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Filename: RC1072.TXT Source: "The Rosicrucian Philosophy In Questions & Answers, Vol. I" by Max Heindel [PAGE 2575] QUESTION NO. 94: WAS NOT THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM A COMET? ANSWER: No; the Star of Bethlehem shines at midnight of every night as it shone upon the night which is recorded in the Bible, and may be seen by anyone among the wise men of today, though hidden from all others. The key to the mystery is this: The Gospels are not simply stories of the life of an individual; they de- pict dramatically and in symbol the incidents in the path of attainment; they are formulae of initiation. In the summertime, when the whole earth is exerting itself to bring forth THE BREAD OF LIFE for all who live upon it, the sun is high in the heavens, sending forth its life giving rays toward our planet. Then all the PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES are to the fore and man is engrossed in material occupations nec- essary to his existence. But when in winter the sun is below the equator and nature slumbers, SPIRITUAL INFLUENCES sent forth from the sun are most potent. When the physical darkness increases the spiritual light burns more brightly and culminates in the birth of saviors on the darkest night in the year, between the twenty-fourth and the twenty-fifth of December, at the time the sun starts on its journey northward to save humanity from the cold and famine which would result if it remained in the southern latitudes. On that particular night of the year the spiritual vibrations are stron- gest. It is the HOLY NIGHT of the year par excellence. On that night it is easiest for the neophyte to come into conscious touch with spiritual vibra- tions. Therefore it was customary to take neophytes into the temples on yon [PAGE 2576] Holy Night. There they were entranced under the guidance of WISE MEN and taught to leave their bodies consciously by an act of will. The earth then became transparent to their gaze and they saw behind it THE SUN AT MIDNIGHT--THE BLAZING STAR. Not, of course, the physical sun, but the spiritual sun which is the true Christ-star, for the cosmic Christ is the highest Initiate among the luminous sun spirits, the Archangels. QUESTION NO. 95: WHAT WERE THE GIFTS OF THE WISE MEN? ANSWER: The Bible tells us that they were GOLD, myrrh and frankincense. GOLD has always been regarded as the emblem of spirit in the old legends and symbology. In the story of the Ring of the Niebelung, dramatized by Wagner, we hear how the Rhine maidens played in their watery element on the bottom of the river Rhine. The water was lighted by the flame of the gold. This legend takes us back to the time when these CHILDREN OF THE MIST were living in the beautiful conditions of early Atlantis, where they were one vast brotherhood, innocent and childlike, and the Universal Spirit had not [PAGE 2577] yet drawn into the separate bodies. The gold resting upon the rock at the bottom of the water was the symbol of the Universal Spirit illuminating all mankind. Later it is stolen and welded into a ring by Alberich, the Niebelung, who forswears love to possess this gold. Then it becomes the symbol of the separate Ego in the present loveless age of selfishness. The man who has become wise and sees the evils of selfishness offers gold to the Christ as a symbol of his desire for the return to the Universal spirit of Love. The second gift, MYRRH, is an aromatic plant growing in Arabia which is very rare and scarce. It is the symbol of the soul. We are told in legends of saints who have been so holy that they emitted an aroma. This is thought to be a pious fable, but it is an actual fact that a man may become so holy that he emits a most beautiful perfume. The third gift, FRANKINCENSE, is a symbol of the dense body, which has been etherealized by a holy life, for frankincense is a physical vapor. The minister of the interior of Servia, one of the conspirators who planned the regicide in that country less than a decade ago, has since written his mem- oirs. It appears, according to him, that when they burned incense at the time they invited people to join them in their conspiracy, they invariably succeeded in winning over the one whom they sought. He did not know why, he simply mentioned it as a curious coincidence. But to the occultist the mat- ter is plain. No spirit can work in any world without a vehicle made of the material of that world. To function in the Physical World, to fetch and carry, we must have a dense body and a vital body; both are made of various grades of physical matter, solids, liquids, gas and ether. We may obtain such [PAGE 2578] vehicles in the ordinary way, by going through the womb to birth, or we may extract ether from the body of a medium and temporarily use that to materi- alize, or we may use the fumes of incense. In the Catholic Church, where certain spirits are invoked, incense furnishes the vehicle whereby they may operate upon the assembled congregation as the discarnate spirits did to fa- vor the Servian regicides. Thus we see that