The physicist Niels Bohr said, 'The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement, but the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.'
Science sees idealism as having dominated history up until the seventeenth century when the process of discrediting it began. Science assumes materialism will remain the dominant philosophy until the end of time. In the view of the secret societies, materialism will come to be seen as a mere blip.
Modern science is killing off wonder, by telling us that we know it all. Modern science is killing off philosophy, by encouraging us not to ask the big Why questions. [...] In their view, the known is like a vast continent occupying nearly everything there is.
The men and women who have been described making history in this book have preferred to dwell on what they don't know. [...] Let us take Francis Bacon's advice and refrain from rushing to impose a pattern on the world. [...]
Science is not certain. It is a myth like any other, representing what people in the deepest parts of themselves want to believe.
By and large the people who have most changed history have not been the great generals or politicians, but the artists and thinkers. An individual sitting alone in a room and giving birth to an idea can do more to change the course of history than a general who commands thousands on the field of battle or a political leader who commands the loyalty of millions.
In AD 3574 we will enter the age called Philadelphia in Revelation. If the great evolutionary impulses of previous eras have come from India, Persia, Egypt, Greece, Rome and Norther Europe, the next impulse will come from Eastern Europe and Russia. Freemasonic-influenced governments in America and Britain have been keen to involve themselves in this area of the world for this reason. Already it is possible to see extremes emanating from this area, both extremes of spirituality and extremes of evil, such as the Russian 'mafia'.
In future personalities we remember from history, the great personalities who helped lead humanity out of the spirit worlds, will be reborn in order to lead us back into the spirit worlds. There will be a new Shakespeare, a new Moses, a new Zarathustra, a new Hercules. Towards the end of the Philadelphian era, Jesus Pandira, the Teacher of the Essense, will incarnate again as 'the Fifth Rider who rides a horse called Faithful and True', referred to in Revelation. In oriental tradition this figure is called the Maitreya Buddha. [...]
As good and evil spirits make themselves felt, as everyone communicates more freely with the spirit worlds, organized religion will no longer be needed. [...]
We will regain some of the ability to control animals and plants by the power of our thoughts that Adam enjoyed. We will begin to remember past lives and to foresee the future. [...]
At the end of the Philadelphian era, there will be a catastrophic world war at the end of which the surface of earth will become a spiritual wasteland, except for America, where the flame of spirituality will be kept alive. This will be the mirror image of the period of the first Zarathustra.
The period AD 5734-7894 is called Laodicea in Revelation. [...] The goodnes in good people will shine out of them, while the faces and bodies of evil people will be moulded by the animal passions that dominate them. [...] Eventually no one will be happy until everyone is happy. [...]
In time we will no longer die but sleep very deeply, and then less and less deeply. Death, as St Paul says, will be swallowed up.
In the early chapters of this history we saw how the world and humanity were created in the following order: first the mineral part, second the vegetable, third the animal, and last, as the crown of creation, the distinctly human element. Constituent parts were nurtured one after the other, each providing the conditions for the succeeding stage to develop. As the latter stages of history progress, these parts will be transformed in reverse order: human, animal, vegetable and, lastly, mineral. At the end of time even the very atoms of our material natures will be transformed like the physical body of Jesus Christ in the Transfiguration.
The Cabalist Isaac Luria wrote that, eventually, there will be no single atom that has not been worked on by man.
Intuition is transformed intellect that perceives the spiritual beings as real. Paul calls this faith.
Wonder is transformed feeling, feeling that has become aware of the spiritual workings of the cosmos but is not overwhelmed by them. Paul calls this hope.
Conscience is transformed will, when by the exercise of thought and imagination, faith and hope, we have begun to transform that part of ourselves, including the willpower that lives beneath the threshold of consciousness. Paul calls this charity or love.
By applying faith to hope, and by applying faith and hope to love, a human being may then be transformed into an angel.
So the Scorpion is transformed into an Eagle. The Eagle works with the Bull and the Bull grows wings. The winged Bull works on the Lion so that it grows wings in its turn.
And the end of this fourfold process is that the winged Lion works on the Man so that he is transformed into an Angel. This is a great mystery taught in the Mystery centres of the ancient world, which became the great mystery of esoteric Christianity.
People often choose one world-view in preference to another because somewhere in the depths of their being that is what they want to believe.
In the future we may also learn to look at relationships in terms of reincarnation. We may come to appreciate that relationships in previous incarnations may account for 'subconscious' feelings of liking and disliking which rise up when we meet strangers.
Today's skyscrapers may be taken as representing fundamentalism. On the one hand there are right-wing Christians whom we should bracket with the cruder forms of Islam. Both want to repress human individual free will and intelligence, to lure us into an unenlightening ecstasy. This is the influence of Lucifer.
On the other hand there is the militant scientific materialism that wants to snuff out the human spirit. Machines are making us machine-like. This is the influence of Satan, who wants to go further and squeeze out the spirit altogether and make us mere matter.
And just as Lucifer incarnated so too Satan will incarnate. He will do so as a writer. His aim will be to destroy spirituality by 'explaining it away'. He will have the ability to create supernatural events, but then know how to give them a reductively scientific explanation.
At first he will appear to be a great benefactor on humankind, a genius. To begin with he himself may not realize he is the Anti-Christ, believing he acts only out of love for humanity. He will do away with much dangerous superstition and work to unite the religions of the world. However, there will come a moment of pride when he realizes he is achieving some things that Jesus Christ was, apparently, unable to achieve. He will then become aware of his identity and his mission.
How to recognize Satan? Or any false prophet? Or any false, purportedly spiritual teaching? False teaching usually has little or no moral dimension, the benefits of reawakening the chakras, for example, being recommended merely in terms of selfish 'personal growth'. True spiritual teaching puts love of others and love of humanity at its heart - intelligent love, freely given.
Beware, too, of teaching that doesn't invite questioning, or tolerate mockery. It is telling you, in effect, that God wants you to be stupid.
According to esoteric Christianity, Jesus Christ lived on earth in the middle of the history of the cosmos. His life represents the great turning point in history. Everything after it mirrors what happened beforehand. So we are experiencing the great events of pre-Christian times in reverse order and our future development will take us through earlier stages in reverse order.
For example, in AD 2000 our lives mirror the life of Abraham in 2000 BC, walking among the idolatrous skyscrapers of Uruk.
Mayan astronomer-priests pinpointed the incarnation of Lucifer to 13 August 3114 BC, tying in closely with Hindu traditions of the dawn of the Dark Age. These same priests predicted a similar turning point in history, the closing of one great cycle and the start of another, on 22 December AD 2012.
Consider, finally, how your consciousness is different from your parents' consciousness. Yours is probably more liberal, more sympathetic, more able to appreciate the point of view of other races, classes, gender, sexual tastes and so on. [...] You are probably less repressed, less fearful of authority, more questioning and have less strong family ties. [...]
Our consciousness, then, is different from our parent's consciousness and it is also probably very different from our grandparents' consciousness. Project this rate of change back into history and it becomes easy to see how only a few generations ago everyday waking consciousness might have been like the form of consciousness we experience in dreams.
It is only in this obscure suburb of history, where nothing miraculous ever seems to happen and no great geniuses live, this age when the standards of education of the educated classes is in steep decline - it is only in this time and place that people have held matter-before-mind beliefs. In all other places, at all other times, people believed the contrary. They would have found it just about impossible to imagine how anyone could believe what we do.
Gandhi was a devout Hindu but he lived according to the deeper laws as laid out in the Sermon on the Mount.
Gandhi's soul power was such that when he met armed soldiers, they would lower their weapons. Hindus and Muslims forgave each other in his presence.
In the upside down thinking typical of the secret societies, Gandhi blamed Indians not Britons for the occupation of India, pointing out that 100,000 Britons would not be able to control three hundred million Indians unless they went along with it.
As a young man Gandhi described himself as 'in love' with the British Empire. Being naturally good-hearted he saw the best in the upright and fair-playing Britons who administered his native country as a colony.
But as he matured, he began to see a deeper reality. Beneath the much-vaunted fair play, he saw, for example, the unfairness of the tax burden from abroad and above all India's lack of freedom to determine her own destiny.
Gandhi stands as a great embodiment of the new form of consciousness that the secret societies have been working throughout history to help evolve.
There has been some debate in occult circles as to how much esoteric wisdom should be made public. How much is useful in the war against materialism - and how much is dangerous?
In the secret history Lenin is a reincarnation of a high priest, born again in order to oppose the second coming of the Sun god, and when Trotsky was on the run from his old comrades, hiding in Mexico City, he was returning home.
The revolutionary cell structure instigated by Lenin and Trotsky was closely modelled on the working methods of Weishaupt. Marx, Engels and Trotsky were Freemasons. Lenin was a Freemason of the 31st degree, a member of several lodges including the lodge of the Nine Sisters, the most important lodge to have been infiltrated by the followers and nihilistic philosophy of the Illuminati. Lenin and Trotsky waged war on God.
In 1789 the armies of angels led by St Michael won a victory in heaven. In order for this victory to be decisive, though, it would have to be fought again on earth.
According to esoteric thinkers, life in a mechanized, industrialized, digitalized environment has a deadening effect on our mental processes.
Our world is being shattered, fragmented by an eruption of evil, subterranean forces. The initiatic artist, Picasso, can remake the world, can be a fertility god reborn, but he will do it not in terms of the conventional canons of beauty. He will recombine the discarded, the shattered, the ugly, in beautiful new ways.
Picasso, the great artist-magus of Modernism, always had a strong feeling for the instructions of the spirit worlds.
He [Papus] is said to have conjured up the spirit of the Tsar's father, Alexander III, who prophesied the death of Nicholas II at the hands of revolutionaries.
Dostoyevsky's journey through Hell, like Dante's, is partly a spiritual journey but it is also a journey through the Hell on Earth that humanity has created.
In Dostoyevsky we encounter the paradoxical notion that those who confront this evil, supernatural dimension, even if they are thieves, prostitute and murderers, are closer to heaven than those whose cosy world-view deliberately shuts evil out and denies it is there.
Image if you fed all these great works of literature - in fact all literature - into a giant computer and asked it the question: What are the laws that determine whether or not a life is ultimately happy and fulfilled? I suggest the result would be a body of laws that included the following:
If you duck out of a challenge, then that challenge will come round again in a different form.
We always draw towards us what we fear most.
If you choose the immoral path, ultimately you will pay for it.
A good-hearted belief will eventually transform what is believed in.
In order to hold on to what you love, you must let it go.
Now image what would happen if you fed all the scientific data in the world into another gigantic computer and asked it the same question. The results, I suggest, would be very different:
The best way to keep something is to try your hardest to do so and never give up.
You cannot transform the world by wishful thinking - you must do something about it.
If you can avoid being found out and punished by your fellow man, there is no reason to suppose a providential order will punish you.
Dopey, Happy, Bashful, Sleepy, Grumpy, Sneezy and Doc m ight seem humerous, child-friendly, made-up names, but in fact they are all literal translations of seven earth demons from Scandinavian esoteric lore: Toki, Skavaerr, Varr, Dun, Orinn, Grerr and Radsvid. Even in the cosy world of Disney the esoteric lies closer to the surface than you might think.
In some esoteric traditions Sirius is the central sun of the universe around which our sun rotates.
His empire would expand to include not only Italy and Egypt, but Germany, Austria and Spain. No emperor had been crowned by the Pope since Charlemagne, but in 1804 Napoleon had Charlemagne's crown and sceptre brought to him, and having forced Pope Pius VII to attend, Napoleon symbolically snatched the crown from his hands and crowned himself Emperor.
It certainly seems to be the case that Napoleon chose the esotericst and astrologer Fabre d'Olivet as one of his advisers, and also arranged to spend a night in the Great Pyramid. Did Napoleon meet St Germain in the flesh or in the spirit?
The driving force was the most principled of Freemasons, the austere and incorruptible lawyer Maximilian Robespierre. [...] Saturn was eating his own children. [...] Yet in Robespierre's case this yearning to be completely reasonable seems to have driven him mad.
The original plan had been to impregnate people with hope and will for change, but lodges had been infiltrated to the extent that it has been said that 'the program put into action by the French Constitutional Assembly in 1789 had been put together by German Illuminati in 1776'. Danton, Desmmoulins, Mirabeau, Marat, Robespierre, Guillotin and other leaders had been 'illuminated'.
When the king was slow to agree to further reforms, Desmoulins called for an armed uprising. Then, in June 1789, Louis XVI tried to disperse the Assembly and called him troops to Versailles. Mass desertions followed. On 14 July an angry mob stormed the Bastille. Louis XVI went to the guillotine in January 1793. When he tried to speak to the crowd, he was cut short by a roll on the drums. He was heard to say, 'People of France, I am innocent, I forgive those who are responsible for my death. I pray to God that the blood spilled here never falls on France or on you, my unfortunate people ...' That this should happen in the heart of the most civilized nation on earth opened the door to the unthinkable.
Weishaupt's [Founder of the Bavarian Illuminati] writings reveal the extent of his cynicism:
'...in concealment lies a great part of our strength. For this reason we must cover ourselves in the name of another society. The lodges that are under Freemasonry are the most suitable cloak for our high purpose.'
'Seek the society of young people,' he advises one of his co-conspirators. 'Watch them, and if one of them pleases you, lay your hand on him.'
'Do you realize sufficiently what it means to rule - to rule in a secret society? Not only over the more important of the populace, but over the best men, over men of all races, nations and religions, to rule without external force ... the final aim of our Society is nothing less than to win power and riches ... and to obtain mastery of the world.'
Following the discovery of these writings, the order was suppressed - but too late.
By 1789 there were some three hundred lodges in France, including sixty-five in Paris.
The seized writings revealed that the ancient secret wisdom and the secret supernatural powers promulgated within the Illuminati and always been a cynical invention and a fraud. An aspirant progressed through the grades only to discover that the spiritual element in the teachings were merely a smokescreen. Spirituality was derided, spat upon. Jesus Christ's teachings, it was said, were really purely political in content, calling for the abolition of all property, of the institution of marriage and all family ties, all religion. The aim of Weishaupt and his co-conspirators was to set up a society run on purely materialistic grounds, a revolutionary new society - and the place where they would test their theories, they had decided, would be France.
Finally it was whispered in the candidate's ear that the ultimate secret was that there was no secret.
In this way he was inducted into a nihilistic and anarchistic philosophy that appealed to the candidate's worst instincts. Weishaupt gleefully anticipated tearing down, destroying civilization, not to set people free, but for the pleasure of imposing his will upon others.
Weishaupt joined the Freemasons in 1777, and soon many of the Illuminati followed, infiltrating the lodges. They quickly rose to positions of seniority.
Like the Jesuits, the Illuminati brotherhood was run on military lines. Members were requested to surrender individual judgement and will. Like earlier secret societies Weishaupt's Illuminati promised to reveal an ancient wisdom. Higher and more powerful secrets were promised to those who progressed up the ladder of initiations. Initiates worked in small cells. Knowledge was shared between cells on what modern security services call a 'need to know' basis - so dangerous was this newly rediscovered knowledge.
The story of the Illuminati is one of the darker episodes in the secret history and it has blackened the reputation of secret societies ever since.
The imagination - and particularly the sexually-fired imagination - is therefore seen to be the root principle of creativity.
On this cabalistic account, the Fall happened because of an imbalance which occurred between the male and female sephiroth. By imagining balanced and harmonious lovemaking between the sephiroth, the adept helps set right this primordial cosmic wrong.
[...] modern neurological research has confirmed that meditation increases the levels of DHEAS and melatonin, secretions produced by the pineal and pituitary glands which together are said by occultists to create the Third Eye.
We have touched on various techniques for inducing altered states, including breathing exercises, dancing and meditation. But these sexual techniques are the hard stuff, and most closely guarded secrets of the secret societies.
Above all, this idealism would exalt the imagination, holding the mystical and esoteric belief that the imaginations is a higher mode of perception than that offered by the senses. Imagination can be trained to grasp higher realities than the materialism being peddled by the apostles of common sense.
In 1782 Cagliostro founded Egyptian Right Freemasonry, which would be highly influential in both France and America.
The secret history of the world from the late sixteen century to the nineteenth century is dominated by the work behind the scenes of the great ascended masters of Western tradition, Enoch and Elijah, and by preparations for the descent from the skies of the Archangel of the Sun - and, beyond this, for the descent of an even greater being.
These men were preparing the way for the Second Coming.
