Ancient and Modern Initation

 

CHAPTER ONE

THE ATLANTEAN MYSTERY TEMPLE

Ever since mankind, the prodigal spirit sons of our Father in Heaven,

wandered into the wilderness of the world and fed upon the husks of its

pleasures, which starve the body, there has been within man's heart a sound-

less voice urging him to return; but most men are so engrossed in material

interests that they hear it not. The Mystic Mason who has heard this inner

voice feels impelled by an inner urge to seek for the Lost Word; to build a

house of God, a temple of the spirit, where he may meet the Father face to

face and answer His call.

Nor is he dependent upon his own resources in this quest, for our Father

in Heaven has Himself prepared a way marked with guide posts which will lead

us to Him if we follow. But as we have forgotten the divine Word and would

be unable now to comprehend its meaning, the Father speaks to us in the

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language of symbolism, which both hides and reveals the spiritual truths we

must understand before we can come to Him. Just as we give to our children

picture books which reveal to their nascent minds intellectual concepts

which they could not otherwise understand, so also each God-given symbol has

a deep meaning which could not be learned without that symbol.

God is spirit and must be worshipped in spirit. It is therefore strictly

forbidden to make a material likeness of Him, for nothing we could make

would convey an adequate idea. But as we hail the flag of our country with

joy and enthusiasm because it awakens in our breasts the tenderest feelings

for home and our loved ones, because it stirs our noblest impulse, because

it is a symbol of all the things which we hold dear, so also do different

divine symbols which have been given to mankind from time to time speak to

that forum of truth which is within our hearts, and awaken our consciousness

to divine ideas entirely beyond words. Therefore symbolism, which has

played an all-important part in our past evolution, is still a prime neces-

sity in our spiritual development; hence the advisability of studying it

with our intellects and our hearts.

It is obvious that our mental attitude today depends on how we thought

yesterday, also that our present condition and circumstances depend on how

we worked or shirked in the past. Every new thought or idea which comes to

us we view in the light of our previous experience, and thus we see that our

present and future are determined by our previous living. Similarly the

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path of spiritual endeavor which we have hewn out for ourselves in past ex-

istences determines our present attitude and the way we must go to attain

our aspirations. Therefore we can gain no true perspective of our future

development unless we first familiarize ourselves with the past.

It is in recognition of this fact that modern Masonry harks back to the

temple of Solomon. That is very well as far as it goes, but in order to

gain the fullest perspective we must also take into consideration the an-

cient Atlantean Mystery Temple, the Tabernacle in the Wilderness. We must

understand the relative importance of that Tabernacle, also of the first and

second temples, for there were vital differences between them, each fraught

with cosmic significance; and within them all was the foreshadowing of the

CROSS, sprinkled with BLOOD, which was turned to ROSES.

THE TABERNACLE IN THE WILDERNESS

We read in the Bible the story of how Noah and a remnant of his people

with him were saved from the flood and formed the nucleus of the humanity of

the Rainbow Age in which we now live. It is also stated that Moses led his

people out of Egypt, the land of the Bull, Taurus, through waters which en-

gulfed their enemies and set them free as a chosen people to worship the

Lamb, Aries, into which sign the sun had then entered by precession of the

equinox. These two narratives relate to one and the same incident, namely,

the emergence of infant humanity from the doomed continent of Atlantis into

[PAGE 12] ANCIENT AND MODERN INITIATION

the present age of alternating cycles where summer and winter, day and

night, ebb and flow, follow each other. As humanity had then just become

endowed with mind, they began to realize the loss of the spiritual sight

which they had hitherto possessed, and they developed a yearning for the

spirit world and their divine guides which remains to this day, for humanity

has never ceased to mourn their loss. Therefore the ancient Atlantean Mys-

tery Temple, the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, was given to them that they

might meet the Lord when they had qualified themselves by service and subju-

gation of the lower nature by the Higher Self. Being designed by Jehovah it

was the embodiment of great cosmic truths hidden by a veil of symbolism

which spoke to the inner or Higher Self.

