FREEMASONRY AND THE WESTERN TRADITION 2
W. Bro. J. R. Cleland, P.P.A.G., Chap., (Kent).
"Through voluntary suffering and renunciation . . . man's egoism is already practically upheaved, and he who chooses them, let his object be whatever you please, is thereby raised already above all notions bound by Time and Space; for no longer can he seek a happiness that lies in Time and Space even were they figured as eternal and immeasurable. That which gives to him the superhuman strength to suffer voluntarily must itself be felt by him already as a profound inward happiness, incognisable to the world, except though outer suffering, compared wherewith the empty pleasure of the world-conqueror seems downright null and childish." (Richard Wagner, Prose Works 1864, Vol. IV "On State and Religion.")
Under the highest and most favourable conditions we attain a sympathy with all things living. . . . In this perfect unison with all that has been kept apart from us by the illusion of individuation lies the root of all virtue, the true secret of redemption." (Richard Wagner, Letter to August Roekel 1855.)
On the last occasion when we met together I tried to give you an outline of the channels through which knowledge of certain ancient traditions and rites reached the shores of Britain, and of how these various streams coalesced to become that "Druidism" which, as an expression of the Ancient Wisdom, we have called by the comprehensive name of the "Western Tradition."
It was as we have seen, made up of many parts, and it was impossible that, in the course of the ages of growth of each of these streams, there should not have arisen differences of expression and presentation. Some of the original truth had, in each case and in course of time, been lost or overlaid with accretions. Some parts had been over-accentuated and, when the four main streams joined, they naturally influenced each other considerably. The resultant appears, however, as a very close approximation to the Fourth, or direct Atlantean Tradition. Later, although the main substructure remained comparatively complete, the deterioration in the superstructure was rapid and very considerable.
Over this extraordinarily stable and vital tradition there came to be superimposed yet another stream, a fifth interpretation, which we call the Christian Tradition. The blending of these two was amazingly complete and gave rise to a peculiarly British Church, the outlook of which is, perhaps, best seen in what has come to be known as the Glastonbury Tradition.
Glastonbury is the focal point of a tradition as old as, if not older than, Christianity itself, for it took its rise in the coming of Joseph of Arimathea, in the year A.D. 37, when the Church in Britain became the first organised Christian Church in Western Europe. The circumstances which led up to this climax were peculiar, yet so natural that many writers and commentators appear to have overlooked them, in their anxiety to crush the memory of a tradition which they feel to be inimical to their own pet theory, generally that which makes the Church of Rome the oldest foundation.
I may perhaps be allowed to reiterate, at this point, a comment which I have made before, namely, that it is a great pity that there is still so much reliance placed upon written history, rather than upon living tradition. History is always seen through the eyes of the individual historian and we get a limited view of the facts, whereas Tradition, coming nearer to fundamentals, draws its real permanent element from the folk-memory, the subconsciousness of the race itself, wherein are preserved the latent memories of all the racial experiences. This folk-memory must persist so long as the race itself endures and, given right conditions, will emerge again and again in the popular consciousness, essentially the same, although perhaps in a new dress. Tradition is immortal. It must not, therefore, worry us unduly when we find that most of the documents, on which our historians have relied, have perished, for the ancient landmarks survive, through which we can bring the distant scenes into focus. If we follow the threads of our Masonic Tradition, we are inexorably led back to that fundamental and sublime philosophy which was the inspiration of the first Christian Church in Britain, and also of the Druidic Faith, whose philosophic atmosphere it had taken over and re-vivified. It is the one permanent thread running through the life of the Nation and carrying on through all the vicissitudes of alien invasion and conquest. Sometimes, on such occasions, it becomes latent for a time, but gradually it impregnates the minds of the new ruling class and is reborn in the consciousness of the new race of mixed blood, having gained power and richness of expression in the process. The same thing is happening now in the British Empire as a whole, as the many national and racial strains involved come closer together and become more and more conscious of sharing a common tradition, the realization of which will unite them more closely than could any blood-tie. In the full acceptance of this basic tradition they will yet all unite in a great and glorious harmony made up of the notes of all the instruments of truth in the ancient legends and beliefs surviving in the race-memories of the groups which, now one and indivisible, constitute the sum total of the Empire.
All these traditions meet in the Island of Britain and, where England is more particularly concerned, at Glastonbury, in the County of Somerset. The result is mirrored in the acceptance of the Bible as the peculiar heritage of the British race and a fundamental part of this national belief is the tradition that the Christian Church in Britain was a direct foundation by a mission from Palestine. So Glastonbury, the Jerusalem of the West as it has been called, was, from the earliest times, a missionary centre from which ordained teachers were sent forth to Gaul, to Germany, to Helvetia and, in fact, to nearly every country in Europe. As an organised centre of religious life it is older than Rome itself, and this priority of foundation remained unquestioned and was conceded by the whole Catholic Church until France and Spain, sorely smarting under their repeated defeats and grievances in the XV century, put forward political claims of historical precedence at some of the great Church Councils. These claims were dismissed as invalid at the Council of Basle in 1434, it being recognized that the foundation of the British Church was the work of Joseph of Arimathea, immediately after the Passion of Christ. The actual date is attested by Gildas the Wise in the V century. He is recognized as a meticulously accurate and careful historian and he emphasizes the date as "the last year of Tiberius Caesar," using the expression "as we know."
At the Council of Arles in A.D. 314, the British Church was represented by no less than three bishops.
As we have seen, Britain was in no sense a land of savages when the freshly re-named philosophy — it was at Antioch that it was first labelled Christian — appeared on its shores. It was a well-populated land, with a high civilization both in culture and in art, possessing an ancient and deep-rooted religious faith, embodying inner Mysteries in which the Ancient Wisdom was taught to carefully selected candidates in a series of grades under the stern discipline of the Druidic priesthood. The teachings had certainly degenerated in these later days — no religious teaching has yet been able to withstand the degenerative influence of ignorance and greed — but they were as certainly still based upon the most sublime truth. The government of Britain was in the hands of native princes who shared this high culture and left many evidences of the fact in such things as their finely designed coinage. The Prince with whom our story is involved is one Arviragus, of whom it is recorded that he received Joseph and his companions and granted to them "Twelve Hides of Land," situated round the Tor at Gaston. These lands have been, from time immemorial, the freehold of the Community at Glastonbury and have never paid tax. They are still marked upon our maps to-day.
There seems to have been a considerable settlement of Levantines, probably largely Phoenician and Samaritan traders, in South-West Britain. Largely interested in mercantile pursuits, they were more particularly connected with the metal industry. They seem to have intermarried freely with the native population and, in later times, they were joined by a large influx of people of Hebrew blood, to whom they were closely related racially and who shared the same trade interests. One of these traders was named Joseph of Arimathea, and there is a legend that, on one of his visits, he brought with him a young kinsman, Jesus of Nazareth.
