XII. Beneath the Rose
If then you do not make yourself equal to God, you cannot apprehend God; for like is known by like. Leap clear of all that is corporeal, and make yourself grown to a like expanse with that greatness which is beyond all measure; rise above all time and become eternal; then you will apprehend God. Think that for you too nothing is impossible; deem that you too are immortal, and that you are able to grasp all things in your thought, to know every craft and science; find your home in the haunts of every living creature; make yourself higher than all heights and lower than all depths; bring together in yourself all opposites of quality, heat and cold, dryness and fluidity; think that you are everywhere at once, on land, at sea, in heaven; think that you are not yet begotten, that you are in the womb, that you are young, that you are old, that you have died, that you are in the world beyond the grave; grasp in your thought all of this at once, all times and places, all substances and qualities and magnitudes together; then you can apprehend God.
But if you shut up your soul in your body, and abase yourself, and say “I know nothing, I can do nothing; I am afraid of earth and sea, I cannot mount to heaven; I know not what I was, nor what I shall be,” then what have you to do with God?– Corpus Hermeticum
It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.– Voltaire
As Above, So Below
Hermes Trismegistus played a very prominent role in this mysterious game. Hermes was a piece of the puzzle that was not limited to any one person, place or time. When examining this character, as with many of the teachers of wisdom, there are many different ideas as to whom or what Hermes actually was. Was he an actual person or did the name represent many people, or was it a disembodied entity that spoke through interpreters? Or was it perhaps a metaphorical term referring to the Egyptian religion as a whole, or else the ancestor who divulged this knowledge unto them? Some even claim that Hermes was Moses, since both characters lived in Egypt and both received laws from god in the form of stone tablets.
It could be said that all the temples of Egypt express Hermetic Philosophy, yet the written documents came, of course, from Alexandria. This is where the Corpus Hermeticum was scribed – the works of Hermes. This does not mean that it did not exist before, only that it definitely did exist then. More than likely it had existed far earlier and probably with greater detail. Once again, we find ourselves in the first centuries AD in a place where the philosophies of the entire known world were being melted together and many great teachers shared their ideas. We know that the Gnostics were there, as well as the initiates of the mystery schools, and those who practiced the Egyptian wisdom traditions. The Egyptian school, however, was being wiped out even though Alexandria was in Egypt. It was the literalist Christians and their pride, which were not willing to accept these ‘pagan’ ideas, and eventually caused the destruction of the libraries.
It was this threat that led the ‘Organization’ to hide away the Gnostic Gospels at Nag Hammadi. Perhaps it was the same threat that led to the collection or scribing of the Hermetica. In fact, part of it was included in the Nag Hammadi texts, and this only goes to show how closely related the Egyptian religion was to the Gnostic sects.
It seemed as though the contents of the Hermetica may have been much older, but at the time when the Egyptian religion was on its deathbed, the verses may have been compiled into this anthology and translated into the modern language. When the texts arrived in Europe, everyone believed the works to have been from ancient Egypt itself. When it was found that it dated from the first centuries, it lost credit in the eyes of some, yet most would look past this detail. Really the date matters not when a simple reading and understanding of the contents proves to demonstrate the very real and powerful authority of the information – a timeless message in itself. This is why it was quoted at the close Part One.
Hermes Trismegistus means Hermes ‘Thrice Great’, because he was the greatest of all kings, priests and philosophers. This gives us the idea of an individual person who actually lived, but if Hermes was a person, he would have to have lived in the mysterious times of early Egypt. It is accepted that Hermes, which was his Greek name, was identical to the Egyptian Thoth, the God of Wisdom. This means that by the time he became Hermes, he was already an ancient legend in Rome. Not only that, but knowing how the Egyptians spoke in symbol and analogy, we must allow for the possibility that he was simply a parable, or as most of the Egyptian gods, a principle incarnated into a character Tjehuti.
The principle that he represented was that of a messenger, an interpreter of divine wisdom as it crossed into the human world. Therefore, he may have been a symbol of one’s personal connection to their higher self. In the case of Thoth, it would imply the principle of divine wisdom itself and if we read these texts, we begin to notice that it seems as though this is simply a summary of the entire ancient religion. It is also possible that he represented an ideal, or an example of the perfect Monarch or Pharaoh.
Regardless, we do find many actual people by the name of Hermes in history, but in this case, it is possible that it became a title given to those who deserved it based on their spiritual learning. All that we can really say about the Hermetic Philosophy is that it existed in text at least as early as the first centuries AD, and it is implied that it was an authentic representation of the genuine Egyptian Religion. These texts were mostly dialogues between Hermes and a student. The Emerald Tablet was also considered to be part of the Hermetica. This was the source of the phrase ‘As Above, So Below’, which is an entire philosophy in itself. Another of the most notable portions of the collection was the Divine Pymander, the great vision of Hermes, which we will return to shortly.
Like the Nag Hammadi library, the texts went into hiding. They did not appear again until the late fifteenth century. Mentioned earlier, the Corpus Hermeticum was monumental in establishing the Renaissance. When it was brought to Cosimo de Medici in Florence, all his attention shifted to it. Cosimo had been searching for these texts for a long time. His wealth and power eventually uncovered them through a devoted monk whom he ordered to seek it out and to purchase it at any price. As soon as the texts entered Florence, he set Marsilio Ficino to the task of translating them. Ficino was the adopted son of Cosimo, who had assigned him to translate the works of Plato for the Platonic Academy. Ficino finished the translation of the Hermetica just in time for Cosimo to read it before his death in 1464.
The significance of the Hermetica’s arrival in Europe cannot be understated for many reasons. For one, it was in the hands of the Medici family, possibly the most powerful family in all of European history. This, along with the fact that it was presented as philosophy rather than an attempt to form a religion, helped protect it from the Church. Many proponents of the Hermetic Philosophy attempted to incorporate it into Christianity. It almost seemed as though there was already a plan in place before the books were found to immediately distribute it and even to help it find its way into the Vatican. It spread so quickly from so noble a source that the church had no time to question it as possible heresy before it had already spread throughout the land and gained so much fame, even within Catholic circles.
Also, this work predated the other heresies that the church had already wiped out, but the similarities could be seen. Though all the different uprisings of wisdom had many different beliefs, which did not always line up with each other exactly, they were all more or less the same thing. After all, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. This was perhaps the spirit in which the new ideas were received. Any fifteenth century scholar who knew the horrors of the Church and what had been covered up in the past would most likely jump on the chance to obtain this new source.
