Francis Bacon, Godfather of the Scientific Age (6 of 6)
Part 6: The Four Masks of Francis Bacon (2 of 2)
NOTE: This article is Part 2 of 2. See Part 1 before reading this one.
C. Freemasonry, a Front for the Rosicrucians
The Return of Ritualistic Instruction
In the old Mystery Schools, there were two main forms of ritualistic initiation: one called the Greater Mysteries, one called the Lesser Mysteries.
The Greater Mysteries were for initiates and disciples of a secret society, where they would be ritualistically guided through certain theatrical experiences designed to stimulate archetypal elements within the psyche. Once activated, these give rise to a mystical experience of awakening.
The Lesser Mysteries had the same aim, but they were intended to target a different audience: the public at large. Here, observers and participants would enact mass rituals featuring highly symbolic content designed at stimulating, en masse, archetypal elements within the collective unconscious. These can put large groups in a trance or revery, and potentially can given them a shared experience of collective consciousness.
Bacon, serving as the hierophant of the Rosicrucian Mysteries, designed two initiatic programs, each designed to meet one of the two categories of ritualistic instruction discussed above.
For the Lesser Mysteries, Bacon designed the Shakespeare plays, which have for centuries fulfilled their purpose of opening the minds of large numbers of readers or theater-goers who have enjoyed and been affected by them.
The sacred geometry of the Globe Theater reveals something of this Mystery: as numerous observers have pointed out, the architectural structure of the original Globe was designed by Masonic Master Builders. Its sacred geometry and encoded symbolism imitate those of the great religious temples and monuments of the ancient world, as well also those of the Gothic cathedrals, built by the same lineage of Masons.
Joseph P. Farrell, citing Frances Yates, observes that “the zodiacal plan of the classical theater clearly indicates that it was conceived deliberately and consciously as a microcosmical temple. The theater was indeed a “microcosmical world” in which “Man, the Microcosm, was to play his parts within the Macrocosm. Thus, the epigraph from Shakespeare’s As You Like It — ‘All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.” — is not merely an artful Elizabethan turn of phrase; it is a statement of the cosmology operative not only in his plays, but in the theater in which they were performed. The plays, like the theater itself, were acts in a magical ritual.”
Yates elaborates further on these themes, writing: “The Globe Theatre was a magical theatre, a cosmic theatre, a religious theatre, an actors’ theatre, designed to give the fullest support to the voices and gestures of the players as they enacted the drama of the life of man within the Theatre of the World. These meanings might not have been apparent to all, but they would have been known to the initiated. His theatre would have been for Shakespeare the pattern of the universe, the idea of the Macrocosm, the world stage on which the Microcosm acted his parts."
If Shakespeare was used for the Lesser Mysteries, then for the Greater Mysteries, Bacon used as his vehicle of transmission, the rituals and symbolism of the old Masonic fraternities.
Masonic guilds preserved in their private rituals an initiatory symbolism derived from the ancient Mystery Schools - the Grecian Cult of Dionysus in particular.
The Greater Mysteries of this sect were given to those who had passed through the lower degrees and were now receiving their initiations as part of a guided program of instruction from the priesthood.
The rituals were theatrical, with members of the fraternity wearing costumes to portray certain elements of the fraternity’s religious mythology, which the candidate interacts with in order to literally act out a fable.
This form of instruction requires the vehicle of a secret society to be accurately performed: an organized body of priests is required to enact the ritual, and at the same time the element of Mystery must be preserved for the experience to have its intended impact upon the candidate. The Greater Mysteries were therefore ones performed exclusively by members of secret societies and initiatic fraternities, with the content of the teachings at this level not to be communicated to outsiders.
Bacon encoded into the rituals and symbolism of Masonry the core material necessary to bring a ritualistic presentation of the Greater Mysteries to a new generation of candidates, ones existing in the social and mental framework of 17th century Europe rather than that of classical Greece.
In Bacon’s redesign of the Masonic Fraternity, candidates were to be drawn from all swathes of European society, not just its architects and engineers. To accomplish this reformation, the symbolism and rituals of the old Masonic fraternity needed to be modified and updated in order to represent themes that were more universal in content and therefore not so literally tied to building and construction.
The new symbolism was one that needed to be applicable to candidates working within a variety of economic, political, and cultural sectors. The goal was to create, through Masonry, a dynamic organizational entity that could spread into various branches of society, uniting individuals in positions of power and influence in different social arenas together into a common vision for social reformation.
Following this plan, the Freemasons, under the direction of Francis Bacon and his Society, became leaders of the cause for intellectual revolution, universal education, and human rights: the main themes that have since come to dominate the modern cosmopolitan world order.
Hiram Abiff, the Martyred Hero of Freemasonry
As explored above, Francis Bacon chose the Masonic guilds as his chosen instrument through which to present a new, modified form of the Greater Mysteries to the world.
Bacon took the pre-existing rituals and symbolism of the Masons and reformatted them to more accurately encode the archetypal “dying god” motif once emphasized in the initiation rites of the ancient Mysteries.
This he accomplished in part by overhauling the biblical character Hiram Abiff, inflating him from a small side role in the Bible into a new mythological hero for the Masonic order’s teachings and rituals to be organized around.
