Flying Roll XV
The circle of Members of the Adeptus Grade of the Order R.R. et A.C.
is a fraternity of students of the Hermetic Sciences and of the Hermetic
The G.D. teaching has reference mainly to Religion and to Philosophy; but it is of course obvious that our Rituals are but outlines and landmarks in the world of thought.
The vacant spaces each member fills for himself or leaves blank.
I am about to take, today, a leaf from the clerics and say something on two texts, from the Hebrew Bible; and so you are all free to think as you please about the subject.
My opinion is that a part is historical, and a part of the history is
allegorical and that while it was intended as a text book for the populace,
yet there are in it many references to an esoteric creed held by the priests
of the Nation.
The first text is found in Exodus XXXII, Verse I, and was as I will remember,
used as a text by my G. H. Fra. D.D.C.F. in a lecture he gave ten years
ago to the Hermetic Society of my dear Friend Anna Kingsford—it
is the words of the Israelites to Aaron, when Moses had gone up to seek
A modern philosopher has written ‘The Gods may have made man, but men have made their own Gods, and a pretty mess they have made of it'. Let us be careful what gods we make for ourselves, and on what pedestals we place them.
The great Jehovah may have made man in the Garden of Eden, it matters not to me; but I know I make myself, and I know you are hourly making yourselves—the child is father to the man indeed, quite as surely as that the man is father of the child—a mighty mystery. Now Moses had gone up into the holy mountain to seek divine help : — this Sinai was the Mountain of God—the Mountain of the Caverns, the Mountain of Abiegnus, the mystic Mountain of Initiation—that is of divine instruction. Even so do we seek inspiration in the mystic Mountain, passing through the wilderness of Horeb, that period life which is at first a desert to us, as we cast aside worldly joys, and seek to pass through the Caverns—our Vault, to union with the spiritual powers above us, which send a ray of light to ifiumine our minds and to fire our hearts, the spiritual centre, with an enthusiasm for the higher life of greater self sacrifice, more self-control—by which means alone can man reach up to the Divine and become one with the All self—the great OneAll.
Our V.H. Sor.-S.S.D.D. has in an earlier Roll pointed out this passing
through the desert, and that volume of beautiful thoughts, the Voice of
the Silence alludes to the same period of trial, which must precede success
in the attainment of the Higher Life—Light on the Path too, well
portrays the period of transition, when by the energy of enthusiasm the
inspired pupil casts aside wordly ambition and the joys of life, the pride
of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and stands seeking the foothold of
the first step of the mystical ladder, whose ascent can fill the heart
with such sublime aspirations that the way is no longer steep, nor the
path dreary, and when the dawning Sun of Tiphereth, shedding a ray of
splendour upon the Path, encourages the toiler to the consummation devoutly
to be desired. I have said that we make our own gods, and this is a great
secret truth. Moses made his God, and impressed his ideal upon the people
he led—Mohomet formulated his own idea of God, and of post mortem
union with God, and of a Heaven where men are visitors to a vast Supernal
Harem. Jesus taught his idea of his Father, and his suggestions have tinctured
the God ideal of millions; but the mere adherence of the millions to any
doctrine is but slender evidence of its truth, for as Carlyle has said,
the majority of men are fools—Man does not alone formulate a Deity,
but designs also a contrast to our notion of Supernal greatness, knowledge
and power. So does Genesis, for there we find Jehovah thwarted by the
Serpent; we find in the book of Job that the Supreme One was lead into
folly or ingratitude or worse, by Satan who came before him among the
‘Sons of God' and by dint of applying to Job every earthly suffering,
sought to degrade him before his Master. We find the Evangelists describing
a Satan only second' to Jesus, who had power to promise, and, we must
suppose, to confer upon Jesus, either Lordship of the World or a divine
supremacy over matter,
We find the mediaeval European priest formulating the grotesque horned
and tailed human demon, and lastly we are instructed concerning the Qabalistic
enumeration of the Evil and Averse Sephiroth. Are not these all human
ideals, and if we were but philosophic at heart, should we not confess
that these notions are but futile attempts to express the unknown and
unknowable? No man can go beyond his own powers, and if we do but formulate
as divine our own highest ideal not much harm may be done, so long as
we grant equal powers of formulation to our brothers.
The general result of this present life may be upward or downward, for Man has Free Will, within limits, and very expansible limits too. God, or the Divine Powers, did' indeed design and constitute the plan of Man's constitution, origin and destiny, and it is but of slight moment, whether in philosophy we view Man as a Ternary, a Septenary or as a Decad, but it is of vital importance to remember that with Free Will comes personal responsibility, and that every thought and act; that we are daily and hourly making the future history of ourselves, and piling up destiny whose realisation cannot be baulked by divine interposition nor changed by a maudlin sentimental repentance, nor by the surreptitious substituted sufferings of others. The type of man may indeed be viewed as emanating from the Elohim of Life, from the High Septenary of Powers, and his constitution may be in elementary form allotted to the Sun as the Giver of Vital Fire,—to the Moon for the Astral Mould of Form, to the Earth for the Material body: the Planets and Stars may influence man's form, stature and tendencies, but the destiny of the Thinker will depend upon the Thoughts. This is all true of man as a type of Creation,—Man as an Individual hourly makes himself—One life makes another. There may be a final Heaven, a final rest, a re-absorption into Deity, but this is not yet. The ladder of progression from earth to heaven must be climbed, before the foot can attain the summit. Some egos may go up rapidly, some may pass slowly, self exertion is the measure of success.
Let us then make Man—make the Divine Man out of the Human Man. Let us create the Hermetic ideal man from the material sensual man. It is our bounden duty to rend the Veil ‘Paroketh' and to let our human intellect attain to the perception of the Holy of Holies which shines within us from above. For now we see us in a Glass darkly, but with the Veil rended, we shall see God face to face.
How have the Alchemists of old, when passing from the physical, drawn
the picture of the Souls transmutation or translation to eternity from
time,—how have they also figured this Soul Growth and Development.