We can see this happening as soon as the work appeared. It was at this time that the dark ages of ignorance were illuminated into a rebirth of understanding. The Renaissance flowed out of Italy into all of Europe. Perhaps this era was also triggered by the plague, which vastly affected the values and ways of living in the preceding century. Surely, there were many factors contributing to this historical rebirth of art and wisdom, but the Corpus Hermeticum was undoubtedly a profound influence.
Since this time, the term Hermetic has come to be synonymous with any occult or hidden teaching and especially anything related to the Grand Arcanum. It is closely bound to Alchemy and the Tarot. In fact, anything that is kept hidden and inaccessible can be called hermetically sealed. Many different texts and teachings have been blended together under the title Hermetic, and so the influence of Hermes can be felt all throughout the worlds of wisdom.
But lets take a closer look at what is actually written in these works. Perhaps it will give a better perspective on the nature of its influence. Let us return to the Divine Pymander. The Pymander consists of seventeen texts put forth as one. The second book was called Poimandres – the Vision. This text is significant enough to be explored at length. After all, this is one of the earliest versions of the Gnosis that we can examine. As we’ve seen, others have different details, but they were ones that grew out of the preexisting philosophy. In reading from the Hermetica, we are reading the version that is closest to the source so to speak, as we can remember that the highest Wisdom was the most ancient.
Hermes was walking through a desolate place. He sat down and began meditating. Following secret practices, he soon released his higher self from the bondage of the senses. In The Secret Teachings of All Ages, Manly Hall writes,
“His divine nature revealed to him the mysteries of the transcendental spheres. He beheld a figure, terrible and awe-inspiring. It was the Great Dragon, with wings stretching across the sky and light streaming in all directions from its body. (The mysteries taught that the Universal Life was personified as a dragon.) The Great Dragon called Hermes by name and asked him why he thus meditated upon the World Mystery. Terrified by the spectacle, Hermes prostrated himself before the Dragon, beseeching it to reveal its identity. The great creature answered that it was Poimandres, the Mind of the Universe, the Creative Intelligence, and the Absolute Emperor of all. [Perhaps Osiris] Hermes then besought Poimandres to disclose the nature of the universe and the constitution of the gods. The Dragon acquiesced, bidding Trismegistus hold its image in his mind.”
Just then Hermes vision was opened up, so that all things turned into sweet joyous light. At the same time, he was relocated. Soon after, darkness came settling down on part of the scene, coiling like a snake, and enveloping the light. The darkness changed into a sort of moistness, belching out smoke and from within it was heard groaning, which seemed to come from the light that had been swallowed. The light was spirit and the darkness encircling it, material substance.
Then a Holy Word descended and upwards swiftly came pure fire, creating a column of light. It was followed by air, both of them being light in weight. Below the Earth and water mingled together and became inseparable.
The Universal Mind then told him “I am the light and the mind which were before substance was divided from spirit and darkness from light. The word which appeared as a pillar of flame from the darkness is the son of God, born of the Mystery of the Mind. Know that what sees in you and hears is the Word of God, which is called reason, the offspring of thought. But Mind is Father – God. They are not separate from each other and the union between the Word and Mind creates the mystery called life. The light and the fire which rise are the divine man, ascending in the path of the Word. That which fails to ascend is the mortal man, which may not partake in immortality. So, understand the light, and make friends with it. Learn deeply of the mind and its mystery, for therein lies the secret of immortality.”
Again we see the pillar of flame, from the mystery of the mind. The light and fire which rise are the divine man, ascending the path of the CHAKRAS! That which fails to ascend is the flesh!
Hermes thought for a minute, seeing the whole world now with new eyes. The Dragon returned and their eyes met for a long time. Eventually, Hermes began to tremble. When the Dragon spoke the Word, the Heavens opened up and Hermes witnessed the spirits of the stars and the Universe, the celestials who all issued from the One Fire.
The dragon went on to describe that before the Creation was the Archetype – the mold that would caste the universe. This design was in the Universal Mind long before the creation began. Then it carved out primordial space using the Word and cast the form of spheres while at the same time, seeding these bodies with life. The elements were sifted into different levels and each brought forth its own living creatures. The Word was brought forth, was suspended between light and darkness and it formed the second Mind. This Second Mind was called the workman or the Master Builder.
This Builder formed Seven Rulers, the spirits of the Planets who governed the world with destiny. When the Second Mind, the Workman, had organized Chaos, The Word rose from the prison of matter and joined itself to the Workman, leaving the Elements without Reason. The Word and the Creator established themselves in the midst of the Universe where they turn the wheels of the Celestial Powers. This happens from an infinite beginning to an infinite end, as the beginning and end are the same place.
The downward or lower Elements brought forth creatures without reason, as this region was without the Word. The air brought forth the Winged and the Seas brought forth the swimmers. The Earth and Water separated and the Earth brought forth four footed creeping beasts and reptiles. Then the Supreme Mind – Light and Life – brought forth Man in its own image. This was not an Earthly man but a Heavenly Man, dwelling in the light of God. The Supreme Mind fell in love with its own child and gave to him the control of Creations.
Now the Man desired to labor and his state changed into the formative sphere. He looked at the creations of his Brother, the Fiery Workman, the Second Mind. He wanted to create as well and the Mind gave permission. The Seven Governors, the Planetary Rulers of whose power he partook loved him and each gave Man a share of its own Nature. Soon he had learned their essence and shared in their nature. He broke through the boundaries of their spheres and tried to understand the mystery of the One seated on the Eternal Fire.
Now he had divine authority over all mortals, he came down through the seven Harmonies and showed his form to downward nature. When he gazed down, he saw his great shadow and his reflection upon the waters. He fell in love with this image and descended into it. Thus the intelligent thing was united with the unreasoning shape or image. Nature wrapped herself around Him and they were intermingled, as lovers. So Earthly man is a hybrid, inwardly immortal, yet in mortal body. Though he has power over all things, he suffers as a mortal and is subject to fate, the instrument of the Seven Governors. This man was a hermaphrodite, male and female and ever awake, as was his Father, yet still his body is overcome by sleep. Thus we dream at night.
Hermes asks to know more still. The reply is that this is the mystery which was hidden until that day. When Man and Nature embraced, then occurred a wonder most wonderful – for each of the Seven Governors, made of Spirit and Fire, Nature immediately brought forth seven men, all male and female, in correspondence to the natures of the Governors. These are the seven races, species and wheels – among other traditions, called the Septenary. They are Blavatsky’s Seven Rays.
In such a way these seven were created. Man, from Life and Light received his soul and mind. It went on this way for a period of time. But at the end of the period, the knot of destiny loosened by God’s Will. At the time all the animals being male-female and man as well, were split apart, some becoming male and some female. Then God Spoke through the Holy Word in all things, “Increase ye in increasing, and multiply in multitude, ye creatures and creations all; and man that hath Mind in him, let him learn to know that he himself is deathless, and that the cause of death is love, (of the body) though Love is all.”
