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Filename: RC4010.TXT [PAGE 170] ROSICRUCIAN CHRISTIANITY BIBLE COURSE: "THE BIBLE HAS BEEN GIVEN TO THE WESTERN WORLD BY THE RECORDING ANGELS, WHO GIVE TO EACH AND ALL EXACTLY WHAT THEY NEED FOR THEIR DEVELOPMENT." --Max Heindel LESSON NO. 15: THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM: REFERENCES: Matthew 2; John 13. At one time we dwelt upon the sun; that is to say, that even in this Earth Period we were in that central firemist, and we were there up to the time spoken of as the Hyperborean Epoch. There we crystallized until we could not respond to the high vibrations the other solar beings responded to. They could progress in solar vibrations, we could not; therefore we crystallized a part of that firemist to shield ourselves, and in consequence we had to be thrown off. Then when we had gone the proper distance away from the sun we could crystallize again, and later we threw off that part which is now known as the moon. those beings who are now on the moon were too far crystallized, they were behind us; therefore we had to thrown them off. From these two sources come two sets of vibrations; spiritual vibra- tions from the sun, and hardening tendencies from the moon. It is the bal- ance between these two sets of vibrations that enables us to hold our bodies together. At that time man was perfectly unconscious. He used his force only to build organs INSIDE. Then gradually the Earth crystallized more and more, until in the middle part of Atlantis the Ego had at last drawn into humanity and man had become possessed of all the vehicles that he has now. Then he became conscious of the world, but he was in a far, far different state than now. When consciousness is awakened it begins to work as a leaven in mat- ter. Since we were in Atlantis and had our eyes fully opened, since the at- mosphere cleared and we first saw things about us clearly, we have worked in the Earth in the materials of our bodies as a leaven works in the loaf and raises it. Thus we have lightened conditions and are continually lightening them. In Lemuria man had the three lower bodies--the desire body, the vital body, and the dense body. Outside hovered the spirit, At that time the Earth was in a condition of fire. There were masses of crust and around them seething, boiling water, and volcanic outbursts were very, very fre- quent. Man had at that time lungs that were like tubes. He had a bladder such as fishes have now, wherewith he could life himself and leap great chasms. As the Earth condensed more and more that fire fog atmosphere of Lemuria condensed into a very dense fog in the early part of Atlantis. There those tubes had changed to gill-clefts, and he was breathing more as the fish do. This can be seen now in embryological development, where man [PAGE 171] goes through the same stages he went through at that time. The embryo lies in the amniotic fluid and has these gill-clefts, such as man had in the early part of Atlantis. He breathed in that manner in the dense watery at- mosphere of Atlantis, but gradually that settled more and more, and man be- gan to breathe as we do now. In the early third of Atlantis there was a brotherhood; separation into nations had not begun. Mankind was a universal brotherhood, and the rite of baptism, which makes one a member of a holy brotherhood, and in remembrance of that time. Man was truly innocent and lovable, he had no evil in him. In the middle third of Atlantis all that changed. He began to separate into communities, for the watery atmosphere was clearing somewhat and he was beginning to breathe my means of lungs. The human Ego was very weak, and had to get help from someone else. Therefore Jehovah, the Highest Initiate, the ruler over the angels and archangels that work with men, breathed into man's nostrils, give him lungs, and gave him the race spirit in the air that was to curb the hardening tendencies of the desire body and help him to get it under control. The desire body has control of the voluntary muscles, every movement we make is caused by desire, and every exertion breaks down tissue and hardens more and more every particle of our tissue. Therefore Jehovah aimed to help mankind out of their dense condition by means of law. The race religions are all based upon law. "I am a jealous God, and if you fulfill my command- ments I will bless you abundantly and make your seed as multitudinous as the sands upon the seashore," says the Race God, "but if you do not obey I will send your enemies upon you and they shall gain the victory over you." Jeho- vah is the ruler of all the Races and all the religions. He gave to each of these Races an Archangel to be their ruler, to be their special Prince. In Daniel 12:1. it is said that Michael is Prince over the Jews, and in the tenth chapter another Race spiritual says: "I am going to fight against the Prince of Persia, and the Prince of Grecia shall go up." Thus these race spirits work with man, punishing him by means of other people, and giving him rewards or punishments for his good or bad deeds. The fear of God and the desire for the material reward was pitted against the desire of the flesh and therefore these race religions under Jehovah are such as to build up the national spirit. They subjected, or rather they ne- glected, the individual for the sake of the nation. The interests of the individual are always made subservient to the interest of the nation. The race spirit took a special care of certain sects of people, for ex- ample, the Levites among the Jews, who were destined specially for priest- hood and they were herded around the temples and were specially bred to be the forerunners and teachers of their brethen. Their system of mating and regulation of the sex life of these special protege's produced a more lax connection between the vital body and the dense body which was necessary in order that Initiation might take place and help man to advance. As long as [PAGE 172] the race spirit works with us we are under the law, we are only overcoming the influence of the desire body; therefore Paul says well that the law was until Christ. Not until Christ came 2,000 years ago, but 'UNTIL CHRIST BE FORMED IN YOU." When we release ourselves from the toils of the desire body and live up to the vibrations of the vital body, we become imbued by the Christ Spirit. Then and only then do we rise out of the national, the separating principle. Then do we become capable of being brothers to men. Now we see why Christ said so emphatically, "Before Abraham was, I am." The Ego was before the nation and must be exalted over the nation. To that end Christ came, because as long as there were nations, there could not be brotherhood. If we have a number of houses, and they are built of bricks, they are unavailable for building one building until torn down. When all the bricks have been separated we may begin building. When all nations have been chopped into individuals we may begin to build the grand Universal Brotherhood of Man. That is why the race religions failed, they separate men into antagonis- tic groups. So the race religions must be abrogated. We cannot do away with nations except we separate the individual. Therefore, we have wars; therefore, we have had revolutions, where men have rebelled against kings and rulers, and have instituted republics. But they are not enough. We want to be free individually. We want to be every man a law unto himself, and this is where a great, great danger lies. We cannot be laws unto ourselves--WE CANNOT BE FREE, UNTIL WE HAVE LEARNED TO RESPECT EVERYBODY ELSE'S RIGHTS. So then, under the race religion, men grew by obedience to the law. Un- der the Christ regime that is to come, man is to rise above law, and to be a law unto himself. As Goethe says: "From ever power that binds the world in chains, Man liberates himself, when self-control he gains." That is the goal--SELF-MASTERY--which every one must gain before he is fit to be a law unto himself, to be above the law, for no one except the very undisiciplined man will think to improve matters by having the power to shoot down people. By obeying very law, man rises above all law, and by and by he will rise above the need of all law. Then and only then can he be a law unto himself. In the Christ regime man will be impelled and guided by love, and "perfect love casteth out fear." The race religions compel man to do right by means of FEAR, but the Christ religion will impel man through LOVE. Then he cannot do otherwise than right. All race religions--every one of them without exception--are looking for someone to come. The Egyptian religion looked forward to Osiris, the bright Sun-Spirit; the Persian looked to Mithras; and the Babylonian to Tammuz. All looked for someone to come, to free the Earth. We find the same thing in the Norse mythology. The old Norsemen looked for the "Twilight of the Gods," when the present regime must perish, and then out of the South from [PAGE 173] Muspelheim, the region of heat, should come that bright Sun-Spirit, Sutar, and he should set up A NEW HEAVEN AND A NEW EARTH. Such we hear of in all religions, and even in the Christian religion we find them looking forward to a Sun Spirit. At one time in the ritual of the Catholic Church they used the phrase, "Our Lord the Sun." It is from the visible sun that every par- ticle of physical energy comes, and it is from the spiritual invisible sun that all of the spiritual energy