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Mystic Christianity by Yogi Ramacharaka

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Or, The Inner Teachings of the Master



Author of "Fourteen Lessons in Yogi Philosophy and Oriental
Occultism," "Hatha Yoga," "Science of Breath," "Advanced Course in
Yogi Philosophy," "Raja Yoga," "Psychic Healing," "Gnani Yogi," etc.


The lessons which compose this volume originally appeared in monthly
form, the first of which was issued in October, 1907, and the twelfth
in September, 1908. These lessons met with a hearty and generous
response from the public, and the present volume is issued in response
to the demand for the lessons in a permanent and durable form. There
has been no change in the text.

The publishers take the liberty to call the attention of the readers
to the great amount of information condensed within the space of each
lesson. Students have told us that they have found it necessary to
read and study each lesson carefully, in order to absorb the varied
information contained within its pages. They have also stated that
they have found it advisable to re-read the lessons several times,
allowing an interval between the readings, and that at each reading
they would discover information that had escaped them during the
course of the previous study. This has been repeated to us so often
that we feel justified in mentioning it, that others may avail
themselves of the same plan of study.

Following his usual custom, the writer of this volume has declined to
write a preface for this book, claiming that the lessons will speak
for themselves, and that those for whom they are intended will receive
the message contained within them without any prefatory talk.

September 1, 1908.



1. The Coming of the Master

2. The Mystery of the Virgin Birth

3. The Mystic Youth of Jesus

4. The Beginning of the Ministry

5. The Foundation of the Work

6. The Work of Organization

7. The Beginning of the End

8. The End of the Life Work

9. The Inner Teachings

10. The Secret Doctrine

11. The Ancient Wisdom

12. The Message of the Master




Strange rumors reached the ears of the people of Jerusalem and the
surrounding country. It was reported that a new prophet had appeared
in the valley of the lower Jordan, and in the wilderness of Northern
Judea, preaching startling doctrines. His teachings resembled those of
the prophets of old, and his cry of "Repent! Repent ye! for the
Kingdom of Heaven is at hand," awakened strange memories of the
ancient teachers of the race, and caused the common people to gaze
wonderingly at each other, and the ruling classes to frown and look
serious, when the name of the new prophet was mentioned.

The man whom the common people called a prophet, and whom the exalted
ones styled an impostor, was known as John the Baptist, and dwelt in
the wilderness away from the accustomed haunts of men. He was clad in
the rude garments of the roaming ascetics, his rough robe of camel's
skin being held around his form by a coarse girdle of leather. His
diet was frugal and elemental, consisting of the edible locust of the
region, together with the wild honey stored by the bees of the

In appearance John, whom men called "the Baptist," was tall, wiry, and
rugged. His skin was tanned a dark brown by the winds and sun which
beat upon it unheeded. His long black hair hung loosely around his
shoulders, and was tossed like the mane of a lion when he spoke. His
beard was rough and untrimmed. His eyes gleamed like glowing coals,
and seemed to burn into the very soul of his hearers. His was the face
of the religious enthusiastic with a Message for the world.

This wild prophet was most strenuous, and his teachings were couched
in the most vigorous words. There was no tact, policy, or persuasion
in his message. He hurled his verbal thunderbolts right into his
crowd, the very force and earnestness emanating from him serving to
charge his words with a vitality and magnetism which dashed itself
into the crowd like a spark of electricity, knocking men from off
their feet, and driving the Truth into them as if by a charge of a
powerful explosive. He told them that the spiritual grain was to be
gathered into the garners, while the chaff was to be consumed as if by
a fiery furnace; that the axe was to be laid to the root of the trees
which brought not forth good fruit. Verily, the "Day of Jehovah," long
promised by the prophets, was near to hand to his hearers and

John soon gathered to himself a following, the people flocking to him
from all parts of the country, even from Galilee. His followers began
to talk among themselves, asking whether indeed this man were not the
long promised Master--the Messiah for whom all Israel had waited for
centuries. This talk coming to the ears of the prophet, caused him to
answer the question in his discourses, saying: "There cometh one
mightier than I, after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy
to stoop down and unloose; he that cometh after me is mightier than
I." And thus it became gradually known to his following, and the
strangers attending his meetings, that this John the Baptist, mighty
preacher though he be, was but the herald of one much greater than he,
who should follow--that he was the forerunner of the Master, according
to the Oriental imagery which pictured the forerunner of the great
dignitaries, running ahead of the chariot of his master, crying aloud
to all people gathered on the road that they must make way for the
approaching great man, shouting constantly, "Make ye a way! make ye a
way for the Lord!" And accordingly there was a new wave of excitement
among John's following, which spread rapidly to the surrounding
country, at this promise of the coming of the Lord--the
Master--perhaps even the Messiah of the Jews. And many more came unto
John, and with him waited for the Coming of the Master.

This John the Baptist was born in the hill country of Judea, nearly
thirty years before he appeared as a prophet. His father was of the
priestly order, or temple caste, who had reached an advanced age, and
who lived with his aged wife in retirement, away from the noise and
confusion of the world, waiting the gradual approach of that which
cometh to all men alike. Then there came to them a child of their old
age, unexpected and unhoped for--coming as a mark of especial favor
from God--a son, to whom they gave the name of _Johanan_, which in the
Hebrew tongue means "Jehovah is gracious."

Reared in the home of his parents--the house of a priest--John
saturated himself with all the Inner Teachings reserved for the few,
and withheld from the masses. The Secrets of the Kaballah, that system
of Hebrew Occultism and Mysticism in which the higher priests of Judea
were well versed, were disclosed to him, and occult tradition has it
that he was initiated into the Inner Circle of the Hebrew Mystics,
composed of only priests of a certain grade, and their sons. John
became an Occultist and a Mystic. When the boy reached the age of
puberty, he departed from the home of his parents, and went into the
wilderness, "looking to the East, from whence cometh all Light." In
other words, he became an Ascetic, living in the wilderness, just as
in India even to-day youths of the Brahmin or priestly class sometimes
forsake their homes, renouncing their luxurious life, and fly to the
jungle, where they wander about for years as ascetics, wearing a
single garment, subsisting on the most elementary food, and developing
their spiritual consciousness. John remained a recluse until he
reached the age of about thirty years, when he emerged from the
wilderness to preach the "Coming of the Lord," in obedience to the
movings of the Spirit. Let us see where he was, and what he did,
during the fifteen years of his life in the wilderness and hidden
places of Judea.

The traditions of the Essenes, preserved among Occultists, state that
while John was an ascetic he imbibed the teachings of that strange
Occult Brotherhood known as the Essenes, and after having served his
apprenticeship, was accepted into the order as an Initiate, and
attained their higher degrees reserved only for those of developed
spirituality and power. It is said that even when he was a mere boy he
claimed and proved his right to be fully initiated into the Mysteries
of the Order, and was believed to have been a reincarnation of one of
the old Hebrew prophets.


The Essenes were an ancient Hebrew Occult Brotherhood, which had been
in existence many hundred years before John's time. They had their
headquarters on the Eastern shores of the Dead Sea, although their
influence extended over all of Palestine, and their ascetic brothers
were to be found in every wilderness. The requirements of the Order
were very strict, and its rites and ceremonies were of the highest
mystical and occult degree. The Neophyte was required to serve a
preliminary apprenticeship of one year before being admitted to even
partial recognition as a member and brother. A further apprenticeship
of two more years was required before he was admitted to full
membership, and extended the right hand of fellowship. Additional time
was required for further advancement, and even time alone did not
entitle the member to certain high degrees, the requirements being
that actual knowledge, power and attainment must first be manifested.
As in all true Occult Orders the candidate must "work out his own
salvation," neither money nor influence having any weight.

Absolute obedience to the Rules of the Order; absolute poverty of
material possessions; absolute sexual continence--these were the
conditions of membership to be observed by both Neophyte and Initiate,
as well as High-degree Master. Understanding this, one may imagine the
disgust inspired in John by the amorous solicitations of Salome, which
caused him to lose his life rather than to break the vows of his
Order, as is so startlingly pictured in the stage productions of
modern times.

One of the ceremonies of the Essenes was that of Baptism (literally,
"dipping in water") which was administered to Candidates, with
appropriate solemnity and rites. The mystic significance of the
ceremony which is understood by all members of Occult Orders, even
unto this day, was a part of the ritual originated by the Essenes, and
the rite itself was a distinctive feature of their Order. The
performance of this rite by John the Baptist, in his ministry, and its
subsequent acceptance by the Christian Church as a distinctive
ceremonial, of which the "sprinkling of infants" of to-day is a
reminder and substitute, forms a clear connecting link between the
Essenes and Modern Christianity, and impresses the stamp of Mysticism
and Occultism firmly upon the latter, as little as the general public
may wish to admit it in their ignorant misunderstanding and
materialistic tendencies.

The Essenes believed in, and taught the doctrine of Reincarnation; the
Immanence of God; and many other Occult Truths, the traces of which
appear constantly in the Christian Teachings, as we shall see as we
progress with these lessons. Through its Exalted Brother, John the
Baptist, the Order passed on its teaching to the early Christian
Church, thus grafting itself permanently upon a new religious growth,
newly appearing on the scene. And the transplanted branches are still

Of course, the true history of the real connection between the Essenes
and Christianity is to be found only in the traditions of the Essenes
and other ancient Mystic Orders, much of which has never been printed,
but which has passed down from teacher to pupil over the centuries
even unto this day, among Occult Fraternities. But in order to show
the student that we are not making statements incapable of proof by
evidence available to him, we would refer him to any standard work of
reference on the subject. For instance, if he will consult the "New
International Encyclopedia" (Vol. VII, page 217) article on "Essenes,"
he will read the following words:

"It is an interesting question as to how much Christianity
owes to Essenism. It would seem that there was room for
definite contact between John the Baptist and this
Brotherhood. His time of preparation was spent in the
wilderness near the Dead Sea; his preaching of righteousness
toward God, and justice toward one's fellow men, was in
agreement with Essenism; while his insistence on Baptism was
in accord with the Essenic emphasis on lustrations."

The same article contains the statement that the Essenic Brotherhood
taught a certain "view entertained regarding the origin, present
state, and future destiny of the soul, _which was held to be
pre-existent, being entrapped in the body as in a prison_," etc. (The
above italics are our own.)

John emerged from the wilderness when he had reached the age of about
thirty years, and began his ministry work, which extended for several
years until his death at the hands of Herod. He gathered around him a
large and enthusiastic following, beginning with the humbler classes
and afterward embracing a number of higher social degree. He formed
his more advanced followers into a band of disciples, with prescribed
rules regarding fasting, worship, ceremonial, rites, etc., closely
modeled upon those favored by the Essenes. This organization was
continued until the time of John's death, when it merged with the
followers of Jesus, and exerted a marked influence upon the early
Christian church.

As we have stated, one of his principal requisites enjoined upon all
of his followers, was that of "Baptism"--the Essenic rite, from which
he derived his familiar appellation, "The Baptist." But, it must be
remembered that to John this rite was a most sacred, mystic, symbolic
ceremony, possessing a deep occult meaning unperceived by many of his
converts who submitted themselves to it under the fervor of religious
emotion, and who _naively_ regarded it as some magical rite which
"washed away sin" from their souls, as the dirt was washed from their
bodies, a belief which seems to be still in favor with the multitude.

