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Mystic Christianity by Yogi Ramacharaka

Part 3 out of 4

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matters that had been occupying His mind during the past weeks, that
He might hold his mind "one-pointed," as the Oriental occultists term
it--that He might concentrate clearly and forcibly upon the task
before Him.

Then, arousing His reserve force, in a mighty effort, He cried loudly,
in a voice of authority and power, "Lazarus! Lazarus! Come forth!"

The people gasped with horror at this calling forth a corpse which was
in the process of disintegration and decay, and a cry of remonstrance
went up, but Jesus heeded it not. "Lazarus! Lazarus! Come forth, I
command thee!" he cried again.

And then at the mouth of the cavern could be seen something startling.
It was a ghastly figure, bound and clad in the grave-clothes of that
country, which was struggling to free itself and to move toward the
light. It was indeed Lazarus! And, after tearing off the stained
grave-clothes which still retained the horrid stench of decaying
matter, his body was found to be sweet and clean and pure as that of
the infant. Jesus had performed a wonder-work far beyond any
manifestation He had heretofore shown to the world.

The excitement occasioned by this crowning wonder, coming to Jerusalem
after a lull in which it had thought that the Master had retired into
insignificant seclusion, aroused again into activity the authorities,
who now determined to make an end to the matter and to suppress this
pestilent charlatan once and for all. Raising a decaying corpse from
the tomb, indeed! What new fraudulent marvels would He not work next
in order to delude the credulous people and to bring them once more
around his rebellious standard? The man was dangerous without doubt,
and must be put where He could do no harm--and that at once.

Within a few hours after the receipt of news that Lazarus had walked
from the tomb, the Sanhedrin, the great Jewish ecclesiastical council,
was in session, called hastily by its officers to take vigorous action
concerning this impious, heretical imposter who had been allowed to
mock at established order and religion for too long a time. He must be
quieted ere he arouse the people once more. The Roman authorities were
warned by the Jewish ecclesiastics that this dangerous man now
approaching the capital claimed to be the Jewish Messiah, and that His
aims were to overturn the Temple authorities first, and then establish
Himself as King of the Jews, and place Himself at the head of a
revolutionary army which would attempt to defy and defeat the rule of
mighty Rome herself.

And so all the machinery was set in motion, and the officers of the
law were all on the alert to take advantage of the first overt act of
Jesus and His followers, and to throw them into prison as enemies of
society, religion and of the state. The Roman authorities were
agitated at the reports coming to them from the highest Jewish
authorities, and were prepared to crush the rebellion at the first
sign. The Jewish priests were in solemn convocation and at the
instigation of Caiaphas, the high priest of the Jews, they determined
that nothing but the death of this false Messiah would put an end to
the agitation which threatened to drive them from power and authority.
And so the die was cast.

And meanwhile Jesus was resting in Bethany, surrounded by great
throngs who were pouring into the place to see Lazarus, and to renew
their allegiance to the Master whom they had so basely forsaken.
Time-servers ever, the latest miracles had revived their fading
interest and waning faith, and they flocked around the Master as
noisy, enthusiastic and as full of fulsome praise as ever. And
yesterday they had damned Him, and tomorrow they would cry "Crucify
Him!" For such is the nature of the multitude of men. Of the
multitudes of Jesus' followers, none remained to acknowledge
allegiance in His hour of arrest--even among the chosen twelve, one
betrayed Him, one denied Him, and _all_ fled away when He was taken
captive. And for _such_ the Son of Man lived and taught and suffered.
Surely His _life_ was the greatest miracle of all.



Resting for a short time before His formal entry into Jerusalem, the
Master sought the seclusion of the sparsely settled districts near the
wilderness. In and around the village of Ephraim, in Perea, in parts
of Galilee, He wandered with the Twelve. But even there He continued
His work of healing and teaching.

But even this temporary respite from the inevitable lasted but a short
time. Jesus determined to march direct to the seat of the
ecclesiastical and temporal authority which was arrayed against Him.
And so, just before the coming of the Passover time, He gathered
together the Twelve and set out on the final stage of the journey. The
pilgrims journeying to the capital were burning with curiosity and
excitement concerning this journey of the Master to the home of His
foes. Rumors were circulated that He intended to gather His forces
together and sweep the enemy from its seats of power. It was known
that the Sanhedrin intended to attempt to punish Him, and the people
asked why should He move on to face His foes unless He contemplated a
fight to the finish?

This belief in His determination caused a revulsion of feeling of the
people in His favor, and many who had deserted Him now again gathered
around Him. They dreamt again of victory, and scented again an
unfailing supply of loaves and fishes. They crowded around Him wishing
to be among the victorious host. But He encouraged them not--neither
spoke He a word to them. He knew them for the time-servers that they

The crowds of Jerusalem hearing of His approach, and moved by
curiosity to witness His triumphant entry into the City, flocked
around the suburbs through which He would approach. At last the cry
went up, "Here He comes!" and to their amazement and disgust the crowd
saw Him riding quietly info the City mounted on an ass, without
display, pretense or pose. The crowd scattered, sneering and reviling
Him. But the pilgrims were becoming more and more enthusiastic, and
they strewed His way with palms, shouting, "Blessed be our Messiah!
The King of Israel approacheth."

The Master proceeded directly to the Temple and performed the
customary rites. So amazed were the authorities by His fearless
demeanor, that they deferred laying violent hands upon Him. They
feared a trap, and moved cautiously. They even allowed Him to retire
to Bethany and spend the night. The next morning He returned to the
city and dwelt among His friends there. He attended the Temple
regularly, and pursued His work of teaching and healing in its very

Meanwhile the clouds of the persecuting forces gathered closely around
His head. One of the Twelve, Judas Iscariot, who was sorely
disappointed at the Master having refused to take advantage of the
support of the crowd to assist His claim as the Messiah and King of
the Jews, and also fearing that he would become involved in His
inevitable downfall, began a series of bargainings and dickerings with
the authorities, which had for their object the betrayal of the Master
into the hands of the authorities, the reward to be immunity from
persecution for himself and a few pieces of silver for his pocket in

And so the time passed on, the nights being spent at Bethany and the
days at the Temple in the capital. Finally the priests made an
important move. They confronted Him in their official capacity and
demanded that He prove His ordination as a Jewish Rabbi and consequent
right to preach to the orthodox members of the church. Jesus answered
them by asking questions that they feared to answer. Then they began
to question Him, hoping to involve Him in ecclesiastical heresies
which would give them their excuse to arrest Him. But He evaded them
skilfully. They sought also to compel Him to state opinions contrary
to the Roman authority, but He likewise escaped this net.

Finally, however, they drew from Him a savage attack upon authority,
and He cried out in indignation:

"Woe unto you, ye generation of vipers! Ye serpents! Ye
hypocrites! Ye oppressors of the poor! Ye professed
shepherds, who are but as wolves in disguise, seeking but to
devour the sheep whom ye have in charge! Woe unto you, ye
Scribes, Hypocrites, Pharisees!"

Then He left the Temple and returned to Bethany to spend the night,
after foretelling the destruction of the Temple, when there should not
be left one of its stones upon another.

That night he had a heart-to-heart talk with the Twelve. He told them
that the end was in sight--that He was to die before many hours had
passed--that they, the Twelve, were to become wanderers on the face of
the earth--hunted and persecuted in His name and for His sake. A
terrible revelation to some among them who had dreamt of earthly
grandeur and high positions for themselves! And then Judas felt that
the time to act had come, and he stole away to meet the High-priest
and to close the frightful bargain with him which was to make his name
the synonym for treachery throughout the ages.

The next day, Wednesday, He rested in Bethany the whole twenty-four
hours, evidently gathering together his reserve forces to meet the
ordeal which He now knew was before Him. He kept apart from even His
disciples and spent the time in meditation. And likewise was passed
the early part of the following day, Thursday. But when the even time
had come, He sent for the Twelve and gathered them around Him for the
Paschal Supper, one of the rites of the Passover time.

Even this last solemn occasion was marred by a petty squabble among
the disciples regarding the order of precedence to be observed in
their seats at the table. Judas succeeded in gaining the seat of honor
next to the Master. Jesus startled the company by insisting upon
washing the feet of the Twelve, an act which placed them on a pedestal
above Him. This occult ceremony, which was not comprehended by the
Twelve, apparently was one which the Hierophants of the Occult
Brotherhoods performed for their associates when the latter had been
chosen to carry out some important office or mission, or when a
successor was about to take the place of one of them. And Jesus
evidently so intended it. Then He bade them wash one another's feet,
in token of the recognition of each of the high mission of the others.

Then Jesus, overcome by the knowledge of the morrow, burst out in
anguished tones, saying: "And even one of you, my chosen ones, shall
betray me!" And several asked Him in turn, in a tone of reproach, "Is
it I?" And Jesus shook His head at each question. But Judas asked not,
but overcome with confusion he reached over and took a portion of
bread from the plate before the Master. Then Jesus took a bit of bread
and, moistening it from His plate, handed it to Judas, saying to him
firmly, "Judas, do thy work without loss of time." And Judas, abashed,
slunk away from the table.

Then began that remarkable conversation of the Last Supper, as
recorded in the Gospels. Then also was performed that first
celebration of the Holy Communion, the Mystic significance of which
shall be explained in a later lesson. Then Jesus chanted the Passover

Then shortly after, the company left the room and walked into the
streets, and over the meadows near by. Then under the trees of the
Garden of Gethsemane, apart from His disciples, now reduced to Eleven,
He gave Himself up to prayer and meditation. He called aloud to The
Father to give Him strength for the final ordeal. Struggling with His
doubts and fears and misgivings--conquering His physical inclination
and impulses--He gave utterance to that supreme cry: "O Father, Thy
will, not mine, be done!" and in so saying He cast behind Him forever
His right of choice to stay the awful course of events which was
pressing upon Him. Resigning His mighty occult power of defense, He
laid Himself upon the altar of sacrifice even as the Paschal Lamb.

Leaving behind Him the Garden in which He had just performed this
greatest miracle of all--the miracle of Renunciation--He stepped out
among His disciples, saying, "The hour has come--the betrayer is here
to do his work."

Then were heard sounds of clanking arms, and martial tread, and in a
moment the military guard appeared on the scene, accompanied by a
delegation of ecclesiastics, and with them, walking in advance, was
Judas Iscariot. Judas, walking as one in a trance, approached the
Master and, saluting Him with a kiss, cried, "Hail, Master," which was
the signal to the guard, arranged between Judas and the High Priest.
Then cried Jesus, "Ah, with a kiss--thou, Judas, betrayeth the Son of
Man with a kiss! Oh!" And in that moment it seemed that the Master's
grief had reached its utmost limit. Then the guard closed around Him
and carried Him away.