comes. At the present time we cannot bear to look directly at the sun. It would blind us. But we can look at the reflected sunlight that comes from the moon. IN the same way, man cannot stand the direct spiritual impulse that comes from the sun, and therefore it had to be sent by way of the moon, through the mediumship of Jehovah, the Regent of the moon. That is the origin of the race religions. Later came the time when man could take the spiritual impulse more directly and Christ, the present Earth Spirit, came to prepare this. Before the advent of Christ all spiritual impulse came to man by way of the moon as race religions. Only by initiation was it pos- sible to get into direct touch with the spiritual solar impulse. A veil hung before the temple. When the time arrived that the Christ Spirit could be entertained on the Earth, a ray from the Cosmic Christ came here, and incarnated here in the body of our Elder Brother Jesus. After the sacrifice on Golgotha had been completed, He drew Himself into the Earth. He said, "This is my body." He showed the bread, and it is the Earth Spirit that brings forth that bread. "This is my blood." The juices that are in the plant made the wine. It was not said, "This symbolizes my body or blood." He said unequivocally, "This IS my blood." In John 13:18 in our New Testament, it is stated: "He that eats my bread hath lifted up his heel against me." Luther, who translated it in Germany, and was not tied up by any of the restrictions of the translators of the King James' Bible, put it: "He that eats my bread trampled upon me." We do trample, at every step we take, upon the Earth Spirit, and that Spirit's body and blood is consumed among us, and that Spirit is waiting for the day of redemption, when we shall be lifted so far from our material conditions that it shall be possible for the Earth Spirit to become liberated from its present cramped and dense existence. THE CHRIST SPIRIT, THEN, IS THE FIRST INCOMING OF DIRECT SPIRITUAL IM- PULSE. We know that at the time when the Sun Spirit is in the northern re- gions we have all the physical impacts upon the Earth. We get all the good there is in the sun along PHYSICAL LINES: that is the time when the grain and the grape are ripening, and when everything is bringing forth in the Physical World. Then the spiritual impulse is abrogated for the time being; but when the sun goes into the winter solstice in December, the spiritual impulse is strongest. Also, we have the spiritual impulse stronger in the night than in the daytime, and we can see that at the time when the days are shortest and the nights are the longest--on that Holy Night that we speak [PAGE 174] of, when the Christ was born, as a Sun, who was to lighten our darkness--the spiritual influence is then strongest and can be reached easiest. It was this great truth that is at the bottom of the Star in the Holy Night, il- luminating the longest and darkest night of the year. In the olden times, before the Christ came, only a chosen few could fol- low the path of initiation. Nobody could seek that path except a few chosen ones, such as were the priests and Levites. These were brought to the temples and there herded together. They were married to one another in a certain way, certain people were mated with a definite end in view, namely, that they might develop the proper laxity between the vital body and the dense body that is necessary to initiation. A separation has to take place in order that we may life the two higher ethers out and the the other two. That could not be done with ordinary humanity. They were yet much in bond- age to the desire body. They must wait until a later time. Even with those people who were around the temples, it was very dangerous work to free them. It could be done best at certain times, and this longest night was one of those times. When the greatest spiritual impulse was here, they had a better chance to get in touch with it than at any other time of the year. So on the Holy Night which we call Christmas, it was usual for the Wise Men (those who were beyond the ordinary humanity) to take the ones who were also becoming wise, and therefore entitled to initiation, into the temples. Certain ceremonies were performed and the candidates were en- tranced. They could not at that time be given an initiation in their full waking state, it had to be done in trance. When the spiritual perceptions was awakened in them, they could look through the Earth, which become trans- parent, as it were, and they saw the Star at midnight, the spiritual Sun. Do not think it shone only at that time. It is easier now than then to see it, for when Christ came He altered the vibrations of the Earth and has been changing them all the time since. He "rent the temple veil"--He made the Holy of Holies, the place of Initiation, open to "Whosoever will!" From that time on no more trance is needed, no more subjective states in order to go through initiation. There is a conscious going forth into the Temple by everyone who wills to come. We have one more thing to consider: the gifts these wise men brought--the gifts that were to be laid at the feet of the Savior. The leg- end tells us that one brought gold, one brought myrrh, and the third brought frankincense. The gold we always hear spoken of in symbology as the emblem of the spirit. The spirit is symbolized thus in the Nibelungen Ring, for instance. There in the opening scene we see the Rhinegold. The river Rhine is taken as the emblem of water, and there the gold is seen shining on the rock, sym- bolizing the universal spirit in its perfect purity. Later it is stolen and MADE INTO A RING by Alberich, representing mankind in the middle of Atlantis, when the spirit had drawn into them. Then the gold became [PAGE 175] debased, was lost, and was the cause of all sorrow on the Earth. Later still we hear of the alchemists who tried to transmute base metal into gold,; that is the spiritual way of saying that they wanted to purify the dense body, to refine it and extract the spiritual essence. Therefore, the gift of one wise man is the spirit. The next one brings myrrh. Myrrh is the extract of an aromatic plant that grown in Arabia, a very rare plant, very rare indeed. Therefore, it symbolizes the thing that man extracts when he cleanses himself. When he has cleanses his blood of passion he becomes plant-like, chaste and pure. Then his body is an aromanic essense. It is an actual fact that there are men and women so holy that they emit an aroma from them. It is thus said of some of the saints, and it is true. Therefore, the myrrh stands for that soul essence that is drawn out of the experience of the body. It is the soul. The third gift was incense. Incense is a physical substance of a very light character that is often used in religious services. It serves as an embodiment for the ministering unseen forces, and thus symbolizes the body. This is the key to the three gifts that were offered up by the Wise Men--the spirit, the soul, and the body. As Christ said, "If you want to follow me, you must sell all you have. YOU ARE NOT TO KEEP ANYTHING FOR YOURSELF." You are to give up body, soul, and spirit, everything for the higher life, everything for the Christ. Not to an exterior Christ, however, but to the Christ WITHIN. The three Wise Men are said in the legend to be yellow, black, and white, representatives of the three Races that we have on Earth: the Mongolian, the Black, and the Caucasian. Therefore we see that it is very well shown in the legend that eventually they will all come into this beneficent Christ religion. "To Him every knee shall bow." To Him each one will in time be led by the Star. QUESTIONS ON LESSON NO. 15: 1. What help did Jehovah and the archangels render man in the middle third of Atlantis? 2. Why was it necessary that the race religions be abrogated and the Christ come? 3. How only cam man be a law unto himself? 4. Explain the difference between the spiritual influence from Jehovah and those from the Christ. 5. What vital difference did the coming of the Christ make in regard to initiation? 6. State the difference between initiation prior to the coming of Christ and afterward. 