Life to the Knights Templar is seen as a joumey. The road may be hard and the journey long, but through certain spiritual disciplines - the Templars believed - Truth with a capital T can be discovered or rather revealed. First, though, mankind has to embrace two fundamental ideas: 'that each human being is endowed with a spark of the Celestial spirit, a fragment of the Godhead ... and second, that things are not as they seem.'We do indeed see 'as through a glass, darkly.' We see what we see because we are what we are.
The nature of the Truth that mankind perceives is not through the ratiocinative processes but through a moment of illumination when a correspondence is struck between an outer object and an inner feeling (a feeling moving toward an object to attach the feeling to, an object unknown), between what we are groping for internally - the eternal verities of the spirit - and what stands there, suddenly unmasked, in the external world, something that seems to satisfy some inner craving or necessity of our nature. 'He was a drifting, silent man,' Yeats says of his friend John Millington Synge, 'and loved wild islands, because there, set out in the light of day, he saw what lay hidden in himself.' Or, as Patrick Tilley puts it in his Foreword to Gaetan De La Forge's Templar Tradition:
The need to give meaning to existence is not, as some earthly philosophers insist, simply the biochemical reflex action of a brain that has evolved through its ability to analyze and assign a value to the patterns of light and shade failing on the retina. It stems from some memory buried deep within us. A belief that once, in a former state of grace, we knew the answers; were fully aware of our role in the scheme of things and the relationship between the physical world and the spiritual realms beyond (vii).
There is a kind of throb of resonance within, a reverberation - as Joseph Campbell puts it -'like the answer of a musical string to another equally tuned', an arc connecting an archetype in the collective unconsciousness to the sensible world. Indeed, in The Poetics of Space, Gaston Bachelard maintains that when an image or perception is presented to the perception, it is as if a 'reverberation' resounds in the heavens: the image has no immediate historical past, but contains the revelation of a world which mere rational consciousness is incapable of perceiving. The image is addressed not to the brain to be interpreted and appreciated but directly to the feeling system which is capable of grasping it before thought is actively engaged. Art, Bachelard concludes, 'rather than being a phenomenology of the mind, is a phenomenology of the soul.' Or as the French philosopher, Pierre-Jean Jouve, expresses it: 'Poetry is a soul inaugurating a form.' All art, therefore, all the true perceptions of life begin in a 'bodiless mood', become then - as thought gives feeling a form a 'surging thought', and last 'a thing', a manifested feeling - a chair, a building, a poem, etc.
This is what the Templars understood: the correspondence between inner and outer by which one learned to read the landscape of one's soul, finding in the observation or experience of the external world the means by which one gently or timidly resurrects' or brings into conscious view what is buried in the womb of the subconscious and the unconscious.
The Knights Templar, therefore, sought a more deeply buried sensitivity than the type of clarity gleaned on the battlefield: 'Why should we praise men who died on the battlefield,' a modern initiate posits, 'a man may display as reckless a courage by descending into the abyss of himself.' The Knights Templar concentrated on the soul which they believed was capable of uniting the manifested life of the universe and of achieving a kind of alchemical marriage between our material and spiritual selves.
The universe, they believed, is conditioned by laws of sound and colour as well as number, weight, and measure, and if certain human beings have managed to realize their oneness with all things while remaining simultaneously aware of the diversity of life 'it is not too difficult to conceive of the great source of life and consciousness as manifesting itself with different qualities, at different levels of energies and life impulses' (p.23).
This is the part of the Grail quest of the Knights Templar, the idea of descent into the depths of one's being where one comes to recognize both the impure as well as the nobler aspects of oneself - the idea of transformation, of dissolving all that is putrescible in one's body and bringing together or 'coagulating' the aspects of the divine.
The idea of Christ is central to the Grail concept of the Templars, not necessarily of the historical crucified Christ but of the victory over matter that Christ achieves in his life and on the cross, of resurrection and Christ's spiritualization of matter, so that it can prove to be a true instrument of soul. 'I am convinced,' a modern initiate writes, that spiritual development 'lies not in dependence upon a Christ outside you but upon the Christ in your ownbreast, inthe power of yourowndivine will and divine imagination, and not in some external will or imagination however divine. We certainly do teach this dependence only on the inner divinity, but this is Christianity' (2).
The Grail is the purified spiritual chalice that exists in potential within the human organism and emerges as a possibility of being fulfilled once man has passed the animal stages of development, beyond fear, beyond falling prey to an object of desire, or the normal duties of the social order. Man has, Joseph Campbell posits, two births: one is biological as a physical creature; the second, more properly human birth, is spiritual - of the heart. As man develops spiritually, he learns to disengage from the fury of the passions, achieves fearlessness in the face of death, and learns compassion and indifference to the opinion of the world (Robert O'Driscoll ed., The Celtic Consciousness, Toronto: Dolmen and McClelland, 1981).
'There is no need,' Gaeton DeLaForge writes, 'to catalogue the problems which we face in today's world. The writer agrees with esotericists and others who declare that our planet has entered the end of a cycle. It might even be added that we are living a spectacular moment in the history of our planet. We are now exactly at the cut-off point where we can either allow the forces of devolution to carry us downwards or at least freeze us in the grip of materialism for untold ages, or else make the necessary efforts to attune ourselves to the new evolutionary forces which could carry us as a species to undreamt-of spiritual realizations and achievements.
'A brief look around us will show that both these impulses are at work. There are forces which are working towards the destruction of the environment in exchange for temporary material gain; these degrade the noble aspects of the human being. At other levels, this degradation of human beings is being stimulated physically through the eating of denatured food, and mentally by the flooding of people's minds with low quality entertainment. This includes certain video and television material which reduces people's desire to think and affects them negatively by the insidious introduction of the darker side of the spirit into their subconscious. Certain types of video cassettes and popular music which incite and cater to satanic tastes are already in worldwide circulation and are available to young and old alike.
'Not enough attention is given to the problem of mental pollution and its effect on the subtle levels of our environment. Anyone who has doubts about the polluted state of our mental environment only has to look any evening at the summary of the day's news on television. The 'worshippers of Mammon' who are stimulating this descent into darkness through greed for wealth and power, strangely enough do not seem to be concerned about the cesspool they are creating for themselves and their children.
'But all is not lost. Positive forces are also at work. At this particular moment in the planet's evolution these positive forces are no longer confined to the successors of the esoteric movements. ... For any spiritual progress to be retained and built upon, it has to be prepared and sustained by efforts to work on one's shortcomings and to live the Christ life.... It is difficult to describe the joy that comes with the understanding that a hurdle has been jumped, a barrier broken through, and that one has reached a new and lighter space, looking at the world through new eyes as if for the first time. For each one of us the experience is intensely personal and yet so very real.
'The writer is sincerely convinced that if a sufficient number of people answer the call of the Temple and endeavour to lead a life dedicated to respect for man and life in all its forms, the current they will generate will bring about the required links with the evolutionary impulses now at work within the planet. Perhaps this can stave off global disaster, or at least ensure that there will be enough survivors to carry the species toward the evolutionary blueprint intended for mankind. We would again stress that our generation has the tremendous privilege of living at a time of singular opportunity.
'It must be stressed here that the Temple does not reject the material world or matter as such. On the contrary, it considers man's real task to be that of spiritualizing matter. Man was conceived to be the link between spirit and matter. The Temple is ideal for Western people, who need to fulfil their destiny not by turning their backs on the material or by decrying the spiritual, but in combining the two so that eventually the perfection of the archetypal world is manifested in the world of matter. When this happens, that much-quoted maxim of Hermes Trismegistus - "as above, so below," will be realized.'
La Franc-Maçonnerie est condamnée par l’Église catholique, peu importe si ce sont de bons ou de mauvais templiers. C’est une erreur qu’a commise Robert O. dans sa vie, son livre et son analyse. En fait, même s’il était bien intentionné, il faisait la promotion des idées francs-maçonniques (les bons frères trois petits points bien intentionnés, comme ils le sont tous d’ailleurs ). Disons simplement qu’il a mordu à l’appat de la maçonnerie. Il a répété cette erreur avec les révolutionnaires du Sentier Lumineux, une organisation révolutionnaire communiste. L’auteur, quoique bien intentionné, a fait montre de naïveté. Mais cela ne rend pas son livre entièrement inutile ou complètement dans le champs. Il y a de l’information intéressante et pertinenente, sauf quand le professeur déraille. Il avait un côté excentrique qui transparaît dans son oeuvre.