In the phrase Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, St Germain looked forward to a time when humanity would reach out to the Sun god with freedom of thought and will, as they had failed to do the first time He came.
In the secret history St Germain is Christian Rosenkreuz reincarnated in the age of enlightenment, of imperial expansion and international diplomacy. [...] he had learned how to reconstitute his body after death. [...] In an earlier incarnation Rosenkreuz/Germain had been Hiram Abiff, the Master Builder of Solomon's Temple.
Although nobody knew where his money came from - some said alchemy - he was evidently independently wealthy and by no means a desperate adventurer.
But the greatest mystery surrounding the Comte de St Germain was his longevity. Having appeared in public life in 1710, apparently in late middle age, when he met with composer Rameau in Venice, he remained in public life at least as late as 1782 without appearing to age at all. Sightings of him by the great and the good continued as late as 1822.
St Germain had appeared in European society quite suddenly in 1710, apparently from Hungary and seemingly about fifty years old. [...] Though he attended banquets, he was never seen eating in front of others and drank only a strange herbal tea he concocted himself.
There is a law that if a white magician uses his occult power, an equal amount of power is made available to a black magician.
In the middle of the eighteenth century the rise to supremacy of the United States was only a mystical vision. In the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries France became the most powerful and influential nation.
Initiates inside and outside the Church create great works of art and architecture to help condition humanity for its future evolution.
The upper echelons of the Church hierarchy wish to keep its flock from conscious knowledge of the astral roots of their religion.
As Freemasons erected an obelisk in Central Park, New York, they were invoking St Michael and all his angels, asking for their help as they sought to establish the leadership of the United States among the nations in the war-torn age that would soon be drawing.
Thirty-three is the rhythm of the vegetative realm of the cosmos, the dimension that controls the interactions between the spirit worlds and the material world. [...] The secret of thirty-three refers to the number of gateways by which the human spirit may travel between the material world and the spirit worlds. Practical knowledge of these pathways is known only to initiates of the highest level, because it enables them to slip unobtrusively in and out of the material realm.
The Egyptians saw the obelisk as a sacred structure on which the Phoenix would alight to mark the end of one civilization and the beginning of another. An obelisk is a symbol of the birth of a new age. Like a gigantic lightning conductor, it draws down the spiritual influence of the sun.
The Freemasons of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries foresaw that St Michael, Archangel of the Sun, would come again.
Michael was coming to fight the forces of corrupted angels and demons that were predicted to assault the earth in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
David Ovason has shown how the astrological orientation of Washington, DC, marks a complex pattern involving Jupiter, the sun, the moon, Sirius and the constellation of Virgo. [...] Washington, DC was laid out to welcome Isis, the goddess associated with Virgo.
Washington, then, built his city under the sign of Virgo, inviting the Mother Goddess to participate in the destiny of the United States.
The phrase 'Novus Ordo Seclorum', also to be found on the dollar bill and which worries conspiracy theorists so much, is also adapted from Virgil. In the Eclogues he looks forward to a new age, when the people will be reunited with the gods so there will be no need for religion. The dollar bill, therefore, looks forward to the end of the Catholic Church's world domination and the beginning of a new spiritual era.
It is significant that at the very moment George Washington laid the foundation stone of the Capitol building, Jupiter was rising in the East. The phrase 'Annuit Coeptis' which hovers above the pyramid on the dollar bill is adapted from a line in Virgil's Aeneid - 'Jupiter, favour us in our undertaking.'
In 1775 members of the Colonial Congress were staying as guests in a house in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Their aim was to design the American flag. George Washington and Benjamin Franklin were present and so was an old professor, who seemed to be staying there by coincidence. Somewhat to the surprise of others, Washington and Franklin deferred to the professor. They seemed to recognize him as their superior, immediately and unreservedly, and all of his suggestions for the design of the flag were promptly adopted. Then he vanished and was never seen or heard of again. Was this stranger one of the Hidden Masters who direct the history of the world?
Fond of quoting the words of Isaiah, Paine became the great prophet of Revolution, proposing a federation of states, coining the phrase, 'The United States of America'. He argued for the abolition of slavery and state funding for the education of the poor.
George Washington was initiated in 1752.
Moreover, some great Freemasons from this period [eighteenth century] were reincarnations of great personages from the distant past. They were returning to fight in the greatest battle with the forces of evil since the first War in Heaven.
From the start Freemasons had wanted to discard unthinking religion, false piety and the accretions of centuries of Church practice and dogma, particularly the crude idea of a vindictive father figure.
Humanity was entering a new Dark Age. Neo-Solomonic temples sprang up all around the world. The esoteric aim of Freemasonry would be precisely this: to help lead humanity through the age of materialism while keeping the flame of true spirituality alive.
When alchemical texts recommend visiting the interior of the earth, this is a way of talking about sinking down into one's own body. Alchemy, then, is concerned with occult physiology. By acquiring a working knowledge of his own body's physiology, the alchemist was able to gain a degree of control over it. Great alchemists like St Germain were said to be able to live as long as they wanted.
It would be all too easy to interpret all this as some kind of fuzzy mysticism. But the stories about scientists like Pythagoras and Newton suggest that by means of these peculiar kinds of altered states they were able to discover new things about the world, to see its inner workings and understand patterns that are perhaps too complex or too large for the human mind to grasp with its everyday, commonsensical state of consciousness. Alchemy confers on its practitioners a supernatural intelligence.
If we succeed in making our selfish, sexual desires into living, spiritual desires, then the bird of resurrection, the Phoenix, rises. If our heart is overtaken by these transformed energies then it becomes a centre of power. Anyone who has met a truly holy person will have felt the great power that a transformed heart radiates.
Love fascinated the alchemists of the golden age. They knew that the heart is an organ of perception. When we look at someone we love, we see things other people cannot see, and the initiate who has undergone alchemical transformation has made a conscious, willed decision to see the whole world in this way. An adept sees how the world really works in a way that is denied to the rest of us.
So if we persists with our own alchemical spiritual exercises, if we succeed in purifying the fragmentary material barrier between ourselves and the spirit worlds, as the French mystic St Martin urges, then our own powers of perception will improve. In the first instance, the spirit worlds will begin to shine through into our dreams, less chaotically than they routinely and more meaningfully. The promptings of the spirits, first in the form of hunches or intuition, will also begin to invade our waking life. We will begin to detect the flow and operation of the deeper laws beneath the everyday surface of things.
The result was a science of spiritual experience, and this is what alchemy really is. The gold they experienced at the end of their experiments was a spiritual gold, an evolved form of consciousness that meant a mere metal bringing worldly wealth no longer interested them.
In the golden age of alchemy, Sulphur represents the animal dimension, Mercury is the vegetable dimension and Salt the material dimension. [...]
In all alchemical texts Mercury is the mediator between Sulphur and Salt.
The second stage is what is sometimes called the Chemical Wedding, when soft, female Mercury makes love to hard, rigid, red Sulphur.
The Scottish roots of Freemasonry were deliberately covered up in the eighteenth century because they had become entangled with the Stuart dynasty, supporting its claims to the throne.
Edison tried to make a radio that would tune into the spirit worlds.
As we have already seen, Charles Darwin attended seances. He may have had the opportunity to learn the esoteric doctrine of the evolution from fish to amphibian to land animal to human from his close association with Max Muller, early translator of sacred Sanskrit texts.
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, the German mathematician, was Newton's rival in the devising of the calculus. In Leibniz's case his discoveries arose out of fascination with cabalistic number mysticism which he shared with his close friend, the Jesuit scholar of the occult Athanasius Kircher. In 1687 Kircher, an alchemical student of the properties of the vegetable dimension, resurrected a rose from its ashes in front of the Queen of Sweden. Leibniz himself has also provided us with the most detailed and credible account of the alchemical transformation of base metals into gold.
Giordano Bruno is a great hero of science because he was burned at the stake in 1600 for insisting that the solar system is heliocentric. But as we have already seen, this was because he believed fervently in the ancient wisdom of the Egyptians.
Mind could not - and cannot - create or order matter directly, but only through the medium of the vegetative dimension. The mineral dimension of the cosmos, as it were, grows out of this vegetative dimension. Something crucial for practical occultists flows out of this. What Paracelsus called the ens vegetalis is malleable by mind, and because the mineral dimension grows out of this vegetative dimension, it is possible to exercise a power of mind over matter via this medium.
As we have seen, all esotericists are especially interested in the interface between the animal and vegetable on the one hand and in the interface between the vegetable and the mineral on the other. In the esoteric view this is the key to understanding the secrets of nature and manipulating them. The vegetable is the intermediary between thought and matter. It may be called the gateway between the worlds.
As Newton's cabalistic contemporary Lady Conway put it, 'There are transformations from one species to another, as from stone to earth, from earth to grass, from grass to sheep from sheep to human flesh, from human flesh to the lowest species of man, and from these to noblest spirits.' In Newton's view, then, everything in the universe strains towards intelligence. Inanimate matter strains towards vegetable life, which aspires to animal life by means of a rudimentary sensitivity. The higher animals have an instinct that is almost reasonable like the faculty in human beings, who wait to evolve into super-intelligent beings.
In Newton's view every part of the universe is intelligent. Even a stone is intelligent, and not just in the sense that it shows evidence of design.
It was as if God had set humanity a test. Only when humanity had developed sufficient intelligence would it be able to recognize the presence of these codes and decode them. That time, thought Newton, had arrived.
Isaac Newton, born in Woolthorpe, Lincolnshire, never grew above five feet. He was strange, eccentric, sexually confused and lonley.
But the inititate-priests of the Egyptian temples who knew that Sirius was a three-star system were well aware, thousands of years earlier, that the earth rotates around the Sun.
The Thirty Years War was waged by Ferdinand of the great Catholic dynasty of the Hapsburgs, whose intellectual outriders were the Jesuits. The aim of the Hapsburgs was to re-establish Catholic supremacy in Europe. During this time five out of six German towns and villages were destroyed and the population reduced from some nine million to four million. The Rosicrucian dream was destroyed in a carnival of bigotry, torture and mass slaughter. Central Europe was a desert.
The institution of the Holy Roman Emperor, founded by Charlemagne in 800, was built on the ideal of a world leader who with the Pope's blessing held Christendom together and defended the faith. This ideal was shining less brightly by the beginning of the seventeenth century. No Holy Roman Emperor had been crowned between 1530 and Rudolf II's coronation in 1576, and many of the small kingdoms and princedoms of Germany had become Protestant, which naturally undermined any notion of a Europe united under a Roman Emperor.
In the years following the publication of the Fama, the Rosicrucians would come out of the shadows to the sound of canons and muskets. They would fight a bloody and hopeless battle against the Jesuits for the spirit of Europe.
In conventional histories, sceptical of the Rosicrucian Manifestoes and suspecting them to be just a fantasy, their publication marked the beginning of the Rosicrucian phenomenon. In this secret history the manifestoes marked the end of true Rosicrucians - or at least the beginning of the end.
[...] the mystical force behind the Reformation, a chain of initiates that connects Eckhart, Tauler and Arndt with the network of magi that includes Rosencrantz, Paracelsus and Dee.
However, in Loyola's exercises there is a subtle but important difference. While the Rosicrucian techniques were designed to help achieve a free-willed, free-thinking exchange with beings from higher hierarchies, the spiritual exercises of Ignatius Loyola are intended to still the will and induce a state of unquestioning obedience like a soldier's. 'Take, Lord, and receive all my memory, my understanding and my whole will, everything I have.'
So in 1534, while studying in Paris, he [Loyola] gathered around him seven fellow students to form a brotherhood. They were to be the highly disciplined soldiers of the Church. In 1540 the Pope recognized this order as the Society of Jesus. The Jesuits were to be the Chruch's intellectual elite, its military intelligence, servants unto death, searching out heresy and unlawful entry into the spirit worlds.
The world's greatest library of occult literature is to be found in the Vatican. The Church has never believed that the occult sciences do not work. It has only sought to keep exclusive control of them.
It is estimated that some 100,000 Aztecs were killed at the battle for Tenochtitlan, with a loss of only a handful of Conquistadors. It has also been estimated that in the course of the Conquest some two million natives died.
Less idealistic men had followed in the wake of Christopher Columbus. [...]
The Conquistadors then realized that Cortes, bearded, helmeted and fair-skinned, must resemble the prophetic depictions of Quetzal Coatl. By coincidence, as they saw it, they had arrived at precisely the time that the Aztec astrologers prophesied that this god would return.
[...] Cortes's plan had been to kidnap Moctezuma and make off with the ransom, but when his men saw all the gold that lay about the palace, they impatiently killed the king.
In response to the question, Where does the spirit go after death?, Boehme had once answered in a way that was something of the Teutonic Zen of Eckhart: 'It has no need to go anywhere. The spirit has heaven and hell within itself. Heaven and hell are within one another and are to one another as nothing.'
Luther himself communicated with the spirit worlds on familiar terms, heard voices guiding him and on one famous occasion hurled an inkpot at a demon who had mocked him.
If you cease to limit a thing within yourself, that's to say by wanting it, and if you withdraw from it, it will come to you.
It is always the aim of initiatic brotherhoods like the Rosicrucians to help spread newly evolving forms of consciousness, appropriate for the changing times.
As we have seen Christians were experiencing a withdrawal of the spirit worlds. The Church seemed unable to provide direct spiritual experience or personal contact with spiritual realities. The people demanded wonders and only the secret societies knew how to provide them.
The great magus's decline can be traced from this association with Kelley. The man whose dreams of empire would help shape the globe was beginning to explore the more discreditable byways of esoteric speculation and practice.
It is a little known fact, but documented, that at the height of his fortunes Dr Dee owned a charter granting him ownership of the vast landmass called Canada, and his vision of a British Empire - a phrase he coined - helped inspire and guide the nation's voyages of discovery.
In the natural course of things there is a quality in semen that is like a net in which a spirit may land and then be incarnated.
Paracelsus also had strange and wonderful ideas about sleep and dreams. He said that during sleep the sidereal body - the animal spirit - becomes free in its movement. It may rise up, he said, to the sphere of its ancestors and converse with the stars. He said that spirits wishing to make use of men often act on them during dreams, that a sleeping person can visit another in his dreams. He talked of incubi and succubae feeding on nocturnal emissions.
Wisely controlled, love is the way to divine perfection. Sex, as Fraenger puts it, is the knife blade.
The extraordinary supernatural gifts attributed to the Rosicrucians made them one of the great romantic legends of European history. They had the gift of great longevity - Rosencrantz died in 1485 at the age of 107. Because they knew 'the secrets of nature' and could command disembodied beings, they could exert their will magically, which they did mostly for the sake of performing healing miracles. They could read minds, understand all languages, even project living images of themselves over great distances and communicate over great distances. They could also make themselves invisible.
The great Cabalist Robert Fludd was, according to esoteric tradition, one of the scholars employed by James I to work on the Authorized Version of the Bible. Often thought to have been a Rosicrucian himself, he was at the least a well-informed and sympathetic fellow traveller. Fludd came to the defence of the Brotherhood in print, repudiating accusations of black magic. He argued that the supernatural gifts of the Rosicrucians were the gifts of the Holy Spirit laid out by St Paul in the Epistle to the Corinthians - prophecy, performing miracles, possession of languages, visions, healings, expelling demons. That the local parish priest could no longer do these things helps to account for Europe's growing fascination with the shadowy Rosicrucians.
By all accounts the priests of antiquity had been able to summon gods to appear in the inner sanctum of the temple, but, following the Church's abolition of the distinction between soul and spirit in 869, the understanding of how to reach the spirit world had gradually been lost. By the eleventh century priests were no longer capable of summoning even visions of the spirit worlds during Mass. Now in the fifteenth century the spirit worlds began to flood back via the portal of the Rosicrucians.
The life of Christian Rosenkreuz is usually thought of an an allegory - or a fantasy. [...]
When he returned to Europe, he was determined to pass on what he had learned. He landed first in Spain, where he was laughed at. After several humiliations he returned to Germany to live in seclusion. Five years later he gathered around him three old friends from his day in the convent.
This was the beginning of the Fraternity of the Rosy Cross.
[...] before death each brother would choose a successor whom he would initiate. They agreed that their fraternity would remain hidden for a hundred years.
They were joined by four more brothers, before all eight set out to the far corners of the earth in order to reform and transform it.
