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Bible Self-Study Supplement

Seven Keys To The Christ Mystery

   Herein is given a brief summation of the keys, seven in number, to what may be the most important elucidation of the Christ Mysteries. Earnest students are admonished to study these seven keys carefully, together with their description as given in the Bible; and then, by long and prayerful meditation, make them active and vital factors in their daily lives.

Key Number One
The Immaculate Conception

   The Immaculate Conception is the Holy Rite whereby the fire that bums in man's personality is transmuted into the light of pure spirit. In the process of transmutation the red fire of Mars, the desire force generated by the Lucifers, is displaced by the golden Sun force, the pure love-power of the Christ. This will be the paramount transformation to take place in the whole race during the coming age.

   Late in human evolution certain centers were developed in the currents of man's desire body. These centers are largely latent in the majority of people, for they can be awakened only through spiritual development. As yet they have come into their full splendor only in those who have received the higher Degrees of Initiation. However, these centers, all twelve of them, are latent in the body of every individual. When awakened and functioning, they become twelve glorious lights.

   The centers are variously located in the physical vehicle. Two are in the feet; two at the. knees; one at the base of the spine; one each in the solar plexus, the heart and the throat; two in the cranium. In oriental Mystery Schools these centers are referred to as "lotus blossoms"; by mystic Christians they are described as "the roses that bloom upon the cross of the body." They do not come into their full luminosity until after the first of the Greater or Christ Initiations has been reached. Centers below the diaphragm are not fully awakened until a disciple passes all four of these Christ Initiations; therefore humankind is not very familiar with their functioning or the processes involved in their activation. All centers located above the diaphragm are awakened during the course of the nine Lesser Initiations, so more is known about the means and manner of their functioning. There are other centers to be activated through further spiritual unfoldment, but the ones treated here are the most important at man's present stage of evolution.

   When the center at the base of the spine bestirs itself, its deep red color gradually lightens to a clear, pure radiance that is tinged with deep orange-gold as one's nature is increasingly purified and spiritualized. The forces of this center aid the transmutation and purification process throughout the entire body.

   With vitalization of the center located at the solar plexus there comes a greater sense of reverence toward the physical vehicle as a fitting temple for the indwelling spirit. As this realization is born, all the activities of the physical vehicle are strengthened and harmonized with the higher principles. Radiations from this center are a vivid green, the color of verdant nature, and they serve to stimulate all the life processes.

   The rose can bloom in the heart only as compassion reaches out to include all living creatures, for the heart center can never become a translucent light until love is its motivating power. The golden blossom at a disciple's heart can never reach full unfoldment so long as he nourishes his body upon the flesh of his younger brothers, or uses their hide, fur or feathers to gratify his vanity. He must hold sacred, and give loving care to all lesser creatures before this rose unfolds its radiant petals. When finally awakened, this center resembles a miniature sunburst of golden splendor.

   The rose at the throat center, where resides the power of speech, will not come into full bloom so long as hasty, unkind or destructive words are spoken through it. The neophyte must make supreme dedication of his voice in service to the Christ. He must be able to say "For myself I ask nothing; and from myself I give all unto others." Such dedication unfolds the petals of this rose so that it gives off a soft blue radiance, to which inspiration adds silvery tones.

   In other writings we have referred to the two lights in the head. The pituitary gland will become someday a perfect image-building center, while the pineal gland will be the sanctuary wherein abides the power of will as servant of the spirit. These centers are bathed in exquisite shades of violet, to which aspiration adds the luster of shining gold. In these centers may be found the mystery relative to the origin of the rosary.

   When all twelve of the body centers are alight, a disciple is clothed in the "golden wedding garment," ready to meet the Bride-groom and go in with Him to the Marriage Feast.

Key Number Two
The Holy Birth

   The Virgin Mary and her husband Joseph were Temple Initiates. Having learned all lessons belonging to the objective life, they had committed themselves permanently to Temple service. To further the divine plan, however, they renounced Temple life and returned to the lay world to become householders. Thus they sought to secure a proper environment during the formative years of the child who was to be known as the Master Jesus.

