Filename: RC1090.TXT Source: +quot;The Rosicrucian Philosophy In Questions + Answers, Vol.
Source: "The Rosicrucian Philosophy In Questions & Answers, Vol. II"
by Max Heindel
HUMANITY'S AVERSION TO SNAKES:
QUESTION NO. 158:
WHY IS HUMANITY AVERSE TO A SNAKE? IS THE GROUP SPIRIT OF THE SNAKE
ANSWER: You are mistaken in your supposition that humanity as a whole is
averse to the snake. Many species of snakes are altogether harmless, and
very useful animals. Placed in the basement of the house they will keep it
perfectly clear of vermin, mice, and rats. In the garden they eliminate de-
structive animals such as gophers and field mice, which do considerable dam-
age. Therefore the wise farmer looks upon them with very friendly eyes.
But the question of aversion is not by any means confined to the snakes.
Millions of people are afraid of a mouse, a beetle, a spider, or other harm-
less animals. it is simply a question of temperament, and no Group Spirit
is an enemy of humanity or of any other species of animals. Whatever may
seem to indicate that is a wrong view of the matter.
THE SOUL AND THE SOUL BODY:
QUESTION NO. 159:
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE SOUL AND THE SOUL BODY?
ANSWER: This is one of the most intimate questions which has ever been
asked, and it cannot be answered directly, but only by illustration. As
children learn certain intellectual truths beyond their grasp by a pictorial
illustration, infant humanity learned deep religious truths through myths
The vital body is composed of four ethers. The two lower ethers are par-
ticular avenues of growth and propagation. In the vital body of a person
whose chief concern is with the physical life, who lives as it were, en-
tirely for the sensual enjoyment, these two ethers predominate, whereas in a
person who is rather indifferent to the material enjoyment of life, but who
seeks to advance spiritually, the two higher ethers form the bulk of the vi-
tal body. They are then what Paul calls the "soma psuchicon," or soul body,
which remains with man during his experiences in Purgatory and the First
Heaven where the essence of the life lived is extracted. This extract is
the soul, whose two chief qualities are conscience and virtue. The feeling
of conscience is the fruit of mistakes in past earth lives, which will in
future guide the Spirit aright and teach it how to avoid similar missteps.
Virtue is the essence of all that was good in former lives, and acts as an
encouragement to keep the Spirit ardently striving upon the path of aspira-
tion. In the Third Heaven this amalgamates thoroughly with the Spirit and
becomes a part thereof. Thus in the course of his lives man becomes more
soulful, and the soul qualities of conscience and virtue becomes more
strongly operative as guiding principles of conduct.
But we can perhaps gain a better idea of the difference between soul and
soul body if we consider the allegory contained in the ancient Atlantean
Mystery Temple, the Tabernacle in the Wilderness. This God-given symbol was
furnished with all the implements of soul growth necessary for the develop-
ment of man. Among them there was in the sanctuary the Table of Shewbread.
Upon this table there were twelve little cakes made into two piles of six
each and on each pile there was a little heap of incense. Now will you re-
member, please, that the grain from which these cakes were made was given by
God to man, but it was necessary for man to plant it, to till the soil, to
water and to nourish the tiny plants. He must also harvest them, thresh the
grain and crush it into flour. He must knead the dough and bake the read
before he could bring it into the temple and have bread to shew as a product
of this labor with the God-given grain.
This God-given grain represents opportunity. Twelve kinds of
opportunities come to man each year through the twelve departments of life
represented by the twelve houses in his horoscope. But many may neglect
these opportunities, as the ancient Israelites might have thrown their grain
in a corner and let it lie. If so, he will have no read to shew to the
Lord. He will be like the servant with one talent who went and buried it.
On the other hand, if he tilled the soil and nourished the grain of opportu-
nity for service in the Lord's vineyard, then there will be an increase
which he may harvest and prepare to bring into the Lord's temple at the
proper time to shew that he had faithfully cultivated every opportunity for
service, and made the most thereof according to ability.
We note, however, that these twelve cakes of shew bread were not them-
selves offered up to the lord, but on each pile of six there was a little
heap of incense which represented the essence of the shew bread. By analogy
this is the essence of our service; you will understand why by another
little illustration found in the experience we go through to gain physical
As you remember, during the time when we went to school and learned to
write, we made most awkward motions and contortions with the arm and body in
order to form letters on the paper. We blotted our copy books so that they
looked most hideous, and our attempt at writing was anything but beautiful.
Nevertheless, by degrees we acquired the faculty, and in the course of years
we forgot all about the experience of those early days when we endeavored to
cultivate it. But this is the point: if we had not gone through that cum-
bersome experience we would not now possess the faculty of writing, and an-
other point is this: after we have acquired the faculty it is unnecessary
to remember the cumbersome methods of its acquirement. Similarly also, the
coarse physical substance, the grain of the shewbread, was not to be offered
to the Lord, but only the essence or aroma thereof, the faculty of skilled
service, the benevolence which we have cultivated in doing good to others.
The two little piles of incense were therefore taken to the altar of
incense in front of the second veil and lighted. There ascends a cloud of
smoke in the outer or eastward part of the temple, but only the aroma, pure
and free from smoke, penetrates through the veil into the inner sanctuary.
By analogy therefore we may liken the shewbread to the experiences which we
go through in serving and helping others; the frankincense which is on top
of the pile of shewbread may be likened to the essence of sympathy and help-
fulness which we extract from these services, the soul growth contained
therein. This is seen about us as a golden aura which constitutes the soul
body. But though this glorious vehicle is made of the two finest ethers, it
could not by any process amalgamate with the Spirit itself, any more than
the incense can burn without emitting smoke and leaving behind a residue of
ashes. Therefore by the spiritual alchemy of the evening exercise of Retro-
spection, or in the natural process after death, this soul body is burned
without the veil (in the first heaven), and the aroma or the soul penetrates
the veil to the very innermost sanctuary as pabulum for the Spirit.
Thus the Spirit carries with itself the aroma of all its past lives. A
younger soul which has had only a few existences from which to draw experi-
ences and soul growth, is cruel and selfish for it has not performed service
to others. But one who has gone through many lives, who has learned by sor-
row and suffering to feel and to do for others, responds instantly to the
cry of pain, because the soul in him or her is the quintessence of service
and therefore always ready to aid others regardless of personal comforts and
RELATION BETWEEN SOUL AND MIND:
QUESTION NO. 160:
WE HAVE HAD SOME DISCUSSION IN OUR CLASSES REGARDING THE SOUL. SOME CON-
FUSION OF OPINION EXISTS. WHAT IS THE RELATION BETWEEN THE SOUL AND THE
MIND? ARE THE FORCES OF BOTH PERMANENTLY UNITED TO THE SPIRIT? WHICH BODY
WILL BE USED IN THE LATER STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT, THE MENTAL OR THE SOUL
ANSWER: We will turn for our answer to page 366 of the COSMO. There we
find a chart which embodies the whole scheme of involution and evolution.
It is not a very complicated chart, either, and the student who wishes to
master the mystery of existence would do well to memorize thoroughly this
Reading on the left side thereof, we learn that during a stage of uncon-
scious evolution the Spirit grew a threefold body and crystallized into it.
