Traces of a Hidden Tradition in Masonry and Medieval Mysticism, by Isabel Cooper-Oakley, , at sacred-texts.com
IT is now necessary to add some more important details to the question of the origin of the tradition of the Holy Grail. Too much care cannot be given
by students to the most fundamental portion of this research.
It has already been said that many German * and French writers, in their zealous efforts to prove the Grail tradition to be a myth, have made efforts to disprove the existence of Guiot von Provins, but owing to the careful researches of San Marte † there is evidence of his existence so conclusive that no further doubt can remain; in the review from which we quote he gives a careful résumé of the evidence, and he has made a thorough study of Guiot's Bible, which was written as a denunciation of the priests of that period, and of the iniquities of the Roman Church: "Guiot was, without doubt, a learned man, and had been a monk as well as a courtier," says San Marte, from whose article the following summary is made.
He was present in the year 1184, at Mainz, at the great court day of the Emperor Frederick I., at which the French nobility were also present in great numbers. He further assures us that he had seen the Hospitaliers at Jerusalem; the information he gives us as regards the Knight Templars in Syria will consequently rest likewise on first-hand observation. In the east ‡ he saw King Amalrich of
Jerusalem, who died in the year 1173, in the flower of his age and his glory. But in the year 1147 there was the second, and in the year 1190 the third Crusade . . . . it may be inferred from his writing that he journeyed into the Holy Land, not as a warrior, but in the retinue of a Prince or Baron, and we learn that Guiot was also in the monastery of Clairvaux, * and moreover, when he wrote his Bible he had already worn the black cowl for more than twelve years; thus his denunciations would rest on personal observations, and not on any mere gossip or scandal.
Guiot shows himself, in this writing, to be a man of scholarly education, of penetrating mind, keen observation and full of biting sarcasm. His comparisons and examples are of incisive acuteness, he has an exact knowledge of the Bible, and brings forward passages from the Scriptures in confirmation of his judgment, and in justification of his reproaches of the clergy. To quote again from San Marte:
His language is incisive and severe . . . . . pouring out his noble anger, galling blame and bitter sarcasm, over priests and nobles, higher and lower clergy,
and over pretended erudition, he nevertheless loves to add that, of course, there are glorious exceptions. . . . We perceive in him a mind which, formed in the school of life, has seen and experienced much; a man who with keen vision and solid judgment watched and weighed the crimes of all positions. . . . . He very clearly distinguishes genuine piety from the hypocritical appearance of holiness the true faith from professional sanctity. . . . . Truth is for him beyond all else; it is his light.
Such is the judgment of this well-known German author upon the man through whom the tradition comes. Miss Weston, another authority, says:
Such a man would have been thoroughly familiar with the legends that had gathered round the early Angevin Princes, as well as with the historical facts connected with their successors; he would have come into contact with the Order of the Knights Templars . . . . he would be familiar with many a legend of precious stones, the favourite talismans of the East, and would know the special virtue ascribed to each. . . . In fact, if we will allow the existence of such a writer as a travelled Angevin might well have been, we shall find all the principal problems of the Parzifal admit of a rational explanation. Even the central puzzle, Wolfram's representation of the Grail, is explicable on such a hypothesis. We know how very vague Chrêtien's * account of the Grail is; how much in the dark he leaves us as to Its outward form, Its influence and its origin. A writer before Chrétien is scarcely likely to have been more explicit; what more likely than that a man long resident in the east, and familiar, as has been said above, with eastern jewel talismans, and the legends connected with them, when
confronted with this mysterious Grail, of which no definite account was given, yet which apparently exercised a magical life-sustaining influence, should have jumped to the conclusion of Its, at least partial, identity with the precious stones of the power of which he had heard so much?
