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"I regarded George MacDonald as my master...." C. S. Lewis

Why C. S. Lewis loved Lilith

(First published in 1895. The introduction by C. S. Lewis was added to later publications, including the 2000 edition by Eerdmans Publishing Co.)

Skip down to Swedenborg, William Blake, Romanticism and "through a mirror into another world"

Emphasis in bold letters has been added throughout


Part 1

Part 2

Part 3







"Lewis would credit... George MacDonald with having influenced virtually every word he ever wrote.... It began with Phantastes, a dreamlike tale in which a boy wishes to visit fairy-country. He awakes the next morning in an enchanted wood where he encounters profound happiness mixed with perilous adventure — including death and rebirth of sorts.... And so, thanks to the imagination of George MacDonald, C.S. Lewis found his way home."  Kurt Bruner, Birthing Narnia


"...when God created me [Adam], --not out of Nothing, as say the unwise, but out of His own endless glory -- He brought me an angelic splendour to be my wife: there she [Lilith] lies! For her first thought was POWER.... [She] had so ensnared the heart of the great Shadow [Satan], that he became her slave, wrought her will, and made her queen of Hell. ... Vilest of God's creatures, she lives by the blood and lives and souls of men." From Lilith by George MacDonald.

C. S. Lewis never hid his fascination with mystical fantasy. Seventeen years after his "conversion to Christianity" to Christianity, he wrote the following endorsement of Lilith and other books by George MacDonald in his 1948 book, George MacDonald: An Anthology:

"I regarded George MacDonald as my master: indeed I fancy I have never written a book in which I did not quote from him."

Introducing MacDonald's Lilith, Lewis wrote,

"He [George MacDonald] was born in 1824.... In 1850 he received what is technically known as a 'Call' to become the Minister of a dissenting chapel in Arunder. By 1852 he was in trouble with the 'deacons' for heresy, the charges being that he had expressed belief in a future state of probation for heathens and that he was trained with German theology." [pages vii-viii]


"What he does best is fantasy--fantasy that hovers between the allegorical and the mythopoeic. This, in my opinion, he does better than any man. [ix]


"It must be more than thirty years ago that I bought... the Everyman edition of Phantastes. A few hours later I knew that I had crossed a great frontier. I had already been waist deep in Romanticism, and likely enough, at any moment, to flounder into its darker and more evil forms, slithering down the steep descent that leads from the love of strangeness to that of eccentricity and thence to that of perversity. ... Nothing was at that time further from my thoughts than Christianity and I therefore had no notion what this difference really was. I was only aware that if this new world was strange, it was also homely and humble; that if this was a dream, it was a dream in which one at least felt strangely vigilant; that the whole book also had about it a sort of cool, morning innocence and also, quite unmistakably, a certain quality of Death, good Death. What it actually did to me was to convert, even to baptize (that was where the Death came in) my imagination. It did nothing to my intellect nor (at that time) to my conscience...."(xi)


"...the quality which had enchanted me in his imaginative works turned out to be the quality of the real universe, the divine, magical, terrifying and ecstatic reality in which we all live." (xii )

C. S. Lewis          

On the opposite page (across from C. S. Lewis' name in the introduction to MacDonald's book), readers will find a second title page and a short, revealing quote from "The Kabala" (also spelled Kabbalah, Qabala, Cabbalah, etc.):

 LILITH: A Romance

"'Off, Lilith!' - The Kabala"

That's not surprising. The Kabala is based on occult myths that twist Biblical truth into horrendous lies. In this mystical realm, Lilith was the first wife of Adam -- a rebellious fallen angel. She plays that demonic role in this dark, disturbing book, which we don't recommend to anyone.


Hidden from the public eye for centuries, the mysterious Kabala has more recently entered the religious marketplace. In the 18th, 19th and 20th century Europe (and to a lesser extent in America), Kabbalistic mysticism mingled with medieval alchemy and hermetic magic in various popular occult systems and secret societies. As occult visions, dreams and philosophies merged and evolved, they gave birth to new forms of occultism which captivated receptive audiences -- such as Rosicrucianism, Freemasonry, Swedenborg, Theosophy and its offshoot, Anthroposophy. The latter was conceived by Rudolf Steiner (mentioned by Lewis in The Abolition of Man), the founder of Waldorf Schools. Owen Barfield, whom Lewis referred to as his second closest friend, was also drawn to these occult blends and eventually embraced Steiner's revision of Theosophy. 


All these occult models successfully prepare the masses for today's New Age religions. Their amazing success is illustrated by the popular acceptance of books such as the Gnostic-based "DaVinci Code," occult author Anne Rice's Gnostic novel on the young life of "Christ, the Lord," and John Granger promotion of Alchemy through his book "Looking for God in Harry Potter," which was published by Tyndale House, a respected Christian publisher.


