Serpents of Wisdom
Part 2


La Rochefoucauld in his ‘Maxims’ said that: “The desire of appearing clever often prevents us from becoming so”. As Students of the Mysteries we must rid ourselves of the silly habit of pretending to know so that we can, at last, find out what it was we never did know.

True freedom lies in real knowledge and is not, as generally believed, granted to American citizens by the first amendment, which is only pretend freedom, and need not concern us here.

We have all heard the saying: ‘And the truth shall set you free’, and so it will if we can determine where we can find it. Can you learn it in school? At your local church, synagogue, or mosque? From books? From a Tibetan guru? I doubt it.


Listen to Sir Richard Burton again.

All Faith is false, all Faith is true: Truth
is the shattered mirror strown
In myriad bits, while each believes his little
bit the whole to own.

Old Omar Khayyam evidently encountered the same problem, for in his quartrain XXVII he says that ‘although he frequented both doctor and saint, and heard great argument, he still came out by the same Door as in he went!’ No wonder he found solace in the wine bottle!

Even the old Indian, Sidemeat Cholly, got confused by all the conflicting theories and had to come up with his own answer to the question in hand:

“Before he discover th’ earth, everybody thought he was flat, but this Columbus man, he say th’ worl’s roun’, but now he look like th’ dam thing is crooked.”

Which one of us would care to argue with this profound observation?

Humanity, the great ignoble vulgus, has never quite been able to see the trees for the forest (or the forest for the trees); the visible has always stood in the way of the great invisible, blocking our view of things as they actually are. Machen, who has been dubbed the Apostle of Wonder, wondered at length about this perplexing human condition:

“It seems clear that things which are most clear may yet be most closely hidden for long ages, and hidden not only from the gross and sensual man, but for the fine and cultured man. And that being evident, does not the consequence follow that we who have certainly not attained to perfection of any kind, may be, nay, almost certainly are, as blind as those who have gone before us; that we too, gaze at great wonders, both of the body and the spirit, without discerning the marvels that are all around us? And again, it would appear that we may be groping after the perception of things which we apprehend in a dim and broken and imperfect manner.

“All manner of things may be under the eyes of men through long ages, and yet be unperceived, undiscerned by them. This is true, and yet these things are none the less there.”

The reason for this is that our opinions, intellect and bigotry act as a screen between us and Illumination. Our own reality, which is nothing but an Illusion, prevents us from seeing things as they truly ARE, and as long as we think we see all there is to see, we will remain blind to the Divine Wisdom hidden directly under our noses.

Since Truth is everlasting and unchangeable, it can only exist in the equally everlasting and unchangeable Soul, which we must learn to contact by means of our Higher Minds, our very own Guide and master. For this reason Truth cannot exist on Earth, for everything that is given birth here must die and change into something else.

Most people are not even aware of being in possession of a Higher Mind, but are normally completely ruled by the lower mind with its earthly and gross appetites. It is therefore easy to sway and manipulate the masses by appealing to their vanity and greed, which are characteristics of a ruling lower mind. Promise bovine humanity earthly riches and power, and they will fall for it every time.


To become the leader of such a flock is relatively simple for someone with a large amount of cunning and a vivid imagination, and we witness the truth of this fact when we appraise the array of self-made ‘masters’, preachers, authors and metaphysical teachers. At times their claims are so shockingly simplistic, even downright corny, that a person in his right mind would not for a moment entertain the idea that others may fall for such nonsense, only to find out at a later date that he had been wrong....... very wrong.

If you tell these covetous lower minds, with great authority and tongue in cheek, that you have discovered a secret which did not sink with ancient Atlantis; that this secret can give them unlimited power, which, in turn, can be used as a tool for amassing all kinds of earthly rubbish, and you might discover to your surprise that you will be believed and recompensed by an army of dolts.

Few people realize that the greatest secret is free and easily obtained. Eliphas Levi explains:

“Progress is a possibility for the animal: it can be broken in, tamed and trained; but it is not a possibility for the fool, because the fool thinks he has nothing to learn. It is his place to dictate to others and put them right, and so it is impossible to reason with him. He will laugh you to scorn in saying that what he does not understand is not a meaningful proposition.


