XIV. The Fall of the Quest
The present section deals with the period extending from the collapse of the pagan Mysteries to the end of the Age of Chivalry. For practical purposes, the Esoteric Schools, which championed the human cause through the Dark Ages and the medieval world, may be considered together as the Orders of the Quest.
The symbolism and rituals of these Fraternities of the Middle Ages involved a search for something remote or hidden. To succeed in the Quest, the knight or companion (disciple) must dedicate himself to the service of his afflicted and exploited fellow man. He must rescue his own soul — the “fair maiden in distress” — by over-coming the giants, dragons, demons, and wicked nobles who pillaged the countryside. As a reward for these noble pursuits, the Christian and godly knight could aspire to a heavenly vision of spiritual mysteries.
The legends of chivalry are veiled accounts of man’s eternal search for truth. These beautiful stories are not, however, merely folklore. They are parts of an orderly tradition, unfolding through the centuries and bearing witness to a well-organized plan and program. Like the myths of classical antiquity, the hero tales are sacred rituals belonging to secret Fraternities perpetuating the esoteric doctrines of antiquity.– Manly Hall, Orders of the Quest
It is strange that the vital body of wisdom that has been the central focus of our pseudo-chronological investigation was present before our history began. One would imagine that such a sense of purpose and such a body of knowledge would be slowly developed over the course of time. Instead, it appears fully formed in the beginning; implying that the civilizations were developed based on this wisdom and not the other way around. As we have already suggested, this implies that there was an earlier period of development, an earlier episode of human history, which formulated these understandings, but which left little or no physical evidence of its existence on our planet. The only artifacts we have left to use in deciphering this ancient age are the stone structures that may have been built in this era, or else were built shortly after the ancestor civilization vanished, but when the high wisdom was still present.
From the fragments of evidence, we begin to see that the forgotten segment of our history actually hosted an empire with global reach. Even if the masonry techniques were only shared with the surrounding world after the catastrophe that destroyed the empire, it still implies that this sovereign nation was aware of the surrounding countries. Maps from the medieval period also suggest that the seas were crossed and that early cartographers had documented the voyages. The style in which the ancient sites were built implies global navigation as well. They were built on the natural hot spots of the earth that must be reached before they can be developed. Therefore, the ancient navigators must have known the shape and size of the Earth as well as its magnetic and energetic fields.
With this understanding, we might wonder if Plato’s account of Atlantis was not closer to the truth than modern historians allow. Though the custodians of history have denied this possibility for millennia, the body of evidence in favor of the concept is ever growing. The simple truth is that it makes a great deal more sense to allow that there was a missing segment of history. All around the world are stories of a great catastrophe in ancient times – one that covered over an entire continent and destroyed all life upon it. Do we really believe today that these cultures, separated by geography and vast expanses of time, all conceived of the same story, held it to be one of the most important legends of their history, and passed it down by word of mouth for thousands of years simply by coincidence?
There is no denying that the catastrophe did occur. We know that around 12,000 to 10,000 years ago the earth was in a transitional phase in which the last Ice Age was wrapping up. We know that sea level was far lower than it is today. And we know that humans were here, fighting for their survival during this period. It seems the only speculative issue is the extent to which these societies had previously developed, and if we use the legacy of knowledge that was inherited by Egypt, India and countless other cultures in this remote time, we can assume that the early societies were far more advanced than we have hereto given them credit for. In many aspects, they far exceeded our current level of sophistication.
This has gone unnoticed by the blind fields of archaeology and anthropology, which developed a comprehensive storyline based on initial discoveries. Ever since this story was accepted as authoritative, the pieces were forced into place, even if they belonged to an entirely different puzzle. Those forms of evidence that contradict this story are tossed into the rubbish heap and explained away as coincidences or simply not important. As we move into the twenty-first century, we begin to realize that these pieces of evidence are still a part of the puzzle, even though they don’t seem to be. The image that modern minds have drawn up for our history is the picture on the box, but when all the pieces are put into place, we will find a very different picture emerging. Every piece has a place, and none is more important than any other. To find the truth, there can be no anomalies – everything must be explained. Our timeline as it stands now, consists more of exceptions than rules.
Regardless of whether or not an ancient empire had existed, we have definite evidence of advanced learning in the Age of Egypt, Sumer, Mesopotamia, Vedic India, and the many other cultures discussed in Part I. In these remote times, this knowledge was in its most complete form, and it was only specific remnants that would endure to our present day. Perhaps the central focus in the earliest times was on sustainable government and the laws of civilization, which were apparently inherited from the Atlanteans, according to Plato’s account. Emphasis was put on ruling with divine right and creating a prosperous atmosphere for all to live under. Righteous governance was one aspect of the wisdom that was certainly lost. Achieving this utopian ideal had many prerequisites.
