Filename: RC1045.TXT Source: +quot;The Rosicrucian Christianity Lectures+quot; by Max Hein

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Filename: RC1045.TXT Source: "The Rosicrucian Christianity Lectures" by Max Heindel [PAGE 1641] LECTURE FOURTEEN: LUCIFER, TEMPTER OR BENEFACTOR OR BOTH? ORIGIN AND MISSION OF SORROW AND PAIN As we look about us in the world there is no fact more potent than that, as the Hebrew poet expressed it, "Man is of few days and full of trouble," and naturally we ask why this is so. The theologian tells us that it is God's decree that we must suffer be- cause our first parents sinned, being tempted by the devil, and then he at- tempts to justify God by such doggerel as "In Adam's fall we sinned all." But why the eating of an apple as a cause should merit the punishment of painful parturition as an effect has always been a sore puzzle to Bible com- mentators, and how a wise, loving, and just God could decree so much misery to the whole human Race for the apparently slight fault of one pair is suf- ficiently hard to understand to excuse Robert Ingersoll in a measure for exclaiming: "An honest God is the noblest work of man." The seeming anomaly arises of course from lack of occult knowledge and consequent materialistic interpretations of that mine of occult information, the Bible. [PAGE 1642] To get at the true explanation concerning pain and sorrow we will first take the purely occult information, and then see what light the Bible gives. We remember that four great Epochs or ages have preceded our present Aryan Epoch: the Polarian, Hyperborean, Lemurian, and Atlantean Epochs. In the Polarian Epoch man had only a poorly organized dense body, hence he was as unconscious and immobile as the minerals, who are now so consti- tuted. In the Hyperborean Epoch his dense body was clothed upon with a vi- tal body, and the Spirit hovered outside. What the effect of such a nature is we may see by examining the plant, which is similarly constituted now. There we see constant REPETITION, a building upwards of stem and leaf in alternating succession, that would go on ad infinitum if there were no other influence. But as the plant has no separate desire body, the desire body of the Earth, the Desire World, hardens the plant and checks this intense up- wards growth in a measure. The creative force that cannot finds its expres- sion by making one particular plant grow taller, seeks another channel: it builds the flower and imbeds itself in the seed, so that it may grow upwards anew in another plant. In the Hyperborean Epoch, where man was similarly situated, his vital body caused him to grow to an enormous size. Acted upon by the Desire World, he threw off sport-like seed which were either appropriated by an- other human Ego or used by the Nature Spirits to build bodies for the animals who were then beginning to emerge from Chaos. (The highest life-wave starts first at the opening of a period and returns last to Chaos; [PAGE 1643] the succeeding life-waves, animal, plant, and mineral--emerge later and leave earlier.) Thus, in the Hyperborean Epoch, when man was similar to the plants in constitution, his vital body built vertebrae upon vertebrae, and would have gone on if the individual desire body had not been given him in the Lemurian Epoch. That commenced to harden the structure and checked the tendency to grow taller, and as a result the cranium, the flower upon the stem of the spinal column, was incipiently formed. Thwarted in its effort to build the one form taller, it became necessary for the creative force in the vital body to seek a new channel whereby it might continue its upward growth in another human being. Then man became a hermaphrodite capable of generating a new body from himself. In the plant there is no separate desire body, hence it feels no passion. It stretches its creative organ, the flower, chastely and unashamed toward the Sun, a thing of beauty and a delight. In man the INDIVIDUAL desire body must necessarily cause passion and de- sire unless subjugated by some ulterior means. Therefore man is the inver- sion of the chaste plant, both figuratively and literally, for he is pas- sionate and turns his creative organ towards the Earth and is ashamed of it. The plant takes its food by way of the root; man's nourishment enters his body by way of the head. Man inhales life-giving oxygen and exhales death-dealing carbon dioxide. This is taken by the plant, which extracts the poison and returns the vitalizing principle to man. In order to check passion and prevent abuse of the creative function, several measures were adopted by the leaders in charge of evolution. [PAGE 1644] This animal-like creature of mid-Lemurian times, though dreadful to look upon, was nevertheless a diamond in the rough, destined to become in time the perfect tool and beautiful temple of an indwelling Spirit. To that end if needed a controlling mechanism, a brain, and a second nervous system ca- pable of being controlled by "Will" which is the force of the prospective tenant, the Ego. The whole creative force might have been used to that purpose, but as the use of any tool causes it to wear out, a way must also be devised to replace a worn-out instrument when discarded by a Spirit at death, and so the cre- ative force in each being was divided. One-half was allowed to flow upwards as before, to build a brain and a larynx whereby the Spirit may control its instrument and express itself in thought and word. The other half was turned downwards through the creative organs, for reproduction. This arrangement has the further merit as a means of preventing abuse, that it made it harder to accomplish generation. Before the sexes were separated each one could create without help; under the present arrangement each must first seek the co-operation of another person who has the opposite half of the sex-force available for reproduction. That the boy changes his voice at puberty shows a connection between the creative organ and the larynx. Because half the sex-force builds the brain, one who overdraws for sexual excesses becomes an idiot, while the deep thinker, particularly along spiritual lines, feels little or no inclination for coition, as he uses most of his creative force in the brain. The Angels worked along with man in the Hyperborean Epoch, when he had only a dense and vital body, but in the Lemurian Epoch, when the desire body [PAGE 1645] was added, the Archangels also took a hand, to help the infant human Spirit to control its future vehicles. They neutralized the desire body so that it was only sexually active at certain times of the year. In the latter part of the Lemurian Epoch and the beginning of the Atlantean, the brain and cerebrospinal system were sufficiently evolved so that the link of Mind could be given, and the Ego began slowly to draw into its bodies, and became an INDWELLING SPIRIT in the middle of the Atlantean Epoch, fully conscious of its outside environment. Before the indrawing was fully completed, par- ticularly in the latter part of the Lemurian Epoch, man's consciousness was turned inwards, and he was mostly conscious in the spiritual world. Thus birth and death were nonexistent to him, as the sprouting out and drying away of a leaf is to the plant. His consciousness went on unbrokenly in the inner World whether he had a body or not, for he was unconscious of it, though he used it equally well for all that, as we use our stomach and lungs unconsciously. At stated times of the year the Archangels, withdrew their restraining influence on the desire body and the Angels marshaled humanity to great temples where the generative act was performed at the times when the con- stellations were propitious. Our present-day honeymoon trips are atavistic reminders of those migrations for propagative purposes, and show a connection with the heavenly bodies in the name honey-MOON. When propagation had been accomplished, the desire body was again neu- tralized, and in consequence there was no more pain connected with [PAGE 1646] parturition than is the case with the animals at present, where similar con- ditions obtain now. This was a carefree state, but man was extremely limited in conscious- ness, led and controlled by outside agencies willy-nilly. If that condition had continued, man would have remained a God-guided automaton. He can never become a self-conscious Creative Intelligence, as he is destined to become, until he throws off all yokes and works out his own salvation. Therefore great Leaders from a more advanced evolution were sent to train man and awaken him to knowledge of the material world without, and of course strong measures continued for ages were necessary. The boys were trained to develop "WILL," which is the spiritual counterpart of their positive cre- ative force. They were taught to carry immense burdens and steel the arm by will. They engaged in brutal fights and their bodies were burned and maimed, impaled upon spits, etc., in efforts to awaken the Ego to conscious- ness of the dense body and outside world. The girls were driven out into the immense fern-forests which grew luxuriantly in the moist, hot soil. They were exposed to the fury of the tempests of storm-swept Lemuria and set to watch volcanic outbursts which produced pictures before their inner vision. They likewise watched the fights of the boys, in order to develop their "IMAGINATION." Imagination is the spiritual pole of the negative force, and it mirrored the scenes of the outside world in dream-like pictures before their inner consciousness, and in that way the women were the first to become aware of the existence of the Physical World and the dense body, and they started to preach the gospel of the body to men, whom they told of this dimly perceived [PAGE 1647] physical existence. Some among us are now sensing the soul and trying to preach the gospel of the spiritual world where the Spirit lives, and meet unbelief and ridicule such as the Lemurian women encountered when trying to convince their compatriots that they had a dense body. Among the observations made by these seeresses was the fact that at times a man lost his body, and it disintegrated. She saw him just as before in the spiritual world, but he was gone from material existence, and it troubled her. From the Angels she could get no information; they work with the dense body, but not directly; they use the vital body as transmitter, and cannot make themselves understood to a reasoning brain-being. They get their knowledge without reasoning, for they send out their whole love in their world and cosmic wisdom flows in in return. Man also creates by love, but his love is selfish; he loves because he desires:--cooperation in gen- eration, for he only sends out half of his creative force in generation, the other half he selfishly keeps to build his own organ of thought, the brain, and he also uses that half selfishly to think, because he desires:--knowl- edge. Hence he must work and reason to gain wisdom, but