Filename: RC3002.TXT Source: +quot;The Bible: Wonder Book of the Ages+quot; by Corinne Hel

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Filename: RC3002.TXT Source: "The Bible: Wonder Book of the Ages" by Corinne Heline [PAGE 25] The Bible states that God loveth him whom he chasteneth, but this is not by way of punishment, it is to bring about rgeneration of the individual. The Book of Job may well be termed the Cosmic Type Pattern of the perfecting of man through affliction. Members of his family were taken from him. All of his worldly possessions were lost, and so also his reputation and good name; and finally he was stricken with a loathsome disease. It was at this place that even his wife advised him to "curse God and die." This represents the narrow place upon the Path where many would-be suicides mistakenly try to escape from their life problems. But at this point a most wonderful thing happened to Job. This was the coming of Elihu, who typifies the awakening or spiritualizing of the mind, which is referred to in esoteric Christianity as the Christing of the mind. Here the Christian learns to think only Christ thoughts, to speak only Christ words, and to perform only Christ-like deeds. St. Paul spoke of this great transformation as "putting off the old man, and putting on the new." For him it occurred on the road to Damascus. He entered upon this road a bitter enemy and persecutor of Christ and Christians. He left it as their most devoted servant, and his name will remain for all time as one of the brightest lights of Christianity. With Job's transformation his family was returned to him, his worldly goods were restored and increased tenfold, his reputation was regained and his body completely healed. He now understood the meaning of the words, "Man made in the image and likeness of God." God is Love--God is All-Good--and the more Godlike man becomes the more all-good will be manifested in his life. When one finds himself surrounded by uncongenial companions or in an inharmonious environ,ment, if he be truly wise, he will not seek to change these conditions by merely external means, but will find a solution for them by going more deeply within himself. Like always attracts like, and that which we give forth will unerringly return again to us. And so we repeat that of all the books of the Old Testament, the Book of [PAGE 26] Job best meets the needs of the modern disciple for meditation and for emulation. For today the disciple, like Job, lives in the midst of trials and confusion. He is assailed by the forces of evil within and without, and those questions which Job asked of life he also asks; and again like Job he will receive an answer from on high, and will reap the reward of mastery over himself and his world through continued communion with the Wisdom of the Eternal. INITIATORY HIGHLIGHTS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT: FOREWARD: The four Gospels present four independent records of the life and mission of Christ Jesus. They differ in their approach and treatment of this most profound subject. The so-called "higher criticism" has looked upon some of these variations as inconsistencies and, in some instances, even as contradictions. This would, therefore, cast some doubt on the authenticity of the records as a whole. However, when the Gospels, sibgly and together, are studied in the light of Initiation, they will be found to support each other to a degree not even suspected by the average interpreter of these sacred documents. Thus, for example, Matthew and Luke begin their records with the birth of the child Jesus. This is entirely omitted in the Gospels of both Mark and John. Mark commences his Gospel with the baptism of Jesus, at which time the Christ became incarnate in human form. John opens his record, not with an introduction to the Master Jesus, but to the Word--the word that is to be identified with the Cosmic Christ. Later follows the introduction to the Christ in connection with the miracle performed at the wedding feast in Cana when He turned water into wine. From the many references that Paul makes to various spiritual mysteries connected with the life and works of Christ Jesus there can be no doubt that, as a result of many profound insights he himself experienced in relation to the spiritual world, he had come to recognize that the nature of many of these were beyond the grasp of those who had not yet made sufficient preparation for their understanding and acceptance. This he expressed in the frequently quoted words, "There is milk for the babes and meat for the strong." Any one making a careful study of the Epistles of St. Paul cannot fail to note the extent to which they deal with inner plane activities. He writes, for instance, "I was caught up into the third heaven, whether in the body or out of it I know not." This is an experience familiar to many disciples of our day. At the time of St. Paul's transcendent illumination which occurred on the road to Damscus, the outer world was so obscured that his whole attention was sharply focussed on the life and activities of the inner world. Then, too, it was that he was permitted to come into the presence of the Lord Christ and to realize the meaning of the mission He had undertaken in becoming the [PAGE 27] indwelling planetary Regent of this earth, and the profound significance this holds for the future of mankind and the earth's redemption. Paul, who before his Damascus experience had been an arch enemny of Christ and His followers, later became one of the most deeply dedicated and ardent missionaries of all the followers of the Master. Paul stresses the fact that it is because the Christ, a divine being incarnated in human form, suffered even as man suffers, that He is able as none other, to feel for those who are weak and heavy laden. This it is that calls forth His love and compassion with such power and universality as to make Him the Saviour and the Redeemer of the world. As a poet has beautifully expressed it: "The rose does not yield its full fragrance until the petals are crushed. The wells of true sympathy spring only from a broken heart." It was the failure to undertand the inner significance of the events in the life of Christ Jesus that brought out the taunts from the many that followed Him as He bore His cross up Calvary: "He saved others, himself He cannot save." But it was Christ's mission to outline the way for man, and to teach him how to follow in His steps. "Whosoever will come after me," said He to His disciples, "let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow me." And so, as the supreme Way-Shower, it was for Him to bear the cross up the slopes of Golgotha for His own crucifixion. It was also in the divine pattern that He was to live out on the physical plane the betrayal which exemplifies, in the life of man, how the lower nature is ever betraying the higher, or the Christ within, until such time as the lower nature is transmuted, and so finally destroys itslef as did Judas the betrayer. A study of what may be called the internal content of the Gospel, brings to light the successive steps to be taken on the path that leads to Initiation. They are twelve in number. These are set forth in the principal events recorded in the life of Christ Jesus. They begin with the Immaculate Conception, Resurrection and Ascension. The life of Christ as outlined in Gospels corresponds to the cosmic pattern for the all-encompassing processes of spiritual evolution. The first steps upon the path are described in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Tje kore advanced steps are recorded by Mark and John. As previously observed, Mark begins his record of the life of Jesus, with the baptism by John the Forerunner; Saint John, the most advanced of all the Master's disciples, commences his record of the Master with an account, as previosuly observed, of the miracle performed at Cana. [PAGE 28] If all Mystery Schools teaching the way of Initiation were closed, their secret work would yet remain discoverable in the Bible. It is in recognition of this fact that the principal furnishings of the Masonic Lodge are the Bible and the Square and Compass. In their symbolism, the Masonic Fraternity preserves the essential elements of the initiatory processes as these are outlined from many points of view in that supreme textbook of life, the Christian Scriptures. In their initiatory interpretations, the four Gospels are transmitters of the four streams of divine energies which manifest on the physical plane in the elements we know as fire, water, air and earth. This truth was well understood and taught by the Christians of the first and second centuries. From an unidentified source we quote: "In Palestine, Matthew proclaimed Him as putting the finishing stone to God's kingdom, of which the foundations were laid in Israel. In Rome, Mark presented Him as a Conqueror who founded His divine right as King of the World upon His miraculous powers. In Greece, Luke described Him as the Divine Philanthropist commissioned to carry out the work of divine grace and compassion to the worst of sinners. In Asia Minor, John, pictured Him as the Word made flesh--the Eternal Light and Life who descended into the world of time. Christ--Messiah of Israel......................................--Matthew Christ--Mighty Lord of Nature.....................................--Mark Christ--Friend and Priest of all Mankind..........................--Luke Christ--The Life and Light of the World...........................--John" From the foregoing, it becomes apparent that differences in the four Gospels which some regard as inconsistencies are but varying presentations of different states of development in the life of an aspirant. Thus one Gospel record amplifies the other in its recitals of the life and mission of the Christ. In this, they provide irrefutable evidence of the unfathomable wisdom that is incorporated in this and every part of the Sacred Scriptures. The 12 principal events of the life of Christ Jesus and their correspondences in the life of the aspirant are the following: 1. Annunciation 7. Temptation 2. Immaculate Conception 8. Tranfiguration 3. Birth 9. Gethsemene 4. Flight into Egypt 10. Crucifixion 5. Teaching in the Temple 11. Resurrection 6. Baptism 12. Ascension [PAGE 29] Luke 1:26, 27 "And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee named Nazareth. To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary." Among the early Christian Initiates it was not the person of Mary that was worshipped, glorious and exalted though she were; the object of veneration was the feminine emanation from the Cosmic Christ which is the innate, potential divinity within every man, and the realization of which is the supreme work of Initiation. The feminine principle is formative in nature, hence the angelic Annunciation that the Virgin or Holy Mother would bring forth a son. In its universal application this it to be understood as the coming to birth of the mystical Christ in the heart of regenerated man. Luke 1:38, 39 "And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda." Within the life of every successful neophyte the process of the Annunciation is enacted. He becomes conscious, after a certain period of preparation, of particular changes that are taking place within himself, a result of incorporating more of the higher ethers into his nature as a result of a life devoted to serving spiritual purpose. THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION: The Immaculate Conception can occur only after an aspirant to the higher life has dedicated himself to live in obedience to spiritual law and the spirit of the indwelling Christ. The interval between the Annunciation and the Immaculate Conception is a time when the neophyte must be prepared to be tested as to whether he will use the awakened powers to advance his personal interest or devote them to furthering the good of others. At this stage, many falter and never pass beyond the first step of the Annunciation. An example of one who was strong enough to take the second step, the Immaculate Conception, was Mary, the mother of Jesus. Then it was in an ecstacy that she exclaimed : "My soul doth magnify the lord and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my saviour. For He hath regarded the low estate of His handmaiden: for behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed." It is through this exaltation of the feminine principle that Mary becomes the bride of the Holy Ghost. A similar sublime experience is awaiting each and [PAGE 30] every one who chooses to pursue the steps leading thereto, steps made by those who have gone ahead and made clear the way. The steps or degrees of Initiation are similar in outline in all Mystery Schools. Their differences pertain principally to methods of development which vary according to the particular requirements and evolutionary stages of the races whom they are designed to serve. Thus the great world Teachers are recorded as having been born of virgin mothers, and their coming heralded by angelic