THE KNOWLEDGE OF LIFE –
FROM SECRET TO PUBLIC
”When sufficiently many such originally esoteric ideas have been generally accepted, more and more people will be interested in knowing their source and will study esoterics. This has been possible for more than a hundred years already, for in the year 1875 the knowledge formerly kept secret began to be publicized”
Historians, like philosophers, too, nowadays (being ignorant of the past), assume that the knowledge of reality is a result of natural research and that in prehistoric times people did not possess that knowledge. They are certainly right in saying that mankind has been profoundly ignorant of reality, even physical reality, has been the victim of the superstitions of its ignorant leaders. It is understandable that they reject everything old without examining it as though it were useless superstition.
What historians cannot know, however, is that individuals possessed of knowledge have always existed, although they were obliged to keep what they knew to themselves. But they have always been able to teach something of their knowledge of the healing powers of plants, for instance. Ancient methods of medical treatment testify to such influences. Therefore, it is unwise to reject everything old without examining it.
Historians do not know that at all times, for twenty million years, men were guided by individuals who have come much further in their evolution than humans (the planetary hierarchy [BED: PLANETARY HIERARCHY) and, as soon as humans were able to comprehend and understand, received as a free gift as much knowledge as they were able to grasp. For about forty-five thousand years, tuition has been given in secret knowledge orders to those who were able to grasp it, could be silent about what they had learnt, and could keep their pledge of not using the knowledge that confers power for their own good or without special permission. The knowledge is always distorted by those not understanding it and abused by egoists.
It is true that the knowledge has always been available to those who were willing to sacrifice all to find it. But it could not be given out to ignorance, injudiciousness, hatred, mania for persecution, and reckless abuse of power. The symbols protected the knowledge from discovery and were of course misinterpreted. The wise men whom we admire in history were all of them initiates, and the little they could tell still had such an effect.
When, some time in the future, the esoteric history will be publicized, it will appear that all those whom the esoterician counts among the great ones in mankind, those who have furthered consciousness development and brought the educable closer to unity were once initiates of some esoteric knowledge order.
It is only in our times that mankind has evolved so far that it has been able to acquire knowledge of physical reality on its own and, within certain limits, been able to realize that it is not in a position to solve the problems of superphysical reality. Thereby mankind has come to its senses and reached the possibility of self-determination, a triumph for the guides of mankind’s development. Thereby mankind has gained solid ground beneath its feet and is able to take the next step in evolution, namely gratefully accept the superphysical knowledge that the planetary hierarchy is willing to give to mankind, and also to realize that this superphysical knowledge is the true one. This has hitherto been impossible.
Thanks to esoterics, men have finally been given a world view and life view acceptable to common sense, clarifying the meaning and goal of life, a firm basis for further thought and action. The publication of esoterics marks a turning-point in the history of mankind. Henceforth nobody need to walk in the false world of illusions and fictions.
The esoteric knowledge that was communicated in the secret knowledge orders (hermetics, gnostics, hylozoics, for instance) has never been allowed for publication and probably will not be made generally known until all mankind has reached the stage of ideality [BED: IDEALITY, STAGE OF]. That knowledge can be taught only to those who are unable to use the power for their own good. What has been made public thus is just a small part, the part that, so to speak, makes up the very skeleton of the system with the most basic facts requisite to afford a vision of the meaning and goal of existence.
This publication of the esoteric knowledge, formerly kept strictly secret, is in fact the most important process now going on in mankind. It is influencing unconsciously far more people than those who consciously profess their adherence to esoterics. Imperceptibly, originally esoteric ideas penetrate into customary human views, bringing them closer to the real, raising and ennobling them.
One example of this is the more general understanding and respect of human rights, having their esoteric foundation in the laws of life [länk till vår text Introduktion till livslagarna på engelska]. Another example is the increasing interest shown by scientists in the consciousness aspect of everything, also the seemingly lifeless. A third example is the understanding gaining ground more and more that “children are old souls”, individuals having their unique characters and the right to be spared the ideologies of their parents or of the community they grow up in.
When sufficiently many such originally esoteric ideas have been generally accepted, more and more people will be interested in knowing their source and will study esoterics. This has been possible for more than a hundred years already, for in the year 1875 the knowledge formerly kept secret began to be publicized.
The Genesis of the Esoteric Knowledge Orders
”Since all power is abused, large or small factions of the lower priesthood had time and again rebelled against the higher priesthood, but it had been possible to bring the rebel priests back to order. In the end, however, the spirit of rebellion had grown so strong and become so wide-spread that the planetary hierarchy therefore decided that the esoteric knowledge would be communicated solely to those who had reached the stage of culture and who had acquired the ability to keep the promises they had given, to be silent, and not to abuse power.”
In Tibet Vyasa (the first individual carrying this name) instituted about 45 000 years ago an esoteric knowledge order, the model of the ones that were subsequently instituted in all nations that had attained a sufficiently high development for cultural people [BED: CULTURE, STAGE OF] to incarnate among them. The Chaldean, Iranian, Egyptian, Greek knowledge orders were established considerably later. Therefore, it was quite natural that individuals thirsting for knowledge repaired to the Orient and incarnated as Orientals.
Those were initiated into these esoteric knowledge orders who had in previous incarnations not misused their knowledge (broken their promises), as well as those who had attained the stage of culture and whose consciousness development would be furthered if they were liberated from the ruling emotional illusions and mental fictions, so that they could gain that understanding of life, those qualities and abilities that make it possible to reach the stage of humanity [BED: HUMANITY, STAGE OF]. The highest degree of the orders corresponded to the stage of ideality [BED: IDEALITY, STAGE OF].
All the esoteric knowledge orders had several degrees (at least seven) corresponding to the possibilities of comprehension and understanding there were in the initiates. The knowledge was communicated by way of symbols. The seven degrees reflected seven different interpretations of the symbols. The writings contained only symbols incomprehensible to the uninitiated. The interpretation was made orally and changed from one degree to the next.
The knowledge can be summarized in symbols, a fact that especially mathematicians understand. Actually, the entire knowledge of reality can be represented in mathematical symbols. The symbols were elaborated to be taught in the knowledge orders, first in Senzar and considerably later transcribed into Sanskrit.
