|Simplified Scientific Christianity|
It seems perfectly logical to me that there must be a finer body such as you call the vital body, but is there any way that one may prove this to a friend who is very skeptical and argumentative?
Answer: "A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still," says an old proverb, and it is true. So long as your friend is till in the argumentative stage and not inclined to examine the proofs with an open mind it is a waste of time to try to change his opinion. We would suggest that you stop arguing; he may then become anxious and want to find out some more. When he does, there are a number of ways to prove the existence and reality of the vital body. We can mention a few.
In the first place, there is the camera. Perhaps you can find in your town among the spiritualists one able to take spirit photographs. Though there are tricks well know to photographers whereby such pictures may be produced, it is nevertheless a fact that under conditions where there was absolutely no fraud, photographs have been taken of people who have passed into the beyond. They have been able to clothe themselves in ether, the material whereof the vital body is constructed, and which is visible to the eye of the lens. The writer himself was once caught by the camera when he traveled in his vital body from Los Angeles to San Pedro to see a friend off on a steamer. It so happened that he came between his friend and the camera of another friend who was just taking a snap shot of the ship, and the likeness was so good that it was recognized by a number of people.
Then we have the phenomenon of dogs following certain persons by the scent obtained from clothing they have worn. This clothing is impregnated by the ether from the vital body, which latter protrudes about an inch and a half beyond the periphery of the dense body. Hence also at every step we take the earth is penetrated by this invisible, radiating fluid. But it has been found that blood hounds following the fleeing criminal were baffled and lost the scent because the fugitive had put on skates and made his way over the ice. This raised him above the ground so that the vital body protruding below his feet did not impregnate the ice and therefore there was not scent whereby the bloodhounds could trace him. Similar results have been obtained by a person walking on stilts from the place of his crime.
Then there is the case of the magnetic healer who draws from his patient the diseased parts of the vital body which are then replaced by fresh ethers that allow the life forces to course through the diseased physical organ and thereby effect a cure. If the magnetic healer is not careful to throw off the black-jelly like, miasmatic, etheric fluid which he has drawn into his own body, he in turn will become ill, and if there were not such invisible fluid as we speak of, the phenomena of the patient's recovery and the magnetic healer's illness could not take place.
Finally, we may say that if you can find the conditions and care to go to the trouble, there is one way and one condition under which a very large number of people are able to see the vital body for themselves. This is not easily accomplished in southern countries where the dead bodies are buried quickly after demise. Select a time as close of the full Moon as possible. Then watch the papers for funeral notice and go to the cemetery in the evening following the funeral of someone who has died within twenty-four hours. You will then probably see above the newly made grave, flickering in the moonlight, the filmy form of the vital body which remains there and decays synchronously with the body in the grave. This may be seen at any time by the seer, but it is only dense enough to be visible to ordinary people on the first night after the funeral. If you do not see it at first, walk around the grave and look steadfastly at it from different angles. Then you probably get the most convincing ocular proof for your friend.
Why is it that in your writings there is always a note of somberness, always the dark thread, so little joy and happiness? Is there no happiness to be found in the Higher Life? Contentment, satisfaction, peace — yes, but is there no joy?
So sang Robert Burns, and he was certainly correct in his presumption that none of us can see ourselves as we are. The writer was not aware that there is a dark thread and a somberness over all his writings, but perhaps the point is well taken, though it would be wrong to draw the conclusion that there is no joy and happiness in the higher life. There is an unspeakable joy and a happiness that cannot be told, in the privilege of being allowed to help the thousands that come to us for aid and advice or spiritual comfort.
However, while we realize the necessity and ultimate benefit which will result from the present great surgical operation the world is undergoing, we would have to be a superhuman not to be bowed down with sorrow at the sight of all those hundreds of thousands, nay, millions, who are suffering daily. Three and one-half years of work with the wounded, dying, and socalled dead, have failed to make us more callous than upon the first night when we were nearly frantic at the sight of the cruel carnage. We endeavor not to carry the experiences of the night into the day, as it would unfit us for the work we have to do here, but it is perhaps too much to expect that it would not stamp our waking life in some way.
This may be a very good point for those students to consider who are inordinately desirous of consciousness in the spiritual worlds. To them we would say that we envy them and would gladly exchange places with them and be rid of the sorrowful sights which duty and love of our fellow men compel us to witness nightly, though, of course, wild horses could not drag us away from the suffering soldiers or their bereaved relatives. We would not give up the privilege of helping for anything, but we do wish we were unconscious of our work when we return to the body. Then we should be much happier and probably agree to infuse happiness into our writings.
Our personality would always best be kept in the background, but if students will take this to heart perhaps the answer to this question may serve a good purpose.
What will be the condition of those who have not prepared the Wedding Garment when Christ comes? Will they still live on earth and go on evolving?
Answer: That is very difficult to say. A great number of those who were left behind in Atlantis because they had not evolved lungs so they could live in our atmosphere, have not been able to catch up with us yet. There is quite a grave doubt if people who have not evolved the wedding garment to the point where they have some real growth will be able to live in that Age. They may have to live at a later time and apart from us.
Please give a clear description of the Elder Brothers and say if they function on this plane in a material body, also of the lay brothers, etc.
Answer: As far as the Elder Brothers are concerned they have a material body just as you and I, and they live in a house which you might think the house of some well-to-do but not ostentatious people. They seem to hold offices of distinction in the community where they live, but it is only a blind that they have these positions so as to give a reason for their presence and not create any question as to what they are or who they are or that there is anything out of the ordinary about them. Outside of that house and in that house and through that house there is what may be called the Temple. It is etheric and is different from our ordinary buildings. It might be likened to the auric atmosphere that is around our Pro-Eccelsia at Headquarters, which is etheric and is much larger than the building. Manson's word picture of the spiritual church he built gives an idea of what structures are. They are around buildings and churches where people are very spiritual and of course they differ in color. This Rosicrucian Temple is superlative and not to be compared to anything else, but it surrounds and permeates the house in which the Elder Brothers live. The house is so permeated with spirituality that most people wouldn't feel very comfortable there. And the Lay Brothers, have they a material body? Certainly. The editor is not very ethereal and may serve as an illustration of the average.
What is prayer? Is it equivalent to concentration and meditation, or is it only a petition to God?
Answer: Unfortunately, as it is commonly practiced it is too often a petition to God to interfere on behalf of the supplicant and enable him to attain a selfish object. It is certainly a disgrace that people engage in violating the commandment of God, "Thou shalt not kill," and pray for victory over their enemies. If we measure the majority of prayers offered up today by the standard set by Christ in the Lord' Prayer they certainly do not deserve the name prayer. They are blasphemies, and it were a thousand times better were they never uttered.
The Lord's Prayer having been given us as a pattern, we shall do well to analyze it if we would arrive at an adequate conclusion. If we do so, we shall find that three of the seven prayers of which it consists are concerned with adoration of the Divine" "Hallowed by Thy Name, Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be Done." Then comes the petition for the daily bread necessary to keep our organism alive, and the remaining three prayers are for deliverance from evil and forgiveness for our shortcomings. From these facts it is evident that every worthy prayer must contain an overwhelming measure of adoration, praise, and recognition of our unworthiness, together with a firm resolution to strive to be more pleasing to our Father in Heaven. The main object, therefore, of prayer is to get into as close communication with God as possible, in order that the Divine Life and Light may flow into, illumine, and enable us to grow in His image and His likeness.
This is a view diametrically opposite from the common idea of prayer, which takes the view that as God is our Father we may go to Him in prayer and He is bound to give us our heart's desire. If we do not get it the first time, we need only keep praying, and because of our very importunity, our wish will be granted. Such a view is repellent to the enlightened mystic, and if we bring the matter down to a practical basis it is evident that a wise father having a son able to provide for himself would naturally resent it if this son should appear before him several times a day with importunate request for this, that, and the other thing, which he could easily obtain by going to work and earning. Prayer, no matter how earnest and sincere, can never take the place of work. If we work for a good purpose with out whole heart, soul, and body, and at the same time pray God to bless our work, there is no doubt but that the petition will be granted every time. However, unless we put our shoulder to the wheel we have no right to call on the Deity for assistance.
