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Preface Foreword A Saying Introduction Rome Beside the fountain Secrets & magic In expectation of the night. Abbazia di san Nilo The Cardinal in white The Times have come Life & death of the Order of the Temple The Mystery of the Grail Tunis And the door opened to us!

Preface

BIBLIOGRAPHY Messages from the Cathedral of the Soul Secret Houses of the Rose-Croix Strange Encounters Interview with Raymond Bernard (video)

SECRET MEETING IN ROME BY RAYMOND BERNARD The thousands of copies of this manuscript that have been sold, the quotations that have been used in writings and heard in lectures, and most especially, the numerous letters received from my readers, has been very encouraging and gratifying to me. However, some of the correspondents have had such erroneous conclusions that it seemed was necessary for me to write a foreword to be included at the start of this work with the purpose of preventing any further tendency of misleading interpretations or simple misunderstandings.The fundamental purpose of this manuscript is to transmit certain knowledge of subjects of the mystical tradition which nowadays, particularly in France, continues to exercise a strong

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attraction upon those interested in great questions beyond the limits of those nonsensical items recorded in the popular press. To be convinced of this, notice the considerable success of the books dealing with these subjects among the general public. Most of these books do not rest upon any foundation. They do not have any basis of truth for meditation and reflection, and they lead their readers towards false and even dangerous conclusions.

Preface - by Raymond Bernard

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Observation, Visualization, Cosmic Attunement

Foreword

It is also necessary to show the importance of the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC, in the world, and this manuscript is, indeed, to put it in its rightful place and that is first, regarding its objectives, its worldly activities and the number of its members. In spite of the great tolerance of our Order and its extreme liberalism, it has sometimes been necessary to show strict severity in regards to those who are deceived by their own errors and who deceive others by leading them into terrible ways that do not have any aspect of psychic equilibrium. To warn them is a duty, especially if it is directed to one who is on the sure and truthful path offered by the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC. To stray from this path of certainty after assuming it, is to retrogress. My aim has been that my Rosicrucian readers may avoid committing this regrettable error of seeking elsewhere that which they will always find at the most opportune moment and the most efficacious for them, is in the teachings of the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC. Such were the reasons which induced me to write this manuscript and some others. The manner chosen to communicate this knowledge is important. To understand certain subjects, it is not enough to read them; one must experience them, and that is why I adopted this form of writing. The result is that this manuscript is partially allegorical and partially factual. It is based on symbolism, for the symbol is, in essence, a language, which each understands according to his development and which the Rosicrucian understands better than most. Thus, through allegory, through symbols, and through facts, subjects of the highest interest are examined, and this examination will lead you to an understanding more vast, more useful, and more true, of the great questions which tradition, past and present, has applied itself in solving. My dearest wish will always be that this manuscript may be for you a source of inspiration and a constant encouragement to carry on your efforts within the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC, towards the greater light and Peace Profound. RAYMOND BERNARD Domaine de la Rose-Croix Friday 17th October, 1969

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A Saying

0 Chiunque tu sia, che fuor d'ogni uso Pieghi natura ad opre altere e strane E'spiando i segreti, entri al piu chiu so Spaz' ia tua volglio delle menti umane Deh! Dimmi! (Gerusal) 0 thou whoever thou art, who obliges nature to apply itself to thy strange works, and who, master of their secrets, penetrates at will to the hidden depths of the human soul, tell me ...!

Introduction - by Raymond Bernard

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Introduction

A secret door.... A secret meeting in Rome! The title surprises and intrigues ones curiosity. In the final analysis, I could not have given this work a more appropriate one. Only one other might have been used and I did chose it in the beginning, but to have called this story "The Cardinal in White", as I had the intention of doing, would have run the risk of some regrettable confusion. My intention is, truly, to tell of my meeting with a great man whose unique stature in the invisible empire of initiation is such that he fills a pivotal role, and I was not able to clothe him with a higher or more appropriate title than that of the "White Cardinal". But the great Gustave Meyring had already, in his time, reported the extraordinary message of a "White Dominican". Further, the term "Cardinal" has taken a meaning much more precise in relation to a religious hierarchy in the See of which my Cardinal had never entered in any way. The fact, also, that all, may have happened in Rome, required the prudence of not using a term which might be misunderstood and thus was born the different and less compromising title of this manuscript. Then, here once more, I must clothe with words that which my only remembrance is of sentiment and emotion, and then to transmit to others the message instilled in my soul by a rare experience. The hour has come to reveal without betraying much and to give without abandoning anything. This task would be impossible if it did not deal with knowledge and perhaps wisdom. These are the only domains where the transmission is so absolute that self becomes self and when the unity is realized, he who gives takes part in his own gift. To share a secret is without doubt, esoterically, to delegate a certain power, a form of authority which is acted upon in our name, because, for the initiate, the secret is the very condition of the sacred mystery and of the ancient powers in which he has been admitted to take part. But to share a secret is, above all, to give to others the essential implements which will permit them individually to manufacture the key opening the sublime portal of the realized consciousness where the emerging self is regenerated and forever raises itself... I am going to relive with you, certain exciting circumstances. I would have said "an adventure" if this word had not, in our day, lost its profound meaning of the exceptional occurrence, yet all in our universe is so exceptional for those who know how to see and experience, that the qualification here does not have any importance. These circumstances, this adventure can, at the end of your reading, become yours, as they are mine, for they are placed, "beyond time and space" where they are unfolded. They are, in fact, latent in each of us, and the exterior element, that which is produced in the phenomenal world, only fulfills the function of stimulation or awakening. The spark is thrown out; facts capable of an illusory "outside" enflame the permanent reality in us and illumine our
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consciousness. We learn nothing, for all is within ourselves, but the veil cannot be torn aside except by the strange and irreplaceable action on us of the exterior world such as it is realized by us, however unreal it may actually be. In this regard, my secret meeting in Rome has caused to resound afresh the echo of a hidden wisdom at the heart of the divine essence which I carry within myself just as you carry it within you, and I have gathered together, on the subjective plane, a little more light and peace. It will be the same for you, as I would wish it to be. You can, by means of this recital, make my Roman adventure your adventure for, after all, the message which I have collected is destined for you and it is you, each one of you, who waits at this very instant for a secret interview, with a sage, an initiate, a master .. . The Cardinal in White. Raymond Bernard

Introduction - by Raymond Bernard

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Chapter I

Rome

There are few countries in the world where the exigencies of an existence, at first profane, then consecrated to an exceptional mission, have not led me at various times. There are few important towns that one could name at random to which I have not gone at some time. Of all these countries and of all these cities, Rome, to me, is the jewel. It was there in October 1955, in an imposing palace with an extraordinary silence (I withhold the name) that I received, in the autumn of my thirty-second year, the initiation of a secular tradition. It is there, where I was led to accomplish in another domain and where I began the destiny" that manifests in my present responsibilities. It is there that a friendship took the form of a good friend from whom, ever since, neither time nor distance has separated us, and one day, inescapably, as Gilbert Becaud said, he will be wept for as "absent". But at least it will not be so for me. It is here in Rome, that the road has led me, in order that my soul can manifest its completeness, its absoluteness, and in its full amount at all levels of experience and consciousness ... However, I feel myself incapable of describing Rome. While there, I want the reader to stroll with me in the Borghese gardens to see again the vestiges of ancient Rome, to visit hastily certain museums, to admire some churches, to descend into some sad catacombs, to enter the Vatican City, to walk through the basilica of St. Peter and come at last exhausted, to look for some unattainable rest in the celebrated terrace of the Via Veneto. To my Roman friend after having visited the ancient Rome of the past many times, I said to him one day in jest, "This city is a museum." He then conducted me to modern Rome where there is nothing to be envied in other foreign capitals. Again jestingly I observed, "This city is like the others!" He led me back towards the ancient ruins. I understand and I am silent. Rome is the ancient and the modern mixed in the present which sings under the dark and curly heads, whose eyes give life to things and to beings that they touch. It is the religious and the profane, the beauty of a thousand faces, the truth if it is agreeable, the venial illusion which wishes to make pleasurable and which for that, is so sincere that it becomes truth. Rome is a pleasure and a song, sad or happy, more lively than sad and perhaps sad and happy at the same time. The city, in the end, will be that which you are yourself, and it is your self that you will love through her. As for me, it is at the Roman fountains that I take pleasure in confiding to myself. True, I never fail to

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give a coin to the Fountain of Trevi so that a favorable departure leads me quickly and safely to Rome, but I have in Rome my favorite fountain; the Fountain of the Tortoise...But why do I prefer it to all others and how do I know? Because it is sentimental and there are memories. Naturally, I am speaking of my Roman fountain because it has a connection with my story. When I reflect on it, it could not possibly be otherwise. In Rome, if certain problems assail me, my steps, invariably, lead me towards it. Strangely, this time they take me on a journey which will culminate in an exceptional experience.