The initiates of lower degrees knew nothing of what was taught in the higher degrees. In most cases they did not even know that there were higher degrees or who were their initiates. Long before the Christian church with its mania for persecution came into power this unconditional reticence was necessary for several reasons, not least the psychological ones. Det skulle inte få finnas plats för möjlighet till avund eller anspråk på uppflyttning till högre grad [finns ej i den engelska versionen av L3 1.2.11].
The different degrees corresponded to different levels of development, and nobody received any knowledge that he could not rightly comprehend, rightly understand and rightly use when judging things. One risk involved with the publication of any knowledge is that books fall into the hands of those who are quite unable to profit by the knowledge in the right way, and they criticize such things as they cannot possibly grasp correctly. That was the original reason why everything “occult” fell into disrepute and degenerated into superstition. To see your own limitation you must possess a faculty of self-criticism that has always been rare and seems to become rarer still.
The true, genuine knowledge orders were instituted by members of the planetary hierarchy (essential selves [BED: ESSENTIAL SELF, 46-SELF]) who were the only ones, acting on its behalf. Such an individual remained the initiator of his own order in all his subsequent incarnations. When an essential self, a member of the fifth natural kingdom (the planetary hierarchy) offers to institute an esoteric knowledge orders, he thereby has bound himself always to be incarnated until that order will be closed and suspend further initiations. This was the case, for example, with the head of the Rosicrucian Order, who ever since the 14th century has always been in incarnation.
The knowledge of reality could be taught to the initiates of higher degrees, since they had passed the tests of their strength of character. They could keep silent about what they knew. They had sufficient insight not to believe they could arrive at the truth by speculation; they neither misunderstood, nor distorted, or abused the knowledge.
Not all orders that eventually were formed were instituted by members of the planetary hierarchy. The genuine orders were promptly imitated in the intention of traversing them, confusing and misleading people. It is typical that all such imitations always have had a comparatively large following, financial resources, and of course imperceptible social and political influence. They satisfied egoism and shelved consciousness development.
Henry T. Laurency, Knowledge of Life Three, Esoteric Knowledge Orders, The Genesis of the Esoteric Knowledge Orders www.laurency.com
What the Knowledge Orders Taught
”Humanism is the life view that was proclaimed in the esoteric knowledge orders. Nobody who did not himself apply the principle of tolerance in his life could be initiated into any such order. Tolerance means that everyone has an absolute right to his own view in everything. ‘Everybody is the master of his own wisdom.’ The fool has a right to be a fool. But he has absolutely no right to make himself an authority for anyone else.”
Beginning in the lowest degree, the initiates were taught not to speculate, not to assume anything without sufficient grounds, to distinguish between what they knew and what they did not know (thus the difference between belief and knowledge, between knowing and believing you know).
For admission to an order it was required that the individual had attained the stage of the mystic (the higher emotional stage, 48:3 [BED: EMOTIONAL CONSCIOUSNESS]). That was the prerequisite of comprehending and assimilating a knowledge that was far beyond the general level. The fundamental axiom for all degrees was the unity of all life (“universal brotherhood”). From the orders, too, emanated all ideas that could be comprehended and have an ennobling effect.
The knowledge orders had seven degrees. Most initiates never reached above the lowest degree, some 40 per cent reached the second degree, and about five per cent the third degree. Only the initiates of the highest degree knew everything about their order. The interpretations of the symbols made in those degrees at the very most afforded a knowledge of rebirth [BED: REBIRTH (Reincarnation)] and the law of reaping [BED: REAPING, THE LAW OF], the existence of the emotional and mental worlds, and the individual’s envelopes in those worlds [BED: MAN’S FIVE ENVELOPES].
One cause of the initiates’ difficulties was the hampering influence from prevalent illusions and fictions, which had been inoculated in childhood and which necessitated considerable work by the individual if he would liberate himself from them later in life. That was a weeding work the individual had to perform himself before he could be initiated anew and pass the degrees.
Those in the lowest degree were given carefully elaborated symbols which could be interpreted in a new way in each higher degree, so that only those who reached the highest degree were fully able to understand the whole of it. One purpose, among others, of the symbols was to force the seeker to develop his intuition. The symbols were common to the different degrees but the interpretation was different in each higher degree. In addition, the exposition had to be adapted to the stages of development and conceptions of reality generally prevalent. For instance, it was impossible to speak of atoms and molecules, energies, evolution, etc. to people who could not possibly grasp what is meant by these terms. That was why they time and again established new orders in which the symbols were presented differently than before. The procedure involved difficulties in that those who did not reach the highest degree sometimes made their own, and erroneous, systems of thought.
The initiates of the two lowest degrees of the knowledge orders did not have any clear ideas of higher worlds, of their matters and nature, and the same is true of those who were initiated into the Greek mysteries. Only in the third degree, difficult to attain, the initiates were given a somewhat detailed description of the conditions and phenomena previously mentioned and the knowledge became truly secret.
The knowledge of “magic”, the application of the laws of mental energy and the methods of affecting lower kinds of matter, was taught only in the highest (seventh) degree, which was attained by very few initiates, only those who had received the approval of the planetary hierarchy. However, even initiates of lower degrees were permitted to witness the pertaining experiments.
Initiates of esoteric knowledge orders were given a knowledge of reality not to fall victims to the dogmas of theology or to the speculations of philosophy. They were given a vision of existence and a knowledge of the laws of life, so that they could lead purposive lives in the physical world, lives of service that automatically developed all the requisite qualities and abilities. They were taught to see both their own limitation and their latent possibilities. They were taught not to accept anything but what they realized to be right and true themselves, not to accept any authority (or “sacred writing”), but to develop their common sense. They were taught to “stand on their own feet” and not be dependent on external assistance, whether in the physical or in the superphysical worlds. They received the knowledge in order to realize the meaning of their physical lives, not in order to dream, and imagine, and theorize. Believers, being unable to comprehend, were not accepted in the esoteric knowledge orders.
People of today have been given the knowledge for nothing, in a mental system (the hylozoics [BED: HYLOZOICS]), that is wholly sufficient for them to know how they should live. By serving mankind, evolution, and unity they counteract lies and hatred and become even more skilful in the art of living, the only essential thing.
