The Fourth Dimension
Question No. 65.
It is stated in the Cosmo, page 126, that the caculty of space perception is connected with the delicate adjustment of the three semicircular canals in the ear, pointing in the three dimensions of space. Logical thought and mathematical ability are in proportion to the accuracy of their adjustment.
It seems that the perception of the fourth dimension has been arrived at by mathematicians of a very high degree. Can you tell me if there is any change in the arrangement of these semi-cuircular canals, or what is the process that leads up to the fourth dimension consciousness?
It would also seem that nature spirits and elementals have this fourth dimensional consciousness which is a higher degree of consciousness than that which we now possess, and possibly the bee or the Elberfield horses. Will you please supply the missing link? What makes man or humanity superior to these beings, and what is the arrangement of these semi-circular canals in the case of the bees and these gifted horses?
Answer: To the majority of mankind figures are exceedingly tedious, for we are used to living an outward life among other people and friends where we give expression to our desires, feelings, and emotions. The more these are stirred the more interesting we find life, and contrariwise, the things that do not cause a ripple of emotion are held to be dull and uninteresting. Therefore, the majority do not take to mathematics or anything else that will sharpen the mind without at the same time arousing the emotional nature.
We know that God geometrizes, that all the processes of nature are founded upon systematic calculation which argues the great Master-mind. When God as the great Architect of the universe has built the whole world upon mathematical lines, we may know that consciously or unconsciously the mathematician is reaching out in a direction in which eventually he will find himself face to face with God, and this in itself argues an expansion of consciousness. When we consider the fact that each of the semi-circular canals is in fact a supersensitive spirit level adjusted so as to indicate to our consciousness the motion of our body through the length, breadth, or depth of space we may easily understand that their actual adjustment is necessary to space perception. If they are true, then the space perception of the person is perfect, and if he takes up the study of mathematics, then his theories will agree with what he sees in the world as actual facts. This is some high minds engenders an actual love of figures so that they may rest such a mind instead of being a source of fatigue as they are to most people. The love of figures may arouse in such a person the latent spiritual faculties, but not through any change in the semi-circular canals. These are bony structures and not easily changed during the life time. There is no doubt, however, that one who has a taste for music or mathematics will later build these canals more accurately in the Second Heaven between death and a new birth.
With respect to the consciousness of the elementals or nature spirits, you are quite correct in assuming that they have what may be called a fourth dimensional consciousness. In addition to the height, width, and length, which are the dimensions of space in the physical world, there is what we may call "throughness" in the ethers. With the etheric sight you may look into a mountain, and if you have an etheric body such as the nature spirits possess, you may also walk through the hardest granite rock. It will offer no more obstruction than the air does to our progress here. In fact, not so much, for here we are hindered by winds. However, even among nature spirits there are different entities and a corresponding variation of consciousness.
The bodies of the gnomes are made of the chemical ether principally, and therefore they are of the earth earthy. That is, one never sees them fly about as do the sylphs. They can be burned in fire. They also grow old in a manner not so greatly different from the human beings.
The undines which live in the water and the sylphs of the air are also subject to mortality, but their bodies being composed of the life and light ethers, respectively, makes them much more enduring. Thus while it is stated that the gnomes do not live more than a few hundred years, the undines and sylphs are said to live for thousands, and the salamanders whose bodies are principally built of the fourth ether are said to live many thousands of years. The consciousness which builds and ensouls these bodies, however, belongs to a number of divine hierarchs who are gaining additional experience in that manner; and the forms which are built of matter and thus ensouled have attained a degree of self-consciousness during these long existences. They have a sense of their own transitory existence and it is to their rebellion against this state of things that the war of the elements, notably fire, air, and water, is due. Fancying that they are being held in bondage, they seek liberation from the leash by force, and having no sense to guide themselves, run amuck in a destructive manner which at times brings about great catastrophes.
The consciousness of the gnomes is too dull to take the initiative, but they not infrequently become accomplices of the other nature spirits by opening passages which favor explosions in the rock. However, this has no connection at all with the Elberfeld horses or kindred animal prodigies. These are the wards of their respective Group Spirits and it is probably the last time they will seek embodiment in an animal form. When that happens, such Spirits are relegated to Chaos where they must wait during the Cosmic night for their less gifted brothers until the time when it is possible to begin their human evolution in the Jupiter Period.
Hos do the records in the Memory of Nature appear to the spiritual vision? That is, how are the acts of a person in a former life represented?
Answer: That depends upon where you read the Memory of Nature. There are, in the reflecting ether, pictures of all that has happened in the world, at least several hundred years back, perhaps in some cases much more. And they appear almost as the pictures on a screen, with this difference, that the scene shifts backward. Thus if we wish to study the life of Luther or Calvin in the Memory of nature we may by concentration call up any certain points in their lives and start there, and we may hold that scene wherewith we start, or any other scene, as long as we desire, by simply willing so to do. However, we shall find that the picture rolls backward, so if we start with the scene where Luther is said to have thrown the ink bottle against the wall to oust his Satanic Majesty, and if we want to know what happened after that, we shall find ourselves foiled in our purpose. We will then have presented to us all the scenes that went before, and in order to get the information we want we must start at a point later in time than that event. Then the scenes will roll backward in orderly sequence until we come to the episode with the ink bottle, and we may later reconstruct the whole picture in the progressional manner which obtains in ordinary every day physical life.
But if we read in the Memory of Nature in the next higher realm where it is kept, namely, the highest subdivision of the Region of Concrete Thought, we obtain a vastly different view in quite another manner. By concentrating our thought upon Luther we shall there call up in our mind at one flash the whole record of his life. There will be neither beginning nor end, but we shall obtain at once the aroma or essence of his whole existence. Neither will this picture or thought or knowledge be outside ourselves, so that we stand as spectators and look at the life of Luther, but the picture will be, so to speak, within ourselves, and we shall feel ourselves as if we were actually Luther. This picture will speak to our inner consciousness and give us a thorough understanding of his life and purpose, not to be gained by an exterior view. We shall know whatever he knew, for the time being. We shall feel whatever he felt, and though there will be no audible word spoken, we shall obtain a perfect understanding of what the man was from the cradle to the grave. Every thought, no matter how secret, and every act, no matter how well concealed, will be known to us with all the motives and everything that led up to the event, and thus we shall obtain a most thorough understanding of the life of Luther, so intimate that probably not he himself during life, realized himself as perfectly as we shall then.
Now it would seem that having obtained such an intimate and thorough knowledge of Luther, Calvin, Napoleon, or any other man or event in history, or before the date when history was written, we should be able to write books that would explain all these things in the most wonderful manner. Anyone who has tried to read in the Memory of Nature as kept in that high region will testify with the writer that they have felt just that way when they left their investigation and returned to their ordinary brain consciousness. But, alas and alack! Thought must be manifested through the brain and to be intelligible to others it must be translated into sentences consecutively unfolding the ideas to be conveyed, and no one who has not felt this limitation on coming back from the Heaven World with such valuable information can realize the chagrin and despair which one feels when he endeavors to do this. In that highest subdivision of the Region of Concrete Thought, all things are included in an eternal here and now; there is neither time nor space, beginning nor end, and to arrange that which is there seen, heard, and felt, into consecutively arranged ideas is next to impossible. it simply seems to refuse to filter through the brain. We who have seen and heard know what we have seen and what we have heard, but we are unable to utter it. There is no human language or tongue that can translate these things in an adequate manner and give to another anything but the faintest feeling, the most attenuated shadow of the glorious reality.