Pagan Rome, greatly tolerant though she was, had a certain fear and dislike for two great religions only, the Christian and the Druid. She had excellent political reason for her dislike of Druidism, for it encouraged a national unity and an independence of racial outlook which it was necessary to break down if she were to succeed in conquering and ruling this island, which was such an important and precious treasure in her eyes. But, instead of being stamped out, Druidism merged naturally with the Christian Church and the race maintained, as it still maintains, its peculiar independence of outlook.
Four influences appear to have been at work in the choice of Glaston as the first centre. It was necessary to choose, first, some place remote and secure from the Roman Legions; second, a populous district with an established and strong native government; third, a good seaport, if possible; and, fourth, a place wherein the people were sufficiently akin to Palestine in blood and tradition as to make an initial sympathetic outlook secure. Christianity, at this time, was definitely a Jewish sect, for Paul had not yet started his "propaganda campaign" among the Gentile nations. It would thus have a natural appeal to the large Hebrew-Levantine element in the Western regions of South Britain. Here also the native Druidic Faith was strongest, and its doctrinal associations were closely allied to those of the new faith. There is evidence that the mission of Joseph and his followers actually arrived by direct invitation of the Druidic Hierarchy. All this happened in A.D. 37-38, when the place was known as the Isle of Ictis, which later went by the names of Ynis Witrin, Avalon and Glaston. There is yet one strong evidence for the choice of Glaston being a natural one for Joseph to make for, as we have noticed, tradition connects him strongly with the metal trade. This is more particularly so in the tin-mining industry of Cornwall, Devon and Somerset. The tradition is very widely distributed and strongly established. From time immemorial the Cornish miners have raised their cry of "Joseph was a Tin-man" as the molten tin was seen to run from the ore, but the same tradition is to be found all over Somerset and S.W. England, in Wales, and even further North into Scotland. There are distinct traces of it in Southern Ireland. Certain old documents refer to Joseph as a "Decurion," a term which seems to have been associated with the metal industry. So, if, as seems likely, he already had strong trade associations with the district, it was only natural that he should choose a centre of that trade for his mission. There is an Ictis in Cornwall, now known as St. Michael's Mount, and one version of the story makes this the place of landing, making the mission pass overland to the Severn Sea. Colour is lent to this version by the strong folk-memories still extant around Crewkerne and Montacute, on the Somerset-Devon border and completely off the route from the Western sea. According to Pliny, the Sea of Ictis was "six days sail inland" from Cornwall, which could only bring the ships up the Severn estuary to the Somerset River, where the market and port for the Mediterranean traffic were established.
Traditionally Joseph was a member of the Essene community, a man, therefore, of wide views such as one would expect from a student of Freemasonry to-day, and far removed from the hide-bound orthodoxy of the Pharisees and the equally hide-bound scepticism of the Saducees.
William of Malmesbury describes the first Chapel as circular, and Bligh-Bond, to whom we owe such a deep debt of gratitude for his researches into the antiquities of Glastonbury, came to the conclusion that round it were twelve cells for the missioners. This would couple up with the earliest Christian Traditions as well as with our Masonic Holy Royal Arch and Knights Templary. The sites of three of these cells were definitely established by the excavations of Bligh-Bond, before the incredible superstition and ignorant fanaticism of the authorities put a stop to the work and destroyed so much that can never be replaced.
This twelve-fold, or rather thirteen-fold, basis is constantly recurring in our national tradition. Even our system of finance is based upon the shilling, divided into twelve portions of one penny each. This basic figure also links up with the Arthurian Legend and the Twelve Knights of the Round Table. Its origins are lost in the mists of antiquity but most of the later examples seem to turn upon a Zodiacal symbology. I think, however, that we may take it that the Zodiac itself is merely one expression of a much more ancient and fundamental tradition. Zodiacs of 12 and 24 houses are found the World over; in China, in Egypt, in Central America we find them, and all are closely related to totemic symbolisms. One cannot but have the thought that Stonehenge itself and the circles of the Gorsedd may have had the same basic significance.
In the Lady Chapel at Glastonbury, built after the great fire of 1184, we have an example of a similar application of the "Vesica Piscis," that basic arcanum of the Temple-builders. The chapel surrounds the site traditionally allotted to the first church, and Malmesbury describes the floor of the Old Church, a rectangular shell built round and over the original circular building of wattle, as "designedly inlaid with Squares and Triangles, as to which, if I believe. some sacred enigma to be intended, I do no dishonour to the cause of religion." There is a fine Zodiac depicted on the floor at Canterbury.
Bligh-Bond makes one point which I feel I must mention because of its evidential importance in respect to the age of the Arthurian legends. If, as many modern critics have tried to show, the legends were merely medieval fabrications, it is quite beyond the bounds of all belief, taking into consideration the medieval attitude towards Judaism and the Jews, that the heroes should have been given Jewish nationality, as they undoubtedly were, when, however, we note that the tales reflect a much older tradition, we are compelled to accept that they have been moulded by some historical fact, reflecting a Jewish-Christian influence at work upon traditions, some of which we know to have long ante-dated Christianity.
There is a story that one of the lines leading to the surrounding cells at Glaston forked. This is of interest as indicating the possibility of there being thirteen cells, just as the Round Table of Arthur, like the table of the Christian Last Supper, had thirteen seats. One was that "Empty Chair" known in the legend as the "Siege Perillous." We have met it in our Lodges and it can be indeed a seat "full of peril" for the unqualified brother who rashly seats himself in it.
