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Filename: RC4012.TXT [PAGE 211] 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. 24: MISCELLANEOUS INTERPRETATIONS (continued): CONFESSION AND ABSOLUTION; THE VALUE OF RITUAL; "I CAME NOT TO SEND PEACE, BUT A SWORD.": REFERENCES: Matthew 10:32-33; I John 1:9; Romans 14:11; 15:9; James 5:16; Revelation 3:5; Matthew 10:34. CONFESSION AND ABSOLUTION.--If one thinks of confession and absolution as practised in the Catholic Church, it may be stated that the priest, cer- tainly, has no power to forgive the sins of the penitent, and the practice of confession BY ORDER OF A CHURCH is usually but an outward show of penitence, putting one in mind of the prayer of the Pharisee who went into the temple that he might be seen of men. If, on the other hand, confession is made in the spirit of the publican, which is the spirit of true pentience, then there is a certain value, for as a little child who has committed a wrong feels consciencesmitten and sorry, so may we feel extremely penitent for our sins of omission and commission. It is a fact often noticed by kind parents that penitence in silence is sometimes insufficient to the child which feels the need of going to the parent and CONFESSING ITS SIN. When the forgiveness of the parent has been obtained its conscience is at rest. So also with the child of God. We sin and we are sorry for our sins; we determine not to commit this or that wrong again but if we confess to someone in whom we have faith, and get their sym- pathy and assurance that this wrong will not be held against us, we shall feel easier in conscience. That was the principle underlying command of the Bible, "Confess your sins to one another." The one to whom we confess will, of course, be a person for whom we have a profound respect and love, and he or she will stand toward us at that moment as the representative of God in our own higher nature, and we shall feel very much relieved at having received his sympathy. But we shall feel also that the pact we have made with ourselves not to commit the sin in question again has been strengthened by having him as a witness. If confession is made thus, and absolution so obtained, then it has undoubtedly a very beneficial effect. THE VALUE OF RITUAL.--At the present time all humanity has evolved so far that they are above law in some effects. Most people obey the law, "Thou shalt not steal," for instance. Law is a curb on the desire nature, but where occult or rather spiritual advancement is contemplated, the spiritualization of the vital body must [PAGE 212] also be accomplished. And that is attained by means of art and religion, IN OFF-REPEATED IMPACTS, for the keynote of the vital body is REPETITION, as we can see by looking at the plants which have only a dense body and a vital body. There stem and leaf follow each other in upward succession; the plant keeps on growing them alternately. If was the vital body that built the vertebrae of the human spine one after another by constant repetition. And memory, for instance, which is one of the faculties of the vital body, is strengthened and developed by constant iteration and reiteration. When the Protestants left the Catholic Church they truly left many of the abuses behind, but they also left almost everything of value. They aban- doned the ritual which everyone may know and understand regardless of poor enunciation upon the part of the preacher. Knowing the ritual, the laity could send their thoughts in the same direction as the thought of the priest who was reading, and thus an enormous volume of identical spiritual thought was massed together and projected upon the community for good or evil. Nowadays the congregation in a Protestant Church listens to the extempo- raneous prayer or sermon of their minister, who usually does not think so much of the spiritual work before him as he does of how he may turn out the most euphonious phrases to tickle the ears of his congregation. They often forget what he has said before they leave the church. Those who go to a Catholic church understanding the ritual are still today able to unite their thoughts in spiritual conclave and keep within memory that which has been gone through. Thus they are every time adding a little to the spiritualiza- tion of their vital bodies, while the Protestant church members have been affected only in their emotional natures, and that effect is soon thrown out. The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing, and many have scoffed say- ing that if God is omniscent, He knows whereof we have need without our prayer, and if He is not, He can hardly be omnipotent. Therefore our prayers are not granted, and it is useless to pray. But that command was indicated from a knowledge of the nature of the vital body, which needs that repetition in order that it may be spiritualized. As to the use of the Latin language, it is stated in the first chapter of John that in the beginning was the word. . .and without it was nothing made that was made. Word is sound. If we take sand or plant spores and place them upon a brass or a glass plate, then take a violin bow and draw it across the edges, we shall produce sound. That sound will cause the spores or grains of sand to arrange themselves in geometrical figures, similar to the crystals of which all things are composed. EVERY SOUND PRODUCES A DIF- FERENT FORMATION. Thus, if a certain sound produces a certain effect which we wish to produce, WE CANNOT CHANGE THE SOUND WITHOUT ALSO CHANGING THE EF- FECT. If we emit a certain sound and say "Deum", then translate DEUM and say "God," the sound is very different, as the sound produces certain ef- fects upon our invisible bodies, the effects that were produced by the original Latin ritual have been lost to the Protestant churches which [PAGE 213] changed it into English or dropped it altogether. "I CAME NOT TO SEND PEACE BUT A SWORD."--It is said that the "law and the prophets were until Christ," and there are four steps whereby man lifts him- self to God. At first, when he awakens to a consciousness in the physical world and is in the savage state, he finds himself surrounded by other men, who by the very stress of circumstances are forced to fight for life, men among whom "might is right": here he learns to rely upon his own strength to save him from the onslaughts of wild animals and other men. But he per- ceives around him the nature powers, and of them he is afraid, for he knows their ability to kill and his own impotence to cope with them. He therefore begins to worship, seeking to PROPITIATE THE GOD HE FEARS, BY BLOODY SACRI- FICE. Then comes the time when he begins to look to GOD AS THE GIVER OF THINGS, who will reward him here and now for obedience to His law and punish him in- stantly for disobedience. This God is a mighty ally against his (man's) en- emies but also a powerful enemy, therefore He is much to be feared. Man thus worships and SACRIFICES ANIMALS THROUGH FEAR AND AVARICE. Then comes the stage when he is taught to worship A GOD OF LOVE AND TO SACRIFICE HIMSELF from day to day, through his whole life, for a reward in a future state which he is to believe in by faith and which is not even clearly outlined. Finally man will reach a stage when he will recognize his divinity and DO RIGHT BECAUSE IT IS RIGHT without