What is Martinism
“Martinism” is a Christian Mystical philosophy which holds that man’s fall from grace resulted in his being separated from the Creator, and it seeks to restore man’s relationship with God through the elevation of spiritual consciousness. Martinism accomplishes this through an organized system of progressive ritual initiations. These initiations lead to a state of enlightenment in which the initiate is spiritually receptive to a direct experience of the Divine. Martinism teaches and employs a wide range of esoteric practices, including meditative prayer. Martinists study the life and teachings of Christ as revealed through the Holy Bible, and esoteric topics such as symbolism, numerology, the Kabbalah, alchemy, and astrology. The Martinist Philosophy is based upon the works of 18th century French mystics Martinez de Pasqually, Louis Claude de Saint-Martin, and Jean Baptiste Willermoz, who considered the process of man’s healing his relationship and becoming whole again with the Creator to be one of reintegration. Martinism is not itself a religion, but rather is a discipline which complements Christian religious practice. The ultimate goal of a Martinist is to emulate the life of Christ. Martinists do not practice any type of magic, be it white or black. They study, they pray and they forgive injustices. Martinism does not ask its members for any oaths of passive obedience, nor does it impose on them any dogma, be it materialistic or clerical, thus leaving them in a perfect freedom of consciousness. We simply remain fervent servants of Christ, enemies of violence and vengeance, resolute synarchists, opposed to any anarchy from above or below.
What is Christian Mysticism ?
Christian Mysticism is a term used to describe a form of Christianity which seeks to achieve a direct experience of the Divine; it is not based on a merely analogical or constructed knowledge, but upon a direct, first-hand, personal event. This experience is attained by numerous methods, including initiatory enlightenment, prayer, meditation, contemplation, and study resulting in a distinctive spiritual knowledge, or gnosis. Padre Pio da Pietrelcina (1887 –1968), Friar, Priest and Christian mystic once stated: “Through the study of books one seeks God; by meditation one finds him”. This seems to summarize the methodology of the Mystic quite well. Historically, the Christian mystic path was threefold in nature, with mystic practices correspondingly designed to affect the body (soma), soul (psyche), and spirit (pneuma). The two methods considered theologically correct were the Apophatic (imageless, stillness, and wordlessness) and the Cataphatic (imaging God, imagination or words). Both methods remain in use today in monasteries and convents around the world. Christian gnosis, is traditionally understood to be “a gift of the Holy Spirit which enables us to know Christ” (i.e. acquire direct knowledge of Christ). In Martinism, mystic knowledge transforms the heart of the Martinist and leads to direct restoration of the prelapsarian relationship between Mankind and the Creator (Reintegration).
What is Reintegration?
Reintegration is the philosophy that although mankind fell from grace with the Creator, he was not simply abandoned. God retains a connection to every man and woman by which a desire for reconciliation is deeply instilled, and through which all of mankind can achieve reconciliation. This reconciliation is achieved by transformation of the soul and spirit of man in a continuous upward progression. As we are transformed into beings who are acceptable to the heart of the Creator we are welcomed home and once again achieve unity with God. The path of reintegration and the cosmology of the process are considerably well developed, but complex. Through study and personal reflection Martinism seeks to teach the philosophy of Reintegration and to facilitate transformation.
What Are the Martinist Degrees?
The Martinist Order consists of simple adherents and of “Initiates” divided into three degrees, two probationary degrees and one grade. This grade, the S. I. or “Unknown Superior” is granted only to Members who show themselves worthy by their behavior in their daily life, as well as by their special knowledge (concerning the doctrine and workings of the “Passed Masters” of Martinism – hermetic traditions) and in general by their support for Martinist principles. Only the grade of S. I. can initiate others into the lesser degrees, according to the Tradition. The S :. I :. who is proven to have a true comprehension of the spirit of Martinism, and who is judged capable of transmitting the initiation in turn, may be given the administrative grade of S :. I :. Initiator (called variously the S :. I :. I:. or SII IV or Free Initiator). The time between initiations to the various degrees is variable, it depends upon the degree of evolution of a new Martinist, upon the work accomplished, etc. It is never in anyone’s interest to expedite the time between these initiations.
What is Martinist Ritual?
Martinist Ritual is the method used to confer the initiatic degrees of the Order. Rituals re comprised of prayer, instruction in the rules of the Order, instruction in the tenants of Martinism, presentation of the symbolism inherent in the spiritual science, and acceptance by the candidate of the oath of the Order, and conferral of the oath and degree. The Ritual is designed to be conducted in an atmosphere of reverence and solemnity, as is appropriate for the candidate’s ability to reflect upon the materials presented, and as is conducive to the ineffable experience of enlightenment.