Before proceeding further, I want to say a few words on the subject which Professor Emil Marcault of Pisa made so peculiarly his own, the "Evolution of the Intuition," for Craft Masonry may, from one point of view, be called the Science of the Evolution of the Intuition. Marcault defines Intuition as the Spiritual Consciousness of Man. It is what is called in the East "Buddhi," the middle term of the three-fold Individuality and, as we have seen in our study of the Lodge-man, it is this Intuition which, in the Craft Lodge, occupies the Master's Chair. Each race of men has its own Spiritual Consciousness which evolves, just as does that of the individual man. It is not a static condition. Plotinus gives the steps in the unfolding as passing from a Political foundation to a Pragmatic, thence to Method then on through a state of Ecstasy to final Unity. A similar series of steps is found in the teaching of Yoga. Let me here emphasize that the so-called Progress of modern thinkers is not Evolution. Man does not progress, cannot progress, but his products certainly do progress. There must be morphological changes in the being, and, when these follow a regular course, we call the result Evolution. We have to find an environment for Man as a psychological being. This led McDougall in England to suggest the theory of the Group-mind. Du Caine in France called the same thing Collective Representation. The problem is a complicated one, much more so than the first psychologists of the intuition thought, for Bergson and others did, in fact, miss much. Bergson never realized that he was not examining Intuition in general, but only his own intuition, and he overlooked the fact that, besides the intuition of the Philosopher, there are other intuitions, such as those of feeling and emotion, of religion, of mysticism, of art. Kent, in his "Critique of pure reason" examined, as a specific intuition, that of Duty. When one thinks about it, there must be at least seven basic forms of intuition, corresponding to the seven rays, but, as we have noted, the philosophies which deal with the intuition have overlooked the fact. Intuition, in terms of modern psychology, may be defined as "Absolute Consciousness," but we must remember that we cannot know any form of absolute beyond that of our own consciousness. Intuition has three phases first, the formation of an object of consciousness second, the building of a formula and, by passing from concentration upon it through meditation to contemplation, the third stage is reached, Union with the object. There must be fusion of subject and object. When this is reached, we have Intuition. Intuition appears upon different levels in different people and in different races. Peasant and philosopher both have intuition, but the abstract thought is subjective in one, and objective in the other. The peasant uses proverbs, each being an abstract idea given a concrete expression. The lowest class of society is the spiritually poor, not that which is economically poor. They are those who cannot see beyond themselves and their families, their churches, parties, nations, even the humanity to which they belong. This gives the truest definition of class in society and shows evolution as a probable fact, just as a forest in which all stages of growth are visible, renders the fact of growth a probability.
If we take the individual, we can study his intuition at various stages in any one life and see how constantly the subjective becomes objective. Consider the first stage, the child. The objective lies only in sensation. The use of any object is that which the child thinks it to be. A stick may be a gun or it may be a sword. R.L. Stevenson gives a description of a child hunting — he writes with the consciousness of the child — and sees the sofa as a forest, the carpet as a river and so on. The image here is an absolute, it is a form of totemism. The child is, himself, his totem with his associated possessions. Now, the next stage, adolescence. Here we find him advanced to the emotional level, acting largely from sentimental motives. In the third stage, the adult appears with his motivation of thought and reason lying behind all his actions. There can be a higher stage based upon social consciousness, wherein the man ceases to be an individual only and commences to act as a member of a group and from thence he may pass to the fifth stage, which is the last we need consider, in which he reaches unity. All his thought, feeling and action are transformed and transfused with that spiritual wisdom which is true spiritual consciousness. Thus Intuition evolves. Life and Spirit are evolving in each and every man.
Here, in passing, we might touch upon a question which is often asked. "What is the difference between instinct and intuition. Instinct is the absolute to the animal, his subjective consciousness. It has, as it were, two meanings, as applied to plants and to animals. Intuition is the Absolute in Man. Taking the kingdoms in series, we may say that
Form is objectivized in the Mineral Kingdom. Life is objectivized in the Vegetable Kingdom. Thought is objectivized in the Animal Kingdom, and Spirit is objectivized in the Human Kingdom.
Consciousness differs from intuition in that the one is the manifestation of the other. The source of intuition is man's consciousness, rooted in the Consciousness of T.G.A.O.T.U.
Freemasonry knows, or should know, only one Absolute, the absolute of Relativity. In other words, there can be for us no absolute Absolute, for the only absolute that we can know is that of our own consciousness, which must be, in the very nature of things, relative. The proof lies in the fact that when God wishes to manifest to Man, He does so as man, or through man. The metaphysical absolute is the highest proof, in spite of the fact that it is an illusion, at which we can aim. To take an instance, the God of the Indian System is Brahma, but the existence of Parabrahm must be admitted. Brahma, therefore, is a Relative Godhead. They will not talk of Parabrahm, because IT is beyond knowing. Man can only believe in an absolute Absolute by creating for himself a relative absolute.
Real Intuition is of very rare occurrence, but it is an absolute, that is to say, it creates something new and there can be no possibility of mistake when once it has been reached. We can study the stages of the growth of the intuition, for instance, in Poetry. Homer, in the Iliad, expresses the plane of sensation, the later Greeks reach to the plane of sentiment, and in the Renaissance period, thought passes to the objective level and becomes an object of comparison.
In the child, and in the child-race, the imagination is largely reproductive but, as it grows and begins to create images, it becomes intuition. All intuition is built upon our three fundamentals which we call Wisdom, Strength and Beauty, or Will, Wisdom, Activity. Obviously these may be taken in combinations, according as one or other predominates, giving six temperaments, rays or forms of intuition. These are the only forms possible, apart from the complete balance, wherein all three are equal.
As incarnate men, we function only upon five planes, so that our intuitional absolute is but five-fold, five rays only manifesting in our race, five types isolated. Perhaps we may call them the Philosopher, the Mystic, the Artist, the Freemason and the Ethical man, admitting the fact that there are many in each of these groups who could not be so labelled in every-day life. It is rather a matter of outlook-intuition, if you like. Ceremonial Worship will probably motivate one of the new types yet to manifest. There should actually be twelve types, linking with our other twelves, but these types are not yet separated and the present man can only involve certain sub-planes, as we have seen in the "Lodge-Man." The satisfaction of absolute love is to be found in intuition, not in attraction. To develop on metaphysical lines one must first be able to make intuitions. Intuition is natural to our present state of race-development but Metaphysics is not so. Both Occultism and Mysticism lie definitely above the capacity of the race as a whole. That which is absolute cannot evolve, but concrete consciousness or spirit is not absolute. This evolution which we are considering must have individuality, a beginning and a definite course. In France, for instance, after the destruction of the Roman culture, there arose a process of evolution of the national intuition which has clear-cut stages. First came the Chanson du Geste, the Epic poem, showing in the tales of Charlemagne, to all intents and purposes deified. He is the incarnation of the moral idea of the age, and his direct parallel, in this respect, in Britain, is Arthur. The epic expresses the mental outlook of the time as seen through the poet's own intuition. The Feudal system is the expression of the intuition of action in the social life of the age. The epic gives it aesthetic expression. The Judge, the Guide or the Chief is the expression of the absolute. God gives strength in battle, and reward is to the Good Knight. The epic is thus a poetic expression of the infancy of the race and at no other period can one have real epic poetry. Even such great minds as those of Voltaire and Victor Hugo failed miserably when they tried to reproduce the atmosphere. The sincerity of intent is inimitable. But next comes the Lyric, developing in the South and picking up some of the old links with Rome. The absolute has changed from that of action to that of feeling and we cease to be regaled with histories of knights and their deeds, and are given instead descriptions of the poet's own feelings. This step is reflected in the triumph of the Church over the Feudal System. The ideal has changed from the knight and his chivalry to the servant of God in the Church, and the picture of the hard Knight is replaced by another of a soft, sweet Virgin. In Her the middle ages found the sublime object of love. Outward expression was found in the building of great cathedrals of stone and great encyclopedias of philosophy, but this medieval philosophy contains no objective study of the nature of the world or of Man. It expresses an absolute of feeling only. In Britain, this finds expression in the Romantic Traditions of Arthur, in France, the Troubadours are its mouthpiece. The result is a poetic romance, a mixture of epic and lyric, feeling being expressed positively as love and negatively as hate. Religion centres around the Virgin as life centres round the lady and all action is dedicated to the damsel. The minnesingers are its exponents. In the middle ages the mystical system was subordinated to emotion and philosophy to blind faith. At the Renaissance the reason was liberated, partially at least, and in the Classic age we find Descartes defining himself by the formula "I think, therefore I am." Man is the Thinker, Reason is Divine, so man knows Truth because God has implanted ideas in his reason. Thought and reason have become the absolute. Throughout the pages of all histories the so-called Metaphysics of one age have become the psychology of the next, so Kant protests against this doctrine of innate ideas and makes all concepts due to experience, whence ideas are born. He makes Time and Space the Absolute. Then his concepts themselves are objectivized and are called relative, which leads up to a new absolute, Intuition.