So, all things multiplied according to their kind. He who learns to know himself rises to immortality, but He who spends his love on his body stays in darkness wandering and by his senses suffers the things of Death. Hermes asks, What is the great fault, if you don’t mind the ignorant question, in falling out of deathlessness?
Poimandres response comes as a reminder to Hermes to think before questioning. “Why do they merit death who are in Death? It’s because this gloomy Darkness is the root of the Material Frame, it is the source of the Moist Nature, and of the body in the sense-world. From this Body, Death drains the Water. To the ignorant the body is supreme, they are incapable of realizing their own immortality. Knowing only the body, which is ruled by Death, they believe in death because they worship the cause and reality of death. Likewise, if man should realize that He contains within himself Light and Life, he can pass into Eternity.”
Hermes then asks how to follow the path back to the Eternal Light and Life and out of the material world. Poimandres states that the Man with Mind will consider and learn of himself in order to divide his Self from his not-self and become a servant of Reality. Then Hermes asked if not all men had Mind.
The answer came. “I, Mind, myself am present with holy men and good and pure, merciful men who live piously. To these people, I am an aid. Right away they gain gnosis of all things and win the Father’s love by leading pure lives. They give him thanks, blessings, hymns, intent on serving Him with love. Ere they give up their body to its proper death, they turn with disgust from its sensations, knowing already of this thing they’ve been operating. It is I, the Mind, that will protect against the evil operations of the senses trying to control the body. I will not allow evil thoughts and emotions to enter. I will become as a Gatekeeper, and will shut the doors between the wise and their lower nature. But to wicked, envious and covetous, I come not. For they cannot understand the mysteries of mind and therefore I am unwelcome. In my place, he will find his own Demon which he created in his own soul. His Evils will pile up and each day torment him more until the day that evil destroys itself. The punishment of desire is the agony of unfulfillment.”
Hermes thanks Poimandres for all this wisdom and asks to know more concerning the ultimate end or goal of Man’s soul. So He continues, at death, the body returns to the elements from whence it came. The invisible divine man returns to where it was from, the Eighth Sphere. The senses, feelings, desires and passions also return to their source, the Seven Governors. And so the spiritual man makes his ascent then up through the Seven Spheres, guarded by the Seven Rulers. To these, he returns their lower nature, which destroys life, though their higher nature gives life.
Upon the first ring sits the Moon and to it is returned the ability to increase or decrease. Upon the second is Mercury to whom is returned machines or devices of evils, deceit and craftiness. Third is Venus who is given lusts and passions. Fourth is the Sun which is given ambitions. Next is Mars to whom are returned unholy daring and rashness and audacity. Then to Jupiter is given accumulation and riches. Upon the seventh ring sits Saturn guarding the gateway into chaos. To Saturn are returned falsehood and evil plotting.
Then, stripped of all these accumulations, he is clothed in his proper power and he arrives at the Eighth Sphere, that of the fixed stars. Those who are there welcome him with great joy and together they sing Hymns to the Father. Within this Eighth Sphere is a great mystery, for the Milky Way is the seed ground of souls. From there they come in, down through the wheels of Saturn. But some cannot climb the seven-runged ladder and they wander in darkness below. All those in the Eighth Sphere then are banded together and they surrender themselves to Powers, and thus becoming Powers they are in God. This is the end for those who obtain Gnosis – to be made one with God.
Blessed are you, said Poimandres, to whom, of all men, I have chosen to reveal myself. I order you to go forth and become a guide to those wandering the Earth in darkness, that all men within whom dwells the spirit of my mind may be saved by My Mind in you, which will call forth my mind in them. Establish My Mysteries and they shall not fail. I am the Mind of the Mysteries and Mind cannot fail so the Mysteries cannot fail.
With these parting words, Poimandres, radiating celestial light, mingled with the powers. Hermes was full of the power poured into him and full of the gnosis that Poimandres had taught him. This knowledge he preached. Some men mocked and ridiculed him but others cast themselves before his feet and asked to be taught in the divine way of life. He continued to sow the seed of wisdom all his days until the evening of his life when he commanded his disciples to preserve these doctrines throughout all ages. The vision of Poimandres, he committed to writing so that all men might find their way to the celestial Light.
This account glues together many of the major principles that we find floating around in the genetic code of the Perennial Philosophy. In fact, it basically outlines the doctrines of many of the mystic philosophies. Each detail that ends up resurfacing under many different names need not be cited individually. The major concept of dualism is beautifully explained, as is Man’s imprisonment within his lower nature and his journey to become, once again, a power of God, absorbed in the Supreme Mind, Light and Life.
We also can see relations to Genesis of the Old Testament, especially in the seven spheres and the seven days of Creation, as well as the fall of man into nature, out of the purity of Eden. Also described is the split that separated the bisexual nature of man into male and female persons. It describes the same God, which is infinite intelligence or the collective consciousness of the Universe and also describes the Divine Ground – the realm in which this God works – as being separate from our own human realm. The Poimandres also corresponds with other ‘visions’ of Holy Men such as the Bhagavad Gita, or the vision of Black Elk, medicine man of the Lakota. It’s almost like some sort of Perennial Philosophy or a Secret Doctrine...
Let us for now, return to the fifteenth century, when the works of Hermes are suddenly reintroduced to the Western World. Here we are witnessing a revolution in thought. Within the title of the Renaissance, many things are covered. The roots of this movement begin in Italy and ripple outwards into the surrounding countries. Idea after idea comes to the surface and spreads, fueling the engine that calls forth more and more of these ideas. It becomes a chain reaction of illumination, which does not remain limited by any one field. Rather, it crosses between politics, religion, philosophy, art, architecture, music, and it could even be said that this movement gave birth to modern science.
It may not be necessary to explain the Renaissance as a whole, but it is certainly worth noting some of the profound upgrades to thought that occurred in this time. Specifically, we should recognize those factors that pertained to the ‘Mysteries of the Mind’.
As for Christianity, it recognized quickly that the renaissance was a force it could not defeat. It chose wisely from the onset to hold a major foothold within the movement and even funded many of the arts spawning from it. Clearly it was not preventable, as it was based heavily on facts and observations that made sense to everyday people – it was knowledge that could be tested. However, many people were awakening to the fact that the Church was using them – conning them into submission. It became clear to the people that the universe was not as simple as the church describes. It became clear that, though there is no simple answer as to why we exist, we as humans do stand a chance of figuring it out by way of reason and intuition. In some ways, this was the first time that people were given a real explanation of their world beyond the statement, “because God made it that way”.
