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The contents of this series of articles contain some of Max Heindel's deepest thoughts, and are the result of years of research and esoteric investigation. He, too, could say as did Parsifal: "Through error and through suffering I came, through many failures and through countless woes." At last he was given the living water with which he was able to quench the spiritual thirst of many souls. He also developed to their depths pity and love, and could feel the heart throbs of suffering humanity.
Strong souls are usually endowed with great energy and impulse, and through these very forces, they forge to the front ranks though they often suffer much. As a result they are filled with compassion for others. The writer of these lessons sacrificed his physical body on the altar of service.
In writing the books and monthly lessons, in his lectures and class work, Max Heindel accomplished more than many who are blessed with perfect health could have accomplished in a lifetime. His first book, his masterpiece, The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception, was written under the direct guidance of the Elder Brothers of the Rose Cross. It carries a vital message to the world. It satisfies not alone the intellect, but also the heart. His Freemasonry and Catholicism, has found its way into many Masonic libraries. The esotericist has received much from the book entitled, The Web of Destiny, which is a mine of mystical knowledge and helpful esoteric truths. It is also a guide to the investigator, establishing danger signals for the venturesome ones who wish to take heaven by storm. To the science of astrology he has given more in a few years than has previously been discovered for centuries. His two valuable works, Simplified Scientific Astrology and The Message of the Stars, deal largely with the spiritual and medical aspects of astrology. The latter gives methods of diagnosis and healing which form a valuable addition to the works of other authors, both ancient and modern. These books may be found in the libraries of many doctors of the old school.
In Gleanings of a Mystic are found twenty-four lessons which were formerly sent out to students. It is the wish of the writer of this introduction that these lessons may carry a message of love and cheer to the soul-hungry reader and hope to the disconsolate one.
—Augusta Foss Heindel
Initiation: What It Is and Is Not—Part I
It is no rare occurrence to receive questions relating to Initiation, and we are also frequently asked to state whether this order or that society is genuine, and whether the initiations they offer to all comers who have the price are bona fide. For that reason it seems necessary to write a treatise on the subject so that students of the Rosicrucian Teachings may have an official statement for reference and guidance in the future.
In the first place let it be clearly understood that we consider it reprehensible to express condemnation of any society or order, no matter what its practices. It may be perfectly sincere and honest according to its light. We do not believe that we rise in the opinion of discriminating men and women by speaking in disparaging terms of others; neither are we laboring under the delusion that we have all the truth and the other societies are plunged in Egyptian darkness. We reiterate what we have often said before, that all religions have been given to mankind by the Recording Angels, who know the spiritual requirements of each class, nation, and race, and have the intelligence to give each a form of worship perfectly suited to its particular need.
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The Mystery Schools of each religion furnish to the more advanced members of the race or nation embracing it a higher teaching, which if lived, advances them into a higher sphere of spirituality than their brethren. Ever westward in the wake of the shining sun, the light of the world, has gone the star of empire, and is it not reasonable to suppose that the spiritual light has kept pace with civilization, or even preceded it as thought precedes action? We hold that such is the case, that the Christian religion is the loftiest yet given to man, and that to repudiate the Christian religion, esoteric or exoteric, for any of the older systems is analogous to preferring the older textbooks of science to the newer ones which embrace discoveries to date.
Neither are the practices of Eastern aspirants to the higher life to be imitated by Westerners; we refer particularly to the breathing exercises. They are both beneficial and necessary to the unfoldment of the Hindu, but it is otherwise with the Western aspirant. To him it is dangerous to practice breathing exercises for soul unfoldment; they will even prove subversive of soul growth, and they are, moreover, absolutely unnecessary. The reason is this:
During involution the threefold spirit has become gradually incrusted in a threefold body. In the Atlantean Epoch man was at the nadir of materiality. We are just now rounding the lowest point on the arc of involution, and starting upward on the arc of evolution. At this point, then, all mankind is immured in this earthly prison house to such a degree that spiritual vibrations are almost killed. The atoms in many individuals' bodies are vibrating at an exceedingly low rate, and when in the course of time one of these people develops to a point where it is possible to further him upon the path of attainment, it is necessary to raise this vibratory pitch of the atom so that the vital body, which is the medium of esoteric growth, may to a certain extent be liberated from the deadening forces of the physical atom. This result is attained by means of breathing exercises, which in time accelerate the vibration of the atom, and allow the spiritual growth necessary to the individual to take place.
These exercises may also be used by a great number of people in the Western world, particularly those who are not at all concerned about their spiritual advancement. But even among those who desire soul growth there are many who are not yet at the point where the atoms of their bodies have evolved to such a pitch of vibration that acceleration beyond the usual measure would injure them. Here the breathing exercises would do no harm; but if given to a person who is really at the point where he can enter the path of advancement, in other words, when he or she is nearly ready for Initiation and when he or she would be benefited by spiritual exercises, then the case is far otherwise.
During the aeons which we have spent in evolution since the beginning of the Fifth Epoch, our atoms have accelerated their vibratory pitch enormously, and as said in the case of one who is really nearly ready for Initiation, the pitch of vibration is higher than that of the average man or woman. Therefore he does not need breathing exercises to accelerate this pitch, but certain spiritual exercises suited to him individually which will advance him on the proper path. If such a person at this critical period meets some one who ignorantly or unscrupulously gives him breathing exercises, and if he follows the instructions accurately in the hope of getting quick results, he will get them quickly but in a manner he has not looked for, since the vibratory rate of the atoms in his body will in a very short time become accelerated to such a pitch that it will seem to him as if he were walking on air; then also an improper cleavage of the vital body may take place, and either consumption or insanity follows. Now please put this down where it will burn itself into your consciousness in letters of fire: Initiation is a spiritual process, and spiritual progress cannot be accomplished by physical means, but only by spiritual exercises.
There are many orders in the West which profess to initiate anyone who has the price. Some of these orders have names closely resembling our own, and we are constantly asked by students whether they are affiliated with us. In order to settle this once and for all, please note that the Rosicrucian Teachings have constantly taught that no spiritual gift may ever be traded for money. If you bear this in mind, you may know we have no connection with any order which demands money for the transference of spiritual power. He who has something to give of a truly spiritual nature will not barter it for money. I received a particular injunction to this effect from the Elder Brothers in the Rosicrucian Temple, when they told me to go to the English speaking world as their messenger, a claim I do not expect you to believe save as you see it justified by fruits.
Now, however, about Initiation: What is it? Is it ceremony as claimed by these other orders? If so, any order can certainly invent ceremonies of a more or less elaborate kind. They may by flowing robes and clashing swords appeal to the emotions; they may appeal to the sense of wonder and awe by rattling chains and by deep sounding gongs, and thus produce in their members an "occult feeling." Many revel in the adventures and experiences of the hero in "The Brother of the Third Degree," thinking that this is surely Initiation, but I tell you that it is very far from being the case. No ceremony can ever give to any one that inward experience which constitutes Initiation, no matter how much is charged or how fearful the oaths, how awful or beautiful the ceremony, or how gorgeous the robes, any more than passing through a ceremony can convert a sinner and make him a saint, for conversion is to the exoteric religionist exactly what Initiation is in the higher mysticism. Please consider this point thoroughly, and you will have the key to the problem.
Do you think that any one could go to a person of depraved character and agree to convert him for a certain sum and carry out his part of the agreement? Surely you know that no amount of money could bring about that change in a man's character. Ask a true convert where he got his religion and how he got it. One may tell you that he received it upon the road as he was walking along; another says that the light and the change came to him in the solitude of his room; another that the light struck him as it struck Paul upon the road to Damascus, and forced him to change. Every one has a different experience, and the outward manifestation of that inward experience is that it changes the man's whole life from the very least to the very greatest aspect.