As said previously, the burden of our prayers should be praise to God "from whom all blessings flow," for our desire bodies are formed from materials of all seven regions of the Desire World in proportion to our requirements as determined by the nature of our thoughts. Every thought clothes itself in desire stuff congruous to its nature. This applies to the thoughts formed and expressed in prayer. If selfish, they attract to themselves an envelope composed of the substance of the lower regions of the Desire World, but if they are noble, unselfish, and altruistic, they vibrate to the higher pitch of the regions of soul-light, soul-life, and soul-power. They clothe themselves in this material, giving added life and light to our spiritual nature. Even when we pray for others it is detrimental to ask for anything material or worldly. It is permissible to ask for health, but not for economic prosperity. "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness" is the commandment. When we comply with that command we may rest assured that "all these things" will also be given. Therefore, when we pray for a friend let us put our whole heart and soul into the petition that he may permanently seek the Way, the Truth, and the Life, for having once found that greatest of all treasures no real necessity will ever be denied.
Nor is this theory, at all. Thousands of people, the writer included, have found that "Our Father in Heaven" will take care of our material needs when we endeavor to live the spiritual life. However, in the final analysis it is not the spoken prayer that helps. There are people who can lead a congregation in a prayer that is perfection both in language and poetical They may even conform their prayers to the principles laid down by the Lord as enunciated in our opening paragraphs, and yet that prayer may be an abomination because it lacks the one essential requirement. Unless our whole life is a prayer we cannot be pleasing to God no matter how beautiful our petitions may be. On the other hand, if we strive from day to day and from year to year to live according to His will, then even though we ourselves know that we fall far short of our ideal, and even though we, like the publican in the Temple, are of halting speech and can only smite our breast saying, "God be merciful to me a sinner," we shall find that the Spirit itself, knowing our needs, makes intercession for us with unutterable groanings, and that our modest supplication before the Throne of Grace will avail more than all the flowery speeches we could possibly make.
You also ask: Is prayer equivalent to concentration and meditation?
Concentration consists of focusing thought upon a single point, as the Sun's rays are focused by means of a glass. When diffused over the surface of the whole earth it gives but a moderate warmth, but even a few Sun rays focused through an ordinary reading glass will set inflammable material on which it is focused afire. Similarly, though flitting through the brain as water runs through a sieve, is of no value, but when concentrated upon a certain object it increases in intensity and will achieve the purpose involved for good or ill. Members of a certain order have practiced concentration on their enemies for centuries, and it was found that misfortune or death always overtook the object of their disfavor. We hear among certain groups today of "malicious magnetism" applied by concentration of thought. On the other hand, concentration of though power may also be used to heal and help, nor are examples wanting to substantiate this statement. We may therefore say that concentration is the direct application of though power to the attainment of a certain definite object which may be good or evil according to the character of the person who practices it and the purpose for which he desires to use it.
Prayer is similar to concentration in certain points but differs radically in other respects. While the efficiency of prayer depends upon the intensity of concentration, which renders prayer far more efficacious than cold concentration can ever be. Furthermore, it is exceedingly difficult for the great majority of people to concentrate their thoughts cooly, calmly, and without the slightest emotion, and exclude all other considerations from their consciousness. The devotional attitude is more easily cultivated, for the mind is then centered on Deity.
Meditation is the method of gathering by spiritual power knowledge of things with which we are not ordinarily familiar.
There is in The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception a section which deals very thoroughly with the method of acquiring firsthand knowledge, elucidating these points at length, and we would advise a thorough study of this section.
If the silver cord is attached to the seed atom in the heart at one end and the central vortex in the desire body at the other, what organ in the physical body does that central vortex correspond with — heart, head, forehead, or what?
Answer: That end of the silver cord which is anchored to the seed atom in the heart remains there immovable until death, but the other end, and the point where the two halves of the cord meet, as shown in the Cosmo, are movable. During the day time that central vortex where the silver cord is anchored it he desire body is placed directly in the liver, and you will find in the Cosmo some very illuminating material if you will look for "liver" in the main. The point where the two halves of the silver cord meet is placed in the solar plexus during the day time. That, you know, is a very, very vital spot, and the seed atom of the vital body is just at the meeting point of these two halves of the silver cord. When that is in the solar plexus the fluid which comes from the Sun through the spleen passes the seed atom of the vital body, and is there refracted into the rose-colored fluid that we speak of in our literature. Thus the three great centers in one body connected with the silver cord are: the central vortex in the liver — the principle point in the desire body; the solar plexus — which is the stronghold of the vital body; and the heart, which is the center of the dense body.
Will you please describe the silver cord and explain its function in both man and animal?
Answer: To answer this question fully we must refer to earlier evolutionary conditions.
Three Periods of evolution have preceded our present Earth Period. During the Saturn Period we were mineral-like, in the Sun Period we had a constitution like the plants, and in the Moon Period we developed vehicles similar to the present animals. We say "similar," for the constitution of the world was so different that identical construction would have been an impossibility. Fancy now, an immense globe circling in space as a satellite about its sun. It is the body of a Great Spirit, Jehovah. As we have soft flesh and hard bones, so also the central part of the body of Jehovah is denser than the outside, which is misty and cloud-like. Though His consciousness pervades the whole, Jehovah appears principally in the cloud, and with Him are His angels, and other Creative Hierarchies.
From the great firmament of cloud depends millions of cords, each with its foetal sac, hovering close to the dense central part, and as the vital stream of the human mother circulates through the umbilical cord carrying nourishment to the embryo during antenatal life for the purpose of evolving a vehicle when the period of gestation has been completed, so the divine life of Jehovah brooded over us in the cloud and coursed through the whole human family during this embryonic stage of its evolution, and we were then as incapable of initiative as the fetus.
Since then the Manna (Manas, Mens, Mensch, or Man) has fallen from heaven, from the bosom of the Father, and is now tied by the silver cord to the concrete body during his waking hours, and even in sleep it forms the connecting link between the higher and lower vehicles. This connection is broken only at death.
The cord is quite complex in its construction. One end is rooted in the seed atom in the heart; that part is made of ether. A second part, made of desire-stuff, grows from the great vortex of the desire body located in the liver, and when these two parts of the silver cord join in the seed atom of the vital body located in the solar plexus, this junction of the three seed atoms marks the quickening of the fetus.
But there is still another part of the silver cord, which is made of mind stuff and grows from the seed atom of the mind located at a point which may roughly be described as the frontal sinus where the human Spirit has its seat. It passes between the pituitary body and the pineal gland, thence downwards, connecting with the thyroid and thymus glands, the spleen, and the adrenals, and finally joins the second part of the silver cord in the seed atom of the desire body in the great vortex of that vehicle which is located in the liver. The path along which this part of the silver cord will grow is indicated in the archetype, but it requires approximately twenty-one years to complete the junction. The union of the first and the second parts of the silver cord marks the physical quickening which depends on the complete destruction of the nucleated blood corpuscles carrying the life of the physical mother, and the emancipation from her interference by gasification of the blood which is thenceforth the direct vehicle of the Ego. The junction of the second and third parts of the silver cord marks a mental quickening and a consequent emancipation from mother Nature, who has then completed the gestatory process necessary to start the foundation and framework for the temple of the Spirit, which may subsequently build as it chooses, limited only by its past actions.
During the daytime when we are awake in the physical world, the threefold silver cord is coiled in a spiral within the dense body, principally about the solar plexus (epigastrium), but at night when the Ego withdraws and leaves the dense and vital bodies on the bed to recuperate after the labors of the day, the silver cord protrudes from the skull. The ovoid desire body floats above, or near the sleeping form, resembling a captive balloon. There, so far as the child and the undeveloped persons are concerned, the Ego remains, ruminating over the occurrences of the day, until impacts from the physical world, such as the ring of an alarm clock, a call, or the like, vibrates the silver cord and draws the attention of the Ego to its discarded vehicle and causes it to enter.
No esoteric development is possible until the third part of the silver cord has been developed, but after that event the Ego may leave its dense body and roam the wide world, either consciously after proper training and imitation, or unconsciously, with the help of others, or accidentally, as a sleepwalker leaves his bed and returns unaware of where he went or what he did. In either case the third part of the silver cord, which is made of ductile, elastic mind stuff, serves as a link with the lower vehicles. The quality of the consciousness of the Ego when thus away from its dense body depends upon whether it has formed a soul body of Light and Reflecting Ether, which is the vehicle of sense perception and memory, sufficiently stable to take along. If it has, the process of initiation will have taught it how to proceed, and the Ego will have a complete consciousness while away from the body and a dependable memory of what occurred on the soul-flight when it returns; if not, both consciousness and memory are bound to be lacking or faulty to a degree.