thought of fear or bribe. The Jews had reached the second of these stages and were under the law. The Christian religion is gradually working through the third stage, though not yet freed from the second. All of us are yet under laws made by God and by man in order to curb our desire bodies by FEAR, but to advance us spiritually from now on we must sensitize our vital body, which is amenable to love, while not at all cognizant of law which governs the desire nature. In order to prepare this coming state, the priests, who were more ad- vanced than the ordinary people, kept separate and apart from them. We hear in the East that only a certain caste, the Brahmins, were allowed to enter the temples and perform the temple services. Among the Jews, only the Levites were allowed to approach the holy place, and among other nations it was the same. The priests were always a distinct class, who were not al- lowed to marry among ordinary people. They were separate and apart in every respect. That was because the leaders of humanity could use only the strain where there existed a certain laxity between the vital body and the dense body. And so they bred these priests and herded them around the temples, regulat- ing their life in every respect. But at the time when Christ was liberated from the body of Jesus and diffused His Being throughout the whole earth, the veil was rent, as a symbol of the fact that the need for any special condition had passed away. From that time on the ether has been changing in the earth. An increasingly higher rate of vibration allows for the [PAGE 214] expression of altruistic qualities. It was the starting of that enormous vibration which caused the darkness said to have attended the crucifixion. That was not darkness at all, but an intense light which blinded people for the time being until the vibrations slowed down by immersion in the dense, physical earth. A few hours later the radiant Christ Spirit had drawn into the earth sufficiently to restore normal conditions. But gradually the power from within is gaining ascendancy, and the etheric vibrations are be- ing accelerated, increasing altruism and spiritual growth. Thus the condi- tions are now such that no special or privileged class need exist, but EACH AND EVERY ONE MAY ASPIRE TO ENTER THE PATH OF INITIATION. Old conditions die hard, however. Under the regime of Jehovah, the Spirit of the Moon, humanity had been broken up into nations, and in order that He might guide them it was necessary that He should at times use one nation to punish another, for humanity was not then amenable to love--it would obey only under the lash of fear. Before the great Universal Brother- hood of Love can be inaugurated it is necessary to break up these nations on the same principle that if we have a number of buildings composed of bricks and we wish to build them into one grand structure, it is necessary first to break them to pieces so that the individual bricks will be available for use in the larger building. Therefore, the Christ said, "I came not to send peace, but a sword." We must OUTGROW PATRIOTISM and learn to say as that great soul, Thomas Paine, "The world is my country, and to do good is my religion." On the holy night when the Christ child was born, the angels sang a song, "Peace on Earth and Good Will among Men." Later, the child grew up and said, "I came not to send peace, but a sword." and the Christian religion has been the bloodiest of all religions of humanity. It has carried desolation and sor- row with it wherever it has gone, but out of all that travail there will yet come the day when the song of the angels will become a fact and the words of the Christ uttered at other times concerning love to one's neighbor will be lived. When the sword has done its work it will be beaten into plowshares, and there will be no more nations. QUESTIONS ON LESSON NO. 24: 1. In what spirit must confession, to be of value, be made? 2. Describe the exercise which is better than confession. 3. Explain the principle underlying the value of ritual. 4. What are the four steps by which man lifts himself to God? 5. Through which of these stages is the Christian religion working? 6. Explain the statement: "The veil was rent." 7. Why must nations be abolished? [PAGE 215] "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. 25: MISCELLANEOUS INTERPRETATIONS (CONTINUED): REFERENCES: Luke 23:9-43; Matthew 27:38; John 10:1-18; Mark 10:15; Luke 18:17. "TODAY THOU SHALT BE WITH ME IN PARADISE."--The New Testament was writ- ten in Greek, a language in which no punctuation marks are used. The punc- tuation marks in our Bible have been inserted by our later Bible transla- tors, and punctuation often very radically changes the meaning of a sentence, as the following story will illustrate: In a prayer meeting some one handed in a request which the pastor read thus: "A sailor going to sea, his mother-in-law desires the prayers of the congregation for his safe return to wife and child." The request was not punctuated at all, but would imply that the young man's mother-in-law was very solicitous to have him return safely to his wife and child and there- fore desired the prayers of the congregation. Had the pastor read it with- out the comma, it would have implied that the sailor, going to see his mother-in-law desired the prayers of the congregation for his safe return to wife and child, and one would naturally think that the lady in question must be a Tartar when it was necessary for the young man to ask the prayers of the congregation before facing her. In this case, if the words of the Christ are read thus: Verily I say unto thee today, thou shalt be with me in paradises," they would imply that the thief would be with Christ at some future time not defined. But where the commas is placed before the word TODAY, as in the Bible, it gives the idea ordinarily held by people. That this idea is absolutely wrong can be seen by the remark of the Christ just after His resurrection, when He said to the woman: "Touch me not, for I have not yet ascended to my Father." If He promised the thief that he should be with Him in Paradise on the day of the crucifixion and three days later declared that He had not yet been there, the Christ would have been guilty of contradiction, which is, of course, an impossibility. Placing of the comma as suggested fully reconciles the meaning of the two passages; and besides, Peter tells us that in the interval He worked with the spirits in Purgatory. THE TWO CRUCIFIED THIEVES.--Contrary to the ordinarily accepted opinion, the four Gospels are not merely the biography of Jesus, the Christ. They [PAGE 216] are formulae of initiation of four different Mystery Schools, and in order to veil their esoteric meaning, the life and ministry of the Christ is also intermingled. That could be done easily as all initiates, being cosmic characters, have similar experiences. It is truly said that unto the multi- tude the Christ spoke in parables, but the hidden meaning was given to His disciples in private. Paul also gave the milk to the weak and the meat to the strong ones. It was never intended at any time to give the hidden sym- bols to ordinary people, or to make the bible "an open book of God," as people nowadays believe. When reading in the memory of nature, we find that at the time of the crucifixion, there were not only two, but a number, who were crucified. The people at the time meted out capital punishment for the slightest offenses and there were always plenty to suffer those barbarous deaths. Thus, those who wanted to veil the hidden meaning of the Gospels were at no loss to find something wherewith to fill out the tale and obscure the points which are really vital in the crucifixion. The part of the story relating to the thieves, is therefore, a true incident, without having anything to do with the esoteric meaning at all. "ALL WHO CAM BEFORE ME WERE THIEVES AND ROBBERS.