e re F
Vol. 4 February 2012
SCIENCE, OCCULTISM, ESOTERICA, PHILOSOPHY, & HISTORICAL ANECDOTE
On Media and Consciousness
A Weird Tale
A Case of Astral Projection
The Eighth Labour of Hercules
The Creation Myth
ON MEDIA AND CONSCIOUSNESS Neil Postman, in his book Amusing Ourselves to Death, puts forth the idea that different types of media are ideal for different types of knowledge. This is something of an expansion on Marshal McLuhan’s concept of ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ types of media – that is, media which requires little participation (TV), and media which requires much participation (books, or even more, dialogue). This example of Postman’s idea I take from Wikipedia—
When comparing these ideas to the theories of occult and mystic traditions, an interesting new depth comes up, since occultists are more concerned with types of consciousness than they are with types of knowledge. We could say this: that particular forms of media offer a path of least resistance for corresponding types of consciousness. As such, the quality of expression that comes from its corresponding level of consciousness constitutes the majority
“Only in the printed word, he states, could complicated truths be rationally conveyed. Postman gives a striking example: The first fifteen U.S. presidents could probably have walked down the street without being recognized by the average citizen, yet all these men would have been quickly known by their written words. However, the reverse is true today. The names of presidents or even famous preachers, lawyers, and scientists call up visual images, typically television images, but few, if any, of their words come to mind. The few that do almost exclusively consist of carefully chosen soundbytes.”
of that type of media’s output (and influence).
The Judgment of God
A Brief History of the Magic Wand
Why I Joined Freemasonry
The Parable of the Rock
Concept & Research Levin Diatschenko
Layout & Design Nico Liengme
All works © their respective owners except where copyright expired Published with assistance from the Leichhardt Lodge of Research No.225, Darwin. Printed in Darwin by Uniprint NT
© 2012 Levin Diatschenko
For subscriptions, submissions and arguments write to the editor: email@example.com
In the diagram we have the basic constitution of man as taught in most occult systems1. Here are the three ‘tiers’ or bodies for the three levels of consciousness, which make up the lower self or “personality”: the physical, emotional, and mental. Next up is the intuitive or causal, the beginning of soul consciousness. Psychological evolution would mean progressing from physical awareness and control, to emotional awareness and control, to mental, and on to the intuitive. These separate parts, which each flare up and take control of the personality at different times, The Veil Vol. 4 | 1
n any specific place and time, its people are almost entirely concerned with what are called ‘the current issues.’ They prefer to discuss these issues exclusively. The understanding is that they are current because they are important. The proposition here is that those same issues are only current because they are discussed. Newspapers don’t discuss Climate Change because it is important; it has been an important issue since the Industrial Revolution kicked off. The discussions of the day are mostly reactions. The words “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you” are far from outdated, despite their time of authorship. Buddhist and Hindu texts – even older — wrote that we are all interconnected. Then Einstein, Tesla and others helped to prove that on a physical and electrical level. Einstein didn’t discover something new; he confirmed something old. Our time-centricity is just another prejudice. We have the same interests and problems that we’ve had for centuries (like food, sex and war). Our progress amounts to being more efficient at being the same. The politics of the day are like soap operas; there is never any resolution. The Veil is an attempt at detaching itself from the orbit of its own day. And, from that space, publishing articles on their own merit. The idea is that an article that is relevant to today, need not necessarily have been written today. Inside The Veil you will find entertaining anecdotes, letters, articles and documents of interest from a range of different eras and countries.
eventually become (through meditation and service) integrated into a synthetic whole and something of a vertical channel for higher (spiritual) influence to ‘pour down.’ We are told in Alice A. Bailey’s books that the four main types of yoga are general to the development of the four parts of man: hathar yoga for the physical part, bakhti yoga for the emotional, and raja yoga for the mental body. Eventually agni yoga2 is said to work on the whole at once, from an intuitive vantage point. Gurdjief refered to this working on the whole as The Fourth Way. I also recall in one of the Alice Bailey books the instruction that the more advanced way of development necessarily includes the lesser ways within it, in results if not in practices. This is interesting considering that the most advanced form of communication media includes all the other forms within it, though now in unspecialised forms. The Internet contains symbols, books, radio, television and film, though none of these take the stage as they did in their own times. Another point made here on the diagram is that the evolution of media moves in the reverse direction of the evolution of the soul.
Internet is impulsive, and we click on links out of impulse – like instinct or reflex – most of the time. We accept changes and we pass on sound bytes and chain mails all automatically rather than with discernment.
In occult literature the physical world is viewed as the plain of completed manifestation. If an idea, for example, is developed enough to qualify for existence it will manifest in the world as a symbol or movement or group, together with its consequences. The physical form of a thing is the tip of the iceberg but also the ‘capping off’ of a thing. The physical form is also something like a cup that contains all the subtler parts of a creation within it. A human’s body has its corresponding gestures, movements, and indications of the non-physical parts: emotion, intellect, and so forth. Books of poetry are physical things that yet contain emotions and abstract ideas. Thinking of communication media as a parallel, we see that the Internet is the completed manifestation (or endpoint of evolution) of media – yet, since it seems ‘inverted,’ it is the least physical form of media. We buy and own E-books and MP3s where we used to buy paper and records, tapes and discs.
Levin Diatschenko Editor
Nevertheless, we think of the Internet in physical terms. It has ‘sites’ with meeting places and ‘rooms’. When the military cuts off ways to meet, revolutionaries still ‘meet’ online. Facebook is essentially a solution to loneliness; we can get home and still be in the presence of friends. Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, chat rooms and virtual places encourage a more instinctual or physical awareness. Internet is impulsive, and we click on links out of impulse – like instinct or reflex – most
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It should be noted that meditation also serves this purpose, as meditation is the practice of traversing from instinct to intellect to intuition, and holding the consciousness in the ‘highest’ place achievable to the practitioner. Aphorisms and sutras are similarly sparse, requiring intuitive participation. Soon we come to the sparsest of mediums: symbols and hieroglyphs. One symbol can provide a lifetime of meditation upon its meanings and applications. Thus we have the cross, the pentagram, the enneagram, and so on.
of the time. We accept changes and we pass on sound bytes and chain mails all automatically rather than with discernment. Sometimes this behaviour opens us up to ‘viruses’. Although the diagram here matches up types of consciousness neatly with types of media technology, the idea is more general: as media progresses and becomes more complex, its users become more automatic. Here are some points about specific types: Television and radio are ideal for emotional consciousness. If we stop to ponder intellectual points, the radio does not wait but continues on whether we are paying attention or not. Because of this we can grasp impressions and moods better than intellectual points. Advertising flourishes here, speaking to the emotions and encouraging desire. Pop music and its emotional effects are ideal for these mediums. Of course there are intellectual shows playing on these mediums, but these are not the ways of least resistance. Books and especially the printing press in general are ideal for logic and reason, that is, concrete thought. This is because we can pause on a sentence, re-read and ponder until the point is grasped. And then, when ready, we read on. Because of this, books take more concentration than radio, movies and television – more mental effort. If the concentration is not there, the book stops. They do not pull the reader in as effectively as a television does, although some of the more modern books do a good job of imitating television (or cinema), which, in other words, speaks of aiming at the
emotions. We call them ‘page-turners.’ Books are less accidental than movies or television shows, and discernment is a trait of concrete thought. Again, I speak generally: tabloid papers and magazines are obviously printing’s step towards emotional consciousness. Their short lives and quick disposability speaks of this. So too are there radio and television shows, as well as movies, aimed at the intellect – though these are not the mainstream. Earlier again we have the medium of spoken words and ceremony (or ritual). Although we could call mythology a medium in itself, it is also the major content of spoken word and religious ceremony as means of teaching. This is conducive of a more intuitive and creative consciousness. Mythology is not always consistent from source to source, though the key points or patterns are preserved. A case in point is Jesus and Hercules – both of whom had a god for a father and a mortal woman for a mother, placing the heroes as links between the divine and animal kingdoms. As long as that linking-idea was preserved, many details around that could change. Spoken word teaching requires mutual interest, interaction and concentration from both the teller and receiver; it requires a subjectivity that books do not. Ceremony and ritual provide this inasmuch as ceremony is the acting out of mythology. The last supper is imitated in the first communion of the catholic tradition; the death of Hiram Abiff is imitated in a freemason’s third degree ritual; creation stories are imitated in aboriginal corroborees. And so invocation results.
At first glance, the opposite directions of soul and technological progress might appear that a Luddite’s outlook is implied. However, this is not the message. As the spirit is said to fall unconscious when it descends into matter (i.e. manifests), giving birth to worldly life; so might a parallel development be taking place with technology. The Internet might be the completed manifestation of communications media in a similar way that the physical body is such to the “involution” of the soul. (The term ‘involution’ refers to the descent of soul into matter and thus birth, while evolution is the soul ‘awaking’ in its form and turning back towards spirit.) This would imply the need to awake in the metaphysical sense, in media as in body3. The problem then lies in sleep, or what Heidegger called “the forgetting of being,” and what Kundera called the “nonthought of received ideas.” Unconsciousness, in other words. Technology, and media in general, is like the Sabbath; when we are unconscious, we become servants – even “servomechanisms,” as McLuhan said – to our creations. The saying that the mind is a wonderful servant but a cruel master can be applied to media too; it is always master when we are in a state of unconsciousness. No sleepwalker can lead and direct. Sleepwalkers become mediums themselves. Hence the relevance of meditation and spiritual ceremony. 1. For example: Theosophy, Alice Bailey, Gurdjief and Ouspensky. Alchemical and Golden Dawn traditions also agree though using different terminology (earth, water, wind, fire, etc.). 2. See Helena Roerich’s Agni Yoga books. 3. Incidentally, this polarity of directions may also be an indication of support for Poitr Ouspensky’s theory of evolution (see his book A New Model of The Universe) wherein he proposes that the human soul reincarnates backwards in time. Eventually all souls, each in turn, would sift through and relive the part of Christ on the cross and Buddha under the banyan tree. The Veil Vol. 4 | 3
A WEIRD TALE
By William Q. Judge, first published in The Theosophist, July and December, 1885. William Q. Judge, an Irish immigrant to U.S.A., was one of the founders of the original Theosophical Society. He remained many years in charge of the North American Section.
