This month's Missal revisits one of the most profound authors and mystics of recent times, Franz Hartmann. Dr. Hartmann, a Bavarian, was born in 1838. He served in the Bavarian artillery in his youth, and then studied medicine and became a physician. Emigrating to America in 1865, he traveled about as a doctor, serving as coroner in Georgetown, Colorado for a time during its boomtown mining days. He was beginning to show an interest in spiritualism, studying the events and life of a medium in Denver. He saw firsthand the dangers of the occult, as the medium became increasingly under the power of the channeled spirit, and eventually slipped into madness. As his interest in spiritualism continued to develop, he visited a number of American Indian tribes to research their religious beliefs, and at some point was active in the Spiritualist circles of New Orleans.
Leaving the world of travel and spirits for a time, he married a woman from Texas, where they resided on her ranch. It was short lived however, as she died within months, and Hartmann moved to the San Francisco area. Here, he was torn between two loves, one a new lady friend, and the other his growing interest in India and the work of the Theosophists and H. P. Blavatsky.
The latter won out, and he set sail for India in 1883, invited to the Theosophical Society's headquarters in Adyar by Colonel Olcott.
Blavatsky considered him "a bad lot", and he was called "dirty Franz" by some for his refusal to keep his appearance up to Victorian standards, and for his tightfisted management of his funds. Nevertheless, he rose in the ranks, supposedly getting as many as ten letters from the mysterious "Mahatmas". After Blavatsky died in 1891, the Theosophists split into a number of factions, and by 1900 consisted of three main groups, one of which was led by Hartmann.
After India, he lived in England and then Vienna, where he was in charge of a sanitarium for tuberculosis patients. He was a prolific writer, turning out volumes on alchemy and the Rosicrucian's, and well as biographies of Jacob Boehme
. Unfortunately, his work was later not in favor with the Nazis, who burned many of his books, some not surviving to this day. He died on August 7, 1912, having dedicated his later life to helping others find the Truth.
Dr. Hartmann's philosophy was molded by his experience with the mediums and occultists with whom he had contact. He saw that a way of living based on virtue, energy conservation
, and common sense was essential for protecting oneself when venturing into the unknown waters of the interior world. He also soon found that the only knowledge worth having was the knowledge of one's own self, and this was also found in the inner realm.
"The beginning of all knowledge is the knowledge of self; the knowledge of the soul and not the vagaries of the brain."
He knew that the exploration of the self was best done when the deep waters of the soul were calm and silent.
Then, the interior voice of wisdom could heard and the secrets of the divine revealed. The simple lifestyle necessary for this calm interior was found through resisting temptation, rather than dissipation, and was learned the hardway through his varied experience in the tumult of life.
"The capacity of perceiving the truth depends on the tranquility of the soul."
He also learned that a certain strength and discipline were necessary in keeping the mind calm and quiet, once this state was recognized and valued. This was not the blind adherence to unquestioned beliefs, but the strength that comes from experience coupled with wisdom. In his writings, he often uses the framework of alchemy to illustrate this path of becoming through discipline and hardship, as seen in his New Guide on the Path.
"Do not believe that there is anything higher in the universe than your own divine self, and know that you are exactly what you permit yourself to become."
This looking within to discover the self eventually led him to find the real; the Truth within. He called this process of using the mind for self-discovery, magic, and wrote about it in the language of science and alchemy. The highest practice of this magic was not in the gathering of power, ego, or fame, but in the spiritual regeneration of man through the removal of all that is unreal and illusory.
"The knowledge of God and the knowledge of man are ultimately identical, and he who knows himself knows God." - "True religion and true science are ultimately one and the same thing." - " Magic is a science which teaches the true nature of the inner man as well as the organization of his outward body."
Hartman knew that this magic was no parlour trick, and did not lead to the glorification of the ego as its end, but caused a becoming, a change in the man who practiced it that was not merely a change in behavior, thought, or belief. It was a complete transformation, brought about by the 'death' of the personal man, and the awakening of the divine, the Inner Self.
"Each one is bound to his own ideals; he whose ideal is mortal must die when his ideal dies, he whose ideal is immortal must become immortal himself to attain it." -
"God does not redeem the personal man by death. He redeems himself by freeing himself from the personality of man."
Hartmann never was one to follow convention, and traveled to wherever his work led him. His ideal was the Truth, and his struggle to become the Truth and communicate it defined his years, perhaps best expressed in his advice on how to enter the path to infinite life: To Know, To Will, To Dare, To Be Silent.
"The truth never changes; but we ourselves change, and as we change so changes our aspect of the truth."
