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Fundamentals of Symbolism

Part II
From the Renaissance to Modern Times
Hamilton Reed Armstrong

Before examining the changes in symbolic expression evoked by Renaissance thought, some historical background is required. While the Catholic symbolism described
at the close of the first part of this study remained largely intact within Western culture, the introduction of divergent cosmologies wrought some subtle and not so
subtle changes.
There is little consensus among historians as to when or how the so-called Renaissance came about, but most would agree that an affirmation of the dignity of man was
the result. While the Church had always insisted that man was made "in the image and likeness of God" and therefore worthy of the highest respect, his status as a
creature was strictly maintained. Man, to reach his proper end, the beatific vision, needed Sanctifying Grace supplied through the sacraments of the Church.
Renaissance thought, at first subtly and then openly, challenged this view. Between 1437 and 1439 Nicholas of Cusa started the process when he wrote his De docta
ignorantia based on a private illumination he received while crossing the sea between Greece and Italy. In this work he claimed, among other things, that just as Jesus
Christ is the expression of all humanity, just as He signifies nothing but its simple idea and essence, so does man, too, viewed in his essence, include within himself all
things. 1 This blurring of distinction between the Divine Logos and human nature was carried further by Pico della Mirandola in his famous Oratio de hominis dignitate
published in 1469. Russel Kirk in his introduction to the translation of this work by Robert Caponigri, in fact posits that, "The Dignity of Man," delivered by Pico at
Rome, was, " his glove dashed down before authority, and lives on as the most succinct expression of the mind of the Renaissance." "We have given you, Oh Adam, no
visage proper to yourself, nor any endowment properly your own, in order that whatever place, whatever form, whatever gifts you may with premeditation, select these
same you may have and possess through your own judgment and the moment of his creation, God bestowed seeds pregnant with all possibilities
...Whichever of these a man shall cultivate, the same will mature and bear him fruit. If sensual, he will become brutish; if rational he will reveal himself a heavenly
being; ...and if, dissatisfied with the lot of all creatures, he should recollect himself into the center of his own unity, he will there, become one spirit with God." Pico,
with these words, openly defied the authority of the Roman Catholic Church with its hierarchical and sacramental theology. 2
Pico had no open desire to break with the Christian faith, but according to his concept of unlimited human potential, the advent of Christ, the Word Incarnate, did not
inaugurate a new supernatural order embodied in the Church, but stimulated, a rebirth of natural man and human potential. In the words of Walter Ulmam, "Through
[Baptism] there was a rebirth of natural man; through this restoration into his natural state, cosmological perspectives came to be opened up which were hitherto barely
perceived ... Natural man was awakened from the slumber of the centuries: he was reactivated." 3
The Renaissance concept of the dignity of man did not draw on a new secularization of culture as is generally taught, but rather on a synthesis of ancient esoteric
religious and philosophical ideas enumerated by Pico in his Oration. These ideas, mostly of oriental origin, had inundated Italy since the time of Marco Polo, but
flowed in with greater impact after the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. Foremost among these were Hermeticism, Kabbalah, and the Orphic
Mysteries combined with the Neo-Platonism of, Plotinus, Proclus and Iamblichus. Pico had studied many of these ideas at the Platonic Academy of Florence under the
influence of the "Philosophus Platonicus, Theologus et Medicus," Marcilio Ficino. As protg of Cosimo de Medici, Marcilio Ficino (1433-1499), the founder of the
Platonic Academy, was the pivotal figure of Renaissance thought. He was the first Western Christian thinker of the Renaissance to break the link of philosophy and
faith achieved by Aquinas by returning to a Platonic understanding of the cosmos. Ficino affirmed, in chapter one of his Commentary on the Symposium, that God was
not wholly other than the universe as understood by the Church magisterium, but was "the single center of everything since, "He is located, single simple and
motionless within them all.""Thus Mind, Soul, Nature, and matter, proceeding from God, strive to return to Him". 4 This monistic (panentheist) view, is based more
on the second and third century Neo-Platonists, especially Plotinus, than on Plato himself.

Key to the doctrine of Neo-Platonism, was Plotinus' idea that the universe was not created ex nihilo as the Church insisted, but that
both the cosmos and man were emanations, or "overflowings" of the Divine substance. 5 Thus Ficino and his contemporaries
conceptualized the entire universe or "Macrocosm" as a "Divine Animal" divinum animal, animated by a "Cosmic Mind" mens
mundana connected to God, and a "Cosmic Soul" anima mundi, which though spiritual, is connected to matter. "An uninterrupted
current of supernatural energy flows from above to below and reverts from below to above, thus forming a circuitus spiritualis." 6
Analogically, Man, the "Microcosm" has a "lower soul" anima secunda connected to the material world and a "higher soul" intellectus
or mens that is connected to and even participates in the Divine Mind, intellectus divinus. 7 The illustration to the left depicts man the
"microcosm" superimposed over the "macrocosm." In it we see both the cosmos and man as matter suffused with divinity centered on
the generative principle. Man the "microcosm" is also the subject matter of the image to the right, "Vitruvian Man," drawn by
Leonardo da Vinci c. 1510. In this image, man qua man rather than the unique person of Jesus Christ, true God - true man, is depicted
as the embodiment of the perfect union of the spiritual heavens - the circle- and the material earth - the square-.

The Renaissance "Humanists" (Those who believed in divine human potential) also, as enunciated by Pico, based much of their
theology on the eclectic writings of a supposed pre-Mosaic Egyptian sage named Hermes Trismegistus translated into Latin by Ficino
in 1463. His monistic definition of God and the cosmos as: "Deus est sphaera infinita cuijus centrum est ubique nusquam
circumferentiae"(God is an infinite sphere whose center is everywhere but whose circumference is nowhere) was fundamentally
identical to that of the Neo-Platonists but he stressed man's innate divine nature even more. In the, Pimander, supposedly written by
Trismegistus, it is stated, "He who knows himself goes toward himself...You are light and life, like God the Father of whom man is
born." "If therefore you learn to know yourself as made of light and life... you will return to life." 8 As Elaine Pagels points out in her
book The Gnostic Gospels, the doctrine of a secret knowledge of man's innate divinity is the central doctrine of the "Gnosticism" that
began its battle against Christianity as far back as the second century AD. 9 Most people think of Gnosticism in terms of its
Manechean, or dualist manifestation calling for the release of the soul trapped in matter, however, as A. J. Fustigiere, has explained,
the Hermetic writings actually contained two distinct types of divine "gnosis," namely pessimist gnosis, and optimist gnosis. For the
pessimist (or dualist) Gnostic, the material world, heavily impregnated with the fatal influence of the stars is in itself evil; it must be
escaped from by an ascetic way of life which avoids as much as possible all contact with matter, until the lightened soul rises up
through the spheres of the planets, casting off their evil influences as it ascends, to its true home in the immaterial divine world. For
the optimist Gnostic, however, matter is impregnated with the divine life, the earth lives, moves, with divine life, the stars are living
divine animals, the sun burns with divine power, there is no part of nature which is not good for all are parts of God. 10 ( see: Appendix_three Gnosis)

Unlike Gallileo some two hundred years later, the great Polish churchman and mathematician, Nicholas Copernicus, credited
with the discovery of the helio-centric nature of the Cosmos relied more on Neo-Platonism and the Hermetica for his
position than on scientific observation of the actual Solar System. In his De Rrevolutionibus Orbium Coelestum, written in
1453, he has the following to say, "In the middle of all sits the Sun enthroned. In this most beautiful temple, could we place
this luminary in any better position from which he can illuminate the whole at once? He is rightly called the Lamp, the
Mind,, the Ruler of the Universe: Hermes Trismegistus names him the Visible God, Sophecles Electra calls him the AllSeeing. So the Sun sits upon a royal throne, ruling his children, the planets which circle around him."11
It must be remembered that for the Neo-Platonists, the planets and stars, as well as the sun were "divine living animals."
(Ficino and his followers practiced sympathetic magic and chanted Orphic hymns to obtain the beneficial influences of these
"star demons.") 12
Along with Hermeticism and Neoplatonism the third major influence on the times, cited by Pico, is the Jewish theosophical
Kabbalah, or Cabala in its latinate form. Pico received his indoctrination from a Spanish Jew living in Italy named Flavius Mitraidedes (Raymond Moncada) in 1486.
Other famous Renaissance adepts include Johanes Reuchlin, Cornelius Agrippa Von Neteshiem, and Giordano Bruno. 13 The Fundamental tenets of Kabbalah,
according to the leading authority, Gershom Scholem, are as follows: "Over and above disagreements on specific details that tend to reflect different stages in the
Kaballah's historical development, there exists a basic consensus among kaballists on man's essential nature...At opposite poles, both man and God encompass within
their being the entire cosmos. However, whereas God contains all by virtue of being its Creator and Initiator in whom everything is rooted and all potency is hidden,
man's role is to complete this process by being the agent through whom all the powers of creation are fully activated and made manifest. What exists seminally in God
unfolds and develops in man Because he alone has been granted the gift of free will, it lies in his power to either advance or disrupt through his actions the unity of
what takes place in the upper and lower worlds... his principal mission is to bring about tikkun or restoration of this world and to connect the lower with the upper." 14
The concept of tikkun, or restoration, involves the problem of evil, and again according to Scholem, "the root of evil resides within the Ein-Sof (hidden God) itself."
Evil, therefore, for the kabbalist is simply the sitra ahra or "emation of the left" and at the end of time, through the process of man's work of tikkun even the devil,
"Samael will become Sa'el, one of the 72 holy Names of God". ... "In Greek this is called apokatasis (sic)"..."To use the neoplatonic formula, the creation involves the
departure of all from the one and its return to the one." 15 (See: Appendix 7, Kabbalah)
Given the essentially monistic nature of Renaissance thought as seen above, it is symbolically represented as an Eastern "Mandala" rather than
as a dyadic relationship between God and creation and/or Christ and His Church seen in the Byzantine and medieval iconography covered in
the first part of this treatise. While the Church maintained her doctrine of Original sin and the necessity of Redemption, the humanists, in
general, rejected it. Following Nicholas of Cusa's doctrine of Coincidentia oppositorum 16 and the kabbalist's tikkun to produce apokatastasis
or resolution of all negations ultimately in the unity of God, the iconography changed, or reverted to, images of balance between the opposing
cosmic forces.

Erasmus, for example, denied St. Jerome's Latin translation of the Greek, (eph ho pantes hmarton) as
"in quo omnes pecaverunt" (in whom all have sinned) in regard St. Paul's treatise on original sin (Romans: 5, 12 ). He preferred, "since him all
have sinned." Promoting perfection rather than redemption, he eschewed the Crucifix as a symbol on the cover sheet of. his treatise on piety and
used the ancient Caduceus, symbol of healing and wholeness, instead.

In light of the above observations as to Renaissance thought, it is interesting to look at some of the greatest art produced during this period for
Humanist patrons. They will be studied not so much for their superb quality as works of genius, but to discern the iconography and symbolism to
be found within them.
According to oft quoted authority, Irwin Panofsky, in his Studies in Iconology, Humanist Themes in Art of the Renaissance, art works may be analyzed from three
separate points of view. The first is the formalistic, that is, how the lines, shapes, and colors are arranged in an orderly and harmonies fashion to be enjoyed sensibly by
the viewer. Second is the subject matter, that is whom or what does the picture represent, and third is the meaning, or "iconography in its deepest sense." Panofsky goes
on to say that this "meaning" is apprehended by ascertaining those underlying principles which reveal the basic attitude of a nation, period class, a religious or
philosophical persuasion - unconsciously qualified by one personality and condensed into one work. Panofsky also points out that the artist himself most often does not
fully comprehend the depth of his message. 17 Following are interpretations of three famous paintings that can be examined from all three perspectives, keeping in
mind, however, the words of another Renaissance scholar, Edgar Wind, writing in his seminal book, Pagan Mysteries in the Renaissance. "They were designed for
initiates; hence they require an initiation." 18

In 1492, at the death of Lorenzo de Medici, patron of both the arts and the Platonic
Academy, an inventory was made of his belongings and among them was a circular
painting, tondo, depicting the adoration of the Christ Child hanging in the main entrance
hall of his palace. This painting begun in 1455 by the Dominican monk Giovanni da
Fiesole (Fra Angelico), the year of his death, was finished by Carmelite brother, Filppo
Lippi. The painting now hangs in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. It is a
curious fact of history that these two artists were of opposing temperaments and moral
behavior. Fra Angelico was known in his own lifetime as a man of holy and devout life and was later raised to the altars
of the Catholic Church as "Blessed" and proclaimed a patron of Catholic artists. Filippo Lippi, on the other hand, is
recorded as having led a most dissolute life. According to the biographer Vassari, in his Lives of the Artists, Fra Filippo,
"was so lustful that he would give anything to enjoy a woman he wanted"...and that "his amorous or rather animal
desires drove him one night to escape through a window to pursue his own pleasures for days on end." 19 This contrast
embodied in the two painters is actually reflected symbolically in the picture itself.
As a Humanist icon, it is first of all presented in a circular or mandala format representative of the enclosed cosmos. Above, on the roof, a peacock, symbol of eternal
life and the immortal soul since the time of the catacombs stands stage right. A pair of mating pheasants, creatures of the wild, are shown stage left. This follows the
standard iconographical formula and represents the spiritual (m) and carnal (f) aspects of the cosmos as under stood in the Neo Platonic cosmology.
Central to the theme of the picture is the seated Madonna and Christ Child, known to have been painted by Fra Angelico
receiving the homage of virtually all mankind as well as the beasts. In the image, however, the Baby Jesus is not looking at the
figure kneeling before him in adoration, but downward onto a small round object on his left thigh. This object, obviously
painted in afterwards, either by Fra Filippo or some other hand, has an eye and menacing teeth. From an orthodox Catholic
perspective it is symbolically out of place. Following the Neo-platonist theory explained above regarding the coincidentia
oppositorum and the Kabbalistic notion that "God", the Ayn Sof, is the source of both good and evil, it makes perfect sense. It thus may be
presumed that this little circular figure represents the incarnation of the sitra ahra or left hand "evil - restrictive" aspect of the divinity united in
Christ, the archetype of all humanity. If this is, in fact, the case, a Humanist "initiate" would immediately recognize the message; both the
macrocosm and the microcosm are ultimately formed by a harmonious fusion of all opposites.

Another examples of Renaissance art wherein the meaning and symbolic structure may be of more interest than the splendid
technique is the well known drawing by Leonardo Da Vinci titled The Virgin and Child with St. Ann. Executed in 1498-9 as a
cartoon (preparatory sketch) for a larger commissioned work. It is one of the most enigmatic pictures in art history and has been
the object of multitudinous critiques, commentaries and evaluations. In his 1939 biography of Leonardo, Kenneth Clark took the
then prevailing formalist view, and described this picture as, "the contrast of interlocking rhythms enclosed within a single shape."
While stating that the overall desired shape sought by Leonardo is the pyramid, Lord Clark wondered out loud why the two female
heads at the top are in equilibrium rather than the aesthetically more correct ascending order. On the whole, however, Clark
brushes off any inconsistencies within his own preconceived notion of what the picture is about and equates the picture to a
masterpiece by Bach were one may always find: " facilities of movement and harmony, growing more and more intricate,
yet subordinate to the whole." 20 In the 1967 edition of this same book, Lord Clark modified his aesthetic critique of Leonardo's
work by saying that he had tried too hard to separate Leonardo the artist from Leonardo the man, in regard to this picture. He then
added what he called a profound and beautiful interpretation by Sigmund Freud. According to Freud, Leonardo spent the first
years of his life with his natural mother, the peasant Caterina. Leonardo's father, Ser Piero, however, after his marriage a year later
to another woman, which turned out to be fruitless, eventually brought his love child to be reared by his lawful wife. Thus,
according to Freud, Leonardo had two mothers, both of whom he loved, and hence the equilibrium of the two female heads at the
top of this composition. Leonardo has, again according to Freud, unconsciously produced two mysteriously smiling faces of
approximately the same age emerging from what strangely appears to be one body. 21

Without questioning the integrity of Lord Clark or Sigmund Freud, for that matter, I invite the reader to carefully study this picture for its visual content and then
consider once again its title. In this picture there are at the top the two smiling female heads as witnessed by Dr. Freud, and they do, in fact, appear to emerge from a
single mass or body. There are also two semi naked children who not only appear to be of the same age, but who bear a striking resemblance to each other. They could
almost be identical twins except that the one on the left has shorter hair, a broad forehead and a more intense expression. In contrast, the child fully to stage left with his
massive curls, leaning languidly on his elbow, has a more passive sentimental posture and look. Between the two children, closer to the child at stage left, a hand with
index finger extended points heavenward. This hand visually links the female head toward stage left (St. Anne?), to the child at stage left.(John the Baptist?) Now think
of the title, The Virgin and Child with St. Anne. According to Christian tradition, St. Anne was historically the mother of the Virgin Mary and should therefore be
rendered at least fifteen years her senior. One may, of course, accept Freud's theory but it does not explain the children. If Freud is right and there are unconscious
sublimations contained in this picture, who does the child at stage left represent and why is he there? According to the title one assumes he is John the Baptist. Why,
however, would the ascetic John the Baptist be represented, even as a child, as a baleful languid twin of the Christ Child? Leonardo was well acquainted with the
biblical traditions and certainly had the technical ability to portray what so ever he wished to portray.
If the pictorial content does not appear to coincide with the official title given the picture by the painter himself, what then is
this picture all about? Regarding the two heads emerging from the one body, look again at these faces. The face on the left,
(stage right) theoretically Mary, is all sweetness and light. The one, toward stage left, theoretically Mary's mother, not only
appears the same age but, in fact, is physically a mirror image of Mary. She has, however, a dark and sinister mien. She smiles
but it is not the gentle smile of motherly goodness; it is a quizzical, almost threatening smile.
This single bodied but double natured woman, appears as both good and evil, the mother of life but also the destroyer, like the
Hindu goddess Kali, who gives birth to all, but also drinks the blood of her victims from their own skulls. Does she not
represent here Mother Nature, the macrocosm, in which all opposites exist?
And the children? Instead of Jesus and John, could they not just as well be identified with Castor and Pollux, the twins born of Zeus and Leda the fruit of unnatural lust
in the pagan myth (equally well known to Leonardo) or, perhaps, the Gemini, the twins of astrological lore who represent the fundamental duality of the cosmos?
The one to stage right, with his composure and Apollonian reason appears to be blessing the unruly left hand, or Dionesiac twin side of his
very own nature. As neither Leonardo nor his contemporaries have left us written explanations, the answer is, of course, a matter of
speculation. However, given an understanding of Renaissance theology explained above, and the basic right-left, up-down form of symbolic
expression we have previously examined, it would appear that the woman toward stage left with her "facia nigra" as representative of the
dark "occult" forces, is pointing upward to tell the initiated viewer that both the light and dark, or good and evil forces of nature, the
macrocosm, come from God and that through the coincidentia oppositorum or the resolution of opposites, man, the microcosm, will return
thence - (apokatastasis)-.