There is still another record of the Memory of Nature in the World of Life Spirit, which is said by the Elder Brothers of the Rosicrucians to cover events from the earliest dawn of our present manifestation and to be so sublime and wonderful that we have no word that will give even the slightest idea thereof. There are a number of misguided people who deceive themselves and others into thinking that they are able to read this record, but the fact is, according to the Elder Brothers, that only they and other hierarchs of the other Mystery Schools, together with the Adepts who have graduated from these institutions, are able to do so.
Questions Dealing with Initiation
Is it possible to be initiated on another plane without going through a corresponding initiation on the physical plane? If so, should the memory of the initiation on first waking be an indication that one has taken place, or would it be only a dream?
Answer: Mankind as a whole is progressing by a process which we call evolution from impotence to omnipotence. During this pilgrimage we, who were once altogether spiritual, have become gradually crystallized into the various vehicles we now possess. In those by-gone days we were all-conscious upon the spiritual plane, and though we had in time become enmeshed in a physical body, we knew it not. Gradually, however, some became conscious of the physical body. As the Bible says, "They saw themselves, their eyes were opened and they saw that they were naked." These pioneers who had thus been initiated into the mystery of the physical body commenced to go around telling the others, "We have a body." At first, of course there were very few who would believe them, but gradually a larger number became initiated into the mystery of the body. They received their physical sight, and saw something which was not patent to their brethren. Finally the whole of humanity had evolved the physical senses, and became capable of cognizing the material world in which we now live.
Today it is the other way. Humanity has become so engrossed in the material world that the great majority are unaware that they have finer vehicles, and that there is a spiritual world which may be cognized by a sixth sense which has been evolved by a few, but is latent in the majority of people. These pioneers who by the unfoldment of a sixth sense have become initiated into the mystery of the soul are now busy going about telling to others the good news that we have a soul and a latent sense whereby to perceive it.
From this explanation it should be clear that initiation consists partly of helping someone who has not previously been able to perceive the spiritual world to change his consciousness, so that he may at will center it upon the invisible part of the human being, which we may loosely term the soul, and retain perfect consciousness of all he sees.
That is true at least of the spiritual process of initiation. In that far bygone lemurian epoch when the first pioneers discovered that we have a body, it would not have helped anyone not ready to have gone with them through a ceremony no matter how elaborate; the uplift to be obtained by initiation was the opening of the eyes and the perception of the physical body in the physical world. Similarly, it will help no one to go through ceremonies from morning until night and study this man's book or that man's method. The object is to evolve that sixth sense whereby the invisible world and the invisible vehicles of men are perceived. This is a process of slow growth; it involves a becoming of something that the person is not now.
The method of awakening this latent sense best suited to the Western world has been given in The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception under the caption The method of Acquiring First-Han Knowledge, and also in the pamphlet called Spiritual Sight and Insight; its Culture, Control, and Legitimate Use. When the physical life lived by any person has fitted him for initiation, the Teacher always appears to him, while he is wide awake and in full physical consciousness. The candidate is told that he has evolved a vehicle necessary to function in the invisible world, and is then offered the help to make the first or "initial" transition safely. This is an offer which he may refuse if he will, and no one of the White Brothers would urge him against his will, should he decide not to go. Certain physical preparations are necessary, and throughout the whole process, from the time he leaves his body until he returns, the candidate remains in full consciousness and has an uninterrupted memory of all that takes place. Thus it is impossible for any one who has really gone through the process of initiation to be in doubt of it or think that it may have been a dream.
What are the tests of initiation, which it is said the candidate must pass before his is a candidate?
Answer: The candidate for initiation very often does not know that he is a candidate. Usually he is simply living the spiritual life of service to his fellow men because that is the only life that appeals to him, and he has no ulterior thought or object in so doing. But, nevertheless, he is being tested and tried all the time unconsciously to himself for that is part of the process. No candidate is ever taken into an initiation chamber and tried or tested. The tests come in the daily life and in the small things which are seemingly very unimportant, but really are of prime significance. If a man cannot be faithful in little things, how could he ever be expected to be faithful in the great? Furthermore, the Elder Brothers of humanity who have charge of this work with respect to their younger brothers, are always sure to pick out his most vulnerable point, because if he is tried, tempted, and falls, this serves to call his attention to the weakness in his character. Thus he has an opportunity of correcting it which he would not have if temptation were not placed before him.
Thus the tests are not wholly made for the purpose of seeing whether he would keep the trust, but also for the purpose of giving him the chance to strengthen his weak points. The tests are therefore never the same in the case of any two candidates, for what would be a temptation to one would pass the other absolutely without making any impression upon him whatever. By the life of unselfish service, and through the strength gained by passing the various tests, the candidate weaves the golden wedding garment of the soul body which prepares him to enter the invisible worlds and the process of initiation consists then in simply showing him how to make use of the power which he has accumulated within himself by his own work. No one can initiate anyone else unless he has the power within, any more than an empty shell can be exploded.
How can an initate create a new adult body ready to wear before he relinquishes his old one?
Answer: You will understand in the first place that it is not everyone who has just become aware of the invisible worlds and perhaps learned to function in the soul body that is capable of performing this feat. This requires vastly more spiritual development, and only those who are very highly developed at our present time are able to perform the feat. However, the method is said to be as follows:
When food is taken into the body of anyone, be he Adept or ignoramus, the law of assimilation is that he must first overcome each particle and conform it to himself. He must subdue and conquer the individual cell life before it can become part of his body. When this has been done, the cell will stay with him for a longer or shorter time according to the constitution and the place in evolution of the life that dwells within it. The cell composed of tissue that has once been incorporated in an animal body and has been interpenetrated by a desire body has the most evolved life. Therefore, this life quickly reasserts itself and leaves the body into which it has been assimilated.
Hence one who lives upon a flesh diet must replenish his food supply very often. Such material would therefore be unsuitable for the purpose of building a body that has to wait for a while before the Adept enters it. Food consisting of vegetables, fruits, and nuts, particularly when these are ripe and fresh, is interpenetrated by a great deal of the ether which composes the vital body of the plant. They are much easier to subdue and incorporate into the polity of body. Also, they stay longer there before the individual cell life asserts itself. Therefore the Adept who wishes to build a body ready to wear before he leaves the old one, naturally builds it from fresh vegetables, fruits, and nuts, taking them into the body which he uses daily where they become subjected to his will--a part of himself.
The soul body of such a man is naturally very large and very powerful. He takes a part of it, and makes a mold or a matrix into which he may build each day particles superfluous to the nourishment of the body he is using. Thus by degrees, having assimilated a considerable surplus of new material, he may also draw upon the vehicle he is wearing for material that can be incorporated into the new body. Thus, in the course of time he gradually transmutes one body into the other. When the point is reached where emaciation of the old body would be observed by the outside world and cause comment, he will have balanced matters so that the new body is ready to wear. He can step out of the old and into the new. But he does not do that merely for the purpose of living on in the same community. it is possible for him by reason of his great knowledge to use the same body for many years in such a manner that it would seem still young, for there is no wear and tear upon it such as we ordinary mortals cause by our passions, emotions, and desires. However, when he does create a new body, it is always, as far as the writer knows, for the purpose of leaving that environment and taking up his work in a new.
It is for reason of this fact that we hear in history of men like Cagliostro, St. Germain, and others who one day appeared in a certain environment, took up an important work, and then disappeared. nobody knew whence they had come or whither they had gone, but everyone ho knew these people was ready to testify to their remarkable qualities, whether for the purpose of villification or praise.
It is taught by the Elder Brothers that Christian Rosenkreuz has a physical body, or perhaps he has had a series of bodies which he has worn continually since the order was founded in the fourteenth Century. But thought the writer has spoken to Lay Brothers of high degree, none has ever admitted that he has seen Christian Rosenkreuz. We all understand that he is the thirteenth member of the Order, and he is felt at meetings in the temple as a presence, but is neither seen or heard, so far as anyone whom the writer had dared to question, knows.
