Filename: RC1091.TXT Source: +quot;Teachings of an Initiate+quot; by Max Heindel [PAGE 328

Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

Filename: RC1091.TXT Source: "Teachings of an Initiate" by Max Heindel [PAGE 3282] FOREWARD: This volume of the writings of Max Heindel, the Western Mystic, is the concluding number embodying the messages he sent out through monthly lessons to his students. These lessons, reprinted since this great soul was called to a greater work in the higher worlds on January 6th, 1919, may be found in the following books in addition to the present volume: "Freemasonry and Ca- tholicism"; "The Web of Destiny"; "The Mystical Interpretation of Christmas"; "The Mysteries of the Great Operas"; "The Gleanings of a Mystic"; and "Letters to Students." These writings comprise the later in- vestigations of this seer. The helpful messages and the spiritual encouragement that the readers have received from the inspired words in the earlier volumes we know have been far-reaching in their effects. We also feel that in years to come en- lightened and advanced students and seekers along mystical and occult lines will realize more and more the true value of the works of Max Heindel. His words reach the very depths of the heart of the reader. Many who have read his first work, "The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception," have been thrilled by their contact with it. Max Heindel, who was the authorized messenger of the true Rosicrucian Brotherhood, lived the teachings which he taught. Only one who has suffered as he suffered during his lifetime is able to touch the heart strings of hu- manity. Only he who has felt the labor pains of spiritual birth which has admitted him to the realms of the soul can write with the power to thrill his readers. As the result of such a spiritual birth the writings which Max Heindel has bequeathed to humanity will live and bear fruit. May the read- ers of this book feel the heart throbs of this great lover of humanity, who sacrificed his very physical existence in his desire to impart to man the wonderful truths which he had garnered through his contact with the Elder Brothers of the Rosicrucian Order. --August Foss Heindel [PAGE 3283] THE DAYS OF NOAH AND OF CHRIST: When Nicodemus came to Christ and was told about the necessity of re- birth, he asked, "How can these things be?" And we also with out inquiring minds are often anxious for more light upon the various teachings concerning our future. It helps us if we can feel that these teachings fit into physical facts as we know them. Then we seem to have firmer ground for our faith in other things which we have not yet proved. It has been the writer's work to investigate spiritual facts and corre- late them with the physical in such a manner as would appeal to the reason and thus pave the way for belief. In this way it has been his privilege to give light to seeking souls on many of the mysteries of life. Recently a new discovery was made which, though it seemed as remote from connection with the coming of Christ as east is from west, throws considerable light on that event, especially on the manner of our meeting with the Lord "in the twinkling of an eye" as the Bible has it. Our students well know how dis- [PAGE 3284] tasteful it is to the writer to relate personal experiences, but sometimes, as in the present case, it seems necessary, and we shall crave indulgence for using the personal pronoun while relating to the incident. One night some time ago while in transit to a place in a far country where I had a mission to perform, I heard a cry. Though the human voice can be heard only in air, there are overtones which are heard in the spiritual realms at distances exceeding those traversed by wireless messages. The cry was close by, however, and I was on the scene in an instant, but not soon enough to give the needed help. I found a man sliding down a slanting em- bankment, bare of vegetation, perhaps a dozen feet in width, and as it proved on subsequent examination, almost smooth, and without a fissure which would have afforded a hold for his fingers. To have saved him would have involved materialization of both arms and shoulders, but there was no time. In a moment he had slid over the overhanging precipice and was falling to the floor of the canyon below, probably several thousand feet, though I am not certain, being a poor judge of distance. Prompted by a natural spirit of fellow feeling I followed and on the way observed the phenomenon which is the basis of this article, namely, that when the body had attained a considerable velocity, the ethers composing the vital body commenced to ooze out, and when the body crashed into the rocks below, a mangled mass, there was very little of any ether left in it. [PAGE 3285] Gradually, however, the ethers drifted together, took form, and hovered with the finer vehicles above the mangled corpse; but the man was in a stupor un- able to sense or realize the fact of his altered condition. As soon as I saw that he was beyond present help I went on; but on think- ing the matter over it dawned on me that something