Perhaps the most interesting symbolic portrayal of the Renaissance ideal of coincidentia oppositorum, is
Giorgione's Tempesta or storm. Little is known of the provenance or early history of this picture other than
that it was painted some time after 1504. First documented in 1530 as a landscape with a tempest, a gypsy
and a soldier, it is probably the most discussed and analyzed paintings of the Renaissance. A nineteenth
century inventory lists it as an allegory of Mercury (Hermes ) and Isis. This labeling may or may not come
from an earlier tradition. As the original intention of the artist is unknown, many of the great art historians
of our age have attempted to unravel what Kenneth Clark called, its "Magical" power. It is my belief that
Italian Historian Lionello Venturi perhaps came the closest: "The subject is nature; man, woman and child
are only elements - not the most important - of nature."
From a simple iconographical point of view, this painting is truly archetypal and follows
the standard: left-right; above-below analysis to perfection. The male with an enlarged
codpiece and the staff (baton de commandemant) stands stage right surmounted by a
stone edifice (man the builder). The female with her head covered by a veil (symbol of
mystery) is seated stage left beneath the leafy trees (woman, nature, nurturer). It should
be noted that the veil, or mystery, which covers the woman's head comes up from below.
She and her power are of the earth. Above is the natural element of lightning associated with celestial power
and therefore masculine. Below is the natural feminine principle of water. Central to the painting are two
truncated columns. These columns or pillars, as we have seen since Solomon's Temple, have been used to represent the male (active) and the female (passive receptive)) principles, both transcendental and immanent. In this case the forces are apparently immanent. Even though the larger or male principle is dominant, the two
are fused together in concordia discors. Just as Christ Crucified, true God and true man was presented as the pontifex, or bridge builder between heaven and earth in the
painting by Perrugino analyzed in the first section of this treatise, so these two pillars form the bridge which unites all the natural elements; right & left, as well as,
above & below. The meaning of the painting is simple. It is the fusion of opposites via the generative principle of the male and female within nature that creates
harmony and wholeness in the monistic totality of the macrocosm. This painting by Giorgione may well be labeled a quintessential icon of Renaissance Humanist
thought, in which there was no need for the Cross of Salvation.
The Council of Trent (1545 - 1563), while generally remembered for its stance against the Protestant Reformation, officially renounced the Humanist ideology as well,
and subsequently placed many of the writings of its proponents including Pico, Reuchlin and Erasmus on the Index of forbidden books. The writings of St. Thomas
were established as the official philosophy of the Roman Catholic Church (During the sessions of the Council, the Summa Theologiae was placed on the altar of the

Cathedral beside the Bible as a definitive text). Both the sacramental nature and hierarchical structure of the Church were reemphasized as well. The theology of the
Council, in contrast to both the Reformers and the Humanists, reaffirmed the necessity of incorporation into Christ's Mystical Body, as summarized in the following
passage from Saint and Doctor of the Church, John of Avila. "It is not enough to be born of blood if you wish to be children of God and go to heaven. He who is born of
blood is flesh and blood, and he who is born of the will ordered by reason is a man; (he who lives according to the flesh does not deserve the name of man). [but] To
possess heaven it is not enough to be merely a man. 'Quod enim natus est ex carne, caro est - Nemo ascendit in caelum, nisi qui descendit de caelo, filius hominis. To be
a child of God you must abide in Christ so that you may ascend IN HIM. If you are nothing more than a man you will inherit from your father but not from God. Not
thus are born those who go to heaven. - Ex Deo nati sunt - They must be born again of God. It has been announced. The true son of God is he who is born of water and
the Holy Ghost. St. Paul says: He who has not the Spirit of God is not of God. He will not be saved. Hard words indeed!" 22 The Traditional Catholic ecclesiological
structure was also reaffirmed and later summarized by another canonized Saint and Doctor of the Church, Robert Cardinal Bellarmine S.J.: " Our sentence is that there
is only one true Church ... and that the only one true Church is the community of men united by the profession of the true Christian faith and the communion of the
same sacraments, under the governance of the legitimate shepherds and above all, of the sole Vicar of Christ on earth, the Roman Pontiff...Indeed the Church, as visible
and palpable community, is as real as the community of the Roman people, the Kingdom of France, or the Republic of Venice...". 23
The visual arts that proceeded from the Council of Trent are known to those art historians enamored of the Classical norm, as Baroque, a
derogatory term derived from the Portuguese word for an imperfect pearl. However, following the Thomistic doctrine that nature is not
destroyed, but transformed by grace, they evoke a hierarchical vision of engraced souls leading upward and opening into the transcendental
realm of the Beatific Vision. The image at the left is of the Gesu Church in Rome, built shortly after the close of the Council that illustrates
typical Tridentine iconology. This style of painting, along with the forms illustrated in the first part of this treatise, became the official
orthodox manner of visually depicting the Truth of the Catholic Faith and was spread throughout Catholic Europe, Latin America, and the
Asian lands proselytized by Catholic Missionaries.

The "Humanists," however, having lost official recognition by the Catholic authorities continued to flourish in
Protestant lands as secret brotherhoods such as the Rosicrucians who first appeared to the public through such
publications as the Fama and the Confessio in Germany in 1614-1615. 24 According to Frances Yates, in her
authoritative book, The Rosicrucian Enlightenment, at the root of the Rosicrucian movement was the NeoPlatonic idea that, while contemplating the "Book of Nature" we contemplate God Himself, as "The Spirit of
God is at the center of Nature; it is the ground of nature and of the knowledge of all things" and that its purpose
was to "Return [through the study of Nature's Book] to the Paradise that Adam had lost." 25 Again according to
Frances Yates, the movement flourished in the Northern, Protestant countries as "The Hebraic, Old Testament
piety of the Puritans and Calvanists was conducive to amalgamation with Cabala (sic. Latinized spelling) the
Jewish form of Mysticism." i.e. along with its Neo-Platonic Roots, Rosicrucianism was strongly influenced by
the Kabbalah. 26 Having been denounced by the Council of Trent, these Kabbalistic societies were not openly
acceptable in Catholic realms and could be brought to trial before the Holy Office of the Inquisition.
Symbolically, the Rosicrucian belief that, "The Spirit of God is at the center of Nature" is presented as a classic mandala wherein "God is placed at the center from
which heaven and earth are emanations. (See the image above left from "The Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians".) As these societies could not openly operate in
Catholic realms, they kept secret their identity by including this symbol in their graphic arts which, though not understood by inquisitorial judges, would be instantly
identifiable to adepts. The image to the right from "The Hermetic Museum" depicts this subterfuge.
In the Protestant countries, the symbolism of the Rosicrucians was openly similar to that of the Humanist initiates of the Renaissance seen
above as in the Tempesta of Giorgione; a fusion of the natural male (active) and female principles (passive) in polarity. In the anonymous
German, Temple of Pansophia seen to the left, the male and female temple columns (J & B) as well as upper and lower realities ( Superior &
Inferior) are shematically displayed. The Sun (masculine) rests on the top of Jachin and an upward pointing triangle on the base also suggests
the male heavenly principle. The Moon (feminine) rests on top of Boaz and a downward pointing triangle suggests the female earthly
principle. From both the Sun and Moon descend the words Pater and Mater to converge on a circle containing both an upward and downward
pointing triangle to form the fusion of opposites, or coincidentia oppositorum.
John Dee, necromancer, court astrologer and magician of Queen Elizabeth I of England, rendered the emblem seen to the left below as the
Monas Hieroglyphica in 1564. According to Frances Yates, "It summed up a combination of cabalist, alchemical, and mathematical disciplines
through which the adept believed that he could achieve both a profound insight into nature and a vision of a divine world beyond nature." 27
Symbolically, here again are seen the two columns associated with the (male) sun and
(female) moon standing stage left and right respectively. Between the columns is what
can only be described as the "Orphic" egg. According to the Orphic tradition
(Rhapsodies), at the beginning of time the cosmic egg was formed in which Eros Phanes, the god of love and light, mated with his daughter Nux, night - darkness, to bring
forth Uranos the sky and Gaia the earth. This cosmogony is represented in Dee's egg via
the conjunction of the conventional sun and moon symbols (upper center) over an
equilateral cross to convey, once again, a harmonious fusion of opposites within an
enclosed cosmos. The same egg shape is seen in Freemason and magician liphas Lvi's
emblem from his 1861 Histoire de la Magie seen to the right. The egg is formed by the
Ouroboros, or serpent eating its own tail. 28Within the enclosed cosmos is seen the
coincidentia oppositorum of light and dark, male and female, good and evil, heaven and
hell formed by the two interlacing triangles to form the Kabbalistic Magen David.
It is, in fact, under the broad umbrella of Freemasonry where all of the above "Humanist" values can be found to this day. While the ostensible goals of Freemasonry are
philanthropy and human development, the true goal is philosophic and ultimately religious. The index of any of the best known Masonic encyclopedias, i.e., Mackey,
Pike, Waite, list the same spiritual influences (Neo-Platonism, Orphism, Kabbalah, Hermeticism, etc.) upon which the Craft is based, curiously similar to those
pronounced by Pico della Mirandola in 1469. 29 See: Freemasonry also It is also within Freemasonry where the twin pillars
are most widely exhibited and explained. Albert Pike, Sovereign Grand Commander of the Scottish Rite, in his Morals and Dogma of Freemasonry, identifies them as

"You enter[ed] the Lodge between two columns... The pillar or column on the right, or in the south, was named, as the Hebrew
word is rendered in our translation of the Bible, JACHIN: and that on the left BOAZ. Our translators say that the first word means,
"He shall establish;" and the second, "In it is strength."...The former word also means he will establish, or plant in an erect positionfrom the (Hebrew) verb Kun, he stood erect. It probably meant active and vivifying Energy and Force; and Boaz, Stability,
Permanence, in the passive sense." 30
In explaining "The Royal Secret" of these pillars, Pike goes on to posit the inner duality or bi-sexuality of the Godhead itself. Man,
according to Pike exists as both Male and Female as symbolic of the intrinsic divine duality: " [God]...the Ineffable Name, and
dividing it, it becomes bi-sexual ...and discloses its meaning ...The highest of which the Columns Jachin and Boaz are the symbol.
'In the image of Deity,' we are told, 'God created the Man; Male and Female.'"31
Pike not only posits the existence of the dual existence of male and female within the Godhead, but the existence of good and evil
as well: "The Evil is the shadow of the Good and inseparable from it. The Divine Wisdom limits by equipoise the Omnipotence of
the Divine Will or Power, and the result is Beauty or Harmony. The arch rests not on a single column, but springs from one on
either side." 32
This concept of harmony is at the core of the image shown to the left. Included in a variety of Masonic texts and
periodicals, it is, in fact, an "icon" of the Masonic faith and represents, "The religions of the world." Among these religions
one finds, for example, Mithraism in the lower left corner, Judaism at the center with the seven branched Menorah beneath
a sacrificial lamb, a Muslim imam, Persian fire worshipers, and the Egyptian cult of Hathor, among others. (The Crucifix is
conspicuous by its absence.). The most important element of all, however, is the object of worship of these devotees. Riding
the clouds at the top are a woman (stage right) crowned with six stars and a tiny crescent moon on her head and a serpent at
her feet. There is a young man to her left, blessing with his left hand. The Zodiac arches above them in an enclosing circle.
(One might think that the woman is perhaps the Virgin Mary as she often appears crowned with twelve stars while treading
the serpent in Catholic art. Catholics, however, do not worship Mary_as a divinity. This image simply represents the dual
natured "Complete God" worshipped by Masons as described above by Albert Pike.
[For the Freemason, the "Complete God," is comprised of both good and evil personified principles, however, the
traditional roles are reversed. The "good" God is the natural (f) emancipator who offers freedom, and the "evil" one is the
transcendental (m)God of restriction, as seen by the following quote by Pike. " The pavement, alternately black and white,
symbolize the Good and Evil Principles of the Egyptian and Persian creed. It is the battle between the forces of light and
shadow; Day and Night; Freedom and Despotism; Religious Liberty and the Arbitrary Dogmas of a Church that thinks for
its votaries, and whose Pontiff claims to be in fallible, and the decretals of its Councils to constitute a gospel." 34 ("Lucifer
Quote" ) ]

Thus, the feminine figure seen above represents the Gnostic divinization of the feminine principle (Isis, Sofia), revived in
the Renaissance and carried into our own times by Freemasonry. She is the Great_Goddess, ruler of "this world," the very
incarnation of the serpent, not its conqueror. She is Venus, the personification of lust or voluptas Venus, however, was seen in the Renaissance as not only the
manifestation of carnal desire, Venus Vulgare, but also that of divine beauty, Venus Celeste, the form divine. To the right is Boticellis Birth of Venus painted between
1480 1485, the first full size female nude goddess depicted anywhere in Europe since antiquity. This return to pagan eroticism, as we shall see, will lead to a different
set of symbolic presentations of cosmic reality while maintaining the fundamental, above below, right left, polarities.
For many of the Neoplatonists, the very vision of God was the contemplation of divine beauty in a state of erotic trance. This
mystical vision was complete when, although still in this life, one received the Kabbalistic "mors osculi" or "kiss of death"
from the Venus Celeste source of all beauty and wisdom 35 Whereas the Venus Celeste or Celestial Venus and the Venus
Vulgare or Earthly Venus were theoretically distinct in the writings of Marcilio Ficino, for Bocaccio in his Questo Amoroso
Fuoco the two are clearly linked. Union with the Celestial Venus or Beauty itself must be achieved through "Eros" and
participation in the divine creative act by simulacrum ie., via sexual magic in the act of copulation. 36 Pico Della Mirandola,
while admitting that all Eros or lust is not noble, held that even carnal knowledge, if carried out in the right frame of mind
serves to achieve ecstatic union with the Venus Celeste. 37
Perhaps the greatest exposition of this line of thought, however, emerged in the writings of Giordano Bruno who was
condemned and burnt for heresy in 1600. Antedating Freud by some 300 years, Bruno set forth the doctrine in his De Vinculis in Genere that, " [erotic] love rules the
world, the strongest chain is that of Venus. Eros is lord of the world: he pushes directs and appeases every one. All other bonds are reduced to that one, as we see in the
animal kingdom where no female and no male tolerate rivals, even forgetting to eat and drink, even at the risk of life itself." 35 He maintained, however, that this drive
could and ought to be contained and willfully directed. For Bruno the Eroici Furori, the Heroic Fury of the poets and artists was the distillation of erotic furor and an
assault on heaven. Through Eros man could, indeed, become god. 38
The watershed work embodying the Erotic nature of the Neoplatonic, Hermetic, Kabbalistic
Renaissance thinkers was Sandro Botticellis Primavera or Springtime painted in 1477. Not only
does the painting portray a bucolic scene from the pagan past with nostalgia, it contains within its
very core an imaginative portrayal of the erotic nature of Renaissance thought. "Primavera" was
most probably painted for Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco, a Neoplatonic enthusiast and cousin of
Lorenzo the Magnificent. There is little doubt that it reflects an allegorical expression as well as
artistic achievement. According to Renaissance scholar, Edgar Wind, the key to this painting lies
in the words of Pico della Mirandola, that "the unity of Venus unfolds in the trinity of the graces"
and that this simile pervades the totality of universal pagan myth. 37 In Primavera, following
Plotinus and Pico, there are nine figures which form an Ennead, that is to say an emanation in
multiples of three. Central to the painting, although somewhat to our right, is the goddess [Venus,
Isis] herself. On our right hand (stage left), [female or nature side] is the triad of Zephyr or West
wind, Chloris the innocent earth nymph, and Flora, the resplendent herald of Spring. On our left
hand (stage right) [male or God side] is, from the center outward, the group depicting the three
graces Pulchritude or beauty, Castitas Chastity and Voluptas pleasure, and to the farthest left and
separate from them, Mercury the divine mystagogue 39 with his caduceus (entwined serpent staff)
dispelling the clouds from the upper left hand corner. At the top center is blind Cupid or Eros firing his love dart at the figure of Chastity.

The first triad, then is that of Zephyr, Chloris, and Flora, pictured here on the right. In this scene, which follows the Fasti of Ovid, Zephyr the soft
breeze of spring [incipient erotic desire] caresses the fleeing innocent nymph Chloris who, spewing flowers on her breath, is thus turned through a
metamorphoses into Flora. Flora as harbinger of spring is the culmination of natural beauty and is depicted as fully formed erotic woman. As such she
is the source and also the fruition of earthly desire, Venus Vulgare. Flora stands self consciously erect in the knowledge that she is the highest
manifestation of nature. She occupies the dominant position stage left to the eternal feminine manifestation Venus Celeste, Isis, Ishtar, Astarte, the great
goddess, at the center.

Stage right (God or Spirit side) to the great goddess are her emanations, the three Graces, who dance in a
spiritual sublimation of erotic desire. In the center of these is Castitas or Chastity, neatly coifed shy and
melancholy. To her left is the sensuous Voluptas or pleasure. To her right is the decorous figure of haughty
Pulchretudo or Beauty. They, in fact, form a trinity of purpose. All three have their hands tightly united above
and below in what Horace called the "segnesque nodum solvere Gratiae" or knot of the Graces. 40 The final and
most important triad in this Ennead, however, is made up of the prime movers of the whole scene Eros (male)
above, Venus (the eternal feminine) below, and Mecurius (the divine fusion of opposites) reaching upward at
stage right. Once human passion has been awakened as depicted in the scene of Zephyr, Chloris and Flora the stage is set for the
erotic fulfillment of man through the desire embodied in Pulchretudo, Castitas and Voluptas. From his position above, blind
(desire devoid of rational judgement) Eros fires his dart at Castitas. Castitas diaphanous garment falls from her left shoulder as desire enters her heart. She looks
longingly at Mercurius while Voluptas looks knowingly at her. The spark of divine rapture, of ecstasy, has been enkindled. The "heroic Fury" of the poet to convert
desire to fruition is achieved by Mercurius. It is he, who with his Caduceus (entwined male and female serpents) reaches beyond the golden apples of earthly desire. It
is he, Mercurius Duplex, the concordia discors or fusion of opposites [spirit and matter] who draws back the clouds of mystery (upper corner, stage right) to reveal the
divine form. It is the Mors Osculi or Kiss of death that awaits.

Following are two paintings, Giovanni Bellinis Feast of the Gods painted in 1514, and
Nicholas Pousins Kingdom of Flora painted in 1631. While painted a hundred years apart
and depicting different pagan myths share a consistent iconography. Ostensibly Bellinis
painting simply shows a bucolic scene in which gods and goddesses as well as nymphs
and satyrs indulge themselves without inhibition. Iconographically, however, the picture
is laid out in the universal right (m) left (f), above below presentation and contains
what Panofsky called meaning, or "iconography in its deepest sense." It should be
remembered that this concept of "meaning" as used by Panofsky, as explained above,
refers to a distilled presentation of cultural, religious, or philosophical values that define a
an age yet may not be fully understood, if at all, by the artist. The scene is a shaded
earthly glade while in the background (perhaps painted by Titian), Mount Parnassus
ascends to the heavens. Stage right, Mars the quintessential violent male god of war,
surrounded by a debauched male entourage looks longingly at a bare-breasted Venus with
her female attendants who is being awakened by a male rustic. Between the two celestial
figures, sits a rustic or peasant couple with the mans hand groping the womans crotch.
This painting is not meant to be pornographic, but esoteric. It follows the Emerald Table
of Hermes Trismegistus, "The below is as the above, and the above is as below." The
awakening of lust below awakens desire between the gods above, and vice-versa. The
Venus Vulgare and the Venus Celeste are one and the same and, as in Boticellis
Primavera, the beatific vision is but rarefied lust.

Pousins Kingdom of Flora, again, has the same classic right left, above below layout.
Ostensibly the theme is taken from a tale in Ovids Metamorphosis that recounts how
various heroes and demigods were turned to flowers at their death. Once again, stage right
is the figure of a male Herm, or erect column statue of Priapus, god of male fertility.
Beneath him is Ajax, who falls on his own sword after being denied the armor of Achilles.
Hyacinths were said to have grown from his blood that spilled on the ground. Stage left, the
lovers Krokos and Smilax erotically recline. According to Ovid, they were accordingly
turned into saffron. All the male figures at stage left are curiously androgynous.
In the center, above is Apollo, the sun god and below is Flora dispensing her magic upon
Narcissus and Echo, who skrie the future from the waters of the urn. Iconographically,
again in its deepest unconscious sense, this painting speaks of the death of the male
principle, (Patriarchal authority) here seen as Ajax, (stage right) and the triumph of the
feminine or earthly principle of erotic fulfillment symbolized by Flora and the androgynous
group (stage left). These are the first stirrings of the "Romantic" full divinization of "The
Eternal Feminine" which will be found especially in the writings of Wolgang Frederich Von
In his 1782 treatise Die Natur, Goethe wrote "Nature! We are surrounded and enveloped by
her unable to step outside her, unable to get into her more deeply. Un-asked and unwarned, she takes us up into the circle of her dance and carries us along till we are
wearied and fall from her armsMen are all in her and she in allEven the most unnatural is Nature , even the crudest pedantry still has at touch of her geniusLife

is her fairest invention, death but her artifice whereby to have much life All is there in her always. She knows not past nor future. Present is her eternity. And she is
good and I praise her in all her works." 41
This theme of " Divine Nature" caught on among the intellectuals and was picked up in the early nineteenth century by such artists as
William Blake, David Friederich, and Philip Otto Runge, among others. Rung expressed his experience of the immanent divinity of
Nature as "the feeling of the whole universe with us; this united chord which in its vibration touches every string of our heart;
here is the highest that we divine- God"42
To the right of the page is Runges 1809 painting titled: "The Times of Day, Morning"
designed as a sacred picture for a chapel dedicated to the new religion of nature. At the
center of the painting is the figure of Nature herself in the guise of Aurora, the emerging
dawn. She is surrounded by adoring cherubs, flowers, and other natural elements and
below her is, not the Christ Child, but the new emancipated child of Nature. This painting
is diametrically opposed to the Byzantine Anastais icon reviewed at the end of part one of
this essay (seen here to the left). In that painting, representing the end of time, the
Glorified Christ stands between the two rock escarpments converging over Him as he
raises the just and casts bound Satan and his minions into Hell. In direct contrast, to the
Anastasis, Runges painting depicts Aurora rising up, between the twin rocks folding
back, as harbinger of the Novus Ordo Saeclorum, or "New Age."