--When man first came upon this earth the dense body was built in the POLARIAN EPOCH, and was vi- talized by the interpenetration of a vital body in the HYPERBOREAN EPOCH. At that time man was like the Angels, male-female, a complete creative unit, able to create from himself by projecting his whole creative force--which is love. Later it became necessary for man to evolve a brain, and in order to ac- complish that object one-half of his creative force was turned inward in or- der to build the necessary organs. From that time on, man must seek the co- operation of some one having the other half of the sex force available for propagation. Now he loves selfishly to obtain the cooperation of another in propagation; the other half of the creative force wherewith he build hie brain and larynx he also uses selfishly to think, because he desires to ob- tain knowledge. Previously man had projected his whole creative force without reserve, unselfishly. Since the division of the sex force man has eventually become selfish and therefore by attraction a prey to others of like nature. The Angels were the humanity of the Moon Period and have since attained to their present high development, but as in every great company there are stragglers, so also in the case of the Angels there were some who did not attain--a class of beings which were behind the Angels but above humanity. They were in a sad state, for they could not follow the present development of the Angels and neither could they sink as low into matter as man. They could not, as the angels, dispense with a brain, yet they were incapable of building one for themselves, so when humanity evolved the brain and spinal cord they saw an opportunity in woman, who expresses the negative pole of the creative force, IMAGINATION, the faculty which enables her to build a [PAGE 217] body in the womb. In order to gain access to her consciousness this intel- ligence took advantage of a perplexity then disturbing the woman on account of her exercise of the imaginative faculty. At that time the eyes of humanity had not yet been opened; they were spiritual beings, not quite conscious of the possession of a physical body. The woman was the first to observe dimly that she and others possessed such an instrument, and she had observed that at certain times some of her friends who she had previously perceived as having this physical appendage, had lost it, so she was troubled. From the Angels she could obtain no in- formation, but this intelligence which appeared within herself in the ser- pentine spinal cord, enlightened her, and "the serpent said unto the woman, 'Hath God said, ye shall not eat of every Tree in the Garden?'" to which she answered that they had been forbidden to "eat of the Tree of Knowledge" un- der penalty of death. But the serpent said" "Ye shall not surely die, for God knows that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." The woman secured the cooperation of the man according to the instruc- tions of LUCIFER, THE LIGHT GIVER, and since then their eyes have been opened, they have known good and evil. But prior to that time man had been unconscious of the possession of his body; it had fallen away from him at times, as the leaf falls from the tree, without inconveniencing him or disturbing him, for his consciousness had been focused in the Spiritual World at all times. But the Lucifer Spirits desired a power over him, a foothold in his brain and spinal cord. They incited him to break away from the yoke of the Angels and take the creative function into his own hands. By the oft repeated and ignorant abuse of that faculty the consciousness of man was withdrawn from the Spiritual Worlds and focused in the Physical World Then came death in all its present terrible aspects, for man now re- gards this earth as the only real life. When that ends, he enters an exist- ence of which he knows nothing and which he consequently fears. Thus, on account of listening to Lucifer, THE FALSE LIGHT GIVER, man has become subject to sorrow, pain, and death. He has been robbed of his in- nocence and peace. The Christ came into the world to save humanity from sin, sorrow, and death. Therefore He called Himself the TRUE LIGHT, and the others, who came before, He characterized as thieves and robbers for they had robbed man of the spiritual sight though they had enlightened him in the physical sense. "WHOSOEVER SHALL NOT RECEIVE THE KINGDOM OF GOD AS A LITTLE CHILD SHALL NOT ENTER THEREIN."--In the world around us we wee the kingdom of men, where everyone is endeavoring to maintain his own position and depends upon his own ideas and his own self-assertion to hold that position against all com- ers. When anything new is presented to him, his mental attitude is usually tinged with skepticism. He fears to be deceived. [PAGE 218] The attitude of a little child with regard to what it sees or hears is exactly the reverse of the position of its elders. The little child has no overwhelming sense of its own superior knowledge, but is frankly ignorant and therefore eminently teachable, and it was to this trait that the Savior referred in the passage quoted. When we enter the higher life, we must first forget everything that we knew in the world. We must commence to look at things in an entirely dif- ferent way, and WHEN A NEW TEACHING IS BROUGHT BEFORE US WE MUST ENDEAVOR TO RECEIVE IT REGARDLESS OF OTHER FACTS PREVIOUSLY OBSERVED. This is in order that we may be perfectly unbiased. Of course, we are not supposed to be- lieve offhand that "black is white," but if someone seriously asserts that an object which we have hitherto regarded as black is really white, our mind should be sufficiently open to prevent us from passing judgment at once and saying, "Why, I know that an object is black." We should be willing to re-examine the object to see if there may not be a point of view whence that thing which we have thought black appears to be white. Only when we have made thorough examination and have found that the thing is really black from whatever point of view may we return to our previous opinion. There is nothing so remarkable about a child as the flexible attitude of its mind which renders it so teachable, and the pupil who endeavors to live the higher life should always aim to keep his mind in that fluidic state, for as soon as our ideas have become SET and incapable of being changed, our progress ceases. That was the great truth which the Christ was endeavoring to present to His hearers when He made the remark mentioned. QUESTIONS ON LESSON NO. 25: 1.--Give the correct interpretation of the Christ's promise to the thief that he would be with Him in Paradise. 2.--What confirmation do we have of this interpretation? 3.