Certain great individuals, such as Melchizedek, have been avatars, embodiments of great spiritual beings who are able to live in constant communication with the spirit worlds. Others, such as Isaiah, were initiates in previous incarnations, carrying the powers of an initiate into their new incarnation. The cosmos prepares people in different ways. Mozart is believed to have undergone a series of short incarnations which had the purpose of interrupting his experience of the spirit worlds only briefly, so that in his incarnation as Mozart he could still hear the Music of the Spheres.
One of the more intriguing notions associated with the secret societies is that you can never track them down. Instead they operate some form of occult but benevolent surveillance. When the time is right, when you are ready, a member of the secret schools will come to you and offer himself as your spiritual guide or master.
The same initiate told me how at a gathering of top academics who all shared an interest in the esoteric - he himself was an art historian - it eventually emerged that the great teacher in their presence was none of the doctors or professors but the cleaning lady with mop and pail at the back of the lecture theatre. Such stories may have an apocryphal air about them, but they also have a universal resonance. The spiritual master of the greatest esoteric teacher of the twentieth century, Rudolf Steiner, was a woodcutter and herb-gatherer.
Karl von Eckartshausen, the early theosophist, wrote: 'These sages whose number is small are children of light. Their business is to do as much good to humanity as is in their power and to drink wisdom from the eternal fountain of truth. Some live in Europe, others in Africa, but they are bound together by the harmony of their souls, and they are therefore one. They are joined even though they may be thousands of miles apart from each other. They understand each other, although they speak in different tongues, because they language of the sages is spiritual perception. No evil person could possibly live among them, because he would be recognized immediately.'
When you're frightened of dying and you're holding on, you'll see demons tearing your life away. If you've made your peace, you'll see that the demons are really angels freeing you from the earth. The only things that burn us is the part you won't let go, your memories, your attachments.
In short, Bacon realized that if you can observe objects as objectively as possible very different patterns emerge from the ones that give the subjective experience its structure.
This realization would change the face of the planet.
The time has come to consider that in the secret history these passages in the Old Testament are not a description of two separate individuals. Rather, Elijah is such a highly evolved being that not only is he able to incarnate, discarnate and reincarnate at will, he is also able to parcel up bits of his spirit - or mantle - and distribute it among several different people.
Just as a flock of birds turn as one, moved by the same thought, so also several people may be moved simultaneously by the same spirit. Lurking in the darkness behind the surface glitter of Elizabethan England, speaking through the minds of Marlowe, Shakespeare, Bacon, Donne and Cervantes we should be able to make out the stern visage of the Green One, spiritual master of the Sufis and architect of the modern age.
'You have seen too much,' replied the Green One. 'You must understand that I am from another world. Without their knowing it, I protect those who have a service to perform.'
Shakespeare is an enigma. Like Jesus Christ he revolutionized human consciousness yet left almost invisible traces on the contemporary historical record.
An infant prodigy, Francis Bacon was born into a family of courtiers in 1561. At the age of twelve a masque he had written, The Birth of Merline, was performed before Queen Elizabeth I, who knew him affectionately as her little Lord Keeper. He was a small, weak, sickly child and his schoolfellows teased him by calling him by a pun on his name, Hamlet, or 'little ham'. He was educated at Oxford and when, despite the Queen's earlier fondness for him, he was blocked again and again in his political ambitions, he conceived an ambition to build himself an 'Empire of learning', conquering every branch of erudition known to man. His intellectual brilliance was such that he became known as the 'wonder of the ages'. He wrote books that dominated the intellectual life of his day, including The Advancement of Learning, the Novum Organon, in which he proposed a radical new approach to scientific thinking, and The New Atlantis, a vision of a new world order. Part inspired by Plato's vision of Atlantis, this would prove very influential on esoteric groups in the modern world. When James I came to the throne Bacon quickly achieved his long-held ambition and became Lord Chancellor, the second most powerful post in the land. One of Bacon's responsibilities was the distribution of land grants in the New World.
Bacon's brilliance was such that it seemed to cover the whole world, and, all other things being equal, he might seem to be a better candidate for the author of the plays of Shakespeare than Shakespeare himself.
Bacon was a member of a secret society called the Order of the Helmet.
His contemporary, the playwright Ben Jonson, said sneeringly of William Shakespeare that he knew 'small Latin and less Greek'. How could such a man have created a body of work, saturated in all the erudition of the age?
Many great contemporaries have pushed forward as the true author of Shakespeare's plays, including his patron, the seventeenth Earl of Oxford, Christopher Marlowe [...], and latterly the poet John Donne. [...]
But the most popular candidate is, of course, Francis Bacon.
What Cervantes is saying is that if, like Don Quixote, we good-heartedly decide to believe in the essential goodness of the world, despite the brickbats of fortune, despite the slapstick tendency in things that seem to contradict such spiritual beliefs and make them look foolish and absurd, then that decision to believe will help transform the world - and in a supernatural way, too.
But the reality is that the Knights of Christ did not pursue the same independent commerce with the spirit worlds that had pushed the Papacy to such desperate measures in the case of the Templars. As with other later crypto-Templar orders such as the Knights of Malta, Rome was here adopting the powerfully glamorous mystique of the original Knights Templar, and using it for its own purposes.
Much has been made of Columbus's connections with the Knights Templar. He was married to a daughter of a former Grand Master of the Knights of Christ, a Portuguese order that had grown up after the Templars had been driven underground. It's been noted as significant that Columbus navigated ships whose sails carried the distinctive red cross 'patte' of the Templars.
When in 1492 Christopher Columbus reached the mouth of the Orinoco he believed he had found the Gihon, one of the four rivers that flow out of Eden. He wrote home: 'There are great indications suggesting the proximity of the earthly Paradise, for not only does it correspond in mathematical position with the opinions of the holy and learned theologians, but all other sages concur to make it probable.'
Stories of going underground should always alert us to the fact that occult physiology is being referred to. The journey underground is a journey inside the body.
Rabelais envisioned a company of initiates whose consciousness is so transformed that they are beyond good and evil.
Without Joan's severing of France and England, the particularly English contribution to world history - the psychological realism of Shakespeare and the detached and tolerant philosophy of Francis Bacon - would not have been possible.
Betrayed by her own people, Joan was sold to the English. She was questioned closely on her voices. She said they were sometimes accompanied by visions and bright lights, that they advised her, warned her and even gave her detailed instructions, often several times a day. Joan was also able to ask their advice and would receive detailed answers to her questions.
Such easy familiarity, such deep and detailed communications with the spirit worlds outside the aegis of the Church was characterized as witchcraft and on 30 May 1430 Joan was burned at the stake in the marketplace in Rouen in norther France.
The Archangel Michael appeared to Joan and told her she would have spirit guides.
We saw earlier how the moon separated from the earth in order to reflect sunlight down to the earth and make human reflection possible. We saw, too, how in 13,000 BC Isis withdrew from the earth tot he moon to become mistress of this process of reflection.
Like the saints, the great artists were sometimes mouthpieces for great spiritual beings. According to esoteric tradition the painter Raphael was directly inspired by the Archangel Raphael. The hand that painted the masterpieces was divinely guided.
But there is a stranger and more mysterious tradition - that the individuality who incarnated as Raphael had previously incarnated as John the Baptist. According to Steiner, this explains why there are no major paintings by Raphael of events that took place after the death of John the Baptist. His great masterpieces depicting the Madonna and child with a strange and uniquely compelling quality were in effect painted from memory.
Following Plato they [neoplatonic artists of the Renaissance] believed that all learning is a process of remembering.
It's often assumed that [Giordano] Bruno was burned at the stake by the church for championing the modern, scientific view that the earth revolves around the sun. In fact it was his esoteric views that really frightened the Church. His experiences of the spirit worlds led him to claim that there are an infinity of interlocking universes and dimensions. He invoked the authority of the 'Pythagorean poet', Virgil to back up his belief that the human spirit could travel between these universes, but would eventually 'desire to return tot he body' in accordance with the laws of reincarnation.
The Commedia shows how when we behave badly in this life we are already constructing a Purgatory, a Hell, for ourselves in another dimension that intersects with our everyday lives. We are already suffering, tormented by demons. If we do not aspire to move up the spiral of the heavenly hierarchies, if we 'make do' with purely earthly successes and pleasures, we are already in Purgatory.
At root the impulse behind the birth of the Renaissance was a sexual one. Let us be clear about the outrageous thing we are saying here - that the whole of human consciousness was transformed and moved to another level of evolution just because a few people performed the sexual act in a new way.
In this way he [Hugh Schonfield] found coded in the word Baphomet the word 'wisdom'. [...]
The personification of wisdom that Templars confessed to communing with was, however, the goat-headed god of worldly wisdom.
The Inquisition accused the captured knights of making novices spit and trample on the cross of Christ. They were accused, too, of sodomy and worshipping a goat-headed idol called Baphomet. They confessed to seeing this idol with a long beard, sparkling eyes and four feet. Under pressure from Philip the Fair, Pope Clement published a Bill of Abolition, putting an end to the Knights Templar. All their assets were seized by the monarchy.
[...] William of Baskerville [...] explains that there are two forms of magic, a Devil's magic that seeks to harm others by illicit means, and a holy magic which rediscovers the secrets of nature, a lost science known to the ancients. [...] [Roger] Bacon worked on the borderline of magic and science - and this borderline, we will see, is what alchemy essentially is.
All magic is a power of mind over matter. As we are beginning to see, esoteric philosophy is concerned with methods for developing the faculties of the mind so that natural laws can be manipulated.
There is not a shadow of a doubt that Thomas Aquinas, like Albertus Magnus, was an alchemist, who believed it was possible to harness the power of disembodied spirits to effect changes in the material world.
Aquinas is a key figure in the secret history, then, because his great intellectual triumph over Averroes prevented Europe's being overcome by scientific materialism several hundred years too early.
Aquina's life's work culminated in his massive Summa Theologica, perhaps the most influential work of theology ever written. Its aim was to try to show that philosophy and Christianity are not only compatible - they illumine each other.
[...] but perhaps it is too easy to romanticize the Cathars. They taught that the world was evil in a way that suggests that they, like the Gnostics before them, were under the sway of a world-hating, death-loving oriental philosophy.
But the aspect of Joachim's teaching that really grabbed the medieval imagination was his theory of three. He argued that if the Old Testament was the Age of the Father, which had called for fear and obedience, and if the New Testament was the Age of the Son, the age of the Church and of faith, then the reality of the Trinity suggests that a third age is coming, an age of the Holy Spirit. Then the Church will no longer be necessary, because this will be an age of freedom and love. Because Joachim was an initiate there was also an astrological dimension to his thought, usually glossed over by the Church commentators. The Age of Aries was the Age of the Father, Pisces the Age of the Son, and Aquarius the Age of the Holy Spirit.
Joachim prophesied that there would be a time of transition from the second to the third age, when a new order of spiritual men would educate humanity, when Elijah would reappear, as prophesied in the last verse of the Old Testament in the Book of Malachi. Elijah would be the forerunner of the Messiah, arriving to usher in the great inovatio. Joachim also prophesied the Anti-Christ will incarnate before the third age began. As we shall see, Joachim's prophesies still fascinate the secret societies today.
[...] for about two hundred years their esprit de corps and tight organizational structure made them [Knights Templar] extraordinarily successful in influencing, if not directing, world affairs.
Because many nobles joined the order, giving over rights to their property, the Templars became extremely rich. They invented letters of credit so that money could be transferred without risk of being stolen by robbers.
The Church grew in power and wealth. It wanted to be the sole keeper of the keys to the Kingdom. The Church had earlier emphasized that an individual has but one life by suppressing teachings on reincarnation and had emphasized one god by suppressing knowledge of its astronomical roots. Now it emphasized the unity of the disembodied parts of the human being. In 869 at the Eighth Ecumenical Council, the Church effectively closed the door to the spirit worlds by abolishing the ancient distinction between the vegetable dimension of the soul and the animal dimension of the spirit. Soul and spirit were declared to be the same thing, and the result of this was that the spirit worlds, formerly encountered in the Mass, would come to seem an empty abstraction.
Experience of the spirit worlds was replaced by dogma to be accepted on authority.
When Parsifal achieves a vision of the Holy Grail, this is a vision of the vegetable body or soul which has been so transformed by moral feeling and intellectual questioning that it is fit to carry a higher form of spirit, the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
Because of the Fall our animal selves have become so corrupted and we are in thrall to our sexual selves. In fact our animal selves are so corrupt that this has seeped down into our vegetable and material bodies, and it is beyond our power to purify them. We need supernatural help, and esoteric techniques are intended to enlist this help.
As we have seen, blood is the distinguishing feature of animal consciousness, and in occult physiology the animal part of our nature nestles in or is carried by - as if by a chalice - the vegetable part of our nature.
The secret of the Holy Grail, then, is not that it represents a bloodline, This, I have already suggested, would go against the esoteric doctrine of reincarnation. Rather it alludes to the role of the vegetable part of our nature as a living receptacle for our spirit or consciousness. The quest for the Grail is the quest for a purified receptacle fit to carry a higher form of spirit, and the trials in the course of the quest involve certain esoteric techniques of purification of the vegetable body. Rudolf Steiner [...] said that all serious esoteric work begins with work on the etheric, that is to say the vegetable body.
In chivalry the helmet, the sword and the spurs are symbols of initiation. The ceremony of creating a knight by the tapping of the shoulder with a sword is a memory of the ancient initiation ceremony of tapping the forehead with the thyrsus rod that makes springs of water and wine flow.
We have seen that the original King Arthur lived in the Iron Age, a champion of the Sun god at a time of encroaching darkness. The stories of the Grail which were added to the canon at the time of Charlemagne are based on historical events.
The secret society is not obviously esoteric or arcane in its philosophy, the the vault motif points to legends of Charlemagne's underground initiation.
Born in 742, Charlemagne inherited the spear of Longinus, used to pierce the side of Jesus Christ on the cross. [...]
Charlemagne had an imposing physical presence. Some seven foot tall with blazing blue eyes, he was a man of simple, moderate habits, yet he managed to impose his will on the course of history. [...]
This British connection is significant in the secret history. The spirit of King Arthur lives and breathes in the history of Charlemagne.
If it hadn't been for three generations of Frankish kings, Charles Martel, Pepin and Charlemagne, Islam might have wiped Christianity off the face of the earth.
One of the initiates to emerge from the House of Wisdom was Hassan-I Sabbah, the famous Old Man of the Mountains.
[...] His Hashishim - Assassins - infiltrated courts and armies. Anyone who even thought of disobeying Hassan was found dead the next morning.
Sufism taught the sometimes painful process of 'waking up', of becoming aware of ourselves and of the cosmic, mystical current that runs through us and becoming more fully alive. [...] Sufis obeyed Islamic law but believed it to be the outer shell of esoteric teaching.
One of the things that makes a religion successful is if it works in the world, that is to say if it brings material benefits.
In the Middle Ages - the great Age of Islam - the sexual impulse would have to be suppressed in order for the human capacity for thought to grow.
It is highly significant, from an esoteric point of view, that the angel who dictated the Koran to Mohammed was Gabriel, traditionally Archangel of the Moon. Allah is the Muslim name for Jehovah, great god of the moon and thought. Gabriel is here heralding the power of thought to control human passions and quall fantasy, and his god is the great god of thou-shalt-not, represented in Muslim iconography by the crescent moon.
Mohammed was sitting in the hills surrounding Mecca, brooding darkly on how all this might be achieved, when an angel appeared before him, saying: 'I am the angel Gabriel.' The apparition then showed Mohammed a golden tablet and told him to read it. Mohammed protested that he was illiterate, but when Gabriel commanded him a second time, Mohammed found that he could indeed read. So began the series of angelic conversations that became the Koran.
The religious centre of Mecca was a large, black, granite stone called the Kaaba, which in some traditions is said to have fallen to earth from the Sirius star system.
[...] at the age of twenty-five, he married a wealthy widow of Mecca and became one of the richest and most respected citizens of that city.
It is by means of this vegetable consciousness that we are connected individually to every other living thing in the cosmos. These connections can be visualized as tendrils of a great cosmic tree and every solar plexus as a flower on the tree. In another way of looking at it, this vegetable consciousness is another dimension, the world between the worlds and the gateway tot he spirit worlds.
At this critical juncture [decline of Rome] we move from the age of the Mystery schools to the age of secret societies, from the directing of the course of history by the political elite to something much more subversive coming from below.