For instance, medicine, agriculture, food storage, irrigation, housing, and other aspects must first be put in place to provide all citizens with basic human rights. On top of this, a sense of understanding must be present; all citizens must feel a sense of purpose. Astrology, astronomy, number, geometry, mythology, and religion must be established to fulfill this human need. The people, to be truly fulfilled, need to have a sense of the nature of reality. Without this, there is no Utopia – they will never be satisfied. Even if all the answers are not available, the people need to feel as though they are not being lied to. In this way, they will feel a common desire for discovery, and this will unite them.
It was really an understanding of the soul that was of foremost importance. For the population to understand their higher nature was imperative. This factor could encourage one towards a life of virtue and purity; they would recognize that their actions have consequences beyond their current life and outside their immediate world. For a population that considers death to be the end, motivation tends to drive them towards the pursuits of pleasures and indulgence. With an understanding of the higher layers of reality, one will quickly realize that personal possessions and comforts are, in truth, roadblocks on the path to enlightenment. The greater their dependencies and desires, the farther they are from a release from the material prison. They will feel the ever-increasing grasp of suffering as it strangles them. To those who recognize an eternal order to the universe and a system in which we can gradually release ourselves into higher worlds, material goods, the desire to dominate one’s neighbor and the pursuit of pleasure become greatly depreciated – in fact, meaningless.
Of course, this is not to suggest that these early societies were utopian, certainly they were susceptible to the same imperfect human impulses that face us today. However, these were the goals that were strived for before the ‘Great Deluge’, when human ambition was reduced to more primal issues such as grasping power and dominance so that some kind of order might hold society together. It shifted from a state of perfecting the art of civilization into a mad scramble to preserve what knowledge of the craft still existed. The effects of the cataclysm, combined with the passing influences of the astrological ages, as well as the exit of ‘the Gods’, (who or whatever this event may imply) resulted in a darkening of the world – the Fall. Paradise was lost. The Garden was profaned.
Qualities like selfishness, power hunger, and greed tainted the human race, which had once been pure and of a united purpose. The secrets of the physical universe, time, energy, life and nature were forgotten by most. Only a small percentage of the population still sought to learn. By the time Greece had arisen as a major civilization, these understandings were collected together by secret schools, which copied the Egyptian mythology as best they could. It was also gathered under the name of Philosophy. These efforts constituted what one might consider to be earlier forms of the Order of the Quest.
In these first attempts at preservation, the end goal was already fully developed – to rebuild the world into a sovereign nation that guided the whole earth with the ideals of democracy. The plan was to have another go at creating Atlantis, in the hopes that this time, corruption would not take its hold on the governing body of the Empire to be. This plan, beginning thousands of years ago, is reaching its final stages, and the threat of corrupt influences is once again a major issue. In fact, Plato’s account of Atlantis reads more like a modern work of science fiction describing a very possible near future scenario for America. The major question becomes, where did the plan go wrong? Also, is there still time to fix it? We shall try to identify the shifts in philosophy and the amendments to the manifesto of the Quest as we go along.
The Path of Gnosis
Here we see a general outline of the history of sacred wisdom. Each incarnation of the wisdom may have lost or added to the central understandings, but the message was largely preserved. The pillars of this wisdom survived the catastrophe and landed in large part in India and around the Mediterranean. These two capitols share a very similar philosophy. They both recognize a set of Gods or governing principles that regulate the universe and all creations within it. These entities also control the divine ground of consciousness that is the source of life. They also both acknowledged that material creation was only one of many worlds, and that the goal of conscious creations, such as humans, was to transcend this limited realm. They both used architecture, art, mythology, and rituals to preserve this knowledge. Both were obsessed by the stars and by the journey of the soul in the afterlife.
This complete doctrine seems to have made it more or less intact into the libraries of Alexandria. Greek Philosophy, Mystery Schools and the original Egyptian Tradition helped to ensure this transition. The Hebrew Qaballah also strengthened the connection. Most of the errors that had arisen were corrected in the time of Alexandria. Countless versions of the ancient gnosis were then floating around the city. This gave students the opportunity to cross-reference other traditions and reestablish all the common points. For this reason, it seems that the plan of the Quest was still in tact – still driven to find a way of bringing about an enlightened world.
