Traces of a Hidden Tradition in Masonry and Medieval Mysticism, by Isabel Cooper-Oakley, , at sacred-texts.com
And the Grail, it chooseth strictly, a: its Knights must be chaste and pure.—Ibid., i. 283.
TO the founding of the Palace Spiritual, and to Titurel, the noble ancestor of the Grail-Kings, our attention must now be turned. Many and varied are the versions which may be found of the history of this Grail-Race, and each interpretation of its traditional history differs according to the writer's sympathy with and comprehension of the mystical history of the human family. Few and far between are those clear-sighted critics who recognize, in this fascinating tradition of Oriental generation, a link which relates the outer life of man to its hidden basis, and sets forth the type of an ideal life which had its
inception on this earth when the "Sons of God" still trod its paths, and the "Children of the Fire-mist" had not withdrawn from the outer world, but yet dwelt among the children of men.
From the despised mental dust-bins of the "Dark Middle Ages"—as they are termed—precious gems of rarest literary worth are being disinterred, of quality so pure, with richness so wondrous, that the geniuses of the 19th century show poor and forlorn when measured by the power and mental strength of their predecessors of that despised time. No peers are the modern poets of those noble singers who created the chivalric virtues in the hearts of the men and women of their time, and who sent their burning words ringing through the centuries fraught with love ideals both pure and true, and religious fervour at once self-sacrificing and humble. Their ideals of noble manhood and pure womanhood are still the ideals of the present time, for the "Legend of the Holy Grail" is yet potent, nor can time destroy its "infinite variety." Titurel, the Perfected One, who
is in modern days deemed to be but the poetical creation of a more than usually fertile-brained troubadour of the Middle Ages; but it is the chronicle of this first spotless Grail-King which must now be studied, for he was the type of the model ruler, pure in life, just in action, living for his people,
with his heart set on a higher kingdom than his earthly realm.
The most detailed description of the descent and genealogy of Titurel that we can briefly summarize is given by a group of German authors * in a careful and laborious study of the "Jüngere," † which runs as follows: Among the princes who gathered round Vespasian at the siege of Jerusalem were Sennabor, a Prince of Cappadocia ‡ and his three sons, Parille, Azubar and Sabbilar. After the fall of the city these three brothers went to Rome, and were overwhelmed with gracious gifts by the Emperor. Parille received his daughter Argusilla § for wife, and some provinces in France were also given to him. To the brothers Azubar and Sabbilar were given Anschowe (Anjou) and Kornwaleis (Cornwall). To Parille and Argusilla was born a son whom they
named Titurisone, who became the stem of the Grail-Race. Parille tried to reform and Christianize his pagan provinces, which had fallen into degraded superstitions, but he was poisoned by the people and Titurisone reigned in his place.
He married Elizabel of Arragonia, and the royal couple went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. There it was they received the prophecy about the great future of the son who should be born to them. He was to be under the special protection of God, and he would be dowered with, great gifts. His name was to be formed from those of his father and mother; thus Titurel was he called, which includes a part of Titurisone and Elizabel. He grew in grace and in "favour with God and man." In him was embodied the true type of the ideal Knight, noble, pure, tender and chivalrous. Such was Titurel, the first Grail-King; and—say some accounts—he conquered the rebellious heathen of Auvergne and Navarre, with the help of the Provençals, and the people of Arles and Lotheringen. These combined forces—so runs the tradition—conquered the Saracenic union, and put down the degraded remnants of the old Druidical worship. It was after these long struggles were completed that Titurel was bidden to prepare and build the Temple for the reception of the Holy Grail—that perfect treasure which was to be entrusted to his charge. Amongst the "powers" and "gifts" with which Titurel was dowered was that of " length of days," for when the temple was builded,
and he was commanded to marry, in order that the Grail-Race might be continued, Titurel had reached four hundred years of age. The site where the sacred Shrine, or Grail-Temple, was to be founded was shown to him by an angel-guide; so carefully secluded was the spot, that it could not be discovered but by the aid of a higher Power.
