Fama Fraternitatis - 1614

Wiewohl wir nun wohl wissen, daß es umb ein ziemliches noch nicht an dem, da wieder unserm Verlangen oder auch anderer Hoffnung mit allgemeiner Reformation divini et humani, solle genug geschehen, ist es doch nicht unbillich, daß, ehe die Sonne auffgehet, sie zuvor ein HELL oder dunkel liecht in den Himmel bringt und unter dessen etliche wenige, die sich werden angeben, zusammen tretten, unsere Fraternitet mit der Zahl und Ansehen des gewünschten und von Fr.R.C. fürgeschriebenen Philosophischen Canons, einen glücklichen Anfang machen oder ja in unserer Schätz (die uns nimmermehr aufgehen können) mit uns in Demut und Liebe genießen die Mühsamkeit dieser Welt überzuckern und in den Wunderwerken Gottes nicht also blind umbgehen.

Vi vet dock att det enligt vår åstundan och andras förväntningar efter någon tid kommer en allmän reformation av både gudomliga och mänskliga ting. Ty innan solen går upp, upplyses himlen av
MORGONRODNADENS ljus. I väntan på denna reformation församlas några få som med sitt antal skall utöka vårt brödraskap, höja dess anseende och stärka dess förhoppningar och ge de av Fr.R.C. föreskrivna Filosofiska Canons en lycklig begynnelse. I all ödmjukhet och kärlek skall dessa nytillkomna tillsammans med oss dela våra skatter, som aldrig skall förgås, och så lindra denna världens möda och inte längre vandra ovetande om kunskapen om Guds underbara verk.

Howbeit we know after a time there will now be a general reformation, both of divine and humane things, according to our desire, and the expectation of others: for it is fitting, that before the rising of the Sun, there should appear and break forth AURORA, or some clearness, or divine light in the sky; and so in the mean time some few, which shall give their names, may joyn together, thereby to increase the number and respect of our Fraternity, and make a happy and wished for beginning of our Philosophical Canons, prescribed to us by our brother R.C. and be partakers with us of our treasures (which never can fail or be wasted) in all humility, and love to be eased of this worlds labor, and not walk so blindly in the knowledge of the wonderful works of God.


Det brittiska ordenssällskapet Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn och den tyska Frimurarlogen L'Aurore Naissante, vilket grundades i London 1888 respektive Frankfurt-am-Main 1807, delade på samma hebreiska namn Chevrah Zerach Bequr Aur, förevisat i gyllene gult vid bloggens huvud, vilket ordagrannt kan översättas till “Stigande Gryningsljusets Sällskap”. Denna tyska Rosenkorsiska Frimurarloge i Frankfurt, vilket måste anses vara det ursprungliga modertemplet till GOLDEN DAWN, kallade sig på tyska även Loge sur Aufgehenden Morgenröthe, vilket kan översättas till “Gryende Morgonrodnadens Loge”. Detta skiljer sig åt från den engelska seden att översätta orden Bequr Aur till “Golden Dawn” eller “Gyllene Gryningen”. Med anledning av Rosenkorstraditionens tyska ursprung är en mer korrekt översättning av Bequr Aur, genom franskans L'Aurore Naissante och tyskans Aufgehenden Morgenröthe, inget annat än GRYENDE MORGONRODNADEN. Denna hänvisning till ett stigande gryningsljus, morgonrodnad eller aurora är en klar hänvisning till den allmäna reformationen omnämnt i det ovan citerade stycket från Fama Fraternitatis. Denna blogg har dock valt att behålla den försvenskade anglo-saxiska termen GYLLENE GRYNINGEN för att denna, invand som den är, lättare associeras med den Rosenkorsiska tradition som här ämnas att framställas.

Licht, Leben, Liebe

måndag 29 augusti 2011

The Tree of Knowledge vs. the Tree of Life: Or a followup to the question of why we should be Adepts first and scholars second


In my previous and last blog I tried to distinguish between true Adepthood and that of academic scholarism, of which the latter we see to much of these days in modern initiates at the expense of the former. With this sequel I hope to dispel any strange notions of anti-intellectualism or anti-scholarism on my behalf. So it seems that some on the blogosphere has yet again mistaken or misrepresented my words, this time interpreting me as saying that Adepts should stop being scholars entirely. That is NOT at all what I am saying. I simply ask for initiates to strive for Adeptship first and to be scholars second. That is taking scholarism from the pedestal without giving it up; relegating it into a tool and from being the sole aim and purpose in itself. Thus I’m not asking you to throw out the babe with the bathwather.