I The readers of this magazine have read in its pages, narratives far more curious and taxing to belief than the one I am about to give fragments of. The extraordinary Russian tale of the adept at the rich man’s castle when the infant assumed the appearance of an old man will not be forgotten. But the present tale, while not in the writer’s opinion containing anything extremely new, differs from many others in that I shall relate some things I myself saw. At this time too, the relation is not inopportune, and perhaps some things here set down may become, for many, explanations of various curious occurrences during the past five years in India and Europe. To begin with, this partial story is written in accordance with a direction received from a source which I cannot disobey and in that alone must possess interest, because we are led to speculate why it is needed now. Nearly all of my friends in India and Europe are aware that I have traveled often to the northern part of the South American continent and also to Mexico. That fact has been indeed noticed in this magazine. One very warm day in July 1881, I was standing at the vestibule of the Church of St. Theresa in the City of Caracas, Venezuela. This town was settled by the Spaniards who invaded Peru and Mexico and contains a Spanishspeaking people. A great crowd of people were at the door and just then a procession emerged with a small boy running ahead and clapping a loud clapper to frighten away the devil. As I noticed this, a voice in English said to me “curious that they have preserved that singular ancient custom.” Turning I saw a remarkable looking old man who smiled peculiarly and said, “Come with me and have a talk.” I complied and he soon led me to a house which I had often noticed, over the door being a curious old Spanish tablet devoting the place to the patronage of St. Joseph and Mary. On his invitation I entered and at once saw that here was not an ordinary Caracas house. Instead of lazy dirty Venezuelan servants, there were only clean Hindoos such as I had often seen in the neighbouring English 4 | The Veil Vol. 4
Island of Trinidad; in the place of the disagreeable fumes of garlic and other things usual in the town, there hung in the air the delightful perfumes known only to the Easterners. So I at once concluded that I had come across a delightful adventure. Seating ourselves in a room hung with tapestry and cooled by waving punkahs that evidently had not been long put up, we engaged in conversation. I tried to find out who this man was, but he evaded me. Although he would not admit or deny knowledge of the Theosophical Society of Madame Blavatsky or of the Mahatmas, he constantly made such references that I was sure he knew all about them and had approached me at the church designedly. After quite a long talk during which I saw he was watching me and felt the influence of his eye, he said that he had liberty to explain a little as we had become sufficiently acquainted. It was not pleasure nor profit that called him there, but duty alone. I referred to the subterranean passages said to exist in Peru full of treasure and then he said the story was true and his presence there connected with it. Those passages extended up from Peru as far as Caracas where we then were. In Peru they were hidden and obstructed beyond man’s power to get them but in this place the entrances were not as well guarded, although in 1812 an awful earthquake had levelled much of the town. The Venezuelans were rapacious and these men in
air and he begged me to remain until he returned as he was called, and then left the room. I waited a long time filled with speculations, and as it was getting late and past dinner hour I was about to leave. Just as I did so a Hindoo servant quickly entered and stood in front of the only door. As he stood there I heard a voice say as if through a long pipe: “Stir not yet.” Reseating myself, I saw that on the wall, where I had not before noticed it, hung a curious broad silver plate brightly shining. The hour of the day had come when the sun’s light struck this plate and I saw that on it were figures which I could not decipher. Accidentally looking at the opposite wall, I saw that the plate threw a reflection there upon a surface evidently prepared for that purpose and there was reproduced the whole surface of the plate. It was a diagram with compass, sign and curious marks. I went closer to examine, but just at that moment the sun dipped behind the houses and the figures were lost. All I could make out was that the letters looked like exaggerated Tamil or Telugu — perhaps Zend. Another faint bell sounded and the old man returned. He apologized, saying he had been far away, but that we would meet again. I asked where, and he said, “In London.” Promising to return I hurried away. Next day I could not find him at all and discovered that there were two houses devoted to Joseph and Mary and I could not tell which I had seen him in. But in each I found Spaniards, Spanish servants and Spanish smells.
As I entered and gazed at the work, I perceived a man of foreign aspect there who looked at me as I entered. I felt as if he knew me or that I had met him, but was utterly unable to be sure. India who knew the secret had sent him there to prevent any one finding the entrances. At certain seasons only there were possibilities of discovery; the seasons over he could depart in security, as until the period came again no one could find the openings without the help and consent of the adepts. Just then a curious bell sound broke on the
In 1884 I went to London and had forgotten the adventure. One day I strolled into an old alley to examine the old Roman wall in the Strand which is said to be 2,000 years old. As I entered and gazed at the work, I perceived a man of foreign aspect there who looked at me as I entered. I felt as if he knew me or that I had
met him, but was utterly unable to be sure. His eyes did not seem to belong to his body and his appearance was at once startling and attractive. He spoke to the attendant, but his voice did not help me. Then the attendant went out and he approaching me, said:
there is some truth in my statement. It may interest those who can read between the lines to know that I attempted several times to finish the tale so as to send it all in one batch to the magazine, but always found that at the point where the first chapter ends
“Have you forgotten the house of Joseph and Mary?” In a moment I knew the expression that looked out through those windows of the soul, but still this was not the same man. Determined to give him no satisfaction I simply said, “no,” and waited. “Did you succeed in making out the reflection from the silver plate on the wall?” Here was complete identification of place, but not of person.
The atmosphere of the room seemed to give the memory great retentive power, and when on returning to my room that night I fell upon those sentences in the Bhagavad Gita. I knew that they had come to me from a place or a person for whom I should have respect.
“Well,” I said, “I saw your eyes in Caracas but not your body,” He then laughed and said, “I forgot that, I am the same man, but I have borrowed this body for the present and must indeed use it for some time, but I find it pretty hard work to control it. It is not quite to my liking. The expression of my eyes of course you knew, but I lost sight of the fact that you looked at the body with ordinary eyes.” Once more I accompanied him to his residence and when not thinking of his person but only listening with the soul, I forgot the change. Yet it was ever present, and he kindly gave me an account of some things connected with himself, of absorbing interest. He began in this way. “I was allowing myself to deceive myself, forgetting the Bhagavad Gita where it tells us, that a man is his soul’s friend and his soul’s enemy, in that retreat in Northern India where I had spent many years. But the chance again arose to retrieve the loss incurred by that and I was given the choice of assuming this body.”
“The man whose passions enter his heart as waters run into the unswelling passive ocean obtaineth happiness; not he who lusteth in his lusts. The man who having abandoned the lusts of the flesh worketh without inordinate desires, unassuming, and free from pride, obtaineth happiness. This is divine dependence. A man being possessed of this confidence in the Supreme goeth not astray: even at the hour of death should he attain it he shall mix with the incorporeal nature of Brahm. He who enjoyeth the Amreeta that is left of his offerings obtaineth the eternal spirit of Brahm the Supreme.”
my eyes would blur, or the notes ready for the work became simply nonsense, or some other difficulty intervened, so that I was never until now able to get any further with it than the last installment. It is quite evident to me that it will not be finished, although I know quite well what it is that I have to say. This part must, therefore, be the last, as in trying to reach a conclusion much time is wasted in fighting against whatever it is that desires to prevent my going into full details. In order then to be able to get out even so much as this I am compelled to omit many incidents which would perhaps be interesting to several persons; but I shall try to remember particularly and relate what things of a philosophical nature were repeated to me.
At this point again I heard the signal bell and he again left me. When he returned, he resumed the story. As I sat there waiting for the host to come back, I felt the moral influence If I can soon again get the opportunity, of another mind, like a cool breeze I will describe that scene, but for the blowing from a mountain. It was the present must here take a halt. mind of one who had arrived at least at that point where he desired no II other thing than that which Karma may bring, and, even as that influence There are many who cannot believe crept over me, I began to hear a voice that I have been prevented from speaking as it were through a pipe writing the whole of this tale at once, the end of which was in my head, but and they have smiled when they read which stretched an immense distance that I would continue it “if allowed.” into space1 making the voice sound But all who know me well will feel that faint and far off. It said:
Occupied with such thoughts, I did not notice that my host had returned, and looking up was somewhat startled to see him sitting at the other side of the apartment reading a book. The English clothes were gone and a white Indian dhoti covered him, and I could see that he wore round his body the Brahmanical cord. For some reason or other he had hanging from a chain around his neck an ornament which, if it was not rosicrucian, was certainly ancient. Then I noticed another change. There seemed to have come in with him, though not by the door, other visitors which were not human. At first I could not see them, though I was aware of their presence, and after a few moments I knew that whatever they were they rushed hither and thither about the room as if without purpose. They had yet no form. This absorbed me again so that I said nothing and my host was also silent. In a few more moments these rushing visitors had taken from the atmosphere enough material to enable them to become partly visible. Now and then they made a ripple in the air as if they disturbed the medium in which they moved about, just as the fin of a fish troubles the surface of the water. I began to think of the elemental shapes we read of in Bulwer Lytton’s Zanoni, and which have been illustrated in Henry Kunrath’s curious book on the Cabala of the Hebrews. “Well,” said my strange friend, “do you see them? You need have no fear, as they are harmless. They do not see you, excepting one that appears to The Veil Vol. 4 | 5
know you. I was called out so as to try is an occult reason why, although while, and seemed to await my voice, if it were possible for you to see them, without form, these particular shapes so I said: and am glad that you do.” were assumed. And having been once assumed and seen thus by the seer, “What could have induced you to “And the one that knows me,” said I. they always repeated that form to leave those peaceful places where true “Can you identify it in any way?” those persons. So the representative progress may be gained.” of the astral light or of wisdom or the “Well,” said he, “let us call it he. recording angel, is yellow in color, very “Well,” he replied, “very likely they He seems to have seen you — been tall, with a long bill like a stork. Or the were peaceful, and quite truly progress impressed with your image just as a one who takes the weight of the soul is was possible, but you do not appreciate photograph is on a plate — somewhere always seen with a jackal’s head. . . . No, the dangers also. You have read Zanoni, or other, and I also see that he is there is no prohibition against telling and perhaps have an exaggerated connected with you by a name. Yes, it the occult reason. It is merely this: were idea of the horrible Dweller of the is —————” it told, only one in a thousand hearers Threshold, making of her a real person would see any meaning or reason in it. or thing. But the reality is much worse. And then he mentioned the name of . . . Let your mind reflect also upon the When you get into what you have an alleged elemental or nature spirit peculiarity that all the judges sitting called the ‘peaceful places,’ this power which at one time, some years ago, was above there have heads alike, while becomes tenfold stronger than it is heard of in New York. in color they differ, each one having found to be on the plane in which we a feather, the emblem of truth, on his now live in London.” “He is looking at you now, and seems head . . . No, it is not Hindu, and yet it is to be seeking something. What did you the same. They used to say, and I think “Why, I supposed that there, free from have or make once that he knew of?” you may find it in one of their books, the cankering anxieties of modern life, that ‘everything is in the Supreme soul, the neophyte sailed happily on through I then recollected a certain picture, a and the Supreme soul in everything.’2 plain seas to the shores of the fortunate copy of