the gifts of the wise men are SPIRIT, SOUL AND BODY, de- voted to the service of humanity. To give oneself is to imitate Christ, to follow in His steps. QUESTION NO. 97: JESUS WAS BAPTIZED AT THIRTY, RECEIVING THE "CHRIST SPIRIT." PLEASE EX- PLAIN THIS BAPTISM. ANSWER: The earth has not always been as it is now. Science tells us that there was a time when it was blended firemist. The Bible goes back [PAGE 2579] even further and speaks of a time before that mist, when the earth became glowing and luminous as fire; a time when darkness reigned. There have been in all four epochs or stages in this development of the earth. First there was this dark stage, which is called in the Rosicrucian terminology the "Polarian" Epoch. Then the substance which now forms the earth was a dark mass, hot and gaseous. In the second stage, called the Hyperborean Epoch, this dark mass was ignited. We are told "God said: 'Let there be light,' and there was light." Then came the stage when the heat of this firemist in contact with cold space generated moisture, and this mois- ture was densest near the fiery core, where it was heated to steam that rushed outward from the center--"God divided the waters from the waters," that is, the dense water nearest the core from the light steam outside. Fi- nally there cam an incrustation, such as always takes place where water is boiled over and over again, and thus the crust over the earth, the dry land, was formed. When that crust had been completed, there was no water upon the surface of the earth, but as the Bible says, "A mist went up from the surface," and no herb had yet grown upon the face of the earth. At that time, however, vegetation began to appear and nascent humanity lived there. But they were not a humanity constituted as we are today. Their form was very much dif- ferent and they were not nearly as evolved as we are at the present time. In fact, body and spirit were not perfectly together; the spirits hovered partly outside and therefore "man's eyes had not yet been opened." Old folk stories such as we hear of in Germany and different places in the Old World, speak of them as the niebelungen. "Niebel" means mist and "ungen" is children. They were the "CHILDREN OF THE MIST," for the clear [PAGE 2580] atmosphere of today did not then exist; the sun appeared like an arc lamp in the street on a very foggy day, on account of the density of the mist which rose from the earth. While humanity lived in that state, they were not as far advanced men- tally as we are now. They could not see things outside themselves, but they had an inner perception. They saw the soul qualities of all who lived around them and they perceived themselves as spiritual rather than material. At that time there were no nations at all, but humanity was one vast broth- erhood. All were partially outside their bodies and therefore in touch with the Universal Spirit, which has now been obscured in the separateness of egotism which causes each man to feel himself distinct and apart from all the rest of humanity; where brotherhood is forgotten and selfishness rules. When any one has progressed so far that he appreciates the blessings of brotherhood, where he endeavors to abolish egotism and cultivate altruism, he may go through the rite of baptism. He enters the water as a symbol of his return to the ideal conditions of brotherhood which existed when all hu- manity lived, so to speak, in water. Therefore, we see Jesus, the herald of universal Brotherhood, at the beginning of his ministry entering the waters of the Jordan and being baptized there. When he rose from the waters, the Universal Spirit rested upon Him as a dove, and from that time on he was not simply Jesus, but Christ Jesus, the potential Savior of the world imbued with the Universal Spirit, which shall eventually take away all the evils of selfishness and restore mankind to the blessings of brotherhood which will be realized when the Universal Spirit has become immanent in all mankind. [PAGE 2581] QUESTION NO. 98: IN YOUR TEACHING YOU STATE THAT WE STAY FOR A TIME, AVERAGING ABOUT ONE-THIRD OF THE LENGTH OF THE EARTH LIFE, IN PURGATORY IN ORDER THAT OUR SINS MAY BE EXPIATED PRIOR TO GOING TO HEAVEN. HOW THEN DO YOU RECONCILE THIS TEACHING WITH THE WORDS OF THE CHRIST TO THE DYING THIEF: "TODAY THOU SHALT BE WITH ME IN PARADISE"? ANSWER: The New Testament was written in Greek, a language in which no punctuation marks are used. The punctuation marks in our Bible have been inserted by our later Bible translators, and punctuation often very radically changes the meaning of a sentence, as the following story will il- lustrate: In a prayer meeting some one handed in a request which the pastor read thus: "A sailor going to sea, his mother-in-law desires the prayers of the congregation for his safe return to wife and child." The request was not punctuated at all, but would imply that the young man's mother-in-law was very solicitious to have him return safely to his wife and child and there- fore desired the prayers of the congregation. Had the pastor read it without the comma, it would have implied