- All quotes by Franz Hartmann -
To obtain a copy of MAGIC, WHITE & BLACK,
by Franz Hartmann, M.D. try Amazon.com
This classic work addresses magic as the exercise of spiritual power obtained by practicing self-control. Dr. Hartmann considered the spiritual regeneration of Man the highest form of Magic. This book gives the reader a priceless formula for mental power and spiritual achievement.
(298 pp.) PB - ISBN: 1878683098
A NEW GUIDE ON THE PATH,
FOR THOSE WHO DESIRE TO FOLLOW THE PRACTICAL WAY.
1. Know that All is One.
2. Know that everything is Thyself.
3. Know that the One in a state of vibration produces the great multiplicity of forms and activities in the Universe.
4. Know that if you examine this multiplicity from the standpoint of your intellectual reasoning, you will arrive at the following deductions:
5. Everything that you call " Life," "Energy," " Substance,” is a Duality.
6. Everything has a tendency to return to Unity.
7. All desire and therefore all suffering originates from duality.
8. Let thy aspiration be for enlightenment.
9. Know that the result of the joys experienced by the attainment of enlightenment is happiness.
10. Rise above the state of condensation.
11. Know that the result of the joys experienced in the state of condensation is suffering.
12. On the road from Unity in motion to tranquility is the state of condensation. It is the cause of your illusions, because you imagine it to be tranquility; and it is the cause of your doubts, because you regard it as the object of your desires. Know that the striving after the unification of the duality is the only source of your will, your desires, and of those joys whose results you call "suffering.”
13. Know that the door for the solution of that which is fixed is what is called "Matter.”
14. Know that everything has to pass through that door.
15. Know that the door for the solution of the fixed is also called "Life.”
16. Know that everything has to pass through that door.
17. And that the long sojourn in "Matter" and the interruption of the voyage by "Life" means retardation in the solution of the fixed and procrastination in the unification of the duality.
18. Enforce the practice of the power of that which is solved over that which is condensed.
19. Direct your attention to the consciousness of that which is dissolved over that which is condensed.
20. Carry this consciousness through all the planes of your being.
21. Elevate your whole body to the capacity to think, to hear, and to see.
22. Cause it thereby to become a fit instrument for the use of your self-consciousness of the One and of your self-power (resulting from unification).
23. Conquer the pains resulting therefrom.
24. When the divine Language is once heard within thy heart - when the King within thy interior has once obtained dominion - when thou hast passed through water and fire, and thy spirit has become the life of thy blood - then you may say: I am, I go, and I remain.
- Franz Hartmann, from Magic, White and Black
- Related Sites -
FranzHartmann.org is created as a tribute to the life and works of Dr. Franz Hartmann, a Bavarian-American, physician, theosophist, occultist, geomancer, astrologer, and author of numerous esoteric works.This web site will be a work in progress, with the goal of providing information about his remarkable life and to provide his writings to the general public.
Rose Publications: Richard Rose
wrote seven books over a span of thirty years.
Each deals directly with a specific aspect of spiritual seeking. Rose Publications also publishes and distributes several other titles, including Franz Hartmann's classic, Magic: White and Black
. These are generally out-of-print works that Richard Rose thought were valuable and wanted to make available in reasonably priced reprint editions.
Tricks and Traps
Trap: Identification with pain. The usual reaction to pain is avoidance, either through distraction or medication-induced relief. Thinking it is 'us' that hurts, we must get rid of our pain. Pain is nothing more than a signal that something needs our attention. Identification with our thoughts and feelings, and thus our pain, keeps us from this simple truth. By avoiding pain or medicating it out of our awareness, we procrastinate facing both the problem the pain is pointing to and the action or change needed to solve it.
Trick: Seeing pain for what it is. By seeing pain as the simple signal it is, we can turn our attention on it without fear or over reaction. The underlying problem can be dealt with and, usually, the pain stops. This is especially true in relation to psychic pain, the avoiding of which can keep us in the following Trap of
Ignoring our conscience: That faint voice from the depths is often seen as a pain to be avoided, thus preventing us from learning the following Trick of
Trusting the Inner Self: If we learn to listen to this inner voice, our own inner wisdom, we see that instead of it being a pain or inhibition keeping us from what we want, it is actually a guiding signal from an interior compass deep within. This beacon gives us direction in our search, pointing to a path or lifestyle that gives better probability of Becoming. Experience will show that the pang of conscience is best dealt with by the avoidance of temptation, not pain.