Thus, rather than the heavenly kingdom promised by Our Lord, Jesus Christ, to which all are called, European man turned his attention to either finding or rebuilding
Paradise lost. The world now came to be viewed not sub specie aeternitatis, according to a philosophy of being and mans eternal end, but sub specie
temporalis, according to a philosophy of becoming and human fulfillment within the temporal order.
The belief in this promised New Age, or return to paradise had been growing in the minds of the poets and philosophers since the Renaissance. It flowered in the
late seventeenth century with John Lockes philosophical speculations in his Two Treatises on Government, while the poet John Dryden would write, I am as free as
Nature first made man/ When wild in the woods the noble savage ran. and came into full bloom with the writings of Jean Jacques Rousseau such as his Social
Contract and Discourse on Inequality, in the eighteenth century.
In the late nineteenth century the writings of both the British and French explorers of the South Pacific, James Cook and Louis Bougainville respectively, promoted the
myth of Eden, an exiting earthly paradise of a guiltless indolent life based on abundant fruit hanging from trees and carefree sexual promiscuity, shook the European
intellectual classes to the core. With the trail of the mutineers of the H.M.S. Bounty in 1792 the image of a luxuriant promiscuous lifestyle, free from the directives of
Church and State, trickled down, via the sensationalist press, to the masses. What was not generally told, or ignored in the writings of the times, is that this Idyllic
Eden was established and run by an aristocracy of local natives of a different genetic caste who ruled by random assassination, intimidation and ritual sacrifice of
innocent adults as well as the destruction of virtually all new born children. While the overlords lived in a highly stratified society and were monogamous, ate fish and
game, the populace where forced to keep strictly to their mainly breadfruit diet to keep them docile in face of their powerless condition. Bougainville himself, while
extolling the lack of inhibitions of the lower class, hinted at the existence of dark forces lying under the surface of the seeming paradise. When his sailors were given
girls, it was not a voluntary act of the girl in question. It was a public ceremony. The hut was immediately filled with a crowd of men and women who made a circle
around the guest and the victim of hospitality. The ground was spread with leaves and flowers and the musicians sang a hymnal song to the tune of their flutes. Here
Venus is the goddess of hospitality, and her worship does not admit to any mysteries. Every tribute to her is a feast for the nation.
Fascinated by this lure of an earthy paradise, the brilliant but eccentric French painter Paul Gauguin visited Tahiti the early 1890s. His paintings clearly show his
intuitive understanding of the ambiguous nature of erotic promiscuity

While the frank eroticism of the reclining female figure is indeed

alluring, the black dog, a near universal diabolical symbol, lurks
malevolently in the background

This last painting of the same period is titled The spirit of

death watches. Somehow Gauguin knew, from his
Christian upbringing that there was something very
unsettling going on in paradise.
The title of this painting, Words of the Devil suffices to
uncover the hidden mystery underlying the delights of this
seeming paradise

Be that as it may, the image of God as eternal transcendental Father has all but disappeared from modern iconology and has been replaced by the Eternal Feminine
of immanent earthly pleasure and fulfillment

Alchemical depiction of the male principle being overthrown, from the

Netherlands, 17th century. The revolutionary essence of alchemy is indicated
by the fact that it was condemned and outlawed by popes and kings alike. For
the alchemists aimed above all at the creation of a new man and a new woman,
proud and free, capable of reconstructing the world in the service of desire. .. a
man with a perfect organism able to live without the spirit of God. (emphasis
added) Andre Breton, Second Manifesto

The great Romantic Sculptor, Antonio Canova, carved the Three

Graces as a feminine Trinity of lesbian erotica in 1815

In fact, the image of the chaste and holy Virgin Mary, Mother of the Redeemer, that reigned supreme throughout Christendom has been replaced by Marianne, the
Mother of the Revolution. The Revolution as explained by James H. Bilington, in his seminal classic on the subject, Fire in the Minds of Men is not so much a
rebellion against an established order, but a Copernican circular return to an original position. Interpreted politically, the revolution is, in its most violent form, the
forceful implementation of a return to that idyllic antiauthoritarian State of Nature in which man supposedly originally lived.43.
In the words of Bolshevik Prince, Peter Kropotkin (1842-1941) The Revolution is nothing less than., The ongoing struggle for the rational, progressive liberation
from all restrictive authority. 43a.

The new, earthly, feminine image is, in fact, the central icon of all revolutionary art aimed at the overthrow of the patriarchy of God and the hierarchical order. The
most famous of these is the 1830 painting by Delacroix of Liberty, (Marianne) with her bare breast and Phrygian (phallic) cap, guiding the people as the emblemic
leader of the Revolution. It may be added that it was through the imperial expansion of Napoleon (Apollyon?) Bonaparte that the ideas and ideals of the Revolution
were militarily enforced throughout Europe.

Diego Riveras 1928 mural., to the left, La Tierra Liberada, El Paraiso

Reconquistado, ( The liberated Land, Paradise Re-conquered ) in
Chapingo, Mexico, is a further example of a "Revolutionary Icon"
dedicated to Nature as Great Goddess. Her naked figure fills the heavens
as recipient of the "spirit." Just beneath her is a "Mandala" symbol with
its "bindu" at the center (as formed by a windmill) connecting the earthly
and heavenly realms. With her right hand she offers a life form to the
woman below to stage right, while Promethius, stage left, offers the
stolen fire to the man. The "divine child," of the new emancipated
humanity, touches wires together setting off sparks that will set progress
in motion. Once again, this is the complete antithesis of the traditional
Christian iconography shown in part one of this treatise.. The mural to
the right by Jose Orozco, Omnesciencia painted at the same period is
another example of the deposition and replacement of Christ with the
"Feminine Principle" at the heart of Mexican Revolutionary art.

The image of the seductive Marianne, astride the word wearing her Phrygian cap, holding a rose (symbol of earthly perfection) remains the symbol of World
Revolution, as seen in this cover drawing of the 1997 book. To the Other Shore: The Russuian Jewish Intellectuals Who Came to America.. This well documented
study clearly points to the influence of the gentile revolutionary, and Lenins mentor, Nikolai Chernyshevskys novel, Whats to be Done?, as formative of these
intellectuals -intelligentsia- and their Revolutionary hope. 44.

Again, as explained in, Fire in the Minds of Men, a new earthly religion based on the myth of Prometheus stealing the fire from the gods for the use of man, began to
form [in the 18th century] when some European aristocrats transferred their lighted candles from the Christian altars to Masonic lodges. The flame of the occult
alchemists which had promised to turn dross into gold reappeared at the center of new circles seeking to recreate a golden age. 45. [ emphasis added]
The diagrams below are visual presentations of the traditional Catholic world view (on the left) where order stems from God the transcendental Father downward in the
form of a pyramid with a hierarchical set of relationships of mutual reciprocity, i.e. all members of society, both spiritual and temporal, have interlocking rights and
responsibilities in regard to all those above and below in the hierarchy.
The Masonic pyramid (on the right), on the contrary, represents the evolutionary ascent of man from (Mother Earth) below through a revolutionary dialectical conflict
of thesis and antithesis, light and dark, left and right, male and female, capital and labor, good and evil to produce the apotheosis or deification of man -"Man is a God
in the Making", Manly P.Hall, 33 The Lost Keys of Free Masonry-. At the top of the Masonic pyramid are two divine men holding the Masonic symbol depicting the
square and the compass intertwined as emblem of ultimate resolution and fusion of opposites heaven ( m ) and earth ( f ) united as The complete God., the ultimate
coincidentia opositorum. - "In one instance we have the interlaced triangles, one black, the other white, the white triangle has its point up; the black triangle points
down... The interlaced black and white triangles represent the forces of darkness and light, error and truth, ignorance and wisdom and good and evil; when properly
placed they represent balance and harmony." Wes Cook 32 Vigniettes in Masonry from the Royal Arch Masonry Magazine (emphasis added)

Image based on Caroll Quigley1955 Lecture, Georgetown School of Foreign Service,

drawn by this author

Image from Oct. 8, 1956 issue of Life Magazine

In 1882, German philosopher, Friederich Nietzsche, prophetically proclaimed to modern man the sate of affairs in his book, The Joyful Science where he has a
theoretically mad character proclaim, Whither is God?... We have killed him you and I. All of us are his murderersGod is dead. And we have killed him.
Having proclaimed the death of God. Nietzsches character continues, What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of
this deed to great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?

The paradigm shift from the Judeo-Christian acknowledgment and worship of the
transcendent patriarchal God to the immanent feminine, Divine Mother Nature, is
reflected as well in the two following "icons." To the left of the page is "The High
Priestess" from A.E. Waites 1910 The Pictorial Key to the Tarot, and to the right, Christy
Swids Belthane, from the1986 cover of Pathways a "New Age" health journal. They are
two versions of the same theme, the emergent power of the "feminine principle." In Waites
Tarot card, the traditional columns, Jachin and Boaz have been reversed, and in Swids
rendition they have not only been reversed but changed into trees to emphasize the polarity
within nature itself.
The permanence of these perennial symbols, Jachin and Boaz,as well as their reversal,
is significant. In order to produce the immanent perfection of Man and Mother Nature, a
dialectical process must be followed according to the Gnostic Hermetic- Masonic model
as described above. At present it may be expressed in such theses and antitheses, as
Individualism vs. Collectivism, or represented by so called Right and Left political
parties, or the global Green movement vs. the Military Industrial Complex, or, again,
back to nature vs. Scientific progress, etc. always leading toward a utopian synthesis
beyond male and female, (androgyny) right and wrong, good and evil where
all contradictions are resolved and divine man and divine nature achieve total harmony.
This model entered the main stream of Western philosophy with the writings of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) who was an adept of these occult
traditions. (See below, Appendix 8 Hegel and the Hermetic Tradition) Marxism was, and to an extent remains, an attempt to implement the Hegelian dialectic in the political
economic order.
To the left of the page is a schematic diagram of the Kabalistic,
Hegelian, Marxist dialectic and its pursuit of ultimate harmony
and synthesis through the process of Tikum Olam (The
restoration of the original harmony before the supposed
separation of good and evil. To the right is a Masonic icon
depicting the two opposing forces, active male stage right
represented by the rhinoceros with horn pointing up and the
passive feminine, stage left by the anteater with nose pointing
down. The male forces are also represented by the Greek warrior
and man in armor and the feminine by the female encased
mummy. The central figures are locked in struggle until
enlightenment and true creativity are achieved as shown by the
figure of the harmonious Buddha and the works of art on either
side. All proceed from the mind of Mother Nature.

An interesting variant is seen in Vincent Desiderios 2002 triptych titled "Pantocrator" from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art collection. The naked woman in the
shower represents the active (sentient) feminine principle as dominant at stage right and the Florentine Baptistry where Brunelleschi is said to have discovered analytic
"perspective" is placed as the passive (intellectual) male principle at stage left. At the center of this obvious reversal of the traditional order is the "Panocrator" (Lord of
all) the Byzantine title for Christ, save in this case it is a "flying saucer." This painting represents a bizarre mystery of faith where presumably "alien" masters
(demons?) of a higher intelligence will guide humanity to Utopian fulfillment of the New Age heedless of the Transcendent Creator and His Divine Son, Jesus Christ,
unique mediator between Heaven and earth.

At the present time, in fact, New Age icons abound. Many are represented as classic oriental Mandalas.
The1991 painting at the left by Bev Doolittle was offered in the Smithsonian Magazine as the "Spirit of the
Earth" and places the Bindu, or point of contact with the divine, on the Native American rider at the center.
The picture at the right is taken from a 1993 advertisement in the Washington Times. It was a call for essays
regarding the subject of democracy, a noble topic, which is unfortunately represented, however, as a classic
oriental Tai-Chi image of equal black and white yin-yang hemispheres representing humanity as the
antinomian fusion of opposites within a monistic cosmic order.

(For a thorough explanation of the New Age movement, see Vatican document, Jesus Christ the Bearer of the Water of Life, A Christian meditation on the

Regretfully mandala imagery has crept into the iconography of the Roman Catholic Church. The image at the left is the logo of the
Jubilee Year in Rome marking 2000 years of Christianity. At the center of the mandala is the "divine" bindu a nebulous light surrounded
by five (Kabalistic number for man) doves representing the diverse spiritualities of man? They are joined together by what Carl Jung
referred to as a "solar" "cross of equilibrium."44 The words within the circle say Christus, Heri, Hodie, Semper (Christ, yesterday, today,
always). But, what Christ? Which Christianity?
By the time of the Second Vatican Council, two divergent ideologies regarding the "image of God" in man came into conflict. They have
yet to be resolved. The first ideology is the traditional view, as put forward in the Creeds (Christ is the unique Son of God) and reaffirmed
at the Council of Trent. It is most simply explained by St. Thomas Aquinas. "The image of a thing may be found in something in two
ways. In one way, it is found in something of the same specific nature; as the image of the king is found in his son. In another way, it is
found in something of a different nature, as the kings image on a coin. In the first sense the Son is Image of the Father; in the second sense, man is called the image of
God." ST, 1, 35, R3. The true "image of God" in man is achieved only by Baptism into Christs Mystical Body, the Church, whereby we become sons "by adoption."

The second ideology is the modernist view that "God is immanent in man and the cosmos." This erroneous view was denounced by St. Pius X in his encyclical letter
Pascendi dominici gregis,: esp. The Modernist as Theologian #19. This latter ideology as has been described above is based on the Neo-Platonic, Kabalistic, Hermetic,
Renaissance theology ,along with the19th century, especially French, Masonic occultism, 45 as well as by the German Romanticism, spearheaded by Goethe which can
be found in the writings of some 19th and 20th century German Christian thinkers such as Friedrich Schleiermacher who saw: "The essential difference between the
Redeemer and the redeemed consists in the prototypal dominance of the God-consciousness in the Redeemer, into whose fellowship the believer may be admitted by a
process substantially analogous to the formation of a human society around a charismatic leader, who unites them by his vision of their future state." 46 (emphasis added)
See: Modernists
Much, if not most, of the late twentieth century iconography is based on the latter.
The picture to the left is the cover piece of the Fall 2003 publication of the CMMB (Catholic Medical Missions
board). This particular issue dedicated to the problem of HIV/AIDS in Africa. In and of itself, it is tender
rendering of an African mother and child with two doves looking on. Two barely visible transparent arms come
down from the doves (spirits) and gently embrace the mother. The child holds an eight-petaled sunflower on which
he fixes his gaze. At the center of the flower, (enlarged image to the right) however there is a classic Hindu eightspoked wheel of life mandala, complete with bindu point, thus rendering the painting a religious icon of the
monistic (God is nature nature is God) one world religion variety.

Another example of the inroads of revolutionary faith in

Catholic art and architecture is Mark Rothkos 1971
fourteen, almost pure black, Stations of the Cross inside
the Chapel designed for the Basilian Fathers in Houston
Texas (Picture on the right). According to the patroness of
the project, Dominique De Menil, the chapel represents
the womb and the Broken Obelisk sculpted by Barnett
Newman, represents virility. (Picture on the left). The
simple fact that the obelisk is broken consciously or
unconsciously testifies to the emasculation (of God the
Father) and the black images within testify to the Culture
of Death and despair in a Godless universe. Mark Rothko
committed suicide shortly after finishing this project.

The photograph below to the left is taken from a full page image on the back inside cover of the summer 2008 CUA (Catholic University of America) magazine. The
title, Capturing the Ineffable is explained as, depicting the mystical, the transcendent or the supernatural within the spiritual and religious traditions of the world.
The sculpture in the foreground by Edward Carlos, a CUA graduate with an MFA, represents, according to his own description, Creation: Nativity, a multifaceted
walk-through sculpture/painting depicting Christs birth. ( Rising up out of the primordial ooze? no angels singing Gloria, no Wise Men adoring, not one single
element to signify a heavenly or divine intervention in this momentous event) And, in the background, a large vertical photo montage portrays an anima/mother-earth
figure created by Carlos son Adam William Carlos. (Emphasis added)
(In the specific case of this type of image being featured in a journal of The Catholic University of America, it occurred
to this writer what a cataclysmic divide has arisen vis a vis the intellect and imagination, when an educational institution
housing the most prestigious and soundly Catholic School of Philosophy in the United States, lacks the discernment to
vet a clearly New Age artistic visual statement in a promotional publication. I should, however, like to take this
opportunity to say that the works shown in this essay are not a critique of any individual, group, institution or
institutions, but are meant to point out a trend in Western mans pre-conscious imaginative understanding of reality as it
is portrayed according to the prevailing neo- pagan Zeit Geist. As proposed earlier in this essay, one of the most
influential art historians of this century, Irwin Panofsky, reminded us of the need to understand art, not only at its
formal level of beauty, but at its deepest level of "meaning" by ascertaining those underlying principles which reveal
the basic attitude of a nation, period, class, religious or philosophical persuasion - unconsciously qualified by an
individual personality and condensed into a given work. Panofsky also points out that the artist himself most often does
not fully comprehend the depth of his message.)
( see note 17)

The image shown here to the right is taken from a publication of The Secretariat for Latin America of the National Conference of
Catholic Bishops. It shows a man singing to the sun and a woman enthralled by a budding flower. There is a male worker, stage right,
and a mother with child, stage left. Instead of the two usual columns, there are two rivers (with fish) presumably in reference to equal
male and female living waters. The top and bottom of the image are clearly defined by thick stripes suggesting an enclosed reality
dominated by the sun (father sky) and fertility (mother earth). The symbolic message would seem to be that the Christian vision for the
perfection of humanity lies in a harmonious balance between all elements within the cosmic order. The only recognizable Catholic
image relating to the transcendent order is a small cross atop a tiny church at the upper left corner. The title of the pamphlet to which
this picture relates is, Faith Alive In The Americas La Fe Vive En Las Americas." To what faith do these phrases refer? Do they
refer to such traditional Christian topics as sin, redemption, sacraments, sanctifying grace and eternal life, or do they refer to divine
immanence in nature and cosmic harmony?

The visual message of this American Catholic pamphlet is, in fact,

not dissimilar from the image shown to the left painted by Dan
Lomahaftewa titled Rainbow Myth. It was featured on the Spring 1998 cover of Teaching Tolerance, a
publication of the Southern Poverty Law Center. This painting, based on the ancient petro glyphs of the
Hopi tribes of New Mexico, depicts the perennial quest for the fusion of opposites described
throughout this essay. The artist has portrayed a classic pre-post Christian cosmos, between the
celestial rainbow above and the infernal dragon below (emerging from the flames). Within this
enclosed environment one sees a horned male (stage right) and a feather decked female (stage left).
The male figure carries a shield with the male sun symbol and is flanked by spermatoid serpents. The
female caries the feminine spiral symbol and is flanked by the same symbol of involution. The allusion
is to an all sacred generative principle. Between the two, above, is the circular cosmic mandala, and
below, their offspring, a harmonious union of man and beast.
While harmony with nature and the environment is a noble endeavor within the natural order, is this the
Gospel of Salvation preached by Jesus Christ and fomented by the Holy Catholic Church for two
thousand years?

