Mirror for Everyman :
A View of Hamlet's Midnight


Come, come, and sit you down; you shall not budge;
You go not till I set you up a glass,
Where you may see the inmost part of you.
(Hamlet, act iii. sc. 4.)

"Like a true friend to show you your true shape in a glass, and that not in a false one to flatter you,
nor yet in one that should make you seem worse than you are, and so offend you; but in one made
by the reflection of your own words and actions" -Bacon in a letter to Lord Chief Justice Edward Coke

Praise is the reflection of virtue. But it is glass or body which giveth the reflection." -Bacon's Essay "Praise"

 

by
Mather Walker

 

 


 

According to the American Seer, Edgar Cayce, man who has lost his spiritual self is like a ship without a rudder. This is a clue for understanding the story of Hamlet. Hamlet is curiously unable to direct himself on any course of action. On the surface Hamlet is an entertaining story. Underneath Bacon has fashioned two faces. One looks to the past to the origin of the story of Hamlet which had its basis in the astronomical symbolism of the pole, on which the earth turns, breaking loose from its peg, and the tilting of the earth's axis which resulted. As Hamlet said:  "the time is out of joint, O' cursed spite, that ever I was born to set it right."

The face which looks to the past finds a mirror for everyman in antiquity. That mirror is the ancient doctrine that events which take place in the great world of the macrocosm (the earth), are reflected in the little world of the microcosm (man). When the axis of the earth became tilted. When the earth lost it's alignment with the sun, the macrocosmic event was reflected on a microcosmic level by man losing his alignment with his spiritual source (symbolically causing the death of his spiritual self). That mirror shows the lost of the Spiritual Self has left Everyman in darkness. He waits for some Ghost of that dead Spiritual Self to appear and give him a clue as to what direction he should take. But when that Ghost in the darkness appears he can not really tell whether it came from heaven or hell.

The other face in the play looks to the future. There Bacon's discovery device, inquires into the "form" of Everyman depicted in Hamlet.


The Face Looking Toward the Past


The story of Hamlet can be traced back to the most remote antiquity, thousands of years in the past. Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha Von Dechen in their book, "Hamlet's Mill" trace the threads of the story back from the Elizabethan Hamlet; to Amleth, or Amlodhi of Denmark; to Livy's account of Lucius Junius Brutus in Rome; to the Kalevala, the national epic of Finland , hoary with age, and its hero Kullervo Kalevanpoika; to Kai Khusrau in Firdausi's Shahnama (the Book of Kings), the national epic of Iran; and to Yudhishthira in the ancient epic, The Mahabharata, of India. Along the way they pick up pieces which they fit together to show the story is derived from the astronomical myth dealing with the tilting of the earth's axis.
The hero, on whom Hamlet was based, was named Amleth. He was briefly mentioned by Snorri Sturlason in his Prose Edda (c. 1230), a redaction of a work which is thought to have been orignally composed between 1140 and 1160. Amleth became a legendary hero in the History of The Danes(Historiae Danicae) of Saxo Grammaticus, compiled at the end of the twelfth century. Saxo's tale also had a great many elements in common with Livy's account of the legendary Lucius Junius Brutus, who organized the explusion of the Tarquins from Rome after the rape of Lucretia. This Roman tale, already implicit in Saxo, became explicit in Francois de Belleforest's retelling of the story in the fifth volume of his Histoires tragiques, first published in 1570, and reissued on seven further occasions by 1601. The elements of this particular tale had remained in Bacon's mind from at least 1594 when "The Rape of Lucretia" was published until 1600, or 1601 when Hamlet was published.

In his " Shahnama", Firdausi, undertook with prodigious scholarship to organize and record the Zendic tradition. About one-fifth of the whole work is alloted to Kai Khustrau, whose story has such striking features in common with Saxo's Amleth.

