Filename: RC1092.TXT Source: +quot;Teachings of an Initiate+quot; by Max Heindel [PAGE 330

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Filename: RC1092.TXT Source: "Teachings of an Initiate" by Max Heindel [PAGE 3309] THE WAY OF WISDOM: It is now several years since the teaching of the Elder Brothers was first published in THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION, and we have since added to our literature. It now seems appropriate that we take stock of our work to see what we have don with the talents entrusted to our care. In the first place let us realize that the reason why we are in the Rosicrucian Fellowship is because at some time we have been dissatisifed with the explanations of the problems of life given elsewhere. We have all sought light upon the riddle, and some among us, like the man spoken of in the Bible saw a pearl of great price and went and sold all we had and bought the pearl, which symbolizes knowledge of the Kingdom of Heaven. In other words, some among us have been so anxious to find light and so overjoyed when it was found that we have given our whole life, thought, and energy to this work. Previously assumed obligations prevent the majority from enjoy- ing this great privilege, but everyone of us, if we have been helped, is bound under the law of compensation to make some return, for interchange and [PAGE 3310] circulation are everywhere correlative to life, as stagnation is to death. We know that we cannot continue to gorge ourselves upon physical good and retain what we have eaten, and that unless elimination maintains the equi- librium, death soon follows. Neither can we with impunity gorge ourselves with a mental diet. We must share our treasure with others and use our knowledge in the world's work or run the danger of stagnation in the quag- mire of metaphysical speculation. During the years which have elapsed since THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION was published, students have had ample time to familiarize themselves with its teachings. We can no longer excuse ourselves by saying we do not know the philosphy because we have had no time to study it and therefore cannot explain it to others. Even those who have had the least time to study because of the duties which call them in their work in the world ought now to be sufficiently posted to "GIVE A REASON FOR THE FAITH" which is within them, as Paul exhorted us all to do. Even if we do not suc- ceed in showing the light to everyone who asks for it, we owe it to our- selves, to the Elder Brothers, and to humanity to make the attempt. Our own soul growth depends upon the share we have in the growth of the movement wherewith we have connected ourselves, and it is therefore expedient that we should realize thoroughly WHAT THE MISSION OF THE ROSICRUCIAN FELLOWSHIP IS. [PAGE 3311] This you will find thoroughly and clearly elucidated in the introductory chapter of the "COSMO." Briefly stated, it is TO GIVE AN EXPLANATION OF THE PROBLEM OF LIFE WHICH WILL SATISFY BOTH THE MIND AND THE HEART, and thus solve the perplexities of the two classes of people who are now groping in the dark for want of this unifying knowledge, and who may be broadly spoken of for the purposes of our discussion as THE CHURCH PEOPLE and the SCIEN- TISTS. By the first term we will designate all who are led by sincere devo- tion or kindliness of nature, whether belonging to a church or not. IN the second class we mean to include all who are looking at life from the purely mental viewpoint, whether they class themselves as scientists or not. It is the aim and object of THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION to widen the spiritual scope of rapidly increasing number among these two classes who re- alize more or less clearly that there is a lack of something vitally impor- tant in their present view of life and being. You will remember that when David desired to build a temple for the Lord he was denied the privilege because had had been a man of war. There are organizations in the world today which are always fighting other organiza- tions, always finding fault and striving to tear down, thus warring just as much as David did in ancient days. They cannot with such a state of mind be permitted to build the temple which is made with living stones of men and [PAGE 3312] women, that temple which Manson in "The Servant in the House" speaks of in such beautiful terms. Therefore, when we go about endeavoring to spread the truths of the Rosicrucian teachings, let us always bear in mind that we may not with impunity decry the religion of anyone else nor antagonize him, and that it is not our mission to war against his error, which will manifest it- self in due time. Do you remember that when David had passed out and Solomon reigned in his stead, the latter saw the Lord in a dream, and asked for wisdom? He was given the choice of whatever he might ask, and he asked for wisdom to guide the people. This answer, in effect, was given him: Because it was in your heart to ask wisdom, because you have not asked for riches or long life or for victory over your enemies or anything like that but have prayed for wis- dom, therefore that wisdom shall be given you and much more than that. Therefore it may be well for us at this time to devote ourselves to heart- felt prayers for wisdom, and in order that we may recognize it, it will be well to discuss what true wisdom is. It is said, and truly, that KNOWLEDGE is power. Knowledge, though in it- self neither good nor evil, may be used either for one purpose or the other. Genius merely shows the bent of knowledge, but genius also may be good or evil. We speak of a military genius, one who has a wonderful knowledge of the tactics of war, but such a man cannot be truly good, FOR HE IS BOUND TO [PAGE 3313] BE HEARTLESS AND DESTRUCTIVE in the expression of his genius. A man of war, whether he be a Napolean or a common soldier, can never be WISE, because he must deliberately crush all finer feelings of which