Now, as ever, we must pray earnestly that the bishops united to the Holy Father be reminded that they "have a battle to fight over the faith that was handed down, once
and for all, to the saints (St. Jude 1:3)
Once again, as in the dream of St. John Bosco, the perennial Catholic dyadic symbolism of grace and nature shows the way.
In his well known dream, the saint saw two pillars standing in the sea while the Bark of Peter was tossed violently in the
troubled waters. The larger pillar was surmounted by the Holy Eucharist; Gods pouring out of Himself for our sanctification
and salvation. The second smaller pillar held the Blessed Virgin Mary, the archetype of redeemed humanity, (the Church) and
our loving mother raised up to meet Him. After terrifying battles and storms, the ship carrying the Roman Pontiff, along with
other smaller ships representing other Christian churches and communities, moored at these pillars. A period of peace was
then accorded the world. May I humbly suggest that, as the present Holy Father has reminded us, these two great Christian
realities, the Eucharist and devotion to Mary, are the key to the future, both here and in the world to come.

Another cause, dear to His Holiness, John Paul II, is the reunification of Eastern and Western Churches; "the two lungs" of the
one Universal Church. In this regard, the following modern "icon" commemorating the feast of Saints Cyril and Methodius now
celebrated on February 14 (Valentines Day) visually represents the reunion of two Churches. It is of symbolic interest. These two
brothers are credited with the conversion of the southern Slavs, c. 863, to Byzantine Christianity and are recognized by the Roman
Church as the patron saints of Christian unity as they had formal authorization for their missionary work from both the Roman
Pontiff and the Patriarch of Constantinople. In the icon St. Cryil stands at stage right and is dressed in classic Western monastic
garb. He has a white cross on his head and a blue cross at the bottom of his scapular covering his body. At the center of his
scapular is the Patriarchal cross a Latin cross with a horizontal bar above (head reason) and diagonal bar forming an X (body
emotion and intuition) below. He holds another official "Patriarchal" cross, symbolic of heavenly and earthly authority. With his
right hand he offers the Eastern blessing with his fingers arranged to form the Greek name of the Redeemer, (Christos).
St. Methodius, an ordained Byzantine priest and later Roman bishop, stands at stage left. He is dressed in the traditional robes of
the Orthodox priesthood with multiple crosses. In his right hand is seen the chalice of salvation and his left hand is hidden to
reflect the sense of mystery at the core of Eastern theology. By following the universal "right left" symbolism discussed above,
one may assume that Cryil represents the (m.) authority figure embodied in the Apostolic See of Rome and Methodius the
receptive (f.) mystical element of Christianity. Wholeness in Christ contains both. The reunion of the Churches, Rome with its law
and philosophy, and Byzantium with its mystic contemplation and liturgy could be based on this mutual recognition in
sacramental submission to Christ. At the Second Council of Nicea in 787, the last council recognized by both Churches, the book
containing the Gospel was enthroned and all decrees were proclaimed in both Latin and Greek. Could not the two come together once again, as in a nuptial, to share in
the Body and Blood of the Savior and swear fidelity to each other in Him?

By way of final recapitulation, I should like to restate the basic premise of this essay dedicated to the understanding of universal symbols. Leaving
aside the simple atheists who deny the existence of anything but matter, there are two fundamental belief systems adhered to by humanity. The first
view is that there is but one unified cosmos comprising all spirit and matter. This view is summed up in the Neo-Platonic, Hermetic definition. "God
is an infinite circle whose center is everywhere, whose circumference is nowhere." Although there are variations on the theme, religions that espouse
this view generally hold that all, both what are considered "good" or "evil," comes out from the "One" by emanation and will eventually return to the
"One." This system is symbolically represented by the circular mandala with a bindu point at the center and is comprised of such groups as Brahmanism and Hinduism
in the East, and the various neo-platonic, gnostic , kabbalistic, and "new age" sects in the West. The focus of these religions is, most basically, to affirm and develop
ones own "divine" potential as well as harmonize the divine imbalance of the cosmos.

The second view is that the one transcendent God created the cosmos from nothing, ex nihilo, and that God and the creation are separate realities. This
view is summed up in the Catholic definition from Vatican I, that, "God is other than the world in being and essence, and above all else, that could
possibly be considered to be, ineffably superior." This group is comprised of all orthodox Jews, Moslems and Christians. It finds its fulfillment in the
Christian doctrine of the "Incarnation" wherein man is invited to live by faith and sacrament in Christ the unique mediator between the two realities.
The focus of this religious view is to, love, honor, and serve God in general, (Jews, Muslims, and all Christians) and to be sacramentally incorporated
into His mystical body in particular ( esp. Roman Catholic and, to a degree, Orthodox Christianity.) The symbolic representation of this incorporation
may be represented as the letters, IHS with the cross of Christ at the center. This symbol, in fact, incorporates the "wholeness" desired by all
humanity in that it represents the coming together of heaven and earth in the person of Jesus Christ..

In closing, I should like to present two archetypal icons that represent the two fundamental religious alternatives discussed in this treatise. The first icon is a traditional
Catholic vision of nature elevated by grace portrayed in a 15th century Byzantine icon from the Peremyshl Museum in Ukraine. This symbolic picture conforms to the
first part of this study. The second icon is a modern Kabalistic vision ( see the Hebrew letters in the four quadrants) presented at the Chicago International Art
Exposition in 1989 which relates to the second. Both follow precisely the right-left, above below dialectic proposed at the beginning and developed throughout this



Heaven (male) Sky

Heaven (Male) Sky

Stage Right ...........................................Stage Left

Stage Right .............................................Stage Left

(male) .......................................................(female)

(male).......................................................... (female)

(active)................................................... (passive)

(active)..................................................... (passive)

Earth (female) Hell

Earth(female) Hell



In the orthodox Ukrainian icon, (seen above to the left) the hand of the transcendent male God reaches into the created order from the upper stage right corner to impart
the necessary grace upon St. George for him to overcome the dragon-serpent of sin. The dragon itself emanates from a dark mandala form at the bottom inside corner of
the picture. It is not a transcendental but chthonic creature and therefore depicted as feminine. By overcoming the beast by natural virtue and the indispensable help of
Gods grace, the fetter that ties the earthly woman to the dragon is broken and both man and woman are raised up and exalted in the tower directly across from Gods
intervening hand. The symbolism is virtually the same as in St. John Boscos dream where Christ pours Himself out in the Eucharist from upper stage right, and Mary
Church is raised up and exalted at upper stage left by Gods grace.
The Kabalist icon (seen above to the right) may be read in exactly the same way. From upper stage right within the picture, a red angel falls downward into the cosmos.
According to esoteric legend, it was one or more of these angels that imparted the secret knowledge (Kabbalah) to man. Below the angel is shown a man with three
triangles superimposed over him. These represent the three configurations or triads that form the sefirot or vessels of the tree of life. Each sefira, according to the
Kabbalah, is a level of attainment in knowledge or balance between the pillars of mercy (stage right) and the pillar of severity (stage left) that will lead to his selfdeification. Across at lower stage left, rather than the woman set free of sin by virtue and grace, we see a terrified man possessed by the demon (central third eye and
reptilian tail). At upper stage left, instead of the exaltation of man and woman as seen in the icon of St. George, a black hand covers over and annihilates man.
The message of the two icons represents the two alternatives offered to man by God. "Consider that I have set before you this day life and good, and on the other hand
death and evil. I call heaven and earth to witness this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Choose therefore life (eternal)." Deuteronomy
XXX : 15,19

Lest anyone dismiss the above as idyll speculation, ponder the words of the eminent French art historian Ren Hughy:
"Many think of art as a mere diversion, a thing that is marginal to the real business of life, they do not see that it [visual art] looks into lifes very heart and lays bare its
unconscious secrets, that it contains the most honest confessions, confessions that have within them the least element of calculation and must therefore be accounted
especially sincere. The soul of the individual- and of an age no longer wears a mask, it seeks and discloses itself with the prophetic knowledge that is to be found both
with the highly sensitive and the possessed."
Or again, the words of Marshal McLuhan , quoting Father White who wrote concerning "Jung and the Supernatural" (Commonweal, March 14, 1952, p. 561): " A
living symbol does something to us; it moves us, shifts our center of awareness, changes our values. Whether it is just looked at, or heard, acted out, painted out, written
out, or danced out, it arouses not only thought, but delight, fear, awe, horror, perhaps a deeper insight." In other words, the symbols of our environment, commercial and
artistic, are not just signs whose reference has to be understood for them to be efficacious. That is Cartesian and Lockean theory of communication which never fitted
the facts. But Catholics today still hold to that theory of communication, and it hands them over bound and helpless to the consciously manipulated pagan rituals of art,
literature and commerce."

The author standing before the Cathedral of Trent in 2002

The ideas presented in this essay are the fruit of the research and personal insights of this author and do not reflect the opinion of any group, order, or society of the Roman Catholic Church. They are, however, dedicated to the memory of Fr. John Hardon, SJ, under

whose direct order of obedience they were written. The visual material herein presented is for critical and educational evaluation only and should not be reproduced for any personally advantageous or commercial purpose

End Notes
1. Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa, De docta ignorantia, iii, 3, De visione Dei, xx: "Video in te Jesu filiationem divinam, qua est veritas omnis filiationis, et pariter
altissimam humanam filiationem, qua est propinquissima imago absolutae filiationis Omnia igitur in natura humana tua video, qua et video in divina, sed
humaniter illa esse ideo in natura humana qua sunt ipsa divina, qua sunt ipsa divina veritas in natura divina." "Quia mens est quoddam divinum semen sua vi
comlicans omnium rerum exemplaria notionaliter"Nicholas of Cusa, Idiota iii. 5. Fol. 154 cit. Ernst Casirrer, , The Individual and the Cosmos in Renaissance
Philosophy (New York: Dover, 1963) p. 40, 45

2) Pico della Mirandola, Oration on the Dignity of Man Trans. Roberto Caponigri, (Chicago: Gateway Edition, Henry Regnary Co., 1956) pp. 7-9
3)Walter Ulman, Medieval Foundations of Renaissance Humanism (Cornel University Press, 1977) p. 18
4) Marcilio Ficino, Commentary on Platos Symposium (De Amore) Chapter III, cit. Hofstader&Kuhns, Philosophies of Art and Beauty (Chigago: University of
Chigago Press, 1964) p.210,11. See also: Irwin Panofsky, Studies in Iconology (New York: Harper & Row, 1962) p.132
5) Plotinus, Enneads 5.2.1 "The absolute remains as the super-finite, the super-one, and super-being, pure in itself. Nevertheless, because of the super-abundance in it,
the absolute overflows, and from this super-abundance it produces the multiformity of the universe, down to formless matter as the extreme limit of non-being."
According to E. Cassirer, Plotinus came to "the bastard concept of emanation " in an attempt to bridge the gap between Platos total separation between the world of
ideas and the visible world, and Aristotles philosophy of development. Ernst Cassier, The Individual and the Cosmos p. 18 As to the Orphic roots of Plotinus thought,
see, Edgar Wind, Pagan Mysteries in the Rnaissance (New York, Barnes and Noble. 1968) Introduction: The Language of Mysteries
6) M. Ficino, Thelologia. Platonica , X,7, Bibl.90, p.234: divinus influxus, ex Deo manans, per coelos penetrans, descendans per elementa, in inferiorem materiam
desinens" cit. Panofsky p.132
7) Ficino, Tholog. Platon., VII, 16, Bibl.90 p. 200, quoted by E, Cassirer, Bibl. 59., p 74 -. Ibid., The Individual and the Cosmos p.28
8) Frances A. Yates, Giordamno Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964) p.25. The writings of Hermes Trismegistus were
shown to be of late Hellenistic origin rather than ancient Egyptian by Isaac Casaubon in the 16th century (Yates p.400) and the monistic formula itself, found in the
Liber xxiv philosophorum was written around 1200 AD
9)Elaine Pagels, The Gnostic Gospels (New York: Vantage, 1979) chapter six, Gnosis: Self-Knowledge as Knowledge of God
10) A.-J Festugire, La Rvlacion dHerms Trismgiste,, Paris, 1950-4, cit. Ibid., Frances A.Yates, p.22
11) Ibid., Yates p. 154. See also, J. Bronowski, The Ascent of Man (Boston: Little Brown, 1973) p.196,7
12) Marcillio Ficino, Opera Omnia p 1747 cit. D. P. Walker, Spiritual & Demonic Magic from Ficino to Campanella (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press,
2000) p. 22,23 " Our Spirit is consonant with the heavenly rays which, occult or manifest, penetrate everything. We can make it still more consonant, if we vehemently
direct our affections towards the star from which we wish to receive a certain benefitabove all if we apply the song and light suitable to the astral deity and also the
odour, as in the hymns of Orpheus addressed to cosmic deities." The source of this doctrine is Hellenistic. Plotinus had stipulated in his Enneads that, "After the happy
soul, we must celebrate the intelligible gods, and above them all, the great king of intelligible beings, whose greatness is manifested even by the plurality of the gods.
As the Divinity is not restricted to one only being, but is shown to be as multiple as God effectively manifests to us." Cit. Lebreton & Zeiler, The History of the
Primitive Church (New York: Mcmillan, 1947) p.884
The above stated position was condemned at the Synod of Constantinople in 543 under the jurisdiction of Pope Virgil and the Emperor Justinian as follows: Article 6
"If anyone states or believes that the sky, the sun, the moon, the stars, and the watersabove the sky are virtues endowed with souls and endowed with reason, anathema
13) Frances A. Yates, The Occult Philosophy in the Elizabethan Age. (London: Ark Paperback, 1983)
14) Gershom Scholem, Kaballah (New York: Dorset Press:1974) p.226,227
15) Ibid., 126-128, 227
16) Cusanus concept of coincidentia oppositorum that all opposites are reconciled in God who is the essence of the world was developed in his treatise De docta
ignorantia 1, 5 2, 4. Cit. Fredrick Copleston, S.J. A History of Philosophy, Vol. III (New York: Doubleday, Image, 1993) p.231 247. [ This would appear to be in
direct opposition to St. Thomas (ST, 1,3,8) ] As Fr. Copleston points out, the Teologus Germanicus, Cusanus, had an enormous influence on later German idealist
philosophers such as Schelling and Hegel, and thereby- much post Vatican II theology
17) ibid. Panofsky, p. 3-8 Introduction
18) Edgar Wind, Pagan Mysteries in the Renaissance (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1968) p.15
19) Giorgio Vassari, Lives of the Artists (London: The Folio Society, 1995) p.235

20) 5. Kenneth Clark, Leonardo Da Vinci (New York: Penguin, 1967) p.136
21) ibid. 137
22) Blessed John of Avila, Cit. The Holy Ghost (Dublin: Scepter Books, 1959) p 38-39
23) St. Robert Bellarmine, Disputaciones de Controversiis christianae Fidei adversus huius temporis haereticus (1586-1593), (Venice, 1721) 53.
24) Frances A. Yates The Rosicrucian Enlightenment (Boulder, CO, Shambhala, 1978) p. 30
25) ibid. p.97
26) ibid. p. 227

27) ibid/ p. 39
28) According to Cirlot, the Ouroborus appears principlally among the Gnostics as a dragon or serpent biting its own tail. In its broadest sense it is symbolic of time and
of the continuity of life. It sometimes bears the caption Hen to pan _ "the One, the all." It is symbolic of self fecundation, or the primitive idea of self sufficient
Nature, which continually returns within a cyclic pattern to its own beginning. Cirlot, A Dictionary of symbols, (New York: Philosophical Library, 1971) p.247
29) See: Albert Mackey, Lexicon of Freemasonry,( ); Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma of Free Masonry (Charleston: A\ M\ 5680), Arthur, Edward Waite, A New
Encyclopedia of Freemasonry (New York: Random House Wings Books, 1996)
30) Abert Pike in his Morals and Dogma of Free Masonry (Charleston: A\ M\ 5680) p. 8
31) ibid. Morals and Dogma, p.849
32) ibid. 846
33) Arthur Edward Waite, A New Encyclopedia of Freemasonry.(New York: Wings Books, 1996) p.ix
34) ibid. Morals and Dogma 14. Pike is yet more specific as to the representation of "good" and "evil" in his "Lucifer Quote" of 1889. It may be found in the Library of
the Scottish Rite Southern Jurisdiction, 1773 16th St. NW Washington, DC.
"That which we must say to the crowd is, we worship a God, but it is the God one worships without superstition The Masonic religion should be, by all of us initiates
of the high degrees, maintained in the purity of the Luciferian Doctrine. If Lucifer were not God, would Adonay (the God of the Christians), whose deeds prove his
cruelty, perfidy and hatred of man, barbarism and repulsion to science, would Adonay and his priests calumniate him?
"Yes Lucifer is God, and unfortunately Adonay is also God. For the eternal law is that there is no light without shade, no beauty without ugliness, no white without
black, for the absolute can; and the true only exist as two gods Thus the doctrine of Satanism is a heresy; and true and pure philosophic religion is the belief in
Lucifer, the equal of Adonay; but Lucifer, God of Light and God of Good, is struggling for humanity against Adonay, God of Darkness and Evil."

35) Pico Della Mirandola Commento 111, viii (ed.Garin IV, iv pp. 557) "Through the first death, which is only a detachment of the soul from the body,the lover may
see the beloved celestial Venusand by reflecting on her divine image, nourish his purified eyes with joy; but if he would posses her more closely, he must die the
second death by which he is completely severed from the body And observe that the most perfect and intimate union the lover can have with the celestial beloved is
called the union of kiss ( "morte de bacio" or "mors osculi") .. and because the learned Cabbalists declare that many of the ancient fathers died in such spiritual
rapture,.." cf. Edgar Wind Pagan Mysteries in the Renaissance (New York:Barnes & Noble Inc., 1968) fn. P.155
36). Ibid. p. 84
37). Ibid. pp. 138, 155
38) Ioan Coulianos Eros and Magic in the Renaissance p. 58 21. Ibid. p. 97 Further, according to a citation of D. P. Walker, Bruno taught that "Transitive magic purports
to direct the emotions of other people by altering their imagination in a specific and permanent way. Techniques are founded on sexual drives because they are so linked
to the imagination. Walker continues that, "Bruno made a remarkable attempt to evolve a technique explicitly based on sexual attraction for Global Emotional Control.
39) ibid p. 58
40) ibid. p. 89
41) Wolgang Frederich Von Goethe, in Rudolf Steiners Naturwissenshaftliche Schriften (Vol. 34, p. 1) (Verlag, Dornach,[Switzerlad] 1972). Quoted in Readings in
Goethian Science, Ed. Herbert Koepf & Linda Jolly (Wyoming, Rhode Island, 1978) p. 12-13
42) R.M. Bizanz, German Romanticism and Philip Otto Runge (Dekalb: Northern Illinois Univ. Press, 1970) pp.48-51
43)James A Billington, Fire in the Minds of Men (New York: Basic Books, 1980) p. 17
43a) ibid, p. 417
43b) ibd, p.6
44) Carl Jung, Man and his symbols( London: Aldous Books, 1964) pp. 243-245
45) Hermetic and Cabalistic influences on Renaissance theology are admitted (perhaps admired) by Hans Urs Von Balthesar (Afterward), Anonymous, Meditations on
the Tarot - A Journey into Christian Mysticism (Jeremy P. Thatcher/Putnam Inc., NY, 2002)
"Above all during the Renaissance, the best minds were occupied with accommodating the Jewish magical mystical Cabala into the Christian faith. As has now been
observed, many of the Church Fathers had already attributed a place of honor among the heathen prophets and wise men to the mysterious Hermes Trismegistus.
Hermetic books had already circulated in the early and high Middle Ages, Later, during the Renaissance, Hermes Trismegistus was celebrated as the great
contemporary of Moses, and as the father of wisdom of the Greeks. Poets, painters and theologians drew enthusiastically and reverently from the teachings of Hermes,
and from the other sources of pagan wisdom, the scattered rays of divine illumination, bringing it to a focus in the Christian faith. Yet the other sources from which
enlightenment was gathered, the Cabbala, was if anything, still more important (the secret, oral tradition of the Cabbala is likewise dated back to the time of Moses.)"
As to esoteric French Masonic influence on Modernist thought , especially through the Jesuit Frs. Riquet, Gruber and Berteloot in the first half of the 20th century, see:
Mistre DIniquit by Pierre Virion, available in Spanish translation as La Masoneria Dentro de la Iglesia (Buenos Aires: Cruz y Fierro, 1968)

