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Ancient and Modern Initiation

By Max Heindel

Part II. Chapter IV. The Christian Mystic Initiation

THE TRANSFIGURATION

We remember that by the mystic processes of the true Spiritual Baptism the aspirant becomes so thoroughly saturated with the Universal Spirit that as a matter of actual fact, feeling, and experience he becomes one with all that lives, moves, and has its being, one with the pulsating divine Life which surges in rhythmic cadence through the least and the greatest alike; and having caught the keynote of the celestial song he is then endued with a power of tremendous magnitude, which he may use either for good or ill. It should be understood and remembered that though gunpowder and dynamite facilitate farming when used for blowing up tree stumps which would otherwise require a great deal of manual labor to extract, they may also be used for destructive purposes as in the great European war. Spiritual powers also may be used for good or ill depending upon the motive and character of the one who wields them. Therefore, whoever has successfully undergone the rite of Baptism and thereby acquired spiritual power is forthwith tempted that it may be concerned decided whether he will range himself upon the side of good or evil. At this point he becomes either a future "Parsifal," a "Christ," a "Herod," or a "Klingsor" who fights the Knights of the Holy Grail with all the powers and resources of the Black Brotherhood.

There is a tendency in modern materialistic science to repudiate as fable, worthy of attention only among superstitious servant girls and foolish old women, the ideas commonly believed in as late as the Middle Ages, that such spiritual communities as the Knights of the Grail at one time existed, or that there are such beings as the "Black Brothers." Occult societies in the last half century have educated thousands to the fact that the Good Brothers are still in evidence and may be found by those who seek them in the proper way. Now unfortunately the tendency among this class of people is to accept anyone on his unsupported claims as a Master or an dept. But even among this class there are few who take the existence of the Black Brothers seriously, or realize what an enormous amount of damage they are doing in the world, and how they are aided and abetted by the general tendency of humanity to cater to the lusts of the flesh. As the good forces, which are symbolized as the servants of the Holy Grail, live and grow by unselfish service which enhances the luster of the glowing Grail Cup, so the Powers of Evil, known as the Black Grail and represented in the Bible as the court of Herod, feed on pride and sensuality, voluptuousness and passion, embodied in the figure of Salome, who glories in the murder of John the Baptist and the innocents. It was shown in the legend of the Grail as embodied in Wagner's "Parsifal" that when the Knights were denied the inspiration from the Grail Cup, on which they fed and which spurred them onto deeds of greater love and service, their courage flagged and they became inert. Similarly with the Brothers of the Black Grail. Unless they are provided with words of wickedness they will die from starvation. Therefore they are ever active in the world stirring up strife and inciting others to evil.

Were not this pernicious activity counteracted in a great measure by the Elder Brothers at their midnight services at which they make themselves magnets for all the evil thoughts in the Western World and then by the alchemy of sublime love transmute them to good, a cataclysm of still greater magnitude that the recent World War would have occurred long ago. As it is, the Genius of Evil has been held within bounds in some measure at least. Were humanity not so ready to range itself on the side of evil, success would have been greater. But it is hoped that the spiritual awakening started by the war will result in turning the scale and give the construction agencies in evolution the upper hand.

It is a wonderful power which is centered in the Christian Mystic at the time of his Baptism by the descent and concentration within him of the Universal Spirit; and when he has refused during the period of temptation to desecrate it for personal profit or power, he must of necessity give it vent in another direction, for he is impelled by an irresistible inner urge which will not allow him to settle down to an inert, inactive life of prayer and meditation. The power of God is upon him to preach and glad tidings to humanity, to help and heal. We know that a stove which is filled with burning fuel cannot help heating the surrounding atmosphere; neither can the Christian Mystic help radiating the divine compassion which fills his heart to overflowing, nor is he is doubt whom to love or whom to serve or where to find his opportunity. As the stove filled with burning fuel radiates heat to all who are within its sphere of radiation, so the Christian Mystic feels the love of God burning within his heart and is continually radiating it to all with whom he comes in contact. As the heated stove draws to itself by its genial warmth those who are suffering with physical cold, so the warm love rays of the Christian Mystic are as a magnet to all those whose hearts are chilled by the cruelty of the world, by man's inhumanity to man.

