Filename: +quot;RC1003.TXT+quot; Source: +quot;Ancient and Modern Initiation+quot; by Max

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Filename: "RC1003.TXT" Source: "Ancient and Modern Initiation" by Max Heindel [PAGE 65] MYSTIC RITE OF BAPTISM: It is noteworthy that nearly all religious systems have prescribed ablu- tions previous to the performance of religious duties, and the worship per- formed in the ancient Atlantean Mystery Temple, the Tabernacle in the Wil- derness, was no exception, as we have seen from the previous articles on "Symbols of Ancient and Modern Initiation." After having obtained justifi- cation by sacrifice on the Brazen Altar, the candidate was compelled to wash in the Laver of Consecration, the Molten Sea, before he was allowed to enter upon the duties of his ministry in the sanctuary proper. And it is in con- formity with this rule that we find the Hero of the Gospels going to the river Jordan, where He underwent the mystic rite of Baptism. When He rose, we learn that the Spirit descended upon Him. Therefore it is obvious that those who follow the Christian Mystic Path of Initiation must also be similarly baptized before they can receive the Spirit, which is to be their [PAGE 66] true guide through all the trials before them. But what constitutes Baptism is a question which has called forth argu- ments of almost unbelievable intensity. Some contend that it is a sprin- kling with water, and other insist upon the immersion of the whole body. Some say that it is sufficient to take an infant into church, sprinkle it with water despite its protests, and presto! it becomes a Christian, an heir of heaven; whereas should it unfortunately die before this sacred rite is performed, it must inevitably go to hell. Others take the more logical po- sition that the desire of an individual for admission into the church is the prime factor necessary to make the rite effective, and therefore wait until adult age before the performance of the ceremony, which requires an immer- sion of the whole body in water. But whether the rite is performed in in- fancy or in laterlife, it seems strange that momentary immersion or sprin- kling with water should have the power to save the soul; and when we examine the subsequent life of those who have thus been baptized, even in adult age and with their full consent and desire, we find little or no improvement in the great majority. Therefore it seems evident that this cannot be the proper rite, because the Spirit has not descended upon them. Consequently we must look for another explanation of what constitutes a true mystic rite of Baptism. A story is told of an Ottoman king who declared war on a neighboring na- tion, fought a number of battles against it with varying success, but was [PAGE 67] finally conquered and taken captive to the palace of the victor, where he was compelled to work in the most menial capacity as a slave. After many years fortune favored him, and he escaped to a far country, where by hard work he acquired a small estate, married, and had a number of children, who grew up around him. Finally he found himself upon his deathbed at a very rip old age, and in the exertion of drawing his last breath he raised himself upon his pillow and looked about him, but there were no sons and daughters there. He was not in the place which he had regarded as home for so many years, but in his own palace which he thought he had left in his youth, and he was as young as when he left it. There he found himself sit- ting in a chair with a basin of water close to his chin and a servant en- gaged in washing his hair and beard. He had just immersed his face in the water when the dream of going to war had started, and a lifetime had been lived in dreamland during the few seconds it took until he raised his face. There are thousands of other instances to show that outside the physical world time is nonexistent and the happenings of millennia are easily in- spected in a few moments. It is also well known that when people are under water and in the act of drowning, their whole preceding life is reenacted before their eyes with crystal clarity, even the minutest details which have been forgotten during the passing years standing out sharply. Thus there must be and is a store- [PAGE 68] house of events which may be contacted under certain conditions when the senses are stilled and we are near sleep or death. To make this last sentence clear it should be understood and borne in mind that man is a composite being, having finer vehicles which interpen- etrate the physical body, usually regarded as the whole man. During death and sleep this dense body is unconscious on account of a complete separation between it and the finer vehicles; but this separation is only partial dur- ing dream-filled sleep and prior to