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God-sent are all religions blest;
And Christ, the Way, the Truth, the Life,
To give the heavy laden rest
And peace from sorrow, sin, and strife.
Behold the Universal Spirit came
To all the churches, not to one alone;
On Pentecostal morn a tongue of flame
Round each apostle as a halo shone.
Since then, as vultures ravenous with greed,
We oft have battled for an empty name,
And sought by dogma, edict, cult, or creed,
To send each other to the quenchless flame.
Is Christ then twain? Was Cephas, Paul,
To save the world, nailed to the tree?
Then why divisions here at all?
Christ's love enfolds both you and me.
His pure sweet love is not confined
By creed which segregate and raise a wall.
His love enfolds, embraces human kind,
No matter what ourselves or Him we call.
Then why not take Him at His word?
Why hold to creeds which tear apart?
But one thing matters, be it heard
That brother love fill every heart.
There's but one thing the world has need to know.
There's but one balm for all our human woe:
There's but one way that leads to heaven above--
That way is human sympathy and love.
A Word to the Wise
When a new philosophy is presented to the world it is met in different ways by different people.
One person will grasp with avidity any new philosophical effort in an endeavor to ascertain how far it supports his own ideas. To such a one the philosophy itself is of minor importance. Its prime value will be its vindication of his ideas. If the work comes up to expectation in that respect, he will enthusiastically adopt it and cling to it with a most unreasoning partisanship; if not, he will probably lay the book down in disgust and disappointment, feeling as if the author had done him an injury.
Another adopts an attitude of skepticism as soon as he discovers that it contains something which he has not previously read, heard, or originated in his own thought. He would probably resent as extremely unjustified the accusation that his mental attitude is the acme of self-satisfaction and intolerance; such is nevertheless the case; and thus he shuts his mind to any truth which may possibly be hidden in that which he off-hand rejects.
Both these classes stand in their own light. "Set" ideas render them impervious to rays of truth. "A little child" is the very opposite of its elders in that respect. It is not imbued with an overwhelming sense of superior knowledge, nor does it feel compelled to look wise or to hide its nescience of any subject by a smile or a sneer. It is frankly ignorant, unfettered by preconceived opinions and therefore eminently teachable. It takes everything with that beautiful attitude of trust which we have designated "child-like faith," wherein there is not the shadow of a doubt. There the child holds the teaching it receives until proven or disproven.
In all occult schools the pupil is first taught to forget all else when a new teaching is being given, to allow neither preference nor prejudice to govern, but to keep the mind in a state of calm, dignified waiting. As skepticism will blind us to truth in the most effective manner, so this calm, trustful attitude of the mind will allow the intuition, or "teaching from within," to become aware of the truth contained in the proposition. That is the only way to cultivate an absolutely certain perception of truth.
The pupil is not required to believe off-hand that a given object which he has observed to be white, is really black, when such a statement is made to him; but he must cultivate an attitude of mind which "believeth all things" as possible. That will allow him to put by for the time being even what are generally considered "established facts," and investigate if perchance there be another viewpoint hitherto unobserved by him whence the object referred to would appear black. Indeed, he would not allow himself to look upon anything as "an established fact," for he realizes thoroughly the importance of keeping his mind in the fluidal state of adaptability which characterizes the little child. He realizes in every fibre of his being that "now we see through a glass, darkly," and Ajax-like he is ever on the alert, yearning for "Light, more Light."
The enormous advantage of such an attitude of mind when investigating any given subject, object or idea must be apparent. Statements which appear positively and unequivocally contradictory, which have caused an immense amount of feeling among the advocates of opposite sides, may nevertheless be capable of perfect reconciliation, as shown in one such instance mentioned in the present work. The bond of concord is only discovered by the open mind, however, and though the present work may be found to differ from others, the writer would bespeak an impartial hearing as the basis of subsequent judgment. If the book is "weighed and found wanting," the writer will have no complaint. He only fears a hasty judgment based upon lack of knowledge of the system he advocates--a hearing wherein the judgment is "wanting" in consequence of having been denied an impartial "weighing." He would further submit, that the only opinion worthy of the one who expresses it must be based upon knowledge.
As a further reason for care in judgment we suggest that to many it is exceedingly difficult to retract a hastily expressed opinion. Therefore it is urged that the reader withhold all expressions of either praise or blame until study of the work has reasonably satisfied him of its merit or demerit.
