Spirituality of the Templar Order Spiritual Beliefs and Practices of the Knights Templar

'God's Holy Mountain' by Asher (Oscar) Frohlich (ca. 1990), painting of the interfaith prophecy for Temple Mount (Isaiah 56:7; Zechariah-14:9)

‘God’s Holy Mountain’ by Asher (Oscar) Frohlich (ca. 1990), painting of the interfaith prophecy for Temple Mount (Isaiah 56:7; Zechariah-14:9)

P (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgPerhaps the most attractive and inspirational aspect of the Templar Order is its traditional focus on a unique brand of spirituality, which has prominently coloured its distinct character as an Order of Chivalry.  Indeed, in the Temple Rule of 1128 AD as its founding Charter [1], the Order is repeatedly described as its own “Holy Communion” of “this Religion” (Rule 2), “the Religion of Knighthood” (Rule 14), a “type of new Religion” as a “Religion of Knights, and thus Religion by armed Knighthood” (Rule 57).

The Knights Templar were founded in the Biblical Temple of Solomon [2] [3] [4] [5], which they excavated [6] [7] for a nine year period [8].  This Solomonic Temple was in fact Pharaonic Egyptian [9] [10] [11] [12], embodying the most ancient Magi Priesthood of Melchizedek (Genesis 14:18-20; I Kings 1:39) of the Biblical Magi (II Samuel 15:25-27; Ezekiel 44:15, 48:11; Matthew 2:1-2), of which Jesus was High Priest (Hebrews 5:5, 5:6, 5:10, 6:20, 7:17, 7:20).

The legendary Templar Priesthood thus consists of the earliest origins of classical Christianity, since the beginning of recorded history, tracing back to ca. 10,068 BC.  These Templar roots also constitute the underlying foundations of all major spiritual religions, unifying diverse denominations and religious traditions of the world.  As a result, the Templar Order is inherently and necessarily interfaith and non-denominational, while also preserving cultural Catholicism.

Authentic Templar spirituality is a form of esoteric Gnosticism, which is wholly compatible with the canonical Christian Mysticism of classical Catholicism.  Gnostic spirituality primarily concentrates on direct personal Divine Communion through the Holy Spirit.  Accordingly, Templarism does not impose any particular beliefs upon its members, and does not require any specific religious practices.  The original Templar traditions thus fully accommodate and support religious diversity and spiritual individuality.

Templar spirituality is generally characterized by reverence of the “Divine Feminine” principle, individual daily prayer, frequent spiritual meditation, including with vocal chanting, esoteric “energy work” as spiritual alchemy involving “Chakras”, and “metaphysical science” exploring spiritual energies.  Such practices share an affinity with ancient European Celtic and Druid spirituality, esoteric Western traditions such as Hermetic Theosophy and Rosicrucianism, classical Eastern traditions such as Hinduism and Kriya Yoga, and ancient Arabian spirituality such as the Sufi mysticism within Islam.

While Templar spirituality is highly compatible with many popular practices which are now considered “New Age”, it is actually very “Old Age”.  All of the Templar practices are firmly established in the historical record, comprising over 12,000 years of the collective spiritual heritage of humanity.  All aspects of Templar spirituality are also deeply rooted in Christian scripture, and solidly anchored in canonical Catholic traditions.

The uniquely ancient and diverse heritage of Templar spirituality was fully disclosed to the Vatican, and officially endorsed by the Roman Catholic Church.  This fact is evidenced by the Temple Rule of 1129 AD as a Papal Decree (Rule 3, Rule 7, Rule 8).  This is further confirmed by the Papal Bull Omne Datum Optimum of 1139 AD, which refers to “your own religion [vestra religio]” with its own “religious life”, recognizes the Ancient Magi Priesthood from the Temple of Solomon as “the source and origin [fons et origo] of your Holy institution and Order”, and “recognize[s] the authority [concedimus facultatem]… of the Holy Temple” as an autonomous priesthood of Templar spirituality [13].

 

Constitutional Separation of Religious Affairs

 

W (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgWhile the Templar Order offers a wealth of ancient esoteric sacred knowledge, and provides an abundance of the sacred heritage of classical Christianity, the Order also functions as a secular Order of Chivalry with a governmental sphere of secular activities.  Accordingly, Templar members can belong to any religion, or even no religion, and can all enjoy full and equal participation in the Order.

