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The People Demand a King

   This passage records a very definite downward step into material evolution for the masses. In the infancy of mankind the dual office of priest-king was occupied by an Initiate-Teacher. From the viewpoint of true spirituality, no one can occupy rightfully the place of priest or king unless he can be an Initiate. Such was Melchizedek, the priest-king of Salem in the days of Abraham. As men descended further into materiality, the offices of religion and state-craft separated. They will be reunited in the New Age now dawning in the realization of the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. So long as man was guided by divine teachers he had access to the powers of Godhood within himself. Every man did that which was right in his own eyes; but his eye was single to the supernal Light of heavenly guidance. In the days of Samuel, materialism and corruption had taken possession of this new race. They incurred thereby penalties of disobedience. Only a few remained faithful.

   The majority returned to the sense life having grown weary of the simple worship of God, as Spirit. They preferred the old sensuous Taurian ceremonies which, though celebrated in beautiful temples, were accompanied by licentious practices and vulgar orgies. Samuel warned them that this reversion to the past meant disaster and ruin; but they paid no heed to him, with the result that they were finally dispersed as a people.

   Samuel is here recounting conditions which prevail among men through inequalities of class, caste and wealth. The people's unanimous demand that a king be appointed proves their inability to govern themselves and their reliance on human means rather than upon divine. Rulers sound the keynote of the people they serve. The righteous leader is possible only for the righteous people. Whether it be a race, a nation or a religious movement, each is closely linked with its controlling power, If this be not a spiritual one, dissensions and inharmonies are inevitable. Samuel warned the people of just such a situation.

   Man possesses free will; his alone is the power to carve out his own individual destiny. Groups are drawn together in races and nations to meet a collective destiny.

Saul: An Aspirant Who Proved Unworthy
The Coming of Saul

   The ninth chapter contains a description of the preparatory work of the novitiate.

   A valuable drove of asses belonging to Kish strayed away, and Saul was sent in pursuit of them. He came to Ramah after a three days' search, and met Samuel on his way to the high place. Samuel was the Teacher and Saul the neophyte. The asses represent the path of wisdom, the path which has been lost by humanity for a time during its pilgrimage through matter but which is always found again after a three days' search (the kabbalistic time during which the mind, the desires and the body are duly prepared).

   Saul could not be appointed until after the asses were found. He in turn shows his worthiness by the beautiful humility of his words. "Blessed is he that humbleth himself for he shall be exalted" are words which the Great Teacher gave as a formula for every neophyte who sets his feet upon the Path.

   The communion upon the top of the house represents the preparation through contemplation of high and holy things. The command of Samuel, "Up that I may send thee away," has reference to the soul flights of a disciple. Saul's ability was evinced in the following: "Saul arose and they went out both of them, he and Samuel abroad." The work of the inner planes is referred to in the words: "But stand thou still awhile, that I may show thee the word of God."

   On his way home Saul met a company of prophets from a hill-top sanctuary who were in a state of religious exaltation, singing hymns of praise. Saul joined in their singing. The songs they sang were known only to the Initiates in the School of Prophets of which Samuel was the inspired Teacher, and were sung only in a particular rhythm. These were Saul's new brothers in the deeper esoteric work, and their rejoicing was on his account as an addition to their ranks.

   All initiatory Temples use certain harmonies or rhythmic music, and before the neophyte gains entrance into the particular Temple with which his spiritual work associates him, the spiritual centers, or "watchmen" of the body, must vibrate in harmony with this particular Temple music. The School of Prophets, inaugurated by Samuel, was such a School, and it was there that Christian music had its early inception.

   This tells of a new life through a birth into the spiritual realms and the acquirement of first-hand knowledge in those spheres.

   Samuel called all the tribes together at Mizpeh and from among them chose Saul of the tribe of Benjamin, but when they sought for Saul he could not be found. He realized something of his responsibility and shrank from it. Those who are unfitted for difficult positions generally rush forward seeking them; the worthy and competent are always unassuming and self-effacing. When he was finally found and brought forward he was acclaimed king by all but the children of Belial (the senses).

   The duties and obligations of a king to his people were recognized, and Samuel wrote them in a book which he laid in the Holy of Holies beside the Ten Commandments. This has been called the first Magna Carta of constitutional government. It also represents the etheric record of the new king's development and his fitness for assuming wider responsibilities.

   Being now a king, Saul receives a crown of jewels, which is symbolic of the radiance emanating from the spiritual centers in the head of the truly God-inspired ruler, whether his rule be over "many" or " a few things."

   One who makes progress upon the Path must always meet the tests of disbelief and disrespect: "Can any good come out of Nazareth?" Saul held his peace and bided his time when the children of Belial sneered and upbraided him, thus evidencing the self-control of an advanced soul.

   An attack upon the Israelites by the king of the Ammonites gave Saul his opportunity. He gained a complete victory over the enemy before dawn and while they were still asleep. This symbolizes the neophyte's victory over self which is ofttimes achieved during his night experiences on the inner planes. Saul's victory over the Ammontes placed him beyond all cavil at the head of the nation. (Those who guide inner plane work see that the opportunity for outer world service is given to those who thus demonstrate their fitness.) Disclaiming personal credit Saul said: "It was not I that won the victory, but Jehovah" — words reminiscent of the Master's, "Not I but the Father, He doeth the works," which sound the keynote of true spiritual worth in every age.

   Samuel now commanded Saul to await his coming on Gilgal that they might there offer sacrifices to beseech Jehovah's aid. Already we see signs that Saul was beginning to depend unduly upon his own individual power. This is the most subtle of all tests for spiritual leaders, since it is so easy to forget that their power and influence exist only in proportion to their receptivity to the divine spiritual inflow and outflow.

   In order to test Saul, Samuel delayed his coming beyond the appointed time. Everyone has need to learn to possess his soul in patience. Saul, however, decided not to wait. Secure in his own strength, he would conduct the sacrifices himself. His temptation was severe; his men were deserting in large numbers; the longer he waited, the less, he thought, was the chance of success. The most important as well as the most difficult lesson for the aspirant to learn is not to depend upon external things, to become indifferent to outward circumstances and to place full and complete dependence upon the spirit within. How Saul failed in this test is shown in the following words:

 — Corinne Heline


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