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John Dee - great unacknowledged influence on Freemasonry?

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posted on Jul, 10 2010 @ 06:42 PM
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This thread puts forward the question of the unacknowledged role the Renaissance magus, natural philosopher, mathematician, and inventor of the British Imperial meme, Dr. John Dee had on the formation of modern speculative Freemasonry and its philosophy; via excerpts from leading scholar's writings. Suffice to say that there must have been some influence emanating from the prodigious intellect that in a very real way birthed the British Empire, whose capabilities were truly universal for his time.
Was this Renaissance magus far more of an influence on the Brotherhood than is generally recognised? I find it curious in many respects, and I'm not alone here as the following supporting quotes show, that Dee has never been in a sense 'canonised' by the masonic fraternity and claimed as one of their own, as a putative masonic philosopher who hailed architecture and the art of geometry (as well as his own idiosyncratic take on the seven liberal arts) as spiritual and practical models for improvement of the human condition, who coined the term 'British Empire,", who set out to in a very real and grand way to 'square the circle" as it related to the entire globe. His significance should not be underestimated, though for many years in academic circles he had been sidelined as he could not be 'squared'
with a contemporary perspective on the Renaissance.
See the following ATS post for some background info on one of the most intriguing characters of the Western Esoteric Tradition:

John Dee - Elizabethan Magus

The following pages from the esteemed historian Frances A. Yates presents the basic argument. Pages 213 - 214 of Frances Yates' The Rosicrucian Enlightenment:





From pages 104 - 105 of David Stevenson's The Origins of Freemasonry - Scotland's Century, 1590 - 1710:



"As with Hermeticism in general and with the art of memory in particular, Frances Yates suggested the connection of freemasonry with Rosicrucianism. She speculated that in later sixteenth-century England 'an idea of something like what was the masonic idea' had developed and lated moved abroad and influenced Rosicrucianism. Therefore 'One should look for possibly masonic mystiques among the writings of the Rosicrucian group.' This suggestion was partly inspired by the fact that the writings of the Elizabethan magus, John Dee, did have an influence on the Rosicrucians, and that he did have an interesting part in the contemporary trend towards idealising the architect. But though the spiritual and alchemical ideas of Dee were well known on the continent - he travelled widely in Germany in the 1580s - the interest in architects relates to a much earlier past of Dee's career, and there is no evidence that he developed it in any 'masonic' way. There is, moreover, no evidence for any 'masonic' developments in Elizabethan England, and the concept of of such ideas evolving there, being exported to the continent, and subsequently returning in a Rosicrucian guise seems unnecessarily elaborate.
There is of course evidence of very notable 'masonic' developments on Scotland in the 1590s, but it seems highly improbable that they were exported at that time or had anything to do with the origins of Rosicrucianism. It is far more likely that any influences connecting the two movements worked in the opposite direction. Emerging freemasonry did not help to form Rosicrucianism, but Rosicrucianism may have influenced the early development of freemasonry, adding new a new strand of ideals and beliefs to those already present in the Scottish mason craft. To the already mixed bag of masonic lore - the myth of Egypt, Solomon's Temple, the Hermetic quest. the art of memory - was added the myth of the secret order of invisible brethren, dedicated to seeking ultimate truths and to understanding the mysterious universe."


Though Yates and Stevenson have different stances on the flow of the memestream (Freemasonry feeding the Rosicrucian current, or vice versa), it was quite possible bi-directional, the figure of Dee is seen as key.

Page 107 of Stevenson's book again:



"By the late sixteenth century the Vitruvian concept of the architect was well known in Britain. In 1563 John Schute wrote a treatise influenced by Vitriuvius which declared that 'Architectur...ys of all artes, the most noble and excellent, contayning in it sundry sciences and knowlaiges wherwyth it is furnished.' John Dee was translating Vitruvius when he wrote in 1570 of architecture as 'a Science garnished with many doctrines, and diuers Instructions: by whose judgement, all workes by other workmen finished, are judged', and he cited the Vitruvian list of arts necessary to the architect. The statues of the architect was further heightened by his identification with the mathematican at the time the mathematical sciences were increasingly regarded as providing certainty in knowledge as a key to understanding and controlling nature. John Dee sung the praises of the architect in his preface to Euclid, claiming that 'all the mathematical arts subserve Architecture as their queen'. And, as any mason who had ever heard the Old Charges knew, Euclid was one of the founders of the mason craft in ancient Egypt."