The modern Constitution of the Templar Government, as a sovereign non-territorial principality, establishes that the Order is “both inter-faith and non-denominational” (Article 11.4), members are “not required to participate in the religious or ecclesiastical aspects of the Order” (Article 11.7), and all “participation in its traditional religious affairs shall be purely optional and voluntary” (Article 16.4).  It declares that the Order “traditionally maintains a degree of separation between secular or chivalric matters and religious affairs” (Article 16.1).

The Templar Constitution also specifies that the “Templar Priesthood… shall be treated only as a supplement to mainstream religion, for the purposes of enhancing the spiritual dimension of established religion, and shall not be considered a separate religion” (Article 11.8).  It further provides that the Order “retains its original cultural character as a historical institution of predominantly Christian traditions, and thus may practice or promote general expressions of Christian Faith in the conduct of its activities” (Article 16.3).

Accordingly, while the Templar Order fully accommodates both interfaith and secular membership, it also remains true to its traditional role as Defenders of the Faith and Guardians of the Church, preserving the foundations of classical Christianity, as one of its many historical missions for the benefit of humanity.

 

Interfaith Diversity and Inclusiveness

 

R (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgRules of the original Templar Order, as preserved in the historical record, clearly evidence an authentic doctrine of interfaith religious inclusiveness, with an official policy of non-interference.

The Temple Rule highlights the participation of “Secular Knights” in full membership (Rules 65-66).  By definition, the term “secular” means that such Knights and Dames can be from any religion, or even no religion at all.

A later rule (added ca. 1150 AD) declares that Templars should attend the “Holy service” of the Mass only “insofar as he is comfortable with it” (Rule 279).  This evidences that while participating in religious services is strongly encouraged, it is not required.

Another later rule (added ca. 1250 AD) specifically allows Templars even to “enter into another religion”, in which case one “returns” in good standing, and “will not be held by anything… to that religion nor to us also” (Rule 630).

 

Correcting Artificial Misconceptions

 

A (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgAll of the misconceptions of alleged “heretical” Templar spiritual practices entered the popular imagination only from the French persecution of 1307 AD.  The so-called “confessions”, all extracted under torture, reflected merely the dark fantasies of a secular King and his corrupt officials, all falsely projected onto the innocent Templars.

The Knights Templar had general immunity from the Inquisition, subject only to a narrow exception for suspected “heresy”, as ordered by Pope Honorius III in 1230 AD.  The secular King Philip IV thus ordered the French authorities to purposely manufacture false charges of “heresy” to exploit that limited vulnerability. [14]

The “confessions” under torture followed a list of false charges predetermined by the French King, relying on recruited “witnesses” who had been expelled from the Templar Order for serious wrongdoing [15], and were given immunity from any punishment even if their accusations were proven false [16].

Vatican scholars always noted that most of the confessions were conflicting and contradictory, making them meaningless [17].  By the Chinon Parchment of 1308 AD as a Papal Decree, Pope Clement V exonerated and vindicated the Templar Order from all charges by the French Inquisition, declaring that the Templar practices contained “nothing… that was not proper” [18].

The true beliefs and practices of Templar spirituality were never intended to be “secret”, and in fact were always publicly declared.  Indeed, they are evidenced in the historical record, especially by the Temple Rule:

One later rule (ca. 1150 AD) of this founding Charter defines the Order as a “canonical institution” of Canon law as “the way of life” of the Knights Templar (Rule 274).  This proves that all Templars knew that any blasphemous, negative or uncanonical spiritual practices could never be tolerated within genuine Templarism;

Another later rule (ca. 1250 AD) evidences that all ceremonies are conducted only “in chapter”, meaning a formal meeting of the house requiring canonical behaviour with courtly etiquette (Rule 678).  This demonstrates that once an official or canonical ceremony is complete, the chapter meeting is dismissed and nothing further takes place, wholly excluding any secret or unsanctioned practices.

 

Reverence of the Divine Feminine

 

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'Divine Grace' by Rassouli (ca. 2000) oil on canvas, expressing the Divine Feminine

‘Divine Grace’ by Rassouli (ca. 2000) oil on canvas, expressing the Divine Feminine

The Temple Rule proves that the Knights Templar were always dedicated to honouring the Divine Feminine principle, as the spiritual feminine aspect of God.  Using a special Old French word for the feminine face of God, it declares:  “The good works of Our Lady of God [Damedieu] are with us” (Rule 2).  Templars always referred to the daily prayer times as the “hours of Our Lady Saint Mary [French ‘Nostre Dame’, Latin ‘Sancte Marie’] (Rule 16).  Templar Clergy are described as serving by “the authority of Our Lady of God [Damedieu]” (Rule 64).