annunciation. Also they were immaculately conceived, and that their birth occurred in a cave, grotto or stable. The exalted ego of a world Teacher is carefully tended by Divine Beings who guard human evolution. Theirs is a holy birth, and as such, is ever a momentous event accompanied by gladsome hosannas of Angels and Archangels. To parallel the steps of attainment in the consciousness of man, the birth is represented as occurring in a dark place, or where beasts feed, symbolizing a spiritual birth from out of the lower or unregenerate elements in man's mortal nature. Symbolically, the neophyte must leave Nazareth, the place where time was spent in personal living, and enter upon the path that leads to Bethlehem, "The house of bread," in preparation for the Holy Birth. In the present state of mass consciousness, the mind is so occupied with material concerns that the spirit can not always find ready hospitality. The head, or inn, is so filled that the spirit must seek lodging elsewhere. For greater and deeper reasons than many yet realize, the time of the birth of Jesus is a season of great rejoicing on the inner as well as on the outer plane of life. The physical incaranation of Jesus was made for the purpose of assisting man to the birth of the Christ within so that he too, might come to know individually the sublime experience of Holy Night. This is the work of the New Christian Dispensation. The portals of this new era were opened on the night of the birth of the Master Jesus. The earth then responded to a new rhythm which was set up by Angels in their proclamation: "Peace on earth, and good will among men." FLIGHT INTO EGYPT: Matthew 11: 13, 16 "And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. Then Herod, when he saw that he [PAGE 31] was mocked of the wise men, was exceedingly wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof..." The Gospels, as previosuly mentioned, are formulas of Initiation of varying degrees which accounts for variations in their records. Thus, for example, Luke makes no mention of the flight into Egypt, an event symbolizing the temporary ascendance of the human over the divine nature. The flight into Egypt, symbolically the land of darkness and materiality, reflects in the life of a neophyte struggling in the earlier stages of his initiatory development as related by Matthew in his account of the Flight into Egypt. The Gospel of Luke, which ocnveys a higher phase of attainment, passes directly from the Temple Rites of preparation into the fourth step known as the Teaching in the Temple. Luke 11: 40-42; 46-49 "And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon him. Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business." In the personal parallel to the Temple episode, Jesus represents the awakened and illumined spirit within, and the Rabbis, the reasoning mind, or the unaided mental faculties which fail to cognize anything beyond the realm of the five senses. Mary, the mother, typifies the feminine or image-making quality of soul, whom the spirit finds it necessary to admonish at times: "Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" The age of twelve is an important time in the life of a child. In the average individual, it marks approximately the birth of the desire body, the age of puberty; in the advanced ego, it marks a corresponding awakening of soul. The spiritual light that has been generated in the course of past lives radiates from the head of a child at birth as mystic artists have generally portrayed it, not only of Jesus, but also of John the Baptist, the boy Samuel and other biblical characters of high spiritual attainment. The Teaching in the Temple marked a definite stage in the awakening powers [PAGE 32] of the boy Jesus. We read: "Mary kept all these sayings in her heart." These she recounted to Luke who recorded them with such rare artistry and beauty in his Gospel. THE BAPTISM: Mark 1:10, 11 "And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in the Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: And there came a voice from heaven saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." All mystic initiatory rites include the ceremonial of purification with water. The festival of the Eleusinian Mysteries of Greece included baths; The Tabernacle in the Wilderness had its Laver of purification; and in the life of the great Way-Shower of the Christian religion, Christ Jesus, it is the baptism which marks the next great step that we must take if we follow in His footsteps. The application of water is symbolic of inner purification. Baptism marks the stage where the heart of the neophyte has awakened to the needs and interests of others. He can then no longer live to himself alone. His heart goes out in sympathy, and his hands in practical action to alleviate suffering and to comfort those in distress and despair. When a person has experienced the spiritual awakening that comes with a true baptismal rite, his interests and activities can no longer be limited to his own family or limited circle but must find an expansion that extends into ever widening areas until they embrace the world and the whole of humanity. Love and compassion then goes into redemptive action. There is sorrow for the violators of the law, civil and moral, for criminals condemned to death, for the wretchedness of life at its lower depths and for the cruelties inflicted on our younger brothers of the animal kingdom. With the spiritual inflow at the time of a true mystical baptism, the realization comes to the surface of consciosuness that the human family is a unity within the all-embracing Divinity by whom we are ensouled and consequently the good of one is the good of all and the hurt of one, the hurt of all. A deep sense of responsible is then accepted for furthering in all ways possible that which accords with love, truth and justice. "Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God," admonished one who had passed through the baptismal rite. Upon the head of such a one rests the dove of spiritual power, and where he goes, the clouds of darkness and ignorance melt away so that he, too, hears the voice of God saying: "Thou art my beloved son." Mystic legends state that at the time of the Baptism, great balls of fire appeared on the waters of the river Jordan. This statement bears the inner significance that the two mighty powers of heart and mind had been united in the life of Jesus, the ideal spiritual prototype of mankind. This blending is the supreme ideal of human evolution and it is its completion in the earth's great Initiate which called forth the declaration, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." The Ego known as Jesus left his body at the Baptism, and the Archangel, the Christ, descended as a dove to inhabit that body during the three years of His earthly ministry. The body of Jesus was Christ's means of ingress into the earth. The plan of redemption was made possible by their union. As Paul writes, in a very literal sense, "There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." [PAGE 33] THE TEMPTATION: Matthew IV:1-11 "Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty night, he was afterward a-hungered. And when the tempter came to him, he said, "If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread." But he answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.'" Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple. And saith unto him, "If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, "He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: And in their hands they shall bear thee up, Lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.'" Jesus said unto him, "It is written again, 'Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.'" Again the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and saith unto him, "All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me." Then saith Jesus unto him, "Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, 'Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thy serve.'" Of all the lessons which the Christ set before the neophyte in the drama of His life, none is more important than the Temptation, and none is more misunderstood. He was subjected to tests of body, mind and soul in order that He might leave to the human race the unceasing inspiration of a divine example of One who was tempted in all things like themselves, yet remained without sin, as Paul states. The neophyte's reaction to Temptation shows clearly where he stands on the Path; but this is not the only reason for the trials on the Path. The trials are important because they develop moral, mental and spiritual strength, just as physical exercise and wholesome labor develop the health and strength of the physical body. Christ Jesus gave Himself to be our Exemplar so that we might know the right way to meet Temptation, or trials, of every sort. As Jesus was tempted after His Baptism, which was an Initiation, so is every neophyte tempted, or tried, after each illumination, or "promotion." This trial comes to him for the purpose of showing him his own weaknesses. Failure in any trial does not mean that he must return to the ways of the [PAGE 34] world, but only that he must strive the harder to overcome his weaknesses and defects, and then when he is again "tempted," or tested, he will stand firm. All temptations, or trials, belong to the three general categories of body, soul and mind. The Initiation symbolized in the Baptism of Christ Jesus confers upon the neophyte new powers of soul and mind, which come from the realization that all life is onew in God; and he musy never use these powers selfishly, no matter how great the need, but only to benefit his fellow men. It is now that personal ambition suddenly flowers, and most unexpectedly, for the neophyte believes that he has put behind him all worldly desires. He has consciously renounced such desires as petty and of no real value, yet know it becomes possible for him to satisfy them all, and so he must sift his feelings and emotions to be sure that only love of God and mankind is motivating his actions. This is not always easy to determine, because many a personal ambition is innocent in iteslf, and is evil only in relation to the spiritual orientation of the neophyte on the Path. Self-respect, for example, is retained, but it must not be confused with vanity or egotism. The body is conscientiously cared for, because it is the temple of an indwelling god, but physical health and well-being are not the aim and end of living; the body is seen as the instrument of the spirit. The soul is nourished by the appreciation of arts and crafts, and by the contemplation of the beauties of Nature, but these are seen in their relationship to God as their true source and origin, and creative genius itself is understood to be an aspect of the Creative Power of the Supreme Unity in whom man lives and moves and has his being. The intellect must be trained and its powers cultivated through education and reason, but the acquisition of knowledge can be a false god unless it is related to the whole of life; and the more powereful the intellect, the greater is the need for humility lest the mind be closed to new aspects of truth and awareness. For the intellect the rule is always; "Let that mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who made Himself of no reputation...and became the servant of all, even unto death." Such are the subtle temptations which the illumined disciple meets on the Path, and Christ Jesus shows how they are to be met. He renounced self utterly, and surrendered His will in the service of others, but with the full intelligence of His indwelling ever-watchful Godhead. Each successive phase of spiritual unfoldment brings with it a special and characteristic trial, according to the temperament and degree of spiritual [PAGE 35] attainment of the individual; yet, however varied these trials may be, the Christ Example shows the way to victory. The spiritualization of the mind through a complete dedication to the truth of the Spirit constitutes the impregnable armor of the neophyte who is beset not merely daily, but hourly, by the small, insidious temptations of common life, which are the more dangerous in that they are scarcely recognizable as temptations. Hence the admonition of one of the great masters of wisdom: "Pray without ceasing." TRANFIGURATION: Mark IX:2-7 "And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, andf leadeth them up into a high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them. And his raiment became shining, exceedingly white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them. And then appeared unto them Elias and Moses: and they were talking with Jesus. And Peter answered and said to Jesus, 'Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.' For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid. And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, 'This is my beloved Son: hear him." And suddenly, when they had looked round about, they saw no man any more, save Jesus