Wonder Book of the Ages
BY CORINNE HELINE
PART II: INITIATORY HIGHLIGHTS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
CHAPTER V: FORWARD
The four Gospels present four independent records of the life and mission
of Christ Jesus. They differ in their approach and treatment of this most
profound subject. The so-called "higher criticism" has looked upon some of
these variations as inconsistencies and, in some instances, even as
contradictions. This would, therefore, cast some doubt on the authenticity of
the records as a whole. However, when the Gospels, sibgly and together, are
studied in the light of Initiation, they will be found to support each other
to a degree not even suspected by the average interpreter of these sacred
Thus, for example, Matthew and Luke begin their records with the birth of
the child Jesus. This is entirely omitted in the Gospels of both Mark and
John. Mark commences his Gospel with the baptism of Jesus, at which time the
Christ became incarnate in human form. John opens his record, not with an
introduction to the Master Jesus, but to the Word--the word that is to be
identified with the Cosmic Christ. Later follows the introduction to the
Christ in connection with the miracle performed at the wedding feast in Cana
when He turned water into wine.
From the many references that Paul makes to various spiritual mysteries
connected with the life and works of Christ Jesus there can be no doubt
that, as a result of many profound insights he himself experienced in relation
to the spiritual world, he had come to recognize that the nature of many of
these were beyond the grasp of those who had not yet made sufficient
preparation for tyheir understanding and acceptance. This he expressed in the
frequently quoted words, "There is milk for the babes and meat for the
Any one making a careful study of the Epistles of St. Paul cannot fail to
note the extent to which they deal with inner plane activities. He writes, for
instance, "I was caught up into the third heaven, whether in the body or out
of it I know not." This is an experience familiar to many disciples of our
At the time of St. Paul's transcendent illumination which occurred on the
road to Damscus, the outer world was so obscured that his whole attention was
sharply focussed on the life and activities of the inner world. Then, too, it
was that he was permitted to come into the presence of the Lord Christ and to
realize the meaning of the mission He had undertaken in becoming the
indwelling planetary Regent of this earth, and the profound significance this
holds for the future of mankind and the earth's redemption.
Paul, who before his Damascus experience had been an arch enemny of Christ
and His followers, later became one of the most deeply dedicated and ardent
missionaries of all the followers of the Master.
Paul stresses the fact that it is because the Christ, a divine being
incarnated in human form, suffered even as man suffers, that He is able as
none other, to feel for those who are weak and heavy laden. This it is that
calls forth His love and compassion with such power and universality as to
make Him the Saviour and the Redeemer of the world. As a poet has beautifully
expressed it: "The rose does not yield its full fragrance until the petals are
crushed. The wells of true sympathy spring only from a broken heart."
It was the failure to undertand the inner significance of the events in the
life of Christ Jesus that brought out the taunts from the many that followed
Him as He bore His cross up Calvary: "He saved others, himself He cannot
save." But it was Christ's mission to outline the way for man, and to teach
him how to follow in His steps. "Whosoever will come after me," said He to His
disciples, "let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow me."
And so, as the supreme Way-Shower, it was for Him to bear the cross up the
slopes of Golgotha for His own crucifixion. It was also in the divine pattern
that He was to live out on the physical plane the betrayal which exemplifies,
in the life of man, how the lower nature is ever betraying the higher, or the
Christ within, until such time as the lower nature is transmuted, and so
finally destroys itslef as did Judas the betrayer.
A study of what may be called the internal content of the Gospel, brings to
light the successive steps to be taken on the path that leads to Initiation.
They are twelve in number. These are set forth in the principal events
recorded in the life of Christ Jesus. They begin with the Immaculate
Conception, Resurrection and Ascension. The life of Christ as outlined in
Gospels corresponds to the cosmic pattern for the all-encompassing processes
of spiritual evolution.
The first steps upon the path are described in the Gospels of Matthew and
Luke. Tje kore advanced steps are recorded by Mark and John. As previously
observed, Mark begins his record of the life of Jesus, with the baptism by
John the Forerunner; Saint John, the most advanced of all the Master's
disciples, commences his record of the Master with an account, as previosuly
observed, of the miracle performed at Cana.
If all Mystery Schools teaching the way of Initiation were closed, their
secret work would yet remain discoverable in the Bible. It is in recognition
of this fact that the principal furnishings of the Masonic Lodge are the Bible
and the Square and Compass. In their symbolism, the Masonic Fraternity
preserves the essential elements of the initiatory processes as these are
outlined from many points of view in that supreme textbook of life, the
In their initiatory interpretations, the four Gospels are transmitters of
the four streams of divine energies which manifest on the physical plane in
the elements we know as fire, water, air and earth. This truth was well
understood and taught by the Christians of the first and second centuries.
From an unidentified source we quote:
"In Palestine, Matthew proclaimed Him as putting the finishing stone to
God's kingdom, of which the foundations were laid in Israel. In Rome, Mark
presented Him as a Conqueror who founded His divine right as King of the World
upon His miraculous powers. In Greece, Luke described Him as the Divine
Philanthropist commissioned to carry out the work of divine grace and
compassion to the worst of sinners. In Asia Minor, John, pictured Him as the
Word made flesh--the Eternal Light and Life who descended into the world of
Christ--Messiah of Israel......................................--Matthew
Christ--Mighty Lord of Nature.....................................--Mark
Christ--Friend and Priest of all Mankind..........................--Luke
Christ--The Life and Light of the World...........................--John"
From the foregoing, it becomes apparent that differences in the four
Gospels which some regard as inconsistencies are but varying presentations of
different states of development in the life of an aspirant. Thus one Gospel
record amplifies the other in its recitals of the life and mission of the
Christ. In this, they provide irrefutable evidence of the unfathomable wisdom
that is incorporated in this and every part of the Sacred Scriptures.
The 12 principal events of the life of Christ Jesus and their
correspondences in the life of the aspirant are the following:
1. Annunciation 7. Temptation
2. Immaculate Conception 8. Tranfiguration
3. Birth 9. Gethsemene
4. Flight into Egypt 10. Crucifixion
5. Teaching in the Temple 11. Resurrection
6. Baptism 12. Ascension
Luke 1:26, 27
"And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city
of Galilee named Nazareth. To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was
Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary."
Among the early Christian Initiates it was not the person of Mary that was
worshipped, glorious and exalted though she were; the object of veneration was
the feminine emanation from the Cosmic Christ which is the innate, potential
divinity within every man, and the realization of which is the supreme work of
The feminine principle is formative in nature, hence the angelic
Annunciation that the Virgin or Holy Mother would bring forth a son. In its
universal application this it to be understood as the coming to birth of the
mystical Christ in the heart of regenerated man.
Luke 1:38, 39
"And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to
thy word. And the angel departed from her. And Mary arose in those days,
and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda."
Within the life of every successful neophyte the process of the
Annunciation is enacted. He becomes conscious, after a certain period of
preparation, of particular changes that are taking place within himself, a
result of incorporating more of the higher ethers into his nature as a result
of a life devoted to serving spiritual purpose.
THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
The Immaculate Conception can occur only after an aspirant to the higher
life has dedicated himself to live in obedience to spiritual law and the
spirit of the indwelling Christ. The interval between the Annunciation and the
Immaculate Conception is a time when the neophyte must be prepared to be
tested as to whether he will use the awakened powers to advance his personal
interest or devote them to furthering the good of others. At this stage, many
falter and never pass beyond the first step of the Annunciation. An example of
one who was strong enough to take the second step, the Immaculate Conception,
was Mary, the mother of Jesus. Then it was in an ecstacy that she exclaimed :
"My soul doth magnify the lord and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my saviour.
For He hath regarded the low estate of His handmaiden: for behold, from
henceforth all generations shall call me blessed."
It is through this exaltation of the feminine principle that Mary becomes
the bride of the Holy Ghost. A similar sublime experience is awaiting each and
every one who chooses to pursue the steps leading thereto, steps made by those
who have gone ahead and made clear the way.
The steps or degrees of Initiation are similar in outline in all Mystery
Schools. Their differences pertain principally to methods of development which
vary according to the particular requirements and evolutionary stages of the
races whom they are designed to serve. Thus the great world Teachers are
recorded as having been born of virgin mothers, and their coming heralded by
angelic annunciation. Also they were immaculately conceived, and that their
birth occurred in a cave, grotto or stable. The exalted ego of a world Teacher
is carefully tended by Divine Beings who guard human evolution. Theirs is a
holy birth, and as such, is ever a momentous event accompanied by gladsome
hosannas of Angels and Archangels.
To parallel the steps of attainment in the consciousness of man, the birth
is represented as occurring in a dark place, or where beasts feed, symbolizing
a spiritual birth from out of the lower or unregenerate elements in man's
Symbolically, the neophyte must leave Nazareth, the place where time was
spent in personal living, and enter upon the path that leads to Bethlehem,
"The house of bread," in preparation for the Holy Birth. In the present state
of mass consciousness, the mind is so occupied with material concerns that the
spirit can not always find ready hospitality. The head, or inn, is so filled
that the spirit must seek lodging elsewhere.
For greater and deeper reasons than many yet realize, the time of the birth
of Jesus is a season of great rejoicing on the inner as well as on the outer
plane of life. The physical incaranation of Jesus was made for the purpose of
assisting man to the birth of the Christ within so that he too, might come to
know individually the sublime experience of Holy Night. This is the work of
the New Christian Dispensation. The portals of this new era were opened on the
night of the birth of the Master Jesus. The earth then responded to a new
rhythm which was set up by Angels in their proclamation: "Peace on earth, and
good will among men."
