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CHAPTER VIII LETTER TO "L`ÉCHO DU MERVEILLEUX" (October 15, 1910) I am but a solitary student; I do not belong to any association, not to any tangible esoteric or religious fraternity. The few friends who share my conception regarding occultism, have the good fortune of being unnoted, unfamous, and the wisdom of preserving their "incognito." I have delved into many subjects since 1887, when these studies began to interest me passionately. I never had the material means to acquire the books I sought, and time was lacking; but destiny compensated me by placing on my path the authorized representatives of the highest traditions. Propriety has always prevented me from divulging to anyone what those extraordinary but obscure men considered as non-divulgeable secrets. Rabbis have communicated their secret manuscripts to me; alchemists admitted me to their laboratories; Soufis, Buddhists and Taoists, many a night have taken me along to the abode of their gods. A Brahman permitted me to copy his Mantramic tables and a Yogi imparted to me the secrets of contemplation. But, one evening after meeting a certain person, all that those admirable men had taught me became as naught, as ethereal as the light vapour which rises at dusk from the overheated earth. All my small books on esotericism, all my articles in occult reviews, all the classes I gave at the Hermetic school were forcibly dotted with lacunes or reticences; at best, these arid essays had had the merit of drawing the attention of seekers and of suscitating deeper research and work. As for myself, along with a few close friends, I have explored all esotericisms and all the crypts with fervent sincerity and the utmost desire for success. But none of these certitudes once attained seemed to be The Certitude. Very early in life I had the chance of discovering and understanding the Illuminati, especially Louis-Claude de Saint Martin, and through him, the genial Jacob Boehme in whose fecund and prolific works one finds abridged, condensed pre-Krishnaic theosophy, German philosophy and modern philosophy. From there I finally reached the mystics after having followed the common illusion which makes us seek afar the treasures which Providence places within our reach. Do we not run after what we think is hidden? We do not know anything about our own religion, it does not interest us; and yet its dogma and liturgy are the most complete exposÊ of integral knowledge which exists on earth at this time. All that the Theologians have written about so far is not the 20th part of the truths contained in the formulae. Everything is to be found in Catholicism: the science of the mineral as well as the science of the soul, the art of being a head of state or ruler, as well as practicing the art of the medical man, the power of the thaumaturgist as well as the tactics of the sociologist. The opinion I express here is not that of a faithful of the Church of Rome, but that of a direct disciple of the Gospel, the Gospel we are prone to discard in favour of the oriental religions that we tend to regard as pseudo-tabernacles of the sole Verity. This is how I was led to draw attention to: Boehme, Gichtel and Law by writing about these mystics generally unknown in France and yet who, in my opinion, have attained as elevated a status as the most celebrated doctors and saints. But if BoÍhme and Saint John of the Cross have much in common, Swedenborg and Paracelsus differ and are as conflicting as Catholicism, Babism, Islam, Buddhism, Brahmanism, and tutti quanti. There is no room for sentimentality when

examining theosophical notions. It is not true that religions are one; if this were so, their adepts would not kill one another neither with swords nor calumny. The sentimentality-laden phrases of the died-in-the-wool unificators are born from a flaw in logic. Everything is one in the absolute they claim; hence forms in the relative state must be one also. Absolutely not! The Trimourti is not the Christian Trinity nor the Pythagorean ternary; Jesus and the Buddha are not the same principle, nor two functions of the same principle; Gnosis and the Gospels do not lead to the same goal. One must read in the texts what is there, and not what one would wish to find therein. One must observe in spiritual experiences that which happens and not what a pseudo-master affirms should be taking place; we must never abandon our probing rights for thoughtful examinations. That is why I have written these three books: "On Fakirism," The "Magic Letters" and "Occult Medicine." Where does this certitude come from, will be asked, and by what right this presumption of authority? Our contemporaneous intellectuality understands the mystic very poorly. I do not claim being one, to me that word represents such an elevated state that I hold it as my ideal. Would I be my own criterion? No, I only know that the Father is all. Yet man believes the Father to be nothing or next to nothing. When 2 000 years ago, someone Who walked along the pathways was capturing souls after souls with just a glance, assuming them to the very threshold of untreated Light, why couldn't He, whenever He would want to, reactivate these spiritual cures during these encounters which He suscitates all along the mysterious paths of the Invisible? My God is the Absolute, the essence of the Absolute, and as such, He is closer to me than the most beautiful of gods, than the tenderest of spouses; to hear His miraculous Voice, it is sufficient to stop listening to created beings; to feel His all-powerful ineffable kindness, it suffices to stop desiring created beings. One acclaims Lao-Tze, Moses, Pythagoras, St. Denis the-AĂŠropagist, the Rose-Croix they are useless; they are but small flickering flames; they have not seen the billionth part of what there is to see, they have also erected fences and built guard-rails between us and the Father! That should not be, as there is nothing between man and God except the voluntary perversion of man. To learn that we know nothing, to experience that one can do nothing, to verify that Heaven is here within us, that our Friend constantly enfolds us within His blessed arms - this is the lesson of Jesus. This is what I have attempted to say by publishing: Lectures on the Gospels,41* The Mystic Breviary, Our Spiritualistic Duty, Mystical Forces, and Initiations. (October 15, 1910)

L`écho du merveilleux