A New Light On
by Mather Walker
A New Light On
iographies of Francis Bacon tell us the date of his death was April 9, 1626 . In 1627 The New Atlantis was published by Dr. William Rawley, Bacon's chaplain, appended to a larger work, The Sylva Sylvarum. "The story of Francis Bacon", says Benjamin Farrington,
"Is that of a life devoted to a great idea. The idea gripped him as a boy, grew with the varied experience of his life, and occupied him on his deathbed."
This great idea was the great obsession and the great work of Francis Bacon's entire life. He called it the Great Instauration. It was nothing less than the renewal and the rebuilding of all human knowledge to structure it in such a manner as to enable man to gain mastery over all nature. The New Atlantis is a utopian depiction of Bacon's vision of man's mastery over nature. James Spedding spoke truer than he knew when he said,
"Perhaps there is no single work of his [Bacon's] which has so much of himself in it."
It is even possible that if Spedding had not been operating with a 40 watt light bulb he might have peered deeper and saw the numerous hidden links between The New Atlantis and Shakespeare's Tempest. And then, who knows, perhaps this might have caused him to revise his opinion that Bacon did not write the Shakespeare works.
These two final works of Bacon and Shakespeare are matched bookends. Each is a summing up and a farewell. In The Tempest travelers arrive at an island ruled by Prospero, the Magus who has mastery over all nature, and Prospero's farewell to his art in the play is the Bard's farewell to his work. In The New Atlantis the travelers arrive at an island ruled by a Society called Solomon's House which has achieved mastery over all nature. The New Atlantis depicts Bacon's vision of man's mastery over nature, and this work is a summing up and a farewell to Bacon's lifework. Both works depict travelers who arrive at an island filled with wonders. In the first case the wonders of science, in the second case the wonders of magic, both of which gives a mastery over all nature. Bacon, it is important to note, said that science in its higher form is magic. The surface parallels between The New Atlantis and The Tempest are obvious. But beneath the surface there are more parallels, and more specific identities between the two works. So many, in fact, that they provide strong evidence for Bacon's authorship of The Tempest.
Both The New Atlantis and The Tempest have two periods made up of 12 parts. In the case of The Tempest, two periods of 12 years &endash; the 12 year reign of Sycorax on the island, and the 12 year reign of Prospero on the island. The New Atlantis begins with a description of two periods of 12 also. In this case two periods of 12 months. We are told the travelers had been in Peru for the space of one whole year (12 months), and when they left they took food with them for 12 months. This food was depleted just before they arrived at the New Atlantis. So they were in Peru 12 months, and they were in travel to the island of New Atlantis for 12 months. The ship of the travelers in The New Atlantis is driven on its way by "strong and great winds". The ship of the travelers in The Tempest is also driven on its way by the strong and great winds of a tempest.
In 1921 Colin Still wrote a book about The Tempest titled, "Shakespeare's Mystery Play" in which he demonstrated that The Tempest embodies a detailed allegory of the Mysteries of Eleusis. A closer look at The New Atlantis reveals the allegory of the Mysteries of Eleusis is present there also. (1) The travelers are forbidden to come ashore at the New Atlantis if they have shed blood within 40 days. (2) Once ashore they are required to stay indoors for three days. (3) While indoors they are given a drink made of grain. All three of these took place at the Mysteries of Eleusis. (1) If the candidates for initiation at Eleusis had shed blood a period of purification was required before they could be initiated. Famous instances of this are the cases of Herakles and Jason. Both were tainted with the blood of many enemies, and the initiation of both was delayed until they had undergone a lengthy period of purification. (2) Once the candidates arrived at Eleusis they were required to stay indoors for a certain period of time. (3) They were required to drink a portion made from grain, the Kykeon, before they could be initiated. The ingredients of this drink are recorded in a Homeric hymn to Demeter dating to the seventh century B.C. barley (alphi), water, and mint (glechon), and it has been conjectured that this was a psychedelic. Barley and similar grains often support a fungal parasite called ergot that contains psychedelic alkaloids.
An additional interesting parallel to the Mysteries of Eleusis is when the governor of the island describes how the people of the city on the eastern coast of their island saw a great pillar of light rising from the sea to the heavens. In his book, "Supernatural" Graham Hancock quotes a description of what the initiates experienced in the Mysteries at Eleusis :
"fear and trembling in the limbs, vertigo, nausea, and a cold sweat.