Men like Martin Luther began to stand up to the Church with drastic and courageous acts, calling for reformation. For one thing, Luther strongly protested the idea that redemption of sins could be purchased with money. In 1517, he confronted the issue with his Ninety-Five Theses. When he refused to retract his statements, he was excommunicated and condemned as an outlaw. His assertions, along with others such as John Calvin, led to the Protestant Reformation. This reformation would never have happened if the people were not behind it. Faith in the Catholic Church had been greatly shaken by many related factors. At this time, it seems, the masses were all ready to wake up to the truth, and the reformation gave them the protection to admit this.
Lutherans and Calvinists gained more and more popularity. Also, in 1440, Johan Gutenberg had begun to produce the printing press that allowed, for the first time, the Bible to be translated and mass-produced in the language of the people. Rather than the original Latin, the Bible was now exposed directly to the public with Gutenberg’s copies of the English translation. On top of this, Italy, and especially Florence and the Medici family, seemed to be a sort of resurrection of Alexandria, at least in spirit. Here was available Platonic, Pythagorean, and Hermetic philosophies. These, when compared to the doctrines of Christianity showed major similarities. For those who sought out wisdom and knowledge, such clues would reveal that these older faiths were mutated and twisted into the Christian iconography, had it not been obvious enough to them beforehand.
Against this backdrop, we see great masses united behind men like Luther and Calvin. This is perhaps why their message was adopted so quickly and why the Church could not ‘extinguish the flames’ in time. Of course the Church did try, responding with a counter-reformation that sought to regain influence across Europe. Nevertheless, Northern Europe with a few exceptions turned Protestant. Southern Europe generally remained Roman Catholic, and in between, violent battles took place, which led to warfare in central Europe. These wars continued until 1648 when the Treaty of Westphalia ended the years of bloodshed. The Church had to let go of much of its power due to this religious revolution. It was in this state of defeat that the Vatican had to deal with the heretical Hermeticists who daringly sought to replace Christianity by rstoring the ancient religion of Egypt.
City of the Sun
Giordano Bruno was one of these men. In an age when the Earth was the center of the Universe, Bruno was a proud supporter of Copernicus, who had explained the Sun to be the center of our solar system, and the Earth to be only a planet revolving around it. In the Third Century BC, during the early years of Alexandria, Aristarchus of Samos had presented this controversial hypothesis, and many had proposed it since, but Copernicus seemed to be the one who could firmly establish the theory. Bruno took it even further. He dared to suggest that the fixed stars themselves were each individual suns, and that each had planets orbiting it, and that many of these planets were populated by races very much like ourselves. He claimed that the Universe was infinite and infinitely populated. This concept is generally identical with our modern scientific understanding of the Cosmos, yet Giordano Bruno predicted this over four hundred years ago. Worse still, he was accused of heresy for telling this truth.
In this time, the Protestants were considered heretics, but not like the Cathars or Bruno. The Protestants were less dangerous. The Gnostic Cathars on the other hand, had a mind to remove Catholicism from the seat of power. They sought to offer something better so that the people might understand it to be the higher truth. Bruno also wanted Catholicism out and Egyptian Magic to be set in its place. Many others sought to bring Hermetic elements into the Church, but Bruno recognized it as a bastardized version of this Ancient Philosophy, so he wanted a complete return to the less flawed form.
He had become a Dominican Monk in Naples at a young age. At this time, he showed interest in Marsilio Ficino and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola – the latter of whom tried to incorporate Hermetic philosophy in to Christianity through its similarities with the Cabala (Christian Kabbalah). This foreshadowed his future ‘heresies’ and by the age of 28, he renounced the order. Seeing as he had racked up over 130 charges of heresy against him, he wisely evaded the inquisition and went on the run. In the following years, he began to make a name for himself. Most people admired his eloquence, though he was known for being confrontational and intolerant of narrow-minded thinking. He also became known for his incredible memory, which he had developed by use of Hermetic magic. He preached that an infinitely populated universe was the ultimate example of Divine Harmony and Unity.
The Hermetic phrase As Above, So Below was central to Bruno’s teaching. If we will remember the ancient practice of recreating the image of the sky upon the ground, we can understand Bruno’s aim a little better. He sought to issue in a new age of man by establishing an order upon the Earth. This would imply the presence of a wise Solar Monarch – a just King – surrounded by philosopher priests. This would usher in the new Hermetic Age. Bruno believed this could happen in England or France. He also predicted that Copernicus’ Heliocentricity would unleash something very much like the scientific revolution against the church, aiding his cause.
In 1584 he released a book titled, The Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast. Though this phrase was explained to mean the overcoming of material desires within our lower nature, it also meant the expulsion of the Catholic Church from Europe. Bruno’s own words reflect his wish. “The marvelous magical religion of the Egyptians will return, their moral laws will replace the chaos of the present age, the prophecy of the Lament will be fulfilled.” Here he speaks of the quotation at the end of Part One, describing from Hermes’ point of view, how the world will soon grow dark, with no light of wisdom. The ancient religion he said would be forgotten but would one day return.
Bruno believed that in order to establish this new age of learning, a city would have to be constructed as an example of a proper society. It was called by him and many others, the City of the Sun. This was an ancient idea. Unfortunately Bruno did not live to see this city constructed. It was in the year 1600 that he was finally burnt at the stake. He is remembered as stating, “Perchance your fear in passing judgment on me is greater than mine in receiving it.” He died a willing martyr, but his vision had not died. In fact there was another man who was nearly identical to Bruno.
Also an ex-Dominican Monk, Tommaso Campanella was also a follower of Ficino and was greatly interested in the formation of a new Hermetic age, which he also sought to establish by forming a ‘City of the Sun’. In fact, while he was spending life imprisonment for heresy, he wrote a book entitled Civitas Solis, literally ‘City of the Sun’. He had arrived at this awful fate for preaching the Hermetic doctrine. After escaping a worse fate several times, he had soon accrued so many charges against him that the only way to avoid being burnt to death was to play crazy. Through a horrific and gruesome ordeal, he convinced the inquisition that he was mentally challenged so that they would not be able to burn him, yet he was still given a life sentence in prison.
As for the general populace, many were admirers of him, and even from prison he was able to rouse support amongst high-ranking members of society. It was for this reason that he was eventually released in 1626. At this time, he had been imprisoned for 27 years, originally entering prison at the same time as Bruno was being burned to death. When he was released, the plan for the City of the Sun could be resumed. At this point Campanella was widely celebrated and his many publications written in prison had found their way all throughout Europe. It was not long before he set his sights on France as had Bruno and the Cathars long before.
