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Consciousness Suffers A Recession

Israel Sets Up a Golden Calf

   The Arian pioneers reverted to Taurean worship. The Israelites forgot that it was by the blood of the lamb (Aries) that they were given the courage and enterprise to break their Egyptian bondage and set forth over untrod trails in anticipation of establishing themselves in freedom in a new, a better and a richer land, a land of milk and honey. The bull (Taurus), under whose civilization they had labored in limitation for centuries, would have kept them captive had not the incoming impulses of the lamb (Aries) found a strong, response in their hearts.

   But the memory of a primitive race, like that of a child, can be short lived. With the higher self (Moses) not continuously operative in the personal consciousness, the question arises in a doubting unillumined mind as to whether higher intimations (Moses guidance) were genuine and trustworthy: or if, perchance, they were merely momentary, illusive fancies which had better be set aside in favor of the more familiar concepts that had hitherto guided their lives.

   The Israelites became impatient over Moses' long absence. Turning to Aaron they said: "Up, make us gods, which shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of Egypt, we wot not what has become of him." Aaron did as they desired. Calling them to surrender their golden trinkets and adornments, he had them melted and cast into the image of a calf. Before this god of a past age he erected an altar, and with rejoicing proclaimed the morrow a feast day. On that day the people arose early, offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and spent the hours in pleasurable indulgences and gratification of physical appetites.

   So long as the higher light (Moses) was present, the personality recognized its authority and obeyed its commands. But it had not been sufficiently trained in the new school of the spirit (dispensation of Aries) to remain faithful to disciplines when that light faded temporarily from view. So there was a recession of consciousness. The old manner of thought and desire reasserted itself, and the personality was back in its former setting, worshiping the golden calf, (material possessions).

   In early stages an aspirant on the path receives stimulus and encouragement from the example of those who have gone before in attainment. Such external guidance must finally be removed. If the student has relied unduly on his teacher, blindly adoring and following, rather than assiduously incorporating into his very life the precepts taught him and the ideals held before him, he is likely to falter and fail when that external aid is withdrawn.

   It was so with the Israelites. They had reached a point where, as pioneers, it was necessary to again prove them. Moses withdrew for a time. Soon the faith of the people faltered and they fell back into ways that led away from the objective they originally set for themselves.

   Moses returned to the "stiff-necked" people who had "corrupted themselves" in his absence. They were in danger of suffering severely the wrath of the Lord (Law). Moses interceded for them with the result that the "Lord repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people." Moses, as the leader of Israel, had so identified himself with their destiny that it was within his power to modify the reaction of karmic law upon the people who had "sinned a great sin."

   This aspect of occult law is brought out in the passage that records the pleadings of Moses with the Lord (Law). Said Moses: "Yet now if thou Wilt forgive their sin; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written." It is significant to note that the Lord (Law) replied: "Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book. Therefore now go, lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee: behold, mine Angel shall go before thee: nevertheless in the day when I visit I will visit their sin upon them. And the Lord plagued the people, because they made the calf." (Exodus 32:32-35)

   Moses modified the operation of the karmic law but he could not annul it. He was able to stand between the rebound of the law and his people, and thus save them from what might have proved a crushing blow. But ultimately they would reap the full harvest of their sowing; they would be plagued for their misdeeds. Moses could assume some part of their burden for a time, but the Lord made it clear that "whosoever hath sinned" upon him, and on none other, would fall the final penalty. Moses caused the Lord to repent (change its course for the moment), but in time equal justice would be done. By all infallible law, just recompense is made without exception and to the minutest detail. "In the day that I visit," said Jehovah, "I will visit their Sin upon them."

   There is another foreshadowing here of the saving work of the Christ. Moses was willing to take upon himself the sin of his people and die for them if they might be saved. Christ Jesus took the sins of the world upon Himself and died that man might live. Moses was a savior to the present Fifth Root Race in that he caused the wrath of God (operative Law) to be deflected temporarily that his people might make better preparation to meet the retribution the law had in store for them in consequence of their mistaken action in relation to it. Christ Jesus did the same for humanity. He released forces that modified the operation of karmic law in such a manner that the race would have more time and better conditions for working out its own salvation. Neither Moses nor Christ annulled the law, but they gave themselves as willing sacrifices that those in need of assistance might later meet without defeat or destruction the consequences Of their own violations of the law. Moses focused the aspirations of his age in the ideal of accomplishment through sacrifice, the Christ carried this same ideal to its supreme fulfillment.

   The race advances to the degree that it is able and ready to follow in their footsteps. Altruism is the keynote sounded by the Christian regime. "Bear ye one another's burdens" enjoined Paul. Only the shared load is easy: only the distributed burden is light.