John worked diligently at his mission, and the "Baptists" or
"Followers of Johanan," as they were called, increased rapidly. His
meetings were events of great moment to thousands who had gathered
from all Palestine to see and hear the prophet of the wilderness--the
Essene who had emerged from his retirement. His meetings were often
attended with startling occurrences, sudden conversions, visions,
trances, etc., and many developed possession of unusual powers and
faculties. But one day there was held a meeting destined to gain
world-wide fame. This was the day when there came to John the Baptist
the MASTER, of whose coming John had frequently foretold and promised.
JESUS THE CHRIST appeared upon the scene and confronted his

The traditions have it that Jesus came unannounced to, and
unrecognized by John and the populace. The Forerunner was in ignorance
of the nature and degree of his guest and applicant for Baptism.
Although the two were cousins, they had not met since childhood, and
John did not at first recognize Jesus. The traditions of the Mystic
Orders further state that Jesus then gave to John the various signs of
the Occult Fraternities to which they both belonged, working from the
common signs up until Jesus passed on to degrees to which John had not
attained, although he was an eminent high-degree Essene. Whereupon
John saw that the man before him was no common applicant for Baptism,
but was, instead, a highest-degree Mystic Adept, and Occult
Master--his superior in rank and unfoldment. John, perceiving this,
remonstrated with Jesus, saying that it was not meet and proper, nor
in accordance with the customs of the Brotherhoods, for the inferior
to Baptize the superior. Of this event the New Testament takes note in
these words: "But John forbade him, saying, I have need to be baptized
of thee, and comest thou to me?" (_Matt. 3:14._) But Jesus insisted
that John perform the rite upon him upon the ground that He wished to
go through the ceremonial in order to set His stamp of approval upon
it, and to show that he considered himself as a man among men, come
forth to live the life of men.

In both the occult traditions and the New Testament narrative, it is
stated that a mystical occurrence ensued at the baptism, "the Spirit
of God descending like a dove and lighting upon Him," and a voice from
Heaven saying: "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased."

And with these words the mission of John the Baptist, as "Forerunner
of the Master," was fulfilled. _The Master_ had appeared to take up
his work.


And, now, let us turn back the pages of the Book of Time, to a period
about thirty years before the happening of the events above mentioned.
Let us turn our gaze upon the events surrounding the birth of Jesus,
in order that we may trace the Mystic and Occult forces at work from
the beginning of Christianity. There are occurrences of the greatest
importance embraced in these thirty years.

Let us begin the Mystic Narrative of Jesus the Christ, as it is told
to the Neophyte of every Occult Order, by the Master Instructor, by a
recital of an event preceding his birth by over one year.

In Matthew 2:1-2, the following is related:

"Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days
of Herod the king, behold, there came Wise Men from the East
to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the
Jews? for we have seen his star in the East, and are come to
worship him."

In these simple words is stated an event that, expressed in a much
more extended narrative, forms an important part of the Esoteric
Teachings of the Mystic Brotherhoods, and Occult Orders of the Orient,
and which is also known to the members of the affiliated secret orders
of the Western world. The story of THE MAGI is embedded in the
traditions of the Oriental Mystics, and we shall here give you a brief
outline of the story as it is told by Hierophant to Neophyte--by Guru
to Chela.

To understand the story, you must know just who were these "Wise Men
of the East"--The Magi. And this you shall now be taught.


The translators of the New Testament have translated the words naming
these visitors from afar as "the Wise Men from the East," but in the
original Greek, Matthew used the words "_The Magi_" as may be seen by
reference to the original Greek versions, or the Revised Translation,
which gives the Greek term in a foot-note. Any leading encyclopedia
will corroborate this statement. The term "the Magi" was the exact
statement of Matthew in the original Greek in which the Gospel was
written, the term "the Wise Men" originating with the English
translators. There is absolutely no dispute regarding this question
among Biblical scholars, although the general public is not aware of
the connection, nor do they identify the Wise Men with the Oriental

The word "Magi" comes to the English language direct from the Greek,
which in turn acquired it by gradual steps from the Persian, Chaldean,
Median, and Assyrian tongues. It means, literally, "wonder worker,"
and was applied to the members of the occult priestly orders of
Persia, Media, and Chaldea, who were Mystic Adepts and Occult Masters.
Ancient history is full of references to this body of men. They were
the custodians of the world's occult knowledge for centuries, and the
priceless treasures of the Inner Teachings held by the race to-day
have come through the hands of these men--the Magi--who tended the
sacred fires of Mysticism and kept The Flame burning. In thinking of
their task, one is reminded of the words of Edward Carpenter, the
poet, who sings: "Oh, let not the flame die out! Cherished age after
age in its dark caverns, in its holy temples cherished. Fed by pure
ministers of love--let not the flame die out."

The title of "Magi" was highly esteemed in those ancient days, but it
fell into disrepute in the latter times owing to its growing use as an
appellation of the practitioners of "Black Magic," or "evil
wonder-workers" or sorcerers, of those days. But as a writer in the
New International Encyclopedia (Vol. XII, page 674) has truly said:

"The term is employed in its true sense by Matthew (2:1) of
the wise men who came from the East to Jerusalem to worship
Christ. The significance of this event must be observed
because the Messianic doctrine was an old and established
one in Zoroastrianism."

The same article says of the Magi: "... they believed in a
resurrection, a future life, and the advent of a savior."

To understand the nature of the Magi in connection with their occult
"wonder working," we must turn to the dictionaries, where we will see
that the word "Magic" is derived from the title "Magi;" the word
"Magician" having been originally "Magian", which means "one of the
Magi." Webster defines the word "Magic" as follows: "The hidden wisdom
supposed to be possessed by the Magi; relating to the occult powers of
nature; mastery of secret forces in nature", etc. So you may readily
see that we are right in stating to you that these Wise Men--the Magi
who came to worship the Christ-child, were in reality the
representatives of the great Mystic Brotherhoods and Occult Orders of
the Orient--Adepts, Masters, Hierophants! And thus do we find the
Occult and Mystic "wonder workers"--the high-degree brethren of the
Great Eastern Lodges of Mystic Occultism, appearing at the very
beginning of the Story of Christianity, indicating their great
interest in the mortal birth of the greater Master whose coming they
had long waited--the Master of Masters! And all Occultists and Mystics
find pleasure and just pride in the fact that the first recognition of
the Divine Nature of this human child came from these Magi from the
East--from the very Heart of the Mystic Inner Circles! To those
so-called Christians to whom all that is connected with Mysticism and
Occultism savors of the fiery sulphur and brimstone, we would call
attention to this intimate early relation between The Musters and THE


But the Mystic story begins still further back than the visit of the
Magi to Bethlehem. Did not the Magi say, "Where is He? We have seen
His star in the East and have come to worship him." What is meant by
the words, "We have seen his star in the East"?

To the majority of Christians the "Star of Bethlehem" means a great
star that suddenly appeared in the heavens, like a great beacon light,
and which miraculously guided the steps of the Magi, mile by mile, on
their weary journey, until at last it rested in the heavens,
stationary over the house in which the child Jesus lived, between the
ages of one and two years. In other words, they believe that this star
had constantly guided these skilled mystics, occultists and
astrologers, in their journey from the far East, which occupied over a
year, until it at last guided them to Bethlehem and then stopped
stationary over the house of Joseph and Mary. Alas! that these vulgar
traditions of the ignorant multitude should have served so long to
obscure a beautiful mystic occurrence, and which by their utter
improbability and unscientific nature should have caused thousands to
sneer at the very true legend of the "Star of Bethlehem." It remains
for the Mystic traditions to clear away the clouds of ignorance from
this beautiful story, and to re-establish it in the minds of men as a
natural and scientific occurrence.

This story of the "traveling star" arose from the superstitious and
ignorant ideas of many of the Christians of the first, second, and
third centuries after Christ's death. These tales were injected into
the manuscripts left by the disciples, and soon began to be regarded
as a part and portion of the authentic Gospels and Epistles, although
the skilled Biblical critics and scholars of to-day are rapidly
discarding many of these additions as wilful forgeries and
interpolations. It must be remembered that the oldest manuscripts of
the books of the New Testament are known to Biblical scholars to have
been written _not less than three hundred years after the time of the
original writing_, and are merely _copies of copies_ of the originals,
undoubtedly added to, altered, and adulterated by the writers through
whose hands they had passed. This is not merely the statement of an
outside critic--it is a fact that is clearly stated in the writings of
the scholars in the Churches engaged in the work of Biblical study,
and the Higher Criticism, to which works we refer any who may have
reason to doubt our statement.

That portion of the verse (_Matt. 2:9._) in which it is said that "and
lo; the star which they saw in the east went before them, till it came
and stood over where the young child was," is known to the Mystic and
Occult Orders to be a rank interpolation into the story of the Magi.
It is contrary to their own traditions and records, and is also
contrary to reason and to scientific laws, and this distorted story
alone has been the cause of the development of thousands of "infidels"
who could not accept the tale.

All intelligent men know that a "star" is not a mere tiny point of
flame in the dome which shuts us out from a Heaven on the other side
of the blue shell, although this view was that of the ancient people,
and many ignorant men and women to-day. Educated people know that a
"star" is either a planet of our solar system, similar to the sister
planet which we called the Earth, or else is a mighty sun, probably
many times larger than our sun, countless millions of miles distant
from our solar system. And they know that planets have their
invariable orbits and courses, over which they travel, unceasingly, so
true to their course that their movements may be foretold centuries
ahead, or calculated for centuries back. And they know that even the
great fixed stars, those distant suns and centers of great solar
systems akin to our own, have their own places in the Universe, also
their Universal relations and movements. All who have studied even the
most elementary school book on astronomy know these things. And yet
such people are asked to swallow whole this story of the "moving
star," traveling on a little ahead of the shepherds for over a year,
and at last standing right over the home of Jesus, and thus indicating
that the search was ended. Let us compare this unscientific tale, with
the traditions and legends of the Mystics, and then take your choice.

Had there been any such star in appearance, the historians of that day
would surely have recorded it, for there were learned and wise men in
the East in those days, and as astrology was a science closely
studied, it would have been noted and passed on to posterity by both
writings and tradition. But no such record or tradition is to be found
among the Eastern peoples, or the records of the astrologers. But
another record and tradition _is_ preserved, as we shall see in a

Yes, there really _was_ a "Star of Bethlehem" which led the feet of
the Magi to the home of the infant Jesus. We have the following proof
of this fact:

(1) the traditions and teachings of the Mystic Orders which
have been handed down from teacher to student for centuries;

(2) the statements and records of the Ancient Astrologers,
which may be proven by modern astronomical calculations; and

(3) the calculations made by modern astronomers, which shall
be stated a few paragraphs further on. These three sources
of information give us the same tale, as we shall see.