This was the dense body, the vital body, and the desire body. In the earth
period, the focus of mind was given and this becomes the fulcrum upon which
involution turns to evolution. Then a threefold stage of conscious evolu-
tion commences during which the growth of a threefold soul is accomplished
by spiritualizing the three bodies into the soul. We find that in the re-
mainder of the Earth Period we extract the conscious soul from the dense
body; in the Jupiter Period the intellectual soul is extracted from the vi-
tal body; and in the Vulcan Period we become creative intelligences by amal-
gamation of the threefold soul with the mind.
In order to make this more clear, we will turn to page 421 where there is
a chapter on alchemy and soul growth. There we read as follows:
"The dense body was started in the Saturn Period, passed through various
transformations in the Sun and Moon Periods, and will reach its highest
development in the Earth Period.
The vital body was started in the Sun Period, was reconstructed in the
Moon and Earth Periods, and will reach perfection in the Jupiter Period,
which is its fourth stage, as the Earth Period is the fourth stage for the
The desire body was started in the Moon Period, reconstructed in the
Earth Period, will be further modified in the Jupiter Period, reaching per-
fection in the Venus Period."
"Referring to Diagram 8 will show that the lowest Globe of the Jupiter
Period is located in the Etheric Region. It would therefore be impossible
to use the dense physical vehicle there, as only a vital body can be used in
the Etheric Region. Yet it must not be supposed that after spending the
time from the beginning of the Saturn Period to the end of the Earth Period
in completing and perfecting this body, it is then thrown away that man may
function in a "higher" vehicle!
"Nothing in nature is wasted. In the Jupiter Period the forces of the
dense body will be superimposed on the vital body. That vehicle will then
possess the powers of the dense body in addition to its own faculties and
will therefore be a much more valuable instrument for the expression of the
threefold Spirit, than if built from its own forces alone.
"Similarly, Globe D of the Venus Period is located in the Desire World
(see diagram 8). Hence neither a dense nor vital body could be used as an
instrument of consciousness. Therefore the essences of the perfected dense
and vital bodies are incorporated in the completed desire body, the latter
thus becoming a vehicle of transcendent qualities, marvelously adaptable and
so responsive to the slightest wish of the indwelling Spirit that in our
present limitations it is beyond our utmost conception.
Yet the efficiency of even this splendid vehicle will be transcended when
in the Vulcan Period its essence, together with the essences of the dense
and vital bodies, are added to the mind, which becomes the highest of man's
vehicles, containing within itself the quintessence of all that was best in
all the vehicles. The vehicle of the Venus Period being beyond our present
power of conception, how much more so is that which will be at the service
of the divine beings of the Vulcan Period!
During involution the creative Hierarchies assisted man to arouse into
activity the threefold Spirit, the Ego, to build the threefold body, and to
acquire the link of mind. Now, however, on the seventh day (to use the lan-
guage of the Bible), God rests. Man must work out his own salvation. The
threefold Spirit must complete the working out of the plan begun by the
The Human Spirit, which was awakened during involution in the Moon Pe-
riod, will be the most prominent of the three aspects of the Spirit in the
evolution of the Jupiter Period, which is the corresponding Period on the
upward arc of the spiral. The Life Spirit, which was started into activity
in the Sun Period will manifest its principal activity during the
corresponding Venus period, and the particular influences of the Divine
Spirit will be strongest in the Vulcan Period, because it was vivified in
the corresponding Saturn Period.
All three aspects of the Spirit are active all the time during evolution,
but the principal activity of each aspect will be unfolded in those par-
ticular periods, because the work to be done there is its special work.
When the threefold Spirit had evolved the threefold body and gained con-
trol of it through the focus of mind, it commenced to evolve the threefold
soul by working from within. How much or how little soul a man has depends
upon the amount of work the Spirit has done in the bodies. This has been
explained in the chapter describing post-mortem experiences. (See pages
95-96 of the COSMO). As much of the desire body as has been worked upon by
the Ego is transmuted into the emotional soul, and is ultimately assimilated
by the Human Spirit, the special vehicle of which is the desire body.
As much of the vital body as has been worked upon by the Life Spirit be-
comes the intellectual soul, and it builds the Life Spirit, because that as-
pect of the threefold Spirit has its counterpart in the vital body.
As much of the dense body as has been worked upon by the Divine Spirit
becomes the conscious soul, because the dense body is its material emana-
The conscious soul grows by action, external impacts, and experience.
The emotional soul grows by the feelings and emotions generated by ac-
tions and experiences.
The intellectual soul as mediator between the other two grows by the ex-
ercise of memory, by which it links together past and present experiences
and the feelings engendered thereby, thus creating "sympathy" and "an-
tipathy" which could not exist apart from memory, because the feelings re-
sulting from experience alone would be evanescent.
During involution the Spirit progressed by growing bodies but evolution
depends upon soul growth--the transmutation of the bodies into soul. The
soul is, so to say, the quintessence, the power or force of the body, and
when a body has been completely built and brought to perfection through the
stages and periods as above described, the soul is fully extracted therefrom
and is absorbed by the one of the three aspects of the Spirit which gener-
ated the body in the first place, thus:
The conscious soul will be absorbed by the Divine Spirit in the seventh
revolution of the Jupiter period;
The intellectual soul will be absorbed by the Life Spirit in the sixth
revolution of the Venus Period;
The emotional soul will be absorbed by the Human Spirit in the fifth
revolution of the Vulcan Period.
So much for the evolution of soul. We will now turn to the mind and the
various stages which brings it to perfection.
We read on page 426 of the COSMO: "At the present time, however, the
mind is not focused in a way that enables it to give a clear and true pic-
ture of what the Spirit imagines. It is not one pointed. It gives misty
and clouded pictures. Hence the necessity of experiment to show the inad-
equacies of the first conception, and bring about new imaginings and ideas
until the image produced by the Spirit in mental substance has been repro-
duced in physical substance.
At the best, we were able to shape through the mind only such images as
have to do with form, because the human mind was not started until the Earth
Period, and therefore is now in its "form" or "mineral" stage. Hence in our
operations we are confined to forms, to minerals. We can imagine ways and
means of working with the mineral forms of the three lower kingdoms, but can
do little or nothing with living bodies. We may indeed graft living
branches to a live tree, or a living part of animal or man to another living
part, but it is not life with which we are working. It is form only. We
are making different conditions, but the life which already inhabited the
form continues to do so still. To create life is beyond man's power until
the mind has become alive.
In the Jupiter Period the mind will be vivified to some extent and man
can then imagine forms which will live and grow, like plants.
In the Venus period, when his mind has acquired "feeling," he can create
living, growing, and feeling things.
When he reaches perfection, at the end of the Vulcan Period, he will be
able to "imagine" into existence creatures that will live, grow, feel, and
In the Saturn Period the life wave which is now man started on its evolu-
tion. The Lords of Mind were then human. They worked with man at that Pe-
riod, when he was mineral. They now have nothing to do with the lower king-
dom, but are concerned solely with our human development.
Our present animals started their mineral existence in the Sun Period, at
which time the Archangels were human. Therefore, the Archangels are the
rulers and guides of the evolution of that which is now animal, but have
nothing to do with plant or mineral.