Louis XIII was empowered at the time and France was troubled by the fact that he had not yet produced a successor to the throne. In fact, he did not seem very interested in his wife, Anne, at all. The country wondered at the outcome of this situation. Finally, in 1634, Anne contacted Campanella at the recommendation of Cardinal Richelieu and asked for his advice regarding the predicament. When he arrived, to the amazement of the court, he predicted that soon an heir would be born. It would be a male child who would illuminate the Earth as does the Sun. He foretold that this child would build his Civitas Solis.
Though he may have taken a gamble on this, his prophecy did come true and in 1638, the child was born. Strangely enough, the birth date was also Campanella’s 70th birthday. It was now within his means to work toward his ultimate goal with his newfound support from the French Monarchy. Unfortunately, he would not live to see the infant’s first birthday. However, his influence did not end there, nor did the plan to build the city.
The concept of the City of the Sun extends far beyond Bruno and Campanella. It clearly goes hand in hand with bringing cosmic laws down to earth, as the main objective of this undertaking was to build a society based on the harmony of the Cosmos. This city has been described many different times but perhaps the most relevant and one of the oldest versions of the idea belonged to Hermes himself.
In the Picatrix, we read about Adocentyn – the Hermetic version of the City. The Picatrix is an anthology of ancient magic composed in Arabic. It includes astrology, talismanic magic, alchemy and many other aspects of ancient wisdom including Hermeticism. As it is written in the Picatrix;
“It was he, (Hermes) too, who in the east of Egypt constructed a city 12 miles long within which he constructed a castle which had four gates in each of its four parts. On the eastern gate he placed the form of an eagle; (scorpio) on the western gate, the form of a bull; (Taurus) on the southern gate, the form of a lion, (Leo) and on the northern gate he constructed the form of a dog (sirius. Aquarius?). Into these images he introduced spirits which spoke with voices, nor could anyone enter the gates of the city without permission. There he planted trees, in the midst of which was a great tree which bore the fruits of all generation. On the summit of the castle he caused to be raised a tower thirty cubits high on top of which he ordered to be placed a lighthouse, the colors of which changed every day until the seventh day after which it returned to the first colour, and so the city was illuminated with these colours. Near the city there was abundance of waters in which dwelt many kinds of fish. Around the circumference of the city he placed engraved images and ordered them in such a manner that by their virtue the inhabitants were made virtuous and withdrawn from all wickedness and harm. The name of the city was Adocentyn.”
Again we have a great tree circumscribed by the zodiac. The Eagle is a higher form Scorpio. The Bull is Taurus, the Lion; Leo, and the dog likely represents Sirius, the Pole Star in the North as we move into Aquarius. These four signs, we may remember, marked at their dawns, the two solstices and equinoxes of the Great Year, and so the blueprint of Adocentyn could be laid over the circle of the zodiac. These are the four cardinal directions, set by our galaxy, and viewed from Earth.
The general idea is very similar to the Philosopher’s City of Plato, and also reflects his description of Atlantis given in Critias. The idea reflects a view of utopian society based on rulers who are philosophers, kings and priests all in one. Around 1615, Sir Thomas Moore had also spoken on a similar theme. His work, Utopia described a city called Amaurot, the capitol of a nation, which is very similar to Adocentyn, Atlantis and the City of the Sun.
Let us now examine Campanella’s Civitas Solis. The city, as envisioned by Tommaso, was centered around a Solar Temple which was surrounded by seven concentric walls representing the seven planets. On these walls the sciences and wisdom of the city are represented. Civitas Solis is written as a dialogue, as if the captain of a ship had arrived at the city and was reporting what he had seen. Of the temple he describes;
“Nothing is seen over the altar but a large globe, upon which the heavenly bodies are painted, and another globe upon which there is a representation of the earth. Furthermore, in the vault of the dome there can be discerned representations of all the stars of heaven from the first to the sixth magnitude, with their proper names and power to influence terrestrial things marked in three little verses for each. There are the poles and greater and lesser circles according to the right latitude of the place, but these are not perfect because there is no wall below. They seem, too, to be made in their relation to the globes on the altar. The pavement of the temple is bright with precious stones. Its seven golden lamps hang always burning, and these bear the names of the seven planets…
On the walls of the temple and on the dome, which is let down when the priest gives an address, lest the sounds of his voice, being scattered, should fly away from his audience, there are pictures of stars in their different magnitudes, with the powers and motions of each, expressed separately in three little verses.
On the interior wall of the first circuit all the mathematical figures are conspicuously painted—figures more in number than Archimedes or Euclid discovered, marked symmetrically, and with the explanation of them neatly written and contained each in a little verse. There are definitions and propositions, etc. On the exterior convex wall is first an immense drawing of the whole earth, given at one view. Following upon this, there are tablets setting forth for every separate country the customs both public and private, the laws, the origins and the power of the inhabitants; and the alphabets the different people use can be seen above that of the City of the Sun.
On the inside of the second circuit, that is to say of the second ring of buildings, paintings of all kinds of precious and common stones, of minerals and metals, are seen; and a little piece of the metal itself is also there with an apposite explanation in two small verses for each metal or stone. On the outside are marked all the seas, rivers, lakes, and streams which are on the face of the earth; as are also the wines and the oils and the different liquids, with the sources from which the last are extracted, their qualities and strength. There are also vessels built into the wall above the arches, and these are full of liquids from one to 300 years old, which cure all diseases. Hail and snow, storms and thunder, and whatever else takes place in the air, are represented with suitable figures and little verses. The inhabitants even have the art of representing in stone all the phenomena of the air, such as the wind, rain, thunder, the rainbow, etc.
On the interior of the third circuit all the different families of trees and herbs are depicted, and there is a live specimen of each plant in earthenware vessels placed upon the outer partition of the arches. With the specimens there are explanations as to where they were first found, what are their powers and natures, and resemblances to celestial things and to metals, to parts of the human body and to things in the sea, and also as to their uses in medicine, etc. On the exterior wall are all the races of fish found in rivers, lakes, and seas, and their habits and values, and ways of breeding, training, and living, the purposes for which they exist in the world, and their uses to man. Further, their resemblances to celestial and terrestrial things, produced both by nature and art, are so given that I was astonished when I saw a fish which was like a bishop, one like a chain, another like a garment, a fourth like a nail, a fifth like a star, and others like images of those things existing among us, the relation in each case being completely manifest. There are sea-urchins to be seen, and the purple shell-fish and mussels; and whatever the watery world possesses worthy of being known is there fully shown in marvellous characters of painting and drawing.
On the fourth interior wall all the different kinds of birds are painted, with their natures, sizes, customs, colors, manner of living, etc.; and the only real phoenix is possessed by the inhabitants of this city. On the exterior are shown all the races of creeping animals, serpents, dragons, and worms; the insects, the flies, gnats, beetles, etc., in their different states, strength, venoms, and uses, and a great deal more than you or I can think of.