   On that first magic Christmas Night a golden light suffused the entire world. Hosts of Angels and Archangels, singing exultant hosannas, descended to earth and mingled with men, becoming visible to many of them. On this glorious golden Ray, Mary was swept heavenward where, amidst joyous acclamations, the Holy Babe was given into her keeping.

Key Number Three
The Baptism

   When the Master Jesus stepped into the waters of the River Jordan he made the great sacrifice of surrendering the body he had built that the archangelic Christ might use it during the three years of His ministry. Once more, as on Holy Night, the heavens were filled with the resounding hosannas of Angels; and the voice of God was heard proclaiming "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

   The Gospel of St. Mark opens with the Rite of Baptism. The Gospel of St. John opens with the Rite of the Mystic Marriage, wherein water is turned into wine. There is an intimate relation between these two events. The Rite of Baptism was observed by the Disciples on Holy Saturday preceding the Resurrection. By it each one was learning to disassociate at will his ego from its physical vehicle. In the Rite of the Mystic Marriage the Christ taught His Disciples how to bring the forces of mind and heart into equilibrium; in other words, how to manifest polarity, through which it is possible to perform such miracles as turning water into wine. This Rite is a preparation for the wonders of Pentecost.

Key Number Four
The Transfiguration

   During the course of His ministry the Lord Christ endeavored to help His most advanced Disciples — Peter, James and John — to understand something of the deep mystery of His mission. To them He gave evidence of His supernatural powers and His celestial glory. He taught them how to so lift their consciousness as to behold the dazzling radiance of His archangelic body. Almost overcome by His transfigured Being, they knelt before Him in reverence and adoration.

   Origen has this to say concerning the exaltation experienced by the privileged Disciples upon beholding the glory of the Christ on the mount: "You will ask whether when He was transfigured before those who were taken by Him to the high mountain, He was seen by them in the form of God in which He existed before; since to those who were below He had the form of a servant, but to those who followed Him after six days He had not that but the form of God."

   As given at length in the chapter on Christ is the Old Testament, many of the most advanced teachers and prophets of that Dispensation prepared their disciples for the coming of the Christ. As Peter, James and John gazed in awe upon the sublime spectacle of the transfigured Christ, they saw standing beside Him Moses and Elijah, two of the highest Initiates of Old Testament days who had worked to prepare their followers for the Lord Christ's coming.

Key Number Five

   It was the mission of Christ to identify Himself with the destiny of earth and its humanity. It was the final work He had to accomplish before His Crucifixion. It was in this agonizing trial that He entered into complete identification with the destiny of the human race.

   The Christ has shared the most transcendent experience of His ministry, the Transfiguration, with the same three advanced Disciples, Peter, James and John. Now he asked them to share with Him the darkest and most agonizing hour of His earthly sojourn. He had hoped they might assist Him during this period of travail. But it was for the Christ, our glorious type-pattern, as it has been for every aspirant on the ascending Path: there was no one but the Father to share with Him His darkest hour. So the Gospel records that His three most enlightened Disciples slept. They were not equal to the exacting watch for which they had been called.

   Their inability to measure up to the demands of this tragic occasion, and thus lose an opportunity for unsurpassed service, is a warning to all who dedicate themselves to the Christ. Unless adequate preparation is made they will not be alert to what is taking place, and so they will not give heed to the call of their Lord and Master.

Key Number Six
The Crucifixion

   The Baptism heralded the beginning of the Lord Christ's ministry to earth and man while the Crucifixion marked the high point of that ministry. At the Crucifixion, He who came as a mediator between heaven and this plane entered into the heart of the planet and became its indwelling Spirit. Since then His ministry has been both from within the sphere itself. The heart of earth is His planetary center. Each year the Christ force enters therein with added intensity and volume, making it easier for that force to find a dwelling place in the heart of man. This was the wonderful revelation that came to St. Paul on the road to Damascus that he later incorporated into instruction given to his disciples.

   Those who claim that Christ as a personality never lived, that His life was but a symbolic rendering of the initiatory Path, and that the Crucifixion is also symbolic, miss the very crux of esoteric or mystic Christianity.

