Nor is it for a writer to subscribe to the general bankruptcy, despair and apathy around him, whatever popularity might be obtained from it. If there is a task for the writer, it is to stand up higher than anyone else and discover the escape route to progress. His function is to find a way towards greater spiritual and mental health for his civilization in particular and his species in general.
This is my own intention, and unless other writers adopt the same attitude our civilization will remain leaderless, lost and exhausted, and the chaos will continue until its eclipse under radio-active clouds. Literature has been an accelerating factor to this state of affairs over the last decade. Instead of acting as a brake it has been intent upon glorifying the lostness, the smallness and the absolute impotence of Man under adverse conditions. This is the reverse of what its role must be in the future. It must begin to emphasize in every way possible that Man need not be the victim of circumstances unless he is too old, shattered or sick to be anything else.
If this is denied, then we are indeed due for elimination. But contemporary writing will not bring itself to this assertion until it has been wrenched clear of its embrace with a falling society. The dismaying fact is, most writers seem quite satisfied to act out their present hysterical offices to the length of disaster itself. Their conversion is enough to set any salvationist with work to last several lifetimes.
It is customary for young writers to condemn those who have authority and influence. For my own part, I am unable to do this because I find their exhaustion only too understandable. The leaders of our civilization have strained at hopelessly impossible tasks for too long, and instead of creating a new structure for living, they have succeeded only in producing a succession of failures.
Today they have reached a standstill, and the prospect of marshalling together one more attempt has become an outrage against all reason and experience. They are reasonable men and their conclusion is, in the light of what they have done, entirely rational. If reason or rationalism can accept exhaustion, by the same terms ruin and death are equally acceptable.
But survival is our inflexible rule of health; and since survival has become a completely irrational instinct, the time has arrived when we should look to the irrational for the means to reject this reasonable but humanly speaking unacceptable end of our civilization. Firm upon this premise, I predict that within the next two or three decades we will see the end of pure rationalism as the foundation of our thinking. If we are to break out of our present encirclement, we must envisage Man from now on as super-rational; that is, possessing an inner compass of certainty beyond all logic and reason, and ultimately far more valid.
The times we are entering require a far more flexible and powerful way of thinking than rationalism ever provided. Each new explosion shadow-boxes with genetical mutations in the coming generations. The fish harvests from the oceans are diminishing. The problems of soil erosion and the reclamation of land swallowed up by water remain unattended. These are only a few of the more obvious questions that call for solutions on a new level. A level of universal planning that can only be encompassed by a supranational body like world government.
Meanwhile, science advances every year a trifle further beyond the comprehension of most of the human race. The path of a civilization in our disorders leads directly to its extermination. And, while we take it, Proustians talk about their sensitivity in dark rooms and stylists continue to manufacture their glittering sentences. But it will go on, as I say, until writers turn away and look objectively to another part of the horizon. I have stated that Man is more than rational, and that if he is not, he is finished.
Now I take the argument forward another step and assert that his current exhaustion is the vacuum created by an absence of belief. At the beginning of this credo I declared that only a religious strength could conquer exhaustion, and by religious strength I meant, specifically, belief: A complete dearth of belief mathematically equates to utter exhaustion. It is no coincidence that it has struck the most responsible members of our society; they are the ones who have had the responsibility of scraping the barrel of reason and materialism.
The same exhaustion will strike at the leaders of the East just as surely within a span of time roughly corresponding, no doubt, to our own venture into pure rationalism. Through history, the men and women who have towered over their contemporaries through their achievements and struggles have had extraordinary levels of belief.
They have ranged from visionaries, saints and mystics to fanatics and plain, self-professed, men-of-destiny. Whether their beliefs were in an external thing—let us say the Church—or simply in themselves, was a matter of little importance. The result in every case was sufficiently positive to make them memorable.
Each of them was primarily separated from those around him by a greater capacity for belief. It took all of them high above the eternally small, grumbling, self-pitying parts that constitute personality. Reason, on the other hand, will have us acknowledge them, even when the recognition is disastrous, as now.
The admission of a permanent state of incompleteness has been made by a great many people and much of the damage I have referred to is the direct result of it. But their places have to be filled. It has become imperative that, just as a new way of thinking and a new literature are needed, a new leadership must also be evolved with the aim of combating this exhaustion by the restoration of belief.
When I speak of belief in the present context, I do not mean any belief in particular, of course, but rather belief divorced from all form whatsoever. Whatever the choice, the reservoir of power within belief offers any writer the certainty of major work. It is obvious that this concern with belief leads inevitably to the heroic.
The two are joined as essentially as flight to birds. The hero is the primary condition of all moral education, and his reality is synonymous with any great idea. He is literally the personification of the dramatic concept. But the heroic poses the possibility of people who can think and act with a magnitude close to the superhuman.
The introduction of such characters and events will require a great deal of care and skill, for the ridiculous is only one step away. The greatest difficulty overhanging this work, however, will be in the motive force itself. There has been a nonsensical confusion between belief and religion that has lasted for centuries. Instead of belief finding its separate identity, it has always been inextricably tied to religion.
Churches of every denomination deliberately fostered this misconception from their beginnings, for the belief latent in men responded to hot appeal and willingly testified to the truth of any proffered set of doctrines. The nature of belief appears to be conducive to appeals. Its generosity is evident in this respect when we examine many of the childish and absurd inventions the various religions have offered worshippers at one time or another.
It is quite true that the Church has been the only vehicle for belief on any sizeable scale up to the present, and deserves credit for it, although self-interest provided its own reward. But it is absurd to regard belief on the basis of tradition as the monopoly of any organization. The Church was the first to understand the potentialities of its power and was also the first to direct it to an end; but sole proprietary rights were assumed too rigidly for the Church to pass us now as a public benefactor.
Those who tried to break the monopoly were decried as heretics. Where it could, the Church had them burnt. This confiscation of belief and its isolation under the steeple brought about the Reformation and eventually the George Foxes and other champions of the right to independent belief. Over the past fifty years there has been a general rejection of all churches with the sole exception of the strongest, Catholicism.
The rejection parcelled belief with the Church and disposed of both. It was the result of a considerable amount of ignorance and a distinct lack of subtlety. Today, the same excuses do not hold, and if the mistake is repeated, it can never be done with the same blind vehemence of the first rejection.
Esoterismo Ocidental e Rituais de Iniciação by Grupo Boiadeiro Rei - Issuu
If this social exhaustion of ours is due to the rejection of belief, how can writers reclaim it? There are three choices open, at least. The first is the establishment of a new religion. The second, to revitalize and reconstruct Christianity. The third, to trace belief to its source and turn it to a new account. The argument against the first is that a new religion, whatever advantages it would have supposing for a moment that it should find an ample crop of visionaries, priests, theologians and militant doctrines , would suffer from its lack of tradition more than it would profit by its modernity.
Although many people talk somewhat loosely about the need for a new religion, the very impossibility of it as an overnight phenomenon rules it out for today. However, should this particular miracle come to pass, its contribution to our civilization would be a substantial one while it was sustained by its visionaries. But as soon as the visionaries died, its hierarchy would become rigid as precedents in the history of every church show us without exception. There would be no more room for succeeding visionaries with their tradition-breaking habits in this church than in any other.
A priest is a poor substitute for a visionary. So poor, in fact, that the plenitude of them against the paucity of visionaries has largely dissuaded many who with the right inspiration would be religious. A visionary has the prerogative of freely contradicting himself while still retaining his influence. Subsequent generations of priests accept the dogmas laid out for them without demur or question on the same grounds. This is orthodoxy; its strength is in its ossification. The more rigid the observance, the more virtuous the believer.
There can be no prospect more terrible for any prophet coming after, and this is when a church really dies. When it is attacked from without, what is sent crashing is cardboard: As this argues against the possibility of a new religion arising, it argues equally against the impossibility of a revitalized Christianity. Any great idea, if it is perpetuated without continual reappraisals, is eventually rendered into ritualistic twaddle and shibboleths that justify the cheapest sneers although not the spirit of its detractors. And finally, the sad truth is that the only men courageous enough to approach great ideas and test their truth are men of equal stature to their formulators.
No church that I am aware of has produced an apostolic succession of this order, so we must put aside both possibilities as impractical for anyone who hopes to work within his own times. The last alternative is the one that, under the circumstances, is the most realistic. If we can trace belief to its origins and examine it in terms of plain, unadorned power, we have a potential weapon that will play an immeasurable part in our salvaging. I am convinced that it is an internal power comparable, when fully released, to the external explosions of atomic energy. If we can learn the answers to these questions, Man may be transformed within a few years from the hardening corpse he has become into a completely alive being.
