In September 2006, Prince Charles publicly revealed what can arguably be called “the Secret Doctrine of the Occult” in a 16-minute long, specially-videotaped address to the Sacred Web Conference at the University of Alberta, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The Conference was attended by approximately 420 people, including scholars and professors from across North America, Europe, Australia, and the Middle East. In this article, we´ll review his speech and provide a step-by-step explanation of his exposé of an ancient body of sacred teachings and hidden knowledge, parts of which have long been outlawed by the Catholic Church.
His Royal Highness Prince Charles.
None of us, with the possible exception of Donald Trump, is an exact reflection of the caricatures created by our relatives and rivals. Prince Charles, too, is more than just his awkward position in life. He is a complex human being, full of contradictory thoughts, feelings, emotions, interests, agendas and visions for the future. On top of that, he has received the very best education that comes with the money, power and prestige of Princehood—an education that undoubtedly has afforded him direct access to privileged knowledge and secret traditions that the rest of us are denied.
We can get a glimpse of this privileged knowledge by scrutinizing statements Prince Charles made during a specially-videotaped address he gave to the Sacred Web Conference in Alberta, Canada in 2006. Here, the soon-to-be King of England shows himself to be a serious thinker, historian and visionary, in delivering a message based on and consistent with what can only be called “The Secret Doctrine of the Occult”—an esoteric tradition regarding the meaning of life and the human condition that´s been handed down for thousands of years by pagans, mystics, witches, sorcerers, magicians, and Freemasons; a tradition that´s long been outlawed by the Catholic Church.
Prince Charles compares and contrasts the spirituality of Traditionalism (with its focus on the Perennial Philosophy) against the materialism of Modernity (with its reliance on science). He reaches his conclusions in favor of Traditionalism in a most spectacular way.
By breaking down Prince Charles´s speech into the following list of eight quotes, and by changing the order of these quotes, we can clearly see the “Secret Doctrine of the Occult” (i.e., the Perennial Philosophy) to which Prince Charles refers.
Again, just to be clear, Prince Charles´quotes are here taken out of order but not out of context—a fact anyone can plainly see by reading a copy of the transcript of Prince Charles´ speech, posted at the end of the present article. Also included is a link to the actual video of the speech he delivered, courtesy of the Sacred Web Conference.
The “Secret Doctrine of the Occult,” as proclaimed and explicated by Prince Charles, can be broken down into eight key points as follows:
1) WE ARE DIVINE SPIRITUAL BEINGS, INFORMED BY AN ETERNAL SOUL
2) ANCIENT CULTURES UNDERSTOOD THIS “TRADITION” OF THE SOUL
3) WE´VE LOST THIS “TRADITION” OF THE SOUL BECAUSE “MODERNISM” NOW PROMOTES ILLUSION (MAYA) OVER REALITY (BRAHMAN)
4) THUS, WE NOW LIVE IN A DARK AGE; WE HAVE AMNESIA OF THE SOUL
5) TO REDISCOVER OUR SOULS WE SHOULD SEEK THE “PERENNIAL PHILOSOPHY”
6) MODERN “MATERIALIST” SCIENCE PALES IN COMPARISON TO THE PERENNIAL PHILOSOPHY
7) THE PERENNIAL PHILOSOPHY WILL HELP US REDISCOVER OUR SOULS VIA THE “BALANCE OF OPPOSITES”
8) CIVILIZATION RISES & FALLS IN ALTERNATING LIGHT (GOLDEN) & DARK AGES—BUT WE CAN “TRANSCEND” THE CURRENT DARK AGE BY FINDING OUR SOULS
As a lifelong student of the Secret Doctrine, I am extremely impressed with this speech; and I have a whole new respect for Prince Charles for actually expressing in a public forum things that would be frowned upon had they been said inside any university classroom in the Western world.
My first thought after reading this speech is that, as a result of his power and privilege, he´s been taught the Secret Doctrine. At that high echelon, he doesn´t even need to be a Freemason; not that the Freemasons hold any of this wisdom anymore anyway. My first-hand experience tells me that they don´t, definitely not!