If the stove were empty but endowed with the faculty of speech, it might preach forever the gospel of warmth to those who are physically cold, but even the finest oratory would fail to satisfy its audience. When it has been filled with fuel and radiates warmth, there will be no need of preaching. Men will come to it and be satisfied. Similarly a sermon on brotherhood by one who has not laved in the "Fountain of Life" will sound hollow. The true Mystic need not preach. His every act, even his silent presence, is more powerful that all the most deeply thought-out discourses of learned doctors of philosophy.

There is a story of St. Francis of Assisi which particularly illustrates this fact, and which we trust may serve to drive it home, for its exceedingly important. It is said that one day St. Francis went to a young brother in the monastery with which he was then connected and said to him: "Brother, let us go down to the village and preach to them." The young brother was naturally overjoyed at the honor and opportunity of accompanying so hold a man as St. Francis, and together the two started toward the village, talking all the while about spiritual things and the life that leads to God. Engrossed in this conversation they passed through the village, walking along its various streets, now and then stopping to speak a kindly word to one or another of the villagers. After having made a circuit of the village St. Francis was heading toward the road which led to the monastery when of a sudden the young brother reminded him of his intention to preach in the village and asked him if he had forgotten it. To this St. Francis answered: "My son, are you not aware that all the while we have been in this village we have been preaching to the people all around us? In the first place, our simple dress proclaims the fact that we are devoted to the service of God, and as soon as anyone sees us his thoughts naturally turn heavenward. Be sure that everyone of the villagers has been watching us, taking note of our demeanor to see in how far it conforms with our profession. They have listened to our words to find whether they were about spiritual or profane subjects. They have watched our gestures and have noted that the words of sympathy we dispensed came straight from our hearts and went deep into theirs. We have been preaching a far more powerful sermon that if we had gone into the market place, called them around us, and started to harangue them with an exhortation to holiness."

St. Francis was a Christian Mystic in the deepest sense of the word, and being taught from within by the spirit of God he knew well the mysteries of life, as did Jacob Boehme and other holy men who have been similarly taught. They are in a certain sense wiser than the wisest of the intellectual school, but it is not necessary for them to expound great mysteries in order to fulfill their mission and serve as guide posts to others who are also seeking God. The very simplicity of their words and acts carries with it the power of conviction. Naturally, of course, all do not rise to the same heights. All have not the same powers anymore than all the stoves are of the same size and have the same heating capacity. Those who follow the Christian Mystic path, from the least to the greatest, have experienced the powers conveyed by Baptism according to their capacity. They have been tempted to use those powers in an evil direction for personal gain, and having overcome the desire for the world and worldly things they have turned to the path of ministry and service as Christ did; their lives are marked not so much by what they have said as by what they have done. The true Christian Mystic is easily distinguished. He never uses the six week days to prepare for a grand oratorical effort to thrill his hearers on Sunday, but spends every day alike in humble endeavor to do the Master's will regardless of outward applause. Thus unconsciously he works up toward that grand climax which in the history of the noblest of all who have trod this path is spoken of as the "Transfiguration."

The Transfiguration is an alchemical process by which the physical body formed by the chemistry of physiological processes is turned into a living stone such as is mentioned in the Bible. The medieval alchemists who were seeking the Philosopher's Stone were not concerned with transmutation of such dross as material god, but aimed at the greater goal as indicated above.

Moisture gathered in the clouds falls to earth as rain when it has condensed sufficiently, and it is again evaporated into clouds by the heat of the sun. This is the primal cosmic formula. Spirit also condenses itself into matter and becomes mineral. But though it be crystallized into the harness of flint, life still remains, and by the alchemy of nature working through another life stream the dense mineral constituents of the soil are transmuted to a more flexible structure in the plant, which may be used as food for animal and man. These substances become sentient flesh by the alchemy of assimilation. When we note the changes in the structure of the human body evidenced by comparison of the Bushmen, Chinese, Hindus, Latins, Celts, and Anglo-Saxons, it is plainly apparent that the flesh of man is even now undergoing a refining process which is eradicating the coarser, grosser substances. In time by evolution this process of spiritualization will render our flesh transparent and radiant with the Light that shines within, radiant as the face of Moses, the body of Buddha, and the Christ at the Transfiguration.

