Source: "Max Heindel's Letters to Students"
LETTER NO. 23:
DESCENDING AND ASCENDING ARCS OF EVOLUTION:
Looking over the last month's lesson, the most important points are the
great antiquity and cosmic origin of the two great movements known now as
Freemasony and Catholicism--movements instituted respectively by the Sons of
Fire and the Sons of Water. It is true, as stated in the COSMO-CONCEPTION,
that Initiation of human beings did not commence until about the middle of
the Earth Period, when the fires of Lemuria were battling with the waters of
Atlantis, but is is also true that the education of humanity depends upon
the training their instructors have had in previous evolution. The attitude
assumed by the two groups of angels has resulted in the above mentioned an-
tagonistic movements. The fallen angels and fallen man are intimately con-
nected with the work of the world under its temporal rulers. From Lucifer,
the Spirit of Mars, comes the fiery red blood which is the vehicle of all
material energy, ambition, and progress; but also, it is the vehicle of pas-
sion, which taints it and has caused it to flow until the earth is red.
From Jehovah come the restraining Law and punishment for sin.
Let the diagram below represent the epochs through which the spirit
descends and ascends, also the worlds and their corresponding bodies--then
the relative connection of the various factors will be plain.
lst Epoch 7th Epoch
2nd Epoch 6th Epoch
3rd Epoch 5th Epoch
Bodies separated into Spirits separated into
sexes-male and female. sexes--statecraft and
In Lemuria, the land of the Third Epoch, mankind was separated into
sexes--male and female. At that time they were spiritual beings reaching
downwards into materiality, and the pioneers listened eagerly to the "gospel
of the body" which they sensed dimly, but learned to know as time went on
and the spiritual world faded from sight. Then the Lucifer Spirits were the
teachers of the WOMAN (Eve), and Jehovah addressed himself to MAN (Adam).
Women was then more advanced than man along material lines for we were then
upon the descending are of the evolutionary path.
When the turning point was passed in the middle of the Atlantean Epoch,
woman gradually become more spiritually inclined. She commenced to listen
to the voice of Jehovah, and to fill the churches in an effort to satisfy
spiritual aspirations; while man now expends the Martian energy along
material lines originally advocated by the "Light-bringer," Lucifer.
As the white light changes color according to the angle of refraction, so
also the viewpoint of the spirit changes with the sex of its vesture; but as
the spirit alternates between male and female embodiments, we may readily
balance the scales and take the path that most appeals to us, or combine the
best path in both. Our later lessons will point the path, but we may say
now that He who said, "I am the true Light," is at the end of the
path--Lucifer and Jehovah alike are but stepping-stones on THE WAY TO TRUTH
LETTER NO. 24:
THE ROSICRUCIAN FELLOWSHIP, AS SPIRITUAL CENTER:
On the 28th of last month it was a year since we broke ground for the
first building on Mt Ecclesia. It was a typical California day of glorious
sunshine with a cloudless sky whose deep blue vied with the azure of the Pa-
cific Ocean visible for more than a hundred miles from where we stood on the
Headquarters grounds. We were a little flock of nine, mostly visiting mem-
bers. As we looked over the lovely green San Luis Rey valley towards the
great snowclad mountains in the east and behold the white walls, the red
tiled roof, and the gilded dome of the San Luis Rey Catholic Mission, where
the Franciscan Fathers wrought and taught for centuries among Mexicans and
Indians, it seemed to us an augur.
Here we were, a few enthusiasts, upon a bare piece of land, where we
aimed to establish a Spiritual Center. Those ancient Fathers had stood in a
similar position, better in some respects and worse in others. Modern meth-
ods and transportation facilities enable us to reach the whole world today,
while their field was limited to their immediate vicinity. They were
obliged to till the soil of the field as well as the soul of their flock to
obtain a livelihood. They called upon their charges to perform the physical
labor while they planned, and by their joint efforts a temple was erected
where all might worship. In that respect they were much better off then we;
their full membership was present at the seat of operations and ready to
give physical help in the upbuilding of the Mission which was to them what
our Headquarters are to the Rosicrucian Fellowship. But we have no wards;
we claim no authority, and repudiate interference with individual freedom
as much interference is diametrically opposed to the Rosicrucian teachings,
which are the highest in the world. "If thou art Christ, help thyself,"
is flung at the candidate undergoing Initiation when he groans under the
trial. No one who is a "leaner" can at the same time be a helper; each must
learn to stand alone.
Our associate membership is four times as large as a year ago, and of
course the work is vastly heavier--though system and machinery enable three
of us who work in the office to do the work of a large staff, and paid help
does the housework and gardening. But the routine work of preparing lessons
and letters for the various classes, correcting examination papers, the
sending each month of about 1500 individual letters to aid our students in
difficulties, in addition to class letters, sometimes just swamps us. It
seems as if we could not entertain another application for want of help to
do the mechanical part of the work. But, miraculously, it seems, the sky
suddenly clears, we invent a new method of accomplishing a certain part of
the work with greater speed or less labor; and are ready for another in-
crease; as said, we do four times more work than a year ago, with less help
and less labor.
But while the Fellowship at large is thus cared for, Headquarters itself
has suffered neglect. The proposed School of Healing, the Sanitarium, and,
most important of all, the Ecclesia--where the Panacea is to be prepared and
powerful healing services are to spread moral and physical health all over
the world--all these are but germinal ideas as yet. As the cry of suffering
humanity reaches us through many thousands of letters, our longing for the
realization of the Brother's plans becomes more intense, so keen in fact
that it seems to embody the concentrated yearning of all who have appealed
to us in sorrow and suffering.
Our membership is scattered all over the world. We cannot follow the ex-
ample of the Spanish padres and ask our students to make physical brick and
lay it, brick upon brick, as a labor of love. I have never asked any one
for a cent--the Rosicrucian Fellowship's work has been supported entirely by
free-will offerings and the modest revenue accruing from the sale of my
books--nor can I now make an appeal for a building fund; that must come from
the hearts of friends, if at all; but feeling as we do here at Headquarters,
the intense throb of pain in the world impels me to cast about for means of
realizing the pain TO MAKE THE ROSICRUCIAN FELLOWSHIP HEADQUARTERS A MOST
EFFICIENT SPIRITUAL CENTER.
A year ago I wrote the students stating the exact moment when we would
break ground on Mt. Ecclesia and asked each to enter his closet and be with
us in prayer if he could not be with us in person. It is wonderful what an
uplift we felt from that united spiritual effort; the initial impulse has
furthered the work to an inestimable degree during the past year, and I
again feel impelled to invoke your help along similar lines.
The Christian Scientist "demonstrates" when he wishes to build edifices,
and money pours into his coffers; the New Thoughter sends out a "demand";
and Christians of all denominations "pray" for funds. They all use one fun-
damental method, but employ different names. All wish magnificent piles of
stone and glass, and they get them. I know that a place and building com-
mensurate with the dignity of our work are necessary, but much as we need
them, I cannot pray for sticks and stones nor can I ask you to do so; but I
can, will, and do ask you to join me in the prayer THAT THE ROSICRUCIAN FEL-
LOWSHIP HEADQUARTERS MAY BECOME A MOST EFFICIENT AND POWERFUL SPIRITUAL CEN-
TER. Pray with your whole soul that the workers at Headquarters be given
grace to push the work; make them a focus for your loving thoughts so we may
radiate that grace back on a world hungry for just such love. In ourselves
we are frail, but through your prayers and God's grace we shall be a mighty
force in the world; and if we SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD, such trifles as
building necessary for the work will follow as a matter of course without
degrading prayer by making it a means of acquiring physical possessions.
LETTER NO. 25:
THE MYSTIC MESSAGE OF CHRISTMAS:
Christmas bells! Have you ever felt their magic in childhood days before
doubt crept into your heart and shattered the ideals inculcated by the
church? The same bell rang for church on Sundays and for prayer meeting at
mid-week, but there was a different ring at Christmas, something unusually
festive, something which we now attribute to childish imagination. We miss
this something, however much we may congratulate ourselves upon emancipation
from what we are pleased to term "the mummeries of the church." Wordsworth,
in his "Ode to Immortality," voiced the keen feeling of regret due to loss
of childish ideals; nothing the world has to give can take their place, and
however we may be blessed with material wealth we are truly poor when the
"glamour" of youth has gone and intellectual conceptions stifle much
Paul exhorted us to be always ready with a reason for our faith, and
there is a mystic reason for many practices of the church which have been
handed down from hoary antiquity. The sounding of the bell when the candle
is lit upon the altar was inaugurated by spiritually illumined seers to
teach the cosmic units of LIGHT and SOUND. The metal tongue of the bell
bring Christ; mystic message to mankind as clearly today as when He first
enunciated the graceful invitation: "Come unto me, all ye that labor and
are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Thus the bell is a symbol of
Christ, "The Word," when it calls us from work to worship before the illumi-
nated altar where He meets us as "The Light of the World."
