Saturday, 30 January 2016

Mystical Elements in Kabbalah

Available from Monday 1st February

As a person with a lifetime interest in #Kabbalah I have long recognised that there are few published works in the English language about this subject that provide the reader with a clear insight to its mysteries. Less than fifty years ago there were few books available in the English language about this obscure, albeit influential system of spiritual development. Indeed, before the turn of the twentieth century there were scarcely any. One, entitled The Kabbalah: Its Doctrines, Development and Literature, written by Dr. C. D. Ginsburg, had been published in 1865, but was not easily obtained until it was republished in the twentieth century. It was the first objective work on the subject to be published in English since the seventeenth century and has been very influential in esoteric circles; indeed, it still commands a great deal of respect.

Another, was The Philosophical Writings of Solomon Ben Yehudah Ibn Gebirol, published in 1888 by American scholar Isaac Myer. In the late nineteenth century, these were the most readily available works in the English language concerning Kabbalah. After the turn of the twentieth century this situation changed as more books concerning this little-known subject became available.

Many, but by no means all, were written by members of a well-known, yet short-lived, esoteric Christian Rosicrucian order known as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Kabbalah was fundamental to its workings, and W. Wynn Westcott, one of the founder members of this order, wrote a simple yet interesting introduction entitled The Kabbalah, which was published in 1910. Arthur Edward Waite, another member, wrote a deeper study of the secret doctrine of Israel entitled The Doctrine and Literature of the Kabbalah, which was published in 1902, and republished with considerably more information in 1929. Other authors with connections to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and who published books about the Kabbalah, were Henry Pullen-Bury, Dion Fortune and Israel Regardie.

Dion Fortune’s book, The Mystical Qabalah (published in 1935), is a basic interpretation of the Tree of Life from a magical perspective; it is still in demand in some circles. Israel Regardie’s book The Garden of Pomegranates, first published in 1932 is also a study of the Tree of Life and follows a line of enquiry broadly similar to Dion Fortune’s book. During the last fifty years or so a great many more books have been written in the English language about the Kabbalah.

It is a matter of fact that the majority of books about Kabbalah published in the English language have appeared in the last seventy-five years or so and that they are predominantly concerned with medieval magical thought, or describes medieval Jewish psycho-spiritual disciplines without conveying any real knowledge or understanding.

There are exceptions to this, such as for example, Christian Ginsburg, Adolph Franke, A.E. Waite and Gershom Scholem. There are others but as a rule many contemporary works on the subject seem to be inspired by magical orders such as the Golden Dawn and the countless orders derived therefrom that have filled the esoteric landscape of our world in all directions. Thus, masonic; Rosicrucian; esoteric Christian; neo-Gnostic, Neo-pagan and Wiccan and Neo-Druidic groups, and many more too numerous to mention, seem to have structured their esoteric philosophies and systems according to medieval Kabbalistic thought filtered through Golden Dawn and other such lenses.

It is a filtering that focusses the readers mind upon phenomena and the phenomenal world, whether it be the coarse material world we perceive with our senses, or whether it be some astral/ethereal counterpart that we experience with the mind. In either case they are definitions rooted in the discursive mind born of Duality, and in which the addictions of astral tourism along with all of its visual and emotional stimuli, seems to be an essential component.

Few authors have given any consideration to the spiritual significance of many #Kabbalistic texts and disciplines. Perhaps this is because to do so would require a profound study of the Old and New Testaments which undeniably form the heart of Kabbalah. However, the study of the scriptures does not appear to be a popular choice. One sees little reference to it in contemporary books on Kabbalah. Instead, many, so it would seem, think of Kabbalah as a fusion of Greco-Roman, Neoplatonic, Gnostic and Jewish thought, and prefer to explore it in the context of one or more of these belief-systems. It is an approach that may be of some value, but unfortunately so many fail to recognise that the synergy of all of these influences is shaped and governed by spiritual teachings that are biblical and unambiguously mono-theistic.

One author, Joshua Abelson (1873-1940), an orthodox rabbi and scholar, and arguable one of the great Kabbalists of his generation, published one of the earliest scholarly treatments of Kabbalah in English. It is a first and foremost a spiritual perspective of the spiritual dimension of practical Kabbalah, and for those who have the eyes to see it is one of the most exquisite expositions of the subject in the English language.

He wrote this book, small that is, under the title Jewish Mysticism in 1913 for G.R.S. Mead’s ‘Quest’ series of studies on the spiritual essence of the world’s major religious traditions. Every volume of the series reflects Mead’s aim of providing scholarly texts that are fully accessible to the non-specialist reader. As the foremost English-language authority of the day on his topic, Abelson achieved this objective with ease, and in doing he produced a masterpiece. It remains a classic more than a century later and is reproduced here under the title Mystical Elements in Kabbalah.

The great value of this Abelson’s book is that it presents the spirituality of the #Kabbalah, illuminating essential elements of the frequently overlooked mystical and spiritual thought embodied in Kabbalistic teachings. Herein Abelson gives rare insights into the spiritual teaching that lies at the very heart of the Kabbalah, providing students with a valuable resource that will assist them to comprehend the principles and dynamics of the interior life of the Tradition. For this reason alone it deserves a place on every student’s bookshelf.

From Monday 1st February
You can order a copy
through your local bookshop.

The title is:
Mystical Elements In Kabbalah
author - Joshua Abelson

ISBN: 978-1-910216-14-9

147 pp. b/w illustrations

or from:


Monday, 5 May 2014

Ecclesiastica Celtica


Ecclesiastica Celtica

A compelling account of the primitive Church in Romano-British society. 
A few years ago I undertook the task of reading the 16 volume lives of the Saints by Sabine Baring-Gould (1834-1924). (The edition I read was published in 1898 by John C. Nimmo.)
You might ask ‘why?’ which is understandable. There are several answers to this question, not the least being that my interest in the spiritual life of humanity meant that at some point in time I should at least take a look at it.

In volume 16, there are two lengthy essays concerning the history of the primitive Christian Church in Britain. In these essays Baring-Gould, the author, writes about a period of British history that to me, and to just about everyone I have ever spoken to about this subject, has always been shrouded in mystery. Like so many others I had resigned myself to accept that era to be the typical ‘dark-age’ that would ever be veiled in the mists of time.

Because of this I have always been wary of the two currently accepted theories of the origins of Christianity in these islands. One being that there were but a handful of Christians in Britain until the mid-fourth century when St Patrick, bless him, spread the ‘word’ far and wide from Ireland.

