- Guenon explains more about impeccability
- Guenon expands on the powers of sorcerers and that no one is safe from their spells
- Guenon offers opinions on Thomas Palamidessi, Carl Jung, Meher Baba, the Golden Dawn, and Aleister Crowley
29 October 1949
I received your letter of 4 September about eight days ago; I wonder if you were able to reach Eliade, although I rushed to send you his address in Capri. A short time after I wrote you, I knew that he had already returned to Paris; it seems that he did not take a very long vacation.
[Discussions and complaints about publishing and editors omitted]
Abdul-Hadi’s article, which I spoke about, entitled Pages dedicated to Mercury, was republished in “Etudes Traditionnelles”, but I realized that occurred only after the war, which explains the reason why you aren’t familiar with him.
As for “impeccability”, it goes without saying that it must belong equally to all who have reached a certain spiritual level. But, excluding the case of the prophetic mission, the possession of such a state concerns only that same person received it, and no one else can speak on its merit or care about it, hence the absence of every explicit affirmation in this regard in orthodox doctrine.
If I learn something about Leon de Poncins, I will let you know, but I still don’t know what happened to him. I believed, I no longer know exactly why, that he had to retreat to Switzerland during the war, but I was not able to confirm that.
Regarding evil spells, there is a great difference between true sorcerers like those with which he had to deal with and simple occultists. The latter, notwithstanding all their pretenses, never reach any effective result. There have often been some of them who attempted to do something against me and, also like you, I never heard anything about it at all.
On the other hand, when you think that things of that type should not be able to strike those who have a true spiritual vocation (but I don’t think however that can be said to have been that the case of Leon de Poncins), it is also necessary to make a distinction: if you want to speak of the psychic and mental side, you are absolutely correct, but things are quite different from the corporeal point of view and anyone can always be struck in this regard. Furthermore, since it has been passed down that some sorcerers succeeded in sickening the Prophet himself, I don’t even see who could boast of being secure from their attacks.
Thomas Palamidessi, whose writings you inserted into you letter is again obviously another charlatan of the type of those who currently abound everywhere. But what is astonishing is that he again appropriated ideas found in your and other’s books, to use them in a way that can only discredit them; in such conditions, the works the he publishes should not require much effort to write.
I heard about Meher Baba in the past and his vow of silence, which does not seem to prevent him from responding in other ways to the questions that are asked of him, but I did not know that he has reappeared in recent times. I do not know if he ever was associated with any regular initiatic organization, but it seems dubious to me because he is a Parsi. Nothing of the type seems to exist among the Parsis of India, who moreover have conserved only rather incomplete fragments of their tradition (I speak of the Parsis of India, because those of central Asia have quite other knowledge, even if they keep it hidden).
I am quite astonished about how much you tell me in regards to Karoly Kerenyi, because I remember that in the past he had spoken very favorably about me; it had to be in 1939 or 1940, and at that occasion he had sent me his book Religion in Antiquity. On the other hand I reviewed it, but because of the suspension of “Etudes Traditionnelle”, I was able to publish it only after its resumption.
As for Carl Jung, his influence unfortunately is gaining ground everywhere, in France as in Italy and Switzerland, and he seems to me still more dangerous than Freud because of his pseudo-spiritual pretense. Recently I had to write an article about the deformations of the very idea of Tradition provoked by his theory of the “collective unconscious”.
The Golden Dawn was a self-styled Hermetic organization that fundamentally did not seem to have a very serious character, because it was from its beginnings an authentic mystification. It is true that this could serve to conceal some rather suspect things. Internally, the principle role was developed by MacGregor and his wife (Bergson’s sister). Only much later was Crowley introduced to it, as he also did in many other things. Even when it was not about rather insignificant pseudo-initiations (perhaps he was not at all the case for the Golden Dawn), his involvement introduced truly sinister influences into it, if from making of it something much more dangerous. The Golden Dawn has ceased to exist, following a misunderstanding among its members, but a part of them followed it up under the name of Stella Matutina.
To come back to Aleister Crowley, what you told me reminds me of the story that turned up in 1931 (I believe at least that was the exact date): while he was in Portugal, he suddenly disappeared. They found his clothes on the border of the sea, something that made them believe he had drowned. But it was only a simulated death, since they were no longer concerned about him and did not try to find out where he had gone. Actually, he went to Berlin to play the role of secret adviser to Hitler who was then at his beginning. It is probably this that had given rise to certain tales about the Golden Dawn, but in reality it was only about Crowley, because it does not seem that a certain English colonel named Etherton, who was then his “colleague”, had ever had the least relationship with that organization.
A little later, Crowley founded the Saturn-Lodge in Germany; have you ever heard of it? There he called himself Master Therion, and his signature was to mega Therion (the Great Beast), something that in Greek gives exactly the numeric value 666.
⇐ Letter (IX)