an Egyptian papyrus of the So the great truth is one, while it can be isles.” Hall of Two Truths showing the trial seen in a thousand different ways. We of the Dead, and so replied, regretting [Egyptians] took a certain view and “Far from that. On that plane it is that I had not got it with me to show made every symbol consistent and of a found that, although from the spiritual my friend. But even as I said that, I saw class consonant with our view. . . . And sun there falls upon us the benign the very picture lying upon the table. just as the Hindus are accused of being influence of those great sages who, Where it came from I do not know, as idolaters because they have represented entering paranirvana, throw off their I had no recollection of bringing it with Krishna with eight arms standing accumulated goodness for our benefit, me. However, I asked no questions, and on the great elephant, we, who did the evil influence that is focused by the waited, as my host was looking intently not picture an eight-armed divinity, dark side of the moon falls as well, and at the space above my head. are charged with having worshipped with its power undiminished. The little jackals, cats and birds . . . temptations and difficulties of your life “Ah, that is what he was are as nothing compared to looking for, and he seems to that struggle for then it is be quite pleased,” he said, as realized that the self is the if I could hear and see just as enemy of the self, as well as he did. I knew he referred to its friend.”3 I have stood aside from this the elemental. “But,” said I, “was the fault earthly tabernacle many In another moment my committed a great one, that a time to let in those who, attention was riveted on the it should condemn you to picture. Its surface bobbed this task?” notwithstanding that they up and down as if waves operated the machine well ran over it, and crackling “No, not great as you term enough and made quite a sounds rose from every it. But quite great enough; part. They grew louder and and in consequence I had to respectable use of it, did not the motion ceased, while take my choice. In Caracas know what they did. They were, from a certain point arose you saw me as an illusion of a thin whitish vapor that a certain character. There I if you like, dreaming. wavered unsteadily to and did what was required, the fro. Meanwhile the strange illusion being perfect except visitors I have mentioned as to the eyes. Now you see seemed to rush about more another illusion, and yet at in the vicinity of the paper, the same time a reality such while now and again one of them “Yes, it is a pity, but the sand that buries as is connoted by that word when used took what looked like a flying leap Egypt has not been able to smother the by modern scientists. It is a body that from one end of the room to the other, great voice of that sphinx, the esoteric lives and will die. The Karma is hard with a queer faint boom of a metallic doctrine. But not through us except perhaps, but I grumble not. But is it character following his rapid motion. in some such manner as this, now and not an illusion in every sense when you then. In India the light burns, and in a know that although this body speaks Here I must draw the veil unwillingly. living people still resides the key — .” and thinks, still, I the speaker am not Let me violate the unities and the frame visible to you?” of this tale by just putting down a few Just then the bobbing of the picture sentences, leaving it to the imagination began again and the same whitish These words are not mine. If some of to draw inferences. column wavered over it. The faint boom them seem meaningless or queer to of the airy elementals recommenced, many readers, do not blame the writer. “Those strange delineations of form? and again claimed my attention, and There are those who can understand. Quite easily. They were seen by the then the picture was still. There are yet others who have latent seeresses in the temple, It is quite true thoughts that need but these words to that elementals have no form as such . . I may say that the whole of the call them into life. I cannot give any . But there are undoubtedly types, and conversation has not been given. It is greater detail than the above as to [those] Egyptians were not the men to not necessary that it should be. My host himself, because he had reasons for do anything unscientifically . . . There had maintained perfect silence all the preventing me, although he might 6 | The Veil Vol. 4
perhaps, himself tell more to another. One curious thing of interest he said, which will furnish some with food for thought. It was when I referred to the use of the body he had, so to say, borrowed, that he said: “Don’t you know that many experiments are possible in that way, and that some students are taught peculiarly? I have stood aside from this earthly tabernacle many a time to let in those who, notwithstanding that they operated the machine well enough and made quite a respectable use of it, did not know what they did. They were, if you like, dreaming. While here, in this body, they were essentially it, for the time speaking its words, thinking its thoughts and not able to control it. Not desiring to in fact, because they were completely identified with it. When they waked up in their own apartments either a singular dream whispered a fragmentary song through their brain, or they retained no remembrances; whatever of it. In such a case the body, being really master, might do or say that which I would not — or the occupier, temporarily strong, might say out of real recollection things having relation only to that life of which his hearers would have no knowledge.” Just then some clock struck. The atmosphere seemed to clear itself. A strange and yet not unfamiliar perfume floated through the room, and my host said, “Yes, I will show you a verse some one tells me to show you.” He walked over to the table, took up a queer little book printed in Sanskrit, yellow with age and seeming to have been much used. Opening it he read: “This supreme spirit and incorruptible Being, even when it is in the body, neither acteth, nor is it affected, because its nature is without beginning and without quality. As the all-moving Akas, or ether, from the minuteness of its parts, passeth everywhere unaffected, even so the Omnipresent spirit remaineth in the body unaffected. As a single sun illumines the whole world, even so doth the spirit enlighten every body. They who, with the eye of wisdom, perceive the body and the spirit to be thus distinct, and that there is a final release from the animal nature, go to the Supreme.”4 1. There are some Theosophists who will recognize this. [W.Q.J] 2. Bhagavad-Gita. 3. Bhagavad-Gita. 4. Bhagavad-Gita, Sect. XIII, last verse.
A CASE OF ASTRAL PROJECTION A letter taken from the book ‘THE PROJECTION OF THE ASTRAL BODY’ by Sylvan J. Muldoon and Hereward Carrington (London : Rider & Co. Paternoster House, E.C.,1929). On a table, in the parlour of my home, there stands a little device which is used to beat time for a pupil learning music—a metronome. All one has to do to make this device work is to start the pendulum, and it will click very loudly until the spring runs down. I sleep in a room next to the parlour. The other night, I dreamed that I stood very near this device; in the dream I seemed about to start the metronome. No sooner had I dreamed this than I awoke in my physical body, in bed . About one second later the device in the next room started to click, click, click. Now there is no possible way in which that device can start itself; further, it has stood on the table for months without being used. It seemed that no sooner had I touched it-in the dream-than I awoke and heard it start clicking in the next room . Were it not for the time element, I should be inclined to think that I started this in the dream body, which, of course, is the astral body in a partially conscious condition. But it did not start until I was awake in the
physical-though I started it, in the dream, an instant before. Could it be possible that the motivity travelled to the device—while I dreamed of it remained there until after I was conscious, and started it then? If I had been projected in the astral body, would not the device have started before I got back into the physical? I wonder if it is possible to do something of that sort: to try and move something in the astral body, and not have it move until some time after the astral body has left it? . . . What I have just told you was written several days ago . Last night I again started the metronome in a dream, just as I did the first time. Now I have tried to move things while projected and conscious, but never could. And the strange part is that I never made such a suggestion to myself-the dream occurred both times spontaneously. If only I could do this intentionally! What I cannot understand is this: Why the device did not start until about two seconds after I dreamed of starting it? The metronome is about fifteen feet from where I sleep. There is a wall between, of course, but that doesn’t count if it was the dream body which started the thing going. Perhaps it is that we do not have the faith, the conviction, while conscious, and that therefore the motivity is not powerful enough (through conscious suggestion) to move anything. (See p. 384 of your book The Coming Science.) Does not what I have just said concerning my experience jibe with what is there said, in a fair degree? There is only one thing which bewilders me—the time element. Why does not that metronome start before I am again clearly conscious in the physical body? To be sure, it takes no time at all to interiorize the phantom, while one is not conscious; but still, that would not account for the time element! If I were to dream of starting it, then awaken and hear it going, that could easily be accounted for. But it does not start until after I am awake... The Veil Vol. 4 | 7
THE EIGHTH LABOUR OF HERCULES DESTROYING THE LERNAEAN HYDRA (Scorpio, October 22nd - November 21st) From The Labours of Hercules, An Astrological Interpretation by Alice A. Bailey. First written in the 1950’s in separate articles, it was later compiled into a book by Lucis Press (who still hold copyright). This is reprinted here with permission from the Lucis Trust. The first part (the myth) was written by Dr. Francis Merchant since Bailey died before the book was completed. Alice A. Bailey was a theosophist before founding her own esoteric school, the Arcane School in the 1920s. She wrote many books on spiritual development and universal brotherhood, and has been very influential on spiritual movements. Many phrases and ideas were borrowed from her (including ‘the new age’), though not necessarily preserved or used in the same way she did.
THE MYTH The great Presiding One, enrobed in radiant calm, said but a single word. The Teacher heard the golden command, and summoned Hercules, the son of God who was also the son of man. “The light now shines on Gate the eighth,” the Teacher said. “In ancient Argos a drought occurred. Amymone besought the aid of Neptune. He bade her strike a rock, and when she did, outgushed three crystal streams; but soon a hydra made his dwelling there. “Beside the River Amymone, the festering swamp of Lerna stands. Within this noisome bog the monstrous hydra lies, a plague upon the countryside. Nine heads this creature has, and one of them is immortal. Prepare to battle with this loathsome beast. Think not that common means will serve; destroy one head, two grow apace.” Expectantly Hercules waited. “One word of counsel only I may give,” the Teacher said. “We rise by kneeling; we conquer by surrendering; we gain by giving up. Go forth, O son of God and son of man, and conquer.” Through Gate the eighth, then, Hercules passed. The stagnant swamp of Lerna was a blot dismaying all who came within its confines. Its stench polluted all the atmosphere within a space of seven miles. When Hercules approached, he had to pause, for the smell alone well-nigh overcame him. The oozing quicksands were a hazard, and more than once Hercules quickly withdrew his foot lest he be sucked downward by the yielding earth. At length he found the lair where dwelt the monstrous beast. Within a cavern of perpetual night, the hydra lay concealed. By day and night Hercules haunted the treacherous fen, awaiting a propitious time when the beast would sally forth. In vain he watched. The monster stayed within its fetid den. Resorting to a stratagem, Hercules dipped his arrows in burning pitch, and 8 | The Veil Vol. 4
rained them straight into the yawning grew stronger, not weaker, with each cavern where dwelt the hideous beast. assault. A stirring and commotion there upon ensued. Then Hercules remembered that his Teacher had said, “we rise by kneeling.” The hydra, its nine angry heads Casting aside his club, Hercules knelt, breathing flame, emerged. Its scaly grasped the hydra with his bare hands, tail lashed furiously the water and the and raised it aloft. Suspended in mid-air, mud, bespattering Hercules. Three its strength diminished. On his knees, fathoms high the monster stood, a then, he held the hydra high above him, thing of ugliness that looked as if it had that purifying air and light might have been made of all the foulest thoughts their due effect. The monster, strong in conceived since time began. darkness and in sloughy mud, soon lost its power when the rays of the sun and The hydra sprang at Hercules and the touch of the wind fell on it. sought to coil about his feet. He stepped aside and dealt it such a crushing blow Convulsively it strove, a shudder that one of its heads was immediately passing through its loathsome frame. dissevered. No sooner had this horrid Fainter and fainter grew its struggles head fallen into the bog than two grew till the victory was won. The nine heads in its place. Again and again Hercules drooped, then with gasping mouths attacked the raging monster, but it and glazing eyes fell limply forward.
Fighting so formidable a foe is indeed a heroic task for a son of man even though he is also a son of God. Lop off one head, and another grows in its place. Every time a low desire or thought is overcome, others take its place.
