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Relationship of the Master to His Disciple

   As the Israelites were turned back into the wilderness at the very borders of Canaan because they had not conquered fear, so does a student Initiate often fall short of attainment. But he is never left without spiritual guidance; after a time of strengthening he is again brought to the Threshold where he may retrieve his past failure and enter upon his spiritual inheritance.

   In initiatory work there is a special relationship between a teacher and his disciple. All Masters, in their capacity as Hierophants, come under the signature of the planet Mercury, giver of pure thought. The reasoning powers of a neophyte are, therefore, encouraged, and he is given full intellectual satisfaction as to the Master's right to be his Initiator. After he is thus satisfied he must render unquestioning loyalty to his Master because a critical attitude is an expression of the law of repulsion. It causes instant separation of the neophyte from his teacher. This is not due to any reaction on the teacher's part; it is the result of psychic law operative in the soul world as physical law is operative in the world of the senses. Material scientists acquire power over nature, not by disobeying natural law but by cooperating with it. Similarly, occult scientists attain power over the soul nature by cooperating with spiritual law.

   This truth is exemplified in the story of Aaron's rod that blossomed (Numbers 17). The Israelites, discouraged by reverses and hardships, murmured against Moses and against his choice of Aaron as high priest. In consequence, it became necessary once more for the Angel of the Lord to intervene in their behalf. He promised, through Moses as his spokesman, to furnish the Israelites with complete proof of Aaron's right to stand as high priest, and the proof was to be a rod that blossomed.

   To this end each of the twelve princes, with Aaron as representative of the house of Levi, left his rod inscribed with his name. "And Moses laid up the rods . . . in the tabernacle of witness" there to remain over night. The next morning Moses found that one only of the rods "was budded, and blossomed blossoms, and yielded almonds." That rod was Aaron's. Thus was his mission demonstrated to all Israel beyond all cavil or doubt.

   The almond tree, like the acacia, symbolizes the tree of life. The rod represents the spinal canal in the body of a neophyte. When the spirit fire within this canal is gradually lifted toward the head, certain spiritual powers are unfolded, and hence it is said in mystic language that the neophyte's rod, like Aaron's, buds, brings forth blossoms, and yields almonds. These flower petals of inner unfoldment can never be fully open until the twelve spiritual faculties of soul expansion have become active in consciousness. This development in Aaron rendered him worthy to be chosen high priest, with the privilege of serving in the Holy of Holies. Such should be the development of all spiritual leaders. Only the miracle of the blossoming rod confers upon any mortal the right to stand as a true esoteric teacher before his fellowmen.

   This truth must become a vivid reality to man, and he must demonstrate it in his own life and consciousness before religion can break the shell of crystallization wherein it has been confined, and find its rightful place in the coming age. Aaron's mission having been verified, an account is given of the rites and ceremonies he was to perform. These services, as we have seen in our study of Leviticus, are essentially an outline of the way of unfoldment (typified in Aaron), the subject of instruction by the "sons of Aaron" even to our own day.

   The mystery of 7 was involved in this work of unfoldment. The blood of a sacrificial animal was to be sprinkled seven times before the Tabernacle. Christ Jesus commanded the blind to bathe seven times in the Jordon, and He cast forth seven devils from Mary Magdalene. These have reference to the sevenfold body of man and to the sevenfold process of purification required for his regeneration. It was stated that "Every open vessel, which hath no covering bound upon it, is unclean." One of the most important phases of sevenfold purification is training the mind so it becomes a channel for good only, filling the body with life, health and radiance, and surrounding every organ with an aura (covering) of protection against all ills.

   Training of mind to radiate light necessitates turning neither to the right hand nor to the left until we have passed the borders of the powers of darkness (ignorance), symbolized by the kings of Edom.

   Those who are wise enough to follow Moses on the kingly highway learn with him to smite the Rock of God's Substance (a tenfold power) to bring forth the mystic water which allays thirst for the spirit and nourishes the soul with the essence of divine love and eternal truth.

The Sin Against the Holy Ghost

   As had been observed repeatedly, the serpent symbolizes a power in man that works for either his regeneration or his degeneration. Crawling upon the ground it signifies degeneration through misuse of the creative fire within man's body; lifted up, it becomes the serpent of brass typifying regeneration through purity and chastity. When the fiery serpent crawling upon the ground bit the people they died — died to spiritual consciousness, even as did Adam and Eve in succumbing to the serpent's temptation. When the afflicted people looked upward to the uplifted serpent of brass, they lived. The power turned downward is death; upward, it brings life.

   The archetype or pattern whereby the physical body is fashioned is built of the creative life force. If this substance is wasted in sense gratification, the result registers in the archetype as lines of weakness, which later extend to the mind and body in conformity with the archetypal pattern. Wrongs committed against the Holy Creative Spirit are unforgivable sins. They must be expiated in limitations of a debilitated physical vehicle until the indwelling Ego has learned the cause of these limitations and resolves upon a life of chastity.

Songs of the Great Overcoming

   In the twenty-first chapter of Numbers we read that the children of Israel journeyed from Oboth to Ije-abarim in the wilderness before Moab. After which they removed to the valley of Zared, where they pitched their tents. Oboth means conservation; Ije-abarim, higher regions; and Zared, toward the sunrise. In these three names is indicated the steps by which a neophyte advances toward the great overcoming of self that leads inevitably to a higher consciousness and the sunrise glory of Illumination.

The Song of The Valley

   Arnon was the largest river entering the Dead Sea from the east, the place of sunrise. This is a song of transmutation. It is representative of the waters of spirit flowing into an unregenerated state of being until, in the course of ages, a transformation is effected and he who "was dead ... is alive again."

 — Corinne Heline


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