Then later on the same writer says:
To sum up the entire question, the drift of the internal evidence of the Parzival seems to indicate that the author of Wolfram's Source was a warm partisan of the House of Anjou, * sometime resident in the East, familiar with the history of the House whose fortunes he followed, and with much curious oriental lore, and thoroughly imbued with the broader views of life and religion inspired by the crusades. That he wrote his poem after 1172 seems most likely from the connection between England, Anjou and Ireland noted in Book IX; . . . if we grant the correctness of the Angevin allusions to be found in the earlier parts of the, poem, we must logically grant that these two first books, and as a consequence the latter part of the poem which agrees with them, are due to the French source rather than the German redaction; that it was Kiot (Guiot de Provins) who introduced the characters of Gamuret, Belakané, Feirefis and Lâhelein; that to Kiot is due the first germ of the ethical interpretation amplified by Wolfram. It was probably in a great measure owing to the unecclesiastical nature of Kiot's teaching, and the freedom with which he handled the Grail myth, that his work failed to attain the popularity of Chrêtien's. When the Grail legend was once definitely stamped with the traditional
[paragraph continues] Christian character which it finally assumed and retained, the semi-pagan character of Kiot's treatment would cause his version to be regarded with disfavour by the monkish compilers of his day. *
There is no difficulty in perceiving that the Christian version has become the more popular, almost to the extinction of the oriental tradition, but the suggestion here made by the writer is of importance—for Guiot, having been in contact with the Secret and Mystical Societies in the East, would certainly bring that doctrine into his work, which accounts for what Miss Weston terms the "unecclesiastical nature of Kiot's (Guiot) teaching."
It is an important fact for the students of this tradition to bear in mind, that the Roman Church monopolized and adopted this Legend of the Holy Grail, laying stress upon the version given by Chrêtien de Troyes, ignoring its oriental descent, and popularizing the idea that the Legend was founded on a purely Christian basis; hence many of the contemporaries of Wolfram von Eschenbach were writing solely from the Christian standpoint; but we have also many writers who took a broader view, and who recognized that the tradition had descended from some earlier doctrine. In San Marte (A. Schulz), for instance, we have a German scholar of profound research adopting practically the same view as that of Eugene Aroux in his Mystères de la Chevalerie, to which book reference was made in the
last number. We must now summarize some important passages from this new source, relating as they do to the same view, namely, that the Legend of the Holy Grail is, in truth, part of the mystical tradition of those so-called heretical sects, the Albingenses, the Cathari, and others of that date, descendants of the older Gnostic Sects. Says San Marte:
The conflicts of the Hohenstaufen with Rome bear witness to the strength of this movement in Germany; princes, knights and poets accepted * it with fullest consciousness [of its significance]. Guiot's Bible, and other similar writings, the Provençal poets, the numerous heretical sects of Southern France, of Northern Italy and Spain prove the same thing regarding these countries. Among the Waldensians there even gradually arose, under the influence of the Provençal poets, a literature, the content of which was chiefly spiritual, and which, in a poetical form, made the peculiar principles of the sect current and familiar among the people. † We may mention the
celebrated didactic poem, written about 1180, La nobla Leyczon, which leads up to Waldensian through sacred history, and other poems such as La Barca, Lo novel Sermon, Lo novel Confort, Lo Payre Eternal, Lo Desprecza del Mont (Contentio Mundi) and L’Avangeli de li quatre Semenez, which deals with the parable, Matthew xiii. 5, of the different seeds. They all possess peculiarly strong anti-papistic elements and belong to those products of anti-hierarchy, which transplanted the conflict against Rome from ecclesiastical domain to the ground of popular life. How wrathful is Bernard of Clairvaux against Abelard; * he says that, thanks to him, the street-boys of Paris are to be heard discussing the doctrine of the Trinity! It was a storm which raged through the whole of western Christendom in all strata of the population, a process of fermentation which, originally repressed by force, repeated itself in the Reformation and forced itself to the forefront. When, therefore, Reichel † reproaches me with having introduced far more theological elements than the poem itself justifies, into my interpretation of the oracle of the Grail and of Parzival's refraining from questions, I reply that, on the contrary, not nearly enough of the theology of the twelfth century has been applied to the understanding of our poem,
and my attempt to examine it from that standpoint is only a first beginning on those lines.
For that which we now after the lapse of centuries can only laboriously and yet imperfectly discover about the explanation of the external historical phenomena of those religious conflicts—all that surround the then existing world like a fiery atmosphere in which it breathed, and which penetrated all the pores of its life, the elements of religious discord which can now hardly be understood and methodically arranged by the scholars who make the subject their special study—was formerly in the minds and mouths of the masses and urged them on to action; and if the poems * of that period afford us in almost every other respect a faithful mirror of contemporary phenomena in action and thought, the same must be true of a work which has a predominatingly religious tendency, that finds expression even in the first two lines [of the poem].