Rome - Chapter I

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Chapter II

Beside the Fountain

My roman Fountain

It is a spring night in Rome. From the balcony of my apartment in the Cavalieri Hilton, admirably situated on the Monte Mario, I contemplate, for some time, the lights of the city... when I am suddenly seized with an irresistible impulse to visit my fountain. I have arrived in the evening and my hotel being some distance from the centre, laziness was more powerful than the attraction of the deep bath of that I always feel the need for when arriving at some place... as much as making or remaking the acquaintance of my hosts of the moment. But now, the desire is more powerful and it is concentrated wholly on my fountain. It is late, very late, but am I not, as one says, "of the night"? I will perhaps be alone there below . . . with my recollections, what a privilege . . . ! The taxi left me at the corner of the street and here I am before my fountain... Oh, I am not alone! Someone is there before me, but I do not feel myself troubled by this presence. All is so calm here at this late hour. "The other", perhaps shares my curious attraction for this fountain. At least, I wish to believe it, and my heart without any jealousy makes itself a silent accomplice to the stranger. I come nearer to the fountain . . . and to him. He appears to be far away, wrapped up in himself and his eyes are closed. I try to make as little noise as possible, but as I near him he gives a start and then he looks at me for a long time. He looks at my eyes, I must be precise, it is like those who stare without seeing! From his eyes comes a mysterious energy, whose power is in the meaning that it gives to his look. Many would drop their gaze and try to ignore it. This man knows me as well as I know myself! His eyes search my soul, and mine his, and all is accomplished in understanding, almost attunement and with a smile. - "Do you speak French?" What else could I have said? One of us must make the first move and why not me? The reply was unexpected, "Je suis franais!" I take a better look at my questioner... he is more or less my build and clothed in an exquisite way. His grey suit is cut in the French fashion and the blue tie is discreet. His face is angular, incisive and his brown eyes which are fixed on mine reflect a great goodness and melancholy. - "I am French," he continued, "but I am often in Rome. My affairs call me here... and also other Things! And you?

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Is this your first stay in Rome?" - "Certainly not! Many circumstances lead me to Rome quite frequently..." My questioner interrupts me, "The circumstances they are religious ones?" - I smiled, "Religious? Perhaps, but not in the sense that you would understand it. . ." Who knows! I have met this man; there must be a particular reason! The possibility, after all, exists as such. I add then, and it is almost as a challenge; - "I would prefer to say circumstances . . . traditional and esoteric!" The man gave a slight start. "Esoteric? You know then that esotericism exists in Rome! The devil! Our encounter does not need this curiosity." - I reply, "Experience has taught me that every encounter is curious. Certain ones are even strange..." Then I add slowly; "Is it not, in the main, strange that at an hour so late at night, we chance to be, you and I, two Frenchmen, alone, here, before this fountain in the heart of Rome, and is it not stranger still that we are chattering thus without knowing each other, revealing ourselves rapidly to one another and, for my part, showing you my esoteric interest. Allow me to introduce myself.... So without hesitation, and moved by an irresistible and profound impulse, I declared my identity, my title and my responsibilities. He looked at me intently and, I suppose, with surprise . . . until my own surprise suppressed all other feelings within me for a few moments. My questioner replied, Indeed, to my declaration, and there was no need whatever to pinpoint his title or his responsibilities. His name was sufficient, and it was one of the greatest names in France. Ah! When I was talking not long ago of traditional circumstances, how was I to imagine that the man to whom I was addressing myself represented by his name, many, many, great under-takings in the long history of my country! Meanwhile, I reacted very rapidly. Numerous are the great of this world who honor me with their confidence and some of them with their friendship, and they are more relaxed with me than they would be in their official position. Otherwise, those of the temporal world scarcely impress me. My veneration goes to the common man, to the humble, and to the weak. For at the level of their reality they are great, much greater than those who are publicly considered great. For, they may be proud of their names and their qualities, but their pride in most cases is only justified by their ancestors and by an absurd vanity of their office. But the man who was there before me is of a simplicity so vibrant, that the illustrious name which he has inherited is an ornament for his profound personality which becomes him without any reservation. - "Perhaps we could pursue this conversation at my home?" said he, "Unless you feel too tired."... I was not tired and the invitation pleased me. - "Our conversation will be more profitable than sleep. I will follow. Thank you..."

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We walked for some minutes . . . his car, badly parked but we are in Rome is licensed in Italy and I conclude from that, that he lives here more often than he is willing to admit. It is one of my failings, in this incarnation, to appreciate powerful cars. They are a human effort to overcome the illusion of time and the mirages of space. At the same time, they are the admirable fruit of research and of the genius of man who, in his wide-awake dream, believes without ceasing in going more quickly, to come nearer a summit, where time and space will only be unity. This is so, and the mystic knows it from experience, but humanity has chosen the long, the very long road of materialism and of sensation. Man, can only be awakened in the midst of others, and he can only serve humanity by remaining human himself. The awakened consciousness has no room for hypocrisy. It sees all, and at first only the body, which it inhabits temporarily; this body with its appetites and its shortcomings which are not an ill UNLESS thought and remorse consider them so, and then make them an impediment... I do not feel it a hindrance to my higher consciousness to appreciate the power of a car. Strange inner experiences have come to me when driving at a very fast pace, and in the same manner, useful intuitions have sprung to my mind whose consequences for many others have been of considerable use... My companion drives with a sure and agile hand which requires silence and concentration. During the days which follow he will give me the pleasure of driving this exceptional car. This indeed will be a sign of confidence and esteem on his part, but today both of us are concentrated and silent. It is without doubt that during this time of apparent repose from thought that knowledge and light will gather beneath our objective consciousness and will spring forth from our being, first in our conversation, and then a little later, in the exceptional circumstances that we will live through together... It is very necessary to give a name to my companion and I decide that I cannot give him his own name. No particular recommendation has been given to me by him on this subject, but anonymity is an implicit rule in this kind of adventure, and for the stronger reason that a name risks personalizing the story and leading one away from its intention. This is not the history of a man of which I write. It is the story of a meeting, where he, like me, is nothing but an actor and not even in the leading role. Thus, my companion cannot be anything more in these pages than a Christian name chosen at random from a fleeting idea ... Robert, Philip, Louis? What difference does it make? However, it is necessary, and that is why, my friend, I have baptized you JOHN. It is not surprising that John's apartment is situated on one of the celebrated hills of Rome, and it is even less surprising when one knows who John is, that the "Via" where this apartment is, is one of the most desirable in Rome. I shall not describe this dwelling, except to underline in a few words its discreet luxury, composed of a simplicity and grandeur where one recognizes in all circumstances and in every occasion the imprint of authentic nobility. Meanwhile, in all his other residences, elsewhere in the world, I will discover that which I shall call "The sign of John". This sign I will also see in the homes of those who encompass him, at the home of his children, certainly, but also in the homes of those who serve him. For example, this manservant who comes in an amiable manner to make sure we are alone in the dimly-lit library where we have sat down, side by side, on a couch with glistening designs near an elegant writing desk ...

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Chapter III

Secrets & Magic

1 2

John begins, I represent an august lineage which in our time has grown dim, but there still exists an irresistible attraction for the mysteries, and I am certainly not, in this regard, an exception. These mysteries have been transmitted from one generation to another over the centuries through my family.... Does my host intend to do all the talking during the time we are together? ... I do not know . . . although I am disposed to listen only and to learn. He speaks in a grave voice and the gestures which accompany certain words do not lack in grandeur. That which he goes on to affirm is not said in the guise of an excuse. A confession, in whatever form it is clothed, always begins with a definition, more or less precise, of self. John was not ignorant that the "occult" history of his ancestors was well known to me. Much is known of it and perhaps a little more by me, who has the privilege of access to rare archives... So I will interrupt my questioner as little as possible... - "... Power in this world, political, financial and even religious, concentrates in itself the desire of a power still greater, for man is never satisfied with his lot. Power must have its complement in power. The politician feels the need to dominate the financier, the financier is irresistibly inclined to weigh all his gold against the politician and as for the church, it aspires often, alas, to temporal power and seeks the favor of the politician and the financier. What a strange triangle, where one of the points can only function with the other two for its proper manifestation! Now, these three points my family has overcome and preserved for the ages, but a far greater compensating power was necessary to place it beyond the temporal triangle. From this power has evolved the QUEST and RESEARCH that I have thus inherited....And my intention is assuredly not to have to go over that which was surmounted before my time, after much fumbling, many mistakes, and even deviations such as one could qualify as 'witchcraft'..." These last words are accentuated with a smile which I share. John is silent for a few moments and I ask myself a question. What is he leading to? Soon, I would have to ask myself the very same question. From habit, I am so curious of others, so adventurous by nature, and so eager to share with others, that my idle soul refuses to anticipate. Meanwhile, all is at this strange point in this adventure. Questions begin to emerge from my consciousness and I ask myself, why and how I had agreed to come here. However, this man with his illustrious name, who of course, is known in this story as "John", was near my fountain at an unexpected time and, after a few words, received me into his home, treated me as an old friend and that appeared to me normal, coming from