   A thousand years with the Lord are but as a day. In the Second Creative Day recorded in Genesis (Sun Period), Archangels were passing through a stage of development corresponding to our present human evolution. Their densest vehicles were formed from desire or astral substance. (The etheric body did not become manifest until the succeeding Moon Period nor the physical body until the present Earth Period). The Christ was chief of this archangelic life wave, and He then dedicated Himself to serve as guardian of earth-in-the-making. Eons passed before the planet was ready to receive Him into its innermost center.

   When the Sun was passing by precession through the sign Aries, the Lamb, He came as the Good Shepherd to the sheep that had lost their way. Preparations for His coming were begun when the Sun passed by precession through Libra, the sign opposite Aries, approximately ten thousand years earlier. Initiate Teachers were sent to different parts of the world, each with a similar message, to make ready an inner circle of disciples for that glorious event: the coming of the Light of the Sun Who was to be the Light of the world. As time passed the preparation was more and more clearly defined. To China came Lao Tse and the worship of Kwan Yin, she who represents the Divine Feminine. In Egypt worship centered in Osiris and Isis; in Babylon it was lzdubar and Ishtar; in Greece, Apollo and Minerva; in India, Buddha and his mother Maya; in Persia, Zoroaster and Ainyahita; and finally, in Palestine, Jesus and the Virgin Mary. Down through the ages those disciples who were aware of the incarnation-to-come were making ready for it, and not least among them were the Three Wise Men of the East.

   St. Augustine recognized this age-after-age preparation for the coming of the Christ. Said he: "That which today is called Christian religion existed among the ancients and has never ceased to exist from the origin of the human race until the time when the Christ Himself came and men began to call Christianity the true religion which already existed beforehand." Christianity carried on from where previous revelations left off.

   There was an intimate relationship between the early Christian Mysteries and the Mithraic Mysteries of Persia. Tertullian was reported to have been an Initiate of the Persian School before he contacted Christianity. Jerome writes of these Mysteries with so much understanding that he probably belonged to their inner circle. As in all esoteric Schools, the Mithraic Mysteries were in seven Degrees. These Degrees bore symbolic names representative of specific attainments. The First Degree, which always deals with man's overcoming his lower nature, was known as The Raven. The Second was The Occultist; the Third, The Warrior; the Fourth, The Lion. The Fifth was the most important and the most far-reaching in its effect. At this point an Initiate had attained complete self mastery and was given the name of the country to which he belonged. Hence, in the Mithraic School an Initiate of the Fifth Degree was called The Persian.

   Rudolf Steiner has the following to say about this Fifth Degree: "In the Fifth Degree he was ready for an extension of consciousness giving him the power to become the spiritual guardian of his people, whose name was therefore conferred upon him. An Initiate of the Fifth Degree was lifted into the sphere where he participated in the life of the Archangeloi. To enable the Archangeloi to lead the people aright, there must be Initiates of the Fifth Degree on earth. These Initiates are the intermediaries between those who are the actual leaders of the people and the people themselves."

   With the coming of Christ the Mysteries assumed a more exalted form than ever before, for in the Christian Mystery School the sublime teachings of the Christ are united with those of the Ancient Mysteries. These augmented Mysteries will become the cornerstone of the new Aquarian religion. As previously noted, St. John's initiatory name was Lazarus, and he was the first to be initiated into these sublime Mysteries. Through them he overcame death and opened the portals of immortality that all who followed in his footsteps might enter thereby into the glorious privilege of being one of those disciples whom the Christ holds closest to His heart.

   During the interval between the Crucifixion and the Resurrection the Lord Christ worked to purify the desire (astral) realm of the planet — a realm which mankind had so infused with evil that human evolution was being greatly retarded. No longer was there available any suitable desire substance out of which to form clean, pure astral bodies. The dark miasmic envelope surrounding the earth created a condition that rendered many persons easy prey to earth-bound obsessing entities — referred to in the Bible as "evil spirits" to be cast out.