The manner of the Elder Brothers when speaking of their illustrious head has been one of reticence, and it would seem undue inquisitiveness to ask anything further than they are prepared to tell. it is known, however, that his work is with the governments of the world. And though we are unable to point to any character on the world stage now who may this great Spirit we are certain he is there and taking his proper part. It has been said that he wore the garment of a lady of the French Court prior to the revolution and worked hard and earnestly to prevent that impending catastrophe, though without success. Although we believe this is true, is is mere hearsay. Were we to point him out at the present time we should rather look for him as the power behind the throne somewhere rather than the actual incumbent of one of the seats of power in the world today.
Why do the occultists speak to us of masters and initiations, while other schools--mystics--seem to teach that many may teach himself and reach God without the necessity of initiation and masters? Cannot man reach the consciousness of the "I" without these things? Do the initiations refer solely to the unfoldment of latent powers in man? Are there intiations in mysticism? Are they the same as in occultism?
Answer: If everybody was born with the same temperament it would be necessary to have only one path for them. Everybody would need the same experiences in order to raise his consciousness to union with God. however, as every one is fundamentally different from all others, the experiences necessarily differ and certain great lines of demarkation are necessary in order to obtain the desired results for all. Therefore, strictly speaking, there are as many paths to God as there are separate spirits in evolution.
Broadly speaking, there are two: one which leads to union by faith, and the other which is the path of salvation by works. At a certain point these two paths converge, and the one who has been growing by faith finds it then necessary to take up work also, while the person who has developed by works, apart from belief, finds himself or herself compelled by experience in the present condition to have faith also. A person may learn to speak a foreign language by means of grammars and kindred helps, though he never visited the country where the language was spoken; but it is probable that his pronunciation will make that which he says unintelligible to a native. With the help, however, of one who has visited the country he may learn much more efficiently and in a shorter time.
Likewise, also in the mystic life. There are some who have progressed farther than others, who have visited the land of the soul and who have attained the mystic union with God, and their help if of inestimable value to those who are endeavoring to tread the path. Having gone before, they are able to direct the seeker intelligently, though of course he (the seeker) must walk every step of the way. The steps upon the path are commonly known as initiation. An illustration will help to make the matter clear. Let us suppose that God is at the pinnacle of a very high mountain, and that humanity is scattered over the plain below. From the foot of the mountain a spiral circles toward the goal at the top. This is the path of evolution followed by a great majority of mankind, who thus gradually climb the steep sides toward the top without perceptible effort. However, there is also a stair leading straight from the bottom to the summit. This is the path of Initiation which is climbed only by great and conscious effort.
Therefore, after a time, it is unnecessary to have Masters to help us, and their place is then taken by the Elder Brothers, known in the West as friends and advisers. The Master of the East urges his pupil, praises him when he does well, punishes him when he has been neglectful. In the West, the Elder Brothers never urge, never praise, and never blame. The urge must come from within the pupil, and they teach him to judge himself. At certain stages upon the path they require him to write impartial opinions of his own conduct, so that it may be known how far he has learned to judge correctly. Thus in every respect they educate him to stand upon his own feet without leaning on them or anyone else. For the higher we attain, the greater would be the disaster of a fall; and only as we cultivate equipoise and self-reliance coupled with zeal of devotion, are we really fitted to go on.
Now with respect to these initiations: There is no ceremony of any kind connected with the true initiation. The elaborate ceremonial of pseudo-occult orders as today seen in the visible world, of fraternal orders, or of churches, does not in any particular resemble the true initiation. That does not take place in the physical realm at all, and there is absolutely no ceremony connected with it. Neither does it consist of a ritual, read by anyone else, nor of lectures or preaching or anything of that nature. not a single word is spoken during the process. That I know to be true in the lower degrees, which I myself has passed, and it would be contrary to reason to suppose such means should be used in the higher degrees. Furthermore, having had conversations with the Lay Brothers who have passed into higher degrees, the truth of this supposition is corroborated by their word.
In this fact you have a very good reason why the secrets of true initiation cannot be revealed. it is not an outward ceremonial but an inward experience. The Initiator, having evolved the external, picture consciousness of the Jupiter Period, fixes his attention upon certain cosmic facts, and the candidate, who has become fitted for initiation by evolving within himself certain powers, (which are still latent, however), is like a tuning fork of identical pitch wit the vibration of the ideas sent out by the Initiator in pictures. Therefore, he not only sees the pictures--anyone might see them--but he is able to respond to the vibration. Vibrating to the ideal presented by the Initiator, he has the latent power within him then converted into dynamic energy and his consciousness lifted to the next step upon the ladder of initiation.
This may sound abstruse upon first reading, but if you will read and re-read until you have mastered the idea, you will have attained to the nearest description of what initiation is which can possibly be given to one who has not experienced it himself. Neither is there any secret about the picture, in the sense that one should not tell, but it is secret because no physical words are coined which could adequately describe a spiritual experience in material language. It is true that the initiation takes place in a temple particularly suited to the needs of a certain group of individuals who vibrate to a certain octave, and that there are others present. However, I reiterate that it is not what they might do or say which constitutes initiation, but that initiation is an inward experience whereby the latent powers which have been ripened within are changed to dynamic energy.
Now with respect to the difference between initiation along the occult lines, and those of the mystic. You will find from what has been said from the beginning, that they are, and must be, exactly opposite. The occultist, who takes his initiation from the intellectual side is shown the connection of spiritual causes with material facts, while the consciousness of the mystic, who has received the spiritual facts is directed to their connection with the effects of the material plane. All this with the view of blending both sides and developing man normally. The Rosicrucian initiations, being designed for the present pioneers of humanity, endeavor to blend the mystic with the occult. However, as the Western world has developed the intellect to the detriment of the fellings, a little more stress is laid perhaps upon the mystic side. Here the Elder Brothers always direct their pupils to look to Christ, but though the genuine Eastern Masters are as devoted in the service of humanity, they cannot thus teach their pupils, because from the standpoint of the Eastern aspirant the Christ Light is yet invisible. Hence they are forced to teach their charges to do exactly as they say, and in the course of time when they have ascended to our level Christ will appear to them, also.
If woman, possessing the positve vital body, reaches the point in evolution where she can have the choice of body and she selects the positive physical body, where does the negative side come in as a balance?
Answer: To understand the point you wish to have cleared up, you must first realize that man and woman are appellations to be applied only to the physical body, for sex is not expressed in the same manner in the higher vehicles. Fix also firmly in your mind that the Spirit which manifests in the bodies of the two sexes which we call male and female is itself sexless. However, two of the Spirit's attributes are particularly in evidence when it creates its vehicles: Will and Imagination, positive and negative, and they manifest as male and female respectively when the Spirit reaches the Physical World and builds the body in which it will function under the divine guidance of the Creative Hierarchies. The Spirit expresses alternately, will and imagination, so that it may be evenly developed, and therefore it manifests in male and female bodies. Being imperfect, the balance is struck for it by giving it a positive physical body together with a negative vital body, and vice versa.
However, when the time comes that the Spirit has evolved through eons in school of life and learned its lessons to such an extent that it becomes fairly self-controlled or balanced, it is no longer necessary to secure the full equilibrium by means of opposite polarity in the body. Therefore the Spirit can and does take to itself both a positive vital and a positive physical body. This is the case with the great majority of initiates except where for special reasons they find it advantageous to make use of a negative physical body. The Vital Body, however, in every Initiate is always positively polarized, as that makes it a better and more receptive instrument for the vibrations which come from the Life Spirit, whose counterpart the vital body is.