But only when they lifeless lay did As long as Hercules fought in the bog, Hercules perceive the mystic head that amid the mud, slime, and quicksand, was immortal. he was unable to overcome the hydra. He had to raise the monster into the Then Hercules cut off the hydra’s air; that is, translate his problem into one immortal head and buried it, still another dimension, in order to solve fiercely hissing, beneath a rock. it. In all humility, kneeling in the mud, he had to examine his dilemma in the Returning, Hercules stood before his light of wisdom and in the elevated Teacher. “The victory is won”, the atmosphere of searching thought. Teacher said. “The Light that shines From these considerations we may at Gate the eighth is now blended with gather that the answers to many of your own”. our problems come only when a new focus of attention is achieved, a new Francis Merchant perspective established.
PSYCHOLOGICAL ANALYSIS OF THE MYTH
One of the hydra’s heads is immortal, we are told. This would imply that every difficulty, however terrible it may appear to be, contains a jewel of Hercules was told to find the nine- great value. No attempt to dominate headed hydra that lived in a stench- the lower nature and discover that drenched bog. This monster has its jewel is ever futile. subjective counterpart. It dwells within the caverns of the mind. In the murk The immortal head, dissevered from and mud of unlit mental recesses, it the hydra’s body, is buried beneath a flourishes. rock. This implies that the concentrated energy which creates a problem still Deeply lodged within the subterranean remains, purified, redirected, and regions of the subconscious, now increased after victory has been gained. quiescent and now bursting forth in Such power must then be rightly tumultuous frenzy, the beast establishes controlled and channeled. Beneath the permanent residence. Its existence is not rock of persistent will, the immortal easily discovered. A long time passes head becomes a source of power. before the individual realizes that he is nourishing and sustaining so fierce a creature. The burning arrows of flaming aspiration must be discharged before its presence is revealed. The task assigned to Hercules had Fighting so formidable a foe is indeed nine facets. Each head of the hydra a heroic task for a son of man even represents one of the problems that though he is also a son of God. Lop beset the courageous person who off one head, and another grows in seeks to achieve mastery of himself. its place. Every time a low desire or Three of these heads symbolize the thought is overcome, others take its appetites associated with sex, comfort place. and money. The second triune group concerns the passions of fear, hatred Hercules does three things: he and desire for power. The last three recognizes the existence of the hydra, heads represent the vices of the searches patiently for it, and finally unillumined mind: pride, separativeness destroys it. Discrimination is needed and cruelty. (See Esoteric Astrology, p. to recognize its existence; patience, to 205 et seq.) discover its lair; humility, to bring slimy fragments of the subconscious to the The dimensions of the task which surface, and expose them to the light Hercules undertook are thus plainly of wisdom. apparent. He had to learn the art
THE NINE HEADS OF THE HYDRA
of transmuting the energies that so frequently precipitate human beings into catastrophic tragedies. The nine forces which have wrought unspeakable havoc among the sons of men since the beginning of time had to be redirected and transmuted. Men today are still striving to achieve what Hercules succeeded in accomplishing. Problems arising out of the misuse of the energy known as sex engage our attention on every hand. The love of comfort, luxury and outer possessions still grows apace. The pursuit of money as an end instead of a means shrinks the lives of countless men and women. Thus, the task of destroying the first three heads continues to challenge the powers of mankind thousands of years after Hercules accomplished his extraordinary feat. The three qualities of character that Hercules had to express were humility, courage and discrimination: humility, to see his plight objectively and recognize his shortcomings; courage, to attack the monster that lay coiled at the roots of his nature; discrimination, to discover a technique for dealing with his mortal foe. Uncovering the cesspool of base desires and egotistical urges that fester in the subconscious nature has been the work of modern psychoanalysis. The latter technique brings the unsavory data of repressed impulses to the surface, it is true, but often stops at that point. The individual realizes that a monster lies concealed in the subterranean areas of consciousness, yet feels baffled and bewildered in trying to deal with this formidable enemy. Hercules invokes a brighter light than that of the analyzing mind. He seeks to raise his problem to a higher dimension, not to stir endlessly in the slough of the subconscious. Endeavoring to see his dilemma in the light of that wisdom which we name the soul, he confronts it from a new angle of vision. By so doing, he breaks the hydra’s grip, and eventually subdues the beast. The Veil Vol. 4 | 9
THE CREATION MYTH From ‘Understanding Aboriginal Culture’ by Cyril Havecker, first published by Cosmos Periodicals in 1987 (PO Box 1839 Milton Qld. 4064). Havecker spent his life immersed in aboriginal culture, and on Groote Eylandt the Warramunga tribe eventually initiated him as a blood brother. With the approval of the Elders, he agreed to give a series of lectures, and write a series of articles for the journal ‘Cosmos’ at editor Yvonne Malykke’s invitation. These later became the book. This extract is reproduced with permission.
In the beginning, aeons and aeons ago, after previous works, Baiame lay asleep and while sleeping dreamed of life as it was in the past, the present and how it will be in the future.
and again. Eventually, Punjel put forward the idea of taking the units of intelligence out of the body of Baiame, putting them into a mixing bowl and swirling them around in an anticlockwise motion. The yowies could He got so excited during his dream of then be thought-projected to Tya with the future that it became a nightmare a swirling motion which would give and the body of the universe began the gravitational force required for to shiver and shake. The vibrations of his body awakened his helpers from a previous time, space and dimension. They were Nungeen, Punjel and Yhi. When he awoke they were alongside him and Punjel said: “We know you want to create this dream and we will help you to materialise it. I have already been thinking of a similar concept and I have a plan as to how it can be done. It would necessitate the creation of many millions of workers to construct this great edifice of life, and I think we are going to have to do this by taking from your Supreme Intelligence, multi-millions of portions of intelligence which I would like to call yowies (souls) giving them three inherent qualities as well as the power to mould any type of form they desire. However, they will need incentives to do this work and will therefore need three strong drives. “First, they must seek nutrition to build and maintain the physical body for continued survival. “Second, they must be given a sex drive for every species of life to reproduce itself. “Third, the ambition and desire to achieve. “These three drives will also be the cause of all the trouble and mischief on Tya, as well as being the cause of all that is positive and productive. Each soul shall have the will and freedom to discriminate between a positive or negative action, their choice of action being dependent upon their inherent wisdom-knowledge and the evolutionary level of each soul.” The three drives were eventually bestowed on each yowie, together with the power to mould form. The cosmic plan for projecting the thought creation to Tya was discussed again 10 | The Veil Vol. 4
transference to Earth. They all agreed this was the best plan for projecting their thought-creation to Earth. So the great mass began to whirl in the body of Baiame, and slowly the plan began to materialise. The yowies began moulding their forms, just as it happened in the Great Spirit’s dream.
They began to moulding a primitive form and Tya soon became a solid mass. While Tya was slowly projecting outwards from no thing into form, the hierarchy entered into further discussions about the complexities of their creation.
spirit snake slithered to Earth and Nungeena, with her motherly love, manifested in form as Uluru, the Great had nurtured the plant world too much Rainbow Serpent. and it began to spoil by overgrowing itself. Again, she turned to Punjel and He began burrowing holes into the Baiame for the solution. solid earth. These vast holes became the seas, rivers and lakes. This dug out, “There is war going on in the plant solid, earth substance became the hills world,” she said. “Each species is trying Realising the responsibility they had and mountains. to dominate over the other,” bestowed on the yowies by giving them the three drives and the power Uluru in his haste had dug out a vast Punjel pointed out that it was the to mould form, they decided to give amount of earthy substance causing consequence of the three drives. This, them a memory. Otherwise, in time, Tya to become unbalanced and it coupled with Nungeena’s purpose there would be terrible chaos instead of began to wobble as it rotated in space. in the scheme of things, ensured the cosmic order and reason. The Rainbow Serpent panicked and species continued, no matter what the began throwing surplus soil into the cost. Punjel said: “I will give them two other air towards Yhi the Sun Goddess, bodies, one in the form of a spirit body who, seeing it coming towards her, After lengthy discussions they all or Dowie which will be the container immediately reacted with a command. decided it was time for animals to of every individual experience. It will be introduced to Tya in the hope of be a memory bank from which they “I don’t want this substance bringing balance to the uncontrollable can recollect all previous experiences. contaminating me. Stop!” Nungeena, growth in the plant world. The They will also need protection from seeing what has happened, asked Yhi: advanced yowies, having progressed each other and will require a second in their evolutionary growth during and subtle body which I will call the “What have you done to all the their life as minerals, were called Mullowill. This sheath will protect beautiful yowies? Why have you upon by Punjel to inhabit the forms them from psychic and emotional suspended them in space?” of the animals, thus controlling the influences which will build up around overgrowth of the plant kingdom. them and will be influences of their own “Don’t worry about it, Nungeena, it making. The Mullowill will also act as is only dead earth, rocks and lifeless These advanced yowies were selected a protective sheath for the Dowie.” material which is of no value. The through the memory bank which was yowies will return to their spiritual transparent and visible to psychic sight. As Punjel spoke, his plan was taking bodies. They are not lost. Besides, effect and the memory repository we cannot keep what is not needed. Their progress was obvious and was taking subtle form in the mineral Surplus matter must be got rid of, showed that the advanced yowies were world. otherwise Tya will be overcrowded, capable of moulding the eucalyptus, unbalanced and disorder and suffering salt bush and other vegetation. They The work continued. Tya took shape will prevail.” were selected on their creative ability, and solidified even more. After time, desire to achieve and reliability. fog enveloped the whole of Tya. Yhi pondered on what she could do The yowies began by moulding Nungeena was then called upon to the form of a jelly-fish and do her work in the great creation commenced their initial life scheme. The plant world was to experience in the ponds be the next stage of creation. and billabongs. Soon they overpopulated and were uniform Nungeena realised the yowies did in appearance. not have much creative ability. Their capacity for creation at Nungeena called on Uluru for their present stage of evolution assistance, as she was concerned would only be for lowly mosses about the sameness of the species. and as there was no sunlight, Together they called upon the a further problem had to be rain spirits to bring rain so overcome. the rivers would overflow and expand. She summoned Punjel and said: “The conditions are not right for If the desire to survive were strong the moulding of further plant life enough, the jelly-fish would as you want it, we must call on have to struggle to overcome Yhi the Sun Goddess for help.” the suffering associated with existence. Only the strongest of Yhi responded and sent her the species would survive, again warming rays to Tya, creating to change form and adapt to a a steam cap and melting the ice new environment. which had formed during the aeons of time that had passed. with the lifeless and unwanted refuse The plan was to reduce numbers and suspended in space and decided to call make for a stronger, fitter and more Ice melted and water covered the it Bahloo, the Moon, and left it there. developed species. The weaker who Earth causing Nungeena further failed to adapt to a new environment consternation as she watched her lowly All went well for a time, the plant would lose their form, return to the plant life drowning. Again, she called world flourished and for a while spirit body and remain in the spirit on the hierarchy in the spirit world. everything was in a state of harmony. world to undergo a different type of But, as physical manifestation is, by its pain and struggle for the purpose of Together they summoned Uluru, the very nature, impermanent, changes building character and form. Intelligent Snake from the higher to the environment were inevitable. spirit realms of the universe. Instantly, This natural law permits life to evolve The hierarchy, after more discussion there appeared a great rainbow in their through varied experiences, even, if at about the subtle aspects of the plan, midst and from this rainbow a huge times, the effects might be difficult. finally agreed. Cont. pg 12 The Veil Vol. 4 | 11
Their spirit bodies comprised all the previous experiences and intelligence Down came the rains, and after a of the mineral, plant and animal long period the jelly-fish who survived kingdoms. eventually began to adapt to the new environment. Baiame taught them how to live, how to manage the land, how to use a fire The water animals took up new and stick, the best method for gathering, various shapes to express their inherent selecting and cooking food. He taught drives and qualities, adjusting over them the dances and ceremonies of time, to the environment of the age and their tribal rites. He taught them the the locality of their habitat. Laws of the Universe and its magic, the art of healing. After a while he created Time passed with the stronger trying for himself two beautiful and highly to dominate over the weaker and intelligent women, as it was not possible Nungeena was again given the task of for one woman to be accomplished in solving the problem. She created the all the talents he required of them. turtle, who emerged from water to lay her eggs on the land. From those eggs Birranooloo was the most intelligent came the first land animals. of the two and was chosen to teach the women of the tribe the Laws of Nature The yowies, who hatched out the and the Laws of the Spirit World. eggs, after long evolution, gradually Cannanbeelee taught the women how took on the form of reptiles, goannas, to cook, produce and raise healthy lizards and snakes and began their own children and how to maintain social reproductive cycle. harmony. The Creation Myth cont.
