THE MEN OF MARTINISM
marked by highly respected men, whose teaching is always to be situated
in the particular context and time of personal
The XVIIIth century had undermined the foundations of clerical religion, with the development of a philosophy creating the conditions of an anguished, disordered world.
Martinism then brought a method of work: knowledge and faith could be united. Martines rested on freemasonry but Martinism was independent from freemasonry. It is not necessary to be a freemason to become a Martinist. Many enlightened freemasons join the order at some stage of their routes.
Emmanuel Swedenborg was a sage, a visionary. He developed a doctrine in La Nouvelle Jérusalem et Sa Doctrine Céleste, in Les Arcanes Célestes, where he developed a mystical interpretation of the Books of the Bible.
Was Martines his disciple?
This thesis was confirmed in the year 1952 and the following. Papus asserts that Martines was initiated by Swedenborg in London.
Le Forestier denies this filiation.
There could be similitude en the doctrines of Martines and Swedenborg.
Actually, there is no evidence, nor proofs of any filiations between the two men.
MARTINES DE PASQUALLY
Swedenborg initiated him; did he also initiate Martines'father in a Mason lodge of London?
Papus asserts it. Le Forestier denies.
The point of view of a consultant from the astral against the point of view of an historian?
Did he give contacts with the true Rose-Croix? The culture of Martines is poor; he pretends that his knowledge has an oriental origin. Which part of the Orient? Arabia, a journey in China that he pretends to have undertaken in his youth.
1764 is the foundation year of the Order of "Elus Coëns", and its mystical pantheism appealed to many a freemason.
He founded the mason lodge of "the Scottish Judges" in Montpellier and then propagated its rite, especially in Bordeaux, Paris. He died in Saint Domingue in 1774. Nothing seems to survive him. (However, some people believe that Caignet de Lester carried on initiations in the context of a Scottish rite.)
The Jacobite legend asserts that Scottish Masonry is the work of the deposed Stuarts; Martines could owe his title of squire to one of the Stuarts.
In 1770, he lived in Bordeaux next to the "Porte de la Monnaie"; in 1771, he lived in "L'Hôtel des Trois Rois", rue Montorgueil.
The records of the Order of "élus-coens" which was prosperous from 1760 to 1775 were left in the archives of the Philalèthes.
Martines could have influenced Don Perneti.
Does Joseph de Maistre owe him some elements through the masonic system of Willermoz?
The first secretary of Martines was abbey Fournier; the second one, Louis-Claude de Saint Martin, helped him finish the writing of the Treatise of Reintegration. There is some more: Grainville…
There are three sources: a book - the Treatise of Reintegration - rituals and catechisms of the Mason rites of Elus-Coens - the letters to Willermoz.
According to the legend, the files of Martines were acquired by one of his ancestors, a member of an Inquisition Tribunal, who took them from heretics.
That is not true.
It contains the secret doctrine: the Fall, the history of cosmos and earth, the esoteric role of Evil and the fiendish powers;
the possibility of a Return of humanity to its original state of glory (Reintegration).
Few cabbalists consider the treatise as a cabbalistic treatise. It reveals new data even in the rabbinic commentaries of Cadiz, Seville... It is an exegesis of the Torah: "My dear Disciples, I transmit to you what I was transmitted by my masters as it was given to .me".
The treatise takes the divine trinity, the divine persons, and the emanation for granted.
It sets equality and the necessity of faith and knowledge as a principle.
To fulfil its vocation, Grace must be completed by an intelligent, comprehensive, free action of man.
The nature of the doctrine is obviously Christian:
God, the Primordial Unity, endowed beings with a proper will, which emanated from Him.
Lucifer, desirous of exerting the powers of the Creator, of taking the place of God, fell, a victim of his pride, dragging spirits down in his fall.
The rebels were thrown down into a material, delimited space; this space of matter was going to be their prison;
God sent man, the Primordial Adam, an androgynous being with a glorious body, with the mission to keep the rebels and put them back on the straight way;
Perverse angels seduced man; he fell in his turn and carried nature along in his fall.
Man must free matter and himself from the state in which the catabole (double fall) plunged them; man will manage to do it, with the help of Christ, by working to his inner perfecting and by theurgical operations that Martines brought to his disciples;
theurgy makes angels appear through "luminous passes"; the presences confirm that the theurgist correctly follows the way of Reintegration; they are a tangible sign of the presence of the invisible world.
Intermediary beings between 'man and God are said to exist; the appearances should testify to the existence of an invisible world of which our world has been a deformed reflection since the Fall.
Our material world still testifies to the existence of the divine in some of its aspects despite the chaos following the two falls: hieroglyphs, signatures exist; the inner eye can detect them after initiation.
The disciple will endeavour to know God, or rather to establish links between God, man and the Universe.
The World is not God's work as an absolute; the material domain is related to our senses, the spiritual regions depend on the "beyond".
The "creator" is the Verb, or Logos, named Adam-Kadmon by the cabbala. He created inferior beings by his words, naming them: Genesis, 11:20.
Our archetypal man is semi-divine; he was born from the original matter -Chaos- and composed of Earth and Water.
Adam and the Creative Verb are alike but the Creative Verb and the Redemptive Verb are different.
Martines calls the Christ Redeemer, he asserts that he is God by his origin, man by his incarnation.
Parallel to Adam-Kadmon, man-archetype or cosmic man, there are other beings born from a previous creation, different both in nature and plane, the angels.
The sky, residence of the angels, is parted into faithful angels and rebellious angels.
God not tempt the angels after their emanation; nor did he reject them after their involution. The angels, endowed with freedom, refused to reintegrate the Absolute, the Divine Plane, and a source of the Sovereign Good. Some angels preferred the limited perishable, illusory ego to the eternal, real, imperishable self. They preferred to live "outside" God, rather than be absorbed by Him and beneficiate from his infinite perfections. They went away from God by a free, deliberate, although erroneous act. It is not God who unjustly rejected them; nor is cause of exile. Redemption is possible as soon as the entity accepts to set off on the way of the divine again. In the wait of their return to the immanent Light and truth, the angels remain rebellious to the permanent offer of God, lost because outside their legitimate destiny, perverse because living outside God.
Anything corrupted tends to corrupt all that it touches: envy, pride and intelligence therefore incited Adam-Kadmon to overstep the bonds of his natural possibilities.