It is without doubt on the far side of Pyrenees * that we find this legend most deeply engrafted, though the name of its abiding place is differently rendered by various writers. Thus the name Mon Salväsch, † or Mont Salvat, may from its wild and inaccessible position only mean the uncultivated mountain, Mont Salvatge or Sauvage. It is said that between Navarre and Arragon there is still a place named Salvaterra.
The site of the Temple was shown to Titurel, and the "Invisible Helpers" brought him materials for the building; the description is marvellously elaborate, full of symbolical detail, ‡ entirely oriental in its whole construction, both material and ideal, but it cannot here be given, as our sketch is limited to
[paragraph continues] Titurel himself. When the building of the Temple was completed he was four hundred years old, but such was the power of the Holy Grail that he looked—says the tradition—only forty. And now he gathered around himself that goodly company of knights—the Knights of the Temple Holy—and gradually their influence and their power spread into other lands; first Arragon and then Navarre were drawn to this spiritual society, then followed Catalonia, Grenada and Gallicia; the chief town of this great alliance was concealed in the forests on the boundaries between Navarre and Arragon, on the ridge of the Pyrenees. The centre of the spiritual supremacy of the new faith reached from Gallicia beyond Provence, towards Burgundy and Lorraine. All of this was done during the four hundred years of Titurel's reign. San Marte speaks of it as a " similar institution to that which existed in the Pythagorean Alliance."
The Sacred Grail was enshrined in the Temple, and the instructions to the King and his knights appeared on its surface, remained there for a while, then faded slowly away. And now was given the order for Titurel to marry, and the wife chosen for him was Richonde, a maiden consecrated to God. Her father's name was Frimutelle, a king of a Spanish province; messengers were sent to her, and she came to Mon Salvatsch accompanied by a great suite of maidens and of warriors, all of whom returned to Spain except those
whom the Grail ordered to remain. Titurel had to select two hundred knights from amongst those who came; moral qualifications alone fitted them to enter the service of the Grail. Two children were born to Titurel. His son Frimutel, who married the daughter of the King of Grenat, became the next Grail-King, and they had five children—Amfortas, who succeeded him as Grail-King; Herzeloide, the mother of Parzival; Treverizent, the hermit; Tchoysiane, and Urepanse. This was the male line. The daughter of Titurel married Kailet, King of Spain, the capital of which was, at this time, Toledo, and this marriage connected the Kings of Spain with the Kings of the Grail-Race. It must be remembered that it was at Toledo that the manuscript on the Holy Grail legend was found by Flegetanis, the contents of which gave the Eastern sources of this tradition.
By daily contemplation of the Grail Titurel's life * had been prolonged for five hundred years, and when he knew his forces were beginning to fail him, he gathered his children round him to instruct them on the spiritual significance of the Holy Grail.
Thus he taught: no one may ever see the Grail but the elect; those who do not live a holy life, and guard themselves in purity and from all strife, are not fit to gaze upon that holiness; no tongue may ever tell the Grail's true form.
Titurel also instructed his knights as to the inner meaning of the symbols and ceremonial they used, particularly the spiritual significance and power of the twelve precious stones. He sorrowed that his son Frimutelle had not been "called" by the Grail to be the Grail-King. Shortly after this, we are told, the name of Frimutelle appeared on the Grail, and then followed the names of the Knights who were to enter the Grail service. Titurel was also warned that his son, and his grandson, Amfortas, would suffer bodily injuries, as the result of their ungoverned natures. Finally, Titurel died in India, more than five hundred years old. * Of his journey thither we know nothing, but the tradition runs, that there is a "waiting place," † whence the return of these knightly souls is expected, in that region of peace, where they dwell and watch over the human race. Thus passes the Founder of the Grail-Kingship from our immediate view; he had but to strike the keynote of a higher purity and a nobler manhood, and his work in the material world of that period ended.
He still holds, we are told, communication with the
world, and occasionally despatches a faithful champion to grant assistance in cases of momentous need. There also the Grail maintains the sanctity of its character, and becomes at once the register of human grievances and necessities, and the interpreter of the will of heaven as to the best mode of redressing them.
Immense stress is laid on the necessity for a perfect purity, but so corrupt did the court grow, that at one time only the infant children of Perceval and Lancelot, and the daughter of Gawain, were considered worthy to step within the sacred shrine.