It is very desirable that the Church historians of to-day should, in their writings and academic lectures, pay greater attention than they do to the investigations and the treasures which have been brought to light in the ever-increasing study of the early German and French literatures, indeed they would then find much which preceded and led up to the Reformation, and would recognize more clearly the forms taken by the dogmatic theses in the practical faith and opinions of the people, and the special expression which they there received. For there is a difference between the doctrinal formulation of an article of faith and its acceptance and transmission by the laity.
The position taken up by Wolfram, whether Guelph or Ghibelline, Apostolic-Evangelical or Roman-Hierarchic,
must determine the standpoint from which his poem must be judged and understood. And even if we condemn the poet as a heretic, we must not demand of his poem that it should teach what he rejects, * but in order to do it justice we must enter into his religious tendency, which it brings quite clearly and candidly to light. In view of the historical situation and the religious stream of tendency at the end of the twelfth century the intention of our poet can no longer be open to doubt. He wished, namely, to depict in the institution of the Templars a Christian brotherhood, † a kingdom of the faithful and the elect of the Lord, without a Roman hierarchy, without a Pope and a privileged priesthood, without ban, interdict or Inquisition, where God Himself, through the revelation of the Grail, is, in the spirit of the pure Gospel, Ruler and Judge of His people. He considered the real priesthood to belong to the individuals struggling towards a true knowledge of God, not to an exclusive class, however highly he may have esteemed the latter; finally, he borrowed from the order of the Templars, at that time still flourishing and immaculate, the poetical symbol of the ideal constitution of this brotherhood.
This idea, plainly heretical from the Roman point of view, necessarily implied that the Kingdom of the Grail, which alone led to salvation, stood in quite as sharp a contrast to Roman orthodox Christianity, as represented by the existing visible Church, as it did to paganism; ‡ but it is a fine trait in the poet that he is neither led away into open
polemic against the ruling Church nor into fanatical hostility to Paganism. There is, therefore, small ground for astonishment at the facts 'that no trace is to be found in the poem of any subordination of the Templars to clergy or Pope,' that Parzival attains to the kingdom of the Grail without any ecclesiastical mediation, and that he did not gain the crown of martyrdom in the conflict, as the fundamental thought of the poet logically demanded. *
This fundamental thought, however, is not based on the Dictatus Gregorii VII. nor on the saying of Innocent III., 'Papa veri Dei vicem gerit in terra,' but directly on the Gospel and on the saying of the Apostle: 'But ye are a chosen generation—a royal priesthood—a holy nation—a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light'; † which saying is repeated almost literally in strophes 44 and 45 of Wolfram's Titurel-fragments. It is, therefore, inadmissible to regard the Grail as 'a Christian relic,' to make it the representment of the pre-cosmic genesis of Evil, and to speak of 'the spiritual side of the poem' as 'weighed down by the fetishism of the impersonal relic'; this view could only arise through the introduction of evidence regarding Lucifer's fall and the Holy Grail much later than Wolfram's poem, or which—in the cases when this [evidence] is earlier, he does not himself introduce, and which, therefore, must be treated as non-existent in the criticism of our poem. Wolfram makes no special allusion to the dish of Cæsarea ‡ used in the Lord's Supper, never speaks of Joseph of Arimathea, nor does he mention the
Stone of the Grail having been originally in the crown of Lucifer; on the contrary, according to him, it is the lapis exilis, * the Stone † of the Lord, which at the beginning of all things was with God.
The symbolism of man as a stone, is the idea that is being expressed by the writer; an ancient idea, and one that is found in almost every religion.