7. Explain the symbology of the Wise Men and their gifts. [PAGE 176] "THE BIBLE HAS BEEN GIVEN TO THE WESTERN WORLD BY THE RECORDING ANGELS, WHO GIVE TO EACH AND ALL EXACTLY WHAT THEY NEED FOR THEIR DEVELOPMENT." --Max Heindel LESSON NO. 16: THE MYSTERY OF GOLGOTHA: REFERENCES: Matthew 27, 28; Mark 15, 16; Luke 23, 24; John 19, 20, 21. During the last 2,000 years much has been said about "the cleansing blood." The blood of Christ has been extolled from the pulpit as the sover- eign remedy for sin; the ONLY means of redemption and salvation. But if the laws of Rebirth and Consequence work in such a way that evolv- ing beings reap as they have sown, and if the evolutionary impulse is con- stantly bringing humanity higher and higher, ultimately to attain perfection--where then is the need for redemption and salvation? Even in if the need existed, how can death of one individual help the rest? Would it not be nobler to suffer the consequences of one's acts than to hide another? These are some of the objections to the doctrine of vicarious atonement and redemption by the blood of Christ Jesus. We will try to answer then before showing the logical harmony between the operation of the law of Consequence and the Atonement of Christ. In the first place, it is absolutely true that the evolutionary impulse does work to achieve ultimate perfection for all; yet there are some who are constantly straggling behind. At the present time, we have just passed the extreme point of materiality and are going through the sixteen Races. We are treading "the sixteen paths to destruction," and are consequently in graver danger of falling behind than at any other part of the evolutionary journey. In the abstract, time is nothing. A number may fall behind so far that they must be abandoned, to take up their further evolution in another scheme, where they can continue their journey to perfection. Nevertheless, that was not the evolution originally designed for them and it is reasonable to suppose that the exalted Intelligences in charge of our evolution use ev- ery means to bring through in safety as many as possible of the entities un- der their charge. In ordinary evolution, the laws of Rebirth and Consequences are perfectly adequate for bringing the major portion of the live wave up to perfection, [PAGE 177] but they do not suffice in the case of stragglers, who are lagging behind in the various Races. During the stage of individualism, which is the climax of the illusion of separateness, all mankind needs extra help, but for the stragglers some additional special aid must be provided. To give that special aid, to redeem the stragglers, was the mission of Christ. He said that He came to seek and to save that which was lost. He opened up the way of Initiation for allow who are willing to seek it. But not all are in need of salvation. Christ knew that there is a very large class who do not require salvation in this way, but just as surely as there are the ninety-and-nine who are well taken care of by the laws of Re- birth and Consequence and with each perfection in that way, so there are the "sinners" who have become "bogged" in matter and cannot escape without a rope. Christ came to save them and to bring peace and good will to all, by raising them to the necessary point of spirituality, causing a change in their desire bodies which will make the influence of the life spirit in the heart more potent. His younger brother Sun Spirits, the Archangels, had worked as Race spir- its on the desire bodies of man, but their work had been from WITHOUT. It was simply a reflected spiritual Sun-force and came through the Moon--as moonlight is reflected sunlight. Christ, the Chief Initiate of the Sun Spirits, entered directly into the dense body of the Earth and brought the direct Sun-force, thus enabling Him to influence our desire bodies from WITHIN. So it is with the spiritual impulses which help man to evolve. The reason why the Earth was thrown off from the Sun was because our humanity could not endure the Sun's tremendous physical and spiritual impulses. Even after an enormous distance had been placed between the Earth and the Sun, the spiritual impulse would still have been too strong had it not been sent first to the Moon, to be used by Jehovah, the Regent of the Moon, for man's benefit. A number of Archangels were given Jehovah as helpers in reflecting these spiritual impulses from the Sun upon humanity of the Earth, in the form of Jehovistic or Race-religions. The lowest vehicle of the Archangels is the desire body. Our desire body was added in the Moon Period, at which time Jehovah was the highest Ini- tiate. Therefore Jehovah is able to deal with man's desire body. Jehovah's lowest vehicle is the human spirit and its counterpart as the desire body. The Archangels are His helpers because they are able to manage the spiritual Sun forces and the desire body is their lowest vehicle. Thus they are able to work with and prepare humanity for the time when it can receive the spiritual impulses directly from the Solar Orb, without the intervention of the Moon. [PAGE 178] Upon Christ, as the highest Initiate of the Sun Period, is laid the task of sending out this impulse. the impulse which Jehovah reflected was sent out by Christ, Who thus prepared both the Earth and humanity for His direct ingress. The expression, "prepared the Earth." means that all evolution on a planet is accompanied but he evolution of THAT PLANET ITSELF. Had some ob- server gifted with spiritual sight watched the evolution of our Earth from some distant star, he would have noticed a gradual change taking place in the Earth's desire body. Under the old dispensation the desire bodies of people in general were improved by means of the law. This work is still going on in the majority of people, who are thus preparing themselves for the higher life. The higher life (Initiation) does not commence, however, until the work on the vital body begins. The means used for bringing that into activity is Love, or rather Altruism. The former worked has been so abused that it no longer conveys the meaning here required. During the old dispensation of the path of Initiation was not free and open, except to a chosen few. The Hierophants of the Mysteries collected certain families about the Temples, setting them apart from all the other people. These chosen families were then rigorously guarded as to certain rites and ceremonies. Their marriages and sexual intercourse were regulated by the Hierophants. The effect of this was to produce a race having the proper degree of lax- ity between the dense and vital bodies; also, to wake the desire body from its state of lethargy during sleep. Thus a special few ere made fit for Initiation and were given opportunities that could not be given to all. The Mission of Christ, in addition to saving the lost, was to make Ini- tiation possible to all; therefore Jesus came from the common people, and though not of the teacher class, His teaching was higher than that of Moses. Christ Jesus did not deny Moses, the law, nor the prophets. On the con- trary, He acknowledged them all and showed the people that they were His witnesses, as they all pointed to One Who was to come. He told the people that those things had served their purpose and that henceforth Love must su- persede Law. Christ Jesus was killed. In connection with this fact, we come to the supreme and fundamental difference between Him and the previous teachers, through whom the Race Spirits worked. They all died and must be reborn again and again to help their peoples bear their destiny. The Archangel Michael raised up Moses, who was taken up to Mount Nebo to die. He was re- born Elijah. Elijah returned as John the Baptist; Buddha died and was re- born as Shankaracharya; Shri Krishna says, "Whenever there is decay of Dharma. . .and. . .exaltation of Adharma, then I myself come forth for the [PAGE 179] protection of good, for the destruction of evildoers, for the sake of firmly establishing Dharma. I am born from age to age. When death came Moses' face SHONE and Buddha's body become ALIGHT. They all reached the stage when the spirit begins to shine from within--but then they died. Christ Jesus reached that stage on the Mount of Transfiguration. It is of the very highest significance that HIS REAL WORK TOOK PLACE SUBSEQUENT TO THAT EVENT. He suffered; was KILLED--and RESURRECTED. Being killed is a very different thing from dying. The blood that had been the vehicle of the Race-spirit must FLOW and be cleansed of that con- taminating influence. Love of father and mother, exclusive of the fathers and mothers, must go--otherwise Universal Brotherhood and an all-embracing Altruistic Love could never become an actuality. When the Savior Christ Jesus was crucified His body was pierced in five places; in the five centers where the currents of the vital body flow; and the pressure of the crown of thorns caused a flow from the sixth also. When the blood flowed from these centers, the great Sun-spirit Christ was liberated from the physical vehicle of Jesus and found Himself IN THE EARTH, without individual vehicles. The already existing planetary vehicles He permeated with His own vehicles and in the twinkling of an eye diffused His own desire body over the planet, which has enabled Him thenceforth to work upon the Earth and its humanity from WITHIN. At that moment a tremendous wave of spiritual sunlight flooded the Earth. It rent the veil which the Race-spirit had hung before the Temple to keep out all but the chosen few, and it made the Path of Initiation free thence- forth to whomsoever will. So far as concerned the Spiritual Worlds, this wave transformed the conditions of Earth like a flash of lightening, but the dense, concrete conditions are, of course, much more slowly affected. Like all rapid and high vibrations of light, this great wave blinded the people by its dazzling brilliance, therefore it was said that "the Sun was darkened." The very opposite was what actually occurred. The Sun was not darkened, but shone out in glorious splendor. It was the excess of light that blinded the people, and only as the entire Earth absorbed the desire body of the bright Sun-spirit did the vibration return to a more normal rate. The expression, "the cleansing blood of Christ Jesus." means that as the blood flowed on Calvary, it bore with it the great Sun-spirit Christ, Who by that means secured admission to the Earth itself and since that moment has been its Regent. He diffused His own desire body throughout the planet, thereby cleansing it from all the vile influences which had grown up under the regime of the Race-spirit. [PAGE 180] Under the law all sinned; nay, more--they could not help it. They had not evolved to where they could do right