Warton speaks quite frankly in his book of "esoteric doctrines" which belonged to the "heathen world" (sic), and which have been transplanted into Christendom, a new name having therein been given to the old teachings of the East. *
But we must pass on to the other aspects of this legend, and one of the most curious is the connection traced by many authors between the Holy Grail and the traditions of the Knights Templars. †
Aroux is very definite on this point:
"It must be acknowledged," says he, "that the romances of the Sangreal (the legend of which is borrowed from the Apocryphal Gospels) composed, according to an essentially Albigensian idea, in glorification of the Templars, mark the period when the poets of the South felt the need of procuring auxiliaries in the North." *
It is Aroux to whom we are chiefly indebted for the secret thread which guides us through much of the tangled maze of the struggles of the mystics during the Middle Ages. He points out that the Holy Grail was a mystic Gospel † as well as the Holy Chalice, containing a mysterious power. Another German ‡ thinker connects the legend of Titurel with the origin of the Masonic Orders, and the early Ritter-Orden in Germany. It is Herr Doctor Simrock who has given us much detail with regard to the tradition of the Holy Grail and its connection with the "Order of the Knights Templars"; it is his view, and that of other serious students, that that Holy Grail tradition, which is termed by Aroux the "book of the Gospels," was in reality the Secret Doctrine of the Templars, for which they suffered so bitterly.
[paragraph continues] Founded in 1118 on the base of the old Society of the Magian Brothers, drawn together by the same guiding powers, the Templars did but develop the ideal seed which Titurel had sown. Let us see what Simrock says on these points.
It seems our duty to bring forward here that which has already been shown to hold good as regards this view. Fauriel, who finds in the Templeisenthum—or the Knighthood of the Grail—that there is only a play on the Knights Templars, appeals to the evidence given by the power and the riches which that Order had already obtained in Southern France and the South-East of Spain, but especially in the Pyrenees, where since the founding of the Temple-lands as the first in Europe, by Roger III. Graf von Foix, castles, churches, temples, and chapels had rapidly increased. San Marte lays stress on the agreement of the name as well as on the different rules and customs of the Order which coincided [with those of the Grail]: for instance the Templars at the Lord's Supper, diverging from the Roman Liturgy, made use of the opening words of the Gospel of St. John, which change also occurs at the baptism of Feirefis; * but he bases his arguments chiefly upon the heresies of which the Templars are known to have been accused: the worship of certain idols . . . . their belief in spirits and demons, which recall the " Heavenly Host " [around the Grail]—angels who, according to Trevrezent's statement had to serve the Grail as they
hovered around it. The fact remains, however undecided [to San Marte] whether the accusers took their incriminating charges from the Romances of the Grail, or from the scraps which had been published of the real teachings of the Templars. * Other authorities † think that by these Templeisen are to be understood the Knights of San Salvador de Mont Real, who were, however, founded at a much later date, in the year 1120. Another Knightly
[paragraph continues] Order was founded at this period, who wore a "five-pointed star" upon their breasts; they were the Knights of Monfrac in Castille and Knights of Mongoia, on Mont Gaudii in Catalonia. There had, moreover, been a close connection between the Order of the Templars and the House of Anjou, for a tax on his dominions for the benefit of the Templars had been imposed by Fulk. V. of Anjou, on his return from Jerusalem in 1120. It is, however the learned Baron von Hammer-Purgestall * who gives the most detail on the connection of the Templars with the Holy Grail, by tracing its history from the identity of hieroglyphs which he found on the old churches and buildings in the Danubian Provinces. He unfortunately is for ever trying to find the most unsavoury interpretation for all the ancient symbolism; with his views we are not concerned, but to the work of research which he carried on with such ability we are profoundly indebted. His statement is very decided, for on p. 88, in note 33, of his article, he says: The whole poem T8 Titurel, is nothing but the allegory of the Society and the doctrines of the Templars.
