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Silent Sounds and Names
by Athos A. Altomonte
An example of initiatory esotericism
Esotericism is an abused word. Its substance is indistinct, because a mercenary divulgation has covered the original principles with an imaginary sciolism, to make it a ‘product' usable from the less initiatorily endowed classes.
We must highlight the assumption that the emission of an initiatory principle has two sides. The positive side is its diffusion; the negative one is that its vulgarization can distort the subtle nature of its meanings, and this often happens.
Neophytes believe that esotericism is a subject to be studied. In actual fact it is first of all a method of enquiry that uses old ‘memories' to reach the deep meanings of every initiatory proposition.
The main key for every proposition is the meaning of numbers, which is overcome, though, by the sonorous interpretation.
There isn't any conflict in this statement, since the knowledge of harmonics (sonorous notes) originates from the interpretation of numbers and geometric relationships that define the inner space of every form.
It is not a coincidence that music is at the top of all liberal arts, although music in the strict sense is only the exoteric aspect of sound. Indeed, music is art, but it is part of profane culture.
On the contrary of what happens in exoteric ceremonies, initiatory and mysteriosophic rituality doesn't use musical accompaniments to give ‘rhythm' to its works. It uses the Pillars of Harmony.
We must say that in many Masonic Lodges there is a confused mixture of musical genres to accompany the different ceremonial stages. Perhaps this is because it's not clear that the sonorous principles of initiatory rituality have very little in common with musical accompaniments of profane circumstances.
The Pillar of Harmony is not music, but an aspect of the Science of Sound used in High initiatory Ceremonials.
The Pillar of Harmony is a whole of vibrations and sounds (see sinusoidal waves) designed to interact with the inner energy (emotions-feelings) of the participants to the Rite and exalt their mental sensitivity to the highest degree . This sensitivity might seem like a feeling, but in actual fact it is an inner vibration (tone) produced by mind, soul or spirit.
The correspondence to the sound can be originated from mind, soul or spirit. This depends on the level of evolution of the Initiate's conscience.
The Pillar of Harmony corresponds to an inner vibration (tone) that colors the emotions of the participants, with a chromatic gradation that reflects the inner value of each of them. This is how the Initiate reflects and projects in the ceremonial his initiatory charisma – of the intellect, the soul or the spirit. It expresses the first esoteric aspect of ritual magic.
In the case of lesser initiates that haven't matured their true initiatory charisma, this is replaced by exterior paraments and ornaments. They are the metaphor of the inner values that the adept is supposed to achieve.
When the interaction between exterior sound (tone of the Harmonious Pillar) and inner vibration (inner tone of the participant) occurs, the sound and sensitivity of the participants respond and correspond to each other. In the Ceremonial they are con-fused in the same Pillar of Harmony.
To simplify the concept we can say that exoteric ceremonials are usually accompanied by musical pillars of profane culture. In initiatory Ceremonials, on the contrary, the Pillar of Harmony interacts with the Pillars of Harmonies generated by the participants; the latter add their own inner vibration to the exterior sound.
If this ‘ sonorous vortex ' is accompanied by the enunciation of the right ritual words, the result is the ‘formation' of a ritual Eggregore , which is a highly ritual act.
The ritual Eggregore is expressed as a vibrant point and the center of the initiatory Chain, reverberating (resounding) in the heart of the onlookers and elevating their energetic vibration (color). This ‘enrichment' remains in the Initiate well beyond the Ritual act.
No exoteric tradition mentions the Science of Sound. This is quite natural, since the science of sound is based on the principle of resonance of empty spaces and exoteric didactics are founded on the fullness of events and concepts. Indeed, in the exoteric view man is a body of ‘full' matter, whilst in the esoteric view man is an energetic structure that ‘sounds and resounds'.
The Builders of Cathedrals used geometries designed to amplify the assonances among the different empty (inner) spaces that added up to form a certain ‘note' (see the elevation of the gothic), to exalt the spirit of the people standing among those walls.
