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The Preliminay Lection Including The History Lection


In the Name of the Initiator, Amen.

1. In the beginning was Initiation. The flesh profitethnothing; the mind
profiteth nothing; that which is unknown to you and abovethese, while
firmly based upon their equilibrium, giveth life.

2. In all systems of religion is to be found a systemof Initiation, which
may be defined as the process by which a man comes tolearn that unknown

3. Though none can communicate either the knowledge orthe power to achieve
this, which we may call the Great Work, it is yet possiblefor initiates
to guide others.

4. Every man must overcome his own obstacles, expose hisown illusions. Yet
others may assist him to do both, and they may enablehim altogether to
avoid many of the false paths, leading no whither, whichtempt the weary
feet of the uninitiated pilgrim. They can further insurethat he is duly
tried and tested, for there are many who think themselvesto be Masters
who have not even begun to tread the Way of Service thatleads thereto.

5. Now the Great Work is one, and the Initiation is one,and the Reward is
one, however diverse are the symbols wherein the Unutterableis clothed.

6. Hear then the history of the system which this lectiongives you the
opportunity of investigating.

Listen, we pray you, with attention: for once only doesthe Great
Order knock at any one door.

Whosoever knows any member of that Order as such, cannever know
another, until he too has attained to mastery.

Here, therefore, we pause, that you may thoroughly searchyourself,
and consider if you are yet fitted to take an irrevocablestep.

For the reading of that which follows is Recorded.


7. Some years ago a number of cipher MSS. were discoveredand deciphered by
certain students. They attracted much attention, as theypurported to
derive from the Rosicrucians. You will readily understandthat the
genuineness of the claim matters no whit, such literaturebeing judged
by itself, not by its reputed sources.

8. Among the MSS. was one which gave the address of acertain person in
Germany, who is known to us as S.D.A. Those who discoveredthe ciphers
wrote to S.D.A., and in accordance with the instructionsreceived, an
Order was founded which worked in a semi-secret manner.

9. After some time S.D.A. died: further requests for helpwere met with a
prompt refusal from the colleagues of S.D.A. It was writtenby one of
them that S.D.A.'s scheme had always been regarded withdisapproval.
But since the absolute rule of the adepts is never tointerfere with the
judgment of any other person whomsoeverhow much more,then, one of
themselves, and that one most highly revered!they hadrefrained from
active opposition. The adept who wrote this added thatthe Order had
already quite enough knowledge to enable it or its membersto formulate
a magical link with the adepts.

10. Shortly after this, one called S.R.M.D. announcedthat he had formulated
such a link, and that himself and two others were togovern the Order.
New and revised rituals were issued, and fresh knowledgepoured out in

11. We must pass over the unhappy juggleries which characterizedthe next
period. It has throughout proved impossible to elucidatethe complex

We content ourselves, then, with observing that the deathof one of his
two colleagues, and the weakness of the other, securedto S.R.M.D. the
sole authority. The rituals were elaborated, though scholarlyenough,
into verbose and pretentious nonsense: the knowledgeproved worthless,
even where it was correct: for it is in vain that pearls,be they never
so clear and precious, are given to the swine.

The ordeals were turned into contempt, it being impossiblefor any one
to fail therein. Unsuitable candidates were admittedfor no better
reason than that of their worldly prosperity.

In short, the Order failed to initiate.

12. Scandal arose and with it schism.

13. In 1900 one P., a brother, instituted a rigorous testof S.R.M.D. on the
one side and the Order on the other.

14. He discovered that S.R.M.D., though a scholar of someability and a
magician of remarkable powers, had never attained completeinititiation:
and further had fallen from his original place, he havingimprudently
attracted to himself forces of evil too great and terriblefor him to

The claim of the Order that the true adepts were in chargeof it was
definitely disproved.

15. In the Order, with two certain exceptions and twodoubtful ones, he
found no persons prepared for initiation of any sort.

16. He thereupon by his subtle wisdom destroyed both theOrder and its chief.

17. Being himself no perfect adept, he was driven of theSpirit into the
Wilderness, where he abode for six years, studying bythe light of
reason the sacred books and secret systems of initiationof all
countries and ages.