   At the time of the Crucifixion Christ rent the veil before the Temple of Initiation, making it possible for "whosoever will to come" and partake of the waters of eternal life. This is beautifully symbolized in the biblical statement that "the veil of the temple was rent in twain." As said before, in the light of esoteric Christianity it is clear that the mission of Christ was not concluded with the Crucifixion. Then it was that He truly became the Planetary Christ.

   At the Autumn Equinox of each year He reincarnates within the physical earth-sphere and works therein during the six months that the Sun is passing through the zodiacal signs below the equator. He is then cleansing and purifying the astral envelope of the planet, in which labor He is assisted by Michael and Hosts of Archangels. Thus, year by year, men are able to draw into their physical vehicles finer and finer desire material. From Eastertime to the Autumn Equinox, while the Sun is transiting signs north of the equator, the Lord Christ is working on the spiritual envelope of earth, infusing it with higher spiritual forces drawn from the zodiacal Hierarchies encircling our solar system. Such is the cosmic process by which earth's "golden wedding garment" is being fashioned.

   Never again will the Lord Christ descend in a physical body to walk among men. Henceforth His activity will be centered in the etheric realm, biblically known as the Garden of Eden. Those who serve with Him in this Edenic abode will have woven their own golden "wedding garments"; in other words, they will have built etheric bodies capable of functioning on the etheric plane. Such a vehicle can be fashioned in one way only; that way is through the dedication of self in service to others.

   As humanity becomes Christed, the physical elements of earth will be progressively refined until the whole race will literally "live, move and have its being" in the etheric realm. Then will the purpose of this planet as now constituted be fulfilled. The Christ will have completed His sublime mission, and a Christed race will live amidst the glories of "a new heaven and a new earth."

   Golgotha was the most momentous of all world events. It stands at a point between the nine lesser pre-Christian Mysteries and the four Greater Mysteries established by the Lord Himself. When the pre-Christian Mystery Schools taught their disciples to prepare for "the Great One Who was to come," the teaching was accompanied by a vision of a man nailed upon a cross. When Christ's blood flowed on Golgotha He became the indwelling Lord of earth as well as the Lord of heaven. As its indwelling Spirit He comes into more intimate contact with all mankind. This makes it easier for human beings to awaken the Christ principle within themselves. To the extent that men learn to activate this principle do they take on the character of world saviours and share in the redemptive work of the Christ. Thus they become forerunners of His second coming.

   It is the mission of the Archangel Michael, chief messenger of the Blessed Lord, to bring to New Age pioneers a deeper understanding of the Cosmic Christ in relation to both humanity and the planet, and to the role of the Planetary Christ in the evolution of all mankind. Such understanding will be basic to New age religion.

   Perhaps the most important phase of the Golgotha event was Christ's giving to man an initial realization of love as a power. Men had long looked upon love as a passion, a sentiment or an ideal; but Christ demonstrated how the power of love can perform miracles. It is the power that causes the planet to rotate on its axis and to describe an orbit around the Sun. The "law of attraction" spoken of by astronomers is but another name for the love-power.

   The Lord Christ exercised this power when He left the realm of the Archangels to become Regent of earth; and again when He made the sacrifice on Golgotha in service to man. He continues so to do when His bright presence is imprisoned within the planet during six months of every year that He may renew its forces and bring redemption to the race. Doubtless the most comprehensive definition of the power of love is found in His own words: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

   Those who would become pioneers in the Lord's work of establishing the New Galilee must incorporate the love-power within themselves by living lives of such purity and selfless service that they will be qualified to take over the direction of the earth and to further the redemption of humankind. Only by such service can the Christ be released from his voluntary bondage to mortality, that He may re-ascend unto His archangelic home-world whereof He is the supreme Initiate.

Key Number Seven
The Resurrection

   Throughout the ages disciples have been taught that the Resurrection Degree marks the culmination of the initiatory Path. This Degree also signals the ultimate triumph of life over death. The Ancients said that man alone knows death, for the gods know only metamorphosis. The transmutation of death into eternal life is accomplished in the Degree of Resurrection. The Lord Christ, the sublime Wayshower upon the Path of Initiation, left His grave clothes within the empty tomb to symbolize spirit's supremacy and authority over a limited personality associated only with physical incarnation.

