Filename: RC1019.TXT Source: +quot;Gleanings of a Mystic+quot; by Max Heindel [PAGE 608] T

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Filename: RC1019.TXT Source: "Gleanings of a Mystic" by Max Heindel [PAGE 608] THE COSMIC MEANING OF EASTER: On the morning of Good Friday, 1857, Richard Wagner, the master artist of the nineteenth century, sat on the verandah of a Swiss villa by the Zurich Sea. The landscape about him was bathed in the most glorious sunshine; peace and good will seemed to vibrate through nature. All creation was throbbing with life; the air was laden with the fragrant perfume of budding pine forests--a grateful balm to a troubled heart or a restless mind. Then suddenly, as a bolt from an azure sky, there came into Wagner's deeply mystic soul a remembrance of the ominous significance of that day--the darkest and most sorrowful in the Christian year. It almost over- whelmed him with sadness, as he contemplated the contrast. There was such a marked incongruity between the smiling scene before him, the plainly observ- able activity of nature, struggling to renewed life after winter's long sleep, and the death struggle of a tortured Savior upon a cross; between the full throated chant of life and love issuing from the thousands of little [PAGE 609] feathered choristers in forest, moor and meadow, and the ominous shouts of hate issuing from an infuriated mob as they jeered and mocked the noblest ideal the world has ever known; between the wonderful creative energy ex- erted by nature in spring, and the destructive element in man, which slew the noblest character that ever graced our earth. While Wagner meditated thus upon the incongruities of existence, the question presented itself: Is there any connection between the death of the Savior upon the cross at Easter, and the vital energy which expresses itself so prodigally in spring when nature begins the life of a new year? Though Wagner did not consciously perceive and realize the full sig- nificance of the connection between the death of the Savior and the rejuve- nation of nature, he had, nevertheless, unwittingly stumbled upon the key to one of the most sublime mysteries encountered by the human spirit in its pilgrimage from clod to God. In the darkest night of the year, when earth sleeps most soundly in Boreas' cold embrace, when material activities are at the very lowest ebb, a wave of spiritual energy carries upon its crest the divine creative "Word from Heaven" to a MYSTIC BIRTH at Christmas; and as a luminous cloud the spiritual impulse broods over the world that "knew it not," for it "shines in the darkness" of winter when nature is paralyzed and speechless. [PAGE 610] This divine creative "Word" has a message and a mission. It was born to "save the world," and "to give its life for the world." It must of neces- sity sacrifice its life in order to accomplish the rejuvenation of nature. Gradually it BURIES ITSELF IN THE EARTH and commences to infuse its own vi- tal energy into the millions of seeds which lie dormant in the ground. It whispers "the word of life" into the ears of beast and bird, until the gos- pel or good news has been preached to every creature. The sacrifice is fully consummated by the time the sun crosses its Easter (n) node at the spring equinox. Then the divine creative Word expires. IT DIES UPON THE CROSS AT EASTER in a mystical sense, while uttering a last triumphant cry, "It has been accomplished" (consummatum est). But as an echo returns to us many times repeated, so also the celestial song of life is re-echoed from the earth. The whole creation takes up the anthem. A legion-tongued chorus repeats it over and over. The little seeds in the bosom of Mother Earth commence to germinate; they burst and sprout in all directions, and soon a wonderful mosaic of life, a velvety green carpet embroidered with multicolored flowers, replaces the shroud of immaculate wintry white. From the furred and feathered tribes "the word of life" re-echoes as a song of love, impelling them to mate. Generation and multi- plication are the watchwords everywhere--THE SPIRIT HAS RISEN to more abun- dant life. [PAGE 611] Thus, mystically, we may note the annual birth, death, and resurrection of the Savior as the ebb and flow of a spiritual impulse which culminates at the winter solstice, Christmas, and has egress from the earth shortly after Easter when the "word" ASCENDS TO HEAVEN" on Whitsunday. But it will not remain there forever. We are taught that "thence it shall return," "at the judgement." Thus when the sun descends below the equator through the sign of the scales in October, when the fruits of the year are harvested, weighed, and assorted according to their kind, the descent of the spirit of the new year has its inception. This descent culminates in birth at Christ- mas. Man is a miniature of nature. What happens on a large scale in the life of a planet like our earth, takes place on a smaller scale in the course of human events. A planet is the body of a wonderfully great and exalted Be- ing, one of the Seven Spirits before the Throne (of the parent Sun). Man isalso a spirit and "made in their likeness." As a planet revolves in its cyclic path around the sun whence it emanated, so also the human spirit roves in an orbit around its central source--God. Planetary orbits, being ellipses, have points of closest approach to and extreme deviation from their solar centers. Likewise the orbit of the human spirit is elliptical. We are closest to God when our cyclic journey carries us into the celestial [PAGE 612] sphere of activity--heaven, and we are farthest removed from Him during earth life. These changes are necessary to our soul growth. As the festi- vals of the year mark the recurring