The other being that Augustine, sent by the pope, arrived in Britain in 597, found very few Christians there, and, those he did find were deemed to be in error. In due course he converted them and the heathen Saxons to the true faith of Rome. Thus, happiness was established throughout the land. This depiction never worked for me.

The problem was, as far as I could see, having spent decades reading about such things, the state of affairs in this country was not as simple as many have supposed.
Clearly the modern (post-Enlightenment) perception that the ancient Britons were merely a bunch of half-naked heathen savages covered in tattoos and painted blue (on special occasions), living in mud huts, and forever fighting their neighbours is more based on prejudice that reality.
Baring-Gould points out in his narrative that before the collapse of the Roman Empire; a collapse that precipitated the predatory raids of Irish and Scottish war bands, as well as the invasions of Angles, Jutes and Saxons, Britain was a civilised Romano-British Society which consisted of a mixture of different faiths. One of those faiths being Christianity.

In this context the ancient British Church existed, and typical of the Christian Church in the rest of the Empire, it would have consisted of established communities sharing the same beliefs and rites, the one difference being that Christian communities in Britain worked autonomously under the jurisdiction of independent bishops.
This would have clearly been the case after the Great Persecution authorised by the Emperor Diocletian, which lasted eight year or so (303 – 311AD), and especially following the reforms of Constantine and his successors post 313, which  granted religious freedom to Christians throughout the empire, and returned to them any properties previously confiscated by the state.
In the late 4th century things changed as the Empire began to collapse. The legions were withdrawn from Britain to the continent and the people of Britain were left to fend for themselves unarmed and unaided.

Concerning this, Gildas, a Briton and a monastic who lived in the first half of the sixth century, relates in his work De Excidio Brittaniae (The oldest surviving record of post-Roman Britain), that following the withdrawal of the Roman legions in the late fourth century, Britain was left without appropriate military defences, and became subject to frequent predatory attacks and raids from the Picts in the North, who raided on land across the northern border and by sea along the East Coast, and from Irish raiders in the West.

At the same time internal civil conflicts that frequently turned into civil war, tore apart the fabric of the Romano-British society, resulting in a state of social anarchy which prevailed for much of the time throughout the fifth and sixth centuries.
This situation was further exacerbated by Anglo-Saxon invaders who from the mid-fifth century onwards accelerated their territorial expansion, and whose depredations upon the indigenous population destabilized the British Church to such an extent that the Church and many of its clergy were driven from eastern and central Britain into the West of Britain, the Highlands of both Scotland and Wales and across the sea to Ireland. Many fled to the region of Gaul we now know as Brittany.
How the ancient British Church (known today as the Celtic Church) and its people survived, against extraordinary and overwhelming odds, over many generations, is a story that Baring-Gould relates better than any writer I have ever come across, including modern ‘state of the art’ writers. He makes sense of a time of ‘myth and legend’, and reminds his audience that the Britons were a race of people struggling to survive against a relentless and merciless enemy hell-bent on genocide.

Baring-Gould's narrative does challenge orthodox opinion, so much so, that he hid them in the Appendix Volume of The Lives of the Saints. Doubtless, avoiding the wrath of the Church Authorities of his time, who would not have approved of one of their priests (which he was) publishing a work that challenged orthodoxy.
How well-researched these essays may, or may not be, is matter for others to decide. But, I find no reason to doubt the integrity of his scholarship. In his life he was known and respected as a thorough and well-read researcher; indeed he still is in many quarters. What readers may discover for themselves is how few inaccuracies exist in his text when cross-referenced against the best of contemporary thinking on the subject.

Therefore, because I am a publisher of esoteric thought and radical spirituality, and Baring-Gould's narrative most definitely fits into the latter, I have been moved to re-publish them because they have something to say, especially to the people of Britain.

I have published them under the title Ecclesiastica Celtia (of the Celtic Church). It consists of three books. The first explores the Celtic Church in Britain, the second explores the migration and development of the Celtic Church in Brittany, and the third consists of a glossary of pre-Augustinian Celtic Saints drawn from both The lives of the Saints (16 vols) and his The Lives of the British Saints (4 vols, published in 1913 by The Hon Society of Cymmrodorion).

You can order a copy
via your local bookshop.

the title is :
Ecclesiastica Celtica

ISBN: 978-0-9573715-1-4
254 pp. 13 b/w illustrations & maps


The following references are supplied to illustrate the distinct presence that Christianity had in Roman Britain from a very early period. It is clear from the many references made by senior and influential members of the pre-Augustinian Church, such as are quoted below, that there was not only a Christian presence in Britain but that the British Church played an active role in the life of the Church at large. It is reasonable to assume that although Britain was not a ‘Christian state’ in the modern sense of the word, Christian communities undoubtedly existed, and that they shared in the varying fortunes of Roman and post-Roman Britain, especially during the fifth and sixth centuries. Good arguments have been put forth to demonstrate that until monasticism was introduced to these islands in the fifth century such communities were generally urban communities, and it was these urban communities that constituted the ancient British Church.

Tertullian of Carthage (c. 160 – c. 225): Converted from paganism and became one of the most influential Christian thinkers of his day. Although never popular with Church leaders he was nonetheless instrumental in shaping Christianity. He wrote a great number of works of which thirty-one are extant. His legacy, which rested not only in his writings but in his rhetorical style, gave Christians the means to engage in debate with hostile representatives of established religion on their own ground, and defeat them. In his work entitled: An Answer to the Jews, Tertullian states:
“For upon whom else have the universal nations believed but upon the Christ who is already come? For whom have the nations believed, – Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and they who inhabit Mesopotamia, Armenia, Phrygia, Cappadocia, and they who dwell in Pontus, and Asia, and Pamphylia, tarriers in Egypt, and inhabiters of the region of Africa which is beyond Cyrene, Romans and sojourners, yes, and in Jerusalem Jews, and all other nations; as for instance, by this time, the varied races of the Gætulians, and the manifold confines of the Moors, all the limits of the Spains, and the diverse nations of the Gauls, and the haunts of the Britons, inaccessible to the Romans, but subjugated to Christ.”