The parallel between the Tale of Kai Khusrau, and the final plot of the vast Hindu epic, the Mahabharata, has received attention for over a century. In Hamlet's Mill we are told that the translators of Firdausi were not unaware of the parallel, and that they analyze the last phase of events as:

"The legend of Kai Khusrau's melancholy, his expedition into the mountains, and his attainment to heaven without having tasted death has its parallel in the Mahabharata, where Yudhishthira, the eldest of the five Pandavas, becoming weary of the the world, resolves to retire from the sovereignty and acquire merit by pilgrimage."

Santillana and Dechend saw a pattern in their studies of the Hamlet mythology. A fragment in Snorri's work proved all important:

"T'is said, sang Snaebjorn, that far out, off yonder ness, the Nine Maids of the Island Mill stir amain the host-cruel skerry-quern, they, who in ages past, ground Hamlet's meal. The good chieftain furrows the hull's lair with his ship's beaked prow. Here the sea is called Amlodhi's Mill." 

This strange mill was not only great and ancient, but central to the original Hamlet story. Snorri explained that a kenning for gold was "Frodhi's meal." Under King Frodhi the general state of things had originally been similar to a Golden Age. This was in some way related to Frodhi's Mill. Frodhi was owner of a huge mill that no human strength could budge. He recruited two giant maidens to work the mill. It was a magic mill. Frodhi told them to grind out gold, peace, and happiness. In his greed Frodhi overworked them. The mill was broken and ground out only salt.

In the the Kalevala a mill also played a central role. The main sequence was built around the forging and the conquest of a great mill, called the Sampo. The name was derived from the Sanskrit Skambha, pillar, pole. Because it "grinds" the Sampo was obviously a mill, but the mill tree was also the world axis. Like Frodhi's Mill, this mill was also broken. Most of it fell into the sea.

Santillana and Dechend found a significant clue to the meaning of the mill in Greece. Cleomedes (c. A.D. 150), speaking of the northern latitudes, said:

"The heavens there turn around in the way a millstone does."

Following this, Al-Farghani in the East had taken up the same idea, and his colleagues supplied the details. The star Kochab, beta Ursae Minoris, was called the "Mill Peg," and the stars of the Little Bear, surrounding the North Pole, were called the "hole of the mill peg...because they represent, as it were, a hole (the axle ring) in which the mill axle turns, since the axle of the equator (the polar axis) is to be found in this region, fairly close to the star Al-jadi (Polaris)":

The central motif of the myth was the idea that the "Mill Peg" which held the pole of the earth upright, had broken loose, and the polar axis had became tilted. A result of this "tilt" the spinning earth wobbles like a huge top, the pole over a period of some 25,800 years traces a great circle, causing the equinoxes to precess through each of the twelve signs of the zodiac at a rate of about one sign every 2,100 years. Each sign has 30 degrees. The Player King in Hamlet says:

"About the world have times twelve thirties been"

Santillana and Dechand in concentrating on the fact that the ancients knew about the precession of the equinoxes missed the relation of the macrocosm/microcosm doctrine to the plight of Hamlet.

They came close. They realized the story was associated with the legends of the "Golden Age", and with those great motifs of myth having to do with the "World Tree": The Ash Yggdrasil in the Edda; the world-darkening oak of the Kalevala; Pherecydes' world-oak draped with the starry mantle. They even realized the story was associated with The Garden of Eden, and with the Tree of Life in The Garden of Eden. They neglected to emphasize the tree on which the golden apples grew in the Garden of Hesperides. This tree included two additional features of the Garden of Eden story. It not only grew in a Garden, there was also a serpent connected with it. The "Eden" of the most ancient Egyptian mythology was a "circumpolar paradise." The Garden of Hesperides was also in the extreme north. Numerous writers on star lore identified the dragon which guarded the golden apples in the Garden of Hesperides as the constellation of Draconis. Draconis was the pole constellation about the time the Garden of Eden story was supposed to have taken place, and would have been located in the topmost area of the branches of the world-tree. In ancient astronomical mythology Draconis was the old serpent, the evil one. Draconis is related to the stories of the Fallen Angels in the books of Genesis and Enoch. A number of authorities on astronomical mythology have claimed Draconis represented the tempter of Eve in the Garden of Eden. William Olcott said:

"The constellation Draco and Hercules are closely associated in ancient mythology, and Hercules is always represented as trampling the Dragon underfoot. These two constellations are in turn connected with Ophiuchus and Serpens, the figure of another giant overcoming a serpent, while he crushes the Scorpion under his feet. On the old maps the figures of these two famous giants appear head to head.

