Filename: RC1093.TXT Source: +quot;Teachings of an Initiate+quot; by Max Heindel [PAGE 334

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Filename: RC1093.TXT Source: "Teachings of an Initiate" by Max Heindel [PAGE 3342] MYSTIC LIGHT ON THE WORLD WAR: ITS PROMOTION OF SPIRITUAL SIGHT: Strange as the statement may seem, it is nevertheless true that the great majority of mankind are partially asleep most of the time, notwithstanding the fact that their physical bodies may seem to be intensely occupied in ac- tive work. Under ordinary conditions the desire body in the case of the great majority is the most awake part of composite man, who lives almost en- tirely in his feelings and emotions, but scarcely ever thinks of the problem of existence beyond what is necessary to keep body and soul together. Most of this class have probably never given the great questions of life, Whence have we come, why are we here, and whither are we going? any serious consid- eration. Their vital bodies are kept active repairing the ravages of the desire body upon the physical vehicle, and purveying the vitality which is later dissipated in gratifying the desires and emotions. [PAGE 3343] It is this hard-fought battle between the vital and desire bodies which generates consciousness in the physical world and makes men and women so in- tensely alert that, viewed from the standpoint of the physical world, it seems to give the lie to our assertion that they are partially asleep. Nev- ertheless, upon examination of all the facts it will be found that this is the case, and we may also say that this state of affairs has come about by the design of the great Hierarchs who have our evolution in charge. We know that there was a time when man was much more awake in the spiritual worlds than in the physical. In fact there was a time when, al- though he had a physical body, he could not sense it at all. In order that he might learn how to use this physical instrument properly, conquer the physical world, and learn to think accurately, it was necessary that he should for a time forget all about the spiritual worlds, and devote all his energies to physical affairs. How this was brought about by the introduc- tion of alcohol as a food and by other means has been explained in the "COSMO" and need not be reiterated. But we are now face to face with the fact that mankind has become so completely immersed in materiality that, so far as the great majority are concerned, the invisible vehicles are thor- oughly focused upon physical activities and asleep to the spiritual verities, which are even derided as the imagination of diseased brains; also those who are beginning to awake from the sleep of materialism are scorned [PAGE 3344] as fanatics, fit only for the madhouse. If this attitude of mind were consistently followed, the spirit would eventually become crystallized in the body. The heaven life in which we build our future vehicles and environments would become increasingly barren; for when we persistently hold the thought that there is nothing but what we contact through our senses (see, hear, feel, smell, touch, and analyze), this mental attitude cultivated in the earth life persists in the Second Heaven with the result that we may there neglect the preparation that would give us a field of endeavor and instruments wherewith to work in it, and as a result evolution would soon cease. According to the Rosicrucian teachings, the soul is the extract of the various bodies; it is garnered by experience that involves the destruction of the particular bodies from which this living bread is derived and which is to be used as a pabulum for the spirit. In the ordinary course of evolu- tion the perfection of the various vehicles is gradual, and the soul sub- stance is then garnered and assimilated by the spirit between earth lives. But at a certain period in the larger life when we are entering upon a new spiral, a different phase of evolution, it is usually necessary to employ drastic measures to turn the spirit out of the beaten pathway into a new and unknown direction. Formerly when we possessed less individuality and were incapable of taking the initiative ourselves these changes were accomplished [PAGE 3345] by what may be called great cataclysms of nature, but which were in fact planned by the divine Hierarchies who guide evolution, with a view to destroying multitudes of bodies that had served the purpose of human development in a given direction, changing the environment of those who had learned the possibilities of a new road, and starting these pioneer people upon a fresh career. Such wholesale destruction was naturally much more frequent in the earlier epochs than in later times. Lemuria had all the requisite conditions for numerous attempts at making a fresh start with one group when another had failed and had been destroyed. As a matter of fact, there was not merely one flood in Atlantis but three, and a period of about three-quarters of a million years elapsed between the first and the last. We may not expect that the method of wholesale destruction and a new start can be abrogated until we as a whole awaken to the necessity of taking a new road when we have come to the end of the old, but a new method is be- ing used by the Invisible Directors of evolution. They are not now making use of cataclysms of nature to change the old order for something new and better, but THEY ARE MAKING USE OF THE MISDIRECTED ENERGIES OF HUMANITY IT- SELF TO FURTHER THE ENDS THEY HAVE IN VIEW. This was the genesis of the great war which recently raged among us. Its purpose was to turn our ener- gies from seeking the bread whereof men die and to create in us the soul hunger that would cause us to turn from material things to spiritual. We [PAGE 3346] are, as a matter of act, commencing to work out our own salvation. We are beginning to do things for ourselves instead of having them done for us, and though unaware of the fact, WE ARE LEARNING HOW TO TURN EVIL TO GOOD. Some may think this war affected only those few million men actually en- gaged in it, but a little thought upon the matter will soon convince anyone that the welfare of the whole world was involved to a greater or lesser de- gree so far as economic conditions were concerned. There is no race nor country