When Alexandria was burned, the militant Christians took the wisdom into a darker place. This was one of the first times in history that black magic was used in mass scale. (Black magic meaning ‘selfish’ magic) These people took the Gnosis of Alexandria, destroyed the city and then outlawed the use and possession of such knowledge by all people beside themselves. They used the powerful methods (usually used for creating a healthy society) for building an enterprise to control the masses and demand their absolute faith.
Without a doubt, this was an example of the Gnosis in the wrong hands – something that the initiatory tradition had prevented in most periods of history – but the Roman Church cannot be identified as a part of the Order of the Quest. The church is more of an enemy to the Quest, as we know from the generations that followed its establishment. While this beast was growing into a major adversary, the Gnostic doctrine was preserved by the Manichaeans, Paulicians, Bogomils, and Cathars. By the time the Cathars were killed off, it seems the original ideal of building a world founded upon wisdom was still the main priority. In fact, the Perfecti were a perfect example of purity. They did not seek to conquer their students, but freely taught when asked questions. It did not seem as though they were out to deny anyone their own opinions, but only to enlighten those who saw the benefits of their teachings.
Perhaps the sole heirs of the Cathar legacy were the Templars. The Templars were definitely major players in the game of the Quest. It is perhaps at this stage that motives became blurry. For one thing, it was the Roman Church that established the Order of the Temple. But it is more about what the knights became than what they began as.
Imagine a company that designs innovative products. It learns how to turn a profit by having a varied supply of goods that are in high demand by the public. The company may be doing well and decides to start an offshoot company, or perhaps a research and development department. The head of the department is under the jurisdiction of the CEO, yet his agency works on its own. Perhaps he learns that he could be turning a higher profit if he worked for himself and so he begins to question his own loyalty to his boss. Eventually he has usurped much of the power that exists in the company and claims entitlement to higher pay, as he is an invaluable resource. Perhaps he also knows certain secrets about the company. The CEO then fires him and dissolves the department, but he still knows how to run the business and so eventually he becomes a competitor.
This is somewhat similar to the Catholic Church forming the Templar Order, which eventually gained nearly as much power as the church. When the Vatican notices this, they decide it is time to kill the beast that they had created. The Knights, however, had already amassed a fortune and were very aware of how to generate power and social influence. In the time they were disbanded in Scotland, it was as if they were brainstorming on how to create their own corporation that was better than Catholicism. Companies compete for profits, but the Templars and others play the same game for influence and power.
It is hard to say if the Templars were ever intent on sharing their wisdom with the world, though it is already clear that they possessed it. Their trademarked oath of poverty seemed to have been entirely false, as they were hosted in a royal palace from their very beginnings, and only gained property and other valuable possessions from there. They claimed to be poor on a personal level, though the Order itself was very rich. The fact that they became the moneychangers for most of Europe is also a very important point. This was laying the foundation for the future of shadowy currency schemes that have helped secret orders to conquer the globe even to the present day.
It is very possible that the Templars realized that controlling people with money was a much more efficient scheme than to try to control them by faith. There were far fewer questions involved, and they could already see that control based on blind faith was a dying illusion. People were beginning to realize that the church was not always right, and that it was possible for individuals to understand directly the functions and mechanisms of nature. If one is offered salvation and then realizes that he does not need it because there is no devil, he can simply walk away from the church. Like wise, if one takes a loan of money and cannot pay his debt with interest, he is a slave to his bank, and the law is against him.
Perhaps the greatest development that occurred after the disbanding of the Templars was the understanding that great power was to be found in conducting secret business. Governments and royal courts could be persuaded, used, misled or even threatened by entities that were international and well established in high places. Like a sheepdog guiding its flock, secret societies could be used to instigate or motivate mass movements within society and this gave them immense power. There is nothing so threatening as the unknown, and if political powers were facing groups with an unknown degree of influence, they may be hesitant to reject their advice.
We see such groups springing up in Scotland and England with strong results. This is to be expected, as it was the only legal place for Knights Templar to reside. But they also sprouted up all throughout Europe and especially in France. In Germany, the Illuminati would emerge. All throughout Europe, and eventually America, Freemasonry would eventually become the most prominent of the societies and also the most versatile.