We may imagine how absurd life might have seemed to a citizen of the Roman Empire in the days of its decline. He lived in a disenchanted world, where the great spiritual certainties on which the civilizations of the ancient world had been founded seemed doubtful. [...] God and the gods seemed little more than empty, abstract ideas, while the really vigorous thought-life was in the realm of science and technology, in the atomic theories of Lucretius, in amazing engineering projects - aqueducts, drainage systems and roads thousands of miles long - that were springing up all round. Spiritual certainties had been replaced by harsh political and economic realities.
Drug-taking is, of course, a big part of modern shamanistic practice, but it is forbidden by most modern esoteric teachers as a means of reaching the spirit worlds. The aim of these teachers is to achieve experience of the spirit worlds with intelligence and critical faculties as unimpaired as possible, indeed heightened. To enter the spirit worlds on drugs, on the other hand, is to do so without proper preparation, and may open up a portal into a demonic dimension which then refuses to close.
Attila's tribespeople practised a shamanism that gave them an access to the spirit worlds that many a churchman might envy, but it was access in an atavistic state. It ran contrary to the impulse of the evolution of human consciousness that had been developed by Pythagoras and Plato and had been given new direction by Jesus Christ and Paul. The aim of this evolution was a beautiful one - that people would be able [to] take joy in their individual intellectual strength and superiority, and that they should be able to choose to move freely, powerfully and lovingly not only through the material world but also through the spirit worlds.
Moreover, the beings encountered by shamans seem to be from the lower levels, rather than the more elevated planetary gods with whom the temple priests communed.
In conventional history religion's early stages were marked by animism and totemism, then developed into the complicated cosmologies of the great ancient civilizations. In the secret history humankind's primordial vision was complicated, sophisticated and magnificent, and only later degenerated into animism, totemism and shamanism.
Rome wanted to stamp out doctrinal differences.
Not only did some Gnostics believe that Jesus Christ had not sunk so low as to inhabit a physical body, that he had lived on earth only as some kind of phantom, but they also practised bizarre extremes of mortification and debauchery as a way of disrupting their own, despised bodily senses and gaining access to the spirit worlds.
It is too easy to see the church as the evil repressor of free thought and to romanticize outlawed groups and antinomian schools like the Neoplatonists and the Gnostics. From its early history the Church has numbered among its leaders practitioners of black magic and other initiates who have abused their supernatural powers for selfish ends. But it is equally true - and perhaps more important - to say that from the time of St Paul and St Augustine the greatest Church leaders have been initiates of the highest order who have sought to guide humanity according to the divine plan outlined in this book. They knew that it was necessary for any understanding of reincarnation to be suppressed in the West. According to the cosmic plan, the West was to be the cradle for the developing sense of the value of an individual human life.
One afternoon in 414 when Hypatia was leaving a lecture hall, a gang of black-cowelled monks forced her from her chariot, stripping her naked and dragged her through the streets to a nearby church. There they pulled her through the cool, flitting shadows to the alter. In an atmosphere perfumed with incense they swarmed all over her body, her naked form now covered by black cloth, and they tore her limb from limb. Later they scraped the flesh from her bones using oyster shells and burned all her remains.
The [Roman] church was trying to erase Hypatia from history just as the priests of Amun had tried to erase Akhenaten.
Well versed in the wisdom of Plotinus and Iamblichus she [Hypatia] explained in her lectures how Christianity had evolved out of the teachings of the Mystery schools, and she argued, like her father, that no single tradition or doctrine could have exclusive claim to the truth.
When Constantine's nephew Julian came to power in 361, he reversed the tide of religious intolerance. Having been brought up a pupil on the Neoplatonist philosopher Iamblichus, he well understood the mission of the being he called the 'Seven-rayed god'. He gave equal rights to all subjects regardless of their religious beliefs and gave permission for pagan temples to reopen.
[...] He knew enough to know that the mission of the Sun god was under threat, and that the inner mysteries of Manichaeism concerned the secrets of the war between the Sun god and Ahriman - or Satan - the spirit of materialism.
But before he could accomplish his mission, Julian was murdered by a follower of Constantine, and a new Saturnine era began, when knowledge of true, initiatic spirituality would finally be driven underground. The Emperor Theodosius began a ruthless policy of suppressing all disagreement with the imperial line on Christian doctrine. [...] Statues of Isis were rededicated to Mary. [...] This temple to all the gods was converted by Theodosius into a temple of monotheism.
Theodosius closed down the Mystery schools and in 391 besieged the Serapeum in Alexandria.
This symbolism, incorporating initiatic teaching regarding the Sun god, would have been understood by initiates of all religions, so it is perhaps slightly ironic that under the aegis of Constantine, the Church began to suppress initiatic teachings and to reduce its exoteric teachings to dogma. In 325 the Council of Nicea decided which gospels among the many in circulation were the real thing. Imperial edicts also forbad pagan practices. On the Orders of Constantine's sons, women and children were force-fed, their mouths held open by a wooden engine while consecrated bread was stuffed down their throats.
As we have seen, the Romans made a cult of cruelty. The imposition of power by one man on another, taken to its furthest extremes, was exalted. The Romans were ruthless and ruthlessness was a manly virtue. So the Christian exaltation of meekness and humility turned everything upside down and inside out. [...]
Consider how strange meeting a Christian initiate must have seemed to a Roman.
Sometimes, too, members of a congregation will try to ban beliefs - as had the Emperor Augustus - not because they believe them to be false, but because they believe them to be true.
The fiercely independent Celts would continue to insist on the primacy of direct, personal experience of the spirit worlds, and would develop esoteric traditions independent of Rome. Some of the beliefs and practices of these and other early Christians would come to be dubbed heretical by the Roman Church.
The nine angelic hierarchies were sometimes divided up into three parts, and when St Paul talked of being raised to the Third Heaven, he meant that he had been initiated to such a high level that he had had direct personal experience of the exalted spiritual beings, the Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones.
St Paul hinted at different orders of angels - not only Angels and Archangels, but also Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominions, Mights, Powers, Principalities. He is alluding to a system he evidently expected his readers to understand. [...] The nine orders he described can be equated with the branches on the sepirothic tree - and with the different orders of gods and spirits in the ancient polytheistic, astronomical religions.
The Golden Legend of Jacobus de Voraigne, the most popular collection of saints' stories in the Middle Ages, describes how a particular group of Christians began to be persecuted in Jerusalem. Seven of them were set adrift in the Mediterranean in a small boat. Eventually they were washed ashore in a place east of the town known today as Marseilles.
In the centre of a great cliff rising above the shore it is still possible to see the cave where Mary Magdalene, who stepped out of the boat, spent the last thirty years of her life.
She is usually depicted penitent, naked apart from her long red hair. A painting of her by Fra Bartolomeo in a small garden chapel near Florence shows her with her jar of oil, used to anoint the feed of Jesus Christ. It is resting on a stone inscribed with the following words:
I HAVE FOUND HIM WHOM MY SOUL LOVES.
When Jesus Christ was crucified, a huge power to spiritualize the earth was unleashed. When, simultaneously, the great black magician of the South Americas was crucified, a vortex opened up that would draw into itself the great currents of world history, the extremes of both good and evil.
Occul[t]ists know that humans can be killed in a particular way so that the human spirit is harnessed. We saw how great initiates like Elijah fashion their own vegetable and animal selves in such a way that they can become chariots with which to travel through the spiritual worlds. In occult circles it is also known that black magicians can use the souls and spirits of others, their sacrificial victims, as chariots.
Jesus Christ also posed a threat to the Roman elite. The soldiers who draped him in a purple cloak and placed a crown of thorns on his head had no other king, no other god than Caesar. They mocked Jesus Christ by draping on him the purple cloak that was worn as a sign of initiation in the Adonis mysteries. The crown of thorns was a satire on the wreath bestowed when a candidate achieved initiation in the mysteries of Eleusis. The Caesars were the great occult enemy of Jesus Christ.
Although Jesus Christ instructed Lazarus in private, his rebirth, and his being called forth to a new life, was a public event. It did not happen, like all previous initiations, within the closely guarded confines of a Mystery school and neither was Jesus Christ a hierophant of one of the state-sponsored Mystery schools. As a result Jesus Christ made deadly enemies of the Sadducees, who controlled the dissemination of initatic knowledge on behalf of the ruling elite. The act of initiating Lazarus in public was a revolutionary one, signalling that the tie that bound initiates to the ruling elite was being broken. It was the beginning of the end of the Mystery schools and it prepared the way for the secret societies.
According to esoteric doctrine, the whole history of the world can be summed up as follows:
There was a Golden Age when earth and sun were united and the sun gave the earth form.
The sun then separated from the earth, causing it to materialize and become colder.
The god of the sun returned to infuse his spirit in the earth, so that the whole cosmos will eventually dematerialize and again become spiritualized.
This is the cosmic vision of the mission of Jesus Christ which inspired the early Christians, the Work which helped shape the great churches of the Middle Ages and the art of the Renaissance. It has been lost to modern, exoteric Christianity.
By descending into Hell, Jesus Christ was following in the footsteps of Osiris. He was lighting up a way through the Underworld that the dead could follow. The living and dead would have to walk together if the great cosmic mission, the Work, was to be completed.
We have seen how in the Mystery schools from Zarathustra to Lazarus, candidates had undergone a three day 'mystical death' and rebirth. The candidate was put into a deep, death-like trance for three days during which his spirit travelled the spirit worlds, bringing back knowledge and power to the material world. The 'death' then was a real event, but on the spiritual plane. What happened with the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ was that for the first time this process of initiation occurred as a historical even on the material plane.
[...] whether or not anything miraculous happened in that obscure corner of the Near East in the early years of the first century, its effect on the history of the world is unparalleled in its breadth and depth. It gave rise tot he civilization we now enjoy, a civilization of unprecedented freedom, prosperity for all, richness of culture, scientific advance. [...] Of course some of these ideas were foreshadowed by Krishna, Isaiah, the Buddha, Pythagoras, Lao-Tzu, but what was unique to Christianity, the 'mustard seed' planted by Jesus Christ, was the idea of the interior life.
John the Baptist is Elijah come again - that is, reincarnated.
The New Testament is full of occult and esoteric teaching, some of it explicitly stated. The problem is that we have been educated to be blind to it.
Christianity's most sacred texts are deeply occult:
The meek shall inherit the earth
Faith moves mountains
Ask and it shall be given.
Unpalatable though some may find it, the fact of the matter is that the teachings of Jesus Christ are steeped in the ancient and secret philosophy, and this is equally true of his sayings recorded in the Bible as it is of the newly discovered sayings.
[...] in the secret history the man called Lazarus in the Gospel of John later wrote the Revelation of St John the Divine. According to the secret doctrine, the opening of the seven seals and the great visionary events that follow that are described in Revelation, refer to the revivifying of the seven chakras.
The raising of Lazarus from the dead has traditionally been seen as an encoded account of initiation. The clues are there. Lazarus 'dies' for th[r]ee days and when Jesus Christ raises him, he uses the phrase, 'Lazarus, come forth' that the hierophants had used in the Great Pyramid when, after three days, they stretched forth a hand to raise the candidate from the open tomb in the King's Chamber.
But there is a yet deeper part of our animal selves which lies completely below the threshold of consciousness and is inaccessible to it. We cannot transform this part by the exercise of free will, no matter how persistent, because the corruption of our animal selves has seeped down into our vegetable and mineral selves.
In order to purify and transform these parts of ourselves we need supernatural help.
The mission of the Sun god [Jesus], then, was to sink right down into deepest matter, introducing his transforming spiritual influence. The Sun god has the ability to reach right down into the most material part of humanity, which is why it was written 'None of his bones shall be broken'.
In an idealist universe if two people perform exactly the same action in exactly the same circumstances, but one in a good-hearted way and the other not, the consequences are very different. In some mysterious way the state of our soul informs the results of our deeds, just as the elevated state of the soul of a great painter informs his paintings.
[...] the new Christian perspective was focused on the inner life. If we compare earlier moral codes, such as the law of Moses or the even older Code of Hammurabi, with the Sermon on the Mount, it is clear that they were only rules to regulate behaviour in the Outworld - do not worship idols, steal, murder, commit adultery etc. The moral teaching in the Gospels, on the other hand, is directed towards inner states. 'Blessed are the poor in spirit ... they that mourn ... the meek ... the pure in hear ...'
Once an individual or small group develops a new faculty, a new mode of consciousness, it often spreads around the world with remarkable speed. Jesus Christ introduced a new kind of love, a gracious love based on the gift of empathy. An individual would be free to transcend the bonds of his or her isolated existence to share in what was taking place in another person's innermost nature.
Love BC had been tribal or familial. Now individuals were able to rise about blood ties and to choose freely who to love.
Over many hundreds of years, the conditions had been coming together which would make possible a sense of individual identity, what we today sometimes call the Ego. But without the intervention of the Sun god, the Ego would have been a small, hard, self-centred point, operating in isolation, intent only on its own immediate gratification, open to no outside interest other than the very lowest.
At a time when the material universe had become so dense that it was all but impossible for the gods to manifest themselves on the earth's surface, the Sun god descended.
His mission was to plant a seed. This spiritualizing seed would grow to provide the space that would be the new arena in which the gods could manifest themselves...
The crucial point here, usually overlooked outside the secret tradition, is this: Jesus Christ created the interior life.
[...] But the planing of the sun seed just over two thousand years ago was the decisive event in the process which has led to each of us experiencing inside of ourselves a cosmos of infinite size and variety.
In the secret tradition, on the other hand, there is no problem, because these two narratives describe the infancies of two Jesus children. These boys had a mysterious kinship. They were not twins, though they looked almost identical.
In the Gnostic text the Pistis Sophia, contemporary with the canonical books of the New Testament - and considered by some scholars to have equal claim to authenticity - there is a strange story concerning these two children.
Mary sees a boy who looks so exactly like him that she naturally takes him to be her son. But then this boy disconcerts her by asking to see her son, Jesus. Fearing that his must be some sort of demon, she ties the boy to the bed, then goes out into the fields looking for Joseph and Jesus. She finds them erecting vine poles. The three of them go back to the house. The boys gaze at each other, amazed, and embrace.
The secret tradition that traces the subtle, complex process by which human form and human consciousness was put together has a parallel in its tracing of the extremely complex process by which the incarnation of the Word was brought about. In this account it was necessary for one of the two Jesus children, who carried the spirit of Krishna, to sacrifice his individual identity in some mysterious way for the sake of the other. The spiritual economy of the cosmos required him to do this so that the boy who survived would in time be ready to receive the Christ-spirit at the Baptism. As the Pistis Sophia says, 'ye became one and the same being'.
In fact the life of Christ Jesus as it has come down to us might look like a patchwork of events in the lives of those who came before him: born to a carpenter and a Virgin, like Krishna: born on December 25, like Mithras; heralded by a star in the East, like Horus; walking on water and feeding the five thousand from a small basket, like Buddha; performing healing miracles, like Pythagoras; raising the dead, like Elisha; executed on a tree, like Adonis: ascending to heaven, like Hercules, Enoch and Elijah.
It is hard to find any act or saying ascribed to the Jesus of the Gospels that had not been foreshadowed in some way. Anyone minded to think corrosively will decide to see this as evidence that his life was a fiction. But in the secret history this is a universal movement of convergence as the whole cosmos strained to give birth to the new Sun god.
Looking at the great imaginative image of the Nativity as it has been depicted in history's greatest art, and decoding it according to the secret doctrine, we can see how the whole secret history of the world had been leading up to this point.
In Mary we should sense the presence of Isis; when the sun arose in the constellation of Pisces, the sign of Jesus, the constellation on the opposite horizon was Virgo. In Joseph, the patriarch carrying a crooked staff, we see Osiris - his staff symbolizing the Third Eye. The cave in which Jesus Christ is often represented as being born is the bony skull in which a new miracle of consciousness is about to be ignited. The baby in the manger has the luminous vegetative body of Krishna. The ox and the ass represent the two ages that have led to the new Age of Pisces - The Age of Taurus and Aries. The star that guides the Magi is the spirit of Zarathustra ('the golden star'). One of the Magi is Pythagoras reincarnated, and the Magi have been initiated by the prophet Daniel. The angel who announces the birth to the shepherds is the spirit of the Buddha.
Because the gods were no longer experienced as 'out there' in the material world, it was necessary for the Sun god, the Word, to descend to earth. [...] his mission was to plant in the human skull the seeds of an interior life that would become the new arena for spiritual experience. This planting would give rise tot he sense we all have today that we each have inside an 'inner space'.
