Shakespeare and the Lineage of the Ageless Wisdom
Shakespeare and the Lineage of the Ageless Wisdom
The Lineage of great teachers through whom The Ageless Wisdom comes for humanity forms an unbroken thread, present throughout the ages. The word of God and the Living Way of the Soul on earth have always been available, reminding every generation of where we come from, and who we truly are.
Everything we have in civilisation that is not greed and corruption, degradation and ignorance, but is of true value and integrity, comes from The Lineage.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), actor and playwright, was an initiate, meaning one whose life is dedicated to the service of the Hierarchy and the expression of God’s Will on earth. The works of Shakespeare represent a significant point in the Lineage, emerging at the turning of the tide; the beginning of the end of the stranglehold of the Dark Ages on the hearts and minds of men and women in Europe. This era had marked a prolonged period of suppression in which religious dictation and supremacy attempted to stamp out the capacity of all men and women to live in accordance with the impulses of their innermost essence. The majority of humanity was kept in ignorant servitude, their religious instruction given in a language they did not speak. Brutal torture and death were the means used to hold absolute control by the Church over its flock.
By the late 16th century in Europe, the Renaissance was entering its full bloom. The rediscovered Corpus Hermeticum, core treatises of the Hermetic Tradition, and the works of Plato, had been translated from the Greek into Latin by Marsilio Ficino. The Hermetic philosopher and scientist Giordano Bruno had come to England in the 1580s. John Dee, the brilliant mathematician, astrologer and Hermetic alchemist held gatherings at his home and library at Mortlake. He tutored many wealthy and prominent figures – courtiers, noblemen, literary men, medical men and celebrated explorers of the day in esoteric principles, philosophy and science.
However, and in accordance with Universal Law and the Law of Brotherhood, all men and women have equal right and access to the Ageless Wisdom, not just the privileged and educated few.
What more powerful way to spread the awakening awareness, re-ignite the practical and living wisdom, than through plays, acted out in the language of the people. It was only one penny for the Commoners or ‘groundlings’ to get in to see a Shakespeare play, just as the Alexandrian Library was open to all levels of society.
In London, Shakespeare and his team players built the original Globe Theatre, able to hold up to 3000 people, opening in Autumn 1599 in Southwark, on the south bank of the Thames. The Globe, ‘this wide and universal theatre, represented the World, holding a clear and unrelenting mirror to every aspect of human life as it was (and is still) lived by us all, and making it clear that we are players on the stage of life where we have a choice to live either what is true or what is not true.
There is something very telling about the nature and source of Shakespeare’s works, that they are as applicable and revealing today as the time they were written, more than 400 years ago. This rests not, as academics would have us believe, in their linguistic flair, nor in deeper subtexts to be unravelled by brilliant minds. It comes from the Universal Truth they represent, through their source – the Ageless Wisdom.
It was because he was connected to his soul that Shakespeare was able to be impressed by The Hierarchy to present Universal Truth. This reveals much of the beauty in the way the Ageless Wisdom is conveyed to us. The work of Francis Bacon, alchemical and transmuting of the dark binds over men’s hearts, would never have been accessible to the ‘ordinary’ woman and man. It was through Shakespeare’s plays that the alchemy could touch the hearts of all; great wisdom, rendered into liveable learning. In recent times debate has revolved around the originality of his works, with claims being made that they had been written by others. This is a misrepresentation of the truth of what it is to be overshadowed.
It is also the case that Shakespeare was not the first to present to us the way we live when we are so disconnected from our souls.
A simple study of history reveals that Shakespeare was merely repeating what has been presented to us, many times before, for example in the texts of the Mahabarata.
2000 years previously. The Vedic texts presented in absolute detail the endless cycle of destructive, abusive and loveless relationships we have created as a seemingly inextricable part of human life. Shakespeare offered the same reflection for his audiences in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. The message is just as potent . . . and unfortunately just as overlooked today.