Having acquainted ourselves with the construction and function of the silver cord as a link between the Ego and its vehicles, we shall next study its make-up and use in connection with the animal and its Group Spirit. It has been taught in the Cosmo that habits, tastes, likes, and dislikes of each species are due to the fact that they are actuated by a common Group Spirit. All squirrels hoard a store of nuts for a winter period of hibernation, all lions crave flesh, horses without exception ear hay, but ones man's meat is another's poison. If we know the habits of one animal we know the habits of all belonging to the same family, but it would be futile to investigate the elder Edison to ascertain the source of Thomas A.'s genius. A treatise on the habits of a horse will apply to all horses, but the biography of one man differs entirely from that of every other human being because each acts under the dictates of an individual indwelling Spirit. The animals of a certain group are directed by a common intelligence, the Group Spirit, by means of the silver cord. Each animals has its own individual silver cord, so far as the two parts are concerned which connect the dense, vital, and desire bodies, but the third part which is connected to the central vortex of the desire body, located in the liver, is the cord of the Group Spirit. By means of this elastic bond its governs the animals of its tribe, without regard to where in the world they may be, with equal facility. Distance is nonexistent from the viewpoint of the inner worlds, and as the animals have no mind of their own, they obey the suggestions of the Group Spirit unquestioningly.
In this respect children are an anomaly, for they also have the two parts of the silver cord developed. However, they have a mind from which the third part is growing. Thus the Ego has no direct communication with its vehicles, and therefore the human offspring, which has the greatest possibility, is at the same time the most helpless of all creatures on earth, amenable principally tot he authority of its physical guardians.
But though man is now individualized, and emancipated from direct interference with his action by the leading strings of the cord by which the Group Spirit forces, (there is no other word which will convey the meaning) the animal to do its bidding, he is not yet fit to rule himself any more than the child, over which we hold authority till it is of age, is fit to take charge of its own affairs, and Race Spirits still continue to rule the nations. Each nation, except America, has its own Race Spirit which broods in the form of a cloud over the land in which its people live, as did the God of the Israelites, and in him "they live and move and have their being." They are his peculiar people, and he is jealous God. With every breath they inhale this Spirit, and if taken away they long for their native country, because wherever they are taken the air is different and carries the vibration of another Archangelic Hierarch.
As times flies and we advance, we shall also be emancipated from the Race Spirit which has lived in our breath since the time Jehovah Elohim blew nephesh — the vital air — into our nostrils. These Spirits work in the desire body and the Human Spirit, fostering selfishness and egoism. When we learn to build the glorious wedding garment, called the soul body, which is woven by loving self-forgetting service, and the mystic marriage is consummated — when the Christ is immaculately born within — Universal Love will emancipate us forever from Universal Law, and we shall be perfect as our Father in Heaven is perfect.
Why is it wrong for a probationer to use alcohol and tobacco?
Answer: This questions applies not only to Probationers, but to every one who endeavors to live the higher life. Therefore we answer it in the Echoes so that all students may know that it is not merely sentiment which dictates our ideas that we should not use any intoxicants or drugs which muddle the brain. That organ is the greatest and most important instrument whereby we are doing our work in the physical world and unless it is in good condition we cannot expect to make progress.
Flesh and alcohol have a tendency to make man ferocious and to turn his spiritual sight away from the higher worlds and focus vision upon the present material plane. Therefore, the Bible tells us that at the beginning of the Rainbow Age, the age where we live in an atmosphere of clear and pure air, so different from the misty atmospheric conditions of Atlantis spoken of in the second chapter of Genesis, Noah first brewed the wine. Material development has taken place in consequence of the present focusing of our energies upon the material world, which resulted from partaking of meat and wine. Christ's first miracle changed water into wine. He had received the universal spirit at the Baptism, and had no need of artificial stimulants. He changed water to wine to give others less advanced.
But no wine bibbers can inherit the Kingdom of God. The esoteric reason is this: while the lower ethers vibrate to the seed atoms in the solar plexus and the heart, and thus keep the physical body alive, the higher ether, vibrate the pituitary body and pineal gland. By imbibing this false rebellious spirit that is fermented outside the body and is different from the spirit that is fermented inside, by sugar, these organs are temporarily dazed and cannot vibrate to higher worlds. If he takes too much of this spirit of alcohol, the organs named may be slightly awakened so that he sees the lowest realm of the Desire World and all the evil things therein; that happens in the disease known as delirium tremens. To sum up, as the evolution of the soul depends upon the acquisition of the two higher ethers from which the beautiful wedding garment is made, and as these ethers are attuned to the organs named in the same manner that the lower ethers are attuned to the seed atom in the heart and the seed atom in the solar plexus, you will readily understand the deadly effects to the spiritual man of alcohol and drugs. To elucidate I quote an incident of life.
There is an old saying: "Once a Mason, always a Mason." That means that when anyone has received an initiation in the Masonic order, and by virtue of that becomes a Mason, he cannot resign, for he cannot give up that knowledge and the secrets which he has learned any more than a person who goes to college can give back his learning received at that institution. Therefore, "once a Mason always a Mason," and likewise once a pupil, a lay brother, of a mystery school, always a pupil and a lay brother of that same mystery school. But though that holds good and life after life we come back connected with the same order that we have been affiliated with in previous lives, we may in any one life so conduct ourselves that it is impossible for us to realize this in our physical brains. I will, as said, cite for the benefit of all students a case which is very much to the point.
When I was taken into the Temple of the Rosicrucian Order in Germany, I was surprised to see a man whom I had met on the Pacific Coast. That is, I had seen him a few times; we had never spoken. He seemed at that time to be in a station in the society where we were connected much above mine, and I had never had personal acquaintance with him. However, he greeted me there warmly, and seemed to understand all about his connection with said society, about our meeting there, etc., and I looked forward upon my return to America to getting much information from this brother when I should be fortunate enough to greet him there in the West.
When I arrived at the city where he was, I was told by mutual friends that he had been expecting me and was anxiously looking forward to meeting me. When I did meet the gentleman, I at once went up to him and shook him by the hand. He also seemed to recognize me and called me by name. It seemed that there was every indication that he knew all that had happened while we were both out of the body, because he had told me in the Temple that he remembered everything that happened to him when out of the body. This of course I believe, for he was of a much higher degree that the first, into which I had just been admitted.
On the day of our physical meeting, after a few moment's conversation I said something which caused his to stare at me blankly. I had referred to some incident of our meeting in the Temple, and he showed plainly that he knew nothing whatever about it. I had, however, said so much that I was forced to say more, or appear foolish; so I told him he had professed to remember everything. This he denied, and at the end of the interview he begged me very earnestly to endeavor to find out why it was that he was a lay brother of the Rosicrucian Order, yet could not remember that which took place during his absence from the body. He was as I knew at various Temple services. He took part, and yet in his physical brain he was absolutely ignorant of what took place. The mystery was solved a little later when I learned from him, out of the body, the fact that he smoked cigarettes and used drugs which clouded his brain to such an extent that it had become impossible for him to carrying anything through of his psychic experiences. When I told him that, while in the body, he made a valiant effort to rid himself of this habit which he acknowledged. However, after some time of abstinence, he found he could not do without the drugs and cigarettes, and therefore, he has been up to the present time shut out from any consciousness of the higher life. This is a very pitiful case, and no doubt there are more. They illustrate how careful we should be to be clean in our habits, to regard this body of ours as the Temple of God, and refrain from defiling it as we would refrain from defiling a House of God built of stone and mortar, which is not one millionth part as holy as the body where with we have been endowed.
It has been stated that when the "Son of Man" is mentioned in the New Testament the Sun Spirit is intended. Sun worshipers have been considered idolaters. Would they be considered as such?
Answer: Everybody is an idolater who is not up to the present standard. At the time when the Sun by precession left the constellation Taurus and went into Aries, the command went forth, "Don't worship the golden calf, that is idolatry." Later when the Christian era came there was a new covenant and they were not to practice Judaism with its burnt offerings, because the Christ had come and was a sacrifice once for all. To perform the ancient sacrifice was idolatry. There is no other name under heaven given whereby we must be saved but by the the name of Jesus Christ. Later, when Christ has given everything into the Father's hands, there will be a new standard and it will be idolatry to revert to our present ideals.
In esoteric literature we find mention of the Temple of Lhassa, Tibet. Of what brotherhood or order is this temple, and is it rue, as reported, that it is guarded?
Answer: According to all reports, and so far as the writer himself knows form contact with the members of that community in the invisible world, the spiritual attainment of some of the brothers comprising this order is of a very high grade. They are doing a noble work with their people in the East, but like any other institution in the physical world, which is perceived by the senses and open to visitors, however great the restrictions, it is not a mystery school. The mystery schools are all etheric and are only visited by initiates who have learned to leave their physical bodies behind.