In the first place it is worthy of notice that this divinely designed

Tabernacle was given to a chosen people, who were to build it from freewill

offerings given out of the fullness of their hearts. Herein is a particular

lesson, for the divine pattern of the path of progress is never given to

anyone who has not first made a covenant with God that he will serve Him and

is wiling to offer up his heart's blood in a life of service without

self-seeking The term "Mason" is derived from PHREE MESSEN, which is an

Egyptian term meaning "Children of Light." In the parlance of Masonry, God

is spoken of as the Grand Architect. ARCHE is a greek word which means

"Primordial substance." TEKTON is the Greek name for builder. It is said

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that Joseph, the father of Jesus, was a "CARPENTER," but the Greek word is

TEKTON--builder. It is also said that Jesus was a "tekton," a builder.

Thus every true mystic Freemason is a child of light according to the divine

pattern given him by our Father in Heaven. To this end he dedicates his

whole heart, soul, and mind. It is, or should be, his aspiration to be

"greatest in the kingdom of God," and therefore he must be THE SERVANT OF

ALL.

The next point which calls for notice is the location of the temple with

respect to the cardinal points, and we find that it was laid directly east

and west. Thus we see that the path of spiritual progress is the same as

the star of empire; it travels from east to west. The aspirant entered at

the eastern gate and pursued the path by way of the Altar of Burnt Offer-

ings, the Brazen Laver, and the Holy Place to the westernmost part of the

Tabernacle, where the Ark, the greatest symbol of all, was located in the

Holy of Holies. As the wise men of the East followed the Christ star west-

ward to Bethlehem, so does the spiritual center of the civilized world shift

farther and farther westward, until today the crest of the spiritual wave

which started in China on the western shores of the Pacific has now reached

the eastern shores of the same ocean, where it is gathering strength to leap

once more in its cyclic journey across the waste of waters, to recommence in

a far future a new cyclic journey around the earth.

The ambulant nature of this Tabernacle in the Wilderness is therefore an

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excellent symbolical representation of the fact that man is migratory in

hisnature, an eternal pilgrim, ever passing from the shores of time to eter-

nity and back again. As a planet revolves in its cyclic journey around the

primary sun, so man, the little world or microcosm, travels in cyclic circle

dance around God, who is the source and goal of all.

The great care and attention to detail regarding the construction of the

Tabernacle in the Wilderness shows that something far more exalted than what

struck the eye of sense was intended in its construction. Under its earthly

and material show there was designed a representation of things heavenly and

spiritual such as should be full of instruction to the candidate for Ini-

tiation and should not this reflection excite us to seek an intimate and fa-

miliar acquaintance with this ancient sanctuary? Surely it becomes us to

consider all parts of its plan with serious, careful, and reverential atten-

tion, remembering at every step the heavenly origin of it all, and humbly

endeavoring to penetrate through the shadows of its earthly service into the

sublime and glorious realities which according to the wisdom of the spirit

it proposes for our solemn contemplation.

In order that we may gain a proper conception of this sacred place we

must consider the Tabernacle itself, its furniture and its court. The il-

lustration opposite page 33 may assist the student to form a better concep-

tion of the arrangement within.

[PAGE 15] THE ATLANTEAN MYSTERY TEMPLE

THE COURT OF THE TABERNACLE

This was an enclosure which surrounded the Tabernacle. Its length was

twice its width, and the ate was at the east end. This gate was enclosed by

a curtain of blue, scarlet, and purple fine twined linen, and these colors

show us at once the status of this Tabernacle in the Wilderness. We are

taught in the sublime gospel of John that "God is Light," and no description

or similitude could convey a better conception or one more enlightening to

the spiritual mind than these words. When we consider that even the great-

est of modern telescopes have failed to find the borders of light, though

they penetrate space for millions and millions of miles, it gives us a weak

but comprehensive idea of the infinitude of God.

We know that this light, which is God, is refracted into three primary

colors by the atmosphere surrounding our earth, viz., blue, yellow, and red;

and it is a fact well known to every occultist that the ray of the Father is

blue, while that of the Son is yellow, and the color of the Holy Spirit's

ray is red. Only the strongest and most spiritual ray can hope to penetrate

to the seat of consciousness of the life wave embodied in our mineral king-

dom, and therefore we find about the mountain ranges the blue ray of the Fa-

ther reflected back from the barren hillsides and hanging as a haze over

canyons and gulches. The yellow ray of the Son mixed with the blue of the

Father gives life and vitality to the plant world, which therefore reflects

back a green color, for it is incapable of keeping the ray WITHIN. But in

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the animal kingdom, to which unregenerate man belongs anatomically, the

three rays are absorbed, and that of the Holy Spirit gives the red color to

his flesh and blood. The mixture of the blue and the red is evident in the

purple blood, poisoned because sinful. But the yellow is never evident un-

til it manifests as a soul body, the golden "WEDDING garment" of the mystic

Bride of the mystic Christ evolved from within.