46) A.E. Mc Grath, The Making of Modern German Christology (Oxford: Blackwell, 1986) p. 23

Modernists: Following is a brief synthesis of "Modernist" belief as condemened in the Encyclical Pascendi dominici gregis of St. Pius X
"Religion, whether natural or supernatural, must like, every other fact, admit of some explanation. But when natural theology has been destroyed, and the road to
revelation closed by the rejection of the arguments of credibility, and all external revelation absolutely denied, it is clear that this explanation will be sought in vain
outside man himself. It must, therefore, be looked for in man; and since religion is a form of life, the explanation must certainly be found in the life of man. It is thus
that the religious sense, which through the agency of vital immanence emerges from the lurking places of the subconsciousness, is the germ of all religion, and the
explanation of everything that has been or ever will be in any religion. #7

"If you ask the modernist believer on what his belief rests, he answers: In the personal experience of the individualIn the religious sense one must recognize an
intuition of the heart which puts man in immediate contact with the reality of God They assert, therefore, the existence of a real experience, and one of a kind that
surpasses all rational experienceOn what ground can Modernists deny the truth of an experience affirmed by a follower of Islam? Indeed, Modernists do not deny,
but actually maintain, some confusedly, others frankly, that all religions are true # 14
"God is immanent in man #19,
"Modernism is the synthesis of all heresies" # 39
Neo-Modernism or "Nouvelle Theologie" returned in the 1930s with anonymous typewritten papers that circulated among the Catholic intellectuals of that era.
The following anonymous article titled "How I believe" is taken from, La Nouvelle Theologie ou va-t-elle? Published in 1946 by Pere Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange,
O.P. It is indicative of Modernist thought.
"If we wish, we other Christians, to conserve to Christ the qualities which are the basis of His power and our adoration, we can do nothing better or even nothing more
than accept completely the most modern ideas of Evolution. Under pressure, the Union of Science and philosophy occurs, and the World more and more imposes itself
on our experience and our thought as a system linked by activities gradually lifting us toward liberty of conscience. The only satisfying interpretation of this process is
that of regarding it as irreversible and convergent. Thus before we arrived, there was a universal cosmic Center, (emphasis in the original) where all leads, where All is felt
or all merge into each other. "In the first place, Catholicism deceived me with its narrow definitions of the World, and by its failure to understand the role of Matter.
Now I recognize that by that by the Incarnation of God, it was revealed to me that I am only able to be saved by uniting myself to the universe. And most profound
pantheistic hopes are guided, reassured and fulfilled by this same thrust (into the Universe). The World around me, becomes divine (emphasis in original)"A General
convergence of religions toward a Christ-universal, who fundamentally, fufills everyone: This appears to me to be the only conversion possible to the world, and the
only form imaginable for the Religion of the future."
It has been suspected that this anonymous paper was, in fact, written by Pere Tielhard de Chardin, whose thinking certainly follows these lines of thought.
"No Spirit (not even God within the limits of our experience) exists, nor could structurally exist without an associated multiple, any more than a center without a circle
or circumference. In a concrete sense there is not matter and spirit. All that exists is matter becoming spirit."
Teilhard de Chardin SJ, Human Energy (Harcourt Brace, NY, 1969) p. 162
"God and the grace of Christ are in all things, as the secret essence of each reality He who accepts his own existence, and thereby his humanity, even though he
doesnt know it, says yes to Christ.
K. Rahner SJ..( Roma: Paoline II, 1967) p. 129
The theology of both Teilhard de Chardin and Karl Rahner would appear to be part of the trend by which some in the Church sought to bring Catholic thinking into line
with modern thought in general, and in regard to the theory of divine immanence.
See for example the following recognized secular authors:

British author, Aldeous Huxley, in his 1945 classic, The Perennial Philosophy argued that the universal metaphysic is that which recognizes " a divine Reality
substantial to the world of things and lives and minds; the psychology that finds in the soul something similar to, or even identical with, divine Reality; the ethic that
places mans end in the knowledge of the imminent and transcendent Ground of all being."
The Italian Humanist, Bennedetto Croce, wrote in his 1942 essay Why we cannot call ourselves Christians, "Christianity was humanitys greatest revolution. The reason
for this is that the Christian revolution worked on the core of the soul on moral conscienceAnd the Christian God is still ours and our refined philosophers call him
the spirit which takes over, but which is always us, ourselves."
German psychoanalyst, Eric Fromms 1976, stated in To have or to be, "Faith isan intimate orientation, an attitude. It would be better to say that a person is in faith
rather than had faith This faith in God is guaranteed by the experience of the divine quality or ego; it is a process of continual self-creation which is active, of the
eternal birth of Christ within us."

Or again, American politician, Al Gore mused in his Earth in Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit "By gathering in the minds eye all of creation, one can perceive
the image of the creator vividlyNature in its fullest is God." "The fate of mankind depends on a new faith in the future. Armed with such a faith, we might find it
possible to resanctify the earth."

The Deification of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Deification_of Mary
From time to time, contrary to Catholic Dogma, individuals or groups have attempted to impute a divine status to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The most egregious of these
was the Swiss Psychologist, Carl Jung, who in his book A Psychological Approach to the Dogma of the Trinity, suggested that "Mary" be added to the traditional
"Trinity" of divine persons to be proclaimed the "fourth person" of a more psychologically acceptable"Quaternity."1 Dr. Jungs motives for this suggestion were not
grounded on any real devotion to the Blessed Mother, but on his desire to impute "wholeness" to the divinity by incorporating a fourth but evil (material f.)
"hypostasis" into the God-head. This inclusion of matter as "evil" would abet the reconciliation of the polarized opposites of good and evil, as set forth in the classic
Manichean dualist tradition. For Jung, divinizing the material mother of God (Theotokos) seemed the most appropriate course of action as Catholics already defined
dogmatically both her "Immaculate Conception" (1854) and bodily "Assumption" to heaven,(1950) but his real aim was to equate Mary with Lucifer as the "shadow
side" of God. 2 Regarding the supposed improvement to be achieved by the new "quaternity" brought about by including "Lucifer Mary," Jung has this to say:
"In our diagram, Christ and the devil appear as equal and opposite, thus conforming to the idea of the adversary. This opposition means conflict to the last; and it is the
task of humanity to endure this conflict until the time or turning-point is reached where good and evil begin to relativise themselves, to doubt themselves, and the cry is
roused for a morality beyond good and evil." "In the Age of Christianity and in the domain of trinitarian thinking such an idea is simply out of the question, because
the conflict is too violent for evil to be assigned any other logical relation to the Trinity than that of an absolute opposite." 3
While this attempt at equating Mary with Lucifer is bizarre but understandable in a man such as Carl Jung who avowedly perceived God as both good and evil since
childhood, 4 this anomaly has even affected elements of ostensibly orthodox believers within the Church. Such is the case, for example, attributed by Canadian author,

R. Barbeau, to the renowned "Catholic" author, Leon Bloy 5

According to Barbeau, Bloy received his spiritual illumination, not from the Catholic Church so much as from a poor woman, a prostitute by the name of Anne-Marie
Roul, the Veronica of his novel Le Dsespr. Presumably, based on his encounter with Mme. Roul, Bloy developed an antagonistic relationship with God and wrote
in his autobiography, "All that I can find in myself is a bitter, savage resentment against a God who has shown himself to be so cold and ungrateful I should be
ashamed to treat the mangiest of curs in the way God treats me." 6 Following, after a fashion, the theories of Jochim de Fiore (circa 1145-1202), he believed, in fact,
that God the Father was an imperious and pitiless master, that God the Son could do no more than make good the work in which the Father had so lamentably failed,
and that the Holy Spirit alone would inaugurate the reign of universal love. Regarding the Holy Spirit, however, Bloy wrote to his fiance, the daughter of the Danish
writer Molbech, on Deceber 2, 1889, " the Serpent, the dark image of the Holy Spirit, deceives the woman who is the light imagehas passed into the woman, has
become one with her: light and shadow have melted one into the other for all time." "The woman, image of the Holy Spirit, represents all that is fallen and will
fall.""If we understand this ambiguous and pretentious language aright, the Serpent, that is to Say Satan, the shadow side of the Paraclete, deceives the woman, and
not only Eve but the Woman who is to become the Virgin Mary, the radiant side of the same Paraclete. The Serpent has become one with her which means that Satan
and the Light and Woman are melted into each other for all time. The Serpent and the Woman now form a single being, who is the Paraclete. But after the Fall, the
rehabilitation. Love, in one ineffable, incomprehensible movement, falls to earth: the Word, from which it is inseparable, falls after it, and the Father lifts them up, one
through the other. The Paraclete is synonymous with Lucifer. His most striking image is that of the Prodigal Son. The Father anxiously awaits his return. Lucifer will
return. He will be received with joy by the Father. His older brother will be dissatisfied, This means that the Church will persecute the Paracete-Liberator, who is to
bring Christ down from the Cross at the end of time. This will be the inconceivable Second Coming, the triumph of the Synagogue and of Satan." 7
It is uncertain whether Leon Bloy had access to the works another "convert" from Judaism to Catholicism in the 18th century, Jacob Frank. Frank first claimed himself
to be the Messaiah in Poland in 1756 as part of a Kabbalistic Trinity made up of Attika Kadisha (The Holy Ancient One), Melika Kadisha ( The Holy King Messiah),
and the Shekhinah ( feminine earthly half of the divinity). As he was persecuted by the Orthodox Jewish community for his bizarre faith and orgiastic initiations, he and
many of his followers came into the Catholic Church precisely to introduce a feminine element, the Shekhinah, into the Christian Trinity under the guise of the Blessed
Virgin Mary.(secretly present in his own daughter Eva) According to Gershom Scholem, recognized authority on Jewish mysticism, the true reason for Franks
supposed conversion was to subvert the Church from within. He quotes Frank as saying: "Under the burden of silence the true believer, who has God in his secret heart,
should go through all the religions, rites and established orders without accepting any and indeed annihilating all from within and thereby establishing true freedom.
Organized religion is only a cloak to be put on and be thrown away on the way to the "sacred knowledge." the gnosis of the place where all traditional values are
destroyed in the stream of "life." 8
Whereas, Jung added a new "Hypostasis" to the Trinity to accommodate evil into the God-head, Bloy simply merged Lucifer and the Holy Spirit, and Frank introduced
the Kabbalistic Shekhina to achieve the same end. All three felt obliged to erroneously deify The Blessed Virgin to accomplish their goal.

End Notes
1) Carl Gustav Jung, Zur Psychologie der Trinitatslehre, translated in Vol. 11, 2nd ed. Of his Complete Works (Princeton University Press, 1969 ) pp. 170 ff.
2) ibid., pp. 398-399
3)ibid., p. 174
4) See Chapter 1, " First Years" of Jungs autobiography, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, where he recounts his first experience of the underground "Phalic God" as the
dark side of the divinity, at 4-6 years of age (New York: Vintage Books, 1965)
5) R. Barbeau Leon Bloy: a prophet of Lucifer (Paris, Editions Montaigne, Aubier, 1957) cit., Lon Christiani, Evidence for Satan in the Modern World ( :Tan Books,
1977) p.190
6) Leon Bloy, Biography (Paris: Albin-Michel, 1947) I. 428-429
7) ibid., Christiani, pp. 192, 193
8) Gershom Scholem, Kabbalah New York: Dorset Press, 1974) p.284

A brief introduction to its History and Meaning
Harvard professor Harold Bloom, in his 1992 book The American Religion: The Emergence of the Post Christian Nation proclaimed that the "self-concealed core of
American Religion is "Orphic, Gnostic, Millenarian." In a more recent work (1996), Omens of Millennium, he quotes Adeous Huxley as defining Gnosis as the
"perennial philosophy that is concerned with the one, divine Reality substantial to the manifold world of things and lives and minds." He then goes on to assert that at
the core of Gnosticism is the belief in a radically transcendent God who is not the Creator. "The world we live in imprisons both the transcendent God and the divine
spark in human beings. The goal of life is to escape the created order through the knowledge (Greek gnosis) of the deepest self revealed by an alien messenger."
(Emphasis added) 1
Gnosis, or knowledge, as understood in Gnostic religious systems, thus does not refer to rational understanding of natural or supernatural reality, but involves an
awareness through illumination, intuition, initiation or induced trance that the human spirit is consubstantial with the divine ground of being.
One can find examples of this train of thought in the West as far back as 2nd Century AD denounced in the writings of such orthodox Catholic writers as Justin Martyr,
Tertulian, Irenaeus of Lyon, Clement of Alexandria, and Hippolytus of Rome, who until recently, were the primary sources of our knowledge regarding Gnostic beliefs.
The following quote regarding their teachings is taken from Hippolytus:
"Abandon the search for God and the creation and other matters
of a similar sort Learn who it is within you who makes
everything his own way and says, `My God, my mind, my
thought, my soul, my body. Learn the sources of sorrow, joy,
love hateIf you carefully investigate these matters you will
find him [god] in yourself," 2

Historically the foundations of Gnosticism are clouded in mystery. Ion Couliano, in his The Tree of Gnosis makes the case that Western Gnosticism finds its roots in
Orphism. He states that, according to the Orphics who flourished in Greece during, if not prior to, the fourth century BC, there was a time before history when the
preternatural giants or Titans rebelled against the gods and murdered and devoured one of them, Dionesius. In revenge of this deicide, Zeus destroyed the rebellious
Titans with a thunderbolt and Humankind was born from their ashes. We humans, therefore, have a divine seed within us as we contain the fragments of the (divine)
Dionesius swallowed by the Titans that was residual in their ashes. 3 In order to re-establish union with the divine source, Orphic ideology and practice entailed world
rejection and devaluation of the body, reincarnation and vegetarianism. There is little doubt that the Orphic mysteries had a strong influence on Plato and later
Neoplatonism with its doctrine of metemsomatosis or entrapment of spirit in matter. 4 The Gnostic heresy denounced by the Church Fathers; Ireneus, Justin Martyr and
Hippolytus et al, would appear to be, in fact, a curios mix of Jewish scriptures, Talmudic lore, the Christian apostolic tradition, and the Orphic Neoplatonism described
above. It has also been suggested that Gnostic religion draws on the Greek concept of hypostatization (personification)of concepts or abstract generative entities which
function as archai, or governors of our cosmos. Together these hypostases (personifications) make up the Pleroma or fullness of being as opposed to the Kenoma or
void. 5
These speculations have been corroborated by the discovery in 1945 of a series of papyrus texts that had belonged to a flourishing Egyptian Gnostic community dating
from the first century AD. The documents, written in Coptic, have since been fully documented and translated into modern languages under the auspices of UNESCO
and the Carl Jung Foundation of Zurich. 6 From this original source material it is possible to confirm the fundamental tenets of their beliefs.
Although there are many variants, the fundamental gnostic mythos, as denounced by the Church Fathers and confirmed by Nag Hammadi texts, is as follows: The
Pleroma is divided into 30 Aeons (personified forces) which live in syzygy or paired opposites making up the Ogadoad (eight), the Decad (ten) and Duodecad
(twelve) uncreated forces of the cosmos which one may call divine. The last Aeon of the Dodecad is Sophia (Wisdom) through whom the created order comes into
The Nag Hammadi text; Thunder, Perfect Mind, offers an extraordinary poem spoken in the voice of Sophia as the feminine divine power:
I am the first and the last I am the
honored one and the scorned one I am
the whore and the holy one I am the wife
and the virgin I am the barren one,
and many are her sons I am the silence
and the incomprehensible I am the
utterance of my own name 7

Another text , Trimorphic Protenoia (Tripple-formed primal thought) puts these words in the mouth of Sophia:
"[I] am [Protonoia the] Thought that
[dwells] in [the Light] [She who
exists] before the All I move in every
creature I am the invisible one within
the all. "
"I am androgenous. [I am both Mother
and] Father, since [I copulate with
myself]and with those who love me
I am the Womb [that gives shape] to the
AllI am Me[iroth]ea, the glory of the
Mother." 8

A third variant, again from a Nag Hammadi text, the Apocalypse of Adam speaks of the same basic theme:
"..from the nine Muses, one (Sophia)
separated away. She came to a high
mountain and spent time seated there, so
that she desired herself alone in order to
become androgynous. She fulfilled her
desire, and became pregnant from her
desire." 9

The result of Sophias frustrated desire or self infatuation, no matter which text one follows, is a male abortive creature, Proarchon (First Ruler) or Demiurge. The
Demiurge, unaware of his divine provenance, believes himself to be alone and brings forth from himself emmanations which are Archons (Rulers) like himself, to
whom he boasts "I am God and no one exists beside me!" At this point, according to both Irenaeus and The Nag Hammadi Apocryphon of John, Sophia calls out from
above and says, "You are wrong, Samael! (God of the blind) and to prove it, stretched forth her finger and introduced light into matter." 10 "It was because he was
foolish and ignorant of his mother that he said I am God; there is none beside me." 11
It is obvious from the above, that with all its complicated theogony, the root purpose of all Gnostic argumentation was to establish a maternal source prior to the male
Creator God of the Old Testament. In fact, virtually all the Gnostic sects identify the Demiurge with the Hebrew YAHWEH 12 whom some called Ialdabaoth, most
likely a corruption of the Aramaic yalda beht "Son of Shame. 13 For the Gnostic, then, the Hebrew God YAHWEH is the miscreant son of the "whore and holy one"
Sophia and the personification of Evil, and matter is considered to be the coagulation of the primal anguish, fright, pain and ignorance experienced by Sophia in giving
him birth. 14
There are many and varied Gnostic myths regarding the creation of man, however, there is an overall similarity in their presentation. For instance the Nag Hammadi
text, On the Origin of the World states:
After the day of rest, Sophia [literally, " wisdom"] sent Zoe
[literally, "life"], her daughter, who is called Eve, as an instructor
to raise up AdamWhen Eve saw Adam cast down, she pitied
him and she said "Adam live! Rise up upon the earth!" When
he saw her he said, " you will be called mother of the living,
because you are the one who gave me life." 15

Another text unearthed at Nag Hamadi, The Hypostasis of the Archons gives a similar account:
"And the spirit endowed Woman came to [Adam] and spoke
with him saying, "Arise, Adam." And when he saw her, he
said, "It is you who have given me life; you shall be called
"Mother of the living" Then the Female Spiritual principle
came in the snake, the Instructor, and taught them, saying,
"you shall not die; for it was out of jealousy that he said
this to you. Rather your eyes shall be open, and you shall
become like gods, recognizing evil and good.". And the
arrogant ruler cursed the Woman[and] the snake." 16

Thus, as there is no "Fall from grace" or "Original Sin" for the Gnostic, Jesus is not a redeemer (totally unnecessary) but a spiritual Aeon sent by Sophia to instruct men
as to their divine nature. 17 Whereas virtually all the Gnostic traditions accepted the crucifixion event as a historic fact, they deny that the Aeon Jesus suffered death.
Some claimed that it was Simon of Cyrene who died on the cross, as in the Second treatise of the Great Seth, 18 while others claimed that Jesus only appeared to die and
that those present who were illuminated with the "spiritual eye" saw the real numinous Jesus next to the cross either smiling or laughing. The latter view is related in the
Nag Hammadi Apocalypse of Peter:
"Who is this one above the cross who is glad and laughing? He whom you saw
glad and laughing above the cross is the Living Jesus. But he into whose hands and
feet they are driving nails is his fleshly part, which is the substitute." 19

As the real "spiritual" Jesus did not die, belief in the physical resurrection is, for the Gnostic, the "faith of fools." 20 The resurrection, they insisted, was not a unique
event in the past, instead it symbolized how Christs liberating presence could be experienced spiritually in the present. For example, the Gnostic Apocalypse of Peter
recounts how he did not actually see but perceived a vision of the Risen Lord who Proclaimed, "I am the intellectual spirit, filled with radiant light." 21
Following the theorizing of the distinct Gnostic apologists as laid out above, Ioan Coulianos, in his The Tree of Gnosis cited above, drew the conclusion that the whole
hermeneutic of Gnosis is an "Inverse exegesis" of the Bible starting from Genesis. All started in the Garden where the Serpent and Cain, true representatives of the
Pleroma, planted the seed of "revolution" into a world dominated by the laws of the evil Demiurge. Some moving forward to the New Testament name Judas as, "The
only one among the apostles to know the truth and fulfill the mystery of treason." 22
Fundamentally, then, Gnosticism is a religious movement that eschews Divine law as presented in the Judeo-Christian tradition, Aristotelian natural law, and
hierarchical power structures and authority in general. In its most elemental aspect, Gnosticism replaces the Male assertive intellectual authoritative consciousWord (Logos) with a Female rebellious intuitive passionate unconscious image (Sophia). The Gnostic adept, therefore, while rejecting outside authority, relies
on direct intuitive contact with a supposed immanent androgynous ground of being, via mystical experience and/or, Professor Bloom suggests, revelations by "an alien
messenger" who speaks from within.
"The vision of Christ that thou dost see
Is my visions deepest enemy
Thine is the friend of all mankind,
Mine speaks in parables to the blind:
Thine loves the same world that my mine
Thy heavens doors are my Hell gates
Both read the Bible day and night,
But thou readst black where I read
Seeing this False Christ , in fury and in

William Blake, Woman of the Apocalypse In this

painting the "woman" dressed in a red heart (not the sun)
welcomes the great dragon (serpent) rather than flee from

I made my voice heard all over the Nation.