Upon these details we cannot dwell, for we must trace the passing of the Holy Grail to India, and this will bring to view another mysterious personage, whose name was Prestre John—a man about whom legends were rife in both East and West during the early Middle Ages. Colonel Yule speaks of his history as
"that of a phantom taking many forms." * The so-called apostate Nestorians, and the personage called Presbyter Johannes, appear to have been Manichæan Buddhists; the country of Prestre John was Indian Tartary, and the real Prestre John was the Grand Lama, the incarnation of Wisdom or Gnyâna. † Every authority joins in admitting that there was some mysterious and powerful individual of this name, some identifying him with Gengis-Khan. ‡
We must now return to the Grail Legend and trace the connection which is therein made between this cryptic entity and that tradition.
"The passage of the Grail to India," says San Marte, "and the transformation of Parzival into Prestre John is important for us to notice; according to the version of Wolfram, this curious and interesting person is the son of Urepanse, * hence a cousin of Parzival; no details are given to us about this mysterious personage, whose existence, however, cannot be denied. The Monk Wilhelm von Rubruquis, † passing through the East about 1253, told of a ruler in the northern regions of India, in 1057, called Ken-Khan. The Turks sought his help against the Christians. The Nestorians called him King Johannes. Interior Asia was peopled by numerous sects; besides the Nestorians were the Jacobites, Monophysites, and the Zaböer or Johannes Christians. All travellers of the thirteenth
century speak of a widely-spread Christianity in the East, and the information thereof may have come to the West with the first crusade—confused with vague intelligence about the Hierarchy of the Dalai Lama, of whom Kiot may have heard." *
Writing on the " Disciples of St. John," Madame Blavatsky † says:
Glancing rapidly at the Ophites and Nazareans, we shall pass to their scions which yet exist in Syria and Palestine, under the name of Druzes of Mount Lebanon; and near Basra or Bassorah, in Persia, under that of Mendaeans, or Disciples of St. John. All these sects have an immediate connection with our subject, for they are of kabalistic parentage and have once held to the secret "Wisdom-Religion," recognizing as the One Supreme, the Mystery-God of the Ineffable Name. Noticing these numerous secret societies of the past, we will bring them into direct comparison with several of the modern.
Our object is not to write the history of either of them; but only to compare these sorely-abused communities with the Christian sects, past and present, and then, taking historical facts for our guidance, to defend the secret science as well as the men who are its students and champions against any unjust imputation.
One by one the tide of time engulfed the sects of the early centuries, until of the whole number only one survived in its primitive integrity. That one still exists, still teaches the doctrine of its founder, still exemplifies its faith in works of power. The quicksands which swallowed up every other outgrowth of the religious agitation of the times
of Jesus, with its records, relics, and traditions, proved firm ground for this. Driven from their native land, its members found refuge in Persia, and to-day the anxious traveller may converse with the direct descendants of the "Disciples of John," who listened, on the Jordan's shore, to the "man sent from God," and were baptized and believed. This curious people, numbering thirty thousand or more, are mis-called "Christians of St. John," but, in fact, should be known by their old name of Nazareans, or their new one of Mendaeans.
The poem entitled Der Jüngere Titurel * deals most minutely with the passing of the Grail-Kings to the realms of Prestre John; and in this work it is not Parzival around whom the chief interest is grouped, but Titurel and his race, as they follow the Founder; then—when the darkening of the spiritual fervour begins, and the falling away from the standard of purity grows more general—then with prayer and fasting do the few sorrowing knightly souls, the Templeisen, make preparations to return to that east whence had come their early inspiration. Led by Parzival they pass from West to East. The description of the kingdom of Prestre John far surpasses, however, in splendour that of the Holy Grail. There, we are told, the whole of nature is sanctified; it is a land free from crime, perfidy, scoffing, and lack of faith.
Prestre John is described as a man holy before God and man, perfect in virtue, and glorified with
humility: he gives honour to Parzival, who comes bringing the Holy Grail to its Indian home, and the Priest-King of that land offers his crown and kingdom to the king of the Grail-Race; Parzival desires, in his humility, to give himself to the service of Prestre John, and finally it is the Grail which decides the noble strife of these two great souls. The decree was given that Parzival should accept the kingship, but his name was to be changed into that of Prestre John.