The there came the vision, a sight amidst an aura of brilliant light
that suddenly flickered through the darkened chamber. Eyes had
never before seen the like The division between earth and the sky
melted into a pillar of light."
Beyond all of this there is a specific detail of the journey of the travelers to the island which is also found in The Tempest and is too precise and too unique to be coincidental, and can only be an intentional link between The New Atlantis and The Tempest. We are told near the beginning of The New Atlantis that "there arose strong and great winds from the south, with a point east; which carried us up (for all that we could do toward the north)". To be precise, since the winds from the south were with a point east, the ship was carried in a NBW direction. Now it is very peculiar, and can in no way be a coincidence (especially added to all the above parallels) that the following message:
SIT THE DIAL AT NBW, F. BACON, TOBEY
T Then Prospero, Mafter of a full poore cell,
A And thy no greater Father.Mira. More to know
D Did neuer medle with my thoughts.Pros. 'Tis time
I I fshould informe thee farther: Lend thy hand
A And plucke my Magick garment from me: So,
L Lye there my Art: wipe thou thine eyes, haue comfort,
THE The direfull fpectacle of the wracke which touch'd
T The very vertue of compaffion in thee:
I I haue with fuch prouifion in mine ART
S So fafely ordered, that there is no foule
N No not fo much perdition as an hayre
B Betid to any creature in the veffell
W Which thou heardft cry, which thou faw'st finke: Sit
F For thou muft now know farther. downe,Mira. You haue often
B Begun to tell me what I am, but ftopt
A And left me to a booteleffe inquisition,
CON Concluding, ftay, not yet. Prof. The howr's now come
T The very minute byds thee ope thine eare,
OBEY Obey, and be attentiue. Canst Thou Remember
This is spelled out with the first letters of the respective lines on the first full page The Tempest:
(Tobey, or Tobie Matthew, the spelling was quite flexible in those days, was Bacon's closest friend.)
JUST AS THE TRAVELLERS WHO ARRIVED AT THE ISLAND OF THE NEW ATLANTIS (WHICH HAD SO MANY RESEMBLANCES TO PROSPERO'S ISLAND) WERE TRAVELING IN A "NBW" DIRECTION, SO LIKEWISE THE TRAVELERS WHO ARRIVED AT PROSPERO'S ISLAND WERE TRAVELING IN A "NBW" DIRECTION.
In his final, summing up work, Bacon wanted to leave evidence of his authorship of the Shakespeare plays, so he concealed the above links with The Tempest in The New Atlantis. This was not all he concealed in his summing up work. As Spedding said, there is no single work of Bacon's which has so much of himself in it. For, in addition to linking The New Atlantis with The Tempest, Bacon also provides links to the Freemasons and the Rosicrucians. Every Masonic Lodge is modeled after Solomon's Temple . Therefore every Masonic gathering takes place in Solomon's House. Additional allusions in the work leave no doubt that The New Atlantis is the Land of the Rosicrucians.
In The New Atlantis, before the travelers landed they were handed a scroll of instructions by an official from New Atlantis. The scroll was signed with a stamp of cherubim's wings, not spread, but hanging downward, and by them a cross exactly as the Rosicrucian Fama was sealed at the end with the motto 'Under the shadow of Jehovah's wings". These wings often appeared as characteristic emblems in other Rosicrucian literature. A few days later when another official of New Atlantis comes to visit the travelers in the Strangers' House he wears a white turban 'with a small red cross on the top". And when the travelers were conducted to the Stranger's House where their sick were cared for and offered payment for these services, their payment was refused. The Fama lays down the rule that Brothers of the R.C. must heal the sick gratis.
The beginning of John Heydon's 1662 Holy Guide has an adaptation of the New Atlantis explicitly depicting The New Atlantis as a voyage to the land of the Rosicrucians. When the man in the white turban with the red cross on it came to visit the sick, Heydon's version reads:
"I am by Office Governor of this House of Strangers, and by vocation I am a Christian priest, and of the Order of the Rosie Cross".
Bacon's reference to one of the wise Men of the House of Solomon is amended to read, "one of the wise men of the Society of the Rosicrucians", and so on.
