Gleanings of a Mystic

Max Heindel

First published in 1922.

This online edition was created and published by Global Grey on the 10th November 2021.

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Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Initiation, What It Is And Is Not - Part 1

Chapter 2. Initiation, What It Is And Is Not - Part 2

Chapter 3. The Sacrament Of Communion - Part 1

Chapter 4. The Sacrament Of Communion, “In Remembrance Of Me.” - Part 2

Chapter 5. The Sacrament Of Baptism

Chapter 6. The Sacrament Of Marriage

Chapter 7. The Unpardonable Sin And Lost Souls

Chapter 8. The Immaculate Conception

Chapter 9. The Coming Christ

Chapter 10. The Coming Age

Chapter 11. Meat And Drink As Factors In Evolution

Chapter 12. A Living Sacrifice

Chapter 13. Magic, White And Black

Chapter 14. Our Invisible Government

Chapter 15. Practical Precepts For Practical People

Chapter 16. Sound, Silence, And Soul Growth

Chapter 17. The “Mysterium Magnum” Of The Rose Cross

Chapter 18. Stumbling Blocks

Chapter 19. The Lock Of Upliftment

Chapter 20. The Cosmic Meaning Of Easter - Part 1

Chapter 21. The Cosmic Meaning Of Easter - Part 2

Chapter 22. The Newborn Christ

Chapter 23. Why I Am A Rosicrucian

Chapter 24. The Object Of The Rosicrucian Fellowship


The contents of this book are among the last writings of Max Heindel, the mystic. They contain some of his deepest thoughts, and are the result of years of research and occult investigation. He, too, could say as did Parsifal: “Through error and through suffering I came, through many failures and through countless woes.” At last he was given the living water with which he was able to quench the spiritual thirst of many souls. He also developed to their depths pity and love, and could feel the heart throbs of suffering humanity.

Strong souls are usually endowed with great energy and impulse, and through these very forces, they forge to the front ranks though they often suffer much. As a result they are filled with compassion for others. The writer of these lessons sacrificed his physical body on the altar of service.

In writing the books and monthly lessons of the Fellowship, in his lectures and class work, and in the arduous pioneer work of establishing Headquarters within the short span of ten years, Max Heindel accomplished more than many who are blessed with perfect health could have accomplished in a lifetime. His4 first book, his masterpiece, “The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception,” was written under the direct guidance of the Elder Brothers of the Rose Cross. It carries a vital message to the world. It satisfies not alone the intellect, but also the heart. His “Freemasonry and Catholicism,” has found its way into many Masonic libraries. The occultist has received much from the book entitled, “The Web of Destiny,” which is a mine of mystical knowledge and helpful occult truths. It is also a guide to the investigator, establishing danger signals for the venturesome ones who wish to take heaven by storm. To the science of astrology he has given more in a few years than has previously been discovered in centuries. His two valuable works, “Simplified Scientific Astrology” and “The Message of the Stars,” deal largely with the spiritual and medical aspects of astrology. The latter gives methods of diagnosis and healing which form a valuable addition to the works of other authors, both ancient and modern. These books may be found in the libraries of many doctors of the old school.

In “Gleanings of a Mystic” are found twenty-four lessons which were formerly sent out to students. It is the wish of the writer of this introduction that these lessons may carry a message of love and cheer to the soul-hungry reader and hope to the disconsolate one.

Augusta Foss Heindel.

Chapter 1. Initiation, What It Is And Is Not - Part 1

It is no rare occurrence to receive questions relating to Initiation, and we are also frequently asked to state whether this order or that society is genuine, and whether the initiations they offer to all comers who have the price are bona fide. For that reason it seems necessary to write a treatise on the subject so that students of the Rosicrucian Fellowship may have an official statement for reference and guidance in the future.

In the first place let it be clearly understood that we consider it reprehensible to express condemnation of any society or order, no matter what its practices. It may be perfectly sincere and honest according to its light. We do not believe that we rise in the opinion of discriminating men and women by speaking in disparaging terms of others; neither are we laboring under the delusion that we have all the truth and other societies are plunged in Egyptian darkness. We reiterate what we have often said before, that all religions have been given to mankind by the Recording Angels, who know the spiritual requirements of each class, nation, and race, and have the intelligence to give to each a form of worship perfectly suited to its particular need; that thus Hinduism is suited to the Hindu, Mohammedanism to the Arab, and the Christian religion to those born in the Western Hemisphere.

The Mystery Schools of each religion furnish to the more advanced members of the race or nation embracing it a higher teaching, which, if lived, advances them into a higher sphere of spirituality than their brethren. But as the religion of the backward races is of a lower order than the religion of the pioneers, the Christian nations, so also the Mystery Teaching of the East is more elementary than that of the West, and the Hindu or Chinese Initiate is on a correspondingly lower rung of the ladder of attainment than the Western Mystic. Please ponder this well so that you may not fall a victim to misguided people who try to persuade others that the Christian religion is crude compared with oriental cults. Ever westward in the wake of the shining sun, the light of the world, has gone the star of empire, and is it not reasonable to suppose that the spiritual light has kept pace with civilization, or even preceded it as thought precedes action? We hold that such is the case, that the Christian religion is the loftiest yet given to man, and that to repudiate the Christian religion, esoteric or exoteric, for any of the older systems is analogous to preferring the older textbooks of science to the newer ones which embrace discoveries to date.

Neither are the practices of Eastern aspirants to the higher life to be imitated by Westerners; we refer particularly to the breathing exercises. They are both beneficial and necessary to the unfoldment of the Hindu, but it is otherwise with the Western aspirant. To him it is dangerous to practice breathing exercises for soul unfoldment; they will even prove subversive of soul growth, and they are, moreover, absolutely unnecessary. The reason is this:

During involution the threefold spirit has become gradually incrusted in a threefold body. In the Atlantean Epoch man was at the nadir of materiality. We are just now rounding the lowest point on the arc of involution, and starting upward on the arc of evolution. At this point, then, all mankind is immured in this earthly prison house to such a degree that spiritual vibrations are almost killed. This is, of course, particularly true of the backward races and the lower classes in the Western world. The atoms in such backward race bodies are vibrating at an exceedingly low rate, and when in the course of time one of these people develops to a point where it is possible to further him upon the path of attainment, it is necessary to raise this vibratory pitch of the atom so that the vital body, which is the medium of occult growth, may to a certain extent be liberated from the deadening force of the physical atom. This result is attained by means of breathing exercises, which in time accelerate the vibration of the atom, and allow the spiritual growth necessary to the individual to take place.

These exercises may also be used by a great number of people in the Western world, particularly those who are not at all concerned about their spiritual advancement. But even among those who desire soul growth there are many who are not yet at the point where the atoms of their bodies have evolved to such a pitch of vibration that acceleration beyond the usual measure would injure them. Here the breathing exercises would do no harm; but if given to a person who is really at the point where he can enter the path of advancement ordinarily mapped out for the Hindu’s precocious brothers and sisters in the West, in other words, when he is nearly ready for Initiation and when he would be benefited by spiritual exercises, then the case is far otherwise.

During the aeons which we have spent in evolution since the time when we were in Hindu bodies, our atoms have accelerated their vibratory pitch enormously, and as said in the case of one who is really nearly ready for Initiation, the pitch of vibration is higher than that of the average man or woman. Therefore he does not need breathing exercises to accelerate this pitch, but certain spiritual exercises suited to him individually which will advance him on the proper path. If such a person at this critical period meets some one who ignorantly or unscrupulously gives him breathing exercises, and if he follows the instructions accurately in the hope of getting quick results, he will get them quickly but in a manner he has not looked for, since the vibratory rate of the atoms in his body will in a very short time become accelerated to such a pitch that it will seem to him as if he were walking on air; then also an improper cleavage of the vital body may take place, and either consumption or insanity follows. Now please put this down where it will burn itself into your consciousness in letters of fire: Initiation is a spiritual process, and spiritual progress cannot be accomplished by physical means, but only by spiritual exercises.

There are many orders in the West which profess to initiate anyone who has the price. Some of these orders have names closely resembling our own, and we are constantly asked by students whether they are affiliated with us. In order to settle this once and for all, please note that the Rosicrucian Fellowship has constantly taught that no spiritual gift may ever be traded for money. If you bear this in mind, you may know we have no connection with any order which demands money for the transference of spiritual power. He who has something to give of a truly spiritual nature will not barter it for money. I received a particular injunction to this effect from the Elder Brothers in the Rosicrucian Temple, when they told me to go to the English speaking world as their messenger, a claim I do not expect you to believe save as you see it justified by fruits.

Now, however, about Initiation: What is it? Is it ceremony as claimed by these other orders? If so, any order can certainly invent ceremonies of a more or less elaborate kind. They may by flowing robes and clashing swords appeal to the emotions; they may appeal to the sense of wonder and awe by rattling chains and by deep sounding gongs, and thus produce in their members an “occult feeling.” Many revel in the adventures and experiences of the hero in “The Brother of the Third Degree,” thinking that this is surely Initiation, but I tell you that it is very far from being the case. No ceremony can ever give to any one that inward experience which constitutes Initiation, no matter how much is charged or how fearful the oaths, how awful or beautiful the ceremony, or how gorgeous the robes, any more than passing through a ceremony can convert a sinner and make him a saint, for conversion is to the exoteric religionist exactly what Initiation is in the higher mysticism. Please consider this point thoroughly, and you will have the key to the problem.

Do you think that any one could go to a person of depraved character and agree to convert him for a certain sum and carry out his part of the agreement? Surely you know that no amount of money could bring about that change in a man’s character. Ask a true convert where he got his religion and how he got it. One may tell you that he received it upon the road as he was walking along; another says that the light and the change came to him in the solitude of his room; another that the light struck him as it struck Paul upon the road to Damascus, and forced him to change. Every one has a different experience, but it is in every case an inward experience, and the outward manifestation of that inward experience is that it changes the man’s whole life from the very least to the very greatest aspects.

So it is also with Initiation; it is an inward experience, entirely separate and apart from any ceremonial whatever, and therefore it is an absolute impossibility that any one could sell it to any one else. Initiation changes a man’s whole life. It gives him a confidence that he never possessed before. It clothes him with a mantle of authority that never can be taken from him. No matter what the circumstances in life, it sheds a light upon his whole being that is simply wonderful. Nor can any ceremony effect such a change. We therefore hold that anyone who offers initiation into an occult order by ceremonials to every one who has the price, brands himself as an imposter. For the true teacher, if he were approached by an aspirant with an offer of money for spiritual attainment would answer indignantly in the words used by Peter to Simon, the sorcerer, who offered him money for spiritual powers: “Thy silver perish with thee.”

Chapter 2. Initiation, What It Is And Is Not - Part 2

To obtain a better understanding of what constitutes Initiation and what the prerequisites are, let the student first fix firmly in his mind the fact that humanity as a whole is slowly progressing upon the path of evolution, and thus very slowly, almost imperceptibly, attaining higher and higher states of consciousness. The path of evolution is a spiral when we regard it from the physical side only, but a lemniscate when viewed in both its physical and spiritual phases. (See the diagram of chemical caduceus in The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception, page 410.) In the lemniscate, or figure 8, there are two circles which converge to a central point, which circles may be taken to symbolize the immortal spirit, the evolving ego. One of the circles signifies its life in the physical world from birth to death. During this span of time it sows a seed by every act and should reap in return a certain amount of experience. But as we may sow seed in the field and lose return on that which falls on stony ground, among thorns, et cetera, so also may the seed of opportunity be wasted because of neglect to till the soil and the life will then be barren of fruit. Conversely, as diligence and care in cultivation increase the productive power of garden seed enormously, so earnest application to the business of life—improvement of opportunities to learn life’s lessons and extract from our environment the experience it holds—brings added opportunities; and at the end of the life-day the ego finds itself at the door of death laden with the richest fruits of life.

The objective work of physical existence over, the race run, and the day of action spent, the ego enters upon the subjective work of assimilation accomplished during its sojourn in the invisible worlds, which it traverses during the period from death to birth, symbolized by the other ring of the lemniscate. As the method of accomplishing this assimilation has been most minutely described in various parts of our literature, it is needless to repeat it here. Suffice it to say that at the time when an ego arrives at the central point in the lemniscate, which divides the physical from the psychic worlds and which we call the gate of birth or death according to whether the ego is entering or leaving the realm where we, ourselves, happen to be at the time, it has with it an aggregate of faculties or talents acquired in all its previous lives, which it may then put to usury or bury during the coming life-day as it sees fit; but upon the use it makes of what it has, depends the amount of soul growth it makes.

If for many lives it caters mainly to the lower nature, which lives to eat, drink, and be merry, or if it dreams its life away in metaphysical speculations upon nature and God, sedulously abstaining from all unnecessary action, it is gradually passed and left behind by the more active and progressive. Great companies of these idlers form what we know as “backward races”; while the active, alert, and wide-awake who improve a larger percentage of their opportunities, are the pioneers. Contrary to the commonly accepted idea, this applies also to those engaged in industrial work. Their money-getting is only an incident, an incentive, and entirely apart from this phase their work is as spiritual as or even more so than that of those who spend their time in prayer to the prejudice of useful work.

From what has been said, it will be clear that the method of soul growth as accomplished by the process of evolution requires action in the physical life, followed in the post-mortem state by a ruminating process, during which the lessons of life are extracted and thoroughly incorporated into the consciousness of the ego, though the experiences themselves are forgotten—as we forget our labor in learning the multiplication table, though the faculty of using it remains.

This exceedingly slow and tedious process is perfectly suited to the needs of the masses; but there are some who habitually exhaust the experiences commonly given, thus requiring and meriting a larger scope for their energies. Difference of temperament is responsible for their division into two classes.

One class, led by their devotion to Christ, simply follow the dictates of the heart in their work of love for their fellows—beautiful characters, beacon lights of love in a suffering world, never actuated by selfish motives, always ready to forego personal comfort to aid others. Such were the saints; they worked as they prayed; they never shirked in either direction. Nor are they dead today. The earth would be a barren wilderness in spite of all its civilization did not their beautiful feet circle it on errands of mercy, were not the lives of sufferers made brighter by the light of hope which radiates from their beautiful faces. Had they but the knowledge possessed by the other class they would indeed outdistance all in the race for the Kingdom.

Mind is the predominating feature of the other class. In order to aid it in its efforts toward attainment, mystery schools were early established wherein the world drama was played to give the aspiring soul while he was entranced, answers to the questions of the origin and destiny of humanity. When awakened, he was instructed in the sacred science of how to climb higher by following the method of nature—which is God in manifestation—by sowing the seed of action, meditating upon the experience, and incorporating the essential moral to make thereby commensurate soul growth; also with this important feature, that whereas in the ordinary course of things a whole life is devoted to sowing and a whole post-mortem existence to ruminating and incorporating the soul substance, this cycle of a thousand years, more or less, may be reduced to a day, as held by the mystic maxim, “A day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” To be explicit, whatever work has been done during a single day, if ruminated over at night before crossing the neutral point between waking and sleeping, may thus be incorporated into the consciousness of the spirit as usable soul power. When that exercise is faithfully performed, the sins of each day thus reviewed are actually blotted out, and the man commences each day as if it were a new life, with the added soul power gained in all the preceding days of his probationary life.

But!—yes, there is a great big BUT; nature is not to be cheated; God is not to be mocked. “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Let no one think that the mere perfunctory review of the happenings of a day with perhaps the light-hearted admission of, “I wish I had not done that,” when reviewing a scene where he did something palpably wrong, will save him from the wrath to come. When we pass out of the body into purgatory at death and the panorama of our past life unfolds in reverse order to show us first the effects and then the causes which produced them, we feel in intensified measure the pain we gave others; and unless we perform our exercises in a similar manner so that we live each evening our hell as merited that day, acutely sensible of every pang we have inflicted, it will avail nothing. We must also endeavor to feel in the same intense manner, gratitude for kindness received from others, and approbation on account of the good we ourselves have done.

Only thus are we really living the post-mortem existence and advancing scientifically towards the goal of Initiation. The greatest danger of the aspirant upon this path is that he may become enmeshed in the snare of egotism, and his only safeguard is to cultivate the faculties of faith, devotion, and an all-embracing sympathy. It is difficult, but it can be done, and when it has been accomplished the man or woman becomes a wonderful power for good in the world.

Now, if the student has pondered the preceding argument well, he has probably grasped the analogy between the long cycle of evolution and the short cycles or steps used upon the path of preparation. It should be quite clear that no one can do this post-mortem work for him and transmit to him the resulting soul growth, any more than one can eat the physical food of another and transmit to him the sustenance and growth. You think it preposterous when a priesthood offers to shorten the sojourn of a soul in purgatory. How, then, can you believe that anyone else can—no matter what the consideration—obviate the necessity of a number of purgatorial existences for your benefit and transmit to you at once the usable soul power you would have acquired had you pursued the ordinary course of life to the day you are ready for Initiation? Yet this is what the offer to initiate a person not yet upon the threshold means. You must have the soul power requisite for Initiation or no one can initiate you. If you have it, you are upon the threshold by your own efforts, beholden to no one, and may demand Initiation as a right which none would dare dispute or withhold. If you have it not and could buy it, it would be cheap at twenty-five million dollars, and the man who offers it for twenty-five dollars is as ridiculous as his dupe. Please remember that if anyone offers to initiate you into an occult order, no matter if he calls it “Rosicrucian” or by any other name, his demand of an initiation fee at once stamps him as an impostor, explanations to the effect that the fee is used to purchase regalia, et cetera, are only added evidence of the fraudulent nature of the order for it is said, “Initiation is most emphatically not an outward ceremony, but an inward experience.” I may further add that the Elder Brothers of the Rose Cross in the Mystic Temple where I received the Light made it a condition that their sacred science must never be put in the balance against a coin. Freely had I received, and freely was I required to give. This injunction I have obeyed, both in spirit and to the letter, as all know who have had dealings with the Rosicrucian Fellowship.

Chapter 3. The Sacrament Of Communion - Part 1

To obtain a thorough understanding of the deep and far-reaching significance of the manner in which the Sacrament of Communion was instituted, it is necessary to consider the evolution of our planet and of composite man, also the chemistry of foods and their influence on humanity. For the sake of lucidity we will briefly recapitulate the Rosicrucian teachings on the various points involved. They have been given at length in the Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception and our other works.

The Virgin Spirits, which are now mankind, commenced their pilgrimage through matter in the dawn of time, that by the friction of concrete existence their latent powers might be transmuted to kinetic energy as usable soul power. Three successive veils of increasingly dense matter were acquired by the involving spirits during the Saturn, Sun, and Moon Periods. Thus each spirit was separated from all other spirits, and the consciousness which could not penetrate the prison wall of matter and communicate with others was forced to turn inwards, and in so doing it discovered—itself. Thus self-consciousness was attained.

A further crystallization of the before mentioned veils took place in the Earth Period during the Polarian, Hyperborean, and Lemurian Epochs. In the Atlantean Epoch, mind was added as a focusing point between spirit and body, completing the constitution of composite man, who was then equipped to conquer the world and generate soul power by endeavor and experience, each having free will and choice except as limited by the laws of nature and his own previous acts.

During the time man-in-the-making was thus evolving, great creative Hierarchies guided his every step. Absolutely nothing was left to chance. Even the food he ate was chosen for him so that he might obtain the appropriate material wherewith to build the various vehicles of consciousness necessary to accomplish the process of soul growth. The Bible mentions the various stages, though it misplaces Nimrod, making him to symbolize the Atlantean kings who lived before the Flood.

In the Polarian Epoch pure mineral matter became a constituent part of man; thus Adam was made of earth, that is, so far as his dense body was concerned.

In the Hyperborean Epoch the vital body was added, and thus his constitution became plantlike, and Cain, the man of that time, lived on the fruits of the soil.

The Lemurian Epoch saw the evolution of a desire body, which made man like the present animals. Then milk, the product of living animals, was added to human diet. Abel was a shepherd, but it is nowhere stated that he killed an animal.

At that time mankind lived innocently and peacefully in the misty atmosphere which enveloped the earth during the latter part of the Lemurian Epoch, as described in the chapter on “Baptism.” Men were then like children under the care of a common father, until the mind was given to all in the beginning of Atlantis. Thought activity breaks down tissue which must be replaced; the lower and more material the thought, the greater the havoc and the more pressing the need for albumen wherewith to make quick repairs. Hence necessity, the mother of invention, inaugurated the loathsome practice of flesh eating, and so long as we continue to think along purely business or material lines we shall have to go on using our stomachs as receptacles for the decaying corpses of our murdered animal victims. Yet we shall see later that flesh food has enabled us to make the wonderful material progress achieved in the Western World, while the vegetarian Hindus and Chinese have remained in an almost savage state. It seems sad to contemplate that they will be forced to follow in our steps and shed the blood of our fellow creatures when we shall have outgrown the barbarous practice as we have ceased cannibalism.

The more spiritual we grow, the more our thoughts will harmonize with the rhythm of our body, and the less albumen will be needed to build tissue. Consequently, a vegetable diet will suffice our needs. Pythagoras advised abstinence from legumes to advanced scholars because they are rich in albumen and apt to revive lower appetites. Let not every student who reads this rashly conclude to eliminate legumes from his diet. Most of us are not yet ready for such extremes; we would not even advise all students to abstain entirely from meat. The change should come from within. It may be safely stated, however, that most people eat entirely too much meat for their good; but this is in a certain sense a digression, so we will revert to the further evolution of humanity in so far as it has a bearing upon the Sacrament of Communion.

In due time the dense mist which enveloped the earth cooled, condensed, and flooded the various basins. The atmosphere cleared, and concurrently with this atmospheric change a physiological adaptation in man took place. The gill clefts which had enabled him to breathe in the dense water laden air (and which are seen in the human foetus to this day) gradually atrophied, and their function was taken over by the lungs, the pure air passing to and from them through the larynx. This allowed the spirit, hitherto penned up within the veil of flesh, to express itself in word and act.

There in the middle of Atlantis the sun first shone upon man as we know him; there he was first born into the world. Until then he had been under the absolute control of great spiritual Hierarchies, mute, without voice or choice in matters pertaining to his education, as a child is now under the control of its parents.

But on the day when he finally emerged from the dense atmosphere of Atlantis; when he first beheld the mountains silhouetted in clear, sharp contours against the azure vault of heaven; when he first saw the beauties of moor and meadow, the moving creatures, birds in the air, and his fellow man; when his vision was undimmed by the partial obscuration of the mist which had previously hampered perception; above all, when he perceived himself as separate and apart from all others, there burst from his lips the glorious, triumphant cry, “i am.”

