And the Crisis of the Modern World




As of  1 January,  1995, THE  DIVINE CONCEPT  may be freely
distributed by electronic means providing that the name and
contact address of the publisher, SOLAR TEMPLE LODGE PRESS, PO BOX


The Modern World

Over thirty  years ago  Thomas  Merton  described  the crisis of
the modern  world that now confronts us from all sides:

"The world  of our time is in confusion. It is reaching the peak
of  the greatest  crisis in  history. Never before has there been
a total  upheaval of the human race. Tremendous forces are  at
work,  spiritual, sociological, economic and not least  of all
political. Mankind stands on the brink of a  new  barbarism,  yet
at  the  same  time  there  remain possibilities for  an
unexpected  and  almost  unbelievable solution,  the   creation
of   a  new   world  and  a  new civilisation the  like of which
has never been seen. We are face to  face either  with Antichrist
or the Millenium, no one knows which."1

In  the   1990's  we   are   witnessing   a   dramatic
accentuation  of  the  condition  Thomas  Merton  so  aptly
described. There  is an  intense struggle  under way as the
process of  disintegration, decay and confusion engulfs the modern
world.   People   are   suffering   a   frustrating powerlessness
and  are  searching,  as  never  before,  for fundamental answers
that can provide not only hope for the future  but   a   sound
basis   for   concerted   action.  Nevertheless, before we can
find a way out of what has been termed the  'crisis of the modern
world' we must understand its root causes.

The late  Dr. E.F.  Schumacher,  author  of  the  best selling
reappraisal   of  Western   economics,  Small   Is Beautiful,

"In the excitement over the unfolding of his scientific and
technical  powers,   modern  man  has  built  a  system  of
production that  ravishes nature and a type of society that
mutilates man.  If only  there were  more and  more wealth,
everything else,  it is  thought, would  fall  into  place.  Money
is  considered to  be all-powerful;  if it  could not actually buy
non-material values, such as justice, harmony, beauty or  even
health,  it could  circumvent the  need for them or  compensate
for  their  loss.  The  development  of production and  the
acquisition  of wealth have thus become the highest  goals of the
modern world in relation to which all other  goals, no  matter how
much lip-service may still be paid  to them,  have come  to  take
second  place.  The highest goals require no justification; all
secondary goals have finally  to justify themselves in terms of
the service their  attainment   renders  to   the  attainment   of
the highest."2

This is  the philosophy  of materialism that permeates the modern
world, but more than any philosophical theory it is an entire and
overwhelming mental outlook.

The great  French thinker Rene Guenon reminds us that:  "This
mental  outlook is one which consists in more or less consciously
giving preponderance to things belonging to the material order
and  to  preoccupations  relating  thereto, whether  these
preoccupations  still   retain  a  certain speculative  appearance
or  whether  they  remain  purely practical ones; and it cannot be
seriously denied that this is, in  fact, the  mental attitude of
the great majority of our contemporaries."3

The  sociologist   and  scholar  of  religion,  Mircea Eliade,
writes   in  his  #The  Two  and  the  One#:  "The explanation of
the world  by a series of reductions has an aim in view: to rid
the world of extramundane values. It is a systematic  banalization
of  the world undertaken for the purpose of conquering and
mastering it."

The  glorification   of  materialism  and  the  brutal subjugation
of  everything to  its service will prove to be the nemesis  of
the  modern world.  The secular religion of materialism is  its
own  grave  digger.  Historian  Arnold Toynbee saw the
putrification of our time when he wrote:

"...Technology  had  inveighed  her  victims  into  putting
themselves into  her power  by selling  them new  lamps for old.
She  had bribed  them with  'the  pictures'  and  'the wireless'
into selling their souls; and the outcome of this ruinous cultural
'new deal'  was the  spiritual wilderness which Plato had
dismissed as a 'Commonwealth of Swine,' and Aldous Huxley had
satirized as a 'Brave New World.'"4

Toynbee at  the end  of his massive A Study of History places his
hope for  the future  in 'a  transfer of energy from Economics  to
Religion.'  A transfer from the material to the  spiritual. He
writes  that  'under  the  aegis  of Religion,' modern  man 'might
find himself  able to handle with spiritual  impunity the material
power thrust into his hands by the mechanization of Western

Toynbee's vision is enlarged upon by Dr. Schumacher in these

"There has never been a time, in any society in any part of the
world,  without its  sages and  teachers  to  challenge
materialism and  plead for a different order of priorities.  The
languages  have differed,  the symbols have varied, yet the
message  has always  been the  same: 'seek ye first the kingdom of
God, and these things (the material things whichyou also  need)
shall  be added  unto you.'  They shall  be added, we  are told,
here on earth where we need them, not simply in  an after-life
beyond  our  imagination.  Today, however, this  message reaches
us not solely from the sages and saints  but from  the actual
course of physical events.  It speaks  to us  in the  language of
terrorism, genocide, breakdown, pollution,  exhaustion. We  live,
it  seems in a unique period of convergence."6

Summing up his revolutionary 'study of economics as if people
mattered' Dr. Schumacher concludes:

"Everywhere people  ask: 'What  can  I  actually  do?'  The answer
is as simple as it is disconcerting: we can, each of us, work  to
put our own inner house in order. The guidance we need  for this
work  cannot  be  found  in  science  or technology, the  value of
which utterly depends on the ends they serve;  but it  can still
be found in the traditional wisdom of mankind."7

Dr. Schumacher,  like Arnold  Toynbee,  saw  salvation from this
crisis of the modern world in the spiritual idea.  A return  to
'traditional  wisdom' is seen as the only real hope for  the
future.  The great problems of the age spring from the  spiritual
impoverishment  of  our  materialistic society.  Secular
humanism,   rootless   cosmopolitanism, atheism, the  deification
of scientism, sterile secularism, centralism,  exploitation   and
oppression  together  with pseudo-religion, all  are part  of our
modern culture. They are the  illegitimate children  of
materialism and they are dragging humanity  to  Armageddon.  The
way  through  this inevitable cataclysm, to the New Dawn of a New
Civilisation is in  a rediscovery of the rejected 'traditional
wisdom of mankind.'  "The   lack  of   an  effective   attachment
to tradition," observed  Rene  Guenon,  "is  at  the  root  of

In A Study of History the historian Toynbee attempts a
comprehensive analysis of the dynamics of human history and
development. In  the last  four volumes,  published  twenty years
after  the first  three,  he  develops  a  compelling argument for
the vital  importance of  the spiritual.  The noted British author
Colin Wilson states:

"it is  in these  last volumes  that Toynbee  completes his
concept of  history. Now he is more candid about his notion that
all history is the manifestation of God in matter. The aim for
the individual - at any time and in any place - is the vision  of
God;  the only  thing worth  striving for is sainthood... Man  is
a  telephone line  between God and the world, and his business is
to be receptive as possible."8

Toynbee, who like Hegel saw a 'meaning', a 'design', a 'purpose'
in  history (and  declared that all history moves towards the
manifestation of  God  -  the  Millenium;  the 'Golden Age' beyond
our contemporary 'Dark Age') wrote that "the  historians
inspiration  is  preparing  him  for  an experience that has been
described as 'the Beatific Vision' by souls to whom it has been

The  result  of  Toynbee's  vision  of  history  is  a realisation
that  history  is  the  attempt  of  spirit  to conquer matter.
Moreover "Civilisations  wreck,"  comments Colin Wilson,  "when
they  lose  control  over  their  own complexity. And  they begin
to lose control the moment they begin to  think in  materialist
categories; for ultimately, all power is spiritual power."

Our modern  age is  based  on  the  inversion  of  all authentic
spirituality.  We have  moved far  away from that 'traditional
wisdom' to the mass produced units of consumer society. This  has
not  escaped the  attention of  thinkers with true  vision, as  we
shall  endeavour to  show in this book. In  1924, rejecting  the
tyranny of communism and the materialist cancer  of capitalism,
the Russian philosopher Nicolas Berdyaev  penned A NEW MIDDLE
AGES. In this book he warned that  in the  modern  world  humanism
has  come  to represent the  deifying of the self above
everything, which is  all   the  more   dangerous  since   mass
culture  has transformed people into irresponsible robots.

Rene Guenon  wrote, "History  clearly shows  that  the failure to
recognize a  hierarchial order  (based  on  the supremacy of  the
spiritual over the temporal) has the same consequences in  all
places  at  all  times;  confusion  of duties; domination  by the
lower orders;  and intellectual degeneration."

Guenon's comments  are founded on a deep understanding of
traditional  doctrines indicating  that our modern world is indeed
that of  the *KALI-YUGA*,  the darkest period of this "Dark  Age",
the state of dissolution from which there is to  be no emerging
except through a cataclysm. Thousands of years  ago this  period
was graphically described in the

"Races of slaves will become masters of the world.  Leaders will
be by nature violent.  Leaders instead  of protecting  their
subjects will despoil them.  The only union between the sexes will
be that of pleasure.  The earth will only be appreciated for its
mineral wealth.  Life will  become uniform  at  the  heart  of  a
universal promiscuity.  He who hands out most money will dominate
men.  Every man  will imagine  himself  to  be  the  equal  of  a
spiritual authority.  Folk will  fear death and the thought of
poverty will appal them.  Women will become no more than sexual

Alain   Danielou,   the   distinguished   orientalist, explains in
#While the Gods Play#:

"Humankind is  destroyed only  after it  has  outlived  its reason
for existence; from the point of view of both carnal and spiritual
beings, this  occurs  when  the  lineage  is debased by  racial
mixing  and when the tradition of occult knowledge can  no longer
find any receptable to receive and pass on its heritage.

"The extent  to which  certain men  will be able to reverse the
tendencies  of the modern world, and rediscover ways of life  and
thought  in  keeping  with  their  nature,  will determine for how
long the final day can be forestalled, or at least  allow some
groups of  individuals to  escape the cataclysm and  participate
in  the formation  of the future humanity and  of the  new Golden
Age, which  should appear after the  next flood.  Therefore, it
is not  a  pointless exercise for human beings to try to cut
themselves off from the modern  world and  rediscover the  values
and  virtues whose rules  and principles have been preserved by
esoteric teachings."

In Christian doctrine the New Testament refers to this Dark Age
time-period as  the "last  days",  that  reach  a diabolical
crescendo with the triumph of "Antichrist". Evil and disorder
attaining such  a level  that only  worldwide destruction and
purification can  herald the New Dawn of a New Age.

Given the nature of the present Dark Age of ignorance, it is  our
supreme  duty to search ancient history for that traditional
wisdom,  those ancient beliefs that alone offer real life  in a
dying civilisation. "If a people", said G.  Conti, "does  not
know,  or  does  not  want  to  recognize traditional values  and
superior  principles, if it refuses its noblest  heritage, it
should be  left to itself and to the fate which it has created."

The French  philosopher Andre Malraux said "the twenty first
century will be spiritual or it will not be" and that ultimately
is  the 'choice'  people now face. We can choose either to  accept
the  modern world  of secular narrowness, materialism and
putrification - the Antichrist - or we can seek out a genuine
source of spiritual wisdom and make that the cornerstone  of a
New Civilisation - the long promised Millenium. Only  when we  can
develop  a New  Community andformulate a sound political, social
and economic outlook on the basis  of this  traditional wisdom
can we leave behind the confusion,  decay and  despair  of  the
present.  Only traditional wisdom  offers a true conception of
life and of social  organisation,   as  it  is  rooted  in  values
and interests of a superior character.

Philip Sherrard  observed in  his book #The Eclipse of Man and

"...however perilous  our situation,  we  do  not  on  that
account regard it as inevitable that we are doomed and that there
is  no alternative except progressive materialization leading to
the Armageddon  and the  coming  of  the  Anti- Christ. One  of
the  great dangers  is  precisely  that  we become spellbound
before the  sphinx-like monster  of  the world we  have brought
into existence. We even forget that it is  we who  have produced
it, not it which has produced us. In  this way  we are  reduced to
a  kind  of  helpless passivity, lamenting  the world of natural
simplicities and sacred forms  that has  gone, and seeing in the
present and the  immediate   future  the   necessary  and
inescapable declension of  the cosmic  cycles into  a pre-ordained
dark age ending in the emergence of the beast from the abyss. We
commit a  kind of  apostasy. We  surrender to  the image of
negation and  purposelessness  which  we  are  summoned  to

Traditional Wisdom

"I have  meditated on  the different religions, endeavoring to
understand  them, and I have found that they stem from a single
principle   with  numerous  ramifications.  Do  not therefore ask
a man to adopt a particular religion (rather than  another),  for
this  would  separate  him  from  the fundamental principle;  it
is  this principle  itself which must come  to seek  him; in  it
are all the heights and all the meanings elucidated; then he will
understand them."
- Al-Hallaj

"Hence there  is a  single religion  and a single creed for all
beings endowed with understanding, and this religion is
presupposed behind all the diversity of rites."
- Nicolas of Cusa

The answer  to the crisis of the modern world requires a radical
re-orientation of the prevailing trend of modern thought. Our  age
has  separated spirit  from  matter,  and created categories  that
do not in truth exist, notably the separation between  the sacred
and the secular, between God and Man, between Heaven and Earth,
between mind and matter, body and  spirit. Traditionally  these
have  been viewed as distinctions within  a greater  unity,  but
not  divisions which destroy the unity.

The mastery that the West has gained over the material world has
led to  the widespread belief that matter is the one and  only
reality.  This attitude  has rendered Western peoples unaware of
their true place in the scheme of things causing confusion,
frustration and anxiety.

By returning  to the  traditional wisdom of mankind we can derive
the essential  truths pointing the way to a New Civilisation of
wholeness, harmony and balance in contrast to the  disorder and
chaos of the present. What we term the Divine Conception  is  the
process  of  understanding  the traditional wisdom  and applying
it in our life and in our society. The  Divine Conception  cuts
across  the  barriers that separate East from West and one
religion from another, to find  the  truth  that  is  the
'essence,'  'core'  and 'foundation' that  reconciles them.  We
can  then see their differences for  what  they  really  are:
exoteric,  hence contingent on  the time,  place and style of each
religious revelation.  The   Divine  Conception   leads  us   to
an appreciation of  the one  foundation  behind  all  exoteric
doctrines. Consequently  we can  Know the  Divine Plan  and Will
revealed  in the  great celestial religions because we can
appreciate their transcendent unity.

What exactly  is 'traditional  wisdom'? Tradition  and Traditional
Wisdom  as defined  by  us  is  the  consistent effort to
rediscover that  which is fundamental across all the wisdoms  and
all  the  religions  of  the  world.  Two essentials are
intrinsically tied  up with  Tradition  and safeguard its
authenticity, the  first  the  necessity  of continuity and  the
second  the ongoing  endeavour to  give meaning to life.
Traditional Wisdom is a golden thread that runs through  all the
authentic Holy  Books and unites all the inspired  Sages and
Prophets of  God down  through the ages. To quote Rene Guenon:

"Gnosis [in  the true etymological sense, without reference to any
particular sect]  must...base itself  alone on  the Orthodox
Tradition  contained in  the Sacred  Books of  all peoples, a
Tradition which  in reality  is everywhere  the same, inspite  of
the  diverse forms it assumes in order to adapt itself  to each
race and each period. But here again one must have great care to
distinguish this true Tradition from   all    erroneous
interpretations   and   fantastic commentaries made  on it  in our
time by a flood of schools more or  less occultist  in character,
which unfortunately have wished too often to speak on matters
where they had no knowledge."10

All things  have  their  interior  and  exterior.  The apparent,
open   or  exoteric   meaning  and  the  hidden, concealed or
esoteric meaning. One relates primarily to the legalistic or
material, the  other  to  the  spiritual  or metaphysical. So it
is with the Sacred Scriptures. The Holy Books of  all the
celestial religions  have both  an inner (esoteric) and an outer
(exoteric) meaning. On the esoteric level we encounter
inexhaustible metaphysical meanings. The inspired Word,  that one
foundation, always speaks to those who are seeking the inner

Tradition denotes  the universal  complex of  esoteric Knowledge,
symbolism,  initiation and  ritual  practice  of which the
celestial  religions  constitute,  to  different degrees, the
exoteric side.

This Primordial  Tradition is  in essence that body of the highest
universal Truths,  or principles,  that are at the  heart   of
every   authentic  religion.  The  various 'religions' or
'traditions' are  each a  manifestation  of this one  Primordial
Tradition,  and each  in its  original purity is  a path toward
the practical realisation of these principles in  life. This
transcendent unity  is more than moral, being metaphysical in the
precise sense of the word.  True  metaphysics   being  that
Knowledge  that  is  alone completely true,  absolute, infinite
and supreme. The study of what  lies beyond  and above nature. But
to define it isalways  to  limit  it,  and  it  is  truly  and
absolutely unlimited and  cannot be  confined to any narrow
formula or rigid system.

Through the  Divine Conception  we can  understand  by metaphysics
these  universal  principles  which  the  great religions have
sought to express. To quote Hegel: "It is a question of
recognizing under their temporal and transitory appearances
substance  which is  immediate and  the eternal which is actual."
The Divine Conception is a living, active Knowledge of  these
eternal principles and their essential, primordial unity. As Rene
Guenon wrote in The Crisis of the Modern  World:   "The   more
one   rises   towards   pure spirituality, the nearer one
approaches to that unity which can  only   be  fully  realized  by
consciousness  of  the universal principles."

Metaphysics is  beyond cosmology  and beyond theology.  Theologies
differ  but metaphysical principles do not. They provide the
means for reconciling apparent contradictions, and of  seeing each
belief system  on its own terms and at its own  level.
Metaphysically  in the Absolute at the apex the revealed
religions converge,  below they  differ.  For 'religions'
translate  metaphysical principles,  the  great universal  truths,
into  dogmatic  language.  Theological doctrines may  be
considered as an adaption and application of certain  metaphysical
truths.  All Traditional doctrines being identical  in essence
for at  the  inner  level  all authentic traditions embrace the
one essential Tradition.

The Divine  Conception points to the Path to encounter the
Absolute  through the Knowledge and application of this Primordial
Tradition. The Divine Conception then is the key to individual
transformation of being (and consequently to global
transformation).   Revealing   both   the   highest potentiality
of  human life and the goal that justifies all the burdens and
sufferings of people on earth.