The present plants had their mineral existence in the Moon Period. The
angels were then human. Therefore they have special concern with the life
that now inhabits the plants, to guide it up to the human stage; but they
have no interest in the minerals.
Our present humanity will have to work with the new life wave which en-
tered evolution in the Earth period and now ensouls the minerals. We are
now working with it by means of the faculty of imagination, giving it
form--building it into ships, bridges, railways, houses, etc.
In the Jupiter Period we shall guide the evolution of the plant kingdom,
for that which is at present mineral will then have a plantlike existence
and we must work with it there as the angels are now doing with our plant
kingdom. Our faculty of imagination will be so developed that we shall have
the ability, not only to create forms by means of it, but to endow those
forms with vitality.
"In the Venus Period our present mineral life wave shall have advanced
another step, and we shall be doing for the animals of that period what the
archangels are now doing for our animals--giving them living and feeling
"Lastly in the Vulcan Period it will be our privilege to give them a ger-
minal mind, as the Lords of Mind did to us. The present mineral will then
have passed through stages similar to those through which the Angels and
Archangels are now passing. We shall then have reached a point in evolution
a little higher than that of the present Lords of Mind, for remember there
is never an exact reproduction anywhere, but always progressive improvement,
because of the spiral.
"The Divine Spirit will absorb the Human Spirit at the close of the Jupi-
ter Period; the Life Spirit at the close of the Venus Period, and the per-
fected mind, embodying all that it has garnered during its pilgrimage
through all the seven Periods, will be absorbed by the Divine Spirit at the
close of the Vulcan Period."
From the foregoing it will be clear that there is a distinct evolution of
soul and another equally distinct evolution of the mind. Yet they are not
at all independent of one another, but work in perfect unison, as for
instance, the heart and lungs work together to keep up the rhythm of the
body. Therefore it will be neither the mental, nor the soul body that we
shall use in the later stages of our development, but a composite vehicle
containing increasingly the essence of all our bodies, which will then be a
composite garment of the Spirit, so wonderful and glorious that it is beyond
even our faintest conception at the present time.
HOW TO FOSTER FAITH:
QUESTION NO. 161:
THERE SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN A GREAT DECLINE OF FAITH IN RECENT YEARS. WHAT
REMEDY IS THERE FOR THIS FROM THE OCCULT VIEWPOINT?
ANSWER: There is an occult reason for the decline of faith, and it is
useless to discuss a remedy until a cause has been found. No haphazard mea-
sure will turn humanity permanently back to the path of rectitude. Let us
first consider some of the causes commonly given, and then we shall under-
stand the occult scientific reason all the better.
We often hear it sneeringly said that the reason the churches stand empty
is that the minister has no NEW message, but is continually rehashing the
old Bible stories. The reproach loses its force the moment the question is
asked: "Have we learned the Bible by heart?" We expect a child to repeat
the multiplication table indefinitely until he knows and can apply it. It
is more important that we should know the Bible thoroughly than that the
child should remember the table; hence repetition is necessary.
The Athenians on Mars Hill were always seeking some new thing that would
give them food for discussion, but something more is required for soul
growth. Paul specifically informs us that although we may know all the mys-
teries, and all knowledge, and have not love, it profits us nothing.
The reproach of the empty pews rests particularly upon the Protestant
churches of all denominations, and it may not be out of place therefore to
draw a comparison between their method and the method of the mother church.
If we are anxious to learn we must put prejudice aside and strive to look at
the merits and demerits of each in an unbiased manner.
Let us first look into the ordinary Protestant church, where the minister
strives to give the people the gospel. Many of the pews are empty. Among
those present the ladies outnumber the men by six to one or more. The min-
ister is usually earnest and strives to be eloquent when he addressed the
Deity in prayer, but he has heard the reproach of repetition so often that
he is always afraid of having one service resemble another in the slightest
degree. A new prayer, a new sermon, a new song from the choir, everything
as NEW as possible, so as to escape that dreadful reproach. He is almost a
nervous wreck because of the haunting thought that his people may think him
Next, let us go to a "popular" church and see what methods they use. The
minister in these churches is always "progressive" and "up-to-date." There
is often a gymnasium and a physical culture instructor attached to the es-
tablishment. Every night in the week there is a meeting connected with
this, that, or the other club. There are picnics, lawn parties, and dances
in the summer, and church suppers in the winter. Meetings for men and meet-
ings for women are usually sandwiched in, so that the whole is one dazzling
phantasmagoria with never a dull moment during the week, and on Sunday--ah,
that is the real treat, the great attraction--then the pastor entertains, as
only he knows how. He is assisted by a matchless choir of high priced art-
ists trained by an equally high priced conductor. The music is not par-
ticularly religious, save as all good music fresh from the heaven world
speaks to the spiritual man, and awakens the memories of our eternal home.
But it is a treat to the music lover and draws hundreds on that account.
Between the opening and the closing parts of the musical program comes
the so-called "sermon." One of our contributors relates that once she was
horrified on entering a church to see on the pulpit this inscription: "I
preach not the gospel." The words of the context: "Woe unto me if," were
hidden on the other side of the pulpit, and the effect must have been star-
tling to say the least. However, it is a motto that might be on the pulpit
of more than one "progressive" church, for though the "sermon" may open with
a quotation from the Bible, that is usually the only reference to the word
of God. The rest is an excellent oration on whatever topic may be the most
live local or national issue, or if there be a dearth from the general so-
cial and political sources, there are always the temperance and purity prob-
lems. True, they are worn, like the Gospels, but by taking a bottle of beer
on the pulpit, working up a frenzy and smashing the cursed thing, it is
still possible to make an appeal to the jaded taste for sensationalism which
is ultimately developed by most of the pastor's hearers. But by that time
the "progressive" pastor gets a call to go and build up another church else-
This much is admitted universally: under the continued pastorate of one
man the churchgoers lose interest. However, this is not because their min-
isters are not sincere and hard working. The great majority are exemplary
in every way, but somehow they cannot keep their hold on the people. Some
denominations allot the churches under their jurisdiction to their ministers
for a certain term, and at the end of that time transfer them to another
section to work there awhile.
Much may be said both for and against these various schemes, but that is
beside the present discussion. Only one remedy for lack of interest seems
to have a potency sufficiently powerful to meet the general approval as a
producer of at least temporary enthusiasm: the revival.
There people flock to hear a stranger, always of strong, dominant, and
aggressive personality, with a voice that can speak in octaves from a low
pleading call, catching the crushed sinner, to the clarion cry which sounds
like the crack of doom to the recalcitrants. Like the "progressive" pastor,
he is ably aided by a trained staff, choir, and orchestra, all arranged to
make a powerful appeal TO THE SENSATIONS. People are "converted" by thou-
sands and religion (?) takes on a new lease of life in that community.
But, alas, only for a while. It is a fact needing no more than the bare
statement, that after a very little while all but a pitifully small percent-
age of the converts backslide, and the poor minister must go on laboring to
keep the semblance of religion in a community increasingly negligent of
This state of affairs has become so notorious that comparatively few
young men enter the seminaries. There is thus a decline in both church
goers and ministers, which, if continued, can have but one ending--the ex-
tinction of the Protestant church.