At that point he had acquired faculties which equipped him to enter the school of experience, the phenomenal world, as a free agent to learn the lessons of life, untrammeled save by the laws of nature, which are his safeguards, and the reaction of his own previous acts, which become destiny.

The diet containing an excess of albumen from the flesh wherewith he gorged himself, taxed his liver beyond capacity and clogged the system, making him morose, sullen, and brutish. He was fast losing the spiritual sight which revealed to him the guardian angels whom he trusted, and he saw only the forms of animals and men. The spirits with whom he had lived in love and brotherhood during early Atlantis were obscured by the veil of flesh. It was all so strange, and he feared them.

Therefore it became necessary to give him a new food that could aid his spirit to overpower the highly individualized molecules of flesh (as explained in the Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception, chapter on Assimilation, p. 457), brace it for battle with the world, and spur it on to self-assertion.

As our visible bodies composed of chemical compounds can thrive only upon chemical aliment, so it requires spirit to act upon spirit to aid in breaking up the heavy proteid and in stimulating the drooping human spirit.

The emergence from flooded Atlantis, the liberation of humanity from the absolute rulership of visible superhuman guardians, their placement under the law of consequence and the laws of nature, and the gift of wine are described in the stories of Noah and Moses, which are different accounts of the same event.

Both Noah and Moses led their followers through the water. Moses calls heaven and earth to witness that he has placed before them the blessing and the curse, exhorts them to choose the good or take the consequence of their actions; then he leaves them.

The phenomenon of the rainbow requires that the sun be near the horizon, the nearer the better; also a clear atmosphere, and a dark rain cloud in the opposite quarter of the heavens. When under such conditions an observer stands with his back to the sun, he may see the sun’s rays refracted through the rain drops as a rainbow. In early Atlantean times when there had been no rain as yet and the atmosphere was a warm, moist fog through which the sun appeared as one of our arc lamps on a foggy day, the phenomenon of the rainbow was an impossibility. It could not have made its appearance until the mist had condensed to rain, flooded the basins of the earth, and left the atmosphere clear as described in the story of Noah, which thus points to the law of alternating cycles that brings day and night, summer and winter, in unvarying sequence, and to which man is subject in the present age.

Noah cultivated the vine and provided a spirit to stimulate man. Thus, equipped with a composite constitution, a composite diet appropriate thereto, and divine laws to guide them, mankind were left to their own devices in the battle of life.

Chapter 4. The Sacrament Of Communion, “In Remembrance Of Me.” - Part 2

“The Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed took bread; and when he had given thanks, he brake it and said, Take, eat; this is my body, which is broken for you. This do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying This cup is the New Testament in my blood. This do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. Wherefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.... For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself.... For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.”—I Cor. 11:23-30.

In the foregoing passages there is a deeply hidden esoteric meaning which is particularly obscured in the English translation, but in the German, Latin, and Greek, the student still has a hint as to what was really intended by that last parting injunction of the Savior to His disciples. Before examining this phase of the subject, let us first consider the words, “in remembrance of me.” We shall then perhaps be in better condition to understand what is meant by the “cup” and the “bread.”

Suppose a man from a distant country comes into our midst and travels about from place to place. Everywhere he will see small communities gathering around the Table of the Lord to celebrate this most sacred of all Christian rites, and should he ask why, he would be told that they do this in remembrance of One who lived a life nobler than any other has lived upon this earth; One who was kindness and love personified; One who was the servant of all, regardless of gain or loss to self. Should this stranger then compare the attitude of these religious communities on Sunday at the celebration of this rite, with their civic lives during the remainder of the week, what would he see?

Every one among us goes out into the world to fight the battle of existence. Under the law of necessity we forget the love which should be the ruling factor in Christian lives. Every man’s hand is against his brother. Every one strives for position, wealth, and power that goes with these attributes. We forget on Monday what we reverently remembered on Sunday, and all the world is poor in consequence. We also make a distinction between the bread and wine which we drink at the so-called “Lord’s Table,” and the food of which we partake during the intervals between attendance at Communion. But there is no warrant in the Scriptures for any such distinction, as anyone may see, even in the English version, by leaving out the words printed in italics which have been inserted by the translators to give what they thought was the sense of a passage. On the contrary, we are told that whether we eat or drink, or whatever we do, all should be done to the glory of God. Our every act should be a prayer. The perfunctory “grace” at meals is in reality a blasphemy, and the silent thought of gratitude to the Giver of daily bread is far to be preferred. When we remember at each meal that it has been drawn from the substance of the earth, which is the body of the indwelling Christ Spirit, we can properly understand how that body is being broken for us daily, and we can appreciate the loving kindness which prompted Him thus to give Himself for us; for let us also remember that there is not a moment, day or night, that He is not suffering because bound to this earth. When we thus eat and thus realize the true situation, we are indeed declaring to ourselves the death of the Lord, whose spirit is groaning and travailing, waiting for the day of liberation when there shall be no need of such a dense environment as we now require.

But there is another, a greater and more wonderful mystery hidden in these words of the Christ. Richard Wagner, with the rare intuition of the master musician, sensed this idea when he sat in meditation by the Zurich Sea on a Good Friday, and there flashed into his mind the thought, “What connection is there between the death of the Savior and the millions of seeds sprouting forth from the earth at this time of the year?” If we meditate upon that life which is annually poured out in the spring, we see it as something gigantic and awe-inspiring; a flood of life which transforms the globe from one of frozen death to rejuvenated life in a short space of time; and the life which thus diffuses itself in the budding of millions and millions of plants is the life of the Earth Spirit.

From that come both the wheat and the grape. They are the body and blood of the imprisoned Earth Spirit, given to sustain mankind during the present phase of its evolution. We repudiate the contention of people who claim that the world owes them a living, regardless of their own efforts and without material responsibility on their part, but we nevertheless insist that there is a spiritual responsibility connected with the bread and wine given at the Lord’s Supper: It must be eaten worthily, otherwise, under pain of ill health and even death. This from the ordinary manner of reading would seem far-fetched, but when we bring the light of esotericism to bear, examine other translations of the Bible, and look at conditions in the world as we find them today, we shall see that it is not so far-fetched after all.

To begin with, we must go back to the time when man lived under the guardianship of the angels, unconsciously building the body which he now uses. That was in ancient Lemuria. A brain was needed for the evolution of thought, and a larynx for verbal expression of the same. Therefore, half of the creative force was turned upwards and used by man to form these organs. Thus mankind became single sexed and was forced to seek a complement when it was necessary to create a new body to serve as an instrument in a higher phase of evolution.

While the act of love was consummated under the wise guardianship of the angels, man’s existence was free from sorrow, pain, and death. But when, under the tutelage of the Lucifer Spirits, he ate of the Tree of Knowledge and perpetuated the race without regard for interplanetary lines of force, he transgressed the law, and the bodies thus formed crystallized unduly, and became subject to death in a much more perceptible manner than had hitherto been the case. Thus he was forced to create new bodies more frequently as the span of life in them shortened. Celestial warders of the creative force drove him from the garden of love into the wilderness of the world, and he was made responsible for his actions under the cosmic law which governs the universe. Thus for ages he struggled on, seeking to work out his own salvation, and the earth in consequence crystallized more and more.

Divine hierarchies, the Christ Spirit included, worked upon the earth from without as the group spirit guides the animals under its protectorate; but as Paul truly says, none could be justified under the law, for under the law all sinned, and all must die. There is in the old covenant no hope beyond the present, save a foreshadowing of one who is to come and restore righteousness. Thus John tells us that the law was given by Moses, and grace came by the Lord Jesus Christ. But what is grace? Can grace work contrary to law and abrogate it entirely? Certainly not. The laws of God are steadfast and sure, or the universe would become chaos. The law of gravity keeps our houses in position relative to other houses, so that when we leave them we may know of a surety that we shall find them in the same place upon returning. Likewise all other departments in the universe are subject to immutable laws.

As law, apart from love, gave birth to sin, so the child of law, tempered with love, is grace. Take an example from our concrete social conditions: We have laws which decree a certain penalty for a specified offense, and when the law is carried out, we call it justice. But long experience is beginning to teach us that justice, pure and simple, is like the Colchian dragon’s teeth, and breeds strife and struggle in increasing measure. The criminal, so-called, remains criminal and becomes more and more hardened under the ministrations of law; but when the milder regime of the present day allows one who has transgressed to go under suspended sentence, then he is under grace and not under law. Thus, also the Christian, who aims to follow in the Master’s steps, is emancipated from the law of sin by grace, provided he forsake the path of sin.

It was the sin of our progenitors in ancient Lemuria that they scattered their seed regardless of law and without love. But it is the privilege of the Christian to redeem himself by purity of life in remembrance of the Lord. John says, “His seed remaineth in him,” and this is the hidden meaning of the bread and wine. In the English version we read simply: “This is the cup of the New Testament,” but in the German the word for cup is “Kelch,” and in the Latin, “Calix,” both meaning the outer covering of the seed pod of the flower. In the Greek we have a still more subtle meaning, not conveyed in other languages, in the word “poterion,” a meaning which will be evident when we consider the etymology of the word “pot.” This at once gives us the same idea as the chalice or calix—a receptacle; and the Latin “potare” (to drink) also shows that the “cup” is a receptacle capable of holding a fluid. Our English words “potent” and “impotent,” meaning to possess or to lack virile strength, further show the meaning of this Greek word, which foreshadows the evolution from man to superman.

We have already lived through a mineral, a plant, and an animal-like existence before becoming human as we are today, and beyond us lie still further evolutions where we shall approach the Divine more and more. It will be readily conceded that it is our animal passions which restrain us upon the path of attainment; the lower nature is constantly warring against the higher self. At least in those who have experienced a spiritual awakening, a war is being fought silently within, and is all the more bitter for being suppressed. Goethe with masterly art voiced that sentiment in the words of Faust, the aspiring soul, speaking to his more materialistic friend, Wagner:

“Thou by one sole impulse art possessed,

Unconscious of the other still remain.

Two souls, alas, are housed within my breast,

And struggle there for undivided reign.

One, to the earth with passionate desire,

And closely clinging organs still adheres;

Above the mists the other doth aspire

With sacred ardor unto purer spheres.”

It was the knowledge of this absolute necessity of chastity (save when procreation is the object) upon the part of those who have had a spiritual awakening which dictated the words of Christ, and the Apostle Paul stated an esoteric truth when he said that those who partook of the Communion without living the life were in danger of sickness and death. For just as under a spiritual tutelage, purity of life may elevate the disciple wonderfully, so also unchastity has a much stronger effect upon his more sensitized bodies than upon those who are yet under the law, and have not became partakers of grace by the cup of the New Covenant.

Chapter 5. The Sacrament Of Baptism

Having studied the esoteric significance of our Christian festivals, such as Christmas and Easter, and having also studied the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, it may be well now to devote attention to the inner meaning of the sacraments of the church which are administered to the individual in all Christian lands from the cradle to the grave, and are with him at all important points in his life journey.

As soon as he has entered upon the journey of life, the church admits him into its fold by the rite of Baptism which is conferred upon him at a time when he himself is irresponsible; later, when his mentality has been somewhat developed, he ratifies that contract and is admitted to Communion, where bread is broken and wine is sipped in memory of the Founder of our faith. Still further upon life’s journey comes the sacrament of Marriage; and at last when the race has been run and the spirit again withdraws to God who gave it, the earth body is consigned to the dust, whence it was derived, accompanied by the blessings of the church.

In our Protestant times the spirit of protest is rampant in the extreme, and dissenters everywhere raise their voices in rebellion against the fancied arrogance of the priesthood and deprecate the sacraments as mere mummery. On account of that attitude of mind these functions have become of little or no effect in the life of the community; dissensions have arisen even among churchmen themselves, and sect after sect has divorced itself from the original apostolic congregation.

Despite all protests the various doctrines and sacraments of the church are, nevertheless, the very keystones in the arch of evolution, for they inculcate morals of the loftiest nature; and even materialistic scientists, such as Huxley, have admitted that while self-protection brings about “the survival of the fittest” in the animal kingdom and is therefore the basis of animal evolution, self-sacrifice is the fostering principle of human advancement. When that is the case among mere mortals, we may well believe that it must be so to a still greater extent in the Divine Author of our being.

Among animals might is right, but we recognize that the weak have a claim to the protection of the strong. The butterfly lays its eggs on the underside of a green leaf and goes off without another care for their well-being. In mammals the mother instinct is strongly developed, and we see the lioness caring for her cubs and ready to defend them with her life; but not until the human kingdom is reached does the father commence to share fully in the responsibility as a parent. Among savages the care of the young practically ends with attainment of physical ability to care for themselves, but the higher we ascend in civilization the longer the young receive care from their parents, and the more stress is laid upon mental education so that when maturity has been reached the battle of life may be fought from the mental rather than from the physical point of vantage; for the further we proceed along the path of development the more we shall experience the power of mind over matter. By the more and more prolonged self-sacrifice of parents, the race is becoming more delicate, but what we lose in material ruggedness we gain in spiritual perceptibility.

As this faculty grows stronger and more developed, the craving of the spirit immured in this earthly body voices itself more loudly in a demand for understanding of the spiritual side of development. Wallace and Darwin, Huxley and Spencer, pointed out how evolution of form is accomplished in nature; Ernest Haeckel attempted to solve the riddle of the universe, but no one of them could satisfactorily explain away the Divine Author of what we see. The great goddess, Natural Selection, is being forsaken by one after another of her devotees as the years go by. Even Haeckel, the arch materialist, in his last years showed an almost hysterical anxiety to make a place for God in his system, and the day will come in a not far distant future when science will have become as thoroughly religious as religion itself. The church, on the other hand, though still extremely conservative is nevertheless slowly abandoning its autocratic dogmatism and becoming more scientific in its explanations. Thus in time we shall see the union of science and religion as it existed in the ancient mystery temples, and when that point has been reached, the doctrines and sacraments of the church will be found to rest upon immutable cosmic laws of no less importance than the law of gravity which maintains the marching orbs in their paths around the sun. As the points of the equinoxes and solstices are turning points in the cyclic path of a planet, marked by festivals such as Christmas and Easter, so birth into the physical world, admission to the church, to the state of matrimony, and finally the exit from physical life, are points in the cyclic path of the human spirit around its central source—God, which are marked by the sacraments of baptismcommunionmarriage, and the last blessing.

We will now consider the rite of baptism. Much has been said by dissenters, against the practice of taking an infant into church and promising for it a religious life. Heated arguments concerning sprinkling versus plunging have resulted in division of churches. If we wish to obtain the true idea of baptism, we must revert to the early history of the human race as recorded in the Memory of Nature. All that has ever happened is indelibly pictured in the ether as a moving picture is imprinted upon a sensitized film, which picture can be reproduced upon a screen at any moment. The pictures in the Memory of Nature may be viewed by the trained seer, even though millions of years have elapsed since the scenes there portrayed were enacted in life.

When we consult that unimpeachable record it appears that there was a time when that which is now our earth came out of chaos, dark and unformed, as the Bible states. The currents developed in this misty mass by spiritual agencies, generated heat, and the mass ignited at the time when we are told that God said, “Let there be light.” The heat of the fiery mass and the cold space surrounding it generated moisture; the fire mist became surrounded by water which boiled, and steam was projected into the atmosphere; thus “God divided the water ... from the waters ...”—the dense water which was nearest the fire mist from the steam (which is water in suspension), as stated in the Bible.

When water containing sediment is boiled over and over it deposits scale, and similarly the water surrounding our planet finally formed a crust around the fiery core. The Bible further informs us that a mist went up from the ground, and we may well conceive how the moisture was gradually evaporated from our planet in those early days.

Ancient myths are usually regarded as superstitions nowadays, but in reality each of them contains a great spiritual truth in pictorial symbols. These fantastic stories were given to infant humanity to teach them moral lessons which their newborn intellects were not yet fitted to receive. They were taught by myths—much as we teach our children by picture books and fables—lessons beyond their intellectual comprehension.

One of the greatest of these folk stories is ”The Ring of the Niebelung”, which tells of a wonderful treasure hidden under the waters of the Rhine. It was a lump of gold in its natural state. Placed upon a high rock, it illuminated the entire submarine scenery where water nymphs sported about innocently in gladsome frolic. But one of the Niebelungs, imbued with greed, stole the treasure, carried it out of the water, and fled. It was impossible for him, however, to shape it until he had forsworn love. Then he fashioned it into a ring which gave him power over all the treasures of earth, but at the same time it inaugurated dissension and strife. For its sake, friend betrayed friend, brother slew brother, and everywhere it caused oppression, sorrow, sin, and death, until it was at last restored to the watery element and the earth was consumed in flames. But later there arose, like the new phoenix from the ashes of the old bird, a new heaven and a new earth where righteousness was re-established.

That old folk story gives a wonderful picture of human evolution. The name Niebelungen is derived from the German words, nebel (which means mist), and ungen (which means children). Thus the word Niebelungen means children of the mist, and it refers back to the time when humanity lived in the foggy atmosphere surrounding our earth at the stage in its development previously mentioned. There infant humanity lived in one vast brotherhood, innocent of all evil as the babe of today, and illuminated by the Universal Spirit symbolized as the Rhinegold which shed its light upon the water nymphs of our story. But in time the earth cooled more and more; the fog condensed and flooded depressions upon the surface of the earth with water; the atmosphere cleared; the eyes of man were opened and he perceived himself as a separate ego. Then the Universal Spirit of love and solidarity was superseded by egotism and self-seeking.

That was the rape of the Rhinegold, and sorrow, sin, strife, treachery, and murder have given place to the childlike love which existed among humanity in that primal state when they dwelt in the watery atmosphere of long ago. Gradually this tendency is becoming more and more marked, and the curse of selfishness grows more and more apparent. “Man’s inhumanity to man” hangs like a funeral pall over the earth, and must inevitably bring about destruction of existing conditions. The whole creation is groaning and travailing, waiting for the day of redemption, and the Western Religion strikes the keynote of the way to attainment when it exhorts us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves; for then egotism will be abrogated for universal brotherhood and love.

Therefore, when a person is admitted to the church, which is a spiritual institution where love and brotherhood are the mainsprings of action, it is appropriate to carry him under the waters of baptism in symbol of the beautiful condition of childlike innocence and love which prevailed when mankind dwelt under the mist in that bygone period. At that time the eyes of infant man had not yet been opened to the material advantages of this world. The little child which is brought into the church has not yet become aware of the allurements of life either, and others obligate themselves to guide it to lead a holy life according to the best of their ability, because experience gained since the Flood has taught us that the broad way of the world is strewn with pain, sorrow, and disappointment; that only by following the straight and narrow way can we escape death and enter into life everlasting.

Thus we see that there is a wonderfully deep, mystic significance behind the sacrament of baptism; that it is to remind us of the blessings attendant upon those who are members of a brotherhood where self-seeking is put into the background and where service to others is the keynote and mainspring of action. While we are in the world, he is the greatest who can most successfully dominate others. In the church we have Christ’s definition, “He who would be the greatest among you, let him be the servant of all.

Chapter 6. The Sacrament Of Marriage

When stripped of nonessentials the argument of the orthodox Christian religion may be said to be as follows:

First, that tempted by the devil, our first parents sinned and were exiled from their previous state of celestial bliss, placed under the law, made subject to death, and became incapable of escaping by their own efforts.

Second, that God so loved the world that He gave Christ, His only begotten Son, for its redemption and to establish the kingdom of heaven. Thus death will finally be swallowed up in immortality.

This simple creed has provoked the smiles of atheists, and of the purely intellectual who have studied transcendental philosophies with their niceties of logic and argument; and even of some among those who study the Western Mystery Teaching.

Such an attitude of mind is entirely gratuitous. We might know that the divine leaders of mankind would not allow millions to continue in error for millennia. When the Western Mystery Teaching is stripped of its exceedingly illuminating explanations and detailed descriptions, when its basic teachings are stated, they are found to be in exact agreement with the orthodox Christian teachings.

There was a time when mankind lived in a sinless state; when sorrow, pain, and death were unknown. Neither is the personal tempter of Christianity a myth, for the Lucifer spirits may very well be said to be fallen angels, and their temptation of man resulted in focusing his consciousness upon the material phase of existence where he is under the law of decrepitude and death. Also it is truly the mission of Christ to aid mankind by elevating them to a more ethereal state where dissolution will no longer be necessary to free them from vehicles that have grown too hard and set for further use. For this is indeed a “body of death,” where only the smallest quantity of material is really alive, as part of its bulk is nutrient matter that has not yet been assimilated, another large part is already on its way to elimination, and only between these two poles may be found the material which is thoroughly quickened by the spirit.

We have in other chapters considered the sacraments of baptism and communion, sacraments that have to do particularly with the spirit. We will now seek to understand the deeper side of the sacrament of marriage, which has to do particularly with the body. Like the other sacraments the institution of marriage had its beginning and will also have its end. The commencement was described by the Christ when He said, “Have ye not read that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said: For this cause shall a man leave father and mother and cleave to his wife; and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh.” Matt. 19:4-6. He also indicated the end of marriage when he said: “In the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.” Matt. 22:30.

In this light the logic of the teaching is apparent, for marriage became necessary in order that birth might provide new instruments to take the place of those which had been ruptured by death; and when death has once been swallowed up in immortality and there is no need of providing new instruments, marriage also will be unnecessary.

Science with admirable audacity has sought to solve the mystery of fecundation, and has told us how invagination takes place in the walls of the ovary; how the little ovum is formed in the seclusion of its dark cavity; how it emerges therefrom and enters the Fallopian tube; is pierced by the spermatozoon of the male, and the nucleus of a human body is complete. We are thus supposed to be “at the fount and origin of life!” But life has neither beginning nor end, and what science mistakenly considers the fountain of life is really the source of death, as all that comes from the womb is destined sooner or later to reach the tomb. The marriage feast which prepares for birth, at the same time provides food for the insatiable jaws of death, and so long as marriage is necessary to generation and birth, disintegration and death must inevitably result. Therefore it is of prime importance to know the history of marriage, the laws and agencies involved, the duration of this institution, and how it may be transcended.

