High Mysticism by Emma Curtis Hopkins
Chapter 2 — Remission
We are so constituted that when we are told that the Divine Edict is, “Look unto Me,” we lift our inner visional sense to look toward the High Cause. The Spanish mystics urged mankind to look a thousand times an hour toward the Vast, Vast Countenance that shineth as the sun in his strength.
The beams of that Countenance are hot with healing. Proculus the slave felt them melting both his sickness and his chains, and Severus the Roman Emperor chose Proculus to live in the palace with him, because an ever- falling grace from above undid the disorders of those who came near Proculus.
Something is ever gently wooing us. It is the sin- undoing Saving Grace. It rides swiftly to our freedom on the thrill of our recognition. It exposes the Elysium which the saints of old told of in song and sermon. Every beam of light and every waft of air from sighting toward the Unsullied Heights is the touch of the dissolving alkahest, the remitting mystery, the saving grace, removing some suffering, exposing some joy. Is it not written, “Look unto Me, and be ye saved”?
One who had been utterly set free from the might of the flesh and its death, rose, an untrammeled Being, and said, “Preach Remission.” Preach the removal, the putting away of the consequences of the downward vision, which appear as evil, matter, lack, pain, decay. Preach the freedom of those who notice that Deity’, onlooketh them.
A principle is a comprehensive law. As Jeremiah was brought to sickness and martyrdom by gazing much toward affliction, so they who look to the Unweighted First Cause are unweighted of sickness and the possibility of martyrdom. “Behold, I will . . . lay thy foundations with sapphires” — liberty. “They shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee.”
The mind is not capable of bringing anything to pass except it be transfixed by inward visioning. Inner vision is the vital essential to the mind. When this faculty is exalted, the mind quickens with original ideas and has high instructions.
Hegel, turning his attention toward causes, got deeper than thinking, and wrote in his “Introduction to Logic” that we secretly perceive toward an object before thinking it, and it is only by having constant recourse by inward viewing that then the mind goes on to know and comprehend.
The High and Lofty One that inhabiteth Eternity offers to undo our weakness and our wretchedness, the laws of matter and the veneers of time, if we, undiverted, seek His face. He offers a new language and the end of the world: “Look up to the fields white for the harvest.” “The harvest is the end of the world.” “They shall speak with new tongues.”
As we are like those we face, dropping their unlikeness, it is not strange to find the mystics of all times joyously exclaiming that the Undifferentiated Self-Existent, the Abyssmal Naught, has remitted for them the five dark unlikenesses to Himself into which their aberrated watch had warped them. They have not been seeking liberation from bondage, they have only been seeking His face, according to the Sacred Edict, “Look unto Me,” yet liberation has been as complete through the ecstatic moments of their contemplation as if they had entered Paradise. Read how the cosmic laws of matter and mind let go for Parmenides while he was seeking the High First Cause, “not life but the Cause that life is.”
The experiences of the mystics have been reported as the shouts of the free. Their shouts have been the creedal formulas of philosophical and religious organizations without number. The zealous lovers of the formulas have often forgotten that matter does not loose the grip of its law if the vision is not toward the heights; that evil lets go its claims only when the Dayspring from on high drops its dewy sunshine into the heart; but all the same the world has loved to hear the lovers of the formulas sing the non-estness of evil, matter, pain, decay. The world has always sought its mystic nihilists when it has wanted its prison doors unlocked: “I will turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the Lord.”
High mysticism is divine nihilism. Truly, there is no knowledge except what is taught straight from Him who saith, “I will instruct thee, and teach thee.” Truly, there is safety from drowning for any Peter who looks away from the stormy waters of human existence to Him who saith, “The flames shall not kindle, the waters shall not overflow, . . .” “. . . nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
It is preaching remission when we tell the Unweighted Light face to face, that we know our surety of unburdened life under His healing smile. It is a prayer; and prayer is ever a psalm of freedom: “Am I not an apostle? Am I not free?”
If the vision be on high, where the illimitable skies in untrammeled buoyancy shine chastely down, purity of moral tone and flawlessness of body are manifest. Vanity, dissembling, cowardice, are remitted, dissolved; sickness, weakness, disease, are removed. The original Self, denuded of its crass teguments, forgets its history in matter. The former earth is forgotten. It does not come into mind any more.