Also the particularly festive feeling awakened by the Christmas bells is
produced by cosmic causes active at this time of the year, and the present
season is holy in very truth as we shall presently see. Those who study the
stars know the signs of the zodiac as a cosmic sounding board, each sign vi-
brant with a particular quality; and as the marching orbs travel in kaleido-
scopic procession from sign to sign in ever varying combination, the chords
of cosmic harmony known to mystics as the "song of the spheres" sound a
never ending anthem of prayer and praise to the Creator. This is not a fan-
ciful idea but an actual fact patent to the seer, and capable of demonstra-
tion to thinkers by its effects. And the harmony of the spheres is not a
monotone; it varies from day to day and from month to month as sun and plan-
ets pass from sign to sign in their orbits. There are also yearly epochal
variations due to precession of the equinoxes. Thus there is infinite
variety in the song of the spheres, as indeed there must be, for this con-
stant change of spiritual vibration is the basis of spiritual and physical
evolution. Were it to cease even an instant, Cosmos would be resolved to
For demonstration, observe the nature and quality of the love life poured
through the Christ-star, the sun, when it transits the belligerent sign of
Aries, the Ram, in spring, Sex love is the keynote of nature; all its ener-
gies are applied in generation; then the passional propensities run riot.
Compare this with the effect of the sun during December when it is focused
through the benevolent Sagittarius, ruled by the planet Jupiter. Its ray is
then conducive to religion and philanthropy; the air is vibrant with gener-
osity, and the love life of the Christ-star find its highest expression
through this congenial sign. Outwardly reigns the gloom of winter, for the
visible symbol of "The Light of the World" has been onscured; but on the
darkest night of the year Christmas chimes evoke a ready response to the
Christmas feeling which makes the whole world akin, children of our Father
May the mystic music of the Christmas chimes awaken the tenderest chord
in your heart, and may the keynote of joy be uppermost in your being during
the coming year--this is the Christmas wish of the workers on Mt. Ecclesia.
It is cold in the Northern Hemisphere--old Boreas holds land and sea in
his icy grip--but at no other time of the year are the hearts of men so
warm. "A merry Christmas" and "A happy New Year" are salutations and ex-
pressions of good will which greet us everywhere. To most people they are
only a breath flung to the breeze, but nevertheless they leave an atmosphere
of kindness which is more important than is usually realized. The world
would be richer if such cordial greetings were common all the year instead
of being confined to this season. But, "if wishes were horse, beggars would
ride" says the proverb; and unless our acts are directed towards the
realization of our wishes, the benefit is nil. A certain sulphuric region
is said to be paved with good intentions such as "well-meaning men" cherish,
but the world needs works more than wishes.
Last month I asked you to join me in prayer for the efficiency of the
Rosicrucian Fellowship in uplifting the world, and many letters have been
received assuring me that the workers at Headquarters have the constant
prayers of students. We know the power of prayer; without that grateful
support we could never have endured the physical and mental strain incident
to our phenomenal growth. But a few thousands are only as drops in a bucket
compared to the millions who are seeking the light.
Christ said; 'LET HIM WHO WOULD BE THE GREATEST AMONG YOU BE THE SERVANT
OF ALL." The worth of a man is measured by his services to the community.
The same is true of an association; but, being a composite body, its effi-
ciency as a whole depends upon the interest and enthusiasm of individual
members. We are all under obligation to the Elder Brothers for the light we
have received. It is our sacred duty to let that light shine so that others
may share our great privilege (not disregarding others duties), and I there-
fore solicit your personal aid in making a systematic campaign to promulgate
the Rosicrucian teachings more widely during the coming year.
This campaign should be carried on with discretion however. Let us be-
ware of disturbing those of contented mind, but if you know of any one seek-
ing for a solution to the Mystery of Life, please send us his or her name
and we will send literature. Your name will not be mentioned unless you
We shall also be pleased to furnish you slips with information about the
Rosicrucian Fellowship, as printed on the back of our postcards, if you
will write for them. In this way you may interest your friends and open the
way for further inquiry, and thus between us we may succeed in bringing the
seeker LIGHT to his everlasting benefit. In helping your brother in his
growth you are also helping yourself.
May spiritual prosperity and abundance of soul growth mark every day of
your New Year.
LETTER NO. 27:
SIEGFRIED, THE TRUTH SEEKER:
As we give our children picture books to convey moral lessons which they
could not grasp intellectually, so the Divine Leaders of infant humanity
used myths to convey great spiritual truths which have germinated for ages
unconsciously to us, but have nevertheless been potent factors in shaping
the line of human progress. You would scarcely thing that the Faust myth
embodies the great problem of Freemasonry and Catholicism, and shows its ul-
timate solution, but we shall see in future lessons that this is true. At
the present time I take just a point from the great northern epic, THE RING
OF THE BIEBELUNG, to show how the great truth that the truth seeker must
"leave father and mother," as Jesus and Hiram Abiff did, was conveyed to the
Children of the Mist (NIEBEL is mist and UNGEN is children in German), who
lived in the foggy atmosphere of Atlantis. Later I may take that legend up
Wotan is the chief of the gods, who are always at war with the giants.
They build a fortress called Valhalla where the Valkyries, daughters of
Wotan, bring the faithful who have fallen in battle defending the faith.
Truth lost its universal aspect when its warders walled it in and limited
it. But Wotan has other children who love truth so dearly that they flee
from Valhalla to be free. They are armed with a sword called "child of dis-
tress" (representing the COURAGE OF DESPAIR), wherewith the rebel against
creed and dogma ever arms himself, casts conventionality to the wind, and
seeks truth. Wotan sends his minions after the fugitives, and bids Brunhild
the Valkyrie, who represents the SPIRIT OF TRUTH, to help slay them. She
refuses; and Wotan, who has made himself invisible, parries the sword
thrusts of his valiant son, Siegmund, who is killed in the unequal fight.
The dominant church does not view the complacence the secession of its
children. It would even prostitute the Spirit of Truth to do its bidding,
and when that fails, it uses subtle means to accomplish its ends. Its in-
tentions were good, but it has degenerated. As Wotan puts Brunhilde from
him in tears to sleep on a fire-girt rock, he tells her that she shall not
wake till one appears MORE FREE THAN HE HIMSELF. Truth cannot be found in
creed-bound religion; who seeks it must be untrammeled by allegiance to any
Such is Siegfried (translated, he who through victory gains peace), the
son of the slain Siegmund and his sister-wife Sieglinda. The latter died
after giving birth to him. He is thus free from father, mother, and all
earthly ties; his only heirloom is a broken sword, the "Child of Distress."
Fostered among the Niebelungen (ordinary mankind), he feels his divinity,
and chafes at the limitations of his sphere. His foster father, Mimir, is a
cunning smith; but every sword forged by him is shattered by the young giant
at the first blow. Oft had Mimir tried to forge the "Child of Distress, and
failed; for NO COWARD can do that. So long as we fear the church, public
opinion, or anything else, we cannot free ourselves.
The courage of despair overcomes fear, and Siegfried finally forges the
sword himself. With it he slays Fafner, the dragon of desire which broods
over the treasures of the earth, and Mimir, his foster father, the lower na-
ture. He is then absolutely free. A bird, the voice of intuition, tells
him of Brunhilde, the beautiful Spirit of Truth, who may be awakened by ONE
WHO IS FEARLESS AND FREE. Siegfried follows the bird of intuition on his
quest; but Wotan, his ancestor, seeks to bar him with his spear, represent-
ing the power of creed upon which the sword in Siegfried's hand was once
broken. That sword is stronger since Siegfried forged it, and Wotan's spear
is weaker since the first blow, for creed always weakens when assailed.
Siegfried, the free and fearless one, shatters Wotan's spear; and pursuing
his way through the fire to the rock of the Valkyrie, he enfolds the beauti-
ful Spirit of Truth in a loving embrace and wakens her with a kiss.