Then was fulfilled a prophecy, formerly made by an angel, that Prestre John should receive a son who should be a more powerful ruler than himself. But it was also decreed that Parzival should only wear the crown for ten years, since he was not entirely purified from the sin that his mother, Herzeloide, had died of grief for him. As San Marte * points out, the sin was entirely unintentional on his part; nevertheless, it was still unexpiated and stained that spotless purity of a perfect life which was demanded of every knight who entered the service of the Holy Grail. Thus it appears that even a more perfect condition was required in the office of the Priest-King Johannes
than in that of the Grail-Kingship. The holders of both offices were nominated by the Holy Grail.
The strongly Eastern tinge that characterises this tradition may be noticed in many different points. The knowledge, for instance, of the occult properties of precious stones and metals and their powers; the stone that enables the wearer to make himself invisible, the condition being that he should do nothing dishonourable. Then we have the mysterious land of mist, where people * are neither dark nor light, but have lost all ordinary human colour. Again, there is the magic column brought from India, in which all that happens for miles around is represented; and one of the most important links is the clear reference made to reincarnation in the belief held that Titurel and his knights may return, and that the Perfect King still holds communication with the earth and its sorrows.
The moral and mystic teaching of the Grail tradition is the most vitally interesting to the student of Theosophy and mysticism, for the resemblances between the present laws of spiritual development and those given to the Knights of the Grail are strikingly identical: The knight who watched
the Grail—the highest office—had to be entirely pure; all sensual love, even within the bounds
of marriage, was forbidden; one single thought * of passion would obscure the eye and conceal the mystic vessel; the only marriage that was permitted amongst those who stepped on to this "Path" was the marriage of the King, and even that was not based on personal attractions or attachments; the Grail alone decided whom the Grail-King should take as wife. Not for himself, not for gratification, but for the service of the race was he to marry.
As we search into the mystic chalice symbolism of the Grail myth does it not become clear that we are face to face with a symbol of man: man who is the temple of the Holy Spirit. The chalice or cup is but another way of denoting the "coats of skin," the "veils" or "vestures" which garment man on earth; robes woven by the nature powers, in which and through which the divine spark has to dwell, until in process of time the vestures or chalice become permeated through and through by the divine light within. Says one writer on this subject:
"In that marvellous relic of Gnostic philosophy called the Pistis-Sophia, the three vestures of the Glorified Christos or perfected man—what we may all be in some future birth—are thus described:
"And the disciples saw not Jesus because of the great light with which he was surrounded, or which proceeded
from him. For their eyes were darkened because of it. But they gazed upon the Light only, shooting forth great rays of light. Nor were the rays equal to one another, and the Light was of divers modes and various aspect, from the lower to the higher part thereof, each ray more admirable than its fellow in infinite manner, in the great radiance of the immeasurable Light. It stretched from the earth to the heaven. . . . It was of three degrees, one surpassing the other in infinite manner. The second, which was in the midst, excelled the first, which was below it, and the third, the most admirable of all, surpassed the other twain."
The Master explains this mystery to his disciples as follows:
"Rejoice, therefore, in that the time is come that I should put on my Vesture.
"Lo! I have put on my Vesture and all power has been given me by the First Mystery. Yet a little while and I will tell you every Mystery and every Completion; henceforth from this hour I will conceal naught from you, but in Perfectness will I perfect you in all Completion, and all Perfectioning and every Mystery, which indeed are the End of all Ends, and the Completion of all Completions, and the Wisdom (Gnosis) of all Wisdoms. Hearken! I will tell you all things which have befallen me.
"It came to pass, when the sun had risen in the places of the East, a great Stream of Light descended, in which was my Vesture." *
The vesture of the Self in its perfect glory is of a purity of transcendent perfection. No mortal stained with earthly passion can gaze upon that garment of the soul.
And as the upward striving soul struggles to free
itself from the bondage of the lower bodies and their subtle forces, and as it purifies one vehicle after another pertaining to the three lower planes of matter, finally it reaches that step on the Path whereof the substance is perfect purity, and the soul perceives that "Light vesture" which is the garment—spoken of in theosophic terms as the buddhic body—veiling the divine mysterious Self.
