Re: [sl] A magical London
- Hi, Chris:
The book is The Byrom Collection and the Globe Theatre Mystery by Joy
Hancox pp 148 ff. First published in 1992. This section is titled The
Temple of Solomon The cube of space is related to the cubical holy of
A wonderful book. I would be skeptical too about the design for London
if I didn't know from the Byrom Collection that images of the tree of
life dating from that time were circulating among people who were
associated with those who were planning the rebuilding of London.
>I was thinking a bit about this possible tree of life design in the city of
>London. I must admit I am skeptical; frankly, if you want to, you can see
>most any design wherever you look. I once found the tree of life design in
>the shadow cast by lightly pressing my fingertips and thumbs together as
>though in prayer (try it over bathwater, if you don't believe me).
>On a less controversial note, here is Christopher Wren's proposed design for
>London following the Great Fire:
>To tell you the truth, I can almost see the tree of life design here--which
>is why I am skeptical.
>Dan, what is the title of the book you are referring to? I would like to
>see that cube of space image you mention.
>> Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2005 23:06:46 -0500
>> From: "Daniel N. Washburn" <danw@...>
>>Subject: Re: A magical London???
>>Both my computer at home and the internet machine at my office have been
>>down for the last week and a half, so I am just getting back in to the
>>Did a little looking in a book called The Byrom Collection about the 500
>>geometric drawings in the possession of John Byrom c. 1732. He was a
>>freemason and a member of the royal society who started a Cabala Club
>>around 1725 in London. The collection of drawings has come down to us.
>>Some of these drawings go back to the late 15 hundreds.
>>Robert Boyle (pre 1666) one of the founders of the royal society had a
>>notebook with drawings similar to those in the Collection. He had a
>>Christian Cabala picture of Chirst crucified on a tree of life. I mean
>>THE tree of life with all the 10 shperes in the proper places. Boyle
>>was not only the father of modern chemistry but was a student of alchemy
>>who knew greek hebrew syriac and the chaldean language.
>>There are drawings in the collection which Joy Hancox the author of the
>>book says are really depictions of the geometry of Kings College chapel.
>>(started in 1446!) which have a tree of life geometrically shown.
>>There is a cube of space with the tree shown on its sides.
>>She concludes that Kabbalah combined with other esoteric threads and
>>influenced the building trades at an early date, [possibly the 12, 13
>>A very interesting book.
>>Evelyn is mentioned as knowing one of the leaders of the 'invisible
>>college' the group that later formed the royal society.
>>>Kabbalah in London
>>> Hee are some excerpts from this interesting article discussing the
>>>incorporation of Kabbalistic elements into the design of London.
>>>Did the architects of `new' London, following the great fire of 1666,
>>>intend to incorporate Sacred Geometry into their re-modelling? One of
>>>the earliest designs suggests that they did!
>>>On September the 2nd 1666 London suffered the greatest catastrophe
>>>that it had ever experienced in its entire history. Known as' The
>>>Great Fire of London', this event, which lasted only 4 days, destroyed
>>>more buildings that the entire `Blitz' period of W.W. II.
>>>More than 4/5th's of the city was lost in the devastation, including
>>>what was at the time the largest Gothic building in Europe. A St'
>>>Paul's Cathedral had stood upon the same site since the 7th century,
>>>but this particular St' Paul's dominated the London skyline.
>>>The Cathedral was seen as the spiritual heart of the city and thus
>>>with its destruction, the soul of the city was also thought to have
>>>But to others this was a `God given' opportunity to start again. While
>>>it is certainly true to say that London was seen as the greatest city
>>>on Earth, it was also recognised as being the dirtiest and smelliest
>>>city on the planet. So a chance to rebuild from the ground up could
>>>not be wasted. It is therefore no surprise that various plans for
>>>rebuilding the city were suggested within weeks
>>>of the fire's destruction.
>>>But, recognising this as an opportunity to regain support for a
>>>weakened and flagging reign, king Charles II took over personal
>>>responsibility for appointing the right man for the job. And it is in
>>>this capacity as "saviour of London" that Charles turned first to John
>>>Evelyn for the task. Evelyn submitted various designs for the planned
>>>reconstruction. But, from an esoteric point of view, it
>>>is his first major design that is most interesting. Evelyn's plan was
>>>to do away with all the narrow, higgledy-piggledy, streets, which may
>>>have contributed to the rapidity with which the fire had spread, and
>>>replace them with wide boulevards and avenues, and build all the
>>>buildings and churches in stone, rather than wood, which was believed
>>>to be another contributing factor. Whilst on the surface this seems an
>>>obvious proposal, it is the actual proposed layout that catches the
>>>eye. But before we discuss Evelyn's proposed layout it important to
>>>examine both Evelyn and the time in which he lived.
>>>By the late Seventeenth Century what we would recognise as `modern
>>>science' was only in its infancy, and was still closely connected with
>>>the likes of Alchemy and Mystical Philosophy. Conventional philosophy
>>>was becoming increasingly popular, with the `Cartesian Meditations' of
>>>Descartes having been published only recently. But, despite this new
>>>direction, the old Hermetic philosophy remained popular, and at the
>>>heart of Hermeticism lays the Kabbalah.
>>>What is important is that, Charles II's chosen architect, John Evelyn
>>>was very much a part of the school of Hermetic philosophy, although if
>>>one read any `official biography' you'll find no mention of this fact.