Adam-Kadmon was predisposed to the role of Architect of the Universe, of a kingdom that is not in this world. Impelled by the rebels, he turned into a demiurge. He repeated the fault of the rebels; he modified and disturbed the laws that he had to respect. He tried to become a creator and only succeeded in modifying the data of his destiny. The man-archetype only succeeded in objectifying his own conceptions and sinking into chaos, as God exists, no preceding nothingness can exist; to create, He took a part of His perfection from a part of His essence.
Adam objectivized Eve out of him: he penetrated her to create life. The new domain of Adam is our material universe: the Fall. At every level, universal matter is alive; demiurgic intelligence manifests itself through the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms.
This universe becomes the refuge for the rebellions angels; it is in their interest that man dissipated in matter, maintains the domain he created and which his become theirs. Death and reincarnations are the ways by which the rebels show their domination on the individual man.
The man-archetype will take possession of his primitive splendour and freedom again by separating from the matter, in which he is stuck. In this purpose, it is necessary that the cells of Adam-Kadmon, the individuals that we are, after their natural death become able to reconstitute the man-archetype by reintegrating him for ever; they must escape the cycles of reincarnation.
The Great Architect of the Universe must not be worshipped, it is possible to “invoque” Him, never to adore Him.
The individual man must free himself from the bondage that he is kept in or in which he stands. He must rise morally. The rebels fight against our tendencies to perfect ourselves, they propose to us entries into invisible worlds to keep their domination on us.
We can fight by unmasking them, by rejecting them outside our domain.
The initiation allows us to get related to the chain of those who are freed and continue to act so as to help us; knowledge
and faith teaches us the means of hasting the final enfranchisement of the rest of the blinded humanity, through individual work.
From individual liberation will stem the collective liberation that will make the reconstitution of the man-archetype possible, as well as his reintegration into the divine he emanated from. The material world will know disintegration. Beings, worlds will go back to God.
They used the processes of masonry to reveal this doctrine; they also taught techniques, which were supposed to enable man to be purified and enjoy his original, privileges entirely.
The first three grades corresponded to the grades of the blue masonry (apprentice, fellow craft, master) followed by a fourth one: "maître parfait élu".
Then, the grades were Coen grades: apprentice, companion, coen master; then Grand Architect, knight of Orient and -a supreme consecration- Reau-Croix.
This ultimate grade is often mixed up with that of Rose-Croix, but has nothing in common.
The women were welcomed into the order of Martines after a severe examination of their supra-human faculties.
They taught theurgy: the magic circle was the symbol of the isolation against the powers of Evil: placement of light(s), hieroglyphs; the way of life was composed of fasting, prayers, incensing, invocations; the coens called superior spiritual entities and prayed them give a sign of their attention or condescension.
The work included daily operations, equinox operations, fastings, prayers, and a discipline. The "THING"...the invoqued spiritual entities could manifest themselves through "passes", it was the sigils of reconciliation; the certitude that after death he would be regenerated in the wait of being reintegrated: the pass was a guaranty of "SALVATION".
Exorcisms: quell the action of the perverse in the cosmos;
hinder their action on man, break their power on the adept, limit the plaques, and annihilate black magic.
Conjurations: to establish a contact with the angelical world and with the communion of the Saints (Nomen).
Prayers: in the prospect of reintegration, they are addressed to God and the Trinity.
The whole formed a complex, dangerous, redoubtable cult in 10 points. Were texts published by Thory?
Do these practices prevent mistakes?
Let us bear in mind that Martines was sadly mistaken in some of his choices. Firstly, Martines was probably difficult to get on with, he quarrelled with must of his disciples; but he was also very much mistaken in decisive choices (Bacon de la Chevalerie became a fierce critic for instance).
Let us also recall the story of the Unknown Agent concerning Willermoz, Saint-Martin…, but not Martines:
An entity dictated extraordinary revelations through the intermediary of Marie-Louise de Monspey, Madame de la Vallière:
The brothers must concentrate their efforts on the knowledge of the nature of intermediary beings between God and man; on the possibilities of communication between man and these beings;
finally on the obedience that men, masons, owe these kinds of beings.
It was too late when Willermoz saw through the possible trickery. He gave more than 80 journals back to the agent.
Man of Desire, who told you that you were naked?
Gen. Ch 3 v.
Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, "Where are you?"
So he said, "I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself."
And He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?"
Then the man said, "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate."
And the Lord God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?"
The woman said, "The
serpent deceived me, and I
Man of Desire, what is the answer to the Lord Gods' question that Adam did not answer himself? Who told you that you were naked? And therefore, causes you to hide from the Lord God. Who deceived you in the wonders of being naked? Do you also hide from your mate? Of course! And now you hide behind broken leaves, things that no longer have life for they were ripped from the very roots that sustained them.
Knowledge has corrupted your way to Wisdom, the Tree of Life. It has become but a fig leaf, this knowledge, that you wrap oneself in. Your shame is in your foolishness to rip off every leaf you can reach to tuck into your vines of self-imprisonment. Your put a tumble-weed, death with no roots.
And as you twitch on the ground unable to stand up or walk, you mock the naked Man that comes unto you...yea, even as he tries to help disentangle you! Your Knowledge is misery...your imprisonment within it even causes you to defecate upon yourself. Oh, the stink the naked Man must encounter to even approach you.
Does a father beat, spit upon, scorn, and shame his first son when he asks the humble questions that all child do? Does the father resent the child for the questions that presents the fathers own ignorance? For that surely is how you behave! You smack the naked child that approaches you to ask, who is God?
Man of desire, who told you that you were naked?
The method of the Martinist Order is referred to as:
The Way of the Heart.
A lot of my attention has been drawn to this issue through my years as a Gnostic - and with the ol’ timers in Doinel and Bricaud’s gnostic churches I feel Martinist and Gnostic Christian are brothers in arms in the struggle for following that way (Way of the Heart… I am no longer so sure about the name, it sounds fine and pleasant, but does it not depend what we put into the word "Heart"?).
I suspect what anyone travelling along these roads have to do is recognize that they have had an education, which is to say, have been taught - and that it is time to move onwards into a territory where the certainty of formula and conclusions no longer are insured by "trust"/"faith" alone – I’m reading Herder these days - and am reminded that such thinkers as Goethe, Schiller, Hegel, Kant and Herder - almost contemporaries with LCSM; read the simile/image of the passage from St. Paul’s 1st letter to the Corinthians "when I was a child" - "now I have come of age" - "now we see through a glass darkly, but then we shall know even as we are known" - in context with a meaningful transition from one phase of historical and cultural development in our civilization to another, hopefully better.