With respect to the part of the question which asks, "Is it true that there the Lost Word is known and carefully guarded," we may say that in all probability it is. However, it is also known and carefully guarded in many other places in the world outside the mystery schools, and to make this matter thoroughly clear it is necessary that we should understand what constitutes the different grades of spiritual gift and power possessed by various classes of humanity and marking their stage in evolution.
There are, in the first place, the involuntary clairvoyants, who have at times the power to perceive things and events in the invisible world. When the power is on, they see whatever comes before their vision regardless of whether they like it or not, and they are unable to shut off these sights and scenes. The next higher class is the voluntary clairvoyant, who is abel to see whenever he wishes, anything he desires, and he also has the power to shut off the view at any moment he chooses and return to his normal physical consciousness. Next above him in the scale of attainment stands the Initiate, who has learned by an act of will to leave his physical body and to enter as a free Spirit into the invisible world. There he functions as normally and as he does in this realm of nature. He sees and hears everything he wishes to, but more than that, he has been initiated into the mysteries of the invisible world. He not only sees and hears but he knows what things are and what they mean.
The voluntary clairvoyant who is able simply to see and hear is very much subject to illusion regarding the things that come before his vision. Elementals, which have the power to clothe themselves in the mobile desire stuff, take a particular delight in deceiving and even frightening clairvoyants of both the voluntary and involuntary class. They may ensoul themselves in the shell of departed friends of these people and are responsible for a great deal of nonsense and misinformation given out at spiritualistic meetings. For these entities to deceive the initiate is impossible, because he has been taught in the mystery schools concerning such matters.
Higher still in the scale of spiritual attainment stands the Adept, who not only is able to see and to know, but also has a power over the things in the invisible world. He is a graduate of the mystery school and has learned to use the Creative Word, the word of power, which was lost by humanity in its descent into matter. There may be one or more of these Adepts at the Temple of Lhassa in Tibet, as well as in other places of the world. If so, these people naturally have the word of power and they carefully guard it, for it is a dangerous secret, a two-edged sword, which would certainly be suicidal in the hands of one not evolved to the point where he is spiritually fitted to have it.
If we lovingly work with plants and animals to aid in their development and evolution, will we have "bread to shew" in the Temple, or is that gained only by service to humanity?
Answer: No, every kind act to another creature and every thought of love which we send out to other beings, no matter to what kingdom they belong, reacts upon us in such a manner that it becomes a factor in our soul growth. However, it should be noted that if we bestow kindness and give our love to plants and to animals, while withholding it from our human brothers and sisters, we are making a grave mistake, for true charity begins at home. What would we think of a man who neglected his own family and bestowed his love and care upon the family of some one else? Surely, we would not lack words to characterize such conduct, and the same argument may be applied to anyone who devotes his love to animals or to a garden full of flowers, but who neglects to do the same for the children of his neighborhood.
We remember a case in point: There was a very wealthy man among our Probationers a few years ago, who was always complaining of his spiritual progress being so slow. He moved in society and took part in all their social functions at the same time he was aspiring to follow the meek and lowly Christ. When we showed him his inconsistency he excused himself with the plea that he would have to do this on account of his wife's desire. He had married her and could not break up the relationship, which would be the result if he refused to accompany her to social functions. We asked him what then he was doing to promote soul growth, what interest he was taking in those not so well situated as he. Was he giving anything to charity, or better still, was he doing something in a personal way to help those not so well placed and who needed his aid? He admitted that he was not, but then, evidently ashamed at being unable to show that he was doing something for others and trying to earn the right to work in a higher sphere, he said apologetically: "Sometimes I see a dog that is hungry. It has happened once or twice that I have fed it, and I am very fond of my dog here and bestow quite a lot of time upon its training."
Now you will readily understand that whatever love this man may have shown toward his own dog and the expenditure of perhaps a few cents for scraps to feed a hungry dog once or twice while neglecting the opportunity to feed the hungry souls of his human brothers and sisters is not going to give this man soul growth, and of course like so many others who discover that there is no royal road, he dropped his interest in the matter. It will not promote soul growth to pay for missionaries to go to China and convert the heathen there while your own immediate family is in darkness. It would not help you if you fed all the dogs and cats in your town and cared for all the gardens which are there neglected, while omitting to look after your human children. If you have done all that you can to let your own immediate family see the light, then it is good to send missionaries to China also, if you have the means. If you have done all you can to bring love into the lives of the children in your own home and in your own town, then it is good to care for the cats and dogs and gardens. We can never do too much, but much or little, we should make sure first that we expend our efforts in the proper and legitimate sphere.
I am Mason and would like to know what determines the time of Easter each year. Also, what is the connection between the resurrection of Christ at Easter and the resurrection of Hiram Abiff in the Masonic ritual?
Answer: The Masonic legend says that in the beginning Jehovah created Eve, and the Lucifer Spirit, Samael, united with her and from this union Cain was born. Then Samael left Eve and she became virtually a widow. Cain was thus the son of a widow, and from him descended all the draftsman of the world, including Hiram Abiff, the grand master workman on Solomon's temple, who is therefore also called "son of a widow," as are all Freemasons to this day. After Samael had left Eve, Jehovah created Adam, and he united with Eve, with the result that Abel was born. Thus Cain was semi-divine, inspired by his own inherent creative genius which is seen in his sons to this day in statecraft and all industrial inventions which go to make the civilized world, while Abel was the child of two human beings. He id not know how to create but tended docilely the flock already created for him by the author of his being, Jehovah.
Jehovah slighted the sacrifice of Cain, who had made two blades of grass grow where formally there was one. He would rather have a docile automation like Abel who could be depended upon to obey implicitly His commands than an original thinker like Cain. So there was enmity between Cain and Abel, with the result that the latter was slain. Then Seth was born, and from his have descended all those who follow blindly the dictates of their creator and are known as the priestcraft and their followers. Among them was Solomon, the king. To him Jehovah revealed the design for his Temple, but Solomon was unable to execute the design and therefore was compelled to engage Hiram Abiff, a cunning craftsman, a Son of Cain, and therefore the Son of a Widow.
High mystic Mason recognize the fact that from the cosmic viewpoint Hiram Abiff is symbolized by the Sun. While the Sun (Hiram) is in the northern signs, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, and Virgo, he is among faithful friends and followers, but when in the course of the year he enters the southern signs, Libra, Scorpio, and Sagittarius, he is assaulted by the three conspirators as recorded in the Masonic legend and finally slain at the winter solstice to be again resurrected as he climbs towards the equator, which he crosses at the vernal equinox. The Masonic legend relates that the Queen of Sheba journeyed from afar to see the wise Solomon of whom she had heard so much. She was also shown the beautiful temple and wanted to see the cunning craftsman, the master builder and his workmen who had wrought such a marvel.
But there had always been enmity between the sons of Cain and the sons of Seth. Even when they have co-operated they have never trusted each other fully, and Solomon feared that his beautiful fiancé might become enamored of Hiram Abiff. Therefore he endeavored to call the workmen himself, but none responded. They "knew the voice of their shepherd," Hiram Abiff (the Sun in Aries, the sign of the Lamb). They were trained to obey his call and would heed no their voice. Therefore, Solomon was finally forced to send for Hiram Abiff and request that he call his artisans, and the moment he lifted his hammer (Aries, which is the sign of his authority and exaltation), they came in a multitude that could not be numbered, each one eager to do his will.
In the spring the Sun (Hiram) enters Aries, the sign of his exaltation. This sign is shaped like the hammer which Hiram raised, and all the workmen on the temple (the universe) rush to do his bidding and carry on his work when he ascends to the throne of his dignity and authority in the northern heavens. He is their shepherd because at the vernal equinox he enters Aries, the sign of the ram or lamb. Him they hear but these nature forces take command from no other than the Sun in Aries, the Eastern Sun.
This is the cosmic interpretation, but according to the law of analogy Hiram, the son of Cain, must also be raised to a higher degree of initiation. Only the Sun Spirit about to soar into the heavens could accomplish this feat. Hence Hiram was reborn as Lazarus and raised but the strong grip of the lion's paw. He had been a leader of the craftsmen during the regime of Jehovah and His creature Solomon. By this initiation he was raised up for the purpose of being a leader in the Kingdom of Christ and helping the same people on into a higher phase of their evolution. Therefore, he became a Christian charged to explain the mysteries of the Cross, and a symbol of this mystery the rose was added thereto, and this mission was embodied in his symbolic name, Christian Rosenkruez.