Henry T. Laurency:
– Knowledge of Life Three, Esoteric Knowledge Orders, What the Knowledge Orders Taught
– The Way of Man, Introductions, Introduction: On the History of Esoterics and Terminology and Symbolism, The Traditional Esoteric Symbolism
– The Knowledge of Reality, The Problems of Reality, Part One, The Esoteric Knowledge Orders
– The Philosophers Stone, General Esoteric Knowledge of Reality, Esoteric Terms, Exoteric Fictions, Addenda, Etc.
Why the Knowledge Orders Were Secret
”No outsider knew anything even of the existence of the orders. To the historians of our times they never existed.”
Everything that the scholastic world has said and will say about the esoteric knowledge orders is evident lie. No initiate has been able to tell outsiders or even commit to writing what was taught except in symbolic form, unintelligible to outsiders. Of course scholarly works on what was taught in the knowledge orders have been published. The least reflection should have told those learned ones that if it could be thus communicated, it would no longer be esoteric.
The secret knowledge orders of the planetary hierarchy were necessarily secret, since through the ages and still in our times some individuals oppose the knowledge and have utilized all resources to increase their knowledge, especially with a view to counteracting evolution. The knowledge of the esoteric orders was kept so secret that the initiates were taught not merely to be silent but even not to think of it except under precautionary measures.
The masses never learnt about the existence of the esoteric orders. The clergy certainly suspected that such orders must exist but conceived of them as “learned societies” for the exploration of nature. The admission to them was surrounded with many requirements and conditions that had a deterring effect on unworthy aspirants.
As the Christian Church spread and eventually seized power, persecutions of dissidents set in, and so the members of the orders had to be protected in the most efficient way. After the year 530 no esoterician appeared in public as an esoterician. The secret knowledge orders lived on but from that time as truly secret organizations. The risk of discovery was great, and the martyr’s death (torture and burning at the hands of the Christians) awaited the initiates as they were believed to be in compact with the devil. No outsider knew anything even of the existence of the orders. To the historians of our times they never existed.
How efficiently the Church watched lest no “heresies” should be spread is seen in the fact that in the 18th century Saint Germain had to encourage dissidents to found secret orders where they could “think freely” in peace from theological persecution and the ruling bans on free thought and expression. When subsequently, under the influence of the ideas of liberalism, freedom of expression was established, those who were in opposition to the dogmas of the Church called themselves “freethinkers”. They were generally regarded as “godless” and were ranked in the same category as criminals. An atheist could be suspected of anything whatever, which is a proof of the Christians’ lack of judgment.
Since esoterics has nowadays been permitted to be public property, the original purpose of esoteric orders has fallen. Only in such dictatorial states where free expression is banned there is still a justification for orders so secret that no outsider even suspects their existence.
That such measures have been found necessary demonstrates mankind’s low stage of development, we could as well say barbarism [BED: BARBARISM, STAGE OF]. Nowadays they boast of culture and think they have reached far above barbarism. That is a great illusion, however. The condition of culture is universal brotherhood, and it is obvious that we have a long way to go before we are there. Civilization with technology is quite compatible with barbarism, which fact the 20th century clarified to everyone having a wee bit of judgment.
Henry T. Laurency, Knowledge of Life Three, Esoteric Knowledge Orders, Why the Knowledge Orders Were Secret www.laurency.com
The Greek Mysteries
“All religions originally had their ‘mysteries’. In these secret schools of knowledge, the intellectual élite were taught the knowledge of reality and the interpretation of the symbols of the exoteric religion.”
To this gifted nation with a realistic attitude to life, who in 8000 BCE built their capital not far from the latter Athens, came the world teacher Orpheus, about 7000 years BCE, founding the so-called Orphic mysteries. They had two degrees: the lower or lesser mysteries and the higher or greater ones. These were the Greek so-called mystery plays, symbolic and dramatic presentations, in popular form, of the simplest esoteric facts, which were communicated under a pledge of secrecy that was observed very strictly. In the lower mysteries, the initiates were taught about the condition in the “kingdom of the dead” (the emotional world [BED: EMOTIONAL WORLD]) after death; and in the higher mysteries, about the “kingdom of heaven” (the mental world [BED: MENTAL WORLD]). They were also taught about the existence of the soul, rebirth [BED: REBIRTH (Reincarnation)], and the law of sowing and reaping [BED: REAPING, THE LAW OF]. They were liberated from the fear of death.
The fact that Platon was an initiate of the Orphic mysteries as well as of the Pythagorean esoteric knowledge order seems to conflict with the information that no one was permitted to belong to two orders. There was a very great difference between the mysteries and the knowledge orders, however, and they should not be confused with each other. Even if the mysteries were “secret” and it was forbidden on pain of death to disclose what was taught in them, the knowledge that was taught in them was utterly primitive and also a right that accrued to every blameless, free citizen, so that a great part of the population were initiates.
The initiates of the mysteries were not taught anything on the meaning and goal of life [länk Vad Pytagoras…: Självaktivering som livsmening], on consciousness development, on worlds higher than the mental [BED: MATERIAL WORLDS, COSMIC; ATOMIC WORLDS, COSMIC], on the monad [BED: MONAD, THE; THE SAME AS PRIMORDIAL ATOM], the triad [BED: TRIADS], causalization [CAUSALIZATION], etc. The mysteries were intended for the people, the orders for the élite, for those who had reached the stage of emotional attraction. It was only by Pythagoras (700 BCE) that the Greeks were given a knowledge order, complete with all the degrees.
In occult literature they have made too great a business out of the Greek mysteries. The irrelative insignificance is seen from the fact that almost all the citizens of Athens were initiates and they nevertheless murdered or ostracized all their great men (except Perikles, which was anear thing). Platon saved himself by acting the mouthpiece of Sokrates, who had been rehabilitated, and Aristoteles fled.
The mysteries decayed as the qualifications for initiation were continually lowered. Things came to such a pass that those who were not initiated were looked upon as a lower social class. The mysteries eventually and in their degeneracy became a means for the mystagogues to keep their grip of the masses.
