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Cities of Refuge

   In accordance with instructions given to Moses at an earlier date, six cities were appointed as places of refuge (Joshua 20:7,8). These provided sanctuary for those who had slain a person "unawares and unwittingly," and who were in danger of losing their life in consequence of the act.

   These cities represent centers in the body of man, whirling vortices of force which afford strength and wisdom to provide safety from pursuing forces of destruction and death. They are quickened into activity by the accumulated vibration of intense and selfless love cultivated over a period of time. These focal points of power include the head center (Gad, Aries); the heart center (Judah, Leo); the illumined mind (Manasseh, Sagittarius); the spirit of equality and brotherhood (Reuben, Aquarius), and that of the Christed consciousness (Naphtali, Capricorn). These centers are cities of refuge to which modern aspirants may flee for sanctuary from the deadening weight of unillumined mortality.

   The tribes of Reuben and Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh had received their inheritance from Moses. Their portions were on the other side of Jordan. There is a clear analogy here between the divided state of Manasseh and the divided state of man's mind. Manasseh represents the mind of Sagittarius. This sign is depicted as a centaur, half man and half beast-a most fitting symbol of a mind partly yoked to the animal nature yet aspiring to heaven.

   Reuben (Aquarius), Gad (Aries), and Manasseh (Sagittarius), all come under the mental ray. Spiritualization of the mind is a major part of the Great Work. It is the gate which opens personal consciousness to divine realization.

   Mind is the connecting link between spirit and personality. It is the youngest and least developed of the Ego's vehicles, having been given to man during the Lemurian Epoch when he first stepped on the stage of manifestation in his present form. Pioneers of the race were then able to receive the supreme gift of mind from the Hierarchy of Sagittarius. The majority, not being sufficiently developed at this time, were obliged to wait until the succeeding Atlantean Epoch before they could be similarly endowed.

   To further assist the few who received the sheath of mind in the days of Lemuria, the first Schools of Initiation were founded upon the Earth. Since that early day there have always been an inner and an outer teaching. The most advanced truths in relation to religion, science and art have been given to the most progressive members of every civilization as a secret or initiatory teaching. These same truths become the common knowledge of the masses in succeeding generations.

   It will be observed that an increasingly sensitized mind becomes a more perfect channel for higher expressions of spirit. An unillumined mortal mind is a barrier to spiritual light. This latter state of consciousness ever tends to build "an altar over against the land of Canaan in the borders of Jordan at the passage of the children of Israel. "

   To mortal understanding the wisdom of the spirit is foolishness. An altar of materialistic thinking presented a well nigh insurmountable barrier to the children of light, the Israelites. "For the Lord (Law) hath made Jordan a border between us and you . . . Ye have no part in the Lord (Law)." These words contain the admonition of spirit to a mind linked with personality and under the domination of lower desires.

   The declaration made by the three tribes of the Mental Ray when the Israelites, misunderstanding their purpose attempted to make war upon them, indicates that they recognize the way of emancipation from an unillumined state of mind. In that declaration they assured the Israelites that they had not built an altar for burnt offering but for sacrifice.

   The processes involved in bringing mind into a state of illumination are directly related to the brain, the physical mechanism through which mind is able to express itself on the plane of material existence.

   The first inception of the brain as an organ of thought goes back to the work of the First Creative Day. It then commenced to form germinally on the archetypal level. After long evolutionary periods the present physical instrument came into man's possession. That was in the Lemurian Epoch of the present Earth Period. The Moon was particularly powerful in body building at that time, and its influence over the brain-mind has not ceased. The word lunacy, and the condition it stands for, are a present testimony to this fact.

   The brain is built of the same life substance used to propagate the species. When this force is cleansed and raised to the organs of spiritual perception in the head, it gives not only enhanced powers of mental creation, but the ability to penetrate the veil of physical plane phenomena and investigate mysteries of inner worlds.

   The physical brain is nourished by essences extracted from food and carried to it by the blood. Clear thinking necessitates a clear blood stream; and a pure blood stream is dependent on pure food. Diet is of great importance to one who would sensitize his body so it can adequately support his subtler vehicles as they evolve, and thus make it possible for him to cross the threshold that divides the physical world from the spiritual without disturbing the harmonious, healthy relationship that must exist between all his bodies if he is to perform the highest service on this and higher planes of life.