that the sailor, going to see his mother-in-law, desired the prayers of the congregation for his safe return to wife and child, and one would naturally think that the lady in question must be a Tartar when it was necessary for the young man to ask the prayers of the congregation before facing her. In this case, if the words of Christ are read thus: "Verily I say unto thee today, thou shalt be with me in Paradise," they would imply that the thief would be with the Christ at some [PAGE 2582] future time not defined. But where the comma is placed before the world to- day, as in the Bible, it gives the idea ordinarily held by people. That this idea is absolutely wrong can be seen by the remark of the Christ just after His resurrection, when He said to the woman, "Touch me not, for I have not yet ascended to my Father." If He promised the Thief that he should be with Him in Paradise on the day of the crucifixion and three days later declared that He had not yet been there, the Christ would have been guilty of a contradiction which, of course, is an impossibility. Placing of the comma as suggested fully reconciles the meaning of the two passages, and besides Peter tells us that in the interval He worked with the Spirits in Purgatory. QUESTION NO. 99: WHAT IS THE ESOTERIC MEANING OF THE TWO THIEVES AND THE CROSS? ANSWER: Contrary to the ordinarily accepted opinion, the four Gospels are not at all the biography of jesus, the Christ; they are Formulae of ini- tiation of four different Mystery Schools, and in order to veil their esoteric meaning, the life and ministry of the Christ is also intermingled. [PAGE 2583] That could be easily done as all initiates, being cosmic characters, have similar experiences. It is truly said that unto the multitude the Christ spoke in parables, but the hidden meaning was given to His disciples in pri- vate. Paul also gave the milk to the weak and the meat to the strong ones. It was never intended at any time to give the hidden symbols to ordinary people, or to make the Bible "an open book of God," as people nowadays be- lieve. When reading in the memory of nature, we find that at the time of the crucifixion, there were not only two, but a number, who were crucified. The people of that time meted out capital punishment for the slightest offenses and there were always plenty to suffer these barbarous deaths. Thus, those who wanted to veil the hidden meaning of the gospels were at no loss to find something wherewith to fill out the tale and obscure the points which are really vital in the crucifixion. The part of the story relating to the thieves is, therefore, a true incident, without having anything to do with the esoteric meaning at all. [PAGE 2584] QUESTION NO. 100: WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THE CROSS? IS IT SIMPLY AN INSTRUMENT OF TORTURE AS USUALLY TAUGHT IN THE ORTHODOX RELIGION? ANSWER: Like all other symbols, the meanings of the cross are many. Plato gave one of these meanings when he said, "The Worldsoul is crucified," that is to say: We have four kingdoms in the world--the mineral, the plant, the animal and the man. The mineral kingdom ensouls all chemical substance of whatever kind, so that the cross, of whatever material it is made, is first a symbol of that kingdom. The upright lower limb of the cross is a symbol of the plant kingdom be- cause the currents of the group spirits which give life to the plants come from the center of the earth where these group spirits are located and reach out toward the periphery of our planet and into space. The upper limb of the cross is the symbol of man, because the life cur- rents of the human kingdom pass downward from the sun through the vertical spine. Thus man is the inverted plant, for as the plant takes its food through the root, passing it UPWARD, so does the man take his nourishment by way of the head, passing it DOWNWARD. The plant is chaste, pure and pas- sionless, and stretches its creative organ, the flower, chastely and unashamed TOWARD THE SUN, a thing of beauty and delight. Man turns his pas- sion filled generative organ TOWARD THE EARTH. Man inhales the life giving oxygen and exhales the poisonous carbon dioxide. The plant takes the poison exhaled by man, building its body therefrom, and returning to us the elixir [PAGE 2585] of life, the cleansed oxygen. Between the plant and the human kingdom stands the animal with the horizontal spine, and in the horizontal spine the life currents of the animal group spirit play as they circle around our globe. Therefore the horizontal limb of the cross is the symbol of the animal kingdom. In esotericism the cross was never looked upon as an instrument of tor- ture, and it was not until the sixth century that the crucified Christ was shown in pictures. Previous to that time the symbol of the Christ was a cross and a lamb resting at its foot, to convey the idea that at the time when the Christ was born the sun at the vernal equinox crossed the equator in the sign Aries, the Lamb. The symbols of the different religions have always been made in that way. At the time when the sun by precession