But He resisted them not. As they approached Him He called out, "Whom
seek ye?" And the leader answered, "We seek him whom men call Jesus of
Nazareth." Then answered the Master, "I am He whom thou seeketh!" But
the disciples resisted the arrest, and Peter cut off the ear of one of
the party, a servant of the High-priest. But Jesus bade His followers
desist, and, approaching the wounded man, placed his severed ear in
place and healed it instantly. Then He rebuked His disciples, telling
them that, had He so desired, the whole of the legions of heaven would
have come to His assistance. Then He bade the leader conduct Him from
the place. But alas! as He left, He turned to bid farewell to His
disciples, and lo! to a man they had fled and deserted Him, leaving
Him alone in His hour of trial--yea! as every humble soul must be
alone in its moments of supreme struggle--alone with its Creator.

Then down toward the city they led Him--the Master of All Power, an
humble captive, non-resistant and awaiting the course of The Will.
They took Him to the palace of the Jewish High-priest, where the
Sanhedrin was assembled in secret session awaiting His coming. And
there He stood erect before these ecclesiastical tyrants to be
judged--bound with the cord as a common criminal. He, whose single
effort of His will would have shattered the whole palace to pieces and
have destroyed every human being within its walls!

And this was but the beginning. During the next eight hours He was
subjected to six separate trials, if indeed such mock proceedings
might be so designated. Subjected to blows, and all manner of low
insults, the Master remained a Master. Perjured witnesses testified,
and all manner of crimes and heresies were charged against Him. Then
Caiaphas asked Him the all-important question, "Art thou the Christ?"
and Jesus broke His silence to answer positively, "I am!" Then the
High-priest cried out vehemently, rending His sacred robes in his
pious indignation, "He has blasphemed!"

From that moment there was no possible chance of escape for the
Master. He had virtually condemned Himself by His own words. There was
no retreat or reprieve. He was roughly pushed from the hall and like a
common criminal was turned over to the taunts and revilings of the
mob, which availed itself of its privileges to the full in this case.
Insults, curses, revilings, taunts, and even blows, came fast and
furiously upon Him. But He stood it all without a murmur. Already His
thoughts had left earthly things behind, and dwelt on planes of being
far above the wildest dreams of men. With His mind firmly fixed on the
Real, the Unreal vanished from His consciousness.

In the early part of the day following the night of His arrest, Jesus
was taken before Pontius Pilate, the Roman official, for His trial by
the civil authorities. Pilate, in his heart, was not disposed to
condemn Jesus, for he believed that the whole trouble consisted in
theological and ecclesiastical differences with which the civil law
should not concern itself. His wife had warned him against becoming
involved in the dispute, for she had a secret sympathy for the Master,
for some reason. But he found arrayed against him the solid influence
of the Jewish priesthood, whose power must not be opposed lightly,
according to the policy of Rome. Then the priests had made out a civil
case against Jesus, claiming that He had sought to incite a rebellion
and proclaim Himself King of the Jews; that He had created public
disorder; that He had urged the people to refuse to pay taxes to Rome.
The case against Him was weak, and Pilate was at a loss what to do.
Then some one of the priests suggested that as Jesus was a Galilean,
He be turned over for trial to Herod, in whose territory the principal
crimes were committed, and Pilate gladly availed himself of this
technical excuse to rid himself of responsibility in the matter. And
so the case was transferred to Herod, who happened to be in Jerusalem
at that time on a visit. To Herod's palace the captive was taken, and
after suffering indignities and humiliation at the hand of the tyrant,
He was remanded back to Pilate for trial, under Herod's orders.

Back to Pilate's court, followed by the crowd, went Jesus. Pilate was
greatly annoyed that Herod should have shifted the responsibility once
more upon his (Pilate's) court. Then he bethought himself of an
expedient. He took advantage of the Jewish custom, observed by the
Roman rulers, which led to the pardoning of a notorious criminal on
the occasion of the Passover. And so he announced that he would pardon
Jesus according to custom. But from the Jewish authorities came back
the answer that they would not accept Jesus as the subject of the
pardon, but demanded that Barabbas, a celebrated criminal, be pardoned
instead of the Nazarene. Pilate found himself unable to escape the
designs of the Jewish priesthood, and so, yielding in disgust, he
pardoned Barabbas, and condemned Jesus to death. The cries of the mob,
incited by the priests, sounded around the court. "Crucify him!
Crucify him!" Pilate appeared before the priests and the populace,
and, washing his hands in a basin, according to the Oriental custom,
he cried to the Jews, "I wash my hands of this man's blood--upon you
be it!" And the crowd responded with a great shout, "Upon us and our
children be his blood!"

Jesus, in the meantime, had been cruelly scourged by the barbarous
instruments of torture of the time. His body was lacerated and
bleeding, and He was faint from the torture and loss of blood. Upon
His head had been thrust, in ghastly mockery, a crown of thorns which
pressed deep into His flesh. He was refused the usual respite of
several days before sentence and execution--He was to die that very

His cross was tied to His back and He was compelled to carry it,
fainting though He was from fatigue and torture. He staggered along
and fell, unable to bear His heavy burden. Finally Golgotha, the place
of the crucifixion, was reached, and the Man of Sorrows was nailed to
the cross and raised aloft to die a lingering and painful death. On
either side was a criminal--two thieves--His companions in suffering.

He refused to partake of the drug which was granted to criminals to
relieve their intense suffering. He preferred to die in full
possession of His faculties. Above His head was a tablet bearing the
inscription, "The King of the Jews," which had been placed there by
Pilate in a spirit of ironical mockery of the Jews who had forced him
to place this man on the cross.

As the cross was raised into position the Master cried aloud, "O
Father, forgive them--they know not what they do."

Taunted by the crowds, He hung and suffered the terrible agonies of
the cross. Even one of the crucified criminals reviled Him, asking Him
why He did not save Himself and them? The crowd asked Him why He who
saved others could not save Himself? But He, who could have brought
forces to bear which would have wrought the miracle they demanded,
answered not, but awaited the end.

Then set in the delirium of death in which He cried aloud to the
Father, asking if He had been forsaken in His misery. But the end was

There arose a strange storm--darkness fell over the place--weird
electrical disturbances manifested themselves. The winds abated and a
strange quiet fell over all the scene, which was lighted by a ghastly
glow. And then came the earthquake, with strange groanings and
moanings of the earth; with frightful stenches of sulphur and gas. And
the very foundations of Jerusalem quaked and shivered. The rocks
before the tombs flew off, and the dead bodies were exposed to view.
In the Temple, the veil before the Holy of Holies was rent in twain.

The cries of the people as they rushed to and fro in mortal terror
took the attention of all from the cross. Then the Roman officer in
charge of the execution, glancing upward, saw that all was over, and,
falling before the cross, he cried out, "Verily, this man was a god!"

Jesus the Master had passed out from the body which had served as His
tenement for thirty-three years. His body was borne away for burial,
in a secret place. Embalmed by loving friends, it was carried to a
place of last earthly rest.

* * * * *

And now we come to a portion of the narrative in which the occult
traditions and teachings diverge from the account stated in the
Gospels. We should have said _apparently_ diverge, for the two
accounts vary only because of the varying points of view and different
degrees of understanding of the teachers.

We allude to the events of the Resurrection.

It must be remembered that Jesus had informed His disciples that in
three days He would "rise from the dead" and appear once more among
them. To the ordinary understanding these events seem to indicate that
the Master would once more occupy His physical body, and that His
reappearance was to be so understood. And the Gospel narrative
certainly seems to verify this idea, and was undoubtedly so stated
that it might be more readily understood by the popular mind.

But the occult traditions hold otherwise. They hold that Jesus really
appeared to His disciples three days after His death, and abode with
them for a time teaching and instructing them in the deeper mysteries
and secret doctrines. But the mystics have always held and taught that
His reappearance _was in the Astral Body_, and not in the discarded
physical form.

To the popular mind the physical body was almost everything, as we
have shown in one of the earlier lessons of this series. So much was
this so that the mass of the people expected that all mankind would
arise from the dead at the Last Day clad in their former physical
forms. And so, any other teaching would have been unintelligible to

But to the occultists and mystics who understood the truth about the
more ethereal vehicles of the soul, such an idea appeared crude and
unscientific, and they readily grasped the Inner Teachings regarding
the Resurrection, and understood the reason why Jesus would use the
Astral Body as the vehicle of His reappearance.

The Gospel narrative informs us that a guard was placed around the
tomb to prevent the body being stolen and a consequent assertion of
the Resurrection which the priests well knew to be expected. It
further states that the tomb was sealed and guarded by a squad of
Roman soldiers, but that notwithstanding these precautions the body of
the Master actually came to life and emerged from the tomb, and that
His followers were disturbed by the evidences that His body had been

The occult traditions, however, state that the close friends of Jesus,
aided by a prominent Jew who was a secret believer, obtained from the
willing Pilate a secret order which enabled them to deposit the body
in a safe and secret resting place where it gradually resolved itself
into the dust to which all that is mortal must return. These men knew
that the Resurrection of the Master had naught to do with mortal
fleshly form or body. They knew that the immaterial soul of the Master
still lived and would reappear to them clad in the more ethereal body
made manifest to their mortal senses. Every occultist will understand
this without further comment. To others we advise that they read the
occult teachings concerning the Astral Body and its characteristics.
This is no place in which to again describe at length the phenomena of
the Astral Body of Man.

* * * * *

The first to see the Master in His Astral Form was Mary of Magdala, a
woman admirer and follower of her Lord. She was weeping beside the
empty tomb, when looking up she saw a form approaching. The Astral
Form was indistinct and unfamiliar, and at first she did not recognize
it. Then a voice called her name, and looking up she saw the form
growing more distinct and familiar, and she recognized the features of
her Master.

* * * * *

More than this, the occult legends assert the truth of some of the
traditions of the early Christian Church, namely, that in the three
days succeeding the scene of Calvary there appeared in and around
Jerusalem the disembodied forms of many persons who had died a short
time previously. It is said that the Astral Bodies of many dead Jews
revisited the scenes of their former life, and were witnessed by
friends and relatives.

* * * * *

Then Jesus appeared in His Astral Body to the disciples. The
traditions have it that two of the eleven met Him on the afternoon of
the day when He first appeared to Mary--Easter Sunday. Strange to say,
they did not at first recognize Him, although they walked the road
with Him and afterward ate at the same table. This failure to
recognize the Master is wholly beyond ordinary explanation and the
churches make no real attempt to make it understandable. But the
occult traditions say that Jesus had not wholly materialized His
Astral Body at first, for reason of prudence, and that consequently
His features were not distinctly and clearly marked; then at the meal
He caused His features to be fully materialized so that the disciples
might readily recognize Him. All occultists who have witnessed the
materialization of an Astral Body will readily understand this
statement. The orthodox theory of Jesus having reappeared in His
physical body wholly fails to explain this nonrecognition by His
disciples, who had been His everyday companions before His death. The
slightest consideration should show which statement is nearer the
bounds of reasonable probability.

