How to Use this
Guide to the History of Esoteric Thought through the lives of its Practitioners
Who are we? What else is Here? How true are our senses in reporting what we experience? What happens after our brief, visible turn at Life? When will our time be up? Are we alone? Are we worthy of Love? Why are we Here?
These and the other questions of Life have been pondered for generations, and various theories and answers devised. They have evolved over human history, and through the miracle of language, art and history we can trace this evolution, learn from the past, and build upon it. These ideas could be structured in many ways, this Guide follows the lives and influences of the great philosophers, magicians, witches, Churchmen, psychologists and thinkers to explore this intellectual and Spiritual evolution.
Welcome, Welcome, Welcome.
Try Random Page and play The Gnosis Lottery! http://chuckfurnace.com/opus/index.php?title=Special:Random
Start at http://chuckfurnace.com/opus/index.php?title=Special:PrefixIndex and choose a familiar name. From there, you can follow those who influenced that Philosopher - Magician and whom they influenced. You may also search by date or Country to get a flavor of the major forces of opinion during different ages, using the Guide to locate members of organizations such as the Freemasons or Golden Dawn over time.
Fill in a name using the SEARCH bar at the left.
There are various essays to assist in starting your journey on certain subjects of interest, and where possible this guide will lead to free, on-line versions of those works out of copyright and often out of print. Or you can start out with one of the Subject Essays -
like ( Alchemy; The Ancients; The Alphabet and language; Neoplatonism ; Freemason; York Rite of Freemasonry; Scottish Rite of Freemasonry; Co-Masonry; the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia (SRIA) the Rite of Memphis and Misraim; the Martinist Order of Freemasonry ; The Rite of Strict Observance; and it's offshoot, the Rectified Scottish Rite of Masonry; The Order of Eri; The Royal Society; The Elus Cohens; Brotherhood of Eulis; Golden and Rosy Cross; Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn; Order of the Asiatic Brethren; Order of the African Architects; Rosicrucians of Germany; the Fraternitas Rosicruciana Antiqua of South America; Fraternitas Rosae Crucis (FRC) of France ; Fratres Lucis; the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor of France and America; OTO AKA Ordo Templi Orientis; Sex magick; Tantra; Kabbalistic Order of the Rosy Cross of France; Qabalist; The Gnostics and other Christian Mystics; Paganism; Wicca; Shaman; Neopaganism; The Sufi derived Fourth Way; Transcendental Club ; the August Order of Light; Great Enlightened Society of Oculists as in Eye Doctors, not Magicians; The Great White Brotherhood; the Crucifixion confusion, Judeans; Egyptians; Initiated and Initiation; NUMBERs ; NAMEing; the Architecture Structure Problem; Drama and Meaning; the SMI2LE formula for future evolution, perhaps in an L5 Orbit ; The Bible and the Sources of all Bibles; Angel; Devil; Good and Evil; Babylon; Beowulf; Fifth Monarchy aka The Fifth Monarchists aka The Fifth Monarchy Men aka the "Fifth Kingdom" ; Sufi; Antinomianism , so far);
If this WIKI stands on the shoulders of giants, it serves as they did Pansophia, a "System of the World". The gathering, correlating and universal sharing of information was the goal of the Hartlib Circle's Office of Address project, the worlds 1st attempt to collect and share information ala Wikipedia today; In it, the spirit of John Amos Comenius lives on, and the promise of Universal Opportunity to Learn takes on new meaning in this new age of digital communication. Comenius saw the Hand of God in his WORKS, the Book of Nature, and warned the Royal Society of London which he inspired not to let their physical and mechanical experimentation become divorced from service to Man, the Earth and God.
As a side note, in the time this project has been researched and constructed, WIKIPEDIA has grown by leaps and bounds. Like all great strengths, it has the corresponding weakness, that of informational overload. WIKIPEDIA is a great first stop for more information on each Practitioner, as are the authors' own books and those previously written about them. Indeed, just discovered an excellent List of Occultists which may supplement this WIKI at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Occultists. Let the WIKI of Esoteric Thought be a map, but do not mistake it for a full picture of the landscape. It is the Alpha, not the Omega of your research.
The purpose is to help trace the evolution of esoteric and occult thought from the beginnings of human endeavor to the present. It will always, therefore, be a WORK in progress. Like all Great WORKs, it will continue its growth long after mortal life for the individuals categorized or authors end. By tracing these influences throughout the ages we discover various expressions of the same TRUTH, which is experiential rather than intellectual. Study of this Truth from different angles helps eliminate the extraneous and leads to the kernel of gold buried in guarded hints and the mountain of Occult and Philosophic literature.
The trickiest parts are before 1600 and post 1920. Before 1600 we have highlights, but not a lot of practitioners daring to leave much of a record. By 1920 so many people are writing memoirs our written records explode with detail. Latter entries for people currently alive can be influenced by personality clashes and open the door to libel or useless Witch Wars. Please limit comments to polite information rather than subjective opinion on the worth of the Practitioner's contribution. Naturally, we all see Truth through our own, unique perspective, and must agree to a willingness to learn in order to make proper use of the Guide. Thus while dates, times and known acquaintances can be know from facts, relationships and discoveries may be more subjective. New information or opinions can be included in parenthesis as an alternative theory, at least at 1st, so discerning minds can decide.
As years pass, Memory fades, so this wiki also is an experiment in memory retention, the creating of many hooks to snare the correct bit of information through association. At worst, it is a download of research which might easily disappear once Life follows memory and fades.
This Guide is offered under the OpenSource license and philosophy, use it as you will except for commercial purposes, give to it freely, we are all anonymous. It is amazing what we can accomplish if we release ourselves from taking credit. As we have experienced the typical web spam, the pages are locked down to approved contributors. to get an account, contact us at chuck 418 at gmail .com
please do not post spam on the WIKI, it decreases its utility.