by the Editor
The contents of this site (or CD) have been compiled from what I, the Editor, consider to be among the most important and enlightening teachings I have found on philosophical, psychological, scientific, and spiritual matters. I am certain that all thoughtful readers will find herein much of more than passing interest, and some may even unearth pearls of such value as to provide them with a satisfying purpose in life if they have not already found one.
Readers of the site (or CD) are free to make copies for passing on to their friends.
For those readers who lack the facilities necessary for making CDs, I shall endeavour to arrange supply of copies in response to requests submitted via the Mailing List. This may have to be through third parties who may request donations to cover the costs of copying, packing, and postage.
Readers will know full well that the Internet is by far the most powerful communications medium that has ever become available to ordinary and extraordinary people all over Planet Earth. In particular, it enables us to share thoughts and to help each other in our search for ultimate Truth. It conveniently offers many of the educational facilities formerly available only through schools and universities. In some respects, it can even excel formal schools and universities in expressing ideas and offering information on a range of subjects which religious, political, or other self-serving "authorities" might prefer to suppress.
Seeking to make use of this power, I set out in the late nineteen-eighties to assemble material whose influence might contribute to self-education on the part of those who shared my interest in all-round development of what might be called the "soul-personality".
To that end, I provided a relatively simple introduction in the "Temple" section of the site, and augmented it with a "Library" in which I re-published significant relevant works which, as far as I could ascertain, were then out of copyright.
The Meditation Calendar was included in order to provide additional interest and encourage students to adopt a habit of daily meditation.
In the "World" section of the site, I published my own reactions to "current affairs", attempting to expound a practical political/economic philosophy based on spiritual as well as material considerations.
I then took advantage of Albert Pike's Magnum Opus which provides conclusive evidence of the roots of Freemasonry in the ancient "Mystery Schools", and suggests that a worldwide organisation which has suffered a sad decline from its original spiritual state might still with careful attention be reinvigorated and restored to its former educational role. The Lectures and associated questions therefore formed the first "faculty" in the Ardue "University".
The next development was the "Hermetic Philosophy" faculty in which I presented "lectures" compiled from the works of P D Ouspensky and his mentor, G I Gurdjieff. I hope that many readers will find the psychological thought expressed in these lectures (and some by other authors subsequently added) to be profoundly practical and timelessly relevant to finding solutions to human problems.
As compilation of this site proceeded, it gradually dawned on me that it was having a profound effect on the compiler. I was waking up. I was becoming aware of matters to which I had previously given little thought, some of which I found disturbing.
In particular, I began to feel that the technological gadgetry, financial security, cultural sophistication, and bodily comfort which contrasted so starkly with the conditions prevailing in the subsistence economy in which I had been prought up certainly did not make my present urban neighbours any happier than those of my rural youth. Indeed, I am sure that the reverse is true: a subsistence economy has few surprises, whereas sophistication provides all too many opportunities for trickery and malfeasance.
In former times, particularly in rural societies, most human problems manifested locally and had local solutions. Nowadays, electronic communication disseminates bad news at lightning speed; rapid mass transport facilitates crime and spreads diseases as well as goods; an unprecentedly rapid rise in the human population of Planet Earth enormously multiplies occasions for human beings to quarrel with each other.
Nowadays, our most serious troubles are caused by self-important terrorists and bullying politicians who have no compunction in exaggerating false fears and selling illusory prospects of saving the world from imaginary dangers so that their populations may meekly submit to extortionate taxation.
Suggestions that imaginary dangers such as "global warming" and "climate change" shall shortly reach catastrophic levels fill the media at a time when the rate of consumption of fossil fuels is rapidly exhausting economically obtainable supplies: hence whatever marginal influence a swollen human population may have on global temperature is about to be reversed.
Under the influence of sentimental socialist dogma, "democratic" politicians waste resources on keeping people alive long beyond the time at which their souls should be relieved of the pains of attachment to bodies which are no longer serviceable for anything beyond putting a cross on a ballot paper.
While politicians in "rich" countries try to limit their populations by "stemming the tide of immigration" from "poor" countries, they ignore the fundamental fact that children are brought into the world by sexual magic and that immigration per se is only a relatively minor factor. In the meantime, they encourage sexual irresponsibility by inventing all sorts of financial incentives to eliminate what they call "child poverty" when they should recognise that the fault really lies in the moral poverty of parents who all too carelessly bring into physical manifestation children whom they are unwilling or unable to rear.
Diligent readers of this site (or CD) will find, if they do not already know, that the world is ruled by a Regime over which politicians have no influence. In that Light, politicians are like curious children who take toys apart to see how they work and then find they have no idea of how to put them back together again. Should we not therefore refrain from voting for them?
Twenty-three centuries ago, Plato in his Republic provided us with an exposition of political philosophy which remains as valid today as when it was written. Plato suggests that the ideal ruler must also be a philosopher a lover of wisdom and devoid of selfishness, and thus immune to the temptations of high office.
I know of no ruler in history who matches this description (although Marcus Aurelius comes close), so we must assume that none such is likely to appear in our state any time soon. But what can we do?
It seems to me that the most important thing we can do is train ourselves in the practice of self-effacement while trying as diligently as we can to raise our personal intellectual and moral standards so that we may be better able to assist in the urgent task of spiritual education.
Even the Internet has its limitations. Communication through the "eye" of a computer tends to isolate the individual student and thereby deprive him or her of the incalculable benefits afforded by informal social discussion of matters of mutual interest.
The Ardue Mailing List was an attempt to provide a vehicle for such discussion and, while many stimulating discussions have taken place over the years, the List has proved too unwieldy to be an adequate substitute for face-to-face conversations.
The true disciple in any line of work must be disciplined; and such discipline is most easily inculcated in a formal school. I consider the currently fashionable Internet "blogs" to be too undisciplined to take the place of a holistic school for the individual student.
In order to assist the solitary student to acquire the necessary discipline, I included The Master Key in the Ardue Library. New-comers to holism may well find the contents of this book to lie beyond the limits of their belief systems as I did, when I first came across it. However, as I made my slow progress in self re-education, I found it of immense value in showing how to put holistic principles into practice in my personal life.
The contents of the book provide spiritual support for the Masonic and Hermetic framework of a course of study which may be pursued not only by the solitary student but also by groups of students "clubbing together" as currently happens in the UK where the "University of the Third Age" encourages retired individuals to form study groups for mutual mental benefit and enjoyment.
I am now in my seventy-ninth year in this body, and shall in the not-very-distant future have to discontinue this work. However, I hope to live long enough to leave to the world a consistent, coherent body of knowledge that may form an appropriate nucleus for a school curriculum.
My fond hope is that some readers among those who have found value in this site may feel inspired to continue the work by forming their own local, ideally face-to-face, study groups using the material presented herein as "seeds" to be cultivated by their own endeavours.
The contents of this site (or CD) may freely be copied and disseminated without charge to any potentially interested persons and, particularly, to members of study groups. Donations may, however, be solicited to cover any costs of reproduction and distribution.
Should a few "Ardue Study Groups" appear in various parts of the world, the Ardue Mailing List could enable them to exchange news of developments.
The List has a life of its own and can continue without me. All that is required is a change of "ownership" and, perhaps, the appointment of one or two "moderators" to help maintain continuity. All it costs is regular oversight and the occasional administrative touch to keep it in order.