drowning. This condition enables the spirit to impress events upon the brain with more or less accuracy according to circumstances, particularly those incidents which are connected with it- self. In the light of these things we shall understand what really consti- tutes the rite of Baptism. According to the Nebular Theory that which is now the earth was at one time a luminous fire-mist, which gradually cooled by contact with the cold of space. This meeting of heat with cold generated moisture, which evaporated and rose from the heated center, until the cold condensed it and it fell again as moisture upon the heated world. The surface of the earth being thus subjected to alternate liquidation and evaporation for ages, it finally crystallized into a shell which perfectly covered the fiery center. This soft moisture-laden shell naturally generated a mist, which surrounded the planet as an atmosphere, and this was the cradle of everything that has its being upon the earth: man, animal, and plant. [PAGE 69] The Bible describes this condition in the second chapter of Genesis, where we are told that at the time of the first man a mist went up from the earth, "for it had not yet rained." This condition evidently continued un- til the Flood, when the moisture finally descended and left the atmosphere clear so that the rainbow was seen for the first time, the darkness was dis- pelled, and the age of alternation, day and night, summer and winter, com- menced. By a study of the cosmology and the pictorial account of evolution given in the Northern Eddas, treasured among the sages of Scandinavia before the Christian Era, we may learn more of this period in the earth's history and the bearing which it has upon our subject. As we teach our children, by means of stories and pictures, truths that hey could not intellectually grasp, so the divine leaders of mankind were wont to teach the infant souls in their charge by pictures and allegories, and through these prepare them for a higher and nobler teaching of a later day. The great epic poem which is called "The Lay of the Niebelung," gives us the story of which we are in search, the cosmic origin of the rite of Baptism and why it is necessarily the preliminary step in the spiritual unfoldment of the Christian Mystic. The cosmogony of the Eddas is similar to that of the Bible is some re- spects, and in others gives points which bear out the theory of Laplace. We quote from the poetical version of Oehlenschlaeger: [PAGE 70] "In the Being's earliest Dawn All was one dark abyss, Nor heaven nor earth was known. Chill noxious fogs and ice, North from murk Niflheim's hole, Piled up in mountains lay; From Muspel's radiant pole, Southwards fire held the sway. "Then after ages passed, Mid in the chaos met A warm breath, Niflheim's blast, Cold with prolific heat. Hence pregnant drops were formed, Which by the parent air From Muspel's region warmed, Produced great Aurgelmer." Thus by the action of heat and cold Aurgelmer, or as he is also called, the Giant Ymer, was first formed. This was the pregnant seed ground whence came the spiritual Hierarchies, the spirits of the earth, air, and water, and finally man. At the same time the All-Father created the Cow Audumla, from whose four teats issued four streams of milk, which nourished all be- ings. These are the four ethers, one of which now sustains mineral, two feed the plant, three the animal, and all four the human kingdom. In the Bible they are the four rivers which went forth out of Eden. [PAGE 71] Eventually, as postulated by science, a crust must have been formed by the continued boiling of the water, and from this drying crust a mist must have ascended as taught in the second chapter of Genesis. By degrees the mist must have cooled and condensed, shutting out the light of the sun, so that it would have been impossible for early mankind to perceive the body even had they possessed the physical vision. But under such conditions they had no more need of eyes that a mole which burrows in the ground. They were not blind, however, for we re told that "THEY SAW GOD"; and as "spiritual things (and beings) are spiritually perceived," they must have been gifted with spiritual sight. In the spiritual worlds there is a different standard of reality than here, which is the basis of myths. Under these conditions there could be no clashing of interests, and hu- manity regarded itself as the children of one great Father while they lived under the water of ancient Atlantis. Egoism did not come into the world un- til the mist had condensed and they had left the watery atmosphere of Atlantis. When their eyes had been opened so that they could perceive the physical world and the things therein, when each saw himself or herself as separate and apart from all others, the consciousness of "me and mine, thee