for Love's sake. The desire nature was so strong that it was an impossibility for them to rule it altogether, therefore their debts, engendered under the law of Consequence, piled up to monstrous proportions. Evolution would have been terribly delayed and many lost to our life wave altogether if some help had not been given. Therefore Christ did come "to seek and to save that which was lost." He took away the sin of the world by His cleansing blood, which gave Him en- trance to the Earth and its humanity. He purified the conditions and we owe it to Him that we are able to gather for out desire bodies purer denser stuff than formerly, and He continues working to help us, by making our ex- ternal environment constantly purer. That this is and was done at the expense of great suffering to Himself, no one can doubt who is able to form the least conception of the limitations endured by that Great Spirit in entering the hampering conditions of physical existence, even in the best and purest vehicle possible; nor is His present limitations as Regent of the Earth much less painful. True, He is also Regent of the Sun, and therefore only partially confined to the Earth, yet the limitations set by the crampingly low vibrations of our dense planet must be almost unendurable. Had Christ Jesus simply died it, would have been impossible for Him to have done this work, but the Christians have a RISEN Savior; One Who is ever present to help those who call upon His name. Having suffered like unto ourselves in all things and knowing fully our needs, He is lenient toward our mistakes and failures so long as we continue trying to live the good life. We must ever keep before our eyes the fact that THE ONLY REAL FAILURE IS CEASING TO TRY. Upon the death of the dense body of Christ Jesus, the seed atom was returned to the original owner, Jesus of Nazareth, who for some time afterward, while functioning in a vital body which he had gathered temporarily, taught the nucleus of the new faith which Christ had left be- hind. Jesus of Nazareth has since had the guidance of the esoteric branches which sprang up all over Europe. In many places the Knights of the Round Table were high Initiates in the Mysteries of the New Dispensation. So were the Knights of the Grail--to whom was finally confided Joseph of Arimathea's Grail Cup, which was used by Christ Jesus at the Last Supper. They were afterward entrusted also with the Lance which pierced His side, and the receptacle which received the blood from the wound. The Druids of Ireland and the Trottes of Northern Russia were esoteric schools through which the Master Jesus worked during the so-called "Dark Ages," but dark though they were, the spiritual impulse spread, and from the standpoint of the occult scientist they were "Bright Ages" compared to the growing materialism of the last three hundred years, which has increased physical knowledge immensely, but has almost extinguished the Light of the Spirit. [PAGE 181] QUESTIONS ON LESSON NO. 16: 1. What is meant by "the sixteen paths to destruction"? 2. For whose "salvation" in particular did Christ come? 3. Explain how the coming of Christ made Initiation, or the higher life, possible for all. 4. What is the reason for the crucifixion of Christ Jesus. 5. Explain what actually took place at the crucifixion. 6. What has been the work of Jesus since the crucifixion? 7. What has been the great danger of humanity for the past three hundred years? [PAGE 182] "THE BIBLE HAS BEEN GIVEN TO THE WESTERN WORLD BY THE RECORDING ANGELS, WHO GIVE TO EACH AND ALL EXACTLY WHAT THEY NEED FOR THEIR DEVELOPMENT." --Max Heindel LESSON NO. 17: THE LORD'S PRAYER: REFERENCES: Matthew 6:9-13; Luke 11:1-4; Acts 6:4; 12-5; Romans 12:12; James 5:16. Prayer may be said to be an opening up of a channel along which the di- vine Life and Light may flow into the spirit, in the same way that the turn- ing of a switch opens the way for the electric current to flow from the power-house into our house. Faith in Prayer is like the energy which turns the switch. Without muscular force we cannot turn the switch to obtain physical light, and without faith we cannot pray in such a manner as to se- cure spiritual illumination. If we pray for worldly ends, for that which is contrary to the law of love and universal good, our prayers will prove as unavailing as a glass switch in an electric circuit. Glass is a non-conductor, a bar to electric power, and selfish prayers are, likewise bars to divine purposes and must therefore remain unanswered. To pray to a purpose we must pray aright, and in the Lord's Prayer we have a most wonder- ful pattern, for it caters to the needs of man as no other formula could do. Within a few short sentences it encompasses all the complexities of the re- lationship of God to man. To understand this sublime Prayer properly and be able to render it un- derstandingly and efficiently, let us recall that: The Father is the highest Initiate of the Saturn Period. The Son is the highest Initiate of the Sun Period. The Holy Spirit is the highest Initiate of the Moon Period. The Divine Spirit and the dense body of man started their evolution in the Saturn Period and are therefore under the special care of the Father. The Life Spirit and the vital body started their evolution in the Sun Pe- riod and are consequently the particular charges of the Son. The Human Spirit and the desire body commenced to evolve in the Moon Pe- riod and are therefore the special wards of the Holy Spirit. The Mind was added in the Earth Period and is not cared for by other out- side beings, but is to be subdued by man himself, without any outside as- sistance. [PAGE 183] In the Lord's Prayer there are seven prayers; or, rather, there are three sets of two prayers and one single supplication. Each of the three sets has reference to the needs of one of the aspects of the threefold spirit and its counterpray in the threefold body. The opening sentence, Our Father Who art in Heaven, is merely as the address upon an envelope. The students is re- ferred to Diagram 16 on page 465 of the COSMO for a key to this Prayer, showing diagrammatically the relation between the Trinity, the threefold spirit, the threefold body and addressed to its guardian aspect in the Trin- ity. The Human Spirit lifts itself upon the wings of DEVOTION to its parent aspect in the Holy Trinity and intones the opening incantation, "Hallowed be Thy Name." The Life Spirit raises itself upon pinions of LOVE and addresses the fount of its being, The Son, "Thy Kingdom come." The Divine Spirit soars with superior INSIGHT to the fountain head, whence it sprang at the dawn of time. The Father, and manifests its confi- dence in that all-embracing Intelligence in the words, "Thy Will be done." Having thus reached the Throne of Grace, the threefold spirit in man pre- fers its requests concerning the personality, the threefold body. The Divine Spirit soars with superior INSIGHT to the fountain head, whence it sprang at the dawn of time. The Father, and manifests its confi- dence in that all-embracing Intelligences in the words, "Thy Will be done." Having thus reached the Throne of Grace, the threefold spirit in man pre- fers its requests concerning the personality, the threefold body. The Divine Spirit prays to The Father for its counterpart, the vital body, "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." The Human Spirit utters the supplication for the desire body in the words, "Lead us not into temptation." Then all join in a concerted appeal concerning the Mind, "Deliver us from evil." The addition, "For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, forever, Amen," was not given by Christ, but is very appropriate as the parting adoration of the threefold spirit as it closes its direct address to the Diety. Looking at the foregoing explanation from the analytical standpoint, we find that there are three religious teachings to be given to man in helping him to attain to perfection. One is the Religion of the Holy Spirit; the next is the Religion of The Son; and the last is the Religion of The Father. Under the regime of the Holy Spirit the human race was divided into na- tions and peoples segregated by their adherence to one group from fellowship with other nations. Each group was further cut off from the rest because of speaking another language. They were all put under certain laws and were taught to reverence THE NAME of their God. One people worshipped his as Iao, another as Tao, others as Bel. Everywhere the name of the LAWGIVER was holy. The method of segregation had the advantage that the Race-spirit in [PAGE 184] chief, Jehovah, could use one people to punish another who had transgressed his law, but it has the disadvantage that it fosters egotism and separates humanity in a manner detrimental to universal good. It is an axiomatic truth that what does not benefit all cannot really benefit any. Therefore, ways and means must be found to reunite the scattered nations and weld them into one universal Brotherhood. That is to be the work of the Religion of the Son--Christianity. The warring of nations is fostered by the Race-spirit, but the Christian Religion will eventually unite them, cause them to beat their swords into ploughshares and bring peace and good will on earth when THE KINGDOM of the Son has superseded the tribes and races. Then a still higher religious teaching, the religion of The Father, is to unite mankind still closer. In the Kingdom of the Son