William Blake,

The Everlasting Gospel

H.R.A. 2003

End Notes

1. Harold Bloom, The American Religion: The Emergence of the Post Christian Nation,(New York: Simonand Shuster, 1992). Omens of Millennium: The Gnosis of
Angels, Dreams and Resurrection. (New York: Putnam Pub. Group, 1996) Quotes furnished in The New York Times Book Review by Mark C. Taylor. Sunday,
Sep. 8, 1996
2) Hipolytus, REF 8.15.1-2. Refutationis Omnium Haeresium cit. Elaine Pagels The Gnostic Gospels (New York: Vintage Books, 1989) intro. XIX
3) Ion Couliano The Tree of Gnosis (San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1992) p. 57

4) ibid., p. 108 See also, source references, Plato,Republic VII.514a; Timaeus 30b; 41a-e; 42a; Phaedrus 249e; Plotinus Enneads IV.8.2; V.II etc.)
5) H. S. Wiesner cit. Couliano p. 70
6)J.M. Robinson, "The Jung Codex: The Rise and Fall of a Monopoly, in Religious Studies Review" 3.1 (January 1997)17-30
7) Thunder Perfect Mind 13.16-16.25, in NHL 271 274 cit. Elaine Pagels, The Gnostic Gospels p.55
8)Trimorpfic Protenoia 35.1-24 in NHL 461-462 ibid cit. Pagels
9) Apocalypse of Adam 81:2-9 ibid. cit 54
10) Hypostasis of the Archons 94.21 95.7 in NHL 158, ibid. cit 58
11) As quoted By Ireneaus in Adversus Haeresis, I.5.4 , REF 6.33 ibid cit. 57
12) Carpocrates: Iren. I.25.4 = Hipp.VI32.4; Ophites: Iren. I.30; Valentians: Hipp. VI.33; Theodotus:Clem. Exc.. 49.1; Archeontes: Epiph. 40.5.1; Docetists: Hipp.
IX.6. etc. cit. Couliano p. 95
13) Mathew Black, An Aramaic Etymology of Ialdaboth?, cit. Couliano p. 96
14) Irenaeus, I.54 ibid., Couliano p. 77
15) On the Origen of the World 115.31 116.8 in NHL 172, cit. Pagels p.30
16) Hypostasis of the Archons , 89.11-91.1 in NHL 154-155, ibid., Pagels p.31
17) Acts of John 89 in NT Apocrypha II, 225 ibid., Pagels p. 73
18) Second treatise of the Great Seth 56.6-19 in NHL 332, ibid., p. 73
19) Apocalypse of Peter 81.4-24 in NHL 344, ibid., 72
20) Origen, Commentarium in I Corinthins, in Journal of Theological Studies 10 (1909) 46-47, ibid., cit. Pagels
21) Apocalypse of Peter 83.8-10, in NHL 344, ibid., cit. Pagels
22) Couliano, p. 121


The Great Goddess

The following passage is taken from The Golden Ass of Lucius Apuleius, a second century Neo-Platonist and magician. Although his works were vigorously denounced
by St. Augustin in The City of God, (See Book IX, chapter one) this work was a best seller in Renaissance Italy. 1 Even after it was put on the Roman index and many
copies burnt as matter prejudicial to salvation, printed copies of the 1469 vulgar edition continued to circulate.
"Not long after I awoke in sudden terror. A dazzling full moon was rising from the sea. It is at this secret hour that the Moon-goddess, sole sovereign of mankind, is
possessed of her greatest power and majesty. She is the shining deity by whose divine influence not only all beasts, wild and tame, but all inanimate things as well, are
invigorated; whose ebbs and flows control the rhythm of all bodies whatever, whether in the air, on earth or below the sea "
"Blessed Queen of Heaven whether you are pleased to be known as Ceres, the original harvest mother who in the joy of finding herb daughter Prsoserpine abolished the
rude acorn diet of our forefathers and gave them bread raised from the fertile soil of Eleusis; or whether as celestial Venus, now adored at sea-girt Paphos, who at the
time of the first Creation coupled the sexes in mutual love and so contrived that men should propagate; or whether as Artemis, physician sister to Phoebus Apollo. I
beseech you by whatever name..restore my shattered fortunes, grant me repose, end my miseries . ."

"When I had finished my prayer .. I had scarcely closed my eyes before the apparition of a woman began to rise from the middle of the sea with so lovely a face that the
gods themselves would have fallen down in adoration of it. First the head, the whole shining body gradually emerged and stood before me on the surface of the
waves Her long thick hair fell in tapering ringlets on her lovely neck, and was crowned with an intricate chaplet in which was woven every kind of flower. Just above
her brow shone a round disc, like a mirror, or like the bright face of the moon, which told me who she was. Vipers rising from the left hand and right hand partings of
her hair supported this disc, with ears of corn bristling beside them. Her many colored robe was of finest linen; part was glistening white, part crocus yellow, part
glowing red and along the entire hem a woven bordure of flowers and fruit clung swaying in the breeze. But what caught and held my eye more than anything else was
the deep black lustre of her mantle. She wore it slung across her body from her right hip to the left shoulder where it was caught in a knot resembling the boss of a
shield; but part of it hung in innumerable folds, the tasselled fringe quivering. It was embroidered with glittering stars on the hem and every where else, and in the
middle beamed a full and fiery moon.
In her right hand she held a bronze rattle, of the sort used to frighten away the God of the Sirocco; its narrow rim was curved like a sword-belt and three little rods
which sang shrilly when she shook the handle, passed through it. A boat shaped gold dish hung from her left hand and along the upper surface of the handle writhed an
asp with puffed throat and head raised ready to strike. On her feet she wore palm leaves, the emblem of victory."
" `I am Nature, the universal Mother, mistress of all the elements, primordial child of time, sovereign of all things spiritual, queen of the dead, queen also of the
immortals, the single manifestation of all gods and goddesses that are. ` Though I am worshipped in many aspects, known by countless names, and propitiated with
all manner of rites, yet the whole round earth venerates me.
`.. Some know me as Juno, some as Bellona of the Battles; others as Hecate.. and the Egyptians who excel in ancient learning worship me with ceremonies proper to my
godhead, call me by my true name, Queen Isis. "


1. Lucius Apuleius, The Golden Ass translation by Robert Graves (New York: Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 1951)pp. 261-5

Appendix Six

Freemasonry, a brief summary

Freemasonry, A.K.A."the Brotherhood," or "the Craft," is a curious mixture of the medieval stone masons guild and various underground speculative currents of
esoteric and occult thought that blossomed throughout Europe in the late 17th and 18th centuries. The origins of Freemasonry are clouded by the vast number of
legends put forward by the adherents of the various lodges. As historical fact, however, modern Freemasonry is generally acknowledged to have begun in 1717. At that
time various sectarian groups came together to found the Grand Lodge in London as the seat of "speculative," rather than "operative" Freemasons, dedicated to the
building of freely perfected men rather than stone cathedrals.
The roots of so called "speculative" masonry, as suggested above, are to be found in the secretive movements that had existed for centuries in Europe as parallel and
adversarial to the established order of Christendom. As the power of the Catholic Church weakened under the attacks of both Protestantism and Renaissance humanism,
such latent esoteric movements as Catharism (Manechean dualism) in France, Jewish theosophy -Kabbalah- in Spain, and Alchemy throughout Europe gained
respectability. This trend was aggravated by the arrival of Egyptian Hermetecism- a Gnostic philosophy that openly preached the divinity of man- which entered Italy
after the fall of Constantinople in 1453. These movements coalesced in to such "secret brotherhoods" as Rosicrucians in England as well as Germany and Shabbateans
in Eastern Europe in the 17th century. These in turn in the 18th and 19th centuries influenced the Bavarian Illuminati, Italian Carbonari and Polish Frankists whose
adepts openly asserted their influence on the political affairs of their day, especially in the "Young Europe" political parties. Although these societies and movements
had distinct structures and rituals, all shared a single common denominator, the belief in the perfectibility of man and society through political action without need of
the Church with her dogmas, discipline and sacraments. Rather than confront the Church head on, these groups, under the umbrella of the Masonic brotherhood,
generally attempted to subvert rather than destroy the religious faith of the unwary.
In contrast to the English Grand Lodge Masonry with its "religious" overtones, as described above, there also exists a distinct, but linked, European Grand Orient
Masonry based on the "Deist" or even, since the declarations of 1777, openly atheist philosophy of the French Enlightenment. Virtually all the precursors of the French
Revolution, Rousseau, Voltaire, Diderot, and Robespierre were Grand Orient Masons. Until recently, the goal of the Grand Orient Lodges has been to openly confront
the Roman Catholic Church with its hierarchical structure of government topped by the Pope in Rome by espousing revolution and radical democracy.
The Church, from the beginning, has fought back against Freemasonry with all of its strength. There have been dozens of warnings and encyclical letters issued by the
Holy See regarding the dangers of Masonry. The foremost of these is that of Pope Leo the XIII titled Humanum Genis, published in 1884. In this document the Pope
clearly states that the conspiratorial society of Freemasons shelters "the partisans of evil" and is, at its root, "Satanic" in nature. * According to the 1917 Code of
Cannon Law, article #2335, to belong to a Freemasonic Lodge was grounds for automatic excommunication Latae Sententiae. (the act itself bringing the penalty
without formal accusation.) Although no longer grounds for ipso facto excommunication, Cardinal Ratzinger reiterated the incompatibility of Masonry and Catholicism
in 1985.
While the ostensible goals of Freemasonry are philanthropy and human development, the true goal is philosophic and ultimately religious. Masonic author, Albert Pike
(Sovereign Grand Commander of the Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, 1859 -1891) sets the record straight in his authoritative Morals and Dogma of Freemasonry.
According to Pike, following the system of the medieval Jewish Kabbalah (oral tradition), Freemasons are bound to no one particular religion, but worship the
"Complete God." This "God," Pike points out, again according to the Kabbalah, is comprised of both good (expansive) and evil (restrictive) principles, personified by,
God and the devil. It should be noted, however, that in Albert Pike's twisted mind, as put forth in his July 4, 1889 letter to the Masonic supreme councils, Lucifer is the
expansive, pleasure loving "good" god, and Adonai (the Judeo-Christian God) is the restrictive, judgmental mean spirited deity.
The "secret" then for the individual Freemason, following the Serpent's lie that, "Ye shall be as gods," is to work out for himself the balance or harmony of good and
evil in his own life to achieve his own divine perfection. "Man is a God in the Making", Manly P.Hall, 33 The Lost Keys of Free Masonry
Collectively the external goal of Masonry is for an emancipated mankind to rebuild "Eden" without heed to the restrictive demands of the Creator and His established
Church. The esoteric goal is to incorporate Lucifer into definition of the "Complete God" that includes both good and evil, or the fusion of opposites, coincidentia
opositorum. "In one instance we have the interlaced triangles, one black, the other white, the white triangle has its point up; the black triangle points down... The
interlaced black and white triangles represent the forces of darkness and light, error and truth, ignorance and wisdom and good and evil; when properly placed they
represent balance and harmony." Wes Cook 32 Vigniettes in Masonry from the Royal Arch Masonry Magazine

The Masonic "Complete" God by Elephias Levi 33

* Pope Leo XIII: "The race of man, after its miserable fall from God, the Creator and giver of heavenly gifts, "through the envy of the devil," separated into two diverse
and opposite parts, of which the one steadfastly contends for truth and virtue, the other for things which are contrary to virtue and truth. The one is the kingdom of God
on earth, namely, the true Church of Jesus Christ; and those who desire from their heart to be united with it, so as to gain salvation, must of necessity serve God and His
only begotten Son with their whole mind and with an entire will. The other is the kingdom of Satan, in whose possession and control are all whosoever follow the fatal
example of their leader and our first parents, those who refuse to obey the divine and eternal law, and who have many aims of their own in contempt of God, and many
aims also against God...At this period, the partisans of evil seem to be combining together, and to be struggling with united vehemence, led on or assisted by that
strongly organized and widespread association called Freemasons." Humanum Genus: 1884



Kabbalah, simply stated, according to Gershom Scholem, the worlds greatest authority on the subject, is a form of Gnosis that underlies certain "Jewish mystical
theology." The Fundamental tenets of Kabbalah, according to Scholem, are as follows: "Over and above disagreements on specific details that tend to reflect different
stages in the Kaballah's historical development, there exists a basic consensus among kaballists on man's essential nature...At opposite poles, both man and God
encompass within their being the entire cosmos. However, whereas God contains all by virtue of being its Creator and Initiator in whom everything is rooted and all
potency is hidden, man's role is to complete this process by being the agent through whom all the powers of creation are fully activated and made manifest. What exists
seminally in God unfolds and develops in man Because he alone has been granted the gift of free will, it lies in his power to either advance or disrupt through his
actions the unity of what takes place in the upper and lower worlds... his principal mission is to bring about Tikkun Olam or restoration of this world and to connect the
lower with the upper." 1. The concept of tikkun, or restoration, involves the problem of evil, and again according to Scholem, "the root of evil resides within the Ein-Sof
(hidden God) itself." Evil, therefore, for the kabbalist is simply the sitra ahra or "emation of the left" and at the end of time, through the process of man's work of tikkun
even the devil, "Samael will become Sa'el, one of the 72 holy Names of God". ... "In Greek this is called apokatasis (sic)"..."To use the neoplatonic (Plotinus) formula,
the creation involves the departure of all from the one and its return to the one." 2.

A Brief History
Although many adepts claim that the Kabbalah, or secret oral tradition, goes back to Moses or even Adam, Scholem places its practical beginnings in the Second
Temple period, posterior to the Babylonian exile. 3. (The words Cabala, Kabbalah, Qabalah etc. are virtually interchangeable. Kabbalah is used here as in Scholem's
Once again, according to Scholem, the development of Kabbalah was coeval with Hellenistic syncretic religion and Gnosticism. Both Hellenistic Gnosis and
Rabbinical Gnosis were based on the theory that there are spiritual emanations of God (Aeons and Archons for the Greek, Sephirot for the Hebrew) which fill the
primordial cosmos. These, if properly understood and harnessed lead back to the deity. Historically, the esoteric teachings contained in the Kabbalah passed from such
groups as the Essenes, or Qumran apocalyptics, through the Diaspora to the Medieval Provenal and Spanish thinkers who produced the Sepher Yezira (Book of
Creation) and Zohar (Book of Splendor). These speculations were further developed in the sixteenth century by Jacob Cordovero and Isaac Luria whose writings led to
the Messianic hopes placed in Shabbetai Zevi in 1666. Since that time, in Jewish circles, the Kabbalah lay in fermentation among the Hasidim (Pious ones) of Eastern
Europe and the Doenmeh, a strange group of followers of the failed Messiah, Shabbetai Zevi, who became false converts to other religions in order to seek redemption
through apostasy and sin. 6 The Rabbis of normative Judaism with its emphasis on Halakah, "the Law," have traditionally viewed the Kabbalah with suspicion Some
recent movements, especially those coming out of Eastern Europe, such as the Chabad Lubavicher movement of the Late Rabbi Schneerson have tried to combine
traditional Halachic teachings with elements of Kaballah. preaching the esoteric doctrine of Hochmah (Wisdom), Binah (Intelligence), and Daath (Harmony, Balance,
"Cha ba d" ), described below.
The influence of the Kabbalah on segments of Christian thinking has flourished since the Renaissance. It was openly quoted in the works of such influential thinkers as
Pico della Mirandola, Johannes Reuchlin, Agrippa of Nettesheim, Cardinal Egidio da Viterbo, the Franciscan Friar, Francesco Giorgio of Venice, as well as the apostate
Dominican, Giordano Bruno. The tradition carried through into the 17th century in the writings of Jacob Boehme and culminated in the eighteenth century within the
esoteric writings of such figures as Martines de Pasqually and Louis Claude de Saint Martin. 7. In modern times it may be found as the core doctrine of occult,
theosophical Freemasonry. 8. (See: Kabbalah and Freemasonry below)

The Doctrine Dialectical Monism

In a much simplified exposition of the basic Kabalistic doctrine, all begins with Ein-Soph ( alt. Ayn- Soph, En-Soph) the infinite, or literally without measure. Like the
Gnostic "God beyond god" or Pleroma, it contains within its essence both the active and passive ( male and female, good and evil) principles in their full potential. In
the beginning, before there was anything, the eternal source, Ein-Soph contracted itself within and then filled the subsequent void with emanations of its own essence.
This contraction and expansion is called the Zimzum. (See: Fig. 1,(Left) Illustrations - following the text)
According to the Zohar (Book of Splendor), what was engraved first on the void were the words: "Let there be light." in the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
Subsequently, El Gadol (Great God) emerged from the primal ether on the right as the masculine principle and Elohim (Darkness) emerged on the left as the feminine
principle. Then appeared the actual "Light" signifying "that the Left was included in the Right and the Right in the Left." 9. From the initial point of light streamed forth,
in concentric circles, ten mystical numbers or paths known as Sephiroth. The names of these Sephiroth are as follows: Keter (Crown); Binah (Intelligence); Hokmah
(Wisdom) Gevurah (Justice); Gedullah (Greatness); Tiferet (Beauty); Hod (Honor); Nezah (Victory); Yesod (Foundation); and Malkhut (Kingdom). These Sephiroth
would come to form Adam Kadmon the celestial archetypal man.