Manly Hall further informs us that this new culture hero, “the martyred Hiram, is based upon the Egyptian rites of Osiris, whose death and resurrection figuratively portrayed the spiritual death of man and his regeneration through initiation into the Mysteries.”
Through the pen of Bacon’s society of poets, Hiram was elevated from a brief and comparatively substance-less reference in the Bible to the central hero of Masonic mythology, where he is revered as one of the key figures responsible for building King Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem, the Holy Land.
Taking on this prominent role, Hiram Abiff, the architect and builder of Solomon’s Temple, “gradually emerges as a guild or craft hero, the personification of the highest concepts, convictions, and accomplishments of an order of skilled artisans.”
Like Osiris before him, Hiram Abiff is intended primarily as a symbol, one representing divine powers eternal in the Spirit. This power is slain by three adversaries: ignorance, superstition, and fear. It becomes the duty of the Masonic Fraternity to avenge his death by conquering each one, first within themselves and then collectively within human society.
The Religious Philosophy of Freemasonry
To better understand the motivations of Francis Bacon and the work he was trying to accomplish through the Freemasons, it is worth going back and investigating the deep history of the Masonic Order.
Hall explains that Masonry is “an outgrowth of the secret society of architects and builders which for thousands of years has formed a caste of master craftsmen.”
“The most celebrated of the ancient fraternities of artisans (and builders) was that of the Dionysian Architects. … (They were) acclaimed as being the custodians of a secret and sacred knowledge of architectronics.” Holding a monopoly on this sacred knowledge, “its members were entrusted with the design and erection of important public buildings and monuments.”
Hall continues his description of this ancient Order:
"The Dionysian Architects constituted an ancient secret society, in principle and doctrine much like the modern Freemasonic Order. They were an organization of builders bound together by their secret knowledge of the relationship between the earthly and divine sciences of architectronics. They were supposedly employed by King Solomon in the building of his Temple, although they were not Jews, nor did they worship the God of the Jews.”’
“The initiated architects had a basic religion of their own. This religion made use of the symbol of their profession, and they served a god who was sovereign over all the gods created by the dreams of men. They gave no allegiance to any theology, clinging to a grandeur held secretly in their assembly. They saw no difficulty, therefore, in shifting the outer form of their symbolism to meet the motions of the profane world. After all, (over the centuries and millennia of their existence) they had practiced one doctrine under a thousand forms already.”
As part of their religion, the Masons maintained an inner mystical core within their Fraternity. Here, initiates sought to unite themselves with God by elevating their consciousness to that level where they could “behold with clarified vision the workings of the Great Architect of the Universe.”
In their time, “the Dionysian Architects were regarded as the master craftsmen of the earth … and erected many of the great monuments of antiquity. … (Indeed) the most stately and enduring buildings in Constantinople, Rhodes, Athens, and Rome were erected by these inspired craftsmen.”
Hall explains that “their philosophy consisted of incorporating into the measurements and ornamentation of temples, palaces, mausoleums, fortresses, and other public buildings their knowledge of the laws controlling the universe.”
He continues: “The architect had to be a mathematician, an astronomer, a musician, and a philosopher. It was his duty and responsibility to design the temples and shrines according to the mysteries of a universal geometry. Each god and goddess required a sanctuary appropriate to its disposition and symbolically representative of the modes and qualities of of universal life and energy” that it represents.
Further elaborating, Hall writes: “The supreme ambition of the Dionysian Architects was the construction of buildings which would create distinct impressions consistent with the purpose for which the structure itself was designed. In common with the Pythagoreans, they believed it possible by combinations of straight lines and curves to induce any desired mental attitude or emotion. They labored, therefore, to the end of producing a building perfectly harmonious with the structure of the Universe itself. “ Such a building - en rapport with the Cosmos - would become an oracle”. Meaning: “by its shape and arrangement, it became so attuned to the vibrations of the invisible world that it caught and amplified the voices of the ages imprinted upon … the substance of the astral light.”
The vibratory harmonies the Master Builders were designing into their constructions were ones originating from the vibrations of the planets and constellations - i.e. to the “music of the spheres”. Through the process of resonance, their buildings became actually magic formulae, ones suitable for resurrecting and releasing the martyred spirits of the divine celestial powers entombed within the material sphere of the Earth.
After the fall of pagan civilization, the Masonic guilds of antiquity survived intact through the Christian era, when they became hired hands of the Church.
As Hall explains, “Dionysian craftsmen were almost universally employed in the erection of early Christian abbeys and cathedrals, such as Notre Dame.” Here we find them “building houses to a new concept of the divine, constructed in service to an eternal God.”
Like the Templars (covered previously in Part 2 of this chapter), the Masons served as a contractor to and linking mechanism between both church and state. In this position, they were able to maintain a high level of autonomy separate from either power base.
Privately, within their inner structure, they practiced internal initiation rites exclusive to themselves and unknown by outsiders - ones derived from the old Dionysian Mysteries and thus heretical to the dogma of the Church.
The Political Philosophy of Freemasonry
As an outgrowth of Bacon’s Rosicrucian society, Freemasonry’s political philosophy is permeated with its same ideals: notably, those of philosophic education, scientific enterprise, and liberal democracy.
