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 early 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 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 and 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 law 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, hold 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.
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 parents. 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 a 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 ideas 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 the 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.
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 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 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 may 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 gaea), 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 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 ....
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 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.