Thus the colors on the veils of the Temple, both at the gate and at the

entrance of the Tabernacle, showed that this structure was designed for a

period previous to the time of Christ, for it had only the blue and the

scarlet colors of the Father and the Holy Spirit together with their mix-

ture, purple. But white is the synthesis of all colors, and therefore the

yellow Christ ray was hidden in that part of the veil until in the fullness

of time Christ should appear to emancipate us from the ordinances that bind,

and initiate us into the full liberty of Sons of God, Sons of Light, Chil-

dren of Light, Phree Messen or Mystic Masons.

[PAGE 16A] THE ATLANTEAN MYSTERY TEMPLE

ILLUSTRATION:

THE BRAZEN LAVER

[PAGE 17] THE BRAZEN ALTAR AND LAVER

CHAPTER TWO

THE BRAZEN ALTAR AND LAVER

THE BRAZEN ALTAR was placed just inside the eastern gate, and it was used

for the sacrifice of animals during the temple service. The idea of using

bulls and goats as sacrifices seems barbaric to the modern mind, and we can-

not realize that they could ever have had any efficacy in that respect. The

Bible does indeed hear out this view of the matter, for we are told repeat-

edly that God desires not sacrifice but a broken spirit and a contrite

heart, and that He has no pleasure in sacrifices of blood. In view of this

fact it seems strange that sacrifices should ever have been commanded. But

we must realize that no religion can elevate those whom it is designed to

help if its teachings are too far above their intellectual or moral level.

To appeal to a barbarian, religion must have certain barbaric traits. A re-

ligion of love could not have appealed to those people, therefore they were

given a law which demanded "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth."

[PAGE 18] ANCIENT AND MODERN INITIATION

There is not in the Old Testament any mention whatever of immortality, for

these people could not have understood a heaven nor aspired to it. But they

loved material possessions, and therefore they were told that if they did

right they and their seed should dwell in the land forever, that their

cattle should be multiplied, et cetera.

They loved material possessions, and they knew that the increases of the

flock were due to the Lord's favor and given by Him for merit. Thus they

were taught to do right in the hope of a reward in this present world. They

were also deterred from wrongdoing by the swift punishment which was meted

out to them in retribution for their sins. This was the only way to reach

them. They could not have done right for the sake of right, nor could they

have understood the principle of making themselves "living sacrifices," and

they probably felt the loss of an animal for sin as we would feel the pangs

of conscience because of wrongdoing.

The Altar was made of brass, a metal not found in nature, but made by man

from copper and zinc. Thus it is symbolically shown that sin was not

originally contemplated in our scheme of evolution and is an anomaly in na-

ture as well as its consequences, pain and death, symbolized by the sacrifi-

cial victims. But while the Altar itself was made from metals artificially

compounded, the fire which burned thereon unceasingly was of divine origin,

and it was kept alive from year to year with the most jealous care. No

other fire was ever used, and we may note with profit that when two presump-

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tuous and rebellious priests dared to disregard this command and use strange

fire, they met with an awful retribution and instant death. When we have

once taken the oath of allegiance to the mystic Master, the HIGHER SELF, it

is extremely dangerous to disregard the precepts then given.

When the candidate appears at the eastern gate he is "poor, naked, and

blind." He is at that moment an object of charity, needing to be clothed

and brought to the light, but this cannot be done at once in the mystic

Temple.

