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Bible Self-Study Supplement

Instructions for Finding the Path

   As the Israelites stand at the borders of Canaan, so a neophyte stands at the borders of spiritualized consciousness. How shall he enter in?

   The first task to be performed by an aspirant seeking to enter the Path of Illumination is to take a complete inventory of himself. An honest, thorough self-examination is essential. This must be undertaken in a spirit of detachment, in an attempt to rightly evaluate every virtue and every weakness. There must be no false pride in the one or unwarranted extenuations for the other. Every quality must be seen for what it is. Strong, constructive elements in his nature need to be fully recognized and taken into due account as working assets in labors to be undertaken. Faulty factors must be singled out for courageous correction, their ultimate elimination being a prerequisite to attainment.

   It was such an exploration of one's own nature that Moses counseled when he said: "Turn you, and take your journey, and go to the mount of the Amorites, and unto all the places nigh thereunto, in the plain, in the hills and in the vale and in the south, and by the sea side to the land of the Canaanites and unto Lebanon, unto the great river Euphrates."

   Moses followed this instruction with the assurance that if the Israelites would faithfully carry out his directions, the Lord would "make you a thousand times so many more as ye are, and bless you, as he hath promised you!" While this does apply to racial progression and increase, its deeper significance pertains to the multiplication of virtues in the life of the conscientious aspirant who perseveres in the task of perfecting every aspect of his own nature.

   The more active a neophyte becomes in well-doing, the greater will become his scope for service. Again and again he will be urged, by the indwelling spirit that presses its personality to renewed efforts and fresh departures, to leave the mount upon which he has "dwelt long enough." Go out "unto all the places nigh," counsels the inner voice, "in the plains, in the hills by the sea side ... go in and possess the land." In other words, take this possession of your whole self; go forth with its powers; seize the opportunities that are at every hand to help, to heal, to bless and to become a transforming factor for good in whatsoever conditions or circumstances you find yourself. To him who gives, shall be given more, "a thousand times more."

   Man is free; he is free to gratify whatsoever his soul "lusteth after." Moreover, there is no condemnation. Disciplines are graduated according to an aspirant's strength and elected objective. Certain requirements are necessary to certain attainments and the two ascend sychronously. Since all Egos are not of equal development, immediately realizable goals are not the same for all. Therefore, practices permissible at one stage of development become incompatible with progress at another.

   To take life unnecessarily in any form is forbidden in the commandment "Thou shalt not kill." Not until this is obeyed can the deepest truths pertaining to the oneness of life be fully realized. "Thou mayest eat flesh ... if the place which the Lord thy God hath chosen . . . be too far from thee." But there are degrees of attainment where this is neither needed nor wanted. Beyond these degrees one may not pass until whatever bears a trace of earthly agony and carnal taste has been completely renounced.

   Tolerance, understanding and compassion are the characteristics of all true helpers of humanity. Such benign souls assist people where they are and as they are. Maturity is not the portion of the child, whether it be age of body or of soul. It is to each according to his years and development.

   The quality of compassion grows with passing cycles of earthly experience. Before it is acquired an individual, suffering from the human delusion of separateness, may wrong another. By the law of action and reaction he suffers the effect of the act's rebound. In after life a purging brings pain. This, in turn, writes itself into his very soul as conscience; and it is his conscience that warns him against a repetition of the. offense in future lives. Thus an increased consideration for others is born; and this in time develops into identity of interest, sympathy, helpfulness, and compassion.

   As we have seen demonstrated again and again in Bible texts, the work of transfiguration is twelvefold. It is carried on under the guidance of the twelve zodiacal Hierarchies, each of which is the expression of a cosmic principle whose activity is essential to the Great Work. In Numbers and in Deuteronomy (1:21,26) we read of twelve spies (pioneers), among whom were Joshua and Caleb (Virgo and Leo) who went to spy out the new land, and returned with the report that "It was a good land which the Lord our God doth give us." These twelve pioneers, typifying spiritual forerunners of the race, are led by Moses, the mystical thirteenth. The numerical pattern is significant, as previous interpretations have sought to make clear. Within man, the microcosm or little universe, there are twelve distinct qualities of character; twelve aspects of expression; twelve principles, active or latent. When all these principles are active under the direction of spirit, the commanding thirteenth (powers that make for pioneering and leadership) is present. The same pattern obtains in esoteric group work. There is special power in a circle of twelve with one as a leader in the center. Jacob and his twelve sons demonstrated this power — as did Christ and His Disciples in a yet greater measure at a later date.

   Now that the work of these pioneers has, after long travail in the wilderness, borne fruit; and the people of Israel stand at the borders of Canaan, not only able, but willing, to enter in; it is necessary that they be given special laws and ordinances to guide and regulate their lives, and to create a theocratic state along lines that harmonize with the cosmic pattern.

   In Deuteronomy XII-XXVI inclusive, Moses lays down a complete code of laws, statutes and ordinances. To this legal portion of his address we now turn our attention.

 — Corinne Heline

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