The cosmic plan had been that human spirits should attain individuality, should be able to think freely, to exercise free will and to choose who to love. To create the conditions for this, matter became denser until each individual spirit was finally isolated inside its own skull. Human thought and will was then no longer wholly controlled by gods, angels and spirits, as it had been a thousand years earlier at the siege of Troy.
However there were dangers in this development. Not only might humanity become altogether cut off from the spirit would, there was a danger, too, that humans would become completely cut off from one another.
In this Age of Disenchantment it first became possible to consider that the gods might not exist. Among the intellectual elite, the Epicureans were formulating the first materialistic and atheist philosophies.
The sincere men of Rome, the true initiates, withdrew into yet more shadowy schools that operated independently of the official cult. Stoicism became the outward expression of the initiatic impulse of the age, the growing point of intellectual and spiritual evolution. Cicero and Seneca, both deeply involved with Stoicism, tried to temper the egomania of their political masters. They tried to argue that all men were born brothers and that the slaves should be set free.
The double meaning in this story is this: the god really is a hideous serpent. This is the history of the Nephilim, of the entry into the human condition of the serpent of animal desire - but told from the human point of view!
By 140 BC Rome was the capital of the world and a vortex of ideas. [...]
When we think of Rome we picture sophistication and grandeur but also paranoia. If we compare the Greece of Pericles with the Rome of the Caesars, we see in the latter the same kind of overbearing pomp, elaborate, awesome rituals of smoke, incense and clashing cymbals that had earlier been used to hypnotize the peoples into obedience to Baal. Now it was used to hypnotize people into believing that various strange and egomaniacal members of the ruling elite were in fact gods.
The Caesars forced the Mystery schools to initiate them. In the process they discovered the ancient initiatic teachings regarding the Sun god.
Julius Caesar eradicated the Druids because of their teaching of the Sun Mysteries - that the Sun god was soon to return to earth. Similarly Augustus banned astrology not because he disbelieved in it, but because he was anxious about what astrologers could see written in the sky. If people could not read the signs of the time, he could perhaps get away with representing himself as the Sun god. Because he had been initiated, Caligula knew how to communicate with the spirits of the moon in his dreams. But because he had gained the initiation by force and without proper preparation, he could not properly identify them.
Buddhism emerged as the first proselytizing, missionary religion in about 200 BC. Before then the religion you believed in was determined by your race or tribe. Now the human condition was changing.
Philip was assassinated when his son was only twenty, but immediately Alexander established himself as a ruler of genius and an unbeatable military commander. In 334 BC he led an army into Asia, defeating the Persians at the Battle of Issus, even though they were outnumbered by as many as ten to one. Then he swept south through Syria and Phoenicia, before conquering Egypt, where he founded the city of Alexandria. Wherever he went he founded city-states on the Greek model, spreading Greek politics as well as Greek philosophy.
Each Mystery school taught a wisdom unique to it, which is why Moses and Pythagoras were initiated into more than one.
Above all the Mystery schools influenced the evolution of consciousness.
Conventional history puts little emphasis on the evolution of consciousness[...]
Though it was by this time very difficult for the higher spiritual beings, the gods, to squeeze down into a dense, material realm, it was relatively easy for lesser spirits, such as demons and spirits of the dead.
Plutarch said that those who die experience for the first time what those who have been initiated have already experienced. [...]
Plutarch wrote of the terror of those about to be initiated, as if they were about to die, and, of course, in a sense they were. [...]
So the process of initiation gave direct, existential, undeniable first-hand knowledge that the spirit could live outside the body, and while in this state the candidate became a spirit among spirits, a god among gods.
Pythagoras attracted murderous rag from those excluded from his inner circle. He refused to admit a man called Cyron into his Mystery school because of his reckless, imperious behaviour. Cyron stirred up a mob against Pythagoras. They broke into the building where Pythagoras and his followers were meeting and set fire to it. Everyone inside died.
It is no accident that individuals like Pythagoras, Newtn and Leibniz, those who have done most to help humanity get to grips with the reality of the physical universe, have also been deeply immersed in esoteric thought.
As Pythagoras and his followers began to describe the rational element in life, they started to formulate a parallel concept. [...] The concept went like this: life can be explained in rational terms only up to a point. There is a vast irrational element in life, too.
Like the Buddha he could remember his past incarnations and it was even said that he could recall the entire history of the world from the beginning.
His wisdom was the result of years of research and multiple initiations into Mystery schools. He spent twenty-two years learning the secrets of the Egyptian initiate priests.
No individual has had a greater influence on the evolution of Western esoteric thought. Pythagoras was regarded as a demi-god during his lifetime. Like Jesus Christ, nothing he wrote has come down to us, only a few collected sayings and commentaries and stories written by disciples.
When the Buddha died he had achieved his aim. He would not be required to reincarnate.
If we look at someone with the eyes of love, we see good qualities not perceptible to others. Just the act of looking at someone lovingly may also bring out these qualities and help them to blossom. If you meet someone with an extremely refined spiritual nature, he or she will probably be happy, smiling, laughing, almost childlike. This is because they look at the whole of humanity with the eye of love.
In esoteric Buddhism, the Buddha is the spirit of Mercury. It is no coincidence, then, that the Celts called the planet Mercury 'Budh', meaning 'wise teaching'.
After three days and three nights he [Siddhartha] realized that life is suffering, that suffering is caused by desire for earthly things, but that you can achieve freedom from all desire. Indeed, you can achieve such freedom, and such affinity for the spirit world, that you need never reincarnate again - and so you may become, as Siddhartha did, a Buddha.
For the followers of Baal, on the other hand, life was about the exercise of power. They believed that if they performed the correct religious practices - sacrifices and magical ceremonies - they could compel their gods to do their bidding.
Isaiah repudiated this view. He told his people that Yahweh had shown them Grace by choosing them, by empowering them to obey, by purging them of their sins, by saving them when they had been stiff-necked and disobeyed, and by the promise of restoring them to former glory even though they did not deserve it. Yahweh's gracious love could never be demanded, bought or earned, he said. It is a love given in complete freedom.
As Elijah ascended his mantle slipped from him to be taken up by Elisha, whom Elijah had chosen as his successor.
So like Enoch and Noah before him, he did not die in the ordinary way. He joined the college of ascended masters, who are for the most part invisible but return to earth at times of great change and crisis.
Elijah developed this gift to the next stage. He learned how to excarnate and incarnate at will.
After Solomon the Kingdom of Israel began to fall apart again.
An institution grew up called the prophets. Their role was to advise the kings - except that, unlike the relationship between Melchizedek and Abraham or Merlin and Arthur, theirs was adversarial, even subversive.
The mission of Solomon was to lead humankind down into a darkening, more material world, keeping the flame of spirituality alive. It was the same mission that Freemasonry would take up in the seventeenth century at the dawn of the modern age of materialism.
The five-pointed star has always been a symbol of Venus, because the pattern that Venus traces around the ecliptic in its eight-year cycle - five appearances in the morning sky and five in the evening sky - forms a five-pointed pattern. It is the only planet to draw a completely regular figure in this way. This figure is seen sometimes as a pentagram, sometimes as a five-pointed star, and sometimes, as we shall see when we come to investigate Rosicrucianism, as a five-petalled flower, the rose.
She [The Queen of Sheba] asked Hiram how he had managed to bring the beauty of the heavens down to earth in the architecture of the Temple. He responded by holding aloft a Tau cross, a cross in the shape of the letter T. Immediately all the many workers swarmed into the temple like ants.
Again the image of the insect. There are traditions preserved in the Talmud and the Koran that the Temple was built with the aid of a mysterious insect able to carve stone called the Shameer. As with the image of the beehive, we have here an image of spiritual forces - which Hiram is able to command.
But because the Jews had no tradition of building temples up to this time, having been a nomadic people, Solomon chose to employ as architect for this project a Phoenician, Hiram Abiff.
[...] we may now say with confidence that David - 'Tadua' - became the first to unite the tribes of Israel in one kingdom when he became king of Jerusalem in 1004 BC, which is to say in the reign of Tutenkamun.
It is significant, though, that as we know from Manetho, the Egyptians remembered his [Akhenaten] reign as a Sethian event. Seth is, of course, Satan, the great spirit of materialism, who always works to destroy true spirituality. If his envoy, Akhenaten, had successfully converted humankind to materialism, then the three thousand years of the gentle, beautiful growth of the human spirit, and many qualities that had evolved since would have been lost forever.
When Akhenaten announced the closing of the most magnificent temple in the world at Karnak, and the founding of a new cult centre and capital city approximately halfway between Karnak and Giza, this was not the wilful act of an eccentric individual, but an initiate king acting out cosmic destiny. He was preparing to welcome the return of the Bennu [Phoenix] bird in 1321 BC.
His first act was to build a new temple to Aten, the god of the sun disc. [...]
His next act [...] was to build his great new capital city and sail the whole machinery of government down to it on barges. He wanted to shift the earth on its axis.
He then declared that all other gods did not really exist and that Aten was the one, true and only God. [...] The worship of Isis, Osiris, and Amon-Re was forbidden. [...]
So it was the physical sun that Akhenaten declared divine and the source of all goodness.
Unlike in Babylon, where kings acted independently of the priesthood, leading to extremes of despotic cruelty, the pharaohs of Egypt ruled under the aegis of the initiate priests.
Akhenaten had been born with a chromosomal defect that gave him a strange, hermaphroditic, even unearthly appearance: womanly thighs and an elongated face that might be read as ethereal, even spiritual. This defect can also lead to symptoms of mental instability - mania, delusions, paranoia.
But he [Sigmund Freud] got hold of the wrong end of the stick when he argued that the Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten was the source of Moses's monotheism. We no know Moses came first. Akhenaten's ideas of monotheism were subtly but dangerously different.
For example, the eye of Horus was often represented as the udja eye, which we now know was made up of a number of hieroglyphs representing fractions which add up to a total of 63/64. If you reverse this and divide 64 by 63, you come up with what has been called the greatest secret of the Egyptians, a number called the Comma of Pythagoras.
In esoteric tradition he [Moses] also taught seventy elders the Cabala, the secret, mystical teachings of Judaism, at the same time.
If we look at the Ten Commandments from the perspective of the esoteric doctrine, what is most significant is the way that the first two commandments banned the use of images in religious practice and called upon the Jews to worship no other gods. Following Abraham, Moses was working towards a new kind of religion that did away with the practices of older religions with their elaborate, overwhelming ceremonies, the loud clashing cymbals, the blinding clouds of smoke and speaking idols. The old religion aimed to diminish consciousness. The worshippers would attain access to the spirit woulds but in an uncontrolled way, in the great, overwhelming and riotous visions of the followers of Osiris. It was this that Moses was concerned to roll back and replace with a thoughtful, more conscious communion with the divine.
By this ban on images, Moses was helping to create the conditions that would make abstract thought possible.
The great gift Moses gave his people, then, was guilt. Morality emerges into history with Moses and with it a call to a change of heart.
The rod is part of the vegetable dimension of the cosmos. By mastering it and manipulating it as it runs through his own body, Moses, now an adept, was also able to master and manipulate the cosmos around him.
When Moses fled into exile in the desert, he encountered a wise, old teacher. Jethro was an African - Ethiopian - high priest, keeper of a library of stone tablets. When Moses married his daughter, Jethro initiated him to a higher level. This is what is being alluded to in the story of the burning bush. When Moses saw the burning bush not being consumed by the fire, this was a vision of the self that is not destroyed by the purging fire that awaits on the other side of the grave.
A sense of mission arose out of Moses's vision of the burning bush, an impulse to work for the greater good of humanity, to lead us all to a land flowing with milk and honey.
As an Egyptian prince Moses was initiated in the Egyptian Mysteries. This is recorded by the Egyptian historian Manetho, who identified Heliopolis as teh Mystery school. It is confirmed in Act 7.22, where the Apostle Stephen says, 'And Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians.'
It shows that Moses did not live in about 1250 BC contemporary with Ramasees II. Instead he was born in about 1540 BC, and the Exodus took place in approximately 1447 BC. [...] David Rohl has provided strong evidence to show that Moses was brought up an Egyptian prince in the reign of Neferhotep I in the mid-sixteenth century BC. [...] Artapanus related how 'Prince Mousos' became a popular administrator under Khenephres, Neferhotep I's successor. Mousos was then was sent into exile when the pharaoh became jealous of him.
Odysseus blinding the one-eyed giant Polyphemus, shows the progenitor of the new way of thinking destroying the old Third-Eyed one. The parallel story of David and Goliath, of some two hundred years later, when David slays the giant with a pebble aimed at the middle of the forehead, shows that such stragglers from earlier dispensations were still then a historical reality.
From now on, though, we will see that many legendary figures, presumed by most people to be entirely non-historical, have in fact been shown by recent archaeology to have left physical remains.
The Jews will be guided by Jehovah, the great spirit of the moon, the great god of thou-shalt-not who helps humanity evolve away from animal and ecstatic experience, away from the life of tribal and group soul towards the development of individual free will and free thinking.
As Abraham's knife began to slice open Isaac's throat, an angel substituted a ram whose horns had been caught in a nearby thicket.
What the horns in the thicket represent is the two-petalled - or two horned - brow chakra, already entangled in matter. Abraham acts as he does because this mode of vision would have to be sacrificed. For the time being at least, perception of the spirit worlds must be put to sleep for the sake of the mission of the ancestors of Abraham - to develop the brain as an organ of thinking.
[...] In the secret history this sacrifice of the brow chakra takes place on the altar of Melchizedek, the great high priest of the Sun Mysteries. What this signifies is that Isaac was initiated to such a level that he understood the necessity for the next, lunar stage of human development. The evolution of individual free will and free thinking will eventually enable humans to play a conscious part in the transforming of the world.
Isaac stayed at the Mystery school of Melchizedek for three and a half years learning these things.
It is very important in certain forms of initiation that at a particular point in the ceremony the candidate believes, perhaps briefly but with total conviction, that he or she is going to die.
In order to understand Melchizedek's initiatic teaching, we must examine a later episode when, according to the ancient tradition, Melchizedek was present, even though this is hidden in the biblical version.
Isaac was twenty two years old when his father took him up a mountain to sacrifice him on the altar of Melchizedek.
In cabalistic tradition Melchizedek's secret identity is Noah, the great Atlantean leader who had taught humankind agriculture, the cultivation of corn and of the vine, who never really died but moved to another dimension. He now reappeared in order to be Abraham's spiritual teacher, to initiate him to a higher level.
In esoteric philosophy the vegetable body is of the utmost importance. Not only does it control vital bodily functions, but the chakras are, of course, the organs of the vegetable body. So this body in effect forms the portal between the physical world and the spirit world, and if the chakras are enlivened this may lead to powers of supernatural perception and influence, the ability to communicate with disembodied spirits and also healing powers.
Hagar bore Abraham his first son, Ishmael, who was to become the father of the Arab nations. We should understand by this that Abraham learned great initiatic knowledge from the Egyptian priests.
Nimrod was the first man to seek power for its own sake. From this will to power came cruelty and decadence.
The Tower of Babel was built by Nimrod the Hunter.
The story of the Tower of Babel, the attempt to build a tower up to heaven and the resulting loss of a single language uniting all humanity, represents the fact that as nations and tribes began to become attached to their own tutelary spirits and guiding angels, they lost sight of the higher gods and the great cosmic mind beyond that gives all the different parts of the universe one destiny. The ziggurats represent a misguided attempt to scale the heavens by material means.
[...] shortly before he died, Jung went beyond the pale as far as the modern scientific consensus goes. He concluded that these psychological complexes were autonomous in the sense of being independent of the human brain altogether.
Bees understand how to build their hives with a sort of pre-conscious genius. Bee-hives incorporate exceptionally difficult and precise data in their construction. For example, all hives have built into them the angle of the earth's rotation. Sumerian cylinder seals of this time show figures with human bodies but bees' nests for heads. This is because in this period an individual's consciousness was experienced as made up of a collaboration of many different centres of consciousness, in the way we described in Chapter 2. These centres could be shared or even moved from one mind to another like a swarm of bees from one hive to another.
According to the cuneiform texts, the Sumerian gods liked eating, drinking, music and dancing. Food would be put on tables, then the god left alone to enjoy it. After a time the priests would come in and eat what was left. The gods also needed beds to sleep in and for enjoying sex with other gods. They had to be washed for this and dressed and anointed with perfumes.
As with the grave goods in Egypt, the aim of these practices was to try to tempt gods to inhabit the material plane, but reminding them of the sensual pleasures denied them in the spirit worlds.
