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Then the starry heights of the universe were never seen, nor could the
silvery light of the moon penetrate the dense, foggy atmosphere which
hung over that ancient land. Even the fiery splendor of the sun was
almost totally extinguished, for when we look in the Memory of Nature
pertaining to that time, it appears very much as an arc lamp on a high
pole looks to us when it is foggy. It was exceedingly dim, and had an
aura of various colors, very similar to those which we observe around
an arc light.

But this light had a fascination. The ancient Atlanteans were taught
by the divine Hierarchs who walked among them, to aspire to the
light, and as the spiritual sight was then already on the wane (even
the messengers, or Elohim, being perceived with difficulty by the
majority), they aspired all the more ardently to the new light, for
they feared the darkness of which they had become conscious through the
gift of mind.

Then came the inevitable flood when the mist cooled and condensed. The
atmosphere cleared, and the “_chosen people_” were saved. Those who
had worked within themselves and learned to build the necessary organs
required to breathe in an atmosphere such as we have today, survived
and came to the light. It was not an arbitrary choice; _the work of the
past consisted of body building_. Those who had only gill clefts, such
as the foetus still uses in its prenatal development, were as unfit
physiologically to enter the new era as the foetus would be to be born
were it to neglect to build lungs. It would die as those ancient people
died when the rare atmosphere made gill clefts useless.

Since the day when we came out of ancient Atlantis our bodies have been
practically complete, that is to say, no new vehicles are to be added;
but from that time and from now on _those who wish to follow the light
must strive for soul growth_. The bodies which we have crystallized
about us must be dissolved, and the quintessence of experience
extracted, which as “soul” may be amalgamated with the spirit to
nourish it from impotence to omnipotence. Therefore, the Tabernacle
in the Wilderness was given to the ancients, and the _light of God
descended upon the Altar of Sacrifice_. This is of great significance:
The ego had just descended into its tabernacle, the body. We all know
the tendency of the primitive instinct towards selfishness, and if we
have studied the higher ethics we also know how subversive of good the
indulgence of the egotistic tendency is; therefore, God immediately
placed before mankind the Divine Light upon the Altar of Sacrifice.

Upon this altar they were forced by dire necessity to offer their
cherished possessions for every transgression, God appearing to them
as a hard taskmaster whose displeasure it was dangerous to incur.
But still the Light drew them. They knew then that it was futile to
attempt to escape from the hand of God. They had never heard the words
of John, “God is Light,” but they had already learned from the heavens
in a measure the meaning of infinitude, as measured by the realm of
light, for we hear David exclaim: “Whither shall I go from thy Spirit?
or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven,
thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, thou art there. If I take the
wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even
there shall thy hand lead me and thy right hand shall hold me. If I
say, surely the darkness shall cover me, even the night shall be light
about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee, but the night shineth
as the day, for the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.”

With every year that passes, with the aid of the greatest telescopes
which the ingenuity and mechanical skill of man have been able to
construct to pierce the depths of space, it becomes more evident that
the infinitude of light teaches us the infinitude of God. When we hear
that “men loved darkness rather than Light because their deeds were
evil,” that also rings true to what we unfortunately know as present
day facts, and illumines the nature of God for us; for is it not true
that we always feel endangered in the dark, but that the light gives us
a sense of safety which is akin to the feeling of a child who feels the
protecting hand of its father?

To render permanent this condition of being in the Light was the next
step in God’s work with us, which culminated in the birth of Christ,
who as the bodily presence of the Father, bore about in Himself that
Light, for the Light came into the world that whosoever should believe
in Christ should not perish, but have everlasting life. He said, “I am
the Light of the World.” The altar in the Tabernacle had illustrated
the principle of sacrifice as the medium of regeneration, so Christ
said to His disciples: Greater love hath no man than this, that he
lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends. And forthwith
He commenced a sacrifice, which, contrary to the accepted orthodox
opinion was not consummated in a few hours of physical suffering upon
a material cross, but is as perpetual as were the sacrifices made upon
the altar of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, for it entails an annual
descent into the earth and an endurance of all that the cramping earth
conditions must mean to such a great spirit.

