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Parables Of Initiation

   The Parable of the Ten Virgins was one of the teachings of Passion Week, the period when the most profound instructions were given to the inner circle of the Disciples. The virgins are awaiting the Bridegroom, who has been delayed, but when he comes, unexpectedly, at midnight — that most mystical hour of the soul's night! — five of them have no oil for their lamps. "And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are going out."

   The Virgins represent those who have found the path of discipleship and are ready for the deeper work that leads to liberation from the physical body, with freedom to function in the radiant golden wedding garment of the soul. Five is the number of the physical senses. Five are the nails which hold the foolish Virgins to the cross of matter, and these same five nails, when "pulled," bring the resurrection of a new life to those who are wise. The truly wise one eventually becomes a "five pointed star." "I am the Light of the world," proclaims the Supreme Master of the new Christian Mysteries. Some of the miracle or mystery plays of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries were based upon this Parable.

   The oil is the holy life force, the Christ Light within the body of the disciple. The dissipation of this force is the sin against the Holy Ghost, that sin which cannot be forgiven, but which must be expiated through lives of weakened and imperfect bodies, such as may be seen all about us today.

   The foundation of all true esoteric teaching is based upon the conservation of the life force within the body. When this oil is lifted up the spine it awakens the pineal and the pituitary glands in the head, causing the third ventricle to glow with a lambent flame. In one who has attained to Sainthood, this light radiates as a halo around the head and envelopes the body in an aura of golden light. It constitutes the lamp (or torch) which heralds the coming of the Bridegroom. "When the pupil is ready, the Master appears." The disciple is instructed how to liberate the spirit from the body, so that it may travel at will in "foreign countries" or, as the Parable describes it, they that were ready went in with him to the marriage and the door was shut." Only to those who weave the wedding garment through living the spiritual life is the door thus opened. A sensitive optic nerve will give etheric vision, an extension of physical sight, but the uplifted sacred fire within the body above can awaken the dormant organs of the head and give the power of true spiritual vision. "Watch therefore, for ye know not the day nor the hour."

   The foolish virgins are those who, while understanding these things, do not live the holy life, but waste their substance — and their time — in riotous living. Like Esau they sell their immortal birthright for a mess of pottage. Many are called, but few are chosen; all have the opportunity, but few will submit to the discipline. Hence the Master's rebuke: "Verily I say unto you, I know you not!"

   Avicenna, the celebrated Arabian philosopher, says: "If we may get at the Fifth we have arrived at the end. Through polarity, or the marriage of the masculine and feminine [the soul and spirit of the wise virgin], four children are born, two boys (Fire and Air) and two girls (Water and Earth)." When these four elements are properly blended and united, or absorbed again by the One, the White Stone of Revelation is complete, as is the Great White Work of the alchemists and the wise virgins of the Parable, who go out to meet the Bridegroom and to help establish His new Kingdom, through regeneration, upon the earth.

   If we carefully and reverently study the life story of the Master, Christ Jesus, as it is given to us by His Disciples, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, we shall find that He has given us light upon every problem that we, as neophytes, can ever meet upon the Path. From Him we may learn how to attain that consciousness wherein the mind becomes Christed, wherein we no longer see and judge with our finite minds, but lift ourselves, through the spiritual exercise of adoration, above the more personal likes and dislikes based on the illusory half-truths presented by way of the bodily organs. Then we are able to sense the divinity in everything that lives; to see, in the words of Elizabeth Browning, "every bush afire with God." It is only as we approach a study of the Bible in this manner that the veil is lifted and we find the inner meaning of its teachings. "He who lives the life shall know the doctrine.'

Parable of the Great Feast

   Perhaps none of the Master's lessons makes so universal an appeal as does the Parable of the Great Feast, because it is so pertinent to the daily problems which confront every human being, while its inner meaning takes us back to the first commandment given to Moses upon Mt. Sinai and repeated by the Master to His disciples: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." This commandment is the keynote of the Parable. When this commandment has become the foundation stone of the life of the aspirant, it will no longer be difficult for him to live the spiritual life.