Thus the ancient myth told the truth seeker what was required to find
truth. We must leave father and mother, creed, dogma, conventionalities,
preconceived opinions, and worldly desires behind; we must never fear con-
flict with established authorities, but we must follow the inner voice
through fire if need be; then, and then only, can we find truth.
Therefore the Rosicrucians insist that all who come to them for deeper
teachings MUST BE FREE from allegiance to any school, and the candidate is
not bound by oaths at any stage. Whatever promises he makes are made to
himself, for liberty is the most precious possession of the soul, and there
is no greater crime than to fetter a fellow-being in any manner. May we all
remain true to the great heritage, and valiantly resists any infringement of
this sacred right.
LETTER NO. 28:
THE INCORPORATION AND FUTURE PLANS OF THE FELLOWSHIP:
This month I have several important announcements to make and will use
the monthly letter for that purpose. You remember that last year, in the
series of lessons entitled "Our Work in the World," I spoke of incorporating
the Rosicrucian Fellowship and placing the direction of its affairs in
charge of trustees, so that that which belongs to the work may be preserved
for its altruistic purposes during the centuries to come. Such an incorpo-
ration has now been perfected under the laws of California and the Fellow-
ship has legal standing in the world. The Headquarter's site with the
buildings now upon it, and the appliances necessary to carry on the work,
are now the property of the Fellowship as a whole, safe from individual
This has lifted a great load off the shoulders of Mrs. Heindel and my-
self. We have accumulated the contributions to the Fellowship, varying from
a postage stamp to modest sums of money (for there have been no large
amounts given as yet). With these small means carefully expended there ex-
ists now the foundation of something so immeasurably great that it is beyond
my power of description. You, with your freewill offerings, have helped to
create Mt. Ecclesia from the material point of view; yours it is and yours
it shall remain, for neither Mrs. Heindel not I care for money or property,
but glory only in the inestimable privilege of being of service. Much more
is needed of course, so that the work may fully flower, but we rest our
faith in the assurance of the Elder Brothers that when we are ready the
things which make for greater growth and greater usefulness of the
Rosicrucian Fellowship will come to us. Meanwhile we shall keep on laboring
from day to day with the means already at our command; for thus, and thus
only, can we fit ourselves for greater service.
It is also a great pleasure to announce that whereas we were before un-
able to obtain help, we have now several loyal co-workers at Headquarters;
but though our office force has doubled within the last few months, so also
has the work increased at a most phenomenal rate, and the rush in the office
is as great as ever.
As you will remember, our earliest literature took notice of the fact
that Science, Art, and Religion had been divorced in modern times, as
separation was necessary to the thorough development of each. It was also
stated that as Science, Art, and Religion were taught unitedly in the
ancient Mystery Temples, so also must a union take place in the future for
that is necessary to our spiritual growth. In June we shall start a School
on Mt. Ecclesia to give out this composite teaching, with particular empha-
sis upon the art of healing. Prospectus and further particulars will be
mailed to interested students upon application to Headquarters. The ex-
penses will be met by offerings from those who attend.
LETTER NO. 29:
FREEMASONRY, CO-MASONRY, AND CATHOLICISM:
At the end of last month's lesson a few words were said about men and
women practicing Mystic Masonry, and it might appear to some as if we en-
dorse Co-Masonry, but this is emphatically not the case. While we do not
upon principle seek disparagingly of any legitimate movement, we have always
warned our students against the Eastern religion as dangerous to the Wester
world, though perfectly suited to the East. Co-Masonry is the outgrowth of
a society promulgating Hinduism. In the winter of 1899-1900, the present
leader of that society was in Rome, and one of her lieutenants accidentally
found the Masonic rites in the Vatican library. These she copied without
permission, and gave them to her superior, who took upon herself to write an
extra degree. These are now the rites of Co-Masonry.
The foregoing statements are facts which we can prove; and we leave our
students to form their own conclusions as the ethical efficiency and powers
of soul-building possessed by a movement based upon rites obtained in such a
manner. Besides, though we know positively that the rites came from Rome,
we doubt that the abstractor eluded the vigilant watchers there. We believe
that she unconsciously played into the hands of the Vatican. Thus
Co-Masonry is both Hindu and Catholic in its origin. It is not recognized
by the regular Masonic bodies, no matter what its founders claim.
In the closing lesson on Freemasonry and Catholicism we summed up the
points concerning their cosmic relation in order to draw out the essence of
the teaching; now for the closing word--the quintessence of our argument:
The word "Freemason" is derived from the Egyptian PHREE MESSEN, "Children
of Light." These words were originally used to designate builders of the
Temple of God--the human soul.
Catholic means "universal," and was originally applied to differentiate
the all-embracing World Religion--Christianity--from race religions like
The blood is the vehicle of the spirit; under the regime of Jehovah and
the Lucifer spirits it became contaminated with egoism. Both Freemasonry
and Catholicism aim to cleanse the blood and foster altruism.
Freemasonry teaches the candidate to work out his own salvation;
Catholicism leaves him dependent on the blood of Jesus. Those who use the
positive method naturally become the strongest souls; therefore Free-masonry
should be fostered rather than Catholicism.
LETTER NO. 30:
THE ROLE OF EVIL IN THE WORLD:
In last month's lesson we saw the value of discord in music; also the
corresponding role of evil in the world, namely, to enhance by contrast the
beauty and harmony of good. Thus it might seem at a superficial glance as
if the apparent evil had been designed by God, the Author and Architect of
our system--as if He were responsible for all the pain and sorrow under
which the world is groaning. Such is not the case however. The Bible says
truly that the Elohim, who were His agents, "saw that it was good" when
their labor was done. Our ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION and Lectures 13 and
14 explain in detail the Bible story of how the apparent evil came in
through the Lucifer spirits; and that when it had entered, the forces which
work for good used it to serve a beneficent purpose and to achieve a higher
good than possible without this factor.
In the latter part of the Lemurian Epoch and in the early Atlantean
times, man was pure and innocent--the docile ward of guardian angels who
guided his every step upon the path of unfoldment. He had no reason; that
would have been unnecessary when there was only one path to follow, for in
that state there was no choice. The Lords of Venus were sent to foster
goodness, love, and devotion. Had no disturbing factor entered, this earth
would have remained in a paradise, and man would have been as beautiful
flower therein. Pain, sorrow, and sickness would have been unknown. Under
the regime of the lunar angels and the Lords of Venus, man would have grown
wise and good automatically because there would have been no alternative.
When the Lucifer spirits opened his eyes to the other course, and the Lords
of Mercury fostered reason to guide him, he became potentially greater than
either as required of those who follow the spiral path of evolution.
Thus equipped with choice and reason, it is man's glorious prerogative to
elevate himself to the pinnacle of the greatest perfection possible in this
scheme of evolution. Therefore Christ said: "He that believeth on me, the
works that I do shall he do also; and GREATER WORKS that these shall be do."
Let us learn from the Faust myth to follow in the footsteps of our pre-
ceptors by using the seeming evil to accomplish a greater good; let us learn
not to be overcome by evil but to overcome it and transmute it into good.
There is a saying that "whatever is, is best." If that were true there
would be no incentive to strive for anything higher, better or greater. The
words of the Savior urge us onward and legends like the Faust myth teach us
how to use the seemingly destructive and subversive forces.
To whom much is given, of him much will be required. Students of the
Rosicrucian Fellowship who receive the advanced Western Wisdom Teachings are
particularly obligated to make great efforts. May we strive with all our
strength to live up to our grand privilege.
P.S. Many new students have been added to our list since we asked your
daily prayers for the workers at Headquarters. We therefore feel that it
will serve a good purpose to reiterate the request to please include us in
your devotions and ask that the Rosicrucian Fellowship Headquarters may be-
come a most efficient Spiritual Center. We are, as you know from the pro-
spectus, now about to open the School of Healing, and in this important step
we feel the need of the grace of God as never before. Please help us so
that we may succeed.