only with themselves. With the Transfiguration, the work of Christ Jesus for the earth and all its life properly began. Having undergone the trials of the Temptation, which for Him was not merely personal but cosmic, the physical body in which He had been appearing as a man among men was completely transmuted into spirit. The body was not His own body, but the body given to Him for His use by the Master Jesus, the purest and most perfect human body ever produced by the human race. Centuries had gone into its preparation, through a carefully controlled heredity among the most beautiful and strongest families living at that time, the family of the princes of the House of David, of whom the heir to the throne was always called the Messiah. In the sudden revelation of the Christhood, the archangelic Glory which was then indwelling the body of the Master Jesus, the disciples knew that they stood in the presence of a Cosmic Power. Other Initiates had beheld this same Glory in earlier times, but far away in the Sun, or in rare instances as an archangelic Presence in the tmple or in sacred places on the earth, such as the Field of Ardath at Babylon, or Mount Sinai, and other. [PAGE 36] Some Initiates even then living in the body, but in other parts of the world, were aware of the Presence on the Mount of Transfiguration in Galilee. But these three disciples, Peter, James and John, beheld the Glory immediately present with them, and as they knelt they were encompassed by it, then and there. It was the selfsame Solar Glory known to all Initiates of all Mystery Schools in both East and West; but now it burned as a Light upon the earth itself, not a Light of the solar orb alone. Inlater centuries Initiates would again behold this Glory in the Sun and experience its projected Image on earth where its "Ray" centered and burned. It was the Cosmic Christ Being, standing in the midst of a Solar Glory, who on this occasion taught His chief disciples the innermost mysteries of the new faith of the New Age then dawning, the Piscean Age, which they would then transmit to the innermost group of disciples of the future. Of the Four Gospels, the Gospel of Matthew gives the most detailed account of this sublime event. To understand what is there revealed, we must understand that the Christ comes from what we term the world of Life Spirit, whcih is but another name for the Realm of Universal or Christ Consciousness. This is His home world. On the Mount of Transfiguration He appeared to His three most advanced disciples, arrayed in the glorious light vesture pertaining to that high celestial plane; for the three were there with Him in consciousness, even though to mortal viewing they were all still standing upon the earth plane, in respect to the body. John later describes this transcendent radiance: "We beheld His glory, the glory as of the Only Begotten Son of the Father." In this universal world the cosmic pictures are found which pertain to our entire scheme of evolution, the complete and imperishable record of all that has been experienced by man and his planets since creation's dawn; for this is the highest of those world in which are kept the Books of God's Remembrance from which the Angels read. The disciples were raised in consciousness to this high plane. When we look to the corresponding step in the life of the neophyte on the Path, we find that the transfiguration marks a high degree or attainment. The conserved and transmuted life essence within the body veritably glows with spiritual radiance, a light in darkness, signifying wisdom in the midst of ignorance. He comprehends anew the words of the greatest of the three favored disciples who shared the Mystery of the Transfiguration with the Christ: "If we walk in the Light as He is in the Light, we have fellowship one with another." Upon that Mount of Glory the benediction heard at the Baptism at the [PAGE 37] beginning of the three years' ministry is heard once more: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased;" but it marks a new and higher phase of the Christ Labor. At the Baptism when the Voice spoke above Jordan its words were for the multitude. Here on the Mount of Transfiguration the Voice speaks to the three most advanced disciples, those who were ready for cosmic vision and cosmic service. From this Transfiguration the Christ went to Gethsemene and to the consummation of His work on earth. GETHSEMENE: THE GARDEN OF SORROW: After the Transfiguration, which marked the culmination of a cosmic pattern of attainment, there now remained the steps leading to Liberation. Mark XIV:26-28;32-34 "And when they had sung a hymn, they went out into the Mount of Olives. And Jesus saith unto them, "All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, 'I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.' But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee." And they came to a place which was named Gethesemene: and he saith to his disciples, "Sit ye here, while I shall pray." And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy; and saith unto them, "My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch." The word Gethsemene is formed of two words in the Hebrew: GATH, "a press," also "bitterness," and SHEMEN, "oil," (understanding and wisdom). Wisdom is always born of pain, until the disciple has at last attained to that high consciousness where pain has no power over him, either to wound or to instruct. The "diamond body" of the Adept is impervious to pain and suffering, and it is indestructible. Christ Jesus was already inhabiting such a body when He went to Gethsemene and the Way of the Cross, for the purpose of showing to mankind the Way of Wisdom. This is truly one of the deep mysteries of life, where the origin of sorrow and suffering is not understood and man yearns for bliss and tranquility without labor. Yet the mystic knows that the Garden of Sorrow and the Crucifixion must ever precede the gladsome hour of the Resurrection morn and the white glory of the Day of Ascension. As the spirit unfolds its inmost divinity which is the image and likeness of that God who is Love, Gethsemene ceases to be a place of personal sorrow, but becomes, as it was for the Christ, a place of sorrosing for the grief of the world. Its plants are watered with his tears shed for the suffering of humanity, and for the helpless anguish of the multitudes of living creatures [PAGE 38] who cannot speak with a human voice. For as one goes forward upon the way toward high spiritual attainment, he becomes ever increasingly