At the time, these notions were heretical to the twin tyrannies of church and state. Consequently, the Rosicrucian and Freemasonic campaign to reform Europe had to be carried out in secret.
The Masons provided an ideal vehicle for the Rosicrucians to utilize in the pursuit of their objectives. To begin with, the Masons already had a foundation in esoteric philosophy and their lodges were internationally distributed. And now that Bacon had modified their symbolism and rituals to accept a more diverse body of members, its fraternity now included individuals drawn from a variety of critical political, economic, and cultural sectors.
Through the Masonic lodges, individuals in different countries, operating in different sectors of society, could be brought together into a secret pattern of mutual coordination. For a secret society with a social and political mission, this is an ideal scenario to have, with branches in different regions coordinating together, each playing out a role within a larger collective purpose.
Furthermore, the secret society aspect of Masonry makes it an ideal structure through which to gather and centralize intelligence, while at the same time organizing the outer body of the order according to a long-range mission and goal that is only known fully to the inner elite.
The Masons serving this project did so in pursuit of a noble ideal: their “supreme vision was the dream of a universal temple, created by man and perfected by man to the glory of God and the service of humanity.”
The Mason recognized himself as the servant of a greater creative power. This creative power was, allegorically, King Solomon. Therefore, the goal of the Mason was to become, like their martyred hero Hiram Abiff, a useful builder in the construction of King Solomon’s Temple.
This Temple was actually civilization itself. Thus, the true builder was one who labored toward the construction of a better and more just world.
As Hall summarizes, the Masons held “philosophic, religious, moral, and political convictions concerning the perfection of human society.”
They “referred to the ignorant and uncultured as uncut stones. Through refinement resulting from self-discipline and self-dedication, man perfected himself, forming the cut stone which could fit with others into a pattern of masonry.”
The true temple that masons work to build “is the living temple of the Living God. This temple represents human society perfected. Each enlightened and perfected human is a trued stone for its building.”
Its no secret: the true mission and purpose of the Masons is to build a perfect society; the New Jerusalem. This impetus they have carried forth from the deep history of their order, and Francis Bacon came along during the closing years of the 16th century to gather the wits and reignite the flame.
Through Bacon’s leadership, a trans-European network of Masonic lodges was brought into alignment and steered toward the fulfillment of a grand vision for the worldwide reformation of society.
Events taking place in Bacon’s time and the century beyond culminated in the American and French Revolutions, which were key centerpieces of the overarching Rosicrucian and Masonic plan for worldwide reformation.
In this way, the Masons served as a useful instrument of the Philosophic Empire, particularly in terms of gathering like-minded individuals together, sharing knowledge and intel between different social sectors and countries, and coordinating transnational projects and initiatives. Without the Masons, the American Revolution never would have been possible.
Freemasonry and the Idols of the Marketplace
Referring back to Bacon’s framework of the four Idols of the Mind, his concept of the “Idols of the Marketplace” refers to the mind’s over-emphasis on symbols, where the image or form of the symbol distracts from comprehension of the underlying meaning concealed behind it.
Earlier, I associated this idol with the Zen Buddhist idea that the mind can become overly attached to name-and-form. Consequently, being distracted by the symbol, it misses out on the underlying concept or truth that the symbol is trying to direct our attention to in the first place.
As one surveys the historical development of modern Masonry over the past four hundred years, one sees it falling into the trap of this idol: it has succeeded in perpetuating the old symbols and rituals of their order, but the inner esoteric keys to unravel the full meaning of these symbols has become lost.
Hall explains that the “the wealth of Masonry is in its symbolism. Derived from the religions and philosophies of all people, much of this symbolism is of the greatest antiquity.” However, “many of the original meanings of the symbols have been lost.”
Hall continues: "It is internally acknowledged by the initiates of the order than many of their emblems and rituals are not completely understood. In fact, it is known that new interpretations, mostly moral and ethical, have been substituted for ancient meanings now totally lost or forgotten.”
In this way, Masonry has come to preserve a body of symbolism it no longer fully understands. For this reason, it is a perfect representation of an “Idol of the Marketplace”.
Hall notes that the origin of the problem seems to be that the original Rosicrucians never fully imparted the keys to their revision of Masonic symbolism to the Freemasons themselves. He writes: “the Bacon tradition had been handed down in full and successfully insofar as the exoteric or scientific side of his concept was concerned, but the inner secrets of his philosophy - the esoteric teaching of Rosicrucianism - this had not been transmitted. The scaffolding of symbolism remained, but not all the essential clues.”
Elsewhere, Hall relates the idea that "the Rosicrucian adepts became dissatisfied with their progeny and silently withdrew from the Masonic hierarchy, leaving behind their symbolism and allegories, but carrying away the keys by which the locked symbols could be made to give up their secret meanings.”
He then elaborates further, “the initiated masters retired from the outer circles of their own guilds and accepted into the Royal Secret only such as revealed a marked degree of universal consciousness. As far as the physical structure of the guilds was concerned, the esoteric doctrine faded out and finally vanished entirely. In its place, moral and ethical factors were substituted, and these in turn contributed something to the improvement of the human estate.”
The same issue of a loss of connection with original meaning also appears to have plagued the Royal Society, the first formal scientific organization of its kind, originally founded by Bacon but which later became redirected toward materialistic tendencies.