When we obtained our vital bodies in Hyperborea, the sun, moon, and earth were still united, and the solar-lunar forces permeated each being in even measure so that all were able to perpetuate their kind by buds and spores as do certain plants of today. The efforts of the vital body to soften the dense vehicle and keep it alive were not then interfered with, and these primal, plantlike bodies lived for ages. But man was then unconscious and stationary like a plant; he made no effort or exertion. The addition of a desire body furnished incentive and desire, and consciousness resulted from the war between the vital body, which builds, and the desire body, which destroys the dense body.

Thus dissolution became only a question of time, particularly as the constructive energy of the vital body was also necessarily divided, one part or pole being used in the vital functions of the body, the other to replace a vehicle lost by death. But as the two poles of a magnet or dynamo are requisite to manifestation, so also two single-sexed beings became necessary for generation; thus marriage and birth were necessarily inaugurated to offset the effect of death. Death, then, is the price we pay for consciousness in the present world; marriage and repeated births are our weapons against the king of terrors until our constitution shall change and we become as angels.

Please mark that it is not stated that we are to become angels, but that we are to become as angels. For the angels are the humanity of the Moon Period; they belong to an entirely different stream of evolution, as different as are human spirits from those of our present animals. Paul states in his letter to the Hebrews that man was made for a little while inferior to the angels; he descended lower into the scale of materiality during the Earth Period, while the angels have never inhabited a globe denser than ether. As we build our bodies from the chemical constituents of the earth, so do the angels build theirs of ether. This substance is the direct avenue of all life forces, and when man has once become as the angels and has learned to build his body of ether, naturally there will be no death and no need of marriage to bring about birth.

But looking at marriage from another point of view, looking upon it as a union of souls rather than as a union of the sexes, we contact the wonderful mystery of Love. Union of the sexes might serve to perpetuate the race, of course, but the true marriage is a companionship of souls also, which altogether transcends sex. Yet those really able to meet upon that lofty plane of spiritual intimacy gladly offer their bodies as living sacrifices upon the altar of Love of the Unborn, to woo a waiting spirit into an immaculately conceived body. Thus humanity may be saved from the reign of death.

This is readily apparent as soon as we consider the gentle action of the vital body and contrast it with that of the desire body in a fit of temper, where it is said that a man has “lost control” of himself. Under such conditions the muscles become tense, and nervous energy is expended at a suicidal rate, so that after such an outbreak the body may sometimes be prostrated for weeks. The hardest labor brings no such fatigue as a fit of temper; likewise a child conceived in passion under the crystallizing tendencies of the desire nature is naturally short-lived, and it is a regrettable fact that length of life is nowadays almost a misnomer; in view of the appalling infant mortality it ought to be called brevity of existence.

The building tendencies of the vital body, which is the vehicle of love, are not so easily watched, but observation proves that contentment lengthens the life of any one who cultivates this quality, and we may safely reason that a child conceived under conditions of harmony and love stands a better chance of life than one conceived under conditions of anger, inebriety, and passion.

According to Genesis it was said to the woman, “In sorrow shalt thou bear children,” and it has always been a sore puzzle to Bible commentators what logical connection there may be between the eating of fruit and the pains of parturition. But when we understand the chaste references of the Bible to the act of generation, the connection is readily perceived. While the insensitive Negro or Indian mother may bear her child and shortly afterward resume her labors in the field, the western woman, more acutely sensitive and of high-strung nervous temperament, is year by year finding it more difficult to go through the ordeal of motherhood, though aided by the best and most skilled scientific help.

The contributory reasons are various: In the first place, while we are exceedingly careful in selecting our horses and cattle for breeding, while we insist upon pedigree for the animals in order that we may bring out the very best strain of stock upon our farms, we exercise no such care with respect to the selection of a father or mother for our children. We mate upon impulse and regret it at our leisure, aided by laws which make it all too easy to enter or leave the sacred bonds of matrimony. The words pronounced by minister or judge are taken to be a license for unlimited indulgence, as if any man-made law could license the contravention of the law of God. While animals mate only at a certain time of the year and the mother is undisturbed during the period of pregnancy, this is not true of the human race.

In view of these facts is it to be wondered at that we find such a dread of maternity, and is it not time that we seek to remedy the matter by a more sane relation between marriage partners? Astrology will reveal the temper and tendencies of each human being; it will enable two people to blend their characters in such a manner that a love life may be lived, and it will indicate the periods when interplanetary lines of force are most nearly conducive to painless parturition. Thus it will enable us to draw from the bosom of nature, children of love, capable of living long lives in good health. Finally the day will come when these bodies will have been made so perfect in their ethereal purity that they may last throughout the coming Age, and thus make marriage superfluous.

But if we can love now when we see one another “through a glass darkly,” through the mask of personality and the veil of misunderstanding, we may be sure that the love of soul for soul, purged of passion in the furnace of sorrow, will be our brightest gem in heaven as its shadow is on earth.

Chapter 7. The Unpardonable Sin And Lost Souls

Some of our students have been exercised about the unpardonable sin, and as this subject has a certain connection with the subject of marriage, one being a sacrilege and the other a sacrament, it might be well to elucidate the matter from a different point of view than has been formerly taken in our literature.

First let us see what is meant by a sacrament, and why the rites of baptism, communion, marriage, and extreme unction are properly so called; then we shall be in a position to understand what sacrilege is and why it is unpardonable.

The Rosicrucians teach, only with more detail, the same doctrine that Paul preached in the 15th chapter of 1st Corinthians, starting at the thirty-fifth verse, that in addition to the body of flesh and blood we have a soul body, soma psuchicon, (mistranslated “natural” body), and a spiritual body; that each of these bodies is grown from a different seed atom and that there are three stages of unfoldment for Adam, or man. The first Adam was taken from the ground and was without sentient life. Soul was added to the second Adam; thus he had life within, a leaven laboring to elevate the clod to God. When the potential of the soul extracted from the physical body has been raised to the spiritual, the last Adam will become a life giving spirit, capable of transmitting the life impulse to others directly as flame from one candle can be communicated to many without diminishing the magnitude of the original light.

In the meantime the germ for our earthly body had to be properly placed in fruitful soil to grow a suitable vehicle, and generative organs were provided from the beginning to accomplish this purpose. It is stated in Genesis 1:27, that Elohim created them male and female. The Hebrew words are “sacre va n’cabah.” These are names of the sex organs. Literally translated, sacr means “bearer of the germ.” Thus marriage is a sacr-ament, for it opens the way for transmission of a physical seed atom from the father to the mother, and tends to preserve the race against the ravages of death. Baptism as a Sacrament signifies the germinal urge of the soul for the higher life. Holy Communion, in which we partake of bread (made from the seed of chaste plants), and of wine (the cup symbolizing the passionless seed-pod), points to the age to come, an age wherein it will be unnecessary to transmit the seed through a father and mother, but where we may feed directly upon cosmic life and thus conquer death. Finally, extreme unction is the sacrament which marks the loosening of the silver cord, and the extraction of the sacred germ, freeing it until it shall again be planted in another n’cabah, or mother.

As the seed and ovum are the root and basis of racial development, it is easy to see that no sin can be more serious than that which abuses the creative function, for by that sacr-ilege we stunt future generations and transgress against the Holy Spirit, Jehovah, who is warder of the creative lunar forces. His angels herald births, as in the cases of Isaac, John the Baptist, and Jesus. When he wanted to reward his most faithful follower, he promised to make his seed as numerous as the sands on the seashore. He also meted out a most terrible punishment to the Sodomites who committed sacr-ilege by misdirecting the seed. He even visits the sins of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations, for under his regime Law reigns supreme. Man has not yet evolved to the point where he can respond to love. He requires from his enemies an eye for an eye, and with the same measure that he metes, it is meted unto him.

Though this seems very cruel to us who are each day evolving more and more the faculties of love and mercy, we must remember that this retributive justice relates purely to the physical body, which is under the laws of Nature just as much as any other chemical composition in the universe. When abuses have weakened it, it is incapable of fulfilling its mission and meeting our demands in any respect, just as is the case with any other machinery which we have made from the materials around us. There are no miracles such as would be required to generate a sound and healthy body from parents who have transgressed the laws of nature by their abuses; therefore that sin cannot be remitted but must be expiated; but when time and care have restored the necessary strength and vigor, the body will again perform its functions in a normal and healthy manner.

Thus we understand that under the law there is no mercy, for mercy is dictated by love. Therefore it was perfectly in consonance with cosmic order when Christ, the Lord of Love, said that all things would be forgiven to men which they did against Him, as love is the reigning feature in His kingdom; but whatsoever was done contrary to the law of Jehovah must meet its full retribution. We cannot be sufficiently thankful for the wonderful religion which He gave us, particularly if we compare it with those under which less evolved peoples are now struggling. Take the Buddhists, for instance: grand and beautiful though their leader was, he saw only sorrow, a constant struggle against the laws of nature. He aimed to teach his followers to transcend that condition by perfect obedience such as that whereby we have conquered the laws of electricity and other forces in nature. The Buddhist sees nothing but the cold and merciless law; on the other hand, we of the Western World have before our eyes from the cradle to the grave a beautiful picture of One who said, “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

But it may be asked, “What about lost souls; are they a figment of the imagination also?” To this question may be answered, “yes,” although it needs some qualification. We shall best understand the case if we go back into the history of mankind and view the experiences of some who have transgressed, for they will furnish us an example of what may happen. In order to establish the point properly we shall reiterate a few of the Rosicrucian teachings regarding the genesis of the earth and of man upon it. Three great stages of unfoldment have preceded the present Earth Period. The Father is the highest Initiate of the Saturn Period, inhabiting particularly the Spiritual Sun. The Son, the cosmic Christ, is the highest Initiate of the Sun Period, inhabiting the Central Sun and guiding the planets in their orbits by a ray from Himself, which becomes the indwelling spirit of each planet when it has been sufficiently ripened to contain such a great Intelligence. Jehovah, the Holy Spirit, is the highest Initiate of the Moon Period and dwelling in the physical, visible sun. He is regent of the various moons thrown off by the different planets for the purpose of giving beings who have fallen behind in the march of evolution more rigid discipline under a firmer law, to awaken them and spur them on in the proper direction if possible.

When we look into space, we perceive that some planets have a number of moons and others have none; but as there are laggards in any large company, and as moons are required to aid these stragglers to retrieve their lost estate if possible, we may be sure that these planets which have no moons now have had them in the past. Those Great Beings of whom the Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception speaks as “Lords of Venus” and “Lords of Mercury” were, in fact, stragglers from those two planets. In the dim distant past they inhabited moons which encircled their respective planets, and were successful in retrieving their loss in a large measure under the discipline given them there. Later they received the opportunity to serve the humanity of our earth, and by that service to secure a return to the home planet whence they had been exiled. They were lost under the law, but redeemed by love; and thus we may infer that opportunities for service will also bring to other beings, who may become “lost,” the opportunity to retrieve the past.

Since it may puzzle the student as to what becomes of the moons upon which such beings dwell for a time, we may say that the solar system is to be regarded as the body of the Great Spirit whom we call God, and as any growth caused by an abnormal process pains us when it occurs in our body, so also such crystallizations as moons are sources of discomfort to that Great Being. Furthermore, as our own systems endeavor to eliminate such abnormalities as growths, so also the universe endeavors to expel moons which have served their purpose. While the beings who have been exiled to a moon are there, the Planetary Spirit of the primary planet by his care for these beings, holds the moon in its orbit, and we speak of his love for them as the Law of Attraction; but when they have returned to the parent planet, the Planetary Spirit has no further interest in their cinder-like habitation. Then slowly the orbit of the vacated moon widens, it commences to disintegrate, and it is finally expelled into interstellar space. The asteroids are remnants of moons which once encircled Venus and Mercury. There are also other seeming moons and lunar fragments in our solar system, but the Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception does not concern itself with them as they are outside the pale of evolution.

Chapter 8. The Immaculate Conception

The periodical ebb and flow of the material and spiritual forces which invest the earth are the invisible causes of the physical, moral, and mental activities upon our globe.

According to the hermetic axiom, “As above so below,” a similar activity must take place in man, who is but a minor edition of Mother Nature.

The animals have twenty-eight pairs of spinal nerves and are now in their Moon stage, perfectly attuned to the twenty-eight days in which the moon passes around the zodiac. In their wild state the group spirit regulates their mating. Therefore there is no overflow with them. Man, on the other hand, is in a transition stage; he is too far progressed for the lunar vibrations for he has thirty-one pairs of spinal nerves. But he is not yet attuned to the solar month of thirty-one days, and he mates at all times of the year; hence the periodical flow in woman, which under proper conditions is utilized to form part of the body of a child more perfect than its parent. Similarly, the periodical flow in mankind becomes the sinew and backbone of racial advancement; and the periodical flow of the earth’s spiritual forces, which occurs at Christmas, results in the birth of Saviors who from time to time give renewed impetus to the spiritual advancement of the human race.

There are two parts to our Bible, the Old and the New Testaments. After briefly reciting how the world came into being, the former tells the story of the “Fall.” In view of what has been written in our literature we understand the Fall to have been occasioned by man’s impulsive and ignorant use of the sex forces at times when the interplanetary rays were inimical to conception of the purest and best vehicles. Thus man became gradually imprisoned in a dense body crystallized by sinful passion and consequently an imperfect vehicle, subject to pain and death.

Then commenced the pilgrimage through matter, and for millennia we have been living in this hard and flinty shell of body, which obscures the light of heaven from the spirit within. The spirit is like a diamond in its rough coat, and the celestial lapidaries, the Recording Angels, are constantly endeavoring to remove the coating so that the spirit may shine through the vehicle which it ensouls.

When the lapidary holds the diamond to the grindstone, the diamond emits a screech like a cry of pain as the opaque covering is removed; but gradually by many successive applications to the grindstone the rough diamond may become a gem of transcendent beauty and purity. Similarly, the celestial beings in charge of our evolution hold us closely to the grindstone of experience. Pain and suffering result, which awaken the spirit sleeping within. The man hitherto content with material pursuits, indulgent of sense and sex, becomes imbued with a divine discontent which impels him to seek the higher life.

The gratification of that aspiration, however, is not usually accomplished without a severe struggle upon the part of the lower nature. It was while wrestling thus that Paul exclaimed with all the anguish of a devout, aspiring heart: “Oh wretched man that I am * * * The good that I would, I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do * * * I delight in the law of God after the inward man; but I see another law in my members warring against the law of my mind and bringing it into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.” (Rom. 7:19-24.)

When the flower is crushed, its scent is liberated and fills the surroundings with grateful fragrance, delighting all who are fortunate enough to be near. Crushing blows of fate may overwhelm a man or woman who has reached the stage of efflorescence; they will but serve to bring out the sweetness of the nature and enhance the beauty of the soul till it shines with an effulgence that marks the wearer as with a halo. Then he is upon the path of Initiation. He is taught how unbridled use of sex regardless of the stellar rays has imprisoned him in the body, how it fetters him, and how by the proper use of that same force in harmony with the stars he may gradually improve and etherealize his body and finally attain liberation from concrete existence.

A shipwright cannot build a staunch oak ship from spruce lumber; “men do not gather grapes of thorns;” like always begets like, and an incoming ego of a passionate nature is drawn to parents of like nature, where its body is conceived upon the impulse of the moment in a gust of passion.

The soul who has tasted the cup of sorrow incident to the abuse of the creative force and has drunk to the dregs the bitterness thereof, will gradually seek parents of less and less passionate natures, until at length it attains to Initiation.

Having been taught in the process of Initiation the influence of the stellar rays upon parturition, the next body provided will be generated by Initiate parents without passion, under the constellation most favorable to the work which the ego contemplates. Therefore the Gospels (which are formulae of Initiation) commence with the account of the immaculate conception and end with the crucifixion, both wonderful ideals to which we must some time attain, for each of us is a Christ-in-the-making, and will sometime pass through both the mystic birth and the mystic death adumbrated in the Gospels. By knowledge we may hasten the day, intelligently co-operating instead of as now often stupidly frustrating through ignorance the ends of spiritual development.

In connection with the immaculate conception misunderstandings prevail at every point; the perpetual virginity of the mother even after giving birth to other children; the lowly station of Joseph, the supposed foster-father, etc. We will briefly view them in the light of facts as revealed in the Memory of Nature:

In some parts of Europe people of the higher classes are addressed as “wellborn,” or even as “highwellborn,” meaning that they are the offspring of cultured parents in high station. Such people usually look down with scorn upon those in modest positions. We have nothing against the expression “wellborn;” we would that every child were well born, born to parents of high moral standing no matter what their station in life. There is a virginity of soul that is independent of the state of the body, a purity of mind which will carry its possessor through the act of generation without the taint of passion and enable the mother to carry the unborn child under her heart in sexless love.

Previous to the time of Christ that would have been impossible. In the earlier stages of man’s career upon earth quantity was desirable and quality a minor consideration, hence the command was given to “go forth, be fruitful, and multiply.” Besides, it was necessary that man should temporarily forget his spiritual nature and concentrate his energies upon material conditions. Indulgence of the sex passion furthers that object, and the desire nature was given full sway. Polygamy flourished, and the larger the number of their children, the more a man and a woman were honored, while barrenness was looked upon as the greatest possible affliction.

In other directions the desire nature was being curbed by God-given laws, and obedience to divine commands was enforced by swift punishment of the transgressor, such as war, pestilence or famine. Rewards for dutiful observance of the mandates of the law were not wanting either; the “righteous” man’s children, his cattle and crops were numerous; he was victorious over his enemies and the cup of his happiness was full.

Later when the earth had been sufficiently peopled after the Atlantean Flood, polygamy became gradually more and more obsolete, with the result that the quality of the bodies improved, and at the time of Christ the desire nature had become so far amenable to control in the case of the more advanced among humanity that the act of generation could be performed without passion, out of pure love, so that the child could be immaculately conceived.

Such were the parents of Jesus. Joseph is said to have been a carpenter, but he was not a worker in wood. He was a “builder” in a higher sense. God is the Grand Architect of the universe. Under Him are many builders of varying degrees of spiritual splendor, down even to those whom we know as Freemasons. All are engaged in building a temple without sound of hammer, and Joseph was no exception.

It is sometimes asked why Initiates are always men. They are not; in the lower degrees there are many women, but when an Initiate is able to choose his sex he usually takes the positive masculine body, as the life which brought him to Initiation has spiritualized his vital body and made it positive under all conditions, so that he has then an instrument of the highest efficiency.

There are times, however, when the exigencies of a case require a female body, such as, for instance, providing a body of the highest type to receive an ego of superlatively high degree. Then a high Initiate may take a female body and go through the experience of maternity again, after perhaps having eschewed it for several lives, as was the case with the beautiful character we know as Mary of Bethlehem.

In conclusion, then, let us remember the points brought out, that we are all Christs-in-the-making; that sometime we must cultivate characters so spotless that we may be worthy to inhabit bodies that are immaculately conceived; and the sooner we commence to purify our minds of passionate thoughts, the sooner we shall attain. In the final analysis it only depends upon the earnestness of our purpose, the strength of our wills. Conditions are such now that we can live pure lives whether married or single, and cold; sister-and-brother relationships are not necessary either.

Is the life of absolute purity beyond some of us yet? Be not discouraged; Rome was not built in a day. Keep on aspiring though you fail again and again, for the only real failure consists in ceasing to try.

So may God strengthen your aspirations to purity.

Chapter 9. The Coming Christ

We have previously seen how infant humanity in Atlantis lived in unity under direct guidance of divine leaders, and how they were eventually brought out of the water into a clear atmosphere where the separateness of each individual from all others became obvious at once.

“God is Light”—the Light which became life in man. It was dim and achromatically diffused in the misty atmosphere of early Atlantis, as colorless as the air on a densely foggy day in the present age, hence the unity of all beings who lived in that light. But when man rose above the waters, when he emerged into the air where the godly manifestation, Light, was refracted in multitudinous hues, this variously colored light was differently absorbed by each. Thus diversity was inaugurated, when mankind went through the mighty arch of the rainbow with its variegated and beautiful colors. That bow may therefore be considered an entrance gate to “the promised land,” the world as now constituted. Here the light of God is no longer an insipid single tint as in early Atlantis. The present dazzling play of color tells us that the watchword of the present age is segregation, and therefore so long as we remain in the present condition under the law of alternating cycles, where summer and winter, ebb and flow, succeed each other in unbroken sequence, so long as God’s bow stands in the sky, an emblem of diversity, it is yet the day of the kingdoms of men, and the kingdom of God is held in abeyance.

Nevertheless, as surely as the Edenic conditions upon the fire girt islands of ancient Lemuria ended in separation into sexes, each expressing one element of the creative fire, and making the union of man and woman as necessary to the generation of a body as is the union of hydrogen and oxygen to the production of water; and as surely as emergence from the watery atmosphere of Atlantis into the airy environment of Aryana, the world of today, promoted further segregation into separate nations and individuals, who war and prey upon one another (because the sharply differentiated forms which they behold blind them to the inalienable unity of each soul with all others); just as certainly will this world condition give place to a “new heaven and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.”

In early Atlantis we lived in the deepest basins of the earth where the mist was densest; we breathed by means of gills and would have been unable to live in an atmosphere such as we have now. In the course of time desire to explore beyond caused the invention of airships, which were propelled by the expansive force of sprouting grain. The “ark” story is a perverted remembrance of that fact. Those ships actually did founder upon mountain tops where the atmosphere was too rare to sustain them. Today our ships float upon the element in which the Atlantean ships were at one time immersed. We have now contrived various means of propulsion able to carry us over the highlands of the earth which we occupy at present, and are commencing to reach out into the atmosphere to conquer that element as we have subjected the waters; and as surely as our Atlantean ancestors made a highway of the watery element which they breathed and then rose above it to live in a new element, just as certainly shall we conquer the air and then rise above it into the newly discovered element which we call ether.

Thus each age has its own peculiar conditions and laws; the beings who evolve have a physiological constitution suited to the environment of that age, but are dominated by the nature forces then prevailing until they learn to conform to them. Then these forces become most valuable servants, as for instance, steam and electricity, which we have partially harnessed. The law of gravity still holds us in its powerful grip, although by mechanical means we are trying to escape into the new element. We shall at a not distant time attain to mastery of the air, but as the ships of the Atlanteans foundered upon the mountains of the earth because their buoyancy was insufficient to enable them to rise higher in the light mist of those altitudes, and because respiration was difficult, so also will the increasing rarity of our present atmosphere prevent us from entering the “new heaven and the new earth,” which are to be the scene of the New Dispensation.