that escaped entirely, nor can any go on in the same tranquil manner as before the war broke out. Kinship and friendship were ties which reached from the trenches of Europe to every part of the globe. Many of us were re- lated to individuals in one and perhaps both groups engaged in the strife, and we followed their fortunes with an interest commensurate with the strength of our feeling for them. But in the nighttime when our physical bodies were asleep and we entered the desire world, we could not escape liv- ing and feeling th whole tragedy with all the intensity whereof we were ca- pable, for the desire currents swept the whole world. In the desire world there is neither time nor distance. The trenches of Europe were brought to our door no matter where we lived, and we could not escape the subconscious effect of the spectacle which we there saw. Furthermore this titanic struggle produced effects which could never be equaled by a natural [PAGE 3347] cataclysm, which is so much quicker in its action and so much shorter in its duration, besides being localized and incapable of generating the same feel- ings of love and hate which were such important factors in the World War. During the previous career of man it has been the object of the divine Hierarchs to teach him how to accomplish physical results by physical means. He has forgotten how to utilize the finer forces in nature such as, for in- stance, the energy liberated when grain is sprouting, which was used for purposes of propulsion and levitation in the Atlantean airships. He is un- aware of the sanctity of fire and how to use it spiritually, therefore only about fifteen per cent of its power is utilized in the best steam engines. It is well of course that man is thus limited, for were he able to use the power at the command of one whose spiritual faculties are awakened, he could annihilate our world and all upon it. But while he is doing his best or his worst with the faculties at his command today, he is learning the lesson of how to hold his feelings in leash to fit himself for the use of the finer forces necessary for development in the Aquarian Age, and pulling the scales from his eyes so that he may commence to see the new world which he is des- tined to conquer. Two separate and distinct processes are made use of to accomplish this result. One is the visit of death to millions of homes, tearing away from [PAGE 3348] the family group the husband, father, or brother, and leaving the survivors to face a grey existence of economic privation. The sun existed previous to the eye and built that organ for its perception. The desire to see was naturally unconscious on the part of the individual who did not know and had no concept of the meaning or use of sight; but in the world soul, which cre- ated the sun, rested the knowledge and requisite desire that worked the miracle. Similarly in the case of death: when our consciousness had first become focused in the physical vehicles and the fact of death stared us in the face, there was no hope within; but in time religion supplied the knowl- edge of an invisible world whence the spirit had come to take birth and whither it returns after death. The hope of immortality gradually evolved in humanity the feeling that death is only a transition, but modern science has done its best to rob men of this consolation. Nevertheless, at every death the tears that are shed serve to dissolve the veil that hides the invisible world from our longing gaze. The deep-felt yearning and the sorrow at the parting of loved and loving ones on both sides of the veil are tearing this apart, and at some not far distant day the accumulated effect of all this will reveal the fact that there is no death, but that those who have passed beyond are as much alive as we. The potency of these tears, this sorrow, this yearning is not equal in all cases, however, and the effects differ wisely according to whether the vital [PAGE 3349] body has been awakened in any given person by acts of unselfishness and ser- vice, according to the occult maxim that all development along spiritual lines begins with the vital body. his is the basis, and no superstructure can be built until this foundation has been laid. With regard to the second process of soul unfoldment which is carried on among those actually engaged in warfare, there are probably but few who have had as unique an opportunity to study actual conditions on the whole of the extended line of battle as th writer. Notwithstanding all the brutality and hellishness of the whole thing he feels confident that this was the greatest school of soul unfoldment that has ever existed, for nowhere have there been so numerous opportunities for selfless service as on the battle fields of France, and nowhere have men been so ready to grasp the change of doing for some one else. Thus the vital bodies of a host of people have received a quickening such as they would probably not have otherwise attained for a number of lives, and these people have therefore become correspondingly sen- sitive to spiritual vibrations, and susceptible in a higher degree to the benefit which may be derived from the first process previously mentioned. As a result we shall in due time see an army of sensitives among us who will be in such close touch with the invisible world that their concerted testi- mony cannot be crushed by the materialistic school. They will prove a great [PAGE 3350] factor in helping us to prepare for the higher conditions of the Aquarian Age. "But," some may ask, "will they not forget when the stress and strain of war are over? Will not a large percentage of these people go back into the same rut where they were before?" To this we may answer that we feel confi- dent it can never come to pass, for while the invisible vehicles, especially the vital body, are asleep, man may pursue a materialistic career; but once this vehicle has been awakened and has tasted the bread of life, it is like the physical body, subject to hunger--soul hunger,--and its cravings will not be denied save after an exceedingly hard struggle. In the latter case, of course, the words of Peter are applicable: "The last state of that man is worse than the first." However, it is good to feel that out of all the indescribable sorrow and trouble of the war