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Filename: RC1024.TXT Source: "Max Heindel's Letters to Students" [PAGE 820] LETTER NO. 68:. JULY, 1916 THE WORK OF THE RACE SPIRITS: In a few days we shall celebrate in America "The Glorious Fourth," our Independence Day, and we shall waste a lot of perfectly good and useful pow- der that might be put to better use, in order to show our "patriotism." A considerable number of fires and accidents will occur if we may judge from many precedents. To what purpose all of this we may see by the heartrending spectacle of the war which for almost two years has made tears a mockery, for no symbol of sorrow is adequate to the occasion. let us realize that had there been no "patriotism," there could have been no war; and realizing its baneful in- fluence, let us learn to say with Thomas Paine, "The world is my country, and to do good is my religion." This, it seems to me, is the gospel we ought to preach to our fellow men in whatever country we happen to be, for this attitude of mind will be one of the factors in accomplishing our eman- cipation from the Race Spirit feeds on war, for it causes the nation which it rules to sink its internal differences for the time being and its people [PAGE 821] to cluster close to one another for defense or aggression against the common foe. Thus they vibrate in harmony to an extent greater than usual, and this strengthens the Race Spirit and delays the advent of Christ to that extent. So long as patriotism holds the nations in bondage to the Race Spirits, the Universal Kingdom cannot be started. I would therefore urge that the students of the Rosicrucian Fellowship refrain from participation in any patriotic exercises of a martial nature. Practice Universal Brotherhood by never mentioning or recognizing differ- ences of nationality, for we are all one in Christ. LETTER NO. 69: AUGUST, 1916 STRUGGLES OF THE ASPIRING SOUL: From time to time letters of discouragement are received at Headquarters from people who are smitten by conscience because they are unable to live up to their high ideals, and they feel that it would be more honest to abandon the faith and live as others live who make no professions. They say that while they read and study or listen in church to passages which exhort them to love their enemies, to bless them that curse them, and to pray for those who despitefully use them, they are heart and soul in accord with these sen- timents and would gladly follow these precepts; but when they meet such [PAGE 822] conditions in the world, they cannot comply with the Biblical command, and therefore feel that they are hypocrites. If man were a homogeneous whole, if spirit, soul, and body were one and undivided, that these people are hypocrites would be true. But spirit, soul, and body are not one, as we realize to our sorrow from the very first day that we feel the desire to tread the path of the higher life. And in this fact lies the solution of the problem. There are two distance natures in each of us. In the days of our unaspiring life the higher spiritual na- ture is asleep, and the worldly personal self is undisputed lord of all our actions. Then there is peace and serenity. But the moment the spiritual nature wakens, the war begins. As we grow in spirituality, the struggle is intensified until some time in the future the personality will succumb, and we shall gain the peace that passeth all understanding. In the meantime we have the condition whereof our students complain (with Paul, Faust, and every other aspiring soul), that to will is easy, but that the good that they would, they do not, and the evil that they would not, that they do. The writer has felt, and feels most keenly every day of his life this discrepancy between this teachings and his actions. One part of his being aspires with an ardor that is painful in its intensity to all the higher and nobler things, while on the other hand, a strong personality, ex- ceedingly difficult to curb, is a source of continual grief. But he feels that so long as he does not "pose" as a saint, so long as he honestly admits his shortcomings and professes his sorrow for them, and so long as he uses the inclusive "WE" in all his exhortations, he deceives no one, and is not [PAGE 823] a hypocrite. Whatever he says he takes to himself first and foremost, and, however, unsuccessful, he strive to follow the Rosicrucian teachings. If everyone else among our students feels troubled on the same score as the correspondents who have inspired this letter, we hope that this may set them right. Besides, what else can we do but go on? Having once awakened the higher nature, it cannot be permanently silenced, and there will be the misery of regret and remorse if we abandon effort. We have several times called at- tention to the way the mariner guides his vessel across the waste of waters by a star. He will never reach it, but nevertheless it brings him safely through the rock shoals to the desired haven. Similarly, if our ideals are so high that we realize we shall never reach them in this life, let us also keep in mind that we have endless time before us, and that what we cannot accomplish in this life-day will be achieved tomorrow or later. Let us fol- low the example of Paul and "by patient persistence in well-doing" continue to seek for spiritual glory, honor, and immortality. [PAGE 824] LETTER NO. 70: September, 1916 BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE LIFE: You know of course that the Fellowship teaches rebirth to be a fact in nature, and you believe in this doctrine because it explains so many facts in life which we are otherwise unable to account for. But I wonder how many students have really taken the practical use of this truth to heart, and are fixing their attention upon it by consciously and systematically molding themselves and thus making their environment for future lives. It is true that in the Second Heaven we devote all of our time to making the environment for our future life, forming the earth and the sea, provid- ing the conditions for the flora and fauna, and generally shaping things to give us a suitable arena for our coming life work. But we do that according to the way we have been living here in this present life. If we have been lazy and shiftless here, living in a happy-go-lucky manner, it is not likely that when we come to the Second Heaven we will be careful to prepare a fer- tile soil, which we may later till. Therefore our next embodiment will probably find us with the barest means of existence at hand, so that under the whip of necessity we may learn to exert ourselves. It is similar with our moral qualities. When we are ready to descend [PAGE 825] into the next embodiment,we can only build into our new vehicles what