Before proceeding to a consideration of this three-fold evidence, let
us pause for a moment and consider the relation of the Magi to
Astrology. To understand the narrative of the Magi's Visit to Jesus,
we must remember that they were the very Masters of Astrological Lore.
Persia and the surrounding Oriental countries were the fountain-head
of Astrological Teaching. And these Magi were Masters, and Adepts, and
Hierophants, and consequently knew all that was known to the greatest
schools of Astrology of that day. Much of their Ancient Astrological
Lore has been lost to the race of to-day, but to these ancient learned
men it was as much of a science as chemistry and astronomy are to the
learned ones of our day.

The Magi had long waited for the appearance and incarnation of a Great
Master of Masters, whose appearance had been predicted centuries
before by some of the great Occult Fathers of the Mystic Orders, and
each generation hoped that the event would come in his day. They had
been taught that when the event took place, they would be informed by
means of the planets, according to the Higher Astrology. All students
of even our modern fragmentary astrology will understand this. And so
they waited and carefully scanned the heavens for the sign.

Now the traditions of the Occult Orders inform us that at last the
Magi witnessed a peculiar conjunction of planets; first, the
conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter, in the Constellation of Pisces, the
two planets being afterward joined by the planet Mars, the three
planets in close relation of position, making a startling and unusual
stellar display, and having a deep astrological significance. Now, the
Constellation of Pisces, as all astrologers, ancient and modern, know,
is the constellation governing the national existence of Judea. Seeing
the predicted conjunction of the planets, occurring in the
Constellation having to do with Judea (as well as the relative
positions of the other planets, all of which played its part in the
observation), the Magi knew two things, _i.e._, (1) that the birth of
the Master of Masters had occurred; and (2) that He had been born in
Judea, as indicated by the constellation in which the conjunction
occurred. And, so, making the calculation of the exact moment of the
conjunction, they started on their long journey toward Judea in search
of the Master of Masters.

Now, again, the records of the Astrologers, preserved in the Oriental
Occult Brotherhoods, in their monasteries, etc., show that at a period
a few years before the Christian Era such a peculiar conjunction and
combination of the planets occurred in the Constellation symbolizing
the destinies of Judea, which was interpreted as indicating the
appearance of an Incarnation or Avatar of a Great Divine Soul--a
Master of Masters--a Mystic of Mystics. It must be remembered that
these Orders are composed of non-Christians--people that the average
Christian would call "heathens," and that therefore this testimony
must be regarded as free from bias toward Christianity or the
corroboration of its legends.

And, in the third place, the calculations of Modern Astronomy show
without possibility of contradiction that in the Roman year 747 (or
seven years before the Christian Era) _the planets Saturn and Jupiter
farmed a conjunction in the Constellation of Pisces_, and that these
two planets, still in close position to each other, were joined by the
planet Mars in the Spring of 748. The great astronomer Kepler first
made this calculation in the year 1604, and it has been since verified
by modern calculations. To those who would object that all this
occurred seven years before the commonly accepted date of the birth of
Christ, we would say that any modern work on New Testament Chronology,
or any encyclopedia or reference work on the subject, will show that
the former calculations were several years out of the way, and that
the records of other events mentioned in the Bible, such as the
"enrollment" of the people, which brought Joseph and Mary to
Bethlehem, enable modern Biblical scholars to fix the date of the
birth of Christ at about six or seven years before the usually
accepted time. So that modern research fully corroborates the
astrological record and the Mystic traditions.

And so it would appear that the coming of the Wise Men--the Magi--was
in accordance with the astrological signs, of the interpretation of
which they were adepts and masters. When this truth is known, how
puerile and petty seems the myth of the "traveling star" of the
commonly accepted exoteric version? And the pictures of the Wise Men
being led by a moving heavenly body, traveling across the skies and at
last standing still over the cottage of Joseph, with which the Sunday
school books are filled, must be relegated to the same waste-paper
basket which contains the Bible illustrations, formerly so popular,
which picture Jehovah as a bald-headed old man with a long white
beard, clad in flowing robes designed to hide his body. Is it any
wonder that skeptics, infidels, and scoffers of the spiritual truths
have arisen in great numbers, when they have been asked to accept
these things or be damned?

And is not this connection of Astrology with Early Christianity a
rebuke to the modern Christian Church which sneers and scoffs at the
science of astrology as a "base superstition" fit only for fools and
ignoramuses? Does not this picture of the Magi give a clear view of
that which was formerly regarded as a mere fable, to be solemnly
smiled over and taught to the children, with whom the story has always
been a favorite owing to their intuitive perception of an underlying
truth. And now with this Mystic version, cannot _you_ enjoy the legend
with the children? In this connection let us once more quote from the
New International Encyclopedia (Vol. II, 170), a standard reference
work, as you know, which says:

"Some of the earlier Christian Fathers argued against the
doctrines of the earlier astrology, while others received
them in a modified form; and indeed it formed a part of the
basis of their religion in the Gospel narrative of the visit
to Bethlehem of the Wise Men of the East, who were Chaldean
Magi or Astrologers."

Here is the testimony in all of the standard reference books, and yet
how many of you have known it?

To understand the importance of the event which drew the steps of the
Magi to Bethlehem, we must realize that the Coming of the Master was a
favorite subject of speculation and discussion among Occultists and
Mystic organizations all over the Oriental countries. It had been
foretold, in all tongues, that a Great Master would be given to the
world--a mighty _avatar_ or appearance of Deity in human form, who
would incarnate in order to redeem the world from the materiality
which threatened it. The Sacred Writings of India, Persia, Chaldea,
Egypt, Media, Assyria, and other lands had foretold this event for
many centuries, and all the mystics and occultists longed for the day
"when the Master would appear." The Jews also had many traditions
regarding the coming of a Messiah, who would be born of the seed of
David, at Bethlehem, but their Messiah was looked upon as likely to be
an earthly king, destined to free Israel from the Roman yoke. And so,
the tradition of the Jews was regarded as of inferior moment to their
own predictions, by the Mystic and Occult Brotherhoods of the East. To
them it was to be an _avatar_ of Deity--God in human form come to take
his rightful seat as the Grand Master of the Universal Grand Lodge of
Mystic--a descent of pure Spirit into matter. This conception
certainly was very much higher than that of the Jews.

And so, knowing these things, we may readily understand why the Magi
pursued their search with such ardor and enthusiasm. They had many
weary miles of travel to Bethlehem, over a year being consumed in the
journey. They reached Bethlehem over a year after the birth of Christ
and the appearance of the Star, the sight of which had started them on
their quest. They sought not a new-born babe, as common belief has
it--they searched for a child born over a year before. (We refer the
student to any reference work, for a verification of this last
statement. The illustrations in the Sunday school books showing the
Wise Men worshipping a new born babe in the manger are on a par with
the others mentioned. The Wise Men had nothing to do with the stable
or the manger--for Joseph, Mary and the Babe were lodged in a house by
that time, as we shall see as we proceed.)

At last after their long and weary wandering over hill and plain,
mountain and desert, the Magi found themselves in Jerusalem, inquiring
diligently as to the whereabouts of the Master of Masters--the
Promised One, whose coming had been the subject of prophecy for
centuries among the Eastern peoples. The Jews of whom they inquired,
although not familiar with the predictions regarding a Mystic Master,
or _avatar_ of Deity, were nevertheless thoroughly familiar with the
prophecies of the coming of the Hebrew Messiah, and naturally thought
that it was of this expected earthly King of the Jews that the Magi
inquired, and so they reported it far and wide that these Great Men
from the East had come to Jerusalem to find the Messiah--the King of
the Jews, who was to deliver Israel from the Roman yoke. And, as the
Gospel of Matthew (2:3) informs us: "When Herod the king heard it, he
was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him." Naturally so, when it is
remembered that it was an Earthly Kingdom that they expected the
Messiah would inherit. And so, gathering the chief priests and scribes
of Jerusalem around him, he bade them tell him the particulars
regarding the prophecies regarding the Messiah--where he was expected
to be born. And they answered him, saying: "In Bethlehem of Judea for
so hath the prophets spoken."

And hearing the testimony of the scribes and priests, the wily Herod,
who feared the realization of this old Hebrew prophecy which
threatened to cost him his throne if fulfilled, called the Magi to his
palace and in private consultation inquired of them the reason of
their search. And when they told him of the astrological
indications--of the "Star"--he was still more wrought up, and wished
to locate the dangerous child. And so he inquired of them the exact
date at which the star had appeared, that he might be better able to
find the infant, knowing its date of birth in Bethlehem. (See Matthew
2:7.) And learning this he bade them go to Bethlehem and find the
child they sought, and cunningly added, "And when ye have found him,
bring me word, that I also may come and worship him." Thus craftily
concealing his intentions to seize and kill the child, he endeavored
to press the Magi into his service as detectives, by pretending to
join in their desire to locate the Divine Child.

The Magi traveled on to Bethlehem, and arriving there made diligent
inquiry regarding infants that had been born about the time that the
star appeared. There were many infants born in Bethlehem during the
same month, of course, and the search was difficult. But they soon
heard strange rumors about a babe that had been born to travelers in
Bethlehem about that time, the birth of whom had been attended by a
strange occurrence. This peculiar happening is related in Luke 2:8-20,
in which it is stated that at the time of the birth of Jesus in the
manger, certain shepherds keeping the night-watch over their flocks
saw an angel standing by them, and "the glory of the Lord" shining
around about them. And the angel bade them be not afraid, for to them
was to be given tidings of great joy, for there was born that very
day, in Bethlehem, one who was to be the Anointed Lord of the world.
And the angel further directed them that the babe would be found lying
in a manger in a stable, wrapped in swaddling clothes which was to be
their sign. And then suddenly the place was filled with a multitude of
supernatural beings, praising God, singing, "Glory to God in the
highest, and on earth peace and good-will among men." And the
shepherds flocked to the town, and there found the child in the
manger. And they spread abroad the report of the wonderful event
accompanying the birth of the child. And consequently the child and
its parents became objects of more or less public interest.

And so when the Magi instituted their search they were in due time
informed of this strange occurrence. And they visited the house of
Joseph and Mary and saw the Babe. Making close inquiry of the parents,
they found that the time of the child's birth tallied precisely with
the moment of the astrological signs. Then they cast the Child's
horoscope and they knew that their shepherd's vision coincided with
their own science, and that here indeed was He for whom the Eastern
Occultists and Mystics had waited for centuries. They had found the
Master! The Star Child was before them!

Then these Great Men of their own lands--these Adepts, Masters and
Hierophants--prostrated themselves on the ground before the child and
gave him the salutation due only to the great Occult Master of Masters
who was come to take his seat upon the Throne of the Grand Master of
the Great Lodge. But the child knew naught of this, and merely smiled
sweetly at these strange men in gorgeous foreign robes, and reached
out his little hand toward them. But Occult tradition has it that the
tiny fingers and thumb of his right hand, outstretched toward the
Magi, unconsciously assumed the mystic symbol of the Occult
Benediction, used by the Masters and Hierophants (and now used by the
Pope in Papal Benediction) and gave to the worshippers that Master's
benediction. The tiny Master of Masters thus gave his first blessing
to his followers, and exalted worshippers. But His Throne was not that
of the Great Lodge, but a still higher place--the knees of a Mother!