There is one beautiful tradition connected with this legend of the Grail, supposed to have had its origin in Great Britain, and therefore of peculiar interest to us. It is said to have been inscribed in the Chronicles of Helinandus, who was "well-known at the time the Romance was written, not only as a historian but as a Troubadour, at one time in high favour at the Court of Philip Augustus, and in later years as one of the most ardent preachers of the Albigensian Crusade." ‡ He lived about 1229. The passages here summarized are from Paulin Paris's charming work; the marvellous vision was revealed to a hermit in Britain about 720, and runs thus:
On Holy Thursday of the year 717, after concluding
the office of the Tenebrae, I fell asleep, and presently methought I heard in a piercing voice these words:—"Awake! Hearken to three in one, and to one in three!" I opened my eyes—I found myself surrounded by an extraordinary brightness. Before me stood a man of most marvellous beauty: "Hast thou rightly understood my words?" he said. "Sire, I should not dare to say so." "It is the proclamation of the Trinity. Thou didst doubt whether in the three Persons there were only one God, one only Power. Canst thou now say who I am?" "Sire, my eyes are mortal; Thy great brightness dazzles me, and the tongue of man cannot give utterance to that which is above humanity."
The Unknown bent towards me and breathed upon my face. Thereupon my senses expanded, my mouth was filled with infinity of speech. But when I would fain have spoken I thought I saw bursting forth from my lips a fiery brand which checked the first words I would have uttered.
"Take courage," said the Unknown to me; "I am the source of all truth, the fount of all wisdom. I am the Great Master, he of whom Nicodemus said: 'We know that thou art God.' I come, after confirming thy faith, to reveal to thee the greatest secret in the world."
He then held out to me a book which could easily have been held in the hollow of the hand; " I entrust to you," he said, "the greatest marvel that man can ever receive. This is a book written by my own hand, which must be read with the heart, no mortal tongue being able to pronounce the words without affecting the four elements, troubling the heavens, disturbing the air, rending the earth, and changing the colour of the waters. For every man who shall open it with a pure heart, it is the joy of both body and soul, and whosoever shall see it need have no fear of sudden death, whatever be the enormity of his sins."
The great light that I had already found so hard to
endure then increased until I was blinded by it. I fell, unconscious, and when I felt my senses returning, I no longer saw anything around me, and I should have taken what I had just experienced for a dream, had I not still found in my hand the book that the Great Master had given me. I then arose, filled with sweet joy; I said my prayers, then I looked at the book, and found as its first title: This is the beginning of thy lineage. After reading until Prime, * it seemed to me that I had only just begun, so many letters were there in these small pages. I read on again until Tierce, and continued to follow the steps of my lineage, and the record of the good life of my predecessors.
Beside them, I was but the shadow of a man, so far was I from equalling them in virtue. Continuing the book, I read: Here beginneth the Holy Grail. Then, the third heading: This is the beginning of Fears. Then, a fourth heading: This is the beginning of Wonders. A flash of lightning blazed before my eyes, followed by a clap of thunder. The light continued, I could bear its dazzling brightness no longer, and a second time I fell unconscious.
How long I remained thus I do not know. When I arose, I found myself in profound darkness. Little by little, daylight returned, the sun resumed its brightness, I felt myself pervaded by the most delicious scents, I heard the sweetest songs that I had ever listened to; the voices from which they proceeded seemed to touch me, but I neither saw them nor could I reach them. They praised Our Lord, and repeated: Honour and glory to the Vanquisher of death, to the source of life eternal.
Having repeated these words eight times, the voices ceased; I heard a great rustling of wings, succeeded by perfect silence; nothing remained but the perfumes whose sweetness entered into me.
The hour of Nones came, and I thought myself yet at the earliest dawn. Then I closed the book and commenced the service for Good Friday. We do not consecrate on this day, because our Lord chose it for His death. In presence of the reality one should not have recourse to symbol; and if we consecrate on other days, it is in commemoration of the real Sacrifice of the Friday. *
As I was preparing to receive my Saviour, and had already divided the bread into three portions, an angel came, took hold of my hands and said to me: "Thou must not make use of these portions until thou hast beheld what I am about to show thee." Then he raised me into the air, not in the body but in the spirit, and transported me to a place where I was immersed in a joy such as no tongue could tell, no ear could hear, no heart could feel. I should speak no untruth in saying that I was in the third heaven, whither St. Paul was caught up; but that I be not accused of vanity I will merely say that there was revealed to me the great secret which, according to St. Paul, no human speech could utter. The angel said to me: "Thou hast seen great wonders, prepare thyself to see still greater." He carried me higher yet, into a place a hundred times clearer than glass, and a hundred times more brilliant in colouring. There I had a vision of the Trinity, of the distinction between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and of their union in one and the same form, one and the same Deity, one and the same power. Let not the envious here reproach me with going against the authority of St. John the Evangelist, in that he has told us that mortal eyes never will or can behold the Eternal Father, for St. John meant the bodily eyes, whereas the soul can see, when it is
separated from the body, that which the body would prevent it from perceiving.