When we investigate the methods of the Catholic church for the sake of
comparison and to arrive at the correct conclusion regarding its power of
attraction, we should first note the absolute contrast between the service
there and that in the Protestant churches. If we listen for a moment at the
door of a dozen of the edifices of protestant denominations, we shall find
that each minister has a different topic, but we may go to any Catholic
church in the wide world, and we shall find that they are all using the same
ritual at the altar on a given day. What the priest may say from the pulpit
is negligible in face of that all-important fact, for words are vibrations.
They are creative, as demonstrated when sand and spores form geometrical
figures in response to the voice of a singer, and the Mass chanted in count-
less Catholic churches scattered all over the world reverberates with cumu-
lative power through the universe as one mighty anthem, affecting all who
are in tune therewith, raising their religious fervor and loyalty to their
church in a manner unapproachable by the isolated and haphazard efforts of
individuals, no matter how sincere.
In corroboration of this assertion regarding the cumulative power of a
ritual, we may mention the phenomenal hold of Christian Science on its fol-
lowers. The Christian Scientists have no high priced preachers. Their mu-
sic is not out of the ordinary. Yet their churches are filled to the doors,
and they are branching out at a wonderful rate because they have, first, a
message of vital interest, health, and wealth; and second, the occult effect
of concentrated effort obtained by using identical readings in every
Christian Science church in the world, so that the cumulative effect may be
felt by every Christian Scientist who is in tune. This effect would be much
stronger if the service were really occult, and chanted to a certain strain
as is the Mass.
Thus, to sum up this phase of the matter, the persistently continued in-
dividual attempts of Protestant preachers to guide their people by new and
original sermons are a failure, while concerted efforts centered in uniform
rituals repeated year after year, as put forth by Roman Catholics and Chris-
tian Scientists, and even by the Freemasons and Fraternal Orders, hold the
In order to understand this mystery and apply the remedy intelligently,
it is necessary to understand the constitution of man, both during the years
of growth and also as an adult.
In addition to the visible body of man which we see with our physical
eyes, there are other and finer vehicles that are unseen by the great major-
ity of mankind. Nevertheless they are not superfluous appendages to the
physical body, but are indeed much more important from the fact that they
are the springs of all action. Without these finer vehicles the physical
body would be inert, senseless, and dead.
The first of these vehicles we call the vital body because it is the av-
enue of vitality which leavens the dead lump of the mortal coil in the years
of life, and gives us the power to move.
The second is the desire body, which is the basis of our emotions and
feelings, and which galvanizes this visible body into action. These three
vehicles together with the mind constitute the personality which is then in-
formed by the Spirit. Each of the bodies we have named has its own essen-
tial nature, and we may say that the keynote of the physical body is "iner-
tia," as it never moves unless impelled through these finer invisible
bodies. The key note of the vital body is "repetition." That is easily un-
derstood,, when we consider that although it has power to move the body,
such movements result only from repeated impulses of the same kind. It is
taught to coordinate the movements of the body as the Spirits wills. If we
go to the organ for the first time and endeavor to play, we are not at once
able to move the fingers in the desired manner to produce the proper tones.
It requires repeated efforts to execute even the simplest co-ordinated move-
ments of the fingers requisite to making the proper harmony. Because of
this necessity for repetition it is an occult maxim that all occult develop-
ment begins with the training of the vital body.
The desire body, which we sense as our emotional nature, on the other
hand, is always seeking something new. This desire for change of condition,
change of scene, change of mood, love of emotion and sensation is due to the
activities of the desire body, which is like the sea in a storm, full of
waves, tossing hither and thither, at random and without design, each one
one powerful and destructive when unbridled and without allegiance to the
central directing power.
The mind, indeed, is the focus through which the Spirit endeavors to sub-
due the lower personality and guide it according to the ability acquired
during its evolutionary period. But at the present time it is so vague a
quantity that among the great majority of people it cannot be reckoned with,
and they are therefore led principally by their feelings and emotions, with-
out much amenability to reason or thought.
Recognizing the great and wonderful power of the emotional body and its
amenability to "rhythm," which may be said to be its keynote, progressive
theology has addressed itself to and focused its efforts upon appeals to
this vehicle. It is this part of our nature which enjoys the entertainments
of the sensational vaudeville pastor. This vehicle it is that sways and
groans under the rhythmic rant of the revivalist, itself vibrant with emo-
tion, rising and falling in the well calculated measure of the speaker's
voice. Unity of pitch is soon established, a state of actual hypnosis where
the victim can no more help going to "the mourners bench," than water can
refrain from running down hill. They realize powerfully for the time being
the enormity of their sins and they are equally anxious to start a better
life. Alas, however, the next wave of attraction to their emotional nature
washes away all the preacher has said, as well as all their resolutions, and
they stand exactly where they were before, much to the chagrin and sorrow of
the evangelist concerned.
Thus all efforts to elevate humanity by work upon the unstable desire
body are and must always prove futile. This the occult schools of all ages
have recognized and they have therefore addressed themselves to the changing
of the vital body by working with its keynote, which is repetition. For
that purpose, they have written various rituals suited to humanity at the
different stages of its development and in that way they have fostered soul
growth, slowly but surely, and regardless of whether man was aware that he
was being worked upon in that manner or not. The Ancient Atlantean Mystery
Temple, which we speak of as the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, had certain
rites prescribed in the mount by the divine hierarch who was their par-
ticular teacher. Certain rites were performed during week days. Other
rites were used on the Sabbath, and again other rites at the times of the
new moons and on the great solar festivals. Nor was it within the province
of any one from the high priest down, to alter this ritual, under pain and
penalty of death.
Also among other ancient people do we find evidence of a ritual--the Hin-
dus, the Chaldeans, and the Egyptians all used it in their religious ser-
vices. Among the latter we have, for instance, the so-called BOOK OF THE
DEAD, as an evidence of the occult value and the scope of such ritualistic
services. Even among the Greeks, though they were notoriously
individualistic and anxious to give expression to their own conception, we
find the ritual in the mysteries, and alter during the so-called Christian
Era we have the same occultly inspired ritual in the Catholic Church, as a
means of fostering soul growth by work on the vital body.
It is not contended that there were no abuses within these various sys-
tems of religion, that the priests were always hold men, and that their
hands were clean and spotless when they ministered at the sacrifice or
ritual. It is indeed true that abuse at times became so great that
re-organizations were necessary, and the Protestant movement was inaugurated
by Martin Luther in order to get away from the abuses that had sprung up
within the Catholic church. However, all these systems had in them the ker-
nel of truth and power in the fact that they worked for the development of
the vital body, and therefore, no matter how corrupt the priests might be,
the ritual always retained its great power. Hence when the reformers left
the ritual behind them, they were in exactly the same position as the Athe-
nians on Mars Hill--they were forced to seek something new. In each de-
nomination there is a desire for truth. Each of the sects today is strug-
gling to solve the problem of life in its own way, but each is striking a
new note in a haphazard manner, and therefore they are all failing, while
the Catholic church with all its abuses still holds a wonderful sway over
its adherents because of the concerted power of the ritual.