we have garnered in this. Therefore it is wise for us to commence now, when our next life is in the moldable clay stage, to make our ideals what we would like them to be and to make the environment in which we would like to be raised. We are without a doubt all ready to agree in the first place than our present bodies are not as we wish them. Diseases of all sorts come to most people; some are subject to pain all their lives, and no one is ever able to go through life from the cradle to the grave without having at least some suffering. Thus each one of us may well picture himself in a future life with a healthy body in which he will be free from diseases that are now his worst plague. With respect to the moral and mental faculties we are also far from per- fect, and each one may therefore take up with profit the subject of improve- ment in that direction. Do we realize that we have a critical spirit, a sharp tongue, a hasty temper, or other kindred faults which bring us into trouble with others and make life unpleasant in our environment? Very well; by holding in mind and visualizing our ideal self for the future--having equipose under all circumstances, being soft-spoken, kindly, and affection- ate, etc.--we shall build these ideals into the thought form we have already shaped for ourselves in that distant day. And according to the intensity of the concentration which we apply tot he matter will be the result. In so far as we endeavor now to cultivate and aspire virtues, we shall possess them then; and this applies to faculties as well. If we are solely now, by [PAGE 826] the aspiration to maintain order we shall later bring back that virtue. Are we lacking the sense of ryhthm? Very well, it may be ours in the future by asking now. Mechanical ability, or any thing else that is necessary to give us the life experience we seek, may be had in the same way. Therefore we ought systematically to set aside a certain time at inter- vals, as frequent as is consistent with our other duties, to think forward and plan for future life--what sort of a body, what faculties, virtues, and environment we wish. When we are able to make our choice intelligently, we are undoubtedly given a great deal more latitude than if we had not thought about the matter at all. You understand of course that the highest form of aspiration to virtue is the constant endeavor to practice in it our daily lives. But while we are endeavoring to cultivate virtures, as we should, by practice, it is sci- entific to plan ahead the use we shall make of the future life just as we now plan ahead the use of the day that is before us. I trust that this idea may take root among the students and be consistently carried to its le- gitimate consummation, for in that way it will be bound to have a wonderful effect upon the future of ourselves and the future of the world about us. [PAGE 827] LETTER NO. 71: October, 1916 DESCENT OF THE CHRIST LIFE IN THE FALL: We are now at the fall equinox where the physical sun is leaving the northern hemisphere after having provided us with the necessities of life for the coming year; and the spiritual tide which carries on its crest the life which will find physical expression in the coming year is now on its way towards our earth. The half-year directly before us is the holy part of the year. From the feast of the Immaculate Conception to the Mystic Birth at Christmas (while this wave is descending into the earth) and from that time to Easter (while it is traveling outward) a harmonious, rhythmic vibra- tory song, not inaptly described in the legend of the Mystic Birth as a "ho- sanna" sung by an angel choir, fills the planetary atmosphere and acts upon all as an impulse to spiritual aspiration. Not upon all in even measure, of course, but according to their general character. Some do not feel this spiritual save at all because of their depravity, but it works in, on, and with them just the same, and in time they will re- spond. Others are so engrossed in their buying and selling, their marrying and giving in marriage, their loves and their ambitions, that they are not conscious of it save at the time when it is at its maximum strength, namely, [PAGE 828] namely, Christmas, and then it expresses itself only as a spirit of super-socialability and generosity; they like to feast and give presents. A more advanced class feels the wave of holiness from the very beginning of its descent, and realizes the important effect of its harmony and rhythm in furthering efforts in the direction of soul growth. They profit accordingly by making the most efforts during the months from the fall to the spring equinox. It is like swimming with the tide. For that reason I am devoting this letter to call your attention tot he annually recurring phenomenon. Whether you are conscious of it or not, the powerful spiritual vibrations of life-giving Christ wave are in the earth's atmosphere during the winter months, and may be used by you to a much greater advantage if you know it and double your efforts than if you are un- aware of the fact. Let us therefore each take stock of the particular sins which most easily beset us, for now is beginning the most favorable time of the year for their eradication. Let us also take stock of the virtues we lack and feel most need of cultivating, for this is the time to do the work most efficiently. By careful, systematic work in the holy winter months we may make great strides in our efforts to realize our spiritual aspirations. Having made up our minds as to the personal work, let us look about us to see who in our circle of acquaintances seem to be seeking for spiritual en- lightenment, and who would be likely to lend an ear to our teachings. This requires discrimination, for we have no right to force our ideas upon [PAGE 829] unwilling ears any more than we would be justified in beating a drum in their rooms for an hour or two each day. If we find that they do not take kindly to what we have to say, it is better to leave them; but there are many who may be awakened in winter under the spiritual Christ vibration who could not be reached in summer. I therefore trust that we may use all the coming months in a way which shall profit us greatly from the spiritual standpoint. LETTER NO. 72: November, 1916 THE REASON FOR THE TRIALS THAT BESET THE OCCULT STUDENT: From time to time we receive letters from students complaining that since they have taken up the higher teachings, and are trying to live in confor- mity with them, everything seems to go wrong with their affairs. Some feel a determined opposition in their homes, others suffer in business, and some are even affected in health. Some, according to temperament, are ready to give up, and others grit their teeth in persistence in well-doing" despite