It is of course good and dandy to know several languages and be well versed in archaeology, history and contemporary religious research, etc. S.L. MacGregor Mathers was a perfect example of this, so was W.W. Westcott; they often find themselves in leading positions of orders, as being a leader implies by its very innate nature to create a working curriculum for your initiates. What I AM criticizing is that this type of knowledge ought to be the major measuring stick for Adepthood. It is NOT. True Adepthood has nothing to do with any intellectual qualities per se, but instead that of succeeding with the Great Work and discovering the Stone of the Wise, and thus realizing Immortality. This is the original meaning of the term “Adept” which was invented and used by alchemists in the past. You won’t get immortal and god-like by reading a good book.

Granted, intellectual abilities and study of textbooks can aid you in this alchemical endeavour. But it requires so much more than that; reason alone and intellectual knowledge can not take you there – that is realizing the Stone – but more so faith, devotion, passion, reverence, humility, compassion, desire, discipline and will. I recommend a thorough study of G.H. Fra. Sub Spe’s (John William Brodie-Innes’) paper on the Zelator Ritual in this respect; he has some interesting things there to say concerning the importance of faith in the Work.

Intellectual knowledge creates distance and dispassion. To become an Adept you must merge yourself with that aspect of reality with which you are currently working and researching. The intellect can only take you that far; there is a time and place upon the Path of Return where you must set aside the intellect to gain the true vision of the Universe – Gnosis. Mystics all over the world know all about this. Why is it so hard for occultists to get this into their thick heads?

Theory is always the emphasis in the early stages of the training of the initiate, whereas the Work itself becomes the main concern after a while. Thus theory is the foundation of future Work; however not the Work proper itself. The only quality that can make you persevere through this Herculean Work is that of faith and devotion to it, and a true belief in Divine guidance and providence. There are to many sceptics amongst post-modern Adepts, to little with faith. Many are ambivalent and not truly shure why they are called to do the Work. Looking at the written words of some, I sometimes wonder if they even believe in magic; if they believe in miracles; if they belive in the Philosopher’s Stone and its supposed qualities of transmuation. What they do belive in is their own intelligence and discrimination. They also love to show off their large book collections!

But I say that intellectual endeavour may even become a distraction from more important practical work after a certain point. A large library is not the key to discovering divinity and immortality. The task is rather to find the truly important and handful of books that you should read and re-read, and re-read, and re-read, while working around the clock applying what you have understood from the source texts, until the message reveals itself through a Gnosis.

Discrimination is needed to weed out the puffers from the true alchemist authors. Remember that there are three major categories of occultists; the true artist, the puffer and the charlatan. The puffer is often well meaning and serious, but has lost his ways in the maze – the labyrinth (the convolutions of the brain) – and cannot distinguish between analogy and literal meanings. The charlatan knows that he is a fake but has developed his deceptive abilities enough to get away with pretending to be an artist. But there is of course a thin veil between the true artist and the charlatan, especially from the perspective of the student seeking a teacher. Would you prefer to read books by puffers and charlatans, before that of true artists? I guess not. But the problem is that our community is flooded with works written by puffers and charlatans. Thus the task to find the right literature – that is quality before quantity – is Herculean in its own right.

The Good Book (or Bible) is of course one of these important titles and souce texts, for us Westerners, but there are a few more that can help you in the early stages of the work. The Emerald Tablet is of course a requirement and should be put into a frame and hung onto the wall of every would be alchemist’s home, and meditated upon – daily. There are several other titles, of course. One which comes to mind is the Sepher Yetzirah, from the Qabalistic lore. But the tendency amongst real Adepts however is to cut down the amount of books in their library, at least after a while. Remember, quality before quantity. I once heard about a renowned Alchemist who purportedly only owned two or three books in his shelf. Interesting, huh? I wish I knew which titles. But I mustn’t digress any further…

Consider for a while the two Trees in the Garden of Eden that man was prohibited from eating; the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and the Tree of Life. Man was lured by the Serpent to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, not that from the Tree of Life. After being caught in the act man was consequently condemned to a perpetual Diaspora and the path of a re-entry back into Eden barred by the Flaming Sword placed in the hand of the Kerubim, to guard the Tree of Life from being plucked by man who then truly would become as one of the gods as he would also gain immortality.

