets gave a sign, that the authority of their higher powers might be recognised. All basic law may be regarded as "an exertion of divine power;'* but in the majority
which means a
JESUS OF NAZARETH
we are used to these operations, and expect them. The supernatural ceases to be supernatural and becomes the natural when we understand, or partially understand it. Any phenomenon may therefore be regarded as a miracle before we have discovered, or
partially discovered, the laws which govern There it, and a fact after we have done so.
are miracles unfolding themselves daily
all about us, and we pass them There are no greater wonders than the rising and setting of the sun, Nature's sistole and diastole of day and night, and the
changes of the solar year; yet these things are no longer wonders to us because we have learned that they are contingent upon the revolution of the earth upon its axis and up-
around the sun.
stupendous procession of the stars, these illimitnightly unfolded before us? able streams of incalculable suns, each the centre of a vast system of its own; moving, ever majestically moving, through ungauged spans of space? Millions upon millions of
THE LIGHT OF MEN
tronomer and to the thinker alone these are profound wonders; to the multitude, mere pin-points of an experience too familiar and recurrent to command more than a transient
It is an axiom that the enigma of yesterday becomes the commonplace of today; a fact which the restrospect of a single century sufConsider alone the question fices to attest.
that superlative force the slightest unguarded contact with which will destroy the human organism, but which the of
not because he knows what genius of man it is, but because he has discovered some of the laws which govern it has harnessed to do his will in a variety of ways. Yet a century ago such possibilities of the power of an unknown fluid would not have been credited and two centuries ago a man who should have undertaken to demonstrate a tithe of them would, in many lands, have run good risk of perishing at the stake. Consider further this later marvel; that a man with a bit of machinery may throw his thought into the void of space, and hundreds of miles away it will
JESUS OF NAZARETH 155 be caught up by a similar bit of machinery and transmitted into a living message for some other man. In the discovery of radium this idea was conclusively proved. And this commonest of all common things. this universal thing since the Cosmos is composed of it this thing in which the soul . man is projected. Is not this literally a message from the unseen? But we happen to understand the mechanism. and by which the majority of men appear to be bound hand of and foot matter. Science arrived "behind the atom. some two hundred years ago." unchangeableness of the physical atom as an ultimate particle dominated physics until quite a re- massy. hard. and this concept of the More metaphysical minds howand it is not possible to exclude metahave entertained the physics from science cent date. defined matter as composed of "solid. impenetrable movable particles. immersed." and discovered that the . ever idea that matter might be indefinitely divisible. Can anyone elucidate the root-nature of matter ? Sir Isaac Newton.
now appears to be alive. filling all space. But all this indefinable something which fills all space. etc. and. science conceives of it farther as not matter at all but whirls or vortex-rings formed within that impalpable substance to which it gives the name of ether. Ether is postulated as a fluid. something else in short that it is from being fixed that it is practically protean. which inhere and heat. as the electron appears to be always in a high state of vibration. rarity. within exist the vibrations of light. . electricity and subtlety. and of the real nature of which material science offers no solution. of energy. and had hitherto been considered to be a medium for ' ' ' ' the transmission of light.156 THE LIGHT OF MEN is atom in fact continuously itself eously breaking itself into and spontanand transforming up . to be in fact a cosmic substance of infinite tenuity. The radium atom disintegrates into infinitesimal particles to which science has so far given the name of electrons. Matter thus resolves itself into forms of motion this is the position of mod- ern science. (and what more?) as forms .
JESUS OF NAZARETH 157 The physical atom is too infinitesimal to be cognised by any material means. less. and has Cannot science take one to be postulated. controls. laws. and postulate still more sublimated laws ? Will she not perhaps be compelled finally to recognise that matter is only one aspect of the outer world being but a reflecSpirit tion of the inner world and that there exists a continuous interplay and circuit of spiritual currents between the unseen and the seen. but as the over-operation of finer natural laws than any . step farther into more arcane regions. grosser. between the impalpable and the palpable. between the unsubstantial and the sub- laws within laws. and may be made to nullify the lower. forces within esoteric scientist is already aware that these things are so. or volves a gain in power. For the greater includes the We are not then to regard the miracles of Jesus as violations of natural law. and he further knows that every lift in sublimation instantial. forces? The and that therefore the higher and finer law transcends.
are able to exercise similar dominion over elemental forces. those spiritual teachings which he is about to pour into them. thus rendering them receptive to. 24 That Jesus regarded his own wonderworking as means to an end rather than an end in itself is evidenced by a passage in Matthew (IX 36) where after he had perthe feeding formed a prodigious miracle of four thousand persons "he was moved compassion for them. Masters of power. to the roots of phenomena. and preparing them to absorb. fainted. as sheep " It was to minister to no having shepherd. being. Nor are such phenomena confined to Avatars. by virtue of their adeptship. All Adepts. the first excite the awe. with .158 THE LIGHT OF MEN which science has yet cognised or formulated. is It has not peculiar to the formed a striking means by which he may feature in that of every Avatar. therefore lies in a larger science. The key to miracle. Wonder-working career of Jesus. and command the attention and faith of the masses. because they and were scattered abroad.
"Believe that I am in the me Father and the Father in me. Draw out now and bear unto the governour of the feast. Fill the apiece. waterpots with water." Evidently she was aware that he possessed super-normal powers. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that . the Jews. And they bare it. They have no wine. He exhorts men. or else believe for the very work's sake. and the supply had given out. And they filled them up to the brim. His mother came to him and said.JESUS OF NAZAKETH 159 souls rather than to bodies that he sought." (John XIV 11) first recorded miracle of Jesus seems have been purely an exhibition of supernatural powers. And he saith unto them. and exl ' pected him to do something. He was one of a number of The to guests at a wedding festival in the little village of Cana in Galilee. containing two or three firkins Jesus saith unto them. Not enough wine had been provided. calculated to excite amazement and awe. " And there were set there six waterpots of after the manner of the purifying of stone.
" (John II 6-11) How did Jesus change the character of the water so that it became wine? Following are some suggestions as to the principles which might have been employed 25 in this and kindred phenomena. then that which is worse but thou hast kept the good . certain combinations constituting one others. other forms of substance. Chemistry tells us that there exists a definnumber of chemical elements.160 THE LIGHT OF MEN was made wine. certain Every form is therefore. form of substance. of which in from the inert mindifferent combinations ite eral to the throbbing heart of man every object of the world (shall we say the universe?) is composed. wine until now. and knew not whence it was (but the servants which drew the water knew). and his disciples believed on him. a . the governour of the feast called the bridegroom. in its physical aspect. and manifested forth his glory. and saith unto him. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee. Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine. and when men have well drunk.
Furthermore special chemical processes can be made by a re-arrangement even of the same kind and number of atoms to produce things differing essentially in ' ' form and properties." that it is charged with uncomputable energy. change. but in essence they appear to be in27 destructible. separate. both latent and active we now know it to be a vast reservoir . the minute etheric "vortex-rings" earlier referred to are postulated as consti- . existing exhaustlessly within it. of every constituent necessary to organic life in any and every form. Furthermore all objects or bodies are ceaselessly throwing off infinitesimal particles of those elements of which they are composed. in the modern theory of substance. In fact. recombine into other forms. ' ' These rearrangements are known as isomer26 ic compounds. of which all objects in the world are composed.JESUS OF NAZAKETH 161 congeries of chemical atoms of sorts. These chemical elements. We have already seen that the living ether " literally ensouls matter. and quite as ceaselessly taking on fresh infinitestimal particles from the at- mosphere.
Jesus. the ical elements.162 THE LIGHT OF MEN chem- tuting. The body of the wine 28 being already supplied by the water which was in the jars. commanded from the circumambient atthat is. which was palpitant with them. he could cause those constituent elements of which bread and fish are respectively composed to rush in from their etheric reservoir. and by altering the rate of vibration of the etheric substance to that of dense substance. The same process might have been employed upon those two occasions when we are told that he fed vast multitudes from the small supply of two or three loaves of bread and several small fishes. As he broke pieces from the bread and from the fish. it would be transformed into physical (or atomic) . in differing combinations. This process he had the power to render instantaneous. those special elements into the water which would transform its substance into that other substance called wine. as it were. by a concentrated effort of will-power. forced mosphere. a burning volition. and fill the void.
