Papus, Monsieur Philippe & Envoys of Heaven
Like his ‘Spiritual Master’, Papus was a strong partisan of reincarnation, particularly with regard to Maïtre Philippe whom he believed to be one of those exceptional beings who appear from time to time on Earth in much the same way that Jesus of Nazareth descended into the Underworld at the time of the Crucifixion. That is to say who came freely, as an Envoy of Heaven, without the compulsion of any personal karma. Such are characterised by miraculous powers allied to great modesty.
During his own earthly life Papus felt he had had the good fortune to know one of these beings, along with the ability to make him more widely known.
In his writings on reincarnation Papus suggested that there was a tradition that three of these envoys of the Father were always present on Earth, sometimes incarnated together, at other times functioning on different planes. Apart from his healing gifts the one he had known and who had taught him so much, had demonstrated powers over thunder and lightning, and over air and water as manifest in the weather. Much of this is recorded in the personal testimony of those close to him, some of it in circumstances that might seem personal and trivial, but which in its spiritual parallels could be regarded as a ray of sunlight illuminating infernal darkness.
Examples at various levels have been given under guise of fiction in Paul Sédir’s remarkable sequence of tales “Initiations” which I have recently translated for Skylight Press and which reveal different facets of the secret life of Monsieur Philippe.
Such souls reincarnate voluntarily, and truly remember, but make no claims about being great historical characters. Claimants, even quite sensible people, range from Mary Queen of Scots, through Mary Magdalen and Joan of Arc to Anne Boleyn and even Saint John (still writing at the end of his last incarnation, if with not quite such success!). One can of course speculate about others. Papus considered Joan of Arc to have been one of these Heavenly envoys. How else, he wondered, to explain the military genius of a girl who won three victories on three successive days?
There could of course be other theories, for as Shakespeare’s great prevaricator cautioned “there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, that are dreamed of in your philosophy!” The Roman church has tended to be hostile to any celestial messengers and in the case of Joan, a formidable voice of the people sought a change in the verdict of the ecclesiastical judges who, blinded by politics, had martyred an envoy of Heaven.
However, turning from historical speculation to current situations, Papus summed up his own conclusion by suggesting that our current incarnation is, for the spirit, a ‘magnetisation’ of our future physical lives. Every gift of oneself, beyond self interest, magnetises and spiritualises, which is to say generates light that will become the vehicle of the spirit on another plane. On the other hand, all contraction of the spirit, whether it is called egoism, anger, envy, dislike, materialises and generates clichés of sin that can become fatal for the Astral. Sluggishness will not get us into heaven. Whoever knows, forgives and prays. Material objects, earthly riches, honorifics, are tools conferred for the benefit of others and no one has any right to monopolise them for personal satisfaction.
As far as Papus was concerned, the law of reincarnation is not an invention of the human brain, nor the bastard creation of a delirious imagination. In the same way that the sun rises in the physical world, and banishes the darkness of night in creative light, so is the law of incarnation a sun of the invisible world; dissipating philosophical errors, illuminating souls in their missions, and showing the justice of all actions and reactions on all levels of existence.
Which is all, if one thinks about it, rather more than a divine system of cost accounting or double entry book keeping.
Dear Mr. Knight,
I wanted to express my gratitude for your translation of Initiation. It was a delightful and profound read, and I particularly enjoyed Chapter XXXVI The Ave Maria.
By any chance, would you know if The Guild of the Master Jesus is available for purchase somewhere? I've looked for it but since it was spread out over a few Journal issues, I assume it was never published as a book?
Blessings of the day,
The Guild of the Master Jesus material has not been published as a corpus. You will find bits and pieces of it in the Inner Light Journal, indeed Christian Gilson has been publishing some of its papers and accompanying commentaries over the past few issues in 2016 / 2016. You can also find some edited versions of some of the text and ritual in Charles Fielding's "The Story of Dion Fortune".
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