good is being wrought in the crucible of the gods, and it will be a lasting good. May we all align our forces and help extract the good, so that we may be shining examples to help lead humanity to the New Age. [PAGE 3351] MYSTIC LIGHT ON THE WORLD WAR: PEACE ON EARTH: A war-weary world, red with the blood of millions, the hope of its fu- ture, the flower of its young manhood, is groaning in agony, praying for peace, not an armistice, a temporary cessation of hostilities, but EVERLAST- ING PEACE, and it is striving to solve the problem of how to accomplish this much desired end. But it is striking at effects because ignorant of or blind to the one great underlying cause of the ferocity of the people, which was but barely hidden under a thin veneer of civilization before it burst into the volcano of destruction which we have recently witnessed and are now lamenting. Until the connection between the food of man and his nature is understood and the knowledge applied to tame the passions and eradicate ferocity, there can be no lasting peace. In the dim dawn of being when man-in-the-making wrought under the direct guidance of the divine Hierarchs who led him along the path of evolution, food was given him of a nature that would develop [PAGE 3352] various vehicles in an orderly, systematic manner, so that in time these different bodies would grow into a composite instrument usable as the temple of an indwelling spirit which might then enter and learn life's lessons by a series of embodiments in earthly bodies of an increasingly fine texture. Five great stages or epochs are observable in the evolutionary journey of man upon earth. In the first, or Polarian Epoch, what is now man had only a dense body as the minerals have now, hence he was mineral-like, and it is said in the Bible that "ADAM was formed of the earth." In the second, or Hyperborean Epoch, a vital body made of ether was added, and man-in-the-making had then a body constituted as are those of the present plants; he was not a plant but was plantlike. CAIN, the man of that time, is described as an agriculturist; his food was derived solely from vegetation, for plants contain more ether than any other structure. In the third, or Lemurian Epoch, man cultivated a desire body, a vehicle of passions and emotions, and was then constituted as the animal. Then milk, a product of living animals, was added to his diet, for this substance is most easily worked upon by the emotions. ABEL, the man of that time, is described as a shepherd. It is nowhere stated that he killed an animal for food. In the fourth, or Atlantean Epoch, mind was unfolded, and the composite [PAGE 3353] body became the temple of an indwelling spirit, a thinking being. But thought breaks down nerve cells; it kills, destroys, and causes decay, therefore the new food of the Atlantean was dead carcasses. He killed to eat, and so the Bible describes the man of that time as NIMROD, a mighty hunter. By partaking of these various foods man descended deeper and deeper into matter; his erstwhile ethereal body formed a skeleton within and became solid. At the same time he gradually lost his spiritual perception, but the memory of heaven was always with him, and he knew himself to be an exile from his true home, the heaven world. In order to enable him to forget this fact and apply himself with undivided attention to conquering the material world, a new article of diet, namely, wine, was added in the fifth or Aryan Epoch. Because of indulgence in this counterfeit spirit of alcohol during the millenniums which have passed since man came up out of Atlantis, the most advanced races of humanity are also the most atheistic and materialis- tic. THEY ARE ALL DRUNK for even though a person may say, and say quite truthfully, that he has never touched liquor in his life, it is nevertheless a fact that body in which he is functioning has descended from ancestors who for millenniums have indulged in alcoholic beverages in unstinted measure. Therefore the atoms composing all present day Western bodies are unable to [PAGE 3354] vibrate to the measure necessary for the cognition of the invisible worlds as they were before wine was added to the diet of humanity. Similarly, though a child may be brought up today on a fleshless diet, it still par- takes of the ferocious nature of its flesh-eating ancestors of a million years, though in a less degree than those who still continue to feast on flesh. Thus the effect of the flesh food provided for man-in-the-making is deep-seated and deep-rooted even in those who do not now indulge in it. What wonder then that those who still partake of flesh and wine return at times to godless savagery and exhibit a ferocity unrestrained by any of the finer feelings supposed to have been fostered by centuries of so-called civilization! So long as men continue to quench the immortal spirit within themselves by partaking of flesh and the counterfeit alcoholic spirit, there can never be lasting peace on earth, for the innate ferocity fostered by these articles will break through at intervals and sweep even the most al- truistic conceptions and ideals into a maelstrom of savagery, a carnival of ruthless slaughter, which will grow correspondingly greater as the intellect of man evolves and enables him to conceive with his master mind methods of destruction more diabolical than any we have yet witnessed. It needs no argument to prove that the recent war was much more destruc- tive than any of the previous conflicts recorded in history, because it was fought by men of BRAIN rather than by men of BRAWN. The ingenuity which in [PAGE 3355] times of peace has been turned to such good account in constructive enter- prises was enlisted in the service of destruction, and it is safe to say that if another war is fought fifty or a hundred years hence, it may perhaps all but depopulate the earth. Therefore a lasting peace is an absolute necessity from the standpoint of self-preservation and no thinking man or woman can afford to brush aside without investigation any theory which is advanced as tending to make war impossible, even if they have been accus- tomed to regard it as a foolish fad. There is plenty of proof that a carnivorous diet fosters ferocity, but lack of space prevents a thorough discussion of this phase