unusual had happened and that it was my duty to find out if the ethers left that way in every one who feel, and if so, why. Under old-time conditions this would have been dif- ficult, but the advent of the flying machine claims many victims, especially in these unfortunate war times. It was therefore easy to ascertain the fact that when a falling body has attained a certain velocity, the higher ethers leave the dense body, and the falling man becomes insensible. As the body reaches the ground, it is mangled, but the poor man may regain consciousness when the ether has reorganized itself. He will then begin to suffer from the physical consequences of the fall. If the fall continues after the higher ethers have left, the increased velocity dislodges the lower ethers, and the Silver Cord is all that remains attached to the body. This is rup- tured at the moment of impact with the ground, and the seed atom passes on to the breaking point, where it is held in the usual way. From these facts we came to the conclusion that it is the normal air pressure which holds the vital body within the dense. When we move with an abnormal velocity, the pressure is removed from some parts of the body and a [PAGE 3286] partial vacuum formed, with the further result that the ethers leave the body and flow into this vacuum. The two higher ethers, which are most loosely bound, are the first to disappear and leave the man senseless after they have produced the panorama of life in a flash. Then if the fall con- tinues to increase the air pressure in front of the body and the vacuum be- hind, the more closely bound lower ethers are also forced out, and the body is dead before it reaches the ground. It was found by examining a number of people in normal health that each of the prismatic atoms composing the lower ethers radiated from itself the lines of force which set spinning the physical atoms in which it is in- serted, enduing the hole body with life. The united trend of all these units of force is toward the periphery of the body, where they constitute what has been called the "Odic Fluid," also designated by other names. When the air pressure from without is lowered by residence in a high altitude, a tendency to nervousness becomes manifest because the etheric force from within ruses outward unchecked; and were the man not able to shut off the outflow of solar energy in part by an effort of will to overcome the dif- ficulty, no one could live in such places. We had heard of "shell shock" and we were aware that numbers of people who had not even the slightest wound were found dead on the battle field. In fact, we had seen and spoken with people who had passed out in this [PAGE 3287] manner but were at a loss to know why death has resulted. They all dis- claimed fear and were unanimously in their assertion that they had suddenly become unconscious and a moment later they had found themselves in that they had not a single scratch on their bodies. Our preconceived idea that it must have been a momentary fear at a particularly close call which though unrealized, had caused their demise, prevented a full investigation; but the ascertained results of the consequences of a fall led us to believe that something similar might take place in this connection, and this surmise proved to be correct. When a large projectile passes through the air, it creates a vacuum be- hind it by the enormous velocity wherewith it moves, and if a person is within this vacuum zone while the shell is passing, he suffers in a measure determined by his own nature and his proximity to the center of suction. His position is in fact a reverse replica of the man who falls; for he stands still while a moving body removes the air pressure and allows the ethers to escape. If the amount of ether dislocated is comparatively slight and is composed only of the third and fourth ethers which govern sense per- ception and memory, he will probably suffer only a temporary loss of memory and inability to sense things or move. This disability will disappear when the extracted ethers are again fitted inside the dense body--a much more [PAGE 3288] difficult achievement than where the physical body succumbs and the reorga- nization takes place without reference to that vehicle. Had the people thus hurt learned now to perform the exercises which separate the higher and lower ethers, they might have found themselves out- side the body in full consciousness and perhaps ready for their first soul flight if they had had the courage to undertake it. However that may be, it is safe to say that on their return to the dense body they would have expe- rienced very little if any inconvenience, and in case the vacuum had been strong enough to extract all four ethers and cause death, there would prob- ably have been no unconsciousness such as overtakes the ordinary person; for it was discovered that the people who said that they felt unconscious for a moment only were wrong. It required a time varying from one to several days in the cases we investigated before the vital body was reorganized and con- sciousness reestablished. Let us now see what bearing these