Frances Yates, after having noted the above links of The New Atlantis with the Rosicrucians, says,
"The fact that Bacon's New Atlantis shows knowledge of the Fama, and that Heydon confirms the parallel, is most certainly not a proof that Bacon belonged to some Rosicrucian or Masonic secret society. The historical evidence is spoiled and distorted if it is used to support unveriable claims of this kind."
Now, as much as I admire Yates' writings in general, in this particular instance, she is (to use that fine old Russians phrase) full of shitsky. To give Yates her dues where dues are due, she did note that Bacon and Shakespeare are close. If she had not had a closed mind she might have tumbled to the realization that Bacon wrote the 'Shakespeare' works, or perhaps she did, after all, and kept it to herself. Grants can become very scarce for those who wander off the beaten path that the establishment lays out for them.
The instance of the Finger Post in this particular case is the description of the Father of Solomon's House who visited the travelers. "He was a man of middle stature and age, comely of person, and had an aspect as if he pitied men." Compare the description of Bacon in the Life of Bacon which prefaces Basil Montagu's edition of The Works of Francis Bacon:
"He was of a middle stature, and well proportioned; his features were handsome and expressive".
The description in The New Atlantis continues,
"He was clothed in a robe of fine black cloth, with wide sleeves and a cape. His under garment was of excellent white linen down to the foot, girt with a girdle of the same, and a sindon or tippet of the same about his neck."
The few full length portraits that exist of Francis Bacon show him dressed in a robe of black cloth with wide sleeves with a white under garment. It is interesting that in his "Refutation of Philosophies" Bacon describes a man who addresses what appears to be a secret gathering of 50 people in Paris . The man seems to be that same man described in The New Atlantis since he is described as "of peaceful and serene air, save that his face had become habituated to the expression of pity."
It seems obvious that Bacon was describing himself.
The case of John Heydon and his "Holy Guide" is very curious. The book begins with an 11 page Epistle Dedicatory which is an almost verbatim extract of that portion of Thomas Vaughan's Lumin de Lumine which has been called The Allegory of The Holy Mountain. Thomas Vaughan, in addition to being one of the major Rosicrucian Apologists, was a very mysterious person. Arthur E. Waite says that he adopted various pseudonyms in different countries through which he passed, and that he was a mystery even to his publishers, who received his works from "an unknown person."
Like Thomas Vaughan, John Heydon was a major Rosicrucian Apologists, and his Holy Guide is also very curious. The Epistle Dedicatory in Heydon's Holy Guide is followed by a 79 page Preface of which 64 pages is either a verbatim, or a paraphrase of Bacon's New Atlantis. Moreover, this New Atlantis material in Heydon's Preface, which makes the Rosicrucian connection so glaringly evident, is followed by some material in the same Preface which is very stranger still. For example, there is the following passage which purports to be the words of Heydon:
"I was twenty when this book was finished; but methinks I have outlived myself I begin to be weary of the sun. I have shaken hands with delight and know all is vanity, and I think no man can live well once but he that could live twice. For my part I would not live over my hours past, or begin again the minutes of my days; not because I have not lived well, but for fear that I should live them worse. At my death I mean to make a total adieu of the world, not caring for the burthen of a stone and epitaph, but in the universal Register of God I fix my contemplations on Heaven. I writ the Rosicrucian Infalliable Axiomata in four books, and study, not for my own sake only, but for theirs that study not for themselves. In the law I began to be a perfect clerk; I writ the Idea of the Law, et.c, for the benefit of my friends, and practice in King's Bench. I envy no man that knows more than self, but pity them that know less Now, in the midst of all my endeavours there is but one thought that dejects me, that my acquired parts must perish with myself, nor can be legacied amongst my dearly beloved and honoured friends."
As James Phinney Baxter noted, this has been, "recognized as having been written by Bacon, and will not be doubted by any acquainted intimately with his style." Heydon was certainly one of the most prominent of the Rosicrucian Apologists. It is possible he was a member of a secret group that had preserved secret papers of Bacon's. One thing is certain. The Fama Fraternitatis which the notary Haselmayer declares to have existed in manuscript as early as the year 1610, and which was published in the Cassel edition in 1614, speaks of the Rosicrucian Axiomata as already existing, and Bacon's " Formula of Interpretation", which he describes in his works on The Great Instauration, matches this Axiomata to a "T".