there will be a universal Brotherhood of SEPARATE individuals having varying interests, but ready to give and take through love, sinking individual preferences for the common good, but when the religion of the Father becomes a fact in life, the self will be entirely submerged in a common purpose, a single will. THE WILL OF GOD will then be done on earth as it is in Heaven, where there is neither me nor three, but where God is All and in All. In the meantime a certain work has to be performed by the threefold spirit upon the threefold body, to spiritualize it and extract the threefold soul. The dense body is but an irresponsible tool, but nevertheless, it is a most valuable instrument, to be cared for and prized as a mechanic cares for a prizes a valuable tool. We hold firmly before our mental vision that we are not the body, any more than the mechanic is identical with his tools, or the carpenter is the house. That is plainly evident when we consider that our body is constantly changing aggregation of cells, while we keep our "I"-dentity amid and despite all changes which would be impossible if we were identical with out dense body. That body is to be valued and cared for. "Give us our daily bread," says the fourth Prayer. Most people eat too much, and for them an occasional fast may be good, but fasting is un- necessary for those who do not feast, but live the simple life from day to day. When the body is overfed, the spirit may be ever so willing, but the flesh will be correspondingly weak. Therefore, when a young spirit gains ascendancy, it seeks to overcome the lower nature by fasting, tortures, etc., as best exemplified in Hindu Yogis who emancipate the body, causing the limbs to wither, etc., that the spirit may shine. That is a mistake as much subversive of a true spiritual growth as is the habit of overeating. As said, where a man can control his appetitie and feed his body on pure food he not fast, but may give to his body its daily bread. The vital body being the storehouse of the panorama of our life, our own sins and the wrong we have suffered at the hands of others are there in- scribed, hence the fifth Prayer, "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive [PAGE 185] those who have trespassed against us," enunciated the needs of the vital body and be it noted that this Prayer teaches the doctrine of the remission of sins, in the words, FORGIVE US, and the Law of Consequence in the words, AS WE FORGIVE, making our attitude to others the measure of our emancipa- tion. "Lead us not into temptation," is the Prayer for the desire body which is the storehouse of energy, and furnishes incentive to action through desire. An Oriental maxim says, "Kill out desire," and the Orientals furnish good examples of the indolence resultant upon the attempt to do that. "Kill out your temper" is a the foolish admonition sometimes given those who lose their temper. Desire or temper is a valuable asset, too valuable to be stunted or killed; the man without desire is like the steel devoid of temper--of no account. In Revelation, while the six churches are praised, the seventh is utterly unathematized for being "Neither hot nor cold," a wishy-washy community. "The greater sinner, the greater the saint," is a true adage, for it takes energy to sin and when that energy is turned in the right direction, it is as much of a power for good as previously it was for evil. A man may be good because he cannot summon up sufficient energy to he had: then he is so good that he is good for nothing. While we are weak our desire nature masters us and may lead us into temptation, but as we learn to CONTROL our desire nature, our temper may guide in harmony with the laws of God and man. Desire is the great tempter of mankind. It is the great incentive to all action, and in so far as the actions subserve the purposes of the spirit, it is good; but where the desire is for something degrading, somethings that debases nature, it is indeed meet that we pray not to be led into temptation. Love, Wealth, Power, and Fame! These are the four great motives of human action. Desire for one or more of these is the motive for all that man does or leaves undone. The great Leaders of Humanity have wisely given them as incentives to action, that man may gain experience and learn thereby. They are necessary, and the aspirant may safely continue to use them as motives for action, but he must transmute them into something higher. He must over- come with nobler aspirations the selfish love which seeks the ownership of another body, and all desires for wealth, power, and fame for narrow and personal reasons. The Love for which he must long is that only which is of the soul and em- braces all beings, high and low, increasing in proportion to the needs of the recipient; The Wealth, that which consists solely of abundance of opportunities to serve his fellow men; The Power, that alone which makes for the upliftment of humanity; The Fame, none save that which increases his ability to spread the good news, that all who suffer may thus quickly find solace for the heart's grief. [PAGE 186] The guiding power which directs this energy of the desire nature is the Mind, hence the seventh Prayer, "Deliver us from evil," is made with regard to the mind. The animals follow desire blindly and commit no sin. to them there is no evil; that only comes to our cognition by and through the descriminating mind which enables man to see various courses of action and to choose. If he chooses to act in harmony with universal good, he cultivates virtue; if the contrary, he becomes tainted with vice. It should be noted that the much vaunted "innocence" of a child is not by many means virtue. The child has not yet been tempted and tried, therefore it is innocent. In time, temptations from the desire nature will come to test its mettle, and it de- pends upon the control of the mind over desire whether it will stand for the right or fall by the wayside. If the mind is strong enough to "deliver us from evil" desires, we have become virtuous, which is a positive quality, and even if we fall for a time before we realize our wrong, we acquire vir- tue as soon as we repent and reform. Thus does the Lord's Prayer cover the various parts of the human consti- tution and enunciate the need for them all, showing the marvelous wisdom laid down in that simple formula. QUESTIONS ON LESSON NO. 17: 1. What is Prayer? Why is faith important in Prayer? 2. To what does each of the three sets of two prayers in the Lord's Prayer have reference? 3. Analyze the Prayer, giving passages and meanings. 4. What three religions are to be given man in helping him to attain perfection? 5. State the cardinal points in each. 6. What is the correct teaching in regard to desire? 7. How may we exchange the negative quality of innocence for the positive quality of virtue? [PAGE 187] "THE BIBLE HAS BEEN GIVEN TO THE WESTERN WORLD BY THE RECORDING ANGELS, WHO GIVE TO EACH AND ALL EXACTLY WHAT THEY NEED FOR THEIR DEVELOPMENT." --Max Heindel LESSON NO. 18: THE SACRAMENTS: REFERENCES: Genesis 9:14; Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19; I Corinthians 5:7-8; 10:16-21. THE SACRAMENTS HAVE TO DO WITH THE TRANSMISSION OF THE SEED ATOMS, WHICH FORM THE NUCLEI OF OUR VARIOUS BODIES. THE GERM FOR OUR EARTHLY BODY MUST BE PROPERLY PLACED IN FRUITFUL SOIL TO GROW A SUITABLE DENSE VEHICLE, AND FOR THIS REASON AS STATED IN GENESIS 1:27, "ELOHIM CREATED MAN MALE AND FE- MALE." THE HEBREW WORDS ARE SACR VA N'CABAH. THESE ARE THE NAMES OF THE SEX ORGANS. LITERALLY TRANSLATED, SACR MEANS BEARER OF THE GERM; AND THUS MARRIAGE IS A SACRAMENT, FOR IT OPENS THE WAY FOR THE TRANSMISSION OF THE PHYSICAL SEED ATOM FROM THE FATHER TO THE MOTHER AND TENDS TO PRESERVE THE RACE AGAINST THE RAVAGES OF DEATH. BAPTISM IS A SACRAMENT SIGNIFIES THE GERMINAL URGE OF THE SOUL FOR THE HIGHER LIFE, THE PLANTING OF A SPIRITUAL SEED. COMMUNION IS THE SACRAMENT IN WHICH WE PARTAKE OF BREAD MADE FROM THE SEED OF CHASTE PLANTS, AND IN WHICH THE CUP SYMBOLIZING THE PASSIONLESS SEED POD POINTS TO THE AGE TO COME, AN AGE WHEN MARRIAGE WILL BE UNNECESSARY TO TRANSMIT THE SEED THROUGH A FATHER AND MOTHER, BUT WHEN WE MAY FEED DIRECTLY UPON COSMIC LIFE AND THUS CONQUER DEATH. FINALLY, EXTREME UNCTION IS THE SACRAMENT WHICH MARKS THE LOOSING OF THE SILVER CORD AND THE EXTRACTION OF THE SACRED GERM, UNTIL IT SHALL AGAIN BE PLANED IN ANOTHER N'CABAH OR MOTHER. THE SACRAMENT OF COMMUNION: To obtain a thorough understanding of the deep and far-reaching significance of the manner in which the Sacrament of Communion was instituted, it is necessary to consider the evolution of our planet and of composite man, also the chemistry of foods and their influence on humanity. For the sake of lucidity we will briefly recapitualate the various points involved. The Virgin Spirits, which are now mankind, commenced their pilgrimage through matter in the dawn of time, that by the friction of concrete exist- ence their latent powers might be transmuted to kinetic energy as usable soul power. Three successive veils of increasingly dense matter were ac- quired by the involving spirits during the Saturn, Sun, and Moon Periods. Thus each spirit was separated from all other Spirits, and the consciousness [PAGE 188] which could not penetrate the prison wall of matter and communicate with others was forced to turn inwards, and in so doing it discovered--ITSELF. Thus self-consciousness was attained. A further crystallization