   The Great Feast represents the opportunities of the spiritual life that have been spread so bountifully before us. The guests bidden represent humanity for whom Christ Jesus made His great sacrifice, and for whom He has opened the way: "Come, for all things are now ready."

   "And they of one consent began to make excuse." These words are as true of man today as they were on the day they were written. Many are eager to read books of mysticism and to attend classes and lectures upon these subjects, but when the great testing time comes, when they are required to give up worldly pleasures and personal advantages, we hear the same voice that has echoed down through the years ever since the Master gave this Parable to the people, "I pray thee have me excused." Many who appear most enthusiastic in the beginning turn away from the beautiful teachings of esoteric Christianity when they are required to discard furs and give up meat and nicotine. Yet these are only the most elementary sacrifices on the way of spiritual progress, the merest beginnings on the Path that leads to the Table of the Great Feast. The privileged having rejected Him and having neglected so great an opportunity, the command comes, "Go out quickly . . . and bring ... the poor, and the maimed ... and the blind" referring to the fact that the Way of Initiation (the understanding of the inner mysteries of spiritual things) is no longer trod by the priestly caste alone. At the coming of Christ Jesus the veil of Initiation was rent so that all who made themselves worthy might enter into the Holy of Holies.

   The statement in Luke 14:26: "If any man come to me, and hateth not his own father.... he cannot be my disciple," obviously does not mean, literally, that we must reject our family, but it does mean that no one can really progress upon the spiritual Path who permits any personality to come between him and his love of the things of the Spirit. This is one of the most subtle temptations the neophyte meets. In that wonderful story of spiritual unfoldment, Parsifal, this place on the Path is symbolized by the flower maidens who tempt Parsifal and endeavor to win him from his pursuit of the Holy Grail. It is not spiritual, however, to shirk any responsibility or any family obligation already incurred, for one who does this incurs a heavy debt of causation for the future, which may endure perhaps for many lives. He may then hear the words, "None of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper."

   Those who have attained unto a full realization of the meanings of the concluding words of the Parable of the Supper know that they refer to the difficult lesson of learning to bear the cross. As taught in the Parables of the Uncompleted Work and the Great Renunciation (Luke 14:28-33) he must be prepared to pay the full cost of the spiritual adventure upon which he has launched himself, without complaint or quibbling.

   We must learn to be in the world and yet not of it, to bear persecution and insult, to bear doubt, suspicion, and misunderstanding, and yet give only love in return. Christ's words are very simple and plain: "If any man hate not his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." But after we have suffered and endured, after we have. made ourselves worthy to hear Him say, "Come, for all things are now ready," and to sit at the Great Supper beside Him (which means to partake of the spiritual joys of the celestial realms), then we shall know that our sorrows and renunciations were but seeming, for His infinite love and wisdom will return to us in a thousandfold measure that which we renounced for His sake.

Parable of the Marriage of the King's Son

   Our last two Parables are contained in the one account in Matthew 22:2-14. There we find a story which includes two very important features of the spiritual life. What we have termed the Parable of the Wedding Robe is found in the last four verses of the story of the Marriage of the King's Son.

   The Marriage of the King's Son is the story of life in the physical world. The light of Truth is unperceived by the masses and the servants, or those who dedicate themselves as heralds of Truth, are persecuted, while the world goes lightly on its way, one man to his farm, another to his merchandise: the things of the world are paramount. Few have any knowledge of the true mission of the Christ and fewer still have any conception of how to prepare for His return (symbolized in the Marriage Feast). Only those who have the wedding garment will meet Him when He comes, the great majority will be greeted with the rebuke: "Friend, how camest thou hither, not having a wedding garment?"

   This wedding robe incident conceals a formula for the Mystic Marriage Rites. The wedding robe is the soul body fashioned of the blue and gold of the two higher ethers which are attracted by the high aspiration and pure and holy living. This etheric robe is part of the spiritual equipment of every true disciple. Arrayed in it he can visit other planes and foreign lands as an Invisible Helper. The wearing of the robe marks one as a true Initiate. Only such pioneers in spiritual attainment will be worthy to welcome the Christ "in the air" (the New Air Age). But great danger attends any attempt to enter the inner planes unprepared, as those do who take "short cuts," not having built a soul body through spiritual living. Insanity, and oftentimes death, follows upon such a course. The unfortunate pseudo-Initiate is literally cast into outer darkness where there is much wailing and lamentation. Holy things are for the holy. Any desecration of them brings its own deserved punishment.