Jesus remained visible to the chosen few for forty days. The testimony
of several hundred people attested the fact. There are a number of
mystic legends about some of His appearances, which are not mentioned
in the Gospel narratives. One of these states that He appeared before
Pontius Pilate and forgave him for the part he had played in the
tragedy. Another that Herod witnessed His form in his bedchamber.
Another that He confronted the High-priests in the Temple and brought
them to their knees in terror. Another that He came one night to the
Eleven, who sat behind bolted doors in hiding, and saying to them,
"Peace be unto you, my beloved," vanished from sight.

The Gospels record another appearance before the Eleven, upon which
occasion Thomas, the doubter, satisfied himself of the identity of the
Astral Body by placing his fingers in the wounds, which, of course,
were reproduced in the Astral Form according to the well known laws
regarding the same.

This coming and going of Jesus--these sudden appearances and
disappearances--these manifestations of His form only to those whom He
wished to see Him, and His concealment from those whom He desired to
remain in ignorance of His return, all show conclusively to every
occultist the nature of the vehicle which He used for manifestation
upon His return. It would seem incredible that there could be any
general doubt on the subject were the public informed on the laws
concerning the Astral World phenomena.

* * * * *

The Gospel narrative shows that the disciples recognized that Jesus
was not a "spirit" in the sense of being an airy, unsubstantial form.
They felt His body, and saw Him eat--but what of that? The laws of
materialization of Astral forms make it possible, under certain
conditions, that the Astral Form become so thoroughly materialized
that it may not only be seen but actually felt. Even the records of
the English Society for Psychical Research prove this fact, leaving
out of account the phenomena with which all advanced occultists are

Then, one day He appeared to the disciples, and they accompanied Him
to the hills, Jesus talking to them regarding their future work on
earth. He then bade them farewell, and began to fade away from their
sight. The common account pictures Him as ascending into the air until
out of sight, but the mystic account informs us that His astral form
began to slowly dematerialize and He gradually faded away from the
sight of His beloved followers, who stood gazing in wistful longing at
His form which, each moment, grew more and more ethereal in structure,
until finally the dematerialization was complete and His soul had cast
off all material form, shape and substance, and so passed on to the
higher planes of being.

* * * * *

In view of this explanation, does not the commonly accepted version
seem childish and crude? Can any one at all familiar with the laws and
phenomena of the land Behind the Veil, suppose that _a physical body_
could or would pass on to the planes in which the ordinary forms of
matter do not exist? Such ideas are fit only for minds which find it
necessary to think of the "resurrection of the body" of all departed
souls, in order to conceive of Immortality. To the occultist, the
physical body is merely a temporary vehicle for the soul which the
latter discards at the proper time. It has nothing to do with the real
being of the soul. It is merely the shell which is discarded by the
soul, as the chrysalis shell is discarded by the butterfly when it
spreads its wings for its aerial flight into a new world.

All these ideas about the immortality of the mortal body are the
product of materialistic minds unused to thinking of the higher planes
of life, and unable to grasp even the mental concept regarding the
same. Of the earth, earthly, are these conceptions and ideas. And the
sooner that Christianity sheds them as discarded shells the sooner
will the church experience that revival of true spirituality that
devout souls see the need of, and for which they are so earnestly

The churches are so wedded to materialistic thought that a preacher
does not even hint at the existence of phases of life above the
physical lest he be termed "a spiritualist" or accused of being
"spooky." In the name of Truth, is the teaching, that _man is a
spiritual being_, inconsistent with the teachings of Christ and the
records of the Scripture? Must one forego all such beliefs, in favor
of a heathenish creed of "physical body" resurrection of the dead--an
immortality in the worn-out mortal body long since discarded? Which is
the true spiritual teaching? Can there be any doubt regarding the same
in a mind willing to think for itself? It seems sad that the orthodox
churches do not see this, and cease forcing out of their congregations
all thinkers who dare assert the existence of a soul independent of
the physical body.

What is the use of a soul, if the physical bodies of the dead are to
be resurrected in order that their owners may enjoy immortality? And
where are the souls of these dead bodies now residing and abiding
pending the coming of the Last Day? Are the souls of the dead with
their bodies? If not, then they must be living a life independent of
the physical body--and if such be the case, why should they afterward
be required to take on their worn-out physical bodies which they have
managed so well without during their disembodied life? What becomes of
those who had diseased, deformed or frail bodies during their mortal
life--will they be compelled to inhabit these bodies through all
eternity? Will the owners of aged, worn out bodies be compelled to
re-assume them at the Last Day? If not, why the necessity of a
physical body at all, in the future life? Do the angels have physical
bodies? If not, why should souls require them on higher planes? Think
over these questions and then realize how materialistic is the current
Christian conception, when compared with that of Mystic Christianity,
which teaches spiritual evolution from lower to higher planes of
being, and on to planes of being beyond even the faintest conception
of men of the present day.

* * * * *

The occult traditions teach that during the forty days of Jesus'
appearance in the Astral Body, He imparted many of the Higher Truths
to His disciples. They state that He even took some of them out of
their bodies and showed them the higher Astral Planes of Being. He
also informed them regarding the real nature of His mission which He
now clearly saw with His spiritual mind, the cloud of His mortal mind
being now removed.

He told them that the real work of His followers was the sowing of the
seed of the Truth, without regard to immediate results. He told them
that the real fruition would not come for many centuries--yea, not
until the passing of over two thousand years or more. He told them
that the passage of the centuries would be like the preparing of the
soil for the great work of the Truth, and that afar in the distance
would be the real fruit season.

He taught them regarding the Second Coming of Christ, when the real
Truth of His teachings should become apparent to mankind and the true
Life of the Spirit should be lived by the race. He taught them that
their work was to keep alight the Flame of the Spirit and to pass it
on to worthy followers.

This and many other things He told them, before He passed on.

And the mystics teach that He still lives in the world, diffused among
all the living souls on earth, striving ever to lead them to a
recognition of the Real Self--the Spirit Within. He is with us ever as
an Abiding Spirit, a Comforter, a Helper, an Elder Brother.

He is not gone from us! He is here with us now and forever, in Actual
Spirit Communion!

The Lord hath indeed Risen--Risen from Mortal Form to Immortal
Spiritual Existence!



The first and main phase of the Inner Teachings of Mystic Christianity
is that connected with the Mystery of the Life of Jesus. The outer
teachings give but an imperfect view of the real life and nature of
the Master, and theologians have built up an edifice of dogmatic
theory around the same. The Mystery of the Life of Jesus forms the
subject of some important Inner Teachings of the Mystic Fraternities
and Occult Brotherhoods, and is considered by them to be the
foundation of the other teachings. And so we shall consider this phase
of the subject at this point.

In the first place we must remember that the soul of Jesus was
different from the souls of other men. His was a "virgin birth"--not
in the commonly accepted sense of the term, but in the occult sense as
explained in the second lesson of this series. His soul was fresh from
the hand of the Creator--His spirit had not been compelled to work
through repeated incarnations, pressing forward for expression through
humble and ignoble forms. It was free from taint, and as pure as the
Fountain from which is flowed. It was a virgin soul in every sense of
the term.

This being so, it follows that it was not bound by the Karma of
previous incarnations--as is the case with the ordinary soul. It had
no entangling ties--it had no seeds of desire and action planted in
previous lives, which were pressing forward toward expression in His
life. He was a Free Spirit--an Unbound Soul. And therefore He was not
only unbound by any Karma of His own, but was also free (by nature)
from the Karma of the race or of the world.

The absence of personal Karma left Him free from the selfish personal
Desire which binds men to the wheel of action and personal ambition.
He had no desire or thought for personal aggrandizement or glory, and
was perfectly free (by nature) to work for the good of the race as an
outside observer and helper, without suffering the pains and sorrows
of race-life, had He so wished. But He chose otherwise, as we shall
see in a moment.

The absence of Race-Karma, or World-Karma, freed Him from the
necessity of the pains of humanity, which are a part of its collective
Karma. He would have been perfectly able to live a life absolutely
free from the pains, trials and troubles that are the common lot of
Man, owing to the Race-Karma. He would have escaped persecution,
physical and mental pains, and even death, had He so elected. But He
chose these things of His own free will, in order to accomplish the
great work that He saw before Him as a World-Savior.

In order for Jesus to enact His part as the Redeemer and Savior of the
race, it was necessary for Him to take upon Himself His share of the
Karma of the race--virtually taking upon Himself the "sins of the
world." Before He could lift the burden from the race of men, He must
become a man among men.

To understand this more clearly we must remember that to a being such
as Jesus--a soul free from Karma--there would be no such thing as
temptation, longings, desires, or any of the mental states of the
ordinary man with the Karma of successive past incarnations resting
within him as seeds of action pressing forward ever for unfoldment and

Jesus, the free soul, would have been practically an outside observer
of the world's affairs, and not influenced by any of its ordinary
incentives to action. In this state He could have aided the world as a
teacher and instructor, but He would not have been able to accomplish
His great task of Redeeming the world, in its highest spiritual
significance, as we shall see as we proceed. It was necessary for Him
to take upon Himself the burden of the earth-life in order to become
the Savior of the people of the earth.

The occult teachings inform us that during His sojourn abroad, Jesus
was simply a teacher, with but a dim perception of His real mission.
But gradually He began to experience periods of Illumination in which
He recognized His real nature and the difference between Himself and
other men. Then came to Him the conviction of the mighty work that lay
before Him in the redemption of the race, and He began to see the
necessity of entering into the Karmic circle of the race in order to
carry out the plan. This came gradually, by slow degrees, and the
final sacrifice was made only in the Wilderness after His Baptism by

In the Wilderness, after His long fast and His days of meditation, the
way opened up for Him to take upon Himself the burden of the Karma of
the earth people. In that scene of the most tremendous spiritual
struggle that the earth has ever witnessed, Jesus deliberately bent
His shoulders that the weight be placed upon His back. From that
moment the earth-souls received a blessing far beyond the
comprehension of the mind of the ordinary man. Into the Karma-bound
circle came this mighty soul, animated by Pure Spirit, for the purpose
of lifting a great portion of the burden, and of joining in the work
of the actual unfoldment and redemption of the race.

For be it remembered that, being a free soul animated by Pure Spirit,
Jesus was A GOD--not a man, although inhabiting the fleshly garments
of humanity. His power was superior to that of many of the high
intelligences scattered throughout the universe, and playing important
parts in the cosmic processes. Jesus was Pure Spirit incarnate in
human form, with all the powers of a God. Although of course
_subordinate in expression_ to the Absolute--the Great Spirit of
Spirit--He was in His essential nature the same in substance. Verily,
as He Himself said, "I and the Father are One."

His youthful mind was not able to grasp the truth of His real nature,
but as that human instrument became perfected by age and training, He
realized the Truth and perceived His own Divinity.

But even a God, such as he, could not raise up the world from its
burden of Karma, by acting _from the outside_. Under the Cosmic Laws,
established by the Absolute, such work could be performed only _from
within_ the circle of earth-life. And so Jesus saw that to raise up
Man, He must become a Man. That is, to help lift the earth's Karma, He
must enter into it, and place Himself within its Circle of Influence.
_And this He did_.

