Filename: RC1001.TXT Source: +quot;Ancient and Modern Initiation+quot; by Max Heindel [PAG

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Filename: RC1001.TXT Source: "Ancient and Modern Initiation" by Max Heindel [PAGE 1] FOREWARD: Within the pages of this little volume are to be found some of the most priceless gems belonging to the deepest phases of the Christian religion. These gems are the result of the spiritual investigations of that inspired and illumined Seer, Max Heindel, the authorized messenger of the Elder Brothers of the Rose Cross, who are working to disseminate throughout the Western World the deeper spiritual meanings which are both concealed and re- vealed within the Christian religion. The various important steps as outlined in the life of our Savior, Christ Jesus, form the general plan of Initiation for humanity. Max Heindel in this work gives a deeper and more mystic insight into this alchemical pro- cess as it takes place in the body of man himself. For we are but "a little lower than the angels...and it doth not yet appear what we shall be." This volume will be a welcome addition to the libraries of many ministers and church organizations throughout the world. It will sound a new note of inspiration and encouragement to all those who labor in His name. [PAGE 2] The Rosicrucian School has a priceless heritage in the opportunity to promulgate, during this crucial time in the spiritual evolution of men and nations, the esoteric teachings belonging to the Christian Church. "Unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required." Therefore it is in the spirit of reverence and humility that the Rosicrucian Fellowship dedicates the priceless teachings contained within this little book to the service of all humanity. May its Truth enlighten, its Wisdom guide, and its Love enfold all those who come to partake of its Waters of Life. And may each one who comes find the Illumined Way that is outlined herein. "The kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchantman, seeking goodly pearls. Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it." [PAGE 3] THE TABERNACLE IN THE WILDERNESS: THE ATLANTEAN MYSTERY TEMPLE: Ever since mankind, the prodigal spirit sons of our Father in Heaven, wandered into the wilderness of the world and fed upon the husks of its pleasures, which starve the body, there has been within man's heart a sound- less voice urging him to return; but most men are so engrossed in material interests that they hear it not. The Mystic Mason who has heard this inner voice feels impelled by an inner urge to seek for the Lost Word; to build a house of God, a temple of the spirit, where he may meet the Father face to face and answer His call. Nor is he dependent upon his own resources in this quest, for our Father in Heaven has Himself prepared a way marked with guide posts which will lead us to Him if we follow. But as we have forgotten the divine Word and would be unable now to comprehend its meaning, the Father speaks to us in the [PAGE 4] language of symbolism, which both hides and reveals the spiritual truths we must understand before we can come to Him. Just as we give to our children picture books which reveal to their nascent minds intellectual concepts which they could not otherwise understand, so also each God-given symbol has a deep meaning which could not be learned without that symbol. God is spirit and must be worshipped in spirit. It is therefore strictly forbidden to make a material likeness of Him, for nothing we could make would convey an adequate idea. But as we hail the flag of our country with joy and enthusiasm because it awakens in our breasts the tenderest feelings for home and our loved ones, because it stirs our noblest impulse, because it is a symbol of all the things which we hold dear, so also do different divine symbols which have been given to mankind from time to time speak to that forum of truth which is within our hearts, and awaken our consciousness to divine ideas entirely beyond words. Therefore symbolism, which has played an all-important part in our past evolution, is still a prime neces- sity in our spiritual development; hence the advisability of studying it with our intellects and our hearts. It is obvious that our mental attitude today depends on how we thought yesterday, also that our present condition and circumstances depend on how we worked or shirked in the past. Every new thought or idea which comes to us we view in the light of our previous experience, and thus we see that our present and future are determined by our previous living. Similarly the [PAGE 5] path of spiritual endeavor which we have hewn out for ourselves in past ex- istences determines our present attitude and the way we must go to attain our aspirations. Therefore we can gain no true perspective of our future development unless we first familiarize ourselves with the past. It is in recognition of this fact that modern Masonry harks back to the temple of Solomon. That is