Knowledge  of  Man  is  urgently  needed  and  is  yet impossible
to discover through normal channels of learning, where even the
orthodox theological teaching have succumbed to secular  or
fundamentalist  corruption.  Knowledge  and application of this
Tradition is essential to the happiness and stability  of society.
There is  a direct  correlation between the  rejection  of
Tradition  and  the  chaos  and disorder of  the modern  world.
Only  by  reinstating  this Traditional Wisdom  can we  survive
the spiritual desert of our modern materialistic age. The great
truths of existence are the  subject matter  of Tradition. For
when we speak of Tradition it  has nothing  to do  with some  dead
form  or archaic dogma  that has been practised for many years
past, or any  meaning of  the word  in common  use. Tradition  is
essentially that  primordial body  of knowledge, wisdom
andself-understanding. Its  expression and clarification forms the
basis of all authentic religion and its application the basis of
all harmonious societies. Supertemporal in origin, the  link
which  unites   Man  as  manifestation  to  his unmanifest

When we  really recognise this Primordial Tradition in all its
vastness we  appreciate that our modern conception of history  and
existence  is quite  shallow and false. The human race  did not
struggle up from ape-like ancestors and progress in  understanding
to  its present  level. Joscelyn Godwin writes in his book

"On the contrary, its origin was divine and its first state a
non-physical  one; only  as the  cycle proceeded  did  it enter as
fully into the physical world as we find ourselves today. It is
not the 'ascent of man,' as Darwin put it, but a descent that is
traced through these prehistoric phases."

Prof. Godwin  relates how the impact of this discovery caused  him
to  suspect  "for  the  first  time  that  the 'scientific'  view
of  history  with  which  nearly  every youngster is brainwashed
might be completely wrong." Modern man's  lack  of  any  real
appreciation  of  the  idea  of Tradition prevents  him from
grasping the  nature  of  the civilisations of antiquity. Not to
mention his place in the great scheme of life. Tradition, the
all-embracing original Ancient Wisdom,  is for  society analogous
to heredity for the body.

Balance and  harmony are  only realised when we strive to live  in
conformity with the Primordial Tradition in all our activities  on
earth.  Through  it  we  enter  into  a relationship with  the
Absolute.  The unity and cohesion of society cannot be separated
from this Tradition.

However, a  society of  balance and  harmony based  in Traditional
Wisdom  will not  be achieved  by  a  nostalgic attempt to
re-create a vanished past. There is no way back, but there is a
way through. A way of action reaching beyond the  disorder   and
chaos   of  the  present.  The  Divine Conception is  the Way  of
the Spiritual Revolutionary, the contemporary Warrior-Sage.  As
with  the seed  germinating, the  ancient   principles  can
express  themselves  in  a multitude of  'new' forms  and so
preserve a continuity of those  Traditional   principles  in   a
changing   set  of historical,  cultural,   political,  social
and  economic factors. To guarantee this continuity the
Warrior-Sage must tenaciously adhere  to those  principles,
abandoning  forms that must  be abandoned  and finding  new
manifestations in changing times.  A living force, Tradition is
not a passive confirmation of  the past nor a lifeless
continuation of it in the  present, but  a continuing  reality
that transcends history. A  force controlled by a superior law
which though unchanging, controls  throughout generations,
diverse  and altering institutions.  It is  a common  error  to
confuse social forms  found in  history with  the  traditions
they represent.

Man's infinite  worth lies  in his  freedom to realise his true
inner identity  and reach  his full  potential in life. Man's
value  lies  not  in  the  mere  intellect  or material abundance
but in  the spirit;  in the capacity to reflect the  Absolute, the
Divine, that  which is true and beautiful beyond  all
manifestation.  Human life is a great quest that  can only  be
successfully undertaken in concert with one's true Will. We can
grasp the nature of this quest in  Nietzsche's   simile  comparing
Man  to  a  tightrope stretched between  Underman (beast) and
Overman (superman).  Only the  person in grossest spiritual
darkness can fail to be revolted  by the  injustice and
mediocrity of  a modern world in  which an individual could not
hope to reach their full potential and discover their true Will.

The  Divine   Conception  shows   how  the  Primordial Tradition
provides the essential Knowledge and guidance for this great
quest. We cannot turn the clock back or stop the world in  order
to  get off. But we can see clearly the way we are  all infected
with the  modern age's disease of the soul and  endeavour to
bring our  actions into  conformity with   Tradition and  thus
with  the eternal  Divine  Will.  Coupled with  this we  can
strive  through right collective action to  build a  New Community
in tune with Traditional Order. A  New Society  in unity  with the
Truth, that alone can give  reality and meaning to the phenomenal
world. When as Spiritual  Revolutionaries we make the Truth real
in our hearts and  start to  live the spiritual life we become the
instruments  of   destiny,  the   harbingers  not   of  the
inexorable Armageddon,  but of  a future  Golden Age beyond this
Dark Cycle.

A fundamental priori of all Traditional Wisdom is that truth has
to be lived by the whole person. Nicolas Berdyaev wrote:

"In  reality  cognition  is  emotional  and  passionate  in
character. It  is a  spiritual struggle  for  meaning...the
significance of  a philosophy  is decided by the passionate
intensity of  the philosopher  as a  man,  as  one  who  is
present behind  the effort  to know.  It is  decided by the
intensity of the will to truth and meaning, it is the whole man
who takes knowledge of a thing."

In Spiritual  Perspectives and  Human  Facts  Frithjof Schuon
points  out: "Knowledge saves only on condition that it enlists
all that  we are;  only when  it is a way whichtills and  which
transforms, and which wounds our nature as the plough wounds the

Consequently, Nicolas  Berdyaev notes in The Beginning and  the
End:  "Knowledge  of  the  divine  life  is  not attainable by
means of abstract philosophical thought...but only by means of a
concrete myth which conceives the divine life  as  a  passionate
destiny  of  concrete  and  active persons, the divine

If as  an aspect  of "concrete myth" we understand the function
of   all  dogmatic  formulations,  practises  and exoteric
religious   doctrines,  we   can  understand  the necessity of
anthropomorphic  language  and  the  symbolic representation  of
the  grand   universal  principles  of Tradition by means of rites
and ceremonies, which are as it were, the local dress and

These  outer  forms  are  but  'gates'  to  the  inner sanctuary
of that eternal Divine Wisdom. The Persian Muslim poet Omar
Khayyam wrote:

"In cell and cloister, monastery and synagogue, one lies.
 In dread of hell: one dreams of paradise.  But none that know the
 Divine secrets Has sown his heart with suchlike fantasies."

The formal  practice of  religion is  merely a  shell, though a
genuine one,  fulfilling an  essential  function.  When the  human
consciousness  has penetrated  beyond  this framework we  come to
see and  experience  the  primordial principles.  The
Warrior-Sage  through  the  practice  of religious forms  goes
beyond them, and learns to appreciate them as  a prelude  to
special experience. We cannot ignore the  words   of  Coleridge:
"He  who   begins  by  loving Christianity better  than Truth
will precede by loving his own Sect  or Church  better than
Christianity and  end  in loving himself  better than  all." Or
as  Meister  Eckhart said: "To seek God by rituals is to get the
ritual and lose God in the process."

The Warrior-Sage  sees that the celestial religions in their
unique historical expressions are themselves exoteric sources of
Truth. Their  systems,  doctrines,  dogmas  and rituals provide
the ways of viewing and experiencing Truth.  For the great mass of
humanity they are a primary and valid means of  coming to  a level
of communion  with  a  higher reality. Appreciating this we can
thus understand the words of the Rasa'il (Epistle) of the Ikhwan
al-Safa (Brethren of Purity):

"The ordinary  man requires  a sensuous worship of God; but just
as  the souls  of animals  and plants  are beneath thesoul of  the
ordinary man, so above it are the souls of the philosopher and
the prophet  with whom  the pure  angel is associated. In  the
higher  stages the  soul is raised also above  the   lower
popular   religion  with  its  sensuous conceptions and usages."

Huston  Smith  writes,  in  his  introduction  to  the revised
edition of Frithjof Schuon's The Transcendent Unity of Religions:
"The esoteric  minority consists  of men and women who  realize
that  they  have  their  roots  in  the Absolute....The  exoteric
majority  is  composed  of  the remainder of  mankind for  whom
this  way of  talking about religion is sterile if not

Professor Smith  also remarks  in his  introduction to
#The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam# that:

"Religiously, people tend to fall into two categories. Some find
the   meaning  they   seek  in   religious  forms   -
commandments,  observances,  and  texts  straightforwardly,
largely literally,  interpreted  -  while  others,  without
bypassing or  abandoning  these,  sense  their  provisional
character and reach out for meanings that the forms contain but
which  cannot be  equated with  those forms. If we call the first
type of  person exoteric, out of his concern for meanings that
attach to  outward or  manifest  forms,  the second type  that is
drawn to  the meanings  that underlie those forms is conveniently
designated esoteric. Both types turn up  in all the historical
religions and very likely in tribal ones as well."

Does this  mean that  we oppose the orthodox forms and practises
of religion or do not tolerate those who see them as valid  in
themselves?  No, we  see them for exactly what they are,  as a
means to  an end  but in  no way  the  end itself, and  we give
assent to the fact that humanity is at various stages of
understanding and development. The Muslim mystic Shaikh Ahmad
al-Alawi wrote: "Faith is necessary for religions, but  it ceases
to be so for those who go further and who achieve self-realization
in God. Then one no longer believes because  one sees.  There is
no longer any need to believe when one sees the Truth."

This is  why we  respect the genuine exoteric forms of religion as
providing an  essential avenue  to  experience truth. We  cannot
ignore the fact that they are essentially exoteric, designed  for
a  humanity    presently  mired  in illusion and  far away  from
the  Absolute. All  forms  and practices of  religion  must,  to
be  valid,  in  the  end transmit spiritual reality. Returning to
Nicolas Berdyaev:

"What is  needed is  not so much to set certain ends before one
and  to realize  them in the practical world making useof evil
means in  doing so,  as to  display,  express  and radiate a
creative energy  of one's  own, in knowledge, in love, in  a sense
of community,  in freedom and in beauty, and  to   be
self-determined  in  the  strength  of  one's awareness of the

The Italian  metaphysician Julius Evola writing in The Doctrine Of
Awakening observed:

"Dahlke sums  up the matter, saying that one characteristic of
Western   superficiality  is  the  tendency  always  to identify
religion  as a whole with religion based on faith.  Beyond those
who 'believe'  are those  who 'know',  and to these the  purely
'mythological'  character of  many simply religious, devotional
and even  scholastically theological concepts is  quite clear.  It
is  largely  a  question  of different degrees  of knowledge.
Religion, from religo, is, as the word itself indicates, a
re-connecting of a creature to a  Creator with  the eventual
introduction of a mediator or of an expiator. On the basis of this
central idea can be built up  a whole  system of faith, of
devotion and even of mysticism which,  admittedly, is  capable  of
carrying  an individual to  a certain  level of  spiritual
realisation.  However, it does so to a large extent passively
since it is based essentially  on sentiment, emotion and
suggestion. In such a  system no amount of scholastic explaining
will ever completely  resolve  the  irrational  and
sub-intellectual element.

"We  can   easily  understand   that  in  some  cases  such
'religious' forms  are necessary...but we must also realise that
there may be some who have no need of them and who, by race and
by calling,  desire a  way free  from 'religious' mythologies, a
way based on clear knowledge, on realisation and on  awakening. An
ascetic, whose energies are employed in this direction, achieves
the highest form of ascesis."

The  Divine   Conception  is  about  clear  Knowledge, realisation
and  awakening. The  discovery of  the  Supreme Revelation. In the
words of the mystic Al Jili:

"All other  revelations are only a reflection of the sky of this
supreme  revelation, or  a drop  of its  ocean;  while being real,
they are  nonetheless  annihilated  under  the power of this
essential revelation, which is exclusively of God by  virtue of
His knowledge  of Himself,  where as the other revelations  are of
God by virtue of the knowledge of other persons."

The role  of Knowledge  as understood  by  the  Divine Conception
is  summarised  in  the  words  of  the  opening passages of Jacob
Boehme's Signatura Rerum:

"The best treasure that a man can attain unto in this world is
true  knowledge; even  the knowledge of himself: For man is the
great mystery of God, the microcosm, or the complete abridgement
of  the whole  universe: he is the mirandum Die opus, God's
masterpiece, a  living emblem and hieroglyphic of eternity  and
time;  and therefore to know whence he is, and what his temporal
and eternal being and well-being are, must needs  be that  one
necessary  thing, to which all our chief study  should aim, and in
comparison of which all the wealth of this world is but dross, and
a loss to us.

"Hence Solomon,  the wisest  of the  kings of Israel, says:
'Happy is  the man  that findeth  wisdom, and  the man that
getteth understanding;  for the merchandise of it is better than
the  merchandise of  silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold;
she is more precious than rubies, and all things that can be
desired are not to be compared unto her'.

"This is  that wisdom  which dwells  in  nothing,  and  yet
possesses all  things, and  the humble resigned soul is its
playfellow; this  is the  Divine alloquy, the inspirational of the
Almighty, the breath of God, the holy unction, which sanctifies
the  soul to  be the  temple of  the Holy Ghost, which instructs
it aright  in all things, and searches the depths of God...

"If you  ask, What  is the  way to  attain to  this wisdom?
Behold!... 'If  any man  will come  after me,  let him deny
himself'.... 'Unless  you be born again, you cannot see the
kingdom of  heaven'.... 'If  any man  seemeth to be wise in this
world, let him become a fool that he may be wise'.

"Herein lies  that simple  childlike  way  to  the  highest
wisdom, which no sharp reason or worldly learning can reach unto;
nay,  it is  foolishness to  reason, and therefore so few go  the
way  to  find  it:  The  proud  sophisters  and wiselings of  this
world have always trampled it under foot with scorn  and contempt,
and have  called it  enthusiasm, madness, melancholy,  whimsy,
fancy,  etc., but  wisdom  is justified of her children.

"Indeed, every  one is  not  fit  for  or  capable  of  the
knowledge  of  the  eternal  and  temporal  nature  in  its
mysterious operation,  neither is  the proud covetous world worthy
to   receive  a  clear  manifestation  of  it;  and therefore the
only wise God (who giveth wisdom to every one that asketh  it
aright  of him)  has locked up the jewel in his blessed  treasury,
which  none can  open but those that have the  key; which  is
this,  viz., 'Ask, and it shall be given you;  seek, and ye shall
find; knock, and it shall be opened unto  you:' The  Father will
give the Spirit to them that ask him for it."

The Abrahamic Tradition

"We firmly  believe in  the truism  that all faiths are the paths
leading  towards the  Ultimate Reality,  just as  the spokes of
the wheel  converge to its axis. When the people are too  immersed
in the dogmas and rituals of their chosen religion, it  appears to
them to  be the  only  one  worth following and  they  defend
their  own  particular  faith.  However, when they have acquired
enough wisdom, charity and discernment, they  too are  bound to
perceive that the road to Heaven  is nobody's  monopoly and  that
the  Divine laws apply equally to all. It is the dogmas, ritual
and the mode of worship that divide the faiths and not the basic
essence of their beliefs.

"But I  am not  in favour  of conversion  from one faith to
another,  neither  do  I  believe  in  the  fusion  of  all
religions into  one. The  Ultimate Truth is one, but it has an
infinite  number of  aspects and  what is more beautiful than that
each faith  should reflect only one facet of the Divine, all  of
them  together creating  a shining  gem  of beauty. Would the
world be more if all the flowers on earth had been  blended into
one uniform colour or all mountains razed to  make the  globe
monotonously  flat? Each religion offers something glorious,
peculiarly its own, to point out the road  to the Ultimate
Reality. What man or group of men would be  able to  prescribe a
single form of religion that would satisfy  all and  everybody?
That would be an attempt to give  a finite concept of the Infinite
and of course, it would fail."
- Abbot Mingzing

The foundation  of all the celestial religions is one;that oneness
is Truth  and Truth  is oneness that does not admit of  plurality.
This foundation is not multiple for it is Reality itself. Truth is
one, and it is the same for all those  who,   by  whatever   way,
have   attained  to  its understanding. The  Religion of  God
therefore  is one, but its forms  and types  vary in accordance
with the variation of races, cultures, civilisations, and

Reality does  not admit  of multiplicity although each of the
divine religions  can, on the theological plane, be viewed for
the purpose  of  analysis  separated  into  two divisions. The
first division  is what  may be  called the 'core' or  'one
foundation' and concerns true spirituality, the intimate
relationship between the Absolute and Man. The primordial
principles   and  the   impulse  for  spiritual awareness; and  is
not  contingent  upon  time  and  place.  Concerned  with
revealing  and   inculcating  the  Divine Knowledge and
fascilitating the  discovery  of  the  great verities. This  is
the Divine Wisdom, the essential quality of  authentic   religion
and  not  subject  to  change  or transformation.  This   one
foundation  is  the  universal Religion of  God, the  golden
thread  of revelation uniting the creation with the Creator.

The second classification or division comprises rites, ceremonies
as   well  as   social  laws   and  regulations applicable to
human conduct.  This is  not  the  essential quality of religion.
It fulfils a necessary social function and is  subject to  change
and  transformation according to the requirements  of time  and
place.  For  example,  laws formerly valid  during the  times of
Adam, Noah and Abraham were annulled during the time of Moses. The
laws proclaimed by Moses,  along with  the  statutes  and
judgements  were designed to  make a  'holy nation'  out of  the
children of Israel who  had just left the bondage of Egypt.11
Sabbaths, annual feasts,  ordinances and  ceremonial regulations
were instituted  by  Moses  on  divine  command.  All  of  these
regulations and  laws were  an outward  expression  of  the
eternal Divine  Law suited  to the  environment, condition,
mission and  people of  that time.  However,  time  changes
conditions, and  laws  change  to  suit  conditions.  These
external changing  laws are not the essentials of religion.  The
essential  laws and  teachings brought  by the Prophets are above
time  and  place.  They  concern  the  spiritual empowerment of
humankind and the supreme Knowledge of God.  The essence  beyond
forms and precisely because of this are necessarily permanent.
Revealing the  one foundation  they are  not  amenable  to
change.  Therefore  the  Primordial Tradition, the  foundation or
core of  Divine Religion, is immutable, unchanging throughout the
centuries, not subject to  the  varying  conditions  of  the
material  world.  We previously noted  how this core is esoteric,
in contrast to the finite exoteric doctrines and practices.

