Islam means submission, that is, submission to the will of God. The believer can just commend himself to the will of God simply because it is the will of God. He feels secure and does not ask why this is so and that is different -- he fulfills the divine law simply because it is the revealed law of God. He accepts his fate as being immutable and at the most attempts by means of prayer to implore for mercy from God when the burden becomes too great for him. But the sign of the true believer will consistently be that he does not ask for release from the burden, but rather for the strength to the bale to bear it. "Lead us in the way of those who do not err," the Prophet prescribes to those who pray.
This faithful condition is what is most worthy to strive after according to all religious systems. Actually he is also the most happy, it is he who the Prophet values most highly and he represents this as his only goal -- and therefore his religion is called Islam.
Now beside the belief there is something else that makes it equally possible for a person to yield to his fate; it is no longer faith but knowledge -- knowledge of the divine laws. The one who knows no longer fulfills this law blindly, but rather knowingly. The truly wise one is very near to the believer, but he is superior to the believer.
The Prophet created a very wise institution to open the way to knowledge for everyone who truly seeks it. According to this system in the Koran he provided explicit signs which point the way to knowledge and which have to reveal the law of creation to someone who gains knowledge from within his own being. The highest form of knowledge will always lead the wise to yield to Divine Providence without complaint -- that is, to Islam through knowledge.
In what follows we will concern ourselves with this path. How the Prophet himself came into possession of this knowledge is told in the form of the following legend.
Not far from Mecca there lived at the time of Mohammed an aged hermit, Ben Chasi, who was teaching the Prophet. When the lesson was over he gave him a metallic plate upon which were engraved formulas, the meaning of which the then 30-year old Prophet had just learned. Soon thereafter the hermit died, but Mohammed kept on teaching the secret of these formulas in the most intimate circles. Abu Bekr, the first calif, inherited the plate and the knowledge which only spread within a small circle after the death of the Prophet: this is the secret knowledge of the oriental Freemasons.
In order to ensure against the loss of the formulas the Prophet distributed them throughout the Koran according to a precise key. The key is known, and the formulas are preserved in the Koran, such that the possibility remains for reconstructing the system at any time.
The formulas are preserved in the so-called abbreviated letters, (5) the meaning of which is debated among orientalists as well as different commentators. Some are of the opinion that these letters are signatures. Individual Suras certainly originated under highly variable conditions: the Prophet dictated some, others he recited while friends wrote them down, still others were recorded later from memory. Upon collecting the Suras the letters which indicated the originator of the Sura would have remained, but now without their meaning.
Some European scholars are of the view that these letters represent notes by the scribe. Thus ALM is supposed to mean: amara li muhamed -- Mohammed commanded me to write.
Arabic commentators view these letters as holy abbreviations. Thus ALM mean: allah latif madshid -- God is good -- or as another thinks: ana lahu alamu -- I am the God who knows.
For others the letters are to be interpreted in a cabalistic sense. Certainly all the Suras in which these letters occur contain definite indications that they have something special to say.
The Arabic language, like all the Semitic languages, does not write the vowels. If one does not read these letters as such, but rather as words, they yield no meaning. For this reason people have been scratching their heads over the meaning of these letters. But in actuality these are the secret formulas concealed in the letters which someone who knows the truth can now easily read and pronounce. All of these formulas are compounds of the vowel A with one or several consonants.
Now the secret doctrine shows that the Sura in which the formula occurs specifies the number of days in the system the given formula is to be practiced. The table of the Prophet appears as follows:
The number of days result in 25 lunar months in which three days are missing. On these three days the one who was dedicating himself to these exercises was occupied doing something else, to which we will return later.
The formulas are present in 29 Suras. For those who do not know anything about astrology it is noted that astrology knows of 28 mansions of the Moon, which amounts to the 29-day synodical rotation of the Moon. The Persian mystic Mahmud Shebisteri, a Mel Mevlevi Dervish says in the gulshen ras:
And because Cancer found itself related to the Moon
It bound itself by head and tail to the Moon
Through stations twenty-eight goes its course
It positions itself in opposition to the Sun's light
Then it shrivels up like a date-stalk
As God ordained, who is alone the one who wisely
Contemplates this correctly, as a perfect man
Understands it well, there is nothing vain about it
Seek only in the Koran, there you will find the plan
Whoever can't find it has weak insight.