This situation with the Royal Society can be extrapolated as a metaphor for what has happened to science more generally. From the point at which Bacon first launched it, western Science has fallen into a materialistic mindset, one that is overly attached to the material forms of Nature rather than the energetic and mental processes that bind these forms together, making them a whole.
Here, “material scientists, glorying in their new-found dignities and sensing themselves to be important in their own right, detached their interests from the moral issues and plunged into the ocean of secondary causes. … They elevated means above ends and dedicated science toward the justification of itself.”
Gradually, the formulas, equations, and theories of science have become mistaken as ends in and of themselves. Once again, we find symbols replacing the truth that they are supposed to be pointing toward. In the case of science, that truth is Nature’s Law. Materialistic science no longer serves the Mother Goddess; instead, it exists to justify and perpetuate its own doctrines and interests. In this way, it has succumbed to the Idols of the Marketplace.
D. Francis Bacon’s Fourth Mask: Himself
The Idol of the Tribe and the Mask of the Personality
Idols of the Tribe, according to Francis Bacon’s framework, represent deeply rooted biases that are innate to the species itself. One of the most fundamental of these attachments is the personality: the aspect of our psyche or soul that we project through our bodies in order to perform labors, accomplish goals, and reveal an image of ourselves to others.
In our time, it is commonplace to make an idol of the personality: to assume that it is the whole person.
In philosophy, things are viewed differently, however: rather than representing the fullness of oneself, the personality is viewed as a fragmentary extension of a greater spiritual principle - the Higher Self.
This Higher Self has powers and capacities that extend beyond what is made manifest through any one personality. Therefore, it is the Higher Self who is actually the whole person, and each personality manifests only a fraction of the overall capacities of the whole.
The soul behind the personality of Francis Bacon - the Higher Self that was manifesting through his lower body - was a highly evolved and well-illuminated one.
This Higher Self was the real Adept, and Bacon’s physical personality was merely a vehicle or instrument through which this Higher Self labored, in order that it may perform a great alchemical work upon the life of global civilization.
Bacon’s Higher Self, alongside those of his initiates, as well as those of other esoteric orders such as those found in the East, is enthroned in a metaphysical temple. This metaphysical temple symbolizes the Universal Mind. Manly Hall tells us this explicitly: “the real Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross dwelt in the mind of God, and it was this divine intellect that called to itself those qualified to advance the spiritual destiny of humankind.”
This explains why “the Rosicrucians described their sacred temple, the Domus Spiritus Sanctus, as standing upon a high mountain concealed from the sight of the profane by dense clouds. These clouds are the confusions of false appearances by which sacred matters preserve themselves. Concealed behind these clouds is the Generalissimo of the World, the Secret Master, the Heir of the Ages” - the Divine Self. (MPH)
Since the true power behind Francis Bacon rested in his non-corporeal Higher Self, then the personality recorded by history, the English statesman and philosopher, is merely the mask of this greater Self.
In reality, this dynamic is also true for each of us: the wholeness of each of ourselves is actually held within our Higher Selves, and our lower personalities are merely lesser extensions projected out of it, masking its true identity.
The universality of this “mental idol” is why it is called an “Idol of the Tribe”: everyone in the tribe is guilty of it.
Ingeniously, Francis Bacon used himself as a demonstration of this particular idol.
Through the mask of his own personality, a 17th century English statesman, and through the various publications and activities he was formally connected with, particularly the utopian novel New Atlantis and his magnum opus The Great Instauration, Francis Bacon, the Master Alchemist, cleverly revealed, while at the same time concealing, the ultimate mission and goals of the "Invisible College” he was an initiate of.
Being conditioned by this deep-rooted “idol of the tribe” - i.e. confusing the persona with the person - most historians fail to appreciate the greatness behind the man: they see only the outermost aspects of his personality and career. And for this reason, he was able to disguise much in his own writings about the aims and purposes of his secret society.
In the sections below, we’ll be diving deeper into the contents of Bacon’s utopian novel New Atlantis. As we do so, we’ll be discovering more details about what Bacon’s vision was for the future of world civilization.
In particular, we’ll be investigating his belief that world civilization should one day be governed by a global philosophic university, one he named “Solomon’s House” or “the College of the Six Days Works”. This noble institution is to be dedicated to the mastery of scientific knowledge, the performance of charitable works, and the completion of human evolution.
The New Atlantis: Francis Bacon’s Vision for a Utopia Ruled by Philosopher-Scientists
In 1626, shortly after his supposed death in England, an unfinished short story of Francis Bacon’s called “New Atlantis” was published as an addendum to a larger publication (Sylva Sylvarnum).
Manly Hall summarizes the plot of the story: “A ship sailing from Peru for China by the South Sea becomes windbound until its crew faced starvation. But by the light of God’s mercy, they reach a beautiful island peopled by noble Christians. After some delays, the physical needs of the crew were cared for and they were told that the place was named the Island of Bensalem. Here was instituted the order or society called ‘Salomon’s House’, which Bacon describes as ‘the noblest foundation that was ever upon the earth’. It was dedicated to the study of the works and teachings of God and sometimes entitled ‘the College of the Six Days Work.’”