On the fifth interior they have all the larger animals of the earth, as many in number as would astonish you. We indeed know not the thousandth part of them, for on the exterior wall also a great many of immense size are also portrayed. To be sure, of horses alone, how great a number of breeds there is and how beautiful are the forms there cleverly displayed!
On the sixth interior are painted all the mechanical arts, with the several instruments for each and their manner of use among different nations. Alongside, the dignity of such is placed, and their several inventors are named. But on the exterior all the inventors in science, in warfare, and in law are represented. There I saw Moses, Osiris, Jupiter, Mercury, Lycurgus, Pompilius, Pythagoras, Zamolxis, Solon, Charondas, Phoroneus, with very many others. They even have Mahomet, whom nevertheless they hate as a false and sordid legislator. In the most dignified position I saw a representation of Jesus Christ and of the twelve Apostles, whom they consider very worthy and hold to be great. Of the representations of men, I perceived Caesar, Alexander, Pyrrhus, and Hannibal in the highest place; and other very renowned heroes in peace and war, especially Roman heroes, were painted in lower positions, under the galleries. And when I asked with astonishment whence they had obtained our history, they told me that among them there was a knowledge of all languages, and that by perseverance they continually send explorers and ambassadors over the whole earth, who learn thoroughly the customs, forces, rule and histories of the nations, bad and good alike. These they apply all to their own republic, and with this they are well pleased.”
This passage emphasizes the overall point of the city. The idea is a utopian society in which a wise body of rulers guides the education of the people. The central principle is that by existing in this city one automatically gains wisdom of the natural world. All the arts and sciences are publicly displayed. All inhabitants are encouraged to understand their world. It is not only the paintings on the walls that relate this information, but also the shapes and forms of the city itself. The structure reflects our solar system and also defends against attack. The central Solar Temple is built as a dome and seeks to demonstrate with architecture the form of human consciousness.
Francis Yates describes some similarities between this Rennaissance Age City of the Sun and that of Adocentyn, which had “four gates, on which were images into which Hermes Trismegistus had introduced spirits. Compare this with the four gates and roads of the City of the Sun. On the summit of the castle was a lighthouse which flashed over the city the colours of the seven planets. Compare this with the seven planetary lamps always burning in the City of the Sun.”
It must be understood at this point that the central concepts for Civitas Solis had come largely from the account of Adocentyn in the Picatrix Also, More’s Utopia likely provided strong input as well as Plato’s Republic and Critias. A large part of the description given in Civitas Solis is about the government. In the style of the Egyptians, many of the governors are actually immutable forces of nature like Love, Reason, Mathematics, Astronomy etc. But generally we are to understand one Priest/Philosopher/King surrounded by a cabinet of other priest philosophers. We see a system that travels the globe analyzing human cultures and taking the best parts of each. In this way, it is connected in an even deeper manner with the other examples cited. We will also see that Francis Bacon, in his New Atlantis, would use this same format, but this will be covered later.
We can likely imagine that if Bruno or Campanella had the capability to actually build such a place, they would not hesitate. However, it certainly served as a metaphor as well. It spoke of the major task of lifting humanity into a higher form in which pain, suffering, darkness and confusion had no place. Once again, we find another name for the Great Work, the Alchemical Transmutation, and the Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast – the building of the City of the Sun.
The actual mission was twofold – to produce the city itself (or nation) and to bring about a shift in the general consciousness of mankind. We will follow this goal in the future during the French Revolution and the colonization of the Americas. Though neither Bruno nor Campanella were able to see the city built, there were many others in Europe who were of the same mind and who kept the idea alive.
The Invisible Brotherhood
One of these men was John Dee, a Hermetist, astrologer, alchemist, scientist, mathematician, magician and also an expert in navigation. His interest in astrology and magic tended to rule his life. Other men like Edward Kelly and Tycho Brahe shared many of these interests. Around him formed a great intention to spread philosophy. It was at this time that the art of Alchemy was becoming popular, and it seems that Alchemists had much to do with the secret Order of Initiates that would soon emerge in a most mysterious way. The time of alchemists overlapped the beginnings of this brotherhood, and it is no coincidence.
At this point, we can find implications of secret groups that maintained the attempt to illuminate society through this wisdom. Alchemy was a force pushing these groups, while the resurgence of Hermeticism was the force pushing the Alchemists. These groups, however, were not historically acknowledged until the beginning of the 17th century and even then, it is hard to say that they actually revealed themselves. There are many theories and clues that point to this invisible fraternity tracing its origins all the way back to Alexandria, though most of these references are obscure. For this group had a name that could have been used to describe earlier men or institutions based on their similar goals and philosophies, but that did not mean they were members of this Order.
It was in 1614, ’15 and ’16 that three tracts were released, though the Order did not officially step out of secrecy until 1623 when advertisements were posted up in the commons of Paris. Among them,
“We, being deputies of the principal College of the Brothers of the Rose Cross, are making a visible and invisible stay in this city through the Grace of the Most High, towards whom turn the hearts of the Just. We show and teach without books or marks how to speak all languages of the countries where we wish to be, and to draw men from error and death.”
This secret brotherhood of mystical initiates was allegedly founded by Christian Rosenkreuz. He was said to have been the author of The Chemical Wedding, which was the third of the tracts to be released. It is generally agreed upon that Rosenkreuz was a somewhat allegorical character, similar to Chiram Abiff in Freemasonry. It is also widely agreed that the author of the Chemical Wedding was actually Johann Valentin Andrea, a German writer who admitted to having authored the work. It is often thought that he or his associates also wrote the other two tracts. The first of these was called the Fama Fraternitatis, which was their manifesto. Andrea also wrote of Christianopolis, and this was his version of the Hermetic City.
These years were the first to officially recognize the existence of the fraternity known as the Rosicrucians and in these tracts, it was said that the society had existed beforehand, but in secrecy. This makes it very hard to put a date on the origin of the order. For instance, there are claims that the Rose-Croix was founded by Jean de Gisors in 1188. Also, we find that in the same year, there is a possibility that the Prieure de Sion, the group who may have been the power behind the Templars, took on a second name, l’Ordre de la Rose-Croix Veritas. The Red Cross emblazoned on the clothes of the Templars gives some credibility to this theory. Another name was also taken for the Priory in that year, Ormus. This was apparently the name of an Egyptian Sage of Alexandria. According to Masonic traditions, Ormus gathered a following of students and to this ‘Order of Initiates’ he gave the recognizable symbol of a red or rose cross – this taking place in the year 46 AD. Ormus is also a term for mono-atomic gold; the ‘gold of the Pharaohs’; the gold of immortality formed by the Sacred Fire of the alchemists.