This must continue till a sufficient number have evolved who can
bear the burden of this dense lump of _darkness_ which we call the
earth, and which hangs as a millstone about the neck of humanity, an
impediment to further spiritual growth. Until we learn to follow “in
His steps,” we can rise no higher towards the Light.

It is related that when Leonardo da Vinci had completed his famous
painting, “The Last Supper,” he asked a friend to look at it and tell
him what he thought of it.

The friend looked at it critically for a few minutes and then said:

“I think you have made a mistake in painting the goblets from which
the apostles drink so ornamental and to resemble gold. People in their
positions would not drink from such expensive vessels.”

Da Vinci then drew his brush through the entire set of vessels which
had drawn the criticism of his friend, but he was heartbroken, for he
had painted that picture with his soul rather than with his hands, and
he had prayed over it that it might speak a message to the world. He
had put all the greatness of his art and the whole-hearted devotion of
his soul into that effort to paint a Christ who should speak the word
that would lead men to emulate His deeds.

Can you see Him as He sits there at that festive board, THE EMBODIMENT
OF LIGHT, and speaks those wonderful, mystic words: _This is my body,
this is my blood, given for you_—a living sacrifice.

In the past period of our spiritual career we have been looking for
a Light _exterior_ to ourselves, but now we have arrived at the point
where we must look for the Christ light within and emulate Him by
making of ourselves “living sacrifices” as He is doing. Let us remember
that when the sacrifice which lies before our door seems pleasant and
to our liking, when we seem able to pick and choose our work in His
vineyard and do what pleases us, we are not making a real sacrifice
as He did, nor are we when we are seen of men and applauded for our
benevolence. But when we are ready to follow Him from that festive
board where He was the honored one among friends, into the garden of
Gethsemane _where He was alone_ and wrestled with the great problem
before Him while His friends slept, then are we making a living
sacrifice.

When we are content to follow “in His steps” to that point of
self-sacrifice where we can say from the bottom of our hearts, “_Thy
will, not mine_,” then we have surely _the light within_, and there
will never henceforth be for us that which we feel as darkness. _We
shall walk in the light._

This is our glorious privilege, and the meditation upon the words
of the apostle, “God is Light,” will help us to realize this ideal
provided we add to our faith, _works_, and say by our deeds as did the
Christ of da Vinci, “_This is my body and this is my blood_,” a living
sacrifice upon the altar of humanity.




Chapter XIII

MAGIC, WHITE AND BLACK


From time to time as occasion requires we warn students of the
Rosicrucian Fellowship in our private individual letters not to attend
spirit seances, hypnotic demonstrations, or places where incense
is burned by dabblers in occultism. Black Magic is practiced both
consciously and unconsciously to an extent that is almost unbelievable.
“Malicious animal magnetism,” which is only another name for the Black
Force, is responsible for more failures in business, loss of health,
and unhappiness in homes than most people are aware of. Even the
perpetrators of such outrages are, as said, often unconscious of what
harm they have done. Therefore it seems expedient to devote a chapter
to an explanation of some of the laws of magic, which are the same for
the white as for the black. There is only one force, but it may be used
for good or evil; and according to the motive behind it and the use
that is made of it, it becomes either black or white.