   Advanced disciples of the Ancient Mysteries — and true of those in the modern day — were taught to consciously bridge the seeming chasm between waking and sleeping, between life and death. St. Paul referred to this attainment when he stated that the last enemy to be overcome by man is death, a consciousness which identifies those advanced ones who walk the way of illumination. It will be the common heritage of the race at the end of the present Earth Period, for in the final conquest of death the spirit is set free from bondage to mortality.

   Mystic Christians recognize that the Golgotha sacrifice is both an historical and an annual event, and will continue to be the latter until a sufficient number of persons have become Christed to carry forward the redemptive work. As the Lord Christ continues His cyclic service, innumerable celestial Beings bestow upon Him reverence and adoration in gladsome hosannas. In response He intones the majestic words "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth."

   The Lesser Mysteries reach a climax in the Resurrection Degree. The Greater (Christ) Mysteries introduce a higher Degree in the Rite of the Ascension. Those who attain to this Degree are able to follow the Christ to His own home-world of Life Spirit, the realm of that exalted unity signified thus by Christ Jesus: "I and my Father are one." This realization was reached by the Disciples on the Day of Pentecost. Someday it will be reached by all mankind through the first of the Greater Mysteries established by the Christ while on earth. To repeat, humanity's attainment by the end of the present Earth Period may be referred to as the work of the first of the Greater or Christ Initiations. When the disciples manifested its power at Pentecost, they became god-men.

   The work of the second of the Greater Initiations will be manifested by humanity during the following Jupiter Period, when both man and the planet will transcend the state of physical matter. They will then function in etheric vehicles, and earth conditions will be similar to those which existed in the Garden of Eden. Disease, old age and death will be no more. The essences of man's physical body having been incorporated into a higher etheric vehicle, it will be an extremely sensitive instrument with capacities far beyond present comprehension. His mind will be so spiritualized as to manifest innate God-power, enabling him to work with life as expressed through the plant kingdom. This power is now used by Angels to create and develop growing things in nature. Man will also be able to transit images from his own mind to the consciousness of others. If he is describing a particular scene, his hearer will be seeing an exact picture of it. Those who receive instructions from angelic Beings already know that the development of picture-consciousness is an essential part of their teaching.

   With the Rite of Assumption the Virgin Mary was lifted up to dwell with Angels. In the wonder and beauty of her etheric home she beheld conditions as they would prevail during the Jupiter Period. She is, therefore, the perfect type-pattern for the disciple of the second Christ Initiation, and for all humanity in the succeeding Period.

   Through the third of the Greater Initiations an exalted soul attains powers and abilities that will not be known to mankind in general until what is termed the Venus Period. In this advanced stage of development man's desire body will be perfected. Spiritual essences of both his physical and etheric bodies will be incorporated into a still finer vehicle, while desire itself will become as light. Literally, he will live, move and have his being in a body of light. During the Jupiter Period man will evolve a picture-consciousness. In the Venus Period he will be able to imbue such images with sentient life.

   St. John the Beloved is the perfect type-pattern of humanity in the Venus Period, also that of an Initiate passing through the third Christ Initiation. Hence John, the Venus type-pattern, is the Disciple who came closest to the loving heart of the Christ. His magnificent Gospel is an unmatched utterance relative to the far-reaching power of love.

   In the Vulcan Period, which will correspond to the fourth of the Greater (Christ) Initiations, man will attain unto divine perfection. The spiritual essences of his physical, etheric and desire bodies will be incorporated into a mental vehicle so he will then possess "this mind . . . which was also in Christ Jesus." This creative life force will be focused in his heart, the love center. His larynx will become an organ of creation through the power of the spoken word. Thus generation will be exalted into regeneration. The Lord Christ Himself is the type-pattern of perfected man in the Vulcan Period. He is also the first Initiate to pass into the glories of the fourth and last of the Greater Initiations. It was in reference to man's eventual exalted estate that David, a high Initiate of the Old Testament Dispensation, gave forth the following inspired utterance:

 — Corinne Heline

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