Freemasons, however, had improved the design established by the Templars. The Knights had built their fortune by annexing all the property of those initiated into the order. Freemasons became wealthy in a similar way. When applicants joined, they were to pay dues to the order, but in a sort of social setting, they also networked to help elevate all members towards higher positions in society. These members could become wealthy and contribute large sums toward major projects of the order. At the same time, they have not been given any secrets whatsoever. They become the supports of a framework that can execute major accomplishments, yet the real secrets of masonry are held by the higher degrees which many Master Masons have no idea about. Even the Scottish Rite, which allows for 32 additional degrees to be reached with a fervent effort, withholds the 33rd degree as invitation only. Even then, there are higher degrees still. At the very top of the hierarchy, there are degrees that contain only handfuls of members globally, but these top officials have the entire global network of ‘Brethren’ to finance their endeavors.
As we will see in the following chapter, this elite controls nearly all the money in the world, and so the Templar scheme seems to have worked out. Here is an important distinction though – in early history, the rulers of society also sought to gain complete influence over their subjects, but the goal was to rule these people justly and to create harmony within the community. It seems that somewhere along the way, these types of people realized how easy it was to get this power and made it their prime motivation. It seems today the world is run by those who seek only more and more power; more and more money. They do not know how to create a thriving society. In fact they are the ones directly responsible for the destruction of the environment and the inexcusable conditions that face humanity.
They are not born rulers, they are born schemers and criminals. If one is not a King, then he should inherit no kingdom. So where have all the proper rulers gone? They are few and far between, but even worse, they are no longer allowed onto the political stage. In order to enter the jungle of political theory, one must first sacrifice one’s self, one’s natural morals, convictions, and this instinctual code of ethics must be replaced with dogma and memorization. The people who make politics their career generally go to school to study only this – how to control others and make their decisions for them. There is no honor in this, no dignity or nobility. Yet today, all political leaders end up being cast from this very mold. But this is a tangent, straying too far into topics to be discussed later.
It seems, however, that the original gangsters, so to speak, were the Templars, and the development of secret esoteric orders was a step up from the Templar Revelation. This might be compared to the rise of the independent corporations in America – a scheme had been developed and no one thought to call out the fact that it was morally wrong because if they saw it happening, they were getting in on it. In this way, the Freemasons were to the secret society boom, what McDonalds is to the fast food industry, or Wal-Mart to department stores. It was the one that was in the best place to make moves on America and therefore the world.
We still see at least the guise of an effort to bring about a philosophical democracy when Francis Bacon penned New Atlantis. Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man implied this intention as well. Giordano Bruno and Tommaso Campanella certainly held onto this ideal also. Yet it is hard to say that the democratic commonwealth was the primary goal of these orders as they built up the colonies into a nation ready to guide its own destiny. It is very possible that this was the proclaimed goal only to give it a nice look, but really the plan was only to gain the power so that the orders had their own country and population to use as they pleased.
There is one fundamental factor that simply does not line up with the idea of the philosophical empire being the plan for America – it was already here. If the founding fathers were trying to fulfill an ancient plan to build an enlightened nation, a nation with minimal conflict, abundant natural resources, living space for all, clean water and food, and a heightened sense of our spiritual connection to nature, why did they destroy this nation as soon as they arrived? Though I have tried to seek out research devoted to the relationships of the colonial secret societies and those of the native populations, there is very little historical documentation of the subject. Even still, it is a direct contradiction to the proclaimed motives of these grand plans.
One fact remains to partially explain how this genocide was allowed, though it certainly does not justify it. It is that the slaughter of the natives was gradual, it happened slowly. At first, the military forces of the countries seeking to colonize the specific areas were largely to blame for domestic disputes, and though it is evil, this use of force to establish power and ownership of the land was to be expected; it is the way that imperialism has always worked. Whether or not the secret societies were behind these actions depends on specific circumstances.
For example, many alliances were made with the local tribes, and often they would help the invading countries to fight against other invading countries. Some were allied to the French, others to the British and so on. In matters of military struggle, however, the Orders may have had an influence at certain levels, but conquering a nation means conquering a nation, and if these were the orders from the mother country, the secret groups would not have been able to change this. However, if they were resisting the slaughter, it seems that this resistance would have shown up in some form within our history, but as far as I have been able to find, there is no evidence for this, probably because by this point, the hidden agenda of such societies was identical with that of the invading countries – to gain control of the coast and establish the possibility to spread west before someone else did.
After waiting for so long to have a country of their own, they found an ideal system in place in America and chose to disregard this fact so that they could build their own ideal system, which has come to be the United States as we know it (not quite ideal). The greatest irony is found in that the native populations were also heirs to the ancient wisdom that the societies were trying to revive. It was the same magical tradition as the Hermetic doctrine. We must remember that this ancient wisdom was present in America in the earliest times. The fact that it was still active here was due to the lack of a self-involved religious institution that sought to destroy the ancient practices and replace them with a sovereign authentic spiritual kingship – the Papacy.