the trials. But all are unanimous in asking why this marked change in their affairs. Each receives the best help we can given to solve his individual problems, but as we feel that there are many among the students who have been similarly tried, it seems appropriate to state the reason for this [PAGE 830] condition. In the first place, the aspiring soul should realize that the adverse conditions happen for good according to a firmly established law of nature whereby God aims to aid him in the quest. Trials are a sign of progress and a cause for great rejoicing. This is how the law acts: During all our past lives we have made ties and have incurred debts under the Law of Causation. These debts continue to increase so long as we live the usual selfish, hap- hazard lives, and we may liken each debt to a drop of vinegar. When the turning point comes and we cease to make vinegar, the law of justice re- quires that we take our medicine. But we are allowed to determine whether we will take it in large doses and have it over quickly or whether we prefer to take it in very small sips and string it out over a number of lives. This choice is not made by words but by acts. If we take up the work of self-improvement with enthusiasm, if we cut our vices out by the roots and LIVE the life we profess, the Great Beings whom we know as the Recording An- gels give us a stronger dose of vinegar than they would if we merely talked about the beauties of the higher life. They do that to help us toward the day of liberation from our self-made bonds and not to harm or hinder us. In view of these facts we can understand the Christ's exhortation to re- joice when men revile us and accuse us falsely for His sake. Boys pass a barren tree with indifference, but as soon as the tree bears fruit, they are ready to throw stones and rob it. So it is with men also: while we walk [PAGE 831] with the crowd and do as they do, we are unmolested, but the moment we do what they know in their hearts to be right, we become a living reproach to them even if we never utter a word of censure, and in order to justify them- selves in their own eyes they begin to find fault with us. In this respect those who are most closely associated with us in the home or in business are more prominent than strangers who have no connection with us. But whatever the form or the source of such trouble it is a cause for congratulation, for it shows that we are doing something effectively progressive,; so let us keep on undismayed and with unflagging zeal. LETTER NO. 73: December, 1916 SPIRITUAL STOCK-TAKING DURING THE HOLY SEASON: Christ likened the aspiring souls of His time to stewards who had re- ceived a certain number of talents from their lord and were supposed to go into trade with them that they might increase the capital entrusted to their care. We understand from this parable that all who aspire to serve Him are required likewise to use their God-given talents in such a manner that they show a gain in soul growth when in due season they are called upon to give an account of their stewardship. This accounting, so far as the majority of mankind is concerned, is put off till the Reaper has closed the ledger of life and they find themselves [PAGE 832] in Purgatory to receive the result of the things done in the body, whether they be good or ill. But what would we think of a business man who pursued such a reckless method of conducting his affairs? Would we not feel that he was steering straight for the rock of bankruptcy if he did not balance accounts and take stock of his assets and liabilities every year? Surely we would feel that he deserved to fail because of his neglect to follow ordinary business methods. If we realize the value of system and the benefit of constantly knowing clearly how we stand with respect to our material affairs, we ought also to pursue the same safe methods regarding our spiritual affairs. Nay, we should be much more circumspect in the conduct of the heavenly matters than in worldly matters, for our material prosperity is but a watch in the night compared to the eternal welfare of the spirit. We are nearing the winter solstice, which is the beginning of a new year from the spiritual point of view, and we are looking forward to the new out- pouring of love from our Father in Heaven through the Christ Child. This, therefore, is a good time to take stock and ask ourselves how we have spent the love offerings of last year, how we have exerted ourselves to gather treasure in heaven. And we shall experience great profit if we approach this stock-taking in the proper spirit and at the most auspicious time, for there is a time to sow and a time to reap, and for everything under the sun there is a time when it may be done with greater chance of success than at [PAGE 833] any other season. The stars are the heavenly time markers. From them come the forces which influence us through life. On Holy Night, between the 24th and 25th of De- cember, at midnight, in the place where you live, you will find that retro- spection and the resolutions engendered by it for the new year will be most effective. At Mt. Ecclesia and the various Study Centers a Midnight Service is held on Holy Night, and students attending such services are thereby debarred from the midnight self-communion. Others may be unable to hold it at that time for other reasons. For these any of the late evening or early morning hours will serve nearly as well. But let us all unite on that night in a concerted spiritual effort of aspiration; and let each student not only pray for his individual soul growth in the coming year, but let all unite in a prayer for the collective growth of our movement. The workers at Headquar- ters also request your helpful thoughts. If we all put our shoulders to the wheel at this time, we may be sure of an unusually individual and collective blessing and a spiritually prosperous year. [PAGE 834] LETTER NO. 74: January, 1917 ALL OCCULT DEVELOPMENT BEGINS WITH THE VITAL BODY: Recently a friend who has been taking the correspondence course a number of months wrote to get a matter cleared up which is bothering him; and as it may be that others are feeling somewhat similar to him but have not reached the point of expression, we thought best to use this letter as an answer. It has sufficient general interest to be of value even to those who have not looked at the matter in the light seen by our friend. He does not want to complain, but he asked for the correspondence course in the hope of getting something to further occult development. Instead he receives each month a nice little sermon, which he admits is good for both beginners and advanced students, but where is the schooling? Other authors give certain exercises which help their followers; will we please give him one that will develop the faculty of writing? No, we cannot do that. The Rosicrucian teachings are designed to further spiritual progress rather than material prosperity, and we know of no occult exercise which will bring wealth, either directly or by abnormally fostering a latent talent. If we did, we would not teach it, for such use of occult [PAGE 835] power is black magic. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteous- ness, and all these things shall be added unto you," said Christ, and we shall make no mistake by following His advice. If our friend or any one else wants to develop a latent faculty for the good alone he may do with it, that spiritual aspiration will, if persistently adhered to and backed by physical effort (works), eventually bring the desired end without the need of a special occult exercise. And about the lessons being "nice little sermons." Yes, so they are when read superficially. But if they are studied deeply, there is a great deal of occult knowledge found of much more benefit to the student than an exer- cise such as the one our friend wants. There is, however, "method in our madness" in giving it out just that way. Perhaps this may not have been ap- parent to students, and we will therefore try to make it clear. Kindly bear in mind, however, that the following is a comparison made for a legitimate purpose; it is not a criticism. Apart from the fact that the Eastern School of Occultism bases its teach- ings on Hinduism, while the Western Wisdom School espouses Christianity, the religion of the West, there is ONE GREAT FUNDAMENTAL, IRRECONCILABLE DIS- CREPANCY between the teachings of the modern representatives of the East and those of Rosicrucians. According to the version of Eastern Occultism the vital body--which is called "LINYA SHARIRA"--is comparatively unimportant, for it is incapable of development as a vehicle of consciousness. It serves only as an avenue for the solar force "prana," and as "a link" between the [PAGE 836] physical body and the desire body, which is called "KAMA RUPA," also the "astral body." this, they say, is the vehicle of the Invisible Helper. The Western Wisdom School teaches us as its fundamental maxim that "ALL OCCULT DEVELOPMENT BEGINS WITH THE VITAL BODY," and the writer, as its pub- lic representative, has therefore been busy since the inception of our move- ment trying to gather and disseminate knowledge concerning the four ethers and the vital body. Much information was given in the "COSMO" and succeed- ing book, but the monthly lessons and letters give the result of our re- searches up to date. We are constantly parading this vital body (vital in a double sense) before the minds of the students so that by knowing and think- ing about it as well as by reading and heeding the "nice little sermons" which we use to wrap this information in, they may consciously, and uncon- sciously, weave the "Golden Wedding Garment." We would advise all to study these lessons carefully year after year; there may be much dross, but there is gold among them. You have our sincere wishes for abundant spiritual growth during the New Year. [PAGE 837] LETTER NO. 75: February, 1917 SERVING WHERE BEST FITTED TO SERVE: A question was asked recently as follows: "You speak so much about SER- VICE; just what does that mean? There are in our Fellowship a number of people who say that they love to serve, but they do not do anything but what they like to do. Is that service?" It seems that this question offers food for profitable thought and that an analysis of the subject may benefit us all, so we decided to devote the monthly letter to this purpose. It is evident that they majority of people in the world will not serve unless there is "something in it" for them. They are looking for a material reward, and that is the wise way of the unseen powers to spur them to ac- tion, for thus they are unconsciously evolving toward the stage in soul growth where they will serve for the love of serving. But they cannot be expected to change over night; there are no sudden transformations in na- ture. When the eggshell bursts and a chicken walks out, of when the cocoon breaks and a butterfly wings it was among the flowers, we know that the magic was not wrought in a moment. There was an inner process of prepara- tion prior to the outward change. A similar process of inner growth is [PAGE 838] required to change the servants of Mammon to servants of Love. If we want to make a building larger, all we have to do is to bring our brick and other building material to the place, start a force of workmen, and presto! the building begins to grow apace to any dimensions we desire and at any speed we wish, depending only upon our ability to furnish labor and material. But if we want to increase the size of a tree or an animal, we cannot accomplish our object by nailing wood to the tree trunk or lading flesh and skin upon the back of the animal. The building grows by external accretions, but in all living things physical growth is from within and can- not be hurried to any appreciable extent without danger of complication. It is the same with spiritual growth; it proceeds from within and must have time. We cannot expect that people who have just begun to feel the inner urge impelling them into an altruistic association, to renounce in the twin- kling of an eye all selfishness and other vices and blossom out into the stature of Christ. At best we are only just a little better than we were save for the fact that we are striving and endeavoring to follow "in His steps." But that makes all the difference, for we are TRYING to serve as He served. If that is the motive, it in nowise detracts from the service of a musi- cian who inspires us with devotion at our services that he loves his music. Nor does it render the service any less because the speaker who fires us with zeal in the Master's work loves to clothe his ideas in beautiful words. Nor does it make the hall less attractive because the member who swept, [PAGE 839] dusted, and decorated it loves to make his exterior surroundings beautiful. Each can, in fact, serve to much better advantage if the line of service lies along the path of his natural inclinations and abilities, and we ought to encourage one another to look for opportunities in the line where each is best fitted to serve. There is no special merit in seeking out service in a capacity that is disagreeable to us. It would be a mistake if the musician said to the care- taker: "I dislike to scrub floors and decorate rooms, and I know you tremble at the thought of playing, also that you are out of practice, but let us change places for the sake of service." On the other hand, if no one were there to play, it would be the decorator's duty