To underscore the view of Stevenson here are some passages for comparison between John Dee's The Mathematicall Praeface to Elements of Geometrie of Euclid and the Old Charges of masonic lore. The similarities are quite uncanny in many parts. Bear in mind that the following is in the archaic English of Dee's time:

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posted on Jul, 10 2010 @ 06:42 PM
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The Mathematicall Praeface to Elements of Geometrie of Euclid of Megara by John Dee:





There is (gentle Reader) nothing (the word of God onely set apart) which so much beautifieth and adorneth the soule and minde of mã, as doth the knowledge of good artes and sciences: as the knowledge of naturall and morall Philosophie. The one setteth before our eyes, the creatures of God, both in the heauens aboue, and in the earth beneath: in which as in a glasse, we beholde the exceding maiestie and wisedome of God, in adorning and beautifying them as we see: in geuing vnto them such wonderfull and manifolde proprieties, and naturall workinges, and that so diuersly and in such varietie: farther in maintaining and conseruing them continually, whereby to praise and adore him, as by S. Paule we are taught. The other teacheth vs rules and preceptes of vertue, how, in common life amongest men, we ought to walke vprightly: what dueties pertaine to our selues, what pertaine to the gouernment or good order both of an housholde, and also of a citie or common wealth. The reading likewise of histories, conduceth not a litle, to the adorning of the soule & minde of man, a studie of all men cõmended: by it are seene and knowen the artes and doinges of infinite wise men gone before vs. In histories are contained infinite examples of heroicall vertues to be of vs followed, and horrible examples of vices to be of vs eschewed. Many other artes also there are which beautifie the minde of man: but of all other none do more garnishe & beautifie it, then those artes which are called Mathematicall. Unto the knowledge of which no man can attaine, without the perfecte knowledge and instruction of the principles, groundes, and Elementes of Geometrie. But perfectly || to be instructed in them, requireth diligent studie and reading of olde auncient authors. Amongest which, none for a beginner is to be preferred before the most auncient Philosopher Euclide of Megara.




Of Mathematicall thinges, are two principall kindes: namely, Number, and Magnitude. Number. Number, we define, to be, a certayne Mathematicall Sũme, of Vnits. Note the worde, Vnit, to expresse the Greke Monas, & not Vnitie: as we haue all, commonly, till now, vsed. And, an Vnit, is that thing Mathematicall, Indiuisible, by participation of some likenes of whose property, any thing, which is in deede, or is counted One, may resonably be called One. We account an Vnit, a thing Mathematicall, though it be no Number, and also indiuisible: because, of it, materially, Number doth consist: which, principally, is a thing Mathematicall. Magnitude. Magnitude is a thing Mathematicall, by participation of some likenes of whose nature, any thing is iudged long, broade, or thicke. “A thicke Magnitude we call a Solide, or a Body. What Magnitude so euer, is Solide or Thicke, is also broade, & long. A broade magnitude, we call a Superficies or a Plaine. Euery playne magnitude, hath also length. A long magnitude, we terme a Line. A Line is neither thicke nor broade, but onely long: Euery certayne Line, hath two endes: A point. The endes of a line, are Pointes called. A Point, is a thing Mathematicall, indiuisible, which may haue a certayne determined situation.” If a Poynt moue from a determined situation, the way wherein it moued, is also a Line: mathematically produced, whereupon, of the auncient Mathematiciens, A Line. a Line is called the race or course of a Point. A Poynt we define, by the name of a thing Mathematicall: though it be no Magnitude, and indiuisible: because it is the propre ende, and bound of a Line: which is a true Magnitude. Magnitude. And Magnitude we may define to be that thing Mathematicall, which is diuisible for euer, in partes diuisible, long, broade or thicke. Therefore though a Poynt be no Magnitude, yet Terminatiuely, we recken it a thing Mathematicall (as I sayd) by reason it is properly the end, and bound of a line. Neither Number, nor Magnitude, haue any Materialitie. First, we will consider of Number, and of the Science Mathematicall, to it appropriate, called Arithmetike: and afterward of Magnitude, and his Science, called Geometrie.