Henry T. Laurency, Knowledge of Life Three, Esoteric Knowledge Orders, The Greek Mysteries www.laurency.com
The secret gnostic order of knowledge
”The genuine gnosticians, those who possessed the gnosis – that is, knowledge of existence, reality, and life – made up and still make up (those who are in incarnation again) a secret knowledge order the esoteric doctrines of which have not yet been publicized.”
The Gnostic Order was instituted in Alexandria about 300 BCE. At that time ancient Chaldean kabbalism in Mesopotamia, magianism in Persia, hermetism in Egypt, hylozoics in former Graecia Magna led a languishing life for lack of new enthusiasts for what used to be regarded as a civic duty. Their steepening decline had its roots in many factors: the political and social turmoil, the impossibility of finding solutions for acute contemporary economical and social problems and, not least, the widespread doubt about the possibility of true knowledge of existence.
The secret gnostic order of knowledge was founded with the aim to prepare for the appearance of the World Teacher. Christos himself had planned this Order, which was founded by his disciples; and he did his esoteric work within the Order. Thus gnostics can be called Christos’ secret doctrine, his true teaching which only his initiated disciples were allowed to study. The Order had both a theoretical and a practical task. It wanted to present the esoteric knowledge of reality in a system of symbols that was easier to grasp for that age, and to explain that knowledge not demonstrated in action was a teaching without life.
For the first time the idea of unity was to be proclaimed in its most obvious form, that of universal brotherhood. The object was to institute an order that would absorb the members of all the orders. The Gnostic Order became an association of hermetists, Pythagoreans, kabbalists, Mithraists. It was a rallying order and the most inclusive of them in this respect.
In the older orders, the members were not allowed to join any other order. The reason was that the teachers wanted to forestall confusion of ideas on account of the differences there were in terminology, presentation of symbols, etc. In the Gnostic Order we find the terminology of all these orders. It had no uniform exclusive symbolism, but every member had the right to his own symbolic expressions.
It granted to its members the greatest possible freedom as for modes of presentation, although it had originally started from mainly emotional hermetism and mental hylozoics. The aim was to institute a “universal order” in which all kinds of symbols and symbolic expressions could be used and understood by all. Even the modes of presenting the knowledge were individual, so that everybody could treat his subjects at his own discretion. This was the reason why the teaching could be presented in symbolic form, be popularized, dramatized. There were risks with this method, of which fact Christianity is a proof.
The teaching he (Christos?) imparted to his disciples was just a fraction of his enormous knowledge, and of the former only fragments have been allowed for publication. “Without a parable spake he not unto them” (the uninitiated). Whatever the four gospels of the New Testament have preserved of his discourses (particularly in the Gospel according to John), they reveal nothing of his esoteric doctrine, but contain only such as was intended “for the people”.
The new society spread quickly in Egypt, Arabia, Persia, and Asia Minor. It had lodges at all important places, since at that time people were expecting something truly new and the gnosticians in their programme included the problems which occupied their contemporaries. The gnosticians’ radical reform of the manner of living was especially appreciated. It certainly made everybody wonder and inspired those to follow it who were tired of the evermore extravagant habits and longed for norms of a more rational way of life. It added much to the respect of the Order that only those were allowed to enter it who were serious in their search for truth and one-pointed in their striving after self-realization. It was no mere coincidence that the spread of the Order coincided in time with the birth of the founder of stoicism, Zenon.
Those who were given entry into the Order belonged to the élite of their time. They were well versed in contemporary literature; many of them were authors of philosophical works. In time, the gnostic writings grew considerably in quantity.
Christos was the central figure, the central principle. He was presented now as the saviour of the individual, now as the state of salvation, the life of unity, the heavenly love. This theme was varied in several ingenious ways. It circled always, however, round Christos, the son of god. Therefore it was quite understandable that the later quasi-gnostic literature, which gave rise to Christianity, made him the central figure, the saviour of the world.
The quasi-gnosticians arose in the second century CE and eventually split into 70 different sects that banned each other. Their writings were mainly some 50 quasi-gnostic gospels (of which four after re-writing were included in the New Testament). This quasi-gnosticism (the other gospels) is what the historians of religion call Gnosticism, something quite different from the knowledge that was called gnostics and which remained esoteric.
The Gospels were authored by some fifty Gnosticians in Alexandria in the first century of the current era. They attempted to popularize the Gnostic symbols within the framework of the permissible. In times of general disorientation, skepticism, superstition, and lawlessness they wanted to inspire people with courage and confidence, give those who “hungered and thirsted for righteousness” an exhortatory example. Their tales have just the semblance of historicity. Only an esoterician is able to interpret these Gospels correctly, realize what they actually intended to convey. The choice of symbol, Christos, the son of god, was perhaps not very fortunate. But the dramatic tale with its harrowing tragedy was intended to make people reflect and give hope and courage to the enslaved.
Henry T. Laurency:
– Knowledge of Life Three, Esoteric Knowledge Orders, Gnostics, Alchemy, Yoga
– Knowledge of Life One, Gnostics, The Gnostic Secret Order of Knowledge
The Great World Teachers Buddha och Christos
”Buddha tried to teach people to use their common sense. Christos wanted men to love one another. Common sense and love. That was what Buddha och Christos wanted to show mankind. Instead, people made religions of their teaching.”
Buddha incarnated in India into what was then the most intellectualized nation, in an attempt to impress it with what has been called the “religion of wisdom”. And Christos incarnated into the Jewish nation to awaken it to understand what has been called the “religion of love”. The Jewish nation was chosen because its inevitable dispersal was foreseen. The thing desired was to awaken the higher emotional consciousness of these people, so that they could do missionary work in the nations among which they would come.
The Buddha and Christos had different missions. The disciples of the Buddha were instructed how to become causal selves [BED: CAUSAL SELF]. And the disciples of Christos, who were already causal selves, were taught how to become essential (46) selves [BED: ESSENTIAL SELF, 46-SELF].
The Buddha gave the world knowledge, Christos showed us the kingdom of unity. How was all of this idiotized! Essentiality (46) is wisdom and unity (“love”). The Buddha vitalized the wisdom aspect; Christos, the unity aspect. This can be traced exoterically in historical Buddhism and Christianity. The one preached common sense; the other, love.