A. Roberts & J. Donaldson, Edit. The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. III. P.158 (Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1963)
Origen of Alexandria (185 – 254), possibly the most learned and influential theologian of his time. Origen’s commentaries, sermons and homilies have been an important source of inspiration to Christian luminaries, saints and theologians for many centuries. His homilies constitute ‘the oldest body of Christian sermons in existence’. In his Homilies on Luke, Origen makes the following statement:

“The power of the Lord and Saviour is with those who are in Britain, separated from our world, and with those who are in Mauretania, and with everyone under the sun who has believed in his name.”
Homilies on Luke, Joseph T. Lienhard S.J. Trans., (The Fathers of The Church Vol. 94, Catholic University of America Press, 1996) Homily 6, Cap. 9, p.27

Eusebius (c. 260-c.340AD) was bishop of Caesarea from c. 315. He is considered by many to be the ‘father of Church history’ and the world owes him a debt of gratitude for the immense range of material he compiled concerning the early Church. His Demonstratio Evangelica, (Proof of the Gospels) is one of the great classics of the Christian Church, and it is in this work that the following quotation is to be found (emphasis added):
“… But to preach to all the Name of Jesus, to teach about His marvellous deeds in country and town, that some of them should take possession of the Roman Empire, and the Queen of Cities itself, and others the Persian, others the Armenian, that others should go to the Parthian race, and yet others to the Scythian, that some already should have reached the very ends of the world, should have reached the land of the Indians, and some have crossed the Ocean and reached the Isles of Britain…”

The Proof Of The Gospel. W. J. Ferrar, trans: Grand Rapids, Michigan. Baker Book House Co., 1981. First published Demonstratio Evangelica 1920, by S.P.C.K., Book 3, ch. 5, cap.112 (d), p. 130.
Gildas (c. 500-570): a British monastic, who lived in the first half of the sixth century. His work De Excidio Brittaniae is the earliest known record of the tumultuous decades of post-Roman Britain and the invasion of the Saxons. Below are excerpts from this work concerning the Christian presence in Britain:

“8. Meanwhile, to the island stiff with frost and cold, and in a far distant corner of the earth, remote from the visible sun, He, the true sun, even Christ, first yields His rays, I mean His precepts. He spread, not only from the temporal firmament, but from the highest arc of heaven beyond all times, his bright gleam to the whole world in the latest days, as we know, of Tiberius Caesar. At that time the religion of Christ was propagated without any hindrance, because the emperor, contrary to the will of the senate, threatened with death informers against the soldiers of that same religion. 
“9. Though these precepts had a lukewarm reception from the inhabitants, nevertheless they continued unimpaired with some, with others less so, until the nine years’ persecution of the tyrant Diocletian. In this persecution churches were ruined throughout the whole world, all copies of the Holy Scriptures that could be found were burnt in the open streets, and the chosen priests of the Lord’s flock butchered with the innocent sheep, so that if it could be brought to pass, not even a trace of the Christian religion would be visible in some of the provinces. What flights there were then, what slaughter, what punishments by different modes of death, what ruins of apostates, what glorious crowns of martyrs, what mad fury on the part of persecutors, and, on the contrary, what patience of the saints, the history of the church narrates. In consequence the whole church, in close array, emulously leaving behind it the darkness of this world, was hastening to the pleasant realms of heaven as to its own proper abode.

“10. God, therefore, as willing that all men should be saved, magnified his mercy unto us, and called sinners no less than those who regard themselves righteous. He of His own free gift, in the above mentioned time of persecution, as we conclude, lest Britain should be completely enveloped in the thick darkness of black night, kindled for us bright lamps of holy martyrs. The graves where their bodies lie, and the places of their suffering, had they not, very many of them, been taken from us the citizens on account of our numerous crimes, through the disastrous division caused by the barbarians, would at the present time inspire the minds of those who gazed at them with a far from feeble glow of divine love. I speak of Saint Alban of Verulam, Aaron and Iulius, citizens of Caerleon, and the rest of both sexes in different places, who stood firm with lofty nobleness of mind in Christ’s battle. 
“11. The former of these, through love, hid a confessor when pursued by his persecutors, and on the point of being seized, imitating in this Christ laying down his life for the sheep. He first concealed him in his house, and afterwards exchanging garments with him, willingly exposed himself to the danger of being pursued in the clothes of the brother mentioned. Being in this way well pleasing to God, during the time between his holy confession and cruel death, in the presence of the impious men, who carried the Roman standard with hateful haughtiness, he was wonderfully adorned with miraculous signs, so that by fervent prayer he opened an unknown way through the bed of the noble river Thames, similar to that dry little-trodden way of the Israelites, when the ark of the covenant stood long on the gravel in the middle of Jordan; accompanied by a thousand men, he walked through with dry foot, the rushing waters on either side hanging like abrupt precipices, and converted first his executioner, as he saw such wonders, from a wolf into a lamb, and caused him together with himself to thirst more deeply for the triumphant palm of martyrdom, and more bravely to seize it. Others, however, were so tortured with diverse torments, and mangled with unheard of tearing of limbs, that without delay they raised trophies of their glorious martyrdom, as if at the beautiful gates of Jerusalem. Those who survived hid themselves in woods, deserts, and secret caves, expecting from God, the righteous ruler of all, to their persecutors, sometime, stern judgment, to themselves protection of life. 

“12 Thus when ten years of the violence referred to had scarcely passed, and when the abominable edicts were disappearing through the death of their authors, all the soldiers of Christ, with gladsome eyes, as if after a wintry and long night, take in the calm and the serene light of the celestial region. They repair the churches, ruined to the ground; they found, construct, and complete basilicae in honour of the holy martyrs, and set them forth in many places as emblems of victory; they celebrate feast days; the sacred offices they perform with clean heart and lip; all exult as children cherished in the bosom of their mother, the church.”
Hugh Williams, Gildas De Excidio Brittanniae, Cap. 8 – 12, pp. 21-31, Facsimile edition Llanerch Press, Cribyn, Lampeter, 2006. Origially published by David Nutt 1901]

The Venerable Bede (c. 673 – c. 735) Bede was a monk of the united Northumbrian monasteries of Wearmouth and Jarrow. He wrote a great deal on scientific subjects of his time, demonstrating a great breadth of learning, and many of his commentaries on scripture were read publicly in churches. However, it is his work The Ecclesiastical History of the English People that earned him the title ‘The Father of English History’. In chapter six of this work the following quotations may be found(emphasis added):
‘In the year of our Lord’s incarnation 286, Diocletian, the thirty-third from Augustus, and chosen emperor by the army, reigned twenty years, and created Maximian, surnamed Herculius, his colleague in the empire. ….

