Note: The following article is published with permission.
On the Forbidden Letters - by Beate Schulz
[ H.P. Blavatsky ]
'Christian and Catholic sons may accuse their fathers of the
crime of heresy, although they may know that their parents will
be burnt with fire and put to death for it. And not only may
they refuse them food, if they attempt to turn them from the
Catholic faith, but they may also justly kill them."
[Jesuit Precept (F.S. Fagundez, in Proecepta Decalogi, Lugduni,
'What profit has not that fable of Christ brought us!' [Pope Leo
'Where, then, lies the true, real secret so much talked about
by the Hermetists? That there was and there is a secret, no
candid student of esoteric literature will ever doubt. Men of
genius -- as many of the Hermetic philosophers undeniably were
-- would not have made fools of themselves by trying to fool
others for several thousand consecutive years. That this great
secret, commonly termed "the philosopher's stone," had
a spiritual as well as a physical meaning attached to it, was
suspected in all ages. The author of Remarks on Alchemy and the
Alchemists very truly observes that the subject of the Hermetic
art is man, and the object of the art is the perfection of
man. (...) Man is the philosopher's stone spiritually --
"a triune or trinity in unity," as Philalethes
expresses it. But he is also that stone
physically.' [H.P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled, Book I,
Chapter IX, (308)/emphasis BS]
Part 1 - On Thomas Mann's Novel 'The Magic Mountain'
In his 2001 book Ésotérisme,
gnoses & imaginaire symbolique: Mélanges offerts à Antoine
Faivre (ed., with Richard Caron, Joscelyn Godwin
& Jean-Louis Vieillard-Baron), Wouter Hanegraaff [ vide
] conjectures that Thomas Mann's novel The Magic Mountain
is 'full of motifs derived from alchemy and Grail-mythology,'
and he informs us that this fact did 'not
seem to have motivated students of Western esotericism to
consider Thomas Mann as an obvious object of research.'
I've read The Magic Mountain after having
studied the Forbidden Letters though and I must agree with
Forum-member Rhoode at the Forum of World Mysteries
that that novel does not contain
any alchemy. First Rhoode quotes Rene Loman:
'The Paris 4 were obviously wrong when they
wrote to Gary Osborn that most of Thomas Mann's short stories,
but none of his novels, were about alchemy. Because at least one
of his novels, The Magic Mountain is [ see quotes 13 to 22 in
part 2 of http://www.world-mysteries.com/PhilipGardiner/forbidden_letters_47.htm
]. But they were right that Mann's short story The Wardrobe was
an alchemical story. That story was written when Mann was
Next Rhoode himself writes:
'Now, Mann did indeed call his Magic Mountain
'an hermetic story.' And this would imply an alchemical story. (hermetics
= alchemy). But when I read the Mountain I found no alchemy at
all. I then started to google on the whole problem and found out
why Mann called his novel The Magic Mountain hermetic. In the
words of David Reiner: "The dominant theme (in The Magic
Mountain) is the nature of time. The Berghof is
hermetically sealed, as it were, from the outside world; its
inhabitants live by a different clock, where even mundane
routines - such as taking one's temperature - assume almost
ritualistic proportions."- '
Then Rhoode managed to find a quote by
Thomas Mann on The Magic Mountain that finally proves
that that novel was not about
'Hermetic—I’ve always liked that word. It’s
a magic word with vague, vast associations. . . . I can’t help
thinking about our old canning jars . . . hermetically sealed
jars, with fruit and meat and all sorts of other things inside.
There they stand, for months, for years, but when you need one
and open it up, what’s inside is fresh and intact, neither
years nor months have had any effect, you can eat it just as it
is. Now, it’s not alchemy or purification, of course, it’s
simple preservation, which is why they’re called preserves.
But the magical thing about it is that what gets preserved in
them has been withdrawn from time, has been hermetically blocked
off from time, which passes right by. Preserves don’t have
time, so to speak, but stand there on the shelf outside of
Part 2 - On Thomas Mann's Short
Story 'Disorder and Early Sorrow'
'Thomas Mann will come to you as a surprise, we are sure, but
it makes sense, as we discovered that most of his short stories
are about alchemy.'[The Paris 4]
'By the way, your man [i.e. the alchemist/BS] is a gay
man. Born on the 17th of January. In possession of that very
special balance in microcosmic male and female forces. A balance
never possessed by heterosexual men. And your stone is Christ ('He
who is near me is near the fire, and he who is near the fire is
near the Kingdom' [Gospel of Thomas/BS]).'[The Paris 4]
[ Klaus Mann at the age of twelve
Thomas Mann's short story 'Disorder and Early Sorrow' was
written in 1925 with characters that were structured after
members of Mann's own family. The story examines the life of the
Cornelius family through the eyes of Abel Cornelius, a professor
at the local university.
Bert Cornelius, the professor's son, a character based
on Thomas Mann's homosexual son Klaus Mann (he uses
make-up), gives a party. One of the guests is Max Hergesell, a
student. Hergesell is called 'a very beautiful boy' ('ein
bildhübscher Junge') by Mann - words normally used to describe
female beauty in the german language when it comes to grown
ups at least.
Upon entering the professor's house, Hergesell takes of his
shoes to put on 'his pumps' ('seine Pumps'). This leaves the
reader astonished, since Pumps in german mean the same thing as
pumps in english. In spite of the fact that they are to small,
Hergesell uses the pumps to dance. There is no astonishment here
on the side of Professor Cornelius. They both join the party,
but after a while Cornelius decides to leave 'the young people'
in order to take an evening walk. But to do so he has to put on
'over-shoes' ('Ueberschuhe'). Shoes that will protect his
evening shoes from the weather.
When Cornelius is putting those shoes on, Hergesell enters
the hall, taking of his right pump because it is too small. He
holds his aching right feet in his hands, standing on his
left foot. When he sees the professor putting on
his over-shoes he quickly kneels ('auf ein Knie niedergelassen')
and helps Cornelius.
Now, what we have here is homosexuality/androgyny
(Bert/Hergesell) and, in my opinion, an echo of Jesus
kneeling down and washing his disciples feet in John 13
[ see section 11 of http://www.world-mysteries.com/PhilipGardiner/forbidden_letters2.htm
]. Because near the end Thomas Mann, out of the blue, calls
Hergesell, for no obvious reason at all, a Swan Knight ('Schwanenritter').
And that spells Lohengrin, the alchemist deified in the
last stage of the Great Work - the Living Stone turned
into man [ Cf. 2.10 - 2.12 of http://www.world-mysteries.com/PhilipGardiner/forbidden_letters_35.htm
Essen, Germany, January 2011
© 2011 Beate Schulz
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