of the before mentioned veils took place in the Earth Period during the polarian, Hyperborean, and Lemurian Epochs. In the Atlantean Epoch, mind was added as a focusing point between spirit and body, completing the constitution of composite man, who was then equipped to con- quer the world and generate soul power by endeavor and experience, each hav- ing free will and choice except as limited by the laws of nature and his own previous acts. During the time man-in-the-making was thus evolving, great creative Hier- archies guided his every step. Absolutely nothing was left to chance. Even the food he ate was chosen for him so that he might obtain the appropriate material wherewith to build the various vehicles of consciousness necessary to accomplish the process of soul growth. The Bible mentions the various stages, through it misplaces Nimrod, making him to symbolize the Atlantean kings who lived BEFORE the flood. In the Polarian Epoch pure mineral matter became a constituent part of man, thus Adam was made of earth, that is, so far as his dense body was con- cerned. In the Hyperborean Epoch the vital body was added, and thus his constitu- tion became plantlike, and Cain, the man of that time, lived on the fruits of the soil. The Lemurian Epoch saw the evolution of a desire body, which made man like the present animals. Then milk, the product of living animals, was added to human diet. ABEL was a shepherd, but it is nowhere stated that he killed an animal. At that time mankind lived innocently and peacefully in the misty atmo- sphere which enveloped the earth during the latter part of the Lemurian Ep- och. Men were then like children under the care of a common father, until the mind was given to all in the beginning of Atlantis. Thought activity breaks down tissue which must be replaced; the lower and more material the thought, the greater the havoc and the more pressing the need for albumen wherewith to make quick repairs. Hence necessity, the mother of invention, inaugurated the loathsome practice of flesh eating, and so long as we con- tinue to think along purely business or material lines we shall have to go on using our stomachs as receptacles for the decaying corpses of our mur- dered animal victims. Yet we shall see later that Flesh food has enable us to make the wonderful material progress achieved in the Western World, while the vegetarian Hindus and Chinese have remained in the almost savage state. It seems sad to contemplate that they will be forced to follow in our steps and shed the blood of our fellow creatures when we shall have outgrown the barbarous practice as we have ceased cannibalism. The more spiritual we grow, the more our thoughts will harmonize with the rhythm of our body, and the less albumen will be needed to build tissue. Consequently a vegetable diet will suffice for our needs. [PAGE 189] In due time the dense mist which enveloped the earth cooled, condensed, and flooded the various basins. The atmosphere cleared, and concurrently with this atmospheric change a physiological adaptation in man took place. The gill clefts which had enabled him to breathe in the dense water-laden air (and which are seen in the human foetus to this day) gradually atro- phied, and their function was taken over by the lungs, the pure air passing to and from them through the larynx. This allowed the spirit, hitherto penned up within the veil of flesh, to express itself in word and act. There in the middle of Atlantis the sun first shone upon MAN as we known him; there he was FIRST BORN into the world. Until then he had been under the absolute control of great spiritual Hierarchies, mute, without voice of choice in matters pertaining to his education, as a child is now under the control of its parents. But on the day when he finally emerged from the dense atmosphere of Atlantis; when he first beheld the mountains silhouetted in clear, sharp contours against the azure vault of heaven; when he first saw the beauties of moore and meadow, the moving creatures, birds in the air, and his fellow man; when his vision was undimmed by the partial obscuration of the mist which had previously hampered perception; above all, when he perceived HIM- SELF as SEPARATE and APART FROM ALL OTHERS, there burst from his lips the glorious, triumphant, cry, "I AM!" At that point he had acquired faculties which equipped him to enter the school of experience, the phenomenal world, as a free agent to learn the lessons of life, untrammeled save by the LAWS OF NATURE, which are his safe- guards, and the reaction of his own previous acts, which becomes DESTINY. The diet containing an excess of albumen from the flesh wherewith he gorged himself, taxed his liver beyond capacity and clogged the system, mak- ing him morose, sullen, and brutish. He was fast losing the spiritual sight which revealed to him the guardian angels whom he trusted, and he saw only the FORMS of animals and men. The spirits with whom he had lived in love and brotherhood during early Atlantis were obscured by the veil of flesh. It was all so strange, and he FEARED them. Therefore it become necessary to give him a NEW FOOD that could aid his spirit to overpower the highly individualized molecules of flesh, brace it for battle with the world, and spur it on to self-assertion. As our visible bodies composed of composed of chemical compounds can thrive only on chemical ailment, so it requires spirit to act upon spirit to aid in breaking up the heavy protein and in stimulating the dropping human spirit. The emergence from flooded Atlantis, the liberation of humanity from the absolute rulership of visible superhuman guardians, their placement under the LAW OF CONSEQUENCE AND THE LAWS OF NATURE, AND THE GIFT OF WINE are de- scribed in the stories of Noah and Moses, which are different accounts of the same event. [PAGE 190] Both Noah and Moses led the followers through the water. Moses calls heaven and earth to witness that he has placed before them the blessing and the curse, exhorts them to choose the good or take the consequence of their actions; then he leaves them. The phenomenon of the rainbow requires that the sun be near the horizon, the nearer the better; also a clear atmosphere, and a dark rain cloud in the opposite quarter of the heavens. When under such conditions an observer stands with his back to the sun, he may see the sun's rays refracted through the rain drops as a rainbow. In early Atlantean times when there had been no rain as yet and the atmosphere was a warm, moist fog through which the sun appeared as one of our arc lamps on a foggy day, the phenomenon of the rainbow was an impossibility. It could not have made it appearance until the mist had condensed to rain, flooded the basins of our earth, and left the atmosphere clear as described in the story of Noah, which thus points TO THE LAW OF ALTERNATING CYCLES that brings day and night, summer and winter, in unvarying sequence, and to which man is subject in the present age. Noah cultivated the vine and provided spirit to stimulate man. Thus, equipped with a composite constitution, a composite diet appropriate thereto, and divine laws to guide them, mankind were left to their own de- vices in the battle of life. QUESTIONS ON LESSON NO. 18: 1. Why did the Virgin Spirits commence their pilgrimage through matter? 2. What was accomplished through turning man's consciousness inward? 3. By whom and in what ways was early humanity guided? 4. When was the mind given to humanity, and what did it bring about? 5. What important event in man's development occurred in the middle of Atlantis? 6. Why was wine added to man's diet? 7. In what condition do we find man in the latter part of Atlantis? [PAGE 191] "THE BIBLE HAS BEEN GIVEN TO THE WESTERN WORLD BY THE RECORDING ANGELS, WHO GIVE TO EACH AND ALL EXACTLY WHAT THEY NEED FOR THEIR DEVELOPMENT." --Max Heindel LESSON NO. 19: THE SACRAMENTS (continued): REFERENCES: John 1:16-17; Romans 5:12-13; I Corinthians 10:31. THE SACRAMENTAL OF COMMUNION (continued): "The Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: and when he had given thanks, he brake it and said Take ear; this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cop, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink they cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. . . .For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to him- self. . . .For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and may sleep." (I Cor. 11:23-30) In the foregoing passages there is a deeply hidden esoteric meaning which is particularly obscured in the English translation, but in the German, Latin, and Greek, the student still has a hint as to what was really in- tended by the last parting injunction of the Savior to His disciples. Be- fore examining this phase of the subject, let us first consider the worlds, "in remembrance of me." We shall then perhaps be in better condition to un- derstand what is meant by the "cup" and the "bread." Every one among us goes out into the world to fight the battle of exist- ence. Under the law of necessity we forget the love which should be the ruling factor in Christian lives. Every man's hand is against his brother. Every one strives for a position, wealth, and power that goes with these at- tributes. We forget on Monday what we reverently remembered on Sunday, and all the world is poor in consequence. We also make a distinction between the bread and the wine which we drink at the so-called "Lord's