crossed the vernal equinox in the sign Taurus, the Bull, a religion was founded in Egypt where they worshiped the Bull Apis in the same sense that we worship the Lamb of God. At a much earlier date, we hear of the norse God Thor driving his twin goats across the sky. That was at the time when the vernal equinox was in the sign Gemini, the Twins. At the time of the birth of Christ, the vernal equinox was in about 7 degrees of Aries, the Lamb, therefore our Savior was called the Lamb of God. There was a dispute in the earlier centuries regarding the propriety of having the lamb as a symbol of our Savior. Some claimed that the vernal equinox at His birth was really in the sign Pisces, the Fishes, and that the symbol of our Savior should have been a fish. It is in memory of that dispute that the bishop's mitre still takes the form of the head of a fish. [PAGE 2586] QUESTION NO. 101: COULD NOT THE MISSION OF CHRIST HAVE BEEN ACCOMPLISHED WITHOUT SUCH A DRASTIC METHOD AS THE CRUCIFIXION? ANSWER: It could, of course, have been accomplished without the specific method of crucifixion, but IT WAS AN ABSOLUTE NECESSITY THAT THE BLOOD SHOULD FLOW. There are various grades of teachers and they require differ- ent conditions for the accomplishment of their task. Some teachers, like Moses and the Buddha, come to a nation and help it to a certain a point, they themselves growing thereby; and both of the teachers mentioned attained to the point in their own development where their bodies became luminous. We hear how the face of Moses shone so that it become necessary for him to use a veil,. The Buddha become luminous at the time of his death. The Christ attained the stage of luminosity at the time of His transfiguration, and it is very significant that the most important part of His work, His suffering and death, took place after the event of the transfiguration. And while it become necessary for Moses, Elijah, Buddha and the other previous teachers to be born in a physical body and will not need again to take upon Himself such an instrument. For when the spirit leaves the body in the natural way it takes along certain impurities as it slowly withdraws from the congealing blood. Even in such a pure body as the body of Jesus, there were impurities, and the violent death which caused the blood to run liber- ated the Ego of Christ from the blood with a quick wrench, leaving behind whatever impurity there may have been, so that the Christ emerged from the [PAGE 2587] body of Jesus unsullied and without the time of destiny usually attendant on life in the dense body. On the same principle it is a fact that although at the present time we have wars that are to be regretted from the mere human standpoint, it is nevertheless a fact which is patent to the occultist that these wars have cleansed the blood of the race considerably, so that gradually humanity is becoming less and less passionate and more and more spiritual. Also we may say that in this fact lies the redeeming feature of the slaughter of animals. When humanity went through the animal stage it had no red passion filled blood as our animals have; we were not as highly evolved. The animals of today, though behind us in evolution, are on a higher spiral and while we now are suffering under the law of consequence because of having to overcome our passions in our own strength, the animals are being helped and held in check by their group spirits. And when they reach the human stage in the Jupiter Period, they will be a higher humanity, free from the pas- sions which have made this world such a sorrowful place. thus nature always transmutes whatever evil we may commit into a higher good. Answering the question, we may therefore say that in the case of Christ the violent death was necessary because it enabled the Christ Spirit to withdraw from the body of Jesus without retaining any of the impurities at- tached to that merely human vehicle. [PAGE 2588] QUESTION NO. 102: ACCORDING TO THE ROSICRUCIAN TEACHING, WHEN WILL CHRIST COME AGAIN? ANSWER: The Bible says truly that the "day and the hour knoweth no man," and the people who have been trying to fix a certain date or a certain year for the Second Coming have entirely misunderstood the object of the Christ's mission on earth. His teaching was given to humanity in order that the law, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" might be abolished--that THE LAW OF FEAR (of God) might be swallowed up by THE LAW OF LOVE. "The law and the prophets were until Christ," it is said, but we know that even today law is, and is necessary. Therefore, it is evident that law was not abolished at the physical coming of Christ. It is the coming of Christ into "the within," the inner nature of man, that is to abolish law. paul speaks of this advent as the "Christ being formed in ye," and until the Christ has been formed in us we are not ready for the Second Coming. Angelus Silesuis 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." The Second Coming of Christ depends upon how soon a sufficient number of people have become Christ-like and attuned to the Christ principle. so