in time he will ar- rive at a much higher stage than either Angel or Archangel. He will then have passed beyond the need of the lower creative organs, he will create by means of the larynx, and be able to "make the WORD flesh." At that stage the woman could not reason either, for the mind was given by the Powers of Darkness, and it was dark, and before it could be of any use in correlating facts it must be illuminated. Only after that has been [PAGE 1648] done can man throw "the LIGHT of Reason" upon his problems. It is here that we first hear of "Lucifer," "the Light-bringer," who speaks to the woman and helps her to solve the riddle by showing her how, with the help of the man, she may exercise the creative function indepen- dently of the Angels, and in that way provide bodies when they have been lost, and in that way evade death. He inquires if God has forbidden them to eat of the tree, and is told that they have been forbidden to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, under penalty of death. That the tree of KNOW-LEDGE is a symbolical expression for the generative function is readily apparent when we remember how limited the consciousness of man was at that time. He KNEW or was aware of nothing OUTSIDE himself, his eyes had not yet been opened, his consciousness was internal, like the picture-consciousness of our dreams, except that it was not confused, but he was as unaware of the exterior world and beings as we are now of the spiritual world, save at the times when he was conducted to the temples and brought into intimate sexual contact with another; then, for the moment, the Spirit pierced the veil of flesh. Then man and wife KNEW each other in body, and to the initiated the Bible records these facts in a wonderfully illuminating way and continues to use the same expression in many places, such as: "Adam KNEW his wife," and in Mary's question: "How shall I con- ceive, seeing that I KNOW not a man." The pain of childbirth is also more logically meted out as a penalty for violation of an injunction against sexual intercourse than as a punishment for eating an apple. The serpent said: "Ye shall not surely die, for the God doth know that [PAGE 1649] in the day ye eat thereof YOUR EYES SHALL BE OPENED, and ye shall be as the gods, knowing good AND EVIL." The latter was then unknown to man. Acting upon this advice, the woman secured the cooperation of man and by the power of will they freed their desire bodies. That faculty was then much greater than now, for it is a law that each new faculty is always bought at the cost of weakening some previous power, as when the faculty of thought was bought at the price of half the creative force. Then the man's will-power was such that the anxiety of the God "lest man eat also of 'the tree of life' and become immortal" was well founded, for had he secured pos- session of the secret of renewing the vital body as well as the dense body, he would have been able to create a body and vitalize it forever. Then there would truly have been no death, but neither would there have been any evolution; as man did not then, and does not yet, know how to build a per- fect body, that would have been the greatest possible calamity. Death is not a curse, but a friend when it comes naturally, for it releases us from an environment we have outgrown, and from a body that ties us, in order that we may get a new chance in a new and better body to learn new lessons. The untrammeled use of the sex-function had the result of making man more and more conscious of his body; "their eyes were opened," and their atten- tion focused more and more on the Physical World, until by degrees they have forgotten the higher worlds altogether, and many have ceased to even believe that there is an immortal spirit in man. To them the death of the body is of course a terrible thing, a dire calamity despite all assertions, because they think it annihilation. So, although the word of Lucifer was true, and [PAGE 1650] a new body is provided, the word of the Angel was truer still, for there was no sting in death until man lost consciousness of the higher worlds. As to the curse: "In sorrow shalt thou bring forth thy children," it was no curse at all, but a simple statement of the effects that must inevitably result from the abuse or ignorant use of the creative function. While that was exercised under the wise guidance of the Angels, at cer- tain times of the year, when the cosmic lines of force running from planet to planet were propitious, parturition could be accomplished without pain, but man was and is ignorant of these factors, hence he transgressed and pain resulted. Thus the brain and vocal organ have been bought at the cost of half the creative force; freedom from the rule of the Angels and the power to ini- tiate action, to choose good or evil, and consciousness of the material world are ours at the cost of sorrow, pain, and death. But all things work for good in God's kingdom, the world. Even that which is evil is transmuted by the subtlest spiritual alchemy into steppingstones to a higher good than could have been achieved without it. Having been exiled from the garden of Eden, the Etheric Region, by learn- ing to KNOW the material world, in consequence of repeated sexual abuse which has focused his attention here, this increased use of the desire bodyhardened the dense body and it began to require food and shelter. Thus man's ingenuity was taxed to provide for the body. Hunger and cold were whips of evil that called forth man's ingenuity; they forced him to think and act to provide for his necessities. Thus he is gradually learning wis- dom; he provides for these contingencies before they come, because the pangs [PAGE 1651] of hunger and cold have taught him to guard himself, and thus WISDOM IS CRYSTALLIZED PAIN. Our sorrows, when they are past, and we can calmly view them and extract the lessons they contained, are mines of wisdom, and are the wombs of future joys, for by them we learn to order our lives aright, we learn to cease from sin, for IGNORANCE is sin and the only sin, and APPLIED KNOWLEDGE IS SALVATION, and the only salvation. That seems a broad state- ment, but if we try it out in thought it will be found to be as absolutely true and capable of demonstration as that twice two are four. As to the question: Who are these Lucifers? (for, although the Bible seems to speak of only one person, that is as wrong as where it uses the singular for God in the first chapter of Genesis)--They are a class of Be- ings who attained to a stage of evolution far beyond that of our humanity in the Moon Period, but fell short of the development of the Angels. They are demi-gods, and could not take a dense body like man. But neither could they gather experience as the Angels are doing. They needed a brain and spinal cord, and so, when man had built such an instrument, it was to their advan- tage to prompt him in the use of it. At that time the opening consciousness of man was turned INWARDS, and he saw his inner organs and built them with the same force that he now turns OUTWARDS to build houses and ships, etc., and the outside muscles of his body; so the woman, who was most advanced in that direction because of hav- ing her Imagination trained, saw the intelligence embodied in her serpentine spinal cord, and at a later stage, when man came to record this experience, the serpent appealed to him as the nearest likeness to that which he wanted [PAGE 1652] to tell about. This idea is carried out right through the Bible. In Isaiah 14 he is called Lucifer (day-star), king of Babel-On (gate of the sun), a city lo- cated upon seven hills, and having dominion over the World. There mankind ceased to act in unison and became separated into warring nations. It is the seed-ground of all the ills imaginable, and is called a "harlot" in Rev- elation, where her fall is described. In supreme antithesis we hear of another "Light of the World," a "bright morning-star," a true light (Christ), who shall rise after the fall of Babylon and reign forever in a city of peace: Jer-u-salem, that is called the "bride." It comes down from heaven, and has twelve gates, but they are never closed, although the precious tree of life is within. There is no out- side illumination. The light is within and there is no night. Truly a wonderful city, and the greatest imaginable antithesis to the other. What does it mean? for literal interpretation is out of the ques- tion in both cases. Allowing that a city of Babylon has existed, it was not LITERALLY as described, and the future "New Jerusalem" is contrary to all laws of nature as we know them. These two cities must therefore be symbols. In order to unravel the meaning, let us consider that these cities are located upon seven hills or mountains, a position offering special advan- tages for observation. Moses went "into the mountain" and "saw" and "heard," so did those on "the mount" of transfiguration. Daniel likens Babylon to the HEAD of the image Nebuchadnezzar saw in a dream, and on the human head there are seven places of observation: two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, and a mouth. Upon these sits the brain, where the "Light'giver," [PAGE 1653] REASON, rules the little world, the microcosm, as the Great Light-giver, God, rules the macrocosm. Reason is the product of selfishness. It is generated by the mind given by the "Powers of Darkness," in a brain built by selfishly keeping half the sex-force, and prompted by the selfish Lucifers, hence it is "the seed of the serpent," and although transmuted to WISDOM through pain and sorrow, it must give way to something higher--to INTUITION, which means: teaching from within. That is a spiritual faculty, equally present in all Spirits, whether functioning for the time being as man or woman, but it expresses it- self most prominently in those incarnated in a female organism, for there the counterpart of the life spirit--the vital body--is male, positive; and INTUITION, the faculty of the life spirit, may therefore properly be called "the woman's seed," whence all altruistic tendencies spring, and whereby all nations are being slowly but surely drawn together in a Universal Brother- hood of LOVE, regardless of Race, sex, or color. This brain of ours is not a homogeneous whole, however; it is divided into two halves, and it is a fact well known to physiologists that we use principally but one of these cerebral hemispheres--THE LEFT. The right half of our brain is only partially active. The heart also is ON THE LEFT SIDE of our body, but is beginning to move towards "the right" place. The "right" brain will also become more and more active, and in consequence of these two physiological changes man's whole character will appear different. The LEFT SIDE is under the sway of the Lucifers and is given over to self- ishness, but the Ego will gain more and more control as THE RIGHT SIDE of [PAGE 1654] the brain is invested with power to act upon the body as RIGHT judgment. That