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"The whole result of initiation is to give to the spiritually aspiring an opportunity to develop the higher faculties and powers in a short time and by severe training, thereby gaining the expansion of consciousness that all mankind will surely possess eventually, but which the vast majority choose to acquire through the slow process of ordinary evolution."
The Rosicrucian speaks of the Earth Period as Mars-Mercury. The great creative Day of Manifestation is embodied in the names of the days of the week, for our week-days have been named after the evolutionary stages through which the Virgin Spirits pass in their pilgrimage through matter.
Day—Corresponds to the—Is Ruled by:
Sunday—Sun Period—The Sun
Monday—Moon Period—The Moon
Tuesday—First half of the Earth Period—Mars
Wednesday—Second half of the Earth Period—Mercury
The Vulcan Period is the last Period of our scheme of evolution. The quintessence of all the preceding Periods is extracted by the recapitulation of spiral after spiral. No new work is done until the very last Revolution on the very last Globe and then only in the Seventh Epoch. Therefore the Vulcan Period may be said to correspond to the week, which includes all of the seven days.
The claim of astrologers that the days of the week are ruled by the particular planet for which they are named, is well-founded. The ancients were also familiar with this esoteric knowledge, as is shown in their mythologies, in which the names of the gods are associated with the days of the week. Saturday is plainly "Saturn's day"; Sunday is correlated to the Sun, and Monday to the Moon. The Latins call Tuesday "Dies Martis," which obviously shows its connection with Mars, the god of war. The name "Tuesday" is derived from "Tirsdag," "Tir" or "Tyr," being the name of the Norse god of war. "Wednesday" was "Wotensdag," from Woten, also a Norse god; it is called "Dies Mercurii" by the Latins, showing its association with Mercury, as given in our list.
Thursday, or "Thorsdag," is named for "Thor," the Norse god of thunder, and is called "Dies Jovis" by the Latins, after the thunder god, "Jove" or "Jupiter."
Friday is named for the Norse goddess of beauty, "Freya," and for similar reasons, the Latins call it "Dies Veneris," or Day of Venus.
These names of periods have nothing to do with the physical planets, but refer to past, present or future incarnations of the Earth; for, again applying the Hermetic axiom, "As above, so below,: the macrocosm must have its incarnations as well as the microcosm, man.
Mystic Christianity teaches that there are 777 incarnations, but that does not mean that the Earth undergoes 777 metamorphoses. It means that evolving life makes—
7 Revolutions around the
7 Globes of the
7 World Periods.
This pilgrimage of Involution and Evolution, including the "short cut" of Initiation, is embodied in the Caduceus, or "Staff of Mercury" (see Diagram 15 below), so called because this esoteric symbol indicates The Path of Initiation, which has been open to man only since the beginning of the Mercury half of the Earth Period. Some of the Lesser Mysteries were given to the earlier Lemurians and Atlanteans, but not the Four Great Initiations.
The black serpent on Diagram 15 above indicates the winding, cyclic path of Involution, comprising the Saturn, Sun and Moon Periods, and the Mars half of the Earth Period, during which the evolving life built its vehicles, not becoming fully awake and clearly conscious of the outside world until the latter part of the Atlantean Epoch.
The white serpent represents the path that the human race will follow through the Mercury half of the Earth Period, and the Jupiter, Venus, and Vulcan Periods, during which pilgrimage man's consciousness will expand into that of an omniscient, Creative Intelligence.
The serpentine path is the path followed by the great majority; but the "Staff of Mercury," around which the serpents twine, shows the "straight and narrow way," the path of Initiation, which enables those who walk therein to accomplish in a few short lives that which it requires millions of years for the majority of mankind to accomplish.
It need scarcely be said that no description of the initiatory ceremonies can be given, as the first vow of the Initiate is silence; but even if permissible, it would not be important. What concerns us in getting a bird's-eye view of the evolutionary path is to ascertain the results of the ceremonies.
