Ancient Mysteries Unexplained Arcane Schools, The - A Review of their Origin and Antiquity

Arcane Schools, The - A Review of their Origin and Antiquity

Arcane Schools, The - A Review of their Origin and Antiquity
Catalog # SKU2030
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 2.00 lbs
Author Name John Yarker


Arcane Schools

A Review of their Origin and Antiquity;
with a History of Freemasonry
and its
Relation to the Theosophic, Scientific,
and Philosophic Mysteries

John Yarker

IN the following pages I have sought to satisfy a request, often made to me, to give a short but comprehensive view of the whole fabric of the Arcane mysteries, and affinity with the Masonic System; and I here take the opportunity of recording my protest against the sceptical tendencies of the present generation of the Moderns who are Masons, and against the efforts that are made, in season and out of season, to underrate the indubitable antiquity of the Masonic ceremonies.

These efforts, which tend to lower the prestige of our ancient Craft, are not altogether without good results, as they have led to a more careful examination of our Masonic legends and of ancient documents, and I have therefore added, to a general History of the Arcane Schools, a view, sufficiently explicit, of the ancient rites of the Masons, leaving the intelligent Freemason of our day to trace the relative bearing of these. It is no compliment to the Masons who founded the Grand Lodge of England in 1717, and who, however ill informed they may have been in London, yet, as is amply proved, accepted old customs of the Guilds with discrimination, to suppose that they unanimously undertook to impose upon the public, a system as ancient which they themselves were engaged in concocting. Nor is it any compliment to the intelligence of their imagined victims.

Whether or not I succeed in convincing the candid reader of the great antiquity of the Institution must be left to time; those of my readers who are pledged to the views of these Moderns will no doubt adhere through life to the ideas in which they have indoctrinated themselves, but enquiry is progressing and there is still a very large substratum of the Craft whose belief is yet strong in the good-faith of their predecessors, whether, in what was last century, termed Ancients or Moderns, and it is to such that I more particularly address myself.

The best reward for my labours would be to find that the study of our Craft and analogous societies was making progress, and that others are supplying new facts from old books, that may aid in bridging over any chasms that may be noticed in the following pages. My endeavour has been to print well authenticated matter only, in order that the information supplied may be reliable. Every paragraph is a fact or deduction from facts, and however much condensed nothing of moment, known to the present time and having a bearing upon Freemasonry, has been omitted. The works of the learned Brother George Oliver, D.D., lack critical cohesion, and have consequently fallen into undeserved neglect, but sufficient will be found in these pages to show that his theories are not devoid of method, and will admit of an authentic construction being put upon those claims which he advances for the antiquity of the Masonic Institution.

Those who obstinately deny the existence of anything which is outside their own comprehension are fully as credulous as those who accept everything without discrimination. There are certain intellects which lack intuition and the ability to take in and assimilate abstruse truths, just as much as there are people who are colour-blind, or deaf to the more delicate notes of music; this was well known to the ancient theologians and mystics, and the reasons which they assigned for the mental incapacity will appear in the following pages.


IT may reasonably be supposed that the advancement of mankind which we term civilisation had made great progress in hot climates before the Arts, science, and more especially the mystery of building temples and houses of stone, brick, or wood were developed. Religious mysteries, the rudiments of science, and open and secret worship, if not innate, which we believe them to be, would arise, and as the erection, first of temples, and then of houses, indicates a knowledge of geometry and constructive tools, it implies a more advanced culture.

The tradition which has reached us through the ages is that mankind contracted very slowly the protoplasm which forms our natural body, after which a variety of wants became apparent that were in earlier ages unfelt. Whether we accept or reject this view, we can realise that the united intellect of thousands of years has been unable to supply any better idea of the creation and progress of humanity upon earth than that handed down to us from the ancient sages. As man's material nature increased his spirituality decreased, and as his intuition tended to become dormant means were sought which might restore his ancient status. The discipline necessary for this purpose was neither suitable nor agreeable to the majority, and this led to the establishment of secret or esoteric schools for those who sought the higher spiritual development. Of an unpretentious nature at first and possessing but moral trials or proofs, these schools gradually assumed a magnificent exterior under State control, with even proofs dangerous to life, and were designated THE MYSTERIES.

The natural wants had now come to be provided for; the Arts and Sciences were developed: Architecture, Metallurgy, Ship-building, Astronomy, Agriculture, etc., were added to Theosophia, and religious ritual. This is the tradition of the Mysteries. There are certain ancient legends in regard to a lost or sunken continent and a deluge which, though not absolutely accepted as history, are too probable to be passed over in silence. It is admitted by scientists that the surface of our earth is continually wasting away, with the result that the bed of the ocean is being slowly raised, and the geographical position of the land is changing: we see in one locality that the ocean is washing the land away, whilst in another the sea is receding. Equally great climatic changes are slowly developing; thus Greenland was at one time a torrid clime, which at a later age, to be reckoned only by tens of thousands of years, was succeeded by intense cold, and when our own island was depopulated by a deluge of ice and frost.

These changes are attendant upon what astronomers term the "Precession of the Equinoxes"; there is a gradual displacement of the poles of the earth, occurring in cycles or periods of 25,000 years, and the last of which reached its extreme point about 12,500 years ago, when it is held that a great cataclysm occurred which changed the face of the entire globe. It follows of necessity that men's habits must change with climatic changes. The Hindu priests have a complicated series of cycles within cycles, which are not altogether imaginary but are grounded upon recondite astronomical calculations. When we remember that there is a great central sun round which the entire galaxy of planets and suns revolve, we may draw the analogy that in immense cycles what we may term seasonal changes or states are produced, even on these planets and suns, similar to those which occur on our earth.

There exists in Thibet and India a Secret Doctrine which is of unquestioned antiquity, and of which analogical confirmation may be found in the writings of the ancient Philosophers. This doctrine allows for the existence in extreme antiquity of a sunken continent in the Pacific ocean, of which the present islands are mountain tops, and in the Atlantic ocean of seven islands, the last of which sank beneath the waters about the period which we have assigned for a great cataclysm, or 12,500 years ago.

Behind this account, which in the East is considered historical, lies the cyclical doctrine of a Day and Night of Brahm, or by whatever other word the impersonal Deity is designated. These cycles are the Outbreathing and Inbreathing of the Unknowable deity, or everliving Spirit and primal Matter; the gradual progress of all created matter is the divine Day which proceeds from the etherial or cometary to the concrete by means of the Tatwas, which will correspond with the Genetic Days of Moses, and these again with the gestation of the ordinary foetus; in the divine Night everything again reverts to the etherial state, to be again followed, in immense cycles, by a reversed action.

The mythological account of the Hindu Paradise places Mount Meru at the North-pole, or the imperishable land ; a circular island upon which is the "City of the Gods," which is supposed to be a perfect square guarded by a wall protected by eight circular towers, and the holy mount, which is of conical shape, rises in the centre of the city.

570+ pages - 8¼ x 6¾ softcover

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