   While the physical brain is being worked upon to make it the sensitive instrument required by spirit for its effective expression, the mind must be spiritualized by a similar process. This is accomplished through purification of the desire nature. To that end St. Paul counseled, according to true metaphysical principles, when he said: "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things" (Philippians 4:8).

   Daily concentration and mediation are essential to effective mental development. Concentration trains the mind in one-pointedness. As Elbert Hubbard once said, it is greater power of concentration rather than more ability that is wanted by the average person in order to mount the ladder of attainment. Concentration strengthens the masculine pole of spirit whereas meditation enhances the powers of the feminine pole. The latter function as imagination; the former, as will. It is the purpose of concentration and meditation to develop spirit's complete control over mind, that it may use mind as an obedient instrument to serve the higher ends of a spiritualized mode of living.

   By meditation it is possible to discover the hidden riches within the soul. This cannot be done until one can hold the active, thinking mind in abeyance while listening to the voice of spirit. There must be ability to disassociate thought from cerebral activity so it may be responsive to impressions that arise within the soul. Such meditational practices will eventually open the door, not only on secrets of the inner life but upon the past, including former incarnations. It will lead to contact with great spiritual Beings who have guided human evolution in the past, and who are working with us at present, giving one an added understanding of their vast evolutionary enterprises.

   Exercises in concentration and meditation also stimulate, and ultimately revivify, the pineal and pituitary organs in the head. A quickening of these spiritual centers must take place in order to wear the crown spoken of previously in connection with the twelve initiatory steps taken by Joshua.

   An analysis of the name Ed will reveal something of its significance. The letter E relates to the feminine transforming principle. Being the fifth letter in the alphabet, it correlates to the powers of five. Pictorially, the letter is often represented by a window, giving to the eye an extended view. This letter also represents the breath which is, in fact, attenuated fire. This links the letter to Aries, the sign governing the fire essence to which it is correlated. Aries is also the sign of Gad. The letter D signifies a door and relates to Cancer, the door to Initiation, the "Cosmic Egg," and the supernal White Mother. It is the fourth letter, its numerical power giving the ability to step from a lower to a higher plane. Together, the letter values of the name Ed point to an altar symbolizing the path of spiritual illumination whereon the mind becomes Christed.

   Aries (Gad) is the sign of sacrifice and transmutation. Its radical place is on the eastern horizon. It was in Aries that Christ, the Messiah, made His supreme sacrifice for man.

   It is significant to note that the cities of refuge appointed by Moses included the three tribes, Manasseh (Sagittarius), Gad (Aries), and Reuben (Aquarius), with the addition of Judah (Leo) and Naphtali (Capricorn). The full and complete transmutation typified by the Sun exalted in Aries can never take place without the assistance of Leo, the love principle. The brain-mind (Gad Aries) must be illumined by the heart (Judah Leo). As the mind becomes subservient to love, new Aquarian conditions will be made manifest, wherein death will be swallowed up in the victory of star-crowned immortality.

   Manasseh (Sagittarius) is closely related to Dan (Scorpio). Jacob said of Dan that he would be a serpent by the way, biting the horse's heels so that its rider would fall backward. The statement refers to the relation between Scorpio and Sagittarius, and the powers in man which they govern. When the dragon (Scorpio) of the senses attacks the mind, it falls backward into bestiality; but when the dragon has been subjugated, the mind rises triumphantly into the light, enabling its possessor as a priest-seer to walk amid the stars. The Sagittarian currents playing upon the spinal spirit fire causes it to rise in a golden stream which connects the powers of the head (Gad Aries) with the heart (Judah Leo) until the forces of the two centers (cities) are brought into perfect equilibrium. This is the polarity represented by Gemini, the sign opposite Sagittarius. It is the signature of priesthood and marked the illumination of the Levites.

   A harmonious blending of Fire and Water contains the secret of both generation and regeneration. Union of these two principles produces a third principle, or "son." This "son" is born in Capricorn, sign of Jesus, the anointed of the Christ.

   The union of Fire and Water in Cancer and Leo gives birth to the Virgin or Virgo, sign of Joshua, the anointed of Moses.

 — Corinne Heline


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