Chapter 03: Manly P. Hall and the “Mysteries”
From “Atlantean Heritage” by David Wilcock
According to many, many sources from diversified fields, the Atlantean corpus of knowledge was preserved, albeit in a scattered form, by its survivors. The only historical account of Atlantis that ever made its way into the public was from the Greek philosopher Plato, and modern researchers still draw off of his writings when investigating the subject. According to Platoâ€™s account, Atlantis disappeared in a sudden cataclysm that caused it to sink beneath the sea.
There were a precious few who became aware that this was going to happen before it actually did, and they were able to evacuate the island continent before the event itself occurred. They migrated to different areas throughout Europe, Africa and Asia as well as the Americas, most notably within the Mesoamerican region of the Yucatan.
According to the legends as preserved by Plato and others in secret, the majority of the entire world was not civilized during the time of Atlantis. The secluded island of Atlantis itself, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on all sides, was far more advanced than many of the indigenous cultures that were already in existence in other parts of the world. At that time, not everyone was at the same level of development by any means, and the legends say that Atlantis had just begun a large-scale colonization / civilization program for the outside world when they collapsed.
The Atlantean cataclysm completely submerged all the remnants of their once great island, and in many cases the survivors of this disaster found themselves thrust into situations with primitive peoples who could barely even begin to fathom the civilization that they had come from. And in some of these cases, if they were to begin openly speaking about their knowledge, they would have been killed very quickly out of fear. Therefore, it appears that the majority of survivors from Atlantis had to pass down their traditional knowledge in conditions of the utmost secrecy, knowing that their conflicting religious and scientific beliefs could quickly turn them into dinner for a tribe of wandering cannibals if they werenâ€™t careful.
The overarching term that was given for the secret knowledge from the lost civilization of Atlantis, (other than “The Tradition,”) was “The Mysteries.” In most cases, the secrecy of the Mysteries was kept so tightly that rigorous initiations were demanded of anyone who either chose or was invited to participate. And furthermore, to insure their own survival the inheritors of the Atlantean legacy would often punish those who betrayed the secrets with death.
They believed that it was better to sacrifice one traitor than to lose everyone in an ambush soon afterwards – and this was a very real possibility at that time. One can certainly imagine that many bands of survivors who did not either keep strict secrecy or were not as careful or dramatic as an Oannes or Viracocha were simply wiped out, and that perhaps this common link among recognized historical figures of the Mysteries was the very thing that had preserved their knowledge through time.
According to numerous pieces of evidence that we will continue discussing as we progress, the knowledge of the Mysteries was almost totally wiped out more than once due to these oppressive conditions in uncivilized lands, but the underlying power of the information was so strong that great men would always come along and completely reintegrate all of the fragmented pieces.
This happened in Greece with Thales, Pythagoras and Plato touring the African / Eurasian continents and compiling lost ancient data, and much more recently it was done again by Francis Bacon, a highly-educated royal contemporary of the Elizabethan era who had access to ancient records in the Vatican and elsewhere. Baconâ€™s efforts to resuscitate the Mysteries were what directly fathered the modern-day Masonic Order, and he and Pythagoras are said by Manly Hall (discussed below) to be the single two most important figures in Masonry today.
The Masonic Order is often lambasted by modern â€™conspiracy theoristsâ€™ as an easy target due to its vows of secrecy and demonstrably incredible worldwide power in our modern civilization. This will be discussed in much more detail towards the end of this book. As just one of hundreds of examples, almost every person who signed the Declaration of Independence was a Mason, as well as a high number of astronauts and US Presidents. Many authors have gone far out of their way to demonstrate that the majority of high-level corporate executives, military officials and top government politicians all have connections to Masonry, and updated lists of these people (which may or may not be entirely accurate) are easily found through searching the Internet.
Only those who had penetrated through the highest “degrees” of Freemasonry had any idea about what the Mysteries really were. The lower degrees, especially the first three “Blue Degrees,” were designed to foster a large body of loyal and unified members for the group, thus enhancing Masonic power and influence without compromising any real knowledge or secrets. Those who would receive the deepest knowledge could be carefully observed over a long period of time, and handpicked slowly and carefully through higher degrees in a very controlled fashion. Any sign of lack of integrity, doubt or distrust on behalf of the initiate would permanently freeze his progress, insuring that he would never advance any further. (And yes, only men can join the Freemasons. The corresponding, much less popular womenâ€™s group is called Eastern Star.)