During the time of his progress from the condition of nakedness until he

has been clothed in the gorgeous robes of the high priest there is a long

and difficult path to be traveled. The first lesson which he is taught is

that man advances by sacrifices alone. In the Christian Mystic Initiation

when the Christ washes the feet of His disciples, the explanation is given

that unless the minerals decomposed and were offered us as embodiments for

the plant kingdom, we should have no vegetation; also, did not the plant

food furnish sustenance for the animals, these latter beings could not find

expression; and so on, the higher is always feeding on the lower. Therefore

man has a duty to them, and so the Master washes the feet of His disciples

symbolically performing for them the menial service as a recognition of the

fact that they have served Him as stepping-stones to something higher.

Similarly, when the candidate is brought to the Brazen Altar, he learns

the lesson that the animal is sacrificed for his sake, giving its body for

[PAGE 20] ANCIENT AND MODERN INITIATION

food and its skin for clothing. Moreover, he sees the dense cloud of smoke

hovering over the Altar and perceives within it a light, but that light is

too dim, too much enshrouded in smoke, to be of permanent guidance to him.

His spiritual eyes are weak, however, and it would not do to expose them at

once to the light of greater spiritual truths.

We are told by the apostle Paul that the Tabernacle in the Wilderness was

a shadow of greater things to come. It may therefore be of interest and

profit to see what is the meaning of this Brazen Altar, with its sacrifices

and burning flesh, to the candidate who comes to the Temple in modern times.

In order that we may understand this mystery, we must first grasp the one

great and absolutely essential idea which underlies all true mysticism,

viz., that these things are WITHIN and not without. Angelus Silesius says

about the Cross:

"Though Christ a thousand times in Bethlehem be born,

And not within thyself thy soul will be forlorn.

The Cross on Golgotha thou lookest to in vain,

Unless within thyself it be set up again."

This idea must be applied to every symbol and phase of mystic experience.

It is not the Christ without that saves, but THE CHRIST WITHIN. The Taber-

nacle was built at one time; it is clearly seen in the Memory of Nature when

the interior sight has been developed to a sufficient degree; but no one is

ever helped by the outward symbol. We must build the Tabernacle within our

[PAGE 21] THE BRAZEN ALTAR AND LAVER

own hearts and consciousness. We must live through, as an actual inner ex-

perience, the whole ritual of service there. We must become both the Altar

of sacrifice and the sacrificial animal lying upon it. We must become both

the priest that slays the animal and the animal that is slain. Later we

must learn to identify ourselves with the mystic Laver, and we must learn to

wash therein in spirit. Then we must enter behind the first veil, minister

in the East Room, and so on through the whole Temple service till we BECOME

the greatest of all these ancient symbols, the Shekinah Glory, or it will

avail us nothing. In short, before the symbol of the Tabernacle can really

help us, we must transfer it from the wilderness of space to a home in our

hearts so that when we have become everything that that symbol is, we shall

also have become that which it stands for spiritually.

Let us then commence to build within ourselves the Altar of sacrifice,

first that we may offer upon it our wrongdoings and then expiate them in the

crucible of remorse. This is done under the modern system of preparation

for discipleship by an exercise performed in the evening and scientifically

designed by the Hierophants of the Western Mystery School for the advance-

ment of the aspirant on the path which leads to discipleship. Other schools

have given a similar exercise, but this one differs in one particular point

from all previous methods. After explaining the exercises we shall also

give the reason for this great and cardinal difference. This special method

has such a far-reaching effect that it enables one to learn now not only the

[PAGE 22] ANCIENT AND MODERN INITIATION

lessons which one should ordinarily learn in this life, but also attain a

development which otherwise could not be reached until future lives.

After retiring for the night the body is relaxed. This is very impor-

tant, for when any part of the body is tense, the blood does not circulate

unimpeded; part of it is temporarily imprisoned under pressure. As all

spiritual development depends upon the blood, the maximum effort to attain

soul growth cannot be made when any part of the body is in tension.