Diocletian in the east, and Maximian Herculius in the west, commanded the churches to be destroyed, and the Christians to be slain. This persecution was the tenth since the reign of Nero, and was more lasting and bloody than all the others before it; for it was carried on incessantly for the space of ten years, with burning of churches, outlawing of innocent persons, and the slaughter of martyrs. At length, it reached Britain also, and many persons, with the constancy of martyrs, died in the confession of their faith’.’
Bede, The Ecclesiatical History of the English Nation, Everymans Library, J. M. Dent & Sons. London., p. 10-11

Monday, 7 April 2014

Getting to Grips with Stress

Escaping Stress
Getting to Grips with Fight Flight in conjunction with Austin Burn-Jones of Bluedog Seminars is hosting a series of 3 seminars on Stress at the Swindon Weito School of  Southern Chinese Boxing. The first: Escaping Stress – Getting to Grips with Fight Flight   will take place on:

Saturday 17th May 2014
Time: 10.00 – 16.00, Price: £95.00
Venue: Swindon Weito School of Southern Chinese Boxing
85 High Street, Haydon Wick, Swindon, SN25 1HU.

This is the first in a series of 3 ‘one-day’ Workshop/Seminars on Stress. Led by Austin Burn-Jones of Bluedog Seminars we will be exploring the biochemical processes involved in Stress, making it much easier to understand and adapt in our everyday life.
Far from boring, Austin’s unique style is not only informing, it also brings a sense of fun into this often dry subject, filling it with life and visual spice. He cheerfully breaks down complex ideas into easy to absorb pieces, and his infectious passion just gets those little grey cells firing on all cylinders! BlueDog seminars are designed for everyone. Anatomical learning is not a prerequisite – although an interest in the human body is helpful. ‘Terminology’ will be avoided as much as possible.
If you wish to secure a place on this seminar then visit:

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Lost Letters of Edward Maitland


 Lost Letters of Edward Maitland
Edited, with an introduction by Brian McAllister

“There is but one philosophy, one science, one religion, one truth in existence; and all who have thus become completely Man, have attained it and found it the same.  And all who have done this, have been set upon by those who were still in their outer and material sphere, and have been assailed as fools, impostors, or madmen – simply because they had attained their due maturity in advance of the others, becoming Man wholly, while the rest represented limitations of humanity.”
Extract from letter 81, p. 227(dated 1879)

For those who are interested in the development of esoteric thought in the English speaking world during the latter part of the 19th century then Edward Maitland should be of particular interest. He had a significant role in shaping the esoteric landscape of the Victorian world. Yet, to date we have seen little of him apart from his collaboration with the celebrated, albeit short-lived Anna Bonus Kingsford.

These letters, never before published, open a door onto his private life and provide an insight to a remarkable, spiritually motivated, yet very human gentleman of his time.

Edward Maitland (1824-97), public servant and novelist, was born on 27 October 1824 at Ipswich, England, son of Charles David Maitland, Evangelical curate of St James's Chapel, Brighton. Through descent from the Berties (Dukes of Ancaster) he was socially well connected with links to many distinguished scholars and politicians. His clergymen brothers, Charles and Brownlow, were prominent writers.

Edward, intended also for the church, graduated from Caius College, Cambridge in 1847, but, reacting against his father's uncompromising Calvinism took a year's leave to reflect upon his vocation. He travelled to Mexico, and then to the Californian goldfields in 1849. Extending his ‘time out’ indefinitely, he moved to Australia, where he was appointed Commissioner of Crown Lands and Police Magistrate at Wellington in 1854.

While in Australia he met and married Esther Bradley. Unfortunately, Esther died a little while after giving birth to their son, Charles, in 1856.  Returning to England in 1858 Maitland devoted his time to writing, through which he established a firm, though stormy, friendship with Eliza Smith the hostess of a literary salon in Brighton.  Many of his letters to Eliza Smith survive and it is these which form the central core of this volume. 

His literary works following his return to England were his novels, The Pilgrim and the Shrine and Higher Law: A Romance, both of which drew extensively on his own background and experiences of travelling abroad.  His next novel, By and By: An Historical Romance of the Future, brought him into contact with the mystic and seer Anna Kingsford, the wife of a Shropshire parson. Their first meeting in 1874 led to a lifelong collaboration between them.  Mrs Kingsford, herself a writer and, formerly, the owner and editor of the Lady’s Own Paper in London, was an early advocate of vegetarianism and opponent of vivisection.  She succeeded in persuading Maitland to join her in fighting these causes.

In collaboration with Anna Kingsford, Maitland published The Keys of the Creeds (1875), followed by The Perfect Way: or the Finding of Christ (1882), and in 1884 founded the Hermetic Society, a society that was to become the role model for the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and the myriad of copy-cat orders which followed that remarkable order. After Kingsford's death Maitland established the Esoteric Christian Union in 1891, and wrote her biography (1896).
The central purpose of their collaboration was the spiritual life, and was specifically directed to the mystical interpretation of the Christian scriptures. This was greatly facilitated by Kingsford’s natural possession of spiritual gifts which, combined with Maitland’s scholarly talents, and his newly awakened intuitive faculties, made for a formidable duo.  The crowning achievement of their spiritual collaboration eventually appeared in 1882 in the form of a ground-breaking book on esoteric Christianity, entitled The Perfect Way; or, The Finding of Christ, for which it could be said that the world was not then ready.  

Prior to this, Maitland, drawing on his new-found gift for writing under direct spiritual influence, published England and Islam: or, The Counsel of Caiaphas. This book, together with its sequel, The Soul, and How it Found Me, signalled the end of Maitland’s promising literary career as far as conventional society was concerned. 

The publishing of The Perfect Way in 1882 led to Kingsford and Maitland being invited to join the British Theosophical Society. Thus, in 1883 Kingsford was elected President, and Maitland Vice-President, of the London Lodge of the Theosophical Society.  However, their membership was brief, as the majority of Lodge members did not approve of the emphasis they placed on Christian teachings, preferring Eastern ones instead. 

In 1884 Kingsford and Maitland established the Hermetic Society, the object of which was to promote the study of the philosophical and religious systems of both the East and the West, but focussing on the Greek Mysteries and the Hermetic Gnosis.  The workload that Kingsford undertook over the next few years, promoting the Hermetic Society, as well as undertaking lecture tours to promote vegetarianism and the anti-vivisection cause, plus literary and medical work, took a severe toll on Kingsford’s fragile health, leaving her in a state of exhaustion. During a trip to Paris in 1886 she suffered a severe bout of pneumonia, from which she never really recovered. Kingsford died in London in 1888 at the age of 41 and was buried at Atcham in Shropshire. 

Following her death, Maitland published Kingsford’s illuminations in a book, entitled “Clothed with the Sun”.  In 1891 Maitland established the Esoteric Christian Union to promote his and Kingsford’s central message.  He went on to write an account of their combined work under the title The Story of the New Gospel of Interpretation, which he followed up with the definitive biography of his colleague, Anna Kingsford: Her Life, Letters, Diary and Work. 