And so, even if certain elements of the modern Masonic Order have become quite confused and power-hungry, their original secret information is very important to us. Many researchers agree that the books of Manly Palmer Hall, a 33rd-degree Masonic initiate, (the highest publicly acknowledged degree,) are the ultimate source available for learning about the real secrets that are preserved by these modern inheritors of the Mysteries.
The book The Secret Teachings of All Ages is inarguably Hallâ€™s finest accomplishment – written as a literal encyclopedia of all the great truths that he or any other members of these societies were willing to reveal. And within that subset, Hall has quite a lot to say. Once we begin putting in all the other pieces, we will see that Hallâ€™s information is far more than adequate for recombining the true picture of the Atlantean Mysteries. Indeed, one might argue that Hallâ€™s works are truly one-of-a-kind, as there are but precious few examples of the insiders from the Secret Brotherhoods revealing this much within one sole document available to the public.
Hallâ€™s book begins, paradoxically enough, with an enormous and perhaps even boring discussion of philosophers, from Greek to Roman right up through the present, and their widely contradictory ideas. In this discussion, we can clearly see how the unified knowledge of the Mysteries had already become widely dispersed, and everyone had their own theories based on what little they knew – and yet underneath it all, a common thread could be perceived. Certain philosophers such as Pythagoras actively sought to eliminate this problem by traveling far and wide to collect this scattered secret information from other areas.
By the end of the chapter, the reader is practically exhausted with the huge body of philosophical information that was presented, and at this point Hall comes clean with the hidden Masonic knowledge that he is in contact with, regarding the true secret origin of all philosophy. In this excerpt, he also touches upon the all-important concept of symbolism being used to convey information and hide truth from the uninitiated:
Having thus traced the more or less sequential development of philosophic speculation from Thales to James and Bergson, it is now in order to direct the readerâ€™s attention to the elements leading to and the circumstances attendant upon the genesis of philosophic thinking. Although the Hellenes proved themselves peculiarly responsive to the disciplines of philosophy, this science of sciences should not he considered indigenous to them. “Although some of the Grecians,” writes Thomas Stanley, “have challenged to their nation the original of philosophy, yet the more learned of them have acknowledged it [to be] derived from the East.”
The magnificent institutions of Hindu, Chaldean (Sumerian), and Egyptian learning must he recognized as the actual source of Greek wisdom. The last was patterned after the shadow cast by the sanctuaries of Ellora, Ur, and Memphis upon the thought substance of a primitive people. Thales, Pythagoras, and Plato in their philosophic wanderings contacted many distant cults and brought back the lore of Egypt and the inscrutable Orient.
From indisputable facts such as these it is evident that philosophy emerged from the religious Mysteries of antiquity, not being separated from religion until after the decay of the Mysteries. He who would fathom the depths of philosophic thought must familiarize himself with the teachings of those initiated priests designated as the first custodians of divine revelation.
The Mysteries claimed to be the guardians of a transcendental knowledge so profound as to be incomprehensible save to the most exalted intellect and so potent as to be revealed with safety only to those in whom personal ambition was dead and who had consecrated their lives to the unselfish service of humanity. Both the dignity of these sacred institutions and the validity of their claim to possession of Universal Wisdom are attested by the most illustrious philosophers of antiquity, who were themselves initiated into the profundities of the secret doctrine and who bore witness to its efficacy.
The question may legitimately be propounded: If these ancient mystical institutions were of such “great pith and moment,” why is so little information now available concerning them and the arcana they claimed to possess? The answer is simple enough: The Mysteries were secret societies, binding their initiates to inviolable secrecy, and avenging with death the betrayal of their sacred trusts. Although these schools were the true inspiration of the various doctrines promulgated by the ancient philosophers, the fountainhead of those doctrines was never revealed to the profane. Furthermore, in the lapse of time the teachings came so inextricably linked with the names of disseminators that the actual but recondite source – the Mysteries – came to be wholly ignored.