They followed the principles of a millenary tradition, contained in the Science of Sound (sonorousness of empty spaces); in the West, Pythagoras was the forerunner of such a science. In Egypt he was initiated to the mysteries of Osiris (the inner sun, see solar plexus). Once back in his country, Pythagoras built a Monochord, which he used to ‘draw' the sonorous harmonics that ‘animated' structures and made them alive.
This process allowed him to determine ‘planetary harmonies' as well, which he called the ‘silent sound' of the spheres (celestial). The method consisted in applying the ‘sonorous relations' learnt on the monochord to the solar system, considering the planets as the ‘ musical knots ' of the system.
I hope you'll allow me this extreme simplification.
From Pythagoras to Fludd (see image) up to H. Kaiser, scholars have studied further and further the knowledge of ‘harmonics'. Through mathematics, they have applied a sound to every existing shape. They have discovered the relation between sound and shape ; old sacerdotal tradition called them occult names.
God had an unknowable and intransmissible Name, because his essence was a Sound and not a Word.
Religious myths tell us that ‘God was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God'. This clearly shows that his Essence is sonorous. It also tells us that God ordered man to give ‘a name' to every living thing and creature (nephesh).
Other myths are linked the mysteriosophic sense of sound. Freemasonry, for example, mentions the Lost Word (See article) that none of its adepts knows.
This brings us back to the unison between shape and name; from an initiatorily point of view it represents the assonance between shape and sound. It is not surprising, then, that the combined study of Number, Sound and Color is the most advanced part of esotericism. It studies the energetic structure of human being and subtle Entities as well as their appearance. This study follows the postulate that all (material) Forms and (divine) Presences resound with their own sonorous note, dynamic and at the same time attracting (see ‘method of the alliance').
If we follow the principles of silent sounds (the Occult Names of things and people), it is extremely important for the initiate to re-link the energetic aspect that joins the physical forms (dense energy of the material form) to the metaphysical presences (pure energy of the subtle and spiritual forms).
Every Presence (subtle energy) and physical form (dense energy) emanates, or rather lives on a note (inner re-sonance, or soul) that distinguishes as well as attracts them to each other.
Here we are in front of the so-called Occult Name.
Among the intermediaries that can identify a living creature there is the exoteric name, expressed by a physical word (the profane name ). There is also the esoteric name, silent and secret because it is expressed through its ‘inner sonorousness' (the note of the soul ).
The note of the soul is the ‘occult name' of the initiate. It is revealed to him as the light that illuminates when the process of transmutation is accomplished (see metamorphosis and inner journey).
When the mysterial tradition of the Great Initiates (Greater Initiates) refers to the ‘occult name' of an unperceivable Presence (divine Entity) or of an Initiate (living spirit), it doesn't refer to a proper name like some people believe, but to the inner sound (the spiritual note ) that physically appears as a light of love and knowledge.
The postulate of the silent sound (see note of the soul and note of the spirit) originates a theorem that involves four aspects.
• energy creates motion;
• motion creates sound;
• sound determines light;
• light originates color and heat.
This is the esoteric sense of the quaternary of the four elements that animates every material form.
Today the only thing left of the initiatory meaning of the ‘occult name' is the appearance used in exoteric systems. Since they are not able to reach the inner note (the spiritual name) they have their adepts changing their names with others of the same kind, viz. profane. Therefore all that is left of the initiatory name is the approximate liturgy of a misunderstood metaphor.
We have tried to demonstrate that there isn't true mystery or initiatory secret , but rather the inability to see what we have not been educated to recognize.
Intellectual blindness concerns most of all the principles of the sacred science, based on the relations between Forms, Numbers and Sounds (see tones, semitones and laws of the octave ), Lights and Colors.
This ‘quaternary' is the only ‘bridge' that joins the (inner) heaven to the (inner) earth and vice versa.