The Secret Teachings of All Ages, by Manly P. Hall

That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.

Re: The Secret Teachings of All Ages, by Manly P. Hall

Postby admin » Sat Jul 11, 2015 1:16 am

The Chemical Marriage

THE self-admitted author of The Chemical Marriage, Johann Valentin Andreæ, born in Württemberg in 1586, was twenty-eight years of age when that work was first published. It was presumably written about twelve years prior to its publication--or when the author was fifteen or sixteen years old. The fact is almost incredible that one so young could produce a volume containing the wealth of symbolic thought and philosophy hidden between the lines of The Chemical Marriage. This book makes the earliest known reference to Christian Rosencreutz, and is generally regarded as the third of the series of original Rosicrucian manifestoes. As a symbolic work, the book itself is hopelessly irreconcilable with the statements made by Andreæ concerning it. The story of The Chemical Marriage relates in detail a series of incidents occurring to an aged man, presumably the Father C.R.C. of the Fama and Confessio. If Father C.R.C. was born in 1378, as stated in the Confessio, and is identical with the Christian Rosencreutz of The Chemical Marriage, he was elevated to the dignity of a Knight of the Golden Stone in the eighty-first year of his life (1459). In the light of his own statements, it is inconceivable that Andreæ could have been Father Rosy Cross.

Many figures found in the various books on symbolism published in the early part of the seventeenth century bear a striking resemblance to the characters and episodes in The Chemical Marriage. The alchemical wedding may prove to be the key to the riddle of Baconian Rosicrucianism. The presence in the German text of The Chemical Marriage of some words in English indicates its author to have been conversant also with that language. The following summary of the main episodes of the seven days of The Chemical Marriage will give the reader a fairly comprehensive idea of the profundity of its symbolism.


Christian Rosencreutz, having prepared in his heart the Paschal Lamb together with a small unleavened loaf, was disturbed while at prayer one evening before Easter by a violent storm which threatened to demolish not only his little house but the very hill on which it stood. In the midst of the tempest he was touched on the back and, turning, he beheld a glorious woman with wings filled with eyes, and robed in sky-colored garments spangled with stars. In one hand she held a trumpet and in the other a bundle of letters in every language. Handing a letter to C.R.C., she immediately ascended into the air, at the same time blowing upon her trumpet a blast which shook the house. Upon the seal of the letter was a curious cross and the words In hoc signo vinces. Within, traced in letters of gold on an azure field, was an invitation to a royal wedding.

C.R.C. was deeply moved by the invitation because it was the fulfillment of a prophecy which he had received seven years before, but so unworthy did he feel that he was paralyzed with fear. At length, after resorting to prayer, he sought sleep. In his dreams he found himself in a loathsome dungeon with a multitude of other men, all bound and fettered with great chains. The grievousness of their sufferings was increased as they stumbled over each other in the darkness. Suddenly from above came the sound of trumpets; the cover of the dungeon was lifted, and a ray of light pierced the gloom. Framed in the light stood a hoary-headed man who announced that a rope would be lowered seven times and whoever could cling to the rope would be drawn up to freedom.

Great confusion ensued. All sought to grasp the rope and many were pulled away from it by others. C.R.C. despaired of being saved, but suddenly the rope swung towards him and, grasping it, he was raised from the dungeon. An aged woman called the "Ancient Matron" wrote in a golden yellow book the names of those drawn forth, and each of the redeemed was given for remembrance a piece of gold bearing the symbol of the sun and the letters D L S. C.R.C., who had been injured while clinging to the rope, found it difficult to walk. The aged woman bade him not to worry, but to thank God who had permitted him to come into so high a light. Thereupon trumpets sounded and C.R.C. awoke, but so vivid was the dream that he was still sensible of the wounds received while asleep.

With renewed faith C. R. C. arose and prepared himself for the Hermetic Marriage. He donned a white linen coat and bound a red ribbon crosswise over his shoulders. In his hat he stuck four roses and for food he carried bread, water, and salt. Before leaving his cottage, he knelt and vowed that whatever knowledge was revealed to him he would devote to the service of his neighbor. He then departed from his house with joy.


As he entered the forest surrounding his little house, it seemed to C.R.C. that all Nature had joyously prepared for the wedding. As he proceeded singing merrily, he came to a green heath in which stood three great cedars, one bearing a tablet with an inscription describing the four paths that led to the palace of the King: the first short and dangerous, the second circuitous, the third a pleasant and royal road, and the fourth suitable only for incorruptible bodies. Weary and perplexed, C.R.C. decided to rest and, cutting a slice of bread, was about to partake thereof when a white dove begged it from him. The dove was at once attacked by a raven, and in his efforts to separate the birds C.R.C. unknowingly ran a considerable distance along one of the four paths--that leading southward. A terrific wind preventing him from retracing his steps, the wedding guest resigned himself to the loss of his bread and continued along the road until he espied in the distance a great gate. The sun being low, he hastened towards the portal, upon which, among other figures, was a tablet bearing the words Procul hinc procul ite profani.

A gatekeeper in sky-colored habit immediately asked C.R.C. for his letter of invitation and, on receiving it, bade him enter and requested that he purchase a token. After describing himself as a Brother of the Red Rosie Cross, C.R.C. received in exchange for his water bottle a golden disk bearing the letters S C. Night drawing near, the wanderer hastened on to a second gate, guarded by a lion, and to which was affixed a tablet with the words Date et dabitur volis, where he presented a letter given him by the first gatekeeper. Being urged to purchase a token bearing the letters S M, he gave his little package of salt and then hastened on to reach the palace gates before they were locked for the night.

From Rosencreutz' Chemical Marriage.
The most remarkable of all the publications involved in the Rosicrucian controversy is that of The Chemical Marriage, published in Strasbourg. This work, which is very rare, should be reproduced in exact facsimile to provide students with the opportunity of examining the actual text for the various forms of cipher employed. Probably no other volume in the history or literature created such a profound disturbance as this unpretentious little book. Immediately following its publication the purpose for which the volume was intended became the subject of popular speculation. It was both attacked and defended by theologians and philosophers alike, but when the various contending elements are simmered down the mysteries surrounding the book remain unsolved. That its author was a man of exceptional learning was admitted, and it is noteworthy that those minds which possessed the deepest understanding of Nature's mysteries were among those profoundly impressed by the contents of The Chemical Marriage.

A beautiful virgin called Virgo Lucifera was extinguishing the castle lights as C.R.C. approached, and he was barely able to squeeze through the closing gates. As they closed they caught part of his coat, which he was forced to leave behind. Here his name was written in the Lord Bridegroom's little vellum book and he was presented with a new pair of shoes and also a token bearing the letters S P N. He was then conducted by pages to a small chamber where the "ice-grey locks" were cut from the crown of his head by invisible barbers, after which he was ushered into a spacious hall where a goodly number of kings, princes, and commoners were assembled. At the sound of trumpets each seated himself at the table, taking a position corresponding to his dignity, so that C.R.C. received a very humble seat. Most of the pseudo-philosophers present being vain pretenders, the banquet became an orgy, which, however, suddenly ceased at the sound of stately and inspired music. For nearly half an hour no one spoke. Then amidst a great sound the door of the dining hall swung open and thousands of lighted tapers held by invisible hands entered. These were followed by the two pages lighting the beautiful Virgo Lucifera seated on a self-moving throne. The white-and-gold-robed Virgin then rose and announced that to prevent the admission of unworthy persons to the mystical wedding a set of scales would be erected the following day upon which each guest would be weighed to determine his integrity. Those unwilling to undergo this ordeal she stated should remain in the dining hall. She then withdrew, but many of the tapers stayed to accompany the guests to their quarters for the night.

Most of those present were presumptuous enough to believe that they could be safety weighed, but nine--including C.R.C.--felt their shortcomings so deeply that they feared the outcome and remained in the hall while the others were led away to their sleeping chambers. These nine were bound with ropes and left alone in darkness. C.R.C. then dreamed that he saw many men suspended over the earth by threads, and among them flew an aged man who, cutting here and there a thread, caused many to fall to earth. Those who in arrogance had soared to lofty heights accordingly fell a greater distance and sustained more serious injury than the more humble ones who, falling but a short distance, often landed without mishap. Considering this dream to be a good omen, C.R.C. related it to a companion, continuing in discourse with him until dawn.


Soon after dawn the trumpets sounded and the Virgo Lucifera, arrayed in red velvet, girded with a white sash, and crowned with a laurel wreath, entered accompanied by two hundred men in red-and-white livery. She intimated to C.R.C. and his eight companions that they might fare better than the other, self-satisfied guests. Golden scales were then hung in the midst of the hall and near them were placed seven weights, one good-sized, four small, and two very large. The men in livery, each carrying a naked sword and a strong rope, were divided into seven groups and from each group was chosen a captain, who was given charge of one of the weights. Having remounted her high throne, Virgo Lucifera ordered the ceremony to begin. The first to step on the scales was an emperor so virtuous that the balances did not tip until six weights had been placed upon the opposite end. He was therefore turned over to the sixth group. The rich and poor alike stood upon the scales, but only a few passed the test successfully. To these were given velvet robes and wreaths of laurel, after which they were seated upon the steps of Virgo Lucifera's throne. Those who failed were ridiculed and scourged.

The "inquisition" being finished, one of the captains begged Virgo Lucifera to permit the nine men who had declared themselves unworthy also to be weighed, and this caused C.R.C. anguish and fear. Of the first seven one succeeded and was greeted with joy. C.R.C. was the eighth and he not only withstood all the weights but even when three men hung on the opposite end of the beam he could not be moved. A page cried out: "THAT IS HE!" C.R.C. was quickly set at liberty and permitted to release one of the captives. He chose the first emperor. Virgo Lucifera then requested the red roses that C.R.C. carried, which he immediately gave her. The ceremony of the scales ended about ten o'clock in the forenoon.

After agreeing upon the penalties to be imposed upon those whose shortcomings had been thus exposed, a dinner was served to all. The few successful "artists," including C.R.C., were given the chief seats, after which the Golden Fleece and a Flying Lion were bestowed upon them in the name of the Bridegroom. Virgo Lucifera then presented a magnificent goblet to the guests, stating that the King had requested all to share its contents, Following this, C.R.C. and his companions were taken out upon a scaffolding where they beheld the various penalties suffered by those who failed. Before leaving the palace, each of the rejected guests was given a draught of forgetfulness. The elect then returned to the castle, where to each was assigned a learned page, who conducted them through the various parts of the edifice. C.R.C. saw many things his companions were not privileged to behold, including the Royal Sepulcher, where he learned "more than is extant in all books." He also visited a magnificent library and an observatory containing a great globe thirty feet in diameter and with all the countries of the world marked upon it.

At supper the various guests propounded enigmas and C.R.C. solved the riddle which Virgo Lucifera asked concerning her own identity. Then entered the dining hall two youths and six virgins beautifully robed, followed by a seventh virgin wearing a coronet. The latter was called the Duchess, and was mistaken for the Hermetic Bride. The Duchess told C.R.C. that he had received more than the others, therefore should make a greater return. The Duchess then asked each of the virgins to pick up one of the seven weights which still remained in the great room. To Virgo Lucifera was given the heaviest weight, which was hung in the Queen's chamber during the singing of a hymn. In the second chamber the first virgin hung her weight during a similar ceremony; thus they proceeded from room to room until the weights had been disposed of. The Duchess then presented her hand to C. R. C. and his companions and, followed by her virgins, withdrew. Pages then conducted the guests to their sleeping chambers. The one assigned to C.R.C. was hung with rare tapestries and with beautiful paintings.


After washing and drinking in the garden from a fountain which bore several inscriptions--among them one reading, "Drink, brothers, and live"--the guests, led by Virgo Lucifera, ascended the 365 steps of the royal winding stairs. The guests were given wreaths of laurel and, a curtain being raised, found themselves in the presence of the King and Queen. C.R.C. was awestruck by the glory of the throne room and especially by the magnificence of the Queen's robes, which were so dazzling that he could not gaze upon them. Each guest was presented to the King by one of the virgins and after this ceremony the Virgo Lucifera made a short speech in which she recited the achievements of the honest "artists" and begged that each be questioned as to whether she had properly fulfilled her duty. Old Atlas then stepped forward and in the name of their Royal Majesties greeted the intrepid band of philosophers and assured Virgo Lucifera that she should receive a royal reward.

The length of the throne room was five times its width. To the west was a great porch in which stood three thrones, the central one elevated. On each throne sat two persons: on the first an ancient king with a young consort; on the third a black king with a veiled matron beside him; and on the central throne two young persons over whose heads hung a large and costly crown, about which hovered a little Cupid who shot his arrows first at the two lovers and then about the hall. Before the Queen a book bound in black velvet lay on a small altar, on which were golden decorations. Beside this were a burning candle, a celestial globe, a small striking-watch, a little crystal pipe from which ran a stream of clear blood-red liquor, and a skull with a white serpent crawling in and out of the orbits. After their presentations, the guests retired down the winding stairs to the great hall.

From Ashmole's Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum.
This plate, which is the key to mystic Christian alchemy, is missing from almost every copy of the Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum, a work compiled by Elias Ashmole and containing about a score of pieces by English poets treating of the Philosopher's Stone and the Hermetic mysteries. In view of the consistent manner in which the plate disappeared, it is possible that the diagram was purposely removed because it revealed too plainly the Rosicrucian arcana. Worthy of notice also is the care with which owners' names have been effaced from early books pertaining to alchemy and Hermeticism. The original names are usually rendered illegible being covered with heavy ink lines, the procedure often seriously defacing the volume, While an occasional exception is found, in practically every instance the mutilated books either deal with Rosicrucianism or contain cryptic writings of suspected Rosicrucian origin. It is presumed that this Practice of obliterating the owners names was to prevent the early Rosicrucians and Hermetists from being discovered through the volumes composing their libraries. Elias Ashmole's plate shows the analogies between the life of Christ and the four grand divisions of the alchemical process. Herein is also revealed the teaching that the Philosopher's Stone itself is a macrocosm and a microcosm, embodying the principles of astronomy and cosmogony, both universal and human.

Later the Virgo Lucifera announced that a comedy was to be performed for the benefit of the six royal guests in a building called the House of the Sun. C.R.C. and his companions formed part of the royal procession, which after a considerable walk arrived at the theater. The play was in seven acts, and after its happy ending all returned through the garden and up the winding stairs to the throne room. C.R.C. noticed the young King was very sad and that at the banquet following he often sent meat to the white serpent in the skull. The feast over, the young King, holding in his hand the little black book from the altar, asked the guests if they would all be true to him through prosperity and adversity, and when they tremblingly agreed he asked that each should sign his name in the little black book as proof of his fealty. The royal persons then drank from the little crystal fountain, the others afterwards doing likewise. This was called the "Draught of Silence." The royal persons then sadly shook hands with all present. Suddenly a little bell tinkled and immediately the kings and queens took off their white garments and donned black ones, the room was hung in sable draperies, and the tables were removed. The eyes of the royal persons were bound with six black taffeta scarfs and six coffins were placed in the center of the room. An executioner, a Moor, robed in black and bearing an axe, entered, and beheaded in turn each of the six royal persons. The blood of each was caught in a golden goblet, which was placed in the coffins with the body. The executioner was also decapitated and his head placed in a small chest.

The Virgo Lucifera, after assuring C.R.C. and his companions that all should be well if they were faithful and true, ordered the pages to conduct them to their rooms for the night while she remained to watch with the dead. About midnight C.R.C. awakened suddenly and, looking from his window, beheld seven ships sailing upon a lake. Above each hovered a flame; these he believed to be the spirits of the beheaded. When the ships reached shore, the Virgo Lucifera met them and on each of six of the vessels was placed a covered coffin. As soon as the coffins had been thus disposed of, the lights were extinguished and the flames passed back over the lake so that there remained but one light for a watch in each ship. After beholding this strange ceremony, C.R.C. returned to his bed and slept till morning.


Rising at daybreak and entreating his page to show him other treasures of the palace, C.R.C. was conducted down many steps to a great iron door bearing a curious inscription, which he carefully copied. Passing through, he found himself in the royal treasury, the light in which came entirely from some huge carbuncles. In the center stood the triangular sepulcher of Lady Venus. Lifting a copper door in the pavement, the page ushered C.R.C. into a crypt where stood a great bed upon which, when his guide had raised the coverlets, C.R.C. beheld the body of Venus. Led by his page, C.R.C. then rejoined his companions, saying nothing to them of his experience.

Virgo Lucifera, robed in black velvet and accompanied by her virgins, then led the guests out into the courtyard where stood six coffins, each with eight pallbearers. C.R.C. was the only one of the group of "artists" who suspected the royal bodies were no longer in these coffins. The coffins were lowered into graves and great stones rolled over them. The Virgo Lucifera then made a short oration in which she exhorted each to assist in restoring the royal persons to life, declaring that they should journey with her to the Tower of Olympus, where the medicines necessary to the resurrection of the six royal persons could alone be found. C.R.C. and his companions followed Virgo Lucifera to the seashore, where all embarked on seven ships disposed according to a certain strange order. As the ships sailed across the lake and through a narrow channel into the open sea, they were attended by sirens, nymphs, and sea goddesses, who in honor of the wedding presented a great and beautiful pearl to the royal couple. When the ships came in sight of the Tower of Olympus, Virgo Lucifera ordered the discharge of cannon to signal their approach. Immediately a white flag appeared upon the tower and a small gilded pinnace, containing an ancient man--the warden of the tower--with his white-clad guards came out to meet the ships.

The Tower of Olympus stood upon an island which was exactly square and was surrounded by a great wall. Entering the gate, the group was led to the bottom of the central tower, which contained an excellent laboratory where the guests were fain to beat and wash plants, precious stones, and all sorts of things, extract their juice and essence, and put these latter into glasses. Virgo Lucifera set the "artists" to work so arduously that they felt they were mere drudges. When the day's work was finished, each was assigned a mattress on the stone floor. Being unable to sleep, C.R.C. wandered about contemplating the stars. Chancing upon a flight of steps leading to the top of the wall, he climbed up and looked out upon the sea. Remaining here for some time, about midnight he beheld seven flames which, passing over the sea towards him, gathered themselves on the top of the spire of the central tower. Simultaneously the winds arose, the sea became tempestuous, and the moon was covered with clouds. With some fear C.R.C. ran down the stairs and returned to the tower and, lying down on his mattress, was lulled to sleep by the sound of a gently flowing fountain in the laboratory.


The next morning the aged warden of the tower, after examining the work performed by the wedding guests in the laboratory and finding it satisfactory, caused ladders, ropes, and large wings to be brought forth, and addressed the assembled "artists" thus: "My dear sons, one of these three things must each of you this day constantly bear about with him." Lots were cast and to C.R.C., much to his chagrin, fell a heavy ladder. Those who secured wings had them fastened to their backs so cunningly that it was impossible to detect that they were artificial. The aged warden then locked the "artists" in the lower room of the tower, but in a short time a round hole was uncovered in the ceiling and Virgo Lucifera invited all to ascend. Those with wings flew at once through the opening, those with ropes had many difficulties, while C.R.C. with his ladder made reasonable speed. On the second floor the wedding guests, musicians, and Virgo Lucifera gathered about a fountain-like contrivance containing the bodies of the six royal persons.

Virgo Lucifera then placed the if Moor's head in a kettle-like receptacle in the upper part of the fountain and poured upon it the substances prepared on the previous day in the laboratory. The virgins placed lamps beneath. These substances when they boiled passed out through holes in the sides of the kettle and, falling upon the bodies in the fountain below, dissolved them. The six royal bodies having been reduced thus to a liquid state, a tap was opened in the lower end of the fountain and the fluid drained into an immense golden globe, which, when filled, was of great weight. All but the wedding guests then retired and shortly a hole in the ceiling opened as before and the guests ascended pell-mell to the third floor. Here the globe were suspended by a strong chain. The walls of the apartment were of glass, and mirrors were so arranged that the sun's rays were concentrated upon the central globe, thus causing it to become very hot. Later the sun's rays were deflected and the globe permitted to cool, after which it was cut open with a diamond, revealing a beautiful white egg. Carrying this with her, Virgo Lucifera departed.

From Fludd's Philosophia Mosaica.
The Supreme Deity is symbolized by the small globe at the top, which is divided into two hemispheres, the dark half representing the divine darkness with which the Deity surround Himself and which serves as His hiding place. The radiant hemisphere signifies the divine light which is in God and which, pouring forth, manifests as the objective creative power. The large dark globe to the left and beneath the dark half of the upper sphere signifies the potential darkness which was upon the face of the primordial deep and within which moved the Spirit of God. The light globe to the right is the Deity who is revealed out of the darkness. Here the shining Word has dissipated the shadows and a glorious universe has been formed. The divine power of this radiant globe is cognizable to man as the sun. The large light and a dark section represents the created universes partaking of the light and darkness which are in the nature of the Creator. The dark half represents the Deep, or Chaos, the Eternal Waters pouring forth out of the Deity; the light half-circle containing the figure of Apollo represents the diurnal hemisphere of the world, which in the ancient Mysteries was ruled over by Apollo. The dark half-circle is the nocturnal hemisphere ruled over by Dionysius (Dionysos), whose figure is faintly visible in the gloom.

The guests, having ascended through another trap door, found themselves upon the fourth floor, where stood a square kettle filled with silver sand warmed by a gentle fire. The great white egg was placed upon the warm sand to mature. In a short time it cracked and there emerged an ugly, ill-tempered bird, which was fed with the blood of the beheaded royal persons diluted with prepared water. At each feeding its feathers changed color; from black they turned to white and at last they became varicolored, the disposition of the bird improving the while. Dinner was then served, after which Virgo Lucifera departed with the bird. The guests ascended with ropes, ladders, and wings to the fifth floor, where a bath colored with fine white powder had been prepared for the bird, which enjoyed bathing in it until the lamps placed beneath the bath caused the water to become uncomfortably warm. When the heat had removed all the bird's feathers it was taken out, but the fire continued until nothing remained in the bath save a sediment in the form of a blue stone. This was later pounded up and made into a pigment; with this, all of the bird except the head was painted.

The guests thereupon ascended to the sixth floor, where stood a small altar resembling that in the King's throne room. The bird drank from the little fountain and was fed with the blood of the white serpent which crawled through the openings in the skull. The sphere by the altar revolved continuously. The watch struck one, two, and then three, at which time the bird, laying its neck upon the book, suffered itself to be decapitated. Its body was burned to ashes, which were placed in a box of cypress wood. Virgo Lucifera told C.R.C. and three of his comrades that they were lazy and sluggish "labourators" and would therefore be excluded from the seventh room. Musicians were sent for, who with cornets were to "blow" the four in ridicule from the chamber. C.R.C. and his three companions were disheartened until the musicians told them to be of good cheer and led them up a winding stair to the eighth floor of the tower directly beneath the roof. Here the old warden, standing upon a little round furnace, welcomed them and congratulated them upon being chosen by Virgo Lucifera, for this greater work. Virgo Lucifera then entered, and after laughing at the perplexity of her guests, emptied the ashes of the bird into another vessel, filling the cypress box with useless matter. She thereupon returned to the seventh floor, presumably to mislead those assembled there by setting them to work upon the false ashes in the box.

C.R.C. and his three friends were set to work moistening the bird's ashes with specially prepared water until the mixture became of doughlike consistency, after which it was heated and molded into two miniature forms. Later these were opened, disclosing two bright and almost transparent human images about four inches high (homunculi), one male and the other female. These tiny forms were laid upon satin cushions and fed drop by drop with the blood of the bird until they grew to normal size and of great beauty. Though the bodies had the consistency of flesh, they showed no signs of life, for the soul was not in them. The bodies were next surrounded with torches and their faces covered with silk. Virgo Lucifera then appeared, bearing two curious white garments. The virgins also entered, among them six bearing great trumpets. A trumpet was placed upon the mouth of one of the two figures and C.R.C. saw a tiny hole open in the dome of the tower and a ray of light descend through the tube of the trumpet and enter the body. This process was repeated three times on each body. The two newly ensouled forms were then removed upon a traveling couch. In about half an hour the young King and Queen awakened and the Virgo Lucifera presented them with the white garments. These they donned and the King in his own person most graciously returned thanks to C.R.C. and his companions, after which the royal persons departed upon a ship. C.R.C. and his three privileged friends then rejoined the other "artists," making no mention of that which they had seen. Later the entire party were assigned handsome chambers, where they rested till morning.


In the morning Virgo Lucifera announced that each of the wedding guests had become a "Knight of the Golden Stone. " The aged warden then presented each man with a gold medal, bearing on one side the inscription "At. Nat. Mi. " and on the other, "Tem. Na. F." The entire company returned in twelve ships to the King's palace. The flags on the vessels bore the signs of the zodiac, and C.R.C. sat under that of Libra. As they entered the lake, many ships met them and the King and Queen, together with their lords, ladies, and virgins, rode forth on a golden barge to greet the returning guests. Atlas then made a short oration in the King's behalf, also asking for the royal presents. In reply the aged warden delivered to Cupid, who hovered about the royal pair, a small, curious-shaped casket. C.R.C. and the old lord, each bearing a snow-white ensign with a red cross on it, rode in the carriage with the King. At the first gate stood the porter with blue clothes, who, upon seeing C.R.C., begged him to intercede with the King to release him from that post of servitude. The King replied that the porter was a famous astrologer who was forced to keep the gate as a punishment for the crime of having gazed upon Lady Venus reposing upon her couch. The King further declared that the porter could be released only when another was found who had committed the same crime. Upon hearing this, C.R.C.'s heart sank, for he realized himself to be the culprit, but he remained silent at that time.

The newly created Knights of the Golden Stone were obliged to subscribe to five articles drawn up by His Royal Highness: (1) That they would ascribe their Order only to God and His handmaid, Nature. (2) That they should abominate all uncleanness and vice. (3) That they should always be ready to assist the worthy and needy. (4) That they should not use their knowledge and power for the attainment of worldly dignity. (5) That they should not desire to live longer than God had decreed. They were then duly installed as Knights, which ceremony was ratified in a little chapel where C. R. C. hung up his Golden Fleece and his hat for an eternal memorial, and here he inscribed the following: Summa Scientia nihil Scire, Fr. Christianus Rosencreutz. Eques aurei Lapidis. Anno 1459.

After the ceremony, C.R.C. admitted that he was the one who had beheld Venus and consequently must become the porter of the gate. The King embraced him fondly and he was assigned to a great room containing three beds--one for himself, one for the aged lord of the tower, and the third for old Atlas.

The Chemical Marriage here comes to an abrupt end, leaving the impression that C.R.C. was to assume his duties as porter on the following morning. The book ends in the middle of a sentence, with a note in italics presumably by the editor.

Under the symbolism of an alchemical marriage, mediæval philosophers concealed the secret system of spiritual culture whereby they hoped to coordinate the disjecta membra of both the human and social organisms. Society, they maintained, was a threefold structure and had its analogy in the triune constitution of man, for as man consists of spirit, mind, and body, so society is made up of the church, the state, and the populace. The bigotry of the church, the tyranny of the state, and the fury of the mob are the three murderous agencies of society which seek to destroy Truth as recounted in the Masonic legend of Hiram Abiff. The first six days of The Chemical Marriage set forth the processes of philosophical "creation" through which every organism must pass. The three kings are the threefold spirit of man and their consorts the corresponding vehicles of their expression in the lower world. The executioner is the mind, the higher part of which--symbolized by the head--is necessary to the achievement of the philosophical labor. Thus the parts of man--by the alchemists symbolized as planets and elements--when blended together according to a certain Divine formula result in the creation of two philosophic "babes" which, fed upon the blood of the alchemical bird, become rulers of the world.

From an ethical standpoint, the young King and Queen resurrected at the summit of the tower and ensouled by Divine Life represent the forces of Intelligence and Love which must ultimately guide society. Intelligence and Love are the two great ethical luminaries of the world and correspond to enlightened spirit and regenerated body. The bridegroom is reality and the bride the regenerated being who attains perfection by becoming one with reality through a cosmic marriage wherein the mortal part attains immortality by being united with its own immortal Source. In the Hermetic Marriage divine and human consciousness are united in holy wedlock and he in whom this sacred ceremony takes place is designated as "Knight of the Golden Stone"; he thereby becomes a divine philosophic diamond composed of the quintessence of his own sevenfold constitution.

Such is the true interpretation of the mystical process of becoming "a bride of the Lamb." The Lamb of God is signified by the Golden Fleece that Jason was forced to win before he could assume his kingship. The Flying Lion is illumined will, an absolute prerequisite to the achievement of the Great Work. The episode of weighing the souls of men has its parallel in the ceremony described in the Egyptian Book of the Dead. The walled city entered by C.R.C. represents the sanctuary of wisdom wherein dwell the real rulers of the world--the initiated philosophers.

Like the ancient Mysteries after which it was patterned, the Order of the Rose Cross possessed a secret ritual which was lived by the candidate for a prescribed number of years before he was eligible to the inner degrees of the society. The various floors of the Tower of Olympus represent the orbits of the planets. The ascent of the philosophers from one floor to another also parallels certain rituals of the Eleusinian Mysteries and the rites of Mithras wherein the candidate ascended the seven rungs of a ladder or climbed the seven steps of a pyramid in order to signify release from the influences of the Planetary Governors. Man becomes master of the seven spheres only when he transmutes the impulses received from them. He who masters the seven worlds and is reunited with the Divine Source of his own nature consummates the Hermetic Marriage.
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Re: The Secret Teachings of All Ages, by Manly P. Hall

Postby admin » Sat Jul 11, 2015 1:35 am

Bacon, Shakspere, and the Rosicrucians

THE present consideration of the Bacon--Shakspere--Rosicrucian controversy is undertaken not for the vain purpose of digging up dead men's bones but rather in the hope that a critical analysis will aid in the rediscovery of that knowledge lost to the world since the oracles were silenced. It was W. F. C. Wigston who called the Bard of Avon "phantom Captain Shakespeare, the Rosicrucian mask." This constitutes one of the most significant statements relating to the Bacon-Shakspere controversy.

It is quite evident that William Shakspere could not, unaided, have produced the immortal writings bearing his name. He did not possess the necessary literary culture, for the town of Stratford where he was reared contained no school capable of imparting the higher forms of learning reflected in the writings ascribed to him. His parents were illiterate, and in his early life he evinced a total disregard for study. There are in existence but six known examples of Shakspere's handwriting. All are signatures, and three of them are in his will. The scrawling, uncertain method of their execution stamps Shakspere as unfamiliar with the use of a pen, and it is obvious either that he copied a signature prepared for him or that his hand was guided while he wrote. No autograph manuscripts of the "Shakespearian" plays or sonnets have been discovered, nor is there even a tradition concerning them other than the fantastic and impossible statement appearing in the foreword of the Great Folio.

A well-stocked library would be an essential part of the equipment of an author whose literary productions demonstrate him to be familiar with the literature of all ages, yet there is no record that Shakspere ever possessed a library, nor does he make any mention of books in his will. Commenting on the known illiteracy of Shakspere's daughter Judith, who at twenty-seven could only make her mark, Ignatius Donnelly declares it to be unbelievable that William Shakspere if he wrote the plays bearing his name would have permitted his own daughter to reach womanhood and marry without being able to read one line of the writings that made her father wealthy and locally famous.

The query also has been raised, "Where did William Shakspere secure his knowledge of modern French, Italian, Spanish, and Danish, to say nothing of classical Latin and Greek?" For, in spite of the rare discrimination with which Latin is used by the author of the Shakespearian plays, Ben Jonson, who knew Shakspere intimately, declared that the Stratford actor understood "small Latin and less Greek"! Is it not also more than strange that no record exists of William Shakspere's having ever played a leading rôle in the famous dramas he is supposed to have written or in others produced by the company of which he was a member? True, he may have owned a small interest in the Globe Theatre or Blackfriars, but apparently the height of his thespian achievements was the Ghost in Hamlet!

In spite of his admitted avarice, Shakspere seemingly made no effort during his lifetime to control or secure remuneration from the plays bearing his name, many of which were first published anonymously. As far as can be ascertained, none of his heirs were involved in any manner whatsoever in the printing of the First Folio after his death, nor did they benefit financially therefrom. Had he been their author, Shakspere's manuscripts and unpublished plays would certainly have constituted his most valued possessions, yet his will--while making special disposition of his second-best bed and his "broad silver gilt bowl" neither mentions nor intimates that he possessed any literary productions whatsoever.

While the Folios and Quartos usually are signed "William Shakespeare," all the known autographs of the Stratford actor read "William Shakspere." Does this change in spelling contain any significance heretofore generally overlooked? Furthermore, if the publishers of the First Shakespearian Folio revered their fellow actor as much as their claims in that volume would indicate, why did they, as if in ironical allusion to a hoax which they were perpetrating, place an evident caricature of him on the title page?

Certain absurdities also in Shakspere's private life are irreconcilable. While supposedly at the zenith of his literary career, he was actually engaged in buying malt, presumably for a brewing business! Also picture the immortal Shakspere--the reputed author of The Merchant of Venice--as a moneylender! Yet among those against whom Shakspere brought action to collect petty sums was a fellow townsman--one Philip Rogers--whom he sued for an unpaid loan of two shillings, or about forty-eight cents! In short, there is nothing known in the life of Shakspere that would justify the literary excellence imputed to him.

The philosophic ideals promulgated throughout the Shakespearian plays distinctly demonstrate their author to have been thoroughly familiar with certain doctrines and tenets peculiar to Rosicrucianism; in fact the profundity of the Shakespearian productions stamps their creator as one of the illuminati of the ages. Most of those seeking a solution for the Bacon-Shakspere controversy have been intellectualists. Notwithstanding their scholarly attainments, they have overlooked the important part played by transcendentalism in the philosophic achievements of the ages. The mysteries of superphysics are inexplicable to the materialist, whose training does not equip him to estimate the extent of their ramifications and complexities. Yet who but a Platonist, a Qabbalist, or a Pythagorean could have written The Tempest, Macbeth, Hamlet, or The Tragedy of Cymbeline? Who but one deeply versed in Paracelsian lore could have conceived, A Midsummer Night's Dream?

From Shakespeare's King Richard The Second, Quarto of 1597.
The ornamental headpiece shown above has long been considered a Baconian or Rosicrucian signature. The light and the dark A's appear in several volumes published by emissaries of the Rosicrucians. If the above figure be compared with that from the Alciati Emblemata on the following pages, the cryptic use of the two A's will be further demonstrated.

From Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy.
Baconian experts declare Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy to be in reality Francis Bacon's scrapbook in which he gathered strange and rare bits of knowledge during the many years of eventful life. This title page has long been supposed to contain a cryptic message. The key to this cipher is the pointing figure of the maniac in the lower right-hand corner of the design. According to Mrs. Elizabeth Wells Gallup, the celestial globe at which the maniac is pointing is a cryptic symbol of Sir Francis Bacon. The planetary signs which appear in the clouds opposite the marginal figures 4, 5;, 6, and 7 signify the planetary configurations, which produce the forms of mania depicted. The seated man, with his head resting upon his hand. is declared by Baconian enthusiasts to represent Sir Francis Bacon.

Father of modern science, remodeler of modern law, editor of the modem Bible, patron of modem democracy, and one of the founders of modern Freemasonry, Sir Francis Bacon was a man of many aims and purposes. He was a Rosicrucian, some have intimated the Rosicrucian. If not actually the Illustrious Father C.R.C. referred to in the Rosicrucian manifestoes, he was certainly a high initiate of the Rosicrucian Order, and it is his activities in connection with this secret body that are of prime importance to students of symbolism, philosophy, and literature.