FLIGHT INTO EGYPT
Matthew 11: 13, 16
"And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to
Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother,
and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod
will seek the young child to destroy him. Then Herod, when he saw that he
was mocked of the wise men, was exceedingly wroth, and sent forth, and slew
all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof..."
The Gospels, as previosuly mentioned, are formulas of Initiation of varying
degrees which accounts for variations in their records. Thus, for example,
Luke makes no mention of the flight into Egypt, an event symbolizing the
temporary ascendance of the human over the divine nature. The flight into
Egypt, symbolically the land of darkness and materiality, reflects in the life
of a neophyte struggling in the earlier stages of his initiatory development
as related by Matthew in his account of the Flight into Egypt. The Gospel of
Luke, which ocnveys a higher phase of attainment, passes directly from the
Temple Rites of preparation into the fourth step known as the Teaching in the
Luke 11: 40-42; 46-49
"And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and
the grace of God was upon him.
Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the
passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after
the custom of the feast.
And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple,
sitting in the midst of doctors, both hearing them, and asking them
questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and
And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him,
Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought
thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye
not that I must be about my Father's business."
In the personal parallel to the Temple episode, Jesus represents the
awakened and illumined spirit within, and the Rabbis, the reasoning mind, or
the unaided mental faculties which fail to cognize anything beyond the realm
of the five senses. Mary, the mother, typifies the feminine or image-making
quality of soul, whom the spirit finds it necessary to admonish at times:
"Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?"
The age of twelve is an important time in the life of a child. In the
average individual, it marks approximately the birth of the desire body, the
age of puberty; in the advanced ego, it marks a corresponding awakening of
soul. The spiritual light that has been generated in the course of past lives
radiates from the head of a child at birth as mystic artists have generally
portrayed it, not only of Jesus, but also of John the Baptist, the boy Samuel
and other biblical characters of high spiritual attainment.
The Teaching in the Temple marked a definite stage in the awakening powers
of the boy Jesus. We read: "Mary kept all these sayings in her heart." These
she recounted to Luke who recorded them with such rare artistry and beauty in
Mark 1:10, 11
"And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of
Galilee, and was baptized of John in the Jordan.
And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and
the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:
And there came a voice from heaven saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom
I am well pleased."
All mystic initiatory rites include the ceremonial of purification with
water. The festival of the Eleusinian Mysteries of Greece included baths; The
Tabernacle in the Wilderness had its Laver of purification; and in the life of
the great Way-Shower of the Christian religion, Christ Jesus, it is the
baptism which marks the next great step that we must take if we follow in His
The application of water is symbolic of inner purification. Baptism marks
the stage where the heart of the neophyte has awakened to the needs and
interests of others. He can then no longer live to himself alone. His heart
goes out in sympathy, and his hands in practical action to alleviate suffering
and to comfort those in distress and despair. When a person has experienced
the spiritual awakening that comes with a true baptismal rite, his interests
and activities can no longer be limited to his own family or limited circle
but must find an expansion that extends into ever widening areas until they
embrace the world and the whole of humanity. Love and compassion then goes
into redemptive action. There is sorrow for the violators of the law, civil
and moral, for criminals condemned to death, for the wretchedness of life at
its lower depths and for the cruelties inflicted on our younger brothers of
the animal kingdom. With the spiritual inflow at the time of a true mystical
baptism, the realization comes to the surface of consciosuness that the human
family is a unity within the all-embracing Divinity by whom we are ensouled
and consequently the good of one is the good of all and the hurt of one, the
hurt of all. A deep sense of responsible is then accepted for furthering in
all ways possible that which accords with love, truth and justice.
"Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God,"
admonished one who had passed through the baptismal rite. Upon the head of
such a one rests the dove of spiritual power, and where he goes, the clouds of
darkness and ignorance melt away so that he, too, hears the voice of God
saying: "Thou art my beloved son."
Mystic legends state that at the time of the Baptism, great balls of fire
appeared on the waters of the river Jordan. This statement bears the inner
significance that the two mighty powers of heart and mind had been united in
the life of Jesus, the ideal spiritual prototype of mankind. This blending is
the supreme ideal of human evolution and it is its completion in the earth's
great Initiate which called forth the declaration, "This is my beloved Son, in
whom I am well pleased."
The Ego known as Jesus left his body at the Baptism, and the Archangel, the
Christ, descended as a dove to inhabit that body during the three years of His
earthly ministry. The body of Jesus was Christ's means of ingress into the
earth. The plan of redemption was made possible by their union. As Paul
writes, in a very literal sense, "There is one God, and one mediator between
God and men, the man Christ Jesus."
CHAPTER VI: THE TEMPTATION
"Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of
the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty night, he was afterward
a-hungered. And when the tempter came to him, he said, "If thou be the Son of
God, command that these stones be made bread." But he answered and said, "It
is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that
proceedeth out of the mouth of God.'"
Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a
pinnacle of the temple. And saith unto him, "If thou be the Son of God, cast
thyself down: for it is written, "He shall give his angels charge concerning
thee: And in their hands they shall bear thee up, Lest at any time thou dash
thy foot against a stone.'" Jesus said unto him, "It is written again, 'Thou
shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.'"
Again the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth
him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and saith unto him,
"All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me."
Then saith Jesus unto him, "Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, 'Thou
shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thy serve.'"
Of all the lessons which the Christ set before the neophyte in the drama of
His life, none is more important than the Temptation, and none is more
misunderstood. He was subjected to tests of body, mind and soul in order that
He might leave to the human race the unceasing inspiration of a divine example
of One who was tempted in all things like themselves, yet remained without
sin, as Paul states.
The neophyte's reaction to Temptation shows clearly where he stands on the
Path; but this is not the only reason for the trials on the Path. The trials
are important because they develop moral, mental and spiritual strength, just
as physical exercise and wholesome labor develop the health and strength of
the physical body. Christ Jesus gave Himself to be our Exemplar so that we
might know the right way to meet Temptation, or trials, of every sort.
As Jesus was tempted after His Baptism, which was an Initiation, so is
every neophyte tempted, or tried, after each illumination, or "promotion."
This trial comes to him for the purpose of showing him his own weaknesses.
Failure in any trial does not mean that he must return to the ways of the
world, but only that he must strive the harder to overcome his weaknesses and
defects, and then when he is again "tempted," or tested, he will stand firm.
All temptations, or trials, belong to the three general categories of body,
soul and mind. The Initiation symbolized in the Baptism of Christ Jesus
confers upon the neophyte new powers of soul and mind, which come from the
realization that all life is onew in God; and he musy never use these powers
selfishly, no matter how great the need, but only to benefit his fellow men.
It is now that personal ambition suddenly flowers, and most unexpectedly,
for the neophyte believes that he has put behind him all worldly desires. He
has consciously renounced such desires as petty and of no real value, yet know
it becomes possible for him to satisfy them all, and so he must sift his
feelings and emotions to be sure that only love of God and mankind is
motivating his actions. This is not always easy to determine, because many a
personal ambition is innocent in iteslf, and is evil only in relation to the
spiritual orientation of the neophyte on the Path. Self-respect, for example,
is retained, but it must not be confused with vanity or egotism. The body is
conscientiously cared for, because it is the temple of an indwelling god, but
physical health and well-being are not the aim and end of living; the body is
seen as the instrument of the spirit. The soul is nourished by the
appreciation of arts and crafts, and by the contemplation of the beauties of
Nature, but these are seen in their relationship to God as their true source
and origin, and creative genius itself is understood to be an aspect of the
Creative Power of the Supreme Unity in whom man lives and moves and has his
being. The intellect must be trained and its powers cultivated through
education and reason, but the acquisition of knowledge can be a false god
unless it is related to the whole of life; and the more powereful the
intellect, the greater is the need for humility lest the mind be closed to new
aspects of truth and awareness. For the intellect the rule is always; "Let
that mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who made Himself of no
reputation...and became the servant of all, even unto death."
Such are the subtle temptations which the illumined disciple meets on the
Path, and Christ Jesus shows how they are to be met. He renounced self
utterly, and surrendered His will in the service of others, but with the full
intelligence of His indwelling ever-watchful Godhead.
Each successive phase of spiritual unfoldment brings with it a special and
characteristic trial, according to the temperament and degree of spiritual
attainment of the individual; yet, however varied these trials may be, the
Christ Example shows the way to victory. The spiritualization of the mind
through a complete dedication to the truth of the Spirit constitutes the
impregnable armor of the neophyte who is beset not merely daily, but hourly,
by the small, insidious temptations of common life, which are the more
dangerous in that they are scarcely recognizable as temptations. Hence the
admonition of one of the great masters of wisdom: "Pray without ceasing."
"And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, andf
leadeth them up into a high mountain apart by themselves: and he was
transfigured before them. And his raiment became shining, exceedingly white as
snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them. And then appeared unto them
Elias and Moses: and they were talking with Jesus. And Peter answered and said
'Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles;
one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.'
For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid.
And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the
cloud, saying, 'This is my beloved Son: hear him."
And suddenly, when they had looked round about, they saw no man any more,
save Jesus only with themselves.
With the Transfiguration, the work of Christ Jesus for the earth and all
its life properly began. Having undergone the trials of the Temptation, which
for Him was not merely personal but cosmic, the physical body in which He had
been appearing as a man among men was completely transmuted into spirit. The
body was not His own body, but the body given to Him for His use by the Master
Jesus, the purest and most perfect human body ever produced by the human race.