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posted on Jul, 10 2010 @ 06:42 PM
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Architecture, to many may seme not worthy, or not mete, to be reckned among the Artes Mathematicall. To whom, I thinke good, to giue some account of my so doyng. Not worthy, (will they say,) bycause it is but for building, of a house, Pallace, Church, Forte, or such like, grosse workes. And you, also, defined the Artes Mathematicall, to be such, as dealed with no Materiall or corruptible thing: and also did demonstratiuely procede in their faculty, by Number or Magnitude. First, The Answer. you see, that I count, here, Architecture, among those Artes Mathematicall, which are Deriued from the Principals: and you know, that such, may deale with Naturall thinges, and sensible matter. Of which, “some draw nerer, to the Simple and absolute Mathematicall Speculation, then other do. And though, the Architect procureth, enformeth, & directeth, the Mechanicien, to handworke, & the building actuall, of house, Castell, or Pallace, and is chief Iudge of the same: yet, with him selfe (as chief Master and Architect,) remaineth the Demonstratiue reason and cause, of the Mechaniciens worke: in Lyne, plaine, and Solid: by Geometricall, Arithmeticall, Opticall, Musicall, Astronomicall, Cosmographicall” (& to be brief) by all the former Deriued Artes Mathematicall, and other Naturall Artes, hable to be confirmed and stablished. If this be so: then, may you thinke, that Architecture, hath good and due allowance, in this honest Company of Artes Mathematicall Deriuatiue. I will, herein, craue Iudgement of two most perfect Architectes: the one, being Vitruuius, the Romaine: who did write ten bookes thereof, to the Emperour Augustus (in whose daies our Heauenly Archemaster, was borne): and the other, Leo Baptista Albertus, a Florentine: who also published ten bookes therof. Architectura (sayth Vitruuius) est Scientia pluribus disciplinis & varijs eruditionibus ornata: cuius Iudicio probantur omnia, quæ ab cæteris Artificibus perficiuntur opera. That is. Architecture, is a Science garnished with many doctrines & diuerse instructions: by whose Iudgement, all workes, by other workmen finished, are Iudged. It followeth. Ea nascitur ex Fabrica, & Ratiocinatione. &c. Ratiocinatio autem est, quæ, res fabricatas, Solertia ac ratione proportionis, demonstrare atque explicare potest. Architecture, groweth of Framing, and Reasoning. &c. Reasoning, is that, which of thinges framed, with forecast, and proportion: can make demonstration, and manifest declaration. Againe. Cùm, in omnibus enim rebus, tùm maximè etiam in Architectura, hæc duo insunt: quod significatur, & quod significat. Significatur proposita res, de qua dicitur: hanc autem Significat Demonstratio, rationibus doctrinarum explicata. Forasmuch as, in all thinges: therefore chiefly in Architecture, these two thinges are: the thing signified: and that which signifieth. The thing propounded, whereof we speake, is the thing Signified. But Demonstration, expressed with the reasons of diuerse doctrines, doth signifie the same thing. After that. Vt literatus sit, peritus