He unto whose face we look hath vouchsafed to no man His Name, and none as yet knoweth His nature. We know His promises, His gifts, His responses; but as our only carrying energy, the inward visional sense, has been engaged in fetching either gladness or sorrow from other objectives than His glory, we have nothing sublimer than Life, Love, and Spirit, of which He is the Giver, to describe. These being His gifts, and already among the tangible and practical experiences of man, it is not surprising that the subtler triumphs undergirding those who have sought the Giver, and not the gifts, have not been understood. For only the Original of knowing can say, “I will show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not.”
Under the worship of Amen, the Unknown and Unknowable High Cause, Thebes, the metropolis of Egypt was the seat of kings, and triumphed over all the world. Under the worship of Aton — Life, Truth, and Love, or Truth, Happiness and Sunshine, Thebes flourished in splendor for a period, was rich, magnificent, and pompous, and then suddenly went out. Life and Love may not say, “Look unto Me and be ye masters of life.” They may not go higher than repletion with their like. Only their Author is their Master and He only can confer mastership. “All the nations . . . shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure .. . thee, saith the Lord.” “Thou canst not behold Me with thy two outer eyes; I have given thee an eye divine.”
“Touching the Almighty, we cannot find him out . . .” “with God is terrible majesty.” “Behold God is great, and we know him not,” chanted the awe-struck Elihu.
Paul, in his Mars Hill address, declared the Unknown God who giveth life and spirit. He could not describe His nature nor name His greater Name than I AM THAT I AM. But it was immortalizing to Paul himself to call the gaze higher than life and spirit, to the Ain Soph of the Cabala, the “Great Countenance of the Absolute, above thinking and above being.”
“My Father is greater than I, was the upward-calling statement of Jesus; and His eye being ever toward the Divine Original, He was ever Master of life. “I lay down my life, . . . and I have power to take it again,” He said.
As there is rich newness over the Tao, or Highway, we need not fear to let go all that goes under its dissolving beams. Is it not written that no roan can see that Face and live according to his former estate! That his former estate shall shuffle off — be remitted?
Sell all, let all move aside — let go, and give to the Poor, the Unknowable Absolute, the Unhindered God, the Unweighted I AM, the Predicateless Being. This is the Universal insistence of inspired mystics. We have only one thing to give, namely, our attention. There is one Poor, namely, the Unencumbered First Cause. “Who holdeth fast to the High First Cause, of him the world shall come in quest.”
Preach the deliverance of the captive. Acknowledge high. Tell the One High Cause, that being Untrammeled Freedom in Himself, all who look to Him are untrammeled. Tell Him that fear and doubt depart. Tell Him that captivity itself is led captive, and only unvanquished Soul salutes Him.
The dissolving alkahest, the gentle grace that falls down over the track of the vision, has been praised by the sages of the ages, for there is surcease of world pain in its white softness: Behold the gentle Neutral that taketh away the mistakes of the World.
Five grievous shades slip off the earth. They are the foolish virgins with no oil of healing and no oil of illuminating in their most eloquent declarations. No one describing them was ever to himself or to his neighbors, the oil of joy for mourning, nor ever the inspiration of wisdom while detailing their processes. It is the passing of these five shadows that has caused the five great shouts of liberty, the high sounding Pehlevi, the psalms of remission, the prayers of the released:
- Steadfastly facing Thee, there is no evil on my pathway.
- Steadfastly facing Thee, there is no matter with its laws.
- Steadfastly facing Thee, there is no loss, no lack, no absence, no deprivation.
- Steadfastly facing Thee, there is nothing to fear, for there shall be no power to hurt.
- Steadfastly facing Thee, there is neither sin, nor sickness, nor death.
Preach remission, said the Risen Christ. Preach that the iron gates open of their own accord for upward- gazing Peter.
Preach that the stone of interference looming on our life path is rolled away, as for the two Marys.
Preach that palsy falls off Aeneas, and death falls off Dorcas. Understand what the Vedas are hymning:
“0 thou Unshaken One!”