The rose is called the emblem of mystery in general, but most people are not aware that this addition of the rose to the cross was the origin of that symbolic significance. The rose is the emblem of the mystery of the cross because it explains the path of chastity, the transmutation of blood from passion to love. Lazarus therefore became Christian Rose Cross, and the Rosicrucians are the special messengers of Christ to the Sons of Cain as Jesus is to the sons of Abel.
The Pharisees knew a great deal of the esoteric origin of these two classes of humanity, and therefore the Lazarus miracle was to them the crowning crime of the Christ. They became seriously alarmed then that their national religion would be superseded by another if any more such signs were performed, for they sensed that it was an initiation of a higher nature than they knew of and that it boded an entrance into a higher cycle. Before the Christ all the religions were race religions suited to the people to whom they were given and suitable only for those people. All these religions were Jehovah religions. As the Father was the highest Initiate of the Saturn Period, so Christ, the Son, was the highest Initiate of the Sun Period, and Jehovah, the Holy Spirit, was the highest Initiate of the Moon Period. From Jehovah came the race religions which endeavor to prepare mankind along the path of evolution by means of law. These race religions are to be superseded by the universal religion of the Sun Spirit, Christ, which will unite all men into one brotherhood. The change from one to the other and the fact that the religion of the lunar God Jehovah must precede the religion of the Sun Spirit, Christ, is symbolized by the manner in which Easter is determined.
The rule in present use for determining the time of Easter is that it falls on the first Sunday following the Paschal Full Moon. This was the original time adopted by the earliest Christians who had knowledge of and regard for the esoteric significance, but very soon ignorant people started schisms and fixed it at different times. This occasioned no little controversy. In the second century a dispute arose on this point between the Eastern and Western Churches. Easter Christians celebrated Easter on the 14th day of the first Jewish month or Moon, considering it to be equivalent to the Jewish Passover. The Western Christians kept it on the Sunday after the 14th day, holding that it was the commemoration of the Resurrection of Jesus. The Council of Nice 325 A.D. decided in favor of the Western use, branding the Eastern practice with the name of heresy. This, however, only settled the point that Easter was to be held not on a certain day of the month or moon, but on a Sunday. The proper astronomical cycle for calculating the occurrence of the Easter Moon was not yet determined, but they finally deferred to the ancient method of fixing the festival by the Moon, and so the ancient original custom was finally revived.
Thus Easter is now held upon the same day as required by the esoteric tradition to symbolize properly the cosmic significance of the event, and in this respect both the Sun and the Moon are necessary factors, since Easter is not merely a solar festival. The Sun must go not only past the equator, as it does on the 21st of March, but the full Moon after the vernal equinox must also be passed. Then the following Sunday is Easter, the day of Resurrection. The light of the vernal Sun must be reflected by a full Moon before that day can dawn on earth, and there is as said a deep meaning behind that method of determining Easter, viz., that humanity was not sufficiently evolved to have the religion of the Sun, the Christian religion of universal brotherhood, until they had been fully prepared through religions of the Moon which segregated and separated humanity into groups, nations and races. This is symbolized by the annual rise of the Sun Spirit at Easter being deferred until the Jehovistic Moon has thrown back and fully reflected the light of the Easter Sun.
All the founders of race religions, Hermes, Buddha, Moses, etc., were initiates in the Jehovistic mysteries. They were Sons of Seth. At their initiation they became ensouled by their particular Race Spirit, and this Spirit, speaking through the mouth of such an initiate gave laws to his people, as for instance, the Decalogue of Moses, the laws of Manu, the noble truths of Buddha, etc. These laws manifested sin because the people did not and could not keep them at their stage of evolution. So they made a certain debt of destiny in consequence. This destiny the human initiate founder of the religion had to take upon himself and so had to be born again and again to help his people. Thus Buddha was born as Shankaracharya and had a number of other rebirths. Moses was reborn as Elijah and John the Baptist, but Christ, on the other hand, did not need to take birth in the first place. He did it of His own free will to help humanity, to abrogate the law that brings sin, and emancipate humanity from the law of sin and death.
The Race religions of the lunar God, Jehovah, conveyed the will of God to mankind in an indirect manner through seers and prophets who were but imperfect instruments, as the lunar rays reflect the light of the Sun.
The mission of these religions was to prepare mankind for the universal religion of the Sun Spirit, Christ, who manifested among us without an intermediary as the light which comes direct from the Sun, and "we behold His glory as the alone begotten of the Father," when He taught the gospel of love. The Christian religion gives no laws, but preaches love as the fulfillment of the law. Therefore no debts of destiny are generated under it, and Christ, who was under no necessity to be born in the first place, will not be drawn to rebirth under the Law of Causation as were the founders of the lunar race religions, who must bear from time to time the sins of their followers. When He appears it will be in a body made of the two higher ethers: the light and reflecting ethers, the golden wedding garment called soma psuchicon or soul body by Paul, who is very emphatic in his assertion that "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. He asserts that we shall be changed and be like Christ, and if we cannot enter the kingdom in a fleshy body it would be absurd to suppose that the King of Glory would wear such a coarse, cumbersome garment.
The priestcraft from which Jehovah drew His representatives, the prophets and founders of religions and spiritual temple builders, are the Sons of Seth. The Sons of Cain still feel in their breasts the divine nature of their ancestor. They repudiate the indirect method of salvation by faith of the church and insist upon finding the light of wisdom themselves by direct methods of work, perfecting themselves in the arts and crafts and building the temple of material civilization by industry and statecraft according to the plan of God, the Grand Architect of the Universe, Christ being "the Chief Corner Stone" and each mystic Mason a "living stone."
In time, however, these two great streams of the Sons of Seth and the sons of Cain must unite in order to reach the portals of the kingdom of Christ. Before His time there was no way in which such an amalgamation could take place; but when Christ, the great Sun Spirit, came, Solomon was reborn as Jesus, into his lower vehicles the Christ Spirit entered at the Baptism; and Hiram Abiff was reborn as Lazarus. When Lazarus was raised up by the strong grip of the Lion of Judah's paw, Hiram and Solomon, the former antagonists, sank their differences as prompted by Christ Spirit, and both are working now for the establishment of the Kingdom of Christ. It was this the Pharisees in some way sensed or surmised and hence their fears that this Jesus would initiate many people and subvert them from the race religion to which they (the Pharisees) were wedded.
Since I have commenced to study the Rosicrucian Teachings and am trying to live a better life, it seems as if trouble piles upon me in a manner which I have never experienced before, and it seems as if those who are closest to me by relation are the ones who particularly try me. Sometimes I feel as if I were growing, at other times it seems that life is a failure. What is the real status, and what is the reason for these trials?
Answer: When a ship is drifting down a river with the tide, the engines go around without seeming effort, and it makes great headway. Likewise, when an automobile goes down hill the engine is able to carry the load without effort and good progress is made. But when a ship must stem the tide and force its way against the current, or when an auto must climb a hill, it means considerable expenditure of effort, and progress is not so rapid. There are obstacles to be overcome. Every little rock is felt, etc.
It is likewise with the Spirit. So long as we drift with the stream of life and go with the tide of humanity, everything seems to run smoothly, and no trouble is encountered. However, the moment we leave the current, and strive to take the path toward the higher life, we encounter the friction of the general run of humanity, and of course the very ones who are closest to us will naturally be the ones against whom the friction is the greatest. Thus these seem to be the opposition, and to retard our progress on every possible occasion. They seem to strive in every manner to obstruct our path, and we feel it the more keenly because we think that those who are closest, nearest, and dearest to us should be the ones to appreciate our efforts, and to support us therein. It is not so, however. We should not expect that from them. They are going with the tide. We are going against it, and the friction is as absolutely necessary as the friction of the water against the ship that is stemming the current up the river.
When you have walked but he sea shore you have noticed how rounded and smooth, yes even polished, the stones on the beach have become by the constant tituration — by friction against the other stones. For ages and ages all the rough corners have been worn off, and they have that beautiful surface that is so peculiar to stones along the beach. We may liken these stones to humanity in general. By the friction against one another for ages and ages, the worst corners will be worn off, and at last we will become rounded out, smooth, polished, and beautiful as the beach stones are. But take a diamond in the rough. It is not allowed to attain its polish by the ordinary slow process, like the beach stone. The lapidary takes it in hand and grinds it, and there is a screeching noise every time the stone is put to the wheel.