At present the effulgence of the indwelling Spirit is effectually darkened by our dense body, but we may draw hop even from the science of chemistry. There is nothing on earth so rare and precious as radium, the luminous extract of the dense black mineral called pitchblende; and there is nothing so rare as that precious extract of the human body, the radiant Christ. At present we are laboring to form the Christ within, but when the inner Christ has grown to full stature, He will shine through the transparent body as the LIGHT OF THE WORLD.

   It is an anatomical fact of common knowledge that the spinal cord is divided into three sections, from which the motor, sensory, and sympathetic nerves are controlled. Astrologically these are ruled by the moon, Mars, and Mercury, which are divine Hierarchies that have played a great role in human evolution through the nervous systems indicated. Among the ancient alchemists these were designated by the three alchemical elements, salt, sulphur, and mercury. Between them and upon them played the spinal Spirit Fire of Neptune. It rose in a serpentine column through the spinal cord to the ventricles of the brain. In the great majority of mankind the Spirit Fire is still exceedingly weak. But whenever a spiritual awakening occurs in anyone such as that which takes place in a genuine conversion, or better still at the Baptism of the Christian Mystic, the downpouring of the Spirit, which is an actual fact, augments the spinal Spirit Fire to an almost unbelievable extent, and forthwith a process of regeneration begins whereby the gross substances of the threefold body of many are gradually thrown out, rendering the vehicles more permeable and quickly responsive to spiritual impulses. The further the process if carried, the more efficient servants they become in the vineyard of the Master.

   The spiritual awakening which starts this process of regeneration in the Christian Mystic who purifies himself by prayer and service, comes also of course to those who are seeking God by way of knowledge and service, but it acts in a different way, which is noted by the spiritual investigator. In the Christian Mystic the regenerative spinal Spirit Fire is concentrated principally upon the lunar segment of the spinal cord, which governs the sympathetic nerves under the rulership of Jehovah. Therefore his spiritual growth is accomplished by faith as simple, childlike, and unquestioning as it was in the days of early Atlantis when men were mindless. He therefore draws down the great white Light of Deity reflected through Jehovah, the Holy Spirit, and attains to the whole wisdom of the world without the necessity of laboring for it intellectually. This gradually transmutes his body into THE WHITE PHILOSOPHER'S STONE, THE DIAMOND SOUL.

In those, on the other hand, whose minds are strong and insistent on knowing the reason why and the wherefore of every dictum and dogma, the Spinal Fire of regeneration plays upon the segments of the red Mars and the colorless Mercury, endeavoring to infuse desire with reason, to purify the former of the primal passion that it may become chaste as the rose, and thus transmute the body into the RUBY SOUL, THE RED PHILOSOPHER'S STONE, TRIED BY FIRE, PURIFIED, A CREATIVE BUDDING INDIVIDUALITY.

All who are upon the Path, whether the path of occultism or of mysticism, are weaving the "golden wedding garment" by this work from within and from without. In some the gold is exceedingly pale, and in others it is deeply red. But eventually when the process of Transfiguration has been completed, or rather when it is nearing completion, the extremes will blend, and the transfigured bodies will become balanced in color, for the occultist must learn the lesson of deep devotion, and the Christian Mystic must learn how to acquire knowledge by his own efforts without drawing upon the universal source of all wisdom.

This view gives us a deeper insight into the Transfiguration reported in the Gospels. We should remember distinctly that IT WAS THE VEHICLES OF JESUS WHICH WERE TRANSFIGURED temporarily by the indwelling Christ Spirit. But even while allowing for the enormous potency of the Christ Spirit in effecting the Transfiguration it is evident that Jesus must be a sublime character without a peer. The Transfiguration as seen in the Memory of Nature reveals his body as a dazzling white, thus showing his dependence upon the Father, the Universal Spirit. There is a great diversity in present attainments, but in the kingdom of Christ the differences will gradually disappear, and a uniform color indicating both knowledge and devotion will be acquired by all. This color will correspond to the pink color seen by occultists as the Spiritual Sun, the vehicle of the Father. When this has been accomplished, the Transfiguration of humanity will be complete. We shall then be one with our Father, and His kingdom will have come.

 

 

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