The whole result of initiation is to give to the spiritually aspiring an opportunity to develop the higher faculties and powers in a short time and by severe training, thereby gaining the expansion of consciousness that all mankind will surely possess eventually, but which the vast majority choose to acquire through the slow process of ordinary evolution. We may know the states of consciousness and their concomitant powers attained by the candidate as he passes through successive great Initiations provided we know what those future states and powers will be for humanity in general. Some hints have been given and more may be logically deduced by an application of the law of Correspondences, to give a fairly rounded picture of the evolution in store for all of us, and the magnitude of the great steps in Initiation. To do this it may help us to glance back over the steps by which the consciousness of man has been evolved through the various Periods.
We remember that during the Saturn Period the unconsciousness of man was similar to that of the dense body when plunged into the deepest trance condition; this was succeeded, in the Sun Period, by a dreamless-sleep consciousness. In the Moon Period the first glimmering of waking showed itself in inward pictures of outward things. The entire consciousness consisted of such inward representations of external objects, colors, or sounds. At last, in the latter part of the Atlantean Epoch, this picture consciousness, in which objects could be observed outside, clearly and distinctly outlined in space. When this objective-consciousness was attained, man became aware of an outside world and for the first time thoroughly realized the difference between "self" and "others." He then realized his separateness and thenceforth the "I" consciousness, Egoism, became paramount. As previous to that time there had been no thoughts nor ideas dealing with an outside world, there had consequently been no memory of events.
The change from the internal picture consciousness to the objective-self-consciousness was effected by a very slow process, commensurate with its magnitude, lasting from the existence on Globe C in the third Revolution of the Moon Period, until the latter part of the Atlantean Epoch.
During that time the evolving life passed through four great stages of animal-like development before reaching the human stage. These steps of the past correspond to four stages yet to be passed through, and to the four Great Initiations.
Within these four stages of consciousness previously passed there are altogether thirteen steps, and from man's present state to the last of the Great Initiations there are also thirteen Initiations—the nine degrees of the Lesser Mysteries and the four Great Initiations.
There is a similar division among our present animals which can be traced through Form, because, as the form is the expression of life, so each step in its development must necessarily show a step forward in consciousness.
Cuvier was the first to divide the animal kingdom into four primary classes, but was not so successful in his division of these classes into subclasses. The embryologist, Karl Ernst von Baer, also Professor Agassiz and other scientists, classify the animal kingdom into four primary and thirteen subdivisions, as follows:
1. Polyps, Sea-anemones and Coral.
2. Acaleph, or Jelly-fish.
3. Starfish, Sea-urchins.
4. Acephala (oysters, etc.).
5. Gasteropoda (snails).
8. Crustacea (lobsters, etc.).
The first three divisions correspond to the remaining three Revolutions of the Mercury half of the Earth Period, and their nine steps correspond to the nine degrees of the Lesser Mysteries, which will have been taken by humanity in general when it has reached the middle of the last Revolutions of the Earth Period.
The fourth division in the list of the advancing animal kingdom has four subdivisions: Fishes, Reptiles, Birds, and Mammals. The steps in consciousness thus indicated correspond to similar states of advancement to be attained by humanity at the end of the Earth, Jupiter, Venus, and Vulcan Periods, and which any qualified individual may now attain by Initiation. The first of the Great Initiations gives the stage of consciousness which will be attained by ordinary humanity at the end of the Earth Period; the second that to which all will attain at the end of the Jupiter Period; the third gives the extension of consciousness to be reached at the close of the Venus Period; the last brings to the Initiate the power and omniscience to which the majority will attain only at the end of the Vulcan Period.
The Objective-Consciousness by which we obtain knowledge of the outside world is dependent upon what we perceive through the medium of the senses. This we call "real," in contradistinction to our thoughts and ideas which come to us through our inner consciousness; their reality is not apparent to us in the same as that of a book or table, or other visible or tangible object in space. Thoughts and ideas seem misty and unreal, therefore we speak of a "mere" thought, or of "just" an idea.