Perhaps I have said enough, without further labouring the subject, to show the position which Arthurian Romance holds in the expression of the absolute consciousness of the West so, after this somewhat lengthy digression, I will come back to our main theme.
The influences which we have been considering led to an expression of the absolute in a conversion of the adjuncts of many of the older traditions into a formula, which, with a background of historical fact to lean upon, expressed the pent-up intuition of the race in a nomenclature which wedded it firmly into the general outlook of the British Church as an expression of Christianity. We find the Rod of Power transformed into the lance of Calvary, the Cauldron of illumination of Keridwen into the Grail, as the Cup used at the Last Supper and so on. In the Mabinogion of Geraint and Pheredur we find the foundations of the researches of Thomas de la Villemarque. He holds to the Keltic origin of the Grail. GRAAL is a French term equivalent to the Welsh PER, meaning a Bowl or Basin, whence comes the name Peadur or Pheadur, the Bowl-seeker or Companion of the Basin. It may be worth recalling here that this is satirized in the story of Don Quixote. The Druidic origin is alluded to by the poet Taliesin and figures in the Mabinogi of Branwen. It appears in the oldest folk-tales of Brittany and the bowl is the object of search in many Mabinogion. The original occult character of the Druidic basin and of the lance, the Bardic expression of undying hatred of the Saxon invader, disappears in these tales and the tone becomes purely romantic. The Romance of Pheredur was the ground-work of the "Perceval" of Cretien de Troyes. It is a simple-seeming Welsh romance into which the French influence seems to have been largely responsible for infusing an atmosphere of courtliness and mysticism. The various "Hallows" become clearly defined. In the original, Pheredur is referred to as Pheredur of the Long Spear. Later this becomes the wand of office and the rod or glove of light and power. He meets with the lance of the Passion, with three drops or streams of blood, corresponding to the three distilled drops of illumination in the Cauldron of Keridwen, and changing later into the three nails. In our Lodges we meet these as three pillars. Pheredur also meets with the chess-board, later to be transformed into our mosaic pavement. He sees the Head of Bran carried on a great bowl as in the gospel is seen the head of John the Baptist and again in Christian symbol in the napkin of St. Veronica, the face which, surcharged upon that same chequered ground, to-day can be seen as the badge of the City of the Holy Face, Halifax in Yorkshire. He receives three cups with peculiar qualities, each of which he empties and hands, as a gift, to the "miller's wife." When we note also that he is the son of a widow, a fool in the eyes of the Knights, his brethren-in-arms, and that it is he who attains to most worship, together with a multitude of minor indications, we are driven to the conclusion that we are dealing with, an initiation ceremony in the Mysteries. There are, of course, other Mabinogion and tales indicating the same trend, although the Grail finds no expression in some of them, especially earlier Keltic tales of visits to that enchanted castle which later becomes the Grail Castle. There appear to be two main types, that of the reward-quest, as in the tale of Jack the Giant Killer, and that of the unspelling-quest, as in the tale of the Sleeping Beauty. The same main adjuncts are found in the most widely distributed tales. Where the god Bran appear, his place is almost always taken later by Joseph.
There is one other story upon which I want to touch. It is called the "Lay of the Great Fool" and appears in a number of forms. The hero is born out of wedlock, posthumously, supernaturally or one of twins; his mother is a Princess residing in her own country and often a widow or unmarried; his father is a God or a Hero from afar; there are tokens and warnings of his future greatness and he is consequently driven from home; he is suckled by wild beasts; he is brought up by a childless couple, by a shepherd or by a widow; he has a passionate and violent disposition and he seeks service abroad; he attacks and slays monsters or he acquires supernatural knowledge through eating a fish or some magical animal; he returns to his own country, retreats and once more returns; he overcomes his enemies, frees his mother and ascends the throne. Every one of these facts or incidents appears in later expressions of Initiation Science. I must leave you to draw your own parallels and conclusions.
Sometimes such expressions take other forms than that of tales. We have, for instance, the Tarot cards, the Kabalistic Tree and other forms of symbolic representation. Eliphas Levi has said that "a prisoner, devoid of books, had he only a Tarot of which he knew how to make use, could, in a few years, acquire a universal science and converse with an unsqualled doctrine and inexhaustible eloquence." Yet this Tarot is but another expression of this same old story told pictorially in a series of 22 Trumps Major attached to a pack of 4 suits of 14 cards each, which suits, by the way, are themselves the "Hallows" of the Grail story. I am sorely tempted to pursue this subject of the Tarot, but that must wait for some other opportunity, as it is a less-known and less obvious presentation of the Western Tradition than the one I want to pursue to-day.
In its last stage of development the Drama reverts, to some extent, to its pristine occult and mystical character, producing a metaphysical study which sums up the whole story in a simple symbolic form. The "Comte du Graal," "speaks of the Graal, whose Mysteries, if Master Blihis lie not, none may reveal, and tells of how the rich land of Logres was destroyed." We find here tales of wells and springs representing the two levels of mind; of negative, receptive damsels; of the fish that gave knowledge and illumination; of the wayfarer or journeyman, Gurnemanz, the soul on its journey through evolution. The food required for the personality is symbolized as meats for the physical, pasties for desire and bread for the mind. The personality appears as golden crops. But the damsels ceased to bring comfort to the wanderer, the springs and wells ran dry, the grain withered and the land lay waste, nor could he again find the Court of the Rich Fisher, the intuitive Christian Principle, which had filled the land with plenty and splendour.