responsive to the hurts of all living things about him. He feels every pang as it were his own hurt, and stores it up within his heart. The supreme lesson of Gethsemene is to learn to stand alone and say, "Not my will but, Thine be done." Many times we must follow Christ Jesus upon that lonely Mount, and drink of that cup, until the lesson has been learned. We must drain the cup to its dregs, for it is through the cumulative pain of compassion which well nigh bursts the heart that we finally die to the personal self and live henceforth only to the end that we may give ourselves unreservedly for healing and helping the world. When, by a sort of divine alchemy, this has been accomplished, passion having changed into compassion, consciousness awakens to the divine understanding that carries with it the power to soothe the weary and heal the sick. It is no longer possible to blame others for our sufferings, to judge harshly, to criticize, or to hate. The disciple asks but the one privilege, that of sacrificing himself upon the altar of humanity, expecting no favors, no gratitude, no understanding, even from those who are nearest and dearest. He desires only to live for service. This is an extremely high ideal, but it is one which all must accept as life's goal before they are fitted to attain ultimate liberation from Gethsemene. THE CRUCIFIXION: Luke XXIII:24 "And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required." In the Crucifixion we stand before one of the holy mysteries which must ever remain sealed from the profane. In preparation for this sacred rite, Christ Jesus was beaten and scourged. His garments were torn off His body, and A CERTAIN CLOAK WAS PUT UPON HIM. A crown woven of thorns was placed upon His head and pressed down into His temples so that blood flowed therefrom. From the event of the scourging and crowning with thorns to the carrying of the cross and the crucifixion on Golgotha, the Christ shows forth the mystery of stigmatization. The wounds which He suffered appear upon the body of the devout mystic who meditates deeply upon the Way of Sorrow, and he feels physically these psychically produced wounds. Most painful of all are the wounds of the head, which are sensed as if a crown of thorns pressed down around the skull. This pain results from the awakening of the cranial nerves; [PAGE 39] for all of the nerves of the body are sensitized, but these most of all. It is the ascending spiritual fire which produces these effects, which are particularly noticeable in the hands, the feet, and the side, corresponding to the five sacred wounds in the body of our Lord. In the Mystery Schools these wounds are alos felt, but they remain invisible, and the Initiate treads the Via Dolorosa secretly, though indeed in full view of the unseeing multitude. Matthew XXVII:27-28 "Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gethered unto him the whole band of soldiers. And they stripped him and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, `Hail, King of the Jews.'" The scarlet robe is the insignia of royalty but to the mystic it symbolizes the words of the Christ that he who would be greatest among men must be the servant of all. Sacrifice for our fellowmen is the one true royalty. Scarlet is the color of the life's blood poured out in sacrifice, not a sacrifice in death, but a sacrifice in living usefulness. He holds the reed in His right hand, representative of the scepter of the King, signifying the power of the Initiate of the right-hand path, the positive or right-handed way to power over all evil. In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus is smitten on the head with the reed, indicative of the phase of unfoldment in which the "rod of power" strikes the brain with its fiery force. Only the Gospels of Matthew and Mark mention the Reed and the Crown of Thorns. Both represent the earlier manifestations of the awakened Christ powers, the fiery Life Spirit Force, whcih at first scoruges the body as it converts it to a temple for the indwelling godhead. The process culminates in the symbolical crucifixion of the Initiate, where the fiery Christ Force, having transmuted the seemingly "dead" body, raises it to the Life everlasting. The sublime Christ, the supreme Way-Shower, as He hangs upon the cross, is the perfect symbol, in general and in particular, of the Path of true spiritual attainment for all mankind--the way of progress for the entire human race. THE RESURRECTION: John XX:1,2 "The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, "They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him." [PAGE 40] John XX:11-14 "But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stoopeth down, and looked into the sepulchre, and seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, "Woman, why weepest thou?" She said unto them, 'Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have lain him.' And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus." The body of Christ remained in the tomb throughout Friday night, all of Saturday, and a portion of Sunday, thus outlining the "three mystic days" of the great initiatory formula according to which the disciple is raised to life and heralded as the new-born, or one risen into a new life or higher, more exalted degree of consciousness and spiritual power. This sublime chapter of John's Gospel may well be termed the deification of the feminine, and it points to the future when this great work has been fully accomplished. Saul of Tarsus and Mary Magdalene are alike examples of the transmutative power which resides in the Christed consciousness. John, among the disciples, represents the full flowering of the spiritualized feminine, mystically indicated in the gentleness and beauty of his countenance. This placed him at the head of the disciples spiritually, as the best-beloved of the Master, and it is natural that he was the first to understand and accept the glorious truth of the Resurrection. This event, which is the culmination of earth's evolution, awaits all mankind. For the neophyte it is the Resurrection into higher realms, the power to function in complete awareness separate and apart from the physical body without the severance of death. Every victorious aspirant in whom this Resurrection takes place hears the proclamation of the Angel of the Lord (spiritual Law): "He is not here, for He is risen." Truly, as Paul stated, "Ye are all heirs and joint heirs with Him." But the most blessed of all His promises is this: "Not only these things but greater than these shall ye