Questions Dealing with the Bible
The teaching of the New Testament as touching the Holy Spirit, the Comfortor, so winsome and so gracious, makes it difficult to identify the Holy Spirit with the vengeful Jehovah of the Old Testament. How is this to be reconciled?
Answer: It was the mission of Jehovah and His Angels to multiply whatever is upon the earth. In other words, He was the giver of children. Take the announcement of the angel to Mary: "The Holy Spirit shall come upon you and you shall conceive." There you have already a connecting link; but just as there are two sides to every question, so there are two sides also to the Holy Spirit. One phase of His work is done from the outside as a giver of law, and law when it is applied without, is a taskmaster that drives us to do this or that or prohibits us from doing other things. It demands an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. There is jehovah, the author of the law; but when the time comes that we have received the law within and are not driven from without, the taskmaster becomes the Comforter. The whole universe is governed by law. Everything in the world rests upon law, and it is our safeguard as well as our taskmaster.
In the morning we leave our homes without concern, depending upon the law of gravity to keep them in place during our absence. We know that upon our return we shall find them where we have left them, although our planet is rushing along in its orbit at the rate of 65,000 miles per hour. We rely upon the expansion of gases for our motive power. In fact, everything in nature is based upon laws, and whether we know it or not, we are their slaves until by knowledge we learn to use them, to co- operate with them, and thus make them do our bidding and save us labor.
Similarly it is with the moral laws given by Jehovah upon Mt. Sinai. They were designed to bring us to Christ, and when Christ is born within, the law of the Holy Spirit also enters in. Man then is symbolized by the Ark that stood in the Holy of Holies and had within it the tables of the law. You will notice that the Comforter who came to the men of old was not an outside Comforter, but one who worked within, one who entered into them and became a part of them. When the Spirit of Law, the Holy Spirit, enters into us, He is the Comforter, because we do willingly the things which are prompted by this inner urge, while we resented and begrudged doing the bidding of the exterior taskmaster.
In Questions and Answers you state that Christ did not raise the dead. In St. John, chapter two, verse 11, Christ said, "Oour friend Lazarus sleepeth," and then in the 14th verse Jesus said unto them plainly, "Lazarus is dead." It seems as if the Christ must have been mistaken in the first place, according to this. Which is right? Again in St. Matthew, the 10th chapter, 8th verse, the Apostles were told to raise the dead, etc.
Answer: Most of the trouble and misinterpretation of what the Gospels really mean comes from the great misunderstanding of most people who believe that they are intended to relate the life story of an individual named Jesus Christ. It is perfectly true that they have been patterned after the life of Jesus, and it speaks for his greatness that his life should be taken as a pattern by the recorders of four different Schools of Initiation. However, what these men really wanted to write was the formulae of initiation, and the four Gospels therefore embody, hidden beneath an outer coating of blinds and nonessentials, the formulae of initiation of four different Mystery Schools.
The instance mentioned, the raising of Lazarus, or the widow's son of Naim, does not involve calling a departed Spirit back to its discarded vehicle. That is not done. "When once the silver cord is loosed the Spirit returns to God who gave it and the dust whence it was taken." When a candidate comes to a point where he is to be raised up to a higher level and a greater power than he possessed before, then he must first die to things that are past and behind him. The path becomes narrower and narrower with every step, and he cannot enter into the straight gate which leads to a higher realm in nature until he has shed the body that correlated him to the next lower realm. Therefore, in that sense it is said of him at the moment when he is ready for the transition that he is dead.
If you will read Freemasonry and Catholicism, you will find that Lazarus had previously been Hiram Abiff, the Master Mason, and chief builder of Solomon's Temple; that Jesus had been previously embodied as the personality called Solomon; and that the Christ Spirit dwelling in Jesus at the time of the recorded raising of Lazarus was the great Initiator who raised him up and made him a Hierophant of the Lesser Mysteries. He is now known as Christian Rosenkreuz, the head of the Western Wisdom School, and co-worker with Jesus to unite humanity and bring them to the Kingdom of Christ.
In a similar manner, and upon a smaller scale, the Apostles were given power to raise the dead. To the babes they gave only MILK, but to those who were strong they gave the meat of the doctrine, and instructed them in the mysteries, until they had reached a certain point where, by living the life, they died and were raised up to a more abundant life in a larger sphere of usefulness. However, as already said, these deaths did not involve what we usually call the death of the body.
The Bible says: "Blessed are the poor for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven." It also states that it is more difficult for a rich man to enter Heaven than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. Many other passages seem to show that poverty is a blessing and that riches are a curse. Why then do the churches solicit money and acquire riches, and why is the Rosicrucian Fellowship starting to do the same?
Answer: We are well aware that a superficial reading of the Bible may and does give a semblance of justification for ideas as set forth in the above question, but even by applying common sense apart from Scripture it is self evident that poverty cannot be regarded as a virtue in itself. Neither are riches as such to be classed as a vice. The passage quoted from Luke: "Blessed are the poor for theirs is the Kingdom of God," requires a qualification. This Matthew gives when he writes: "Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs if the Kingdom of Heaven."
In the beginning mankind was set on the earth to till it, make it fruitful, to have dominion over everything there. In other words, they were to labor, and naturally the fruits of their labor must accrue. As time went on possessions had accumulated and also man's desire for possessions. Therefore instead of man having dominion over the world and over things therein, as Emerson said: "Things are in the saddle and ride humanity." Many and many a man thinks that he owns a store, a business, or factory, but if he were to sit down and take actual and unbiased account of his things he would find that the factory and the store own him, that he is a slave to his possessions, that they demand his time and the joy of life which might otherwise be his. He lives in constant fear that he may be robbed, or that a business failure may take away his possessions. He is never at peace, always afraid because of his riches. Such a condition is all too common, and under that condition riches are certainly a curse.
That man, however, is not poor in spirit. Another may legally own a factory, giving employment to a large number of men, and may yet feel himself God's steward, taking care of a certain part of the world's work. As he does not consider himself the personal owner of the things around him, he is really poor in spirit, though he may be rich in a legal sense. Moreover, if he is consistent in carrying this attitude of mind to his death, then it is an absolute certainty he has laid up a great deal of treasure in heaven. Therefore he is rich in that place and will enter with flying colors, no matter if the gates were microscopical.
Similarly, churches may acquire great riches on earth and gain treasure in heaven if they use them well for the alleviation of suffering. That does not mean either, that we should give to everyone indiscriminately. Discrimination is certainly a great factor in soul growth, and we have every precedence and incentive to use that faculty in giving as well as in all other departments of life. Indiscriminate giving often makes paupers of people who would otherwise be useful. Certainly the Bible is not so illogical that it would hold that poverty in itself is a virtue, for then we could all lead a life of idleness, which attitude is unfortunately all too common among people who profess to follow the higher life. As a matter of fact, many poor people may have to give an account of the reason they are poor. Opportunities come to each and every one of us, and if we have failed to grasp them, if we have been spendthrifts of time and of the little material means we have had and thereby prevented ourselves from getting more wherewith to do good, we shall certainly have to render an account for our actions. On the other hand, the rich man who has used his riches well may be commended for the way he has conducted his Father's business.
As for the reference to The Rosicrucian Fellowship, it is scarcely worth answering, for, of course, anyone who uses discrimination knows that The Rosicrucian Fellowship as such has not been soliciting funds for the Ecclesia or anything else. Certain members within the Fellowship have started an agitation for funds, and there is no reason why that may not go on among themselves. The paraphernalia wherewith to do the work has to be obtained, and if the members feel that need, and want to supply it, it is certainly their privilege. The writer has absolutely no right to interfere. Therefore, the letters are published and the opinions that are expressed are in order. Only if instigated in any sense by the writer, would they be out of place and detrimental to the work of the Fellowship, for, as is often said, it is not permitted to him to solicit contributions for anything whatever.