there is a a change going on in the heart which makes it an anomaly, a puzzle, is not news to physiologists. We have two sets of muscles, one set is under the control of the will, as, for instance, the muscles of arm and hand. They are striped both lengthwise and crosswise. The involuntary muscles, which take care of functions not under control of the will, which cannot be moved by DESIRE, are striped lengthwise only. THE HEART IS THE ONLY EXCEPTION. It is not under the control of desire, AND YET IT IS BEGIN- NING TO SHOW CROSS-STRIPES LIKE A VOLUNTARY MUSCLE. In time those cross-stripes will develop fully and the heart will be un- der our control. When that time comes we will be able to direct the blood where we will to send it. Then we may refuse to send it to the left brain, and BABYLON, THE CITY OF LUCIFER, WILL FALL. When the blood is sent into the right brain we shall be building the New Jerusalem, and we are now preparing for that time by building the cross-stripes on the heart by altruistic ideals or, in the case of the pu- pil, by sending the sex current through the RIGHT-HAND PATH of the heart. We remember that the Cherubim awakened the life spirit, the seat of di- vine love, whose shadow is the vital body, the medium of propagation, and when man was exiled from the Etheric Region, the garden of Eden, with its four streams of Ether, for the misuse of the sex force, the Cherubim were placed before it with a flaming sword. The right use of the sex force builds an organ which will give man the key to the inner Worlds and help him to create by thought. Then sorrow and pain will cease and he will have [PAGE 1655] entered the path to the city of peace--Jer-u-salem. Lemuria perished by fire and terrible volcanic cataclysms. In its stead rose Atlantis. In time that was buried beneath the waves and gave way to Aryan, the Earth as we see it at present in the Aryan Epoch, but that is soon past. The salamanders are beginning to stir the fires in the forge to make "a new heaven and a new Earth," which the Western School of Occultism calls the "New Galilee." In the first two Epochs man evolved a body and vitalized it; in the Lemurian Epoch he developed DESIRE; the Atlantean Epoch produced CUNNING; and the fruitage of the Aryan Epoch is REASON. In the New Galilee humanity will have a much finer and more ethereal body than now, the Earth will be transparent also, and as a result those bodies will be more easily responsive to the spiritual impacts of INTUITION. Such a body will not get tired either, hence THERE IS NO NIGHT, and the twelve cranial nerves, which are the gates to the seat of consciousness, then as now are consequently never closed. Besides, New Galilee will be formed of luminous ether and transmit sunlight. That land will be a land of peace (Jer-u-salem), for Universal Brotherhood will bind all beings of all the Earth together in Love. There can be no death, for the tree of life, the faculty for generating vital force, is made possible by means of the ethe- real organ in the head already mentioned, which will be evolved in those who are even now being taken out as forebears for the humanity of that coming Epoch. That Race is spoken of as "Christ's Race"; but, be it understood that that is not because of an exterior Christ, but because they will evolve the Christ-principle WITHIN, they will act as dictated by the spirit through [PAGE 1656] Intuition, and all they do will be done in Love. Only by such INDIVIDUAL UPLIFTMENT can the salvation of the Race be accomplished, for as Angelus Silesius put it, Though Christ a thousand times in Bethlehem be born, And not within thyself, thy soul will be forlorn, The cross on Golgotha thou lookest to in vain Unless within thyself it be set up again. LECTURE FIFTEEN: THE MYSTERY OF GOLGOTHA AND THE CLEANSING BLOOD All through the past two thousand years in which we have had the Chris- tian religion among us, and since the doctrine of the vicarious atonement and the cleansing blood has come into our Western World, there has been a contention among many people, in the later centuries especially, about whether there is really any efficacy in that cleansing blood, or whether it is only a foolish story. We shall hope tonight to show that there is some- thing vastly grander than ever anyone has imagined, when we come to turn the light of occultism and reason upon this doctrine. Afterwards we may let our hearts have full sway in belief of this grand and glorious idea of the cleansing blood and of the atonement that was effected two millenniums ago at the Place of the Skull, which is called Golgotha in the Hebrew. When we read our Christian creed, we find the sentence, "Jesus Christ, the only begotten son of God," and it is assumed by most people that the sentence refers to a single individual called Jesus Christ, who was the only begotten son of God. However, we shall very quickly see that that is not so--that there are three great and glorious individualities concerned in the [PAGE 1657] sentence. They are all worthy of our very greatest veneration, but differ vastly in glory, and have a very, very different career back of them. When we examine Jesus in the light of the occult records, in the light of that which we have seen in the previous lectures is called "the memory of nature," then we find that "that Spirit which was in Jesus" from the time of birth, is an Ego which belongs to our human race, and which has incarnated again and again. We can find him under different names and varying circum- stances, just as you and I have been and are going to be. So we find that at the time that is stated in our records, at about the beginning of our era, there was born in Palestine a child, and that child was Jesus. His mother was of an exceedingly pure type--a most beautiful character--and his father was an initiate of high degree, one who, for that one time in his life, forsook the path of celibacy. He had in previous in- carnations gone past the time when he should be a householder. In this life he had devoted himself wholly to the occult path; and when the time came that a great teacher was to incarnate among us, he was selected to give the fertilizing seed for that teacher's body. In that way, there was provided such a wonderful body as has never been before nor since. It was of the purest and most passionless type, and the Ego Jesus who came into it, came into it as a great Spirit, knowing that was his mission in that life to bring up a body in as pure as possible a manner, because it was not to be his for longer than the term of thirty years. At that time he was to give it up to another, much higher than he. Concerning the early days of Jesus, it might be well to say that he was born there in Palestine; that he went through his early boyhood days in full [PAGE 1658] knowledge of that mission which was his. He was put into the schools of the Essenes, on the shores of the Dead Sea. The Essenes were a community there, who were of the most devout character. They were as opposite as possible to the materialistic Sadducees, and far, far beyond the cynical Pharisees. They were not people who went about in the synagogues and prided themselves on their learning, piety, etc., but were people who stayed in their own com- munity and lived the holy life as they saw it. Among them the growing Jesus found his early training, and he was so marvelously adapted to the life that was led there that in a very short time he distanced them all. Then, at a later period, he went to Persia. This school of the Essenes where he was, was a great center of learning. It had a great library, and he absorbed an immense amount of occult knowledge, regaining what he had learned in previ- ous lives. At the end of thirty years he had cleansed and purified his body so far that it could be taken by the Great Being whom we call the Christ. We shall next see who that Great Being is. We said of Jesus that he could be traced back in the Memory of Nature from incarnation to incarnation under different names, and in different en- vironments. But of Christ we find only one incarnation, and that is when he incarnated in the body of Jesus, at the end of the thirty years. To trace Him, let us briefly recapitulate some earlier statements. We went through the Saturn Period, the Sun Period, and the Moon Period, and we finally came here. We saw also, in previous lectures, that the hu- manity of the Saturn Period were the lords of Mind; the humanity of the Sun Period were the Archangels; the humanity of the Moon Period were the Angels. [PAGE 1659] Those were the ordinary humanity of these different periods, beings who are working with us invisibly, working upon our vital bodies and desire bodies and minds, helping us to evolve. When we see that there are initiates in this period, that someone like Jesus can progress far ahead of ordinary hu- manity, we may understand that the same can have been done in previous peri- ods also, and it is these who have gone beyond ordinary evolution that we speak of today as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God, as God, is not the creator of our Universe. In the highest world of this Cosmic Plane which we inhabit, He is found as GOD, but below that He is not God. He expresses himself in the different worlds as various kingdoms of man, Angels, Archangels, etc., and therefore we do not see Him in human- ity until we get to that great world, the world we call in occultism the World of God. In that World of God. the Triune God IS. The highest Ini- tiate of the Saturn Period has attained to that point where He has become one with the highest aspect of the Triune God, and so He is called THE FATHER--the Father of all those who evolved in our evolution. The one who came next to Him in glory, the Highest Initiate of the Sun Period, evolved up to the point where he became united with the second as- pect of the Triune God, and therefore, He is the Son. That is the Cosmic Christ, and a Ray from Him entered Jesus' body. The third Great Being, the Only Begotten, mentioned in that sentence from the Christian Creed, is still greater than Jesus and Christ, but we have not so much to do with that Being at this present time. It may be well to know, [PAGE 1660] however, that the Holy Spirit, the Power of God working with all the na- tions, is Jehovah, the Highest Initiate of the Moon Period. By looking at Diagram 14 we shall see that this tallies with what we have learned in previous lectures. Each Being has seven vehicles, and the lowest of Jehovah's vehicles comes down to the Region of Abstract Thought, where we have our Ego. There we are below the line that divides spirit from matter. there is DIFFERENTIATION. We have seen in Lecture No. 3 that every planet in our system has its three separate worlds, the Physical World, the Desire World, and the World of Thought--that is, SEPARATE vehicles for each planet--but the UNIFYING PRINCIPLE in our solar system is the Life Spirit, and therefore the Son, who is to be the unifying principle in the