"IF, therefore, they be Mystic Books, they ought also to have a Mystic Consideration. But the Fault of most Writers lieth in this,--that they distinguish not between the Books of Moses the Prophet, and those Books which are of an historical Nature. And this is the more surprising because not a few of such
Critics have rightly discerned the esoteric Character, if not indeed the true Interpretation, of the Story of Eden; yet have they not applied to the Remainder of the Allegory the same Method which they found to fit the Beginning; but so soon as they are over the earlier Stanzas of the Poem, they would have the Rest of it to be of another Nature.
"It is, then, pretty well established and accepted of most Authors, that the Legend of Adam and Eve, and of the Miraculous Tree and the Fruit which was the Occasion of Death, is, like the story of Eros and Psyche, and so many others of all Religions, a Parable with a hidden, that is, with a Mystic Meaning. But so also is the Legend which follows concerning the Sons of these Mystical Parents, the Story of Cain and Abel his Brother, the Story of the Flood, of the Ark, of the saving of the clean and unclean Beasts, of the Rainbow, of the twelve Sons of Jacob, and, not stopping there, of the whole Relation concerning the Flight out of Egypt. For it is not to be supposed that the two Sacrifices offered to God by the Sons of Adam were real Sacrifices, any more than it is to be supposed that the Apple which caused the Doom of Mankind, was a real Apple. It ought to be known, indeed, for the right Understanding of the Mystical Books, that in their esoteric Sense they deal, not with material Things, but with spiritual Realities; and that as Adam is not a Man, nor Eve a Woman, nor the Tree a Plant in its true Signification, so also are not the Beasts named in the same Books real Beasts, but that the Mystic Intention of them is implied. When, therefore, it is written that Abel took of the Firstlings of his Flock to offer unto the Lord, it is signified that he offered that which a Lamb implies, and which is the holiest and highest of spiritual Gifts. Nor is Abel himself a real Person, but the Type and spiritual Presentation of the Race of the Prophets; of whom, also, Moses was a Member, together with the Patriarchs. Were the Prophets, then, Shedders of Blood? God forbid; they dealt not with Things material, but with spiritual Significations. Their Lambs without Spot, their white Doves, their Goats, their Rams, and other sacred Creatures, are so many Signs and Symbols of the various Graces and Gifts which a Mystic People should offer to Heaven. Without such Sacrifices is no Remission of Sin. But when the Mystic Sense was lost, then Carnage followed, the Prophets ceased out of the Land, and the Priests bore rule over the People. Then, when again the Voice of the Prophets arose, they were constrained to speak plainly, and declared, in a Tongue foreign to their Method,
that the Sacrifices of God are not the Flesh of Bulls or the Blood of Goats, but holy Vows and sacred Thanksgivings, their Mystical Counterparts. As God is a Spirit, so also are His Sacrifices Spiritual. What Folly, what Ignorance, to offer material Flesh and Drink to pure Power and essential Being! Surely in vain have the Prophets spoken, and in vain have the Christs been manifested!
"Why will you have Adam to be Spirit and Eve Matter, since the Mystic Books deal only with spiritual Entities? The Tempter himself even is not Matter, but that which gives Matter the Precedence. Adam is, rather, intellectual Force: he is of Earth. Eve is the moral Conscience: she is the Mother of the Living. Intellect, then, is the male, and Intuition the female Principle. And the Sons of Intuition, herself fallen, shall at last recover Truth and redeem all Things. By her Fault, indeed, is the moral Conscience of Humanity made subject to the intellectual Force, and thereby all Manner of Evil and Confusion abounds, since her Desire is unto him, and he rules over her until now. But the End foretold by the Seer is not far off. Then shall the Woman be exalted, clothed with the Sun, and carried to the Throne of God. And her Sons shall make War with the Dragon, and have Victory over him. Intuition, therefore, pure and a Virgin, shall be the Mother and Redemptress of her fallen Sons, whom she bore under Bondage to her Husband the intellectual Force."