This is the great reality which is typified by the Holy Grail, the symbolic Cup or Chalice, the first container of the Holy Life of the Logos. In all religions is this myth to be found; truly an "outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace." Titurel had told his knights that no tongue may ever tell the Grail's true form. This shows that some mystery was concealed behind the outward symbolism of the Cup and Chalice, or Gospel.
Burnouf says: "In spite of the difference produced by the influences of the place, the study of the legend of the Vase permits us to understand and discover that esoteric teaching which has never ceased to animate or ensoul the five great Aryan religions. This theory—which in the Christian churches was transmitted under the name of the Secret Doctrine, disciplina secreti—is of a Fire as the universal force under different names, always the same at the basis, and manifesting itself by the same words and symbols." *
This Fire is the true Spirit of life, the living Word,
which inflames the soul of man, and gives it that force by which it can conquer the kingdoms of the lower world, and, crossing the ocean of births and deaths, can finally land itself on the further shore, a holy, purified "Son of God," a Saviour of Worlds to come.
Thus runs the Legend of the Holy Grail.
172:* Hagen (Dr. H. von der), Docen (B. J.), Büsching (J. G.), Museum für Altdeutsche Literatur und Kunst, i., 502 et seq. Berlin, 1809.
172:† Scharffenberg (Albrecht von), Der Jüngere Titurel; circa 1270. Vilmar (A. F. C.), Geschichte der deutschen National-Literatur, i, 147. Marburg u. Leipzig, 1870.
172:‡ Cappadocia was at this time a Roman Province. Sennabor is rendered by some authorities as "Senbar." Says San Marte: "The first forerunners of Christianity in the west were demigods; and in Asia is rooted the main stem of the Senaboriden. (Bóreaden) Senebar der Reiche—Senber, in Arabic a sage—he came from Cappadocia, from the Caucasus, and Colchis, whence Odin also brought his bloody worship." See "Der Mythus vom Heiligen Gral" in the Neue Mittheilungen aus dem Gebiet historisch antiquarischer Forschungen. Herausgegeben von dem Thüringisch-Sächsichen Verein für Erforschung des vaterländischen Alterthums, III., iii., 5.
172:§ Sometimes given as Orgusille.
174:* Says Görres: "The Temple of Mont Salvatsch stands in Salvatierra, and not as people thought in distant Gallizein, but in Arragonia just at the entrance into Spain, and close to the Valley of Ronceval and the great road which leads from France towards Gallicia and Compostella."—Lohengrin. Koblentz, 1812.
174:† Sometimes called San-Salvador, or Salvez.
174:‡ See Boisserée (Sulpiz), Über die Beschreibung des Heiligen Grals. Munich, 1834. Also Transactions of the Munich Academy, i. 30. The description is in the Jüngere Titurel, edited by Hahn, strophe 311, 5842. San Marte (A. Schulz), Leben and Dichten Wolfram's van Eschenbach, ii., 357. Magdeburg, 1836.
176:* In Persian history the life of Jemshad was extended to nearly seven centuries from a similar cause.
177:* One of the few definite dates is given to us by Görres in his Lohengrin, p. lxiii. where, speaking of Lohengrin's death, he says: "It was known now to the murderers who this Prince was . . . . they became monks . . . these events took place five hundred years after the birth of Jesus Christ."
177:† Here we have a clear and most definite hint given that the doctrine of re-incarnation was taught by this Troubadour, who is handing down the Secret Wisdom of the Holy Grail.
178:* Warton (Thomas, B.D.), The History of English Poetry, i., 85, London, 1824.