Graphidos, eruditus Geometriæ, & Optices non ignarus: instructus Arithmetica: historias complures nouerit, Philosophos diligenter audiuerit: Musicam sciuerit: Medicinæ non sit ignarus, responsa Iurisperitorũ nouerit: Astrologiam, Cælique rationes cognitas habeat. An Architect (sayth he) ought to vnderstand Languages, to be skilfull of Painting, well instructed in Geometrie, not ignorant of Perspectiue, furnished with Arithmetike, haue knowledge of many histories, and diligently haue heard Philosophers, haue skill of Musike, not ignorant of Physike, know the aunsweres of Lawyers, and haue Astronomie, || and the courses Cælestiall, in good knowledge. He geueth reason, orderly, wherefore all these Artes, Doctrines, and Instructions, are requisite in an excellent Architect. And (for breuitie) omitting the Latin text, thus he hath. Secondly, it is behofefull for an Architect to haue the knowledge of Painting: that he may the more easilie fashion out, in patternes painted, the forme of what worke he liketh. And Geometrie, geueth to Architecture many helpes: and first teacheth the Vse of the Rule, and the Cumpasse: wherby (chiefly and easilie) the descriptions of Buildinges, are despatched in Groundplats: and the directions of Squires, Leuells, and Lines. Likewise, by Perspectiue, the Lightes of the heauen, are well led, in the buildinges: from certaine quarters of the world. By Arithmetike, the charges of Buildinges are summed together: the measures are expressed, and the hard questions of Symmetries, are by Geometricall Meanes and Methods discoursed on. &c. Besides this, of the Nature of thinges (which in Greke is called φυσιολογία) Philosophie doth make declaration. Which, it is necessary, for an Architect, with diligence to haue learned: because it hath many and diuers naturall questions: as specially, in Aqueductes. For in their courses, leadinges about, in the leuell ground, and in the mountinges, the naturall Spirites or breathes are ingendred diuers wayes: The hindrances, which they cause, no man can helpe, but he, which out of Philosophie, hath learned the originall causes of thinges. Likewise, who soeuer shall read Ctesibius, or Archimedes bookes, (and of others, who haue written such Rules) can not thinke, as they do: vnlesse he shall haue receaued of Philosophers, instructions in these thinges. And Musike he must nedes know: that he may haue vnderstanding, both of Regular and Mathematicall Musike: that he may temper well his Balistes, Catapultes, and Scorpions. &c. Moreouer, the Brasen Vessels, which in Theatres, are placed by Mathematicall order, in ambries, vnder the steppes: and the diuersities of the soundes (which ye Grecians call ηχεῖα) are ordred according to Musicall Symphonies & Harmonies: being distributed in ye Circuites, by Diatessaron, Diapente, and Diapason. That the conuenient voyce, of the players sound, whẽ it came to these preparations, made in order, there being increased: with yt increasing, might come more cleare & pleasant, to ye eares of the lokers on. &c. And of Astronomie, is knowẽ ye East, West, South, and North. The fashion of the heauen, the Æquinox, the Solsticie, and the course of the sterres.