It is a scientific axiom that “_Ex nihil, nihil fit_” (out of nothing
nothing comes). There must be a seed before there can be a flower, but
where the first seed came from is something which science has failed to
explain. The occultist knows that all things have come from _arche_,
the infinite essence of chaos, used by God, the Grand Architect, for
the building of our universe; and, given the nucleus of anything, the
accomplished magician can draw upon the same essence for a further
supply. Christ, for instance, had some loaves and some fishes; by
means of that nucleus He drew upon the primordial essence of chaos for
the rest needed in performing the miracle of feeding a multitude. A
human magician whose power is not so high can more easily draw upon
the things which have already materialized out of chaos. He may take
flowers or fruit belonging to some one else, miles or hundreds of miles
away, disintegrate them into their atomic constituents, transport them
through the air, and cause them to assume their regular physical shape
in the room where he is entertaining friends in order to amaze them.
Such magic is _grey_ at best, even if he sends sufficient of his coin
to pay for what he has taken away; if he does not, it is Black Magic to
thus rob another of his goods. Magic to be white must always be used
unselfishly, and in addition, for a noble purpose—to save a fellow
being suffering. The Christ, when He fed the multitude from chaos, gave
as His reason that they had been with Him for several days, and if they
had to journey back to their homes without physical food they would
faint by the wayside and suffer privation.

God is the Grand Architect of the Universe and the Initiates of the
White Schools are also arche-tektons, builders from the primordial
essence in their beneficent work for humanity. These Invisible Helpers
require a nucleus from the patient’s vital body, which is, as students
of the Rosicrucian Fellowship know, given to them in the effluvia
from the hand, which impregnates the paper when the patient makes
application for help and healing. With this nucleus of the patient’s
vital body they are able to draw upon virgin matter for whatever they
need to restore health by building up and strengthening the organism.

The Black Magicians are despoilers, actuated by hatred and malice.
They also need a nucleus for their nefarious operations, and this they
obtain most easily from the vital body at spiritualistic or hypnotic
seances, where the sitters relax, put themselves into a negative frame
of mind, drop their jaws, and sink their individualities by other
distinctly mediumistic practices. Even people who do not frequent such
places are not immune, for there are certain products of the vital body
which are ignorantly scattered by all and which may be used effectively
by the Black Magicians. Chief in this category are the hair and finger
nails. The Negroes in their voodoo magic use the placenta for similar
evil purposes. One particularly evil man, whose practices were exposed
a decade ago, obtained from boys the vital fluid which he used for his
demoniac acts. Even so innocent a thing as a glass of water placed in
close proximity to certain parts of the body of the prospective victim,
while the Black Magician converses with him can be made to absorb a
part of the victim’s vital body. This will give the Black Magician the
requisite nucleus, or it may be obtained from a piece of the person’s
clothing. The same invisible emanation contained in the garment, which
guides the bloodhound upon the track of a certain person, will also
guide the Magician, white or black, to the abode of that person and
furnish the Magician with a key to the person’s system whereby the
former may help or hurt according to his inclination.

But there are methods of protecting oneself from inimical influences,
which we shall mention in the latter part of this chapter. We have
debated much whether it were wise or not to call the attention of
students to these facts, and have come to the conclusion that it
does not help anyone to imitate the ostrich which sticks its head
into a hole in the sand at the approach of danger. It is better to
be enlightened concerning things that threaten so that we may take
whatever precautions are necessary to meet the emergency. The battle
between the good and the evil forces is being waged with an intensity
that no one not engaged in the actual combat can comprehend. The Elder
Brothers of the Rosicrucians and kindred orders which, we may say, in
their totality represent the Holy Grail, live on the love and essence
of the unselfish service which they gather and garner as the bees
gather honey, from all who are striving to live the life. This they add
to the lustre of the Holy Grail, which in turn grows more lustrous and
radiates a stronger influence upon all who are spiritually inclined,
imbuing them with greater ardor, zeal, and zest in the good work and in
fighting the good fight. Similarly the evil forces of the Black Grail
thrive on hate, treachery, cruelty, and every demoniac deed on the
calendar of crime. Both the Black and the White Grail forces require a
pabulum, the one of good and the other of evil, for the continuance of
their existence and for the power to fight. Unless they get it, they
starve and grow weaker. Hence the relentless struggle that is going on
between them.