very well as far as it goes, but in order to gain the fullest perspective we must also take into consideration the an- cient Atlantean Mystery Temple, the Tabernacle in the Wilderness. We must understand the relative importance of that Tabernacle, also of the first and second temples, for there were vital differences between them, each fraught with cosmic significance; and within them all was the foreshadowing of the CROSS, sprinkled with BLOOD, which was turned to ROSES. THE TABERNACLE IN THE WILDERNESS: We read in the Bible the story of how Noah and a remnant of his people with him were saved from the flood and formed the nucleus of the humanity of the Rainbow Age in which we now live. It is also stated that Moses led his people out of Egypt, the land of the Bull, Taurus, through waters which en- gulfed their enemies and set them free as a chosen people to worship the Lamb, Aries, into which sign the sun had then entered by precession of the equinox. These two narratives relate to one and the same incident, namely, the emergence of infant humanity from the doomed continent of Atlantis into [PAGE 6] the present age of alternating cycles where summer and winter, day and night, ebb and flow, follow each other. As humanity had then just become endowed with mind, they began to realize the loss of the spiritual sight which they had hitherto possessed, and they developed a yearning for the spirit world and their divine guides which remains to this day, for humanity has never ceased to mourn their loss. Therefore the ancient Atlantean Mys- tery Temple, the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, was given to them that they might meet the Lord when they had qualified themselves by service and subju- gation of the lower nature by the Higher Self. Being designed by Jehovah it was the embodiment of great cosmic truths hidden by a veil of symbolism which spoke to the inner or Higher Self. In the first place it is worthy of notice that this divinely designed Tabernacle was given to a chosen people, who were to build it from freewill offerings given out of the fullness of their hearts. Herein is a particular lesson, for the divine pattern of the path of progress is never given to anyone who has not first made a covenant with God that he will serve Him and is wiling to offer up his heart's blood in a life of service without self-seeking The term "Mason" is derived from PHREE MESSEN, which is an Egyptian term meaning "Children of Light." In the parlance of Masonry, God is spoken of as the Grand Architect. ARCHE is a greek word which means "Primordial substance." TEKTON is the Greek name for builder. It is said [PAGE 7] that Joseph, the father of Jesus, was a "CARPENTER," but the Greek word is TEKTON--builder. It is also said that Jesus was a "tekton," a builder. Thus every true mystic Freemason is a child of light according to the divine pattern given him by our Father in Heaven. To this end he dedicates his whole heart, soul, and mind. It is, or should be, his aspiration to be "greatest in the kingdom of God," and therefore he must be THE SERVANT OF ALL. The next point which calls for notice is the location of the temple with respect to the cardinal points, and we find that it was laid directly east and west. Thus we see that the path of spiritual progress is the same as the star of empire; it travels from east to west. The aspirant entered at the eastern gate and pursued the path by way of the Altar of Burnt Offer- ings, the Brazen Laver, and the Holy Place to the westernmost part of the Tabernacle, where the Ark, the greatest symbol of all, was located in the Holy of Holies. As the wise men of the East followed the Christ star west- ward to Bethlehem, so does the spiritual center of the civilized world shift farther and farther westward, until today the crest of the spiritual wave which started in China on the western shores of the Pacific has now reached the eastern shores of the same ocean, where it is gathering strength to leap once more in its cyclic journey across the waste of waters, to recommence in a far future a new cyclic journey around the earth. The ambulant nature of this Tabernacle in the Wilderness is therefore an [PAGE 8] excellent symbolical representation of the fact that man is migratory in hisnature, an eternal pilgrim, ever passing from the shores of time to eter- nity and back again. As a planet revolves in its cyclic journey around the primary sun, so man, the little world or microcosm, travels in cyclic circle dance around God, who is the source and goal of all. The great care and attention to detail regarding the construction of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness shows that something far more exalted than what struck the eye of sense was intended in its construction. Under its earthly and material show there was designed a representation of things heavenly and spiritual such as should be full of instruction to the candidate for Ini- tiation and should not this reflection excite us to