Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition
No. 14, Vol. 2. Vernal Equinox 2008
Randolph’s “Rosicrucian Apology” [from the first chapter of Eulis!, “Affectional Alchemy” (1874)]
XXIV. Love being much more than a mere sentiment between the sexes, it is plain that neither its ground-work, nature, or cryptic meaning, has hitherto in any land been thoroughly understood. I have for long, weary years studied it in many countries of the globe. Here and there I got — not a new idea of it, but suggestions which led me to investigate and explore. And now, in this, probably the last book book but one or two which I shall ever write, I desire, not to make a confession, for I am proud of the truths alone I delved for, and brought up from the zem — zem of mystery — but to make a statement and explanation. I had struggled so hard to get a fair hearing at the bar of the world, that many a time, in view of the cruel fact that I was met everywhere with suspicion, slander and malignant envy, I have bathed in the dark waters of despair; and but for, as I believe, the protecting care of the dead, whose loving hands either held me up in the bitter strife, or, failing to be able to do that, eased my falls—I should have rushed of my own act into the awful fields of eternity. Early in life I discovered that the fact of my ancestry on one side, being what they were, was an effetual estopa1 on my preferment and advancement, usefulness and influence. I became famous, but never popular. I studied Rosicrucianism, found it suggestive, and loved its mysticisms. So I called myself The Rosicrucian, and gave my thought to the world as Rosicrucian thought; and lo! the world greeted with loud applause what it supposed had its origin and birth elsewhere than in the soul of P. B. Randolph.
Very nearly all that I have given as Rosicrucianism originated in my soul, and scarce a single thought, only suggestions, have I borrowed from those who, in ages past, called themselves by that name — one which served me well as a vehicle wherein to take my mental treasures to a market, which gladly opened its doors to that name, but would, and did, slam to its portals in the face of the tawny student of Esoterics.
Precisely so was it with things purporting to be Ansairetic. I had merely read Lydde’s book, and got hold of a new name; and again mankind hurrahed for the wonderful Ansaireh, but incontinently turned up its nose at the supposed copyist. In proof of the truth of these statements, and of how I had to struggle, the world is challenged to find a line of my thought in the whole 4,000 books on Rosicrucianisrn; among the brethren of that Fraternity — and I know many such in various lands, and was, till I resigned the office, Grand Master of the only Temple of the Order on the globe; or in Ansairetic works, English, German, Sytiac or Arabic.
One night— it was in far-off Jerusalem or Bethlehem, I really forget which —I made love to, and was loved by, a dusky maiden of Arabic blood. I of her, and that experience, learned — not directly, but by suggestion—the fundamental principle of the White Magic of Love; subsequently I became affiliated with some dervishes and fakirs of whom, by suggestion still, I found the road to other knowledges; and of these devout practicioners of a simple, but sublime and holy magic, I obtained additional clues— little threads of suggestion, which, being persistently followed, led my soul into labyrinths of knowledge themselves did not even suspect the existence of. I became practical1y, what I was naturally — a mystic, and in time chief of the lofty brethren; taking the clues left by the masters, and pursuing them farther than they had ever been before; actually discovering the ELIXIR OF LIFE; the universal Solvent, or celestial Alkahest; the water of beauty and perpetual youth, and the philosopher’s stone, — all of which this book contains; but only findable by him or her who searches well. The thoughts which I gave to the world, that world paid me for, as it always has paid for benefits. But what of that? Justice is sure to be done me by and by.
I am induced to say thus much in order to disabuse the public mind relative to Rosicrucianism, which is but one of our outer doors—and which was not originated by Christian Rosencrux; but merely revived, and replanted in Europe by him subsequent to his return from oriental lands, whither, like myself and hundreds of others, he went for initiation.
The Rosicrucian system is, and never was other else than a door to the ineffable Grand Temple of Eulis. It was the trial chamber wherein men were tested as to their fitness for loftier things. And even Eulis, itself, is a triplicate of body, spirit, soul. There are some in the outer, a few in the inner crypt.
These, the facts concerning Rosicrucia and myself, are out at last. Now let us go on with the book.
Enthusiasts are the ambassadors of God. It is through such only that great truths reach the world, and that world takes exquisite pleasure in crucifying all such; and yet they will arise, proclaim their mission, deliver their message, establish new truths, and then march straight to Calvary or Patmos! In all ages there, have been men cut out after a different pattern from their contemporaries, and who, for that reason, had and have a different destiny to fulfill. “To be great, is to be misunderstood,” ay, and crucified time and again. Among all who have ever lived, none have worked harder, or accomplished more good for mankind than that class of men known in all time as Mystics, foremost among whom was, and is, that branch of them known as Hermetists, — men of mark; Pythagoreans, Rosicrucians, and lastly, the Brotherhood of Eulis, — all of whom were, and are, students of the same school.