The Epistle Dedicatory and the Preface of Heydon's book is followed by approximately 760 pages of seemingly inconsequential, trivial, material. At the very least, Heydon is disingenuous because the fact that he prefixes Bacon's New Atlantis with Thomas Vaughan's Holy Mountain Allegory shows a deep understanding of The New Atlantis, as well as throwing an entirely new light on the work, and providing an additional link to the Mysteries of Eleusis. The allegory of The Holy Mountain is actually an account of what takes place while the individual is leaving the physical body, and this, in turn, is something that took place during the Mysteries of Eleusis. .
The Greeks of Classical Antiquity believed that next to this too, too solid, physical world was another subtle, invisible world where the souls of the deceased go after their death. And what is more, they believed that in this subtle, invisible world there existed beings superior to man. A good overview of this world beyond is given by Plutarch in his treatise "On The Face In The Orb Of The Moon". There is evidence that through the occult skills of the hierophant at Eleusis , who may have used psychedelic drugs, magnetic trances, and/or other methodologies, Initiates were enabled to leave their physical bodies and enter the subtle, invisible world beyond in full consciousness and commune with higher beings in that other invisible world beyond.
In his Phaedrus Plato leaves us no doubt that the initiates in The Mysteries left their physical bodies:
"We likewise were initiated and became spectators of entire, simple, quietly stable, and blessed visions, resident in a Pure Light; being ourselves pure and immaculate, liberated from this surrounding vestment, which we denominate body, and to which we are now bound like an oyster to its shell."
Those visions resident in a Pure Light was of the higher being in that other invisible World Beyond. It is certain that the initiates saw the goddess Persephone at Eleusis , because we have direct testimony of this. In addition, from the various descriptions it seems that they saw various other beings who had a supernumerary role to humanity. Very little of the events in the initiations in the Mysteries of Eleusis has escaped the veil of secrecy that hides them. However, Iamblichus (c. A.D. 250-325) who was among the most important of the Neoplatonic philosophers, has left an influential treatise On the Mysteries of Egypt in which he describes the higher beings that appeared in the ceremonies of the mysteries, and gives a description of their appearance.
Iamblichus calls these beings "The Superior Races" and itemizes them as gods, angels, archangels, dæmons, archons, and souls. "In the (Epoptic) Vision," he says, "the figures of the gods shine brilliantly; those of the archangels are awe-inspiring and yet gentle; those of the angels are milder; those of the dæmons are alarming. Those of the half-gods, although these are left out in your question, yet there should be an answer for the sake of the truth because they are more gentle than those of the dæmons. Those of the archons are terrifying to the Beholders, if they are the archons of the universe; and hurtful and distressing, if they are of the realm of Matter. The figures of the souls are similar to those of the half-gods except that they are inferior to them."
In The New Atlantis Bacon makes the same parallel that existed between ordinary humanity and the 'higher races' seen in The Mysteries, but this time between ordinary humanity and the Brethren of The Order of Solomon's House in the island of New Atlantis. In this connection it is significant that islands, in the symbolism of the ancients, have always been associated with the World Beyond. A standard symbolism of water, and of the sea, was that it represented materiality, or physical matter, while islands represented the higher planes of subtle matter, since they rose above the sea. Hence the representation of the Islands of the Blessed as an abode of souls. The neoplatonist, Olympiodorus, in his Commentary on the 'Gorgias' of Plato said:
"It is necessary to know that the Fortunate Islands are said to be raised above the sea; and hence a condition of being, which transcends this corporeal life and generated existence, is denominated The Islands Of The Bless; but these are the same with the Elysian Fields."
The New Atlantis tells that the beings from this higher plane interact with humanity here on earth. The Order of Solomon's House, we are told in The New Atlantis, sent two ships with a mission of three of the Brethren of Solomon's House, forth every twelve years with mariners who take special measures not to be detected when they land the Brethren on the shores of various nations, and the three Brethren, in turn, who are put ashore "color themselves under the names of other nations", i.e., conceal themselves, exactly as in the Rosicrucian Fama where none of the Rosicrucian brothers were constrained to wear one certain kind of habit, but followed the custom of the country (that is, they dressed like as the people of the nation among whom they concealed themselves). Anyone who has read Homer knows that he depicts the gods as frequently appearing disguised among humanity.