LETTER NO. 31:
CHRIST, AND HIS SECOND COMING:
One of the cardinal points in this month's lesson, and one concerning
which widespread misunderstanding exists, had to do with the coming of
Christ, and the vehicle he will use. The Bible gives the teaching very
clearly, and the Western Wisdom Teachings of the Rosicrucians is in full ac-
cord therewith; hence it differs radically from the current conception of
this matter, both among the majority of Christians and those who unwittingly
or otherwise put forth false Christs to deceive the unwary. It is there-
fore of vital importance that scholars of the Western School should under-
stand this matter thoroughly, so we will reiterate briefly the cardinal
points of the Rosicrucian teachings given in the ROSICRUCIAN
COSMO-CONCEPTION and elsewhere.
Christ is the highest Initiate of the Sun Period; the earth was them made
of desire stuff, and His densest body was formed of that material.
No one can form a vehicle of material which he has not learned to mold;
hence the Christ Spirit worked with our humanity from without the earth, as
group spirits guide animals, until Jesus relinquished his dense and vital
bodies at the Baptism. The Christ Spirit then descended into these ve-
hicles, and ministered physically to man until the dense body was destroyed
on Golgotha, when he became the indwelling Earth Spirit. The vital body of
Jesus was them laid aside to await Christ's second advent.
Christ warned against imitators, and the question arises, How may we know
the false form the real? Paul gives us such definite information that if we
only heed it we are absolutely safe from deception.
Paul says (1st Cor. 15:50) that "flesh and blood cannot inherit the King-
dom." He insists that this body will be changed to the likeliness of
Christ's own vehicle (Phil, 3:21), and in 1st John, 3:2 we find the same
Thus it is plain that any one who comes in a physical body proclaiming
himself Christ is either demented and an object of pity, or else he is an
impostor meriting scorn and reprobation. Nor are we left uncertain
regarding the nature of the vehicle in which we shall meet Christ and be
like Him. In 1st Thes., 4:17 we are informed that we shall meet the Lord in
the air. Therefore we must necessarily have a vehicle of finer texture than
our present dense body. The transformation will require ages so far as the
majority are concerned.
In 1st Thes. 5:23 Paul states than man's whole being consists of spirit,
soul, and body. When we shed the dense body finally as Christ did, we shall
function in a body called SOMA PSUCHICON (soul body) in 1st Cor. 15:44.
This is the "vital body" in our literature, a vehicle made of ether, capable
of levitation, and of the same nature as the body which Christ used after
the Crucifixion. This vehicle is not subject to death in the same sense as
our physical body, and it is eventually transmuted to spirit as taught in
our literature and as required by 1st Cor. 15th chapter.
Thus the Western Wisdom Teaching is in perfect agreement with the Bible
when it teaches most emphatically that Christ will never come again in the
flesh (that would be retrogression for Him). As a larva bursts its
imprisoning cocoon and is transformed into a butterfly which wings it way
among the flowers, a gorgeous bit of animated beauty--so shall we some day
shed this mortal coil which weights us down to earth, and cleave the sky as
living souls radiant with glory, hastening to meet out Savior in the land of
souls, the New Haven and the New Earth. This is one of the main doctrinal
points of the Rosicrucian School, and we trust that our students will
endeavor to thoroughly master the subject so that they may be able to "give
a reason" for their faith.
LETTER NO. 32:
THE VITAL BODY OF JESUS:
Last month's lesson brought out a number of points not heretofore taught
in public. But other mysteries bearing upon the scope and limitation of
spiritual powers, and on the preservation of the vital body of Jesus against
attack of the black forces, are also involved in the conversation between
Faust and Lucifer. When the latter begs that the five-pointed star be re-
moved so that me may leave, Faust asks "Why through the window not
People who study mysticism often have a highly exaggerated idea of the
power vested in one who has evolved spiritual sight. As a matter of fact,
occult investigators are limited by laws of nature appertaining to the in-
visible world, as men of science are forced to conform to laws of physics.
In order that balance may be maintained, the laws in one realm of nature
sometimes act directly opposite to the laws in another. Here in the dense
physical world forms gravitate toward the center of the earth. Did not the
solidity of the dense body prevent, we could reach the Christ without
effort. It requires power to lift a body even an inch above the surface of
the earth; spirit forms, on the other hand, have a natural tendency to
levitate. It is therefore comparatively easy for a master of the black art
to go to Mars propelled by the sex power stolen from his victims. He is
naturally attracted to the planet of passion, and as the aura of Mars inter-
mingles with that of the earth the feat is far from difficult. But he can-
not penetrate even the first of the nine layers of the earth which lead to
the Lord of Love, who is the Spirit of our sphere. Such penetration is the
Path of Initiation; it takes soul power, purity, and self-abnegation to
reach Christ and that is the reason why so few have anything to say about
the earth's inner constitution.
We do not see physical objects OUTSIDE the eye; they are reflected on the
retina, and we see only their "image" INSIDE the eye. As light is the agent
of reflection, objects which resist the passage of light appear "opaque";
other substances, like glass, seem clear because they admit light rays
readily. When the spiritual sight is used, light of superlative intensity
is generated INSIDE the body between the pituitary body and the pineal
gland. It is focused "through" the so-called "blind" spot in the eye di-
rectly upon the object to be investigated. The scope of the direct ray is
entirely different from the range of the reflected physical ray. It pen-
etrates a wall without difficulty, but no spirit in the desire world can see
through glass. Neither Lucifer nor any evil spirit ever dares to go through
anything made of that material, even the thinnest windowpane.
Knowing these facts, our Elder Brothers have placed the vital body of
Jesus in a sarcophagus of glass to protect it from the gaze of the curious
or profane. They keep this receptacle in a cavern deep in the earth, where
no uninitiated can penetrate. To make assurance doubly sure, however,
vigilant watchers keep constant guard over their precious charge; for were
that vehicle destroyed, Christ's only avenue of egress would be cut off, and
He would have to remain a prisoner in the earth until the Cosmic Night dis-
solves its chemical elements into chaos. Thus the mission of Christ as Sav-
ior would have failed; His suffering would be greatly prolonged, and our
evolution would be enormously retarded.
Let us work, watch, and pray for the glad day of His liberation.
LETTER NO. 33:
IMPROVING OUR OPPORTUNITIES:
One of the most important points brought out last month is the fact that
we have power to lengthen our life materially by earnest application to the
purpose of existence--acquisition of experience. Whether we know it or not,
every act of our lives hastens the end, or defers it, in a measure dependent
upon whether the act is in harmony with the law or not. If we do not apply
ourselves to the labor of life, or if we persistently follow a path that is
subversive of soul growth, our discordant life destroys the archetype.
Rebirth is an altered environment then gives us a chance to retrieve the ne-
glected opportunities. On the other hand, when we live in harmony with the
plan of life inscribed in the archetype of our dense body, there is a con-
structive consonance in their vibrations which lengthens the life of the ar-
chetype and, consequently, also the life of the physical body.
When we realize that our life on earth is the seed time, and that the
value of our post-mortem existence is in direct ration to the increment we
have earned on our talents, it will be at once apparent how supremely impor-
tant it is that our faculties should be used in the right direction. While
this law applies to all mankind, it is superlatively vital to aspiring
souls; for when we work for Good with all our might and main, each added
year of life increases our heavenly treasure enormously. Advancing years
give greater skill in soul culture, and the fruit of the last few years may
easily outweigh that acquired in the first part of the life.
If we feel that this is true, and if we are anxious to reach the highest
degree of attainment, the question naturally presents itself, How many we
know the right way? And the answer is not difficult; the stars tell the
tale. They show our abilities and the time most propitious to sow the seeds
of the soul, to help, and to heal. Therefore the Rosicrucian Fellowship
places must stress upon the study of the stars. In the horoscope these mat-
ters are accurately foreshown. Knowledge of what it says is power, and this
knowledge, the power that goes with it, and the resultant soul growth, are
within reach of every one who will study the simplified system contained in
our corresponding course in astrology. If you have not already started, and
are anxious to progress, I would suggest that you send for application
blank, begin at once so that you may learn how to use your life to the ulti-
mate of progress.
While I am suggesting immediate steps towards attainment, it may be in
season to call attention of students to the fact that when they have been
six months (*) on the correspondence list as students, they become eligible
to apply for admission to the Inner School; and though the esoteric lessons
in healing issued to probationers contain only a faint outline of the teach-
ings given at Headquarters, they are a very material aid to the aspiring
On August 6th at 2:00 P.M., we are going to lay the foundation for the
nucleus of our Sanitarium, so that we may commence forthwith to care for the
sick and give our students practical experience. Please join us in prayer
for the success of the work. More details will be given in the ECHOES which
we shall publish on the 10th of each month in the future.