In 1896 Maitland suffered a stroke. He died the following year at the home of friends in Tonbridge, Kent.  He is buried in Tonbridge Cemetery.

Like many of his contemporaries Edward Maitland was a prolific letter-writer. Alas, little of his private correspondence is known to have survived. The greater part of the little that has survived is now for the first time made available in this book. The majority of these fascinating letters are directed to two influential ladies, prominent in the social and literary worlds during the second half of 19th century England and the United States. Amongst other things they give us an insight into Maitland's thinking and philosophy, and provide us with intimate glimpses of his life in those worlds – as well as revealing something of the essence of the man himself. 
BRIAN G. McALLISTER, the editor of these letters, is a retired civil servant who lives in Gloucestershire. Born and educated in Ulster, he moved after graduation to England where he has spent the greater part of his life.  For many years he has been a student of the esoteric Christian writings of Anna Kingsford and Edward Maitland.  His rich understanding and familiarity with them is clearly manifest in the well-informed and sensitive handling of these extraordinary letters.

Title: Lost Letters of Edward Maitland  Author: Brian McAllister
Publish date: 1 February 2014,  Binding: Paperback, Pages: 364pp
Illustrations 8 x b/w drawings BY Neil Murison RWA + 1 x photo of editor
Price: £17:50
ISBN: 978-0-9573715-2-1
Available through your local bookshop, or through
Combined Book Services, Gardners and or Bertrams
Also available direct from:

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Psychism and Spirituality

   Psychism and Spirituality
The Rosicrucian Dilemma - Part Two

 This paper is entitled: Psychism and Spirituality – the Rosicrucian Dilemma, was first read at a Rosicrucian Conference in Bournemouth 2010. it expresses some of my personal reflections on the work of a Rosicrucian, particularly in the context of the FAMA & CONFESSIO, in which, as I understand it, the distinction between Psychism and Spirituality is essential to the accomplishment of the Great Work; by which I mean the spiritual regeneration of the soul of both the individual and of humanity.
All quotations and references are from and to Thomas Vaughan’s
English translation of the FAMA, published in 1652
Part Two - Concerning ‘Psychism’ & ‘Spirituality’
On the basis that a delusion, no matter how common-place or popular, is still a delusion, I think this is the right place to qualify what I mean by ‘Spirituality’ and ‘Psychism’; they are after all the main theme of this address. I think most of us would agree that they are common terms, but, do they have a common meaning?
The word Psychism is derived from the Greek ‘Psyche’ which is a term that was, and still is commonly used for the soul. The best description I have read concerning the Psyche is an allegorical tale concerning the evolution of the soul, told by Apuleius in his book Metamorphoses, or the Golden Ass. This ancient story tells of a beautiful princess named Psyche, whose beauty was so marvellous that Venus the goddess of love was threatened by it, and thus she sent her son Cupid to use one his fateful arrows to direct Psyche’s affection towards all that is base and worthless. 
However, Cupid, instead of fulfilling his mother’s wishes fell in love with Psyche, and through his divine powers transported her to his celestial palace where she became his wife. However, in fear of his mother’s anger Cupid only visited Psyche in the darkness of night and left before the dawn, thus she neither knew the name nor the identity of her lover. 
Cupid had warned Psyche never to seek his identity, but Psyche, persuaded by the dark mischief of her jealous sisters, who had convinced her that he was a hideous monster hiding his true form in the darkness, lit a lamp as her husband slept, to see if this was true. Unfortunately some of the hot oil fell from the lamp onto the shoulder of Cupid, who awoke and admonished and divorced Psyche, leaving her desolate. 
Thus begins Psyche’s long and desperate search for her beloved, all the while hunted and tormented by the goddess Venus. After many trials and tribulations, including overcoming Hades, she finally achieves immortality and is reunited with Cupid. Personally I like this story as it portrays the soul’s evolution out of the material world of the senses and the instinctive nature of human biology, into the spiritual world. 
However, in more prosaic terms the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary describes Psychism as the “Doctrine or theory of the existence of forces unexplainable by physical science in connexion with spiritistic phenomena.[3] Not really very helpful, in my opinion. Alternatively, Madame Blavatsky, the co-founder of the Theosophical Society, defined Psychism as “A term now used to denote very loosely every kind of mental phenomena e.g. mediumship, and the higher sensitiveness, hypnotic receptivity, and inspired prophecy, simple clairvoyance in the astral light, and real divine seership.” [4]
Perhaps the most revealing thing about both of these definitions is that they describe Psychism in terms of phenomena and the phenomenal world, whether it be the coarse material world we perceive with our senses, or whether it be some astral/ethereal counterpart that we experience with the mind. In either case they are definitions rooted in the discursive mind born of Duality. 
The word Spirituality is derived from the word ‘Spirit’, which has many meanings in the English language. Reference books and dictionaries describe the word ‘Spirit’, in its non-material sense, as signifying the essential nature or principle of a place, a thing or a person, but it is also used to signify an entity such as an angel, an elemental, a ghost or a demon. But whether it refers to an object, quality or an entity the term is generally used to describe something that is essentially incorporeal or immaterial. Thus, the spiritual essence of a person, place or thing is beyond image and form. How then is it to be understood? 
In my experience this notion of the essence being formless is best expressed in Kabbalistic terms. Kabbalistic thought proposes that Creation emerges in four successive and increasingly material modes from a formless and invisible essence, known as Ain Soph Aur.

The first world is called Atziluth – the archetypal world. It is the world in which the Spiritual essence coalesces into the divine archetypes which are the basis of Creation.

The second world is Briah, the Creative World. This is the world in which the divine archetypes – the differentiated essence – become dynamic but have yet to take form.

The third world is Yetzirah, the Formative world, and it is in this world that the archetypes begin to take form, as in the mind of an architect or designer – albeit a subtle ethereal form that is not usually perceptible to the senses, but is perceivable to the mind.

The fourth is Assiah, the Material world, which is the world of Matter, wherein the archetypes have their most concrete form, a form perceptible to the senses. It is in this world that Adam & Eve were given tunics of skin (Gen. 3: 21). 
This concept of a transcendent and formless spiritual essence is also found in Neo-Platonic thought, which propose three principal modes of being,

The One is the Infinite, the Absolute, the source and ground of existence. It is Unity pure and simple.