While I was thus contemplating I felt the firmament trembling at the sound of the loudest thunder. An infinite number of heavenly Virtues surrounded the Trinity, then fell down as if in a swoon. The angel then took me and brought me back to the place whence he had taken me. Before restoring its ordinary covering to my soul, he asked me if I had beheld great marvels. "Ah!" I replied, "so great that no tongue could recount them." "Then resume thy body, and now that thou hast no longer any doubts as to the Trinity, go, and receive worthily him whom thou hast learnt to know."
The hermit, thus restored to the possession of his body, no longer saw the angel, but only the book, which he read after he had communicated, and which he laid in the reliquary where was kept the box for the consecrated wafers. He locked the coffer, returned to his binnacle, and would not touch the book again until after he had chanted the Easter service. But what were his astonishment and grief when, after the office, he opened the reliquary and found that it was no longer there, though the opening had never been unclosed! Presently a voice spoke these words to him: "Wherefore be surprised that thy book is no longer where thou didst lay it? Did not God come forth from the sepulchre without removing the stone from it? Hearken to what the Great Master doth command thee! To-morrow morning, after chanting mass, thou shalt break thy fast, and then thou shalt take the path leading to the high road. This road will lead thee to that of the Prise, near the Perron. Thou shalt turn a little aside and take the path towards the right which leads to the cross-roads of the Eight Paths, in the plain of Valestoc. On reaching the Fountain of Tears, where the great slaughter formerly took place, thou wilt find a strange beast commissioned to be thy guide. When thy eyes lose sight of him, thou wilt
enter into the land of Norgave, * and that will be the end of thy quest. †
This vision is perhaps one of the most spiritual expressions of the Grail legend that can be found, and whoever the hermit was to whom the angel came, or the chronicler who wrote the vision down, the imagination of the person was pure and holy, and the teaching has the ring in it of a high and holy truth.
Yet one more version of this many-leaved book must we glance at before passing on. We have seen the Gnostic Eastern tradition, and the purely Christian, now must be seen the Druidic, or the so-called pagan tradition. Mr. Gould says that there exists a "Red Book," a volume of Welsh prose begun 1318 and finished in 1454, which contains "a Welsh tale entitled Pheredur, which is indisputably the original of Perceval." This book is preserved in the library of Jesus College, Oxford.
Pheredur is mentioned as well in the Annales Cambriæ, which extend from the year 444 to 1066. Mr. Gould says:
Pheredur is not a Christian. His habits are barbarous. The Grail is not a sacred Christian vessel, but a mysterious relic of a past heathen rite.
Taliesin ben Beirdd, the famous poet says: "This vessel inspires poetic genius, gives wisdom, discovers the
knowledge of futurity, the mysteries of the world, the whole treasure of human sciences."
That this vessel of the liquor of Wisdom held a prominent place in British mythology is certain from the allusions made to it by the bards. Taliesin, in the description of this initiation into the mysteries of the basin, cries out, "I have lost my speech!" because on all who had been admitted to the privileges of full membership secrecy was imposed. This initiation was regarded as a new birth; and those who had once become joined members were regarded as elect, regenerate, separate from the rest of mankind, who lay in darkness and ignorance.
This Druidic mystery was adapted to Christianity by a British hermit A.D. 720. . . . It is likely that the tradition of the ancient druidic brotherhood lingered on and gained consistency again among the Templars. Just as the Miles Tempi fought for the holy sepulchre, so did the soldier of Montsalvatsch for the Holy Grail. Both orders were vowed to chastity and obedience, both were subject to a head, who exercised regal authority. *
One more link with the ancient Wisdom Religion is forged for us by another author, one perhaps more sympathetic † and he connects the Grail-cult with that Gnostic body named "Mendæens" or the "Christians of St. John"; ‡ this is a point of extreme interest to
students of Theosophy, for it makes a direct connection between the legend of the Holy Grail and the "Order of the Knights Templars," who were so closely allied with this body.