These similar and striking groups, placed so close together in the sky, show clearly that there was a deliberate intention on the part of the inventors of the constellations to emphasize the great fact of a struggle between mankind and serpentkind. There seems here an evident reference to God's interview with the serpent in the Garden of Eden. 'I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed. It shall bruise thy head and thou shalt bruise his heel."


Although in ancient times Draconis had a place at the top of the World-tree he was cast down. With the precession of the equinoxes Polaris moved up to take his place. More striking still, as Santillana and Dechend point out, according to the ancient mythologies, at the time Draconis was at the top of the pole-tree the plane of the ecliptic lay in the same plane with that of the equator. This meant days and nights were equal year round. There was an "eternal" spring. Then, due to some great misfortune, the plane of the ecliptic was disservered from the plane of the equator. The axis of the earth was tilted. The serpent was cast down. That ancient pair, Orion and Virgo, passed down from their place on the plane of the ecliptic below the equator to winter and death.

The important point Santillana and Dechend failed to note was the fact that the story also had to do with the ancient doctrine of the macrocosm and the microcosm which maintains that changes in the macrocosm are reflected in the microcosm. If they had taken a closer look at the Garden of Eden story they might have stumbled upon this fact that they overlooked.

Before looking at the story of the Garden of Eden it is well to take a closer look at Moses himself, since it was his story, and the context points back to the Egyptian priesthood.

We are assured by St. Paul that,"Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians." Actually this goes without saying. As a member of the royal family of the pharoah (the adopted son of the daughter of the pharoah) Moses would have been required to be initiated into the Egyptian Mysteries. The wisdom of the Egyptians was maintained in the temples and withheld from all except the initiates.

The great center of Initiation in Egypt at the time of Moses, and indeed, up to the time of Christ, was reputed to be the Great Pyramid. It was a custom of Initiates in their written works to leave for other initiates, who might see their works, some sign denoting their school. A examination of Exodus reveals that Moses did, as a matter of fact, leave such a sign, and in a most clever manner also.

Moses built a tabernacle in the wilderness as a temple for his priesthood just as the Great Pyramid was the temple for the priesthood of the Egyptian Initiates. Moses gave curiously exact instructions for the curtains of the outside of this tabernacle:

"And thou shalt make curtains of goats' hair to be a tent covering the tabernacle: eleven curtains shalt thou make. The length of one curtain shall be thirty cubits, and the width four cubits: and the eleven curtains shall all be of one measure. And thou shalt couple five curtains by themselves, and six by themselves, and shalt lay the sixth curtain double over the front side of the tent."

All of this detail indicates secret intent. A close examination reveals the diagonal of the twice mentioned second curtain (30 cubits by 24 cubits) yields a very significant angle. This angle is the pitch of the side of the Great Pyramid! The side of the Great Pyramid has a pitch of 51 degrees, and 51 minutes, and the diagonal of any rectangle constructed in the proportion of 30 x 24 has the same pitch. (For more detail see, "The Secrets of Ancient Geometry" by Tons Brunes).

As an Initiate of the Great Pyramid School, the writings of Moses offer a great opportunity for learning more about their doctrine. He did not take the trouble to leave the trademark, without also leaving the doctrine. A portion of this doctrine is in The Garden of Eden story.