Peter Dawkins elaborates on this utopian novel’s most prominent themes: “The work contains Bacon's vision of an (ideal) civilization, living in peace, friendship, and charity on the island of Bensalem and having as its ‘lantern’ an order or society of philosophers formed into a college ‘dedicated to the study of the works and creatures of God’ and for the ‘finding out of the true nature of all things, whereby God might have the more glory in the workmanship of them, and men the more fruits in the use of them.’” According to the novel, the emissaries of this College, “bound by laws of secrecy, are sent to all parts of the world to collect and trade in Light.”
In essence, the purpose of the novel is to present, in allegorical fashion, how Bacon envisioned his Great Instauration to be utilized and brought into being.
Bacon intended his Art of Discovery to be used in order to create a real society on Earth patterned after the ideal of the College of the Six Days Work - the benevolent scientific fraternity portrayed in his utopian novel.
In his introductory remarks to the book, William Rawley, a close associate of Lord Bacon’s, makes this clear: “This fable my lord devised, to the end that he might exhibit therein a model or description of a college, instituted for the interpreting of nature and the producing of great and marvelous works for the benefit of men.”
This process of interpreting Nature was to be accomplished through Bacon’s scientific method (i.e. his Art of Discovery), and the charitable works performed would be accomplished by means of the scientific knowledge obtained by his method.
In the book, the institution that Bacon creates as an embodiment or personification of his method is called at some points “Salomon’s House” and at others “the College of the Six Days’ Work.”
Here, Bacon updates Plato’s original concept of the Philosophic Empire, giving it a scientific spin, with the Philosophic Elect of Bensalem described as wise and benevolent philosopher-scientists.
In the story, Salomon’s House is situated at the political, economic, and cultural center of a large island society called Bensalem, which it participates in governing. As Peter Dawkins tells us, this island nation was “a morally decent and friendly utopian society, governed by a democratically elected parliament with a sovereign head of state. At the center of the state was “an organized body of science known as Salomon’s House, guided by divine Providence and dedicated to discovering the mysteries of heaven and earth, and to charitable purposes.”
The leaders of Solomon’s House interfaced with society primarily through education; its philosopher-scientists together formed the faculty of an initiatory college or “Mystery School” dedicated to training the mind in the science of causes.
From our previous discussions of Bacon in this chapter, it should be clear that the “College of the Six Days Work” is a veiled account of an actual initiatic society that Francis Bacon was the spiritual leader of.
Dawkins observes that, “in the New Atlantis, the philosophers of Solomon’s House are clearly Rosicrucians, whose emblem is a red cross on a white background and whose aims are identical to those announced in the Rosicrucian manifestos in the second decade of the 17th century.”
Because Francis Bacon and his Rosicrucian Order really did exist, we should understand that the fundamental elements involved in Bacon’s utopian vision are “not something in the distant future, but already existing and emerging through time.” In truth, “a society of scientists and scholars, patterned upon the college of the New Atlantis, had been in the process of integration already for some years,” with Francis Bacon rising to consolidate and formalize the order.
Solamona, the Founder and Lawgiver of Bensalem
As we covered above, in his New Atlantis, Bacon names his elite society of philosopher-scientists “Salomon’s House”. The use of the name “Salomon” is not accidental: clearly, he is referencing the name “Solomon”, as featured in both the Bible and Freemasonry.
Peter Dawkins informs us that, in the Old Testament, the figure of King Solomon was “renowned for his wisdom; for being one of the great masters of Kabbalah; for building the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem; for organizing a Masonic fraternity to build the temple …; and for writing books of wisdom (Proverbs), poetry (Song of Songs), and a natural history.”
Dawkins then connects these themes with the work Bacon was doing: “Bacon set out to imitate his achievement, but in a new and transmuted way.” Like Solomon, Bacon sought to form a Masonic fraternity dedicated to learning and illumination, to build a temple in the human mind consecrated to the quest for enlightenment, to communicate knowledge and wisdom through the writing of books and poetry, and to compile a scientific encyclopedia of world history and natural law.
In the New Atlantis, Bacon tells us that “Salomon’s House” is named not after the original king of Hebrew myth but rather after a “Second Solomon” - a great lawgiver named “Solamona”. who founded the society of Bensalem and established at its heart a Mystery School: Salomon’s House.
Describing Solamona’s legacy, Dawkins writes that “the utopian society was blessed at one time with a great king, Solamona, the ‘lawgiver of the nation’ who had ‘a large heart, inscrutable for good.’ … He established the means by which the country could maintain itself … and he instituted an order or society called Salomon’s House or the College of the Six Days’ Works, the lantern of the kingdom, dedicated to the study of the works and creatures of Gods, ‘for the finding out of the true nature of all things, whereby God might have the more glory in the workmanship of them, and men the more fruit in their use of them.’”
Dawkins explains that there is a deliberate reason for Bacon’s spelling of this lawmaker’s name: Bacon “transformed the name ‘Solomon’ to ‘Solamona’ as a symbolic way to describe the mystical marriage of the Bridegroom (‘sola’ or Sun) and the Bride (‘mona’ or Moon) - the immortal and the mortal.”
In other words, Solamona is indicated as an Adept-initiate who had attained equilibrium between the masculine and feminine polarities of his own soul nature. He is thus described as “a divine instrument, though a mortal man.”