and thine," took shape in the nascent minds, and a grasping greed replaced the fellow feeling which obtained under the waters of early Atlantis. From that time to the present stage of egoism has been considered the legitimate attitude, and even in our boasted civilization altruism remains a Utopian [PAGE 72] dream not to be indulged in by practical people. Had mankind been allowed to travel the path of egoism without let or hin- drance, it is difficult to see where it all would have ended. But under the immutable Law of Consequence every cause must produce an adequate effect; the principle of suffering was born from sin for the benevolent purpose of guiding us back to the path of virtue. It takes much suffering and many lives to accomplish this purpose, but finally when we have become men of sorrows and acquainted with grief, when we have cultivated that keen and ready sympathy which feels all the woe of the world, when the Christ has been born within, there comes to the Christian Mystic that ardent aspiration to seek and to save those who are lost and show them the way to everlasting light and peace. But to show the way, we must know the way; without a true understanding of the CAUSE OF SORROW we cannot teach others to obtain permanent peace. Nor can this understanding of sorrow, sin, and death be obtained from books, lectures, or even the personal teachings of another; at least an impression sufficiently intense to fill the aspirant's whole being cannot be conveyed in that way. Baptism alone will accomplish the purpose in an adequate man- ner; therefore the first step in the life of a Christian Mystic is Baptism. But when we say Baptism, we do not necessarily mean a physical Baptism where the candidate is either sprinkled or immersed and where he makes cer- tain promises to the one who baptizes him. The Mystic Baptism may take [PAGE 73] place in a desert as easily on an island, for it is a spiritual process to attain a spiritual purpose. It may take place at any time during the night or day, in summer or winter, for it occurs at the moment when the candidate feels with sufficient intensity the longing to know the cause of sorrow and alleviate it. Then the Spirit is conducted under the waters of Atlantis, where it sees the primal condition of brotherly love and kindness; where it perceives God as the great Father of His children, who are there surrounded by His wonderful love. And by the conscious return to this Ocean of Love, the candidate becomes so thoroughly imbued with the feeling of kinship that the spirit of egoism is banished from him forever. It is because of this saturation with the Universal Spirit that is able later to say: "If a man takes your coat, give him you cloak also; if he asks you to walk one mile with him, go with him two miles." Feeling himself one and all, the candi- date does not even consider the murder of himself as mistreatment, but can say: "Father, forgive them." They are identical with himself, who suffers by their action; he is the aggressor as well as the victim. Such is the true Spiritual Baptism of the Christian Mystic, and any other baptism that does not produce this universal fellow feeling is not worthy of the name. [PAGE 74] THE TEMPTATION: We often hear about devout Christians complain of their periods of de- pression. At times they are almost in the seventh heaven of spiritual exal- tation, they all but see the face of Christ and feel as if He were guiding their every step; then without any warning and without any cause that they can discover the clouds gather, the Savior hides His face, and the world grows black for a period. They cannot work, they cannot pray; the world has no attraction, and the gate of heaven seems shut against them, with the re- sult that life appears worthless so long as this spiritual expression lasts. The reason is, of course, that these people live in their emotions, and un- der the immutable Law of Alternation the pendulum is bound to swing as far to one side of the neutral point as it has swung to the other. The brighter the light, the deeper the shadow, and the greater the exaltation, the deeper the depression of spirit which follows it. Only those who by cold reason [PAGE 75] restrain their emotions escape the periods of depression, but they never taste the heavenly bliss of exaltation either. AND IT IS THIS EMOTIONAL OUTPOURING OF HIMSELF WHICH FURNISHED THE CHRISTIAN MYSTIC WITH THE DYNAMIC ENERGY TO PROJECT HIMSELF INTO THE INVISIBLE WORLDS, WHERE HE BECOMES ONE WITH THE SPIRITUAL IDEAL WHICH HAS BECKONED HIM ON AND AWAKENED IN HIS SOUL THE POWER TO RISE TO IT, as the sun built the eye wherewith we perceive it. The nestling takes many a tumble ere it learns to use its wings with assur- ance, and the aspirant upon the path of Christian Mysticism may soar to the very throne of