The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception is not dogmatic, neither does it appeal to any other authority than the reason of the student. It is not controversial, but is sent forth in the hope that is may help to clear some of the difficulties which have beset the minds of students of the deeper philosophies in the past. In order to avoid serious misunderstanding, it should be firmly impressed upon the mind of the student, however, that there is no infallible revelation of this complicated subject, which includes everything under the sun and above it also.
An infallible exposition would predicate omniscience upon the part of the writer, and even the Elder Brothers tell us that they are sometimes at fault in their judgment, so a book which shall say the last word on the World-Mystery is out of the question, and the writer of the present work does not pretend to give aught but the most elementary teachings of the Rosicrucians.
The Rosicrucian Brotherhood has the most far-reaching, the most logical conception of the World-Mystery of which the writer has gained any knowledge during the many years he has devoted exclusively to the study of this subject. So far as he has been able to investigate, their teachings have been found in accordance with facts as he knows them. Yet he is convinced that The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception is far from being the last word on the subject; that as we advance greater vistas of truth will open to us and make clear many things which we now "see through a glass, darkly." At the same time he firmly believes that all other philosophies of the future will follow the same main lines, for they appear to be absolutely true.
In view of the foregoing it will be plain that this book is not considered by the writer as the Alpha and Omega, the ultimate of occult knowledge, and even though is entitled "The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception," the writer desires to strongly emphasize that is not to be understood as a "faith once for all delivered" to the Rosicrucians by a founder of the Order or by any other individual. It is emphatically stated that this work embodies only the writer's understanding of the Rosicrucian teachings concerning the World-Mystery, strengthened by his personal investigations of the inner Worlds, the ante-natal and post-mortem states of man, etc. The responsibility upon one who wittingly or unwittingly leads others astray is clearly realized by the writer, and he wishes to guard as far as possible against that contingency, and also to guard others against going wrong inadvertently.
What is said in this work is to be accepted or rejected by the reader according to his own discretion. All care has been used in trying to make plain the teaching; great pains have been taken to put it into words that shall be easily understood. For that reason only one term has been used throughout to convey each idea. The same word will have the same meaning wherever used. When any word descriptive of an idea is first used, the clearest definition possible to the writer is given. None but English terms and the simplest language have been used. The writer has tried to give as exact and definite descriptions of the subject under consideration as possible; to eliminate all ambiguity and to make everything clear. How far he has succeeded must be left to the student to judge; but having used every possible means to convey the teaching, he feels obliged to guard also against the possibility of this work being taken as a verbatim statement of the Rosicrucian teachings. Neglect of this precaution might give undue weight to this work in the minds of some students. That would not be fair to the Brotherhood nor to the reader. It would tend to throw the responsibility upon the Brotherhood for the mistakes which must occur in this as in all other human works. Hence the above warning.
During the four years which have elapsed since the foregoing paragraphs were written, the writer has continued his investigations of the invisible worlds, and experienced the expansion of consciousness relative to these realms of nature which comes by practice of the precepts taught in the Western Mystery School. Others also who have followed the method of soul-unfoldment herein described as particularly suited to the Western peoples, have likewise been enabled to verify for themselves many things here taught. Thus the writer's understanding of what was given by the Elder Brothers has received some corroboration and seems to have been substantially correct, therefore he feels it a duty to state this for the encouragement of those who are still unable to see for themselves.
If we said that the vital body is built of prisms instead of points, it would have been better, for it is by refraction through these minute prisms that the colorless solar fluid changes to a rosy hue as observed by other writers beside the author.
Other new and important discoveries have also been made; for instance, we know now that the Silver Cord is grown anew in each life, that one part sprouts from the seed atom of the desire body in the great vortex of the liver, that the other part grows out of the seed atom of the dense body in the heart, that both parts meet in the seed atom of the vital body in the solar plexus, and that this union of the higher and lower vehicles causes the quickening. Further development of the cord between the heart and solar plexus during the first seven years has an important bearing on the mystery of childlife, likewise its fuller growth from the liver to the solar plexus, which takes place during the second septenary period, is a contributory cause of adolescence. Completion of the Silver Cord marks the end of childlife, and from that time the solar energy which enters through the spleen and is tinted by refraction through the prismatic seed atom of the vital body located in the solar plexus, commences to give a distinctive and individual coloring to the aura which we observe in adults.