We wonder if our readers can realize, even faintly, just what this
sacrifice meant? Think of a Pure Spirit--a Free Soul--so filled with
the love for the race of men as to renounce deliberately, for aeons of
time, total immunity from all mortal existence, and willingly to place
itself under the burden of pain, woe, misery and sin which formed the
earth-people's Karma. It was a thousand-fold greater sacrifice than
would be that of a Man of the Highest spiritual and mental
development--an Emerson, for example--who, in order to raise up the
race of earth-worms, would deliberately place himself within the being
and nature of the Group-Soul animating the race of earthworms, and
then stay within its influence, striving ever upward and onward until
finally, after aeons and aeons of time, he was able to bring up the
earthworm Group Soul to the level of Man. Think of this, and then
realize what a sacrifice Jesus made of Himself.

In the Wilderness, when Jesus took the final steps of renunciation and
sacrifice, He at once passed within the circle of the Race Karma and
laid Himself open to all the pain, misery, temptations and limitations
of a Man. His power, of course, remained with Him, but He was no
longer a God outside of the world-life, but an imprisoned God working
from within the race, using His mighty power, but bound by the Karmic
Law. He became open to influences from which previously He had been
immune. For instance when He was "tempted" by the Devil of Personal
Attainment, and urged to seek worldly glory and renown, He was tempted
only because He had taken on the world's Karma and was subject to its
laws. As a God, He would not have felt the temptation any more than a
man would feel the temptation of the earthworm. But as a man He was
subject to the desires and ambitions that perplex and "devil" the
race. And according to the rule that the greater the mental
development the greater the power of such temptation toward
self-aggrandizement (because of the mind being able to see more
clearly the opportunities), Jesus was subjected to a test that would
have been impossible to an ordinary man.

Jesus, knowing full well that He had in His possession the power to
manifest the things with which He was tempted, was compelled to fight
off the temptation to place Himself at the head of the race as its
ruler--as the King of the World. He was shown this picture to compare
with the other whose last scene was Calvary--and He was called upon to
feel the desire of the race for such things, even unto its highest
degree. Imagine the desire for personal aggrandizement of all the
world thought beating upon His mind demanding the expression which
could be had through Him alone. And then imagine the struggle
required to defeat this opposing power. Think of what the ordinary
man has to meet and overcome to conquer the desire for Personal
Aggrandizement--and then think of what the Master had to fight, with
the focussed desire of the entire Race-Thought striving to express
itself through Him! Truly the Sins of the World bore down upon Him
with their mighty weight. And yet He knew that He had taken upon
Himself this affliction by entering upon the Life of Man. And He met
it like a Man of Men.

It was only by fixing His mind fully and firmly upon what He knew to
be His Real Self--the Spirit Within His soul, and holding His mind
"one-pointed" upon the fact--that He was able to fight the fight and
conquer. Seeing the Truth, He could see the folly and illusion of all
that the world had to offer, and He could put forth His mighty Will
bidding the Tempter retire from the scene and from His mind. It was in
this full knowledge of His Spirit--His Real Self--that He was able to
rebuke the Tempter, saying, "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord, thy God!"
He held fast to His realization of the God Within--the Spirit that was
within Him and all men--and thus denied out of existence the power of
the earth-things--the illusions of mortality--the _maya_ of the race.

But not alone this and other weaknesses of man's mortal nature were
constantly besieging the mind of the Master after He had taken upon
Himself the Karma of the Earth. He had also taken upon Himself the
mortal life consequent of the human frame which He inhabited. He must
live, suffer and die--even as all men--and according to the law of
mortality. And so He moved forward toward the end, knowing fully what
lay before Him. He, a God, had taken upon Himself all these attributes
of mortality, in order to be able to perform His work as the Redeemer
and Savior of the race.

And so, He lived, and suffered and died--even as you and I. He drank
the cup to the dregs, suffering as only such a finely organized mental
nature could suffer. And, men, poor creatures, speak of His sufferings
as terminating with the last breath upon the cross. Why, they only
_began_ there!

For know ye, that Jesus the Christ is still within the race of men,
suffering their woes, paying with them their penalty, every day, every
hour--yea, and must remain so throughout the ages, until finally the
soul of every man, yea, even that of the last man; the most degraded
man in the world, is fully cleansed of the Karmic taint, and thus
fully "redeemed" and "saved." And within the soul of every man is
found the Christ Principle, striving ever to elevate and lift up the
individual toward that realization of the Real Self--and this is what
"redemption" and "salvation" really means. Not a saving from
hell-fire, but a saving from the fire of carnality, and mortality. Not
a redemption from imaginary sins, but a redemption from the muck and
mire of earth-life. The God within you is like the fabled Hindu god
who descended into the body of a pig and then forgot Himself. It is to
bring you to a realization that you are a god and not a pig, that
Jesus, the Master, is working within your soul as the Christ
Principle. Have you never heard His voice, crying from within your
soul, "Come out--come out of your pig-nature and realize the god that
you verily are!" It is this "recognition, realization and
manifestation of the god within you" that constitutes "salvation" and

The Occult Teachings tell us that Jesus, after His final disappearance
from before the eyes of His apostles, passed on to the higher planes
of the Astral World where He rapidly discarded all of His astral and
mental vehicles which the soul had used in its manifestation. The
Astral Body and its corresponding higher sheaths were cast off and
discarded. That is, all except the very highest of all. Had He
discarded every vestige of individual soul-existence His spirit would
have immediately merged itself with the One Spirit--the Absolute--from
which it had originally proceeded and Jesus, as an entity, would have
disappeared entirely within the Ocean of the One Spirit. _This highest
state of all He had deliberately resigned until the passage of ages,
in order that He might accomplish His work as the World-Savior_.

He retained the highest vehicle--the Spiritual Mind in its highest
shade of expression--in order that as an entity He might labor for the
race. And so, He exists at this time--one in substance with the
Father, but yet maintaining an apparently separate entity-existence.
But this must be remembered, that Jesus, _as Jesus the son of Mary and
Joseph_, no longer exists. When He cast off the lower vehicles of His
personality, His personality disappeared. But His _individuality_
persisted--that is, He is still HE, although His personality has
disappeared, leaving Him--the real Him--existing as the CHRIST

By the above statement, we mean that when a soul reaches the highest
spiritual stage short of absolute absorption into the One Spirit, _it
is no longer a person_, but exists as _a principle_. But that
principle is not an inanimate mechanical force--it is a living,
knowing, acting principle of life. This occult fact cannot be
explained in the words of men, for no terms have been coined by which
men can speak of it. It is only indirectly that we can hope to have
even the advanced student grasp the fact.

Jesus exists today, as the Christ Principle which _actually lives_ and
acts, but which is not confined in a body of any kind, using the word
"body" in its accustomed sense. As the Christ Principle or "The
Christ" He is mingled with the life of the human race, and may be
found immanent in the mind of every man, woman and child that has ever
existed, does now exist, or will exist _so long as Man is Man_. Not
only is this true of those who have lived since His passage from the
physical body, but it is equally true of those who lived before His
birth. This apparently paradoxical statement may be understood when we
remember that these souls did not "die," but only "passed on" to the
Astral Plane, from whence they re-incarnated in due time. The Christ
(for so we shall speak of the present-state of Jesus) even entered
into, and still abides in, the Astral Plane, as well as upon the
Material Plane, for wherever the souls of men abide--or whatever place
their residence may be--there is found The Christ, ever working for
the salvation and redemption of the race.

On the Astral Plane He is working in the minds of the souls abiding
there, urging them to cast off the dross of earth-desires and to fix
the aim upon higher things, to the end that their re-incarnations may
be under improved conditions. On the Physical Plane He is working in
the hearts and minds of the earth-people, striving ever to uplift to
higher things. His aim is ever toward the liberation of the Spirit
from its material bonds--the Realization of the Real Self. And so, in
the hearts of all men, Christ is living, suffering, and being
crucified every day, and this must continue until Man is redeemed and
saved, even the last man.

This wonderful sacrifice of Christ far surpasses the physical
sacrifice of Jesus, the man. Try to imagine, if you can, even the
faintest pangs of a being so exalted compelled to dwell in the world
of the hearts and minds of a humanity so steeped in materiality as our
race, knowing always the possibilities of the souls if they would but
reach upward to higher things, and yet constantly suffering the
knowledge of the base, carnal, material thoughts and acts flowing from
these souls. Is not this the extreme refinement of torture? Does not
the agony of the cross sink into insignificance beside such spiritual
agony? You rail at the cruelty of the Jews who crucified their Savior,
and yet you crucify _your_ Savior, with a thousandfold degree of
torture, every day of your life, by your persistence in the
carnalities and foolishness of mortal thought and action.

The mighty uplift of the world since the death of Jesus, of which the
present is but a faint prophecy of the future, has been due largely to
the energizing influence of The Christ in the hearts and minds of the
race. The sense of the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man,
which is now manifesting so powerfully in the world of Men, is but an
instance of the work of the Christ--the Savior and Redeemer. And the
highest dreams of the exalted souls of this generation are but
inadequate visions of what the future will hold for the race. The work
is just beginning to bud--the blossom and the fruit will render this
earth a far more glorious place than even the highest ideals of heaven
entertained by the faithful in the past. But even these things of the
future will be poor things, when compared with the life of the higher
planes which await the race when it has demonstrated its fitness to
pass on and on and on to these greater glories. And ever and ever The
Christ is working, and toiling and striving and suffering, in His
efforts to raise humanity even one petty degree in the spiritual scale
of being.

The Christ is always with us, and if we but recognize His presence we
shall be able to feel that warm, loving response to our soul-hunger
and spiritual thirst which will result in our being given that we are
so longingly craving. Here within us dwells The Christ, ever
responding to the cry of Faith, "Believe in Me and ye shall be saved."
What a promise this is seen to be when properly understood! What a
source of power and comfort is opened up to every human soul when the
Inner Truth underlying the teachings is understood! Mystic
Christianity brings this Message of Truth to each and all of you who
read these lines. Will you accept it?

We would ask our students to pause at this point and contrast the
teachings of Mystic Christianity regarding the doctrine of Christ, the
Savior, with the corresponding teachings of the current Orthodox

On the one hand we have Jesus the God-Man deliberately choosing the
work of the World Redemption and Salvation, and descending into the
circle of the World-Karma, relinquishing the privilege of His Godhood
and taking upon Himself the penalties of Manhood; not only undergoing
the sufferings of the physical man, but also binding Himself upon the
Cross of Humanity for ages, that by His spiritual presence in and of
the race He might lift up humanity to godhood.