God times out of number and then fall to the lowest pit of hell's despair. But some time he will overCome the world, defy the Law of Alternation, and rise by the power of the Spirit to the Father of Spirits, free from the toils of emotion, filled with the peace that passeth under- standing. But that is the end attained only after Golgotha and the Mystic Baptism, the latter of which we discussed in the preceeding chapter. Moreover, it is only the beginning of the active career of the Christian Mystic, in which he becomes thoroughly saturated with the tremendous fact of the unity of all life, and imbued with a fellow feeling for all creatures to such an extent that henceforth he can not only enunciate but practice the tenets of the Sermon on the Mount. Did the spiritual experiences of the Christian Mystic take him no fur- ther, it would still be the most wonderful adventure in the world, and the [PAGE 76] magnitude of the event is beyond words, the consequences only dimly imagin- able. Most students of the higher philosophies believe in the brotherhood of man from the mental conviction that we have all emanated from the same source, as rays emanate from the sun. But there is an abyss of inconceiv- able depth and width between this cold intellectual conception and the bap- tismal saturation of the Christian Mystic, who feels it is his heart and in every fibre of his being with such an intensity that it is actually painful to him; it fills him with such a yearning, aching love as that expressed in the words of the Christ: "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings;" a brooding, yearning, and achingly protective love which asks nothing for self save only the privilege to nurture, to shield, and to cher- ish. Were even a faint resemblance to such a universal fellow feeling abroad among humanity in this dark day, what a paradise earth would be. Instead of every man's hand being against his brother to slay with the sword, with ri- valry and competition, or to destroy his morals and degrade him by prison stripes or industrial bondage under the whiplash of necessity, we should have neither warriors nor prisoners but a happy contented world, living in peace and harmony, learning the lessons which our Father in Heaven aims to teach us in this material condition. AND ALL THE MISERY IN THE WORLD MAY BE ACCOUNTED FOR BY THE FACT THAT IF WE BELIEVE IN THE BIBLE AT ALL, WE BELIEVE WITH OUR HEAD AND NOT WITH OUR HEART. [PAGE 77] When we came up through the waters of Baptism, the Atlantean Flood, into the Rainbow Age of alternating seasons, we became prey to the changing emo- tions which whirl us hither and yon upon the sea of life. The cold faith restrained by reason entertained by the majority of professing Christians may given them a need of patience and mental valance which bears them up un- der the trials of life, but when the majority get the LIVING FAITH of the Christian Mystic which laughs at reason because it is HEART-FELT, then the Age of Alternation will be past, the rainbow will fall with the clouds and the air which now composes the atmosphere, and there will be a new heaven of pure ether, where we shall receive the Baptism of Spirit and "THERE SHALL BE PEACE" (Jerusalem). We are still in the Rainbow Age and subject to its low, so we may realize that as the Baptism of the Christian Mystic occurs at a time of spiritual exaltation, it must necessarily be followed by a reaction. The tremendous magnitude of the revelation overpowers him, he cannot realize it or contain it in his fleshly vehicle, so he flees the haunts of men and betakes himself to the solitude allegorically represented as a desert. So rapt is he in his sublime discovery that for the time being in his ecstacy he sees the Loom of Life upon which the bodies of all that live are woven, from the least to the greatest-the mouse and the man, the hunter and his prey, the warrior and his victim. But to him they are not separate and apart, for he also beholds the one divine thread of golden life-light "which runs through all and doth all unite." Nay, more, he hears in each the flaming keynote sounding its [PAGE 78] aspirations and voicing its hopes and fears, and he perceives this composite color-sound as the world anthem of God made flesh. This is at first en- tirely beyond his comprehension; the tremendous magnitude of the discovery hides it from him, and he cannot conceive what it is that he sees and feels, for there are no words to describe it, and no concept can cover it. But by degrees it dawns upon him that HE IS AT THE VERY FOUNTAIN OF LIFE, beholding, nay, more, FEELING its every pulse beat, and with this comprehen- sion he reaches the climax of his ecstasy. So rapt has the Christian Mystic been in his beautiful adventure that bodily wants have been completely forgotten till the