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posted on Jul, 10 2010 @ 06:43 PM
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Which thinges, vnleast one know: he can not perceiue, any thyng at all, the reason of Horologies. Seyng therfore this ample Science, is garnished, beautified and stored, with so many and sundry skils and knowledges: I thinke, that none can iustly account them selues Architectes, of the suddeyne. But they onely, who from their childes yeares, ascendyng by these degrees of knowledges, beyng fostered vp with the atteynyng of many Languages and Artes, haue wonne to the high Tabernacle of Architecture. &c. And to whom Nature hath giuen such quicke Circumspection, sharpnes of witt, and Memorie, that they may be very absolutely skillfull in Geometrie, Astronomie, Musike, and the rest of the Artes Mathematicall: d.iiij Such, surmount and passe the callyng, and state, of Architectes: A Mathematicien. and are become Mathematiciens. &c. And they are found, seldome. As, in tymes past, was Aristarchus Samius: Philolaus, and Archytas, Tarentynes: Apollonius Pergęus: Eratosthenes Cyreneus: Archimedes, and Scopas, Syracusians. Who also, left to theyr posteritie, many Engines and Gnomonicall workes: by numbers and naturall meanes, inuented and declared.
Thus much, and the same wordes (in sense) in one onely Chapter of this Incõparable Architect Vitruuius, shall you finde. And if you should, but take his boke in your hand, and slightly loke thorough it, you would say straight way: Vitruuius. This is Geometrie, Arithmetike, Astronomie, Musike, Anthropographie, Hydragogie, Horometrie. &c. and (to cõclude) the Storehouse of all workmãship. Now, let vs listen to our other Iudge, our Florentine, Leo Baptista: and narrowly consider, how he doth determine of Architecture. Sed anteque vltra progrediar. &c. But before I procede any further (sayth he) I thinke, that I ought to expresse, what man I would haue to bee allowed an Architect. For, I will not bryng in place a Carpenter: as though you might Compare him to the Chief Masters of other Artes. For the hand of the Carpenter, is the Architectes Instrument. VVho is an Architect. But I will appoint the Architect to be “that man, who hath the skill, (by a certaine and meruailous meanes and way,) both in minde and Imagination to determine and also in worke to finish: what workes so euer, by motion of waight, and cuppling and framyng together of bodyes, may most aptly be Commodious for the worthiest Vses of Man.” And that he may be able to performe these thinges, he hath nede of atteynyng and knowledge of the best, and most worthy thynges. &c. The whole Feate of Architecture in buildyng, consisteth in Lineamentes, and in Framyng. And the whole power and skill of Lineamentes, tendeth to this: that the right and absolute way may be had, of Coaptyng and ioyning Lines and angles: by which, the face of the buildyng or frame, may be comprehended and concluded. And it is the property of Lineamentes, to prescribe vnto buildynges, and euery part of them, an apt place, & certaine nũber: a worthy maner, and a semely order: that, so, ye whole forme and figure of the buildyng, may rest in the very Lineamentes. &c. And we may prescribe in mynde and imagination the whole formes,* * The Immaterialitie of perfect Architecture. all material stuffe beyng secluded. Which point we shall atteyne, by Notyng and forepointyng the angles, and lines, by a sure and certaine direction and connexion. Seyng then, these thinges, are thus: What, Lineament is. Lineamente, shalbe the certaine and constant prescribyng, conceiued in mynde: made in lines and angles: and finished with a learned minde and wyt. “We thanke you Master Baptist, that you haue so aptly brought your Arte, and phrase therof, to haue some Mathematicall perfection: Note. by certaine order, nũber, forme, figure, and Symmetrie mentall:” all naturall & sensible stuffe set a part. Now, then, it is euident, (Gentle reader) how aptely and worthely, I haue preferred Architecture, to be bred and fostered vp in the Dominion of the pereles Princesse, Mathematica: and to be a naturall Subiect of hers. And the name of Architecture, is of the principalitie, which this Science hath, aboue all other Artes. And Plato affirmeth, the Architect to be Master ouer all, that make any worke. Wherupon, he is neither Smith, nor Builder: nor, separately, any Artificer: but the || Hed, the Prouost, the Directer, and Iudge of all Artificiall workes, and all Artificers. For, the true Architect, is hable to teach, Demonstrate, distribute, describe, and Iudge all workes wrought. And he, onely, searcheth out the causes and reasons of all Artificiall thynges. Thus excellent, is Architecture: though few (in our dayes) atteyne thereto: yet may not the Arte, be otherwise thought on, then in very dede it is worthy. Nor we may not, of auncient Artes, make new and imperfect Definitions in our dayes: for scarsitie of Artificers: No more, than we may pynche in, the Definitions of Wisedome, or Honestie, or of Frendeshyp or of Iustice. No more will I consent, to Diminish any whit, of the perfection and dignitie, (by iust cause) allowed to absolute Architecture. Vnder the Direction of this Arte, are thre principall, necessary Mechanicall Artes. Namely, Howsing, Fortification, and Naupegie. Howsing, I vnderstand, both for Diuine Seruice, and Mans common vsage: publike, and priuate. Of Fortification and Naupegie, straunge matter might be told you: But perchaunce, some will be tyred, with this Bederoll, all ready rehearsed: and other some, will nycely nip my grosse and homely discoursing with you: made in post hast: for feare you should wante this true and frendly warnyng, and tast giuyng, of the Power Mathematicall. Lyfe is short, and vncertaine: Tymes are perilouse: &c. And still the Printer awayting, for my pen staying: All these thinges, with farder matter of Ingratefulnes, giue me occasion to passe away, to the other Artes remainyng, with all spede possible.