we take the heart as a symbol. On the other hand, A WISE RULER IS BIG-HEARTED as well as having a powerful intellect, so that one balances the other in pro- moting the interests of his people. Even the deepest KNOWLEDGE along reli- gious or occult lines is not wisdom, as we are taught by Paul in that wonderful thirteenth chapter of first Corinthians, where he says in effect: Though I have all the knowledge so that I could solve all mysteries, and have not love, I am nothing. ONLY WHEN KNOWLEDGE HAS WED LOVE, DO THEY MERGE INTO WISDOM, the expression of Christ principle, the second phase of Deity. We should be very careful to discriminate properly at this point. We may have discrimination between what is expedient for the attainment of a cer- tain end AND WHAT HINDERS and we may choose present ills for future attain- ment, but even in this we do not necessarily express wisdom. Knowledge, prudence, discretion, and discrimination are all born of the mind; all by themselves alone are snares of evil from which Christ in the Lord's prayer taught us to pray that we might be delivered. Only when these mind-born faculties are tempered by the heart-born faculty of love does the blended product become wisdom. If we read the thirteenth chapter of first Corinthians, substituting the word WISDOM for the word CHARITY or LOVE, we [PAGE 3314] shall understand what this great faculty is that we ought so ardently to de- sire. It is, then, the mission of the Rosicrucian Fellowship to promulgate a combined doctrine of the head and the heart, which is the only true wisdom, for no teaching that lacks either of these complements can really be called WISE, any more than we can strike a chord of music on one string; for as the nature of man is complex, the teaching which is to assist him to cleanse, purify, and elevate this nature must be multiplex in aspect. Christ fol- lowed this principle when He gave us that wonderful prayer, which in its seven stanzas touches the keynote of each of the seven human vehicles and blends them into that master chord of perfection which we call the Lord's Prayer. But how shall we teach the world this wonderful doctrine received from the Elder Brothers? The answer to this question is first, last, and all the time: BY LIVING THE LIFE. It is said to the everlasting credit of Mohammed that his wife became his first disciple, and it is certain that it was not his teaching alone but the life which he lived in the home, day in and day out, year in and year out, which won the confidence of his companion to such an extent that she was willing to trust her spiritual fate in his hands. It is comparatively easy to stand before strangers who know nothing bad about us and to whom our shortcomings are therefore not patent, and preach for an hour or two each week, but it is totally different thing to preach twenty- [PAGE 3315] four hours a day in the home as Mohammed must have done by living the life. It we would have the success in our propaganda that he had in his, we must, each and everyone of us, begin in the hone, begin by demonstrating to those with whom we live that the teachings which guide us are truly wisdom teach- ings. It is said that charity begins at home. This is the word that should have been translated "love" in the thirteenth chapter of first Corinthians. Change this also into wisdom and let it read, WISDOM PROPAGANDA BEGINS AT HOME. Then let this be our motto throughout the years: "By living the life AT HOME we can advance the cause better than in any other way." Many skep- tical families have been converted by husbands or wives in the Rosicrucian Fellowship. May the rest follow. THE SECRET OF SUCCESS: This is a subject which ought to interest everybody, for surely we all desire to be successful; but the question is what constitutes success? And to this question perhaps each individual would have a different answer. But a little thought will soon make it clear that whatever path we pursue in our desire to attain success, that path must be follow the evolutionary tread of mankind. Therefore there must be a general answer as to what constitutes success and what is the secret thereof. It would be a mistake, however, to try to find the solution of this problem just by examining the life of man during our present age. Paying regard to what he has been before and with an eye also to the future development of humanity is the only way to obtain the perspective which is necessary to arrive at the proper answer to this momentous question. We do not need to go into details to a great extent. We may mention that in the earlier epochs of our evolution when man-in-the-making was coming down from the spiritual world into his present material existence, the [PAGE 3316] secret of success lay in a knowledge of the physical world and the condi- tions therein. It was not necessary at that time to tell humanity about the spiritual world and our finer vehicles, for these were facts patent to ev- erybody. We saw and lived in the spiritual realms. But we were then coming into the physical world, and therefore the schools of Initiation taught the pioneers of mankind the laws which govern the physical world and initiated them into the arts and crafts whereby they might conquer the material realm. From that time until a comparatively recent date humanity has been working to perfect itself in these branches of knowledge, which reached their high- est expression in the centuries just prior to the discovery of steam and are now in their decadence. At first thought this may seem an unwarranted statement, but a careful examination of the facts will very quickly develop the truth thereof. In the so-called "dark ages" there were no factories, but every town and vil- lage was full of small shops in which the master, sometimes alone and at other times with a few journeymen and apprentices, wrought the works of his trade from the raw material to the finished product, exercising his skill and creative instinct and putting his heart and soul into every piece of work