The change can only be for the better. One of the most tiring assumptions that has gained universality is that Man is completely plotted, explored and known. Dancing to the cafe orchestra of Darwin and Freud, there has been a tendency over the last fifty years to regard humanity as a fully arrived and established quantity that has little variation and no mystery to the scientist. Nothing could be more untrue. Man is so embryonic that attempting to define him today is preparing a fallacy for tomorrow.
He is inchoate, only just beginning. Given unlimited belief and vitality, he is capable of all the impossibilities one cares to catalogue, including the most preposterous. Equally, without belief and vitality, he is simply decaying meat like any other fatally wounded animal. The difference will be largely decided by writers.
This is not a disproportionate claim. Writers have always influenced and led the thinking of their own times, immediately after the heads of State and Church. Sometimes, as with the Voltaires, a long way in front of either of them. The present heads of State are clearly unable to see a way through the difficulties of today, and there is no reason for us to suppose they can do any better with tomorrow. The non-existence of any influential Church leaders in Britain prohibits any criticism of their recalcitrance. The only remaining candidates qualified as leaders are writers.
The Greeks, unlike ourselves, expected their literary men to be thinkers and teachers as a matter of course. This expectation was justified by figures of the stature of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides. Dramatists like these preached, taught, entertained and prophesied with such vitality and authority that their judgements were taken away by their audiences and applied to all levels of civic life. That both playwrights and audiences prospered upon this didactic relationship is best shown by the intellectual versatility of the Hellenic world, which has yet to be repeated.
When Bernard Shaw demanded that the theatre should be a church, he also meant that the ideal church should be a serious theatre. So it was in the Greek world. Nobody could afford to miss a sermon of this sort, because there was nothing more intellectually and spiritually exciting to be found from Kephallenia to far Samoso.
Each new drama-sermon made the Kingdom of Man a titanic affair that could not be taken casually, and if this is not a religious understanding, there is no such thing! In addition to this laudable state of sanity, they had none of the blank one-sidedness about them that stamps the orthodox priest, because their real religion was Man, and no other. Because Man is only human when he is in movement, they were able to throw him into catastrophic dilemmas that modern religion would regard as blasphemous.
But they threw him only to retrieve him, and by this method they were able to add new understandings of his darker territories and enlarge his consciousness. With the aid of such dramatists the citizens of the Greek city-states developed into creditable human beings.
But the high level of the theatre was to fall, and the whole of the Greek world was not long in following it. When the Roman Empire rose to take its place, Terence and Seneca, the bright lights of Latin, reflected a frightening deterioration in what was expected of a writer. Julius Caesar found it an easy matter to be both a swashbuckler and a scribe in a world that, culturally, could not even conquer sculpture.
However, when I call in history to augment my contentions I am beating upon a broken drum. The role I predict for writers is one entirely without precedent, and it is the better because of it. Aeschylus and his colleagues refined the Greeks, and that was quite enough for their day. But today writers must become the pathfinders to a new kind of civilization. That new civilization remains an impossibility until we extricate our own civilization from the destruction that threatens it. The problem is that of the individual. What kind of man or woman survives cataclysmic events better than any others?
What kind of people are the first to fall? What are the first disciplines necessary for a new, positive way of thinking? These questions, together with ten thousand others, fall into the kind of prophetic writing that will be needed to solve the problems that lie immediately ahead. The duty then of all writers who are concerned with tomorrow is to concentrate on defining human characters at differing stages of ideal health.
From this gallery it will be possible for us to aim at men and women dynamically capable of laying the foundations of our new world. We may not be able to describe precisely the men and women we want, but at least we can provide a reasonable indication. We can narrow the perimeter of choice. I realize that there is as great a difference between facts and speculations in the minds of writers as in the minds of ordinary people. The great difference is that writers are particularly suited to the correlation of apparently hostile facts, often blatant contradictions, and their craft teaches them to deepen and extend thoughts to final understandings that seem almost mystical to the average person.
Liste des publications
This talent to reach down into the depths of men and find appalling corruption, and far from being ruined by the revelation proceed to conceive supreme peaks of human perfection, is common to both writer and visionary. There is no reason why they should be different in other ways, if the dedication is strong enough. Until now most writers have concerned themselves with recording the anomalies and cruelties perpetrated by a skinflint world upon a good small man. Modern literature, for lack of a great aim, has become a Valhalla for those who shriek, beat their brows and weep more energetically than anyone else.
As a device, hysteria is very useful for a writer, but as an end it becomes patently ludicrous. Any writer who resorts to such tricks without offering a ticket of destination is wasting his own time and the time of his readers, flouting the Zeitgeist in the most imbecilic fashion, and finally I hope cutting his own throat.
The truth of today is too plain for clear-thinking people to ignore, however uncomfortable it may be to the inherently lazy. We must grow larger. If we are not capable of meeting these seemingly unattainable requirements, writers such as myself will persist obstinately in trying to have things as we want them even if the words are finally addressed to the abyss rather than human faces.
If the crusade is a hopeless one, it will be so only because there is nothing more impregnable than human weakness. This is an important conclusion, and its recognition offers three salient truths. Second, a writer must take upon himself the duties of the visionary, the evangelist, the social leader and the teacher in the absence of other candidates. Third, that he understands the impossible up-hill nature of a crusade and counters it by infusing in everything he creates a spirit of desperation.
This spirit of desperation is the closest approximation we can get to the religious fervour that brought about a large number of miraculous feats of previous, less reasonable, epochs. In desperation, as with religious exaltation, miracles, revelations and extraordinary personalities can be brought to everyday acceptance. The great advantage of it is that one can develop it to the point of being able to evoke it whenever there is cause for it.
I used the atmosphere of desperation in my first novel, The Divine and the Decay , very much in the way that a wind comes through an open door, throws a room into a sudden disarray, then leaves as abruptly. The wind in this case is a fanatic, and the room with an open door a small island community. As always in such cases, one is left perplexed and filled with a sense of indefinable outrage that has little to do with the disarray that must be restored to order.
There is something maniacal about a really desperate man that welds him into a total unity and he becomes an embodiment of a single idea. Almost, dramatically speaking, flesh wrapped around an idea. Working for so long with desperation as my tool, I also learned about the merits of the lull, when the air vibrated with the foreboding of the next entrance. I relearned also a Greek lesson: But these details are worth mentioning only in relation to the use of desperation in contradistinction to the monotonous normality that most writers regard as the acme of reality.
Desperation is the only attitude that can galvanize us from this lethargic non-living of ours. But without a calculated direction desperation is useless. Misadventures in its application can leave us dangerously drained of further effort. Consider the case of Sisyphus, whom the Gods had forever rolling that gigantic boulder of his up a hill and forever having it roll down again when he neared the top.
The punishment was inflicted upon only too human strength. But with enough desperation the penalized king would not have attempted to roll it up after the first couple of attempts. He would have picked it up and flung it over the impossible crest, straight into the faces of his Olympian tormentors. I can think of many contemporary equivalents of the Sisyphean plight that are incessant defeats only because each of the sufferers refuses to rear up and wreck his opposition with the fury of desperation.
Refuse to acknowledge them and the horizon spreads wide. This cannot be done without examples, as I have said. The examples themselves can only be set by fanatics advancing be-yond the arena of human experience and knowledge. Simultaneously, he becomes a social leader also, for humanity having to travel beyond the point where it now rests will only use paths already trodden. New paths can only be created by writers with a desperate sense of responsibility. The only others capable of such a task are religious and philosophic minds, but unfortunately orthodoxy has ruined the first, and a desiccation debars the second.
In resting the responsibility of human deliverance upon writers I am not calling for miraculous transitions antipathetic to their nature. Fundamentally, the writer has always been a prophet and a diviner in embryo. I want their return, and I want them cultivated to full growth. This outstanding book captures the qualities of this greatest of Byzantine edifices. The text is by Dr Cyril Mango, an internationally respected authority on Byzantine art and architecture. Also included is a selection of remarkable 18th and 19th century drawings of Hagia Sophia.
Paperback Edited and Photographed by Yukio Futagawa. With Architectures in this issue 2. Modern Architecture Kenneth Frampton. With 85 Architectures in this issue 3. With 76 Architectures in this issue. Published in the series GA Architect. The new Japanese architecture. Published in the series: The Japan Architect, inaugural issue. Hiroshi Hara Tokyo, A.