--What is the significance of the two crucified thieves? 4.--What knowledge did the Lucifers impart to man? 5.--What was their object in so doing? 6.--Sum up the esoteric meaning of Christ's statement: "All who came before Me were thieves and robbers." 7.--Explain in your own words what the Christ meant when He said: Whosoever shall not receive the Kingdom of God as a little child shall not enter therein." [PAGE 219] "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. 26: MISCELLANEOUS INTERPRETATIONS (CONTINUED): REFERENCES: Luke 24:36-43; Matthew 14:15-21; John 6:1-13; Luke 15:11-24; Matthew 9;24; John 11:11; Acts 9:36-42. "AND THEY GAVE HIM A PIECE OF BROILED FISH, AND OF A HONEYCOMB." After the Resurrection the Christ at one time appeared among His disciples while they were in a locked room. They did not recognize Him at one and did not believe that His was a material body. But the vehicle in which He appeared was the vital body of Jesus, and it was possible for Him, as for anyone else capable of functioning in that vehicle, to draw matter of the chemical re- gion around Himself and build a perfectly tangible, dense body in a moment. In order to convince them that He was as usual, He asked for something to eat and was given a piece of honeycomb and some fish. It was stated that He ate, but not that He ate the fish, and one who had been brought up among strict vegetarians like the Essenes would not have eaten the fish any more then he would have eaten flesh if it had been set before him. It is also related of the Buddha that he died after gorging himself upon boar's flesh, which is highly ridiculous to anyone are of the fact that he taught his disciples the simple and harmless life--to sustain the body upon the purest and best foods as they come directly from the ground--and was moved to the greatest pity at the sight of suffering on the part of man or beast. The esoteric student understands that in olden times the boar was a symbol of esoteric knowledge. One ay give of his knowledge; the more we give the more we have--at least, the same amount of knowledge remains. The Buddha is his earth life had gorged himself upon this sacred knowledge, and when he died he was full thereof. Not everyone should be a vegetarian AT ONCE. The vegetarian diet gener- ates an abundance of energy, much more than flesh foods. This energy is not only physical but spiritual, so that if a man leads a sedentary life and is of a material disposition, engaged, perhaps, in sordid business transactions or in other lines of strictly material endeavor, this spiritual energy can find no vent and is apt to cause systemic disturbances. Only those who live an active, outdoor life, where the abundance of energy generated by the veg- etarian food can be thrown off, or who transmute that energy into spiritual endeavor, can thrive on the vegetarian diet. Besides, we recognize that the heredity of many generations has made man partly carnivorous, so that in the case of most people the change from a mixed diet to vegetables should be [PAGE 220] gradual. The diet which suits one man is not fitted for another, as indi- cated in the old proverb that "one man's eat is another man's poison," and no hard and fast rules can be laid down which will apply equally to all people. Therefore, everything that we eat as well as everything else con- nected with our personality should be determined by ourselves individually. The Bible says truly that it is not that which goeth into the mouth that defileth us. If we crave and support ourselves upon loathsome food, IT IS THE CRAVING THAT IS THE SIN and not the food itself. If a man is in a place where he cannot obtain the pure foods which he desires and craves, he ought to take the food which is obtainable, even flesh food, just as thankfully as he takest the pure food. It will not defile him because of his attitude of mind. "AND WHEN HE HAD TAKEN THE FIVE LOAVES AND THE TWO FISHES, HE LOOKED UP TO HEAVEN, AND BLESSED, AND BRAKE THE LOAVES, AND GAVE THEM TO HIS DISCIPLES TO SET BEFORE THE; AND THE TWO FISHES DIVIDED HE AMONG THEM ALL."--It is the nature of a beast of prey to eat any animal that comes in its path, and its organs are such that it must have that kind of a diet to exist, but EVERY- THING IS IN A STAGE OF BECOMING; it is always changing to something higher. Man, in his earlier stages of unfoldment, was also like the beasts of prey in certain respects. However, he is to become Godlike and thus he must cease to destroy at some time in order that he may commence to create. We have been taught that there is no life in the universe but the life of God, that "in Him we live and move and have our being." His life animates everything that is and therefore we naturally understand that as soon as we take LIFE we are destroying the FORM built by God for His manifestation. The lower animals are evolving spirits and have sensi- bilities It is their desire for experience that causes them to build their various forms, and when we take their forms away from them we deprive them of their opportunity for gaining experience. We hinder their evolution in- stead of helping them. It is excusable in the cannibal, who knows no bet- ter, when he eats his fellow men. We now regard cannibalism with horror, and the day will also come when we shall feel a like disgust at the thought of making our stomachs the burying ground of the carcasses of murdered animals. It is natural that we should desire the very best of food, but every animal body has in it the poisons of decay. The venous blood is filled with carbon dioxide and other noxious products on their way to the kidneys or the pores of the skin to be expelled as urine or perspiration. These loathsome substances are in every part of the flesh and when we eat such food we are filling our own bodies with toxic poisons. Much sickness is due to our use of flesh foods. In a great many places where the bible speaks of "meat" it is very plain that flesh food is not meant. The chapter in Genesis where man's food is first allotted to him says that he should eat of every tree and herb bearing seed, " and to you it shall be for MEAT." The most evolved people at all [PAGE 221] times have abstained from flesh foods. We see, for instance, Daniel, who was a holy man and a wise man, beg that he might not be forced to eat meat, but that he and his companions be given pulse. The children of Israel in the wilderness are spoken of as "LUSTING after flesh" and their God is angry with them in consequence. There is an esoteric meaning to the feeding of the multitude where fish was used as food, but looking to the purely material aspect we may sum up the points made by reiterating that we shall some time outgrow flesh and fish eating as we have risen above cannibalism. Whatever license may have been given in the barbaric past will disappear in the altruistic future, when more refined sensibilities shall have awakened us to a fuller sense of the horrors involved in the gratification of a carnivorous taste. "AND HE SAID, A CERTAIN MAN HAD TWO SONS."