" Man does not know the influences which cause him to think and to act, as long as he does not know his own nature. He is therefore not a responsible being, except to the extent of his wisdom and power to control his own nature. Wisdom and strength can only be attained in life by experience and by the exercise of the power of overcoming temptation."
- Franz Hartmann
Thou self-existent Cause
Of all existence, source of love and light;
Thou universal uncreated God,
In whom all things exist and have their being,
Who lives in all things and all things in Him;
Infinite art Thou, inconceivable
Beyond the grasp of finite intellect;
Unknowable to all except thyself.
Nothing exists but Thou, and there is nothing
In which no Good exists; Thou art, but we
Appear to be; for forms are empty nothings,
If not inhabited by Thee; they are
Thyself made manifest.
- Franz Hartmann
Why Don't We Get It?
" What I suspect we need is not any kind of path or discipline, but a collection of tricks or devices for catching the Dark at the corner of the eye, as it were, and learning how to spot its just-waiting-to-be-seen presence, combined with strategies for stopping the hyperactive survival-programmes from immediately explaining the perception away. D. E. Harding's exercises for discovering one's own essential 'headlessness' are the best ideas I've yet come across for the first half of this process, but, by his own admission, most people 'get it but simply don't believe it'." - John Wren-Lewis
The above quote by John Wren-Lewis points out a common conundrum seen often nowadays in seekers of the Truth. Many of us can recall times when we were strangely indifferent to our usual pattern, and the world seemed new and alive, with the noise of the mind blessedly absent. Then, the thought-pattern of personality took back the reins and the world became once more known and dimmingly familiar. Even the startling effects of Douglas Harding's exercises can become relegated to memory, for in our everyday world the miracle of 'seeing' is soon lost, replaced by the usual fog of 'knowing'. Why is this? Why doesn't something so startling as seeing without one's own head last? Why is the ego's hold on us so complete, that its survival is the paramount fact of our very life, robbing us of seeing without warning?
We may think that the problem lies in emotion. That if we were just a bit more enthused about it all, we could retain the clarity through thick and thin. We come away from a seminar pumped up, making inner promises to never forget what we've seen, and to try harder at every turn. Here, we may be misled once more. The act of seeing is not one of emotion, anymore than it is of thought. The memory of seeing is not the act, any more than the memory of the emotional reaction is. I can remember once listening to an intense emotional sermon by a sincere preacher. Everyone in the church came under the same spell, convinced that they would go forth from that moment on and be a better person, worthy of the glory of eternal life. Then, an even stranger thing happened. While in the parking lot after the service, I realized I could not remember anything the preacher had said, not a word. I couldn't even remember what I had been so enthused about. By the time I got home, the mood was completely gone; the thoughts and business of the day had totally replaced it.
Now, there is nothing wrong with becoming inspired. It's a necessary part of the path. But, it is not the goal. Seeing is not a state of being in perpetual bliss, about our seeing. This is again the trap of living in the reaction, not the state. This trap of reaction is a clue to why no matter how intense or startling a state is, we soon lose it. We are trying to get back to seeing by looking at the reaction. We forget to see, by trying to remember to see. We look at our previous emotional or mental reaction to seeing, while our seeing, always there in the moment, every second, is overlooked.
Let's back up a bit, and go back to the start of the problem. When we were first brought into the world, we were taught by people, well meaning but asleep, that we are a thing, an object, living in a world of things. We were taught that some of these things, our thoughts, were more real than our very being, meaning our seeing was secondary to our thinking about our seeing. This trick was played on us until we could do it ourselves. Once we were well trained in fooling ourselves, we became 'thinking'. The world of thought became our new home. We lost our innocence, as we slowly lost sight of our seeing. We traded it for knowing, the unquestioned belief that our thoughts were more real than our seeing of our thoughts. Soon enough, we could no longer see our very seeing, and began to believe we were our thoughts.
Here then, lies the problem. We have become a collection of thoughts, an entity, which treats every new moment as if it were already a memory, basing each new moment on only the past and the reaction this past has to each moment. We are so wrapped up in this thought-collection, this 'knowing', that we even treat a moment of seeing as if it were another memory, reacting to it as if we already know all about it. A reaction can never be in the moment, for only seeing happens now. This trap of living one step behind ourselves cannot be explained away with conceptual thinking or fought with reactionary emotional thrills. It cannot be gotten rid of by changing our behavior, such as going left instead of right. What then can be done?
Franz Hartmann gives us a clue when he says, " There is nothing more difficult to find than one's own self." There is also nothing more valuable. It is our own 'self' that is the problem. Any plan of escape from the trap of thought-reaction is simply this self trying to survive, even if the plan is one of perpetual seeing. The self will see seeing as yet another tool to perpetuate its own continuity. This self is a collection of thoughts, an inventory of all reactions, which seeks only its own continuity as a thought-pattern. The only way to deal with such a thing, is to see it. To observe it.