Moses, therefore, knowing the Mysteries of the Religion of the Egyptians, and having learned of their Occultists the Value and Signification of all sacred Birds and Beasts, delivered like Mysteries to his own People. But certain of the sacred Animals of Egypt he retained not in Honour, for Motives which were equally of Mystic Origin. And he taught his Initiated the Spirit of the heavenly Hieroglyphs, and bade them, when they made
Festival before God, to carry with them in Procession, with Music and with Dancing, such of the sacred Animals as were, by their interior Significance, related to the Occasion. Now, of these Beasts, he chiefly selected Males of the first Year, without Spot or Blemish, to signify that it is beyond all Things needful that Man should dedicate to the Lord his Intellect and his Reason, and this from the Beginning, and without the least Reserve. And that he was very wise in teaching this, is evident from the History of the World in all Ages, and particularly in these last days. For what is it that has led Men to renounce the Realities of the Spirit, and to propagate false Theories and corrupt Sciences, denying all Things save the Appearance which can be apprehended by the outer Senses, and making themselves one with the Dust of the Ground? It is their Intellect which, being unsanctified, has led them astray; it is the Force of the Mind in them, which, being corrupt, is the Cause of their own Ruin, and of that of their Disciples. As, then, the Intellect is apt to be the great Traitor against Heaven, so also is it the Force by which Men, following their pure Intuition, may also grasp and apprehend the Truth. For which Reason it is written that the Christs are subject to their Mothers. 1 Not that by any means the Intellect is to be dishonoured; for it is the Heir of all Things, if only it be truly begotten and be no Bastard.
"And besides all these Symbols, Moses taught the People to have beyond all Things an Abhorrence of Idolatry. What, then, is Idolatry, and what are False Gods?
"To make an Idol is to materialise spiritual Mysteries. The Priests, then, were Idolaters, who coming after Moses, and committing to Writing those Things which he by Word of Mouth had delivered unto Israel, replaced the true Things signified, by their material Symbols, and shed innocent Blood on the pure Altars of the Lord.
"They also are Idolaters who understand the Things of Sense where the Things of the Spirit are alone implied, and who conceal the true Features of the Gods with material and spurious Presentations. Idolatry is Materialism, the common and original Sin of Men, which replaces Spirit by Appearance, Substance by Illusion, and leads both the moral and intellectual Being into Error, so that they substitute the Nether for the Upper, and the Depth for the Height. It is that false Fruit which attracts the outer Senses, the Bait of the Serpent in the Beginning of the
World. 1 Until the Mystic Man and Woman had eaten of this Fruit, they knew only the Things of the Spirit, and found them suffice. But after their Fall, they began to apprehend Matter also, and gave it the Preference, making themselves Idolaters. And their Sin, and the Taint begotten of that false Fruit, have corrupted the Blood of the whole Race of Men, from which Corruption the Sons of God would have redeemed them."
11:1 Paris, June 6, 1878. Read, in the early hours of the morning, in sleep, in a library purporting to be that of Emmanuel Swedenborg, in the spiritual world, Swedenborg himself being present, and written down on waking. As we subsequently ascertained, it represents the doctrine of that famous seer, but without his limitations. Like most of the writing, thus beheld by the seeress, it was in German text and archaic spelling, and also, like several others, was given in immediate response to a mental request for light on the subjects treated, made by me without her knowledge either of my request or of my need, or being able of herself to have supplied the want. On seeking--also from transcendental sources--to know more respecting this experience, we received for answer that "a portion of Swedenborg is still in this sphere, through which he can communicate with those with whom he is in affinity"; and that, under his magnetism, the seeress had been enabled--as stated in the preface--to recover these recollections. The capitals of the original are retained, but the spelling is modernised. E. M.
For a full account of the circumstances attending the receipt by Anna Kingsford of this Illumination (both parts) see Life of Anna Kingsford, Vol. i, pp. 257-261. S. H. H.
13:1 This portion, which was received, also in sleep, "the next night but one" after the foregoing, is a part remembered of a lecture--evidently out of the same book--delivered by a man in priestly garb, in an amphitheatre of white stone, to a class of students, of whom the seeress was one, who took notes of it. Anna Kingsford's notes, of course, "disappeared with her dream, and she had to reproduce it from memory. But this was abnormally enhanced, for she said that the words presented themselves again to her as she wrote, and stood out luminously to view" (Life of Anna Kingsford, Vol. i, pp. 260-261). S. H. H.