* The time is now two years.
LETTER NO. 34:
A PLEA FOR PURITY:
The most important point in last month's lesson is the power of passion
to degenerate those who indulge in it. This we illustrated in the case of
apes, which have been held back and have degenerated into animal-like forms
because of their action in abusing the creative force. The responsibility
of the Lucifer spirits for that condition has been brought out in the
COSMO-CONCEPTION, and also the fact that the apes may overtake us if they
advance sufficiently before the middle of the next revolution.
But there is an added responsibility in knowledge, as Christ said: "For
unto whom much is given of him shall be required." And while the transgres-
sion in those early days may be overlooked and entail only a retardation
during millions of years, the condition of one who has the light of the
greater knowledge given to humanity today, and who transgresses the law by
abusing the creative force, may become far more serious than that of the
class now embodied in the anthropoid forms.
Black Magic is practiced much more commonly than one would suppose, some-
times almost unconsciously, for the dividing line may often lie in the mo-
tive. If, however, we abuse our superior knowledge, though we may be more
refined in the indulgence of our passions, the result is certain to be di-
sastrous. At this present stage, the vital force (save the insignificant
quantity required to propagate the race) should be transmuted into soul
power. Let us, therefore, continue steadfastly upon the path of purity so
that worse may not befall us than the fate which has met those degenerate
humans found as wards of Lucifer in the witches' kitchen--as represented in
the Faust myth.
If we are tempted at any time by unclean thoughts, let us at once turn
our minds to another subject far removed from sensuality. Above all, let us
respect the laws of our country which require the ceremonial of marriage
prior to union; for though the words of the marriage ceremony do not mate
people, it is, nevertheless, meet that we who profess high spiritual ideals
should not offend the common decencies by living together without wedlock.
Those above the law render perfect obedience as Christ did, for when we com-
ply with all laws without rebellion because it is right to do so, then we
have risen above the law and are no longer in bondage.
LETTER NO. 35:
THE FAUST MYTH AND THE MASONIC LEGEND:
Last month's lesson finished our consideration of the Faust Myth; and,
taking a review of it as a whole, we note that it brings out the same idea
as the Masonic legend. On the one had we have Rosicrucian and Lucifer; on
the other, Marguerite and the priests. Marguerite shows faith in the church
even in the darkest hour. This faith is her comfort and stay, and eventu-
ally she attains to the goal of the spirit. She reaches her heavenly home
by faith. Her sins of omission and commission are due to ignorance; but
when she sees the evil power embodied in the character of Lucifer and is of-
fered freedom from prison and death, she declines to flee in such company;
thereby she has redeemed herself sufficiently to merit a place in the King-
dom. Likewise, the wards of the church, the Sons of Seth, are today depend-
ing upon the atonement rather than upon their own deeds. They are looking
for salvation through faith as their power of works is but small.
In Lucifer and Faust we find replicas of the Sons of Cain, who are
positive, strong, and active in the world's work. The same spirit which im-
bued Cain with a desire to make "two blades of grass grow where formerly
there was but one"--the independent, divine creative instinct which has
caused the Sons of Cain in all ages to carry on the world's work--is also
strong in Faust; and the glorious use to which he puts the powers of evil,
namely, making them build a new land, a free one, where a happy and free
people may dwell in peace and contentment, gives us a view of what the fu-
ture has in store for us.
By our own works, by putting the evil powers to good use, we shall even-
tually free ourselves from the limitations of both church and state which
now hold us in bondage. Through the conventions of society and the laws of
the land are now necessary to restrain us from infringing on the rights of
others, there will come a day when the spirit will ensoul us and purify us
as the love of Faust for Helen purified him and gave him the incentive to
use the Lucifer forces in the manner indicated. When we have conquered the
desire to work for self, when we become enamored of our work for others as
Faust was when with his dying vision he gazed upon the land that was rising
from the sea, then we shall never require the restraining feature of the
laws and conventions for we shall have risen above them by compliance with
the every requirement. Only in that manner can we become really free. It
but very difficult to enforce obedience on ourselves even though we may in-
tellectually assent to the mandates of conventionality. As Goethe says:
"From every power that holds the world in chains,
Man frees himself when self-control he gains."
The Faust myth tells us there is such a utopian state in store for us
when we have worked out our salvation by using the titanic forces within to
make us really free. May we all strive by our daily actions to hasten that
LETTER NO. 36:
EASTERN AND WESTERN METHODS OF DEVELOPMENT:
We receive frequent requests for help from people who unfortunately have
belonged to societies where they came under the domination of spirit con-
trols who now haunt and hound them until life becomes a burden. We also re-
ceive requests for help from people who have frequented societies teaching
the Hindu breathing exercises. The impatience to enter the invisible worlds
prompts many such people to take up exercises, the dangerous nature of which
they do not realize until it is too late and they are broken down in health
and spirit. They they come to us asking for a relief which we have fortu-
nately been able to give to all who have so far applied, even though some
were on the verge of insanity.
Therefore the Rosicrucian literature has been replete with warnings to
shun all Eastern breathing exercises, as they are unfit for Western people.
It is with considerable sorrow that we have heard of a student who is now
ill as a consequence of breathing exercises. We therefore feel that it may
be well to once more state the reason for the difference between the Eastern
and Western methods so that it may be made clear why it is wise to refrain
from such exercises.
In the first place, it is necessary to realize that the evolution of
spirit and the evolution of matter go hand in hand. The spirit evolves by
dwelling in vehicles of dense matter and by working with the material found
in the world. Thus, the spirit progresses, and matter is also being refined
because the spirit works with it. The more advanced spirits naturally draw
to themselves finer matter than those behind them upon the path of evolu-
tion, and the atoms in the bodies of a highly evolved race are more sensi-
tive than those of the earlier peoples.
Therefore the atoms of cultured people in the West respond to vibratory
waves not yet contacted by those who dwell in Eastern bodies. Breathing ex-
ercises are used to awaken the sleeping atoms of the Eastern aspirant, and a
vigorous course of this treatment is necessary to raise his vibratory pitch.
The atoms of the Westerner's body have already been sensitized by the
ordinary evolution; and when the person receives the added impetus of
breathing exercises, the atoms simply run riot, and it is extremely dif-
ficult to bring them into proper repose again.
As it may do some good it may not be amiss to mention that the writer had
had personal experience in the matter. Years ago, when he started on the
Path and was imbued with the characteristic impatience common to ardent
seekers after knowledge, he read of the breathing exercises published by
Swami Vivekananda and commenced to follow directions with the result that
after two days the vital body had been pulled out of the physical. This
produced a sensation of walking on air, of being unable to get the feet down
on solid ground; the whole body seemed to be vibrating at an enormous pitch.
Common sense then came to the rescue. The exercises were stopped, but it
was fully two weeks before the normal condition of walking on the ground
with a firm step was experienced, and before the abnormal vibrations ceased.
In the parable, it is said that some were thrown out who had no wedding
garment. Unless we first evolve the soul body, any attempt to enter the in-
visible worlds spells certain disaster; and any teacher who professes abil-
ity to railroad people into the invisible realms is not to be depended upon.
There is only one way--patient persistence in well-doing.
LETTER NO. 37:
THE REASON FOR THE MANY DIFFERENT CULTS:
The central through in last month's lesson, and one that we should ponder
well is the reason why there are so many different cults. each with its own
creed and with the idea that it alone has the truth. The reason for this
condition, as shown in the lesson, lies in the fact that the ego has limited
itself by entering into a vehicle which separates it from every one else.
Because of this limitation, it is incapable of appreciating absolute and
universal truth; and, consequently, religions teaching only partial truth
had to be given.
The warfare and strife engendered in the world by the segregating influ-
ences of creed are not without their benefit either, for were all of the
same opinion regarding the great question, "What is truth?" there would be
no deep search for light or knowledge; and truth would not leave the strong
impression upon us which we gain by the fight for that which we believe. On
the other hand, the militancy of the churches shows to those who, as
pioneers, are now taking a broader view--who recognize that none have more
than a ray of the whole truth at present and who look to the future for en-
largement of the cup of their capacity--that sometime they shall no longer
see through a glass darkly, but shall know even as they are known.