that left his hands. If he were a blacksmith, he knew how to produce ornamental ironwork fit for signs, gates, and other things which went to make up the quaint beauty of those medieval villages and towns. Nor did his [PAGE 3317] handiwork ever leave him entirely; as he walked about the town he might look upon this, that, or the other ornament, and pride himself upon the beauty thereof,; pride himself also in the knowledge of how he had won the respect and admiration of his fellow townsmen by his artistic and conscientious work. The joiner who made the framework of the chairs, also upholstered them and made those artistic designs which we are today seeking to follow. The shoemaker, the weaver, and all other craftsmen without exception pro- duced the finished article from the raw material, and each took pride in his handiwork. Also they toiled long hours, but there was no murmur or com- plaint, for each found a satisfaction in this exercise of his creative in- stinct. The song of the blacksmith to the accompaniment of the hammer on the anvil was a fact in every shop, and the journeymen and apprentices felt themselves not slaves but MASTERS IN THE MAKING. Then came the age of steam and machinery and with it a new system of la- bor. Instead of the production of the finished article from the raw mate- rial by one man, which gave satisfaction to his creative instinct, the new plan was to make men tenders of machines which produced only parts of the finished articles. These parts were then assembled by others. While this plan decreased the cost of production and increased the output, it left no scope for the creative instinct of a man. He became merely a cog in some [PAGE 3318] great machine. In the medieval shop money was indeed a minor consideration; the joy of production was everything; time mattered not. But under the new system men commenced to work FOR MONEY AND AGAINST TIME, with the result that the souls of both master and men are now starved. They have lost the substance and retained only the shadow of all that makes life worth living, for they are laboring for something which they can neither use nor enjoy. This applies to both master and men. What would we say of a young man who should set himself the goal of ac- cumulating a million handkerchiefs which he could never by any possible change use? Surely we should call him a fool; and why should we not place the man who spends all his energy and foregoes all the comforts of life to become a millionaire, in the same category? This system cannot continue, for it is giving man a stone when he asks for bread, and there must be some other development in store for him. New standards must be in the process of development, new ideals must be looming up to give us a wider vision. For hints as to the trend of evolution we must look to those among us who are most gifted with inspiration, the poets and seers. James Russell Lowell sounds perhaps the clearest note in his VISION OF SIR LAUNFAL. A knight leaving his castle imbued with a desire to do great and valiant things for God, is going to join the Crusaders and seek the Holy Grail in far distant Palestine. He leaves his castle self-satisifed, proud, and arrogant, bent [PAGE 3319] on his mission. At the castle gate he meets a poor beggar, a leper, who stretches out his hands asking for alms. Sir Launfal, however, has no com- passion, but in order to be rid of the loathsome thing, he throws him a golden coin and endeavors to forget him. "But the leper raised not the gold from the dust, `Better to me the poor man's crust, Better the blessing of the poor, Though I turn empty for his door. That is not true alms which the hand can hold; He gives only the worthless gold Who gives from a sense of duty; But he who gives from a slender mite, And gives to that which is out of sight-- That thread of all-sustaining beauty Which runs through all and doth all unite-- The hand cannot clasp the whole of his aims, The heart outstretches its eager palms, For a god goes with it and makes it store To the soul that was starving in darkness before.'" But what of Sir Launfal? Could he be expected in such a frame of mind to attain success and find the Grail? Certainly not. So disappointment after disappointment meets him, and finally he returns to his castle, discouraged and humbled in heart. There he again meets the leper, and at the sight of him,-- [PAGE 3320] "The heart within him was ashes and dust; He parted in twain his single crust, He broke the ice on the streamlet's brink, And gave the leper to eat and drink." Then, having fulfilled the task of mercy, the reward comes with it: "The leper no longer crouched by his side' But stood before him glorified, * * * * * * * And the Voice that was softer than silence said, 'Lo, it is I, be not afraid! In many lands, without avail, Thou hast spent thy life for the Holy Grail; Behold, it is here--this cup which thou Didst fill at the streamlet for me but now! This crust is my body broken for thee, This water the blood I shed on the tree; The Holy Supper is kept, indeed, In whatso we share with another's need; Not what we give, but what we share-- For the gift without the giver is bare; Who gives HIMSELF with his aims feeds three: Himself, his hungering neighbor, and me.'" In these words lies the secret of success, which consists in doing the little things, the perhaps seemingly disagreeable things which are close to our hands, instead of going afar and seeking for chimerical phantasms which [PAGE 3321] never develop into anything definite or tangible. What will doing the former accomplish for us? may be pertinently in- quired. Again we may take the answer from a poet, Oliver Wendell Holmes, who tells us of the little chambered nautilus. It first builds a small cell only large enough to hold it. Then as it grows, it adds another chamber which is larger and which it them occupies for the next period of growth, and so on until it has made a spiral shell as large as it can, which it then leaves. This idea he puts into the