It is known that the civilizations already established in America at the time when the colonization began also had secret brotherhoods and a full initiatory tradition. The similarities to Greek Mystery Schools and even Masonic rituals are present. As previously stated, the acknowledgement of the spirit world will inevitably take place in any community, of any size, within a given period of time. In the smaller tribes, we find an abbreviated version of this understanding; in the larger societies, a fully bloomed order and priesthood. We will remember this process as a natural aspect of the Perennial Philosophy. In pre-colonial America, we find this doctrine in all levels of sophistication.
When the white man arrived, he destroyed the greater part of native culture before any ethnographers or anthropologists had time to document and recognize the value of the belief system present. At this time, tribal cultures had already grown, through alliances and expansions, into communities that could be called nations, at least, if not civilizations, and they were close to forming a vision of greater union that might have paralleled the magnitude of the United States. It was as though they were the states, not yet united, but the invaders cut them off from this prospect.
The Europeans had little or no interest in the religion of the natives. It was all barbaric and beastly to them, and they were already resolved to impose their own religion on the natives. The medicine men of smaller tribes were the sole bearers of the tradition. If one of these men was killed before having chosen a successor, the tradition died. The central ideas could be reinstituted only by those with natural powers of clairvoyance and enhanced vision.
Medicine men were generally chosen from a young age. Those who showed promising qualities of receiving dreams and recognizing omens were encouraged to follow a spiritual path. They would then be trained by the existing priesthood of elders within the larger communities, but in the smaller ones, they were largely trained by themselves with the use of fasting and vigil. When major issues arose within the group, the spiritual guide of the clan would isolate himself in a remote place, perhaps a mountain. He would then wait through the night for the voices to come and instruct him.
The voices were those of the Manitos, as some tribes called them. These were spirit guides – superhuman spirit entities. It was said that the magical secrets were given to mankind from these beings. From a wider perspective, we might recognize these guides as synonymous with the Neters of Egypt, or nature spirits. Hand in hand with these entities was the concept of the divine ground, or the magnificent power, which the Iroquois called Orenda – the life-giving force that penetrates through all worlds, all time and space. This energy could be used by the tribes through the invocation of the Manitos who inhabited the spirit world.
The Manitos were governors. They were aware of the most pressing needs of the population and were available to help mankind. When the elder made a voyage into the spirit world, he might join these beings in counsel and return along the sky-road to his people with inspired insight into their needs. Between this sky realm and the human realm lived the souls of the illustrious dead – the ancestors who had served the tribes in times past were imagined to still be guiding and protecting them from the other world.
The medicine men were often considered to be the most important members of society, and the most highly revered. Their function in the tribe was invaluable and covered many different areas. They healed the sick, protected the tribe, and guided migration toward areas with food, water and other necessities. They also predicted future events, induced rainstorms, read minds and projected their souls out of their bodies to witness far away events. Often times they possessed the ability to bring about trances and visions within others, and practice forms of hypnosis.
Some accounts of these phenomena were reported by skeptical observers as being unexplainable. Stones or holy men themselves were made to levitate. Miniature thunderstorms were created within the lodge, while the sun shone outside. Illuminating ‘suns’ were seen to pass over the ceremonies from the east to west, within the tent. Magic like this might remind us of Chaldean Magi, Adepts from the Far East, the Rosicrucian story of the tomb of R.C. Rosenkreuz and even the supposed Atlantean city submerged off the Cuban coast. It is no accident the same sorts of phenomena have been reported throughout the world.
The cosmology of the natives was also similar to that of early Mediterranean cultures. They believed in three general worlds; that of man was in the middle between the realm of Father Sky and Mother Earth, representing the heavens and the underworld. The stars and the heavenly abode were thought to be the resting place of ascended souls. The earth was the source of physical life and creation, thus serpents were released during ceremonies aimed at invoking the spirit of the Earth Mother. The serpents would bring their message into the underground.
Totems were also important aspects of the magical tradition. Families, clans, or tribes carried totem animals from generation to generation. They were perhaps chosen for their importance to the tribe’s initial formation. They would embody principles of nature such as speed, swiftness, strength, flight or abundance. Sometimes they were animals that provided the tribe with food such as herds that were followed. In this sense, we see another clear connection to the ancient wisdom of Egypt, which built great statues to these guiding symbols and honored them in the hopes of attaining their higher attributes. When these totems were carved into totem poles, the function was exactly the same as the use of obelisks or pyramids – to harvest and disperse the natural earth energies, or Orenda, throughout the tribe.