Buddha tried to teach people to use their common sense. Indian mythology was teeming with gods (330 million). What they knew about them was just legend. He wanted people to come down to earth and to use their physical incarnation to solve the problems of physical life. The normal individual cannot know anything about the superphysical. And anyone who believes in what others say will be the victim of any madness whatsoever. That message did not suit the Brahmin priesthood, however, so his disciples were expelled from India.
Christos wanted men to love one another. It is hatred that makes life a hell for all. If men could be made to love, then there would be a kingdom of heaven on earth. But they could not be made to love. And so his teaching was distorted, and hatred destroyed all who tried to realize his teaching.
Common sense and love. That was what Buddha och Christos wanted to show mankind. Instead, people made religions of their teaching. When will men see that this was a mistake?
If men strived after common sense and the brotherhood of all, then they would receive the knowledge of reality for nothing. Instead, they started to philosophize, not understanding that knowledge is a system of facts and that they can never ascertain superphysical facts by themselves. Esoterics is common sense. Common sense is required in order to put facts into their correct contexts. Anyone who has acquired common sense is able to comprehend esoterics and to see that reality must be such as esoterics describes it.
Writings can only convey knowledge of reality, and there is nothing particularly “holy” in that fact; if what is said in the writings is beyond the power of people’s comprehension, it is merely secret, mysterious. As Buddha rightly pointed out, there are no holy writings. The Bible is no “word of god”, no more than other religious documents. The Bible does not even give us that knowledge which Christos taught his initiated disciples. The information given in the Gospels is just what was intended for the people together with a number of gnostic symbols, which have remained symbols since their correct interpretation has not been given. If the Bible is called the “pure, unadulterated word of god”, then by this alone it is an absurdity. As a historical document the Bible is the “The Big Book of Lies”; as a symbolical book it is still not interpreted. There is no “holy land” either, no more than there are “holy books”. Either all countries are holy or none. It is just a meaningless name.
The teachings of Buddha and Christos were distorted since they spoke to initiates and uninitiated alike, and it is the conception of the uninitiated that has been given out as being their doctrines. The Buddhists were expelled from India because their teaching was a menace to the power of the highest caste. The truth has always been dangerous for all priestly power. Those in power have always monopolized knowledge and formulated it to suit their own ends. Buddha’s disciples were driven out of India, and Christos’ message of love was taken care of by individuals who in earlier incarnations have abused the knowledge. Buddha is as misinterpreted in India as Christos in the West.
Henry T. Laurency:
– The Knowledge of Reality, The History of The Knowledge and The Fictions, From the Esoteric History
– The Way of Man, Introductions, Introduction: On Mankind at the Stage of Ignorance
– Knowledge of Life One, The Planetary Hierarchy, Buddha and Christos
– Knowledge of Life Four, Religion, The Buddha
“The doctrine of the Rosicrucian Order has remained secret. No Rosicrucian has even made himself known to outsiders. This has not prevented the spread of exoteric Rosicrucian sects, which have fraudulently usurped the original name.”
The Rosicrucian Order was instituted in 1375 by Christian Rosencreutz, as he was assigned by the planetary hierarchy. In this Order, the initiates knew nothing of each other, nothing of higher degrees; only the initiator was known under a cover name.
It is characteristic of the complete secrecy in which the Rosicrucian Order shrouded itself (on account of theological hatred, intolerance, and the mania for persecution of the Church) that all the initiates stood in a personal relationship to the Head of the Order but that none of them knew who else were initiates. No outsider even knew of the existence of the Order until Saint Germain had the symbols of the Rosicrucians publicized.
At initiation the neophyte had to make a simple vow of secrecy without any oaths with terrifying threats of punishment. And no initiate ever uttered a single word about the Order or put down anything in a manuscript. All writings purported to be such manuscripts are obvious falsifications. The initiates were permitted to borrow one of the three original manuscripts that Saint Germain composed, and their degrees were determined on the basis of their comprehension of those writings. The three manuscripts mentioned have never been publicized but are still unknown. It is uncertain whether the Head of the Order will ever have them publicized. Bulwer-Lytton was right when saying in his book Zanoni that the Rosicrucians were the most silent of all secret orders.
Cagliostro, a reincarnation of Paracelsus, was a disciple of Saint Germain and was initiated by him into the highest degree of the Rosicrucian Order. Also Goethe was initiated into the Rosicrucian Order but did not go high in degrees (being too emotional). His statements about Cagliostro prove this. Since the initiates of lower degrees did not know those of higher degrees, such a mistake is understandable. By attacking Cagliostro Goethe demonstrated his limitation and made two serious mistakes at the same time: having faith in gossip and the opinions of other people, and judging.
Goethe and several others were initiated because they had reached the perspective consciousness of the humanist stage [BED: HUMANITY, STAGE OF] and with the knowledge they had received they could make the contribution to development they actually made, a contribution that has not yet been appreciated at its full value and can be understood only by those who have reached the humanist stage.
“Freedom, equality, and brotherhood” was originally a motto for the members of the Rosicrucian Order, and it had another meaning for them than the meaning life ignorance put into it. “Freedom” meant understanding of right human relations, freely adapted, willingly assumed, with a clear understanding of responsibility. “Equality” meant that everybody had once passed from the animal to the human kingdom [BED: CAUSALIZATION] and that everybody will some time reach the next higher kingdom, which does not in the least imply the abolishment of any one of the different stages of development [BED: HUMAN KINGDOM] to be passed in the process. “Brotherhood” was based on the insight that all have a share in the cosmic total consciousness [BED: TOTAL CONSCIOUSNESS, COSMIC].
Researchers who are ignorant of esoterics search in vain for the original impulses, those that emanated from initiates of esoteric orders. This is especially obvious when it comes to the ennobling influence of Christianity. Such an influence is felt only in the 18th century, the age of the great humanists, who were also initiates of the Rosicrucian Order. Before then, mostly barbarism ruled the Church, whose representatives were seldom receptive of nobler influence.
The “social orders” that were founded in the 18th century on the initiative of Saint Germain, to make it possible for people “to think freely” and in safety from the mental tyranny of the Church, did not in the least come up to the esoteric knowledge orders that existed previously. Those exoteric orders all failed their purpose.