“Why don’t I understand it, then?” he asks you, with marvelous impudence.

To tell him it is because he is a fool would only be taken as an insult, so there is nothing you can say in reply. Everybody else sees it quite clearly, but he will never realize it.


“Here then, at the outset, is a potent secret which is inaccessible to the majority of people; a secret which they will never guess and which it would be useless to tell them: the secret of their own stupidity.”

And no fools are as difficult to manage and as frustrating to deal with as those with some brains and a university degree. A
philosophy degree, for example, does not immediately turn its owner into a Plato or a Kant; but will, more often than not, turn uninspired minds with good memories into machines, able to quote other people’s works endlessly, but without a blood, sweat and tears understanding, and without the ability to put their enormous learning to practical use.

We see the same trait in ‘bible-thumpers’ who have managed to learn the Scriptures by heart, and whom it is of no use to get into a discussion with, because they will pull out a chapter and a verse for every occasion. YOU know that they might as well be quoting from the phone book, for all the understanding they have; but THEY don’t know, and to tell them would only bring the wrath of the Four Beasts of the Apocalypse down upon your head.

I suggest that we should be wary of this kind of dogmatist; as weary as Shakespeare was when he wrote that:

The Devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.”


But out of all the hair-splitting ‘experts’, the horned crown and the donkey tail must go to the scientists! For these ruptuaries were gullible enough to give the atom bomb to the politicians!!! A wise man would have kept quiet about his discoveries, but then a wise man has not the vanity of a scientific peacock, out hunting for fame and glory at the expense of us all.

And although some suspect, and others know for certain, that modern science is founded on a series of absurdities and
contradictions in terms; and a sepulcher of vast proportions would be needed to house their dead theories, the masses still honours, and are influenced by these inflated bladders.

Never mind that their chemical putrefactions have put the whole planet in danger, and that the ozone layer looks more like a moth-eaten sweater.... let’s take their advice on diet instead!

Let us take time out to wonder with Machen again:

“It is monstrous indeed that science, shown to be mad in the abstract, should presume to dictate to us in the concrete. Yet it does. Look at the solemn diets that are prescribed. I have known people who live - or think they live, for they are not alive - on nuts, carrots, bread and dates.


This diet is supposed to be a cure for rheumatism. I do not know whether a wise man would not prefer to be rheumatic. But the worst of it is that people who live in this ridiculous way, who follow the Vague Treatment, as it is called, affect airs of superiority. They look down on the people who eat chops and steaks and thank God for them.”

We might all be better served by ‘experts’ like the astrophysicist of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center, who, with the aid of a z-machine and the 60-inch telescope on Mount Hopkins (oh, and a research grant, of course) peered out into space and claimed what he found there was a whole lot of nothing.

As long as these screw-balls find nothing, I feel safe, for nothing of consequence can come out of nothing. But this was a few years ago and, by now, he may unfortunately have found something, although I suspect that something may also be nothing of consequence, as the most profound vacuum in the Universe could well be found in his brain. Let us hope that he does not start prescribing diets or we could well end up with nothing to eat - like ascetics with rice and water struck from our meal plan. O Woe!

‘Exact science’ and her scientists, like a harlot and her pimps, rapes the world daily in an orgy of vulgarity, seducing the superficial masses with honeyed tongues and ostentatious booty, luring our testosterone poisoned leaders into buying themselves the largest lingam of them all - the nuclear missile. These odious transactions can be written off to ‘progress’ or ‘civilization’, but I have it on good authority that they are not tax free.

Jacques Bergier claimed that the Alchemist Fulcanelli visited him in his laboratory in 1937, to warn Bergier and his fellow scientists about their researches into nuclear energy. Fulcanelli said that,

“the work you and your colleagues are undertaking is appallingly dangerous. It imperils not only yourself - it is a threat to the whole of humanity. The liberation of atomic energy is easier than you think, and the radioactivity produced can poison the atmosphere of the entire planet in the space of a few years”.