Generally, the names of British Masons are a closely-held secret. Other than the current patron, Prince Michael of Kent, we know about Peter Sellers, Arthur Conan Doyle and a few others. However, it is the case that past Princes of Wales have belonged to a Masonic order, and that Prince Charles had been invited to join. Although Charles publicly turned down that offer, his father, Prince Philip, is admittedly a Mason, albeit not an active lodge member.
Even if Prince Charles decided against joining a lodge, it seems clear that his heart is in the right place. He has not only shown awareness of Masonic doctrines, as detailed above; he has also acted according to Masonic principles in his interactions with those whom he will one day be called upon to lead.
As the 21st Prince of Wales and heir to the British throne, Prince Charles is one of the most praised and also one of the most vilified celebrities in the world. Some perceive him as open, kind, generous, humorous, and hard-working, an asset to the monarchy; while others see a deceitful, arrogant, selfish man who is out of touch, and out of his element when faced with the prospect of becoming King.
At the age of three, Prince Charles became the heir apparent to the British throne when his mother, Elizabeth, became Queen. Years later, his illicit affair with Camilla Parker Bowles during his marriage to Princess Diana made the future King Charles III a main go-to villain of the tabloid press, even though dueling memoirs and Daily Mail headlines seem to indicate that both he and Diana were unfaithful with equal vigor. He apparently preferred someone with a little more going on upstairs; and she satisfied her carnal lust and her equally intense desire for blowsy repartee with the strapping young bodyguards that surrounded the couple.
Reactions to Charles’ potential kingship run the gamut, but most reviews of his life so far are scathing to lukewarm. Not many people still believe the monarchy to be a relevant institution in 21st century Britain, and many who do support the institution dread the prospect of the British throne being filled with such an allegedly empty-headed man. The family of Dodi Al-Fayed has maintained that Charles and/or other Royal Family members created the situation that led to his and Princess Diana’s death. Conspiracy theorists such as Alex Jones and David Icke regularly accuse Prince Charles, on no apparent evidence, of bribery, pedophilia, and even deliberate, premeditated murder. Others blame him for not having the good luck of having his mother die in time for him to have a long and prosperous reign. Still others accuse him of shallowness, disrespect for his marriage vows and his responsibilities as a leader of the Church of England, and poor performance in the largely ceremonial role to which he has been consigned. They see him as a poor choice as a role model, and as a leader with the charisma of a follower.
As Queen Elizabeth II approaches her 90th birthday and her 64th anniversary wearing the British crown, Prince Charles is starting to get a second look. In recent years, he has immersed himself in the study of Arabic and has taken up the cause of climate change. In televised interviews and tours of his ancestral holdings, he is beginning to come across as a thoughtful, reflective man who may yet have something to offer the world beyond the precious memories of his storybook wedding with a photogenic, charismatic and very pretty young girl more than 34 years ago.
It would have been easy for Prince Charles to do nothing but sit home, enjoy his family’s vast painting collection, and from time to time cut a few ribbons or pop champagne bottles to mark important ceremonial occasions. Instead, he has chosen to pursue an active life in the service of humanitarian goals. The “Prince’s Trust,” which he organized in 1976, provides mentoring support, education, and training to disadvantaged youth: juvenile delinquents, people who have experienced long-term unemployment, and learning disabled youth. The Prince is no mere figurehead; he spends a great deal of time working with and listening to troubled teen-agers and young ex-cons.
The Prince’s many interests include architecture, homeopathy, gardening, and Eastern religious traditions. He has called the Dalai Lama his “best friend.” The more I learn about him, the more I have come to admire him. I think it is embarrassing that young people in the United States accept at face value and repeat without researching the words of conspiracy theorists such as David Icke and Alex Jones, whose loud mouths offer little but lies, controversy and bullshit. There is a red line between skepticism and nihilism, and the arena conspiracy theorists have crossed it repeatedly. Although I find myself in sympathy with some of their well-aimed criticisms of monopolists and big banks, I firmly part company with them over their vicious ad hominem attacks on people such as Prince Charles, who in my opinion are trying to do the right thing for the world.