History is  testimony to the great impulses brought to humanity by
the Great  Educators - the Prophets and Sages.  Jesus revealed
the spirit  behind the forms of the laws of Moses. Muhammad, like
all the Prophets, upheld the same one foundation. We  can see  the
same  purpose behind  all  the Prophets  of  God.  They  were  the
sources  of  spiritual empowerment, elevation  and order  to the
communities they were sent.

The Primordial  Tradition is  seen in the relationship between the
pristine messages  of Hebrewism,  Christianity and Islam,
especially when viewed through their respective Scriptures i.e.
the Torah, the Gospels and the Holy Quran.  By studying  the
Ancient Wisdom teachings within these Holy Books we derive the
essence of their original purity. It is a  sad   fact  that
contemporary   Judaism   has   little relationship with  the
original Israelite revelation and in fact  has  departed  far
from  it.  While  the  myriad  of 'Christian' churches  are, at
best, only a pale copy of the highly esoteric Gospel message, and
seem to have lost sight of the  historical Jesus.  Much of  the
Islamic  world  has maintained a  degree of its Traditional purity
and original essence but many Muslims suffer from a narrowness of
vision that leads to atrophy and dogmatism.

The  established   institutions  representing   extant Judaism and
Christianity illustrate  a corruption  of  the original  Ancient
Wisdom.  Manifesting  in  our  time,  in keeping with  the
influences  of the  Dark  Age  of  decay, either a collective
neurosis based on hypocritical legalism or a diabolical humanism.

The core  of each  of the  Holy Books is precisely the base that
unites them and makes them one great movement of unfolding
revelation   to  humanity,   despite   all   the particular
differences. These differences being the work of racial, cultural
and particularist  determinants that  the Primordial  Tradition
can   overarch.   Considering   the celestial religions  in their
purity, through  this Divine Conception, we  can discern  the
path  to  harmony  and  a primordial social order.

These various  Scriptures or  Holy Books  contain  the primary
Divine Revelations that of necessity are adapted in their style
and expression  to a  given people  at a given historical period,
since "water takes on the colour of its container," as Junayd

Our attention,  in this book, is specific to the world faiths that
have emerged  from the Abrahamic 'tree' simply because this is the
most recognizable religious inheritance for Westerners.  By so
doing we are certainly not excludingthe venerable  religions of
the Orient  such as  Buddhism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, or even
the illustrious so-called 'pagan' wisdom  of the  Greeks,
Egyptians,  Sumerians  and others. Indeed  all the great religions
of antiquity can be appreciated through the Divine Conception.

Christianity and  Islam represent  the heritage of the Primordial
Tradition  according to  different and  specific historical
development.  The European  Muslim writer Michel Valsan points

"The Islamic  doctrine is  formal on the point that all the Divine
Messengers have brought essentially the same message and that all
the traditions are in essence one...As regards the Islamic  form
of  the tradition  this is  in  any  case originally and
essentially based on the doctrine of Supreme Identity..."12

Islam, as  the last  of the  revealed religions in the Abrahamic
stream  has an  intimate  relationship  with  the other two and
axiomatically expresses the Divine Conception of Religion.  A
religion  based  principally  on  knowledge compared to  its
predecessor  Christianity based  on  love.  Here we  have a  vital
example of unfolding revelation. Out of the  Abrahamic 'tree',
the Old Testament emphasised the Divine  Law,  preparing  the  way
for  the  Gospels  which emphasised  the   element  of  Divine
Love.  Islam,  while acknowledging the  two former revelations
emphasised Divine Knowledge. Hence  Abdul Latif of Sind
proclaimed: "Love and Intellect are the two wings of the bird."

The foundation or core of the timeless One Religion is called in
Islam the  'din al fitrah' and Man is defined in terms of it.
Every human being is endowed with this core at birth. This  is the
'natural state' all humans are created in. The  built-in 'sensus
numinis' by  which the  creature recognizes its  holy,
transcendent  Creator.  The  Prophet Muhammad is  reported to
have said:  "Every man  is born a Muslim; his parents make of him
a Christian or a Jew". That is to  say, every person is born with
this 'sensus numinis' by which  he innately  and 'naturally' comes
to recognition of the  existence and  unity of  the Absolute.
Rene Guenon offers us an esoteric appreciation of this concept:

"the proper meaning of the word Islam is 'submission to the Divine
Will';  hence  it  is  said,  in  certain  esoteric teachings,
that  every being  is Muslim,  in the sense that there  is
clearly  none  who  can  elude  that  Will,  and accordingly each
necessarily occupies the place allotted to him in the Universe as
a whole."13

Here we  have 'Divine  Islam',  the  core  of  Islamic doctrine,
above  time and place, purged of all elaborationsand prescriptions
of history. Constituting the Religion of God in the highest sense
of the term.

All this  translates itself  into contemporary  living reality
through  the Divine Conception. The one Religion of God, the
primordial 'Divine  Islam'  means  surrender  and submission to
the Divine  Will.  Being  above  history  it predates the  Prophet
Muhammad.  All Knowers  of God  being 'Muslims' -  those who
surrender -  to the  Almighty. Some having surrendered  unto God
through the  Gospels,  others through the  Quran and  some through
other forms of Divine Wisdom. The  Sufi poet  Mahmud Shabestari
declared: "If the Muslim only  knew what  Islam really means, he
would become an idol-worshipper."

The institutionalized  Islam that  we see in the world is only  a
temporal  manifestation of  the 'Divine  Islam'.  Through  the
Divine  Conception  we  encounter  Islam  as divinely conceived
in the  beginning: "It  is the Religion (millah) of  your father
Abraham; it  is he who called you Muslims aforetime." (Quran

"Therefore set your face in devotion to the true faith, the
upright nature  with which  Allah has  endowed man. Allah's
creation  cannot  be  changed.  This  is  surely  the  true
Religion, although most men do not know it." (Quran 30:30)

'Divine  Islam'  is  synomous  with  the  Religion  of
primordiality. Religion  originally is  one as  God is One, and if
the source of religion is God, and God is One, then there can only
be one Primordial Religion.

"For each  of you  we appointed  a Divine  Law and a way of life.
Had God so willed, He could have made you one people; but so that
He might try you by that which He hath bestowed upon you  (He
willed  otherwise); so compete in doing good.  Unto God  ye will
all  return,  and  He  will  inform  you concerning that wherein
ye differ." (Quran 5:48)

Charles Le  Gai Eaton,  the  deputy  director  of  the Islamic
Centre in London, writes in Islamic Spirituality:

"  by   implication  a   particularly  direct
relationship  to  this  'perennial  philosophy',  since  it
defines itself  as  the  final  revelation  of  a  timeless
message of  which mankind  has been  'reminded'  again  and again
by   countless  'messengers   of  God'.   The  Quran acknowledges
without  ambiguity that the laws and practices of the different
crystallizations of the din al-fitrah have differed according  to
time and place, but the truth of the Divine Unity  and the
decisive principles that are derived from this  do not  change,
have  not changed, and can never change. The doctrine of Unity is
unique, so it is said. Allelse is illusion."

The Quran states that all the Prophets were in reality Muslims,
and  that each one of them had enjoined the people to submit
themselves to  God: "They  say: 'Become  Jews or Christians if
you would  be guided  (to  salvation).'  Say thou: 'Nay  (I would
rather) the  Religion of  Abraham the True, and he joined not gods
with God."

This Divine  Conception of Islam, revealed in the Holy Quran,
taught  by the  Prophet Muhammad  and lived  by  the early
generations  of Muslims  was the  dynamic that spread the light of
Islam throughout the world.

"Say: O People of the Book! come to common terms as between us and
you: That we worship none but God; That we associate no partners
with  Him;  That  we  erect  not,  from  among ourselves, Lords
and partners other than God" (Quran 3:64)

Holding to  this Divine Conception the Muslims came as liberators
to  a Christian  world  wallowing  in  idolatry, narrowness  and
priestcraft.  The  foremost  historian  of Eastern Christendom,
Father Nicolas  Zernov wrote that for many  of   the  early
Christians,  the  Muslims  "came  as supporters and  liberators".
In  his definitive work on the origin and growth of the Eastern
Orthodox Church we read:

"Many Byzantine  strongholds gladly  opened their  gates to the
armies  of the  Prophet, welcoming  them as  their  co-
religionists...It is  usually insufficiently  realized  how close
Islam  was in its early years to the Oriental version of
Christianity. The Koran taught not only the virgin birth and
Christ's freedom from sin, but also regarded Him as the God
appointed Judge of mankind at the Last Judgement."14

A study  of the relations between the early Christians and Muslims
shows that  they regarded  each other  as  co- religionists who
held to  the  same  core,  the  same  one foundation of truth.
Benjamin Walker comments:

"It is  noteworthy that  medieval Christian scholastics did not
look  upon Muslims  as members  of  an  alien  or  non- Christian
faith,  but rather  as those  who had broken away from a
fundamentally Christian doctrine. They were regarded as heretics
and seceders,  and not as heathens. In denying the divinity  of
Christ,  which Muslims did with consistent emphasis, they  were
not  far from  the  position  of  many Christian theologians  who
were  condemned on that score by the Church as schismatics."15

"The Muslims,"  wrote  Christian  author  Sir  William Jones, "are
already a  sort of  heterodox Christians: they are Christians,  if
Locke  reasons  justly,  because  theyfirmly believe the
immaculate conception, divine character, and miracles of the
Messiah." Such a view was shared by the early Christian  church
whose  theologians, such as St John of Damascus, looked upon the
Muslims as a Christian sect.

Islam acted  as a  conduit  for  the  transmission  of Ancient
Wisdom  from  East  to  West.  When  the  crescent triumphed over
the cross  in  southern  Europe  it  was  a harbinger of  a
civilization  that had no equal in its day.  In Studies in a
Mosque, Stanley Lane-Poole writes:

"For nearly  eight centuries  under her Muslim rulers Spain set to
all Europe  a shining  example of  a civilized  and enlightened
state. Art, literature and science prospered as they  then
prospered  nowhere  else  in  Europe.  Students flocked from
France and  Germany and England to drink from the fountains  of
learning  which flowed only in the cities of the Moors. The
surgeons and doctors of Andalusia were in the vanguard  of
science;  women were  encouraged to devote themselves to  serious
study,  and a  lady doctor  was  not unknown among the people of
Cordova. Mathematics, astronomy and botany,  history, philosophy
and jurisprudence, were to be mastered in Spain and in Spain

There are  numerous historical  examples of  chivalric honour and
respect accorded  to the European Christians by the  Arab
Muslims  reflecting   an  appreciation  of  the essential unity
between the  'people  of  the  Book'.  The Caliph Omar,  after the
capture  of  Jerusalem,  renounced praying in  the basilica  that
the  patriarch had placed at his disposal,  in order to avoid its
being claimed later by the Muslims. In the midst of battle the
great Muslim leader Saladin presented  a richly  caparisoned horse
to his enemy the Christian  King Richard-the-Lion-Hearted,  whose
horse had just  been killed.  Here was  the Divine  Conception in
action. No  doubt the  Muslims recalled  the words  of  the

"We believe  in Allah,  and in what has been revealed to us and to
Abraham, Ishmael,  Isaac, Jacob and the descendants (of Jacob)
and in what was given to Moses and Jesus and in what the  other
Prophets  received from their Lord. We make no distinction
between any  of them,  and we are those who submit to Allah."16

The historian  Syed Amir  Ali details  the period when the Divine
Conception of Islam was practiced:

"Ever since  the establishment  of the  Islamic power,  the
Christians had  enjoyed the  utmost toleration;  they  were
protected in  the practice  of their  religion and  in  the
enjoyment of  their civil  rights and privileges. They were
allowed  to   move  freely   about  the   empire,  to  hold
communication with  princes of  their own  creed in foreign
countries, and to acquire lands and property under the same
conditions as  the Moslems. Public offices (excepting under some
tyrannical  governors) were  open to them equally with the
Moslems.   Christian  convents  and  churches  existed everywhere,
and  Christian pilgrims  from the  most distant parts were
permitted to enter Palestine without hindrance.  In fact,
pilgrimage to  the Holy Land had been stimulated, rather than
suppressed, by  the conquest of the Arabs, and the Saracens
contented themselves  with maintaining  order among the  rival
sects of Christianity, who would have torn each other  to pieces
in the very sepulchre they professed to worship. In Jerusalem,
which was regarded as holy by the followers of  both religions,  a
special  quarter  was  set apart  for   the  Patriarch   and  his
clergy,  which  was inviolable on  the part  of the Moslems. When
Palestine and Syria passed into the hands of the Fatimids in the
year 969
A.C., the  change of  supremacy was to the advantage of the
Christians. But  no amount  of toleration  would conciliate the
fanatics, who looked upon the presence of the Moslem in Jerusalem
as an abomination."17

While the  Divine Conception  was upheld  Muslims  and Christians
lived  side  by  side  in  peace,  while  still maintaining their
distinctive Traditional  exoteric  forms and practices. Many of
the early Muslim writers studied the
Bible, Old  and New  Testaments. The  historian  Tabari  in
particular quoted the Bible frequently. St John of Damascus held a
high position at the court of the Caliph. He was not required to
'convert' to  Islam, any  more  than  were  St Francis of  Assisi
in  Tunisia, St  Louis in  Egypt  or  St Gregory Palamas of
Turkey. While a prisoner of the Ottomans for a  year, St  Gregory
had  friendly discussions with the Emir's son,  but was  not
'converted',  nor did the Turkish prince become  a Christian.  The
Sufi Ibrahim ibn Adham had for a  time as  his spiritual  master a
Christian  hermit, without either  being converted  to the
other's  religion.  Only later centuries widened the gap between
the two faiths and their Sacred Books. Crusades and wars,
inquisitions and persecutions, alienated those who should have
been 'nearest in love' to one another.

"Thou wilt  surely find  the nearest of them in love to the
believers are  those who  say 'We  are  Christians';  that,
because some  of them  are priests and monks [those devoted
entirely to God], and they wax not proud." (Quran 5:85)

In Search of the Pure Spring

"Tell me  Muslims, what should be done? I don't know how to
identify myself. I am neither Christian nor Jewish, neither Pagan
nor  Muslim. I  don't hail  from the East or from the West, I  am
neither  from land nor sea. I am not a creature of this world..."
- Jalaladin Rumi

"Humanity will  find that  it is not a diversity of creeds, but
the  very same  creed which  is everywhere  proposed... There
cannot but be one wisdom... Humans must therefore all agree that
there is but one most simple wisdom whose power is infinite;  and
everyone,  in explaining the intensity of this beauty,  must
discover  that  it  is  a  supreme  and terrible beauty."
- Nicholas of Cusa

History tells  us of the Sages, the Prophets and great men of
God. Of Abraham who, responding to the Divine Call, left his
native land  and from  whose  family  there  came Ishmael,  Jacob
(Israel),  Joseph,  Moses,  Aaron,  David, Solomon, Jesus  and
Muhammad.  All these men upheld the one foundation, the  Divine
Religion  and it  was the source of their honour and nobility.

To derive the essential aspects of this one foundation and its
role in the growth of high civilisation it is worth looking at
the   record contained in the Holy Books. If we reject this
record then  we close  our  minds  to  a  rich heritage that  has
guided  and inspired millions of men and women for generations.
Equally, if we look at these ancient writings  from   the  narrow
fundamentalist  position  we inevitably lose the essential

When studying  the Bible, for example, it is essential to consider
the deeper and timeless message. The secrets of the  Torah,  the
old  Sages  confessed,  were  not  to  be understood by  all.
Post-Reformation attempts to study 'the Bible as  literature'
invariably  produce only futility and conceit. Archaeology and
historical data can only be of any lasting value  when they
convey a  sense of the primordial and transcendant.

The Primordial  Tradition within  the Bible  is  to  a great
extent, hidden beneath interpolations and obscured by serious
omissions and deletions. The Bible contains stories and archetypes
that relate  back to 'pre-history', as well as  providing
powerful  symbols  able  to  penetrate  and illuminate the human

Today,  most   people  who   identify  themselves   as
'Christians' are  unfortunately unaware  of how  the  early
Church Fathers,  particularly Clement  of Alexandria (150 - 215
C.E.) and his successor Origen (185 - 254 C.E.), viewed the
messages of both the Old and New Testaments as vehicles of ideas.
Joan O'Grady in her book Heresy offers a concise explanation:

"What   was   fundamental   in   Origen's   exposition   of
Christianity  was  his  insistence  that  scriptural  ideas
existed on  three different  levels -  the  'Flesh  of  the
Scripture' was  the body  of happenings  in time and space, which
was  to edify  the masses;  the  more  advanced,  the
'pneumatics', could  study  the  mysteries,  the  'Soul  of
Scripture'; only the 'perfect' could understand the 'Spirit of
Scripture'  - the  level  above  mere  history.  Certain Christian
teachings,   he  said,  should  not  lightly  be committed to
writing; without the 'key to knowledge' there would always  be
mistakes  in the teaching of Scripture and Christian Tradition."

In volume  11 of the Pleiades Encyclopedia, Historical Methodology
(1973),  page 167,  we read a concise statement on the nature of
the Old Testament:

"A new  and different  interpretation, more  authentic and,
historically, more valuable, has taken the place of the old
monolithic vision  of the  Bible. We  no longer  look for a single
narrative  written once  for all time by one author, in all  those
books of the Bible which are considered to be possible historical
evidence....rather we  regard it  as a collection of  archives
some  of  them  covering  the  same period of  time, expressing
the different points of view of the several authors, places and
centuries, and as such, are at the  least, evidence  of these
surroundings  and  these moments in Israelite history."

