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Over the years it has become abundantly clear to me that Shakespeare is not just Shakespeare. That is to say, the plays, poems and sonnets that comprise the Shakespeare canon are far more than what they seem at first. They contain, for instance, an encyclopaedic wisdom and knowledge. They comprise a cornucopia of the wisdom traditions, brought together in a poetic synthesis and magical art. Even the story behind the life of the author Shakespeare has more to it than meets the eye, involving the participation of the Society of the Rosy Cross led by their great initiate and chief, Francis Bacon, whom Paracelsus foretold as 'Elias the Artist'. I call this the Shakespeare Enigma.
To investigate this leads to the discovery of a further Shakespeare play—a living play, in which we are the actors upon the world stage. This living play is a treasure hunt or game of hide-and-seek. That which is hidden is the wisdom, symbolically represented by the true author who is concealed within his own works and veiled from outer sight - just as the divine Author of All is concealed within nature, ourselves and the universe.
To play the game is to educate oneself in this wisdom—or rather, to be educated by it. The ultimate goal of such education
is initiation and enlightenment. ‘Shakespeare’ is, in fact,
a mystery school, open to all who are interested and who make themselves
worthy of it.
In 2013 and 2014 respectively we ran Mystery of Shakespeare summer schools in Italy with Mark Rylance, the 2013 one in Agrigento, Sicily, and the 2014 one in Verona. In April 2018 we conducted a third one in Venice with Julia Cleave and myself co-leading.
Since 2004 Sarah and I have been running Wisdom of Shakespeare weekend events each year in the Warwickshire 'Shakespeare Country', during which we see a performance by the RSC of a Shakespeare play in Stratford-upon-Avon. Some of these have been co-led by Marianne Sagasti.
During 2017 we ran a series of five evening 'Explorations into the Wisdom of Shakespeare', in Stratford-upon-Avon, led by Peter Dawkins and Saira Salmon. These were video-recorded and are gradually being made available online.
Details of all the current events can be found on the FBRT website.