Be of good cheer it is I be not afraid. . fish 163 Therefore. save me. saying. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea. Lord. he walked on the water to go to Jesus. and Jesus. came walking to them was broken across the water. walking on the sea. who had not accompanied them. But when he saw the wind boisterous. saying. if it be thou. And when Peter was come down out of the ship. neously one occasion the Upon disciples were crossing the lake of Galilee in a small ship. saying. he was afraid. and beginning to sink. bid me come unto thee on the water. "And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them. : . And immediately Jesus stretched forth his . And he said. And Peter answered him and said. they were troubled. It is a But spirit and they cried out for fear. as fast as a loaf or a it would become instantarenewed and made intact. Lord. he cried.JESUS OF NAZARETH matter. but had remained in retirement occupied with prayer and meditation. Come. straightway Jesus spake unto them.
and while he lay asleep a mighty storm arose. And he was in the hinder . and said unto him. XIV 25-31) There exist media in Nature not yet fathomed by science. and caught him. Peter did not trust. and the former can be made on occasion to transcend the latter. so that it was now full. "And there arose a great storm of wind. Some day we shall better understand its magnitude. All students of psychic phenomena are familiar with the action of this law in a small way. wherefore didst thou doubt?" (Matt. not to walk. thou of faith. He would also thus have upheld Peter had Peter wholly trusted him." Upon another occasion Jesus with his disciples was crossing this tempestuous inland sea in a small ship. and the waves beat into the ship. or move himself rapidly above the surface of the water. There is a law of levitation as well as of gravitation. but to lift. Jesus availed himself of the law of levitation.164 THE LIGHT OF MEN O little hand and caught him. and therefore the law was not operative upon him until the Master "stretched forth his hand.
or low-pressure air. causing a rapid flow of so-called high-pressure air to areas of dense. and rebuked the wind. Master. and are more or less local. In these days of psycho-therapeutics and of mental healing cults of all grades and de- . asleep on a pillow and they awake him and say unto him. and there was a great calm. And the wind ceased. Peace be still. and said one to another. Why are ye so fearful ? How is it that ye have no faith ? And they feared exceedingly. But by far the greater part of the miracles related of Jesus have reference to the healing of the sick. and said unto the sea. And he said unto them. By loosening the constricted areas perhaps by a change in the atmosJesus could restore the pheric vibration equilibrium instantly. What manner of man is this that even the wind and the sea obey him?" (Mark IV 37-41) Storms are due to inequalities in the at- mospheric pressure. carest thou not that we perish ? And he arose.JESUS OF NAZARETH : 165 part of the ship. Over hill-locked lakes such sudden flows are frequent.
very large proportion of bodily disorders are classed clinically under the head of nervous diseases. and that his power further rendered his cures absolute and instantaneous. Now all nervous disturbance and its .166 THE LIGHT OF MEN grees it seems a work of supererogation to plead for the power of the spirit over the body. of which mention has already been made." but in a In robust still higher state of vibration. but in consonant rhythm. not in unison. or dense body. and the subtle.* We have seen above that "matter" is a something in a high state of vibration. Astral substance is also "matter. . after the manner in which the harmonics of a note of music will be exact * A See note 21. and normal health these two envelopes or vehicles of the human body are vibrating harmoniously. The difference between the not too perfect cures of today and the absolutely perfect ones of Jesus lies in this perfection. or astral body.effects organically are often is caused primarily by very far-reaching iriharmony of rhythm between the physical.
One method probably very generally employed would be to unloose and draw to a focus certain potential etheric currents of energy.JESUS OF NAZARETH subdivisions of the fundamental note 167 and move with it. This would be likely to be the method in most cases. Let some undue excitement or strain disturb the nice adjustment of the delicate inter-rhythms of these two vehicles. with the man who had the withered hand. and the result of such re-adjustment always means health. organic disease follows upon functional disIt would be a simple matter for the Master. turning the concentrated point upon the afflicted part. and. and the whole complex machinery of the human organism will be thrown out of gear. with all the paralytics. with a single powerful thought. Functional disorders ensue. and frequently order. re-vitalise it. to readjust the rhythm equilibrium. for the resources of occult science are many. Jesus doubtless used various methods of cure. and with the If there were any waste of tissue it could be instantaneously renewed by prolepers. .
The blind men also would be likely to have been healed in this manner.168 THE LIGHT OF MEN cesses similar to the first-named miracles. and therefore the aura of any human being to some extent affects the physical and mental condition of another either for good or ill who comes within its radius. Very many cases might have been. in cases of cataract. as fire fuses silica into trans- parent glass.* which is an emanation might describe it as electrons thrown off from man's ethereal body. but that which is usually spoken of as the aura pro- from the psychic or astral principle. . The aura is a form of energy. burning the opaque lens into clarity. Each of the vehicles of man throws off a radiation. Something has already been said about the human one aura. healed by simply coming within the radius of the aura of Jesus. re.vitalising the inhibited nerve-centres. and probably were. The aura of the Master. This burningpoint of living energy would act with dynamic power. ceeds * See note 5. or. analogous to a burning-glass.
If I may touch but his clothes. and was nothing bettered. and had suffered many things of many physicians. The multitudes who thronged about him "besought him that they might only touch the hem of his garment. is a touching story of one thus "A certain woman which had an issue of blood twelve years. when she had heard of Jesus came in the press behind. and as many as touched were made perfectly whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up and she felt in her bodv that she was healed : : . XIV ence. I shall be whole. and had spent all that she had.JESUS OF NAZARETH 169 being of the highest purity and power. but rather grew worse. They thought that his garments knowing that his whole aura enfolded them like a holy efflu36) imparted the virtue. as well as of greater than ordinary extent. and touched his garment for she said. not There healed." (Matt. became practically (to use a common term) a dynamo of life for all who came within its range.
Daughter. Thou seest the multitude thronging thee. go in peace. pure . thy faith hath made thee whole. Who touched me ? And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. These patients are always described as being "possessed by a devil" "unclean spirits" is another name given the Master casts out "the devil. Modern psychology is beginning to suspect what the student of esoteric science already knows as fact viz. . cases of insanity are due to obsession. and sayest thou. fearing and trembling. knowing what was done in her. But the of him. normal. and touched my clothes? And his disciples said unto him." and the patient then becomes whole that is." (Mark 25-34) V We read of many instances where lunatics were brought to Jesus for healing. . that a large proportion of . turned Who woman.170 THE LIGHT OF MEN of that plague. him about in the press. came and fell down before him and told him all the truth. And Jesus. And he said unto her. immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out said.
or perhaps more. abdicated. plane that from the psychic. if its dominion is distive to the objective turbed or overset.JESUS OF NAZARETH and simple. and is driving willy-nilly more or less wildly. and to be at the mercy of any occult current. has. In this case one. and that. The master of the house becomes a bondsman . spread is 171 Indeed so subtle and so wideit interference astral. or would not be easy with- in the matter. and we know that the objective mind is the master of call it reason if you will the house. of the myriads of irresponsible discarnate spirits always waiting and eager for a chance to function upon the objective plane will rush in and take possession sometimes intermittent. caught them up. there will be trouble for the subjective mind seems to be quite void of will. It is as if the driver of a chariot had dropped the reins. sometimes entire. In positive insanity the objective mind. for one cause or another. and another has . out greater knowledge to draw definite lines Much has been written rela- and subjective mind of man. the master of the house.
And behold. "Thy sins be forthee." given "And behold they brought to him a man sick of the palsy. knowing their thoughts." as if he regarded them as one and the 4 same thing. Son be of good cheer thy sins be for: ' ' . Sometimes he to the merely says patient. usurps the rights of another the strong arm of the law steps in and evicts the intruder. said. "Go and sin no more . . and restore the In reading the gospels one cannot but be struck by the interchangeable manner in which Jesus uses the terms "sickness" and 'sin. And Jesus. This man blasphemeth. Again and again he dismisses the healed patient with the words.. lying on a bed and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy. Just so did the potent command of the Master evict the spirit-intruder. Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts ? For whether is easier to say. rightful tenant to his own.172 as THE LIGHT OF MEN In human society if one party it were. certain of the scribes said within themselves." or "Go and sin no more lest a worse thing come unto thee. given thee.
and which the individual has at one time or another to equate. Arise and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins. but the law is inviolable. The whole bulwark of human evolution and human destiny is built Conduct at one period of a man's upon development conditions his status in another. and demands that every infraction physical. or to say. brought over from previous incarnations. is the effect of this cosmic debt. moral. it. And he arose and departed to his house. Jesus used existent laws to work his miracles. All adversity then. but it is presumable that not even an Avatar could or would cause an infraction of that great .JESUS OF NAZARETH Thy 173 sins be forgiven thee. Man is made a creature of free will within the law. whether bodily or other. (then saith he to the sick of the palsy) Arise. and spiritual full in be atoned for to the some incarnation. take up thy bed and go unto thine house. IX. 2-7." (Matt.) Now we know is that the Law of Causation the most absolutely fixed and fundamental law in the universe.
It may well have been that some of those whom Jesus healed had not expiated virtually this. This healing would then be only a partial. or ensuch as might have come to lightenment moment some of those in contact with Jesus a real of illumination which could lift a . and would therefore have to meet the some other time. the cosmic debt has been basic principle built. or temporary. so as to be truly spiritually must however not lose sight of the free. but desires only the opportunity to expiate fully." as they say in the east. The student fully. The Master. that is.174 THE LIGHT OF MEN How upon which the universe is then could Jesus forgive sins? Now it may very well happen that an afflicted soul has "suffered enough. . We fact that a sudden spiritual uplift. of manumission even as the warden of a prison when a prisoner has served his sentence opens the door and bids the man go free. equated. knowing then pronounce the word of freemay dom. rest of the account at who really understands the recondite side of these things does not crave any temporary remittance. remission of sentence.
29 in in seen that or sleep.JESUS OF NAZARETH man as it 175 were to a pinnacle of vision and reveal to him things would be like a fire would be capable of blotting out at one sweep a large extent of that man's cosmic debt. the restoring to life of have althose who were already dead. ' ' as they are in spirit. and will at an instant's notice return into its tenement. but filament it is is finally and definitely severed later * in some cases considerably later. . In southern countries interment follows very See note 21. and a purgative fire "Thy faith hath saved thee. the soul withdraws We We consciousness into its more ethereal vehicles and escapes from the body but it remains attached thereto by an impalpable astral filament. .* At death . this but not severed as soon as we suppose not at the moment of physical dissolution. and take up the life of ob. go in peace. Thus frequently the Master says to one and another. jective consciousness again. come now to the most impressive of the miracles of Jesus. long-suspendready ed animation of any kind.