Adam Kadmon

This was not the Adam of the Bible but a cosmic prototype for all of reality akin to the Neo-Platonic Demiurge. The Sephiroth may also be displayed as the descending
Azilut "emanations" - which form the "Tree of Life." (Fig. 2 6, Illustrations)
The first three Sephiroth: Keter (Crown); Binah (Intelligence); and Hokhma (Wisdom) received the "Light" and contained it. (See the three faces in the diagram above)
Thus the divine essence is preserved in a tripartite interrelationship, or immanent "Trinity" within the mind of Adam Kadmon, the macrocosm and within the mind of
individual man, the microcosm. The following seven Sephiroth could not contain the light and shattered, forming shards of coagulated energy (matter) called Kelippot.
Again, following the Neo-platonic or Gnostic doctrine, the farther the Sephirah lies from the center, the denser the matter. Malkhuth, therefore, as farthest away from
the center, forms the earthly kingdom or the feet of Adam Kadmon. (See again: Fig.1, )
Through the break up of the Sephiroth, the equilibrium and unity of God has been destroyed. The "light" and the "dark" of the primal Light have been separated and it is
the obligation of man to re-establish both his own inner unity or wholeness and the wholeness of God. To accomplish this project called Tikkun, The Jewish people as
Knesset Israel have the predominant role. According to the Kabbalah, from the earliest Spanish manuscripts onward, the Jewish race has seen itself as the
representative of the Shekhinah, ** (see below) the feminine principle split off from God, reminiscent of the Gnostic Sophia. 10. According to kabalistic (Hasidic)
Tradition it is said: "Just because of this split, God needs man, whose task it is to reunite the riven opposites within the divine personality itself. From this point of view
the exile of the Jewish people receives deep and special meaning. For this exile of the people corresponds in the `upper world, so to speak, to an exile of the Shekinah
(supposed feminine half of God) who went into exile with them. The return of the Jewish people from exile therefore means, in Jewish mysticism, the redemption of the
Jewish people; it is above all an earthly image, and likeness of an inner-divine drama of redemption, of the homecoming of the Shekhina to God... So while man
needing redemption strives to restore the disturbed world order, he is at the same time working toward the redemption of God and his union with the Shekhinah and thus
toward the restoration and realization of the wholeness of God." 11. A tradition also holds that the final Masiach, messiah, who will achieve Tikkun Olam, concordia
discors or "world harmony," will be a manifestation of the Shekinah, i.e., female.
Within the overall historical perspective and purpose of the Kabbala i.e. the ultimate complete unity of God and creation, there are two fundamental problems to be
resolved. First is the relationship of the individual human being to God and second the problem of evil.
For the Kabalistic initiate, while awaiting the final restoration of history, there are various techniques available for personal spiritual development. One is meditation on
the mysteries of the Sephiroth called Kavvanah and another involving numerology is called Gematria. The technique of Kavvanah involves mental concentration on the
combinations of the sacred names which pave the way for ecstatic union with the divine source, Metatron, (alternately known as the prince of God's countenance,
Prince of this world, Angel of light, or ones own true self). 12. This union is mystically known as Zivvug ha-Kadosh, or coupling face to face, which is said to produce
an internal harmony of the restrictive (passive) powers of Din and the out flowing (active) powers of Rahanim. Once again one finds Concordia Discors, or
Coincidentia Oppositorum, the fusion of opposites as object of the endeavor. 13.
Seen in this light, the parallel between Kabbalah and the Eastern Religions is quite obvious. It is, of course, the resolution in harmony of the passive Yin and the active
Yang according to the Tao which produces the "enlightened" state where "all duality merges into oneness, a noble path that leads to contentment and peace." 14. In
reality, according to Gershom Scholem, "the Techniques of `prophetic Kabbalah' that were used to aid the ascent of the soul, such as breathing exercises, the repetition
of the Divine Names, and meditation on colors, bear a marked resemblance to those of both Indian Yoga and Muslim Sufism." 15. Gematria on the other hand, involves
the belief that the Hebrew alphabet is the first emanation of Ayn-Sof and that the arrangement of these 22 letters, according to their numerical value, make up the
seventy-two sacred names of the All Holy as well as the cosmos. Gematria can be used for the concordance of Biblical texts and messianic prophecy as well as in
calling up spirits. 16. This latter property may be employed, at least in theory, both for good and for evil. The manipulator of spirits, (good or evil) is called a Baal Shem
or master of the divine names. 17. According to legend, in the 16th century, Rabbi Loewe used Gematria to create a fearsome creature called the Golem to protect the
Prague Ghetto.
The problem of evil for the Kabalistic is complex, as, if all comes from and is contained in the Ayn Sof what man calls evil must be intrinsic to the divine nature. What
is it, then, in the divine nature that may be called "evil"? Once again, according to Scholem: "The determining factor is the estrangement of created things from their
source of emanation, a separation which leads to manifestations of what appears to us to be the power of evil. But the other [evil] has no metaphysical reality ... outside
the structure of the Sephiroth ... the Sepher Gevurah as `the left hand of the Holy One blessed be He,' and as `a quality whose name is evil' has many offshoots in the
forces of judgement, the constricting and limiting powers of the universe"
Cutting through the flowery rhetoric, it would appear that Evil, for the Kabalist, is any force that restricts or limits (divine) human freedom and creativity. It [evil]
reverts to that part of God which is designated, " Pure judgement, untempered by any mitigating admixture, [which has] produced from within itself the sitra ahra (the
other side) The `emanation of the left.' " 18. According to Nathan of Gaza, the grand apologist of 17th century Shabbetean Kabbalah The first light was entirely active
[creative] and the second light entirely passive [restrictive] immersed in the depths of itself. "The root of evil is a principle within the Ayn-Soph itself which holds itself
aloof from creation and seeks to prevent the forms of light which contain thought from being actualized, not because it is evil by nature but only because its whole
desire is that nothing should exist apart from Ayn-Soph." For the Kabalistic, of whatever school, neither good nor evil, exist as such. Whatever meaning there is to
existence involves Tikkun or the restoration of harmony and balance between the forces of expansive light and restrictive darkness until all is once again absorbed in
the Ayn-Soph.
These speculations, it seems, are the inevitable result of dialectic opposition in a monistic system. The argument is as follows: If the universe is an overflowing or
projection of God, (See Plotinus Ennead 5) and the universe contains what man calls "evil," then "evil" is contained in the nature of God. If, however, God is all good,
then evil is not evil, it is but the dark side or foil of good. There is, in fact, no other possible logical solution to the problem of evil in a universe produced by emanation
rather than creation from nothing. As man develops his own inner divine potential (individually and collectively) as an emanation of God there must be a balance of the
progressive and the restrictive within the person and society to attain the ideal. This was, of course, the "enlightenment" proposed by Leibnitz in his Thodice. 19. This
form of thinking has impacted Western thought from the 16th century to the present.
In terms of eschatology, the imanentist theology of the Kabbalah must inevitably lead to the doctrine of Apokatastasis the reintegration of all spiritual emanations,
active and passive, "good" and "evil," into the divinity at the end of time. If God is all, then God can not leave part of himself out side of himself forever. This is
precisely what the Kabbalah predicts with its doctrine of Tikkun Olam. After myriad reincarnations, the souls of all men, * as well as of angels and demons, will form

once again the unity of God. As the forces of creative light expand in man and dark judgement is absorbed, so also shall it be with God. It is even said that the Arch
Devil Samael will be transformed at time's end to Sael one of the 72 holy Names of God.20

*It should be noted that there is some dispute among Kabalistic as to whether all sons of Adam or only Jews have within them the "divine spark" or Neshama which
would allow re-incorporation to the Ein-Sof. According to the Zohar, only Jewish people come from the "holy side" or sitra di-kedusha from which the divine spark
proceeds. Non Jewish people are products of the "other side" or sitra ahra and do not have the "divine" neshama but only the animal soul called nefesh and a spirit of
cognitive ability called the ruah. 21.
The word Shekinah, simply said, does not appear in the Hebrew Bible. The term MiShKaN, from which the word Shekinah is derived, refers to the Sanctuary in the
wilderness not the being who dwells therein. As Feminist Hebrew scholar/Rabbi, Lynn Gottlieb in her book, She Who Dwells Within, points out, "The word Shekinah
first appears in the Mishna and Talmud (ca 200 CE), where it is used interchangeably with WHVH and Elohim as names of God. By 1000 CE, the very mythologies
so suppressed in the Bible erupted in the heart of Jewish mysticism, known as the Kabul, and Shekinah became YHVH wife, lover and daughter." This word only
entered into common usage among Jewish thinkers in Medieval Spain where "Kabalistic" (Gnostic) mysticism took root from the writings of Moses de Leon in the
Sefer ha-Zohar or Book of Splendor (c. 1280 AD).
_ **

As explained by Daniel Matt in his Essential Kabbalah, "In Kabbalah, Shekhinah becomes full-fledged She: the feminine half of God." This doctrine spread through
Southern Europe to Palestine and Turkey and then upward to Poland and Russia after the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492. More recently, Joseph Dan of the
University of Jerusalem in an interview with Jewish Book News (May 9th 1996 issue) states, "The Kaballah insists that there is a feminine aspect within the divinity
itself, the Shekhinah, and therefore sexual life is applicable to the divine world."

An interesting addendum is that of Polish "convert" from Judaism to Catholicism, Jacob Frank. Frank first claimed himself to be the Messiah in Poland in 1756 as part
of a Kabalistic Trinity made up of Attika Kadisha (The Holy Ancient One), Melika Kadisha ( The Holy King Messiah), and the Shekhinah (feminine earthly half of
the divinity). As he was persecuted by the Orthodox Jewish community for his bizarre faith and orgiastic initiations, he and many of his followers came into the
Catholic Church precisely to introduce a feminine, or earthly, element, the Shekhinah, into the Christian Trinity under the guise of the Blessed Virgin Mary. (Secretly
present in his own daughter Eva, but to be made manifest in the last days as a ultimate feminine Messiah) 22


Gnosticism and Kabbalah in the Modern World

In the No. 2 - 2003 issue of 30 Days magazine there is an article by Italian theologian, Massimo Borghesi, which, while singling out Kabalist Shabetai Zevi at the
beginning, had the following to say regarding Gnostic dualism in general that is significant to this study:
" The Serpent, the tempter, appears in the guise of the liberator, the one who raises man beyond good and evil, beyond the God of old, foe of freedom. The last two
hundred years have rediscovered the the liberator principle of the world [affirmed] by the Ophite sect, a principle foreshadowed in the notions of Shabbatai Zevi with
his Messiah consigned to the serpents" "Hegel, with his dialectic of the negative, was to give rich theoretical guise to this idea. Man must sin, must come out of
natural innocence to Become God. He must realize the promise of the serpent: must know like God, good and evil. This knowledge is the origin of sickness, but also
the fountainhead of health, it is the poisoned chalice from which man drinks death and putrefaction, and at the same time the wellspring of reconciliation, since to posit
oneself as wicked is in itself the overcoming of evil." [Jakob] Bhme, according to Hegel, struggled to understand in God and from God the negative, evil, the
Devil . God is the unity of contraries, of anger and love, of evil and good, of the Devil and his contrary, the Son. On this view Christ and Satan become in some way
brothers, sons of the one Father, parts of him, moments in his polar nature." This is an idea set down by Carl Gustav Jung in his esoteric Septem Sermones ad
Mortuos written in 1916, circulated as a monograph among his friends and never published. The text, which borrows conceptually from the Gnostic Basilides, affirms
the pleroma nature of God, composed from pairs of opposites of which, God and devil are the prime manifestations." "Everywhere at work Romano Gurdini
wrote in 1964 there is the fundamental Gnostic idea that contraries are polarities: Goethe, Gide, and C.G. Jung, Th [omas]. Mann, H[erman] Hesse All see evil,
the negative [] as dialectical elements in the totality of life, of nature. This attitude for Guardini, manifest itself already in everything that is called Gnosticism, in
alchemy, in theosophy. It presents itself in programmatic form in Goethe, for whom the satanic enters even into God; evil is the original power of the universe necessary
as good, death only another element in that everything, the pole opposite which is which is called life. This opinion has been proclaimed in all forms and made concrete
in the field of therapy by C.G Jung."
That Kabalistic thought continues alive and flourishing in the modern world, one may add the favorable words of Jorge Luis Borges regarding "The Kabbalah"
presented in his 1984 (English translation) Seven Nights: "Borges takes us on an intellectual stroll through "The Kabbbalah." In it he considers the necessity of evil, and
its justification, theodicy. He cites the Two Libraries of Leibnitz: one containing 1,000 copies of only the one perfect book, the Aeneid; the other boasting only one
copy of this perfect book. The999 imperfect books of the second make it superior. Evil is in the variety, but variety is necessary for the world." (Emphasis added) "The
lesson of the Kabbalah, Borges tells us in his succinct if disparate, essay, is in the doctrine the Greeks called apokatastaisis: that all creatures, including Cain and the
Devil, will return, at the end of great transmigrations, to be mingled again with the Divinity from which they once emerged." 24

Marashal McLuhen, in a review of a book, Melvilles Quarrel with God, by Lawrence Thompson, (Princeton University Press, 1952) , offers the following thoughts.
"The theme of this book is briefly stated (p. 332) by the author:
My suggestion is that Billy Budd should be viewed as Melville's most subtle triumph in triple-talk; that it was designed to conceal and reveal much the same notions as
are expressed years earlier in Moby Dick and Pierre and The onfidence-Man: that Melville came to the end of his life still harping on the notion that the world was put
together wrong and that God was to blame and that only the self- profiting authoritarians pretend otherwise, in order to victimize the stupid . . . . his chronic antiChristian pessimism did not abate during the forty- five years which elapsed between Confidence-Man and Billy Budd.
Phrased that way, Melville's case sounds typical enough. Spelt out by Professor Thompson, however, this very typical attitude of our time is shown to have profound
historic dimensions. Melville's diabolism, like that of Byron, Blake, Milton, Nietzsche and Schopenhauer, was directly linked to the old gnostic tradition of the Ophites
and Parsees. God and the devil are one. But only the enlightened, the illuminate, know this. For the populace another version of the facts is expedient. Writing in
Blackfriars of Karl Marx (July-August, 1952) Father Victor White provides a handy description of the myths of Marxist religion and counter-religion which
corresponds exactly with the politics of the Marquis de Sade and with the views of Herman Melville -- namely that conventional
religion and secular humanism are a swindle to put a benign countenance on the devil-god of reality. Through revolution and tribulation men can perhaps mend the
hideous defects of the dualistic divine being. Mankind can be the saviour of a helplessly malignant deity. From this point of view, the greater the criminal, the greater

his efficacy as saviour. The error of our age has been to regard its diabolical figures and politics as the fruit of impersonal causes and to disregard the historic continuity
of devil-worship, with its perennial appeal to the ambitious intellects of every age. Our situation enters its present phase with the eighteenth century 'attack' on belief in
the personality of the devil. As Father White points out, Marxism does not repudiate religion, but channels it against Christianity: Marxism, in short, only denies God
in the sense of setting on record that He is, in our society, in practice denied and ineffectual, and in the sense of echoing the Satanic assurance, 'You shall be as God'. Its
power against contemporary Christianity lies in the fact that it has stolen Christ's thunder . . . . But just because it is the ape of God and His Christ, the Christian must
see in Marxism a supreme embodiment of the Antichrist . . . "

1. Gershom Scholem, Kaballah (New York: Dorset Press:1974) p.226,227
2. Ibid., 126-128, 227
3.Gershom Scholem Kabbalah (New York, Dorset Press, 1987) p. 3 - 5. The Second Temple period dates from the return of the Jewish people from the
Babylonian exile in 538 BC until the destruction of the Temple by the Romans in 70 AD. The influence of Sumerian and/or Persian religion on the exiled Jewish
community has been suggested as a possible source of the Kabbalah
3. Ibid. pp. 5-12
4. Ibid. Pp. 8-22 The book of Genesis, for example, is treated as an esoteric explanation of the entrapment of the soul in matter in its descent from the world of
Azilut into the world of creation Beriah and the book of Exodus, by contrast, begins the work of liberation and re-ascent of the soul to the spiritual order.

5. N.B. ibid. 284, 327 - 332 According to Scholem, after the false Messiah, Shabbetai Zevi converted to Islam in 1666 many of his followers (known as Doenmeh
apostates) did so as well. According to the 18th C. Polish Shabbatean, Jacob Frank, the raison dtre of these conversions would appear to be as follows:
"under the `burden of silence' the true believer, who has God in his secret heart, should go through all religions, all rites, and established orders without
accepting any and indeed annihilating all from within and thereby establishing true freedom. Organized religion is only a cloak to be put on and thrown
away on the way to the `sacred knowledge,' the gnosis of the place where all traditional values are destroyed in the stream of `life'." In this regard it should be
noted that the Doenmeh indulged in orgiastic sexual activity especially during the spring festival Hag ha-Keves. Scholem also acknowledges that this movement
influenced the universal upheavals of the eighteenth century as for-runner of the Enlightenment, Jacobinism and Freemasonry. He cites as some of the
acknowledged Doenmeh of history: the majority of Kemal Ataturk's `Young Turk' movement and the founder of Polish Messianism, the poet Adam

6. Ibid. pp. 197 201

7. Albert Pike .Morals and Dogma of Free Masonry (Charleston, Southern Jurisdiction Publication, 1871) pp.581-800
8. The Zohar I Sperling and Simon, trans. p. 70, cit. June Singer Androgyny Toward a New Theory of Sexuality (New York: Anchor, 1977) p. 153 N.B. This
concept is fundamental to understanding of the Kabbalah as thus can be seen the initial mixing of light and darkness, male and female, good and evil as the initial
act of the "One God," and the Kabalist can pronounce with impunity the traditional Jewish Shema "Shema Ysrael Adonai Elehenu, Adonai Ehad" "The Lord is
God, The Lord is One."
9. Scholem pp. 88 168
10. Siegmund Hurwitz Psychological Aspects of Early Hasidic Literature Timeless Documents of Soul (Evanston, IL: North Western University Press, 1968) pp. 202
- 203 cit. Singer, p. 160
11. Scholem p. 180
12. Ibid. pp. 141, 143, 161, 162,, 167, 194
13. Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai The Teaching of Buddha (Tokyo, Japan,1970 ) p. 62
14. Ibid. p. 125, See also Malcolm Godwin Angels, An Endangered Species (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990) entry for Metatron pp. 59 61
15. Scholem p. 180
16. Ibid. pp. 337 343
17. Ibid. p. 310
18. Ibid. p. 127
19. Ibid. p. 128
20. Bid. Pp. 156 157

21. Genesis 1:1-2 "Berishit Barra Elohim" "In the beginning God created the heavens and earth" The verb barra in Hebrew means to create from nothing. It is
only used for the divine act at the beginning of time. From this Biblical account comes the traditional orthodox Jewish version of creation called Torah di
Beriah as opposed to the Kabalistic Torah de Azilut or world of emanations. In both traditional Jewish and Christian theology, God is worshipped as a personal,
omnipotent, omniscient, creator who is other than his creation. For the Roman Catholic, the formula may be stated as follows: "(Deus) est re et essentia a
mundo distinctus, et super omnia praeter ipsum sunt aut concippi posunt ineffabiliter excelsus."Vatican I caps. I, ca 1-4) "(He is really and essentially distinct
from the world...and ineffably raised above all things which are outside of Himself or which can be conceived as being so."
22. Scholem, p. 302
23. Anthony Kerrigan, Review of Seven Nights, Jorge Luis Borges (New Directions: NY, 1984) in Winter 1987- The University Bookman, Ed. Russell Kirk

(Some, by and large, easily available books consulted for this essay and of use to serious students of the subject)
Gershom Scholem, Kabbalah (New York: Dorset Press, 1987)
Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism (New York: Schocken Books, 1995)
Zohar (New York: Schocken Books, 1995)
Leonard R. Glotzer, The Fundamentals of Jewish Mysticism The Book of Creation and its Commentaries (Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson Inc., 1992)
Daniel C. Matt, The Essential Kabbalah The Heart of Jewish Mysticism (San Francisco, CA: Harper San Francisco, 1994

Adin Steinsaltz, The Thirteen Petalled Rose A Discourse on the Essence of Jewish Existence and Belief (New York: Basic Books, 1980)
The Essential Talmud ( Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson Inc., 1992)
Rachel Elior, The Pardoxical Ascent to God The Kabbalistic Theosophy of Habad Hasdism (Albany, NY: State of New York University Press, 1993)
Edward Hoffman, The Way of Splendor Jewish Mysticism and Modern Psychology (Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson Inc., 1992)
Mordachai Rotenberg, Dialog with Deviance The Hasidic Ethic and Theory of Social Contraction (New York: University Press of America, 1993)
Pinchas Giller, The Enlightened Will Shine Symbolization and Theurgy in the Later Strata of the Zohar (Albany, NY: The State University of New York,1993)
Lyn Gottlieb, She Who Dwells Within A Feminist Vision of a Renewed Judaism (San Francisco, CA: Harpers San Francisco, 1995)
Matityahu Glazerson, Building Blocks of the Soul Studies on the Letters and Words of the Hebrew Language (Nortrhvale, NJ: Jason Aronson Inc. 1997)
Martin Buber, I and Thou (New York: Charles Scribner, 1958)
Francis A. Yates, Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, `1984)
The Occult Philosophy in the Elizabethan Age (London: Ark Paperbacks, 1983)
The Rosicrucian Enlightenment (Boulder, CO: Shambala, 1978)
Karen Silvia De Len-Jones, Giordano Bruno and the Kabbalah (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1996)
Kathleen Raine, Yeats The Tarot and the Golden Dawn (Dublin: Dolmen Press, 1976)
June Singer, Androgyny Toward a new Theory of Sexuality (New York: Anchor Press, 1976)
Carl Gustav Jung, Opera Omnia esp. A Psychological Treatise on the Doctrine of the Trinity (Princeton, NJ: Bolingen, Princeton University Press)


Fig.1 (left)

Adam Kadmon depicted as Cosmic Christ on the schematic Tree of Life. The Kabalistic Trinity Atika Kadisha (Holy One of Old), Meleka Kadisha (Holy King), and the Shekhinah (Feminine presence of God) are above Christs


head empowering him to bring the divine down to Earth, Malkuth

The Ayn Soph contracts and the expands to fill the void with the divine presence, Zim Zum. The further out from the center, abode of the binary god, Ayn Soph, the denser the
material shards, Kelipoth until one reaches the firmament, Malkuth at the outer circle.