Another example of today's cultural emersion in occult philosophies is the ubiquitous acceptance of the Dialectic process. Conceived by occultist Georg Hegel, this never-ending process of merging opposites in order to produce unity or consensus is transforming churches as well as schools and business. Its evolving synthesis of opposites -- whether they appear as conflicting realities or simply good and evil -- is illustrated in MacDonald's Lilith:

"Lilith is the first text to employ the idea of going through a mirror into another world.... Lilith is a figure of myth -- Adam's first wife and a fulcrum of the narrator's ambiguous journey. Tensions of human/animal, good/evil, body/spirit, and angel/vampire play through the text, finally emerging in a violent conflict. Lilith Vote George MacDonald (1895)

To better understand the powerful influences that persuaded the masses to blend Biblical truth with occult philosophies, let's identify some of the other threads of deceptions that have spread unnamed into the public consciousness through celebrated "Christian" authors:




The writings of George MacDonald were, in part, inspired by the teachings of Emmanuel Swedenborg. A website dedicated to global unity through occult spirituality gives some background information:

       "Visited by a mystic illumination in 1745, Swedenborg claimed a direct vision of a spiritual world underlying the natural sphere. He began having dreams, ecstatic visions, trances and mystical illusions in which he communicated with Jesus Christ and God and was granted a view of the order of the universe that was radically different from the teachings of the Christian church. He resigned his job to concentrate full-time on his ecstatic visions and transcribing the knowledge imparted to him from the spiritual world....

      "Swedenborg conceived of three spheres: divine mind, spiritual world, and natural world. Each corresponds to a degree of being in God and in humankind: love, wisdom, and use (end, cause, and effect). Through devotion to each degree, unification with it takes place and a person obtains his or her destiny, which is union with creator and creation.... His 12-volume compendium 'The Heavenly Arcana' (1747-56) represents a unique synthesis between modern science and religion....

      "Many of his views were adopted by 19th century spiritualism and many of his ideas were also disseminated in the works of writers and poets such as William Blake, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Henry James."

An article titled, "Writers Influenced By Swedenborg," lists other influential authors who have spread their philosophies to gullible children and youth through public schools. The list includes:

George MacDonald (1824-1905). Scottish novelist, poet and 'myth-maker,' he is best remembered for his children's stories At the Back of the North Wind and The Princess and the Goblin and for his adult fantasies, Phantastes and Lilith. He was inspired particularly by the German Romantics (above all Novalis, some of whose poems he translated), but also by Swedenborg and [William] Blake."

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832). The great German poet, dramatist, novelist, essayist and scientist first became acquainted with Swedenborg's works as a young student through Fräulein von Klettenberg of Frankfurt. Students of Goethe's letters and poetry have found evidence of familiarity with both scientific and theological works of Swedenborg.

Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961). ...He acknowledged his debt to Swedenborg: 'I admire Swedenborg as a great scientist and a great mystic at the same time.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882).  Artist and poet and a member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.  Rossetti was instrumental in the revival of interest in the work of William Blake in the 1860s and, with his brother William Michael Rossetti, he helped Anne Gilchrist to finish her husband Alexander's Life of Blake after his death.  He would have learned of Swedenborg through his interest in Blake..."

Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892). The most popular poet of the Victorian age and Poet Laureate from 1850. Like many of his contemporaries, Tennyson was a reader of Swedenborg. [See his utopian vision for humanity in the poem quoted here]

Charles Augustus Tulk (1786-1849).  A leading early English Swedenborgian and a founder member and chairman for many years of the Swedenborg Society.  He was a friend and patron of John Flaxman, another founder member of the Society and also of William Blake..."

Walt Whitman (1819-1892). ....

James John Garth Wilkinson (1812-1899). Homoeopathic physician, translator and biographer of Swedenborg.... He edited the first letter-press edition of Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience. His many friends and correspondents in the literary world included Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thomas Carlyle, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Charles Dickens, Robert Browning, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Coventry Patmore, and George MacDonald. His greatest friend was the American Swedenborgian thinker Henry James senior...."

Did you notice the references to William Blake? Because his writings became a major source of inspiration to George Mac Donald (and therefore to C. S. Lewis as well), it's important to understand what he believed. The article, "William Blake and the Radical Swedenborgians, tells us that -

       "In the late 1780s and early 1790s, when Blake sought out Swedenborg and other mystical and occult sources, he was also a radical in politics....

