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Old 11-01-2012, 07:11 PM   #1
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Arrow Islamic secret societies

"The initiatic journey to Islamic soil has been a repeated theme of European esotericism, ever since the Templars settled in Jerusalem and the mythical Christian Rosenkreuz learnt his trade in "Damcar" (Damascus). We find it in the lives of Paracelsus and Cagliostro, then, as travel became easier, in a whole host that includes P. B. Randolph, H. P. Blavatsky, Max Theon, G. I. Gurdjieff, Aleister Crowley, Rene Guenon, R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz, and Henry Corbin. There was very likely some element of this in Napoleon's Egyptian campaign of 1797, when he announced to an astounded audience that he, too, was a Muslim.."

Godfrey Higgins (1772-1833), whose books influenced Madame Blavatsky and the early Theosophists, also concluded the Ismaili Assassins passed their mysteries on to Europe's Templars, Freemasons, and Rosicrucians. Higgins resolutely defended Muhammed, the Prophet of Islam, and expressed the hope to visit the Moorish lands of Egypt, Palestine and Syria before he died. Early this century the writer and mystic Laurence Oliphant reasoned the Druze and Nusairi sects were the custodians of the most complete system of secret knowledge. In The Treasure of Montsegur, an authoritative book on the medieval Cathars, the scholar R.A. Gilbert argues that the doctrines of the Nusairis are identical to those of the Cathars.

Eighteenth-century Rosicrucians claimed sources in Arabia for their secret wisdom. Indeed, a central Rosicrucian 'myth' tells how young Christian Rosenkreuz [Rosie Cross] journeyed to "the mystic Arabian city of Damcar" in search of lost knowledge. According to Manly P. Hall:

C.R.C. [Christian Rosie Cross] was but sixteen years of age when he arrived at Damcar. He was received as one who had been long expected, a comrade and a friend in philosophy, and was instructed in the secrets of the Arabian adepts. While there, C.R.C. learned Arabic and translated the sacred book M into Latin, and upon returning to Europe he brought this important volume with him. After studying three years in Damcar, C.R.C. departed for the [Moorish] city of Fez, where Arabian magicians declared further information would be given him.

The Rosicrucians - also called the 'Society of Unknown Philosophers' and the 'Invisible College' - counted among their number not only Sir Francis Bacon, but Robert Fludd, Saint Germain and Cagliostro. Held to be one of the founders of Western science and philosophy, Francis Bacon is also the real author of Shakespeare's works. Within the writings attributed to Shakespeare can be found Sufi ideas placed there by Francis Bacon.

Roger Bacon, known as the "miraculous Doctor," received his knowledge of medicine and the natural sciences from North African Moorish teachers. He often wore Arab dress at Oxford, knew the Arabic language, and translated Sufi texts. Bacon asserted that his knowledge was only part of a whole body of ancient wisdom known to Noah and Abraham, to Zoroaster, to the Chaldean, Egyptian and Greek masters, and to Muslim mystics.

"[The] conception of every doctrine as having two aspects, one exoteric and the other esoteric, apparently contradictory but in reality complementary, may be taken as a general rule since it corresponds with the nature of things as they are. Even when this distinction is not openly acknowledged, there exists of necessity in any doctrine of any depth at all something which corresponds to these two aspects, illustrated by such well known antitheses as outer and inner, the bone and the marrow, the visible and the occult, the wide road and the narrow, letter and spirit, the rind and the flesh."

The Holy Quran has both an exoteric (zahir - the outer or apparent) meaning and an esoteric (batin - the inner or secret) meaning. Within Islamic esotericism, as in the original Mosaic and Christian revelations, knowledge is made accessible depending on the integrity and cognitive ability of its recipients, with the consequence of requiring the withholding of information from the uninitiated. This is why there has always been a gradual unveiling or communication of spiritual truths to mankind. What Muslim esotericists call the "wisdom of gradualness" (hikmat at-tadrij).

The Sufi schools and brotherhoods are renowned for propagating Islam throughout the world. Their piety, deep spirituality and tolerance, enabled the Sufis to attract a large following. As one author says:

The brotherhoods rendered their incalculable, monumental services to Islam in three different ways: they prevented Islam from becoming a cold and formal doctrine, keeping it alive as an intimate, compassionate faith; they were mainly responsible for spreading the faith in east Asia and sub-Saharan Africa; and they were among the foremost leaders in Islam's military and political battles against the encroaching power of the Christian West.

Spiritual knowledge, states a highly regarded Islamic esoteric text, is like food and light:

Just as a small child needs to be fed gradually, stage by stage, until it reaches adolescence, so that it may not eat something detrimental to its constitution, and just as light is appropriate only to persons with open, healthy and strong eyes, so that a person whose eyes have been shut, or had just emerged from darkness, will be severely dazzled by daylight, in the same way, those who get hold of this Letter should communicate it only to those who are in need of it.

Our cause is the truth of truth. It is the exoteric, the esoteric of the exoteric and the esoteric of the esoteric. It is the secret of the secret; it is the secret of that which remains wrapped in secret.

- Hadith of the Sixth Imam
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