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So it is with Initiation; it is an inward experience, entirely separate and apart from any ceremonial whatever, and therefore it is an absolute impossibility that any one could sell it to any one else. Initiation changes a man's whole life. It gives him a confidence that he never possessed before. It clothes him with a mantle of authority that never can be taken from him. No matter what the circumstances in life, it sheds a light upon his whole being that is simply wonderful. Nor can any ceremony effect such a change. We therefore hold that anyone who offers initiation into an esoteric order by ceremonials to everyone who has the price, brands himself as an imposter. For the true teacher, if he were approached by an aspirant with an offer of money for spiritual attainment, would answer indignantly in the words used by Peter to Simon the sorcerer, who offered him money for spiritual powers: "Thy silver perish with thee."
Initiation: What It Is and Is Not—Part II
To obtain a better understanding of what constitutes Initiation and what the prerequisites are, let the student fix firmly in his mind the fact that humanity as a whole is slowly progressing upon the path of evolution, thus very slowly, almost imperceptibly, attaining higher and higher states of consciousness. The path of evolution is a spiral when we regard it from the physical side only, but a lemniscate when viewed in both its physical and spiritual phases. (See the diagram of the chemical caduceus on the right from The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception.
In the lemniscate, or figure 8, there are two circles which converge to a central point, which circles may be taken to symbolize the immortal spirit, the evolving ego. One of the circles signifies its life in the physical world from birth to death. During this span of time it sows a seed by every act and should reap in return a certain amount of experience. But as we may sow seed in the field and lose return on that which falls on stony ground, among thorns, etc., so also may the seed of opportunity be wasted because of neglect to till the soil and the life will then be barren of fruit. Conversely, as diligence and care in cultivation increase the productive power of garden seed enormously, so earnest application to the business of life—improvement of opportunities to learn life's lessons and extract from our environment the experience it holds—brings added opportunities; and at the end of the life-day the ego finds itself at the door of death laden with the richest fruits of life.
The objective work of physical existence over, the race run, and the day of action spent, the ego enters upon the subjective work of assimilation accomplished during its sojourn in the invisible worlds, which it traverses during the period from death to birth, symbolized by the other ring of the lemniscate. As the method of accomplishing this assimilation has been most minutely described in various parts of our literature, it is needless to repeat it here. Suffice it to say that at the time when an ego arrives at the central point in the lemniscate, which divides the physical from the psychic worlds and which we call the gate of birth or death according to whether the ego is entering or leaving the realm where we, ourselves, happen to be at the time, it has with it an aggregate of faculties or talents acquired in all its previous lives, which it may then put to usury or bury during the coming life-day as it sees fit; but upon the use it makes of what it has, depends the amount of soul growth it makes.
If for many lives it caters mainly to the lower nature, which lives to eat, drink and be merry, or if it dreams its life away in metaphysical speculations upon nature and God, sedulously abstaining from all unnecessary action, it is gradually passed and left behind by the more active and progressive. Contrary to the commonly accepted idea, this applies also to those engaged in industrial work. Their money-getting is only an incident, an incentive, and entirely apart from this phase their work is as spiritual as or even more so than that of those who spend their time in prayer to the prejudice of useful work.
From what has been said, it will be clear that the method of soul growth as accomplished by the process of evolution requires action in the physical life, followed in the post-mortem state by a ruminating process, during which the lessons of life are extracted and thoroughly incorporated into the consciousness of the ego, though the experiences themselves are forgotten—as we forget our labor in learning the multiplication table, though the faculty of using it remains.
This exceedingly slow and tedious process is perfectly suited to the needs of the masses; but there are some who habitually exhaust the experiences commonly given, thus requiring and meriting a larger scope for their energies. Difference of temperament is responsible for their division into two classes.
One class, led by their devotion to Christ, simply follow the dictates of the heart in their work of love for their fellows—beautiful characters, beacon lights of love in a suffering world, never actuated by selfish motives, always ready to forego personal comfort to aid others. Such were the saints; they worked as they prayed; they never shirked in either direction. Nor are they dead today. The earth would be a barren wilderness in spite of all its civilization did not their beautiful feet circle it on errands of mercy, were not the lives of sufferers made brighter by the light of hope which radiates from their beautiful faces. Had they but the knowledge possessed by the other class they would indeed outdistance all in the race for the Kingdom.
Mind is the predominating feature of the other class. In order to aid it in its efforts toward attainment, mystery schools were early established wherein the world drama was played to give the aspiring soul while he was entranced, answers to the questions of the origin and destiny of humanity. When awakened, he was instructed in the sacred science of how to climb higher by following the method of nature—which is meditating upon the experience, and incorporating the essential moral to make thereby commensurate soul growth; also with this important feature, that whereas in the ordinary course of things a whole life is devoted to sowing and a whole post-mortem existence to ruminating and incorporating the soul substance, this cycle of a thousand years, more or less, may be reduced to a day, as held by the mystic maxim, "A day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." To be explicit, whatever work has been done during a single day, if ruminated over at night before crossing the neutral point between waking and sleeping, may thus be incorporated into the consciousness of the spirit as usable soul power. When that exercise is faithfully performed, the sins of each day thus reviewed are actually blotted out, and the man commences each day as if it were a new life, with the added soul power gained in all the preceding days of his probationary life.
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But!—yes, there is a great big but; nature is not to be cheated; God is not to be mocked. "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Let no one think that the mere perfunctory review of the happenings of a day with perhaps the light-hearted admission of, "I wish I had not done that," when reviewing a scene where he did something palpably wrong, will save him from the wrath to come. When we pass out of the body into purgatory at death and the panorama of our past life unfolds in reverse order to show us first the effects and then the causes which produced them, we feel in intensified measure the pain we gave others; and unless we perform our exercises in a similar manner so that we live each evening our hell as merited that day, acutely sensible of every pang we have inflicted, it will avail nothing. We must also endeavor to feel in the same intense manner, gratitude for kindness received from others, and approbation on account of the good we ourselves have done.
Only thus are we really living the post-mortem existence and advancing scientifically towards the goal of Initiation. The greatest danger of the aspirant upon this path is that he may become enmeshed in the snare of egotism, and his only safeguard is to cultivate the faculties of faith, devotion, and an all-embracing sympathy. It is difficult, but it can be done, and when it has been accomplished the man or woman becomes a wonderful power for good in the world.
Now, if the student has pondered the preceding argument well, he has probably grasped the analogy between the long cycle of evolution and the short cycles or steps used upon the path of preparation. It should be quite clear that no one can do this post-mortem work for him and transmit to him the resulting soul growth. You think it preposterous when a priesthood offers to shorten the sojourn of a soul in purgatory. How, then, can you believe that anyone else can—no matter what the consideration—obviate the necessity of a number of purgatorial existences for your benefit and transmit to you at once the usable soul power you would have acquired had you pursued the ordinary course of life to the day you are ready for Initiation? Yet this is what the offer to initiate a person not yet upon the threshold means. You must have the soul power requisite for Initiation or no one can initiate you. If you have it, you are upon the threshold by your own efforts, beholden to no one, and may demand Initiation as a right which none would dare dispute or withhold. If you have it not and could buy it, it would be cheap at twenty-five million dollars, and the man who offers it for twenty-five dollars is as ridiculous as his dupe. Please remember that if anyone offers to initiate you into an esoteric order, no matter if he calls it "Rosicrucian" or by any other name, his demand of an initiation fee at once stamps him as an impostor; explanations to the effect that the fee is used to purchase regalia, etc., are only added evidence of the fraudulent nature of the order for it is said, "Initiation is most emphatically not an outward ceremony, but an inward experience." I may further add that the Elder Brothers of the Rose Cross in the Mystic Temple where I received the Light made it a condition that their sacred science must never be put in the balance against a coin. Freely had I received, and freely was I required to give.