Table," and the good of which we partake during the intervals between attendance at Communion. But there is no warrant in the Scriptures for any such distinction, as anyone may see, even in the English version, by leaving out the words printed in italics which have been in- serted by the translators to give what they thought was the sense of a pas- sage. On the contrary, we are told that whether we eat or drink, or what- ever we do, all should be done to the glory of God. (I Cor. 10:31) [PAGE 192] Our every act should be a prayer. The perfunctory "grace" at meals is in reality a blasphemy, and the silent thought of gratitude to the Giver of daily bread is far to be preferred. When we remember at each meal that it has been drawn fro the substance of the earth, which is the body of the indwelling Christ Spirit, we can prop- erly understand how that body is being broken for us daily, and we cam ap- preciate the loving kindness which prompted Him thus to give Himself for us; for let us also remember that there is not a moment, day or night, that He is not suffering because bound to this earth. When we thus eat and thus re- alize the true situation, we are indeed declaring to ourselves the death of the Lord, whose spirit is groaning and travailing, waiting for the day of liberation when there shall be no need of such a dense environment as we now require. But there is another, a greater and more wonderful mystery hidden in these words of the Christ. Richard Wagner, with the rare intuition of the master musician, sensed this idea when he sat in meditation by the Zurich Sea on a Good Friday, and there flashed into his mind the thought, "What connection is there between the death of the Savior and the millions of seeds sprouting forth from the earth at this time of the year?" If we meditate upon that life which is annually poured out in the spring, we see it as something gigantic and awe-inspiring; a flood of life which transforms the globe from one of frozen death to rejuvenated life in a short space of time; and the life which thus diffuses itself in the budding of millions and millions of plants is the life of the Earth Spirit. From that came both the wheat and the grape. They are the body and blood of the imprisoned Earth Spirit given to sustain mankind during the present phase of its evolution. We repudiate the contention of people who claim that the world owes them a living, regardless of their own efforts and with- out MATERIAL responsibility on their part, but we nevertheless insist that there is a SPIRITUAL responsibility on their part, but with the bread and wine given at the Lord's Supper: IT MUST BE EATEN WORTHILY, OTHERWISE, UN- DER PAIN OF ILL HEALTH AND EVEN DEATH. This from the ordinary manner of reading would seem far-fetched, but when we bring the light of esotericism to bear, examine other translations of the Bible, and look at conditions in the world as we find them today, we shall find that it is not so far-fetched after all. To begin with, we must go back to the time when man lived under the guardianship of the angels, unconsciously building the body which he now uses. That was in ancient Lemuria. A brain was needed for the evolution of thought, and a larynx for verbal expression of the same. Therefore, half of the creative force was turned upwards and used by man to form these organs. Thus mankind become single sexed and was forced to seek a complement when it was necessary to create a new body to serve as an instrument in a higher phase of evolution. While the act of love was consummated under the wise guardianship of the angels, man's existence was free from sorrow, pain, and death. But when, [PAGE 193] under the tutelage of the Lucifer Spirits, he ate of the Tree of Knowledge and perpetuated the race without regard for interplanetary lines of force, he transgressed the law, and the bodies thus formed crystallized unduly, and become subject to death in a much more perceptible manner than had hitherto been the case. Thus he was forced to create new bodies more frequently as the span of life in them shortened. Celestial warders of the creative force drove him from the garden of LOVE into the wilderness of the world, and he was made responsible for his actions under the cosmic law which governs the universe. Thus for ages he struggled on, seeking to work out his own salva- tion, and the earth in consequence crystallized more and more. Divine hierarchies, the Christ Spirit included, worked upon the earth from without as the group spirit guides the animals under its protectorate; but as Paul truly says, none could be justified under the law, for under the law all sinned, and all must die. There is in the old covenant no hope be- yond the present, save a foreshadowing of ONE WHO IS TO COME and restore righteousness. Thus John tells us that the LAW was given by Moses, and GRACE came by the Lord Jesus Christ. (John 1:16-17) But WHAT IS GRACE? Can grace work contrary to law and abrogate it entirely? Certainly not. The laws of God are steadfast and sure, or the universe would become chaos. The law of gravity keeps our houses in position relative to other houses, so that when we leave them we may know of a surety that we shall find them in the same place upon returning. Likewise all other departments in the universe are subject to immutable laws. As LAW, APART FROM LOVE, GAVE BIRTH TO SIN, SO THE CHILD OF LAW, TEMPERED WITH LOVE, IS GRACE. Take an example from our concrete social conditions: We have laws which decree a certain penalty for a specified offense, and when the law is carried out, we call it JUSTICE. But long experience is be- ginning to teach us that justice, pure and simple, is like the Colchian dragon's teeth, and breeds strife and struggle in increasing measure. The criminal, so-called, remains criminal and becomes more and more hardened un- der the ministrations of law; but when the milder regime of the present day allows one who has transgressed to go under suspended sentence then HE IS UNDER GRACE and not under law. Thus, also the Christian, who aims to follow in the Master's steps, is emancipated form the law of sin by grace, provided he forsake the path of sin. It was the sin of our progenitors in ancient Lemuria that THEY SCATTERED THEIR SEED regardless of law and without love. But it is the privilege of the Christian to redeem himself by purity of life in remembrance of the Lord. John says, "His seed remaineth in him," and this is the hidden mean- ing of the bread and wine. In the English version we read simply: "This is the CUP of the New Testament." but in the German the word for cup is KELCH, and in the Latin, CALIX, both meaning the outer covering of the seed pod of the flower. In the Greek we have a still more subtle meaning, not conveyed in other languages, in the word POTERION, a meaning which will be evident when we consider the etymology of the word "pot." This at once gives us the [PAGE 194] same idea as the chalice or calix--a receptacle capable of holding a fluid. Our English words, "potent" and "impotent," meaning to possess or to lack virile strength, further show the meaning of this Greek word, which fore- shadows the evolution from man to superman. We have already lived through a mineral, a plant, and an animal-like ex- istence before becoming human as we are today, and beyond us lie still fur- ther volutions where we shall approach the Divine more and more. It will be readily conceded that it is our animal passions which restrain us upon the path of attainment; the lower nature is constantly warring against the higher self. At least in those who have experienced a spiritual awakening, a war is being fought silently within, and is all the more bitter for being suppressed. Goethe with masterly art voiced that sentiment in the words of Faust, the aspiring soul, speaking to his more materialistic friend, Wagner: Thou by one sole impulse art possessed, Unconscious of the other still remain Two souls, alas, are housed within my breast, And struggle there for undivided reign. One, to the earth with passionate desire, And closely clinging organs still adheres; Above the mists the other doth aspire, With sacred ardor unto purer spheres. It was the knowledge of this absolute necessity of chastity (save when procreation is the object) upon the part of those who have had a spiritual awakening which dictated the words of Christ, and the Apostle Paul stated an esoteric truth when he said that THOSE WHO PARTOOK OF THE COMMUNION WITHOUT LIVING THE LIFE WERE IN DANGER OF SICKNESS AND DEATH. For just as under a spiritual tutelage, purity of life may elevate the disciple wonderfully, so also unchastity has a much stronger effect upon his more sensitized bodies than upon those who are yet under the law., and have not yet become partak- ers of grace by the cup of the New Covenant. QUESTIONS ON LESSON NO. 19: 1. Compare the general attitude toward our daily meals with the attitude taught in the Bible. 2. How are the wheat and the grape the "body and blood" of Christ? 3. State briefly the cause of our unduly crystallized bodies. 4. What is "grace"? 5. How only may we redeem ourselves from the sin of our progenitors in ancient Lemuria? 6. What is the real meaning of the "cup of the New Testament"? 