The filament was then not definitively severed.176 close THE LIGHT OF MEN upon dissolution. "he abode two days still in the same place where he was. Lazarus dwelt in Bethany with his two sisAll three were ters. some distance away. and. Mary and Martha. the command of the Master summoned the escaped spirit back into its discarded tenement. And last wonder of all. Calling over it as over a telephone. close and esteemed friends of the Master. the consummation of phenomena. except in one inwhom Jesus recalled to life had stance. which demonstrated to all men that the Master wielded power in more worlds than one. "This sickness is not unto . those not been dead long. who had often sojourned with them. although notified of the grievous malady of his friend. comes the solemn and thrilling story of the raising of the dead Lazarus. and he tells his companions. at the same time stimulating the eclipsed faculties so that normal health was spontaneously restored. yet. When Lazarus fell sick Jesus was in another place." liberately He appears to have done this deand of intent.
" Martha hastened to summon her sister. uttered the implied reproach. . "Our friend Lazarus sleepeth but I go that I may awake him out of Then said his disciples. hear- Then ing of his approach. . 4-15) . if he sleep. "I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. let Jesus. tically. ' ' misunderstood him. Jesus saith unto But she her. ran forth to meet him crying. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there." as she heard that she arose quickly Mary also. if thou hadst been here my brother had not died. . unto them plainly. to the intent ye may believe nevertheless us go unto him. accompanied by the disciples. Martha. As soon and came unto him. . Lord. "Lord. that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. Lazarus is dead. . Thy brother shall rise again.JESUS OF NAZARETH 177 death." Later he says to them." John XI. Then said Jesus sleep he shall do well. . falling at his feet." To which the Master responded mys- "I am the resurrection and the life. "The Master is come and calleth for thee. "Lord. but for the glory of God. journeyed back into Judaea.
for jected." But the Master rebuked her unbelief. and said. died. the Master commanded the life-currents to return into the flaccid limbs. as they rolled away the stone from the mouth of the cavern. a rough hillcavern covered with a slab of stone. He desired that the stone should be removed. very tenderness well what was about to hap- mingled his tears with hers.178 if THE LIGHT OF MEN And knew thou hadst been here. "And Jesus lifted up his eyes. Father. and reminded her of his pledge that her brother should rise pen again. but Martha ob"Lord. by this time he stinketh. Then he asked to be led to the sepulchre. Jesus delivered a sublime prayer. the fires of the spirit to kindle anew the flowing blood in the veins and to set in motion . he hath been dead four days. Then." for he my brother had not for Jesus." Concentrating all his forces into one candent focal point. : but because of the people which stand by I said it that they may believe that thou hast sent me. as was usual among the Jews. I thank thee that thou hast heard me and I knew that thou hearest me always.
and let him go. although a longer interval than usual had elapsed since dissolution. Jesus saith unto them: Loose him. 20-44) this raising In aU probability from the dead was of the same much character as the others. : 179 every stagnated function of the living organThen he cried with a loud voice "Lazarus. fanned the virulent hostility of the sacerdotal party to fever-pitch." (John XI. creating. a perception perfect ferment of excitement among all who had witnessed it or who heard of it and flocked to behold the resurrected man. and precipitated the final catastrophe of Calvary. . The whole context would go to substantiate this. as it did. bound hand and foot with grave clothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. It was this superlative miracle this recalling of an Ego from the mysterious abysses beyond the delimitations of all sensewhich.JESUS OP NAZARETH ism. and. the astral filament had not been definitively severed. come forth! And he that was dead came forth.
stooping down and looking in. unto their own home. when it was yet dark.180 THE LIGHT OF MEN first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early. and came to the sepulchre. and the napkin which was about his head. and we know not where they have laid him. and cometh to Simon Peter. and saith unto them. For as yet they knew not the scripture that he must rise again from the dead. and that other disciple. . and he saw and believed. They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre. Then cometh Simon Peter following him. and seeth the linen clothes lie. itself. and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. but wrapped together in a place by Then went in also that other disciple which came first to the sepulchre. saw the linen clothes lying yet went he not in. Then she runneth. And he. and went into the sepulchre. Then the disciples went away again clothes. and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved. So they ran both together and the other disciple did outrun Peter and came first to the sepulchre. unto the sepulchre. not lying with the linen : "The . Peter therefore went forth.
Because they have taken away my Lord. and knew not that it was Jesus. she turned herself back. and to my God and your God.JESUS OF NAZARETH "But Mary stood without at the : 181 sepulchre. Jesus saith unto her. And they say unto her. Touch me say. Sir. Mary. and I will take him away. Mary Magdalene : : came and told the disciples that she had seen . which is to Jesus saith unto her. tell me where thou hast laid him. and seeth two angels in white. and I know not where they have laid him. if thou have borne him hence. and saw Jesus standAnd ing. why weepest thou ? She saith unto them. and say unto them. Woman. weeping and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the sepulchre. Master. Woman. I ascend unto my Father and your Father. and saith unto him. not for I am not yet ascended to my Father but go to my brethren. sitting. saith unto him. the one at the head and the other at the feet. Rabboni. Jesus saith unto her. And when she had thus said. why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She. supposing him to be the gardener. where the body of Jesus had lain. She turned herself.
and that he had spoken these things unto her. Then the same day at evening. or physical.182 THE LIGHT OF MEN the Lord. . and revolved around. he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Peace be unto you. Jesus did not appear to Mary and to the disciples in his corporeal form. And when he had so said. or astral. came Jesus and stood in the midst. but in his subtle. being the first day of the week. ignorance in the new races carrying forward the banners of the new faith. mystic This idea grew up and was the outcome of crudeness and themselves. when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews. many knew better. spiritual leaders and teachers of the early church later. Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord. The . Initiates of them. appeared to the disciples in his dense. peoples who could not conceive of any method of appearance other than the corporeal. after death. the postulate that Jesus. body but this was not the belief at first." (John 1-20) XX Theological Christianity has for centuries pinned itself to. and saith unto them.
Very likely it was the spiritual stress of the previous days which rendered these loved and loving disciples when * the soul supreme crisis. and is not perceivable by the external senses.JESUS OF NAZARETH 183 form. facts received from the subjective world (or plane of consciousness) from those received from the objective world (or plane of con- sciousness). but that it is ethereal. For it is only has passed through some some divine disrupting emo- See note 21.* and the fact stated that it corresponds in general appearance with the dense or physical body. or inward senses. Those who are able to perceive astral presences do so with the astral. This is a fact of which all those who have made a study of occult matters are well aware. intangible. sensitive. . these reporting such facts to the brain in exactly the same manner as the material senses do so that many natural psychics until they have been trained to do so are apt not to differentiate the . Some explanation of the astral body has already been made.
for walls bolts also the transcendence of the personality of the Master rendered the materialisation is like the corporeal presthe case with ordinary (soThe episode of Thomas called) apparitions. gen- which Jesus appeared to his erally within closed doors-. The disciples with whom he walked at Emmaus . that it was in his astral body and and bars present no impediment to the passage of this ethereal vehicle. her subtle senses were quickened. Mary Magdalene's psychic apperceptions were not complete. and she knew him. is often alleged as proof that Jesus Didymus much more vivid and ence than . that the veils of flesh are torn.184 THE LIGHT OF MEN and the tion. The gospels report several instances in disciples. although she was able to perceive him but when he addressed her personally as Mary. She did not at first recognise Jesus. a proof. probably went through the same subtle-quickening process beneath the power of his spiritual radiation. eyes of the spirit become fitted to receive the higher vision. Probably that he manifested himself. if any were needed.
If the form in which the Master manifested himself had not been an astral form. there is no reason why the whole world should not have seen him. This bears out the astral presentment for all astral appearances manifest in the guise most familiar to. Probably it con- . those whom they desire to have see them. Also note that he did not appear in his grave-clothes.JESUS OF NAZARETH 185 wore a solid body. and therefore most cognisable by. . He appeared garbed as of ordinary. but when we realise that the senses by which Thomas made his investigations were psychic senses. and that the whole episode took place within the astral plane of consciousness. instead of a selected few. or physical the body which had been laid body of Jesus in the tomb? idea that the Attention has earlier been called to the human body of Jesus was of a more purified and ethereal substance than that of the ordinary man. this argument loses cogency. What then became of the dense. and were seen by Peter and John. which were all that he all had in the sepulchre. These were left there.
and became etheric or astral thus . so that at the time of his death it was as tenuous a shell as it could well be and yet continue to function in the objective plane. so that they ceased entirely to be dense. To accept these things is of course to shatter one of the bulwarks of formal Christian Theology which claims that . Jesus possessed entire dominion over the laws of construction. destruction. and reconstruction forever going on in this complex world therefore he possessed entire dohis body. Or ac- he cording to another esoteric explanation could heighten the vibration of its constituent atoms. and so as a form it would cease to exist. and I have power to take it up." (John 18) Therefore he had ample power to consume and to disperse the atoms of which it was . composed into the universal element. Does he minion over that shell not say ? "I have power to lay it down. becoming invisible and intangible to the outward senses of men. or of the ether. X storehouse.186 THE LIGHT OF MEN tinued to grow ever a more refined and spiritualised vehicle as his life in it progressed.
the spiritual circuit is so powerful in their consciousness that physical death is as a momentary episode in nothing to them that . . is. which is. one might say. either by his "resurrection" or his "ascension.* more or less extensive groups of Illuminati Initiates we have elsewhere called them always known who. by implication. through countless decillions of human lives til upon it. an eternal existent consciousness. in an infinitely old world. Every gnostic (knower) from the morning of Time has known it at In all ages there have existed first hand." Jesus should make conclusive the immortality of the soul. to say that. * See Chapter I. lived in immortality. From these great souls the masses have caught a kindling radiance of the truths of being.JESUS OF NAZARETH 187 the appearance of the Master (supposedly in the body) was the final and vital proof of the immortality of the soul . The deeper side of the world had it. the soul of man had waited unand uncertainty that moment in darkness ! for this assurance It was not necessary that.
can be attempted in these brief passage. but to an interior experience. a suggestion. and refers not to directly. What then does the resurrection mean? Like many another much-misinterpreted is a symbolic term. any material happening. Self-limited.188 THE LIGHT OF MEN is The surety of immortality basic in every great root-religion which the world has ever known. this . Suffice it to say here that an Avatar is a form of the Divine Essence. Indeed very little of the "[Inexpressible Mystery will it be possible to put into concrete words only an outline. Very reverently and awesomely must we tread here for we are upon holy ground. that It . The subject of the nature and mission of an Avatar has been touched upon in a previous chapter. pages. In many he will find it sketched with horizons infinitely vaster and more splendid than those which formal theological its Christianity has succeeded in presenting to adherents. The student has only to search and he will find it in the most ancient of human records. and it need not be repeated.