ecstasy has passed, and it is therefore only natural that the feeling of hunger should be his first conscious want upon his return to the normal state of consciousness; and also naturally comes the voice of temptation: "COMMAND THAT THESE STONES BE MADE BREAD." Few passages of the sacred Scriptures are darker that the opening verses of the Gospel of St. John: "In the beginning was the word . . . .and with- out it was not anything made that was made." A slight study of the science of sound soon makes us familiar with the fact that sound is vibration and that different sounds will mold sand or other light materials into figures of varying form. The Christian Mystic may be entirely ignorant of this fact from the scientific point of view, but he has learned at the Fountain of Life to sing the SONG OF BEING, which cradles into existence whatever such a [PAGE 79] master musician desires. There is one basic key for the indigestible min- eral stone, but a modification will turn it to gold wherewith to purchase the means of sustenance, and another keynote peculiar to the vegetable king- dom will turn it into food, a fact known to all advanced occultists who practice incantations legitimately for spiritual purposes but never for ma- terial profit. But the Christian Mystic who has just emerged from his Baptism in the Fountain of Life immediately shrinks in horror at the suggestion of using his newly discovered power for a selfish purpose. It was the very soul quality of unselfishness that ld him to the waters of consecration in the Fountain of life, and sooner would he sacrifice all, even life itself, that use this new-found power to spare himself a pang of pain. Did he not see also the Woe of the World? And does he not feel it in his great hearth with such an intensity that the hunger at once disappears and is forgotten? He may, will, and does use this wonderful power freely to feed the thousands that gather to hear him, but never for selfish purposes else he would upset the equilibrium of the world. The Christian Mystic does not reason this out, however. As often stated, he has not reason, but he has a much safer guide in the interior voice which always speaks to him in moments when a decision must be made. "MAN DOES NOT LIVE BY BREAD ALONE, BUT BY EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDETH FROM GOD";-another mystery. There is not need to partake of earthly bread for one who has ac- cess to the Fountain of Life. The more our thoughts are centered in God, [PAGE 80] the less we shall care for the so-called pleasures of the table, and by feeding our gross bodies sparingly on selected simple foods we shall obtain an illumination of spirit impossible to one who indulges in an excessive diet of coarse foods which nourish the lower nature. Some of the saints have used fasting and castigation as a means of soul growth, but that is a mistaken method for reasons given in an article on "Fasting for Soul Growth" published in the December 1915 number of "Rays from the Rose Cross." The Elder Brothers of humanity who understand the Law and live accordingly use food only at intervals measured by years. The word of God is to them a "living bread." So it becomes also to the Christian Mystic, and the Tempta- tion instead of working his downfall has led him to greater heights. [PAGE 81] THE TRANSFIGURATION: We remember that by the mystic processes of the true Spiritual Baptism the aspirant becomes so thoroughly saturated with the Universal Spirit that as a matter of actual fact, feeling, and experience he becomes one with all that lives, moves, and has its being, one with the pulsating divine Life which surges in rhythmic cadence through the least and the greatest alike; and having caught the keynote of the celestial song he is then endued with a power of tremendous magnitude, which he may use either for good or ill. It should be understood and remembered that though gunpowder and dynamite fa- cilitate farming when used for blowing up tree stumps which would otherwise require a great deal of manual labor to extract, they may also be used for destructive purposes as in the great European war. Spiritual powers also may be used for good or ill depending upon the motive and character of the one who wields them. Therefore, whoever has successfully undergone the rite [PAGE 82] of Baptism and thereby acquired spiritual power is forthwith tempted that it may be concerned decided whether he will range himself upon the side of good or evil. At this point he becomes either a future "Parsifal," a "Christ," a "Herod," or a "Klingsor" who fights the Knights of the Holy Grail with all the powers and resources of the Black Brotherhood. There is a tendency in modern materialistic science to repudiate as fable, worthy of attention only among superstitious servant girls and fool- ish