   Moses was a race character. His life was bound up with the life of his people. The one influenced and conditioned the other. Consequently, when the people swerved from the path of rectitude because of the absence of the firm hand of inspired leadership, Moses was obliged by an inner necessity to forsake the Mount and return to assist those still resident on the lower levels of consciousness.

   That which is easily apprehended as true in the relationship between a leader and his people, is also true in all human relationships. Each individual is essentially a part of the whole. Because of this fact it is not possible for any one to detach himself from the others, arrive at the summit, and remain there independent of fellow members of his egoic family. There is a point beyond which progress in advance of others is not possible. The only activity by which one in the lead can go further is service to those on lower levels of attainment. In the last analysis, this is why the most advanced souls are the humblest servants. As love grows increasingly operative with advancement on the path service becomes the spontaneous choice of enlightened souls.

   In terms of individual experience, the spirit (Moses) had attained to an exalted state of consciousness when communing with the Lord (spiritual activity) on the mount (heaven worlds). The multitude of thoughts and impulses (people) that still made an impression on its Unperfected personality were not yet so disciplined, cleansed and Sublimated that they remained steadfastly in accord with the celestial harmony realized by the Ego on the heights it had touched. The soul (Joshua), the mediating principle between the spirit self and its personality, transmitted the discord that had arisen in the latter to the former. Said Joshua to Moses on hearing the shouting below, "There is a noise of war (destruction) in the camp (unruly thoughts and emotions)."

   The spirit (Moses) is thereby robbed of its calm and peace. "Moses' anger waxed hot." The state of exaltation temporarily suffers partial or complete eclipse. Moses "cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount." The play of cosmic forces, the activity of divine law, which he had beheld, faded before his inner eye. The power (hands) which he possessed on higher spiritual levels departed. Thus body conditions spirit and spirit body.

   The two are inseparable. They are the inner and outer of one reality. The spirit is unable to manifest upon the physical plane without a body. Only as this body is trained, perfected and spiritualized, can the spirit realize its latent divinity and reascend to God from whom it came. Moreover, it is only as spirit gives itself to its vehicles that re-ascension and sublimation of them can take place.

   According to the Secret Tradition, the Tables of the Law were given to Moses on the Sabbath. It also declares that the reason they were thrust from the hands of Moses and broken was because the letters on the tablets had taken flight. When the rest or calm (Sabbath) of the spirit was disturbed by the turbulent impulses of the body, the inner sight by which the spiritual law was comprehended vanished from view — the letters fled. "Be still and know that I AM God" is the injunction to be obeyed by those who would follow Moses to the indescribable glories of the mount of soul exaltation. Only when consciousness is serenely focused on spiritual reality can its deeper significance be apprehended. Before unillumined faculties the inner words take flight. Spiritual things must be spiritually discerned.

   When Moses came nigh to the rebellious camp and saw the dancing, of the people and the golden calf they had set up to worship he not only broke the tablets beneath the mount but "he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder and strewed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it." (Exodus 32:19-20)

   The higher self took the wayward personality severely in hand. Mistaken conceptions and outgrown thoughts it preferred to cling to rather than make the necessary effort to remold its convictions and accommodate itself to the new revelation of truth, were corrected. They were destroyed by the better knowing of the spirit that had belield a vision of divine truth on the Mount Of illumination.

   The golden calf was ground to powder and strewn on water that its creators were obliged to drink. In other words, erroneous creations had to be devoured (liquidated) by those who had fashioned them through a misuse of the image-forming faculty — use of the subconscious mind in the formation of destructive and negative mental images. Such is the immutable decree of the law of retributive justice.

   Aaron, leader of the Israelites in the absence of Moses, was responsible for stripping the people of their gold (spiritual virtues) and casting it into the image of a calf, symbol of worldly wealth and personal satisfactions. And so it is recorded that when Moses returned he found the people "naked" (for Aaron had made them naked unto their own shame among their enemies)".

   Judgmentt was executed upon the Israelites immediately after their serious failure to live true to the vision that had been given them and the purpose they were called upon to fulfill. Moses called forth all whose allegiance to that vision and that purpose was unchanged. The Levites responded and "gathered themselves together unto him."

   Again considering the subject in terms of the individual, the higher self brought the personality with its scattered will and vision to its senses. The elements genuinely attached to the spiritual self (Levites, the priestly class) were separated from those not yet drawn into its high service. By the command of Moses, the presiding Ego, the latter were slain by the sword (truth) of the Levites (spirit). Then followed a call for renewed consecration to the will of the indwelling god.

 — Corinne Heline

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