Astrologically the zodiacal sign Cancer is the house of the Moon, which represents the soul. Here the house is used for the human body. The 28 stations which run the soul through the secret table of the Prophet corresponds to the way of the Moon -- every station is equal to the time span in which a formula is exercised. Thus the first station is the two-day exercise of alam, the second station likewise the three-day exercise of alam, the third station the seven-day exercise of alamas, etc. [i]
This is the path the Dervish order is accustomed to taking. This not only has to do with a general sort of knowledge, but they also attempt to acquire special powers by means of a special practice. However, for the most part the Dervishes are the people who strive after higher knowledge, and from whom the spiritual leaders of Islam will be drawn.
If they pass the time of testing, which usually lasts 825 days, then they will receive higher initiation, if they are capable and if they have the desire. Or, on the other hand, they receive a more special instruction in order to attain certain magical characteristics. If they show no further capabilities they just remain in the lower grades of the order.
This higher initiation is the exercise of Freemasonry, and it is, as we will see later, the work of the alchemists and Rosicrucians.
These exercises are characterized by the use of the three signs or recognition, employed by modern Freemasons: sign, grip and word-except these are not signs of recognition, not mere symbols in the best case, but rather magical operations designed to induct the finer radiation of the primordial power -- to incorporate them into the body and thereby make the body more spiritual, to give the balance of power to the spirit over the body.
The signs are three different positions of the hand, known by the vowels which are indicated by them.
I. The I-sign
The right hand is in a fist and from the fist the index finger is extended straight out; the hand is put in such a position that the finger is directed straight upward into the heights so that the letter I is represented.
II. The A-sign
The hand is held in such a way that all the fingers lay in a flat plane; the thumb is now extended so that it forms an angle of 90 degrees, a right angle with the line of the index finger.
III. The O-sign
One is to bend the fingers and thumb of the angled hand in such a way that the tip of the thumb just touches the tip of the index finger. The thumb, index finger and the part of the hand between these two digits form a circle, an O.
The grips are performed in proximity to different parts of the body.
I. The Neck-grip
One lays the angled hand on the neck in such a way that the thumb touches the right carotid artery, the index finger lies on the larynx and the other fingers are in a flat plane with the index finger. The angled hand is withdrawn sharply with the index finger moving across the larynx, until the hand is situated in a position equal in height to the right shoulder, then it is allowed to drop down.
II. The Chest-grip
This grip is performed over the chest with the angled right hand. The correct height of the grip is obtained when one places the angled right hand in the neck-grip and then positions the angled left hand in such a way that the thumb just touches the little finger of the right hand. That is just the right height. The grip is so positioned that the tips of the four fingers just touch the left arm, so that the palm is lying on the left breast. The hand with the outstretched thumb is drawn over to the right until the finger tips are touching the right side of the body.
III. The Middle-grip
Present-day Masonry no longer uses this grip, which is performed somewhat lower down than the chest-grip. The right position is found when one places the angled right hand in the manner of the chest-grip and then again places the angled left hand in such a way that the outspread thumb just touches the little finger of the right hand.
IV. The Master- or Belly-grip
This grip is positioned the breadth of the angled hand lower than the Middle-grip. It is moved from below the navel up over the solar plexus, and thus performed in a manner similar to the previous grips. --
The words have already been given in the Koranic table. Before these formulas can be used, however, one first uses the three vowels:
I A 0
and later the compounds:
si sa so
I and Si are only used in connection with the I-sign,
A and Sa only in connection with the A-sign and
O and So only in connection with the O-sign.
A question is posed to anyone taking on these exercises which he has to answer in a time span of three days. Upon the answer to this question depends whether the student must undergo further instruction or whether he can immediately enter into the exercises. These exercises can last for from between three to twenty-five months; this depends entirely on the student. There are actually very precise signs by which one can tell whether one can proceed, or whether one must start over from the beginning. The first condition which must be met upon beginning the exercises is patience, the second perseverance, and the third courage.
The numbers I give here represent the shortest times, which should be compared to the numbers on the table on page 45. Above all one should notice that the work should not be rushed. "The Devil is mixed up in a hurried shop," says a Turkish proverb.
The indispensable condition upon entering the exercises is faith in GOD, the awareness that the individual is one with GOD. I repeat this reminder for those who wish to begin these exercises, which in no case can cause harm to anyone who has a selfless spirit. But they may be harmful to anyone who undertakes them with the selfish intention to delve into secrets which he is not supposed to know. In the best case he will perform the exercises without success and will become annoyed at having spent money on such a worthless book.
The work is divided into three parts:
The Preliminary Work
I. the Preliminary work
II. the Main work
III. the Pursuant work
One stands upright, forms the I-sign and concentrates his whole attention on the uplifted finger while continuing to think of nothing other than I, I, I. One will soon notice that the finger begins to become warm in a most peculiar fashion. When this warming becomes noticeable one allows the hand to fall, and after a while the A-sign is formed. One should attempt to vivify the A in a similar way until one feels a dry warmth in the thumb.