By thy favor my delusions are destroyed!”
Matter and its laws of mind are the fictitious generations of ofttime downward glancing with our efficient visional sense. When this sense is lifted up, what seemed external exists no more at all. The inner vision leads off the other senses and if it is exalted toward the Healing Onlooker all the senses aver health. “For I am the Lord that healeth thee.” “The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.” “Seek ye my face and live.”
It is a very subtle doctrine that man is like that to which his inner eye is oftenest directed. It has been called the secret doctrine, because whoever discourses on the laws of mind, or describes the omnipresence of Life, Truth, Spirit, has not touched the secret of Deity’s look toward him and his look toward Deity. In this sight, or science, is denuding even of Spirit. “Blessed are the poor in Spirit.” Something transcending Spirit smiles. Let the Spirit blow where it listeth. “There is no man that hath power over the Spirit,” said Solomon, for Spirit is the servant of the High Deliverer — the I AM THAT I AM. “Behold, I will pour out my Spirit unto you.”
After years of austerity and singleness of eye, the Hindu mystic finds that the Deity who looketh toward us, saying, “Look unto Me,” is not Spirit, for Spirit arises in opposition to matter, and the Deity is above distinction. He notes that he only who perceives the Lord as Differenceless, goes to the Supreme End.
“He is not Being,” says Erigena, the Irish mystic, “for there is an arising of contradistinction; He cannot be called goodness, for goodness is opposed to badness, and God is above this distinction.”
Proculus, learned in the ritual of the world’s invocation, concludes that Deity is best described by negations, since only His gifts are knowable. “He is not that,” we may insist to all men’s descriptions of Deity. Job finds his swollen flesh dissolving, when he sets his witness in the heavens: “Thou dissolvest my substance,” he cries. Then the strong man of him springs up under the remitting but energizing light, and his last days are more triumphant than his youth and prime.
Specialists multiply that which they investigate. There shall never be an understanding of how fadeless health is roused, so long as the physical system, that faithful register of woe and vigor brought on the wings of secret viewing, is sought as the informer. Only by the study of the Uncontaminated One that inhabiteth Eternity shall unspoilable wholesomeness laugh in the substance of living creatures. Only His way upon the earth is the saving health of the nations.
The material body is a hard taskmaster. What it ought to be fed with, and how it should be housed and trained — see how it worries us with never telling us. The sons of the Tao know that neither if they eat are they the better, nor if they eat not are they the worse. Every mouthful shines with new mystery, and buoys up the system as on wings of might; every abstinence leaves the veins free for the sunshine of the Beatific Uplands to flow in radiant strength along. Who can prove this till he has ofttimes torn his gaze from the wheel of things to behold the Unencumbered Highest?
The mind is a wearisome objective. Its thoughts have laid claim to great powers of destruction and great powers of building. With the brightness of the I AM beaming upon them, even their wrath is praise of the Unthinkable Absolute. Jesus can look around with anger, being grieved and the withered arm stretches forth restored whole as the other. Under the baptism of the Divine Smile, the wickedness of the wicked shall not destroy, and the righteousness of the righteous shall not save. The Tender Mercy, the Dayspring from on high, remits the thoughts of the mind. Man’s inheritance of things that have not been conceived by mind comes into sight by looking to the Unknowable, who originates new knowing. “I will teach thee.” “I will turn to the people a pure language.”
He who watches for the erroneous thought that caused the malady of his neighbor shall find it alighting upon himself: “The watchers for iniquity shall be cut off; that make a man an offender for a word.”
“We wrestle against. the rulers of the darkness of this world,” said Paul. He is speaking of the wrestle of the morning of health that dawns on the upward watch, with the midnight of disease that glooms with looking toward mind and body. All the ways of darkness are removed by the Light that falls with remitting grace upon him who notices that the Deity looketh upon him. “Look up to the fields white for the harvest.” “The harvest is the end of the world.” “Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem. Tell her that her warfare is accomplished.” There is one universal solvent. It is the falling alkahest, the whiteness that makes death let go, that looses the bands of palsy and of pain. There is no pain facing Thee.
