Food for Thought | Eliphas Levi

All Religions and all Sciences connect themselves with one single science, always hidden from the common herd, and transmitted from age to age, from initiate to initiate, beneath the veil of fables and symbols. It preserves for a world yet to come the secrets of a world that has passed away. The Gymnosophists contemplated it on the banks of the Ganges; Zoroaster and Hermes preserved it in the East; Moses transmitted it to the Hebrews; Orpheus revealed its mysteries to Greece; Pythagoras and Plato almost guessed it. It was called the Priestly or Royal Science, because it raised the initiated to the ranks of Kings and Pontiffs; it is portrayed in the Bible by the mysterious personage Melchisedec, the peaceful king and eternal priest, who has neither father nor mother nor genealogy. He stands by himself like Truth. Christian initiates have said that Christ was the same personage as this Melchisedec, and Jesus himself seems to have adopted this allegory when he says that he existed before Abraham, who hailed him rejoicing to see his light. This science of the Priests and Kings was on this account called the Holy Kingdom, the Kingdom Of Heaven, the Kingdom of God. All cannot reach it; it is accessible only to the élite of intelligences, and it is on this account that, according to the Gospels, few are chosen. This science conceals itself because it is persecuted, 1 Zoroaster was burnt, 2 Osiris cut in pieces, Orpheus torn in fragments by the Bacchantes, Phythagoras assassinated, Socrates, Plato’s Master, poisoned, the great prophets put to death in diverse ways, Jesus crucified, his apostles doomed to martyrdom; but the doctrine never dies, and though it disappears it must ever return. It is on this account that the Legends, more true than History when we know how to interpret them, tell us that Enoch and Elias are living in Heaven, and will redescend to earth. It is on this account that Jesus was raised from the dead, and that St. John was not to die. These forms of speech are of the essence of Occultism. They show and yet conceal the Truth. What the initiate says is true, but what the profane understand is a falsehood made for them. Truth is like Liberty and Virtue; she yields not herself, she must be sought and conquered.

E. Levi

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