BLTC Press Titles


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The Souls of Black Folk

W. E. B. DuBois


The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Baltasar Gracian


Leaves of Grass

Walt Whitman


Vanity Fair

William Thackery


Heavenly bridegrooms

by Theodore Schroeder

Excerpt:

HEAVENLY BRIDEGROOMS

By Theodore Schroeder
And Ida C.

The Sons of God saw the daughters of men that they
were fair; and they took them wives of all that
they chose.

Genesis 6:2.

Explanatory Note.—In the course of my studies on the erotogenesis of religion I became interested in the life work and mental characteristics of one Ida C, a woman who committed suicide in her forty-fifth year. I first heard of her after her death, but it seemed to me that a psychologic study of her would yield rich materials as a contribution to the psychology of religion. Consequently, I bestirred myself to secure information, both biographical and auto-biographical. Among the materials gathered was her life long correspondence with friends, a number of published essays written by her, some scraps of manuscripts, and two completed but unpublished book manuscripts. This material will later constitute the subject of my analysis. Ida

C was for a number of years a college teacher and for a long time

associated with various kinds of free-thinking heretics. She was never married. In due time she became the victim of erotic hallucinations to which she gave a "spiritual" interpretation. Later, when her conduct brought her to the verge of incarceration in a jail or in an asylum, she endeavored frankly to meet the issue of her own insanity. The resultant investigation to her mind seemed a complete vindication, not only of her sanity, but also, of the objective reality and spirituality of her erotic experiences. This vindication she reduced to writing. The manuscript is now in my possession. It seems to me under the circumstances of this case and the future studies which I am going to make, partly from other papers of the same author, that this is too valuable a document to be mutilated by editing. Furthermore, others should be given equal opportunity with myself in the interpretation of this material. The manuscript had been revised by its author and in a number of places it was quite impossible to decipher the peninterlineations, or replace words destroyed by the tearing of the manuscript through frequent handling before it came into my possession. At such places a word may be occasionally omitted or a connection

left defective, otherwise the following document is in the exact words of its author. This essay, I believe, was written before her thirty-fifth year, that is ten years before her suicide, and twenty-two years before the present publication. Her subsequent development will be brought out in my own study of her. Just before she wrote this she was a short time a voluntary inmate of an asylum and pronounced incurably insane. She left the country to escape legal commitment.

THEODORE SCHROEDER.

Preface.

IT has been my high privilege to have some practical experience as the earthly wife of an angel from the unseen world. In the interests of psychical research, I have tried to explore this pathway of communication with the spiritual universe, and, so far as lay in my power, to make a sort of rough guide-book of the route. For not all wives of heavenly bridegrooms travel the same path at first. There are roads running into this one from every religion and folklore under the sun, since the pathway of marital relations on the Borderland was once, and still is, as I hope to show, one of the main thoroughfares connecting our world with the world beyond the grave. This thoroughfare, along part of which I hope to conduct the reader in imagination, is marked with signposts, many crumbling under the religious storms of centuries, others preserved as sacred trellises upon which to train a rank growth of flourishing superstition, and still others fresh with modern paint and gilding. Part of this thoroughfare runs straight through the Christian Church, or, to speak more accurately, the foundations of the Church are laid upon this very principle. For Jesus himself is said to be the child of a union between an earthly woman and a heavenly bfieidgroom who (however godlike, and whatever the details of the relation) certainly seems to have manifested to Mary on the occult plane. If it be objected that Mary's Borderland spouse was not an angel, but God himself, and therefore Borderland laws could be laid aside in His case, I reply that modern philosophy holds apparent miracles to be no violation of natural laws, but to have happened in accordance with some law as yet unknown to us, for God never breaks His laws, and if He became a Borderland spouse to Mary, it must have been in accordance with Borderland laws. And we, as made in His likeness, are bound by the same natural laws as God. Moreover, as Mary and me are sharers in a common humanity, she and me are bound alike, sharers in the glorious possibilities of Borderland.


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