old women, the ideas commonly believed in as late as the Middle Ages, that such spiritual communities as the Knights of the Grail at one time ex- isted, or that there are such beings as the "Black Brothers." Occult soci- eties in the last half century have educated thousands to the fact that the Good Brothers are still in evidence and may be found by those who seek them in the proper way. Now unfortunately the tendency among this class of people is to accept anyone on his unsupported claims as a Master or an dept. But even among this class there are few who take the existence of the Black Brothers seriously, or realize what an enormous amount of damage they are doing in the world, and how they are aided and abetted by the general ten- dency of humanity to cater to the lusts of the flesh. As the good forces, which are symbolized as the servants of the Holy Grail, live and grow by un- selfish service which enhances the luster of the glowing Grail Cup, so the Powers of Evil, known as the Black Grail and represented in the Bible as the court of Herod, feed on pride and sensuality, voluptuousness and passion, [PAGE 83] embodied in the figure of Salome, who glories in the murder of John the Bap- tist and the innocents. It was shown in the legend of the Grail as embodied in Wagner's "Parsifal" that when the Knights were denied the inspiration from the Grail Cup, on which they fed and which spurred them onto deeds of greater love and service, their courage flagged and they became inert. Similarly with the Brothers of the Black Grail. Unless they are provided with words of wickedness they will die from starvation. Therefore they are ever active in the world stirring up strife and inciting others to evil. Were not this pernicious activity counteracted in a great measure by the Elder Brothers at their midnight services at which they make themselves mag- nets for all the evil thoughts in the Western World and then by the alchemy of sublime love transmute them to good, a cataclysm of still greater magni- tude that the recent World Wrar would have occurred long ago. As it is, the Genius of Evil has been held within bounds in some measure at least. Were humanity not so ready to range itself on the side of evil, success would have been greater. But it is hoped that the spiritual awakening started by the war will result in turning the scale and give the construction agencies in evolution the upper hand. It is a wonderful power which is centered in the Christian Mystic at the time of his Baptism by the descent and concentration within him of the Uni- versal Spirit; and when he has refused during the period of temptation to [PAGE 84] desecrate it for personal profit or power, he must of necessity give it vent in another direction, for he is impelled by an irresistable inner urge which will not allow him to settle down to an inert, inactive life of prayer and meditation. The power of God is upon him to preach and glad tidings to hu- manity, to help and heal. We know that a stove which is filled with burning fuel cannot help heating the surrounding atmosphere; neither can the Chris- tian Mystic help radiating the divine compassion which fills his heart to overflowing, nor is he is doubt whom to love or whom to serve or where to find his opportunity. As the stove filled with burning fuel radiates heat to all who are within its sphere of radiation, so the Christian Mystic feels the love of God burning within his heart and is continually radiating it to all with whom he comes in contact. As the heated stove draws to itself by its genial warmth those who are suffering with physical cold, so the warm love rays of the Christian Mystic are a a magnet to all those whose hearts are chilled by the cruelty of the world, by man's inhumanity to man. If the stove were empty but endowed with the faculty of speech, it might preach forever the gospel of warmth to those who are physically cold, but even the finest oratory would fail to satisfy its audience. When it has been filled with fuel and radiates warmth, there will be no need of preach- ing. Men will come to it and be satisfied. Similarly a sermon on brother- hood by one who has not laved in the "Fountain of Life" will sound hollow. The true Mystic need not preach. His every act, even his silent presence, [PAGE 85] is more powerful that all the most deeply thought-out discourses of learned doctors of philosophy. There is a story of St. Francis of Assisi which particularly illus- trates this fact, and which we trust may serve to drive it home, for its ex- ceedingly important. It is said that one day St. Francis went to a young brother in the monastery with which he was then connected and said to him: "Brother, let us go down to the village and preach to them." The young brother was naturally overjoyed at the honor and opportunity of