Criticism by David B. Edited and photographed by Yukio Futagawa, criticism by Kenneth Frampton. Essays by David B. Stewart and Hajime Yatsuka. Amsterdam, Petrus Schenk, Gr in-folio 48 x 31 cm. Met 30 dubbelgrote kopergravures van Jan Schenk. Enkele platen met bleke marginale watervlekken. Kartonnage bekleed met modern marmerpapier, rug versterkt met rood linnen. King was an English architect, who lived in Bruges from till and greatly influenced the emergence of the Gothic Revival with the Saint Luke Movement on the European continent.
The plates depict mediaeval metal work in great detail. GA Architect - Global Architecture. Chronicle of Modern Architects Tokyo, A. Edited and photographed by Yukio Futagawa. Text by Mirko Zardini. Hard cover and dust jacket. Preliminary Studies Mario Botta. Interview by Alvin Boyarsky. We add from the same series: Text in Japanese and partly in English.
Text by Teji Itoh, edited and photographed by Yukio Futagawa. Space in Japanese architecture. Translated by Hiroshi Watanabe. Measure and Construction of the Japanese House. The electronic poem by Le Corbusier. This plaquette has been drawn from the volume published at the Editions de Minuit.
Towards a new architecture. London, Architectural Press, With 43 photographs and 9 illustrations in text. Text in English, German and French. Hardcover, original cardboard box. His influence on post-war architecture is undisputed, the sunny climate and rich landscape being particularly suited to his cool, sleek modern style.
Boissonas, en feuilles, sous portfolio. Quelques mouillures dans les marges. Facsimile in 4 parts and 1 volume with transcription and commentary. All bound in black leather, together in a slipcase and cardboard box. The poetry of Architecture: The Nature of Gothic. A Chapter from the Stones of Venice. Sunnyside, George Allen, Reliure en toile verte, jaquette.
Facsimile of the Album La Roche, bound in beige cloth, is in a case of black cardboard. The entire case is contained in a slipcover. Published in a limited, numbered edition. The Shaker World, art, life, belief. New York, Knopf, - Robert P. Het analogon van een proletarisch architectuur; Nr. De Romaneske Stad; Nr. De glans der dingen: Demi reliure en peau de truie. Burgundy leather binding, illustrated dust jacket and slipcase. Fine copy Made available through the institute of the history of Natural sciences, Chinese Academy of Science, this book reflects the work of more than prominent Chinese scientists, scholars and other experts in ancient Chinese Arch.
An encyclopedic survey of the traditional architecture of China, spanning over 4, years from Neolithic structures to late imperial times, and considering both Han Chinese and minority traditions. Covering private, official and religious buildings, as well as fortifications, stupas, bridges, walls and garden design, virtually no area of human construction has been overlooked. China Institute in America, Tao in der Architektur.
Text in German and English. Elke plaat gemonteerd, maar pl. Wat vervuild, vlekken, op de keerzijde van heel wat platen oude potloodschetsen. De titelpagina vermeldt dat de platen gegrav. Texte et dessins par Viollet-le-Duc avec 8 gravures en couleurs. Bound in half morocco, spine gilt, somewhat worn. Zeer belangrijk persoonlijk archief van de kunstenaar. Prijs van Rome voor de Graveerkunst in Maakt gelegenheidsgrafiek en talrijke ex-librissen.
The Boucicaut Master, London, , pp. The late Fourteenth century and the patronage of the Duke, London, , 2 vol. The Limbourgs and their contemporaries, London, , 2 vol. Der Buchdruck des Wiegendrucke in der Zeitenwende. De la Rue The Rise and progres of Engraving.
Of Engraving in general 3. Of Engraving, Etching, and Scraping of copper, as now practised 4. An Idea of a Fine Collection of Prints and 5. Sewn, loose in modern paper cover, pages uncut, some wormholes and foxing. Van Hove The modern Memlinc. De middeleeuwse wereld op perkament Leuven, Davidsfonds, Blauwe linnen band met goudopdruk in bedrukte stofwikkel en blauwe linnen beschermdoos.
Gebonden in half leder, versleten. Een pantomine-gedicht in twee delen voor een stem, piano, fluit, gitaar en drums met een bruitage van vijf stemmen. Oplage van ex. Genaaid, zeer fris exemplaar. Voor twaalf lezers en een snurkende recensent, 5 - Slagter. Tekst en beeld, p.
Van Oest et Cie, Beperkte oplage van exx. Half lederen band, rug vernieuwd. Reproducties naar futuristisch schilderwerk van Baldessari, Depero, Russolo en Vinicio Paladini in nr. Andere extra platen zijn niet aanwezig. Geniet de eerste 2 nrs. In behoorlijk goede staat van bewaring. Bijgevoegd is een originele hs. Facsimile van de oudste druk van het Vlaamse volksboek Antwerpen, De Vlijt, Met kanttekeningen bij de illustratie van de Nederlandse uitgaven door Fr. Facsimile op glanzend papier, inleiding door Prof.
Gebonden in rood half chagrin, rug verguld. Les livres populaires flamands. Verlucht met 2 front. Genaaid, onafgesneden, zwarte glanzende papieren kaften. Interessant werk over bereiden van verven, haarkleuring, schilderkunst, schilderen op glas, pastel, levensbeschrijvingen van kunstschilders, vernissen, lakken, graveerkunst, esthetica, onderscheid tussen origineel of kopie enz. Gele linnen band en stofwikkel. Corneille Een vroege vogel zijn onbekende werken Amsterdam, Galerie Elisabeth den Bieman de Haas, Zwarte linnen band en stofwikkel samen: Genaaid, met klein mankement onderaan de rug.
Met een mooie opdracht van de auteur aan Paul Citroen, gedateerd en gesigneerd. Slagter, tekst en beeld, p. Folder over Hugo Claus, op blauw papier. In uitgegeven door NBLC. Tout ce qui a paru. Au sommaire texte ou illustration: Losbladig, in de uitgeverskaft met flappen. Claus, voor twaalf lezers en een snurkende recensent, nr. Festschrift zur ersten deutschen Ensorausstellung Hannover, Kestner, Beperkte oplage van 50 exemplaren. Dit exemplaar niet genummerd. Losbladig, randen van de omslag heel licht verkleurd, bleke vlekjes. De emotionele uitwerking en het ruimtescheppend vermogen van kleur blijft ongebruikt, terwijl kleur evenzeer een ruimtebepalende factor is als de constructieve ruimte.
Kleur moet niet worden. Op de eerste verdieping had zij een kunstgalerij waar ze tussen , met uitzondering van de oorlogsjaren, tentoonstellingen, literaire voordrachten en muzikale avonden organiseerde. Gerbosch et James Ensor. Roemans en van Assche, Bibliografie van Karel Jonckheere, nr.
Vol lederen band met goudopdruk uit de tijd. Dessins en rouge par James Ensor. Beperkte genummerde oplage van exemplaren, dit is nr. Genaaid, originele omslag, voorste scharnier wat zwak, rug verkleurd. Conceptualists like Nauman typically disguised cleverness as daffiness. Los Angeles Times 11 Feb. Beperkte oplage van ex. Tekst van Maurits Bilcke. Losbladig, in papieren omslag. In zeer goede staat. Losbladig, in de originele papieren omslag rug gescheurd, ezelsoren, verbruind.
Mooie uitgave van het avant-garde tijdschrift Het Overzicht. Revolver Jaargang 6, aflevering - Roger Raveel. Oplage genummerde exemplaren. Garenloos, als een tekenblok. Gemonogrammeerd in de plaat. Los in een tekenmap, met sluitlinten. Title spread across front and back covers so that front cover reads: Folio 46 x 29 cm met een oplage van 75 exemplaren. Vooraan een handgeschreven opdracht voor Carlo De Poortere. Originele zwarte uitgeversmap met goudopdruk. Met drie los ingestoken briefkaarten in facsimile.
Dit is de eerste en enige publicatie van uitgeverij De Luchtbuks. Het werd gedrukt op de pers van Dick Wessels te Antwerpen. Handgebonden in blauw linnen, met stofomslag, als nieuw.
Sache, ô Prince...
Amsterdam, De Arbeiderspers, Telkens worden, op geamuseerde toon, en zonder sarcasme, bekrompenheid en fanatisme gehekeld. Zeer antifascistisch stuk, geschreven in , maar dit is de eerste gedrukte vorm. Met tekeningen van Peter van Straaten. Beperkte oplage, niet in de handel. De taal als blauw. Alle stukken in blauw een vers in rood, een getypt op 23 blaadjes uit een losbladige zakagenda, bijeengehouden door splitpennen. Samen in een fraaie blauwe linnen bewaardoos met Boudewijn-.