world, or in the planet, must have that life spirit evolved. Christ, the Highest Ini- tiate of the Sun Period, at the present time ordinarily uses as His lowest vehicle the life spirit. In the Sun Period, the lowest of the Globes was in the Desire World, and therefore the Archangels have the desire body as their lowest vehicles yet; but Christ has gone beyond. He has raised himself higher, and so He has the life spirit as His lowest vehicle today, and ordinarily uses no denser ve- hicle. Only by the power of the life spirit can the national tendency be overcome and a universal brotherhood of man become a fact. The vehicles pertaining to the World of Thought, the Ego, and the mind, make for separateness. They have that for their characteristic. But the life spirit is the unifying principle in the universe, and therefore Christ is the only one fitted to bring about brotherhood. There is the reason why Christ HAD to come to help us. An now about Christ-Jesus. It is a law in the universe that no being, however great, can [PAGE 1661] ever build a vehicle and function in a world that is higher or lower than the world that he has learned to function in. So that when it became neces- sary to work here in our Physical World, it was an absolute impossibility for any being except our humanity to work here. They alone have been able to build dense human vehicles. They have been helped by others, but THEY have done the work, and therefore it was necessary that one of them, in or- der to obtain this help from Christ for the race, must give up his body, so that the higher being could enter it, and then help humanity. We know that at death, or at any time when we have to leave this Physical World, we give up our dense body and our vital body, because they belong to the Physical World. And so Jesus, when he had come to the age of thirty, when he had made his instrument fit for the use of the Great Being, gladly, willingly gave it away. He left it at the baptism as he would have stepped out at death, that the Christ might step in, and that was seen to descend upon him as a dove. Christ, as an Archangel, had learned to build down to the desire body, but the vital body and the dense body he had never learned to build. The Archangels had worked on humanity FROM WITHOUT before, as Group Spirits do: but that was not enough. The help had to come FROM WITHIN. That was made possible by the combination of Christ and Jesus, and therefore, it is true, in the very highest sense, in the most literal sense, when Paul says: "There is but one mediator between God and man--Christ Jesus, the righ- teous." No other entity in our system possesses the whole chain of twelve vehicles that stretches from the dense body, and right up through all the [PAGE 1662] seven worlds, to the second aspect of the Triune God, the Son. Therefore, he can come to the very throne of the Father; therefore, He can go to the highest possible pitch, and can take the sorrows and sufferings of humanity there, and can cleanse us in a way no other can, and help as no other can. Now then, we have seen who Jesus is, who Christ is, and who the composite personality is that we speak of as Christ-Jesus. The Only Begotten is yet a much higher being. We hear people speak of the Absolute, and they think of the Absolute then as God, perhaps!. Their ideas are very, very hazy. They could not be otherwise, of course. There has been no definite teaching upon this subject. But God, the Grand Architect of our Universe, as called by the Masons, is described as the Creator of our solar system, and has nothing to do with anything outside our solar system. Beyond the seven worlds where our solar system and all other solar systems are located there are still six other great Cosmic Planes of life and being, and in them there are higher hierarchies of different grades and glories beyond that Great Being we speak of as God. Highest among them, there is what we may call the Supreme Being, the one who includes all the solar systems and all the hierarchies in the whole Universe; and the Word that came out from that great Being--the first Sound or Creative Fiat--the first manifestation from the Supreme Being--that is the ALONE BEGOTTEN. Other Beings have been "Alone Begotten" in a similar way, but not in the same way that first Sound was. There was nothing but the Supreme Being before that started, and we can speak of nothing beyond that One except the Absolute. [PAGE 1663] Although this may mean nothing to us at the present time, it is well to know that there is a distinction, so that our ideas are clear at last, as to who God is, who the Son is, and who is the holy Spirit; also in regard to Christ-Jesus. The Father is the Highest Initiate of the Saturn Period. The Son is the Highest Initiate of the Sun Period, having reached by ini- tiation the second aspect of God. Jehovah, the Holy Spirit, is the Highest Initiate of the Moon Period. And the ordinary humanity of the different periods are, respectively, the Angels, the Archangels, and the Lords of Mind. Many of these great hierar- chies there are, many that are beyond the evolution of man, and below the evolution of man, but there is none, NONE, "there is none other name given among men" whereby men must be saved, than the name of Christ-Jesus. Now we have at last come to an understanding of our factors, the factors that go to make this great sacrifice on Golgotha--we know who is who. These lectures are at first analytical in the highest degree, but when we combine their results, and consider the sacrifice in their light, then we shall see something great, something spiritual in it. It is necessary to be analyti- cal for the sake of those who have been put off in the churches. They have questioned, "What good in the world can it do me to believe?" They are seeking for an answer to that question raised in their minds, "What is the efficacy of the blood?" and therefore it is necessary to be analytical before we come to the spiritual teaching. We have one more fac- tor we must analyze, and that is the Blood. [PAGE 1664] You have heard me say a number of times that the blood is the particular vehicle of the Ego in the physical world. We find in the Bible that that was well known among those who wrote Leviticus. They said, the life is in the blood. We see blood as a number of little microscopic globules or discs, but blood is not of that nature as seen by the trained clairvoyant in the living human body. Blood is a gas, then, a hot spiritual essence. The heat is caused by the Ego that is within that blood. If the skin is punc- tured, and the blood exuded, it coagulates, as steam, which is an invisible hot gas, condenses as soon as it comes out into the atmosphere. The blood in our veins is the vehicle through which, by means of the sympathetic ner- vous system, the subconscious mind carries on all the activities of the body that we are not aware of in the conscious mind. Blood is a most peculiar essence, as shown in the myth of Faust, where he is signing a compact with the Evil One. He is going to sign it in ink. But Mephistopheles says, "Sign it in blood." Faust questions, "Why? Is that more efficacious?" "Yes," says Mephistopheles, "blood is a most peculiar essence"--for he knows that the blood contains the Ego, therefore he wants the blood of the man he is trying to get in his power. The human Ego is more powerful than the Group Spirit of the animal, as we see when we apply the test of science, known as haemolysis. Strange blood of a higher animal will kill if inoculated into a lower species. If we take human blood and inoculate it into a lower animal, the animal cannot stand the high vibration that is in the blood of the human being; it dies. On the other hand, inoculate the human being with the blood of the animal and he will not suffer. We may go as far down in the scale of being as the [PAGE 1665] anthropoids. They can stand inoculations of human blood; all other animals die. In the days previous to Christ, we remember from Parsifal that there was no initiation for "whosoever will." It was said as a prophecy, "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters," but that was only as a prophecy. After Christ came, we have "whosoever will." Before that time initiation was reserved for certain castes. They alone could be initiates, or priests. To show that that was abrogated, the body of Jesus was taken--NOT one from a Levite. It came from the strongest mixture in the Jewish nation, the Galileans. In earlier times no one might marry except in his own tribe. We read that Adam and Methuselah lived so and so many years. At that time it was the practice to marry in the family, to marry as closely in the family as possible; then the blood that coursed through the veins of the people in that family contained the pictures of all that had happened to the different ancestors stored in the mind which is now subconscious. Then it was con- sciously and constantly before the inner vision of man, and each family was united by the common blood wherein their ancestors lived. The sons saw the life of their fathers. Thus Adam and the other patriarchs lived on for cen- turies. In those olden times no one would go outside the family to marry, any more that we would go inside the family. It was a horror to marry into a strange family. Even in the Norse mythology, we learn how those who wanted to become part of a family would be obliged to mix blood. it had to be first seen whether that blood would mix or not, so we see haemolysis was known then in some of its phases at least. If the blood did not mix it [PAGE 1666] would bring about "confusion of caste" as the Hindu says. A strict line must be kept, for otherwise those pictures of the inner vision would not be the same, they would become confused. When Christ came he abrogated that practice when he said, "Before Abraham was, I AM." I do not care for Abraham, but I glory in the I AM, the Ego that was long before he was. And he said, "Who does not leave father and mother, cannot follow me." As long as you are keeping up the family, the nation, the tribe, you are siding with the old blood, the old ways, and you cannot amalgamate into a universal brotherhood. That can only come when you marry internationally. Because when you have so many nations, it is like so many houses of brick. As long as you have those houses standing about you, you cannot make one grand building, but when you break them up, you can mold them into one grand structure. Marriage in the family must be done away with; let Abraham die that the "I am" may live; perish Paternalism, Indi- vidualism to the fore. What effect has that change had? The mixture of blood always kills some- thing. If it does not kill the animal, it kills something else., If we mate a horse and a donkey, we have as the outcome a HYBRID, the mule. Is that mule the same as each of those who begot it? Is there not something killed? Yes. The FACULTY OF PROPAGATION IS KILLED, and so it is in all other hybrids. They cannot propagate