However, every time a screech of pain comes from it there is a rough piece of the surface worn off, and a brilliant polished part appears instead. Likewise, it is with the Ego who aspires to higher things. God there is the lapidary, who polishes the stone, and it is not pleasant when the rough portion is being taken off of us, when we are being pressed against the grindstone of sorrow and calamity. Nevertheless, from out of it all we shall come shining and brilliant as diamonds. Let not your heart, therefore, be troubled, for the sorrows and tribulations which now beset your path are but the grinding against the stone by the lapidary. You may be sure that whatever is the present feeling, the outcome will be all right, for God is love. Although He applies the severest measures at the present time, in the future it will bring you out polished and resplendent.
In part four of Tannhauser you state, "The man must find the woman within himself." Also, that we must confront the Dweller on the Threshold. Will you kindly make these two points clear?
Answer: As a matter of fact the Spirit is neither male nor female, but during the present state of manifestation it became necessary to devote one half of the creative force to the development of the brain, wherewith we may create mental images which we then reproduce in concrete matter of the physical world. This, therefore, necessitated developing a physical organism with two sexes — one expressive of one quality of the spirit, will, and therefore male; the other expressive of imagination, which is female.
As each Spirit is born alternately in a male and a female body, it expresses also alternately the twin faculties of the Spirit — will and imagination. One of these qualities predominates in each life, and accordingly makes the manifestation of the masculine or feminine. But as the Spirit returns day after day, or life after life, to the Great School, it becomes more and more soulful and consequently more capable of expressing the two qualities of the Spirit simultaneously and in an even measure. Thus by degrees the man finds the finer feminine qualities in himself, and the woman finds the noblest traits of the man. When that point has come where there is a perfect balance, the mystic marriage takes place.
You know it is said that in heaven there is neither marriage nor giving in marriage, because there the Spirit is untrammeled by the fetter of the flesh. There sex plays no part. There the dual soul qualities are usable, and consequently the marriage of one to another is unnecessary. Each there creates the archetype of his or her coming body without the assistance of anyone else, save the divine Hierarchies, and thus provides for the future embodiment. It is only when we leave the realm of soul, and enter into the realm of sex that the cooperation of someone else is needed for the formation of a concrete physical vehicle to fit into the archetype which was in the first place made by the Spirit itself in heaven. Now the sooner we learn to see in ourselves a whole creative unit, the more we preserve our own creative force, and send it upward for spiritual purposes, the sooner we shall find the man or woman within ourselves. The mystic marriage will then have been performed, and this links the two poles and leaves us with a consciousness which is creative in all realms of nature.
At the same time, let it be understood that while we are here in this physical world, and have lessons to learn here, we must have instruments wherein to learn. We ourselves have by the sacrifice of others attained to this privilege. They have helped to give us a body, and we should never shirk the responsibility of giving someone else the opportunity of obtaining a body through our services, provided we are in proper health, and other circumstances are right. Also we should feel that we can give the Spirit which comes to us the proper environment in which to grow.
About the Dweller on the Threshold: It was said that it is always manifested as being of opposite sex, because all of our temptations and the evil we do, everything that is reprehensible, comes from the hidden side in us, and in each life this hidden side takes shape as of opposite sex. Through the opposite sex we are tempted to commit the sin which drove mankind out of the state of purity called symbolically, the Garden of Eden. It dwells upon the threshold of higher realms, and each one who dares seek entrance must first vanquish this demon.
It is claimed by some Theosophists that their Temple of the Rosy Cross is the only genuine order and that the Rosicrucian Fellowship is a branch thereof. Please tell us what is the true status of that order, and what connection it has with the Rosicrucian Fellowship.
Answer: It is an unfortunate fact lamented by all leaders of societies that misinformed members make extravagant statements which have no foundation whatever in facts. It has always been the policy of The Rosicrucian Fellowship to live in peace with all other religious societies, to speak well of them and their leaders on all occasions, and we would never think of violating our ideal of fellowship by an attack on anyone.
The leaders of The Theosophical Society follow similar principles. We have never seen them as aggressors against any other organization. We know positively that they are friendly to The Rosicrucian Teachings, and would not for a moment countenance such an arrogant assertion as that their Temple of the Rosy Cross is the only genuine order. They know better. As to the statement that The Rosicrucian Fellowship is only a branch of their order, it is sufficient to say that The Rosicrucian Fellowship was started years in advance of the T.S. Order of the Rosy Cross. Such misstatements as mentioned come from narrow, irresponsible people and they are not believed by the great body of Theosophists, who are broad minded and well informed on this very subject by the study of our own text book, The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception.
We have sold many thousands of copies of this work to members of The Theosophical Society. Large lodges like those of London and Chicago have bought five hundred copies at a time; others like Boston and Washington bought several hundred copies at a time and repeated their order several times. At one time the Theosophical Book Concern negotiated for the whole edition then on the press, but as we needed most of it right away to fill large orders from jobbers in New York and London the deal fell through. Thousands of copies have been sold direct from our Headquarters to individual Theosophists, and letters redolent with praise have been sent in by many hundreds of Theosophical Society members. Lodge leaders have written enthusiastically to Mr. Heindel of the great value of the book as a text book in their classes, and reviewers in many of their publications have praised it in the highest terms. The last review we have seen is by Mr. Wedgwood in the official organ of The Theosophical Society, The Theosophist, February, 1915. Mr. Wedgwood there reviews another book and for the sake of comparison mentions a number of writers, among others, "Max Heindel, author of a fascinating and really able book, The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception."
He comes to the conclusion that, "Heindel's is probably the most able of these books. It sets forth a fairly rational and coherent scheme, and while certain of his points seem to invite doubt, others call forth from the intuition a flash of ready recognition which is unmistakable. Clearly the book represents a definite esoteric tradition. It touches upon many interesting points which so far have not been considered by Mrs. Besant, Mr. Leadbeater, or Mr. Sinnett."
The Theosophist is, as said, the official organ of The Theosophical Society and is edited by Mrs. Besant. Thus two of the highest officials of The Theosophical Society and founder of the Theosophical Temple of the Rosy Cross have officially endorsed The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception as a book which "clearly represents a definite esoteric tradition." They are great souls who do not feel the need to bolster up a foolish pride and vanity by a supercilious sneer at another organization, as some who are not worthy to be called their followers, do. They have, moreover, minds which can discover merit in others and generosity to acknowledge the fact. This is also the case with the great body of the membership of The Theosophical Society, or they would neither have bought The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception nor acknowledged its merits, and the small minority who make the claim that the Theosophical Temple of the Rosy Cross is the only genuine order and that The Rosicrucian Fellowship is a branch — Well! They will learn.
Regarding the origin of the Theosophical Temple of the Rosy Cross, we are informed by the Secretary of the American Section of The Theosophical Society, Mr. A. P. Warrington, in the May issue, 1913, of The American Theosophist:
"The founders and supreme heads are Heracles, Helios, and Lomia, (names probably taken for mystic purposes by Mrs. Besant, Mrs. Russak, and Mr. Wedgwood. — Editor). The following has been issued by the heads:
"'In The Theosophical Society there are many who find the fittest expression for their highest emotions in stately and rhythmical ceremonials...very many such Egos are groping about unsatisfied in numerous fields of research...for these Egos the line of ceremonial is the way of least resistance... Up to the present time, however, there has been little opportunity of The Theosophical Society for the study of ceremonials and the mysteries. It is therefore the desire of the founders of the new order to synthesize the scattered teachings in The Theosophical Society literature as well as in other available literature...To nourish into new life the smoldering fire on the altar of spiritual aspiration...'
"'While recognizing that there is but one true Esotericism they will seek to find it in its Western Manifestation in order to enrich, not to supplant, its Eastern aspects.
"'In choosing the name Temple of the Rosy Cross, the founders had in mind various ancient organizations; one was the famous Order of the Knights Templars, which was formed to protect pilgrims traveling in the Holy Land...In like manner the present Templars of the Rosy Cross desire that they may prove worthy to gather around the Bodhisatva when he comes again, and defend the mysteries with a sword of the spirit.'"
This is a straightforward and obviously honest statement that, feeling the need of ceremonial as an incentive to spiritual aspiration, they organized The Theosophical Society Order of the Rosy Cross in the hope that it might make them more fit servants in their Master's vineyard, and who would not bid them Godspeed? They do not claim to have received esoteric instruction to start such a temple from the Brothers of the Rosy Cross. In fact, they confess they do not know if there is such a temple, at least Mr. Wedgwood does — and Mrs. Besant prints it in the same review where he speaks of The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception. He wonders what is the source of such books and asks the question:
"Are there schools of Western esotericism still existing on the physical plane? The repository, perhaps, of the alchemy of the Rosy Cross, and wherein the lesser mysteries still are celebrated? Or do these teachings emanate from superphysical lodges of teachers out of incarnation who still cherish the doctrine of medieval monastic esotericism, blended as it often was, with a stronger tincture of orthodox Christianity? It would be interesting and well to know."