       "Swedenborg’s esoteric teaching was absorbed into the socio-cultural matrix of the late eighteenth century....

       "The Church that Blake visited was a development of the non-orthodox Theosophical Society.... We know that a number of Blake’s fellow artists were Swedenborgians and met in the Theosophical Society (in 1785 renamed as The British Society for the Propagation of the Doctrines of the New Church)...

        "Even when Blake seems to be making purely theological statements, there are inevitable links to be drawn to Swedenborg’s diatribe against the Christian Churches and the way they have duped man into spiritual inaptitude. This dimension is not always expressed with full clarity in Blake’s writing....

       "Swedenborg elucidates at length how the Divine in the natural universe has been obscured by the churches....


"Masonic Swedenborgianism. ... There are undeniable links between the reading of Swedenborg and radical activity, centered on a branch of radical Freemasons who operated internationally, but gathered in London....
       "An occult tradition of seeking spiritual illumination thrived in the seventeenth century but had since gone underground, marginalised by the progress of rationalist and empiricist modes of thinking, and was preserved most fully and systematically in clandestine Freemasonry. At the inception of Swedenborgianism into the European network of “irregular” Masonry, it blended in with the mainstays of Hermeticism, Cabalism, Rosicrucianism, Spiritualism, Astrology etc. Many lodges and Masonic societies welcomed Swedenborg’s teaching. His central idea of 'Correspondences,' which linked all things material to a spiritual source was used to back up notions of unusual rapport with other realities.... For many, Swedenborgianism became an umbrella philosophy under which other occult ideas could be given a collective rationale....
       "Both the Theosophical Society and Duché’s gatherings were “open” meetings in the sense that the Masons (primarily noblemen or haute bourgeoisie) here mixed with tradesmen, artisans and other local Londoners...

       "The convergence between mystical enlightenment and the discourse of reform in the Swedenborgian milieu opens up a new perspective on what is usually regarded as Blake’s more straightforward social commentaries..."

Theosophy (See Theosophy)

We mentioned William Blake earlier.  he was steeped in various forms of popular occultism. In fact, his list of occult connections sound like that of Hegel:

"Blake saw the Eternal Worlds, and man a potential collaborator with the gods therein. some degree Blake represented for England, along with ... the Anglo-American Thomas Paine, the great spiritualizing effort of the closing years of the 18th century. Born in 1757, Blake's best period came at this time, and his boundless energy and forward-leaping imagination fitted him to take a part in the new movement. ...

      "Of the theosophists who influenced Blake, Jacob Boehme was the first and chief.... Robert Fludd and Thomas Vaughan gave to Blake ideas of alchemical symbolism; Blake held with the Hermetists that man is the microcosm of the Divine. William Law's works were well known to him. ... Blake's intellectual background... included: The Orphic and Pythagorean tradition, Neoplatonism in the whole of its extent, the Hermetic, kabbalistic, Gnostic, and alchemical writings, Erigena, Paracelsus, Boehme, and Swedenborg. . . . When Blake, in an impetuous moment, referred to himself as a "mental prince," he uttered no more than sober truth.... Blake eagerly read the English translations of the works of Hindu philosophy by Sir William Jones and Sir Charles Wilkins....

....the spiritual body of man -- the Adam Kadmon of the Kabbala -- existed alone in Eternity "before Earth was, or globes of attraction." It is in this "Heavenly Man" that the Four Zoas, or Four Faces, have their being -- rather, the Four Zoas are the four faces or aspects, the divine energies, of the Man in Eternity." The Theosophy of William Blake :

Most of us are familiar with Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice in Wonderland  and Through the Looking Glass. Carroll, whose real name was Charles Dodgson, was a  friend of George MacDonald.


Dodgson was a founder member of the Society for Psychical Research and a fascinated student of Theosophy. His last novel 'Sylvie and Bruno' was largely based on the theory of 'Esoteric Buddhism' which was grounded in the Theosophy Movement. The article, "Victorian Spiritualism," gives us a glimpse of his family:

"From the moment of Carroll's death in 1898 and continuing for at least the next sixty years, two generations of his family used their control over the literary and personal estate of Lewis Carroll to... manipulate the image that was available to the public.... The reasons for this... can be explained to an extent by Charles Dodgson's 'unconventional' lifestyle, his 'experiments' with different religions (Christian Socialism, Theosophy, Spritualism)... his photography of dangerously mature young ladies in 'bathing dresses' and the like, as well as his intimate associations with various ladies, married and single....  Dodgson's family, decent, respectable, rather narrowly religious, were... to some extent distressed and mortified by it all. " Who mutilated Lewis Carroll's Diaries?