seek an intimate and fa- miliar acquaintance with this ancient sanctuary? Surely it becomes us to consider all parts of its plan with serious, careful, and reverential atten- tion, remembering at every step the heavenly origin of it all, and humbly endeavoring to penetrate through the shadows of its earthly service into the sublime and glorious realities which according to the wisdom of the spirit it proposes for our solemn contemplation. In order that we may gain a proper conception of this sacred place we must consider the Tabernacle itself, its furniture and its court. The il- lustration opposite page 33 may assist the student to form a better concep- tion of the arrangement within. [PAGE 9] THE COURT OF THE TABERNACLE: This was an enclosure which surrounded the Tabernacle. Its length was twice its width, and the ate was at the east end. This gate was enclosed by a curtain of blue, scarlet, and purple fine twined linen, and these colors show us at once the status of this Tabernacle in the Wilderness. We are taught in the sublime gospel of John that "God is Light," and no description or similitude could convey a better conception or one more enlightening to the spiritual mind than these words. When we consider that even the great- est of modern telescopes have failed to find the borders of light, though they penetrate space for millions and millions of miles, it gives us a weak but comprehensive idea of the infinitude of God. We know that this light, which is God, is refracted into three primary colors by the atmosphere surrounding our earth, viz., blue, yellow, and red; and it is a fact well known to every occultist that the ray of the Father is blue, while that of the Son is yellow, and the color of the Holy Spirit's ray is red. Only the strongest and most spiritual ray can hope to penetrate to the seat of consciousness of the life wave embodied in our mineral king- dom, and therefore we find about the mountain ranges the blue ray of the Fa- ther reflected back from the barren hillsides and hanging as a haze over canyons and gulches. The yellow ray of the Son mixed with the blue of the Father gives life and vitality to the plant world, which therefore reflects back a green color, for it is incapable of keeping the ray WITHIN. But in [PAGE 10] the animal kingdom, to which unregenerate man belongs anatomically, the three rays are absorbed, and that of the Holy Spirit gives the red color to his flesh and blood. The mixture of the blue and the red is evident in the purple blood, poisoned because sinful. But the yellow is never evident un- til it manifests as a soul body, the golden "WEDDING garment" of the mystic Bride of the mystic Christ evolved from within. Thus the colors on the veils of the Temple, both at the gate and at the entrance of the Tabernacle, showed that this structure was designed for a period previous to the time of Christ, for it had only the blue and the scarlet colors of the Father and the Holy Spirit together with their mix- ture, purple. But white is the synthesis of all colors, and therefore the yellow Christ ray was hidden in that part of the veil until in the fullness of time Christ should appear to emancipate us from the ordinances that bind, and initiate us into the full liberty of Sons of God, Sons of Light, Chil- dren of Light, Phree Messen or Mystic Masons. [PAGE 11] THE BRAZEN ALTAR AND LAVER: THE BRAZEN ALTAR was placed just inside the eastern gate, and it was used for the sacrifice of animals during the temple service. The idea of using bulls and goats as sacrifices seems barbaric to the modern mind, and we can- not realize that they could ever have had any efficacy in that respect. The Bible does indeed hear out this view of the matter, for we are told repeat- edly that God desires not sacrifice but a broken spirit and a contrite heart, and that He has no pleasure in sacrifices of blood. In view of this fact it seems strange that sacrifices should ever have been commanded. But we must realize that no religion can elevate those whom it is designed to help if its teachings are too far above their intellectual or moral level. To appeal to a barbarian, religion must have certain barbaric traits. A re- ligion of love could not have appealed to those people, therefore they were given a law which demanded "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth." [PAGE 12] There is not in the Old Testament any mention whatever of immortality, for these people could not have understood a heaven nor aspired to it. But they loved material possessions, and therefore they were told that if they did right they and their seed should dwell in the land forever, that their cattle should be multiplied, et cetera. They loved material possessions, and they knew that the increases of the flock were due to the Lord's favor and given by Him for merit. Thus they were taught to do right in the hope of a reward in this present world. They were also deterred from wrongdoing by the swift punishment which was meted out to them