Max Heindel states there is such a temple and his contention is supported by the fact that he has written The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception which has found ready endorsement from many thousands of thinkers in The Theosophical Society and out. Most of them are gifted with intuition, like Mr. Wedgwood, and some with spiritual vision. To doubt his modest claim to be the messenger of The Rosicrucian Order in the face of the fact that he has this book, involves the greater difficulty of believing him its originator, for a monumental scheme of unfoldment of the world and man, such as this book reveals, was never hatched in a human brain. Hence there is but one tenable conclusion: that Max Heindel tells the truth when he says he visited the Temple of the Rosy Cross, that he was there initiated into the mysteries and given the teachings contained in The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception, which he was enjoined to publish and promulgate.
It may also be said in support of this claim and as evidence of his sincerity and unselfishness, that he did not use this great knowledge for personal gain by putting as high a price on this book as possible. He had been cautioned by the Brothers of the Rosy Cross not to sell the "Pearl of Knowledge" entrusted to him, and he went to the other extreme and made the price of the book so low ($1.00), that he lost money on the first two editions. A valuable seventy-two page index was added in the third edition, also much new matter, and the price of this handsome six-hundred page book was raised to one dollar and fifty cents, netting a small surplus which is all turned into the work. Mr. Heindel does not get a penny from any of his books. Surely he must be sincere in his assertion that he is the messenger of the Order of Rosicrucians, and that The Rosicrucian Fellowship was founded to be the herald of the Aquarian Age, now drawing near.
Thus, to sum up:
The Theosophical Temple of the Rosy Cross is an Order founded by Mrs. Besant and her coworkers to aid aspirants to the higher life by ceremonial, invented by themselves.
The Rosicrucian Fellowship is the Herald of the Aquarian Age, promulgating the Western Wisdom Religion formulated by the Brothers of the Rose Cross, and published by their messenger, Max Heindel, in The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception.
We are sorry to say there can be no connection between The Rosicrucian Fellowship and the Theosophical Temple of the Rosy Cross, or any other Theosophical Society Order. We have a high opinion of their membership, and a sincere regard for many with whom we are personally acquainted, but we have espoused the Western Wisdom Religion. We thoroughly believe in Western methods for Western people, and are therefore forced by the laws of logic to take the position that our Theosophical friends, however sincere, are mistaken in their efforts to promulgate among the people of the West a religion divinely given to the people of the East.
We did indeed rejoice when we first heard that a Temple of the Rosy Cross had been founded by the leaders of the Theosophical Society, for we took this to be an indication that they had seen the true Christ Light, in the West, and were preparing to emulate the "Wise Men of the East" who traveled westward following the Christ Star to Bethlehem. However, we were sadly disappointed to note their statement of motive in studying the Western esotericism, Rosicrucianism, etc., as contemplated, in this new temple: "in order to enrich, not to supplant, its eastern aspects."
Thus the aim of The Theosophical Society and their subsidiary Orders are diametrically opposed to The Rosicrucian Fellowship, as East is to West, and however sincere our personal regard for individual members, we cannot work with them as a society.
It does not follow that we are obligated to attack them, however, or that we would retaliate when a misguided member of The Theosophical Society makes statements which we consider derogatory to the dignity of our Association. Let us be careful, rather, not to bring up subjects which may provoke such remarks. Let us quietly but persistently continue to promulgate the Western Wisdom Religion and emphasize the fact that it is the Western method for the Western people. So shall we further the work of the Elder Brothers better than by idle arguments which waste our time and convince no one, for conviction comes from within.
Note: Since the foregoing was written, The Theosophical Temple of the Rose Cross has been disbanded, and the building at their American Headquarters turned into a Catholic church where the former Templars are now worshiping. Had their "Temple of the Rose Cross" been originated by the Elder Brothers who are the Hierarchies of the Western Wisdom School it would have endured for centuries instead of a year or two.
From the esoteric point of view is it right or wrong to let a defective infant die, as was done in the Bolinger Case? Please let us have your view on the matter.
Answer: When we consider the defectives as a class, it is first necessary to realize that the Spirit is not defective. It has had innumerable past lives during which it has sown certain seeds and reaped appropriate experiences therefrom. Experiences which could not be reaped in one life have been held over until the next life or later lives, and have there attained their fruition. None of us, however, are capable of expressing in one body all of the attainments that we have acquired in our many previous lives, therefore we have many seeming anomalies brought to light in the investigation of psychical researchers who have found that ignorant people in the peasant class in this life, have been able under the spell of hypnosis or in trance to speak Greek and Hebrew, also to discourse learnedly on abstruse subjects. Thus it is evident that the Spirit may be likened to a diamond in the rough which is being gradually ground upon the grindstone of experience. In each life a new facet permits the light to enter and adds that light to the light already obtained through facets ground in many previous lives. By this process we shall eventually attain to the perfect light which makes us divine.
Because of our limited perception, we call certain actions evil and certain other actions good, whereas from the larger point of view it is simply a question of experience. Some characters or facets of the spiritual diamond seem to be fairly perfect in this life. At least they do not seem out of the ordinary to be sufficiently marked, and therefore we call them perfect. Others are different from the rest and we therefore in our ignorance call them defective. Similarly with bodies. Although as a matter of fact none of us possess a perfect body, nevertheless, we take an average as a standard and anything that does not come up to that mark we call defective. We allow those who are not mentally very different from the general run of us, to go about unmolested, but imprison those who seem to have a decidedly different turn of mind. We pay no attention to the ordinary deformities of body, but designate those which are materially different from our standard as defective. Some think that they have a right to destroy anything or anybody that is not up to the standard which they think ought to be normal.
As a matter of fact, the normal body is the result of a certain mode of life in previous existences which was then standard. But the so-called defective minds and defective bodies are the results of the efforts of Spirits to be free to move along what we would call unconventional lines of thought or action. Therefore genius and idiocy have always been twin brothers, and any doctor who attempts to cut short the life of one he may think a defective is just as liable to deprive the world of a great genius as he is to rid it of a poor creature that would be a burden to himself and others during his miserable existence. Thus, even from that point of view it would be absolutely contrary to the interest of society to allow any one to decide arbitrarily whether a child should live or die. it is the duty of every doctor to do all in his or her power to prolong life in the body so that the Spirit may gain the experience it has come for. If that life is to be cut off nature will take care to do that herself.
Investigation of the Bolinger case shows that that Ego had lived its previous life as a nun, and was burned at the stake. The result was that it lost the fruit of that life, and under the law of infant mortality it was therefore necessary for the new body to die soon after birth. Thus no operation could have saved the life in this instance, but that does not do away with the fact that the doctor was negligent of duty in not endeavoring to preserve the life. It would not do to speak in a public magazine of the causes in that previous existence which led to the tragedy which terminated it and had a bearing upon the present birth as a so-called defective. Sufficient to say that the Spirit has now gone into the First Heaven and will there receive the moral training which will restore to it the fruits of experience garnered during that past unhappy life. Thus when it is reborn in the course of a few years it will probably have a perfectly normal body.
Will you kindly explain just what is meant by psychometry?
Answer: It is well known to all scientists that the history of the earth during the ages may be ready by anyone trained in the art. Prehistoric animals and plants may be reconstructed from their fossil remains. The cataclysmic effects of great volcanic eruptions may be traced. The paths of glaciers melted many millennia ago are as plain as if they were now moving towards the sea. The erosion by water of rocks now found in dry deserts tells its tale of changing topographical and climatic conditions as plainly, or more so, than if the record were written on the pages of a book.
But to those who see with the spirit eye there is accessible a deeper record which coincides with and completes the chain of facts revealed by geology. The marks left on the rocks, by the grinding glacier and the rushing river, are as scars of strife on the soldier's body, from which a keen observer may draw conclusions concerning the conflict, which caused them according to the pitch of his imagination. These deductions may fit the facts, but it is more than probable that errors will creep in. At any rate, if the soldier can be persuaded to tell the tale of how he received the scars we shall certainly secure a more complete and authentic account than if we rely entirely on deduction.
Similarly, if nature can be made to supply the story of past events, we shall have a true tale of the things that have taken place in past periods with their varied flora and fauna.