On the other hand, we have a picture of an angry Deity, manifesting
purely human emotion and temper, bent on revenging himself upon the
race which he had created, and demanding its eternal punishment in
hell-fire; then the same Deity creating a Son whom he sent into the
world, that this Son might be the victim of a blood-atonement and
death upon the cross, that the Deity's wrath might be appeased and the
blood of this Divine Lamb be accepted to wash out the sins of the

Can you not see which is The Truth and which is the perversion? The
one is from the pure fountain of Spiritual knowledge--the other
originated in the minds of ignorant theologians who were unable to
grasp and understand the Mystic teachings, but who built up a system
of theology in accordance with their own undeveloped minds; making a
God who was but a reflection of their own cruel animal natures,
demanding, as did they themselves, blood and pain--physical torture
and death--in order to appease a most un-Divine wrath and vengeance.
Which of the two conceptions seems most in accord with the intuitive
promptings of the Something Within? Which brings the greater approval
from The Christ within your heart?


There are three creeds recognized by the Christian Church--the
Apostles' Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed. Of these,
the first two are commonly used, the third being not so well known and
being seldom used.

The Apostles' Creed, which is the most commonly used, is believed (in
its present form) to be of later origin than the Nicene Creed, and
many authorities believe it to be a corrupted rendering of the
original declaration of faith of the Early Christians. It is as

"I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and
earth; and in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, who was
conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and
buried; he descended into hell; the third day he arose again
from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the
right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall
come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy
Ghost, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and
the life everlasting."

The Nicene Creed was drawn up and adopted by the Council of Nice in
the year A.D. 325. As originally adopted it ended with the words "I
believe in the Holy Ghost," the present concluding clauses being added
by the Council of Constantinople in A.D. 381, excepting the words "and
the Son," which were inserted by the Council of Toledo, A.D. 589. It
is as follows:

"I believe in one God, the Father, Almighty, Maker of Heaven
and earth, and all things visible and invisible; and in one
Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of
his Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light,
very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one
substance with the Father, by whom all things were made; who
for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven and
was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was
made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius
Pilate; he suffered and was buried and the third day he rose
again according to the scriptures and ascended into heaven,
and sitteth on the right hand of the Father; and he shall
come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead,
whose kingdom shall have no end. And I believe in the Holy
Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the
Father and the Son, who with the Father and Son is
worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets; and I
believe in one catholic and apostolic church; I acknowledge
one baptism for the remission of sins, and I look for the
resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come."

Let us now briefly examine the principal statements of these creeds,
which were compiled centuries after Jesus' death, viewing them by the
light of Mystic Christianity.

"I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and
earth, and all things visible and invisible."--(_Nicene Creed_.)

The form of the above fundamental principle of Christian belief is
taken from the Nicene Creed, which is somewhat fuller than the similar
declaration in the Apostles' Creed. It requires no comment. It is a
statement of belief in a One Creative Power, from which all things
have proceeded. There is no attempt made to "explain" the nature of
the Absolute, or to endow it with any of the human attributes which
theologians have delighted in bestowing upon the One. It merely
asserts a belief in the existence of One Supreme Being--which is all
that is possible to man--all else is ignorant impertinence.

"And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, who was conceived by the
Holy Ghost."--(_Apostles' Creed_.)

"And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten
of his Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God
of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the
Father."--(_Nicene Creed_.)

In this declaration, the belief in the Divinity of Jesus is made. The
Apostles' Creed shows the cruder conception, rather inclining toward
the perverted idea of the conception of the Virgin by the aid of the
Holy Ghost, similar to the origin of the hero-gods of the different
religions in which the father was one of the gods and the mother a
woman. But the Nicene creed gives at least a strong hint of the mystic
teachings. It speaks of Him as "begotten of his Father"--"begotten,
not made." The expressions, "God of God; Light of Light; very God of
very God," show the idea of identical spiritual substance in the
Spirit. And then the remarkable expression, "being of one substance
with the Father," shows a wonderful understanding of the Mystery of
The Christ. For, as the mystic teachings show, Jesus was a pure
Spirit, free from the entangling desires and clogging Karma of the
world. Identical in substance with the Father. "The Father and I are
one," as He said. Is there anything in the Orthodox Theology that
throws such light on this subject as is shed by Mystic Christianity's
teaching regarding the nature of the soul of Jesus?

"Born of the Virgin Mary."--(_Apostles' Creed_.)

"Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was
incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made
man."--(_Nicene Creed_.)

The Nicene Creed here gives a surprisingly clear statement of the
Mystic teachings. "Who for us men and our salvation came down from
heaven" shows the purpose of the incarnation. "Came down from heaven"
shows pre-existence in the bosom of the Absolute. "And was incarnate"
shows the descent of the Spirit into the flesh in the womb of Mary.
"And was made man" shows the taking on of the physical body of the
infant in the womb. Does not the Mystic teaching give a clearer light
on this statement of the Creed?

"Was crucified, dead and buried; he descended into hell; the third
day he rose again from the dead."--(_Apostles' Creed_.)

"He suffered and was buried, and the third day he rose again
according to the scriptures, and sitteth on the right hand of the
Father."--(_Nicene Creed_.)

The "descent into hell" of the Apostles' Creed of course meant the
passing to the place of disembodied souls--the lower Astral Plane.
Even the orthodox teachers do not now pretend that the term "hell"
meant the place of torture presided over by the Devil, which theology
has invented to frighten people into the churches. "The third day he
arose from the dead" (and the corresponding passage in the Nicene
Creed) refers to the appearance in the Astral Body--the return from
the Astral Plane in which He had sojourned for the three days
following the crucifixion. "And ascended into heaven"--this passage
shows the belief that He returned to the place from which He came, for
the Nicene Creed has stated that he "_came down from heaven_ and was
incarnate ... and was made man."

The passage in both creeds stating that He then took his place "on the
right hand of the Father" is intended to show that He took the place
of the highest honor in the gift of the Father. The mystic teachings
explain this by showing that The Christ is separated from The Father
by but the most ethereal intervening of spiritual substance, and that
He is a Cosmic Principle second in importance only to the Father.
Truly this is the place of honor on "the right hand of the Father."

"He shall come to fudge the quick and the dead."

In this passage we see the intimation that not only with the "quick"
or living people is The Christ concerned, but also with the "dead,"
that is, with those who "passed out" before and after His time and who
have passed on to the Astral World, as we have explained in this
lesson. Whether or not the framers of the Creed so understood
it--whether or not they were deluded by the tradition of the "Day of
Judgment"--certainly the Early Christians, or rather, the mystics
among them, understood the teachings as we have given them and spoke
of Him as "living in the dead as well as in the living," as one of the
occult records expresses it.

"The communion of saints" is the spiritual understanding of the
Mysteries by the Illumined Ones. "The forgiveness of sins" is the
overcoming of the carnal mind and desires. "The resurrection of the
dead and the life of the world to come" is the promise of life beyond
the grave, and not the crude idea of the physical resurrection of the
body, which has crept into the Apostles' Creed, evidently having been
inserted at a later date in order to bolster up the pet theories of a
school of theologians. Note that the Nicene Creed says merely "the
dead" and not "the body." The version of the teachings preserved by
the Mystics has a corresponding passage, "And we know the _truth_ of
the _deathlessness of the soul_." (The italics are ours.)

The consideration of remaining passages in the creeds, relating to the
existence of the "Holy Ghost," must be deferred until our next lesson.



The concluding statement of the Creeds (brought over from the
preceding lesson) refers to the Holy Ghost.

"I believe in the Holy Ghost." (_Apostles' Creed_.)

"And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and giver of life."
(_Nicene Creed_.)

To the average Christian the nature of the Holy Ghost--one of the
beings of the Trinity--is veiled in obscurity, and is generally
pronounced "not to be understood." A careful examination of the
orthodox Christian writings will show the student that the Church is
very much at sea regarding this subject, which should be of the
greatest importance to its priests and congregations. Ask the average
intelligent churchman regarding the nature of the Holy Ghost, and see
for yourself the vague, contradictory and unsatisfactory concepts held
by the person questioned. Then turn to the encyclopaedias and other
books of reference, and see how little is known or taught regarding
this important subject.

It is only when the teachings of Mystic Christianity are consulted
that one receives any light on the subject. The Occult Teachings are
quite explicit on this subject so fraught with difficulty and lack of
comprehension on the part of the orthodox teachers and students.

The teaching of Mystic Christianity, regarding the Holy Ghost, may be
summed up by the great general statement that: _The Holy Ghost is the
Absolute in its phase of Manifestation, as compared to its phase of
Unmanifestation_--_Manifest Being as compared with Unmanifest
Being_--_God Create as compared with God Uncreate_--_God acting as the
Creative Principle as compared to God as The Absolute Being_.

The student is asked to read over the above general statement a number
of times and to concentrate his or her attention carefully upon it,
before proceeding further with the lesson.

To understand the above statement it is necessary for the student to
remember that the Absolute may be thought of as existing in _two
phases. Not as two persons or beings_, remember, but as in _two
phases_. There is but One Being--there can be but One--but we may
think of that One as existing in two phases. One of these phases is
Being Unmanifest; the other, Being Manifest.

_Being Unmanifest_ is the One in its phase of Absolute Being,
undifferentiated, unmanifested, uncreated; without attributes,
qualities, or natures.

It is impossible for the human mind to grasp the above concept of
Being Manifest in the sense of being able to think of it as a "Thing,
or Something." This because of the essential being of it. If it were
like anything that we can think of, it would not be the Absolute, nor
would it be Unmanifest. Everything that we can think of as a "thing"
is a relative thing--a manifestation into objective being.

But we are compelled by the very laws of our reason to admit that the
Absolute Being Unmanifest exists, for the Manifest and Relative
Universe and Life _must have_ proceeded and emanated from a
Fundamental Reality, which must be Absolute and Unmanifest. And this
Being which our highest reason causes us to assume to exist is Being
Unmanifest--God the Father--who cannot be known through the
senses--whose existence is made known to us only through Pure Reason,
or through the workings of the Spirit within us. In the material sense
"God is Unknowable"--but in the higher sense He may be known to the
Spirit of Man, and His existence may be _known_ and proven by the
exercise of the highest faculties of the reason.

Being Unmanifest is the One in its _actual_ existence and being. If
all the world of objective life and manifestation, even to its highest
forms, were withdrawn from manifestation, then there would be
left--what? Simply and solely, Being Unmanifest--God the Father,
alone. Into His Being all else would be withdrawn. Outside of Him
there would be _nothing_. He would be Himself--One--existing in the
phase of Being Unmanifest.

We are aware that this idea may seem to be "too abstruse" for the
minds of some of our students at first reading--it may appear like an
assertion of a Being who is Non-Being. But, be not too hasty--take
time--and your mind will assimilate the concept, and will find that it
has a corresponding Truth imbedded in its inmost recesses, and then it
will know this to be the Truth. And then will it recognize the
existence of God the Father, as compared with God, the Holy Ghost.

The Holy Ghost, as we have said, is the Absolute in its phase of
Manifest Being. That is, it is God as manifest in the Spirit of Life,
which is immanent in, and manifest in, all objective life and
phenomena in the Cosmos or Universe.