in retribution for their sins. This was the only way to reach them. They could not have done right for the sake of right, nor could they have understood the principle of making themselves "living sacrifices," and they probably felt the loss of an animal for sin as we would feel the pangs of conscience because of wrongdoing. The Altar was made of brass, a metal not found in nature, but made by man from copper and zinc. Thus it is symbolically shown that sin was not originally contemplated in our scheme of evolution and is an anomaly in na- ture as well as its consequences, pain and death, symbolized by the sacrifi- cial victims. But while the Altar itself was made from metals artificially compounded, the fire which burned thereon unceasingly was of divine origin, and it was kept alive from year to year with the most jealous care. No other fire was ever used, and we may note with profit that when two presump- [PAGE 13] tuous and rebellious priests dared to disregard this command and use strange fire, they met with an awful retribution and instant death. When we have once taken the oath of allegiance to the mystic Master, the HIGHER SELF, it is extremely dangerous to disregard the precepts then given. When the candidate appears at the eastern gate he is "poor, naked, and blind." He is at that moment an object of charity, needing to be clothed and brought to the light, but this cannot be done at once in the mystic Temple. During the time of his progress from the condition of nakedness until he has been clothed in the gorgeous robes of the high priest there is a long and difficult path to be traveled. The first lesson which he is taught is that man advances by sacrifices alone. In the Christian Mystic Initiation when the Christ washes the feet of His disciples, the explanation is given that unless the minerals decomposed and were offered us as embodiments for the plant kingdom, we should have no vegetation; also, did not the plant food furnish sustenance for the animals, these latter beings could not find expression; and so on, the higher is always feeding on the lower. Therefore man has a duty to them, and so the Master washes the feet of His disciples symbolically performing for them the menial service as a recognition of the fact that they have served Him as stepping-stones to something higher. Similarly, when the candidate is brought to the Brazen Altar, he learns the lesson that the animal is sacrificed for his sake, giving its body for [PAGE 14] food and its skin for clothing. Moreover, he sees the dense cloud of smoke hovering over the Altar and perceives within it a light, but that light is too dim, too much enshrouded in smoke, to be of permanent guidance to him. His spiritual eyes are weak, however, and it would not do to expose them at once to the light of greater spiritual truths. We are told by the apostle Paul that the Tabernacle in the Wilderness was a shadow of greater things to come. It may therefore be of interest and profit to see what is the meaning of this Brazen Altar, with its sacrifices and burning flesh, to the candidate who comes to the Temple in modern times. In order that we may understand this mystery, we must first grasp the one great and absolutely essential idea which underlies all true mysticism, viz., that these things are WITHIN and not without. Angelus Silesius says about the Cross: "Though Christ a thousand times in Bethlehem be born, And not within thyself thy soul will be forlorn. The Cross on Golgotha thou lookest to in vain, Unless within thyself it be set up again." This idea must be applied to every symbol and phase of mystic experience. It is not the Christ without that saves, but THE CHRIST WITHIN. The Taber- nacle was built at one time; it is clearly seen in the Memory of Nature when the interior sight has been developed to a sufficient degree; but no one is ever helped by the outward symbol. We must build the Tabernacle within our [PAGE 15] own hearts and consciousness. We must live through, as an actual inner ex- perience, the whole ritual of service there. We must become both the Altar of sacrifice and the sacrificial animal lying upon it. We must become both the priest that slays the animal and the animal that is slain. Later we must learn to identify ourselves with the mystic Laver, and we must learn to wash therein in spirit. Then we must enter behind the first veil, minister in the East Room, and so on through the whole Temple service till we BECOME the greatest of all these ancient symbols, the Shekinah Glory, or it will avail us nothing. In short, before the symbol of the Tabernacle can really help us, we must transfer it from the wilderness of space to a home in our hearts so that when we have become everything that that symbol is, we shall also have become that which it stands for spiritually. Let us then commence to build within ourselves the Altar of sacrifice, first that we may offer upon it our wrongdoings and then expiate them in the crucible of remorse. This is done under