>>>Although John Evelyn is not the only 17th century figure to have as
>>>aspect of his history excised from his biography. Indeed Sir. Isaac
>>>Newton's strong interest in Alchemy is similarly missed out by his
>>>various biographers. But who was John Evelyn? And what has the
>>>Kabbalah got to do with Evelyn's design for London?
>>>John Evelyn was born into a wealthy family in Surry in 1620. He was
>>>educated at first Balliol College, Oxford and then at the Middle
>>>Temple, London. Indeed, Given Middle Temple's close association with
>>>the Knight Templar, this may well be where Evelyn first came in
>>>contact with Hermeticism, although his later involvement with the
>>>Royal Society may also be the source. Incidentally, both the
>>>aforementioned Sir Isaac Newton and the Architect of `New' St. Paul's,
>>>Sir Christopher Wren, were also members. Despite his involvement with
>>>the redesigning of London Evelyn is probably best known for being a
>>>diarist. Along with Samuel Pepys, Evelyn also documented a great
>>>number of important events during his life time. But, are there any
>>>other clues to his interest in Hermetic philosophy? Not surprisingly
>>>there aren't direct statements in any of Evelyn's diaries. Being a
>>>Hermetic philosopher was not something that would be openly
>>>discussed, especially when, only a generation ago, the Puritan
>>>Commonwealth was still in power. But there is one big clue in one of
>>>Evelyn pamphlets. Even before the great fire John Evelyn had written
>>>of the slum and squalor that was London.
>>>In a pamphlet entitled `FUMIFUGIUM' Evelyn discusses his remedy for
>>>improving the quality of life of the inhabitants of London. There are
>>>some suggestions that could be viewed as being a little `esoteric' in
>>>approach, including references to the `Spirit of London', as well as
>>>its `Soul'. There are also references to the human body being composed
>>>of the 4 basic elements, earth, air,
>>>fire and water. However, one could easily argue that this is just the
>>>language of the age. But the book also contains a number of quotes
>>>from various sources, one of which is Paracelsus.
>>>Both the street plan and the rebuilt buildings come together to form
>>>the Kabbalah! And there are a number of buildings that actually
>>>correlate directly with the spheres of the Kabbalah.
>>>For example Malhkoot, at the base of the Kabbalah, is the `Kingdom',
>>>and entrance way to the Kabbalistic world. Its position, in Evelyn's
>>>design, is at the `Temple Bar' one of the former gateways into London,
>>>and links back to the `Middle temple' of Evelyn's education, and to
>>>the aforementioned Knights Templar. Incidentally, the Temple bar is
>>>another building that was re-built by Wren following the fire. At the
>>>opposite end of the Kabbalah is Keter (crown) On
>>>Evelyn's design we find `St Dunstan in the East' Church, another
>>>building altered by Wren. St. Dunstan himself was an Anglo-Saxon saint
>>>closely associated with Glastonbury, which is often referred to as the
>>>`spiritual heartland' of Britain. But this in not the only
>>>Dunstan/Glastonbury connection. The next sphere along from Malhkoot,
>>>at the western end, is the sphere Yesode
>>>(foundation) Just below, touching its edge, is `St Dunstan in the
>>>West' Church, a second reference to Dunstan/Glastonbury. It is also
>>>important to note that Glastonbury was, and still is, thought of as
>>>birthplace of British Christianity. When, according to legend, Joseph
>>>of Aramathea travelled to Glastonbury carrying with him the Holy Grail
>>>in 63AD, thus introducing Britain to the Christian faith even before
>>>Rome. But the Biggest indicator of the Kabbalistic layout being
>>>deliberate is the building found at Tiferet (beauty)
>>>The sphere of Tiferet represents the highest human ideals and, in the
>>>Christian Kabbalah, it also represents Christ himself. It is therefore
>>>no surprise that St Paul's Cathedral is to be found at Tiferet. Even
>>>before the great fire Sir Christopher Wren had been commission to
>>>repair the aging monolith. But when the fire devastated the Cathedral
>>>there really was no other option than to start again. One can only
>>>speculated as to how much Wren knew of Evelyn's design plan
>>>as Wren made no public comment on it, But, as we've already
>>>established the two gentlemen certainly knew each other well. So the
>>>possibility of them having discussed Evelyn's plan cannot be ruled
>>>Everything seems to point to the suggestion that Evelyn purposefully
>>>mapped out his design for London along the lines of the Kabbalah. But,
>>>given the sheer scale of the work required to implement such a design,
>>>it is unlikely that Evelyn ever believed that this was a viable
>>>proposition. And, fairly soon afterwards Evelyn submitted another
>>>design that more accurately followed the existing roadways and
>>>footpaths. But none of these designs ever made it off the
>>>`drawing board'. Due to combination of the lack of funds and problems
>>>with land ownership, the opportunity to re-design London was lost. And
>>>re-building was just as haphazard as the `pre fire' version of London
>>>lost in 1666.
>>>But there is evidence to strongly suggest that the Idea of
>>>incorporating the Kabbalah into an aspect of London's re-design was
>>>not completely abandoned, although the design was far smaller that the
>>>whole of London, it was nevertheless grand. I am, of course, speaking
>>>of St. Paul's Cathedral itself!
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