Personal totems were also used. These were chosen based on the qualities of the individual, much like the way one received a name. The personal totem was a representative of the attributes or qualities within. When one saw their own totem animal in dreams, visions or in the natural world, it provided a strong omen that protective powers were close by. They are similar to guardian demons of Egyptian or Chaldean Magi, or many other systems of individualized protections.
Aside from these various elements that all demonstrate the ancient magical tradition, there also existed, amongst the greater nations, systems of degrees that reflect those of Freemasonry and other schools. Towards the north there tended to be smaller institutions, but closer to Mexico and therefore to the greater civilizations of the Aztec and Maya, the schools of thought took on a much more regimented form. Dr. Franz Boas writes, “an elaborate series of esoteric doctrines and practices exists, which are known to only a small portion of the tribe, while the mass of the people are familiar with only part of the ritual and with its exoteric features. For this reason we often find the religious beliefs and practices of the mass of a tribe rather heterogeneous as compared with the beliefs held by the priests. Among many of the tribes in which priests are found, we find distinct esoteric societies, and it is not by any means rare that the doctrines of one society are not in accord with those of another… Esoteric forms of religion in charge of priests are found among the tribes of the arid region of the southwest, the tribes of the southern Mississippi basin, and to a less extent among the more northerly tribes of the plains. It would seem that, on the whole, the import of the esoteric teachings decreases among the more northerly and northeasterly tribes of the continent.”
This would make sense, as we take note of the fact that these tribes/nations have had ages to settle themselves out. It implies that the population density would be focused towards the south, which receives more sunlight and heat, creating more valuable land. In following, the organizational level of society would have to have developed to a higher degree than the relatively underpopulated northern regions. The cultural diffusion of the more southern regions with Central American cultures would have provided these tribes with a system closer to that which was preached by Quetzalcoatl/Kulkulcan/Viracocha – the original Atlantean mysteries. It is clear that this original knowledge was also present throughout the northern parts of America on a smaller scale. As the Mexican cultures were building Teotihuacán and Chichen Itza, the northern nomads were building ceremonial mounds of earth in locations of importance concerning the meridians of power.
To be heirs of the secret doctrine also implied the inheritance of the system which protects these secrets. Daniel Brinton describes the protective measures used by such tribes. “All these stratagems were intended to shroud with impenetrable secrecy the mysteries of the brotherhood. With the same motive, the priests formed societies of different grades of illumination, only to be entered by those willing to undergo trying ordeals whose secrets were not to be revealed under the severest penalties. The Algonkins had three such grades, the waubeno, the meda, and the jossakeed, the last being the highest. To this no white man was ever admitted. All tribes appear to have been controlled by these secret societies.”
These three grades served the very same purpose as those of Freemasonry; Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason. These societies existed to preserve the greatest wisdom that was reached by the shamanic priesthoods, but there were also societies with other functions. Manly Hall writes that there were also “war associations, healing cults, and fraternities concerned with the religious mysteries, the keeping of records, and the dramatization of myths…
Either the Western Hemisphere received a vital religious stimulus from early voyagers and travelers from distant parts or else the native himself by mystical experiences shared a common inspiration with the priestly castes of other nations. The psychologists would probably assume that the esoteric tradition originated in the spiritual needs of the human being, regardless of his race or place of habitation. The search for reality gradually brought into being specialized groups of intensive truth seekers. These groups produced their own leaders, and such wise men and women were acknowledged as divinely inspired, received spontaneous admiration and devotion, were obeyed for their superior endowments, and gradually became a priestly caste. As civilization enlarged the temporal state of the tribe, the religious Societies grew to become powerful institutions, as in Central America. While the tribes remained nomadic, the medicine men were less resplendent and impressive, but their functions were no less significant.”
Shamanism is a result of an inherent human need. This is the only explanation as to why it has found a place in every single culture known in our history, at least in one form or another. Individuals of a certain quality will inevitably investigate the mystery of nature. All will seek an answer to the question of our purpose and destiny. In the more gifted and persistent students of this mystery, access to a higher reality will be given. This will be found through chants, dances, isolation, sleep deprivation, sexual ecstasy and or depravity, or, most commonly, the use of psychotropic plants or fungi.