He goes on to tell Bergier that the Alchemists have known this secret for a long time but that they, unlike the scientists of today,

“have always taken religious and moral issues into consideration when carrying out their researches, while modern physics was born in the eighteenth century from the spare-time amusements of a few lords and rich libertines. Science without conscience...... I thought it my duty to warn a few research workers here and there, but I have no hope that my warnings will bear fruit. Taking it all in all, I have no reason to hope.”

Fulcanelli was correct. The scientific satans did not heed his warning, and in their ungodly arrogance have gone on to become the Black Magicians of the modern world. Their dark spell has been cast, and it is up to us to try to cancel its outcome by sending forth the Light, and by promoting Peace wherever we go.

But here I must sound a warning: Peace within is not the same as undisturbed tranquility, which is by no means the lot of the genuine student of the Mysteries. In order to gain sufficient knowledge and wisdom they have to plunge into the thick of the fray, and overcome all obstacles: only by such means can they achieve VICTORY. One cannot win a battle without engaging the enemy! And the enemy of Peace is dark ignorance, creating tornadoes of turmoil and chaos wherever it touches down.

There exists an illusory peace as witnessed by those who spend their lives meditating upon their navels, with vacuous smiles upon their faces..... while others feed them!

Nor can peace be attained by blotting out feelings. One must learn to master and subdue the lower emotions, it is true, but one must be careful not to kill them out, for the emotions are the true steeds which will one day wing you up to Heaven. But be assured: Peace can be attained midst the roar of battle!

Peace will not take up residence in an ascetic, for his heart is cold and chilly, and bereft of generosity. His mind too is narrow and lacks either material or spiritual vision.

God gave the lush fruits of this lovely earth to man, that he may savour and enjoy their goodness: only when he abuses such gifts with excesses do these bounties become a yoke and a burden, crushing him to the ground.

Akbar Khan in his ‘Tasawwuf-i Azim’ says that:

“The only discipline worth while is that which is achieved in the midst of temptation. A man, who, like the anchorite, abandons the world and cuts himself off from temptations and distractions cannot achieve power. For power is that which is won through being wrested from the midst of weakness and uncertainty. The ascetic living a wholly monastic life is deluding himself.”

These ascetics are not necessarily just the fanatics from Eastern countries, but also those from the western world who avoid things, thinking in their ignorance that there is virtue in avoidance.

The worst affect of this is when, a person avoids a thing, thinking it good to do so, he often begrudges others the very thing he cannot himself enjoy. A good example of this is the ex-smoker who will preach tirelessly against the evils of tobacco, boring all smokers to death with self-righteous sermons. It is as if they are saying to themselves,

“If I am miserable, I am going to make everybody else miserable too.”

Only the few are capable of carrying out their convictions quietly and on their own - be it the decision to become an ex-meateater, an ex-smoker, or an ex-anything else in the world. These ex humans do not seem to feel satisfied until they have made everyone else feel guilty for not being as ‘noble’ as they themselves. These are the true communists who think that their propaganda, like manure, will do no good unless spread.

To all these folks, let us say as the conductor said to the tuba player who played a loud and wrong note during rehearsals:

“Thank you. And now will you please pull the chain.”


Should you ever be blessed enough to meet a real Master of the Mysteries, you would NOT be confronted by an earthly saint (for they are myths created by dreamers or liars, as the case may be), nor will his diet consist of bran ( a food fit for rabbits), and neither will he be living in a dark and damp cave (the home of bats), nor will he be dressed in a dirty loin cloth and sandals (the attire of an ascetic).

A True Master is filled with luxury: the luxury of the Spirit. His joy and sense of humour is infectious, giving you a foretaste of a Higher Realm filled with celebration and poignant jubilation. From him you will learn to appreciate the perfume of ripely rounded roses, the lusty odour of a library filled with old, leather bound books, the taste of vintage wine, the feel to the touch of an ancient statue, and the sound of heavenly music, and yet he will teach you how to value these things according to their worth.