Steadfastly looking for high news, Origen finds that “evil has no substance.” Plotinus, on the same quest, becomes aware that “matter is nothing.” Hezekiah, more awake than they, rises in free majesty, because, “The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved.” Isaiah, greatest of the seers, finds that “All nations before him are as nothing, and they are counted unto him as less than nothing.” Job, meekest of all under the ever- beholding Solvent, yields himself in joyous dissolution — “Thine eyes are upon me, and I am not.”
The assurances of the stately scholars called mystics, have ever been, that all the hurting powers are nullified — remitted, for him who looks away to the Divine Original:
- “No weapon formed against thee shall prosper.”
- “No bad fame can hurt thee.”
- “Thou shalt be far from oppression.”
- “Terror shalt not come near thee.”
Their accepted formula has not been that the world is divine, and all things are God, but the world is nothing — the Lofty One inhabiting Eternity is The Alone — The All.
Looking downward, we weep at loss and lack, while the offer has ever been that there shall be no lack for the beholders of the smile of the Ain Soph. Obeying the Sacred Edict, “Look unto Me,” woman’s cry of no wine of life — the health, strength, praise, of which she never feels she has a plenitude — ceases. She hungers no more. She wants for no good thing. “Woman, what have I to do with thee?” says Jesus, when Mary declares, “They have no wine.” Woman has ever been the propagator of lack. She is to be first to declare, “They shall want for no good thing facing Thee.”
Man’s strenuousness on every line desists; he labors not, he takes no thought. There is a way that looking toward labor and lack has hidden. Looking to the Heights, away from labor and lack, the way is visible. “I will lead thee by a way that thou hast not known.” “The people shall not say, I am sick.” “They shall not see death.” “I am the Lord that healeth thee.”
This truth of the nonhindrance of matter and mind, as the beams of the shining Countenance penetrate to the hidden man of the heart, has the testimony of many sages of the ages. It is the mystical vision and union which Dionysius discovered gave him “that most divine knowledge of Almighty God, which is known through not knowing.”
It constitutes that union which Plotinus declared, “Enkindles our life flame, giving rest to the soul now fled up, away from evil, to the place free from evils.” How worth while to view above time and sense, preaching the inevitable remission, taking the instructions of the sages of the ages who have experienced it.
Sometimes these great forerunners have called our mental, moral and physical characteristics, and comports, “our garments folded around in our descent to view the not-God.” And they show how one by one, these garments have fallen from them on their upward- fleeting vision. “Love of honor is the last garment to be stripped away, as we show ourselves more like the Divine,” is remission preached by Proculus.
According to all these illumined ones, it is the Omnipotence through all things that binds them all in such sympathy. The crawling worm is brother to the archangel, in the fact of his central spark being God. And wherever remission is experienced, there is the miracle of the creature divinely transcending environment. Preaching remission uncovers the divinity at the center, because it entices the eye heavenward, whence the uncovering day springs hail.
The illuminati of the world, each manifesting according to his own recognition of the Supreme, have been at all times living proofs of the efficiency of setting the watch toward the Self-Existent Heights. Unto some it is the manifest readjustment of environment. Unto others it is the forgetfulness of environments. Unto some it is joy in shining health of body. Unto others it is forgetfulness that the body exists.
Union with divine Freedom, the heavenly Poor, is fraught with resultants near and far. The world receives a treatment as the pioneer on high plains unifies with the free Light. For the watcher shines forth as the sun with the healing glory of his Father above. Why may not the dead rouse past their cerements, if some pioneer abides undiverted in the sight of that peace which Cosimo de Medici saw folding round Antonino, to such effect that it stopped earthquakes? The world awaits the great Peace Treatment.
Whether the Unweighted Heights are sought in coldly scientific mood, or in religious warmth, to inspire the particular from the Universal, that which would hedge the free Self removes. “Watch the Way,” said Nahum, “so fortifying thy powers mightily.”
Ezra is scientific: “I will lift up mine eyes to the hills, from whence cometh my help;” but he makes haste to be religious: “I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant, Lord.” “Great peace have they which love thy law, and nothing shall offend them.”