And the Magi then made mystic and symbolic offerings to the
child--Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh offered they Him. Gold, signifying
the tribute offered to a Ruler, was the first symbol. Then came
Frankincense, the purest and rarest incense used by the Occult and
Mystic Brotherhoods and Orders, in their ceremonies and rites, when
they were contemplating the sacred symbol of the Absolute Master of
the Universe--this Frankincense was their symbol of worship. Then,
last symbol of all, was the Myrrh, which in the occult and mystic
symbolism indicated the bitterness of mortal life, bitter though
pungent, preserving though stinging--this was the meaning of the
Myrrh, that this child, though Divine in his inner nature, was still
mortal in body and brain, and must accept and experience the bitter
tang of life. Myrrh, the strength of which preserves, and prevents
decay, and yet which smarts, and tangs, and stings ever and ever--a
worthy symbol of Mortal Life, surely. Wise Men, indeed, ye Magi! Gold,
Frankincense, and Myrrh--a prophecy, symbol, and revelation of the
Life of the Son of Man, with His indwelling Pure Spirit.

And the Magi, having performed their rites and ceremonies, departed
from Bethlehem. But they did not forget the Child--they preserved a
careful watch over his movements, until they saw him again. Saw Him
again? you ask? _Yes, saw him again!_ Though the Gospels say naught of
this, and are silent for a period of many years in the Life of Jesus,
yet the records and traditions of the Mystics of the East are filled
with this esoteric knowledge of these missing years, as we shall see
as we proceed. Left behind by the Magi, but still under their loving
care, the Child waxed strong and grew in mind and body.

But the Magi, being warned by higher intelligences in a vision, did
not return to the wily and crafty Herod, but "departed unto their own
country another way." (_Matt. 2:12._) And Herod waited in vain for
their return, and finally discovering their escape wrathfully ordered
the massacre of all male children that had been born in Bethlehem and
its suburbs of two years of age and under. He calculated the two years
from the witnessing of the "star" by the Magi. Matthew 2:16 states the
story of the fixing of the time as follows:

"And slew all the male children that were in Bethlehem, and
all the borders thereof, from two years old and under,
_according to the time which he exactly learned of the wise

Herod sought to kill the feared Messiah--the King of the Jews, who
threatened to drive him from his earthly throne--by killing all the
male infants in Bethlehem that had been born since the astrological
indication as stated by the Magi.

But this plot failed, for Joseph had been warned by "an angel in a
dream" (which mystics teach was the Astral Form of one of the Magi)
and was told to take the mother and child and flee into Egypt, and to
stay there until the death of Herod. And so Joseph, Mary, and Jesus
then fled from the wrath of Herod, and stole silently away to Egypt.
And the Occult traditions have it that the expenses of the journey of
this poor carpenter and his family--that journey into strange lands,
hurried, and without the chance to earn money along the way--was
accomplished by the means of the Gold that the Magi had offered to
Jesus, and which they had insisted upon his parents storing away for
His use. And so the gold of these Occult Mystics saved the founder of
Christianity from massacre. And how poorly has Christianity repaid the
debt, when one thinks of the persecutions of the Oriental "heathen" by
the so-called Christians of all times!

And note this--they carried the child to Egypt, the home of Mystery
and Occultism--the land of Isis! A worthy resting place for the Great
Occult Master that was to be! And Occult tradition also has it that
one night, wearied with their long journey, the family halted and
passed the night in the place of the Sphinx and Pyramids. And that the
Mother and Babe rested between the outstretched forepaws of the mighty
Sphinx, which held them safe and secure, while Joseph threw himself on
the base before them, and slept on guard. What a scene--the Master as
an infant protected by the Sphinx, that ancient Occult emblem and
symbol, while close by, reared like mighty watchful sentinels, stood
the Great Pyramids of Egypt, the master work of Egypt's Mystics, every
line and inch of which symbolizes an Occult Teaching. Verily, indeed
is Christianity cradled in the lap of Mysticism.

Thus endeth our First Lesson. The Second Lesson will take up the
Mystic Teachings regarding the Divine Incarnation of the Spirit in the
mortal body of Jesus--a subject of the greatest importance to all who
are troubled with this difficult point. We hope to be able to shed the
Mystic light of Truth upon this corner which so many have found dark,
non-understandable, and contrary to reason, natural law and science.
The Mystic Teachings are the great Reconciler of Faith and Reason.



One of the points of conflict between Established Theology on the one
hand and what is known as Rationalism, the Higher Criticism, and
Comparative Mythology, on the other hand, is what is known as "the
Virgin Birth" of Jesus. Perhaps we may show the points of difference
more clearly by simply stating the opposing views and, afterwards,
giving the traditions of the Occult Brotherhoods and Societies on the
subject. We are enabled to state the opposing views without prejudice,
because we rest upon the Occult Teachings with a feeling of being
above and outside of the theological strife raging between the two
schools of Christian theologians. We trust that the reader will
reserve his decision until the consideration of the matter in this
lesson is completed. We think that it will be found that the Occult
Teachings give the Key to the Mystery and furnish the Reconciliation
between the opposing theological views which threaten to divide the
churches into two camps, i.e., (1) the adherents of the established
orthodox theology, and (2) the adherents of the views of the
Rationalists and the Higher Critics.

The school of theology which clings to the old orthodox teachings
regarding the Virgin Birth and which teachings are commonly accepted
without question by the mass of church-goers, hold as follows:

Mary, a young Jewish maiden, or virgin, was betrothed to
Joseph, a carpenter of Nazareth in Galilee. Before her
marriage, she was informed by an angelic vision that she
would miraculously conceive a son, to whom she would give
birth, and who would reign on the Throne of David and be
called the Son of the Highest. This teaching is based solely
upon certain statements contained in the Gospels of Matthew
and Luke. Matthew's account is as follows:

"Now, the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as
his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came
together, she was found with the child of the Holy Ghost.
Then Joseph, her husband, being a just man, and not willing
to make her a public example was minded to put her away
privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the
angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying,
Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary
thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy
Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call
his name JESUS, for he shall save his people from their
sins. And now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled
which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold
a virgin shall be with a child and shall bring forth a son,
and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being
interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from
sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took
unto him his wife: And knew her not until she had brought
forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus."
(_Matt. 1:18-25._)

Luke's account is as follows:

"And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God
unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused
to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and
the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her
and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is
with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw
him she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind
what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said
unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with
God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring
forth a son and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be
great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the
Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David.
And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of
his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the
angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the
angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come
upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow
thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of
thee shall be called the Son of God." (_Luke 1:26-33._)

And so, this then is the commonly accepted, orthodox teachings of
Christian theology. It is embodied in the two best-known creeds of the
church and is made an essential article of belief by the majority of
the orthodox churches.

In the Apostle's Creed, which has been traced back to about the year
A.D. 500, and which is claimed to have been based on an older creed,
the doctrine is stated thusly: "... and in Jesus Christ, his only Son,
our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin
Mary," etc. In the Nicene Creed, which dates from A.D. 325, the
doctrine is stated thusly: "... and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only
begotten Son of God, begotten of his Father ... and was incarnate by
the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary," etc.

And so, the doctrine is plainly stated and firmly insisted upon by the
orthodox churches of today, although such was not always the case for
the matter was one which gave rise to much conflict and difference of
opinion in the early centuries of the Church, the present view,
however, overcoming those who opposed it, and finally becoming
accepted as beyond doubt or question by the orthodox, believing

But the present time finds many leading minds in the churches, who
refuse to accept the doctrine as usually taught, and the voice of the
Higher Criticism is heard in the land in increasing volume and many
doctrines unquestioningly held by the pews are being abandoned by the
pulpits, usually in the way of "discreet silence" being maintained.
But here and there courageous voices are heard stating plainly that
which their reason and conscience impels. We shall now consider these
dissenting opinions.

We have to say here, at this point, that we have no sympathy for the
so-called "infidel" opinion, which holds that the whole tale of the
Virgin Birth was invented to conceal the illegitimate birth of Jesus.
Such a view is based neither on intelligent investigation or
criticism, or upon the occult teachings. It was merely "invented"
itself, by those who were unable to accept current theology and who,
when driven from the churches, built up a crude system of
reconstructed Biblical History of their own. And so we shall not stop
to even consider this view of the matter, but shall pass on to the
scholarly objectors and their views and thence to the Occult

In the first place, the theologians who favor the views of the Higher
Criticism object to the idea of the Virgin Birth upon several general
grounds, among which the following are the principal ones:

(1) That the story of the Divine Conception, that is the
conception by a woman of a child without a human father, and
by means of a miraculous act on the part of Deity, is one
found among the traditions, legends and beliefs of many
heathen and pagan nations. Nearly all of the old Oriental
religions, antedating Christianity by many centuries,
contain stories of this kind concerning their gods, prophets
and great leaders. The critics hold that the story of the
Virgin Birth and Divine Conception were borrowed outright
from these pagan legends and incorporated into the Christian
Writings after the death of Christ;

(2) that the idea of the Virgin Birth was not an original
Christian Doctrine, but was injected into the Teachings at a
date about one hundred years, or nearly so, after the
beginning of the Christian Era; this view being corroborated
by the fact that the New Testament Writings themselves
contain very little mention of the idea, the only mention of
it being in two of the Gospels, those of St. Matthew and St.
Luke--St. Mark and St. John containing no mention of the
matter, which would not likely be the case had it been an
accepted belief in the early days of Christianity--and no
mention being made of it in the Epistles, even Paul being
utterly silent on the question. They claim that the Virgin
Birth was unknown to the primitive Christians and was not
heard of until its "borrowing" from pagan beliefs many years
after. In support of their idea, as above stated, they call
attention to the fact that the New Testament writings, known
to Biblical students as the oldest and earliest, make no
mention of the idea; and that Paul ignores it completely, as
well as the other writers;

(3) that the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Luke bear
internal evidences of the introduction of the story at a
later date. This matter we shall now consider, from the
point of view of the Higher Criticism within the body of the

In the first place, let us consider the Gospel of St. Matthew. The
majority of people accept this as having been written by St. Matthew,
with his own hand, during his ministry; and that the Gospel, word for
word, is the work of this great apostle. This idea, however, is not
held for a moment by the educated clergy, as may be seen by a
reference to any prominent theological work of late years, or even in
the pages of a good encyclopedia. The investigators have made diligent
researches concerning the probable authorship of the New Testament
books and their reports would surprise many faithful church-goers who
are not acquainted with the facts of the case. There is no warrant,
outside of tradition and custom, for the belief that Matthew wrote the
Gospel accredited to him, at least in its present shape. Without going
deeply into the argument of the investigators (which may be found in
any recent work on the History of the Gospels) we would say that the
generally accepted conclusion now held by the authorities is that the
Gospel commonly accredited to St. Matthew is the work of some unknown
hand or hands, which was produced during the latter part of the first
century A.D., written in Greek, and most likely an enlargement or
elaboration of certain Aramaic writings entitled, "Sayings of Jesus,"
which are thought to have been written by Matthew himself. In other
words, even the most conservative of the critics do not claim that the
Gospel of St. Matthew is anything more than an enlargement,
elaboration or development of Matthew's earlier writings, written many
years before the elaboration of the present "Gospel." The more radical
critics take an even less respectful view. This being the fact, it may
be readily seen how easy it would have been for the latter-day
"elaborator" to introduce the then current legend of the Virgin Birth,
borrowed from pagan sources.