Centuries had gone into its preparation, through a carefully controlled
heredity among the most beautiful and strongest families living at that time,
the family of the princes of the House of David, of whom the heir to the
throne was always called the Messiah.
In the sudden revelation of the Christhood, the archangelic Glory which was
then indwelling the body of the Master Jesus, the disciples knew that they
stood in the presence of a Cosmic Power. Other Initiates had beheld this same
Glory in earlier times, but far away in the Sun, or in rare instances as an
archangelic Presence in the tmple or in sacred places on the earth, such as
the Field of Ardath at Babylon, or Mount Sinai, and other.
Some Initiates even then living in the body, but in other parts of the
world, were aware of the Presence on the Mount of Transfiguration in Galilee.
But these three disciples, Peter, James and John, beheld the Glory immediately
present with them, and as they knelt they were encompassed by it, then and
there. It was the selfsame Solar Glory known to all Initiates of all Mystery
Schools in both East and West; but now it burned as a Light upon the earth
itself, not a Light of the solar orb alone. Inlater centuries Initiates would
again behold this Glory in the Sun and experience its projected Image on earth
where its "Ray" centered and burned.
It was the Cosmic Christ Being, standing in the midst of a Solar Glory, who
on this occasion taught His chief disciples the innermost mysteries of the new
faith of the New Age then dawning, the Piscean Age, which they would then
transmit to the innermost group of disciples of the future.
Of the Four Gospels, the Gospel of Matthew gives the most detailed account
of this sublime event. To understand what is there revealed, we must
understand that the Christ comes from what we term the world of Life Spirit,
whcih is but another name for the Realm of Universal or Christ Consciousness.
This is His home world. On the Mount of Transfiguration He appeared to His
three most advanced disciples, arrayed in the glorious light vesture
pertaining to that high celestial plane; for the three were there with Him in
consciousness, even though to mortal viewing they were all still standing upon
the earth plane, in respect to the body.
John later describes this transcendent radiance: "We beheld His glory, the
glory as of the Only Begotten Son of the Father."
In this universal world the cosmic pictures are found which pertain to our
entire scheme of evolution, the complete and imperishable record of all that
has been experienced by man and his planets since creation's dawn; for this is
the highest of those world in which are kept the Books of God's Remembrance
from which the Angels read. The disciples were raised in consciousness to this
high plane. When we look to the corresponding step in the life of the neophyte
on the Path, we find that the transfiguration marks a high degree or
attainment. The conserved and transmuted life essence within the body
veritably glows with spiritual radiance, a light in darkness, signifying
wisdom in the midst of ignorance. He comprehends anew the words of the
greatest of the three favored disciples who shared the Mystery of the
Transfiguration with the Christ: "If we walk in the Light as He is in the
Light, we have fellowship one with another."
Upon that Mount of Glory the benediction heard at the Baptism at the
beginning of the three years' ministry is heard once more: "This is my beloved
Son, in whom I am well pleased;" but it marks a new and higher phase of the
Christ Labor. At the Baptism when the Voice spoke above Jordan its words were
for the multitude. Here on the Mount of Transfiguration the Voice speaks to
the three most advanced disciples, those who were ready for cosmic vision and
cosmic service. From this Transfiguration the Christ went to Gethsemene and to
the consummation of His work on earth.
GETHSEMENE: THE GARDEN OF SORROW
After the Transfiguration, which marked the culmination of a cosmic pattern
of attainment, there now remained the steps leading to Liberation.
"And when they had sung a hymn, they went out into the Mount of Olives. And
Jesus saith unto them, "All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for
it is written, 'I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.'
But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee."
And they came to a place which was named Gethesemene: and he saith to his
disciples, "Sit ye here, while I shall pray."
And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore
amazed, and to be very heavy; and saith unto them, "My soul is exceeding
sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch."
The word Gethsemene is formed of two words in the Hebrew: GATH, "a press,"
also "bitterness," and SHEMEN, "oil," (understanding and wisdom). Wisdom is
always born of pain, until the disciple has at last attained to that high
consciousness where pain has no power over him, either to wound or to
instruct. The "diamond body" of the Adept is impervious to pain and suffering,
and it is indestructible. Christ Jesus was already inhabiting such a body when
He went to Gethsemene and the Way of the Cross, for the purpose of showing to
mankind the Way of Wisdom.
This is truly one of the deep mysteries of life, where the origin of sorrow
and suffering is not understood and man yearns for bliss and tranquility
Yet the mystic knows that the Garden of Sorrow and the Crucifixion must
ever precede the gladsome hour of the Resurrection morn and the white glory of
the Day of Ascension.
As the spirit unfolds its inmost divinity which is the image and likeness
of that God who is Love, Gethsemene ceases to be a place of personal sorrow,
but becomes, as it was for the Christ, a place of sorrosing for the grief of
the world. Its plants are watered with his tears shed for the suffering of
humanity, and for the helpless anguish of the multitudes of living creatures
who cannot speak with a human voice. For as one goes forward upon the way
toward high spiritual attainment, he becomes ever increasingly responsive to
the hurts of all living things about him. He feels every pang as it were his
own hurt, and stores it up within his heart.
The supreme lesson of Gethsemene is to learn to stand alone and say, "Not
my will but, Thine be done." Many times we must follow Christ Jesus upon that
lonely Mount, and drink of that cup, until the lesson has been learned.
We must drain the cup to its dregs, for it is through the cumulative pain
of compassion which well nigh bursts the heart that we finally die to the
personal self and live henceforth only to the end that we may give ourselves
unreservedly for healing and helping the world. When, by a sort of divine
alchemy, this has been accomplished, passion having changed into compassion,
consciousness awakens to the divine understanding that carries with it the
power to soothe the weary and heal the sick.
It is no longer possible to blame others for our sufferings, to judge
harshly, to criticize, or to hate. The disciple asks but the one privilege,
that of sacrificing himself upon the altar of humanity, expecting no favors,
no gratitude, no understanding, even from those who are nearest and dearest.
He desires only to live for service. This is an extremely high ideal, but it
is one which all must accept as life's goal before they are fitted to attain
ultimate liberation from Gethsemene.
"And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required."
In the Crucifixion we stand before one of the holy mysteries which must
ever remain sealed from the profane. In preparation for this sacred rite,
Christ Jesus was beaten and scourged. His garments were torn off His body, and
A CERTAIN CLOAK WAS PUT UPON HIM. A crown woven of thorns was placed upon His
head and pressed down into His temples so that blood flowed therefrom.
From the event of the scourging and crowning with thorns to the carrying of
the cross and the crucifixion on Golgotha, the Christ shows forth the mystery
of stigmatization. The wounds which He suffered appear upon the body of the
devout mystic who meditates deeply upon the Way of Sorrow, and he feels
physically these psychically produced wounds. Most painful of all are the
wounds of the head, which are sensed as if a crown of thorns pressed down
around the skull. This pain results from the awakening of the cranial nerves;
for all of the nerves of the body are sensitized, but these most of all. It is
the ascending spiritual fire which produces these effects, which are
particularly noticeable in the hands, the feet, and the side, corresponding to
the five sacred wounds in the body of our Lord.
In the Mystery Schools these wounds are alos felt, but they remain
invisible, and the Initiate treads the Via Dolorosa secretly, though indeed in
full view of the unseeing multitude.
"Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and
gethered unto him the whole band of soldiers. And they stripped him and put on
him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it
upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before
him, and mocked him, saying, 'Hail, King of the Jews.'"
The scarlet robe is the insignia of royalty but to the mystic it symbolizes
the words of the Christ that he who would be greatest among men must be the
servant of all. Sacrifice for our fellowmen is the one true royalty. Scarlet
is the color of the life's blood poured out in sacrifice, not a sacrifice in
death, but a sacrifice in living usefulness. He holds the reed in His right
hand, representative of the scepter of the King, signifying the power of the
Initiate of the right-hand path, the positive or right-handed way to power
over all evil. In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus is smitten on the head with the
reed, indicative of the phase of unfoldment in which the "rod of power"
strikes the brain with its fiery force.
Only the Gospels of Matthew and Mark mention the Reed and the Crown of
Thorns. Both represent the earlier manifestations of the awakened Christ
powers, the fiery Life Spirit Force, whcih at first scoruges the body as it
converts it to a temple for the indwelling godhead. The process culminates in
the symbolical crucifixion of the Initiate, where the fiery Christ Force,
having transmuted the seemingly "dead" body, raises it to the Life
The sublime Christ, the supreme Way-Shower, as He hangs upon the cross, is
the perfect symbol, in general and in particular, of the Path of true
spiritual attainment for all mankind--the way of progress for the entire human
"The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet
dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.
Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom
Jesus loved, and saith unto them, "They have taken away the Lord out of the
sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him."
"But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she
stoopeth down, and looked into the sepulchre, and seeth two angels in white
sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of
Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, "Woman, why weepest thou?" She said
unto them, 'Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they
have lain him.' And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw
Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus."
The body of Christ remained in the tomb throughout Friday night, all of
Saturday, and a portion of Sunday, thus outlining the "three mystic days" of
the great initiatory formula according to which the disciple is raised to life
and heralded as the new-born, or one risen into a new life or higher, more
exalted degree of consciousness and spiritual power.