Scores of volumes have been written to establish Sir Francis Bacon as the real author of the plays and sonnets popularly ascribed to William Shakspere. An impartial consideration of these documents cannot but convince the open-minded of the verisimilitude of the Baconian theory. In fact those enthusiasts who for years have struggled to identify Sir Francis Bacon as the true "Bard of Avon" might long since have won their case had they emphasized its most important angle, namely, that Sir Francis Bacon, the Rosicrucian initiate, wrote into the Shakespearian plays the secret teachings of the Fraternity of R.C. and the true rituals of the Freemasonic Order, of which order it may yet be discovered that he was the actual founder. A sentimental world, however, dislikes to give up a traditional hero, either to solve a controversy or to right a wrong. Nevertheless, if it can be proved that by raveling out the riddle there can be discovered information of practical value to mankind, then the best minds of the world will cooperate in the enterprise. The Bacon-Shakspere controversy, as its most able advocates realize, involves the most profound aspects of science, religion, and ethics; he who solves its mystery may yet find therein the key to the supposedly lost wisdom of antiquity.

It was in recognition of Bacon's intellectual accomplishments that King James turned over to him the translators' manuscripts of what is now known as the King James Bible for the presumable purpose of checking, editing, and revising them. The documents remained in his hands for nearly a year, but no information is to be had concerning what occurred in that time. Regarding this work, William T. Smedley writes: " It will eventually be proved that the whole scheme of the Authorised Version of the Bible was Francis Bacon's." (See The Mystery of Francis Bacon.) The first edition of the King James Bible contains a cryptic Baconian headpiece. Did Bacon cryptographically conceal in the Authorized Bible that which he dared not literally reveal in the text--the secret Rosicrucian key to mystic and Masonic Christianity?

Sir Francis Bacon unquestionably possessed the range of general and philosophical knowledge necessary to write the Shakespearian plays and sonnets, for it is usually conceded that he was a composer, lawyer, and linguist. His chaplain, Doctor William Rawley, and Ben Jonson both attest his philosophic and poetic accomplishments. The former pays Bacon this remarkable tribute: "I have been enduced to think that if there were a beame of knowledge derived from God upon any man in these modern times, it was upon him. For though he was a great reader of books; yet he had not his knowledge from books but from some grounds and notions from within himself. " (See Introduction to the Resuscitado.)

Sir Francis Bacon, being not only an able barrister but also a polished courtier, also possessed that intimate knowledge of parliamentary law and the etiquette of the royal court revealed in the Shakespearian plays which could scarcely have been acquired by a man in the humble station of the Stratford actor. Lord Verulam furthermore visited many of the foreign countries forming the background for the plays and was therefore in a position to create the authentic local atmosphere contained therein, but there is no record of William Shakspere's ever having traveled outside of England.

The magnificent library amassed by Sir Francis Bacon contained the very volumes necessary to supply the quotations and anecdotes incorporated into the Shakespearian plays. Many of the plays, in fact, were taken from plots in earlier writings of which there was no English translation at that time. Because of his scholastic acquirements, Lord Verulam could have read the original books; it is most unlikely that William Shakspere could have done so.

Abundant cryptographic proof exists that Bacon was concerned in the production of the Shakespearian plays. Sir Francis Bacon's cipher number was 33. In the First Part of King Henry the Fourth, the word "Francis" appears 33 times upon one page. To attain this end, obviously awkward sentences were required, as: "Anon Francis? No Francis, but tomorrow Francis: or Francis, on Thursday: or indeed Francis when thou wilt. But Francis."

Throughout the Shakespearian Folios and Quartos occur scores of acrostic signatures. The simplest form of the acrostic is that whereby a name--in these instances Bacon's--was hidden in the first few letters of lines. In The Tempest, Act I, Scene 2, appears a striking example of the Baconian acrostic:

"Begun to tell me what I am, but stopt
And left me to a bootelesse Inquisition,
Concluding, stay: not yet.

The first letters of the first and second lines together with the first three letters of the third line form the word BACon. Similar acrostics appear frequently in Bacon's acknowledged writings.

The tenor of the Shakespearian dramas politically is in harmony with the recognized viewpoints of Sir Francis Bacon, whose enemies are frequently caricatured in the plays. Likewise their religious, philosophic, and educational undercurrents all reflect his personal opinions. Not only do these marked similarities of style and terminology exist in Bacon's writings and the Shakespearian plays, but there are also certain historical and philosophical inaccuracies common to both, such as identical misquotations from Aristotle.

"Evidently realizing that futurity would unveil his full genius, Lord Verulam in his will bequeathed his soul to God above by the oblations of his Savior, his body to be buried obscurely, his name and memory to men's charitable speeches, to foreign nations, to succeeding ages, and to his own countrymen after some time had elapsed. That portion appearing in italics Bacon deleted from his will, apparently fearing that he had said too much.

From Alciati Emblemata.
The curious volume from which this figure is taken was published in Paris in r618. The attention of the Baconian student is immediately attracted by the form of the hog in the foreground. Bacon often used this animal as a play upon his own name, especially because the name Bacon was derived from he word beech and the nut of this tree was used to fatten hogs. The two pillars in the background have considerable Masonic interest. The two A's nearly in the center of the picture--one light and one shaded--are alone almost conclusive proof of Baconian influence. The most convincing evidence, however, is the fact that 17 is the numerical equivalent of the letters of the Latin farm of Bacon's name (F. Baco) and there are 17 letters in the three words appearing in the illustration.

From Bacon's Advancement of Learning.
Lord Bacon was born in 1561 and history records his death in 1626. There are records in existence, however, which would indicate the probability that his funeral was a mock funeral and that, leaving England, he lived for many years under another name in Germany, there faithfully serving the secret society to the promulgation of whose doctrines he had consecrate his life. Little doubt seems to exist in the minds of impartial investigators that Lord Bacon was the legitimate son of Queen Elizabeth and the Earl of Leicester.

That Sir Francis Bacon's subterfuge was known to a limited few during his lifetime is quite evident. Accordingly, stray hints regarding the true author of the Shakespearian plays may be found in many seventeenth century volumes. On page 33 (Bacon's cipher number) of the 1609 edition of Robert Cawdry's Treasurie or Storehouse of Similes appears the following significant allusion: "Like as men would laugh at a poore man, if having precious garments lent him to act and play the part of some honourable personage upon a stage, when the play were at an ende he should keepe them as his owne, and bragge up and downe in them."

Repeated references to the word hog and the presence of cryptographic statements on page 33 of various contemporary writings demonstrate that the keys to Bacon's ciphers were his own name, words playing upon it, or its numerical equivalent. Notable examples are the famous statement of Mistress Quickly in The Merry Wives of Windsor: "Hang-hog is latten for Bacon, I warrant you"; the title pages of The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia and Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queene; and the emblems appearing in the works of Alciatus and Wither. Furthermore, the word honorificabilitudinitatibus appearing in the fifth act of Love's Labour's Lost is a Rosicrucian signature, as its numerical equivalent (287) indicates.

Again, on the title page of the first edition of Sir Francis Bacon's New Atlantis, Father Time is depicted bringing a female figure out of the darkness of a cave. Around the device is a Latin inscription: "In time the secret truth shall be revealed." The catchwords and printer's devices appearing in volumes published especially during the first half of the seventeenth century were designed, arranged, and in some cases mutilated according to a definite plan.

It is evident also that the mispaginations in the Shakespearian Folios and other volumes are keys to Baconian ciphers, for re-editions--often from new type and by different printers--contain the same mistakes. For example, the First and Second Folios of Shakespeare are printed from entirely different type and by different printers nine years apart, but in both editions page 153 of the Comedies is numbered 151, and pages 249 and 250 are numbered 250 and 251 respectively. Also in the 1640 edition of Bacon's The Advancement and Proficience of Learning, pages 353 and 354 are numbered 351 and 352 respectively, and in the 1641 edition of Du Bartas' Divine Weeks pages 346 to 350 inclusive are entirely missing, while page 450 is numbered 442. The frequency with which pages ending in numbers 50, 51, 52,53, and 54 are involved will he noted.

The requirements of Lord Verulam's biliteral cipher are fully met in scores of volumes printed between 1590 and 1650 and in some printed at other times. An examination of the verses by L. Digges, dedicated to the memory of the deceased "Authour Maister W. Shakespeare," reveals the use of two fonts of type for both capital and small letters, the differences being most marked in the capital T's, N's, and A's, (Seethe First Folio.) The cipher has been deleted from subsequent editions.

The presence of hidden material in the text is often indicated by needless involvement of words. On the sixteenth unnumbered page of the 1641 edition of Du Bartas' Divine Weeks is a boar surmounting a pyramidal text. The text is meaningless jargon, evidently inserted for cryptographic reasons and marked with Bacon's signature--the hog. The year following publication of the First Folio of Shakespeare's plays in 1623, there was printed in "Lunæburg" a remarkable volume on cryptography, avowedly by Gustavus Selenus. It is considered extremely probable that this volume constitutes the cryptographic key to the Great Shakespearian Folio.

Peculiar symbolical head- and tail-pieces also mark the presence of cryptograms. While such ornaments are found in many early printed books, certain emblems are peculiar to volumes containing Baconian Rosicrucian ciphers. The light and dark shaded A is an interesting example. Bearing in mind the frequent recurrence in Baconian symbolism of the light and dark shaded A and the hog, the following statement by Bacon in his Interpretation of Nature is highly significant: "If the sow with her snout should happen to imprint the letter A upon the ground, wouldst thou therefore imagine that she could write out a whole tragedy as one letter?"

The Rosicrucians and other secret societies of the seventeenth century used watermarks as mediums for the conveyance of cryptographic references, and books presumably containing Baconian ciphers are usually printed upon paper bearing Rosicrucian or Masonic watermarks; often there are several symbols in one book, such as the Rose Cross, urns, bunches of grapes, and others.

At hand is a document which may prove a remarkable key to a cipher beginning in The Tragedy of Cymbeline. So far as known it has never been published and is applicable only to the 1623 Folio of the Shakespearian plays. The cipher is a line-and-word count involving punctuation, especially the long and short exclamation points and the straight and slanting interrogation points. This code was discovered by Henry William Bearse in 1900, and after it has been thoroughly checked its exact nature will be made public.

From Ralegh's History of the World.
Many documents influenced by Baconian philosophy--or intended m conceal Baconian or Rosicrucian cryptograms--use certain conventional designs at the beginning and end of chapters, which reveal to the initiated the presence of concealed information. The above ornamental has long been accepted as of the presence of Baconian influence and is to be found only in a certain number of rare volumes, all of which contain Baconian cryptograms. These cipher messages were placed in the books either by Bacon himself or by contemporaneous and subsequent authors belonging to the same secret society which Bacon served with his remarkable knowledge of ciphers and enigmas. Variants of this headpiece adorn the Great Shakespearian Folio (1623); Bacon's Novum Organum (1620); the St. James Bible (1611); Spencer's Faerie Queene (1611); and Sir Walter Ralegh's History of the World (1614) (See American Baconiana.)

From Shakespeare's Great Folio of 1623.
There are no authentic portraits of Shakspere in existence. The dissimilarities the Droeshout, Chandos, Janssen, Hunt, Ashbourne, Soest, and Dunford portraits prove conclusively that the artists were unaware of Shakspere's actual features. An examination of the Droeshout portrait discloses several peculiarities. Baconian enthusiasts are convinced that the face is only a caricature, possibly the death mask of Francis Bacon. A comparison of the Droeshout Shakspere with portraits and engravings of Francis Bacon demonstrates the identity of the structure of the two faces, the difference in expression being caused by lines of shading. Not also the peculiar line running from the ear down to the chin. Does this line subtly signify that the face itself a mask, ending at the ear? Notice also that the head is not connected with the body, but is resting on the collar. Most strange of all is the coat: one-half is on backwards. In drawing the jacket, the artist has made the left arm correctly, but the right arm has the back of the shoulder to the front. Frank Woodward has noted that there are 157 letters on the title page. This is a Rosicrucian signature of first importance. The date, 1623, Plus the two letters "ON" from the word "LONDON," gives the cryptic signature of Francis Bacon, by a simple numerical cipher. By merely exchanging the 26 letters of the alphabet for numbers, 1 became A, 6 becomes F, 2 becomes B, and 3 becomes C, giving AFBC. To this is added the ON from LONDON, resulting in AFBCON, which rearranged forms F. BACON.

No reasonable doubt remains that the Masonic Order is the direct outgrowth of the secret societies of the Middle Ages, nor can it be denied that Freemasonry is permeated by the symbolism and mysticism of the ancient and mediæval worlds. Sir Francis Bacon knew the true secret of Masonic origin and there is reason to suspect that he concealed this knowledge in cipher and cryptogram. Bacon is not to be regarded solely as a man but rather as the focal point between an invisible institution and a world which was never able to distinguish between the messenger and the message which he promulgated. This secret society, having rediscovered the lost wisdom of the ages and fearing that the knowledge might be lost again, perpetuated it in two ways: (1) by an organization (Freemasonry) to the initiates of which it revealed its wisdom in the form of symbols; (2) by embodying its arcana in the literature of the day by means of cunningly contrived ciphers and enigmas.

Evidence points to the existence of a group of wise and illustrious Fratres who assumed the responsibility of publishing and preserving for future generations the choicest of the secret books of the ancients, together with certain other documents which they themselves had prepared. That future members of their fraternity might not only identify these volumes bur also immediately note the significant passages, words, chapters, or sections therein, they created a symbolic alphabet of hieroglyphic designs. By means of a certain key and order, the discerning few were thus enabled to find that wisdom by which a man is "raised" to an illumined life.

The tremendous import of the Baconian mystery is daily becoming more apparent. Sir Francis Bacon was a link in that great chain of minds which has perpetuated the secret doctrine of antiquity from its beginning. This secret doctrine is concealed in his cryptic writings. The search for this divine wisdom is the only legitimate motive for the effort to decode his cryptograms.

Masonic research might discover much of value if it would turn its attention to certain volumes published during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries which bear the stamp and signet of that secret society whose members first established modern Freemasonry but themselves remained as an intangible group controlling and directing the activities of the outer body. The unknown history and lost rituals of Freemasonry may be rediscovered in the symbolism and cryptograms of the Middle Ages. Freemasonry is the bright and glorious son of a mysterious and hidden father. It cannot trace its parentage because that origin is obscured by the veil of the superphysical and the mystical. The Great Folio of 1623 is a veritable treasure house of Masonic lore and symbolism, and the time is at hand when that Great Work should be accorded the consideration which is its due.

Though Christianity shattered the material organization of the pagan Mysteries, it could not destroy the knowledge of supernatural power which the pagans possessed. Therefore it is known that the Mysteries of Greece and Egypt were secretly perpetuated through the early centuries of the church, and later, by being clothed in the symbolism of Christianity, were accepted as elements of that faith. Sir Francis Bacon was one of those who had been entrusted with the perpetuation and dissemination of s the arcana of the superphysical originally in the possession of the pagan hierophants, and to attain that end either formulated the Fraternity of R.C. or was admitted into an organization already existing under that name and became one of its principal representatives.

For some reason not apparent to the uninitiated there has been a continued and consistent effort to prevent the unraveling of the Baconian skein. Whatever the power may be which continually blocks the efforts of investigators, it is as unremitting now as it was immediately following Bacon's death, and those attempting to solve the enigma still feel the weight of its resentment.

A misunderstanding world has ever persecuted those who understood the secret workings of Nature, seeking in every conceivable manner to exterminate the custodians of this divine wisdom. Sir Francis Bacon's political prestige was finally undermined and Sir Walter Ralegh met a shameful fate because their transcendental knowledge was considered dangerous.

The forging of Shakspere's handwriting; the foisting of fraudulent portraits and death masks upon a gullible public; the fabrication of spurious biographies; the mutilation of books and documents; the destruction or rendering illegible of tablets and inscriptions containing cryptographic messages, have all compounded the difficulties attendant upon the solution of the Bacon-Shakspere-Rosicrucian riddle. The Ireland forgeries deceived experts for years.

According to material available, the supreme council of the Fraternity of R.C. was composed of a certain number of individuals who had died what is known as the "philosophic death." When the time came for an initiate to enter upon his labors for the Order, he conveniently "died" under somewhat mysterious circumstances. In reality he changed his name and place of residence, and a box of rocks or a body secured for the purpose was buried in his stead. It is believed that this happened in the case of Sir Francis Bacon who, like all servants of the Mysteries, renounced all personal credit and permitted others to be considered as the authors of the documents which he wrote or inspired.

The cryptic writings of Francis Bacon constitute one of the most powerful tangible elements in the mysteries of transcendentalism and symbolic philosophy. Apparently many years must yet pass before an uncomprehending world will appreciate the transcending genius of that mysterious man who wrote the Novum Organum, who sailed his little ship far out into the unexplored sea of learning through the Pillars of Hercules, and whose ideals for a new civilization are magnificently expressed in the Utopian dream of The New Atlantis. Was Sir Francis Bacon a second Prometheus? Did his great love for the people of the world and his pity for their ignorance cause him to bring the divine fire from heaven concealed within the contents of a printed page?

In all probability, the keys to the Baconian riddle will be found in classical mythology. He who understands the secret of the Seven-Rayed God will comprehend the method employed by Bacon to accomplish his monumental labor. Aliases were assumed by him in accordance with the attributes and order of the members of the planetary system. One of the least known--but most important--keys to the Baconian enigma is the Third, or 1637, Edition, published in Paris, of Les Images ou Tableaux de platte peinture des deux Philostrates sophistes grecs et les statues de Callistrate, by Blaise de Vigenere. The title page of this volume--which, as the name of the author when properly deciphered indicates, was written by or under the direction of Bacon or his secret society--is one mass of important Masonic or Rosicrucian symbols. On page 486 appears a plate entitled "Hercules Furieux," showing a gigantic figure shaking a spear, the ground before him strewn with curious emblems. In his curious work, Das Bild des Speershüttlers die Lösung des Shakespeare-Rätsels, Alfred Freund attempts to explain the Baconian symbolism in the Philostrates. Bacon he reveals as the philosophical Hercules, whom time will establish as the true "Spear-Shaker" (Shakespeare).

From Ralegh's History of the World.
What was the mysterious knowledge which Sir Walter Ralegh possessed and which was declared to be detrimental to the British government? Why was he executed when the charges against him could not be proved? Was he a member of me of those feared and hated secret societies which nearly overthrew political and religious Europe during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries? Was Sir Walter Ralegh an important factor in the Bacon-Shakspere-Rosicrucian-Masonic enigma? By those seeking the keys to this great controversy, he seems to have been almost entirely overlooked. His contemporaries are unanimous in their praise of his remarkable intellect, and he has long been considered me of Britain's most brilliant sons.
Sir Walter Ralegh--soldier, courtier, statesman, writer, poet, philosopher, and explorer--was a scintillating figure at the court of Queen Elizabeth. Upon this same man, King James--after the death of Elizabeth--heaped every indignity within his power. The cowardly James, who shuddered at the mention of weapons and cried like a child when he was crossed, was insanely jealous of the brilliant courtier. Ralegh's enemies, Playing upon the king's weakness, did not cease their relentless persecution until Ralegh had been hanged and his decapitated, quartered, and disemboweled body lay at their feet.
The title page reproduced above was used by Ralegh's political foes as a powerful weapon against him. They convinced James I that the face of the central figure upholding the globe was a caricature of his own, and the enraged king ordered every copy of the engraving destroyed. But a few copies escaped the royal wrath; consequently the plate is extremely rare. The engraving is a mass Rosicrucian and Masonic symbols, and the figures on the columns in all probability conceal a cryptogram. More significant still is the fact that the page facing this plate is a headpiece identical with that used in the 1623 Folio of "Shakespeare" and also in Bacon's Novum Organum.
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Re: The Secret Teachings of All Ages, by Manly P. Hall

Postby admin » Sat Jul 11, 2015 1:42 am

The Cryptogram as a factor in Symbolic Philosophy

NO treatise which deals with symbolism would be complete without a section devoted to the consideration of cryptograms. The use of ciphers has long been recognized as indispensable in military and diplomatic circles, but the modern world has overlooked the important rôle played by cryptography in literature and philosophy. If the art of deciphering cryptograms could be made popular, it would result in the discovery of much hitherto unsuspected wisdom possessed by both ancient and mediæval philosophers. It would prove that many apparently verbose and rambling authors were wordy for the sake of concealing words. Ciphers are hidden in the most subtle manner: they may be concealed in the watermark of the paper upon which a book is printed; they may be bound into the covers of ancient books; they may be hidden under imperfect pagination; they may be extracted from the first letters of words or the first words of sentences; they may be artfully concealed in mathematical equations or in apparently unintelligible characters; they may be extracted from the jargon of clowns or revealed by heat as having been written in sympathetic ink; they may be word ciphers, letter ciphers, or apparently ambiguous statements whose meaning could be understood only by repeated careful readings; they may he discovered in the elaborately illuminated initial letters of early books or they may be revealed by a process of counting words or letters. If those interested in Freemasonic research would give serious consideration to this subject, they might find in books and manuscripts of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the information necessary to bridge the gap in Masonic history that now exists between the Mysteries of the ancient world and the Craft Masonry of the last three centuries.

The arcana of the ancient Mysteries were never revealed to the profane except through the media of symbols. Symbolism fulfilled the dual office of concealing the sacred truths from the uninitiated and revealing them to those qualified to understand the symbols. Forms are the symbols of formless divine principles; symbolism is the language of Nature. With reverence the wise pierce the veil and with clearer vision contemplate the reality; but the ignorant, unable to distinguish between the false and the true, behold a universe of symbols. It may well be said of Nature--the Great Mother--that she is ever tracing strange characters upon the surface of things, but only to her eldest and wisest sons as a reward for their faith and devotion does she reveal the cryptic alphabet which is the key to the import of these tracings.

The temples of the ancient Mysteries evolved their own sacred languages, known only to their initiates and never spoken save in the sanctuary. The illumined priests considered it sacrilege to discuss the sacred truths of the higher worlds or the divine verities of eternal Nature in the same tongue as that used by the vulgar for wrangling and dissension. A sacred science must needs be couched in a sacred language. Secret alphabets also were invented, and whenever the secrets of the wise were committed to writing, characters meaningless to the uninformed were employed. Such forms of writing were called sacred or Hermetic alphabets. Some--such as the famous angelic writing--are still retained in the higher degrees of Masonry.

Secret alphabets were not entirely satisfactory, however, for although they rendered unintelligible the true nature of the writings, their very presence disclosed the fact of concealed information--which the priests also sought to conceal. Through patience or persecution, the keys to these alphabets were eventually acquired and the contents of the documents revealed to the unworthy. This necessitated employment of more subtle methods for concealing the divine truths. The result was the appearance of cryptic systems of writing designed to conceal the presence of both the message and the cryptogram. Having thus devised a method of transmitting their secrets to posterity, the illuminati encouraged the circulation of certain documents specially prepared through incorporating into them ciphers containing the deepest secrets of mysticism and philosophy. Thus mediæval philosophers disseminated their theories throughout Europe without evoking suspicion, since volumes containing these cryptograms could be subjected to the closest scrutiny without revealing the presence of the hidden message.

During the Middle Ages scores of writers--members of secret political or religious organizations--published books containing ciphers. Secret writing became a fad; every European court had its own diplomatic cipher, and the intelligentsia vied with one another in devising curious and complicated cryptograms. The literature of the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries is permeated with ciphers, few of which have ever been decoded. Many of the magnificent scientific and philosophic intellects of this period dared not publish their findings, because of the religious intolerance of their day. In order to preserve the fruitage of their intellectual labors for mankind, these pioneers of progress concealed their discoveries in ciphers, trusting that future generations, more kindly than their own, would discover and appreciate their learning.

From Selenus' Cryptomenytices et Cryptographiæ.
One year after the publication of the first Great "Shakespearian" Folio, a remarkable volume on cryptogram, and ciphers was published. The title page of the work is reproduced above. The year of its publication (1624) was during the Rosicrucian controversy. The translation of the title page is as follows:
"The Cryptomenysis and Cryptography of Gustavus Selenus in nine books, to which is added a clear explanation of the System of Steganography of John Trithemius, Abbot of Spanheim and Herbipolis, a man of admirable genius. Interspersed with worthy inventions of the Author and others, 1624." The author of this volume was believed to be Augustus, Duke of Brunswick. The symbols and emblems ornamenting the title page, however, are conclusive evidence that the fine hand of the Rosicrucians was behind its publication. At the bottom of the picture is a nobleman (Bacon?) placing his hat on another man's head. In the oval at the top of the plate, it is possible that the lights are beacons, or a play upon the name Bacon. In the two side panels are striking and subtle "Shakespearian" allusions. On the left is a nobleman (possibly Bacon) handing a paper to another man of mean appearance who carries in his hand a spear. At the right, the man who previously carried the spear is shown in the costume of an actor, wearing spurs and blowing a horn. The allusion to the actor blowing his horn and the figure carrying the spear suggest much, especially as spear is the last syllable of the name "Shakespeare."

Many churchmen, it is interesting to note, used cryptograms, fearing excommunication or a worse fate should their scientific researches be suspected. Only recently an intricate cipher of Roger Bacon's has been unraveled, revealing the fact that this early scientist was well versed in the cellular theory. Lecturing before the American Philosophical Society, Dr. William Romaine Newbold, who translated the cipher manuscript of the friar, declared: "There are drawings which so accurately portray the actual appearance of certain objects that it is difficult to resist the inference that Bacon had seen them with the microscope. * * * These are spermatozoa, the body cells and the seminiferous tubes, the ova, with their nuclei distinctly indicated. There are nine large drawings, of which one at least bears considerable resemblance to a certain stage of development of a fertilized cell." (See Review of Reviews, July, 1921.) Had Roger Bacon failed to conceal this discovery under a complicated cipher, he would have been persecuted as a heretic and would probably have met the fate of other early liberal thinkers. In spite of the rapid progress made by science in the last two hundred and fifty years, it still remains ignorant concerning many of the original discoveries made by mediæval investigators. The only record of these important findings is that contained in the cryptograms of the volumes which they published. While many authors have written on the subject of cryptography, the books most valuable to students of philosophy and religion are: Polygraphia and Steganographia, by Trithemius, Abbot of Spanheim; Mercury, or The Secret and Swift Messenger, by John Wilkins, Bishop of Chester; Œdipus Ægyptiacus and other works by Athanasius Kircher, Society of Jesus; and Cryptomenytices et Cryptographiæ, by Gustavus Selenus.

To illustrate the basic differences in their construction and use, the various forms of ciphers are here grouped under seven general headings:

1. The literal cipher. The most famous of all literal cryptograms is the famous biliteral cipher described by Sir Francis Bacon in his De Augmentis Scientiarum. Lord Bacon originated the system while still a young man residing in Paris. The biliteral cipher requires the use of two styles of type, one an ordinary face and the other specially cut. The differences between the two fonts are in many case so minute that it requires a powerful magnifying glass to detect them. Originally, the cipher messages were concealed only in the italicized words, sentences, or paragraphs, because the italic letters, being more ornate than the Roman letters, offered greater opportunity for concealing the slight but necessary variations. Sometimes the letters vary a trifle in size; at other times in thickness or in their ornamental flourishes. Later, Lord Bacon is believed to have had two Roman alphabets specially prepared in which the differences were so trivial that it is almost impossible for experts to distinguish them.

A careful inspection of the first four "Shakespeare" folios discloses the use throughout the volumes of several styles of type differing in minute but distinguishable details. It is possible that all the "Shakespeare" folios contain ciphers running through the text. These ciphers may have been added to the original plays, which are much longer in the folios than in the original quartos, full scenes having been added in some instances.

The biliteral cipher was not confined to the writings of Bacon and "Shakespeare," however, but appears in many books published during Lord Bacon's lifetime and for nearly a century after his b death. In referring to the biliteral cipher, Lord Bacon terms it omnia per omnia. The cipher may run through an entire book and be placed therein at the time of printing without the knowledge of the original author, for it does not necessitate the changing of either words or punctuation. It is possible that this cipher was inserted for political purposes into many documents and volumes published during the seventeenth century. It is well known that ciphers were used for the same reason as early as the Council of Nicæa.

The Baconian biliteral cipher is difficult to use today, owing to the present exact standardization of type and the fact that so few books are now hand set. Accompanying this chapter are facsimiles of Lord Bacon's biliteral alphabet as it appeared in the 1640 English translation of De Augmentis Scientiarum. There are four alphabets, two for the capital and two for the small letters. Consider carefully the differences between these four and note that each alphabet has the power of either the letter a or the letter b, and that when reading a word its letters are divisible into one of two groups: those which correspond to the letter a and those which correspond to the letter b. In order to employ the biliteral cipher, a document must contain five times as many letters as there are in the cipher message to be concealed, for it requires five letters to conceal one. The biliteral cipher somewhat resembles a telegraph code in which letters are changed into dots and dashes; according to the biliteral system, however, the dots and dashes are represented respectively by a's and b's. The word biliteral is derived from the fact that all letters of the alphabet may be reduced to either a or b. An example of biliteral writing is shown in one of the accompanying diagrams. In order to demonstrate the working of this cipher, the message concealed within the words "Wisdom and understanding are more to be desired than riches" will now be deciphered.

The first step is to discover [he letters of each alphabet and replace them by their equivalent a or b in accordance with the key given by Lord Bacon in his biliteral alphabet (q.v.). In the word wisdom, the W is from the b alphabet; therefore it is replaced by a b. The i is from the a alphabet; therefore an a is put in its place. The s is also from the a alphabet, but the d belongs to the b alphabet. The o and the m both belong to the a alphabet is replaced by a. By this process the word WISDOM become baabaa. Treating the remaining words of the sentence in a similar manner, AND becomes aba; UNDERSTANDING, aaabaaaaaabab; ARE, aba; MORE, abbb; TO, ab; BE, ab; DESIRED, abaabaa; THAN, aaba; RICHES, aaaaaa.

The next step is to run all the letters together; thus: baabaaabaaaabaaaaaabababaabbbabababaabaaaabaaaaaaa. All the combinations used in the Baconian biliteral cipher consist of groups containing five letters each. Therefore the solid line of letters must be broken into groups of five in the following manner: baaba aabaa aabaa aaaab ababa abbba babab aabaa aabaa aaaaa. Each of these groups of five letters now represents one letter of the cipher, and the actual letter can now be determined by comparing the groups with the alphabetical table, The Key to the Biliteral Cipher, from De Augmentis Scientiarum (q.v.): baaba = T, aabaa = E, aabaa = E; aaaab = B; ababa = L; abbba = P; babab = X; aabaa = E, aabaa = E; aaaaa = A; but the last five letters of the word riches being set off by a period from the initial r, the last five a's do not count in the cipher. The letters thus extracted are now brought together in order, resulting in TEEBLPXEE.


In the above sentence note carefully the formation of the letters. Compare each letter with the two types of letters in the biliteral alphabet table reproduced from Lord Bacon's De Augmentis Scientiarum. A comparison of the "d" in "wisdom" with the "d" in "and" discloses a large loop at the top of the first, while the second shows practically no loop at all. Contrast the "i" in "wisdom" with the "i" in "understanding." In the former, the lines are curved and in the latter angular. A similar analysis of the two "r's" in "desired" reveals obvious differences. The "o" in "more" differs only from the "o" in "wisdom" in that it a tiny line continues from the top over towards the "r." The "a" in "than" is thinner and more angular than the "a" in "are," while the "r" in "riches" differs from that in "desired" in that the final upright stroke terminates in a ball instead of a sharp point. These minor differences disclose the presence of the two alphabets employed in writing the sentence.

From Bacon's De Augmentis Scientiarum.
After the document to be deciphered has been reduced to its "a" and "b" equivalents, it is then broken up into five-letter groups and the message read with the aid of the above table

The above diagram shows a wheel cipher. The smaller, or inner, alphabet moves around so that any one of its letters may be brought opposite any me of he letters on the larger, or outer, alphabet. In some, cases the inner alphabet is written backwards, but in the present example, both alphabets read the same way.

From Bacon's De Augmentis Scientiarum.
This Plate is reproduced from Bacon's De Augmentis Scientiarum, and shows the two alphabets as designed by him for the purpose of his cipher. Each capital and small letter has two distinct forms which are designated "a" and "b". The biliteral system did not in every instance make use of two alphabets in which the differences were as perceptible as in the example here given, but the two alphabets were always used; sometimes variations are so minute that it requires a powerful magnifying glass to distinguish the difference between the "a" and "b" types of letters.


At this point the inquirer might reasonably expect the letters to make intelligible words; but he will very likely be disappointed, for, as in the case above, the letters thus extracted are themselves a cryptogram, doubly involved to discourage those who might have a casual acquaintance with the biliteral system. The next step is to apply the nine letters to what is commonly called a wheel (or disc) cipher (q.v.), which consists of two alphabets, one revolving around the other in such a manner that numerous transpositions of letters are possible. In the accompanying cut the A of the inner alphabet is opposite the H of the outer alphabet, so that for cipher purposes these letters are interchangeable. The F and M, the P, and Y, the W and D, in fact all the letters, may be transposed as shown by the two circles. The nine letters extracted by the biliteral cipher may thus be exchanged for nine others by the wheel cipher. The nine letters are considered as being on the inner circle of the wheel and are exchanged for the nine letters on the outer circle which are opposite the inner letters. By this process the T becomes A; the two E's become two L's; the B becomes I, the L becomes S; the P becomes W; the X becomes E; and the two E's become two L's. The result is ALLISWELL, which, broken up into words, reads: "All is well."

Of course, by moving the inner disc of the wheel cipher, many different combinations in addition to the one given above can be made of the letters, but this is the only one which will produce sense, and the cryptogrammatist must keep on experimenting until he discovers a logical and intelligible message. He may then feel reasonably sure that he has deciphered the system. Lord Bacon involved the biliteral cipher in many different ways. There are probably a score of different systems used in the "Shakespeare" folio alone, some so intricate that they may forever baffle all attempts at their decipherment. In those susceptible of solution, sometimes the a's and b's have to be exchanged; at other times the concealed message is written backwards; again only every other letter is counted; and so on.

There are several other forms of the literal cipher in which letters are substituted for each other by a prearranged sequence. The simplest form is that in which two alphabets are written thus:


By substituting the letters of the lower alphabet for their equivalents in the upper one, a meaningless conglomeration results, the hidden message being decoded by reversing the process. There is also a form of the literal cipher in which the actual cryptogram is written in the body of the document, but unimportant words are inserted between important ones according to a prearranged order. The literal cipher also includes what are called acrostic signatures--that is, words written down the column by the use of the first letter of each line and also more complicated acrostics in which the important letters are scattered through entire paragraphs or chapters. The two accompanying alchemical cryptograms illustrate another form of the literal cipher involving the first letter of each word. Every cryptogram based upon the arrangement or combination of the letters of the alphabet is called a literal cipher.

2. The pictorial cipher. Any picture or drawing with other than its obvious meaning may be considered a pictorial cryptogram. Instances of pictorial cipher are frequently found in Egyptian symbolism and early religious art. The diagrams of alchemists and Hermetic philosophers are invariably pictorial ciphers. In addition to the simple pictorial cipher, there is a more technical form in which words or letters are concealed by the number of stones in a wall, by the spread of birds' wings in flight, by ripples on the surface of water, or by the length and order of lines used in shading. Such cryptograms are not obvious, and must be decoded with the aid of an arbitrary measuring scale, the length of the lines determining the letter or word concealed. The shape and proportion of a building, the height of a tower, the number of bars in a window, the folds of a man's garments--even the proportions or attitude of the human body--were used to conceal definite figures or characters which could be exchanged for letters or words by a person acquainted with the code.

Initial letters of names were secreted in architectural arches and spans. A notable example of this practice is found on the title page of Montaigue's Essays, third edition, where an initial B is formed by two arches and an F by a broken arch. Pictorial cryptograms are sometimes accompanied by the key necessary for their decipherment. A figure may point toward the starting point of the cipher or carry in its hand some implement disclosing the system of measurement used. There are also frequent instances in which the cryptographer purposely distorted or improperly clothed some figure in his drawing by placing the hat on backwards, the sword on the wrong side, or the shield on the wrong arm, or by employing some similar artifice. The much-discussed fifth finger on the Pope's hand in Raphael's Sistine Madonna and the sixth toe on Joseph's foot in the same artist's Marriage of the Virgin are cunningly concealed cryptograms.