Symbolism is the language of the Mysteries; in it is the language not only of mysticism and philosophy but of all Nature, for every law and power active in universal procedure is manifested to the limited sense perceptions of man through the medium of symbol. Every form existing in the diversified sphere of being is symbolic of the divine activity by which it is produced. By symbols men have ever sought to communicate to each other those thoughts which transcend the limitations of language.
Rejecting man-conceived dialects as inadequate and unworthy to perpetuate divine ideas, the Mysteries thus chose symbolism as a far more ingenious and ideal method of preserving their transcendental knowledge. In a single figure a symbol may both reveal and conceal, for to the wise the subject of the symbol is obvious, while to the ignorant the figure remains inscrutable. He who seeks to unveil the secret doctrine of antiquity must search for that doctrine not upon the open pages of books which might fall into the hands of the unworthy but in the place where it was originally concealed.
Far-sighted were the initiates of antiquity. They realized that nations come and go, that empires fall, and that the golden ages of art, science, and idealism are succeeded by the dark ages of superstition. With the needs of posterity foremost in mind, the sages of old went to inconceivable extremes to make certain that their knowledge should be preserved. They engraved it upon the face of mountains and concealed it with the measurements of colossal images, each of which was a geometric marvel.
Their knowledge of chemistry and mathematics they hid within mythologies which the ignorant would perpetuate, or in the spans and arches of their temples which time has not entirely obliterated. They wrote in characters that neither the vandalism of men nor the ruthlessness of the elements could completely efface. Today men gaze with awe and reverence upon the mighty Memnons (Pyramids) standing alone on the sands of Egypt, or upon the strange terraced pyramids of Palanque. Mute testimonies these are of the lost arts and sciences of antiquity; and concealed this wisdom must remain until this race has learned to read the universal language – SYMBOLISM.
The book to which this is the introduction is dedicated to proposition that concealed within the emblematic figures, allegories and rituals of the ancients is a secret doctrine concerning the inner mysteries of life; which doctrine has been preserved in toto among a small band of initiated minds since the beginning of the world. Departing, these illumined philosophers left their formulae that others, too, might attain to understanding. But, lest these secret processes fall into uncultured hands and be perverted, the Great Arcanum was always concealed in symbol or allegory; and those who can today discover its lost keys may open with them a treasure house of philosophic, scientific, and religious truths.
Hallâ€™s discussion of symbolism is indeed a very important component of this book, as we will indeed review how ancient worldwide mythologies as well as mysterious structures such as the Pyramids contained an incredible wealth of knowledge to those who were properly aware of this language. Indeed, the more we explore Higher Consciousness in ourselves and in ancient wisdom, the more we must contend with the acceptance and understanding of symbolism. By learning to decipher and actively utilize this language, we can indeed reconstruct the scientific and spiritual knowledge of Atlantis.
Symbolism and mathematics transcend all spoken languages, working directly in the mass collective subconscious of humanity. As one example, the Native American beliefs are becoming more and more widely accepted, and many different aspects of Nature including the animals are used to convey definite, commonly recognized information. The works of the brilliant genius Joseph Campbell go into exquisite detail regarding the underlying symbolic “archetypes” that emerge in different forms worldwide, ostensibly originating from the “collective unconscious” of humanity as defined by the famous psychologist Carl Jung.
The simplest way to discover the active, contemporary use of this universal language is to study your dreams, wherein symbol is used on a nightly basis to convey vitally important information for your personal growth. The standard rule of any dreamwork is that every character, environment, situation and event represents yourself – and the real work comes in seeing what current issues and aspects of yourself the dreams are alerting you to.
The knowledge of this symbolic dream process as a tool for spiritual enlightenment is becoming very widespread in our modern culture, much more so than in Hallâ€™s time of the early 20th century. This author has worked with his dreams throughout his entire life and actively journalized them throughout the last eight years, and his deep-trance workings, contained on this website, also use symbolism quite actively in the spoken word.