In previous series of lessons in the Yogi Philosophy, we have shown
you that there was a Spirit of Life immanent in, and manifesting
through, all forms of life. We have also shown you that everything in
the Universe is alive--down to even the minerals, and the atoms
composing matter. We have shown you that inasmuch as the Spirit of
Life is the source of all Manifestations in the universe, and the "God
in the machine" of all phenomena of force, matter and life, then it
naturally follows that there can be nothing dead in the world--that
there is LIFE manifesting in every object, varying only in the degree
of manifestation. In our "Advanced Lessons" and in "Gnani Yoga" this
subject is considered in detail. Then what is this Spirit of Life? If
God is All, then it cannot be Something other than God. But it cannot
well be God the Uncreate--the Absolute in its Absolute phase--the
Being Unmanifest. Then what can it be?

The student will see that the natural and logical answer to the
question with which we have closed the preceding paragraph must be:
Being Manifest--God in Creation--the Holy Ghost! And this is the
Occult Teaching concerning this great mystery of Christianity. And see
how well the framers of the Nicene Creed grasped the traditions of the
Early Church, when it said: "And I believe in the Holy Ghost, _the
Lord and Giver of Life_."

The teaching regarding the Immanent God lies at the foundation of all
of the Mystic teachings of all peoples, races, and times. No matter
under what names the teaching is promulgated--no matter what the name
of the creed or religion in which it is found imbedded--it is still
the Truth regarding the God Immanent in all forms of life, force, and
matter. And it always is found forming the Secret Doctrine of the
philosophy, creed or religion. The Outer Teaching generally confines
itself to the instruction of the undeveloped minds of the people, and
cloaks the real Truth behind some conception of a Personal Deity, or
Deities--gods and demi-gods, who are supposed to dwell afar off in
some heavenly realm--some great Being who created the world and then
left it to run itself, giving it but occasional attention, and
reserving his consideration principally for the purpose of rewarding
those who gave him homage, worship and sacrifices and punishing those
who failed to conform with the said requirements. These personal
deities are believed generally to favor the particular people who give
them their names and temples, and accordingly to hate the enemies of
the said tribe or nation.

But the Secret Doctrine or Esoteric Teaching of all religions has
brushed aside these primitive conceptions of undeveloped minds, and
teach the Truth of the Immanent God--the Power inherent in and abiding
in all life and manifestations. And Christianity is no exception to
the rule, and in its declaration of faith in the Holy Ghost its
esoteric principle is stated.

While the tendency of the orthodox churches today is to say very
little about God the Holy Ghost, for the reason that it cannot explain
the meaning of the term, Mystic Christianity boldly declares its
allegiance to this principle of the earlier teachings and reverently
repeats the words of the Nicene Creed, "I believe in the Holy Ghost,

* * * * *

That there is a Secret Doctrine of Christianity is not generally known
to the majority who claim the name of "Christian." But it has always
been known to the mystics in and out of the church, and its flame has
been kept steadily alight by a few devoted souls who were chosen for
this sacred task.

The Secret Doctrine of Christianity did not originate with Jesus, for
He, Himself, was an Initiate of Mysteries which had been known and
taught for centuries before His birth. As St. Augustine has said:

"That which is called the Christian Religion existed among
the ancients _and never did not exist_, from the beginning
of the human race until Christ came in the flesh, at which
time the true religion which already existed began to be
called Christianity."

We would like to quote here a few paragraphs from the writings of a
well known writer on religious subjects, with which statement we
heartily agree, although our views on certain other points of teaching
do not agree with those of this writer. He says:

"It may be said that in the present day these doctrines are
simply not taught in the churches; how is that? It is
because Christianity has forgotten much of its original
teachings, because it is now satisfied with only part, and a
very small part, of what it originally knew. 'They still
have the same scriptures,' you will say. Yes, but those very
scriptures tell you often of something more, which is now
lost. What is meant by Christ's constant references to the
'Mysteries of the Kingdom of God'--by His frequent statement
to His disciples that the full and true interpretation could
be given only to them, and that to others He must speak in
parables? Why does He perpetually use the technical terms
connected with the well known mystery-teaching of antiquity?
What does St. Paul mean when he says, 'We speak wisdom among
them which are perfect'--a well known technical term for the
men at a certain stage of initiation? Again and again he
uses terms of the same sort; he speaks of 'the wisdom of God
in mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the
world began, and which none even of the princes of this
world know'--a statement which could not by any possibility
have been truthfully made if he had been referring merely to
ordinary Christian teaching which is openly preached before
all men. His immediate followers, the Fathers of the Church,
knew perfectly well what he meant, for they all use
precisely the same phraseology. Clement of Alexandria, one
of the earliest and greatest of all, tells us that 'It is
not lawful to reveal to the profane persons the Mysteries of
the Word.'"

"Another consideration shows us clearly how much of this
early teaching has been lost. The church now devotes herself
solely to producing good men, and points to the _saint_ as
her crowning glory and achievement. But in older days she
claimed to be able to do much more than that. When she had
made a man a saint, her work with him was only just
beginning, for then only was he fit for the training and
teaching which she _could_ give him then, but cannot now,
because she has forgotten her ancient knowledge. Then she
had three definite stages in her course of
training--Purification, Illumination and Perfection. Now she
contents herself with the preliminary Purification, and has
no Illumination to give."

"Read what Clement says: 'Purity is only a negative state,
valuable chiefly as the condition of insight. He who has
been purified in Baptism and then initiated into the Little
Mysteries (has acquired, that is to say, the habits of
self-control and reflection) becomes rife for the Greater
Mysteries for the Gnosis, the scientific knowledge of God.'
In another place he says: 'Knowledge is more than faith.
Faith is a summary knowledge of urgent truths, suitable for
people who are in a hurry; but knowledge is scientific
faith.' And his pupil Origen writes of 'the popular,
irrational faith' which leads to what he calls physical
Christianity, based upon the gospel history, as opposed to
the spiritual Christianity conferred by the Gnosis of
Wisdom. Speaking of teaching founded upon historical
narrative, he says, 'What better method could be devised to
assist the masses?' But for those who are wise he has always
the higher teachings, which are given only to those who have
proved themselves worthy of it. This teaching is not lost;
the church cast it out when she expelled the great Gnostic
Doctors, but it has nevertheless been preserved, and it is
precisely that Wisdom which we are studying--precisely that
which we find to answer all the problems of life, to give us
a rational rule by which to live, to be to us a veritable
gospel of good news from on high."

St. Paul indicates the existence of the Secret Doctrine of
Christianity, when he says to the Corinthians:

"And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto
spiritual, but as unto carnal, as unto babes in Christ. I
fed you with milk, not with meat; for ye were not yet able
to bear it; nay, not even now are ye able, for ye are yet
carnal." (_I Cor. 3:1._)

Jesus said: "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast
your pearls before the swine, lest haply they trample them under their
feet, and turn and rend you." (_Matt. 7:6._)

St. Clement of Alexandria has said regarding the above saying of

"Even now I fear, as it is said, 'to cast the pearls before
swine, lest they tread them underfoot, and turn and rend
us.' For it is difficult to exhibit the really pure and
transparent words respecting the true Light to swinish and
untrained hearers."

In the first century after Christ, the term "The Mysteries of Jesus"
was frequently used by the Christian teachers, and the Inner Circle of
Christians was recognized as a body of advanced souls who had
developed so far as to be able to comprehend these mysteries.

The following passage from St. Mark (4:10-12) is interesting in this

"And when He was alone, they that were about Him with the
twelve asked of Him the parables. And He said unto them,
'Unto you is given the mystery of the kingdom of God: but
unto them that are without, all things are done in parables:
that seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they
may hear, and not understand.'"

The same writer says (4:33-34):

"And with many such parables spake He the word unto them, as
they were able to hear it; and without a parable spake He
not unto them; but privately to His own disciples He
expounded all things."

Jesus said to His disciples (_John 16:12._): "I have yet many things
to say to you, but ye cannot bear them now." The Occult Teachings
state that when He returned in His astral form, after the crucifixion,
He taught them many important and advanced mystic truths, "speaking of
the things pertaining to the kingdom of God." (_Acts 1:3._)

The early Christian Fathers spake and wrote openly regarding the
Christian Mysteries, as all students of Church History well know.
Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, writes to certain others hoping that they
are "well versed in the sacred Scriptures and that nothing is hidden
from you; but to me this privilege is not yet granted." (_The Epistle
of Polycarp, chapter 7._) Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, says that he is
"not yet perfect in Jesus Christ. For I now begin to be a disciple,
and I speak to you as my fellow disciple." He also addresses them as
being "initiated into the Mysteries of the Gospel, with St. Paul, the
holy, the martyred." Again:

"Might I not write to you things more full of mystery? But I
fear to do so, lest I should inflict injury on you who are
but babes. Pardon me in this respect, lest, as not being
able to receive their weighty import, ye should be strangled
by them. For even I, though I am bound and am able to
understand heavenly things, the angelic orders, and the
different sorts of angels and hosts, the distinction between
powers and dominions, and the diversities between thrones
and authorities, the mightiness of the aeons, and the
preeminence of the cherubim and seraphim, the sublimity of
the Spirit, the kingdom of the Lord, and above all the
incomparable majesty of Almighty God--though I am acquainted
with these things, yet am I not therefore by any means
perfect, nor am I such a disciple as Paul or Peter."

Ignatius also speaks of the High Priest or Hierophant, of whom he
asserts that he was the one "to whom the holy of holies has been
committed, and who alone has been entrusted with the secrets of God."
(_Epistles of Ignatius._)

St. Clement of Alexandria was a mystic of high rank in the Inner
Circle of the Church. His writings are full of allusions to the
Christian Mysteries. He says among other things that his writings were
"a miscellany of Gnostic notes, according to the time philosophy,"
which teachings he had received from Pontaemus, his instructor or
spiritual teacher. He says of these teachings:

"The Lord allowed us to communicate of those divine
Mysteries and of that holy light, to those who are able to
receive them. He did not certainly disclose to the many what
did not belong to the many; but to the few to whom He knew
that they belonged, who were capable of receiving and being
moulded according to them. But secret things are intrusted
to speech, not to writing, as is the case with God. And if
one say that it is written, 'There is nothing secret which
shall not be revealed, nor hidden, which shall not be
disclosed,' let him also hear from us, that to him who hears
secretly, even what is secret shall be manifested. This is
what was predicted by this oracle. And to him who is able
secretly to observe what is delivered to him, that which is
veiled shall be disclosed as truth; and what is hidden to
the many shall appear manifest to the few. The mysteries are
delivered mystically, that what is spoken may be in the
mouth of the speaker; rather not in his voice, but in his
understanding. The writing of these memoranda of mine, I
well know, is weak when compared with that spirit full of
grace, which I was privileged to hear. But it will be an
image to recall the archetype to him who was struck with the

(We may state here that the Thyrsus was the mystic-wand carried by the
Initiates in the Mystic Brotherhoods--the Initiate being first tapped
with it, and then receiving it from the Hierophant, at the ceremony of
formal Initiation.) Clement adds:

"We profess not to explain secret things sufficiently--far
from it--but only to recall them to memory, whether we have
forgot aught, or whether for the purpose of not forgetting.
Many things, well I know, have escaped us, through length of
time, that have dropped away unwritten. There are then some
things of which we have no recollection; for the power that
was in the blessed men was great."