Reflecting the ancient sacred wisdom of the Biblical Magi of Melchizedek, the Old Testament enshrines the doctrine of the inherent duality of God, embodying both a masculine and feminine aspect in equal balance, as a dual polarity of spiritual energies:  “Let us make man in our image [Greek: ‘Imetéran’]… male and female” (Genesis 1:26-28).

In the Scriptures written by King Solomon, “Wisdom” speaks as the Divine Feminine aspect of God, to “put forth her voice” (Proverbs 8:1) as “I Wisdom” (Proverbs 8:12), saying:  “I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning… When he prepared the heavens, I was there” (Proverbs 8:22-30).

The Solomonic scriptures also identify “water” as the symbol of the Divine Feminine principle (Proverbs 5:15-19).  The Old Testament explains that God could not create without “water” (Genesis 1:1-2, 1:20-21), which is identified as the universal ethereal essence of the cosmos, which God’s masculine aspect divided to form the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:6-10).  As “the Spirit of God moved” (Genesis 1:2), the Divine Feminine aspect “brought forth” all “life” from those masculine impulses (Genesis 1:20-21).

This ancient spiritual doctrine is reflected in the Catholic practice of Holy Water, wherein the masculine polarity of the Holy Spirit consecrates the feminine polarity of the water, such that the resulting Holy Water embodies both halves of the whole of the dual nature of God.  This original Divine spiritual alchemy is the very essence of the Templar concept of the Holy Grail, symbolically represented in the Egyptian Priesthood as the Ankh, and in the Celtic Priesthood as the sacred chalice and sword.

The Roman Code of Canon Law emphasizes the “particular veneration” of Mother Mary in Catholicism, as a special form of meditation on the Divine Feminine aspect of God by “mental prayer” (Canon 276, §2(5), Canon 1186) [19].

 

Spiritual Discipline of Daily Prayer

 

D (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgDiscipline of daily prayer, as a personal practice of individual spirituality, is established in the Temple Rule.  It commands to “at all times… give thanks to God in silence” every day (Rule 29), encouraging frequent prayer “day and night” (Rule 63).  During meal times, it is encouraged to hear readings of Holy Scripture whenever possible (Rule 24), and to give silent prayers of Grace (Rule 29).  For those who might not participate in the Church, such daily prayer is also encouraged as an alternative or substitute for attending religious services (Rule 10).

Jesus taught that prayers are made effective by the Faith in one’s heart, not the form of words (Mark 11:24).  The Apostles taught that Clergy minister by the spirit, not the letter (II Corinthians 3:6), and that prayers are made effective by the Holy Spirit, even when we cannot find adequate words (Romans 8:26-27).  This doctrine of “intent over form”, and thus freedom of liturgy, is confirmed in traditional Canon law (Canon 214, Canon 846, §2).

Accordingly, Templars are not required to use any particular form or wording of prayers, but rather are encouraged to pray from the heart with mental focus on spiritual intent, in whichever style best suits their cultural or denominational preference, to enhance their personal devotion and inspiration.

 

Practice of Frequent Spiritual Meditation

 

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'Meditation' by Li Jinyu (New York) depicting a Buddhist Falun Gong practioner meditating

‘Meditation’ by Li Jinyu (New York) depicting a Buddhist Falun Gong practioner meditating

The Temple Rule evidences the strong Templar tradition of intensive spiritual meditation at every opportunity.  To facilitate and encourage meditation in the Templar lifestyle, it commands to “go silently and quietly” every evening (Rule 31), prohibits “idle words” to promote quiet time (Rule 32), requires to generally “refrain from speaking… and observe silence” (Rule 49), and encourages focused prayers “day and night” as frequent meditation (Rule 63).  Templars are supposed to be metaphorically nourished primarily by the spiritual “meat from God” (Rule 9) through meditation.  The Templar diet was thus established to be 85% vegetarian (Rules 26-27), which is known to facilitate deep spiritual meditation.