JESUS OF NAZARETH may come 189 within the range of the human comprehension. aware that a large proportion would fall upon arid minds. that "Radiant One. or be de- voured by the passions of men." whom. but also knowing that into the heart which was the "good ground" it would fall ready gratefully and spring up into a glorious and . The essential mission of this Master was to bring the Mystery of the Divine Immanence. in his earthly presentment we know as Jesus of Nazareth. He unlocked the treasury of spiritual potentialithat treasury for ages arcanely and and with lavish hand hieratically guarded ties flung broadcast the priceless seeds of the understanding of spiritual life. incarnated in the flesh. or be choked by worldly weeds. That great Entity. Universality and Oneness close to man. and assumed for a sea- son the outward limitations of the flesh in order that he might come into direct touch with that unenlightened (and therefore unredeemed) humanity which he desired to lift out of carnal darkness and bondage into a greater light and freedom.
Pristine. the elucidation of one noumenal truth. It received. They were not ready. So brief was that public ministry that the work was not half accomplished nay. or without an appeal through subtler forces. Christianity concentrated itself upon. They were not yet sufficiently unfolded to the point where the material webs which still clouded the spiritual . and en- deavoured to understand. We recollect that while he was still in the he could not. assimilate flesh and to live in it. perhaps could not have been accomplished through exoteric channels alone.190 THE LIGHT OP MEN imperishable flowering. and therefore it was prolonged beyond the physical death of that sense-form which he had worn before the eyes of men. and endeavoured to . and marshalled all its forces around. the spirit of that Mystery which the Master had brought so close to it even as the first disciples received. that is to say Ante-Nicene. even to his chosen com30 those who from the first had panions heard and obeyed the divine call unfold the ultimate of the truths which he had to teach. to assimilate and to live in.
JESUS OF NAZARETH consciousness could be torn away. But this darkness lies upon the threshold of the Great Light." (Acts 1-8) It was through the awful and desolating hours of the Master's Passion hours surcharged with intense and rending emotion that the final detachment and purification came to them." (John again in the Acts of the read. Old bonds are broken. They were darkness . and the spirit is swept by some mighty tide. The solid earth seems to shake and slip from beneath one's feet. For 12) XVI And Apostles we the shock. into immeasurable immensity mystery. will often upon some profound crucial and solemnising emoogical changes . "But ye shall receive that the Holy Ghost is come upafter power on you. the suffusion. 191 He says "I have yet many things to say unto you. superinduce radical psycholand in the abysses of the soul new polarisations will take place. old boundaries become submerged. to them. but ye cannot bear them now. consequent tion. it knoweth not whither. Even after this manner were the souls of the disciples swept and whelmed.
the Master dissolved the last im- peding veil. from heaven. and so prepared for the awakening of new and finer faculties. and it filled all the house where they were .192 THE LIGHT OF MEN lifted as it were lifted out of themselves out of the environment of sense-perception in which experience had hitherto functioned. for such experiences would be likely to be not solitary but cumula. by the fire of his own spirit. as of a rushing. and flung open to them the doors to the chambers of the higher consciousness which was in effect the consciousness to each man of his own higher Self. and saith unto them. XX 22) Very possibly the thrilling narration in the second chapter of Acts is another version of this same happening or it may refer to some further illumination. mighty wind. Receive ye the Holy Ghost. "And he breathed on them. tive." (John . "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come. they were all with one accord in one And suddenly there came a sound place. And then in a moment. in the twinkling of an eye.
" (Acts II 1-4) Such illumination could be none other than the baptism "with the Holy Ghost and with fire. or indications. "And there are also many other things ." an- nounced by John the coming to them of the Cosmic Consciousness. of many such events. XV 6) Most likely these recthe Eternal ords are merely notes. and Paul gives us an instance when "he was seen of above five hundred of the brethren at " once. 31 Recorded in the gospels are a number of instances where the Master showed himself to the eleven. 193 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost. thereof. and it sat upon each of them.JESUS OF NAZARETH sitting. (I Cor. The disciples were now fitting instruments to receive and to disseminate the teaching of Wisdom. and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. an experience the majesty and wonder of which may scarcely be conceived except by those who have in some measure approached the adumbration .
there would be trance-initiations for it is only in the superconscious state that may be gathered that deepest experience which makes of all spiritual knowledge a living. but. developing. if they should be written every one. burning reality. and illuminating them. I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. There is good internal evidence borne out by many allusions in the Patristic writthat Mysteryings and by esoteric records initiations were practised within the early church.194 THE LIGHT OF MEN which Jesus did. " (John XXI 25) drawn According to the accepted tradition gospels. directing. British Museum. these appearances covered a period of forty days. but there exist occult records of a much longer time. great deal of A this instruction would naturally be . the which. These state from the that for eleven years* the Master remained in contact with his elect. Askew Codex. . This is "the Wisdom of God in a Mystery" of which Paul speaks. oral. for the higher knowledge. that the so-called Christian Myste*Cf.
He unfolded to them the supreme and glorious mystery of Sonship. and any catechumens of a suffi32 ciently purified character to enter into them. the orthodox. " that it is the of of . Mystery becoming" of At-one-ment. What did the Master teach his disciples ? Mystery. redemption In the third chapter of John. or official church any hierophants of a sufficiently exalted order to con- duct them.JESUS OF NAZARETH ries 195 formed an organic centre for the teachings of that church that in fact they endured as long as there remained within the pale of . verse 16. Cosmogenesis. that whosoever be: . we find these words "For God so loved the world that he gave his Only-begotten Son. is . He revealed to them the essential nature of his own being and the potential nature of theirs. and in what manner he was the Son of God and he taught them how they might climb the spiritual heights and become also Sons of God. The mystery of Christ-hood. of Sonship. Being. something which none but the perfected Ego may really fully know yet this we can know.
This "Radiant One. The Monogenic. or alone-become. John I 14-18) in speaking of Jesus. " is put into the mouth of John the Baptist (cf. The Son is always "in the bosom of We . anterior Cosmic cycle." The same term. by virtue of bethat is. but have lieveth in everlasting life." it means "alonebecome. giving rise to a perverted connotation. The Greek text has here been mis-translated. ' ' state is the fulness tion. spanning a cosmic cycle." our Master. but this process is a long evolutionary movement. One ing of the Ultimate Essence made perfect in some other. and blissf ulness of perfec- are all in process of "becoming" or evolving. Mono genes does not mean "only-begotten. govern He was beyond evolution as we understand it. Therefore he was at that time the only Alone-become. or Son existent upon the planet. and therefore now one with the Father was outside of those laws which the destinies of the human family. " Only-begotten.196 THE LIGHT OF MEN him should not perish.
197 in God. VIII 20) he is clearly speaking of the man. "No man knoweth the Son but the Father neither knoweth any man the Father save the Son. "I and the Father are one. When he says. and sometimes as "Son of God. but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head." (Matt. the Divine Essence. "Before Abra' ' ham was 7 am" (John VIII 58) when he says.e. "7 give unto them eternal life XIV . "7 am the door of the sheep" (John X 7) when he says "7 am the way and the .) is The interplay .JESUS OP NAZARETH the Father:" (i. . when he (John ' ' X . X In the gospels we find the Master sometimes speaking of himself as Son of man. in others." (Matt." In some cases he appears to have in mind the Incar' ' ' ' nation the man. of spiritual currents uninterrupted. Jesus. and birds of the air have nests. Jesus.. When he says Foxes have holes." (John 30) In ultimate consciousness there is no separateness. truth and the life" (John 6) says. XI 27) Only Spirit may enter wholly into Spirit.
e. and therefore he used the humanistic symbolism familiar to the popular mind. he is not speaking from the standpoint of any personality whatever. wholeness. The personal pronoun becomes the universal pronoun. but Christian theology has perverted this to connote the narrow ideal of bears a different an ideal difficult anthropomorphic Deity to transcend or put aside. the supreme and rounded Ideal. must never for one moment lose sight of this distinction. but is expressing the action of a divine Principle.198 THE LIGHT OF MEN 28) .. i. . The Son name in every one of the of the world. Jesus was teaching Jews. but he is alScriptures great ways the archetype of perfection. We "the Son. But it must be transcended and put aside if we would reach to any concept of what spiritual life really means." Oftenest he refers to himself simply as The Son is the ensample of righteousness and holiness. The personal symbolism is not found in any of the greatest Oriental Scriptures. and expresses abstract Being.