newly discovered facts have on the com- ing of Christ and our meeting with Him. While we lived in ancient Atlantis in the basins of the earth, pressure of the moisture-laden mist was very heavy. This hardened the dense body, and as a further result the vibrations of the interpenetrating finer vehicles were considerably slowed down. This was especially true of the vital body, which is made of ether, a grade of matter belonging to the physical world and subject to some of the physical laws. The solar life did not penetrate the dense mist in the same abundance [PAGE 3289] as is present in the clear atmosphere of today. Add to this the fact that the vital bodies of that day were almost entirely composed of the two lower ethers, which further assimilation and reproduction, and we shall understand that progress was very slow. Man lad mainly a vegetative existence, and his main exertions were devoted to the purpose of obtaining food and reproducing his kind. Had such a man been removed to our atmosphere conditions the, lack of ex- terior pressure would have resulted in an outflowing of the vital body which means death. Gradually the physical body grew less dense and the amount of the two higher ethers increased, so that man become fitted to live in a clear atmosphere under a decreased pressure such as we have enjoyed since the historical event known as the "Flood" when the mist condensed. Since that time we have also been able to specialize more of the solar life force. The larger proportion of the two higher ethers now found in our vital bodies enables us to express the higher human attributes appropriate to the devel- opment of this age. The vibrations of the vital body under the present atmospheric conditions have enabled the spirit to build that which we call civilization, consisting of industrial and artistic achievements and of moral and spiritual stan- dards, the industrial and moral excellence being as closely connect and in- terdependent as the artistic achievement is dependent on a spiritual concep- [PAGE 3290] tion. Industry is designed to develop the moral side of man's nature, art to unfold the spiritual. Thus we are now being prepared for the next step in our unfoldment. Let it now be remembered that the qualifications necessary for our eman- cipation from the conditions prevailing in Atlantis were party physiologi- cal; we had to evolve lungs to breathe the pure air in which we are now im- mersed and which allows the vital body to vibrate at a more rapid rate than did the heavy moisture of Atlantis. With this in mind we shall readily see that future advancement lies in freeing the vital body entirely from the trammels of the dense body and letting it vibrate in pure air. This is what happened in the lofty altitude exoterically known as the "Mount of Transfiguration." Advanced men of various ages, Moses, Elijah, and Jesus (or rather the body of Jesus ensouled by Christ) appeared in the luminous garment of the liberated soul body, which all will wear in the New Galilee, the Kingdom of Christ. "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the king- dom,: for it would interfere with the spiritual progress of the day; so when Christ appears we must be prepared with a soul body and thus be ready to part from out dense body to be "caught up and meet Him in the air." The results of the investigation which form the basis of the present ar- ticle may give us an insight into the method of transition when compared with the information given in the Bible. It is said that the Lord will [PAGE 3291] appear with a mighty sound like the voice of an Archangel. We read of thun- ders and the blasts of trumpets in connection with the event. A sound is an atmospheric disturbance, and since the passage of a projectile made by man can lift the vital bodies of soldiers out of their dense bodies, it needs to argument to prove that the shout of a superhuman voice could accomplish similar results more efficiently--"in the twinkling of an eye." "When shall these things be?" asked the disciples. They were told that as it was in the days of Noah (when the Aryan Epoch was about to be ushered in), so should it be in the Day of Christ. They ate and drank, they married and were given in marriage. But some who perhaps seemed not so different from the rest, had evolved the all-important lungs so that when the atmo- sphere cleared they were able to breathe pure air, while others who had only the gill clefts perished. In the Day of Christ when His voice sounds the Call, there will be some who will find themselves with a properly organized soul body, able to ascent above the discarded dense bodies, while others will be like the soldiers who meet death from "shell shock" on the battle fields today. May we prepare for that day by following in His steps. [PAGE 3292] THE SIGN OF THE MASTER: There are at the present time many who, judging from the signs of the times, believe Christ to be at the door and are watching him in joyful an- ticipation. Though, in the opinion of the writer, the "things which must first come to pass" have not taken place in many important particulars, we must not forget that