I’ve gotten in some hot water over being a “shill” for Freemasonry, which many of the conspiracy-minded feeble minds identify as a central villain in their theories of world domination. Yet, I have never hesitated to point out where I think Freemasonry has dropped the ball. In my book, Written in Stone, and in my public lectures, I have pointed out in some detail how the Masonic movement was diverted from its higher purposes by various nefarious groups. I have also maintained, in the face of some resistance to members of the Order, that today’s Masons have completely lost sight of the ancestry and principal goals of the movement. However, I have never been afraid to honor the important contributions of the Masonic movement in delivering to us intact important information about our spiritual inheritance from the distant past, in the face of fierce persecution from forces much more entrenched and powerful than the loony-tunes Amen choirs of Icke and Jones.
I recognize in Prince Charles a fellow truth-seeker whose ascension to the British throne would be not a final nail in the coffin of democracy, but rather would represent a chance for a responsible, well-informed humanitarian voice to be heard above the din of right-wing and left-wing demagogues. I respect his commitment to noble causes and his willingness to court controversy when he believes his views are correct.
Whether Prince Charles has the luck and the skills to successfully bring his heart, his passions and his earnest desire to make the world a better place to the throne he will one day occupy as king remains to be seen. In the meantime, I hope people will see the purveyors of “info wars” and “reptilians” for what they are: irresponsible entertainers who pedal fear, who paint everyone in a position of authority with the same tarred brush, and whose relation to the truth is as tenuous as their grip on reality.
Here is a link to the televised video of the speech Prince Charles gave to the Sacred Web Conference on September 23, 2006 (Courtesy of Sacred Web):
Here you can read the full text of Prince Charles´speech:
An Introduction from His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales
“In these uprooted times, there is a great need for constancy; a need for those who can rise above the clamour, the din and the sheer pace of our lives to help us to rediscover those truths that are immutable and eternal; a need for those who can speak of that eternal wisdom which is called the perennial philosophy. Looking at the programme for this Conference being organized by Sacred Web on the theme of “Tradition in the Modern World”, and at the list of speakers, I know that you will be hearing just this kind of teaching from just these kinds of people. Within the overall theme, there would seem to be a marvellous diversity of matters being discussed – matters related to religion, the arts, the economy, the environment and much else.
Although, very sadly, I cannot be with you, I do want to say that I am always delighted to receive the latest issue of Sacred Web because, so often, I come across such deeply revealing and enlightening articles, rich in content and diverse in subject matter. In addition, through the work of the Temenos Academy, of which I am Patron, I have been fortunate to enjoy the writings of some of your colleagues – people such as Professor Seyyed Hossein Nasr and, of course, the late Dr. Martin Lings, whose presence amongst us is so profoundly missed.
The Temenos Academy has been, and remains, closely associated with many of those who have written, and continue to write for Sacred Web and, indeed, for Sophia and other related journals. From the beginning, with the launch of the original Temenos review, the Temenos Academy has not only been devoted to what its founders have referred to as “the arts of the imagination”, but has also been committed both to the perennial philosophy and to the notion that Man is, at root, a spiritual creature with spiritual and intellectual needs which have to be nourished if we are to fulfil our potential. Both of these matters are at the heart of the teachings of Sacred Web.
Temenos Academy and Sacred Web are also, of course, dedicated to an exploration of the role of Tradition in the modern world, the subject of this Conference, and, indeed, to a critique of the false premises of Modernity – a critique set out in one of the seminal texts of the traditionalists, René Guénon’s The Reign of Quantity. Many find this teaching difficult, not least because it asks us to question our very mode of being; and perhaps because it asks us to question an ideology, in the form of Modernism, that has become so set in our minds that any other way of being seems in some sense fanciful and “unrealistic”.