In Christian scripture, Jesus taught meditation to activate the Pineal body of the brain, known in esoteric traditions as the Third Eye or Single Eye, to channel spiritual energy-information from the Holy Spirit, saying “If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light” (Matthew 6:22).  He taught the importance of meditation to be grounded with spiritual “roots” (Mark 4:16-17), and to filter out worldly distractions which “choke the Word” of God out of one’s heart (Mark 4:18-19).

The New Testament teaches the method of meditation, as “giving oneself wholly” to focusing on spiritual thoughts (I Timothy 4:15), to “keep” and “hold fast” specific thoughts of the sacred doctrines in one’s mind (II Timothy 1:13-14), to “ponder them in one’s heart” (Luke 2:19) and “think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

The Apostles explained the object of mental focus for meditation, as follows:  (A) to “put off” worldly distractions, by mentally focusing to filter out distractions of the corrupt world (Ephesians 4:22; Romans 12:2; Colossians 3:8); and (B) to focus one’s mind to “Seek” the spiritual energies of God, and “Set your affection on things above” (Colossians 3:1-2).

The result achieved by this twofold mental focus of meditation, is to become “transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2), to be “renewed in the spirit of your mind” (Ephesians 4:23), and thus “renewed in knowledge” of the Spirit and the Faith (Colossians 3:10).

In the Code of Canon Law, Clergy are actually required to “engage regularly in mental prayer” as meditation (Canon 276, §2), traditionally meditating on a daily basis (Canon 19, Canon 2, Canon 27) [20].

 

Chanting as Part of Prayerful Meditation

 

S (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgSinging and chanting has always been an essential part of prayer and meditation, in diverse esoteric and spiritual traditions since the beginning of recorded history.  Since the 2nd century, choral music was always an important part of Christian culture and worship.

Devotional chanting greatly enhances mental focus, using the physics of “sound frequency vibrations” to help filter out negative energies and attract positive energies.  University science of the “neurophysiology of meditation” confirms that chanting has a measurable effect on brain activity, promoting “sympathetic resonance of brainwave function” to balance and coordinate the left and right hemispheres of the brain, helping “to access deeper states of consciousness” [21].  All of this empowers one to most effectively rise above worldly distractions, and attune one’s mind and spirit to sacred energies.

The 12th century Knights Templar focused entirely on vocal “Chants”, to avoid adding musical instruments to already burdensome military equipment, and to best support individual spiritual meditation.  A distinctive style of “Templar Chants” later became popularized as part of the “Gregorian” style, although the Templar style is characterized by some more ancient features of asynchronous timing and exotic melodic scales.

Saint Bernard de Clairvaux, the Protector of the Templar Order, instructed the Templars on the proper manner of singing these ancient and early medieval chants:  “I exhort you… to conduct yourselves in the presence of the Lord with ardour [energy]… making your voices resound with manliness in order that they may be possessed by the moving of the Holy Spirit.” [22]

The original Templar Chants survived in the 12th century Manuscript of the Holy Sepulchre, which is preserved in the Musée Condé in France [23], and continue to be studied and chanted by cultural Templars and members of the restored Templar Order in the modern era.

 

Gnosticism as Christian Mysticism

 

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'Celestial Pablum' (detail) by Spanish lady artist Remedios Varo in Mexico (ca 1940), portraying Spiritual Alchemy

‘Celestial Pablum’ (detail) by Spanish lady artist Remedios Varo in Mexico (ca 1940), portraying Spiritual Alchemy

Templar spirituality is traditionally considered a form of Gnosticism, emphasizing the development of a direct personal relationship with God through the Holy Spirit.  The word “Gnostic”, from the Latin ‘Gnosticus’ and Greek ‘Gnosis’, means relating to esoteric mystical knowledge of the spiritual world, received by direct personal Divine Communion  through an individual connection with God [24].

Evidence that the Knights Templar were Gnostic is found in the Temple Rule, in which the Templar Order itself is described as a “Holy Communion”, meaning that Templar spirituality provides a direct connection with God (Rule 2).  It also declares that “God is with you”, that Templars should be spiritually nourished “by the meat from God” (Rule 9), and that Templars “reconcile with God” through prayerful meditation (Rule 55).

