By Manley P. Hall
A description of the lost Atlantis was written by Plato; it introduces the league formed by the ten benevolent kings who ruled over the lesser nations and the three great continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa; and who bound themselves by oath to obey the divine laws of enduring empire…. This was the philosophic democracy, with all men having the right to become wise through self-discipline and self-improvement, thus achieving the only aristocracy recognized by Natural Law. … The Atlantis story continues to the later decision of the kings to use their united power to enslave all the peoples of the earth, and the consequent destruction of Atlantis by earthquake and fire ….interpreted politically, it is the story of the breaking up of the ideal pattern of government.
Plato, it must be remembered, was a monarchist by philosophic conviction, but his ideal king was the wise man perfect in the virtues and the natural ruler of those less informed than himself. This king was the father of his people, impersonal and unselfish, dedicated to the public good, a servant of both the gods and his fellow men. This king was descended of a divine race; that is, he belonged to the Order of the Illumined; for those who come to a state of wisdom then belong to the family of the heroes— perfected human beings.
Plato’s monarchy was therefore a philosophic democracy; for all men had the right to become wise through self-discipline and self-improvement. One who achieved this state was by virtue of his own action a superior man, and this superiority was the only aristocracy recognized by Natural Law.
… a democracy of wise men.
… it would be a serious misfortune for the aristocracy of wealth to be challenged by the aristocracy of learning!
The remedial action required is no more than for men to set aside in some selected part of the earth an area to be kept apart from all strife and struggle, and establish this as the common repository of the treasures of essential learning. On an island distant from strategic military objectives could be built a city of art, libraries, museums, universities, laboratories, and observatories. These institutions could be united as one great structure, a school over all schools, the city to become the capital of the intellectual empire. It might appropriately be named Platonopolis, to honor the great man who first conceived the idea of the commonwealth of learning.
In times of stress or danger each nation could send to this community those of its citizens whose mental excellence would entitle them to a world citizenship. Here, protected from all outside interference, they would be allowed to continue the various works of their individual lives for the enrichment of their own time and future ages, their progressed knowledge becoming the common property of all men, regardless of race or nation.
It is safe to predict that such a philosophers’ city would ultimately be the most practical and certain instrument for accomplishing a world point of view in all departments of human thinking. The international nation— the dream of the future which has been inspired by the terror of modern warfare— would have its natural beginning in a union of superior intellects. Art knows no race; music is a common denominator; biology and physics are served by explorers into the furthermost and innermost secrets of nature. When we recognize that the poet, the scholar, and the savant are indeed a race inhabiting the suburbs of a superior world, that they are the noblest of our creatures, we can know that we honor ourselves most by honoring them.
Here lies the solution to the great educational reform so necessary at this time. We can not hope to build a nobility of man upon the sterility of a narrow, competitive, materialistic educational policy. The ignorance of man has been his undoing. Only wisdom can restore him to his divine estate.
For more than three thousand years, secret societies have labored to create the background of knowledge necessary to the establishment of an enlightened democracy among the nations of the world … The Creek Dionysians were social and political temple builders, known as the Collegians in later Rome. … The rise of the Christian Church brought persecution of the classical intellectual pattern’s ideology, driving the guilds into greater secrecy; but all have continued searching for human happiness under a variety of rituals and symbols; and they still exist, as the Order of the Quest.
The Mayan Empire was the highest civilization to be developed in the Americas. Also, it was the first great democratic State on a continent curiously set aside for the perfection of the dream of democracy.
The high civilization attained by the Mayas was due primarily to the laws given them by Quetzalcoatl. So long as they obeyed these laws they continued to prosper. Unfortunately we have no complete record of their legal codes, but we do know a few of the outstanding principles which lay at the root of their State.
The Mayan nation was a collective commonwealth living under an advanced form of socialized order. They possessed all goods in common, and shared equally in the benefits of their production. They possessed no money or monetary symbol of any kind; and it has been suggested that this lack of currency was in part responsible for their five hundred years of peace.
To them the wheel was the symbol of death, and they never developed any form of mechanized industry. Each gave a part of his goods to maintain the State, and this contribution was employed to build public buildings, parks, schools, and places of public sport.
There seems to have been no poverty, and little if any crime. No buildings have been found which suggest prisons or other places of confinement.
The Mayas were hospitable, kindly, gentle, and industrious; their cities were beautiful in every way; they were public spirited, well governed, and according to the order of their time, highly educated.