3. The acroamatic cipher. The religious and philosophical writings of all nations abound with acroamatic cryptograms, that is, parables and allegories. The acroamatic is unique in that the document containing it may be translated or reprinted without affecting the cryptogram. Parables and allegories have been used since remote antiquity to present moral truths in an attractive and understandable manner. The acroamatic cryptogram is a pictorial cipher drawn in words and its symbolism must be so interpreted. The Old and New Testaments of the Jews, the writings of Plato and Aristotle, Homer's Odyssey and Iliad, Virgil's Æneid, The Metamorphosis of Apuleius, and Æsop's Fables are outstanding examples of acroamatic cryptography in which are concealed the deepest and most sublime truths of ancient mystical philosophy.

The acroamatic cipher is the most subtle of all, for the parable or allegory is susceptible of several interpretations. Bible students for centuries have been confronted by this difficultly. They are satisfied with the moral interpretation of the parable and forget that each parable and allegory is capable of seven interpretations, of which the seventh--the highest--is complete and all-inclusive, whereas the other six (and lesser) interpretations are fragmentary, revealing but part of the mystery. The creation myths of the world are acroamatic cryptograms, and the deities of the various pantheons are only cryptic characters which, if properly understood, become the constituents of a divine alphabet. The initiated few comprehend the true nature of this alphabet, but the uninitiated many worship the letters of it as gods.

From Brown's History of Chemistry.
James Campbell Brown reprints a curious cipher from Kircher. The capital letters of the seven words in the outer circle read clockwise, form the word SVLPHVR. From the words in the second circle, when read in a similar manner, is derived FIXVM. The capitals of the six words in the inner circle, when properly arranged, also read ESTSOL. The following cipher is thus extracted: "Sulphur Fixum Est Sol," which when translated is: "Fixed sulphur is gold."

From Geheime Figuren der Rosenkreuzer.
Beginning with the word VISITA and reading clockwise, the seven initial letters of the seven words inscribed in the outer circle read: VITRIOL. This is a very simple alchemical enigma, but is a reminder that those studying works on Hermeticism, Rosicrucianism, alchemy, and Freemasonry should always be on the lookout for concealed meanings hidden either in Parables and allegories or in cryptic arrangements of numbers, letters, and words.

From Selenus' Cryptomenytices et Cryptographiæ.
The first circle portrays the divine antecedents of justice, the second the universal scope of justice, and the third the results of human application of justice. Hence, the first circle deals with divine principles, the second circle with mundane affairs, and the third circle with man. On the at the top of the picture sits Themis, the presiding spirit of law, and at her feet three other queens--Juno, Minerva, and Venus--their robes ornamented with geometric figures. The axis of law connects the throne, of divine justice above with the throne of human judgment at the bottom of the picture. Upon the latter throne is seated a queen with a scepter in her hand, before whom stands the winged goddess Nemesis--the angel of judgment.
The second Circle is divided into three parts by two sets of two horizontal lines. The upper and light section is called the Supreme Region and is the abode of the gods, the good spirits, and the heroes. The lower and dark section is the abode of lust, sin, and ignorance. Between these two extremes is the larger section in which are blended the powers and impulses of both the superior and the inferior regions.
In the third or inner circle is man, a tenfold creature, consisting of nine parts--three of spirit, three of intellect, and three of soul--enclosed within one constitution. According to Selenus, man's three spiritual qualities are thought, speech, and action; his three intellectual qualities are memory, intelligence, and will; and his three qualities of soul are understanding, courage, and desire. The third circle is further divided into three parts called ages: the Golden Age of spiritual truth in the upper right section, the Iron Age of spiritual darkness in the lower right section and the Bronze Age--a composite of the two occupying the entire left half of the inner circle and itself divided into three parts. The lowest division of the Bronze Age depicts ignorant man controlled by force, the central the partly awakened man controlled by jurisprudence, and the upper the spiritually illuminated man controlled by love. Both the second and third circles revolve upon the axis of law, but the divine source, of law--Heavenly Justice--is concealed by clouds. All of the symbols and figures ornamenting the plate are devoted to a detailed amplification of the principles here outlined.

4. The numerical cipher. Many cryptograms have been produced in which numbers in various sequences are substituted for letters, words, or even complete thoughts. The reading of numerical ciphers usually depends upon the possession of specially arranged tables of correspondences. The numerical cryptograms of the Old Testament are so complicated that only a few scholars versed in rabbinical lore have ever sought to unravel their mysteries. In his Œdipus Ægyptiacus, Athanasius Kircher describes several Arabian Qabbalistic theorems, and a great part of the Pythagorean mystery was concealed in a secret method in vogue among Greek mystics of substituting letters for numbers.

The most simple numerical cipher is that in which the letters of the alphabet are exchanged for numbers in ordinary sequence. Thus A becomes 1, B 2, C 3, and so on, counting both I and J as 9 and both U and V as 20. The word yes by this system would be written 23-5-18. This cipher can be made more difficult by reversing the alphabet so that Z becomes 1, Y 2, X 3, and so on. By inserting a non-significant, or uncounted, number after each of the significant numbers the cipher is still more effectively concealed, thus: 23-16-5-9-18. The word yes is found by eliminating the second and fourth numbers. By adding 23, 5, and 18 together the sum 46 results. Therefore 46 is the numerical equivalent of the word yes. According to the simple numerical cipher, the sum 138 is equal to the words Note carefully. Therefore in a book using this method, line 138, page 138, or paragraph 138 may contain the concealed message. In addition to this simple numerical cipher there are scores of others so complicated that no one without the key can hope to solve them.

Authors sometimes based their cryptograms upon the numerical value of their own names; for example, Sir Francis Bacon repeatedly used the cryptic number 33--the numerical equivalent of his name. Numerical ciphers often involve the pagination of a book. Imperfect pagination, though generally attributed to carelessness, often conceals important secrets. The mispaginations found in the 1623 folio of "Shakespeare" and the consistent recurrence of similar errors in various volumes printed about the same period have occasioned considerable thought among scholars and cryptogrammatists. In Baconian cryptograms, all page numbers ending in 89 seem to have a special significance. The 89th page of the Comedies in the 1623 folio of "Shakespeare" shows an error of type in the pagination, the "9" being from a considerably smaller font than the "8." The 189th page is entirely missing, there being two pages numbered 187; and page 188 shows the second " 8 " scarcely more than half the size of the first one. Page 289 is correctly numbered and has no unusual features, but page 89 of the Histories is missing. Several volumes published by Bacon show similar errors, page 89 being often involved.

There are also numerical ciphers from which the cryptic message may be extracted by counting every tenth word, every twentieth word, or every fiftieth word. In some cases the count is irregular. The first important word may be found by counting 100, the second by counting 90, the third by counting 80, and so on until the count of 10 is reached. The count then returns to 100 and the process is repeated.

5. The musical cipher. John Wilkins, afterwards Bishop of Chester, in 1641 circulated an anonymous essay entitled Mercury, or the Secret and Swift Messenger. In this little volume, which was largely derived from the more voluminous treatises of Trithemius and Selenus, the author sets forth a method whereby musicians can converse with each other by substituting musical notes for the letters of the alphabet. Two persons understanding the code could converse with each other by merely playing certain notes upon a piano or other instrument. Musical cryptograms can be involved to an inconceivable point; by certain systems it is possible to take an already existing musical theme and conceal in it a cryptogram without actually changing the composition in any way. The pennants upon the notes may conceal the cipher, or the actual sounds of the notes may be exchanged for syllables of similar sound. This latter method is effective but its scope is somewhat limited. Several musical compositions by Sir Francis Bacon are still in existence. An examination of them might reveal musical cryptograms, for it is quite certain that Lord Bacon was well acquainted with the manner of their construction.

6. The arbitrary cipher. The system of exchanging letters of the alphabet for hieroglyphic figures is too easily decoded to be popular. Albert: Pike describes an arbitrary cipher based upon the various parts of the Knights Templars' cross, each angle representing a letter. The many curious alphabets that have been devised are rendered worthless, however, by the table of recurrence. According to Edgar Allan Poe, a great cryptogrammatist, the most common letter of the English language is E, the other letters in their order of frequency are as follows: A, O, I, D, H, N, R, S, T, V, Y, C, F, Q L, M, W, B, K, P, Q, X, Z. Other authorities declare the table of frequency to be: E, T, A, O, N, I, R, S, H, D, L, C, W, U, M, F, Y, G, P, B, V, K, X, Q, J, Z. By merely counting the number of times each character appears in the message, the law of recurrence discloses the English letter for which the arbitrary character stands. Further help is also rendered by the fact that if the cryptogram be split up into words there are only three single letters which may form words: A, I, O. Thus any single character set off from the rest of the text must be one of these three letters. For details of this System see The Gold Bug, by Edgar Allan Poe.

To render more difficult the decoding of arbitrary ciphers, however, the characters are seldom broken up into words, and, further, the table of recurrence is partly nullified by assigning two or more different characters to each letter, thereby making it impossible to estimate accurately the frequency of recurrence. Therefore, the greater the number of arbitrary characters used to represent any single letter of the alphabet, the more difficult it is to decipher an arbitrary cryptogram. The secret alphabets of the ancients are comparatively easy to decode, the only requisites being a table of frequency, a knowledge of the language in which the cryptogram was originally written, a moderate amount of patience, and a little ingenuity.

7. The code cipher. The most modem form of cryptogram is the code system. Its most familiar form is the Morse code for use in telegraphic and wireless communication. This form of cipher may be complicated somewhat by embodying dots and dashes into a document in which periods and colons are dots, while commas and semicolons are dashes. There are also codes used by the business world which can be solved only by the use of a private code book. Because they furnish an economical and efficient method of transmitting confidential information, the use of such codes is far more prevalent than the average person has any suspicion.

In addition to the foregoing classifications there are a number of miscellaneous systems of secret writing, some employing mechanical devices, others colors. A few make use of sundry miscellaneous objects to represent words and even complete thoughts. But as these more elaborate devices were seldom employed by the ancients or by the mediæval philosophers and alchemists, they have no direct bearing upon religion and philosophy. The mystics of the Middle Ages, borrowing the terminology of the various arts and sciences, evolved a system of cryptography which concealed the secrets of the human soul under terms generally applied to chemistry, biology, astronomy, botany, and physiology. Ciphers of this nature can only be decoded by individuals versed in the deep philosophic principles upon which these mediæval mystics based their theories of life. Much information relating to the invisible nature of man is concealed under what seem to be chemical experiments or scientific speculations. Every student of symbolism and philosophy, therefore, should be reasonably well acquainted with the underlying principles of cryptography; in addition to serving him well in his researches, this art furnishes a fascinating method of developing the acuteness of the mental faculties. Discrimination and observation are indispensable to the seeker after knowledge, and no study is equal to cryptography as a means of stimulating these powers.

From Barrett's Magus.
Curious alphabets were invented by the early and mediæval philosophers to conceal their doctrines and tenets from the profane. Some of these alphabets are still used to a limited extent in the higher degrees of Freemasonry. Probably the most famous is the angelic writing, termed in the above plate "The Writing called Malachim." Its figures are supposedly derived from the constellations. Advanced students of occult philosophy will come upon many valuable documents in which these figures are used. Under each letter of the first alphabet above is its equivalent in English. Above each letter of the other three alphabets is its Hebrew letter equivalent.
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Re: The Secret Teachings of All Ages, by Manly P. Hall

Postby admin » Sat Jul 11, 2015 1:44 am

Freemasonic Symbolism

IN several early Masonic manuscripts--for example, the Harleian, Sloane, Lansdowne, and Edinburgh-Kilwinning--it is stated that the craft of initiated builders existed before the Deluge, and that its members were employed in the building of the Tower of Babel. A Masonic Constitution dated 1701 gives the following naive account of the origin of the sciences, arts, and crafts from which the major part of Masonic symbolism is derived:

"How this worthy Science was first begunne, I shall tell. Before Noah's Flood, there was a man called Lameck as it is written in the 4 Chap. of Gen.: and this Lameck had two Wives. The one was called Adah, and the other Zillah; by the first wife Adah he gott two Sons, the one called Jaball, and the other Juball, and by the other wife Zillah he got a Son and Daughter, and the four children found the beginning of all Crafts in the world. This Jaball was the elder Son, and he found the Craft of Geometric, and he parted flocks, as of Sheep and Lambs in the fields, and first wrought Houses of Stone and Tree, as it is noted in the Chap, aforesaid, and his Brother Juball found the crafte of Musick, of Songs, Organs and Harp. The Third Brother [Tubal-cain] found out Smith's craft to work Iron and steel, and their sister Naamah found out the art of Weaving. These children did know thatt God would take Vengeance for Sinne, either by fire or water, wherefor they wrote these Sciences which they had found in Two Pillars of stone, thatt they might be found after the Flood. The one stone was called Marbell--cannott burn with Fire, and the other was called Laturus [brass?], thatt cannott drown in the Water." The author of this Constitution there upon declares that one of these pillars was later discovered by Hermes, who communicated to mankind the secrets thereon inscribed.

In his Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus writes that Adam had forewarned his descendants that sinful humanity would be destroyed by a deluge. In order to preserve their science and philosophy, the children of Seth there fore raised two pillars, one of brick and the other of stone, on which were inscribed the keys to their knowledge. The Patriarch Enoch--whose name means the Initiator--is evidently a personification of the sun, since he lived 365 years. He also constructed an underground temple consisting of nine vaults, one beneath the other, placing in the deepest vault a triangular tablet of gold bearing upon it the absolute and ineffable Name of Deity. According to some accounts, Enoch made two golden deltas. The larger he placed upon the white cubical altar in the lowest vault and the smaller he gave into the keeping of his son, Methuseleh, who did the actual construction work of the brick chambers according to the pattern revealed to his father by the Most High. In the form and arrangement of these vaults Enoch epitomized the nine spheres of the ancient Mysteries and the nine sacred strata of the earth through which the initiate must pass to reach the flaming Spirit dwelling in its central core.

According to Freemasonic symbolism, Enoch, fearing that all knowledge of the sacred Mysteries would be lost at the time of the Deluge, erected the two columns mentioned in the quotation. Upon the metal column in appropriate allegorical symbols he engraved the secret reaching and upon the marble column placed an inscription stating that a short distance away a priceless treasure would be discovered in a subterranean vault. After having thus faithfully completed his labors, Enoch was translated from the brow Of Mount Moriah. In time the location of the secret vaults was lost, but after the lapse of ages there came another builder--an initiate after the order of Enoch--and he, while laying the foundations for another temple to the Great Architect of the Universe, discovered the long-lost vaults and the secrets contained within.

John Leylande was appointed by King Henry VIII to go through the archives of the various religious institutions dissolved by the king and remove for preservation any books or manuscripts of an important character. Among the documents copied by Leylande was a series of questions and answers concerning the mystery of Masonry written by King Henry VI. In answer to the question, "How came Masonry into England?" the document States that Peter Gower, a Grecian, traveled for knowledge in Egypt, Syria, and every land where the Phœnicians had planted Masonry; winning entrance in all lodges of Masons, he learned much, and returning, dwelt in Greater Greece. He became renowned for his wisdom, formed a great lodge at Groton, and made many Masons, some of whom journeyed in France, spreading Masonry there; from France in the course of time the order passed into England.

To even the superficial student of the subject it must be evident that the name of Peter Gower, the Grecian, is merely an Anglicized form of Pythagoras; consequently Groton, where he formed his lodge, is easily identified with Crotona. A link is thus established between the philosophic Mysteries of Greece and mediæval Freemasonry. In his notes on King Henry's questions and answers, William Preston enlarges upon the vow of secrecy as it was practiced by the ancient initiates. On the authority of Pliny he describes how Anaxarchus, having been imprisoned in order to extort from him some of the secrets with which he had been entrusted, bit out his own tongue and threw it in the face of Nicocreon, the tyrant of Cyprus. Preston adds that the Athenians revered a brazen statue that was represented without a tongue to denote the sanctity with which they regarded their oath-bound secrets. It is also noteworthy that, according to King Henry's manuscript, Masonry had its origin in the East and was the carrier of the arts and sciences of civilization to the primitive humanity of the western nations.

Redrawn from Cesariano's Edition of Vitruvius.
Summarizing the relationship between the human body and the theory of architectonics, Vitruvius writes:
"Since nature has designed the human body so that its members are duly proportioned to the frame as a whole, it appears that the ancients had good reason for their rule, that in perfect building the different members must be in exact symmetrical relations to the whole general scheme. Hence, while transmitting to us the proper arrangements for buildings of all kinds, they were particularly careful to do so in the case of temples of the gods, buildings in which merits and faults usually last forever. * * * Therefore, if it is agreed that number was found out from the human fingers, and that there is a symmetrical correspondent between the members separately and the entire form of the body, in accordance with a certain part selected as standard, we can have nothing but respect for those who, in constructing temples of the immortal gods, have so arranged the members of the works that both the separate parts and the whole design may harmonize in their proportions and symmetry." (See The Ten Books on Architecture)
By some it is believed that St. Paul was initiated into the Dionysiac Mysteries, for in the tenth verse of the third chapter of First Corinthians he calls himself a "master-builder" or adept: "According to the grace of God which is given into me, as a wise master-builder, I have laid the foundation and another buildeth thereon. " As survivals of the ancient Dionysiac rites, the two diagrams of Cesariano, accompanying this chapter are of incalculable value to the modern mystic architect.

Conspicuous among the symbols of Freemasonry are the seven liberal arts and sciences. By grammar man is taught to express in noble and adequate language his innermost thoughts and ideals; by rhetoric he is enabled to conceal his ideals under the protecting cover of ambiguous language and figures of speech; by logic he is trained in the organization of the intellectual faculties with which he has been endowed; by arithmetic he not only is instructed in the mystery of universal order but also gains the key to multitude, magnitude, and proportion; by geometry he is inducted into the mathematics of form, the harmony and rhythm of angles, and the philosophy of organization; by music he is reminded that the universe is founded upon the laws of celestial harmonics and that harmony and rhythm are all-pervading; by astronomy he gains an understanding of the immensities of time and space, of the proper relationship between himself and the universe, and of the awesomeness of that Unknown Power which is driving the countless stars of the firmament through illimitable space. Equipped with the knowledge conferred by familiarity with the liberal arts and sciences, the studious Freemason therefore finds himself confronted by few problems with which he cannot cope.


The most celebrated of the ancient fraternities of artisans was that of the Dionysiac Architects. This organization was composed exclusively of initiates of the Bacchus-Dionysos cult and was peculiarly consecrated to the science of building and the art of decoration. Acclaimed as being the custodians of a secret and sacred knowledge of architectonics, its members were entrusted with the design and erection of public buildings and monuments. The superlative excellence of their handiwork elevated the members of the guild to a position of surpassing dignity; they were regarded as the master craftsmen of the earth. Because of the first dances held in honor of Dionysos, he was considered the founder and patron of the theater, and the Dionysians specialized in the construction of buildings adapted for the presentation of dramatic performances. In the circular or semicircular orchestra they invariably erected an altar to Æschylus, the famous Greek poet, that while appearing in one of his own plays he was suspected by a mob of angry spectators of revealing one of the profound secrets of the Mysteries and was forced to seek refuge at the altar of Dionysos.

So carefully did the Dionysiac Architects safeguard the secrets of their craft that only fragmentary records exist of their esoteric teachings. John A. Weisse thus sums up the meager data available concerning the order:

"They made their appearance certainly not later than 1000 B.C., and appear to have enjoyed particular privileges and immunities. They also possessed secret means of recognition, and were bound together by special ties only known to themselves. The richer of this fraternity were bound to provide for their poorer brethren. They were divided into communities, governed by a Master and Wardens, and called γυνοικιαι (connected houses). They held a grand festival annually, and were held in high esteem. Their ceremonials were regarded as sacred. It has been claimed that Solomon, at the instance of Hiram, King of Tyre, employed them at his temple and palaces. They were also employed at the construction of the Temple of Diana at Ephesus. They had means of intercommunication all over the then known world, and from them, doubtless, sprang the guilds of the Traveling Masons known in the Middle Ages." (See The Obelisk and Freemasonry.)

The fraternity of the Dionysiac Architects spread throughout all of Asia Minor, even reaching Egypt and India. They established themselves in nearly all the countries bordering on the Mediterranean, and with the rise of the Roman Empire found their way into Central Europe and even into England. The most stately and enduring buildings in Constantinople, Rhodes, Athens, and Rome were erected by these inspired craftsmen. One of the most illustrious of their number was Vitruvius, the great architect, renowned as the author of De Architectura Libri Decem. In the various sections of his book Vitruvius gives several hints as to the philosophy underlying the Dionysiac concept of the principle of symmetry applied to the science of architecture, as derived from a consideration of the proportions established by Nature between the parts and members of the human body. The following extract from Vitruvius on the subject of symmetry is representative:

"The design of a temple depends on symmetry, the principles of which must be most carefully observed by the architect. They are due to proportion, in ἀναλογία. Proportion is a correspondence among the measures of the members of an entire work, and of the whole to a certain part selected as standard. From this result the principles of symmetry. Without symmetry and proportion there can be no principles in the design of any temple; that is, if there is no precise relation between its members, as in the case of those of a well shaped man. For the human body is so designed by nature that the face, from the chin to the top of the forehead and the lowest roots of the hair, is a tenth part of the whole height; the open hand from the wrist to the tip of the middle finger is just the same; the head from the chin to the crown is an eighth, and with the neck and shoulder from the top of the breast to the lowest roots of the hair is a sixth; from the middle of the breast to the summit of the crown is a fourth. If we take the height of the face itself, the distance from the bottom of the chin to the under side of the nostrils [and from that point] to a line between the eyebrows is the same; from there to the lowest roots of the hair is also a third, comprising the forehead. The length of the foot is one sixth of the height of the body; of the forearm, one fourth; and the breadth of the breast is also one fourth. The other members, too, have their own symmetrical proportions, and it was by employing them that the famous painters and sculptors of antiquity attained to great and endless renown."

The edifices raised by the Dionysiac Builders were indeed "sermons in stone." Though unable to comprehend fully the cosmic principles thus embodied in these masterpieces of human ingenuity and industry, even the uninitiated were invariably overwhelmed by the sense of majesty and symmetry resulting from the perfect coordination of pillars, spans, arches, and domes. By variations in the details of size, material, type, arrangement, ornamentation, and color, these inspired builders believed it possible to provoke in the nature of the onlooker certain distinct mental or emotional reactions. Vitruvius, for example, describes the disposition of bronze vases about a room so as to produce certain definite changes in the tone and quality of the human voice. In like manner, each chamber in the Mysteries through which the candidate passed had its own peculiar acoustics. Thus in one chamber the voice of the priest was amplified until his words caused the very room to vibrate, while in another the voice was diminished and softened to such a degree that it sounded like the distant tinkling of silver bells. Again, in some of the underground passageways the candidate was apparently bereft of the power of speech, for though he shouted at the top of his voice not even a whisper was audible to his ears. After progressing a few feet, however, he would discover that his softest sigh would be reechoed a hundred times.

The supreme ambition of the Dionysiac Architects was the construction of buildings which would create distinct impressions consistent with the purpose for which the structure itself was designed. In common with the Pythagoreans, they believed it possible by combinations of straight lines and curves to induce any desired mental attitude or emotion. They labored, therefore, to the end of producing a building perfectly harmonious with the structure of the universe itself. They may have even believed that an edifice so constructed because it was in no respect at variance with any existing reality would not be subject to dissolution but would endure throughout the span of mortal time. As a logical deduction from their philosophic trend of thought, such a building--en rapport with Cosmos--would also have become an oracle. Certain early works on magical philosophy hint that the Ark of the Covenant was oracular in character because of specially prepared chambers in its interior. These by their shape and arrangement were so attuned to the vibrations of the invisible world that they caught and amplified the voices of the ages imprinted upon and eternally existent in the substance of the astral light.

Unskilled in these ancient subtleties of their profession, modern architects often create architectural absurdities which would cause their creators to blush with shame did they comprehend their actual symbolic import. Thus, phallic emblems are strewn in profusion among the adornments of banks, office buildings, and department stores. Christian churches also may be surmounted with Brahmin or Mohammedan domes or be designed in a style suitable for a Jewish synagogue or a Greek temple to Pluto. These incongruities may be considered trivial in importance by the modern designer, but to the trained psychologist the purpose for which a building was erected is frustrated in large measure by the presence of such architectural discordances. Vitruvius thus defines the principle of propriety as conceived and applied by the Dionysians:

"Propriety is that: perfection of style which comes when a work is authoritatively constructed on approved principles. It arises from prescription (Greek θεματισμῷ), from usage, or from nature. From prescription, in the case of hypæthral edifices, open to the sky, in honour of Jupiter Lightning, the Heaven, the Sun, or the Moon: for these are gods whose semblances and manifestations we behold before our very eyes in the sky when it is cloudless and bright. The temples of Minerva, Mars, and Hercules will be Doric, since the virile strength of these gods makes daintiness entirely inappropriate to their houses. In temples to Venus, Flora, Proserpine, Spring-Water, and the Nymphs, the Corinthian order will be found to have peculiar significance, because these are delicate divinities and so its rather slender outlines, its flowers, leaves, and ornamental volutes will lend propriety where it is due. The construction of temples of the Ionic order to Juno, Diana, Father Bacchus, and the other gods of that kind, will be in keeping with the middle position which they hold; for the building of such will be an appropriate combination of the severity of the Doric and the delicacy of the Corinthian."

In describing the societies of Ionian artificers, Joseph Da Costa declares the Dionysiac rites to have been founded upon the science of astronomy, which by the initiates of this order was correlated to the builder's art. In various documents dealing with the origin of architecture are found hints to the effect that the great buildings erected by these initiated craftsmen were based upon geometrical patterns derived from the constellations. Thus, a temple might be planned according to the constellation of Pegasus or a court of judgment modeled after the constellation of the Scales. The Dionysians evolved a peculiar code by which they were able to communicate with one another in the dark and both the symbols and the terminology of their guild were derived, in the main, from the elements of architecture.

While stigmatized as pagans by reason of their philosophic principles, it is noteworthy that these Dionysiac craftsmen were almost universally employed in the erection of early Christian abbeys and cathedrals, whose stones even to this very day bear distinguishing marks and symbols cut into their surfaces by these illustrious builders. Among the ornate carvings upon the fronts of great churches of the Old World are frequently found representations of compasses, squares, rules, mallets, and clusters of builders' tools skillfully incorporated into mural decorations and even placed in the hands of the effigies of saints and prophets standing in exalted niches. A great mystery was contained in the ancient portals of the Cathedral Of Notre Dame which were destroyed during the French Revolution, for among their carvings were numerous Rosicrucian and Masonic emblems; and according to the records preserved by alchemists who studied their bas-reliefs, the secret processes for metallic transmutation were set forth in their grotesque yet most significant figures.

The checkerboard floor upon which the modern Freemasonic lodge stands is the old tracing board of the Dionysiac Architects, and while the modern organization is no longer limited to workmen's guilds it still preserves in its symbols the metaphysical doctrines of the ancient society of which it is presumably the outgrowth. The investigator of the origin of Freemasonic symbolism who desires to trace the development of the order through the ages will find a practical suggestion in the following statement of Charles W. Heckethorn:

"But considering that Freemasonry is a tree the roots of which spread through so many soils, it follows that traces thereof must be found in its fruit; that its language and ritual should retain much of the various sects and institutions it has passed through before arriving at their present state, and in Masonry we meet with Indian, Egyptian, Jewish, and Christian ideas, terms therefrom the supreme ambition of their craft and symbols." (See The Secret Societies of All Ages and Countries.)

The Roman Collegia of skilled architects were apparently a subdivision of the greater Ionian body, their principles and organization being practically identical with the older Ionian institution. It has been suspected that the Dionysians also profoundly influenced early Islamic culture, for part of their symbolism found its way into the Mysteries of the dervishes. At one time the Dionysians referred to themselves as Sons of Solomon, and one of the most important of their symbols was the Seal of Solomon--two interlaced triangles. This motif is frequently seen in conspicuous parts of Mohammedan mosques. The Knights Templars--who were suspected of anything and everything--are believed to have contacted these Dionysiac artificers and to have introduced many of their symbols and doctrines into mediæval Europe. But Freemasonry most of all owes to the Dionysiac cult the great mass of its symbols and rituals which are related to the science of architecture. From these ancient and illustrious artisans it also received the legacy of the unfinished Temple of Civilization-that vast, invisible structure upon which these initiated builders have labored continuously since the inception of their fraternity. This mighty edifice, which has fallen and been rebuilt time after time but whose foundations remain unmoved, is the true Everlasting House of which the temple on the brow of Mount Moriah was but an impermanent symbol.

Aside from the operative aspect of their order, the Dionysiac Architects had a speculative philosophic code. Human society they considered as a rough and untrued ashlar but lately chiseled from the quarry of elemental Nature. This crude block was the true object upon which these skilled craftsmen labored--polishing it, squaring it, and with the aid of fine carvings transforming it into a miracle of beauty. While mystics released their souls from the bondage of matter by meditation and philosophers found their keenest joy in the profundities of thought, these master workmen achieved liberation from the Wheel of Life and Death by learning to swing their hammers with the same rhythm that moves the swirling forces of Cosmos. They venerated the Deity under the guise of a Great Architect and Master Craftsman who was ever gouging rough ashlars from the fields of space and truing them into universes. The Dionysians affirmed constructiveness to be the supreme expression of the soul, and attuning themselves with the ever-visible constructive natural processes going on around them, believed immortality could be achieved by thus becoming a part of the creative agencies of Nature.


The name Solomon may be divided into three syllables, SOL-OM-ON, symbolizing light, glory, and truth collectively and respectively. The Temple of Solomon is, therefore, first of all "the House of Everlasting Light," its earthly symbol being the temple of stone on the brow of Mount Moriah. According to the Mystery teachings, there are three Temples of Solomon--as there are three Grand Masters, three Witnesses, and three Tabernacles of the Transfiguration. The first temple is the Grand House of the Universe, in the midst of which sits the sun (SOL) upon his golden throne. The twelve signs of the zodiac as Fellow-Craftsmen gather around their shining lord. Three lights--the stellar, the solar, and the lunar--illuminate this Cosmic Temple. Accompanied by his retinue of planets, moons, and asteroids, this Divine King (SOLomon), whose glory no earthly monarch shall ever equal, passes in stately pomp down the avenues of space. Whereas CHiram represents the active physical light of the sun, SOLomon signifies its invisible but all-powerful, spiritual and intellectual effulgency.

Redrawn from Cesariano's Edition of Vitruvius.
Herein is depicted the mysterious Word of Plato which was crucified in space before the foundation of the world. The anonymous author of The Canon writes:
"The Logos or soul of the world, according to Plato, the Greek Hermes, and the Christ, according to the Christian Gnostics, are all one and the same as the Hebrew Adam Kadmon, who is the second person of the cabalistic triad. The Cyllenian Hermes, described by Hippolytus, so exactly resembles the lesser man found in Cesariano's edition of Vitruvius, that they may be justifiably considered to be identical."
After relating the figure to Dionysus because of the vine leaves wound in the hair, the same writer concludes: "Here we have clearly and distinctly a curious survival of the cosmic deity of Greece, copied and disfigured by the crude draughtsmen of the Middle Ages, but faithfully preserved, and recognizable to the last." Similar figures are to be found in Agrippa's De Occulta Philosophia. Like Cesariano's diagrams, however, the key given for their interpretation is most inadequate. Agrippa declares that, being a type of the lesser world, man contains in himself all numbers, measures, weights, motions, and elements. The secret doctrine of Freemasonry, like that of the Dionysiac Architects, is concerned primarily with the effort to measure or estimate philosophically the parts and proportions of the microcosm, so that by the knowledge derived therefrom the supreme ambition of their craft might be realized--the creation of a perfect man.

The second symbolic temple is the human body-the Little House made in the image of the Great Universal House. "Know ye not," asked the Apostle Paul, "that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" Freemasonry within a temple of stone cannot be other than speculative, but Freemasonry within the living temple of the body is operative. The third symbolic temple is the Soular House, an invisible structure, the comprehension of which is a supreme Freemasonic arcanum. The mystery of this intangible edifice is concealed under the allegory of the Soma Psuchicon, or Wedding Garment described by St. Paul, the Robes of Glory of the High Priest of Israel, the Yellow Robe of the Buddhist monk, and the Robe of Blue and Gold to which Albert Pike refers in his Symbolism. The soul, constructed from an invisible fiery substance, a flaming golden metal, is cast by the Master Workman, CHiram Abiff, into the mold of clay (the physical body) and is called the Molten Sea. The temple of the human soul is built by three Master Masons personifying Wisdom, Love, and Service, and when constructed according to the Law of Life the spirit of God dwells in the Holy Place thereof. The Soular Temple is the true Everlasting House, and he who can raise or cast it is a Master Mason indeed! The best-informed Masonic writers have realized that Solomon's Temple is a representation in miniature of the Universal Temple. Concerning this point, A. E. Waite, in A New Encyclopædia of Freemasonry, writes: "It is macrocosmic in character, so that the Temple is a symbol of the universe, a type of manifestation itself."

Solomon, the Spirit of Universal Illumination--mental, spiritual, moral, and physical--is personified in the king of an earthly nation. While a great ruler by that name may have built a temple, he who considers the story solely from its historical angle will never clear away the rubbish that covers the secret vaults. The rubbish is interpolated matter in the form of superficial symbols, allegories, and degrees which have no legitimate part in the original Freemasonic Mysteries. Concerning the loss of the true esoteric key to Masonic secrets, Albert Pike writes:

"No one journeys now 'from the high place of Cabaon to the threshing floor of Oman the Yebusite,' nor has seen, 'his Master, clothed in blue and gold;' nor are apprentices and Fellow-crafts any longer paid at their respective Columns; nor is the Master's working tool the Tracing Board, nor does he use in his work 'Chalk, Charcoal, and an Earthen Vessel,' nor does the Apprentice, becoming a Fellow Craft, pass from the square to the compass; for the meanings of these phrases as symbols have long been lost."

According to the ancient Rabbins, Solomon was an initiate of the Mystery schools and the temple which he built was actually a house of initiation containing amass of pagan philosophic and phallic emblems. The pomegranates, the palm-headed columns, the Pillars before the door, the Babylonian cherubim, and the arrangement of the chambers and draperies all indicate the temple to have been patterned after the sanctuaries of Egypt and Atlantis. Isaac Myer, in The Qabbalah, makes the following observation:

"The pseudo-Clement of Rome, writes: 'God made man male and female. The male is Christ: the female, the Church.' The Qabbalists called the Holy Spirit, the mother, and the Church of Israel, the Daughter. Solomon engraved on the walls of his Temple, likenesses of the male and female principles, to adumbrate this mystery; such, it is said, were the figures of the cherubim. This was, however, not in obedience to the words of the Thorah. They were symbolical of the Upper, the spiritual, the former or maker, positive or male, and the Lower, the passive, the negative or female, formed or made by the first."

Masonry came to Northern Africa and Asia Minor from the lost continent of Atlantis, not under its present name but rather under the general designation Sun and Fire Worship. The ancient Mysteries did not cease to exist when Christianity became the world's most powerful religion. Great Pan did not die! Freemasonry is the proof of his survival. The pre-Christian Mysteries simply assumed the symbolism of the new faith, perpetuating through its emblems and allegories the same truths which had been the property of the wise since the beginning of the world. There is no true explanation, therefore, for Christian symbols save that which is concealed within pagan philosophy. Without the mysterious keys carried by the hierophants of the Egyptian, Brahmin, and Persian cults the gates of Wisdom cannot be opened. Consider with reverent spirit, therefore, the sublime allegory of the Temple and its Builders, realizing that beneath its literal interpretation lies hidden a Royal Secret.

According to the Talmudic legends, Solomon understood the mysteries of the Qabbalah. He was also an alchemist and a necromancer, being able to control the dæmons, and from them and other inhabitants of the invisible worlds he secured much of his wisdom. In his translation of Clavicula Salomonis, or The Key of Solomon the King, a work presumably setting forth the magical secrets gathered by Solomon and used by him in the conjuration of spirits and which, according to Frank C. Higgins, contains many sidelights on Masonic initiatory rituals, S. L. MacGregor-Mathers recognizes the probability that King Solomon was a magician in the fullest sense of that word. "I see no reason to doubt," he affirms, "the tradition which assigns the authorship of the 'Key' to King Solomon, for among others Josephus, the Jewish historian, especially mentions the magical works attributed to that monarch; this is confirmed by many Eastern traditions, and his magical skill is frequently mentioned in the Arabian Nights."