If the College of the Six Days Work corresponds with Bacon’s Rosicrucian Society, then Solamona, the founder of this College, corresponds with Bacon, the founder of the Rosicrucians. In this way, through the character of Solamona, Bacon wrote himself into his own story, revealing himself as the lawgiver and prophet of his secret society.
Science United with Religion
In Bacon’s novel, Salomon’s House exists as a philosophic fraternity dedicated to the ethical, compassionate, and spiritual use of scientific knowledge. Its mission was to develop and unfold the scientific capacity of the human mind, while dedicating its scientific achievements and technological innovations to the glory of God and the advancement of humanity.
Manly Hall explains that “Bacon’s description of the island of Bensalem is much more than a simple account of a mystical utopia. He envisions a region in which religion, science, and philosophy are reconciled, and progress is dedicated to the advancement of the human estate and to the attainment of all things possible.”
Peter Dawkins offers further emphasis on the point that Bacon’s approach to science is decided non-secular. He writes: “Bacon emphasizes a view of science that is non-materialistic and intended to be used in service to Divinity. This is a concept of science that is “employed entirely out of love and compassion for the human race and all life in nature." It is a science “free of the burdens of greed and overriding self-interest, and devoted to fulfilling the twin Commandments: ‘Love God’ and ‘Love your neighbor.’”
As we covered in our earlier analysis of Bacon’s philosophy of science, Bacon saw no conflict between science and religion: religion was the inner experience of God, while science was the outward study of God’s innate powers and principles, as they are revealed through the mundane operations of Nature.
Hall explains that Bacon “found no conflict between God and Nature. … An understanding of the works of God in Nature leads naturally to a deep and abiding faith, justified by experience, proved by experiment, and in all ways utilitarian.” Therefore, "by the rational use of his method, the scientist proves God and the religionist discover the works of God.”
Overall, as Hall further explains, “God and Nature are bound together in an indissoluble unity, and it is the duty of the wise man to discover that unity with his mind, experience it with his heart, and manifest it through his works.” In Bacon’s view, science is to be the means of discovery by which this ultimate unity is made possible.
The philosophical primacy of unity over diversity is revealed to science as it ascends the “ladder of the intellect”. Meaning: as it ascends from the the study of Nature’s material phenomena upwards to the consideration of the metaphysical causes behind these material phenomena, it discovers that all diverse forms are bound together as creations of one Universal Mind.
Hall explains that “the cause and reasons behind all natural phenomena exist in the invisible and subjective part of nature. It is here that we must search for them if we are to become truly wise.”
As science moves gradually upward or inward toward the consideration of causes, it realizes that all causes originate in one supreme First Cause: Unity. Once discovered, this principle of Unity then becomes enthroned as the foundation of all scientific knowledge.
This newfound appreciation for Unity binds science to religion: the two institutions become founded upon the same ultimate principle: the Unity of God and the Brotherhood of Man.
In Bacon’s view, the quest of science is to advance human knowledge from the physical to the metaphysical planes of existence, and thereby to ascend its analysis from the study of material effects to the consideration of spiritual causes. Bacon makes this point clear in two ways:
First, in his “Pyramid of Pan” framework, we find his approach to scientific research beginning with “Natural Philosophy” as its foundation, before moving through “Human Philosophy” up to the consideration of “Divine Philosophy”. Here, we find that Natural Philosophy is the study of effect, Divine Philosophy is the study of cause, and Human Philosophy is the intermediary ground between the two.
Second, in his New Atlantis novel, Bacon states clearly, through the character of a high priest of Salomon’s House, that “the end of our foundation is the knowledge of causes, and the secret motions of things; and the enlarging of the bounds of human empire, to the effecting of all things possible.”
In both cases, Bacon is telling us that “the end of all science is the knowledge of causes, that we may perceive not only things themselves but the reasons for them.” Hall elaborates on this, noting that: “Our quest for reasons must inevitably lead us to philosophy, especially that branch which we call Metaphysics.”
In sum, Bacon envisioned his College of the Six Days Work as a terrestrial College dedicated to the study of the Holy Spirit and all its works.
As Hall further explains, this was “a school where the things that were taught were the things that are real, where great, strong, wise men were not afraid to pray, where God and the telescope went hand in hand, where the physicians prayed before they operated.” It was a school “where the realization of Divine Purpose and the possibility of human accomplishment went hand in hand.” It was a “school of wise, deep, gentle thinkers. To him, that was the true college. That was the school of tomorrow.”
Through his utopian vision of the island of Bensalem and its governing body of philosopher-scientists, “Bacon restated the dream of Plato, which was a world ruled by Wisdom and Virtue, with Living Truths taught to men to make them conscious of their responsibility.”
Plato called this world the Philosophic Empire; Bacon calls it the New Atlantis. In the Bible it is called the New Jerusalem, and in the East it is called Shamballah. These are different names for the same ideal: a restored golden age brought about by the synthesis of science, philosophy, and religion.
In the metaphysical realms surrounding the Earth, this New Atlantis already exists. It was Bacon’s mission to bring heaven down to Earth by creating a new institutional order that would, like the great religious temples of antiquity, harmonize with the greater Invisible College above and channel its vibrations down into the life of the planet, where they are desperately needed.