The Rosicrucian Order spoken about during the 17th century was a Jesuit forgery and was therefore tolerated by the Church. Saint Germain’s publication of the genuine Rosicrucian symbols, which no one was able to interpret, was intended to expose the forgery. The known esoteric orders have always been imitated with the intention of fighting them and leading people astray.
The communities, which today call themselves Rosicrucians (AMORC, Lectorium Rosicrucianum, Rosicrucian Fellowship, etc.), are modern imitations and lack any right to the designation of origin. The Masonic teaching too, is a distortion of the original esoteric presentation.
Henry T. Laurency:
– The Knowledge of Reality, Anthroposophy – Steiner’s Spiritual Science, Steiner as Rosicrucian
– The Way of Man, Introductions, Introduction: On the History of Esoterics
– Knowledge of Life One, Gnostics, The Gnostic Secret Order of Knowledge
– Knowledge of Life Three, Esoteric Knowledge Orders, The Rosicrucians
Lars Adelskogh, Litet esoteriskt lexikon [länk till vår bokhandel], Rosenkreuzarorden (in Swedish) [länk till BED –kommer vi ha den på engelska sökbar?]
The Closing of the Knowledge Orders and the Publication of Esoterics
”One difficulty in publicizing the esoteric knowledge is that it falls into the hands of those for whom it is not intended, those who are not in a position to understand, those who think they understand but misunderstand.”
In 1875, the esoteric knowledge orders were finally closed, so that nobody was initiated into any such order after that year. They are not needed any more, since certain parts of esoterics have been permitted for publication starting in the year 1875. In the 19th century, so-called educated people were sufficiently advanced to comprehend, if not understand, esoterics. That was why it was publicized. So many facts could be given out that people could see the meaning and goal of life. That is the essential thing. For mankind had become so disoriented at the hands of its spiritual leaders that it was not possible for it finds its way out of the labyrinth of all mutually contradicting idiologies. The deplorable feature of the publication of esoterics was the fact that it was taught in such a way that people had the impression that it was a matter of some new fictitious idiology and not the true knowledge of reality.
The new teaching was presented as being in full agreement with what was taught in the old esoteric knowledge orders, a misleading and incorrect standpoint. It will be very long before what was taught in the old orders will be made public, since it was a knowledge that could be abused. The knowledge that confers power will not be given out, but only as many facts as are needed for people to comprehend the meaning and goal of existence. All the rest will remain esoteric.
The knowledge that was imparted in the three lower degrees of the knowledge orders has been permitted for publication, and the symbols have been made accessible. The knowledge that was taught in the four higher degrees will remain esoteric and symbolic and will be imparted to disciples of the planetary hierarchy [BED: PLANETARY HIERARCHY] only. And so it is because mankind has not attained the requisite stage of development, but misunderstands, distorts, and abuses the knowledge. A great number of occult sects have already arisen, distorting what has been publicized hitherto. These closed societies are trying with their mumbo-jumbo to make new secrets of what has already been elucidated and clarified, and so contribute to leading those astray who are enticed by mystery into believing the assurances of “initiates” that they will be initiated into “secret knowledge”; that is to say, deception pure and simple. Such impostors will always succeed. The publicized knowledge is killed by silence, and charlatans exploit it for their own purposes.
Ignorant people, ask “why this esoteric knowledge that has been publicized had to be kept secret? It certainly cannot be abused, at least not in any dangerous manner?” A Hitler and a Stalin were necessary to make people see that all knowledge affording power is abused at the present stage of mankind’s development.
The truth, or the knowledge of reality, is to be given only gradually, with sparing facts, to a mankind unprepared to receive it. It is necessary to find connections to established fictions of which people have heard enough for them to believe that they comprehend what it all is about. A new, revolutionary system of ideas would be rejected off hand as a mere fantastic invention. It could not be comprehended, let alone understood, without careful preparation.
The most important reason, which probably only esotericians are able to understand, is the fact of the dynamic energy of ideas. Every idea is charged with energy. Imparting a whole system could cause mental chaos. The fact that people will instinctively fend off too revolutionary ideas is often a natural measure of self-protection. For anyone to change his outlook is in any case a strain, especially if it involves “sacrificing” illusions. Then both mental and emotional chaos can ensue.
The most important esoteric facts that were allowed to be publicly known in the first stage of the publication of the knowledge are:
• karma, or the law of sowing and reaping (the law of reaping)
• the individual’s pre-existence and post-existence (hence immortality)
the existence of the worlds 45–49 [BED: SOLAR SYSTEMS] • knowledge of the individual’s envelopes in higher worlds
• knowledge orders in times past
• lots of historical facts
Henry T. Laurency:
– Knowledge of Life Three, Esoteric Knowledge Orders, The Closing of the Knowledge Orders and the Publication of Esoterics
– The Knowledge of Reality, The History of The Knowledge and The Fictions, The Publication of the Esoteric Knowledge
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky
”Of course Blavatsky was a complete enigma to all. But how could they understand a causal self [BED: CAUSAL SELF]? She never had the benefit of a proper education, never studied one scientific work (unnecessary, since she immediately would know its content if she wished to). And yet she could give information on anything about which she was asked and solve problems that are still the subject of dispute among the learned.”
Helena Petrovna von Hahn (1831–1891) was a wealthy Russian noblewoman, whose life was little but one long martyrdom. She never had any proper schooling. Her innate superphysical qualities made her self-willed even as a child. She laughed at the French and English governesses who tried to impart “Western culture” to her. At the age of seventeen, in defiance to her family, she married the governor, General Blavatsky, who was by some fifty years her senior, and ran away from him on her wedding night and went abroad. Being rich, she was able to travel all over the world, in the meantime developing her latent qualities, and re-acquired both mental and causal sense (objective consciousness in the mental and causal envelopes).
She was a singular personality, during all her life much blamed for her opposition to all kinds of conventionalism, illusoriness, and hypocrisy; a horror for all slaves to convention with their infantile attitude. Later, she regretted that in so doing she had repelled many people. But true seekers are independent of moral fictionalism.