This sublime chapter of John's Gospel may well be termed the deification of
the feminine, and it points to the future when this great work has been fully
Saul of Tarsus and Mary Magdalene are alike examples of the transmutative
power which resides in the Christed consciousness. John, among the disciples,
represents the full flowering of the spiritualized feminine, mystically
indicated in the gentleness and beauty of his countenance. This placed him at
the head of the disciples spiritually, as the best-beloved of the Master, and
it is natural that he was the first to understand and accept the glorious
truth of the Resurrection.
This event, which is the culmination of earth's evolution, awaits all
mankind. For the neophyte it is the Resurrection into higher realms, the power
to function in complete awareness separate and apart from the physical body
without the severance of death. Every victorious aspirant in whom this
Resurrection takes place hears the proclamation of the Angel of the Lord
(spiritual Law): "He is not here, for He is risen."
Truly, as Paul stated, "Ye are all heirs and joint heirs with Him." But the
most blessed of all His promises is this: "Not only these things but greater
than these shall ye do."
"All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth," were the words of His
salutation to the disciples as He greeted them in the sacred upper room after
the Resurrection; meaning that through His great sacrifice upon Calvary He had
now become the true Lord and indwelling planetary Spirit of the earth.
Esoteric Christianity teaches that Golgotha was not the end but the beginning
of the Christ's redemptive sacrifices for the whole of our planetary body.
During the mystic "forty days," that sacred interval between the
Resurrection and Ascension, the Christ was engaged in many works concerning
not only the human race but all life waves evolving upon the earth. This work
included the various race and group spirits who are guiding the various
streams of evolving life. To each one He gave a new impetus of altruism and
unity, and He also accelerated the vibratory pitch of the keynote of each one,
which sounds in the cosmic pattern or archetype. Truly, with His coming all
the earth sings a new song.
"Go into Galilee and I will meet you there." Each appearance to the
disciples bears a deeper meaning, and a promise of greater spiritual powers.
"And He lifted up His hands and blessed them and while He blessed them, He
stood apart from them and was carried into heaven."
In "rising from the dead" the mystic ceremonial teaches that there is no
death, and by the "Ascension" it teaches that eternal life is the sure
heritage of the Initiate. "In my Father's house are many manisons. I go to
prepare a place for you."
In the Degree of the Ascension, the Christ opened the way so that whosoever
wills may ascend with Him and partake of the high communion of the spiritual
It is not Christianity alone which thus teaches Initiation. The formula of
Initiation has been incorporated into all of the great religions of the world
in the principal events in the lives of the Great Teachers and Saviors who are
central to them.
As the New Age of Aquarius slowly dawns upon the earth, messengers come
forth from the realms of light to establish an increasingly intimate communion
between the Christ, the disciples, and all those on earth who aspire to follow
the mystic ritual with its twelve steps or degrees as outlined above.
In the world of the soul, the true disciple still today experiences the
suffering and crucifixion of the entire human race, and the Christ also
continues to suffer perennial crucifixion; for He is with us till the end of
the world, as He said, and the Liberation which He offers to us is the
Consummation of the Cross. The Litanies of the Crucifixion are a chant of
Initiation, dealing with the formula of Initiation as described in the
Gospels. The keynote of this attainment is: "Let the Christ be formed in you."
ASTROLOGICAL CORRELATIONS FROM THE ANNUNCIATIONS TO THE ASCENSION
The esoteric analysis of the Gospels shows that the outstanding events of
the life of Christ are twelve in number, enumerated thus:
1. Annunciation 7. Temptation
2. Immaculate Conception 8. Transfiguration
3. Birth 9. Gethsemene
4. Flight into Egypt 10. Crucifixion
5. Teaching in the Temple 11. Resurrection
6. Baptism 12. Ascension
These twelve steps bear an interesting astrological connotation, for it has
been truly said that man's first Bible was the Zodiac, in which he learned to
read all spiritual truth. There he deciphered the cryptic signs which told of
the lives of the Savior Gods, and there the Christian Initiate reads the story
of the life of the Christ.
The zodiacal wheel of the heavens is made up of twelve constellations or
signs, through which the Sun, Moon, and planets travel around the sky, as
viewed from the planet earth. It was discovered by ancient astronomers that
these celestial signs seemed to have an influence upon the affairs of earth,
and so the science of astrology arose. It was observed that the influence of
the planets was stronger in some signs than in others. The sign in which the
planet expresses its highest potential and which it RULES is its own home sign
where it reveals its pure, unalloyed qualities; but it is equally powerful in
THE SIGN OF ITS EXALTATION, though in another way. The exaltation qualities of
a planet are realized at their highest only through Initiation, which releases
within the soul the corresponding aspects of the planetary forces.
It is interesting to note that EXALTATION and RESURRECTION were used as
interchangeable terms by the early Church Fathers, who understood the
relationship between man's spiritual development and the stars in the sky
above him. They knew that in the Christ Consciousness mankind would learn to
cooperate intelligently with the Cosmic Powers whose action on human destiny
was figured in the horoscope.
When astrologers speak of the planet and the sign which it rules, they
speak for the most part of physical and material things; the esotericist, who
studies the hidden side of the science of the stars, speaks of the exaltation
aspects of the planet, which are spiritual in nature as follows:
ANNUNCIATION; IMMACULATE CONCEPTION:
The Moon exalted in Taurus. The Moon governs the formative or feminine
principle, and the hierarchy of angels who have charge of generation.
Mars exalted in Capricorn. Transmutation of desire, which awakens the
Christ life within.
FLIGHT INTO EGYPT:
Saturn exalted in Libra. Saturn is the tempter or tester, Libra the
balance, or trial gate.
TEACHING IN THE TEMPLE:
Mercury exalted in Virgo. Mercury also rules Virgo. Esoterically, the
temple is the body; Virgo is chastity and immaculacy of mind and soul. Mercury
exalted in Virgo is the Wisdom attained through purity of mind, body and soul.
Jupiter exalted in Cancer. Cancer is the door of birth, and the gates of
heaven. Passwords for entrance are: love, unity and fellowship. The baptism by
water is symbolical of the baptism by Spirit.
Uranus exalted in Scorpio. The power of generation when exalted leads to
regeneration. This is the most powerful of the exaltations in man's present
Venus exalted in Pisces. Love in the house of sorrow. The personal love is
raised up into the exaltation of impersoanl love embracing all life. Every ego
knows the Garden and Golgotha of the love life. It is through sorrow that
passion is exalted into compassion, and love for the one into love for the
The Sun exalted in Aries. Lifting the spinal spirit fire (cosmic life
force) to the head helps build the body celestial, in which man is resurrected
from the tomb of the flesh.
Neptune exalted in Cancer. The divinity called the Christ Within raises man
to the high superphysical realms where as spirit he may enter into the many
mansions prepared by the Christ of the Cosmos.
Nothing is said in the foregoing of the latest discovered planet. Pluto,
which circles the Sun beyond the orbit of Neptune, and over which it sometimes
crosses. Astronomers surmise that this outermost planet may possibly have been
a moon or Neptune at one time and that it may be drawn back to that planet one
day. Today, however, as a separate planet, it must be considered as a power in
the horoscope, but its true nature is as yet undetermined. Some astrologers
think it is of the nature of Mars, constituting an "octave" of that planet;
others see in it the "octave" of the earth. The "octave" of a planet is taken
to be its "alter ego" or Higher Self, a higher reflection of itself. As octave
of the earth, Pluto would have special governance over conditions affecting
our planetary evolution in its deep, esoteric meanings.
Pluto moves so slowly around the Sun that it occupies much the same
position for a long time, and thus forms many of the same aspects in thousands
of horoscopes. These aspects are "set off" by tansiting forces, such as faster
moving planets, lunations, eclipses, asteroids and comets, thus precipitating
great mass movements and revolutionary changes. The same situation would be
true with respect to the other planets also in their relationships with Pluto.
Initiate astrologers must eventually resolve all such problems. There will
be a New Astrology for the New Age dealing with cosmic configurations, not
only those of planets in one system, but also the interrelationships of many
solar systems with their planets, and of those with galaxies.
CHAPTER VII: THE IMMORTAL TWELVE
Jesus chose the Twelve before He came into the world. He chose twelve
powers, receiving them from the twelve Saviors of the Light-Treasure. When He
descended into the world, He cast them as sparks into the wombs of their
mothers, that the whole world might be saved.
The twelve Disciples represent the twelve principal attributes to be
developed in man through the awakening of the Christ power within, which
unfold through many stages, exemplified in the events in the lives of the
Twelve as recounted in the New Testament. These events are not to be
understood as the mere personal record of each individual Disciple; all that
is written of them is true of every disciple in every age when treading the
Way of Attainment. The Bible is of universal significance; it is only
secondarily a biographical record. Primarily it outlines the path of spiritual
development for all mankind.
This does not mean that the story of the Disciples has no historic
significance. The twelve "Sparks" who incarnate in the twelve Disciples refer
to cosmic powers emanating from the zodiac; but they also point to the twelve
great religions of the world and their Teacher-founders, who are Saviors. Thus
according to the Gospels and the correlative material of esoteric documents
such as the Pistis Sophia, the Christ sent to earth the Saviors or Founders of
twelve world religions, who circled about Him as the zodiacal signs circle
about the sun. Biblical students often fail to see in the passage quoted from
Pistis Sophia the esoteric truth, namely, that all of the great world Saviors
were forerunners of the Christ. They went before Him to prepare the Way, and
then when he was to incarnate in the Master of Nazarethg, they were reborn to
be His immediate personal helpers and emissaries to the entire world.
The lives of the Disciples therefore have meaning not only for the
Christian world but for all the religions of the world.
"Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed
me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man shall sit in the throne of his
glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of
This verse points to the eventual attainment on the path of discipleship
when, by means of regeneration or Initiation, as shown in the life of Christ,
the carnal nature is laid aside, having been transmuted into powers of the
spirit. It is then that the old gives way to the new, the natural to the
supernatural. For the first Disciples this attainment occurs on the Day of
Pentecost, and it is in the fires of Pentecost that we learn the true and
essential significance of all those events in the life of aspirants which
would otherwise remain obscure, for Pnetecost is their end and fulfillment,
today as in the time of Christ on earth.
The Zealots were a Galilean sect, patriotic in nature, who hated with a
terrible intensity everything Roman. They were banded together in a grim
determination to rid their beloved land of this hated Roman tyranny, using
fire and sword to accomplish their purpose. Simon was among their number. He
was of a fiety disposition, dedicated body and soul to the task the Zealots
had set themselves, and had become a ringleader of the sect. Like most
patriotic and revolutionary bands it had degenerated into a mob, and attracted
to its ranks many robbers and outlaws whose motives were not always patriotic,
yet they held a common aim of freeing their nation from the Romans.
Now there came into Simon's life the influence of the gentle Nazarene. His
life changed. On finding Christ he, who until that time had held bitter
animosities and racial hatreds, surrendered them to the nobler impulses that
awakened within him. He now inscribed upon his heart the law of the New
Regime: Love your enemies, resist not evil, but overcome evil with good.
Such is the law that will govern the New Age that is yet to be, whose
keynote is Love. It is the degree to which this Love is applied to the
problems of daily life that will determine the disciple's fitness to enter
into the Aquarian phase of the Christ Dispensation which is being ushered in
at this time.
The Master, like all great spiritual Teachers, taught the necessity of
transmuting evil into good and gave instructions toward its accomplishment.
Acting on this instruction toward its accomplishment. Acting on this
instruction, every Mystery School celebrates a ritual at midnight of every
night in which the evil miasma of the globe is gathered up and transmuted into
good. This is not an allegorical statement, but a literal one. The work is
done each night, and as midnight is present at one place or another on the
globe throughout all of the twenty-four hours, this work is continuous, unceasing, as suggested in the black-and-white pavement of the Masonic Mystery Temple.
The Disciple Simon Zelotes, the fiery zealot, beheld the work of
transmutation performed by the Christ and His circle of Initiates, and it was
this which changed the resentful patriot into the loving, tender Disciple who
was willing to receive and bear the ridicule, contempt and persecution of his
former friends and associates in order that he might give his life only in
love for his fellowmen.
Judas is a symbol of the limitation and incompleteness which act as
a negative spur to progress. "Nature abhors a vacuum," and every human soul,
when it becomes sensitive to its spiritual emptiness, seeks for self-
fulfillment. All things work together for good, St. Paul said; the greatest
sinner may become the greatest saint, as Paul also demonstrated.
Judas represents the lower nature in man, which ever betrays the higher of
Christ within. This betrayal causes the great pain or Passion and must always
take place in the Garden of Agony. In the path of spiritual progression it is
a necessary prelude to the Crucifixion which brings liberation, freedom, and
attainment. This can be accomplishment only by evil or limitation (Judas)
destroying itself so that the divine nature may show forth. Matthias, a holy
man, is then chosen to replace him.
Legends state that the mother of Judas was warned in a dream that he was to
become the son of perdition. She therefore placed him in a chest or ark and
set it out to sea. There he was discovered by a king, who adopted the
beautiful boy and reared him with his own son; but Judas murdered his foster
brother and was compelled to flee. He became a page for Pontius Pilate and
later tried to follow the Christ.
Judas represents acquisitiveness, the love of the power which accrues from
the possession of material things. He was the Disciple who carried the money-
bags. Intense, passionate, his eyes filled with weird lights and his hair like
crimson flame, he was accused from childhood of having a devil. He is also
linked, in some accounts, with Mary Magdalene in bonds of sensual love, the
two representing the path of transmutation whereby the lower or mortal nature
is cast aside in favor of the new and Christed life.
A poet sings of the youth of the beloved Disciple John, "coming to manhood,
he was like a beautiful swift storm." "Sons of Thunder," the Master called
John and his brother James. That terrific inner intensity which led James to
be the first to lay down his life won for John the place of best-beloved of
the Master in the sense that his spiritual advancement brought him closest to
the Christ Spirit. From early childhood John's eagle eyes had visioned the
radiance of angels and his heart had listened to their glorious singing. In
the shadow of their wings the white flame of love was born within him, and
that love became power, and was later poured into hi Book, making it the most
treasured of the memorabilia of Christ's ministry on earth. Through this love
he was able to view the glory of those manisons which the Master has prepared
for those who love Him and make themselves worthy to inhabit them. It was in
the spirit of this love, which is such as the angels know, that he was able to
strike that keynote of ecstasy sounded in the injunction, "LOve one another as
I have loved you," and in His promise, "If I be lifted up I draw all men unto me."
It was in Ephesus that John prepared himself for the great work of healing
and teaching which he accomplished after the dispersion of the Disciples.
There he lived and there he taught the wondering multitudes of the inner
meaning of LOVE AS A POWER.
Angel bands were chanting hosannas when first he met his Lord, and these
hosannas were prolonged when his radiant spirit left the earth to rejoin his
beloved Master in the heaven worlds. The fragrance of his parting words to his
disciples still lingers like the breath of rare, exotic flowers: "Little
children, love ye one another."
James, the brother of John, was accounted the first of the Disciples until
the time of his martyrdom. He was among the first to be called and he was the
first to follow his Master to martyrdom.
"And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James, the son of
Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending
their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their
father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the
ship and their father, and followed him.
The fisherman's net, in esoteric symbology, refers to the wisdom extracted
from the experiences of daily living, the fisherman being one who has awakened
spiritually to the meaning and purpose of physical existence. The New
Testament contains many references to the Disciples' work with nets. Sometimes
these are broken, and again they are being mended. They represent the
substance out of which the soul body, the etheric body of the New Age man is fashioned.
James represents the supreme quality of hope which "springs eternal in the
human breast." It was by the power of hope that James was able to leave his
father despite his remonstrances, saying: "I must go, for Jesus has come."
Bathed in this white light of hope from the osul's high altar, James was able
to pass calmly through the bitter experience of persecution and martyrdom.
Before the power of Herod reached out to "kill James by the sword," the
Disciples had planted the seed of the new Christian faith in the land. Mystic
legends aver that after the martyrdom of James the other Disciples had placed
his body in a boat which was propelled by angels until it reached the coast of
Spain, and there a great rock opened of its own accord to receive it--a
reference to the truths of Initiation and the new white stone of which he
taught. In this legend we have another facet of the Mystery of the Grail,
whose castle, bult by men and angels, stood somewhere in the mountains of
Spain before it graced the altars of Glastonbury in the time of King Arthur
and his knights; but some say that it was in Britain first.
Jude means praise. This disciple represents, therefore, one of the most
important qualities to be developed by one who is seeking the inner light. All
true spiritual instruction emphasizes the need to cultivate the spirit of
praise. The law of praise is the law of increase; hence what we praise we
multiply. The more spiritually illumined one becomes, the more one is given to
the daily practice of praise. This is exemplified in the Book of Psalms. As
the Psalmist became increasingly attuned to the music of the spheres, the more
ardent became his songs of praise, until his very life resounded with the
starin: "Praise the Lord, oh my soul, and all that is within me praise His
Praise it is, then, that we associate with Jude, the cousin of Jesus and
son of that Mary, who was a sister of the Virgin and a co-worker in the
Mystery cult of the Essens, the Community of the Elect.
Thomas represents doubt and skepticism which arise inseparably from
intellectual training. Doubt and skepticism are two of the greatest deterrents
to the acquisition of first-hand knowledge by modern aspirants. The Master's
words to Thomas, "Be ye not faithless but believing," are still echoing
through the ethers. We need not expect to progress far on the Path until the
Thomas stage of development has been passed.
Thomas was on the very threshold of understanding, as for instance when he
witnessed the raising of Lazarus; but on the occasion of the Master's arrest
in Gethsemene he was overwhelmed by the old doubt and conflict, and at the
Crucifixion he fled. In his tortured mind he carried the memory of the broken
body and pierced side, but in his heart, like hidden music, he retained the
cadences of the divine prayer: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what
At the end of the long dreary week of the Master's Passion he returned to
Jerusalem, where already the ethers were vibrant with the joyous rhythms of
the Resurrection initiatory hymn: "I am the resurrection and the Life." Here
his dedication was complete. With the words, "My Lord and my God," a new
Thomas went forth into the world, his heart aflame and his lips touched with
that Light which is born from attunement with the love which is eternal.
In India there is a sect numbering several thousand members who call
themselves "St. Thomas Christians," testifying to this day to the great works
and miracles of the holy and illumined Disciple who founded their Order.
The life story of Matthew is that of the publican and sinner who, through
finding Christ, became one of the most glorious of the saints and Apostles and
the writer of the Gospel which bears his name.
Matthew, the tax-gatherer, symbolizes acquisitiveness, possessiveness. This
quality he manifested first on the physical plane, but its transmuted
equivalent he later manifested to a corresponding virtue in the alchemy of
spiritual illumination. Through sorrow and suffering the quality of
acqusitiveness and possessiveness was lifted from one level to another, until
it became the power by which he was a collector, through experience, of
wisdom, its essence.