endures forever. Christ. beyond the possibility of any concrete is definition. It is difficult for the relate this abstraction until mind to corwe grasp the idea in essence One. but it is not for us to probe to the ultimate mystery of any Avatar. is. The man Jesus. and ever shall be.JESUS OF NAZARETH where Deity : 199 33 spoken of awesomely as if Illimitable Being were. it should have hope in a Person rather than in an imperishable Principle. which for a space he bodied forth concretely before the eyes of the world. it is. At the roots of every one of us is im- planted that Principle. ceased to be from This is not to say that the sublimated Individuality whom we call Jesus does not remain as a Centre of Being. or coextensive. whom we are wont to confocussed the Messianic sider the 34 and only the moment of Calvary. as It as or That. which one may re- . not know how far their radiation We is can- conterminous. was. The Christ-Principle. with God. from the time it crystallised into a formal and official body. that Creator and created are It has been a signal calamity for Chris- tianity that.
gard as an aspect of the Divine unfolding. really based in Spirit. the God. man therefore is basic- ally Spirit. inoperative until we a dominating power. (whence our. the Creator Logos. This of process growth into recognition has sometimes been called the Christ-Mystery. called by the Greeks. It is the Redemptive Principle Christos. 11 1 am the Light of the world he that f olloweth me shall not walk in darkness. the Word: John II) has two modes of manifestation: one. the general one of the Divine reflecting through nature.200 THE LIGHT OF MEN ." (John I 4) The demiurgic aspect of God that is. but shaU have the light of life. inclusive of man and the specialised manifestation of Avatars. but ignorance (darkness) and the dominance of the senses keep the great . the mystery of the divinisation of man. and the life was the light men. and the Christ-Mystery is. in its human corollary. All that exists is ." (John VIII it : make 12) of "In him was life." hidden until we grow large enough learn to to recognise it . the "anointed.
" is the common mystical term for that process of thought and experience by which the purified soul passes from the plane of polarisation in the material into the more advanced one of polarisation in the unmaterial. To be "born again. is The Greek word translated "born" elsewhere (John I 12) translated "become. perience." To be born again implies only metaphorically the death ." (Luke XVII 21) Only upon the introverted vision may fall apocalypse. he cannot see the Kingdom of God. "Except a man be born again.JESUS OF NAZARETH Self veiled from the little self 201 ter is all that the unregenerate to regard as himself." referred to previously. the kingdom of God is within you. is not in any sense a process of but a transcending spiritual exIt is indeed the process of "be- coming. the Master said to him. the passage of consciousness from worldliness to Godli- ness . which intellection." or "re-born. man which latis wont When iNjcodemus came to Jesus secretly by night to question him concerning truth." (John III 3) In another place we are told. "Behold.
202 THE LIGHT OF MEN of the body. carnal man).. "How can a man be born when he is old?" he asks. could not understand.e. and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit. springing up into everlasting life. As when the Master says." (John IV 14) Then. "Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him. still held in the bondage of material things. "Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" (Rom. "Marvel not that I said ye must be born again. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh. meaning the words. As when Paul exclaims. VII 24) But Nicodemus. To which the Master makes always the same cryptic answer. (i. the Holy Spirit shall touch his soul with the chrism of a new life. he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. "Verily. when the neophite is ready." . except a man be born of water and of the Spirit." (John III 5) "Water" is here used in a figurative sense. verily I say unto thee." (John III 7) the Master continues. or ministrations of a sanctified teacher. shall never thirst but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water .
it were. and the soul enters the sanctuary of the Christ. selflessness. The well-springs of being are. not of blood. hu. new-charged. but only the Supreme Foreknowledge may know when the soul of the neophite is ripe for it and the illumination shall come." (John III 8) The chrism must be waited for in a consecrated preparation faith. In a flash. and is seen even unto the west. its hallmarks. mility. nor of the will of Man. Spir- which in the unregenerate man remain dormant and inoperative. "as the lightning cometh out of the east. but canst not tell whence it cometh and whither it goeth: so is everyone that is born of the Spirit." the hidden doors within are flung wide. nor of the will of the flesh." (John I 13) ''The wind bloweth where it listeth and thou hearest the sound thereof. as itual faculties. but of God. Does it not become evident that resurrec35 tion means exactly the same thing means . rise into activity and transform the possessor into something quite other than he was before.JESUS OF NAZARETH (John III 6) ' ' 203 The Sons of God are born.
" Death is always regarded by the mystic as above? meaning. in the limited horizons of the lower self. a state of unregenerateness. God is not the God of the dead. artificial. we become term." is the technical are dead-. or from Jesus said to the caviling Sadducees. not knowing the scriptures nor the power of God. but of the living. the prejudices. we remain hidebound by the aims.204 THE LIGHT OF MEN regeneration being born anew. ' ' Paul puts this to us succinctly : "For to be carnally-minded is death. not the laying aside of the physical for this he knows to be a mere incibody dent in an endless existence but a spiritual (or rather unspiritual) condition. but . While we are im- mersed in things material while . but "in ignorance and darkness" would connote the condition better. when we rise into the higher consciousness. we "in our sins. alive ' ' alive in Christ. 1 relative. a dwelling of consciousness in the lower man. And when we break from these bonds. the conventions of the world while we are content to function with. sordid. "Ye do err.
" ( John is V 24) passed from death unto "I tion and the (the Christ Principle) am the resurreclife: he that believeth in (or through) me. though he were dead. and they that hear shall live." (John XI 26) "If a man keep my saying he shall never see death. : 36 The Master's word is "Whoso liveth and belie veth in me shall never die. or any other." (the earliest and most authentic Christian documents) are full (Romans VIII 6) The Epistles of Paul of illuminative passages. body." (John XI 25) Resurrection then does not mean the rehabilitation of the soul in this. yet shall he live.e.. and cometh not unto con(i. but life." (John V 25) that heareth my word and believeth knoweth) on Him that sent me. hath everlasting life. "He demnation." (John VIII 51) "The hour is coming and now is when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God. it means a shift in the polarisation of .JESUS OF NAZARETH to be spiritually-minded is life 205 and peace.
we pass our existence in ignorance of our birthright. . the Christ-consciousness. the indulgence of the lower nature have built up adamantine barriers between our high prerogatives and our consciousness. It becomes our privilege to beat down those barriers to dissolve them in the kindling flame of our own inwardness. and must always burn.206 THE LIGHT OF MEN means entering into The regenerated joy and peace and power imIt . upon the heights of spiritual ex. tion fires the fires of Illuminaare forever burning waiting to touch each of us with that same baptism of the Holy Ghost and of fire which touched the Apostles but they are burning. the centering in trivial and material things. man enters into . . 37 you and I and every man but we have forgotten our royal lineage. the delimitations of the sense-perceptions. the consciousness. measurable enters into knowledge ineffable enters into Sonship. The lures of the flesh. The pentecostal . We are all of us potentially Sons of God.
To grow into the recognition and consciousness of this fact is the sole purpose of human experience and . ye shall be free indeed. easy. with an ever-increasing sense of will go freedom. of joy. Every . is an ideation of the Infinite Majesty it remains for each of us to make that ideation a sublime actuality. climbing of "the upon our part. We It involves at the outset a full re- nunciation. and the Mount" must be a volition We ourselves must turn our faces upward. must purify and prepare ourThe climbing will not always be selves. 207 must climb to them. and and triumphantly climbing upward ! upward and upward "If the Son (the Christ-Principle) shall make you free. a strong and enduring holding fast in the faith. an exalted detachment. Ego . of peace.JESUS OF NAZARETH perience. of strength. until we recognise it we exist in vain." (John VIII 36) We are all of us potentially Sons of God Children of the Light. but he who will keep his steadfast course will anon find himself filled with a new buoyancy of spirit.
that from us as surely as autumn leaves rustle to the ground because their holding vitality has gone out of them. Then the soul will stand. the grandeur of that which awaits us. cleansed and bared before 38 the new dawn. ilthe dominion of them. the Revealer. and peace poise. It will fill us. we should fling aside those husks which we now regard as life. that lusory.208 Is it THE LIGHT OF MEN so difficult to turn from darkness to from pain. fulness. of God which passeth understanding"? suming Could we know. the Redeemer is at the root of all spiritual unfoldment. disillusionment. could we even dream. And it will come. transient. they is will slip come as surely as the terrestrial dawn does. and we should stay not a moment in our haste to achieve that estate which really is life And when we have once recognised that the things of the external world cannot ! they are relative. in its lower or relative as- . fulfilment. Love Love. Love. and eventfrom conually an incommunicable joy? restlessness and confusion to perfect divine the " Peace order. to surety. Love. and delight? nial.
an intensification. He He feels himself swept. There comes a liberation of some indefinable energy from the depths of being. of life. The tongue stammers and halts in the effort to translate ineffable things into concrete terms. but it is given us to know that it is a trans- cendence not born of the senses nor to be cognised by them. yet keeping a consciousness apart . becomes for the moment more than man. as mists vanish before the beams of the ris- ing sun. If that flame be high enough and hot enough it will dissolve fuse the last fetter upon the soul the last veil which clouds the understanding. a sacramental fire. and holy desire are blended into one soaring flame. although how this may be is not to be ex- . as it were. a radiation its 209 . toward one 's fellow men in higher or cosmic aspect.JESUS OF NAZARETH pect. lost in Omnipotence. The percipient undergoes a wonderful change in the personal vibration. Those upon whom this higher vision has broken fail adequately to describe it. in which faith. absorbed. purity. a swift accession of spiritual strength and power.
indestructible. And. for want of a better term. we may call an ocean of superseems to float free irradiate suffusion consciousness is laid all mortal delimitations are swept away. all permeating. playing through things worlds. indivisible. Create and uncreate are seen to be a unit.210 THE LIGHT OF MEN plained by finite mind. Life is one. oh! darkness becomes forever swallowed up of light! Light indeed is the supreme impression made upon the consciousness a boundless. always and forever. There is no here nor there. There is only ONE. no mine nor thine. "I and the Father are one!" . Now. overwhelming splendour in which the spirit and triumphant. systems. cycles. and the pulsing heart of Being open. no near nor far-. and can cry with the Master. There is no break anywhere. there In supreme self -surrenis only the ALL. In this which. der the soul of man knows itself an indissoluble part of IT.