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him . . . Once again my psychology astonishes me! Unless ... Unless he already had knowledge of the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC, and to confide in me would allay his restless hope. Why should I be surprised? I had recently arrived at Orly, and then while waiting to embark, I said a few words to a very old passenger departing for another destination and suddenly was listening to him, speaking about the "cryptic secrets of Istanbul"! Why then should I be astonished by this adventure? I could not, however, avoid an inner start when my companion continued, seeming to reply to my secret question. - "I have read attentively all the documentation about your Order and I have been instructed in your philosophy and your tradition, in particular with regard to the Rosicrucian Manual and the Sanctuary of Self. I could not imagine meeting you this evening in Rome at this fountain . . ." I interrupted him: "It is my fountain, charged with my memories, with my thoughts, and perhaps my doubts ..." - "For my part, it is the first time that I have ever stopped there," he replied. "After a late meal, I felt the necessity of taking a walk and my steps took me there by chance - "By chance?" - "You are right. Let us seek to understand. We have met and there is a profound purpose in everything. I believe you came to me at the moment when the need made itself felt. I am within a few hours of an IMPORTANT INTERVIEW of the quest that I undertook many years ago. Now, curiously, I have been forewarned THAT I SHOULD NOT COME ALONE ... and you are here! A few hours ... It is you, assuredly, whom I sought unconsciously near the fountain ... At last! Time presses! Allow me to place myself before you, allow me to unburden my soul of its SECRETS AND OF ITS WITCHCRAFT! It is necessary that you should know where my quest has led me, for the level attained is fundamental BECAUSE OF WHAT HAS BEEN PREPARED FOR ME AND YOU . . ." He rose and, opening a drawer in the writing desk with an engraved key taken out of his left pocket, he lifted a rolled parchment which he handed to me, saying: "Read". I unrolled the slightly yellowed document but I had difficulty in reading the fine penmanship and in deciphering certain ancient phrases. I am at the height of bewilderment ... but I will not reproduce here the secret symbols nor the exact titles inscribed below the main device. They have a very considerable importance at the dawn of these new times through which we are passing and THEY BELONG TO "THAT WHICH COMES". I will simply say that "the phoenix is reborn from his ashes" and the time is not far off when all these symbols and titles will have a new life, in a new world where all VALUES WILL BE UPSET to such a degree that no comparison will be possible between this time and that, and that, naturally it will be in the sense of a GREAT GOOD. Since I am in Rome, do I dare to reveal so soon that the Faithful of our epoch, if they still live, will have great difficulty then to recognize their own church? IN TWENTY YEARS TIME... Nevertheless, what is a year, two or EIGHT years in such a perspective... The document then reproduces two quatrains from the prophecies of Nostradamus as follows: Who will open the discovered monument And will not come to close it promptly Evil will come to him and will not prove Whether it is better for Breton or Norman to be King When the writing D. M. found And the ancient cave has lamp discovered Law, King, and Prince Ulpian proved Royal pavilion and duke under cover. Immediately below, these incomprehensible words:

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NIL HAS SOURCE IN CRYPTA FERRATA. And at the bottom of the parchment the incredible signature, made authentic by a cross spreading towards the extremities. LOUIS. Templar

Secrets & Magic - Chapter III

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Chapter IV

In Expectation of the Night

God Hapi I woke up at two o'clock in the afternoon! Lucky for me that I am not a morning person. Without precedent, this is a record for me, but I absolve myself at once by thinking that the coming night will not allow me very much sleep. I order my breakfast and no one is surprised. In Rome, as in Madrid, one does not rise early. I guess, that I would rather be born Roman than Madridian! The next time, perhaps. Quite naturally, my thoughts return to the preceding night. I promised never to reveal such an adventure to anyone. Yet today, I write it for a great number. It is a common saying, that truth is stranger than fiction, but I do not feel any need for justification. Oh, my Roman fountain! If I were a poet again and had sung it to you, your soul would have been able to know the embrace and the joy of a voluptuous secret. But I am no longer a poet, and I do not dedicate an ode to the Fountain of the Tortoise. I feel some jealousy in having had to reveal publicly, in these pages, the love that I bear for it, but I would not have been able to do otherwise in order to be truthful. It was the meeting place, and from it this adventure was born. Pardon my memories, for I have only betrayed my beloved fountain! To believe or not to believe, to be or not to be, the dilemma is the same... This story, I proclaim to be TRUE, but for you, dear friend, may it be what you wish, but consider carefully your own life. See if it is not interspersed with mystery, and that for others, it would sometimes be thought to be improbable. That is, in case you would even tell it. Then my improbability can join yours and both, the one for the other, will be the TRUTH. I shall speak in a moment of the Abbey of San Nilo, and it is in this enchanting atmosphere that together we shall meet the CARDIANL IN WHITE. I could not have presented it any differently than I have done. I was not put in his august presence, suddenly. It was slowly that I was led near to him with an illustrious companion. But I have been able to collect his message and learn from it a veritable spiritual lesson. I respect you too much, reader, not to wish that you benefit IN THE SAME WAY AS I HAVE MYSELF. For what I have learned has enriched my soul, and that is why I want you to EXPERIENCE exactly the same as I have. Ah! If, at the time of your reading this, you would assume to be me; then this story will be yours; if, by light, I am able in these pages to be you; what a sublime end we will have attained together, since I would have been the initiator, and WOULD BE INITIATE!... Reflect with me on this, before the adventure is followed to its end... - Hpi, who represented the inundation of the Nile, was living in a grotto at the bottom of the Nile. Because of his nourishing fruitfulness, the God Aum-oon made him an ANDROGYNOUS. He is portrayed with rolls of fat and
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heavy breasts. Of course, you know what an androgynous is, even though one often considers the principle from only one point of view ...let us say, the "biological". I do not wish to make myself the herald of my own writings, but do you remember what I wrote in The Couple and Their Problems. You, man, you believe yourself to be only a man, but you are a woman also. You, woman, you believe yourself to be a woman, but you are man also. According to your sex, your complementary masculine or feminine part is IN YOU, at the level of your subconscious mind, and IT IS FROM THIS REALIZATION THAT UNITY WILL ONE DAY SPRING FORTH, AND YOU WILL BE WHOLE. Each being is COMPLETE in himself. Have you understood, at last, that this illusory world that surrounds you, exists because you exist, and has no other reason for existing, than to make you perceive and REALIZE YOUR OWN UNITY ?

Isis and Osiris seen as an androgynous inner process

- Also, remember the long alchemical monologue of Father Rosencreutz in The Secret Houses of the RoseCroix. He also, by his explanations, symbolized YOUR androgynous essence... These always are THE SAME THINGS said to you with different words, in various circumstances, with a changing ceremonial. It will ALWAYS be thus, until the flash of the AWAKENING thunders within you, and that will not be, until the moment after having learned ALL, proved ALL, mastered ALL, you will be ready to accept AND BE RECEPTIVE TO that which you do not realize as yet. You will then understand that ONE word was sufficient, or rather ONE attitude, or simply ONE gesture of faith. DIVERSITY was necessary for you to discover UNITY, and that was inescapable. There is no quick way. It is necessary to follow the horizontal line and then the vertical in order that they rejoin at the proper time, and at their intersection the rose of your reality flourishes, forgotten but NEVER lost... The Cardinal in White has other revelations to transmit to us. You can foresee that by his voice, it is The TEMPLE that will teach us, and your presentiment is justified... Besides, the time has come and the waiting is over. In a few moments it will be eight o'clock. Come... He who comes is not one of those we can keep waiting.

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Chapter V

The Abbazia di san Nilo

The Abbay of San Nilo - Grotta Ferrata

Some thirty kilometers from Rome... the Abbey of Saint-Nilo! At Grottaferrata, the Italian version of the ancient crypta ferrata, the grotto or crypt with the iron windows ... Has the Abbey conferred its name on the village, or has the Abbey in selecting the place, gathered its history and took its name? My soul has chosen to look at the past and dig in it for the remains, in order to, extract from it the true secret, and here is what I saw. . . In my minds eye, I see advancing towards these solitary places, in the night, a solemn procession of postulants to the forgotten wisdom of the mysteries, gathering together around the grotto. The boundaries of the grotto become the outside and within becomes the crypt whose altar is the heart, and where three lighted candles pour out in silence their waxen tears. The shadow of the Master, who awaits, falls on the circular wall in multiple silhouettes, which occasionally die in obscurity behind the iron bars of non-existent windows. Is it the sacred wailing of Isis or the psalmody of ancient Eleusis, which strikes the echo of the eternal tradition? In an instant, resigned to the gesture of the supplicant and guided by the one who has elected him and judged him worthy, the initiate, bending low, will cross the narrow doorway, descend seven steps, and suddenly before the initiator, he will fall to his knees, his hands clasped on the altar, his head in his hands, ready to die or to live as the sage protected by the color white decides; who, in this instant, makes a detailed examination of the destiny of his soul... Then, the mantle of light descends on the initiate, for the Master has extended his hands over him... and the great lesson is learned; death and life are one. There is only permanence. One does not die nor does one live: ONE IS Only the working of the mind creates the artificial distinction of life and death, of animation or inertia, in a world where man dreams an illusion which he believes is life until that sublime instant arrives when the veil is torn open and HE KNOWS HIMSELF TO BE eternity and consciousness without material substance... and without a face.