Then came the bunyip who dominated over all and ravaged the land. Again the hierarchy met to discuss how this new problem could be controlled.
THE JUDGM A SUFI TAL
Excerpted from Master of the Jinn: com and from Angus and Robertson. K kind permission. Not so long ago, as time is counted, there came to a certain oasis far in the western desert a faqir. He was a Qalandar, a wandering darvish, who had walked the deserts of Africa and Arabia for many years, seeking only solitude wherein he could remember his Creator and contemplate the Divine mysteries. His virtue and faith, his submission to the will of God, had been rewarded with tranquility of spirit, and his sincerity and devotion on the path of Love was such that the Hidden had been revealed to his heart, and he had become a Wali, a Friend of God.
She advised that if any babies were born either physically or mentally handicapped it would be wise to dispose of them immediately. If they were to live and reproduce they could, in The bunyip had a single-chambered time, weaken the race and it would heart and disliked cold weather. eventually disintegrate. Now it came to pass that the night the Aboriginal X-ray drawings depict the faqir wandered into this oasis and lay heart of the bunyip by a triangle. Uluru The wise women advised them to beneath a palm tree to rest before the brought cold water to the land and organise and control the population midnight prayer, there was, unknown slowed down the bunyip. Most of this in order to meet their needs in an easy to him, another man under a nearby species perished in the colder climate. and stress free manner. tree who was also making camp for the However, the change in climate did night. not prevent other species of life from The women of the first tribe learned flourishing. about the creation myths and legends, But the other man was a notorious about the Mysteries and Magic of the bandit, once the feared chieftain of Aeons of time again passed. Life universe and Baiame became the first a band of robbers who had for years was harmonious and balanced. Time Medicine man or Shaman. He selected plundered the spice caravans and was now perfect for the finest of eight tribal members for a Council of waylaid rich merchants on their way all creation. A special creation of Elders who were made responsible from the coastal cities to the inland enormous complexity. The Human. for administering the Laws of the towns. The outcry against his merciless Dreamtime. raids, however, had at last reached the In aboriginal philosophy, the soul of a ears of the Sultan and he had ordered human is the sum total of experiences One was the most intelligent of his soldiers to hunt down the band and in all the mineral, plant and animal hunters, the best honey gatherer, the destroy them. Many were caught and kingdoms, and when the animal body Wiseman of the tribe and so on. All beheaded. Many others deserted their dies, all the experiences registered the tribal Elders were expert in their chief out of fear that they would share in the soul remain impressed on the particular field of accomplishment, and the fate of their comrades. Dowie. all showed perfect self-determination because of their expertise. Eventually, this evil man found himself Punjel thought it a good idea to alone. His purse was now empty, every send from the spirit world, advanced Baiame told them that if they were last coin having been spent in escape, intelligence of animal species to Tya to show weakness in their individual and he was a hunted criminal with a in the form of a higher type of animal, accomplishments or digress from the price on his head. Even his former presumably, a gorilla. Baiame and Laws of Nature and the Laws of the allies, those dishonest merchants who Yhi disagreed, saying this would be a Spirit World by adopting a way of had bought his stolen goods, closed debasement of the finest of all creation. life foreign to the social and religious their doors against him. They also It was decided to create a man in the structure he had taught them, this feared, lest the wrath of the Sultan fall spirit form first, then they would mould would mean the dissolution of their upon their necks. And so he had fled the form into a shape upon which they race. for many days across the desert and would agree unanimously. When the come at last to the oasis where, tired time came for the final moulding, â€œAny race who borrows from another and hungry, he sat beneath a tree and Baiame decided to go to Tya and tradition is doomed to suicide,â€? he said. cursed his wretched fate. manifest in human form to explain to the three existing kingdoms of Finally, Baiame returned to the Now I ask you, which of these two mineral, vegetable and animal that a sprit world and his superior creation men is the greater, and which the less? new companion of greater intelligence, progressed and lived in harmony until Whom has God blessed and whom has ability and drive than they, would be the great flood, when once again the He cursed? No, do not answer! You do joining them. Baiame descended to Tya Tribal Elders called upon him to help not know the answer, for you are not with his creation of three hundred men them overcome their present crisis on their judge. The Creator alone is the and women who became the first tribe. Tya. judge of His creation. 12 | The Veil Vol. 4
GMENT OF GOD ALE
A Sufi Novel, copyright 2004-2011 by Irving Karchmar. All rights reserved. Available on Amazon. on. Karchmar is a writer, editor, poet, and a darvish of the Nimatullahi Sufi Order. Printed with his
Munkir and Nakir, however, the angels who question the dead when they are assigned to the grave, looked upon the scene of the two men and sighed. ‘Surely,’ said Munkir ‘here at least the true gold may be seen from the false. These two may be judged, though their end is not yet come. God will have the greater, and Satan the less.’ ‘Alas! It must be so,’ agreed Nakir. ‘True gold is the most rare, and therefore are the fields of heavens spacious indeed, while the halls of Hell are filled to bursting, overflowing even the deepest pits.’ Now God perceived the thoughts of His servants, and spoke to the hearts of the two angels. ‘Verily, thou hast pronounced their just fate,’ He said. ‘Yet woe unto mankind had I created the world by justice alone. Am I not the Merciful and Compassionate? Behold! I will visit them with sleep and visions that thou shalt know the truth of My creation.’ Thus the Lord sent sleep and mighty dreams to the faqir and the wretched thief. And lo, the Qalandar awoke in hell, even into the midst of the great fires of the pit. And the bandit chief arose in Paradise, where he stood among the saints before the very Throne of God. The Master laid down his spent pipe and sipped his tea. His eyes searched our faces over the rim of the glass. “Is it mercy to send the worst of man to heaven?” he asked. “Or justice to send the best of man to hell?”
clear and strong he began to sing. ‘La Illah illa Allah! La Illaha illa Allah!’ The fires blazed furiously as the song began and then dimmed to smoldering embers, and the burning mountains trembled at the Holy Name. Now the tormented souls ceased their wailing to listen, for the name of God is not uttered in the pits. Then there was no other sound to be heard but his, and the song went on and on until the very foundations of Hell were shaken, and the damned souls began to feel a spark of forbidden hope.
‘By the mercy of the Lord, thy Creator, thy earthly deeds are forgiven thee,’ he said. ‘Come now and be at peace.’ And now the truth filled his heart, and great wonder, and every veil fell from his eyes; and he saw with a clear sight the Majesty and Beauty of His Compassion, and he wept. And the Lord God spoke unto him, and said: ‘O man, fear not. For thou canst not fall so low that I cannot raise thee up.’ And fear left the thief. He prostrated himself before his God and wept. On and on flowed the endless tears of his wasted life, until they became the very waters of mercy and would not cease; and the feet of the saints were washed by his tears.
Surely Hell would have fallen into ruin had not Satan himself appeared, and begged the faqir to depart. But the old man would not move, for he had walked many years on the Path of Love, and the Beloved’s Will was his He would have wept for eternity had will, whether it be paradise or eternal not the vision ended and the two men fire. abruptly awakened. Then the thief saw the faqir as he stood, and came The Master paused for a moment to to him still weeping from the dream. again sip the tea beside him. He did not And the faqir perceived all that had look at us until he began the tale again. befallen them and embraced him, and they prayed together at the midnight “And what of the thief?” he asked, hour even unto the dawn. Much befell when the glass was empty. “This them afterwards, for the thief became chieftain of bandits who was once so the disciple of the faqir, but that is all of feared and terrible, and who had fallen their tale I will tell. into wretchedness and misery, the fate of all such men in the end.” And Munkir and Nakir, who had witnessed but the tiniest particle of God caused the two angels to perceive the unending Mercy of God, bowed his vision also, and they saw him rise before their Creator in submission, and and stand robed in white, trembling in shame of their rash condemnation. amidst the host of heaven, before the For surely beyond the comprehension Throne of Almighty God. And the of men and angels is the Judgment of angel Gabriel spoke unto him. God.
