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The Enunciation of a Higher Code

   Having reached the borders of Canaan, the Israelites were about to enter the Promised Land. Prior to doing so Moses enunciated for them a higher code of conduct than that under which they had been living. This has its correspondence in the life of every aspirant. As he journeys toward the state of spiritual illumination (Holy Land) and stands on the threshold of Initiation, he becomes susceptible to influences hitherto nonexistent to him. His expanding consciousness contacts added forces which become operative in his life. He must enter into a state of harmonious cooperation with these new active powers if he would advance into the next degree of soul fulfillment. To ignore or contradict them once they have been set into motion is to invite discord and disruption in his inner life, leaving the last state worse than the first.

   The new body of laws which Moses delivered to his people as they were about to enter and take possession of Canaan are but precepts communicated by the higher self to its mental faculties for the guidance of the personality as it is about to cross the stream of elemental energies that divide the seen from the unseen, the material from the spiritual, the temporal from the eternal, and enter into the exalted state of consciousness known as Initiation. Spirit enjoins a candidate to "lay up" these precepts in his heart and soul. Further, in the words of Moses: "Bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou rises up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates: That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon earth." (Deuteronomy 11:18-21)

   These words were uttered by one who had gone before and knew the way. Moses had a conscious realization of the omnipresence of Divinity, and lived in terms of it; he had ascended the mount and know its glory. External manifestations of a life centered in divine guidance are gentleness, sympathy, compassion, humility, simplicity, tolerance and loving kindness. Such a one executes "the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment." (Deuteronomy 10:18)

The Center of Worship
(Deuteronomy XII)

   The first command given for the new land in the Deuteronomic code is centralization of worship in one Temple. Although Jerusalem is not specified, it is clear that the Temple at Jerusalem was meant. "But unto the place which the Lord your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come."

   This command led to the abolition of all ancient shrines, and centralization of worship in the Temple of Zion. While various local shrines throughout Palestine were presided over by Levite priests, they were openly sympathetic to foreign religions, many of them virtually being places for the worship of ancient Taurean gods and the practice of out-dated and degenerated rituals. Centralization of worship in the one Temple on Mount Zion tended, therefore, toward closing all such non-Israelitic shrines.

   Esoterically, centralization of worship applies to the heart's fixation on the Most High, and on Him alone. Every backward and wayward element in one's nature must be brought under the immediate jurisdiction of the higher self (Mount Zion).

   The Temple was in Jerusalem, "the city of peace." Appropriately, the salutation among all Israelites was "Peace!" In that salutation was focused the quality and condition of life it was their mission to contribute to human advancement, just as the culture-bearing Greeks embodied the essence of their destiny in the salutation "Grace!" and the empire-building Romans in the like use of the word "Safety!" In the New Testament the salutation of the Old is retained in the phrase "Pease be unto you." The command that the adoration of the heart be centered in Jerusalem is, therefore, but a figurative way of saying that it be focused in peace.

   The more deeply a student ponders esoteric truth, the more profound becomes his realization of miracle-producing powers concealed within names. The Greeks inhaled the white light of inspiration and wisdom by a certain intonation of the name of Minerva, their patron deity. The Persians used the words light and fire in their mystery workings; also the name Mazda. The name containing supreme power upon Earth is that of Jesus Christ. Paul understood whereof he spoke when he declared: "There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (initiated)."

Laws Concerning Flesh-Eating
(Deuteronomy XII)

   Laws concerning flesh-eating have been considered in Leviticus so little more need be added at this point. While flesh-eating is permitted even to a candidate for Initiation, it is definitely not desirable. It indicates that compassion is not yet complete, a lack which appears as a weakness in the soul. The unnecessary sacrifice of life is neither permissible nor possible at the highest stages of spiritual attainment.

False Prophets
(Deuteronomy XIII)

   Not only is a neophyte in danger of being led astray by false prophets, but a candidate for Initiation is in like danger, and even to a greater degree. The mode of danger, however, has shifted from the outer world to the inner with the latter.

   A beginner, having but slight spiritual development, relies largely upon his intellectual understanding, and is led astray by lack of discrimination. A candidate for Initiation, having attained to a degree of first-hand knowledge, is not ignorant; nor is he at the mercy of his teachers, whether they be true or false. The testing of his powers of discrimination comes chiefly from the astral plane. So, because they enter subtly through the doors of his own inner being, they are more dangerous. The astral plane is called by many a world of illusion so it becomes to a soul lacking a balanced and rightly proportioned development. Truths that such a one contacts in inner realms will be distorted as they pass into his consciousness. Only the candidate who is properly developed, and whose aura is clear of every selfish desire, is capable of correctly interpreting revelations on psychic planes, and of judging rightly with regard to their truth or falsity.

Idolatry
(Deuteronomy XIII)

   It appears that every temptation which besets a candidate for Initiation is mentioned in this profound Covenant with the soul. One of the particularly subtle tests met in some manner by every aspirant, especially in the early days of his preparation, is the temptation to "serve other gods." This does not refer to a formal change of religion or belief, but to deflection of one's deepest affection from what has been seen and recognized as the highest ideal toward which to strive. Interests and affections are easily misplaced under the pressure of specious arguments, especially when these come from those who are near and much beloved. The legitimate claim these have upon a person's affection is easily overstrained until they usurp more than is rightfully their own. Then it is that they become other and false gods in the life of the aspirant. Love is the greatest thing in the world, but it can bind as well as liberate. If an attachment be to a personality, however noble and beautiful that personality may be, it will hinder the liberation that comes when one is attached primarily to the Ensouler of all personalities.

   This poses one of the most difficult of all tests to pass. Many fail at this point, often without realizing for some time the cause of their failure. The effect of choosing the personal instead of the impersonal as the object of their deepest affections tends to alienate their hearts from the divine objective. A further result is that the aspirant's eagerness to "tread the path" wanes, and his interests in the personal life waxes. Then follows a period of disillusionment. The higher life is forsaken for the less exacting demands of worldly living. But the memory of visions glimpsed in hours of dedication and successful endeavor are not easily erased. They linger on, and their recollection brings recurrent sadness to one who has failed to attain the highest within his grasp.

   Love that is truly of the spirit seeks nothing for itself; it exists only that it may give. Such love could neither dominate nor enslave another; its expression brings an ever increasing freedom. True and pure love unites spirit with spirit. It flows from a center that has no circumference.

 — Corinne Heline


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