He is indifferent to other men’s opinions and hence is above all blame and praise, for he is FREE, having acquired comfort and enlightenment from the Soul. He is a warm and magnetic human being who knows All, yet does not let on that he Knows. He does not boast or preach, nor does he judge.

To be followed in droves by silly old women and saffron-robed men, would be abhorrent to him, therefore he works quietly and in secret among the sick and the needy, the poor and the suffering. His is the cool hand on troubled brows, the Love that asks no rewards, and the feathery wings that protect those in his keeping from all harm.

You will not find him giving talks to groups of mystery-mongers and half-witted new agers; but he will reserve his wisdom and the Holy Teachings for his chosen few, those he deems teachable. He knows that talking to a fool is like pouring water into a sieve; once he has finished talking, not a drop remains in their swiss-cheese brains. It would be as futile as reading the Secret Doctrine to a herd of cows, or sending your pet parrot to Mecca for the Pilgrimage. It may come home screeching “Allahu Akbar!” every couple of minutes, but it would not comprehend what it was saying. (It reminds us of a few people we know, don’t you agree?)

At all times there are Masters walking among you, and simple though they are to know, people know them not, for the material rubbish that fill their hearts and minds acts as a veil to conceal the Master’s Light. The majority prefer the showmanship of the false teacher, for he will pamper their vanity and puff up their pigeon chests with pride. Verily, I say unto you, they have their reward!

May the Lords of Life and Light bless and keep the Masters, and give them Peace and a Secret Place to be, safe from the ignorant masses who cannot bear the Light.



When the experiences of life have tried and tested you until you are on the brink of despair; and when an indescribable sorrow and an intense longing for, you know not what, oppresses you; then you will know that the time has come. But as the old Persian poet said:

“Under the Sun and stars there is no saying, or no fool or wise man, that is nearer to the Truth than that now is the appointed time. But it may be the time for waiting. And it may be the time for patience. When I said to my Teacher: Tell me what to do now, I will do it...... he went fishing.”

Stop looking for a quick fix and cultivate patience, for a patient person is someone who is filled with trust that their needs will be met; and we all know (or do we?) that Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen.

“Trust in God; He will not deceive thee;
nor will persevering patience leave thee
long in affliction.
Patience is the fairest light of man.“
(Four Ancient Books of Wales)

The modern world is filled to overflowing with restless and anxious souls, rushing to and fro and dealing with ‘reality’, making themselves irritable and weary-worn in the process. Everything needs to be instant in order to save money-making time. Even the entertainment has to be short and sharp in keeping with the attention span which is also short (but not necessarily sharp). Something similar to shock therapy perhaps?

Assuming that you were careless enough to tell them that you planned to spend years in search of the Truth, and they would probably accuse you of being eccentric and irresponsible. Who needs time wasted on all that mystical mumbo-jumbo when one could be earning dollars? Or going bowling? Or working out? Yo!

Levi says that,

“Such men will never understand anything of Occult (occult means ‘hidden’) philosophy; and it is for them alone that it remains occult. As occult as common sense for the fanatics of the world; as occult as reason for the truly mad.


“For occultism is the philosophy of Light, the philosophy of common sense, the philosophy of exactitude, precise as numbers, as rigorous as the proportions of geometry, as evident as being, and as infallible as the mathematics of eternity.

“He is blind who does not see it; but he is all the more blind who claims to see it by night!

“Never will the stupid and the vulgar comprehend the high wisdom of the Magi!”

And never should the stupid and vulgar meddle with the Holy Teachings, but go out and enjoy themselves instead.

And neither should you try to convert them, like some common Christian missionary, but keep silent about what you know.
But when the Seeker after knowledge comes forward; after he is tested to discover if he is worthy, he will be spoken to. When a person is ready to enter the Light, the Higher Powers will lead him to it.

Andrea correctly states that:

“When a disciple is ready to learn, then he is accepted, acknowledged and recognized. It must be so; for he has lit his lamp, and it cannot be hidden.”