No one dared answer. “Good!” he said soothingly. “To cleanse the heart of judgment is to discern the Way of Love. And such was the lesson of Munkir and Nakir. For they beheld the faqir awaken in the very midst of Hell, and saw that most worthy of men rise up naked as the fires burned his flesh and the cries of tormented souls pierced his ears. Yet he did not feel pain at the touch of the flames, and showed neither surprise nor fear. His thought was only of his Beloved, and no affliction was great enough to sway his love. He sat among the fires and the torment as a darvish sits, and in a voice The Veil Vol. 4 | 13
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE MAGIC WAND The life of an archetype – its hiding places in modern society; its doings and its influence on that society. In particular, this article is about the magic wand, which in our mythologies is always seen in the hands of magicians and wizards. Archetypes are not ideas or traditions or movements. Archetypes do not have use-by dates. For example, hundreds of women will become mothers in specific times and places, and then the same mothers will eventually die in specific times and places. But the archetype of The Mother shall persist throughout. We even project it onto the Earth as “Mother Nature” because of our relationship with it. Archetypes are more like patterns, formations, or motifs that reoccur throughout centuries and across cultures. Those cultures who are conscious of effects of the pattern personify and name the archetypes in ways relevant to their time and place – hence as The Mother we have Isis, Cybele, Mylitta, Aditi, Venus, Juno, Mary, and so on. Those cultures who are unconscious are nevertheless effected, but usually in a negative way. C.G. Jung, in The Four Archetypes, says: “Again and again I encounter the mistaken notion that an archetype is determined in regard to its content, in other words that it is a kind of unconscious idea (if such an expression be admissible). It is necessary to point out once more that archetypes are not determined as regards their content, but only as regards their form and then only to a very limited degree. A primordial image is determined as to its content only when it has become conscious and is therefore filled out with the material of conscious experience, Its form, however, as I have explained elsewhere, might perhaps be compared to the axial system of a crystal, which, as it were, preforms the crystalline structure in the mother liquid, although it has no material existence of its own. This first appears according to the specific way in which the ions and molecules aggregate. The archetype in itself is empty and purely formal, nothing but a facultas praeformandi, a possibility of representation which is given a priori.” In particular, this article is about the magic wand, which in our fables and myths are always seen in the hands of wizards and magicians. 14 | The Veil Vol. 4
Labour is accomplished with the hands, and a man’s will is indicated by what he holds in his hands. It was with his hands that humanity built its great cities and artworks. With his hands he hunted and cultivated food. With her hands she carried the newborn child of the future generations. It was also with his hands that man killed. A person does not hold a tool unless he has a purpose. Tools, therefore, indicate purpose itself. If a man holds a gun, his will is to kill; if he holds a hammer, his intention is to build; fingers poised above a typewriter keyboard signify the person’s intent to discourse with his community. And so on.
becomes a loader, or a bobcat. The pen becomes the computer keyboard. They are still operated with the hands, but the simplicity of the straight line is lost in the details. The rods inside the clock understand this metaphor; they are even known as ‘hands’, and they point diligently to the present moment. This is because the only time we can make a difference in the world is now – that is, the present. The present moment is the fulcrum. The watch-face shows that the primeval power in us, symbolised in the magic wand, never for a second loses sight of the present – as if indicating the door of opportunity. The hands are made completely invisible with digital technology, of course. But they still exist; just as the purpose of the clock does, occultly.
The symbol of all these possible tools or possible purposes – the archetypal symbol of Man’s will – is the rod or magic wand. The rod-shape is the prototypical concept of a tool. It is a At the end of a life, the rod becomes straight line, born from a point. It is simple and visible again, this time as a simple and unspecified so as to include walking stick held by an old man. He the concept of will itself. leans on it as if, with his bodily strength fading, the only thing keeping him up is In parable and myth we’ve seen this his Will (intelligently applied). image as the wand of the magician, who ‘with magic’ – that is, bypassing As stated, the hands and their contents the middle processes of building – indicate the purpose in a person. If there manifests his will. It is the staff of the is no purpose, the palms will indicate wizard and the club of Hercules. this too. The absence of the rod leaves a vacuum in the palms that attract what Every tool is therefore an incarnation we might call ‘reverse wands,’ that is, of the rod, though with each indications of the absence of will. specification and change in shape, its power is lessened, less universal, A cigarette, for example, is a reversemore localised. More ‘hands on,’ we wand. It has the rod shape but might say. A monarch holds a sceptre, visually it self-destructs. Practically which physically has no application or it is a substitute purpose; the cigarette function. But a monarch rules over an ‘employs’ the idle hands. It also kills the entire kingdom. A wave of his sceptre smoker, whereas will power represents can cause a city to be built. A shovel, on (indicates) life. The cigarette causes the other hand, has unquestionable use slavery through addiction when rods and definite function. But its wielder or tools, free people from bondage (in has rule only over himself, if that. theory and purpose). A bottle of beer can also stand as a general reverseAnother reminder of this relationship wand. A joy pad or a mobile phone is the ‘staff’, in the fact that the head could serve as reverse-wands (though of an organization has a ‘staff’ of not exclusively). A gun. The steering people working under him (under his wheel of an unnecessarily expensive purpose). car. Junk food, which enters the mouth but via the hands. And so on... The further away from its universality the rod grows, the less visible it A cigar, displayed with pride in becomes. First there are simple the mouth of a tycoon may be an modifications, such as having a pick on indication of possession – a glamorous the end. Eventually, however, the shovel desire possesses the smoker. Sometimes
we build rods like we created the Sabbath, and then serve them. The idea is that those who have no magic wand (no will or purpose) become negative mediums. When they adopt sections of other people’s rods – in the form of employers – they are sometimes saved, but other times enslaved. Wands control and direct the attention, and therefore the life force. A conductor’s baton directs, holds together and organises an orchestra into a synthetic whole. The baton is here a bridge that the music uses to travel from the world of ideas into the physical world as soundwaves, perceivable by the ears. Perhaps this is why he is called the conductor. A lecturer directs his pointer to the blackboard, and the classroom fuses its attention on its contents. The rod creates unity. This is shown in Greek mythology by the caduceus of Hermes. The caduceus is a winged staff which acts as a trestle: two snakes are controlled and directed upwards along the rod towards the wings. It is also shown in the Old Testament when two magicians challenge Moses to a magic contest. He throws his rod on the floor and it turns into a serpent (which has its own allegories again). The mages of the Pharaoh do the same, but the serpent of Moses swallows their serpents. It then becomes a staff again. All smaller wills are absorbed by greater purpose. We might imagine a wand long enough to give all men and women an opportunity to grab hold. This would be the famous lever that can move the world.
globe. These relatively short rods incarnate as swords and rifles, in order to clash at the borders. Capitalist lances hit against Trade Union lances. Flags are hoisted on rods. We can theorise, then, that only one wand is large enough to encompass the world. Only one, expressed in the ideals of the UN (and its ILO), is within reach of all people. (Perhaps we see an incarnation of this wand as the flaming torch of the Olympic games.) The image of the tree is common in ancient depictions of the wand. Although the gods gave him gifts of a sword, bow and arrow, and armour and so forth, Hercules made a point of making his own club from the branch of a tree. In some tarot card decks tree trunks, branches and so forth represent the Suit Of Wands. Trees reach for the sun, as our purpose is to reach for the light of knowledge, or for divinity. They also produce fruits, as does labour.
of poverty. In Buddhist Economics in Practice, Dr A.T. Ariyaratne explains: “Employment is not considered by Sarvodaya as a basic human need. Employment brings income for a person, which is used to buy what is required to satisfy needs. So employment and income are means of satisfying needs but are not needs in themselves. Thus in Sarvodaya ‘income’ and ‘employment’ are not central and have only a limited relevance, especially during the initial stages. The aim of production in a village economy is not to accumulate profit but to satisfy the needs of the local community. The criterion Sarvodaya uses is not a speculative exchange value in an unknown market. It is a real use value in people’s own households. “On the other hand Sarvodaya places great importance on the engagement of every member of the community in processes that play a role in satisfying basic needs.”
Consequently, Sarvodaya communities do not have definitions of employment and unemployment. Likewise, their children even share in the work, gaining a sense of belonging, learning community values, and responsibility in the process. This is a far cry, however, from what we call child labour in the Workers are the ‘hands of humanity’, West. the part that gets things done. They specialise into carpenters, welders, Also, there were the Knights of Labor, managers, salespeople, teachers and so in America and Canada in the 1880s. forth, just as the magic wand specialises The most successful union of their into a shovel or pencil. As both the time, they achieved the eight-hour day, shovel and the pencil are still wands safety laws and statistics, and fought (have their inner ‘wands’ in common), for equal pay for women and black the management are still workers. people. Because they were founded by freemasons, the “KoL” were This indicates in theory what would unlike other unions inasmuch as they become of owners in the future. Some practiced ceremony and ritual. workers might have a natural gift for leadership and management. So Hence the magic wand is anything but be it. But let all concerned never lose fictitious. Like Latin, it is not dead at all sight of the worker in them, just as – it is still used, only now less obvious, the mythologically literate do not lose more occult. And there is a magic sight of the wand in all tools. wand in all we do. Consider ‘the worker’ as the sociological equivalent of the magic wand. Almost every adult on Earth is a worker inasmuch as they go to work each day. I am here using the term ‘worker’ in a more general sense.
A corporate owner states his will, say, to build some office blocks. His invisible wand fragments and specifies. The architect takes a piece in the form of a pencil. With it he controls and directs what dozens or more workers will then do, with lesser and more specialised ‘branches’ of the wand. It leads from the corporate executive on one end all Nor of the soul in Man. the way to a worker on the other end. I consider the Argentine Fabrica But, what of other corporations and Recuperada movement (autogestion) competitors? The wand of one nation to be an example of the employer and is only long as its borders. We can see employee categories being changed that the world then is made of many to mean specialisations/incarnations long rods, but few reach around the of ‘the worker’ archetype. This is the phenomenon wherein hundreds of workers broke into their former, closeddown places of work (usually factories) and restarted production without bosses. This was after Argentina’s financial collapse at the turn of the centrury. Their slogan is ‘occupy, resist, produce!’
We can deduct from the appearance of a tool what it was made for. A guitar, for example, has an unquestionable function. Off the cuff, it is easy to say that guitars make or cause music. But a little thought on the matter shows that it is in fact music that caused guitars. The evolution of music, working through the human species as ‘conductor,’ caused the guitar to appear. We can thus say that music is the life or spirit of the guitar. To refer to the trinity of purpose, quality and form: music is the purpose, the musician the quality, and the guitar the form. In religious terminology: music is spirit (or life), musician is soul, and Another good example is the guitar is body. Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement in Sri Lanka, made famous by the book Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Buddhist Economics. It has succeeded Rinpoche the filmmaker and Buddhist in organising thousands of villages monk used a similar metaphor in a into an ethical social structure free lecture I attended in 2010. It involved The Veil Vol. 4 | 15
the making of an omelet. He spoke of the omelet being the product of the coming together of its simple ingredients. But if it were not for the desire for, vision and intention of an omelet; the cook would not have sought to acquire the eggs, capsicums, mushrooms, and so on, in the first place. Therefore, the omelet was the cause of the ingredients rather than the result. The ingredients came together to manifest that cause physically. It is the argument of some materialists that a god cannot exist for the reason that complexity and intelligence are the result of long evolution, not the begining of it. But when comparing this conclusion to the examples of the guitar and the omlet, we see a lack of imagination. Men did not invent music; they discovered it. It no more became more complex when more sophisticated instruments were made, as did the stars become more numerous and clear as better telescopes were built. Humans are metaphorical of telescopes, evolving in quality; the stars remain as metaphor of the divinity which will be seen when the machine is complex enough. Consider the human species as the ‘wand of the animal world’. Animals, like tools, usually have very specific designs. A dog is designed to run, bite, and smell. A chicken to peck and scratch the ground and occasionally make eggs. And so on. If we found them lying on the floor like garden tools, we could deduct what they did. If we found a human lying on the floor, however, it would be very difficult to understand what its specification is, physically speaking. It would be like finding a sceptre or baton. Humans, like a wand, are perfectly unspecified. They can run like dogs, fly like birds, swim, smell, and on and on; not as well as each specified creature, but they can do it. Human bodies seem predisposed to neither of these acts more than the other. The addition of a tool – a wand – makes up for that. If we can’t fly, we put an aeroplane steering wheel in our hands. If we did find a sceptre, or straight stick on the ground, we could argue that if it represents anything, it is the absence of purpose because a straight stick, while potentially useful, has no specification; any use given to it would be an invented use. It is not designed for anything. The addition of a human makes up for that. So, rods make up for the lack of specification in humans, and humans make up for the lack of specification in rods. The Human – the rod of the animal world -- could not be said to symbolise the lack of purpose, despite its kinship 16 | The Veil Vol. 4
with straight sticks. It is too able. It has too many features. It has legs, obviously for walking. It has eyes, for seeing things, tongues for communicating and ears and so on. Its hands are the most impressive, though.