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The initiate rises again not powerful, but with POWER. He has not obtained any right to the truth nor truth itself. For HE IS TRUTH, and the Master, upright before him in his immaculate white robe is no longer another but HIMSELF; the initiator and the initiate are now one, and manifest the same inseparable truth. The unique word which has been pronounced, the THREE sounds which have been emitted, the SEVEN gestures which the fingers have accomplished, ALL of this fades away into a cloud which consciousness, FOREVER is awaken ... A postulant has entered, an initiate goes out into the world... The "crypta ferrata" has fulfilled its work of wisdom: It has liberated a man from his earthly ties and has loaded him with the irons of mastery to serve humanity... Thus, the monks, who, in the Abbey of Saint-Nilo, render to the creator a cult recognized by the Catholic Church, which in other locations one would call "orthodox". They observe a strict Christian rite as noted by their ecclesiastical robes and their physical appearance. Their long beards, one knows, is a distinctive element, as are their furnishings, the icons, and the distinctive phases of their ceremonies. These monks, without knowing it, perpetuate, in their touching and moving chapel, the memory of an ancient initiation and prolong the beneficial effect on those who come to these places, who are the simple faithful and the initiated pilgrim. I shall always remember my first visit to the Abbey of Saint-Nilo. My Roman friend had conducted me there, by surprise, knowing that he would thus add to my inner enchantment. It was a Sunday, and the monks were celebrating their own very attractive service. I was, at the same time, impressed by the unforgettable atmosphere which impregnated each stone of the church, whose style was very different from that which the truly Catholic Churches of Italy offered for comparison. I seemed to be abruptly transported to some Oriental temple, and I experienced no astonishment, once inside, in assisting at the sacred pageantry of an orthodox service. I had a hunch then that I would one day learn something HERE but I naturally did not know the nature of what would be revealed to me. However, it remains in my memory that upon leaving these pleasant places, we were plunged extramurally into an atmosphere of the marketplace. It was market day, and the most of the merchants were offering the fruits of their harvest to the passersby. Without reflecting very much, I came to a halt before a stall with tools for the garden. I bought a little wooden fork with three prongs, quite inoffensive, and I offered it to my friend who accepted it laughingly and placed it immediately on the back seat of his car... Now, one will see it is a utensil very similar to, although smaller than, the one which I shall soon perceive on the left-hand side of the writing table of the one whom my friend now reveres as the Cardinal in White. All is sacred, even the pebble which a careless foot displaces in the course of a walk! To distinguish the sacred value of an object that is supposedly profane is one stage, and not the least, on the Path. The fork which one uses for eating is forgotten in the automatism of movement and habit. Is it not, though, the essential instrument used to offer a SACRIFICE, carrying vitality to the body, the SACRD cathedral of a soul in quest of its own self? And is not that but one example Today, anew, sees me at the Abbey of Saint-Nilo, and for him who accompanies me, it is the end of a long inner search. We go together to discover a SECRET. For him, assuredly, this secret is THE secret in ITS integrality and completeness of the moment. Will I dare to affirm that this will be for me just another secret revelation after so many others? If this is the case, our meeting - and more precisely that of our Order will begin for him. The future
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will clarify this point.... and I murmur: So Mote It Be. We have arrived! Then the darkness of the night descended, after a dusk, whose rapidity made sport of our rapid journey in the quiet Roman countryside. My companion was driving, his gaze fixed on the road, but his thoughts, I felt, were attuned with mine. It was only at the entrance to Grottaferrata that he murmured, "We are here", and I could add nothing more to the pointless remark than, "So we are." The marketplace seemed deserted and, anyway, it is early in the season. It is true that television, here, as in other places, has transformed habits. Then, passively, one sinks deeper and deeper within oneself and one is more than ever, perhaps even more, separated from others. We have not entered the gateway. The car is parked at the foot of the road. It is on foot that we shall have to go to the Abbey, which is close by, its massive shadow, towering there before us in a sky full of clouds. John has quite correctly thought that to break the silence of these places where we were secretly awaited would arouse the curiosity of some of the monks and compromise our undertaking. He has not received any precise orders and these questions were left to his judgment which could only be of goodness and grandeur. Only the time was fixed, and it was only five minutes to the appointed hour of eleven o'clock. We hastened our steps! The shadows became darker and darker! Here we are beyond the gateway! Now we are in the vast courtyard, then near the church and . . . someone approaches us, as if emerging from the night of a neighboring column. It is a monk in his dark robe, his hat thrust down on his long dark hair and his beard only added to the severity of his young face where, alone, lived his brilliant dark eyes. He whispered, "Follow me." The door of the church is half open. He enters first, and hardly daring to breathe, we enter in our turn... On the occasion of your next visit to Italy, it is in this extraordinary church of Grottaferrata that I suggest you go. Then, give yourself over to the deepest of meditations. If you find yourself there at the time when the orthodox service is performed, take part in it with all your being. Analyze each move of the officiating monks and SEE BEYOND. Through the icons, perceive the INTENTION. Transport yourselves by means of the ritual, to the VIBRATORY PLANE TO WHICH THESE PLACES PERMIT YOU TO ATTAIN. You will be bathed in the ONENESS and in the UNITY and you will, for some moments, have perceived in yourself the INTEGRAL REALITY OF COSMIC CONSCIOUSNESSS. BUT before this participation in the rite, try to realize intensely WHAT THIS CENTER REPRESENTS IN THE HISTORY OF THE TRADITION. The "crypta ferrata" for you will remain UNKNOWN. It exists meanwhile, SECRET, FORGOTTEN, DISOWNED, and it is from it that, these places have their POWER. ...It is to this crypt that my illustrious companion and I are conducted at this moment. Why must we, in order to arrive there, FIRST pass through this sacred enclosure, where in the obscurity, a red, flickering flame which symbolizes "THE PRESENCE" shimmers in the background? We have stopped for scarcely the time of a prayer, between us is the monk, who had taken our hands and almost as quickly released them ..., I understood only later that this is a gesture of power... We go forward again in silence, inside the church and then outside, just for a minute, as if to gaze the sky, and a narrow doorway appears suddenly before us; a little door set in a low and enormous doorway which, by reason of the immensity from the other side, awaits our littleness... My hands are clasped over my heart, which does not feel any fear. I experience, meanwhile, a sensation which I know well, since it is a privilege of my inner state of being, of my function; my eyes seem to tremble "from within" at the level of my neck and ears, a scarcely perceptible quivering begins and I know that from this moment, THE EXCHANGE HAS BEEN MADE and that my psychic being, my true self, has taken CONTROL. I am, from that moment on, myself and a little more. That is to say, in the state which I have always designated in my personal terminology under the name of TOTAL UNITY WHOLENESS and where, without losing the faculty of reasoning
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and discrimination, the "consciousness" impregnates every emotion felt and every sensation perceived, and Being is, and lives, and knows the universal octaves of the absolute. The monk opens the door and withdraws slightly to allow us to pass. Bowed down, we cross the threshold and here we are my companion and I, he on the second step and I on the first of this stone stairway which descends towards that of which we know nothing, and await . . . the unforeseen. The monk closes the door behind us; the vigilant guardian, silent and discreet observer. He will keep guard outside the portal until our return. FOR US, TIME EXISTS NO LONGER, THE WORLD HAS BECOME SILENT... AT THE "OPEN SESAME" OF OUR INNER APPEAL, THE CRYPT IS OPENED... AND THE SAGE IS THERE, WHO REGARDS US INTENTLY!

The Abbazia Di San Nilo - Chapter V The monk opens the door...
CONTENTS

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Chapter VI

The Cardinal in White

The crypt is really a grotto. At least it was in the beginning, in that long ago age, when the postulant came to receive the light in the form dispensed at that time. One could still see where the openings had, had an iron grating, and not so long ago. Now, they have all been filled in, with the exception of one. The door by which we entered was itself one of these windows, which explained its reduced dimensions. We had to descend eleven steps, the length of the rock. It was so broken in places that it seemed to constitute yet another obstacle to overcome, or rather to go around... After the first few steps, I glanced below to the right of the staircase into the crypt, and was struck by an extraordinary sight! And the hesitation quickly dominated my companion and showed that he was surprised too... The grotto was lit by three torches supported by rings sealed in the wall - One torch at the end, another at the left, and the last one on the opposite side. In the middle of the crypt, which was seen to be circular, directly below the well-supported arch, which we were near, was a rectangular block of granite worked by human hands and covered throughout its length by a spotless cloth in the centre of which a great cross of glittering metal... To the left of the cross, is a writing table, which resembles an altar. On it is placed a large wooden coffer and it is to the right side of it, that I see a fork with three flat teeth. On the side opposite us, in contrast with the white cloth, a red writing pad and alongside it a sword with an ornamental grip placed horizontally at the very foot of the cross. But all that is NOTHING. It is just a furnishing which blends harmoniously with the general effect and arrangement of this strange place that looks like a cavern or a grotto but the functioning of which gives with the sacred character of a crypt. Moreover, everything here appears to be nothing else than

The cardinal in white...