Knowing that there is a cosmic reason for creed, we should neither seek
or force advanced ideas upon those who are as yet limited by the spirit of
convention, nor imitate the militant missionary spirit of the churches, but,
as the Bible says, give our pearls of knowledge only to those who are tired
of feeding on the husks and who long for the true bread of life.
Discourse upon subjects related to this higher knowledge may help those
who are aroused from the spiritual lethargy unfortunately so common in our
day and age. But argument will never do any good, for those who are in an
augmentative mood are not convinced by anything we may say. The realization
of truth, which is alone potent to break down the barriers of limitation
that engender creed, must come from within and not from without.
Therefore, though we should always be ready to answer the questions of
those who wish to know, and be ready to give the reason for our faith, we
should also be on our guard so that we may not force our opinion upon oth-
ers; that, having escaped one fetter, we may not be bound by another, for
liberty is the most precious heritage of the soul. Hence the Elder Brothers
in the Western World will not accept a pupil who is not free from all other
bonds, and they take care that he does not obligate himself to them or any
one else. Thus alone can the ring of the Niebelung and the ring of the gods
be dissolved. May we all strive to live up to this ideal of absolute lib-
erty, at the same time, of course, taking care not to infringe upon the
rights of others.
LETTER NO. 28:
WHAT THE PUPIL MAY EXPECT OF THE TEACHER:
Christ said, "By their fruits ye shall know them." Suppose that weeds
were endowed with speech, Would we believe their claims if they professed
to be grape vines? Indeed not, we would look for the fruit. And unless
they were able to produce, their protestations--no matter how vociferously
made--would make no impression. We are thus sufficiently wise in material
matters to guard against deception; then why not apply the same principle to
other departments of life? Why not use ordinary common sense? If we did,
no one could impose on us in spiritual matters, for every realm in nature is
governed by natural law, and analogy is the master key to all mysteries and
a protection against deception.
The Bible teaches us very, very clearly that we should try the spirits
and judge them accordingly. If we do this, we shall never be deceived by
self-styled teachers; and we shall save ourselves, our relatives, and the
Fellowship we love much sorrow and anxiety.
Let us, therefore, analyze the matter and see what we have the right to
expect from one who lays claim to being a teacher. To do this we may first
ask our selves, What is the purpose of existence in the material universe?
And we may answer that question by saying that it is evolution of conscious-
ness. During the Saturn Period, when we were mineral-like in our constitu-
tion, our consciousness was like that of the medium expelled from her body
by spirit controls at materializing seance, where a large part of the ethers
composing the vital body has been removed. The physical body is then in a
very deep trance. In the Sun Period, when our constitution was plant-like,
our consciousness was like that of dreamless sleep, where the desire body,
mind, and spirit are outside, leaving the physical and vital bodies upon the
bed. In the Moon Period, we had a picture consciousness like that which we
have in dreams, where the desire body is only partially removed from the
dense vehicle and the vital body. Here in the Earth Period our conscious-
ness has been enlarged to cover objects outside ourselves by placing all our
vehicles in a concentric position, as is the case when we are awake.
During the Jupiter Period, the globes upon which we shall evolve will be
located similarly to what they were in the Moon Period. And the INTERNAL
picture consciousness which we then possessed will be EXTERNALIZED, as the
Jupiter Period is on the ascending arc. Thus, instead of seeing the pic-
tures inside ourselves, we shall be able, when speaking, to project them
upon the consciousness of those we are addressing.
Now, therefore, when any one professes to be a Teacher, he must be able
to substantiate his claim in that manner; for the true Teachers, the Elder
Brothers, who are now preparing the conditions of evolution which are to ob-
tain during the Jupiter Period, all have the consciousness pertaining to
that period. Thus, it will be seen that they naturally and without effort
use this external picture speech, and thereby at once given evidence of
their identity. Only they are able to guide others with safety. Those who
have not evolved to that point, even though they may be self-deceived, and
through their intentions may be good, are unreliable and should not be
trusted. This is an absolutely infallible gauge; and the claims of any one
who cannot show this fruit are of no more value than the claims of the weed
mentioned in our initial paragraph.
All of the Elder Brothers of the Rosicrucian Order possess this at-
tribute; and I trust no one among our students will in the future allow
himself or herself to be deceived into following exercises or going through
ceremonies devised by any person who is not able to produce the fruit, and
call up living pictures in the consciousness of those with whom he speaks.
LETTER NO. 39:
WHERE SHALL WE SEEK TRUTH, AND HOW SHALL WE KNOW IT?:
At the close of last month's lesson we saw that Siegfried, the truth
seeker, had arrived at the end of his quest. He had found the truth.
Meditating upon the subject it occurred to me as profitable to devote this
letter to a straightforward answer to the question: "Where shall we seek
truth, and how shall we KNOW without doubt when we have found it"
To be absolutely certain about this matter is of very great importance.
For many who accidentally find their was into the Desire World, such as me-
diums for instance, are enmeshed in illusion and hallucination because of
inability to know truth. Moreover, the Elder Brothers of the Rosicrucian
Order give probationers a definite scientific teaching on this point; and in
order to guard against the danger spoken of above, they make an actual test
before admitting any one to discipleship. All must come up to a certain
standard in this matter. It may, of course, surprise you that this
discussion is not reserved for probationers or disciples, but the
Rosicrucian Fellowship does not believe in secrecy or mystery. All who wish
may qualify for any degree; and this qualification is not a matter of FORM
but of living the life.
In regard to the first part of the question then, "Where shall we seek
truth?" There is only one answer--WITHIN. It is absolutely a matter of
moral development; and the promise of Christ that IF WE LIVE THE LIFE WE
SHALL KNOW THE DOCTRINE is true in the most literal sense. You will never
find truth by studying my own or any other books. So long as you run after
outside teachers, myself or any one else, you are simply wasting energy.
Books and teachers may arouse your interest, and urge you to live the life,
but only in so far as you make their precepts a part of your inner self are
you really seeking in the right direction. The Elder Brother--whom I, per-
haps mistakenly, speak of as Teacher--has never taught me directly since the
first short period when that which is embodied in the Cosmo was given. And
in the last year I have learned not to ask question for I have noticed that
whenever I did so he simply gave me a hint as to how I, myself, might obtain
the desired information. Now, instead of asking questions, I ask for direc-
tions as to how I may solve a problem. So you see that it is by using our
own faculties, which may be compared to he talents spoken of by Christ, that
we get the information of most value to ourselves.
The second part of the question, "How may we know the truth?" is best an-
swered by referring the student to the evening exercise given in the Lecture
No. 11, SPIRITUAL SIGHT AND INSIGHT. It may be performed by any one regard-
less of whether he or she is a probationer of the Rosicrucian Fellowship or
not. The teacher said at the time of giving it that if it were possible to
prevail upon the most depraved person in the world to perform this exercise
faithfully for six months, he would be permanently reformed; and those who
are faithful have found that it sharpens all mental faculties, particularly
the memory. Besides, by this impartial judgment of oneself night after
night, one learns to discern truth from error in a degree not attainable in
any other way. Not all our students may feel inclined to take up
probationership, and we never urge any one to do anything in the Western
Wisdom School. But if you really want to know the truth I can honestly rec-
ommend this method. It develops an inner faculty and no matter what state-
ment is made to you, once you have developed this, you will know at once
whether it rings true or the reverse.
LETTER NO 40:
WHY THE TRUTH SEEKER MUST LIVE IN THE WORLD:
After the transfiguration scene, when the Christ and His disciples were
making ready to descend from the Mount, the latter would fain have stayed
and suggested making dwelling places so that they might remain. This was
not permitted, however, for there was work to do in the world which would
have remained undone had their plan been carried out.
The Mount of Transfiguration is the "Rock of Truth," where the freed
spirit may behold the eternal realities. There is the GREAT NOW (the past
symbolized by Moses and Elijah) the prophets of the ancient dispensation met
Christ, the ruler of the Kingdom which was to come. Every spirit who is
permitted to behold the supernal splendors of this celestial realm, to hear
the sublime strains of the harmony of the spheres, and to view the wonderful
colorplay which accompanies the music, is likewise loath to leave. Were it
not that we seem to lose our form and personality, and encompass this whole
realm within ourselves, we should probably not have the strength to return
to earth, but this feeling that we retain "heaven within" fortifies us when
it is time to again turn our gaze outwards and attend to the work in the
Objects in the physical world always hide their inward nature or con-
struction; we see only the surface. In the Desire World we see objects out-
side ourselves, inside and out, but they tell nothing of themselves or the
life that ensouls them. In the Archetypal Region there seems to be no cir-
cumference, but wherever we direct our attention, there is the center of
all, and our consciousness is at once filled with knowledge concerning the
being or thing at which we are looking. It is easier to catch in a phono-
graph the tone which comes to us from heaven than to set down the experi-
ences we encounter in that realm, for there are no words adequate to express
them; all wee can do is to try to live them.