That this "childhood" - collective or individual - shared or private - is necessary is supported in the way almost all instructions speaking directly to the heart, begins with a significant event; such as a journey, a fall, a break with the past and so forth; in order to go anywhere you need a starting point, we shouldn’t forget that the simile struck of our soul and our spiritual potentional are that of a seed; a mustard seed, or a spark.
I consider many modern esoterisms to have prematurely "matured" in self-esteem without accumulating the necessary experience, especially in the asset known as the participating body; which is to say - those who partake of and contribute to - the Magnum Opus in this their set and setting; instructing a quietism which whereas faith has become unfashionable, depends too greatly on assumptions, on the old mechanism of "if (that particular) someone said it, it must be true" - childhood education, an education we mostly need in order to have... something to transcend… Something to grow up and out of.
Which means - that I think a lot of well-intentioned tutors in that department of human intellectual activity - are continually tripping themselves up, falling prey to an utterly pitiful condition of learned arrogance.
What a great challenge for every one of us? It is not for me or for you given to disassemble the machinery (...) which somehow does not seem to work… yet or perhaps any longer.. it is for us given to achieve a certain rhythm for our own appartus, by which we may advance.
As for Quietism - I wont pass judgement on those who consider the status quo of today and their condition as the most beautiful and good; if this is an authentic experience, more power to it; as for myself, I experience myself as someone who have found himself immersed in an environment ever-changing, where truths and meanings does not necessarily remain the same; where my personality still is mutable and afloat, despite the intense experience of being anchored in something much greater and stronger than our collective dreaming of "the world". As such a one, do I not then need to accept change as a necessary condition of life? I am born into death, striking a simile by way of body; my cells began to die when I was still in the womb, before I was found to be a developed organism, a human being - I was experiencing loss. The "I" of this confession is not absolute, I have acquaintance with another reality - the "surface" upon which I have this acquaintance is "another Self", in the sense that I experience division - by way of being confined to this "space" and "time" of our collective dream. My sense of identity as well as my conscious attention - is divided; this is where I began, and I am quite a far way off from reintegrating the Kadmon, or ultimately submitting to the Ain Sof: I understand change and division, I do not master it, just as I do not master death; I cannot dwell in the garden forever - I do not dwell in the garden forever. Neither escape (evasion) nor surrender will alter the condition of my humanity; which is not only my humanity but the whole genus and species in which I find myself to be. To illustrate, perhaps not the argument against quietism, but rather the relevance of division (and necessity of integration) - take into consideration the "child" and the one who has "come of age" in St. Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians - can anyone of us claim to not have been a "child"? Or resist the responsibility of the "man"? Yet, at the same time - we are both child/son and man/father - and these two are separate domains which besiege each other, in individual lives as well as the "fate of the world".
Every Martinist is allowed to become an apostle:
Apostolic - to me refers to the inner circle say of Christ's pupils - those who had the opportunity and advantage of studying closely with him.
In the search for truth listen attentively to what your environment is telling you, and then weigh it up. I am quite aware of the human penchant to want to throw a new spin on anything in order to make a more saleable commodity.
Sadly this has now even spread to the most sublime and sacred relationship of all - mysticism - the lifeline to our highest and most noble good. Occasionally someone proffers an opinion. Therefore, I have heard all sorts of conceivable stories and fables. As one gets older one starts to realize how little time we actually have for the things that really matter. Now even religion is being shipped to the shopping malls.
I am saying that it is good to have a healthy scepticism, and to follow scholarly method.
I realize that there is a lot of information I receive from the shadows of my imagination.
At the same time, I have learned specific information. That which initiated me into our tradition told me it was an Apostolic tradition, that I was receiving a coat that belonged to his father's father's father. I could look at that coat, and then read and study, and learn, and begin to feel that coat's warmth -- but that is a social construct.
I feel the same urge that triggers the shamanic quest - the urge to know personally - is what fuels us on the Path - not just the technical manual, which may be of help later. We all start with that little inkling - there is something more to this than meets the eye! And that for me is what the real mystic is about. The Apostolic transmission is a very subtle thing and may seem to be dormant for years. Then one day - spring comes.
What is Martinism?
- Martinism is a form of Christian chivalry. Martinism uses the symbolism and allegories of Christianity.
What do you think about an order that refuses admission to its members if they are behind in their dues?
- It is more a policy and administrative issue than a spiritual one. Every member has a partial financial obligation to support the mother organization. In our civilization, money is like blood in our body. No money, no temple!
What is the value of consecrated relics?
- A Martinist ought to be a living "relic". The basis is that there is a subtle and unseen energy, which is transmitted during the ritual. Such things would become clearer if we maintained and developed our sensitivities to earthly energies. There are ways of reawakening our connection with such energies.
Is there a historical evolution of divine revelation whereby each Prophet or messenger supersedes the previous one? Is this to some extent intimated in Pasqually's Treatise?
- If each prophet brings a more evolved message then it would follow that our modern society is able of receiving a more refined message than that which was delivered 2,000 years ago. It seems to me objections regarding Christianity have little to do with its essential message. I challenge anyone to show us a revelation that supersedes the real teachings of the Christ. How a Martinist may think there is a revelation that supersedes the light of Christ?
Martinist Orders states they are the only authentic Martinists?
- They are. So are the others! It is easy to be cynical and bash various groups. In time, perhaps the situation will get better. The thing is that sometimes you encounter members of these orders who have been programmed into thinking they know everything about Martinism but are actually very ill informed. Whose line of "filiations" is true? The annoyance is simply that the eternal clash of egos has caused the eternal subdivisions of churches and fraternities. And rather than to get bogged down in that debate of who is more authentic and engage in a titanic battle to preserve the ego's lineage, it is more simple to opt out of that argument altogether and say, my spiritual lineage rests where I feel good. Why bother when the goal is simply to re-connect and re-awaken those archetypes within and re-connect with the divine within and without? The true Martinist tradition is open and encourages investigation of many different traditions. It has done so since the time of Papus.
Why did some people stifle about Martinist Theurgy?
- They see the light/dark metaphor as only pertaining to "good" and "evil," whereas, so few understand it in terms of the psyche--conscious and unconscious. Alternatively, simply, the conditions that lead to perceptions versus imperceptions. A few are able to understand that evil exists in man and in our world.
Are Martinists pure Mystics?
1. - A mystic comes to the pearly gates of heaven and waits in line until he can be checked in the Book held by St Peter. St Peter looks and informs him "yes your name is written here." The mystic says "Hey wait a minute, how do I know you are really St Peter and this is really the Pearly Gates, and that this is Heaven»
There is a huge shout from behind the Pearly Gates:
"Let him in He's one of us."
