Francis Bacon was born in 1561 to Sir Nicholas Bacon, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal in Queen Elizabeth I’s government.
He was an advanced initiate – the Ascended Master Saint Germain – who incarnated into his life as Francis Bacon with a very specific purpose; to attain great office and thereby influence life on a very temporal level, as well as ground great wisdom from the Hierarchy for all the world.
He was born into the family of William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, Queen Elizabeth I’s most trusted adviser, and one of the most powerful men in the country. Burghley was Bacon’s uncle, and it is no coincidence that Bacon was placed into such a family.
He attended Cambridge at the age of 12, where he became dissatisfied with the philosophy of Aristotle, whose works were then the foundation of the all-pervasive scholasticism which dominated the education of his day. He quite clearly saw that the majority of Aristotle’s works were not written in the true advancement of humanity, but rather ultimately prompted division – rather than brotherhood – amongst men.
Upon leaving Cambridge, Bacon became a student of Law at Gray’s Inn – one of London’s Inns of Court, which is still in existence today. Though a prodigious youth, and noted by Queen Elizabeth for his great learning and intellect, it was not until King James I took the throne that Bacon gained significant royal favour. He went on to become the King’s most trusted adviser, and the King even appointed Bacon temporary Regent (ruling in the King’s absence) for a short while, later in his career.
After becoming a barrister, Bacon served as Member of Parliament, putting his great intellect towards solving the political issues of his day. During this time he spoke out against religious persecution, and argued in favour of the unification of England, Scotland and Ireland to create a United Kingdom. He continued to write tracts on legal theory, reasserting the ancient theory of Natural Law (God’s Law) as opposed to the Common Law (man’s law), which had become the dominant legal influence. In 1596, Bacon earned the title of Queen’s Counsel, making him one of England’s leading barristers.
Under James I, Bacon advanced considerably: he was knighted in 1603, appointed Solicitor-General in 1607, and Attorney General in 1613, effectively serving as the chief legal adviser to the Crown.
Bacon lived in a time of growing hostility between Parliament and the Crown, but was able to retain the respect of both, acting as a source of stability for the country, mediating between them, and yoking them together in times of crisis. Later, he was also made Counsellor of Estate, and Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England – a position that his father had held. And in 1617, Bacon served as Regent in the King’s stead. In Bacon, the pattern of high initiates being placed in the close counsel of the ruler of the day – typified in John Dee’s relationship with Elizabeth I – continued, and thus the English crown retained its close connection with the esoteric.
In 1618, Bacon was appointed Lord Chancellor, perhaps the most senior position in the English government, and the most senior judge in the land.
In this position of great authority, Bacon was able to sway the entire course of British politics. Not surprisingly, Bacon attracted great jealousy over the course of his career, from his fellow parliamentarians and fellow courtiers in the King’s court – not least because of the great love and trust between him and the King. This eventually led to the end of his political career, when charges of bribery were levelled against him.
But Bacon was much more than an appointed politician and courtier: he was a true statesman, a natural philosopher, a scientist, and a fervent servant of the Plan. He was the Leonardo da Vinci of the English Renaissance, and he left behind him a legacy of writings which attest to this, and which ground the Wisdom of the Ages for all to access. He wrote on many topics, and his influence can be felt in many academic disciplines to this day, including science, theory of science, law and legal theory, philosophy, theology, political theory and literature.
In the field of science, Bacon is credited with establishing the Scientific Method – the empirical method of observation which has become the foundation of all modern Science, and which paved the way for the Enlightenment, eventually leading to the Industrial Revolution. He set out the scientific framework within which many great Soul-impulsed scientists who followed him were able to work, including Isaac Newton, Robert Boyle, and Robert Hooke. By debasing the superstitious dogma of the church and exposing its stranglehold over humanity, he breathed forth a space which allowed for the development and flourishing of true science – science based on a detached observation of the natural world, free from the corrupting influence of religious dogma, which could elevate humanity, help it understand God’s creation and the laws which govern the universe, and thus bring Man closer to God – to enlighten.
Bacon’s lived quality and major contribution of Soul-impulsed wisdom to the world helped deconstruct the scholastic tradition which had governed the academic institutions for centuries. Aristotle’s scholastic tradition had been appropriated by the church during the medieval ages; it favoured the primacy of religious dogma, and used deductive (closed off and abstract) reasoning to confirm its principles, unsupported by true observation of the natural world.
A true Rosicrucian, Bacon imbued his written works with the Rosicrucian ideals of equality, brotherhood, and the true advancement of humanity out of the miasma of false light, and towards Truth, which is God. In his New Atlantis – a fictional account of the true potential that human society can be – he writes about an imagined nation in which the Rosicrucian principles form the bedrock of society. True science and philosophy play an important role in such a society, and the fictional Saloman’s House (the model for a true university and house of wisdom) is seen by many historians as the precursor to and inspiration for the establishment of the ‘Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge’ (The ‘Royal Society’) which, upon its founding in 1660, claimed the influence of Bacon as its guiding force; half a century later, Sir Isaac Newton served as its President.