But to live them, however imperfectly, we must be in the world; we have
no right to remain secluded with the truth we have found. That is the great
lesson taught when Siegfried leaves his beloved. He must not remain. Life
is a constant flux; stagnation is the cardinal sin, for new experiences are
the very life breath of progress. If we have found truth, it is our bounden
duty to seek also a field where it may be of use. And according to our
judgment in that matter, and the diligence wherewith we plant and water,
will be our harvest.
This is a matter we should each carefully consider: "What sue am I mak-
ing of the teachings I receive?" We may be off in the mountain in
dreamland, though we live in a city, and as deaf to the cry for light which
sounds in our very ears as if the seeker were thousands of miles away. Un-
less we give out BY OUR LIVES--which speak louder than words--the truth we
have found, we incur a heavy responsibility, "for unto whom much is given,
of him shall much be required."
Let us remember that "Knowledge puffeth up, but love edifieth," and that
SERVICE is the standard of TRUE GREATNESS.
LETTER NO. 41:
A METHOD OF DISCERNING TRUTH FROM ITS IMITATION:
In the February letter we discussed the question: "Where shall we find
truth, and how shall we know when we have found it." But there is no use in
seeking truth, or in knowing truth when we have found it, unless we put it
to practical use in our life--and it does not follow that we will do that
merely because we find it. There are people, comparatively many, who scour
the civilized world to find rare treasure of ancient art--pictures or coins.
There are many who manufacture imitations of the genuine articles, so the
seeker after these things runs the risk of being duped by clever rogues un-
less he has means of knowing the genuine from the spurious.
In this respect he is beset by the same danger as the truth seeker, for
there are many pseudo-cults and clever inventions that may baffle us. The
collector often shuts his find up in a musty room and gloats over it in
solitude; and not infrequently after years, or maybe when he has died, it is
found that some of the things he guarded most jealously and treasured most
highly were spurious and imitations of no value. Similarly, one who finds
what he believes to be truth may "bury his treasure" in his own breast, or
"put his light under a bushel," to find, maybe after many years, that he had
been swindled by an imitation. Thus, there is need of an infallible final
test, one which eliminates all possibility of deception, and the question is
how to discover and apply it.
The answer is as simple as the method is efficient. When we ask how col-
lectors discover that a certain article they prize is an imitation, we shall
find that it is usually by showing it to some one who has seen the original.
We may deceive all of the people part of the time and a part of the people
all of the time, but it is impossible to deceive all the people all of the
time; and had the collector shown his find publicly instead of hoarding it
in secret, he would have quickly learned by the collective knowledge of all
the world whether his find was genuine or not.
Now mark this, for it is very important: Just as surely as the general
secretiveness of collectors aids, abets, and fosters fraud on the part of
the curio dealers, so also the desire to have and to hold for oneself great
secrets not known to the "rabble" fosters the busines of those who trade in
"occult initiations" with elaborate ceremonial to beguile victims into part-
ing with their cash.
How can we test the worth of an axe but by using it and thus finding out
whether it will keep its edge in actual wearing work? Would we buy it if
the salesman required us to put it in a dark corner where no one could see
it, and forbade us to use it? Certainly not! We would want to use it in
our work, and there it would show whether it had "temper." If it were found
"true steel," we would prize it; if not, we would tell the salesman to take
back his worthless stuff.
On the same principle, what is the sense in "buying" the wares of secrecy
mongers? If their wares were "true steel," there would be no need of se-
crecy, and unless we can use them in our daily lives, they are of no value.
Neither is a good axe of value to us unless we use it; it rusts and loses
its edge. So it is obligatory on every one who finds truth to use it in the
world's work, both as a safeguard to himself to make sure that it will stand
the grant test, and to give others a chance to share the treasure which he
himself finds helpful. Therefore it is very vital that we follow the com-
mand of Christ: "Let your light shine."
LETTER NO. 42:
OUR RESPONSIBILITY IN GIVING OUT TRUTH:
In regard to last month's letter one of the students writes: "In your
letter it would seem to be implied that there is no secrecy or discretion on
the part of the individual who knows occult things, to be exercised in giv-
ing them out, and no personal responsibility incurred; at least your meaning
does not seem to be made plain."
It is, of course, impossible to cover a subject of this magnitude in a
letter or several letters. But the question about the responsibility of
giving out truth does really concern us in so far as the danger of misuse
goes. My correspondent also says that "there are certain sects in this
country which have certain powers that they use for selfish and avaricious
purposes," and asks whether it would be wrong to withhold occult powers from
them. Certainly not. But the Elder Brothers take care of that, and they
are the real custodians of anything that is highly dangerous. Hypnotism, of
course, is dangerous, but not to such an extent as the occult powers about
which our correspondent asks.
During the ancient Israelitic dispensation darkness reigned in the Holy
of Holies, and it was only permitted a few priests and Levites to enter the
Temple. The High Priest alone was admitted into the Holy of Holies once a
year. But at the Crucifixion the veil was rent, the Temple was flooded with
light, and since then no secrecy has prevailed in Initiation. Yet it is in
a certain sense as secret as ever, for as I said in last month's letter, it
does not consist in ceremony at all. It is an inward experience, and we
must have the power within ourselves to live that experience before it can
come to us. It is secret in the same sense that the mysteries of square
root are a secret to the child. No initiation fee could convey an under-
standing to the childish mind of the subject; he must live through a number
of years and gradually mature to a point where it will be possible to en-
lighten him. When that point is reached, there is no difficulty about en-
lightenment. He will understand and see truth very readily.
It is exactly this truth of which I was speaking in last month's letter.
The disciple must go through a period of training and by that training be-
come mature and mellow to such an extent that he can live the truth within.
Then when the time comes, it is very easy for the Teacher or Initiator to
show him for the first time how to apply the trust which he has found, to
use the power which he has stored up, and then he is initiated. But this
experience cannot be told to anyone else. It is absolutely useless to try
to convey it. It is not through ceremony or any other outward show that it
comes to a man but as an actual result of his own past doing. Therefore he
can apply its truth in his daily life, though others may be as absolutely
unable to get at it as the child is incapable of appreciating what is hap-
pening when an example in square root is being done before its eyes. Thus
are the real, vital truths guarded from all till the key of merit unlocks
the treasure box.
LETTER NO. 43:
WOMAN'S SUFFRAGE AND MORAL EQUALITY:
From last month's lesson it will be evident, strange as it may seem, that
the opera Tannhauser is the legendary plea for the much discussed woman's
suffrage, which we hear so much of in modern times. It is evident also, as
said last month, that like produces like; and a woman who is timid and
afraid, who has been forced into marriage in a brutal manner, who feels her-
self owned, a chattel, not free to voice her ideas and ideals, cannot pro-
duce a noble, strong, and fearless offspring, one with the courage to adhere
to its ideals. Therefore, so long as we hold woman in bondage, deny her
rightful place in the world as the HELPMATE AND COMPANION of man, so long do
we retard the race and our development. This is the esoteric reason why
full equality must come about.
If men did but thoroughly realize and understand the idea that we are
born in alternate embodiments, they would very soon accede to woman's just
requests--if for no other reason than the selfish one that in their succeed-
ing life they who are now men will take on the womanly garb, and have to
live under the conditions which they are now making. Thus any man who is
now holding back the just privileges from womankind will some day have to
labor under these same conditions, while those who at present for which they
are now contending without having to ask for them; but as the writer sees
this matter, it is not exactly the privilege of voting so much as the moral
equality which the woman feels she ought to have, and certainly she has a
God-given right to that as well as man.
One point brought out in Tannhauser should particularly appeal to those
who want to live the higher life, and that is that Tannhauser is held as
strictly accountable before those of his friends who know of his crime as he
is by the church. There is no double standard of morality in nature. Sin
is sin by whomsoever it is committed, and more than that, to whom much is
given of him much shall be required.