nothing else than the background of him, who is seated before his writing desk, which I prefer to call the altar. He has his arms resting on an armchair with a rounded back, and his eyes never left us while we descended towards him... THERE HE IS, PALE, HIS HEAD AND FACE SHAVED, A HIERATIC FIGURE, HIS STILLNESS IS SUCH AND HIS BEARING SO NOBLE, THAT ONE WOULD HAVE SAID THAT HE WAS A STATUE, WERE IT NOT THAT, HIS EYES WERE SO ALIVE. Over the ample white robe, is a cross of a red color, near his heart. It is a stigmata, which designates the rank, the quality of him who wears it. His collar of interlaced rings supporting a seal, reveal a function. Not once during the course of our interview did he mention his title or the responsibilities he was able to assume. That is why EVERYTHING about him, his appearance, the insignia, the purple ring, which I perceive on the third finger of his right hand, would formerly have signified that we were in the presence of the highest SECRET DIGNITARY OF THE ORDER OF THE TEMPLE. I shall designate this being of majesty and power under the sole name of the CARDINAL IN WHITE, regardless, of what I may know, and that secret, henceforth, is forever locked within my heart.... He had not as yet pronounced one single word. Meanwhile, my companion is now near him and I, a little behind him. His eyes leave us for a moment, fix themselves on the cross, and then return to us. He rises at last and faces us. How tall he is in his immaculate robe, and how extremely fine is his ascetic face. With a slight movement of his hand he seems to bless us, then to John he motions to a stool at his right with one word: "Monseigneur," and to me the neighboring stool. Then he reseats
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himself, after having turned his heavy armchair towards us..... For once, I am not alone in undergoing a strange experience and one would be able to suppose that I would profit from it, by regulating my attitude to that of my companion. Such is not the case. In fact, we have reacted, BOTH OF US, in the same way, that is to say, that WE HAVE NOT HAD ANY REACTION, ANY GESTURE, ANY WORD, as such, after our admission into the crypta ferrata. We were PHYSICALLY subdued by a supreme will surpassing even that which welcomed us. This, will I recognized as belonging TO THIS PLACE, along with the vibratory force which had accumulated here from the past and from the present, by the visible and invisible actions of those who are in charge of this sacred and exalted place. The triangle which we now form is A COMPLETE MANIFESTATION, of which, only the Cardinal in White knows the meaning. Now, I understand why "TWO visitors" were needed here. Without me or another, the third point would have been missing AND THAT, WHICH WE ARE NOW FORMING, WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE TO ACCOMPLISH.... Our shadows, which are visible round about, and project bizarre silhouettes towards the dome, makes me think of, and I do not altogether know why, the cave of Plato. The image is perhaps true, but we are here ACTORS, and it is outside of these walls that illusion abides. By the movement of his lips, it is certain that our host prays in silence, and secretly, I join my prayer to his. I feel suddenly that he is about to speak, and at the same time that I feel this, his voice, raises itself, sweet and incisive. With his hands clasped and his eyes closed, I wonder, does he speak to us, to others, or to himself? No matter! WE UNDERSTAND, WE ARE ABOUT TO LEARN, WE ARE GOING TO KNOW.... For, from this instant, nothing else for exists in the crypta ferrata but the voice of him who TRANSMITS, and TEACHES, the voice of the SAGE, the voice of the MASTER at whose feet awaits our soul, humble and thirsting.

The Cardinal in White - Chapter VI

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Chapter VII - Page I

The Times Have Come

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Painting by Deborah Koff Chapin

The Cardinal in White begins, "There is no need for introductions. I know you both! As for me, I must not be for you, anything more than the ONE WHO TRANSMITS even though it could seem that I am someone different for others. From our meetings you will make, thereafter,certain deductions. Whether they are correct or not, is what I believe to be, in the domain of the relative. The important thing is what I shall say or SUGGEST to you in this interview. Which for you, Monseigneur... (He looks for several seconds at my companion), is a result, and for you, BROTHER, (he looks at me for a twinkling). . . is also a result, in a certain measure. But let us set aside these EXTERIOR considerations, so that, each instant of your presence here, and of mine, may be more usefully employed. - "The precise spot where we find ourselves at this moment IS ONE OF THE ELEVEN HIGH SECRET PLACES OF A PRESTIGIOUS TRADITION... Tradition! The word is both too define and too vague. I think it is preferable to explain it first. By definition, it describes an ORAL tradition transmitted over a long period of time. This is true, for that which concerns us here, but it is still insufficient. By the word Tradition I am referring to KNOWLEDGE, and to be more exact, to a particular FORMULATION OF KNOWLEDGE. [59] A KNOWLEDGE WHICH IS IN ITS ABSOLUTE AND COMPLETE FORM, and is in itself the PERCEPTION OF ETERNAL WISDOM, given in such a way that it can be GRASPED AND UNDERSTOOD BY MAN. In other words, there is, on one part, the PERMANENCE of the eternal wisdom. Which is the REALITY OF THE ABSOLUTE, FOREVER ALIKE TO ITSELF, BECAUSE IT IS THE ALL - and, on the other part there is a Reality that incarnated man is capable of knowing and which is based on the extent that his collective or individual evolution permits. Moreover, what I mean is what every mystic knows, which is that in reality CONSCIOUSNESS in itself cannot increase or decrease, because Consciousness is an ETERNAL state of Being. So, tradition is built from the moment where MAN, HAVING BECOME A CONSCIOUS CREATURE, HAS BEGUN TO TAKE HIS PLACE IN THE WORLD AND THE

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UNIVERSE OF WHICH HE KNOWS HIMSELF TO BE AN ELEMENT. My purpose is not to look for the origins of the tradition. It is to SPECIFY that which represents the eleven exalted secret places of which I speak. It is necessary, meanwhile, for you to understand clearly that the tradition has unfolded with the expansion of human consciousness and that since the beginning of time when man has been man... - At a specific stage in the evolution of human consciousness, the LAWS and PRINCIPLES formulated by a progressive access to more KNOWLEDGE and which had been submitted to the test of LIFE were COLLECTED, and put TOGETHER by the wisest of men. These laws and principles have been PRESERVED and TRANSMITTED more and more secretly in proportion to HUMANITYS FALLING IN A CYCLE OF INVOLUTION TOWARD THE DENSE AND THE MATERIAL. It is thus that the MYSTERY SCHOOLS were born. In fact, it was Atlantis, which some call erroneously legendary that sheltered them. - "Atlantis is the FIRST CONTINENT where the formulation of KNOWLEDGE took the form of a group, if you can accept such an expression. All the authentic sages whom the world could produce at that time were, regrouped, or assembled in this long vanished country and initially the mystery schools were, in consequence, a 'COLLEGE OF SAGES' rather than a centre where one could re-seek the light of initiation. This COLLEGE, at the moment of its FINAL disappearance from Atlantis, was composed of ELEVEN Sages, and their MISSION was to gather and reassemble all the knowledge to which humanity in its elite, or let us say its mystique, had access to up until that time. This ACQUIRED Knowledge was TOTAL and ABSOLUTE. I mean, this 'College of Sages' had reunited the INTEGRAL FORMATION OF THE ETERNAL WISDOM, which was in the power of man to acquire and to which he would never be able to go beyond in his human state. It was at this stage, when the absolute goal was attained by the College of Sages that there was built, under their direction, the SPHINX of Egypt. It was, also, about this same time that, knowing by foreknowledge that the end of the continent of Atlantis was coming, the Eleven sages left Atlantis, their centralizing mission achieved, for Egypt, where the Sphinx was to forever symbolize to the world that the ETERNAL WISDOM HAD TAKEN SHAPE FOR HUMANITY AND THAT ITS INITIAL PROPAGATION MUST BE EFFECTED FROM THE COUNTRY KNOWINGLY DESIGNATED BY THE COLLEGE OF SAGES AS EGYPT. - "And the ELEVEN, in the land of Egypt, did not experience any difficulty in convincing the pharaoh of that time, all the more as he was of a lineage that we would term 'predestined' and who, for decades, had PREPARED FOR THE COMING OF WISDOM ... Then the ELEVEN BECAME TWELVE, who are the source of ALL SACRED SCIENCE. A little later, FIVE set off across the world, one in each of what are known as the continents, in order not to establish Knowledge as such, BUT THE MEANS AND WAYS OF ACHIEVING IT. The others remained in Egypt, which became the centre of the sixth continent and, at the same time, the HEART where ACTION has its source after the THOUGHT has taken form in the HEAD which constituted Atlantis... The same knowledge, over the whole world, incorporated itself everywhere in outer and secret symbols, corresponding to the profound nature of the people to whom it was addressed, but with certain fundamental elements and signs revealing forever, from one side of the world to the other, a unity that the astonished man of our days calls SIMILARITY. These fundamental elements and signs are those naturally which 'EXPRESS' man in his inner truth and not in his tendencies and aspects submitted to the variations of time and place. - "The era of gestation had in all cases terminated. The hour of INSTRUCTION had sounded! This cycle must become EVOLUTIONARY for those seekers, who, taking into account their earlier preparation have of their free will and accord been vouched for, and be admitted and initiated, after due trial into the light. So it was thus, that finding their origin in the sacred centre formed in Egypt, which was the supreme school of the mysteries that was operating there, other schools in Greece and in other countries in Europe took their impulse, adapting THE MEANS to acquire Knowledge to the territorial conditions of their jurisdictions ..."