When perfect relaxation has been accomplished, the aspirant to the higher

life begins to review the scenes of the day, but he does not start with the

occurrences of the morning and finish with the events of the evening. He

views them in REVERSE order: first the scenes of the evening, then the

events of the afternoon, and lastly the occurrences of the morning. The

reason for this is that from the moment of birth when the child draws its

first complete breath, the air which is inspired into the lungs carries with

it a picture of the outside world, and as the blood courses through the left

ventricle of the heart, each scene of life is pictured upon a minute atom

located there. Every breath brings with it new pictures, and thus there is

engraved upon that little seed atom a record of every scene and act in our

whole life from the first breath to the last dying gasp. After death these

pictures from the basis of our purgatorial existence. Under the conditions

of the spirit world we suffer pangs of conscience so acute that they are un-

believable for every evil deed we have done, and we are thus discouraged

[PAGE 23] THE BRAZEN ALTAR AND LAVER

from continuing on the path of wrongdoing. The intensity of the joys which

we experience on account of our good deeds acts as a goad to spur us on the

path of virtue in future lives. But in the post-mortem existence this pan-

orama of life is reenacted in reverse order for the purpose of showing first

the effects and then the causes which generated them that the spirit may

learn how the law of cause and effect operates in life. Therefore the as-

pirant who is under the scientific guidance of the Elder Brothers of the

Rosicrucians is taught to perform his evening exercise also in reverse order

and to judge himself each day that he may escape the purgatorial suffering

after death. But let it be understood that no mere perfunctory review of

the scenes of the day will avail. It is not enough when we come to a scene

where we have grievously wronged somebody that we just say, "Well, I feel

rather sorry that I did it. I wish I had not done it." At that time we are

the sacrificial animal lying upon the Alter of Burnt Offerings, and unless

we can feel in our hearts the divinely enkindled fire of remorse burn to the

very marrow of our bones because of our wrongdoings during the day, we are

not accomplishing anything.

During the ancient dispensation all the sacrifices were rubbed with salt

before being placed upon the Altar of Burnt Offerings. We all know how it

smarts and burns when we accidentally rub salt into a fresh wound. This

rubbing of salt into the sacrifices in that ancient Mystery Temple symbol-

ized the intensity of the burning which we must feel when we as living sac-

rifices place ourselves upon the Altar of Burnt Offerings. It is the feel-

[PAGE 24] ANCIENT AND MODERN INITIATION

ing of remorse, of deep and sincere sorrow for what we have done, which

eradicates the picture from the seed atom and leaves it clean and stainless,

so that as under the ancient dispensation transgressors were justified when

they brought to the Altar of Burnt Offerings a sacrifice which was there

burnt, so we in modern times by scientifically performing the evening exer-

cise of retrospection wipe away the record of our sins. It is a foregone

conclusion that we cannot continue evening after evening to perform this

living sacrifice without becoming better in consequence and ceasing, little

by little, to do the things for which we are forced to blame ourselves when

we have retired for the night. Thus, in addition to cleansing us from our

faults this exercise elevates us to a higher level of spirituality than we

could otherwise reach in the present life.

It is also noteworthy that when anyone had committed a grievous crime and

fled to the sanctuary, he found safety in the shadow of the Altar of sacri-

fice, for there only the divinely enkindled fire could execute judgment. He

escaped the hands of man by putting himself under the hand of God.

Similarly also, the aspirant who acknowledges his wrongdoing nightly by

fleeing to the altar of living judgment thereby obtains sanctuary from the

law of cause and effect, and "though his sins be as scarlet they shall be

white as snow."

THE BRAZEN LAVER

The Brazen laver was a large basin which was always kept full of water.

[PAGE 25] THE BRAZEN ALTAR AND LAVER

It is said in the Bible that it was carried on the backs of twelve oxen,

also made of brass, and we are told that their hind parts were toward the

center of the vessel. It appears from the Memory of Nature, however, that

those animals were not oxen but symbolical representations of the twelve

signs of the zodiac. Humanity was at that time divided into twelve groups,

one group for each zodiacal sign. Each symbolic animal attracted a par-

ticular ray, and as the holy water used today in Catholic churches is magne-

tized by the priest during the ceremony of consecration, so also the water

in this Laver was magnetized by the divine Hierarchics who guided humanity.

There can be no doubt concerning the power of holy water prepared by a

strong and magnetic personality. It takes on or absorbs the effluvia from

his vital body, and the people who use it become amenable to his rule in a

degree commensurate to their sensitiveness. Consequently the Brazen Lavers

in the ancient Atlantean mystery Temples, where the water was magnetized by

divine Hierarchs of immeasurable power, were a potent factor in guiding the

people in accordance with the wishes of these ruling powers. Thus the

priests were in perfect subjection to the mandates and dictates of their un-

seen spiritual leaders, and through them the people were made to follow

blindly. It was required of the priests that they wash their hands and feet

before going into the Tabernacle proper. If this command was not obeyed,

death would follow immediately on the priest entering into the Tabernacle.