accompanying so hold a man as St. Francis, and together the two started toward the vil- lage, talking all the while about spiritual things and the life that leads to God. Engrossed in this conversation they passed through the village, walking along its various streets, now and then stopping to speak a kindly word to one or another of the villagers. After having made a circuit of the village St. Francis was heading toward the road which led to the monastery when of a sudden the young brother reminded him of his intention to preach in the village and asked him if he had forgotten it. To this St. Francis answered: "My son, are you not aware that all the while we have been in this village we have been preaching to the people all around us? In the first place, our simple dress proclaims the fact that we are devoted to the service of God, and as soon as anyone sses us his thoughts naturally turn heavenward. Be sure that everyone of the villagers has been watching us, taking note of our demeanor to see in how far it conforms with our profes- sion. They have listened to our words to find whether they were about [PAGE 86] spiritual or profane subjects. They have watched our gestures and have noted that the words of sympathy we dispensed came straight from our hearts and went deep into theirs. We have been preaching a far more powerful ser- mon that if we had gone into the market place, called them around us, and started to harangue them with an exhortation to holiness." St. Francis was a Christian Mystic in the deepest sense of the word, and being taught from within by the spirit of God he knew well the mysteries of life, as did Jacob Boehme and other holy men who have been similarly taught. They are in a certain sense wiser than the wisest of the intellectual school, but it is not necessary for them to expound great mysteries in order to fulfill their mission and serve as guide posts to others who are also seeking God. The very simplicity of their words and acts carries with it the power of conviction. Naturally, of course, all do not rise to the same heights. All have not the same powers anymore than all the stoves are of the same size and have the same heating capacity. Those who follow the Christian Mystic path, from the least to the greatest, have experienced the powers conveyed by Baptism according to their capacity. They have been tempted to use those powers in an evil direction for personal gain, and hav- ing overcome the desire for the world and worldly things they have turned to the path of ministry and service as Christ did; their lives are marked not so much by what they have said as by what they have done. The true Chris- tian Mystic is easily distinguished. He never uses the six week days [PAGE 87] to prepare for a grand oratorical effort to thrill his hearers on Sunday, but spends every day alike in humble endeavor to do the Mas- ter's will regardless of outward applause. Thus unconsciously he works up toward that grand climax which in the history of the noblest of all who have trod this path is spoken of as the "Transfiguration." The Transfiguration is an alchemical process by which the physical body formed by the chemistry of physiological processes is turned into a living stone such as is mentioned in the Bible. The medieval alchemists who were seeking the Philosopher's Stone were not concerned with transmutation of such dross as material god, but aimed at the greater goal as indicated above. Moisture gathered in the clouds falls to earth as rain when it has con- densed sufficiently, and it is again evaporated into clouds by the heat of the sun. This is the primal cosmic formula. Spirit also condenses itself into matter and becomes mineral. But though it be crystallized into the harness of flint, life still remains, and by the alchemy of nature working through another life stream the dense mineral constituents of the soil are transmuted to a more flexible structure in the plant, which may be used as food for animal and man. These substances become sentient flesh by the al- chemy of assimilation. When we note the changes in the structure of the hu- man body evidenced by comparison of the Bushmen, Chinese, Hindus, Latins, Celts, and Anglo-Saxons, it is plainly apparent that the flesh of man is even now undergoing a refining process which is eradicating the coarser, [PAGE 88] grosser substances. In time by evolution this process of spiritualization will render our flesh transparent and radiant with the Light that shines within, radiant as the face of Moses, the body of Buddha, and the Christ at the Transfiguration. At present the effulgence of the indwelling Spirit is effectually dark- ened by our dense body, but we may draw hop even from the science of chemis- try. There is nothing on earth so rare and precious as radium, the luminous extract of the