to put diffidence aside and serve as well as possible. If the floor needed scrubbing and the chairs dusting, the speaker and musician should be willing to do that work also re- gardless of personal dislike. Nothing is menial. The same principle will apply in the home, shop, or office. SERVICE MAY BE DEFINED AS THE BEST USE OF OUR TALENTS--THE PUTTING OF OUR TALENTS TO THE BEST USE IN EACH CASE OF IMMEDIATE NEED REGARDLESS OF LIKE OR DISLIKE. If we strive to do this, our progress and soul growth will increase cor- respondingly. [PAGE 840] LETTER NO. 76: March, 1917 "LOST SOULS" AND STRAGGLERS: We have been asked to give a lesson on "lost souls" and stragglers. Our correspondent wants to know the Rosicrucian teachings concerning them. As this very question was dealt with earlier in this book, in the letter for April, 1912 (No. 17), we cannot do better than refer our correspondent to it. We trust that it will explain the matter to him. We should be glad if other students who have questions of general interest would submit them for elucidation in these letters, for although there is a question of department in the "Rays," not all our students are subscribers. Also the problems pre- sented can perhaps be given a little more intimate treatment here than is possible in a magazine that must go before a public which is not as well versed in the philosophy as our students. [PAGE 841] LETTER NO. 77: April, 1917 THE UNNECESSARY FEAR OF DEATH: It is really pathetic to see the gloom of people who have been bereaved by the death of some one near and dear, and to see how in extreme cases they devote themselves for the rest of their lives to mourning for the one who has passed on. They clothe themselves in sable garments, and deem it a sac- rilege to the memory of the departed one to even smile, little realizing that by such an attitude of mind they are keeping in the densest regions of the invisible world the person whom they profess to love, where all that is evil lives and moves and has its being in close contact with the base and selfish side of humanity. This is not a mere fancy but an actual fact, de- monstrable to any one who has the slightest extension of the physical sight. It is one of the greatest blessings conferred upon those who study and believe the Rosicrucian teachings that they are gradually emancipated from the fear of death and from the feeling that a great calamity has happened when some one near and dear to them passes into the invisible beyond. A blessing flows both to the so-called "living" and the so-called "dead" when the departing spirit is given the proper care and help during the transi- tion. It is then able to assimilate the panorama of live, which will make the post-mortem existence full and profitable because undisturbed by the [PAGE 842] sorrow, grief, and hysterical weeping of those who are still in the body. During the years which follow it may also be assisted by their prayers. On the other hand, those of the so-called "living" who study these teach- ings are learning to practice this unselfish attitude toward death, so nec- essary to soul growth, because they realize that as a matter of actual fact death of the body at the proper time is the greatest blessing that can be- fall humanity. There is not one among us who has a body so perfect that it is fit to be lived in forever. In most cases the passing years bring out the weak points in our vehicles to an increasing degree, crystallizing and hardening them so that they become more and more of a burden which we are only too glad to lay down. Then we have the hope and the knowledge that we shall be given a new body and a new start in a future age, so that we may learn more of the lessons in life's school. This is the time of the year when the Mystic Death which we are all cel- ebrating naturally turns our thoughts and the thoughts of humanity in gen- eral to the subject of death and rebirth. There is no other teaching than that of rebirth which is of equally vital importance or of similar value. Humanity needs it at this time more than ever on account of the carnival of cruelty and slaughter that has been enacted in the past two and a half years in Europe. So closely is the human family interconnected that there are probably comparatively few persons in the world who have not lost some relatives in that titanic struggle. [PAGE 843] It is at once the duty and the privilege of those who know the truth about death to disseminate it as much as possible among those who are still in darkness concerning the facts connected with this event. Therefore I would urge upon the students of the Rosicrucian Fellowship to realize that we are all stewards of everything we have, mental as well as physical prop- erty, and that it is our duty in so far as it is possible in a tactful and diplomatic manner to bring these great facts of life and being to the knowl- edge of those who are still without them. We never can tell when we cast our bread upon the waters how it will return to us. It is certain that sooner or later these teachings, temporarily forgotten, must again become the knowledge of all humanity, and we ought to share the pearl of knowledge which we have found with others whenever it is possible to do so. If we ne- glect to do this, we are really committing a sin of omission for which we must sometime answer. I trust that you will take this to heart and devote yourself to spreading this knowledge, not as time and opportunity offer, but taking time by the forelock and making the opportunity; but with all proper tactfulness so that the object we have in view may not be frustrated by using the wrong method. Furthermore, it is not necessary to label this knowledge. Bible instances can be brought forth to show that this doctrine was believed by the Elders of Israel who sent messengers to John the Baptist to ask if he were Elias. Also their speculations as to whether Christ was Moses, Jeremiah, or another of the prophets are evidence of their belief. Christ believed in rebirth, because He stated definitely that John the Baptist was Elias. This doctrine [PAGE 844] was enunciated by Paul in the 15th chapter of 1st Corinthians, also in other places. You can render no greater service to humanity than by teaching them these truths. LETTER NO. 78: May, 1917 HEART DEVELOPMENT AND INITIATION: While I was dictating this month's lesson it occurred to me to ask whether you are getting the full benefit from the lessons or not? It all depends upon the way you are studying, for you cannot get any more out of them than what you put into them yourself. Therefore I thought best to de- vote this letter to a little discussion of the proper method of using them with maximum benefit. You know that it is the aim of the Rosicrucian teachings to develop the