of the subject. We may, however, mention the well known fierceness of beasts of prey and the cruelty of the meat-eating American Indian as fair examples. On the other hand, the prodigious strength and the docile nature of the ox, the elephant, and the horse show the effects of the herb diet on animals, while the veg- etarian and peaceable nations of the Orient are a proof of the correctness of the argument against a flesh diet which cannot be successfully gainsaid. Flesh food has fostered human ingenuity of a low order in the past; it has served a purpose in our evolution; but we are now standing on the threshold of a new age when self-sacrifice and service will bring spiritual growth to humanity. The evolution of the mind will bring a wisdom profound beyond our [PAGE 3356] greatest conception, but before it will be safe to entrust us with that wis- dom, we must become HARMLESS as doves, for otherwise we should be apt to turn it to such selfish and destructive purposes that it would be an incon- ceivable menace to our fellow men. To avoid this the vegetarian diet must be adopted. But there are vegetarians and vegetarians: In Europe conditions cause people now to abstain from flesh eating to a very large extent. They are not true vegetarians for they are lusting for flesh every moment of their lives, and they feel the want of it as a great hardship and sacrifice. In time they would of course grow used to is, and in many generations it would make them gentle and docile, but obviously that is not the kind of vegetari- anism we need now. There are others who abstain from flesh foods for the sake of health; their motive is selfish, and many among them probably also lust after the "flesh pots of Egypt." Their attitude of mind is not such either that it would abolish ferocity very quickly. But there is a third class which realizes that all life is God's life and that to cause suffering to any sentient being is wrong, so out of pure com- passion they abstain from the use of flesh foods. They are the true veg- etarians, and IT IS OBVIOUS THAT A WORLD WAR COULD NEVER BE FOUGHT BY PEOPLE OF THIS TURN OF MIND. All true Christians will also be abstainers from flesh foods for similar motives. Then peace on earth and good will among men will be an assured fact; the nations will beat their swords into plow- [PAGE 3357] shares and their spears into pruning hooks that they may cease to deal death, sorrow, and suffering, and become instruments to foster life, love, and happiness. Our own safety, the safety of our children, the safety of the human race even, demands that we listen to the inspired voice of the poetess, Ella Wheeler Wilcox, who wrote the following soul stirring appeal in behalf of our dumb fellow creatures: "I am the voice of the voiceless, Through me the dumb shall speak, Till a deaf world's ear Shall be made to hear The wrongs of the wordless weak. "The same force formed the sparrow, That fashioned man the king; The God of the Whole Gave a spark of soul, To furred and feathered thing. "And I am my brother's keeper, And I will fight his fight, And speak the word For beast and bird Till the world shall set things right." [PAGE 3358] MYSTIC LIGHT ON THE WORLD WAR: THE GOSPEL OF GLADNESS: The recent titanic struggle among the nations in Europe upset the equi- librium of the whole world to such an extent that the emotions of the people who liven in even the most remote regions of the earth were stirred as they had never been stirred before, the people expressing anger, hate, hysteria, or gloom according to their nature and temperament. It is evident to those who have studied the deeper mysteries of life and who understand the op- eration of natural law in the spiritual worlds that the inhabitants of the invisible realms were affected in perhaps a greater degree than those who lived in physical bodies, which by their very density make it impossible for us to feel the full force of the emotions. After the outbreak of the war the tide of emotions ran high and fast, be- cause there were no adequate means of checking it; but by dint of hard work and organization the Elder Brothers of humanity succeeded after the first year in creating an army of Invisible Helpers who, having passed through the [PAGE 3359] gate of death and having felt the sorrow and suffering incident to an un- timely transition, were filled with compassion for the others who were con- stantly pouring in, and became qualified to soothe and help them until they also had found their balance. Later, however, the emotions of hate and mal- ice engendered by the people in the physical world became so strong that there was danger they might gain the ascendancy; therefore new measures had to be taken to counteract these feelings, and everywhere all the good forces were marshaled into line to help restore the balance and keep the baser emotions down. One of the ways in which most people contributed to the trouble and helped to prolong the war which they were praying might end, was by dwelling on the AWFUL side of it and forgetting to look at the bright side. "The bright side of that cruel war?" is probably the question which arises in the mind of the reader. "Why, what can you mean?" To some it may perhaps even seem sacrilegious to speak of a bright side in connection with such a calamity, as they would put it. But let us see if there is not a silver lining to even this blackest of clouds, and if there is not a method by which the silver lining could be made wider and wider so that the cloud would become altogether luminous. Some time ago our attention was called to a book entitled "Pollyanna." Pollyanna was the little daughter of a missionary, whose salary was so [PAGE 3360] meager that he could scarcely obtain the bare necessities of life. From time to time barrels filled with old clothes and odds and ends arrived at the mission for distribution. Pollyanna hoped that some day a barrel might come containing a little doll. Her father had even written to ask if the next barrel might not contain a discarded doll for his child. The barrel came, but instead of the doll it contained a pair of small crutches. Notic- ing the child's disappointment her father said: "There is one thing we can be glad of and grateful for, that we have no need of the crutches." It was then they