Exemplaar gesigneerd door de auteur en met correcties een aanvullingen. Kartonnen band, met stofwikkel samen: Litho in een oplage van 75 op de pers genummerde en door auteur en kunstenaar gesigneerde exemplaren, dit is nr. Halflinnen overslagband met twee platten Binderij Van Waarden. Uitverkocht bij de uitgever. Vierde gezamenlijke boekproductie van Campert en Ysbrant Bijgevoegd: In de namiddag een standbeeld opwinden Facsimile-uitgave, verschenen bij Demian in ZL van juli met o.
Het neusje van de inktvis. Brussel, Manteau, samen: Dit is schrift 3 van jaargang 9 der Vrije Bladen. Gent, De Vlam, z. Voorin zijn nog twee ill. Kartonnen kaft met portret van de dichter. Genaaid, vlekjes op de kaft. Antwerpen, De Sikkel, z. Sleutelbos op Gaston Burssens. Met Gaston Burssens in de cel. Alle de wercken van Jacob Cats Zwolle, erven J. Kaiser naar Van de Venne. Linnen uitgeversband, blindgestempeld, ruggen vernieuwd, knepen versterkt, hoeken gedeukt. De teleurgang van de waterhoek. Van den os en den ezel. Met de hand gezet uit de Gill en de Spectrum en gedrukt op Zerkall.
Originele band, zonder stofwikkel. Antwerpen, Standaard Boekhandel, Over reizen en reizigers. Borgerhout, Het Fonteintje, De geschiedenis van Black.
Beperkte genummerde oplage van exemplaren, dit is ex. In een luxueus foedraal. Genaaid, in originele kaft. Du Perron, Cahiers van een lezer Facsimile herdruk van de ed. Soft covers, in een zwart schuifdoos. Linnen uitgeversband, wat vlekjes, voorste scharnier zwak. Linnen uitgeversband met stofwikkel. De oplage bedraagt 75 genummerde exemplaren, dit is nr. Losbladig, bijeen gehouden door kunststof klemband. Klein vlekje onderaan de titelpagina, enkele vlekjes op de cover, verder zeer goed bewaard. Eerste druk in boekvorm, verscheen eerst in het tijdschrift Criterium.
Rommelpot, tijdschrift, 9 april In dit nummer van het Vlaams-nationale satirische weekblad werd een oude versie van het Bormsgedicht van Willem Elsschot gepubliceerd, dit tot grote consternatie van de dichter zelf. Zwijgen kan niet verbeterd worden, ongebundelde teksten. Diverse auteurs, onder wie Willem Elsschot p.
Met talloze karikaturale illustraties van Stef. Rode linnen uitgeversband, goud op de kop, rug verguld. Idyllen en andere gedichten. De gouden distel, legenden en kronijken. Vlaamsche volksvertelsels uit den volksmond opgeschreven. Schilders van Hier en Nu.
Enschede en Zonen, In-plano, 5 gedichten van Verhegghe bij 5 gesign. Woord vooraf door Dirk Frimout. Oplage van 90 genum. Typografie van Jan Willem Stas. Linnen band en stofwikkel. De rug is gesigneerd door Tom Lanoye. Amsterdam, Prometheus, samen: Genaaid, met stofwikkels, als nieuw. Verschenen in de Gard Sivik-reeks, Serie I, deel 1. Een mond zonder alibi. Verschenen in de Gard Sivik-reeks, Serie I, deel 2. De adem van de jazz. Rozegeur, maneschijn, helse kritieken. Omslag uitgevoerd door Jan Willem Stas.
Arkprijs van het Vrije Woord voor Tom Lanoye. Oplage van 63 genum. Allen gesigneerd door de auteur. Geniet, opgeborgen in 7 kartonnen omslagen. De vader op zyn sterfbed. Brief aen den uitgever van het Belgische Museum over de Elnonensia en de Oudnederlandsche versmaet. Een willekeurige keus gedichten in facsimile handschrift van Jaak Van den Iepe en linogravures van Leopold Sels.
Dit luxe-exemplaar maakt deel uit van een reeks van , gedrukt op handgeschept LANA en draagt het nummer Elk gedicht en elke gravure gesigneerd in potlood. Frans Hemerijckx, Vlaams leproloog van wereldformaat. Eerste druk, wat gevlekt, oorspronkelijke uitgeverskartonage. Met portret van Ch. Met verantwoording, varianten, dokumentatie, bibliografie en registers.
Genaaid, met flappen, beschermdoos in golfkarton, bedrukt met verzen en tekeningen. Gedichten sub signo libelli, Breugelmans, het zegel van de libel, nr. Foto achterplat van de. Bibliofiele uitgave, gedrukt op de persen van drukkerij Erasmus, beperkte genummerde oplage van exx, 1 van de 50 kopexemplaren op Val de Laga handgeschept papier, nr. Met een originele foto van de auteur bijgevoegd en een opdracht op de titel.
Pas rond zijn zestigste jaar trad hij opnieuw naar voren als dichter. Gustaaf de Bruyne was een beroemd schilder uit Mechelen. De oplage bestaat uit vijfenzeventig door de auteur genummerde en gesigneerde exemplaren in originele band met monotype van de dichter. Dit is nummer 3. De Nederlandsche boekhandel, Diep in de velden van Elysium. Scalden, jaarboek voor negentienhonderd. Perkamenten band met sluitlinten. Genaaid, nog niet opengesneden. The esoteric knowledge must be transmitted from master to disciple according to set rules.
This last criterion is of vital importance for the masonic initiatory societies. Accordingly, occultism is characterized by hybrid mixtures of traditional esoteric and modern scientistic-materialist worldviews: while originally the religious belief in a universe brought forth by a personal God was axiomatic for esotericism, eventually this belief succumbed partly or completely to popular scientific visions of a universe answering to impersonal laws of causality.
This view is especially apparent in nineteenth- and twentieth-century occultist movements. The eastern religiosity that came to influence Western esotericism was, however, a Westernized form, as it was in particular through theosophical literature that the general public encountered it.
The interest of the theosophical leaders, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky — and Henry Steel Olcott — , in Buddhism drove them to visit Ceylon in This visit can, to a certain extent, be considered as the commencement of the so-called Buddhist revival that would spread across Asia around the turn of the twentieth century. For instance, the first European to enter the sangha and become an ordained monk was the Englishman Allan Bennett — , who took Ananda Metteyya as his ecclesiastical name. Allan Bennett had been an active member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and it is often assumed that he was the adopted son of MacGregor Mathers — , the chief of the order from around to its collapse in Prior to his departure for the east, Bennett lived with the occultist Aleister Crowley — and trained him in ritual magic.
In Vivekananda attended the World Parliament of Religions and his contribution is of paramount importance for the interpretation of Hinduism as a modern teaching of wisdom. Vivekananda preached a form of neovedanta, which was congenial to the sentiments of the occultist currents. According to Vivekananda, his teachings were of a universal nature and not limited to the sects of individual religions. The idea of a universal spiritual progress became, according to Hanegraaff, fundamental to almost all forms of occultism. This is especially true for New Age, of which one feature is the belief that mankind is about to enter a new age, astrologically termed the Age of Aquarius, characterized by a higher spiritual development.
This spiritual development is often considered to be connected to a monistic form of thought, as opposed to the supposed dualism of the previous age, the Age of Pisces. This aspect is especially prevalent in the New Age movement. According to Hanegraaff, Western esotericism should not be studied as an essentially static worldview, but as something that is continually transformed and that adapts to new circumstances.
The great risk of such a definition consists in the frequent tendency to misunderstand its ideal-typical and heuristic nature, and use it in a reductionist fashion. The nature of the gnosis strived for by the esotericists needs to be further analyzed. For instance, is gnosis to be seen as a way of salvation not forgetting that esotericism is seen as a form of Christian spirituality? In what way does gnosis differ from the aim of the mystic—or indeed, is there a difference at all?
On the contrary, the two definitions can be used as two parallel ways of approaching esoteric discourses. It is, in. First, the importance attached to personal religious experiences. Other examples of the importance placed on religious experiences are the popularity of works on yoga among adherents of occultism, and the use of sex in magical rituals. The experiential aspect of occultist currents has continued to be an important feature of nineteenth- and twentieth-century occultism, but it is also a significant part of the New Age movement. The second new important aspect of nineteenth- and twentiethcentury occultist currents is the importance placed on the personal will of the esotericist.
The will is not only seen as a fundamental tool in magical rituals, it is often seen as a divine or supernatural aspect of man. Although, for instance, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and the founders of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn attributed great importance to the will,37 it is with Aleister Crowley that the reli-.