Therefore people who reach an enlightened stage must above all learn to
live the clean and pure life in harmony with their professions. If, by en-
lightenment, we rise above the law, let us, as Paul says, not use our lib-
erty as an occasion to gratify the flesh. The doctrine of "soul mates" and
"affinities" has wrecked many a life which but for that would have been
crowned with great soul growth.
What the shadow is to light, what "the devil" is to God--that is lust to
love. Love is divine, a companionship of FREE souls. Lust is diabolical,
and the transgressor a slave of sin, it matters not whether the outrage has
been legalized by the state or blessed by the church.
Let us therefore strive to love each other after the spirit rather than
after the flesh.
LETTER NO. 44:
THE VICE OF SELFISHNESS AND THE POWER OF LOVE:
In the last lesson we saw that the Lord of Wartburg asked the minstrel to
describe love. As we all aspire to evolve within ourselves that quality, it
is perhaps of very great importance that we should look the matter squarely
in the face and see what is our greatest hindrance, for surely there can be
no question but that we are all lacking woefully in respect to love. No
matter what we may seem to others, when we look into our own hearts we stand
ashamed, knowing the motives which prompted acts that others consider dic-
tated by love of our fellow men. When we analyze these motives we shall
find that they are all dictated by the one trait of selfishness; moreover,
this is the one fault we never confess. I have heard men and women stand up
publicly or in private and confess to every sin on the calendar save this
single one of selfishness. Yes, we even deceive ourselves by imagining that
we ourselves are not selfish. We see this trait of character very plainly
in others if we are at all observant, but fail to perceive the beam in our
own eye; and so long as we do not admit this great fault to ourselves and
strive seriously to overcome it, we cannot progress upon the pathway of
Thomas a Kempis says: "I would rather feel compunction than know how to
define it"; and we may well substitute the word love for compunction. If we
could only feel love rather than be able to define it! But love cannot be
known now by us except in the measure that we cleanse ourselves from the
great sin of selfishness. Life is our most precious possession, and Christ
therefore said, "Greater love (or unselfishness) hath no man than this, that
a man lay down his life for his friends."
In the measure, therefore, that we cultivate this virtue of unselfish-
ness, we shall attain to love, for they are synonymous, as was shown by Paul
in that inimitable thirteenth chapter of 1st Corinthians. When a poor
brother knocks at our does, do we give him as little as we can? If so, we
are selfish. Or do we help him only because our conscience will not allow
us to let him go? Then also this is selfishness, for we do not want to feel
the pangs of conscience. Even though we give our lives for a cause, is
there not the thought that it is OUR work? Often I hide my face from myself
in shame at that thought in connection with the Fellowship, and yet we must
go on. But let us not deceive ourselves; let us fight the demon of selfish-
ness and be ever watchful against its subtle onslaughts. If we find it
whispering that we need rest and cannot afford to give our strength for oth-
ers, or if we feel that we cannot afford to give our substance, let us force
the virtue of generosity. As a matter of actual fact, we only keep what we
give; our bodies decay and our possessions are left behind, but our good
deeds remain ours for all eternity.
LETTER NO. 45:
INITIATION NOT TO BE ATTAINED THROUGH BREATHING EXERCISES:
It is with considerable reluctance that I again take up the question of
breathing exercises and their effects upon the body, but stern necessity
compels me to sound anew the warning against the false and dangerous teach-
ings which are promulgated by people who are either ignorant or unscrupulous
in their desire for profit. Breathing exercises are absolutely contrary to
the teachings of the Rosicrucian Fellowship, for under our teachings
spiritual results may only be attained by spiritual methods and not by
physical exercises. Unfortunately the great desire of students to attain
quickly makes many an easy prey to such people. One of our very promising
students is now in an insane asylum because he listened to the promises of a
charlatan who offered to initiate him for the sum of twenty-five dollars.
I have just learned that in one of the Fellowship centers a man who has
not been affiliated with Headquarters is charging various sums for horo-
scopes, contrary to our teachings. We annually return from Headquarters
many dollars to people who send to us asking for delineations and character
reading as well as predictions, because we uphold the principle that a
spiritual science may not be prostituted for gold however much we need
money; and it grieves us very much to find out that such people, who admit
that they know these practices to be contrary to the principles of the
Rosicrucian Fellowship, are placed upon the platform of study centers, and
stand before the people as teachers an exponents, of the Rosicrucian teach-
ings. This same person has also copied from Hindu books costing but a few
cents, breathing exercises which he sells to unsuspecting victims for a dol-
Now I ask you, dear friends, will you not take this from me, one who has
gone the way and knows by experience that there is no express train to the
Temple of Initiation. The road is slow and steep and rugged; it must be
walked step by step, though th feet bleed, and the heart also with sorrow
and suffering. The soul body--the golden wedding garment--which alone is
the password by which we can enter, is made by the good deeds done day by
day with patient perseverance in well-doing, and by no other method.
Breathing exercises cannot take the place of good deeds. Can you not under-
stand that? I know what I am talking about, because in the very earliest
stage of my endeavor in spiritual directions, I also found these Hindu
breathing exercises. I tried them for two days, and my vital body was
partly lifted out of the physical; it then occurred to me that I was in a
dangerous condition, and I stopped. But it took me two weeks to recover,
during which I felt as if I could not get my feet on the ground, as if I
were walking on air; and during those two weeks I suffered greatly. Others
may not have the persistence to recover that I did, and may go to the insane
asylum. Therefore it is a very dangerous thing to try. There may of course
be others on whom they have no effect. But it is very, very dangerous to
meddle with fire, and you should not try it. on the other hand, if you will
day by day try to serve in the vineyard of Christ, and endeavor to do deeds
of mercy, then the golden wedding garment, the soul body, will surely be wo-
ven, which one day will admit you to the Temple.
LETTER NO. 46:
THE WORLD WAR AND INFANT MORTALITY:
Up to the present time I have especially refrained from commenting upon
current topics, but feel that the present cosmic crisis demands something
from Headquarters which may guide students in their attitude towards this
calamity. The effect of this unprecedented slaughter of human beings is
much more far-reaching than is apparent from the physical viewpoint.
In the first place, of course, that viewpoint is the one which appeals to
us. We feel and can sympathize with the grief felt in many thousands of
homes, where father, son, or husband has been ruthlessly torn away. But the
sorrow and suffering that are met with in the physical world fade into in-
significance when compared with what takes place in the invisible realms of
nature. The thousands and thousands of victims of this cruel war are awak-
ening from the death stupor caused by the sudden transition from the
physical life to that of the desire world. They carry with them the scenes
of the battlefield; many are stunned and wander about in the most aimless
fashion. They cannot realize what has happened. Others again are beginning
to sense the fact that they have passed from one phase of existence to an-
other. Then comes to them also the grief for those they have left behind.
thus there is in the world at this time an indescribable, unimaginable
amount of sorrow and suffering, mental as well as physical.
In fact, never since the world was has there been such universal sorrow
as there is at the present time. But besides this, we must not forget we
are now laying up for ourselves a great deal of future suffering; for, as
has been explained in the Rosicrucian lecture literature, it is impossible
for these people who are now so ruthlessly and suddenly torn away from their
bodies to review their past life, and thus the etching of the life panorama
does not take place as it should. Therefore these egos will not reap the
fruit of their present existence as they should in purgatory and the first
heaven. They will come back minus this experience at some future time; and
it will be necessary, in order that they may regain what they have lost, to
let them die in childhood so that they may have the new desire body and vi-
tal body imprinted with the essence of their present life.
Therefore in some far-off future day we shall find that an epidemic, or
something of that nature, will take away many thousands of children, and we,
now their contemporaries, will be left to mourn their loss. Oh! that this
law of infant mortality were understood. Then we should not have to pray
for peace as we are now doing. Let everyone in the Rosicrucian Fellowship
pray morning, noon, and night for the restoration of peace at the earliest
possible moment. Let us realize the responsibility of knowledge and live up
to it, endeavoring daily to discharge it. This knowledge which we have re-
ceived must be given out wherever it is practicable without intruding upon
other people. If the world knew and believed in the law of rebirth and of
consequence, if it understood the law of infant mortality, such a thing as
this war could never have happened; and the more we try to inculcate these
teachings, the better we shall promote peace and good will, and the better
Please be particularly earnest and concentrate every vestige of your
power upon the healing work at Headquarters when we have healing meetings.
We need all the help we can get.
Continued with file "RC1023.TXT"
End of File