Contemporary with the rise of Egyptian civilization in about 3250 BC Sumerian civilization arose in the land between the Tigris and the Euphrates. [...]
As these cities grew, so too did the god houses, until they became ziggurats[...]
Egyptian civilization represents a great new impulse in human evolution, very different from the oriental civilization which had taught that matter is maya, or illusion. The Egyptians initiated the great spiritual mission of the West, sometimes called in alchemy, Sufism Freemasonry, and elsewhere in the secret societies, the Work. The mission was to work on matter, to cut it, carve it, to imbue it with intention until every particle of matter in the universe had been worked on and spiritualized. The Great Pyramid was the first manifestation of this urge.
The point of these burial practices, according to esoteric thought, is rather that they exerted a sort of magnetic attraction on the ascending spirit that would help it attain speedy reincarnation. It was believed that if the discarded body were preserved, it would remain a focus for the spirit that had left it, exerting an attraction that pulled it down to earth again.
The esoteric explanation of the Great Pyramid is similar. We saw in Chapter 7 that the great gods, finding it increasingly difficult to incarnate, had retreated as far as the moon, visiting the earth increasingly rarely.
The Great Pyramid is a gigantic incarnation machine.
[...] in the secret doctrine the Great Pyramid was built in the 3500 BC, before the founding of the great civilizations of Egypt and Sumeria [...]
According tot he secret history, then, the Step Pyramid and other lesser pyramids represent not an ascent but a decline.
But what makes the Great Pyramid even more extraordinary, almost miraculous according to the secret history, is that the fact that it was the first Egyptian building.
Suffice to say that although it would in principle be possible to rebuild it today, this would be crippling for all but the world's richest economies. It would also stretch modern engineering to the limits of its abilities, particularly in the exactitude of its astronomical orientations.
But from birth Lucifer was raised entirely within the confines of a Mystery school. A circle of magi worked intensively on his education, allowing him to take part in the most secret ceremonies, moulding his soul, until at the age of forty he finally had a revelation. He became the first person ever to be able to think about life on earth in an entirely rational way.
[...] initiation into the Cabala has traditionally only been permitted at the age of forty, and candidates for initiation into the school of Pythagoras had to live in isolation and without speaking for years before their education could begin.
Just as thousands of years later another exalted heavenly being would descend to earth in order to incarnate as Jesus Christ, so now [the Age of Taurus, beginning early in the third millennium BC] Lucifer incarnated too.
The birth of Lucifer was the beginning of wisdom.
[...]The secret history proposes that this form of wisdom became possible as a result of the incarnation and ministry of Lucifer.
Shortly before the end of the fourth millennium Krishna was born. The year was 3228 BC. This shepherd and prophet was in some ways a forerunner of Jesus Christ.
In our individual lives - and collectively - we go round and round in the circles traced out for us by the planets and stars.
But if we can become conscious of these circles, if we can become conscious of the activity of the stars and planets in our lives in a most intimate way, then we are in a sense no longer trapped by them. We are no longer trapped by them, we rise above them, we are moving now not in a cricle but in an upward spiral.
The point is that the same patterns that structure life on earth also structure the spirit worlds. Hercules and Job suffered trials in their earthly lives that have been recorded in the history of the world, but they will also have to suffer the same trials in the afterlife - unless they can learn to become conscious of them. And if they can't, they will also have to suffer them in their next incarnation.
This is the aim of initiation: to make more and more experience conscious, to roll back the boundaries of consciousness.
[...] we have already seen a similar paradox in the story of Osiris, most of which takes place in the spirit world. When Osiris is nailed in the coffin that fits him like skin, it is his skin. He is only dead to Isis when he is alive on the material plane.
The seventh fairy [in Sleeping Beauty], who represents Saturn or Satan, the spirit of materialism, curses the child with death, which is commuted to a long period of sleep. [...] because of the intervention by Satan, humans gradually lose any consciousness, and eventually any memory, of their time among the heavenly hierarchies: 'Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting.' In this story [Sleeping Beauty], then, the party at the beginning of the narrative must be understood as taking place in the spirit world, and it is only when Beauty falls asleep that she is alive on the material plane. When she awakes, she dies!
The spirit ascends through the spheres of Jupiter and Saturn, passes through the sphere of the constellations and is finally reunited with the great Cosmic Mind. It has been a painful, confusing and tiring journey. Plutarch writes: 'But finally a wondrous light shines to greet us, beautiful meadows full of singing and dancing, the solemnity of sacred realms and holy appearances.'
Then the spirit must begin again the descent through the spheres, preparatory to the next incarnation. As it descends each sphere grants the spirit a gift which it will need when re-entering the material plane.
Halfway on the journey through the spheres, there is a swap. The task of guiding the human spirit upwards is taken over by a great being whose identity may perhaps be a surprise. In the latter part of the spirit's ascent through the heavenly spheres the guide who lights the way is Lucifer.
In the spiritual ecology of the cosmos Lucifer is a necessary evil, both in this life - because without Lucifer humans could feel no desire - and in the afterlife.
From the lunar sphere the disembodied spirit flies upwards to the realm of Mercury, from there to Venus and then on to the sun.
The most important initiation teachings concerned the way the spirit worlds are experienced after death. This was not because a candidate would have doubted there was life after death - such a thought would have been unthinkable then - but because they feared what their experience would turn out ot be. In the first instance they feared that demons they had evaded in their lifetime were lying in wait. Initiation showed candidates how to navigate the after-death journey safely.
In sleep the animal spirit leaves teh vegetable and mineral parts of the body behind. In death, on the other hand, the vegetable part, which orders the basic life functions, leaves with the animal spirit.
The vegetable part of human nature has many functions, including storing memory. As the vegetable part detaches from the material body, both begin to disintegrate. This disintegration of the vegetable part causes the spirit to experience a review of the life just completed.
The vegetable part dissipates and detaches itself from the animal spirit in a matter of days. Then the spirit passes into the sub-lunar sphere. There it is attacked by demons who tear from it all impure, corrupt and bestial desires, all evil impulses of will. This region, where the spirit has to endure this painful process of purification for a period lasting approximately a third of the time spent on earth, is called Purgatory in Christian tradition. It is the same place as the Underworld of the Egyptians and Greeks. It is the Kamaloca (literally 'region of desire') of the Hindus.
Meister Eckhart, the thirteenth-century German mystic, said 'If you fight your death, you'll feel the demons tearing away at your life, but if you have the right attitude to death, you will be able to see that the devils are really angels setting your spirit free.' An initiate has the right attitude to death. He sees behind appearances and knows that demons in their proper place perform an invaluable role in what we might call the 'ecology' of the spirit world. Unless the spirit is purged in this way, it cannot ascend through the higher spheres and hear their music. Following its prodigal journey on earth, the spirit cannont be reunited with the Father until it has been purified.
If you can dream consciously, then you are on the way to being able to move about the spirit worlds at will, communicating freely with the spirits of the dead and other disembodied beings.
An important part of this preparation [initiation] was inducing in the candidate conscious experience of the separation of the animal part of his make-up from the vegetable and material parts, as happens in sleep. Equally important was to experience the separation of the animal from the vegetable part, as happens after death. In other words initiation involved what we today sometimes call an 'after-death experience'.
By the act of leaving the body the candidate knew beyond any possibility of doubt that death was not the end.
Paracelsus said: 'It is as necessary to learn evil things as good, for who can know what is good without learning what is evil.' [...] It is sometimes supposed that all secret societies engage in commerce with evil spirits. However, the great, historically significant secret societies, such as the Rosicrucians and the Freemasons, acknowledge the dark side in order to combat it.
But Zarathustra escaped from prison and also from attempts to murder him. He lived to fight many battles against the forces of evil, battles where he pitched his magic powers against the powers of evil sorcerers. Later he became the archetype of the wizard, with a tall hat, cloak of stars and an eagle on his shoulder. Zarathustra was a dangerous, somewhat disconcerting figure, prepared to fight fire with fire.
There a circle of six other, similar spirits hovered above the ground. This shining company turned to welcome Zarathustra, and invited him to leave his physical body for a while in order to join them. We have met these shining spirits before. They are the spirits of the sun called in Genesis the Elohim. They now prepared Zarathustra for his mission.
When we fall asleep we lose animal consciousness. In the teachings of the secret societies animal consciousness - or spirit - is pictured floating out of the body in sleep. This has two main consequences. Firth, without the animal element our body returns to a vegetating state. No longer sapped by the agitations of animal consciousness or the wearying effect of thought, the bodily functions that the vegetable element controls are renewed. We wake up refreshed.
Second, detached from the sensory perceptions of the body, the spirit enters an alternative state of consciousness, which is an experience of the sub-lunary spirit world. In dreams we perceive the spirit worlds, where we are approached by angels and demons and the spirits of the dead.
Or at least that is what humans experienced in the time of the Rishis. By the time of Zarathustra human nature had become enmeshed in matter and so corrupted that dreams had become chaotic and difficult to interpret.
[...] this Persian epoch is the time we look to for knowledge of demonology.
[...] the Indian epoch was the time when the secret of physiology of humankind was imprinted on the human memory[...]
There are different schools of thought about the dates of Zarathustra. Some writers of the ancient world placed him at approximately 5000 BC, while others, such as Plutarch, at 600 BC. Again, this is because there was more than one Zarathustra.
In 5067 BC these gods were moving the cosmos towards the next stage of human evolution as the sun entered the sign of Gemini. Just as, earlier, the impulse for the evolution of humankind had moved eastwards from drowning Atlantis to India, now it began to move westwards, as it continues to do today.
As the gods withdrew, people would have to find ways to follow them.
In this way yoga was born.
They would eat only vegetable matter, never any meat. To do so, they believed, was to absorb the animal's death agony.
They immersed themselves in vegetable consciousness, in the physical processes - walking, sleeping, breathing, digesting - which we have seen are the gift of the vegetable kingdom to the human body. By learning to control the ens vegetalis, or etheric body, they could control, too, breathing, the rate of digestion, even heart rate and the flow of blood, leading to the amazing feats for which Indian adepts are famous - the ability to stop the heart altogether just by thinking about it, for example.
There is a simple saying in the Cabala: 'Everything you have seen, every flower, every bird, every rock will pass away and turn to dust, but that you have seen them will not pass away.'
India is still the world's greatest storehouse of spiritual knowledge, particularly as regards occult physiology.
[...] the next era began as the sun began to rise in the constellation of Cancer in 7227 BC and the first great Indian civilization, the earliest and most deeply spiritual of post-Flood civilizations was founded.
Some traditions say the Tibetan population is directly descended from the people of Atlantis.
Rama is a demi-god, but declines to be ruler of the world. No longer will gods or even demi-gods sit on thrones in bodies of flesh and bone.
We can also see in it a paradox that lies at the heart of the human condition. All love, if it is true love, involves a letting go.
[...] with the help of an army of monkeys, which is to say hominids, the descendants of human spirits who had rushed into incarnation too early and were doomed to die out.
While the peoples of Atlantis had been all but eliminated, the emigrants travelled to new lands still occupied by aboriginal tribes.
A Greek historian of the fourth century BC, Theopompus of Chios, retells a story told two hundred years before Plato by Midas of Phrygia, that 'besides the well-known portions of the world - Europe, Asia, Libya (Africa) - there is another which is unknown, of incredible immensity where vast blooming meadows and pastures feed hers of various huge and mighty beasts and where the men are twice the height and live to twice the age of men'. As we have already seen, Enoch and the myths and legends of many cultures around the world recorded the prevalence of giants before the Great Flood.
Legend has it that the only animal that missed the ark was the unicorn, which therefore became extinct. This is an obvious depiction of the diminishing of the powers of the Third Eye. As the waters of the deluge closed over Atlantis, the era of Imagination ended. The subconscious was formed.
The fauns and satyrs and the whole rout of Dionysus represent stragglers from Atlantis. They are the last remnant of a process of metamorphosis of forms. The curious story in Genesis of Noah's sons uncovering his genitals while he was drunkenly sleeping also refers to the petering out of this process. We saw that the genitals were the last part of human anatomy to evolve into their present form, and his sons were curious to find out about their origins. Were they the sons of a human or a demi-god, a man or an angel?
Dionysus is the name of two distinct individuals, a god and later a demi-god. These two make very different contributions to human history in two different eras. The Dionysus who should be identified with Noah is very different from the earlier Dionysus Zagreus, the Edler Dionysus[...]
Other ancient cultures cross-reference Plato's account. The South American Aztecs recorded that they came from 'Aztlan', 'the land in the middle of the water'. Sometimes this land was called 'Aztlan of the Seven Caves'. It was depicted as a central, large step pyramid surrounded by six smaller pyramids. According to traditions collected by the invading Spaniards, humanity had nearly been wiped out by a vast flood, and would have been but for a priest and his wife who constructed a boat made out of a hollow log, in which they also rescued seeds and animals. The complex and sophisticated astronomy of these South American tribes has allowed one modern researcher to deduce that they dated this flood to about 11,600 BC.
Life on the islands of Atlantis was generally idyllic. In fact life was so good that eventually people could not bear it any longer and began to become restless, decadent and corrupt, searching after novelty and power. So Zeus decided to punish them. The islands were flooded until only small islets remained, like a skeleton sticking out of the sea. Then finally a great earthquake engulfed all that was left in the course of one day and one night.
The civilization on this island had been founded by the god Poseidon, and peopled by the descendants of his coupling with a beautiful woman called Cleito. [...]
As well as the main island, this Atlantean civilization also ruled over several lesser islands in the region.
[...] this intervention by a fish god is a coded account of evolution, common to mythologies all around the world.
The Sphinx, according to the secret history, is a monument for the first time the Four Elements locked into place and matter finally became solid. In 11,451 BC east, west, north and south were then locked with the Four Elements that make up the physical world.
[...] according to esoteric doctrine, not only was matter only precipitated out of mind a short while ago, but that it exists only for a brief interval. It will dissolve again in just over nine thousand years, when the sun rises again to meet the gaze of the Sphinx in the constellation of Leo.
If this late solidification of matter were what actually happened, it would, of course, invalidate dating methods, such as Carbon-14, conventionally used to try to establish early chronologies. Modern science makes an assumption in its calculations that the ancients did not, namely that the natural laws have held true in all places and at all times.
The Sphinx embodies the four cardinal constellations of the zodiac, the four corners of the cosmos - Leo, Taurus, Scorpio and Aquarius, the Four Elements that work together to make the material world. The Sphinx, according to the secret history, is a monument to the first time the Four Elements locked into place and matter finally became solid.
Today we take it for granted that we have enough mental manoeuvrability to choose what to think about. However, before the invention of language, which was the great achievement of this age, this manoeuvrability would not have been possible.
There is an alienating element to this process. As well as the advantages it brought, language made the world a colder, darker and trickier place. We saw earlier how thinking is itself a deadening process. Language, too, makes us unhealthy, less vividly alive and less sure-footed in our wanderings in the world.
So language brought with it a new form of consciousness. Before Job people fel[t] that everything that happened to them was meant to happen to them, that there was a divine purpose behind everything. They did not - could not - question. Now language enabled Job to step back. He began to notice inconsistencies. Life is unfair.
The story of Job has come down to us, not because he was a great leader or doer of great deeds, but because he was the first human being ever to think a very important and deeply true thought: 'life is unfair'. Hercules had been the sport of the gods, but it was Job who cried out to the heavens in defiance. Unlike Hercules, Job had the language to do this.
If Cadmus/Enoch named the planets and the stars, it was Orpheus who measured them, and by measuring them, invented numbers. [...] Orpheus is a transitional figure because on the one hand he is a magician with the power to move stones with music, but on the other he is a forerunner of science.
There are eight notes in an octave, but in a sense really only seven, as the eighth always represents elevation to the next octave. The octaves, then, refer to ascent through the seven spheres of the solar system, which in antiquity were central to all thought and experience.
According to modern thinking, if a narrative is allegorical in form, this is a good reason for believing it cannot be an accurate account of historical events. But if you believe, as the ancients did, that all events on earth are governed by the movements of the heavenly bodies, then the opposite is true. All accounts of real historical events must inevitably mirror astronomical events like the passage of the sun through the constellations.
In the stories of the man-god Hercules we see just how deeply into matter humankind had fallen. Hercules wanted to be left alone to get on with his material life, to enjoy worldly pleasures - getting drunk, feasting, brawling - but he was repeatedly interrupted by his duty to follow his spiritual destiny.