That this is possible to one possessing the so-called second sight is common knowledge among millions of people. By assuming a passive attitude, and taking a piece of lava thrown from a volcano in eruption, they see as on a film the cataclysm witnessed by that fragment from the fiery furnace. By taking a letter and pressing it to their foreheads they may see the writer, the room in which he wrote, and other details. But mark this, without that letter or lava the psychometrist can see nothing, and sometimes he sees things he would rather not. nor has he the power to shut out such sights and scenes. Therefore, this faculty is of doubtful value, to say the least.
Another class has cultivated the faculty of reading the Memory of Nature at will by scientific exercises and an appropriate life calculated to augment the etheric aura surrounding each being or object. They hold the master key to nature's mysteries.
Much has been given out in the Rosicrucian Teachings concerning the Memory of Nature, and a great deal of our information has been obtained from that source by the latter method of positive investigation. We hardly need warn our readers of the danger of attempting to awaken the passive phase of this faculty.
Will it raise the vibrations of a room to burn spices, and if so what kind of spices should be used?
Answer: When disembodied Spirits wish to influence those who are still enmeshed in the mortal coil, it is necessary for them to have a vehicle of sufficient density to impinge upon the brain centers, or under certain circumstances upon the coordinating mechanism of the cerebellum. Given such a vehicle these Spirits can and do impress their victims physically, morally, or mentally, according to their disposition.
It is a self-evident truth that one does not gather grapes of thorns, and because a Spirit has no dense body is not a sign that it is a philanthropist. There are more weeds in the physical world than flowers, and there are more evil (because undeveloped) Spirits in the invisible world than there are good and noble ones.
When one burns incense in a room, the smoke and the odor which we see and sense is material of such density that it may be made use of by certain classes of Spirits which are attuned to the vibratory rate of that incense which is being burned. When a reputable esotericist, who has evolved spiritual sight and is able to see the various entities in the invisible world, has compounded an incense which he finds offers a vehicle only for Spirits of a helpful nature who incline to raise the vibrations of those who breathe the incense and the Spirits with it, then it may be an aid during periods of prayer to raise the consciousness of the devotees to a union with the Divine.
On the other hand, if the incense has been compounded by some one ignorant of esotericism, perhaps by one who has a selfish motive in view, then it is a vehicle for Spirits of a similar nature who clothe themselves in the smoke and odor, enter the bodies of those who are present where the incense is being burned and incite them to acts of debauchery and sensualism. The Chinese punk sticks are a good example of this variety. It is also possible that when this practice has been indulged in for some time the obsessing Spirits may obtain such control over their victims that they incite them to frenzy, causing them to exhibit the symptoms of epilepsy, frothing at the mouth, etc., or they may interfere with the bodily movements in a manner similar to that exhibited in the so-called St. Vitus dance. Therefore, the practice of burning incense is very dangerous, and ought to be strenuously discouraged.
In a recent lesson we were told that the Race Spirit influenced different persons to take a part in great world movements. If the part was unjust, is the person responsible for it? Would he suffer for it?
Answer: The statement was made in the Students' Lesson for September, "Our Invisible Government," that the divine hierarchs who guide evolution from the invisible worlds always find an Ego who is strong, either for good or evil, and use that one when progress demands the fall of an old nation or the raising of a new. However, it would be impossible to induce a Spirit of a brutal and tyrannical nature to play a self-sacrificing and noble part. He cannot change his character overnight any more than the leopard can change his spots, and vice versa, a Spirit of a noble nature will not consent to play the part of a tyrant or autocrat.
Each one will act in harmony with his basic nature, and therefore the divine hierarchs always choose some one who is of a character fitted to the part they want him to play in the coming crises, and place him in such a position that he has the power to carry out his designs, whether for good or ill. On that account he becomes at least partly responsible for his acts and the consequences thereof. If he does well, and by his acts of nobility, justice, and altruism aid a nation to rise, guiding it through the rocks and shoals of its infancy, as did George Washington, for instance, then great honor and glory will naturally be his in some future life where he will be given dominion over others whom he may help. On the other hand, if he plays the part of a Nero in breaking up a great empire, doing as it is said of one of the kings of Israel, "evil with both hands greedily," naturally sorrow and suffering will result. He probably cannot be made to feel all the pain which he inflicted any more than a George Washington can receive all the joy which has come to the millions who have benefited through his wisdom and altruism, but each will certainly receive as much as it is possible to give him, or at any rate as much as is required to make one a good man and the other a better.
I see quite clearly how we can learn great lessons concerning this physical expression of life, but do not see why the physical world is necessary to teach us ethics or morals. If it were possible to learn ethics and morals in the higher worlds, just why is a physical world, or what we call the physical expression, necessary?
Answer: Yes, and no. All other worlds are not by any means physical, even to those who inhabit them. It is perfectly true that one feels the handclasp of a friend in the invisible worlds just as we do here, but that is because we think resistance into the hand of the other party and our own. We do this quite unconsciously, of course, but the effect is the same. It lends a resistance to our hands, and our hand stops where it meets the other's, just as it would be stopped by the solid flesh and bone here in this world. However, did we not, when we clap our friend on the back in the first joy of greeting, think this resistance, our hand would go straight through his body, and we can at any time we wish interpolate our own body into his or any one else's without inconvenience to ourselves or to them. Here in the physical world such a thing is of course impossible. Here everything is rigid and solid, comparatively speaking, but it is this very quality that imparts value to the physical world as a school in right and accurate thinking, for that is what it is, as has been explained in The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception.
The illustration was there given of how an inventor may mould in his mind, from mind stuff, an engine or a machine which he has designed to do a certain work. The machine which he thus visualized has wheels that revolve perfectly and the whole thing works smoothly, but when he comes to put his ideas down on paper so that workmen may execute his design, it is probable he will find alternations are necessary in this plan, and later when the wheels have physical form in iron and steel, it is quite likely that some of them will rub against each other and cannot be put into the places where he has designed in his mind stuff because those places are already occupied with other wheels. Then it is necessary for him to remodel his idea in such a manner as his physical machine shows him to be necessary, until he has it running perfectly. Thus his thought and idea is corrected by the mistakes as shown in the physical world.
Had there been no physical world he would have had no means of correcting his inaccurate conception of what that machine should be, and it is very important that he should learn to think accurately and correctly. By and by when we are sufficiently evolved we shall not stand laboriously and fashion things with our hands, but we shall conceive the idea of what we want to create in our minds and then we shall speak the word that will bring it into being. Nor will these creations be mere machines. They will be living things. Therefore, if we do not learn to think correctly, we shall create monstrosities that will have to be destroyed because of the evil nature they would develop in whatever Spirit inhabits them.
That brings us to your question about ethics and morals. it is said that "handsome is that handsome does," and also that "beauty is only skin deep." At the same time it cannot be denied that the face is an expression of the soul. We all speak about someone as having a good face, and others as having an evil expression, showing the power of thought to mold the flesh in accordance with the morals and ethics of the person. Therefore, we are learning morals and ethics here, and must learn them in order to understand how to use them to mold the form and features of the things that we shall create. In order to become thoroughly efficient tools, however, our morals and ethics must be intensified a thousand fold, just as we have already seen is the case with thought. Thought is all-powerful in its own subtle realms, but is hampered when working in the resistant material of the physical world. Similarly morals and ethics are also handicapped. They are, however, being developed by exercise as the muscle grows, and there could be no exercise if they were not used in a world where there is resistance. That is a slow process but it makes for efficiency.
If you remember the law of infant mortality, you will also recollect that the little children, who die because an accident or other unfortunate circumstance prevented them from living their purgatory, are taken straight into the First Heaven and there taught by compassionate ones the moral lessons that they should have learned in their previous purgatory. Let us suppose that one of the lessons an Ego had to learn was sympathy, because it had been cruel and hard in its previous life. Perhaps it had tortured animals physically or human beings mentally and found great pleasure in so doing. Such a little child would then be taken to purgatory at a time when an Ego of similar propensities was living its purgatory and expiating acts of cruelty. The child's body would then probably be interpolated into the desire body of the other one and it would feel what he or she would feel — the suffering of the tortured animals on account of their physical pain and the sufferings of his human victims in mental anguish. Thus the child would pick up very quickly the lessons that had to be learned, and be made ready for rebirth in a short time. Thus both the invisible and the visible worlds play their part in teaching us ethics and morals, and there is no doubt that both are indispensable, or the wise beings who guide us on the path of evolution would find other means of more efficiency to teach us the needed lessons.
Contemporary Mystic Christianity
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