There seem to be some very clear portents of the Great Architect and the use of geometry in a moral & spiritual sense as employed by later speculative masons.

The Old Charges:

The Matthew Cooke Manuscript

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posted on Jul, 10 2010 @ 06:43 PM
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How and in what manner that this worthy science of geometry began, I will tell you, as I said before. Ye shall understand that there be 7 liberal sciences, by the which 7 all sciences and crafts, in the world, were first found, and in especially for he is causer of all, that is to say the science of geometry of all other that be, the which 7 sciences are called thus.

* As for the first, that is called [the] fundament of science, his name is grammar, he teacheth a man rightfully to speak and to write truly.
* The second is rhetoric, and he teacheth a man to speak formably and fair.
* The third is dialecticus, and that science teacheth a man to discern the truth from the false, and commonly it is called art or sophistry.
* The fourth is called arithmetic, the which teacheth a man the craft of numbers, for to reckon and to make account of all things.
* The fifth [is] geometry, the which teacheth a man all the metcon, and measures, and ponderacion, of weights of all mans craft.
* The 6th is music, that teacheth a man the craft of song, in notes of voice and organ, and trumpet, and harp, and of all others pertaining to them.
* The 7th is astronomy, that teacheth man the course of the sun, and of the moon, and of other stars and planets of heaven.




Elders that were before us, of masons, had these charges written to them as we have now in our charges of the story of Euclid, as we have seen them written in Latin and in French both; but how that Euclid came to [the knowledge of] geometry reason would we should tell you as it is noted in the Bible and in other stories. In the twelfth chapter of Genesis he telleth how that Abraham came to the Land of Canaan, and our Lord appeared to him and said, I shall give this land to thy seed; but there fell a great hunger in that land, and Abraham took Sarah, his wife, with him and went into Egypt in pilgrimage, [and] while the hunger [en]dured he would bide there. And Abraham, as the chronicle saith, he was a wise man and a great clerk, and couthe all the 7 science[s] and taught the Egyptians the science of geometry. And thid worthy clerk, Euclid, was his clerk and learned of him. And he gave the first name of geometry, all be that it was occupied before it had no name of geometry. But it is said of Isodour, Ethemologiarum, in the 5th booke Ethemolegiarum, capitolo primo, saith that Euclid was one of the first founders of geometry, and he gave it [that] name, for in his time that was a water in that land of Egypt that is called [the] Nile, and it flowed so far into the land that men might not dwell therein.

Then this worthy clerk, Euclid, taught them to make great walls and ditches to holde out the water; and he, by geometry, measured the land, and departed it in divers parts, and made every man close his own part with walls and ditches, and then it became a plenteous country of all manner of fruit and of young people, of men and women, that there was so much people of young fruit that they could not well live. And the lords of the country drew them [selves] together and made a council how they might help their children that had no livelihood, competent and able, for to find themselves and their children for thy had so many. And among them all in council was this worthy clerk Euclid, and when he saw that all they could not bring about this matter he said to them-"Will ye take your sons in governance, and I shall teach them such science that they shall live thereby gentlemanly, under condition that ye will be sworn to me to perform the governance that I shall set you to and them both." And the king of the land and all the lords, by one assent, granted thereto.


Whether Dee's rhetoric in being so similar to masonic lore was simply due to the cultural milieu of the time or whether he had a more direct influence (I favour the latter) there seems to be clear cut parallels here.

Also see the Regius Manuscript

Bonus material: The Craftsman's Trowel Blogspot: The Ideological Influences on the Formation of Speculative Freemasonry Part 1



posted on Jul, 10 2010 @ 07:07 PM
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I'm going to read all of this in just a bit when I can, but I appreciate the thread.

