There are the usual and obvious answers to these questions:
This has been called a void that we need to somehow fill; an emptiness within each one of us that calls out for a higher being or state of consciousness.
Some psychologists believe that this is an evolutionary
aspect of our lives, that within us there is a constant urge to improve and
a deep-rooted hope. This hope makes us strive for more and, thus, we become
the strongest and fittest of the species - hence evolution.
It is not - and I have to state this each time - the kundalini, which is a troubled and yet beautiful human electrobiochemical reaction.
To follow this ancient Hindu
concept to the letter is, in the first instance, next to impossible because
texts do not exist, and secondly it is highly dangerous and can easily lead
to psychosis and other forms of mental problems. It is one aspect of the
true inner wisdom, but not the only aspect.
The sheikh made a signal and immediately the devotee threw himself off the mountaintop precipice to his death.
In the first instance, this is amazing control over the mind of another individual.
In the second, it implies that the Assassins were much older
than this early appearance, with 70,000 devotees cast throughout Asia. No
society can set up that many devotees over night. It would take many years
to cultivate this kind of following, and it would also take a lot of
convincing - unless there were an easier method of control, that is!
This great secret included being part of the whole and understanding its creative and destructive elements (order and chaos).
The Ismaili (Assassin initiate) could therefore make use of this great power held within him. They firmly believed that the rest of mankind knew nothing of this power, with the exception of the other societies.
The power came through the use of the drug hashish and clever ritualistic involvement - making the Ismaili feel part of a greater good, as a “chosen one” - a feeling Adolf Hitler would later use to gain control of the German people. There was, however, an eighth level that was slightly separate, and this taught that all religions and philosophies were false, and that the only thing that mattered was fulfillment of this greater power, which lay within.
Contrary to popular belief, the Assassins
were not just Muslims; they were not under any category that is currently
known other than secret society. It was only later on in their existence
that they had to turn to Islam as a means of survival, and even then they
granted themselves special privileges that allowed them to alter religion at
groups had dealings with each-other and a mutual respect. There are even
monetary dealings between the two groups. Could it be that the Templars
understood this greater secret and brought this “Holy Grail” of
enlightenment back to Europe with them? It appears so, as we saw in the
tales of Arthur and Robin Hood.
There are further links to
the Templars in that Buzurg-Umid actually made a deal with King Baldwin II
of Jerusalem, a man closely connected to the Templars. In 1129, the Templars
and crusaders actually allied with the Assassins to take Damascus. This is
an indication that the Assassins were not just Muslim and were even prepared
to take on the cloak of Christianity, should it bring them further power.
The question has to be asked,
There is evidence to suggest that the Templars, in connection with the Assassins, actually understood the use of drugs, especially for the relief of pain. In his book Sex and Drugs, Robert Anton Wilson indicated his belief that the Templars used hashish, and learned the use from the Assassins.
This is not an unreasonable assumption, given the links. There are links to be found in the Templar rituals and beliefs with much of the Middle Eastern religions. There is even Sufi influence, with the Golden Head of the Sufi being implicated as the Baphomet of the Templars.
This Golden Head, as Idries Shah points out in The Sufis, was implicated as the,
This was the
idea that one’s own humanity was transmuted into gold through the
enlightenment experience and thus the secret of alchemy is revealed - virtual kundalini.
The illuminated eye of god set within a triangle.
A symbol used later by the
If it is true that the Freemasons emerged from a font of Templar knowledge, then this could be one of the origins of the twin pillars of the Mason guilds.
also similar to the twin pillars that pilgrims to Mecca must pass through (Safa
Many believed that, through a frenzy, they could achieve the ultimate state, and others believed that, by fasting and mediation, they would be drawn closer to God. The results were the same: a deeper understanding of themselves and the belief that they were in touch with God.
This ecstasy would invigorate, and, similar to being in a Nexus, the
initiate would constantly want to re-achieve this state, thus keeping him in
the fold. The experience being so very real to the religious mind that they
truly believed they were in communion with God. And this is why I constantly
draw a line at the kundalini, because it has dangers that its proponents not
only refuse to see, but can’t see because of its very nature!
The ritual abstinence from food was as old as man. Practiced in the rituals of Eleusis, of which Plato himself was a member, the initiate would undergo a prolonged period of fasting, followed by a period of waiting. This increased the sense of anticipation and heightened the mind, which would create the event in his mind before it actually occurred. No leader could ask for more.
Eventually, the initiate was lead into the temple, where he enjoyed a ritualistic meal and, thus, great effects were produced in the body with increased levels of sugar in the blood, the mind almost in a trance state. There was whirling like the dervish, sleep-inducing drinks, and play-acting by the great and seemingly powerful priests. Sacred objects and sacred words were then, at this point of heightened state, revealed.
The age and breadth of this system of indoctrination can be seen in the closing words, “Cansha om pacsha,” a Sanskrit term.
Indeed, it is accepted by scholars that these
rituals emerged in India from the ancient Brahmins. Strangely, these rituals
also involved a sevenfold cord that marked the passing of the initiate.
This “special state of mind” was a plasticity of the initiate that the priests could bend and manipulate to their own ends; just as the Old Man of the Mountain manipulated the Assassins.
The initiate truly believed he or
she had visited other worlds.
In the High Priesthood of Thebes, a society first revealed in Germany in the 18th century, it was written of the initiate:
The symbols within this initiation are now obvious and ancient.
In the initiations and rituals of witches, similar themes are found. Whirling, dancing, and a general build-up to frenzy would bring the participant into a trance state - known today as catharsis. This was helped along with drugs, such as the “ointment” used by the witches to help them fly and which contained hyoscine. The leader would then guide them through a set-piece ritual of words and incantations leading to complete mind control.
such control, as in many religions, the participant would often give up his
or her own family and friends. This is the origin of what we call in modern
times a cult, and it can now be realized just how hard it is to break out of
It may be that some have nothing but good intentions at heart, but
history has shown, repeatedly, that greed is all-powerful and can take the
soul of many well-meant groups.