When David G. Brown, of the city of New York, more recently connected with Bennett’s “Herald,” was, in Montreal, I believe, asked concerning the origin of the Great Society, or rather Fraternity, (the Rosicrucian branch, — but differing essentially from the branch of that august brotherhood represented by adepts in Europe, Asia, and myself and confreres in this country,—yet identical in spirit, so far as the general welfare of universal man is concerned), he responded as follows, save that he disguised certain names, which disguises I now throw off! — As one standing upon the beach by the sea, and gazing far off over the turbulent waters, finds the horizon lowering in the distance, and shutting out the land unseen that lies beyond; so we, standing upon the sands of time, and looking back over the sea of our past history, find there is a boundary beyond which the vision cannot extend, a point where many have written, ‘No more beyond!'
And, as the ocean casts up from its unfathomble depths wrecks of vessels lost, which float upon its surface, and are lost upon our shores, so sometimes, from the immeasurable gulf that has buried in its depths the secret of our origin, a waif drifting on the bosom of time finds its way to the limits of the historical epoch, and reveals us something of what was, and is lost. Then let us learn all that we may from these waifs. Let us wander upon these trackless shores of a silent sea, and bring, from its driftwood and wrecks all at may be gathered. Let us add all that may be added of our childhood’s glory to our manhood’s suffering, and our coming triumph. We will be proud that we are disciples of Hermes Trismegistus, that thrice-sealed Lord of Mind, — the Mystical Mal-Kiza-dek [Meichizadek] of Bible repute; but let us not forget to be proud that we are disciples of the viewless God. . . . Twine the laurel wreath for the victor, but add the cypress for the victim. . . . Let us go, then, to the land of romance and of dream, — the land of the Holy Byblus, and the Sacred Ganges. Standing upon their shores, our minds will revert, back in the dim ages, to the days of our childhood, and the birth of the mystical reign of Ahrimanes. We will behold in our mind’s eye a succession of kingdoms, like the succession of seasons, a rise and fall of dynasties, like the sowing and reaping of grain. We will count the number of patricians who live in idleness and luxury, and shudder at the multitude of plebeians who die in agony and want. Behold those monsters of selfishness and cruelty, whose insatiable appetite of ambition and pride, wealth and power, could not appease, and for whose maw the quivering flesh and trickling blood of a people became food. Here and there, we will find men struggling against oppression as we have struggled; people teaching virtue and charity as we have taught, — reviled and scorned as we have been. We will discover that others have borne our burdens who had no hope of receiving our reward; that knowledge is universal, and has no royal road; and that they were as wise in the wisdom of their generation, as we are in ours.
And now tread softly. We are entering the dark realm of the slumbering ages. The dust of a million years has gathered here, and no voice has awakened its echoes since the days when the Indian Bacchus consorted with the daughters of men.
We have left the land of the probable, and are journeying in the regions of the possible. The footprints here and there are of mortals, but of those who have beheld the hidden mysteries of Eulis, who are familiars of the Cabbala, who have raised the veil of Isis, and revealed the Chrishna, the — YAE or the A.A.
Behold in the distance, shining from the east as the sun from the sea, the unquenchable torch of her who is nameless; observe the stars that circle round her, as she kneels to write upon the sand. See the sheen of her golden hair, and the spotless white of her robes; catch the first strains of that wondrous philosophy, classic and pure, as they fall in wordless music from her lips; and remember how its infinite truth and marvellous beauty, have, in all the ages that are past, bound us together by an indissoluble bond of brotherhood, and leavened with our faith in the innate kindness of the human heart, taught us to sacrifice ourselves, that the peoples my advance.
They were fragments of this philosophy which we wore as a crown of glory on our natal morn, that were disseminated by our Master and his innumerable followers, and cast hither and thither upon the stream of time, were finally washed by successive waves of war and pilgrimage, to the shores of Egypt. It is of these the author of the “History of Civilization in England” speaks, as “forming one of the elements in the school of Alexandria, and whose subtle speculations, carried on in their own exquisite language, anticipated all the efforts of modern European metaphysics.”
They were fragments of this philosophy which, perverted by the strong individualities of Plato, Aristotle and Pythagoras, became alike the systems of their schools, the Portico, the Grove, and the Garden.
Melchizadek, or Hermes, was our first great master; but like many masters before and since, he lived when the “times were out of joint,” and the age was not attuned to symphonies of thought and feeling. He taught his rich philosophy to all, opened great hidden depths of thought to the public eye, explained the most subtle truths to barbarian ears, and— threw pearls to swine. And his success. He gathered round him his disciples, and looked beyond at their followers; they extended in every direction, as far as eye could reach, surging like the waves of the sea, when tossed by tempests,— and with all the deep undertones and mutterings of the ocean. Were all these his pupils? All these versed in the shoals and depths of reasoning? No. They were families, some member of whom believed an abstract philosophical truth, and all the rest believed the man.
They reduced the laws of nature to form a creed, and they made a golden
calf of some special physical force, and fell down to worship it. They
resolved, themselves, after their agitation, into their own natural element.
That was all.