Before we can reach that state, physiological as well as moral and spiritual changes must take place. The Greek text of the New Testament does not leave us in doubt as to this, though lack of knowledge of the mystery teachings prevented the translators from bringing it out in the English version. Did we but believe the Bible even as we have it, we should be spared many delusions and much uneasiness concerning the time of this. Whole sects have disposed of their belongings in anticipation of the advent of Christ on a certain day, and have suffered untold privations afterwards. Schemers have passed themselves off as Christ or even as God, have married, raised families, and died, leaving their sons, who were supposed to be Christs, to fight for the kingdom. A temporal government was forced to banish one of these militant “Christs” to an island of the Mediterranean, and another to an Asiatic city where he is now under military supervision. Nor is there any sign that the future will lack similar claimants; rather, the sacrilegious imposture is spreading.

We may rest assured that the divine leaders of evolution made no mistake when they gave the Christian Religion to the Western World—the most advanced teaching to the most precocious among mankind. It may therefore be regarded as a detriment when an organization undertakes to graft a Hindu religion (which is excellent for the people to whom it was divinely given) upon our people. The imported Hindu breathing exercises have certainly sent many people to insane asylums.

If we believe Christ’s words: “My kingdom is not of this world,” (kosmos, the Greek word used for “world” meaning “order of things” rather than our planet, the earth, which is called gee,) we shall know better than to look for Christ today.

“Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God” any more than the gill breathing creature of early Atlantean times was fit to live under the natural conditions prevailing in the present age where “the kingdom of men” exists. Paul, in discussing the resurrection, does not say as in the English translation, “There is a natural body and there is a spiritual body.” I Cor. 15:44. He affirms that there is a “soma psuchicon,” a soul body, and tells in the preceding verses how this is generated from a “seed” in the same way as explained in the Rosicrucian teachings. The Bible affirms that our bodies are corruptible. (It also teaches that one organ, the heart, is an exception. This has reference to the seed atom in the heart. Ps. 22:26.) Therefore our bodies must be changed before Christ can come.

If these things were believed, few would run after impostors, and the latter would have their labors for their pains. But Western papers unfortunately give notoriety to such schemers, though regarding them as a joke as well they may, for it would be preposterous to believe that the great and wise Being who guides evolution could be so shortsighted as not to know that the Western World would never accept the scion of what it regards as a semi-barbaric race for its Savior.

When preparations were made 2000 years ago, for the embodiment of the Savior of the world, Galilee was the Mecca for roving spirits. Thither flocked people from Asia, Africa, Greece, Italy, and all other parts of the world of that day. Conditions there were exceptionally congenial and attractive so that, as declared by various scholars who have investigated the matter, Galilee was as cosmopolitan as Rome itself. It was, in fact, the “melting pot” of that day. Among others, Joseph and Mary, the parents of Jesus, had emigrated from Judea to Nazareth in Galilee before the advent of their firstborn, and the body generated in that environment was different from the ordinary Jewish race body.

It is an incontrovertible fact that environment plays a great part in evolution. We have today upon earth three great races. One, the Negro, has hair which is flat in section, and the head is long, narrow, and flattened on the sides. The orbit of the eye is also long and narrow. The Negroes are descendants of the Lemurian Race.

The Mongols and kindred peoples have round heads. Their hair is round in section, and the orbits of their eyes are also round. They are the remnants of the Atlantean Race.

The Aryan Race have oval hair, oval skulls, and oval orbits of the eyes, these features being especially pronounced in the Anglo-Saxons, who are the flower of the race at present.

In America, the Mecca of nations today, these various races are of course represented. Here is the “melting pot” in which they are being amalgamated. It has been ascertained that here there is a difference in children belonging to the same family. The skulls of younger children born in America are more nearly oval than the heads of their older brothers and sisters born abroad.

From this fact and from others which need not be mentioned here, it is evident that a new race is being born on the American continent; and reasoning from the known fact that the Christ came from the most cosmopolitan part of the civilized world of 2000 years ago, it would be but logical to expect that if a new embodiment were sought for that exalted Being, His body would more likely be taken from the new race than from an ancient one. Otherwise, if there is virtue in obtaining a Savior from the older races, why not get a Bushman or a Hottentot?

But we may be sure that though impostors deceive for a time, they are found out sooner or later, and their plans come to naught. Meanwhile, progression continues to bring us nearer the Aquarian Age, and a Teacher is coming to give the Christian Religion impetus in a new direction.

Chapter 10. The Coming Age

When we speak of the “Coming Age,” of the “New Heaven and the New Earth” mentioned in the Bible, and also of the “Aquarian Age,” the differences may not be quite clear in the minds of our students. Confusion of terms is one of the most fertile seed grounds of fallacy, and the Rosicrucian teachings aim to avoid it by a particularly definite nomenclature. Sometimes an extra effort seems necessary to disperse the haze engendered by current cloudy conceptions of others as sincere as the present writer, but not so fortunate in having access to the incomparable Western Wisdom Teachings.

It has been taught in our literature that four great epochs of unfoldment preceded the present order of things; that the density of the earth, its atmospheric conditions, and the laws of nature prevailing in one epoch were as different from those of the other epochs as was the corresponding physiological constitution of mankind in one epoch different from those in the others.

The bodies of ADM (the name means red earth), the humanity of fiery Lemuria, were formed of the “dust of the ground,” the red, hot, volcanic mud, and were just suited to their environment. Flesh and blood would have shriveled up in the terrible heat of that day, and though suited to present conditions, Paul tells us that they cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. It is therefore manifest that before a new order of things can be inaugurated, the physiological constitution of mankind must be radically changed, to say nothing of the spiritual attitude. Aeons will be required to regenerate the whole human race and fit them to live in ethereal bodies.

On the other hand, neither does a new environment come into existence in a moment, but land and people are evolved together from the smallest and most primitive beginnings. When the mists of Atlantis commenced to settle, some of our forbears had grown embryonic lungs and were forced to the highlands ages before their compeers. They wandered in “the wilderness” while “the promised land” was emerging from the lighter fogs, and at the same time their growing lungs were fitting them to live under present atmospheric conditions.

Two more races were born in the basins of the earth before a succession of floods drove them to the highlands: the last flood took place at the time when the sun entered the watery sign Cancer, about ten thousand years ago as told Plato by the Egyptian priests. Thus we see there is no sudden change of constitution or environment for the whole human race when a new epoch is ushered in, but an overlapping of conditions which makes it possible for most of the race by gradual adjustment to enter the new condition, though the change may seem sudden to the individual when the preparatory change has been accomplished unconsciously. The metamorphosis of a tadpole from a denizen of the watery element to one of the airy gives an analogy of the past, and the transformation of the earthworm to a butterfly soaring in the air is an apt simile of the coming age. When the heavenly time marker came into Aries by precession, a new cycle commenced, and the “glad tidings” were preached by Christ. He said by implication that the new heaven and earth were not ready then when He told His disciples: Whither I go you cannot now follow, but you shall follow afterwards. I go to prepare a place for you and will come again and receive you.

Later John saw in a vision the new Jerusalem descending from heaven, and Paul taught the Thessalonians “by the word of the Lord” that those who are Christs at His coming shall be caught up in the air to meet Him and be with Him for the age.

But during this change there are pioneers who enter the kingdom of God before their brethren. Christ, in Matt. 11:12, said that “the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” This is not a correct translation. It ought to be: The kingdom of the heavens has been invaded (biaxetai), and invaders seize on her. Men and women have already learned through holy, helpful lives to lay aside the body of flesh and blood, either intermittently or permanently, and to walk the skies with winged feet, intent upon the business of their Lord, clad in the ethereal “wedding garment” of the new dispensation. This change may be accomplished through a life of simple helpfulness and prayer as practiced by devoted Christians, no matter with what church they affiliate, as well as by the specific exercises given in the Rosicrucian Fellowship. The latter will prove barren of results, unless accompanied by constant acts of love for love will be the keynote of the coming age as Law is of the present order. The intense expression of the former quality increases the phosphorescent luminosity and density of the ethers in our vital bodies, the fiery streams sever the tie to the mortal coil, and the man, once born of water upon his emergence from Atlantis, is now born of the spirit into the kingdom of God. The dynamic force of his love has opened a way to the land of love, and indescribable is the rejoicing among those already there when new invaders arrive, for each new arrival hastens the coming of the Lord and the definite establishment of the Kingdom.

Among the religiously inclined there is a definite unceasing cry: How long, O Lord; how long? And despite the emphatic statement of Christ that the day and hour are unknown, even to Himself, prophets continue to gain credence when they predict His coming on a certain day, though each is discomfited when the day passes without development. The question has also been mooted among our students, and the present chapter is an attempt to show the fallacy of looking for the Second Advent in a year or fifty or five hundred. The Elder Brothers decline to commit themselves further than to point out what must first be accomplished.

At the time of Christ the sun was in about seven degrees of Aries. Five hundred years were required to bring the precession to the thirtieth degree of Pisces. During that time the new church lived through a stage of offensive and defensive violence well justifying the words of Christ: “I came not to bring peace but a sword.” Fourteen hundred years more have elapsed under the negative influence of Pisces, which has fostered the power of the church and bound the people by creed and dogma.

In the middle of the last century the sun came within orb of influence of the scientific sign Aquarius, and although it will take about six hundred years before the Aquarian Age commences, it is highly instructive to note what changes the mere touch has wrought in the world. Our limited space precludes enumeration of the wonderful advances made since then; but it is not too much to say that science, invention, and resultant industry have completely changed the world, its social life, and economic conditions. The great strides made in means of communication have done much to break down barriers of race prejudice and prepare us for conditions of Universal Brotherhood. Engines of destruction have been made so fearfully efficient that the militant nations will be forced ere long to “beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.” The sword has had its reign during the Piscean Age, but science will rule in the Aquarian Age.

In the land of the setting sun we may expect to first see the ideal conditions of the Aquarian Age: A blending of religion and science, forming a religious science and a scientific religion, which will promote the health, happiness and the enjoyment of life in abundant measure.

Sugar For Alcohol

In the chapter elucidating the Law of Assimilation in the Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception, we stated that minerals cannot be assimilated because they lack a vital body, which lack makes it impossible for man to raise their vibratory rate to his own pitch. Plants have a vital body and no self-consciousness, hence are most easily assimilated and remain with man longer than cells of animal flesh, which is permeated by a desire body. The vibratory rate of the latter is high, and much energy is required in assimilation; its cells also quickly escape and make it necessary for the flesh eater to forage often.

We are aware that alcohol is a “foreign spirit” and a “spirit of decay,” because it is generated by fermentation outside the consumer’s system. Being “spirit,” it vibrates with such intense rapidity that the human spirit is incapable of tuning it down and controlling it as food must be, hence metabolism is out of the question. Nay, more, as we cannot reduce its vibratory rate to that of our bodies, this foreign spirit may accelerate their vibratory pitch and control us as happens in the state of intoxication. Thus alcohol is a great danger to mankind and one from which we must be emancipated ere we can realize our divine nature.

A stimulant spirit is necessary while we live on a diet of flesh or progress would stop, and a food has been provided for the pioneers of the West that answers all requirements; its name is “sugar.” From sugar the ego itself generates alcohol inside the system by the very processes of metabolism. This product is therefore both food and stimulant, perfectly keyed to the vibratory pitch of the body. It has all the good qualities of alcohol in enhanced measure and none of its drawbacks. To perceive properly the effect of this food, consider the peoples of eastern Europe where but little sugar is consumed. They are slavish; they speak of themselves in terms of depreciation; the pronoun “I” is always spelled with small letters but “you” with a capital. England consumes five times as much sugar per capita as Russia. In the former we meet a different spirit, the big “I” and the little “you.” In America the candy store becomes a most dangerous rival of the saloon, for the man who eats sweets will not drink, and there is no surer cure for alcoholism than to induce the sufferer to eat freely of sweets. The drunkard abhors sugar, however, while his system is under the sway of the “foreign spirit.”

The temperance movement was begun in the land where most sugar is consumed, and has generated “the spirit of self-respect.”

Chapter 11. Meat And Drink As Factors In Evolution

In previous chapters we saw how infant humanity was cared for by superhuman guardians, provided with appropriate food, led out of danger’s way, and sheltered in all respects until grown to human stature and fit to enter the school of experience to learn the lessons of life in the phenomenal world. We saw also how the rainbow points to natural laws peculiar to the present age, how man was given free will under these laws, and how the spirit of wine was given to cheer and to stimulate his own timid, fearful spirit, to nerve it for the war of the world.

In an analogous manner the irresponsible little child who has been brought under the waters of baptism by its natural guardians is cared for through the years of childhood while its various vehicles are being organized. When the parental blood stored in the thymus gland has been exhausted and the child thus emancipated from the parents, it awakes to individuality, to the feeling of “I AM.” It has then been prepared with a knowledge of good and evil with which to fight the battle of life; and at that time the youth is taken to the church and given the bread and wine to nerve and nourish him spiritually, also as a symbol that henceforth he is a free agent, only responsible to the laws of God. A blessing or a curse, this freedom, according to the way it is used.

In early Atlantis mankind was a universal brotherhood of submissive children with no incentive to war or strife. Later they were segregated into nations, and wars inculcated loyalty to kin and country. Each sovereign was an absolute autocrat with power over life and limb of his subjects, who were numbered in hundreds of millions, and who yielded ungrudging and slavish submission, an attitude maintained to the present day among the millions of Asiatics, who are vegetarians and consequently need no alcohol.

As flesh eating came into vogue, wine became a more and more common beverage. In consequence of flesh eating much material progress was made immediately preceding the advent of Christ, and because of the practice of drinking wine an increasing number of men asserted themselves as leaders, with the result that instead of a few large nations such as people Asia, many small nations were formed in the southwestern portion of Europe and Asia Minor.

But though the great mass of people who formed these various nations were ahead of their Asiatic brethren as craftsmen, they continued submissive to their rulers and lived as much in their traditions as did the latter. Christ upbraided them because they gloried in being Abraham’s seed. He told them that “before Abraham was, i am,” that is, the ego has always existed.

It is His mission to emancipate humanity from Law and lead it to love, to destroy “the kingdoms of men” with all their antagonism to one another, and to build upon their ruins “the kingdom of God.” An illustration will make the method clear:

If we have a number of brick buildings and desire to amalgamate them into one large structure, it is necessary to break them down first and free each brick from the mortar which binds it. Likewise each human being must be freed from the fetters of family, hence Christ taught “Unless a man leave father and mother he cannot be my disciple.” He must outgrow religious partisanship and patriotism and learn to say with the much misunderstood and maligned Thomas Paine: “The world is my country, and to do good is my religion.”

Christ did not mean that we are to forsake those who have a claim upon our help and support, but that we are not to permit the suppression of our individuality out of deference to family traditions and beliefs.

Consequently He came “not to bring peace, but a sword;” and whereas the eastern religions discourage the use of wine, Christ’s first miracle was to change water to wine. The sword and the wine cup are signatures of the Christian religion, for by them nations have been broken to pieces and the individual emancipated. Government by the people, for the people, is a fact in northwestern Europe, the rulers being that principally in name only.

But the fostering of the martial spirit such as prevails in Europe was only a means to an end. The segregation which it has caused must give place to a regime of brotherhood such as professed by Paine. A new step was necessary to bring this about; a new food must be found which would act upon the spirit in such a way as to foster individuality through assertion of self without oppression of others and without loss of self-respect. We have enunciated it as a law that only spirit can act upon spirit, and therefore that food must be a spirit but differing in other respects from intoxicants.

Before describing this let us see what flesh has done for the evolution of the world.

We have noted previously that during the Polarian Epoch man had only a dense body; he was like the present minerals in this respect, and by nature he was as inert and passive.

By absorbing the crystalloids prepared by plants he evolved a vital body during the Hyperborean Epoch and became plantlike both in constitution and by nature, for he lived without exertion and as unconsciously as the plants.

Later he extracted milk from the then stationary animals. Desire for this more readily digestible food spurred him on to exertion, and gradually his desire nature was evolved during the Lemurian Epoch. Thus he became constituted like the present day Herbivora. Though possessed of a passional nature, he was docile and could not be induced to fight save to defend himself, his mate, and family. Hunger alone had the power to make him aggressive.

Therefore, when animals began to move and sought to elude this ruthless parasite, increasing difficulty of obtaining the coveted food aroused his craving to such an extent that when he had hunted and caught an animal, he was no longer content to suck its udders dry but commenced to feed upon its blood and flesh. Thus he became as ferocious as our present day Carnivora.

Digestion of flesh food requires much more powerful chemical action and speedy elimination of the waste than that of a vegetable diet as proved by chemical analysis of the gastric juices from animals, and by the fact that the intestines of Herbivora are many times longer than those of a carnivorous animal of even size. Carnivora easily become drowsy and averse to exertion.

When prodded by the pangs of hunger the ferocious wolf does indeed pursue its prey with unwavering perseverance, and the spring of the crouching king of beasts overmatches the speed of the wing-footed deer. By ambush the feline family foil the fleetest in their attempts to escape. The cunning of the fox is proverbial, and the slinking nocturnal habits of the hyena and kindred scavengers illustrate the depth of depravity resulting from a diet of decayed flesh.

The vices generated by flesh eating may be said to be lassitude, ferocity, low cunning, and depravity. We may tame the herbivorous ox and elephant. Their diet makes them docile and stores enormous power which they obediently use in our service to perform prolonged and arduous labor. The flesh food required by the constitutional peculiarities of Carnivora makes them dangerous and incapable of thorough domestication. A cat may scratch at any moment, and the muzzling ordinances of large cities are ample proof of the danger of dogs. Besides, energy contained in the diet of Carnivora is so largely expended in digestion that they are drowsy and unfitted for sustained labor like the horse or elephant.

The drowsiness following a heavy meal of meat is too well known to require argument, and the custom of taking stimulants with food is an outgrowth of the desire to counteract the deadening effect of dead flesh. The intensified effect of feasting upon flesh in an advanced state of decay is well illustrated in “society,” where banquets of game that is “high” are accompanied by orgies of the wildest nature and followed by indulgence of the vilest instincts.

The Westerner who can live upon a clean, sweet, wholesome diet of vegetables, cereals, and fruits, does not become drowsy from his food; he needs no stimulant. There are no vegetarian drunkards. The soothing effects of vegetable food manifest as finer feelings, which replace the ferocity fostered by flesh food. Many need the mixed diet yet, for the practice of flesh eating has furthered the progress of the world as nothing else except perhaps its companion vice—drunkenness; and though we cannot say that they have been blessings in disguise, they have at least not been unmitigated curses, for in the Father’s kingdom all seeming evil nevertheless works for good in some respect, though it may not be apparent upon the surface. We shall see how presently.

A private corporation, the East India Company, commenced and practically achieved the subjugation of India with her three hundred million people, for the English are voracious flesh eaters, while the Hindu’s diet fosters docility. But when England fought the flesh eating Boers, Greek met Greek, and the valor displayed by both sides is a matter of brilliant record. Courage, physical as well as moral, is a virtue and cowardice a vice. Flesh has fostered self-assertion and helped us to develop a backbone, though unfortunately often at the expense of others who still retain the wishbone. It has done more as will be illustrated:

As said previously, the crouching cat is forced to employ strategy to save strength when procuring its prey, so that it may retain sufficient energy to digest the victim. Thus brain becomes the ally of brawn. In ancient Atlantis desire for flesh developed the ingenuity of primitive man and led him to trap the elusive denizens of field and forest. The hunter’s snare was among the first labor-saving devices—which mark the beginning of the evolution of mind, and of the uncompromising, unflagging struggle of the meat fed mind for supremacy over matter.

We say “the meat fed mind,” and we reiterate it, because we wish to emphasize that it is by the nations which have adopted flesh food that the most noteworthy progress has been made. The vegetarian Asiatics remain upon the lower rungs of civilization. The further west we travel, the more the consumption of meat increases as does the disinclination for bodily exercise, and consequently the activity of the mind is increased to a higher and higher pitch in the invention of labor-saving devices. The American agriculturists’ acres are counted by thousands, and they harvest large crops with less labor than the peasant of the East who has only a small patch of ground. The reason is that the poor, plodding, grain fed Easterner has only his hands and his hoe, which he keeps in motion all day and day after day, while the meat fed, progressive Westerner turns power-driven implements into his fertile fields and sits down in a comfortable seat to watch them work. One uses muscle, the other mind.

Thus the indomitable courage and energy which have transformed the face of the Western World are virtues directly traceable to flesh food, which also fosters love of ease and invention of labor-saving devices; while alcohol stimulates enterprise in execution of schemes thus hatched to procure the maximum of comfort with a minimum of labor.

But the spirit of alcohol is obtained by a process of fermentation. It is a spirit of decay, altogether different from the spirit of life in man. This counterfeit spirit lures man on and on, always holding before his vision dreams of future grandeur, and goading him to strenuous efforts of body and mind in order to attain and obtain. Then when he has achieved and attained, he awakens to the utter worthlessness of his prize. Possession soon shatters illusion as to the worth of whatever he may have acquired; nothing the world has to give can finally satisfy. Then again the lethal draught drowns disappointment, and the mind conjures up a new illusion. This he pursues with fresh zeal and high hopes to meet disappointment again and again, for lives and lives, until at last he learns that “wine is a mocker,” and that “all is vanity but to serve God and to do His will.”

Chapter 12. A Living Sacrifice

Volumes, or rather libraries, have been written to explain the nature of God, but it is probably a universal experience that the more we read of other people’s explanations, the less we understand. There is one description, given by the inspired apostle John when he wrote “God is Light,” which is as illuminating as the others are befogging to the mind. Anyone who takes this passage for meditation occasionally will find a rich reward waiting, for no matter how many times we take up this subject, our own development in the passing years assures us each time a fuller and better understanding. Each time we sink ourselves in these three words we lave in a spiritual fountain of inexhaustible depth, and each succeeding time we sound more thoroughly the divine depths and draw more closely to our Father in heaven.

To get in touch with our subject, let us go back in time to get our bearing and the direction of our future line of progress.

The first time our consciousness was directed towards the Light was shortly after we had become endowed with mind and had entered definitely upon our evolution as human beings in Atlantis, the land of the mist, deep down in the basins of the earth, where the warm mist emitted from the cooling earth hung like a dense fog over the land. Then the starry heights of the universe were never seen, nor could the silvery light of the moon penetrate the dense, foggy atmosphere which hung over that ancient land. Even the fiery splendor of the sun was almost totally extinguished, for when we look in the Memory of Nature pertaining to that time, it appears very much as an arc lamp on a high pole looks to us when it is foggy. It was exceedingly dim, and had an aura of various colors, very similar to those which we observe around an arc light.