their species. In the same way, when we marry internationally, something else is killed. And that is--the pic- tures in the inner vision. The different pictures of different families clash, and so the clairvoyance, the touch with the spiritual world, with the memory of nature, has waned since that time. The Highland Scots who married [PAGE 1667] in the clan, and the gypsies alone retain this second sight in a measure. If someone had stood for thousands of years upon a distant planet and looked clairvoyantly at our little Earth, he would have seen a gradual change from bad to worse in its Desire World and World of Thought. It was getting more and more filled up with murky and bad vibrations, because man, in the days of his earliest childhood, was not able to control his impulses. He was controlled mostly by the mind and the desire body, and therefore af- ter death he had to stay in Purgatory almost all of the times between incar- nations; there was almost no progress. The Second Heaven life, where he learns to do creative work, was almost barren. The Desire World of the Earth must be cleansed to give man a new start. That was Christ's mission. As to the reason for the violent death, we have already heard that when a person is taken violently out of his instrument there is something that clings to it, and that something is the impurities of the lower nature. We have the arterial blood, and the venous blood, and in that venous blood are the impurities that belong to the lower nature; but in the arterial blood we have the purity. The venous blood clings closely to the flesh, and there- fore at the time that any person is killed, if the blood flows, there is a distinct cleansing. Whenever the spirit is taken out of the body by acci- dent, and the flood flows, man is cleaner, he is better as a spirit. The body of Jesus was to be killed, and blood was to flow, in order that by that violent death, the last impurity that might be still clinging to the flesh should be left to decay; that the Christ Spirit, pure and untainted, [PAGE 1668] with none of the impurities of the body it had used, might be diffused over the world. When that Great Being flowed out through the wounds of Jesus' body, that luminous Sun Spirit diffused itself all over the Earth. And that is why we hear of that great darkness, because that spiritual light was what men per- ceived as darkness. But gradually it was absorbed into the Earth, and took its place, permitting everything within its influence to return to its nor- mal condition, so far as man could see; but the vibrations that had been set up there cleansed, purified, and set in rhythmic order the vibrations in the higher world, and gave a spiritual impulse that could not otherwise have been given, and THAT was the way that it cleansed, and "took away the sin of the world" by restoring the rhythmic vibrations in a measure and thus en- abling man to progress. That influence is still working and cleansing the world; it is the source of altruism and benevolence which are gradually tak- ing the place of patriotism and selfishness, bringing Universal Brotherhood and Fellowship to the World. [PAGE 1669] LECTURE SIXTEEN: THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM: A MYSTIC FACT More than nineteen hundred years ago in Palestine there was born a little child. Children are born every day, every month, from one year's end to an- other, all over the face of the world, but this birth was something very, very different from any other. It was a birth that took place among and amid great spiritual manifestation. Angel choirs heralded this peacemaker, who was to give man the choicest of gifts--Peace on Earth and Good Will among men. How much it is needed! The Wise Men came and worshiped, they brought gifts to the little child's cradle, and time passes on. The child grows, becomes a man, and says, "I came not to send peace, but a sword." A very different story that from the way he was heralded as a peacemaker; a very different career he pointed out for himself in the world than that which had been sung about by the angels on that Holy night. And history goes on to show that this prophecy was ful- filled. That Christian religion he came to found has been the bloodiest scourge the world has ever known, without any exception. The Mohammedan has been somewhat akin to the Christian religion and has been akin in that also, that it has been a religion of blood, of war, and of murder. [PAGE 1670] The gentle Nazarene spoke also of a time of love beyond, but those who came after him have fought like the Indian, they have outdistanced the In- dian in cunning, in devising tortures for their victims, and yet they call themselves by his name--Jesuits. The Christian nations maintain and have maintained all along armies and navies. They pay inventors enormous prices for inventing machine guns and high explosives wherewith to destroy their fellow men. All over the Western World has gone the battle cry and nothing has equalled this religion in fierceness and destructiveness. The religion of Buddha has won its many hundred millions without the cost of a single life, but this religion of the Western World has cost rivers and rivers of blood; has brought untold sorrow and misery into this world. We see it gradually spreading its bloody trail as these Western nations go all over the world, carrying the sword of Christ, overcoming and subjecting the na- tions of the world. Even when there is peace within the nations we have every day the war of competition. Every man's hand is against every other man's; there is no co- operation in this cruel struggle. We see on every hand the evidence of this in the growth of trust systems. All over there is a great strife and struggle. One must look this fact in the fact when he is a Christian at heart; he feels at heart that there is something wrong when he sees those things and is forced to ask himself, "Was it a lie that was sung by the an- gels on that Holy night? Was the star of hope that guided the Wise Men a mockery? Was this all a delusion we have heard about, and is it only a cruel religion that we have here in this Western World?" I hope, friends, tonight to be able to show you that there is a reason [PAGE 1671] for all of this; that there is a good, sound reason for every act of cruelty Christianity has brought in its wake, and that this trouble is only a neces- sary forerunner for something better, a state of peace, of joy, of love; that the star of hope was indeed a star of hope and is yet a star of hope for all who will seek it, and that the burden of the angel song is but de- ferred; that the present unhappy condition is just on the same order than when a person cleans house he puts a fairly orderly house in disorder, pil- ing chairs on top of one another, taking up carpets, raising dust, etc. But that is all done with the ultimate idea in view of making the house cleaner, sweeter, better than before. Those historical facts in that past history of the Christian religion are of the same order; a present chaos out of which shall come the brotherhood of love and good will. In order to understand we must go back in time. We know from the later lectures that man has not always been as he is; that he has lived in differ- ent state. We look upon everything in the cosmos not as it is now, but as it has evolved up to the present stage. Above all, we must cease to look at things in a materialistic manner. We must cease to regard ourselves and this Earth as mere forms. We must cease to regard the universe as a vast perpetual-motion machine, and realize that the stars are the organs of a great Being whom we call by the Holy name of God; that these stars are also the bodies of great Spirits and that their motion in the universe means something. When we see a man gesticulate we attach a meaning to it; when we see him hold out his hands with the palms towards us, we attach a meaning to it; he is telling us to go away. We know there is a different significance to it when his palms are turned towards himself; then he is beckoning to us [PAGE 1672] to come to him. So with the stars. As they go around the zodiac year after year every one has a different position with regard to every other, until after countless ages they return to the first position. Every one of them is a feeling, living, thinking organism. The solstices have different mean- ings. The summer solstice brings about one certain change in the Earth; when the Sun goes to the winter solstice in December there is another influ- ence upon the Earth. So with the vernal and fall equinox. They all mean something; they all have significance in the cosmos. The Earth itself is a feeling, living organism. When we go out in the summer time and see the harvesters mowing the grain, let us not think there is no feeling about it; the Earth feels it. A cow that gives its life force to its offspring experiences joy and pleasure of having brought forth; it feels relieved when the calf takes the milk. It is so also with the Earth when the grain is taken off by the harvester. It is the same when we pluck flowers. On the other hand, when we pluck plants up by the roots it causes the Earth pain, just as it does us when we have our hair pulled. When we break a stone we give the Earth pleasure, for this Earth is the body of a Spirit, which has incarnated here in our dense Earth in order that we might have the material wherewith to build the dense bodies we function in just now. The Earth Spirit is longing for the day of redemption, when man shall have evolved so far that he shall cease to be under the necessity of having such a dense body and be able to function in a more ethereal vehicle. Then this instrument will have been spiritualized so that we may take the spiritual essence of it and discard the dense body. That is to be gained in [PAGE 1673] a certain way by the initiation we shall hear about later in the lecture. The Mystery of Golgotha we spoke of the other night, where we heard of this great Christ Spirit going into the Earth. That is only the beginning of the sacrifice. It was not just the death of the body of Jesus, that was over in a moment, but it was the continued incarceration of that Christ, who emanated from the cosmic Christ principle and is now the indwelling Earth Spirit, confined here till He has accomplished the redemption of man. We remember that at one time we dwelt upon the sun; that is to say, that even in this Earth Period, when we came here to live the last time, we were in that central fire-mist, and we were there up to the time spoken of as the Hyperborean Epoch. There we crystallized until we could not respond to the high vibrations the other solar beings responded to; those who are now the archangels. They could progress in solar vibrations, we could not; there- fore we crystallized a part of that fire-mist to shield ourselves, and in consequence we had to be thrown off. Then when we had gone the proper dis- tance away from the Sun we could crystallize again, and