The religious temper of the people can be gathered from remnants that still survive. It is common to all the Indians of the Americas that religious intolerance is utterly beyond their comprehension. They look upon each man’s religion as his own particular belief, and if it suits his needs it deserves the respect of all other right- minded men.
Thus we see that the archetype for a generous and enlightened way of life is part of the American continent’s common inheritance.
It is well to note in passing that many of the simpler virtues practiced by the Mayas were shared by other tribes that inhabited North and South America. Although the North American Indians never achieved the high culture reached by the Mayas, all lived according to a democratic tradition. The members of all tribes took care of their aged, provided for the widowed and the fatherless, and severely punished in the rare instances when some tribesman attempted to exploit another. Tribal government was invested in a council of the older and the wiser, and all matters relating to the common good were submitted to them for arbitration and solution. Crime was almost unknown.
The first League of Nations was created among the Great Lakes Indians of the American North east. First, five tribes, and later seven, combined under the leadership of the brilliant Indian leader, Great Rabbit, whose life has descended to us in Longfellow’s poem, Hiawatha. The league of the seven nations was originally intended to be defensive, but also useful in settling inter-tribal disputes. It resulted from the simple discovery by aboriginal minds that one lived longer, more safely, and more happily if disputes among peoples were solved by arbitration rather than by open strife.
The Incas of Peru are second to the Mayas in the building of empire in America. Inca communities were also cooperative, and many of these villages still survive in the distant and less accessible high lands of the Andes. These were the only civilized communities in our land that never learned that there was a world depression beginning in 1929.
Rooted in the American continent is a long and distinguished tradition that points toward ability for leadership in the postwar world, along lines of cooperation and the international point of view.
The democracy established by thirteen colonies in 1776 was not the first American democracy. At least two thousand years before the coming of the white man, the spirit of human equality, human cooperation, and freedom of worship flourished here.
13 BACON’S SECRET SOCIETY IS SET UP IN AMERICA
Men bound by a secret oath to labor in the cause of world democracy decided that in the American colonies they would plant the roots of a new way of life. Brotherhoods were established to meet secretly, and they quietly and industriously conditioned America to its destiny for leadership in a free world. … Benjamin Franklin exercised an enormous psychological influence in Colonial politics as the appointed spokesman of the unknown philosophers; he did not make laws, but his words became law.
The French, the Dutch, and the English entered upon programs of establishing permanent settlements along the Atlantic seaboard. The English program was under the direction of Sir Francis Bacon, and it was his genius that gave purpose to the enterprise.
Bacon quickly realized that here in the new world was the proper environment for the accomplishment of his great dream, the establishment of the philosophic empire. It must be remembered that Bacon did not play a lone hand; he was the head of a secret society including in its membership the most brilliant intellectuals of his day. All these men were bound together by a common oath to labor in the cause of a world democracy. Bacon’s society of the unknown philosophers included men of high rank and broad influence. Together with Bacon, they devised the colonization scheme.
Bacon’s secret society was set up in America before the middle of the 17th Century. Bacon himself had given up all hope of bringing his dream to fruition in his own country, and he concentrated his attention upon rooting it in the new world. He made sure that the American colonists were thoroughly indoctrinated with the principles of religious tolerance, political democracy, and social equality. Through carefully appointed representatives, the machinery of democracy was set up at least a hundred years before the period of the Revolutionary War.
Bacon’s secret society membership was not limited to England; it was most powerful in Germany, in France, and in the Netherlands, and most of the leaders of European thought were involved in the vast pattern of his purpose. The mystic empire of the wise had no national boundaries and its citizenry was made up of men of good purpose in every land. The Alchemists, Cabalists, Mystics, and Rosicrucians were the incisive instruments of Bacon’s plan. Representatives of these groups migrated to the colonies at an early date and set up their organization in suitable places.
One example will indicate the trend. About 1690, the German Pietist theologian, Magistar Johannes Kelpius, sailed for America with a group of followers all of whom practiced mystical and esoteric rites. The Pietists settled in Pennsylvania and their clescendents still flourish in Lancaster county. Kelpius for some years lived as an Anchorite in a cave located in what is now Fairmount Park, Philadelphia. The Pietists brought with them the writings of the German mystic, Jacob Boehme, books on magic, astrology, alchemy, and the cabala. They had curious manuscripts illuminated with strange designs, and their principal text was called “An ABC Book for Young Students Studying in the College of the Holy Ghost.” The Pietists brought the order of the Mustard Seed, and the Order of the Woman in the Wilderness to the new world.