began "playing the game," as they called it, of looking for and finding something for which to be glad and thankful, no matter what hap- pened, and they always found it. For example, when they were forced to eat a very scant meal at a restaurant, not being able to afford the dainties on the menu, they would say: "Well, we are glad we like beans," even though their eyes would rest on the roast turkey and its prohibitive price. Then they started to teach the game to others, making many a life the happier for learning it, among them some in whom the belief had become fixed that they could never again be happy. At last they were really starving, and Pollyanna's mother had to go to heaven to save the expense of living. Soon her father followed, leaving Pollyanna dependent upon the bounty of a rich but crabbed and inhospitable [PAGE 3361] old maiden aunt in Vermont. Despite the unwelcome reception and undesirable quarters assigned her at first, the little girl saw nothing but reasons for gladness; she literally radiated joy, drawing under its spell maid and gar- dener and in time even the loveless aunt. The child's roseate mind soon filled the bare walls and floor of her dingy attic room with all manner of beauty. If there were no pictures, she was glad that he little window opened upon a landscape scene more beautiful than any artist could paint, a carpet of green and gold the like of which not even the cleverest of human weavers had ever woven. If her crude washstand were without a mirror, she was glad that the lack of it spared her seeing her freckles; and what if they were freckles, had she not reason to be glad they were not warts? If her trunk were small and her clothes few, was there not reason for gladness that the unpacking was soon done and over? If her parents could not be with her, could she not be glad that they were with God in heaven? Since they could not talk to her, ought she not to rejoice that she could talk to them? Flitting birdlike over field and moor she forgot the supper hour, and be- ing ordered upon her return to the kitchen to make her meal there of bread and milk, she said to her aunt who expected tears and pouting, "Oh, I am so glad you did it, because I am so fond of bread and milk." Not a harsh treatment, and there were many of them at first, but that she imagined some [PAGE 3362] kindly motive back of it and gave it a grateful thought. Her first convert was the housemaid, who used to look forward with dread to the weekly wash day and face Monday in a surly mood. It was not long be- fore our little glad girl and Nancy feeling gladder on Monday morning than on any other morning, because there was not another wash day for a whole week; and soon she had her glad that her name was not Hepsibah, but Nancy, at which name the latter had been disgruntled. One day when Nancy remonstratingly said to her, "Sure, there is nothing in a funeral to be glad about," Pollyanna promptly answered, "Well, we can be glad it isn't ours." To the gardener, who complained to her that he was bent half over with rheu- matism, she also taught the glad game by telling him that being bent half over he ought to be glad that he saved one-half the stooping when he did his weeding. Near her home in a palatial mansion lived an elderly bachelor, a sullen recluse. The more he rebuffed her, the cheerier she was and the oftener she went to see him because no one else did. In her innocence and pity she at- tributed his lack of courtesy to some secret sorrow, and therefore she longed all the more to teach him the glad game. She did teach it to him, and he learned it, thought it was hard work at first. When he broke his leg, it was not easy to get him to be glad that but one leg was broken, and admit it would have been far worse if this legs had been as numerous as [PAGE 3363] those of a centipede and he had fractured all of them. Her sunshiny dispo- sition succeeded at last in getting him to love the sunshine, open the blinds, pull up the curtains, and open his heart to the world. He wanted to adopt her, but failing in this, he adopted a little orphan boy whom she hand chanced to meet by the wayside. She made one lady wear bright colors, who had before worn only black. Another lady, rich and miserable because her mind was centered upon past troubles, had her attention directed by Pollyanna to the miseries of others, and being taught through the glad game how to bring gladness into their lives, this lady brought an abundance of it also into her own. All unknown to the little girl she reunited in happy home life a couple about to separate, by kindling within their hearts that had grown cold a strong love for their little ones. By and by the whole town began to play the glad game and teach it to others. Under its influence men and women became different beings: the unhappy became happy, the sick became well, those about to go wrong found again the right path, and the discouraged took heart again. Soon the leading physician in town found it necessary to prescribe her as he would some medicine. "That little girl," he said, "is better than a six-quart bottle of tonic. If anyone can take a grouch out of a person it is she; a dose of Pollyanna is more curative than a store full of drugs." But the greatest miracle which the glad game worked was the transformation [PAGE 3364] effected in the character of her prim, puritanic aunt. She who had accepted Pollyanna in her home as a matter of stern family duty, developed under her little niece's treatment a heart that fairly overran with affection. Soon Pollyanna was taken out of her bare attic room to a beautifully papered, pictured, carpeted, and furnished room on her aunt's floor. And so the good she did reacted upon herself. The story is fiction, but it is based upon facts rooted in cosmic law. What that little girl did with respect to the people in her environment, we as students of the Rosicrucian teachings can and ought to do in our own in- dividual spheres, both in regard to the matters which pertain to intercourse with our relatives and immediate associates and with respect to the world at large. As regards its application to war in general, instead of being gloomy at defeat or appalled at catastrophes recorded in sensational newspaper head- lines, instead of adding our gloom, hate, and