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A READER'S JOURNAL
Who Wrote Bacon?
William Shakespeare, Francis Bacon, and James I
A Mystery for the Twenty-first Century
ARJ2 Chapter: Evolution of Consciousness
Published by Temple Lodge/UK in 2004
A Book Review by Bobby Matherne ©2015
Who Wrote Bacon?
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Tom Brown wrote in his first book, "The Tracker", that he learned to track rabbits so well that he could come up behind one and tap it on the back. The author of this book quotes from Tom Brown's later book on page xi, "If you track fast enough, you eventually reach the end and find a set of prints with the animal's feet still in them." Apparently Ramsbotham has been tracking down the authorship for so long that he was able to come upon the author, not only of Shakespeare's works, but also of Francis Bacon's and James the First's works, and, he could tap him on the back. But in doing so, like Tom Brown's rabbit, he would disappear before he could be identified further. Tom Brown found a rabbit, Ramsbotham an author, but both eluded their grasp. Brown didn't need to keep the rabbit, only track it; Ramsbotham didn't need to keep the author, only track down the source of the three great author's works.
Thomas Paine wrote the prototype of the Declaration of Independence, but the final edition, done in calligraphy was written down by Thomas Jefferson. Few people today credit anyone but Jefferson as the author, just as few credit anyone but Shakespeare as the author of "Hamlet" etal. Benjamin H. Levin in his well-documented novel of Thomas Paine's life, To Spit Against the Wind, reveals that, not only did Paine write the declaration of independence based on his original ideas in the pamphlet "Common Sense", but when Jefferson penned his version, he diluted Paine's phraseology and removed key phrases that might have obviated the need for the Civil War some 90 years later. Let us, through Levin's eyes, glimpse over Paine's shoulder as he reviews the changes Jefferson made to Paine's initial draft:
[page 181 To Spit Against the Wind ] As he read on, Paine noted more and more alterations. "Undisguised tyranny of the King" had been entirely omitted. "Deluge us in blood" had been modified to "destroy us." There were so many changes that the draft had lost the mask of Thomas Paine and now wore the façade of sensitive Jefferson. But it was a Declaration of Independence . . . independence! And Jefferson had retained the antislavery clauses.
Clearly, to the unbiased mind, Tom Paine was the hidden benefactor who worked behind the scenes to help Tom Jefferson write the Declaration of Independence. To Paine, getting his ideas accepted was more important than getting the credit for them. Even as modified by Jefferson's euphemisms and slavery leanings, it was a document Paine could be proud of, and for him that was enough. In the crunch of events precipitated by the acceptance of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, the true inspiration and authorship of the document was glossed over and forgotten, up until now.
Similarly it was with Bacon, Shakespeare, and James I's works according to Ramsbotham in this book. Who was the equivalent of Tom Paine to each of these three? As he reveals in the course of this book, the evidence is strong that there was one such "Tom Paine" which acted behind the scenes for Bacon, Shakespeare, and James I, but he is unable to identify the person. Thus one might sum up this scholarly book by saying: Who wrote Bacon? has the same answer as who wrote Shakespeare and who wrote King James.
But we get ahead of ourselves. First Ramsbotham went to a performance of Much Ado about Nothing where the main actor came out afterwards and thanked the audience as well as "the spirit of Shakespeare, who was present". As Ramsbotham read in the program later, that same actor claimed that spirit to be also the "spirit of Francis Bacon." This led Ramsbotham on his ten years of research into this matter which culminated in this book.
His first revelation came when he finds that Rudolf Steiner claimed that one spirit, one initiate, inspired both Bacon and Shakespeare.
[page 4] Steiner states, unequivocally, that both Bacon and Shakespeare were inspired by the same individual, termed by Steiner as an "initiate". But he does not name this person.
Ramsbotham discovered some Baconians who claim that Francis Bacon wrote the King James Bible. This eventually led him to his amazing insight about James I: that it was the initiate that Steiner referred to.
[page 4] One evening, dwelling on this material, it suddenly struck me, with a profound jolt, that it was this same historical individual who Steiner was seeing as the inspirer of both Shakespeare and Bacon.
Ramsbotham spend a lot of time explaining the reasons for his confidence in Rudolf Steiner's words, but as many of my Good Readers are already convinced, as I am, of the veracity of Steiner's teachings, I will skip the explanations. For the skeptical or curious, the book is quite explicit and is available to read for oneself.
[page 7] If readers can follow the details of what Steiner describes, and then of the supporting evidence, which provides such extraordinary confirmation of Steiner's claim, they will, I hope, concur that along this route we have indeed been able to uncover many of the mysteries surrounding the authorship of Shakespeare.
As the mystery begins to unfold for Ramsbotham, he finds this quote by Steiner, "The work of Bacon and the work of Shakespear point to the same source — a source that is beyond the earth, but which is represented in the earthly realm." (Page 27) Steiner quote continues:
[page 28, Steiner] From exactly the same source that the Bacon-Shakespeare inspiration stems from — and even proceeding from the same initiated personality — stem for Central Europe the spiritual stream of Jakob Boehme and of the Southern German Jacobus Baldus.
[page 28] This unusual expression — an "initiated personality" — echoes with Steiner's earlier statement about James I, that he had within him an "initiated soul".