Concerning Solomon's supernatural powers, Josephus writes in his Eighth Book of the Antiquities of the Jews:

"Now the sagacity and wisdom which God had bestowed on Solomon was so great that he exceeded the ancients, in so much that he was no way inferior to the Egyptians, who are said to have been beyond all men in understanding; * * * God also enabled him to learn that skill which expelled demons, which is a science useful and sanative to him. He composed such incantations also by which distempers are alleviated. And he left behind him the manner of using exorcisms, by which they drive away demons, so that they never return; and this method of cure is of great force unto this day."

The mediæval alchemists were convinced that King Solomon understood the secret processes of Hermes by means of which it was possible to multiply metals. Dr. Bacstrom writes that the Universal Spirit (CHiram) assisted King Solomon to build his temple, because Solomon being wise in the wisdom of alchemy knew how to control this incorporeal essence and, setting it to work for him, caused the invisible universe to supply him with vast amounts of gold and silver which most people believed were mined by natural methods.

The mysteries of the Islamic faith are now in the keeping of the dervishes--men who, renouncing worldliness, have withstood the test of a thousand and one days of temptation. Jelal-ud-din, the great Persian Sufic poet and philosopher, is accredited with having founded the Order of Mevlevi, or the "dancing dervishes," whose movements exoterically signify the motions of the celestial bodies and esoterically result in the establishment of a rhythm which stimulates the centers of spiritual consciousness within the dancer's body.

"According to the mystical canon, there are always on earth a certain number of holy men who are admitted to intimate communion with the Deity. The one who occupies the highest position among his contemporaries is called the 'Axis' (Qūtb) or 'Pole' of his time. * * * Subordinate to the Qūtb are two holy beings who bear the title of 'The Faithful Ones,' and are assigned places on his right and left respectively. Below these is a quartette of 'Intermediate Ones' (Evtād); and on successively lower planes ate five 'Lights' (Envār), and seven 'Very Good' (Akhyār). The next rank is filled by forty 'Absent Ones' (Rijal-i-ghaib), also termed 'Martyrs' (Shuheda). When an 'Axis' quits this earthly existence, he is succeeded by the 'Faithful One' who has occupied the place at his right hand. * * * For to these holy men, who also bear the collective titles of 'Lords of Souls,' and 'Directors,' is committed a spiritual supremacy over mankind far exceeding the temporal authority of earthly rulers." (See Mysticism and Magic in Turkey, by L. M. J. Garnett.)

The Axis is a mysterious individual who, unknown and unsuspected, mingles with mankind and who, according to tradition, has his favorite seat upon the roof of the Caaba. J. P. Brown, in The Dervishes, gives a description of these "Master Souls."


The sanctum sanctorum of Freemasonry is ornamented with the gnostic jewels of a thousand ages; its rituals ring with the divinely inspired words of seers and sages. A hundred religious have brought their gifts of wisdom to its altar; arts and sciences unnumbered have contributed to its symbolism. Freemasonry is a world-wide university, teaching the liberal arts and sciences of the soul to all who will hearken to its words. Its chairs are seats of learning and its pillars uphold an arch of universal education. Its trestleboards are inscribed with the eternal verities of all ages and upon those who comprehend its sacred depths has dawned the realization that within the Freemasonic Mysteries lie hidden the long-lost arcana sought by all peoples since the genesis of human reason.

The philosophic power of Freemasonry lies in its symbols--its priceless heritage from the Mystery schools of antiquity. In a letter to Robert Freke Gould, Albert Pike writes:

"It began to shape itself to my intellectual vision into something more imposing and majestic, solemnly mysterious and grand. It seemed to me like the Pyramids in their loneliness, in whose yet undiscovered chambers may be hidden, for the enlightenment of coming generations, the sacred books of the Egyptians, so long lost to the world; like the Sphynx half buried in the desert. In its symbolism, which and its spirit of brotherhood are its essence, Freemasonry is more ancient than any of the world's living religions. It has the symbols and doctrines which, older than himself, Zarathustra inculcated; and ii seemed to me a spectacle sublime, yet pitiful--the ancient Faith of our ancestors holding out to the world its symbols once so eloquent, and mutely and in vain asking for an interpreter. And so I came at last to see that the true greatness and majesty of Freemasonry consist in its proprietorship of these and its other symbols; and that its symbolism is its soul."

Though the temples of Thebes and Karnak be now but majestic heaps of broken and time-battered stone, the spirit: of Egyptian philosophy still marches triumphant through the centuries. Though the rock-hewn sanctuaries of the ancient Brahmins be now deserted and their carvings crumbled into dust, still the wisdom of the Vedas endures. Though the oracles be silenced and the House of the Mysteries be now but rows of ghostly columns, still shines the spiritual glory of Hellas with luster undiminished. Though Zoroaster, Hermes, Pythagoras, Plato, and Aristotle are now but dim memories in a world once rocked by the transcendency of their intellectual genius, still in the mystic temple of Freemasonry these god-men live again in their words and symbols; and the candidate, passing through the initiations, feels himself face to face with these illumined hierophants of days long past.
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Re: The Secret Teachings of All Ages, by Manly P. Hall

Postby admin » Sat Jul 11, 2015 1:47 am

Mystic Christianity

THE true story of the life of Jesus of Nazareth has never been unfolded to the world, either in the accepted Gospels or in the Apocrypha, although a few stray hints may be found in some of the commentaries written by the ante-Nicene Fathers. The facts concerning His identity and mission are among the priceless mysteries preserved to this day in the secret vaults beneath the "Houses of the Brethren." To a few of the Knights Templars, who were initiated into the arcana of the Druses, Nazarenes, Essenes, Johannites, and other sects still inhabiting the remote and inaccessible fastnesses of the Holy Land, part of the strange story was told. The knowledge of the Templars concerning the early history of Christianity was undoubtedly one of the main reasons for their persecution and final annihilation. The discrepancies in the writings of the early Church Fathers not only are irreconcilable, but demonstrate beyond question that even during the first five centuries after Christ these learned men had for the basis of their writings little more substantial than folklore and hearsay. To the easy believer everything is possible and there are no problems. The unemotional person in search of facts, however, is confronted by a host of problems with uncertain factors, of which the following are typical:

According to popular conception, Jesus was crucified during the thirty-third year of His life and in the third year of His ministry following His baptism. About A.D. 180, St. Irenæus, Bishop of Lyons, one of the most eminent of the ante-Nicene theologians, wrote Against Heresies, an attack on the doctrines of the Gnostics. In this work Irenæus declared upon the authority of the Apostles themselves that Jesus lived to old age. To quote: "They, however, that they may establish their false opinion regarding that which is written, 'to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,' maintain that He preached for one year only, and then suffered in the twelfth month. [In speaking thus], they are forgetful of their own disadvantage, destroying His whole work, and robbing Him of that age which is both more necessary and more honourable than any other; that more advanced age, I mean, during which also as a teacher He excelled all others. For how could He have had His disciples, if He did not teach? And how could He have taught, unless He had reached the age of a Master? For when He came to be baptised, He had not yet completed His thirtieth year, but was beginning to be about thirty years of age (for thus Luke, who has mentioned His years, has expressed it: 'Now Jesus was, as it were, beginning to be thirty years old,' when He came to receive baptism); and, (according to these men,) He preached only one year reckoning from His baptism. On completing His thirtieth year He suffered, being in fact still a young man, and who had by no means attained to advanced age. Now, that the first stage of early life embraces thirty years, and that this extends onward to the fortieth year, every one will admit; but from the fortieth and fiftieth year a man begins to decline towards old age, which Our Lord possessed while He still fulfilled the office of a Teacher, even as the Gospel and all the elders testify; those who were conversant in Asia with John, the disciple of the Lord, (affirming) that John conveyed to them that information. And he remained among them up to the time of Trajan. Some of them, moreover, saw not only John, but the other apostles also, and heard the very same account from them, and bear testimony as to the'(validity of) the statement. Whom then should we rather believe? Whether such men as these, or Ptolemæus, who never saw the apostles, and who never even in his dreams attained to the slightest trace of an apostle?"

Commenting on the foregoing passage, Godfrey Higgins remarks that it has fortunately escaped the hands of those destroyers who have attempted to render the Gospel narratives consistent by deleting all such statements. He also notes that the doctrine of the crucifixion was a vexata questio among Christians even during the second century. "The evidence of Irenæus," he says, "cannot be touched. On every principle of sound criticism, and of the doctrine of probabilities, it is unimpeachable."

It should further be noted that Irenæus prepared this statement to contradict another apparently current in his time to the effect that the ministry of Jesus lasted but one year. Of all the early Fathers, Irenæus, writing within eighty years after the death of St. John the Evangelist, should have had reasonably accurate information. If the disciples themselves related that Jesus lived to advanced age in the body, why has the mysterious number 33 been arbitrarily chosen to symbolize the duration of His life? Were the incidents in the life of Jesus purposely altered so that His actions would fit more closely into the pattern established by the numerous Savior-Gods who preceded Him? That these analogies were recognized and used as a leverage in converting the Greeks and Romans is evident from a perusal of the writings of Justin Martyr, another second-century authority. In his Apology, Justin addresses the pagans thus:

"And when we say also that the Word, who is the first-birth of God, was produced without sexual union, and that He, Jesus Christ, Our Teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter. * * * And if we assert that the Word of God was born of God in a peculiar manner, different from ordinary generation, let this, as said above, be no extraordinary thing to you, who say that Mercury is the angelic word of God. But if any one objects that He was crucified, in this also He is on a par with those reputed sons of Jupiter of yours, who suffered as we have now enumerated."

From this it is evident that the first missionaries of the Christian Church were far more willing to admit the similarities between their faith and the faiths of the pagans than were their successors in later centuries.

In an effort to solve some of the problems arising from any attempt to chronicle accurately the life of Jesus, it has been suggested that there may have lived in Syria at that time two or more religious teachers bearing the name Jesus, Jehoshua or Joshua, and that the lives of these men may have been confused in the Gospel stories. In his Secret Sects of Syria and the Lebanon, Bernard H. Springett, a Masonic author, quotes from an early book, the name of which he was not at liberty to disclose because of its connection with the ritual of a sect. The last part of his quotation is germane to the subject at hand:

"But Jehovah prospered the seed of the Essenians, in holiness and love, for many generations. Then came the chief of the angels, according to the commandment of GOD, to raise up an heir to the Voice of Jehovah. And, in four generations more, an heir was born, and named Joshua, and he was the child of Joseph and Mara, devout worshippers of Jehovah, who stood aloof from all other people save the Essenians. And this Joshua, in Nazareth, reestablished Jehovah, and restored many of the lost rites and ceremonies. In the thirty-sixth year of his age he was stoned to death in Jerusalem * * *"

From Jennings' The Rosicrucians, Their Rites and Mysteries.
According to tradition, Arthur, when a boy of fifteen, was crowned King of Britain, in A.D. 516. Soon after his ascension to the throne he founded the Order of the Knights of the Round Table at Windsor. Thereafter the Knights met annually at Carleon, Winchester, or at Camelot, to celebrate Pentecost. From all parts of Europe came the brave and the bold, seeking admission into this noble order of British knighthood. Nobility, virtue, and valor were its requirements, and those possessing these qualities to a marked degree were welcomed to King Arthur's court at Camelot. Having gathered the bravest and noblest Knights of Europe about him, King Arthur chose twenty-four who excelled all the others in daring and integrity and formed of them his Circle of the Round Table. According to legend, each of these Knights was so great in dignity and power that none could occupy a more exalted seat than another, so when they gathered at the table to celebrate the anniversary of their foundation it was necessary to use a round table that all might occupy chairs of equal importance.
While it is probable that the Order of the Round Table had its distinctive rituals and symbols, the knowledge of them has not survived the ages. Elias Ashmole, in his volume on the Order of the Garter, inserted a double-page plate showing the insignia of all the orders of knighthood, the block set aside for the symbol of the Round Table being left blank. The chief reason for the loss of the symbolism of the Round Table was the untimely death of King Arthur upon the field of Kamblan (A.D. 542) in the forty-first year of his life. While he destroyed his bitter enemy, Mordred, in this famous battle, it cast him not only his own life but the lives of nearly all his Knights of the Round Table, who died defending their commander.

Within the last century several books have been published to supplement the meager descriptions in the Gospels of Jesus and His ministry. In some instances these narratives claim to be founded upon early manuscripts recently discovered; in others, upon direct spiritual revelation. Some of these writings are highly plausible, while others are incredible. There are persistent rumors that Jesus visited and studied in both Greece and India, and that a coin struck in His honor in India during the first century has been discovered. Early Christian records are known to exist in Tibet, and the monks of a Buddhist monastery in Ceylon still preserve a record which indicates that Jesus sojourned with them and became conversant with their philosophy.

Although early Christianity shows every evidence of Oriental influence, this is a subject the modern church declines to discuss. If it is ever established beyond question that Jesus was an initiate of the pagan Greek or Asiatic Mysteries, the effect upon the more conservative members of the Christian faith is likely to be cataclysmic. If Jesus was God incarnate, as the solemn councils of the church discovered, why is He referred to in the New Testament as "called of God an high prim after the order of Melchizedek"? The words "after the order" make Jesus one of a line or order of which there must have been others of equal or even superior dignity. If the "Melchizedeks" were the divine or priestly rulers of the nations of the earth before the inauguration of the system of temporal rulers, then the statements attributed to St. Paul would indicate that Jesus either was one of these "philosophic elect" or was attempting to reestablish their system of government. It will be remembered that Melchizedek also performed the same ceremony of the drinking of wine and the breaking of bread as did Jesus at the Last Supper.

George Faber declares the original name of Jesus was Jescua Hammassiah. Godfrey Higgins has discovered two references, one in the Midrashjoholeth and the other in the Abodazara (early Jewish commentaries on the Scriptures), to the effect that the surname of Joseph's family was Panther, for in both of these works it is stated that a man was healed "in the name of Jesus ben Panther." The name Panther establishes a direct connection between Jesus and Bacchus--who was nursed by panthers and is sometimes depicted riding either on one of these animals or in a chariot drawn by them. The skin of the panther was also sacred in certain of the Egyptian initiatory ceremonials. The monogram IHS, now interpreted to mean Iesus Hominum Salvator (Jesus Savior of Men), is another direct link between the Christian and the Bacchic rites. IHS is derived from the Greek ΥΗΣ, which, as its numerical value (608) signifies, is emblematic of the sun and constituted the sacred and concealed name of Bacchus. (See The Celtic Druids by Godfrey Higgins.) The question arises, Was early Roman Christianity confused with the worship of Bacchus because of the numerous parallelisms in the two faiths? If the affirmative can be proved, many hitherto incomprehensible enigmas of the New Testament will be solved.

It is by no means improbable that Jesus Himself originally propounded as allegories the cosmic activities which were later con fused with His own life. That the Χριστός, Christos, represents the solar power reverenced by every nation of antiquity cannot be controverted. If Jesus revealed the nature and purpose of this solar power under the name and personality of Christos, thereby giving to this abstract power the attributes of a god-man, He but followed a precedent set by all previous World-Teachers. This god-man, thus endowed with all the qualities of Deity, signifies the latent divinity in every man. Mortal man achieves deification only through at-one-ment with this divine Self. Union with the immortal Self constitutes immortality, and he who finds his true Self is therefore "saved." This Christos, or divine man in man, is man's real hope of salvation--the living Mediator between abstract Deity and mortal humankind. As Atys, Adonis, Bacchus, and Orpheus in all likelihood were originally illumined men who later were confused with the symbolic personages whom they created as personifications of this divine power, so Jesus has been confused with the Christos, or god-man, whose wonders He preached. Since the Christos was the god-man imprisoned in every creature, it was the first duty of the initiate to liberate, or "resurrect, " this Eternal One within himself. He who attained reunion with his Christos was consequently termed a Christian, or Christened, man.

One of the most profound doctrines of the pagan philosophers concerned the Universal Savior-God who lifted the souls of regenerated men to heaven through His own nature. This concept was unquestionably the inspiration for the words attributed to Jesus: "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me." In an effort to make a single person out of Jesus and His Christos, Christian writers have patched together a doctrine which must be resolved back into its original constituents if the true meaning of Christianity is to be rediscovered. In the Gospel narratives the Christos represents the perfect man who, having passed through the various stages of the "World Mystery" symbolized by the thirty-three years, ascends to the heaven sphere where he is reunited with his Eternal Father. The story of Jesus as now preserved is--like the Masonic story of Hiram Abiff--part of a secret initiatory ritualism belonging to the early Christian and pagan Mysteries.

During the centuries just prior to the Christian Era, the secrets of the pagan Mysteries had gradually fallen into the hands of the profane. To the student of comparative religion it is evident that these secrets, gathered by a small group of faithful philosophers and mystics, were reclothed in new symbolical garments and thus preserved for several centuries under the name of Mystic Christianity. It is generally supposed that the Essenes were the custodians of this knowledge and also the initiators and educators of Jesus. If so, Jesus was undoubtedly initiated in the same temple of Melchizedek where Pythagoras had studied six centuries before.

The Essenes--the most prominent of the early Syrian sects--were an order of pious men and women who lived lives of asceticism, spending their days in simple labor and their evenings in prayer. Josephus, the great Jewish historian, speaks of them in the highest terms. "They teach the immortality of the soul," he says, "and esteem that the rewards of righteousness are to be earnestly striven for." In another place he adds, "Yet is their course of life better than that of other men and they entirely addict themselves to husbandry. " The name Essenes is supposed to be derived from an ancient Syrian word meaning "physician," and these kindly folk are believed to have held as their purpose of existence the healing of the sick in mind, soul, and body. According to Edouard Schuré, they had two principal communities, or centers, one in Egypt on the banks of Lake Maoris, the other in Palestine at Engaddi, near the Dead Sea. Some authorities trace the Essenes back to the schools of Samuel the Prophet, but most agree on either an Egyptian or Oriental origin. Their methods of prayer, meditation, and fasting were not unlike those of the holy men of the Far East. Membership in the Essene Order was possible only after a year of probation. This Mystery school, like so many others, had three degrees, and only a few candidates passed successfully through all. The Essenes were divided into two distinct communities, one consisting of celibates and the other of members who were married.

From Ashmole's Order of the Garter.
The Order of the Garter was probably formed by Edward III in imitation of King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table, which institution was hopelessly scattered after the battle of Kamblan. The popular story to the effect that the Countess of Salisbury's garter was the original inspiration for the foundation of the order is untenable. The motto of the Order of the Carter is "Honi soit qui mal y pense" (Shamed be he who thinks evil of it). St. George is looked upon as the Patron of the order, for he typifies the higher nature of man overcoming the dragon of his own lower nature. While St. George is supposed to have lived during the third century, it is probable that he was a mythological personage borrowed from pagan mythology.

The Essenes never became merchants or entered into the commercial life of cities, but maintained themselves by agriculture and the raising of sheep for wool; also by such crafts as pottery and carpentry. In the Gospels and Apocrypha, Joseph, the father of Jesus, is referred to as both a carpenter and a potter. In the Apocryphal Gospel of Thomas and also that of Pseudo-Matthew, the child Jesus is described as making sparrows out of clay which came to life and flew away when he clapped his hands. The Essenes were regarded as among the better educated class of Jews and there are accounts of their having been chosen as tutors for the children of Roman officers stationed in Syria. The fact that so many artificers were listed among their number is responsible for the order's being considered as a progenitor of modern Freemasonry. The symbols of the Essenes include a number of builders' tools, and they were secretly engaged in the erection of a spiritual and philosophical temple to serve as a dwelling place for the living God.

Like the Gnostics, the Essenes were emanationists. One of their chief objects was the reinterpretation of the Mosaic Law according to certain secret spiritual keys preserved by them from the time of the founding of their order. It would thus follow that the Essenes were Qabbalists and, like several other contemporary sects flourishing in Syria, were awaiting the advent of the Messiah promised in the early Biblical writings. Joseph and Mary, the parents of Jesus, are believed to have been members of the Essene Order. Joseph was many years the senior of Mary. According to The Protevangelium, he was a widower with grown sons, and in the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew he refers to Mary as a little child less in age than his own grandchildren. In her infancy Mary was dedicated to the Lord, and the Apocryphal writings contain many accounts of miracles associated with her early childhood. When she was twelve years old, the priests held counsel as to the future of this child who had dedicated herself to the Lord, and the Jewish high priest, bearing the breastplate, entered into the Holy of Holies, where an angel appeared to him, saying, "Zacharias, go forth and summon the widowers of the people and let them take a rod apiece and she shall be the wife of him to whom the Lord shall show a sign." Going forth to meet the priests at the head of the widowers, Joseph collected the rods of all the other men and gave them into the keeping of the priests. Now Joseph's rod was but half as long as the others, and the priests on returning the rods to the widowers paid no attention to Joseph's but left it behind in the Holy of Holies. When all the other widowers had received back their wands, the priests awaited a sign from heaven, but none came. Joseph, because of his advanced age, did not: ask for the return of his rod, for to him it was inconceivable that he should be chosen. But an angel appeared to the high priest, ordering him to give back the short rod which lay unnoticed in the Holy of Holies. As the high priest handed the rod to Joseph, a white dove flew from the end of it and rested upon the head of the aged carpenter, and to him was given the child.

The editor of The Sacred Books and Early Literature of the East calls attention to the peculiar spirit with which the childhood of Jesus is treated in most of the Apocryphal books of the New Testament, particularly in one work attributed to the doubting Thomas, the earliest known Greek version of which dates from about A.D. 200: "The child Christ is represented almost as an imp, cursing and destroying those who annoy him." This Apocryphal work, calculated to inspire its readers with fear and trembling, was popular during the Middle Ages because it was in full accord with the cruel and persecuting spirit of mediæval Christianity. Like many other early sacred books, the book of Thomas was fabricated for two closely allied purposes: first, to outshine the pagans in miracle working; second, to inspire all unbelievers with the "fear of the Lord." Apocryphal writings of this sort have no possible basis in fact. At one time an asset, the "miracles" of Christianity have become its greatest liability. Supernatural phenomena, in a credulous age interpolated to impress the ignorant, in this century have only achieved the alienation of the intelligent.

In The Greek Gospel of Nicodemus it is declared that when Jesus was brought into the presence of Pilate the standards borne by the Roman guards bowed their tops in homage to him in spite of every effort made by the soldiers to prevent it. In The Letters of Pilate the statement also appears that Cæsar, being wroth at Pilate for executing a just man, ordered him to be decapitated. Praying for forgiveness, Pilate was visited by an angel of the Lord, who reassured the Roman governor by promising him that all Christendom should remember his name and that when Christ came the second time to judge His people he (Pilate) should come before Him as His witness.

Stories like the foregoing represent the incrustations that have attached themselves to the body of Christianity during the centuries. The popular mind itself has been the self-appointed guardian and perpetuator of these legends, bitterly opposing every effort to divest the faith of these questionable accumulations. While popular tradition often contains certain basic elements of truth, these elements are usually distorted out of all proportion. Thus, while the generalities of the story may be fundamentally true, the details are hopelessly erroneous. Of truth as of beauty it may be said that it is most adorned when unadorned. Through the mist of fantastic accounts which obscure the true foundation of the Christian faith is faintly visible to the discerning few a great and noble doctrine communicated to the world by a great and noble soul. Joseph and Mary, two devout and holy-minded souls, consecrated to the service of God and dreaming of the coming of a Messiah to serve Israel, obeyed the injunctions of the high priest of the Essenes to prepare a body for the coming of a great soul. Thus of an immaculate conception Jesus was born. By immaculate is meant clean, rather than supernatural.

Jesus was reared and educated by the Essenes and later initiated into the most profound of their Mysteries. Like all great initiates, He must travel in an easterly direction, and the silent years of His life no doubt were spent in familiarizing Himself with that secret teaching later to be communicated by Him to the world. Having consummated the ascetic practices of His order, He attained to the Christening. Having thus reunited Himself with His own spiritual source, He then went forth in the name of the One who has been crucified since before the worlds were and, gathering about Him disciples and apostles, He instructed them in that secret teaching which had been lost--in part, at least--from the doctrines of Israel. His fate is unknown, but in all probability He suffered that persecution which is the lot of those who seek to reconstruct the ethical, philosophical, or religious systems of their day.

To the multitudes Jesus spoke in parables; to His disciples He also spoke in parables, though of a more exalted and philosophic nature. Voltaire said that Plato should have been canonized by the Christian Church, for, being the first propounder of the Christos mystery, he contributed more to its fundamental doctrines than any other single individual. Jesus disclosed to His disciples that the lower world is under the control of a great spiritual being which had fashioned it according to the will of the Eternal Father. The mind of this great angel was both the mind of the world and also the worldly mind. So that men should not die of worldliness the Eternal Father sent unto creation the eldest and most exalted of His powers--the Divine Mind. This Divine Mind offered Itself as a living sacrifice and was broken up and eaten by the world. Having given Its spirit and Its body at a secret and sacred supper to the twelve manners of rational creatures, this Divine Mind became a part of every living thing. Man was thereby enabled to use this power as a bridge across which he might pass and attain immortality. He who lifted up his soul to this Divine Mind and served It was righteous and, having attained righteousness, liberated this Divine Mind, which thereupon returned again in glory to Its own divine source. And because He had brought to them this knowledge, the disciples said one to another: "Lo, He is Himself this Mind personified!"


According to legend, the body of the Christos (the Spiritual Law) was given into the keeping of two men, of whom the Gospels make but brief mention. These were Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, both devout men who, though not listed among the disciples or apostles of the Christos, were of all men chosen to be custodians of His sacred remains. Joseph of Arimathea was one of the initiated brethren and is called by A. E. Waite, in his A New Encyclopædia of Freemasonry, "the first bishop of Christendom." just as the temporal (or visible) power of the Holy See was established by St. Peter(?), so the spiritual (or invisible) body of the faith was entrusted to the "Secret Church of the Holy Grail" through apostolic succession from Joseph of Arimathea, into whose keeping had been given the perpetual symbols of the covenant--the ever-flowing cup and the bleeding spear.

From William Law's Translation of The Works of Jakob Böhme.
Jakob Böhme was born in the year 1575 in a village near Gorlitz, and died in Silesia in 1624. He had but little schooling and was apprenticed at an early age to a shoemaker. He later became a journeyman shoemaker, married and had four children One day while tending his master's shoe shop, a mysterious stranger entered who while he seemed to possess but little of this world's goods, appeared to be most wise and noble in spiritual attainment. The stranger asked the price of a pair of shoes, but young Böhme did not dare to name a figure, for fear that he would displease his master. The stranger insisted and Böhme finally placed a valuation which he was all that his master possibly could hope to secure for the shoes. The stranger immediately bought them and departed. A short distance down the street the mysterious stranger stopped and cried out in a loud voice, "Jakob, Jakob come forth." In amazement and fright, Böhme ran out of the house. The strange man fixed his yes upon the youth--great eyes which sparkled and seemed filled with divine light. He took the boy's right hand and addressed him as follows--"Jakob, thou art little, but shalt be great, and become another Man, such a one as at whom the World shall wonder. Therefore be pious, fear God, and reverence His Word. Read diligently the Holy Scriptures, wherein you have Comfort and Instruction. For thou ust endure much Misery and Poverty, and suffer Persecution, but be courageous and persevere, far God loves, and is gracious to thee." Deeply impressed by the prediction, Böhme became ever more intense in his search for truth. At last his labors were reworded. For seven days he remained in a mysterious condition during which time the mysteries of the invisible world were revealed to him. It has been said of Jakob Böhme that he revealed to all mankind the deepest secrets of alchemy. He died surrounded by his family, his last words being "Now I go hence into Paradise."

Presumably obeying instructions of St. Philip, Joseph of Arimathea, carrying the sacred relics, reached Britain after passing through many and varied hardships. Here a site was allotted to him for the erection of a church, and in this manner Glastonbury Abbey was founded. Joseph planted his staff in the earth and it took root, becoming a miraculous thorn bush which blossomed twice a year and which is now called the Glastonbury thorn. The end of the life of Joseph of Arimathea is unknown. By some it is believed that, like Enoch, he was translated; by others, that he was buried in Glastonbury Abbey. Repeated attempts have been made to find the Holy Grail, which many believe to have been hidden in a crypt beneath the ancient abbey. The Glastonbury chalice recently discovered and by the devout supposed to be the original Sangreal can scarcely be accepted as genuine by the critical investigator. Beyond its inherent interest as a relic, like the famous Antioch chalice it actually proves nothing when it is realized that practically little more was known about the Christian Mysteries eighteen centuries ago than can be discovered today.

The origin of the Grail myth, as of nearly every other element in the great drama, is curiously elusive. Sufficient foundation for it may be found in the folklore of the British Isles, which contains many accounts of magic cauldrons, kettles, cups, and drinking horns. The earliest Grail legends describe the cup as a veritable horn of plenty. Its contents were inexhaustible and those who served it never hungered or thirsted. One account states that no matter how desperately ill a person might be he could not die within eight days of beholding the cup. Some authorities believe the Holy Grail to be the perpetuation of the holy cup used in the rites of Adonis and Atys. A communion cup or chalice was used in several of the ancient Mysteries, and the god Bacchus is frequently symbolized in the form of a vase, cup, or urn. In Nature worship the ever-flowing Grail signifies the bounty of the harvest by which the life of man is sustained; like Mercury's bottomless pitcher, it is the inexhaustible fountain of natural re source. From the evidence at hand it would indeed be erroneous to ascribe a purely Christian origin to the Grail symbolism.

In the Arthurian Cycle appears a strange and mysterious figure--Merlin, the magician. In one of the legends concerning him it is declared that when Jesus was sent to liberate the world from the bondage of evil, the Adversary determined to send an Antichrist to undo His labors. The Devil therefore in the form of a horrible dragon overshadowed a young woman who had taken refuge in sanctuary to escape the evil which had dcstroyed her family. When Merlin, her child, was born he partook of the characteristics of his human mother and demon father. Merlin, however, did not serve the powers of darkness but, being converted to the true light, retained only two of the supernatural powers inherited from his father: prophecy and miracle working. The story of Merlin's infernal father must really be considered as an allegorical allusion to the fact that he was a "philosophical son" of the serpent or dragon, a title applied to all initiates of the Mysteries, who thus acknowledge Nature as their mortal mother and wisdom in the form of the serpent or dragon as their immortal Father. Confusion of the dragon and serpent with the powers of evil has resulted as an inevitable consequence from misinterpretation of the early chapters of Genesis.

Arthur while an infant was given into the keeping of Merlin, the Mage, and in his youth instructed by him in the secret doctrine and probably initiated into the deepest secrets of natural magic. With Merlin's assistance, Arthur became the leading general of Britain, a degree of dignity which has been confused with kingship. After Arthur had drawn the sword of Branstock from the anvil and thus established his divine right to leadership, Merlin further assisted him to secure from the Lady of the Lake the sacred sword Excalibur. After the establishment of the Round Table, having fulfilled his duty, Merlin disappeared, according to one account vanishing into the air, where he still exists as a shadow communicating at will with mortals; according to another, retiring of his own accord into a great stone vault which he sealed from within.

It is reasonably certain that many legends regarding Charlemagne were later associated with Arthur, who is most famous for establishing the Order of the Round Table at Winchester. Reliable information is not to be had concerning the ceremonies and initiatory rituals of the "Table Round." In one story the Table was endowed with the powers of expansion and contraction so that fifteen or fifteen hundred could be seated around it, according to whatever need might arise. The most common accounts fix the number of knights who could be seated at one time at the Round Table at either twelve or twenty-four. The twelve signified the signs of the zodiac and also the apostles of Jesus. The knights' names and also their heraldic arms were emblazoned upon their chairs. When twenty-four are shown seated at the Table, each of the twelve signs of the zodiac is divided into two parts--a light and a dark half--to signify the nocturnal and diurnal phases of each sign. As each sign of the zodiac is ascending for two hours every day, so the twenty-four knights represent the hours, the twenty-four elders before the throne in Revelation, and twenty-four Persian deities who represent the spirits of the divisions of the day. In the center of the Table was the symbolic rose of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the symbol of resurrection in that He "rose" from the dead. There was also a mysterious empty seat called the Siege Perilous in which none might sit except he who was successful in his quest for the Holy Grail.

In the personality of Arthur is to be found a new form of the ever-recurrent cosmic myth. The prince of Britain is the sun, his knights are the zodiac, and his flashing sword may be the sun's ray with which he fights and vanquishes the dragons of darkness or it may represent the earth's axis. Arthur's Round Table is the universe; the Siege Perilous the throne of the perfect man. In its terrestrial sense, Arthur was the Grand Master of a secret Christian-Masonic brotherhood of philosophic mystics who termed themselves Knights. Arthur received the exalted position of Grand Master of these Knights because he had faithfully accomplished the withdrawal of the sword (spirit) from the anvil of the base metals (his lower nature). As invariably happens, the historical Arthur soon was confused with the allegories and myths of his order until now the two are inseparable. After Arthur's death on the field of Kamblan his Mysteries ceased, and esoterically he was borne away on a black barge, as is so beautifully described by Tennyson in his Morte d'Arthur. The great sword Excalibur was also cast back into the waters of eternity--all of which is a vivid portrayal of the descent of cosmic night at the end of the Day of Universal Manifestation. The body of the historical Arthur was probably interred at Glastonbury Abbey, a building closely identified with the mystic rites of both the Grail and the Arthurian Cycle.

The mediæval Rosicrucians were undoubtedly in possession of the true secret of the Arthurian Cycle and the Grail legend, much of their symbolism having been incorporated into that order. Though the most obvious of all keys to the Christos mystery, the Grail legend has received the least consideration.

From Audsley's Handbook of Christian Symbolism.
The golden halos around the heads of pagan gods and Christian saints refer both to their being bathed in the glory of the sun and also to the fact that a spiritual sun within their own natures is radiating its glow-ray and surrounding them with celestial splendor. Whenever the nimbus is composed of straight radiant lines, it is solar in significance; whenever curved lines are used for beams, it partakes lunar nature; whenever they are united, it symbolizes a, harmonious blending of both principles. The circular nimbus is solar and masculine, while the lozenge-shaped nimbus, or vesica piscis, is lunar and feminine. The same symbolism is preserved in the circular and lozenge-shaped windows of cathedrals. There is a complete science contained in the shape, color, and adornments of the halos of saints and martyrs. A plain golden ring usually surrounds the head of a canonized saint, while God the Father and God the Son have a far more ornate aureole, usually adorned with a St. George Cross, a flowered cross, or a lilied cross, with only three of the arms visible.
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Re: The Secret Teachings of All Ages, by Manly P. Hall

Postby admin » Sat Jul 11, 2015 1:53 am

The Cross and the Crucifixion

ONE of the most interesting legends concerning the cross is that preserved in Aurea Legenda, by Jacobus de Vorgaine. The Story is to the effect that Adam, feeling the end of his life was near, entreated his son Seth to make a pilgrimage to the Garden of Eden and secure from the angel on guard at the entrance the Oil of Mercy which God had promised mankind. Seth did not know the way; but his father told him it was in an eastward direction, and the path would be easy to follow, for when Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of the Lord, upon the path which their feet had trod the grass had never grown.

Seth, following the directions of his father, discovered the Garden of Eden without difficulty. The angel who guarded the gate permitted him to enter, and in the midst of the garden Seth beheld a great tree, the branches of which reached up to heaven. The tree was in the form of a cross, and stood on the brink of a precipice which led downward into the depths of hell. Among the roots of the tree he saw the body of his brother Cain, held prisoner by the entwining limbs. The angel refused to give Seth the Oil of Mercy, but presented him instead with three seeds from the Tree of Life (some say the Tree of Knowledge). With these Seth returned to his father, who was so overjoyed that he did not desire to live longer. Three days later he died, and the three seeds were buried in his mouth, as the angel had instructed. The seeds became a sapling with three trunks in one, which absorbed into itself the blood of Adam, so that the life of Adam was in the tree. Noah dug up this tree by the roots and took it with him into the Ark. After the waters subsided, he buried the skull of Adam under Mount Calvary, and planted the tree on the summit of Mount Lebanon.