The Divine Nous is the Divine Spirit/Mind in which exists the archetypal ideas and prototypes of creation. 
The world Soul is the model of creation itself. It consists of a celestial part that contemplates the Divine Nous, and a terrestrial part which is the vehicle through which the material cosmos is generated. 
Human souls proceed from the World Soul, and as a microcosm of the World Soul consists of two or more parts, the Terrestrial part, the two lowest illustrated in this chart, comprises the realm most commonly experienced by humanity and consists of the material world of the senses and the ethereal world – most commonly known as the Astral. The highest part, the Celestial, the upper two illustrated in this chart, is capable of rising above the material and ethereal world to contemplate the Divine Nous, which constitutes the goal of many esoteric systems.
There are other models that demonstrate this point but the Kabbalistic and Neo-Platonic models shown here were reasonably well known to the esoteric community in the 16th century (See Thorndyke’s History of Magic, and Experimental Science), and are sufficient to demonstrate the SPIRITUAL and the PSYCHIC being a distinction between FORM and ESSENCE. It is clear, then, that throughout history the custodians of the Tradition, whose ranks, according to the Fama must include the first three generations of ROSICRUCIANS, recognised that there is a distinction to be made between Form and Essence. And that the SPIRITUAL is concerned with Essence, and the PSYCHIC with Form. 
It seems to me that if there is a one thing above all else that distinguishes Essence and Form it is the concepts of UNITY and DUALITY. That which is spiritual pertaining to Essence and UNITY and that which is psychic pertaining to Form and DUALITY and all that such implies, including the infinity of worlds and creatures who inhabit them. 
The following illustrations of p.62 and p. 63, of the Confessio clearly demonstrates that the authors were conscious of this distinction, and that the realm of Form, was transient and of the nature of Duality.
It seems very clear to me that the main objective of the Fama was to demonstrate, albeit in a veiled manner, an understanding of the spiritual nature of the Great Work, inspiring aspirants in the opening years of the 17th century to focus on the mysteries of the spiritual life rather than squabbling over the theological and political issues that dominated the poisonous atmosphere of religious hatred that polluted Europe throughout the 16th & 17th centuries. This the Fama does, using the metaphoric and allegorical language of Kabbalah and Alchemy, following the precedents established in the ancient world of using stories as allegories of the spiritual life, transmitted in such a way as to convey and protect the integrity of important spiritual ideas by embodying them in a memorable tale. 
Examples of such methods can be seen in the Mosaic books such as the Exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt, and Moses’ ascent of Mt. Sinai, where history and allegory are obviously combined, or in non-Christian texts such as the story of the Argonauts’ quest for the Golden Fleece. Indeed, as I understand it Apuleius devised the story of the Metamorphoses or Golden Ass as an allegory to circumvent the taboo against speaking publicly about the Sacred Mysteries of Eleusis. He even embedded in the Metamorphoses the story of Cupid and Psyche, which is itself an echo or reflection of the soul’s quest for redemption as portrayed in the Mysteries by Persephone. I think he sailed very close to the wind with that.
There are many other examples of the allegorical method available, Chretien De Troyes Arthurian Romances, Dante’s Paradisio, and Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress come to mind, but they are simply a very few of many possible examples. However, in their own way by their very existence they all support the validity of the Fama to stand, not merely as an ancient political ‘manifesto’, a historical curiosity, but as an allegorical text full of symbols of the spiritual life. To those who think themselves Rosicrucians but have not studied the Fama, having only read and listened to ‘scholarly’ opinion concerning it, I must say with all due respect, that study it you must! It is well worth the effort, for it is dripping with enigmatic and wonderful references to the mysteries of Alchemy and Kabbalah. For example, consider the curious nature of the following passage from page 3 of the Fama:
It reads: “To such an intent of a general Reformation, the most godly and highly illuminated Father, our Brother, Christian Rosencreutz a German, the chief and original of our Fraternity, hath much and long time laboured, who by reason of his poverty (although descended of Noble Parents) in the fifth year of his age (of his Novitiate) was placed in a cloister, where he had learned indifferently the Greek and Latin Tongues, who ( upon his earnest desire and request) being yet in his growing years, was associated to a Brother, P.A.L. who had determined to go to the Holy Land.”
Now we have a choice; we either accept the literal reading of the text; that a poor five year old boy was given over to a monastery, and began learning Latin & Greek, and who sought the guidance of a more senior member, who incidentally, was prepared to take him to the Holy Land. This would make Christian Rosencreutz a monastic and a catholic, which is possible but unlikely. Alternatively, if the words are considered in metaphorical terms they suggest that Christian Rosencreutz was presented as an initiated member of an esoteric brotherhood. It is even possible that both may be true, that he was intended to be seen as both a monastic and an initiate of an esoteric brotherhood; which is not as far-fetched as it might at first appear, concerning which I refer you to the extensive work of Lynn Thorndike [History of Magic, and Experimental Science] who makes abundantly clear just how involved some members of the monastic orders were in the exploration of the esoteric. 
Whatever the whole truth may be it seems to me that one thing is certain – this passage is not saying is that Christian Rosencreutz was a five year old infant when he entered the cloisters, but that he was young in the Work. Furthermore, when Brother P.A.L., is considered in metaphorical terms, he may be seen as a senior member of the Order, who assisted Christian Rosencreutz on his spiritual journey to The Holy Landwhich is a metaphor for the kingdom of heaven – the spiritual goal of the mystic and contemplative. 
That Brother P.A.L., died in Cyprus and Christian Rosencreutz continued on his journey is also suggestive. Either the author is alluding to ‘Death’ in Alchemical terms, suggesting that Christian Rosencreutz had begun the process of Spiritual Alchemy in which the death (quiescence) of the discursive mind, no matter how inspired, is absolutely necessary. In which case brother P.A.L., is being used as a device to symbolise a form of an inspired intellect [such as John the Baptist], or, he may be alluding to the fact that the teacher can only ever be a signpost and that the student must ultimately make the journey alone. Consider the following passage: “At Fez he did get acquaintance with those which are commonly called the Elementary Inhabitants, who revealed unto him many of their secrets:”
I don’t know about you but this passage leaves me with several questions: The first being’ what does the author mean by Elementary Inhabitants? Is he alluding to the ‘elementals’, the Sylphs, Undines, Salamanders and gnomes, or is he suggesting something else?
He continues: Of these of Fez he often did confess, that their Magia was not altogether pure, and also that their Cabala was defiled with their religion; but notwithstanding he knew how to make good use of the same ….” (p.6)
With what ‘Magia’ and ‘Cabala’ did he compare that of Fez, and how was it that one so young, if indeed he was, and I quote: “knew how to make good use of the same”? Whatever the answer may be, these are not the words that describe a youngster or novice alone a strange land.
More revealing is the following:
On page 11, of the Fama Christian Rosencreutz is said to have build a neat habitation, which is the Sancti Spiritus but more of that later. In this ‘habitation’ he “ruminated his voyage, and philosophy, and reduced them together in a true memorial ….” – in my understanding this is a reference to the discipline of meditation, a fundamental undertaking in the Great Work. But more interesting is what follows. Page 12 tells us that after five years he drew out of his first cloister (in itself a puzzle) three of his brethren and bound them to himself. This may mean exactly what it says, that three brothers left their monastery to form a new Order with Christian Rosencreutz, but it also suggests an alchemical allegory concerning the three essential alchemical principles of Sulphur, Mercury and Salt. 
Alchemy assumes the existence of three principles in all things, corresponding with the threefold division of man into body, soul and spirit. These principles are Mercury, Sulphur, and Salt. Sulphur represents the Spiritus Primus. Its nature is fire, and is understood to be an analogue of the soul. To Sulphur is attributed the Sun, the conscious self – the embodiment of will. Mercury represents the Materia Prima. Its nature is water, which in alchemy is understood to be the Spirit. This is not the spirit of Christian theology, which denotes the divine immortal element of Man, but the vital force that is carried in the air, otherwise called the ‘waters of life’. It is passive malleable and volatile; to it is attributed the Moon. Salt represents the Body, the material form resulting from the combination of Mercury and Sulphur. These three principles, acting together, constitute the nature of all things, including man.
Alchemy also understands the universe to be a UNITY, and that all material bodies emerged from that Unity, their component elements being different forms of one matter and, therefore convertible into one another. This theory may be seen as an analogy concerning the soul’s evolution and regeneration – an evolution from an unregenerate state symbolised by the metal Lead to a spiritually regenerate state symbolised by Gold. 
Gold is the symbol of regeneration, and is designated a noble metal, as is Silver; although it is thought to be less mature than gold. In the Eighteenth century, Emanuel Swedenborg, the illustrious Swedish scientist, philosopher and spiritual visionary, designated the man of Gold as “celestial”, and the man of Silver as “spiritual”. Lead, on the other hand, was regarded as a very immature and impure metal: heavy and dull, and as such was considered to be a symbol of man in an unregenerate state.
On a personal note, I was taught to think of Sulphur, as Primus Spiritus, corresponding with the Divine Nous, and to think of Quicksilver, as Materia Prima, corresponding to the World Soul. It is through the conjunction of them both, symbolised by the alchemical marriage of the King and Queen, that the World Soul gives form to the archetypes contained in potentia within the Divine Nous. The materialised forms of the archetypes, and all forms derived from them are represented by the element of salt. 
The more I look at the Fama & the Confessio the more I see an interesting structure woven ‘between the lines’ of the narrative. These core Rosicrucian texts do not simply form a mandate for Magic and Experimental Science, although many have taken it as such. As an expression of the aspirations of a tumultuous era the narrative, of the Fama is interesting on its own terms, but it also has hidden depths that veil a subtext concerning the spiritual transformation of human nature, and as such it is invaluable. As far as my understanding of such things allow, I perceive the language of the Fama to be a symbolic language of allegory and metaphor steeped in esoteric thought, part mythological, part alchemical and part Kabbalistic. 
But when all is said and done it is clear that a recognisable process of spiritual transformation is implicit in the text of the Fama. And it seems to me that the purpose of the text is to act as a vehicle for this process, a process that is concealed through the use of allegory and metaphor, of sign and symbol, only to be discovered by a persistent and reflective mind. This process appears in the Fama in four stages or phases:
1)               Apprenticeship (Elemental)
2)               Building the Sancti Spiritus
3)               Interior life (Meditation & Contemplation)
4)               Charity (six commendations)
 The first, The Apprenticeship, is described at the beginning of the Fama. It presents our Christian Rosencreutz on a journey of discovery in the world, but what world he is exploring is left for the reader to discover. At first glance it seems to be a quaint record of an adventure, but closer examination reveals it to be an allegory of a student learning the basic curriculum of the Work and maturing sufficiently to pass through a labyrinth of esoterica until he arrives at a place of self-knowledge and is thus able to begin the construction of the Sancti Spiritus.
The second, the building of The Sancti Spiritus, describes Christian Rosencreutz building a spiritual body, but only after he has understood that the world has little interest in his discoveries is he motivated to do so. Our hero learns the hard way that the world is only interested in securing control over the resources of the world of the senses, and maintaining the status quo – personal power being everything. [illus. p. 11]
The third, The Interior Life, describes Christian engaging in meditation, exploring his spiritual journey thus far, and reflecting upon the philosophy of the spiritual life. Mathematics is drawn to the reader’s attention as a major subject of his exploration, and I can’t help wondering just what the author of the Fama means by ‘Mathematics’. Did the author mean the ‘philosophy of Number’, or did the author mean the practise of Gematria to unravel the mysteries of scripture? I say this because the CONFESSIO states on page 49: [illus. p.49]
This suggests to me a Kabbalistic exegesis of Biblical texts using mathematical systems such as Gematria, Temura and Notarikon, and rightly so for such systems are profound meditative tools, capable of revealing subtle layers of meaning in the scriptures that are not obvious to the rational mind. Furthermore, the description of the ‘Vault’ of Christian Rosencreutz gives a marvellous insight to the nature of the Sancti Spiritus, a description that is also an allegorical puzzle. It has fascinated esoterically minded people for the last four hundred years or more, and has been the central feature of many esoteric orders for more than a century. However, I am inclined to accept the description of the VAULT as an elucidation of the interior world of the soul from a Biblical perspective, [See Exodus 26] an internal cosmology expressed in both Kabbalistic and Alchemical terms. 
The fourth, I call Charity. Charity, because it is concerned with the work of a Rosicrucian living in the world. At its heart is the dynamic of Love – that is to say, Charity; and it is supported by the practice of Humility – by living quietly and invisibly in the world without seeking fame, recompense, fortune or power over others. This Rule, combined with the three previous phases, establishes a quintessentially Christian model for living a spiritual life; rooted as it is in the formula established by Jesus Christ: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind and with all thy strength, and thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy self. [Mark 12. 30-31] For those who have the eyes to see, this quotation is a cipher, to which I shall refer shortly.