The Wise Use of Scientific Knowledge
Bacon conceived and revealed his scientific method as an “Art of Discovery”. This scientific Art is one that is reverential to both the Laws of Nature and the Will of God: it seeks to discover Nature’s Laws and obey them; and in the process of obeying, it is lead to the performance of pre-specified works, which together serve to evolve the world into a spiritual kingdom, thus fulfilling the Will of God. In other words God’s Law and God’s Will go hand-in-hand: following Law leads man toward the accomplishment of works which fulfill God’s Will.
Manly Hall uses the issue of invention to illustrate the point that science is about becoming receptive to and obeying Law: “All human learning is nothing but a discovery of the laws of Nature and obedience to those laws. Invention, for example, is not a process of creating but a process of discovering and applying.”
He then offers further examples, noting that “man did not invent music; he merely discovered the laws governing harmonics, and every composition must obey those laws or it is displeasing to the composer. Man did not invent medicine; he merely discovered the laws governing health and set up a machinery to adapt those laws to his own requirements. Man did not invent philosophy; he merely beheld a universal pattern and interpreted it in the terms of his personal, moral, and ethical necessities.”
The chief scientific concept linking God’s Will with Nature’s Law is that of energy: energy exists as the manifestation of God’s Will, and it moves through Space according to the Laws of Nature, which are inherent to Matter.
Energy originates with First Cause, moves through the metaphysical causative dimensions that underpin the world, before culminating finally in the objectification of these energies in the form of material bodies, forces, and patterns.
Hall elaborates: “Energy is the foundation of the whole material universe, the pedestal which upholds the world.” What we know as Creation is the result or consequence of an involutionary sequence of processes in which energy is directed toward form.”
In order for mankind to master the use of energy, the objective of science must become to obtain, as Bacon tells us, “knowledge of causes, that we may perceive not only things themselves but the reasons for things.”
By implication, energy is guided by Reason. This Reason is established by Law. To use energy correctly - the fire of Prometheus - we must ground our understanding and use of it in Law. This Law is to be discovered by means of the method Bacon has revealed to us - a method that emphasizes the study of not only the material world of physical bodies but also the metaphysical world of patterns and processes that direct how energy moves into form.
As Hall informs us, “all knowledge ascends from the knowledge of causes and extends to the knowledge of uses. The knowledge of causes pertains to the sphere of religion; the knowledge of uses to the sphere of morality. The knowledge of causes ends in obedience and the knowledge of uses ends in service. To know is to obey and to serve; these are the essential parts of learning. If one of these parts be lacking, learning is imperfect, and imperfect learning leads with certainty to abuses.”
What Hall is implying here is that imperfect knowledge of the Law results necessarily in the abuse of energy.
This abuse frustrates our attempt to use energy constructively to better our own estate, because misused energy will not cooperate with those who attempt to use it unlawfully.
Bacon eloquently summarized these themes when he informed us that “knowledge and human power are synonymous, since the ignorance of the Cause frustrates the Effect.”
In sum, Bacon wrote his New Atlantis as a means to demonstrate how his scientific method should ideally be put into practice.
Through the symbolism of Solomon’s House, Bacon emphasizes the point that scientific enterprise should be grounded always in the quest to glorify God and in the pursuit of good and beautiful works dedicated to the betterment of all mankind.
Manly Hall offers insightful comments on these themes: “Lord Bacon describes the reward which knowledge bestows by his statement that through the enlargement of it we are finally able to accomplish all things that are possible. By ‘possible’ he means consistent with the laws of being. Among possible things must be included the final perfection of man himself and the releasing through his organisms all of the spiritual, intellectual, and physical powers which are latent within him.”
Peter Dawkins elaborates on how Bacon portrays these themes in his utopian story: “In the New Atlantis, all kinds of research projects in every branch of knowledge are discussed and there are memorials and monuments to great scholars and mathematicians of the past who had contributed to the advancement of knowledge. It would seem as though His Lordship had a vision of the research and experimentation in every branch of learning which was to distinguish America from most other nations of the Earth. Incidentally, however, progress in no way was to undermine man’s faith in God or the need for Christian charity.”
Bacon’s New Atlantis fable offers a vision of science which, to succeed, would require a well-funded institutional and organizational infrastructure to support it.
Dawkins explains that, to effectively put into practice Bacon’s scientific ideals on a worldwide scale, the project would require “the willingness and concerted effort of all nations and all people - hence Bacon’s desire that there should be a worldwide fraternity in learning and illumination who could help bring this about” - i.e. a real-life Salomon’s House.
Clearly, for Bacon, the Rosicrucians, the Freemasons, the Royal Society, the “Empire of Poets”, and other institutional entities he was responsible for organizing were brought to birth so that they may contribute to the worldwide realization of the “New Atlantis” ideal.
Together, it is their destiny to eventually externalize themselves and combine to form a great public institution positioned at the center of a world commonwealth of nations. This entity would serve as the physical embodiment of the metaphysical College of the Six Days Work, already existing in the metaphysical planes above the planet.
36. Conclusion: Francis Bacon, High Chancellor of Parnassus
Behind the masks of William Shakespeare, Father CRC, Hiram Abiff, and King Solamona is concealed the real identity of Francis Bacon.