Moses beheld a visionary being in the midst of this tree (the burning bush) and from it cut the magical rod with which he was able to bring water out of a stone. But because he failed to call upon the Lord the second time he struck the rock, he was not permitted to carry the sacred staff into the Promised Land; so he planted it in the hills of Moab. After much searching, King David discovered the tree; and his son, Solomon, tried to use it for a pillar in his Temple, but his carpenters could not cut it so that it would fit; it was always either too long or too short. At last, disgusted, they cast it aside and used it for a bridge to connect Jerusalem with the surrounding hills. When the Queen of Sheba came to visit King Solomon she was expected to walk across this bridge. Instead, when she beheld the tree, she refused to put her foot upon it, but, after kneeling and praying, removed her sandals and forded the stream. This so impressed King Solomon that he ordered the log to be overlaid with golden places and placed above the door of his Temple. There it remained until his covetous grandson stole the gold, and buried the tree so that the crime would not be discovered.

From the ground where the tree was buried there immediately bubbled forth a spring of water, which became known as Bethesda. To it the sick from all Syria came to be healed. The angel of the pool became the guardian of the tree, and it remained undisturbed for many years. Eventually the log floated to the surface and was used as a bridge again, this time between Calvary and Jerusalem; and over it Jesus passed to be crucified. There was no wood on Calvary; so the tree was cut into two parts to serve as the cross upon which the Son of Man was crucified. The cross was set up at the very spot where the skull of Adam had been buried. Later, when the cross was discovered by the Empress Helena, the wood was found to be of four different varieties contained in one tree (representing the elements), and thereafter the cross continued to heal all the sick who were permitted to touch it.

The prevalent idea that the reverence for the cross is limited to the Christian world is disproved by even the most superficial investigation of its place in religious symbolism. The early Christians used every means possible to conceal the pagan origin of their symbols, doctrines, and rituals. They either destroyed the sacred books of other peoples among whom they settled, or made them inaccessible to students of comparative philosophy, apparently believing that in this way they could stamp out all record of the pre-Christian origin of their doctrines. In some cases the writings of various ancient authors were tampered with, passages of a compromising nature being removed or foreign material interpolated. The supposedly spurious passage in Josephus concerning Jesus is an example adduced to illustrate this proclivity.


Prior to the Christian Era seven hundred thousand of the most valuable books, written upon parchment, papyrus, vellum, and wax, and also tablets of stone, terra cotta, and wood, were gathered from all parts of the ancient world and housed in Alexandria, in buildings specially prepared for the purpose. This magnificent repository of knowledge was destroyed by a series of three fires. The parts that escaped the conflagration lighted by Cæsar to destroy the fleet in the harbor were destroyed about A.D. 389 by the Christians in obedience to the edict of Theodosius, who had ordered the destruction of the Serapeum, a building sacred to Serapis in which the volumes were kept. This conflagration is supposed to have destroyed the library that Marcus Antonius had presented to Cleopatra to compensate in part for that burned in the fire of the year 51.

Concerning this, H. P. Blavatsky, in Isis Unveiled, has written: "They [the Rabbis of Palestine and the wise men] say that not all the rolls and manuscripts, reported in history to have been burned by Cæsar, by the Christian mob, in 389, and by the Arab General Amru, perished as it is commonly believed; and the story they tell is the following: At the time of the contest for the throne, in 51 B. C., between Cleopatra and her brother Dionysius Ptolemy, the Bruckion, which contained over seven hundred thousand rolls all bound in wood and fire-proof parchment, was undergoing repairs and a great portion of the original manuscripts, considered among the most precious, and which were not duplicated, were stored away in the house of one of the librarians. * * *Several hours passed between the burning of the fleet, set on fire by Cæsar's order, and the moment when the first buildings situated near the harbor caught fire in their turn; and * * * the librarians, aided by several hundred slaves attached to the museum, succeeded in saving the most precious of the rolls." In all probability, the books which were saved lie buried either in Egypt or in India, and until they are discovered the modern world must remain in ignorance concerning many great philosophical and mystical truths. The ancient world more clearly understood these missing links--the continuity of the pagan Mysteries in Christianity.


In his article on the Cross and Crucifixion in the Encyclopædia Britannica, Thomas Macall Fallow casts much light on the antiquity of this ideograph. "The use of the cross as a religious symbol in pre-Christian times, and among non-Christian peoples, may probably be regarded as almost universal, and in very many cases it was connected with some form of nature worship."

From Berjeau's History of the Holy Cross.
(1) Adam directing Seth how to reach the Garden of Eden. (2) Seth placing the three seeds from the Tree of Life under the tongue of the dead Adam. (3) The Queen of Sheba, refusing to place her feet upon the sacred tree, forded the stream. (4) Placing the sacred tree over the door of Solomon's Temple. (5) The crucifixion of Christ upon a cross made from the wood of the holy tree. (6) Distinguishing the true cross from the other two by testing its power to raise a corpse to life.

Not only is the cross itself a familiar object in the art of all nations, but the veneration for it is an essential part of the religious life of the greater part of humanity. It is a common symbol among the American Indians--North, Central, and South. William W. Seymour states: "The Aztec goddess of rain bore a cross in her hand, and the Toltecs claimed that their deity, Quetzalcoatl, taught them the sign and ritual of the cross, hence his staff, or sceptre of power, resembled a crosier, and his mantle was covered with red crosses." (The Cross in Tradition, History and Art.)

The cross is also highly revered by the Japanese and Chinese. To the Pythagoreans the most sacred of all numbers was the 10, the symbol of which is an X, or cross. In both the Japanese and Chinese languages the character of the number 10 is a cross. The Buddhist wheel of life is composed of two crosses superimposed, and its eight points are still preserved to Christendom in the peculiarly formed cross of the Knights Templars, which is essentially Buddhistic. India has preserved the cross, not only in its carvings and paintings, but also in its architectonics; a great number of its temples--like the churches and cathedrals of Christendom--are raised from cruciform foundations.

On the mandalas of the Tibetans, heaven is laid out in the form of a cross, with a demon king at each of the four gates. A remarkable cross of great antiquity was discovered in the island caves of Elephanta in the harbor of Bombay. Crosses of various kinds were favorite motifs in the art of Chaldea, Phœnicia, Egypt, and Assyria. The initiates of the Eleusinian Mysteries of Greece were given a cross which they suspended about their necks on a chain, or cord, at the time of initiation. To the Rosicrucians, Alchemists, and Illuminati, the cross was the symbol of light, because each of the three letters L V X is derived from some part of the cross.


There are three distinct forms of the cross. The first is called the TAU (more correctly the TAV). It closely resembles the modern letter T, consisting of a horizontal bar resting on a vertical column, the two arms being of equal length. An oak tree cut off some feet above the ground and its upper part laid across the lower in this form was the symbol of the Druid god Hu. It is suspected that this symbol originated among the Egyptians from the spread of the horns of a bull or ram (Taurus or Aries) and the vertical line of its face. This is sometimes designated as the hammer cross, because if held by its vertical base it is not unlike a mallet or gavel. In one of the Qabbalistic Masonic legends, CHiram Abiff is given a hammer in the form of a TAU by his ancestor, Tubal-cain. The TAU cross is preserved to modern Masonry under the symbol of the T square. This appears to be the oldest form of the cross extant.

The TAU cross was inscribed on the forehead of every person admitted into the Mysteries of Mithras. When a king was initiated into the Egyptian Mysteries, the TAU was placed against his lips. It was tattooed upon the bodies of the candidates in some of the American Indian Mysteries. To the Qabbalist, the TAU stood for heaven and the Pythagorean tetractys. The Caduceus of Hermes was an outgrowth of the TAU cross. (See Albert Pike.)


The second type was that of a T, or TAU, cross surmounted by a circle, often foreshortened to the form of an upright oval. This was called by the ancients the Crux Ansata, or the cross of life . It was the key to the Mysteries of antiquity and it probably gave rise to the more modern story of St. Peter's golden key to heaven. In the Mysteries of Egypt the candidate passed through all forms of actual and imaginary dangers, holding above his head the Crux Ansata, before which the powers of darkness fell back abashed. The student is reminded of the words In hoc signo vinces. The TAU form of the cross is not unlike the seal of Venus, as Richard Payne Knight has noted. He states: "The cross in this form is sometimes observable on coins, and several of them were found in a temple of Serapis [the Serapeum], demolished at the general destruction of those edifices by the Emperor Theodosius, and were said by the Christian antiquaries of that time to signify the future life."

Augustus Le Plongeon, in his Sacred Mysteries Among the Mayas and Quiches, notes that the Crux Ansata, which he calls The Key to the Nile and the Symbol of Symbols, either in its complete form or as a simple TAU, was to be seen adorning the breasts of statues and bas-reliefs at Palenque, Copan, and throughout Central America. He notes that it was always associated with water; that among the Babylonians it was the emblem of the water gods; among the Scandinavians, of heaven and immortality; and among the Mayas, of rejuvenation and freedom from physical suffering.

Concerning the association of this symbol with the waters of life, Count Goblet d'Alviella, in his Migration of Symbols, calls attention to the fact that an instrument resembling the Crux Ansata and called the Nilometer was used by the ancient Egyptians for measuring and regulating the inundations of the river Nile. It is probable that this relationship to the Nile caused it to be considered the symbol of life, for Egypt depended entirely upon the inundations of this river for the irrigation necessary to insure sufficient crops. In the papyrus scrolls the Crux Ansata is shown issuing from the mouths of Egyptian kings when they pardoned enemies, and it was buried with them to signify the immortality of the soul. It was carried by many of the gods and goddesses and apparently signified their divine benevolence and life-giving power. The Cairo Museum contains a magnificent collection of crosses of many shapes, sizes, and designs, proving that they were a common symbol among the Egyptians.


The third form of the cross is the familiar Roman or Greek type, which is closely associated with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, although it is improbable that the cross used resembled its more familiar modern form. There are unlimited sub-varieties of crosses, differing in the relative proportions of their vertical and horizontal sections. Among the secret orders of different generations we find compounded crosses, such as the triple TAU in the Royal Arch of Freemasonry and the double and triple crosses of both Masonic and Roman Catholic symbolism.

To the Christian the cross has a twofold significance. First, it is the symbol of the death of his Redeemer, through whose martyrdom he feels that he partakes of the glory of God; secondly, it is the symbol of humility, patience, and the burden of life. It is interesting that the cross should be both a symbol of life and a symbol of death. Many nations deeply considered the astronomical aspect of religion, and it is probable that the Persians, Greeks, and Hindus looked upon the cross as a symbol of the equinoxes and the solstices, in the belief that at certain seasons of the year the sun was symbolically crucified upon these imaginary celestial angles.

The fact that so many nations have regarded their Savior as a personification of the sun globe is convincing evidence that the cross must exist as an astronomical element in pagan allegory. Augustus Le Plongeon believed that the veneration for the cross was partly due to the rising of a constellation called the Southern Cross, which immediately preceded the annual rains, and as the natives of those latitudes relied wholly upon these rains to raise their crops, they viewed the cross as an annual promise of the approaching storms, which to them meant life.

There are four basic elements (according to both ancient philosophy and modern science), and the ancients represented them by the four arms of the cross, placing at the end of each arm a mysterious Qabbalistic creature to symbolize the power of one of these elements. Thus, they symbolized the element of earth by a bull; water by a scorpion, a serpent, or an eagle; fire by a lion; and air by a human head surrounded by wings. It is significant that the four letters inscribed upon parchment (some say wood) and fastened to the top of the cross at the time of the crucifixion should be the first letters of four Hebrew words which stand for the four elements: "Iammin, the sea or water; Nour, fire; Rouach, the air; and Iebeschah, the dry earth." (See Morals and Dogma, by Albeit Pike.)

That a cross can be formed by opening or unfolding the surfaces of a cube has caused that symbol to be associated with the earth. Though a cross within a circle has long been regarded as a sign of the planet Earth, it should really be considered as the symbol of the composite element earth, since it is composed of the four triangles of the elements. For thousands of years the cross has been identified with the plan of salvation for humanity. The elements--salt, sulphur, mercury, and Azoth--used in making the Philosopher's Scone in Alchemy, were often symbolized by a cross. The cross of the four cardinal angles also had its secret significance, and Masonic parties of three still go forth to the four cardinal points of the compass in search of the Lost Word.

That the Crux Ansata migrated to many parts of the earth is proved by the fact that it was sculptured upon the back of at least one of the mysterious stone figures found on Easter Island in the south Pacific. The statue in question--one of the smallest in the group--was brought to London by a sailing ship, and is now in the British Museum; the Crux Ansata on the reverse side is plainly visible.

The material of which the cross was formed was looked upon as being an essential element in its symbolism. Thus, a golden cross symbolized illumination; a silver cross, purification; a cross of base metals, humiliation; a cross of wood, aspiration. The fact that among many nations it was customary to spread the arms in prayer has influenced the symbolism of the cross, which, because of its shape, has come to be regarded as emblematic of the human body. The four major divisions of the human structure--bones, muscles, nerves, and arteries--are considered to have contributed to the symbolism of the cross. This is especially due to the fact that the spinal nerves cross at the base of the spine, and is a reminder that "Our Lord was crucified also in Egypt."

Man has four vehicles (or mediums) of expression by means of which the spiritual Ego contacts the external universe: the physical nature, the vital nature, the emotional nature, and the mental nature. Each of these partakes in principle of one of the primary elements, and the four creatures assigned to them by the Qabbalists caused the cross to be symbolic of the compound nature of man.


Saviors unnumbered have died for the sins of man and by the hands of man, and through their deaths have interceded in heaven for the souls of their executioners. The martyrdom of the God-Man and the redemption of the world through His blood has been an essential tenet of many great religions. Nearly all these stories can be traced to sun worship, for the glorious orb of day is the Savior who dies annually for every creature within his universe, but year after year rises again victorious from the tomb of winter. Without doubt the doctrine of the crucifixion is based upon the secret traditions of the Ancient Wisdom; it is a constant reminder that the divine nature of man is perpetually crucified upon the animal organism. Certain of the pagan Mysteries included in the ceremony of initiation the crucifixion of the candidate upon a cross, or the laying of his body upon a cruciform altar. It has been claimed that Apollonius of Tyana (the Antichrist) was initiated into the Arcanum of Egypt in the Great Pyramid, where he hung upon a cross until unconscious and was then laid in the tomb (the coffer) for three days. While his body was unconscious, his soul was thought to pass into the realms of the immortals (the place of death) After it had vanquished death (by recognizing that life is eternal) it returned again to the body, which then rose from the coffer, after which he was hailed as a brother by the priests, who believed that he had returned from the land of the dead. This concept was, in substance, the teaching of the Mysteries.


The list of the deathless mortals who suffered for man that he might receive the boon of eternal life is an imposing one. Among those connected historically or allegorically with a crucifixion are Prometheus, Adonis, Apollo, Arys, Bacchus, Buddha, Christna, Horus, Indra, Ixion, Mithras, Osiris, Pythagoras, Quetzalcoatl, Semiramis, and Jupiter. According to the fragmentary accounts extant, all these heroes gave their lives to the service of humanity and, with one or two exceptions, died as martyrs for the cause of human progress. In many mysterious ways the manner of their death has been designedly concealed, but it is possible that most of them were crucified upon a cross or tree. The first friend of man, the immortal Prometheus, was crucified on the pinnacle of Mount Caucasus, and a vulture was placed over his liver to torment him throughout eternity by clawing and rending his flesh with its talons. Prometheus disobeyed the edict of Zeus by bringing fire and immortality to man, so for man he suffered until the coming of Hercules released him from his ages of torment.

Concerning the crucifixion of the Persian Mithras, J. P. Lundy has written: "Dupuis tells us that Mithra was put to death by crucifixion, and rose again on the 25th of March. In the Persian Mysteries the body of a young man, apparently dead, was exhibited, which was feigned to be restored to life. By his sufferings he was believed to have worked their salvation, and on this account he was called their Savior. His priests watched his tomb to the midnight of the vigil of the 25th of March, with loud cries, and in darkness; when all at once the light burst forth from all parts, the priest cried,

In some cases, as in that of the Buddha, the crucifixion mythos must be taken in an allegorical rather than a literal sense, for the manner of his death has been recorded by his own disciples in the Book of the Great Decease. However, the mere fact that the symbolic reference to death upon a tree has been associated with these heroes is sufficient to prove the universality of the crucifixion story.

The East Indian equivalent of Christ is the immortal Christna, who, sitting in the forest playing his flute, charmed the birds and beasts by his music. It is supposed that this divinely inspired Savior of humanity was crucified upon a tree by his enemies, but great care has been taken to destroy any evidence pointing in that direction. Louis Jacolliot, in his book The Bible in India, thus describes the death of Christna: "Christna understood that the hour had come for him to quit the earth, and return to the bosom of him who had sent him. Forbidding his disciples to follow him, he went, one day, to make his ablutions on the banks of the Ganges * * *. Arriving at the sacred river, he plunged himself three times therein, then, kneeling, and looking to heaven, he prayed, expecting death. In this position he was pierced with arrows by one of those whose crimes he had unveiled, and who, hearing of his journey to the Ganges, had, with generation. a strong troop, followed with the design of assassinating him * * *. The body of the God-man was suspended to the branches of a tree by his murderer, that it might become the prey of vultures. News of the death having spread, the people came in a crowd conducted by Ardjouna, the dearest of the disciples of Christna, to recover his sacred remains. But the mortal frame of the redeemer had disappeared--no doubt it had regained the celestial abodes * * * and the tree to which it had been attached had become suddenly covered with great red flowers and diffused around it the sweetest perfume." Other accounts of the death of Christna declare that he was tied to a cross-shaped tree before the arrows were aimed at him.

The TAU Cross was the sign which the Lord told the people of Jerusalem to mark on their foreheads, as related by the Prophet Ezekiel. It was also placed as a symbol of liberation upon those charged with crimes but acquitted.

Both the cross and the circle were phallic symbols, for the ancient world venerated the generative powers of Nature as being expressive of the creative attributes of the Deity. The Crux Ansata, by combining the masculine TAU with the feminine oval, exemplified the principles of generation.

From Historia Deorum Fatidicorum.
Concerning Apollonius and his remarkable Powers, Francis Barrett, in his Biographia Antiqua, after describing how Apollonius quelled a riot without speaking a word, continues: "He traveled much, professed himself a legislator; understood all languages, without having learned them; he had the surprising faculty of knowing what was transacted at an immense distance, and at the time the Emperor Domitian was stabbed, Apollonius being at a vast distance and standing in the market-place of the city, exclaimed, 'Strike! strike!--'tis time, the tyrant is no more.' He understood the language of birds; he condemned dancing and other diversions of that sort. he recommended charity and piety; he traveled over almost all the countries of the world; and he died at a very great age."

The existence in Moor's The Hindu Pantheon of a plate of Christna with nail wounds in his hands and feet, and a plate in Inman's Ancient Faiths showing an Oriental deity with what might well be a nail hole in one of his feet, should be sufficient motive for further investigation of this subject by those of unbiased minds. Concerning the startling discoveries which can be made along these lines, J. P. Lundy in his Monumental Christianity presents the following information: "Where did the Persians get their notion of this prophecy as thus interpreted respecting Christ, and His saving mercy and love displayed on the cross? Both by symbol and actual crucifix we see it on all their monuments. If it came from India, how did it get there, except from the one common and original centre of all primitive and pure religion? There is a most extraordinary plate, illustrative of the whole subject, which representation I believe to be anterior to Christianity. It is copied from Moor's Hindu Pantheon, not as a curiosity, but as a most singular monument of the crucifixion. I do not venture to give it a name, other than that of a crucifixion in space. * * * Can it be the Victim-Man, or the Priest and Victim both in one, of the Hindu mythology, who offered himself a sacrifice before the worlds were? Can it be Plato's second God who impressed himself on the universe in the form of the cross? Or is it his divine man who would be scourged, tormented, fettered, have his eyes burnt out; and lastly, having suffered all manner of evils, would be crucified? Plato learned his theology in Egypt and the East, and must have known of the crucifixion of Krishna, Buddha, Mithra [et al]. At any rate, the religion of India had its mythical crucified victim long anterior to Christianity, as a type of the real one [Pro Deo et Ecclesia!], and I am inclined to think that we have it in this remarkable plate."

The modern world has been misled in its attitude towards the so-called pagan deities, and has come to view them in a light entirely different from their true characters and meanings. The ridicule and slander heaped by Christendom upon Christna and Bacchus are excellent examples of the persecution of immortal principles by those who have utterly failed to sense the secret meaning of the allegories. Who was the crucified man of Greece, concerning whom vague rumors have been afloat? Higgins thinks it was Pythagoras, the true story of whose death was suppressed by early Christian authors because it conflicted with their teachings. Was it true also that the Roman legionaries carried on the field of battle standards upon which were crosses bearing the crucified Sun Man?


One of the most remarkable of the crucified World Saviors is the Central American god of the winds, or the Sun, Quetzalcoatl, concerning whose activities great secrecy was maintained by the Indian priests of Mexico and Central America. This strange immortal, whose name means feathered snake, appears to have come out of the sea, bringing with him a mysterious cross. On his garments were embellished clouds and red crosses. In his honor, great serpents carved from stone were placed in different parts of Mexico.

The cross of Quetzalcoatl became a sacred symbol among the Mayas, and according to available records the Maya Indian angels had crosses of various pigments painted on their foreheads. Similar crosses were placed over the eyes of those initiated into their Mysteries. When Cortez arrived in Mexico, he brought with him the cross. Recognizing this, the natives believed that he was Quetzalcoatl returned, for the latter had promised to come back in the infinite future and redeem his people.

In Anacalypsis, Godfrey Higgins throws some light on the cross and its symbolism in America: "The Incas had a cross of very fine marble, or beautiful jasper, highly polished, of one piece, three-fourths of an ell in length, and three fingers in width and thickness. It was kept in a sacred chamber of a palace, and held in great veneration. The Spaniards enriched this cross with gold and jewels, and placed it in the cathedral of Cuzco. Mexican temples are in the form of a cross, and face the four cardinal points. Quexalcoatl is represented in the paintings of the Codex Borgianus nailed to the cross. Sometimes even the two thieves are there crucified with him. In Vol. II. plate 75, the God is crucified in the Heavens, in a circle of nineteen figures, the number of the Metonic cycle. A serpent is depriving him of the organs of generation. In the Codex Borgianus, (pp. 4, 72, 73, 75,) the Mexican God is represented crucified and nailed to the cross, and in another place hanging to it, with a cross in his hands. And in one instance, where the figure is not merely outlined, the cross is red, the clothes are coloured, and the face and hands quite black. If this was the Christianity of the German Nestorius, how came he to teach that the crucified Savior was black? The name of the God who was crucified was Quexalcoatl.

The crucifixion of the Word in space, the crucifixion of the dove often seen in religious symbolism--both of these are reminders of pagan overshadowing. The fact that a cross is formed by the spread wings of a bird in relation to its body is no doubt one of the reasons why the Egyptians used a bird to symbolize the immortal nature of man, and often show it hovering over the mummified body of the dead and carrying in one of its claws the sign of life and in the other the sign of breath.


The three nails of the Passion have found their way into the symbolism of many races and faiths. There are many legends concerning these nails. One of these is to the effect that originally there were four nails, but one was dematerialized by a Hebrew Qabbalist and magician just as they were about to drive it through the foot of the Master. Hence it was necessary to cross the feet. Another legend relates that one of the nails was hammered into a crown and that it still exists as the imperial diadem of a European house. Still another story has it that the bit on the bridle of Constantine's horse was a Passion nail. It is improbable, however, that the nails were made of iron, for at that time it was customary to use sharpened wooden pegs. Hargrave Jennings, in his Rosicrucians, Their Rites and Mysteries, calls attention to the fact that the mark or sign used in England to designate royal property and called the broad arrow is nothing more nor less than the three nails of the crucifixion grouped together, and that by placing them point to point the ancient symbol of the Egyptian TAU cross is formed.

In his Ancient Freemasonry, Frank C. Higgins reproduces the Masonic apron of a colossal stone figure at Quirigua, Guatemala. The central ornament of the apron is the three Passion nails, arranged exactly like the British broad arrow. That three nails should be used to crucify the Christ, three murderers to kill CHiram Abiff, and three wounds to slay Prince Coh, the Mexican Indian Osiris, is significant.

C. W. King, in his Gnostics and Their Remains, thus describes a Gnostic gem: "The Gnostic Pleroma, or combination of all the Æons [is] expressed by the outline of a man holding a scroll * * *. The left hand is formed like three bent spikes or nails; unmistakably the same symbol that Belus often holds in his extended hand on the Babylonian cylinders, afterwards discovered by the Jewish Cabalists in the points of the letter Shin, and by the mediæval mystics in o the Three Nails of the Cross." From this point Hargrave Jennings continues King's speculations, noting the resemblance of the nail to an obelisk, or pillar, and that the Qabbalistic value of the Hebrew letter Shin, or Sin, is 300, namely, 100 for each spike.

The Passion nails are highly important symbols, especially when it is realized that, according to the esoteric systems of culture, there are certain secret centers of force in the palms of the hands and in the soles of the feet.

The driving of the nails and the flow of blood and water from the wounds were symbolic of certain secret philosophic practices of the Temple. Many of the Oriental deities have mysterious symbols on the hands and feet. The so-called footprints of Buddha are usually embellished with a magnificent sunburst at the point where the nail pierced the foot of Christ.

In his notes on the theology of Jakob Böhme, Dr. Franz Hartmann thus sums up the mystic symbolism of the crucifixion: "The cross represents terrestrial life, and the crown of thorns the sufferings of the soul within the elementary body, but also the victory of the spirit over the elements of darkness. The body is naked, to indicate that the candidate for immortality must divest himself of all desires for terrestrial things. The figure is nailed to the cross, which symbolizes the death and surrender of the self-will, and that it should not attempt to accomplish anything by its own power, but merely serve as an instrument wherein the Divine will is executed. Above the head are inscribed the letters: I. N. R. J. whose most important meaning is: In Nobis Regnat Jesus (Within ourselves reigns Jesus). But this signification of this inscription can be practically known only to those who have actually died relatively to the world of desires, and risen above the temptation for personal existence; or, to express it in other words, those who have become alive in Christ, and in whom thus the kingdom of Jesus (the holy love-will issuing from the heart of God) has been established." One of the most interesting interpretations of the crucifixion allegory is that which identifies the man Jesus with the personal consciousness of the individual. It is this personal consciousness that conceives of and dwells in the sense of separateness, and before the aspiring soul can be reunited with the ever-present and all-pervading Father this personality must be sacrificed that the Universal Consciousness may be liberated.

(From the Codex Borgianus.)
From Kingsborough's Antiquities of Mexico.
Lord Kingsborough writes: "May we not refer to the seventy-third page of the Borgian MS., which represents Quexalcoatl both crucified, and as it were cut in pieces for the cauldron, and with equal reason demand, whether anyone can help thinking that the Jews of the New World (Lord Kingsborough sought to prove that the Mexicans were descendants of the Jews] applied to their Messiah not only all the prophecies contained in the Old Testament relating to Christ, but likewise many of the incidents recorded of him in the Gospels."

From Higgins' Anacalypsis.
Of this remarkable Oriental drawing, J. P. Lundy has written:----It looks like a Christian crucifix in many respects, and in some others it does not. The drawing, attitude, and the nail-marks in hands and feet, indicate a Christian origin; while the Parthian coronet of seven points, the absence of the wood and of the usual inscription, and the rays of glory above seem to point to some Christian origin. Can it be the Victim, Man, or the Priest and Victim both in one, of the Hindu mythology, who offered himself a sacrifice before the worlds were?"
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Re: The Secret Teachings of All Ages, by Manly P. Hall

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The Mystery of the Apocalypse

THE presence of the Temple of Diana at Ephesus marked that city as sacred to the Mystery religion, for the Seven Wonders of the ancient world were erected to indicate the repositories of recondite knowledge. Of Ephesus, H. P. Blavatsky writes:

"It was a focus of the universal 'secret' doctrines; the weird laboratory whence, fashioned in elegant Grecian phraseology, sprang the quintessence of Buddhistic, Zoroastrian, and Chaldean philosophy. Artemis, the gigantic concrete symbol of theosophico-pantheistic abstractions, the great mother Multimamma, androgyne and patroness of the 'Ephesian writings,' was conquered by Paul; but although the zealous converts of the apostles pretended to burn all their books on 'curious arts, τα περιεργα, enough of these remained for them to study when their first zeal had cooled off." (See Isis Unveiled.)

Being a great center of pagan learning, Ephesus has been the locale for many early Christian myths. The assertion has been made that it was the last domicile of the Virgin Mary; also that the tomb of St. John the Divine was located there. According to legend, St. John did not depart from this life in the usual manner but, selecting his vault, entered it while still alive, and closing the entrance behind him, vanished forever from mortal sight. A rumor was current in ancient Ephesus that St. John would sleep in his tomb until the return of the Savior, and that when the apostle turned over on his sepulchral couch the earth above moved like the coverlets of a bed.

Subjected to more criticism than any other book now incorporated in the New Testament, the Apocalypse--popularly accredited to St. John the Divine--is by far the most important but least understood of the Gnostic Christian writings. Though Justin Martyr declared the Book of Revelation to have been written by "John, one of Christ's apostles," its authorship was disputed as early as the second century after Christ. In the third century these contentions became acute and even Dionysius of Alexandria and Eusebius attacked the Johannine theory, declaring that both the Book of Revelation and the Gospel according to St. John were written by one Cerinthus, who borrowed the name of the great apostle the better to foist his own doctrines upon the Christians. Later Jerome questioned the authorship of the Apocalypse and during the Reformation his objections were revived by Luther and Erasmus. The once generally accepted notion that the Book of Revelation was the actual record of a "mystical experience" occurring to St. John while that seer was an exile in the Isle of Parmos is now regarded with disfavor by more critical scholars. Other explanations have therefore been advanced to account for the symbolism permeating the volume and the original motive for its writing. The more reasonable of these theories may be summed up as follows:

First, upon the weight of evidence furnished by its own contents the Book of Revelation may well be pronounced a pagan writing--one of the sacred books of the Eleusinian or Phrygian Mysteries. As a corollary, the real author of a work setting forth the profundities of Egyptian and Greek mysticism must have been an initiate himself and consequently obligated to write only in the symbolic language of the Mysteries.

Second, it is possible that the Book of Revelation was written to reconcile the seeming discrepancies between the early Christian and pagan religious philosophies. When the zealots of the primitive Christian Church sought to Christianize pagandom, the pagan initiates retorted with a powerful effort to paganize Christianity. The Christians failed but the pagans succeeded. With the decline of paganism the initiated pagan hierophants transferred their base of operations to the new vehicle of primitive Christianity, adopting the symbols of the new cult to conceal those eternal verities which are ever the priceless possession of the wise. The Apocalypse shows clearly the resultant fusion of pagan and Christian symbolism and thus bears irrefutable evidence of the activities of these initiated minds operating through early Christianity.

Third, the theory has been advanced that the Book of Revelation represents the attempt made by the unscrupulous members of a certain religious order to undermine the Christian Mysteries by satirizing their philosophy. This nefarious end they hoped to attain by showing the new faith to be merely a restatement of the ancient pagan doctrines, by heaping ridicule upon Christianity, and by using its own symbols toward its disparagement. For example, the star which fell to earth (Rev. viii. 10-11) could be construed to mean the Star of Bethlehem, and the bitterness of that star (called Wormwood and which poisoned mankind) could signify the "false" teachings of the Christian Church. While the last theory has gained a certain measure of popularity, the profundity of the Apocalypse leads the discerning reader to the inevitable conclusion that this is the least plausible of the three hypotheses. To those able to pierce the veil of its symbolism, the inspired source of the document requires no further corroborative evidence.

In the final analysis, true philosophy can be limited by neither creed nor faction; in fact it is incompatible with every artificial limitation of human thought. The question of the pagan or Christian origin of the Book of Revelation is, consequently, of little importance. The intrinsic value of the book lies in its magnificent epitome of the Universal Mystery--an observation which led St. Jerome to declare that it is susceptible of seven entirely different interpretations. Untrained in the reaches of ancient thought, the modem theologian cannot possibly cope with the complexities of the Apocalypse, for to him this mystic writing is but a phantasmagoria the divine inspiration of which he is sorely tempted to question. In the limited space here available it is possible to sketch but briefly a few of the salient features of the vision of the seer of Patmos. A careful consideration of the various pagan Mysteries will assist materially also in filling the inevitable gaps in this abridgment.

In the opening chapter of the Apocalypse, St. John describes the Alpha and Omega who stood in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks. Surrounded by his flaming planetary regents, this Sublime One thus epitomizes in one impressive and mysterious figure the entire sweep of humanity's evolutionary growth--past, present, and future.

"The first stages of man's earthly development," writes Dr. Rudolph Steiner, "ran their course at a period when the earth was still 'fiery'; and the first human incarnations were formed out of the element of fire; at the end of his earthly career man will himself radiate his inner being outwards creatively by the force of the element of fire. This continuous development from the beginning to the end of the earth reveals itself to the 'seer,' when he sees on the astral plane the archetype of evolving man. * * * The beginning of earthly evolution stands forth in the fiery feet, its end in the fiery countenance, and the complete power of the 'creative word,' to be finally won, is seen in the fiery source coming out of the mouth." (See Occult Seals and Columns.)

From Jacob Behmen's Works.
Before the throne of God was the crystal sea representing the Schamayim, or the living waters which are above the heavens. Before the throne also were four creatures--a bull, a lion, an eagle, and a man. These represented the four corners of creation and the multitude of eyes with which they were covered are the stars of the firmament. The twenty-four elders have the same significance as the priests gathered around the statue of Ceres in the Greater Eleusinian Rite and also the Persian Genii, or gods of the hours of the day, who, casting away their crowns, glorify the Holy One. As symbolic of the divisions of time, the elders adore the timeless and enduring Spirit in the midst of them.

In his Restored New Testament, James Morgan Pryse traces the relationship of the various parts of the Alpha and Omega to the seven sacred planets of the ancients. To quote:

"The Logos-figure described is a composite picture of the seven sacred planets: he has the snowy-white hair of Kronos ('Father Time'), the blazing eyes of 'wide-seeing' Zeus, the sword of Arcs, the shining face of Helios, and the chiton and girdle of Aphrodite; his feet are of mercury, the metal sacred to Hermes, and his voice is like the murmur of the ocean's waves (the 'many waters'), alluding to Selene, the Moon-Goddess of the four seasons and of the waters."

The seven stars carried by this immense Being in his right hand are the Governors of the world; the flaming sword issuing from his mouth is the Creative Fiat, or Word of Power, by which the illusion of material permanence is slain. Here also is represented, in all his symbolic splendor, the hierophant of the Phrygian Mysteries, his various insignia emblematic of his divine attributes. Seven priests bearing lamps are his attendants and the stars carried in his hand are the seven schools of the Mysteries whose power he administers. As one born again out of spiritual darkness, into perfect wisdom, this archimagus is made to say: "I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forever more, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death."

In the second and third chapters St. John delivers to the "seven churches which are in Asia" the injunctions received by him from the Alpha and Omega. The churches are here analogous to the rungs of a Mithraic ladder, and John, being "in the spirit," ascended through the orbits of the seven sacred planets until he reached the inner surface of the Empyrean.

"After the soul of the prophet," writes the anonymous author of Mankind: Their Origin and Destiny, "in his ecstatic state has passed in its rapid flight through the seven spheres, from the sphere of the moon to that of Saturn, or from the planet which corresponds to Cancer, the gate of men, to that of Capricorn, which is the gate of the gods, a new gate opens to him in the highest heaven, and in the zodiac, beneath which the seven planets revolve; in a word, in the firmament, or that which the ancients called crystallinum primum, or the crystal heaven."

