“Towards Democracy” by Edward Carpenter

 A Brief Introduction


The appendices of the first two published editions of Mysteria Magica,  include some beautiful excerpts from Edward Carpenter’s epic poem, “Towards Democracy”. Sadly, these were omitted from later editions. The authors said of the poem:


“That great and noble poem shows forth the phases of psychosophical development, and the functions and faculties of the psyche, in profound clarity; at the same time it is not a general treatise, and the subject-matter is seen and felt through the idiom of Carpenter’s personality and no other. The student to whom this work appeals is urged not to limit his knowledge of it to the passages given here: he should acquire a copy of the complete work, in which much of vision and power will supplement his study of Volume IV of this series (The Triumph of Light).


The given passages, illustrative of the Adept’s quest and attainment, were for many years employed by the Aurum Solis as the basis of one of its recommended mediation sequences.”


This great and epic poem is packed with allegory and vision, much of which truly repays contemplation and meditation. We hope you too will find inspiration and meaning within this treasure trove. A brief sample of this marvellous compendium of wisdom and art is included below. A wider selection from Towards Democracy is included on additional pages. In the Order’s inner work, we encourage companions to explore the vast riches available within its pages.




The Lake of Beauty


Let your mind be quiet, realising the beauty of the world, and the immense, the boundless treasures that it holds in store.


All that you have within you, all that your heart desires, all that your Nature so specially

fits you for - that or the counterpart of it waits embedded in the great Whole, for you. It will surely come to you.


Yet equally surely not one moment before its appointed time will it come. All your crying and fever and reaching out of hands will make no difference.


Therefore do not begin that game at all.


Do not recklessly spin the waters of your mind in this direction and in that, lest you

become like a spring lost and dissipated in the desert.


But draw them together into a little compass, and hold them still, so still;

And let them become clear, so clear - so limpid, so mirror-like;

At last the mountains and the sky shall glass themselves in peaceful beauty,

And the antelope shall descend to drink, and to gaze at his reflected image, and the lion to quench his thirst,

And Love himself shall come and bend over, and catch his own likeness in you.