events of importance in the life of a Great Spirit, so our births and deaths are events of periodical recurrence. It is as impossible for the human spirit to remain perpetually in heaven or upon earth as it is for a planet to stand still in its orbit. The same im- mutable law of periodicity which determines the unbroken sequence of the seasons, the alternation of day and night, the tidal ebb and flow, governs also the progression of the human spirit, both in heaven and upon earth. From realms of celestial light where we live in freedom, untrammeled by limitations of time and space, where we vibrate in tune with infinite har- mony of the spheres, we descend to birth in the physical world where our spiritual sight is obscured by the mortal coil which binds us to this lim- ited phase of our existence. We live here awhile; we die and ascend to heaven, to be reborn and to die again. Each earth life is a chapter in a serial life story, extremely humble in its beginnings, but increasing in in- terest and importance as we ascend to higher and higher stations of human responsibility. No limit is conceivable, for in essence we are divine and must therefore have the infinite possibilities of God dormant within. When we have learned all that this world has to teach us, a wider orbit, a larger [PAGE 613] sphere of super-human usefulness, will give scope to our greater capa- bilities. "Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul, As the swift seasons roll! Leave thy low vaulted past! Let each new temple, nobler than the last, Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast, Till thou at length art free, Leaving thine outgrown shell by life's unresting sea." Thus says Oliver Wendell Holmes, comparing the spiral progression in the widening coil of a chambered nautilus to the expansion of consciousness which is the result of soul growth in an evolving human being. "But what of Christ?" someone will ask. "Don't you believe in Him? You are discoursing upon Easter, the feast which commemorates the cruel death and the glorious, triumphant resurrection of the Savior, but you seem to be alluding to Him more from an allegorical point of view than as an actual fact." Certainly we believe in the Christ; we love Him with our whole heart and soul, but we wish to emphasize the teaching that Christ is the first fruits of the race. He said that we shall do the things He did, "and greater." Thus we are Christs-in-the-making. "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." [PAGE 614] Thus proclaims Angelus Silesius, with true mystic understanding of the essentials of attainment. We are too much in the habit of looking to an outside Savior while har- boring a devil within; but till Christ be formed IN US, as Paul says, we shall seek in vain, for as it is impossible for us to perceive light and color, though they be all about us, unless our optic nerve registers their vibrations, and as we remain unconscious of sound when the tympanum of our ear is insensitive, so also must we remain blind in the presence of Christ and deaf to His voice until we arouse our dormant spiritual natures within. But once these natures have become awakened, they will reveal the Lord of Love as a prime reality; this on the principle that when a tuning fork is struck, another of identical pitch will also commence to sing, while tuning forks of different pitches will remain mute. Therefore the Christ said that His sheep knew the SOUND of His voice and responded, but the voice of the stranger they heard not (John 10:5). No matter what our creed, we are all brethren of Christ, so let us rejoice, the Lord has risen! Let us seek Him and forget our creeds and other lesser differences. [PAGE 615] Once more we have reached the final act in the cosmic drama involving the descent of the solar Christ Ray into the matter of our earth, which is com- pleted at the Mystic Birth celebrated at Christmas, and the Mystic Death and Liberation, which are celebrated shortly after the vernal equinox when the sun of the new year commences its ascent into the higher spheres of the northern heavens, having poured out its life to save humanity and give new life to everything upon earth. At this time of the year a new life, an aug- mented energy, sweeps with an irresistible force through the veins and ar- teries of all living beings, inspiring them, instilling new hope, new ambi- tion, and new life, impelling them to new activities whereby they learn new lessons in the school of experience. Consciously or unconsciously to the beneficiaries, this outdwelling energy invigorates everything that has life. Even the plant responds by an increased circulation of sap, which results in additional growth of the leaves, flowers, and fruits whereby this class of [PAGE 616] life is at present expressing itself and evolving to a higher state of con- sciousness. But wonderful though these outward physical manifestations are, and glo- rious though the transformation may be called which changes the earth from a waste of snow and ice into a beautiful, blooming garden, it sinks into sig- nificance before the spiritual activities which run side by side therewith. The salient features of the cosmic drama are identical in point of time with the material effects of the sun in the four cardinal signs, Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn, for the most significant events occur at the equinoctial and solstitial points. It is really and actually true that "IN God we live and move and have our being." Outside Him we could have no existence; we live by and through His life; we move and act by and through His strength; it is His power which sustains our dwelling place, the forts the universe itself would disinte- grate. Now we are taught that