For all of these speculations, there is still no proof of the order’s existence, at least under the name of Rosicrucians, before the 17th century. It seems most likely that during the 16th century many of these philosophers and alchemists joined together to form the brotherhood, pulling all the wisdom available into a symbol that had already been used for centuries. However, there are a few basic interpretations of the brotherhood that can easily be outlined.
First is the assumption that the tracts issued in the early 1600’s were literal and accurate. This theory believed in the actual life of C.R.C., or Christian Rosenkreuz. It relates the story of how he, at a young age, rejected his education and instead followed a Brother of Holy Orders on his pilgrimage to the Holy Land. On their way, the man died, and C.R.C. had to continue on alone. Instead of ending in the Holy Land, he heard rumors of a mystic Arabic city called Damcar, where he arrived at the age of sixteen. After studying there for three years he moved on to the city of Fez where he was instructed in communicating with Elementary spirits (spirits within nature) who taught him many great secrets.
Soon he returned to Europe, bringing with him his translation of the book M, a powerful volume, which he believed would be a great addition to the learned society of Europe. On his return, however, he was mocked and ridiculed, for the learned men were too afraid to let go of their previous teachings in fear that they would lose prestige. Paracelsus, however, apparently read the book and gained from it the wisdom that would make him the greatest physician in Europe.
For a time, he settled down and studied in his peaceful home in Germany. Eventually, he renewed his efforts to reform the arts and sciences around him. He called to him three brothers who would establish the ‘Fraternity of the Rose Cross’ with him. He bound them by oath never to disclose the secrets he imparted to them. Then four more were added to the ranks, making eight in total. They created a building that they called the House of the Holy Spirit. In this building, they were to meet up once a year on a certain date. They then formed six laws by which the order would abide.
First, that they should take no credit for themselves outside of that they were willing to cure the sick free of charge. Second, they should never wear any special dress, but instead should dress according to local custom (much like the Cathars). Third, that each year they should meet together in the House of the Holy Spirit. Fourth, that each person should seek out a worthy replacement for himself when he grew closer to death. Fifth, that the letters R. C. should be their seal ever afterwards. And lastly, that their organization should remain secret for one hundred years.
After this oath had been made, they left C. R. C. alone in the House of the Holy Spirit and traveled to distant lands. They met up each year and continued the work, sharing their wisdom with the wise of the world. When the first of them died, it was decided that their burial places should remain secret. C.R.C. then called the remaining six together to prepare his own tomb. The Fama states that none of the brothers living at the time of its printing knew where or when he had died.
As the story goes, 120 years after his death, a member of the brotherhood who was renovating the meeting house discovered his tomb. He came across a memorial plaque, which he decided to move to a more prominent place. When he attempted to do so, however, much of the masonry in the wall fell out exposing a door concealed behind it. Several brothers then cleared away the rest of the stone to find, written upon the door,
POST CXX ANNOS PATEBO.
This means, In 120 years I shall come forth. Upon opening the door, the brethren found a vault with seven walls, each five feet wide and eight high. The room was illuminated by a mysterious light coming from the ceiling. In the center was an altar covered with brass plates. Each of the seven walls contained small doors in which were found books containing secret instructions and the lost arcanum of the fraternity.
Upon moving the altar, they found the body of C. R. C. He had not decayed a bit in 120 years. He was holding a parchment in his hand that was apparently, next to the Bible, the most valued possession of the Order. They returned the altar to its place and resealed the door, resuming their work with new inspiration and faith.
This is the story written in the Fama Fraternitatis, and it ends by saying that the document was prepared by the brethren and at this point was sent out to all the wise and learned of Europe in five different languages. Any who wished, with a pure heart, to communicate with the brethren were welcomed, and all who approached them with improper intention were warned that only sorrow and misery would come to them. This was sent out in 1614, and was said to have been written four years earlier. Subtracting 120 years at least, it is estimated that the Order would have been formed before 1500.
All of this is not historically verifiable, so to take the story literally, one would take a leap of faith. However, there is nothing in this story that cannot be taken as metaphor. It is more likely that there is truth within the story, though many parts are simply symbolic.
The second theory of the origins of the Rosy Cross comes much from Masonic speculation, but these theorists are divided. Some believed that Johan Valentin Andreae was Christian Rosenkreuz, and that he established the society. Andreae, however lived from 1586 to 1654, and therefore, does not quite match up to the dates presented for C. R. C., but that is a small detail. As already stated, much of the Fama may be symbolic, and the 120 years bit may have been one of these parts. It is also thought that perhaps Andreae was the true founder, but really only modified and expanded an existing group. Still others believe that Rosicrucianism was the first arrival of Buddhist and Brahmanic traditions in Europe. Others still believe that the fraternity was founded in ancient Egypt, or that it was formed out of the Persian and Chaldean Mysteries.
Generally, this interpretation insists that most, if not all the Fama was written as an allegory, and was never meant to be taken literally. The Masonic interpretation analyzes the different possibilities separately, and still leaves much room for interpretation. It allows that the tracts distributed in the seventeenth century may have been created by ‘pseudo-Rosicrucians’ while the true members of the Order remained hidden even to this day.
In fact, many details of the organization seem to point to an actual society which may indeed have stretched all the way back to Egypt, but that this “Ancient and Secret Order of Unknown Philosophers” was the most elusive, the most completely hidden and, therefore, the hardest to research in all of history. Perhaps such a group could have been behind all the traditions discussed in this book. Under its orders, groups like Templars, Alchemists and Masons could have been established, but the true Order itself could remain safe from the public view.
Perhaps the Brethren of the Rose Cross were an Order of this nature, but only at the ‘Rosicrucian period’ did they adopt the symbol. For a presence to be held by them all across Europe over centuries is a feat that seems impossible, though apparently it was accomplished. On top of this, they seem to have held a strong political influence. The Rosicrucians always seem to be so well hidden because they were fighting against the corrupt church of Rome and they were only associated with the teachings that led to purity and ascension. This much seems true at least in the period of the Hermetic Renaissance.
The links that can be found to Freemasonry are important clues. Many men who were involved in the development of Masonry were suspected of being Rosicrucian. For instance, Robert Fludd, another prominent Alchemist and Hermeticist, aided in the formation of Freemasonry and was known to defend the Rosy Cross. Elias Ashmole, a very prominent Rosicrucian, is remembered by Masons as one of the founders of the first Grand Lodge in London. He was initiated in 1646, and was said to be the first gentlemen or amateur to be ‘accepted’. Actually, it is somewhat openly acknowledged by Masons that the initiations into the Great Arcanum of Egypt was given directly from the Rosicrucians to Freemasons. When we step back and look at the bigger picture, it is quite plain to see.