As a further internal evidence of such interpolation of outside
matter, the critics point to the fact that while the Gospel of Matthew
is made to claim that Joseph was merely the _reputed father_ of the
child of Mary, the same Gospel, in its very first chapter (_Matt. 1_)
_gives the genealogy of Jesus from David to Joseph_ the husband of
Mary, _in order to prove that Jesus came from the "House of David_,"
in accordance with the Messianic tradition. The chapter begins with
the words, "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of
David, the son of Abraham" (_Matt. 1_), and then goes on to name
fourteen generations from Abraham to David; fourteen generations from
David to the days of the carrying away into Babylon; and fourteen
generations from the Babylonian days until the birth of Jesus. The
critics call attention to this _recital of Jesus's descent, through
Joseph, from the House of David_, which is but one of the many
indications that the original Matthew inclined quite strongly to the
view that Jesus was the Hebrew Messiah, come to reign upon the throne
of David, rather than a Divine Avatar or Incarnation.

The critics point to the fact that _if Joseph were not the real father
of Jesus, where would be the sense and purpose of proving his descent
from David through Joseph?_ It is pertinently asked, _"Why the
necessity or purpose of the recital of Joseph's genealogy, as applied
to Jesus, if indeed Jesus were not truly the son of Joseph_?" The
explanation of the critics is that the earlier writings of Matthew
contained nothing regarding the Virgin Birth, Matthew having heard
nothing of this pagan legend, and that naturally he gave the genealogy
of Jesus from David and Abraham. If one omits the verses 18-25 from
Matthew's Gospel, he will see the logical relation of the genealogy to
the rest of the account--otherwise it is paradoxical, contradictory
and ridiculous, and shows the joints and seams where it has been
fitted into the older account.

"But," you may ask, "what of the Messianic Prophecy mentioned by
Matthew (1:23)? Surely this is a direct reference to the prophecy of
Isaiah 7:14." Let us examine this so-called "prophecy," of which so
much has been said and see just what reference it has to the birth of

Turning back to Isaiah 7, we find these words, just a little before
the "prophecy":

"Moreover the Lord spake again unto Ahaz, saying, Ask thee a
sign of the Lord thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in
the height above. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither
will I tempt the Lord. And he said, Hear ye now, O house of
David; is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye
weary my God also?" (_Isaiah 6:13._)

Then comes the "prophecy": "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you
a sign; Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call
his name Immanuel." This is the "prophecy" quoted by the writer of the
Gospel of Matthew, and which has been quoted for centuries in
Christian churches, as a foretelling of the miraculous birth of Jesus.
As a matter of fact, intelligent theologians know that it has no
reference to Jesus at all, in any way, but belongs to another
occurrence, as we shall see presently, and was injected into the
Gospel narrative merely to support the views of the writer thereof.

It may be well to add here that many of the best authorities hold that
the Greek translation of the Hebrew word "_almah_" into the equivalent
of "virgin" in the usual sense of the word is incorrect. The Hebrew
word "_almah_" used in the original Hebrew text of Isaiah, does not
mean "virgin" as the term is usually employed, but rather "a young
woman of marriageable age--a maiden," the Hebrews having an entirely
different word for the idea of "virginity," as the term is generally
used. The word "_almah_" is used in other parts of the Old Testament
to indicate a "young woman--a maiden," notably in Proverbs 30:19, in
the reference to "the way of a man with a maid."

But we need not enter into discussions of this kind, say the Higher
Critics, for the so-called "prophecy" refers to an entirely different
matter. It appears, say they, that Ahaz, a weakling king of Judea, was
in sore distress because Rezin the Syrian king, and Pekah the ruler of
Northern Israel, had formed an offensive alliance against him and were
moving their combined forces toward Jerusalem. In his fear he sought
an alliance with Assyria, which alliance was disapproved of by Isaiah
who remonstrated with Ahaz about the proposed move. The king was too
much unnerved by fear to listen to Isaiah's arguments and so the
latter dropped into prophecy. He prophesied, after the manner of the
Oriental seer, that the land would be laid waste and misery entailed
upon Israel, should the suicidal policy be adopted. But he held out a
hope for a brighter future after the clouds of adversity had rolled
by. A new and wise prince would arise who would bring Israel to her
former glory. That prince would be born of a young mother and his name
would be Immanuel, which means "God with us." All this had reference
to things of a reasonably near future and had no reference to the
birth of Jesus _some seven hundred years after_, who _was not a
prince_ sitting upon the throne of Israel, and who did not bring
national glory and renown to Israel, for such was not his mission.
Hebrew scholars and churchmen have often claimed that Isaiah's
prophecy was fulfilled by the birth of Hezekiah.

There is no evidence whatever in the Jewish history of the seven
hundred years between Isaiah and Jesus, that the Hebrews regarded
Isaiah's prophecy as relating to the expected Messiah, but on the
contrary it was thought to relate to a minor event in their history.
As a Jewish writer has truly said, "Throughout the wide extent of
Jewish literature there is not a single passage which can bear the
construction that the Messiah should be miraculously conceived." Other
writers along this line have stated the same thing, showing that the
idea of a Virgin Birth was foreign to the Jewish mind, the Hebrews
having always respected and highly honored married life and human
parentage, regarding their children as blessings and gifts from God.

Another writer in the Church has said, "Such a fable as the birth of
the Messiah from a _virgin_ could have arisen anywhere else easier
than among the Jews; their doctrine of the divine unity placed an
impassable gulf between God and the world; their high regard for the
marriage relation," etc., would have rendered the idea obnoxious.
Other authorities agree with this idea, and insist that the idea of
the Virgin Birth never originated in Hebrew prophecy, but was injected
into the Christian Doctrine from pagan sources, toward the end of the
first century, and received credence owing to the influx of converts
from the "heathen" peoples who found in the idea a correspondence with
their former beliefs. As Rev. R.J. Campbell, minister of the City
Temple, London, says in his "New Theology," "No New Testament passage
whatever is directly or indirectly a prophecy of the virgin birth of
Jesus. To insist upon this may seem to many like beating a man of
straw, but if so, the man of straw still retains a good deal of

Let us now turn to the second account of the Virgin Birth, in the
Gospels--the only other place that it is mentioned, outside of the
story in Matthew, above considered. We find this second mention in
Luke 1:26-35, the verses having been quoted in the first part of this

There has been much dispute regarding the real authorship of the
Gospel commonly accredited to Luke, but it is generally agreed upon by
Biblical scholars that it was the latest of the first three Gospels
(generally known as "the Synoptic Gospels"). It is also generally
agreed upon, by such scholars, that the author, whoever he may have
been, was not an eye witness of the events in the Life of Christ. Some
of the best authorities hold that he was a Gentile (non-Hebrew),
probably a Greek, for his Greek literary style is far above the
average, his vocabulary being very rich and his diction admirable. It
is also generally believed that the same hand wrote the Book of Acts.
Tradition holds that the author was one Luke, a Christian convert
after the death of Jesus, who was one of Paul's missionary band which
traveled from Troas to Macedonia, and who shared Paul's imprisonment
in Caesarea; and who shared Paul's shipwreck experiences on the voyage
to Rome. He is thought to have written his Gospel long after the death
of Paul, for the benefit and instruction of one Theophilus, a man of
rank residing in Antioch.

It is held by writers of the Higher Criticism that the account of the
Virgin Birth was either injected in Luke's narrative, by some later
writer, or else that Luke in his old age adopted this view which was
beginning to gain credence among the converted Christians of pagan
origin, Luke himself being of this class. It is pointed out that as
Paul, who was Luke's close friend and teacher, made no mention of the
Virgin Birth, and taught nothing of the kind, Luke must have acquired
the legend later, if, indeed, the narrative was written by him at all
in his Gospel.

It is likewise noted that Luke also gives a genealogy of Jesus, from
Adam, through Abraham, and David, and Joseph. The words in parenthesis
"as was supposed," in Luke 3:23, are supposed to have been inserted in
the text by a later writer, as there would be no sense or reason in
tracing the genealogy of Jesus through a "supposed" father. The verse
in question reads thusly: "And Jesus himself began to be about thirty
years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the
son of Heli," etc. Students, of course, notice that the line of
descent given by Luke differs very materially from that given by
Matthew, showing a lack of knowledge on the part of one or the other

On the whole, scholars consider it most remarkable that this account
of the Virgin Birth should be given by Luke, who was a most ardent
Pauline student and follower, in view of the fact that Paul ignored
the whole legend, if, indeed, he had ever heard of it. Surely a man
like Paul would have laid great stress upon this wonderful event had
he believed in it, or had it formed a part of the Christian Doctrine
of his time. That Luke should have written this account is a great
mystery--and many feel that it is much easier to accept the theory of
the later interpolation of the story into Luke's Gospel, particularly
in view of the corroborative indications.

Summing up the views of the Higher Criticism, we may say that the
general position taken by the opponents and deniers of the Virgin
Birth of Jesus is about as follows:

1. The story of the Virgin Birth is found only in the
introductory portion of two of the four Gospels--Matthew and
Luke--and even in these the story bears the appearance of
having been "fitted in" by later writers.

2. Even Matthew and Luke are silent about the matter after
the statements in the introductory part of their Gospels,
which could scarcely occur had the story been written by and
believed in by the writers, such action on their part being
contrary to human custom and probability.

3. The Gospels of Mark and John are absolutely silent on the
subject; the oldest of the Gospels--that of Mark--bears no
trace of the legend; and the latest Gospel--that of
John--being equally free from its mention.

4. The rest of the New Testament breathes not a word of the
story or doctrine. _The Book of Acts, generally accepted as
having also been written by Luke, ignores the subject
completely_. Paul, the teacher of Luke, and the great writer
of the Early Church, seems to know nothing whatever about
the Virgin Birth, or else purposely ignores it entirely, the
latter being unbelievable in such a man. Peter, the First
Apostle, makes no mention of the story or doctrine in his
great Epistles, which fact is inconceivable if he knew of
and believed in the legend. The Book of Revelation is
likewise silent upon this doctrine which played so important
a part in the later history of the Church. The great
writings of the New Testament contain no mention of the
story, outside of the brief mention in Matthew and Luke,
alluded to above.