man was made in the likeness of God, and we are given to understand that according to the law of analogy we are pos- sessed of certain powers latent within us which are similar to those we see so potently expressed in the labor of Deity in the universe. This gives us a particular interest in the annual cosmic drama involving the death and resurrection of the sun. The life of the GOD MAN, CHRIST JESUS was moulded [PAGE 617] in conformity with the solar story, and it foreshadows in a similar manner all that may happen to the MAN GOD of whom this Christ Jesus prophesied when He said: The works that I do shall ye do also; and greater works shall ye do; whither I go thou canst not follow me now, but thou shalt follow me af- terwards. Nature is the symbolic expression of God. She does nothing in vain or gratuitously, but there is a purpose behind every thing and every act. Therefore we should be alert and regard carefully the signs in the heavens for they have a deep and important meaning concerning our own lives. The intelligent understanding of their purpose enables us to work so much more efficiently with God in His wonderful efforts for the emancipation of our pace from bondage to the laws of nature, and for its liberation into a full measure of the stature of the sons of God--crowned with glory, honor, and immortality, and free from the power of sin, sickness, and suffering which now curtail our lives by reason of our ignorance and nonconformity to the laws of God. The divine purpose demands this emancipation, but whether it is to be accomplished by the long tedious process of evolution or by the im- mensely quicker pathway of Initiation depends upon whether or not we are willing to lend our cooperation. The majority of mankind go through life with unseeing eyes and with ears that do not hear. They are engrossed in their material affairs, buying and selling, working and playing, without an [PAGE 618] adequate understanding or appreciation of the purpose of existence, and were it unfolded to them it is scarcely to be expected that they would conform and co-operate because of the sacrifice it involves. It is no wonder that the Christ appeals particularly to the poor and that He emphasizes the difficulty of the rich entering the kingdom of heaven, for even to this day when humanity has advanced in the school of evolution for two millenia since His day, we find that the great majority still value their houses and lands, their pretty hats and gowns, the pleasures of soci- ety, dances, and dinners more than the treasurers of heaven which are gar- nered by service and self-sacrifice. Although they may intellectually per- ceive the beauty of the spiritual life, its desirability fades into insignificance in their eyes when compared with the sacrifice involved in attaining. Like the rich young man they would willingly follow Christ were there no such sacrifice involved. They prefer rather to go away when they realize that sacrifice is the one condition upon which they may enter dis- cipleship. So for them Easter is simply a season of joy because it is the end of winter and the beginning of the summer season with its call of out- door sports and pleasures. But for those who have definitely chosen the path of self-sacrifice that leads to Liberation, Easter is the annual sign given them as evidence of the cosmic basis of their hopes and aspirations. As Paul properly states in [PAGE 619] that glorious fifteenth chapter of 1st Corinthians, "If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. "Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He raised not up if so be that the dead rise not. "For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised. "And if Christ be not raised your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. "If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me if the dead rise not? "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept." But in the Easter sun which at the vernal equinox commences to soar into the northern heavens after having laid down its life for the earth, we have the cosmic symbol of the verity of resurrection. When taken as a cosmic fact in connection with the law of analogy that connects the macrocosm with the microcosm, it is an earnest that some day we shall all attain the cosmic consciousness and know positively for ourselves by our own experience that there is no death, but that what seems so is only a transition into a finer sphere. [PAGE 620] It is an annual symbol to strengthen our souls in the work of well-doing that we may grow the golden wedding garment required to make us sons of God in the highest and holiest sense. It is literally true that unless we walk in the light as God is in the light, we are not in fellowship; but by making the sacrifices and rendering the services required of us to aid in the eman- cipation of our race we are building the soul body of radiant golden light which is the special substance emanated from and by the Spirit of the Sun, the Cosmic Christ. When this golden substance has clothed us with suffi- cient density, then we shall be able to imitate the Easter sun and soar into the higher spheres. With these ideals firmly fixed in our minds, Easter time becomes a season when it is in order to review our life during the preceding year and make new resolutions for the coming season to serve in furthering our soul growth. It is a season when the symbol of the ascending sun should lead us up to a keen realization of the fact that we are but pilgrims and strangers upon earth, that our real home as spirits is in heaven, and that we ought to endeavor to learn the lessons in this life school as quickly as is consis- tent with proper service, so that as Easter Day marks the resurrection and