We begin here with a section on Ancient Mysteries and Secret Societies which have influenced modern masonic symbolism – what a heavy sentence. In reality, this section goes into the deep currents running back from the ancients. I will add in here another little helpful piece of Michel Serres’ philosophy, his analogy of the handkerchief and time. Wherein, if one is to map a grid onto a handkerchief, and understand that the grid is time, points equidistant…years, months, minutes etc represented by say a square, then when one folds the handkerchief points from what we conceive as the ‘past’ and points from what we conceive as the ‘future’ meet. And so these currents running from the ancients are in someways always already here, deep metaphysical structures of being itself, temporally jumping to and fro, and in the process being masked a new within the eternal return. Lucretian Atomism – for instance – ‘becomes’ non-linear dynamics, yet those ‘dynamics’ were always there…hidden in a Heideggerian sense.
“Thoughtlessness is almost synonymous with childishness, while thoughtfulness is symbolic of maturity” – p39
This quote in relation to the pagan doctrine of splitting those who could appreciate the deeper mysteries of life, and those who could note (the larger majority). Those in the former camp were revealed the esoteric teachings, and those in the latter the exoteric. Spiritual vs literal. Hall notes that in the process of interpretation processes and forces were personified into gods and goddesses – to be wise is to recognize that all prayer and devotion is in relation to the spirit(uality) beneath the symbolic. There was such fraternities which were known as the Mysteries,
“Plato, an initiate of one of these sacred orders, was severely criticized because in his writings he revealed to the public many of the secret philosophic principles of the Mysteries.” – p40
Hall cuts this short, but I’ll give you a little helping hand,
“…our mysteries had a very real meaning: he that has been purified and initiated shall dwell with the gods” – Phaedo
One need think of the Myth of Er – which is bad translation, and should really read ‘the account or story of Er, for Plato took this story as a factual account – within which it is made clear that death is not the end, but only the beginning of another part of the journey.
“Plato tells us that beyond this ephemeral and imperfect existence here below, there is another Ideal world of Archetypes, where the original, the true, the beautiful Pattern of things exists for evermore. Poets and philosophers for millennia have pondered and discussed his conception. It is clear to me where Plato found his ‘Ideas’; it was clear to those who were initiated into the Mysteries among his contemporaries too. Plato had drunk of the potion in the Temple of Eleusis and had spent the night seeing the great Vision.” – The Road to Eleusis: Unveiling the Secret of the Mysteries p29-30
Hall begins to draw from other historical texts the idea that with the Mysteries came the idea of immanence, a divine immanence, that under all things – such as civilization and advancement – was the sublimest truths, that these structures only acted as a veil of mystery.
But the Mysteries too – as with all things – met their ‘end’,
“With the decline of virtue, which has preceded the destruction of every nation of history, the Mysteries became perverted.” – p40
Virtue too, became perverted. A narcissistic illusion of virtue, wherein virtue becomes the false mask of what supposedly means to be ‘good’. A western, toxic notion of good as a display of goodness, kindness and altruism, as opposed to something greater and more steeped in reality. Not that those things are not beneficial, only their transparency makes it clear they can be little other than simulacra of virtue.
“Man has worshiped and revered things as symbolic of the invisible, omnipresent, indescribable Thing, concerning which he could discover practically nothing.” – p41
Deleuzoguattarians are grinning right now, the ‘indescribable Thing’ is always prescient and no amount of representation will get you closer to it, you will have to target the process of the Thing itself to even care for a glimpse. I say too, that the contemporary western mode of virtue too, is little more than the representation of virtue, an illusory form of desire created by the Organs of society as a means of control.
“The ancient philosophers believed that no man could live intelligently who did not have fundamental knowledge of Nature and her laws.” – p41
I could of course mention Gnon here, but fundamental knowledge of Gnon would be a paradox – the paradox alluded to is that fundamental knowledge of nature is the fundamental knowledge that one cannot gain fundamental knowledge, Gnon avoids allowing such knowledge.
At last we get to the Sun. The worship of which played an important role in early Pagan Mysteries. Indicating – according to Hall – the probability of their Atlantean origin. For the people of Atlantis were sun worshipers. This put a new spin on the whole ‘mythos’ of the CCRU back when I read it. In that, if we were to take Atlantean and Lemurian as supposed opposites – though it’s not that binary – this would imply that the work of the CCRU in relation to the Numogram was wholeheartedly dark, and of darkness – and yet, one still feels that perhaps it is because the lock-in of the sun casts Oedipal rays, and so, for those seeking exit, darkness is always first priority.
The Mysteries, in short, were an establishment organized to assist man in reawakening his spiritual powers, which due to lust and degeneracy, lay asleep within his soul.
Now let’s hit up some Druids. Drui meaning ‘men of the oak trees’ according to Max Muller, drawing attention to the fact that the forest Gods of the Greeks were called dryades.
“Their power over the people was unquestioned, and there were instances in which armies, about to attack each other, sheathed their swords when ordered to do so by the white-robed Druids.” – p43
Mediators between Gods and men, Druids have a deep understanding of nature and her laws.
“The proximity of the British Isles to the lost Atlantis may account for the sun worship which plays an important part in the rituals of Druidism.” – p44
It makes complete sense for Druids to worship the sun of course – at least to a latter extent – for nature is beholden to the sun, and as such the primacy of Druidic worship is nothing without the rays of the sun.
“In order to reach the exalted position of Arch-Druid, or spiritual head of the organization, it was necessary for a priest to pass through the six successive degrees of Druidic Order.” – p45
Which is funny, because John Michael Greer said he literally just had to show up…not telling us everything, ‘ey John?
Anyways, in terms of its complexities Druidism is fairly simple. Three worlds, transmigration from one to the other, the below of misery, the above of happiness and this present state. Good and evil are balanced – there’s little extrapolation here as to what these are in terms of Druidism – and man is free to reject or choose either. There are three objects of ‘metempsychosis’ too, to collect into the soul the properties of all being, acquire knowledge of all things and to get power to conquer evil…there’s also three kinds of knowledge: the name of each thing, its cause and its influence (Kant runs deeper.) Darkness grows less and lightness increases. Druidism is strangely optimistic, and I cannot see why? Unfortunately, due to the history of the Druids being lacking this section is very bare bones – there’s an undercurrent of resurrection, yet it’s all quite vague and I cannot do it justice, nor does it interest me as much as other paths. I’ll leave it to Greer to expound on Druidism proper.
This part’s a little shorter than I intended, unfortunately, Hall gives very little in these two sections for one to really go into in much depth