Crowley summarized the formula of the law of Thelema thus: The formula of this law is: Do what thou wilt. To be sure, the criteria required of a material in order for it to be classed as esoteric are simple enough. If the constituting components of Western esotericism, and preferably the secondary ones as well, are present in a material, then it is regarded as esoteric. If one, or more, of the constituting components are not to be found, then the material is consequently not regarded as esoteric. The esoteric discourses are characterized by a highly symbolic language, often accompanied by images and emblems through which esotericism is expressed: The best way to locate any of these six components in a discourse, a work, a ritual, etc.
In practice, however, I would argue that the identification of the esoteric form of thought is not always as simple as one might expect. In fact, the scholar is confronted on numerous occasions with material that apparently belongs to the corpus of specific esoteric currents or traditions, such as alchemy, but in which it is impossible to detect some, or all, of the constituting components. Furthermore, as Faivre points out, a material is never exclusively esoteric—it is the question, based on a particular methodological approach, posed to the material that to a large extent direct the subsequent answers.
For instance, The Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz can be described as, for example, Rosicrucian, alchemical, mystical, Christian, hermetic, or simply as a joke—depending on what questions we pose to the text. This fact presents us with a number of problems. For instance, can a Rosicrucian text be nonesoteric? Can a text in which it is impossible to detect the constituting components of the esoteric form of thought still be classified as esoteric?
What follows is an attempt to classify four different types of texts related to Western esotericism. The esoteric form of thought is to a large extent explicitly present in these currents; that is, the constituting components of Western esotericism are detectable—and thereby these currents answer to the required criteria of designing them as esoteric. Important to note is that the esoteric form of thought is a fundamental aspect of these currents, and that their individual traits and developments are in accordance with Western esotericism.
However, there are a certain amount of texts that. That is, it is not possible to trace any explicit references to the components, but the context and subject of the texts are nonetheless pointing toward the components in an implicit manner. Indeed, even nonesoteric texts can be interpreted as esoteric, depending on the circumstances in which they appear, and how they are used. It is more than likely that the fundamental components often were taken for granted, and there was consequently no need to express them.
For instance, an alchemical recipe might not explicitly refer to the correspondences between the seven metals and the seven planets, but an alchemist would nonetheless immediately see the connection, and further, he or she would relate the correspondences to man, as man is the microcosm of macrocosm. It is the context that determines whether or not esotericism can be considered to be implicitly present, and not the mere fact that it belongs to an esoteric tradition.
At first appearance this statement might seem as a contradiction. However, a text that is clearly part of an esoteric tradition, such as Rosicrucianism, can be dealing with subjects that are not dependent on the esoteric form of thought. A text can only be termed esoteric when the constituting components are present in it, in an explicit or implicit manner vide supra.
A text dealing with organizational questions, such as The Laws of the Fraternity of the Rosie Cross in which the esoteric form of thought is not explicitly present , is not dependent on the esoteric form of thought, and it is therefore possible to rule out. The criteria for assigning a text as esoteric should not be based on the mere account of it belonging to one or more of the esoteric currents, but to whether or not the constituting components can be ascertained in an explicit or implicit manner in it.
For instance, references to magic or alchemy can frequently be found in modern literature, such as the Fantasy genre, in which the esoteric form of thought is not present. Another example can be found in the New Age movement in which the eclectic attitude is apparent.
A person might use techniques that traditionally are connected to the esoteric traditions, such as Tarot, in a purely divinatory or meditational manner without taking into account the underlying esoteric form of thought. Such practice cannot be termed esoteric, as it is an example of a nonesoteric usage of a traditionally esoteric technique. These two examples illustrate two different ways in which esoteric ideas can migrate into nonesoteric areas.
All classifications are reductions, and ultimately simplifications, of complex data, and the above classification is no exception. Furthermore, theoretical classifications tend to become awkward instruments when practically applied. It is nonetheless important to stress the different aspects of esotericism in order to understand its various modes of manifestation.
It should be stressed that the notion of implicit esotericism should be used with caution and only when there are valid reasons for applying the term. A liberal usage of the term might render it too inclusive and thus distancing it from the definition of Western esotericism as understood by Faivre. Used with proper reserve it will, however, serve the scholar with a means to draw attention to a hitherto largely ignored aspect of Western esotericism. As already stated, Western esotericism, as a form of thought, is an abstract construction that only exists as a methodology.
There is no such thing as an esoteric tradition per se, in which the esoteric form of thought can be traced historically. What we can study, however, are the various currents through which the esoteric form of thought manifests itself. The components of esotericism are traceable through a number of historical currents that have been present in our cultural hemisphere since the Renaissance.
There is not, for us, any esotericism sui generis. Each of the component elements of the form of thought that it has been agreed to call esoteric presents itself only as a theoretical generalization starting from empirical data under the circumstances, starting from concrete historical ideas. The esoteric form of thought, being static, is not subject to historical conditions since it is an abstract construct , which the esoteric currents on the other hand by necessity are.
The constituting components of Western esotericism are the same today as they were during the Renaissance— Faivre does not count with additional components as history evolves. They show a remarkable tendency to adapt to the historical conditions of our culture, a fact that is easily detectable in many of our contemporary esoteric new religious movements.
The interrelationship between the esoteric currents shows that they are often interpreted by esotericists as dependent, or at least explicatory, of each other. This is most evident in occultism in which the eclectic attitude is taken to its extreme. In discussing the use of certain terms connected to Western esotericism Faivre differentiates between what he calls Currents and Notions, which he further divides into three groups Table 1.
The theoretical dimension, realized in movements, schools, fraternities, organizations, etc. The notion that certain societies or groups of initiates are repositories of a sacred knowledge, or gnosis, is indeed a prominent feature of the esoteric mythology. A further characteristic of the esoteric currents is that most of them can be traced back to one or more founding texts, whereas the notions are loosely based on a corpus of literature.
The practical or experiential dimension of esotericism can be traced back to classical or Renaissance esotericism, but during the nineteenth century the importance of this dimension is considerably increased. To a certain extent, the experiential aspect of esotericism can be linked to the notion of gnosis, the revelatory form of knowledge, which, according to Hanegraaff, is the prime characteristic of Western esotericism. Table 1. Terminology relating to Western esotericism according to Faivre. Currents that are not notions.
Nevertheless, the division might lead to some confusion, as it does not provide any clear criteria of where currents end and notions begin. Especially the relationship between groups 1 and 2 is problematic. Faivre is correct in separating the two groups, as they, from a theoretical point of view, clearly refer to two different types of terms, or phenomena. According to Faivre the notions correspond to spiritual attitudes or to practices, as already mentioned.
I would argue that the first group, that is, Currents, include these as well. Western Esoteric Rituals of Initiation The recent academic interest in Western initiatory societies often with a focus on Freemasonry parallels, to a certain extent, the academic interest in Western esotericism. In other words, it is a relatively new field of research, which was previously avoided by the academic community. Freemasonry was often viewed as a subject not worthy of serious research, partly because a large part of the literature dealing with the subject did not meet academic standards.
This negative view was aptly described by Yates when discussing the supposed connections between Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry: The main reason why serious historical studies on the Rosicrucian manifestos and their influence have hitherto been on the whole lacking is no doubt because the whole subject has been bedevilled by enthusiasts for secret societies.
There is a vast literature on Rosicrucianism which assumes the existence of a secret society, founded by Christian Rosencreutz, and having a continuous existence up to modern times. Western Esotericism and Rituals of Initiation a kind of literature which deservedly sinks below the notice of the serious historian. Fortunately, the situation has improved considerably in the last seven years. There are today at least three academic chairs devoted to Freemasonry,58 and important studies have been published on the subject.
In addition to this, there exist a number of masonic research organizations that maintain a high scholarly standard in their published transactions. Scholars are invited to publish articles in renowned masonic periodicals such as Ars Quatour Coronatorum and Heredom, and to attend conferences open for both masons and nonmasons. Furthermore, most masonic libraries are, contrary to what is often thought to be the case, open for nonmasonic scholars.
Scholars working in the field of Western esotericism have taken an interest in initiatory societies, and it is often assumed that esotericism can be found in this type of society. In discussing the history of Western esotericism, Hanegraaff states that a Western esoteric tradition known as Christian theosophy, con-.
Furthermore, they do not discuss the rituals of these societies at all, despite the central position they have for initiatory societies. From an academic perspective, the relationship between Western esotericism and rituals of initiation is thus an unexplored field of research.
In the present work it will be analyzed how Western esotericism is transmitted through rituals of initiation and, furthermore, what types of esoteric currents or traditions are transmitted. It is hoped that this will result in a deeper understanding of Western esoteric rituals of initiation, and thereby assist in bringing this type of ritual from the darkness of obscurity, to the light of academic scrutiny.