When related to the Eastern system of metaphysics, these churches represent the chakras, or nerve ganglia, along the human spine, the "door in heaven" being the brahmarandra, or point in the crown of the skull (Golgotha), through which the spinal spirit fire passes to liberation. The church of Ephesus corresponds to the muladhara, or sacral ganglion, and the other churches to the higher ganglia according to the order given in Revelation. Dr. Steiner discovers a relationship between the seven churches and the divisions of the Aryan race. Thus, the church of Ephesus stands for the Arch-Indian branch; the church of Smyrna, the Arch-Persians; the church of Pergamos, the Chaldean-Egyptian-Semitic; the church of Thyatira, the Grecian-Latin-Roman; the church of Sardis, the Teuton-Anglo-Saxon; the church of Philadelphia, the Slavic; and the church of Laodicea, the Manichæan. The seven churches also signify the Greek vowels, of which Alpha and Omega are the first and the last. A difference of opinion exists as to the order in which the seven planers should be related to the churches. Some proceed from the hypothesis that Saturn represents the church of Ephesus; but from the fact that this city was sacred to the moon goddess and also that the sphere of the moon is the first above that of the earth, the planets obviously should ascend in their ancient order from the moon to Saturn. From Saturn the soul would naturally ascend through the door in the Empyrean.

In the fourth and fifth chapters St. John describes the throne of God upon which sat the Holy One "which was and is, and is to come." About the throne were twenty-four lesser seats upon which sat twenty-four elders arrayed in white garments and wearing crowns of gold. "And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God." He who sat upon the throne held in His right hand a book sealed with seven seals which no man in heaven or earth had been found worthy to open. Then appeared a Lamb (Aries, the first and chief of the zodiacal signs) which had been slain, having seven horns (rays) and seven eyes (lights). The Lamb took the book from the right hand of Him that sat upon the throne and the four beasts and all the elders fell down and worshiped God and the Lamb. During the early centuries of the Christian Church the lamb was universally recognized as the symbol of Christ, and not until after the fifth synod of Constantinople (the "Quinisext Synod," A.D. 692) was the figure of the crucified man substituted for that of Agnus Dei. As shrewdly noted by one writer on the subject, the use of a lamb is indicative of the Persian origin of Christianity, for the Persians were the only people to symbolize the first sign of the zodiac by a lamb.

From Klauber's Historiae Biblicae Veteris et Novi Testamenti.
In the central foreground, St. John the Divine is kneeling before the apparition of the Alpha and Omega standing in the midst of the seven lights and surrounded by an aureole of flames and smoke. In the heavens above the twenty-four elders with their harps and censers bow before the throne of the Ancient One, from whose hand the Lamb is taking the book sealed with seven seals. The seven spirit, of God, in the form of cups from which issue tongues of fire, surround the head of the Ancient One, and the four beasts (the cherubim) kneel at the corners of His throne. In the upper left-hand corner are shown the seven angels bearing the trumpets and also the altar of God and the angel with the censer. In the upper right are the spirits of the winds; below them is the virgin clothed wit h the sun, to whom wings were given that she might fly into the wilderness. To her right is a scene representing the spirits of God hurling the evil serpent into the bottomless pit. At the lower left St. John is shown receiving from the angelic figure, whose legs are pillars of fire and whose face is a shining sun, the little book which he is told to eat if he would understand the mysteries of the spiritual life.
The plate also contains a number of other symbols, including episodes from the destruction of the world and the crystal sea pouring forth from the throne of God. By the presentation of such symbolic conceptions in the form of rituals and dramatic episodes the secrets of the Phrygian Mysteries were perpetuated. When these sacred pageantries were thus revealed to all mankind indiscriminately and each human soul was appointed it own initiator into the holy rite, of the philosophic life, a boon was conferred upon humanity which cannot be fully appreciated until men and women have grown more responsive to those mysteries which are of the spirit.

Because a lamb was the sin offering of the ancient pagans, the early mystic Christians considered this animal as an appropriate emblem of Christ, whom they regarded as the sin offering of the world. The Greeks and the Egyptians highly venerated the lamb or ram, often placing its horns upon the foreheads of their gods. The Scandinavian god Thor carried a hammer made from a pair of ram's horns. The lamb is used in preference to the ram apparently because of its purity and gentleness; also, since the Creator Himself was symbolized by Aries, His Son would consequently be the little Ram or Lamb. The lambskin apron worn by the Freemasons over that part of the body symbolized by Typhon or Judas represents that purification of the generative processes which is a prerequisite to true spirituality. In this allegory the Lamb signifies the purified candidate, its seven horns representing the divisions of illuminated reason and its seven eyes the chakras, or perfected sense-perceptions.

The sixth to eleventh chapters inclusive are devoted to an account of the opening of the seven seals on the book held by the Lamb. When the first seal was broken, there rode forth a man on a white horse wearing a crown and holding in his hand a bow. When the second seal was broken, there rode forth a man upon a red horse and in his hand was a great sword. When the third seal was broken there rode forth a man upon a black horse and with a pair of balances in his hand. And when the fourth seal was broken there rode forth Death upon a pale horse and hell followed after him. The four horsemen of the Apocalypse may be interpreted to signify the four main divisions of human life. Birth is represented by the rider on the white horse who comes forth conquering and to conquer; the impetuosity of youth by the rider on the red horse who took peace from the earth; maturity by the rider on the black horse who weighs all things in the scales of reason; and death by the rider on the pale horse who was given power over a fourth part of the earth. In the Eastern philosophy these horsemen signify the four yugas, or ages, of the world which, riding forth at: their appointed times, become for a certain span the rulers of creation.

Commenting on the twenty-fourth allocution of Chrysostom, in The Origin of all Religious Worship, Dupuis notes that each of the four elements was represented by a horse bearing the name of the god "who is set over the element." The first horse, signifying the fire ether, was called Jupiter and occupied the highest place in the order of the elements. This horse was winged, very fleet, and, describing the largest circle, encompassed all the others. It shone with the purest light, and on its body were the images of the sun, the moon, the stars, and all the bodies in the ethereal regions. The second horse, signifying the element of air, was Juno. It was inferior to the horse of Jupiter and described a smaller circle; its color was black but that part exposed to the sun became luminous, thus signifying the diurnal and nocturnal conditions of air. The third horse, symbolizing the element of water, was sacred to Neptune. It was of heavy gait and described a very small circle. The fourth horse, signifying the static element of earth, described as immovable and champing its bit, was the steed of Vesta. Despite their differences in temperature, these four horses lived harmoniously together, which is in accord with the principles of the philosophers, who declared the world to be preserved by the concord and harmony of its elements. In time, however, the racing horse of Jupiter burned the mane of the horse of earth; the thundering steed of Neptune also became covered with sweat, which overflowed the immovable horse of Vesta and resulted in the deluge of Deucalion. At last the fiery horse of Jupiter will consume the rest, when the three inferior elements--purified by reabsorption in the fiery ether--will come forth renewed, constituting "a new heaven and a new earth."

When the fifth seal was opened St. John beheld those who had died for the word of God. When the sixth seal was broken there was a great earthquake, the sun being darkened and the moon becoming like blood. The angels of the winds came forth and also another angel, who sealed upon their foreheads 144,000 of the children of Israel that they should be preserved against the awful day of tribulation. By adding the digits together according to the Pythagorean system of numerical philosophy, the number 144,000 is reduced to 9, the mystic symbol of man and also the number of initiation, for he who passes through the nine degrees of the Mysteries receives the sign of the cross as emblematic of his regeneration and liberation from the bondage of his own infernal, or inferior, nature. The addition of the three ciphers to the original sacred number 1.44 indicates the elevation of the mystery to the third sphere.

When the seventh seal was broken there was silence for the space of half an hour. Then came forth seven angels and to each was given a trumpet. When the seven angels sounded their trumpets--intoned the seven-lettered Name of the Logos--great catastrophes ensued. A star, which was called Wormwood, fell from heaven, thereby signifying that the secret doctrine of the ancients had been given to men who had profaned it and caused the wisdom of God to become a destructive agency. And another star--symbolizing the false light of human reason as distinguished from the divine reason of the initiate--fell from heaven and to it (materialistic reason) was given the key to the bottomless pit (Nature), which it opened, causing all manner of evil creatures to issue forth. And there came also a mighty angel who was clothed in a cloud, whose face was as the sun and his feet and legs as pillars of fire, and one foot was upon the waters and the other upon the land (the Hermetic Anthropos). This celestial being gave St. John a little book, bidding him eat it, which the seer did. The book is representative of the secret doctrine--that spiritual food which is the nourishment of the spirit. And St. John, being "in the spirit," ate his fill of the wisdom of God and the hunger of his soul was appeased.

From Klauber's Historiae Biblicae Veteris et Novi Testamenti.
In the upper left-hand corner is shown the destruction of Babylon, also the angel which cast the great millstone into the sea, saying, "Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down and shall be found no more at all." Below is the horseman, called Faithful and True, casting the beast into the bottomless pit. At the lower right is the angel with the key to the bottomless pit, who with a great chain binds Satan for a thousand years. In the heavens above is represented one like unto the Son of Man, who carries a great sickle with which he reaps the harvest of the world. In the center is the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, with its twelve gates and the mountain of the Lamb rising in the midst thereof. From the throne of the Lamb pours the great river of crystal, or living water, signifying the spiritual doctrine: upon all who discover and drink of its waters are conferred immortality. Kneeling upon a high cliff, St. John gazes down upon the mystic city, the archetype of the perfect civilization yet to be. Above the New Jerusalem, in a great sunburst of glory, is the throne of the Ancient One, which is the light of those who dwell in the matchless empire of the spirit. Beyond the recognition of the uninitiated world is an ever-increasing aggregation composed of the spiritual elect. Though they walk the earth as ordinary mortals, they are of a world apart and through their ceaseless efforts the kingdom of God is being slowly but surely established upon earth. These illumined souls are the builders of the New Jerusalem, and their bodies are the living stones in its walls. Lighted by the torch of truth they carry on their work, through their activities the golden age will return to the earth and the power of sin and death will be destroyed. For this reason the declare that virtuous and illumined men, instead of ascending to heaven, will bring heaven down and establish it in the midst of earth itself.

The twelfth chapter treats of a great wonder appearing in the heavens: a woman clothed with the sun, the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars. This woman represents the constellation of Virgo and also the Egyptian Isis, who, about to be delivered of her son Horus, is attacked by Typhon, the latter attempting to destroy the child predestined by the gods to slay the Spirit of Evil. The war in heaven relates to the destruction of the planet Ragnarok and to the fall of the angels. The virgin can be interpreted to signify the secret doctrine itself and her son the initiate born out of the "womb of the Mysteries." The Spirit of Evil thus personified in the great dragon attempted to control mankind by destroying the mother of those illumined souls who have labored unceasingly for the salvation of the world. Wings were given to the Mysteries (the virgin) and they flew into the wilderness; and the evil dragon tried to destroy them with a flood (of false doctrine) but the earth (oblivion) swallowed up the false doctrines and the Mysteries endured.

The thirteenth chapter describes a great beast which rose out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns. Faber sees in this amphibious monster the Demiurgus, or Creator of the world, rising out of the Ocean of Chaos. While most interpreters of the Apocalypse consider the various beasts described therein as typical of evil agencies, this viewpoint is the inevitable result of unfamiliarity with the ancient doctrines from which the symbolism of the book is derived. Astronomically, the great monster rising out of the sea is the constellation of Cetus (the whale). Because religious ascetics looked upon the universe itself as an evil and ensnaring fabrication, they also came to regard its very Creator as a weaver of delusions. Thus the great sea monster (the world) and its Maker (the Demiurgus), whose strength is derived from the Dragon of Cosmic Power, came to be personified as a beast of horror and destruction, seeking to swallow up the immortal part: of human nature. The seven heads of the monster represent the seven stars (spirits) composing the constellation of the Great Dipper, called by the Hindus Rishis, or Cosmic Creative Spirits. The ten horns Faber relates to the ten primordial patriarchs. These may also denote the ancient zodiac of ten signs.

The number of the beast (666) is an interesting example of the use of Qabbalism in the New Testament and among early Christian mystics. In the following table Kircher shows that the names of Antichrist as given by Iranæus all have 666 as their numerical equivalent.


James Morgan Pryse also notes that according to this method of figuring, the Greek term ἡ φρην, which signifies the lower mind, has 666 as its numerical equivalent. It is also well known to Qabbalists that Ἰησους, Jesus, has for its numerical value another sacred and secret number--888. Adding the digits of the number 666 and again adding the digits of the sum gives the sacred number--9 the symbol of man in his unregenerate state and also the path of his resurrection.

The fourteenth chapter opens with the Lamb standing on Mount Zion (the eastern horizon), about Him gathered the 144,000 with the name of God written in their foreheads. An angel thereupon announces the fall of Babylon--the city of confusion or worldliness. Those perish who do not overcome worldliness and enter into the realization that spirit--and not matter--is enduring; for, having no interests other than those which are material, they are swept to destruction with the material world. And St. John beheld One like unto the Son of Man (Perseus) riding upon a cloud (the substances of the invisible world) and bearing in his hand a sharp sickle, and with the sickle the Shining One reaped the earth. This is a symbol of the Initiator releasing into the sphere of reality the higher natures of those who, symbolized by ripened grain, have reached the point of liberation. And there came another angel (Boötes)--Death--also with a sickle (Karma), who reaped the vines of the earth (those who have lived by the false light) and cast them into the winepress of the wrath of God (the purgatorial spheres).

The fifteenth to eighteenth chapters inclusive contain an account of seven angels (the Pleiades) who pour their vials upon the earth. The contents of their vials (the loosened energy of the Cosmic Bull) are called the seven last plagues. Here also is introduced a symbolic figure, termed "the harlot of Babylon, "which is described as a woman seated upon a scarlet-colored beast having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet and bedecked with gold, precious stones, and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations. This figure may be an effort (probably interpolated) to vilify Cybele, or Artemis, the Great Mother goddess of antiquity. Because the pagans venerated the Mater Deorum through symbols appropriate to the feminine generative principle they were accused by the early Christians of worshiping a courtesan. As nearly all the ancient Mysteries included a test of the neophyte's moral character, the temptress (the animal soul) is here portrayed as a pagan goddess.

In the nineteenth and twentieth chapters is set forth the preparation of that mystical sacrament called the marriage of the Lamb. The bride is the soul of the neophyte, which attains conscious immortality by uniting itself to its own spiritual source. The heavens opened once more and St. John saw a white horse, and the rider (the illumined mind) which sat upon it was called Faithful and True. Out of his mouth issued a sharp sword and the armies of heaven followed after him. Upon the plains of heaven was fought the mystic Armageddon--the last great war between light and darkness. The forces of evil under the Persian Ahriman battled against the forces of good under Ahura-Mazda. Evil was vanquished and the beast and the false prophet cast into a lake of fiery brimstone. Satan was bound for a thousand years. Then followed the last judgment; the books were opened, including the book of life. The dead were judged according to their works and those whose names were not in the book of life were cast into a sea of fire. To the neophyte, Armageddon represents the last struggle between the flesh and the spirit when, finally overcoming the world, the illumined soul rises to union with its spiritual Self. The judgment signifies the weighing of the soul and was borrowed from the Mysteries of Osiris. The rising of the dead from their graves and from the sea of illusion represents the consummation of the process of human regeneration. The sea of fire into which those are cast who fail in the ordeal of initiation signifies the fiery sphere of the animal world.

In the twenty-first and twenty-second chapters are pictured the new heaven and the new earth to be established at the close of Ahriman's reign. St. John, carried in the spirit to a great and high mountain (the brain), beheld the New Jerusalem descending as a bride adorned for her husband. The Holy City represents the regenerated and perfected world, the trued ashlar of the Mason, for the city was a perfect cube, it being written, "the length and the breadth and the height of it are equal." The foundation of the Holy City consisted of a hundred and forty-four stones in twelve rows, from which it is evident that the New Jerusalem represents the microcosm, patterned after the greater universe in which it: stands. The twelve gates of this symbolic dodecahedron are the signs of the zodiac through which the celestial impulses descend into the inferior world; the jewels are the precious stones of the zodiacal signs; and the transparent golden streets are the streams of spiritual light along which the initiate passes on his path towards the sun. There is no material temple in that city, for God and the Lamb are the temple; and there is neither sun nor moon, for God and the Lamb are the light. The glorified and spiritualized initiate is here depicted as a city. This city will ultimately be united with the spirit of God and absorbed into the Divine Effulgency.

And St. John beheld a river, the Water of Life, which proceeded out of the throne of the Lamb. The river represents the stream pouring from the First Logos, which is the life of all things and the active cause of all creation. There also was the Tree of Life (the spirit) bearing twelve manner of fruit, whose leaves were for the healing of the nations. By the tree is also represented the year, which every month yields some good for the maintenance of existing creatures. Jesus then tells St. John that He is the root and the offspring of David and the bright and morning star (Venus). St. John concludes with the words, "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen."

From Solis' Biblische Figuren.
In the allegory of the four horsemen--according to the mysteries of philosophy--is set forth the condition of man during the stages of his existence. In his first and spiritual state he is crowed. As he descend into the realm of experience he carries the sword. Reaching physical expression--which is his least spiritual state--he carries the scales, and by the "philosophic death" is released again into the highest spheres. In the ancient Roman games the chariot of the sun was drawn by four horses of different colors and the horsemen of the Apocalypse may be interpreted to represent the solar energy riding upon the four elements which serve as media for its expression.
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Re: The Secret Teachings of All Ages, by Manly P. Hall

Postby admin » Sat Jul 11, 2015 1:59 am

The Faith of Islam

REPRESENTATIVE of the attitude of Christendom toward Islam, till recent years at least, is Alexander Ross's postscript to the Anglicized version, published in 1649, of Sieur Du Ryer's French translation of the Koran. The author of the postscript directs the following invective against Mohammed and the Koran:

"Good Reader, the great Arabian Impostor now at last after a thousand years, is by the way of France arrived in England, and his Alcoran, or gallimaufry of errors, (a brat as deformed as the parent, and as full of heresies as his scald head was of scurvy) hath learned to speak English. * * * If you will take a brief view of the Alcoran, you shall find it a hodgepodge made up of these four ingredients: 1. Of Contradictions. 2. Of Blasphemy. 3. Of ridiculous Fables. 4. Of Lies."

The accusation of blasphemy is emphasized against Mohammed because he affirmed that God, being unmarried, was incapable of having a Son! The fallacious argument, however, is apparent from the Prophet's own views of the nature of God as contained in the second sura of the Koran:

"To Allah [God] belongeth the east and the west; therefore, whithersoever ye turn yourselves to pray, there is the face of Allah; for Allah is omnipresent and omniscient. They say, Allah hath begotten children: Allah forbid! To him belongeth whatever is in heaven, and on earth; all is possessed by him, the Creator of heaven and earth; and when he decreeth a thing, he only saith unto it, Be, and it is." In other words, the God of Islam has but to desire and the object of that desire at once comes into being, whereas the God of Alexander Ross must proceed in accord with the laws of human generation!

Mohammed, Prophet of Islam, "the desired of all nations," was born in Mecca, A.D. 570 (?) and died in Medina, A.D. 632, or in the eleventh ),ear after the Hegira. Washington Irving thus describes the signs and wonders accompanying the birth of the Prophet:

"His mother suffered none of the pangs of travail. At the moment of his coming into the world a celestial light illumined the surrounding country, and the new born child, raising his eyes to heaven, exclaimed: 'God is great! There is no God bur God, and I am his prophet!' Heaven and earth, we are assured, were agitated at his advent. The Lake Sawa shrank back to its secret springs, leaving its borders dry; while the Tigris, bursting its bounds, overflowed the neighboring lands. The palace of Khosru the king of Persia shook t on its foundations, and several of its towers were toppled to the earth. * * * In the same eventful night the sacred fire of Zoroaster, which, guarded by the Magi, had burned without interruption for upward of a thousand years, was suddenly extinguished, and all the idols in the world fell down." (See Mahomet and His Successors.)

While the Prophet was still but a toddling babe, the Angel Gabriel with seventy wings came to him, and cutting open the child, withdrew the heart. This Gabriel cleansed of the black drop of original sin which is in every human heart because of the perfidy of Adam and then returned the organ to its proper place in the Prophet's body. (See footnote in E. H. Palmer's translation of the Qur'an.)

In his youth Mohammed traveled with the Meccan caravans, on one occasion acted as armor-bearer for his uncle, and spent a considerable time among the Bedouins, from whom he learned many of the religious and philosophic traditions of ancient Arabia. While traveling with his uncle, Abu Taleb, Mohammed contacted the Nestorian Christians, having encamped on a certain night near one of their monasteries. Here the young Prophet-to-be secured much of his information concerning the origin and doctrines of the Christian faith.

With the passing years Mohammed attained marked success in business and when about twenty-six years old married one of his employers, a wealthy widow nearly fifteen years his senior. The widow, Khadijah by name, was apparently somewhat mercenary, for, finding her young business manager most efficient, she resolved to retain him in that capacity for life! Khadijah was a woman of exceptional mentality and to her integrity and devotion must be ascribed the early success of the Islamic cause. By his marriage Mohammed was elevated from a position of comparative poverty to one of great wealth and power, and so exemplary was his conduct that he became known throughout Mecca as "the faithful and true."

Mohammed would have lived and died an honored and respected Meccan had he not unhesitatingly sacrificed both his wealth and social position in the service of the God whose voice he heard while meditating in the cavern on Mount Hira in the month of Ramadan. Year after year Mohammed climbed the rocky and desolate slopes of Mount Hira (since called Jebel Nur, "the Mountain of light") and here in his loneliness cried out to God to reveal anew the pure religion of Adam, that spiritual doctrine lost to mankind through the dissensions of religious factions. Khadijah, solicitous over her husband's ascetic practices which were impairing his physical health, sometimes accompanied him in his weary vigil, and with womanly intuition sensed the travail of his soul. At last one night in his fortieth year as he lay upon the floor of the cavern, enveloped in his cloak, a great light burst upon him. Overcome with a sense of perfect peace and understanding in the blessedness of the celestial presence, he lost consciousness. When he came to himself again the Angel Gabriel stood before him, exhibiting a silken shawl with mysterious characters traced upon it. From these characters Mohammed gained the basic doctrines later embodied in the Koran. Then Gabriel spoke in a clear and wonderful voice, declaring Mohammed to be the Prophet of the living God.

From D'Ohsson's Tableau Général de l'Empire Othoman.
In the seventeenth sura of the Koran it is written that upon a certain night Mohammed was transported from the temple at Mecca to that of Jerusalem, but no details are given of the strange journey. In the Mishkāteu ’l-Masabih, Mohammed is made to describe his ascent through the seven heavens into the icy presence of the may-veiled God and his subsequent return to his own bed, all in a single night. Mohammed was awakened in the night by the Angel Gabriel, who, after removing the Prophet's heart, washed the cavity with Zamzam water, and filled the heart itself with faith and science. A strange creature, called Alborak, or the lightning bolt, was brought for the conveyance of the Prophet. Alborak is described as white animal of the shape and size of a mule, with the head of a woman and the tail of a peacock. According to some versions, Mohammed merely rode Alborak to Jerusalem, where, dismounting upon Mount Moriah, he caught hold of the lower rung of a golden ladder lowered from heaven and, accompanied by Gabriel, ascended through the seven spheres separating he earth from the inner surface of the empyrean. At the gate of each sphere stood me of the Patriarchs, whom Mohammed saluted as he entered the various planes. At the gate of the first heaven stood Adam; at the gate of the second, John and Jesus (sisters' sons); at the third, Joseph; at the fourth, Enoch; at the fifth, Aaron; at the sixth, Moses; and at the seventh, Abraham. Another order of the Patriarchs and prophets is given which places Jesus at the gate of the seventh heaven, and upon reaching this Point Mohammed is said to have requested Jesus to intercede for him before the throne of God.

In awe and trembling, Mohammed hastened to Khadijah, fearing the vision to have been inspired by the same evil spirits who served the pagan magicians so greatly despised by him, Khadijah assured him that his own virtuous life would be his protection and that he need fear no evil. Thus reassured, the Prophet awaited further visitations from Gabriel. When these did not come, however, such a despair filled his soul that he attempted self-destruction, only to be stopped in the very act of casting himself over a cliff by the sudden reappearance of Gabriel, who again assured the Prophet that the revelations needed by his people would be given to him as necessity arose.

Possibly as a result of his lonely periods of meditation, Mohammed seemingly was subject to ecstatic swoons. On the occasions when the various suras of the Koran were dictated he is said to have fallen unconscious, and, regardless of the chill of the surrounding air, to have been covered with beads of perspiration. Often these attacks came without warning; at other times he would sit wrapped in a blanket to prevent a chill from the copious perspiration, and while apparently unconscious would dictate the various passages which a small circle of trusted friends would either commit to memory or reduce to writing. On one occasion in later life when Abu Bekr referred to the gray hairs in his beard, Mohammed, lifting the end of his beard and looking at it, declared its whiteness to be due to the physical agony attendant upon his periods of inspiration.

If the writings attributed to Mohammed be considered as merely the hallucinations of an epileptic--and for that reason discounted--his Christian detractors should beware lest with the doctrines of the Prophet they also undermine the very teachings which they themselves affirm, for many of the disciples, apostles, and saints of the early church are known to have been subject to nervous disorders. Mohammed's first convert was his own wife, Khadijah, who was followed by other members of his immediate family, a circumstance which moved Sir William Muir to note:

"It is strongly corroborative of Mohammed's sincerity that the earliest converts to Islam were not only of upright character, but his own bosom friends and people of his household; who, intimately acquainted with his private life, could not fail otherwise to have detected those discrepancies which ever more or less exist between the professions of the hypocritical deceiver abroad and his actions at: home." (See The Life of Mohammad.)

Among the first to accept the faith of Islam was Abu Bekr, who became Mohammed's closest and most faithful friend, in fact his alter ego. Abu Bekr, a man of brilliant attainments, contributed materially to the success of the Prophet's enterprise, and in accord with the express wish of the Prophet became the leader of the faithful after Mohammed's death. A’isha, the daughter of Abu Bekr, later became the wife of Mohammed, thus still further cementing the bond of fraternity between the two men. Quietly, but industriously, Mohammed promulgated his doctrines among a small circle of powerful friends. When the enthusiasm of his followers finally forced his hand and he publicly announced his mission, he was already the leader of a strong and well-organized faction. Fearing Mohammed's growing prestige, the people of Mecca, waiving the time-honored tradition that blood could not be spilt within the holy city, decided to exterminate Islam by assassinating the Prophet. All the different groups combined in this undertaking so that the guilt for the crime might thereby be more evenly distributed. Discovering the danger in time, Mohammed left his friend Ali in his bed and fled with Abu Bekr from the city, and after adroitly eluding the Meccans, joined the main body of his followers that had preceded him to Yathrib (afterwards called Medina). Upon this incident-called the Hegira or "flight"--is based the Islamic chronological system.

Dating from the Hegira the power of the Prophet steadily grew until in the eighth year Mohammed entered Mecca after practically a bloodless victory and established it as the spiritual center of his faith. Planting his standard to the north of Mecca, he rode into the city, and after circling seven times the sacred Caaba, ordered the 360 images within its precincts to be hewn down. He then entered the Caaba itself, cleansed it of its idolatrous associations, and rededicated the structure to Allah, the monotheistic God of Islam. Mohammed next granted amnesty to all his enemies for their attempts to destroy him. Under his protection Mecca increased in power and glory, becoming the focal point of a great annual pilgrimage, which even to this day winds across the desert in the months of pilgrimage and numbers over threescore thousand in its train.

In the tenth year after the Hegira, Mohammed led the valedictory pilgrimage and for the last time rode at the head of the faithful along the sacred way leading to Mecca and the Black Stone. As the premonition of death was strong upon him, he desired this pilgrimage to be the perfect model for all the thousands that would follow.

"Conscious that life was waning away within him," writes Washington Irving, "Mahomet, during this last sojourn in the sacred city of his faith, sought to engrave his doctrines deeply in the minds and hearts of his followers. For this purpose he preached frequently in the Caaba from the pulpit, or in the open air from the back of his camel. 'Listen to my words,' would he say, 'for I know not whether, after this year, we shall ever meet here again. Oh, my hearers, I am but a man like yourselves; the angel of death may at any time appear, and I must obey his summons."' While thus preaching, the very heavens are said to have opened and the voice of God spoke, saying: "This day I have perfected your religion, and accomplished in you my grace." When these words were uttered the multitude fell down in adoration and even Mohammed's camel knelt. (See Mahomet and His Successors.) Having completed the valedictory pilgrimage, Mohammed returned to Medina.

In the seventh year after the Hegira (A.H. 7) an attempt was made at Kheibar to poison the Prophet. As Mohammed took the first mouthful of the poisoned food, the evil design was revealed to him either by the taste of the meat or, as the faithful believe, by divine intercession. He had already swallowed a small portion of the food, however, and for the remainder of his life he suffered almost constantly from the effects of the poison. In A.H. 11, when his final illness came upon him, Mohammed insisted that the subtle effects of the poison were the indirect cause of his approaching end. It is related that during his last sickness he rose one night and visited a burial ground on the outskirts of Medina, evidently believing that he, too, would soon be numbered with the dead. At this time he told an attendant that the choice had been offered him of continuing his physical life or going to his Lord, and that he had chosen to meet his Maker.

Mohammed suffered greatly with his head and side and also from fever, but on June 8th seemed convalescent. He joined his followers in prayer and, seating himself in the courtyard, delivered a lecture to the faithful in a clear and powerful voice. Apparently he overtaxed his strength, for it was necessary to assist him into the house of A’isha, which opened into the court of the mosque. Here upon a tough pallet laid on the bare floor the prophet of Islam spent his last two hours on earth. When she saw that her aged husband was suffering intense pain, A’isha--then but a girl of twenty--lifting the gray head of the man she had known from infancy and who must have seemed more like a father than a husband, supported him in her arms until the end. Feeling that death was upon him, Mohammed prayed: "O Lord, I beseech Thee, assist me in the agonies of death." Then almost in a whisper he repeated three times: "Gabriel, come close unto me." (For details consult The Life of Mohammad by Sir William Muir.) In The Hero as Prophet, Thomas Carlyle writes thus of the death of Mohammed: "His last words were a prayer, broken ejaculations of a heart struggling-up in trembling hope towards its Maker."

Mohammed was buried under the floor of the apartment in which he died. The present condition of the grave is thus described:

"Above the Hujrah is a green dome, surmounted by a large gilt crescent, springing from a series of globes. Within the building are the tombs of Muhammad, Abū Bakr, and ’Umar, with a space reserved for the grave of our Lord Jesus Christ, who Muslims say will again visit the earth, and die and be buried at al-Madīnah. The grave of Fātimah, the Prophet's daughter, is supposed to be in a separate part of the building, although some say she was buried in Baqī’. The Prophet's body is said to be stretched full length on the right side, with the right palm supporting the right check, the face fronting Makkah. Close behind him is placed Abū Bakr, whose face fronts Muhammad's shoulder, and then ’Umar, who occupies the same position with respect to his predecessor. Amongst Christian historians there is a popular story to the effect that Muhammadans believed the coffin of their Prophet to be suspended in the air, which has no foundation whatever in Muslim literature, and Niebuhr thinks the story must have arisen from the rude pictures sold to strangers. (See A Dictionary of Islam.)

Concerning the character of Mohammed there have been the grossest misconceptions. No evidence exists to support the charges of extreme cruelty and licentiousness laid at his door. On the other hand, the more closely the life of Mohammed is scrutinized by dispassionate investigators, the more apparent become the finer qualities of his nature. In the words of Carlyle:

"Mahomet himself, after all that can be said about him, was nor, a sensual man. We so err widely if we consider this man as a common voluptuary, intent mainly on base enjoyments--nay, on enjoyments of any kind. His household was of the frugalest, his common diet barley bread and water. Sometimes for months there was not a fire once lighted on his hearth. * * * A poor, hard-working, ill-provided man; careless of what vulgar man toiled for. * * * They called him a Prophet, you say? Why, he stood there face to face with them; there, not enshrined in any mystery, visibly clouting his own cloak, cobbling his own shoes, fighting, counselling, ordering in the midst of them, they must have seen what kind of a man he was, let him be called what you like! No emperor with his tiaras was obeyed as this man in a cloak of his own clouting."

Confused by the apparently hopeless task of reconciling the life of the Prophet with the absurd statements long accepted as authentic, Washington Irving weighs him in the scales of fairness.

"His military triumphs awakened no pride nor vainglory, as they would have done had they been effected for selfish purposes. In the time of his greatest power, he maintained the same simplicity of manners and appearances as in the days of his adversity. * * * It is this perfect abnegation of self, connected with this apparent heartfelt piety, running throughout the various phases of his fortune, which perplex one in forming a just estimate of Mahomet's character. * * * When he hung over the death-bed of his infant son Ibrahim, resignation to the will of God was exhibited in his conduct under this keenest of afflictions; and the hope of soon rejoining his child in Paradise was his consolation." (See Mahomet and His Successors.)

A'isha, questioned after the death of the Prophet concerning his habits, replied that he mended his own clothes, cobbled his own shoes, and helped her in the household duties. How far removed from Western concepts of Mohammed's sanguinary character is A’isha's simple admission that he loved most of all to sew! He also accepted the invitations of slaves and sat at meals with servants, declaring himself to be a servant. Of all vices he hated lying the most. Before his death he freed all his slaves. He never permitted his family to use for personal ends any of the alms or tithe money given by his people. He was fond of sweetmeats and used rain water for drinking purposes. His time he divided into three parts, namely: the first he gave to God, the second to his family, and the third to himself. The latter portion, however, he later sacrificed to the service of his people. He dressed chiefly in white but also wore red, yellow, and green. Mohammed entered Mecca wearing a black turban and bearing a black standard. He wore only the plainest of garments, declaring that rich and conspicuous raiment did not become the pious, and did not remove his shoes at prayer. He was particularly concerned with the cleanliness of his teeth and at the time of his death, when too weak to speak, indicated his desire for a toothpick. When fearful of forgetting something, the Prophet tied a thread to his ring. He once had a very fine gold ring but, noting that his followers had taken to wearing similar rings in emulation of him, he removed his own and threw it away lest his followers form an evil habit. (See The Life of Mohammad.)