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Chapter VIII - Page I

Life and Death of the the Order

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We are once again, my companion and I, listening to the Sage . . . Each of us has again seated himself, and he immediately continues with his explanation. - "WHY not link the of the Order of the Temple to the universal quest of the Grail! But what is the Grail? For many, it is a legend and for all, an enigma. THE GRAIL, NEVERTHELESS, IS NOT A LEGEND AND IT DOES NOT CONCEAL AN ENIGMA. IT HAS BEEN AS MUCH MISUNDERSTOOD BY THE INITIATE AS BY THE PROFANE... BECAUSE IT IS THE ULTIMATE EXPLANATION AND SYMBOL OF ABSOLUTE REVELATION. - "Let us first briefly review what we have jointly considered until now ... There are the ELEVEN SAGES of Atlantis in Egypt. Here the stage is set in this chosen land. FIVE of the eleven, that had become twelve, are sent as missionaries to the entire world. The other six are 'operating' on Egyptian soil through the pharaoh, who has become one of them. The five missionaries settle throughout Europe in the secret high places that have been defined from their sublime knowledge. Eleven secret high places, from which depend the initiatic centers, and to which the prepared man can have access. "These centers are born WHERE and WHEN necessary. They exist AS LONG as it is necessary, then they disappear and their egregore returns to the supreme centre for as long as it is in Egypt. - "For at a precise epoch, EVERYTHING WAS SET UP EVERYWHERE, AND IT IS NECESSARY THAT ALL IS COMPLETED EXOTERICALLY. THE COMPLETE SACRED EGREGORE RETIRES FROM THE WORLD, THE INITIATIC EGYPT DISAPPEARS, AND THE CENTERS WHICH DEPEND ON THEM, DIE IN THEIR TURN. The whole world enters the obscure night of purification, after having attained the exact stage of evolution where this first great step had led them. - "The obscure night commenced EXACTLY at the instant of the death of the fourth Amenhotep, known as Akhnaton. It is this death which marked the retirement of the entire sacred egregore, which withdrew from the world at the SAME TIME as Akhnaton, after he had given to the world the last message of the sages of
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Knowledge: A SINGLE GOD! - "Afterwards, there remained in the world only, let us say... 'CENTERS FOR THE PRESERVATION OF KNOWLEDGE and the eleven secret high places are among the highest of them... and THE knowledge is thus perpetuated IN SILENCE and IN SECRECY amongst those who fulfill the conditions of ADEPTHOOD, and these are rare! Meanwhile, externally, the preparation continues and is maintained. Though, it is under a different form, 'symbolized' so to say, through human corporations. - "Yes, it is really the OBSCURE NIGHT for the world, and it was to last a long time, but the hour of the GOLDEN DAWN will come one day and the sacred egregore WILL INCARNATE ANEW, AGAIN, complete, for a new stage. This came about in 1096 in Constantinople, invested by the Crusaders whose mission has been, from this point of view, TO PREPARE THE WAY, such as, in the final analysis, the Roman conquest had for a fundamental end, to reveal to the world THE GOOD NEWS sown in Palestine, which, otherwise, would have run the risk of not being known... - "1096! Constantinople! The meeting of the envoy, of the HIGHEST sage whose name cannot be known except from the highest secret officials of the Temple, and with the seven initiates of Western Christianity and the initiates of the world of Islam. - "1096! Constantinople! It was THERE that the bases were formed that would come to JERUSALEM, twenty-two years later, in 1118, THE ORDER OF THE TEMPLE, under the double investiture given to two of these initiates, Hugues de Paynes and Geoffroi de Saint-Omer the SECRET investiture of the Patriarch Theocletes, sixtyseventh successor of the Apostle John and THEN the PUBLIC investiture of the Patriarch Garimond, representing the official world ... In 1127 the Order was to take its flight, protected by the GREAT INITIATE SAINT-BERNARD. - "1096! Constantinople! IT WAS THE REALIZED CONJUNCTION OF CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM...The SECOND STAGE OF THE GREAT RETURN OF THE SACRED EGREGORE. - "The second stage... THE FIRST WAS CROSSED IN ONE OF THE SECRET HIGH PLACES SIMILAR IN ALL POINTS TO THE FORMER! It is in this secret high place that those who were assigned and lead by Hugues de Paynes were APPOINTED by the 'centers for the preservation of knowledge' to which ALL belonged, received INITIATION, SECRET INVESTITURE, POWER AND INSTRUCTION. - "The fundamental tie with the vanished egregore was thus established in the secret high place knowingly chosen. This was THE FIRST POINT. This same place was reinforced in Constantinople. This was THE SECOND POINT. The mission took possession of its NEW BODY in Jerusalem, and this was THE THIRD POINT...The manifestation was finished, the work was able to be undertaken, and it was in 1127, on the stability and solid foundation of the fourth and last echelon of the preparation, that this was plainly achieved. The revelation was completed and therefore the task did begin, and it was carried out in 1127. Furthermore, this revelation was based on stability and solid foundations which formed the fourth and last step completing the preparatory stage... - "It is in 1087 that the initial investiture took place, in the secret high place designated for this purpose, and in the presence of the supreme representatives of the ten other high places. NINE years were to run by before the meeting in Constantinople. TWO times ELEVEN years passed before the first bases were established in Jerusalem, and again NINE years were necessary before the work could properly commence. Meditate one day on the symbolism of these numbers. It will be a revelation for you... - "The public history of the Order of the Temple, you already know in its essentials. I will presently clear up a few of its SECRET aspects. Before all, allow your soul to understand: The Order born in 1118, a number whose theosophical addition is eleven, died in 1314. IT IS WITH THE LAST BREATH OF THE GRAND MASTER JACQUES DE MOLAY THAT THE COMPLETE MISSION FOR A SECOND TIME WITHDREW, AS IT HAD RETIRED WITH AMENHOTEP IV, OR AKHENATON. THE ORDER THEN HAD KNOWN A PUBLIC LIFE OF 196 YEARS.
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- "In 1962, a NOTABLE date in the occult history of mankind, and the beginning of the age of Aquarius, the Order had disappeared 648 years PREVIOUSLY, that is to say SIX times 108 years ago. I send you back once again to the sacred study of the numbers which were so important for the initiates of the Temple! - "A few decades ago, the 'egregore'* resumed its power and activity in the world after having merged, if I may use this term, with the POWER of the traditional world-wide school, whose twelve high places, which I have stated to be those of the enlightened Rose-Croix represents the 'centers in the inner planes', so to speak. THERE IS THUS, A REUNION OF TWO PLANS, AN ABSOLUTE CONJUNCTION, A UNITY OF FORCE AND POWER, such as was demanded in view of the work to be accomplished in the coming era of Aquarius. HOWEVER, in the present process at work, the Templars egregore has already been integrated and it has become a part of the egregore, moreover, it has successfully been recognized... and the organization, constituted and structured that it gives life in the world and for the world, thus carrying in its breast the torch of the Templar.

- "Since February 5, 1962, there is a resurgence of the sacred ideals of the Temple, which were developed in the past. This RESURGENCE seen from a Templars angle is the result of the reunified egregore. Now this phase must materialize, and it will do it better IN THE BODY OF A STRUCTURE ALREADY ESTABLISHED. The force is, such that, perceived FROM OUTSIDE, it gives birth to laudable endeavors, which are not being supported by the total egregore. This naturally cannot come to anything, and they are the source of regrettable errors... But EVEN THAT is useful, in order THAT HUMANITY MAY KNOW! In any case, the time has come FOR THE REHABILITATION OF THE ORDER OF THE TEMPLE IN ORDER THAT THE LIGHT OF THE TEMPLE MAY GROW, SO THAT, THAT WHICH HAS CONDEMNED IT WILL GROW LESS AND LESS. For those in the world who can understand. KNOW THAT THE HOUR OF JUDGEMENT HAS SOUNDED, THE TEMPLE, MORE POWERFUL THAN EVER, DIFFUSES OVER THE EARTH ITS LIFE FORCE AND ITS VIGOR...and that in the eleven secret high places, the torch in spite of all gives forth its brilliance... Once again, brothers, let us pray..." As before, he knelt down, his two hands placed on the sword before him, and it is on our knees that we also hear the word: - Oremus charissimi fratres paraesta quaesumus omnipotens deux ut ordo noster et aeterniproficiat institutis et temporalibus non destituatur auxilus. - Let us pray very dear brothers: God all powerful, make it come about as we pray to you that our Order may be
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useful in the eternal designs and never be abandoned by its earthly help. Strangely, I do not "perceive" the sound of his "Amen" until the moment he is seated, and it must have been the same for my companion, for it was in reseating ourselves that he repeated in a low voice, "Amen"! That was the SECOND TIME the Cardinal in White had invited us to pray and EACH TIME, he has pronounced THE WORD OF THE TEMPLE. It seemed to me, THAT IN THIS SAME MOMENT we are taking part in an INITIATION without having any objective consciousness of it. In this initiation, or RITUAL DUBBING, the explanations and the instructions were only INCIDENTAL and simply completed the attitude and the sacred gestures, so as if to lift AFTERWARDS one up to the level of reason for the goal to be ATTAINED. The Sage continues: - THE CIRCLE IS CLOSED AGAIN! That which you were able to know of the Order of the Temple is NOW clarified by a greater knowledge. YOU HAVE THE BASIS, WHICH UNTIL NOW, HAD TO REMAIN THE SECRET OF OUR HIGH PLACES. The Order of the Temple has taken its place for you in the filiations of the absolute tradition. THERE IS NO LONGER SEPARATION; there is only UNITY! Therefore, Monseignor, the document which came into your possession is explained, as is, the dubbing carried on for each generation of your illustrious family, and to you, at the age of eleven years. Your predecessors have received the mark of the Temple and you have received it yourself later than your ancestors, BUT your presence, in this place IS MORE SIGNIFICANT AND OF AN IMPORT MORE FAR REACHING than theirs, when, one by one, ONCE IN THEIR LIFE they were admitted in one of the ELEVEN secret high places. As for you, BROTHER (and I knew that now he was addressing me), you should have been with us, for THE TEMPLE IS YOUR TEMPLE AS IT IS THE TEMPLE OF EVERY SERVANT OF THE CAUSE, OF EVERY SERVANT OF MAN AND WHERE YOU SERVE, THERE IS THE KNOWLEDGE... - "Let us pray for the last time."