liberation of the Christ Spirit from the lower realms, so we also may con- tinually look for the dawn of that day which shall permanently free us from the meshes of matter, from the body of sin and death, together with our [PAGE 621] brethren in bondage, for no true aspirant would conceive of a liberation that did not include all who were similarly placed. This is a gigantic task; the contemplation of it may well daunt the brav- est heart, and were we alone it could not be accomplished; but the divine hierarchies who have guided humanity upon the path of evolution from the be- ginning of our career are still active and working with us from their side- real worlds, and with their help we shall eventually be able to accomplish this elevation of humanity as a whole and attain to an individual realiza- tion of glory, honor, and immortality. Having this great hope within our- selves, this great mission in the world, let us work as never before to make ourselves better men and women, so that by our example we may waken in oth- ers a desire to lead a life that brings liberation. [PAGE 622] THE NEWBORN CHRIST: It has often been said in our literature that the sacrifice of Christ wass not an event which, taking place on Golgotha, was accomplished in a few hours once and for all time, but that the mystic births and deaths of the Redeemer are continual cosmic occurrences. We may therefore conclude that this sacrifice is necessary for our physical and spiritual evolution during the present phase of our development. As the annual birth of the Christ Child approaches, it presents a never old, ever new theme for meditation, from which we may profit by pondering it with a prayer that it may create in our hearts a new light to guide us upon the path of regeneration. The inspired apostle gave us a wonderful definition of Deity when he said that "God is Light," and therefore "light" has been used to illustrate the nature of the Divine in the Rosicrucian teachings, especially the mystery of the Trinity in Unity. It is clearly taught in the Holy Scriptures of all times that God is one and indivisible. At the same time we find that as the [PAGE 623] one white light is refracted into three primary colors, red, yellow, and blue, so God appears in threefold role during manifestation by the exercise of the three divine functions of CREATION, PRESERVATION, AND DISSOLUTION. When He exercises the attribute of CREATION, God appears as Jehovah, the HOLY SPIRIT; He is the Lord of law and generation and projects the solar fertilizing principle INDIRECTLY through the lunar satellites of all planets where it is necessary to furnish bodies for their evolving beings. When He exercises the attribute of PRESERVATION for the purpose of sus- taining the bodies generated by Jehovah under the laws of nature, God ap- pears as the Redeemer, CHRIST, and radiates the principles of love and re- generation DIRECTLY into any planet where the creatures of Jehovah require this help to extricate themselves from the meshes of mortality and egotism in order to attain to altruism and endless life. When God exercises the divine attribute of DISSOLUTION, He appears as THE FATHER who calls us back to our heavenly home to assimilate the fruits of experience and soul growth garnered by us during the day of manifestation. This Universal Solvent, the ray of the Father, emanates from the Invisible Spiritual Sun. These divine processes of creation and birth, preservation and life, and dissolution, death and return to the Author of our being we see everywhere [PAGE 624] about us, and we recognize the fact that they are activities of the Triune God in manifestation. But have we ever realized that in the spiritual world there are no definite events, no static conditions; that the beginning and the end of all adventures of all ages are present in the eternal "here" and "now"? From the bosom of the Father there is an everlasting outdwelling of the essence of things and events, which enters the realms of "time" and "space." There it gradually crystallizes and becomes inert, necessitating dissolution that there may be room for other things and other events. There is no escape from this cosmic law; it applies to everything in the realm of time and space, the Christ ray included. As the lake which empties itself into the ocean is replenished when the water that left it has been evaporated and returns to it as rain, to flow again ceaselessly toward the sea, so the Spirit of Love is eternally born of the Father, day by day, hour by hour, endlessly flowing into the solar universe to redeem us in its death grip. Wave upon wave is thus impelled outward from the sun to all the plan- ets, giving a rhythmic urge to the evolving creatures there. And so it is in the very truest and most literal sense A NEWBORN CHRIST that we hail at each approaching Yule-feast, and Christmas is the most vital annual event for all humanity whether we realize it or not. It is not merely a commemoration of the birth of our beloved Elder Brother, Jesus, but [PAGE 625] the advent of the rejuvenating love of life of our Heavenly Father, sent by Him to redeem the world from the wintry death grip. Without this new infu- sion of divine life and energy we should soon perish physically, and our orderly progress would be frustrated so far as our present lines of develop- ment are concerned. This is a point we should endeavor to realize thor- oughly in order that we may learn to appreciate Christmas as keenly as we should. We may learn a lesson in this respect as in many others from our children or from reminiscences of our own childhood. How keen were our anticipations of the approaching feast! How eagerly we waited for the hour when we should receive the gifts which we knew would