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for their well-being. In mammals the _mother_ instinct is strongly
developed, and we see the lioness caring for her cubs and ready to
defend them with her life; but not until the human kingdom is reached
does the _father_ commence to share fully in the responsibility as
a parent. Among savages the care of the young practically ends with
attainment of physical ability to care for themselves, but the higher
we ascend in civilization the longer the young receive care from their
parents, and the more stress is laid upon mental education so that when
maturity has been reached the battle of life may be fought from the
mental rather than from the physical point of vantage; for the further
we proceed along the path of development the more we shall experience
the power of mind over matter. By the more and more prolonged
self-sacrifice of parents, the race is becoming more delicate, but what
we lose in material ruggedness we gain in spiritual perceptibility.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




Chapter VI

THE SACRAMENT OF MARRIAGE


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




Chapter VII

THE UNPARDONABLE SIN AND LOST SOULS


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

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

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

In the meantime the germ for our earthly body had to be properly placed
in fruitful soil to grow a suitable vehicle, and generative organs were
provided from the beginning to accomplish this purpose. It is stated in
Genesis 1:27, that Elohim created them _male_ and _female_. The Hebrew
words are “_sacre va n’cabah_.” _These are names of the sex organs._
Literally translated, _sacr_ means “bearer of the germ.” Thus marriage
is a _sacr_-ament, for it opens the way for transmission of a physical
seed atom from the father to the mother, and tends to preserve the
race against the ravages of death. Baptism as a _Sacr_ament 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 _sacr_ament which marks the loosening of the silver cord, and
the extraction of the sacred germ, freeing it until it shall again be
planted in another _n’cabah_, or mother.

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

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


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