A major aspect of the Garden of Eden story had to do with the serpent. This was Draconis. The Great Pyramid was oriented to Draconis. We know that, due to the precession of the equinoxes, various stars or constellation take their place during the vast 25,800 year cycle as the pole star. Draconis is one of these, but Draconis has a special place because it is actually at the pole of the polar ecliptic. In order words when Draconis was the Pole Star, the ecliptic would have coincided with the equator. Days and nights would have been equal year round, and there would have been spring year round, a golden age. Everyone knows the story of The Garden of Eden. God created a garden. In the midst of the garden He put the tree of life, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In the Garden He also put Adam and Eve, the first man, and the first woman. They were not supposed to eat of the fruit of these two trees, but the serpent enticed Eve into eating of them, and Eve enticed Adam. As a result God cast the serpent down. He will go on his belly and eat dust all the days of his life. And God cast Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden.

According to mystics this lost of alignment of the earth with its source was reflected in the lost of alignment of man with his spiritual source. Both connotated some great primal sin. In her book,"On a Gold Basis" Isabelle De Steiger said: 

"Later one I will try to enter more fully into the mystic grounds for the doctrines both of the fall of man and the origin of evil. For the present suffice it to say that mystics consider this present world as a fallen earth, i.e. both physically and metaphysically it is drooping on its axis; that instead of being polarized astronomically and mathematically upright to its central sun, macrocosmically and microcosmically there is a leaning to one side.

This, on the part of the microcosm or man, produces a greater tendency to sin, or departure from the upright, and in the macrocosm, to further deflection of the sun's rays, so that the earth suffers with man for want of strength to resume its original paradisaical position-the upright one. The great work, the magnum opus of the world in general, and man in particular, is therefore to re-instate the world in its upright position, to restore Paradise!" 

In that massive book of source material, "Anacalypsis", Godfrey Higgins says that among ancient philosophers there was no doctrine more universal that that of the MICROCOSM, though it is now nearly lost. Peter Tompkins, in his book,"Secrets of The Great Pyramid" demonstrates that the Great Pyramid incorporated the microcosmic doctrine. The Great Pyramid was not only built as a scale model of the northern hemisphere, the missing capstone was a miniature of the Great Pyramid, and if it in turn had a missing capstone, would have symbolized an indefinite sequence of microcosmic models on a diminishing scale. The Instauration of Bacon's also incorporated this microcosmic concept. Bacon said, "We neither dedicate nor raise a capitol or pyramid to the pride of man, but rear a holy temple in his mind, on the model of the universe, which model therefore we imitate." He shows he was familiar with the fact Godfrey Higgins brought out, that every ancient temple was a model in miniature of the universe. In "Heaven's Mirror", Graham Hancock does a good job of demonstrating that various ancient temples and monuments were built as models of the universe.

Everyone knows that the disorder with which Hamlet was afflicted was melancholy. Few know what this means. However, in that fantastic monument to learning,"The Anatomy of Melancholy", which most Baconians concede as a masked work of Bacon's, we are told that Melancholy was a universal disorder which resulted from the Fall. This is the same Fall that had its origin in the Garden of Eden story. In the beginning of "The Anatomy of Melancholy" where the Fall is pointed to as the source of man's problems we find the following description of man:

"Man, the most excellent and noble creature of the world, 'the principal and mighty work of God, wonder of Nature,' as Zoroaster calls him; audacis naturae miraculum [Nature's boldest and most marvellous stroke], 'the marvel of marvels,' as Plato; 'the abridgment and epitome of the world,' as Pliny; Microcosmus, a little world, a model of the world, sovereign lord of the earth, viceroy of the world, sole commander and governor of all the creatures in it;"

Then we are told that:

"...this most noble creature, heu tristis et lachrymosa commutatio (one exclaims), O pitiful change! is Fallen from that he was, and forfeited his estate, became miserabilis homuncio, a castaway, a caitiff, one of the most miserable creatures of the world, if he be considered in his own nature, an unregenerate man, and so much obscured by his Fall..."

and this is echoed in Hamlet:

"What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! how inifinite in faculties! in form and moving, how express and admirable! In action how like an angel! In apprehension, how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals!

and then adds:

"And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust!"