be forthcoming from Santa Claus, the mysterious universal benefactor who brought the toys for the coming year! How would we have felt had our parents given us the dismembered dolls and broken drums of yesteryear? It would surely have been felt as an overwhelm- ing misfortune and would have left a deep sense of broken trust which even time would have found it difficult to heal; yet it would have been as noth- ing compared with the cosmic calamity that would befall mankind if our Heav- enly Father should fail to provide the newborn Christ for our cosmic Christ- mas gift. The Christ of last year cannot save us from physical famine any more than last year's rain can drench the soil again and swell the millions of seeds [PAGE 626] that slumber in the earth awaiting the germinal activities of the Father's life to begin their growth; the Christ of last year cannot kindle anew in our hearts the spiritual aspirations which urge us onward in the Quest any more than last summer's heat can warm us now. The Christ of last year gave us His love and His life to the last breath without stint or measure; when He was born into the earth last Christmas, He endued with life the sleeping seeds which have grown and gratefully filled our granaries with the bread of physical life; He lavished the love given Him by the Father upon us, and when He had wholly spent His life, He died at Eastertide to rise again to the Father, as the river by evaporation rises to the sky. But endlessly wells the divine love; as a father pities his children, so does our Heavenly Father pity us, for He knows our physical and spiritual frailty and dependence. Therefore we are now confidently awaiting the mys- tic birth of the Christ of another year, laden with new life and love sent by the Father to preserve us from the physical and spiritual famine which would ensue were it not for this annual love offering. Younger souls usually find it difficult to disabuse their minds of the personality of God, of Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, and some can only love Jesus, the man. They forget Christ, the Great Spirit, who ushered in a new era in which the nations established under the regime of Jehovah will be broken to pieces that the sublime structure of Universal Brotherhood may be [PAGE 627] built upon their ruins. In time all the world will realize that "God is spirit, to be worshiped in spirit and truth." It is well to love Jesus and to imitate him; we know of no nobler ideal and none more worthy. Could a cobler one have been found, Jesus would not have been chosen as a vehicle of that Great One, the Christ, in whom dwelt the Godhead. We shall therefore do well to follow "in His steps." At the same time we shall exalt God in our own consciousness by taking the word of the Bible that He is spirit, and that we cannot make any like- nesses which will portray Him for He is like nothing in heaven or on earth. We can see the physical vehicles of Jehovah circling as satellites around the various planets; we can also see the sun, which is the visible vehicle of the Father and the source of all, appears to the greatest of human seers only as a higher octave of the photosphere of the sun, a ring of violet-blue luminosity behind the sun. But we do not need to see; we can feel His love, and that feeling is never so great as at Christmas time when He is giving us the greatest of all gifts, the Christ of the new year. [PAGE 628] WHY I AM A ROSICRUCIAN: Not infrequently we find that some one takes the platform to explain why he is a Baptist, Methodist, or Christian Scientist, and what his particular faith may be. We have often been asked by our students for something which would help make plain to their associates why they had embraced the teach- ings of the Elder Brothers given through the Rosicrucian Fellowship, in preference to the faith which they had left. We will, therefore, endeavor to give a succinct resume of reasons which appeal to us as sufficient, but students will doubtless find many other reasons equally good or better, which they may add verbally to what is here said. It should be made clear in the very beginning that students in the Rosicrucian Fellowship do not call themselves Rosicrucians. That title ap- plies alone to the Elder Brothers, who are the hierophants of the Western Wisdom Teaching. They are as far beyond the greatest living saint in the spiritual development as that saint is above the lowest fetish worshiper. [PAGE 629] When the bark of our life sails lightly upon smooth summer seas, wafted along by the fair winds of health and prosperity, when friends are present on every hand, eager to help us plan pleasures which will increase our en- joyment of this world's goods, when social favors or political powers come to us to gratify our every wish in whatever sphere our inclinations seek ex- pression, then, indeed, we may say and seem justified in saying with our whole heart and soul: "This world is good enough for me." But when we come to the end of the smiling sea of success; when the whirlwind of adversity has blown us upon the rocky shores of disaster, and a wave of suffering threatens to engulf us; when friends have failed and every human help is as far off as it is unavailing, then we must look for guidance to the skies as does the mariner when he steers his ship over the waste of waters. But when the skipper scans the sky in search of a star whereby to steer the ship safely, he finds that the whole heavens are in motion. Therefore to follow almost any one of the myriad of wandering stars visible to the eye would be disastrous. To meet the requirements the guiding star must be per- fectly steadfast and immovable, and there is only one such, namely, the North Star. By its guiding light