that, as tuning forks of the same pitch sing together when one is struck, they will be able to respond to the Christ vibrations that will be set up at the return of the Savior. Therefore, this event is not to be calculated. Every time we endeavor to imitate Christ and fulfil His teachings, we are hasten- ing His Coming; so let us thus strive. [PAGE 2589] QUESTION NO. 103: WHAT IS MEANT BY THE SAYING THAT CHRIST WAS MADE A HIGH PRIEST FOREVER AFTER THE ORDER OF MELCHISEDEC? ANSWER: We are told that this Melchisedec was king of Salem and also a high priest. We are told that his priesthood was far above that of Aaron, for it was unchangeable, while that of Aaron and the Levites was subject to frequent change. During the times of which we have records in history, there has always been a division of the temporal and the ecclesiastical powers. Moses was the temporal ruler and leader of the Jewish people, while Aaron was the priest who looked after their spiritual welfare, and down the ages this di- vision of the church and the state has ever been apparent, at times causing great strife and bloodshed, for their interests seem ever to be diametri- cally opposite. But at the time of this Melchisedec, king of Salem, which interpreted means "PEACE," there was no such division, the two offices were combined in one individual. The story of Melchisedec, a Being without earthly pedigree, refers, of course, to the time in early Atlantis when hu- manity had not yet been divided into warring nations, but were one vast, peaceful brotherhood, and the leaders of the people were Divine Beings, who were both kings and priests. The later division of church and state has been one of the most fruitful sources of enmity and war among humanity, for each of these powers has striven for supremacy over the other, while in reality there should be no prejudice, for no one who is not as spiritual as a priest should be is fit to rule as a king, and no one who is not as wise and just as a king should [PAGE 2590] be is fit to have the spiritual guidance of humanity as the priests have. When these qualities are combined in one leader again, the reign of univer- sal peace and brotherhood will become a fact. The Christ has been heralded as such a leader, capable of uniting church and state as king and priest af- ter the order of Melchisedec. His Second Coming inaugurates the milennium, the age of peace and joy, where the symbolical New Jerusalem, the city of peace (for Jer-u-salem, means "THERE SHALL BE PEACE"), reigns over the nations of the earth, united into one universal brotherhood. There shall be Peace on Earth and Goodwill among Men. QUESTION NO. 104: WHAT DID CHRIST MEAN WHEN HE SAID, "ALL WHO CAME BEFORE ME WERE THIEVES AND ROBBERS"? ANSWER: We read in the Bible about two great cities, strangely similar yet directly opposite. One is the city of Babylon, the birthplace of confu- sion, where mean ceased to be brothers and separated from one another. It lies upon seven hills by a river and is ruled over by a king. Lucifer--the "day star"--the light giver. His fall from heaven is lamented exceedingly [PAGE 2591] in the fourteenth chapter of Isaiah, and later on we hear of the fall of that great city, which has become an abomination, is called a harlot, having caused war, trouble and desolation among all the people of the earth. Then, in supreme antithesis, we are told of another city called the New Jerusalem, which occupies the honored position as bride. IN that city there is NOT A FLOWING RIVER but A SEA OF GLASS. It also lies upon seven hills, is ruled over by another light giver who is called "the light of the world," and it is a city of peace where the gates are never closed although the pre- cious Tree of Life is within. This city is not a city of this world, but a city which has come down from heaven. To understand this symbology, it is necessary to go back into the far distant past when man-in-the-making had not yet attained the development he has today. When he first came upon this earth the dense body was built in the POLARIAN EPOCH, and was vitalized by the interpenetration of a vital body in the HYPERBOREAN EPOCH. At that time man was like the Angels, male-female, a complete creative unit, able to create from himself by pro- jecting his whole creative forces--which is love. Later it becomes necessary for man to evolve a brain, and in order to ac- complish that object one-half of his creative force was turned inward in or- der to build the necessary organs. From that time on, man must seek the co- operation of some one having the other half of the sex force available for propagation. Now he loves selfishly to obtain the cooperation of another in propagation; the other half of the creative force wherewith he built his brain and larynx he also uses selfishly to think, because he desires to ob- tain knowledge. [PAGE 2592] Previously man had projected his whole creative force without reserve, unselfishly. Since the division of the sex force man has eventually become selfish and therefore by attraction a prey to others of like nature. The Angels were the humanity of