In order that we may learn from them how to fill our churches and foster
the soul growth in our Protestant people, we must first realize the fact
that "in unity there is strength." We must cease our senseless disputes
about details. Whether we "sprinkle," or "immerse," whether we are "predes-
tined" or "free"--what does it really matter? None was ever saved because
of this hair splitting. The words of Abraham Lincoln, "In essentials unity,
in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity," must be adopted before
anything else can be done. Agreement to that proposition in true consecra-
tion to the great object must be the cornerstone, and on that basic prin-
ciple a Federation of the Protestant churches could thus be formed. The de-
tails of government could be worked out by the membership.
Having attained this point, the important question of ritual could be
worked out in two, or perhaps three ways:
(1). It could consist of certain readings from the Bible arranged in
such a manner that they would form a connected and consecutive service. A
number of such rituals could be written so that each would be suitable for a
certain feast, and on ordinary Sundays another ritual could be used in all
the Protestant churches of the world.
(2). The ritual of the Episcopal church could be adopted as it is, or in
a modified form.
(3). An occultist capable of getting in touch with the cosmic sources of
knowledge might be found and persuaded to write a ritual that would have in
it a power unattainable in any other way.
The first of these ways would be the least effective. The last would be
the most efficient method of attaining the desired end, but conversely, to
obtain a ritual by the last method would be much more difficult.
Before a ritual can have its maximum effect, however, those who are to
grow thereby must become attuned to it. This involves work on their vital
bodies while those vehicles are still in the making.
It is a matter of occult knowledge that birth is a fourfold event, and
that birth of the physical body is only one step in the process. The vital
body also undergoes a development analogous to the intra-uterine growth of
the dense body. It is born about the seventh year of life. During the next
seven years the desire body is ripened and comes to birth at about the four-
teenth year, when adolescence is reached, and the mind is born at
twenty-one, when the age of manhood and womanhood commences.
These occult facts are well known to the Catholic Hierarchy, and while
the Protestant ministers work upon the emotional nature, which is ever seek-
ing something new and sensational without realizing the futility of the
struggle and the fact that it is this most rampant vehicle that drives
people FROM the churches in search of something more new and more sensa-
tional, the occultly informed Catholic Hierarchy concentrates its effort
upon the children. "Give us the child up to its seventh year and it is ours
forever," they say, and they are right. During these important seven years
they impregnate the plastic vital bodies of their charges with their views
by means of repetition. The repeated prayers, the time and tune of the
various chants, and the incense, all have a powerful effect on the growing
vital body. Nor does it matter that the ritual is in an unknown tongue, for
to the Ego this vibratory message is a divine color chant, intelligible to
all Spirits. Neither does it matter that the child repeats like a parrot,
without understanding, so long as it does repeat what is given it. The more
the better, for these occult vibrations are thereby incorporated in its vi-
tal body before it sets, and remain with it through life. Every time the
Mass is intoned by the servants of the church in any part of the world, the
cumulative vibratory power of their effort stirs those who have its line of
force in their vital bodies in such a manner that they are drawn to the
church with a generally, irresistible force. This is on the same principle
that when a tuning fork is struck, others of identical pitch commence to
Some Catholics have turned against the Catholic church, but subcon-
sciously and at heart they have remained Catholic to their dying day, for
the vital body is exceedingly difficult to change, and the lines of force
build into it during its gestatory period are stronger than almost any indi-
It follows, therefore, that if we would change the tendency of the world
to pursue pleasure and sense gratification to the exclusion of religion, we
would do well to begin with the small children. If we gather them at the
altar and teach them to love God's house and incorporate certain universal
prayers and parts of the ritual in their forming vital bodies, avoiding even
the semblance of a "church supper," but cultivating in all who enter the
ideal of reverence for a holy place, we shall by degrees build around the
physical stone structure an invisible temple of Light and Life, such as de-
scribed by Manson in "The Servant in the House."
THE SALT OF ALCHEMISTRY:
QUESTION NO. 162:
IN THE ROSICRUCIAN PHILOSOPHY WE ARE TOLD THAT IN THE PHRASEOLOGY OF THE
ALCHEMISTS THE MOON FORCES WERE SPOKEN OF AS SALT. HAS THIS ANY SIG-
NIFICANCE WITH REGARD TO THE FOLLOWING QUOTATION FROM MARK 9:49-50: "FOR
EVERY ONE SHALL BE SALTED WITH FIRE, AND EVERY SACRIFICE SHALL BE SALTED
WITH SALT. SALT IS GOOD; BUT IF THE SALT HAVE LOST ITS SALTNESS, WHEREWITH
WILL YE SEASON IT? HAVE SALT IN YOURSELVES, AND HAVE PEACE ONE WITH
ANSWER: Every sacrifice shall be salted with salt. That was a command-
ment in the Mosaic law, Judaism as we may call it, and was originated by Je-
hovah. However, the salt has another and deeper significance. The idea is
that if the salt is put upon the sacrifice it causes a chemical fire, and
that was symbolical of that burning sensation we must feel by remorse for
misdeeds we have done. Every transgression shall be punished and expiated
by a certain sacrifice. The salt and burning of the sacrifice were symbols
of something better to come. The people at that time could not themselves
be living sacrifices. They could not have denied themselves anything, but
they did love their possessions very, very dearly. Many children they
wanted, and much land and much cattle, and therefore if the cattle and the
things that they prized most highly were taken from them on account of sin
and transgression, they felt it as they could not have felt an injury done
Thus this sacrifice was a sort of vicarious atonement, and it stood as a
symbol of the time later on when they should be a sacrifice themselves and
feel remorse for whatever wrong they had done. Then the sacrifice was not
accepted at the altar until it had been salted, and similarly the living
sacrifice will not be accepted on the altar of repentance until it has been
salted. That is, we must feel a burning anguish, remorse, and contrition
for every wrong we have done, and only when we have done that is the sacri-
fice accepted. Then the sacrifice was burned by a divinely enkindled fire.
This indicates that after we have salted the living sacrifice of ourselves
with our tears of contrition, laying ourselves on the altar before God, it
shall come to pass that, "Though our sins be as scarlet they shall be white
as snow." The record will be wiped out from the life panorama. Thus we
cleanse ourselves, but the first requisite is that the sacrifice must be
salted with tears.
The salting of the sacrifices in ancient times may have had something to
do with the idea that Jehovah is the Spirit of the Moon and therefore rules
the chemical element salt, but the salt of the alchemist was not the ordi-
nary salt. That was the salt of tears and contrition, and the alchemists
did not profess to make base metal into gold, either. What they proposed to
do was to make the base elements of the body taken from the earth into the
gold of the soul, that golden wedding garment that shines around every one
who attains to spirituality and becomes a brighter light as he lives a
higher and nobler life.
THE PHILOSOPHY OF WAR:
QUESTION NO. 163:
FROM THE ROSICRUCIAN VIEWPOINT, AN WAR BE SAID TO BE RIGHT? WHAT SHOULD
BE THE STAND OF THE ROSICRUCIAN STUDENT IN THE PRESENT CONFLICT? (World War
ANSWER: In the great crises of life we are brought face to face with
certain issues and called upon to make decisions of such importance that
they often require reversion of ideas and ideals, even of our most cherished
principles as hitherto conceived. When such a crisis comes it will be noth-
ing short of mental, moral, and spiritual suicide to shirk or evade the is-
sue, no matter what the cost. Consistency is said to be a jewel, but if we
would be truly wise we must be ready to change or revise our ideas whenever
occasion really demands.