Ill NOTES .
almost word for word. existed. every spiritual idea which he had promulgated. For the first half century after the brief ministry of Jesus the message which he had brought to men was held as so over- whelming and absorbing that the personal history of the man was a good deal lost sight of. An immense number of these Logia. was held of first importance. and in every case the early record is prefaced with the words. Many of these Sayings which we have are identical. but that they. Doubtless for all intents and purposes they are authentic enough. or any special reference to the socalled higher criticism. or Sayings of Jesus. Every word which he had uttered. rather than what Jesus had done. as well as a great number . with passages in the gospels. There is every reason to believe that the gospels of the canon were not written from each other. "Jesus saith.NOTES (i) (See page 73) In this book the canonical gospels are followed without question. and not a few fragments have been recently discovered." evidencing that at that time what Jesus had said. was carefully caught up and soon recorded.
of which they were a surviving remnant. The Growth of the Gospels). THE LIGHT OF MEN were composed separately from cognate early materials. or just previous to the reign of Hadrian. although the third gospel and the first chapter of the first gospel are disturbed by The mystic side of glosses from some later hands. According to consensus of opinion among scholars. . Flinders Petrie . places the date very much earlier (cf.214 of others. (2) (See page 75) The Essenes were a community of recluses who dwelt at Engaddi. the probabilities are that they were written in. the rest of accretions. read with esoteric eyes. Other authorities give it that they were a remnant of a settlement of Buddhist monks several centuries before the Christian Era. near the Dead Sea. because the writer was more pro- foundly a mystic but. either sibly the body of these gospels being later from Galilean documents. He claims a "nucleus" uniform in the synoptic gospels probably written by the hands of the Apostles to which they are respectively accredited. Their origin is attributed generally to an esoteric brotherhood established by the prophet Samuel. Mr. the teachings of Jesus finds its greatest expression in the fourth gospel. all the gospels bear the same message. and there is between them a beautiful and synthetic harmony. or pos- from oral tradition.
The Sadducees. were tinctured with the Hellenic culture and eous) mysticism. and good works. conserving in some form. and who were their lives. who lived in the world. the mother of Jesus. for it is a well-known fact that Buddhism passed far beyond its original sources. bates. and were rigid in their observance of the written law of Moses. not known to us. the sacrament A rigourous novitiate was required to gain admittance to the order. and at one time overflowed nearly the whole of Asia. with the lay-Essenes. instruct- ed those who came to them for instruction. married among themselves. distinguished for the purity and probity of Tradition connects Mary.NOTES 215 Very possibly they were a blend of both. (3) (Sec page 77) After the return of the Jews from the Babylonian captivity they split up into several sects. and spent much time in meditation and inward communion. The Essenes were spiritual celi- living a life of austerity. . The Pharisees. pear also to have been groups of lay-Essenes. They cultivated their monastic lands. after the conquests of Alexander. drawn from the opulent classes. adhered to the strict code of the Pentateuch. purity. which. There apof the Inner Mysteries. who seem to have been the prevailing body. the principal of which were the Sadducees ( Tsedukim the right- and the Pharisees (Perishim separatists).
traditional accounts of the distinguished and lofty beauty of some other Avatars. or physical body. and became noted as types of pride and hypocrisy. in the case of more spiritualised subjects. John. (4) (See page 78) We have no record of the personal appearance of Jesus. being a psychic his aura. Many ordinary clairvoyants . and extends in an oval form a couple of feet or so outside of the dense. or muddy in subjects of a material order. into pale blues. which is a projection or emanation from the or subtle body. (5) (See page 78) mystics as are all highly trained probably recognised Jesus by his aura.216 THE LIGHT OF MEN pervaded Syria. personality is dazzling. dark. Every man has astral. but they seem to have drawn little enlightenment therefrom. . but we know that perfect bodily conditions must attend the absolutely have purified soul. translucent violets. heated. or those dominated by passions passing. luminous yellows. which would be of a dazzling light. They regulated their lives with complicated conventions. and it is not believable that our We own Lord of Light was any otherwise. The aura is of varying colours. The aura of a great spiritual pale.
of Spirit. or expresable as Spirit itself sion. has a very different connotation from that which it originally bore. Persona. that. or primordial substance. The manifest Solar System is the Son. as worlds. as plasm. through ignorance of the deeper occult meaning of these things. as molecules. Jesus. otherwise virgin matter. Furthermore the word "person. ence from Natively it is inchoate. and some are also aware of the colour." It was the term used to designate the mask which the Latin . as solar systems. and therefore not individual. it is quickened into activity. inert. quiesstirred or impregnated with an effluAbsolute Spirit. cent. born This is the meaning of the Spirit and Virgin matter." as we now use it. appears to be as permanent and imperishis indeed an aspect. when and becomes concrete and manifest as atoms. is compounded of two Latin words.NOTES 217 are able to perceive the aura as a more or less transparent mist. (6) (See page 79) Elementary.) but also with the Sec- ond Person of the Logos. It is the cardinal error of those who formulated the official Christian creed. they confused the man. per and sona. and means "that through which sound comes. but. as uni- verses. not only with the Christ (which is an indwelling Principle inherent to a special degree of spiritual development. of the Virgin Birth.
raised sent forth His son. for. made "That of the fruit of his (David's) loins. The conjunction here referred to was the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in the constellation of Pisces." (Galatians IV. he would raise up Christ" (Acts II. and was in ancient days a very great and comprehensive mystic science. 3) "But when the fulness of the time was come. 30) "O/ this man's (David's) seed. the two planets being later joined by Mars. it is the parent of modern astronomy. hath God. all three being The close together in this same part of the heavens. Jesus. according t-o the flesh." (Romans I. woman. actors wore which mask indicated the character that the actor intended to represent. It is well to keep this distinction in mind. a Saviour. 23) (8) (See page 83) It behooves us moderns not to be contemptuous of the ancient science of astrology." (Acts XIII. (7) (See page 79) "Jesus Christ. and therefore it means aspect rather than person. made of a under the law. Paul states it clearly which was made of the seed of David according to the : flesh. our Lord. 4) God unto Israel. accordingly to his promise. although in our day degenerate and meretricious. St. calculations of modern astronomy show that in the .218 THE LIGHT OF MEN upon the stage.
year of 747 (or seven years prior to the Christian Era) the planets Saturn and Jupiter were in a conjunction in the constellation of Pisces, and that, in
the spring of 748, they were joined by the planet Mars. Kepler first furnished us with this calculation in the
year 1604, and modern calculations have verified his work. As the exact date of the birth of Jesus is not
known, and is given by different authorities as varying by four to two hundred years before the accepted date, the above apparent discrepancy need not disturb
(See page 98)
No personality must be associated with ethereal beings of any sort. Again we must not forget that these are not persons but aspects of spirit.
(See page 109)
the spot to which the scene of the
Transfiguration is usually ascribed. Some authorities claim for it the noble, snow-crowned Mt. Hermon, in the scarped recesses of which gush the numerous
springs from which the river Jordan takes its rise. "Going up into a mountain" is the esoteric term used
from very ancient times by mystics
withdrawal of the
spirit into its
to indicate the
some interpreters of this episode claim that the latter is the sole meaning of the passage "bringeth
THE LIGHT OF MEN
them up into a high mountain." Probably however both are true, and the passage is charged, as are many others in the gospel, with both an exoteric and an
(See page 109)
fashion of his countnance was altered"
Luke (IX 29) hath
(See page 112)
Ultimate, or Absolute, Deity is an abstraction too stupendous to be even conceived, far less grasped, by finite intellect. The nearest that we can approach to such a concept is in the Demiurgic Aspect, when It
emerges into manifestation as Creator; and even then any concept must of necessity be most partial and imperfect until we begin to acquire the inner vision.
(See page 116)
likely that Jesus never uttered
the most Christ-like of the gosexactly these words but that the writpels, St. John, contains none such
er of the
gospel, being a Jew, used the terms
familiar in the Jewish tradition.
Jewish tradition that Christian theology has built itself. Jesus would have been the last to postulate eternal damnation, although of course he knew and
taught the inevitable balancing of Eternal Law.
the law of the sowing Cosmic law of compensation is absolute. St. Paul puts it sucand the reaping "Be not deceived. God is not mocked: for cinctly. whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."