Dodgson/Carroll also "photographed MacDonald and members of his family," according to Dale Nelson's commentary, "Lilith by George MacDonald." He wrote, "MacDonald's mirror-entry to another world could be borrowed from Dodgson, who was still living when Lilith was written and published."

The same commentary highlights William Blake's influence on George MacDonald's beliefs and writings:

"The hawthorn tree that is a gnarled old man -- this is very much like William Blake's account of the thistle that was an old man....  MacDonald's scholarly biographer Rolland Hein says that "The presence in MacDonald's writings of ideas very similar to Blake's is so noticeable that MacDonald must have had some early acquaintance with his work."

    "MacDonald owned a copy of Gilchrist's Life of Blake (published in 1863, thirty years before publication of Lilith). MacDonald's personal bookplate was taken from a Blake design."

"...when writing THE GREAT DIVORCE, Lewis introduced as a character, George MacDonald (who was a real-life Christian universalist from a generation or two before Lewis), and Lewis had that character say, 'St. Paul talked as if all men would be saved.' Neither did Lewis have the angel in that novel deny MacDonald's interpretation of St. Paul's words, but only had the angel reply that it was not for man to ask such questions. ...

     "I also read George MacDonald's novel LILITH in which he employed sleep as a means of healing tortured souls, a cosmic sleep that preceded salvation of all. ...C. S. Lewis praised the novel, LILITH and also called George MacDonald 'my spiritual mentor.' ....It's also clear from Lewis's works that Lewis believed that even the most peculiar religions contained 'at least some hint of the truth.' 'There are people in other religions who...belong to Christ without knowing it." C.S. Lewis - Author and Professor

"...the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you be watchful in all things..."  2 Timothy 4:3-5


Our main reason for sharing this information is to show Christians how occult teachings have been popularized through respected authors. I have not read every part of George MacDonald's Lilith, for the dark symbols and suggestions are too disturbing!  But I hope these glimpses into that darkness -- along with its examples of misused Scriptures -- will give you a sense of the occult climate that has spread confusion and blinded eyes to the truth of the gospel for more than a century.


The main characters in the story:

Mr. Vane: The young owner of the mansion in the "actual world" (probably Scotland) who functions as the narrator in the story.

Adam: First appears as Mr. Raven, the ghostly librarian in the real world. He leads Mr. Vane through a magic mirror into a another world. Here, he is seen as the gravedigger at a cemetery, an old man who shape-shifts into a black raven. Eventually, he identifies himself as Adam, married to Eve. His first wife was the angelic/demonic Lilith.

Lilith: Mr. Vane first encounters Lilith as a beautiful woman who shape-shifts into various animals, usually a spotted leopard, but also a serpent, a giant leech, a Persian cat, a vampire and a succubus -- a "night-spirit" that "preys on sleeping men." Lusting for power, this rebellious Lilith had rejected her role as a loving wife to Adam, yet she hates Eve. In MacDonald's story she is a hateful demonic beast who stirs anger, murderous battles and uses her beauty to dominate and seduce others. Despite the pleas of Adam and his daughter Mara for her repentance and promise of spiritual cleansing, she refuses -- for a while. But eventually even the evil Lilith must yield, for in this occult world, the bliss of an harmonious eternity is the destiny of all.

Eve: Adam's wife, the first real woman

Mara: Daughter of Adam and Eve.

Lona: Daughter of Adam and Lilith.

Shadow:  Satan

You may want to "put on" The Armor of God before you proceed. This message is a metaphysical deception that has no place for Jesus Christ or the cross. It trades God's truth and holiness for human idealism, God's promises of judgment and eternal life for a false universal salvation, and the truths about our sovereign God for a pantheistic vision of absolute oneness. It's a dream-religion for globalists who envision spiritual and social solidarity in this fallen world. 

Excerpts from Lilith

MacDonald's misuse of the Scriptures is emphasized in blue letters

Chapter 2: The Mirror

"Through passage after passage we came to a door at the bottom of a winding wooden stair, which we ascended. Every step creaked under my foot, but I heard no sound from that of my guide. Somewhere in the middle of the stair I lost sight of him, and from the top of it the shadowy shape was nowhere visible. ... I was in the main garret, with huge beams and rafters over my head, great spaces around me, a door here and there in sight....

A few rather dim sunrays, marking their track through the cloud of motes that had just been stirred up, fell upon a tall mirror with a dusty face, old-fashioned and rather narrow....

I saw before me a wild country, broken and heathy. Desolate hills of no great height, but somehow of strange appearance.... I stepped closer to examine the texture of a stone in the immediate foreground, and in the act espied, hopping toward me with solemnity, a large and ancient raven.... 