The Western world is undoubtedly the vanguard of the human race, and, for reasons given in the following pages, it is held by the Rosicrucian that neither Judaism nor "popular Christianity," but true Esoteric Christianity is to be its world-religion.
Buddha, great, grand and sublime, may be the "light of Asia," but Christ will yet be acknowledged the "Light of the World." As the sun outshines the brightest star in the heavens, dispels every vestige of darkness and gives life and light to all beings, so, in a not too distant future, will the true religion of Christ supersede and obliterate all other religions, to the eternal benefit of mankind.
In our civilization the chasm that stretches between mind and heart yawns deep and wide and, as the mind flies on from discovery to discovery in the realms of science, the gulf becomes ever deeper and wider and the heart is left further and further behind. The mind loudly demands and will be satisfied with nothing less than a materially demonstrable explanation of man and his fellow-creatures that make up the phenomenal world. The heart feels instinctively that there is something greater, and it yearns for that which it feels is a higher truth than can be grasped by the mind alone. The human soul would fain soar upon ethereal pinions of intuition; would fain lave in the eternal fount of spiritual light and love; but modern scientific views have shorn its wings and it sits fettered and mute, unsatisfied longings gnawing at its tendrils as the vulture of Prometheus' liver.
Is this necessary? Is there no common ground upon which head and heart may meet, each assisting the other, each by the help of the other becoming more effective in the search for universal truth, and each receiving equal satisfaction?
As surely as the pre-existing light created the eye whereby the light is seen; as surely as the primordial desire for growth created the digestive and assimilative system for the attainment of that end; as surely as thought existed before the brain and built and still is building the brain for its expression; as surely as the mind is now forging ahead and wringing her secrets from nature by the very force of its audacity, just so surely will the heart find a way to burst its bonds and gratify its longings. At present it is shackled by the dominant brain. Some day it will gather strength to burst its prison bars and become a power greater than the mind.
It is equally certain that there can be no contradiction in nature, therefore the heart and the mind must be capable of uniting. To indicate this common ground is precisely the purpose of this book. To show where and how the mind, helped by the intuition of the heart, can probe more deeply into the mysteries of being than either could do alone; where the heart, by union with the mind, can be kept from going astray; where each can have full scope for action, neither doing violence to the other and where both mind and heart can be satisfied.
Only when that co-operation is attained and perfected will man attain the higher, truer understanding of himself and of the world of which he is a part; only that can give him a broad mind and a great heart.
At every birth what appears to be a new life comes among us. We see the little form as it lives and grows, becoming a factor in our lives for days, months or years. At last there comes a day when the form dies and goes to decay. The life that came, whence we know not, has passed to the invisible beyond, and in sorrow we ask ourselves, Whence came it? What was it here? and Whither has it gone?
Across every threshold the skeleton form of Death throws his fearsome shadow. Old or young, well or ill, rich or poor, all, all alike must pass out into that shadow and throughout the ages has sounded the piteous cry for a solution of the riddle of life--the riddle of death.
So far as the vast majority of people are concerned the three great questions, Whence have we come? Why are we here? Whither are we going? remain unanswered to this day. It has unfortunately come to be the popularly accepted opinion that nothing can be definitely known about these matters of deepest interest to humanity. Nothing could be more erroneous than such an idea. Each and every one, without exception, may become capable of obtaining first-hand, definite information upon this subject; may personally investigate the state of the human spirit, both before birth and after death. There is no favoritism, nor are special gifts required. Each of us has inherently the faculty for knowing all of these matters; but! -- Yes, there is a "but," and a "but" that must be written large. These faculties are present in all, though latent in most people. It requires persistent effort to awaken them and that seems to be a powerful deterrent. If these faculties, "awake and aware," could be had for a monetary consideration, even if the price were high, many people would pay it to gain such immense advantage over their fellow-men, but few indeed are those willing to live the life that is required to awaken them. That awakening comes only by patient, persistent effort. It cannot be bought; there is no royal road to it.
It is conceded that practice is necessary to learn to play the piano, and that it is useless to think of being a watchmaker without being willing to serve an apprenticeship. Yet when the matter of the soul, of death and the beyond, of the great causes of being, are the questions at issue, many think they know as much as anyone and have an equal right to express an opinion, though they may never have given the subject an hour's study.
As a matter of fact, no one unless qualified by study of the subject should expect serious consideration for an opinion. In legal cases, where experts are called to testify, they are first examined as to their competency. The weight of their testimony will be nil, unless they are found to be thoroughly proficient in the branch of knowledge regarding which their testimony is sought.