do." THE ASCENSION: "All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth," were the words of His salutation to the disciples as He greeted them in the sacred upper room after the Resurrection; meaning that through His great sacrifice upon Calvary He had now become the true Lord and indwelling planetary Spirit of the earth. [PAGE 41] Esoteric Christianity teaches that Golgotha was not the end but the beginning of the Christ's redemptive sacrifices for the whole of our planetary body. During the mystic "forty days," that sacred interval between the Resurrection and Ascension, the Christ was engaged in many works concerning not only the human race but all life waves evolving upon the earth. This work included the various race and group spirits who are guiding the various streams of evolving life. To each one He gave a new impetus of altruism and unity, and He also accelerated the vibratory pitch of the keynote of each one, which sounds in the cosmic pattern or archetype. Truly, with His coming all the earth sings a new song. "Go into Galilee and I will meet you there." Each appearance to the disciples bears a deeper meaning, and a promise of greater spiritual powers. "And He lifted up His hands and blessed them and while He blessed them, He stood apart from them and was carried into heaven." In "rising from the dead" the mystic ceremonial teaches that there is no death, and by the "Ascension" it teaches that eternal life is the sure heritage of the Initiate. "In my Father's house are many manisons. I go to prepare a place for you." In the Degree of the Ascension, the Christ opened the way so that whosoever wills may ascend with Him and partake of the high communion of the spiritual realms. It is not Christianity alone which thus teaches Initiation. The formula of Initiation has been incorporated into all of the great religions of the world in the principal events in the lives of the Great Teachers and Saviors who are central to them. As the New Age of Aquarius slowly dawns upon the earth, messengers come forth from the realms of light to establish an increasingly intimate communion between the Christ, the disciples, and all those on earth who aspire to follow the mystic ritual with its twelve steps or degrees as outlined above. In the world of the soul, the true disciple still today experiences the suffering and crucifixion of the entire human race, and the Christ also continues to suffer perennial crucifixion; for He is with us till the end of the world, as He said, and the Liberation which He offers to us is the Consummation of the Cross. The Litanies of the Crucifixion are a chant of Initiation, dealing with the formula of Initiation as described in the Gospels. The keynote of this attainment is: "Let the Christ be formed in you." [PAGE 42] ASTROLOGICAL CORRELATIONS FROM THE ANNUNCIATION TO THE ASCENSION: The esoteric analysis of the Gospels shows that the outstanding events of the life of Christ are twelve in number, enumerated thus: 1. Annunciation 7. Temptation 2. Immaculate Conception 8. Transfiguration 3. Birth 9. Gethsemene 4. Flight into Egypt 10. Crucifixion 5. Teaching in the Temple 11. Resurrection 6. Baptism 12. Ascension These twelve steps bear an interesting astrological connotation, for it has been truly said that man's first Bible was the Zodiac, in which he learned to read all spiritual truth. There he deciphered the cryptic signs which told of the lives of the Savior Gods, and there the Christian Initiate reads the story of the life of the Christ. The zodiacal wheel of the heavens is made up of twelve constellations or signs, through which the Sun, Moon, and planets travel around the sky, as viewed from the planet earth. It was discovered by ancient astronomers that these celestial signs seemed to have an influence upon the affairs of earth, and so the science of astrology arose. It was observed that the influence of the planets was stronger in some signs than in others. The sign in which the planet expresses its highest potential and which it RULES is its own home sign where it reveals its pure, unalloyed qualities; but it is equally powerful in THE SIGN OF ITS EXALTATION, though in another way. The exaltation qualities of a planet are realized at their highest only through Initiation, which releases within the soul the corresponding aspects of the planetary forces. It is interesting to note that EXALTATION and RESURRECTION were used as interchangeable terms by the early Church Fathers, who understood the relationship between man's spiritual development and the stars in the sky above him. They knew that in the Christ Consciousness mankind would learn to cooperate intelligently with the Cosmic Powers whose action on human destiny was figured in the horoscope. When astrologers speak of the planet and the sign which it rules, they speak for the most part of physical and material things; the esotericist, who studies the hidden side of the science of the stars, speaks of the exaltation aspects of the planet, which are spiritual in nature as follows: [PAGE 43] ANNUNCIATION; IMMACULATE CONCEPTION: The Moon exalted in Taurus. The Moon governs the formative or feminine principle, and the hierarchy of angels who have charge of generation. BIRTH: Mars exalted in Capricorn. Transmutation of desire, which awakens the Christ life within. FLIGHT INTO EGYPT: Saturn exalted in Libra. Saturn is the tempter or tester, Libra the balance, or trial gate. TEACHING IN THE TEMPLE: Mercury exalted in Virgo. Mercury also rules Virgo. Esoterically, the temple is the body; Virgo is chastity and immaculacy of mind and soul. Mercury exalted in Virgo is the Wisdom attained through purity of mind, body and soul. BAPTISM: Jupiter exalted in Cancer. Cancer is the door of birth, and the gates of heaven. Passwords for entrance are: love, unity and fellowship. The baptism by water is symbolical of the baptism by Spirit. TEMPTATION; TRANSFIGURATION: Uranus exalted in Scorpio. The power of generation when exalted leads to regeneration. This is the most powerful of the exaltations in man's present development. GETHSEMENE; CRUCIFIXION Venus exalted in Pisces. Love in the house of sorrow. The personal love is raised up into the exaltation of impersoanl love embracing all life. Every ego knows the Garden and Golgotha of the love life. It is through sorrow that passion is exalted into compassion, and love for the one into love for the many. RESURRECTION: The Sun exalted in Aries. Lifting the spinal spirit fire (cosmic life force) to the head helps build the body celestial, in which