Eventually, in 1621, Bacon’s political career came to an abrupt end; charges of bribery and corruption were brought against him by Parliament. Truthful to the end, he conceded that gifts had indeed been received (a common and generally-accepted custom of the day), but he firmly asserted that he had not allowed such gifts to influence his decisions as a judge in any way; in fact on many occasions, as he pointed out, he had ruled against the parties offering the gifts. Bacon narrowly escaped imprisonment, but was declared unfit to hold public office. Unlike his predecessor John Dee, Bacon’s great strength in equanimity saw him through this difficult period: he understood the situation in full and traced it back to the jealousy and fury of those all around him. But furthermore, he understood that this was what was needed – that his country had reached its limit in terms of the quotient of truth and advancement it could handle at the time; he understood there was no more he could do. At his inquisitions he told the truth, and upon his dismissal quietly retired from public office in dignity, devoting his remaining years to putting to paper the great wisdom which had impulsed his life.
As he wrote of this episode:
"My mind is calm, for my fortune is not my felicity. I know I have clean hands and a clean heart."
William Rawley, who served as Bacon’s chaplain and personal secretary, and to whom Bacon left his estate and all unpublished writings, attests to his master’s universal genius:
"I have been induced to think, that if there were a beam of knowledge derived from God upon any man in these modern times, it was upon him. For though he was a great reader of books, yet he had not his knowledge from books, but from some grounds and notions from within himself."
Further observations from Rawley give us an insight into the life of a master expressed through human form, and the great level of commitment with which Bacon served:
"He would ever interlace a moderate relaxation of his mind with his studies, as walking, or taking the air abroad in his coach, or some other befitting recreation; and yet he would lose no time, in as much as upon his first and immediate return he would fall to reading again, and so suffer no moment of time to slip from him without some present improvement."
Bacon understood that time is but a mere created human perception and true activity comes from understanding how to be in space; in other words, he mastered living in a rhythm which allowed him to live this Truth in and amongst the surrounding pressures and demands of society.
In his practice as a judge, Rawley comments that, when charging criminals;
"He was never of an insulting and domineering nature over them, but always tender-hearted, and carrying himself decently towards the parties, but yet as one that looked upon the example with the eye of severity, but upon the person with the eye of pity and compassion."
Less known about Bacon is the community of scholars and writers, from home and abroad, which grew up around him, inspired by his writings, and drawn toward the example of a true initiate.
Bacon was hugely popular and widely known throughout Europe, probably more so than he was in England, and many Europeans travelled to meet and converse with him, having heard of the reputation of a true master living in London. It is also thought that Bacon may have held gatherings at his house for the like-minded writers and philosophers of London of his day, in which Rosicrucian principles of universal brotherhood and true service to God were discussed and nurtured. It has been proposed by recent historians that Bacon was the author of the works attributed to William Shakespeare. Whilst the great wisdom which flowed through Shakespeare is directly comparable with that of Bacon, this is a misunderstanding of the truth: it is said that Bacon grounded in Renaissance London the consciousness of the Soul, which Shakespeare aligned to, and Shakespeare was thus able to tap into the outpouring of wisdom which Bacon earthed, ultimately from the Hierarchy – it is this which we can feel in his plays.
Bacon, like Dee before him, also had a hand in the founding of a new nation in America. He was heavily involved in the founding of the first British colonies in the ‘New World’ on a temporal level, submitting a government report on the colonisation of America, and becoming a founding member of a newly-found naval company; but more importantly, he breathed life into the project on an energetic level, and was the guiding hand of the Hierarchy behind the birth of the American nation.
As a final note, we can turn again to Rawley for a carefully observed description that does justice to the great humanitarian and lover of humanity that was Francis Bacon:
"His meals were a reflection of the ear as well as of the stomach . . . where a man might be refreshed in his mind and understanding no less than in his body. And I have known some . . . that have professed to make use of their notebooks when they have risen from his table. In which conversations, and otherwise, he was no dashing man, as some men are, but ever a countenancer and fosterer of another man’s parts. Neither was he one that would appropriate the speech wholly to himself, or delight to out-vie others, but leave a liberty to the co-assessors to take their turns. Wherein he would draw a man on and allure him to speak upon such a subject as wherein he was particularly skilful and would delight to speak. And for himself, he condemned no man’s observations, but would light his torch at every man’s candle."
Bacon was a true initiate of the Ageless Wisdom, a true master of love, a true lover of humanity, and a beacon of light for Renaissance Europe and beyond.