The goal is to heighten one’s senses and release them from the ties of the body and from the machinery of personality. This machine is built from experiences, memories, impressions, desires and emotional impulses. To transcend it, one enters into a trance that allows for investigation and exploration of the spirit realms. It is here, and only here, that they will find the answers. We have already spoken of the rituals involved in initiation. One must physically experience death in order to understand the true nature of oneself – that which one is when they have left their body. This initiation into secret orders of Europe is identical to the rites of passage within Native American communities.
It seems self evident, then, that the early colonists, specifically the Orders, were very aware that a distant cousin of their lodge systems was being practiced here. Therefore, they must have felt guilt to see these brethren slowly slaughtered in the inexcusable episode of ethnic cleansing we have come to call ‘Manifest Destiny’. This phrase is much nicer sounding than ‘The Holocaust’, or ‘The Genocide of the Natives’, but today we all know that it means the same thing. The Europeans claimed to ‘discover’ America, though it was already populated. They had their minds set on making this land their own, and they knew that here lived an enemy that would not be easily defeated, but with the use of gunpowder and other technologies, it would not be terribly hard.
Thus began the slow and brutal war that would rid the beautiful countryside of the populations that nature had chosen as its residents – the population that had grown here, lived here, evolved here together with the flora and fauna. The dream of a society rich with the pleasures of Europe, but free from the political and religious oppression, was too firmly rooted in the minds of the ‘discoverers’ of this new land for them to ever consider letting it go on behalf of those whom they considered to be savages. This was only another hurdle for them to overcome, and that they would. We begin to realize that there were many contradictions to the noble plan of building a utopian empire. Something was surely off-track, either they had strayed from the plan, or else the plan was not what it seemed.
The following quotation was taken from John L. O’Sullivan’s article “The Great Nation of Futurity,” which appeared in The United States Democratic Review, in 1839. O’Sullivan was apparently the man who coined the phrase Manifest Destiny.
“Yes, we are the nation of progress, of individual freedom, of universal enfranchisement. Equality of rights is the cynosure of our union of States, the grand exemplar of the correlative equality of individuals; and while truth sheds its effulgence, we cannot retrograde, without dissolving the one and subverting the other. We must onward to the fulfillment of our mission — to the entire development of the principle of our organization — freedom of conscience, freedom of person, freedom of trade and business pursuits, universality of freedom and equality. This is our high destiny, and in nature’s eternal, inevitable decree of cause and effect we must accomplish it. All this will be our future history, to establish on earth the moral dignity and salvation of man — the immutable truth and beneficence of God. For this blessed mission to the nations of the world, which are shut out from the life-giving light of truth, has America been chosen; and her high example shall smite unto death the tyranny of kings, hierarchs, and oligarchs, and carry the glad tidings of peace and good will where myriads now endure an existence scarcely more enviable than that of beasts of the field. Who, then, can doubt that our country is destined to be the great nation of futurity?”
That is to say, “We have been chosen by god to deliver these peaceful ‘beasts’ from their ignorance of the glory of the decadent European savagery…” At the same time, another horrific process was being carried out by those who were set on building up the new country, confirming out rightly that this plan was far from being a mission to achieve a system of high moral ethics or to attain new standards of human rights. It was quite the opposite.
Of course, we are referring to the slave trade. From before the discovery of America until 1870, ships would arrive in Africa, steal the natives and force them into lives of hard labor. Like the killing of the Native Americans, this event in history needs little explanation. It was exactly what it seemed to be, and a short reflection on this fact of our history will remind the reader of the atrocious sins therein. Africa was violated, just as the Americas would be, as colonialism spread like cancer.
These two major events, which exclusively allowed for the foundation of America as we know it, are telling signs that the dream of mankind living in peace and harmony was in truth a very flawed and gruesome nightmare. One cannot build a peaceful nation if its foundation is built upon a bloody legacy of the most horrendous kind. These happenings demonstrate that some other sort of beast was forming from the ranks of these elite. Perhaps this is the perfect example of the phrase, ‘Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely’.
The shift had begun in the times of the Templars, when this power was first tasted. As it became more and more real and accessible, it was grasped tighter. With the availability of America, an enormous opportunity presented itself, and so all who were playing this game upped the stakes and stepped on the gas. Perhaps the wellbeing of the Africans and the natives of America would have been spared for a lesser cause, but it seems that no one had the time or compassion to give this consideration. All were racing for control of the new land, and if any had stopped to consider the karmic implications of their actions, all others would simply continue the work while their own place in the New World would be lost.