"There are also some things which remain unnoted long, which have now
escaped; and others which are effaced, having faded away in the mind
itself, since such a task is not easy to those not experienced; these
I revive in my commentaries. Some things I purposely omit, in the
exercise of a wise selection, afraid to write what I guarded against
speaking; not grudging--for that were wrong--but fearing for my
readers lest they should stumble by taking them in a wrong sense; and,
as the proverb says, we should be found 'reaching a sword to a child.'
For it is impossible that what has been written should not escape,
although remaining published by me. But being always revolved, using
the one only voice, that of writing, they answer nothing to him that
makes inquiries beyond what is written; for they require of necessity
the aid of someone, either of him who wrote or of someone else, who
walked in his footsteps. Some things my treatise will hint; on some it
will linger; some it will merely mention. It will try to speak
imperceptibly, to exhibit secretly, and to demonstrate silently."
(_The Stromata of St. Clement._)

St. Clement, in the same work from which the above quotation was
taken, has a chapter entitled "The Mysteries of the Faith, not to be
Divulged to all." In it he states that inasmuch as his writings might
be seen by all men, the unwise as well as the wise, "it is requisite,
therefore, to hide in a Mystery the wisdom spoken, in which the Son of
God is taught." He then adds, "For it is difficult to exhibit the
really pure and transparent words to swinish and untrained hearers.
For scarcely could anything which they could bear be more ludicrous
than these to the multitude; nor any subjects on the other hand more
admirable or more inspiring to those of noble nature. But the wise do
not utter with their mouths what they reason in council. 'But what ye
hear in the ear,' said the Lord, 'proclaim upon the houses; bidding
them receive the _secret traditions of the true knowledge_, and
expound them aloft and conspicuously; and as we have said in the ear,
so to deliver them to whom it is requisite; but _not enjoining us to
communicate to all without distinction_ what is said to them in
parables. But there is only a delineation in the memoranda, which have
the truth sown sparse and broadcast, that it may escape the notice of
those who pick up seeds like jackdaws; but when they find a good
husbandman, each of them will germinate and will produce corn."

"Those who are still blind and dumb, not having understanding, or the
undazzled and keen vision of the contemplative soul, must stand
outside of the divine choir. Wherefore, in accordance with the method
of concealment, the truly sacred Word, truly divine and most necessary
for us, deposited in the shrine of truth, was by the Egyptians
indicated by what were called among them _adyta_, and by the Hebrews
'the veil.' Only the consecrated were allowed access to them. For
Plato also thought it not lawful for 'the impure to touch the pure.'
Thence the prophecies and oracles are spoken in enigmas, and to the
untrained and uninstructed people. Now, then, it is not wished that
all things should be exposed indiscriminately to all and sundry, or
the benefits of wisdom communicated to those who have not even in a
dream been purified in soul, for it is not allowable to hand to every
chance comer what has been procured with such laborious efforts. Nor
are the Mysteries of the Word to be expounded to the profane. The
Mysteries were established for the reason that it was more beneficial
that the holy and the blessed contemplation of realities be conceded.
So that, on the other hand, then, there are the Mysteries which were
hid till the time of the apostles, and were delivered by them as they
received from the Lord, and, concealed in the Old Testament, were
manifested to the saints. And on the other hand, there is the riches
of the glory of the mysteries of the Gentiles, which is faith and hope
in Christ. Instruction, which reveals hidden things, is called
Illumination, as it is the teacher only who uncovers the lid of the
ark." (_The Stromata of St. Clement_.)

St. Clement also quotes approvingly the saying of Plato, that: "We
must speak in enigmas; that should the tablet come by any mischance on
its leaves either by sea or land he who reads may remain ignorant." He
also says, concerning certain Gnostic writings:

"Let the specimen suffice to those who have ears. For it is
not required to unfold the mystery, but only to indicate
what is sufficient for those who are partakers in knowledge
to bring it to mind."

We have quoted freely from St. Clement, for the purpose of showing
that he, a man in a very exalted position in the Early Christian
Church, recognized, and actually taught, the Inner Teachings, or
Secret Doctrine of Mystic Christianity--that the Early Christian
Church was an organization having a Mystic Centre for the few, and
Common Outer for the multitude. Can there be any doubt of this after
reading the above words from his pen?

But not only St. Clement so wrote and taught, but many others in
authority in the Early Christian Church likewise voiced their
knowledge of, and approval in, the Inner Teachings. For example,
Origen, the pupil of St. Clement, a man whose influence was felt on
all sides in the early days of the Church. Origen defended
Christianity from the attacks of Celsus, who charged the Church with
being a secret organization which taught the Truth only to a few,
while it satisfied the multitude with popular teachings and
half-truths. Origen replied that, while it was true that there were
Inner Teachings in the Church which were not revealed to the general
public, still the Church, in that respect, was but following the
example of all teachers of Truth, who always maintained an esoteric
side of their teachings for those fitted to participate in them, while
giving the exoteric side to the general body of followers. He writes:

"And yet the Mystery of the Resurrection, not being
understood, is made a subject of ridicule among unbelievers.
In these circumstances, to speak of the Christian doctrine
as a _secret system_ is altogether absurd. But that there
should be certain doctrines, not made known to the
multitude, which are divulged after the exoteric ones have
been taught, is not a peculiarity of Christianity alone, but
also of philosophic systems in which certain truths are
exoteric and others esoteric. Some of the hearers of
Pythagoras were content with his _ipse dixit;_ while others
were taught in secret those doctrines which were not deemed
fit to be communicated to profane and insufficiently
prepared ears. Moreover, all the Mysteries that are
celebrated everywhere throughout Greece and barbarous
countries, although held in secret, have no discredit thrown
upon them, so that it is in vain he endeavors to calumniate
the secret doctrines of Christianity, seeing that he does
not correctly understand its nature."

"I have not yet spoken of the observance of all that is
written in the Gospels, each one of which contains much
doctrine difficult to be understood, not merely by the
multitude, but even by certain of the more intelligent,
including a very profound explanation of the parables, which
Jesus delivered to 'those without' while reserving the
exhibition of their full meaning for those who had passed
beyond the stage of exoteric teaching, and who came to Him
privately in the house. And when he comes to understand it,
he will admire the reason why some are said to be 'without'
and others 'in the house.'" (_Origen against Celsus_.)

In the same work Origen considers the story of the Syria-Phoenician
woman (_Matt. Chap. 15_) and says concerning it:

"And perhaps, also, of the words of Jesus there are some
loaves which it is possible to give to the more rational, as
to the children, only; and others as it were crumbs from the
great house and table of the well-born, which may be used by
some souls like dogs."

And, again,

"He whose soul has, for a long time, been conscious of no
evil, especially since he yielded himself to the healing of
the Word, let such a one hear _the doctrines which were
spoken in private by Jesus to His genuine disciples_."

And, again,

"But on these subjects much, and that of a mystical kind,
might be said: in keeping with which is the following: 'It
is good to keep close to the secret of a king,' in order
that _the doctrine of the entrance of souls into bodies_ may
not be thrown before the common understanding, nor what is
holy given to the dogs, nor pearls be cast before swine. For
such a procedure would be impious, being equivalent to a
betrayal of the mysterious declaration of God's wisdom. It
is sufficient, however, to represent in the style of a
historic narrative what is intended to convey a secret
meaning in the garb of history, that those who have the
capacity may work out for themselves all that relates to the

He also says, in the same work:

"If you come to the books written after the time of Jesus,
you will find that those multitudes of believers who hear
the parables are, as it were, 'without,' and worthy only of
exoteric doctrines, while the disciples learn in private the
explanation of the parables. _For, privately, to His own
disciples did Jesus open up all things, esteeming above the
multitudes those who desired to know His wisdom._ And He
promises to those who believe on Him to send them wise men
and scribes."

In another work, Origen states that:

"The Scriptures have a meaning, not only such as is apparent
at first sight, but also another, which escapes the notice
of most men. For such is written in the forms of certain
Mysteries, and the image of divine things. Respecting which
there is one opinion throughout the whole Church, that the
whole law is indeed spiritual; _but that the spiritual
meaning which the law conveys is not known to all_, but to
those only on whom the grace of the Holy Spirit is bestowed
in the word of wisdom and knowledge." (_De Principiis_.)

We could fill page after page with live quotations from the writings
of the Early Christian Fathers, and their successors, showing the
existence of the Inner Teachings. But we must rest content with those
which we have given you, which are clear and to the point, and which
_come from undoubted authority_.

The departure of the Church from these Inner Teachings was a great
calamity, from which the Church is still suffering. As that well-known
occultist, Eliphias Levi, has said:

"A great misfortune befell Christianity. The betrayal of the
Mysteries by the false Gnostics--for the Gnostics, that is,
_those who know_, were the Initiates of primitive
Christianity--caused the Gnosis to be rejected, and
alienated the Church from the supreme truths of the Kabbala,
which contains all the secrets of transcendental
theology.... Let the most absolute science, let the highest
reason become once more the patrimony of the leaders of the
people; let the sarcerdotal art and the royal art take the
double sceptre of antique initiations and the social world
will once more issue from its chaos. Burn the holy images no
longer; demolish the temples no more; temples and images are
necessary for men; but drive the hirelings from the house of
prayer; let the blind be no longer leaders of the blind;
reconstruct the hierarchy of intelligence and holiness, and
recognize only _those who know_ as the teachers of _those
who believe_." (_The Mysteries of Magic, Waite

And now, you ask, what were taught in these Christian Mysteries--what
is the Inner Teaching--what the Secret Doctrine? Simply this, good
students--the Occult Philosophy and Mystic Lore which has been taught
to the Elect in all times and ages, and which is embodied in our
several series of lessons on THE YOGI PHILOSOPHY AND ORIENTAL
OCCULTISM, _plus the special teaching regarding the nature, mission,
and sacrifice of Jesus the Christ, as we have tried to explain in the
present series of lessons_. The Truth is the same no matter under what
name it is taught, or who teaches it. Strip it of the personal
coloring of the teacher and it is seen to be the same--THE TRUTH.

In these lessons we have tried to give you the Key to the Mysteries,
but unless you have studied the other lessons in which the Occult
Teachings have been set forth, you will not be able to see their
application in Mystic Christianity. You must bring Knowledge to these
lessons, in order to take away knowledge.