He gave warning that "as it was in the days of Noah, so shall be in the day of the Son of Man." Then they ate, drank, and made merry; they married and were given in marriage up to the very moment when the flood descended and engulfed them. Only a small remnant was saved. Therefore we who pray for His coming will do well to watch also lest our prayers be answered before we are ready, for He said, "The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night." But there is also another danger, a very great danger which He pointed out, namely, "There shall be false Christs;" and "they shall deceive even the very elect, if that were possible." So we are warned that if people say, "Christ is here in the city or there in the desert," we are not to go, [PAGE 3293] or we shall certainly be deceived. But on the other hand, if we do not investigate, how shall we know? May we not run the risk of rejecting Christ by refusing to hear all claimants and judging each according to merits? When we examine the injunctions of the Bible upon this point, they seem bewildering and altogether subversive of the end they are supposed to help us attain, and the great question,: How shall we know Christ at His coming?" is still rife. We have issued a pam- phlet on this subject but feel sure additional light will be welcome to all. Christ said that some of the false Christs would work signs and wonders. He always refused to prove His divinity in that sordid manner when asked to do so by the scribes and Pharisees, because He knew that phenomena only ex- cited the sense of wonder and whetted the appetite for more. Those who wit- ness such manifestations are sometimes sincere in their efforts to convince others but they are generally met with an attitude of mind which says in ef- fect: "You say you have seem him do so and so and therefore you believe. Very well! I also am willing to be convinced. Let him show me." But even supposing a Master were willing to prove his identity, who among the multitude is qualified to judge the validity of the proof? No one! Who knows the sign of the Master when he sees it? The sign of the Master is not [PAGE 3294] a phenomenon which may be repudiated or explained away by the sophists, nei- ther is it something the Master may show or hide as he pleases, nor can he take it up and lay it aside at will. He is forced to carry it with him al- ways as we carry out arms and limbs. It would be just as impossible to hide the sign of the Master from those qualified to see, know and judge it as it would be for us to hide our members, from anyone who has physical sight. On the other hand, as the sign of the Master is spiritual, it must be spiritu- ally perceived, and it is therefore is impossible to show the sign of the Master to those who lack spiritual sight as it is to show a physical figure to the physically blind. Therefore we read: "A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign, and there shall no sign be given unto it." A little further on in the same chapter (Matt. 16) we find the Christ asking His disciples, "Whom do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?" The answer developed that though the Jews saw in Him a superior person, Moses, Elias, or one of the prophets, they were incapable of recognizing His true character. They could not see the sign of the Master, or they would have needed no other testimony. Christ then turned to His disciples and asked them, "But whom say ye that I am?" And from Peter came the answer weighted with conviction, quick and to the point, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." He had seen the sign of the Master, and he knew whereof he spoke, independent of [PAGE 3295] phenomena and exterior circumstances, as emphasized by Christ when He said, "Blessed art thou, Simon, Son of Jonah, for flesh and blood hath not re- vealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven." In other words, the perception of this GREAT TRUTH depended upon an interior qualification. What this qualification was, and is, we learn from the next words of Christ: "And I say also unto thee that thou art Peter (PETROS, A ROCK,) and upon this rock (PETRA) I will build my church." Christ said concerning the multitude of materialistic Jews: "A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign, and there shall no sign be given unto it but the sign of the prophet Jonah"; and much speculation has been the consequence among equally materialistic Christians in latter times. Some have contended that an ordinary whale did swallow the prophet and later cast him ashore. Churches have divided on this as on many other foolish is- sues. But when we consult the occult records we find an interpretation which satisfies the heart without doing violence to the mind. This great allegory, like so many other myths, is pictured upon the film of the firmament, for it was first enacted in heaven before it was staged on the earth, and we still see in the starry sky "Jonah, the Dove," and "Cetus, the Whale". But we will not concern ourselves so much with the celestial [PAGE 3296] phase as with its terrestrial application. "Jonah" means dove, a well