Every midnight the Elder Brothers at their service open their breasts
to attract the darts of hate, envy, malice, and every evil that has
been launched during the past twenty-four hours. First, in order that
they may deprive the Black Grail forces of their food; and secondly,
that they may transmute the evil to good. Then, as the plants gather
the inert carbon dioxide exhaled by mankind and build their bodies
therefrom, so the Brothers of the Holy Grail transmute the evil
within the temple; and as the plants send out the renovated oxygen so
necessary to human life, so the Elder Brothers return to mankind the
transmuted essence of evil as qualms of conscience along with the good
in order that the world may grow better day by day.

The Black Brothers, instead of transmuting the evil, infuse a greater
dynamic energy into it and speed it on its mission in vain endeavors
to conquer the powers of good. They use for their purposes elementals
and other discarnate entities which, being themselves of a low order,
are available for such vile practices as required. In the ages when
men burned animal oil or candles made from the tallow of animals,
elementals swarmed around them as devils or demons, seeking to obsess
whoever would offer an occasion. Even wax tapers offer food for these
entities, but the modern methods of illumination by electricity, coal
oil, or even paraffin candles, are uncongenial to them. They still
flock around our saloons, slaughter houses, and similar places where
there are passionate animals, and animal-like men. They also delight
in places where incense is burned, for that offers them an avenue of
access, and when the sitters at seances inhale the odor of the incense
they inhale elemental spirits with it, which affect them according to
their characters.

This is where the protection we spoke about before may be used. When
we live lives of purity, when our days are filled with service to God
and to our fellow-men, and with thoughts and actions of the highest
nobility, then we create for ourselves the _Golden Wedding Garment_,
which is a radiant force for good. No evil is able to penetrate this
armor for the evil then acts as a boomerang and recoils on the one who
sent it, bringing to him the evil he wished us.

But alas, none of us are altogether good. We know only too well the
war between the flesh and the spirit. We cannot hide from ourselves
the fact that like Paul, “the good that we would do, we do not, and
the evil that we would shun, that we do.” Far too often our good
resolutions come to naught and we do wrong because it is easier.
Therefore we all have the nucleus of evil within ourselves, which
affords the open sesame for the evil forces to work upon. For that
reason it is best for us not unnecessarily to expose ourselves at
places where seances are held with spirits invisible to us, no matter
how fine their teachings may sound to the unsophisticated. Neither
should we take part even as spectators at hypnotic demonstrations,
for there also a negative attitude lays one liable to the danger of
obsession. We should at all times follow the advice of Paul and put
on the whole armor of God. We should be positive in our fight for the
good against the evil and never let an occasion slip to aid the Elder
Brothers by word or deed in the Great War for spiritual supremacy.




Chapter XIV

OUR INVISIBLE GOVERNMENT


It is well known to students of the Rosicrucian Philosophy that each
species of animals is dominated by a group spirit, which is their
guardian and looks after these, its wards, with a view to bringing them
along the path of evolution that is best suited to their development;
it does not matter what the geographical position of these animals
is; the lion in the jungles of Africa is dominated by the same group
spirit as is the lion in the cage of a menagerie in our northern
countries. Therefore these animals are alike in all their principal
characteristics; they have the same likes and dislikes with respect
to diet, and they act in an almost identical manner under similar
circumstances. If one wants to study the tribe of lions or the tribe
of tigers, all that is necessary is to study one individual, for it
has neither choice nor prerogative, but acts entirely according to the
dictates of the group spirit. The mineral cannot choose whether it will
crystallize or not; the rose is bound to bloom; the lion is compelled
to prey; and in each case the activity is dictated entirely by the
group spirit.

But man is different; when we want to study him we find that each
individual is as a species by himself. What one does under any given
circumstances is no indication of what another may do; “one man’s meat
is another man’s poison”; each has different likes and dislikes. This
is because man as we see him in the physical world is the expression
of an individual indwelling spirit, seemingly having choice and
prerogative.