In his luxurious villa beside the blue waters of the Galilean lake, Matthew
celebrated his renunication of the old life and his dedication to the new by
holding a great feast. This feast was attended by many publicans and sinners,
friends and companions of the old life, and was also graced and blessed by the
presence of the gracious Lord Himself. For this was in truth a spiritual feast
at which the attributes of the former unregenerated self were lifted up and
transformed by the presence and the power of the Christ.
The transformation of Matthew was effected through the glorious experience
accompanying the Master's Sermon on the Mount. Ever afterward his eyes were
lit with a strange mystery, and from his lips sounded the warmth and power of
the new words of Spirit and Life.
In contrast to his former luxurious mode of life, Matthew became a most
abstemious and ascetic person, until gradually there emanated from his face
and form that transcendent light and glory which was like unto the divine
radiance of the Master.
His great work centered largely in Ethiopia where he labored for
approximately twenty-three years. Matthew signifies the great purpose and
power of transmutation in human life.
Andrew is the Disciple who represents humility and self-effacement; the
first to be chosen, yet never becoming one of the innermost circle. He was
content always to shine in the reflected glory of his younger brother, Peter.
Dreams and longing for the things of the spirit led him, in the early days,
to become one of the followers of John the Baptist; and so he was prepared for
a further and higher service under the Supreme Master. The Bible mystically
describes his preparation by saying that he was casting nets when Jesus came.
Andrew was one of those chosen by the Great Initiator to serve in the
miracle of the loaves and fishes. The purpose of this miracle was to teach the
Disciples how to manifest physical substance from a given nucleus, as well as
to demonstrate the fellowship of sharing.
After the great powers conferred on the Disciples at Pentecost, they
dispersed over the world in furtherance of the Great Work. Andrew journeyed
over all of the seven seas, and the mystic legends relate that he was the
first to give Scotland the new and blessed Word of Life. St. Andrew's Cross is
an X, symbol of sacrificial blood, drawn in fiery red:
Where tortured and martyred,
Fair flowering trees beheld him standing there,
With blossoms decked where he had shed his blood.
Throughout Masonic and esoteric Christian symbology we find it repeatedly
represented that where sacrificial blood has flowed a living memorial has
arisen in the form of a flowering tree. The bloody path drawn by the
staggering footsteps of Hiram Abiff, according to Masonic writers, describes
this X of St. Andrew's Cross, and the flowering tree sacred to his memory is
the Acacia. The symbol aptly illustrates the process of Initiation.
Peter, the uncertain, the vacillating, "the wave man who was later to
become the rock man, "is an example of one who achieved mastery over great
personal weakness and indecision; and his record shows him to have had more
failings and shortcomings than any of the other disciples. Yet he finally
succeeded to develop the transcendent spiritual attributes to which every true
Peter received his first discipline in the esoteric school of John the
Baptist. When the Christ found him, he was busily engaged in mending his nets.
He typifies action and service, and at last achieved to that high place
wherein he symbolizes faith--faith as a power, not merely an abstraction. it
is upon that new-found power of faith, that the Church of the New Age, or body
of the Initiate, is builded.
When love, faith and hope become manifest as workable powers within the
consciousness of modern aspirants then they, too, will be able to accompany
the Christ in His greatest wonder-workings as did Peter, James and John, the
Disciples symbolizing these qualities.
Our greatest failures may become our stepping-stones to the greatest
unfoldment, as in the case of Peter. He could never forget his denial of the
Christ, and at his own execution he asked that he be crucified head downward,
as unworthy to die in the same manner as his Lord.
Peter's most treasured memory was his meeting with Master in that luminous
dawn sson after the Resurrection when once more he was permitted to renew and
rededicate his life, as a further reply to the Master who had asked Him:
"Lovest thou Me?"
Magnificently he fulfilled the Master's command to feed His sheep. Holy
legend has it that even his shadow, falling upon the sick, had power to heal;
yet we know that it was not his shadow which healed but the wonderful soul-
emanations of Christ-like love which did this, falling upon all who came near
Peter's life was limned in light and shadow, the darkness of conflict and
failing, of trials and weakness, yielding to intermittent shafts of glory
until at last he surrendered himself to death in the white radiance of a faith
which was truly divine. All that was weak and human was obliterated at the
last in one great burst of spirit fire which consumed the flesh. His life
illustrates, as perhaps no other does, the truth of the saying of a modern
seer: "There is no failure save in ceasing to try." More than any of the
Disciples, Peter is the apostle of the unceasing effort.
It is because of his many and varied experiences, and the wisdom and
understanding these brought him, that Peter is said to hold the keys of heaven
and hell. The student of inner things realizes that the real purpose of life
is not happiness but experience.
Nathanael was the dreamer and mytic among the Twelve; "an Israelite in whom
there is no guile" were the words the Master used in describing him. He was
Nathanael, the son of Thalmai, and so he was called Bar-Thalmai, or
Bartholomew, his name being Nathanael Bar-Thalmai. His father was a tender of
vineyards, and it was amid the cool shadows and rich fragrance of his hillside
home that Nathanael dreamed his dreams, until for him the songs of birds were
intermingled with the chorusing of angel voices and the gleams of stars were
torch lights beckoning him from the stairways of heaven. Thus musing and
living in dreams that were scarcely less real to him than the lovely world
around him, this young Galahad of the spirit was prepared for the eternal quest.
Philip, his friend, knowing Nathanael's deep longing for the coming of an
illumined one to guide him on his quest, burst in upon him one day in burning
eagerness and enthusiasm to announce that he had "found the Messiah."
Nathaneal standfs for purity. He had accomplished the great overcoming of
the lower man in preparation for the coming of the Great Teacher.
Throughout the Bible the fig symbolizes generation. "Whilst thou wast under
the fig tree I saw thee," said the Master in the first moment of greeting; and
he predicted: "Thou shalt see the gates of heaven and the angels of the Lord
ascending and descending," referring to the powers of Initiation which he
would later develop. Purity is the supreme requisite of Initiation and no true
spiritual power can be attained without it. Nathanael became one of the most
wonderful healers among the disciples, and it was for this reason that he was
stoned to death by the priests of the old religion, for they feared his power.
The healing forces are life forces, and purity such as Nathanael's, which
is the fruit of living the regenerated life, increases the healing forces a
thousandfold; for the personal powers are augmented by cosmic forces which
align themselves with the disciple's own universalized, because purified, potencies.
Phillip was the Disciple from Beth-Saida, which in Hebrew means a house of
nets. Esoterically it means to awaken or to infuse with spirituality. The life
story of Phillip contains the process or formula for spiritualizing the mind.
This is a long and arduous process, and Phillip was long in accepting the
divinity of the Lord. Many times during this process of spiritual awakening
the mind cries out in protest: "Show us the Father and it sufficeth us."
Difficult is the attainment whereby we learn to comprehend the Master's reply:
"Believest thou not that I am in the Father and the Father in Me?"
Phillip was the son of a Hebrew father and a Grecian mother. He became the
first evangelist to the Grecian world. His was the hand that opened the door
to Christianizing Europe; and so he has been well named the Hermes of Christ.
The greatest influence in his life, with the exception of the Master, was
his friendship for Nathanael. They constitute the inseparable two, the David
and Jonathan of the New Testament. They were inseparable in life and together
they faced martyrdom. Phillip brought Nathanael to Christ, and Nathanael saw
the passing of the luminous spirit of Phillip from the martyr's cross to his
reuniting on the inner planes with the Master.
Phillip had journeyed over the land, sharing the light of the great new
truths of the Messiah which he had so ardently espoused, and because of the
multitudes of his followers and the many wonderful healings he performed, he
was bound to the cross in front of the Temple and crucified. Strengthened by a
vision of the glorious Christ and by the earthly presence of his beloved
Nathanael, the radiant spirit of Phillip left its earthly tenement, winging
its way upward in the joy of those who remained faithful unto death.
JAMES THE LESS
James and Jude were the sons of Mary, a sister of the virgin, and Cleophas.
Their childhood was spent in the same household with Jesus in an Essene
community, but it was not until that mystic interval between the Resurrection
and the Ascension that they accepted without reservation the eveidence of His
divinity and mission.
James received from his mother the tidings of the Resurrection and declared
that he would neither eat nor drink until he had seen the risen Master. Soon
the Savior appeared before him saying, "Bring table and food and drink as
evidence of the new life."
James became one of the most devoutly believing of the Disciples, and until
his death was head of the new church in Jerusalem. So noble and fine was his
character that he was highly esteemed even by those who had no reverence for
the new Messianism, and it is believed that he may have been head of the
Essenes in Jerusalem before he became head of the new church.
Enemies of the new Christian sect inveigled the holy James to appear upon
the parapet of the Temple before the assembled multitude during Passover week,
on the plea that he should tell them something of the Master whom he so much
loved; and always eager to discourse upon this them he willingly complied. As
he spoke fervently of Jesus as the Messiah of God, the mob took up stones and
began to stone him; he fell to the terrace far below, where he died, bearing
no malice toward his persecutors, like his Master before him.
Thus his great spirit passed into the higher realms with the words of that
sublime prayer upon his lips: "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do."
So greatly had this Master Essene been loved by the populace that panic and
horror swept over the city with the news of his death, and devout men
everywhere said that Jerusalem would suffer great sorrow because of this
crime. During this time, or soon after that the Roman armies came and
destroyed the city, and Jews as well as Christians said that it was the murder
of the saintly James which had brought this catastrophe as a punishment from God.