--The story of the prodigal son was a parable whereby the Christ intended to teach a lesson and not an actual fact. It is a story which tells of the spirit's pilgrimage through matter. There are different classes of spirits. Some, but not all, have gone into the school of experience, the world. They have descended from their high estate in the World of God gradually deeper and deeper into the sea of matter which blinds them. At last they find themselves enmeshed in the dense matter of the Physical World. That is the turning point where they wake up; where the unconscious path of involution ends; where self-consciousness is attained plus a consciousness of the world without. But the spirit within is not content to remain in this world. Reawakened to a sense of its inherent divinity it feels drawn anew to its highest spheres, and says "I will arise and got to my Father." Then comes the toil of stripping off the various vehicles in which it has become enmeshed and of raising itself once more to the conscious com- munion with God. While engaged in this arduous task "the Father meets it a long way off"; the still small voice from within begins to speak and tell of heavenly glories and, at last, when either the evolution of humanity has been completed or the single spirit has taken THE SHORT CUT OF IMITATION, there is a reunion with God and the other brothers who have not yet gone out into the school of experience. Naturally there is more rejoicing over the return of one who has fought the good fight and has come back to his heav- enly home, than over the one who has not yet sought to improve his opportu- nities. RAISING THE DEAD.--Peter did not raise Doreas from the dead, neither did the Christ raise Lazarus or anyone else, nor did He so claim. He said "He is not dead,he sleepeth." In order that this matter may be understood, we will explain what takes place at death and wherein death is different from the state of trance, for the persons mentioned were entranced at the time that supposed miracles took place. During the waking state, when the Ego is functioning consciously in the Physical World, its various vehicles are concentric--they occupy the same space--but at night, when the body is laid down to sleep, a separation takes [PAGE 222] place. The Ego, clothed in the mind and desire body, extricates itself from the dense body and the vital body, which are left upon the bed. The higher vehicles hover above or near. They are connected to the denser vehicles by the SILVER CORD, a thing listening thread which takes the shape of two fig- ure sixes, one end being attached to the seed atom in the heart and the other to the central vortex of the desire body. At the moment of death, this thread is ruptured at the seed atom in the heart and the forces of this atom pass along the pneumogastric nerve, through the third ventricle of the brain, and thence outward through the su- ture between the occipital and parietal bones of the skull, along the silver cord and into the higher vehicles. Simultaneously with this rupture, the vital body is also disengaged and joins the higher vehicles which are hover- ing above the dead body. There it remains from about three and one-half days. Then the higher vehicles disengage themselves from the vital body, which disintegrates synchronously with the dense body, in ordinary cases. At the time of this last separation, the silver cord also breaks in the middle, and the Ego is freed from contact with the material world. During sleep the Ego also withdraws from the dense body, but the vital body remains with the dense body and the silver cord is left intact. It sometimes happens that the Ego does not enter the body in the morning to waken it as usual, but remains outside for a time varying from one to an indefinite number of days. Then we say that the body is in a natural trance. But the silver cord is not ruptured in either of the two places men- tioned. Where these ruptures have once taken place no restoration is pos- sible. The Christ and the apostle were clairvoyants; they saw that no rup- ture had taken place in the cases mentioned, hence the saying, "He is not dead, he sleepeth." They also possessed the power to force the Ego into its body and restore the normal condition. Thus so-called miracles were per- formed by them. QUESTIONS ON LESSON NO. 26: 1.--Explain the implication that the Christ ate fish. 2.--What are the important facts to remember in regard to a vegetarian diet? 3.--What in the nature of flesh foods makes them particularly undesireable? 4.--What is the meaning of "meat" as used generally in the Bible? 5.--Explain the parable of the Prodigal Son. 6.--Describe what takes place at death. 7.--Just what did the Christ and His disciples do when they seemed to "raise the dead"? [PAGE 223] "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. 27: MISCELLANEOUS INTERPRETATIONS (CONCLUDED): REFERENCES: I Corinthians 5:7; Hebrews 6:20; 7:1-28; 11:28; Job 19:26; Mark 16:15. THE CHRISTIAN FEASTS.--The feasts of the year have a very deep occult significance. From the material point of view, the planets are but so many masses of matter revolving in their orbits in obedience to so-called blind laws, but to the occultist they appear as Great Spirits, moving about in space as we move in the world. When a man is seen gesticulating, we attach a certain significance to his gestures. If he shakes his head, we know that he is negativing a certain proposition, but if he nods, we infer that he agrees. If he beckons, having the palms of his hands turned toward him, we know that he is motioning for someone to come to him, but if he turns the palms outward, we understand that he is warning someone to stay away. In the case of the universe, we usually do not think that there is any significance to the altered position of the planets, but to the occultist there is the very deepest meaning in all the varied phenomena of the heavens. They correspond to the gestures of man. KRISHNA means anointed, and anyone who had a special mission to perform was so anointed in olden times. When, in the winter time, the sun is below the equator at the nadir point of its travel, the spiritual impulses are the greatest in the world. For our material welfare, however, it is necessary that the sun should come again into the northern hemisphere, and so we speak of the time when the sun starts upon its journey northward as Christmas, the birthday of the Savior, anointed to save us from the famine and cold which would ensue if he were to stay at the nadir point always. As the sun passes toward the equator, it goes through the sign Aquarius, the water-man, at that time the earth is deluged with rain, symbolizing the baptism of the Savior. Then comes the passage of the sun through the sign Pisces, the fishes, in the month of March. The stores of the past year have been all consumed, and the food of man is scant, hence we have the long fast of Lent, where the eating of fish symbolizes this feature of the solar jour- ney. Then comes the Passover, when the sun passes over the equator. This [PAGE 224] is the time of Easter, when the sun is at his eastern node, and this cross- ing of the equator is symbolized by the crossification or crucifixion, so called, of the Savior; the sun then goes into the sign of Aries, the Ram, and becomes the Lamb of God, which is given for the salvation of the world at the time when the plants begin to sprout. In order that the sacrifice may be of benefit to man, however, he (the sun) must ascend into the heavens where his rays will have power to ripen the grape and the corn, and so we have the feast of Whit-Sunday and the Ascension of the Savior to the Throne of the Father, which is at the summer solstice in June. There the sun re- mains for three days, when the saying "Thence he shall return" takes effect as the sun commences his passage towards the western node. Thence he passes into the sign Leo, the Lion of Judah, and we have the feast of the ASSUMP- TION, on August 15, in Leo. Next he traverses the sign Virgo, the Virgin, THE NATIVITY of the virgin, who seems, as it were, to be born from the sun. The Jewish Feast of Tabernacles occurred at the time when the sun was crossing the equator on its passage into the winter months, and this feast was accompanied by the weighing in of the corn and the harvest of the wine, which were the gifts of the solar God to his human worshipers. Thus all the feasts of the year are connected with the motions of the stars through space. MELCHIZEDEK.