The Sacrament of Communion—Part I
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 recapitulate the Rosicrucian Teachings on the various points involved. They have been given at length in the Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception and our other works.
The Virgin Spirits, which are now mankind, commenced their pilgrimage through matter in the dawn of time, that by the friction of concrete existence their latent powers might be transmuted to kinetic energy as usable soul power. Three successive veils of increasingly dense matter were acquired by the involving spirits during the Saturn, Sun and Moon Periods. Thus each spirit was separated from all other spirits, and the consciousness 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, the mind was added as a focusing point between the spirit and body, completing the constitution of composite man, who was then equipped to conquer the world and generate soul power by endeavor and experience, each having 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 Hierarchies 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, though 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 concerned.
In the Hyperborean Epoch the vital body was added, and thus his constitution 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 atmosphere which enveloped the earth during the latter part of the Lemurian Epoch, as described in the section on "Baptism" 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 continue 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 murdered animal victims. Yet we shall see later that flesh food has enabled us to make the wonderful material progress achieved in the modern world.
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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 our needs. Pythagoras advised abstinence from legumes to advanced scholars because they are rich in albumen and apt to revive lower appetites. Let not every student who reads this rashly conclude to eliminate legumes from his diet. Most of us are not yet ready for such extremes; we would not even advise all students to abstain entirely from meat. The change should come from within. It may be safely stated, however, that most people eat entirely too much meat for their good; but this is in a certain sense a digression, so we will revert to the further evolution of humanity in so far as it has a bearing upon the Sacrament of Communion.
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 fetus to this day) gradually atrophied, 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 know 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 or choice in matters pertaining to his education, as a child is now under the control of its parents.
But one 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 moor 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 himself 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 safeguards, and the reaction of his own previous acts, which become destiny.
The diet containing an excess of albumen from the flesh wherewith he gorged himself, taxed his liver beyond the capacity and clogged the system, making 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 became necessary to give him a new food that could aid his spirit to overpower the highly individualized molecules of flesh (as explained in the Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception section on Assimilation), brace it for battle with the world, and spur it on to self-assertion.
As our visible bodies composed of chemical compounds can thrive only upon chemical aliment, so it requires spirit to act upon spirit to aid in breaking up the heavy proteid and in stimulating the drooping 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 described in the stories of Noah and Moses, which are different accounts of the same event.
Both Noah and Moses led their 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 consequences 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 its appearance until the mist had condensed to rain, flooded the basins of the 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.
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Noah cultivated the vine and provided a 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 devices in the battle of life.
The Sacrament of Communion—Part II
"In Remembrance of Me."
"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, eat; this is my body, which is broken for you. This do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, 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 This 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 himself . . . . For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many 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 intended by that last parting injunction of the Savior to His disciples. Before examining This phase of the subject, let us first consider the words, "in remembrance of me." We shall then perhaps be in better condition to understand what is meant by the "cup" and the "bread."
Suppose a man from a distant country comes into our midst and travels about from place to place. Everywhere he will see small communities gathering around the Table of the Lord to celebrate This most sacred of all Christian rites, and should he ask why, he would be told that they do This in remembrance of One who lived a life nobler than any other has lived upon This earth; One who was kindness and love personified; One who was the servant of all, regardless of gain or loss to self. Should This stranger then compare the attitude of these religious communities on Sunday at the celebration of This rite, with their civic lives during the remainder of the week, what would he see?
Every one among us goes out into the world to fight the battle of existence. 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 position, wealth, and power that goes with these attributes. 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 wine which we drink at the so-called "Lord's Table," and the food 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 inserted by the translators to give what they thought was the sense of a passage. On the contrary, we are told that whether we eat or drink, or whatever we do, all should be done to the glory of God. 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 from the substance of the earth, which is the body of the indwelling Christ Spirit, we can properly understand how that body is being broken for us daily, and we can appreciate 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 earth. When we thus eat and thus realize 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.
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From that come 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 without material responsibility on their part, but we nevertheless insist that there is a spiritual responsibility connected with the bread and wine given at the Lord's Supper; It must be eaten worthily, otherwise, under 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 see 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 became 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, 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 became 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 salvation, 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 beyond 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. But what is grace? Can grace work contrary to the 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 beginning 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 under 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 from the law of sin by grace, provided he forsakes 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 meaning 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 same idea as the chalice or calix—a receptacle; and the Latin "potare" (to drink) also shows that the "cup" is 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 foreshadows the evolution from man to superman.
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We have already lived through a mineral, plant and an animal-like existence before becoming human as we are today, and beyond us lie still further evolutions 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 become partakers of grace by the cup of the New Covenant.
The Sacrament of Baptism
Having studied the esoteric significance of our Christian festivals, such as Christmas and Easter, and having also studied the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, it may be well now to devote attention to the inner meaning of the sacraments of the church which are administered to the individual in all Christian lands from the cradle to the grave, and are with him at all important points in his life journey.
As soon as he 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 contract and is admitted to Communion, where bread is broken and wine is sipped in memory of the Founder of our faith. Still further 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 protest is rampant in the extreme, and dissenters everywhere raise their voices in rebellion against the fancied arrogance of the priesthood and deprecate the sacraments as mere mummery. 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 inculcate 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 advancement. 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 being.
Among animals might is right, but we recognize that the weak have a claim to the protection of the strong. The butterfly lays its eggs on the underside 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 young practically ends with 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 further we proceed along the path of development the more we shall experience 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.
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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 spiritual side of development. Wallace and Darwin, Huxley and Spencer, pointed out how evolution of form is accomplished in nature; Earnest 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 forsaken by one after another of her devotees as the years go by. Even Haeckel, the arch materialist, 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 nevertheless slowly abandoning its autocratic dogmatism and becoming more scientific 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 the law of gravity which maintains the marching orbs in their paths around the sun. As the points of the equinoxes and solstices are turning points in the cyclic path of a planet, marked by festivals such as Christmas and Easter, so birth into the physical world, admission to the church, to the state of matrimony, and finally the exit from physical life, are 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 dissenters, 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 division of churches. If we wish to obtain the true idea of baptism, we must revert to the early history of the human race as recorded in the Memory of Nature. All that has ever happened is indelibly pictured in the ether as a moving picture is imprinted upon a sensitized film, which picture can be reproduced upon a screen at any moment. The pictures in the Memory of Nature may be viewed by the trained seer, even though millions of years have elapsed since the scenes there portrayed were enacted in life.
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 surrounded 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 suspension), 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. The Bible further informs us that a mist went up from the ground, and we may well conceive how the moisture was gradually evaporated from our planet in those early days.
Ancient myths are usually regarded as superstitions nowadays, but in reality each of them contains a great spiritual truth in pictorial symbols. These fantastic stories were given to infant humanity to teach them moral lessons which their newborn intellects were not yet fitted to receive. They were taught by myths—much as we teach our children by picture books and fables—lessons beyond their intellectual comprehension.
One of the greatest of these folk stories is "The Ring of the Niebelung", which tells of a wonderful treasure hidden under the waters of the Rhine. It was a lump of gold in its natural state. Placed upon a high rock, it illuminated the entire submarine scenery where water nymphs sported about innocently in gladsome frolic. But one of the Niebelungs, imbued with greed, stole the treasure, carried it out of the water, and fled. It was impossible for him, however, to shape it until he had forsworn love. Then he fashioned it into a ring which gave him power over all the treasures of earth, but at the same time it inaugurated dissension and strife. For its sake, friend betrayed friend, brother slew brother, and everywhere it caused oppression, sorrow, sin and death, until it was at last restored to the watery element and the earth was consumed in flames. But later there arose, like the new phoenix from the ashes of the old bird, a new heaven and a new earth where righteousness were re-established.