Concluding Remarks The academic study of Western Esotericism is a comparatively new field in the history of religions, and it is only in the last ten years that the field has received wide academic recognition. There are several reasons for this belated recognition, but perhaps the most important reason is that Western esotericism has been viewed with suspicion, both by theologians and historians of science. Today, the situation has improved considerably and scholars from a wide range of disciplines are beginning to view Western esotericism as an important part of Western culture.
In this book Western esotericism is approached from a broader generalist perspective, which is based on the two research paradigms. Faivre , and esotericism as gnosis Hanegraaff. More specifically, this book will be dealing with the relationship between Western esotericism and rituals of initiation as used by masonic initiatory societies.
Ritual as a Field of Research Scholars such as Asad, Boudewijnse, Bremmer, and Snoek have studied the usage of the term ritual and their research reveals how the word ritual has been used to denote quite different things. Rituale can be found in the first edition of Rituale Romanum of where the word implies the prescribed order where the religious services of the Catholic Church should be acted out. The following three editions did not include an entry for ritual. The eleventh edition of , however, did.
This time the entry, written by R. Marett, had swollen to five columns and the word had acquired a totally different meaning. I here quote Asad: [R]itual is now regarded as a type of routine behaviour that symbolizes or expresses something and, as such, relates differentially to individual consciousness and social organization. That is to say, it is no longer a script for regulating practice but a type Western Esotericism and Rituals of Initiation of practice that is interpretable as standing for some further verbally definable, but tacit event.
During the twentieth century there have been two different interpretations of the term in existence—and often it is not clear which one of the two meanings of ritual scholars intend when using the word. Boudewijnse argues that it is the Reformation that draws attention to the phenomenon of rituals, and more precisely those of the Roman Catholic Church, and that they were valued in a negative manner. In the nineteenth century the term is used by Orientalists in order to refer to the Rig-Veda, etc.
In Edward B. Tylor, in Primitive Culture, divided religious rites in two theoretical divisions. According to Tylor, religious rites are in part expressive and symbolic performances, and in part means of intercourse with and influence on spiritual beings. In his Myth, Ritual, and Religion Andrew Lang was one of the first to use the word ritual when referring to religious action. So far as myths consist of explanations of ritual their value is altogether secondary, and it may be affirmed with confidence that in almost every case the myth was derived from the ritual,.
But it is of the first importance to realise clearly from the outset that ritual and practical usage were, strictly speaking, the sum total of ancient religions. Religion in primitive times was not a system of belief with practical applications; it was a body of fixed traditional practices, to which every member of society conformed as a matter of course. By placing religious practice in the context of long-term social traditions and disconnecting it from individual mental states, he connected it to the collectivity.
As such, religious practice—ritual—became a social fact. On the contrary, none of the quoted scholars showed any interest in ritual as symbolic behavior worthy of study in its own right. The exception to this is Van Gennep in his important book Les Rites de Passage , that I will return to later in greater detail. A prime example. This is not to say that scholars do not see any differences among these rites but simply that what they share has become a greater theoretical interest than what seems to distinguish them—at least for the time being.
It is, however, important to stress the fact that Van Gennep did not exclusively base his research and subsequent findings on rites of initiation, but rather on various kinds of rites that all tended to ritualize the pass-. Thus, he paid great attention to the ritualization of pregnancy and childbirth, the reaching of puberty, marriage, and death—events that often are referred to as lifecrises.
But he also discussed recurrent events such as the phases of the moon and the seasonal changes. Van Gennep reached the conclusion that all these various types of rites had a common structural denominator. They all marked the transition from an old state to a new one by a three-phased scheme. First, there occurred a separation from the old social position or state of being. Second, a marginal or liminal state in which the candidate found himself between the old and the new states. Third, aggregation or incorporation into the new state.
These three phases are composed of rites of separation, rites of transition, and rites of incorporation, respectively. The division between the sacred and profane was a very popular theory among historians of religion; perhaps most explicitly expressed in the works of Mircea Eliade.
However, today the general trend is to view the duality between the sacred and profane with caution, since it is very hard, if not impossible, to see any clear-cut borders between the two spheres. On the one hand, he uses it explicitly to refer to puberty rites, on the other hand, he uses it from time to time for all rites de passage where the object concerned is a person.
It is in this phase that the officers of the initiation transmit a gnosis, or sacred knowledge, to the neophyte. The concept of death in rites of initiation that follow the scheme of the rites de passage, is as a rule a dominant part of the first phase, that is, the separation from the old state of being. In the third phase the candidate emerges from the realm of death i.
Eliade states that the initiatory death is central for every initiation: The central moment of every initiation is represented by the ceremony symbolizing the death of the novice and his return to the fellowship of the living. But he returns to life a new man, assuming another mode of being. Initiatory death signifies the end at once of childhood, of ignorance, and of the profane condition.
First, death is not central in every initiation, even though it is a common characteristic of rites of initiation that are structured as rites de passage. Second, not all rites of initiation are rites de passage, and vice versa, not all rites de passage are rites of initiation. Third, the use of a symbolic death in rites of initiation does not necessarily have the same function and meaning in all instances where it occurs. For instance, the masonic third-degree initiation of a Master Mason, which includes a symbolical death centered on the legend of Hiram Abiff19, does not fulfill the same function as the ones aimed at in Australian puberty ceremonies, on which Eliade to a large extent based his research.
According to Turner the liminality is usually connected to an abnormal state, which falls outside structured society. Basing his studies on research done among the Ndembu, Turner reached the following conclusion: Thus, liminality is frequently likened to death, to being in the womb, to invisibility, to darkness, to bisexuality, to the wilderness, and to an eclipse of the sun or moon.
The neophyte in liminality must be a tabula rasa, a blank slate, on which is inscribed the knowledge and wisdom of the group, in those respects that pertain to the new status. The liminal persons or principles indirectly set the standards for the normal or structured society. That which is not liminal is normal, and therefore part of the structured sphere of society. An important distinction among rites de passage, which Turner makes, is that between rituals of status elevation and rituals of status reversal.
These rituals are closely connected with two kinds of liminality. Secondly, the liminality frequently found in cyclical and calendrical ritual, usually of a collective kind, in which, at certain culturally defined points in the seasonal cycle, groups or categories of persons who habitually occupy low status positions in the social structure are positively enjoined to exercise ritual authority over their superiors; and they, in their turn, must accept with good will their ritual degradation.
Such rites may be described as rituals of status reversal. Comparing this with the Western material we find that initiations performed within esoteric orders are exclusively individual, even though some aspects of them might be collective. Initiation is thus often used synonymously with rite of initiation. This derives from the fact that scholars unfortunately tend not to observe the difference between the prescription, and the actual performance, of the initiation.
Again, this has led to some confusion, as it is common to find that rites of passage are used as synonymous with rites of initiation. Anthropological studies of rites of initiation shifted from a focus on the ideas and beliefs of the practitioners, to a focus on social significance of the religious action. He thought that religious practices such as initiation rites contained magical elements that had survived from the so-called primitive magical phase of human evolution.
Western Esotericism and Rituals of Initiation central feature which underlay all these apparently different phenomena was the idea that they all concerned a passionate interest in, and desire to control, life, death and all the forces of nature. The development of rites followed from the progressively greater understanding of the natural world and showed changing techniques designed to produce the desired result: the enhanced fertility of people, animals and crops.
The chief methodological error of the evolutionists was the theory of a universal social evolution. Societies develop in different ways, depending on a number of different aspects. Early social anthropologists, such as Robertson Smith and Durkheim, objected to this, and instead emphasized the importance of the social dimension for understanding religious practices.
He then continues to discuss admission into six different social groups: totem groups; fraternities; religious brotherhoods; classes, castes, and professions; Christianity, Islam, and the ancient mysteries; passage from one religion to another. This paper was printed as the first of a total of twentyeight contributed papers, and thus had the function of an introduction to. In the first category we find rites that are connected to the passing from childhood to adolescence. The second category of initiations brings the candidate into a secret or closed society.
These initiations are usually made on a voluntary basis, as opposed to the initiations of the first category that almost exclusively are an integral part of a society, which leaves little room for personal objections. Usually the candidates cannot apply for membership of a secret society, but are instead invited to join by the society itself. There are various ways of determining whether a person is qualified to join a secret society. For instance, the right to become a member of a Dancing Society, a North American secret society, is hereditary.