Mackenzie, * moreover, includes the "Johannite Christians," as he terms them, among other bodies connected with Masonry, and indeed many of the Masonic Lodges were dedicated to St. John the Baptist, and looked on him as their patron saint. Simrock builds his theory on the solid fact that Prester John, a mysterious Priest-King of the east (with whom we shall deal next time), was himself a leader of one of the Gnostic sects, a heretic of course; but, as the author points out, the Grail Legend is too intimately interwoven with him for him to be left out. It is to India † indeed, that the Grail goes when the western world becomes too cold for worship, too dead for ideals to stir it to a higher life.
152:* Lachmann (K.), Wolfram von Eschenbach, xxiv., and Gervinus, Deutsche National Literatur, i., 358, 1835, are both of this opinion.
152:† San Marte (A. Schulz), "Wolfram von Eschenbach and Guiot von Provins"; Germania, iii. 445. Wien, 186e.
152:‡ This fact that Guiot von Provins was himself in the East, that he was, moreover, a Troubadour, gives us those links which were needed to prove the direct connection of this Grail Tradition with the Eastern Wisdom; as a Troubadour he was one of the Secret Society already p. 153 mentioned both by Rossetti in his Disquisitions on the Anti-papal Spirit which produced the Reformation, (ii., 115. London, 1834), and by Aroux; see The Theosophical Review, xxiv., p. 207. San Marte added a footnote stating that he was preparing an edition of Guiot's Bible and Lyric Poems, in French and German, to which Professor G. Wohlfart was adding notes.
153:* S. Bernard of Clairvaux was one of the Church Mystics of the twelfth century; he gave the first rules to the Order of the Knights-Templars, the regulations having been arranged at the Council of Troyes in 1118. The great Abbey of Clairvaux was one of the chief centres of education at this period. S. Bernard considered the contemplative life as the highest, and he was himself a contemplative mystic.
154:* Troyes (Chrêtien de), Li conte del Graal. 1189.
155:* He was in the retinue of Fulk of Anjou, who, in 1129, became the son-in-law of Baldwin, King of Jerusalem, and eventually became its King. There is, however, a much earlier connection of the House of Anjou with the East, for in 987 Fulk Nerra, or Fulk the Palmer, went to Jerusalem. See Croniques des Comtes d’Anjou, par M. Émile Mabille, p. lxxviii. Paris, 1856.
156:* Weston (Jessie L.), Parzival, ii. 191, 197, 198. London, 1894.
157:* The writer is referring to the enormous spread of these mystical and heretical teachers. See San Marte (A. Schulz), "Wolfram's Parzival and seine Beurtheiler," in Germania, vii., p. 60. Wien, 1862.
157:† This was the secret language to which Aroux refers so often. In one passage he says: "Let the philologists make as much outcry as they will, our old Troveurs knew more about it than they do, and when they adopted certain names they thought far more of the hidden meaning than of the actual etymology, for which they cared very little"; again, referring to the well-known legend of Amadis, "the Knight of the Lion, "he adds: "We may easily recognize him, by these various signs, as a 'Poor-man of Lyons.' Like his colleagues, this Apostle of the Albigensian Gospel leaves Aquitanian Gaul, his own country, to go into Spain and win over that country to the Religion of Love, as in other romances. What gives an account of his acts and deeds is the journal, the record of his apostolic feats, of his triumph over the agents of Rome. What could be easier to recognise? Amadis, the 'Perfect Knight of Lyons,' under p. 158 disguise of person and language is enamoured of the beautiful Oriane. This name, derived from the East, also indicates the close connection established between the local Vaudism and the oriental Albigensianism typified by the beautiful lady, Flower, Rose, Star of the East. All light, all good, was in this literature reputed to come from the East." Aroux (E.), Les Mystères de la Chevalerie, pp. 175, 176. Paris, 1858.
158:* One of the Scholastic mystics, a heretic, and condemned by the Pope about 1140; he opposed the view of those who extol the faith that yields an unreasoning assent, without examination, to whatever is heard. See Blunt, D.D. (J. H.), article, "Schoolmen"; Dictionary of Sects and Heresies, p. 530. London, 1874.
