Format: Global Grey free PDF, epub, Kindle ebook
Pages (PDF): 65
Publication Date: This edition, 1909
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Karl von Eckhartshausen was an 18th century German mystic who wrote extensively on esoteric topics. This work, The Cloud Upon the Sanctuary, is Christian mysticism veiled in hermetic code. Eckhartshausen was briefly a member of the Bavarian Illuminati, but left for spiritual reasons. He cryptically mentions a 'society of the Elect' which has existed from the very beginning of time, 'the invisible celestial Church.' He predicted that 'it is the society whose members form a theocratic republic, which one day will be the Regent Mother of the whole World.' This book later influenced the Order of the Golden Dawn, and most notably, Aleister Crowley.
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There is no age more remarkable to the quiet observer than our own. Everywhere there is a fermentation in the minds of men; everywhere there is a battle between light and darkness, between exploded thought and living ideas, between powerless wills and living active force; in short everywhere is there war between animal man and growing spiritual man.
It is said that we live in an age of light, but it would be truer to say that we are living in an age of twilight; here and there a luminous ray pierces through the mists of darkness, but does not light to full clearness either our reason or our hearts. Men are not of one mind, scientists dispute, and where there is discord, truth is not yet apprehended.
The most important objects for humanity are still undetermined. No one is agreed either on the principle of rationality or on the principle of morality, or on the cause of the will. This proves that though we are dwelling in an age of light, we do not well understand what emanates from our hearts—and what from our heads. Probably we should have this information much sooner if we did not imagine that we have the light of knowledge already in our hands, or if we would cast a look on our weakness, and recognise that we require a more brilliant illumination. We live in the times of idolatry of the intellect, we place a common torchlight upon the altar and we loudly proclaim the aurora, that now daylight is really about to appear, and that the world is emerging more and more out of obscurity into the full day of perfection, through the arts, sciences, cultured taste, and even from a purer understanding of religion.
Poor mankind! To what standpoint have you raised the happiness of man? Has there ever been an age which has counted so many victims to humanity as the present? Has there ever been an age in which immorality and egotism have been greater or more dominant than in this one? The tree is known by its fruits. Mad men! With your imaginary natural reason, from whence have you the light by which you are so willing to enlighten others? Are not all your ideas borrowed from your senses which do not give you the reality but merely its phenomena? Is it not true that in time and space all knowledge is but relative? Is it not true that all which we call reality is but relative, for absolute truth is not to be found in the phenomenal world. Thus your natural reason does riot possess its true essence, but only the appearance of truth and light; and the more this appearance increases and spreads, the more the essence of light inwardly fades, and the man confuses himself with this appearance and gropes vainly after the dazzling phantasmal images he conjures. The philosophy of our age raises the natural intellect into independent objectivity, and gives it judicial power, she exempts it from any superior authority, she makes it voluntary, converting it into divinity by closing all harmony and communication with God; and this god Reason, which has no other law but its own, is to govern Man and make him happy! . . .
. . . Darkness able to spread light! . . . Death capable of giving Life! . . .
The truth leads man to happiness. Can you give it?
That which you call truth is a form of conception empty of real matter, the knowledge of which is acquired from without and through the senses, and the understanding co-ordinates them by observed synthetic relationship into science or opinion.
You abstract from the Scriptures and Tradition their moral, theoretical and practical truth; but as individuality is the principle of your intelligence, and as egotism is the incentive to your will, you do not see, by your light, the moral law which dominates, or you repel it with your will. It is to this length that the light of to-day has penetrated. Individuality under the cloak of false philosophy is a child of corruption.
Who can pretend that the sun is in full zenith if no bright rays illuminate the earth, and no warmth vitalises vegetation? If wisdom does not benefit man, if love does not make him happy, but very little has been done for him on the whole.
Oh! if only natural man, that is, sensuous man, would only learn to see that the source of his intelligence and the incentive of his will are only his individuality, he would then seek interiorly for a higher source, and he would thereby approach that which alone can give this true element, because it is wisdom in its essential substance.
Jesus Christ is that Wisdom, Truth, and Love. He, as Wisdom, is the Principle of reason, and the Source of the purest intelligence. As Love, He is the Principle of morality, the true and pure incentive of the will.
Love and Wisdom beget the spirit of truth, interior light; this light illuminates us and makes supernatural things objective to us.
It is inconceivable to what depths of error a man falls when he abandons simple truths of faith by opposing his own opinions.
Our century tries to decide by its (brain) intelligence, wherein lies the principle or ground of reason and morality, or the ground of the will; if the scientists were mindful, they would see that these things are better answered in the heart of the simplest man, than through their most brilliant casuistry. The practical Christian finds this incentive to the will, the principle of all morality, really and objectively in his heart; and this incentive is expressed in the following formula:—"Love God with all thy heart, and thy neighbour as thyself."