But this light had a fascination. The ancient Atlanteans were taught by the divine Hierarchs who walked among them, to aspire to the light, and as the spiritual sight was then already on the wane (even the messengers, or Elohim, being perceived with difficulty by the majority), they aspired all the more ardently to the new light, for they feared the darkness of which they had become conscious through the gift of mind.

Then came the inevitable flood when the mist cooled and condensed. The atmosphere cleared, and the “chosen people” were saved. Those who had worked within themselves and learned to build the necessary organs required to breathe in an atmosphere such as we have today, survived and came to the light. It was not an arbitrary choice; the work of the past consisted of body building. Those who had only gill clefts, such as the foetus still uses in its prenatal development, were as unfit physiologically to enter the new era as the foetus would be to be born were it to neglect to build lungs. It would die as those ancient people died when the rare atmosphere made gill clefts useless.

Since the day when we came out of ancient Atlantis our bodies have been practically complete, that is to say, no new vehicles are to be added; but from that time and from now on those who wish to follow the light must strive for soul growth. The bodies which we have crystallized about us must be dissolved, and the quintessence of experience extracted, which as “soul” may be amalgamated with the spirit to nourish it from impotence to omnipotence. Therefore, the Tabernacle in the Wilderness was given to the ancients, and the light of God descended upon the Altar of Sacrifice. This is of great significance: The ego had just descended into its tabernacle, the body. We all know the tendency of the primitive instinct towards selfishness, and if we have studied the higher ethics we also know how subversive of good the indulgence of the egotistic tendency is; therefore, God immediately placed before mankind the Divine Light upon the Altar of Sacrifice.

Upon this altar they were forced by dire necessity to offer their cherished possessions for every transgression, God appearing to them as a hard taskmaster whose displeasure it was dangerous to incur. But still the Light drew them. They knew then that it was futile to attempt to escape from the hand of God. They had never heard the words of John, “God is Light,” but they had already learned from the heavens in a measure the meaning of infinitude, as measured by the realm of light, for we hear David exclaim: “Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall thy hand lead me and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, surely the darkness shall cover me, even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee, but the night shineth as the day, for the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.”

With every year that passes, with the aid of the greatest telescopes which the ingenuity and mechanical skill of man have been able to construct to pierce the depths of space, it becomes more evident that the infinitude of light teaches us the infinitude of God. When we hear that “men loved darkness rather than Light because their deeds were evil,” that also rings true to what we unfortunately know as present day facts, and illumines the nature of God for us; for is it not true that we always feel endangered in the dark, but that the light gives us a sense of safety which is akin to the feeling of a child who feels the protecting hand of its father?

To render permanent this condition of being in the Light was the next step in God’s work with us, which culminated in the birth of Christ, who as the bodily presence of the Father, bore about in Himself that Light, for the Light came into the world that whosoever should believe in Christ should not perish, but have everlasting life. He said, “I am the Light of the World.” The altar in the Tabernacle had illustrated the principle of sacrifice as the medium of regeneration, so Christ said to His disciples: Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends. And forthwith He commenced a sacrifice, which, contrary to the accepted orthodox opinion was not consummated in a few hours of physical suffering upon a material cross, but is as perpetual as were the sacrifices made upon the altar of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, for it entails an annual descent into the earth and an endurance of all that the cramping earth conditions must mean to such a great spirit.

This must continue till a sufficient number have evolved who can bear the burden of this dense lump of darkness which we call the earth, and which hangs as a millstone about the neck of humanity, an impediment to further spiritual growth. Until we learn to follow “in His steps,” we can rise no higher towards the Light.

It is related that when Leonardo da Vinci had completed his famous painting, “The Last Supper,” he asked a friend to look at it and tell him what he thought of it.

The friend looked at it critically for a few minutes and then said:

“I think you have made a mistake in painting the goblets from which the apostles drink so ornamental and to resemble gold. People in their positions would not drink from such expensive vessels.”

Da Vinci then drew his brush through the entire set of vessels which had drawn the criticism of his friend, but he was heartbroken, for he had painted that picture with his soul rather than with his hands, and he had prayed over it that it might speak a message to the world. He had put all the greatness of his art and the whole-hearted devotion of his soul into that effort to paint a Christ who should speak the word that would lead men to emulate His deeds.

Can you see Him as He sits there at that festive board, the embodiment of light, and speaks those wonderful, mystic words: This is my body, this is my blood, given for you—a living sacrifice.

In the past period of our spiritual career we have been looking for a Light exterior to ourselves, but now we have arrived at the point where we must look for the Christ light within and emulate Him by making of ourselves “living sacrifices” as He is doing. Let us remember that when the sacrifice which lies before our door seems pleasant and to our liking, when we seem able to pick and choose our work in His vineyard and do what pleases us, we are not making a real sacrifice as He did, nor are we when we are seen of men and applauded for our benevolence. But when we are ready to follow Him from that festive board where He was the honored one among friends, into the garden of Gethsemane where He was alone and wrestled with the great problem before Him while His friends slept, then are we making a living sacrifice.

When we are content to follow “in His steps” to that point of self-sacrifice where we can say from the bottom of our hearts, “Thy will, not mine,” then we have surely the light within, and there will never henceforth be for us that which we feel as darkness. We shall walk in the light.

This is our glorious privilege, and the meditation upon the words of the apostle, “God is Light,” will help us to realize this ideal provided we add to our faith, works, and say by our deeds as did the Christ of da Vinci, “This is my body and this is my blood,” a living sacrifice upon the altar of humanity.

Chapter 13. Magic, White And Black

From time to time as occasion requires we warn students of the Rosicrucian Fellowship in our private individual letters not to attend spirit seances, hypnotic demonstrations, or places where incense is burned by dabblers in occultism. Black Magic is practiced both consciously and unconsciously to an extent that is almost unbelievable. “Malicious animal magnetism,” which is only another name for the Black Force, is responsible for more failures in business, loss of health, and unhappiness in homes than most people are aware of. Even the perpetrators of such outrages are, as said, often unconscious of what harm they have done. Therefore it seems expedient to devote a chapter to an explanation of some of the laws of magic, which are the same for the white as for the black. There is only one force, but it may be used for good or evil; and according to the motive behind it and the use that is made of it, it becomes either black or white.

It is a scientific axiom that “Ex nihil, nihil fit” (out of nothing nothing comes). There must be a seed before there can be a flower, but where the first seed came from is something which science has failed to explain. The occultist knows that all things have come from arche, the infinite essence of chaos, used by God, the Grand Architect, for the building of our universe; and, given the nucleus of anything, the accomplished magician can draw upon the same essence for a further supply. Christ, for instance, had some loaves and some fishes; by means of that nucleus He drew upon the primordial essence of chaos for the rest needed in performing the miracle of feeding a multitude. A human magician whose power is not so high can more easily draw upon the things which have already materialized out of chaos. He may take flowers or fruit belonging to some one else, miles or hundreds of miles away, disintegrate them into their atomic constituents, transport them through the air, and cause them to assume their regular physical shape in the room where he is entertaining friends in order to amaze them. Such magic is grey at best, even if he sends sufficient of his coin to pay for what he has taken away; if he does not, it is Black Magic to thus rob another of his goods. Magic to be white must always be used unselfishly, and in addition, for a noble purpose—to save a fellow being suffering. The Christ, when He fed the multitude from chaos, gave as His reason that they had been with Him for several days, and if they had to journey back to their homes without physical food they would faint by the wayside and suffer privation.

God is the Grand Architect of the Universe and the Initiates of the White Schools are also arche-tektons, builders from the primordial essence in their beneficent work for humanity. These Invisible Helpers require a nucleus from the patient’s vital body, which is, as students of the Rosicrucian Fellowship know, given to them in the effluvia from the hand, which impregnates the paper when the patient makes application for help and healing. With this nucleus of the patient’s vital body they are able to draw upon virgin matter for whatever they need to restore health by building up and strengthening the organism.

The Black Magicians are despoilers, actuated by hatred and malice. They also need a nucleus for their nefarious operations, and this they obtain most easily from the vital body at spiritualistic or hypnotic seances, where the sitters relax, put themselves into a negative frame of mind, drop their jaws, and sink their individualities by other distinctly mediumistic practices. Even people who do not frequent such places are not immune, for there are certain products of the vital body which are ignorantly scattered by all and which may be used effectively by the Black Magicians. Chief in this category are the hair and finger nails. The Negroes in their voodoo magic use the placenta for similar evil purposes. One particularly evil man, whose practices were exposed a decade ago, obtained from boys the vital fluid which he used for his demoniac acts. Even so innocent a thing as a glass of water placed in close proximity to certain parts of the body of the prospective victim, while the Black Magician converses with him can be made to absorb a part of the victim’s vital body. This will give the Black Magician the requisite nucleus, or it may be obtained from a piece of the person’s clothing. The same invisible emanation contained in the garment, which guides the bloodhound upon the track of a certain person, will also guide the Magician, white or black, to the abode of that person and furnish the Magician with a key to the person’s system whereby the former may help or hurt according to his inclination.

But there are methods of protecting oneself from inimical influences, which we shall mention in the latter part of this chapter. We have debated much whether it were wise or not to call the attention of students to these facts, and have come to the conclusion that it does not help anyone to imitate the ostrich which sticks its head into a hole in the sand at the approach of danger. It is better to be enlightened concerning things that threaten so that we may take whatever precautions are necessary to meet the emergency. The battle between the good and the evil forces is being waged with an intensity that no one not engaged in the actual combat can comprehend. The Elder Brothers of the Rosicrucians and kindred orders which, we may say, in their totality represent the Holy Grail, live on the love and essence of the unselfish service which they gather and garner as the bees gather honey, from all who are striving to live the life. This they add to the lustre of the Holy Grail, which in turn grows more lustrous and radiates a stronger influence upon all who are spiritually inclined, imbuing them with greater ardor, zeal, and zest in the good work and in fighting the good fight. Similarly the evil forces of the Black Grail thrive on hate, treachery, cruelty, and every demoniac deed on the calendar of crime. Both the Black and the White Grail forces require a pabulum, the one of good and the other of evil, for the continuance of their existence and for the power to fight. Unless they get it, they starve and grow weaker. Hence the relentless struggle that is going on between them.

Every midnight the Elder Brothers at their service open their breasts to attract the darts of hate, envy, malice, and every evil that has been launched during the past twenty-four hours. First, in order that they may deprive the Black Grail forces of their food; and secondly, that they may transmute the evil to good. Then, as the plants gather the inert carbon dioxide exhaled by mankind and build their bodies therefrom, so the Brothers of the Holy Grail transmute the evil within the temple; and as the plants send out the renovated oxygen so necessary to human life, so the Elder Brothers return to mankind the transmuted essence of evil as qualms of conscience along with the good in order that the world may grow better day by day.

The Black Brothers, instead of transmuting the evil, infuse a greater dynamic energy into it and speed it on its mission in vain endeavors to conquer the powers of good. They use for their purposes elementals and other discarnate entities which, being themselves of a low order, are available for such vile practices as required. In the ages when men burned animal oil or candles made from the tallow of animals, elementals swarmed around them as devils or demons, seeking to obsess whoever would offer an occasion. Even wax tapers offer food for these entities, but the modern methods of illumination by electricity, coal oil, or even paraffin candles, are uncongenial to them. They still flock around our saloons, slaughter houses, and similar places where there are passionate animals, and animal-like men. They also delight in places where incense is burned, for that offers them an avenue of access, and when the sitters at seances inhale the odor of the incense they inhale elemental spirits with it, which affect them according to their characters.

This is where the protection we spoke about before may be used. When we live lives of purity, when our days are filled with service to God and to our fellow-men, and with thoughts and actions of the highest nobility, then we create for ourselves the Golden Wedding Garment, which is a radiant force for good. No evil is able to penetrate this armor for the evil then acts as a boomerang and recoils on the one who sent it, bringing to him the evil he wished us.

But alas, none of us are altogether good. We know only too well the war between the flesh and the spirit. We cannot hide from ourselves the fact that like Paul, “the good that we would do, we do not, and the evil that we would shun, that we do.” Far too often our good resolutions come to naught and we do wrong because it is easier. Therefore we all have the nucleus of evil within ourselves, which affords the open sesame for the evil forces to work upon. For that reason it is best for us not unnecessarily to expose ourselves at places where seances are held with spirits invisible to us, no matter how fine their teachings may sound to the unsophisticated. Neither should we take part even as spectators at hypnotic demonstrations, for there also a negative attitude lays one liable to the danger of obsession. We should at all times follow the advice of Paul and put on the whole armor of God. We should be positive in our fight for the good against the evil and never let an occasion slip to aid the Elder Brothers by word or deed in the Great War for spiritual supremacy.

Chapter 14. Our Invisible Government

It is well known to students of the Rosicrucian Philosophy that each species of animals is dominated by a group spirit, which is their guardian and looks after these, its wards, with a view to bringing them along the path of evolution that is best suited to their development; it does not matter what the geographical position of these animals is; the lion in the jungles of Africa is dominated by the same group spirit as is the lion in the cage of a menagerie in our northern countries. Therefore these animals are alike in all their principal characteristics; they have the same likes and dislikes with respect to diet, and they act in an almost identical manner under similar circumstances. If one wants to study the tribe of lions or the tribe of tigers, all that is necessary is to study one individual, for it has neither choice nor prerogative, but acts entirely according to the dictates of the group spirit. The mineral cannot choose whether it will crystallize or not; the rose is bound to bloom; the lion is compelled to prey; and in each case the activity is dictated entirely by the group spirit.

But man is different; when we want to study him we find that each individual is as a species by himself. What one does under any given circumstances is no indication of what another may do; “one man’s meat is another man’s poison”; each has different likes and dislikes. This is because man as we see him in the physical world is the expression of an individual indwelling spirit, seemingly having choice and prerogative.

But as a matter of fact man is not quite as free as he seems; all students of human nature have observed that on certain occasions a large number of people will act as though dominated by one spirit. It is also easy to see without recourse to occultism that the different nations have certain physical characteristics. We all know the German, French, English, Italian, and Spanish types. Each of these nations has characteristics which differ from those of the other nations, thus indicating that there must be a race spirit at the root of these peculiarities. The occultist who is gifted with spiritual sight knows that such is the case, and that each nation has a different race spirit which broods as a cloud over the whole country. In it the people live and move and have their being; it is their guardian and is constantly working for their development, building up their civilization and fostering ideals of the highest nature compatible with their capacity for progress.

In the Bible we read that JehovahElohim, who was the race spirit of the Jews, went before them in a pillar and a cloud, and in the Book of Daniel we gain considerable insight into the workings of these race spirits. The image seen by Nebuchadnezzar with its head of gold and feet of clay showed plainly how a civilization built up in the beginning with golden ideals degenerated more and more until in the latter part of its existence the feet were of unstable, crumbling clay, and the image was doomed to topple. Thus all civilizations when started by the different race spirits have great and golden ideals, but humanity by reason of having some free will and choice does not follow implicitly the dictates of the race spirits as the animals follow the commands of the group spirits. Hence in the course of time a nation ceases to rise, and as there can be no standing still in the cosmos, it begins to degenerate until finally the feet are of clay and it is necessary to strike a blow to shatter it, that another civilization may be built up on its ruins.

But empires do not fall without a strong physical blow, and therefore an instrument of the race spirit of a nation is always raised up at the time when that nation is doomed to fall. In the tenth and eleventh chapters of Daniel we are given an insight into the workings of the invisible government of the race spirits, the powers behind the throne. Daniel is much disturbed in spirit; he fasts, for fully three weeks, praying for light, and at the end of that time an archangel, a race spirit, appears before him and addresses him: “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days, but lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the king of Persia.” After he explains to Daniel what is to happen, he says: “Knowest thou wherefore I came unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come, and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael, your prince.” The archangel also says: “In the first year of Darius the Mede, even I stood to confirm and to strengthen him.”

So when the handwriting is on the wall, some one is raised up to administer the blow; it may be a Cyrus, a Darius, an Alexander, a Caesar, a Napoleon, or a kaiser. Such a one may think himself a prime mover, a free individual acting by his own choice and prerogative, but as a matter of fact he is only the instrument of the invisible government of the world, the power behind thrones, the race spirits, who see the necessity of breaking up civilizations that have outlived their usefulness, so that humanity may get a new start and evolve under a new and a higher ideal than that which ensouled it before.

Christ himself when upon earth, said: “I came not to bring peace, but a sword,” for it was evident to Him that as long as humanity was divided into races and nations there could be no “peace on earth and good will among men.” Only when the nations have become united in a universal brotherhood is peace possible. The barriers of nationalism must be done away with, and to this end the United States of America has been made a melting pot where all that is best in the old nations is being brought together and amalgamated, so that a new race with higher ideals and feelings of universal brotherhood may be born for the Aquarian Age. In the meantime the barriers of nationalism have been partially broken down in Europe by the terrible conflict just past. This brings nearer the day of universal amity and the realization of the Brotherhood of Man.

There is also another object to be gained. Of all the terrors to which mankind is subjected, there is none so great as death, which separates us from those we love, because we are unable to see them after they have stepped out of their bodies. But just as surely as the day follows the night, so will every teardrop wear away some of the scale that now blinds the eyes of man to the unseen land of the living dead. We have said repeatedly and we now reaffirm that one of the greatest blessings which will come from the war will be the spiritual sight which a great number of people will evolve. The intense sorrow of millions of people, the longing to see again the dear ones who have so suddenly and ruthlessly been torn from us, are a force of incalculable strength and power. Likewise those who have been snatched by death in the prime of life and who are now in the invisible world are equally intense in their desires to be reunited with those near and dear to them, so that they may speak the word of comfort and assure them of their well-being. Thus it may be said that two great armies comprising millions upon millions are tunneling with frantic energy and intensity of purpose through the wall that separates the invisible from the visible. Day by day this wall or veil is growing thinner, and sooner or later the living and the living dead will meet in the middle of the tunnel. Before we realize it, communication will have been established, and we shall find it a common experience that when our loved ones step out of their worn and sick bodies, we shall feel neither sorrow nor loss because we shall be able to see them in their ethereal bodies, moving among us as they used to do. So out of the great conflict we shall come as victors over death and be able to say: “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”

Chapter 15. Practical Precepts For Practical People

“If I were to do business on the principles laid down in the Sermon on the Mount I would be down and out in less than a year,” said a critic recently. “Why, the Bible is utterly impracticable under our present economic conditions; it is impossible to live according to it.”

If that is true there is a good reason for the unbelief of the world, but in a court the accused is always allowed a fair trial, and let us examine the Bible thoroughly before we judge. What are the specific charges? “Why, they are countless,” answered the critic, “but to mention only a few, let us take such passages as, ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven;’ ‘Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth;’ ‘Take no thought for the morrow, what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink.’ Such ideas point the way to the poor-house.”

“Very well,” says the apologist, “let us take the last charge first. King James’ version says: ’No man can serve two masters. Ye cannot serve God and mammon, therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink, nor yet for your body what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than food and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: they sow not, neither do they reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they toil not, neither do they spin. And yet I say unto you that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? for after all these things do the Gentiles seek; your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.’”

If this is intended to mean that we should wastefully squander all we have in prodigal or riotous living, then it is of course not only impractical but demoralizing. Such an interpretation is, however, out of keeping with the tenor and teaching of the whole Book, and it does not say so. The Greek word merimnon means being overly careful or anxious, and if we read the passage with this alteration we shall find that it teaches a different lesson which is entirely practical. Mammon is the Syriac word for riches, desired by foolish people. In the preceding paragraph Christ exhorted them not to become servants or slaves to riches, which they must leave behind when the silver cord is broken and the spirit returns to God, but seek rather to live lives of love and service and lay up treasures of good deeds, which they might take with them into the Kingdom of Heaven. In the meantime, He exhorted, be not overly anxious regarding what you shall eat and drink and clothe yourself with. Why worry? You cannot add a hairbreadth to your height or a hair to your head by worrying. Worry is the most wasteful and depleting of all our emotions, and it does no good whatever. Your heavenly Father knows you need material things, therefore seek first His kingdom and righteousness and all else needed will be added. On at least two occasions when multitudes came to Christ in places far from their homes and distant from towns where refreshment was obtainable, He demonstrated this; He gave them first the spiritual food they sought and then ministered to their bodily needs direct from a spiritual source of supply.

Does it work out in these modern days? Surely there have been so many demonstrations of this that it is not at all necessary to recount any special one. When we work and pray, pray and work, and make our lives a living prayer for opportunities to serve others, then all earthly things will come of their own accord as we need them, and they will keep coming in larger measure according to the degree to which they are used in the service of God. If we regard ourselves only as stewards and custodians of whatever earthly goods we possess, then we are really “poor in spirit” so far as the evanescent earthly treasures are concerned, but rich in the more lasting treasures of the Kingdom of Heaven; and if we are not out and out materialists, surely this is a practical attitude.

It is not so long ago that “caveat emptor,” “Let the buyer beware,” was the slogan of the merchants who sought after earthly treasures and regarded the buyer as their legitimate prey. When they had sold their wares and received the money, it did not matter to them whether the buyer was satisfied or not. They even prided themselves on selling an inferior article which would soon wear out, as evident in the shortsighted motto, “The weakness of the goods is the strength of the trade.” But gradually even people who would scorn the idea of introducing religion into their business are discarding this caveat emptor as a motto, and are unconsciously adapting the precept of Christ, “He that would be the greatest among you, let him be the servant of all.” Everywhere the best business men are insistent in their claim to patronage on the ground of the service they give to the buyer, because it is a policy that pays, and may therefore be classed as another of the practical precepts of the Bible.

But it sometimes happens that in spite of their desire to serve their customers, something goes wrong and an angry, dissatisfied buyer comes blustering in, decrying their goods. Under the old shortsighted regime of caveat emptor the merchant would have merely laughed or thrown the buyer out of the door. Not so the modern merchant, who takes his Bible into business. He remembers the wisdom of Solomon that “a soft answer turneth away wrath,” and the assertion of Christ that “the meek shall inherit the earth,” so he apologizes for the fault in the goods, offers restitution, and sends the erstwhile dissatisfied customer away smiling and eager to sing the praises of the concern that treats him so nicely. Thus by obeying the practical precept of the Bible, keeping his temper in meekness, the business man gains additional customers who come to him in full faith of fair treatment, and the added profit in sales made to them soon overbalances the loss on goods which may have caused the dissatisfaction of other customers.