following lines: "Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul, As the swift seasons roll! Leave thy low vaulted past! Let each new temple, nobler than the last, Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast, Till thou at length art free, Leaving thine outgrown shell by life's unresting sea!" When we have come to this point, we have obtained success--all the suc- cess that we can get in our present world--and we are entering a new sphere of larger opportunities. [PAGE 3322] THE DEATH OF THE SOUL: From time to time, seemingly following a law of periodicity, the same difficulties crop up in the minds of students. At the same time a number of letters from different parts of the world ask for information on a subject, at another time on a different one, but after years the same subjects are revived. While help is given the individuals who ask, it may be that many more are interested in the same subject at the same time, hence this lesson on the death of the soul, which seems to exercise the mind perhaps because death of the body is so common and frequent. Some years ago we published a lesson on "The Unpardonable Sin and Lost Souls" in connection with the sacraments which we were them explaining. It was there stated that all the sacraments have to do with the transmission of the seed atoms, which form the nuclei of our various bodies. The germ for our earthly body must be properly placed in fruitful soil to grow a suitable dense vehicle, and for this reason, as stated in Genesis, 1:27, "Elohim cre- ated man male and female." The Hebrew words are SACR VA N'CABAH. These are [PAGE 3323] names of the sex organs. Literally translated, SACR means the bearer of the germ; and thus MARRIAGE is a SACRament, for it opens the way for the trans- mission of the physical seed atom from the father to the mother and tends to preserve the race against the ravages of death. BAPTISM as a SACRament signifies the germinal urge of the soul for higher life, the planting of a spiritual seed. COMMUNION is the SACRament in which we partake of bread made from the seed of chaste plants, and in which the cup symbolizing the passionless seed pod points to the age to come, an age when marriage will be unnecessary to transmit the seed through a father and mother, but when we may feed directly upon cosmic life and thus conquer death. Finally, EXTREME UNCTION is the SACRament which marks the loosing of the silver cord and the extraction of the sacred germ, until it shall again be planted in another N'cabah, or mother. As the seed and ovum are the root and basis of racial development, it is easy to see that no sin can be more serious than that which abuses the cre- ative function, for by the SACRilege we stunt future generations and trans- gress against the Holy Spirit, Jehovah, who is the warden of the creative lunar force. His angels herald birth, as in the case of Isaac, John the Baptist, and Jesus. When He wanted to reward His most faithful follower, [PAGE 3324] Abraham, He promised to make his seed as numerous as the sands on the sea- shore. He also meted out the most terrible punishment to the Sodomites, who committed sacrilege by misdirecting the seed; and the sin of Onan who wasted it is also a pointer in the same direction. We are told in the Bible that mankind were forbidden to eat of the Tree of Knowledge under pain of death. But instead of patiently waiting for the periods of propitious interplanetary conditions Adam KNEW Eve, and since then she has borne her children in pain and suffering subject to premature death. Therefore the abuse of this sacred function for gratification of the passional nature, and particularly perversion, is recognized by esotericists as the unpardonable sin. It is to this James refers when he says, "There is a sin unto death. I do not say that ye shall pray for that." But occult investigations have proved in this case, as with all other forms of hell preaching, that God and nature are much more lenient and mer- ciful to man than man is to his fellows. Though the retributive justice meted out to those who have lived lives of sin and vice was found in all cases to be severe, nothing nearly as serious as the "death of the soul" oc- curs. So far as we have been able to learn, ONLY THE BLACK MAGICIAN WHO CONSCIOUSLY MISUSES THE SEED FOR MALICIOUS PURPOSES faces anything so seri- ous as that implied in the phrase; and there would really be no need of go- ing into the subject at all except that it throws side lights upon other [PAGE 3325] matters of value to the student. To understand this properly we must first call to the mind the sharp definitions of the terms spirit, soul and body as given in the "Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception." It is there stated that in the beginning of manifesta- tion the Virgin Spirit, a spark from the Divine, involved itself in a three- fold veil of spirit-matter and thus became the Ego. The threefold spirit cast a threefold shadow into the realm of matter, and thus the DENSE BODY was evolved as a counterpart of the Divine Spirit, the VITAL BODY as a replica of the Life Spirit, and the DESIRE BODY as the image of the Human Spirit. Finally, and most important of all, the link of MIND was formed between the threefold spirit and its threefold body. This was the beginning of individual consciousness, and marks the point where the involution spirit into matter is finished and the evolutionary process whereby the spirit is lifted out of matter begins. Involution involves the crystallization of spirit into bodies, but evolution depends upon the dis- solution of the bodies, the extraction of the soul-substance from them, and the alchemical amalgamation of this soul with the spirit. At the beginning of evolution man consisted only of spirit and body,--he was soulless; but since them each life lived on earth in the great school of experience had made him more and more soulful according to the use which he has made of his opportunities. This is shown in the different gradation be- tween