man is resurrected from the tomb of the flesh. ASCENSION: Neptune exalted in Cancer. The divinity called the Christ Within raises man to the high superphysical realms where as spirit he may enter into the many mansions prepared by the Christ of the Cosmos. [PAGE 44] PLUTO: Nothing is said in the foregoing of the latest discovered planet. Pluto, which circles the Sun beyond the orbit of Neptune, and over which it sometimes crosses. Astronomers surmise that this outermost planet may possibly have been a moon or Neptune at one time and that it may be drawn back to that planet one day. Today, however, as a separate planet, it must be considered as a power in the horoscope, but its true nature is as yet undetermined. Some astrologers think it is of the nature of Mars, constituting an "octave" of that planet; others see in it the "octave" of the earth. The "octave" of a planet is taken to be its "alter ego" or Higher Self, a higher reflection of itself. As octave of the earth, Pluto would have special governance over conditions affecting our planetary evolution in its deep, esoteric meanings. Pluto moves so slowly around the Sun that it occupies much the same position for a long time, and thus forms many of the same aspects in thousands of horoscopes. These aspects are "set off" by tansiting forces, such as faster moving planets, lunations, eclipses, asteroids and comets, thus precipitating great mass movements and revolutionary changes. The same situation would be true with respect to the other planets also in their relationships with Pluto. Initiate astrologers must eventually resolve all such problems. There will be a New Astrology for the New Age dealing with cosmic configurations, not only those of planets in one system, but also the interrelationships of many solar systems with their planets, and of those with galaxies. [PAGE 45] THE IMMORTAL TWELVE: Jesus chose the Twelve before He came into the world. He chose twelve powers, receiving them from the twelve Saviors of the Light-Treasure. When He descended into the world, He cast them as sparks into the wombs of their mothers, that the whole world might be saved. --Pistis Sophia The twelve Disciples represent the twelve principal attributes to be developed in man through the awakening of the Christ power within, which unfold through many stages, exemplified in the events in the lives of the Twelve as recounted in the New Testament. These events are not to be understood as the mere personal record of each individual Disciple; all that is written of them is true of every disciple in every age when treading the Way of Attainment. The Bible is of universal significance; it is only secondarily a biographical record. Primarily it outlines the path of spiritual development for all mankind. This does not mean that the story of the Disciples has no historic significance. The twelve "Sparks" who incarnate in the twelve Disciples refer to cosmic powers emanating from the zodiac; but they also point to the twelve great religions of the world and their Teacher-founders, who are Saviors. Thus according to the Gospels and the correlative material of esoteric documents such as the Pistis Sophia, the Christ sent to earth the Saviors or Founders of twelve world religions, who circled about Him as the zodiacal signs circle about the sun. Biblical students often fail to see in the passage quoted from Pistis Sophia the esoteric truth, namely, that all of the great world Saviors were forerunners of the Christ. They went before Him to prepare the Way, and then when he was to incarnate in the Master of Nazarethg, they were reborn to be His immediate personal helpers and emissaries to the entire world. The lives of the Disciples therefore have meaning not only for the Christian world but for all the religions of the world. Matthew XIX:28 "Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." [PAGE 46] This verse points to the eventual attainment on the path of discipleship when, by means of regeneration or Initiation, as shown in the life of Christ, the carnal nature is laid aside, having been transmuted into powers of the spirit. It is then that the old gives way to the new, the natural to the supernatural. For the first Disciples this attainment occurs on the Day of Pentecost, and it is in the fires of Pentecost that we learn the true and essential significance of all those events in the life of aspirants which would otherwise remain obscure, for Pentecost is their end and fulfillment, today as in the time of Christ on earth. SIMON ZELOTES: The Zealots were a Galilean sect, patriotic in nature, who hated with a terrible intensity everything Roman. They were banded together in a grim determination to rid their beloved land of this hated Roman tyranny, using fire and sword to accomplish their purpose. Simon was among their number. He was of a fiety disposition, dedicated body and soul to the task the Zealots had set themselves, and had become a ringleader of the sect. Like most patriotic and revolutionary bands it had degenerated into a mob, and attracted to its ranks many robbers and outlaws whose motives were not always patriotic, yet they held a common aim of freeing their nation from the Romans. Now there came into Simon's life the influence of the gentle Nazarene. His life changed. On finding Christ he, who until that time had held bitter animosities and racial hatreds, surrendered them to the nobler impulses that awakened within him. He now inscribed upon his heart the law of the New Regime: Love your enemies, resist not evil, but overcome evil with good. Such is the law that will govern the New Age that is yet to be, whose keynote is Love. It is the degree to which this Love is applied to the problems of daily life that will determine the disciple's fitness to enter into the Aquarian phase of the Christ Dispensation which is being ushered in at this time. The Master, like all great spiritual Teachers, taught the necessity of transmuting evil into good and gave instructions toward its accomplishment. Acting on this instruction toward its accomplishment. Acting on this instruction, every Mystery School celebrates a ritual at midnight of every night in which the evil miasma of the globe is gathered up and transmuted into good. This is not an allegorical statement, but a literal one. The work is done each night, and as midnight is present at one place or another on the globe throughout all of the twenty-four hours, this work is continuous, Continued with file "RC3003.TXT" End of File

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