Sometimes this knowledge can consist of a deeper understanding of the religion that is being practiced by the society at large. A common characteristic of secret societies is that they often but not always are restricted to a single sex. Eliade expresses his view of secret societies thus: What, in my view, is original and fundamental in the phenomenon of secret societies is the need for a fuller participation in the sacred, the desire to live as intensely as possible the sacrality peculiar to each of the two sexes.
An important aspect of Western esoteric rituals of initiation is that there are two types of rituals connected to initiatory societies. Second, graded initiations that move the candidate through a system of degrees within the society. These degrees have very little to do with the relationship with the profane, but instead have a decisive effect on the relationship with fellow initiates. As the initiate moves higher up the hierarchy or deeper into the closed.
The effect on his or her relationship with the members of the closed society will be connected to the degree he or she holds. In the context of closed societies or orders that transmit Western esotericism, the degreestructures are often highly elaborate. The Rite of Memphis for instance, is composed of 90 working and 6 official degrees, amounting to a total of 96 degrees. The third and final group of initiations that Eliade distinguishes is that of the Heroic and Shamanic Initiations. According to Eliade the prime characteristic of this group is a psychological state that differs from the two preceding groups.
The keyword to this state is ecstasy. But, by whatever method he may have been designated, a shaman is recognized as such only after having received two kinds of instruction. The first is ecstatic e. This twofold teaching, imparted by the spirits and the old master shamans, constitutes initiation.
All rites of initiation, in one way or another, influence the psychological state of the initiate, but not in the extreme sense as it is expected to be the case in the shamanic initiation. Neither is there any demand on the candidate in these initiations to reach an ecstatic state in order to be recognized as being initiated.
Initiation means in this case, that the initiated are intro-. This ceremony is generally celebrated by rites, which have either a symbolic or a realistic character, in which latter case they can consist of cruel ordeals. The first, fourth, and sixth groups points to an understanding of initiation that goes beyond the three types that Eliade formulated. This classification differs from those of Eliade and Bleeker as it focuses on the actual rite of initiation and not on what the initiate is initiated into.
There is thus a difference made between a rite de passage and a rite of initiation, even though the former can function as the latter. The academic literature dealing with rites of initiation is vast, and covers a wide spectrum of different types, both geographical and historical. Significantly, though, only two authors have dealt with Western rites of initiation at any depth—one from a sociological perspective, and the other from an anthropological one.
Noel P. But what do scholars mean by the term Secret Society? And furthermore, how does this term relate to Western esoteric rituals of initiation? Secret Societies Secret societies—a term that connotes different things to different interpreters. To some it gives an impression of mysticism, hidden truths, and romantic quests for esoteric knowledge.
For others, it suggests something sinister, dangerous, or, indeed, evil. Yet again, to some others the term simply means childish boy-clubs for men. This tendency, or rather rule, has been present in works dealing with this phenomenon for more than a centur y. Is it legitimate to argue that, for instance, the Mafia, the Ku Klux Klan, the Triad societies, the ancient mystery cults, and Freemasonry constitute one and the same phenomenon? I would argue that it is not legitimate, that it is. By adopting this phenomenological approach one is approaching the phenomena in an overly simplistic way, concentrating on apparent external similarities while ignoring differences and the deeper aspects.
Unfortunate as it may be, this trend is still very much in practice, as is evident by examining for instance the standard Encyclopaedia of Religion. Even a casual look at the aims of these two groups, of the doctrines they are transmitting, their organizational structures, etc. I will return to this in connection with masonic initiatory societies. There exists a number of classifications or divisions of secret societies.
But, as we will see, these are usually not as reliable as one might hope. Heckethorn makes an initial demarcation between religious and political secret societies. He then proceeds to make a more detailed division into seven groups: 1. Religious: such as the Egyptian or Eleusinian Mysteries. Militar y: Knights Templars. Judiciary: Vehmgerichte. Scientific: Alchymists. Civil: Freemasons. Political: Carbonari. Anti-Social: Garduna. It is also questionable whether there ever existed any organized secret societies of alchemists.
In fact, Freemasonry can be interpreted in so many different ways that it is almost impossible to find one adequate and representative term by which all the various aspects are included. As mentioned, in the University of Missouri published an important study that has a direct bearing on the present subject.
It is a sociological study of secret societies or fraternalism in the United States by Noel P. We shall return to secrecy in due course. According to Gist, it is possible to discern a functional division between different groups that make use of ritualistic secrecy. All in all, thirteen categories are enumerated by Gist, but he emphasizes that there are no clear-cut borders between these categories, and that several of the societies can be assigned to two or more of the following categories. Other orders that outwardly, that is, by their names, warrant classification into this group, but which in their essence are rather conventional and whose elements of mysticism or occultism may be limited to their names only, include: the Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, the Mystic Order of the Veiled Proph-.
It is important to note that Gist does not consider for instance the masonic Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite as a mystical society, even though their eighteenth degree is related to Rosicrucianism, which Gist apparently considers to belong to the mystical societies. Many so-called Rosicrucian orders that Gist include in the category of Mystical and Occult Societies do not differ in their structure from other Western initiatory systems, particularly not when we look at the structure of their rituals of initiation for instance, Der Orden des Gold- und Rosenkreuzes of the eighteenth century, The Societas Rosicruciana In Anglia, and the inner Order of the Golden Dawn, the R.
The basic criterion of secret societies as viewed by Gist, that is, the ritualistic use of secrecy, contains the important aspect of dealing with something in a ritualistic manner. Treating secrecy ritually is apparently different from ordinary or profane use of secrecy since it tends to imply some sort of spiritual dimension of secrecy. However, in the already mentioned Encyclopaedia of Religion, the secrecy of secret societies tends to be regarded as strictly profane: The term secret society can be used to describe all groups whose membership or very existence is unknown to nonmembers or that keep certain of their practices or conceptions hidden from nonmembers no matter how public or recognized they are as a group.
First, membership in masonic initiatory societies is far from always held secret. Second is the idea of secrecy, which, however, does not have to include the existence of the society, nor its membership. Related to initiation is the fourth characteristic, the hierarchical structure of the society. More than a few scholars have experienced difficulties in getting access to certain masonic libraries and archives, but it should be stressed that the mere strict privacy of a society, be it masonic or otherwise, does not by definition make it a secret society.
Nowadays it is fashionable among Freemasons to claim that Freemasonry is not a secret society. Clearly, that attitude results from the desire to clear Freemasonry of undeserved blames that it would conceal anti-social activities. And in that last respect, Freemasonry is a secret society. Furthermore, the use of secrecy is not limited to secret societies.
Bolle has argued that a central secret, or mysterium magnum, is central to any religion. However, supposing that there is such a thing as a central secret to religion, the obvious question is what this secret actually encompasses. Any religion—and not only the ones known as mystery religions—has its central secret, its mysterium magnum. And as soon as we say this, we have to check ourselves once more and remember that the privacy of a group and the mystery of a religion are not the same. When a religion reveals its secret, that secret is not one among many.
It is the secret. In other words, the secret that Bolle discusses is the equivalent of such notions as the essence of a religion, or the truth of a religion. Any sensible historian of religion would hesitate to venture into these topics as they constitute notorious minefields, better left for the philosopher of religion or the theologian to tackle.
The restriction of knowledge is one aspect where power understood in its social capacity is maintained, and consequently an important aspect of the structure of society. In religion, secrecy is present in various ways. Significantly, it is in mystical traditions that secrecy is used most extensively. Mystic traditions ranging from the Hindu and Buddhist guarded Tantric texts, the supposed secret teachings of Sakyamuni, the poetry of the Sufis, to the teachings of kabbalists and Christian mystics all have in common that their doctrines are restricted to initiates, and that their discourses are veiled in a symbolic language, which for uninitiated.
In the gnosticism of late antiquity the very notion of gnosis itself was regarded as a closely guarded secret. In Western esotericism secrecy is used on different levels, as it were. According to Faivre, it is possible to discern three different ways where secrecy is employed in esoteric discourses. This is paralleled by esoteric discourses in which the reader is confronted by numerous references to other texts: Even so, the person who makes the effort to read all or, rather, as many as possible of the texts hinted at, finds himself nevertheless confronted by a circular discourse made of images and symbols, a veil, as it were.
It is as if that veil constituted the message itself. The circularity or paradox is that the text says countless things and, at the same time, says one main thing to which we readers are not privy. The allusive method means that a ritual, for instance, always has more than one meaning, but it is only the persons who are initiated that know which other meanings that are definitely intended as well.
