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Bible Self-Study Supplement

Preparatory Work for Initiation by Fire

   Preparatory to trial by Fire a neophyte is taught to purify his body, mind and soul. The Book of Daniel opens with preparatory work pertaining to food and drink, from which we learn that Daniel and his friends subsisted upon a vegetarian diet. The "pulse" mentioned is a leguminous food similar to beans and peas.

   There is no more interesting phase of occult study than that of food and its relation to esoteric unfoldment. The Book of Daniel — which, as we have seen, is the biblical story concerning control of the Fire-forces and complete subjugation and transmutation of the desire nature — demonstrates the fact that the Work of Fire cannot be accomplished so long as one's body is nourished on such impure food as alcohol and flesh. Esotericists well know that food and drink are vitally important factors in spiritual evolution, but only in recent years has the science of nutrition come into its own more generally.

   In Genesis, in each epoch a new food has been provided to meet man's evolutionary requirements. The gift of wine is described in the story of Noah and Moses, but each gives his own version of its use. Occultists declare that the "spirit of fermentation" and meat-eating were introduced to further the material advancement of Fifth Root Race man, so we find the Bible describing Nimrod as a mighty hunter while Leviticus defines the clean and unclean meats. As this aim has been largely achieved, pioneers of the race — those preparing for Initiation — are required to "sacrifice" the use of both. No one who indulges in any false stimulus can ever fully know his true self, the I Am.

   As man became more material-minded his diet consisted largely of meats; then his wine-drinking increased because stimulants were necessary to overcome the deadening effects of flesh foods. The claim (which may be true) that there are no vegetarian drunkards would thus be accounted for, since the high rhythm of a vegetarian's body does away with the need for false stimulation.

   It is of special interest to note that two of the predominating factors engendering fear in the human heart were the use of flesh and alcohol. By their use man lost his spiritual sight. They lowered the vibrations of etheric centers which interpenetrate his physical body, centers through which only was he able to contact spiritual worlds. His etheric centers thus clogged, man could no longer see the glorious Beings who were his teachers and friends. He could no longer see his loved ones after they passed into higher realms at death, so death gradually became a terror to him and life beyond the grave a fearful secret which he could not resolve.

   In chapter six, verse three of Numbers, the Nazarites, an esoteric group similar to the Essenes, are commanded to abstain from wine and strong drink; they are even charged not to eat moist or dried grapes.

   In chapter six, verse three of Numbers, the Nazarites, an esoteric group similar to the Essenes, are commanded to abstain from wine and because the spirit of fermentation is active in them.

   Solomon recites some of the ill effects of wine: "Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babblings? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine." (Proverbs 23:29, 30)

   Wine as an intoxicant is not always meant when the word "wine" is used in the Bible. David sings of spiritual power, which he designates as wine, oil and bread: "And wine that maketh glad the heart of men, and oil to make his face shine, and bread which strengtheneth man's heart." (Psalms 104:15) The word is used in the same spiritual sense by Isaiah: "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price." (Isaiah 55:1)

   In this connection the words of the Master are certainly very significant: "And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom." (Matthew 26:27-29)

   As the Master's first public miracle was turning water into wine — thus showing the path of materiality man must travel for a time — so His last esoteric lesson for His Disciples was on the ideal of transmutation. The cup from which He drank became known in medieval centuries as the Grail Cup, symbol of the Christ Power to be formed in man. "Wherefore whosoever shall . . . drink this cup of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the ... blood of the Lord." (I Cor. 11:27)

   In the new Aquarian Age fermentation and decay will no longer be tolerated. Men shall then know the inward glory of Life Eternal even while walking the earth in bodies of flesh. The passing of the evils of alcohol — will be a great step forward on the way to "that divine event toward which all creation moves" — establishment of the "new heaven" and the "new earth."

   Alcohol is a false spirit because it is the product of fermentation and decay, the exact antithesis of the true spirit of life seen as a sparkling elixir flowing through the auric envelopes of this globe. This elixir is imbibed by all illumined candidates, for there is an intimate connection between it and the "blood" of the Christ by which men are saved.

   The sparkling magnetic tides and currents in earth's auric envelope act and react with similar tides in the Sun. This it is that is cerebrated at the four Holy Festivals of the year, the Equinoxes and Solstices, and special luminescent phenomena are then observable in the ethers. As etheric senses are neither "spiritual" nor "psychic" but only an extension of the physical senses, there are thousands of people in the world today who are beginning to see and feel these magnetic currents which, to otheric vision, are as beautiful as the aurora borealis and the aurora australis and are actually similar in nature.