The ideas and thoughts of today, however, have an evolution before them; they are destined to become as real, clear and tangible as any of the objects of the outside world which we now perceive through the physical senses. At present, when a thing or a color is thought of, the picture or color presented by the memory to our inner consciousness is but a dim and shadowy one compared with the thing thought of.
As early as the Jupiter Period there will be a marked change in this respect. The the dream-pictures of the Moon Period will return, but they will be subject to the call of the thinker, and not mere reproductions of outer objects. Thus there will be a combination of the pictures of the Moon Period and the thoughts and ideas consciously developed during the Earth Period, that is, it will be a Self-Conscious Picture-Consciousness.
When a man of the Jupiter Period says "red" or speaks the name of an object, a clear and exact reproduction of the particular shade of red of which he is thinking, or of the object to which he refers, will be presented to his inner vision and will also be quite visible to the hearer. There will be no misconception as to what is meant by the words spoken. Thoughts and ideas will be alive and visible, therefore hypocrisy and flattery will be entirely eliminated. People can be seen exactly as they are. There will be both good and bad, but the two qualities will not be mingled in the same person. There will be the thoroughly good man and the downright evil man, and one of the serious problems of that time will be how to deal with the latter. The Manichees, an Order of still higher, spirituality than the Rosicrucians, are at present studying that very problem. An idea of the condition anticipated may be gained from a short resume of their legend. (All mystic orders have a legend symbolic of their ideals and aspirations.
In the legend of the Manichees there are two kingdoms—that of the Light-Elves and that of the Night Elves. The latter attack the former, are defeated and must be punished. But, as the Light-Elves are as thoroughly good as the Night-Elves are bad, they cannot inflict evil upon their foes, so they must be punished with Good. Therefore a part of the kingdom of the Light-Elves is incorporated with that of the Night-Elves and in this way the evil is in time overcome. Hate which will not submit to hate, must succumb to Love.
The internal pictures of the Moon Period were a certain expression of man's external environment. In the Jupiter Period the pictures will be expressed from within; they will be an outcome of the inner life of the man. He will also possess the additional faculty, which he cultivated in the Earth Period, of seeing things in space outside of himself. In the Moon Period he did not see the concrete thing, but only its soul-qualities. In the Jupiter Period he will see both, and will thus have a thorough perception and understanding of his surroundings. At a later stage in the same Period, this perceptive ability will be succeeded by a still higher phase. His power to form clear mental conceptions of colors, objects, or tones will enable him to contact and influence supersensuous beings of various orders and to secure their obedience, employing their forces as he wishes. He will be unable to send out from himself the forces wherewith to carry out his designs, however, and will be dependent upon the help of these superphysical beings, who will then be at his service.
At the close of the Venus Period he will be able to use his own force to give his pictures life and to set them out from himself as objects in space. He will then possess an Objective, Self-Conscious, Creative-Consciousness.
Very little can be said about the high spiritual consciousness which will be attained at the close of the Vulcan Period; it would be quite beyond our present comprehension.
It must not be supposed that these states of consciousness commence at the beginning of the Periods to which they belong and last until the end. There is always the Recapitulation, and therefore there must be the corresponding stages of consciousness on an ascending scale. The Saturn Revolution of any Period, the stay on Globe A, and the first Epoch on any Globe, are repetitions of the Saturn Period states of development. The Sun Revolution, the stay on Globe B, and the second Epoch on any Globe are Recapitulations of the Sun Period states of development, and so on, all the way through. Hence it will be seen that the consciousness which is to be the especial and peculiar result or product of any Period, does not begin to be evolved until all the Recapitulations have been made. The waking-consciousness of the Earth Period was not started until the Fourth Revolution, when the life wave had reached the Fourth Globe (D), and was in the Fourth or Atlantean Epoch on that Globe.
