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William Blake, Jacob's Ladder, (ca. 1800) [Public Domain Image]
William Blake, Jacob's Ladder, (ca. 1800) [Public Domain Image]

The Goal of Life

by Hiram Butler


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Hiram Butler, a 19th Century American occultist best known (if at all) for the book Solar Biology, started the Esoteric Society in Boston in the late 1880s. He fled Boston in 1891 after a murky dispute with the better-known Theosophical Society. He ended up in Applegate, California, a small town on the outskirts of Auburn in the Sierra foothills. The Esoteric Society was set up on land purchased from Leland Stanford in 1892, and Butler and a handful of disciples lived there. Later the Society had to change names to the Esoteric Fraternity for legal reasons.

This book is Butler's description of the entire spiritual evolution of humanity. Based on a mystical vision of Christianity, Butler thought that an invisible 'Order of Melchisedek,' 288,000 strong (144,000 male-female couples) would eventually be able to transcend the limitations of physical reality and become as 'Elohim,' the plural components of God. He also brings into the mix other parts of his world-view, including his simplified version of Astrology, and many ideas similar to those promoted by New Thought.

Butler is practically unknown today but he had a huge influence on vernacular occult writing in America, particularly the popular Yogi Publication Society (YPS) books authored by William Atkinson, who was known to quote Butler on occasion.--J.B. Hare, May 30th, 2008.

Title Page
Logical Structure of this Work
To the Reader
Chapter I. Development
Chapter II. The Existence of Higher Faculties
Chapter III. Reason and Religion
Chapter IV. Conscience
Chapter V. Evolution
Chapter VI. Other Worlds Than Ours
Chapter VII. The Immensity of the Universe
Chapter VIII. The Great Name, Yahveh
Chapter IX. The Manifestation of Yahveh
Chapter X. Mind-Centers
Chapter XI. The Elohim
Chapter XII. The Eternal Order of Melchisedek
Chapter XIII. Jesus of the Order of Melchisedek
Chapter XIV. The Angels of God
Chapter XV. The Miraculous Conception
Chapter XVI. The Image of God
Chapter XVII. The Likeness of God: The Office of the Christ
Chapter VIII. The Likeness of God: Three Steps
Chapter XIX. The Likeness of God: Man Becoming Yahveh Elohim
Chapter XX. The Image And The Likeness
The Personal Application

Exit From the Old to the New

Chapter XXI. Part I
Chapter XXII. Part II
Chapter XXIII. Part III
Chapter XXIV. Part IV
Chapter XXV. Part V
Chapter XXVI. Part VI. Prayer