This is how Ramsbotham came to understand that some unnamed initiated soul was the font of the inspiration which flowed into Bacon, Shakespeare, and James I, among others. No wonder some materialists like James Dawkins could find evidence to claim that Bacon wrote Shakespeare, after all each drank the waters of inspiration which streamed from the same spiritual fountain.
[page 30, Steiner] Some spiritual stream, some spiritual tendency might be working in a particular directions, perhaps quite subconsciously, among wide circles of human souls. And the presence of this spiritual stream might come to expression in one single person in such a way that what the rest only dimly divine, what wide circles of people, perhaps whole peoples, dimly divine, he formulates in clear ideas.
According to Ramsbotham, "The riddle is not to do with whether King James is to be seen as the initiate behind Bacon and Shakespeare, but only with how he is to be seen as this initiate." (Page 35) James I was regarded by nearly everyone as opposed to anything occult, which would have served an initiate inspiring Bacon and Shakespeare very well as a red herring to lead any foxes astray from the real matter and to leave James I alone in peace. It worked well, as Adrian Gilbert writes, "For all his dislike of occultism, James I is the first British monarch definitely recorded as having been a Freemason." (Page 39)
Ramsbotham names three plays, Measure for Measure, Macbeth, and Cymbeline which highlight the relationship between Shakespeare the author and James I the king.
[Page 48] Yet exploring a little further we discover, to our amazement, that some kind of link between Shakespeare and King James has been detected in every single play of Shakespeare's from 1603 onwards.
Ramsbotham avers that the journey which unfolds in Shakespeare's play might mirror the inner development of James I. Then he reports what Kernan does in his book which completely ignores any inner connection.
[page 51] He gives us an immensely detailed description of all the interrelationships between Shakespeare and King James, while completely ignoring the possibility of any inner influence. He reminds one in the end of someone who has chanced upon Aladddin's lamp, sensed there to something hugely important about it, and therefore described for people in every detail its exact shape, size and physical characteristics, without discovering the one thing that makes it so important — the Genie inside!
If Kernan had only rubbed the lamp the right way, his words would not have rubbed us the wrong way. Ramsbotham is saying, in effect, in this book, "The Genie in the lamp can no longer be ignored."
Much like Mozart, Shakespeare's words flowed errorless from his pen, with nary a blot. The editors of the First Folio said, "His mind and hand went together, and what he thought he uttered with that easiness that we have scarce received from him a blot in his papers." What his editors suspected was that Shakespeare received the Genie and what Rudolf Steiner perceived was the presence of the Genie, the initiate soul who inspired Shakespeare.
[page 53] Rudolf Steiner describes Shakespeare as being inspired from a source in the spiritual world, and states that Francis Bacon was inspired from exactly the same source. We may also speak of a "who" however, for this source was "represented in the earthly realm" by an initiate, who "stood behind" both Shakespeare and Bacon.
Ramsbotham identifies this person in the earthly realm as James I after whom the King James Bible was named. Is it too far-fetched to imagine that the same person responsible for guiding the hands of Shakespeare and Bacon might have been able to guide his own hands and those of the scholars who wrote the famous Bible still in use today, and the preferred Bible of many? Needless to say, Ramsbotham found it necessary to say and emphatically so.
[page 56] Needless to say, if we see King James as the initiate behind Bacon and Shakespeare we can credit him with his own Bible!
After all, there are reports that visitors observed the eight-year-old James translate the Bible from Latin into French and from French into English so well that few men could have added anything to his translation. (Pages 72, 73)
Our intrepid author Ramsbotham gets to the bottom of the matter in which Peter Dawkins claims not only that Bacon wrote Shakespeare's plays but that Bacon also wrote the works of King James, Rosenkreutz, Andreae, Spenser, Marlowe, and others. (Page 61). We could only laugh, if Dawkins were not so serious in his claims.
[page 60] Dawkins's picture — where everyone is Francis Bacon — whatever else we may say about it, presents us with a terrible story-line; unless we should laugh at the ridiculousness of it, as we do at Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream, when he wishes to play all the roles.
There are a lot more details in this well-researched book, but I was struck by his report of how the 21-year-old King James performed a Solomonic act called the Feast of Peace in which he forced the warring lords of Scotland to attend a great banquet in which a public proclamation of concord was made as the foes drank to each other, and the King to them all.
What was amazing to me was that a similar Feast of Peace brought the warring sides of the American Civil War together, a deed perhaps inspired by James's earlier deed. In the 1880s America was still suffering from the ill will and recriminations of its divisive war when a King invited the representatives of the Union and Confederacy to a banquet. This American King was Rex, the King of Carnival, whose motto is well known as Pro Bono Publico, for the good of the public, who invited the New York Regulars and the Fighting Tigers of the Louisiana Militia who fought bitterly against each other in the Civil War to attend a banquet in their honor in New Orleans. Through similar toasts and blessings as King James arranged to the Scottish lords, the Rex organization brought a huge groundswell of reconciliation to the young country of the United States of America and helped the heal the wounds and reconcile all fellow countrymen to one another. This Feast of Peace filled the newspapers of America and helped replace acrimony by brotherhood and love.
Let us hope that Richard Ramsbotham with his book can perform a similar Solomonic Feast of Peace between the warring factions who claim Bacon, among other likely candidates, wrote Shakespeare, and bring some sense of peace to the matter by revealing there was one initiate, one Genie, who lit the lamps of Francis Bacon, James I, and William Shakespeare and helped these three men to fill the world with science, religion, and literary achievements for the rest of time.
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