- chapter index -
pg. 1 - Epitaph | pg. 2 - The Iron Gates of Fate
pg. 3 - The Fate of All Mankind | pg. 4 - Moonchild
pg. 5 - The Court of the Crimson King | pg. 6 - The Purple Piper
pg. 7 - Averroes | pg. 8 - The Keeper of the City Keys
pg. 9 - The Pilgrim's Door | pg. 10 - The Return of the Fire Witch
pg. 11 - The Gardener Plants An Evergreen | pg. 12 - The Prism Ship
pg. 13 - The Grinding Wheel | pg. 14 - On Soft Gray Mornings
pg. 15 - Divining Signs | pg. 16 - The Yellow Jester
pg. 17 - Remember the Future | pg. 18 - The Return of the King
pg. 19 - The I Ching | pg. 20 - Octants

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The Wise Men

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" On soft gray mornings widows cry "

Gray was the color of the Franciscan order.

"The Franciscan and grey friars came up under the Emperor Frederick II., at the time St Elizabeth was canonized, in the year 1207. Francis worked his gameÖtwelve years under the emperor Frederick II.
There had been so many of those grey friars, that they offered to send forty thousand of their number against the Turks, and yet leave their monasteries sufficiently provided for."

- Martin Luther
Divine Discourses

"Grey Friars: Franciscan friars, so called from their grey habit. Black friars are Dominicans, and White friars Carmelites."

- Dictionary of Phrase and Fable by E. Cobham Brewer

Widows and "grey" friars are references to the Inquisition.

"In 1224 the Constitution of Lombardy formally enacted sentence of death for heresy, and the next Pope, Gregory IX, endorsed this penalty and founded what is commonly called the Inquisition. Heretics were to be handed over to the secular arm for "adequate punishment" -- of which we find the definition in the words I quoted from Innocent III -- and, as bishops had shown themselves very remiss in the nasty work of seeking out heretics, the Pope took the job from them and entrusted it to the tender mercies of the newly founded Dominican and Franciscan friars, who took to it like blood-hounds to a scent. Among the wits of the time the Dominicans were known as the Domini canes, "the hounds of the Lord," a very neat Latin pun on their name."

- The Story of Religious Controversy Chapter XIII

As in the previous three verses, the final verse begins with an acknowledgment, a realization, of personal error. The penalty of death for heresy (which created "widows") first came about under the reign of Frederick II.

"Frederick II persecuted no man for his belief. He had his hands full persecuting rebels and heretics for their unbelief. It is illogical to argue that toleration of other genera should involve a toleration of degenerates --for heretics were degenerates in Frederick's eyes--who rent the "coat without seam" and tore asunder the unity of the state. The contradiction lies not with the Emperor, but in the failure to recognise that heretics were for Frederick enemies of the State, much more than enemies of religion. The misunderstanding is based secondly on a false and arbitrary application of post-Reformation ideas of toleration originating in the days when Protestantism was an independent religion and included sectaries. The misapplication of these ideas to Frederick in his relations with sectaries and non-Christians, is all the more dangerous as it tempts to false generalisations about Frederick's character, representing him as an enlightened and tolerant potentate--an artificial picture that does not fit the facts.
In regards to his personal inclinations--especially wherever the sanctities of the state were at stake--Frederick was in fact probably the most intolerant Emperor that ever the West begot. No Emperor was ever, both in claim and in act, so uncompromisingly the JUDGE as Frederick II. As judge he lived for centuries in the memories of men, as judge they awaited his second coming as the avenger of human degeneracy. A tolerant judge is like luke-warm fire.
The Emperor, who felt no hate to the non-Christian, showed himself in every deed a 'Jealous God' towards rebels and heretics, offenders against the Deity Justitia and the sanctified order of the State ; a very fanatic obsessed by a primeval hate that pursued its victims remorselessly to the second and third generation. The most appaling punishments seemed too mild for such offenders. The edict against those heretics who--to quote the Emperor--called themselves 'Sufferers' Patarenes, after the 'passion' of the heroic martyrs, closes with a blood-curdling taunt : 'We therefore command by this our law that these accursed 'Sufferers' shall in fact suffer the passion of that death they lust for : that they be condemned to the flames and burnt alive in the sight of all men ; nor shall we regret that we thus fulfil their own desire."