It pays dividends in dollars and cents to keep one’s temper and be meek; it pays greater dividends from the moral and spiritual standpoints. What better business motto can be found than in Ecclesiastes: “Wisdom is better than weapons of war. Be not rash in thy mouth, be not hasty in thy speech to be angry, for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.” Tact and diplomacy are always better than force; as the Good Book says: “If the iron be blunt we must use more strength, but wisdom is profitable to direct.” The line of least resistance, so long as it is clean and honorable, is always the best. Therefore, “Love your enemies, do good to them that despitefully use you.”

It is good practical business policy to try to reconcile those who do us harm lest they do more; and it is better for us to get over our ill feeling than to nurse it, for whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap, and if we sow spite and meanness, we breed and beget in others the same feelings. Furthermore, all these things will apply in private life and in social intercourse just as in ordinary business. How many quarrels could be avoided if we cultivated the virtue of meekness in our homes; how much pleasure would be gained; how much happiness would come into our lives if in our social and business relations we learned to do unto others as we would that they should do unto us!

There is no need for the great mental strain that so many of us are working under concerning what we shall eat and what we shall drink. Our Father in Heaven does own the earth and the fullness thereof; the cattle on a thousand hills are His. If we learn truly to cast our cares upon Him, there is no doubt that the way out of our difficulties will be provided. It is a fact, acknowledged by all authorities who have investigated the subject, that comparatively few people die from lack of necessities of life, but a great many die because of overindulgence of the appetites. It is the practical experience of the writer and numerous others that if we do our work day by day as it appears before us, faithfully and to the best of our ability, the wherewithal for the morrow will always be provided. If we go according to the instruction of the Bible, doing all “as unto the Lord,” it does not matter what line of honest work we follow; we are then at the same time seeking the Kingdom of God. But if we are only time servers, working for fear or favor, we cannot expect to succeed in the long run; health, wealth, and happiness may attend us for a little while, but outside the solid foundation of the Bible there can be no lasting joy in life and no real prosperity in business.

Chapter 16. Sound, Silence, And Soul Growth

Sincere students of the Science of the Soul are naturally anxious to grow in grace that they may serve so much better in the Great Work of Human Upliftment. Being humble and modest they are only too painfully aware of their shortcomings, and frequently while casting about for means to facilitate progress they ask themselves, “What hinders?” Some, particularly in bygone ages when life was lived less intensely than now, realized that the everyday life among ordinary humanity had many drawbacks. To overcome these and further their soul growth they withdrew from the community to a monastery or to the mountains where they could give themselves over to the spiritual life undisturbed.

We know, however, that that is not the way. It is too well established in the minds of most of our students that if we run away from an experience today, it will confront us again tomorrow, and that the victor’s palm is earned by overcoming the world, not by running away from it. The environment in which we have been placed by the Recording Angels was our own choice when we were at the turning point of our life cycle in the Third Heaven, we then being pure spirit unblinded by the matter which now veils our vision. Hence it is undoubtedly the one that holds lessons needed by us, and we should make a serious mistake if we tried to escape from it altogether.

But we have received a mind for a definite purpose—to reason about things and conditions so that we may learn to discriminate between essentials and nonessentials, between that which is designed to hinder for the purpose of teaching us a virtue by overcoming it, and that which is an out and out hindrance, which jars our sensibilities and wrecks our nerves without any compensating spiritual gain. It will be of the greatest benefit if we can learn to differentiate for the conservation of our strength, accepting only that which we must endure for the sake of our spiritual well-being. We shall then save much energy and have much more zest in profitable directions than now. The details of that problem are different in every life; however, there are certain general principles which it will benefit us all to understand and apply in our lives, and among them is the effect of silence and sound on soul growth.

At first blush it may surprise us when the statement is made that sound and silence are very important factors in soul growth, but when we examine the matter we shall soon see that it is not a far-fetched notion. Consider first the graphic expression, “War is hell,” and then call up in imagination a war scene. The sight is appalling, even more so to those who see it with the undimmed spiritual vision than to those who are limited to physical sight, for the latter can at least shut their eyes to it if they want to, but the whole horror lies heavily upon the heart of the Invisible Helper who not only hears and sees but feels in his own being the anguish and pain of all the surrounding suffering as Parsifal felt in his heart the wound of Amfortas, the stricken Grail king; in fact, without that intensely intimate feeling of oneness with the suffering there could be no healing nor help given. But there is one thing which no one can escape, the terrible noise of the shells, the deafening roar of the cannon, the vicious spitting of the machine guns, the groans of the wounded, and the oaths of a certain class among the participants. We shall need no further argument to agree that it is really a “hellish noise” and as subversive of soul growth as possible. The battle field is the last place anyone with a sane mind would choose for the purpose of soul growth, though it is not to be forgotten that much of this has been made by noble deeds of self-sacrifice there; but such results have been achieved in spite of the condition and not because of it.

On the other hand, consider a church filled with the noble strains of a Gregorian chant or a Handel oratorio upon which the prayers of the aspiring soul wing their way to the Author of our Being. That music may surely be termed “heavenly” and the church designated as offering an ideal condition for soul growth, but if we stayed there permanently to the neglect of our duties we should be failures in spite of the ideal condition.

There remains, therefore, only one safe method for us, namely, to stay in the din of the battle field of the world, endeavoring to wrest from even the most unpromising conditions the material of soul growth by unselfish service, and at the same time to build within our own inner selves a sanctuary filled with that silent music which sounds ever in the serving soul as a source of upliftment above all the vicissitudes of earthly existence. Having that “living church” within, being in fact under that condition “living temples,” we may turn at any moment when our attention is not legitimately required by temporal affairs to that spiritual house not made with hands and lave in its harmony. We may do that many times a day and thus restore continually the harmony that has been disturbed by the discords of terrestrial intercourse.

How then shall we build that temple and fill it with the heavenly music we so much desire? What will help and what will hinder? are the questions which call for a practical solution, and we shall try to make the answer as plain and practical as possible, for this is a very vital matter. The little things are particularly important, for the neophyte needs to take even the slightest things into account. If we light a match in a strong wind it is extinguished ere it has gained a fair start, but if the little flame is laid on a brush-heap and given a chance to grow in comparative calm, a rising wind will fan the flame instead of extinguishing it. Adepts or Great Souls may remain serene under conditions which would upset the ordinary aspirant, hence he should use discrimination and not expose himself unnecessarily to conditions subversive of soul growth; what he needs more than anything is poise, and nothing is more inimical to that condition than noise.

It is undeniable that our communities are “Bedlams,” and that we have a legitimate right to escape some noises if possible, such as the screeching made by street cars rounding a curve. We do not need to live on such a corner to the detriment of our nerves or endeavors at concentration, but if we have a sick, crying child that requires our attention day and night, it does not matter how it affects our nerves, we have no right in the sight of God or man to run away or neglect it in order to concentrate. These things are perfectly obvious and produce instant assent, but the things that help or hinder most are, as said, the things that are so small that they escape our attention entirely. When we now start to enumerate them, they may provoke a smile of incredulity, but if they are pondered upon and practiced they will soon win assent, for judged by the formula that “by their fruits ye shall know them,” they will show results and vindicate our assertion that “Silence is one of the greatest helps in soul growth,” and should therefore be cultivated by the aspirant in his home, his personal demeanor, his walk, his habits, and paradoxical as it seems, even in his speech.

It is a proof of the benefit of religion that it makes people happy, but the greatest happiness is usually too deep for outward expression. It fills our whole being so full that it is almost awesome, and a boisterous manner never goes together with that true happiness for it is the sign of superficiality. The loud voice, the coarse laugh, the noisy manner, the hard heels that sound like sledge hammers, the slamming of doors, and the rattling of dishes are the signatures of the unregenerate, for they love noise, the more the merrier, as it stirs their desire bodies. For their purpose church music is anathema; a blaring brass band is preferable to any other form of entertainment, and the wilder the dance, the better. But it is otherwise, or should be, with the aspirant to the higher life.

When the infant Jesus was sought by Herod with murderous intent, his only safety lay in flight, and by that expedient were preserved his life and power to grow and fulfill his mission. Similarly, when the Christ is born within the aspirant he can best preserve this spiritual life by fleeing from the environment of the unregenerate where these hindering things are practiced, and seek a place among others of kindred ambitions provided he is free to do so; but if placed in a position of responsibility to a family, it is his duty to strive to alter conditions by precept and example, particularly by example, so that in time that refined, subdued atmosphere which breathes harmony and strength may reign over the whole house. It is not essential to the happiness of children that they be allowed to shout at the top of their voices or to race pell-mell through the house, slamming doors and wrecking furniture in their mad race; it is indeed decidedly detrimental, for it teaches them to disregard the feelings of others in self-gratification. They will benefit more than mother by being shod with rubber heels and taught to reserve their romps for outdoors and to play quietly in the house, closing doors easily, and speaking in a moderated tone of voice such as mother uses.

In childhood we begin to wreck the nerves that bother us in later years, so if we teach our children the lesson above indicated, we may save them much trouble in life as well as further our own soul growth now. It may take years to reform a household of these seemingly unimportant faults and secure an atmosphere conducive to soul growth, especially if the children have grown to adult age and resent reforms of that nature, but it is well worth while. We can and must at least cultivate the virtue of silence in ourselves, or our own soul growth will be very small. Perhaps if we look at the matter from its occult point of view in connection with that important vehicle, the vital body, the point of this necessity will be more clear.

We know that the vital body is ever storing up power in the physical body which is to be used in this “School of Experience,” and that during the day the desire body is constantly dissipating this energy in actions which constitute experience that is eventually transmuted to soul growth. So far so good, but the desire body has the tendency to run amuck if not held in with a tight rein. It revels in unrestrained motion, the wilder the better, and if unbridled makes the body whistle, sing, jump, dance, and do all the other unnecessary and undignified things which are so detrimental to soul growth. While under such a spell of inharmony and discord the person is dead to the spiritual opportunities in the physical world, and at night when he leaves his body the process of restoration of that vehicle consumes so much time that very little, if any, time is left for work, even if the person has the inclination to think seriously of doing such work.

Therefore we ought by all means to flee from noises which we are not obliged to hear, and cultivate personally the quiet yet kindly demeanor, the modulated voice, the silent walk, the unobtrusive presence, and all the other virtues which make for harmony, for then the restorative process is quickly accomplished and we are free the major part of the night to work in the invisible worlds to gain more soul growth. Let us in this attempt at improvement remember to be undaunted by occasional failures, remembering Paul’s admonition to continue in well-doing with patient persistence.

Chapter 17. The “Mysterium Magnum” Of The Rose Cross

Occasionally we get letters from students voicing their regret that they are alone in the study of the Rosicrucian Philosophy, that their husbands, wives, children, or other relatives are unsympathetic or even antagonistic to the teachings, despite all efforts of the said students to interest favorably these friends and thus obtain companionship in their studies, or at least freedom to follow their bent. This friction causes them a certain amount of unhappiness according to their various temperaments, and we are asked by these students to advise them how to overcome the antagonism and convert their relatives. This we have done by personal letters and have been privileged to help change conditions in not a few homes when our advice has been followed; but we know that frequently those who suffer most acutely are silent, and we have therefore decided to devote a little time to a discussion of the subject.

It is truly said, very truly, that “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing,” and this applies with the same force to the Rosicrucian teachings as to any other subject. Therefore, the very first step is to find out if you have enough knowledge to be on the safe side. So let me ask the question: What is the Rosicrucian teaching which you are so anxious to have others share and to which they object? Is it the twin laws of “Causation” and “Rebirth?” They are excellent for explaining a great many problems of life, and they are a great comfort when the grim reaper appears and robs our home of some one near and dear. But then you must remember that there are many who do not feel the need of any explanation whatever. They are constitutionally as unfit to apply it as a deaf mute is to use a telephone. It is true that we work to better advantage when conscious of the law and its purpose, but let us take comfort from the fact that these laws work for good to all whether they know it or not, and therefore this knowledge is not essential. They will suffer no great loss because they do not embrace this doctrine, and they may escape the danger incident to the possession of “a little knowledge.”

In India where these truths are known and believed by millions, people make little effort at material progress because they know that they have endless time, and what they do not accomplish in this life may wait till the next or a later life. Many Westerners who have embraced the doctrine of rebirth have ceased to be useful members of their community by adopting a life of indolence, thereby bringing reproach on these so-called higher teachings. If your friends will have none of this teaching, leave them alone. Making converts is by no means the essential point of the Rosicrucian teaching. The Guardian of the Gate will not examine them as to knowledge, and he may admit some who are entirely ignorant of this matter and shut the door in the face of others who have devoted their lives to studying, lecturing on, and teaching these laws.

Then if the doctrines of “Causation” and “Rebirth” are unessential, what about the complex constitution of Man? Surely it is essential to know that we are not merely this visible body, but have a vital body to charge it with energy, a desire body to spend this force, a mind to guide our exertions in channels of reason, and that we are virgin spirits enmeshed in a threefold veil as egos. Is it not essential to know that the physical body is the material counterpart of the Divine Spirit, that the vital body is a replica of the Life Spirit, and that the desire body is the shadow of the Human Spirit, the mind forming the link between the threefold spirit and the threefold body?

No, it is not essential to know these things. Properly used, this knowledge is an advantage, but it may also be a very decided disadvantage in the case of those who have only “a little knowledge” in that direction. There are many such who are always meditating on “the higher self” while entirely forgetful of the many “lower selves” groaning in misery at their very doors. There are many who dream day and night of the time when they will take their daily soul flights as “invisible helpers” and ease the sufferings of the sick and sorrowful, yet would not spend a five cent car fare and an hour’s time to bring a poor, friendless soul in a city hospital a flower and a word of cheer. Again I say that the Guardian of the Gate is more likely to admit him who did what he could than him who dreamed much and did nothing to help his suffering fellow man.

If you could get people to study the Rosicrucian teachings about death and the life after, you would feel it important that they should also know about the silver cord remaining unbroken for a period approximating three and one-half days after the spirit has left the body, and that it must be left undisturbed while the panorama of its past life is being etched into the desire body to serve as arbiter of its life in the invisible world. You would like them to know all about the spirit’s life in purgatory—how the evil acts of its life react upon it as pain to create conscience and keep it from repeating in a later life the acts that caused the suffering. You would have them know how the good acts of life are transmuted into virtues usable in later lives as set forth in our philosophy.

You have no doubt been surprised at the assertion that a knowledge of the great twin laws is unessential. Probably the next assertion that it is immaterial whether others learn about the constitution of man as we know it may have scandalized you; and you will undoubtedly feel shocked to have it stated that the Rosicrucian teachings concerning death and the passing of the spirit into the unseen worlds are also comparatively unnecessary to the purpose we aim to accomplish. It really does not matter whether your relatives understand or believe in these teachings. So far as your own passing is concerned, an earnest request that they leave your body quiet and undisturbed for the proper period will probably be carried out to the letter, for people have an almost superstitious regard for such “last requests”; and if any of your friends pass over, you are there with your knowledge and can do the right thing for them. So never mind if they refuse to take up that part of the Rosicrucian teaching.

But the student may say, “If a knowledge of the before mentioned subjects which seems of such practical value is immaterial to advancement, then it follows that study of the Periods, Revolutions, World Globes, etc., is entirely so. That disposes of everything taught in the ”Cosmo,“ and there is nothing left of the Rosicrucian teaching which we have embraced and to which we have pinned our faith!”

Is nothing left? Yes, indeed, all is left, for those things mentioned are only the husks which you must remove to get at the meat in the nut, the kernel of it all. You have read the “Cosmo” many times perhaps. Maybe you have studied it and feel proud of your knowledge of the world mystery, but have you ever read the mystery hidden in every line? That is the great and essential teaching, the one teaching to which your friends will respond, if you can find it and give it to them. The “Cosmo” preaches on every page the gospel of service.

For our sakes Deity manifested the universe. The great creative Hierarchies have all been and some of them still are our servants. The luminous star angels, whose fiery bodies we see whirling through space, have worked with us for ages, and in due time Christ came to bring us the spiritual impetus needed at that time. It is also significant in the extreme that in the parable of the last judgment Christ does not say, “Well done, thou great and erudite philosopher, who knoweth the Bible, the Kabala, the ‘Cosmo,’ and all the other mysterious literature which reveals the intricate workings of nature”; but He says, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: * * * enter thou into the joy of thy lord. * * * * For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; * * *.” Not one single word about knowledge; the whole emphasis was laid upon faithfulness and service.

There is a deep occult reason for this: service builds the soul body, the glorious wedding garment without which no man can enter into the kingdom of the heavens, occultly termed “The New Galilee,” and it does not matter whether we are aware of what is going on, so long as we accomplish the work. Moreover, as the luminous soul body grows in and around a person, this light will teach him or her about the Mysteries without the need of books, and one who is thus God-taught knows more than all the books in the world contain. In due time the inner vision will be opened and the way to the Temple shown. If you want to teach your friends, no matter how skeptical they may be, they will believe you if you preach the gospel of service.

But you must preach by practice. You must become a servant of men yourself if you would have them believe in you. If you want them to follow, you must lead, or they will have the right to question your sincerity. Remember, “ye are a city upon a hill,” and when you make professions they have a right to judge you by your fruits; therefore say little, serve much.

There are many who love to discuss the harmless, peaceful life at dinner, oblivious of the fact that the red roast on the table and the cigar in the mouth dull the effect. There are others who make a god of the stomach and would rather study dietetics than the Bible; they are always ready to buttonhole their friends and discourse upon the latest food fad. I knew one man who was at the head of an esoteric group. His wife was antagonistic to occultism and the meatless diet. He forced her to cook his vegetables at home, and told her that if she ever dared to bring meat into his kitchen or contaminate his dishes with it, he would pitch her and the dishes into the street, adding that if she must make a pig of herself she could go and get flesh food in a restaurant.

Is it to be wondered at that she judged the religion by the man and would have none of it? Surely he was to blame, being “his brother’s keeper,” and though this is an extreme case, it makes the lesson more obvious. It is to the everlasting praise of Mahomet that his wife became his first disciple, and it speaks volumes for his kindness and consideration in the home. His is an example we should all do well to follow if we would win our friends to the higher life, for though all religious systems differ outwardly the kernel of all is love.

Chapter 18. Stumbling Blocks

Not infrequently the remark is made by people who have no sympathy with or aspirations to live the higher life, that it unfits people for the world’s work. Unfortunately it cannot be denied that there is seeming justification for the assertion, though in reality the very first requisite for living the higher life involves an obligation to comport oneself irreproachably in dealing with material matters, for unless we are faithful in the little things, how can we expect to be trusted with greater responsibilities? It has therefore been deemed expedient to devote a lesson to the discussion of some of the things which act as stumbling blocks in the life of aspirants.

In the Bible story where the king sent out his servants with invitations to the feast he had prepared, we are told that his invitations were refused on various grounds. Each one had material cares, buying, selling, marrying, therefore they could not attend to the spiritual things, and such people we may say represent the greater number of humanity today, who are too engrossed in the cares of the world to devote even a thought to aspiration in the higher direction. But there are others who become so enthusiastic upon the first taste of the higher teachings that they are ready to give up all work in the world, repudiate every obligation, and devote their time to what they are pleased to call “helping humanity.” They will readily admit that it takes time to learn how to be a watchmaker, a shoemaker, an engineer, or a musician, and they would not for a moment dream of giving up their present material business to establish themselves as shoemaker, watchmaker, or music teacher just because they felt enthusiastic about or inclined to take up such work. They would know that lacking the proper preparation and training they would be doomed to failure, and yet they think that just because they have become enthusiastic over the higher teachings they are at once fitted to step out of the world’s work and devote their time to service similar, even though in a lesser degree, to that rendered by the Christ in His ministry.

One writes to Headquarters: “I have given up flesh eating, and I long to live the ascetic life, far from the world’s noise that jars upon me. I want to give my life for humanity.” Another says: “I want to live the spiritual life, but I have a wife who needs my care and support. Do you think I would be justified in leaving her to help my fellow men?” Still another says: “I am in a business which is unspiritual; every day I must do things which are against my higher nature, but I have a daughter dependent upon me for an education. What shall I do: continue or give up?” There are of course many other problems presented to us, but these serve as fair samples, for they represent a class which is ready to give up the world at the slightest word of encouragement, and rush off to the hills in the expectation of sprouting wings immediately. If the people who are in that class have any ties, they break them without a scruple or a moment’s consideration.

Another class still feels some obligation, but could be easily persuaded to repudiate it in order that they might live what they call “the spiritual life.” It cannot be denied that when people get into this state of mind, when they lose their ambition to work in the world, when they become shiftless and neglectful of their duties, they merit the reproach of the community.

But as already said such conduct is based upon a misunderstanding of the higher teachings and is not at all sanctioned by the Bible or the Elder Brothers.

It is a step in the right direction when a person ceases to feed on flesh because he feels compassion for the suffering of the animals. There are many people who abstain from flesh foods for health’s sake, but theirs being a selfish motive, the sacrifice carries with it no merit. Where the aspirant to the higher life is prompted to abstain from flesh food because he realizes that the refining influence of a meatless diet upon the body will aid him in his quest by making the body more sensitive to spiritual influences, there is no real merit either. Truly, the person who abstains from flesh foods for the sake of health will be much benefited, and the person who abstains to make his body more sensitive will also get his reward in that respect, but from the spiritual point of view neither will be very much better. On the other hand, whoever abstains from flesh food because he realizes that God’s life is immanent in every animal just as in himself, that in the final analysis God feels all suffering felt by the animal, that it is a divine law, “Thou shalt not kill,” and that he must abstain out of compassion, this person is not only benefited in health and by making his body more sensitive to spiritual impacts, but because of the motive which prompts him he reaps a reward in soul growth immeasurably more precious than any other consideration. Therefore we would say by all means abstain from flesh food, but be sure to do so prompted by the right spiritual motive or it will not affect your spiritual interests one iota.

When the enthusiast says that he wants to get away from the world and the noise that jars upon him to live the ascetic life, it is truly a strange idea of service. The reason why we are here in this world is that we may gather experience, which is then transmuted into soul growth. If a diamond in the rough were laid away in a drawer for years and years, it would be no different than before, but when it is placed against the grindstone by the lapidary the harsh grinding process removes the last atom of the rough coating and brings out the beautiful, luminous gem. Every one of us is a diamond in the rough, and God, the Great Lapidary, uses the world as a grindstone which rubs off the rough and ugly coating, allowing our spiritual selves to shine forth and become luminous. The Christ was a living example of this. He did not go away from the centers of civilization, but moved constantly among the suffering and the poor, teaching, healing, and helping until by the glorious service rendered, His body was made luminous on the Mount of Transfiguration, and He who had trodden the Way exhorted His followers to be “in the world but not of it.” That is the great lesson that every aspirant has to learn.