Blavatsky eventually came to New York, where, in 1875, she took part in the founding of the Theosophical Society at the desire of the many intellectuals who had been fascinated by her immense knowledge and genuine magical experiments. In 1877, she wrote Isis Unveiled [länk till boken i vårt bibliotek], a work of two volumes. The first volume (628 pages) is a criticism of the dogmas of science, the second volume (648 pages) a criticism of the dogmas of theology. How justified that criticism was, time has shown more and more.
Blavatsky’s annihilating criticism of science’s shortlived hypotheses and of theology’s lack of common sense, were altogether too much of a disclosure. All kinds of infamy of which human imagination is capable (always proved by the principle of “no smoke without fire”) were poured over this woman, who had dared to defy an entire world’s most famous authorities, who had dared to demonstrate the worthlessness of their acuity and profundity.
As Blavatsky had been ordered not to publicize any new esoteric facts without permission in each individual case, she was restricted to the use of the terms known from history. As she was not supposed to say it as it was, she had to allow the sayings of authorities down the ages to remain contradictory, and just suggest that only those initiated into the esoteric knowledge orders could explain those matters about which the learned must always dispute.
Thus she was enormously handicapped from the very start. Being allowed only to hint at her sources without mentioning that there had been secret knowledge orders for nearly fifty thousand years, there was little Blavatsky could do but to refer to the “ancient secret wisdom of India” as the source of all true knowledge and insight.
The fact that Isis Unveiled has always been publicly mocked has not prevented scholars using it without acknowledgement as a treasure trove of previously unknown facts, and publishing these facts as their own discoveries to harvest the fame for them. According to Schopenhauer, this is the fate which the genius shares with the hare: while alive he is shot at, and fortunately put to death he is feasted upon.
Blavatsky’s second standard work of her vast literary production, The Secret Doctrine, deals broadly with the symbolism of some of the esoteric knowledge orders. It, like Isis Unveiled, can be regarded as a superhuman feat. Add to this the fact that it was written when she was an ageing invalid already marked by death and working under the most trying external conditions.
She wrote The Secret Doctrine during 1885–88. It is no easy reading for those without esoteric training, who are unfamiliar with the pertaining symbols. It gives an account of the different symbolic presentations of the evolution of the cosmos and the evolution of life as by several knowledge orders, showing how these presentations mutually agree.
The ancient esoteric writings were thoroughly incomprehensible to the uninitiated. To outsiders they appeared sheer abracadabra, as they still do to the learned of today. Certain things appear to have a meaning, but if interpreted literally the result is superstition.
Of course Blavatsky was well aware what kind of reception her work would find: it was, sure enough, killed by silence. She said that any scientist who admitted having concerned himself with her work would make his position impossible. Rightly she said: “No truth has ever been accepted by learned bodies unless it has dovetailed with the habitually preconceived ideas of their professors,” and: “Our fictions blind us to our ignorance.” Until the individual has recognized the tremendous limitation of emotional and mental consciousness, he will remain the helpless victim of his emotional illusions and mental fictions.
But to those who had once been initiated and, therefore, had remained seekers after the “lost word of the master” or the “philosopher’s stone”, her work came as a revelation. So much they recognized that they knew they had found, at last, that for which they had instinctively been searching, knew the direction in which they should continue their search for the remembrance anew of the knowledge they once had had.
Henry T. Laurency, The Knowledge of Reality, The History of The Knowledge and The Fictions, H.P. Blavatsky (1831–1891)www.laurency.com
The Theosophical Movement
”On the whole it can be said that in the conditions prevailing at the present time, true esotericians do not join any societies, but are to be found outside all kinds of organizations. They can be recognized by their understanding of all things human, and they strive after truly human relations between all irrespectively of race, nationality, sex, religion, politics, and all other things that separate people.”
The Theosophical Society was founded in 1875 by disciples of the planetary hierarchy [BED: PLANETARY HIERARCHY]. To rightly appreciate theosophy you must be alive to the fact that it did an enormous amount of pioneering work. What was publicly known when Blavatsky was commissioned with the task of making the esoteric knowledge accessible to Western thinking were the symbolic writings worked out in the various esoteric knowledge orders and the distorted presentation of the knowledge to be found in yoga literature.
Theosophy is largely only Blavatsky, Annie Besant (1847–1933), and Charles Webster Leadbeater (1854–1934), primarily Blavatsky, since she was more of an amanuensis of 45-self [BED: SUPERESSENTIAL SELF] D.K. than an independent author. Both Besant and Leadbeater were strongly influenced by yogic views (picked up from Indians at Adyar), and that is the reason why their presentations of esoterics do not always tally with the exact description of things.
The theosophists perhaps think that one ought to say theosophical society instead of theosophical movement, but it is not one but many societies or sects, all claiming to teach the only true knowledge of reality.
The numerous errors in theosophical literature are explained by the fact that these disciples of the planetary hierarchy published several works in succession, at the same time being taught and having their own experiences. That method is untenable, since you cannot write faultlessly on a subject-matter you are studying and therefore have not mastered yet. In consequence, they made errors that had to be corrected, and all too defective knowledge systems reduce confidence in authorities who were too certain they had a true conception of reality. The systems have had to be revised by the by. Whatever you think of theosophy in the formulation it was given by Blavatsky, Besant, and Leadbeater och Alfred Percy Sinnett (1840–1921) (all being in contact with the planetary hierarchy), it nevertheless marks the acme of mankind’s development in knowledge up till then.
Regrettably, the theosophists have so discredited the esoteric knowledge in the eyes of the public that it is desirable to explain how this has come about.
Not even that part of mankind (about fifteen per cent) who had reached the stages of culture and humanity, had been able to free themselves from their emotional illusions and mental fictions, unprejudiced to examine the tenability and content of reality of what they regarded as a mystifying idiology.
Blavatsky attacked all prevailing conceptions in theology, philosophy, and science. And all the authorities on these matters were offended in the self-glory of their wisdom. In order to prove that she knew what she was speaking about, Blavatsky performed innumerable magical phenomena. But the only thing she achieved in doing so was to make the representatives of science declare these frauds, because such things were impossible, being “contrary to the laws of nature”.
