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In The Star of Bethlehem, a Mystic Fact, we endeavored to give students a glimpse of a certain phase of Initiation. Most of us walk about upon Earth and see only a seemingly dead mass, but one of the first facts revealed in our consciousness by Initiation is the living reality of the Earth Spirit. As the surface of our body is dead compared to the organs within, so the outer envelope of the Earth, being encrusted, gives no idea of the wonderful activity within. Upon the path of Initiation nine different layers are revealed, and in the center of this rolling sphere we meet the Spirit of the earth face to face. It is actually true that it is "groaning and travailing" in the Earth for the sake of all, working and anxiously waiting for our manifestation as Sons of God so that, as the seeking soul which aspires to liberation is released from its dense body, the Earth Spirit also may be liberated from its body of death in which it is now confined for us.
The words of the Earth Spirit to Faust, as given by Goethe, offer splendid material for meditation, for they represent mystically what the candidate feels when he first realizes the actual reality of the Earth Spirit as a living presence, ever actively laboring for our uplift.
Of course, the Earth Spirit is not to be thought of as a larger man, or as having physical form other than the Earth itself. The vital body of Jesus, in which the Christ Spirit was focused prior to its actual ingress into the Earth, has the ordinary human form; it is preserved and is shown to the candidate at a certain point in his progression. Some day in the far future it will again house the benevolent Christ Spirit upon His return from the center of the Earth, when we shall have become etheric, and when He is ready to ascend to higher spheres, leaving us to be taught of the Father, whose religion will be higher than the Christian religion.
The esoteric truth that when a spirit enters by a certain door, it must also return the same way, is taught by Goethe in connection with the initial appearance of Mephistopheles to Faust. Faust is not upon the regular path of Initiation. He has not earned admission nor the help of the Elder Brothers; he is seeking at the wrong door because of his impatience. Therefore he is spurned by the Earth Spirit and when having seemingly attained, is plunged from the pinnacle of joy to the pit of despair where he realizes that he has in reality failed.
He thinks the sources of information are exhausted and that he may never attain to the real knowledge. And fearing the dull monotony of a plodding, ordinary existence, he grasps a phial of poison and is about to drink, when songs without, proclaim the risen Christ for it is Easter morning. At the thought, new hope stirs his soul. He is also further disturbed in his purpose by the knocking of Wagner, his friend.
Walking with the latter, Faust voices the cry of agony wrung from every aspiring soul in the awful struggle between the higher and lower natures. So long as we live worldly lives without higher aspirations, there is peace in our breasts. But once we have sensed the call of the Spirit, our equipoise is gone, and the more ardently we pursue the quest of the Grail, the fiercer is this inner struggle. Paul thought of himself as a wretched man because lower desires in the flesh combated the higher spiritual aspirations. Faust's words are of similar import:
But he does not realize that there is no royal road to attainment, that each one must walk the path to peace alone. He thinks that Spirits can give him soul power ready for use:
Because of this looking to others he is doomed to disappointment. "If thou art Christ help thyself," is the universal rule, and self-reliance is the cardinal virtue which aspirants are required to cultivate in the Western Mystery School. No one is allowed to lean on Masters, nor to blindly follow Leaders. The Brothers of the Rose Cross aim to emancipate the souls that come to them; to educate, to strengthen, and to make them coworkers. Philanthropists do not grow on every bush, and whoever looks to a Teacher to do more than point the way, will meet disappointment. No matter what their claims, no matter whether they come in the flesh, or as Spirits, no matter how spiritual they seem, Teachers positively cannot do for us the good deeds requisite to soul growth, assimilate them, nor give us the resulting soul power ready to use, any more than they can impart to us physical strength by eating our food. True, Faust the seeking soul, attracts a spirit ready to serve him, but it is a spirit of an undesirable nature, Lucifer. When Faust asks his name, he replies:
"The Spirit of Negation; the power that still, Works for good though scheming ill."
People or spirits who offer to gratify our desires usually have an end in view.
Now we come to a point involving an important cosmic law which underlies various spiritualistic phenomena and also supports the Rosicrucian Teachings (and the Bible), that Christ will not return in a dense body but in a vital body. It also shows why He must return. Students will therefore do well to read very carefully:
Attracted by the mental attitude of Faust, Lucifer follows him into his study. On the floor just inside the door is a five pointed star with the two horns nearest the door. In the ordinary process of Nature the human spirit enters its dense body during antenatal life and withdraws at death by way of the head. Invisible Helpers who have learned to transmute their sex force to soul power in the pituitary body, also leave and enter the dense body by way of the head; therefore, the pentagram with one point upward, symbolizes the aspiring soul who works in harmony with nature.
The black magician, who has neither soul nor soul power, also uses the sex force. He leaves and enters his body by way of the feet, the silver cord protruding from the sex organ. Therefore, the pentagram with two points upward is the symbol of black magic. Lucifer had no trouble in entering Faust's study, but when he wishes to leave after speaking with Faust, the single point bars his way. He requests Faust to remove the sign and the latter queries:
Before A.D. 33 Jehovah guided our planet in its orbit and mankind on the path of evolution from without. On Golgotha, Christ entered the Earth which He now guides from within, and will until a sufficient number of our humanity have evolved the soul power necessary to float the Earth and guide our younger brothers. This requires ability to live in vital [etheric] bodies, capable of levitation. The vital body of Jesus through which Christ entered the Earth is His only avenue of return to the Sun. Hence the Second Advent will be in Jesus' vital [etheric] body.
[You are welcome to e-mail your answers and/or comments to us. Please be sure to include the course name and Independent Study Module number in your e-mail to us. Or, you are also welcome to use the answer form below. (Java required)]
1. What is one of the first facts impressed upon the consciousness by initiation?
2. Why has Faust not found the regular path of Initiation as yet?
3. When once we begin to live the higher life what condition is lost and is it necessary to gain it back?
4. Can spirits give anyone soul power? Explain.
5. What is the cardinal virtue required of the candidate in the Western Mystery School?
6. Does the black magician possess soul or soul power?
7. Does he use the same force as the white magician? Explain.
8. Must a spirit return the same way as he leaves?
9. What bodies will it be necessary for humanity to function in to be able to float the earth?
10. What power must be developed before this can be done and the Earth Spirit relieved of this responsibility?
Contemporary Mystic Christianity
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