The experience of leaving the physical body is allegorized at the beginning of The Tempest where the lightning flashes around the masts and the passengers of the ship. The passengers who leaves the ship and jumps into the raging water symbolizes the initiates who leave the physical body. A famous example of this is Plutarch's story of Aridaeus, a man who had lived a notorious life of great profligacy, had a severe fall, and was believed dead, but three days later, just as they were about to bury him he regained consciousness and told the details of his experience. Aridaeus said that:
"When his consciousness passed out of his body he experienced from the change the same sort of sensation that sailor would who had been swept overboard into deep water."
The details of the experience of leaving the physical body while in full consciousness are quite out of the way knowledge, but a man named Hugh Calloway writing under the pen name of Oliver Fox in the early 1900s in his book, Astral Projection, has described the experience in detail:
"There may also be flashes of light, apparitions, and (almost certainly) terrifying noises the pale golden light increases to a blaze of glory and a veritable inferno of strange sounds assails his ears If the attempt succeeds, he will have the extraordinary sensate ion of passing through the door in his brain, and hearing it 'click' behind him; but he will not seem to be out of his body yet. It will appear to him that his fluidic self has again subsided within his physical body, but the terrifying sounds and apparitions are no more, and the room is evenly illuminated by the pale golden radiance. There is a blessed sense of calm after storm "
(Note how the opening scene in The Tempest, with the howling and the roaring noise of the storm and the confused noise within, abruptly switches to the calm of Prospero's cell).
John A. Weisse (in The Obelisk in Freemasonry) describes the initiation at Eleusis as follows:
"Soon the thunder rolled, lightning flashed, strange and fearful objects appeared, and the place seemed to shake and be on fire, hideous specters glided through the building moaning and sighing, frightful noises and howlings were heard."
(The Boatswain in The Tempest exclaims, "A plague upon this howling!")
So much for The Tempest. There seems to be nothing of this experience of leaving the physical body depicted in The New Atlantis. However, Heydon clearly saw the applicability, and filled the gap with his excerpt from the Allegory of The Holy Mountain at the beginning of The Holy Guide (a fact that augments the supposition that he was an 'insider', a member of a secret society with special 'insider' knowledge). The excerpt from the Allegory of The Holy Mountain is as follows :
There is a Mountain situated in the midst of the earth or center of the world, which is both small and great. It is soft, also above measure hard and stony. It is far off and near at hand, but by the providence of God invisible. In it are hidden the most ample treasures which the world is not able to value. This mountain-by envy of the Devil, who always opposes the glory of God and the happiness of man-is compassed about with very cruel beasts and ravening birds-which make the way thither both difficult and dangerous. And therefore until now-because the time is not yet come-the way thither could not be sought after nor found out. But now at last the way is to be found by those that are worthy-but nonetheless by every man's self-labor and endeavors.
To this Mountain you shall go in a certain night-when it comes-most long and dark, and see that you prepare yourself by prayer. Insist upon the way that leads to the Mountain, but ask not of any man where the way lies. Only follow your Guide, who will offer himself to you and will meet you in the way. But you are not to know him. This Guide will bring you to the Mountain at midnight , when all things are silent and dark. It is necessary that you arm yourself with a resolute, heroic courage, lest you fear those things that will happen, and so fall back. You need no sword nor any other bodily weapons; only call upon God sincerely and heartily.
When you have discovered the Mountain the first miracle that will appear is this: A most vehement and very great wind that will shake the Mountain and shatter the rocks to pieces. You will be encountered also by lions and dragons and other terrible beasts; but fear not any of these things. Be resolute and take heed that you turn not back, for your Guide-who brought you thither-will not suffer any evil to befall you. As for the treasure, it is not yet found, but it is very near.
After this will come an earthquake that will overthrow those things which the wind has left, and will make all flat. But be sure that you do not fall off. The earthquake being past, there will follow a fire that will consume earthly rubbish and disclose the treasure. But as yet you cannot see it.