--We are told that Melchizedek was king of Salem and also a high priest. We are told that his priesthood was far above that of Aaron, for it was unchangeable, while that of Aaron and the Levites was subject to frequent change. During the times of which we have record in history, there has always been a division of the temporal and the ecclesiastical powers. Moses was the temporal ruler and leader of the Jewish people, while Aaron was the priest who looked after their spiritual welfare. Down the ages this divi- sion of the church and the state has ever been apparent, at times causing great strife and bloodshed, for their interests seem ever to be diametri- cally opposite. However, at the time of this Melchizedek, king of Salem, which interpreted means "peace," there was no such division, the two offices were combined in one individual. The story of Melchizedek, a being without earthly pedigree, refers, of course, to the time in early Atlantis when hu- manity had not yet been divided into warring nations, but were one vast, peaceful brotherhood, and the leaders of the people were Divine Beings, who were both kings and priests. The alter division of the church and state has been one of the most fruitful sources of enmity and war among humanity, for each of these powers has striven for supremacy over the other, while in reality there should be no prejudice, for no one who is not as spiritual as a priest should be is [PAGE 225] fit to rule as a king, and no one who is not as wise and just as a king should be is fit to have the spiritual guidance of humanity as the priests have. When these qualities are combined in one leader again, the reign of universal peace and brotherhood will become a fact. The Christ has been heralded as such a leader, capable of uniting church and state as king and priest after the order of Melchizedek. His Second Coming inaugurates the millenium, the age of peace and joy, where the symbolical New Jerusalem, the city of peace (for Jerusalem means "there shall be peace") reigns over the nations of the earth, united into one universal brotherhood. THE APOSTLES' CREED AND THE RESURRECTION OF THE BODY.--The Apostles' Creed was not composed until centuries after they had passed away, and then it was taken to embody what they had believed. Neither they nor the bible teach the resurrection of the body. That phrase is not to be found in the Good Book at all. In King James' version we read (Job 19:26) that "though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God"; and this passage is the chief reliance of those who endeavor to establish that absurd doctrine. however, the translators appointed by King James were poor Hebrew scholars, and most of them died before the translation was completed. In the Revised Version you will find another interpretation as follows: "And after my skin, even this body, is destroyed; then without my flesh shall I see God." Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; there- fore what in the world would be the use of having a body such as we have now? Furthermore, this body must be perpetuated at the present time, and we hear that in the resurrection there shall neither be marrying nor giving in marriage, another argument that shows that a vehicle of a different kind from the flesh will be used. Besides, it is a well-known, well-established scientific fact that the atoms in our bodies are constantly coming and go- ing. Now, if there is to be a resurrection of the body, which set of atoms is to be that which shall come forth in this resurrection? Or, if every atom that ever was in our body from birth to death is to be in that resurrection body, would it not be an enormous conglomeration, for we should then have immense bodies composed of layers; in fact, it would be a scien- tific conundrum. Now, as Paul says, the SEED is put in the ground each time to gather a new body. (I Cor. 15.) "GO YE INTO ALL THE WORLD AND PREACH THE GOSPEL TO EVERY CREATURE."--The meaning of the Christ's words obviously rests upon the interpretation of the word "world." If by that word we understand the whole earth, it may be right to send missionaries to foreign countries; but the Bible tells us that THE DISCIPLES TO WHOM THE COMMAND WAS GIVEN returned after having accom- plished their mission, showing that word of command could not have been meant to include the whole earth. In this connection the word "world" should rather have been given the interpretation "polity," which will also [PAGE 226] be found in some of our dictionaries as another meaning for the word. At the time of Christ people did not know the whole world. We find even to this day the westernmost cape of Spain called Finisterre--THE END OF THE EARTH. Therefore this term at the time when Christ spoke His command could not have included the whole earth as we know it today. The statement is, therefore, not contrary to Bible teachings. It is wrong to send missionar- ies out to the people we call "heathen," for their development is as yet such that they cannot understand a religion which preaches LOVE to one's neighbor, a religion which even we have not yet learned to practice. Be- sides, if the great Recording Angels who have charge of man's evolution are capable of judging our needs, and placing each one in the environment where he will find the influences most conducive to progression, we must also be- lieve that they have given to each nation the religion most salutary to its unfoldment. Therefore, when a man has been placed in a country where the Christian religion is taught, that religion holds the ideal which he should strive for, but to try to force it upon other people who have been placed in a different sphere is to set our judgment up as greater than the judgment of God and His ministers, the Recording Angels. It is safest to rest in the religion of our country, to study and practice that, leaving to other na- tions the privilege of doing the same in respect to their own religions. QUESTIONS ON LESSON NO. 27: 1. What is the true nature of the planets? 2. Explain the occult significance of the Christian feasts. 3. To whom did the Bible historians refer when using the term "Melchizedek"? 4. Describe the conditions which will exist when another "king and priest after the order of Melchizedek" comes. 5. Explain how it is impossible for the physical bodies of the dead to be "resurrected." 6. What has been the Bible reference used by advocates of foreign missionaries as a basis for their attitude? 