later we threw off that part which is now known as the Moon. Those beings who are now on the Moon were too far crystallized; they were behind us; therefore we had to throw them off. From these two sources come two sets of vibrations; spiritual vibrations from the Sun, and hardening tendencies from the Moon. It is the balance between these two sets of vibrations that enables us to hold our bodies together. At that time man was perfectly unconscious. His eyes had not been opened [PAGE 1674] He only used his force to build organs INSIDE. Then gradually the Earth crystallized more and more, until in the middle part of Atlantis the Ego had at last drawn into humanity and man had become possessed of all the vehicles that he has now. Then he became conscious of the world, but he was in a far, far different state than now. When consciousness is awakened it begins to work as a leaven in matter. Since we were in Atlantis and had our eyes fully opened, since the atmosphere cleared and we first saw things about us clearly--since then we have worked in the Earth in the materials of our bod- ies as a leaven works in the loaf and raises it. So we have lightened con- ditions and are continually lightening them. In Lemuria man had the three lower bodies--the desire body, the vital body, and the dense body. Outside hovered the Spirit. At that time the Earth was in a condition of fire. There were masses of crust and around them seething, boiling water, and volcanic outbursts were very, very fre- quent. Man had at that time lungs that were like tubes. He had a bladder like the fishes have now, wherewith he could lift himself and leap great chasms. As the Earth condensed more and more that fire fog atmosphere of Lemuria condensed into a very dense fog in the early part of Atlantis. There those tubes had changed to gill-clefts, and he was breathing more as the fish do. This can be seen now in embryological development, where man goes through the same stages he went through at that time. the embryo lies in the amniotic fluid and has these gill-clefts, such as man had in the early part of Atlantis. He breathed in that manner in the dense watery at- mosphere of Atlantis, but gradually that settled more and more, and man be- gan to breathe as we do now. [PAGE 1675] In the early third of Atlantis there was a brotherhood; separation into nations had not begun. Mankind was a universal brotherhood, and when per- forming the rite of baptism, which makes us a member of a holy brotherhood, such as the church should be, a community that should be the nucleus for great universal brotherhood, that rite of consecration by water is in remem- brance of that time, when man was truly innocent and truly lovable, had no evil in him--the time when he lived in the dense watery atmosphere of early Atlantis. In the middle third of Atlantis all that is changed. He begins to separate into communities, for the watery atmosphere is clearing somewhat and he is beginning to breathe by the means of lungs. The human Ego was very weak, and had to get help from someone else. Therefore Jehovah, the highest Initiate of the Moon Period, the ruler over the angels and archan- gels that work with men, breathes into man's nostrils, gives him lungs, and gives him the Race Spirit in the air that is to curb the hardening tenden- cies of the desire body and help him to get it under control. The desire body has control of the voluntary muscles, every movement we make is caused by desire, and every exertion breaks down tissue, and hardens more and more every particle of our tissue. Therefore Jehovah aimed to help mankind out of their dense condition, by means of law. The race religions are all based upon law. "I am a jealous God, and if you fulfill my commandments I will bless you abundantly and make your seed as multitudinous as the sands upon the seashore," says the Race God, "but if you do not obey I will send your enemies upon you and they shall gain the [PAGE 1676] victory over you." Jehovah is the ruler of all the races and all the reli- gions. He gave to each of these races an archangel to be their ruler, to be their special Prince. In Daniel 12:1, it is said that Michael is Prince over the Jews, and in the tenth chapter another race spirit says: "I am go- ing to fight with the Prince of Persia, and the Prince of Persia shall come." Thus these Race Spirits work with man, punishing him by means of other people, and giving him rewards or punishments for his good or bad deeds. The fear of God and the desire for material reward was pitted against the desires of the flesh and therefore these race religions under Jehovah are such as to build up the national spirit. They subjected, or rather they ne- glected, the individual for the sake of the nation. The interests of the individual are always made subservient to the interests of the nation. The Jew never thought of himself as Solomon Levi; first and foremost he thought of himself as being of the seed of Abraham. What he wanted most to empha- size was that he was a Jew. If he thought of his status any farther than that he would identify himself with his tribe, but last and least only would he think of himself as an individual. The Race Spirit took a special care of certain sets of people, for ex- ample, the Levites among the Jews, who were destined specially for priest- hood and they were herded around the temples and were specially bred to be the forerunners and teachers of their brethren. Their system of mating and regulation of the sex life of these special proteges produced a more lax connection between the vital body and the dense body which was necessary in order that initiation might take place and help man to advance. As long as [PAGE 1677] the Race Spirit works with us we are under the law, we are only overcoming the influence of the desire body; therefore Paul says well that the law was until Christ--not until Christ came 2,000 years ago, but "UNTIL CHRIST BE FORMED IN YOU." When we release ourselves from the toils of the desire body and live up to the vibrations of the vital body, we become imbued by the Christ Spirit. Then and only then do we rise out of the national, the separating principle. Then do we become capable of being brothers to men. Now we see why Christ said so emphatically, "Before Abraham was, I am." The Ego was before the nation and must be exalted over the nation. To that end Christ came, because as long as there were nations, there could not be brotherhood. If we have a number of houses, and they built of bricks, they are unavailable for building one building until torn down. When all the bricks have been separated we may begin building. When all nations have been chopped into individuals we may begin to build the grand Universal Brotherhood of man. That is why the race religions failed, they separate men into antagonis- tic groups. So the race religions must be abrogated. We cannot do away with nations except we separate the individual. Therefore, we have wars, therefore we have had revolutions, where men have rebelled against kings and rulers, and have instituted republics. But they are not enough. We want to be free individually. We want to be every man a law unto himself--and this is where a great, great danger lies. We cannot be laws unto ourselves--WE CANNOT BE FREE, UNTIL WE HAVE LEARNED TO RESPECT EVERYBODY ELSE'S RIGHTS. [PAGE 1678] So then, under the race religion, men grew by obedience to the law. Un- der the Christ regime that is to come in, man is to rise above law, and to be a law unto himself. As Goethe says-- From every power that holds the world in chains, Man frees himself, when self-control he gains. That is the goal, SELF-MASTERY, which every one must gain, before he is fit to be a law unto himself--to be above the law--for no one except the very undisciplined man, who calls himself an anarchist, will think to im- prove matters by having the power to shoot down people. By that means he will make conditions far, far worse than they were. The true anarchist, the one who truly seeks to abolish law, is the one who is living the true life, and the clean life. By obeying every law, he rises above all law. We, for example, have risen above the law against theft. It is not necessary for us to have that law, but some people have not risen so far as that, and they must still have that law. We do not wish to steal, and hence, do not need the law that says, "Thou shalt not steal." By and by, man will rise above the need of all law. Then and only then can he be a law unto himself. In the Christ regime, man will be impelled and guided by love, and "perfect love casteth out fear." The race religions compel man to do right by means of FEAR, but the Christ religion will impel man through LOVE. Then he can- not do otherwise than right. All race religions--every one of them, without exception, are looking for someone to come. The Egyptian religion looked forward to Osiris the bright Sun-Spirit; the Persian looked to Mithras; and the Babylonian to Tammuz. All looked for someone to come, to free the Earth. We find the same thing, [PAGE 1679] even in the Norse mythology. We find that the old Norsemen looked for the "Twilight of the Gods," when the present regime must perish, and then out of the South from Muspelheim, the region of heat, should come that bright Sun-Spirit, Sutar, and he should set us A NEW HEAVEN AND A NEW EARTH. Such we hear of in all religions, and even in the Christian religion we find them looking forward to a Sun-Spirit. At one time, in the ritual of the Catholic church, they used the phrase, "Our Lord of the Sun." It is from the visible Sun that every particle of physical energy comes. And it is from the spiritual invisible Sun that all of the spiritual energy comes. At the present time we cannot bear to look directly at the Sun. It would blind us. But we can look at the reflected sunlight that comes from the Moon. In the same way, man cannot stand the direct spiritual impulse that comes from the Sun, and therefore, it had to be sent by way of the Moon, through the hands, and through the mediumship of Jehovah, the Regent of the Moon. That is the origin of the race religions. Later came the time when man could take the spiritual impulse more directly, and Christ, the present Earth Spirit, came to prepare this. The difference between the Christ of the Earth and the Cosmic Christ is best seen by an illustration. Imagine a lamp in the center of a hollow sphere of polished metal. The lamp will send out rays from itself to all points of the sphere, and will reflect lamps in all different places. So the Cosmic Christ--the highest Initiate of the Sun Period--sends out rays. He is in the spiritual Sun. The Sun is threefold. We see the outside--the physical Sun. Behind that, or hiding in that, is [PAGE 1680] the spiritual Sun whence comes the impulse of the Cosmic Christ spirit. Outside the two others is something we call Vulcan--that can be seen only as a half-globe. In occultism, we say that is the body of the Father. There we have the