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The mysterious side of Beethoven

Jason Pfaff

Music History II


Ludwig Van Beethovens precise date of birth is unknown; he was baptized on December 17,1770, and it is presumed he was born on December 16th. He is well recognized for his music that still holds strong today, but few know about the mysterious and unusual aspects of his life.

Beethoven was a Freemason that was closely allied with the most infamous of all Masonic orders, the Illuminati of Bavaria, a group that only openly existed for 6 years. Other significant Freemasons in history link to many of the Presidents of the United States, and also include Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Josef Haydn, Franz Liszt, Richard Wagner, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, Walt Disney, Leonardo da Vinci, and William Shakespeare- to name a few. However, reviewing Beethoven's connection to this mystery is not an easy task, as theorists have a suggested over the millennium that the facts of history could have been altered or manipulated to preserve the integrity and secrets of such "secret societies". Some theorists, scholars, researchers, and conspiracy junkies (that tend to fall to the extreme right) still claim today that the Illuminati and Freemasons are demonic in nature and control the financial and media sectors of the entire planet, plotting a global takeover. Others say the societies were just artistic free thinkers that believed in freedom and Romantic ideals. "The majority of conspiracy researchers of the past two hundred years all agree that Freemasonry is intimately allied to zionism, atheism, secularism, scientism, humanism, skepticism, socialism and almost everything else conservatives dislike. " (Hankopf, Critique: A Journal of Conspiracies)

During Beethoven's years in Bonn, he met with members of the Illuminati, notably Count Waldstein. This was a time when "free thinking" was popular and Bonn was a "university city" where many ideas circulated during the years leading up to the French Revolution. Beethoven at this time was growing more fond of literature and began reading more. He searched through world literature, mythology, art, philosophy, and religion. His readings in Kant, Homer, Schiller, Herder, the ancient classical writers, the modern Romantics, and in Masonic and Brahman texts widened his range of wisdom. In 1784, the Bonn Illuminati dissolved in fear of prohibition, but re-established in 1787 under a different name, "friends of literature". (Strahan, Beethoven: The Illuminati)

Beethoven took a liking for the reformist emperor Joseph II, who provided the first embodiment of the 'hero' in Beethoven's music, in 1790, in the "Cantata on the Death of Joseph II". These early works were apparently directly paid for by the Illuminati. This Cantata was not performed during Beethoven's lifetime and the score was lost until 1884, which was in the possession of the composer Hummel, who apparently bought it an auction in 1813.

During the Enlightenment era, it was new that art reflect a form of revolutionary politics, and Beethoven took this to another level. Most people were arrested or imprisoned for being less outspoken. Music and art were considered weapons against tyranny. "Secret police were present in the audience of the premier of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony to ensure that no treason was sung. It was, but they didn't notice." (Solomon, Late Beethoven)

A question still remains if the Lichnowsky family which lodged Beethoven for the first two years of his stay in Vienna in 1794, were members of the Illuminati. Their relationship transcended that of what a typical artist and patron relationship was, especially pertaining to his love affair with Princess Lichnoswky. It is likely that the relations Beethoven made in Bonn were critical to his financial support throughout his life in Vienna, while influencing many of his works. The words of some vocal works, including the opera "Fidelio" and the Ninth Symphony explicitly reflect the influence of Enlightenment thought, and even directly quote from the early Illuminati sponsored Cantata. Beethoven also supplemented his income working with aristocrats and by doing deals with publishers and accepting paid commissions, but some facts remain unknown about how well he was financially backed by other sources. (Strahn, The Illuminati)

Beethoven was well aware he would not have sufficient time to complete his creative endeavors, and it is documented through his letters that he begged of such a scenario where he could be paid just to be himself and write music. Is that not the dream of any musician to fancy? Beethoven tried to design his life around being creative and in which he could flourish. His intent was to eliminate whatever he perceived to be superfluous and trivial. Some might say this is why he never married. In 1824 he wrote, "Only in my divine art do I find the support which enables me to sacrifice the best part of my life to the heavenly muses." (Solomon, Late Beethoven)

Some of his sacrifices and turmoils even brought him to live in quasi-monastic solitude, away from the city.