One theory claims that perhaps the invisible Brotherhood formed Freemasonry as a secret society to carry out its will in the material world. Then, when the adepts became unsatisfied with the masons, they withdrew their keys, which were needed in order to ‘open up’ the symbols that it had given to the society. Some say that Masonry absorbed Rosicrucianism, while others claim that the Rosy Cross maintained their individuality by withdrawing from Freemasonry. There are still Rose Cross degrees within Masonry, as well as Templar rites and others. Freemasonry, as well as the Knights Templar, should not be thought of as either good or evil, as these were merely the meeting grounds for discussions of higher nature. As with the Kabbalah, as with magic, as with the Mysteries, there have always been individuals of both moral and immoral character working within such institutions. Motives are defined by membership, and both tend to shift with the ages. When one can reach into the Aether, they may call out to angels or demons, thus those Orders with the greatest moral training, protecting the secrets, are the most legitimate keepers of them. Freemasonry at its core, centers on the building of the moral man, through the metaphor of architecture, though as we shall see, it has certainly had other agendas grow within it.
A third view considers that the Rosicrucians never existed at all. With all the questions about the organization still being asked, many choose to believe that the tracts were simply no more than a prank or a hoax aimed at mocking the gullibility of learned Europe. It then may be maintained that several small societies sprang up in response to these tracts, as a film or book might today develop a cult following.
This position is somewhat justified in that with so much smoke and mirrors, it is hard to prove anything about the brotherhood. It is, to the skeptic, very easy to deny that a society that lived for centuries and profoundly affected the whole of human knowledge was able to remain entirely secret.
But if we consider the fourth point of view, certain parts of the puzzle make more sense. This perspective, however, is only given to those who are open to acknowledge the wider scope of reality than most are comfortable with. This hypothesis is entirely transcendental, and was given great popularity from Theosophists. It attributes to the Brethren all the supernatural abilities they claimed. It saw them as a race that actually inhabited two worlds. Within the physical realm, their bodies were their instruments, and within the ethereal realm, their astral bodies were used. In this ethereal realm was located the ‘House of the Holy Spirit’ and when functioning within this realm, they were not limited by time or space.
In this view, the Order was made up of a small number of highly developed adepts. Those in the highest degrees were not subject to mortality. They knew the secrets of Alchemy and of the Philosopher’s Stone. The transmutation of base metals to gold was within their wisdom, but they knew this process to be an allegory in which the base metals represent man’s lower nature and the gold represents the purified soul.
This process begins to explain the symbolism of the Rose and the Cross. The Alchemical Work involves removing the Rose from the Cross. A popular image of the Rosicrucians was an actual rose crucified, symbolizing the Spirit crucified upon the body of flesh with three nails. The process involved removing these three nails, each of which represented a different stage of development or initiation. These stages were concealed in the alchemical phrases, The Casting of the Molten Sea, the Making of the Rose Diamond, and the Achieving of the Philosopher’s Stone. Soon after, the three stages are reflected in the Masonic initiation; Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason.
The Rose became an ‘umbrella’ symbol, which all the Hermetic teachings came under. The term Sub Rosa, meaning beneath the rose, described the position of the various Hermetic arts – the connection between Rosicrucians, Gnostic and Hermetic Philosophy, astrology, astronomy, mathematics, alchemy and notably, the cathedral builders – all of which bloomed forth during the Renaissance, emboldened by the arrival of the Hermetica. Men like Da Vinci and Shake-Speare were certainly ‘beneath the Rose’.
These Rosicrucians are equivalent to the Masters described by Blavatsky; those who have finished their earthly development and have come to work on a higher plane. They may be fused (or confused) with angels at times, but are more commonly associated with the Angel’s diplomats to humanity, called Secret Chiefs. There are many names for the entities of the higher planes, but those with significant intelligence, are sometimes righteous and other times cruel. Archon is one title for the same class of being perhaps, yet the Archons have deeply negative connotations. They are said to be very few in number and the highest orchestrators of the current world – or that aspect of which one might term the New World Order. They are behind many if not all the wars we have known, by some accounts, and are considered to be, on the hierarchy, just below the All Seeing Eye itself. Yet again, we realize that, even in the Bible, we are expressly told that the Devil is given dominion over humanity during this dark age. The All Powerful GOD had acknowledged Satan’s right to rule during this age of darkness and chaos. This was simply part of humanity’s training. How could we explore free will without any kind of ethical range to pick from? Are good and evil actually no more than inventions of humanity? As close as I can come to conceiving of the pure face of evil, in images of Satan or Ba’al, I see these only as reflections of Saturn – accumulation and distraction by the material circus – falling deeper and deeper into the world of density and desire. Once again, Set was merely the principle of incarnate spirit. Jehovah Himself was brutal, through Judaism and Christianity. Kali rules the Kali Yuga. And so these high spiritual beings reflect destruction, sickness and ruin.
From King Solomon to John Dee to Aleister Crowley, we find those who discover keys to the kingdom, will often fall prey to the power attained through the negative entities. Demons will play tricks and steal control from a reckless magician. The more power given to Ba’al or Satan, the more power this ‘god’ can bestow on others. This darkness has been given every chance to spread throughout humanity.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Rosicrucians or Ascended Masters had attained divinity on their own. They had found the light hidden within the dark age and stepped up the higher level. They remained on Earth to continue showing the way. They sought not to dominate, but illuminate, and to pull individuals upward within their respective Ray of development. It was they who helped Blavatsky to write her master works.
It is the Masons that form the next link in the chain. As A. E. Waite describes “The Gnostic sects, the Arabs, Alchemists, Templars, Rosicrucians, and lastly the Freemasons, form the Western chain in the transmission of the occult science.” It would seem so, as Freemasonry today is still the largest order of its type. It is possible that this is so only because by the time Freemasonry was called Freemasonry, the American mainland was available. It was a blend of Templars, Rosicrucians, Freemasons and many other similar societies that were largely responsible for the establishment of the American Nation. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that the hidden chain of philosophy that was responsible for creating these institutions was the driving force behind America’s secret destiny. The subject of America, however, begins much earlier than this. We must go backward to go forward.
I am a most noteworthy sinner, but I have cried out to the Lord for grace and mercy, and they have covered me completely. I have found the sweetest consolation since I made it my whole purpose to enjoy His marvellous Presence.– Christopher Columbus
Things alter for the worse spontaneously, if they be not altered for the better designedly.– Sir Francis Bacon
Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God– Benjamin Franklin
(proposed as the motto of the Great Seal of the United States).