Jesus and the Apostles highlighted the sacred Truth that humanity inherently possesses an internal connection with God through the Holy Spirit, as a natural channel which can be opened and activated through prayer and meditation:  Early Christianity teaches that “the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21), all that “may be known of God is manifest” in his creations including within humanity (Romans 1:19-20), that the essence of the Divine “is all, and in all” (Colossians 3:11), and describes “the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us” (II Timothy 1:14).

In traditional Catholicism, the practice of Gnosticism is actually described as exploring the “Mysteries”, as the cornerstones and focus of “meditation” through prayerful “contemplation” [25].  Vatican scholars explain:  “In the language of the early Christians the Mysteries were those religious teachings… revealed truths… supernatural truth” [26].  “The Mysteries contained in supernatural revelation are… a Mystical cosmos whose parts are united in a living bond.” [27]

The Vatican documented that ancient esoteric Gnosticism is essentially identical to Catholic Mysticism from the early Church:  “The Fathers recognized indeed the partial truth of the pagan system… the Christian school of Alexandria [taught] the true Gnosis based on grace and faith… through which the soul contemplates directly the Mysteries of Divine light” [28].  “God gives a very special grace [enabling]… true Mystical contemplation.  In this act… God becomes intimately present to the created mind… [revealing] the Divine essence.” [29]

Therefore, despite popularized misconceptions, Templar Gnosticism is wholly consistent and fully compatible with canonical classical Christianity.  The practice of Gnosticism is recognized and included within Catholicism in the form of Christian Mysticism, such that “Gnostics” are simply better known as “Mystics”.

 

Spiritual Energy Work for Purification

 

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'Destiny' by Schafer (2011) painting of Chakras during spiritual energy work

‘Destiny’ by Schafer (2011) painting of Chakras during spiritual energy work

A significant aspect of Templar spirituality was traditionally the practice of “spiritual alchemy”, in the form of esoteric “energy work” for sacred transformation of the soul, to achieve spiritual purification.  Such energy work was always directed at strengthening one’s connection with sacred energies of the Holy Spirit and the heavenly realm of God, spiritually empowering one to most effectively advance the missions of Chivalry.

The Temple Rule commands all Knights and Dames “to serve… by studious purification… to fill in and fulfilling the very noble armour of obedience” to the Holy missions (Rule 1).  This describes a practice of spiritual purification, for personal transformation, to become surrounded by sacred energy as metaphorical armour, as a form of spiritual alchemy.

The Ancient Priesthood of Solomon, which the Knights Templar recovered from the Biblical Temple of Solomon, featured the authentic practices of Jesus the Nazarene Essene, including esoteric energy work through meditation, involving the purification of spiritual energy centers along the spinal column [30].

That tradition of the Essenes originated from the Djedhi Priesthood of Pharaonic Egypt, named after the “Djed” pillar symbol representing the spinal column with vertebrae.  The Djedhi Priests specialized in mastering the flow of Holy Spirit energies through points along the spinal column, primarily using intensive meditation techniques [31].

(The famous “Jedi Knights” of the Star Wars films by George Lucas were based upon research from his mentor, the scholar Joseph Campbell, who noted the historical Templars continuing the Djedhi Priesthood of ancient Egypt.)

Those sacred energy centers, aligned with points along the spine, are known in the Eastern esoteric traditions as the seven Chakras, described as the gateways connecting the human soul with the Divine creator of the universe.  The ancient practice of spiritual alchemy concentrates on ceremonial prayer and deep meditation to “cleanse” all seven Chakras, removing any “negative” energies to “unblock” and thus purify them, thereby releasing the strongest flow of Holy Spirit energies within the individual.  This concept has been revived and popularized in diverse practices of the New Age movement.

The Apostolic “Gnostic Gospels” preserved by the Essenes evidence that the 1st century Disciples of early Christianity practiced the same energy work as the Essenes.  Their work with Chakra energy centers along the spine was described as cleansing “the seven houses” [32], by working with “seven spheres” of Holy Spirit energy [33], to raise the Biblical “seven pillars” of the “house” of Wisdom (Proverbs 9:1) [34].

 

Sacred Sciences Exploring Spiritual Energies

 

A (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgA significant part of authentic Templar spirituality is the study and exploration of the mechanics of consciousness, involving the physics of spiritual energies.  In the New Age understanding of ancient esoteric traditions, this is known as “metaphysical science” of the spiritual workings of the universe.  In canonical classical Catholicism, this same timeless discipline of study is known as the “sacred sciences”.