   Those, however, who weave the Soul Garment through purity, chastity and loving, selfless service, are here and now fitting themselves to become the pioneers of a new race which shall live and reign with the Christ in a New Heaven and a New Earth. Only such are worthy to be called Christian, or followers of Christ, for this term, when rightly understood, applies not merely to the Christian sect as such, but to those of every race and nation who are living a pure and holy life so that the wedding garment is in the making. The Christ came as the World Saviour, not to replace other great Teachers, but to supplement and extend their work. Many biblical teachings are duplications of the Ancient Wisdom and are to be found in other Bibles also. The story of Joseph is a legend of Initiation belonging to the earliest Egyptian Mystery temples; so is the Parable of the Prodigal Son and the Resurrection of Lazarus. The same resurrection theme is paralleled in the oldest of Hermetic and Masonic ceremonials and rituals.

   The story of Daniel, and also Ezekiel's vision, are found in the Fire Mysteries of Persia. Many of the works and words of the Christ, including the record of the Disciples, the Birth, Baptism, Transfiguration, Resurrection, and Ascension are duplicated in the lives of other World Saviours and their disciples. The Revelation of John conceals the formulae of the Grecian Temple Mysteries.

   Any unprejudiced student of comparative religion must admit these facts. The work of the New Age Bible interpreters is not to conceal, but to reveal these truths. It is not for them to seek for differences between the teachings of the Christ and other World Teachers that tend to disparage the latter, but to look for the deep fundamental harmony which is the basis of all their work, and to proclaim that each in turn was an expression of the Cosmic Christ, preparing the Way for the coming of the Lord, the World Saviour who was to become the Planetary Spirit of the earth.

   This Cosmic Christ is the basis of all spiritual progress, but His truth is revealed in an ever ascending scale as man progresses. The secret teaching of one age becomes common knowledge in the next. This fact is evident when studying the Sun's precessional passage through the twelve signs of the Zodiac, which mark progressive astrological cycles of development. As such, at some future time, they will be so considered in the study of comparative religion. Before the coming of Christ, the inner teachings were all termed Lunar Mysteries, because man then received his spiritual light from the Solar Logos only as it was reflected by way of the Lunar Race Spirits, or gods. Hence, in many early religions the Moon was worshipped, it being considered as superior to the Sun. It will be found that these religions were given during the age that the Sun by precession passed through a feminine sign, Taurus. It was then that Isis was worshipped as the mother goddess of Egypt and Astarte as that of Babylon.

   All Lunar Mysteries deal with an external ceremonial describing the birth, life, death, and resurrection of spirit in its pilgrimage through matter. This is the ceremonial used in the Masonic lodge in connection with Hiram Abiff, the widow's son, and in the Church in connection with the life story of Christ Jesus. Both of these ceremonials are fragments of the Mystery teachings.

   However, when the Christ came to earth, He brought a deeper teaching belonging to esotericism. In mystic terms, He rent the veil hanging before the Temple door. No longer are priests essential to the ritual or ceremonial. The deeper truths of the Christian Initiations are received directly by the man himself; the spiritual force reaches him direct from the Sun, for the Christ has opened the Way. The early Christians were followers and demonstrators of this Way, the Path of the Solar Mysteries. Their work parallels the preceding teachings, but on an ever ascending scale. Thus the events in the life of the Christ outline the identical steps of other Saviours, but with this important difference: Initiation is no longer an external process, but an inner one. Every event described in the life of the Christ becomes an inner workable power or faculty within the body and life of the Initiate. He becomes a Christed one; a beloved son in whom the Father is well pleased.

   Everyone found worthy to receive the deeper Christian teachings becomes a child of the King and a brother of all who have attained, and Angels chant for him that same mystic chorus: "Peace on earth and good will among men." When a sufficient number of men shall have been thus reborn, the new regime of the Christ will be established upon the earth.

 — Corinne Heline


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Contemporary Mystic Christianity


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