CHAPTER VIII: THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS
Schools of Initiation, both ancient and modern, have graded the instruction
and disciplines required of aspirants into three major steps, and among the
early Christians these were known as Dedication, Purification and
Illumination; or Preparation, Purification and Perfection. These outline the
work of Probation, Discipleship and Initiation as known in modern schools.
Saint Paul, one of the most illustrious of the early Christians, has given
much information on the experiences that mark the progress of the aspirant on
the Path of Holiness. For Saint Paul it was the Road to Damascus that led to
the glorious summit of Illumination. It is rightly said that the Bible has an
allegorical significance; and so the Road to Damascus has come to mean the
Path of Light, because of Paul's initiatory unfoldment on that Road. Yet this
does not mean that the story of Paul is a myth or that it never happened as
described. It was a true story, and its truth is emblazoned upon it at every
point, but it may also be taken as apicture showing the experiences of
illumination as they come to every aspirant.
This is true of every human being. The life of the humblest may be taken in
its entirety and sublime mysteries deduced from its numerous events, from
birth to death. We understand how this can be when we realize that the life-
pattern exists in the heavens, and the life on earth is the shadow which is
cast in time and space by that divine pattern. Imperfect as the life may be,
the divine pattern may yet be inferred from the shape of the shadows.
The Road of Damascus was the beginning of the Path for Saul, who became
Paul. If anyone is skeptical of the fact that the Bible teaches the Truths of
Initiation and of the mysteries leading thereto, let him study carefully the
Three Journeys of Saint Paul as recorded in the Book of Acts and in his
Epistles in the New Testament. Then he will find new depth of meaning in
Paul's words: "There is milk for the babes and meat for the strong."
Truly it has been said that "Paul was one of the greatest voices that the
world has ever heard. For forty years after the Transfiguration, his life was
a sublime and terrible adventure."
His life was a mighty kaleidoscopic picture of stirring events. We see him
as Saul, guarding the cloaks of those who were stoning Stephen; his first
encounter with the disciple Peter; we observe his great illumination on the
road to Damascus; later, as Paul the Apostle, we see him stoned and scourged
at one time, worshipped as a god at another. We hear him pleading with the
Athenians on Mars Hill, and then rise with him on the wings of inspiration as
he sings his immortal song in which love takes precedence over faith and hope;
an ecstatic hymn that translates for us the songs of the angels, and is
charged with a beauty and power which assures it a place in the hearts of all
men for all time to come.
Later we follow Paul to the Sanhedrin. We see him casting the viper into
the fire, and finally, in the dim purple shadows of the great pine trees of
Rome, see his noble head laid beneath the headman's ax. Thus we view Paul, the
intrepid, the courageous, the victorious, whose life maxim, adopted hundreds
of years later by a great occult fraternity as the sesame into its Temple, was
contained in his words: "I desire nothing but Christ Jesus and Him crucified."
Each of the pictures in the life of Paul strikes a distinctive keynote and
marks a specific phase of development. A similar progression from soul-step to
soul-step characterizes the aspirant who attains to Paul's exalted status.
Saul, the persecutor of Stephen, bears little resemblance to Paul, the author
of the divinely inspired song of love, excepting only in the fervor of his
temperament. it was the change in character and consciousness that changed the
name of this eager, arduous spirit from Saul to Paul, for esoterically names
are the vibratory expression of the spiritual idea that they represent.
The Saul of Tarsus is far removed in consciousness from the Paul who penned
the final Epistle to Timothy--that Epistle which describes the high goal for
every modern disciple, his sons in spirit: "I have fought the good fight, I
have kept the faith, I have finished the course."
Paul placed mystic keys in each of his Epistles as an aid to all disciples
who enter upon the Way in search for a deeper understanding of the mystery of
life. Fourteen of the twenty-seven Books comprising the New Testament testify
to the work of the great evangelizer, and "every letter of Paul is a picture
of Paul." (Adolf Deissman). When arranged in their chronological order, the
thriteen Epistles of Paul may be classified in four groups:
A.......I and II Thessalonians
Written during the Second Journey 51 A.D.
B....I and II Corithians, Galatians, and Romans
Written during the Third Journey 52 to 56 A.D.
C....Philippians, Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon
Written during the Roman imprisonment 59 to 61 A.D.
D....Titus, I and II Timothy
Written just preceding the martyrdom
GLORY LIGHT OVER DAMASCUS
Saul was born in the city of Tarsus, province of Cilicia, during the most
stirring days of the Roman Empire. He was of the tribe of Benjamin (Cancer)
which always remained faithful to Judah (Leo). At approximately the same time
that Saul was born, angels proclaimed the birth of the Holy Child in
Bethelehem. The world was passing through a state of transition in preparation
for a New Dispensation, the coming of Christ Jesus. Saul, the youth, was
trained in accordance with the strictest Pharisaical tenets. His first visit
to Jerusalem was made at the age of thriteen, when he was sent there to study
with Gamaliel, the greatest of the doctors of the Law. Note his age, and
compare it with that of Jesus, who at the age of twelve taught in the Temple.
The years are those of adolescence, which on a higher plane of development
mark the awakening of the emotional soul. Loyal to the sect of the Pharisees,
disdainful and contemptuous of the teachings of the new cult of the Nazarenes,
he was outraged at their presumptuous claims on behalf of their Master and
determined to exterminate them as whatever cost. Such was the attitude
instilled into Saul of Tarsus by inheritance and precept, such was the
background of him who became Paul, the Christian, whose life, after
conversion, was dedicated to one purpose: "That they might all be filled with
the fullness of God."
Appointed by the Sanhedrin to prosecute those Jews who had become followers
of the Nadarines, Saul was travelling to Damascus to drive the heresy out of
the communities of Jews who were living there. He had almost completed his
journey, and was nearing the ancient city, when the event occurred which
changed him into another man and set his life upon a new and perilous course.
"And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined
round about him a light from heaven:
And he fell to earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, 'Saul, Saul why
persecutest thou me?'
And he said, 'Who art thou, Lord?' and the Lord said, 'I am Jesus whom thou
persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.'
And he, trembling and astonished, said, 'Lord, what wilt thou have me to
do?' And the Lord said unto him, 'Arise, go into the city, and it shall be
told thee what thou must do.'
And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but
seeing no man.
And Saul arose from the earth; and though his eyes were opened, he saw no
man; but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. And he was
three days without sight, and neither did eat or drink.
It is of the utmost significance that this event took place in the auric
environment of the city of Damascus. Even at that time Damascus was one of the
world's oldest continuously living cities, a city which had never known death.
Many great and powerful and beautiful cities flourished in anitquity. Damascus
outlivfed them all.
Eastward of Damsascus, in the wilderness, there were mystic communities
where the Initiates communed with God within the heart and with the hosts
of heaven without, the rulers of the elements and the glorious and mighty
Angels and Archangels. Their hymns echoed the music of the spheres, and it is
said that one of their chants of the dawning light has come down to us in the
opening verses of John's Gospel. They were communities similar to that of the
Essenes of the Dead Sea in Palestine, and there was constant communication, a
journeying to and fro of member-saints, between them.
In the city of Damascus there was a community of householders, as the Book
of Acts intimates, such as had also been the background of the Ho,ly Family at
Nazareth; and in their homes the sacred Mysteries were venerated, from before
the coming of Christ Jesus and in preparation for Him. To them Saul was led
and they watched over him during his three-day period of outer blindness
during which his inner or soul-Self was awakened.
Damascus is a lovely, mystic city which every aspirant approaches when
making the illumined contact with the Christ. Abram, like Saul, was moving
towards this particular city when preparing for the inner realization which so
altered him that his name was changed to Abraham even as Saul, after the great
downpouring of spiritual power, became Paul.
Saulos, a famous Jewith name, and Paulos, a Latin name of greek origin and
form, represent the two natures of man, namely, the lower (carnal) and the
higher (spiritual). Saul of Tarsus, the intolerant, the revengeful, the
persecutor, came forth from his experience as Paul, the new man. The old Adam
in him died and the Christ within him was born. His ambition became humility;
his bigoted sectarianism was transformed into an all-embracing fellowhsip and
compassion. His intense zeal for the family of Israel was engulfed in love for
all mankind. His brilliant future was exchanged for a career uniting suffering
and renunciation, while honors and adulation were gldaly exchanged for
scourging and imprisonment. He willingly renounced all that this world offered
in order that he might become even the least among the Apostles of the Christ,
and "if by all means he might save some."
In what manner was this complete transformation effected? In his work on
the life of Paul, Adolf Deissman is near to occult truth when he says that
Paul's religion is "Christ Mysticism" and that the journey to Damascus marked
for him the beginning of the indwelling Christ. Fro three days and three
nights Paul neither saw light with his eyes nor partook of fodd or drink.
During this mystic interval, his sight was lifted and his consciousness was
focussed upon the inner or spiritual plane. During this timew his light was
not that of the physical world but of the higher or heavenly realms.
It was the illumination which his great and glorious vision brought to Paul
that led to his dedication of body and soul, without reservation or
hesitation, to the furtherance of his chosen work. It was to this stupendous
event that he referred when he said, "I was never disobedient to the heavenly
THE WAY TO THE LIGHT WITHIN
Many attempt to walk the way that leads to the mystic city of Damsscus, but
few succeed in entering its portals. The light from heaven is, first, the
flame of the awakened spirit within; this is that light that never fails to
attract the Teacher who comes to open the way for further instruction and
The acquisition of first-hand knowledge concerning the life and conditions
of the superphysical worlds, and a contact with the Great Ones who guide the
destiny of mankind from these inner realms, and obedience to their instructors
are the necessary requirements for true spiritual Initiation. Such
illuminations are possible today, but a higher spiritual status than that of
the majority is essential, and few there are who can meet the requirements of
a clean diet, constructive and harmonious thinking, and the chaste, pure life.