The Temple Rule of 1129 AD commands all Templars to “study universally” to “forego the deceiving world”, meaning to study the spiritual world of God, “for the purpose of divine service” (Rule 9).  A later rule (ca. 1150 AD) highlights that “to serve God… each must apply all of his study and understanding” (Rule 279).  The Papal Bull Omne Datum Optimum of 1139 AD specifically referred to the Templar Order as “your university institution [universitetem exortamur]” [35], evidencing that the Knights Templar actively explored and taught the sacred sciences as an academic and educational institution.

All distinctive elements of Templar spirituality originated from the Biblical Temple of Solomon, which was actually a Pharaonic Egyptian Temple.  Archaeology established that every major Egyptian Temple functioned as a “university” [36] [37], as “centers of scholarship” [38], “keeping accurate scientific records”, and “conducted what amount to scientific experiments” [39].  Egyptian esoteric sacred knowledge was a major driving force in the development of empirical science [40].  Spirituality was actually taught as interconnected with physics, especially mechanics [41], and science was “strongly integrated into religion” [42].  Every Temple as a “university” taught a “strong link between science and religion”, and “Egyptian science… was a component of theology” [43].  Some Priests were actually canonized as Saints of “science” assimilated with Thoth, the Angel of knowledge [44].

In Christian scripture, all Mysteries of the sacred sciences must be revealed and actively taught (Matthew 10:26-27; Luke 8:17), and must not be concealed (Romans 1:18-20), as the collective heritage of humanity (I Timothy 2:3-4).  Exploring the esoteric mechanics of the universe through science serves to reveal the glory of God (Psalm 111:2-4; Ecclesiastes 1:13-17; Romans 1:19-20), and all scientific knowledge ultimately comes from God (Daniel 1:17, 2:21; I Kings 4:29).  Jesus thus taught that it is necessary to explore sacred sciences in order to understand the kingdom of God (John 3:12).

In the Roman Catholic Code of Canon law, all Faithful have the right “to know and live” the sacred Mysteries (Canon 217), the “duty and the right to acquire [sacred] knowledge” (Canon 229, §1) and to explore the “sacred sciences” (Canon 218, Canon 229, §2) by independent research (Canon 254, §2).  Clergy are actually required to receive “solid teaching in the sacred sciences” (Canon 248), and to “continue in their sacred studies… of the sacred sciences” (Canon 279).  The Church itself must teach “revealed Truth” of the “sacred sciences” (Canon 815), enhanced by “scientific research” to promote “scientific knowledge” (Canon 820).

 

Templar Spirituality in the Modern Order

 

B (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgBeing a diverse tradition which is interfaith and non-denominational, the practice of Templar spirituality cannot be directly taught as if one single thing, nor in only one particular way.  Timeless knowledge of the ancient sacred wisdom of esoteric mysticism and the sacred sciences cannot be simply delivered as if a product, nor provided as if a service.

Rather, the meaningful experience of spiritual traditions must come from a personal choice to seek a connection with universal Source, motivated by a higher sense of purpose, and guided by Spirit.  In this way, Templar spirituality is an individual path, which is actively pursued by the seeker as a way of life.

The Templar Order provides a wealth of ancient knowledge of esoteric teachings and sacred wisdom, as an integral part of the overall traditions and diverse body of knowledge.  Elements of Templar spirituality are included throughout all of the Templar Skills Training Program materials, even those of seemingly unrelated topics.

The Order shares these materials fully and equally with all of its members, without any artificial levels or degrees.  All Templars thus learn everything that Templars should know, as fast as they desire to read the materials.

To experience the practice of Templar spirituality as a path, members are encouraged to choose the tradition which is best suited to one’s own cultural and personal preferences.  Empowered by knowledge and understanding from the Skills Training materials, one should then actively engage with a spiritual teacher within one’s chosen path, who may or may not be a member of the Templar Order.

For this purpose, many Templars choose to study Hermetic Mysteries with the Theosophical Society, Gnostic Mysteries with the Rosicrucian Order (AMORC), Kriya Yoga with Self Realization Fellowship (SRF), or Sufi Mysticism with the Sufi Inayati Order, participating in related meditation groups or spiritual retreat activities.  Some Templars discover local private meditation groups with experienced teachers, through meeting people in New Age bookstores.

Alternately, upon request, the Grand Mastery will be pleased to introduce a member to senior officers of the Order who have lifetimes of experience in disciplined meditation, energy work, and mentorship teaching the arts and sciences of authentic Templar spirituality.

For those seeking Templar spirituality strictly within the context of Christianity, the modern Templar Order has recently completed (in 2016) the full restoration of the 12th century Ancient Catholic Church, which was entrusted to the Order as one of its original historical missions.  All Templars are welcome to join the Ancient Catholic Church, the canonical Pontificate carrying the 1st century denomination of Ancient Catholicism, as Faithful and even as Clergy, for an uplifting classical Church experience.

 

Academic Source References for this Topic

 

[1] Saint Bernard de Clairvaux & Hughes de Payens, The Temple Rule of 1129 AD; Translated from:  Henry de Curzon, La Règle du Temple, La Société de L’Histoire de France, Paris (1886), in Librairie Renouard.

[2] Titus Flavius Josephus, Jewish War, Rome (78 AD); Translation by William Whiston (1736), Loeb Classical Library (1926), Volume II, Book 5, pp.212, 217.

[3] Charles G. Addison, The History of the Knights Templar (1842), p.6, citing the document De Aedificiis by the 5th century Byzantine historian Procopius of Caesarea as “Procopius de Oedificiis Justiniani, Lib. 5.”

[4] Charles G. Addison, The History of the Knights Templar (1842), pp.4-5, citing a Vatican document by the 13th century Pope Urban IV (Jacques Pantaleon, 1195-1264), the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, as “Pantaleon, Lib. iii. p. 82.”

[5] Collier’s Encyclopedia, Thomson Gale (1985), 1985 Edition, Macmillan Library Reference (1990), “Knights Templars”.

[6] Keith Laidler, The Head of God: The Lost Treasure of the Templars, 1st Edition, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London (1998), p.177.

[7] Piers Paul Read, The Templars: The Dramatic History of the Knights Templar, the Most Powerful Military Order of the Crusades, 1st Edition, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London (1999), Phoenix Press, London (2001), Orion Publishing Group, London (2012), p.305.

[8] Malcolm Barber & Keith Bate, The Templars: Selected Sources, Manchester University Press (2002), p.2.

[9] Titus Flavius Josephus, Jewish War, Rome (78 AD); Translation by William Whiston (1736), Loeb Classical Library (1926), Volume II, Book 5, pp. 212, 217; The Temple contained “Babylonian” decorations of “mystical interpretation… a kind of image of the universe… all that was mystical in the heavens… [and] signs, representing living creatures.” (Book 5, Chapter 5, Part 4) Other symbols “signified the circle of the Zodiack” (Book 5, Chapter 5, Part 5).

[10] Titus Flavius Josephus, The Life of Flavius Josephus, Rome (ca. 96 AD), Translation by William Whiston (1736), Loeb Classical Library (1926), Volume I, p.65; The Temple replica rebuilt by King Herod also “had figures of living creatures in it” (Part 12).

[11] Old Testament, Authorized King James Version (AKJV), Cambridge University Press (1990), Ezekiel describing Egyptian Priesthood inscriptions and figures inside the Temple of Solomon, Ezekiel 8:10-11.

[12] Prof. Arthur Samuel Peake (Editor), A Commentary on the Bible, T.C. & E.C. Jack, Ltd., London (1920), Ezekiel 8:10-11; Dr. Peake was Professor of Biblical Exegesis at University of Manchester, a Master of Arts and Doctor of Divinity.

[13] Pope Innocent II, Omne Datum Optimum, “Every Good Gift” (29 March 1139); Translated in: Malcolm Barber & Keith Bate, The Templars: Selected Sources, Manchester University Press (2002), pp.8, 59-64.

[14] Barbara Frale, “The Chinon Chart Papal Absolution to the Last Templar Master Jacques de Molay”, The Journal of Medieval History, Vol.30, Issue 2 (2004), p.119.

[15] Henry Charles Lea, A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages, Vol. 3, Harper & Bros, New York (1901), pp.257, 262.

[16] Edward Peters, Inquisition, University of California Press, Los Angeles (1989), p.52.

[17] Anne Gilmour-Bryson, The Trial of the Templars in the Papal State and the Abruzzi, Citta del Vaticano, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (1982), p.18.