However, the teachings of the traditionalists should not, in any sense, be taken to mean that they seek, as it were, to repeat the past – or, indeed, simply to draw a distinction between the present and the past. Their’s is not a nostalgia for the past, but a yearning for the sacred and, if they defend the past, it is because in the pre-modern world all civilizations were marked by the presence of the sacred. As I understand it, in referring to Tradition they refer to a metaphysical reality and to underlying principles that are timeless – as true now as they have ever been and will be. And, by way of contrast, in referring to Modernism they refer to a particular (though false) definition of reality; a particular (though false) manner of seeing and engaging with the world that, likewise, is distinguished not by time, but by its ideology.
In an article written in 1983 for the traditionalist journal Studies in Comparative Religion, Professor Nasr put it this way:
“When we use the term ‘modern’ we mean neither contemporary nor up-to-date… Rather, for us ‘modern’ means that which is cut off from the Transcendent, from the immutable principles which in reality govern all things and which are made known to man through revelation in its most universal sense. Modernism is thus contrasted with tradition…; the latter implies all that which is of Divine Origin along with its manifestations and deployments on the human plane while the former by contrast implies all that is merely human and now ever more increasingly subhuman, and all that is divorced and cut off from the Divine source.”
Most especially, therefore, we can see that it is the very timeless quality of these immutable principles of Tradition that makes its teachings so timely.
For me, the teachings of Tradition suggest the presence of a reality that can bring about a reality of integration, and it is this reality that can be contrasted with so much of Modernism’s obsession with dis-integration, dis-connection and de-construction – that which is sometimes termed the “malaise of modernity”. Cut off at the root from the Transcendent, Modernism has become deracinated and has separated itself – and thereby everything that comes within its thrall – from that which integrates; that which enables us to turn towards and reconnect with the Divine.
In this way, the loss of Tradition cuts to the very core of our being since it conditions that which we can “know” and “be”. For Modernism, by its unrelenting emphasis on the quantitative view of reality, limits and distorts the true nature of the Real and our perception of it. Whilst it has enabled us to know much that has been of material benefit, it also prevents us from knowing that which I would like to refer to as the knowledge of the Heart; that which enables us to be fully human.
This dilemma is captured in ancient notions of balance and harmony; notions that are, for example, expressed in many guises in that wonderful Kabbalistic diagram of the Tree of Life. As the Temenos Fellow, Warren Kenton, so beautifully explains in his lectures to the students of the Academy, the teaching of the Tree of Life is that the “active” and the “passive” aspects of life, which on their own may lead to imbalance and disharmony, must be, can only be, brought together in harmony by the influx into our lives of the Divine and the Sacred. Whether or not we interpret this image as an explanation of an outer or an inner orientation, it is in this way, and only in this way, that the forces, or characteristics, of expansion and constraint can be brought into balance.
But, of course, in both the inner and outer dimensions of our lives, many of us, at present, experience the very imbalance and disharmony that this mystical framework, and, indeed, the teachings of mystics of all times, show to be harmful or, to use a contemporary term, “unsustainable”.
And this leads me to a final and somewhat troubling matter that lies at the heart of Tradition and its critique of Modernism. None of us, I imagine, can fail to be conscious of, and be concerned about, those matters that might together be called “the environmental crisis of the twenty-first century”. Indeed, none other than Sir Martin Rees, the Astronomer Royal and President of the Royal Society, in his book Our Final Century, has said that:
“…in the twenty-first century, humanity is more at risk than ever before from the misapplication of science. And the environmental pressures induced by collective human actions could trigger catastrophes more threatening than any natural hazards.”
For many years, I have been trying – often in the face of relentless criticism and ridicule – to draw attention to some of the elements of this crisis and to the ways in which they are linked to conventional values. At times, when in optimistic mood, I am encouraged to believe that we can come to our senses in time and change our ways of being before we are obliged to do so by catastrophic circumstances. But I am afraid that I do not always take this view. Often, I find myself convinced of the warnings given not only by Sir Martin Rees but also, of course, by sages and mystics of all faiths and of all time; warnings of the coming of a Dark Age, an age in which our ignorance and arrogance – a dangerous combination, surely – will lead us, indeed may already have led us, towards catastrophe. The present examples of pestilence, flood, famine, storm and climatic disruption are surely evidence enough. At the very least, they seem to foretell of conditions of chronic imbalance and disharmony – no doubt as much a part of our inner as our outer condition.