the savage and the saint which we see all about us. It is the loss [PAGE 3326] of the soul which is involved in the experience we describe as the death of the soul. The spirit itself can of course never die seeing that it is a spark from the Divine, without beginning and without end. How then can the death of the soul be brought about, and what is the real meaning of the phrase? This is a subject the writer does not like to dwell upon, but for the sake of the important side light it throws upon spiritual advancement, as already said, the facts will be given. In the foregoing we have seen that the threefold spirit has projected a threefold body and that the purpose of evolution is the extraction of the threefold soul from his threefold body and the amalgamation thereof with the threefold spirit. Now mark this point for this is the important crux of the whole matter, a very valuable and important piece of information which will help the student to a more definite understanding of the subject than has hitherto been given: Much is said in occult literature about "THE PATH"; but though to the initiated who already know, the statements of what it is and where it is are plentiful, this information has never before been given to the exoteric student. Paul tells us that to be carnally MINDED is death, but to be spiritual MINDED is life and peace. This is the exact truth, for the MIND, WHICH IS THE LINK BETWEEN THE SPIRIT AND THE BODY, IS THE PATH OR BRIDGE, THE ONLY MEANS OF TRANSMISSION OF SOUL TO SPIRIT. So long as man is [PAGE 3327] carnally minded and turns his attention to worldly successes, cherishing as his motto proverb, "Let us eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die," all his activities are centered in the lower part of his being, the person- ality, and he lives and dies like the animals, unconscious of the magnetic drawings of the spirit. But at length there comes a time when the yearnings of the spirit are felt, and the personality sees the light and sets out to seek its Higher Self across the bridge of mind. And as flesh and blood can- not inherit the Kingdom of God, the body is crucified that the soul may be liberated and joined to its Father in Heaven, the threefold spirit, the Higher Self. That at least is the general tendency, the higher elevates the lower. But unfortunately there are examples of the opposite where the lower person- ality becomes so strong in its materialism and where the mind becomes so firmly enmeshed with the lower vehicles that the personality refuses to sac- rifice itself for the spirit, with the result that THE BRIDGE OF MIND IS FI- NALLY BROKEN. The soulless personality may then continue to live for many years after this separation has taken place, and may perpetrate the most outrageous acts of cruelty and cunning until it succumbs. Black Magic which involves the perverted use of seed obtained from others is generally used by these soulless personalities for the purpose of satisfying their demoniac desires. Often they obtain power in a nation or a society, which they then [PAGE 3328] delight in wrecking. Meanwhile the spirit stands naked; it has no seed atoms wherewith to cre- ate further bodies, and it therefore automatically gravitates to the planet Saturn and thence to Chaos, where it must retain until the dawn of a new creative day. It may seen unjust at first sight that the spirit should be thus made to suffer though it has committed no wickedness; but on further thought it will be understood that as the personality is the creature of the Higher Self, the responsibility exists and cannot be evaded. Fortunately, however, such cases grow increasingly rare as we advance upon the pathway of evolution. Nevertheless, it behooves all to set their faces earnestly to- wards the goal so that the light on the path that leads toward our spiritual ideal, the union with the Higher Self, may grow brighter day by day. THE NEW SENSE OF THE NEW AGE: At the end of the Taurean age, about 4,000 years ago, "God's people" fled from the wrath to come when they left Egypt, the land where they worshiped the Bull. They were led in their flight to the promised land by Moses, whose head in ancient esoteric pictures is adorned with wreathed ram's horns, symbolical of the fact that he was herald of the Aryan age of 2100 years, during which each Easter morning the vernal sun colored the doorposts red as with the blood of the lamb, when it passed over the equator in the CONSTELLATION (not the SIGN) of the ram Aries. Similarly, when the sun by precession was approaching the watery constellation Pisces, the Fishes, John immersed the converts to the Messianic religion in the waters of Jordan, and Jesus called his disciples "fishers" of men. As the "lamb" was slain at the passover while the sun went through the constellation Aries, the Ram, so the faithful have in obedience to the command of their church fed on fishes dur- ing Lent in the present cycle of Pisces, the Fishes. [PAGE 3329] At the time when the sun by precession left the constellation Taurus, the Bull, the people who worshiped that animal were pronounced heathen and idolators. A new symbol of the Savior, or Messias, was found in the lamb, which correspond to the constellation Aries; but when the sun by precession left that sign, Judaism became a religion of the past, and thenceforth the bishops of the new Christian religion wore a mitre shaped like a fish's head to designate their standing as ministers of the church during the Piscean Age, which is now drawing to a close. By viewing the future through the perspective of the past, it is evident that a new age is to be ushered in when the sun enters the constellation Aquarius, the Water-bearer, a few hundred years hence. Judging by the events of the past it is reasonable to expect that a new phase of religion will supersede our present system, revealing higher and nobler ideals than our present conception of the Christian religion. It is therefore certain that if in that day we would not be classed among the