(See page 120)
did Jesus so easily escape from his enemies
when they surrounded him, and every eye was upon him? He flung the mists of maya, or illusion, over To use the terms of today, he hypnotised their sight.
them so that the man quietly slipping through their midst appeared other than he was, and while they sought him he was away. The reason that Jesus per;
mitted himself this protection at this juncture was because the time for his sacrifice was not quite ripe,
and he had somewhat more
do before that hour
This particular phenomenon is well known in the east to this day, and is sometimes practised by
sions whatever to
who have no
enormous psychic mastery. This is the most simple explanation, but there is another method sometimes employed by great Adepts (an Adept is not an Avatar, although an Avatar, by
virtue of the greater including the
an Adept) by which Jesus may have made his escape. As all advanced occulists are aware, there exist media
THE LIGHT OF MEN
in Nature, not known to Material science, which can be made to encircle, or encase, an object so that rays of light impinging upon this etheric armour, or envelope, will be deflected. They thus will bend or curl around it. and then continue in the original direction. Such an enveloped object thus becomes invisible but it remains tangible, and it would therefore have to be
got out of the
as soon as possible.
explanation given by occultists for the famous "disappearance" of Apollonius of Tyana when he was on
before the Emperor Domitian. The event is narrated in Philostratus' Life of Apollonius, and is authenticated by passages in other writers. Apollonius concealed himself by this means, and then
availed himself of the law of levitation to
out above the crowd into the open, and so away.
(See page 123)
The ancients understood better than we moderns Words of power, and how to arrange them. In Sanskrit they are called Mantras, and
the secrets of these the esoteric literature of India abounds with them.
The Sanskrit Mantras are the most complete and powerful ones which have snirvived to this day; although now lost to us doubtless plenty of the same sort
in other ancient tongues. the Essenes, the Therapeute,
"We know that
and other mystic
bodies these sacred love-feasts, with their formulae,
were in use. In constructing the Christian liturgy the early fathers, who were many of them themselves mystic Initiates, had this aim in view; and therefore, in the earlier Greek texts, and later, the Latin, a number of phrases and groups of phrases have the character of Mantras. This is the real reason that today the Roman Catholic Mass is celebrated in Latin, even though
the celebrant be quite ignorant of the occult nature of Obviously to translate a Mantram
into another language breaks the flow of the adjusted
rhythms and harmony, and robs it both of its majesty and its significance. That Jesus sometimes sang hymns with his chosen disciples is evidenced by the one mentioned on this occasion, and that they were of the gnostic character is most probable. In one of the uncanonical books
hymn, known as "The Hymn of Jesus," which is dis"The Acts of John" are tinctly a Mystery ritual.
of course not authentic history, but they are suggestive of what may very well have been.
(See page 123)
are merely conventional,
The terms "higher," "lower," "up," or "down," and are only used connota-
"We are . (17) (Sec page 126) Compare with "He that eateth and drinketh un- worthily. Either then this episode was not. IX 29-30) (See page 128) The question naturally arises why should a Lord of Light agonise at the prospect of physical. and many sleep. which. The writers of the synoptic gospels wrote gospel largely from the human standpoint the fourth gospel . no dimensional relativwhether manifest or unmanifest. and can ity in Spirit. and the soul will expand and function in that. Such of us as have only consciousness of the grosser will function in those alone but let but a break come into a finer and rarer consciousness. not discerning the Lord's body. The different planes interpenetrate. suffering? observe that the fourth We the one which most closely interprets the makes no mention of the agony in mystery of Jesus the garden. even if most cruel. is all-pervasive. eateth and drinketh damnation to himself." (I Cor. treats all circumstance entirely from the spiritual standpoint.224 tively. For this cause many are weak and sickly among (18) you. be. THE LIGHT OF MEN There is. or else this was the synoptic interpretation of some transitory of the flame in its flicker mortal socket. .
' ' "He suffered..NOTES therefore constrained to synthesise events 225 by accept- ance of the great Gnostic paradox: he did not suffer. was in his mind. though he spoke only the initial passage. and that a single exercise of this power could have shattered the palace of the high priest and destroyed every creature within its walls. the whole Psalm. should for one moment have felt himself "forsaken" of That of which he was an inteSome commentators explain this passage gral part. and because of it. through ignominy and agony. which It is inconceivable that this to opens thus. . would it. with its connotation. but that. as we know have been. (20) (See page 130) Mark and Matthew have loud voice. consummated in not be wasted. "All the ends of the earth shall remember. and turn unto the Lord. and that. the meaning being that this sacrifice. "My God." etc. saken me?" it that Jesus cried with a my God. by saying that in uttering these words Jesus was beginning to quote the twenty-second Psalm. why hast thou for- him God-man. but later turns to a paean of triumph. yet (19) (Sec page 129) Bear in mind that Jesus was a Master of Power.
yet can pour in a quantity of fine sand. when the consciousness and the organs it believe that of speech were no longer connected. not full. and recognise the earthly supremacy of the Master. and that the rendering in John We and Luke are nearer the facts. This reading is ingenious but not wholly convincing. yet the measure is not full. but the soul possesses other. full.226 all THE LIGHT OP MEN the world (i. it will not hold any more marbles. naturally enough. which will settle itself into the still smaller spaces. Did the Master really utter these he did. There are innumerable little interstices between the marbles. more ethereal. (21) (See page 131) Most persons suppose. "the ends of the earth") would turn and know God. Suppose that we take a peck measure and fill it with marbles. Perhaps. . "We pour into the measure a quantity of small shot. upon several different Perhaps this can be made interpenetrating by a figure. he did not utter them. is We yet the measure it. vehicles in which to express itself. which settles itself into the interstitial spaces but the measure is not common . e. and functions simulclear taneously planes. that the physical or dense body is the only envelope of the soul. We can pour water into and the water will penetrate every tiniest crevice. ical words of purely human despair ? If must have been only in the delirium of physdissolution.
like the dense body but of a finer quality. the maits jority of persons know nothing else. Many which of us indi- have more or less spiritual consciousness.NOTES settling 227 around the solids closely. The astral body is imponderable. or astral. We can charge the whole contents with that intangible thing. to the subtle hearing. but it is an exact counterpart of the dense body. the name of clairaudience. but this we need not touch upon here. body we all know. The astral body is the seat of sensachometry. electricity. To the subtle vision we give the name of clair- voyance. or bodies. Is there room for anything more? Yes. if we were in control of any finer element. The subtle sense of touch is known as psy- There exist also a subtle sense of smell but these are not yet labeled in our nomenclature. Now observe: all these things are contained within the one peck measure. and of taste. of graduated density. we could further introduce that. five senses. possibly. but interpenetrating vehicles. and. envelopes. to the ordinary vision. body . the subtle. invisible. or physical. . and. intangible. The dense. cates a vehicle through which to function. The astral body possesses. In this same way the human soul uses for expression several different. yet it is as fixed a fact as the dense body. which has not needed to be enlarged in order to receive them. But in the western world we know very little except in a sporadic and of the intermediate vehicle. empyric way psychic.
but in essence quite as material as. Clothed in its much as a second vehicle. of desires. astral filament. the driving power authority. the spirit withdraws consciousness into its more ethereal vehicles and escapes from the body. or in coma of any kind. impalpable. and wisdom will dominate reason. such a subject being more or less a creature of passion and impulse. the passions.vesture it leaves the dense body unconscious. a more ethereal vehicle than.228 THE LIGHT OF MEN and of all tion. The dense body is a congeries of muscles and cells. only a machine It is functioning in obedience to the promptings of the subtle body. body by a tenuous. it may be . In deep sleep. and will be coloured by the plane upon which consciousness functions. spiritual quality of the an elementary or emotional subject the directive impulse will proceed largely from the astral faculties. of the emotions. Thus in it. in trance. In subjects in whom the ethical consciousness is directed by well developed the will is likely to be In the highest development reason. unless these be superseded by a higher Behind all is the Will. and passes into the realm of the SupraIt however remains attached to the dense liminal. at an instant's notice. the subtle or astral body man might lay aside his outer garments and walk spiritual poise about in his under. or thread. the dense body. and Will becomes one with consciousness. Ego The Will appears in a sense to be impersonal. by which. of the world a supreme and not separable from .
" " " "the double. and projecting themselves in the astral envelope to any place they Ordinary psychics. and who have not please. and the spirit does not return. this functioning for that the Ego renews and a.NOTES drawn back sciousness. or primidoes not go far. All apparitions or spiritistic appearances are in the and are perceivable only by astral. "We have given the astral shape many names: "the fluidic body. refreshes itself from the strain of daily objective life. astral body. unconscious it In subjects of a high develop- roam far and wide through the unseen. but in the occidental world they cause us a good deal of disturbance. tive order it its 229 to objective con- into the dense body and In subjects of a dull. acquired the power of leaving the body at will. time in the unseen. etc. . It is by ment will this process. well understood. and is then also turn discarded." the doppelganger. At death the same process takes place. in whom the astral perceptions are sporadic and partial. through highest spiritual development and a specific disciplinary training. accumulating inspiration and refreshment. or In India these phenomena are pretty psychic. except that the filament is finally severed. but remains inertly near shell. The astral body in its is retained for a brief period. Great Adepts of whom even now there exist upon earth a greater number than most of us are aware have. senses. material. to disintegrate and return to its native elements.
and ye shall find rest unto your souls. for so tremendous are its potencies that a man needs to be first wholly master of himself he will be destroyed by them. Here the word is "yoga." meaning "to join") but our most metaphysical of . Paul means this when he ' ' says. the Sanscrit. a union of the lower self with the higher (or divine) Self. but this is not the idea which this passage is Our connotation intended to convey. brothers. He that is . the Hindus. a joining rather than a yoking. how should we posIn order rightly to sibly find rest unto our souls? interpret it we must go to our sister Aryan tongue. and seems to droop beneath the wooden bands across his neck. will do best not to play in this very dangerous plane of consciousness. XI 28-29) of the English word "yoke" is one of grievous burden. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me: for I am meek and lowly in heart. a union in fact. He is dulled and heavy. "Yug." and also means generically a yoke (from the Sanscrit.230 THE LIGHT OF MEN undergone the strenuous disciplinary training. St." (Matt. (22) else (See page 146) unto me all ye that labour and are heavyand I will give you rest. transliterate this into a beautiful Yoga therefore has come to mean spiritual symbol. "Come laden. If it were. The ox wears the yoke and does our drudgery with it.