In the introduction to their edition of the Bible, the Benedictine
scholars  of the  Belgian  abbey  of  Maredsous whose erudition
carries much weight in the Catholic world, wrote in 1950:

"It should be realised that Moses was definitely the source of the
national, religious and moral systems of the people of Israel;
but one  does not  have to accept that he wrote the whole  of the
Pentateuch. On the contrary, it is useful to see it as a
progressive compilation of various documents which were  gradually
put  together and developed according to  the   requirements  of
succeeding  periods,  around  a primitive kernel.  There is  no
doubt that Moses originated this work  and certainly  would have
made use of even older documents; the  collection did not,
however, take its final form until after the Exile around the 5th
century B.C."

Before commencing  any study  of the  Scriptures it is useful  to
consider  the  environment  that  nurtured  the Biblical account.
Professor Amanouil Hanna Sim'an, an Iraqi
Dominican friar, stated in a 1976 radio broadcast:

"The Bible  is not  the work  of the  Jews  and  Christians alone.
Judaism  as a  specific religion  together with  its institutions
dates  from the  return from  exile in the 6th century B.C.  Jews
and  Christians are  the inheritors of a cultural and  spiritual
search  for God  which  took  place mainly in  the Mediterranean
basin and particularly in the eastern end.  Mesopotamia occupies
a special  position  in this part  of it.  So the  search  for
God  and  mankind's identity is  not something disembodied. It is
woven into an entire civilisation."

A well  known scholar  of esoteric  wisdom, Manley  P.  Hall
commented  on the universal message of the Scriptures:
"Factually, it  is very  difficult to  distinguish  clearly
essential doctrinal  differences between  the Egyptian Book of the
Dead, the  Orphic Hymns  of the Greeks, the Persian Avestas, and
the Old  Testament...Apparent differences may at first alarm us,
but they result largely from long cycles of interpretation,
differences  of  environment,  and  the inevitable spiritual
individuality of  racial and cultural groups."18

Scholarship   confirms that  far from  being 'unique', the central
themes of  the Old Testament were reflected in the myths  of
Greece  and the  common Mediterranean culture influenced by
Sumeria, Egypt  and Aryan  India. Dr.  Cyrus Gordon's research
shows that  the Israelites did not exist in  a  vacume,  trading
as  they  did,  with  Greece,  the Mediterranean  and   Western
Europe.   Their   migrations extending to  the British  Isles,
North  Africa, India  and even the Americas many centuries before

This information  should lead  us to  fully appreciate what  the
Christian  teacher  Paul  is  reported  to  have written, when
correctly translated, in 2 Timothy chapter 3, verse 16:  "All
Scripture written by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit  is
profitable  for doctrine,  for reproof, for correction, and for
instruction in righteousness."19

>From this  perspective a  study of  the  Bible  leaves behind the
inane dogmatic  assumptions and  prejudices  of both the
fundamentalist literalist and the secular liberal.  Not a
lifeless analysis of a collection of ancient stories and
admonitions,  but the  inner comprehension of a living,dynamic,
unfolding record that lifts us into communion with the universal,
primordial truths.

The Old  Testament book  of Genesis  states  that  the Patriarch
Abraham  responded to  the Divine Call to leave a decaying
civilisation  and subsequently  was given a sacred promise of  a
marvellous  destiny. "I will make thy seed as the dust  of the
earth so that if a man can number the dust of the  earth, then
shall thy seed also be numbered."20 "My covenant is  with thee,
and thou shalt be a father of many nations;"21 "And  I will
establish my  covenant between Me and thee  and thy  seed after
thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant."22 "And in
thee shall all families of the  earth be  blessed."23 In these
passages we are told how these  Abrahamic nations would be a
blessing to all the peoples of the earth. The descendants of this
household and lineage, through  Abraham's sons  Ishmael  and
Isaac,  are today  "as  the  dust  of  the  earth"  and  can  be
found throughout the  Earth. Through  the universal  messages  of
Christianity and  Islam, spiritual  blessings  have  indeed
touched "all families of the earth".

For  four   hundred  years  the  children  of  Israel, descendants
of  Abraham  through  Jacob  (whose  name  was changed to  Israel,
meaning "he will rule as God"), were in 'hard bondage'  and
captivity  in the  land of Egypt. While they  were   in  a
condition  of  despair,  servility  and ignorance the  Prophet
Moses  appeared. Moses, a descendant of Levi  (one of Jacob's
sons) responsed to the Divine Call and was  empowered, after  a
period  of training, to demand the release of the Israelites from
Egyptian thralldom. This unique individual  rescued  the  children
of  Israel  from bondage  through   the  power   of  a  religious
idea  and discipline.  Moses,  an  initiate  of  the  then
declining Ancient Wisdom of Egypt, sought to shape and mould a
nation around the primordial monotheistic idea.

The Scriptures  state that  the Prophet Moses led over 600,000
men,  plus women  and children  (which would  total from one  to
two  million people)  into the  Holy Land  and established a
civilisation that  was synonymous  with  the "Golden  Age"  of
Phoenicia.  Moses  took  a  divided  and suffering mass and
through the principles of the Primordial Tradition  turned  them
into  a  people  with  a  national conscience, personality  and
social  organisation. A nation of hardy  shepherds became
gradually a  people of maritime adventurers,  traders   and
colonists,  roaming  over  the oceans, and  settling in  distant
lands  under other names.  Greece,  Asia Minor, parts of Africa
and Ireland as well as Afghanistan  and   northern  India  were
soon  settled  by descendants of  the tribes  of Israel.  Evidence
of  early Israelite migrations  has also been discovered in Japan
and the Americas.

None but  the most  hardened and  ignorant anti-Semite can  deny
what  is   now  well  established  by  history, archaeology and
ethnology, that  the Semites,  the ancient Hebrews and
Israelites,  were  Aryans.  The  19th  century French esotericist
Saint Yves d'Alvedre showed in his book
#La Mission  des Juifs#  that the  Semites  and  the  Indo-
Europeans shared  a common  origin. Moreover,  the  erudite
philologist Eugene  Burnouf classified the Semites as Indo-
Europeans. To  quote the  late Robert  Charroux, a  popular
French writer on ancient civilisations:

"Startling as it may seem, the Hebrews are Aryans; that is,
descendants of the white race that left the plateau of Iran after
the Deluge...Judging from their customs, writings and religion,
most of them were of Phoenician origin."24

After  exhaustive  study  of  the  Sumerian  and  Near Eastern
civilisations  of  antiquity,  Prof.  L.A.  Waddell detailed  the
Aryan  inheritance   of  both   the  Hebrew Israelites and
Western European  peoples.  He  established that  "nearly  all
the  monotheistic  ideas  and  literary motives"  were   inherited
by   the  Israelites  from  the Phoenicians and  were therefore
"essentially  Aryan".  The Bible contains,  concluded Prof.
Waddell,   "many  of  the priceless treasures of the first Aryan
illumination." (#The Phoenician Origin of Britons, Scots and

Under  King   Solomon  the  wisdom  and  arts  of  the Israelites
were advanced, and according to Oriental history even the Greek
philosophers were in contact with the Hebrew Sages at Jerusalem.
Socrates, following in the footsteps of Pythagoras who  visited
Palestine  and conferred  with  the Prophets Ezekiel  and Daniel,
travelled to  the Holy Land.  Hippocrates and  other philosophers
of the  Greeks visited Palestine. The  historian Cyrus  Gordon has
well documented the Hebrew  relationship with  the  Indo-Europeans
in  his work,  The   Common  Background   of   Greek   and
Hebrew Civilizations.

The history  and growth  of the  Israelites is  firmly rooted in
a Sacred  Pact between  God and  a  consecrated, wholly
sacerdotal,  society. The  laws of Moses, like those of Japanese
Shintoism and  Aryan Brahmanism, were designed to create  a
sanctified people. The entire theme of the Old Testament is  built
around  the training and growth of this 'nucleus'.

We discover  many examples  in history  of the dynamic power  of
the  celestial  religious  impulse  to  turn  a subjugated, broken
and weak tribal people into a great and mighty  civilisation.   To
liberate  men  and  women  from ignorance and  endow them with
awareness and order. To givereal impetus to high culture and
establish justice, balance and harmony.  All this  is borne out by
historical fact for this  is   the  majesty  of  Traditional
Wisdom.  The  one foundation, not  the dogmas  and blind
imitations that have gradually encrusted it and are the cause of
the decline and effacement  of   a  nation   and  a
civilisation.   These encrustations are  the 'traditions  of men'
which lead  to inevitable destruction  and are a menace and a
hindrance to a nation's  life. We  read repeatedly  in the Old
Testament how when  the Israelites  became fettered  by shallow
forms and  vain  imitations  the  wrath  of  the  Most  High  was

The Prophets  were continually warning the children of Israel
against  embracing superstitions  and forsaking  the one
foundation.  In 721  B.C. the  northern ten  tribes  of Israel
were invaded and carried away by the Assyrians to an area around
the southern  end  of  the  Caspian  Sea.  The Kingdom of  Israel,
that had lasted for 200 years, had come to an  end because  it had
lost touch with the pure message of the  Prophets, and the members
of the ten tribes who had been  hurried  off  became  history's
"lost  ten  tribes".  Josephus, writing  in 90  A.D. in  his
Antiquities  of  the Jews, said:  "There are  but two  tribes in
Asia and Europe subject to  the Romans, while the ten tribes are
beyond the Euphrates until now and are an immense multitude."25 In
the Second Book  of Esdras,  chapter 12 and verse 39 we read of
the tribes  of Israel: "These are the ten tribes which were
carried away prisoners out of their own land in the time of Hosea
the  King, whom Shalmanesar, the King of Assyria, led away
captive,  and he carried them over the waters and they came  into
another  land.  But  they  took  counsel  among themselves, that
they would  leave the  multitude  of  the heathen and go forth
into a further country where never man had dwelt."  The record
continues  by  stating  that  they passed through  Asareth
(Rumania)  into Central and Western Europe.

This left  the other  two tribes of Judah and Benjamin still
living  in the  southern smaller  Kingdom  of  Judea.  These
people  were known  as Judeans, from which in English we derive
the name 'Jew'. Soon they also departed from the one foundation
and one hundred years after the captivity of the northern  Kingdom
of Israel they were invaded and taken to Babylon  by
Nebuchadnezzar.  After 70  years only 42,000 Jews returned to
Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple.

History  shows   that  allegiance   to  the  essential foundation
of  the Divine  Religion is  ever the  cause  of order and  high
civilisation,  whereas the  abandonment and distortion of  that
Tradition  through  blind  imitations, thoughtless  adherence   to
dogmatic   outward  forms  and superstitions is  the cause  of a
nation's debasement  and ultimate degradation.  When we look at
the condition of the Western world  it is  not difficult  to see
how it mirrors that of ancient Israel.

At the time when the Israelites had been dispersed all over the
world from the isles of Britain in the West to as far as  northern
India  in the East, Jesus of Nazareth, the long awaited  Christ
appeared. A remnant of the once mighty nation of  Israel were
still in the land of Palestine, yet all the  political  and
religious  institutions  were  now dominated by  a corrupt  and
bigoted  priesthood  who  had little or  no relationship with the
Ancient Wisdom of Moses and   the Israelites.26  The first  thing
Jesus  did was to proclaim the  validity of the mission of the
Prophet Moses.  He  attacked   those  Scribes  and  Pharisees,
counterfeit religious leaders  who had  perverted the  teachings
of the Prophets  and   deceived   the   people   with   lies   and
superstitions. Their legalism and love of outward forms had taken
them  far away  from the Ancient Wisdom. They were in the words
of Jesus  "full of  dead mens bones". So far had they departed
from the  original Hebrew teachings that one of North  America's
greatest Rabbis the late Steven S. Wise stated that  the return of
the Jews from Babylon (about 536 B.C.), and  the adoption of the
Babylonian Talmud marks the end of Hebrewism and the beginning of
Judaism. "Henceforth, Jewish  life   was  regulated   by  the
teachings  of  the Pharisees; the  whole history  of Judaism was
reconstructed from the  Pharisaic point  of view,  and a  new
aspect  was given to  the Sanhedrin  of  the  past.  A  new
change  of tradition  supplanted   the   older   priestly
tradition.  Pharisaism shaped the character of Judaism and the
life and thought of  the Jews  for all  the future."27 The
Universal Jewish Encyclopedia  states: "The  Jewish religion as it
is today traces  its descent, without a break, through all the
centuries, from  the Pharisees.... The Talmud is the latest and
most    important   single    member    of    [their]

The  original  Ancient  Wisdom  had  become  corrupted beyond
recognition.  The change  was led  by men whom Jesus soundly and
repeatedly condemned.29 This deviation from the one foundation
created a  narrow, chauvinist  creed of its own. Rene  Guenon
noted  that  "perhaps  one  of  the  most astonishing of  all
these  happenings is  the fact  that  a short period  of seventy
years should have sufficed for the Jews to  forget even their
alphabet, so that afterwards the Sacred Books  had to  be
reconstructed  in quite  different characters  from   those  in
use  up   to  that  time."30 Consequently the  tribe of  Judah
became  a  different  one after the  Babylonian captivity  from
what had preceded it.  The Jewish  Encyclopedia goes  further to
state impartially that Judah was "in all likelihood a
non-Israelitish Tribe".  Their conception of the Absolute
degenerated into that of atyrant whose  wrath had  to be
constantly appeased  by the most rigid  observances. He was
confined, they believed, to the  four   walls  of  their  own
bigoted  nationalism.  A spiritually barren,  anti-Traditional
institution  emerged which nationalised monotheism and monopolised

Douglas Reed says that:

"The 'covenant',  according to  these Scriptures  had  been made
between  Jehovah and  'the children of Israel', and by 458  BC
the  Israelites,   spurning  the  non-Israelitish Judahites, had
long since  been absorbed by other mankind, taking with  them the
vision of a universal, loving God of all men.  The Israelites,
from all the evidence, never knew this racial  creed which  was
to  come  down  through  the centuries as  the Jewish  religion...
It  stands,  for  all time, as the product of Judah of the

"What happened  before 458  BC is  largely lore, legend and
mythology, as  distinct from the period following, the main events
of  which are  known. Before  458 BC,  for instance, there  were
in  the  main  only  'oral  traditions':  the documentary period
begins in  the two centuries leading up to 458 BC, when Judah had
been disavowed by the Israelites.  At this  stage, when  the
word-of-mouth  tradition  became written Scripture,  the
perversion  occurred. The surviving words of  the earlier
Israelites show that their tradition was a  widening one  of
neighbourliness  under a  universal
God. This  was changed  into its  opposite by the itinerant
priests who  segregated the  Judahites and  established the
worship of  Jehovah as  the god  of racialism,  hatred  and

Jesus' mission was to the "lost sheep of Israel"32 and history
confirms  that He  travelled in  the  West  to  the British Isles
and in the East to northern India, returning to Palestine  only to
complete His mission. Throughout His ministry He  always taught
the same  foundation, the  same reality as  all the  Prophets. He
exposed those who gloried in the outward forms of the Torah though
failed to practice its true  inner meaning.  The message  of the
Prophet Moses was confirmed  and indeed  amplified by  Jesus the
Christ.  Following His  ascension His  disciples spread  the
Gospel message throughout  the nations  of the West. The Christian
Church  became  a  conduit  for  the  transmission  of  the
Primordial Tradition  in the  West. Giving  birth  to  high
civilisation and  culture because it provided people with a sense
of  spiritual purpose,  order and  direction.  For  a period the
Ancient Wisdom,  the one  foundation, was  made accessible to
searching souls through a number of powerful symbols and  an order
established that  guaranteed all its members a  sense of  being
part  of the  Divine Plan of the Ages. A  great Christian
civilisation grew and developed in Europe until  like the  ancient
Kingdom  of Israel  it fell into the  age old trap of departing
from the one foundation of God.  Soon Europe  was in  the bondage
of exclusiveness, intolerance, sacerdotalism  and lost  sight of
the esoteric teachings of the Prophets. One commentator notes:

"It is indeed surprising that an all but complete paralysis should
have  descended upon  its progress. It is impossible to determine
how far  this Judaistic  sacerdotalism which, among  other
things,  made  of  Christianity  a  religion intolerant  of  any
increase  of  positive  knowledge  and progress beyond  its own
prescribed  dicta...  But  it  is obvious that  little or  no
regenerative  effect, moral  or intellectual,  of   this
sacerdotal  influence  upon  this civilisation, is

The essence  of Divine  Religion does not concern vain dogma,
meaningless  forms and  rigid legalism.  It is about liberation
and freedom from bondage to illusion. Concerning man's
relationship  with the  Absolute, and the development of a  fully
conscious, self-realised, awakened higher human type.  The
selection  of  the  one  from  the  many;  the development of  a
new community with a strength of mission, order and destiny. This
is the message that can be found in the words of Jesus and all the

Nearly 600  years after  the birth of Jesus, at a time when
Christendom  was  firmly  established  in  the  West, Muhammad the
Prophet of  Arabia was  born. Of  this mighty Arabian Messenger,
a descendant  of  Abraham  through  his first son  Ishmael, the
renowned author  James A. Michener wrote:

"Muhammad, the  inspired Man  who founded  Islam, was  born about
A.D. 570 into an Arabian tribe that worshipped idols.  Orphaned at
birth He was always particularly solicitous of the poor and needy,
the widow and the orphan, the slave and the downtrodden.