It is one thing to go out in the mountains where there is no one to contradict or to jar upon our sensibilities and keep our poise there; it is another thing entirely to maintain our spiritual aspirations and keep our balance in the world where everything jars upon us; but when we stay on this path, we gain a self-control which is unattainable in any other manner.

However, though we are careful to prepare our food well and to abstain from flesh eating or any other contaminating outward influence, though we want to get away to the mountains to escape the sordid things of city life, and we want to rid ourselves of every outward thing that may prove a stumbling block to our progress, still what about the things that come from within, the thoughts we have in our minds and our mental food? It will avail us not one iota of good if we could feed our bodies upon nectar and ambrosia, the ethereal food of the gods, when the mind is a charnel house, a habitat of low thoughts, for then we are only as whited sepulchres, beautiful to behold from without but inwardly full of a nauseating stench; and this mental delinquency can be maintained just as easily and perhaps it is even more apt to be maintained in the solitude of the mountains or in a so-called spiritual retreat than in a city where we are busy with the work of our vocation. It is indeed a true saying that “an idle brain is the devil’s workshop,” and the safest way to attain to interior purity and cleanliness is to keep the mind busy all the time, guiding our desires, feelings, and emotions toward the practical problems of life, and working, each one in his own immediate environment, to find the poor and the needy that he may give them whatever help their cases require and merit. That class which has no ties of its own may profitably make ties of love and friendship with those who are loveless and friendless.

Or if it is the care of a relative—wife, daughter, husband, or anyone else that claims us, let us remember the words of Christ when He said, “Who are my mother and my brother?” and answered the question by saying, “Those who do the will of my Father.” This saying has been misconstrued by some to mean that the Christ repudiated His physical relationships for the spiritual, but it is only necessary to remember that in the last moments of His life on earth He called to Him the disciple whom He loved and brought him to His mother, giving him to her as a son and charging the disciple to care for His parent. Love is the unifying force in life, and according to the higher teachings we are required to love our kin, but also to extend our love natures so that they may also include everyone else. It is good that we love our own mother and father, but we should also learn to love other people’s mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, for universal brotherhood can never become a fact so long as our love is confined only to the family. It must be made all inclusive.

There was one among the disciples of Christ whom He loved especially, and following His example we also may bestow a particular affection upon certain ones, though we ought to love everyone and do good even to them that despitefully use us. These are high ideals and difficult of accomplishment at our present stage of development, but as the mariner steers his ship by a guiding star and reaches his desired haven though never the star itself, so also by setting our ideals high we shall live nobler and better lives than if we do not aspire, and in time and through many births we shall eventually attain, because the inherent divinity in ourselves makes it imperative.

Finally then, to sum up, it does not really matter where we are placed in life, whether in a high station or a low. Present environment with its opportunities and limitations is such as suits our individual requirements as determined by our self-made destinies in previous existences. Therefore it holds for us the lesson we must learn in order to progress properly. If we have a wife, a daughter, or other family relations to hold us to that environment, they must be considered as part of what we have to reckon with, and by doing our duty to them we learn the required lesson. If they are antagonistic to our belief, if they have no sympathy with our aspirations, if we have on their account to stay in a business and do things which we are not pleased with, it is because we must learn something from these things, and the proper way for the earnest aspirant is to look conditions squarely in the face with a view to finding out just what it is that is needed. This may not be an easy matter. It may take weeks, months, or years to solve the problem, but so long as the aspirant applies himself prayerfully to the task, he may be sure that the light will shine some day, and then he will see what is required and why these conditions were imposed upon him. Then having learned the lesson or found out its purpose, he will if he has the right spirit prayerfully bear the burden, for he will know that he is upon the right road and that it is an absolute certainty that as soon as the lesson of that environment has been learned a new way will be opened up showing him the next step upon the path of progress. Thus the “stumbling blocks” will have been turned into “stepping stones,” which would never have happened if he had run away from them. In this connection we would quote the beautiful little poem:

“Let us not waste our time in longing

For bright but impossible things.

Let us not sit supinely waiting

For the sprouting of angel wings.

Let us not scorn to be rush-lights,

Everyone can’t be a star,

But let us fulfill our mission

By shining just where we are.

There is need of the tiniest candle

As well as the garish sun;

And the humblest deed is ennobled

When it is worthily done.

We may never be called on to brighten

Those darkened regions afar,

So let us fulfill our mission

By shining just where we are.”

Chapter 19. The Lock Of Upliftment

Have you ever seen how ships going up a canal or river are lifted from one level to another? It is a very interesting and instructive process. First the ship is floated into a small enclosure where the water level is the same as that of the lower part of the river where the ship has previously been sailing. Then the gates of the enclosure are shut and the ship is cut off from the outside world by the high walls of the lock. It cannot go back to the river without; even the light is dimmed around it, but above the moving clouds or the bright sunshine are seen beckoning. The ship cannot rise without assistance, and the law of gravitation makes it impossible for the water in that part of the river where the ship has been sailing to float it to a higher level, hence no help may be looked for from that source.

There are also gates in the upper part of the lock which prevent the waters on the higher levels from rushing into the lock from above, otherwise the inrushing water would flood the lock in a moment and crush the ship lying at the bottom level because acting in conformity with that same law of gravitation. It is from above, nevertheless, that the power must come if the ship is ever to be lifted to the higher level of the river, and so to do this safely a small stream is conducted to the bottom of the lock, which lifts the ship very slowly and gradually but safely to the level of the river above. When that level has been reached, the upper gates may be opened without danger to the ship, and it may sail forth upon the expansive bosom of the higher waterway. Then the lock is slowly emptied and the water it contained added to the water at the lower level, which is thereby raised even if but slightly. The lock is then ready to raise another vessel.

This is, as said in the beginning, a very interesting and instructive physical operation, showing how human skill and ingenuity overcome great obstacles by the use of nature’s forces. But it is a source of still greater enlightenment in a spiritual matter of vital importance to all who aspire and endeavor to live the higher life, for it illustrates the only safe method whereby man can rise from the temporal to the spiritual world, and it confutes those false teachers who for personal gain play upon the too ardent desires of the unripe, and who profess ability to unlock the gates of the unseen worlds for the consideration of an initiation fee. Our illustration shows that this is impossible, because the immutable laws of nature forbid.

For the purpose of elucidation we may call our river the river of life, and we as individuals are the ships sailing upon it; the lower river is the temporal world, and when we have sailed its length and breadth for many lives, we inevitably come to the lock of upliftment which is placed at the end. We may for a long time cruise about the entrance and look in, impelled by an inner urge to enter but drawn by another impulse towards the broad river of life without. For a long time this lock of upliftment with its high, bare walls looks forbidding and solitary, while the river of life is gay with bunting and full of kindred craft gaily cruising about; but when the inner urge has become sufficiently intense, it finally drives us into the lock of upliftment, and it imbues us with a determination not to go back to the river of worldly life. But even at that stage there are some who falter and fear to shut the gate behind them; they aspire ardently at times to the life on the higher level, but it makes them feel less alone to look back upon the river of worldly life, and sometimes they stay in this condition for lives, wondering why they do not progress, why they experience no spiritual downpouring, why there is no uplift in their lives. Our illustration makes the reason very plain; no matter how hard the captain might beg, the lock keeper would never think of releasing the stream of water from above until the gate had been closed behind the ship, for it could never lift the ship an inch under such conditions but would flow through the open gates to waste in the lower river. Neither will the guardians of the gates of the higher worlds open the stream of upliftment for us, no matter how hard we pray, until we have shut the door to the world behind us, and shut it very tight with respect to the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, the sins that so easily beset us and are fostered by us in the careless worldly days. We must shut the door on them all before we are really in a condition to receive the stream of upliftment, but once we have thus shut the door and irrevocably set our faces forward, the downpouring begins, slowly but surely as the stream of the lock keeper which lifts the vessel.

But having left the temporal world with all its deeds behind and having set his face towards the spiritual worlds, the yearning of the aspirant becomes more intense. As time passes he feels in increasing measure the void on both sides of himself. The temporal world and its deeds have dropped from him as a garment; he may be bodily in that world, performing his duties, but he has lost interest; he is in the world but not of it, and the spiritual world where he aspires to citizenship seems equally distant. He is all alone and his whole being cries and writhes in pain, longing for light.

Then comes the turn of the tempter: “I have a school of initiation, and am able to advance my pupils quickly for a fee,” or words to that effect, but usually more subtle; and who shall blame the poor aspirants who fall before the wiles of these pretenders? Lucky are they if, as is generally the case, they are merely put through a ceremonial and given an empty degree, but occasionally they meet one who has really dabbled in magic and is able to open the flood gates from the higher level. Then the inrush of spiritual power shatters the system of the unfortunate dupe as the waters of the river above would wreck a vessel at the bottom of the lock if an ignorant or malicious person were to open the gates. The vessel must be lifted slowly for safety’s sake, and so must the aspirant to spiritual upliftment; patience and unwavering persistence in well-doing are absolutely indispensable, and the door to the pleasures of the world must be kept closed. If that is done we shall surely and certainly accomplish the ascent to the heights of the unseen world with all the opportunities for further soul growth there found, for it is a natural process governed by natural laws, just as is the elevation of a ship to the higher levels of a river by a system of locks.

But how can I stay in the lock of upliftment and serve my fellow man? If soul growth comes only by service, how can I gain by isolation? These are questions that may not unnaturally present themselves to students. To answer them we must again emphasize that no one can lift another who is not himself upon a higher level, not so far above as to be unreachable, but sufficiently close to be within grasp of the reaching hand. There are, alas, too many who profess the higher teachings but live lives on the level with ordinary men and women of the world or even below that level. Their professions make the higher teachings a byword and call down the scorn of scoffers. But those who live the higher teachings have no need to profess them orally; they are isolated and marked in spite of themselves, and though handicapped by the misdeeds of the “professors,” they do in time win the respect and confidence of those about them; eventually they call out in their associates the desire of emulation, they convert them in spite of themselves, reaping in return for this service a commensurate soul growth.

Now is the time of the year (Christmas) when the crest wave of spiritual power envelops the world. It culminates at the winter solstice, when the Christ is reborn into our planet, and though hampered by the present (from the limited viewpoint) deplorable war conditions, His life given for us may be most easily drawn upon by the aspirant at this season to further spiritual growth; therefore all who are desirous of attaining the higher levels would do well to put forth special efforts in that direction during the winter season.

Chapter 20. The Cosmic Meaning Of Easter - Part 1

On the morning of Good Friday, 1857, Richard Wagner, the master artist of the nineteenth century, sat on the verandah of a Swiss villa by the Zurich Sea. The landscape about him was bathed in most glorious sunshine; peace and good will seemed to vibrate through nature. All creation was throbbing with life; the air was laden with the fragrant perfume of budding pine forests—a grateful balm to a troubled heart or a restless mind.

Then suddenly, as a bolt from an azure sky, there came into Wagner’s deeply mystic soul a remembrance of the ominous significance of that day—the darkest and most sorrowful in the Christian year. It almost overwhelmed him with sadness, as he contemplated the contrast. There was such a marked incongruity between the smiling scene before him, the plainly observable activity of nature, struggling to renewed life after winter’s long sleep, and the death struggle of a tortured Savior upon a cross; between the full-throated chant of life and love issuing from the thousands of little feathered choristers in forest, moor, and meadow, and the ominous shouts of hate issuing from an infuriated mob as they jeered and mocked the noblest ideal the world has ever known; between the wonderful creative energy exerted by nature in spring, and the destructive element in man, which slew the noblest character that ever graced our earth.

While Wagner meditated thus upon the incongruities of existence, the question presented itself: Is there any connection between the death of the Savior upon the cross at Easter, and the vital energy which expresses itself so prodigally in spring when nature begins the life of a new year?

Though Wagner did not consciously perceive and realize the full significance of the connection between the death of the Savior and the rejuvenation of nature, he had, nevertheless, unwittingly stumbled upon the key to one of the most sublime mysteries encountered by the human spirit in its pilgrimage from clod to God.

In the darkest night of the year, when earth sleeps most soundly in Boreas’ cold embrace, when material activities are at the very lowest ebb, a wave of spiritual energy carries upon its crest the divine creative “Word from Heaven” to a mystic birth at Christmas; and as a luminous cloud the spiritual impulse broods over the world that “knew it not,” for it “shines in the darkness” of winter when nature is paralyzed and speechless.

This divine creative “Word” has a message and a mission. It was born to “save the world,” and “to give its life for the world.” It must of necessity sacrifice its life in order to accomplish the rejuvenation of nature. Gradually it buries itself in the earth and commences to infuse its own vital energy into the millions of seeds which lie dormant in the ground. It whispers “the word of life” into the ears of beast and bird, until the gospel or good news has been preached to every creature. The sacrifice is fully consummated by the time the sun crosses its Easter(n) node at the spring equinox. Then the divine creative Word expires. It dies upon the cross at Easter in a mystical sense, while uttering a last triumphant cry, “It has been accomplished” (consummatum est).

But as an echo returns to us many times repeated, so also the celestial song of life is re-echoed from the earth. The whole creation takes up the anthem. A legion-tongued chorus repeats it over and over. The little seeds in the bosom of Mother Earth commence to germinate; they burst and sprout in all directions, and soon a wonderful mosaic of life, a velvety green carpet embroidered with multicolored flowers, replaces the shroud of immaculate wintry white. From the furred and feathered tribes “the word of life” re-echoes as a song of love, impelling them to mate. Generation and multiplication are the watchwords everywhere—the Spirit has risen to more abundant life.

Thus, mystically, we may note the annual birth, death, and resurrection of the Savior as the ebb and flow of a spiritual impulse which culminates at the winter solstice, Christmas, and has egress from the earth shortly after Easter when the “word” “ascends to Heaven” on Whitsunday. But it will not remain there forever. We are taught that “thence it shall return,” “at the judgment.” Thus when the sun descends below the equator through the sign of the scales in October, when the fruits of the year are harvested, weighed, and assorted according to their kind, the descent of the spirit of the new year has its inception. This descent culminates in birth at Christmas.

Man is a miniature of nature. What happens on a large scale in the life of a planet like our earth, takes place on a smaller scale in the course of human events. A planet is the body of a wonderfully great and exalted Being, one of the Seven Spirits before the Throne (of the parent sun). Man is also a spirit and “made in their likeness.” As a planet revolves in its cyclic path around the sun whence it emanated, so also the human spirit moves in an orbit around its central source—God. Planetary orbits, being ellipses, have points of closest approach to and extreme deviation from their solar centers. Likewise the orbit of the human spirit is elliptical. We are closest to God when our cyclic journey carries us into the celestial sphere of activity—heaven, and we are farthest removed from Him during earth life. These changes are necessary to our soul growth. As the festivals of the year mark the recurring events of importance in the life of a Great Spirit, so our births and deaths are events of periodical recurrence. It is as impossible for the human spirit to remain perpetually in heaven or upon earth as it is for a planet to stand still in its orbit. The same immutable law of periodicity which determines the unbroken sequence of the seasons, the alternation of day and night, the tidal ebb and flow, governs also the progression of the human spirit, both in heaven and upon earth.

From realms of celestial light where we live in freedom, untrammeled by limitations of time and space, where we vibrate in tune with infinite harmony of the spheres, we descend to birth in the physical world where our spiritual sight is obscured by the mortal coil which binds us to this limited phase of our existence. We live here awhile; we die and ascend to heaven, to be reborn and to die again. Each earth life is a chapter in a serial life story, extremely humble in its beginnings, but increasing in interest and importance as we ascend to higher and higher stations of human responsibility. No limit is conceivable, for in essence we are divine and must therefore have the infinite possibilities of God dormant within. When we have learned all that this world has to teach us, a wider orbit, a larger sphere of superhuman usefulness, will give scope to our greater capabilities.

“Build thee more stately mansions, O my Soul.

As the swift seasons roll,

Leave thy low vaulted past;

Let each new temple, nobler than the last,

Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast,

Till thou at length art free,

Leaving thine outgrown shell by life’s unresting sea.”

Thus says Oliver Wendell Holmes, comparing the spiral progression in the widening coil of a chambered nautilus to the expansion of consciousness which is the result of soul growth in an evolving human being.

“But what of Christ?” someone will ask. “Don’t you believe in Him? You are discoursing upon Easter, the feast which commemorates the cruel death and glorious, triumphant resurrection of the Savior, but you seem to be alluding to Him more from an allegorical point of view than as an actual fact.”

Certainly we believe in the Christ; we love Him with our whole heart and soul, but we wish to emphasize the teaching that Christ is the first fruits of the race. He said that we shall do the things He did, “and greater.” Thus we are Christs-in-the-making.

“Though Christ a thousand times in Bethlehem be born,

And not within thyself, thy soul will be forlorn.

The cross on Golgotha thou lookest to in vain,

Unless within thyself it be set up again.”

Thus proclaims Angelus Silesius, with true mystic understanding of the essentials of attainment.

We are too much in the habit of looking to an outside Savior while harboring a devil within; but till Christ be formed in us, as Paul says, we shall seek in vain, for as it is impossible for us to perceive light and color, though they be all about us, unless our optic nerve registers their vibrations, and as we remain unconscious of sound when the tympanum of our ear is insensitive, so also must we remain blind to the presence of Christ and deaf to His voice until we arouse our dormant spiritual natures within. But once these natures have become awakened, they will reveal the Lord of Love as a prime reality; this on the principle that when a tuning fork is struck, another of identical pitch will also commence to sing, while tuning forks of different pitches will remain mute. Therefore the Christ said that His sheep knew the sound of His voice and responded, but the voice of the stranger they heard not. (John 10:5). No matter what our creed, we are all brethren of Christ, so let us rejoice, the Lord has risen! Let us seek Him and forget our creeds and other lesser differences.

Chapter 21. The Cosmic Meaning Of Easter - Part 2

Once more we have reached the final act in the cosmic drama involving the descent of the solar Christ Ray into the matter of our earth, which is completed at the Mystic Birth celebrated at Christmas, and the Mystic Death and Liberation, which are celebrated shortly after the vernal equinox when the sun of the new year commences its ascent into the higher spheres of the northern heavens, having poured out its life to save humanity and give new life to everything upon earth. At this time of the year a new life, an augmented energy, sweeps with an irresistible force through the veins and arteries of all living beings, inspiring them, instilling new hope, new ambition, and new life, impelling them to new activities whereby they learn new lessons in the school of experience. Consciously or unconsciously to the beneficiaries, this outwelling energy invigorates everything that has life. Even the plant responds by an increased circulation of sap, which results in additional growth of the leaves, flowers, and fruits whereby this class of life is at present expressing itself and evolving to a higher state of consciousness.

But wonderful though these outward physical manifestations are, and glorious though the transformation may be called which changes the earth from a waste of snow and ice into a beautiful, blooming garden, it sinks into insignificance before the spiritual activities which run side by side therewith. The salient features of the cosmic drama are identical in point of time with the material effects of the sun in the four cardinal signs, Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn, for the most significant events occur at the equinoctial and solstitial points.

It is really and actually true that “in God we live and move and have our being.” Outside Him we could have no existence; we live by and through His life; we move and act by and through His strength; it is His power which sustains our dwelling place, the earth, and without His unflagging, unwavering efforts the universe itself would disintegrate. Now we are taught that man was made in the likeness of God, and we are given to understand that according to the law of analogy we are possessed of certain powers latent within us which are similar to those we see so potently expressed in the labor of Deity in the universe. This gives us a particular interest in the annual cosmic drama involving the death and resurrection of the sun. The life of the God Man, Christ Jesus, was moulded in conformity with the solar story, and it foreshadows in a similar manner all that may happen to the Man God of whom this Christ Jesus prophesied when He said: The works that I do shall ye do also; and greater works shall ye do; whither I go thou canst not follow me now, but thou shalt follow me afterwards.

Nature is the symbolic expression of God. She does nothing in vain or gratuitously, but there is a purpose behind every thing and every act. Therefore we should be alert and regard carefully the signs in the heavens for they have a deep and important meaning concerning our own lives. The intelligent understanding of their purpose enables us to work so much more efficiently with God in His wonderful efforts for the emancipation of our race from bondage to the laws of nature, and for its liberation into a full measure of the stature of the sons of God—crowned with glory, honor, and immortality, and free from the power of sin, sickness, and suffering which now curtail our lives by reason of our ignorance and nonconformity to the laws of God. The divine purpose demands this emancipation, but whether it is to be accomplished by the long and tedious process of evolution or by the immensely quicker pathway of Initiation depends upon whether or not we are willing to lend our cooperation. The majority of mankind go through life with unseeing eyes and with ears that do not hear. They are engrossed in their material affairs, buying and selling, working and playing, without an adequate understanding or appreciation of the purpose of existence, and were it unfolded to them it is scarcely to be expected that they would conform and co-operate because of the sacrifice it involves.

It is no wonder that the Christ appeals particularly to the poor and that He emphasizes the difficulty of the rich entering the kingdom of heaven, for even to this day when humanity has advanced in the school of evolution for two millenia since His day, we find that the great majority still value their houses and lands, their pretty hats and gowns, the pleasures of society, dances, and dinners more than the treasures of heaven which are garnered by service and self-sacrifice. Although they may intellectually perceive the beauty of the spiritual life, its desirability fades into insignificance in their eyes when compared with the sacrifice involved in attaining. Like the rich young man they would willingly follow Christ were there no such sacrifice involved. They prefer rather to go away when they realize that sacrifice is the one condition upon which they may enter discipleship. So for them Easter is simply a season of joy because it is the end of winter and the beginning of the summer season with its call of outdoor sports and pleasures.

But for those who have definitely chosen the path of self-sacrifice that leads to Liberation, Easter is the annual sign given them as evidence of the cosmic basis of their hopes and aspirations. As Paul properly states in that glorious fifteenth chapter of 1st Corinthians, “If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

“Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He raised not up if so be that the dead rise not.

“For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised.

“And if Christ be not raised your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.

“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

“If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me if the dead rise not?

“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept.”