Descent of the "Divine Fire" down through the "Tree of Life" to reach
and divinize Malkuth - the Earth

Fig. 3 - 13th Century Jewish depiction of the "Tree of Life"

Fig.4- "Tree of Life" from the

12th C. Liber Figurarum of

"Catholic mystic, Joachim da Fiore

Fig. 5 - 16th C. Masonic "Johanite"- engraving of Christ as Adam Kadmon "Cosmic

Christ" corresponding to the Sephirotic "Tree of Life." Note the split black and white (good
& evil) "Ayn Soph" at the top and the seven branched Menorah dominating the lower world
of Malkuth.

Fig. 6 - Drawing from the notebook of Rosicrucian, George Pollexon, c.1894 showing the Kabalistic
"Tree of Life." Note the androgynous ( beard & breasts) Adam Kadmon (Christ Figure) on the Cross-,
drawing from both pillars Jachin & Boaz representing the male and female forces of both God, AynSoph and the Cosmos. The "God of Light" above and the "Dragon" Satan below are united on earth
Malkuth represented as the naked woman with flowers springing up around her. Pollexon was a
member of the "Kabalistic Order of the Golden Dawn" along with poet W.B. Yeates who signed and
was known among his colleagues in the society as "Dedi" or "Demon est Deus Inversus"

Fig. 8 The great lie and true Luciferian nature of

Fig. 7 In the political realm, the working out of Tikkun Olam is the "Dialectic." Both Hegel and Marx were
influenced by Kabalistic and the concepts of "Thesis" "Antithesis"-"Synthesis" closely follows the "Tree of Life"
in binary confrontation of the forces of Din (authoritarian judgmental oppression) vs. Hessed or Rahanim (merciful
progressive liberation) working toward synthesis and perfection of the Earthly Kingdom, Malkuth through. The
resolution of opposites

Kabbalah is shown in the "icon" above. From the upper

right hand corner, a red angel falls, ejected from heaven,
downward into the cosmos. According to esoteric legend, it
was one or more of these angels that imparted the secret
knowledge (Kabbalah) to man. Below the angel is shown a
man with three triangles superimposed over him. These
represent the three configurations or triads that form the
sefirot or vessels of the tree of life. Each sefira, according to
the Kabbalah, is a level of attainment in knowledge or
balance between the pillar of judgment Din and the pillar of

( See: Fig. 7 at left)

mercy Hessed
that will lead
to enlightenment and harmony. Across at lower right,
however, we see a terrified man possessed by the demon

(central third eye and reptilian tail). At upper right,

heavenly judgment, corner, a black hand covers over and
annihilates man.

Fig. 8 - Ultimately the Essential Symbol of the Kabalistic Tikkun Olam is the occult (not Biblical) "Seal of Solomon" representing the Coincidentia Opositorum
(Fusion) of Good and Evil to form the "Complete God"
by lephias Lvi, 33 Histoire de la Magie 1861

Appendix 8
The following articles were downloaded from with no apparent copyright restrictions placed on them.

Hegel and the Hermetic Tradition

Glenn Magee, (Cornell University Press, 2001)

God is God only so far as he knows himself. his self-knowledge is, further, a self-consciousness in man and mans knowledge of God, which proceeds to mans selfknowledge in God.
Hegel, Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences

1. Hegel as Hermetic Thinker

Hegel is not a philosopher. He is no lover or seeker of wisdom he believes he has found it. Hegel writes in the preface to the Phenomenology of Spirit, To help
bring philosophy closer to the form of Science, to the goal where it can lay aside the title of love of knowing and be actual knowledge that is what I have set before
me (Miller, 3; PC, 3). By the end of the phenomenology, Hegel claims to have arrived at Absolute Knowledge, which he identifies with wisdom. Hegels claim to have
attained wisdom is completely contrary to the original Greek conception of philosophy as the love of wisdom, that is, the ongoing pursuit rather than the final
possession of wisdom. His claim is, however, fully consistent with the ambitions of the Hermetic tradition, a current of thought that derives its name from the so-called
Hermetica (or Corpus Hermeticum), a collection of Greek and Latin treatises and dialogues written in the first or second centuries A.D. and probably containing ideas
that are far older. The legendary author of these works is Hermes Trismegistus (Thrice-Greatest Hermes). Hermeticism denotes a broad tradition of thought that
grew out of the writings of Hermes and was expanded and developed through the infusion of various other traditions. Thus, alchemy, Kabbalism, Lullism, and the
mysticism of Eckhart and Cusa to name just a few examples became intertwined with the
Hermetic doctrines. (Indeed, Hermeticism is used by some authors simply to mean alchemy.) Hermeticism is also sometimes called theosophy, or esotericism; less
precisely, it is often characterized as mysticism, or occultism. It is the thesis of this book that Hegel is a Hermetic thinker. I shall show that there are striking
correspondences between Hegelian philosophy and Hermetic theosophy, and that these correspondences are not accidental. Hegel was actively
interested in Hermeticism, he was influenced by its exponents from boyhood on, and he allied himself with Hermetic movements and thinkers throughout his life. I do
not argue merely that we can understand Hegel as a Hermetic thinker, just as we can understand him as a German or a Swabian or an idealist thinker. Instead, I argue

that we must understand Hegel as a Hermetic thinker, if we are to truly understand him at all. Hegels life and works offer ample evidence for this thesis. There are
references throughout Hegels published and unpublished writings to many of the leading figures and movements of the Hermetic tradition. These references are in
large measure approving. This is particularly the case with Hegels treatment of Eckhart, Bruno, Paracelsus, and Boehme. Boehme is the most striking case. Hegel
accords him considerable space in his Lectures on the History of Philosophy more space, in fact, than he devotes to many significant mainstream thinkers in the
philosophic tradition. There are, furthermore, numerous Hermetic elements in Hegels writings. These include, in broad strokes, a Masonic subtext of initiation
mysticism in the Phenomenology of Spirit; a Boehmean subtext to the Phenomenologys famous preface; a Kabbalistic-Boehmean-Lullian influence on the Logic;
alchemical-Paracelsian elements in the Philosophy of Nature; an influence of Kabbalistic and Joachimite millennialism on Hegels doctrine of Objective Spirit and
theory of world history; alchemical and Rosicrucian images in the Philosophy of Right; an influence of the Hermetic tradition of pansophia on the system as a whole; an
endorsement of the Hermetic belief in philosophia perennis; and the use of perennial Hermetic symbolic forms (such as the triangle, the circle, and the square) as
structural, architectonic devices.
Hegels library included Hermetic writings by Agrippa, Boehme, Bruno, and Paracelsus. He read widely on Mesmerism, psychic phenomenal dowsing, precognition,
and sorcery. He publicly associated himself with known occultists, like Franz von Baader. He structured his philosophy in a manner identical to the Hermetic use of
Correspondences! He relied on histories of thought that discussed Hermes Trismegistus, Pico della Mirandola, Robert Fludd, and Knorr von
Rosenroth alongside Plato, Galileo, Descartes, and Newton. He stated in his lectures more than once that the term speculative means the same thing as mystical. He
believed in an Earth Spirit and corresponded with colleagues about the nature of magic. He aligned himself, informally, with Hermetic societies such as the
Freemasons and the Rosicrucians. Even Hegels doodles were Hermetic, as we shall see in chapter 3 when I discuss the mysterious triangle diagram.
There are four major periods in Hegels life during which he seems to have been strongly under the influence of Hermeticism, or to have actively pursued an interest in
it. First, there is his boyhood in Stuttgart, from 1770 to 1788. As I shall discuss in detail in chapter 2, during this period Wrttemberg was a major center of Hermetic
interest, with much of the Pietist movement influenced by Boehmeanism and Rosicrucianism (Wrttemberg was the spiritual center of the (Rosicrucian movement).
The leading exponents of Pietism, J. A. Bengel and, in particular, F. C. Oetinger were strongly influenced by German mysticism, Boehmean theosophy, and Kabbalism.
Most Hegel scholars have not thought it necessary to consider the intellectual milieu of his boyhood. Hegel is almost universally understood simply within the context
of the German philosophical tradition as responding to Kant, Fichte, and Schelling. Needless to say, the influence of Kant, Fichte, and Schelling was important, but it
was not the only influence on Hegel. Part of the reason other sources of influence are missed or ignored is that few scholars are familiar with the complexities of
religious life in eighteenth-century Germany. Those who
are familiar are almost always from disciplines other than philosophy, and almost always German. (The study of German Pietism is almost exclusively the province of
German-speaking scholars.) The religious and intellectual life of Wrttemberg is, however, the obvious place to begin to understand Hegels own intellectual origins,
characteristic ideas, and aims. Hegel has to be understood in terms of the theosophical Pietist tradition of Wrttemberg he cannot be seen simply as a critic of Kant.
Indeed Hegel, as I will argue, was always a critic of Kant and never a wholehearted admirer precisely because he was imprinted early on by the tradition of
pansophia, which was very much alive in Wrttemberg, and by Oetingers ideal of the truth
as the Whole (see chapter 2). He could not accept Kants scepticism, nor could Schelling, and for identical reasons. Yet they both recognized the power of Kants
thought and labored hard to move from his premises to their own conclusions, to circumvent his scepticism at all costs, in the name of the speculative ideal of their
youth. From 1793 to 1801 Hegel worked as a private tutor, first at Berne, then at Frankfurt. As I shall discuss in chapter 3, Hegels biographer Karl Rosenkranz referred
to this period as a theosophical phase in Hegels development. During
this time, Hegel appears to have become conversant with the works of Boehme, as well as Eckhart and Johannes Tauler. Also during this period Hegel became involved
in Masonic circles.


Hegels Lecture on the Philosophy of History

Kabbalah and Gnosticism

Kabbalistic Philosophy and Gnostic theology are also occupied with the concepts of Philo. The first of these concepts is Being: abstract, unknown and nameless. The
second is disclosure: the concrete which emanates from Being. The return to unity is also accepted to a certain extent, particularly with the Christian philosophers. This
return, which is considered third, approaches Logos. [1] According to Philo, Wisdom is the teacher, High Priest, which leads the third back to the first, and thus to the
vision (hros) of God.

Kabbalistic Philosophy
Kabbalah is called the secret wisdom of the Jews. Much has been fabled concerning its origins, and much of it is enigmatic. It is said to be embodied in two books: the
Sefer Yetzirah (Book of Formation) and the Sefer ha-Zohar (Book of Splendor). The Sefer Yetzirah is the same primary book which has been attributed to Rabbi Akiba.
A completed edition is soon to appear from Herr von Mayer in Frankfurt. [2]
There are ideas in the book which lead into Philo to a certain extent, but they do so in a very enigmatic way, and are presented more for the Phantasie. It is not as
venerably ancient as is claimed by those who revere it, for they suppose that Adam was given this heavenly book as a consolation for his fall. It is an astronomical,

magical, medicinal, prophetic brew. An historical pursuit of its traces indicates that it was cultivated in Egypt.
Akiba was born soon after the destruction of Jerusalem. In 132 A.D. the Jews revolted against Hadrian with an army of 200,000 men. The Rabbis were also active in the
revolt. Bar Kokhba had passed for the Messiah and was flayed alive.
The second book, Sefer ha-Zohar, is said to have originated from a pupil of Rabbi Simeon b. Yochai. He was called the Great Light, the Spark of Moses. Both Sefer
Yetzirah and Sefer ha-Zohar were translated into Latin in the 17th Century. [3]
In the 15th Century a speculative Israelite, Rabbi Abraham Cohen Herrera, also wrote a book Puerto del Cielo (The Gate of Heaven) which is connected to Arab and
Scholastic philosophy. [4] It is an enigmatic mixture, but the book does have foundations which are universal [allgemeine Grundlage]. The best within it travels along a
conceptual path similar to Philo. There are certainly some genuinely interesting determinations of a fundamental nature [Grundbestimmungen] in these books, but they
tend to lead to enigmatic fantasizing. In the early history of the Jews one finds nothing concerning the notion of God as Being of Light, or of an opposition between
light and darkness (seen as a struggle between good and evil); one finds nothing in early Jewish history on good and evil angels, or of the rebellion of evil, its
damnation and sojourn in hell; nor anything concerning the future world judgment over good and evil, and the corruption of the flesh. In these books of the Kabbalah
the Jews first began to develop their thoughts about their reality and to unveil to themselves a spiritual, or at least spirit-world, whereas they had previously been
absorbed in the mire and self-importance of their existence and in the preservation of their people and race.
Concerning the particulars of the Kabbalah, the following can be said here: the One is declared the principle of all things, for this is the primeval source of all numbers.
Just as the totality of numbers is itself no number, in the same way God is the foundation of all things, Ain Sof (without limit). The emanations associated with Ain Sof
proceed from this first cause through contraction of that original boundlessness; this is the hros (boundary) of the first. In this first single cause everything is preserved
eminenter, not formaliter but rather causaliter.
The second main point is Adam Kadmon, the first man, Keter, the first generated, highest crown, the Macrocosmos- Microcosmos, to which the emanated world is
connected as the flux of light. Through further emanation the other spheres become the circles of the world, and this emanation is represented as a stream of light. Ten
streams of light issue from the primal source, and these emanations, Sefirot, compose the pure world of Azilut (world of divine emanations), which is itself without
variability; second, the world of Briah (world of creation), which is variable; third, the formed world of Yetzirah (the pure souls which are deposited in the material, the
souls of the stars; the pure spirits are further differentiated as this enigmatic system proceeds); and fourth, the established world of Asiah (world of activation), which is
the lowest vegetative and sentient world.

Fundamental notions similar to those of the Kabbalists constitute the determinations (Bestimmungen) of the Gnostic theology. Herr Prof. Neander has given us an
erudite collection of the Gnostics, which he has explained in detail. Some of these forms accord with those discussed above.
One of the most outstanding Gnostics is Basilides. According to Basilides, the first is the unspeakable God, thes arretos, the Ain Sof of the Kabbalah, which as t n, o
n [Being] is nameless ('anonmastos), and immediate, as with Philo.
Second is nos (spirit, mind), the first born, Logos Sopha (Wisdom), the active dynamis (power) which differentiates more precisely into justice (dikaiosyne), and
harmony (eirne). These are followed by further developed principles which Basilides calls Archons, the heads of the spirit realms. A central issue in this schema is
again the return, the soul's process of clarification, the economy of purification, oeconoma katharoeon, from the hyle (materia). The soul must return to Sopha and
harmony. The primeval essence contains all perfection within itself, but only in potentia; the spirit (nos), which is the first born, is only the first manifestation of what
is veiled, and created beings can only obtain true justice in harmony with it through connection to God.
The Gnostics, for example Markos, call the first the unthinkable, anennetos, and even non-existence, anosios. It is that which proceeds into the determinate, montes.
They also call it the pure stillness, sig (silence). From it proceed Ideas, angels and the aeons. These are the roots and seeds of the particular fulfillment: lgoi (words),
rzai (roots), sprmata (seeds), plermata (plenitudes), karpo (fruit); and each aeon contains its own world within itself.
According to other Gnostics, for example Valentinus, the first principle is also called Aeon or the unfathomable, the primeval depth, the absolute abyss, bythos, in
which everything is sublimated (aufgehoben) before the beginning (prorche) or before the Father (proptor). Aeon is the activator. The transition or unfolding of the
One is dithesis (arrangement), and this stage is also called the self-conceptualizing of the inconceivable (katlepsis to akatalptou), which we have encountered in
Stoic philosophy as katlepsis (grasping, conceiving). These concepts are the Aeons, the particular dithesis, and the world of the Aeons is called the plroma
(plenitude). The second principle is called the hros (boundary), the development of which is to be grasped in contraries, the two masculine and feminine principles.
The one is the plroma of the other, and the plermata (plenitudes) emanate from their union, syzyga. The union is the foremost reality. Each opposite has its own
integral complement, syzygos; the sum of these plermata is the entire world of Aeons all together, the universal plroma of the bythos (abyss, depth). The abyss is thus
called Hermaphrodite, the masculine-feminine, arrenthelys.
Ptolemaios attributes to the bythos two pairs (syzygous), two arrangements or dispositions (ditheseis) which are presumed through all existence: will and thought
(thlema ka nnoia). Colorful forms and ornamentation then enter into the picture. The essential determinate is the same: abyss and unveiling. The manifestation as a
descent is also dxa (splendor), Shekhinah of God, Sopha ournios (heavenly wisdom), which refers to the vision of God (horasis to theo): dynmeis agnetoi
(uncreated force), the light about him flashes brilliantly (ai pri autn osai lambrtaton phos apastrptousi), the Ideas, lgos, or pre-eminently the name of God (t
noma to theo), the name of the many-named God (polynymos), the Demiurge, i.e., God's appearance. All of these forms pass into the enigmatic. In general, the
fundamental terms of these different Gnostic theologies are the same, and at their core is an attempt to conceive and determine what is in and for itself. I have
mentioned these particular forms in order to indicate their connection to the universal. Underlying this, however, is a deep need for concrete reason.
The Church repudiated Gnosticism because it remained in the universal, and grasped the Idea in the form of Imagination, which then opposed the actual selfconsciousness of Christos in the flesh, Xprists n sark. The Docetists say that Christos had merely an apparent body and an apparent life. The thought was a cryptic
one. The Church stood firmly opposed to this in favor of a definite form of the personality, and it adhered to the principle of concrete reality.

1. Hegel is referring to the Neoplatonic triad of mon (Being or 'abiding'), prodos (the procession from the cause) and epistroph (the return to the cause). - SJT
2. Das Buch Jezira, die lteste kabbalistische Urkunde der Hebrer (The Book Yetzirah, The Oldest Document of the Hebrews). Published by Johann Friedrich
von Mayer, Leipzig, 1830.
3. Hegel is referring to the volume Liber Jezirah. Qui Abrahamo Patriarchae adscribitur, uno cum commentario Rabi Abraham Filii Dior super 32 Simitis
Sapientiae a quibus liber Jezirah incipit. Translatus et Notis illustratus a Joanne Stephano Rittangelio. Amsterdami 1642. [For a more complete bibliography of
Sefer Yetzirah, see Sefer Yetzirah Bibliography] - SJT
4. Regarding Herrera, Gershom Scholem writes the following in his encyclopaedic Kabbalah (1974): Abraham Herrera, a pupil of Sarug who connected the
teaching of his master with neoplatonic philosophy, wrote Puerto del Cielo, the only kabbalistic work originally written in Spanish, which came to the knowledge
of many European scholars through its translations into Hebrew (1655) and partly into Latin (1684). In another context Scholem mentions Herrera's rle in the
discussion of Spinoza and Kabbalah: The question of whether, and to what degree, the Kabbalah leads to pantheistic conclusions has occupied many of its
investigatior from the appearance in 1699 of J.G. Wachter's study Der Spinozismus im Judenthumb, attempting to show that the pantheistic system of Spinoza
derived from kabbalistic sources, particularly from the writings of Abraham Herrera.
In the context of Hegel's short entry on kabbalah, the following passage is worth quoting from Herrera's book Puerto del Cielo (included in a Latin translation in

Christian Knorr von Rosenroth's Kabbala denudata: Adam Kadmon proceeded from the Simple and the One, and to that extent he is Unity; but he also descended
and fell into his own nature, and to that extent he is Two. And again he will return to the One, which he has in him, and to the Highest; and to that extent he is
Three and Four (Kabbala denudata I, Part 3, Porta coelorum, ch. 8, paragraph 3, p. 116). - SJT

Translation and notes by Scott J. Thompson, From Walter Benjamin Research Syndicate,