The Rosicrucian teaching has always been in conformity with the Bible
dictum, "Thou shalt not kill." No qualification was made and some have car-
ried this idea to such extremes that they would not kill a fly. But the ma-
jority rightly felt that the injunction was not intended to cover pests and
microorganisms which take such a terrible toll of human life. These things,
being manifestations of evil thoughts, are without the pale. These people
have no intention of allowing their bodies or the bodies of their children
to be overrun by vermin rather than to kill the pests, and they realize that
extermination of insects was a great basic factor in America's success at
Panama. In fact it turned the balance from failure to success, and this
principle should be applied wherever necessary. They feel that it would be
a foolish application of the injunction, "Thou shalt not kill," to allow
beasts of prey or poisonous reptiles to roam about among us to endanger our
lives, and they would cheerfully kill to remove such a menace from the com-
munity. In their code of ethics the injunction involves only the idea that
it is wrong to kill for food, for sport, or for profit. To kill a human be-
ing seemed to remote a possibility to most of us that it was not considered
even as a contingency. We always denounced capital punishment both on the
ground that it is basically wrong and that it is worse than useless for when
we free the Spirit of a murderer from his body we liberate him in the
spiritual world where he can and often does work on others to influence them
to similar crimes. Therefore, it is better to restrain him in a prison and
strive to reform him so that even if he does not regain his liberty in this
life, he will in future existences respect the sanctity of life of others.
But while it is possible thus to deal with the individual murderer, the
case is different when an entire nation runs amuck against another, commit-
ting wholesale murder, arson, destruction, and pillage. It is then
impossible to imprison a whole nation and more drastic means of self-defense
must be found.
In civil life we recognize the law of self-defense, which gives the in-
tended victim of a would-be murderer the right to slay rather than to be
slain, and it would be specious to contend that this right is lost because a
million murderers dress themselves in uniform or because they go out boldly
and brazenly, proclaiming their intention to kill, or because they lie in
ambush by companies instead of singly. Being the aggressors, they are mur-
derers, and their intended victims have an unquestionable moral right to de-
fend their own lives by slaying these murderers. Furthermore, there rests
upon the strong the sacred duty of protecting the lives of those who are too
weak to protect themselves. Even that involves the slaying of the murder-
FROM THE SPIRITUAL STANDPOINT, THEREFORE, THE RIGHT OR WRONG OF WAR
HINGES UPON THE QUESTION: WHO IS THE AGGRESSOR AND WHO IS THE VICTIM?
This question is easily answered where war is started for the purpose of
conquest, or when war is waged for an altruistic purpose such as the emanci-
pation of a subjected people from physical, industrial, and religious bond-
age. It needs no argument to show that in such cases the oppressor is also
the aggressor and the liberator is the defender of inalienable human rights.
He is performing a sacred duty as his "brother's keeper."
When this is once understood we cannot be deceived by the jack-o-lanterns
of diplomacy, for we have a true light, a simple standard of right and
Having made up our minds on that point, it follows that it is far more
noble and heroic to face a firing squad for refusing to enter the army of
the aggressor, or to flee from our native land, or even join the ranks of
the defenders in the most menial capacity, than to hold a post of highest
honor among the aggressors.
On the other hand it is a sacred duty in accord with the highest and no-
blest spiritual principles to fight among the defenders. The greater the
sacrifice, the greater the merit, and he who shirks this sacred duty to de-
fend hearth and home, kin and country, or who fails to fight for the op-
pressed, is beneath denunciation. Furthermore, the greater the emergency,
the greater the sacrifice that is required.
Nor is this great privilege of sacrifice confined to those of brawn and
broad shoulders. Not alone are they bound by duty; the work behind the
lines is even more important and all can share according to talent and
ability--mental, physical, and financial.
Furthermore, when the occasion arises where defense of others or
self-defense becomes unavoidable, the harder the campaign is pushed, the
shorter and more successful it will be. Therefore, no half measures should
be tolerated, and neutrality under such circumstances must be regarded at
least as a sin of omission.
It is well understood by students of occultism that wars are instigated
and inspired by the divine hierarchies who thus use one nation to punish an-
other for its sins. Even a superficial study of the Bible will furnish many
instances. This does not always mean that the victor is altogether righ-
teous, but it does show that the vanquished nation has done wrong and merits
the punishment inflicted, usually on account of its arrogance and godless-
ness. Nor is it a sign that because it is victorious for a long time and
extremely difficult to conquer, it enjoys divine favor--at least in a mea-
sure. Such a course may be brought about by the invisible army who support
the arms of the aggressor and prolong the struggle for the purpose of making
the final defeat more thorough and disastrous; also to teach the defenders a
lesson that could not be learned in a short decisive struggle.
Such, briefly, is the philosophy of war from the spiritual viewpoint, re-
gardless of who are the nations involved. If we apply these principles and
tests to the present war (World War I) it must be apparent to everyone who
is not biased and will approach the subject with a broad and open mind that
the militarists of the Central Empires have been preparing for this war for
generations, and on the fifth of July, 1914, at the notorious Potsdam Con-
ference which is now acknowledged by them, they agreed to start the war af-
ter a few weeks during which the bankers of these nations were so manipulat-
ing the markets as to amass the greatest possible financial resources. This
stamps the Austro-German war parties as the aggressors, who under the spell
of the Race Spirits have marshaled their millions against all the other na-
tions of the world. In the beginning of the conflict France and England,
who were the immediate neighbors of the outraged Belgians, made her cause
their own and acted in that respect as their brother's keeper. However, be-
ing unprepared, they have been unable to bring the struggle to a decisive
termination. Therefore it became necessary for America to enter the con-
flict and turn the balance, so that peace may be restored and safety secured
to those who are too weak to protect themselves.
It has been a matter for rejoicing that whenever the United States has
been forced to enter upon a military campaign it has always been either in
self-defense or in the still more altruistic role of defender and emancipa-
tor of the weak. Were this a war of conquest or aggression, it would be
better for any spiritually minded person to face a firing squad as already
stated than to participate in such an unrighteous undertaking. On the other
hand, seeing that the present struggle which is waged for the purpose of
crushing the militarism of Central Europe has taken such a terrible toll of
human life with the strength of the allied defenders nearly spent, it is the
sacred duty of everyone to aid to the very limit according to his spiritual,
mental, moral, or physical capacity, either at the front or behind the lines
wherever the judgment of those in charge may require his or her service.
Therefore we would urge each and every one of the students of the
Rosicrucian Fellowship, of whatever country now defending the cause of hu-
manity against the militarist party of the Central Powers, to support his or
her government to the very best of his ability that we may soon see "Peace
on earth and among men good will."
THE ROSICRUCIAN FELLOWSHIP:
QUESTION NO. 164:
IS THE TEACHING OF THE ROSICRUCIANS AVAILABLE FOR EVERYONE? IF SO, HOW
IS IT MADE AVAILABLE?
ANSWER: In order to promulgate this teaching The Rosicrucian Fellowship
has been formed, and anyone who is not a hypnotist, professional medium,
clairvoyant, palmist, or astrologer, may enroll as a Preliminary Course Stu-
dent by writing to the General Secretary. There is no fee for initiation,
or dues. Money cannot buy our teaching. Advancement depends upon merit.