We may therefore say that as the keyword of the Brazen Altar was

[PAGE 26] ANCIENT AND MODERN INITIATION

"justification" so the central idea of the Brazen Laver was "consecration."

"Many are called but few are chosen." We have the example of the rich

young man who came to Christ asking what he must do to be perfect. He as-

serted that he had kept the law, but when Christ gave the command, "Follow

me," he could not, for he had many riches which held him fast as in a vise.

Like the great majority he was content if he could only escape condemnation,

and like them he was too lukewarm to strive for commendation merited by ser-

vice. The Brazen Laver is the symbol of sanctification and consecration of

the life to service. As Christ entered upon His three years' ministry

through the baptismal waters, so the aspirant to service in the ancient

Temple must sanctify himself in the sacred stream which must sanctify him-

self in the sacred stream which flowed from the Molten Sea. And the mystic

Mason endeavoring to build a temple "without sound of hammer" and to serve

therein must also consecrate himself and sanctify himself. He must be will-

ing to give up all earthly possessions that he may follow the CHRIST WITHIN.

Though he may retain his material possessions he must regard them as a sa-

cred trust to be used by him as a wise steward would use his master's pos-

sessions. And we must be ready in everything to obey this Christ within

when he says, "Follow me," even though the shadow of the Cross looms darkly

at the end, for without this utter abandonment of the life to the Light, to

the higher purposes, there can be no progress. Even as the Spirit descended

upon Jesus when he arose from the baptismal water of consecration, so also

[PAGE 27] THE BRAZEN ALTAR AND LAVER

the mystic Mason who bathes in the Laver of the Molten Sea begins dimly to

hear the voice of the Master within his own heart teaching him the secrets

of the Craft that he may use them for the benefit of others.

[PAGE 28] ANCIENT AND MODERN INITIATION

CHAPTER THREE

EAST ROOM OF THE TEMPLE

HAVING MOUNTED the first steps upon the path the aspirant stands in front

of the veil which hangs before the mystic Temple. Drawing this aside he en-

ters into the East Room of the sanctuary, which was called the HOLY PLACE.

No window or opening of any sort was provided in the Tabernacle to let in

the light of day, but this room was never dark. Night and day it was

brightly illuminated by burning lamps.

Its furniture was symbolical of the methods whereby the aspirant may make

SOUL GROWTH BY SERVICE. It consisted of three principal articles: The AL-

TER OF INCENSE, the TABLE OF SHEWBREAD, and the GOLDEN CANDLESTICK from

which the light proceeded.

It was not allowable for the common Israelite to enter this sacred apart-

ment and behold the furniture. No one but a priest might pass the outer

veil and go in even as far as this first room. The Golden Candlestick was

placed on the south side of the Holy Place so as to be to the left of any

[PAGE 29] THE EAST ROOM OF THE TEMPLE

person who stood in the middle of the room. It was made entirely of pure

gold, and consisted of a shaft or principal stem, rising upright from a

base, together with six branches. These branches started at three different

points on the stem and curved upward in three partial circles of varying di-

ameter, symbolizing the three periods of development (Saturn, Sun, and Moon

Periods) which man went through before the Earth period, which was not half

spent. This latter period was signified by the seventh light. Each of

these seven branches terminated in a lamp, and these lamps were supplied

with the purest olive oil, which was made by a special process. The priests

were required to take care that the Candlestick was never without a light.

Every day the lamps were examined, dressed, and supplied with oil so that

they might burn perpetually.