malice to the similar feelings engendered by others, can we not find a bright side even in such a seemingly overwhelming calamity? Surely there is reason to rejoice exceedingly in the thoughts of self-sacrifice which prompted so many noble men to give up their work in the world, their large incomes, and their comfortable homes for the sake of what to them was an ideal to make the world better for those who came after them, for they could not help realizing that they might never come back to enjoy the fruits themselves. Can we not rejoice like- [PAGE 3365] wise that many noble women, nurtured in ease and comfort, left their homes and friends for the arduous work of nursing and caring for the wounded? Throughout all there was a spirit of altruism, shared by those who though forced by circumstances to say at home still put in their time knitting and working for those who had to bear the brunt of battle. Great are the birth pangs by which altruism is being born in millions of human hearts, but through the superlative suffering of the later war human- ity will become gentler, nobler, and better than ever before. If we can only take this view of the recent suffering and sorrow, if we can only teach others to look to the future blessings which must accrue through this pain and suffering, we shall ourselves be better able to recover from the strain, and be better qualified to help others do the same. In this manner we can imitate Pollyanna, and if we are only sufficiently sincere, our views will spread and take root in other hearts; then because thoughts are things and good thoughts are more powerful than evil since they are in harmony with the trend of evolution, the day will soon come when we shall be able to gain the ascendancy and help establish permanent peace. It is hoped that this suggestion may be taken very seriously and put into practice by everyone of our students, for the need is great at the present time, greater than it has been before. [PAGE 3366] THE ESOTERIC SIGNIFICANCE OF EASTER AND THE INCEPTION OF THE ROSICRUCIAN PHILOSOPHY: AGAIN the earth has reach the vernal equinox in its annual circle dance about the sun, and we have Easter. The spiritual ray sent out by the Cosmic Christ each fall to replenish the smoldering vitality of the earth is about to ASCEND to the Father's Throne. The spiritual activities of fecundation and germination which have been carried on during the winter and spring will be followed by material growth and a ripening process during the coming sum- mer and autumn under the influence of the indwelling Earth Spirit. The cycle ends at "Harvest Home." Thus the great World Drama is acted and re-enacted from year to year, an eternal contest between life and death; each in turn becoming victor and being vanquished as the cycles roll on. This great cyclic influx and efflux are not confined in their effects to the earth and its flora and fauna. They exercise an equally compelling [PAGE 3367] influence upon mankind, though the great majority are unaware of what impels them to action in one direction or another. The fact remains, nevertheless, independent of their cognition that the same earthy vibration which gaudily adorns bird and beast in the spring is responsible for the human desire to don gay colors and brighter raiment at that season. This is also "the call of the wild," which in summer drives mankind to relaxation amid rural scenes where nature spirits have wrought their magic art in field and forest, in order to recuperate from the strain of artificial conditions in congested cities. On the other hand, it is the "FALL" of the spiritual ray from the sun in autumn which causes resumption of the mental and spiritual activities in winter. The same germinative force which leavens the seed in the earth and prepares it to reproduce its kind in multiple, stirs also the human mind and fosters altruistic activities which make the world better. Did no this great wave of selfless Cosmic Love culminate at Christmas, did it not vi- brate peace and good will, there would be no holiday feeling in our breasts to engender a desire to make others equally happy; the universal giving of Christmas gifts would be impossible, and we should all suffer loss. As the Christ walked day by day, hither and yon, over the hills and the valleys of Judea and Galilee, teaching the multitudes, all were benefited. But He communed most with His disciples, and they, of course, grew apace [PAGE 3368] each day. The bond of love became closer as time went on, until one day ruthless hands took away the beloved Teacher and put Him to a shameful death. But though He had died after the flesh, he continued to commune with them in spirit for some time. At last, however, He ascended to higher spheres, direct touch with Him was lost, and sadly these men looked into each other's faces as they asked, "Is this the end?" They had hoped so much, had entertained such high aspirations, and though the verdant glory was as fresh upon the sun-kissed landscape as before He went, the earth seemed cold and dreary, for black desolation gnawed at their hearts. Thus it is also with us who aim to walk after the spirit and to strive with the flesh, though the analogy may not have been previously apparent. When the "FALL" of the Christ ray commences in autumn and ushers in the sea- son of spiritual supremacy, we sense it at once and commence to lave our should in the blessed tide with avidity. We experience a feeling akin to that of the apostles when they walked with Christ, and as the season wears on it becomes easier and easier to commune with Him, face to face as it were. But in the annual course of events Easter and the ASCENSION of the "risen" Christ ray to the Father leave us in the identical position of the apostles when their beloved Teacher went away. We are desolate and sad; we look upon the world as a dreary waste and cannot comprehend the reason for [PAGE 3369] our loss, which is as natural as the changes of ebb and flood and day and night--phases of the present age of alternating cycles. There is a danger in this attitude of mind. If it is allowed to grow upon us, we are apt to cease our work in the world and become dreamers, lose our balance, and excite just criticism from our fellow men. Such a course of conduct is entirely wrong, for as the