After completing the Preliminary Course one is put on the Regular Student
list for a period of two years, after which if he has become so imbued with
the verity of the Rosicrucian teachings that he is prepared to sever his
connection with all other occult or religious orders--the Christian Churches
and Fraternal Orders are excepted--he may assume the Obligation which admits
him to the degree of Probationer.
We do not mean to insinuate by the foregoing that all other schools of
occultism are of no account--far from it. Many roads lead to Rome, but we
shall attain with much less effort if we follow one of them than if we zig-
zag from path to path. Our time and energy are limited in the first place,
and are still further curtailed by family and social duties not to be ne-
glected for self-development. it is to husband the minimum of energy that
we may legitimately expend upon ourselves, and to avoid waste of the scanty
moments at our disposal that resignation from all other Orders is insisted
The world is an aggregate of opportunities, but to take advantage of any
one of them we must possess efficiency in a certain line of endeavor. De-
velopment of our spiritual powers will enable us to help or harm our weaker
brothers. It is only justifiable when efficiency in service of humanity is
The Rosicrucian method of attainment differs from other systems in one
especial particular: It aims, even at the very start, to emancipate the pu-
pil from dependence upon others, to make him SELF-RELIANT to the very
highest degree, so that he may be able to stand alone under all circum-
stances and cope with all conditions. Only one who is thus strongly poised
can help the weak.
NATURE OF THE MYTH:
QUESTION NO. 165:
DO YOU CONSIDER THE ANCIENT MYTHS OF ACTUAL VALUE, OR ARE THEY LARGELY
FIGMENTS OF THE IMAGINATION?
ANSWER: They contain profound occult truths. The contest between light
and darkness is described in innumerable myths which are alike in the main
features, though circumstances vary according to the evolutionary stage of
the people among whom they are found. Generally the appear fantastic to the
normal mind because the picture drawn is highly symbolical, and therefore
out of tune with the concrete realities of the material world. However, em-
bodied in these legends are great truths which appear when they are stripped
of their scale of materialism.
In the first place it should be borne in mind that the contest between
light and darkness, as fought here in the physical world, is but the
manifestation of a similar contest fought also in the moral, mental, and
spiritual realms. This is a fundamental truth, and he who would know truth
should realize that the concrete world, with all the things which we now
think so real, solid, and enduring is but an evanescent manifestation cre-
ated by the divine thought, and it will dissolve into dust millions of years
before the other worlds which we think of us unreal and intangible are
similarly dissolved and we once more return to the bosom of the Father, to
rest until the dawn of another and greater Cosmic Day.
It is particularly at Christmas, when the light is low and the night
long, that humanity turns its attention to the Southern Sun, and waits in an
attitude of expectancy for the moment when it shall again commence its
northward journey to bring back the light and life to our frozen hemisphere.
In the Bible we learn how Samson, the Sun, waxed strong while his rays grew
longer; how the powers of darkness, the Philistines, ferreted out the secret
of his power and had his hair, or rays, cut, to rob him of his strength; how
they deprived him of his sight by piercing his eyes and finally slew him at
the temple of the Winter Solstice.
The Anglo Saxons speak of the victory of King George over the dragon; the
Teutons call to mind how Beowolf slew the fire drake and how Siegfried con-
quered the dragon Fafner. Among the Greeks we find Apollos victorious over
Python, and hercules over the dragon of the Hesperides. Most of the myths
tell only the victory of the newborn Sun, but there are others which, like
the story of Samson just recited, and Hiram Abiff of the Masonic Legend,
tell also of how the old year's Sun was vanquished after having completed
its circle and was then ready to give birth to a new Sun, which rises from
the ashes of the old Phoenix to be the Lightbearer of a new year.
It is in such a myth that we learn of the origin of the mistletoe, a tale
which is told in Scandinavia and Iceland, particularly at Yuletide when the
red holly mingles in decorative effect with the white mistletoe--a shadowy
symbol of the blood that was scarlet with sin but has become white as snow.
The story follows:
In ancient days when the Gods of Olympus reigned over the Southland,
Wotan with his company of Gods, held sway in Walhall where the icicles re-
flected the winter Sun in all tints of the rainbow and the beautiful cover-
let of snow made light the darkest night eve without the aid of the flaming
Aurora Borealis. They were a wonderful company; Tyr, the God of War, still
lives in memory among us, for him we have named Tuesday. Wotan, the wisest
among them, is remembered in Wednesday; Thor still is with us as the God of
Thursday. He was the hammer swinger. When he threw his hammer after the
giants, the enemies of God and man, he made thunder and lightning by the
terrific force with which his hammer struck the clouds. The gentle Freya,
the Goddess of beauty, for whom we have named Friday, and the treacherous
Loke, whose name lives in the Scandinavian Saturday, are other present-day
fragments of a forgotten faith.
But there was no one like Baldur. He was the second son of Odin and
Freya. He was the noblest and most gentle of the Gods, beloved of every-
thing in nature. He exceeded all beings, not only in gentleness, but in
prudence and eloquence, also, and was so fair and graceful that light radi-
ated from him. In a dream it was revealed to him that his life was in dan-
ger and this weighted so heavily on his Spirit that he shunned the society
of the Gods. His mother Freya, having at length prevailed upon him to tell
her the cause of his melancholy, called a council of the Gods, and all were
filled with sad forebodings, for they knew that the death of Baldur would be
the forerunner of their downfall--the first victory of the giants, or powers
Wotan therefore cast RUNES, magic characters, which were used to foretell
the future, but all seemed dark to him. He could gain no insight. The
"Vessel of Wisdom," which might have served them in their need was in the
keeping of one of the Norns, the Goddesses of Fate, so that could not help
them now. Ydun, the Goddess of health, whose golden apples kept the Gods
ever young, had been betrayed into the powers of the giants by the trickery
of Loke, the spirit of evil, but a delegation was sent to her, in order that
she might be consulted on the nature of the sickness which threatened
Baldur, if such it be. However, she only answered with tears, and finally
after a solemn council held by all the Gods, it was determined that all the
elements, and everything in nature should be bound by an oath not to harm
the gentle God. This was done and a pledge was obtained from everything,
except one insignificant plant which grew westward of the Palace of the
Gods; this seemed so frail and fragile that the Gods deemed it to be in-
However, Wotan's mind still misgave him that all was not right. it
seemed to him that the Norns of good fortune had flown away. Therefore, he
resolved to visit the home of a celebrated prophetess by the name of Vala.
This is the spirit of the earth, and from her he would learn the Fate in
store for the Gods, but he received no comfort from her and returned to
Walhall more cast down than formerly.
Loke, the spirit of evil, and treachery, was in reality one of the gi-
ants, or powers of darkness, but part of the time he lived with the Gods.
He was a turncoat, who could be depended upon by neither party, and there-
fore he was usually distrusted and despised by both Gods and giants. One
day while he was sitting bemoaning his Fate a dense cloud began to rise from
the ocean, and after a time the dark figure of the Giant King issued from
it. Loke in some terror demanded what brought him hither. The monarch be-
gan to reproach him with the contemptible part he, a demon by birth, was
acting in consenting to be the tool of the Gods in their warfare against the
giants, to whom he owed his origin. It was out of no affection for himself
that he was admitted to the society of the Gods, but because Wotan knew well
the ruin which he and his offspring were destined to bring upon them and
thought by thus conciliating him to defer the evil day. He who from his
power and cunning might have been a leader with either party, was now de-
spised and rejected by all. The Giant King further reproached him with hav-
ing already frequently saved the Gods from ruin and even with furnishing
them with weapons against the giants, and ended by appealing to the hatred
which rankled in his bosom against Wotan and his whole race as a proof that
his natural place was with the giants.