the Moon Period and have since attained to their present high development, but as in every great company there are stragglers, so also in the case of the Angels there were some who did not attain--a class of beings which were behind the Angels but above humanity. They were in a sad state, for they could not follow the present development of the Angels and neither could they sink as low into matter as man. They could not, as the Angels, dispense with a brain, yet they were incapable of building one for themselves, so when humanity evolved the brain and spinal cord they saw an opportunity in woman, who expresses the negative pole of the creative force, IMAGINATION, the faculty which enables her to build a body in the womb. In order to gain access to her consciousness this intel- ligence took advantages of a perplexity then disturbing the woman on account of her exercise of the imaginative faculty. At that time the eyes of humanity had not yet been opened; they were spiritual beings, not quite conscious of the possession of a physical body. The woman was the first to dimly observe that she and others possessed such an instrument, and she had observed that at certain times some of her friends whom she had previously perceived as having this physical appendage, had lost it, so she was troubled. From the Angels she could obtain no in- formation, but this intelligence which appeared within herself in the ser- pentine spinal cord, enlightened her, and "the serpent said unto the woman, `Hath God said, ye shall not eat of every Tree in the Garden?'" to which she [PAGE 2593] answered that they had been forbidden "to eat of the Tree of Knowledge" un- der penalty of death. But the serpent said: "Ye shall not surely die, for God knows that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." The woman secured the coop- eration of the man according to the instructions of LUCIFER, THE LIGHT GIVER, and since then their eyes have been opened, they have known good and evil. But prior to that time man had been unconscious of the possession of his body; it had fallen away from him at times, as the leaf falls from the tree, without inconveniencing or disturbing him, for his consciousness had been focused in the Spiritual World at all times. But the Lucifer spirits desired a power over him, a foothold in his brain and spinal cord. They in- cited him to break away from the yoke of the Angels and take the creative function in his own hands. By the oft repeated and ignorant abuse of that faculty the consciousness of man was withdrawn from the Spiritual Worlds and focusedin the Physical World. Then came death in all its present terrible aspects, for man now regards this earth life as the only real life. When that ends, he enters an existence of which he knows nothing and which he consequently fears. Thus, on account of listening to Lucifer, THE FALSE LIGHT GIVER, man has become subject to sorrow, pain and death. He has been robbed of his inno- cence and peace. The Christ came into the world to save humanity from sin, sorrow and death. Therefore He called Himself the TRUE LIGHT, and the oth- ers, who had come before, He characterized as thieves and robbers, for they had robbeed man of the spiritual sight though they had enlightened him in the physical sense. [PAGE 2594] QUESTION NO. 105: WHAT DID THE CHRIST MEAN WHEN HE SAID, "WHOSOEVER SHALL NOT RECEIVE THE KINGDOM OF GOD AS A LITTLE CHILD SHALL NOT ENTER THEREIN"? ANSWER: In the world around us we see the kingdom of men, where every one is endeavoring to maintain his own position and depends upon his own ideas and his own self-assertion to hold that position against all comers. When anything new is presented to him, his mental attitude is usually tinged with skepticism. He fears to be deceived. The attitude of a little child with regard to what it sees or hears is exactly the reverse of the position of its elders. The little child has no overwhelming sense of its own superior knowledge, but is frankly ignorant and therefore eminently teachable, and it was to this trait that the Savior referred in the passage quoted. When we enter the higher life, we must first forget everything that we knew in the world. We must commence to look at things in an entirely dif- ferent way, and WHEN A NEW TEACHING IS BROUGHT BEFORE US WE MUST ENDEAVOR TO RECEIVE IT REGARDLESS OF OTHER FACTS PREVIOUSLY OBSERVED. This in order that we may be perfectly unbiased. Of course, we are not supposed to be- lieve offhand that "black is white," but if some one seriously asserts that an object which we have hitherto regarded as black is really white, our mind should be sufficiently open to prevent us from passing judgment at once and saying, "Why, I know that that object is black." We should be willing to reexamine the object to see if there may not be a point of view whence that [PAGE 2595] thing which we have thought black appears to be white. Only when we have made thorough examination and have found that the thing is really black from whatever point of view may we return to our previous opinion. There is nothing so remarkable about a child as