"Like almost  every  major  Prophet  before  Him,  Muhammad
thought shy  of serving  as the  transmitter of God's Word,
sensing His own inadequacy. But the Angel commanded 'Read'.  So
far  as we  know, Muhammad  was unable to read or write, but He
began to  dictate those  inspired words which would soon
revolutionize  a large segment of the earth: 'There is one

Muhammad came  as  the  last  link  in  the  chain  of Prophets
sent  in different  lands and times since the very beginning of
human life  on this planet. He made belief in Jesus Christ and
Moses and all the other Prophets of God, a basic requirement  of
faith without which no one could be a Muslim.  C.G.   Campbell
writes   of  the   wonderful  andtremendous impact  of  the
revolutionary  message  of  the Prophet Muhammad on the world:

"In the  course of those long dark ages arose another great
religion, Islam.  Its simple creed was 'There is no god but Allah,
and   Muhammad  is   His  Prophet.'  Its  religious practices were
equally simple: daily recital of this simple creed; the  worship
of  a  merciful  Allah  at  dawn,  mid morning,  at   noon,  and
before  and  after  sunset;  the obligatory giving of alms; the
fasting of sunrise to sunset in the  month of  Ramadan; and  the
Pilgrimage to Mecca for the devout."35

Muhammad was born among the tribes of Arabia, a people in the
utmost ignorance and idolatry. Scattered throughout the desert
these children  of Abraham through Ishmael were engaged in
continual strife  and bloodshed. When the light of Al Islam
dawned, the darkness of ignorance was dispelled from the deserts
of Arabia. In a short period of time these peoples attained a
superlative degree of civilisation which with Baghdad  as its
centre extended  as far  westward  as Spain  and   eastward  to
China.  What  greater  proof  of Prophethood and  the power  of
the divine religious impulse could there be than this.

To  quote   a  19th   century  French  historian:  "If greatness
of  purpose, smallness  of means,  and astounding results are the
criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any  great man
in modern  history  with  Muhammad?  Philosopher,   orator,
apostle,   legislator,   warrior, conqueror of  ideas, restorer of
rational dogmas, of a cult without images;  the founder  of twenty
terrestrial empires and of  one spiritual  empire, that is
Muhammad. As regards all standards  by which human greatness may
be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than

There  has   always  persisted   an  'underground'  of 'rejected
knowledge'  within  Western  Christian  culture.  Forming  a
suppressed  Opposition  to  the  Establishment forces, this
minority acted both to preserve - consciously or  unconsciously
-  some  of  the  highest  elements  of Traditional Wisdom  and
critique the growing materialism of the  age.  Within  this
'underground'  can  be  found  the Rosicrucians of  the 18th
century who  claimed sources  in Arabia for  their Ancient  Wisdom
teachings.  Much could be written of  the close  connections
between the Templars and Ismaili Muslims  during the Crusades.
Frederick II, Goethe, Nietzsche and  authentic Freemasons, all
held Islam in high esteem. Many  of these  visionaries saw in the
Islam of the Prophet Muhammed  a heroic  faith free  from the
degrading hypocritic humanism  of a  decaying Christendom.  The
great 19th century  'heretical' philosopher  Friedrich  Nietzsche
advised in *The Anti-Christ*:

"Christianity destroyed for us the whole harvest of ancient
civilization, and later went on to rob us of the harvest of the
culture  of Islam. The wonderful Moorish cultural world of Spain,
which was fundamentally nearer to us and appealed more to our
senses and tastes than that of Rome and Greece, was trampled
down: Why?  Because it had to thank noble and manly instincts  for
its  origin, because  it said  Yes  to life....! Later  on, the
Crusaders fought against something they would  have done better to
lie down in the dust before
- a  culture compared  with which even our 19th century may well
think    itself   very    impoverished   and    very
'senile'...Intrinsically there  should be  no  more  choice
between Islam  and Christianity  than there  is between  an Arab
and  a Jew.  The decision  is already  reached; nobody remains at
liberty to  choose here.  Either  a  man  is  a Chandala [slave]
or he  is not....'War  to the  knife with Rome! Peace  and
friendship  with  Islam!':  this  was  the feeling, this  was the
act, of the great free spirit, that genius among German emperors,
Frederick II."

The spiritual  poverty, ignorance and vain dogmatism - with the
resulting hyprocrisy,  mediocrity and confusion - manifesting in
the contemporary world stems from rejection of the  Traditional
Wisdom  brought by  all the Prophets of God.  The   Tradition
that,   as  an  unfolding  perennial revelation of  the Divine
Will, can be compared to a stream with its origins in a primordial
and eternal pure spring of Truth. Through  the Divine  Conception
we  acknowledge that the  Prophet  Moses,  Jesus  the  Christ  and
the  Prophet Muhammad all  point to  this pure spring that is
identified with the  great Patriarch  Abraham. When  we truly Know
the magnificent Unity  of the  Absolute, of  the One  God,  the
Compassionate, the  Merciful, through the esoteric unity of all
the  Prophets can  we see  the foundation of the Law of God -  the
Primordial Tradition. Working from the universal perspective  of
the  Divine  Conception  the  darkness  of illusion, ignorance,
dogmatism,  legalism  and  fanaticism vanishes before the Sun of
Truth. This Divine Conception is an understanding  that  points
us  to  the  one  universal Religion  of   the  Prophets   and
gives   us  access   to progressively higher  levels  of
Knowledge  and  an  ever- widening vision of reality. Then we
appreciate the words of the Muslim  teacher Al Ghazzali - "The
higher one ascends a mountain, the farther one sees."

Looking at  the social  and political environment that nourished
the  birth and growth of the different historical expressions of
Divine Religion  we note that it was a time of  confusion,  chaos
and  upheaval.  The  voices  of  the Prophets of  the past  were
heard  in troubled times and in societies where the structures of
right human relationships were in turmoil and decay.

Besides originating  in a  common  'chaotic'  cultural environment
all  the historical  manifestations  of  Divine Religion
accomplished  essentially the  same thing  as they emerged. They
transformed cultures that were in decay into vibrant societies  of
balance,  with  a  sense  of  heroic purpose  and  Cosmic
destiny.  Social  disorder,  despair, anxiety  and   cultural
pessimism  were  banished;  order, harmony,  truth  and  justice
were  restored  due  to  the spiritual power  of the Divine
Message. The power of Divine Religion provided  salvation, the
only path from chaos and despair to  order and  hope. As  this
spiritual  power  was experienced  by   more  and   more   people,
and   became increasingly regarded  as  bearing  the  divine
authority, cultures were  restructured  and  traditional  harmony
was regained by formerly divided and decaying communities.

When people  were open to the influence of the impulse of  Divine
Religion  they   were  able   to  build   high civilisation and
noble culture.  When they  fell victim to dogmatism, narrowness
of vision, legalism and intolerance, they  quenched   the
influence   of  Divine  Religion  and gradually became engrossed
in materialist darkness.

Hebrewism,   Christianity,    Islam,    Zorastrianism, Buddhism
and  Hinduism, are  each historical manifestations of the  one
foundation,  God's unfolding  revelation to the various peoples
and cultures of the earth. This Traditional Wisdom reveals  itself
on  both the  esoteric and  exoteric levels, but  due precisely
to its nature relates primarily to the  inner, the esoteric. An
Ancient Wisdom of universal and eternal dimensions found 'coded'
into the Holy Books of the   world's   religions.   The   clearer
a   particular institutionalized   religion   reflects   this
Primordial Tradition the  greater its  vitality. To  the  degree
that Judaism, Christianity and Islam have departed from this one
foundation they  have lost  their relevance  and ability to act as
a conduit of the divine impulse in harmony with the Divine Plan of
the Ages.

Approaching the  year 2000  we do  not need  some 'new truth' but
a truly  Divine Conception  that facilitates  a 're-discovery' of
the great  Primordial Tradition.  A pure spring of Ancient Wisdom
long forgotten by ignorant men who prized the  letter of the law
above the spirit. If religion does not  'work' in our age it is
because men have divorced it from  this pure  spring. So  that we
are now mired in a corrupting 'pseudo-religious'  environment, the
habitation of this  world's foolishness  and stupidity. Let us
return, not to  the vain teachings of men, but to the
unadulterated words of  the Prophets,  Apostles  and  Sages  of
the  one foundation. May  we with a renewed vigour discover our
lost inheritance and  be responsive  to the words of the Ageless
Wisdom. Reflecting  on the  Holy Books, with meditation and
intuition, unlocking  thereby the 'book within' to Know and be
guided  by the  inner Divine presence. To appreciate the
Scriptures not as a 'dead letter' but as a vibrant means of
self-discovery  and  awakening.  Only  then  will  we  have
discovered the source, the pure and eternal spring.

"Modern civilization,  like  everything  else,  has  a reason for
existing, and if indeed it represents the state of affairs  that
terminates  a cycle one can say that it is what it  should be  and
that it comes in its appointed time and place;  but it should none
the less be judged according to the  words of  the Gospel,  which
have  been  too  often imperfectly understood:  'Offence must
needs come, but woe unto him through whom offence cometh.'"
- Rene Guenon37

The Lost Legacy

"The true  history of  civilisation is  forbidden. Powerful
conspiracies try  to allow  only a  distorted version to be
expressed.  People   who  consider   themselves   free   of
preconceived   ideas   because   they   are   freethinkers,
anarchists or  Freemasons are  actually under the sway of a
dictatorial power  that  conditions  their  activities  and
- Robert Charroux38

"Ancient history  is like  a night-landscape, over which we grope,
vaguely  discerning a  few outlines  in the  general gloom, and
happy if here or there the works of a particular author or  a ruin
or work of art momentarily illumine, like a lightning  flash in
the dark, the particular field which we are exploring."
- Philo39

When we  talk about  the crisis of the modern world we are
inevitably  primarily addressing the Western world. For it is  the
West  that dominates our age and it is precisely in  the  West
that  the  golden  calf  of  materialism  is enthroned and
Traditional Wisdom despised and rejected. The Western  world,
the  rebellious  20th  century  child  of European Christian
civilisation, with  its god  Mammon and golden rule  of hypocrisy,
is responsible for spreading the materialist   cancers    of
industrialism,   consumerism, liberalism and scientism across the
globe. It is a sad fact that from  the suffocation  of the
remnants  of  primitive Christianity,  after  the  Middle  Ages,
to  the  present, Western history has been an accelerating
downward spiral of putrification. Modern  Western man,  far from
evolving  to some higher  plane, is  devolving to  the lowest
level. The peoples of  the West  have been  totally alienated from
all natural  values   and  have   degenerated  into  'spiritual
Zombies', whose anxieties are soothed by ever more illusive
material comforts  in a  constant struggle against economic chaos.
Despite  all  the  material  success  and  all  the technological
advancement  of the  modern world, people are neither happy  nor
satisfied.  We have  reached the extreme degradation of  life in
the West.  Men and women have been submerged in  a mire  of social
disorder. An unnatural and supremely  artificial state has allowed
the lower instincts of man to triumph. People are alienated from
themselves and from each  other. The  end result  is a  herd of
faceless, characterless   consumers, who  have lost the will for
real life.  This  cesspool,  we  know  as  modern  civilisation,
provides its  inhabitants with  a 'purpose', albeit the mad
scramble to  secure as comfortable an existence as possible before
death  comes. The people of the West are the passive spectators to
their own  disintegration, decay  and  final extinction. Just  as
the  great  civilisations  of  ancient Egypt, Greece  and Rome
passed away,  never to  return, so will modern  Western
civilisation.  Truly, we  can say that the  crisis   of  the
modern  world  with  its  inexorable cataclysmic outcome  is
fundamentally  the  crisis  of  the Western man.

Eric Gill  wrote several decades ago of the "monstrous inhumanity"
of  industrialism, and  of the  modern  way  of life, as  "neither
human  nor normal nor Christian....It is our way of thinking that
is odd and unnatural." To this may be added  the striking
declaration  of  Rene  Guenon  that "Western  civilization   is
an   anomaly,  not  to  say  a monstrosity." Sir  George Birdwood,
at the  height of  the First World  War, described  modern Western
civilization as "secular, joyless,  inane, and self-destructive."
Similarly Professor La Piana confessed "what we call our
civilization is but  a murderous  machine  with  no  conscience
and  no ideals." Another world war and numerous regional
bloodbaths later, what  would these  venerable thinkers make of
'life' in the  1990s? The  last decade  of this  barren century is
witnessing the  diabolical infection  of  all  the  Earth's
peoples,  cultures  and  religions,  with  the  Westerner's
'spiritual sythelis'.

Writing more  than half  a century  ago, Lewis  Spence penned
these  prophetic words  under the  title Will Europe Follow

"It is  a dread  thought that  because of  its contemptuou
attitude to  the eternal  verities, our  continent may sinkinto
abysses  deep as those in which Atlantis lies, abysses not only
of the  profound in  earth and  sea, but, what is greatly more
terrible, of the soul...My own feeling is that European Man, to
consider him as a whole, is to some extent incapable  of
realising  to  what  depths  of  moral  and spiritual degradation
he has  sunk...Within  her  [Europe] borders  the   feeling  for
humanity,  the  sentiments  of kindness  and  decency,  have
practically  disappeared.  A spirit of  utter callousness  has
taken  its place, so that her people, in the main, take but little
notice of the most flagrant or  disastrous events and happenings.
Her sense of religion is dormant, if not nearly extinct."

Lewis Spence's  words are  very relevant in these last years of
the 20th  century and aptly identify the terrible spiritual crisis
of the Wester. The roots of this cancer of the soul  go back  to
a  fundamental  problem  that  began hundreds of  years ago.  This
problem springs directly from the rejection  of  the  Traditional
order  of  life.  That Western men and women have become abstract
without essence, enthusiasm, purpose and will to life, is the
consequence of building society  without reference  to natural
law and in contradiction to  the values  of the  Primordial
Tradition.  Capitalism overturned  the Traditional  principles
thereby enslaving man and depriving him of these God given
freedoms and responsibilities. The great Russian philosopher
Nicolas Berdyaev wrote attacking these false values that are at
the heart of the modern world:

"Individualism,   the   'atomisation'   of   society,   the
inordinate acquisitiveness  of the  world, indefinite over-
population and  the endlessness of people's needs, the lack of
faith,  the weakening  of the  spiritual life, these and other are
the causes  which have  contributed to  build up that industrial
capitalist system  which has  changed  the face of human life and
broken its rhythm with nature."40

Oswald Spengler  stated in  his magnus opus Decline of the  West,
published  after  the  First  World  War,  that civilisations are
like human beings they are born, grow to maturity, and  finally
die  out. As  the title  of his work suggests he  saw the  Western
world in the stage of decline leading to  death. "The potentate of
the world has become a slave to  the machine. Without being aware
of it, he and we are being  drawn into  its mechanism."  Although
Spengler's writings do  provide a  wealth of  detail  on  the
growth, maturity and  decline of  cultures and  civilisations,
his conclusions are  pessimistic. While  outlining the  reasons
for the inevitable collapse he does not offer a way out.

However, Spence,  Berdyaev, Spengler,  like Schumacher and Toynbee
all provide us with glimpses of the truth that is able  to deliver
people  from  the  inevitable  turmoil associated with the last
gasp of Western civilisation.

Nicolas Berdyaev  believed that  our age,  despite the chaos and
mess associated with its decline, was essentially one of

"Contemporary history  is being wound up, an unknown era is upon
us,  and it  must be given a name. The old measures of history are
no longer  serviceable as  we realised  with a sudden shock  when
the  World  War  broke  out;  the  more perceptive minds  saw at
once that the peaceable bourgeois pre-war way  of life would
become impossible. The rhythm of history is changing: it is
becoming catastrophic."

"Everything in the contemporary world bears the hallmark of a
crisis,  cultural and  spiritual as  well as  social  and
economic; everything has become a problem."41

Berdyaev proclaimed  the end  of the  old  culture  of liberalism
and  its values and a New Dawn, the beginning of an age of revived
spiritual values and Tradition. He called for a  "new knighthood"
to pioneer this new beginning, for spiritual struggle,  and
asserted  that all people must see the Divine plan, purpose and
meaning in the cosmos. "Man is not a  unit in  the universe,
forming part of an unrational machine, but  a living  member  of
an  organic  hierarchy, belonging  to  a  real  and  living
whole."  Berdyaev  saw surviving the modern age in terms of
acknowledging that man is an  integral part  of this unified
cosmos and is obliged to live  in accordance  with the  natural
order  and  with Traditional Wisdom.  If we  ask whether the
modern world is condemned to  destruction and  the  spirit
mortally  sick, Berdyaev answers that our age is only a passing
scourge and that  the   future  holds   the  promise   of  a
spiritual revolution:

"I believe  in the  possibility of  a transformation in the
structure   of    consciousness,   in   a   revolution   in
consciousness, a  revaluation of values and a spiritual re-
education of  man. Then  at last  to a  different level  of
consciousness a different universe can be presented."42

Using different  language to express the same solution to the
present distress, Lewis Spence concludes Will Europe Follow

"It is  written that  European Man  must redeem  himself or pass
out  of the record of history. In other words, he must fail as  a
type  not in accordance with the purposes of the Almighty...He can
only achieve redemption by subordinating himself and  his personal
desires and ambitions to the Plan and intention  of the Divine
Will. But in order that he may do so  with success, he must in the
first place recover thelost or  partially forgotten  Tradition and
the Holy Secret of the heavenly Plan, its hieroglyphical content,
as far as it  is  possible  for  mortal  wisdom  and  solicitous
and tireless seeking  to accomplish  this great  end. And  once
this is  achieved, the  entire constitution  and polity  of
Christian Europe must undergo the revolutionary reformation which
it will be found to dictate."

It has  been  said  that "if you don't know your past, then you
cannot know your future." Without history, a race sleeps. Western
man has  been  cut-off  from  history  and origins. Feeling  no
link with the past he is alone without hope, with  nothing but
the fleeting  experiences  of  the moment to  console him.
Without a  living awareness of his place in  history  modern  man
is  vain  and  egotistical, believing himself  the crowning  point
of  the evolutionary curve. Yet,  ignorant self-aggrandizement
has never been a lasting remedy to the inner pain of alienation
and despair.