It is the story of a Lost Mystery, a Lost Word if you like, and therein we see another masonic parallel.
Now, across northern Europe came the songs of the Minnesingers, across southern Europe came the lyrical tales of the Troubadours, and in Britain lay the priceless treasure of the many similar traditions of the Keltic people. But these were all linked when, from certain Arabic manuscripts preserved in the library of Toledo in Spain, a Frenchman, referred to variously as Kiot, Guyot and Guy de Provence, made a translation of a story, the essential elements of which were embodied by a German, who was probably acquainted with the other lines of tradition, in his poems of Titurel and Parceval. This was Wolfram von Eschenbach, a Bavarian Minnesinger of the XII century. Wilmshurst points out that the original manuscript must have contained much that was of an Alchemical character from the allusions and processes of spiritual alchemy which survive, not only in the poetry of Wolfram, but in that great culminating drama which combines the essence of all the different streams into a magic pool in whose depths are reflected in miniature all those great truths which in them had survived, those same great truths which it is our privilege to contact in our Freemasonry to-day, if only we use our senses aright. This Drama is, of course, that "Stage-Consecrating Festival," as the composer himself called it, the "Parsifal" of Richard Wagner. This is one of those rare gems of human art that lie outside the trammels of Time and Space and belong to no sub-race, or even root-race, in particular, but to Humanity in general as a precious inheritance for all time.
The whole of Wagner's works form a regular sequence of metaphysical teaching which reaches, in the Trilogy of the "Ring," a culminating point which gives full expression to the Teutonic Intuition. Beyond that point they pass to a higher phase of Intuition, based largely upon those expressions which we find in Hebrew and Buddhist teaching, reaching a final culmination in the Spiritual Intuition of Parsifal. The name can be traced to roots in Gaul which give it the meaning, Companion of the Cup. The Persian parsi fal means the pure or stainless simple one. In one place the hero is also referred to as fal parsi or foolish pure one. The root is found on the name of the followers of the religion of Zoroaster, the Parsis, and the essence of their faith is purity. So we have here to deal with that which to the world must seem simple-minded foolishness, but which is a state which must be reached by all who desire to attain. The Fool is the Zero card of the Trumps Major and I am inclined to think that there is a connection with the fabled eleventh Sephira of the Kabalistic Tree.
Wagner originally planned to produce two great Music-Dramas as the completion of the whole Cycle. Both were to have their scenes laid in the East, the one in Palestine and the other in India. The first was to be called "Jesus of Nazareth" and the other "The Victors." The latter was to deal with the early days of Buddhism and the characters were all depicted as members of the Order of the Yellow Robe. But neither of these works came to fruition. Instead, they combined to find united expression through the channel of the Western Tradition, in Parsifal. The pure Ananda links with the blameless fool in Parsifal himself, and the heroines, Prakriti or Matter and Mary Magdalene, combine with Gundryggia, the wild servant-messenger of the Heroes of Asgard, to give birth to that complicated and mysterious character, Kundry, in whom the very principle of Matter, as seen by the trained occultist, is presented to our view. Wilmshurst says of Wagner, "In his personal religious quest he had steeped himself in the literature of that remarkable medieval religious movement which expressed itself in terms of spiritual chivalry and the quest of the Holy Grail. He knew those records dealt with no mere invention of poetic fancy, but contained the tradition of an actual college or association of men and women who had withdrawn from the chaos of the world's ordinary activities and become constituted in secrecy and sanctity, into a divinely and scientifically ordered community or hierarchy dedicated to advancing the regeneration of those who aspired to that goal and labouring to keep open, for the benefit of a benighted and careless humanity, the almost closed channels of grace and influx of Divine Life and sustenance from planes beyond this outer world of fallen Nature. He knew that these one-time wardens of the sacred silence of regeneration had, along with the silence itself, long become lost to the knowledge and the interest of society and become regarded as but a fable of an antique unenlightened age; and, realizing that the world was but the worse and the more benighted for the disappearance, he set himself to revive at least the memory of it, to proclaim what the great quest of the Grail once really meant and actually was, to show that it was no imaginative fantasy, but a definite science and work of sanctity attended with practical transformative results to those submitting themselves to its discipline and capable of imparting ulterior spiritual benefit to the world beyond its withdrawn and sacred circle."
Let us consider the story first and then try to analyze it and bring out the close contacts which it makes with our Masonic Tradition.
Act I opens in a tranquil forest glade in the Grail Domain. Gurnemanz, old but still vigorous, sleeps with two esquires beneath a tree. He wakes and rouses them, and together they pray. He is armourer to Amfortas, the wounded Grail-King and he is the link through which Parsifal is brought to the Grail Temple. He orders the King's bath to be prepared and two knights enter and tell him that a remedy brought by Gawain has failed of its purpose. Then comes Kundry with a balsam from Arabia. She is natural man, "nature in the raw," capable of being used alike for good or evil by the will, a snare and a delusion to him who has not the strength to resist her blandishments. She is a dual principle, pictured as, awake, the humble servant of the Grail but, asleep, the tool of Klingsor, the black Magician. Note that she wears a brown habit and is girded with snake skin. She flings herself to the ground, exhausted. Amfortas is borne in upon a litter and expresses fears for Gawain that, seeking further remedies, he may fall victim to Klingsor. He accepts the balsam brought by Kundry and thanks her, but sadly repeats the message he received in a vision, "Taught by Compassion, the Stainless Fool; him thou must await. My Chosen One." The Deliverer to come must be a Fool from the point of view of the world. What knowledge he possesses comes not from study or intellect, but from compassion. Arnold Banks quotes, in this respect, the answer given in the Kenopanishad to the question, "who can know Brahma?", Brahma being the Self, the Grail; "He thinks of IT for whom IT passes thought; who thinks of IT doth never know IT. Known is IT to the foolish, to the wise unknown." Amfortas passes on to his bath, seeking "temporary relief to his sumerings." Some of the esquires suspect Kundry of evil intent, but Gurnemanz reminds them of how she has served the Brotherhood without looking for reward. It is characteristic of him that he has not the intuitive perception of the evil side of Matter shown by the young esquires. He says she is "expiating the sins of a former life" by her good deeds, which help both the Brotherhood and herself, but he admits that misfortune often comes in her absence. He then tells how Titurel, builder of the Grail Castle, found her lying in trance beneath a thicket. He himself has found her in similar condition lately, after Amfortas was wounded and had lost the Sacred Lance to Klingsor. He asks her now, why she does not help, and she replies, "I never help." He points out that she cannot be sent to recover the Lance, for that is denied to all. Then he tells of its loss, how Amfortas had gone forth, with the Lance, against Klingsor, only to fall a prey to Kundry, transformed by Klingsor's magic; how, as he lay in her arms, Klingsor seized the Lance, wounded him with it, the wound in the side that will not heal, and bore it off, laughing. He tells of the Angel Host who gave the Cup and Lance into the keeping of Titurel, of the building of the Sanctuary and foundation of the Order, to which only those could be admitted who were pure of heart, whom the Grail supported in their deeds of mercy. He tells how Klingsor, a strong soul with great potentialities, sought to enter the Order, but Titurel read his heart and refused him. In his rage he turned to Black Magic. Transforming the desert into a garden inhabited by women of devilish beauty, he sought to lure the Grail Knights thither. Those who were enticed became his slaves. Titurel, growing old, transferred the Kingship to his son, Amfortas, who tried to end the scourge with these disastrous results.