However, for as long as vanity and pride rules over the love of Truth, the lamp will be hidden under the bushel and he will not be considered ready. It takes strength and courage to walk along the steep and thorny Path of Truth, and he will only make it who has not brought along the baggage of the vain.


The Masters, and the Path to the Masters, has for too long been seen in the rosy light commonly associated with the pets of the silver screen. An aura of mystery, glamour and romance, and rumours of supernatural manifestations, has drawn the unbalanced and the deluded to the Occult Mysteries. For these reasons it has been given a bad name among people with a healthy amount of common sense; and rightly so, for the main bulk of it, ancient and modern, deserves no deep investigation and can, without hesitation, be deposited into the most convenient trash can.

The sooner delusions are shattered, the better; for only then can we begin our first testing step on the journey to the Light and the Truth. The first step is an important one, in that it is the beginning of the journey of a thousand miles we can only go on once we have decided to take the first step. Nobody can make this journey on your behalf; you have to travel the road yourself, because only personal experience will do. To listen to another’s tales of the marvels he saw and the things he experienced, is not the same as living through the experience yourself. You may heed another travelers advice as to the pitfalls on the journey, if you first make sure that he actually undertook the journey himself, and did not bring you second-hand information and heresy.

Most so-called mystics have unfortunately taken the accounts of true Initiates, and with the aid of their delirious imaginations, have added fictions of their own and subtracted the marrow of Truth, in an attempt to impress the credulous masses with their hand-me-down and faded tales.

Any fool can gather knowledge (or have it stuffed down their throats); but the wisdom which is required to interpret knowledge and use it, is something that each must learn for himself in the school of existence. It is life and life experience which is the great Initiator.

What good is a theory when you are confronted by a person who, through one of life’s circumstances, cries out for help? Only a person who knows from first-hand experience how relentless and painful a suffering heart can be, is able to give comfort to a soul in affliction.

The timid and the faint-hearted who shy away from sounding the depths of human suffering can never be of help to anyone, and would probably stumble and fall over the first sharp stone on the Path. These are the helpless, the feeble and the lukewarm, without faith and courage, themselves in need of being saved from their miseries.

And you, as a Student and a Servant on the Path, who is going to comfort you? Your suffering may be more intense than the average person’s, and at times it may even threaten to overwhelm you, but yet you will need to stand alone and apart from the crowd; apart even from friends and family, for they are unable to comfort you. It is profoundly true that once the Aspirant enters the Path, life will test him in all experiences, taking him to the limits of his capabilities, and then some.

So who will tend to your battle-wounds? Only your own soul can do that - only the Truth from your own soul. From now on the soul will be your only friend and companion. This may seem like a lonely proposition to some, and to those who are not in communion with their souls, it will be just that. They will be far better off waiting until life’s blows will have woken them up, before entering on the Sacred Quest.

“To suffer woes which hope thinks infinite;
to forgive wrongs darker than death or night;
To defy Power, which seems omnipotent;
To love, and bear; to hope till Hope creates
From its own wreck the thing it contemplates;
Neither to change, nor falter, nor repent;
This, like thy glory, Titan! is to be
Good, great and joyous, beautiful and free;
This is alone Life, Joy, Empire and Victory!”


It is far better not to enter the maze of the Mysteries and try to solve its riddles, only to backslide halfway through. If, by now, you feel that the Path holds too many grave responsibilities, tests and trails, not worth subjecting yourself to, I suggest you do like the old Wichita Indian who joined the Seven Day Absentists.


You cain’t beat ‘um if you want smooth sailin’.


But if your decision is to stay the course, you cannot do better than to imprint on yourself the first principles, for they are the most important. Unless you build on a solid foundation, your castle will be washed away by the first strong wave, it being built on shifting sands.

Learn to build like the Master builders of the Great Pyramid and then not even an earthquake will succeed in toppling you. If you build in Wisdom, your work will last forever. Truth does not suddenly come tumbling down; only untruth falls and leaves you stranded without insurance and compensation. ‘tis a chill wind that blows at such times; and without Wisdom’s feathery
wings to protect you, where will you turn?

