The Preliminary Lection, including the History Lection
A∴A∴ Publication in Class D
THE PRELIMINARY LECTION
In the Name of the Initiator, Amen.
beginning was Initiation. The flesh profiteth nothing; the mind profiteth
nothing; that which is unknown to you and above these, while firmly based upon
their equilibrium, giveth life.
systems of religion is to be found a system of Initiation, which may be defined
as the process by which a man comes to learn that unknown Crown.
can communicate either the knowledge or the power to achieve this, which we may
call the Great Work, it is yet possible for initiates to guide
must overcome his own obstacles, expose his own illusions. Yet others may
assist him to do both, and they may enable him altogether to avoid many of the
false paths, leading no whither, which tempt the weary feet of the uninitiated
pilgrim. They can further insure that he is duly tried and tested, for there
are many who think themselves to be Masters who have not even begun to tread
the Way of Service that leads thereto.
Great Work is one, and the Initiation is one, and the Reward is one, however
diverse are the symbols wherein the Unutterable is clothed.
the history of the system which this lection gives you the opportunity of
Listen, we pray you, with attention: for once only does the Great
Order knock at any one door.
Whosoever knows any member of that Order as such, can never know
another, until he too has attained to mastery.
Here, therefore, we pause, that you may thoroughly search
yourself, and consider if you are yet fitted to take an irrevocable step.
For the reading of that which follows is Recorded.
THE HISTORY LECTION
ago a number of cipher MSS. were discovered and deciphered by certain students.
They attracted much attention, as they purported to derive from the
Rosicrucians. You will readily understand that the genuineness of the claim
matters no whit, such literature being judged by itself, not by its reputed
MSS. was one which gave the address of a certain person in Germany, who is
known to us as S.D.A. Those who discovered the ciphers wrote to S.D.A., and in
accordance with the instructions received, an Order was founded which worked in
a semi-secret manner.
time S.D.A. died: further requests for help were met with a prompt refusal from
the colleagues of S.D.A. It was written by one of them that S.D.A.’s
scheme had always been regarded with disapproval. But since the absolute rule
of the adepts is never to interfere with the judgment of any other person
whomsoever— how much more, then, one of themselves, and that one most
highly revered!— they had refrained from active opposition. The adept who
wrote this added that the Order had already quite enough knowledge to enable it
or its members to formulate a magical link with the adepts.
after this, one called S.R.M.D. announced that he had formulated such a link,
and that himself and two others were to govern the Order. New and revised
rituals were issued, and fresh knowledge poured out in streams.
pass over the unhappy juggleries which characterized the next period. It has
throughout proved impossible to elucidate the complex facts.
We content ourselves, then, with observing that the death of one
of his two colleagues, and the weakness of the other, secured to S.R.M.D. the
sole authority. The rituals were elaborated, though scholarly enough, into
verbose and pretentious nonsense: the knowledge proved worthless, even where it
was correct: for it is in vain that pearls, be they never so clear and
precious, are given to the swine.
The ordeals were turned into contempt, it being impossible for
any one to fail therein. Unsuitable candidates were admitted for no better
reason than that of their worldly prosperity.
In short, the Order failed to initiate.
arose and with it schism.
one P., a brother, instituted a rigorous test of S.R.M.D. on the one side and
the Order on the other.
discovered that S.R.M.D., though a scholar of some ability and a magician of
remarkable powers, had never attained complete inititiation: and further had
fallen from his original place, he having imprudently attracted to himself
forces of evil too great and terrible for him to withstand.
The claim of the Order that the true adepts were in charge of it
was definitely disproved.
Order, with two certain exceptions and two doubtful ones, he found no persons
prepared for initiation of any sort.
thereupon by his subtle wisdom destroyed both the Order and its
himself no perfect adept, he was driven of the Spirit into the Wilderness,
where he abode for six years, studying by the light of reason the sacred books
and secret systems of initiation of all countries and ages.
there was given unto him a certain exalted grade whereby a man becomes master
of knowledge and intelligence, and no more their slave. He perceived the
inadequacy of science, philosophy, and religion; and exposed the
self-contradictory nature of the thinking faculty.
to England, he laid his achievements humbly at the feet of a certain adept
D.D.S., who welcomed him brotherly and admitted his title to the grade which he
had so hardly won.
these two adepts conferred together, saying: May it not be written that the
tribulations shall be shortened? Wherefore they resolved to establish a new
Order which should be free from the errors and deceits of the former
Authority they could not do this, exalted as their rank was among adepts. They
resolved to prepare all things, great and small, against that day when such
Authority should be received by them, since they knew not where to seek for
higher adepts than themselves, but knew that the true way to attract the notice
of such was to equilibrate the symbols. The temple must be builded before the
God can indwell it.
by the order of D.D.S. did P. prepare all things by his arcane science and
wisdom, choosing only those symbols which were common to all systems, and
rigorously rejecting all names and words which might be supposed to imply any
religious or metaphysical theory. To do this utterly was found impossible,
since all language has a history, and the use (for example) of the word
“spirit” implies the Scholastic Philosophy and the Hindu and Taoist
theories concerning the breath of man. So was it difficult to avoid implication
of some undesirable bias by using the words “order,”
“circle,” “chapter,” “society,”
“brotherhood,” or any other to designate the body of
Deliberately, therefore, did he take refuge in vagueness. Not to veil
the truth to the Neophyte, but to warn him against valuing non-essentials.
Should therefore the candidate hear the name of any God, let him not rashly
assume that it refers to any known God, save only the God known to himself. Or
should the ritual speak in terms (however vague) which seem to imply Egyptian,
Taoist, Buddhist, Indian, Persian, Greek, Judaic, Christian, or Moslem
philosophy, let him reflect that this is a defect of language; the literary
limitation and not the spiritual prejudice of the man P.
let him guard against the finding of definite sectarian symbols in the teaching
of his master, and the reasoning from the known to the unknown which assuredly
will tempt him.
We labour earnestly, dear brother, that you may never be led away
to perish upon this point; for thereon have many holy and just men been
wrecked. By this have all the visible systems lost the essence of wisdom.
We have sought to reveal the Arcanum; we have only profaned
P. had thus with bitter toil prepared all things under the guidance of D.D.S.
(even as the hand writes, while the conscious brain, though ignorant of the
detailed movements, applauds or disapproves the finished work) there was a
certain time of repose, as the earth lieth fallow.
these adepts busied themselves intently with the Great Work.
fullness of time, even as a blossoming tree that beareth fruit in its season,
all these pains were ended, and these adepts and their companions obtained the
reward which they had sought— they were to be admitted to the Eternal and
Invisible Order that hath no name among men.
therefore who had with smiling faces abandoned their homes, their possessions,
their wives, their children, in order to perform the Great Work, could with
steady calm and firm correctness abandon the Great Work itself: for this is the
last and greatest projection of the alchemist.
V.V.V.V.V. arose, an exalted adept of the rank of Master of the Temple (or this
much He disclosed to the Exempt Adepts) and His utterance is enshrined in the
Liber Legis, Liber Cordis Cincti Serpente, Liber Liberi vel Lapidis Lazuli and
such others whose existence may one day be divulged unto you. Beware lest you
interpret them either in the Light or in the darkness, for only in L.V.X. may
they be understood.
conferred upon D.D.S., O.M., and another, the Authority of the Triad, who in
turn have delegated it unto others, and they yet again, so that the Body of
Initiates may be perfect, even from the Crown unto the Kingdom and
Perfection abideth not in the Pinnacles, or in the Foundations, but in the
ordered Harmony of one with all.