That old folk story gives a wonderful picture of human evolution. The name Niebelungen is derived from the German words, niebel (which means mist), and ungen (which means children). Thus the word Niebelungen means children of the mist, and it refers back to the time when humanity lived in the foggy atmosphere surrounding our earth at the stage in its development previously mentioned. There infant humanity lived in one vast brotherhood, innocent of all evil as the babe of today, and illuminated by the Universal Spirit symbolized as the Rhinegold which shed its light upon the water nymphs of our story. But in time the earth cooled more and more; the fog condensed and flooded depressions upon the surface of the earth with water; the atmosphere cleared; the eyes of man were opened and he perceived himself as a separate ego. Then the Universal Spirit of love and solidarity was superseded by egotism and self-seeking.
That was the rape of the Rhinegold, and sorrow, sin, strife, treachery, and murder have taken the place of the childlike love which existed among humanity in that primal state when they dwelt in the watery atmosphere of long ago. Gradually This tendency is becoming more and more marked, and the curse of selfishness grows more and more apparent. "Man's inhumanity to man" hangs like a funeral pall over the earth, and must inevitably bring about destruction of existing conditions. The whole creation is groaning and travailing, waiting for the day of redemption, and the Western Religion strikes the keynote of the way to attainment when it exhorts us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves; for then egotism will be abrogated for universal brotherhood and love.
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 waters of baptism in symbol of the beautiful condition of childlike innocence and love which prevailed 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 to the 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 disappointment; 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 of action. While we are in the world, he is the greatest who can most successfully 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."
The Sacrament of Marriage
When stripped of nonessentials the argument of the orthodox Christian religion may be said to be as follows:
First, that tempted by the devil, our first parents sinned and were exiled from their previous state of celestial bliss, placed under the law, made subject to death, and became incapable of escaping by their own efforts.
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Second, that God so loved the world that He gave Christ, His only begotten Son, for its redemption and to establish the kingdom of heaven. Thus death will finally be swallowed up in immortality.
This simple creed has provoked the smiles of atheists, and of the purely intellectual who have studied transcendental philosophies with their niceties of logic and argument; and even of some among those who study the Western Mystery Teaching.
Such an attitude of mind is entirely gratuitous. We might know that the divine leaders of mankind would not allow millions to continue in error for millennia. When the Western Mystery Teaching is stripped of its exceedingly illuminating explanations and detailed descriptions, when its basic teachings are stated, they are found to be in exact agreement with the orthodox Christian teachings.
There was a time when mankind lived in a sinless state; when sorrow, pain, and death were unknown. Neither is the personal tempter of Christianity a myth, for the Lucifer Spirits may very well be said to be fallen angels, and their temptation of man resulted in focusing his consciousness upon the material phase of existence where he is under the law of decrepitude and death. Also it is truly the mission of Christ to aid mankind by elevating them to a more ethereal state where dissolution will no longer be necessary to free them from vehicles that have grown too hard and set for further use. For This is indeed a "body of death," where only the smallest quantity of material is really alive, as part of its bulk is nutrient matter that has not yet been assimilated, another large part is already on its way to elimination, and only between these two poles may be found the material which is thoroughly quickened by the spirit.
We have in other sections considered the sacraments of baptism and communion, sacraments that have to do particularly with the spirit. We will now seek to understand the deeper side of the sacrament of marriage, which has to do particularly with the body. Like the other sacraments the institution of marriage had its beginning and will also have its end. The commencement was described by the Christ when He said, "Have ye not read that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said: For This cause shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife; and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh." Matt. 19:4-6. He also indicated the end of marriage when he said: "In the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven." Matt. 22:30
In This light the logic of the teaching is apparent, for marriage became necessary in order that birth might provide new instruments to take the place of those which had been ruptured by death; and when death has once been swallowed up in immortality and there is no need of providing new instruments, marriage also will be unnecessary.
Science with admirable audacity has sought to solve the mystery of fecundation, and has told us how invagination takes place in the walls of the ovary; how the little ovum is formed in the seclusion of its dark cavity; how it emerges therefrom and enters the Fallopian tube; is pierced by the spermatozoon of the male, and the nucleus of a human body is complete. We are thus supposed to be "at the fount and origin of life!" But life has neither beginning nor end, and what science mistakenly considers the fountain of life is really the source of death, as all that comes from the womb is destined sooner or later to reach the tomb. The marriage feast which prepares for birth, at the same time provides food for the insatiable jaws of death, and so long as marriage is necessary to generation and birth, disintegration and death must inevitably result. Therefore, it is of prime importance to know the history of marriage, the laws and agencies involved, the duration of This institution, and how it may be transcended.
When we obtained our vital bodies in Hyperborea, the sun, moon and earth were still united, and the solar-lunar forces permeated each being in even measure so that all were able to perpetuate their kind by buds and spores as do certain plants of today. The efforts of the vital body to soften the dense vehicle and keep it alive were not then interfered with, and these primal, plantlike bodies lived for ages. But man was then unconscious and stationary like a plant; he made no effort or exertion. The addition of a desire body furnished incentive and desire, and consciousness resulted from the war between the vital body, which builds, and the desire body, which destroys the dense body.
Thus dissolution became only a question of time, particularly as the constructive energy of the vital body was also necessarily divided, one part or pole being used in the vital functions of the body, the other to replace a vehicle lost by death. But as the two poles of a magnet or dynamo are requisite to manifestation, so also two single-sexed beings became necessary for generation; thus marriage and birth were necessarily inaugurated to offset the effect of death. Death, then, is the price we pay for consciousness in the present world; marriage and repeated births are our weapons against the king of terrors until our constitution shall change and we become as angels.
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Please mark that it is not stated that we are to become angels, but that we are to become as angels. For the angels are the humanity of the Moon Period; they belong to an entirely different stream of evolution, as different as are human spirits from those of our present animals. Paul states in his letter to the Hebrews that man was made for a little while inferior to the angels; he descended lower into the scale of materiality during the Earth Period, while the angels have never inhabited a globe denser than ether. This substance is the direct avenue of all life forces, and when man has once become as the angels and has learned to build his body of ether, naturally there will be no death and no need of marriage to bring about birth.
But looking at marriage from another point of view, looking upon it as a union of souls rather than as a union of the sexes, we contact the wonderful mystery of Love. Union of the sexes might serve to perpetuate the race, of course, but the true marriage is a companionship of souls also, which altogether transcends sex. Yet those really able to meet upon that lofty plane of spiritual intimacy gladly offer their bodies as living sacrifices upon the altar of Love of the Unborn, to woo a waiting spirit into an immaculately conceived body. Thus humanity may be saved from the reign of death.
This is readily apparent as soon as we consider the gentle action of the vital body and contrast it with that of the desire body in a fit of temper, where it is said that a man has "lost control" of himself. Under such conditions the muscles become tense, and nervous energy is expended at a suicidal rate, so that after such an outbreak the body may sometimes be prostrated for weeks. The hardest labor brings no such fatigue as a fit of temper; likewise a child conceived in passion under the crystallizing tendencies of the desire nature is naturally short-lived, and it is a regrettable fact that length of life is nowadays almost a misnomer; in view of the appalling infant mortality it ought to be called brevity of existence.
The building tendencies of the vital body, which is the vehicle of love, are not so easily watched, but observation proves that contentment lengthens life of any one who cultivates this quality, and we may safely reason that a child conceived under conditions of harmony and love stands a better chance of life than one conceived under conditions of anger, inebriety, and passion.