the mariner may steer in full confidence and bring his ship to a haven of rest and safety. Likewise one who is look- ing for a guide which he may trust in days of sorrow and trouble should [PAGE 630] embrace a religion founded on eternal laws and immutable principles, able to explain the mystery of life in a logical manner so that his intellect may be satisfied, and at the same time containing a system of devotion that may satisfy the heart, so that these twin factors in life may receive equal sat- isfaction. Only when man has a clear intellectual conception of the scheme of human development is he in a position to range himself in line therewith. When it is made clear to him that this scheme is beneficient and benevolent in the very highest degree, that all is truly ruled by divine love, then this understanding will sooner or later call out in him a true devotion and heartfelt acquiescence which will awaken in him a desire to become a co-worker with God is the world's work. When seeking souls come to the door of the church to seek surcease from sorrow, they cannot be satisfied with the platitudes that it is the will of God that sorrow and suffering have come to them, that in His divine providence He has seen fit to scourge them, and that they must take it as an indication that He regards them as His be- loved children and be satisfied no matter what happens. They cannot see that Deity does justice when He makes some rich and many poor, a few healthy and many sickly; and it is only too often in evidence that iniquity is pros- perous while rectitude is in rags. [PAGE 631] The Rosicrucian Teaching gives clear and logical information concerning the world and man; it invites questions instead of discouraging them, so that the seeker after spiritual truth may receive full satisfaction intel- lectually; and its explanations are as strictly scientific as they are rev- erently religions. It refers us for information regarding life's problems to laws that are unchangeable and immutable in their realm of action as the North Star is in the heavens. Though the world whirls upon its axis at the rate of one thousand miles an hour, we stand safely anywhere upon its surface because the principle of gravity prevents us from being hurled into space by the terrific speed. We know that the law of gravity is eternal; it will not act today and suspend action tomorrow. When we enter a hydraulic elevator we rest safely upon a column of water because that fluid is more incompressible that most solids, and this property is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Were its ac- tion suspended for even a few moments, thousands of people would fall to their death; but it is steadfast and sure, therefore we trust in implicitly. The law of cause and effect is also immutable; if we throw a stone into the air, the act is not complete until by gravitation it has returned to earth. "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap," is the way this law is expressed in the realm of morals. "The mills of God grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly small," and once an act has been done, the reac- tion will come some time, some where, as surely as the stone that was thrown [PAGE 632] into the air will return to the earth. But it is manifest that all of the causes that we set going in life do not ripen in the present existence, and it therefore follows that they must find their fruition somewhere else at some other time, or the law would be invalidated, a proposition that would be as absolutely impossible as that the law of gravitation could be suspended, for either would make chaos out of cosmos. The Rosicrucian Teachings explain this by a statement that man is a spirit attending the School of Life for the purpose of unfolding latent spiritual power, and that for this purpose he lives many lives in earthly bodies of increasingly finer texture, which enable him to express himself better and better. In the lower grades of this school of evolution man has few faculties. Each life-day he comes to school in the morning of child- hood, and is given lessons to learn, and at night when old and gray the nurse maid of nature, "Death," puts him to sleep that he may rest from his labors until the dawn of another life-day, when he is given a new child body and new lessons. Each day "Experience," the teacher of the school helps him to learn some of the lessons of life, and gradually he becomes more and more proficient. Some day he will have learned the entire curriculum of the school, which includes building of bodies as well as using them. Thus when we see one who has few faculties, we know that he is a young [PAGE 633] soul who has gone to life's school only a few days; and when we find a beau- tiful character, we recognize an old soul who has spent much time in master- ing its lessons. Therefore we do not despair of God's love when we see the inequalities of life, for we know that in time all will be perfect as our Father in Heaven is perfect. The Rosicrucian teachings also take the sting of sorrow out of the great- est of all trials, the loss of loved ones, even if they have been what is called wayward or black sheep; for we know that it is an actual fact that IN GOD WE LIFE AND MOVE AND HAVE OUR BEING; hence, if one single soul were lost, a part of God would be lost, and such a proposition is absolutely im- possible. Under the immutable law of cause and effect we are bound to meet these loved ones some time in the future under other circumstances, and there the love that binds us together must continue until it has found its fullest expression. The laws of nature would be violated if a stone thrown from the earth were to remain suspended in the atmosphere, and under the same immutable