Then one immediately forms the 0 and animates it in the same way. The Oriental, who sequesters himself in the solitude of his tecke, i.e., of a Dervish establishment, will feel definite signs of the kind indicated on the first day, the Occidental, who will do the exercise no more than about 10 minutes in the morning or evening, will need a few days longer.
As soon as the warming takes place, the student must form the I and animate the finger with Si, Si, Si until he feels that it is becoming warm. He then lets his hand drop and immediately forms the A. He animates the angled hand with Sa, Sa, Sa and after a while guides his hand to his neck, makes the hand grip, and thereby conducts the inducted rarified forces of nature to his neck. During this he constantly thinks Sa, Sa, Sa, then sharply removes his hand and forms the 0, which, after he has animated it with the syllable So, So, So, he moves to his solar plexus in the Master-grip after a while.
This preliminary works encompasses a time span of ten days, that is: three days of animation with the simple vowel sounds and seven days with the syllable made up of the vowel compounded with S.The Main Work
Daily 5 to 10 minutes. Repeat the indicated exercises of the preliminary work for seven days. After the sixth day move the index finger of your angled hand, after it has been animated by Sa, to your nose. If you smell a slight sulphurous odor, you can proceed. If such is not the case, you must exercise for seven days longer.
Daily 10 minutes, 14 days long: The I is formed and animated by Si, Si, Si. When warmth is felt the hand is dropped and the A is formed, animated by the formula alam. The hand is moved into the Neck-grip at the neck, constantly repeating the formula. After a while remove the hand sharply. Then the O is formed again as before. After 14 days the bitter taste of mercuric chloride will be perceived if the index finger of the angled hand is placed on the tongue.
Daily 10 minutes, 14 days. The student forms the I sign, which he animates with Si, then the A-sign, which he animates with:
two days Alam
two days alamas
seven days alar
three days alamar
After the first four days there will be a perceptible slaty taste when one puts the index finger of the angled hand on the tongue. Then it is time to sharpen one's vision. If the student perceives a black shadow, this part of the work is finished.
Concerning the next phase of work, the table of the Prophet indicates a time-span of 696 days. Depending on the individuals involved, it fluctuates between this maximum term and the minimum of three lunar months. On page 45, I compare the data of the Rosarius minor Table with that of the Prophet. No exact time-span can be set, it all depends on obtaining certain the results. When these are obtained, the student goes on, otherwise he repeats the exercise until the indicated color appears. Once the student has glimpsed the blackish shadow, this day is to be celebrated as the beginning of a new life -- the student receives his lodge-name.
In the next period of time the Chest- and Middle-grip come into use. The student animates the I-sign for a short while and then immediately shifts into A, which he animates with the indicated formula. Since he has to report to his teacher every day what he sees, verification is easy. If the learner attains the color being aimed for early, the other formulas are just left out and he goes on to the next exercise. Once one has animated the A-sign it is then incorporated into the body by means of the Chest-grip. The formulas to be practiced during this period of work are:
Alar, Kaha ya as, taha, tasam, tas tasam.
The colors that the student slowly begins to see are: out of the blackish shadow evolves a blue, then a light red that soon fades into a pale green that becomes fresher from day to day. Once the green appears very clearly, this work is finished.
The student changes to the Middle-grip, with which the formulas alam, yas, sa, cham come into use. The developing colors show an intricate interplay and finally fade into a yellowish white. By means of the Master-grip and the formulas: cham, cham asak, ka this yellowish white is transformed into a brilliant white, which the mystics of the Orient cannot praise enough.The Pursuant Work...
shall turn this white into a magnificent red. The table of the Prophet indicates that the only formula for this is a short na. This grip is called the Closing-grip by the Masters because it is used at the end of the whole working session. It is begun to the left of the navel and is then drawn back over the navel. The white fades into a dirty grey, out of which, after a short time, develops into a full red, after having been yellow.
With this the work of the Oriental Mason is finished (the work upon one's self). From a raw, uneven stone he has become a cubical one.
This curriculum is to be uninterrupted. The student may not leave out a single day. Most of the Oriental Masons have only progressed through the lesser work, at the conclusion of which the signs of recognition are communicated.
These consist of certain words and signs. Hand grips are not known to them because Orientals do not greet each other by offering their hands. If one suspects that a gentleman might be "a brother" then one makes the I-sign by extending one's index finger horizontally so that the other one sees it: the second one responds by spreading out the thumb of his right hand. It is demonstrated that both have proven themselves to each other when they both form the circle, the O.
If you find a candle, a round bowl and an open compass on the table of an oriental man you can be certain that you are in the presence of an initiate.
