The Message of the Great Initiates
from The All-Seeing Eye, 1923
by Manly P. Hall
ALL DOWN THROUGH THE AGES since the beginning of time, great teachers, appointed by the spiritual hierarchies, have come to man to instruct him and reveal to him the next step in his endless path of self-unfoldment. Each of these great messengers have brought a distinct doctrine and when linked together their teachings form a golden chain of ideals which the human race must aspire to even though it may not be able to fully realize the end or the way.
For the benefit of the student of occult philosophy we list below twelve great spiritual teachers, many of them now regarded as allegorical rather than historical personages. However deep the student realizes that mythology is the truest history of the ancient people that we have and that only in folklore and legend do we find and authentic record of the great Light-bringers and their messages to man.
1. Hermes. This great Atlantean demigod, probably if not actually the greatest illuminator of mortal man, taught as the key of his philosophy-Analogy. The relationships existing between the inferior and the superior worlds was the basis of his doctrine and the knowledge of the simile was man’s first revelation. Hermes is often called the first messenger of God because he is the oldest that we know and his law of analogical reasoning is the basis of every philosophy of modern times.
The essence of his teaching was that God and man were made in the same mold and that all things in the lower world and the lesser sphere are made after the same pattern as the greater thing in the superior world. He taught that the realization of this was the fundamental principle of wisdom.
2. Orpheus, the Grecian demigod, taught man the law of Harmony and the great work of harmonizing the spiritual and material qualities within his own soul. The seven stringed lyre of Orpheus represents the seven major rates of vibration known to conscious ness at this time. Upon these rates of vibration, which are the basis of form, thought, growth and culture, his philosophy was based: his seven-stringed lyre representing the solar system and the seven centers in the human body and upon this he taught man to play the harmony of nature and the music of the spheres. This harmonization of the centers of consciousness was the redemption of the human soul (Eurydice).
3. Krishna, the great Indian Christ and the most beloved diety of Brahman theology, is said to have had Love as the keynote of his teaching. He taught man of the love of God for His creations, the love of the spirit within for its bodies, and the love existing always between the spiritual and the human. He taught man to live in peace with his neighbor and to recognize the fundamental duty of regard and respect for all other created things.
Krishna, the Christ-child of India, is symbolical for the sun who is in love with Radha, the East Indian symbol of nature. The marriage of the sun to nature and the love of God for His outpourings was the center ground of his divine message to man. He taught immortality and the non-existence of death, that ignorance was the basis of oblivion and that those who love only the Light would never be in darkness.
4. Buddha, the world’s most eminent reformer and regenerator of ideals, brought man the doctrine of Renunciation and Non-attachment as the basis for immortality. He told man to renounce the temporal for the eternal, the illusion for the reality, the lower for the higher, and the outer fore the inner. He taught that attachment was the basis of sorrow and that freedom from attachment was the basis of peace. Upon his doctrines has been based the greatest religion upon the earth at the present time, a creed which has influenced the destiny of had the people of the earth.
5. Mohammed. The essence of the faith of Islam is the necessity for Obedience and man’s perfect willingness to leave his destiny in the hands of the Immortal. Mohammed taught that the greatest glory was for him who obeyed the laws rather than for one who creates a law; that those who leave their destiny with the powers of the Divine and follow those laws in simplicity and trust, obeying them to the letter, shall never want for the treasures of the eternal.
6. Moses taught the children of Israel and the ancient world the omnipotence of Law; the justice without mercy of law, the impersonality of law and that those who would break law are themselves broken upon it. He delivered the tablets of the ten laws to the children of Israel, teaching them that law is the voice of God and that those who keep His laws are the ones He blesses and preserves.
7. Zoroaster, the great founder of the faith of the Parsees and the Fire-king of Persia, taught the doctrine of Light and said that the sun and flame were the most precious things in the universe. He taught the building of that Fire within the soul of the individual; that the fire that burns in man is the eldest of all flames; that man is dependent upon fire and that this fire is the divine essence of God within himself. In other and simpler words, he taught the indwelling presence of the Divine.
8. Confucius, the great unapothesized saint of China, a god made so by the love of his people, taught that Morality was the greatest of all virtues and the most acceptable quality in the universe; that the salvation of man depended upon his relationships to his fellow creatures; that purity, chastity and fraternity were the greatest of all qualities and that religion in essence rested upon practical works rather than theoretical dogmas.
9. Plato. Plato’s doctrines were based upon the principles of Logic and he taught his disciples the orderly creation, the logical creation and the reasonable in the universe. He taught a geometrical base of all growth and instructed his followers that the universe, God, man, and nature are mathematical units capable of exact analysis.
10. Odin. This great Initiate who illuminated Scandinavia and the Teutonic countries, had as the basis of his teaching the doctrine of Courage. He taught the necessity of stamina and daring; that those who aspired to reach the footstool of light must dare all things, must battle against all opposition; and that reward comes to the victor in the battle and not to the one who remains at home.
11. Hiram Abiff, the great Masonic idol and ideal, taught in his unspoken life the doctrine of human Regeneration. Hiram, representing the spiritual essences in the human body, redeems himself and is redeemed through the path of the Masonic mysteries. Only in transmutation lays the path of immortality, and every human quality must be transmuted into a divine and eternal thing.
12. Jesus. The one teacher who is best known to the Christian world, but whose doctrines are the least understood of any of the great world teachers, is the Master Jesus. The key to his philosophy is Brotherhood and his ideal was a new faith built out of the mutual understanding and common interests of all of the others. He sought to unite all wisdom into one simple creed and also sought to show man the one simple labor which all creation is trying to achieve, each in its different way. Only those who have found harmony and are living in a state of brotherhood with other living things will ever know the message of the Master Jesus for he synthesizes all the previous world religions–for those who have the eyes to recognize that fact.
These qualities, if you will analyze them closely, you will find are absolutely dependent one upon another. There has never been a complete revelation up to date but all the revelations of the past gathered together build a monumental temple which is the expression of all known wisdom. This is the temple whose door is open to the student of the Wisdom Religion when he has learned to forsake dogma and creed, worship God in spirit and in truth rather than in clan and group.
The message of the Wisdom Teachings to the modern world is, briefly, one of impartiality in which the student worships God in His many-fold expressions rather than his own crystallized concept of divinity which has so long been the basis of his faith. Only in the universal realization of the one truth, the one Light, the one path, can the student hope to make progress.
The Light-bearers are incidents and can receive our respect and veneration but the Light is the thing which we should worship and not the One who brings it.