What is meant in the Apostles' Creed and in the Bible by the resurrection of the body?
Answer: The Apostles' Creed was not composed until centuries after the Apostles had passed away, and then it was taken to embody what they had believed. Neither they nor the Bible teach the resurrection of the body. That phrase is not to be found in the Good Book at all. In King James' version we read (Job 19:26) that "though after my skin, worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God;" and this passage is the chief reliance of those who endeavor to establish this absurd doctrine. However, the translators appointed by King James were poor Hebrew scholars, and most of them died before the translation was completed. In the Revised Version you find another interpretation as follows:
"And after my skin, even this body is destroyed; then without my flesh shall I see God." Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God; therefore, what in the world would be the use of having a body such as we have now? Furthermore, this body must be perpetuated at the present time, and we are told that in the resurrection there shall be neither marrying nor giving in marriage--another argument which shows that a vehicle of another kind from the flesh will be used. Besides, it is a well-known, well-established scientific fact that the atoms in our bodies are constantly coming and going. Now, if there is to be a resurrection of the body, which sets of atoms is it to be that shall come forth in this resurrected body? Or if every atom that ever was in our body from birth to death is to be in that resurrected body, would it not be an enormous conglomeration, since we should then have immense bodies composed of layers? It would in fact be a scientific conundrum. Now, as Paul says, the seed is put in the ground each time to gather a new body. (See I Corr., 15).
On page 472 of the Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception is the following paragraph:
"The vow of absolute celibacy applies to the Greater Initiations only, and even then a single act of fecundation may sometimes be necessary, as an act of sacrifice, as was the case of providing the body for Christ."
The Christian religion teaches that Jesus, the Christ, was born of a virgin, which is otherwise expressed as an immaculate conception. Are such teachings, and in its strictest adherence to the definition "divine," is the birth of Jesus so considered by the Rosicrucians?
Answer: According to the teachings of the Rosicrucians it is necessary to distinguish very sharply between the Christ and Jesus. When we search the Memory of Nature we find that the Spirit born into the body of Jesus was a very advanced Ego, which had reached a most sublime spirituality through many lives of holy, self-sacrificing service, and it is possible to trace the previous births of that Ego as easily as we may seek out the past experiences of any other entity belonging to the human race. However, we shall search in vain for any previous embodiment of the Christ because He does not belong to? our evolution at all. He was the highest Initiate of the Sun Period, and the ordinary humanity of that far distant past have now evolved to a state of high spirituality. We may call them Archangels.
Until 2,000 years ago the earth was ruled with an iron hand by Jehovah and His Angels, who were the evolutionary product of a past period. Under His regime the fear of the law was pitted against the desires of the flesh. Every transgression required an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. This, however, left no scope for the evolution of love and altruism. "Perfect love casteth out all fear," and Christ came into the world to save humanity from law and egoism by cultivation of love and altruism.
However, it is an inexorable law in nature that no one can build a body of material which, by evolution, he has not learned to manipulate, and in the far distant past, when the Archangels were at the human stage, the world which they inhabited was made of desire stuff. Hence, as our dense physical body is made from the chemical constituents of our present earth, so the densest body of an Archangel is made of desire stuff. For many centuries before He actually came into our midst, the Christ Spirit worked on the earth from the outside, to purity the earth's desire body that we might gain materials wherefrom to build purer and better desires and emotions. Obviously this could be done much better by an indwelling Spirit if a way could be provided to secure for it an entrance into the earth. It was the mission of Joseph, Mary, and Jesus to provide this vehicle, consisting of a dense and vital body, to which the desire body and higher vehicles of the Christ could link themselves for a brief period while He accomplished His mission.
When the generative act is performed in a low, brutal manner, when it is tainted with lust and passion it certainly degrades below the level of beasts those who participate in this act of desecration. On the other hand, when prospective parents prepare themselves by prayer and lofty aspirations to perform the act as a sacrament, regardless of self- gratification, the conception is immaculate. It is evident that it is not the physical virginity that counts as a virtue, for every one is at that stage during the early years of life. It is the purity, the chastity of the soul, which makes the pure virgin, both father and mother.
According to the teachings of the Rosicrucians, backed up by research in the Memory of Nature, such was the condition of Joseph and Mary when the body which formed around the seed atom of Jesus was conceived. The Sun Spirit, Christ, could not construct such a vehicle. Besides it would have been a useless expenditure of valuable energy for such a great Spirit to pass through the womb and bring a body up through the years of childhood until it had arrived at the age of maturity where it could be used. Therefore, this task was delegated to Jesus who used the body until the time of the Baptism, when we are told the Spirit descended upon it as a dove. There Jesus left his body which was inhabited from that time to the end of the Christ Spirit, and we have thus, during the three years' ministry, to deal with a composite entity, Jesus the Christ.
It should be understood that the great Hierarchies who have aided us in our evolution always work with the laws which they have given for our guidance and not against them, and having once evolved the method of building a body by the union of man and woman, they would not think of suspending that law any more than they would for a single moment think of suspending the law of gravitation. We can easily imagine what chaos would result if people, houses, street cars, and everything else not securely anchored to the earth, would tumble into the air, and the disasters to our social structure which would follow the suspension of the law of fecundation can also be imagined. In fact the interpolated accounts also make it clear that Joseph intended to put Mary away. Such a course would naturally follow a miracle not known or believed by the ordinary husband. As a further evidence of tampering by the translators you will also notice that the genealogy of Jesus is traced to Joseph, and if he were not the father this would be foolish; then also Jesus could not have been said to have sprung from the root of David.
There are ways, however, of making a body available to the Adept without going through the womb. Before describing this method let it be thoroughly understood that the term "Adept" is not to be applied to the egotists or charlatans who thus style themselves in newspaper advertising or among a coterie of dupes. The true Adept is one who has reached a high stage of spirituality, and what that stage is, we shall understand by comparing the ordinary seer and the Initiate with him.
The seer is one who has developed the spiritual sight. If he has no control over the faculty, he sees things in the invisible world wen they present themselves before him. He has choice neither as to what he sees nor when, nor the power to shut off any scene that may be disagreeable to him. The voluntary seer is one who, at will, can call up sights and scenes from the invisible worlds and can turn his spiritual vision upon any object or even for as long or as short a time as he desires.
It is commonly believe among most people who have not given the subject thought, that when any one is able to see things in the invisible worlds he is, so to speak, omniscient, and knows about everything there. As a matter of fact, the ability to see things in the invisible worlds does not carry with it the faculty of understanding all about them, any more than the ability to see a machine here gives us the knowledge how to operate it.
The Initiate is one who has not only the ability to see things in the invisible worlds, but also the faculty of leaving his body consciously and operating or investigating these things. Thus by degrees he acquires a knowledge of their inner workings and how to link these forces, which we call laws of nature, to the chariot of evolutionary progress.
The Adept is one who sees and knows, and has, in addition, become proficient in the use of the laws of nature for the production of what, to the ordinary person, seems magic, but which is in reality only the higher application of the same laws that govern in the ordinary course of life.
We are all familiar with the fact that food which we take into our system is largely wasted because of our lack of knowledge regarding the real requirements of this vehicle, coupled with the fact that most of us eat to please the palate rather than to nourish the system. This interferes with the metabolism and more food is wasted than assimilated.