recognized symbol of the Holy Spirit. During the three "days" comprising the Saturn, Sun, and Moon revolutions of the Earth Period, and the "nights" between, the Holy Spirit with all the Cre- ative Hierarchies worked in the Great Deep perfecting THE INWARD parts of the earth and men, removing the dead weight of the moon. Then the earth emerged from its watery stage of development in the middle Atlantean Epoch, and so did "Jonah, the Spirit Dove," accomplish the salvation of the greater part of mankind. Neither the earth nor its inhabitants were capable of maintaining their equilibrium in space, and the Cosmic Christ therefore commenced to work with and on us, finally at the baptism descending AS A DOVE (not in the form of a dove but AS a dove) upon the man Jesus. And as Jonah, the dove of the Holy Spirit, was three Days and three Nights in the Great Fish (the earth sub- merged in water), so at the end of our involutionary pilgrimage must the other dove, the Christ, enter THE HEART of the earth for the coming three revolutionary Days and Nights to give us the needed impulse on our evolu- tionary journey. He must help us to etherealize the earth in preparation for the Jupiter Period. Thus Jesus become at his baptism, "a Son of the Dove," and was recognized by another, "Simon Bar-Jonah," (Simon, son of the dove). At that recogni- [PAGE 3297] tion, by the sign of the dove, the Master calls the other "a rock," a foun- dation Stone, and promises him the "Keys to Heaven." These are not idle words nor haphazard promises. These are phases of soul development involved which each must undergo if he has not passed them. What then is the "sign of Jonah" which the Christ bore about with Him, visible to all who could see, other than the "house from heaven" wherewith Paul longed to be clothed; the glorious treasure house wherein all the noble deeds of many lives glitter and glisten as precious pearls? Everybody has a little "house from heaven." Jesus, holy and pure beyond the rest, probably was a splendid sight, but think how indescribably effulgent must have been the vehicle of splendor in which the Christ descended; then we shall have some conception of the "blindness" of those who asked for "a sing." Even among His other disciples He found the same spiritual cataract. "Show us the Father," said Philip, oblivious to the mystic Trinity in Unity which ought to have been obvious to him. Simon, however, was quick to perceive, because he himself had by spiritual alchemy made this spiritual petros or "stone" of the philosopher which entitled him to the "Keys of the Kingdom"; an Initiation making usable the latent powers of the candidate evolved by service. We find that these "stones" for the "temple made without hands" undergo an evolution or process of preparation. There is first the "petros," the [PAGE 3298] diamond in the rough, so to speak, found in nature. When read with the heart, such passages as 1st Cor., 10:4, "And did all drink the same spiritual drink; for they drank of that spiritual Rock (Petros) that fol- lowed them: and that Rock was Christ," are illuminating in this connection. Gradually, very gradually, we have become impregnated with the WATER OF LIFE which sprang from the Great Rock. We have also become polished as "lithoi zontes" (LIVING STONES), destined to be grouped with that GREAT STONE which the Builder rejected; and when we have wrought well to the end, we shall fi- nally receive in the Kingdom the diadem, the most precious of all, the "psiphon leuken," (the white stone) with its New Name. There are three steps in the evolution of "THE STONE OF THE SAGE": PETROS, the hard rough rock; LITHON, the stone polished by service and ready to be written on; and PSIPHON LEUKEN, the soft white stone that draws to it- self all who are weak and heavy laden. Much is hidden in the nature and composition of the stone at each step which cannot be written; it must be read between the lines. If we hope to build the Living Temple with Christ in the Kingdom, we would do well to prepare ourselves that we may fit in, and then we shall know the Master and the Sign of the Master. [PAGE 3299] WHAT IS SPIRITUAL WORK?: In this connection we will give some extracts from the wonderful poem by Longfellow which is called "The Legend Beautiful." "In his chamber all alone, Kneeling on the floor of stone Prayed the Monk in deep contrition For his sins of indecision, Prayed for greater self-denial In temptation and in trial; It was noonday by the dial, And the Monk was all alone. "Suddenly, as if it lightened, An unwonted splendor brightened All within him and without him In that narrow cell of stone; And he saw the Blessed Vision Of our Lord, with Light Elysian Like a vesture wrapped about him, Like a garment round him thrown." [PAGE 3300] This was not the suffering Savior, however, but the Christ feeding the hungry and healing the sick. "In an attitude imploring, Hands upon his bosom crossed, Wondering, worshiping, adoring, Knelt the Monk in rapture lost. * * * * * * "Then amid his exaltation, Loud the convent bell appalling, From its belfry calling, calling, Rang through court and corridor With