The theme of this paper is Spirituality or Psychism – A Rosicrucian Dilemma. It is entitled thus because the dilemma for the aspiring Rosicrucian is simply this: if the Great Work is the spiritual regeneration of the soul of both our race and the individual, how much of a Rosicrucian’s time should be given to chasing the ephemera that is ‘Psychism’ and how much should be given to the seeking of the ‘Spiritual’? 
Put another way, what is the core objective of a Rosicrucian? Is it to discover and engage with the Essence that is the causal principle of Form or is it to explore the science of Form? This is the dilemma (Theology versus Technology)that I believe has always been central to Rosicrucianism, and I believe it is a dilemma that will continue to present itself to succeeding generations of Rosicrucians as they seek to understand the spiritual dimension of the soul.
It seems to be the case that many begin the Work by seeking codes and ciphers that might reveal material treasures and knowledge of great secrets, and many choose the route of magic convinced that it is the ‘Sure Way’ to attain such things, but the Rosicrucian Way, as described in the FAMA, is not the acquisition of more stuff, of more money, more power, more secret knowledge, forever seeking to become immortal and attain the power of a god. 
Nevertheless, there are ciphers, and there are codes, but they speak of things other than the transient. For example: the text of the FAMA alludes to three important principles. In the first instance we are directed to reflect upon CR’s aspiration to go to the Holy Land. This is an allegorical message to seek the Kingdom of God. The second rests upon building the Sancti Spiritus and entering therein. This is an allegorical reference to the Kingdom of God being ‘Within’. The third principle rests upon the first of the Six Commendations: ‘To cure the sick, and that gratis’, to which all Rosicrucians are committed. This is a reference to developing the dynamic of ‘Love’ which lies at the heart of Christian Spirituality, and is embodied in the formula cited a moment ago. Thus: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind and with all thy strength, and thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy self. [Mark 12. 30-31].
Look at like this:
Viewed without prejudice this is not only a moral imperative but a cipher that introduces us to a means of entering the kingdom of God. The imperative is ‘Thou shalt love . . . .’ Now Love has many forms, but only two concern us here. The first lies in the yearning of the soul for union with God. It is a spiritual hunger for a tangible knowledge of God, This very human love for the Divine is called Eros and it is in Eros that we see the soul’s love of God reflected in the world, that is, in our love of self, family, friends, lovers, beauty; in essence it is the soul seeking God in nature. As such it is a Purifying Fire in which the soul is transformed in act of service and duty.
The second description of ‘Love’ is not the dynamic and compelling force of Eros but the experience of the love of God. This ‘love’ is Agape, which may be understood as God’s love for the soul experienced not through any effort of the soul, but a divine love freely bestowed upon the soul by God. In short, Eros drives the soul to ‘possess’, but Agape is a transforming Fire, that ‘possesses’ the soul. It is frequently experienced as the ‘peace that surpasses all understanding’, and once experienced it becomes the basis of unshakeable faith. It is in the labour of meditation that Eros is manifest; in the aspiration of the soul seeking divine union. But it is in the stillness of contemplation that Agape frequently takes place – ‘dwelling in the presence of God’. 
To ‘Love’, as Christ commands, is a powerful dynamic. It is not simply the intense articulation of feelings, but must also include the application of a developed intention, for to love requires knowledge of that which is loved, and to love the Lord thy God requires a conception of what God is and means in human terms. Thus we are encouraged to develop our concept of God, [illus p. 30] which invariably takes a considerable time, but once begun will continue to evolve, like a mysterious spiritual crystal growing in the darkness of human ignorance, and the more we continue in that alchemical process the greater will be our appreciation of the Divine. 
To love the Lord thy God “with all thy soul” it is necessary to have some knowledge of the soul, because just as our conception of God is initially naive, so too is our concept of the soul; thus, knowledge of the soul is a fundamental objective for all Rosicrucians. It has been described variously as non-material and immortal or as a by-product of the chemistry of matter, and definitely mortal, its existence ending with the ending of the chemistry of matter. Some describe the soul as an entity others as a vehicle; indeed, it has been and remains the subject of many opinions and definitions, but regardless of prevailing opinion we should aspire to learn how to understand and govern the soul, to do so effectively requires knowledge of its nature and dynamics, one of the chief purposes of Meditation. It is equally so with regards to the mind. To understand and direct the mind requires more than brute instinct or ‘natural intuition’, it requires an education and to that end the beginning of the Work is directed.
Thus, this Great Commandment may be understood to be a cipher that directs the reflective soul to learn how to love; to learn how to govern the soul; to learn how to direct the mind, and to harness the strength and power of the psyche. All of which are to be directed to the service of God and Humanity, for although the commandment begins with the words “Love the Lord thy God” it concludes with the words: “Love thy neighbour as thyself”. It is in this commandment that we discover the means of unfolding the mystery of ‘Love’ taught by Christ – a mystery that enables the soul to transcend SELF and draws it into the all-encompassing ‘Presence’ of God. 
Thus the dilemma is resolved in a life of service, where SELF is sublimated in a life of service to God and Humanity – this is the heart that I see beating at the centre of the FAMA and the CONFESSIO.
A Final Note
I have noticed that Rosicrucianism has frequently been appropriated to support Pagan or non-Christian interests. Many seeing them only in their connection with Alchemy, Magic and Kabbalah, and more recently, with freemasonry, yet, it is only in the context and terms of the Fama & Confessio – which are undeniable expressions of the Christian Mysteries – that Rosicrucians are defined. And it is a matter of fact that the first Rosicrucians, whoever they were, are defined therein as self-professed Christians, and it was as Christians that they engaged with these disciplines – thus influencing over the centuries the pattern and shape of esoteric endeavours in our world. But, that is, regrettably, the subject of another discussion.