Or in the words of Snoek: The allusive method always refers to more than one layer of meaning. There are not only the primary meaning of the phrase used, and the immediate allusive meaning, but, for someone who is amenable to it, at least one extra meaning is added because the text quoted refers to another text, either from the same, or from another book within the referential corpus. A further aspect of this is that the understanding of the rituals changes as the candidates advance through the degrees.
In this context, however, it is not so much the ritual itself as the experience of it that. It is often claimed that the secrets of Freemasonry and similar orders are noncommunicable, despite the fact that the rituals themselves have been revealed to the public. In other words, the purpose of the secrecy is not so much a matter of keeping the rituals secret as to keep that which is noncommunicable secret.
Rather, it is the noncommunication of what is not transmissible that constitutes the secret. The experience of undergoing a ritual of initiation is tantamount to that of a mystical experience, and one characteristic of mystical experience is the difficulty in expressing and describing it verbally. Snoek has commented on the masonic secret: The secret concerned, however, is nothing unethical, but just the experience of going through the ritual of the first degree, which turns one into an Entered Apprentice Freemason. Like any other experience, this cannot be communicated to someone else in any other way than letting that person go through it as well, which will turn him automatically into a Freemason too.
So, this is the kind of secret which cannot be divulged. In my opinion this is also the case in Western esoteric rituals of initiation, but it is not so much the experience as the interpretation of it that has a transmutative effect upon the initiate. Esoteric discourses, and I suggest that this includes esoteric rituals of initiation as well, are essentially interpretative. The interaction of experience and interpretation is essential. Without the experience there is nothing but meaningless symbols for the esotericist to interpret, and without the interpretation the experience fails to become initiatic.
First, the actual ritual of initiation itself. These consist of the words, tokens, and grips, steps, and some standardized questions and answers. Third, certain legends and teachings connected to each degree, such as the masonic legend of Hiram, which is to be found in the Master Mason degree as well as in a number of additional degrees. The nature of these legends and teachings vary from ritual to ritual, but generally it can be said that they form the mythological setting of the ritual. One final word needs to be said concerning secrecy in the sense of privacy of a group.
In each and every masonic ritual of initiation the initiates take solemn oaths of never divulging what has happened during the initiation, and sometimes the very existence of the society is to be kept secret. At certain historical periods such oaths were unquestionably of utmost importance since masonic societies were persecuted by the authorities. For the most part, especially today, this type of secrecy is not necessary since there is very little persecution conducted against masonry, but the oaths are still used in the rituals. The obvious answer to that question is: yes.
However, as we have seen, secrecy plays a dominant role in esoteric discourses in general, and the noncommunicable experience of undergoing a ritual of initiation is universal. Secrecy is part of every initiation in the sense that it is only by undergoing the initiation that one will take part in it.
But it must be understood that secrecy is part of the initiation, and not vice versa. Initiation is the prime characteristic of masonry—not secrecy. Therefore, I am of the opinion that it is more adequate to speak of Masonic initiatory societies as this captures what these societies are all about—initiations. Masonic Initiatory Societies Throughout this book Masonic Initiatory Societies refer to societies whose activities and structure are centered on rituals of initiation of a very specific type, referred to as masonic rituals of initiation.
Rather, it refers to a certain type of rituals originating from Freemasonry, but not necessarily having any links to an official masonic organization. During the seventeenth century various masonic lodges existing throughout the British Isles used specific rituals in order to admit new members, but also to differentiate between newcomers and more experienced members within the lodges. In chapter 4 the development of these rituals to a tri-gradal system, from the end of the seventeenth century to around , will be analyzed.
Chapter 5 deals with the development of so-called high, or additional, degrees that sprang from the original three Craft degrees. Most of these rituals were restricted to Freemasons, but there gradually appeared more and more orders that had no formal links to Freemasonry whatsoever, even though they used rituals originating from Freemasonry, either directly or indirectly. One of the most influential of such orders during the latter part of the nineteenth century was the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, whose rituals are analyzed in chapter 6.
During the twentieth century Western esoteric rituals of initiation have been practiced in an unprecedented number, and many of the practitioners are probably unaware of the masonic origin of their rituals. An illustrative example of this are the Wicca rituals created by Gerald Gardner in the s, which are analyzed in chapter 7. Today, Wicca is one of the fastest growing new religious movements in the Western culture.
Masonic initiatory societies have been part of the Western culture for more than three centuries, but it is difficult to ascertain what function these societies have had, and continue to have, in the society at large. According to Turner, communitas is generated by liminality in society, and is contrasted to social-structural relationships.
It forms anti-structures within the social structure of society at large, and thereby serves to maintain the societal structure. Communitas is characterized as being undifferentiated, equalitarian, direct, and nonrational, but tending to develop structures of its own. Although masonic initiatory societies often promulgate such equalitarian notions as a universal brotherhood, they are at the same time highly hierarchical in their structure.
In fact, all attempts to reach an overall definition of the function of masonic initiatory societies are bound to fail because there is a wide variety of different types of masonic initiatory societies.
Each society must be analyzed individually, and placed in its proper historical context. Moreover, one and the same society may answer different needs of different members. Masonic Rituals of Initiation It is important to stress the fact that practically no studies of rituals of initiation make any references to masonic rituals of initiation, even less attempt to analyze this particular body of rituals. One may ask what has caused this apparent lack of interest from a scholarly perspective.
The reason can by no means be due to a lack of sources as there are literally thousands of manuscripts of masonic rituals of initiation in public and private libraries throughout the world. Printed books and periodicals on the subject of masonry run in the tens of thousands, many of which contain reliable reprints of rituals, and literally millions of both men and women have been initiated into one form or an other of Freemasonry since the early eighteenth century.
There is, however, a growing body of literature that deals exclusively with masonic rituals of initiation, but unfortunately this literature often fails to reach a broader academic attention. This specialized type of literature deals to a large extent with the development of masonic rituals, such as the development of the Craft degrees of Freemasonry. When studying masonic rituals of initiation it might be useful to try to define what the basic components are of this particular form of ritual.
Table 2. These building blocks do not necessarily always follow in the same order, nor are they always present in a masonic ritual of initiation. Nevertheless, these building blocks more often than not form the basic components of masonic rituals of initiation, and they can thus been seen as the skeleton of the rituals to which is added the particular symbols, mythology, and ritual aspects of each individual ritual. Depending on the particular rituals, some of these additions are extremely elaborate, while others are less complex.
The building blocks of a masonic ritual of initiation. It emerges from the literature of these academic disciplines that rites are an important aspect of human behavior. In this book I have chosen to use the word ritual as I am analyzing ritual texts—I am not conducting any observations of live masonic rites of initiation in a systematic manner. Neither am I basing my research on in-depth interviews with practitioners of this type of rite of initiation.
When referring to the actual ritual performance of the initiation I have decided to use the word rite, while the word ritual refers to written scripts. The present study is devoted to a hitherto neglected form of ritual of initiation that I have chosen to term Masonic Rituals of Initiation. These rituals are to be found within a specific type of organization of Western origin that I call Masonic Initiatory Societies. In chapter 4 I will analyze the role model, as it were, of all Masonic Rituals of Initiation— the Craft degrees of Freemasonry.
Ancient and Medieval Sources Western esotericism does not refer to a phenomenon that suddenly appeared at the end of the fifteenth century without historical roots or background. It is an amalgam of various religious and philosophical components reaching back into the Hellenistic world, if not even further back. The most important components were born in the syncretistic milieu around the Mediterranean during the centuries before and after AD.
The Platonic and Pythagorean philosophies are two early important influences on Western esotericism, but also the various forms of gnosticism with its emphasis on gnosis, the sacred knowledge that could bring salvation for the gnostic, were important sources of inspiration. During the Renaissance the rediscovery of the Corpus Hermeticum brought yet another source of inspiration, along with the Jewish mystical system of the kabbalah. Perhaps the most important Neoplatonic philosopher who influenced early esotericism during the Middle Ages was Denys the Aeropagite with his theory of a hierarchy of angels and of the universe.
There were relatively few practitioners during this period because few texts were available. In the twelfth century, however, a new interest in alchemy and astrology followed the translations that began to appear from the Arabic. Robert of Chester translated into Latin the first alchemical treatise that became accessible to Europeans. Magic during the Middle Ages consisted primarily of so-called popular magic, which in some instances contained practices and beliefs According to Kieckhefer, the aims of the necromancers fall into three main categories.
This took the form of driving somebody mad, or causing him or her to fall madly in love. Second, to cause illusions. Examples of illusions are the illusory raising of the dead, or the conjuring of an extravagant feast. Third, the necromancer sought to discern secret things, whether of the past, present, or future. Finding lost or stolen property, to identify the identity of a thief are some examples of this last category.