Marshal McLuhan understood this in its sinister side: “By continuously embracing technologies, we relate ourselves to them as servomechanisms. That is why we must, to use them at all, serve these objects, these extensions of ourselves, as gods or minor religions. So, it is my suggestion that these tools An Indian is the servomechanism of his are evolutionary extensions of the canoe, as the cowboy of his horse or the human. They ‘click on’ like Lego, at the executive of his clock.” hands and become part of the creature. The aeroplane is a living thing, through So we have divinity losing itself in its ‘soul’ or pilot. Without that soul, the humanity, and then humanity losing itself in technology; a series of layers calling for a sequence of awakenings. Universal awareness becomes tunnelled into specializations. But in time (or evolution) awareness returns – much like how someone learning to drive is absorbed in the process of mirrors and gears but later it becomes second nature, and wider awareness is possible. We can say, then, that the wand and the human are incomplete without each other. And when they come together, we have ourselves the king or queen of the animal world. The question is whether we clutch onto a reverse-wand or a magic wand. The question as to whether we believe in magic wands is the same question as to whether we believe in a collective purpose here. To put it in the negative: do you believe in reverse-wands? One can note that in the famous sequential illustrations of evolution where the ape, picture by picture, straightens his back, loses his fur and becomes Neanderthal then Homo Sapien, tools are often included in the pictures. Is this a subconscious recognition that our tools are part of us? On a practical level, here is an exercise: in the evenings, try reviewing your day (or week or year); review your family or your circle. Look to the hands, and reflect on what kind of tool predominantly lives in them most of the time. This is one small step towards “knowing thyself.” A tool is made from materials of the planet. If we concede that a complete human includes his tool, then we can also see a grey area: when does the Earth stop and the human begin? The area of overlap is the rod. Through them, or the materials that make them, humans are extensions plane does not fly, and is therefore dead. of the Earth being. Death is synonymous with incomplete. A house not lived in soon becomes a The Russian philosopher Ouspensky run-down shack, imitating a carcass. offers that size has a vital role to play in purpose, and purpose a vital role in However, when the human ‘incarnates’ existence: into an airoplane (or car, or bicycle, etc.), it loses its self-consciousness “[...] in the physical world things are in becoming specified. This is much determined by their functions (function like the fabled spirit descending into in the sense of purpose). The function physical incarnation to be born human, of every individual thing is possible but as a result forgetting his divinity. only if the thing itself has a definite
are connected. But only the above ordering or editing (extending) process Later, he elaborates: is evidence of that said connectedness. When the artist creates art, he expands “All that exists is what it is only within his form for further ‘incarnation’. the limits of a certain and very small scale. On another scale it becomes Only those who do it actively, truly something else. In other words, sense that connectedness. The everything and every event has a carpenter co-operated with the tree certain meaning only within the limits (the lower sacrifices to the higher); of a certain scale, when compared with humanity co-operates with the martyr. things and events in proportions not very far removed from its own. Humans themselves can be seen as ingredients with which to organise into “A chair cannot be a chair in the institutions and communities. planetary world. Similarly, a chair cannot be a chair in the world of The more developed the consciousness, electrons. A chair has its meaning and the less external help it needs. For its three dimensions only among objects example, a person without any created by the hand of man, serving experience in arm-to-arm combat the needs and requirements of man will need the help of a weapon in and commensurable with man. On a many survival situations. But a planetary scale a chair cannot have person experienced in martial arts individual existence because it cannot has correspondingly less need for a have any function. It is simply a small tool. A movie with acting and writing particle of matter inseparable from the of quality needs less special effects matter surrounding it.” And further: and explosions. A person alone in the “A chair in the midst of the ocean, or a African wilderness is a sitting duck chair in the midst of the Alpine ranges, against a lion unless that man has a would be a point having no dimension.” rifle. However, a lion tamer in a circus (New Model of the Universe pg 455) can stand with but a whip and his voice amongst five lions. (The famous stories We can consider space travel in this of Saint Seraphim of Sarov and the way: A human is but a piece of Earth. bear are interesting in this context.) The The alien who meets him on a far away less one is able to practice meditation, planet will say, “Your body is designed the more one seeks external aids like in a peculiar way.” psychotropic drugs. The man would reply: “It is designed to take in food which grows on Planet Earth. Not here. This body is my Earth Body.” “Ah,” the alien would say, “we must design you a body for this planet, or transport more Earth with you in the way that you move pot plants to a window sill.” If human-kind is to move to Mars, then we would have to transform Mars into an imitation Earth. If this ever were to happen, what would actually be happening is Earth would be growing and spreading. Humans would be its seeking vines. We do not create, we gather and organise, or edit. With food we organise minerals and vegetables; with music we organise sounds. The preferred order is based on its effect on our biology or psychology, whether food or music.
So, as a man’s consciousness evolves, the tool in his hand transforms in a telltale way. From beginning to end, we then have a picture of circular return: First, the primitive man has no tools, expressing his simple quality of consciousness and lack of purpose. Soon he fashions tools and hunts and prepares food with them, the purpose being the continuance of his species. Gradually, as the consciousness grows and develops, so do the tools until we have all manner of specialisations assisting. The arch-shape (as on a graph) is reached and the consciousness begins to bypass or overtake the ‘middle-man’ of external assistance— and it gradually returns to the rod, and then to nothing at all. To consider the process from a wider perspective, we see life forms on the planet beginning simply, like single cell organisms, and gradually come more and more complex forms of life. In the plant and animal worlds we see many specialisations in body types. Until we arrive at the human, and his lack of specialisation, or all-roundedness. Where a tiger has teeth enabling it to rip meat, the man invents a knife and fork. Where a bird flies using wings which are attached to him, the man invents an aeroplane. And so on.
Every novel is contained in the alphabet, only unrealised. Every meal and piece of music exists potentially and in possibility. Faith is belief in possibility; prejudice is exclusive belief in probability. Possibility is the future and probability is the past. En Soph, or God, is this potential existing in the abstract realm (uncreated) but still existent in some way. But as man is the equivalent of the rod, and as the rod eventually disappears In this way there are no dead things. All as consciousness surpasses the need are extensions of life, of living things. for external help – we have then an We say there is unity and all things indication of man’s physical future.
Here then we have the ascension that religion speaks of, the consciousness no longer needing its redundant physical form. Already physicality has been demoted in the light of virtual realities like facebook. From a planet’s perspective, we might theorise that humanity constitutes an organ of the planet (Earth’s brain). Plant-life would be another organ, and minerals another. A planet itself appears as unspecified as a point from which a rod is born. In addition to the idea of a tool in the human’s hand being seen as part of the human, I would like to add the idea that taking up a tool is the same as closing a circuit. This would include shaking hands with someone – ‘sealing a deal’ or ‘coming together’ even if it is on something small like a business agreement. They are like two loose wires meeting and closing the circuit for energy flow. A monkey by itself is missing a part, as we see by the hands and feet: a tree. The saying, “at a loose end,” is indicative of this. There is music itself (the idea or thought of), and there is the man with his ears. Closing the circuit is the guitar, bringing the two poles together. There is the mortal worshipper in time and space, and there is the vast and abstracted divine. The personification of the gods in world mythology brings the two together. Since man cannot comprehend the vastness of En Soph, he creates a bridge by visualising and worshipping through images of human-like gods that represent more abstract (and archetypical) forces. Later, when the process is forgotten, he falls to worshipping the images themselves and idolatry is born. Dion Fortune, in Applied Magic, explains this principle to us in detail. She begins: “At the Reformation the men who made the Anglican ritual did not understand the psychological significance of the Roman ceremonial. They saw it in its degradation as an empty channel, and they broke up the conduit because it was dry. Let us be wiser in our generation, and instead of breaking up the conduit, connect it up with the well-head.” “Form,” she goes on to say, “is the channel for a force, but it is not only the material substance used in a sacrament which is the physical channel for a force, but also the vivid pictorial image created in the mind of the worshipper by its ritual use.” Hense, the magic wand is ultimately a medium, and as the wands of the animal world, we are mediums. This brings a new layer to McLuhan’s words, “the medium is the message”.
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WHY I JOINED FREEMASONRY W. BRO. JOHN A. WORRELL P.G.P. DIP. MAS ED. This is the transcript of a lecture that was delivered in two parts to a lodge of masons. The first part was given under the title of ‘notes from the secretary’ in the March 2002 notice paper of Leichhardt Lodge of Research No. 225 SANTC in order that the brethren were forewarned of the expectation they, the audience, could be asked to participate. This version has been edited with the factors of a non-Masonic audience in mind, as well as intending it for print rather than lecture. After some thought on what Masonic topic I should lecture on I have decided to change the format somewhat and feel I should just tell you “Why I became a Freemason? ” I shall start by asking this question, and it won’t be asked “just for effect.” It is meant to give those in the body of the Lodge an opportunity to participate with me the speaker. About twenty years ago I gave an address on this same subject in my mother Lodge, Mercury No.457 UGLQ with the understanding that I should tell what induced me to present my petition and what I expected o f Freemasonry, and that, at the conclusion of my remarks, the members present would do the same. Every Brother had a different story, and we had a wonderful evening. I have included a story, not from that night but one, which illustrates the type of response we could achieve.
man looked across the Lodge room and noted sitting there the pawnbroker from whom he had borrowed $25.00 several months before, on the strength of his being a Freemason. His face turned crimson and he became nervous and jittery. He recollected the admonition he had just received from the Master, and he was bothered. He wondered whether the pawnbroker had recognized him.