Father, then, the spirit in Vulcan. We have the Christ, the Spirit in the Sun; and we have Jehovah, the Spirit in the Moon, that sends the reflected light both physical and spiritual. Before the advent of Christ all spiritual impulses came to man by way of the Moon as race religions. Only by initiation was it possible to get into direct touch with the spiritual solar impulse. A veil hung before the temple. When the time arrived that the Christ Spirit could be entertained on the Earth--when we had risen so far--then a ray from the Cosmic Christ came here, and incarnated here in the body of our Elder Brother Jesus. After the sacrifice on Golgotha had been completed, after the death of that body that he had occupied, he drew himself into the Earth. Take his own words for this. In no other way can we account for that saying, "This is my body." He showed the bread, it is the Earth Spirit that brings forth that bread. "This is my blood." The juices that are in the plant make the wine. It was not said, This symbolizes my body or blood; he said unequivocally, "This IS my blood." In John 13:18, in our New Testament, it says: "He that eats my bread hath lifted up his heel against me." Luther, who translated it in Germany, and was not tied by any of the restrictions of the translators of the King James Bible, put it, "He that eats my bread trampled upon me." We do trample, at [PAGE 1681] every step we take, upon the Earth Spirit, and that Spirit's body and blood is consumed among us, and that Spirit waiting for the day of redemption, when we shall be lifted so far from our material conditions that it shall be possible for the Earth Spirit to become liberated from its present cramped and dense existence. The Christ Spirit, then, is the first incoming of a direct spiritual im- pulse. We spoke to you of the different motions of the planets, and their various influences at different times of the year. We know that at the time when the Sun's Spirit is in the northern regions--when we have the sun away up here at the summer solstice, then we have all the physical impacts upon the Earth. We get all the good there is in the Sun along PHYSICAL lines; that is the time when the grain and the grape are ripening, and when every- thing is bringing forth in the Physical World. The the spiritual impulse is abrogated for the time being; but when, on the other hand, the Sun goes into the winter solstice, in December, the spiritual impulse is strongest. Also, we have the spiritual impulse stronger in the night than in the daytime. There were times when the churches were open all night, but closed in the middle of the day, for that was known to be the time of greatest darkness, so far as spiritual influences were concerned. However, when we remember these things we can see that at the time when the days are the shortest and the nights are the longest, on that Holy Night that we speak of, when the Christ was born as a Sun who was to lighten our darkness--the spiritual in- fluence is then strongest, and can be reached easiest. It was this great truth that is at the bottom of the Star in the Holy night, illuminating the longest and darkest night in the year. [PAGE 1682] When Parsifal started to go with Gurnemanz to the castle of the Grail, he asked Gurnemanz: "Who is the Grail?" "That tell we not, but if thou hast of him been bidden, From thee the truth will not stay hidden. The search but severs from him wider When he himself is not its guider." That means that in the olden times, in the time before Christ came, only a chosen few could follow the path of initiation. Nobody could seek that path--nobody could get beyond the point where the rest of humanity were--save a few chosen ones, such as were the priests and the Levites. These were brought to the temples, and there herded together. They were married to one another in a certain way; certain people were mated with a definite end in view, namely, that they might develop the proper laxity be- tween the vital body and the dense body that is necessary to initiation. A separation has to take place in order that we may lift the two ethers out, and leave the other two. That could not be done with the ordinary humanity. They were yet much in bondage to the desire body. They must wait until a later time. Even with those people who were around those temples, it was very danger- ous work to free them. It could be done best at certain times, and this longest night was one of those times. When the greatest spiritual impulse is here, they had a better chance to get in touch with it, than at any other time of the year. So on the Holy Night, which we call Christmas, it was usual for the Wise Men--those who were beyond the ordinary humanity--to take the ones who were also becoming wise, and therefore entitled to initiation, [PAGE 1683] into the temples. Certain ceremonies were performed and the candidates were entranced. They could not at that time be given an initiation in their full waking state, it had to be done in trance. When the spiritual perception was awakened in them, they could look through the Earth--not seeing any de- tail, but the Earth became transparent, as it were--and they saw the Star at midnight, the spiritual sun. Previous to the coming of Christ, the Earth was worked upon from without, as the Group Spirit works upon the animals. Christ came to work from within. Before that, when neophytes were to be brought in touch with him, they could see, in that Holy Night, the Star of the Christ, just as the Im- maculate Virgin was on the Eastern horizon, and the little Sun-child of the coming year was starting towards the Northern hemisphere, to save us from the darkness, hunger and want that would result without him. Then these Wise Men could see the Star, in the Holy Night, which is the spiritual hope of man as the physical sun then born is his material savior. Do not think it shone only at that time; it is easier now than then to see it, for when Christ came he altered the vibrations of the Earth and is changing them all the time since. He "rent the temple veil"--He made the Holy of Holies--the place of initiation--open to "whosoever will!" From that time on, there is no more trance needed--no more subjective states in order to go through initiation. There is a conscious going forth into the Temple, by every one who wills to come. And in time that religion that He brought to us will drive away all the sorrows; will dry the tears from all eyes. Where there has been war, there will be peace, and sure, as sure as he came to bring that sword that shall [PAGE 1684] liberate man from the national spirit and make him an individual that is ca- pable of being a brother to every man, so surely as He came to do this work, so surely as the first part of His prophecy has been fulfilled--so will that other grand and glorious prophecy be fulfilled, that men shall beat their swords into plow-shares, and their spears into pruning-hooks. We have one more thing to consider, and that is the gifts that these Wise Men brought--the gifts that were to be laid at the feet of the Savior, as we hear of in the old legend. This legend tells us that one brought gold, one brought myrrh, and the third brought frankincense. The gold we always hear spoken of in symbology as the emblem of the Spirit. That Spirit is symbol- ized thus in the Niebelungen Ring, for instance. There in the opening scene, we see the Rheingold. The river Rhein is taken as the emblem of the water, and there the gold is seen shining on the rock, symbolizing the uni- versal spirit in its perfect purity. Later it is stolen and MADE INTO A RING by Alberich, representing mankind in the middle of Atlantis, when the Spirit had drawn into them. Then the gold became debased, was lost, and was the cause of all sorrow in the earth. Later still we hear of the alchemists who tried to transmute base metal into gold; that is the spiritual way of saying that they wanted to purify this dense body, to refine it and extract the spiritual essence. Therefore, the gift of one wise man is the Spirit. The next one brings myrrh. Myrrh is the extract of an aromatic plant that grows in Arabia, a very rare plant, very rare indeed. Therefore, it symbolizes the thing that man extracts when he cleanses himself. When he has cleansed his blood of passion he becomes plantlike, chaste and pure. He became the inverted plant [PAGE 1685] before he became the pure plant, symbolized by the Rosy Cross, symbolized by the Diamond Soul, and so forth, then his body is an aromatic essence. It is an actual fact--we are not speaking in similes--when we say that there are Holy men, who are so Holy that they emit an aroma from them. It is thus said of some Catholic saints, and it is true. Therefore, the myrrh stands for that soul essence that is drawn out of the experience of the body. It is the soul. The third gift was incense. Incense is a physical substance of a very light character, that is often used in religious services; it serves as an embodiment for the ministering unseen influences. An illustration of the properties of incense is also found in the story of the Servian regicides. The Minister of the Interior has issued his Memoirs, and he mentions as a curious circumstance that every time they used a certain kind of incense to get others into the conspiracy, they succeeded: but at times when they used no incense, they failed. It shows--he had on certain occasions, uncon- sciously, of course, furnished an embodiment for certain spirits who wanted to and did aid the conspirators. There is the key to the three gifts that were offered up by the Wise Men--the Spirit, the soul, and the body. As Christ said, "If you want to follow me, you must sell all you have. YOU ARE NOT TO KEEP ANYTHING FOR YOURSELF." You are to give up body, soul, and Spirit, everything, for the higher life, everything for the Christ. Not to an exterior Christ, but to the Christ within. The three Wise Men are said in the legend to be yellow, black, and white, representatives of the three races that we have on Earth, the Mongolian, the Black, and the White man. Therefore, we see that it is very well shown in the legend that eventually they will all come into this [PAGE 1686] beneficient Christ religion. "To him every knee shall bow." Each one will in time be led by the star to the Christ. But let us emphasize that very stongly--not to an exterior Christ, but to the Christ that is within. As Angelus Silesius says: Though Christ a thousand times in Bethlehem be born, And not within thyself, thy soul will be forlorn. The cross on Golgotha thou lookest to in vain, Unless within thyself it be set up again. LECTURE SEVENTEEN: THE MYSTERY OF THE HOLY GRAIL In this lecture we are to consider one of the old-time Mysteries which existed in many parts of the Western World during the Middle Ages, and which has existed, in different forms, in different countries, ever since the dawn of man's consciousness. As stated, in Europe in the Middle Ages there were a number of these Mys- teries; in