the modern system of preparation for discipleship by an exercise performed in the evening and scientifically designed by the Hierophants of the Western Mystery School for the advance- ment of the aspirant on the path which leads to discipleship. Other schools have given a similar exercise, but this one differs in one particular point from all previous methods. After explaining the exercises we shall also give the reason for this great and cardinal difference. This special method has such a far-reaching effect that it enables one to learn now not only the [PAGE 16] lessons which one should ordinarily learn in this life, but also attain a development which otherwise could not be reached until future lives. After retiring for the night the body is relaxed. This is very impor- tant, for when any part of the body is tense, the blood does not circulate unimpeded; part of it is temporarily imprisoned under pressure. As all spiritual development depends upon the blood, the maximum effort to attain soul growth cannot be made when any part of the body is in tension. When perfect relaxation has been accomplished, the aspirant to the higher life begins to review the scenes of the day, but he does not start with the occurrences of the morning and finish with the events of the evening. He views them in REVERSE order: first the scenes of the evening, then the events of the afternoon, and lastly the occurrences of the morning. The reason for this is that from the moment of birth when the child draws its first complete breath, the air which is inspired into the lungs carries with it a picture of the outside world, and as the blood courses through the left ventricle of the heart, each scene of life is pictured upon a minute atom located there. Every breath brings with it new pictures, and thus there is engraved upon that little seed atom a record of every scene and act in our whole life from the first breath to the last dying gasp. After death these pictures from the basis of our purgatorial existence. Under the conditions of the spirit world we suffer pangs of conscience so acute that they are un- believable for every evil deed we have done, and we are thus discouraged [PAGE 17] from continuing on the path of wrongdoing. The intensity of the joys which we experience on account of our good deeds acts as a goad to spur us on the path of virtue in future lives. But in the post-mortem existence this pan- orama of life is reenacted in reverse order for the purpose of showing first the effects and then the causes which generated them that the spirit may learn how the law of cause and effect operates in life. Therefore the as- pirant who is under the scientific guidance of the Elder Brothers of the Rosicrucians is taught to perform his evening exercise also in reverse order and to judge himself each day that he may escape the purgatorial suffering after death. But let it be understood that no mere perfunctory review of the scenes of the day will avail. It is not enough when we come to a scene where we have grievously wronged somebody that we just say, "Well, I feel rather sorry that I did it. I wish I had not done it." At that time we are the sacrificial animal lying upon the Alter of Burnt Offerings, and unless we can feel in our hearts the divinely enkindled fire of remorse burn to the very marrow of our bones because of our wrongdoings during the day, we are not accomplishing anything. During the ancient dispensation all the sacrifices were rubbed with salt before being placed upon the Altar of Burnt Offerings. We all know how it smarts and burns when we accidentally rub salt into a fresh wound. This rubbing of salt into the sacrifices in that ancient Mystery Temple symbol- ized the intensity of the burning which we must feel when we as living sac- rifices place ourselves upon the Altar of Burnt Offerings. It is the feel- [PAGE 18] ing of remorse, of deep and sincere sorrow for what we have done, which eradicates the picture from the seed atom and leaves it clean and stainless, so that as under the ancient dispensation transgressors were justified when they brought to the Altar of Burnt Offerings a sacrifice which was there burnt, so we in modern times by scientifically performing the evening exer- cise of retrospection wipe away the record of our sins. It is a foregone conclusion that we cannot continue evening after evening to perform this living sacrifice without becoming better in consequence and ceasing, little by little, to do the things for which we are forced to blame ourselves when we have retired for the night. Thus, in addition to cleansing us from our faults this exercise elevates us to a higher level of spirituality than we could otherwise reach in the present life. It is also noteworthy that when anyone had committed a grievous crime and fled to the sanctuary, he found safety in the shadow of the Altar of sacri- fice, for there only the divinely enkindled fire could execute judgment. He escaped the hands of man by putting himself under the