   Thus, alcohol is no elixir; on the contrary, it is a most potent tool of the lowest "Black" Grail orders. Workers of black magic know full well that so long as men can be kept under its mesmeric spell they will be blind to spiritual realities and be willing dupes. Could individuals only know these occult truths, could they realize the subtle danger threatening the progress of the race, they would be on the alert to counteract and control the deadly menace of alcoholism.

   Few people realize the price to be paid in. future ages and incarnations for the present desecration of their bodies. Indeed, the terrible effects of alcohol can be fully realized only in the light of rebirth and the working of the Law of Consequence (karma), which reveals that the archetype or pattern for each successive earth life is the natural outgrowth of preceding lives. This archetype, built in the Second Heaven, receives from the reincarnating ego the vibratory powers of ils last body. If these powers have been seriously affected by liquor or wrong living, the new archetype will show corresponding weaknesses. In future lives many shall stand at the door and knock, calling in vain for the Light so ardently desired. They shall receive no answer because their nerves have been rendered insensible to higher vibrations by the demoralizing effects of alcohol.

   No man lives or dies to himself alone. The Heaven World is full of advanced egos waiting to come forth to earth as teachers of the race; but they cannot because they are unable to find parents sufficiently advanced to give them the pure and sensitive substances required for building suitable bodies.

   Probably no teachings of the Bible are more misunderstood and misinterpreted than those concerned with the word meat. The misunderstanding arises from failure to discriminate between the connotations given the word as it is employed in that holy Book. In two-thirds of scriptural references to "meat" the meaning is purely figurative or esoteric; and in instances where actual food is referred to, the word does not necessarily signify flesh. For example: "And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat." (Genesis 1:29)

   In giving esoteric instruction to his disciples, Paul follows the pattern of every true spiritual teacher, emphasizing the necessity for chastity and foregoing flesh: "For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; that ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well." (Acts 15:28,29) To "abstain from meats offered to idols" means to keep yourself unspotted from the world," as James beautifully phrases it. Throughout the eighth chapter of I Corinthians Paul is referring to the desire nature, the great modem idol. When he speaks of milk for babes and meat for strong men the meaning is obviously allegorical, milk referring to the teaching given the masses; meat to the deeper spiritual instruction reserved for those ready to receive it. It is in this sense that the word meat is most often used in the Bible. Job states that his soul abhorreth "dainty meat," meaning those who wandered into ways of self-indulgence. In the Psalms David sings: "My tears have been my meat" — in other words, he had learned to overcome the personal vulnerability that is the source of pain and sorrow; and again, "They gave me also gall for my meat."

   Christ Jesus used the word meat with a deep esoteric meaning:

   "And they had a few small fishes: and He blessed, and commanded to set them also before them. So they did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets." (Mark 8:7,8) In the story of the raising of Jairus' daughter, an Initiation account, when the girl was raised to higher planes "he commanded to give her meat" — that is, additional esoteric knowledge. He also said to His Disciples, "My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work." (John 4:34) This is interpreted as meaning that the Christ was to prepare the world for redemption and for receiving a clearer understanding of the incoming Christian religion.

   The Christ also contrasts things of this world with things of the spirit, calling them both meat: "Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed." (John 6:27)

   In the parable of the loaves and fishes bread and meat are never referred to in their physical sense. The Master was teaching His Disciples some of the most profound truths of the Christian Mysteries. Loaves was used to designate the esoteric connotation of Virgo, sign of the Immaculate Conception; fishes esoterically referred to the hidden truths relative to Initiation, as also shown in the story of Jonah. It is significant that early Christians were called Fishers, and that the walls of the catacombs were inscribed with pictures of Jonah in the whale's belly and or his deliverance therefrom.

   In the twenty-first chapter of John the Master is teaching an important spiritual lesson to His seven most advanced pupils, a lesson of greater import than the mere catching and eating of fish. The great draught of fishes, the "hundred and fifty and three" (1+5+3=9), "and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken," pertain to the universal consummation of the Christ Mystery in all mankind.

   The Gospels are formulas of Initiation, Luke and John being the most deeply esoteric. The twenty-first chapter of John and the twenty-fourth chapter of Luke — both of which record the appearance of Christ Jesus to the Seven after the Resurrection (at which time they gave Him fish and honey) — are among the most mysterious and wonderful in the Bible. Their demonstration by all mankind will make possible the return of Christ Jesus.

   The Book of Daniel can scarcely be understood apart from the Christ Mystery as recorded in the four Gospels. It depicts the life and training of a genuine esoteric pupil who attains to true discipleship, even as did those who were with the the Christ. This is shown in the words: "Lo, I see four men loose (from the body), walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God."

 — Corinne Heline

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