THE RETURN OF THE MAGI
This book, translated from the French of M. Maurice Magre by Reginald Merton, gives a fascinating account of numerous ‘bearers of the Light’ from the East and the results of their inspired missions to bring wisdom and a more spiritual way of life to the materialistic peoples of the West.
The main contention of M. Magre is that, in the case of all the major religions, the original teachings of their founders were perverted by priesthoods ambitious to obtain power and wealth.
In this I fully agree. It is particularly applicable to the early Fathers of the Christian Church and the Papacy during the Middle Ages. It was they who repudiated the belief in Reincarnation which had previously been held by every people with the one exception of the Hebrews; and it was the Jewish disciples of Christ who forced their harsh, intolerant God the Father, with the dogma that individuals should be judged for all eternity by a single life on earth, on to a religion that became paramount throughout the Western world.
This ruthless lust for power by the Christian prelates in cynical disregard for the teachings of the gentle Jesus could not be better demonstrated than in the chapters of this book describing the appalling massacre of the Albigenses. Their so-called ‘heresy’ was largely based on the beliefs of the Gnostics, from whom it is evident much of Our Lord’s teaching was derived.
For over two thousand years Gnosticism has secretly been the guiding light of high-principled teachers in many countries. In the twelfth century it was openly resurrected in Bulgaria by a sect known as the Bogomils. Travelling west, the converts to it in northern Italy, Germany and particularly the south of France ran to tens of thousands. Under their own Bishops the sect seriously challenged the Church of Rome, which resulted in the Pope initiating a Crusade against it. The nobles of northern France descended on the Albigenses and waged merciless war upon them for ten years, slaughtering men, women and children alike until they were exterminated. The last survivors were hunted to death through the Pyrenees by packs of bloodhounds.
Another section of this book deals with the Knights Templar and the destruction of their Order by Philippe le Bel, King of France, who burnt, amongst others, their Grand Master, Jacques de Molay. Up to that date they had wielded immense power throughout the whole Mediterranean, and had built hundreds of castles. The one at Rhodes forms a city within the modern city; its walls are a hundred feet high and so broad that three cars abreast could be driven along them. There can be no doubt that the Knights’ secret rites were immoral, that they worshipped Bahomet and practised sorcery.
One very interesting happening that M. Magre fails to mention is as follows. Before Jacques de Molay gave up the ghost when being roast at the stake, his last words were a curse on the Kings of France. Nearly five hundred years later the monarchy ended when Louis XVI and his family were taken as prisoners to the Temple – the ancient stronghold of the Knights Templar in Paris.
The named mystics of whom the author gives an account are Apollonius of Tyana, Christian Rosenkreutz, Nicholas Flamel, Saint-Germain and Madame Blavatsky.
The first while addressing an audience of several hundred people in the park at Tyana suddenly broke off to exclaim joyfully, ‘The tyrant is dead! The tyrant is dead!’ At that very moment the Emperor Diocletian was assassinated hundreds of miles away in Rome. Surely the most unchallengeable example of clairvoyance that has ever occurred. Of the last I have given some particulars in my introduction to Volume 4 of this Library, Madame Blavatsky’s Studies in Occultism.
With regard to the Comte de Saint-Germain, and some other matters, I feel that M. Magre is inclined to be rather over-credulous; as there is good reason to suppose that the Count was a very clever charlatan.
Whether we shall ever know the truth about Nicholas Flamel and Christian Rosenkreutz is very doubtful. Both have become legendary figures and Rosenkreutz is still venerated by a considerable number of believers in the occult.
At the present time there are numerous Orders of Rosicrucians, but the known ones are no more than societies for the study of the supernatural and to become a member presents little difficulty. The original order was limited to a very small number and one could become an initiate only after passing most formidable ordeals. It is said that Bulwer-Lytton was a true Rosicrucian. In his classic novel Zanoni (which we will be publishing in the Library of the Occult later on) he writes most knowledgeably about the Order which, quite possibly, continues to exist in secret.