After these things, and near the daybreak there will be a great calm, and you will see the Day-Star arise, the dawn will appear, and you will perceive a great treasure. The most important thing in it and the most perfect is a certain exalted Tincture, with which the world-if it served God and were worthy of such gifts-might be touched and turned into most pure gold."
The reason why none of the commentators on Vaughan's Holy Mountain account have shown any understanding of it is because it deals with matters that, as Vaughan says, have been hidden from the greater part of the world. However, there are a number of sources that throw light on the account, and these sources all deal with inner experiences that precede the soul leaving the body and venturing into the world beyond. An examination of the accounts of "Merkabah Mysticism" and, in particular, one specific document from Merkabah Mysticism is very informative.
Merkabah Mystics were Jewish mystics who originated the mystical traditions that eventually became the Kabbalah. They practiced asceticism and gave themselves over entirely to prayer, contemplation, and the spiritual life, spending time apart from each other in solitude engaged in spiritual disciplines, and in the study of their sacred scripture. The particular portion of their scripture that inspired their particular form of mysticism was the incident recorded in the first chapter of Ezekiel, the vision of God's throne-chariot(the "Merkabah"). The mysteries of this Throne constituted a particularly exalted subject for these mystics. They did not aspire to an understanding of the true nature of God, but only aspired to view the Throne on its Chariot as described in the account of the experience of Ezekiel. According to these people The Throne actually existed and could be witnessed by the mystic who made the proper preparation.
The actual experience was of a highly shamanistic nature. The Throne was seen by the mystic after having left his body and having passed upward through the seven heavens and then through the seven palaces which existed in the seventh heaven. It was necessary that the candidate for the experience be chosen by another mystic already practiced in the Merkabah Mysticism. Once chosen the candidate for the experience had to undergo a highly ascetic preparation which included fasting. When he was ready for the experience the Merkabah Mystic would lay his head between his knees (a physical position which could induce altered states of consciousness and self-hypnosis) and repeat a long series of hymns and songs which had been imparted to him by the experienced Merkabah Mystic. Thus through contemplation and ecstasy he would attain to his experience through which his soul would depart his body and ascend through the seven heavens.
Another element of the description was the account of a fire which descended and surrounded the entranced person.
This fire is mentioned in the Allegory of The Holy Mountain, and described in detail in The Tempest. Ariel describes how the fire (putatively St. Elmo's fire) flamed and burned on the topmast, the yards, the bowsprit, and the hair of the passengers on the ship.
Merkabah had its foundation solidly in orthodox Judaism, but the most famous work containing the vision of The Throne (the central feature of the Merkabah Treatises) is a short work embedded firmly in orthodox Christianity, and never understood even in the slightest by the brain-damaged Christians who have no more knowledge of Merkabah Mysticism than a hyena has of Chateaubriand). This particular work is the last book in the bible of the Christians, and goes under the title of the Apocalypse of Ioannes, or simply the book of Revelation. An understanding of this book throws a great deal of light on The Holy Mountain account.
While in a trance on the Isle of Patmoas, John, (to use the Anglosized version of his name) had a series of visions. These visions began with his hearing a great voice, and when he had turned he saw one 'like unto the Son of Man', who bade him send the churches in Asia sthe messages he was about to give him. The Being then gave John seven messages, one for each of the respective churches: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.
Next John saw a door open in heaven. He was commanded to go up to heaven. He went up and saw the Merkabah Throne. The One who sat on the throne had a book with seven seals in his hand. An angel asked who would open the book with the seven seals, but no one was found on heaven or earth capable of doing this. Then John saw a little lamb near the Throne and the little lamb took the book from the hand of He who sat on the Throne. The Little lamb then began to open the seals, and as he opened them each of the seven respective seals was accompanied with a phenomena peculiar to the opening of that seal.
Next the seven angels who stood before the Throne began to sound their trumpets. The sounding of each of the seven respective trumpets was accompanied by a phenomena peculiar to the sounding of that particular trumpet. After the seventh trumpet had sounded there appeared a great wonder in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She travailed in the pain of birth, and another wonder appeared in heaven, a great red dragon. The dragon waited to pounce upon her child, who was to rule all nations, but when the woman had brought him forth she fled into the wilderness for a period of 1,260 days to hide from the great dragon for a time, times, and a half time.