The doctrine of Metempsychosis or Re-incarnation has its roots deeply
imbedded in the soil of all religions--that is, in the Inner Teachings
or Esoteric phase of all religious systems. And this is true of the
Inner Teachings of the Christian Church as well as of the other
systems. The Christian Mysteries comprised this as well as the other
fundamental occult doctrines, and the Early Church held such teachings
in its Inner Circle.

And, in its essence, the doctrine of Re-birth is the only one that is
in full accord with the Christian conception of ultimate justice and
"fairness." As a well known writer has said concerning this subject:

"It relieves us of many and great difficulties. It is
impossible for any one who looks around him and sees the
sorrow and suffering in the world, and the horrible
inequality in the lives of men--not inequality in wealth
merely, but inequality in opportunity of progress--to
harmonize these facts with the love and justice of God,
unless he is willing to accept this theory that this one
life is not all, but that it is only a day in the real life
of the soul, and that each soul therefore has made its place
for itself, and is receiving just such training as is best
for its evolution. Surely the only theory which enables a
man rationally to believe in Divine justice, without
shutting his eyes to obvious facts, is a theory worthy of

"Modern theology concerns itself principally with a plan for
evading divine justice, which it elects to call 'Salvation,'
and it makes this plan depend entirely upon what a man
believes, or rather upon what he says that he believes. This
whole theory of 'salvation,' and indeed the theory that
there is anything to be 'saved' from, seems to be based upon
a misunderstanding of a few texts of scripture. We do not
believe in this idea of a so-called divine wrath; we think
that to attribute to God our own vices of anger and cruelty
is a terrible blasphemy. We hold to the theory of steady
evolution and final attainment for all; and we think that
the man's progress depends not upon what he believes, but
upon what he does. And there is surely very much in the
bible to support this idea. Do you remember St. Paul's
remark, 'Be not deceived, God is not mocked; whatsoever a
man soweth, that shall he also reap'? And again, Christ said
that 'They that _have done good_ shall go unto the
resurrection of life'--not they that have believed some
particular doctrine. And when He describes the day of
judgment, you will notice that no question is raised as to
what anybody has believed, but only as to the works which he
has done."

In this connection, we think that it is advisable to quote from the
address of a well known English churchman upon this important subject.
The gentleman in question is The Ven. Archdeacon Colley, Rector of
Stockton, Warwickshire, England, who said:

"In the realm of the occult and transcendental, moved to its
exploration from the Sadducean bias of my early days, I have
for the best part of half a century had experiences rarely
equaled by any, and I am sure, surpassed by none; yet have
they led me up till now, I admit, to no very definite
conclusions. With suspension of judgment, therefore, not
being given to dogmatize on anything, and with open mind I
trust, in equipoise of thought desiring to hold an even
balance of opinion 'twixt this and that, I am studious still
of being receptive of light from every source--rejecting
nothing that in the least degree makes for righteousness,
hence my taking the chair here tonight, hoping to learn what
may help to resolve a few of the many perplexities of life,
to wit: Why some live to the ripe old age of my dear father
while others live but for a moment, to be born, gasp and
die. Why some are born rich and others poor; some having
wealth only to corrupt, defile, deprave others therewith,
while meritorious poverty struggles and toils for human
betterment all unaided. Some gifted with mentality; others
pitiably lacking capacity. Some royal-souled from the first
naturally, others with brutal, criminal propensities from
beginning to end.

"The sins of the fathers visited upon the children unto the
third and fourth generation may in heredity account for
much, but I want to see through the mystery of a good father
at times having a bad son, as also of one showing genius and
splendid faculties--the offspring of parentage the reverse
of anything suggesting qualities contributive thereto. Then
as a clergyman, I have in my reading noted texts of Holy
Scripture, and come across passages in the writings of the
Fathers of the Early Church which seem to be root-thoughts,
or survivals of the old classic idea of re-incarnation.

"The prophet Jeremiah (1:5) writes, 'The word of the Lord
came unto me saying, before I formed thee, I knew thee, and
before thou wast born I sanctified thee and ordained thee a

"Does this mean that the Eternal-Uncreate chose, from foreknowledge of
what Jeremiah would be, the created Ego of His immaterialized servant
in heaven ere he clothed his soul with the mortal integument of flesh
in human birth--schooling him above for the part he had to play here
below as a prophet to dramatize in his life and teaching the will of
the Unseen? To the impotent man at the Pool of Bethesda, whose
infirmity was the cruel experience of eight and thirty years, the
Founder of our religion said (_John 5:14._), 'Behold, thou art made
whole; sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.' Was it
(fitting the punishment to the crime proportionately) some outrageous
sin as a boy, in the spring of years and days of his inexperienced
youth of bodily life, that brought on him such physical sorrow, which
youthful sin in its repetition would necessitate an even worse ill
than this nearly forty years of sore affliction? 'Who did sin, this
man or his parents, that he was born blind?' (_John 9:2._), was the
question of the disciples to Jesus. And our query is--Sinned _before_
he was born to deserve the penalty of being born blind?

"Then of John the Baptist--was he a reincarnation of Elijah, the
prophet, who was to come again? (_Malachi 4:5._). Jesus said he _was_
Elijah, who indeed had come, and the evil-minded Jews had done unto
him whatsoever they listed. Herod had beheaded him (_Matt. 11:14_ and

"Elijah and John the Baptist appear from our reference Bibles and
Cruden's Concordance to concur and commingle in one. The eighth verse
of the first chapter of the second Book of Kings and the fourth verse
of the third chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel note similarities in them
and peculiarities of dress. Elijah, as we read, was a 'hairy man and
girt a leathern girdle about his loins,' while John the Baptist had
'his raiment of camel's hair and a leathern girdle about his loins.'
Their home was the solitude of the desert. Elijah journeyed forty days
and forty nights unto Horeb, the mount of God in the Wilderness of
Sinai. John the Baptist was in the wilderness of Judea beyond Jordan
baptizing. And their life in exile--a self-renunciating and voluntary
withdrawal from the haunts of men--was sustained in a parallel
remarkable way by food (bird--brought on wing--borne). 'I have
commanded the ravens to feed thee,' said the voice of Divinity to the
prophet; while locusts and wild honey were the food of the Baptist.

"'And above all,' said our Lord of John the Baptist to the disciples,
'if ye _will_ receive it, this is Elias which was for to come.'

"Origen, in the second century, one of the most learned of the Fathers
of the early Church, says that this declares the pre-existence of John
the Baptist as Elijah before his decreed later existence as Christ's

"Origen also says on the text, 'Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have
hated,' that if our course be not marked out according to our works
before this present life that now is, how would it not be untrue and
unjust in God that the elder brother should serve the younger and be
hated by God (though blessed of righteous Abraham's son, of Isaac)
before Esau had done anything deserving of servitude or given any
occasion for the merciful Almighty's hatred?

"Further, on the text (_Ephesians 1:4._), 'God who hath chosen us
before the foundation of the world,' Origen says that this suggests
our pre-existence ere the world was.

"While Jerome, agreeing with Origen, speaks of our rest above, where
rational creatures dwell before their descent to this lower world, and
prior to their removal from the invisible life of the spiritual sphere
to the visible life here on earth, teaching, as he says, the necessity
of their again having material bodies ere, as saints and men made
'perfect as our Father which is in heaven is perfect,' they once more
enjoy in the angel-world their _former_ blessedness.

"Justin Martyr also speaks of the soul inhabiting the human body more
than once, but thinks as a rule (instanced in the case of John the
Baptist forgetting that he had been Elijah) it is not permitted us to
remember our former experiences of this life while yet again we are in
exile here as strangers and pilgrims in an uncongenial clime away from
our heavenly home.

"Clemens Alexandrinus, and others of the Fathers, refer to
re-incarnation (or transmigration or metempsychosis, as it is called
in the years that are passed of classic times and later now as
_re-birth_) to remind us of the vital truth taught by our Lord in the
words, '_Ye must be born again_.'"

These words, falling from the lips of a man so eminent in the staid
conservative ranks of the Church of England, must attract the
attention of every earnest seeker after the Truth of Christian
Doctrine. If such a man, reared in such an environment, could find
himself able to bear such eloquent testimony to the truth of a
philosophy usually deemed foreign to his accepted creed, what might we
not expect from a Church liberated from the narrow formal bounds of
orthodoxy, and once more free to consider, learn and teach those noble
doctrines originally held and taught by the Early Fathers of the
Church of Christ?

While the majority of modern Christians bitterly oppose the idea that
the doctrine of Metempsychosis ever formed any part of the Christian
Doctrine, and prefer to regard it as a "heathenish" teaching, still
the fact remains that the careful and unprejudiced student will find
indisputable evidence in the writings of the Early Christian Fathers
pointing surely to the conclusion that the doctrine of Metempsychosis
was believed and taught in the Inner Circle of the Early Church.

The doctrine unquestionably formed a part of the Christian Mysteries,
and has faded into comparative obscurity with the decay of
spirituality in the Church, until now the average churchman no longer
holds to it, and in fact regards as barbarous and heathenish that part
of the teachings originally imparted and taught by the Early Fathers
of the Church--the Saints and Leaders.

The Early Christians were somewhat divided in their beliefs concerning
the details of Re-birth. One sect or body held to the idea that the
soul of man was eternal, coming from the Father. Also that there were
many degrees and kinds of souls, some of which have never incarnated
in human bodies but which are living on many planes of life unknown to
us, passing from plane to plane, world to world. This sect held that
some of these souls had chosen to experiment with life on the physical
plane, and were now passing through the various stages of the
physical-plane life, with all of its pains and sorrows, being held by
the Law of Re-birth until a full experience had been gained, when they
would pass out of the circle of influence of the physical plane, and
return to their original freedom.

Another sect held to the more scientific occult form of the gradual
evolution of the soul, by repeated rebirth, on the physical plane,
from Lower to Higher, as we have set forth in our lessons on "Gnani
Yoga." The difference in the teachings arose from the different
conceptions of the great leaders, some being influenced by the Jewish
Occult Teachings which held to the first above mentioned doctrine,
while the second school held to the doctrine taught by the Greek
Mystics and the Hindu Occultists. And each interpreted the Inner
Teachings by the light of his previous affiliations.

And so, some of the early writings speak of "pre-existence," while
others speak of repeated "rebirth." But the underlying principle is
the same, and in a sense they were both right, as the advanced
occultists know full well. The fundamental principle of both
conceptions is that the soul comes forth as an emanation from the
Father in the shape of Spirit; that the Spirit becomes plunged in the
confining sheaths of Matter, and is then known as "a soul," losing for
a time its pristine purity; that the soul passes on through rebirth,
from lower to higher, gaining fresh experiences at each incarnation;
that the advancing soul passes from world to world, returning at last
to its home laden with the varied experiences of life and becomes once
more pure Spirit.

The early Christian Fathers became involved in a bitter controversy
with the Greek and Roman philosophers, over the conception held by
some of the latter concerning the absurd doctrine of the
transmigration of the human soul into the body of an animal. The
Fathers of the Church fought this erroneous teaching with great
energy, their arguments bringing out forcibly the distinction between

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