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"The Bible has been given to the Western World by the Recording Angels who give to each and all exactly what they need for their development."
References: I Chronicles 28, 29; II Chronicles 1-9; Jonah; Matthew 2:13-14; 12:40; 16:15-19; John 3:30; I Corinthians 10:4; Revelation 12.
As the material Sun is weak and has to flee from the powers of darkness, so all these divine light-bringers are searched for and forced to flee from the powers of the world; and like the Sun, they always escape. Jesus fled before King Herod. King Kansa* and King Maya are his counterparts in other religions. The Baptism occurs at the time when the Sun passes through the sign Aquarius, the waterman; and when he goes through the sign of the Fishes in March we have the fast of the Initiate, for Pisces is the last of the southern signs, and all the stores laid by from the bounteous gifts of the Sun of the previous year are nearly exhausted, and man's food is scarce. The fish-food of Lent which occurs at this time is a further corroboration of this solar origin of the fast.
At the vernal equinox, March 21, the Sun "crosses the equator," and at that time the "crossification," or crucifixion, occurs, for then the sun-god commences to give his life as food for his worshipers, ripening the corn and the grape, which is made into the "bread and wine." To do that he must leave the equator and soar heavenward. Similarly, it would not benefit humanity spiritually if their saviors stayed with them; therefore, they soar heavenward as "sons (or suns) of righteousness," ministering to the faithful from above, as the Sun does for man when high in the heavens.
The Sun attains its highest point of north declination at the summer solstice, June 21. He then sits upon "the throne of his father," the Sun of the previous year, but he cannot remain there more than three days. Then he is carried downward toward his western node. Likewise, the saviors of mankind ascend to the throne of the Father, to be reborn from time to time for the good of mankind, which truth is embodied in the sentence of the Nicean Creed: "thence he shall return."
The movement known as the "precession of the equinoxes" whereby the Sun crosses the equator on March 21 at a different point each year, determines the symbol of the savior. At the time of the birth of Jesus the Sun crossed in about five degrees of the sign Aries, the Ram. Consequently, Christ was "the lamb of God." (John 1:36) There was a dispute, however; some thought that owing to what is called the orb of influence, power of the Sun was really in the sign Pisces, the fishes, and that the symbol of Christ should have been a fish. As a relic of that dispute we see that to this day the Bishop's miter is in the form of the head of a fish. At the time of Mithras, the Persian Savior, the Sun crossed in the sign of the Bull, hence we find Mithras riding on a bull. This was also the foundation for the worship of the Bull, Apis, in Egypt. At present the vernal equinox is in about ten degrees of Pisces, the Fishes, so that if a savior were born now he would be "Fish-man," like Oannes of Ninevah, changed into Jonah and the whale by the Bible.
This great allegory, like so many others, is also pictured upon the film of the firmament for it was first enacted in heaven before it was staged on Earth, and we still see in the starry sky "Jonah, the Dove," and "Cetus, the Whale." The terrestrial application of this allegory will be given in a subsequent lesson.
The four letters said to have been on the cross of Christ and the method of fixing Easter in commemoration of the event, also go to show the cosmic character of the occurrence. These letters I.N.R.I., are commonly supposed to have meant Jesus Nazarenus Rex Judaeorum, but they are also the initial letters of the Hebrew names of the four elements Iam (water), Nour (fire), Ruach (air), Iabeshah (earth). It would be foolish to fix the anniversary of the death of an individual, as Easter is fixed by the Sun and Moon, but it is the proper thing in respect of a solar festival and a cosmic character, related to the Sun as spiritual light-bringer to physical luminary.
When the Sun leaves his throne at the summer solstice, about June 21, he passes through Cancer and into the sign Leo, the Lion of Judah (July 24 to August 24). Then we have the Catholic feast of the Assumption on August 15, in Leo. Thence, onward to his western node, the Sun proceeds through Virgo, the sign of the Virgin (August 24 to September 23). Thus the Virgin is born from the Sun, as it were.
This brings to mind the astronomical solution to that passage in the 12th Chapter of Revelation: "I saw a woman clothed with the Sun and the Moon under her feet." That phenomenon happens every September just after the new Moon; for viewed from our earth, he Sun covers or clothes the sign Virgo all through September, and as the Moon is leaving the conjunction of the Sun, it appears to be beneath the Virgin's feet. When John the Baptist is represented as saying concerning Christ that "he must increase but I must decrease" (John 3:30), he is symbolizing the Sun at the summer solstice when it must decrease in light for the coming half year, while Christ by his birthday at Christmas is identified with the newborn Sun which increases the length of the day until the middle of summer.