Even that part of the food which we assimilate does not always form healthy tissue, but flabby flesh, which is a dead load on us, and the vital body is constantly struggling to rid itself of undesirable surplus waste. After a heavy meal the seer may observe a black band of elastic, jellylike consistency, formed of ether, about the abdominal region of the gourmand. This is the poison, generated by the fermentation of unhealthy food taken in an overdose, which is being expelled by the dense body by the radiating streams of the vital body in the effort of the latter vehicle to cleanse the clogged system.
We also waste bodily tissue by indulging in pleasures, by unnecessary motions and emotions, causing the dense body to age and die long before it would die if properly used.
The Adept is different. He knows how to control his actions and emotions, thus saving all unnecessary strain upon the body. He also knows the exact elements required to keep up his body, and the proper proportion in which to take them. Thus he secures the maximum nutrition and a minimum of waste.
For that reason he may keep his body in a state of youthful appearance and vigorous health for hundreds of years. It is said among the lay-brothers of the Rosicrucians that Christian Rosenkreuz is today using a body which ha been thus preserved for several centuries. This may or may not be so, the writer has no means of knowing, for our august leader is never seen by any of the lay brothers who gather at the Temple for the midnight Service. His presence is only felt, and is the signal for beginning the work. However, in conversation with some of the lay brothers who have been connected with the temple for twenty, thirty, and forty years in this life, it has developed that the Elder Brothers, of whom we speak as our Teachers, look just about the same today as they did thirty or forty years ago. Judging by the standards of ordinary men we should say that the Elder Brothers seem now to be about forty years of age and this lends color to the statement of teaching as given in the foregoing.
We see then that the Adepts are able to preserve their bodies for centuries, maybe millenniums, but they are also able to create a new vehicle if for any reason that becomes expedient, and this is one of the ways described by the Elder Brother.
It is a law in nature that the cell life inherent in any particle of food must be overpowered by the Ego before it can be assimilated. (See in this connection the chapter on assimilation in The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception.) Hence, it is impossible for the Adept to make an extract of the elements whereof a body is built forming them into a vehicle and then stepping from the old to the new. He must first take them into his own body that they may be attuned to the seed atom and properly assimilated. Then after they have been appropriated by him in the manner decreed by the laws of nature, he may again extract them and use them to build a new body. Therefore the Adept commences this work by increasing his diet and extracting the surplus amount of food. Being so thoroughly self-controlled he also has the power to control and hold in subjection the live food elements which he then uses gradually to build a body. This vehicle is usually placed in a room not entered by anyone else. When it is finished and the Adept desires to make the change, he simply steps out of his old body into the new.
The use of this method is the solution to the mystery surrounding the early life and antecedents of such men as Count St. Germain, Cagliostro, etc. They were Adepts who stepped out of an environment when they had outgrown their usefulness into a new field. The bodies they had left behind bore no names, and no one suspected that the Spirit which had inhabited them had not taken the usual post-mortem course.
It is also a law in nature that no one can make a vehicle unless he has learned by evolution how to do it. Great and mighty as was the Cosmic Sun Spirit, Christ, He could not build a dense body, either in the womb, or by the magical method last described, for he never had the experience in the heaven life where the archetypes of bodies are built, nor has He gone through the actual experiences such as have been the lot of mankind for ages. Therefore, it was necessary that someone be chosen to build a body for Him. That honor and privilege fell to Joseph, Mary and Jesus, who furnished the dense body and cared for it during the years of growth until maturity had been reached, together with the vital body necessary to keep the dense instrument alive and to complete the link of the desire body of Christ.
Thus, when properly understood, it is true that Jesus was born of a virgin and that the conception was immaculate. The mistake likes in confusion Jesus with Christ. mark that the Angel Gabriel commanded that his name should be called Jesus. Christos means "anointed," and refers to an office, a function, and not to a person. Therefore, it is not until after the Baptism when he has been anointed with the Spirit that he is spoken of as Jesus Christ, or in English, the Anointed Jesus. It is also a mistake to regard the birth of Jesus as unique. We have the word of Christ that the things which He did, shall we also do and greater. The Immaculate Conception, the Baptism (the christening or anointing), the period of service and ministry, the Cross and the Crown, will in their turn become personal experiences to every one among us, for we are all Christs- in-the making and must sometime grow to the full stature of Divinity.
The Rosicrucians teach that Christ is the Sun-Spirit, and it seems therefore perfectly logical that keep Sunday sacred to His worship in Christian lands. However, Jehovah is the ruler of the Moon. Why then were not the Jews taught to keep Monday holy instead of Saturn's day, which is now their Sabbath?
Answer: There is an esoteric connection between Saturn, the Sun, and the Moon, which rule Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. The Sun and Saturn are ministers of life and death, and the Moon is, so to speak, the shuttle-cock on which mankind is constantly being thrown from one pole to another while the web of experience is being woven. The Moon's north Node, which we call the Dragon's Head, partakes of the nature of the life-giving Sun and ushers humanity into the period of physical activity. The South Node ushers us into the rest of death by the saturnine forces of the Dragon's Tail. In other words, both Saturn and the Moon are gates of entrance an exit from the invisible world, or Chaos, the Moon in a planetary capacity and Saturn in the cosmic sense.
When a great Creative Date of Manifestation is ushered in, time always begins with a Saturn Period, and at that time the life waves of Spirit which have been undergoing the subjective phase of evolution during the preceding Cosmic Night are ushered into active manifestation, and this takes place during the Saturn Revolution of every Period. In the smaller earth-sphere of our present activity when an Ego is ready for rebirth into terrestrial life the Moon marks the time of both conception and birth, thus taking over the saturnine function of ushering in evolving Egos from the dark Cosmic Night of death to the solar universe of life and light. There are, however, some Egos who do not evolve, but are stragglers upon the path of evolution. For them there comes a time when they are finally ejected to the Moon and are denied the opportunity and privilege of rebirth in the present evolutionary class. they then remain upon the Moon until the vehicles they have crystallized by lack of action are finally dissolved, and as they cannot go forward with the stream of evolution, there is only one other way open to them, viz., to gravitate back through the gate of Saturn into Chaos, or Cosmic Night, where they must await another opportunity of manifestation in a later life stream.
Jehovah is not Ruler of the Jews to the exclusion of all other people. He is the Law-giver and Cosmic Lord of fecundation. Therefore, He has a special mission to perform for all pioneer people of any poch or period where a great host of Spirits are to be furnished with vehicles of a new type. It is He who multiplies the pioneer people abundantly, gives them the laws appropriate to their evolution and thus starts them upon a new period of development. If we remember this fact and also bear in mind that the first part of an epoch is saturnine, then we shall understand that although the original Semites who were the forbears of the Aryan race were multiplied as the sands on the seashore and given their laws by Jehovah, they were also living in the Saturn part of the Aryan epoch and therefore were logically taught to keep Saturn's day as a day of rest.
The Bible says that the law was supreme until the advent of the great Sun Spirit. Christ started a new phase of evolution under the principle of love, and regeneration. This ended the regime of Jehovah and the sway of Saturn, not abruptly of course, for there is always an overlapping of the old and the new. However, from that time we, the pioneer Christian people, have entered upon the second, or Sun part of the Aryan Epoch, and are therefore now substituting the Sun's day for the day of Saturn, as a day of worship.
As we have spoken of the Moon and Saturn as being the gates of Chaos, this may cause the students to wonder what becomes of the rest of us, and we may therefore briefly state the Western Wisdom teaching on this point.
Ordinary humanity who follow the path of evolution are led to the Kingdom of Christ, the Sun Spirit.
Stragglers who fail to keep up with the procession retrograde to the Kingdom of Jehovah, the Moon Spirit.