5. There are many verses in the Gospels and Epistles which
go to prove, either that the story was unknown to the
writers, or else not accepted by them. _The genealogies of
Joseph are cited to prove the descent of Jesus from David,
which depends entirely upon the fact of Joseph's actual
parentage. Jesus is repeatedly and freely mentioned as the
son of Joseph._ Paul and the other Apostles hold firmly to
the doctrine of the necessity of the Death of Jesus; his
Rising from the Dead; and his Ascension into Heaven, etc.
But they had nothing to say regarding any necessity for his
Virgin Birth, or the necessity for the acceptance of any
such doctrine--they are absolutely silent on this point,
although they were careful men, omitting no important detail
of doctrine. Paul even speaks of Jesus as "of the seed of
David." (_Rom. 1:3._)

6. The Virgin Birth was not a part of the early traditions
or doctrine of the Church, but was unknown to it. And it is
not referred to in the preaching and teaching of the
Apostles, as may have been seen by reference to the Book of
Acts. This book, which relates the Acts and Teachings of the
Apostles, could not have inadvertently omitted such an
important doctrine or point of teaching. It is urged by
careful and conscientious Christian scholars that the
multitudes converted to Christianity in the early days must
have been ignorant of, or uninformed on, this miraculous
event, which would seem inexcusable on the part of the
Apostles had they known of it and believed in its truth.
This condition of affairs must have lasted until nearly the
second century, when the pagan beliefs began to filter in by
reason of the great influx of pagan converts.

7. There is every reason for believing that the legend arose
from other pagan legends, the religions of other peoples
being filled with accounts of miraculous births of heroes,
gods, and prophets, kings and sages.

8. That acceptance of the legend is not, nor should it be, a
proof of belief in Christ and Christianity. This view is
well voiced by Rev. Dr. Campbell, in his "New Theology,"
when he says "The credibility and significance of
Christianity are in no way affected by the doctrine of the
Virgin Birth, otherwise than that the belief tends to put a
barrier between Jesus and the race, and to make him
something that cannot properly be called human.... Like many
others, I used to take the position that acceptance or
non-acceptance of the doctrine of the Virgin Birth was
immaterial because Christianity was quite independent of it;
but later reflection has convinced me that in point of fact
it operates as a hindrance to spiritual religion and a real
living faith in Jesus. The simple and natural conclusion is
that Jesus was the child of Joseph and Mary, and had an
uneventful childhood." The German theologian, Soltau, says,
"Whoever makes the further demand that an evangelical
Christian shall believe in the words 'conceived by the Holy
Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary,' wittingly constitutes
himself a sharer in a sin against the Holy Spirit and the
true Gospel as transmitted to us by the Apostles and their
school in the Apostolic Age."

And this then is the summing up of the contention between the
conservative school of Christian theologians on the one side and the
liberal and radical schools on the other side. We have given you a
statement of the positions, merely that you may understand the
problem. But, before we pass to the consideration of the Occult
Teachings, let us ask one question: _How do the Higher Critics account
for the undoubted doctrine of the Divine Fatherhood, as clearly stated
all through the New Testament_, in view of the proofs against the
Virgin Birth? Why the frequent and repeated mention of Jesus as "the
Son of God?" What was the Secret Doctrine underlying the Divine
Parentage of Jesus, which the pagan legends corrupted into the story
of the Virgin Birth of theology? We fear that the answer is not to be
found in the books and preachments of the Higher Criticism, nor yet in
those of the Conservative Theologians. Let us now see what light the
Occult Teachings can throw on this dark subject! There is an Inner
Doctrine which explains the mystery.

Now, in the first place, there is no reference in the Occult Teaching
to any miraculous features connected with the physical birth of Jesus.
It is not expressly denied, it is true, but the Teachings contain no
reference to the matter, and all the references to the subject of
Jesus' parentage speak of Joseph as being His father, and Mary His
mother. In other words, the family is treated as being composed of
father, mother and child just as is the case with any family. The
Occult Teachings go into great detail concerning the _Spiritual
Sonship_ of Jesus, as we shall see presently, but there is no mention
of any miraculous _physical_ conception and birth.

We can readily understand why the Virgin Birth legend would not appeal
to the Occultists, if we will but consider the doctrines of the
latter. The Occultists pay but little attention to the physical body,
except as a Temple of the Spirit, and a habitation of the soul. The
physical body, to the Occultist, is a mere material shell, constantly
changing its constituent cells, serving to house the soul of the
individual, and which when cast off and discarded is no more than any
other bit of disintegrating material. They know of the existence of
the soul separate from the body, both after the death of the latter
and even during its life, in the case of Astral Travel, etc. And in
many other ways it becomes natural for the Occultist to regard his
body, and the bodies of others, as mere "shells," to be treated well,
used properly, and then willingly discarded or exchanged for another.

In view of the above facts, you may readily see that any theory or
doctrine which made the Absolute--God--overshadow a human woman's body
and cause her to physically conceive a child, would appear crude,
barbarous, unnecessary and in defiance of the natural laws established
by the Cause of Causes. The Occultist sees in the conception _of every
child_, the work of the Divine Will--_every conception and birth a
miracle_. But he sees Natural Law underlying each, and he believes
that the Divine Will always operates under Natural Laws--the seeming
miracles and exceptions thereto, resulting from the mastery and
operation of some law not generally known. But the Occultist knows of
no law that will operate to produce conception by other than the
physiological process.

In short, _the Occultist does not regard the physical body of Jesus as
Jesus Himself_--he knows that the Real Jesus is something much greater
than His body, and, consequently, he sees no more necessity for a
miraculous conception of His body than he would for a miraculous
creation of His robe. The body of Jesus was only material
substance--the Real Jesus was Spirit. The Occultists do not regard
Joseph as the father of the Real Jesus--_no human being can produce or
create a soul_. And so, the Occultist sees no reason for accepting the
old pagan doctrine of the physical Virgin Birth which has crept into
Christianity from outside sources. To the Occultist, there is a real
Virgin Birth of an entirely different nature, as we shall see

But, not so with the people who flocked to the ranks of Christianity
toward the close of the first century--coming from pagan people, and
bringing with them their pagan legends and doctrines. These people
_believed that the Body was the Real Man_, and consequently attached
the greatest importance to it. These people were almost materialists
as the result of their pagan views of life. They began to exert an
influence on the small body of original Christians, and soon the
original teachings were smothered by the weight of the pagan
doctrines. For instance, they failed to grasp the beautiful ideas of
Immortality held by the original Christians, which held that _the
soul_ survived the death and disintegration of the body. They could
not grasp this transcendental truth--they did not know what was meant
by the term "_the soul_," and so they substituted their pagan doctrine
of the resurrection of the physical body. They believed that at some
future time there would come a great Day, in which the Dead would
arise from their graves, and become again alive. The crudeness of this
idea, when compared to the beautiful doctrine of the Immortality of
the Soul of the original Christians, and by the advanced Christians
to-day, is quite painful. And yet these pagan converts actually
smothered out the true teachings by their crude doctrine of
resurrection of _the body_.

These people could not understand how a man could live without his
physical body, and to them future life meant a resurrection of their
dead bodies which would again become alive. To them the dead bodies
would remain dead, until the Great Day, when they would be made alive
again. There is no teaching among these people regarding the soul
which passes out of the body and lives again on higher planes. No,
nothing of this kind was known to these people--they were incapable of
such high ideas and ideals--they were materialists and were wedded to
their beloved animal bodies, and believed that their dead bodies would
in some miraculous way be made alive again at some time in the future,
when they would again live on earth.

In view of modern knowledge regarding the nature of matter, and the
fact that what is one person's body to-day, may be a part of another's
to-morrow--that matter is constantly being converted and
reconverted--that the universal material is used to form bodies of
animals, plants, men, or else dwell in chemical gases, or combinations
in inorganic things--in view of these accepted truths the
"resurrection of the body" seems a pitiful invention of the minds of a
primitive and ignorant people, and not a high spiritual teaching. In
fact, there may be many of you who would doubt that the Christians of
that day so taught, were it not for the undisputed historical records,
and the remnant of the doctrine itself embalmed in the "Apostle's
Creed," in the passage _"I believe in the resurrection of the body_"
which is read in the Churches daily, but which doctrine is scarcely
ever taught in these days, and is believed in by but few
Christians--in fact, is ignored or even denied by the majority.

Dr. James Beattie has written, "Though mankind have at all times had a
persuasion of the immortality of the soul, the resurrection of the
body was a doctrine peculiar to early Christianity." S.T. Coleridge
has written, "Some of the most influential of the early Christian
writers were materialists, holding the soul to be material--corporeal.
It appears that in those days some few held the soul to be
incorporeal, according to the views of Plato and others, but that the
orthodox Christian divines looked upon this as an impious,
unscriptural opinion. Justin Martyr argued against the Platonic nature
of the soul. And even some latter-day writers have not hesitated to
express their views on the subject, agreeing with the earlier orthodox
brethren. For instance, Dr. R.S. Candlish has said,

"You live again in the body,--in the very body, as to all
essential properties, and to all practical intents and
purposes, in which you live now. _I am not to live as a
ghost, a spectre, a spirit, I am to live then as I live now,
in the body_."

The reason that the early Church laid so much stress on this doctrine
of the Resurrection of the Body, was because an inner sect, the
Gnostics, held to the contrary, and the partisan spirit of the
majority swung them to the other extreme, until they utterly denied
any other idea, and insisted upon the resurrection and re-vitalizing
of the physical body. But, in spite of the official fostering of this
crude theory, it gradually sank into actual insignificance, although
its shadow still persists in creed and word. Its spirit has retreated
and passed away before the advancing idea of the Immortality of the
Soul which returned again and again to Christianity until it won the
victory. And as Prof. Nathaniel Schmidt has said, in his article on
the subject in a leading encyclopaedia, "... The doctrine of the
natural immortality of the human soul became so important a part of
Christian thought that the resurrection naturally lost its vital
significance, and it has practically held no place in the great
systems of philosophy elaborated by the Christian thinkers in modern
times." And, yet, the Church continues to repeat the now meaningless
words, "I believe in the Resurrection of the Body." And while
practically no one now believes it, still the recital of the words,
and the statement of one's belief in them, forms a necessary requisite
for admission into the Christian Church to-day. Such is the persistent
hold of dead forms, and thoughts, upon living people.

And, so you can readily see from what has been said, why the early
Christians, about the close of the first century A.D., attached so
much importance to _the physical conception and birth_ of Jesus. To
them the physical body of Jesus was Jesus Himself. The rest follows
naturally, including the Virgin Birth and the Physical Resurrection.
We trust that you now understand this part of the subject.

We have heard devout Christians shocked at the idea that Jesus was
born of a human father and mother, in the natural way of the race.
They seemed to think that it savored of impurity. Such a notion is the
result of a perverted idea of the sacredness of natural functions--a
seeing of impurity--where all is pure. What a perversion, this
regarding the sacredness of human Fatherhood, and Motherhood, as
impure! The man of true spirituality sees in the Divine Trinity of
Father, Mother and Child, something most pure and sacred--something
that brings man very close indeed to God. Is the beautiful babe, held
close in its mother's fond embrace, a symbol and type of impurity? Is
the watchful care and love of the Father of the babe, an impure result
of an impure cause? Does not one's own heart tell him the contrary?
Look at the well known picture of the Journey to Egypt, with Mary
carrying the babe, and both guarded and protected by the husband and
father--Joseph--is this not a beautiful symbol of the sacredness of
Parenthood? We trust that the majority of those who read these pages
have advanced spiritually beyond the point where The Family is a thing
of impure suggestion and relationship.