The early years of the 1 8th Century brought with them many changes in the social and political life of the American colonies. By this time most of the Atlantic seaboard was dominated by the English. Cities had sprung up, important trade flourished with the mother country, and the colonial atmosphere was in small counterpart that of the English countryside.
By this time most of the important secret societies of Europe were well represented in this country. The brotherhoods met in their rooms over inns and similar public buildings, practicing their ancient rituals exactly according to the fashion in Europe and England. These American organizations were branches under European sovereignty, with the members in the two hemispheres bound together with the strongest bonds of sympathy and understanding. The program that Bacon had outlined was working out according to schedule. Quietly and industriously, America was being conditioned for its destiny— leadership in a free world.
Any account of secret societies in America would have to include tribute to the man who has been called the “First American Gentleman”— Benjamin Franklin. Although Dr. Franklin was never the country’s President, nor a military general, he stands out as one of the most important figures in the struggle for American independence. Quiet, dignified, scholarly and gentle, Franklin foresaw a new goal for an ever changing world through the square bi-focal glasses of which he was the inventor.
Historians have never ceased to wonder at the enormous psychological influence which Franklin exercised in colonial politics. But up to the present day, few indeed are those who have realized that the source of his power lay in the secret societies to which he belonged and of which he was the appointed spokesman. Franklin was not a law maker, but his words became law. Beneath the homely wisdom which he circulated in his Almanac, under the pseudonym of Poor Richard, was a profundity of scientific and philosophic learning. He understood both the farmer and the philosopher, and could speak the languages of both.
When Benjamin Franklin went to France to be honored by the State, he was received too by the Lodge of Perfection, the most famous of all the French secret orders; and his name, written in his own fine hand, is in their record ledger, close to that of the Marquis de Lafayette.
Franklin spoke for the Order of the Quest, and most of the men who worked with him in the early days of the American Revolution were also members. The plan was working out, the New Atlantis was coming into being, in accordance with the program laid down by Francis Bacon a hundred and fifty years earlier.
The rise of American democracy was necessary to a world program. At the appointed hour, the freedom of man was publicly declared.
The combination of the Phoenix, the pyramid, and the all- seeing eye is more than chance or coincidence. There is nothing about the early struggles of the colonists to suggest such a selection to farmers, shopkeepers, and country gentlemen. There is only one possible origin for these symbols, and that is the secret societies which came to this country 150 years before the Revolutionary War. Most of the patriots who achieved American independence belonged to these societies, and derived their inspiration, courage, and high purpose from the ancient teaching. There can be no question that the great seal was directly inspired by these orders of the human Quest, and that it set forth the purpose far this nation as that purpose was seen and known to the Founding Fathers.
The monogram of the new Atlantis reveals this continent as set apart for the accomplishment of the great work— here is to arise the pyramid of human aspiration, the school of the secret sciences. Over this nation rules the supreme king, the Ever Living God. This nation is dedicated to the fulfillment of the Divine Will. To the degree that men realize this, and dedicate themselves and their works to this purpose, their land will flourish. To depart from the symbol of this high destiny is to be false to the great trust given as a priceless inheritance.
20 THE END OF THE QUEST
In America shall be erected a shrine to Universal Truth, as here arises the global democratic Commonwealth— the true wealth of all mankind, which is designed in the foundation that men shall abide together in peace and shall devote their energies to the common cause of discovery. … The power of man lies in his dreams, his visions, and his ideals. This has been the common vision of man’s necessity in the secret empire of the Brotherhood of the Quest, consecrated to fulfilling the destiny for which we in America were brought into being.
The supreme human purpose is the perfection of man. This must come first, and when this end has been achieved all good things will inevitably follow.
Only enlightened men can sustain enlightened leadership; only the wise can recognize and reward wisdom.
The half-truth is the most dangerous form of lie, because it can be defended in part by incontestable logic. Wherever the body of learning is broken up, the fragments become partial truths. We live in a day of partial truths; and until we remedy the condition we must suffer the inevitable consequences of division.
According to the Ancients, religion, philosophy, and science are the three parts of essential learning. Not one of these parts is capable if separated from the rest, of assuring the security of the human state. A government based upon one or even two of these parts must ultimately degenerate into a tyranny, either of men or of opinion.
Religion is the spiritual part of learning, philosophy the mental part, and the sciences, including the arts and crafts, the physical part. As man himself has a spiritual, mental, and physical nature, and all of these natures manifest in his daily living, he must become equally informed in all the parts of his nature if he is to be self-governing. “Unbalanced forces perish in the void,” declared a prophet of old; and this is true beyond possibility of dispute.