hand of God. Similarly also, the aspirant who acknowledges his wrongdoing nightly by fleeing to the altar of living judgment thereby obtains sanctuary from the law of cause and effect, and "though his sins be as scarlet they shall be white as snow." THE BRAZEN LAVER: The Brazen laver was a large basin which was always kept full of water. [PAGE 19] It is said in the Bible that it was carried on the backs of twelve oxen, also made of brass, and we are told that their hind parts were toward the center of the vessel. It appears from the Memory of Nature, however, that those animals were not oxen but symbolical representations of the twelve signs of the zodiac. Humanity was at that time divided into twelve groups, one group for each zodiacal sign. Each symbolic animal attracted a par- ticular ray, and as the holy water used today in Catholic churches is magne- tized by the priest during the ceremony of consecration, so also the water in this Laver was magnetized by the divine Hierarchics who guided humanity. There can be no doubt concerning the power of holy water prepared by a strong and magnetic personality. It takes on or absorbs the effluvia from his vital body, and the people who use it become amenable to his rule in a degree commensurate to their sensitiveness. Consequently the Brazen Lavers in the ancient Atlantean mystery Temples, where the water was magnetized by divine Hierarchs of immeasurable power, were a potent factor in guiding the people in accordance with the wishes of these ruling powers. Thus the priests were in perfect subjection to the mandates and dictates of their un- seen spiritual leaders, and through them the people were made to follow blindly. It was required of the priests that they wash their hands and feet before going into the Tabernacle proper. If this command was not obeyed, death would follow immediately on the priest entering into the Tabernacle. We may therefore say that as the keyword of the Brazen Altar was [PAGE 20] "justification" so the central idea of the Brazen Laver was "consecration." "Many are called but few are chosen." We have the example of the rich young man who came to Christ asking what he must do to be perfect. He as- serted that he had kept the law, but when Christ gave the command, "Follow me," he could not, for he had many riches which held him fast as in a vise. Like the great majority he was content if he could only escape condemnation, and like them he was too lukewarm to strive for commendation merited by ser- vice. The Brazen Laver is the symbol of sanctification and consecration of the life to service. As Christ entered upon His three years' ministry through the baptismal waters, so the aspirant to service in the ancient Temple must sanctify himself in the sacred stream which must sanctify him- self in the sacred stream which flowed from the Molten Sea. And the mystic Mason endeavoring to build a temple "without sound of hammer" and to serve therein must also consecrate himself and sanctify himself. He must be will- ing to give up all earthly possessions that he may follow the CHRIST WITHIN. Though he may retain his material possessions he must regard them as a sa- cred trust to be used by him as a wise steward would use his master's pos- sessions. And we must be ready in everything to obey this Christ within when he says, "Follow me," even though the shadow of the Cross looms darkly at the end, for without this utter abandonment of the life to the Light, to the higher purposes, there can be no progress. Even as the Spirit descended upon Jesus when he arose from the baptismal water of consecration, so also [PAGE 21] the mystic Mason who bathes in the Laver of the Molten Sea begins dimly to hear the voice of the Master within his own heart teaching him the secrets of the Craft that he may use them for the benefit of others. EAST ROOM OF THE TEMPLE: HAVING MOUNTED the first steps upon the path the aspirant stands in front of the veil which hangs before the mystic Temple. Drawing this aside he en- ters into the East Room of the sanctuary, which was called the HOLY PLACE. No window or opening of any sort was provided in the Tabernacle to let in the light of day, but this room was never dark. Night and day it was brightly illuminated by burning lamps. Its furniture was symbolical of the methods whereby the aspirant may make SOUL GROWTH BY SERVICE. It consisted of three principal articles: The AL- TER OF INCENSE, the TABLE OF SHEWBREAD, and the GOLDEN CANDLESTICK from which the light proceeded. It was not allowable for the common Israelite to enter this sacred apart- ment and behold the furniture. No one but a priest might pass the outer veil and go in even as far as this first room. The Golden Candlestick was placed on the south side of the Holy Place so as to be to the left of any [PAGE 22] person who stood in the middle of the room. It was made entirely of pure gold, and consisted of a shaft or principal stem, rising upright from a base, together with six branches. These branches