According to Genesis it was said to the woman, "In sorrow shalt thou bear children," and it has always been a sore puzzle to Bible commentators what logical connection there may be between eating of fruit and the pains of parturition. But when we understand the chaste references of the Bible to the act of generation, the connection is readily perceived. The modern woman, more sensitive and of high-strung nervous temperament, is year by year finding it more difficult to go through the ordeal of motherhood, though aided by the best and most skilled scientific help.
The contributory reasons are various: In the first place, while we are exceedingly careful in selecting our horses and cattle for breeding, while we insist upon pedigree for the animals in order that we may bring out the very best strain of stock upon our farms, we exercise no such care with respect to the selection of a father and mother for our children. We mate upon impulse and regret it at our leisure, aided by laws which make it all too easy to enter or leave the sacred bonds of matrimony. The words pronounced by minister or judge are taken to be a license for unlimited indulgence, as if any man-made law could license the contravention of the law of God. While animals mate only at a certain time of the year and the mother is undisturbed during the period of pregnancy, this is not true of the human race.
In view of these facts is it to be wondered at that we find such a dread of maternity, and is it not time that we seek to remedy the matter by a more sane relation between marriage partners? Astrology will reveal the temper and tendencies of each human being; it will enable two people to blend their characters in such a manner that a love live may be lived, and it will indicate the periods when interplanetary lines of force are most nearly conducive to painless parturition. Thus it will enable us to draw from the bosom of nature, children of love, capable of living long lives in good health. Finally the day will come when these bodies will have been made so perfect in their ethereal purity that they may last throughout the coming Age, and thus make marriage superfluous.
But if we can love now when we see one another "through a glass darkly," through the mask of personality and the veil of misunderstanding , we may be sure that the love of soul for soul, purged of passion in the furnace of sorrow, will be our brightest gem in heaven as its shadow is on earth.
The Unpardonable Sin and Lost Souls
Some of our students have been exercised about the unpardonable sin, and as this subject has a certain connection with the subject of marriage, one being a sacrilege and the other a sacrament, it might be well to elucidate the matter from a different point of view than has been formerly taken in our literature.
First let us see what is meant by a sacrament, and why the rites of baptism, communion, marriage, and extreme unction are properly so called; then we shall be in a position to understand what sacrilege is and why it is unpardonable.
The Rosicrucians teach, only with more detail, the same doctrine that Paul preached in the 15th Chapter of 1st Corinthians, starting at the thirty-fifth verse, that in addition to the body of flesh and blood we have a soul body, soma psuchicon (mistranslated "natural" body) and a spiritual body; that each of these bodies is grown from a different seed atom and that there are three stages of unfoldment for Adam, or man. The first Adam was taken from the ground and was without sentient life. Soul was added to the second Adam; thus he had life within, a leaven laboring to elevate the clod to God. When the potential of the soul extracted from the physical body has been raised to the spiritual, the last Adam will become a life giving spirit, capable of transmitting the life impulse to others directly as flame from one candle can be communicated to many without diminishing the magnitude of the original light.
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In the meantime the germ for our early body had to be properly placed in fruitful soil to grow a suitable vehicle, and generative organs were provided from the beginning to accomplish this purpose. It is stated in Genesis 1:27 that Elohim created them male and female. The Hebrew words are "sacre va n'cabah." These are names of the sex organs. Literally translated, sacr means "bearer of the germ." Thus marriage is a sacr-ament, for it opens the way for transmission of a physical seed atom from the father to the mother, and tends to preserve the race against the ravages of death. Baptism as a Sacrament signifies the germinal urge of the soul for the higher life. Holy Communion, in which we partake of bread (made from the seed of chaste plants), and of wine (the cup symbolizing the passionless seed-pod), points to the age to come, an age wherein it will be unnecessary to transmit the seed through a father and mother, but where we may feed directly upon cosmic life and thus conquer death. Finally, extreme unction is the sacrament which marks the loosening of the silver cord, and the extraction of the sacred germ, freeing it until it shall again be planted in another n'cabah, or mother.
As the seed and ovum are the root and basis of racial development, it is easy to see that no sin can be more serious than that which abuses the creative function, for by that sacr-ilege we stunt future generations and transgress against the Holy Spirit, Jehovah, who is warder of the creative lunar forces. His angels herald births, as in the cases of Isaac, John the Baptist, and Jesus. When he wanted to reward his most faithful follower, he promised to make his seed as numerous as the sands on the seashore. He also meted out a most terrible punishment to the Sodomites who committed sacr-ilege by misdirecting the seed. He even visits the sins of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations, for under his regime Law reigns supreme. Man has not yet evolved to the point where he can respond to love. He requires from his enemies an eye for an eye, and with the same measure that he metes, it is meted unto him.
Though this seems very cruel to us who are each day evolving more and more the faculties of love and mercy, we must remember that this retributive justice relates purely to the physical body, which is under the laws of Nature just as much as any other chemical composition in the universe. When abuses have weakened it, it is incapable of fulfilling its mission and meeting our demands in any respect, just as is the case with any other machinery which we have made from materials around us. There are no miracles such as would be required to generate a sound and healthy body from parents who have transgressed the laws of nature by their abuses; therefore that sin cannot be remitted and must be expiated; but when time and care have restored the necessary strength and vigor, the body will again perform its functions in a normal and healthy manner.
Thus we understand that under the law there is no mercy, for mercy is dictated by love. Therefore, it was perfectly in consonance with cosmic order when Christ, the Lord of Love, said that all things would be forgiven to men which they did against Him, as love is the reigning feature in His kingdom; but whatsoever was done contrary to the law of Jehovah must meet its full retribution. We cannot be sufficiently thankful for the wonderful religion which He gave us, particularly if we compare it with those under which less evolved peoples are now struggling. Take the Buddhists, for instance; grand and beautiful though their leader was, he saw only sorrow, a constant struggle against the law of nature. He aimed to teach his followers to transcend that condition by perfect obedience such as that whereby we have conquered the laws of electricity and other forces in nature. The Buddhist sees nothing but the cold and merciless law; on the other hand, we of the contemporary Christain Mystic has before his or her eyes from the cradle to the grave a beautiful picture of One who said, "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
But it may be asked, "What about lost souls, are they a figment of the imagination also?" To this question may be answered, "yes", although it needs some qualification. We shall best understand the case if we go back into the history of mankind and view the experiences of some who have transgressed , for they will furnish us an example of what may happen. In order to establish the point properly we shall reiterate a few of the Rosicrucian teachings regarding the genesis of the earth and of man upon it. Three great stages of unfoldment have preceded the present Earth Period. The Father is the highest Initiate of the Saturn Period, inhabiting particularly the Spiritual Sun. The Son, the cosmic Christ, is the highest initiate of the Sun period, inhabiting the Central Sun and guiding the planets in their orbits by a ray from Himself, which becomes the indwelling spirit of each planet when it has been sufficiently ripened to contain such a great Intelligence. Jehovah, the Holy Spirit, is the highest Initiate of the Moon Period and dwelling in the physical, visible sun. He is regent of the various moons thrown off by the different planets for the purpose of giving beings who have fallen behind in the march of evolution more rigid discipline under a firmer law, to awaken them and spur them on in the proper direction if possible.
