These are notes on an excerpt from The Stellar Man by John Baines.
I was recently linked to this book online by someone I follow on twitter – it’s essentially a modern introduction to Hermetic philosophy, which I’ve been drawn to intellectually in the past year.
And here are my notes. I’ve emboldened important parts or parts that particularly resonated. Let’s begin.
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR
Whoever reads this book expecting to find an informative essay on “sugar-coated” commercial esotericism will be greatly disappointed.
The Stellar Man is about a science more elevated than any now known, and what it can do for mankind.
This wisdom, the true origin of all knowledge, represents the highest treasure that the human being can ever succeed in possessing in this or any other century, on the planet Earth or anywhere else in the far reaches of the Universe. It is the arte magnum, the perfect vision of the essential reality of Nature, which encompasses developing the capacity to see oneself objectively, and evaluating the true level of de- velopment of one’s own instrument of knowledge, the mind. All knowledge, in order to be true, has to be based on man’s internal reality, and has to be integrated into a wise, just, omnipresent, immortal, and eternal nature.
The ability to see reality is not a congenital capacity. The human being is only able to observe the map that he himself created from a subjective, limited, and rationalized interpretation. This process creates a personalized pseudo-reality, of which there are as many as there are inhabitants of this planet. I call this imaginative creation “social reality,” since in practice, the individual is a mere cultural resonator and an appendage of the collective psyche of humanity. This is why people live “half-way” and are a mixture of good and bad; why they are a little asleep and a little awake; why they are insignificant even with all their delusions of grandeur. In other words, they do not live profoundly and cannot even grasp the overwhelming significance of this fact. They just graze the surface of the planet and the epidermis of knowledge.
According to tradition, more than twenty centuries ago, the greatest sage of all lived on our planet; Hermes Trismegistus, the three times great. His Teaching, being of extraterrestrial origin, was called Hermeticism. Its objective is the profound knowledge of oneself and of the Universe. Ac- cording to Hermes, the microcosmos and the macrocosmos are analogous, which is why the conscious penetration into one’s own Universe will also lead the student to universal wisdom. The characteristic of this knowledge is that it tran- scends time and space, and corresponds to the secret anatomy of Nature, which like God, has neither beginning nor end.
When Hermes wanted to transmit his teachings to a cho- sen few, he found himself faced with the problem of the limitations of language, which is descriptive and informa- tionally based. This inherent disability made human language inadequate to meet the desired end, since all au- thentic wisdom is “meaningful” and not “informational.” It can only be comprehended at the level of BEING, and not through merely intellectual faculties. For this reason, an un- known language had to be used, different from the language of people and nations. It is a “language of meaning,” that emanates exclusively from a potent mind at the level of higher consciousness, and which far exceeds the habitual condition of man. The “language of the gods” was the only means that could assure the comprehension of that sublime teaching.
Hermes started to transmit his Teaching in great secrecy, choosing only the most prepared as his students, due to the great difficulty that such a magnum opus entailed. In time, he succeeded in forming a few inheritors and continuers, Mas- ters who formed an Initiatic School. They formed an occult fraternity that fulfilled its work behind the scenes and in si- lence. They knew that there were many neophytes who were guided by greed and ambition to obtain unlimited personal power to satisfy sordid passions, rather than a genuine spir- itual or philosophical restlessness.
Many of those who gained admission into this School failed in their tests and their twisted intention and absolute lack of ethics became evident over time. The possession of ethics was an indispensable condition to be chosen to receive the highest level of instruction.
The limited and superficial information that these pre- tenders thus obtained became the basis for the birth of a false and spurious esotericism. It was based on speculation and superstition, and its dissemination is the foundation of the immense majority of what today is erroneously known as “magic,” “occultism,” and so forth. True and sacred oc- cultism was the knowledge of Hermes, hidden from those who have not succeeded in mastering the language of the gods, and from those who, owing to their own limitations, pride, and pettiness, were not concerned with developing their higher consciousness.
What is certain is that despite the time and difficulties, a few Masters with the necessary power and wisdom to confer Hermetic initiation have existed in every epoch. This initia- tion is a mystical and transcendental event that offers the individual a certain opportunity to cross the threshold that leads to the path towards spiritual perfection and cosmic wisdom. If the individual triumphs in such an undertaking, he becomes a Stellar Man. This represents the highest goal that Homo sapiens can aspire to, and which corresponds to the culmination of the evolutionary process, but which the species would reach only after many thousands of years of successful development. Making this ascending leap leads the individual to completely overcome his animal condition, thereby moving him up one step on the evolutionary scale in the Universe. The path of self-perfection is long and ardu- ous. There can be no other way than to pursue the attainment of authentic power over oneself and one’s own existence, and to pursue the possession of a state of con- sciousness in which disharmony, destructiveness, ugliness, aggression, and unhappiness no longer exist. The real Her- metic Initiate acquires the capacity to transcend such petty realities, to instead place himself in the unlimited and infi- nite context of absolute reality; that which transcends time and space. From that moment on, he will never again be de- feated by hesitation, loneliness, or doubt. He will have united himself harmoniously with that unique and powerful force which is a creator and maintainer of life, what Hermes called “MIND.”