mind and the heart equally; to give all explanations in such a logical man- ner than the mind is ready to accept, and then the heart is allowed free scope for working over the material thus received. If you simply read the lesson and think over it and find it reasonable as an explanation of the subject taken up each month, and then you lay it away and forget all about it, it will do you very little good, for you have used only your intellect and not your heart. The proper way, after the lesson has been intellectually assimilated and assented to, is to take it up in a devotional [PAGE 845] manner during the rest of the month at different times when you feel in the mood for such an exercise. You should then go over the lesson, endeavoring not to think about it at all, leaving the intellect out as far as possible. Endeavor to FEEL it, for feeling is a function of the heart. Try to visual- ize the different things and subjects taken up in it. For instance, the lesson which accompanies this present letter deals with humanity during the heraphrodite stage. It calls to mind the entrance of the Lucifer spirits, also the path of regeneration under the guidance of Mercury. If you will visualize before your inner eyes the condition of man during the different stages which have passed, you will reap great benefit. You can do that better than you can visualize and feel the changes that are still in the future, for within your consciousness there lie latent all the feelings that you have had during all the past ages of your evolution, and it is only a matter of practice to be able to call them up at will. You will remember from what it said in the ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION concerning the method of Initiation that sometime when you come to that point you will have to travel backward over the road that you have come, and feel and see consciously that which you were unconscious of when you went over it. So the above practice is preparation. The more you can see your- self in the state of mind indicated, the more deeply you can FEEL yourself in the corresponding condition and realize the protecting and guiding hand of the divine hierarchies which have aided us in the path of evolution, the [PAGE 846] better you will be prepared for the time to come when you are to go through this during the process of Initiation. It is safe to say that you will re- ceive much more benefit from Initiation then than if you are unprepared. this practice of feeling the lesson you will find a very, very great aid to spiritual progress; and properly used, it will illuminate the lessons and give you a spiritual insight that cannot be attained in any other way. Therefore, I sincerely hope that you will take this to heart and make up your mind to practice it regularly, even with lessons which may seem to you at first glance dull and uninteresting. This process will enable you to dig out pearls hidden beneath the surface, of which you have never dreamed. LETTER NO. 79: June, 1917 SACRIFICE AND SPIRITUAL PROGRESS: From time to time letters are received at Headquarters asking in various terms the question: "How can I make more spiritual progress?" I have therefore thought well to devote this letter to a consideration of this sub- ject. It is a law in nature that "from nothing, nothing comes" Yet a great many people labor under the fallacy that spiritual truth and advancement may be had without money and without price. In a certain sense that is true, [PAGE 847] because it is absolutely wrong and vile to barter spiritual power for fitlhly lucre, as was so forcefully shown by Peter when he dealt with Simon the sorcerer, who wanted to buy spiritual powers from him and offered him money in exchange. At the same time there is a definite price upon spiritual growth which must be paid by every one who wants to attain it. In the first place, the old interests must be sacrificed. We all remember the parable about those who were bidden to the feast of the king but who re- frained from coming for various reasons. One had taken a wife and wanted to enjoy his honeymoon; another had bought oxen and wanted to inspect his new property; and so on, with the result that they all neglected their opportu- nity and lost their chance of advancement. The same proposition comes to us today in different guise. We may be willing to sit at home and read a book about spiritual things in our leisure hours when we have nothing to do that interest us more, but when the Great Work demands some of our time, we have various excuses. "I have a daughter I want to send through college," says one. "When that is done and my obli- gations are liquidated, I will take hold." Another says: "My business needs my presence every day, and at night I am tired. I cannot work for the Fel- lowship in the evening or attend their meetings, for I would not be fit to give all my energies to my work next day. But when I retire from business, I will take hold. A third says: "I have many children who demand my atten- tion and attendance at various social functions. I cannot go to the Fellow- ship meetings and neglect them. But when they are married, I will work for [PAGE 848] the cause." It is perfectly true that when we have assumed obligations we must dis- charge them to the best of our ability. At the same time there is also more than a possibility that if we think thoroughly over the matter we will find that we have some time left from our duties which may be devoted to the Great Work. In this connection it may be well to remember the incident of some coming to Christ and saying to Him: "Thy mother and they brethren stand without, desiring to speak with Thee." He answered, "Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?....Whososever shall do the will of my Father which is in Heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother." Again He said: "If any man come to Me, and hate not his Father, mother, and wife, and chil- dren, and brethren, and sisters, yea and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And every one that hath foresaken houses, or brethren, or sis- ters, or Father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for My Name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life." There is and must be a sacrifice involved in the regenerate life. It has been my experience personally, and in watching thousands of others, that in the direct proportion that any one gives of his thoughts, his time and money to the cause he has espoused so will he reap spiritual benefit. When one consecrates all that he is to the regenerate life and follows the guidance of the spirit it will soon be seen that his very intensity of purpose in the new direction shuts out the old things. He has no longer time for them. [PAGE 849] They