But in the Easter sun which at the vernal equinox commences to soar into the northern heavens after having laid down its life for the earth, we have the cosmic symbol of the verity of resurrection. When taken as a cosmic fact in connection with the law of analogy that connects the macrocosm with the microcosm, it is an earnest that some day we shall all attain the cosmic consciousness and know positively for ourselves by our own experience that there is no death, but that what seems so is only a transition into a finer sphere.

It is an annual symbol to strengthen our souls in the work of well-doing that we may grow the golden wedding garment required to make us sons of God in the highest and holiest sense. It is literally true that unless we walk in the light as God is in the light, we are not in fellowship; but by making the sacrifices and rendering the services required of us to aid in the emancipation of our race we are building the soul body of radiant golden light which is the special substance emanated from and by the Spirit of the Sun, the Cosmic Christ. When this golden substance has clothed us with sufficient density, then we shall be able to imitate the Easter sun and soar into the higher spheres.

With these ideals firmly fixed in our minds, Easter time becomes a season when it is in order to review our life during the preceding year and make new resolutions for the coming season to serve in furthering our soul growth. It is a season when the symbol of the ascending sun should lead us up to a keen realization of the fact that we are but pilgrims and strangers upon earth, that our real home as spirits is in heaven, and that we ought to endeavor to learn the lessons in this life school as quickly as is consistent with proper service, so that as Easter Day marks the resurrection and liberation of the Christ Spirit from the lower realms, so we also may continually look for the dawn of that day which shall permanently free us from the meshes of matter, from the body of sin and death, together with our brethren in bondage, for no true aspirant would conceive of a liberation that did not include all who were similarly placed.

This is a gigantic task; the contemplation of it may well daunt the bravest heart, and were we alone it could not be accomplished; but the divine hierarchies who have guided humanity upon the path of evolution from the beginning of our career are still active and working with us from their sidereal worlds, and with their help we shall eventually be able to accomplish this elevation of humanity as a whole and attain to an individual realization of glory, honor, and immortality. Having this great hope within ourselves, this great mission in the world, let us work as never before to make ourselves better men and women, so that by our example we may waken in others a desire to lead a life that brings liberation.

Chapter 22. The Newborn Christ

It has often been said in our literature that the sacrifice of Christ was not an event which, taking place on Golgotha, was accomplished in a few hours once and for all time, but that the mystic births and deaths of the Redeemer are continual cosmic occurrences. We may therefore conclude that this sacrifice is necessary for our physical and spiritual evolution during the present phase of our development. As the annual birth of the Christ Child approaches, it presents a never old, ever new theme for meditation, from which we may profit by pondering it with a prayer that it may create in our hearts a new light to guide us upon the path of regeneration.

The inspired apostle gave us a wonderful definition of Deity when he said that “God is Light,” and therefore “light” has been used to illustrate the nature of the Divine in the Rosicrucian teachings, especially the mystery of the Trinity in Unity. It is clearly taught in the Holy Scriptures of all times that God is one and indivisible. At the same time we find that as the one white light is refracted into three primary colors, red, yellow, and blue, so God appears in a threefold role during manifestation by the exercise of the three divine functions of creation, preservation, and dissolution.

When He exercises the attribute of creation, God appears as Jehovah, the Holy Spirit; He is then Lord of law and generation and projects the solar fertilizing principle indirectly through the lunar satellites of all planets where it is necessary to furnish bodies for their evolving beings.

When He exercises the attribute of preservation for the purpose of sustaining the bodies generated by Jehovah under the laws of nature, God appears as the Redeemer, Christ, and radiates the principles of love and regeneration directly into any planet where the creatures of Jehovah require this help to extricate themselves from the meshes of mortality and egotism in order to attain to altruism and endless life.

When God exercises the divine attribute of dissolution, He appears as The Father who calls us back to our heavenly home to assimilate the fruits of experience and soul growth garnered by us during the day of manifestation. This Universal Solvent, the ray of the Father, emanates from the Invisible Spiritual Sun.

These divine processes of creation and birth, preservation and life, and dissolution, death and return to the Author of our being we see everywhere about us, and we recognize the fact that they are activities of the Triune God in manifestation. But have we ever realized that in the spiritual world there are no definite events, no static conditions; that the beginning and the end of all adventures of all ages are present in the eternal “here” and “now?” From the bosom of the Father there is an everlasting outwelling of the essence of things and events, which enters the realms of “time” and “space.” There it gradually crystallizes and becomes inert, necessitating dissolution that there may be room for other things and other events.

There is no escape from this cosmic law; it applies to everything in the realm of time and space, the Christ ray included. As the lake which empties itself into the ocean is replenished when the water that left it has been evaporated and returns to it as rain, to flow again ceaselessly toward the sea, so the Spirit of Love is eternally born of the Father, day by day, hour by hour, endlessly flowing into the solar universe to redeem us from the world of matter which enmeshes us in its death grip. Wave upon wave is thus impelled outward from the sun to all the planets, giving a rhythmic urge to the evolving creatures there.

And so it is in the very truest and most literal sense a newborn Christ that we hail at each approaching Yule-feast, and Christmas is the most vital annual event for all humanity whether we realize it or not. It is not merely a commemoration of the birth of our beloved Elder Brother, Jesus, but the advent of the rejuvenating love life of our Heavenly Father, sent by Him to redeem the world from the wintry death grip. Without this new infusion of divine life and energy we should soon perish physically, and our orderly progress would be frustrated so far as our present lines of development are concerned. This is a point we should endeavor to realize thoroughly in order that we may learn to appreciate Christmas as keenly as we should.

We may learn a lesson in this respect as in many others from our children or from reminiscences of our own childhood. How keen were our anticipations of the approaching feast! How eagerly we waited for the hour when we should receive the gifts which we knew would be forthcoming from Santa Claus, the mysterious universal benefactor who brought the toys for the coming year! How would we have felt had our parents given us the dismembered dolls and broken drums of yesteryear? It would surely have been felt as an overwhelming misfortune and would have left a deep sense of broken trust which even time would have found it difficult to heal; yet it would have been as nothing compared with the cosmic calamity that would befall mankind if our Heavenly Father should fail to provide the newborn Christ for our cosmic Christmas gift.

The Christ of last year cannot save us from physical famine any more than last year’s rain can drench the soil again and swell the millions of seeds that slumber in the earth awaiting the germinal activities of the Father’s life to begin their growth; the Christ of last year cannot kindle anew in our hearts the spiritual aspirations which urge us onward in the Quest any more than last summer’s heat can warm us now. The Christ of last year gave us His love and His life to the last breath without stint or measure; when He was born into the earth last Christmas, he endued with life the sleeping seeds which have grown and gratefully filled our granaries with the bread of physical life; He lavished the love given Him by the Father upon us, and when He had wholly spent His life, He died at Eastertide to rise again to the Father, as the river by evaporation rises to the sky.

But endlessly wells the divine love; as a father pities his children, so does our Heavenly Father pity us, for He knows our physical and spiritual frailty and dependence. Therefore we are now confidently awaiting the mystic birth of the Christ of another year, laden with new life and love sent by the Father to preserve us from the physical and spiritual famine which would ensue were it not for this annual love offering.

Younger souls usually find it difficult to disabuse their minds of the personality of God, of Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, and some can only love Jesus, the man. They forget Christ, the Great Spirit, who ushered in a new era in which the nations established under the regime of Jehovah will be broken to pieces that the sublime structure of Universal Brotherhood may be built upon their ruins. In time all the world will realize that “God is spirit, to be worshiped in spirit and in truth.” It is well to love Jesus and to imitate him; we know of no nobler ideal and none more worthy. Could a nobler one have been found, Jesus would not have been chosen as a vehicle of that Great One, the Christ, in whom dwelt the Godhead. We shall therefore do well to follow “in His steps.”

At the same time we shall exalt God in our own consciousness by taking the word of the Bible that He is spirit, and that we cannot make any likeness which will portray Him for He is like nothing in heaven or on earth. We can see the physical vehicles of Jehovah circling as satellites around the various planets; we can also see the sun, which is the visible vehicle of the Christ; but the Invisible Sun, which is the vehicle of the Father and the source of all, appears to the greatest of human seers only as a higher octave of the photosphere of the sun, a ring of violet-blue luminosity behind the sun. But we do not need to see; we can feel His love, and that feeling is never so great as at Christmas time when He is giving us the greatest of all gifts, the Christ of the new year.

Chapter 23. Why I Am A Rosicrucian

Not infrequently we find that some one takes the platform to explain why he is a Baptist, Methodist, or Christian Scientist, and what his particular faith may be. We have often been asked by our students for something which would help make plain to their associates why they had embraced the teachings of the Elder Brothers given through the Rosicrucian Fellowship, in preference to the faith which they had left. We will, therefore, endeavor to give a succinct resume of reasons which appeal to us as sufficient, but students will doubtless find many other reasons equally good or better, which they may add verbally to what is here said.

It should be made clear in the very beginning that students in the Rosicrucian Fellowship do not call themselves Rosicrucians. That title applies alone to the Elder Brothers, who are the hierophants of the Western Wisdom Teaching. They are as far beyond the greatest living saint in spiritual development as that saint is above the lowest fetish worshiper.

When the bark of our life sails lightly upon smooth summer seas, wafted along by the fair winds of health and prosperity, when friends are present on every hand, eager to help us plan pleasures which will increase our enjoyment of this world’s goods, when social favors or political powers come to us to gratify our every wish in whatever sphere our inclinations seek expression, then, indeed, we may say and seem justified in saying with our whole heart and soul: “This world is good enough for me.” But when we come to the end of the smiling sea of success; when the whirlwind of adversity has blown us upon the rocky shores of disaster, and a wave of suffering threatens to engulf us; when friends have failed and every human help is as far off as it is unavailing, then we must look for guidance to the skies as does the mariner when he steers his ship over the waste of waters.

But when the skipper scans the sky in search of a star whereby to steer the ship safely, he finds that the whole heavens are in motion. Therefore to follow almost any one of the myriad of wandering stars visible to the eye would be disastrous. To meet the requirements the guiding star must be perfectly steadfast and immovable, and there is only one such, namely, the North Star. By its guiding light the mariner may steer in full confidence and bring his ship to a haven of rest and safety. Likewise one who is looking for a guide which he may trust in days of sorrow and trouble should embrace a religion founded on eternal laws and immutable principles, able to explain the mystery of life in a logical manner so that his intellect may be satisfied, and at the same time containing a system of devotion that may satisfy the heart, so that these twin factors in life may receive equal satisfaction. Only when man has a clear intellectual conception of the scheme of human development is he in a position to range himself in line therewith. When it is made clear to him that this scheme is beneficent and benevolent in the very highest degree, that all is truly ruled by divine love, then this understanding will sooner or later call out in him a true devotion and heartfelt acquiescence which will awaken in him a desire to become a co-worker with God in the world’s work.

When seeking souls come to the door of the church to seek surcease from sorrow, they cannot be satisfied with the platitudes that it is the will of God that sorrow and suffering have come to them, that in His divine providence He has seen fit to scourge them, and that they must take it as an indication that He regards them as His beloved children and be satisfied no matter what happens. They cannot see that Deity does justice when He makes some rich and many poor, a few healthy and many sickly; and it is only too often in evidence that iniquity is prosperous while rectitude is in rags.

The Rosicrucian teachings give clear and logical information concerning the world and man; they invite questions instead of discouraging them, so that the seeker after spiritual truth may receive full satisfaction intellectually; their explanations are strictly scientific as they are reverently religious. They refer us for information regarding life’s problems to laws that are as unchangeable and immutable in their realm of action as the North Star is in the heavens.

Though the world whirls upon its axis at the rate of one thousand miles an hour, we stand safely anywhere upon its surface because the principle of gravity prevents us from being hurled into space by the terrific speed. We know that the law of gravity is eternal; it will not act today and suspend action tomorrow. When we enter a hydraulic elevator we rest safely upon a column of water because that fluid is more incompressible than most solids, and this property is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Were its action suspended for even a few moments, thousands of people would fall to their death; but it is steadfast and sure, therefore we trust it implicitly.

The law of cause and effect is also immutable; if we throw a stone into the air, the act is not complete until by gravitation it has returned to earth. “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap,” is the way this law is expressed in the realm of morals. “The mills of God grind slowly, but they grind exceeding small,” and once an act has been done, the reaction will come some time, some where, as surely as the stone that was thrown into the air will return to the earth.

But it is manifest that all of the causes that we set going in life do not ripen in the present existence, and it therefore follows that they must find their fruition somewhere else at some other time, or the law would be invalidated, a proposition that would be as absolutely impossible as that the law of gravitation could be suspended, for either would make chaos out of cosmos. The Rosicrucian teachings explain this by a statement that man is a spirit attending the School of Life for the purpose of unfolding latent spiritual power, and that for this purpose he lives many lives in earthly bodies of increasingly finer texture, which enable him to express himself better and better. In the lower grades of this school of evolution man has few faculties. Each life-day he comes to school in the morning of childhood, and is given lessons to learn, and at night when old and gray the nurse maid of nature, “Death,” puts him to sleep that he may rest from his labors until the dawn of another life-day, when he is given a new child body and new lessons. Each day “Experience,” the teacher of the school helps him to learn some of the lessons of life, and gradually he becomes more and more proficient. Some day he will have learned the entire curriculum of the school, which includes building of bodies as well as using them.

Thus when we see one who has few faculties, we know that he is a young soul who has gone to life’s school only a few days; and when we find a beautiful character, we recognize an old soul who has spent much time in mastering its lessons. Therefore we do not despair of God’s love when we see the inequalities of life, for we know that in time all will be perfect as our Father in Heaven is perfect.

The Rosicrucian teachings also take the sting of sorrow out of the greatest of all trials, the loss of loved ones, even if they have been what is called wayward or black sheep; for we know that it is an actual fact that in God we live and move and have our being; hence, if one single soul were lost, a part of God would be lost, and such a proposition is absolutely impossible. Under the immutable law of cause and effect we are bound to meet these loved ones some time in the future under other circumstances, and there the love that binds us together must continue until it has found its fullest expression. The laws of nature would be violated if a stone thrown from the earth were to remain suspended in the atmosphere, and under the same immutable laws those who pass into the higher spheres must return. Christ said, “Ye must be born again,” and “If I go to my Father, I will return.”

But although our reason may reach into the mysteries of life, there is still a higher stage, actual first-hand knowledge. As a matter of fact the foregoing propositions are capable of verification by each one, for we all have a sixth sense latent in our being, which will sometime enable us to view the spiritual world with the same distinctness as that with which we see the temporal. This sixth sense will be developed by all in the course of evolution, and there are certain means whereby it may be developed now by all who care to take the necessary time and trouble to do so. Some have done this, and they have told us of their travels in the land of the soul. We believe their testimony concerning that place just as we believe what people who have traveled in Africa or Australia tell us of those countries. And just as we say that we know the earth rotates upon its axis and revolves in its orbit around the sun because we have been thus informed by scientists who have made the investigations and calculations that establish these facts, so also we say that we know the dead live, and that whether dead or alive, in the body or out of it, we are all enfolded in the love of our Father in Heaven, without whose Will not the smallest sparrow falls to the ground, and that He cares for all and orders our steps in harmony with His plans to develop our spiritual powers to the highest possible degree.

So because of the logical, soul-satisfying philosophy of life given by the Rosicrucians, we follow their teachings in preference to other systems, and invite others who wish to share the blessings thereof to investigate.

Chapter 24. The Object Of The Rosicrucian Fellowship

The object of the Rosicrucian Fellowship has been clearly stated in our literature, as have the means whereby it is hoped to attain the end in view, but in response to requests for a succinct summary we devote this chapter to that subject.

The world is God’s training school. During the past we have learned to build different vehicles, among others the physical body. By this work we are promoted from class to class, each with its particular scope of consciousness. We evolved eyes that we might see, ears that we might hear, and other organs that we might taste, smell, and feel. But not all egos were promoted at every step. When the mist in the air at the time of Atlantis condensed and filled the basins of the earth with oceans of water, driving men to the highlands, many perished by asphyxiation because they had not evolved lungs. They could not pass through the portal of the rainbow, which was, so to speak, the entrance gate to the new age with its dry atmospheric conditions.

Another great world transformation is coming, we know not when; even the Christ confessed His ignorance of the day and the hour; but He warned us that the day would come as a thief in the night, and He prophesied that the conditions in the world would then be similar to those prevailing in the days of Noah; they were living then in carefree enjoyment of life when suddenly the floodgates of heaven were opened, and death and destruction spread before them.

Christ told us that it is possible to take the kingdom of God by storm and attain to the consciousness and conditions there prevailing. But Paul informs us that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; he states that we have a soul body (soma psuchicon—1 Cor. 15: 44), and that we shall meet the Lord in the air when He comes. This soul body is therefore as necessary to entrance into the new age of the kingdom of God, as a body equipped with lungs was to the Atlanteans who desired to enter into the age in which we are now living. Therefore it is necessary that we make our calling and election sure by preparing the Golden Wedding Garment, the soul body, which alone can secure our admission to the mystic marriage.

The multitude is slowly moving in the right direction as led by the different churches, but there is an ever growing class that, so to speak, feels the wings of the soul body sprouting, people who feel an inner urge to take the kingdom of God by storm. Though unaware of any definite ideal, they sense a greater truth and a more certain light than those which the Church radiates; they are tired of parables and long to learn the underlying facts at the very feet of Christ.

The Rosicrucian Fellowship was started for the purpose of reaching this class, to show them the way to illumination, to help them build their soul body and evolve the soul powers which will enable them to enter consciously into the kingdom of God and obtain first-hand knowledge.

This is a large undertaking, none greater and even under the most favorable existing conditions progress must be slow, but if the aspirant will continue with patient perseverance in well doing, it can be done.

The methods are definite, scientific, and religious; they have been originated by the Western School of the Rosicrucian Order, and are therefore specially suited to the western people. Sometimes, but very rarely, they bring results in a short time; generally it requires years and even lives before the aspirant attains, but the following system will in the end bring all to their hearts’ desire.

The Tabernacle in the Wilderness was a symbolic representation of the way to God, and, as Paul says, held a shadow of better things to come. Everything in it had its spiritual meaning. The table of shewbread gives us an important lesson germane to our present consideration. Students will remember that the ancient Israelites were commanded to bring the shewbread to the tabernacle at stated intervals. The grain from which this was made was given them by God but they must prepare the soil in which it was to grow, they must plant and cultivate, they must weed and water, so as to secure the greatest possible increase; they must harvest and thresh, grind and bake, ere they had the loaves which they brought to the tabernacle as bread to shew for their toil. Similarly, God gives to all the grain of opportunity to serve, but it is our duty to cultivate these opportunities and nurse and nourish them in the soil of loving kindness so that they may bring a great increase. We must always bear in mind the words of Christ that He came to minister and to serve. Therefore anyone aspiring to follow in His steps and to be great in the kingdom of God must ever be on the lookout for opportunities to serve his fellows. Each day must be filled as full as possible with kind and considerate deeds, for they are the warp and woof of which the golden wedding garment is woven. Without these “works” no amount of prayer, fasting, or other religious exercises will avail. It is useless to repair to the temple without this bread to shew that we have really worked in the Master’s service.

The foregoing is also the teaching of the exoteric churches; but the following is the exclusively Rosicrucian scientific teaching and method, based upon the deepest knowledge of spiritual facts whereby the aspirant is enabled to gain the maximum soul growth in each life, so that his spiritual advancement is accelerated beyond his very wildest dreams. Therefore this is the most important spiritual teaching that has been given to man in modern times, and no one who tries honestly to follow this simple method can fail to be enormously benefited:

Ether is the medium of transmission of light, that which etches a picture on the photographic film. It permeates the air, and with every breath we draw from birth to death ether enters our system and etches a picture of our surroundings and actions on a little atom in the heart. Thus each carries with him a complete record of his life, which is assimilated after death. Expiation of the evil deeds causes pain and anguish in purgatory. These are thus transmuted to conscience to prevent repetition of the same mistakes in succeeding lives: the good deeds are transmuted to love and benevolence. Instead of waiting for this post-mortem transmutation of the shewbread of life, the aspirant who desires to take heaven by storm may assimilate the fruits of each day after retiring and before going to sleep by running over the deeds done. The events of the day are considered in reverse order, so that that which happened in the evening is taken first, then the happenings of the afternoon, forenoon, and morning. This is important for it conforms to the way the life panorama acts after death, taking first the events just prior to death, last the events of infancy. The object is to show the effects and then refer them to their antecedent causes.

In this retrospection it will do the aspirant no good to run over the events of the day and mildly blame himself where he did wrong—he is usually sure enough to praise himself sufficiently for his good deeds. But he must remember the altar of burnt offerings where the sacrifices for sin were offered. They were first rubbed with salt and then placed on the altar to be consumed by a divinely enkindled fire. Anyone knows what an intense pain is caused when salt is rubbed into a wound, and this rubbing with salt is symbolic of the pain the aspirant must feel for his wrongdoing. Now mark that it was not permissible to place the sacrifice on the altar until it had been thus rubbed with salt. God would not accept it before, but when it had been salted it was consumed by a fire kindled by God Himself.

This tells us that unless we have washed our evil deeds of the day in the salt of our tears and heartfelt contrition, God will not accept our sacrifice of repentance; but when we have really repented, our sins will be washed away and our recording atom will be clean as the driven snow. With respect to our good deeds we may remember that there were two little piles of frankincense on the top of the shewbread. These were offered upon the altar of incense, where the smoke ascended as a sweet savor to the Lord, so different from the nauseating stench that went up from the altar where the sin offerings were burned. Is it any wonder that God took no delight in the sacrifice of bulls and calves, but delighted in a contrite heart and a repentant spirit?

It is this spiritual aromatic extract of our good deeds that builds our soul body. By the ordinary natural process it takes about one-third as many years in our post-mortem existence as we lived in the body, to reap what we have sowed. But when an aspirant has assimilated the fruits of life by faithful retrospection at the end of each day, he is free as soon as he leaves the body and may use the years spent by others in purgatory and the first heaven as he pleases. Furthermore, as he needs neither food, shelter, nor sleep, he may spend twenty-four hours a day doing good. Thus he has practically as many years of service and soul growth after death as the number of his earth life; and being trained and schooled in this work his attainments are probably greater than could be made in a number of lives lived in the ordinary way.

To aid deserving aspirants, still deeper and more definite teachings are given by the Elder Brothers through the Rosicrucian Fellowship. Students who feel the inner urge may ask for information concerning these teachings.

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