The Hermetic Principle says: “The ALL is MIND; The Universe is Mental.” This means that only one class of essential energy exists in the cosmos. This energy, this higher con- scious and intelligent force, is divided, and projects itself into infinite vibrations and forms of life, thus maintaining the balance of creation and life of all animate and inanimate species.
The occult anatomy of the cosmos is the mechanics of Nature, whose forces reciprocally feed from and nourish man, influencing everything in his life. Knowledge, and the use of these forces, is what permits the genuine Hermeticist to act with his mind in different vital situations in order to ensure the achievement of his goals. Fate does not exist; everything has a cause and effect; nothing happens by chance. True magic bears no resemblance whatsoever to superstition and witchcraft. The true magus, is a KING of his internal world which by analogy can influence the external world. “As it is above, so it is below.” “As it is within, so it is without.”
Guided by voraciousness and greed, there are many who believe that it is possible to steal the secret and usurp the magic power, supposing that it is based on the development of parapsychological faculties. Nothing is further from reality. Magic is the path of the mutant. It is the supreme art, which leads to one’s own liberation and spiritual perfection. It is the ascending evolutionary spiral that leads the individual to the only true heaven—the one gained through one’s own merit and through internal discipline—it is the legacy of Hermes. It is not possible to reach this goal without hav- ing first dominated oneself. Nature makes the candidate for immortality undergo various tests. The will and character of the candidate have to be tempered silently in the forge of daily experience, until he cleanses his heart of all impurities. It is not possible to approach Isis, the mistress of the mysteries of Nature, without having first achieved a state of inner transparency. If this were not so, the candidate would end as the butterfly burned by the flame of a candle, for supreme truth blinds or burns the evildoer and the impure as much as it elevates the just and perfect.
The noble figure of Hermes, the envoy of the gods, rises out of the remote past showing us the correct path.
You who read this book are free to make your own decision.
Chapter 1 Notes
In this world, the one who triumphs is usually the man of the masses who demonstrates perfect submission to the norms of the multi- tude, and who decides at an early age not to think for himself, but to act instead with the multitude’s collective mind. This is an unfailing passport to material success, but the price paid is so much higher than the reward. The price is one’s own individuality, the much-prized goal of the Del- phic command, “know thyself.” As it happens, one who knows himself well and therefore understands others is often harassed, disregarded, and ostracized. This is due to the fact that leadership usually belongs to the mediocre who glorify the golden calf and celebrate the empty stereotype of the programmed individual. The temple of Delphi and its ideals no longer exist. They have been replaced by the tem- ple of the university, the temple of the law, the temple of religions, and the temple of political ideologies and eco- nomic systems, along with all their slogans and phrases. All these are united by a common denominator: “Do not recog- nize yourself; surrender yourself to the multitude and obey its designs.”
Very few people are aware of this situation, but some feel it instinctively and try to rebel against the system, without knowing what really leads them to this reaction. Young peo- ple, for example, intuitively resist, although sometimes by mistaken paths, only to be absorbed by the collective entity. Later, as the years go by and their cerebral programming is strengthened, youth also yields to the strong influence of the collective mind.
A person who does not rapidly integrate collectively is believed to be antisocial, but he who merges easily and com- pletely with the masses and loses his individuality is considered very valuable. This willingness to merge is con- sidered the correct way to be and is seen as the mark of asocial conscience. Here again sapiens has missed the point, for it is not possible to help or love others without first knowing oneself.
Although the world has progressed from a barbaric state to civilization in the course of history, the savage sapiens is today basically as primitive as in the distant past, except that he is now covered with dozens of layers of cultural and edu- cational varnish.
To break through the spiritual isolation of humanity, a superior being full of love and compassion came to the world one day: Christ. He wanted to give sapiens an oppor- tunity to know a different world, a world without violence, hate, slavery, or contradiction, to show sapiens what he could achieve.
The collective mind of the multitude, programmed ac- cording to the dictum “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” violently rejected the Christian message and destroyed the Messiah, as had happened on other occasions when Christ had come to earth, manifested through other superior men.
This is how the multitudes serve as an instrument for the Antichrist, the blind monster, the headless beast that lies in wait for all those who want to achieve the conscious individ- uality which would allow them to stop being sapiens and convert them into Stellar Men. To be Stellar Men is the pinna- cle of the evolution of Homo sapiens.
Unfortunately, today we cannot count on the spiritual impulse of Christ incarnated in a human body. Christ as a di- vine force, omnipresent in religious temples, is but a symbolic allegory that invites believers to follow a comfort- ing example. No known individual currently possesses a real spiritual force which could be called Christic. The priests of different religions only try to imitate Christ, but unfortu- nately they do it with external and prefabricated spirituality, in accordance to the stereotypes established by the patri- archs of the church.
However, ignorance does not necessarily mean nonexis- tence. The truth is that the torch of spirituality is presently carried by only a few individuals who are unknown to the masses. Let us call them the magicians, in the dignified sense of this expression, which is usually employed in a vulgar manner. We are referring to the great initiates, Masters, un-known superior beings, or occult sages of humanity.