When we look into space, we perceive that some planets have a number of moons and others have none; but as there are laggards in any large company, and as moons are required to aid these stragglers to retrieve their lost estate if possible, we may be sure that these planets which have no moons now have had them in the past. Those Great Beings of whom the Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception speaks as "Lords of Venus" and "Lords of Mercury" were, in fact, stragglers from those two planets. In the dim distant past they inhabited moons which encircled their respective planets, and were successful in retrieving their loss in a large measure under the discipline given them there. Later they received the opportunity to serve the humanity of our earth, and by that service to secure a return to the home planet whence they had been exiled. They were lost under the law, but redeemed by love; and thus we may infer that opportunities for service will also bring to other beings, who may become "lost," the opportunity to retrieve the past.
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Since it may puzzle the student as to what becomes of the moons upon which such beings dwell for a time, we may say that the solar system is to be regarded as the body of the Great Spirit whom we call God, and as any growth caused by an abnormal process pains us when it occurs in our body, so also such crystallizations as moons are sources of discomfort to that Great Being. Furthermore, as our own systems endeavor to eliminate such abnormalities as growths, so also the universe endeavors to expel moons which have served their purpose. While the beings who have been exiled to a moon are there, the Planetary Spirit of the primary planet by his care for these beings, hold the moon in its orbit, and we speak of his love for them as the Law of Attraction; but when they have returned to the parent planet, the Planetary Spirit has no further interest in their cinder-like habitation. Then slowly the orbit of the vacated moon widens, it commences to disintegrate, and it is finally expelled into interstellar space. The asteroids are remnants of moons which once encircled Venus and Mercury. There are also other seeming moons and lunar fragments in our solar system, but the Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception does not concern itself with them as they are outside the pale of evolution.
The Immaculate Conception
The periodical ebb and flow of the material and spiritual forces which invest the earth are the invisible causes of the physical, moral, and mental activities upon our globe.
According to the hermetic axiom, "As above so below," a similar activity must take place in man, who is but a minor edition of Mother Nature.
The animals have twenty-eight pairs of spinal nerves and are now in their Moon stage, perfectly attuned to the twenty-eight days in which the moon passes around the zodiac. In their wild state the group spirit regulates their mating. Therefore there is no overflow with them. Man, on the other hand, is in a transition stage; he is too far progressed for the lunar vibrations for he has thirty-one pairs of spinal nerves. But he is not yet attuned to the solar month of thirty-one days, and he mates at all times of the year; hence the periodical flow in woman, which under proper conditions is utilized to form part of the body of a child more perfect than its parents. Similarly, the periodical flow in mankind becomes the sinew and backbone of racial advancement; and the periodical flow of the earth's spiritual forces, which occurs at Christmas, results in the birth of Saviors who from time to time give renewed impetus to the spiritual advancement of the human race.
There are two parts to our Bible, the Old and the New Testaments. After briefly reciting how the world came into being, the former tells the story of the "Fall" In view of what has been written in our literature we understand the Fall to have been occasioned by man's impulsive and ignorant use of the sex forces at times when the interplanetary rays were inimical to conception of the purest and best vehicles. Thus man became gradually imprisoned in a dense body crystallized by sinful passion and consequently an imperfect vehicle, subject to pain and death.
Then commenced the pilgrimage through matter, and for millennia we have been living in this hard and flinty shell of body, which obscures the light of heaven from the spirit within. The spirit is like a diamond in its rough coat, and the celestial lapidaries, the Recording Angels, are constantly endeavoring to remove the coating so that the spirit may shine through the vehicle which it ensouls.
When the lapidary holds a diamond to the grindstone, the diamond emits a screech like a cry of pain as the opaque covering is removed; but gradually by many successive applications to the grindstone the rough diamond may become a gem of transcendent beauty and purity. Similarly, the celestial beings in charge of our evolution hold us closely to the grindstone of experience. Pain and suffering result, which awaken the spirit sleeping within. The man hitherto content with material pursuits, indulgent of sense and sex, becomes imbued with a divine discontent which impels him to seek the higher life.
The gratification of that aspiration, however, is not usually accomplished without a severe struggle upon the part of the lower nature. It was while wrestling thus that Paul exclaimed with all the anguish of a devout aspiring heart: "Oh wretched man that I am * * * * The good that I would, I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do * * * * I delight in the law of God after the inward man; but I see another law in my members warring against the law of my mind and bringing it into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members." (Rom. 7:19-24)
When the flower is crushed, its scent is liberated and fills the surroundings with grateful fragrance, delighting all who are fortunate enough to be near. Crushing blows of fate may overwhelm a man or woman who has reached the stage of efflorescence; they will but serve to bring out the sweetness of the nature and enhance the beauty of the soul till it shines with an effulgence that marks the wearer as with a halo. Then he is upon the path of Initiation. He is taught how unbridled use of sex regardless of the stellar rays has imprisoned him in the body, how it fetters him, and how by the proper use of that same force in harmony with the stars he may gradually improve and etherealize his body and finally attain liberation from concrete existence.
A shipwright cannot build a staunch oak ship from spruce lumber; "men do not gather grapes of thorns;" like always begets like, and an incoming ego of a passionate nature is drawn to parents of like nature, where its body is conceived upon the impulse of the moment in a gust of passion.
The soul who has tasted the cup of sorrow incident to the abuse of the creative force and has drunk to the dregs the bitterness thereof, will gradually seek parents of less and less passionate natures, until at length it attains to Initiation.
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Having been taught in the process of Initiation the influence of the stellar rays upon parturition, the next body provided will be generated by Initiate parents without passion, under the constellation most favorable to the work which the ego contemplates. Therefore the Gospels (which are formulas of Initiation) commence with the account of the immaculate conception and end with the crucifixion, both wonderful ideals to which we must some time attain, for each of us is a Christ-in-the-making, and will sometime pass through both the mystic birth and the mystic death adumbrated in the Gospels. By knowledge we may hasten the day, intelligently cooperating instead of as now often stupidly frustrating through ignorance the ends of spiritual development.
In connection with the immaculate conception misunderstandings prevail at every point; the perpetual virginity of the mother even after the birth to other children; the lowly station of Joseph, the supposed foster-father, etc. We will briefly view them in the light of facts as revealed in the Memory of Nature:
In some parts of Europe people of the higher classes are addressed as "wellborn," or even as "highwellborn," meaning that they are the offspring of cultured parents in high station. Such people usually look down with scorn upon those in modest positions. We have nothing against the expression "wellborn;" we would that every child were well born, born to parents of high moral standing no matter what their station in life. There is a virginity of soul that is independent of the state of the body, a purity of mind which will carry its possessor through the act of generation without the taint of passion and enable the mother to carry the unborn child under her heart in sexless love.
Previous to the time of Christ that would have been impossible. In the earlier stages of man's career upon earth quantity was desirable and quality a minor consideration, hence the command was given to "go forth, be fruitful, and multiply." Besides, it was necessary that man should temporarily forget his spiritual nature and concentrate his energies upon material conditions. Indulgence of the sex passion furthers that object, and the desire nature was given full sway. Polygamy flourished, and the larger the number of their children, the more a man and a woman were honored, while barrenness was looked upon as the greatest possible affliction.
In other directions the desire nature was being curbed by God-given laws, and obedience to divine commands was enforced by swift punishment of the transgressor, such as war, pestilence or famine. Rewards for dutiful observance of the mandates of the law were not wanting either; the "righteous" man's children, his cattle and crops were numerous; he was victorious over his enemies and the cup of his happiness was full.
Later when the earth had been sufficiently peopled after the Atlantean Flood, polygamy became gradually more and more obsolete, with the result that the quality of the bodies improved, and at the time of Christ the desire nature had become so far amenable to control in the case of the more advanced among humanity that the act of generation could be performed without passion, out of pure love, so that the child could be immaculately conceived.