idolators and heathen, we must prepare to align ourselves with these new ideals. John the Baptist, preached the gospel of preparedness in no uncertain words, warning people that the ax had been laid at the root of the tree. He cautioned them also to flee from the wrath to come, when the Son (Sun) of God should come, fan in hand, to separate the wheat from the chaff and burn it up. Christ likened the gospel to a little leaven which leavened a [PAGE 3330] measure of flour. At first sight the method of John seems to be most drastic, laying the ax at the root of the whole social structure, while the leavening process men- tioned by Christ appears to be more gentle; but in reality it is even more thoroughgoing and drastic, as will be evident if we consider carefully what takes place when we make a loaf. It is a chemical revolution, a miniature war, involving an entire transformation of every atom of flour in the ves- sel; none can escape the action of the leaven, and there is a sound as of continual cannonading, explosion of bombs and shells, until the force of the leaven is spent and the dough transformed to a light sponge. But this war of the atoms, this chemical revolution, is absolutely indispensable in the process of bread making, for if the leavening process were omitted, the re- sult would be a heavy, unpalatable, indigestible loaf. It is the transmuta- tion wrought by the leaven which makes the loaf wholesome and nutritious. The process of preparation for the Aquarian Age has already commenced, and as Aquarius is an airy, scientific, and intellectual sign, it is a fore- gone conclusion that the new faith must be rooted in reason and able to solve the riddle of life and death in a manner that will satisfy both the mind and the religious instinct. [PAGE 3331] Such is the Western Wisdom Religion promulgated by the Rosicrucian Fel- lowship; like the leaven in the loaf, it is breaking down the fear of death engendered by the uncertainty surrounding the post-mortem existence. It is showing that life and consciousness continue under the laws as immutable as God, which tends to raise man to increasingly higher, nobler, and loftier states of spirituality. It kindles the beacon light of hope in the human heart by the assertion that as we have in the past evolved the five senses by which we contact the present visible world, so shall we in the not dis- tant future evolve another sense which will enable us to see the denizens of the etheric region, as well as those of our dear ones who have left the physical body and inhabit the ether and lower desire world during the first stage of their career in the spiritual realms. The mission of Aquarius is aptly represented by the symbol of man emptying the water urn. Aquarius is an airy sign having special rule over the ether. The Flood partly dried the air by depositing most of the moisture it held in the sea. But when the sun enters Aquarius by precession, the rest of the moisture will be eliminated and visual vibrations, which are most easily transmitted by a dry etheric atmosphere, will become more intense; thus conditions will be particularly conducive to production of the slight extension of our present sight necessary to open our eyes to the etheric region. California's production of physics is an instance of this effect of a dry, [PAGE 3332] electric atmosphere, though, of course, it is not nearly so dry as the air of the Aquarian Age will be. Thus faith will be swallowed up in knowledge and we shall all be able to utter the triumphant cry, "O death, where is thy sting; O grave, where is thy victory?" But it is well to realize that by aspiration and meditation to those who are longingly looking for that day are taking time by the fore- lock and may quite easily outstrip their fellows who are unaware of what is in store. The latter, on the other hand, may delay the development of ex- tended vision by the belief that they are suffering from hallucinations when they begin to get their first glimpses of the etheric entities, and the fear that if they tell others what they see, they will be adjudged insane. Therefore the Rosicrucian Fellowship has been charged by the Elder Broth- ers with the mission of promulgating the gospel of the Aquarian Age, and of conducting a campaign of education and enlightenment, so that the world may be prepared for what is in store. The world must be leavened with those ideas: (1) Conditions in the land of the living dead are not shrouded in mys- tery, but knowledge regarding them is as available as knowledge concerning foreign countries from the tales of travelers. (2) We now stand close to the threshold where we shall all know these truths. (3) And, most important of all, we shall hasten the day in our own case [PAGE 3333] by acquiring knowledge of the facts concerning the post-mortem existence and the things we may expect to see, for then we shall know what to look for, and neither be frightened, astonished nor incredulous when we commence to obtain glimpses of these things. Students should also realize that a serious responsibility goes with the possession of knowledge: "to who much is given, of him much shall be re- quired." If we hide or bury our "talent," may we not expect a merited con- demnation? The Rosicrucian Fellowship can only fulfill its mission in so far as each member does his duty in spreading the teachings, and therefore it is to be hoped that this may serve to call the attention of the student to the fact of his individual duty. The etheric sight is similar to the X-ray in that it enables its pos- sessor to see right through all objects, but it is much more powerful and renders everything as transparent as glass. Therefore in the Aquarian Age many things will be different from now, for instance, it will be extremely easy to study anatomy and to detect a morbid growth, a dislocation, or a pathological condition of the body. At present medical men of the highest standing admit regretfully that their diagnosis are only too frequently er- roneous as shown