Shakespeare was able to bring the heavenly wisdom of the Ages concerning the human condition directly to the hearts and minds of the people. The greatest wisdom often fell from the lips of the lowliest characters. No middle man, no priest, no church, no professor, no interpreter was needed. On the stage of this ‘theatre of the world’ people were shown the exact nature of how they were living, the choices they were making and the consequences that followed – the terrible, sustained abuse that human life had descended into.
Be it through comedy, tragedy or history, the lives we live today or lives we have lived previously are laid bare before all to see. Above all, Shakespeare brings awareness – every play, every character representative of the scenarios we have been party to, the lives we have lived, the parts we have played – the folly exposed when we do not live by the light of our Souls and with nothing less than dedication to love and truth.
The world is upside-down and Shakespeare exposes this spectacularly.
Shakespeare had the courage to reveal the cynicism and idiocy of the rulers at a time when such honesty was considered treason. He presented for us the bloody manipulation of kings and would-be kings and their inevitable falls, along with the energetic complicity of their subjects which has allowed for the ascendancy of such rulers.
Have we learned anything in 400 years? Have we really progressed as a race? Are we still so ready to choose to be fooled, so keen to give our power away to man-made roles and the supremacy of systems, or are we willing to discern wisdom for ourselves, no matter how unexpected its source?
Shakespeare also revealed the travesty of our re-interpretation of Love. He showed us the fickleness of men, falling from love to disdain in the blink of an eye, leaving hurt in their reckless wake. “Sigh no more ladies, sigh no more; Men were deceivers ever / One foot on sea and one on shore / To one thing constant never” (Much Ado About Nothing, Prologue). Have we not all been careless in love, and inevitably the recipient of such carelessness? And what about the abusive charade we call ‘marriage’ exposed in all its rawness in The Taming of the Shrew. Haven’t we ourselves been engaged in the battle of the sexes?
There is yet another thorn in the side of the possibility of love as we currently live it on earth, demonstrated by the destruction of the young lovers through the families’ ancient grudge and bloody civil war in Romeo and Juliet. Is this not still going on – the allegiance to ‘family’, ‘blood ties’ and ‘religion’ preventing a young couple from marrying? Shakespeare asks us, what is in a name that is greater than that pure source from which we all come? “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”.
How many of us, at a point of crisis in life have chosen to run, avoid, lose our grip, rather than take the responsible path of power and truth? “To be or not to be?”
What will Hamlet’s next choice be when he has seen through the illusion of crown and family to its rotten core – will he escape into the convenient oblivion of madness, or take responsibility and lead as he ought?
Throughout Shakespeare’s works everybody can see the drama and antics we have made human life to be. In particular, Jaques in As you Like It presents the fact of the all too familiar life-script of our ‘strange eventful history’, already written and prescribed, largely unchallenged, that we in ignorance go along with – the senseless round, the unquestioned pattern and order of behaviours, roles, and lifestyle ‘bubbles’. (3.1.152) This is the perfect description of the puppet’s life, the innumerable incarnations, described as “their exits and their entrances,” endlessly repeating the same pageant. We leave one pageant and inevitably we return to the same foolery, the same tragedy, the same comedy.
In his final play The Tempest, Shakespeare poignantly reminds us through the voice of Prospero, that our human world, for all of its physical reality, is but an insubstantial ‘pageant’ or creation:
“And – like the baseless fabric of this vision –(4.1.151)
The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And like this insubstantial pageant faded
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded in a sleep.”
The power of these works is that they break of the bonds of consciousness when we watch the play or read the words with a willingness to reflect on their simple messages.
Intellectual analysis of his plays frequently takes a complicated and lofty approach, overlooking the very simple grounded messages, thus impeding the real corrections they offer. For the works of Shakespeare serve only when we take them to heart and see them as a mirror that reflects human life at every level, from the personal to the whole of humanity – in its pain, misery, control, and its all too rare beauty and glory.
This was Shakespeare‘s divine service to the world.