But as initiates we are told to ascend the Tree of Life and thus to quit our exile; alchemy concerns itself solely with the Tree of Life and its golden fruit. Enoch walked with God, thus man was given a promise of a way back into the Garden. Why then, I ask, do so many students of the occult and initiates treat the Tree of Life as it was the Tree of Knowledge instead? Why this sole emphasis on either theoretical knowledge or knowledge gained through astral scrying techiques (that is gaining information from dubious astral entities as sources)? We are very quick in invoking a force to use it as a gateway into hidden realms, and potential treasure house of knowledge, instead of infusing its powers with that of our Sphere of Sensation.

Now, only because of what I just wrote, some individuals will claim that I now told you to stop scrying. I did NOT! What I said was that you cannot gain true Gnosis only by scrying on the astral plane. The astral plane is a treasure house of illusions and presents yet another maze. Do you really believe that by only scrying more you will gain more true visions? Think again; you will probably only end up being a astral junkie instead. It is true that you will gain a more clear and true vision from the true Work; a true clairvoyance. But that is not from searching for astral knowledge per se; it comes from entirely different techniques. True vision is the outcome of more important work than that.

I am of course referring to purely energetic work. You must learn to infuse your Sphere of Sensation with the Powers of the Universe, with its Energies. You must learn to merge the microcosm with the macrocosm. You won’t do that by scholarly endeavours or communing with entities in the astral. It takes something else. Besides, there are other utilites and advantages from traditional scrying work than simply using a questionnare before an encountered entity. I am talking about astral scrying as a means to receive initiation and undergo transformations, which in turn also may have energetic consequences.

The Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life are deceptively alike. They are almost as twins. Thus it is easy to mistake one for the other. For instance, they both have two opposite paths – darkness and light about them. But they are not the same. They have different natures. Eating a fruit of Life will grant different qualities to your being compared to that of eating the fruit of Knowledge. Surely you must suspect this?

May we gain Gnosis trough eating the fruit of Knowledge? I doubt it. The fruits of the Tree of Knowledge has given man his discriminative faculties – his ability to analyse, that is to separate. That is needed in the Solve Phase. But you cannot reach to the Coagula without knowing how to unite the two principles. This uniting principle may only be granted to you by eating the Fruit of Life, plucked from the Tree of Life – that is the Tree of Love and of Light. Gnosis – that is True Knowledge of the nature of things – can only be granted by the Tree of Life (Light and Love). With Immortality comes also Cosmic Consciousness. Enough said. Please feel free to misinterpret and misrepresent me as you wish.


4 kommentarer:

Peregrin sa...

Care GH Fr SR,

Thank you for this post.

I am at a loss to think of anyone in the GD community who would not agree with most of the sentiments you express here. Of course we are striving to be adepts rather than scholars (unless we are enrolled in the Academy where we may do both). No one I can think of presents intellectual qualities as a measuring stick for adepthood. No one I know thinks the intellect alone can take us towards the summit of the Holy. As the sacred Tao says:

“Give up learning, and put an end to your troubles”

I must question however, the a priori assumption that immortality is the goal of all adepts in all western traditions. Once more I state that a sizeable percentage of historical adepts were orthodox Christians who believed immortality was already given to them by their acceptance of Christ. Yet they still strived for mastery and unfoldment - as a means to serve others.

I must also question any possible dichotomy between the intellectual scholarly approach and that of ‘faith’, to use your word. The two methods of discernment are appropriate for different spheres of reality. Connection with the divine, relationship with our Masters, embarking on the quest when any destination is unknown – this is the sphere of faith.

Discerning history, biography and present day tales which are claimed to occur in shared space-time – this is the role of good occult scholarship. This is scholarship where the foundational sphere is occultism but where the plain, rational approach is applied to sensible (i.e. able to be perceived by the mundane senses) topics. An excellent example of this approach can be found in the works of Gareth Knight.

I must also question your emphasis on purely energetic work. While agreeing with all you say, we must remember these concepts are entirely modern. There were many realised adepts in the past whose practise was focused elsewhere and which then produced the states you refer to. An example of this of course is Lectio Divina, which from the outer looks like little more than reading and studying. We must also remember the realised Jewish sages who unfolded and touched the divine glory through literary means similar to Lectio Divina including Midrash. These approaches, I believe are just as effective as the ‘energetic work’ you refer to, but look from the outside suspiciously like scholarly learning. Modern religious writer Karen Armstrong relates how her study of the great religious works is her practice, and how it moves her close to God, takes her to the transpersonal mystery which every adept seeks.