There are many indications that Beethoven was influenced greatly by the ideas of Speculative Freemasonry and other religious like doctrines associated with world religions, which also include esoteric ritual practices of the religions of the East and the Antique. Some refer Beethoven to the mysterious and exotic religions around the world that were vastly described in the literature of the Freemasons and other advanced fraternal societies and groups like the Egyptian-Saitic-Osirian, Orphic-Eleusinian, Cabiric Dionysian, as well as Deistic views that describe higher states of being and the super natural. His diaries reflect signs of his struggle to connect with God by creating his laborious works that aim to strive for righteousness. "He creates important aspects of the Romanticist view of the world; in his person he exemplifies the survival of the Illuminist moral-political ideal, disconnected from its historical context, and long after the suppression and fragmentation of the Order that had given rise to it. In the aftermath of the Enlightenment, he became an active agent in the configuration of a deeply individual, and utterly vital, world outlook. " (Solomon, Beethoven: The Illuminati)

Beethoven was unique because of his relentless determination to make an impact through his works. He had a deep spiritual side that leaned towards martyrdom but as he matured, so did his sense of purpose and intimate spiritual duty. "Thus, Beethoven chose art over life precisely because, for him, art provided plentiful compensations here and hereafter that were unavailable by other means. Music, through its creation required great sacrifices, was not itself a sacrificial burden. Rather, it offered innumerable strategies of prolongation to fend off forebodings of a darkening horizon. Through music Beethoven could locate and limn realms of permanence, constantly renewable, impervious to forces of decay and disintegration. Through music he could create impregnable, unified structures; describe endless forms of transcendence over hostile energies; inscribe narratives of return, reminding, and rebeginning; forge a channel between himself and a forbearing deity; invoke the healing powers of music. He could guarantee felicitous outcomes, overcome extreme odds, declare himself- and us-victors in every deadly game. In his music Beethoven could create ecstasies so powerful that they momentarily eradicated fear, or at least made it endurable. That some might regard such matters as merely symbolic, and therefore both illusory and transient, might well be immaterial to a true believer, to one who had experienced the full might of music as a palpable reality." (Solomon, Beethoven: The Illuminati)

Beethoven transformed all of his emotions and struggles into complex music. He captured and carried all of his most intimate moments with nature, women, and society- and brought them to his musical pallet, never ceasing to report in a most profound way. Although he did have some dry years and obvious struggles, this was all part of his spiritual path. He seemed to fully endure his yearning to be a servant to the world in the highest form, one entirely committed to their art, so that people might resonate with the music and endure rich and higher realms of experiential consciousness. His music manifested in a language that is otherwise untranslatable or impossible to express, other than to listen and experience it wholly through the medium of sound. Through this he conveyed a deep acknowledgment of the frustration of the soul, the wrongs of the government and society, the personal triumphs he overcame, and an indescribable depth of the beauty he encountered in the world and his relationships with others.

"The wisest of the sages and philosophers have known that music is among the most potent of all means through which the human consciousness is altered- for better or worse, according to the music." That Beethoven held great spiritual aspirations to serve humanity is also clear in a letter he wrote in 1823. "There is no loftier mission than to approach the Godhead more nearly than other mortals and by means of that contact to spread the rays of Godhead through the human race." (Tame, Beethoven and the Spiritual Path)

The paradox in the mysterious life of Beethoven reiterates the commonly known aspects of his physical life: his ill temper, his sadness and proneness to be solitary, the loss of his "Immortal Beloved", and mostly his gradual and profound deafness. His strong spirituality and insights are reflected in his own writings. "I would have ended my life- the only thing that held me back was my art. Almighty God, you see into my heart and you know that it is filled with love for humanity and a desire to do good. Ever since my childhood my heart and soul have been imbued with the tender feeling of goodwill; and I have always been inclined to accomplish great things." (Tame, Beethoven and the Spiritual Path)

Some of the details of Beethoven's life and his associations to mysterious groups or persons remain uncertain, but the fact of the matter is Beethoven's music is still some of the most powerful music in the world today. Conspiracy theorists should more properly investigate the commonly linear views of Christian Fundamentalists and others, that link Freemasonry and the infamous Illuminati to sinister origins- when a member like Beethoven gave the world nothing but his best, and a lot of beautiful music to prove it.

Works Cited

Penre, Wes. "List of Significant Freemasons". 26 Feb. 1999

Solomon, Maynard. "Late Beethoven". 14 May 2007.

Hankopf, Heinrich. "Critique: A Journal of Conspiracies and Metaphysics". 12 May 2007.

Strahan, Derek. "Ludwig Van Beethoven". 13 May 2007.

Tame, David. "Beethoven and the Spiritual Path". New York, U.S.A.

Natl Book Network, 1994.

#Beethoven #freemasons #masons #writing

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