Bacon’s real identity transcends that of the famous English statesman and philosopher. If we wish to know the true Bacon, we must re-consider the connection we explored earlier between himself, Plato, and Apollo.
In Rosicrucian literature of the period, Francis Bacon is often (directly or indirectly) referenced as “the High Chancellor of Parnassus”, one who "speaks for the God Apollo.”
Overviewing this aspect of the Bacon myth, Hall writes that “between the years 1610 and 1670, a number of books, pamphlets, engravings, and woodcuts appeared, referring in a variety of ways to an assemblage of poets secretly convening on the slopes of Mount Parnassus. … These references (are not literally to the old Parnassus of the Greeks, but) to a new Parnassus, an invisible mountain for poets, where the servants of Apollo gathered to receive the precious words of their secret master.”
Hall continues: “It is evident that the Parnassian assembly was a kind of Masonic Lodge with a Grand Master and an executive body totaling thirty three men. These men had their marks or symbols, (which were communicated through) heraldic devices scattered through their writings and engravings. These identified the members and enabled them to recognize each other’s work and the locations of important ciphers.”
In sum, from the research Hall has compiled over decades of work, he concludes that:
“Thirty-three gentlemen met together in the closing years of the 16th century for the purpose of restoring the glory of the guilds.” In other words, they sought to continue and progress the previous work of the Templars, who had risen to similar prominence four centuries prior before being martyred at the hands of a conspiracy between Church and State - the two adversaries that the Rosicrucian Order was now dead-set on deconstructing.
In order to accomplish their goal of worldwide reformation, "they adapted the traditions of the Dionysian Artificers of Greece and the Collegia of Rome to their own peculiar purposes; namely, the rebuilding of Solomon’s Temple as the “Salomon’s House” or “College of the Six Days Work" of Bacon’s New Atlantis.”
“All of this was part of a well-laid plan to restore the Mystery institutions of antiquity as the means to accomplishment a universal reformation of human society.”
In one of the original Rosicrucian works, a highly symbolical emblem is featured portraying the Invisible College that Francis Bacon established and lead during this life.
To conclude this chapter on Bacon, I share Manly Hall’s commentary on this significant image. As you read over his commentary, keep in mind the numerous themes and ideals we’ve covered over the course of this chapter. And remember that this Invisible Institution always exists, even today.
If it does, where is it? In attempting to answer this question, a great Mystery presents itself to us. Using Bacon’s Art of Discovery as a guide, can we successfully parse through the clues presented to us to try to locate it? This is the quest we’ll be journeying into as we move into the concluding chapters of this book. I hope you’ll stay tuned.
Thank you and God Bless,
The Invisible College
This important emblem portrays the “Temple of the Rosy Cross”. It is also known as the Invisible College, among other names.
Manly Hall observes that “the College, as it is called, hangs on a string in free air, travels about on massive wheels, and is described as both movable and immovable, constant and not constant.” In other words, it exists in both ways: constantly as an archetype and inconstantly in terms of how this archetype expresses itself through a succession of different institutional vehicles or forms.
In the image, on the building “there is a rose on one side and a cross on the other side of the principal entrance. There are no windows on the main floor, but two over the front entrance show alchemists at work in their laboratories. There is a drawbridge, which represents the disciplines which must be cultivated before entry into the temple is possible. Guardians armed with plumes and protected by shields bearing the sacred name Jehovah in Hebrew stand in turrets protecting the winged dome and the bell suspended in a tower above the roof.”
“There are two apertures located directly below the ramparts. From one of these protrudes a large hand and arm holding a sword. … On the opposite side is a similar aperture from which extends a trumpet marked C.R.F. We can suspect these stand for the Rosicrucian Fama, which proclaims for the first time publicly the existence of the Fraternity.”
“On a peak rising between the viewer’s left is Noah’s ark from which two doves are flying. Scattered about are various persons, some pious and dedicated, others worldly and therefore called inevitably to their own destruction.”
Recalling the two supernovas we discussed in Part Two of this chapter - the ones taking place in 1604 in the constellations of Cygnus and Ophiuchus that heralded the Rosicrucians announcing their Order to the world - Manly Hall points us to observe in this image “two stars in the upper corners, from which rays descend, ornamented on one side by a swan and on the other by a man holding a serpent. This is a reference to the horoscope of the Universal Reformation, which was calculated to the year 1604.”
Finally, at the apex of the image is featured the Tetragrammaton or four-lettered Hebrew spelling of Jehovah, the “Holy Spirit” to which this College is consecrated. Springing out from Jehovah’s name are two wings, representing the spiritual hierarchy that links heaven and earth like Jacob’s Ladder. The Invisible College is tethered to this hierarchy by a string and is the terrestrial institution through which it becomes embodied.
Francis Bacon was the Master Builder who, like Hiram Abiff, designed and built this incredible artifice - this “House of Salomon”. To him and his legacy we should all give thanks.
And as we look for guidance during our quest to make his New Atlantis a reality, we should study closely the Art of Discovery he left us.
In this way we, like the sages of Salomon’s House, can rediscover for ourselves the sacred knowledge of causes, “and the secret motions of things”, in order that we may “enlarge the bounds of human empire, to the effecting of all things possible”.
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