Thank you.

Note: This address may be found
as an audio at Imagierplus on Youtube.

[1] Sentences of Paulus. See Stephen Benko, Pagan Rome and the Early Christians (London, Batsford, 1985) p128-129

[2] The word ‘egregore’ is an uncommon word that is most frequently used today among occultists to signify entities that are magically created by an esoteric group, or, to signify the resultant though form of the group-mind of a group of like-minded people that join together for a common purpose.
The etymology of the word ‘egregore’ is unclear. According to one definition the word egregore is derived from the Latin ‘egredior’ (to go out), and ‘grex’ (a collective, such as a flock or herd). Another definition describes the word ‘egregore’ being derived from the Greek Egregoros’ (Watcher). A third derives the word ‘egregore’ from the Hebrew ‘Grigori’. The Grigori are fallen angels referred to in the Book of EnochOf the taking up of Enoch into the fifth Heaven. In Jewish legendary lore the Grigori are fallen angels that resemble men in appearance, but are taller than giants, and, are eternally silent; these too are called ‘watchers’. (See The Legends of the Jews Vol.1, p 130. by Ginzberg. & A Dictionary of Angels p 126-7 & 311by Gustav Davidson).


[3] W. Little [et al.], The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary Third edition revised and edited by C.T. Onions. O.U.P., 1956.

[4] H.P. Blavatsky, The Theosophical Glossary. London, 1892,]