158:† Reichel, Studien zu Wolfram's Parzival, p. 6. Wien, 1858. San Marte (A. Schulz), Parzival Studien, Heft ii. Halle; Waisenhaus, 1861.
159:* The poems of the Troubadours, which contained the mystical teaching, as we have seen from Aroux, in his Mystères de la Chevalerie, and also from Rutherford in his Troubadours, their Loves and Lyrics, p. 43. London, 1873. See for quotation, The Theosophical Review, xxiv., p. 202.
160:* This is precisely what the dogmatic Christian writers have tried to do by eliminating the Gnostic traces, and the yet more eastern sources of the grand old tradition.
160:† This is the true Christian Brotherhood open to every soul, the Elect of Humanity, that "Communion of Saints" of which the Great White Lodge is the sole earthly representative.
160:‡ Even San Marte, in spite of his frankly acknowledged change of position, is still bound by the obsolete views about paganism.
161:* See Studies, l.c., pp. 20 et seq.
161:† I Peter, ii., 9, 10.
161:‡ The "dish of Cæsarea" belongs to the other version, Joseph of Arimathea, by Sires Robiers de Borron, which was "englisht" in 5450, by Henry Lonelich. See The Grand St. Graal, from Furnivall's edition. Early English Text Society. Trubner, 1874.
162:* Writers vary in their spelling of the stone; Lapis, Lapsit or Jaspes, exilles, exilexor, exillis, and other variants are given. Lapis Electrix is given by William Hertz in his Parzival, pp. 160, 528. Stuttgart, 1898. He draws attention to the fiery and life-giving properties of the stone. This to some students of Theosophy will be a valuable suggestion.
162:† In the old symbolism, "Man," chiefly the Inner Spiritual Man, is called a "stone." Christ is called a corner stone, and Peter refers to all men as "lively" (living) stones. Blavatsky (H. P.), The Secret Doctrine, ii. 663, 3rd edition. London, 1893.
162:‡ Evans (Sebastian), The High History of the Holy Grail, II., p. 293. London, 1898.
164:* Six o'clock in the morning. Tierce corresponds to 9; Sexte, Nones, and Vespers to noon, 3 o'clock and 6 o'clock.
165:* "For where the truth is, the symbol should be put in the background. On other days we consecrate in remembrance of his being sacrificed. But on that day of Good Friday he was veritably sacrificed; for there is no meaning whatever in it when the day comes on which he was actually sacrificed."
167:* I have not discovered a trace of any of these names of places; I am much inclined to think them disguised.
167:† Paris (A. Paulin), Romans de la Table Ronde, i., pp. 156-162. Paris, 1868.
168:* Baring-Gould (S), Curious Myths of the Middle Ages, pp. 617, 622-3-4. London, 1881.
168:† Simrock (R., jr.), Parzival and Titurel, p. 776. Stuttgart and Augsberg, 1857.
168:‡ See Blunt (J. H.), Dictionary of Sects and Heresies, p. 309. London, 1874. He says: "An ancient Eastern Sect found in Persia and Arabia, but chiefly at Bussara . . . who profess to be Mendai-Ijahi or disciples of St. John the Baptist! They are called 'Christians of St. John' by many European writers, and Sabians or Tzabians by the Mahometans."
169:* Mackenzie (R. R. H.), The Royal Masonic Cyclopædia, p. 386. New York, 1877.
169:† Weston (Jessie L.), Parzival, ii., notes 184, line 589, p. 223. "The belief in a Christian Kingdom in the east, ruled over by a king who was at the same time a priest, was very widely spread in the middle ages, but it is very curious to find it thus connected with the Grail Legend. Simrock takes this connection to be a confirmation of his theory, that the Grail Myth was originally closely connected with St. John the Baptist. According to Der Jüngere Titurel, a poem which, professedly written by Wolfram and long supposed to be his, is now known to be the work of a certain Albert von Scharffenberg, the Grail, with its guardians, Parzival, Lohengrin, Konwiramur, and all the Templars, eventually left Monsalväsch and found a home in the domains of Prester John, but the story seems to be due rather to the imagination of the writer than to any real legendary source."