It would be nice, at this point, if we could say that the general direction of the ‘Quest’ became renewed, admitting the errors of these violent and unjustified events, and sought to return to the righteous cause of seeking a system of equality and justice for all. Unfortunately, the course of this game took no such turns. Instead, it exponentially increased its speed as it raced down the path of self-interest. The capitalist backdrop only increased the atmosphere of competition. In such an environment, those societies that had power in the beginning only sought to increase their power and position themselves in the places that would protect it.
After countless centuries of battling the mind control capitol of the world in the Vatican, the underdog societies became identical to this entity, and infiltrated by its new forms. When inspired seers came along to repair this homunculus of an ideal, they found themselves faced with an enemy rather than an ally. Whereas the prophets of old sought to recalibrate the aspects of the perennial philosophy and restore credibility to it, those more contemporary Gnostics have come to face a system that has denied the entire truth and not only that, but they have also conditioned the public to be an audience more interested in pop tarts and Viagra than in any kind of self knowledge.
In Part Three, we will see the trials and breakthroughs initiated by those few wise people who had the strength to shine through the clouds of ignorance in such confusion. At the same time, we will recognize that all the major institutions are recklessly pursuing power and influence in some of the most inhumane ways possible. Like a child in a candy store, they have grabbed up a hundred times their share and even to this day have not matured enough to realize that they are wrong to do so. The past century or so has seen immense shifts in thought. While some are courageously exploring the frontiers of science, others are breaking through into new means of mind control for the world populations.
An illusion has been built and everyday its complexity expands. It constantly grows more and more efficient with every moment that it is not destroyed. In recent years, technology and research have demonstrated more and more effectively that our ancient ancestors had a better grip on reality than we do today, yet at the same time, the flaws and weaknesses of society are preached by the media to be our strengths and only means of functioning – our unchangeable situation.
Perhaps the words of Sir Francis Bacon can eloquently sum up the optimistic dreams for the plan that was to be followed. After all, his words formed the blueprints for the entire process that the Quest was resolved to execute. Having been originally published in Latin as the Instauratio magna in 1620, The Great Instauration describes what the bold vision of Bacon expected and hoped for. Knowing now how it turned out, his words may take on even more emotional value, as we see that the same oppositions still stand in the way of humankind’s progress.
“Being convinced that the human intellect makes its own difficulties, not using the true helps which are at man’s disposal soberly and judiciously; whence follows manifold ignorance of things, and by reason of that ignorance mischiefs innumerable; he [Bacon refers to himself] thought all trial should be made, whether that commerce between the mind of man and the nature of things, which is more precious than anything on earth, or at least than anything that is of the earth, might by any means be restored to its perfect and original condition, or if that may not be, yet reduced to a better condition than that in which it now is. Now that the errors which have hitherto prevailed, and which will prevail for ever, should (if the mind be left to go its own way), either by the natural force of the understanding or by help of the aids and instruments of Logic, one by one correct themselves, was a thing not to be hoped for: because the primary notions of things which is the mind readily and passively imbibes, stores up, and accumulates (and it is from them that all the rest flow) are false, confused, and overhastily abstracted from the facts; nor are the secondary and subsequent notions less arbitrary and inconsistent; whence it flows that the entire fabric of human reason which we employ in the inquisition of nature, is badly put together and built up, and like some magnificent structure without any foundation. For while men are occupied in admiring and applauding the false powers of the mind, they pass by and throw away those true powers, which, if it be supplied with the proper aids and can itself be content and wait upon nature instead of vainly affecting to overrule her, are within its reach. There was but one course left, therefore, – to try the whole thing anew upon a better plan, and to commence a total reconstruction of sciences, arts, and all human knowledge, raised upon the proper foundations. And this, though in the project and undertaking it may seem a thing infinite and beyond the powers of man, yet when it comes to be dealt with it will be found sound and sober, more so than what has been done hitherto. For of this there is some issue; whereas in what is now done in the matter of science there is only a whirling round about, and perpetual agitation, ending where it began. And although he was well aware how solitary an enterprise it is, and how hard a thing to win faith and credit for, nevertheless he was resolved not to abandon either it or himself; nor to be deterred from trying and entering upon that one path which is alone open to the human mind. For better it is to make a beginning of that which may lead to something, than to engage in perpetual struggle and pursuit in courses which have no exit. And certainly the two ways of contemplation are much like those two ways of action, so much celebrated, in this – that the one, arduous and difficult in the beginning, leads out at last into the open country; while the other, seeming at first sight easy and free from obstruction, leads to pathless and precipitous places.”-Sir Francis Bacon, The Great Instauration