7. What is the correct attitude toward foreign missionary work? Why? [PAGE 227] "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. 28: BABYLON AND THE NEW JERUSALEM: REFERENCES: Genesis 11:1-9; Isaiah 14; I Corinthians 15:50; I Thessalonians, 4:17; Revelation 17, 21. As stated in previous lessons, the Lucifers are a class of Beings who at- tained to a stage of evolution far beyond that of humanity in the Moon Pe- riod, but fell short of the development of the Angels. They are demigods, and could not take a dense body like man. But neither could they gather ex- perience as the Angels are doing. They needed a brain and spinal cord, and so, when man had built such an instrument, it was to their advantage to prompt him in the use of it. At that time the opening consciousness of man was turned INWARDS, and he saw his inner organs and built them with the same force that he now turns OUTWARDS to build houses and ships, etc., and the outside muscles of his body; so the woman, who was most advanced in that direction because of hav- ing her Imagination trained, saw the intelligence embodied in her serpentine spinal cord, and at a later stage, when man came to record this experience, the serpent appealed to him as the nearest likeness to that which he wanted to tell about. This idea is carried out right through the Bible. in Isaiah 14 he called Lucifer (day-star), king of Babel-On (gate of the sun), a city located upon seven hills, and having dominion over the world. There mankind ceased to act in unison and became separated into warring nations. it is the seed ground of all the ills imaginable, and is called a "harlot" in Revelation, where her fall is described. In supreme antithesis we hear of another "Light of the World," a "bright and morning star," a true light, who shall arise after the fall of Babylon and reign forever in a city of peace: Jer-u-salem, that is called the "bride." It comes down from heaven, and has twelve gates, but they are never closed, although the precious tree of life is within. There is no outside illumination. The light is within and there is no night. Truly a wonderful city, and the greatest imaginable antithesis to the other. As literal interpretation is out of the question in both cases, What does it mean? Allowing that a city of Babylon has existed, it was not LIT- ERALLY as described, and the future "New Jerusalem" is contrary to all laws of nature as we know them. These two cities must therefore be symbols. [PAGE 228] In order to unravel the meaning, let us consider that these cities are located upon seven hills or mountains, a position offering special advan- tages for observation. Moses went "into the mountain" and "saw" and "heard," so did those on "the mount" of transfiguration. Daniel likens Babylon to the HEAD of the image Nebuchadnezzar saw in a dream (Daniel 2), and on the human head there are seven places of observation: two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, and a mouth. Man is also tenfold, having a threefold spirit, a threefold soul, and a threefold body, linked together by the mind. Upon these sits the brain, where the "Light-giver," REASON, rules the little world, the microcosm, as the Great Light-giver, God, rules the macrocosm. Reason is the product of selfishness. It is generated by the mind given by the "Powers of Darkness" (The Lords of Mind), in a brain built by self- ishly keeping half the sex force, and prompted by the selfish Lucifers, hence it is "the seed of the serpent," and although transmuted to WISDOM through pain and sorrow, it must give way to something higher: INTUITION, which means TEACHING FROM WITHIN. That is a spiritual faculty, equally present in all spirits, whether functioning for the time being as man or woman, but it expresses itself most prominently in those incarnated in a fe- male organism, for there the counterpart of the life spirit--the vital body--is male, positive, and INTUITION, the faculty of the life spirit, may therefore properly be called "the woman's seed," whence all altruistic ten- dencies spring, and whereby all nations are being slowly but surely drawn together in a Universal Brotherhood of LOVE, regardless of race, sex, or color. This brain of ours is not a homogeneous whole, however. it is divided into two halves, and it is a fact well known to physiologists that we use principally but one of these cerebral hemispheres--THE LEFT. The right half of our brain is only partially active. The heart also is on THE LEFT SIDE of our body, but is beginning to move towards "the right" place. The "right" brain, which is ruled by Mercury, will also become more and more ac- tive, and in consequence of these two physiological changes man's whole character will appear different. The LEFT SIDE is under the sway of the Lu- cifers and is given over to selfishness, but the Ego will gain more and more control as THE RIGHT SIDE of the brain is invested with power to act upon the body as RIGHT judgment. That there is a change going on in the heart which makes it an anomaly, a puzzle, is not news to physiologists. We have two sets of muscles, one set under the control of the will, as, for instance, the muscles of the arm and hand. They are striped both lengthwise and crosswise. The involuntary muscles which cannot be moved by DESIRE, are striped lengthwise only. THE HEART IS THE ONLY EXCEPTION. It is not under the control of desire, AND YET IT IS BEGINNING TO SHOW CROSS-STRIPES LIKE A VOLUNTARY MUSCLE. In time those cross-stripes will develop fully and the heart will be un- der our control. When that time comes we will be able to direct the blood where we will to send it. Then we may refuse to send it to the left brain, and BABYLON, THE CITY OF LUCIFER, WILL FALL. [PAGE 229] When the blood is sent into the right brain we shall be building the New Jerusalem, and we are now preparing for that time by building the cross-stripes of the heart by altruistic ideals, or, in the case of the pu- pil of a Mystery School, by sending the sex current through the RIGHT-HAND PATH of the heart. We remember that the Cherubim awakened the life spirit, the seat of di- vine love, whose shadow is the vital body, the medium of propagation, and when man was exiled from the Etheric Region, the Garden of Eden, with its four streams of ether, for the misuse of the sex force, the Cherubim were placed before it with a flaming sword. The right use of the sex force builds an organ which will give man the key to the inner worlds and help him to create by thought. This organ is the new wine cup, the ideal for the fu- ture epoch, the New Galilee, or New Jerusalem, and is built within the head and throat. To the spiritual sight it appears as the stem of a flower as- cending from the lower part of the trunk. This calyx, or seed-cup, is truly a creative organ, capable of speaking the word of life and power, to infuse vitality in substances that were hitherto inert. Service is also an impor- tant factor in building this organ, and when it is built, sorrow and pain will cease and we will have entered the path to the city of peace, the New Jerusalem. Lemuria perished by fire; terrible cataclysms destroyed the greater part of the Lemurian continent and in its stead rose the Atlantean continent, where the Atlantic Ocean now is. In time that was buried beneath