2. - St. Mathew 17: 1 - 13
"And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart. And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his rainment was white as the light. And behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them; and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said: This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.
And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only. And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead. And his disciples asked him, saying, why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him what soever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.
3. - Jesus is reported to have said: "I AM, The Truth, The Way, The Life.
When Moses ask GOD: "Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? ... And Moses said unto GOD, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? What shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM; and he said, Thus shall thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me un to you."
So, consider the idea that Jesus, the individual was saying the same thing as Moses. Not Jesus, the man, was The Way, The Truth, and the Life, but THE I AM was these things.
To gain access to the “I AM”, which resided within the man Jesus, one must go through his physical senses.
Each of us can say the very say thing if we consider it in this light: "No man cometh to the Father but by me; I AM, The Truth, The Way, The Life."
Each of us is ONE with the Father; if we do the will of the Father.
Jesus and Peter were walking when they came upon a man that was blind from birth. Peter said to Jesus: “Master, who did sin that this man was born blind, his parents or him?”
Jesus replied: “Neither did this man sin or his parents…”
So, we can see that Peter and Jesus clearly understood the concept of "reap what you sew."
Is Reincarnation/Resurrection real?
- Anyone uncomfortable with this idea should merely consider this as a possibility until he or she can fully and totally embrace it or reject it.
One of the great things about Martinism is that there are not any dogmas. You are free to accept this or reject the idea of reincarnation.
It seems it was common knowledge in those days before Christ. During the first centuries AD reincarnation was at least tolerated in the church as one of the possibilities but around 550 the church’s fathers decided it would be more beneficial to their cause to not to propagate this any longer. If, you accept, you need the church for your redemption, instead of being responsible for your own acts.
On the other side:
The doctrine of reincarnation cannot be valid for the following reasons:
1. The law of spiritual evolution of man is He who said, "I am the WAY and the Truth and the Life". So, man evolves by and through the Word of God. If we assumed any other law of evolution (e.g. reincarnation), this would mean that firstly, God gave a Law that didn't work, and then, in order to fix things, He came into the world as a Man. However, a god that makes mistakes is not a God!
2. Thus, if reincarnation existed, then why should God come into the world and suffer? Why not let man evolve by himself, even if that would take him a trillion eternities... Is God short of time, Is He in a hurry?
So we may conclude that life is not just a "school", where the worst thing we might suffer is to do the same "class" again... However, it is a chance for true Life -- or a missed chance for true Life.
In my opinion, karma is a very simplistic idea of considering the following matter:
The Law of Reintegration is triple:
a. The cycle of the action of God and his agents, this is called «Divine Providence» and acts upon invocation.
b. The cycle of the action of Man, this is called «Destiny» and depends on free will.
c. The cycle of the action of cosmic powers, which is called "Fatality" and is independent of man's will.
These 3 cycles are mutually independent, but interactive. The action of Man may either get amplified or nullified by either the Divine Providence or Fatality.
(NB. The ancient Greeks had arrived to the same conclusion and expressed it symbolically by the Pythagorean Theorem).
4. What about the passage in the Holy Scripture, that implies that John the Baptist was prophet Elija?
In fact, the passage says that John "will come forth... in force and spirit of Elija" (Luc. 1.17). This passage may well speak about "spiritual inhabitancy". This is a subject about which don Martines de Pasqually speaks a lot in his Treatise (but one has to read through the lines -- for example, vid. page 57 of the original manuscript of Saint Martin).
As a matter of fact, Louria as well developed this subject in Hayim Vital's "Sepher ha Gilgulim" (Book of Revolution of the Souls).
Meditation with the Oil
Recipe for oil:
2 parts Galangal (Thai ginger) Oil
4 parts Myrrh Oil
8 parts Cinnamon Oil
7 parts virgin olive oil.
You wake and walk to a little crystal stream where you have washed clean your crystal jar of the Art, even as you have let the complications of your life flow away from you from the death to the full return of the moon.
You stand in the stream, letting it wash you, of the sense of urgency that hangs about your task: today, you shall go to the hermits’ grove to press the Sacred Oil.
You walk to the hill that has overshadowed your simple hermitage, along the winding path of seven turns, until you come to a simple stone gate kept by an old hooded one.
“By what light do all fools see as well as the wise?”
“By the noon sun that is owned by all.” you reply, as you have been prepared to say.
“Do we all see, then?” responds the hermit of the grove.
“It is noon and light is cast as far as it goes.” you reply. There are two answers given: now the riddle commences.
“Where, therefore, is your lantern?” asks the hermit.
“I left one hung at my tent below” you say with some doubt, continuing”And the other, unlit, I carry in my bosom. I hope that the Oil can enter there and bring sun within.”
“Your hope is aright. It shall overcome your folly.” says the hermit, stepping away from the gate.
You see in the grove that there are two tall trees, wildly grown and innocent of gardening, and a squat bush between them. Their scent mingle in the air a little: olive, myrrh, and cinnamon–galangal, which is of the earth, may test your wit–but you must first obtain the gold that binds them all, you reflect, heading to the little grove, and sitting.
You touch your feet to the olive tree, and you clarify your thoughts–you slice them of their wandering, as if trimming weak branches on an unseasoned tree–you preserve a few resolute branches, each traceable to the trunk that rose straight from the earth–you trim to the few stout extensions of your very roots that can bear good fruit upon them. The rest, which can only wither, are cut away.
You breathe deeply in and out, feeling all which does not nourish leaving you. You feel your breath sink into a slow but certain, easy cycle, abiding the round as every tree abides the wheel of many seasons. This great wheel turns in your breath and blood, with golden harmony.
You see a golden light shine lazily around you, filled with life but easy to give out as for the sun to bestow life on all around it. A subtle burn is throughout you now–there is in you the need to refine the parts of earth, even as a tree must place it’s roots below the soil, not in the sky.
You call some of this gold inside of you, dimming the burn to warmness–and behind your eyes, you know that the world of your dreams is an empty clearing of easy gold.
Now, you hold your hands above your crystal jar–and as you steady the golden glow in your head and let its light radiate from you, a rich gold oil pours from your hands into the crystal jar. You are aware of a deeper greening in the tree itself, which has shared your purification–you are aware that weaker branches dropped from it–
You count to seven as the gift of the olive tree pours forth from your hand, and when the right amount glistens in the crystal bowl, your hand is clean and dry again.