Ragon, the eminent French Masonic authority, says that the legend of Hiram Abiff, the "Widow's Son," the Grand Architect of Solomon's Temple, and hero of the Masonic Legend, is an astronomical allegory representing the Sun from the summer solstice downward. The Temple of Solomon is our solar universe which forms the great school of life for our evolving humanity; the broad lines of its history, past, present, and future, are written in the stars, its main outlines being discernible to anyone of average intelligence. In the microcosmic scheme, the Temple of Solomon is also the body of man wherein the individualized spirit or ego is evolving, as God is in the great universe.
Hiram Abiff, the Grand Master, is the Sun which travels around the twelve signs of the zodiac, enacting there the mystic drama of the Masonic Legend. At the vernal equinox the Sun leaves the watery sign Pisces, which is also feminine and docile, for the belligerent, martial, energetic, fiery sign Aries, the ram or lamb, where it is exalted in power. It fills the universe with a creative fire which is immediately seized upon by the innumerable billions of nature spirits who therewith build the temple of the coming year in forest and fen. The forces of fecundation applied to the countless seeds slumbering in the ground cause them to germinate and fill the earth with luxuriant vegetation while the Group Spirits mate the beasts and birds in their charge so that they may bring forth and increase sufficiently to keep the fauna of our planet at normal levels. According to the Masonic Legend, Hiram Abiff used a hammer to call his workmen, and it is significant that the symbol of the sign Aries, where this wonderful creative activity commences, is shaped like a double ram's horn, which resembles a hammer.
During the summer the Sun calls forth songs of gratitude from all that breathes, hence Hiram, who represents it, can give the Word, that is to say life to all. When the Sun enters the southern signs at the fall equinox, September 21, nature becomes mute, and Hiram,-the Sun, can no longer give the sacred Word; he meets the three murderers: the zodiacal signs Libra, Scorpio, and Sagittarius, which the Sun goes through in October, November, and December. The first strikes him with a 24-inch rule emblematic of the 24 hours the Earth takes to revolve upon its axis. The second strikes him with an iron square, symbolizing the four seasons, and at last the mortal blow is given by the third murderer with a mallet, which being round, signifies that the Sun has completed its circle and dies to give room for the Sun of another year.
The initiates of the temples in Egypt were called "phree messen," which means "children of light," because they had received the light of knowledge and it is this which has been changed into "Freemason."
Thus we see that the contest of Light and Darkness in the physical world is closely connected in the scriptures of the different religions with the contest of the powers of spiritual light and life against those of darkness and ignorance; that this truth is universally spread among all people in all ages. The myths of the dragon slayers embody the same truth, where the Greeks tell of the victory of Apollo over Python, and of Hercules over the dragon of the Hesperides; the Norseman tells of the contest of Beowulf slaying the fire-drake, of Siegfried slaying the dragon, Fafner, and of St. George and the Dragon. In our materialistic age these truths are temporarily relegated to oblivion or regarded as fairy stories without any basis in truth, but the time will come and is not far distant when these myths will again be restored to honor as embodiments of great spiritual truths.
*Kansa: In Hindu mythology, a king of Mathura, son of Ugrasena and second cousin of Krishna.
** Esoteric science teaches that nature spirits are evolving beings who build the plants, form the crystals of the rock, and with numerous other hierarchies are working around and about us unseen, but nevertheless are busy in making that which we call nature.
*** A group spirit is an entity functioning in the spiritual worlds and possessing a spiritual body composed of many separate animal spirits, as a man has a body composed of many cells, each with an individual consciousness. The group spirit itself cannot function in the physical world, but it evolves by sending the different animal spirits into a form of body which it creates.
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1. How did the fast originate?
2. What occurs at the crucifixion in the solar myth?
3. What determines the symbol of each savior?
4. Why is Christ called "the Lamb of God"?
5. What is the significance of the letters "INRI" which were on the Cross?
6. Give the astronomical solution to the passage: "I saw a woman clothed with the Sun, and the Moon under her feet."
7. Summarize the cosmic application of the legend of Hiram Abiff.
Contemporary Mystic Christianity
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