Dr. Dee is one of those great minds that science has chosen to ignore.
He was nothing short of brilliant.



posted on Jul, 10 2010 @ 07:08 PM
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reply to post by hadriana
 


Brilliant he was indeed.



posted on Jul, 10 2010 @ 07:48 PM
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Dee got Ozzy Ozbourne's attention. I guess that's saying something, as Alister Crowley did the same for the Ozz

That being said, Genius has it's own sense of freedom from the chaos variable, in light of facilitating individual oddity. =
=

I guess that's why in the picture you've provided for Dee, it makes him appear quite at home amongst the clouds of brimstone he seems to be snarling at us from lol...



posted on Jul, 10 2010 @ 08:43 PM
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reply to post by Megiddodiddo
 


Dee has always got people's attention, perhaps mistakenly. He was a man wedged between two eras, seeking ultimate knowledge via measn seemingly paradoxical. At once the prototype for the Faustian magician giving all he possessed for relations with angels and the secrets of the universe, he also was a rational man, a proto-scientist who, in accordance with the philosophy and reasoning of his age saw no contradiction in seeking answers via angelic magic.
Dee released a wave of esoteric thoughforms on the continent when he travelled in Europe, just as Giordano Bruno did when he travelled to England.

But that is another story....



posted on Jul, 11 2010 @ 09:30 AM
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He reminds me of Tesla.

Tesla got into speaking with ETs and interplanetary communication and stuff.

The magician seeks to own his own mind, to unhitch it from inhibiting societal posts at times..the best seem to serve humanity...or want to try to.....perhaps opening up to other dimensions is all part of it.



posted on Jul, 11 2010 @ 09:31 AM
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He reminds me of Tesla.

Tesla got into speaking with ETs and interplanetary communication and stuff.

The magician seeks to own his own mind, to unhitch it from inhibiting societal posts at times..the best seem to serve humanity...or want to try to.....perhaps opening up to other dimensions is all part of it.



posted on Jul, 12 2010 @ 01:38 AM
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reply to post by hadriana
 


Many things are possible. He certainly was obsessed with opening his mind's eye to other worlds and possibilities of existence. Whether he actually did or not could be debated till the cows came home.
One fascinating explanation that rhymes true with me, ever being a skeptic, is that he and his main, most successful scryer; Edward Kelly, entered unconsciously into a compact of mutual hip-gnosis, a unspoken contractual trance where they both entered a realm of the psyche where they really believed they were conversing with angels. It is said that the Renassiance magus Marsilio Ficino did the same solo, entering into a mystic trance where he entered into communication with the subtle worlds.
Perhaps entering into this area of the mind they actually were, who knows...

For me though Dee's more pragmatic scientific endeavours are as fascinating as his esoteric pursuits and can't readily be seperated neatly and concisely. Scholars have been frustrated by efforts to so for a long time now.



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 04:47 PM
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I would be pleased if any Masons here could engage with the topic and comment. I think it could be a worthwhile discussion.

Also, any non-Masons with an interest of course.



posted on Aug, 24 2010 @ 11:01 AM
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Thank you for this thread, it seems such threads, that open more doors in the mind than most might view with comfort fall to the bottom when judged, as threads are, by mass popularity..

I was reading Yates this morning at breakfast and then chanced a search on ATS for references to Masonry, and was delighted to find this thread. Allow me to express my gratitude by typing in two passages to frame your OP re John Dee:


"Dee's Clavis angelicae was published at Cracow in 1584 (two years after Bruno's Shadows by which, therefore, it could have influenced)"
Francis Yates, Page 211, The Art of Memory


"I have drawn attention in my other book to the rumor that Bruno (Giordano) was said to have founded a sect in Germany called the 'Giordanista', suggesting that this might have something to do with the Rosecrucians, the mysterious brotherhood of the Rosy Cross announced by manifestos in the early seventeenth century in Germany, about which so little is known that some scholars argue that it never existed. Whether or not there is any connection between the rumoured Rosecrucians and the origins of Freemasonry, first heard of as an institution in England in 1646 when Elias Ashmole was made a mason, is again a mysterious and unsettled question. Bruno, at any rate, propagated his views in both England and Germany, so his movements might conceivably be a common source for both Rosecrucianism and Freemasonry."
Francis Yates 1966, Page 303, The Art of Memory (bolded emphasis is Seataka's)





[edit on 24-8-2010 by seataka]



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 02:56 PM
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reply to post by seataka
 


Thanks for the input there. I really think that there are serious unexplored avenues as regards Dee's and Bruno's (especially the latter's Giordanista organization) influence on the closely related currents of Freemasonry and Rosicrucianism. I think potentially it was heavy and decisive.
Yates' art of memory book is one I want to read soon.