pass out of his thoughts and drop away. In one way or another the daughter gets through college or finds some equally suitable employment. The business prospers even better than when the proprietor devoted all his time and all his energies to worrying and money grubbing. The children find another chaperon fully as capable as their mother when sometimes she is working for the spiritual cause. In every case that which we give up for the work's sake, the time that we spend in the cause of Christ, and the money we expend in discriminate charity are all provided for and compensated for under the law that works for good. As the psalmist says: "I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous foresaken, nor his seed begging bread." The law enunci- ated by Christ, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you," holds good in this day as well as when it was spoken. This I have found by actual experience, and ev- ery one else who lives the life and does the work will find that the same holds good in his or her case. There is growth only in service. [PAGE 850] LETTER NO. 80: July, 1917 ADJUSTING THE TEACHINGS TO THE UNDERSTANDING OF OTHERS: Recently we received a letter from Seattle which gives good a suggestion that you may like to use. Our friend writes: "The other day while in Ballard I went into the library and called for the "COSMO." When I was ready to go, I turned over to the table of food values and took the open book up to the librarian's desk. I showed her this table and said: 'This is a valuable table.' She, examining it said: 'Why, I have been asked a number of times for tables of just this kind.' Then the thought came to me that when other students go into a library and ask for the "COSMO,: they might do the same as I had done. The librarian might then catalogue the book as containing hints on health and food, and in that way it might come into the hands of some who are seeking for just the light which it contains." This is true to a much greater extent than we usually realize. Wonderful are the ways and the means and the places in which the Light strikes us, not only when we are not seeking consciously for it but even asserting that there is no such thing as light in the spiritual sense and decrying as frauds those who follow it. It has often been an inspiration and a source of great encouragement to me to think of Paul's journey to Damascus. He was [PAGE 851] a man who glorified in the zeal wherewith he persecuted the saints. None was as diligent as he in putting down that which he believed to be a dam- nable heresy. But strong souls are the darlings of the gods whether they work for good or for evil, because that indomitable, irresistible energy which drives them to action, even if temporarily used for bad purposes, will be just as strong when diverted into the channels of good. And so Paul was a special favorite of the gods, and therefore was given such a powerful light that it blinded him when he was least looking for such a thing, namely, while on the road to Damascus. Then and there he was given an un- derstanding and a knowledge far superior to those of any of the other apostles. He was chosen for a special mission and given a particular gift in the shape of spiritual vision and the ability to be all things to all men. Not infrequently our students complain that they cannot make their as- sociates or relatives understand the teachings of the Rosicrucians. An il- lustration occurred to me the other day when I was looking through the tool chest on Mt. Ecclesia. There were a large number of wrenches in it, some large and some small, each one fitted to turn just one size bolt; there were also a few that were adjustable within certain limits. Now it occurred to me that sometimes a very small wrench may be far more valuable than one of large dimensions; it all depends upon the size of the bolt. For a small bolt you need the small wrench, and for a large one the large wrench. Similarly, when we meet people in the world, we must size them up and see [PAGE 852] what they require. Many of us have studied very deeply into the Mystery Teachings and have acquired a profound knowledge of these subjects. We are like large wrenches, but absolutely useless for turning the little bolts that have not been touched with this knowledge at all. In such cases we must not try to air our profound knowledge and talk over the heads of our audiences, but we must endeavor to come down to their level and explain things to them in exactly the same elementary manner that was required with us in the beginning. In other words, we must be adjustable, like some of those wrenches in our tool chest. When we meet an audience of strangers, we must talk right down to their level and use the simplest language possible. Then, again, when we meet older students and are in a class where they are capable of grasping the profounder problems, we may expand to the very fullest of our ability with considerable profit and benefit to ourselves and all others concerned. But above all we must learn, with Paul, to be all things to all men, or we shall defeat the object we have in view of bringing light to seeking souls. [PAGE 853] LETTER NO. 81: August, 1917 THE VALUE OF REVIEWING PAST LESSONS: There is in the following letter a valuable suggestion from a student of the Rosicrucian teachings, which I feel it a duty to pass on: "Last night when looking over a big budget of correspondence that it had been my good fortune to receive from the Fellowship during nearly five years, I wondered how other probationers and students deal with their monthly Fellowship letters. Next it occurred to me that this should be made point of in one of the monthly letters. It is not my desire to criticize the doings of other probationers, but it is very probable that few students and probationers ever realize fully what a mine of information is really contained in these letters, which can be turned into heavenly treasure by right action. How often on looking over back numbers of them have new ideas and realizations sprung into being that I was not conscious of before, and what a help they have been in many an inner struggle! "Truly it may be said that in these back lessons we have a gold mine from which many treasures could be dug that would help us to live the life. Here indeed we have a second COSMO. Truly it behooves students and probationers [PAGE 854] to correctly file and look after every detail of their correspondence with the Fellowship so that it can be made of as much use as possible in diffus- ing the light of the Elder Brothers. Perhaps just one of these lessons is all that is required to help a friend. Much benefit must come from an or- derly arrangement of them. "I think it scarcely possible that the majority of students