Now you thrust your fingers into the earth, digging, until you feel a ginger-root–the hard, red ginger of Siam called Galangal. You break it open, and it smells of the soil itself, (here the reader conveys the scent to the travellers) yet also of an essence that is rising–there is a hint of fire in the earth you smell. You crumble the earth between your fingers as you close your eyes and hold an image behind your eyes of fire, thin as smoke and clear red, growing clearer, stretching higher, as soil falls away, and never breaking even as it rises...
In your hand, you feel the root itself shrinking. You know the oil presses itself from the root even as the image rows stronger in lines but subtler in colour. Soon, the red is barely a tinge in the smooth glowing yellow, which now slight glows, even if it is also murkier.
You have the olive oil which penetrates all that seeks exaltation and the ginger which hold earth and that secret fire that rises from it unto the highest–and now great dread fills your breast, even as there is a swirl of mud in the reddened gold of your inner and outer glow. For now comes the tribulation of myrrh, wherein the inner oil may claim to bring nutrients from the depth of the earth–for it is the oil that redeems what is subterranean, entering the depths and the heavens with an equal penetration.
You get upon your knees, your bowl between them–as if you were begging alms or confessing your most wretched sin– these places you before the myrrh-bush, which branches you must directly snap and break. You suck in breath and hold it, seeking strength from new breath. The wood bends back in your hands- even as you yourself seek a way around knowing this bitterness–but that is a weakness you are better rid of, for your body must be broken by time in the end–this is not fair, you think, and a branch snaps in two. Now you release your breath, thinking of all that you will be lighter of upon the advent of death–all the bitter fruits you grew before you knew to trim yourself. (Here the reader conveys the scent to the travellers)
You hold the snapped branch above your crystal bowl as though it were a bottle–and you feel the bitterness in you, the failures that the golden light of you could dare to ignore in it’s own magnificence–you cast golden light in the shadows you kept around it, to remind yourself of what you store there–you remember now that the sun shines on the wicked as it does upon the good–and you know that it was wicked of you to have those had darkened corners around the earthen golden flame you have made a lantern of, you know that it was wicked to deny the rotten and hardened and shaded things the light of you ‘till now–and you know that the redemption is in the giving forth of this light, not because it is high time but because it is the moment now and you can–the long delay of your golden light into your darkened parts is redeemed–and the stick begins to heat, just to the point of pain–its’ resin pours forth now, bubbling until it hits the reddened gold in the jar–where, finding me
letting and acceptance, it flows not as a hardened gum but as another subtle oil–neither gold nor red is lost–but there is richness and depth–if also a part of sorrow that is yet unredeemed–you now name the pains you have hidden until now–and they ache, adding dark depth to the reddened gold in the lantern of your soul.
You sigh, knowing that the sign is the oldest mantra, and you remember the secret fire in the ginger, which is of earth, and you call upon that fire, and you name the burning–and you name the hard cold within yourself, as you have been doing–and you find in that mud what can rise–and you ask, at last, what of the light may also descend–as you have remember strength to the olive tree, as you have found the fire hidden in the ginger–you must find that courage that first planted fire there.
You must have your liver eaten, to rid it of the toxin therein–you must call down fire that will dare the depths of earth to be cleaner when that fire rises again–you must remember how the pain of sinking will be one with the glory of dawning again–and there falls from the cinnamon tree a long wand of it’s hardened red woody leaf–fire and earth like ginger, but the fire that drops, now.
You hold the cinnamon above the crystal jar and you breath quickly now, calling air to your depths–calling the fire down into you–daring to sink that you may rise again–seeking to delve in the earth to place fire even as you have dug it up from there–you feel the cinnamon flooding it’s oil, sun descending, leading the hermit to a place of quiet–you feel your brow wake with power as the cinnamon finds the myrrh and sends flame to all that can burn and light to all that has yet stayed hidden.
(Here the reader conveys the scent to the travellers)
You feel your brow begin to burn as the cinnamon finds the ginger, places fire where it escaped, and itself rises to the top–you feel and see the gold somewhat returning, lightened now but with dark depth still retained–you feel each oil stretching out to eternity, entering and entered by each oil, for every true-pressed oil enters every density and every height–every oil enters every oil--for every oil has anointed every surface even unto every core–and every core and every surface, warm and lighted, are united for that the oil flows now through all.
(Here the reader anoints the travellers)
There is a touch upon your one particular brow burning yet subtle–you know that your forehead glints with the marking, not of exile but return.
You hold your eyes closed for three more breaths and wake again, to walk as anointed and anointer in all the groves and wastelands of the world, having entered fully the expanses of each of them.
THE FRENCH MYSTIC AND THE STORY OF MODERN MARTINISM
Inspired BY ARTHUR EDWARD WAITE
"(...)As regards Martines de Pasqually and his Rite des Elus Coens, or Order of the Elect Coenhood, he would seem to have been of Spanish descent or extraction, though he was born in Grenoble, and he is said to have been a coach-builder by trade - a piece of information which comes, however, from a hostile source. It may stand at its value and in any case does not signify, for it must be admitted, I believe, that he was of comparatively humble origin, and has extant letters swarm with orthographical errors, all has intellectual gifts notwithstanding and also has spiritual dedications. Whatever has been said to the contrary, it is quite certain - so far as there is endence before us that he emerged into the light of his Masonic career for the first time in 1760 and that the place was Toulouse, where he presented himself at a certain Lodge, bearing a hieroglyphic charter and laying claim to occult powers. A year later he emerged again at Bordeaux where he appears to have been recognized on his own terms by another Lodge, which he had satisfied in respect of has claims. In 1766 he proceeded to Paris and there laid the foundations of a Sovereign Tribunal, which included several prominent Masons. He was again at Bordeaux: in 1767, and three years later there are said to have been Lodges of his Rite not only at that city but at Montpellier, Avignon, La Rochelle and Metz, as well as at Paris and Versailles. The Temple at Lyons was founded a little later.