the flexible attitude of its mind which renders it so teachable, and the pupil who endeavors to live the higher life should always aim to keep his mind in that fluidic state, for as soon as our ideas have become SET and incapable of being changed, our progress ceases. That was the great truth which the Christ was endeavoring to present to his hearers when he made the remark which has occasioned the question. QUESTION NO. 106: DID NOT JESUS EAT FISH? WHY THEN ARE THE ROSICRUCIANS VEGETARIANS? ANSWER: After the Resurrection the Christ at one time appeared among His disciples while they were in a locked room. They did not recognize Him at once and did not believe that His was a material body. But the vehicle in which He appeared was the vital body of Jesus, and it was possible for Him, [PAGE 2596] as for anyone else capable of functioning in that vehicle, to draw matter of the chemical region around Himself and build a perfectly tangible, dense body in a moment. In order to convince them that He was as usual, He asked for something to eat and was given a piece of a honeycomb and some fish. It is stated that he ate, but not that he ate the fish, and one who had been brought up among strict vegetarians like the Essenes would not have eaten the fish any more than he would have eaten flesh if it had been set before him. It is also related of the Buddha that he died after gorging himself upon boar's flesh, which is highly amusing to anyone aware of the fact that he taught his disciples the simple and harmless life--to sustain the body upon the purest and best foods as they come directly from the ground--and was moved to the greatest pity at the sight of suffering on the part of man or beast. The esoteric student understands that in olden times the boar was a symbol of the esoteric knowledge. One may give of his knowledge; the more we give the more we have--at least the same amount of knowledge always re- mains. This truth was taught in a symbol of the Norse mythology: In Valhall the warriors who had fought the good fight were seated around tables feasting upon the flesh of a boar, which was so constituted that as often as they cut a part of its flesh away the flesh grew out at once, so that there was always plenty, no matter how much was taken or how many ate. The Buddha in his earth life had gorged himself upon this sacred knowledge, and when he died he was full thereof. Nevertheless, the inquirer has a wrong idea. The Rosicrucians do not teach that everyone should be a vegetarian AT ONCE. In fact they teach that the vegetarian diet generates an abundance of energy, much more than flesh foods. This energy is not only physical but spiritual, so that if a man [PAGE 2597] leads a sedentary life and is of a material disposition, engaged, perhaps, in sordid business transactions or in other lines of strictly material en- deavor, this spiritual energy can find no vent and is apt to cause systemic disturbances. Only those who live an active, outdoor life, where the abundance of energy generated by the vegetarian food can be thrown off, or who transmute that energy into spiritual endeavor, can thrive on the veg- etarian diet. Besides, we recognize that the heredity of many generations has made man partly carnivorous, so that in the case of most people the change from a mixed diet to vegetables should be gradual. The diet which suits one man is not fitted for another, VIDE the old proverb that "one man's meat is another man's poison," and no hard and fast rules can be laid down which will apply equally to all people. Therefore, everything that we eat as well as everything else connected with our personality should be de- termined by ourselves individually. The Bible says truly that is not that which goeth into the mouth that defileth us. If we crave and support ourselves upon loathsome food, IT IS THE CRAVING THAT IS THE SIN, and not the food itself. If a man is in a place where he cannot obtain the pure foods which he desires and craves, he ought to take the food which is obtainable, even flesh food, without loath- ing, just as thankfully as he takes the pure food. It will not defile him because of his attitude of mind. [PAGE 2598] QUESTION NO. 107: IF CHRIST FED THE MULTITUDE WITH FISH, WHY IS IT WRONG FOR US TO USE THEM, OR EVEN FLESH, AS FOOD? ANSWER: It is the nature of a beast of prey to eat any animal that comes in its path, and its organs are such that it must have that kind of a diet to exist, but EVERYTHING IS IN A STAGE OF BECOMING; it is always changing to something higher. Man, in his earlier stages of unfoldment, was also like the beasts of prey in certain respects; however, he is to become God-like and thus he must cease to destroy at some time in order that he may commence to create. The Jews were still in a position where their animal natures were so much to the fore that they had exceedingly small ideas of altruism. They clung closely to the law, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth," and were not at all merciful in any respect. We have gone a little further along the path of evolution, and altruism is coming to the fore more