What this story of Enoch's ascension into heaven tells us is that he did not die as humans do - because he was not properly human. Like the other demi-gods and heroes of Greek tradition, Enoch/Cadmus was an angel occupying the body of a human.
[...] Enoch is described as discovering the writings of the Watchers, but this is a clumsy translation. What is meant is that he discovered, which is to say invented, language itself.
The important point to note here is that Zeus was only saved with the help of a hero. The gods now needed humans.
Creation grew tired and animals grew vicious, as they had to struggle to survive. As humanity continued to fall, so too did nature. It became red in tooth and claw. Lions and wolves began to attack humans. Plants grew thorns to scratch and make the gathering of fruit difficult, and poisonous plants evolved, like wolfsbane.
Without the presence of the greater gods to keep them down, the crab-like progeny of Saturn that had been imprisoned underground caves began to creep up into the daylight again, infesting the surface of the earth and preying on humankind. Sea monsters also leapt on to the shore to drag off members of the tribe who had strayed too close. Giants carried off cattle and sometimes preyed on human flesh, too.
All the while matter was growing denser, and because matter and spirit are inimical, the gods became less and less a constant presence. The higher, the more ineffable, the god, the harder it became to squeeze down into the tightening net of physical necessity that covered the earth.
If Herodotus had been an initiate of the Mystery schools, he would have understood that the three dynasties were, first, the oldest generation of creator gods - Saturn, Rhea, Uranos - the second generation made up of Zeus, his siblings and their children, such as Apollo and Athena - and lastly the generation of demi-gods and heroes.
We live in a Fallen world. Just as myriad spirits help us to grow and evolve, so too others, just as numerous, work to destroy both us and the very fabric of our world. In Christian mythology - and in the secret doctrine of the Church - the earth suffered and was punished for having fallen by having her own spirit imprisoned deep in the underworld inside her. Sometimes called Sophia, notably in the Christian tradition, this wisdom is only reached when we travel down through the dark and demonic places of the earth and also of ourselves. It is because of Nepthys - because of Sophia - that we all have need to touch rock bottom, to experience the worst that life has to offer, to wrestle with our demons, to test our intellect to its limits and journey to the other side of madness.
We have seen that the Fall was not the fall of human spirits into a pre-existing material world - it is a very easy and common mistake to imagine it like this - but a Fall in which human bodies became denser as the material world became denser.
Today we know that when we look at a distant star we are seeing something that happened a very long time ago, because of the time it has taken for the light from the star to reach the earth. The ancients knew another truth, which is that when the contemplated their own will, they were also looking at something which they had formed long before they were born. The ancients knew that every time they felt themselves merging with another human being int he sexual act, the flight of whole constellations was involved. They knew, too, that how they made love would have an effect on the cosmos for millennia to come.
In the same way that in the secret societies techniques are taught to control sexual forces as a way of achieving higher forms of consciousness, so there are also teachings on channelling the closely intertwined death forces. Osman Spare developed a practice which involved closing off mouth, nostrils, ears and eyes. In India adepts including Bhagavan Shri Ramana and Thakur Haranath have achieved long, death-like trances which have even led to their being prepared for burial, then been reborn into a new, higher form of consciousness.
[...] our understanding of sexuality tents to be on a very materialistic level.
For instance, it is very difficult for us today to look at paintings and carvings of the erect phallus adorning the walls of Hindu or Egyptian temples and to imagine how they would have been intended to be 'read', because in the modern world spirituality has for the most part been removed from sex.
The myth of Osiris, therefore, has many layers of meaning, but it is above all a myth about consciousness.
It informs us that we must all die - but in order to be reborn. The key point in this story is that Osiris is reborn not into ordinary life but into a higher state of consciousness. 'I shall not decay,' he proclaims in the Book of the Dead, 'I shall not rot, I shall not putrefy, I shall not turn into worms, I shall have my being, I shall live, I shall live.' Again we come across a phrasing, an idea of being born again that may seem strangely familiar to Christians. Osiris is here discovering that he has what Christians call 'eternal life'.
When proto-humans were vegetable creatures, they did not experience death. When they began to take on animal characteristics, they began to experience a foretaste of death. This was an experience like dream-filled sleep. [...] Sleep deepened until it became like death, and then it became death.
According to the secret doctrine, there is a fundamental opposition between life and thought. The life processes in humans - digestion, respiration and the processes of growing, for example - are largely unconscious. The conscious, thoughtful dimension in humans is only made possible by a partial suppression of these life processes. The human organism 'steals' forces which in animals are used for growth and biological structuring, and channels them to create the conditions necessary for thought. It is said that this is one of the reasons why humans are, comparatively, sickly animals.
According to the ancient wisdom, the penis was the last part of the human body to assume its present, fleshly form, which is why artists in the secret societies, such as Michelangelo and, Signorelli, Leonardo's brother initiate, often depicted the penis of the men of mythology as plant-like.
At this great turning point in history, then, just as the penis became flesh, humans could no longer propagate themselves by the old plant-like method of parthenogenesis. Humanity gave itself entirely over to animal sexuality.
The idealist history of creation is the history of this process, and the great events in this history have been the putting into place of the sun, moon, the planets and the stars. Our consciousness now has the structure it has because the heavenly bodies are ranged above us in the way they are.
With the moon in place to reflect the light of the sun down to earth and with this process reproduced in microcosm within the human skull, with matter having at last become sufficiently dense that the human mind is 'closed off', we have reached the point where human anatomy and human consciousness ahve achieved a form we would recognize today. The basic conditions making it possible for humans to reflect, that is to say, to think, were now in place.
According to the secret doctrine the cosmos created the human brain in order to be able to think about itself.
It is also as well to remind ourselves again that although we may view many of the great figures of myths, both gods and human, as having an anatomy like our own, this is only how they appear in the eye of imagination.
The world looked very different to the physical eyes that were evolving at this time. This was still the world recorded in the Metamorphoses of the initiate-poet Ovid, when the anatomical forms of humans and animals were not fixed as they are now, a world of giants, hybrids and monsters. The most anatomically advanced humans were evolving the two eyes we have today, but the Lantern of Osiris still protruded from the middle of the forehead, where the bone of the skull had not yet hardened.
Gradually, though, matter became denser. And the important point to bear in mind here is that, despite the fact that matter was precipitated from mind, it was alien to mind. To the extent that matter hardened, it became a greater barrier to the free flow of the cosmic mind. What gradually happened, then, was that as matter hardened to something approaching the solid objects we know today, two parallel dimensions evolved, the spirit world and the material world, the former viewed by the Lantern of Osiris and the latter by the two eyes.
The story of Osiris/Dionysius is the next and perhaps the most decisive stage in the process, when parts of the great cosmic mind, the universal consciousness, became parcelled off and absorbed into individual bodies. The bony roof of the skull hardened, closing over the Lantern of Osiris, so filtering out the great cosmic mind above.
According to the ancient wisdom, so long as there had been no barrier to the spirits, gods and angels ranged up above them, there had been no possibility of humans enjoying the individual free thought or will that distinguishes human consciousness. If we were not cut off from the spirit worlds and from the great cosmic mind, if our bodily make-up did not filter it out, our minds would be completely dazzled and overwhelmed.
Humans would now have some space for themselves in which to think.
The sources disagree on the subject of Dionysus's parentage. Some say his father was Hermes, others Zeus. All agree that the little god's mother was Mother Earth and that, as with Zeus, she hid the infant in a cave.
Dionysus, like Zeus, represents the evolution of a new form of consciousness, and again the Titans were determined to nip it in the bud. Again we see that the Titans are the consciousness eaters.
[...] Osiris came to be worshipped in Egypt as the god of crops and summer fertility. The longed-for yearly appearance in the east of Orion and his consort Isis, known to us as Sirius.
Horus grew up to avenge his father's death by killing his Uncle Seth.
Finally, Isis fashioned a penis out of gold and attached it. She was not able to bring him wholly back to life, but she revived Osiris sexually so that she was able to hover, touching him gently and delicately as she enveloped his penis in the form of a bird until he ejaculated. In this way she impregnated herself on him, and in the same way Horus, the new Master of the Universe, was conceived.
Osiris was a great hunter, a 'Beast Master' - remembered as Orion the Hunter in Greek mythology and Herne the Hunter in Norse mythology - and a great warrior. [...] in antiquity Osiris, the last god-king to rule the earth, was equated with Dionysus, the last of the Olympic gods.
Some said Osiris had been sleeping with beautiful dark-skinned Nepthys, wife of Seth and sister of his own wife, Isis.
But the history of the last god to rule as king of the earth is recorded in ints fullest version in Egyptian rather than Greek tradition.
In the secret history, the last creatures to incarnate before humans were the apes. They came about because some human spirits rushed into incarnations too early before human anatomy had been perfected.
In the secret history, therefore, it is not right to say that humans are descended from apes, rather that apes represent a degeneration of humankind.
The famous statues of Easter Island are also supposed to record the real heights of historical giants.
The cosmic plan was that all the world's biological forms would gradually be incorporated into humankind, which was intended to be the crown of all creation. As the gods led humanity closer and closer to human anatomy as we know it, they assumed the part-animal, part-human forms remembered by the Sumerians, the Egyptians, the Persians and the Babylonians, until they finally assumed anatomically perfect forms remembered by the last great civilizations of the world, the Greeks and Romans.
According to the secret doctrine the animals we known today evolved into the forms we are familiar with today, influenced by the stars and planets, lions by the constellation of Leo, for instance, bulls by the constellation of Taurus. Centaurs, mermaids, sirens, fauns and satyrs were predecessors of anatomically modern humans, representing the impulse to create anatomically modern humans in various transitional stages.
In the secret history the evolution of the species was not the even progress that science supposes. There were twists and turns that have important implications for the way we understand our own physiology and mental make-up. There were dead ends, false starts and even deliberate attempts at sabotage.
The secret history was encoded in the zodiac [...] and preserved into modern times by esoteric groups such as the Freemasons and various Rosicrucian groups, but always and very deliberately in a way that was hard for outsiders to understand.
As proto-humans because wholly land creatures, it also became necessary to create new ways for humans to communicate. It was as a result the influence of Mercury that the thorax evolved. Mercury also fashioned leaner and fitter limbs, the better for humans to move towards each other and live and work together. He was, of course, the messenger and scribe of the gods, known as Hermes to the Greeks and Thoth to the Egyptians.
The iron of Mars yielded red blood and provided the conditions that would make egotism possible - and not only in the sense of a healthy drive to survive. As the earth continued to harden and become denser and drier, it shrank further, with the result that one being could only prosper at another's expense. It became part of the human condition that I can hardly move without harming, even killing, another living creature. Because of Mars there is also a cruel part of human nature that rejoices in this, exults in forcing a fellow human being to submit, and experiences euphoria when it is dominant over others, when it is able to exercise willpower without restraint.
According to the ancient wisdom it was the arrival of Mars that led to the evolution of warm-blooded animals. Mars arrived at the time of the transition from the lizard-like amphibians of the Age of Capricorn to the land animals of the Age of four-footed Sagittarius.
As the marshy surface of the earth began to harden into something like dry land, the next stage of the development of human form began. This was the beginning of the Age of Capricorn, when proto-humans developed calves and limbs to crawl on to land to pursue their burgeoning animal desires.
The next precessional age was the first Age of Aquarius. This was the era of the evolution of amphibians, giant floating creatures, somewhat like the modern dolphins but with webbed limbs and lantern-like foreheads. This lantern was the pineal gland; protruding from the top it still holds in some reptiles, such as the Tuatara species of lizard, from New Zealand.
In Egypt this miraculous event, the birth of animal life, was known as the birth of Horus, and the earliest representations of Horus, like those of Jupiter, were half-man, half-fish.
'Olympus is a rebellion of lightness against precision.' In other words the Olympic gods - Jupiter, Apollo, Mars, Mercury, Diana, Athena and the others - rebelled against the limitations imposed by Saturn.
Mother Earth hid Jupiter in this cave because she was afraid that Saturn and the Titans, the elder sons and daughters of Saturn, would come to destroy him. She knew that the birth of Jupiter showed that the reign of Saturn was coming to an end, but the transition from one age to another is always a painful one. The old order always tries to stay on beyond its allotted time.
The Titans were Saturn's enforcers. They were the consciousness eaters. They wanted to swallow up the new life and create what Milton, who knew all about the secret history, called 'a universe of Death'.
The Titans would always be the enemies of Jupiter. They failed to kill him while he was still an infant, but they did not cease to wage war on him, sporadically and in great battles, until finally and decisively Jupiter defeated them and imprisoned them underground. There these great forces of materialism became part of the very structure of the earth, and whenever volcanoes rumbled and threatened to erupt the ancients heard their discontent.
With the Titans imprisoned, Jupiter became for a while the undisputed ruler of Mount Olympus, king of the gods and god of a new age.
But the final, telling clue to reveal the hidden identity of the 'fallen angels' lies in their number, given in one of the versions the Book of Enoch as seven.
In all traditions seven is the number of the great gods of the solar system. Again we see that the biblical narrative has encoded within it stories of the same astronomical gods as those of Greece and Rome.
The angels who became sexually attracted to human women are none other than the gods of Olympus.
The phrase here translated as 'sons of God' is elsewhere in the Bible a phrase used to mean angels, messengers coming down from heaven. But in this context 'coming down' also seems to carry with it moral opprobrium. By saying that the angels had sex with women is Genesis perhaps saying that these angels lowered themselves to participate in the material world? And perhaps they had become too enamoured with it?
Similar stories of fish gods who suddenly appear and become the teachers of mankind can be found in other traditions, for example the Indian stories about Matsya, the first avatar of Vishnu, and the stories of the ancient Phoenicians of the Dagon, who taught humankind the art of irrigation, and the ancient fish gods of the Dagon tribe in West Africa. We even know from Plutarch that the earliest representations of Zeus were of a man with a fish tail, an image which survived in Greek mythology in the form of his brother Poseidon.
It's even been suggested that the human race was genetically engineered by alien invaders, which is a good illustration of the way that esoteric traditions are misinterpreted by people trying to impose a materialistic interpretation on them.
The few fragments of Berosus that survive contain teachings on the history of the origins of the earth and the sky and the race of hermaphrodites, the pre-sexual humans who reproduced by means of parthenogenesis.
Berosus goes on to describe how the land came to be inhabited by a primitive race. Then one day a monster emerged on the seashore, an animal called Oannes '... whose whole body was that of a fish; under the fish's head he had another head with feed also below similar tot hose of a man, subjoined to the fish's tail. His voice and language were articulate and human; and representation of him is preserved even to this day...'
'This monster was accustomed to pass the day among men, but took no food then; and he gave them an insight into letter and sciences and arts of every kind. He taught them to construct cities, to found temples, to compile laws, and explained to them the principles of geometric knowledge. He made them distinguish the seeds of the earth and showed them how to collect fruits; in short, he instructed them in everything which could soften manners and humanize their lives...'
'And when the sun had set this being Oannes retired again intot he sea, and passed the night in the sea, for he was amphibious...'
The first three epochs of the cosmos, the mineral, vegetable and animal eras - Saturn-day, Sun-day and Moon-day - are remembered in the names of the first three days of the week. These days of the week are named after these three heavenly bodies in this particular order for this reason alone.
Just as the seven Elohim had acted to hold Saturn/Satan in check, now one of these seven broke away to become the god of the Moon, and from there directed operations to hold Venus/Lucifer in check.
The god of the moon would become known to the Hebrews as Jehovah and to the Muslims as Allah, the great god of thou-shalt-not.
Readers are invited to check their own experience to see whether their dreams are more vivid when the moon is big and full.
There the pineal gland represented the sun, and the gland which could modify and reflect on the visions that the pineal gland received from the spirit worlds was the pituitary gland.
The god of reflection was the god of the great reflector in the sky - the moon. In all ancient cultures the moon regulated not only fertility but thought.
Venus was traditionally depicted holding a mirror, but not out of vanity as is nowadays supposed. The mirror was a symbol of the power of reflection to modify desire.
Elohim and Jehovah are not different names for the same entity but different entities. Elohim is, as we have seen, a collective name for the Seven Spirits working together as the god of the Sun, while Jehovah came into being when one of these seven broke away to defend the Earth from Venus.
Friedrich Nietsche said, 'Unless you have chaos inside you, you cannot give birth to a dancing star.' Humans would never have been able to become freely creative, brave or loving if they had not been able to make mistakes, to see and believe things to be other than they are. Because of Lucifer it is the case that we do not always believe in proportion to the evidence. We can often believe what we want to believe. For instance, the life of someone we know can appear a miserable failure or a heart-warming success depending on how we choose to look at it, whether good-heartedly or mean-spiritedly. And when the harsh fire, the primeval sulphur burns int he pit of our stomachs, it is difficult for us to choose to be good-hearted.