During this narrative, Kundry shows signs of disquietude, dimly conscious of her other self. Wagner describes her as the "universal demoniac feminine principle."
Gurnemanz goes on to tell of Amfortas, "prostrate before the plundered sanctuary," imploring a sign of redemption, when, from the holy radiance of the Grail, came the vision of one who said, "Taught by Compassion, the Stainless Fool; him thou must await. My Chosen One."
As the story ends a swan, transfixed by an arrow, flutters in from the lake and falls dying. A noble youth, clad simply and roughly is dragged in by knights and esquires; he carries a bow and arrows. Bitterly they reproach him for the evil he has done but he, at first, seems unconscious of cruelty. Then, as Gurnemanz points to the helpless wing, the blood-stained plumage and dimming eye, the significance dawns upon his feelings — not upon his mind — and he breaks the bow and arrows and throws them away. He has had his first lesson in sympathy. We find the same incident in the life of Buddha, where the swan is shot by his cousin, Devadatta. Here it is only wounded and the Buddha takes it to heal. The inclusion of the Animal Kingdom, and indeed all Nature, in the scheme of redemption is strongly stressed by Wagner, as it was also by the Buddha and by Jesus of Nazareth. The sequence was found to be the same in our study of the Lodge-man. Gurnemanz finds in this youth the greatest fool he has encountered. To every question he has one answer, "I don't know." Whence he came, who was his father, who sent him hither, he cannot tell. Even when asked his name he replies, "I did have many, but now of these I know not one." He can tell only that he had a mother, called Herzeleide, heart-sorrow. Kundry breaks in and tells of his upbringing in a desert, secluded from all that might bring him to the death that had overtaken his father, Gamuret, before his birth. Parsifal recalls having seen "Glittering men on beautiful animals" and, having made bow and arrows, followed them, fighting everything he met. Kundry tells that his mother has died from grief at his loss. In mingled grief and rage he rushes at her, but is pulled back and faints in the arms of Gurnemanz. Kundry gives him water and then wanders off to slip into a trance. Gurnemanz then first conceives the idea that this witless boy may be the "Stainless Fool," the deliverer promised. He takes him to the Grail Temple, to see if the Grail will permit him to witness the ceremony. "The pathway to the Grail leads not through the land, nor could anyone find it save he whom the Grail itself directs." As they proceed, Parsifal exclaims, "I hardly step, and yet I seem already far," and Gurnemanz explains, "You see, my son, Time changes here to Space." They are passing into the fourth dimension. The same idea is expressed in early Welsh Arthurian legend when the Grail-castle is inaccessible, surrounded by sea and spinning with such velocity that it is nigh impossible of entrance. Parsifal is left near the door of the Temple, Gurnemanz telling him to pay attention, "and if you are simple and pure, let me see what knowledge and wisdom will be given to you."
The knights enter in procession and take their places at the semi-circular table under the dome, flanking the Altar. Amfortas is carried in preceded by four esquires bearing the Shrine of the Holy Grail, which they place upon the altar. Heavenly Choirs chant. After a pause, the voice of the aged Titurel — who does not appear at any time — summons Amfortas to fulfil his office. In agonized despair, Amfortas prays that he, the impure sinner, may die and leave Titurel to resume the office. Again comes the divine promise, as before, and Titurel commands, "Unveil the Grail," With a supreme effort, Amfortas opens the Shrine and bends over the ancient Crystal Cup, in prayer. Mysterious darkness falls and angel voices are heard again. Then a blinding ray of light descends upon the Chalice, which glows with a crimson lustre. Amfortas raises it in blessing. He blesses the mystic bread and wine, and they are distributed to the knights. The "Symbolic love-feast of my Grail Knights," as Wagner calls it, being ended, the knights rise, embrace and pass out in procession. Parsifal has stood motionless throughout, only clutching his breast at Amfortas's cry of agony. Actually his very presence has made the Grail to glow more brightly than of late. Gurnemanz, in high ill-humour, asks if he has understood. He only shakes his head and again clutches at his heart. He has understood nothing, but he has felt keenly. Gurnemanz, now really angry, says he is nothing but a fool and turns him out. As Gurnemanz crosses the Temple in the wake of the retreating knights, leaving it empty, a single angelic voice again reiterates the divine promise. The Stone which the builders rejected is indeed to become the headstone of the corner. The second lesson in Sympathy has been learned, this time from a fellow human. In the Second Act Parsifal must battle with the powers of evil and overcome them by sheer purity of heart and heroic will power, for he has passed through an initiation which, as is the case in all true initiations, has conferred upon his consciousness a power of expansion for the future. For some years he wanders and finally comes, in Act II, to the Castle of Klingsor, who plots his undoing. The Castle is on the opposite slope of the same mountain upon which stands the Grail Castle, a most significant fact. Klingsor is no ordinary evildoer but predominantly tempter and wielder of the mystic forces which we call evil. His wish had been to be holy and attain the Grail, but his own selfishness barred the way and, as Wagner shows him, he, first unconsciously and later consciously, advanced along the road of spiritual darkness. His idea now is to lure all the knights to destruction and thus gain the Grail for his own selfish ends. He has Kundry in his power again and points out that "the most dangerous of the Grail Knights is now to be met; his shield is foolishness." She expresses desire for release through death and he shows that only he who defies her charms can set her free. She is dismissed to her work, while Klingsor watches Parsifal striking down the guards with one of their own swords. This boy, thinks he, is too young and foolish to escape, whatever may have been prophesied of him.
