I AM looking at the inside of the Serapeum at Alexandria. The temple is connected with a library which, as I see it, is still there, neither dispersed nor burnt, but filled with manuscripts,--mostly rolls upon sticks. I see a council of many men
sitting at a table in the room of the library, and I see a number of names, as Cleopatra, Marcus Antonius, and others. This is called the second library of Alexandria, the former having been destroyed under Julius Caesar. The nucleus of this one was the gift of Antony to Cleopatra, who added to it and improved it immensely, till it contained all the existing literature of the world; and--why, they are deliberately concocting Christianity out of the books there! and, so far as I can see, the Gospels are little better than Ovid's Metamorphoses (historically, I mean),--so deliberately are they making up the new religion 1 by replanting the old on the Jewish system.
Write down these names and the dates which are specially shown me. Theophilus, patriarch of Alexandria, and Ambrosius. A.D. 390, B.C. 286. This last is the date at which the library was first of all got together. A.D. 390 2 is the date of the chief destruction of the documents out of which the new religion was made. If they could be recovered we should have absolute proof of its concoction from Hindû, Persian, and other originals;--the interpolations, extracts, and alterations proving this. They show, too, that the name first adopted for the typical man was more like Krishna, and that Jesus was a later choice, 3 adopted at Jewish suggestion, in order to suit a Jewish hero. The
system 1 was long under formation, and it took all that time to perfect. 2 Every detail of the Gospel history is invented, the number of the apostles, and all the rest. Nothing is historical in the sense supposed.
I see the Serapeum destroyed;--not only the library but the temple, so fearful were they of leaving any trace of the concoction. It was destroyed by Christians at the instigation especially of Theodosius, Ambrosius, and Theophilus. 3 Their motive was a mixed one, each of the leaders having a different aim. The object of the concoctors themselves was to sustain and continue the ancient faith by transplanting it to a new soil, and engrafting it on Judaism. The object of Theophilus was to make the new religion the enemy and successor of the old, by making it appear to have an independent basis and origin. Ambrose destroyed the library in order to confute the Arians by leaving it to appear that Christianity had an origin altogether supernatural. The concoctors themselves did not intend it to be regarded as supernatural, but as representing the highest human. And they accordingly fixed and accumulated upon Jesus all that had been told of previous Christs,--Mithras, Osiris, Krishna, Buddha, and others,--the original draft containing the doctrine of the transmigration of souls most explicitly and distinctly. 4 The concoction was undertaken in order to save religion itself from extinction through the prevalence of materialism,--for the times corresponded in this respect exactly to the present. And the plan was to compose out of all the existing systems one new and complete, representing the highest possibilities and satisfying the highest aspirations of humanity.
The great loss, then, is not that of the first but that of the second library of Alexandria. The Serapeum was destroyed by Christians in order to prevent the human origin of their religion from being ascertained. The object was to have it
believed that it all centred in one particular actual person, and was not collected and compiled from a multiplicity of sources.
All the conversations in the Gospels were fabricated by the aid of various books in order to illustrate and enforce particular doctrines. I cannot recognise the language of many of the ancient manuscripts used. The Latin ones which I see are all in capitals, and without any division between the words, so that they look like one long word.
I am shown the actual scene of the destruction of the library and dispersion of the books. There is a dreadful tumult. The streets of Alexandria are filled with mobs of people shouting and hastening to the spot. They do not know the real object. They have been told that the library contains the devil's books, which, if allowed to remain, will be the means of destroying Christianity. The noise and tumult are dreadful. I cannot bear it, pray recall me, it hurts me so. 1 It is extraordinary how exactly alike the two times are both politically and religiously. Everything established is breaking up in both; and that which comes out of each is the fuller revelation of the divine Idea of Humanity. All works for us and the new revelation. But the world suffers terribly in the birth. Afterwards things gradually become much better.