Chapter 3: The Raven

Had I wandered into a region where both the material and psychical relations of our world had ceased to hold? Might a man at any moment step beyond the realm of order, and become the sport of the lawless? Yet I saw the raven, felt the ground under my feet, and heard a sound as of wind in the lowly plants around me!

"How DID I get here?" I said--apparently aloud, for the question was immediately answered.

"You came through the door," replied an odd, rather harsh voice.

I looked behind, then all about me, but saw no human shape. The terror that madness might be at hand laid hold upon me: must I henceforth place no confidence either in my senses or my consciousness? The same instant I knew it was the raven that had spoken....

"I never saw any door!" I persisted.

"Of course not!" he returned; "all the doors you had yet seen--and you haven't seen many--were doors in; here you came upon a door out! ...

"Oblige me by telling me where I am."

"That is impossible. You know nothing about whereness. The only way to come to know where you are is to begin to make yourself at home."

"How am I to begin that where everything is so strange?"

"By doing something." ...

As he spoke, he turned his back, and instantly I knew him. He was no longer a raven, but a man above the middle height with a stoop, very thin, and wearing a long black tail-coat. Again he turned, and I saw him a raven...

Chapter 5: The Old Church

"How can a pigeon be a prayer?" I said. "I understand, of course, how it should be a fit symbol or likeness for one; but a live pigeon to come out of a heart!"

"It MUST puzzle you! It cannot fail to do so!"

"A prayer is a thought, a thing spiritual!" I pursued.

"Very true! But if you understood any world besides your own, you would understand your own much better.--When a heart is really alive, then it is able to think live things....

Chapter 6: The Sexton's Cottage

...all was a churchyard! Wherever the dreary wind swept, there was the raven's cemetery! He was sexton of all he surveyed! ... I stood in the burial-ground of the universe.... I had left spring and summer, autumn and sunshine behind me, and come to the winter that waited for me!  [Reminders of Narnia]

A candle burned on a deal table in the middle of the room, and the first thing I saw was the lid of a coffin, as I thought, set up against the wall; but it opened, for it was a door, and a woman entered. She was all in white--as white as new-fallen snow; and her face was as white as her dress, but not like snow, for at once it suggested warmth.... What any eye IS, God only knows: her eyes must have been coming direct out of his own! the still face might be a primeval perfection; the live eyes were a continuous creation. ...

"He has not yet learned that the day begins with sleep!" said the woman, turning to her husband. "Tell him he must rest before he can do anything!" ...

The sexton sat looking me in the face. His eyes seemed to say, "Will you not trust me?" I returned his gaze, and answered, "I will."

"Then come," he said; "I will show you your couch."

Chapter 7: The Cemetery

I soon perceived that we were walking along an aisle of couches, on almost every one of which, with its head to the passage, lay something asleep or dead, covered with a sheet white as snow. My soul grew silent with dread. Through aisle after aisle we went, among couches innumerable. I could see only a few of them at once, but they were on all sides, vanishing, as it seemed, in the infinite. -- Was it here lay my choice of a bed? Must I go to sleep among the unwaking, with no one to rouse me? ... Truly it was no half-way house, this chamber of the dead! ...

...all were alike in the brotherhood of death, all unlike in the character and history recorded upon them....

"Are they not dead?" I asked softly.

"I cannot answer you," he replied in a subdued voice. "I almost forget what they mean by DEAD in the old world. If I said a person was dead, my wife would understand one thing, and you would imagine another....

Your sexton looks at the clock to know when to ring the dead-alive to church; I hearken for the cock on the spire to crow; "AWAKE, THOU THAT SLEEPEST, AND ARISE FROM THE DEAD!"

Chapter 11: The Evil Wood

The moon at length approached the forest, and came slowly into it: with her first gleam the noises increased to a deafening uproar, and I began to see dim shapes about me. As she ascended and grew brighter, the noises became yet louder, and the shapes clearer. A furious battle was raging around me. Wild cries and roars of rage, shock of onset, struggle prolonged, all mingled with words articulate, surged in my ears. Curses and credos, snarls and sneers, laughter and mockery, sacred names and howls of hate, came huddling in chaotic interpenetration. Skeletons and phantoms fought in maddest confusion. Swords swept through the phantoms: they only shivered...

The moon shone till the sun rose, and all the night long I had glimpses of a woman [Lilith] moving at her will above the strife-tormented multitude, now on this front now on that, one outstretched arm urging the fight, the other pressed against her side. "Ye are men: slay one another!" she shouted. ...

Such was the battle of the dead, which I saw and heard as I lay under the tree. Just before sunrise, a breeze went through the forest, and a voice cried, "Let the dead bury their dead!"