The Castle sinks out of sight leaving a magic flower garden with numerous flower-maidens, bewailing the wounding of their lovers. Their distress changes to merrymaking when they find that this handsome youth has no intention to hurt them. They cluster round seeking his caresses. The lower desires are always fostered by indulgence, neglected they die, so we find these maidens saying, "if you do not love us and caress us, we must wither and die." Again we find the counter-part complete in the life of the Buddha,
And round him came into that lonely place Bands of bright shapes with heavenly eyes and lips. Never so matchless grace delighted eye As troop by troop these midnight-dancers swept Nearer the Tree, each daintier than the last. . . . Also, when nothing moved our Master's mind, Lo! Kama waved his magic bow, and lo! The band of dancers opened, and a shape, Fairest and stateliest of the throng, came forth."
So Kundry's voice calls him by name. "Parsifal, stay!" "Parsifal? So once in a dream my mother called me. All this then I have only dreamed? He, the nameless one, dost thou call?" So he questions and Kundry, transformed to extraordinary beauty, speaks of his father and mother, and of his mother's love for him, thus catching his sympathy and introducing her love theme in its purest and most innocent form, playing upon his grief and offering her own love to replace that of his lost mother. She embraces him and imprints a kiss upon his lips, but the result is unexpected, for he clutches at his heart and cries, "Amfortas, the wound, the wound, it burns in my heart." At last he reaches full understanding and falls to his knees.
Kundry is astonished and alarmed. She attempts to renew her caresses, but he spurns her with horror. She tries to arouse his pity but is again repulsed. She seeks love and redemption but he points out that they cannot thus be gained but only by leading him to Amfortas. She returns and again calls for pity. He finally repels her saying, "away, unholy woman." Then she becomes enraged and curses him and his path. She calls upon Klingsor to wound him with the Lance. The Lance is thrown but instead of striking him, it remains poised above his head. He grasps it and makes with it the sign of the Cross. The Castle crumbles, the garden returns to its desert state and Kundry falls to earth. He calls out to her, "Thou knowest where thou canst find me again," and hastens on his long wanderings in search of spiritual manhood, as guardian of the Lance, the full possessor of Freewill.
And so we come to Act III. The state of the Brotherhood has gone from bad to worse. Amfortas has refused again to unveil the Grail, and the Knights, deprived of its miraculous sustenance, have ceased from noble deeds and now seek, each for himself, the sustenance of roots and herbs in the open forest. Thus it is, when the curtain rises on a glade in the Grail Domain. Gurnemanz, now old and white haired, comes out from a hut when he hears groaning. He finds Kundry in the thicket, rigid and apparently dead. He calls upon her to "awake to the Spring." She wakes and sets about some useful service, quieter in mien than we saw her in Act I, and wearing the robe of a penitent. Service is now her only motive force. She goes for water to the spring and points where approaches a figure in black armour, with closed helmet and lowered lance. Approaching dreamily and with hesitation, he seats himself upon a mound, wearily.
Gurnemanz questions him but receives only silent motions of the head in reply, until he requests the stranger to lay aside his arms in honour of Good Friday. Then the Lance is thrust upright into the ground, and, helmet and weapons laid aside. Parsifal kneels before it in silent prayer. Gurnemanz recognises both, as also does Kundry. Parsifal rises and greets them, telling how he ever seeks Amfortas to bring him healing. He relates how he has guarded the sacred weapon, never using it in self-defence, and bringing it back unsullied. Gurnemanz, delighted, hails him as the Deliverer and tells of the sad condition of the Knights. Amfortas seeks death as an end to his torture, the Knights no longer perform noble service and seek worship, Titurel, deprived of sight of the Grail, is dead.
In despair that his foolish blindness should have allowed such miseries, Parsifal is led to the spring and Kundry mutely offers water. She removes his greaves and washes his feet and Gurnemanz assures him that he will be led to Amfortas for "the sepulchre of my beloved master calls me there myself." He says also that Amfortas, in expiation, will once more unveil the Grail. Gurnemanz blesses the head of Parsifal and Kundry anoints his feet from a golden phial, taken from her bosom, drying them with her hair. He takes the phial, hands it to Gurnemanz and says, "You have anointed my feet, now let the Companion of Titurel anoint my head that this very day he may greet me as King." Gurnemanz performs this rite with due solemnity, hailing him as king and calling him "pure one, compassionate sufferer, enlightened deliverer." "As thou hast borne the sufferings of the redeemed one, so now take the last burden from his head."
Meanwhile, unobserved, Parsifal takes water from the spring in his hand and now sprinkles it on Kundry's head, baptising her. The first act of Kingly Compassion is to receive in fellowship the one who has tempted and betrayed him and cursed his path.
Parsifal is invested with the mantle of a Knight and, grasping the Lance, follows Gurnemanz, Kundry accompanying them. In a direction the reverse of that in Act I, they pass to the Sanctuary, to the strains of a March of Death.
Gloomy twilight pervades the Temple and two processions enter, one bearing the coffin of Titurel and the other the litter of Amfortas, before whom is carried the Shrine of the Grail, as in Act I. The coffin is set down before the altar and the knights call upon Amfortas to perform the office for the last time. He replies wearily that he would rather have death. The coffin is opened, at which the knights cover their faces and cry out in their grief. Amfortas advances and addresses the corpse, praying that he also may find peace in death. As the knights press round, he rushes among them in his despair, and, baring the unhealed wound to their gaze, calls upon them to kill him, "the tortured sinner," when the Grail will glow for them of its own accord.
Parsifal and Gurnemanz, with Kundry following timidly, enter unnoticed. As the knights recoil from the sight, Parsifal touches the wound with the Lance, "only the lance which opened the wound can close it." Amfortas, his face aglow with rapture and relief, falls back in the arms of Gurnemanz fainting but healed, as Parsifal continues, "Be whole, purified, redeemed for now I perform thine office. Blessed by thy suffering, which gave the highest power of pity and the strength of purest knowledge to the timid fool."
The Lance is restored to its proper place and Parsifal takes the Grail from its Shrine, and kneels before it in prayer. In the silence, a soft light gradually diffuses from it and the light from the dome grows brighter, while the knights and heavenly choirs break into greeting of the Salvator. A ray of light descends upon the Cup itself, which glows brightly as it is raised by Parsifal. The white Dove of the Grail, emblem of the Holy Spirit, hovers above his head. Kundry, her eyes fixed upon her redeemer, falls lifeless at his feet. Desire is dead. Compassionate Love has superseded all else.
I would like to finish here, and leave you to draw your own conclusions but perhaps it is necessary that I offer some slight suggestions, which may provide a start for your researches.