*** In explanation of the method of this recovery it may be stated that, according to occult science, every event or circumstance which has taken place upon the planet, has an astral counterpart, or picture, in the magnetic light. So that there are actually ghosts of events as well as of persons. These magnetic existences are the Shades or Manes of past times, circumstances, acts, and thoughts, of which the planet has been the scene, and they can be conjured and evoked. The appearances left on such occasions are but shadows left on the protoplasmic mirror. "This magnetic atmosphere, or astral soul, is called the Anima Mundi, and in it are stored up all the memories of the planet, its past life, its history, its affections and recollections of physical things. The adept may interrogate this phantom-world, and it shall speak for him. 2 It is
the cast-off vestment of the planet; yet it is living and palpitating, for its very fabric is spun of psychic substance, and its entire parenchyma is magnetic." See No. XLV; also The Perfect Way, Lecture V, par- 39. Concerning the recovery of the individual memory, see No. XL. E. M.
80:3 London, November 6, 1881. Spoken in trance. It was wholly independent of any knowledge or prepossession of either of us,--the subject being quite new to us,--and proved on subsequent research, while going far beyond history, to be in full accordance with history so far as history goes, and also with the results of independent and candid criticism. By "history" is not meant ecclesiastical tradition or invention. E. M.
Referred to in Life of Anna Kingsford, vol. ii, pp. 32-33.
81:1 "The new religion" in this context "implies the systematic endeavour of the Alexandrian Mystics who are credited with the authorship of the Gospels . . . to construct on the basis of the history of Jesus a religion that should represent a symbolical synthesis of the fundamental truths underlying all previous religions" (Letter of E. M. to Light, 1889, p. 507). S. H. H.
81:2 The temple was destroyed A.D. 389. The library had never ceased to exist, the Bruchium, at the time of its destruction, having overflowed into the Serapeum. The remnant was far exceeded by Antony's additions from Pergamos, which thus became the virtual nucleus. E. M.
81:3 Edward Maitland, referring to this Illumination, says: "According to the view thus given respecting the Christian origines, the rapid decline of faith and advance of materialism had, long before the rise of Christianity, attracted the notice of the initiates of the mysteries, whose headquarters were at Alexandria; and they accordingly sought by means of a reformulation of religious truth, adapted to the altered character of the times to stem the rising torrent of infidelity. All that was necessary in the way of doctrine had been in their possession for ages. Only a fitting subject for its practical exemplification was needed. . . . Such an example was recognised in 'Jesus,' and on him, therefore, they centred all the characteristics predicable of the Man Regenerate, as gathered from previous instances, his history--which was not the physical history of any one Man Regenerate, but the spiritual history of every Man Regenerate--being described in the current mystical terminology, the key to which was lost until restored through Mrs Kingsford" (Letter to Light, 1889, p. 527). S. H. H.
82:1 Not the Gospels (Letter of E. M. to Light, 1889, p. 527). S. H. H.
82:2 There is an ambiguity here, owing to the date of the completion of the "concoction" not being specified. E. M.
(See Letter of E. M. to Light, 1889, p. 527.)
82:3 Theodosius was Emperor of the eastern division of the Roman Empire. Ambrosius was Archbishop of Milan. E. M.
82:4 The reason for the exclusion is not far to seek. "There is no more (birth nor) death for those who are in Christ." Transmigration being the condition of man unregenerate only, the Gospels--which have for their purpose the exhibition of Man Regenerate--had no call to refer to the previous stages of his evolution. It is implied in the account of his birth of a virgin, as see Nos. XXIII, XXIV. E. M.
83:1 Edward Maitland says that the destruction of the second Alexandrian library was "an event so vividly beheld" by Anna Kingsford, that she suffered severely for several days from the effect of the tumult" (Letter to Light, 1889, p. 528). S. H. H.
83:2 As to the trustworthiness of Anna Kingsford's faculty as a means of obtaining historical knowledge, Edward Maitland says that it was "the actual perception of a series of events infallibly impressed by themselves in the astral memory of the planet, and accessible, therefore, to anyone Possessed of the faculty requisite for beholding and reading the record. Such a faculty is as a telescope, which-however it may dim or distort an image in the transmission--can in no wise create such image. And p. 84 just as we trust a telescope in regard to objects which for their remoteness cannot be verified, on the strength of its accuracy in regard to those which can be verified, so with the faculty of reading in the planet's memory. If we find the instrument trustworthy--as Mrs Kingsford's faculty indisputably was--in regard to things verifiable, we are bound to trust it in regard to things unverifiable" (Letter to Light, 1889, pp. 527-528). S. H. H.