Northern Russia the Trottes taught a certain phase of the World-Mystery; in Ireland the Druids flourished. Where we are told our forefathers worshiped under the oak tree, that implies the direction of the Druids, for Druid means oak, and when we are told that Boniface felled the oak, we may infer that Boniface put an end to the instructions of the Dru- ids. In the northern part of Spain the Mystery of the Holy Grail existed. This mystery was administered by a band of holy knights, who dwelt in the castle Montsalvat, and it was their purpose to proclaim to humanity great spiritual truths in a manner which it could understand, to give in pictures that which could not be given directly to the intellect. Man has grown up to his present stage from a state where he had no con- sciousness at all outwardly in the body; he is to go higher yet and these myths and symbols were the means of preparing him for the intellectual [PAGE 1687] perception of the way he was to go; so those who came in contact with these Mysteries, those who were taught, and those who listened, are the ones who today are inclined to take an interest in these things, while the majority of people, who, of course, did not come under these instructions, are those who cannot yet feel the inner craving to live the spiritual life. There- fore, if we feel at all the spiritual influence within us, it shows that at some time, in some of these Mysteries, we have been prepared for the recep- tion of these truths in an intellectual manner, and it is the repeated im- pact given by the early teachers which brings humanity to the higher stage; for repetition is not senseless. On the contrary, it is of the very highest importance that a spiritual truth should be given utterance again and again. It has been stated here that humanity, the largest part of them at least, are working today upon their desire bodies, and trying to curb their desires by means of law. Where occult development is to take place, however, where a man is to become a pioneer, it is the vital body that is to be worked upon, and the vital body is particularly and peculiarly acted upon by rep- etition. The vital body is the most important principle of the plant; it is that which makes the plant grow stem and leaf in alternating succession, so that the plant grows taller and taller; but there is no variety, the plant goes on repeating all the time. Stem, leaf, and branch; ever the same. That is the way everything acts that has only a vital body; so when we wish to act upon the vital body we must do it by this method of repetition. We have the four ethers present in our vital body and the two lower ethers take care of the physical functions, as we remember particularly from the [PAGE 1688] lecture on SPIRITUAL SIGHT AND INSIGHT (No. 11), we saw there that the two higher ethers had to be taken out when we wanted to function in the higher worlds; and this repeated impact is what makes the division between the two lower and the two higher ethers possible. That is where the churches are still factors in spiritual development, because they tell the devotee that he must pray without ceasing. But we are not to pray selfishly, we are to pray unselfishly, and in harmony with the Universal Good. When we pray for rain and our neighbor for dry weather chaos must prevail, if prayers were to be granted. Neither let us imagine that God is to be bargained with, as would seem to be the conception of some who are loudest at prayer meetings. There is a certain spiritual attitude attained which the mystic knows so well when he enters into his closet. Prayer is like the turning on of an electric switch. It does not create the current, it simply provides a channel through which the electric current may flow. In like manner prayer creates a channel through which the divine life and light may pour itself into us for our spiritual illumination. If the switch were made of wood or glass it would be of no use; in fact, it would be a barrier that the electric current could not possibly pass, be- cause that is contrary to its nature. To be effective the switch must be made of a conducting metal; then it is in harmony with the laws of electri- cal manifestation. If our prayers are selfish, worldly, and inconsiderate of our neighbor, they are like the wooden switch, they defeat the very purpose they wee in- tended to serve, because contrary to God's purpose. To be of avail prayer must be in harmony with the nature of God, which is LOVE. The following [PAGE 1689] lines appeared in LONDON LIGHT a number of years ago and have been treasured by the writer as-- AN IDEAL PRAYER: Not more of light I ask, O God, But eyes to see what is. Not sweeter songs, but ears to hear The present melodies. Not more of strength, but how to use The power that I possess. Not more of love, but skill to turn A frown to a caress. Nor more of joy, but how to feel Its kindling presence near, To give to others all I have Of courage and of cheer. No other gifts, dear God, I ask, But only sense to see How best those precious gifts to use Thou hast bestowed on me. Give me all fears to dominate, All holy joys to know, To be the friend I wish to be, To speak the truth I know, To love the pure, to seek the good, To lift with all my might All souls to dwell in harmony, In freedom's perfect light. That is the kind of a prayer that lifts, that ennobles a man, and the more a man or woman cultivates that attitude of mind, and entertains those lofty aspirations the more he is lifting the two higher ethers out of the vital body, and so the churches say, Pray, pray, pray; and they are well within the occult teaching, for in that way the vital body is being worked upon by the constant repetition of lofty aspirations. Before we can proceed along the occult path we must of necessity have laxity between the upper and [PAGE 1690] the lower ethers so that we can function outside, leaving the dense body to be taken care of by the two lower ethers, and herein lies the trouble with the medium, and others who develop a certain phase of involuntary clairvoy- ance by breathing exercises. When such a person goes out of the body he does it involuntarily; he takes three ethers along with him, and the body therefore is not taken care of. On this road lie mental and moral decline, and ofttimes insanity. There is only one safe way to develop our latent faculties. No matter what any one may say to the contrary, experience will prove that attainment to spiritual powers depends upon purification and unselfish aspiration; and that is what the mysteries taught in those olden times. In order to understand the Mystery of the Holy Grail, it is necessary for us to go away back along the different epochs from the time when the Earth first came out of chaos. Then the Earth was dark, and man was embedded in the Earth. Life was working in it to dig him out.--Adam was of the earth earthly, as the minerals are now. Then we come to the second, the Hyperborean Epoch, where man has a dense and a vital body; that was the plant stage. His food was the plants, and we hear of Cain as an agriculturist. Next comes the Lemurian Epoch, and man gets the desire body. He has three vehicles, like the animals. Then we have that stage where he is to have food of a nature that will feed all three bodies. This he gets from LIVING animals, as when Abel was a shepherd. Next we come to the fourth epoch, the Atlantean, where man evolved mind. Thought always breaks down tissue, and causes decay, therefore man must have [PAGE 1691] something in the food line which is prone to decay in his body, and so he begins to eat the decaying carcasses of animals, so we hear that Nimrod was a mighty hunter. Finally he comes to that stage where he is to forget his spiritual na- ture, he is to think only of this life as the one life for him, and there- fore he must have something to help him to forget. That stage is ushered in by Noah and the few that were saved with him, who were the pioneers in the present Aryan Epoch; and he is the one who cultivates the wine stock, and makes the wine that is to help man to forget. Man is temporarily to forget the spiritual part of his nature in order to fully develop the material as- pect, so Christ changes the water to wine, which is symbolically represented in his FIRST miracle. In the earliest religions only water was used in the temple service. The God of wine, Bacchus, had come in Greece previous to Christ, to prepare the time of material debauch necessary to make man forget. And so man became more and more material. The Christian religion is the only one that sanc- tioned the use of wine. Man has consequently become more thoroughly immured in this physical vehicle. Now an impulse must be given to lift him out, and we are able to note evidences of this impulse in many directions at the present moment. We see it in the great temperance movement which has been sweeping over this country, this America, which has aptly been called the melting pot. Wine is being changed back to water. We have accomplished the conquest of the material world, as evidenced in our wonderful progress here in the West. Now we are to return to the use of water, that we may regain on a higher level that spiritual vision which we have lost. That is what this [PAGE 1692] mystery of the Holy Grail aimed at; to purify man so that he might be able to regain that spiritual sight; and as we give our children picture-books today, we were given these myths in previous times, that they might work upon our FEELINGS and prepare us to understand. There were two characteristics which were very marked about these knights: purity and harmlessness, and these two qualities, purity and harm- lessness, go together. We saw in the later lectures that when an entity, it does not matter whether a group spirit or an individual, is taken out of its body violently, with a jerk as it were, as by killing, then there is always something left behind. If we take a ripe peach and cut it the kernel falls out freely. It has no more connection with the flesh of the fruit. On the other hand, if we take a fruit which is unripe, a little of the flesh will cling to the stone. It will exhibit a tenacious tendency which is entirely foreign to the way in which the flesh of the ripe fruit acts. Consider this body the stone, it is the hard, crystallized part, while the Spirit is the subtle part. If we take this subtle part away suddenly, with a jerk, what happens?--The physical body retains a part of that soul, whether it is of a human being or an animal, and that part is always the lowest part. When Christ went out in that violent manner, by death on the cross, something clung to the body of Jesus, that was the lowest part of Jesus' higher principles, for even he, the most perfect man, had something that was imperfect, and it was necessary that it should be left behind, that only the absolutely pure part should be extracted. Continued with file "RC1046.TXT" End of File

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