The Jupiter Consciousness will not start in the Jupiter Period until the Fifth Revolution, when the Fifth Globe (E) has been reached and the Fifth Epoch commences on that Globe.
Correspondingly, the Venus Consciousness will not begin until the Sixth Revolution has come to the Sixth Globe and Epoch, and the special Vulcan work will be confined to the very last Globe and Epoch, just before the Day of Manifestation closes.
The time required for passing through these respective Periods varies greatly. The further into matter the Virgin Spirits descend, the slower their progress and the more numerous the steps or stages of progression. After the nadir of material existence has been passed and the life wave ascends into more tenuous and mobile conditions, the progress is gradually accelerated. The Sun Period is of somewhat longer duration than the Saturn Period, and the Moon Period is longer than the Sun Period. The Mars (or first) half of the Earth Period is the longest half of any Period. Then the time begins to shorten again, so that the Mercury half of the Earth Period the latter three and a half Revolutions, will occupy less time than the Mars half; the Jupiter Period will be shorter than the Moon Period; the Venus Period shorter than the corresponding Sun Period; and the Vulcan Period the shortest Period of them all.
The states of consciousness of the different Periods may be tabulated as follows:
Saturn—Unconsciousness corresponding to deep trance
Sun—Unconsciousness resembling dreamless sleep
Moon—Picture consciousness corresponding to dream state
Earth—Waking, objective consciousness
Jupiter—Self-conscious picture consciousness
Venus—Objective, Self-conscious, Creative consciousness
Vulcan—Highest Spiritual Consciousness
Having taken a general survey of the states of consciousness to be developed in the next three and a half Periods, we will now study the means of attainment.
The dense (physical) body was started in the Saturn Period, passed through various transformations in the Sun and Moon Periods, and will reach its highest development in the Earth Period.
The vital body was started in the second Revolution of the Sun Period, was reconstructed in the Moon and Earth Periods, and will reach perfection in the Jupiter Period, which is its fourth stage, as the Earth Period is the fourth stage for the dense body.
The desire body was started in the Moon Period, reconstructed in the Earth Period, will be further modified in the Jupiter Period, reaching perfection in the Venus Period.
The mind was started in the Earth Period, will be modified in the Jupiter and Venus Periods, and attain perfection in the Vulcan Period.
Reference to Diagram 8 will show that the lowest Globe of the Jupiter Period is located in the Etheric Region. It would therefore be impossible to use the dense physical vehicle there, as only a vital body can be used in the Etheric Region. Yet it must not be supposed that after spending the time from the beginning of the Saturn Period to the end of the Earth Period in completing and perfecting this body, it is then thrown away that man may function in a "higher" vehicle!
Nothing in Nature is wasted. In the Jupiter Period the forces of the dense body will be superimposed upon the completed vital body. That vehicle will then possess the powers of the dense body in addition to its own faculties, and will therefore be a much more valuable instrument for the expression of the threefold spirit than if built from its own forces alone.
Similarly, Globe D of the Venus Period is located in the Desire World (see Diagram 8), hence neither a dense nor a vital body could be used as an instrument of consciousness, therefore the essences of the perfected dense and vital bodies are incorporated in the completed desire body, the latter thus becoming a vehicle of transcendent qualities, marvelously adaptable and so responsive to the slightest wish of the indwelling spirit that in our present limitations, it is beyond our utmost conception.
Yet the efficiency of even this splendid vehicle will be transcended when in the Vulcan Period its essence, together with the essences of the dense and vital bodies, are added to the mind body, which becomes the highest of man's vehicles, containing within itself the quintessence of all that was best in all the vehicles. The vehicle of the Venus Period being beyond our present power of conception, how much more so is that which will be at the service of the divine beings of the Vulcan Period!
During Involution the creative Hierarchies assisted man to arouse into activity the threefold spirit, the Ego, to build the threefold body, and to acquire the link of mind. Now, however, on the seventh day (to use the language of the Bible), God rests. Man must work out his own salvation. The threefold spirit must complete the working out of the plan begun by the Gods.