by post-mortem observation; but when we have evolved the etheric sight, they will be able to study both anatomical structures and [PAGE 3334] physiological processes without hindrance. The etheric vision will not enable us to see one another's thoughts, for they are formed in still finer stuff, but it will make it largely impossible for us to live double lives and to act differently in our homes than we do in public. If we were aware that invisible entities now throng our houses, we should often feel ashamed of the things we do; but in the Aquarian Age there will be no privacy which may not be broken into by anyone who desires to see us. It will avail nothing that we send the office boy or maid out to tell an unwelcome visitor that we are "not in." This means that in the new age honesty and straightforwardness will be the only policies worth while, for we cannot then do wrong and hope to escape detection. There will be people whose base characters will lead them into ways of wickedness then as now, but they will at least be marked so that they may be avoided. The student can easily conjecture a number of other conditions that will result from the extension of sight which will come with the Aquarian Age, and by living as near to that state as possible, he will be placing himself in a position to become one of the pioneers of that age when "there shall be no night," and when the "tree of life" shall bloom unceasingly by the trans- parent etheric "sea of glass" which permeates all things. [PAGE 3335] GOD'S CHOSEN PEOPLE: Let us pause and take stock of our actions and accomplishments in in the past year; then let us make such resolutions as we feel will make the future more profitable from the standpoint of the soul. In the first place let us acknowledge that we have been especially fa- vored, far beyond our merit, by receiving the Rosicrucian teachings from our Elder Brothers. Let us hope that we have expressed our gratitude to them through all the past year, and let us at this time send them special thoughts of love and gratitude. Needless to say they do not crave our gratitude, they are beyond that; but we may make more soul growth by being grateful. Then let us consider how we have used these precious teachings during the past year: have we dealt justly with our fellows, have we been lenient in our judgments and criticisms of others, have we striven to curb our temper, cultivate equipoise, and overcome whatever may be our particular besetting sin? But is is a foregone conclusion that we shall have to admit at the end of our retrospection that we have fallen far short of the lofty ideals placed before us. This is always a critical point where our spiritual career is in danger of shipwreck upon the rock of faintheartedness, that is, if we are of the temperament that broods over or magnifies failure. Such an attitude of mind precipitates disaster by robbing us of the will to win; it makes us be- lieve that there is not use in struggling, that the odds against us are too great. Excuses are found in the antagonism of friends and family to our be- lief, duties that take our time, etc. But, as a matter of fact, the trouble is within ourselves, and if we yield, we shall find that our friends will [PAGE 3336] despise us in their hearts even if they do not show it openly. Instead, so far from causing us to forsake the path of progress, our failures should act as a spur to greater efforts, and we should make our resolution with greater determination so that during the coming year we may be invincible with respect to the matter covered by it. We all know our own particular shortcomings, "the sin which doth so eas- ily beset us," and each will naturally have to formulate the proper resolu- tions for himself. But in carrying these resolutions into effect so that they may be productive of soul growth and help to weave the glorious GOLDEN WEDDING GARMENT, it will undoubtedly help us immensely to fasten our eyes and thoughts upon one who possessed the virtue we are seeking to cultivate. Such a great example we have in Christ, who "was tempted in all things like ourselves, yet without sin." Let us therefore keep Him closely before our mind's eye during the coming year, and we shall surely make great soul growth. This is also the best propaganda we can make for the Rosicrucian teachings, for by living close to them we shall surely evoke in others a de- sire to share in their blessings. [PAGE 3337] MYSTIC LIGHT ON THE WORLD WAR: SECRET SPRINGS: It is well known to students of the Rosicrucian teachings that we as spirits are immortal, without beginning and without end; that we have gone to the great school of experience many life-days in the past each time clad in a new child's body of finer texture, in which we lived for a time varying from a few hours to a lifetime, and when a day at life's school had been completed, we shuffled off this mortal coil, worn out and decrepit, to re- turn to our heavenly home for rest and assimilation during the night of death of the lessons learned; later to be reborn and take up our lessons where we left them when we were called home from the previous session of the school of life. During each day at life's school we met other spirits and formed ties of love and hate. In later lives we met again so that the debts of destiny thus incurred might be liquidated. And so our friends of today are those we [PAGE 3338] befriended yester-life, and our enemies are those with whom we were at vari- ance in the forgotten past. Thus we are continually weaving the web of des- tiny on the loom of time, and creating for ourselves a garment of glory or gloom according to whether we have worked well or ill. But we do not work out our INDIVIDUAL destiny only, for as the proverb says, "No man liveth unto himself." We are grouped in families, tribes, races, and nations, and in addition to our individual destiny we are tied by the family and national destinies because we are under the guardianship of the angels and archangels who act as family and