[18] Pope Clement V, Chinon Parchment (1308), Vatican Secret Archives, “Archivum Arcis Armarium” D 217-218; Replica Parchments, Processus Contra Templarios, Scrinium, Venice, Italy (2008).

[19] The Vatican, The Code of Canon Law: Apostolic Constitution, Ratified by Pope John Paul II, Holy See of Rome (1983).

[20] Reverend P. Trudel, A Dictionary of Canon Law (1919), 2nd Revised Edition, B. Herder Book Co., London (1920), “328. Meditation”.

[21] Dr. Jeffrey D. Thompson, Sound: A New Medicine for the Millennium; Published in the scientific journal:  Michael Landgraf (Editor), Audio / Visual Stimulation, “AVS Journal”, Granada Hills, California (2001), Volume 1, No. 2.

[22] Saint Bernard de Clairvaux, Sermons on the Song of Songs, Sermon 47: “The Flower of the Field” (ca. 1150 AD).

[23] Knights Templar, Manuscript of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem (12th century);  Preserved in Musée Condé inside Château de Chantilly in northern France: “Manuscript XVIII b12”;  Authenticated, restored and recorded by:  Marcel Pérès, Chant of the Templars, Ensemble Organum (2006).

[24] Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001), “Gnostic (n.)”, “Gnostic (adj.)”, “Gnosis (n.)”.

[25] Ann Ball & Neil J. Roy, Encyclopedia of Catholic Devotions and Practices, Our Sunday Visitor Publishing, Huntington, Indiana (2003), pp.485-487.

[26] The Vatican, The Catholic Encyclopedia (1911), The Encyclopedia Press, New York (1913), Volume 10, “Mystery”, p.662.

[27] The Vatican, The Catholic Encyclopedia (1911), The Encyclopedia Press, New York (1913), Volume 10, “Mystery: Reason and Supernatural Mystery”, “(2) Relations of Natural and Supernatural Truth”, p.663.

[28] The Vatican, The Catholic Encyclopedia (1911), The Encyclopedia Press, New York (1913), Volume 10, “Mysticism: Historical Sketch”, p.664.

[29] The Vatican, The Catholic Encyclopedia (1911), The Encyclopedia Press, New York (1913), Volume 10, “Mysticism: Criticism”, pp.664-665.

[30] H. Spencer Lewis, The Mystical Life of Jesus, Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis, San Jose (1982), pp.191-192.

[31] J. Van der Vliet, Raising the Djed: A Rite de Marge, Akten Munchen (1985), 3rd Edition, S. Schoske, Hamburg (1989), pp.405-411.

[32] Montague Rhodes James, The Apocryphal New Testament, Oxford University Press (1707), Clarendon Press, Oxford (1924), Acts of Thomas, 27.

[33] Montague Rhodes James, The Apocryphal New Testament, Oxford University Press (1707), Clarendon Press, Oxford (1924), Pistis Sophia, 36, pp.46-47.

[34] Old Testament, Authorized King James Version (AKJV), Cambridge University Press (1990), Proverbs 9:1.

[35] Pope Innocent II, Omne Datum Optimum, “Every Good Gift” (29 March 1139).

[36] Donald Redford, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, The American University in Cairo Press (2001), Volume 3, “Science: Organization”, p.185.

[37] Donald Redford, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, The American University in Cairo Press (2001), Volume 2, “Medicine”, p.353.

[38] Donald Redford, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, The American University in Cairo Press (2001), Volume 3, “Science: Organization”, p.185.

[39] Ian Shaw & Paul Nicholson, British Museum Dictionary of Ancient Egypt, The Trustees of the British Museum, London (1995), The American University in Cairo Press, Cairo (1996), “Science”, p.253.

[40] Stanley Jeyaraja Tambiah, Magic, Science, Religion, and the Scope of Rationality, Cambridge University Press (1990), pp.25-26.

[41] Donald Redford, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, The American University in Cairo Press (2001), Volume 3, “Science”, p.181.

[42] Donald Redford, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, The American University in Cairo Press (2001), Volume 3, “Science: Historical Development”, p.182.

[43] Donald Redford, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, The American University in Cairo Press (2001), Volume 3, “Science: Organization”, p.185.

[44] Patrick Boylan, Thoth or the Hermes of Egypt: A Study of Some Aspects of Theological Thought in Ancient Egypt, Oxford University Press (1922), pp.166-168.