- Frederick II
by Ernst Kantorowicz
(p. 269-70)

"He played the role as if he were utterly conscious of being the legitimate heir to the title of Roman Emperor, and that his right was God given. He behaved and judged any different opinion accordingly: as blasphemy and rebellion against the will of God. He coolly used the Medieval "Fear of God" for his own agenda which was to found a "Universal Planetary Global Institution" above kingdoms and nations which were to keep their secular power and cultural identity, but would belong to the superior set of scopes of the Empire.

In order to build up the "ideological" value of the title he was very generous with any material advantages. The generosity of Frederick was without limits; equally unlimited was the severity with which he judged and punished any attempt to diminish it or, God forbid, any rebellion.

The heretics were "rebels" because they did not acknowledge the God that had given him the title and the Imperial responsibility. Political rebels were treated with the same drastic justice since they were "blasphemous": An attack against the Emperor was an attack against God who had granted the title. Laesa majestate was a crime against God not against the person of the Emperor. Thus death was the only possible punishment and there was no lenience.

But let us not make any mistake about Frederick's "religion" or "piety": On account of his pragmatic attitude he promoted his specific "planetary vision" with the concept of "God given right" much more consistent and understandable to the Medieval culture that was the reality of the time.

Of course, this is my "inferred" opinion and I have no historical document to support it. But Frederick's whole life was consistent with this assumption: his staunch opposition to the Papacy (and the staunch opposition of the Popes to him), the many anecdotes that report his sarcastic attitude against religious bigotry and gullibility. It was his firm conviction that you must believe in what you witness for yourself (see with your own eyes) and not in what you hear from others."

- Frederick II by Lorenzo Matteoli

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" The wise men share a joke; "

"Growing up under the arrogant rule of Innocent III, who never seems to have realized that his ward had come of age, he developed a humorous evasiveness."

- H. G. Wells, The Outline of History

"Frederick was supposed to have jested that Moses, Christ, and Muhammad were three impostors who had themselves been hoodwinked."

- Encyclopedia Britannica

"His sense of humor was notorious, and his jests and his skeptical quips are authentically called the forerunner of the humanistic, scientific temper of centuries later; making a vivid contrast with the narrow, illiberal, crude courts of Europe of that time. He rebelled openly against the pope, even starting an expedition against Rome, saying that the Church was at the time corrupted with great wealth. Legends grew around him, and he shed lustre upon the name of Hohenstaufen, already a name to conjure with."

- Index of Historical Excerpts and Extracts

The "wise men share a joke" alludes to two books of the 13th century, the Book of the Gentile and the Three Wise Men by Catalan mystic and poet Ramon Llull and to a book alleged to have been written by Frederick II, The Three Impostors . Ramon Llull's "three wise men" are a Jew, a Christian and a Saracen who attempt to persuade a non-believer of the existence of God. The "three impostors" are a Jew, a Christian and a Saracen (Moses, Jesus and Mohammed) and the author of the The Three Impostors attempts to persuade the reader of the "hoax" of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

The Book of the Gentile and the Three Wise Men
or Three Lllull -abies

"In 1274 Ramon Llull wrote, in Arabic, the Book of the Gentile and the Three Wise Men. This book is "Llullís most important apologetic and polemical work,". The book narrates the story of a Gentile, deeply agonized by his inescapable certainty of death and hopelessness for anything more, who meets a group of theologians, one a Jew, one a Christian, and one a Saracen. (The term "Gentiles," as also in Aquinasí Summa contra Gentiles, signified those "without religion," in Llullís words, including "Mongols, Tartars, Bulgars, Hungarians from Lesser Hungary, Kumans, Nestorians, Ghanians, and many others.") The theologians persuade the Gentile of the existence of God and the fact of the resurrection by use of Llullís Art in a popularized form."

- Ramon Llull: Thirteenth Century Catholic Missionary

"He produced his formidable Art Abreujada d 'Atrobar Veritat (The Art of Finding Truth), written in Catalan and translated into Latin. Synthesizing the instrumental logic of al-Ghazzali, the geometrical symbolism of the Kabbalah, and the trinitarian perspective of Platonic Christianity, Lull developed an algebraic and analogical method for demonstrating spiritual and philosophical truths. Recognizing that Deity is in itself unknowable and utterly unmanifest, like the Ain Soph of the Kabbalah, he held that divine manifestation begins with nine Dignities or attributes of God. These correspond to the Sephiroth of the Kabbalistic Tree of Life and the hadras (dignities and divine names) of Islam, especially as developed by ibn Massara and al-'Arabi. By presenting them in his Ars Combinatoria, the fundamental Dignities could be combined with relative predicates with mathematical precision. Showing that some combinations are possible whilst others are not, Lull believed that he could begin on the common ground of Christianity, Islam and Judaism, and thus lead all honest thinkers to the Christian perspective."