The most frequent, and apparently the most damaging, accusation brought against Mohammed is that of polygamy. Those who sincerely believe the harem to be irreconcilable with spirituality should with consistency move for the expurgation of the Psalms of David and the Proverbs of Solomon from the list of inspired writings, for the harem of Islam's Prophet was insignificant compared with that maintained by Israel's wisest king and the reputed favorite of the Most High! The popular conception that Mohammed taught that woman had no soul and could attain heaven only through marriage is not substantiated by the words and attitude of the Prophet during his lifetime. In a paper entitled The Influence of Islam on Social Conditions, read at the World's Parliament of Religions held in Chicago, in 1893, Mohammed Webb states the charge and answers it thus:

Section from panorama of Mecca in D'Ohsson's Tableau Général de l'Empire Othman.
The Caaba, or cube-shaped building in the midst of the great court of the mosque at Mecca, is the most holy spot in the Islamic world. Toward it the followers of the Prophet must face five times a day at the appointed hours of prayer. Like the devotees of nearly all other faiths, the Mussulman originally faced the East while in prayer, but by a later decree he was ordered to turn his face toward Mecca.
Little is known of the history of the Caaba prior to its rededication as a Mohammedan mosque, other than that the building was a pagan temple. At the time the Prophet captured Mecca, the Caaba and surrounding court contained 360 idols, which were destroyed by Mohammed before he actually gained access to the shrine itself. The "Ancient House," as the Caaba is called, is an irregular cube measuring about 38 feet in length, 35 feet in height, and 30 feet in width. The length of each side wall varies slightly and that of the end walls over a foot. In the southeast corner of the wall at a convenient distance above the ground (about five feet) is embedded the sacred and mysterious black stone or aerolite of Abraham. When first given to that patriarch by the Angel Gabriel this stone was of such strong whiteness as to be visible from every part of the earth, but late, it became black because of the sins of man. This black stone, oval in shape and about seven inches in diameter, was broken in the seventh century and is now held together by a silver mounting.
According to tradition, 2,000 years before the creation of the world the Caaba was first constructed in heaven, where a model of it still remains. Adam erected the Caaba on earth exactly below the spot in heaven occupied by the original, and selected the stones from the five sacred mountains Sinai, al-Judī, Hirā, Olivet, and Lebanon. Ten thousand angels were appointed to guard the structure. At the time of the Deluge the sacred house was destroyed, but afterward was rebuilt by Abraham and his son Ishmael. (For details see A Dictionary of Islam). It is probable that the site of the Caaba was originally occupied by a prehistoric stone altar or ring of uncut monoliths similar to those of Stonehenge. Like the temple at Jerusalem, the Caaba has undergone many vicissitudes, and the present structure does not antedate the seventeenth century of the Christian Era. When Mecca was sacked in A.D. 930, the famous black stone was captured by the Carmathians, in whose possession it remained over twenty years and it is a moot question whether the stone finally returned by them in exchange far a princely ransom was actually the original block or a substitute.
The side of the Caaba are the supposed graves of Hagar and Ishmael, and near the door (which is about seven feet above the ground) is the stone upon which Abraham stood while rebuilding the Caaba. Various coverings have always been thrown over the cube-shaped structure; the present drape, which is replaced annually, is a black brocade embroidered in a gold. Small pieces a the old drape are cherished by pilgrims as holy relics.
Entrance to the Caaba is effected by a movable flight of steps. The interior is lined with varicolored marble, silver, and gilt. Although the building is generally conceived to be windowless, this point is disputed. Access to the roof is had through a silver-plated door. In addition to the sacred books the Caaba contains thirteen lamps. The great courtyard around the building contains a number of holy objects, and is bounded by a colonnade which originally consisted of 360 pillars. Opening into the courtyard are nineteen gates, the sacred and significant number of the Metonic Cycle and also the number of stones in the inner ring of Stonehenge. Seven great minarets tower above the Caaba, and one of the sacred ceremonials in connection with the building includes seven circumambulations about the central Caaba in an apparent effort to portray the motion of the celestial bodies.

"it has been said that Mohammed and the Koran denied a soul to woman and ranked her with the animals. The Koran places her on a perfect and complete equality with man, and the Prophet's teachings often place her in a position superior to the male in some respects." Mr. Webb justifies his stand by quoting from the thirty-fifth verse of the thirty-third sura of the Koran:

"Verily the Moslems of either sex, and the true believers of either sex, and the devout men, and the devout women, and the men of veracity, and the women of veracity, and the patient men, and the patient women, and the humble men, and the humble women, and the alms-givers of either sex, and the men who fast, and the women who fast, and the chaste men, and the chaste women, and those of either sex who remember Allah frequently: for them hath Allah prepared forgiveness and a great reward." Here the attainment of heaven is clearly set forth as a problem whose only solution is that of individual merit.

On the day of his death Mohammed told Fatima, his beloved daughter, and Safiya, his aunt: "Work ye out that which shall gain acceptance for you with the Lord: for I verily have no power with Him to save you in any wise." The Prophet did not advise either woman to rely upon the virtues of her husband nor in any manner did he indicate woman's salvation to be dependent upon the human frailty of her spouse.

Everything to the contrary notwithstanding, Mohammed is not responsible for the contradictions and inconsistencies in the Koran, for the volume was not compiled and did not assume its present form until over twenty years after his death. In its present state the Koran is, for the major part, a jumble of hearsay through which occasionally shines forth an example of true inspiration. From what is known of the man Mohammed, it is reasonable to suppose that these nobler and finer portions represent the actual doctrines of the Prophet; the remainder are obvious interpolations, some arising from misunderstanding and others direct forgeries calculated to satisfy the temporal ambitions of conquering Islam. On this subject, Godfrey Higgins speaks with his usual perspicacity:

"Here we have the Koran of Mohammed and the first four sincere and zealous patriarchs, and the Koran of the conquering and magnificent Saracens--puffed up with pride and vanity. The Koran of the eclectic philosopher was not likely to suit the conquerors of Asia. A new one must be grafted on the old, to find a justification for their enormities." (See Anacalypsis.)

To the discerning few it is evident that Mohammed had a knowledge of that secret doctrine which must needs constitute the core of every great philosophical, religious, or ethical institution. Through one of four possible avenues Mohammed may have contacted the ancient Mystery teachings: (1) through direct contact with the Great School in the invisible world; (2) through the Nestorian Christian monks; (3) through the mysterious holy man who appeared and disappeared at frequent intervals during the period in which the suras of the Koran were revealed; (4) through a decadent school already existing in Arabia, which school in spite of its lapse into idolatry still retained the secrets of the Ancient Wisdom cult. The arcana of Islam may yet be demonstrated to have been directly founded upon the ancient pagan Mysteries performed at the Caaba centuries before the birth of the Prophet; in fact it is generally admitted that many of the ceremonials now embodied in the Islamic Mysteries are survivals of pagan Arabia.

The feminine principle is repeatedly emphasized in Islamic symbolism. For example, Friday, which is sacred to the planer Venus, is the Moslem's holy day; green is the color of the Prophet and, being symbolic of verdure, is inevitably associated with the World Mother; and both the Islamic crescent and the scimitar may be interpreted to signify the crescent shape of either the moon or Venus.

"The famous 'Stone of Cabar,' Kaaba, Cabir, or Kebir, at Mecca," says Jennings, "which is so devoutly kissed by the Faithful, is a Talisman. It is said that the figure of Venus is seen to this day engraved upon it with a crescent. This very Caaba itself was at first an idolatrous temple, where the Arabians worshipped Al-Uzza (God and Issa), that is Venus." (See Kenealy's Enoch, The Second Messenger of God.)

"The Mussulmans," writes Sir William Jones, "are already a sort of heterodox Christians: they are Christians, if Locke reasons justly, because they firmly believe the immaculate conception, divine character, and miracles of the MESSIAH; but they are heterodox, in denying vehemently his character of Son, and his equality, as God, with the Father, of whose unity and attributes they entertain and express the most awful ideas; while they consider our doctrine as perfect blasphemy, and insist that our copies of the Scriptures have been corrupted both by Jews and Christians."

The following lines are declared by the followers of the Prophet to have been deleted from the Christian Gospels: "And when Jesus, the Son of Mary, said, O children of Israel, verily I am the apostle of God sent unto you, confirming the law which was delivered before me, and bringing good tidings of an apostle who shall come after me, and whose name shall be AHMED." In the present text containing the prophecy of Jesus concerning a comforter to come after Him, it is further claimed that the word comforter should be translated illustrious and that it had a direct reference to Mohammed; also that the tongues of flame that descended upon the apostles on the day of Pentecost in no way could be interpreted as signifying the promised comforter. When asked, however, for definite proof that the original Gospels contained these so-called expurgated references to Mohammed, the Moslems make a counter-demand for production of the original documents upon which Christianity is founded. Until such writings are discovered, the point under dispute must remain a source of controversy.

To ignore the heritage of culture received from Islam would be an unpardonable oversight, for when the crescent triumphed over the cross in Southern Europe it was the harbinger of a civilization which had no equal in its day. In Studies in a Mosque, Stanley Lane-Poole writes:

"For nearly eight centuries under her Mohammedan rulers Spain set to all Europe a shining example of a civilized and enlightened state. * * * Art, literature and science prospered as they then prospered nowhere else in Europe. Students flocked from France and Germany and England to drink from the fountains of learning which flowed only in the cities of the Moors. The surgeons and doctors of Andalusia were in the van of science; women were encouraged to devote themselves to serious study, and a lady doctor was not unknown among the people of Cordova. Mathematics, astronomy and botany, history, philosophy and jurisprudence, were to he mastered in Spain and in Spain alone."

The Library of Original Sources thus sums up the effects of Islam:

"The results of Mohammedism have been greatly underestimated. In the century after Mohammed's death it wrested Asia Minor, Africa, and Spain from Christianity, more than half of the civilized world, and established a civilization, the highest in the world during the Dark Ages. It brought the Arabian race to their highest development, raised the position of women in the East, though it retained polygamy, was intensively monotheistic, and until the Turks gained control for the most part encouraged progress."

In the same work, among the great Islamic scientists and philosophers who have made substantial contributions to human knowledge are listed Gerber, or Djafer, who in the ninth century laid the foundations for modern chemistry; Ben Musa, who in the tenth century introduced the theory of algebra; Alhaze, who in the eleventh century made a profound study of optics and discovered the magnifying power of convex lenses; and in the eleventh century also, both Avicenna, or Ibn Sina, whose medical encyclopedia was the standard of his age, and the great Qabbalist Avicebron, or Ibn Gebirol.

"Looking back upon the science of the Mohammedans," resumes the authority just quoted, "it will be seen that they laid the first foundations of chemistry, and made important advances in mathematics and optics. Their discoveries never had the influence they should have had upon the course of European civilization, but this was because Europe itself was not enlightened enough to grasp and make use of them. Gerber's observation that oxidized iron weighs heavier than before oxidation had to be made over again. So had some of their work in optics, and many of their geographical discoveries. They had rounded Africa long before Vasco da Gama. The composition of gunpowder came into Northern Europe from them. We must never forget that the dark ages in Christian Europe were the bright ones of the Mohammedan world. In the field of philosophy the Arabs started by adopting the neo-Platonism they found in Europe, and gradually working back to Aristotle."

What means the subtle mystery of the phœnix reborn every six hundred years? Faintly from within the sanctuary of the World Mysteries is whispered the answer. Six hundred years before Christ the phœnix of wisdom (Pythagoras?) spread its wings and died upon the altar of humanity, consumed by the sacrificial fire. In Nazareth the bird was again reborn from its own ashes, only to die upon the tree which had its roots in Adam's skull. In A.D. 600 appeared Ahmed (Mohammed). Again the phœnix suffered, this time from the poison of Kheibar, and from its charred ashes rose to spread its wings across the face of Mongolia, where in the twelfth century Genghis Khan established the rule of wisdom. Circling the mighty desert of Gobi, the phœnix again gave up its form, which now lies buried in a glass sarcophagus under a pyramid bearing upon it the ineffable figures of the Mysteries. After the lapse of six hundred years from the death of Genghis Khan, did Napoleon Bonaparte--who believed himself to be the man of destiny--contact in his wanderings this strange legend of the continual periodic rebirth of wisdom? Did he feel the spreading wings of the phœnix within himself and did he believe the hope of the world had taken flesh in him? The eagle on his standard may well have been the phœnix. This would explain why he was moved to believe himself predestined to establish the kingdom of Christ on earth and is, perhaps, the clue to his little-understood friendliness toward the Moslem.
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Re: The Secret Teachings of All Ages, by Manly P. Hall

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American Indian Symbolism

THE North American Indian is by nature a symbolist, a mystic, and a philosopher. Like most: aboriginal peoples, his soul was en rapport with the cosmic agencies manifesting about him. Not only did his Manidos control creation from their exalted seats above the clouds, but they also descended into the world of men and mingled with their red children. The gray clouds hanging over the horizon were the smoke from the calumets of the gods, who could build fires of petrified wood and use a comet for a flame. The American Indian peopled the forests, rivers, and sky with myriads of superphysical and invisible beings. There are legends of entire tribes of Indians who lived in lake bottoms; of races who were never seen in the daytime but who, coming forth from their hidden caves, roamed the earth at night and waylaid unwary travelers; also of Bat Indians, with human bodies and batlike wings, who lived in gloomy forests and inaccessible cliffs and who slept hanging head downward from great branches and outcroppings of rock. The red man's philosophy of elemental creatures is apparently the outcome of his intimate contact with Nature, whose inexplicable wonders become the generating cause of such metaphysical speculations.

In common with the early Scandinavians, the Indians of North America considered the earth (the Great Mother) to be an intermediate plane, bounded above by a heavenly sphere (the dwelling place of the Great Spirit) and below by a dark and terrifying subterranean world (the abode of shadows and of submundane powers). Like the Chaldeans, they divided the interval between the surface of earth and heaven into various strata, one consisting of clouds, another of the paths of the heavenly bodies, and so on. The underworld was similarly divided and like the Greek system represented to the initiated the House of the Lesser Mysteries. Those creatures capable of functioning in two or more elements were considered as messengers between the spirits of these various planes. The abode of the dead was presumed to be in a distant place: in the heavens above, the earth below, the distant corners of the world, or across wide seas. Sometimes a river flows between the world of the dead and that of the living, in this respect paralleling Egyptian, Greek, and Christian theology. To the Indian the number four has a peculiar sanctity, presumably because the Great Spirit created His universe in a square frame. This is suggestive of the veneration accorded the tetrad by the Pythagoreans, who held it to be a fitting symbol of the Creator. The legendary narratives of the strange adventures of intrepid heroes who while in the physical body penetrated the realms of the dead prove beyond question the presence of Mystery cults among the North American red men. Wherever the Mysteries were established they were recognized as the philosophic equivalents of death, for those passing through the rituals experienced all after-death conditions while still in the physical body. At the consummation of the ritual the initiate actually gained the ability to pass in and out of his physical body at will. This is the philosophic foundation for the allegories of adventures in the Indian Shadow Land, or World of Ghosts.

"From coast to coast," writes Hartley Burr Alexander, "the sacred Calumet is the Indian's altar, and its smoke is the proper offering to Heaven." (See Mythology of All Paces.) In the Notes on the same work is given the following description of the pipe ceremony:

"The master of ceremonies, again rising to his feet, filled and lighted the pipe of peace from his own fire. Drawing three whiffs, one after the other, he blew the first towards the zenith, the second towards the ground, and the third towards the Sun. By the first act he returned thanks to the Great Spirit for the preservation of his life during the past year, and for being permitted to be present at this council. By the second, he returned thanks to his Mother, the Earth, for her various productions which had ministered to his sustenance. And by the third, he returned thanks to the Sun for his never-failing light, ever shining upon all."

It was necessary for the Indian to secure the red stone for his calumet from the pipestone quarry where in some remote past the Great Spirit had come and, after fashioning with His own hands a great pipe, had smoked it toward the four corners of creation and thus instituted this most sacred ceremony. Scores of Indian tribes--some of them traveling thousands of miles--secured the sacred stone from this single quarry, where the mandate of the Great Spirit had decreed that eternal peace should reign.

The Indian does not worship the sun; he rather regards this shining orb as an appropriate symbol of the Great and Good Spirit who forever radiates life to his red children. In Indian symbolism the serpent--especially the Great Serpent--corroborates other evidence pointing to the presence of the Mysteries on the North American Continent. The flying serpent is the Atlantean token of the initiate; the seven-headed snake represents the seven great Atlantean islands (the cities of Chibola?) and also the seven great prehistoric schools of esoteric philosophy. Moreover, who can doubt the presence of the secret doctrine in the Americas when he gazes upon the great serpent mound in Adams County, Ohio, where the huge reptile is represented as disgorging the Egg of Existence? Many American Indian tribes are reincarnationists, some are transmigrationists. They even called their children by the names supposed to have been borne by them in a former life. There is an account of an instance where a parent by inadvertence had given his infant the wrong name, whereupon the babe cried incessantly until the mistake had been rectified! The belief in reincarnation is also prevalent among the Eskimos. Aged Eskimos not infrequently kill themselves in order to reincarnate in the family of some newly married loved one.

From an original drawing by Hasteen Klah.
The Navaho dry or sand paintings are made by sprinkling varicolored ground pigment upon a base of smooth sand. The one here reproduced is encircled by the rainbow goddess, and portrays an episode from the Navaho cosmogony myth. According to Hasteen Klah, the Navaho sand priest who designed this painting, the Navahos do not believe in idolatry, hence they make no images of their gods, but perpetuate only the mental concept of them. Just as the gods draw pictures upon the moving clouds, so the priests make paintings on the sand, and when the purpose of the drawing has been fulfilled it is effaced by a sweep of the hand. According to this informant, the Zuni, Hopi, and Navaho nations had a common genesis; they all came out of the earth and then separated into three nations.
The Navahos first emerged about 3,000 years ago at a point now called La Platte Mountain in Colorado. The four mountains sacred to the Navahos are La Platte Mountain, Mount Taylor, Navaho Mountain, and San Francisco Mountain. While these three nations were under the earth four mountain ranges were below with them. The eastern mountains were white, the southern blue, the western yellow, and the northern black. The rise and fall of these mountains caused the alternation of day and night. When the white mountains rose it was day under the earth; when the yellow ones rose, twilight; the black mountains brought night, and the blue, dawn. Seven major deities were recognized by the Navahos, but Hasteen Klah was unable to say whether the Indians related these deities to the planets. Bakochiddy, one of these seven major gods, was white in color with light reddish hair and gray eyes. His father was the sun ray and his mother the daylight. He ascended to heaven and in some respects his life parallels that of Christ. To avenge the kidnapping of his child, Kahothsode, a fish god, caused a great flood to arise. To escape destruction, the Zunis, Hopis, and Navahos ascended to the surface of the earth.
The sand painting here reproduced is part of the medicine series prepared far the healing of disease. In the healing ceremony the patient is placed upon the drawing, which is made in a consecrated hogan, and all outsiders excluded. The sacred swastika in the center of the drawing is perhaps the most nearly universal of religious emblems and represents the four corners of the world. The two hunchback god, at the right and left assume their appearance by reason of the great clouds borne upon their backs. In Navaho religious art, male divinities are always shown with circular heads and female divinities with square heads.

The American Indians recognize the difference between the ghost and the actual soul of a dead person, a knowledge restricted to initiates of the Mysteries. In common with the Platonists they also understood the principles of an archetypal sphere wherein exist the patterns of all forms manifesting in the earth plane, The theory of Group, or Elder, Souls having supervision over the animal species is also shared by them. The red man's belief in guardian spirits would have warmed the heart of Paracelsus. When they attain the importance of being protectors of entire clans or tribes, these guardians are called totems. In some tribes impressive ceremonies mark the occasion when the young men are sent out into the forest to fast and pray and there remain until their guardian spirit manifests to them. Whatever creature appears thereupon becomes their peculiar genius, to whom they appeal in time of trouble.

The outstanding hero of North American Indian folklore is Hiawatha, a name which, according to Lewis Spence, signifies "he who seeks the wampum-belt." Hiawatha enjoys the distinction of anticipating by several centuries the late Woodrow Wilson's cherished dream of a League of Nations. Following in the footsteps of Schoolcraft, Longfellow confused the historical Hiawatha of the Iroquois with Manabozho, a mythological hero of the Algonquins and Ojibwas. Hiawatha, a chief of the Iroquois, after many reverses and disappointments, succeeded in uniting the five great nations of the Iroquois into the "League of the Five Nations." The original purpose of the league--to abolish war by substituting councils of arbitration--was not wholly successful, but the power of the "Silver Chain" conferred upon the Iroquois a solidarity attained by no other confederacy of North American Indians. Hiawatha, however, met the same opposition which has confronted every great idealist, irrespective of time or race. The shamans turned their magic against him and, according to one legend, created an evil bird which, swooping down from heaven, tore his only daughter to pieces before his eyes. When Hiawatha, after accomplishing his mission, had sailed away in his self-propelled canoe along the path of the sunset, his people realized the true greatness of their benefactor and elevated him to the dignity of a demigod. In Longfellow's Song of Hiawatha the poet has cast the great Indian statesman in a charming setting of magic and enchantment; yet through the maze of symbol and allegory is ever faintly visible the figure of Hiawatha the initiate--the very personification of the red man and his philosophy.


No other sacred book sets forth so completely as the Popol Vuh the initiatory rituals of a great school of mystical philosophy. This volume alone is sufficient to establish incontestably the philosophical excellence of the red race.

"The Red 'Children of the Sun,'" writes James Morgan Pryse, "do not worship the One God. For them that One God is absolutely impersonal, and all the Forces emanated from that One God are personal. This is the exact reverse of the popular western conception of a personal God and impersonal working forces in nature. Decide for yourself which of these beliefs is the more philosophical. These Children of the Sun adore the Plumèd Serpent, who is the messenger of the Sun. He was the God Quetzalcoatl in Mexico, Gucumatz in Quiché; and in Peru he was called Amaru. From the latter name comes our word America. Amaruca is, literally translated, 'Land of the Plumèd Serpent.' The priests of this God of Peace, from their chief centre in the Cordilleras, once ruled both Americas. All the Red men who have remained true to the ancient religion are still under their sway. One of their strong centres was in Guatemala, and of their Order was the author of the book called Popol Vuh. In the Quiché tongue Gucumatz is the exact equivalent of Quetzalcoatl in the Nahuatl language; quetzal, the bird of Paradise; coatl, serpent--'the Serpent veiled in plumes of the paradise-bird'!"

The Popol Vuh was discovered by Father Ximinez in the seventeenth century. It was translated into French by Brasseur de Bourbourg and published in 1861. The only complete English translation is that by Kenneth Sylvan Guthrie, which ran through the early files of The Word magazine and which is used as the basis of this article. A portion of the Popol Vuh was translated into English, with extremely valuable commentaries, by James Morgan Pryse, but unfortunately his translation was never completed. The second book of the Popol Vuh is largely devoted to the initiatory rituals of the Quiché nation. These ceremonials are of first importance to students of Masonic symbolism and mystic

Lewis Spence, in describing the Popol Vuh, gives a number of translations of the title of the manuscript itself. Passing over the renditions, "The Book of the Mat" and "The Record of the Community," he considers it likely that the correct title is "The Collection of Written Leaves," Popol signifying the "prepared bark" and Vuh, "paper" or "book" from the verb uoch, to write. Dr. Guthrie interprets the words Popol Vuh to mean "The Senate Book," or "The Book of the Holy Assembly"; Brasseur de Bourbourg calls it "The Sacred Book"; and Father Ximinez designates the volume "The National Book." In his articles on the Popol Vuh appearing in the fifteenth volume of Lucifer, James Morgan Pryse, approaching the subject from the standpoint of the mystic, calls this work "The Book of the Azure Veil." In the Popol Vuh itself the ancient records from which the Christianized Indian who compiled it derived his material are referred to as "The Tale of Human Existence in the Land of Shadows, and, How Man Saw Light and Life."

The meager available native records contain abundant evidence that the later civilizations of Central and South America were hopelessly dominated by the black arts of their priestcrafts. In the convexities of their magnetized mirrors the Indian sorcerers captured the intelligences of elemental beings and, gazing into the depths of these abominable devices, eventually made the scepter subservient to the wand. Robed in garments of sable hue, the neophytes in their search for truth were led by their sinister guides through the confused passageways of necromancy. By the left-hand path they descended into the somber depths of the infernal world, where they learned to endow stones with the power of speech and to subtly ensnare the minds of men with their chants and fetishes. As typical of the perversion which prevailed, none could achieve to the greater Mysteries until a human being had suffered immolation at his hand and the bleeding heart of the victim had been elevated before the leering face of the stone idol fabricated by a priestcraft the members of which realized more fully than they dared to admit the true nature of the man-made demon. The sanguinary and indescribable rites practiced by many of the Central American Indians may represent remnants of the later Atlantean perversion of the ancient sun Mysteries. According to the secret tradition, it was during the later Atlantean epoch that black magic and sorcery dominated the esoteric schools, resulting in the bloody sacrificial rites and gruesome idolatry which ultimately overthrew the Atlantean empire and even penetrated the Aryan religious world.


The princes of Xibalba (so the Popol Vuh recounts) sent their four owl messengers to Hunhun-ahpu and Vukub-hunhun-ahpu, ordering them to come at once to the place of initiation in the fastnesses of the Guatemalan mountains. Failing in the tests imposed by the princes of Xibalba, the two brothers--according to the ancient custom--paid with their lives for their shortcomings. Hunhun-ahpu and Vukub-hunhun-ahpu were buried together, but the head of Hunhun-ahpu was placed among the branches of the sacred calabash tree which grew in the middle of the road leading to the awful Mysteries of Xibalba. Immediately the calabash tree covered itself with fruit and the head of Hunhun-ahpu "showed itself no more; for it reunited itself with the other fruits of the calabash tree." Now Xquiq was the virgin daughter of prince Cuchumaquiq. From her father she had learned of the marvelous calabash tree, and desiring to possess some of its fruit, she journeyed alone to the somber place where it grew. When Xquiq put forth her hand to pick the fruit of the tree, some saliva from the mouth of Hunhun-ahpu fell into it and the head spoke to Xquiq, saying: "This saliva and f

Following the admonitions of Hunhun-ahpu, the young girl returned to her home. Her father, Cuchumaquiq, later discovering that she was about to become a mother, questioned her concerning the father of her child. Xquiq replied that the child was begotten while she was gazing upon the head of Hunhun-ahpu in the calabash tree and that she had known no man. Cuchumaquiq, refusing to believe her story, at the instigation of the princes of Xibalba, demanded her heart in an urn. Led away by her executioners, Xquiq pleaded with them to spare her life, which they agreed to do, substituting for her heart the fruit of a certain tree (rubber) whose sap was red and of the consistency of blood. When the princes of Xibalba placed the supposed heart upon the coals of the altar to be consumed, they were all amazed by the perfume which rose therefrom, for they did not know that they were burning the fruit of a fragrant plant.

Courtesy of Alice Palmer Henderson
This curious fragment was found four feet under the ground beneath a trash pile of broken early Indian pottery not far from the Casa Grande ruins in Arizona. It is significant because of its striking to the Masonic compass and square. Indian baskets pottery, and blankets frequently bear ornamental designs of especial Masonic and philosophic interest.

Xquiq gave birth to twin sons, who were named Hunahpu and Xbalanque and whose lives were dedicated to avenging the deaths of Hunhun-ahpu and Vukub-hunhun-ahpu. The years passed, and the two boys grew up to manhood and great were their deeds. Especially did they excel in a certain game called tennis but somewhat resembling hockey. Hearing of the prowess of the youths, the princes of Xibalba asked: "Who, then, are those who now begin again to play over our heads, and who do not scruple to shake (the earth)? Are not Hunhun-ahpu and Vukub-hunhun-ahpu dead, who wished to exalt themselves before our face?" So the princes of Xibalba sent for the two youths, Hunahpu and Xbalanque, that they might destroy them also in the seven days of the Mysteries. Before departing, the two brothers bade farewell to their grandmother, each planting in the midst of the house a cane plant, saying that as long as the cane lived she would know that they were alive. "O, our grandmother, O, our mother, do not weep; behold the sign of our word which remains with you. " Hunahpu and Xbalanque then departed, each with his sabarcan (blowpipe), and for many days they journeyed along the perilous trail, descending through tortuous ravines and along precipitous cliffs, past strange birds and boiling springs, cowards the sanctuary of Xibalba.

The actual ordeals of the Xibalbian Mysteries were seven in number. As a preliminary the two adventurers crossed a river of mud and then a stream of blood, accomplishing these difficult feats by using their sabarcans as bridges. Continuing on their way, they reached a point where four roads converged--a black road, a white road, a red road, and a green road. Now Hunahpu and Xbalanque knew that their first test would consist of being able to discriminate between the princes of Xibalba and the wooden effigies robed to resemble them; also that they must call each of the princes by his correct name without having been given the information. To secure this information, Hunahpu pulled a hair from his leg, which hair then became a strange insect called Xan; buzzing along the black road, the Xan entered the council chamber of the princes of Xibalba and stung the leg of the figure nearest the door, which it discovered to be a manikin. By the same artifice the second figure was proved to be of wood, but upon stinging the third, there was an immediate response. By stinging each of the twelve assembled princes in turn the insect thus discovered each one's name, for the princes called each other by name in discussing the cause of the mysterious bites. Having secured the desired information in this novel manner, the insect then flew back to Hunahpu and Xbalanque, who thus fortified, fearlessly approached the threshold of Xibalba and presented themselves to the twelve assembled princes.

When told to adore the king, Hunahpu and Xbalanque laughed, for they knew that the figure pointed out to them was the lifeless manikin. The young adventurers thereupon addressed the twelve princes by name thus: "Hail, Hun-came; hail, Vukub-came; hail, Xiquiripat; hail, Cuchumaquiq; hail, Ahalpuh; hail, Ahalcana; hail, Chamiabak; hail, Chamiaholona; hail, Quiqxic; hail, Patan; hail, Quiqre; hail, Quiqrixqaq." When invited by the Xibalbians to seat themselves upon a great stone bench, Hunahpu and Xbalanque declined to do so, declaring that they well knew the stone to be heated so that they would he burned to death if they sat upon it. The princes of Xibalba then ordered Hunahpu and Xbalanque to rest for the night in the House of Shadows. This completed the first degree of the Xibalbian Mysteries.

The second trial was given in the House of Shadows, where to each of the candidates was brought a pine torch and a cigar, with the injunction that both must be kept alight throughout the entire night and yet each must be returned the next morning unconsumed. Knowing that death was the alternative to failure in the test, the young men burnt aras-feathers in place of the pine splinters (which they closely resemble) and also put fireflies on the tips of the cigars. Seeing the lights, those who watched felt certain that Hunahpu and Xbalanque had fallen into the trap, but when morning came the torches and cigars were returned to the guards unconsumed and still burning. In amazement and awe, the princes of Xibalba gazed upon the unconsumed splinters and cigars, for never before had these been returned intact.

The third ordeal took place presumably in a cavern called the House of Spears. Here hour after hour the youths were forced to defend themselves against the strongest and most skillful warriors armed with spears. Hunahpu and Xbalanque pacified the spearmen, who thereupon ceased attacking them. They then turned their attention to the second and most difficult part of the test: the production of four vases of the rarest flowers but which they were not permitted to leave the temple to gather. Unable to pass the guards, the two young men secured the assistance of the ants. These tiny creatures, crawling into the gardens of the temple, brought back the blossoms so that by morning the vases were filled. When Hunahpu and Xbalanque presented the flowers to the twelve princes, the latter, in amazement, recognized the blossoms as having been filched from their own private gardens. In consternation, the princes of Xibalba then counseled together how they could destroy the intrepid neophytes and forthwith prepared for them the next ordeal.

For their fourth test, the two brothers were made to enter the House of Cold, where they remained for an entire night. The princes of Xibalba considered the chill of the icy cavern to be unbearable and it is described as "the abode of the frozen winds of the North." Hunahpu and Xbalanque, however, protected themselves from the deadening influence of the frozen air by building fires of pine cones, whose warmth caused the spirit of cold to leave the cavern so that the youths were not dead but full of life when day dawned. Even greater than before was the amazement of the princes of Xibalba when Hunahpu and Xbalanque again entered the Hall of Assembly in the custody of their guardians.

Courtesy of Alice Palmer Henderson.
The birch-bark roll is one of the most sacred possessions of an initiate of the Midewiwin, or Grand Medicine Society, of the Ojibwas. Concerning these rolls, Colonel Carrick Mallery writes: "To persons acquainted with secret societies, a good comparison for the Midewiwin charts would be what is called a trestleboard of a Masonic order, which is printed and published and publicly exposed without exhibiting any secrets of the order; yet it is net only significant, but useful to the esoteric in assistance to their memory as to the details of ceremony." A most complete and trustworthy account of the Midewiwin is that given by W. J. Hoffman in the Seventh Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology. He writes:
The Midewiwin--Society of the Mide or Shaman--consists of an indefinite number of Mide of both sexes. The society is graded into four separate and distinct degrees, although there is a general impression prevailing even among certain members that any degree beyond the first is practically a mere repetition. The greater power attained by one in making advancement depends upon the fact of his having submitted to 'being shot at with the medicine sacks' in the hands of the officiating priests. * * * It has always been customary for the Mide priests to preserve birch-bark records, bearing delicate incised lines to represent pictorially the ground plan of the number of degrees to which the owner is entitled. Such records or charts are sacred and are never exposed to the public view."
The two rectangular diagrams represent two degrees of the Mide lodge and the straight line through the center the spiritual path, or "straight and narrow way," running through the degrees. The lines running tangent to the central Path signify temptations, and the faces at the termini of the lines are manidos, or powerful spirits. Writing of the Midewiwin, Schoolcraft, the great authority on the American Indian, says: "In the society of the Midewiwin the object is to teach the higher doctrines of spiritual existence, its nature and mode of existence, and the influence it exercises among men. It is an association of men who profess the highest knowledge known to the tribes."
According to legend, Manabozho, the great Rabbit, who was a servant of Dzhe Manido, the Good Spirit, gazing down upon the progenitors of the Ojibwas and perceiving them to be without spiritual knowledge, instructed an otter in the mysteries of Midewiwin. Manabozho built a Midewigan and initiated the otter, shooting the sacred Migis (a small shell, the sacred symbol of the Mide) into the body of the otter. He then conferred immortality upon the animal, and entrusted to it the secrets of the Grand Medicine Society. The ceremony of initiation is preceded by sweat baths and consists chiefly of overcoming the influences of evil manidos. The initiate is also instructed in the art of healing and (judging from Plate III of Mr. Hoffman's article) a knowledge of directionalizing the forces moving through the vital centers of the human body. Though the cross is an important symbol in the Midewiwin rites, it is noteworthy that the Mide Priests steadfastly refused to give up their religion and be converted to Christianity.

The fifth ordeal was also of a nocturnal nature. Hunahpu and Xbalanque were ushered into a great chamber which was immediately filled with ferocious tigers. Here they were forced to remain throughout the night. The young men tossed bones to the tigers, which they ground to pieces with their strong jaws. Gazing into the House of the Tigers, the princes of Xibalba beheld the animals chewing the bones and said one to the other: "They have at last learned (to know the power of Xibalba), and they have given themselves up to the beasts. " But when at dawn Hunahpu and Xbalanque emerged from the House of the Tigers unharmed, the Xibalbians cried: "Of what race are those?" for they could not understand how any man could escape the tigers' fury. Then the princes of Xibalba prepared for the two brothers a new ordeal.

The sixth test consisted of remaining from sunset to sunrise in the House of Fire. Hunahpu and Xbalanque entered a large apartment arranged like a furnace. On every side the flames arose and the air was stifling; so great was the heat that those who entered this chamber could survive only a few moments. But at sunrise when the doors of the furnace were opened, Hunahpu and Xbalanque came forth unscorched by the fury of the flames. The princes of Xibalba, perceiving how the two intrepid youths had survived every ordeal prepared for their destruction, were filled with fear lest all the secrets of Xibalba should fall into the hands of Hunahpu and Xbalanque. So they prepared the last ordeal, an ordeal yet more terrible than any which had gone before, certain that the youths could not withstand this crucial test.

The seventh ordeal took place in the House of the Bats. Here in a dark subterranean labyrinth lurked many strange and odious creatures of destruction. Huge bars fluttered dismally through the corridors and hung with folded wings from the carvings on the walls and ceilings. Here also dwelt Camazotz, the God of Bats, a hideous monster with the body of a man and the wings and head of a bat. Camazotz carried a great sword and, soaring through the gloom, decapitated with a single sweep of his blade any unwary wanderers seeking to find their way through the terror-filled chambers. Xbalanque passed successfully through this horrifying test, but Hunahpu, caught off his guard, was beheaded by Camazotz.

Later, Hunahpu was restored to life by magic, and the two brothers, having thus foiled every attempt against their lives by the Xibalbians, in order to better avenge the murder of Hunhun-ahpu and Vukub-hunhun-ahpu, permitted themselves to be burned upon a funeral pyre. Their powdered bones were then cast into a river and immediately became two great man-fishes. Later taking upon themselves the forms of aged wanderers, they danced for the Xibalbians and wrought strange miracles. Thus one would cut the other to pieces and with a single word resurrect him, or they would burn houses by magic and then instantly rebuild them. The fame of the two dancers--who were in reality Hunahpu and Xbalanque--finally came to the notice of the twelve princes of Xibalba, who thereupon desired these two miracle-workers to perform their strange fears before them. After Hunahpu and Xbalanque had slain the dog of the princes and restored it to life, had burned the royal palace and instantly rebuilt it, and given other demonstrations of their magical powers, the monarch of the Xibalbians asked the magicians to destroy him and restore him also to life. So Hunahpu and Xbalanque slew the princes of Xibalba but did not return them to life, thereby avenging the murder of Hunhun-ahpu and Vukub-hunhun-ahpu. These heroes later ascended to heaven, where they became the celestial lights.