the waves and gave way to Aryana, the earth as we see it at present in the Aryan Ep- och, but that is soon past. The salamanders are beginning to stir the fires in the forge to make "a new heaven and a new earth," which the Western School of Occultism calls the "New Galilee." In the New Galilee humanity will have a much finer and more ethereal body than now, the Earth will be transparent also, and as a result those bodies will be more easily responsive to the spiritual impacts of INTUITION. While we lived in ancient Atlantis in the basins of the earth, pressure of the moisture-laden mist was very heavy. This hardened the dense body, and as a further result the vibrations of the interpenetrating finer vehicles were considerably slowed down. This was especially true of the vital body, which is made of ether, a grade of matter belonging to the physical world and sub- ject to some of the physical laws. The solar force did not penetrate the dense mist in the same abundance as is present in the clear atmosphere of today. Add to this the fact that the vital bodies of that day were almost entirely composed of the two lower ethers, which further assimilation and reproduction, and we shall understand that progress was very slow. Man led mainly a vegetative existence, and his main exertions were devoted to the purpose of obtaining food and reproducing his kind. Had such a man been removed to our atmospheric conditions, the lack of exterior pressure would have resulted in the outflowing of the vital body which means death. Gradually the physical body grew less dense and the amount of the two higher ethers increased, so that man became fitted to live in a clear atmosphere under a decreased pressure such as we have enjoyed [PAGE 230] since the historical event known as the "Flood" when the mist condensed (when the Sun by precession entered the watery sign of Cancer about ten thousand years ago, as told Plato by the Egyptian Priests). Since that time we have also been able to specialize more of the solar life force. The larger proportion of the two higher ethers now found in our vital bodies en- ables us to express the higher human attributes appropriate to the develop- ment of this age. Let it now be remembered that the qualifications necessary for our eman- cipation from the conditions prevailing in Atlantis were partly physiologi- cal; we had to evolve lungs to breathe the pure air in which we are now im- mersed and which allows the vital body to vibrate at a more rapid rate than did the heavy moisture. With this in mind we shall readily see that further advancement lies in freeing the vital body from the trammels of the dense body and letting it vibrate in pure air. Such bodies will not get tired either, HENCE THERE IS NO NIGHT, and the twelve cranial nerves which are the gates to the set of consciousness, then as now, are consequently never closed. Besides, New Galilee will be formed of luminous ether and transmit sunlight. It will be like unto "clear glass." Everywhere the pure and beautiful symbol of transparency has been given to designate the power of purity. We remember the Temple of Solomon that was "built without sound of hammer." The most beautiful ornament there was THE MOLTEN SEA. Hiram Abiff, the master workman, AS HIS FINAL ACHIEVE- MENT, succeeded in smelting all the metals of the earth into an alloy as TRANSPARENT AS GLASS. This is of course the luminous soul body which we have already described, and which everyone will have to possess to function in the New Jerusalem. The present Christianity is not even a shadow of the true religion of Christ. That will remain in abeyance until all race feeling shall have been overcome. In the Sixth Epoch, or new Galilee, there will be but on Univer- sal Brotherhood, under the leadership of the RETURNED CHRIST. Love will be unselfish and Reason will approve its dictates. Each will work for the good of all, because self-seeking will be a thing of the past. Universal Broth- erhood will bind all beings of all the Earth together in Love. There can be no death, for the tree of life, the faculty of generating vital force, is made possible by means of the ethereal organ in the head already mentioned, which will be evolved in those who are even now being taken out as forebears for the humanity of that coming epoch. "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom" (I Cor. 15:50) for it would interfere with the spiritual progress of that day; so when Christ appears we must be prepared with a soul body and thus be ready to part from our dense body to be "caught up and meet Him in the air." (I Thess. 4:17.) "When shall these things be?" asked the disciples. If we believe Christ's words: "My kingdom is not of this world" (KOSMOS, the Greek word used for "world," meaning "order of things," rather than our planet, the earth, which is called GEE) we shall know better than to look for Christ to- day. When the heavenly time marker came into Aries by precession, a new cycle commenced, [PAGE 231] and the "glad tidings" were preached by Christ. He said by implication that the new heaven and earth were not ready then, when He told His disciples: "Whither I go you cannot NOW follow, but you shall follow afterwards. I go to prepare a place for you and will come again and receive you." It is per- haps presumptuous to even guess at the approximate time of the Second Ad- vent, but as the precessional cycles, so far as they are connected with the evolution of man, seem to commence with the Sun's entrance into Capricorn, there may be a development at that time. It is said that the Lord will appear with a mighty sound like the voice of an Archangel. We read of thunders and the blasts of trumpets in connec- tion with the event. A sound is an atmospheric disturbance, and since the passage of a projectile made by man can lift the vital bodies of soldiers out of their dense bodies (as was observed in the World War), it needs no argument to prove that the shout of a super-human voice could accomplish similar results more efficiently--"in the twinkling of an eye." In the Day of Christ when His voice sounds the Call, as the Atlanteans whose lungs were undeveloped in the flood, so will also the new age find some without the "wedding garment" and therefore not fit to enter until they shall have qualified at a later time; others will find themselves with a properly organized soul body, able to ascend above the discarded dense bod- ies, to meet Him and be with Him FOR THE AGE. Paul speaks of this advent as the "Christ being formed in you," and until Christ has been formed in us we are not yet ready for the Second Coming. As Angelus Silesius tells us: Thought Christ a thousand times in Bethlehem be born, And not within thyself, thy soul will be forlorn. The Cross on Golgotha thou lookest to in vain, Unless within thyself it be set up again. QUESTIONS ON LESSON NO. 28: 1. What does the city of Babylon symbolize? 2. What are the seven mountains upon which "the woman sitteth"? 3. To what do the ten horns of the beast refer? 4. State the symbology of the New Jerusalem. 5. Of what are the twelve gates the symbol? 6. What is to cause the fall of "Babylon" and the establishment of the New Jerusalem? 7. Describe the "City of Peace." Continued with file "RC4013.TXT" End of File


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