The Illuminati is a very real institution. Whether it is the entity that is behind government that conspiracy theorists, survivalists, and fundamentalist Christian groups claim it is, is debatable, uncertain, and irrelevant to the discussion at hand. The point is that it is a real philosophy. The Illuminati faith is secular and does not have a belief in spirits, supernatural beings, or gods. It is basically materialistic, scientific, and rational. In this sense it cannot truly be classified as a "faith" or religion, perhaps. The Illuminati philosophy comes in two basic forms: Illuminism and Luciferianism. Luciferianism is actually a branch or one particular form of Illuminism, a sub-group, if you will. Luciferianism and Illuminism both focus on the Principle of Light as the symbol of knowledge and enlightenment. These philosophies are often the targets of much persecution by conspiracy theorists and fundamentalist Christian groups. Their influence, however, is far-reaching and all-encompassing, especially in the Western World.
Luciferianism and Illuminism truly are the same school of philosophy, with one fundamental difference. Luciferians see the Roman god Lucifer as the embodiment of Light, knowledge and illumination ("illumination" is the Luciferian/Illuminist term for "enlightenment"). Illuminism might also use Lucifer as this symbol, but might also use various sun gods, Light itself, God, Aton, Hiram Abiff, or Jesus Christ as this symbol instead of Lucifer. In fact, the vast majority of Illuminists are Christians and Jews, and are thus repulsed by the idea of using the symbol of Lucifer. Luciferians are a rarity in the Illuminist faith, despite what fundamentalist websites tell you.Thus, the one and only difference is that Luciferians typically revere the basic attributes associated with Lucifer while Illuminists might not always do this. It is also important to note that, according to the Luciferians, this Lucifer does not refer to the devil from the Christian Bible, which is the personification of evil. Most Luciferians do not believe in Christian mythology. Lucifer was a Roman god of light and the planet Venus, used by Luciferians as a symbol. These are considered two totally different entities.
The philosophy of Light (Illuminism and Luciferianism) sees the sun, fire, and Light as symbols of illumination and knowledge. They represent the advancement of Man in science, mathematics, physics, the arts, technology, etc. It represents science, reason, and logic. Rationality and humanism are major attributes of this philosophy. The All-Seeing Eye is also an important symbol of knowledge, the eyes being opened to see reality. It is also important to note that the All-Seeing Eye is the sun, and is a symbol of God's omniscience, which has been used in Christianity as well as other faiths. In these two "Illumined" philosophies, one that has recieved illumination and who has attained cosmic truth is referred to as an "illuminatus" (Latin: Enlightened One), the plural of which is "illuminati" (Enlightened Ones).
Why is Light the appropriate symbol of enlightenment? First, notice that "en-light-en" is merely the word "light" with "en" put on each end. Thus, the very word "enlighten" means to "bear light." Now, let me ask, what gives us the ability to see? Light. In darkness Man is blind and cannot see. Darkness, therefore, is the symbol of ignorance. But turn on a light switch, or light a candle and Man sees! Thus, Light is knowledge and darkness is ignorance. The Light of the Illuminati (Illuminated Ones) is the light of knowledge, science, and reason. Through the advancement of science Man will discover the undeniable truth of the universe and see reality as it is. This is what physics, biology, chemistry, mathematics, astronomy, and other sciences do. By science and rational knowledge Man might rise in his evolutionary journey. One must shun all superstition and ignorance. Learn the sciences and the truth of the world. Be rational beings. This is the path of conscious evolution and advancement of humanity.
Luciferians are the branch of Illuminists that have chosen Lucifer as their philosophical symbol of Man's quest for knowledge. Why? First of all, if you ask any Luciferian, he or she will tell you this is different from the devil of Christian mythology. Lucifer is the Roman god of light. Lucifer is Latin, meaning "light-bearer." Thus, Lucifer is the Roman god of knowledge, which very much resembles the statue of liberty, with rays coming from his head and holding the torch of knowledge that Man may see. Also, from the Illuminists' standpoint, the Church has persecuted science and enslaved Man with ignorant doctrines and burned heretics (those that disagree with the Church authorities) at the stake. Look at what has happened to Galileo, Copernicus, and other great scientists. Why not choose the enemy of the Church as the symbol of knowledge? The struggle between Illuminism and the Roman Catholic Church has been a long and bloody one.
Illuminism is a philosophy of Dualism: The battle between the forces of Light and Darkness. Light is primarily the symbol of knowledge, while Darkness is seen as ignorance. Thus, one should learn the sciences and be rational and try to discover the truth in the universe. Blind dogmas and superstitions are to be overcome. Man is blinded and has been seeking knowledge since we rose above the animals. The reasoning faculty of Man, in fact, is the very thing which raises us above the lower kingdoms in nature. With Light Man sees and in the Darkness Man is blind. Light is also love, while Darkness is hatred. Love is what causes society to work together in groups and in harmony. Without the Principle of Good in the world, people would end up killing from each other, stealing, and harming others. Our governments' laws are set up for the very purpose of keeping social order, and religions have sprung up with sacred laws, helping to control the masses to work together efficiently in society. Laboriousness (having a good work ethic) is Light and laziness is Darkness, too. Laboriousness and doing one's duty in life causes society to be happy and to prosper, while laziness causes one to be a financial burden on others. Foolishness causes people to get into all kinds of trouble, while the Light of wisdom is like a lamp before Man's feet, showing him the way of right conduct. Therefore, the Illuminist concept of Light versus Darkness is much like the Christian or Mithraic concept of good and evil. One is to seek the Light and to overcome the Darkness.
The seekers of the lamp of knowledge are often called the "fire philosophers" because of their reverence for the light of flame. Why not? Remember, before the recent invention of the light bulb fire was the only means of light, whether from lighting a candle to see, an oil lamp. torch, or via the light of the sun, moon, or stars. One of the attributes of fire is transmutation. Fire transforms wood into ash and smoke, and ice into water and water into gas. The way of Light is the way of self-transformation through divine fire. For example, if one is lazy and does not work, he or she should get a job; if one is fat, one must lose weight; and angry person should be filled with patience and love; ignorance transmuted into knowledge, from vice, virtue; from hatred, love. This is also called spiritual or philosophical "alchemy." involves turning base metals (like lead) into gold. Thus, philosophically, one must turn the baser elements of character into pure golden ones. This is perfection of the self, self-improvement and of the world. Go to college to get a better job. Advance the human race through science.
The philosophy of Light is a path of apotheosis: Man reaching divine union with God.In this way, its primary goal is the same as that of Yoga, Buddhism, Qabalah, and other mystical traditions. Man is to reach the spark of divinity, the seed of Light within. Man will advance through knowledge, science, the arts, technology, self-improvement, and enlightenment to rise as a species, the advancement of the human race: conscious evolution to reach the stars.
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