Thanks :)

Sincerus Renatus... sa...

Care Frater Peregrin,

Lectio Divina has nothing to do with intellectual or scholarly (that is dispassionate) study. It is more aligned, as I see it, with devotion and prayer, with passion and love. Both prayer and meditation surely have energetic results on all levels of your being, also physical and energetic.

I don't agree with you that energetic work is a modern concept. Perhaps me referring to it in this plain way is modern, but not the techniques themselves that produces and influx of divine energy into the body and suble body. Many eastern systems emphasize this kind of work. Theurgy and alchemy does it too.

Granted, most alchemists worked within a Christian framework. But does that mean that they had the same faith as you do Frater? We don't know that. I'm not talking about lip service. They surely were devouted to the word of God. But they were esoteric Christians, not bound to exoteric theological doctrines.

Reading the words of mystics as Meister Eckehart bring alchemy to mind, where Christ is begotten in the heart of man, etc. This is a Christian way of saying you are developing a Solar consciousness.

I don't believe that only by accepting Christ you receive immortality. Disregarding the dubious theological consequences of barring the rest of the human population from "immortality", such as Jews, Muslims, Buddhist, Daoist and Pagans, etc., a simple faith doesn't suffice. You have to work hard for your conscious immortality, Christian or not.

When I speak of "immortality" I speak of conscious immortality, not that we die to never return from that blackness. I believe that we all have a immortal spirit, "god-spark". That is our Higher Self. Our Divine Genius, that angelical being which overshadow us. What I do belive dissapates in the same manner as the physical body (first death) is our soul (second death). When reaching immortality, from the alchemical standpoint, you transmute your mortal and saturnian soul into a golden or solar soul which retains its focus and doesn't succumb to the second death. This is my current and limited understanding of these matters.

Regarding my dichotomy between scholarism and faith (and devotion), sure it is nice to have a solid intellectual understanding of history, etc. But that won't make you an Adept. It will make you a batchelor, master or doctor of the "arts", not and Adept of the Art. This is my central thesis with what I say in the blog. You cannot only pass a theoretical exam and count yourself as progressing through the sub-grades of the 5=6 (not even 120 years ago). You had to produce magic, even manifestations of a miraculous character, in front of the eyes of the examinator. Sam Robinson explains this very eloquently in his latest book. I agree with his approach more or less 100%.

The other stuff, intellectual knowledge and reason, is good to use, to guard yourself into falling into social and interactive traps, relations, etc. Again, I'm not saying to shut you mind off because you want to become an Adept. But intellectual learning wont make you push that envelope to transcend ordinary consciousness and state of being which is the mark of a true Adept.

Intellectual knowledge and reason will help you do discern what teachiques to use, and analyse their effect as to their efficiency. But to become an adept you need other qualities. But on the other hand, without intellect and reason you won't even be able to start off the path of Return in the first place. As I said, theory creates the foundation for further and Real Work.

In Licht, Leben und Liebe,

Sincerus Renatus... sa...

On a further note: Ponder also why the names of the Rosicrucian Grades have these peculiar forms.

Why does a theoricus (theorician) preceede that of practicus (practician), which leads into a philosophus (philosopher). Only then may you proceed to enter into Adepthood, if succeeding in being a philosopher, someone who has succeded in applying his theoretical knowledge into practice and gained the art of leading a life in understanding and finally wisdom. With philosopher we must view this term not in the modern sense (which places reason upon the pedestal)but in the classical sense; philosophia - the love of wisdom.

Upon the Tree of Life knowledge (2=9) preceeds both understanding (3=8) and wisdom (4=7). The last triad upon the Tree of Life in a way reflects the first triad with the apex downwards, i.e. Daath, Binah and Chokmah.

In Licht, Leben und Liebe,

Frather O.c.D.O. sa...

Great post.

The major breakthrough happens only when true transpersonal (spiritual) states of consciousness are attained.
Only then does aspirant realize that no amount of personal (physical, astral or even mental) effort will ever do.
No need to learn, try and skry, ask and receive, build or create. All of this is just material activity, based on material cognitive processes.
The true Realization contains NO process, no effort; It already exists, eternal.

The process itself implies duality, object and subject, beginning and and end. No such thing in transpersonal states of awareness.

So, basically, I agree with you.
(Scholarly) intellect will get us somewhere (not far, though), but then we will have to walk. :)