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Waite a "Catholic Mystic"

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Waite a "Catholic Mystic"


Waite has been know to refer to himself as a Catholic Mystic. His use of this phrase has been the subject of some debate, but I ran across something that seems to shed some light on the matter; apparently it has a double meaning.

In The Hidden Church of the Holy Graal, p. 669 of the 1909 edition, he says:
"The secret doctrine reflected into the literature [i.e., reflected into the Graal literature] abode in a secret school. Out of this school but not in an official sense there developed at later periods spiritual alchemy, symbolical craft Masonry, certain Rosicrucian institutions and certain Christian high grades of Masonic complexion, as successive veils. It was a school of Christian mystics, and it was Latin for a long time on its external side. It is of necessity catholic at heart."
This suggests that these braches of esotricism were outgrowths of Latin Catholicism.

In Waite's later revision, The Holy Grail, History Legend and Symbolism, 1933, he does something interesting. A lot has been left out and now there's a footnote:
"The secret doctrine reflected into the literature abode in a Secret School. It was a school of Christian Mystics and was of necessity Catholic at heart.*"
*Catholic in the sense of Rome at the highest point of Roman Catholic experience in the way of the Mystic Life; but Catholic also in the sense unacknowledged by Rome and officially beyond its purview.
This brief note reveals a couple of things. The first part refers to Catholic as in Roman Catholicism, i.e., Roman Catholicism on its "higher" or transcendental side. It refers to the Mystics and Mysticism within the Church proper. But the second part shows another sense; its Mysticism outside the purview or control of the Church, Catholic in the sense of universal inclusiveness; but Catholic also in that it retains elements of Latin church, most notably the Eucharist.

It seems more likely to me that Waite means the second sense when referring to himself. He never renounced his Catholicism and never taught that a person should renounce their religion, only that they should transcend within it; but he was clearly not a practicing Catholic in the external sense. Perhaps he still thought of himself as a Catholic Mystic in the first sense, but as far as his actual life and practices he's more within the second sense.
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Oh this is really interesting informatuon. Can Wait's The Holy Grail book still be purchased accesibly nowadays? I would be interested in this. Of course I can go ahead and do a search, have there been revisions?
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I've got the Dover Publications paperback.

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...0grail%20dover

I'm pretty happy with it for the most part. The text is a little small but it's clear at least. The binding is excellent. It says it's an "unabridged republication of the work originally published in 1933 by Rider & Co." There are other versions available but I don't know anything about them.
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I've always thought Waite's "Catholic (with a capital 'C') mysticism" shines through loud and clear in his tarot work. I've also always thought any cleric who hasn't been beaten into slavish dogmatism by his/her training and orthodoxy would have to be something of a mystic. I don't see it as at all odd that Waite would identify with that idea.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barleywine View Post
I've always thought Waite's "Catholic (with a capital 'C') mysticism" shines through loud and clear in his tarot work.
Nice observation. How would you define Catholic with a capital 'C'?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abrac View Post
Nice observation. How would you define Catholic with a capital 'C'?
As the opposite of catholic with a small "c," which I think you were alluding to in your earlier post. The Christian Church as opposed to the Greek concept of universality.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abrac View Post
I've got the Dover Publications paperback.

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...0grail%20dover

I'm pretty happy with it for the most part. The text is a little small but it's clear at least. The binding is excellent. It says it's an "unabridged republication of the work originally published in 1933 by Rider & Co." There are other versions available but I don't know anything about them.
Thank you for the link, I have added it to my cart.
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Out of many examples which could be chosen from his works to show the supreme importance of the life of Christ for Waite , here are just two:


"In fine , there came into the world the glory of that light which is in Christ , the Instituted Mystery of which is the Divine Life in Palestine. For the adepti and epoptai of the Christian centuries - that is to say , for the mystic saints - this life became a pattern and exemplar, in the scientific application of which they passed in their own souls through the experience of new birth , new and regenerated life , mystical death, while in fine the candidates for that life which is eternal were raised in God. Birth , life , death, resurrection , and yet one mystery to come , which is that of the ascent in God, when the soul returns with Christ to His Father and our Father , unto His God and our God . " ( Waite : ' Encyclopedia of Freemasonry - Mysterium Christi ').

And

" Jesus of Nazareth is our Exemplar in one of two ways -apart from ecclesiastical teaching , though not in the second case opposed thereto : (a) in the sense of the naturalists, who regard Him as a great spiritual teacher giving His life for the truth (b) in the sense of those who regard His birth, life , death and resurrection as a synthetic presentation in ritual form of the spiritual history of each individual who attains in God. This is not to say that the great story of Palestine is like a ceremonial pageant in Masonry , though raised to a higher plane , and is without an historical basis . It is at once actual and symbolical; the side of symbolism places it on the Divine Plane , while the side of literal realism brings it - with saving warrants - into very love of the human heart. He knew whence He came and why ; He knew that it was for the working of a mystery ; He knew that this mystery was an epitome of the experience of each individual soul on the way of return Godward" ( Waite : ' The Way of Divine Union - Symbolism of the Christ Life in the Soul '. )
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parsival, do you think Waite believed literally in the historical Jesus of Nazareth?
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Yes, I do.
If we look at the following phrase from the quotation which I gave above which Waite wrote in 1921when he was 64 : " This is not to say that the great story of Palestine is like a ceremonial pageant in Masonry , though raised to a higher plane , and is without an historical basis . It is at once actual and symbolical; the side of symbolism places it on the Divine Plane , while the side of literal realism brings it - with saving warrants - into very love of the human heart."
He is saying that " the great story of Palestine " i.e. the life of Christ is not like the rites of masonry (which are based on legend) but rather it has a historical basis.
He goes on to say that it is both " actual and symbolical " or we could say phenomenal and noumenal . So the events of Christ's life happened in time and space in order that embodied mankind would be able to relate to the physical aspect of Christ , His " literal realism " provoking our love . On the other hand every event in that sacred life was symbolical of a higher or more inner reality .
Waite was a sacramentalist who believed that behind or within the external aspect of reality accessible to the senses there was another deeper aspect of reality accessible to the mystic through contemplation . For him , the external events of Christ's life symbolized the journey of the soul of everyman.
When we accept the symbolical meaning of Christ's life it doesn't mean that we reject the historical or literal aspects of that life. One does not detract from the other ; they are complementary.
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