I behold a small dark orb, wheeling in an abyss
of infinite space. It is minute among a myriad
vast ones, dark amid a myriad bright ones.
I who comprehend in myself all the vast and the
minute, all the bright and the dark, have
mitigated the brilliance of mine unutterable
splendour, sending forth V.V.V.V.V. as a ray of
my light, as a messenger unto that small dark
Then V.V.V.V.V. taketh up the word, and sayeth:
Men and women of the Earth, to you am I come from
the Ages beyond the Ages, from the Space beyond
your vision; and I bring to you these words.
But they heard him not, for they were not ready
to receive them.
But certain men heard and understood, and through
them shall this Knowledge be made known.
The least therefore of them, the servant of them
all, writeth this book.
He writeth for them that are ready. Thus is it
known if one be ready, if he be endowed with
certain gifts, if he be fitted by birth, or by
wealth, or by intelligence, or by some other
manifest sign. And the servants of the master by
his insight shall judge of these.
This Knowledge is not for all men; few indeed are
called, but of these few many are chosen.
This is the nature of the Work.
First, there are many and diverse conditions of
life upon this earth. In all of these is some
seed of sorrow. Who can escape from sickness and
from old age and from death?
We are come to save our fellows from these
things. For there is a life intense with
knowledge and extreme bliss which is untouched by
any of them.
To this life we attain even here and now. The
adepts, the servants of V.V.V.V.V., have attained
It is impossible to tell you of the splendours of
that to which they have attained.
Little by little, as your eyes grow stronger,
will we unveil to you the ineffable glory of the
Path of the Adepts, and its nameless goal.
Even as a man ascending a steep mountain is lost
to sight of his friends in the valley, so must
the adept seem. They shall say: He is lost in the
clouds. But he shall rejoice in the sunlight
above them, and come to the eternal snows.
Or as a scholar may learn some secret language of
the ancients, his friends shall say: «Look!
he pretends to read this book. But it is
unintelligible—it is nonsense.» Yet he
delights in the Odyssey, while they read vain and
We shall bring you to Absolute Truth, Absolute
Light, Absolute Bliss.
Many adepts throughout the ages have sought to do
this; but their words have been perverted by
their successors, and again and again the Veil
has fallen upon the Holy of Holies.
To you who yet wander in the Court of the Profane
we cannot yet reveal all; but you will easily
understand that the religions of the world are
but symbols and veils of the Absolute Truth. So
also are the philosophies. To the adept, seeing
all these things from above, there seems nothing
to choose between Buddha and Mohammed, between
Atheism and Theism.
The many change and pass; the one remains. Even
as wood and coal and iron burn up together in one
great flame, if only that furnace be of
transcendent heat; so in the alembic of this
spiritual alchemy, if only the zelator blow
sufficiently upon his furnace all the systems of
earth are consumed in the One Knowledge.
Nevertheless, as a fire cannot be started with
iron alone, in the beginning one system may be
suited for one seeker, another for another.
We therefore who are without the chains of
ignorance, look closely into the heart of the
seeker and lead him by the path which is best
suited to his nature unto the ultimate end of all
things, the supreme realization, the Life which
abideth in Light, yea, the Life which abideth in
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