And, now, what are the Occult Teachings--the Secret Doctrine--regarding
the Real Virgin Birth of Jesus? Just this: that the Spirit of Jesus
was fresh from the bosom of the Absolute--Spirit of SPIRIT--a Virgin
Birth of Spirit. His Spirit had not traveled the weary upward path of
Reincarnation and repeated Rebirth, but was Virgin Spirit fresh from
the SPIRIT--a very Son of the Father--begotten not created. This Virgin
Spirit was incarnated in His body, and there began the life of Man, not
fully aware of His own nature, but gradually awakening into knowledge
just as does every human soul, until at last the true nature of His
Being burst upon him, and he saw that he indeed was God incarnate. In
his short life of thirty-three years--thirty years of preparation, and
three years of ministry, Jesus typified and symbolized the Life of the
Race. Just as he awakened into a perception of his Divine Nature, so
shall the race awaken in time. Every act in the Life of Jesus typified
and symbolized the life of every individual soul, and of the race. We
all have our Garden of Gethsemane--each is Crucified, and Ascends to
Higher Planes. This is the Occult Doctrine of the Virgin Birth of
Christ. Is it not a worthy one--is it not at least a higher conception
of the human mind, than the physical Virgin Birth legend?

As we proceed with our lessons, we shall bring out the details of the
Occult Teachings concerning the Divine Nature of Christ--the Spirit
within the Human Form. And, in these references and instruction, you
will see even more clearly that nature of the Spiritual Virgin Birth
of Jesus.

The original Christians were instructed in the Truth concerning the
Virgin Birth, that is, those who were sufficiently intelligent to
grasp it. But after the great Teachers passed away, and their
successors became overzealous in their desire to convert the outside
peoples, the influx of the latter gradually overcame the original
teachings, and the physical Virgin Birth and the Resurrection of the
Body, became Doctrines and Articles of Faith, held of vital importance
by the new orthodox leaders. It has taken centuries of mental
struggle, and spiritual unfoldment to bring the Light of the Truth to
bear upon this dark corner of the Faith, but the work is now fairly
under way, and the great minds in the Church, as well as those out of
the Church, are beginning to lay the old legend aside as a worn out
relic of primitive days when the cloud of Ignorance overshadowed the
Light of Truth.

In concluding this lesson, let us glance once more at the words of the
eminent divine, Dr. Campbell, in his _New Theology_, in which he

"But why hesitate about the question? The greatness of Jesus
and the value of his revelation to mankind are in no way
either assisted or diminished by the manner of his entry
into the world. Every birth is just as wonderful as a virgin
birth could possibly be, and just as much a direct act of
God. A supernatural conception bears no relation whatever to
the moral and spiritual worth of the person who is supposed
to enter the world in this abnormal way.... Those who insist
on the doctrine will find themselves in danger of proving
too much, for pressed to its logical conclusion, it removes
Jesus altogether from the category of humanity in any real

Let us trust that these Higher Critics may become informed upon the
truths of the Occult Teachings, which supply the Missing Key, and
afford the Reconciliation, and which show how and why Jesus is, in all
and very truth, THE SON OF GOD, begotten and not created, of one
substance from the Father--a particle of Purest Spirit fresh from the
Ocean of Spirit, and free from the Karma of past Incarnations--how He
was human and yet more than human.

In our next lesson we shall take up the narrative of the secret life
of Jesus from the time of his appearance, as a child at the Temple,
among the Elders, until when at the age of thirty years he appeared at
the scene of the ministry of John the Baptist, and began his own brief
ministry of three years which was closed by the Crucifixion and
Ascension. This is a phase of the subject of intense interest, and
startling nature, because of the lack of knowledge of the occult
traditions on the part of the general public.



In our last lesson we promised to tell you the esoteric story of the
youth of Jesus. And there is such a story to tell, although the
churches know little or nothing about it. The churches have nothing
but the husks that have always been the property of the masses. The
real kernels of truth have been possessed by but the few elect ones.
The legends of the mystic brotherhoods and occult orders have
preserved the story intact, and you shall now be given the essence of
the mystic legends and traditions.

At the end of our first lesson we left Joseph, Mary and the infant
Jesus in Egypt, the land to which they had flown to escape the wrath
of the tyrant Herod. They dwelt in Egypt for a few years, until the
death of Herod. Then Joseph retraced his steps, and returned toward
his own country, bringing with him his wife and the babe. For some
reasons unknown to those familiar with the legends and traditions,
Joseph decided not to locate in Judea, but instead, bent his way
toward the coast and returned to Nazareth where Mary and he had
originally met and become betrothed. And, so, in Nazareth, the humble
little mountain town the boyhood days of Jesus were spent, the
grinding poverty of the family being relieved (according to the occult
legends) by the yearly presents of gold from the hands of disguised
messengers of the Magi.

The traditions relate that Jesus began His study of the Hebrew Law
when He was but five years of age. It is related that He displayed an
unusual ability and talent in the direction of mastering not only the
text, but also the spirit of the Hebrew Scripture, and far outstripped
His fellow students. It is also related that He displayed an early
impatience at the dreary formalism of His Hebrew teachers, and a
disposition to go right to the heart of the text before Him, that He
might discern the spirit animating it. So much was this the case that
He frequently brought down upon His head the censure of His
instructors who overlooked the spirit of the teachings in their
devotion to the forms and words.

Nazareth was an old-fashioned place and it and its inhabitants were
made the target for the jests and witticisms of the people of Judea.
The word "Nazarene" was synonymous with "lout"; "boor"; "peasant";
etc., to the residents of the more fashionable regions. The very
remoteness of the town served to separate it in spirit from the rest
of the country. But this very remoteness played an important part in
the early life of Jesus. Nazareth, by reason of its peculiar location,
was on the line of several caravan routes. Travelers from many lands
traveled through the town, and rested there overnight, or sometimes
for several days. Travelers from Samaria, Jerusalem, Damascus, Greece,
Rome, Arabia, Syria, Persia, Phoenicia, and other lands mingled with
the Nazarenes. And the traditions relate that Jesus, the child, would
steal away and talk with such of these travelers as were versed in
occult and mystic lore, and would imbibe from their varied founts of
learning, until He was as thoroughly informed on these subjects as
many a mystic of middle age. The traditions have it that the boy would
often delight and astonish these traveling occultists with His
wonderful insight into their secret doctrines and knowledge. And it is
also told that some of the wisest of these, seeing the nature of the
child, would overstay their allotted time of sojourn, that they might
add here and there to the various parts of general occult lore
possessed by the child. It is also taught that the Magi informed some
of these travelers regarding the boy, that they might impart to him
some truth or teaching for which He was ready.

And so the boy grew in knowledge and wisdom, day by day, year by year,
until, finally, there occurred an event in His life, which has since
been the subject of greatest interest to all Christians and students
of the New Testament, but which without the above explanation is not
readily understood.

The Feast of the Passover occurred in its allotted time of the
year--April--when Jesus was in his thirteenth year. This feast was one
of the most important in the Jewish calendar, and its observance was
held as a most sacred duty by all Hebrews. It was the feast set down
for the remembrance and perpetuation of that most important event in
the history of the Jewish people when the Angel of Death swept over
all of Egypt's land smiting the first-born child of every house of the
natives, high and low, but sparing all the houses of the captive
Hebrews who marked their door-sills with the sacrificial blood as a
token of their faith. This is no place to give the explanation of this
apparently miraculous event, which students now know to be due to
natural causes. We merely mention it in passing.

The Law-givers of Israel had appointed the Feast of the Passover as a
perpetual symbol of this event so important by the nation, and every
self-respecting Jew felt obligated to take part in the observance and
sacrament. Every pious Jew made it a point to perform a pilgrimage to
Jerusalem at the time of the Feast of the Passover, if he could in any
way manage to do so.

At the time of the Passover celebration of which we are speaking,
Jesus had just entered into His thirteenth year, which age entitled
Him, under the ecclesiastical law, to the privilege of sitting with
the adult men of His race at the Passover supper, and also to publicly
join with the male congregation in the thanksgiving service in the

And so, on this year, He accompanied His father and mother to
Jerusalem and made His _second_ visit to the Holy City. It will be
remembered that His _first_ visit there was made when as an infant He
was carried thither from Bethlehem in His mother's arms in accordance
with the Jewish law, and at which time an aged priest and an old
prophetess had publicly acknowledged the divine nature of the child.

The father, mother and child--the divine trinity of Human
relationship--traveled slowly over the highway that led from Nazareth
to Jerusalem. The father and mother were concerned with the details of
the journey, mingled with pious thoughts concerning the sacred feast
in which they were to take part. But the boy's mind was far away from
the things that were occupying his parent's thoughts. He was thinking
over the deep mystic truths which He had so readily absorbed during
the past few years, and He was looking forward in delightful
anticipation to His expected meeting with the older mystics in the
temples and public places of Jerusalem.

It must be remembered that underlying the Jewish ecclesiastical
teachings and formalism, which were all that the mass of the people
knew, there was a great store of Jewish occultism and Mysticism known
to the few elect. The Kaballah or Jewish occult writings were closely
studied by the learned Jews, and this work with other similar
teachings were transmitted verbally from teacher to student, and
constituted the Secret Doctrine of the Hebrew religion. And it was
toward the learned teachers of this Secret Doctrine that Jesus
directed His mind and steps, although His parents knew it not.

Four or five days were consumed in the journey, and at last the Holy
City--Jerusalem--came into full view, the wonderful Temple of Israel
showing plainly above the other buildings. The bands of pilgrims, of
which the family of Joseph formed a part, formed into orderly array
and led by flute-players they solemnly marched into the streets of the
Holy City, singing and chanting the Sacred Songs used by the faithful
upon this solemn occasion. And the boy walked with the rest, with
bowed head, and eyes that seemed to see things far removed from the
scene around them.

The Passover rites were carried out--the duties were performed--the
ceremonies were observed. The Passover Feast extended over a full
week, of which the first two days were the most important, and during
which two days the obligatory ceremonies were performed. Each family
made the offering of the sacrificial lamb--each family baked and ate
the unleavened bread. The beautiful idea of the Passover had
degenerated into a horrible feast of blood, for it is related that
upon these occasions over a quarter-million of poor innocent lambs
were slaughtered and offered up as a sacrifice pleasing to Jehovah,
who was supposed to delight in this flood of the blood of innocents.
In pursuance of this barbarous idea, the altars and courts of the
Temple of the Living God ran red with the life-blood of these poor
creatures, and the hands and garments of the anointed priests of
Jehovah were stained like those of butchers, that the vanity of a
barbarous conception of Deity might be fed.

All this for "the Glory of God!" Think of it! And think of the feeling
that must have been aroused in the mystic mind of Jesus at this
horrible sight. How His soul must have been outraged at this
prostitution of the sacred rite! And what would have been His thoughts
had He known that centuries after, a great religion would stand,
bearing His name, the followers of which would be carried away with
this same false idea of sacrificial blood, which would be voiced in
hymns about "A fountain filled with blood, flowing from Immanuel's
veins," and about "sinners plunged beneath that bloody flood losing
all their guilty stains?" Alas, for the prostitution of sacred truths
and teachings. No wonder that a people so saturated with the
abominable ideas of a Deity delighting in this flow of blood should
have afterward put to death the greatest man of their race--a Being
who came to bring them the highest mystic and occult truths. And their
prototypes have survived through the centuries, even unto today,
insisting upon this idea of blood sacrifice and death atonement,
unworthy of any people except the worshipers of some heathen devil-god
in the remote sections of darkest Africa.