If an Oriental Mason wants the aid and counsel of a brother in a social situation where he knows no one, he will find a brother if he places his angled right hand nonchalantly over his left shoulder, approximately where the Chest-grip starts. If he is in great distress he will lift the angled hand over his head; often he will also lift both arms up and hold out both hands. It is a duty to rush at once to the aid of a brother who gives this sign.
Another sign of recognition is the so-called Fire-sign, which is made when one wishes to greet a brother from a distance. One holds the left hand stretched out flat, lays the right hand on it, likewise flat, and now moves the right hand quickly and energetically along the back of the left hand.
The so-called Star-sign, which is made in the lodge, is formed with the right hand by holding the two middle fingers together, spreading apart the small and index fingers, with the thumb spread out as well.
The words of recognition are: key, water, fire, level, black, white, red, rose, stone. As will be understood later, these words describe the entire work. Among the Oriental Masons the work is called the Science of the Key: llm el miftach and the Masons themselves often refer to themselves as Beni el Mim -- Sons of the Key.
At meetings the oldest sheikh presides and a warden, a steward and a runner are appointed. The warden has to ensure that the meeting is conducted undisturbed; the steward takes care of the guests, supervises the servants and at the conclusion of the gathering collects an offering which is divided between the warden and the servants. The runner supports the warden and the steward.
[Dana Barrett] Are you the Keymaster?
[Dr. Peter Venkman] Not that I know of. [Dana slams the door shut; Peter Venkman knocks again]
[Dana Barrett] Are you the Keymaster?
[Dr. Peter Venkman] Yes.
-- Ghostbusters, directed by Ivan Reitman
The sheikh opens the session with the Fire-sign and the word alam, which the Beni el Mim actually use to mean: "Let's begin..." After the questions to the warden, the steward and the runner, as to whether everything is in order, the sheikh says: "My brothers, we are secure, we are provided for, and we are served. The Sun is shining, let us open heaven. Brother runner, hast thou the key?"
"Worthy Master, I am the I."
"Brother Warden, hast thou the key?"
"Worthy Master, I am the A."
"Brother Steward, hast thou the key?"
"Worthy Master, I am the O."
"My brothers, without the key there is no knowledge. I am water, fire and level. What are you?"
The warden answers: "We are black, white, red, rose and stone."
Then the Master: "Holy is our science. Let us acknowledge: There is no God but God and Mohammed is the Messenger of God." Now everyone present makes the star-sign on his chest, whereupon the confession of faith is repeated simultaneously by all. Then the presiding member goes on: "God bless him and give him salvation. Here the words of the holy Sura:
"In the name of God the most merciful, the gracious, Cham osak. Therefore God the Powerful, the Wise, gives his revelation to you and those who were before you."
It is the 42nd Sura which the Master recites and which he concludes with the words: "True are the words of the Prophet, God bless him and give him salvation. Brother warden, what are the Sun and Moon?"
"Allah wad din." That means: "God and soul or also religion and faith." Din is ambiguous, and so the question is one of the main questions of the brotherhood.
All those present repeat the answer of the warden and thereby complete the star-sign. The Master goes on:
"To worship God and to make the faith great, is always our effort." All present answer with "alam," and now the subject of the evening is entered upon. After the conclusion of the official segment, a convivial meal usually takes place.
The greatest discretion is required of the Beni el Mim. However, in order to forestall the idea that the present book is any sort of betrayal, it must be said that it has been written by command of the chiefs of the order. The reason is as follows: The so-called civilized world has been overcome by a great organization of infidels -- monstrous in extent -- and religious institutions have already been undermined by this to such a degree that they are not able to mount any unified resistance. In this emergency the Islamic brothers remembered that the tradition says that in earlier times the science was known in Europe. They sought and investigated -- and found -- in the writings of the Rosicrucians and those of the alchemists that these exemplified the Science of the Key in their books perfectly. The assignment is to make people aware of this and to show seekers the way; the requirements of the times allows any consideration against publication to vanish. May the truth of the process of victory begin and the clouds of darkness slowly, but all the more surely, disperse, "alam."SUMMARY OF THE WORK
Animation of the signs I, A, O through the vowels i, a, o.
Animation of the signs through Si, Sa, So.
Neck-grip, formulas: alam, alamas, alar, alamar.
Chest-grip, formulas: ajar, kaha ya, taha, tasam, tas, tasam.
Middle-grip, formulas: alam, yas, sa, cham.
Stomach-grip, formulas: cham, cham, asak, ka.
Closing-grip: formula: na.
i. The twenty-ninth station is then the completion of the path, the return of the soul to a higher stage, the house, the body has become more spiritualized.