Deeply rooted  in the mythology, culture and psyche of the
European  peoples is  the mystical notion that they are the
contemporary  Israelites, the  spiritual heirs  or even the blood
descendants of  the mysterious  "lost tribes" of ancient Israel
taken captive by the Assyrians and dispersed from Palestine in the
eighth century B.C. We can only begin to appreciate  this mystical
idea when we take into account the time-honoured  notion of a
special relationship between Europe, especially Western Europe,
particularly the British Isles, and  the Orient.  The origins  of
this  idea can  be traced into antiquity, most eloquently by the
historian and writer, the  late Lewis Spence, who begins his
Mysteries of Britain:

"To the  peoples of  antiquity the  isle of Britain was the very
home  and environment  of mystery, a sacred territory, to enter
was to encroach upon a region of enchantment, the dwelling of  the
gods,  the shrine and habitation of a cult of peculiar  sanctity
and  mystical  power.  Britain  was, indeed, the insular sacra of
the West, an island veiled and esoteric, the Egypt of the

A modern writer on ancient civilisations, John Michell comments

"Support for  that image comes from Caesar's statement that the
Druid  religion began in Britain and was best preserved there, and
it comes  also from native legends, of the Holy Grail, King
Arthur and  his  reputed  ancestor  Joseph  of Arimathea, of which
the modern christianized forms probably derive from  prehistoric
prototypes.  The  story  that  St
Joseph and  his twelve  fellow-missionaries came to England from
the  Holy Land  soon after the crucifixion may reflect an even
earlier legend;  but the site of the world's firstChristian
church,   supposed  to   have  been  planted  at Glastonbury (the
English Jerusalem)  by St  Joseph,  still survives, together with
its original sacred dimensions, and both the  legend and the site
have been of great service to English mystical  nationalism. Also
useful  has  been  the phrase which  Gildas, the  first native
historian  in  the sixth century, applied to the British in their
battles with the Saxons. He called them God's Israelites."43

In 1723,  Dean Abbadie  of Ireland  wrote: "Unless the Ten Tribes
of Israel  are flown into the air; or sunk into the earth;  they
must  be those  ten  Gothic  Tribes,  that entered Europe  in the
fifth century,  overthrew the Roman Empire and founded the ten
nations of modern Europe."

Few among the many 'puzzles' in the Bible have stirred the minds
of truth seekers down through the centuries more than that  of the
"lost tribes"  of Israel. One can hardly read  the  books  of  the
Bible,  both  the  Old  and  New Testaments, without seeing the
central and constant role of the tribes  of Israel.  The  Bible
is  written  about  and addressed to  "Israel". It  purports to
be the  history of their  past,   contains  prophecies  of  their
future  and outlines their  relationship to the Divine plan. The
common misconception that  "the Jewish  people are  Israel, or all
that remains  of them,"  has made  the  Bible  meaningless.
Without understanding  the identity  and timeless relevance of
'lost  Israel' it  is  impossible  even  to  attempt  to
understand the books of the Bible.

So strong  is the  Western world's  subconscious  link with  these
Israelites,  Robert  Charroux  concluded  that Biblical history
"is the  history of  the  West,  all  the peoples from
Scandinavia to  Egypt, from France to eastern Russia."

He further  explains: "At first the Bible was intended to be  only
the  logbook of  a nomadic  desert tribe,  but, through a
mysterious force,  its destiny  became bound  up with that  of
Europe  and the most highly civilized nations in the  world. For
two thousand  years the  Bible was  the Bible; that  is, the
sacred monument  of the  One God  and eternal Truth. Changing,
doubting, or interpreting it was a crime, a  sacrilege. Our
cities, inventions, and cathedrals are magnificent  exaltations of
a thought born in the mind of a  humble Hebrew shepherd. Men of
the West cannot forget that;  it   binds  them   permanently  to
their  spiritual brothers;  through   their  flesh,   hearts,  and
genius." (#Legacy of the Gods#)

The perennial  imagery of  the 'lost  Israelites' is a supreme
'metaphor'  or 'glyph'  within  European  Christian culture and
religion. Consequently it can be appreciated on many levels,  the
least  being  the  purely  historical  or ethnological.
Metaphysically,  above time  and place, 'lost Israel' ("ruling  as
God") represents the eternal Community of the  Elect. A  'true
Israelite'  is  therefore  one  who 'Knows' their identity. They
'Know' they are 'strangers and pilgrims on the earth'. This
'Knowing' is not a question of simple belief  or faith,  having
nothing  to  do  with  the rational approach to understanding. It
is an inner mystical realisation that  is of  the spirit, akin to
the Scriptural meaning of  the term  as found in such verses as
"Be still, and know  that I  am Elohim  [God]". Hence
esoterically we appreciate St  Paul's statement,  "They are not
all Israel, which are of Israel".

Discussion of  the historical  identification  of  the lost tribes
of Israel should act to facilitate a process of inner
realisation    and   self-understanding,   by   the rediscovery of
an ageless  heritage and eternal symbol. To quote well  known
author Joseph Campbell: "The old teachers knew what  they were
saying. Once  we have learned to read again their symbolic
language, it requires no more than the talent of an anthologist to
let their teachings be heard."

Israel identity,  like the title 'Aryan', is not soley about race
but about an attitude, an idea, a vision of the world and  of
existence.  As Joseph de Maistre said: "There is no  doctrine
which  is not rooted in man's inmost nature and in  a tradition as
old as humanity."  By divorcing this Israelite symbolism from the
paramount 'race of the spirit' we  cut  it  off  from
super-personal,  super-ethical  and metaphysical power.  What  we
are  then  left  with  is  a fundamentally materialist  and
anti-Traditional  'Blood and Soil' racism.  'God' is  relegated to
a grand  Real Estate Agent concerned  with 'living  space' for
his prize  blood stock!  Here   we  have   an  anthropomorphic
deity  *par excellence*, one that can only relate to the lowest
element in humanity.

The purpose of this small chapter is not to attempt to 'prove'
from   history  and   archaeology  the   Israelite relationship
with  the West.  Merely to draw attention to a forgotten and
neglected, yet  radical notion rooted in the past. There  is a
substantial body  of material to support the migration  of the
Israelites into  Europe and Britain.  Ancient legends about the
boy Jesus visiting Europe and the British Isles with his uncle
Joseph of Arimathea, the first Christian church at Glastonbury in
England, and the mystery of the  Holy Grail  are all  associated
with  this powerful idea. A  body of  ancient lore supported by
archaeology and historical record  cannot just  be dismissed  as
pure make- believe. Even  if  all  this  material  be  only
partially correct, the  questions it  raises and  the  assertions
it makes, cannot be ignored by the honest inquirer.

Former London  Times correspondent Douglas Reed, after an
exhaustive  study of  history and the Biblical accounts, notes
what happened to the ancient Israelites:

" 721BC,  Israel was attacked and conquered by Assyria and
the  Israelites were carried away into captivity. Judah was spared
for that moment and for another century remained an insignificant
vassal, first  of  Assyria  and  then  of Egypt, and  the
stronghold  of the  Levitical sect. At that point the  'children
of  Israel' disappear from history and if  promises   made  to
them  are  to  be  redeemed,  this redemption must  evidently  be
from  among  the  ranks  of mankind, in  which they  became
involved  and merged. Given the prevalent westward trend among the
movements of peoples during the  last twenty-seven hundred years,
it is probable that much  of their  blood has  gone into  the
European and American peoples."44

The  historical   identification   of   the   European Christian
peoples  with  these  'lost  tribes'  of  Israel written in
signs, symbols  and parables,  once formed  the basis of the
highest degrees of authentic Freemasonry and a large part  of the
inner  teachings  of  Western  mystical societies. Freemasonry
was once  the receptacle  of a vast amount of  Traditional Wisdom,
being  rich  in  initiatory rituals and  symbolism.  Rene  Guenon
was  convinced  that masonry  had  preserved  much  of  the
Ancient  Wisdom  of primitive Christianity.  We  also  find  in
the  surviving doctrines of  the  Rosicrucians  teachings
concerning  the similarities in the stories of the wandering
Israelites and the struggles  of the  ancient Aryan  race. They
point out these similaries  are not  surprising when it is
discovered that many  of the stories in the Old Testament, chiefly
the Book  of  Genesis,  have  their  source  in  earlier  Aryan

That Christianity  came to  Britain and Western Europe from two
different  sources  is  not  generally  realised.  Firstly, what
has been  called 'Celtic  Christianity'  was brought to  the area
by Joseph  of Arimathea  and secondly only in  597 A.D.  did
Augustin  Roman  Catholics  arrive.  Celtic Christianity  was  in
fact  primitive  or  Oriental Christianity established  in Western
Europe, shortly after the crucifixion,  by Joseph of Arimathea who
took refuge at the Druid centre of Glastonbury. This original
Christianity was of  a  totally  different  form  from  that
which  the missionaries of  the Roman Church preached. In 607 A.D.
the Archbishop of St David's, with six Bishops and the Abbot of
Bangor, met  Augustin and flatly refused to acknowledge the
supremacy of  Rome. As a result, they were massacred on the orders
of  the Roman  Bishop, and  Bangor Library,  at that time one of
the finest in the world, was burned. Rev. R. W.Morgan, a  Welsh
scholar  and Bible student, states on page 111 of  his book,  St.
Paul in Great Britain: "Christianity was first  introduced into
Britain by Joseph of Arimathea,
A.D. 36-39; followed by Simon Zelotes, the Apostle; then by
Aristobulus, the  first bishop  of the Britons; then by St.

The Hebrew  Israelite doctrine had much in common with the ancient
Order of the Druids. Frederick Haberman after a review of
available Druidic  literature declared: "It must be apparent  to
the  thoughtful reader, who is able to draw deductions from  the
Druidic  literature quoted,  that  the early inhabitants of
Britain were lineal descendants of the Patriarches in  the first
instance and of the Israelites in later  years."45   William
Stukely   (1687-1765),  who  is regarded  as  the  first  'Chosen
Chief'  and  reviver  of Druidism in  modern times,  taught that
the Druids were the custodians  of  the  purest  form  of
primitive  religion.  Charles Hulbert,  in his  *RELIGIONS OF
BRITAIN*, says: "So near is  the resemblance  between the
Druidical religion of
Britain and  the Patriarchal  religion of the Hebrews, that we
hesitate not to pronounce their origin the same."

A Christian  mystical society  under the  name of  the
"Philadelphians" was  founded in  England in  1652 by  Jane Lead,
an  enthusiastic admirer  of the  great German mystic Jacob
Boehme,  for the  purpose of explaining his writings.  She herself
received visions which were published as "Sixty Propositions to
the Philadelphian  Society,  whithersoever dispersed  as   the
Israel  of  God."  The  Philadelphians published numerous
leaflets referring to Hebrew-Israelite-
Christian mystical  symbolism. Later,  in  the  early  19th
century, the famous English mystic Joanna Southcott saw her
mission in  Israelite terms.  In fact  this Israel identity
message was  taught by  numerous esoteric movements both in
Britain and  on  the  European  continent.  Leading  Quaker
William Bryan  was moved  to proclaim  in 1795:  "That very many
of  those called  Christians are  true descendants  of Jacob, who
is called  Israel; that  by various dispersions and captivities,
conversion to  Christianity in  the early ages of  that Church,
etc,  the  distinguishing  mark  was lost...the greater  number of
the inhabitants of this land (called Great Britain) are

To know  and appreciate  the true meaning and identity of 'lost
Israel' is  the key  that unlocks a storehouse of
self-understanding and  spiritual empowerment.  Western man is
alienated,  as we  have already discussed, from the past and from
himself. Having no sense of Divine purpose or link to the  Divine
Plan,  the children  of Western  materialist culture are confused
and frustrated.

In previous chapters we discussed how according to theDivine
Conception the sublime truths of religion are 'above time' and can
be identified from a metaphysical position as the Primordial
Tradition. However,  this Tradition and the great truths  it
embraces  must be  expressed in a relevant manner and  made
capable of assimilation and application by the various  cultures
and  peoples of the earth. This as we have shown  was an
essential part  of the  mission of  the Prophets. Each  of the
Great Educators be he Moses, Jesus, Muhammad,  Buddha  or  Krishna
brought  a  Divine  Message reinstating the  Tradition in  a
language and form that was uniquely suited  to the  people to
whom the  Messenger was sent. Thus  Muhammad, the  last of  the
Prophets,  spoke of 124,000 Prophets  who  preceded  him  among
every  nation, people, tribe  and culture. Here, as we have
mentioned many times, is  the reason  why  on  the  universal
level  (the metaphysical) all  Divine  Religions  meet,  while  on
the lowest particularist level (the theological), they differ.

Scholars of  comparative religion  like Mircea  Eliade and
anthropologists like Adolf Bastion have thus recognized that
throughout  the many mythologies and religious systems of the
world, the  same themes  are constantly  recurring, appearing
everywhere. Scholarship and research are pointing us back,  to use
Schuon's title, to the 'transcendent unity of  Religions'.
Nevertheless,  we   cannot   escape   the responsibility that
this Primordial Tradition, to have any value,  must   be  lived
and  this  requires  a  concrete, authentic form  of religious
expression. To be assimilated in the West this theological form
must be in terms of a re- discovery of  primitive Christianity.
Theology, the science of God,  is nothing  more than  the
practical  intellectual garment in which the Primordial Tradition
has to be dressed if it  is to  be communicated. Theology provides
the 'gate' that we  must enter  through if  we are  to live  and
apply Traditional Wisdom.

A  re-statement   of  Traditional   Wisdom   for   the
contemporary Western  world, if  it is  to be comprehended, must
be   in  the   language  and  symbolism  of  original
Christianity. Frithjof  Schuon observed:  "that the Western
mentality, in its positive qualities, is almost entirely of
Christian essence.  It does not lie within the power of men to rid
themselves of so deep-seated a heredity by their own means, that
is to  say, by  mere  ideological  expedients; their minds  move
in  age-old grooves even when they invent errors. One  cannot set
aside this intellectual and mental formation, however weakened it
may be."

Luc Benoist,  an exponent  of Rene Guenon's teachings, expands on
this point:

"By  birth,  residence  or  chance  we  are  members  of  a
particular nation  and adherents  to a  particular religionwhich
it  seems natural  for us  to accept, for nothing can replace the
path of  our forebears  to lead us back to the way of  the
Gods...Adopting  a new  path  is  a  convenient excuse for
avoiding a true conversion, which consists in an inner change  of
direction (metanoia) from the human to the
Divine. Our  inherited path for purely practical reasons is best,
since we are bound to it by psychic, intellectual and emotional
ties...This  rule which  is  most  applicable  in stable and
well-balanced epoches admits of many exceptions in times  such as
ours when  men and  ideas  are  in  such confusion. When  a
traditional  rite without being deprived of the  efficacy of  its
rituals,  nevertheless  no  longer seems to  provide acceptable
means  for  self-realization, then only  is it  legitimate for
those who feel it is their destiny, to follow a different path...

"Our age  is seeking a universal understanding which men of vision
can  already foresee and which is the longing of all great souls.
There is  ample  evidence  that  the  world's economic problems
can  be  solved  without  the  different religions  having   to
abandon   their  unique   spiritual insights; after  all,
brotherly  agreement does not prevent the individual  growth of
each member of the family, bodily separate, but united in heart
and mind."47

If the  Primordial Tradition  is to be restated in the West among
people with a European Christian heritage it is bound to  partake
of  an outward  form that  draws  on  the Christian heritage.
Though given the confusion of our time and the  extent  of
corruption  within  Christendom,  this heritage can  only be
valued according to that part of its content that  is still
constant with  Traditional  Wisdom.  This requires  the
re-discovery  of that  core  within  the Christian message that is
a vaster, more primordial concept of the  Absolute, than could
possibly be appreciated by the babel  of   anti-Traditional,
fundamentalist  and  decayed hysterical sects  that appropriate
the title  'Christian'.  When we  study the  fascinating story of
the lost tribes of Israel  we  are    doing  nothing  less  than
tracing  the Christian peoples  of Europe through the changing
scenes of civilization in  response to  the Divine  Plan of the
Ages.  Furnishing a way that links the present with the past.

Christianity  began   to  drift  from  the  Primordial Tradition
as  it lost touch with its origins. East and West became separated
and the  last several  hundred years show the bloody consequences.
The terrible scars of this process are with us to this day. Cut
off from their Eastern origins the Western  peoples lost  all
knowledge of their heritage.  Hence Western  civilisation is  a
spiritual pauper. We must go back  and reconnect with this lost
legacy. Linked with a Divine  Conception,   Western  man   may
again  rediscover spiritual vision, sensibility, and inner

The 19th  century French  esotericist  Edouard  Schure wrote:
"Today  neither the Church, imprisoned in its dogma, nor science,
locked up inside matter, any longer knows how to make  men whole.
Science need not change its method, but it must broaden its scope;
Christianity need not change its tradition, but  it must
understand its origins, its spirit and its significance."

The cause for the death agony of the present Western society is
its own inherent materialism, corruption and spiritual bankruptcy.
This present age of gold, greed and grief must pass. Now is the
11th hour, the dark night of chaos when we all must choose our
destiny. To stay part of the night or be the first of tomorrow.

The Remnant

"Modern man  has not only to fight against materialism, but must
also  defend himself  from the  snares and  allures of false
supernaturalism.   His  defence  will  be  firm  and effective
only  if  he  is  capable  of  returning  to  the origins, of
assimilating the  ancient traditions, and then of relying  upon
the  ascesis to  carry out the task of re- establishing his  inner
condition.  For it  is through this that these  traditions will
reveal to him their deepest and perennially real  content and
show him,  step by step, the path."
- Julius Evola48

" irreligious  time which  coincides exactly  with the idea
of  a world-city  is a  time of  decline. True. But we have not
chosen this time. We cannot help it if we are born as men  of the
early winter of...Civilisation....Everything depends on  our
seeing  our  own  position,  our  destiny, clearly, on  our
realising  that  though  we  may  lie  to ourselves about it we
cannot evade it...."

In previous  chapters of this study we have identified the
Primordial  Tradition principally through the Abrahamic 'tree' and
noted its  importance to  a  spiritually  vital civilisation and
culture. Also we have touched upon how the institutionalized
branches   of   Divine   Religion   have succumbed to  degrees of
corruption and lost their original clarity.