The advance guard of humanity, the Initiates who have passed both the lesser and greater Initiations and appear before the Liberator (the great Being in charge of evolution on Earth), are given the choice of staying here an helping their brothers in this world or of going to Jupiter and preparing the conditions under which humanity may evolve in the future Jupiter Period.
Advanced souls who misuse their powers as black magicians eventually retrograde directly to Saturn and are forced into Chaos by dissolution of their vehicles.
Saturn has a preponderance of the fourth or reflecting ether. Hence its pale light, and the Egos who go there leave a record of their lives and are then propelled outward toward chaos by way of Saturn's moons.
Jupiter has a preponderance of the third or light ether. Hence its brilliancy, and the advanced Egos who come to Jupiter from the outside go inward through the moons and then begin, as said, a constructive work for the Jupiter Period.
What is the meaning of the letters I.N.R.I. sometimes placed over the Cross?
Answer: We are told in the gospel story that Pilate placed a sign reading, "Jesus Nazarenus Rex Judaeorem," and His Cross, and this is translated in the authorized version to mean "Jesus of nazareth, King of the Jews." But the four initials, I.N.R.I., placed upon the Cross represent the names of the four elements in Hebrew: Iam, water; Nour, fire; Ruach, spirit or vital air; and Iabeshah, earth. This is the occult key to the mystery of crucifixion, for it symbolizes in the first place the Salt, Sulphur, Mercury, and Azoth which were used by the ancient alchemists to make the Philospher's Stone, the universal solvent, the elixir-vitae.
The two "I's" (iam and iabeshah) represent the salient luna element water, (a) in fluidic state holding salt in solution, and (b) in the coagulated extract of this water, "the salt of the earth." In other words, the finer fluidic vehicles of man and his dense body. N, (nour) in Hebrew stands for fire and the combustile elements, chief among which are sulphur and phosphorus, so necessary to oxidation and without which wram blood would be an impossibility. The Ego could not then function in the body, nor could thought find a material expression. R (ruach) is the Hebrew equivalent for the Spirit, Azoth, functioning in the mercurial mind. Thus the four letters, I.N.R.I., placed over the Cross of Christ according to the gospel story represent composite man, the Thinker, at the point of his spiritual development when he is getting ready for liberation from the cross of his dense vehicle.
Proceeding further along the same line of elucidation we may note that I.N.R.I. is the symbol of the crucified candidate for the following additional reasons:
IAM is the Hebrew word signifying water, the fluidic lunar element, which forms the principal part of the human body (about 87 per cent), and this word is also the symbol of the finer fluidic vehicles of desire and emotion.
Nour, the Hebrew word signifying fire, is a symbolic representation of the heat-producing red blood lden with martial iron, fire, and energy, which the occultist sees coursing as gas through the veins and arteries of the human body, infusing it with energy and ambition, and without which there could be neither material nor spiritual progress. It also represents the sulphur and phosphorus necessary for the material manifestation of thought as already mentioned.
Ruach, the Hebrew word for Spirit, or vital air, is an excellent symbol of the Ego clothed in the mercurial mind which makes man MAN, and enables him to control and direct his bodily vehicles and activities in a rational manner.
Iabeshah is the Hebrew word for earth, representing the solid fleshy part which makes up the cruciform earthy body, crystallized within the finer vehicles at birth and severed from them in the ordinary course of things at death, or in the extraordinary course of things at death, or in the extraordinary event that we learn to die the mystic death and ascend to the glories of higher spheres for a time.
This stage of the Christian Mystic's spiritual development therefore involves a reversal of the creative force from its ordinary downward course through the tripartite spinal cord where the three segments are ruled by the Moon, Mars, and Mercury, respectively, and where the ray of Neptune then lights the regenerative spinal spirit-fire which, mounting upward, sets the pituitary body and the pineal gland into vibration. This, opening up the spiritual sight and striking the frontal sinus, starts the crown of thorns throbbing with pain as the bond with the physical body is burned by the sacred spirit-fire which wakes this center from its age long sleep to a throbbing, pulsating life, sweeping onward to the other centers in the five-pointed stigmatic star. They are also vitalized and the whole vehicle becomes aglow with a golden glory. Then with a final wrench the great vortex of the desire body located in the liver is liberated, and the martial energy contained in that vehicle propels upward and sidereal vehicle (so-called because the stigmata in the head, hands, and feet are located in the same relative position to one another as the points in the five-pointed star), which ascends through the skull (Golgotha), while the crucified Christian utters his triumphant cry, "Consummatum est" (it has been accomplished), and soars into the subtler spheres to seek Jesus whose life he has imitated with such success and from whom he is henceforth inseparable. Jesus is his Teacher and his guide to the Kingdom of Christ where all shall be united in one body to learn and to practice the Religion of the Father to whom the Kingdom will eventually revert that He may be All in All.
If we should not eat meat, I presume fish is included. What then is the answer to the miraculous draft of fishes as told in the Bible? No doubt these were wanted for food.
Answer: We have often stated, that while the Gospels are true versions of the life of the man Jesus, they are also manuals of initiation. The Sun, as visible in the heavens, is the physical light bearer which is the "light of the world," but behind it there is the invisible Sun carrying also spiritual light. The initiate who follows the path of initiation is in the same sense a light burner or enlightener of the people. Therefore, his life is inseparably connected with the Sun, which in its yearly course goes through the twelve signs of the zodiac by direct motion from Aries, the ram, to Pisces, the fishes, and in its course ripens the grain and the grape which feed mankind physically. There is also another motion of the Sun known by astronomers as the precession of the equinox, whereby the Sun goes through each sign in about 2,100 years. This is connected with the spiritual progress of humanity, and therefore the symbol of the savior of any age is always that of the sign through which the Sun at that particular time is moving by precession.
To keep within historic times, we may say, that at the time when the Sun by precession went through the sign Taurus, the Bull or Calf was worshiped among the most advanced human nations. We find the Bull, Apis, among the Egyptians, and Mithras, the persian Christ, riding upon a Bull. However, when the Sun by precession moved from Taurus, the Bull, into Aries, the sign of the Ram or Lamb, God's people went out of Egypt at the passover, or vernal equinox, when the Sun passes over the equator. It then became idolatry to worship the Bull or Calf, and they were taught to worship the Ram or Lamb of God. At the time of the advent of Christ the Sun by precession was in about seven degrees of Aries and within orb of the next sign, Pisces, the fishes. He was the Savior of the coming dispensation. Therefore He sought fishermen, and as He took them from their vocation, He stated He would make them fishers of men. All through the New Testament you will find this continual allusion to fishes.
At the time when the Christian religion was being established after His death, there was controversy whether the symbol of this Savior should be the Lamb or the Fish. Therefore, as a relic of that controversy we have even to the present day the bishops wearing a mitre shaped as the head of a fish. At the same time the functionaries of that church also have the staff of the Shepherd, signifying the connection with Aries, the lamb. It was not until several centuries after the crucifixion of Christ Jesus that the Lamb was used as His symbol. Pisces, the sign of the fishes, is a watery sign, and therefore we see at the doors of the Catholic Church the holy water wherewith the worshipers make the sign. They are taught that on Fridays they must abstain from the use of meat and take fish instead, and also during Lenten season fish is the main food. All this because the Sun by precession is going through the sign Pisces. It is now nearing Aquarius, the sign of the Son of Man, and in that day and age the symbol of the savior will be different. A different phase of the Christian religion will also have its vogue to meet the needs of the more advanced generations which will then inhabit the earth. In fact, that is the object of the Rosicrucian Teachings.
In the Apocalypse John says, "There shall be no more sea." What does that mean?