and proba- tioners can ever fully realize what a power for good there is behind these lessons. To those among us who have been used to strict data and scientific methods of research these back lessons will go a long way towards helping unite head and heart. They contain many a gem of thought which will make for right action and perseverance in well-doing. If the students and proba- tioners will hold the thought of how best to use the letters they receive, it will be very helpful and make for more soul growth. Surely it is the little things that make the big things possible, and perhaps this would stir some members to service." If students will bear in mind that repetition is the keynote of the vital body, and that "all occult development begins with the vital body," they will realize why it is so profitable to go over the back lessons and letters frequently. [PAGE 855] LETTER NO. 82: September, 1917 TAMING AN UNRULY MEMBER: As you probably know, we have here on Mt. Ecclesia a short service morn- ing and evening, which includes a reading from the Bible. Mrs. Heindel and myself are very fond of reading from time to time the third chapter of James because we find there such an important lesson. I thought it might be well to call it to your attention, particularly because of an incident which hap- pened here a short time ago that served to drive that lesson with great force into my consciousness. I believe that we shall all be able to profit by taking that lesson to heart. Let me quote a few verses from the chapter mentioned, and then I shall tell you the incident to which I refer. "If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindeth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity; so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth [PAGE 856] the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell, For every kind of beast, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: but the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. There- with bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similtude of God. My brethren, these things ought not to be. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits. And the fruit of righ- teousness is sown in peace of them that make peace." We have on Mt. Ecclesia several swarms of bees. Some time ago the gar- deners were endeavoring to move a swarm from one place to another. The bees became enraged at this interference with their life and work; they stung their aggressors severely and painfully in a number of places. When this incident was reported to me and I thought it over, it struck me that there was in it a very important lesson. The bee loses its sting whenever it has stung, and then it dies. Just think of it! How strictly the law of justice deals with it! It automatically kills itself when harming anyone else. It is not an avenging God but its own act that brings the retribution. Just think of it! If we died when we had stung others with sharp words, how many of us would be alive? And again, if we knew that we would die when we had stung, would we not curb our tongues to the benefit of ourselves and all others concerned.? This is surely an example that we may well take to heart and [PAGE 857] ponder repeatedly until we learn to snap our teeth together and keep our mouth closed whenever we are tempted to speak unkind words. If we can only do this, the time will come by and by when we shall cease to FEEL unkindly towards people, no matter what they do to us. I can assure you in the case of Mrs. Heindel and myself, particularly since we came to Headquarters, that this chapter has been of more spiritual benefit to us than any other. It has helped us more than all the rest put together, though of course we are far, far from perfect yet. But what we have done, and what others have done with us here, is ample warrant for rec- ommending this chapter to your earnest attention--coupled, perhaps, with the little story of the bees--for it will do as much for you if you read it and take it to heart one or twice a week. LETTER NO. 83: October, 1917 AN INNER TRIBUNAL OF TRUTH: Last week a visitor to Mt. Ecclesia told me that she had been studying all the different philosophies she could get hold of for about twenty years; also that she had in the past few years taken up the study of the Rosicrucian teachings, and that they appealed to her as being the absolute truth. She naturally expected me to give acquiescence to that sentiment, [PAGE 858] and was both amazed and dumbfounded when told that I did not so consider the teachings given me by the Elder Brothers and written in our various books. We have climbed from the valleys of childlike ignorance to the point where we are today, and it would be absolutely contrary to the law of ana- logy to suppose that anything in the religious line which we have today is the ultimate; for if there is to be no more religious progress, there can be no more human progress either. What, then, is the way to the heights of religious realization, and where may one find it? This seems to be the next logical question. The answer to it is that it is not found in books, either my own or anyone else's. Books are useful in so far as they give us food for thought on the subjects dealt with. We may or may not come to the same conclusions as the writer of the books, but so long as we take the ideas presented into our inner being and there work over them carefully and prayerfully, whatever comes out of the process is our own, nearer the truth than anything we can get from anyone [PAGE 859] else or in any other way. The WITHIN then is the only worthy tribunal of truth. If we consistently and persistently take our problems before that tribunal, we shall in the course of time evolve such a superior sense of truth that, instinctively whenever we hear an idea advanced, we shall know whether it is sound and true or not. The Bible in a number of places exhorts us to beware of all kinds of doctrines floating about in the air because many are dangerous and unsettle the mind. Books are launched on the market which advance this, that, or the other system of philosophy. Unless we have established, or have started to establish, this inner tribunal of truth, we may be like the lady referred to above--wandering about from place to place, mentally speak- ing, all our lives and finding no rest, knowing little more at the end than in the beginning and perhaps even less. Therefore my advice to the student would be never to accept or reject or follow blindly any authority, but to strive to establish the tribunal of truth within. Refer all matters to that tribunal, proving all things, and holding fast to that which is good. Continued with "RC1025.TXT" End of File


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