Chapter 15: A Strange Hostess

I traveled on attended by the moon. As usual she was full -- I had never seen her other -- and to-night as she sank I thought I perceived something like a smile on her countenance. ...

"Will you not come with me?" said a sweet, mellow voice, unmistakably a woman's. ...

"I saw you," she answered, still with her back to me, "in the light of the moon, just as she went down. I see badly in the day, but at night perfectly.... People are frightened if I come on them suddenly. They call me the Cat-woman. It is not my name." ...

"There is a city in that grassy land," she replied, "where a woman is princess. The city is called Bulika. But certainly the princess is not a girl! She is older than this world, and came to it from yours--with a terrible history, which is not over yet. She is an evil person, and prevails much with the
Prince of the Power of the Air. ...

We went on and on, and crossed yet a wide tract of sand before reaching the cottage...

"My name is Mara," she answered. ... "Some people," she went on, "take me for Lot's wife, lamenting over Sodom; and some think I am Rachel, weeping for her children; but I am neither of those."

"I thank you again, Mara," I said. "--May I lie here on your floor till the morning?"

"At the top of that stair," she answered, "you will find a bed--on which some have slept better than they expected, and some have waked all the night and slept all the next day....

Close under the sloping roof stood a narrow bed, the sight of which with its white coverlet made me shiver, so vividly it recalled the couches in the chamber of death....

I woke in the middle of the night, thinking I heard low noises of wild animals.... Before the door of the cottage, in the full radiance of the moon, a tall woman stood, clothed in white, with her back toward me. She was stooping over a large white animal like a panther, patting and stroking it with one hand, while with the other she pointed to the moon half-way up the heaven, then drew a perpendicular line to the horizon. Instantly the creature darted off with amazing swiftness in the direction indicated.... Then I remembered that, when I lay down in the sandy hollow outside, the moon was setting; yet here she was, a few hours after, shining in all her glory! "Everything is uncertain here," I said to myself, "--even the motions of the heavenly bodies!" ....

When I went down in the morning...  I asked her to instruct me how to arrive at Bulika. She then told me to go up the bank of the river-bed....

I thanked her, and ventured the remark that, looking out of the window in the night, I was astonished to see her messenger understand her so well, and go so straight and so fast in the direction she had indicated. ...

"Astarte [Goddess of War and fertility in ancient Canaan] knows her work well enough to be sent to do it," she answered. ... "They need no teaching. They are all of a certain breed.... A new one came to me last night -- from our head while you slept."...

"Then the creature is mine!" I cried.

"...That only can be ours in whose existence our will is a factor." [This statement is key to all spells, magic and occult work. It's the opposite of the Christian walk, for we seek to do God's will, not our own.]

"Ha! a metaphysician too!" I remarked inside....

Chapter 29: The Persian Cat

A strange, repulsive feline wail arose somewhere in the room. I started up on my elbow and stared about me, but could see nothing.

Mr. Raven turned several leaves, and went on:--

"Ah, the two worlds! so strangely are they one,
And yet so measurelessly wide apart!...

At these words such a howling, such a prolonged yell of agony burst from the cat [Lilith], that we both stopped our ears. When it ceased, Mr. Raven walked to the fire-place, took up the book.... He took a half-burnt stick from the hearth, drew with it some sign on the floor...and... said, in a still, solemn voice:

"Mr. Vane, when
God created me, --not out of Nothing, as say the unwise, but out of His own endless glory -- He brought me an angelic splendour to be my wife: there she [Lilith] lies! For her first thought was POWER.... [She] had so ensnared the heart of the great Shadow [Satan], that he became her slave, wrought her will, and made her queen of Hell. ... Vilest of God's creatures, she lives by the blood and lives and souls of men." ...

"Thou, Lilith, hast not yet repented; but thou must."...

Chapter 39: That night

...Suddenly it was midnight.... The feet of the princess [Lilith] were toward the hearth; Mara went to her head, and turning, stood behind it....

"Will you turn away from the wicked things you have been doing so long?" said Mara gently. ... She spoke the words a third time.

Then the seeming corpse opened its mouth and answered.... "I will not," she said. "I will be myself and not another!"

"Alas, you are another now, not yourself! Will you not be your real self?" ...

"I would do after my nature."

"You do not know it: your nature is good, and you do evil!" [This is one of the biggest lies of all. There is no recognition of need for the cross or redemption when human nature is naturally good -- and when the human will reigns.]

"You will do as the Shadow, overshadowing your Self inclines you?"

"I will do what I will to do."

"You have killed your daughter, Lilith!"