Such were the parents of Jesus. Joseph is said to have been a carpenter, but he was not a worker in wood. He was a "builder" in a higher sense. God is the Grand Architect of the universe. Under Him are many builders of varying degrees of spiritual splendor, down even to those whom we know as Freemasons. All are engaged in building a temple without sound of hammer, and Joseph was no exception.
It is sometimes asked why Initiates are always men. They are not; in the lower degrees there are many women, but when an Initiate is able to choose his sex he usually takes the positive masculine body, as the life which brought him to Initiation has spiritualized his vital body and made it positive under all conditions, so that he has then an instrument of the highest efficiency.
There are times, however, when the exigencies of a case require a female body, such as, for instance, providing a body of the highest type to receive an ego of superlatively high degree. Then a high Initiate may take a female body and go through the experience of maternity again, after perhaps having eschewed it for several lives, as was the case with the beautiful character we know as Mary of Bethlehem.
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In conclusion, then, let us remember the points brought out, that we are all Christs-in-the-making; that sometime we must cultivate characters so spotless that we may be worthy to inhabit bodies that are immaculately conceived; and the sooner we commence to purify our minds of passionate thoughts, the sooner we shall attain. In the final analysis it only depends upon the earnestness of our purpose, the strength of our wills. Conditions are such now that we can live pure lives whether married or single, and cold, sister-and-brother relationships are not necessary either.
Is the life of absolute purity beyond some of us yet? Be not discouraged; Rome was not built in a day. Keep on aspiring though you fail again and again, for the only real failure consists in ceasing to try.
So may God strengthen your aspirations to purity.
The Coming Christ
We have previously seen how infant humanity in Atlantis lived in unity under direct guidance of divine leaders, and how they were eventually brought out of the water into a clear atmosphere where the separateness of each individual from all others became obvious at once.
"God is Light"—the Light which became life in man. It was dim and achromatically diffused in the misty atmosphere of early Atlantis, as colorless as the air on a densely foggy day in the present age, hence the unity of all beings who lived in that light. But when man rose above the waters, when he emerged into the air where the godly manifestation, Light, was refracted in multitudinous hues, this variously colored light was differently absorbed by each. Thus diversity was inaugurated, when mankind went through the mighty arch of the rainbow with its variegated and beautiful colors. That bow may therefore be considered an entrance gate to "the promised land," the world as now constituted. Here the light of God is no longer an insipid single tint as in early Atlantis. The present dazzling play of color tells us that the watchword of the present age is segregation, and therefore so long as we remain in the present condition under the law of alternating cycles, where summer and winter, ebb and flow, succeed each other in unbroken sequence, so long as God's bow stands in the sky, an emblem of diversity, it is yet the day of the kingdoms of men, and the kingdom of God is held in abeyance.
Nevertheless, as surely as the Edenic conditions upon the fire girt islands of ancient Lemuria ended in separation into sexes, each expressing one element of the creative fire, and making the union of man and woman as necessary to the generation of a body as is the union of hydrogen and oxygen to the production of water; and as surely as emergence from the watery atmosphere of Atlantis into the airy environment of the current Fifth Epoch, the world of today, promoted further segregation into separate nations and individuals, who war and prey upon one another (because the sharply differentiated forms which they behold blind them to the inalienable unity of each soul with all others); just as certainly will this world condition give place to a "new heaven and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness."
In early Atlantis we lived in the deepest basins of the earth where the mist was densest; we breathed by means of gills and would have been unable to live in an atmosphere such as we have now. In the course of time desire to explore beyond caused the invention of airships, which were propelled by the expansive force of sprouting grain. The "ark" story is a perverted remembrance of that fact. Those ships actually did founder upon mountain tops where the atmosphere was too rare to sustain them. Today our ships float upon the element in which the Atlantean ships were at one time immersed. We have now contrived various means of propulsion able to carry us over the highlands of the earth which we occupy at present, and are commencing to reach out into the atmosphere to conquer that element as we have subjected the waters; and as surely as our Atlantean ancestors made a highway of the watery element which they breathed and then rose above it to live in a new element, just as certainly shall we conquer the air and then rise above it into the newly discovered element which we call ether.
Thus each age has its own peculiar conditions and laws; the beings who evolve have a physiological constitution suited to the environment of that age, but are dominated by the nature forces then prevailing until they learn to conform to them. Then these forces become most valuable servants, as for instance, steam and electricity, which we have partially harnessed. The law of gravity still holds us in its powerful grip, although by mechanical means we are trying to escape into the new element. We shall at a not distant time attain to mastery of the air, but as the ships of the Atlanteans foundered upon the mountains of the earth because their buoyancy was insufficient to enable them to rise higher in the light mist of those altitudes, and because respiration was difficult, so also will the increasing rarity of our present atmosphere prevent us from entering the "new heaven and the new earth," which are to be the scene of the New Dispensation.
Before we can reach that state, physiological as well as moral and spiritual changes must take place. The Greek text of the New Testament does not leave us in doubt as to this, though lack of knowledge of the mystery teachings prevented the translators from bringing it out in the English version. Did we but believe the Bible even as we have it, we should be spared many delusions and much uneasiness concerning the time of this. Whole sects have disposed of their belongings in anticipation of the advent of Christ or even as God, have married, raised families, and died, leaving their sons, who were supposed to be Christs, to fight for the kingdom. A temporal government was forced to banish one of these militant "Christs" to an island of the Mediterranean, and another to an Asiatic city where he is now under military supervision. Nor is there any sign that the future will lack similar claimants; rather, the sacrilegious imposture is spreading.
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 gaea), we shall know better than to look for Christ today.
"Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God." any more than the gill-breathing creature of early Atlantean times was fit to live under the natural conditions prevailing in the present age where "the kingdom of men" exists. Paul, in discussing the resurrection, does not say as in the English translation, "There is a natural body and there is a spiritual body." I Cor. 15:44. He affirms that there is a "soma psuchicon," a soul body, and tells in the preceding verses how this is generated from a "seed" in the same way as explained in the Rosicrucian teachings. The Bible affirms that our bodies are corruptible. (It also teaches that one organ, the heart, is an exception. This has reference to the seed atom in the heart. Ps. 22:26) Therefore our bodies must be changed before Christ can come.
When preparations were made 2000 years ago, for the embodiment of the Savior of the world, Galilee was the Mecca for roving spirits. Thither flocked people from Asia, Africa, Greece, Italy, and all other parts of the world of that day. Conditions there were exceptionally congenial and attractive so that, as declared by various scholars who have investigated the matter, Galilee was as cosmopolitan as Rome itself. It was, in fact, the "melting pot' of that day. Among others, Joseph and Mary, the parents of Jesus, had emigrated from Judea to Nazareth in Galilee before the advent of their firstborn.
It is an incontrovertible fact that environment plays a great part in evolution. We have today upon earth three great races. One, the African, has hair which is flat in section, and the head is long, narrow and flattened on the sides. The orbit of the eye is also long and narrow. The Africans are descendants of the Lemurian race.
The Mongols and kindred peoples have round heads. Their hair is round in section, and orbits of their eyes are also round. They are the descendant of the Atlantean race.
The Caucasian races have oval hair, oval skulls, and oval orbits of the eyes.
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In America, the Mecca of nations today, these various races are of course represented. Here is the "melting pot" in which they are being amalgamated. It has been ascertained that there is a difference in children belonging to the same family. The skulls of, for instance, younger Caucasian children born in America are more nearly oval than the heads of their older brothers and sisters born abroad.
From this fact and from others which need not be mentioned here, it is evident that a new race is being born on the American continent; and reasoning from the known fact that the Christ came from the most cosmopolitan part of the civilized world of 2000 years ago.
But we may be sure that though impostors deceive for a time, they are found out sooner or later, and their plans come to naught. Meanwhile, progression continues to bring us nearer the Aquarian Age, and a Teacher is coming to give the Christian Religion impetus in a new direction.