But as a matter of fact man is not quite as free as he seems; all
students of human nature have observed that on certain occasions a
large number of people will act as though dominated by one spirit. It
is also easy to see without recourse to occultism that the different
nations have certain physical characteristics. We all know the German,
French, English, Italian, and Spanish types. Each of these nations has
characteristics which differ from those of the other nations, thus
indicating that there must be a _race spirit_ at the root of these
peculiarities. The occultist who is gifted with spiritual sight knows
that such is the case, and that each nation has a different race spirit
which broods as a cloud over the whole country. In it the people live
and move and have their being; it is their guardian and is constantly
working for their development, building up their civilization and
fostering ideals of the highest nature compatible with their capacity
for progress.

In the Bible we read that _Jehovah_, _Elohim_, who was the race
spirit of the Jews, went before them in a pillar and a cloud, and in
the Book of Daniel we gain considerable insight into the workings of
these race spirits. The image seen by Nebuchadnezzar with its head of
gold and feet of clay showed plainly how a civilization built up in
the beginning with golden ideals degenerated more and more until in
the latter part of its existence the feet were of unstable, crumbling
clay, and the image was doomed to topple. Thus all civilizations when
started by the different race spirits have great and golden ideals, but
humanity by reason of having some free will and choice does not follow
implicitly the dictates of the race spirits as the animals follow the
commands of the group spirits. Hence in the course of time a nation
ceases to rise, and as there can be no standing still in the cosmos,
it begins to degenerate until finally the feet are of clay and it is
necessary to strike a blow to shatter it, _that another civilization
may be built up on its ruins_.

But empires do not fall without a strong physical blow, and therefore
an instrument of the race spirit of a nation is always raised up at
the time when that nation is doomed to fall. In the tenth and eleventh
chapters of Daniel we are given an insight into the workings of the
invisible government of the race spirits, the powers behind the throne.
Daniel is much disturbed in spirit; he fasts, for fully _three weeks_,
praying for light, and at the end of that time an archangel, a race
spirit, appears before him and addresses him: “Fear not, Daniel, for
from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and
to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come
for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me
_one and twenty days_, but lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came
to help me; and I remained there with the king of Persia.” After he
explains to Daniel what is to happen, he says: “Knowest thou wherefore
I came unto thee? _and now will I return to fight with the prince of
Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come_,
and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael,
your prince.” The archangel also says: “In the first year of Darius the
Mede, even I stood to confirm and to strengthen him.”

So when the handwriting is on the wall, some one is raised up to
administer the blow; it may be a Cyrus, a Darius, an Alexander, a
Caesar, a Napoleon, or a kaiser. Such a one may think himself a prime
mover, a free individual acting by his own choice and prerogative,
but as a matter of fact he is only the instrument of the invisible
government of the world, the power behind thrones, the race spirits,
who see the necessity of breaking up civilizations that have outlived
their usefulness, so that humanity may get a new start and evolve under
a new and a higher ideal than that which ensouled it before.

Christ himself when upon earth, said: “I came not to bring peace, but a
sword,” for it was evident to Him that as long as humanity was divided
into races and nations there could be no “peace on earth and good will
among men.” Only when the nations have become united in a universal
brotherhood is peace possible. The barriers of nationalism must be done
away with, and to this end the United States of America has been made a
melting pot where all that is best in the old nations is being brought
together and amalgamated, so that _a new race with higher ideals and
feelings of universal brotherhood may be born for the Aquarian Age_.
In the meantime the barriers of nationalism have been partially broken
down in Europe by the terrible conflict just past. This brings nearer
the day of universal amity and the realization of the Brotherhood of
Man.

There is also another object to be gained. Of all the terrors to
which mankind is subjected, there is none so great as _death_, which
separates us from those we love, because we are unable to see them


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