earth exerts itself in MATERIAL EN- DEAVOR to bring forth abundantly in summer after receiving the SPIRITUAL IM- PETUS in winter, so ought we also to exert ourselves to greater purpose in the world's work when it has been our privilege to commune with the spirit. If we do Thus we shall be more apt to excite emulation than reproach. We are wont to think of a miser as one who hoards gold, and such people are generally objects of contempt. But there are people who strive as as- siduously to acquire knowledge as the miser struggles to accumulate gold, who will stoop to any subterfuge to obtain their desire, and will as jeal- ously guard their knowledge as the miser guards his hoard. They do not un- derstand that by such a method they are effectually closing the door to greater wisdom. The old Norse theology contained a parable which sym- bolically elucidates the matter. It held that all who died fighting on the battle field (the strong souls who fought the good fight unto the end) were carried to Valhalla to be with the gods; while those who died in bed or from disease (the souls who drifted weakly through life) went to the dismal Niflheim. The doughty warriors in Valhalla feasted daily upon the flesh of [PAGE 3370] the boar called Scrimner, which was so constituted that whenever a piece was cut from it the flesh at once grew again, so that it was never consumed no matter how much was carved. Thus it aptly symbolized "KNOWLEDGE," for no matter how much of this we give to others, we always retain the original. There is Thus a certain obligation to pass on what we have of knowledge, and "to whom much is given of him much will be required." Perhaps it may not be out of place to recount an experience which will illustrate the point, for it was the final "test" applied to myself before I was entrusted with the teaching embodied in THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION, although I was, of course, at the time unaware that I was being weighed. It occurred at a time when i had gone to Europe in search of a teacher who, I believed, was able to aid me to advance on the path of attainment. But when I had probed his teaching to the bottom and forced him to admit certain inconsis- tencies in it which he could not explain, I was in a veritable "slough of despond," ready to return to America. As I sat in my chair ruminating over my disappointment, the feeling that some one else was present came over me, and I looked up and beheld the One who has since become my Teacher. With shame I remember how gruffly I asked who had sent him and what he wanted, for I was thoroughly disgruntled, and I hesitated considerably before [PAGE 3371] accepting his help on the points that had caused me to come to Europe. During the next few days my new acquaintance appeared in my room a number of times, answering my questions and helping me to solve problems that had previously baffled me, but as my spiritual sight was then poorly developed and not always under control, I felt rather skeptical in the matter. Might it not be hallucination? I discussed the question with a friend. The an- swers to my queries as given by the apparition were clear, concise, and logical to a high degree. They were strictly to the point and altogether beyond anything I was capable of conceiving, so we concluded that the expe- rience must be real. A few days later my new friend told me that the Order to which he be- longed had a complete solution to the riddle of the universe, much more far-reaching than any publicly known teaching, and that they would impart that teaching to me provided I agreed to keep it as an inviolable secret. The I turned on him in anger: "Ah! do I see the cloven hoof at last! No, if you have what you say and if it is good for the world to know. The Bible expressly forbids us to hide the Light, and I care not to feast at the source of knowledge while thousands of souls hunger for a solution to their problems as I do now." My visitor then left me and stayed away, and I con- cluded that he was an emissary from the Black Brothers. [PAGE 3372] About a month later I decided that I could obtain no greater illumination in Europe and therefore made reservation on a steamer for New York. As travel was heavy, I had to wait a month for a berth. When I returned to my rooms after having purchased my ticket, there stood my slighted Teacher and he again offered me instruction on condition that I keep it secret. This time my refusal was perhaps more emphatic and indig- nant than before, but he did not leave. Instead he said, "I am glad to hear you refuse, my brother, and I hope you will always be as zealous in dis- seminating our teachings without fear or favor as you have been in this re- fusal. That is the real condition of receiving the teachings." How directions were then given me to take a certain train at a certain depot and go to a place I had not heard of before, how i there met the Brother in the flesh, was taken to the Temple, and received the main in- structions embodied in our literature, are matters of small interest. The point is that had I agreed to keep the instructions secret, I should naturally have been unfit to be a messenger of the Brothers, and they would have had to seek another. Likewise with any of us: if we hoard the spiritual blessings we have received, evil is at our door, so let us imitate the earth at this Easter time. Let us bring forth in the physical world of action the fruits of the spirit sown in our souls during the past wintry season. So shall we be more abundantly blessed from year to year. [PAGE 3373] THE LESSON OF EASTER: AND again it is Easter. The dark, dreary days of winter are past. mother nature is taking the cold, snowy coverlids off the earth, and the millions and millions of seed sheltered in the soft soil are bursting its crust and clothing the earth in summer robes, a riot of gay and glorious colors, preparing the bridal bower for the mating of beasts and birds. Even in this war-torn year the song of life sounds loudly above the dirge of death. "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" Christ has risen--the first fruits. He is the resurrection and the life; whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. Thus at the present season the mind of the civilized world is turned to- wards