This loss  of clarity  is  perhaps most obvious in the growth and
development of  Western Christianity. Primitive Christianity was a
vehicle for the Tradition and an impulse for order  and balance
as long  as it  preserved its inneresoteric core.  Clement of
Alexandria wrote  that truth is truth wherever  it is  found. "It
is the unique Word, which was given  out to  each nation,  through
the angel set over it, the  form of  wisdom proper  to it.  Wisdom
is  one  in principle but  multi-form in  presentation. This  same
Word manifests itself  anew in  Christ,  but  the  same  pattern
remains," (The  Christian Centuries - The First Six Hundred
Years). Accordingly  Clement upheld  the Apostolic  Gnosis.  "The
true  Gnostic is  the Lord's  brother and  friend  and son," he
wrote in  his Stromateis.  "The Gnostic practices being God,  and
has  already become God" (Strom. IV 23). He stated that:  "After
the  resurrection, the  Lord delivered the Gnosis  to James  the
Just  and to John and Peter; they delivered it  to the  other
Apostles",  (Church History  by

With the rise of the Roman Emperor Constantine and the convening
of  the Council  of Nicaea  in 325 C.E. primitive Christianity
suffered  its first  major blow. At the Nicaea Council and
subsequent ecumenical gatherings such Apostolic teachings as
esotericism, the  Christian Gnosis, the Unity of God  and many
principal truths  were, under  threats of violence and  exile,
abandoned, and a political institution constructed. Early  Church
Fathers  such  as  Origen  were classified   as   heretics   for
upholding   a   mystical interpretation  of   the  Scriptures  and
their  followers threatened with exile unless they recanted and
accepted the 'true faith'.

These Councils  also moved  to stamp out the teachings of Bishop
Arius of  Alexandria who  held to  the first and most vital
doctrine of  the original Christian revelation, the Unity  of God.
This central  truth  of  the  Apostolic Church was  replaced with
the doctrine of the trinity based on a  perversion of
pre-Christian concepts. At the Council of Constantinople  in 381
C.E. the 'Nicaea' formula became the established creed.

Despite the  terrible  persecution  inflicted  on  the primitive
Christians,  the true  teachings survived through numerous
underground local  groups, and  religious Orders that preserved
themselves within  the established  Church.  Their Christianity
was what  Augustine alluded  to when he said: "That  which is
called the Christian religion existed among the  ancients, and
never did  not  exist,  from  the beginning of the human race
until Christ came in the flesh, at which time the true religion
which already existed began to be called Christianity."

Forced to  restrict the  dissemination of the original Christian
teachings to those capable of receiving it and to use  secrecy  as
a  means  of  survival,  these  primitive Christians became  known
by  a wide  variety of  names  andtitles, existing  both within
and without the Roman Church.  Luc Benoist informs us:

"From its  Apostolic beginnings  and throughout  the Middle Ages
Christian  spirituality had its adherents in all types of
organizations,  both initiatic  and mystical. It did not realize
or  claim that  it was  esoteric, even when it was.  They come  to
light  from  time  to  time  as  small  very restricted
groups...or  in the writings of the mystics, who should be
considered as inheritors and not initiators of a tradition.
Amongst   them  we   find  dedicated   priests, authentic
freemasons,  great mystics, and simple 'inspired' souls. We  name
them  because otherwise  the continuity  of their method,  the
identical  nature of their goal, and the persistence of  the need,
would be difficult to grasp. The apparent  variation   of  form
does  not  arise  from  the underlying doctrine  which is  always
the  same  but  from differences of language and of those who use

One  of   the  greatest   historical  agents  for  the
preservation and  propagation of  Tradition in the West was the
Order  of the  Knights Templars founded in 1119 between the  first
and  second  Crusades.  There  is  substantial evidence that the
Templars had contact with the underground primitive Christians.
Indeed, we  know that  St Bernard of Clairvaux, who  revised and
approved the  Statutes of  the Templar Order,  was acquainted
with esoteric Christianity.  The Templars dedicated themselves to
the restoration of the original Apostolic Church, setting up a
bulwark against the abuses of  the impostor  regime in Rome, with
its cruel and despotic Inquisitors.

Of the  Order of  the  Knights  Templars  Luc  Benoist writes:

"All  chivalric   initiation  possesses  by  definition  an
esoteric character,  but the  title given  to the new Order was
particularly  revealing. In  the  Western  world  where
Judaeo-Christian tradition  was dominant,  an  Order  which took
as  its emblem  the Temple of Solomon would be seen to be aware
of the  unity at  the higher  level of  the three religions  which
acknowledged  Abraham  as  their  father.  Naturally, the  members
of  the Order  would have had other relations with  the Muslims of
the new kingdom than warlike ones. In  fact, in  Jerusalem the
Templars occupied the El Aksa mosque  and for  more than  a
century  were  in  daily contact with the Arabs.

"Furthermore, as  these Knights were members of a religious order,
their  name 'guardians  of the  Holy Land' assumed a higher
meaning.   We  know  that  each  of  the  different authentic
Traditions  has its own Holy Land, counterpart of the ideal  Holy
Land,  symbol of  the Primordial  Traditionitself. In  the case
of the Templars the city of Jerusalem was not  only the  centre of
Mosaic tradition but also the image of  the spiritual  state for
which it  stood. We can easily understand  how in these conditions
the temporal and regal  power   was  alarmed  by  a
fraternization  between Christians and  Muslims  which
transcended  all  doctrinal differences."50

At Chartres  in France  the Knights  Templar sponsored the
construction  of a  grand cathedral  with a magnificent stone
carving  and beautiful  stained glass window that pay homage to
Melchizedek, father  of the  eternal priesthood.  The Old
Testament Book  of Genesis  introduces us  to this mysterious

"And Melchizedek  king of  Salem brought  forth  bread  and wine:
and  he was  the priest  of the most high God. And he blessed him,
and said, Blessed be Abraham of the most high
God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high
God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand.  And he
[Abraham] gave him [Melchizedek] tithes of all."51

Now these verses are charged with mystical meaning and can only
be fully  appreciated  esoterically,  but  a  few points should
be noted.  We  read  in  these  verses  that Melchizedek gave
Abraham bread  and wine.  Here we  have a valuable  symbolic   act
by  which  Melchizedek  initiated Abraham,  who  had  conquered
the  ego  and  overcome  the illusions  of   the  world,   into  a
higher   level   of consciousness and  awareness. Rene Guenon in
his chapter on Melchizedek in  The Lord  of the  World, writes:
"Wine  is widely   taken    to   represent    the   true
initiatory tradition....the use  of wine  in a  rite confers upon
it a clearly initiatory  character; such  is  the  case  of  the
'eucharistic sacrifice' of Melchizedek..."

The Psalms  speak  of  a  Divine  confirmation  of  an eternal
priesthood  "after the  order of Melchizedek"52 and in the  New
Testament  book of  Hebrews, Paul  recounts the Genesis story  of
Melchizedek  adding:  "Now  consider  how great this  man was,
unto whom  even the patriarch Abraham gave the  tenth of  the
spoils".53  Obviously,  Melchizedek represents   the   eternal,
primordial   priesthood.   He transmitted the essence of the
Tradition to Abraham, who in turn passed  it on  to his  sons,
Isaac  and Ishmael.  This mysterious priest-king  of Salem,
Melchizedek, gives  us a common point  of  origin  for  what
became  the  Abrahamic expressions  of   Divine  Religion.   The
priesthood   of Melchizedek being that of the Primordial

The use  of powerful mystical signs and symbols by the Knights
Templar  is testimony  to  their  world  historical mission as  an
authentic militant Order of Warrior-Sages inthe service  of the
Great Tradition. The four fixed emblems or standards  of the
Templars were  the Lion, the Man, the Ox, and  the Eagle.  These
were also the fixed standards of ancient Israel  and they are seen
as the fixed signs of the Zodiac.

Adhering to  the Way  of all  true militant  spiritual Orders they
saw their  destiny and mission in terms of the Kingdom of  God,
the  universal theocracy.  A first step to which was  to encourage
the esoteric  co-operation between Islam and  Christianity through
reference to the Primordial Tradition. Set  apart for  a holy
purpose, strengthened and disciplined  by  spiritual  training
and  devoted  to  the Ancient Wisdom,  the Order  of the  Knights
Templars were a real threat  to the corrupt Establishment of their
day. The Templars, Eliphas  Levi said,  "threatened the  whole
world with an  immense  revolution."  Like  their  brethren,  the
Gnostic Christians  of earlier  times, the  Knights Templar fell
victim  to a  vicious conspiracy  of Church and State.  Envious of
the popular  following enjoyed  by the Templars and thirsting for
their property and riches, Pope Clement V and the  King of  France
launched a campaign of burning and torture against  the Order. The
suppression of the Templars in the  14th century by fire and sword
signalled the steady decline of  the impulse of the Primordial
Tradition. Again, for a  time, the ancient teachings were
preserved in secret and the Christian Gnosis maintained by secret
societies and local mystical  groups. Henceforth  an intensifying
process of spiritual  atrophy set  in throughout  the West. This
in turn led to the growth of towns, and later to the growth of
capitalist exploitation,  and its creation of an industrial
labouring class.  Christianity, without its essence, became a
cold,  emasculated creed  devoid of spiritual vitality. A slow
cancer had taken firm hold of European Christendom.

What does  all this  have to do with the crisis of the modern
world? Not only does the suppression of the Templars correspond
roughly  with  the  start  of  the  process  of putrification, it
also marks the end of one of the greatest historically
identifiable  Orders that  manifested  in  the world, by  action
and  ideal, the Ancient Wisdom Tradition.  John Hargrave stated:
"These Templars carried an idea - the idea of  Militant
Christendom.  They moved  the  masses  to action."54

The late  Arnold Toynbee argued, based on his profound study and
analysis of  history,  civilisation  and  social development, that
in a  period of  crisis such as our own, transformation can  only
be brought about by what he termed "creative minorities". He
describes "the creative minority" as those  few individuals  who
are  capable of  meeting the challenges  that   confront  a
society.  These  "creative minorities" emerge  from the  people,
pioneer  new conceptsand chart  new paths.  Invigorate cultures
and give life to societies in  decay. They  emanate the  great
impulses that move humanity.   Throughout  recorded history  we
can  see their mark.  They are  the 'few',  the ones among the
many, who with  vision and  will are  responsible for  propelling
societies to  a higher  level. Toynbee gave paramount place to the
Great Educators,  the Prophets,  in his  historical review of
"creative minorities".

H. G.  Wells also  wrote about  the  significant  part played by
these "creative minorities":

"I am  building my  expectation of  a new  phase  in  human
affairs upon  the belief that there is a profoundly serious
minority in  the mass of our generally indifferent species.
I cannot  understand the  existence of  any  of  the  great
religions, I cannot explain any fine and grave constructive
process in history, unless there is such a serious minority amidst
our  confusions. They  are the  Salt of  the  Earth, these people
capable of  devotion and  of living lives for remote and mighty

Today, life  does not  depend  on  ever  more  bloated
capitalists, textbook scientists, narrow 'intellectuals' or matoid
'technocrats'.  What is  needed  is  that  "creative minority".
The  modern day  builders of  the  20th  century Noah's Ark.  An
authentic militant spiritual Order that can re-state the lost
Tradition in a dynamic, living form. This was best  expressed a
number of  years ago  by Nobel Prize winner and surgeon Dr. Alexis

"A group,  although very  small, is  capable of eluding the
harmful influence  of the  society of its epoch by imposing upon
its  members rules  of conduct modelled on military or monastic
discipline.  Such a  method is far from being new.  Humanity has
already lived through periods when communities of men  and women
separated from others and adopted strict regulations, in  order to
attain their ideals. Such groups were responsible  for the
development of  our civilisation during the Middle Ages. There
were the monastic orders, the orders of chivalry, and the
corporations of artisans. Among the  religious   organisations,
some   took   refuge   in monasteries, while  others remained  in
the  world. But all submitted to  strict physiological  and mental
discipline.  The knights  complied with  rules varying  according
to the aims of  the different  orders. In  certain  circumstances,
they were  obliged to  sacrifice their  lives. As  for  the
artisans, their  relations between  themselves and with the public
were   determined  by  exacting  legislation.  Each corporation
had  its  customs,  its  ceremonies,  and  its religious
celebrations.  In short,  the  members  of  these communities
renounced  the ordinary forms of existence. Are we not  capable of
repeating, in  a  different  form,  theaccomplishments of the
monks, the knights, and the artisans of the Middle Ages?"56

All the  genuine Orders of the past provided a Path of Action and
Knowledge that  transmitted to the Warrior-Sage an experience  of
the  Absolute. A  Path of  refinement and spiritual discipline
that Arnold Toynbee categorised under the  terms   of  "withdrawal
and  return".  Through  this "withdrawal and  return" the
"creative  minority"  refines itself so  that it  may rise  above
all  the obstacles  and successfully surmount  the challenges  of
the  age.  Colin Wilson described Toynbee's concept stating:
"These solitary creative individuals  withdraw from  society into
solitude and there  wrestle  with  the  problems  alone.  There,
in solitude their  vitality and  insight increases;  and  when
they emerge,  it is with the power to stimulate the rest of
society to overcome the challenges."57

This process  is in  fact intrinsic  to all  authentic Paths of
spiritual awakening. Through the experience of the mystic
'Beatific  Vision'  the  "creative  minority",  the Warrior-Sages,
arise from the ashes of illusion and despair to Act.  In one  of
the  world's  oldest  and  purest  Holy Scriptures, the  Bhagavad
Gita,  we read: "He who does not, in this  world, help  to turn
the wheel thus set in motion, is evil  in his  nature, sensual  in
his  delight, and he O Partha (Arjuna) lives in vain."

As Bergson observed:

 "The  soul of  the great mystic does not come to a halt at the
[mystical]  ecstasy as  though that  were the goal of a journey.
The  ecstasy may  indeed  be  called  a  state  of repose, but  it
is the repose of a locomotive standing in a station under  steam
pressure, with its movement continuing as a  stationary throbbing
while it waits for the moment to make a  new leap
forward....Henceforward, the  soul has  a superabundance of  life;
it  has an immense elan; it has an irresistible   thrust    which
hurls    it   into    vast enterprises....The great  mystic has
felt the  truth  flow into him  from its  source like a force in
action. He could no more  stop himself  from spreading it than the
Sun could stop himself from pouring out his light."

Julius Evola  argued that  in times  past people faced physical
threats,  but in  the modern world they, though in some respects
physically safer,  face a  far  more  deadly peril, which  is
psychological  and moral  in  nature.  The false and  shifting
values of the modern world have failed; indeed they  have taken
away from  Man his dignity and his very identity  in exchange  for
the  dubious  benefits  of debauching  himself   and  ruining
his  environment.  The constant Western  propagandizing of the
illusion of freedom fails to  satisfy man's  deepest needs.  If,
as  Nietzsche proclaimed, modern  man has  killed god, he has been
wholly unsuccessful in  finding a lasting replacement that answers
his own inner alienation.

Since the  demise of the Traditional order and harmony of medieval
society, Western  man has  been trapped  in  a modern version  of
Plato's  cave of shadows. Convinced that the passing forms and
illusions he perceives in his chained existence are  real. With
the end  of Traditional society, Julius Evola  wrote, Western
civilisation ceased to have a unitary axis: "The centre no longer
commands the individual parts, not  only in political life, but in
cultural life as well. A  single organising  and animating  force
no  longer exists."58

We  need   to  discover   the  Traditional  and  anti-
materialistic conception  of life and human nature. To call forth
that spiritual vitality found only in Myth, religion, ritual,
order,   community,  leadership   and  discipline; fundamental
truths   our  modern  artificial  world  seeks desperately to
deny. The  turmoil of  our age,  as  Arnold Toynbee's writings
demonstrate, comes from the loss of this spiritual vitality  that
alone  can  guarantee  order  and harmony. Hence  the retreat  of
Western  man from Cosmos to Chaos.

The insidious  slave morality - and its twin hypocrisy
- serve  only to poison, soil and debase spiritual vitality and
all  that Tradition  enshrines as high and noble. There does,
however,  even now exist, and will always exist, that remnant, the
few out of the many, who feel the stirring of the Traditional
ideals of faith, loyalty, courage, devotion and constancy.  It is
always a minority who will listen to the word  of order,
sacrifice and  struggle. They  are the "creative minority" of whom
Nietzsche wrote of:

"Watch and listen, you solitaries.  From the  future come  winds
with  a stealthy  flapping  of wings; and  good tidings  go  out
to  delicate  ears.  You solitaries of today, you who have seceded
from society, you shall one  day be  a people:  from you, who have
chosen out yourselves, shall  a chosen  people spring  - and from
this chosen people, the Overman!"

These are  the Warrior-Sages  of the New Dawn. Men and women of
vision and  humble nobility  of spirit,  who  are opposed to  the
modern  bourgeois world  in all its guises.  Rejecting the debased
habits of the herd, through isolation and discipline,  they  are
the  20th  century's  Spiritual Revolutionaries, the  vanguard of
a New Civilisation. Like the Knights  Templar they are the great
dissenters who hold within their bosom the hope of tomorrow.

To quote Oswald Spengler:

"Suppose that, in future generations, the most gifted minds were
to  find their  soul's health  more important than all the powers
of this world; suppose that, under the influence of the metaphysic
and mysticism that is taking the place of Rationalism today,  the
very elite of intellect that is now concerned with  the machine
comes to  be overpowered  by a growing sense  of its  Satanism (it
is the step from Roger Bacon to  Bernard of  Clairvaux) -  then
nothing can hinder the end  of this  grand drama  that  has  been
a  play  of intellects, with hands as mere auxiliaries."

And to return again to Dr. Alex Carrel:

"The dissenting  groups would  not need to be very numerous to
bring  about profound changes in modern society. It is a
well-established fact  that discipline gives great strength to
men.  An  ascetic  and  mystic  minority  would  rapidly acquire
an  irresistible  power  over  the  dissolute  and degraded
majority.  Such a  minority would be in a position to impose, by
persuasion or perhaps by force, other ways of life upon  the
majority.  None  of  the  dogmas  of  modern society are
immutable. Gigantic factories, office buildings rising to the sky,
inhuman cities, industrial morals, faith in mass  production, are
not indispensable to civilisation.  Other modes  of existence  and
of  thought  are  possible.  Culture without  comfort, beauty
without luxury,  machines without enslaving factories, science
without the worship of matter, would  restore to  man his
intelligence, his moral sense, his  vitality, and  lead him  to
the  summit of  his development."59

The Way  of the  New Dawn is reserved only for a small minority,
and  is precluded  to  the  masses,  because  the majority of
people living  in the Dark Age are conformist, limited
individuals.  Mass man  reduces everything  to  his personal
conception,   considering  as   false  and   even dangerous
anything  which does  not  suit  his  conditioned thoughts and
prejudices. This  is why  true revolution  is always the  task of
a determined minority whose first steps will not  be understood
by the masses, since understanding is the  most valuable  thing
the masses lose as the victims of an  era of  decadence. But
revolution  must  eventually replace the  barren confusion  of our
collective life with the joy and radiance of a New Dawn.