Answer: It means just what it says, for the earth itself is going through a number of stages of evolution which furnish the conditions necessary for our development. There was the dark age during which the material for our planet was gathered together in a fermentative and germinative condition which produced heat so that at a certain point when the creative fiat, "Let there be light" was uttered, this material became a luminous fire mist, revolving upon its axis and heating the surrounding atmosphere which was then cooled by contact with outer space. Thus moisture was generated, and it fell upon the glowing planet, with the result that a steam went outward, a fire fog.
For aeons of time this evaporation and condensation went on until the earth was encrusted and became what we know as dry land, from which a mist went upwards, to also stated in the Bible. This cooled and condensed, coming down upon the earth as a flood which finally cleared the air and gave us the atmospheric conditions which prevail today. In the past we had bodies fitting us to live in the varying environments on the earth, and today our vehicles are largely composed of water, as are the bodies of the animals and plants. However, the Bible tells us that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. We are told that we shall put off the physical body and that we shall be caught up in the air; also as you mention, "there shall be no sea." Thus the general conditions are placed before us and there are quite a few signs that though these changes are being brought about slowly, they are surely coming. Scientists are now beginning to recognize the fact that the earth is being deprived of its moisture. Says the Literary Digest:
"Many authorities recognize the fact that the earth is slowly losing its moisture. How this can occur is partially explained, we are told by C.F. von Hermann, in Science (New York), by the action of electrical discharges in decomposition vapor. One of the component gases, hydrogen, is very light and rises to the upper limits of the earth's atmosphere, where it is ultimately thrown off. This loss of hydrogen means in the long run a loss of water. The decomposition of the earth's moisture, with final loss, is also brought about by other agencies, notably the effect of the light-rays of the upper part of the spectrum. Mr. von Hermann quotes a writer in Umschau, Dr. Karl Stoeckel, as saying: 'It is believed that the ultra-violet rays of sunlight which fall upon the water vapor suspended in the lower strata of the earth's atmosphere decompose a small part of it to produce hydrogen, which rises to great heights."
On this Mr. von Hermann comments as follows: "I do not think it has been pointed out before that the earth's surface must be continuously losing hydrogen through the decomposition of water vapor by every flash of lightning. Pickering and others have recognized the hydrogen lines in the spectrum of lightning, and the larger works on meterology mention the fact that lightning flashes decompose some water . . . The hydrogen formed by every lightning flash rises rapidly to the upper atmosphere and is lost to the earth. Considering the frequency of thunderstorms during the summer season in both hemispheres and at all times in the equatorial regions, the loss of hydrogen in this way cannot be considered as insignificant. As long as conditions upon the earth remain such as to render thunderstorms possible, the slow dessication of the earth must continue."
Thus the teachings of the Bible are being vindicated on every essential point as science advances. The facts discovered show how the past and the present have been described with accuracy. This gives us reason for our faith that the future developments will also be found in line with the truths taught in the Bible.
Why were the colors of the veil in the Tabernacle purple, scarlet, and white? Why were not the three primary colors, blue, red, and yellow represented?
Answer: Blue is the color of the Father who rules over the whole universe continually from the beginning of manifestation to the end thereof, omnipresent in everything that lives, breathes, and has its being. Red or scarlet is the color of the Holy Spirit which generates living creatures. When life takes a wrong expression, if restrained by a code of laws, the Holy Spirit thus becomes Jehovah, the Law-giver. Yellow is the color of Christ, the Lord of Love, who by that divine Principle supersedes the law and brings us again in direct contact and harmony with the Father.
Thus you will see that under the ancient regime it was impossible to have included the yellow and made all three primary colors emblematic of the Temple. For the time being the Father and Jehovah reigned. The blue and the scarlet, their colors, were on the Temple, and purple, which is the color resulting from the intermingling of the two primaries before named, was also there, showing not only their separate existence but their unity. In the last place there was the white space emblematic of the fact that still something remained unmanifested, and that was the third color, yellow.
From the time of Christ, the true Western Mystery School, the Rosicrucians, have had as their emblem the Red Roses, emblematic of the purification of the desire nature; the golden star, showing that the Christ is born within the disciple and radiates from the five points which represent the head and the four limbs. This is reflected upon the blue background emblematic of the Father. Thus it shows that the manifestation of God, unity in trinity, has been accomplished.
I have often thought that there was one lack in the literature of the Rosicrucian Fellowship, namely, a devotional book, and thousands of our students have probably felt the same. To supply this lack many have taken up books of Eastern origin, which is a very bad practice. Many lives ago, when we of the Western world were in Eastern bodies, at a time when there was no Western world, as we know it today, these things fitted us, but today we have advanced beyond, and should rather look to our Christian saints for guidance on the path of Devotion. My own special book has been The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a'Kempis. It is a wonderful volume. There is not a case in life that cannot find some fitting passage in this book; and the more one reads it the more one loves it. You probably know the residents on Mt. Ecclesia take turns alphabetically at reading during the morning and evening services. Whenever it comes my turn I pick up Thomas a' Kempis and read a chapter, starting at the beginning and going through to the end. Then one can being over again. There is never a dull moment in the whole book, and it would be well for students who feel the desire for something to accelerate their devotional nature, to take up this little book as a reading. It can, I believe be procured from most book sellers all over the world.
Why were the colors of the veil of the Temple and the priest's robes as spoken of in Exodus, blue, purple, and scarlet, instead of the three primary colors?
Answer: The Tabernacle in the Wilderness was the first church ever erected on earth. When humanity had been driven away from the basins of the earth by the condensation of the waters which had previously hung like a dense mist over the earth, the spiritual sight which had hitherto guided them became a hinderance to physical development. Thus it waned, and man's senses became focused in the physical world. This change involved a severance from the Divine Hierarchies who had hitherto guided man on the path of evolution. They became invisible and man missed them. Then there arose in his heart a longing for God which was met by giving him the Tabernacle in the Wilderness and prescribing certain divine laws for his guidance. Jehovah was the Law-maker and the particular Genius of the Original Semites who were the seed race of the coming Aryan Epoch; and behind Him stood the Most High, the Father. You will find this in such passages as Deuteronomy 32, verses 8 and 9, where it is stated that the Most High divided the people into nations and gave a certain portion to the Lord, who guided them and brought them out of Egypt, the land where the Bull was worshiped, into the Aryan Rainbow Age. This was inaugurated by using the blood of the Lamb, Aries [sign], at the Passover accomplished by Noah and giving them laws by moses which were all symbolically shown in the Tabernacle in the Wilderness.
The color of the Most High, the Father, is a spiritual blue. The color of Jehovah is red (indicating the sacrificial aspect of blood) and the mixture of these two colors produces purple. Therefore, these tow colors were shown on the veil of the Temple, but there was also the color white, which showed in symbology that something was still missing. Under the regime of Jehovah it was necessary to give an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. That was demanded by the Law dictated by Him, and given to Moses. This Law reigned until Christ, who then brought graceand truth, rending the Temple veil. Under that ancient law sacrifices of animals were compulsory, for humanity had not yet learned how to make a sacrifice of themselves. When the Christ showed the way to truth had life by making a sacrifice of Himself, the Temple veil was rent, the old system was abrogated, and a new way was opened for the salvation of "whosoever will."
In the new dispensation there is therefore no veil on which the color of the Initiator may be displayed. A better way has been found of marking those that are Christ's with His golden color individually, and thus it is that those who follow the path of service and self-sacrifice evolve within their own aura the golden Christ color, which is the third of the primary colors. This is the priestly robe of the new dispensation without which no one can ever enter the Kingdom, and no robe obtained at pseudo initiations can ever take its place, no matter what price is paid.