The Platonic commonwealth had as its true foundation the unity of learning. In the midst of the philosophic empire stands the school of the three-fold truth. Religion is the quest of truth by means of the mystical powers latent in the consciousness of man. Philosophy is the quest for truth by the extension of the intellectual powers toward the substance of reality. Science is the quest for truth by the study of the anatomy and the physiology of the body of truth, as it is revealed in the material creation.
These three, then, are the orders of the Quest. Together they can bring about the perfection of man through the discovery of the Plan for man.
One of the great secrets of antiquity was this realization of the unity of knowledge and the identity of the Quest in all the branches of learning. The great philosophers of the past were truly great because they approached the problem of life as priest-philosopher-scientist. The title “The Wise” is properly applied only to those in whose consciousness the unity of knowledge has been established as the pattern of the Quest.
When humanity willfully ignores the Universal laws which govern its destiny, Nature has devious ways of pressing home its lessons. Civilization after civilization has been built up by human courage and destroyed by human ignorance. We stand again on the threshold of a great decision. Once more the workings of time have revealed the weaknesses of our social structure. Once more we have come to a day of reckoning.
In the postwar world one of two courses lies before us. Either we will make the old mistakes again, and try to force our own concepts upon the Universe; or we will gather our strength for one heroic effort to put things right.
If we make the old mistakes we will be rewarded by the old pain. But if we make the new effort, we can set up imperishable footings and bestow as a heritage the beginnings of a better way of life. According to our choice the results will be inevitable, for Nature will never change her ways. Let us consider her ways and be wise.
Centuries ago, one of the secret masters of the Quest wrote: “The Eternal Good reveals its will and pleasure through the body of Nature and the motions of Universal Law. Within the body of Nature and Law there is a soul which must be discovered by great thoughtfulness. And within that soul of Nature and Law there is a spirit which must be sought with great understanding; for verily I say unto you, my brothers, that it is this spirit concealed from the profane but revealed to the thoughtful, which giveth life.”
This, then, is the design of our foundations: that men shall abide together in peace and shall devote their energies to the common cause of discovery.
Man is greater than the animal, not in strength of body, nor in shrewdness, nor in the power of his senses, nor even in skill and patience; man is superior because he contains within himself the faculties and powers by which he can perceive his true place in a divine order of life.
His power lies in his dreams, his visions, and his ideals. If these intangibles are left uncultivated, man is at best but a superior kind of beast, subject to all the ills and vicissitudes of an unenlightened creation.
But, as man has locked within him, hidden from the public gaze, this diviner part, so it is true that human society has within itself concealed from our common view a nobler part composed of the idealists and dreamers of all ages and of all races who have been bound together by their common vision of man’s necessity. This is the secret empire of the poets, this is the order of the Unknown Philosophers, this is the Brotherhood of the Quest.
And never will these dreamers cease their silent working until that dream is perfected in our daily life. They are resolved that the Word which was made flesh shall become the Word made Soul.
The great University of the Six Days Work must be built here in our Western world, to become a guide unto the nations. About this shrine to Universal Truth shall rise the democratic Commonwealth— the wealth of all mankind.
This is the destiny for which we were brought into being. The plan, which was devised in secrecy long ago, and in far places, shall be fulfilled openly … as the greatest wonder born out of time.
Source: Secret Destiny
Excerpts from the Alice A. Bailey books.
[TWM] Increasingly will people think and talk in terms of light, and the effect of the coming developments in this department of human thought will be triple.
- People will possess etheric vision.
- The vital or etheric body, lying as the inner structure of the outer forms, will be seen and noted and studied in all kingdoms of nature.
- This will break down all barriers of race and all distinctions of color; the essential brotherhood of man will be established. We shall see each other and all forms of divine manifestation as light units of varying degrees of brightness and shall talk and think increasingly in terms of electricity, of voltage, of intensity and of power. The age and status of men, in regard to the ladder of evolution, will be noted and become objectively apparent, the relative capacities of old souls, and young souls will be recognized, thereby re-establishing on earth the rule of the enlightened.
[R&I 746] True Democracy is as yet unknown; it awaits the time when an educated and enlightened public opinion will bring it to power; towards that spiritual event, mankind is hastening. The battle of Democracy will be fought out in the United States. There the people at present vote and organise their government on a personality basis and not from any spiritual or intelligent conviction. There is a material, selfish aspect to Democracy (rampant today), and there is a spiritual aspect, little sought after; there are material and spiritual aspects to Communism, but its adherents know them not, and only a ruthless materialism is conveyed to them.