started at three different points on the stem and curved upward in three partial circles of varying di- ameter, symbolizing the three periods of development (Saturn, Sun, and Moon Periods) which man went through before the Earth period, which was not half spent. This latter period was signified by the seventh light. Each of these seven branches terminated in a lamp, and these lamps were supplied with the purest olive oil, which was made by a special process. The priests were required to take care that the Candlestick was never without a light. Every day the lamps were examined, dressed, and supplied with oil so that they might burn perpetually. The TABLE OF SHEWBREAD was placed on the north side of the apartment so as to be in THE RIGHT HAND of the priest when he walked up toward the second veil. Twelve loaves of unleavened bread were continually kept upon this table. They were placed in two piles, one loaf upon another, and on top of each pile there was a small quantity of frankincense. These loaves were called shewbread, or bread of the face, because they were set solemnly forth before the presence of the Lord, who dwelt in the Shekinah Glory behind the second veil. Every Sabbath day these loaves were changed by the priests, the old ones being taken away and new ones put in their place. The bread that was taken away was used by the priests to eat, and no one else was [PAGE 23] allowed to taste it; neither were they suffered to eat it anywhere except within the Court of the Sanctuary, because it was most holy, and therefore might only be taken by sacred persons upon holy ground. THE INCENSE THAT WAS UPON THE TWO PILES OF SHEWBREAD WAS BURNED when the bread was changed, as an offering by fire unto the Lord, as a memorial instead of the bread. The ALTAR OF INCENSE or the Golden Altar was the third article of furni- ture in the East Room of the Temple. It was situated in the center of the room, that is to say, halfway between the north and the south walls, in front of the second veil. No flesh was ever burned upon this Altar, nor was it ever touched with blood except on the most solemn occasions, and then its horns alone were marked with the crimson stain. The smoke that arose from its top was never any other than the smoke of burning incense. This went up every morning and evening, filling the sanctuary with a fragrant cloud and sending a refreshing odor out through all the courts and far over the coun- try on every side for miles beyond. Because incense was thus burned every day it was called "A PERPETUAL INCENSE before the Lord." It was not simple frankincense which was burned, but a compound of this with other sweet spices, made according to the direction of Jehovah for this special purpose and so considered holy, such as no man was allowed to make like unto for common use. THE PRIEST WAS CHARGED NEVER TO OFFER STRANGE IN- CENSE on the Golden Altar, that is, any other than the sacred composition. [PAGE 24] This Altar was placed directly before the veil on the outside of it, but be- fore the Mercy Seat, which was within the second veil; for though he that ministered at the Altar of Incense could not see the Mercy Seat because of the interposing veil, yet he must look toward it and direct his incense that way. And it was customary when the cloud of fragrant incense rose above the temple for all the people who were standing without in the Court of the Sanctuary to send up their prayers to God, each one silently by himself. THE MYSTIC SIGNIFICANCE OF THE EAST ROOM AND ITS FURNITURE: THE GOLDEN CANDLESTICK: As previously said, when the priest stood in the center of the East Room of the Tabernacle, the Seven-branched Candlestick was ON HIS LEFT toward the SOUTH. This was symbolical of the fact that the seven lightgivers or plan- ets which tread the mystic circle dance around the central orb, the sun, travel in the narrow belt comprising eight degrees on either side of the sun's path, which is called the zodiac. "God is Light," and the "Seven Spirits before the Throne" are God's ministers; therefore THEY ARE MESSEN- GERS OF LIGHT to humanity. Furthermore, as the heavens are ablaze with light when the moon in its phases arrives at the "full" in the eastern part of the heavens, so also the East Room of the Tabernacle was filled with LIGHT, indicating VISIBLY the presence there of God and His seven Ministers, the STAR ANGELS. [PAGE 25] We may note, in passing, the light of the Golden Candlestick, which was clear and the flame odorless, and compare it with the smoke-enveloped flame on the Altar of Burnt Offerings, which in a certain sense generated darkness rather than dispelled it. But there is a still deeper and more sublime meaning in this fire symbol, which we will not take up for discussion until we come to the SHEKINAH GLORY, whose dazzling brilliance hovered over the Mercy Seat in the WEST ROOM. Before we can enter into this subject, we must understand all the symbols that lie between the Golden Candlestick and that sublime Father