We know that the Great Instauration of Bacon operates within this same mythos of The Fall. And, in the Play within the Play which Hamlet designs to trap the King, there is a subtle reference to the legend of the Fall. Symbolically Adam and Eve were set on the path which led to the Fall and their ultimate death by the poison the serpent poured into Eve's ear. In the Play within the Play Gonzago is sleeping when someone enters and pours poison in his ear.

A very significant feature of Hamlet, which, amazingly is overlooked by all the commentators, is the fact that Hamlet deals with not just one, but with three young men who are concerned with avenging the death of their father. These three young men are:

1. Fortinbas 2. Hamlet 3. Laertes

And with them we find that once again Bacon is symbolizing the tripartite division of man which he so often symbolizes in his Plays. This is the following threefold division of the constitution of man:

1. Inspired Essence (The Nous or Rational Soul) 2. The Psyche (The Produced Soul, or Sensitive Soul) 3. The Body (The Soma)

So we find in the drama that Fortinbas seems to move at a higher level on the very edge of the drama, he is not subject to the tides of emotion which sweep Hamlet to and fro, and he is the one who remains alive and successful at the end. Laertes is obviously the physical man and he is a man of action, also not subject to the tides of emotion. Hamlet is the Sensitive Soul in between subject to all the emotion and conflict.

Since Hamlet represents Everyman, Bacon's aim was to construct the play so that everyone who becomes immerged in it sees himself in Hamlet. By what magic Bacon manages to do this, perhaps no one can tell. But the fact that he has managed to do this is universally attested. Another general theme is expressed by C.S. Lewis when he says,"The world of Hamlet is a world where one has lost one's way." And this is all too true. Hamlet is like a ship adrift without it's rudder. The play begins at midnight. This is a world where man is at the very darkest part of the night. Lost. Filled with doubts and questions, because the guide has been lost. This is the situation of man in the world who has lost contact with his spiritual self.

The Face Looking Toward the Future


What is the "form" of man who has lost his alignment with his spiritual source. The man whose spiritual self is dead? The man who is in that dark midnight in which the state of being bereft of his spiritual self leaves him? What led to the Fall in the first place? It is there in the Book of Genesis. God says to Adam:

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that shou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die

The act that led to the Fall was also a death sentence. The form, as the play shows, is death. Something is rotten in the State of Denmark. That is, something is dead in the State of Denmark. All who have lost contact with their spiritual self are dead. These are the ones to whom Christ referred when he said,"Let the dead bury their dead." Of all the commentators on Hamlet, only Wilson Knight "gets" the point. He says:

"From the first scene to the last the shadow of death broods over this play. In the exquisite prose threnody of the Graveyard scene the thought of physical death is again given utterance. There its pathos, its inevitability, its moral, are emphasized: but also its hideousness. Death is indeed the theme of this play, for Hamlet's disease is mental and spiritual death. So Hamlet, in his most famous soliloquy, concentrates on the terrors of an after life. The uninspired, devitalized intellect of a Hamlet thinks pre-eminently in terms of time. To him, the body disintegrates in time; the soul persists in time too; and both are horrible. His consciousness, functioning in terms of evil and negation, sees Hell but not Heaven. But the intuitive faith, or love, or purpose, by which we must live if we are to remain sane, of these things, which are drawn from a timeless reality within the soul, Hamlet is unmercifully bereft. Therefore he dwells on the foul appearance of sex, the hideous decay of flesh, the deceit of beauty either of the spirit or of the body, the torments of eternity if eternity exists. The universe is an 'unweeded garden', or a 'prison', the canopy of the sky but a 'pestilent congregation of vapours', and man but a 'quintessence of dust', waiting for the worms of death."

So there is no other course, but for Hamlet and Laertes to die at the end of the play. Fortinbas on the other hand, does not die. His crusade is successful because he represents the higher self who still has the possibility of making right the wrong which has resulted from his lost of alignment with his spiritual source.

Messages for Mather Walker

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