178:† "Le Temple du Graal une fois bâti dans les Pyrénées, Titurel institua pour sa defense et pour sa garde une milice, une Chevalerie spéciale, qui se nomme la Chevalerie du Temple, et dont les membres prennent le nom de Templiens, ou de Templiers. Ces Chevaliers font vœu de chasteté, et sont tenus à une grande pureté de sentimens et de conduite. L’objet de leur vie, c’est de défendre le Graal, ou pour mieux dire, la foi chrétienne, dont ce vase est le symbole, contre les infidèles. Je l’ai déjà insinué, et je puis ici l’affirmer expressément, il y a dans cette milice religieuse du Graal une allusion manifeste à la milice des Templiers. Le but, le caractère religieux, le nom, tout se rapporte entre cette dernière Chevalerie et la Chevalerie idéale du Graal: et l’on p. 179 a quelque peine à comprendre la fiction de celle-ci, si l’on fait abstraction de l’existence réelle de l’autre." Fauriel (C.), "Romans Provençaux," Revue des Deux Mendes; Première série, viii. 185. Paris, 1832.
179:* Aroux (E.), La Comédie de Dante, i. 39. Paris, 1857.
179:† Aroux (E.), Les Mystères de la Chevalerie, p. 166. Paris, 1858.
179:‡ Rosenkranz (Karl), Doctor der Philosophie, zu Halle. Uber den Titurel und Dante's Komödie mit einer Vorerinnerung über die Bildung der Geistlichen Ritter-Orden, pp. 52-70. Halle u. Leipzig, 1829.
180:* Baptism had a much deeper meaning among the Gnostic sects than among the orthodox church people. A "true baptism is only that which takes place in the living water;" and again, speaking of S. John the Baptist, "He . . . baptised with the living baptism and named the Name of Life." Brandt (A. J. H. W.), Die Mandäische Religion, ihre Entwickelung and Geschichtliche Bedeutung, pp. 98 and 100. Leipzig, 1889. It was an Initiation into the Real Mysteries, and is so still.
181:* Simrock (K. Dr.), Parzifal and Titurel, Rittergedichte von Wolfram von Eschenbach, p. 793, third edition. Stuttgart u. Augsburg, 1857.
181:† Hagen (Dr. H. von der), Docen (B. J.), Büsching (J. G.), Museum für Altdeutsche Literatur and Kunst; i., 507. Berlin, 1809. Shallow J. (J. Y. A. Morshead), The Templer's Trials, p. 62. London, 1888. "M. Loiseleur considers that the Temple compiled its heresy from the principles of three contemporary sects—Bogomiles, Euchetes, Luciferians. The actual history of these sects, however, rather gives one the impression that each was suggested to some heresiarch by some particular phase of that Manichæan feeling which always existed in Bulgaria or Asia Minor." Mignard (Monographie du Coffret de M. le Duc de Blacas, Paris, 1852), proves that the Templars were Cathari—another name for Albigenses—who believed in the doctrine of reincarnation. Says Aroux: "How did Walther of Aquitaine, how did the romance of Perceval, the Perfect Knight of the Saint-Graal, accurately translated by a Templar—Wolfram von Eschenbach, after the poem of the Troubadour Guiot—become transplanted into Germany, if the Provençal missionaries had no relations with that country, if their romances, their symbols were not understood there? . . . . Who but themselves and their disciples conveyed thither the ideas and romances of chivalry, and by turning to account the national traditions, worked on the foundation of the ancient sagas and impressed on the modern ones the very visible stamp of Albigensianism? Traces are again to be found not only in Europe, but even as far as Asia. True Knights errant of the Church Militant, in open war (but more often war secret and hidden) with Roman Catholicism, they journeyed unceasingly . . . . sometimes they went as bearers of secret messages or were charged with transmitting verbally important information from Prince to Prince." Thus was the secret mystical teaching preserved through the dark ages. Aroux (E.), Mystères de la Chevalerie, p. 189. Paris, 1858.
182:* Hammer-Purgestall (J. Baron von), "Mysterium Baphometis Revelatum; seu fratres militiæ Templi, quâ Gnostici et quidem ophiani, apostasiæ, idololatriæ et quidem impuritatis convicti per ipsa eorum monumenta." See Fundgruben des Orients, vi. p. 3. Vienna, 1818. Nell (M. von) writing on Hammer's "Baphometum," says that Hammer insists that the Cup of the Holy Graal is Gnostic, and of the same set as the Baphometo of the Templars, which all have Gnostic-Ophite symbols on them. But Nell says they are theosophical and alchemical: in both cases these authors trace the Grail legend to heretical sects.