18. Finally, there was given unto him a certain exaltedgrade whereby a man
becomes master of knowledge and intelligence, and nomore their slave.
He perceived the inadequacy of science, philosophy, andreligion; and
exposed the self-contradictory nature of the thinkingfaculty.

19. Returning to England, he laid his achievements humblyat the feet of a
certain adept D.D.S., who welcomed him brotherly andadmitted his title
to the grade which he had so hardly won.

20. Thereupon these two adepts conferred together, saying:May it not be
written that the tribulations shall be shortened? Whereforethey
resolved to establish a new Order which should be freefrom the errors
and deceits of the former one.

21. Without Authority they could not do this, exaltedas their rank was
among adepts. They resolved to prepare all things, greatand small,
against that day when such Authority should be receivedby them, since
they knew not where to seek for higher adepts than themselves,but knew
that the true way to attract the notice of such was toequilibrate the
symbols. The temple must be builded before the God canindwell it.

22. Therefore by the order of D.D.S. did P. prepare allthings by his arcane
science and wisdom, choosing only those symbols whichwere common to all
systems, and rigorously rejecting all names and wordswhich might be
supposed to imply any religious or metaphysical theory.To do this
utterly was found impossible, since all language hasa history, and the
use (for example) of the word <<spirit>> impliesthe Scholastic
Philosophy and the Hindu and Taoist theories concerningthe breath of
man. So was it difficult to avoid implication of someundesirable bias
by using the words <<order,>> << circle,>><<chapter,>> <<society,>>
<<brotherhood,>> or any other to designate thebody of initiates.

23. Deliberately, therefore, did he take refuge in vagueness.Not to veil
the truth to the Neophyte, but to warn him against valuingnon-
essentials. Should therefore the candidate hear the nameof any God,
let him not rashly assume that it refers to any knownGod, save only the
God known to himself. Or should the ritual speak in terms(however
vague) which seem to imply Egyptian, Taoist, Buddhist,Indian, Persian,
Greek, Judaic, Christian, or Moslem philosophy, let himreflect that
this is a defect of language; the literary limitationand not the
spiritual prejudice of the man P.

24. Especially let him guard against the finding of definitesectarian
symbols in the teaching of his master, and the reasoningfrom the known
to the unknown which assuredly will tempt him.

We labour earnestly, dear brother, that you may neverbe led away to
perish upon this point; for thereon have many holy andjust men been
wrecked. By this have all the visible systems lost theessence of

We have sought to reveal the Arcanum; we have only profanedit.

25. Now when P. had thus with bitter toil prepared allthings under the
guidance of D.D.S. (even as the hand writes, while theconscious brain,
though ignorant of the detailed movements, applauds ordisapproves the
finished work) there was a certain time of repose, asthe earth lieth

26. Meanwhile these adepts busied themselves intentlywith the Great Work.

27. In the fullness of time, even as a blossoming treethat beareth fruit in
its season, all these pains were ended, and these adeptsand their
companions obtained the reward which they had soughttheywere to be
admitted to the Eternal and Invisible Order that hathno name among men.

28. They therefore who had with smiling faces abandonedtheir homes, their
possessions, their wives, their children, in order toperform the Great
Work, could with steady calm and firm correctness abandonthe Great Work
itself: for this is the last and greatest projectionof the alchemist.

29. Also one V.V.V.V.V. arose, an exalted adept of therank of Master of the
Temple (or this much He disclosed to the Exempt Adepts)and His
utterance is enshrined in the Sacred Writings.

30. Such are Liber Legis, Liber Cordis Cincti Serpente,Liber Liberi vel
Lapidis Lazuli and such others whose existence may oneday be divulged
unto you. Beware lest you interpret them either in theLight or in the
darkness, for only in L.V.X. may they be understood.

31. Also He conferred upon D.D.S., O.M., and another,the Authority of the
Triad, who in turn have delegated it unto others, andthey yet again, so
that the Body of Initiates may be perfect, even fromthe Crown unto the
Kingdom and beyond.

32. For Perfection abideth not in the Pinnacles, or inthe Foundations, but
in the ordered Harmony of one with all.



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