Such is the external story of the Rite in bare outline, up to the time when for my present purpose - it can be merged in that of Saint-Martin. And now as to that for which it stood. I have intimated that Martines de PasqualIy pretended to occult powers, and that there was at least one Lodge which held that he had proved his claim. I shall show later on the extent of our present knowledge respecting the content of his Rite. It had a certain ceremonial procedure, which - like all Ritual - must have been sacramental in character, or with a certain meaning implied by its modes and forms; but only to the least extent was it otherwise veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols. On the contrary, it was concerned with the communication of a secret doctrine by way of direct instruction and with a practice which must be called secret in the ordinary sense which attaches to the idea of occult art or science. The kind of practice was that which endeavours to establish communication with unseen intelligence by the observances of Ceremonial Magic. There was procedure of this kind in the course of the Grades, or of some at least among them, and Pasqually, the Grand Sovereign, was also Grand Magus or Operator. It will be seen in a word that the Rite of Elect Coenhood had a very different undertaking in hand from anything embraced by the horizon of Craft Masonry or the rank and file of High Grades. The doctrine embodied a particular view concerning the Fall of Man and of all animated things belonging to the material order, it looked for the restoration of all, and on man as the divinely appointed agent of that great work to come."
"(...)The next three years of his life, which are practically a blank, so far as memorials are concerned, have been filled up by biographers, following on obvious lines and those of least resistance. His occupations, in a word, were the duties of his profession and the study of religious philosophy. There is of course no question, and so far from the life of a soldier offering any barrier to his dedications, they opened a path before him which he followed with advantage for certain distance and remembered his experience therein with unfailing affection and reverence. As we learn by his correspondence, Martines de Pasqually had married the niece of a retired major in the regiment of Foix, and he was known personally by the brother-officers of Saint- Martin, De GrainvilIe among others, and in the end by Saint-Martin himself. De Grainville, De Balzac and Du Guers were initiates of the Elect coen, and at some uncertain date between August 13 and October 2, 1768, Saint-Martin was received into the Order. According to his own testimony he had taken the first three Grades en bloc, apparently by verbal communication. They were conferred on him by M. de Balzac. (1) There is no record as to how they impressed him, but among several references to the Grand Sovereign of the Rite on the part of his disciple for a period there is one which appertains more especially to the initial stage of their connection. "It is to Martines de Pasqually," says Saint-Martin, "that I owe my introduction to the higher truths." (1a) This sentence was written either on the eve of the Revolution or soon after, and having regard to the spiritual distance travelled already by the witness it is pregnant testimony.
As regards the Ritual-content of the Elect coen, we know certainly about seven Grades, being (1) Apprentice Elect Coen; (2) Companion Elect Coen; (3) Particular Master Elect Coen; (4) Master Elect Coen; (5) Grand Master Coens, otherwise Grand Architects; (6) Grand Elects of Zerubbabel; and (7) a Grade of Reaux Croix, not otherwise and more fully particularized, though it is a subject of frequent allusion in the correspondence of Martines de Pasqually and Saint-Martin. In the year 1895 Papus, otherwise Dr. Gerard Encausse, testified that the "Rituals of the Elect Coens," with other numerous and important archives, had been transmitted as follows: (1) To J.B. Willermoz, a merchant of Lyons, circa 1772. He was one of the successors of Pasqually and Grand Prior of Auvergne in the Strict Observance. (2) From Willermoz to his nephew. (3) From this nephew to his widow. (4) From her to M. Cavernier, an unattached student of occultism. There are other documents held by the descendants of M. Jacques Matter, one of the early and most competent biographers of Saint-Martin. By the mediation of M. Elie Steel, a bookseller of Lyon, Papers was placed in communication with Cavernier, and was enabled to copy "the principal documents." (1a) Whether these included the Rituals does not appear, nor is it possible to indicate the present locality of the originals. It is certain, however, that Papus transcribed the Catechisms attached to six out of the seven Grades, as he published them at the date mentioned, (2a) and I have full evidence also that he conferred the Grade of Reaux Croix on at least one occasion, some years subsequently, as we shall see more particularly at the close of the present monograph.
In the absence of the Rituals, which have never been printed, while I have failed to find manuscript copies in England, either in private hands or in any Masonic or other library, our available knowledge of the Grades is confined to the Catechisms and to the correspondence mentioned above. I will take these sources separately, as the first is concerned with the doctrine and symbolism of the Rite, and the second with its peculiar practices. (1) Apprentice Elect Coen. - The instruction of this Grade imparted perfect knowledge - en hypothesis - on the existence of the Grand Architect of the Universe, on the principle of man's spiritual emanation and on has direct correspondence with his Master. It is obvious that the knowledge in question was conveyed dogmatically. As regards the origin of the Order, it derived from the Creator himself and had been perpetuated from the days of Adam, that is to say, from Adam to Noah, from Noah to Melchisedek, and afterwards to Abraham, Moses, Solomon, Zerubbabel and Christ. The meaning is that there has been always a Secret Tradition in the world, and its successive epochs are marked by successive custodians. It is in this sense also that the purpose of the Order is said to be the maintenance of man in his primeval virtue, his spiritual and divine powers. (2) Companion Elect Coen. - Having been told of our "first estate" in the previous Degree, the Candidate hears in the next concerning the Fall of Man and personifies it in his own case. He has passed from the perpendicular to the triangle, or from union with his First Principle to the triplicity of material things. The Grade of Companion typifies this transition. The Candidate is engaged to counteract the work of the Fall, in which has own spirit has been undone, and his whole world is in travail thereupon, to "acquire the age of perfection." The root of all is in a living realization of what is implied by the first estate of man, his ambition, his lapse and his punishment. There is one allusion to the pouring out of a more than human blood, but this subject is reserved to some later stage of advancement in the Order. (3) Particular Master Elect Coen. In the conventional symbolism, the Candidate passes from the triangle to the circles: he is at work in the circles of expiation, which are said to be six and in correspondence with six conceptions employed by the Great Architect in constructing the Universal Temple. The symbolism of the Temple of Solomon is explained in this Degree, and its members are called to the practice of charity, good example and all duties of the Order, for the reintegration of their individual principles, their Mercury, Sulphur and Salt, in that unity of Divine Principles from which they first came forth. Here is the only distinct Hermetic reference found in the memorials of the Rite. (4) Elect Master. - The Candidate enters the circle of reconciliation, and in common with his peers is engaged henceforward in warfare with the enemies of Dinne Law and of man at large on earth. We hear also, but vaguely, concerning One Who is the Elect of God, Who has reconciled earth with man and all with the Grand Architect of the Universe. It is to be noted that in references of this kind we are left to infer that the Reconciler is Christ, for He is not mentioned by name. The Resurrection of Easter morning is referred to in similarly imprecise terms, and so also the sacrifice on Calvary. It transpires, however, that the warfare of the Grade is against the enemies of the Christian Religion. The initiations and adornments of Craft Masonry have been stigmatised as apocryphal in the first Grade, and yet they were sufficiently essential to be conferred invariably in summary form on every Candidate for the Elect Coen - presumably in cases where they had not been taken previously. In the Grade of Elect Master he is warned to cut himself of from all clandestine secret societies, communicating apocryphal instructions, which are «contrary