VI 17) To take the Master's yoke upon us and learn of him. which obeys its leadings in perfect is trust poised. ' "A we get "an event in the natural world. Pythagoras. there are recorded quite as wonderful miracles as Jesus wrought. wonderful. and possible only by the intervention and exertion of divine power. but out of its established order." wonderful work. for instance. (23) spiritually (See page 152) The Century Dictionary defines a miracle (from the Latin minis. but it has been the custom in modern times to put these accounts entirely aside as discreditable to his philosophic teaching." (24) (See page 158) Of Apollonius of Tyana.NOTES 231 joined unto the Lord is one spirit. to be of his spirit. manifesting a power superior to the ' From Funk & Wagnalls ordinary forces of nature. and which thus becomes and so finds rest unto its soul. and faith. which will then surrender itself happily and absolutely to the Divine guidance. to assume that impersonal attitude toward all the circumstances of life. forsooth by ! . Marvellous phenomena are also told of the philosopher. to wonder) as an effect in nature "not attributable to any of the recognised operations of nature nor to the act of man." (I Cor.
see note 14. Living eyes have beheld such an . This varies with the individual scientist. up to within a short distance of the ceiling. but the them with the position so far as modern science has disfacts to to square covered and accepted them. facts established years ago in this line of reSee accounts of Stainton Moses. not a few phenomena can be accomplished by the highly trained Hindu Yogi. For Apollonius' use of this law of levitation. (25) (See page 160) All of the laws and agencies treated of in these suggestions are every day attempt of is here made modern science. chairs The levitation of and other objects as well as of the human body are search. the famous Oxford psychic. of discipline who by virtue of these exercises had acquired the thaumaturgic powers which gave them control over the elemental forces. any occultist. they were simply men. The psychic phenomena are familiar to every candid experimenter. held there a few minutes. Avatars.232 those THE LIGHT OF MEN who cannot recognise that one would quite raNeither of these men were tionally include the other. who more than once when sitting in his chair was gently lifted. Even today in India. chair and all. they were Adepts. tables. and then just as gently set back upon the floor. the land of Wonder. In other words. highly trained and highly purified men.
but the chemical particles of which it was composed are as alive and active as ever. showing that each is but a permutation of some deeper fundamental law Some not yet formulated. in the attitude of meditation) levitate himself some feet into the air. Also there are known Sannyasin capable of duplicating small objects. legs crossed. and remain there suspended in the same sit- ting posture. for an appreciable time. of the experiments of our modern chemists tend to prove that chemical atoms and human emotions move hand in hand. whence Naenter into the life of new . eyes closed. Sound can be transmuted to form. Paul and the other disciples of Jesus did healing. Some it of them have become a part of the soil. Elisha raised the widow's son from the dead. where they will vegetable growths. and so did the prophets of old.NOTES 233 one (he. (26) (Sec page 161) Chemistry is today shaking hands with metaphysics. As a tree disappears. and both further to colour. (27) (See page 161) The tree in the forest falls and decays. then gently descend to his original posi- tion upon the earth. Some of them have evaporated into the ether. sitting cross-legged upon the ground.
Its volatile elements are taken up by earth and air to be used over and stantially else. in THE LIGHT OF MEN combinations. disintegrates. (29) (See page 175) It may well be asked Why then do we not bring back impressions of these nightly subjective experiences? In point of fact. (28) (See page 162) The body of wine consists of water of those elements which constitute water with the addition of some sugar. will draw them The rock. many persons do. . and of a certain per of ethereal salts (which give the particular cent. her fine economic processes. of glycerin. a very small per cent. drunk by the peasantry in wine-growing countries. of a small quantity of certain acids and flavour). That of which it was subfor new composed becomes in like manner something The human corpse is buried in the ground. dessicated by storms and frosts. Some of us retain only a vague sense of something experienced but trained occultists are able to bring through a very clear impression of things which they have seen and done in the Beyond. (evolved from the saccharine fermentation) of alcohol. in the case of native wines.234 ture. : . or is consumed in the crematory. over again.
arbitrarily exalted above their fellows by the favour of their Master. It was doubtless part of the Divine plan that these men should incarnate upon the earth and be functioning in the flesh at the time when the Master appeared. John and James the Just.NOTES (30) 235 (See page 190) The commonly accepted view is that the twelve were especially selected and privileged men. (See page 193) It is probable that not all the twelve were equally illumined. Contact with the Master would rapidly ripen them. no. Clement of Alexandria states that the Gnosis was imparted specifically to Peter. certainly. In previous incarnations they had evolved a high degree of spirituality. but arbitrarily so. which would account for the mighty flux of those exalted a large number spiritual tides which distinguished the very early (31) church. and make them ready for their Pentecostal illumination. or in the next generation or two. that they instructed the other nine. as an earthly sovereign selects his favourites. Especially selected. purified and proThey were indeed advanced Egos bated. and that some discrimination was made in the teaching. if It would appear further as of kindred spirits incarnated at this same period. . that they might become his instruments.
fication were three great stages in the mystic training Illumination Perfection. the stage of Purification. "We are told that there Puri- The final stage was the goal. She retains in name those sacraments (sacramentum. he was only at the : beginning of spiritual things. The man has broken He Vision is king who gave a marriage feast for his son (Matt.236 THE LIGHT OF MEN their and that these in turn prepared the seventy for world-wide mission. In the parable of the world. using the mystic . beside that first and real luminance. For many centuries she has been satisfied to produce merely good men of an earthly type. XXII and 1-14) the Master has set forth the very essence core of man's perfectioning. and points to the saint as the height of human perfectioning. He is ready now for the apocalyptic experiences. but. 48) is the Master's command. but within the church there is no apocalypse today. they are void and dark and meaningless. But originally. only. the dominion of the senses. when a man had reached the level of saintship. even as your in heaven is perfect" (Matt. Father which ye therefore perfect. the Latin rendering of Mysteries) through which in the early days men might become God-like. Saintship is the first stage is "Be V has sloughed the turned inward. (32) (See page 195) The Christian church has lost her pristine powers.
(His Holy Spirit. or one who has received the unction or The sanctifying oil of God. . fathered by ignorant churchmen upon Christianity. of glory stands for Illumination. the Unio mystica the supreme times called the Mystical marriage union of the human soul with its Source. which in translation gives us : ' ' ' ' "I am That I am. (34) (See page 199) The Hebrew word Masiack (Messiah) means the Anointed. but every guest i. derived from Egyptian and Magian sources the first principle given is the name of the Absolute.NOTES ist." which he cannot receive until The Robe the milestone of Purification has been passed. the symbol-terms familiar to every occultThe marriage feast of the king's son represents somethe solemn final sacrament.e. is Christ os (Latin. better: This is not the Anthropomorphic Jahweh. (33) (See page 199) In the Jewish Kabalah their Secret Doctrine. 237 phraseology. who comes to it must wear a wedding garment.." "I am He who is." Or.) Greek translation of Masiach Christus). "a robe of glory.
The Greek word means literally caus- ing to stand up. hath quickened us together with Christ. through Christ Jesus. by itual." (Gal. who were dead in tion of the : A me." (Phil. or stand erect. Ill 11) "For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life." (1st Corinthians 21) XV . (spir- or regenerate) man came also the resurrection of the dead." (Ephesians II 5) "For the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." (Rom. I 1) "But sin that it might appear sin working death in attain unto the resurrecdead. to rise. VII 13) If by any means I might ' ' trespasses and sins." (Rom." "But God. (36) (See page 205) few are quoted: "Paul. rendered resurrection. our Lord. VI 23) "And you hath he quickened. even when we were dead (Rom.238 THE LIGHT OF MEN (35) (See page 203) From Re and surgo. VIII 2) "For since by (carnal) man came death. anastasis. an apostle from God." (Ephesians II 1) in sins. who raised him up from the dead.
" if (1st Corinthians XV any man be in Christ he is a new away: behold.NOTES XV 239 "For as in Adam (the unregenerate man) all die. Awake thou that sleepest. even so in Christ (the higher or spiritual Self) shall all be made alive. all things are become new. earthy the second ' ' ." (John I 12) "And because ye are sons God hath hearts." (1st Corinthians 22) The first man is of the earth." (Ephesians "That as sin hath reigned unto death." (Gal." (Romans V 21) (37) (See page 206) I have said Ye are gods and all of you are dren of the Most High. chil- "Behold what manner of bestowed upon us. and arise from the dead. and Christ shall give thee "Therefore creature: old things are passed 14) light." (Psl. Spirit of His Son into your Father. Man 47) is the Lord from heaven." (2nd Corinthians V 17) "Wherefore he saith. that love the Father hath we should be called the sons of God. sent forth the crying. V even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life. LXXXII 6) ' ' . Abba." (Epistle of John III 1) "But as many as received him (the Christ-spirit) to them gave he power to become the sons of God. IV 6) . by Jesus Christ our Lord.
and having reached the kingdom he shall rest. Let not him who seeks cease until he finds he shall be astonished. saith. ." The Sayings of and when he Jems: Oxyrhynchus Papyrus. astonished he shall reach the kingdom.240 THE LIGHT OF MEN (38) (See page 208) "Jesus finds.
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