persistent iteration He had never heard before." This was his call to the duty of feeding the poor as Christ had done, for he was the almoner of the Brotherhood. "Deep distress and hesitation Mingled with his adoration; Should be go, or should he stay? Should he leave the poor to wait Hungry at the convent gate, Till the Vision passed away? Should be slight his radiant guest, Slight his visitant celestial, For a crowd or ragged, bestial [PAGE 3301] Beggars at the convent gate? Would the Vision there remain? Would the Vision come again? Then a voice within his breast Whispered, audible and clear As if to the outward ear: 'Do they duty; that is best; Leave unto they Lord the rest!' Straightaway to his feet he started, And with longing look intent On the Blessed Vision bent, Slowly from his cell departed, Slowly on his errand went. "At the gate the poor were waiting, Looking through the iron grating, With that terror in the eye That is only seen in those Who amid their wants and woes Hear the sound of doors that close, And of feet that pass them by; Grown familiar with disfavor, Grown familiar with the savor Of the broad by which men die! But today, they knew not why, Like the gate of Paradise Seemed the convent gate to rise, [PAGE 3302] Like a sacrament divine Seemed to them the bread and wine. In his heart the Monk was praying, Thinking of the homeless poor, What they suffer and endure; What we see not, what we see; And the inward voice was saying: 'Whatsoever thing thou doest To the least of mine and lowest, That doest unto me!' "Unto me! but had the Vision Come to him in beggar's clothing, Come to mendicant imploring, Would he then have knelt adoring, Or have listened with derision, And have turned away with loathing? "Thus his conscience put the question, Full of troublesome suggestion, As at length, with hurried pace, Towards his cell he turned his face, And beheld the convent bright With supernatural light, Like a luminous cloud expanding Over floor and wall and ceiling. "But he passed with awe-struck feeling At the threshold of this door, For the Vision still was standing [PAGE 3303] As he left it there before, When the convent bell appalling, From its belfry calling, calling, Summoned him to feed the poor. Through the long hour intervening It had waited his return, And he felt his bosom burn, Comprehending all the meaning, When the Blessed Vision said, `Hadst thou stayed, I must have fled!" Let me tell you a story: Ages and ages ago--so long ago in fact that it was almost as far away as yesterday--darkness enveloped the earth, and men were groping for the light. Some there were who had found it and who undertook to show men the reflec- tion thereof, and they were eagerly sought. Among them there was one who had been to the city of light for a little while and had absorbed some of its brilliancy. Straightway men and women from all over the land of dark- ness sought him. They journeyed thousands of miles because they had heard of this light; and when he heard that a company was traveling towards his house, he set to work and prepared to give them the very best he had. He planted poles all around his house and put lights upon them so that his visitors might not hurt themselves in the darkness. He and his household ministered to their wants, and he taught them as best he knew. [PAGE 3304] But soon sine if his visitors murmured. They had thought to find him seated upon a pedestal radiant with celestial light. In fancy they had seen themselves worshiping at his shrine; but instead of the spiritual light they had expected they had caught him in the very act of stringing electric lights to illuminate the place. He did not even wear a turban or a robe, because, THE ORDER TO WHICH HE BELONGED HAD AS ONE ITS FUNDAMENTAL RULES THAT IS MEMBERS MUST WEAR THE DRESS OF THE COUNTRY IN WHICH THEY LIVED. So the visitors came to the conclusion that they had been tricked and swindled and that he had no light. They they took up stones and stoned him and his household; they would have killed him had it not been that they feared the law, which in that land required an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Then they went away again into the land of the darkness, and whenever they saw a soul headed towards the light, they help up their hands in horror and said, "Do not go there; that is not a true light, it is as a jack-o-lantern and it will lead you astray. We know there is absolutely no spirituality there." Many believed them, and thus came to pass in that case, as so many times before, the saying that was written in one of their old books: "This is the condemnation, that light has come into the world but men love darkness rather than light." As it was in that far-away yesterday, so also it is today. Men are run- ning hither and thither seeking for light. Often like Sir Launfal they [PAGE 3305] travel to the ends of the earth, wasting their whole lives seeking for the thing that they call Spirituality," but melting disappointment after disap- pointment. But just as Sir Launfal, having spent his whole life in vain search away from his home, finally found in the HOLY GRAIL