Loke acknowledged the truth of this and professed his readiness to aid
his brethren by all means in his power. The Giant King then told him that
the moment was now at hand when he might seal the Fate of the Gods; that if
Baldur was slain their destruction must sooner or later follow and that the
gentle God's life was at that time threatened by some as yet undiscovered
danger. Loke replied that the anxiety of the Gods was already at an end,
for Freya had bound everything in nature by oath not to injure her son. The
dark monarch said that one thing only had been omitted. However, what that
was lay concealed in the breast of the Goddess and was known to no other.
He then sank down again to his dark abyss and left Loke to his darker
Loke then, having assumed the figure of an old woman, appeared to Freya
and by his cunning drew from her the fatal secret; that presuming on the in-
significant nature of the mistletoe she had omitted to obtain from it the
pledge wherewith she had bound everything else. Loke lost no time in re-
pairing to the place where the mistletoe grew, and tearing it up by the
roots, gave it to the dwarfs, who were cunning smiths, to form into a spear.
This weapon was made with many incantations, and when the spear was com-
pleted one called for blood to temper it. A child free from all taint was
brought in, th dwarf plunged the spear into its breast and sang:
"The death-grasp hear,
Ho! Ho!--now 'tis o'er--
Soon hardens the spear
In the babe's pure gore--
Now the barbed head feel,
Whilst the veins yet bleed,
Such a deed--such a deed--
Might harden e'en steel."
In the meantime the Gods and the dead braves, who are with them assembled
for a tournament, in order to convince Baldur how groundless were his ap-
prehensions, now that his life was deemed to be charmed, made him the butt
of all their weapons.
Loke repaired there also with the fatal spear and seeing the blind and
strong God, Hoedur, standing apart from the rest, asked him why he did not
honor his brother Baldur by tilting with him, also. Hoedur excused himself
on account of his blindness and because he had no weapon. Loke then put the
enchanted spear into his hands and Hoedur, unsuspicious of malice, pierced
Baldur through the breast with the spear made from the mistletoe, so that he
fell lifeless to the ground to the unspeakable grief of all creatures.
Baldur is the summer Sun, beloved by everything in nature, and in the
blind God, Hoedur, who slays him with the spear, we may readily recognize
the sign Sagittarius, for when the Sun enters that sign in December it is
nearly without light and is therefore said to be slain by the blind God
Hoedur. The bow of Sagittarius, as pictured on the zodiac of the south
presents symbolically the same idea as the spear of the story in the Eddas.
The legend of Baldur's death teaches the same cosmic Truth as all other
myths of kindred nature, namely, that the Spirit of the Sun must die to the
glories of the Universe while, as Christ, it enters the earth to bring it
the renewed life, without which all physical manifestations on our planet
must cease. As death here precedes a birth into the spiritual realms, so
also there is a death upon the spiritual plane of existence before a birth
can take place into the physical body. As Osiris in Egypt is slain by
Typhon, ere Horus, the Sun of the New Year, may be born, so also Christ die
to the higher world before He an be born into the earth and bring to us the
needed annual spiritual impulse; but our Holy Season commemorates no greater
manifestation of Love than that of which the mistletoe is emblematical. Be-
ing physically the extreme of weakness, it clings to the oak which is the
symbol of strength. it is the very weakness of the weakest of beings that
pierces the heart of the noblest and gentlest of Gods so that, compelled by
his love for the lowly, he descends to the shades in the underworld, even as
Christ for our sake dies to the spiritual world each year and is born into
our planet that He may permeate it anew with His radiant Life and Energy.
QUESTION NO. 166:
WHAT IS THE ROSICRUCIAN ATTITUDE TOWARD PRAYER, IN THE LIGHT OF BIBLICAL
ANSWER: In one place the Bible directs us to pray without ceasing. In
another Christ repudiates the practice, saying that we should not imitate
those who believe they are heard for their many words. There can, of
course, be no contradiction between the words of Christ and those of His
disciples, and we must therefore reconstruct our ideas of prayer in such a
manner that we may pray always and yet without voluminous verbal or mental
expression. Emerson said:
Although your knees were never bent,
To heaven your hourly prayers are sent,
And be they formed for good or ill,
Are registered and answered still."
In other words, every act is a prayer, which, under the law of cause and
effect, brings to us adequate results. We get exactly what we want. Ex-
pression in words is unnecessary, but sustained action along a certain line
indicates what we wish, even if we ourselves do not realize it, and in time,
longer or shorter, according to the intensity of our desire, there comes
that which we have thus prayed for.
The things thus gained or achieved may not be what we really and con-
sciously want. In fact, sometimes we may get something we would far sooner
be without, something that is a curse and a scourge, but the prayer-act has
brought them to us and we must keep them until we can legitimately get rid
of them. If we throw a stone into the air, the act is not complete until
the reaction has carried the stone back to the earth. In that case the ef-
fect follows the cause so speedily that it is not difficult to connect the
However, if we wind the spring of an alarm clock, the power is stored up
in the spring until a certain mechanism releases it. Then comes the
effect--the ringing of a bell--and although we may have been sleeping the
sleep of forgetfulness, the reaction or unwinding of the spring took place
just the same. Similarly, acts which we have forgotten will sometime or an-
other produce their results regardless, and thus the prayer of action is an-
However, there is the true mystic prayer--the prayer where we meet God
face to face, as Elijah met Him. Not in the tumult of the world, the wind,
the earthquake, or the fire, do we meet Him, but when all is still the
soundless voice speaks to us from within. However, the silence which is re-
quired for this experience is not a mere silence of words. There are not
even the inward pictures which usually pass before us in meditation, nor are
there thoughts, but our whole being resembles a calm crystal-clear lake. In
it Deity mirrors Himself, and we experience the unity which makes communica-
tion unnecessary either by words or in any other way. We feel all God
feels. He is nearer than hands and feet.
The Christ taught us to say, "Our Father who are in heaven," etc. That
prayer is the most sublime that can be given utterance in words, but this
prayer of which I am speaking may at the moment of union give itself utter-
ance in the one unspoken word, "Father." The devotee, when he is truly in
the mood of prayer, never gets any farther. He makes no requests, for what
is the use? Has he not the promise, "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not
want"? Has he not been told to seek first the kingdom of heaven and all
other things shall be added? His attitude can perhaps best be understood if
we take the simile of a faithful dog looking with dumb devotion into its
master's face, its whole soul pouring itself out through its eyes in love.
Likewise, only of course with much greater intensity, does the true mystic
look to the God within and pour himself or herself out in voiceless adora-
tion. In this way we may pray without ceasing, inwardly, while we work as
zealous servants in the world without; for let us always remember that it is
not intended that we should dream our lives away. While we pray to God
within, we must also work for God without.
Continued with file "RC1091.TXT"
End of File
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