"Do not these initiations," writes Le Plongeon, "vividly recall to mind what Henoch said he saw in his visions? That blazing house of crystal, burning hot and icy cold--that place where were the bow of fire, the quiver of arrows, the sword of fire--that other where he had to cross the babbling stream, and the river of fire-and those extremities of the Earth full of all kinds of huge beasts and birds--or the habitation where appeared one of great glory sitting upon the orb of the sun--and, lastly, does not the tamarind tree in the midst of the earth, that he was cold was the Tree of Knowledge, find its simile in the calabash tree, in the middle of the road where those of Xibalba placed the head of Hunhun Ahpu, after sacrificing him for having failed to support the first trial of the initiation? * * * These were the awful ordeals that the candidates for initiation into the sacred mysteries had to pass through in Xibalba. Do they not seem an exact counterpart of what happened in a milder form at the initiation into the Eleusinian mysteries? and also the greater mysteries of Egypt, from which these were copied? Does not the recital of what the candidates to the mysteries in Xibalba were required to know, before being admitted, * * * recall to mind the wonderful similar feats said to be performed by the Mahatmas, the Brothers in India, and of several of the passages of the book of Daniel, who had been initiated to the mysteries of the Chaldeans or Magi which, according to Eubulus, were divided into three classes or genera, the highest being the most learned?" (See Sacred Mysteries among the Mayas and the Quiches.)

In his introductory notes to the Popol Vuh, Dr. Guthrie presents a number of important parallelisms between this sacred book of the Quichés and the sacred writings of other great civilizations. In the tests through which Hunahpu and Xbalanque are forced to pass he finds the following analogy with the signs of the zodiac as employed in the Mysteries of the Egyptians, Chaldeans, and Greeks:

"Aries, crossing the river of mud. Taurus, crossing the river of blood. Gemini, detecting the two dummy kings. Cancer, the House of Darkness. Leo, the House of Spears. Virgo, the House of Cold (the usual trip to Hell). Libra, the House of Tigers (feline poise). Scorpio, the House of Fire. Sagittarius, the House of Bats, where the God Camazotz decapitates one of the heroes. Capricorn, the burning on the scaffold (the dual Phœnix). Aquarius, their ashes being scattered in a river. Pisces, their ashes turning into man-fishes, and later back into human form."

It would seem more appropriate to assign the river of blood to Aries and that of mud to Taurus, and it is not at all improbable that in the ancient form of the legend the order of the rivers was reversed. Dr. Guthrie's most astonishing conclusion is his effort to identify Xibalba with the ancient continent of Atlantis. He sees in the twelve princes of Xibalba the rulers of the Atlantean empire, and in the destruction of these princes by the magic of Hunahpu and Xbalanque an allegorical depiction of the tragic end of Atlantis. To the initiated, however, it is evident that Atlantis is simply a symbolic figure in which is set forth the mystery of origins.

Concerned primarily with the problems of mystical anatomy, Mr. Pryse relates the various symbols described in the Popol Vuh to the occult centers of consciousness in the human body. Accordingly, he sees in the elastic ball the pineal gland and in Hunahpu and Xbalanque the dual electric current directed along the spinal column. Unfortunately, Mr. Pryse did not translate that portion of the Popol Vuh dealing directly with the initiatory ceremonial. Xibalba he considers to be the shadowy or etheric sphere which, according to the Mystery teachings, was located within the body of the planet itself. The fourth book of the Popol Vuh concludes with an account of the erection of a majestic temple, all white, where was preserved a secret black divining stone, cubical in shape. Gucumatz (or Quetzalcoatl) partakes of many of the attributes of King Solomon: the account of the temple building in the Popol Vuh is a reminder of the story of Solomon's Temple, and undoubtedly has a similar significance. Brasseur de Bourbourg was first attracted to the study of religious parallelisms in the Popol Vuh by the fact that the temple together with the black stone which it contained, was named the Caabaha, a name astonishingly similar to that of the Temple, or Caaba, which contains the sacred black stone of Islam.

The exploits of Hunahpu and Xbalanque take place before the actual creation of the human race and therefore are to be considered essentially as spiritual mysteries. Xibalba doubtless signifies the inferior universe of Chaldean and Pythagorean philosophy; the princes of Xibalba are the twelve Governors of the lower universe; and the two dummies or manikins in their midst may be interpreted as the two false signs of the ancient zodiac inserted in the heavens to make the astronomical Mysteries incomprehensible to the profane. The descent of Hunahpu and Xbalanque into the subterranean kingdom of Xibalba by crossing over the rivers on bridges made from their blowguns has a subtle analogy to the descent of the spiritual nature of man into the physical body through certain superphysical channels that may be likened to the blowguns or tubes. The sabarcan is also an appropriate emblem of the spinal cord and the power resident within its tiny central opening. The two youths are invited to play the "Game of Life" with the Gods of Death, and only with the aid of supernatural power imparted to them by the "Sages" can they triumph over these gloomy lords. The tests represent the soul wandering through the sub-zodiacal realms of the created universe; their final victory over the Lords of Death represents the ascension of the spiritual and illumined consciousness from the tower nature which has been wholly consumed by the fire of spiritual purification.

That the Quichés possessed the keys to the mystery of regeneration is evident from an analysis of the symbols appearing upon the images of their priests and gods. In Vol. II of the Anales del Museo Nacional de México is reproduced the head of an image generally considered to represent Quetzalcoatl. The sculpturing is distinctly Oriental in character and on the crown of the head appear both the thousand-petaled sunburst of spiritual illumination and the serpent of the liberated spinal fire. The Hindu chakra is unmistakable and it frequently appears in the religious art of the three Americas. One of the carved monoliths of Central America is adorned with the heads of two elephants with their drivers. No such animals have existed in the Western Hemisphere since prehistoric times and it is evident that the carvings are the result of contact with the distant continent of Asia. Among the Mysteries of the Central American Indians is a remarkable doctrine concerning the consecrated mantles or, as they were called in Europe, magic capes. Because their glory was fatal to mortal vision, the gods, when appearing to the initiated priests, robed themselves in these mantles, Allegory and fable likewise are the mantles with which the secret doctrine is ever enveloped. Such a magic cape of concealment is the Popol Vuh, and deep within its folds sits the god of Quiché philosophy. The massive pyramids, temples, and monoliths of Central America may be likened also to the feet of gods, whose upper parts are enshrouded in magic mantles of invisibility.
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Re: The Secret Teachings of All Ages, by Manly P. Hall

Postby admin » Sat Jul 11, 2015 2:04 am

The Mysteries and Their Emissaries

DID that divine knowledge which constituted the supreme possession of the pagan priestcrafts survive the destruction of their temples? Is it yet accessible to mankind, or does it lie buried beneath the rubbish of ages, entombed within the very sanctuaries that were once illuminated by its splendor? "In Egypt," writes Origen, "the philosophers have a sublime and secret knowledge respecting the nature of God. What did Julian imply when he spoke of the secret initiations into the sacred Mysteries of the Seven-Rayed God who lifted souls to salvation through His own nature? Who were the blessed theurgists who understood them profundities concerning which Julian dared not speak? If this inner doctrine were always concealed from the masses, for whom a simpler code had been devised, is it not highly probable that the exponents of every aspect of modern civilization--philosophic, ethical, religious, and scientific-are ignorant of the true meaning of the very theories and tenets on which their beliefs are founded? Do the arts and sciences that the race has inherited from older nations conceal beneath their fair exterior a mystery so great that only the most illumined intellect can grasp its import? Such is undoubtedly the case.

Albert Pike, who has gathered ample evidence of the excellence of the doctrines promulgated by the Mysteries, supports his assertions by quoting from the writings of Clement of Alexandria, Plato, Epictetus, Proclus, Aristophanes, and Cicero, all of whom unite in lauding the high ideals of these institutions. From the unqualified testimony of such reputable authorities no reasonable doubt can exist that the initiates of Greece, Egypt, and other ancient countries possessed the correct solution to those great cultural, intellectual, moral, and social problems which in an unsolved state confront the humanity of the twentieth century. The reader must not interpret this statement to mean that antiquity had foreseen and analyzed every complexity of this generation, but rather that the Mysteries had evolved a method whereby the mind was so trained in the fundamental verities of life that it was able to cope intelligently with any emergency which might arise. Thus the reasoning faculties were organized by a simple process of mental culture, for it was asserted that where reason reigns supreme, inconsistency cannot exist. Wisdom, it was maintained, lifts man to the condition of Godhood, a fact which explains the enigmatical statement that the Mysteries transformed "roaring beasts into divinities."

The preeminence of any philosophical system can be determined only by the excellence of its products. The Mysteries have demonstrated the superiority of their culture by giving to the world minds of such overwhelming greatness, souls of such beatific vision, and lives of such outstanding impeccability that even after the lapse of ages the teachings of these individuals constitute the present spiritual, intellectual, and ethical standards of the race. The initiates of the various Mystery schools of past ages form a veritable golden chain of supermen and superwomen connecting heaven and earth. They are the links of that Homeric "golden chain" with which Zeus boasted he could bind the several parts of the universe to the pinnacle of Olympus. The sons and daughters of Isis are indeed an illustrious line--founders of sciences and philosophies, patrons of arts and crafts, supporting by the transcendency of their divinely given power the structures of world religions erected to do them homage. Founders of doctrines which have molded the lives of uncounted generations, these Initiate-Teachers bear witness to that spiritual culture which has always existed--and always will exist--as a divine institution in the world of men.

Those who represent an ideal beyond the comprehension of the masses must face the persecution of the unthinking multitude who are without that divine idealism which inspires progress and those rational faculties which unerringly sift truth from falsehood. The lot of the Initiate-Teacher is therefore almost invariably an unhappy one. Pythagoras, crucified and his university burned; Hypatia, torn from her chariot and rended limb from limb; Jacques de Molay, whose memory survives the consuming flame; Savonarola, burned in the square of Florence; Galileo, forced to recant upon bended knee; Giordano Bruno, burned by the Inquisition; Roger Bacon, compelled to carry on his experiments in the secrecy of his cell and leave his knowledge hidden under cipher; Dante Alighieri, dying in exile from his beloved city; Francis Bacon, patient. under the burden of persecution; Cagliostro, the most vilified man of modern times--all this illustrious line bear unending witness of man's inhumanity to man. The world has ever been prone to heap plaudits upon its fools and calumny upon its thinkers. Here and there notable exceptions occur, as in the case of the Comte de St.-Germain, a philosopher who survived his inquisitors and through the sheer transcendency of his genius won a position of comparative immunity. But even the illustrious Comte--whose illumined intellect merited the homage of the world--could not escape being branded an impostor, a charlatan, and an adventurer. From this long fist of immortal men and women who have represented the Ancient Wisdom before the world, three have been chosen as outstanding examples for more detailed consideration: the first the most eminent woman philosopher of all ages; the second the most maligned and persecuted man since the beginning of Christian Era; the third the most brilliant and the most successful modern exponent of this Ancient Wisdom.


Sitting in the chair of philosophy previously occupied by her father, Theon the mathematician, the immortal Hypatia was for many years the central figure in the Alexandrian School of Neo-Platonism. Famed alike for the depth of her learning and the charm of her person, beloved by the citizens of Alexandria, and frequently consulted by the magistrates of that city, this noble woman stands out from the pages of history as the greatest of the pagan martyrs. A personal disciple of the magician Plutarch, and versed in the profundities of the Platonic School, Hypatia eclipsed in argument and public esteem every proponent of the Christian doctrines in Northern Egypt. While her writings perished at the time of the burning of the library of Alexandria by the Mohammedans, some hint of their nature may be gleaned from the statements of contemporaneous authors. Hypatia evidently wrote a commentary on the Arithmetic of Diophantus, another on the Astronomical Canon of Ptolemy, and a third on the Conics of Apollonius of Perga. Synesius, Bishop of Ptolemais, her devoted friend, wrote to Hypatia for assistance in the construction of an astrolabe and a hydroscope. Recognizing the transcendency of her intellect, the learned of many nations flocked to the academy where she lectured.

From Vænius' Theatro Moral de la Vida Humana.
There is legend to the effect that the Tablet of Cebes, a dialogue between Cebes and Gerundio, was based upon an ancient table set up in the Temple of Kronos at Athens or Thebes which depicted the entire progress of human life. The author of the Tablet of Cebes was a disciple of Socrates, and lived about 390 B.C. The world is represented as a great mountain. Out of the earth at the base of it come he myriads of human creatures who climb upward in search of truth and immortality. Above the clouds which conceal the summit of the mountain is the goal of human attainment--true happiness. The figures and groups are arranged as follows: (1) the door of the wall of life; (2) the Genius or Intelligence; (3) deceit (4) opinions, desires, and pleasures; (5) fortune; (6) the strong; (7) venery, insatiability, flattery; (8) sorrow; (9) sadness; (10) misery; (11) grief, (12) rage or despair; (13) the house of misfortune; (14) penitence; (15) true opinion; (16) false opinion; (17) false doctrine; (18) poets, orators, geometers, et. al.; (19) incontinence, sexual indulgence, and opinion; (20) the road of the true doctrine (21) continence and patience; (22) the true doctrine; (23) truth and persuasion; (24) science and the virtues; (25) happiness, (26) the highest (first) pleasure of the wise man; (27) the lazy and the strays.

A number of writers have credited the teachings of Hypatia with being Christian in spirit; in fact she removed the veil of mystery in which the new cult had enshrouded itself, discoursing with such clarity upon its most involved principles that many newly converted to the Christian faith deserted it to become her disciples. Hypatia not only proved conclusively the pagan origin of the Christian faith but also exposed the purported miracles then advanced by the Christians as tokens of divine preference by demonstrating the natural laws controlling the phenomena.

At this time Cyril--later to be renowned as the founder of the doctrine of the Christian Trinity and canonized for his zeal--was Bishop of Alexandria. Seeing in Hypatia a continual menace to the promulgation of the Christian faith, Cyril--indirectly at least--was the cause of her tragic end. Despite every later effort to exonerate him from the stigma of her murder, the incontrovertible fact remains that he made no effort to avert the foul and brutal crime. The only shred of excuse which might be offered in his defense is that, blinded by the spell of fanaticism, Cyril considered Hypatia to be a sorceress in league with the Devil. In contrast to the otherwise general excellence of the literary works of Charles Kingsley maybe noted his puerile delineation of character of Hypatia in his book by that name. Without exception, the meager historical references to this virgin philosopher attest her virtue, integrity, and absolute devotion to the principles of Truth and Right.

While it is true that the best minds of the Christianity of that period may readily be absolved from the charge of participes criminis, the implacable hatred of Cyril unquestionably communicated itself to the more fanatical members of his faith, particularly to a group of monks from the Nitrian desert. Led by Peter the Reader, a savage and illiterate man, they attacked Hypatia on the open street as she was passing from the academy to her home. Dragging the defenseless woman from her chariot, they took her to the Cæsarean Church. Tearing away her garments, they pounded her to death with clubs, after which they scraped the flesh from her bones with oyster shells and carried the mutilated remains to a place called Cindron, where they burned them to ashes.

Thus perished in A.D. 415 the greatest woman initiate of the ancient world, and with her fell also the Neo-Platonic School of Alexandria. The memory of Hypatia has probably been perpetuated in the hagiolatry of the Roman Catholic Church in the person of St. Catherine of Alexandria.


The "divine" Cagliostro, one moment the idol of Paris, the next a lonely prisoner in a dungeon of the Inquisition, passed like a meteor across the face of France. According to his memoirs written by him during his confinement in the Bastille, Alessandro Cagliostro was born in Malta of a noble but unknown family. He was reared and educated in Arabia under the tutelage of Altotas, a man well versed in several branches of philosophy and science and also a master of the transcendental arts. While Cagliostro's biographers generally ridicule this account, they utterly fail to advance in its stead any logical solution for the source of his magnificent store of arcane knowledge.

Branded as an impostor and a charlatan, his miracles declared to be legerdemain, and his very generosity suspected of an ulterior motive, the Comte di Cagliostro is undoubtedly the most calumniated man in modem history. "The mistrust," writes W. H. K. Trowbridge, "that mystery and magic always inspire made Cagliostro with his fantastic personality an easy target for calumny. After having been riddled with abuse till he was unrecognizable, prejudice, the foster child of calumny, proceeded to lynch him, so to speak. For over one hundred years his character has dangled on the gibbet of infamy, upon which the sbirri of tradition have inscribed a curse on any one who shall attempt to cut him down. His fate has been his fame. He is remembered in history, not so much for anything he did, as for what was done to him." (See Cagliostro, the Splendour and Misery of a Master of Magic.)

According to popular belief Cagliostro's real name was Giuseppe Balsamo, and he was a Sicilian by birth. Within recent years, however, doubts have arisen as to whether this belief is in accord with the facts. It may yet be proved that in part, at least, the tirades of abuse heaped upon the unfortunate Comte have been directed against the wrong man. Giuseppe Balsamo was born in 1743 of honest but humble parentage. From boyhood he exhibited selfish, worthless, and even criminal tendencies, and after a series of escapades disappeared. Trowbridge(loc. cit.) presents ample proof that Cagliostro was not Giuseppe Balsamo, thus disposing of the worst accusation against him. After six months' imprisonment in the Bastille, on his trial Cagliostro was exonerated from any implication in the theft of the famous "Queen's Necklace," and later the fact was established that he had actually warned Cardinal de Rohan of the intended crime. Despite the fact, however, that he was discharged as innocent by the French trial court, a deliberate effort to vilify Cagliostro was made by an artist--more talented than intelligent--who painted a picture showing him holding the fatal necklace in his hand. The trial of Cagliostro has been called the prologue of the French Revolution. The smoldering animosity against Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI engendered by this trial later burst forth as the holocaust of the Reign of Terror. In his brochure, Cagliostro and His Egyptian Rite of Freemasonry, Henry R. Evans also ably defends this much persecuted man against the infamies so unjustly linked with his name.

Sincere investigators of the facts surrounding the life and mysterious "death" of Cagliostro are of the opinion that the stories circulated against him may be traced to the machinations of the Inquisition, which in this manner sought to justify his persecution. The basic charge against Cagliostro was that he had attempted to found a Masonic lodge in Rome--nothing more. All other accusations are of subsequent date. For some reason undisclosed, the Pope commuted Cagliostro's sentence of death to perpetual imprisonment. This act in itself showed the regard in which Cagliostro was held even by his enemies. While his death is believed to have occurred several years later in an Inquisitional dungeon in the castle of San Leo, it is highly improbable that such was the case. There are rumors that he escaped, and according to one very significant story Cagliostro fled to India, where his talents received the appreciation denied them in politics-ridden Europe.

After creating his Egyptian Rite, Cagliostro declared that since women had been admitted into the ancient Mysteries there was no reason why they should be excluded from the modem orders. The Princesse de Lamballe graciously accepted the dignity of Mistress of Honor in his secret society, and on the evening of her initiation the most important members of the French court were present. The brilliance of the affair attracted the attention of the Masonic lodges in Paris. Their representatives, in a sincere desire to understand the Masonic Mysteries, chose the learned orientalist Court de Gébelin as their spokesman, and invited Comte di Cagliostro to attend a conference to assist in clearing up a number of important questions concerning Masonic philosophy. The Comte accepted the invitation.

On May 10, 1785, Cagliostro attended the conference called for that purpose, and his power and simplicity immediately won for him the favorable opinion of the entire gathering. It took but a few words for the Court de Gébelin to discover that he was talking nor only to a fellow scholar but to a man infinitely his superior. Cagliostro immediately presented an address, which was so unexpected, so totally different from anything ever heard before by those assembled, that all were speechless with amazement. Cagliostro declared the Rose-Cross to be the ancient and true symbol of the Mysteries and, after a brief description of its original symbolism, branched out into a consideration of the symbolic meaning of letters, predicting to the assembly the future of France in a graphic manner that left no room for doubt that the speaker was a man of insight and supernatural power. With a curious arrangement of the letters of the alphabet, Cagliostro foretold in detail the horrors of the coming revolution and the fall of the monarchy, describing minutely the fate of the various members of the royal family. He also prophesied the advent of Napoleon and the rise of the First Empire. All this he did to demonstrate that which can be accomplished by superior knowledge.

Later when arrested and sent to the Bastille, Cagliostro wrote on the wall of his cell the following cryptic message which, when interpreted, reads: "In 1789 the besieged Bastille will on July 14th be pulled down by you from top to bottom." Cagliostro was the mysterious agent of the Knights Templars, the Rosicrucian initiate whose magnificent store of learning is attested by the profundity of the Egyptian Rite of Freemasonry. Thus Comte di Cagliostro remains one of the strangest characters in history--believed by his friends to have lived forever and to have taken part in the marriage feast of Cana, and accused by his enemies of being the Devil incarnate! His powers of prophecy are ably described by Alexandre Dumas in The Queen's Necklace. The world he sought to serve in his own strange way received him not, but has followed with relentless persecution down through the centuries even the very memory of this illustrious adept who, unable to accomplish the great labor at hand, stepped aside in favor of his more successful compatriot, the Comte de St-Germain.


During the early part of the eighteenth century there appeared in the diplomatic circles of Europe the most baffling personality of history--a man whose life was so near a synonym of mystery that the enigma of his true identity was as insolvable to his contemporaries as it has been to later investigators. The Comte de St.-Germain was recognized as the outstanding scholar and linguist of his day. His versatile accomplishments extended from chemistry and history to poetry and music. He played several musical instruments with great skill and among his numerous compositions was a short opera. He was also an artist of rare ability and the remarkably luminous effects which he created on canvas are believed to have been the result of his mixing powdered mother-of-pearl with his pigments. He gained worldwide distinction for his ability to reproduce in his paintings the original luster of the precious stones appearing upon the costumes of his subjects. His linguistic proficiency verged on the supernatural. He spoke German, English, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, French with a Piedmontese accent, Greek, Latin, Sanskrit, Arabic, and Chinese with such fluency that in every land he visited he was accepted as a native. He was ambidextrous to such a degree that: he could write the same article with both hands simultaneously. When the two pieces of paper were afterwards placed together with a light behind them, the writing on one sheet exactly covered, letter for letter, the writing on the other.

As a historian, the Comte de St.-Germain possessed uncanny knowledge of every occurrence of the preceding two thousand years, and in his reminiscences he described in intimate detail events of previous centuries in which he had played important rôles. He assisted Mesmer in developing the theory of mesmerism, and in all probability was the actual discoverer of that science. His knowledge of chemistry was so profound that he could remove flaws from diamonds and other precious stones--a feat which he actually performed at the request of Louis XV in 1757. He was also recognized as an art critic without a peer and was often consulted regarding paintings accredited to the great masters. His claim to the possession of the fabled elixir of life was home witness to by Madame de Pompadour, who discovered, she declared, that he had presented a lady of the court with a certain priceless liquid which had had the effect of preserving her youthful vivacity and beauty for over twenty-five years beyond the normal term.

The startling accuracy of his prophetic utterances gained for him no small degree of fame. To Marie Antoinette he predicted the fall of the French monarchy, and he was also aware of the unhappy fate of the royal family years before the Revolution actually took place. The crowning evidence, however, of the Comte's genius was his penetrating grasp of the political situation of Europe and the consummate skill with which he parried the thrusts of his diplomatic adversaries. He was employed by a number of European governments, including the French, as a secret agent, and at all times bore credentials which gave him entrée to the most exclusive circles.

In her excellent monograph, The Comte de St.-Germain, the Secret of Kings, Mrs. Cooper-Oakley lists the most important names under which this amazing person masqueraded between the years 1710 and 1822. "During this time," she writes, "we have M. de St.-Germain as the Marquis de Montferrat, Comte Bellamarre or Aymar at Venice, Chevalier Schoening at Pisa, Chevalier Weldon at Milan and Leipzig, Comte Soltikoff at Genoa and Leghorn, Graf Tzarogy at Schwalbach and Triesdorf, Prinz Ragoczy at Dresden, and Comte de St.-Germain at Paris, The Hague, London, and St. Petersburg." It is evident that M. de St.-Germain adopted these various names in the interests of the political secret service work which historians have presumed to be the major mission of his life.

The Comte de St.-Germain has been described as of medium height, well proportioned in body, and of regular and pleasing features. His complexion was somewhat swarthy and his hair dark, though often shown powdered. He dressed simply, usually in black, but his clothes were well fitting and of the best quality. He had apparently a mania for diamonds, which he wore not only in rings but also in his watch and chain, his snuff box, and upon his buckles. A jeweler once estimated the value of his shoe buckles at 200,000 francs. The Comte is generally depicted as a man in middle life, entirely devoid of wrinkles and free from any physical infirmity. He ate no meat and drank no wine, in fact seldom dined in the presence of any second person. Although he was looked upon as a charlatan and impostor by a few nobles at the French court, Louis XV severely reprimanded a courtier who made a disparaging remark concerning him. The grace and dignity that characterized his conduct, together with his perfect control of every situation, attested the innate refinement and culture of one "to the manner born." This remarkable person also had the surprising and impressive ability to divine, even to the most minute details, the questions of his inquisitors before they were asked. By something akin to telepathy he was also able to feel when his presence was needed in some distant city or state, and it has even been recorded of him that he had the astonishing habit not only of appearing in his own apartment and in those of friends without resorting to the conventionality of the door but also of departing therefrom in a similar manner.

M. de St.-Germain's travels covered many countries. During the reign of Peter III he was in Russia and between the years 1737 and 1742 in the court of the Shah of Persia as an honored guest. On the subject: of his wanderings Una Birch writes: "The travels of the Comte de Saint-Germain covered a long period of years and a great range of countries. From Persia to France and from Calcutta to Rome he was known and respected. Horace Walpole spoke with him in London in 1745; Clive knew him in India in 1756; Madame d'Adhémar alleges that she met him in Paris in 1789, five years after his supposed death; while other persons pretend to have held conversations with him in the early nineteenth century. He was on familiar and intimate terms with the crowned heads of Europe and the honoured friend of many distinguished persons of all nationalities. He is even mentioned in the memoirs and letters of the day, and always as a man of mystery. Frederick the Great, Voltaire, Madame de Pompadour, Rousseau, Chatham, and Walpole, all of whom knew him personally, rivalled each other in curiosity as to his origin. During the many decades in which he was before the world, however, no one succeeded in discovering why he appeared as a Jacobite agent in London, as a conspirator in Petersburg, as an alchemist and connoisseur of pictures in Paris, or as a Russian general at Naples. * * * Now and again the curtain which shrouds his actions is drawn aside, and we are permitted to see him fiddling in the music room at Versailles, gossiping with Horace Walpole in London, sitting in Frederick the Great's library at Berlin, or conducting illuminist meetings in caverns by the Rhine." (See The Nineteenth Century, January, 1908.)

From Houdon's Bust of Cagliostro.
The Comte di Cagliostro is described as a man not overly tall, but square shouldered and deep of chest. His head, which was large, was abundantly covered with black hair combed back from his broad and noble forehead. His eyes were black and very brilliant, and when he spoke with great feeling upon some profound subject the pupils dilated, his eyebrows rose, and he shook his head like a maned lion. His hands and feet were small--an indication of noble birth--and his whole bearing was one of dignity and studiousness. He was filled with energy, and could accomplish a prodigious amount of work. He dressed somewhat fantastically, gave so freely from an inexhaustible purse that he received the title of "Father of the Poor," accepted nothing from anyone, and maintained himself in magnificence in a combined temple and palace in the Rue d, la Sourdière. According to his own statement he was initiated into the Mysteries by none other than the Comte de St.-Germain. He had traveled through all parts of the world, and in the ruins of ancient Babylon and Nineveh had discovered wise men who understood all the secrets of human life.

The Comte de St.-Germain has been generally regarded as an important figure in early activities of the Freemasons. Repeated efforts, however, probably with an ulterior motive, have been made to discredit his Masonic affiliations. An example of this is the account appearing in The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry, by Arthur Edward Waite. This author, after making several rather disparaging remarks on the subject, amplifies his article by reproducing an engraving of the wrong Comte de St.-Germain, apparently being unable to distinguish between the great illuminist and the French general. It will yet be established beyond all doubt that the Comte de St.-Germain was both a Mason and a Templar; in fact the memoirs of Cagliostro contain a direct statement of his initiation into the order of the Knights Templars at the hands of St.-Germain. Many of the illustrious personages with whom the Comte de St.-Germain associated were high Masons, and sufficient memoranda have been preserved concerning the discussions which they held to prove that he was a master of Freemasonic lore. It is also reasonably certain that he was connected with the Rosicrucians--possibly having been the actual head of that order.

The Comte de St.-Germain was thoroughly conversant with the principles of Oriental esotericism. He practiced the Eastern system of meditation and concentration, upon several occasions having been seen seated with his feet crossed and hands folded in the posture of a Hindu Buddha. He had a retreat in the heart of the Himalayas to which he retired periodically from the world. On one occasion he declared that he would remain in India for eighty-five years and then would return to the scene of his European labors. At various times he admitted that he was obeying the orders of a power higher and greater than himself. What he did not say was that this superior power was the Mystery school which had sent him into the world to accomplish a definite mission. The Comte de St.-Germain and Sir Francis Bacon are the two greatest emissaries sent into the world by the Secret Brotherhood in the last thousand years.

E. Francis Udny, a Theosophical writer, is of the belief that the Comte de St.-Germain was not the son of Prince Rákóczy of Transylvania, but because of his age could have been none other than the prince himself, who was known to be of a deep philosophic and mystic nature. The same writer believes the Comte de St.-Germain passed through the "philosophic death" as Francis Bacon in 1626, as François Rákóczy in 1735, and as Comte de St.-Germain in 1784. He also feels that the Comte de St.-Germain was the famous Comte de Gabalis, and as Count Hompesch was the last Grand Master of the Knights of Malta. It is well known that many members of the European secret societies have feigned death for various purposes. Marshal Ney, a member of the Society of Unknown Philosophers, escaped the firing squad and under the name of Peter Stuart Ney lived and taught school for over thirty years in North Carolina. On his deathbed, P. S. Ney told Doctor Locke, the attending physician, that he was Marshal Ney of France.

In concluding an article on the identity of the inscrutable Comte de St.-Germain, Andrew Lang writes: "Did Saint-Germain really die in the palace of Prince Charles of Hesse about 1780-85? Did he, on the other hand, escape from the French prison where Grosley thought he saw him, during the French Revolution? Was he known to Lord Lytton about 1860? * * * Is he the mysterious Muscovite adviser of the Dalai Lama? Who knows? He is a will-o'-the-wisp of the memoir-writers of the eighteenth century. " (See Historical Mysteries.)


Many times the question has been asked, Was Francis Bacon's vision of the "New Atlantis" a prophetic dream of the great civilization which was so soon to rise upon the soil of the New World? It cannot be doubted that the secret societies of Europe conspired to establish upon the American continent "a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." Two incidents in the early history of the United States evidence the influence of that silent body which has so long guided the destinies of peoples and religions. By them nations are created as vehicles for the promulgation of ideals, and while nations are true to these ideals they survive; when they vary from them they vanish like the Atlantis of old which had ceased to "know the gods."

In his admirable little treatise, Our Flag, Robert Allen Campbell revives the details of an obscure, but most important, episode of American history--the designing of the Colonial flag of 1775. The account involves a mysterious man concerning whom no information is available other than that he was on familiar terms with both General George Washington and Dr. Benjamin Franklin. The following description of him is taken from Campbell's treatise:

"Little seems to have been known concerning this old gentleman; and in the materials from which this account is compiled his name is not even once mentioned, for he is uniformly spoken of or referred to as 'the Professor.' He was evidently far beyond his threescore and ten years; and he often referred to historical events of more than a century previous just as if he had been a living witness of their occurrence; still he was erect, vigorous and active--hale, hearty, and clear-minded--as strong and energetic every way as in the prime of his life He was tall, of fine figure, perfectly easy, and very dignified in his manners; being at once courteous, gracious and commanding. He was, for those times and considering the customs of the Colonists, very peculiar in his method of living; for he ate no flesh, fowl or fish; he never used for food any 'green thing,' any roots or anything unripe; he drank no liquor, wine or ale; but confined his diet to cereals and their products, fruits that were ripened on the stem in the sun, nuts, mild tea and the sweets of honey, sugar or molasses.

"He was well educated, highly cultivated, of extensive as well as varied information, and very studious. He spent considerable of his time in the patient and persistent conning of a number of very rare old books and ancient manuscripts which he seemed to be deciphering, translating or rewriting. These books and manuscripts, together with his own writings, he never showed to anyone; and he did not even mention them in his conversations with the family, except in the most casual way; and he always locked them up carefully in a large, old-fashioned, cubically shaped, iron-bound, heavy, oaken chest, whenever he left his room, even for his meals. He took long and frequent walks alone, sat on the brows of the neighboring hills, or mused in the midst of the green and flower-gemmed meadows. He was fairly liberal--but in no way lavish--in spending his money, with which he was well supplied. He was a quiet, though a very genial and very interesting, member of the family; and be was seemingly at home upon any and every topic coming up in conversation. He was, in short, one whom everyone would notice and respect, whom few would feel well acquainted with, and whom no one would presume to question concerning himself--as to whence he came, why he tarried, or whither he journeyed. "

By something more than a mere coincidence the committee appointed by the Colonial Congress to design a flag accepted an invitation to be guests, while in Cambridge, of the same family with which the Professor was staying. It was here that General Washington joined them for the purpose of deciding upon a fitting emblem. By the signs which passed between them it was evident that both General Washington and Doctor Franklin recognized the Professor, and by unanimous approval he was invited to become an active member of the committee. During the proceedings which followed, the Professor was treated with the most profound respect and all of his suggestions immediately acted upon. He submitted a pattern which he considered symbolically appropriate for the new flag, and this was unhesitatingly accepted by the other six members of the committee, who voted that the arrangement suggested by the Professor be forthwith adopted. After the episode of the flag the Professor quietly vanished, and nothing further is known concerning him.

Did General Washington and Doctor Franklin recognize the Professor as an emissary of the Mystery school which has so long controlled the political destinies of this planet? Benjamin Franklin was a philosopher and a Freemason--possibly a Rosicrucian initiate. He and the Marquis de Lafayette--also a man of mystery--constitute two of the most important links in the chain of circumstance that culminated in the establishment of the original thirteen American Colonies as a free and independent nation. Doctor Franklin's philosophic attainments are well attested in Poor Richard's Almanac, published by him for many years under the name of Richard Saunders. His interest in the cause of Freemasonry is also shown by his republication of Anderson's Constitutions of Freemasonry, a rare and much disputed work on the subject.

It was during the evening of July 4, 1776, that the second of these mysterious episodes occurred. In the old State House in Philadelphia a group of men were gathered for the momentous task of severing the last tie between the old country and the new. It was a grave moment and not a few of those present feared that their lives would be the forfeit for their audacity. In the midst of the debate a fierce voice rang out. The debaters stopped and turned to look upon the stranger. Who was this man who had suddenly appeared in their midst and transfixed them with his oratory? They had never seen him before, none knew when he had entered, but his tall form and pale face filled them with awe. His voice ringing with a holy zeal, the stranger stirred them to their very souls. His closing words rang through the building: "God has given America to be free!" As the stranger sank into a chair exhausted, a wild enthusiasm burst forth. Name after name was placed upon the parchment: the Declaration of Independence was signed. But where was the man who had precipitated the accomplishment of this immortal task--who had lifted for a moment the veil from the eyes of the assemblage and revealed to them a part at least of the great purpose for which the new nation was conceived? He had disappeared, nor was he ever seen again or his identity established. This episode parallels others of a similar kind recorded by ancient historians attendant upon the founding of every new nation. Are they coincidences, or do they demonstrate that the divine wisdom of the ancient Mysteries still is present in the world, serving mankind as it did of old?
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