race spirits respectively. It is these great spirits who imprint on our seed atoms the racial form and features of the physical body. They also implant the national loves and hates on the seed atoms of our finer vehicles, because the race spirit broods like a cloud over the land inhabited by its wards, and the latter draw all the materials for their finer bodies from this atmosphere. In this race spirit, as a matter of actual fact, they live and move and have their being. From it their vehicles are formed. Yea, with every breath in this race spirit, so that it is absolutely true that it is nearer than hands and feet. It is this race spirit which imbues them with love or hate for other nations, thus determining between certain nations and the trust and confi- dence which exists between others. [PAGE 3339] According to the teachings of the Rosicrucians, every spirit is reborn twice during the time it takes the sun by precession to go through a sign of the zodiac, once as man and once as woman. This is done in order that it may gain the experiences to be had in that sign from the viewpoint of both sexes. There are many modifications to this rule according to the necessi- ties of individual spirits, for the law is not blind but it is under the ad- ministration of great beings called the Recording Angels in the Christian terminology. It is their duty to watch the Clock of Destiny and see when the time is ripe to reap the harvest of the past, and this applies both to individuals and to nations. Therefore if we study the characteristics of the nations recently locked in a titanic struggle, together with the aims for which they were fighting, and look back over the pages of history, it needs no seership, scarcely even intuition, to place them and thus see how the springs of the recent war were generated in the distant past. It has, in fact, been suggested by historians that the sons of Albion are a reembodiment of the ancient Romans. In the light of occult investigations this is not quite true, for there are a number of alien strains present. But they have been so fused in the dominant race that it may be said to be practically a fact. Let us recall the history of Rome and remember that the democratic spirit, after the first seven kings had reigned, manifested itself in the formation of a republic, which then began a war of aggression to obtain the [PAGE 3340] mastery of the world, and in the course of this campaign it became engaged with Carthage in a mighty struggle for the mastery of the Mediterranean Sea. To gain expansion westward the Romans endeavored to expel the Carthaginians from Sicily. Carthage at that time was a great sea power, but she was de- feated by the Romans in 260 B.C. on her own element. Following up this ad- vantage Rome transferred the war to Africa and was at first successful, but Regulus, the consoul whom she left behind, was finally worsted and made prisoner. A series of naval disasters to Rome ensued, and Carthage was about to regain more than she had lost of Sicily when Tetulus, the Roman Consul, gained another decisive victory over the Carthaginians in 241 B.C., who there upon undertook to evacuate Sicily and the adjacent islands. This ended in the first Punic War, which was twenty-two years in duration. But Carthage was not to be so easily conquered. Finding Rome her match at sea, she resumed hostilities by acquiring a foothold in Spain, and the great Carthaginian general, Hannibal, who heartily hated Rome, attempted the conquest of that city during the second Punic War, which was declared in 218 B.C. His plans, nurtured in secret, were carried on with unexampled celer- ity. He crossed the Pyrenees from Spain to France, fought his way over the Alps against every obstacle, and descended upon Cisalpine Gaul with but [PAGE 3341] twenty-six thousand survivors of his army of fifty-nine thousand men. After several defeats of the Romans came the great battle of Cannae in 216 B.C., where Hannibal's victory was complete. Macedonia and Sicily declared for the conquerors, and Hannibal marched even to the Colline gate of Rome. But finding this city too strong for him, he withdrew to southern Italy, where he was finally defeated and Carthage forced to sue for peace. Thus Rome be- came the mistress of the Mediterranean. But the hate of Hannibal was unabated, and when he and his compatriots, the Carthaginians, were reborn in landlocked Prussia, while the ancient Ro- mans occupied the British Islands as mistresses of the seas, it was in- evitable that in time a great conflict must take place. As the ancient Pu- nic Wars generated the recent conflict, so will this war in due time bring its renewal of the struggle unless we shown a spirit of kindness in dealing with the vanquished foe, instead of dealing with them as Rome did in that ancient past, without mercy and without consideration. The power to harm others must be taken from the militarist of the Central Empires. It is ab- solutely imperative that the world should be made safe from a repetition of this catastrophe, BUT THE MEASURES TAKEN TO SECURE THIS DESIRABLE END SHOULD BE SUCH THAT NOT ONLY DO THEY ENSURE PEACE FOR THE PRESENT LIFE, BUT ALSO FOR THOSE FUTURE LIFE-DAYS WHEN WE SHALL MEET IN ANOTHER GUISE THOSE WITH WHOM WE WERE RECENTLY AT WAR. Justice ought to be done, but it should be tempered with mercy in order to avoid perpetuating hate, and therefore such harsh measures as, for in- stance, the industrial boycott are wrong. It should be sufficient to see that the Central Empires get no more than a fair share of the world's trade. The new American nation, which is not yet under the domination of any race spirits, sees more impartially and therefore more clearly than any other what is right. Therefore it is to be hoped that the American ideas of jus- tice will prevail. Let us remember that one wrong never can and never will right another, and that we must live and let live. Continued with file "RC1093.TXT" End of File


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