laws those who pass into the higher spheres must return. Christ said, "Ye must be born again," and "If I go to my Father, I will re- turn." But although our reason may reach into the mysteries of life, there is still a higher stage, actual firsthand knowledge. As a matter of fact the foregoing propositions are capable of verification by each one, for we all have a sixth sense latent in our being, which will sometime enable us to view the spiritual world with the same distinctness as that with which we [PAGE 634] see the temporal. This sixth sense will be developed by all in the course of evolution, and there are certain means whereby it may be developed now by all who care to take the necessary time and trouble to do so. Some have done this, and they have told us of their travels in the land of the soul. We believe their testimony concerning that place just as we believe what people who have traveled in Africa or Australia tell us of those countries. And just as we say that we know the earth rotates upon its axis and revolves in its orbit around the sun because we have been thus informed by scientists who have made the investigations and calculations that establish these facts, so also we say that we know the dead live, and that whether dead or alive, in the body or out of it, we are all enfolded in the love of our Fa- ther in Heaven, without whose Will not the smallest sparrow falls to the ground, and that He cares for all and orders our steps in harmony with His plans to develop our spiritual powers to the highest possible degree. So because of the logical, soul-satisfying philosophy of life given by the Rosicrucians, we follow their teachings in preference to other systems, and invite others who wish to share the blessings thereof to investigate. [PAGE 635] THE OBJECT OF THE ROSICRUCIAN FELLOWSHIP: The object of the Rosicrucian Fellowship has been clearly stated in our literature, as have the means whereby it is hoped to attain the end in view, but in response to requests for a succinct summary we devote this chapter to that subject. The world is God's training school. During the past we have learned to build different vehicles, among other the physical body. By this work we are promoted from class to class, each with its particular scope of con- sciousness. We evolved eyes that we might see, ears that we might hear, and other organs that we might taste, smell, and feel. But not all egos were promoted at every step. When the mist in the air at the time of Atlantis condensed and filled the basins of the earth with oceans of water, driving men to the highlands, many perished by asphyxiation because they had not evolved lungs. They could not pass through the portal of the rainbow, which was, so to speak, the entrance gate to the new age with its dry atmospheric conditions. [PAGE 636] Another great world transformation is coming, we know not when; even the Christ confessed His ignorance of the day and the hour; but He warned us that the day would come as a thief in the night, and He prophesied that the conditions in the world would then be similar to those prevailing in the days of Noah; they were living then in carefree enjoyment of life when sud- denly the floodgates of heaven were opened, and death and destruction spread before them. Christ told us that it is possible to take the kingdom of God by storm and attain to the consciousness and conditions there prevailing. But Paul informs us that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; he states that we have a soul body (SOME PSUCHICON-1 Cor. 15: 44), and that we shall meet the Lord in the air when He comes. This soul body is therefore as nec- essary to entrance into the new age of the kingdom of God, as a body equipped with lungs was to the Atlanteans who desired to enter into the age in which we are now living. Therefore it is necessary that we make our calling and election sure by preparing the GOLDEN WEDDING GARMENT, the soul body, which alone can secure our admission to the mystic marriage. The multitude is slowly moving in the right direction as led by the dif- ferent churches, but there is an ever growing class that, so to speak, feels the wings of the soul body sproating, people who feel an inner urge to take the kingdom of God by storm. Though unaware of any definite ideal, they sense a greater truth and more certain light than those which the Church [PAGE 637] radiates; they are tired of parables and long to learn the underlying facts at the very feet of Christ. The Rosicrucian Fellowship was started for the purpose of reaching this class, to show them the way to illumination, to help them build their soul body and evolve the soul powers which will enable them to enter consciously into the kingdom of God and obtain first-hand knowledge. This is a large undertaking, none greater and even under the most favor- able existing conditions progress must be slow, but if the aspirant will continue with patient perseverance in well doing, it can be done. The methods are definite, scientific, and religious; they have been originated by the Western School of the Rosicrucian Order, and are therefore specially suited to western people. Sometimes, but very rarely, they bring results in a short time; generally it requires years and even lives before the aspirant attains, but the following system will in the end bring all to their heart's desire. The Tabernacle in the Wilderness was a symbolic representation of the way to God, and, as Paul says, held a shadow of better things to come. Every- thing in it had its spiritual meaning. The table of shewbread gives us an important lesson germane to our present consideration. Students will remem- ber that the ancient Israelites were commanded to bring the shewbread to the [PAGE 638] tabernacle at stated intervals. The grain from which this was made was given them by God but they must prepare the soil in which it was to grow, they must plant and cultivate, they must weed and water, so as to secure the greatest possible increase; they must harvest and thresh, grind and bake, ere they had the loaves which they brought to the tabernacle as bread to shew for their toil. Similarly, God gives to all the grain of opportunity to serve, but it is our duty to cultivate these opportunities and nurse and nourish them in the soil of loving kindness so that they may bring a great increase. We must always bear in mind the words of Christ that He came to minister and to serve. Therefore anyone aspiring to follow in His steps and to be great in the kingdom of god must ever be on the lookout for opportuni- ties to serve his fellows. Each day must be filled as full as possible with kind and considerate deeds, for they are the warp and woof of which the golden wedding garment is woven. Without these "works" no amount of prayer, fasting, or other religious exercise will avail. It is useless to repair to the temple without this bread to shew that we have really worked in the Master's service. The foregoing is also the teaching of the exoteric churches; but the fol- lowing is the exclusively Rosicrucian scientific teaching and method, based upon the deepest knowledge of spiritual facts whereby the aspirant is en- abled to gain the maximum soul growth in each life, so that his spiritual [PAGE 639] advancement is accelerated beyond his very wildest dreams. Therefore this is the most important spiritual teaching that has been given to man in mod- ern times, and no one who tries honestly to follow this simple method can fail to be enormously benefited: Ether is the medium of transmission light, that which etches a picture on the photographic film. It permeates the air, and with every breath we draw from birth to death ether enters our system and etches a picture of our sur- roundings and actions on a little atom in the heart. Thus each carries with him a complete record of his life, which is assimilated after death. Ex- piation of the evil deeds causes paid and anguish in purgatory. These are thus transmuted to conscience to prevent repetition of the same mistakes in succeeding lives: the good deeds are transmuted to love and benevolence. Instead of waiting for this post-mortem transmutation of the shrewbread of life, the aspirant who desires to take heaven by storm may assimilate the fruits of each day after retiring and before going to sleep by running over the deeds done. The events of the day are considered in reverse order so that that which happened in the evening is taken first, then the happenings of the afternoon, forenoon, and morning. This is important for it conforms to the way the life panorama acts after death, taking first the events just prior to death, last the events of infancy. The object is to show the [PAGE 640] effects and then refer them to their antecedent causes. In this retrospection it will do the aspirant no good to run over the events of the day and mildly blame himself where he did wrong-he is usually sure enough to praise himself sufficiently for his good deeds. But he must remember the altar of burnt offerings where the sacrifices for sin were of- fered. They were first rubbed with salt and then placed on the altar to be consumed by a divinely enkindled fire. Anyone knows what an intense pain is caused when salt is rubbed into a wound, and this rubbing with salt is sym- bolic of the pain the aspirant must feel for his wrongdoing. Now mark that it was not permissible to place the sacrifice on the altar until it had thus rubbed with salt. God would not accept it before, but WHEN IT HAD BEEN SALTED IT WAS CONSUMED BY A FIRE KINDLED BY GOD HIMSELF. This tells us that unless we have washed our evil deeds of the day in the salt of our tears and heartfelt contrition, God will not accept our sacri- fice of repentance; but when we have really repented, our sins will be washed away and our recording atom will be clean as the driven snow. With respect to our good deeds we may remember that there were two little piles of frankincense of the top of the shew bread. These were offered upon the altar of incense, where the smoke ascended as a sweet savor to the Lord, so different from the nauseating stench that went up from the altar where the [PAGE 641] sin offerings were burned. Is it any wonder that God took no delight in the sacrifice of bulls and calves, but delighted in a contrite heart and repen- tant spirit? It is this spiritual aromatic extract of our good deeds that builds our soul body. By the ordinary natural process it takes about one-third as many years in our post-mortem existence as we lived in the body, to reap what we have sowed. But when an aspirant has assimilated the fruits of life by faithful retrospection at the end of each day, he is free as soon as he leaves the body and may use the years spent by others in purgatory and the first heaven as he pleases. Furthermore, as he needs neither food, shelter, nor sleep, he may spend twenty-four hours a day doing good. Thus he has practically as many years of service and soul growth after death as the num- ber of his earth life; and being trained and schooled in this work his at- tainments are probably greater than could be made in a number of lives in the ordinary way. To aid deserving aspirants, still deeper and more definite teachings are given by the Elder Brothers through the Rosicrucian Fellowship. Students who feel the inner urge may ask for information concerning these teachings. Continued with file "RC1020.TXT" End of File

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