"I have killed thousands. She is my own!"...

"You are not the Self you imagine."... [199]

The face of the princess lay stonily calm.... At length, on the dry, parchment-like skin, began to appear drops as of the finest dew: in a moment they were as large as seed-pearls, ran together, and began to pour down in streams. I darted forward to snatch the worm from the poor withered bosom, and crush it with my foot. But Mara, Mother of Sorrow, stepped between... no serpent was there--no searing trail; the creature had passed in by the centre of the black spot, and was piercing through the joints and marrow to the thoughts and intents of the heart....

"She is seeing herself!" said Mara...

Of a sudden the princess bent her body upward in an arch, then sprang to the floor, and stood erect. The horror in her face made me tremble lest her eyes should open...

"She is far away from us, afar in the hell of her self-consciousness. The central fire of the universe is radiating into her the
knowledge of good and evil, the knowledge of what she is. She sees at last the good she is not, the evil she is. She knows that she is herself the fire in which she is burning, but she does not know that the Light of Life is the heart of that fire."[202]

[Note: "MacDonald believed that hell was a 'purgatory,' a state of unimaginable suffering experienced by those who reject the truth for as long as they reject it." Lilith by George MacDonald]

"Why did he make me such?" gasped Lilith. "I would have made myself--oh, so different! I am glad it was he that made me and not I myself! He alone is to blame for what I am!"...

With the gray dawn growing in the room, she rose, turned to Mara, and said, in prideful humility, "You have conquered. Let me go into the wilderness and bewail myself."

Mara saw that her submission was not feigned, neither was it real. She looked at her a moment, and returned:

"Begin, then, and set right in the place of wrong.... Open thy hand, and let that which is in it go."...

"I cannot," she said. "I have no longer the power. Open it for me." She held out the offending hand. It was more a paw than a hand....

..."I will take you to my father. You have wronged him worst of the created, therefore he best of the created can help you."

"How can he help me?"

"He will forgive you."

...Softly they stole in at the opened door, with a gentle wind in the skirts of their garments. It flowed and flowed about Lilith, rippling the unknown, upwaking sea of her
life eternal... [207]

Chapter 40: The House of Death

...When we reached the door, Adam welcomed us almost merrily....

"We have long waited for thee, Lilith!" he said....

"The mortal foe of my children!" murmured Eve, standing radiant in her beauty.

"Your children are no longer in her danger," said Mara; "she has turned from evil."

"Trust her not hastily, Mara," answered her mother; "she has deceived a multitude!"

"But you will open to her the mirror of the Law of Liberty, mother, that she may go into it, and abide in it! She consents to open her hand and restore: will not the great Father restore her to inheritance with His other children?"

"I do not know Him!" murmured Lilith, in a voice of fear and doubt.


Eve came from the chamber of death, where she had laid Lona [daughter of Adam and Lilith] down...

"If thou wilt nor eat nor drink, Lilith," said Adam, "come and see the place where thou shalt lie in peace."

He led the way through the door of death, and she followed submissive.... A wild blast fell roaring on the roof, and died away in a moan. She stood ghastly with terror. ... "The great Shadow," she murmured.

"Here he cannot enter," said Adam. "...Over him also is power given me."

"Are the children in the house?" asked Lilith....

"He never dared touch a child," she said. "Nor have you either ever hurt a child. Your own daughter you have but sent into the loveliest sleep, for she was already a long time dead when you slew her. And now Death shall be the atonemaker; you shall sleep together."

"There, Lilith, is the bed I have prepared for you!"

She glanced at her daughter lying before her like a statue carved in semi-transparent alabaster, and shuddered from head to foot. "How cold it is!" she murmured.

"You will soon begin to find comfort in the cold," answered Adam.... "But I know it: I too have slept. I am dead!" ... When the Shadow comes here, it will be to lie down and sleep also.--His hour will come, and he knows it will."

"How long shall I sleep?"

"You and he will be the last to wake in the morning of the universe."...

"Lilith," said Mara, "you will not sleep, if you lie there a thousand years, until you have opened your hand, and yielded that which is not yours...."

"I cannot," she answered. "I would if I could, and gladly, for I am weary, and the shadows of death are gathering about me."

"They will gather and gather, but they cannot infold you while yet your hand remains unopened. You may think you are dead, but it will be only a dream.... Open your hand, and you will sleep indeed--then wake indeed."