and more. We have been taught that there is no life in the universe but the life of God. That "in Him we live and move and have our being." That His life animates everything that is and therefore we naturally understand that as soon as we take LIFE we are destroying THE FORM built by God for His manifestation. The lower animals are evolving spirits and have sensi- bilities. It is their desire for experience that causes them to build their various FORMS, and when we take their forms away from theme we deprive them of their opportunity for gaining experience. We hinder their evolution in- stead of helping them. It is excusable in the cannibal, who knows no bet- ter, when he eats his fellow men. We now regard cannibalism with horror, [PAGE 2599] and the day will also come when we shall feel a like disgust at the thought of making our stomachs the burying ground of the carcasses of murdered animals. It is natural that we should desire the very best of food, but every animal body has in it the poisons of decay. The venous blood is filled with carbon dioxide and other noxious products on their way to the kidneys or the pores of the skin to be expelled as urine or perspiration. These loathsome substances are in every part of the flesh and when we eat such food we are filling our own bodies with toxic poisons. Much sickness is due to our use of flesh foods. When we cry to the Bible as authority for flesh eating we should also be willing to follow its injunctions and stop eating pork, which is the most horrible food of all. It is a notable fact that the orthodox Jews who ab- stain from the foods interdicted in the Bible are immune from consumption and cancer. In a great many places where the Bible speaks of "meat," it is very plain that flesh food is not meant. The chapter in Genesis where man's food is first allotted to him says that he should eat of every tree and herb bearing seed, "and to you it shall be for MEAT." The most evolved people at all times have abstained from flesh foods. We see, for instance, Daniel, who was a holy man and a wise man, beg that he might not be forced to eat meat, but that he and his companions be given pulse. The children of Israel in the wilderness are spoken of as "LUSTING after flesh," and their God is an- gry with them in consequence. There is an esoteric meaning to the feeding of the multitude where fish was used as food, but looking to the purely material aspect we may sum up the points made in our answer by reiterating that we shall some time outgrow [PAGE 2600] flesh and fish eating as we have risen above cannibalism. Whatever license may have been given in the barbaric past will disappear in the altruistic future, when more refined sensibilities shall have awakened us to a fuller sense of the horrors involved in the gratification of a carnivorous taste. For a very full presentation of the question, "Does the Bible justify Flesh Eating," we would refer the inquirer to a little pamphlet by that name issued by the Unity Society of Kansas City, Missouri, which gives the pro and the con with great impartiality, and shows that it was only as a conces- sion to the before mentioned LUST for flesh that the practice was tolerated at all. QUESTION NO. 108: PLEASE EXPLAIN WHY THE FATTED CALF WAS NOT KILLED FOR THE RIGHTEOUS SON INSTEAD OF THE PRODIGAL. WAS THAT NOT GIVING A REWARD FOR WRONG DOING? ANSWER: The story of the prodigal son was a parable whereby the Christ intended to teach a lesson and not an actual fact. It is a story which tells of the spirit's pilgrimage through matter. There are different classes of spirits. Some, but not all, have gone into the school of [PAGE 2601] experience, the world. They have descended from their high estate in the World of God gradually deeper and deeper into the sea of matter which blinds them. At last they find themselves immeshed in the dense matter of the Physical World. That is the turning point where they wake up; where the un- conscious path of involution ends; where self-consciousness is attained plus a consciousness of the world without. But the spirit within is not content to remain in this world. Re-awakened to a sense of its inherent divinity it feels drawn anew to the highest spheres, and says "I will arise and go to my father." Then comes the toil of stripping off the various vehicles in which it has become immeshed and of raising itself once more to the conscious communion with God. While engaged in this arduous task "the Father meets it a long way off"; the still small voice from within begins to speak and tell of the heavenly glories and, at last, when either the evolution of humanity has been completed or the single spirit has taken THE SHORT CUT OF INITIATION, there is a reunion with God and the other brothers who have not yet gone out into the school of experience. Naturally there is more rejoicing over the return of one who has fought the good fight and has come back to his heav- enly home, than over the one who has not yet sought to improve his opportu- nity. Continued with file "RC1073.TXT" End of File


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