Next a beast having the body of a leopard, the feet of a bear, and the mouth of a lion arose from the sea. After this yet another beast arose from the earth, and the number of the beast was 666.
Following this seven angels appeared in heaven with vials containing seven plagues. As each angel emptied his vial it was accompanied by a phenomena peculiar to each particular vial.
There followed, after the seventh vial had been emptied, the judgment of the great whole who sat on the waters of the multitudes and nations, on a scarlet colored beast. The name of the woman was MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS, AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
Following the judgment of the great whore, the heavens opened up and John saw a white horse on which sat the King of Kings, and now the Beast was cast down into a fiery pit. The dragon, the old serpent Satan was bound in the pit for 1,000 years. And there appeared (following the judgement of the children of men) the Bride of The Lamb and The New Jerusalem.
With the outline in mind some peculiar points of this strange work begin to be highlighted. There is the curious pattern of action built around the number SEVEN. This pattern falls into four parts: (1) the seven messages to the churches (2) the seven seals of the book (3) the seven trumpets which are sounded (4) the seven vials which are poured out. Why is therethis insistence on a pattern of seven within each category of messages, seals, trumpets, and vials?
If we begin with the first of these (the seven churches) we find a curious fact. These churches are only seven out of many that might have been selected in Asia at that time. There were anywhere from 500 to 1000 townships in the province of Asia in the first century, some of them far larger than the cities of Thyatira and Philadelphia, and undoubtedly a number of them had Christian churches. So the very selection raises a flag, and this is augmented due to the fact that the selection was composed of the mystical number seven. Quite evidently there was some hidden significance in all this. What then, distinguished these seven churches? Here the facts become even more curious. There was a special pattern to their geographical location. This location was in the form of a gentle arch located on the same circular road.
And yet another odd fact comes to light. The sixth church, that of Philadelphia had been destroyed by a number of earthquakes, and not only was there a great earthquake when the sixth seal was opened, there was also a great earthquake following the sounding of the sixth trumpet.
Furthermore the vision omitted the palaces and the other accouterments of the Merkabah treatises and concentrated solely on the Throne. What was the significance of this? An obvious suggestion offers itself. In Merkabah Mysticism The Throne was an archetypal pattern above of what was below. It was in the nature of a macrocosm suggesting that in the Jewish mysticism of the time the accepted practice was to find in the sacred writings the pattern of man as a microcosm of the macrocosm above.
The symbolism clearly suggests that we look at the body of man in connection with the events described in the Apocalypse of John. When this is done the correspondence immediately becomes evident.
In the human body there are seven centers known as the endocrine glands. The physical locations of these centers is along a gentle arch located in the vicinity of the spinal column. According to Vedanta, Tantra, and various schools of Western Occultism, these glands represent the area in the physical body corresponding to the seven centers in the subtle body. These centers in the subtle body are termed Chakras in The Tantra, and the doctrine further states that by raising an electro-magnetic life force upward along the path of the spine these centers can be "opened" and activated. Since the centers are the point of contact between the physical body and the subtle body their opening is the basis for all of the super physical manifestations in the human entity. Each center holds within it certain psychic powers which are at the command of the individual who has opened and gained overall mastery of the centers.
There are also certain characteristics which attend the opening and activity of the respective centers. The most distinctive of all the centers is that associated with the activity of the sixth center-the pineal gland. Ordinarily the gland lies backward, closing the opening into the fourth ventricle of the brain, but when activated it raises upright, lifting itself like the head of a cobra ready to strike. The finger-like protuberance on its tip moves with the rapidity of a serpent's tongue vibrating at an incalculable rate of speed, and this vibration sends tremors through the body causing it to jerk and shake exactly as does the earth during an earthquake. Hence, in initiatory symbolism the opening of this particular center is open associated with an earthquake.
When the seventh seal was opened the Apocalypse of Ioannes says that, "there was silence in heaven for the space of about one half hour", and when the seventh trumpet was sounded that there was, "lightning's and thundering." In his book The Secrets of Chinese Meditation, Charles Luk describes the phenomena accompanying the activation of the seventh, or pituitary gland center as follows:
"All of a sudden, his forehead seemed to burst with a loud noise like thunder, and his surroundings disappeared completely. This state of voidness lasted about half an hour, and gradually he felt again the presence of his body and mind and became aware of his surroundings once more."