He who learns that gazing upward toward his Father’s face is a liberating act, rouses with fresh hope. He senses that he is greater than what has heretofore happened to him. He forgets his calamities. He is on the pathway of salvation from the causes of calamity.
The free, wise, immortal center of man is the begotten of God. Only this uninjurable and shining principle is offspring of I AM THAT I AM. Not only the free and unspoilable soul, spirit of Jesus, but the soul, the hidden spark, of Nero, is Son of the Highest; Jesus, being unclothed of matter with its mind and temper, Nero, being heavily garmented therewith. The upward vision saves Nero or Jesus. There is no respect of persons on the high watch. “Mine eyes are ever toward the Lord; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net,” may be proclaimed by bad and good alike. “God is the bad man’s deliverer,” gratefully sang the ancient Chinese sages.
The remission loved by Proculus was the disappearance of memory and idea while raising eyes to the Predicateless One. The remission loved by those who lift their eyes to the Predicateless One in this age, is the removal of the hurting powers of life and death, riches and poverty, sin and virtue. They look for the day of Wisdom to break, and the shadowy night of ignorance to flee away.
The ordinance of the Highest, “Look unto Me,” requires an individual practice. It compels a life of its own. It exposes the doctrine known to Jesus of Nazareth, who said, “If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine.” At the point of knowing right doctrine, an influence emanates which clarifies all atmospheres. The neighbors of the knower drop their errors of thought and conduct. They start to seek the highest good at the highest fountain. This is that cognition which irradiates, till kings consider that which they have not been told, as Isaiah prophesied.
Gazing toward the One and Indivisible, Parmenides learned that the phenomenal world with its origination and decrease, multiplicity and diversity, is nonexistent and illusion. This knowledge extended forth from him, rousing sublimity of character and conduct in his adherents. Leading a noble life was denominated the Parmenidian life among the Greeks for centuries, so influential had been the remission preached by Parmenides.
But even indeed were there no radiance from the watcher’s clarified being, he would love and preach the High Eternal I AM, whose assurance is union by vision. The heart would praise and extol Him whose look toward man rernits all unlike His own nature. To the real heart there is joy in the divine fact that there are treasures of knowledge laid up for him whose true foundation is freedom by the look of his God upon him, dissolving his menials, and setting aside his bodily hindrances. To the heart there is gladness in knowing that remitted conditions leave exposed the secret original Self from which transcendent character springs forth, daily honoring the Father with the beauty of Soul Integrity.
The second angel sounds; man acknowledges the liberty that he senses by obeying the high mandate; and the mountain of all personal obligation rolls into the sea. The I AM THAT I AM, of Unspeakable Majesty, is
to be the only Responsible One. Like St. Augustine, in his hurried glance, man attains to the vision of that which is: trouble as a shadow has flown; he cannot find it. Only untrammeled God is Real. “Is there a God beside me? … I know any.” Anxiety is no more.
With Maimonides, Spinoza, and Gerson, in their diviner moments, proclaiming that evil has no existence forever, the obedient watcher heavenward walks the buoyant path of fearlessness. He bursts the bonds of desire and its attainment. He breathes above ambition. The wonderful God makes him a preacher of the heavenly remission. He tells of Him above Truth, whose works are truth; of Him who saves from old age and death, disease and poverty, ignorance and competition. He joins the singers of the God-born Vedic hymn:
“Destroyed is the knot in the heart;
Removed are all doubts;
Extinct are all the hidden longings,
Upon beholding Thee.”
-Let us set aside a day to telling over to Him unto whose Divine Countenance we look, the wonderful remissions, the heavenly liberations promised to those who ofttime turn away from smothering environments to face the Lover inhabiting Eternity — the Lord of Hosts His name. Let us boldly acknowledge, as we lift up our eyes unto the Deliverer, the Limitless, “Because Thou art the Unconditioned and Absolute, I also am unconditioned and absolute. Because Thou are the Free, I also am free. Because Thou art the Self-existent, I also am self existent.
This Third Study is prepared so that even those who have not heard its subject matter orally can understand that the High Vision which awakens high thinking and incites to noble living has been the vital theme of the preceding studies. Something always antedates thought. That something is Vision.
“Look unto Me” is the Sacred Edict.