How are  we to  respond to  the decayed  institutions, senile
social  practices, and  mass 'culture'  of  consumer society?
Surrounded  by the darkness of the age we must re- discover the
forgotten Primordial  Tradition and  offer  a serious  alternative
to  the  existing  chaotic  state  ofthings. Failure to act to
undertake this task only makes us party to  the terrors  of the
modern world,  possessing  a petulant, egotistical, and insipid
desire to be 'different' from the  sleeping multitude. Identifying
the crisis of the age, but  failing to  act to  become
participants  in  the genesis of transformation, is to be another
pitiful product of the  era. Knowledge of truth brings
responsibility - one must  choose  whether  to  be  part  of  the
last  curious manifestation of  this age  of dissolution,  or part
of the Holy Struggle for a New and Superior Civilisation.

"Never mind  how bloody  the final crash may be! Never mind  what
old  treasures  may  perish  for  ever  in  the redeeming
conflagration! The sooner it comes the better. We are waiting  for
it  -  and  for  the  following  glory  - confident in  the
divinely  established  cyclic  Law  that governs all
manifestations of existence in Time: the law of Eternal  Return.
We  are  waiting  for  it,  and  for  the subsequent triumph  of
the  Truth persecuted today; for the triumph under  whatever name,
of the only faith in harmony with the  everlasting laws  of being;
of the  only  modern 'ism' which is anything but 'modern,' being
just the latest expression of  principles as old as the Sun; the
triumph of all those men who, throughout the centuries and today,
have never lost  the vision of the everlasting Order, decreed by
the Sun,  and who have fought in selfless spirit to impress that
vision  upon others.  We are  waiting for the glorious
restoration, this  time, on  a worldwide  scale, of the New Order,
projection  in  time,  in  the  next,  as  in  every recurring
'Golden  Age,' of  the everlasting  Order of  the Cosmos." -

The Holy War

"The day  has come to begin the work of our renovation...We must
arise  and move  on. We  must liberate  ourselves from blind
technology and grasp the complexity and the wealth of our own
nature...But we  are still  immersed in  the world created by the
sciences of inert matter without any respect for the  laws of
development. In  a world that is not made for us,  because it is
born from an error of our reason and from the  ignorance of  our
true  self. To  such a world wecannot become adapted. We will,
then, revolt against it. We will transform its values and organise
it with reference to our true  needs...We know  how we have
transgressed natural law. We  know why  we are  punished, why  we
are  lost  in darkness. Nevertheless,  we faintly  perceive
through  the mists of dawn a path which may lead to our
- Dr. Alexis Carrel60

"A doctrine that does not attack and affect the life of the period
in  its inmost  depths is no doctrine and had better not be
- Oswald Spengler: THE DECLINE OF THE WEST

The whole  purpose of  this book  is to  draw together scattered
and rejected facts that are pertinent to the life and destiny of
modern men and women.  To present forgotten, yet eternal,
principles that  point the  way  out  of  the crisis of the modern

Our approach revolves around a desire to integrate and synthesize,
presenting   an  introduction  to  the  Divine Conception and
focusing light on the Path to a New Humanity and  a   New
Civilisation.   A  Way   of   awakening   and transformation
grounded in the Primordial Tradition.

No one  would accept that it is enough for a physician to diagnose
a patient's  illness and  not provide  a cure.  Traditional Wisdom
is precise  on the  instruction that in order to  change the
external  world,  people  must  first experience  a   profound
interior  transformation  of  the spirit. The  Prophet Muhammad
expressed this  principle on his return  from a  military campaign
in a  Hadith  (noble saying) that  states: "We have gone from the
small Holy War to the  Great Holy War." That is to say, he
returned from a series of  battles  (of  the  small  war)  to
head  toward meditation and preaching (the Great War).

The  true   meaning  of   Holy  War   or  Struggle  is
consequently the  interior spiritual  battle  of  'interior
edification' or  awakening, with  a  view  to  an  external
projection,  for  the  fulfilment  of  a  sacred  universal
mission, a  Holy Struggle to restore Traditional order. The
Spanish writer Antonio Medrano says that:

"It is  a war  for the restoration of order; this order, as has
already been said, is political and religious, temporal and
spiritual,  external and internal at the same time. The
fundamental mission of the Holy War is to defend Divine and
eternal Law  on earth  as well  as enforcing  it once again where
it  has been guide social and political organisation
back to its centre, to integrate it around its superior axis,
together with nature's phenomena, universal reality and  the
whole  of  existence,  driving  away  allremnants of  disorder and
leading the created world back to normality."61

The great  Holy Struggle is developed within ourselves in
opposition  to our  lowest nature,  and emerges when the little
Holy  Struggle is  used catalystically.  The  little Holy Struggle
is our  immediate day-to-day  fight with  an external foe.  This
struggle  is an opportunity for testing the spirit,  for freeing
ourselves from an overemphasis on the importance of our individual
life or death.

Rene Guenon states in #Symbolism of the Cross#:

"The 'great  holy war'  is the  struggle of man against the
enemies he  carries within himself, that is to say, against all
those  elements in  him which are contrary to order and unity.
Moreover, it is not a question of annihilating these elements,
which  like everything  that  exists  have  their reason for
being and  their place  in the  total scheme of things. It is a
question rather...of 'transforming' them by bringing them  back to
unity, of somehow reabsorbing them.  Man must  strive continually
and above all to realise unity within himself,  in everything that
constitutes his nature, according to all the modalities of his
human manifestation:  unity of  action, and  also what is perhaps
more difficult, unity between thought and action..."

To recap  a central theme of this book, the world that is to  be
negated  because it  is doomed to destruction, is above all the
materialistic and bourgeois civilization. And this so-called
'civilization' is  itself a  negation of an earlier and superior
world. History being a long process of more or less slow decay
from original perfection to a final state of chaos out of which
one rises once more not through regular,  unbroken   evolution,
but   abruptly  -  through revolutionary methods  - to the state
of health, virtue and beauty. Viewed  from this standpoint of
Traditional Wisdom, the modern  age is  the last   decadent period
of the Grand Cycle of life that commenced following the collapse
of pre- history's Golden  Age.  Decadence  being  understood  as
a decline in  spiritual values  and a  corresponding rise  in
materialism. The  present world,  the putrid  parody,  that
ascribes to  itself the  title of  "New World Order" or the
"dawning of  a New  Age" corresponds,  in truth,  with  the
blackest period of the long Dark Age of ignorance.

The naturally Traditional man is he who is aware of an inner
reality   surpassing   the   plane   of   individual experiences.
In  the  Holy  Struggle  of  transcending  the bourgeois world  he
not  only  survives  this  age's  anti- traditional ambiance,  but
uses  it for  his own  spiritual quest. A  quest for  ultimate
transcendence,  beyond  this world's ethical  limitations and
hypocritical  prejudices.Marked by  an  intense  and  unshakeable
longing  for  the Absolute. A  quest  that  reaches  beyond  the
unavoidable apocalypse to  the birth  of a  future Golden Age, in
a new cycle of  supra-life. This  book is  addressed to such rare
souls. With  this  perspective  we  can  appreciate  Julius
Evola's statement in *Riding the Tiger*:

"The positive  possibilities (of  the reign of the machine) can
only  concern a  tiny minority,  namely those beings in whom the
dimension of  transcendence pre-exists or in whom it can  be
awakened...They  alone  can  give  a  completely different  value
to  the  'soulless  world'  of  machines, technologies, modern
cities, in  short, of everything that is pure  reality
objectivity,  which appears cold, inhuman, menacing, devoid of
intimacy, depersonalizing, 'barbarous'.  It is  precisely by
entirely accepting  this  reality  and these processes that the
differentiated man will be able to realize his  essence and  form
himself according to a valid personal equation..."

The modern age does not leave the 'differentiated man' in  a
state  of  despair  leading  to  passivity.  On  the contrary, he
accepts the crisis of the 'soulless world' as a liberating
catharsis. Such a person rebels against 'daily routine', the
preestablished mold  and pervasive  urges of the times.  Rising
above  a 'world  of ruins', the 'Heaven- inspired' person knows
the experience of Faust:

"A longing pure and not to be described drove me to wander over
woods and fields, and in a mist of hot abundant tears I felt a
world arise and live for me."
- FAUST  as quoted by - Oswald Spengler: THE DECLINE OF THE

Looking beyond  the present cycle we see the New Dawn, what
Christians  identify as  the victory of the Kingdom of God
throughout  the earth.  This is the 'world' to which we give our
allegiance and  our sacred  trust. Aware  that in order for  the
Kingdom  of God  to be  consummated  on  the earth, it  must be
first established  in the hearts of men and women.  An ugly  man
may  call himself handsome, but he deceives no  one, and  a white
man may call himself black, yet he deceives no one, not even

Transcending the  modern world  automatically  demands the
transcending  of  the  human  condition,  that  'waking sleep'
existence  aptly conveyed  by the  phrase 'human all too human'.
Developing the  hidden potentialities  of man, realising the
Divine within.

We  have   to  awaken   with  in  us  the  values  and
possibilities of  a different  world, and  a new and
higherexistence. In  order to  understand the world and change it
we must understand and change ourselves:

"There are  two ways  to surpass  the bourgeois order...the first
possibility leads lower still, towards a collectivist humanity...
The   second  possibility   is  to  fight  the bourgeois order in
order to rise above it. The New Man will be anti-bourgeois,  but
on  the basis of a superior, heroic and aristocratic conception of
existence... The man who has held himself  upright through  the
purifying fire which has devastated his  life - such a man, just
as he refuses to be the instrument of a pseudo reaction, so he
will be attached to forces  and ideals  that are  superior to  the
bourgeois world and  the era  of economics. By such an attachment,
he will create  his  lines  of  defence  and  consolidate  the
positions from where, at the opportune moment, he will move to
action and reconstruction." (ORIENTAMENTI)

In the  modern world  there are  no  longer  any  true values left
standing,  and  certainly  all  the  surviving structures that
originated in  the past are just residues, empty shells,
incapable of  offering real  initiation. The once great  religions
have  grown old,  succumbing  to  the degeneration of  the Dark
Age,  their  spiritual  vitality dissapated in  a wholey  decadent
collective  milieu. Their great  worldly   institutions  just
one  more  diabolical spectacle of the modern age. Even the
esoteric and mystical bodies, that  for centuries  preserved
Tradition,  are  no longer with  us. Their  20th century
caricatures possess no possibility  of   transmitting   the
required   spiritual vitality.

"We conclude  that in  our day  this  possibility  must  be
excluded, as  a result of the almost complete non-existence of the
respective organizations.  If organizations of this kind have
always had  a more or less underground character in the  West -
because of the nature of the religion which succeeded in gaining
dominance there and its repressive and persecuting activities  -
they  have completely disappeared in latter  times. As  regards
other  parts  of  the  globe, especially the Orient, these
organizations have become more and more rare and inaccessible,
even if the forces of which they were  the vehicles  had not
withdrawn from  them,  in parallel with  the  general  process  of
degeneration  and modernization, which  has finished  by invading
even these regions. In  our day,  even the Orient is no longer
capable of  supplying  anything  but  offshoots  or  a  'regime
of residues'; one  is already  forced to  admit this  when one
considers the  spiritual level  of those  Asiatics who have begun
to  export Eastern  wisdom and  to divulge it amongst us." (RIDING

Again, there  is no cause for despair or inaction. For men and
women capable  of transcending outward shells, and driven by a
sincere will to seek truth above all, find that apparent
'obstacles'  only lead  to an  experience with the integral
Tradition in a new historical form.

Julius Evola  showed in  his book  *The Yoga of Power* how the
spiritual and  social conditions that characterize the Dark  Age
greatly  decrease the effectiveness of purely intellectual,
contemplative, and ritual paths. In this time the only  way open
to those seeking transcendence is one of Action or Holy Struggle.

Traditional  esotericism  has  as  its  objective  the freeing of
man from  the limitations  of his earthly state and of  awakening
his inner being to rise to higher states.  There can  be no
separation of  Knowledge and  Action. The French  esotericist
Raymond  Abellio,  who  worked  for  a renewal of Tradition in the
West, said:

"Traditional esotericism  is  at  one  and  the  same  time
doctrine and  practice. It  implies for  the whole  of  the being,
body, soul and spirit, a fundamentally different way of
existence."  - #La  Fin de  vl'esoterisme  (The  End  of

In a  world engulfed  in the  flames of degeneracy and bourgeois
sameness,  a Militant  Order of  ascetic warriors must arise.  All
men  and women opposed to the modern world have their  place in
this Holy  War. When the time is full they will guide the forces
of the resurrection.

Many authors can identify the problems of our time but few can
identify how  to go  about rectifying  them. Truth must not  be
just studied, read or talked about, it must be lived. Lived  in
accordance  with  destiny.  We  will  only survive the  chaos if
we live  the Tradition, encountering Truth through  Holy Struggle,
instead of endlessly reading or talking  about it. The Divine
Conception gives rise to a living Militant  Order of
Warrior-Sages. Not  the last  of yesterday, but the first of

We are therefore an entirely original Movement in this  Black Age
of ignorance. A Movement which seeks to modify  an   individual's
spiritual   structure,  deriving strength from  the Golden Age
ideal; that inner vision of a healthy, beautiful  and just  world;
of  the  real  earthly paradise,  faithful   image  of   cosmic
perfection.  This Movement embodies  the forces  of Light  and
Life  in  the struggle  against   the  forces   of
disintegration.   The inspiration and  goal of the Temple being
nothing less that the establishment of the 'reign of

Only  the   'few'  who  have  'ears  to  hear'62  willappreciate
the  Divine Conception  and see  the Way that is both above  and
deep within. We invite these 'few' who feel the inner stirring to
join us in this Holy Struggle.

"Those who  will be  successful  in  overcoming  all  these
obstacles and  in  triumphing  over  the  hostility  of  an
environment opposed  to all  spirituality will doubtless be few in
number; but,  once again,  it is  not numbers  that count here,
for this  is a  realm where the laws are quite other than  those
of matter. There is therefore no occasion for despondency;  and
even  where  there  is  no  hope  of achieving any  visible result
before the  collapse of  the modern world through a catastrophe,
that would still not be a valid  reason to  refrain  from
embarking  upon  a  work extending in  scope far  beyond the
present time. Those who may feel  tempted to  give  way  to
discouragement  should remind themselves  that nothing
accomplished  within  this order can  ever be lost, that
confusion, error and darkness can enjoy  no more  than a  specious
and  purely  ephemeral triumph,  that   every  kind   of  partial
and  transitory disequilibrium must  perforce contribute  towards
the great equilibrium of  the whole,  and that nothing can
ultimately prevail against  the power  of truth;  for their motto
they should take  the one  adopted in  former times  by  certain
initiatory  organizations   in  the   West:  Vincit   omnia
- Rene Guenon63

PO BOX 12116

Notes and Acknowledgements

1. The Silent Life, 1957.
2. Small Is Beautiful, 1974.
3. The Crisis of the Modern World, 1942.
4. A Study of History, Oxford Uni. Press, 1962.
5. Ibid.
6. Small Is Beautiful, 1974.
7. Ibid.
8. Religion and the Rebel, London, 1957.
9. A Study of History, Oxford Uni. Press, 1962.
10. La Gnose, December 1909.
11. Exodus, Chapter 19, Verses 5-6.
12. L'Islam et la Fonction de Rene Guenon, Paris, 1984.
13. Symbolism of the Cross.
14. Eastern Christendom.
15. Gnosticism, Its History & Influence, 1983.
16. Quran Chapter 2, Verses 135-136.
17. A Short History of the Saracens.
18. Old Testament Wisdom, Los Angeles, 1987.
19. George Lamsa translation from the Aramaic.
20. Genesis, Chapter 13, Verse 16.
21. Ibid, Chapter 17, Verse 4.
22. Ibid, Chapter 17, Verse 17.
23. Ibid, Chapter 12, Verse 3.
24. Masters of the World, Sphere Books, 1979.
25. Ant. 11, 5, 2
26. See Revelation 2:9, John 8:44-48, Matthew 21:43.
27. The Jewish Encyclopedia, Funk and Wagnalls, 1905.
28. KTAV Publishing House, Vol. 8, 1969, page 474.
29. Matthew, Chapter 23, Verses 13-33.
30. Crisis of the Modern World, 1942.
31. The Controversy of Zion.
32. Matthew, Chapter 10, Verse 6.
33. Race and Religion, by C.G. Campbell.
34. Islam; The Misunderstood Religion, by J. A. Michener.
35. Race and Religion.
36. Historie De La Turquie, Paris, 1854.
37. Crisis of the Modern World, 1942.
38. Masters of the World, Sphere Books, 1979.
39. Philo about the Contemplative Life, page 349.
40. The Bourgeois Mind, Sheed & Ward, 1934.
41. Ibid.
42. Towards a New Epoch, Geoffrey Bles, 1949.
43. Eccentric Lives and Peculiar People.
44. The Controversy of Zion.
45. Tracing Our Ancestors, 1932.
46. A Testimony Concerning the Spirit of Truth, 1795.
47. The Esoteric Path, Aquarian Press, U.K., 1988.
48. The Doctrine of Awakening.
49. The Esoteric Path, Aquarian Press, U.K., 1988.
50. Ibid.
51. Genesis, Chapter 14, Verses 18-20.
52. Psalms, Chapter 110, Verse 4.
53. Hebrews, Chapter 6, Verse 20.
54. The Confession of the Kibbo Kift, London, 1927.
55. Democracy Under Revision.
56. Man, the Unknown; London, 1935.
57. Religion and the Rebel, London, 1957.
58. La Rivolta Contro Il Mondo Moderno.
59. Man, the Unknown; London, 1935.
60. Ibid.
61. Islam and Europe.
62. Matthew, Chapter 11, Verse 5.
63. Crisis of the Modern World, 1942.