to Divine Law and to the Order." (5) Grand Master Coens, surnamed Grand Architects. - The Candidate was thirty-three years old in the fourth Grade and he has now attained the age of eighty. It would seem that he receives some kind of ordination. It is a Grade of light and the Temple is ablaze with light. There are four Wardens, who represent the four symbolical Angels of the four quarters of heaven, recalling the occult mystery of the Enochian Tablets, according to the memorials of Dr. John Dee in The Faithful Relation. The ordination whatever its form - is said to be operated by the thought and will of the Eternal, and by the power, word and intention of His deputies. The members of this Grade are occupied with the purification of their physical senses so that they may participate in the work of the spirit. They are engaged otherwise in constructing new Tabernacles and rebuilding old. There are said to be four kinds of Tabernacles in the Universal Temple, being (1) the body of man, (2) the body of woman, (3) the Tabernacle of Moses, and (4) that of the Sun, or the "temporal spiritual" Tabernacle which the Great Architect of the Universe "has destined to contain the sacred names and words of material and spiritual reaction, distinguished by wisdom as by a torch of universal temporal life." There is no further allusion to this Spiritual Sun. The Candidate now hears the Name of Christ, apparently for the first time in his progress through the Rite. It must be said that the Catechisms are rather obscure documents, and inferences drawn there from as to procedure in the Rituals are therefore precarious, but it would seem that the Candidate in this Degree begins to take part in those magical operations which are the chief concern of the Rite, as we shall see. (6) Grand Elect of Zerubbabel. - The Prince of the People is represented as a type of Christ and his work as typical of redemption. In the Masonic Grade known as the Royal Arch the Candidate testifies that he belongs to the tribe of Judah, but a Grand Elect on the contrary protests against such an imputation. He is of the tribe of Ephraim, described as (1) that which has always enjoyed freedom, and (2) the last of the tribes of Israel but the first of the Elect. His earthly age is defined to be seventy years, while that of his spiritual election is seven. The seventy years of captivity are those of material life, or life apart from election and from the ordination of true coen. The election attained by the Candidate imposes on him the spiritualization of his material passions, the conquest of the enemies of truth and those also of liberty. His rank is friend of God, protector of virtue and professor of truth. It is to be noted that he has had no part in the building of the Second Temple, because it was a type only of that Temple of our humanity which none but the Spirit can rebuild. This being so, it is difficult to see why members of the Grade are called Grand Elects of Zerubbabel. (7) Grade of Reau Croix - particulars of which are wanting, as already seen, there being no Catechism extant. But the true Reau Croix is of Christ, and without it Pasqually's Rite would have been left at a loose end, for it looked through all its Grades to that Divine Event which ushered in the Christian Era.
In the above enumeration respecting the content of the Rite I have taken its Catechisms as my glide, but it remains to add that there is some confusion on the subject. A letter of the Grand Sovereign has been quoted under date of June 16, 1760, in which the Grades are set out according to the following list: (1) Apprentice, (2) Companion, (3) Particular Master, (4) Grand Elect Master, (5) Apprentice Coen, (6) Companion Coen, (7) Master Coen, (8) Grand Master Architect. (1a) To these Ragon added a Grade of Knight Commander, (2a) which Papus seeks to identify with that of Reau Croix. I find no trace of the letter in published Pasqually memorials, and the date is certainly wrong. As regards Ragon, his mammoth lists of Degrees, Rites and Orders are utterly uncritical, but the fact that in this case he produces an enumeration which is corroborated somewhere in the unpublished correspondence of the Grand Sovereign may justify us in thinking that there is authority for the ninth item and that the entire scheme may have represented an early state of Pasqually's Masonic plan. There is in any case the fullest evidence that his Rite was at work when several of its Ceremonies were only in an embryonic stage. I observe also that in a letter of Saint-Martin dated May 20, 1771, (1a) there is reference to a Degree under the initials G.R., which corresponds to no title extant in either scheme, as it is certainly not Reau Croix, this being always represented by R (picture of Cross) in Saint-Martin's correspondence. Amidst variations and uncertainties, we are, I think, justified in regarding the Grade-Names at the head of the several Catechisms as those appertaining to the Rite in its completed form.
On the surface of these documents there is nothing to suggest that the Grades to which they are attributed were connected with Ceremonial Magic. They belong to the part of doctrine and the part also of symbolism, the latter including official secrets signs, tokens, words and similar accidents of purely Masonic convention. For the practical part we must have recourse to the correspondence of Pasqually (2a) and - as it may seem, perhaps curiously to that of Saint-Martin. The letters of both were addressed to Jean-Baptiste Willermoz, the merchant of Lyons, who appears to have held the rank of Inspector- General in 1767, though more than a year later he is denominated Apprentice Rose Croix: it would seem therefore that the jurisdiction implied by the broader title could have been exercised only over lower Grades of the Order. On August 13, 1768, the Grand Sovereign began to instruct Willermoz in occult or magical procedure, and continued to do so at long intervals until 1772, the communications in all being ten in number, so far as they have become available in published works. The operations imposed were to be performed by Willermoz in the solitude of a private room, and have therefore nothing to do with ceremonial observance in Lodge or Temple. The practice in these - for it appears that there was a practice - seems to have been performed by Pasqually himself, looking forward presumably to that time when some of his disciples would have developed occult powers under his tuition and would be qualified to operate on their own part in public, so to speak, with some assurance of success.
The Ceremonial Magic was Christian and presupposed throughout the efficacy of religious formulae consecrated from time immemorial by the usage of the Latin Church. The instructions reduced into summary form may be presented thus: (1) The Novice was covenanted to abstain from flesh meat, apparently of all kinds, for the rest of has life. (2) As an Apprentice Reau Croix he was forbidden occult work except for three days in succession at the beginning of either equinox, meaning three days before the full moon of March and September. (3) As regards spiritual preparation, he must recite the Office of the Holy Spirit every Thursday at any hour of the day; the Miserere mei, standing in the centre of the room at night before retiring, facing East; and the De Profundis on both knees and with face bowed to the ground. (4) The clothing prescribed is elaborate, including all insignia of the Order that the Novice was entitled to wear, but here it will be sufficient to say that as he must be deprived of all metals, even pins, he removed his ordinary clothing except vest, drawers, socks and felt slippers. Over these he placed a white alb, with broad flame-coloured borders. (5) He described the segment of a circle on the East side of the room and a complete circle of retreat on the West side, placing the proper inscriptions at the proper points, with the symbols and wax tapers. (6) These arrangements completed, he prostrated himself at full length within the western circle in complete darkness, for a space of six minutes, after which he arose and lighted all the tapers belonging to that circle. (7) He then prostrated himself within the eastern segment, pronouncing one of the Names inscribed thereon and supplicating God, in virtue of the power given to His servants here reciting all the inscribed angelic names - to grant that which was desired by the Novice with humble and contrite - heart. (8) The Novice again rose up and performed other operations, including the lose of a particular kind of incense and the recital of certain invocations which are not given in the text. (9) The operation was to last one hour and a half, onward from midnight, no food having been taken since noon. There are other directions, not always in harmony with those which preceded, but the instruction is left unfinished, and as regards these initial operations we do not know what purpose they served or what manifestations characterised success therein.
