A study in Hilary's house. A general atmosphere of seriousness pervades the room. Maria alone in meditation.
A starry soul, on yonder spirit-shore,
Draws near, — draws near me clad in spirit-light,
Draws near with mine own self, and as it nears —
Its radiance gains in power, — and gains in calm.
O star within my spirit-circle, what
Doth thine approach shed on my gazing soul?
(Astrid appears to right.)
Perceive that which I now can bring to thee;
From cosmic strife 'twixt darkness and the light
I stole thy power of thought I bring it now
From out its cosmic midnight's wakening
With service true back to thine earthly form.
My Astrid, thou hast ever till to-day
Appeared to me as shining shadow-soul;
What turns thee now to this bright spirit-star?
I kept the lightning's and the thunder's power
For thee, that they might stay within thy soul,
And now thou canst behold them consciously —
When of the cosmic midnight thou dost think.
The cosmic midnight! — Ere for this earth-life
My self enclosed me in my body's sheath,
In Saturn's coloured light kept endless watch!
Mine earthly thoughts concealed from me before
This spirit scene in soul-obscurity
Now in soul clarity it doth emerge.
Thyself in cosmic light didst speak these words:
‘Of thee, Duration, would I crave a boon
Pour out thyself into this blessedness
And let my guide, and let that other soul
Now dwell with me therein in peacefulness.’
Dwell with me also. O thou moment blest,
In which this spirit happening creates
New powers of self. Equip my soul with strength
That thou mayst not pass from me like a dream.
In light which on the cosmic midnight shines,
Which Astrid brings from soul-obscurity,
Mine ego joins that self which fashioned me
To serve its purpose in the cosmic life.
But how, 0 moment, can I hold thee fast,
So that I do not lose thee when once more
My senses feel earth clearness once again?
Their power is great; and often, if they slay
The spirit-vision, it stays dead e'en when
The self in spirit finds itself again.
(Immediately after the last words, as if summoned by them, Luna appears.)
Preserve, before the sense-life once again
Makes thee to dream, the power of thine own will
With which this moment hath presented thee.
Think of the words that I myself did speak
When at the cosmic midnight seen by thee.
My Luna, from the cosmic midnight thou
Hast brought me hither mine own power of will
To be my prop throughout my life on earth.
The Guardian's warning followed thus my words:
‘Then shalt thou see thyself in other guise,
E'en in a picture of an olden time,
And know how strength for lofty spirit-flight
E'en from disaster may the soul's wings gain.
A soul may never wish itself to fall;
Yet, when it falls it must a lesson learn.’
Whereto doth thy word's power now carry me?
A spirit-star on yonder shore of souls!
It gleams, it draweth nigh — in spirit-form;
Draws nigh with mine own self; and, as it nears,
The light grows denser and within the light
Forms darken, taking on their being's shape!
A youthful mystic, and a sacred flame,
The stern call of the highest hierophant
To tell the vision seen within the flame!
The group of mystics overcome with fear
At that young mystic's self-acknowledgment.
(The Guardian of the Threshold appears while the latter sentences are being uttered.)
Hear once again within thy spirit-ear
The stern call of the highest hierophant.
‘O human soul, read now what through the flame
The cosmic word declares within thyself.’
Who spoke the words my thought brings back to me,
Recalling them from waters of the soul?
With mine own words thou callest me to thee.
When in times past I uttered this command,
It did not find thee ready to respond.
And so it stayed in evolution's womb;
The course of time kath lent new force thereto
Which flowed therein from out thine own soul's life;
And so it wrought in later lives on earth
In thy soul's depth although thou knew'st it not.
It let thee find me as thy guide again;
By conscious thought it now transforms itself
Into a powerful motive in thy life.
‘This holy mystic rite, which we perform,
Hath not importance for ourselves alone;
Fate's stream of cosmic evolution pours
Through word and deed of sacred priestly rites.’
Thou didst not speak this word within that place.
The hierophant did speak, who used to be
Thy colleague in that ancient mystic band.
He knew e'en then that powers of destiny
Foresaw the ending of this mystic band.
Unconsciously the hierophant beheld
The beauteous rising of the rosy dawn
Which to the spirit-stream of earth foretold
A new sun over Hellas should arise.
So he forbore to send the powerful thought
Which he should have directed to my soul.
The cosmic spirit's instrument was he
At that initiation, during which
He heard the whispering stream of cosmic life.
He spoke a word from out his inmost soul
‘One thing especially I deeply feel:
The solitude of this stern spirit-shrine.
Why do I feel so lonely in this place?’
In his soul there was planted even then
The germ of solitude, which later on
Matured to soul-fruit in the womb of time.
This fruit Capesius as mystic now
Must taste, and so must follow Felix' steps.
That woman, too, who near the temple stayed,
I see her as she was in olden time,
But not yet can my vision penetrate
To where she is; how can I find her then
When sense-life causeth me to dream again?
Thou wilt discover her when thou dost see
That being in the realm of souls whom she
Doth count a shade amongst the other shades.
She seeks to reach it with strong power of soul.
She will not free it from the world of shades
Till in her present body, through thine aid,
She hath beheld her long past life on earth.
Like some soul-star my highest guardian glides,
In glowing light toward my shore of souls; —
His light spreads peace, far round the wide flung space; —
His light hath grandeur; — and his dignity
Makes strong my being in its inmost depth;
In this peace will I now submerge myself; —
I feel before that through it I shall find
My way to fullest spirit-wakefulness.
And ye, too, messengers into my soul —
I'll keep within myself as beacon-lights.
Upon thee, Astrid, will I call when thought
Would from soul-clearness fain withdraw itself.
And thee, O Lima, may my prayer then find
When will-power slumbers deep in my soul depth.
The curtain falls while Maria, Astrid, and Luna are still in the room