So the repetition of the sevens occurred in the Apocalypse of John because each group of seven dealt with a variant on the same theme.
This background of material that I have covered for information relating to "The Holy Mountain" is abbreviated, but the parallels are obvious. The center within where the consciousness has been raised to a high level is The Holy Mountain. In the inner experience all at first is dark - the arrival at the mountain is aptly described as occurring at midnight. The wind is the first stirring of the pineal gland where the individual seems to move hither and thither as if blown by a great wind. (In his book "out of the body experiences" Robert Peterson described this sensation as follows:
"After a while, I started to feel a swaying sensation, as if some part of my consciousness was rocking gently. I tried to increase the swaying, but the more I tried, the less I swayed. When I quit trying, the swaying would get stronger again. The swaying sensation was very much like the "sea legs" sensation that sailors experience when they've been on a ship too long and try to sleep on shore. After some experimentation I managed to change the direction of the swaying from side to side instead of up and down. The sensation was strange, but I could see no harm in it. From then on I could create the swaying sensation quite easily once I relaxed enough during practice."
This is caused by the motion of the pineal gland. As that motion becomes faster it can cause the sensation of a vibration at the center of the cranium. (Peterson describes this sensation also as a part of his experiences). The individual begins to see various apparitions at this point (the lions and dragons and other terrible beasts). Both Hugh Calloway and Robert Peterson described the apparitions as well as the experience of strange noises. After this comes the earthquake as described in the phenomena associated with the activity of the pineal gland when the motion becomes extremely fast. After the earthquake follows the fire. It will be remembered that a feature of the Merkabah Mysticism experience was the fire that descended and surrounded the person. This results from the interaction of the pineal gland and the pituitary gland which inducts electro-magnetic energy into the body from the top of the head. It is so concentrated it has been seen by others who have witnessed the person undergoing the experience. For example, the Bible has an account of Pentecost where witnesses saw tongues of flame descend upon various individuals. After this comes the great calm, described above in the state of void which lasted about half an hour following the opening of the pituitary center. Then, the last thing that The Holy Mountain account describes is "a certain exalted Tincture". In the experiences recorded by the study group working with meditation who were associated with Edgar Cayce the phenomena is described of a sensation as if a cool moist substance like menthol had been spread over the front of the forehead.
In the Eleusinian Mysteries the initiates entered the Elysium, The Blessed Isle, where they communed with higher beings. In The New Atlantis the travelers sailed to the island of the Rosicrucians the society of people who had a higher knowledge of science and nature. In The Tempest the travelers came to the island where the Magus the man with the higher knowledge of science and nature ruled. Moreover the course of the travelers in The Tempest was NBW, the identical course of the travelers in The New Atlantis (we are told strong winds arose from the south with a point east and these were the winds that drove them to the island of New Atlantis).
This raises an important question, one which has not been raised previously, why did Bacon link the Rosicrucian Brothers of The New Atlantis with The Mysteries?
In his book, "A New Model Of The Universe" P. D. Ouspensky says that humanity is made up of two concentric circles. All of the humanity that we know belongs to the outer circle. But, he says, there is an inner circle which exists on a higher plane, and it is from this esoteric inner circle that all hidden knowledge comes to the humanity of the outer circle. Ouspensky says that when the Ancient Mysteries disappeared from the life of mankind the link which existed between the outer circle of humanity and the inner circle was broken.
This is the secret message of The New Atlantis. The Brethren of Solomon's House on the island of the New Atlantis are the people of the inner circle of humanity. They exist on a higher plane in that invisible, subtle world to which the souls of men go after they die. But they can have contact with, and send certain of their members into the physical plane, and it seems that Bacon was one of these. In The New Atlantis Bacon reveals the secret of the Rosicrucian Brothers. In the symbolism of Bacon's New Atlantis, the island of The New Atlantis , the abode of the Rosicrucian Brethren exists in the higher plane of the invisible, subtle world.
The inscription full of promise on the border of the vignette of the the title-page of of The New Atlantis was suggestive : Tempora patet occulta Veritas (with time, the hidden truth will appear). Hidden Truth brought forth by Time
BACON'S THE NEW ATLANTIS
See The Bacon-Shakespeare Essays of Mather Walker