7. Give in your own words the esoteric truth voiced by Faust concerning the higher and lower natures. [PAGE 195] "THE BIBLE HAS BEEN GIVEN TO THE WESTERN WORLD BY THE RECORDING ANGELS, WHO GIVE TO EACH AND ALL EXACTLY WHAT THEY NEED FOR THEIR DEVELOPMENT." --Max Heindel LESSON NO. 20: THE SACRAMENTS (continued): REFERENCES: Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:32-33. THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM. As soon as the individual has entered upon the journey of life, the church admits him into its fold by the rite of BAPTISM which is conferred upon him at a time when he himself is irresponsible; later, when his mentality has been somewhat developed, he ratifies that con- tract and is admitted to COMMUNION, where BREAD is broken and WINE is sipped in memory of the Founder of our faith. Still farther upon life's journey comes the sacrament of MARRIAGE; and at last when the race has been run and the spirit again withdraws to God who gave it, the earth body is consigned to the dust, whence it was derived, accompanied by the blessings of the church. In our Protestant times the spirit of protests is rampant in the extreme, and dissenters everywhere raise their voices in rebellion against the fan- cied arrogance of the priesthood and deprecate the sacraments as mere mum- mery. On account of that attitude of mind these functions have become of little or no effect in the life of the community; dissensions have arisen even among churchmen themselves, and sect after sect has divorced itself from the original apostolic congregation. Despite all protests the various doctrines and sacraments of the church are, nevertheless, the very keystones in the arch of evolution, for they in- culcate morals of the loftiest-nature; and even materialistic scientists, such as Huxley, have admitted that while self-protection brings about the "survival of the fittest" in the animal kingdom and is therefore the basis of animal evolution, self-sacrifice is the fostering principle of human de- velopment. When that is the case among mere mortals, we may well believe that it must be so to a still greater extent in the Divine Author of our be- ing. Among animals, might is right, but we recognize that the weak have a claim to the protection of the strong. The butterfly lays it eggs on the under side of a green leaf and goes off without another care for their well-being. In mammals the MOTHER instinct is strongly developed, and we see the lioness caring for her cubs and ready to defend them with her life; but not until the human kingdom is reached does the FATHER commence to share fully in the responsibility as a parent. Among savages the care of the [PAGE 196] young practically ends with the attainment of physical ability to care for themselves, but the higher we ascend in civilization the longer the young receive care from their parents, and the more stress is laid upon mental education so that when maturity has been reached the battle of life may be fought from the mental rather than from the physical point of vantage; for the father we proceed along the path of development the more we shall expe- rience the power of mind over matter. By the more and more prolonged self-sacrifice of parents, the race is becoming more delicate, but what we lose in material ruggedness we gain in spiritual perceptibility. As this faculty grows stronger and more developed, the craving of the spirit immured in this earthly body voices itself more loudly in a demand for understanding of the spirit side of development. Wallace and Darwin, Huxley and Spencer, pointed out how evolution of FORM is accomplished in na- ture; Ernest Haeckel attempted to solve the riddle of the universe, but no one of them could satisfactorily explain away the DIVINE AUTHOR of what we see. The great goddess, NATURAL SELECTION, is being foresaken by one after another of her devotees as the years go by. Even Haeckel, the arch materi- alist, in his last years showed an almost hysterical anxiety to make a place for God in his system, and the day will come in a not far distant future when science will have become as thoroughly religious as religion itself. The church, on the other hand, though still extremely conservative is never- theless slowly abandoning its autocratic dogmatism and becoming more scien- tific in its explanations. Thus in time we shall see the union of science and religion as it existed in the ancient Mystery Temples, and when that point has been reached, THE DOCTRINES AND SACRAMENTS of the church will be found to REST UPON IMMUTABLE COSMIC LAWS OF NO LESS IMPORTANCE THAN around the Sun. As the points of the equinoxes and solstices are turning points in the cyclic path of the human spirit around its central source--God, which are marked by the sacraments of BAPTISM, COMMUNION, MARRIAGE, and THE LAST BLESSING. We will now consider the rite of baptism. Much has been said by dissent- ers against the practice of taking an INFANT INTO CHURCH AND PROMISING FOR IT A RELIGIOUS LIFE. Heated arguments concerning SPRINKLING VERSUS PLUNGING have resulted in divisions of churches. If we wish to obtain the true idea of baptism, however, we must revert to the early history of the human race as recorded in the Memory of Nature. All that has ever happened is indel- ibly pictured in the ether as a moving picture is imprinted upon a sensi- tized film, which picture can be reproduced upon a screen at any moment. The pictures in the true Memory of Nature (the World of Life Spirit) may be viewed by the trained seer, even though millions of years have elapsed since the scenes there portrayed were enacted in life. [PAGE 197] When we consult that unimpeachable record it appears that there was a time when that which is now our earth came out of chaos, dark and unformed, as the Bible states. The currents developed in this misty mass by spiritual agencies, generated HEAT, and the mass ignited at the time when we are told that God said, "Let there be light." the heat of the fiery mass and the cold space surrounding it generated MOISTURE; the fire mist became sur- rounded by water which boiled, and steam was projected into the atmosphere; thus God. . .divided the waters. . .from the waters. . ."--the dense water which was nearest the fire mist from the steam (which is water in suspen- sion), as stated in the Bible. When water containing sediment is boiled over and over it deposits scale, and similarly the water surrounding our planet finally formed a crust around the fiery core. When that crust had been completed, there was no water upon the surface of the earth, but as the Bible says, "A mist went up from the surface," and no herb had yet grown upon the face of the earth. At that time, however, vegetation began to appear and nascent humanity lived there. They were not, however, a humanity constituted as we are today. Their form was very much different and they were not nearly as evolved as we are at the present time. They could not see things outside themselves, but they had an inner perception. They saw the soul qualities of all who lived around them and they perceived themselves as spiritual rather than material beings. At that time there were not nations at all, but humanity was one vast brotherhood. All were partially outside their bodies and therefore in touch with the Universal Spirit, which has now been obscured in the separateness of egotism which causes each man to feel himself distinct and apart from all the rest of humanity. Brotherhood is forgotten and selfish- ness rules. When anyone has progressed so far that he appreciates the blessings of brotherhood, where he endeavors to abolish egotism and cultivate altruism, he may go through the rite of baptism. Therefore, when a person is admitted to the church, which is a SPIRITUAL institution where love and brotherhood are the mainsprings of action, it is appropriate to carry him UNDER THE WA- TERS of baptism in symbol of the beautiful condition of childlike innocence and love which pervailed when mankind dwelt UNDER THE MIST in that bygone period. At that time the eyes of infant man had not yet been opened to the MATERIAL advantages of this world. The little child which is brought into the church has not yet become aware of the allurements of life either, and others obligate themselves to guide it to lead a holy life according tot he best of their ability, because experience gained since the Flood has taught us that the broad way of the world is strewn with pain, sorrow and disap- pointment; that only by following the straight and narrow way can we escape death and enter into life everlasting. Thus we see that there is a wonderfully deep, mystic significance behind the sacrament of baptism; that it is to remind us of the blessings attendant upon those who are members of a BROTHERHOOD where self-seeking is put into the background and where SERVICE to others is the keynote and mainspring to action. While we are in the world, he is the greatest who can most success- fully dominate others. In the church we have Christ's definition: "He who would be the greatest among you, let him be the servant of all." QUESTIONS ON LESSON NO. 20: 1. Why are the various doctrines and sacraments of the church the keystones in the arch of evolution? 2. What are some of the milestones that mark our advance in civilization? 3. What will be the nature of science in the future? 4. Upon what will the doctrines and sacrament of the church then be found to rest? 5. Compare man's present condition with that in the early days of evolution. 6. Of what is the Sacrament of Baptism the symbol? 7. How is true greatness achieved? Continued with file "RC4011.TXT" End of File


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