The Human Spirit, which was awakened during Involution in the Moon Period, will be the most prominent of the three aspects of the spirit in the evolution of the Jupiter Period, which is the corresponding Period on the upward arc of the spiral. The Life Spirit, which was started into activity in the Sun Period, will manifest its principal activity in the corresponding Venus Period, and the particular influences of the Divine Spirit will be strongest in the Vulcan Period, because it was vivified in the corresponding Saturn Period.
All three aspects of the spirit are active all the time during evolution but the principal activity of each aspect will be unfolded in those particular Periods, because the work to be done there is its special work.
When the threefold spirit had evolved the threefold body and gained control of it through the focus of Mind, it commenced to evolve the threefold soul by working from within. How much or how little soul a man has depends upon the amount of work the spirit has done in the bodies. This has been explained in the section describing postmortem experiences.
As much of the desire body as has been worked upon by the Ego is transmuted into the emotional soul, and is ultimately assimilated by the human spirit, the special vehicle of which is the desire body.
As much of the vital body as has been worked upon by the Life Spirit, becomes the Intellectual Soul, and it builds the Life Spirit, because that aspect of the threefold spirit has its counterpart in the vital body.
As much of the dense body as has been worked upon by the Divine Spirit is called the Conscious Soul, and is ultimately merged in the Divine Spirit, because the dense body is its material emanation.
The Conscious Soul grows by action, external impacts, and experience.
The Emotional Soul grows by the feelings and emotions generated by actions and experiences.
The Intellectual Soul, as mediator between the other two, grows by the exercise of memory, by which it links together past and present experiences and the feelings engendered thereby, thus creating "sympathy" and "antipathy," which could not exist apart from memory, because the feelings resulting from experience alone would be evanescent.
During Involution the spirit progressed by growing bodies, but Evolution depends upon soul growth—the transmutation of the bodies into Soul. The Soul is, so to say, the quintessence, the power or force of the body, and when a body has been completely built and brought to perfection through the stages and Periods as above described, the Soul is fully extracted therefrom and is absorbed by the one of the three aspects of the spirit which generated the body in the first place; thus:
The Conscious Soul will be absorbed by the Divine Spirit in the seventh Revolution of the Jupiter Period; The Intellectual Soul will be absorbed by the Life Spirit in the sixth Revolution of the Venus Period; The Emotional Soul will be absorbed by the Human Spirit in the fifth Revolution of the Vulcan Period.
The mind is the most important instrument possessed by the spirit, and its special instrument in the work of creation. The spiritualized and perfected larynx will speak the Creative Word, but the perfect mind will decide as to the particular form and the volume of vibration, and will thus be the determining factor. Imagination will be the spiritualized faculty directing the work of creation.
There is a strong tendency at the present time to regard the faculty of imagination slightingly, yet it is one of the most important factors in our civilization. If it were not for the imagination, we would still be naked savages. Imagination planned our houses, our clothes and our transportation and transmission facilities. Had not the inventors of these improvements possessed the mind and imagination to form mental images, the improvements could never have become concrete realities. In our materialistic day and age there is scarcely an effort made to conceal the contempt in which the faculty of imagination is generally held, and none feel the effects of this more acutely than inventors. They are usually classes as "cranks," and yet they have been the chief factors in the subjugation of the Physical World and in making our social environment what it is today. Any improvement in spiritual or physical conditions must first be imagined as a possibility before it can become an actuality.
If the student will turn to Diagram 1 this fact will become clear. In the comparison there drawn between the functions of the different human vehicles and the part of a stereopticon, the mind corresponds to the lens. It is the focusing medium whereby the ideas wrought by the imagination of the spirit are projected upon the material universe. First they are thought forms only, but when the desire to realize the imagined possibilities has set the man to work in the Physical World, they become what we call concrete "realities."