Life and Death of the Order - Chapter VIII - Page I

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Chapter IX - Page I

The Mystery of the Grail

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- "It is surely a grave error to consider the Grail from an exclusively Christian source. It, also, would be quite erroneous to include it only in the mystic aspect of the Sufis of Islam. In reality, the GRAIL POINTS OUT A WAY OF APPROACHING THE DIVINE... IN SUCH A WAY THAT, IT IS NO LONGER MAN WHO SEEKS TO UNDERSTAND GOD, BUT GOD HIMSLEF WHO SEEKS HIMSELF IN MAN. The Grail is the access to the SECRET of universal life. It is a DIVINE REALITY, a PERMANENT PRESENCE. It is THE TOTAL AND ABSOLUTE REVELATION OF THE UNIVERSAL WISDOM. It is THE SUPREME INITIATION. Thus, what one calls the legend of the Grail', belongs as much to Christian esotericism as to Islamic esotericism, or even the Hebraic esotericism. The 'legend' is UNIVERSAL, for it contains the UNIVERSE and each mystic, whatever may be his origin, his 'state', his path, or his religious fundamentals, whether he lives in the West, or in the Orient, be he Christian, Muslim or Jew, aspires in the last analysis to the crossing by initiatic stages, to the sovereignty of the Grail, TO THE SECRET OF SECRETS... - "The symbol of this sublime mystery is seen everywhere as a sacred object. For the Celts, this object is the prophetic cup. For the Christians, the sign is the cup having contained the blood of Christ. For Islam, it will be the stone descended from heaven. The conquest of the Grail, by definition, is an ACTIVE WAY, which includes THE WORD, THE LIGHT AND THE LIFE. This WAY was followed by THE KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE, that is to say, THOSE, WHO ON EARTH HAD BEEN ADMITTED, AFTER INITIATIC TESTS OF AN AUTHENTIC TRADITION, AND RECOGNIZED AS HAVING ASCENDED AT LAST TO HEAVENLY KNIGHTHOOD. A mystic, an initiate, has always been a knight in every age and in every clime, and as the last summit of attainment is symbolized by the GRAIL, this is marked with the seal of UNIVERSALITY.... - "Curiously, and FEW NOTICED IT, the ISLAMIC influence is incontestable in the transmission of the secrets of the Grail to the WEST. Many, certainly, have recognized without hesitation, the role of the Arabs in this transmission, but few are they who have acknowledged such an INFLUENCE which, nevertheless, the texts, even those made PUBLIC, clearly show. What can be surprising for the non-initiate is not the presence of the Islamic elements in the active path of the Grail, whose appearance is without any doubt Christian, but it is the COHERENCE between these two symbolisms, the Christian and the Islamic, in the 'legend'. Could it be otherwise, since the Grail is UNIVERSAL?

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- "Connect this notion to our preceding explanations. THE GRAIL THEN BECOMES THE UNIVERSAL WISDOM. THAT ADVENTUROUS CASTLE, OF THE GRAIL BECOMES THE ABSOLUTE KNOWLEDGE, AND ALL THE HIGH SACRED PLACES, SECRET OR NOT, IS THE STAGES FOR THE CONQUEST OF THE GRAIL. THE MASTERS, THE INITIATES ARE THE INITIATES OF THE ROUND TABLE UNITED IN THE SAME COMBAT FOR THE POSSESSION OF THE GRAIL . . . - "In fact, the Grail is found in the universal symbolism of this UNIQUE TRADITION, buried under its many aspects. The Word, of which, is forever the living soul! - "Christianity and Islam have openly contended with each other, but that is the EXTERIOR cloak of their meetings. In reality, beyond the combat and the APPARENT hate, the elite met and were UNITED! Islam, for a long time, has been the guide and the inspiration of these contacts. These meetings, naturally, were only possible on the level of ESOTERICISM, and were about THE SECRET AND INNER ASPECTS of these two great trends of religious philosophy which, along with Judaism, had received their source from the Abraham tradition... - "My purpose here is not to examine the three tales which, towards the thirteenth century, revealed suddenly the 'legend of the Grail'. YOU will have to read or re-read these works of initiations, keeping in mind the lines of force which I will indicate to you. The story will then appear to be very different, charged with UNITY, and a revealer of INITIATION. Remember this above all! - "THE DIVINE WORK, IN ITS PERMANENT REALITY, IS THE ETERNAL PRIESTHOOD, AND THE ORDER OF THE GRAIL. IT IS THE EXPRESSION OF THE ORDER OF MELCHISEDEC. THE ORDER OF MELCHISEDEC ALWAYS DWELLS IN THE TRUTH, PERMANENCE AND UNIVERSALITY. IT IS THE ULTIMATE END TO ATTAIN. IT IS INVISIBLE AND EVER PRESENT, BECAUSE IN IT ARE HIDDEN THE GRAIL AND THE WORD. "MELCHISEDEC IS PRIEST AND KING. - "Now, the Order of the Grail is identified with the Order of the Temple, which is an outer and protecting shell for it and, AS IN THE TEMPLE OF THE GRAIL, ONE RECOGNIZES, ALSO, THE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT OF THE ROSE-CROIX. If one investigates more, one discovers a resounding and self evident Truth which shows THE UNITY OF ALL TRADITIONS. - "The Order of the Temple is a connecting link between the temporal and the spiritual, and IS also, a connecting link between Islam and Christianity. Its participation in the Crusades, had for its end, contradictory as that may appear, PEACE on ALL planes of consciousness. Fruitful contacts have been ALWAYS maintained without a break in FRIENDSHIP and FRATERNITY, by the elite of these two camps, even at the height of the wars. The fraternity which united the APPARENT enemies was founded ON THE UNITY OF THEIR RESPECTIVE INITIATIONS AND ON THE COMMON SEARCH OF THE SAME KNOWLEDGE. MOREOVER, THEIR UNITY WAS ALSO FOUNDED ON PACTS AND TREATIES CONCLUDED WITH THE GREAT TRADITIONAL MUSLIM ORDERS. The best proof of this 'understanding' was it not given one day by numerous Spanish Templars, who, at the beginning of the persecutions, instead of using their right to enter the sanctum of other Orders, which was permitted to them, chose to PASS AS A BODY TO THE SARACENS. What a 'resemblance there is between the Muslim mystic orders and the Order of the Temple! Resemblance in the 'military and initiatic' structure! Resemblance in the fact that all call themselves 'guardians of the Holy Land and many other, like similarities! And yet, it is not 'imitation'. It is not, properly speaking, a filiations. THERE IS, I INSIST, A CONJUNCTION BETWEEN THE TWO ESOTERICISMS AND THAT IS AS MUCH IN THE MESSAGE, AS IN THE INITIATIC TECHNIQUE.