Raymund Andrea, the Grand Master of the Rosicrucian Order of Great Britain, gave much invaluable advice to the Aspirant in his books ‘The Technique of the Disciple’ and ‘The Technique of the Master’.

“He must suffer, must enjoy or endure more keenly than other men. - It is indeed a secret cross which perforce he must carry, and the effects in himself are often so singular and antagonizing a character that he is apt to question the usefulness of submitting to it.”

A life not put to the test; a life without obstacles to overcome, is hardly worth living. Growth is only possible in adversity; through battles fought and won. The enemy has to be confronted and overcome. If we get driven to our knees by the enemy (and by enemy is here meant the lower passions - the lower mind), we have lost the battle through lack of will power and Faith. This is cowardice which, out of spiritual laziness, chooses undisturbed tranquility.

The Occult world is not suited for these prostrated victims, but strangely enough, these are the ones who often flock to it, thinking, perhaps, that it is going to, by some supernatural power, give them magical adeptness without effort on their part. Have not lurid advertisements told them repeatedly that, for a fee, they can obtain all that which their little hearts desire?

“When heaven is about to impose an important office upon a man, it first embitters his heart in its purpose; it causes him to exert his bones and sinews; it lets his body suffer hunger; it inflicts upon him want and poverty, and confounds his undertakings. In this way it stimulates his heart, steels his nature, and supplies that of which the man would be incapable.”


There are no short-cuts to the Masters; the one and only road is long and full of responsibilities and infinite yearnings. It is a most severe apprenticeship and can only be undertaken by a Seeker who has questioned his heart and mind and has arrived at the conclusion that he MUST. He will have to know, without a doubt, that it is the ONLY PATH.

Maybe you had something quite different in mind? You may have hoped for a life filled with tables rapping, bells tinkling mysteriously, dollar bills materializing in your hand, letters delivered by magic, spirit-writings, and secret hideaways in Tibet - all with which you could dazzle and impress your friends.

Your idea of a Master may be of someone who, in his spare time, ‘comes through’ from the Astral Realms, or perhaps just the good old Himalayas, to perform circus tricks for the entertainment of a few bored metaphysical students.

All this is but childish games of benefit to no one, and who in their right mind would care if the Masters can do such things!

Let me quote H.P. Blavatsky, who, great though she was, started all this nonsense in the first place, probably as a trick to get people to listen to the important things she had to say.

“ In ‘War in Heaven’ is shown, in one of its significations, to have referred to those terrible struggles in store for the Candidate for Adeptship - struggles between himself and his (by magic) personified human passions, when the enlightened Inner man had to either slay them or fail. In the former case he became the ‘Dragon slayer’, as having cast off his old skin and being born in a NEW body, becoming a Son of Wisdom and Immortality in Eternity.”

This is pure Alchemy; the transmutation of the lower human passions into the Higher. But we must be careful not to slay all passions, otherwise we would become inhuman and of no use to anybody, least of all to ourselves. The Higher human passions are what turns us into human beings; without them we would be less than wild animals.

“Mind (as well as metals and elements) may be
transmuted, from state to state; degree to degree;
condition to condition; pole to pole; vibration to
vibration. True Hermetic Transmutation is a Mental Art.”

This can be done by an exercise of the Will. Consider the Will as the One Thing of the Sages, without which the Great Work cannot be done. The Will is absolutely necessary in order to affect a Mental Transmutation; and if you, by means of the Will, ‘separate the earth from the fire, the subtle from the gross, acting prudently and with great judgment’, you will produce pure gold.

But this transmutation cannot be performed by the idle, for it takes continual effort, great skill, patience, a willingness to recognize error, and the courage to continue with the great work even when all seems lost.

The Philosopher’s Stone is given by the Great, Thrice Great Hermes, to those who have been sorely tested, and who, in unwavering Faith still continue onward without thought of turning back.

“To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden Manna, and I will give him a White Stone, and in the Stone a new name is written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.”

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