These are fundamental and cannot be ignored or overpassed.
During the sublime interval of blindness to outer-world conditions, Paul
was enlightened concerning the real esoteric mission of Christ Jesus and the
ushering in of the new Christian Dispensation. After the years of
misunderstanding and persecution of the followers of the gentle Nazarene, the
lightning-flash of illumination stripped his soul clean, and he was privileged
to glimpse vistas reaching down the centuries. He saw the new heaven and the
new earth in which fellowship and brotherhood were a reality; a time which
Isaiah, another Initiate, had declared would come to pass, when men would beat
their swords into pruninghooks and their sabres into plowshares; when--in
words echoed by a later prophet--the knowledge of spiritual law (the Lord)
would cover the earth as waters cover the sea.
After his initiatory experience in the community at Damascus, Paul went
into the desert of "Arabia," as it is said, where he stayed for three years.
We understand by this that he went out into the wilderness known as the
Peraea, to some of which he has referred obscurely in his Epistles. He
undoubtedly made pilgrimage to the community of the Dead Sea also, and to
During his Arabian retirement Paul communed unceasingly with the Risen
Christ and with the Great Ones who direct and govern the evolution of mankind
in its advance toward emancipation. This was truly Paul's novitiate in God's
School, the School of the Universe and its divine Mysteries. He learned to
read in the great Book of God's Remembrance described by Enoch, which is
located in the etheric stratum of earth's aura, and in the still more
marvellous Book which is found in the higher heavens. These he saw and
understood the wondrous formula of Initiation which was enacted for the world
in the life of Christ Jesus, in his Death, Burial, Resurrection and Ascension.
In the same wondrous Book of God he read the future events pertaining to his
own life-term on earth.
"But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which
dwelt in Damascus, proving that this is very Christ."
"But the Lord said unto him, 'Go the ways for he is a chosen vessel unto
me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of
Israel; for I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my names'
Paul's experience in the superphysical realms for the three days and night
at Damascus left their impress in various ways on each of his Epistles, whose
letter spells immortality, and whose every page glows with the splendor of
life eternal. Each one of his Epistles contains both an inner and an outer
message. Within each of them he has placed milk for the babes and meat for the
THE JOURNEYS OF PAUL
The principal work of Paul is divided into three phases or journeys. There
are always three steps leading to the final culmination of the Great Work, as
they are outlined in any school of Initiation. We have shown that these three
steps were anciently termed Preparation, Purification and Perfection; which
correspond to the modern steps of Probation, Discipleship, and Initiation.
Paul has veiled these steps in his description of the events of his three
journeys and the works he accomplished therein.
The first journey occupied two years, the second three years, and the
third, four years, which totals the number nine, again a mystic key referring
to the nine steps or degrees of Apprenticeship, Fellowcraft and Master, in
Masonry. In the life of the Supreme Initiator these steps are represented by
the Birth, the Baptism and the Transfiguration. After these experiences there
always follows the great works, or ministry, for others. The "trials," which
confront every neophyte upon the Path find historical correspondence in the
life of Paul as the trial before Felix, the trial before Festus and the trial
before Agrippa. It was the manner in which Paul passed these tests that gave
him the authority to declare: "There is laid up for me a crown of
righteousness, and not for me only, but unto to all them that love His
It was during the work of the second journey that Paul began writing the
matchless Epistles, the first of which was sent to the church of Thessaly. The
love indicative of the close bond which exists between the spiritual teacher
and his pupils is expressed in the lines: "Ye are become very dear to us; ye
are our glory and our joy."
The Epistle to the Thessalonians contains the message of the Resurrection
to the New Life in all its inner meanings, namely: the ability to function
consciously apart from the physical body, which none other has described more
accurately than this great Christian Initiate.
The Way of Initiation he makes very plain.
I Thessalonians IV:13,17
"But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which
are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in
the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the
One who has acquired the ability to function in the finer or etheric
realms, knows the truth of the immortality of the spirit, the continuity of
life. Death he finds to be but a transition from one plane of activity to
another. It was this joyous realization which caused Paul to declare: "O
death, where is thy sting? O, grave, where is thy victory?" (I Cor:XV:55) No
longer does one who has reached this place have to say, "I believe," or "I
think,"--he may triumphantly proclaim with Paul, "I know, for I have seen."
Then comes the realization that "Death hath not touched it at all; dead though
the house of it seems."
This realization will bring to mankind one of the chief blessings that
await it in the new Etheric Age that lies before us.
Corinth, the city of frivolous and idle pleasures, signifies the subtle
temptations of the senses. The gay and dissolute life of this city revolved
around its beautiful Temple of Venus. Every sort of pleasure, both innocent
and evil, flourished there. In no other city was a center bearing the
influence of the new Christ Dispensation more needed.
"Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision. 'Be not afraid, but
speak, and hold not thy peaces for I am with thee, and no man shall set on
thee to hurt thee; for I have much people in this city.'
And he continued there a year a six months, teaching the word of God among
The Epistles to the Corinthians are filled with inner, mystic meanings,
understandable in their full significance only by those who are following this
same way and striving for a similar attainment. The First Epistle to the
Corinthians teaches the neophyte to die daily in the subjugation of the body,
or the lower nature;for this is always the first and fundamental teaching
given by any school of true mysticism. The Second Epistle to the Corinthians
contains a deeper message, given only for those who have found transformation
through LIVING THE LIFE.
II Corinthians V:17
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are
passed away; behold, all things are become new."
In the teachings given by the Thrice Great Hermes there is a similar
instruction to that of Paul in Corithians XV, wherein he speaks of bodies
incorruptible, of natural bodies, and of celestial bodies. Hermes says,
inreference to this transformation: "For that we have a stream of earth and
water, of fire and of air flowing into us, which renovates our bodies and
keeps our tents together."
"Five times received I forty stripes save one." Here Paul is recounting,
for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, the process and the number of
His Initiations. Forty save one equals 39, which numerically yeilds 3, and 3
times 3, or 9--the steps of attainment pertaining to the third journey, or
degrees of the Master. Again he is describing this same attainment of
Mastership when he says:
II Corinthians XII:2-4
"I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whewther in the body, I
cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an
one caught up to the third heaven.
And I knew such a man (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot
tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard
unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter."
In the Epistles to the Galatians, perhaps the most deeply esoteric of all
the Epistles, Paul proclaims that he "confers not with flesh and blood."
"Neither went I up to jerusalem to them which were apsotles before me; but
I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus."
These verses refer again to the inner plane Mystery Temple teaching and to
the work of the Illumined Ones who minister there. Paul tells us that these
teachings which were revealed to him could be given only privately to those
who were "of reputation," meaning thereby to those who were qualified to
receive them. This is but a restatement of the Master's injunction not to cast
pearls before swine. The Epistles to the Galatians closes with that most
mystic of Paul's utterances:
"From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the Lord
These words do not refer to physical marks from beatings, stonings and
scourgings, but to certain marks of light, discernible only by spiritual
vision. Those bearing these marks are among the Christed Ones, the elect of
the Lord, who take their seats at the holy table in communion with the Savior.
The Epistle to the Romans was written near the close of the third journey.
The glorious confirmation of Paul's testing through the three great labors, or
journeys, was then nearing its close. Standing in the white light of
Mastership, he sounds the keynote of this high work in the words: "Present
your bodies in A LIVING SACRIFICE, holy, acceptable unto God." (Rom. XII:1)
Allen R. Brown, in his volume entitled "Paul the Sower" which is a study of
the purpose and meaning of the Epistle to the Romans, comes very near the New
Age Bible Interpretation when he says: "The words, 'in Christ,' Paul uses over
150 times; these words do not refer to the historical Jesus, but denote a
continuing relationship with the Christ present in the heart; Paul is not
completing Christ's suffering (Colossians I:24), but is carrying out in his
body his own Christ-sufferings."
All New Age Interpretation deals with the awakening of the Christed powers
within man himself. "Let the Christ be formed in you." This declaration of the
great Christian Initiate contains the solution to all the problems of the
universe and will, when fully understood and developed, usher in the New
Heaven and the New Earth. When Paul came to take his last journey, to meet his
final trial and to liberate his bright and glorious spirit in death, he was
completely absorbed in intersting the centurion (who, together withg a band of
soldiers accompanied him to the Ostain Gate of Rome) in the work of the New
Christ Dispensation. To the last the thought uppermost in his mind was to
bring others into the service of the Christ.
Arriving at his destination, under the great shadowy pine trees, he asked
for a time of meditation and prayer. They who watched saw him assume the form
of a cross and, with arms outstretched, address in Hebrew some invisible
presence. That glorious Being, who had given His benediction to Paul's first
illumination, was present to bless him and speed him on his way as he laid
down his body in His name, in a dedication total and unswerving to the nd. He
was ever faithful to his own words: "If we are to live in Christ, we must
forsake ourselves and die with Him."
The thyrsus-bearers are many, but the mystics are few.
Straight is the way and narrow is the gate, and few there be that find it.
This is the Way to that mystic City of Damascus, with its spiritual
treasures. It is only for those who, with the great Paul, have learned "to die
PART III: THE CHRIST MYSTERY IN THE COSMOS