So we received our heritage, and the soul of philosophy vanished from India and the world as a dream. The kernel was hidden, and the shell alone permitted to remain to excite the awe of past generations, and the wonder of ours. Ah! most noble Master, you have long since, like Her who came before you, passed forever among the shadows of the invisible, and the dark, but deathless realms, where our fathers have gone before us. But as the material form was indestructible, and lives forever in that land of blossom and of flowers, so that spiritual and ideal emanation shall, through all coming time, live in the minds of men, and never cease to be born anew, for Eulis’ nature is infinite and eternal!
How safely our secrets have been guarded, let each answer according to the progress he has made in mastering them. How little was abstracted by the Essenes, Gnostics and Batiniyeh, you all know.
For ten thousand years after Hermes, we lost no more, in our contact with all the various peoples of the world, than the electric elements we threw off in grasping their hands!
Though few in numbers, we guarded the great trust committed to our care with a never-ceasing vigilance. Every member was aware of its importance to the human race. Every member realized that the flowers gathered from the graves of dead years must be preserved as a wreath to crown the age to come. Amid the swarm of sects and societies that sprang to life in the East, surrounded by all the schools that flourished in the Golden Age of Greece, that little band of souls preserved their purity.
Secretly and silently they moved over the sands of time to the coming of the Nazarene . . . . . In the twilight that succeeds the crucifixion of Calvary we can see indistinctly the movements of individuals, and the banding of men. They seem to move with an uncertain purpose, and to have lost their old effetiveness. One, two, three, five hundred years roll by as one would count the hours to midnight. Then there is a bustle. Work is at hand. Into those dark ages that succeed, pass the mustering bands, and for a thousand years death at the stake, persecution and despair on the one hand, and the retribution of the Vehmgerichte and kindred associations, alone point out the position of the contestants, and the progress of the fight.
Then from his cradle in the Alps looms up Christian Rosencrux. Seizing all at a glance, the society is reorganized; no more to dream, but to work; no more to wait for the human race to accomplish its destiny, but to assist in its accomplishment; to offer her bosom to the unfortunate; to raise the fallen; to succor the oppressed; to interpose her form between the tyrant and the slave; to lead the van in the great fight. She has the gathered knowledge of her ages of student-life. She has the patience taught by centuries of adversity. She has the courage of the true and the beautiful; and, above all, she loves the peoples, and Paschal Beverly Randolph succeeded Rosencrux, as the legitimate Grand Master of Rosicrucia, and Hierarch of Eulis.
And now I would say one word in regard to contemporary societies. Many of them were organized with meritorious objects in the days gone by, but the state of things that gave them being has long since passed away. They presented a sad spectacle of having outlived their usefulness, and drag out a fitful existence of senseless ceremonies and abstract forms, from which the soul has long departed. A few should receive the tribute of respect due to that which is venerable and good, and Freemasonry should ever be associated with the broad mantle of its charity.
In the superstructures which have been created at different periods, upon these foundations, one will often observe a pillar, here or there, called the Rose Croix, or occasionally bear the mystic name Eulis, softly pronounced.
I was conversing with a gentleman whom I supposed to be a member of one of these “Chapters,” and he said, “The Rosy Cross is dead. We have, it is true, galvanized its skeleton into a transitory life, but the Rosy Cross of history is dead.” Dead! I cried. She lives! — lives with the rich blood of the South in her veins; with the vigor of the North in her constitution; with the clear brain of the temperate zone, the depth of thought of the Orient, the versatility of France, and earnestness of purposes and boldness of resolution of the New World; lives these three hundred years that you think her dead, as she lived the countless centuries before you thought her born; and may she never cease to have a fitting casket for her jewels, and remain a reflex of the glorious truth and beauty of the superlative wisdom, power and goodness.
So far well; but at last the world wants to know more of that wonderful
fraternity, which, nameless at times for long centuries, blossomed a few
centuries ago as Rosicrucia, but now has leaped to the fore-front of all
the real reform movements of this wondefu1 age, and lo! the banner of
peerless Eulis floats proudly—rock founded — on the breeze.
We, the people of Eulis, be it known, are students of nature in her interior
departments, and rejecting alike the coarse materialism of the ages, and
the sham “philosophies” of the ages past and current, accept
only that which forces conviction by its irresistible logic. Men who realize
the existence of other worlds than this are not apt to give loose rein
to passion; nor be content with fraud in any shape. We cannot take say-sos
for facts, and therefore we reject much that appeals to others with the
force of truth. We are ambitious to solve all possible mystery; we prefer
one method to all other hyper-human agencies, knowing it to be infinitely
preferable to all other modes of rapporting the occult and mysterious;
and this book, and all others from the same pen, is but a very imperfect
sketch or outline of the sublime philosophy of the Templars of EULIS.
We know the enormous importance of the sexive principle; that a
menstruating woman is an immense power if she but knew it! that a pregnant
one holds the keys of eternal mystery in her hand, and that while thus
she can make or mar any human fortune! We know the mystic act is one unhinging
the gates alike, of heaven and of hell; and we know two semi-brainless
people may, by an application of esoteric principles, stock the