The curious, undiscerning masses, however, flocked to join the Society. As soon as these members heard something, they thought they knew and understand everything. Those in responsible positions, trying to prevent misunderstanding, vigorously declared that although everyone had a right to views of his own, that did not entitle him to call them theosophy. But what was the use of that when most of the chatterboxes, in order to emphasize their misconceptions, asserted that “this is theosophy”?
The Society had appointed two presidents, Colonel Henry Steel Olcott (1832–1907), who was to be the head of the actual organization and look after its practical problems, and Blavatsky, who was to be its spiritual leader. After Blavatsky’s death, Olcott, who always had been the only one to settle such questions, decided that Besant should take Blavatsky’s place and be the Society’s spiritual leader. This, however, did not suit one of the founders, William Quan Judge (1851–1896), who considered himself the obvious choice for the post. It will be obvious to anyone who compares his capacity with that of Besant how unjustified he was in his obtrusiveness. The result was a schism that in 1895 split “The Universal Brotherhood” into an American society headed by Judge and the parent society, the headquarters of which Blavatsky had moved to Adyar, near Madras, in India.
It is to be deeply regretted that the Theosophical Society never saw that the division of the Society in 1895 automatically cut off the connection with the planetary hierarchy. The fact that some disciples, who were also theosophists, were still in communication with their teachers was falsely understood to mean that the Society was connected as well. Any division (despite differences of opinion), any expression of intolerance, any gossip about and criticism of members precludes a connection. Theosophists have not understood even that little. There remains much to be learnt by occultists and so-called esotericians of all kinds until they will be as judicious as they think they are. It is not enough to have a theoretical knowledge. We have received the knowledge in order to realize unity. How many are concerned with that aim?
On the whole it can be said that in the conditions prevailing at the present time, true esotericians do not join any societies, but are to be found outside all kinds of organizations. They can be recognized by their understanding of all things human, and they strive after truly human relations between all irrespectively of race, nationality, sex, religion, politics, and all other things that separate people.
Henry T. Laurency:
– The Way of Man, Introductions, Introduction: On the History of Esoterics
– The Knowledge of Reality, The origin of the Knowledge and Fictions, The Theosophical Movement
Alice A. Bailey
“A.A.B. is as clear about facts belonging to the life view as she is unclear (almost an illiterate) when it comes to the world view.”
Alice A. Bailey (A.A.B.; 1880–1949) started as a missionary. When 35 years old she subjected the Christian dogmas to a critical analysis. Her latent learning (she had in a former life been a disciple in the second department of the planetary hierarchy) began to stir at her work of reflection. She got in touch with the Adyar theosophy, believing she had found the knowledge, but soon realized that she had “wandered into another sect”. It was soon (1919) clear to her that the Theosophical Society no longer had any connection with the planetary hierarchy.
A.A.B. was commissioned to publicize the new esoterics facts that the recently appointed secretary of the planetary hierarchy (45-self [BED: SUPERESSENTIAL SELF, 45-SELF] D.K.) considered suitable at the time. D.K. saw the necessity of correcting the wrong conceptions there were in the writings of the theosophical sects, conceptions that threatened to become rigid dogmas and thereby obstacles to the perception of reality. He decided to intervene himself. But as always he was reduced to start from the possibilities of understanding that existed. D.K. was therefore to a very large extent forced to employ partly the largely unsuitable theosophical terminology already existing, partly Patanjali’s Sanskrit terms, partly terms from yoga philosophy. The result, albeit revolutionary in essential respects, with a great number of new facts, unfortunately was not what it could have been if an expedient terminology had been available to D.K.
During the years 1919–1949, he dictated a series of works for A.A.B. In this connection it must be emphatically said that these books are written for disciples and not for those who believe they understand, that is, those who previously were no “initiates”.
The terminology, abortive in many respects, must be wholly assigned to A.A.B. She was the one who originally established the terms to be used. The result of this is that the books need to be rewritten by a writer trained in esoterics, philosophy, and science. The indispensable value of the books is, as always, the facts given out through them. It is the task of the individual reader to put these facts into a system.
One can understand the incredible difficulties that A.A.B. must have faced when bringing down the ideas of 45-self D.K. and trying to express them in the English language, which lacks words for all superphysical realities. Anything adequate, anything that fully agrees with reality, is out of the question. One example of the difficulties is the juxtaposition (in Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. Two, page 405) of intuition – buddhi – pure reason – mental quality – universal mind, a confusion of three different kinds of consciousness (essential [BED: ESSENTIAL CONSCIOUSNESS, 46-CONSCIOUSNESS], causal [BED: CAUSAL CONSCIOUSNESS], mental [BED: MENTAL CONSCIOUSNESS).
It is to be deplored that A.A.B. never got any other education than the one she received as a Christian missionary. Her designations of esoteric realities are to a large extent the same terms as the ones used in totally confusing Christian dogmatics, terms hopelessly idiotized by ignorance, such as redemption, atonement, salvation, which she uses with obvious delight, when it really is about processes of matter, energy, and consciousness in the solar systemic and cosmic evolution.
To sum up it may be said that A.A.B. is as clear about facts belonging to the life view as she is unclear (almost an illiterate) when it comes to the world view. Being an old Christologist, A.A.B. found it easiest (which presumably also was the intention) to use her old Christian outlook when choosing terms for esoteric ideas. Her writings are bristling with words and phrases from the “New Testament”, so that the Christians can identify themselves with it and are not at once repelled by a strange terminology.
Neither the works of Blavatsky nor those of Bailey are suited as introductions to esoterics or for others than those who are already “initiates of the mysteries”. The terminology used is exceedingly unsatisfactory, and the definitions given are often misleading.
As new as it all must appear to those who desire to acquire knowledge of reality, a worldview and life view so totally different from the ruling idiologies in theology, philosophy, and science, a basic mental system of the basic facts of existence is needed. Without the solid basis the student will have no real clarity. The work of Laurency [länk till vår text Henry T. Laurency och hans verk på engelska] may be regarded as an introduction to true esoterics, the works dictated to Alice A. Bailey by D.K, and published in her name.
Henry T. Laurency:
– Knowledge of Life Three, Alice A. Bailey and D.K.
– Knowledge of Life Four, Laurency, The Works of Laurency Are an Introduction to Esoterics and Laurency, How Esoteric Knowledge Should Have Been Communicated