Parsifal is, of course, the embodiment of the Candidate, who must, in due course become his own Master and Initiator. As a Knight he must seek worship, become, as we say, worshipful. All the characters in the Opera are facets of the evolving man, just as we have seen the Officers and Brethren in the Lodge to be parts of the Lodge-man. Parsifal is closely linked with the "hallows," for together they symbolize the Individuality. The Cup is the Intuition and its content the Spiritual Consciousness, for which it forms the container. The Lance or Spear is the active Will acting on the Higher Planes of Mind.
Gurnemanz is the narrator, the link between stage and auditorium, heaven and earth, spirit and matter, Lodge and outer world. As J.W., he "calls the brethren from labour to refreshment and from refreshment to labour, that profit and pleasure may be the result." He, like the J.W., is the higher or Synthetic mind.
Titurel has a double task to do in his seclusion. First, he is that Elemental Essence that flows down and causes the beginnings of form, working in the building of form with Kundry, that peculiar duality so characteristic of the physical plane and of our I.G. and Tyler. But Titurel is also, from another point of view, the Strength aspect of the Trinity as builder, the S.W.
Amfortas is also seen in a double part for, as representative of the Emotions and desires, he is the J.D., but as Grail King, he is the Master until such time as the Real Master shall appear to take over the duties of the office. You will remember that in the E.A. degree the Emotions are in charge.
We have still to find a S.D., and I think we will have little difficulty in recognising him in Klingsor, in his essential capacity as TESTER. Like Judas Iscariot, in the Christian Gospel, he is necessary to the picture and absolutely essential to the ultimate triumph of the central figure. In the F.C. degree the Lower mind is in Charge and of it we pray "deliver us from Evil." From one point of view he is the reflection of the Hierophant himself, for as master of desire he is the Lower mind, the mirror-image, of the Higher, the J.W. So we see the three Acts of the Drama to be closely parallel to the three craft degrees. The parallels I have given are my own and will be found, in some respects, to differ from those suggested by other writers on the subject, but I think you will find that they are both reasonable and illuminating.
Parsifal calls himself the "Nameless One," because he has passed beyond the plane of the personalities he has occupied in previous lives and has lost touch with them.
Will needs Wisdom to control and guide it, and both require Activity to give them expression, and so, in this symbolism, the Lance of Will combines with the Cup of Wisdom, and both are brought into action by the Activity of Parsifal. So also Wisdom, Strength and Beauty must be combined in one, acting in perfect unison, in the persons of the Three Principal Companions of the Holy Royal Arch, which is itself the Grail. Thus, only, can perfection be attained.
The story we have dealt with in these two papers is the same old story of the Lodge-man once more. The final goal is always the same, "be ye perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect!", the bringing into harmony of all the different instruments and effects which go to make up the orchestra of the Perfect Man.
Let me quote just once more from Wagner's letters to August Roeckel: "In normal man, all his senses . . . are entirely in the service of his Will . . . we have to admit, with a deep sense of shame, that this Will has sought nothing but to live, namely, to nourish itself by the extermination of others, and to reproduce itself by propagation"; it is "something that is perpetually at variance with itself, something that subsists in a discord, of which the only fruit visible to us is pain and suffering." By reaching a knowledge of its essential character, he goes on as I have quoted at the head of this paper, "Under the highest and most favourable conditions with a sympathy with all things living."
I want to lay particular emphasis upon the age of the story with which we have been dealing. The Welsh Pheredur is unquestionably a progenitor of Perceval, and he in turn is Parsifal in different guise. Pheredur is not a Christian, and the Grail is not a sacred Christian vessel. Both are relics of an immemorably older rite in which we find symbols connecting it with every known rite and scripture. Taliesin connects the vessel with Bardic Mythology and makes it the source of inspiration, poetic genius and wisdom, giving knowledge of the whole gamut of human sciences. And Taliesin had undergone the same initiation as had Moses, that of the ark of bulrushes. We must never be surprised to find, underlying the rites and doctrines of the most enlightened religions and philosophies, a foundation strongly laid at a period long lost in the mists of time.
The ancient Chronicles of Glastonbury refer to the site as the Guardian of the "Mysterium Fidei," the Mystery of the Faith, but no hint is given which would suggest a fixed meaning for the phrase; which, in itself is highly significant.
Perfect sympathy is the aim. Perfect sympathy with all things living. The kind of sympathy that is depicted in such stories as that of Adam before "the fall," and in the tales of Orpheus, Buddha and Jesus. It is certainly unfortunate, to say the least, that so many of the Scriptures have been edited so greatly, in order to avoid the more obvious condemnation of the more gross and bestial habits, dear to the hearts of the editors. The sympathy required is summed up in the Three Grand Principles of the Craft; Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth, but these must be taken in their widest sense "without evasion, equivocation. or mental reservation of any kind whatsoever." Only that all-comprehending fraternal affection which feels itself bound to bring relief to the most backward of its brethren, can heal that gaping wound which is "Humanity's Great Pain" and bring this world of ours to that fulfilment of God's Truth, which is summed up in the words with which I so often feel myself constrained to close my remarks,
"Peace to All Beings. Amen. So Mote It Be."
"PEACE TO ALL BEINGS!"
- Parsifal (W. L. Wilmshurst)
- Parsifal (Arnold S. Banks)
- Lohengrin and Parsifal (Cleather and Crump)
- The Mysteries of Britain (Spence)
- Man, How, Whence and Whither? (Besant and Leadbeater)
- The Mystery of Glaston (F. Bligh-Bond, F.R.I.B.A.)
- The Gate of Remembrance (F. Bligh-Bond, F.R.I.B.A.)
- The Legend of the Holy Grail (D. Nutt)
- The Quest of the Holy Grail (J. L. Weston)
- Two Glastonbury Legends (J. A. Robinson)
- The Story of Atlantis and Lost Lemuria (Scott-Elliott)
- Le Morte D'Arthur (Mallory)
- The High History of the Holy Grail [E445*] (Anon)
- The Mabinogion [E97*] (Lady Charlotte Guest)
- Curious Myths of the Middle Ages (Baring-Gould)
- The Druids (Kendrick)
- Romance and Legend of Chivalry (Moncrieff)
- The Hidden Church of the Holy Grail (Waite)
- An Introduction to the Study of the Tarot (Paul F. Case)
- The Antiquities of Glastonbury (William of Malmesbury: trs. F. Lomax, B.A., etc.)
- Histories of the Kings of Britain [E577*] (Geoffrey of Monmouth)
- The Song Celestial (Edwin Arnold)
- The Company of Avalon (F. Bligh-Bond, F.R.I.B.A.)
* Numbers in the "Everyman's Library " series