Friday, April 15, 2016


Stanislas de Guaita address to 3rd Degree Martinist initiates

That which follows is my translation, to the best of my ability, (it was not easy!) of an address to 3rd Degree Martinist initiates by Stanislas de Guaita, published in his ‘Au Seuil du Mystère’. It is an important text showing the deeper implications of what he and his associates such as Papus regarded as the gist of initiatory fraternities.

You have been successively admitted to the three hierarchical grades of our Order and we greet you  now as Supérieur Inconnu, and when you have transcribed and meditated on our papers you will become an Initiator in your turn. An important mission will then be committed to your faithful hands, a duty that is also an honour:  to form a group of which you will be the intellectual Father, and on occasion the moral Tutor, subject to your conscience and Divine Humanity.

This is not a matter of imposing dogmatic convictions. It matters little whether you consider yourself to be spiritual, materialistic or idealistic; whether you profess to be Christian or Buddhist; call yourself a free-thinker or affect absolute scepticism. We do not impose mental questions  that you can only resolve yourself face to face with your own conscience in the silence of your heart.

So long as you embrace a true love for your fellow human beings and do not seek to deny your humanity you remain a member of a supreme and truly universal religion. One that expresses itself in many ways in the various religions of East and West.

Give to this sentiment whatever name you choose: love, solidarity, altruism, fraternity, charity or even express it in political or economic terms. Labels are not important!  Honour it Mystically under the names of Divine Mother or Holy Spirit. And never forget that putting it to work is the first and main essential.


Sincere and disinterested pursuit of the Truth is what your Mind owes to itself. Brotherly love   is what your Heart owes to others.

Apart from these two duties, no philosophical  or religious dogma is imposed on your faith. As for our doctrine, we have outlined the essential principles and ask only for meditation on them at leisure and without prejudice. It is the only means of persuasion by which traditional Truth seeks to win you to its cause.

We have presented to your eyes the seals of a Book. But it is for you to learn to spell out the Letters and then to penetrate the Spirit of the mysteries that the words contain.


We have given you a start. The role of Initiation must be limited to that. If by yourself  you come to an understanding of the Arcana, you will merit the title of Adept. But remember this. It is impossible for even the most knowledgeable masters to reveal the supreme formulae of  knowledge and power of magic to you. True Occultism cannot be transmitted by discourse. You  must evoke, create and develop it in yourself.

As an Initiate you are one that others have started on your way. Strive to become an Adept; one who has conquered the Science by himself; has become the son of his work.


Our Order, we have told you, limits its pretensions to the hope of harvesting the good earth by sowing the good seed everywhere. The teachings of the S*I* are precise, but elementary.

May this secondary programme satisfy your ambition. May your destiny bring you one day to the threshold of the mysterious temple from whence, for centuries, the luminous source of Western Esotericism has radiated. Listen to the words of your unknown Brothers. May they germinate in your mind and fructify in your soul.


I affirm that you can find there the infallible criterion of Occultism. And that the key to the vault of esoteric synthesis is there and nowhere else. But what point is insistence if you can understand and want to believe? And what good is insistence if you do not?

You are completely free to take what remains for me to say as a mystical allegory or as a literary fable without meaning, or even as an audacious imposture...

You are free; but LISTEN. Whether the seed sprout or perish, I intend to sow it!


In the beginning, at the root of Being, is the Absolute.

The Absolute – which the religious call God -  cannot be conceived. And whoever claims to define it denatures his notion by assigning it limits: “A God defined is a God finished.”  {Eliphas Levi}.

But this bottomless Absolute emanates eternally the androgynous Dyad, formed by two indissoluble principles united: the Life-giving Spirit {sulphur} and the Universal Living Soul {mercury}.

The mystery of their union constitutes the Great Arcanum of the Word.

Now, the Word is collective Man considered in his divine synthesis before his disintegration, and is Celestial Adam before his fall. By which Universal Being knew it was modalised, passing from Unity to Quantity; from Absolute to Relative; from Collectivity to Individualism; from Infinity to Space and from Eternity to Time.

With the Fall of Adam, here are some ideas of traditional teaching:

Incited by a mobile interior, about which we must be silent as to its essential nature, mobile in that Moses calls it נחש NaHaSh and that we define, if you like, as the egoic thirst for individual existence, a  great number of fragmented Words, potential consciousnesses, vaguely awake in a mode of emanation  in the heart of the Absolute Word, separate from the Word that contains them.

They detach themselves – minute sub-multiples – of the Mother-unity who has engendered them. Simple rays from this occult sun, they shoot into infinity through the shadows, in their individual coming to birth, in that they wish to be independent of any anterior principle. Or in a word, autonomous.

But as a luminous ray only has a relative existence in rapport with the source that produced it, the equally relative Words, stripped of the auto-divine principle and of the true light, obscure themselves in the measure that they distance themselves from the absolute Word.

They fall into matter, into the untruth of substance in objective frenzy. Into matter that is to Non-Being what the Spirit is to Being.  They descend as far as elemental existence, as far as animality; as far as vegetation; as far as minerality . {* They descend, as far as potentialities of these things, to the astral plane, which is the normal plane of Involution, while the physical plane is the normal plane of Evolution. By virtue of this ascending and repercussive movement called Evolution, beings appear in turn progressively on the scene of the material world on departure from the more elemental.}

Thus matter is born, soon elaborated from Spirit, and the concrete Universe takes on an ascending life, reascending from stone, apt to crystallisation, as far as man, susceptible to thought, to prayer, to consent to the understandable, and devotion to the similar!

This sensory repercussion of the captive Spirit, sublimating the progressive forms of Matter and Life, trying to escape from prison – contemporary Science defines and studies under the name of Evolution.

Evolution is the universal Redemption of the Spirit. In evolving, the Spirit remounts.

But before remounting, the Spirit had descended; which is what we call Involution.

How is the verbal sub-multiple arrested at a given point in its fall? What Force enabled it to retrace its way? How is the consciousness numbed by its collective divinity finally awakened within it under the still very imperfect form of Sociability?

 Such deep mysteries we cannot approach here, but of which you will acquire understanding if Providence is with you.


These few facts are precise, on the ‘great affair{term of Saint-Martin} of human destiny. It is for you to try to deduce the rest and state the solution to the problem.

But understand well, my Brother, for a third and last time I implore you to understand that Altruism is the only way that conducts you to the unique and final end – the reintegration of the sub-multiples in the Divine Unity – the only doctrine that furnishes the means from the grip of the material chains, to the ascension, through the superior hierarchies, towards the central star of regeneration and peace.

Never forget that the Universal Adam is an Homogenous All, a living Being, of which we are the organic atoms and constituting cells. We live all one in others, all one for others, and if we would be individually saved (to use Christian terms) we will never cease to suffer or to struggle until all our brothers are saved with us!

Intelligent Egoism thus concludes as traditional Science concludes. Universal brotherhood is not a delusion; it is a factual reality.

Whoever works for others works for himself; whoever kills or wounds his neighbour wounds or kills himself; whoever offends him, insults himself.

May these mystic terms not scare you; there is nothing arbitrary in this high doctrine; we are mathematicians of being, algebraists of metaphysics.

Remember, son of the Earth, that your great ambition must be the reconquest of the zodiacal Eden from which you should never had descended; finally to return to the Ineffable Unity, WITHOUT WHICH YOU ARE NOTHING, and in the heart of which you will find, after much work and adversity, that heavenly peace, that conscious sleep that the Hindus know under the name of NIRVANA: the supreme beatitude of Omniscience, in God.

S de G     S.I.

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