the feast we call Easter, commemorating the death and resurrection of the individual whose life story is written in the Gospels, the noble indi- vidual known to the world by the name of Jesus. But a Christian mystic takes a deeper and more far-reaching view of this annually recurring cosmic [PAGE 3374] event. For him there is an annual impregnation of the earth with the cosmic Christ life; an INBREATHING which takes place during the fall months and culminates at the winter solstice when we celebrate Christmas, and an OUTBREATHING which finds its completion at the time of Easter. The inbreathing or impregnation is manifested to us in the seeming inactivity of winter, but the outbreathing of the Christ life manifests as the resurrec- tion force which gives new life to all that lives and moves upon the earth, life abundant, not only to sustain but to propagate the perpetuate. Thus the cosmic drama of life and death is played annually among all evolving creatures and things from the highest to the lowest, for even the great and sublime cosmic Christ in His compassion becomes subject to death by entering the cramping conditions of our earth for a part of the year. It may therefore be appropriate to call to mind a few ideas concerning death and rebirth which we are sometimes prone to forget. Among the cosmic symbols which have been handed down to us from antiquity none is more common that the symbol of the egg. It is found in every religion. We find it in the Elder Eddas of the Scandinavians, hoary with age, which tell of the mundane egg cooled by the icy blast of Niebelheim but heated by the fiery breath of Muspelheim until the various worlds and man had come into being. If we turn to the sunny south we find the Vedas of In- dia the same story in the Kalahansa, the Swan in time and space, which laid [PAGE 3375] the egg that finally became the world. Among the Egyptians we find the winged globe and the oviparous serpent, symbolizing the wisdom manifest in this world of ours. Then the Greeks took this symbol and venerated it in their Mysteries. It was preserved by the Druids; it was known to the build- ers of the great serpent mound in Ohio; and it has kept its place in sacred symbology even to this day, though the great majority are blind to the MYSTERIUM MAGNUM which it hides and reveals--the mystery of life. When we break open the shell of an egg, we find inside only some varicolored viscous fluids of various consistencies. But placed in the req- uisite temperature a series of changes soon take place, and within a short time a living creature breaks open the shell and emerges therefrom, ready to take its place among its kin. it is possible for the wizards of the labora- tory to duplicate the substances in the egg; they may be enclosed in a shell, and a perfect replica so far as most tests go may be made of the natural egg. But in one point it differs from the natural egg, namely, that no living thing can be hatched from the artificial product. Therefore it is evident that a certain intangible something must be present in one and ab- sent in the other. This mystery of the ages which produces the living creature is what we call life. Seeing that it cannot be cognized among the elements of the egg [PAGE 3376] by even the most powerful microscope (though it must be there to bring about the changes which we note), it must be able to exist independently of mat- ter. Thus we are taught by the sacred symbol of the egg that though life is able to mold matter, it does not depend upon it for its existence. It is self-existent, and having no beginning it can have no end. This is symbol- ized by the ovoid shape of the egg. We are appalled at the carnage on the European battle fields, and rightly so because of the manner in which the victims are being taken out of physical life. But when we consider that the average human life is only fifty years or less, so that death reaps a harvest of fifteen hundred mil- lions in half a century, or thirty millions per annum, or two and one-half millions every month, we see that the total has not been so greatly in- creased after all. And when we have the true knowledge conveyed by the egg symbol that life is uncreate, without beginning and without end, it enables us to take heart and realize that those who are now being taken out of physical existence are only passing through a cyclic journey similar to that of the cosmic Christ life which enters the earth in the fall and leaves it at Easter. Those who are killed are only going into the invisible realms, whence they will later take a new dip into physical matter, entering as all living things do the egg of the mother. After a period of gestation they will re-emerge into physical life to learn new lessons in the great school. Thus we see how the great law of analogy works in all phases and under all [PAGE 3377] circumstances of life. What happens in the great world to a cosmic Christ will show itself also in the lives of those who are Christs in the making; and this will enable us to look more cheerfully upon the present struggle than would otherwise be the case. Furthermore, we must realize that death is a cosmic necessity under the present circumstances for if we were imprisoned in a body of the kind we now use and placed in an environment such as we find today, there to live for- ever, the infirmities of the body and the unsatisfactory nature of the envi- ronment would very soon make us so tired of life that we would cry for re- lease. It would block all progress and make it impossible for us to evolve to greater heights such as we may evolve to by re-embodiment in new vehicles and placement in new environments which give us new possibilities of growth. Thus we may thank God that so long as birth into a concrete body is neces- sary for our further development, release by death has been provided to free us from the outgrown instrument, while resurrection and a new birth under the smiling skies of a new environment furnish another chance to begin life with a clean slate and learn the lessons which we failed to master before. By this method we shall some time become perfect as is the risen Christ. He commanded it, and he will aid us to achieve it. Continued with file "RC1094.TXT" End of File


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