Fire which was the crowning glory of the Holy of Holies, the most sacred part of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness. THE TABLE OF SHEWBREAD: The East Room of the Temple may be called the Hall of Service, for it corresponds to the three years' ministry of Christ, and contains all the paraphernalia for soul growth, though, as said, furnished with only three principal articles. Among the chief of these is the Table of Shewbread. Upon this table, as we have already seen, there were two piles of shewbread, each containing six loaves, and upon the top of each pile there was a little heap of frankincense. The aspirant who came to the Temple door "poor, na- ked, and blind" has since been brought to the light of the Seven-branched Candlestick, obtaining a certain amount of cosmic knowledge, and THIS HE IS REQUIRED TO USE IN THE SERVICE OF HIS FELLOW MEN; the Table of Shewbread represents this in symbol. [PAGE 26] The grain from which this shewbread was made had been originally given by God, but then it was planted by mankind, who had previously plowed and tilled the soil. After planting their grain they must cultivate and water it; then when the grain had borne fruit according to the nature of the soil and the care bestowed upon it, it had to be harvested, threshed, ground, and baked. Then the ancient SERVANTS OF GOD had to carry it into the Temple, where it was placed before the Lord as bread to "SHEW" THAT THEY HAD PER- FORMED THEIR TOIL AND RENDERED THE NECESSARY SERVICE. The God-given grains of wheat in the twelve loaves represent the OPPORTU- NITIES FOR SOUL GROWTH given by God, which come to all through the twelve departments of life represented by the twelve houses of the horoscope, under the dominion of the twelve divine Hierarchies known through the signs of the zodiac. BUT IT IS THE TASK OF THE MYSTIC MASON, THE TRUE TEMPLE BUILDER, TO EMBRACE THESE OPPORTUNITIES, TO CULTIVATE AND NOURISH THEM SO THAT HE MAY REAP THEREFROM THE LIVING BREAD WHICH NURTURES THE SOUL. We do not, however, assimilate our physical food IN TOTO; there is a residue, a large proportion of ash, left after we have amalgamated the quin- tessence into our system. Similarly, the shewbread was not burned or con- sumed before the Lord, but two small heaps of frankincense were placed on the two stacks of shewbread, one one each pile. This was conceived to be the aroma thereof, and was later burned on the Altar of Incense. Likewise the soul sustenance of service gathered daily by the ardent Mystic Mason is [PAGE 27] thrown into the mill of retrospection at eventide when he retires to his couch and performs there the scientific exercises given by the Elder Brothers of the Rose Cross. There is a time each month which is particularly propitious for extract- ing the frankincense of soul growth and burning it before the lord so that it may be a sweet savor, TO BE AMALGAMATED WITH THE SOUL BODY and form part of that golden, radiant "wedding garment." This as at the time when the moon is at the full. Then she is in the east, and the heavens are ablaze with light as was the East Room of the ancient Atlantean Mystery Temple where the priest garnered the pabulum of the soul, symbolized by the shewbread and the fragrant essence, which delighted our Father in Heaven then as now. Let the Mystic Mason take particular note, however, that the loaves of shewbread were not the musings of dreamers; they were not the product of speculation upon the nature of God or light. THEY WERE THE PRODUCT OF AC- TUAL TOIL, of orderly systematic work, and it behooves us to follow the path of actual service if we would garner treasure in heaven. Unless we really WORK and SERVE humanity, we shall have nothing to bring, no bread to "shew," at the Feast of the Full Moon; and at the mystic marriage of the higher to the lower self we shall find ourselves minus the radiant golden sold body, the mystic wedding garment without which the union with Christ can never be consummated. [PAGE 28] THE ALTER OF INCENSE: At the Altar of Incense, as we saw in the general description of the Tab- ernacle and its furniture, incense was offered before the lord continually, and the priest who stood before the altar ministering was at that time look- ing toward the mercy Seat over the Ark, though it as impossible for him to see it because of the SECOND VEIL which was interposed between the first and second apartments of the Tabernacle, the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies. We have also seen in the consideration of the "shewbread" that INCENSE sym- bolizes the extract, THE AROMA OF THE SERVICE we have rendered according to our opportunities; and just as the sacrificial animal upon the Brazen Altar represents the deeds of wrongdoing committed during the day, so the incense burned upon the Golden Altar, which is a sweet savor to the Lord, represents the virtuous deeds of our lives. [Continued with file "RC1002.TXT"] End of File


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