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- "In any case, the Grail tradition has its origin in the PRIMORDIAL TRADITION, and it is directly bound to the symbolism of HIGH PLACES, and SPIRITUAL CENTERS of which the SUPREME CENTER is represented by the Holy Land of Christian and Islamic esotericism to which the profound origins dip into Abraham himself, INVESTED AND BLESSED BY MELCHISEDEC, of whom St. Paul said that he is 'without father, without mother, without lineage, that he had neither beginning nor end to his life, but he is made thus in likeness to the Son of God and who remains a priest in perpetuity'. Melchisedec is PRIEST OF THE GRAIL, OF THE SUPREME INITIATION, OF THE TOTAL AND ABSOLUTE REVELATION OF THE ETERNAL WISDOM, and to his Order. TO THE ORDER OF MELCHISEDEC, Christianity and Islam belong and participate, in such a manner that these two aspects OF A SAME SPIRITUAL MANIFESTATION could only re-find and associate themselves, so that, the Grail, one day, may reestablish itself openly in the West, and this was the mission of the ORDER OF THE TEMPLE, to establish the conjunction between these two aspects... and one will see later that the legendary Christian Rosencreutz himself went to the land of Islam.... - "Rose-Croix, Sufis! THE SAME SPIRITUAL STATE ATTAINED BY DIFFERENT EXTERIOR FORMS! RoseCroix and Sufis! UNITY RE-FOUND AT THE SUMMIT! The forms, or rites, of the tradition come under the SHEKINAH, which is the symbol of the DIVINE PERMANENT PRESENCE. It is in drawing near or withdrawing from the Shekinah that man, HIMSELF, establishes the CYCLES OF HIS RETURN.... The GRAIL, also, is the great symbol OF THE SHEKINAH! - "You will be astonished, that I do not speak of the Celts, of Merlin, or of the Druids. The cult of the Celts, also, IS A TRADITION and the secret of this tradition, the Druids transmitted to Celtic Christianity. Not to the Christian church... but to CHRISTIAN ESOTERICISM... There never was 'separation', there is nothing but unity in the one world tradition. Wherever you take your course, the gentle climb conducts you to the same summit. The source is the same that has given life to the Celtics, to Judaism, to Islam or to Christianity... IN THE HOLY CITY, IN THE SUPREME SPIRITUAL CENTER, THE GRAIL HAS ALWAYS DWELT. HUMANITY IS ABLE TO HOPE FOR ITS EMPIRE, FOR THE PACT IS MAINTAINED, RESPECTED AND BY THE HIGH PLACES, SECRET OR NOT, AND BY ALL THE SERVANTS OF THE ETERNAL CAUSE! - "Such are THE KEYS, such are the SIGNS. I have said that YOU MUST work, pray and meditate, establishing for yourself the convergence in the apparent diversity. NOTHING MUST APPEAR TO YOU TO BE SEPARATE! I repeat it! You have the KEYS and you have the signs. So, WORK, PRAY AND MEDITATE...and remember: THE GRAIL, MELCHISEDEC...

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Chapter XI - Page I

And the Door is Opened to Us

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While getting ready in the morning, my thoughts, without ceasing, are about going to a mosque - not any particular mosque, in Tunis or elsewhere, but quite simply going to a mosque, in the same manner, as I would have thought of going to a church. Without any doubt, if one seeks something or someone, in relation to the spirituality of Islam, it, of course, would be a mosque that lends itself most to such a purpose. There is, then, nothing surprising that this idea of a mosque would fascinate me, and I am not astonished, as I arrive in the vestibule of the hotel, to receive a welcome with these words: - "We must go to a mosque...." - I smilingly reply, "That is precisely my advice, but which one? The principal mosque would not be the place for a search such as ours. Now if we were to go to the Kasbah?" - "We can look for one on this side, he replied. After all, we are not looking for anything precise... although I always ask myself, are not all our paths prepared?..." - "They are, I said, but generally one does not realize it until after the event has happened..." The taxi driver, who took us to the entrance of the Kasbah was talkative. All of a sudden, an idea came to me, and progressively I led the conversation to the Koran. I stated clearly the interest I showed in this sacred work and its conception of a sole God. The driver appeared to appreciate my comments, and my companion who understood my intention, supported my remarks with enthusiasm. So, I become more precise: - "Is there not in Tunis some sage who is a Muslim?" - "All the Moslems are sages," replied the driver smilingly. - "I do not doubt it, I reply, but that is not what I wish to say. Are there in Tunis, at the present time, one or several Moslems whom others consider to be saints?" - "A Marabout? he asked. There is one, but he is a Muslim and he is not a Muslim. He lives like a saint. However, they say that he does not follow the Koran as he should. They speak also of two or three others, but..."
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- I hasten to interrupt him. "This Marabout, who is a Muslim and not Muslim, do you know where he lives?" - "I know exactly! In the Kasbah! Quite close to the little mosque." - "What is his name?" I ask. - "Oh, says only 'the Marabout'. He is known." My companion taps me three times on the hand to signify a satisfaction which I share. Thus, it suffices to ask, and perhaps above all, to a taxi driver to receive a reply. Will this be THE reply? We shall see. We do not expect anything in particular. We are seeking and that, already, is a lot. We get lost several times in the Kasbah, and several times we retrace our steps, thanks to the courtesy of a Tunisian, who each time came a few steps with us. Ah! Here is a little mosque. It is time for us to inquire and specify exactly what we are looking for; two young men are talking at the entrance of a small alleyway. - "Pardon me! Do you know where the Marabout lives?" I ask. They look at each other, then, they look at us and again look at each other. I do not understand this hesitation. At last one of them replies, indicating with a finger, a house with a closed double door of wood. - "There !"

We thank them, and followed by their surprised eyes, we go to KNOCK on the door. What pretexts are we going to invoke? No matter! We KNOCK again, more loudly. Will we have a response? Suddenly we almost jumped, without being the least surprised, SOMEONE IS BEFORE US ... AND THE DOOR WAS OPENED TO US. The man is old and bent in his white djellabah. He looks at us without a word. Does he understand French? I had better speak to him: - "Excuse me sir, is it possible to meet ... the Marabout?"

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My companion and I are mute for a few seconds at the perfection of his French until he gives us the explanation. - "They call me a Marabout; that does not mean that I suppose myself to be one! Well, come in! You are French, aren't you? I rarely have visits from my fellow countrymen!" ... Fellow countrymen! He is, then, French. He could not be considered a Marabout in the real sense of the term as if he were a Moslem ... I recall what the driver of the taxi affirmed: "That he is a Muslim and he is not a Muslim." Only the Marabout can clear this subject up for me... In the room where we find ourselves, there is little furniture, but there are magnificent rugs with remarkable patterns, and several Arabic cushions. These are the only seats offered to visitors. It is evident that our host has adopted the traditional way of living of the country. With a sign, he invites us to be seated, joins his hands and waits. My companion undertakes to give him, without betraying anything at all, the reason for our presence here. - "We are interested," said he, "in all forms of religious thought and being in Tunis, we have thought to probe deeply into Islam, to see it at close quarters. In reality, we were looking for a Moslem sage... Why, after all, not be more sincere? We are drawn by esotericism, and one has indicated a 'Marabout' who is a Muslim and who is not a Muslim. Now, it IS YOU. Are we being indiscreet?" - The reply is immediate. "You are not in the least, I am MUSLIM! - I am not one by birth, sure enough, I am a convert to Islam, but I am with all my being and with all my strength a MUSLIM! With regard to esotericism, I am always interested in it, and it is, amongst other things, because of the reading of Rene Guenon that led me here a long time ago. Rene Guenon himself was converted to Islam and he died a Muslim. I am not in such bad company with him, that his spiritual course led him to a final choice, identical with mine. I do not wish to say that one must necessarily be converted to Islam, but only that, for me as for Rene Guenon, and many others, it was the better outlet. For my part, I have accomplished my MYSTIC REALIZATION as a Muslim. I do not teach you anything in reminding you that the Moslem is 'consecrated to God'. Arent you also?" It is for me to reply to him. - "We try our best. Excuse me for insistingare you Sufi or Muslim?" - "What difference do you see between the two? I am Sufi AND Muslim or more exactly, in spite of the pleonasm, of Sufi-Muslim. You are drawn to esotericism. For that do you cease to be a Christian? Esotericism has no religious color. The Sufi that I am wishes to be a good Muslim. The MOVEMENTS of the body, aid in the expression of the soul, and the soul always, like unto itself, gives to the body, its reason for being... If you wish, I belong to the body of Islam and I am a FAITHFUL. A Muslim striving as much as I can towards the love of God, which is the way of the Sufi mysticism. My being is UNITY, as is yours. Where from that point of view, can one have separation? They call me a 'Marabout' because, to the people, I lead an existence which they esteem esoteric, and because I have a few faithful, with whom we probe into THE BOOK, and a special tradition, with which, along with others, I have been entrusted. They ask for my prayers and my help; I never refuse them, and Allah assists me. That which I have been able to accomplish for others, others can also do. Everyone could be a Marabout; it is sufficient to wish it ... In past times, the Marabout was a warrior priest living in a fortified monastery for the Crusades ..." - I interrupted him in spite of myself. "A warrior-priest! A Muslim Templar, in fact?" - "You have said it! A TEMPLAR and the Marabout of our times, is ONCE MORE a Templar ... [ - "Could you be more precise?" asks my companion.

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- "To be a Templar was to accept a precise condition, that of monk and soldier. To be a Marabout, at the same time, was to accept a condition just as precise; that of monk and soldier. Once again, where is the difference? The Templar, by definition, consecrates himself to the Temple. The 'Marabous' were received into the Order of the Temple and the Templars became, in the broadest sense of the term, Sufis. Nothing is nearer together than Christianity and Islam in the ESSENTIALS, of course." I look at my companion and we understand each other. Our host, who seems to have seized upon the meaning of this look, continues: - "In interesting yourselves in esotericism, to use your own term, you have not been able to neglect the history of the Order of the Temple. You, yourselves, before, have mentioned the Templars. You are, then, not ignorant of the special places which were established, over and above the strife, among the adversaries. The true Sufis of today perpetuate these ties... They have a secret heritage which is identical to that which certain legitimate organizations of Europe and elsewhere have received. The one is united to the other by this common heritage. Ours has been shaped by the thoughts of Islam; it has taken from it, the form and the terminology but it differs little from the others: THE TRADITION IS THE SAME EVERYWHERE, EVERYWHERE THE SAME... Only the technique varies with the time and the place..."

And the Door is Open to Us - Chapter XI - Page I


CONTENTS

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