At the present time, however, the mind is not focused in a way that enables it to give a clear and true picture of what the spirit imagines. It is not one-pointed. It gives misty and clouded pictures. Hence the necessity of experiment to show the inadequacies of the first conception, and bring about new imaginings and ideas until the image produced by the spirit in mental substance has been reproduced in physical substance.
At the best, we are able to shape through the mind only such images as have to do with Form, because the human mind was not started until the Earth Period, and therefore is now in its form, or "mineral" stage, hence in our operations we are confined to forms, to minerals. We can imagine ways and means of working with the mineral forms of the three lower kingdoms, but can do little or nothing with the living bodies. We may indeed graft living branch to living tree, or living part of animal or man to other living part, but it is not life with which we are working; it is form only. We are making different conditions, but the life which already inhabited the form continues to do so still. To create life is beyond man's power until his mind has become alive.
In the Jupiter Period the mind will be vivified to some extent and man can then imagine forms which will live and grow, like plants.
In the Venus Period, when his mind has acquired "Feeling," he can create living, growing, and feeling things.
When he reaches perfection, at the end of the Vulcan Period, he will be able to "imagine" into existence creatures that will live, grown, feel, and think.
In the Saturn Period the life wave which is now man started on its evolution. The Lords of Mind were then human. They worked with man at that Period, when he was mineral. They now have nothing to do with the lower kingdoms, but are concerned solely with our human development.
Our present animals started their mineral existence in the Sun Period, at which time the Archangels were human, therefore the Archangels are the rulers and guides of the evolution of that which is now animal, but have nothing to do with plant or mineral.
The present plants had their mineral existence in the Moon period. The Angels were then human, therefore they have special concern with the life that now inhabits the plants, to guide it up to the human stage; but they have no interest in the minerals.
Our present humanity will have to work with the new life wave, which entered evolution in the Earth Period and now ensouls the minerals. We are now working with it by means of the faculty of imagination, giving it form—building it into ships, bridges, railways, houses, etc.
In the Jupiter Period we shall guide the evolution of the plant kingdom, for that which is at present mineral will then have a plant-like existence and we must work with it there as the Angels are now doing with our plant kingdom. Our faculty of imagination will be so developed that we shall have the ability, not only to create forms by means of it, but to endow those forms with vitality.
In the Venus Period our present mineral life wave shall have advanced another step, and we shall be doing for the animals of that period what the Archangels are now doing for our animals—giving them living and feeling forms.
Lastly, in the Vulcan Period it will be our privilege to give them a germinal mind, as the Lords of Mind did to us. The present minerals will then have become the humanity of the Vulcan Period, and we shall have passed through stages similar to those through which the Angels and Archangels are now passing. We shall then have reached a point in evolution a little higher than that of the present Lords of Mind, for remember, there is never an exact reproduction anywhere, but always progressive improvement, because of the spiral.
The Divine Spirit will absorb the Human Spirit at the close of the Jupiter Period; the Life Spirit at the close of the Venus Period; and the perfected Mind, embodying all that it has garnered during its pilgrimage through all the seven Periods, will be absorbed by the Divine Spirit at the close of the Vulcan Period. (There is no contradiction of the foregoing statement made elsewhere that the Emotional Soul will be absorbed by the Human Spirit in the fifth Revolution of the Vulcan Period, because the latter will then be within the Divine Spirit.)
Then will succeed the long interval of subjective activity during which the Virgin Spirit will assimilate all the fruits of the septenary Periods of active Manifestation. It is then merged in God, from Whom it came, to re-emerge at the dawn of another Great Day, as One of His glorious helpers. During its past evolution its latent possibilities have been transmuted to dynamic powers. It has acquired Soul-power and a Creative Mind as the fruitage of its pilgrimage through matter. It has advanced from impotence to Omnipotence, from nescience to Omniscience.
Contemporary Mystic Christianity
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