dense black mineral called pitchblende; and there is nothing so rare as that precious extract of the human body, the radiant Christ. At present we are lavoring to form the Christ within, but when the inner Christ has grown to full stature, He will shine through the transparent body as the LIGHT OF THE WORLD. It is an anatomical fact of common knowledge that the spinal cord is di- vided into three sections, from which the motor, sensory, and sympathetic nerves are controlled. Astrologically these are ruled by the moon, Mars, and Mercury, which are divine Hierarchies tht have played a great role in human evolution through the nervous systems indicated. Among the ancient alchemists these were designated by the three alchemical elements, salt, sulphur, and mercury. Between them and upon them played the spinal Spirit Fire of Neptune. It rose in a serpentine column through the spinal cord to the ventricles of the brain. In the great majority of mankind the Spirit Fire is still exceedingly weak. But whenever a spiritual awakening occurs [PAGE 89] in anyone such as that which takes place in a genuine conversion, or better still at the Baptism of the Christian Mystic, the the downpouring of the Spirit, which is an actual fact, augments the spinal Spirit Fire to an al- most unbelievable extent, and forthwith a process of regeneration begins whereby the gross substances of the threefold body of many are gradually thrown out, rendering the vehicles more permeable and quickly responsive to spiritual impulses. The further the process if carried, the more efficient servants they become in the vineyard of the Master. The spiritual awakening which starts this process of regeneration in the Christian Mystic who purifies himself by prayer and service, comes also of course to those who are seeking God by way of knowledge and service, but it acts in a different way, which is noted by the spiritual investigator. In the Christian Mystic the regenerative spinal Spirit Fire is concentrated principally upon the lunar segment of the spinal cord, which governs the sympathetic nerves under the rulership of Jehovah. Therefore his spiritual growth is accomplished by faith as simple, childlike, and unquestioning as it was in the days of early Atlantis when men were mindless. He therefore draws down the great white Light of Deity reflected through Jehovah, the Holy Spirit, and attains to the whole wisdom of the world without the neces- sity of laboring for it intellectually. This gradually transmutes his body into THE WHITE PHILOSOPHER'S STONE, THE DIAMOND SOUL. [PAGE 90] In those, on the other hand, whose minds are strong and insistent on knowing the reason why and the wherefore of every dictum and dogma, the Spi- nal Fire of regeneration plays upon the segments of the red Mars and the colorless Mercury, endeavoring to infuse desire with reason, to purify the former of the primal passion that it may become chaste as the rose, and thus transmute the body into the RUBY SOUL, THE RED PHILOSOPHER'S STONE, TRIED BY FIRE, PURIFIED, A CREATIVE BUDDING INDIVIDUALITY. All who are upon the Path, whether the path of occultism or of mysticism, are weaving the "golden wedding garment" by this work from within and from without. In some the gold is exceedingly pale, and in others it is deeply red. But eventually when the process of Transfiguration has been completed, or rather when it is nearing completion, the extremes will blend, and the transfigured bodies will become balanced in color, for the occultist must learn the lesson of deep devotion, and the Christian Mystic must learn how to acquire knowledge by his own efforts without drawing upon the universal source of all wisdom. This view gives us a deeper insight into the Transfiguration reported in the Gospels. We should remember distinctly that IT WAS THE VEHICLES OF JESUS WHICH WERE TRANSFIGURED temporarily by the indwelling Christ Spirit. But even while allowing for the enormous potency of the Christ Spirit in ef- fecting the Transfiguration it is evident that Jesus must be a sublime char- acter without a peer. The Transfiguration as seen in the Memory of Nature [PAGE 91] reveals his body as a dazzling white, thus showing his dependence upon the Father, the Universal Spirit. There is a great diversity in present attain- ments, but in the kingdom of Christ the differences will gradually disap- pear, and a uniform color indicating both knowledge and devotion will be ac- quired by all. This color will correspond to the pink color seen by occultists as the Spiritual Sun, the vehicle of the Father. When this has been accomplished, the Transfiguration of humanity will be complete. We shall then be one with our Father, and His kingdom will have come. [Continued with file "RC1004.TXT"] End of File

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