- Ramon Lull

The Connection Between Raimon Llull and Frederick II

"The culture of Frederick II's court in Sicily and Apulia belongs to that culture of the 'Three Rings' which has become familiar to the public of more recent centuries through the parable of the rings in Lessing's Nathan the Wise. Frederick's remark about the three great impostors, Moses, Christ and Mohammed, was familiar currency in this Mediterranean culture which stretched from Baghdad to Toledo. It expressed in negative form the fact of a fruitful coexistence between Jewish, Islamic and Christian culture."

- The Holy Roman Empire
by Friedrich Heer (p. 81)

"The next stage of the new universalist rationalist thought was Latin ñ in Majorca with RamÛn Llull, in Sicily with Frederick II and the first Thomas Aquinas, and in Paris with the "Latin Averroists" (Siger of Brabant, BoËce of Daclus and so on) and Saint Thomas Aquinas, a scholar in every field and especially in technical subjects (navigation for example), offered a scrupulously balanced vision of the arguments used by the three monotheistic religions, a vision in which the affirmation of convergence between reason and revelation provided the basis for dogmatics without dogmatism, such as may be found in the allegory of the Gentile and the three Wise Men."

- The routes of al-Andalus
by Pierre Philippe Rey

"The eclectic and universalist vision (ecumenical on the religious plane) of Pico embraces ancient philosophies, religions and Christian theology. It encompassed, like Ficino, not only the ancient sages, but also the thinkers of Islam, all of the magical tradition and, above all, the Jewish Kabbalah. This vision finds its last origin near the Sicilian Court of Frederick II, where Saracen, Hebrew, representatives of the Greek ideal and Christian philosophers had taken to discuss between them the universal idea of one religion, revealed for all people. This idea will find metaphysical foundation in the humanistic doctrine of the immanence of the divinity in the universe."

- Giovanni Pico

"However, the end of that "route" (al-Andalus), which petered out at the close of the twelfth century in the Muslim world and at the close of the thirteenth or beginning of the fourteenth century in the Christian world, marked the beginning of a period of intellectual decline. In the fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries, Ibn Khaldun fought a solitary and desperate battle to rebuild the lost unity of the Maghrib. At the end of the thirteenth century, Etienne Tempierís condemnation of the views of both AverroÎs and Saint Thomas Aquinas, together with the extermination of Frederick IIís descendants and the destruction of his intellectual legacy in Sicily, ushered in a period of decadence ...which lasted until the Reformation at the end of the fifteenth century."

- The routes of al-Andalus
by Pierre Philippe Rey

"Etienne Gilson, the noted student of medieval philosophy and history, reminds us that Bishop Etienne Tempier wrote a condemnation of the phrase, "Theology rests upon fables," in the 1277 condemnation of 219 propositions attributed to the theories of Siger of Brabant. Gilson also notes that Fontenelle's History of the Oracles (1687) suggested that Revelation is mythical in origin. Gilson adds, "Fontenelle was a very prudent man; he was merely suggesting what he had in mind; but four centuries before him some Averroists had clearly said it."

- The Origin of the Word: Mythology

"Averrhoism quickly penetrated into the University of Paris and was adopted by some of the foremost thinkers of the day. The Emperor Frederick II openly espoused it and was excommunicated from the Church as a result."

- Great Theosophists Roger Bacon

In the Court of the Crimson King ~ The Grinding Wheel return to
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In the Court of the Crimson King ~ Divining Signs

Sign the Dreambook Dreambook Read the Dreambook

Chapter One The Metaphysical Record In The Court Of the Crimson King In The Wake Of Poseidon Lizard The King In Yellow The Sun King Eight
The Lake Which Mirrors the Sky In the Beginning Was the Word In the Beginning was the Word...side two Eros and Strife Dark Night of the Soul...Cirkus Dark Night of the Soul...Wilderness Big Top Islands
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