About two years later Pasqually supplied further directions of a more advanced or at least more elaborate kind, the circle of retreat being now located in the centre of the room; but again the procedure depends on particulars which have been sent previously and the nature of which is unknown. We hear also of visions, described as white, blue, clear ruddy white, and so forth; of visible sparks, of goose-flesh sensations, as of things seen and felt by mere novices of the Order. As to purpose, however, and result there is still nothing that transpires, except indeed the complete failure of Willermoz to obtain any satisfaction. The letters of Saint-Martin to the same correspondent on the same subject may be said practically to begin as those of Pasqually ended, and they are models of clear exposition, compared with those of the Grand Sovereign. (1a) They endeavour in the first place to encourage Willermoz and dissuade him from supposing either that he is himself to blame or that the occult ceremonies are invalid. At an early stage one of them was accompanied by "the grand ceremonial" of the Grand Architects, a complete plan of this Grade and a prayer or invocation for daily use. We hear also of a "simple form of ordination" under the initiate G.R., to which I have alluded previously; of extended and reduced versions of some Grades; of Elect and Coen Grades. There are references to Latin originals of certain workings; to procedure with Candidates, on their reception as Grand Architects, evidently magical in character; forms of conjuration and exorcism of evil spirits which do not differ generically from those of historical Rituals; and much on the formation of circles, with their proper modes of inscription. These things do not extend our knowledge, except upon points of detail, and after midsummer, 1773, the character of the correspondence changes. Saint-Martin had supplied for a period the place, as it were, of a secretary to his occult Master, but Pasqually was called to St. Domingo in 1772 on "temporal business" of his own and was destined never to return.
It follows that the Ceremonial Magic of the Elect Coen is by no means fully available from published sources; but so far as the procedure is before us it does not differ, as I have intimated, from the common records of the art except as these records differ one from another. This being the case, and as most of us are acquainted with the preposterous concerns of Art Magic in the past, we have, in the next place, to account as we can for an opinion on has early school expressed by Saint-Martin long after he had abandoned it and all its ways: "I will not conceal from you that in the school through which I passed, now more than twenty-five years ago, communications of all kinds were numerous and frequent, that I had my share in these like all the others, and that every sign indicative of the Repairer was found therein." (1a) He said also: "There were precious things in our first school, and I am even disposed to believe that M. Pasqually, to whom you allude and who, since it must be said, was our Master, had the active key of all that our dear Boehm sets forth in his theories, but that he did not regard us as fitted for such high truths." (2a) In the peculiar terminology of Saint-Martin, the Repairer signified Christ, and what therefore were those "communications" obtained as the result of invocations recited in magical circles drawn with chalk on the floor and inscribed, as in the devices of old sorcery, with more or less unintelligible names? After what manner precisely did they manifest or at least indicate the presence of Christ? For an answer to these questions we depend on the accuracy of a single witness who was either in possession of many priceless unpublished documents or had access thereto as President of the Martinist Order - the late Gerard Encausse, otherwise Dr. Papus - to whom my notes have referred already. He presents us with further extracts from the letters of Martines de Pasqually, who affirms therein (1) that if the thing - La chose - were not as I have certified and had it not been manifested as it was, not only in my own presence but in that of so many others who desired to know it, I should have abandoned it myself and should have been in conscience bound to dissuade those who approached it in good faith; (2) that ill respect of the failure of Willermoz there was no ground for surprise because "the Thing is sometimes severe towards those who desire it too ardently before the time." (1a) One would think that La chose signified simply the subject or matter in hand, but according to Papus it was the Intelligence or Mysterious Being which manifested in response to the invocations. We are to interpret the reference in this sense when Saint-Martin says, in his communication to Willermoz of March 25, 1771, that he was "convinced concerning the thing before having received the most efficacious of our ordinations." I do not know how Papus satisfied himself respecting this forced and arbitrary construction, but whether it is correct or not, there is no question as to the fact that a Mysterious Being manifested by the evidence of the archives or that it was called subsequently by other names, such as "the Unknown Agent charged with the work of initiation," an expression of Willermoz.
It follows that we have good ground for accepting the view of Abbey Fournie, another disciple of the Rite, when he said that Pasqually had the faculty of confirming his instructions by means of "external visions, at first vague and passing with the rapidity of lightning, but afterwards more and more distinct and prolonged." (1a) Having established this point of fact, which sufficiently distinguishes the Grand Sovereign from other purveyors of High Masonic Grades in France of the eighteenth century, and his Rite also from many scores of contemporary institutions, we have to ascertain - if we can - what characterized the manifestations, so that they justified Saint-Martin in the extraordinary view which he held concerning them, not in the first flush of occult experiences, but at a mature period of life.
Meanwhile I have sketched his position and environment at the beginning of his intellectual career. As a result of exchanging the profession of law for that of arms, he had entered a circle which brought him to the gates of certain Instituted Mysteries, then at work about him; he had been initiated, passed and raised in the parlance of Blue Masonry; he had received the ordination of the Elect Coen; and had attained its highest Grade, being that of Rose Croix. It remains to add that he had left the army and was now approaching a point where the road which he had travelled divided: he had therefore to choose a path."
"(...)According to Papus, the archives in his possession show that after prolonged failure Willermoz reached the end of his labours, that he obtained "phenomena of the highest importance," which culminated in 1785, or "thirteen years after the death of his initiator Martines de Pasqually." More explicitly, the Being who is said to be described by Willermoz as "the Unknown Agent charged with the work of initiation" - otherwise, perhaps, La chose - materialised at Lyons and gave instructions which - as we have seen were reduced to writing.(...)"