right at his own castle gate, so every honest seeker after spirituality will, shall, and must find it in his own heart. The only danger is that like the company of seek- ers mentioned, he may miss it because he does not recognize it. NO ONE CAN RECOGNIZE TRUE SPIRITUALITY IN OTHERS UNTIL HE HAD IN A MEASURE EVOLVED IT IN HIS OWN SELF. It may therefore be well to try to settle definitely, "WHAT IS SPIRITU- ALITY?" to give a guide whereby we may find this great Christ attribute. In order to do this we must leave our preconceived ideas behind, or we shall certainly fail. The idea most commonly held is that spirituality manifests through prayer and meditation; but if we look at our Savior's life, we shall find that it was not an idle one. He was not a recluse, He did not go away and hide Himself from the world. He went among people, He ministered to their daily wants; He fed them when that was necessary; He healed them when- ever He had the opportunity, and He also taught them. Thus He was in the very truest sense of the word A SERVANT OF HUMANITY. The monk in "THE LEGEND BEAUTIFUL" saw Him thus when he was engaged in prayer, rapt in spiritual ecstasy. But just then the convent bell struck [PAGE 3306] the hour of twelve, and IT WAS HIS DUTY TO GO AND IMITATE THE CHRIST, feed- ing the poor who had gathered around the convent gate. Great indeed was the temptation to stay, to bathe in the heavenly vibrations,; but there came the voice, "DO THY DUTY, THAT IS BEST; LEAVE UNTO THY LORD THE REST" How could he have adored the Savior whom he saw feeding the poor and healing the sick while at the same time leaving the hungry poor to stand outside the convent gate waiting for him to perform his duties? It would have been positively wicked for him to have stayed there; and so the Vision said to him upon his return: "HAST THOU STAYED, I MUST HAVE FLED." Such self-indulgence would have been absolutely subversive of the purpose he had in view. If he had not been faithful in little things pertaining to earthly duties, how could it be expected that he would be faithful in the greater spiritual work? Naturally, unless ABLE TO STAND THE TEST, he could not be given greater powers. There are many people who seek spiritual powers, wandering from one so-called occult center to another; who enter monasteries and like places of seclusion, hoping by running away from the world's clamor and glamour to cultivate their spiritual nature. They bask in the sunshine of prayer and meditation from morning till night while the world is moaning in agony. [PAGE 3307] Then they wonder why they do not progress; why they do not get further upon the path of aspiration. Truly prayer and meditation are necessary, abso- lutely essential to soul growth. But we are doomed to failure if we depend for soul growth upon prayers which are only words. TO OBTAIN RESULTS WE MUST LIVE IN SUCH A MANNER THAT OUR WHOLE LIFE BECOMES PRAYER, AN ASPIRA- TION. As 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." It is not the words we speak in moments of prayer that count, but IT IS THE LIFE THAT LEADS UP TO THE PRAYER. What is the use of praying for peace on earth on Sunday when we are mak- ing bullets during the whole week? How can we pray God to forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us when we carry hate in our hearts? THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY TO SHOW OUR FAITH, AND THAT IS BY OUR WORKS; It does not matter in what department of life we have been placed, whether we are high or low, rich or poor, it is immaterial whether we are engaged in stringing electric lights to save our fellows a physical fall, or whether it is our privilege to stand upon a platform to give out the spiritual light [PAGE 3308] and point out to others the way of the soul. It is absolutely unessential whether our hands are grimy with the lowest labor, perhaps digging a sewer to maintain the health of our community, or whether they are soft and white as required when nursing the sick. The determining factor which decides whether any class of work is spiritual or material is our attitude in the matter. The man who strings the electric lights may be far more spiritual than the one who stands upon the platform; for alas, there are many who go to that sacred duty with the desire to tickle the ears of their congregation by fine oratory rather than to give heart-felt love and sympathy. It is must more noble work to clean out the clogged sewer, as did THE DESPISED BROTHER in Kennedy's "Servant in the House," than it is to live falsely in the dignity of a teacher's office, implying a spirituality that is not actually there. EVERYONE WHO TRIES TO CULTIVATE THIS RARE QUALITY OF SPIRITUALITY MUST ALWAYS BEGIN BY DOING EV- ERYTHING TO THE GLORY OF THE LORD; FOR WHEN WE DO ALL THINGS AS UNTO THE LORD, IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT KIND OF WORK WE DO. DIGGING A SEWER, INVENT- ING A LABOR SAVING DEVICE, PREACHING A SERMON, OR ANYTHING ELSE IS SPIRITUAL WORK WHEN IT IS DONE IN LOVE TO GOD AND MAN. Continued with file RC1092.TXT" End of File


E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank