Rosicrucian Writings Online
The Comte de Gabalis
By Raymund Andrea, K.R.C.
Grand Master, AMORC,
[From The Mystic Triangle September 1927]
Some Interesting Facts
About a Character Mentioned in
Lord Lytton's "Zanoni"
THERE is something immensely satisfying to the mind when, after a certain lapse of time, a rare occult authority is re-perused in the light of the extended reading and experience of years. It is not merely that the subjective mind has been ruminating the material of the first perusal, although a perceptible clarification results from this; but rather that the subsequent study and reflection of related matter illuminate and amplify basic principles and reveal the esoteric wisdom and practical issues of the document to an enlarged consciousness. A secret commentary upon its hidden lore has been silently unfolded in the heart, and thereafter that document becomes a truly personal possession. It has a significance which is individual and peculiar; and the intervening studies which have made it so acquire also a new import and value in our eyes.
At least, such was my own experience when reading once again that remarkable series of discourses and commentaries published by the Brothers under the mysterious title, Comte de Gabalis. Great advances have been made in the occult world since this book first appeared in 1670. It was then understood but of the few; its appeal now is to the many. Readers of "Zanoni" will remember the author's citation of the Comte, and although a deep chord of sympathy may have been awakened in some by it, the original work may still be unknown to them. But the Brothers, as ever in their great work, issued this document with far-sighted intention; they knew its time would come. For us it was sent forth. It should be known to every aspiring Rosicrucian and is worthy of close and reverent study. When the voice of Wisdom sounds over the world at rare intervals in the years from the invisible Temple of the Brotherhood, it is to us, the children of aspiration, that it speaks; for the divine promise has gone forth from ancient times that we should not come down among the sons of men, mature in soul and filled with the spirit of service and sacrifice, and fail to find the precious truth needed to perfect us that we might more truly serve. For service, and yet greater service, is the incommunicable burden of the Rosicrucian heart from incarnation to incarnation. The very first words that meet the eye on opening the book of the Comte are these: "We seek to serve that thou mayest illumine thy Torch at its Source." This is followed by a beautiful "Invocation to the Flame," so well known to many of us, and which is responsive in letter and spirit to the elevating ritual of our temple service:
"I call upon thee, O living God, radiant with illuminating fire. O unseen parent of the sun! pour forth thy lightgiving power and energise thy divine spark. Enter into this flame and let it be agitated by the breaths of thy Holy Spirit. Manifest thy power and open for me the
It would be a great task to take up the thread of these discourses of the Comte and unfold their symbolism; a wisdom equally great would be necessary to translate their precise meaning that every student may understand. Fortunately, the Abbe de Villars has appended a commentary in the course of which much that is veiled in the discourses is there made plain; and it is in this commentary that our higher grade members will find so much that is intensely interesting and significant for them. They will meet with the most luminous statements regarding the Solar Force, another name for that Living Vital Force or Cosmic Energy which they are taught to direct and manipulate in their advanced work, and its various modes of manifestation.
I only propose to reproduce here a few of the many most arresting references, which will prove peculiarly illuminating to those in our higher grades. These references will serve to show how much has been given them in their lecture studies in the way of practical experiments to enable them to translate basic principles into works of power and service. They will realize that those studies are a practical key to the references themselves which are so luminous to the understanding. First, the discourses, enigmatical and infolded; then the commentary, unfolding somewhat the mystic word; and finally, the lucid explanations and practical demonstrations of the revealed word in their own lectures.
At the close of the first discourse which took place on the mysterious appearance of the Comte in the study of the Abbe Villars, the latter expresses astonishment at the calm and authoritative display of wisdom and the concluding instruction given him, and regrets that the Comte should so soon leave him after having shown him a "Spark of his Light." He comments upon this Light thus: "In the Master this light, developed, is visible as an elongated cleft flame extending upward from the centre of the forehead. This flame ever the distinctive mark of all highly evolved beings who are able to manifest and to keep in touch with their divine consciousness while in the physical body." We shall soon realize from his comments that the Abbe was already no mean member of the Order to the society of which the Comte had promised to introduce him, and was fairly competent to rate the instruction imparted to him at its true value.
After passing the night in prayer, as requested by the Comte, the Master visits him again early the next morning and they prepare for an "excursion" together. The "excursion" was the well known "experience in a disciple's training which is made the occasion of teaching him through observation many truths regarding super-physical beings and states of consciousness. Henceforth he is able to leave and to enter his body at will and with an ever increasing freedom, until gradually the experiences while out of the body become as real and continuous as those in the flesh."
Let us take a few fragments of the conversation which transpired during this excursion. Some of us may find ourselves in the same position as the Abbe in our journey on the path, when a momentous decision has to be made.
"My son," says the Comte, "do you feel within yourself that heroic ambition which is the infallible characteristic of the Children of Wisdom? Do you dare seek to serve God alone, and to master all that is not of God? Do you understand what it means to be a Man? And are you not weary of being a slave when you were born to a Sovereign? And if you have these noble thoughts which the map of your horoscope does not permit me to doubt, consider seriously whether you have the courage and strength to renounce everything which might prove an obstacle to your attaining that eminence for which you were born." Let us remember that the Master does not put that alternative to a man until he sees within him that enlargement of consciousness which is capable of appreciating it, and also every possibility of the man making a wise decision. It is not to the worldly and unheeding that the Master appears, but to those who have suffered and sacrificed much and who stand at the portals of the
"When your eyes", continues the Comte, "have been strengthened by the use of the very Holy Medicine, you will straightway discover that the elements are inhabited by most perfect beings." We are informed that "through the use of the Holy Catholic Medicine (government of Solar Force) the pineal gland is regenerated and endows man with superphysical or seer vision." And of the people of the elements we read: "Man's consciousness is limited in direct proportion to the development of his senses of perception. Man has within himself, in the sympathetic and cerebro spinal nervous systems, minor brain centres. When, by purity of life and thought, and the right use of Solar Force, man awakens and energises these centres, he is able to penetrate into other states of being and discovers himself to be living in a world teeming with intelligences and entities existing in certain well-defined realms of consciousness hitherto unknown and unperceived by him."
Referring to the secret alliance which exists between the true philosopher and the People of the Elements, the comment is carried out to a practical issue which we shall fully appreciate. "As on the physical plane, so on the superphysical planes, when two centres, each vibrating at a different rate, meet, a balance is struck and a mean vibration results. The true Philosopher or Initiate is a highly dynamic centre of divine consciousness, and all less evolved entities and souls contacting this centre have their own level of consciousness raised in consequence." What a world of meaning and responsibility that statement contains! This intensified aura of ours is transmitting incessantly its rhythmic impulses and on every hand silent and invisible contacts are taking place. Its accelerated vibration can crush and degrade and destroy as easily and potently as it can elevate and expand and raise to God. The greater its power the more crucial is the responsibility, the more searching the temptations from the powers of the Shadow; and the solemn exhortation of the Comte to watch, pray, hope and be silent, is of profound import and must ever be our talisman.
The Comte refers enigmatically to this intensification of the aura: "We have only to concentrate the Fire of the World in a globe of crystal, by means of concave mirrors." The commentary says: "To the seer, man appears surrounded by an oviform luminous mist or globe of crystal. This luminosity of the finer bodies is the manifestation of the emotions and thoughts of the individual. It is termed the aura and interpenetrates the physical body, being present during life and withdrawn at death....... Constant aspiration, and desire to know God's Law liberates in man that Force which is a Living Flame, and which acts under the direction of the God in man, and with or without the conscious effort of the finite mind. This Fire, once liberated, begins immediately to displace the sluggish nervous force and to open and perfect those nerve centres or minor brains, atrophied from disuse, and which when regenerated reveal to man superphysical states of consciousness and knowledge of his lost Sovereignty over Nature...... The Solar Force manifests on the physical plane by passing through the ganglia of the sympathetic nervous system and thence up the spine to the brain where its currents unite to build up the deathless Solar or Spiritual Body. In its passage from one ganglion to another its voltage is raised, and it awakens and is augmented by the power peculiar to each ganglion which it dominates. The ganglia or centres are the "concave mirrors" whose property it is to concentrate the Fire of the World or Solar Force. In the cerebro spinal system there are many centres awaiting regeneration. Hence the spinal cord is the relaxed string whose pitch must be raised by the exaltation of the Element of Fire which is in us."
I feel justified in quoting at length these intensely interesting passages in this truly remarkable occult commentary. They serve to show what a wealth of secret lore is often concealed within a single statement of the Master. Little wonder is it that the half informed and merely curious mystery hunter is so often misled and resorts to all kinds of dangerous practices in the vain hope of seizing the power of the gods at once for selfish aggrandizement. But our members will realize that they are indeed working scientifically with the philosopher's stone and treading the ancient Rosicrucian path.
"You have," says the Comte, "the infinitely more glorious and more desirable advantages, true Philosophic Procedures...." These are explained thus: "By concentration in meditation upon a given subject, and by the effort of regular breathing, the inhalation and exhalation occupying the same space of time, the mind may be held so that it is not subject to other thought than that pertaining to the object or symbol of expression about which man desires knowledge. And if man will persist in this practice he can enter into an harmonious relationship with the Divinity within and from that source can gain knowledge which is the result of the soul's own experience while passing through the higher and lower states of matter. At the same time, if man will concentrate upon the highest he can evoke from within self that Solar Force and Power which if directed upward will awaken and revitalize those ganglia or organs of perception hitherto withheld from his use."
Let us hear the Abbe on the subject of prayer. "When you pray, think! Shut out all lower thoughts. Approach God as you would the entrance to the Holy Place. Ask if it be well to demand to be given wisdom according to Law. Be strong in purpose and firm in demand, for as you seek and demand power of a spiritual nature you will balance that power in self on the lower planes. It is to penetrate beyond these lower planes or spheres of illusion that Jesus said, 'When you pray, SAY' these things. You have by a direct and positive effort to reach the higher spheres of consciousness, therefore let your thought be clear and concise, for a sincere, positive and well defined prayer harmonizes man with God. On the other hand, an idle or unthinking prayer without definite expression becomes an affliction to the mind and destroys its receptivity to the Light. A fervent prayer to the Deity crystallizes the mind so that other forms of thought cannot enter, and prepares it to receive a response from the God within." In connection with which we may add a pertinent quotation on the power of sacred words and names: "These sacred words have not their power in magical operations, from themselves, as they are words, but from the occult divine powers working by them in the minds of those who by faith adhere to them; by which words the secret power of God as it were through conduit pipes, is transmitted into them, who have ears purged by faith, and by most pure conversation and invocation of the divine names are made the habitation of God, and capable of these divine influences; whosoever therefore useth rightly these words or names of God with that purity of mind, in that manner and order, as they were delivered, shall both obtain and do many wonderful things." All which brings to mind the words of power in our own work and the many mysterious responses accruing from their use.
Commenting upon the "Angel of the Grand Council" referred to by the Master, the Abbe tells us: "When a group of souls is sent forth from the Infinite Mind to perform a desired work and to gain a definite range of experience, these souls descend into matter and lose consciousness for a time of their own true estate. A chosen member remains upon the loftiest plane of consciousness in which it is possible to function while maintaining constant communication with the most highly evolved soul of the group now immersed in matter. This chosen member is the Angel of the Grand Council, whose office it is to be the channel of that Source which sent them forth in the beginning. This exalted being retains and makes known to those of his own Order, working in the lower states of consciousness, a knowledge of the divine plan and purpose for which they incarnated."
It is fitting to conclude these quotations with that solemn strain of eloquence of the Comte which passed so deeply into the heart of Lytton and is unforgettable. It is the oracular voice of the Master who has attained, who has sounded the vast depths of all experience and stands poised and calm, illuminated and compassionate, beholding his yet aspiring pupil with many imperfections of the incarnations still upon him, but yearning to make him worthy of the greatest wisdom. "How true it is that God loves to withdraw into His cloud-enveloped throne, and deepening the darkness which encompasses His Most Awful Majesty, He dwells in an inaccessible Light, and reveals His Truths only to the humble in heart. Learn to be humble, my Son, if you would penetrate that sacred night which environs Truth. Learn from the Sages to concede to the devils no power in Nature since the fatal stone has shut them up in the depths of the abyss. Learn of the Philosophers to seek always for natural causes in all extraordinary events; and when natural causes are lacking have recourse to God and to His holy Angels, and never to evil spirits who can no longer do aught but suffer, else you would often be guilty of unintentional blasphemy and would ascribe to the Devil the honour of the most wonderful works of Nature."......
There is strength and peace to the soul in that voice; and if we turn to the beautiful portrait of the Master given in the book, the words live again and vibrate in the silence of the heart. Such is the power of the word eternal and of the consecrated personality which is the chosen vehicle of it.
Webmaster's Note: The book "Comte de Gabalis" by the Abbé N. de Montfaucon de Villars is available online (external link).
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