Note: "'You may think you are dead...'" C.S. Lewis, creator of Narnia and a great admirer of MacDonald, cited this statement with particular acclaim. "This has a terrible meaning, specially for imaginative people," he wrote. "We read of spiritual efforts, and our imagination makes us believe that, because we enjoy the idea of doing them, we have done them. I am appalled to see how much of the change which I thought I had undergone lately was only imaginary. The real work seems still to be done. It is so fatally easy to confuse an aesthetic appreciation of the spiritual life with the life itself--to dream that you have waked, washed, and dressed, & then to find yourself still in bed" (letter to his friend Arthur Greeves dated 15 June 1930)."

"There was a sword I once saw in your husband's hands," [Lilith] murmured. "I fled when I saw it. I heard him who bore it say it would divide whatever was not one and indivisible!"

"I have the sword," said Adam. "The angel gave it me when he left the gate."

"Bring it, Adam," pleaded Lilith, "and cut me off this hand that I may sleep."

"I will," he answered.... "A wound from that sword needs no dressing. It is healing and not hurt." [219]

Chapter 42: I sleep the sleep

"Every creature must one night yield himself and lie down," answered Adam: "he was made for liberty, and must not be left a slave!"[228]...

"Even Lilith already begins to look younger!" I lay down, blissfully drowsy.

"But when you see your mother again," he continued, "you will not at first know her. She will go on steadily growing younger until she reaches the perfection of her womanhood--a splendour beyond foresight."

Chapter 43: The Journey Home

...It had ceased to be dark; we walked in a dim twilight, breathing through the dimness the breath of the spring. [Sounds like the birth of Narnia!] A wondrous change had passed upon the world--or was it not rather that a change more marvelous had taken place in us? ...  Nothing cast a shadow; all things interchanged a little light. Every growing thing showed me, by its shape and color, its indwelling idea--the informing thought, that is, which was its being, and sent it out. My bare feet seemed to love every plant they trod upon. The world and my being, its life and mine, were one. The microcosm and macrocosm were at length atoned, at length in harmony! I lived in everything; everything entered and lived in me. ...

I was myself in the joy of the bells, myself in the joy of the breeze.... I was a peaceful ocean upon which the ground-swell of a living joy was continually lifting new waves; yet was the joy ever the same joy, the eternal joy, with tens of thousands of changing forms. Life was a cosmic holiday.

Now I knew that life and truth were one.... At last I was! I lived, and nothing could touch my life! ...we were on our way home to the Father!

(Last) Chapter 48: The "Endless Ending"

When a man dreams his own dream, he is the sport of his dream; when Another gives it him, that Other is able to fulfill it.

I have never again sought the mirror. The hand sent me back: I will not go out again by that door! "All the days of my appointed time will I wait till my change come."...

Strange dim memories.... It may be, notwithstanding, that, when most awake, I am only dreaming the more! ...

Novalis says, "Our life is no dream, but it should and will perhaps become one."

Novalis (1772-1801) is one of those "German Romanticist" who caused the deacons at MacDonald's first church to rightly dismiss their pastor for heresy. This German poet has been called "the prophet of Romanticism."

"Novalis sees, that humankind's historical and spiritual apotheosis will be reached when the epoch of science is left behind. The limitless power of Imagination, 'magical knowledge,' combines all the elements of senses and scientific principles invented by reason - Novalis called his philosophy 'magic idealism.' The spiritual world is open for everybody all the time.....Novalis defined philosophy as home-sickness, as the urge to be at home in all places, and the fairy tale as a dream of "that homeland which is everywhere and nowhere." Novalis' ideas have profoundly influenced generations of German writers, among them Joseph von Eichendorff, Rainer Maria Rilke, Herman Hesse, and Thomas Mann."

MacDonald was an outstanding imaginative writer in his own right, but he was also, consciously, an heir of the Romantics of the late 18th and early 19th century, particularly of the German poet Novalis (1772-1801) and the English poets Blake (1757-1827)....

H. G. Wells wrote a letter to MacDonald (24 Sept. 1895) in which he praised Lilith. He too was fascinated by the idea that "assuming more than three dimensions, it follows that there must be wonderful worlds nearer to us than breathing and closer than hands and feet." "The Zohar speaks of the Creator summoning the light to issue forth in a particular way, to a particular direction. It describes this process as the Divine designing and forming the various parts of the Tree of Life and creating the foundations of this world.... 'LILITH -- (lamed, yud,l amed, yud, tav) is the night spirit....  Adam's first wife.... Hirsch relates it to LUL (lamed, vav, lamed) which is a spiral leading down --"the time when everything sinks down and the whole world is lying down, and no longer stands there in its own separate outline." [This sounds like one of George McDonald's' major themes.]

"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness....
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
And prudent in their own sight!" Isaiah 5:20-21

"Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit,

according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world,

and not according to Christ."  Colossians 2:6-9


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