The Coming Age
When we speak of the "Coming Age," of the "New Heaven and the New Earth" mentioned in the Bible, and also of the "Aquarian Age," the differences may not be quite clear in the minds of our students. Confusion of terms is one of the most fertile seed grounds of fallacy, and the Rosicrucian teachings aim to avoid it by a particularly definite nomenclature. Sometimes an extra effort seems necessary to disperse the haze engendered by current cloudy conceptions of others as sincere as the present writer, but not so fortunate in having access to the incomparable contemporary Mystic Christian Teachings.
It has been taught in our literature that four great epochs of unfoldment preceded the present order of things; that the destiny of the earth, its atmospheric conditions, and the laws of nature prevailing in one epoch were as different from those of the other epochs as was the corresponding physiological constitution of mankind in one epoch different from those in the others.
The bodies of ADM (the name means red earth), the humanity of fiery Lemuria, were formed of the "dust of the ground," the red, hot, volcanic mud, and were just suited to their environment. Flesh and blood would have shriveled up in the terrible heat of that day, and though suited to present conditions, Paul tells us that they cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. It is therefore manifest that before a new order of things can be inaugurated, the physiological constitution of mankind must be radically changed to say nothing of the spiritual attitude. Aeons will be required to regenerate the whole human race and fit them to live in ethereal bodies.
On the other hand, neither does a new environment come into existence in a moment, but land and people are evolved together from the smallest and most primitive beginnings. When the mists of Atlantis commenced to settle, some of our forbears had grown embryonic lungs and were forced to highlands ages before their compeers. They wandered in "the wilderness" while "the promised land" was emerging from the lighter fogs, and at the same time their growing lungs were fitting them to live under present atmospheric conditions.
Two more races were born in the basins of the earth before a succession of floods drove them to the highlands; the last flood took place at the time when the sun entered the watery sign Cancer, about ten thousand years ago as told Plato by the Egyptian priests. Thus we see there is no sudden change of constitution or environment for the whole human race when a new epoch is ushered in, but an overlapping of conditions which makes it possible for most of the race by gradual adjustment to enter the new condition, though the change may seem sudden to the individual when the preparatory change has been accomplished unconsciously. The metamorphosis of a tadpole from a denizen of the watery element to one of the airy gives an analogy of the past, and the transformation of the caterpillar to a butterfly soaring in the air is an apt simile of the coming age. When the heavenly time marker came into Aries by precession, a new cycle commenced, 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.
Later John saw in a vision the new Jerusalem descending from heaven, and Paul taught the Thessalonians "by the word of the Lord" that those who are Christ's at His coming shall be caught up in the air to meet Him and be with Him for the age.
But during this change there are pioneers who enter the kingdom of God before their brethren. Christ, in Matt. 11:12, said that "the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force." This is not a correct translation. It ought to be: The kingdom of the heavens has been invaded (biaxetai), and invaders seize on her. Men and women have already learned through holy, helpful lives to lay aside the body of flesh and blood, either intermittently or permanently, and to walk the skies with winged feet, intent upon the business of their Lord, clad in the ethereal "wedding garment" of the new dispensation. This change may be accomplished through a life of simple helpfulness and prayer as practiced by devoted Christians, no matter with what church they affiliate, as well as by the specific exercises given in the Rosicrucian Teachings. The latter will prove barren of results, unless accompanied by constant acts of love for love will be the keynote of the coming age as Law is of the present order. The intense expression of the former quality increases the phosphorescent luminosity and density of the ethers in our vital bodies, the fiery streams sever the tie to the mortal coil, and the man, once born of water upon his emergence from Atlantis, is now born of the spirit into the kingdom of God. The dynamic force of his love has opened a way to the land of love, and indescribable is the rejoicing among those already there when new invaders arrive, for each new arrival hastens the coming of the Lord and the definite establishment of the Kingdom.
Among the religiously inclined there is a definite unceasing cry: How long, O Lord; how long? And despite the emphatic statement of Christ that the day and hour are unknown, even to Himself, prophets continue to gain credence when they predict His coming on a certain day, though each is discomfited when the day passes without development. The question has also been mooted among our students, and the present section is an attempt to show the fallacy of looking for the Second Advent in a year or fifty or five hundred. The Elder Brothers decline to commit themselves further than to point out what must first be accomplished.
At the time of Christ the sun was in about seven degrees of Aries. Five hundred years were required to bring the precession to the thirtieth degree of Pisces. During that time the new church lived through a stage of offensive and defensive violence well justifying the words of Christ: "I came not to bring peace but a sword." Fourteen hundred years more have elapsed under the negative influence of Pisces, which has fostered the power of the church and bound the people by creed and dogma.
In the middle of the last century the sun came within orb of influence of the scientific sign Aquarius, and although it will take about seven hundred years before the Aquarian Age commences, it is highly instructive to note what changes the mere touch has wrought in the world. Our limited space precludes enumeration of the wonderful advances made since then; but it is not too much to say that science, invention, and resultant industry have completely changed the world, its social life, and economic conditions. The great strides made in means of communication have done much to break down barriers of race prejudice and prepare us for conditions of Universal Brotherhood. Engines of destruction have been made so fearfully efficient that the militant nations will be forced before long to "beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks." The sword has had its reign during the Piscean Age, but science will rule in the Aquarian Age.
In the land of the setting sun we may expect to first see the ideal conditions of the Aquarian Age: A blending of religion and science, forming a religious science and a scientific religion, which will promote the health, happiness and the enjoyment of life in abundant measure.
Sugar for Alcohol
In the section elucidating the Law of Assimilation in the Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception, we stated that minerals cannot be assimilated because they lack a vital body, which lack makes it impossible for man to raise their vibratory rate to his own pitch. Plants have a vital body and no self-consciousness, hence are most easily assimilated and remain with man longer than cells of animal flesh, which is permeated by a desire body. The vibratory rate of the latter is high, and much energy is required in assimilation; its cells also quickly escape and make it necessary for the flesh eater to forage often.
We are aware that alcohol is a "foreign spirit" and a "spirit of decay" because it is generated by fermentation outside the consumer's system. Being "spirit," it vibrates with such intense rapidity that the Human Spirit is incapable of tuning it down and controlling it as food must be, hence metabolism is out of the question. Nay, more, as we cannot reduce its vibratory rate to that of our bodies, this foreign spirit may accelerate their vibratory pitch and control us as happens in the state of intoxication. Thus alcohol is a great danger to mankind and one from which we must be emancipated before we can realize our divine nature.
A stimulant spirit is necessary while we live on a diet of flesh or progress would stop, and a food has been provided for the pioneers of the West that answers all requirements; its name is "sugar." From sugar the ego itself generates alcohol inside the system by the very processes of metabolism. This product is therefore both food and stimulant, perfectly keyed to the vibratory pitch of the body. It has all the good qualities of alcohol in enhanced measure and none of its drawbacks. To perceive properly the effect of this food, consider the peoples of eastern Europe where little sugar is consumed. They are slavish; they speak of themselves in terms of depreciation; the pronoun "I" is always spelled with small letters but "you" with a capital. England consumes five times as much sugar per capita as Russia. In the former we meet a different spirit, the big "I" and the little "you." In America the candy store becomes a most dangerous rival of the saloon, for the man who eats sweets will not drink, and there is no surer cure for alcoholism than to induce the sufferer to eat freely of sweets. The drunkard abhors sugar, however, while his system is under the sway of the "foreign spirit."
The temperance movement was begun in the land where most sugar is consumed, and has generated "the spirit of self-respect."
Contemporary Mystic Christianity
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