Simple observation, unbiased and without reaction or judgment, i.e. seeing, will take us farther than any clever plan or emotional outburst. A return to innocence, the initial stage of not-knowing, will give us an edge, open a crack in the ego's armor, and return the value of our very existence to that of seeing, rather than to the reaction to seeing. By beginning to watch what we do, we start a pattern of return to the state of a free attention. Once we are able to watch our 'selves' as we go about our daily tasks, we may soon see that we can watch our thoughts as well. We all have moments where seeing is spontaneous and personal. If we come to value these moments, we begin to switch our meaning from the world of thought back to that of awareness. We can take the tricks we learned at meetings and seminars and put them to use in every moment: while driving, working at our desk, and even while watching TV.
We may soon notice a strange thing happening in our head, while we watch our watching. We may see that as soon as a moment of seeing fades, a familiar mood or state has returned, which is in fact the reason for the cessation of the seeing itself. This vaguely familiar pattern is our own state of mind. The collection of thoughts we feel to be 'us', has slipped back. The old pride in 'knowing' as reactive thought, our personal dogma, will slide in like a fog bank, and then we are our old self again, and the seeing is now incorporated into this 'self's' inventory. "It" has survived, and we are back asleep.
Only through the simple process of self-observation can this thing called the 'self' be seen. We may need years of looking at it, seeing why it does what it does, thinks what it thinks, until we know it well enough to cease to believe in it. All of our energy, for all of our life, has been poured into this thing: our personality, the little self, the ego. A few moments of seeing, while of monumentous importance, will not cause its complete demise. This demise is what we fear most; for it is seen by the thought-pattern we call `us', as death. At some point, the initial joy of seeing will turn to the pain of ego-death, as the Truth becomes known. It will not be pleasant. In fact, the pain and horror felt by the ego as it faces its own death, will be felt as yours. Hartmann's words again ring true: "Conquer the pains resulting therefrom". While all this may be just words to you for now, know that after you have gone beyond this realm of thought, beyond this self-surviving collection of reactions seeking nothing but its own continuity, 'seeing' will still be there. You will then have no more need of thought or reaction to give you meaning and value, as the simple act of seeing will once again be enough. The world of thought will no longer be your home, having become a movie, a dream, as much a comedy as a drama, wherein the bit character you used to call your 'self' is merely another player. Your interest will be only in a pure amazement at your own unknowable Being, … and perhaps the need to help another find freedom from the trap of reaction, the world of 'self'.
- Quotes of the Month -
" Man, after having vainly sought for the light of the Truth in externals, and found nothing but darkness, at last discovers that the land of the sunrise exists within his own soul.
" There is nothing more difficult to find than one's own self.
" Magic may be said to be that science which deals with the mental and moral powers of man, and shows what control he may exercise over himself and others." - " Before one can become a magician he must learn to control his own mind; for mind is the substance with which the magician acts, and the power to control it is the beginning of magic."
" The Truth teaches nothing else but its own existence.
" Life, sensation, and consciousness are not the property of personal man, neither does he produce them."
" Evil is necessary to afford experience, and experience leads to ultimate good.
" A beautiful god is the most noble product of Man. " - Franz Hartmann
" My writings are only for those who are willing to receive the truth in a simple and childlike state of mind, for it is they who are to possess the kingdom of God. I have written only for those that seek; to the cunning and worldly-wise I have nothing to say." - Jacob Boehme
" We should do that which our conscience teaches, for no other reason but because our conscience teaches it. To learn from others, to accept the opinion of others, to act in a certain manner because others are acting in that way, is temptation." - Paracelsus
" The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven't got it." - George Bernard Shaw
I feel more like I do right now than when I got here. - Richard Elwin Spurgeon
Pop psychologists talk about "Emotional Baggage". Those aren't the dark circles under your eyes after a wicked party, no, what they're referring to are the prior experiences that a person brings to each new event. This unique personal collection of memories shapes our comprehension and understanding when new events occur.
Generally when the term is used, it's to donote anyone more screwed up than you are. They say that our past assists us in making judgments when new situations are encountered. If that's really so, my wife has refined the technique into art. Baggage? She's carrying around a matching set of Louis Vuitton designer luggage, all the pieces, all the way through the giant steamer trunk. - Jon de Vos
Copyright 2003 - 2004 Robert Fergeson. All Rights Reserved.
"True religion is the realization of truth."