It is important to point out here that the symbolism only thinly conceals very real scientific information, and thus our arguments will not come from a place of making subjectively biased interpretations of metaphorical stories. Numbers in ancient mythologies and structures can be very directly, mathematically related to the latest discoveries that we are making about our Universe, as we shall see in future chapters. Symbolism simply gives people an opportunity to look at real information and choose not to see its hidden secrets, passing it off as a “myth” or a “giant tomb” in the case of the Pyramids.
At this point we continue to remind ourselves that the lost culture of Atlantis seeded this unique and powerful information throughout the world, and that high-level Masons like Hall can help us to understand exactly what this secret information really was. And as we continue further along in Hallâ€™s book, we come upon the chapter “Atlantis and the Gods of Antiquity,” where the core idea of humanityâ€™s hidden Atlantean past is expounded upon further:
“The history of Atlantis,” writes Ignatius Donnelly, “is the key of the Greek mythology. There can be no question that these gods of Greece were human beings. The tendency to attach divine attributes to great earthly rulers is one deeply implanted in human nature. (See Atlantis.)
â€¦The Garden of Eden from which humanity was driven by a flaming sword is perhaps an allusion to the earthly paradise supposedly located west of the Pillars of Hercules and destroyed by volcanic cataclysms. The Deluge legend may be traced also to the Atlantean inundation, during which a “world” was destroyed by water.
Was the religious, philosophic, and scientific knowledge possessed by the priestcrafts of antiquity secured from Atlantis, whose submergence obliterated every vestige of its part in the drama of world progress? Atlantean sun worship has been perpetuated in the ritualism and ceremonialism of both Christianity and pagandom. Both the cross and the serpent were Atlantean emblems of divine wisdomâ€¦
The mythologies of many nations contain accounts of gods who “came out of the sea.” Certain shamans among the American Indians tell of holy men dressed in birdsâ€™ feathers and wampum who rose out of the blue waters and instructed them in the arts and crafts. Among the legends of the Chaledans (Sumerians) is that of Oannes, a partly amphibious creature who came out of the sea and taught the savage peoples along the shore to read and write, till the soil, cultivate herbs for healing, study the stars, establish rational forms of government, and become conversant with the sacred Mysteries.
Among the Mayas, Quetzalcoatl, the Savior-God (whom some Christians believe to have been St. Thomas), issued from the waters and, after instructing the people in the essentials of civilization, rode out to sea on a magic raft of serpents to escape the wrath of the fierce god of the Fiery Mirror, Tezcatlipoca.
[Note: Again, with references to a “magic raft” and a “Fiery Mirror” we can see a clear connection to the more magnificent versions of the vimana that we had discussed above.]
May it not have been that these demigods of a fabulous age who, Esdras-like, came out of the sea were Atlantean priests? All that primitive man remembered of the Atlanteans was the glory of their golden ornaments, the transcendency of their wisdom, and the sanctity of their symbols – the cross and the serpent. That they came in ships was soon forgotten, for untutored minds considered even boats as supernatural. Wherever the Atlanteans proselyted they erected pyramids and temples patterned after the great sanctuary in the [Atlantean] City of the Golden Gates. Such is the origin of the pyramids of Egypt, Mexico, and Central America.
The mounds in Normandy and Britain, as well as those of the American Indians, are remnants of a similar culture. In the midst of the Atlantean program of world colonization and conversion, the cataclysms which sank Atlantis began. The Initiate-Priests of the Sacred Feather who promised to come back to their missionary settlements never returned; and after the lapse of centuries tradition preserved only a fantastic account of gods who came from a place where the sea now isâ€¦
From the Atlanteans the world has received not only the heritage of arts and crafts, philosophies and sciences, ethics and religions, but also the heritage of hate, strife, and perversion. The Atlanteans instigated the first war; and it has been said that all subsequent wars were fought in a fruitless effort to justify the first one and right the wrong which it caused. Before Atlantis sank, its spiritually illumined Initiates, who realized that their land was doomed because it had departed from the Path of Light, withdrew from the ill-fated continent.
Carrying with them the sacred and secret doctrine, these Atlanteans established themselves in Egypt, where they became its first “divine” rulers. Nearly all the great cosmologic myths forming the foundation of the various sacred books of the world are based upon the Atlantean Mystery rituals.