Disgusted and outraged by this barbarous sight, Jesus, the boy, stole
away from the side of His parents, and sought the remote chambers and
corridors of the Temple where were to be found the great teachers of
the Law and of the Kaballah, surrounded by their students. Here the
boy sat and listened to the teachings and disputations of the teachers
and exponents of the doctrines. From one group to another He wandered,
and listened, and pondered, and thought. He compared the teachings,
and submitted the various ideas to the touchstone of the truth as He
found it within His own mind. The hours rapidly passed by unnoticed by
the boy, who found Himself amidst such congenial environments for the
first time. The talks with the travelers of the caravans paled into
insignificance when compared with these of the great occult teachers
of Israel. For be it remembered that it was the custom of the great
teachers of that day to so instruct those who were attracted to their
company. And Jerusalem being the centre of the culture and learning of
Israel, the great teachers dwelt there. And so it will be seen that
Jesus now found Himself at the very fountain-head of the Hebrew Secret
Doctrines, and in the actual presence of the great teachers.

On the third day, there began a breaking-up of the vast gathering of
the two million of people who had made the pilgrimage to the Holy
City. Those poorer in purse were the first to leave, after the
obligatory rites of the first two days had been performed. And Joseph
and Mary were among those preparing to retrace their steps to their
distant homes. Their friends and neighbors gathered together, and the
preparations for the return were completed. But at the last moment,
the parents discovered that the boy, Jesus, was missing. They were
alarmed, but friends told them that their boy had been seen in the
company of kinsmen and neighbors traveling along the same road, who
had preceded them but a few hours. Somewhat reassured, the parents
left with their company, hoping that they would overtake the boy
before nightfall. But when they reached the first station on the
caravan route--a village called Beroth--and the night descended upon
them, and the boy failed to appear among the neighbors and kinsmen,
the parents were sorely distressed. They slept but little that night,
and when the first rays of dawn appeared, they parted from the
company, and retraced their way back to Jerusalem, in search of the
boy apparently lost in the great capital amid the hundreds of
thousands of pilgrims.

Every mother and father will enter into the feelings of Joseph and
Mary in their frantic return to the city, and in their subsequent
search for the lost child. They inquired here and there for the boy,
but not a trace of him was found. And night came without a ray of
hope. And the next day was likewise barren of results. And the next
day after. For three days the devoted parents searched high and low
for their beloved child--but no word of encouragement came to them.
The boy had seemingly dropped out of sight in the vast crowds and
winding streets. The parents reproached themselves for their lack of
care and caution. None but a parent can imagine their anguish and

They visited the many courts of the Temple many times, but no sight or
word of the boy rewarded their search. The bloody altars, the showy
costumes of the priests; the chants; the readings; seemed like mockery
to them. They wished themselves back in their humble village, with
their boy by their side. They prayed and besought Jehovah to grant
their hopes and desire, but no answer came.

Then, on the last day, a strange event occurred. The weary and heart
broken parents wandered once more into the Temple--this time visiting
one of the less frequented courts. They saw a crowd gathered--something
of importance was occurring. Almost instinctively they drew near to the
crowd. And then amidst the unusual silence of the people they heard a
boyish voice raised to a pitch adapted to a large circle of hearers,
and speaking in the tones of authority. It was the voice of the boy,

With eager feet the couple pushed forward, unto the very inner row of
the circle. And there, wonder of wonders, they saw their child in the
centre of the most celebrated teachers and doctors of the Law in all
Israel. With a rapt expression in his eyes, as if He were gazing upon
things not of this world, the boy Jesus was standing in a position and
attitude of authority, and around him were grouped the greatest minds
of the day and land, in respectful attention, while at a further
distance stood the great circle of the common people.

When one remembers the Jewish racial trait of reverence for age, and
the consequent submission of Youth, one will better understand the
unusual spectacle that burst upon the gaze of Joseph and Mary. A mere
boy--a child--daring to even speak boldly in the presence of the aged
teachers was unheard of, and the thought of such a one actually
presuming to dispute, argue and teach, in such an assembly, was like
unto a miracle. And such it was!

The boy spoke with the air and in the tones of a Master. He met the
most subtle arguments and objections of the Elders with the power of
the keenest intellect and spiritual insight. He brushed aside the
sophistries with a contemptuous phrase, and brought back the argument
to the vital point.

The crowd gathered in greater volume, the gray heads and beards grew
more and more respectful. It was evident to all that a Master had
arisen in Israel in the form of a boy of thirteen. The MASTER was
apparent in tone, gesture, and thought. The Mystic had found his first
audience, and his congregation was composed of the leading thinkers
and teachers of the land. The insight of the Magi was verified!

Then in a momentary pause in the argument, the stifled cry of a woman
was heard--the voice of the Mother. The crowd turned impatient,
reproachful glances upon Mary, who had been unable to restrain her
emotion. But the boy, looking sadly but affectionately at his lost
parents, gave her a reassuring glance, which at the same time bade her
remain still until he had finished his discourse. And the parents
obeyed the newly awakened will of their child.

The teaching ended, the boy stepped from his position with the air of
one of the Elders, and rejoined his parents, who passed as rapidly as
possible from the wondering crowd. Then his mother reproached him,
telling him of their distress and wearisome search. The boy listened
calmly and patiently until she had finished. Then he asked, with his
newly acquired air of authority, "Why sought ye me?" And when they
answered him in the customary manner of parents, the boy took on still
a greater air of authority, and in tones that though kindly, were full
of power, he replied, "Knew ye not, that I must be in my Father's
House? I must be about the things of my Father." And the parents,
feeling themselves in the presence of the Mystery that had ever been
about the child, followed Him silently from the Temple grounds.

And here closes the New Testament story of the boy Jesus at the age of
thirteen, which story is not resumed until His appearance at the place
of the preaching of John the Baptist, _over seventeen years later_,
when the boy had reached the age of a man of thirty years. When and
how did he spend those seventeen years? The New Testament is totally
silent on this score. Can anyone who has read the above imagine that
Jesus spent these years as a growing youth and young man, working at
His father's carpenter bench in the village of Nazareth? Would not the
Master, having found his strength and power, have insisted upon
developing the same? Could the Divine Genius once self-recognized be
content to be obscured amid material pursuits? The New Testament is
silent, but the Occult Traditions and Mystic Legends tell us the story
of the missing seventeen years, and these we shall now give to you.

* * * * *

The legends and traditions of the mystic and occult organizations and
brotherhoods tell us that after the occurrence of Jesus and the Elders
in the Temple, and his recovery by his parents, the latter were
approached by members of the secret organization to which the Magi
belonged, who pointed out to the parents the injustice of the plan of
keeping the lad at the carpenter's bench when He had shown evidences
of such a marvelous spiritual development and such a wonderful
intellectual grasp of weighty subjects. It is told that after a long
and serious consideration of the matter the parents finally consented
to the plan advanced by the Magi, and allowed them to take the lad
with them into their own land and retreats that He might there receive
the instructions for which His soul craved, and for which His mind was

It is true that the New Testament does not corroborate these occult
legends, but it is likewise true that it says nothing to the contrary.
It is silent regarding this important period of between seventeen and
eighteen years. It is to be remembered that when He appeared upon the
scene of John's ministration, the latter did not recognize Him,
whereas had Jesus remained about His home, John, his cousin, would
have been acquainted with his features and personal appearance.

The occult teachings inform us that the seventeen or eighteen years of
Jesus' life regarding which the Gospels are silent, were filled with
travels in far and distant lands, where the youth and young man was
instructed in the occult lore and wisdom of the different schools. It
is taught that He was taken into India, and Egypt, and Persia, and
other far regions, living for several years at each important center,
and being initiated into the various brotherhoods, orders, and bodies
having their headquarters there. Some of the Egyptians' orders have
traditions of a young Master who sojourned among them, and such is
likewise the case in Persia and in India. Even among the lamasaries
hidden in Thibet and in the Himalayan Mountains are to be found
legends and stories regarding the marvelous young Master who once
visited there and absorbed their wisdom and secret knowledge.

More than this, there are traditions among the Brahmans, Buddhists and
Zoroastrians, telling of a strange young teacher who appeared among
them, who taught marvelous truths and who aroused great opposition
among the priests of the various religions of India and Persia, owing
to his preaching against priestcraft and formalism, and also by his
bitter opposition to all forms of caste distinctions and restrictions.
And this, too, is in accord with the occult legends which teach that
from about the age of twenty-one until the age of nearly thirty years
Jesus pursued a ministry among the people of India and Persia and
neighboring countries, returning at last to his native land where He
conducted a ministry extending over the last three years of His life.

The occult legends inform us that He aroused great interest among the
people of each land visited by Him, and that He also aroused the most
bitter opposition among the priests, for He always opposed formalism
and priestcraft, and sought to lead the people back to the Spirit of
the Truth, and away from the ceremonies and forms which have always
served to dim and becloud the Light of the Spirit. He taught always
the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man. He sought to bring
the great Occult Truths down to the comprehension of the masses of
people who had lost the Spirit of the Truth in their observance of
outward forms and pretentious ceremonies.

It is related that in India He brought down upon His head the wrath of
the Brahmin upholders of the caste distinctions, that curse of India.
He dwelt in the huts of the Sudras, the lowest of all of the Hindu
castes, and was therefore regarded as a pariah by the higher classes.
Everywhere He was regarded as a firebrand and a disturber of
established social order by the priests and high-caste people. He was
an agitator, a rebel, a religious renegade, a socialist, a dangerous
man, an "undesirable citizen," to those in authority in those lands.

But the seeds of His wisdom were sown right and left, and in the Hindu
religions of today, and in the teachings of other Oriental countries,
may be found traces of Truth, the resemblance of which to the recorded
teachings of Jesus, show that they came from the same source, and have
sorely disturbed the Christian missionaries that have since visited
these lands.

And so, slowly and patiently, Jesus wended his way homeward toward
Israel, where He was to complete His ministry by three years' work
among His own race, and where He was to again raise up against Himself
the opposition of the priests and the upper classes which would
finally result in His death. He was a rebel against the established
order of things, and He met the fate reserved for those who live ahead
of their time.

And, as from the first days of His ministry to His last, so it is
today, the real teachings of the Man of Sorrows reach more readily the
heart of the plain people, while they are reviled and combatted by
those in ecclesiastical and temporal authority, even though these
people claim allegiance to Him and wear His livery. He was ever the
friend of the poor and oppressed, and hated by those in authority.

And so, you see the Occult teachings show Jesus to have been a
world-wide teacher, instead of a mere Jewish prophet. The world was
his audience, and all races His hearers.

He planted His seeds of Truth in the bosom of many religions instead
of but one, and these seeds are beginning to bear their best fruit

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