posted on Mar, 28 2011 @ 06:19 PM
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reply to post by Extant Taxon
 


John Dee I feel most certainly did have a connection to our fraternity as an influence, though I do not know if it was directly. Or if there were a direct connection I have seen no proof of it. However he was a very influential intellectual both among the elite, and the tradesman, and certainly many of his ideals, such as wanting to heal the social rifts between men of different faiths, and seeing the proof of God in his works, find a home and practice in masonic views. How much of this was a synergy of that time among many notable men during the awakening of the renaisance however, and how much is direct influence is anyone's guess. Further him being derided later by theologically ignorant minds, and labeled as diabolic for his studies most likely would be a key reason why if there was a connection it may have been downplayed by masons.

The reality is he was a very pious Christian, and his world view was much more in line with the Carpenter / Rabbi Jesus's teachings and his beautiful sermon on the mount then the church has shown for some thousand plus years. I feel confident that Jesus would have seen him to be his apt disciple. He did love his God with all his heart, and his neighbor as his self.

As far as getting the "masonic" view on this. Most Masons today sadly go through the motions as a family tradition, or as a social path, few consider what is laid on our trestleboard in the second degree, and try and build that blueprint. In all other endevors a degree is given to someone to mark and end to a journey of work. Masonic degrees are quite the opposite, recieving a degree is not the mark of some rank, or accomplishment really, unless basic memorization ability is an accomplishment in which case any stage actor would be more accomplished then us....... rather they are guides to a journey and a project that most that recieve them never truly take. John Dee wether a mason or wether speculative masonry actually existed in his time, seems to have traveled the road and attempted to build in himself those virtues we hold most dear. He was pious. Virtuous. He always seeked to expand his understanding of God's creation. He sought to heal conflict, and realize the compassion often forgotten by most dogmatics. He beleived through our understanding and compassion we might build a better world for our fellow men. He was both a Renaissance man, and a deeply spiritual Christian.....wether or not he was or was not a mason does not make him less united.

Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit



posted on Mar, 29 2011 @ 06:58 PM
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reply to post by ForkandSpoon
 


I can agree with much of what you say here. Any connection between Dee and the modern institution of Freemasonry is not available anywhere in record. That he may have had some sort of influence on the nascent currents that helped form Freemasonry, and the ideals behind the Rosicrucian Manifestos, seems to be tenable. Just not evidenced.

He was a fascinating character, I'm still learning about him and his ideas all the time. Just read a book by James J. Bono called "The Word of God and the Languages of Man" that covers Dee as part of his thesis, on the quest for the recovery of the lost Adamic language - with language as the key to all secrets - and the restoration of the paradise before "The Fall," of which Dee was heavily involved with in his Enochian workings.

But as you say, Dee was also representative of currents that were not peculiar to him alone in that era, but I feel his placing in society, his movements amongst key influential, elite figures of the time, his networking, may have been ideal for the spread of these ideas to a wider audience, where they could have caught like a firestorm.



posted on Mar, 29 2011 @ 07:31 PM
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John Dee was your typical 'Renaissance Man' of his generation. The intention of Freemasory is also to raise a man to become the 'Renaissance Man'. Freemasonry and John Dee share many of the same principals, including Rosicrucianism.

However, there is no evidence that he was a Rosicrucian or that he was a Freemason. It is only speculation.



posted on Mar, 30 2011 @ 06:57 AM
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Originally posted by Choronzon

However, there is no evidence that he was a Rosicrucian or that he was a Freemason. It is only speculation.



I highly doubt he was either in the proper use of the terms, especially a Rosicrucian, as, historically, the Rosicrucian brotherhood never existed as the Manifestos claimed.

I think it highly likely that his ideas were an influence on whoever wrote the Manifestos (Andreae et al) and the currents that helped form the modern institution of Freemasonry. I think his role in that respect was massive. And in the case of Freemasonry entirely unacknowledged.
edit on 30/3/11 by Extant Taxon because: Amended text.




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