If, however, they are found to be qualified--by study and practice--to express an expert opinion, it is received with the utmost respect and deference; and if the testimony of one expert is corroborated by others equally proficient, the testimony of each additional man adds immensely to the weight of the previous evidence.
The irrefutable testimony of one such man easily counterbalances that of one or a dozen or a million men who know nothing of that whereof they speak, for nothing, even though multiplied by a million, will still remain nothing. This is as true of any other subject as of mathematics.
As previously said, we recognize these facts readily enough in material affairs, but when things beyond the world of sense, when the super-physical world is under discussion; when the relations of God to man, the inner-most mysteries of the immortal spark of divinity, loosely termed the soul, are to be probed, then each clamors for as serious consideration of his opinions and ideas regarding spiritual matters as is given to the sage, who by a life of patient and toilsome research has acquired wisdom in these higher things.
Nay, more; many will not even content themselves with claiming equal consideration for their opinions, but will even jeer and scoff at the words of the sage, seek to impugn his testimony as fraud, and, with the supreme confidence of deepest ignorance, asseverate that as they know nothing of such matters, it is absolutely impossible that anyone else can.
The man who realizes his ignorance has taken the first step toward knowledge.
The path to first-hand knowledge is not easy. Nothing worth having ever comes without persistent effort. It cannot be too often repeated that there are no such things as special gifts of "luck." All that anyone is or has, is the result of effort. What one lacks in comparison with another is latent in himself and capable of development by proper methods.
If the reader, having grasped this idea thoroughly, should ask, what he must do to obtain this first-hand knowledge, the following story may serve to impress the idea, which is the central one in occultism:
A young man came to a sage one day and asked, "Sire, what must I do to become wise?" The sage vouchsafed no answer. The youth after repeating his question a number of times, with a like result, at last left him, to return the next day with the same question. Again no answer was given and the youth returned on the third day, still repeating his question, "Sire what must I do to become wise?"
Finally the sage turned and went down to a near-by river. He entered the water, bidding the youth follow him. Upon arriving at a sufficient depth the sage took the young man by the shoulders and held him under the water, despite his struggles to free himself. At last, however, he released him and when the youth had regained his breath the sage questioned him:
"Son, when you were under the water what did you most desire?"
The youth answered without hesitation, "Air, air! I wanted air!"
"Would you not rather have had riches, pleasure, power or love, my son? Did you not think of any of these?" queried the sage.
"No, sire! I wanted air and thought only of air," came the instant response.
"Then," said the sage, "To become wise you must desire wisdom with as great intensity as you just now desired air. You must struggle for it, to the exclusion of every other aim in life. It must be your one and only aspiration, by day and by night. If you seek wisdom with that fervor, my son, you will surely become wise."
That is the first and central requisite the aspirant to occult knowledge must possess--an unswerving desire, a burning thirst for knowledge; a zeal that allows no obstacle to conquer it; but the supreme motive for seeking this occult knowledge must be an ardent desire to benefit humanity, entirely disregarding self in order to work for others. Unless prompted by the motive, occult knowledge is dangerous.
Without possessing these qualifications--especially the latter--in some measure, any attempt to tread the arduous path of occultism would be a hazardous undertaking. Another prerequisite to this first-hand knowledge, however, is the study of occultism at second-hand. Certain occult powers are necessary for the first-hand investigation of matters connected with the pre-natal and post-mortem states of man, but no one need despair of acquiring information about this conditions because of undeveloped occult powers. As a man may know about Africa either by going there personally or by reading descriptions written by travelers who have been there, so may he visit the superphysical realms if he will but qualify himself therefor, or he may learn what others who have so qualified themselves report as a result of their investigations.
Christ said, "The Truth shall make you free," but Truth is not found once and forever. Truth is eternal, and the quest for Truth must also be eternal. Occultism knows of no "faith once for all delivered." There are certain basic truths which remain, but which may be looked at from many sides, each giving a different view, which complements the previous ones; therefore, so far as we can see at present, there is no such achievement possible as arriving at the ultimate truth.
Wherein this work differs from some philosophical works the variations are caused by difference of viewpoint, and all respect is paid to the conclusions reached and the ideas set forth by other investigators. It is the earnest hope of the writer that the study of the following pages may help to make the student's ideas fuller and more rounded than they were before.