183:* Yule (Col.): see sub voce, Encyclo. Brit.
183:† "Prestre John" seems to have been the title of an office, for the periods of time at which we hear of this curious person are various. The person who succeeded to the position took the designation Prestre John.
183:‡ Sir John Maundeville, an old knight, writing in the fourteenth century, relates (Cassell's National Library, The Voyages and Travels of Sir John Maundeville, p. 169) the following: "This Emperor Prester John takes always to wife the daughter of the great Chan, and the great Chan also in the same wise the daughter of Prester John. For they two are the greatest lords under the firmament. . . . And Prester John has under him seventy-two provinces, and in every province is a king, all which kings are tributary to Prester John, and in his lordships are many great marvels, for in his country is the sea called the Gravelly Sea. . . . Three days from that sea are great mountains, out of which runs a great river which comes from Paradise, and it is full of precious stones without a drop of water. . . . Beyond that river is a great plain, and in that plain every day at sunrise small trees begin to grow, and they grow till midday, bearing fruit; but no man dare take of that fruit, for it is a thing of fairie. . . This Emperor Prester John when he goes to battle against any other lord has no banners borne before him, but he has three large crosses of gold full of precious stones, and each cross is set in a chariot full richly arrayed. . . . And when he has no war but rides with a private company, he has before him but one plain cross of wood, in remembrance that Jesus Christ suffered death upon a wooden cross. And they carry before him also a platter of gold full of earth, in token that his nobleness and his might and his flesh shall turn to earth. And he has borne before him also a vessel of silver, full of noble jewels of gold p. 184 and precious stones, in token of his lordship, nobility and power . . . the frame of his bed is of fine sapphires, blended with gold to make him sleep well. This Emperor Prester John has evermore seven kings with him to serve him, who share their service by certain months."
184:* Urepanse was one of the grand-daughters of Titurel.
184:† In the account of the travels of Rubruquis, in the Geography of the Middle Ages, Book III., p. 270, London, 1831, we read: "There is reason to believe that the Nestorians had penetrated into China as early as the sixth or seventh century, and carried into that kingdom the civilization of the Bactrian Greeks." Rubruquis says, that in his time they "inhabited fifteen cities in Cathay. . . . The Nestorians of Tartary had imbibed the specious doctrine of the transmigration of souls." They then told him of a child about three years old who could write and reason, and who stated "that he had passed through three several bodies." William de Rubruquis—or more properly, Van Ruysbroek—was a Minorite Friar, from a village of that name near Brussels. He started on his travels in 1253. He also said (p. 273), "that he had been told by Baldwin de Hainault at Constantinople some facts about the direction of the rivers in Tartary which he afterwards found to be true."
185:* Neue Mittheilungen aus dem Gebiete Historisch. Antiquarischer Forschungen, ii. 36.
185:† Blavatsky (H. P.), Isis Unveiled, ii.; pp. 289, 290. New York, 1884.
186:* Scharffenberg (A. von), Der Jüngere Titurel, 1270, line 5893 et seq.
187:* San Marte (A. Schulz), "Vergleichung von Wolfram's Parzival mit Albrecht's Titurel in Theologischer Beziehung," Germania, viii., 454. Wien, 1863. This writer also remarks in the same interesting article that " the poem appears as a mirror of those religious movements at the end of the twelfth century which were struggling towards freedom from the compulsion of the Church . . . . the fundamental appreciation of both poems, 'Titurel' and 'Parzival,' is only obtained by comparing them from the theological standpoint. . . . Titurel is full of learned and varied reminiscences brought from afar." Op. cit. supra, pp. 421, 422.
188:* Some of the Kâmalokic planes might be thus described.
189:* "One single thought about the past that thou hast left behind will drag thee down." Blavatsky (H. P.), The Voice of the Silence, p. 23. London, 1892.
190:* Mead (G. R. S., B.A.), The World-Mystery, pp. 102, 104. London, 1895.
191:* Burnouf (É.), Le Vase Sacré et ce qu’il contient: dans l'Inde, la Perse, la Grèce, et dans l’Église Chrétienne; avec un appendice sur le Saint Graal, p. 172. Paris, 1896.