While the result of the influence of Satan is that life is often hard to bear, it is as a result of the influence of Venus that life is often hard to understand. The influence of Venus brought a paradoxical, tricky quality to the heart of the universe.
In other words, delusion entered the world. Lucifer endowed matter with a glamour that would dazzle humankind, and blind people to higher truths.
Tradition tells us that as Lucifer fell a great emerald dropped from his forehead. This signals that humanity would increasingly suffer a loss of vision in the Third Eye, the brow chakra.
The correlation between Lucifer and Venus can also be seen in the mythology of the Americas, where he appears in the figure of the horned and feathered snake god Quetzal Coatl.
The Morning Star is, of course, Venus. The Bible, therefore, identifies Lucifer with the planet Venus.
It might seem counter-intuitive to equate the goddess of Venus in Greece and Rome - Aphrodite to the Greeks - with Lucifer in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Venus/Aphrodite is female and seems more life-enhancing. But in reality there are key points of similarity.
Both Lucifer and Venus/Aphrodite are bound up with animal desire and sexuality.
The apple is the fruit associated with both. Lucifer tempts Eve with an apple and Paris hands Venus an apple in a gesture that precipitates the abduction of Helen and the Great War of the ancient world. The apple is universally the fruit of Venus because if you slice an apple in two, the path that Venus traces in the sky over the forty-year period is a five-pointed star, pinpointed by the position of the pips.
Lucifer and Venus are also ambiguous figures. Lucifer is evil, but he is a necessary evil. Without Lucifer's intervention, proto-humanity would not have evolved beyond a vegetative form of life. As a result of Lucifer's intervention in history we are animated, both in the sense that we can move about the surface of the planet and also in the sense that we are moved by desire. An animal has a conscious awareness of itself as a distinct entity that is denied to plants. To say that Adam and Eve 'knew they were naked' is to say that they became aware that they had bodies.
We have seen that Satan, the Dark Lord, the agent of materialism, is to be identified with the god of the planet Saturn in Greek and Roman mythology.
Most people would naturally assume that Christianity allows the existence of only one Devil - the Devil - in other words that Satan and Lucifer are the same entity.
In fact we need only a quick, fresh look at the texts to see that the authors of the Bible intended something quite different. Again, this is something biblical scholars accept, but which hasn't filtered down to congregations.
But why should the translation from vegetable to animal life be marked by such torment? [...] It seems that as a result of the Fall, humans have to suffer, to strive, and to die - but why?
Wrapped up in this ancient language are more truths modern science would recognize. Plants reproduce by a method called parthenogenesis. A part of the plant falls off and grows into a new plant. This new plant is in a sense a continuation of the old one, which therefore - in a sense - does not die. The evolution of animal life and its characteristic method of reproduction - sex - brought death with it. As soon as hunger and desire were felt so too were dissatisfaction, frustration, sorrow and fear.
...matter had in a sense prepared the ground in which vegetable life could be born. Now vegetable life as it were formed a cradle into which animal life could be born. To put it another way, vegetable life formed a seed bed into which the seeds of animal life fell.
This is the beginning of the momentous episode in history called the Fall.
The story of Genesis is a subjective account of the way humanity evolved, what it felt like. In other words the story of the entwining of snake and tree is a picture of the formation of the spine and central nervous system characteristic of animals as it has been retained in the human collective subconscious.
The candidate for initiation would have watched with horror as it coiled itself ever more tightly around Adam's vegetable trunk. He would have understood that what he was watching was the series of events by which life on earth moved painfully to the next stage of evolution. Because the story of the serpent entwined around the tree contains the clearest possible image of the earth's transition from vegetable to animal life.
Creation was re-enacted in the Mystery schools, a drama in three acts.
The first act dramatized Saturn's oppression of Mother Earth. This was called the Age of Saturn.
The second act dramatized the birth of the Sun and his protection of Mother Earth. This, the paradise time of the flower people, was remembered as the Age of the Sun.
[...] in the third great act of the drama of creation, the god of the Moon won a great victory.
Adam, Eve and their progeny did not die, but now and then they merely went to sleep in order to refresh themselves. But this lotus-eating state of the Garden of Eden could not go on forever. If it had done, humanity would never have evolved beyond the vegetable stage.
It was always intended that the Sun god would separate from the earth ... for a while.
So it was by this plant-like method of reproduction that Eve was born out of Adam's body, moulded from the waxy cartilage which served Adam for bone.
As Adam solidified he also began to divide into two, that is to say he was an hermaphrodite who reproduced in an asexual way. When pressed, any scholar of biblical Hebrew will have to admit that Genesis 1.27, the pass usually translated 'Male and female He created them', properly reads 'Male and female they [i.e. the Elohim] created him [singular]'.
The Egyptians clearly depicted it [the pineal gland] as a uraeus snake and in Indian literature it is shown as the Third Eye of Enlightenment, or the Eye of Siva. It was depicted as the pine-cone-topped want of the followers of Dionysius, and a fourth-century BC Greek anatomist described it as 'the sphincter which regulates the flow of thought'.
Later it was discovered that the pineal gland is large in children and when the crystallization of various body parts happens around puberty - that is to say when we naturally become less imaginative - the pineal gland begins a process of calcification and also shrinks.
The pineal gland is a small grey gland, the size of an almond, which is situated in the brain where the spinal chord reaches up into it. In esoteric physiology, when we have a hunch, our pineal gland begins to vibrate, and if spiritual disciplines are used to increase and prolong this vibration, this may lead to the opening of the Third Eye, situated, of course, in the middle of the brow.
...in Revelation the account of the opening of the seven seals is in fact a way of talking about the enlivening of the seven chakras, and predicting the great visions of the spiritual world that will result.
The flowering rod of Aaron refers tot he activation of the chakras, the opening of the subtle flowers up and down the subtle tree.
The 'horns' with which Moses has traditionally been depicted are explained away by conventionally minded Christians as the result of a misunderstanding based on a mistranslation. But in the esoteric tradition these horns represent the two petals of the brow chakra, sometimes called the Third Eye.
In the secret history not only is it true to say that what eventually evolved into human life passed through a vegetable state, but the vegetable element remains an essential part of the human being today.
Because there was as yet no animal element to the cosmos, Adam was without desire and so without care or dissatisfaction. Needs were satisfied before they could even be felt.
What the teachers of the Mystery schools meant to indicate by the victory of the Sun god was the momentous transition from a purely mineral cosmos to a cosmos burgeoning with plant life.
In the eye of imagination the Sun is a beautiful and radiant young man with a leonine mane. He rides a chariot and he is a musician. He has many names - Krishna in India, Apollo in Greece. Arising in spendour in the midst of the storm, he pushes back the darkness of Saturn until Saturn becomes like a giant dragon or serpent encircling the cosmos.
In the ancient world the Sun god was typically depicted emanating seven rays, as a mark of the seven sun spirits that make up his nature. In the Egyptian Book of the Dead they are called the Seven Spirits of Ra and in the ancient Hebrew tradition as the Seven Powers of Light.
...according to the ancient tradition the Word that shone in the darkness in John's gospel - and so we now see, the gods who 'let there be light' in Genesis - are the seven great spirits who work together as the great spiritual influence emanating from the sun.
Thus both Old and New Testaments allude to the role of the Sun god in creation as it was generally understood in the religions of the ancient world.
The four Cherubim are among the most powerful symbols in the bible, appearing in key passages in Ezekiel, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Revelation. Popular in Hebrew and Christian iconography, prominent in Church art and architecture everywhere, they are symbolized by the Ox, the Lion, the Eagle and the Angel. In esoteric teaching these four Cherubim are the great spiritual beings behind four of the twelve constellations that make up the zodiac. The proof of their astronomical identities lies in the imagery associated with them: Ox = Taurus, Lion = Leo, Eagle = Scorpio, and Angel = Aquarius.
But the reality is that after layers of mistranslation and other types of obfuscation have been removed, the most important passages in the Bible can be seen to describe the deities of the stars and planets.
Modern churchmen are often quick to condemn astrology, but none can deny, for example, that the great Christian festivals are all astronomically derived - Easter being the first Sunday following the full moon that falls on or follows the vernal equinox, or that Christmas is the first day after the winter solstice when the rising sun begins to move visibly back in the reverse direction along the horizon.
But Christianity has roots in older religions of the region in which it arose and all of these were naturally polytheistic and astronomical. The beliefs of early Christians reflected this. For them spirituality meant commerce with actual spirits.
In Genesis the Evil One's attempt to nullify God's plans at birth, the first act of rebellion of a Thought-Being against the Mind that emanated it, is dealt with in just one short phrase, but, as we have already suggested, the Bible is not here dealing with a scale of time we would recognize today. Saturn's tyranny over Mother Earth, his murderous attempt to squeeze all potential for life out of the cosmos, continued over vast periods immeasurable to the human mind.
His tyranny was eventually overthrown, and Saturn, if not entirely defeated, was kept in check and confined to his proper sphere. Again, Genesis tells us how this came about: 'And God said Let there be light, and there was light.' Light was pushing back the darkness that had been brooding over the waters.
In the course of this history we will see that Saturn has returned at different times and in different guises to pursue his aim of mummifying humanity and squeezing the life out of it. At the end of this history we will also see that his most decisive intervention, an event long predicted by the secret societies, is expected to take place shortly.
If an individual entity can exist through time, then by implication it can cease to exist too. This is why Saturn is the god of destruction. Saturn eats his own children. He is sometimes portrayed as Old Father Time and sometimes as Death himself. Because of Saturn's influence everything that lives contains the seeds of its own end, and it is because of Saturn that what feeds us also destroys us. Death is in everything in the cosmos - woven into the bright blue sky, a blade of grass, the pulse of a baby's fontanel, the light in a lover's eye. Because of Saturn our lives are hard. Because of Saturn every sword is double-edged and every crown a crown of thorns. If we sometimes feel our lives almost too hard to bear, if we bruise and if we do cry our to the stars in despair, it is because Saturn pushes us to our limits.
Saturn would trace the limits of the solar system. In fact he was the very principle of limitation. What Saturn's intervention introduced into creation was the potential for individual object to exist and therefore the transition from formlessness to form. In other words because of Saturn there is a law of identity in the universe by which something exists and is nothing else and neither is anything else it. Because of Saturn an object occupies a certain space at a certain time and no other object can occupy that space, and neither can that object be in more than one place at one time. In Egyptian mythology Saturn was Ptah who moulds the earth on a potter's wheel, and in many mythologies Saturn's title is Rex Mundi, King of the World or 'Prince of this world', because of his control of our material lives.
The Mystery schools taught that as well as head-consciousness we each have, for examples, a heart-consciousness which emanates from the sun then enters our mental space via the heart. Or to put it another way, the heart is the portal through which Sun god enters our lives. Likewise a king of kidney-consciousness beams into us from Venus, spreading out into our mind and body via the portal of our own kidneys. The working together of these different centres of consciousness makes us variously loving, angry, melancholy, restless, brave, thoughtful and so on, forming the unique thing that is human experience.
One of the stupid beliefs we are fond of attributing to the ancients is that they worshipped the sun, as if they believed the physical object were a sentient being. Robert Temple's commentary on key texts by Aristotle, Strabo and others shows they saw the sun as a sort of lens through which the spiritual influence of a god rayed from the spiritual into the earthly realm. Other gods rayed their influences through the other planets and constellations. As the positions of the heavenly bodies changed, so the various patterns of influence give history direction and shape.
...gods, angels and spirits can bring about great changes in a nation's fortunes. The focus of these changes will often be an individual. For example, Alexander the Great or Napoleon were vehicles for a great spirit, and for a while carried all before them in a remarkable way. No one could oppose them and they succeeded in everything they did - until the spirit left them. Then quite suddenty everything began to go wrong.
We see the same process in the case of artists who become vehicles for the expression of a god or spirit for a certain period of their lives. Then they suddenly seem to 'find their voice' and create masterpiece after masterpiece with a sure hand, sometimes transforming the consciousness of a while generation, even changing the whole direction of a culture in history. But when the spirit leaves, an artist never again creates with the same genius.
Similarly if a spirit weaves through an individual to create a work of art, the same great spirit may once again be present whenever that work of art is contemplated by others. One of his contemporaries said: 'When Bach plays the organ, even God comes to Mass.'
The reality of everyday experience is that thoughts are quite routinely introduced into what we like to think of as our private mental space from somewhere else. The ancients understood this 'somewhere else' as being some-one else, the someone being a good, an angel or a spirit.
Humans breathe on average 25,920 times per day, which is the number of years in a great Platonic year (i.e. the number of years it takes the sun to complete a full cycle of the zodiac). The average or 'ideal' human life - seventy-two - also has the same number of days in it.
A thought is never still. It is a living thing that can never be identified definitely with the dead letter of language. This is why Schopenhauer...said that 'as soon as you try to put a thought into words it ceases to be true'. Words can never convey or capture the complexity of an image or of the feelings.
What, for example, is needed to make possible the internal narrative, the collection of stories we string together to form our basic sense of self? The answer is, of course, memory. It is only by remembering what I did yesterday that I can identify myself as the person who did these things...The Italian novelist Italo Calvino...puts it precisely: 'Memory has to be strong enough to enable us to act without forgetting what we wanted to do, to learn without ceasing to be the same person, but it also has to be weak enough to allow us to keep moving into the future.'
At the lowest level of the hierarchy, according to the ancient and secret doctrines in all cultures, these emanations, these Thought-Beings from the cosmic mind, interweave so tightly that they create the appearance of solid matter.
When I saw Kevin Warwick present his findings to his peers at the Royal Institute in 2001, he was criticized by some for suggesting that his robots were intelligent and so by implication conscious. But what is undeniably true is that these robots' brains grow in something like an organic way. They form something very like personalities, interreact with other robots and make choices beyond anything that has been programmed into them. Kevin argued that while his robots might not have consciousness with all the characteristics of human consciousness, neither do dogs. Dogs are conscious in a doggy way and his robots, he said, are conscious in a robotic way. Of course, in some ways - such as the ability to make massive mathematical calculations instantly - robots display consciousness that is superior to our own consciousness.
Pure mind to begin with, these thought-emanations later became a sort of proto-matter, energy that becomes increasingly dense then becomes matter so ethereal that it is finer than gas, without particles of any kind. Eventually the emanations became gas, then liquid and finally solids.
...the laws of probability only apply when all human subjectivity has been deliberately excluded. In the normal run of things when human happiness and hopes for self fulfilment depend on the outcome of the roll of the dice, then the laws of probability are bent. Then deeper laws come into play.
According to them [the secret societies], a tree only falls over in a forest, however remote, so that someone, somewhere at some time is affected by it. Nothing happens anywhere in the cosmos except in interaction with the human mind.
In this mind-before-matter universe, not only did matter emerge from the mind of God, but it was created in order to provide the conditions in which the human mind would be possible. The human mind is still the focus of the cosmos, nurturing it and responding to its needs. Matter is moved by human minds perhaps not to the same extent but in the same kind of way that it is moved by the mind of God.
...in the looking-glass history taught by the secret societies this is exactly what God did, his reflections - humans - gradually and in stages, forming and achieving independent life, nurtured by Him, guided and prompted by Him over very long periods.
In the beginning an impulse must have come from somewhere - but where? As children didn't we all feel wonder when we first saw crystals precipitating in the bottom of a solution, as if an impulse were squeezing out of one dimension into the next? In this history we shall see how for many of the world's most brilliant individuals the birth of the universe, the mysterious transition from no-matter to matter has been explained in just such a way. They have envisaged an impulse squeezing out of another dimension into this one - and they have conceived of this other dimension as the mind of God.
Through all this the aim is to show that the basic facts of history can be interpreted in a way which is almost completely the opposite of the way we normally understand them.
The most secret teachings of the secret societies are transmitted only orally. Other parts are written in a deliberately obscure way that makes it impossible for outsiders to understand. For example, it might be possible to deduce the secret doctrine from Helena Blavatsky's prodigiously long and obscure book of the same name...but in all these cases the writing is aimed at people already in the know. These texts aim to conceal as much as they reveal.
In the ancient world the teachings of the Mystery schools were guarded as closely as nuclear secrets are guarded today.
...science has taken over from religion as the main agent of social control.