Why do we designate Christ as the symbol of spiritual- ity? Because Jesus was the most distinguished member of the Magician’s Fraternity, prepared specifically for his mis- sion to make Christ incarnate in himself. Jesus and Christ were two different persons; one human, the other, divine.
Christ is a superior being who is on an advanced level on the scale of evolution, which a human being could reach in perhaps millions of years of evolution. Let us conceive of him as an extraterrestrial spiritual power, which we could call an Archangel. This Archangel, due to his very lengthy evolution, possessed perfect and powerful spirituality. This is why Jesus went through a long preparation for this role, for he had to be able to withstand an extremely high vibra- tion in his physical body. This vibration could only manifest itself for brief moments, as its intensity could destroy the nervous and cellular system of Jesus’ body. Christ was the one who performed miracles through Jesus, who provided the matter for his manifestation.
The Magician’s Fraternity remains well hidden, as it has a right to its own privacy, but some of its members have inter- mingled with ordinary people, motivated by the wish to show sapiens the road to a higher life. The magicians know, however, that knowledge of The Hermetic Art as an instru- ment to reach spiritual heights, is only for the “elite” and is not to be divulged. Nevertheless, the fraternity of initiates provides the opportunity for any person with sufficient merit to join the Hermetic elite of Magicians or Stellar Men, if the scope and intelligence of his efforts permits him to do so.
The science of the Magicians is called Hermetic Art in honor of Hermes Trismegistus. According to tradition, he ar- rived on earth from outer space approximately thirty thousand years ago, anointed as Supreme Grand Master of the Initiatic Fraternity.
Inspired by his light, Egypt became great and wise, and the sacred science of its priests was called Hermeticism. In those days, only by means of huge sacrifices and trials was it possible to belong to a Hermetic Initiatic School. The great majority who succeeded in entering such a school faltered along the way, lacking the moral and spiritual courage to overcome the multiple obstacles, temptations, and trials by which ISIS, mistress of the mysteries of Nature, evaluated the true worth of those who aspired to the supreme knowledge of the absolute truth.
It was in one of those schools that Jesus himself became a Hermeticist and reached the highest degrees of initiation.
Because the time is right, we will divulge the mystery of Jesus the Christ and the causes for the moral suffering of hu- manity, according to the teachings of the Magician’s Fraternity. This moral mystery stems from the adoration of the golden calf; from the submission of the human being to the god of money In honor of this god, he must give up or sacri- fice his spiritual possibilities in order to be able to subsist. Those who possess adequate means of subsistence generally pervert their potential spiritual values in the foolish game of gaining social position on the consumer market. The spiri- tual or moral quality of an individual is worth very little, as the need for money leads him to lower and prostitute him- self for the vile metal, which buys honor, respect, love, fame, and power. The money god is sitting above the world, and whoever wishes to enjoy his gifts must adore him. The real power of money is not only material, but it is principally a hidden force, as the coin is not worth anything in itself; it is only symbolic for human effort or work. By a strange para- dox, although work is intrinsically noble, money, the result of this effort, is under the control or influence of a satanic or diabolic power.
Does Satan really exist, or is he only a myth created by the masses to explain certain things? If a person believes in the existence of God, then he must believe there is a devil or Satan as a counterpart of the Supreme Creator. Because ab- solute unity does not exist in life, the mere existence of something leads us to the affirmation that its opposite is also real. There is no light without darkness, no good without evil, no truth without falsehood. Death follows life, and life follows death.
God would thus be the supreme creative intelligence, and the “devil,” the destructive intelligence. In the ancient Kabbalah, the devil has been symbolized as the shadow of God. Therefore, just as the Great Creator has his angelic hosts, the devil also has his infernal legion. William Blatty, in his book The Exorcist, refers to this legion when he presents the phenomenon of “demonic possession.” After the follow- ing explanation we can continue our story.
The tradition transmitted by the great Hermetic Masters affirms that at a crucial moment in the history of humanity, a powerful diabolic Archangel, if we are allowed to call him thus, succeeded in penetrating the earth’s occult defenses and entered its atmosphere, provoking extreme distur- bances. To be able to imagine such a being, we suggest reading the book The Lurker at the Threshold by H. P. Love- craft. According to Hermetic tradition, the direct, albeit unwilling cause of this catastrophe which affects us to this day, was Moses.
Chapter VIII: Hermeticism Notes
Hermeticism is the Masterly Science of the Universe, which came to the planet Earth in the times of Lemuria. According to tradition, Hermeticism was brought by extraterrestrial Masters, who by this transcendental act tried to give sapiens the possibility of higher evolution, which until that time had been denied to them.
We do not know the deepest motives of these visitors. We only know that they came to this place and stayed for a long time. The physical facts of their arrival and in what vessels they may have arrived is what least interests us. Let’s say that a space vehicle is not the only way of traveling in the Universe. It is possible that human beings or humanoids, as they may be called, can under certain circumstances, and even without a material body, fly through the Universe at speeds faster than light. It is not light that flies fastest in the Cosmos, but thought, and we truly believe that it is possible to fly on the wings of thought as symbolized by the god Mercury.