The Message Rediscovered, a Wisdom of Unity by E. d'Hooghvorst
The Rediscovered Message, by Louis Cattiaux (1), is a book that chooses its readers. It has evoked great enthusiasm among many, but also, among others, repulsion, boredom, or suspicion.
How can we define it? Not everyone will read it in the same way. The name of the book indicates the nature of its content: the message; the message of whom? From when? Why «rediscovered»? Was it lost? By whom? Why? How? Why was this title chosen by the author of these verses?
Without doubt, he is drawing on inspiration. Can it be discerned on these pages, at times difficult, enigmatic, tedious for some, but often also moving in their warmth, of a childlike poetry, faith and simplicity? Who are those readers who shall discern in this work a wisdom of unity as old as humanity itself: a wisdom of holiness, a wisdom of salvation? The Rediscovered Message is as though one were to say: the Revitalized Mystery; no longer taught in laboured fashion by historians, but experienced, assimilated and lived in the simplicity of the heart and of the spirit.
One must know how to leaf at random through these pages of phrases «condensed like liquid air», and therefore, surprisingly easy to read, where not a single word is superfluous, but all is arranged in a single sense that does not reveal itself on a first reading.
What can I say about The Rediscovered Message, I who has been reading it for thirty years, and who still finds it new? It is a vademecum, that of exiles, a compass for those who are lost, the companion of the pilgrim.
Its author lived unknown, even to those who believed to know him. He conceived this book in the silence and abandonment of this world, he formed and polished the verses day after day, with a savoir-faire as graceful as it was scholarly.
Read in it, then, the faith of the Creator in his creature, you who experience, in this ending of a world, the fatigue and wearing away of all subtleties! You will like this book if you prefer the thing to words, wisdom that unites to unspeakable science, awareness to delirium. These verses are not impenetrable: they speak only to that part of us that is the most essential, and often - alas! - the most neglected or the most despised. That is why few appreciate it.
It is such people that the publishers of the Third Edition wish to serve, those who are weary of a world without any loop-hole of escape, of a world more and more estranged from that which is truly human, of a world where the ancient wisdom appears derisory and useless. Those shall see that only one man was needed...».
«In order to know the philosophia perennis, a living spirit is necessary»
(1) Louis Cattiaux was born in Valenciennes on 17th August, 1904. His mother died when he was born, and his childhood was not a happy one. After the First World War he joined the army of occupation of the Rhineland, later spending some time in Dahomey. After that he got married and settled definitively in Paris, where he lived from his painting.
The Cattiaux had a difficult life, and poverty was their companion. Passionate about alchemy, Cattiaux would spend long days in the library of Arsenal, with its rich fund of manuscripts. His wife, meanwhile, worked to hold the couple's material life together; she always showed great devotion to him.
Besides The Rediscovered Message, Louis Cattiaux is also the author of Poems, (éd. Lutetia, Paris, 1954, out of print), and of an essay about painting, Physique et Métaphysique de la Peinture, éd. Les Amis de Louis Cattiaux, Brussels, 1991. Many of his canvasses are sought out by collectors, due to their strange nature, of alchemical and magical inspiration. He left this world in Paris on 16th July, 1953.