In all of this, the practice of modern science more or less ignores the question of what the ultimate goal and purpose of intelligence and knowledge is. Materialist science, it seems, more or less assumes that a continuous and progressive exploratory expansion of knowledge of the physical world will inevitably lead to a desirable end where all but a few of our problems will be solved. I note, however, that it does this in the face of very considerable evidence – evidence that science itself provides – that it will not.
Indeed, our ignorance in these matters seems to me to be in direct proportion to our obsession with information. More than ever before, we have information from everywhere and about everything – and it is available to us literally at the press of a button. But information, often it would seem for its own sake, is not knowledge; and knowledge is not wisdom. We have no lack of information but, with the loss of the values and principles of which Tradition speaks, we lose touch with that perennial wisdom to which this Conference is dedicated. In this, I am reminded of those prophetic lines from T. S. Eliot:
Where is the life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
The cycles of Heaven in twenty centuries
Bring us farther from God and nearer to the Dust.
The traditionalist perspective is that we are living at the end of an historical cycle. At the beginning of this cycle all and every possibility is latent. However, as the cycle evolves or unfolds, these possibilities begin to manifest themselves in the world of time and space, beginning with the highest and gradually moving towards the lower. At the end of the cycle, the very lowest possibilities manifest themselves. The traditionalists tell us that at the cosmic level this process cannot be withheld or interrupted. It must take place. The cycle, they say, must exhaust itself before a new one can replace it.
I know that this might seem to suggest that we are entirely the passive victims of this cosmic unfolding. However, as I understand it, the traditionalists would go on to say that if this were the only reality then all attempts to pursue and align ourselves with spiritual realities and experience would be in vain. And that cannot possibly be. Indeed, it is precisely on the individual plane and through our understanding of and attachment to traditional norms of metaphysical doctrine and spiritual practice that we can, in a measure, transcend the baleful influence of the descent that is the eventual exhaustion and end of our cycle of history and prepare ourselves and the world for the beginning of the next. It is in this way, and perhaps only in this way, that we can overcome the mind-numbing despair of Modernism – not by false optimism, but by an understanding of and an attachment to the truly Real.
I hope that some part of your deliberations at this Conference will address these issues and, perhaps, provide guidance for those of us who do not claim to be scholars. For much of my life has been, and remains, devoted to finding practical solutions to what, at first, seem to be impossible difficulties – and sometimes to speak for those whose voices are unheard amidst the clamour of Modernism. In this, I recognize that true action is dependent upon constant reflection – the redeeming aspect of the nature of harmony and balance. I pray that your deliberations will help in this task through not only describing the difficulties that we face, but also showing us the ways in which we might seek to make the necessary changes in our lives.
Despite not being able to join you in Edmonton, I much look forward to reading the texts of the conference that will be delivered. I hope that you will also find inspiration from them and that they will be widely distributed and discussed, especially beyond those who already subscribe to the teachings of the traditionalists. Whatever our view, and whatever our tradition, I am sure that we will have much to learn from your deliberations – I wish you a most harmonious Conference.”
Richard Cassaro’s new book, The Missing Link, explores the meaning, transformations and propagation of the ancient world’s most important religious icon. His first book, Written in Stone, is a wide-ranging exploration of hitherto-unknown connections among Freemasons, medieval cathedral builders and the creators of important ancient monuments, in support of his theory that a spiritually advanced mother culture, lost to history, is behind many of the world’s architectural and artistic traditions.
Prior to the publication of Written in Stone, Cassaro enjoyed a successful career as a U.S. correspondent, professional journalist, and photo researcher for Rizzoli Publications, one of the world’s leading media organizations. Cassaro, who is a graduate of Pace University in New York City, has examined first-hand the ancient ruins and mystical traditions of Egypt, Mexico, Greece, Italy, Sicily, France, England, India, Peru and Spain; he has lectured on his theories to great acclaim in the United States, Egypt, Italy, Spain and Peru.
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