Apparently not. So he planned, at the first opportunity, to leave the Lodge room and avoid his benefactor. The lecture and charge probably were lost on him. As soon as the Lodge was closed, he moved quickly for the door of the Tyler’s room, but the pawnbroker had recognized the young man, headed him off west of the altar and, to the young man’s astonishment, approached him and greeted him with A young man passed a pawnbroker’s a smile and outstretched hand. shop. The moneylender was standing in front of his shop, and the young man “Well, I see you weren’t a Freemason noted that he was wearing a large and after all when you borrowed that beautiful Masonic emblem. After going $25.00,” the pawnbroker commented. on a whole block, apparently lost in The blood rushed to the young man’s thought, the young man turned back, face as he stammered, “No, I wasn’t, stepped up to the pawnbroker, and but I wish you’d let me explain. I had addressed him: “I see you’re wearing always heard that Freemasons were a Masonic emblem. I’m a Freemason charitable and ready to aid a Brother too. It happens that I’m desperately in distress. When I passed your shop in need of $25.00 just now. I shall be that day, I didn’t need that $25.00. I able to repay it within ten days. You had plenty of money in my wallet, but don’t know me; but I wonder whether when I saw the Masonic emblem you the fact that you are a Freemason and were wearing, I decided to find out that I am a Freemason is sufficient to whether the things I’d heard about induce you to lend me the money on Freemasonry were true. You let me my personal note.” The pawnbroker have the money on the strength of my mentally apprised the young man, who being a Freemason, so I concluded that was clean-cut, neat and well dressed. what I had heard about the Masons After a moment’s thought, he agreed was true, that they are charitable, that to make the loan on the strength of the they do aid Brethren in distress. That young man’s being a Freemason. made such a deep impression on me that I presented my petition to this The two went into the pawnshop, Lodge and here I am. I trust that, with where the young man signed a note this explanation, you will forgive me and received the $25.00, then went his for having lied to you.” way. Within a few days the young man repaid the loan as agreed, and The pawnbroker responded, “Don’t that ended the Transaction. About let that worry you too much. I wasn’t four months later the young man a Freemason when I let you have the was in a Lodge receiving the Entered money. I had no business wearing the Apprentice Degree; he had not really Masonic emblem you saw. Another been a Mason when he borrowed man had just borrowed some money $25.00 from the pawnbroker. After on it, and it was so pretty that I put it he had been admitted for the second on my lapel for a few minutes. I took it section of the degree and placed where off the moment you left. I didn’t want all candidates are placed, the young anyone else borrowing money on the 18 | The Veil Vol. 4
strength of my being a Freemason. When you asked for that $25.00, I remembered what I had heard about the Masons, that they were honest, upright, and cared for their obligations promptly. It seemed to me that $25.00 wouldn’t be too much to lose to learn if what I’d heard about Freemasons was really true, so I lent you the money and you repaid it exactly as you said you would. That convinced me that what I’d heard about the Masons was true, so I presented my petition to this lodge. I was the candidate just ahead of you.” I doubt whether the experience of either of those men persuaded any one of you to become a Mason; but it would be interesting to know what did induce each of you to present his petition and what each of you was expecting of Freemasonry. One of those in the story expected to find men who were charitable and ever ready to give aid to a Brother in distress. The other expected to find men who were honest, upright, and cared promptly for their obligations. That was what they had heard about Freemasons.
PART 2. I have chosen this topic as I feel as a society of men we should be better informed as to the reasons we are all here tonight joined with the common bond of friendship and to a man opposite in so many ways. I believe that ceremony is the cement or glue that holds a society together and we as masons share a common love of that ceremony as by it we are taught the fundamental basics of being a good member of that society. Each of us has a story to tell of how we were drawn to the fraternity and I hope some of you will share yours with us tonight. They may be about a bond between father and son, or as is so often the case these days grandfather and grandson. It may be a tale of a life-long friend or a casual meeting with a stranger, nevertheless it may give us some insight to the correct way to go about attracting the right men to our gentle craft and act as a medium whereby we may learn more about ourselves. I guess my story begins with my childhood that I may add was
mercifully brief. My parents emigrated from England in March of 1960 and we found ourselves in Brisbane Queensland in a state akin to the one in which our candidates find themselves on initiation night “poor and penniless” The sponsor who was to provide accommodation for us showed us a tent in his back yard thinking that was good enough for a family of “Pommie Bastards”. My father had no job as his qualifications as an electrician were not recognised by the QLD trades and labour council. We found a modest two bedroom flat, the bond I believe took most of our precious savings. It was a hard life in those days establishing a family in a strange country far from friends and family. But we survived and established ourselves as so many migrant families have done before. And I guess in the current world climate will do again. I’m only too glad that we didn’t have the added burden of trying to learn a foreign language. In 1963 at the age of fourteen I first became aware of freemasonry when I was asked by a school chum to come to a meeting of Job’s Daughters. It was their Installation meeting that was open to the public and followed by a dance. He said there were plenty of girls and the group he belonged to often go to their Installation meetings that were held on Saturday nights. Of course lured by the prospect of meeting girls on a Saturday night I went. I met several other boys there that night who belonged to something called ‘The Order of DeMolay1’. Before too long an application for membership to this young mans organization that admitted boys between the ages of fourteen and twenty-one was given to me. Their motto they explained was ‘No DeMolay
shall fail as a citizen, as a leader or as could attend the degree meetings of the a man’. order. The main purpose of DeMolay is the building of better citizens and creating leaders through the development of character in young men. The youth movement bolsters a boy’s character by emphasizing the virtues of comradeship, reverence, love of parents, patriotism, courtesy, cleanness and fidelity. The entire programme of a DeMolay Chapter revolves about these seven cardinal principles.
That was my first understanding of what freemasonry was and how my father had directed me towards it by encouraging my friendship with the son of one of his fraternal brethren. Living in Queensland I could have joined Masonry at age 18 but instead was encouraged by my father to join the R.A.A.F. and seek a career. By the time I had reached the age of 21 I was married and all my DeMolay mates were already taking office in Lodge. I had to join. It was like taking an apprenticeship then not working as a tradesman.
DeMolay does not attempt to take the place of the home, church or school, but rather to supplement them with a supporting, programme of teaching good citizenship to its members. If I had to give one compelling reason for why I joined I would say that all The purposes of DeMolay have those men in society that I had met and assumed new meaning and value with admired both as a boy and a man had the pressures of modern living on the been masons and I knew I wanted to be youth of today. Sociologists have found just like them and share that fellowship that one of the main contributions and brotherhood they all enjoyed. I am in creating a delinquent youth is the reminded of the words of Walt Disney rebellion-stirring picture of himself as who once said this of DeMolay: a “nothing, or less than nothing”. ‘I feel a great sense of obligation The very heart of DeMolay-its ritual-is and gratitude towards DeMolay for an excellent weapon for destroying a the important part it has played in boy’s feeling of nothingness, and giving shaping my life. Its precepts have been him a feeling of being somebody. invaluable in making decisions, in facing dilemmas and crises, in holding Having now attempted to explain to on to faiths and ideals, and in meeting you what I was being exposed to I shall those tests which are best borne continue with my story: when shared with others in a bond of confidence.’ I took the application home and said to my father that I wanted to join and Now ask for others to share their asked him for his advice. It was then experiences. that he took me aside and showed me his Master Mason’s apron and 1. Ref: Masonic Service Association explained that he knew many of the Short Talk. Bulletin - November 1963 parents whose sons were DeMolays and that only Masons could be on the 2. Notes supplied from the International advisory council of a DeMolay chapter Order of DeMolay and only fathers that were masons
The Veil Vol. 4 | 19
THE PARABLE OF THE ROCK There was once an enormous rock. It was smooth and round, and the only thing of its kind. As such, the local people loved and adored it. Streams of people came to visit it. Eventually people built homes around it, so that they could be close to it. Gradually a town formed around it. Everybody had the rock in common.
both great halves started cracking too. The eyeglass wearers found it too difficult not to admit what they saw. But they did not call them cracks. Their leader said, “What people call cracks are actually signs of dissent. These marks are indications that other false rocks will appear.”
with regards to the future and the nature of things.
Some people confessed doubt as to whether there ever was one large, beautiful rock. Former eyeglass wearers were afraid or ashamed to wear their glasses, unless in gangs. But that gang had shrunk significantly. Strangely, the naked-eyed citizens had Some donned glasses merely because The rock was so perfect and a similar opinion. Any new rocks would their parents expected them to. Pebbles symmetrical that people said it could be faults, deteriorations, because they lay on the roads and were trodden not possibly be natural. On the other considered the second rock perfect. underfoot. hand, however, just as many people thought that it could not possibly be A minority rejected both sides: “If In time, the pebbles were reduced to man-made for the same reasons. new rocks appear, then we must value sand. The townsfolk barely noticed this them over the old, as new things are change. Attachments to past pebbles One day the rock decided to transform improvements. This is evolution.” Other or rocks were more abstract and itself. minorities formed too, disagreeing with theoretical now. People had sand in the evolution stance. their hair, pockets, and on their shoes. A crack thus appeared in the rock. It dirtied their floors. No longer could anyone discern one speck from This caused great alarm. another. Some people panicked. Some no longer considered the rock What’s more, if you poured the to be beautiful. The crack sand into a cup, it would take grew larger and other cracks on the height and shape of the appeared. A larger number of cup. If you poured it into a tray people refused to admit there it took the shape of the tray. The were any cracks. Pretending not sand was malleable to individual to see them, they said, “Many of needs. us are seeing things where there is nothing to see: the eyesight of When it rained, folks discovered the populous is failing, we need that clay could be made. Some to distribute eyeglasses.” repaired their houses with the clay. Some built new houses They even opened up shops from it. Pottery and crockery, that sold eyeglasses, the lenses sculptures and so on were made of which were unclear so that from the clay. cracks in the rock could not be discerned through them. As the years passed, there was This caused much argument nothing in the society that did and disagreement. Shouting not involve the clay in some matches were had at the rock. way. And when hardened, it took on a golden glow, so that The community was polarised. The And soon the two pieces crumbled into the town twinkled in the sunlight. rock, as if in response, broke into two a pile of smaller rocks. At this point halves. there was less certainty all around. Differences of opinion disappeared too, Many remained attached to this or that since the clay was viewed as a unity or One would think this an awkward piece. Many tried to convince others to singular substance. In the beginning event for the optometrists. But they favour the piece they preferred. Others it had been singular as a rock; in the claimed (and believed their claim since grew detached and apathetic in their end it was again singular – from a they too wore the glasses they sold) confusion. A growing view was that thing separate from the town, to a that only one of these now two rocks nothing more than deterioration was ‘stuff’ immanent and entwined within was the original rock. The other, they happening. everything. said, is a new one. “This new rock is a false one, a fake, an imitation.” Fights broke out between different The rock had completed its gangs. Sometimes the rocks themselves transformation. Those who disagreed were not much were used to kill people, cracking skulls. better: “No,” said their leader, “this new Despite everything that had happened, piece is an improvement, the better of When the little stones became a the townsfolk still held onto the the two halves.” hill of pebbles, the town became a belief that they acted out of will and hive of confusion and diversity. This reason; none but the wisest suspected So, half the town preferred one piece over sensitisation caused a profound their history was one of reaction and the other preferred the other piece. numbness in the populous. People and unconsciousness. It was even One side wore glasses and the other did worked for pebbles, threw pebbles, considered that the clay and the rock not. swapped pebbles, stole pebbles, killed, were lifeless material used by sentient fraternised, all in a somnambulistic people, and not the other way around. This situation did not last long, because routine. Fear and depression spread 20 | The Veil Vol. 4