The TABLE OF SHEWBREAD was placed on the north side of the apartment so

as to be in THE RIGHT HAND of the priest when he walked up toward the second

veil. Twelve loaves of unleavened bread were continually kept upon this

table. They were placed in two piles, one loaf upon another, and on top of

each pile there was a small quantity of frankincense. These loaves were

called shewbread, or bread of the face, because they were set solemnly forth

before the presence of the Lord, who dwelt in the Shekinah Glory behind the

second veil. Every Sabbath day these loaves were changed by the priests,

the old ones being taken away and new ones put in their place. The bread

that was taken away was used by the priests to eat, and no one else was

[PAGE 30] ANCIENT AND MODERN INITIATION

allowed to taste it; neither were they suffered to eat it anywhere except

within the Court of the Sanctuary, because it was most holy, and therefore

might only be taken by sacred persons upon holy ground. THE INCENSE THAT

WAS UPON THE TWO PILES OF SHEWBREAD WAS BURNED when the bread was changed,

as an offering by fire unto the Lord, as a memorial instead of the bread.

The ALTAR OF INCENSE or the Golden Altar was the third article of furni-

ture in the East Room of the Temple. It was situated in the center of the

room, that is to say, halfway between the north and the south walls, in

front of the second veil. No flesh was ever burned upon this Altar, nor was

it ever touched with blood except on the most solemn occasions, and then its

horns alone were marked with the crimson stain. The smoke that arose from

its top was never any other than the smoke of burning incense. This went up

every morning and evening, filling the sanctuary with a fragrant cloud and

sending a refreshing odor out through all the courts and far over the coun-

try on every side for miles beyond. Because incense was thus burned every

day it was called "A PERPETUAL INCENSE before the Lord."

It was not simple frankincense which was burned, but a compound of this

with other sweet spices, made according to the direction of Jehovah for this

special purpose and so considered holy, such as no man was allowed to make

like unto for common use. THE PRIEST WAS CHARGED NEVER TO OFFER STRANGE IN-

CENSE on the Golden Altar, that is, any other than the sacred composition.

[PAGE 31] THE EAST ROOM OF THE TEMPLE

This Altar was placed directly before the veil on the outside of it, but be-

fore the Mercy Seat, which was within the second veil; for though he that

ministered at the Altar of Incense could not see the Mercy Seat because of

the interposing veil, yet he must look toward it and direct his incense that

way. And it was customary when the cloud of fragrant incense rose above the

temple for all the people who were standing without in the Court of the

Sanctuary to send up their prayers to God, each one silently by himself.

THE MYSTIC SIGNIFICANCE OF THE EAST ROOM AND ITS FURNITURE

THE GOLDEN CANDLESTICK

As previously said, when the priest stood in the center of the East Room

of the Tabernacle, the Seven-branched Candlestick was ON HIS LEFT toward the

SOUTH. This was symbolical of the fact that the seven lightgivers or plan-

ets which tread the mystic circle dance around the central orb, the sun,

travel in the narrow belt comprising eight degrees on either side of the

sun's path, which is called the zodiac. "God is Light," and the "Seven

Spirits before the Throne" are God's ministers; therefore THEY ARE MESSEN-

GERS OF LIGHT to humanity. Furthermore, as the heavens are ablaze with

light when the moon in its phases arrives at the "full" in the eastern part

of the heavens, so also the East Room of the Tabernacle was filled with

LIGHT, indicating VISIBLY the presence there of God and His seven Ministers,

the STAR ANGELS.

[PAGE 32] ANCIENT AND MODERN INITIATION

We may note, in passing, the light of the Golden Candlestick, which was

clear and the flame odorless, and compare it with the smoke-enveloped flame

on the Altar of Burnt Offerings, which in a certain sense generated darkness

rather than dispelled it. But there is a still deeper and more sublime

meaning in this fire symbol, which we will not take up for discussion until

we come to the SHEKINAH GLORY, whose dazzling brilliance hovered over the

Mercy Seat in the WEST ROOM. Before we can enter into this subject, we must

understand all the symbols that lie between the Golden Candlestick and that

sublime Father Fire which was the crowning glory of the Holy of Holies, the

most sacred part of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness.

THE TABLE OF SHEWBREAD

The East Room of the Temple may be called the Hall of Service, for it

corresponds to the three years' ministry of Christ, and contains all the

paraphernalia for soul growth, though, as said, furnished with only three

principal articles. Among the chief of these is the Table of Shewbread.

Upon this table, as we have already seen, there were two piles of shewbread,

each containing six loaves, and upon the top of each pile there was a little

heap of frankincense. The aspirant who came to the Temple door "poor, na-

ked, and blind" has since been brought to the light of the Seven-branched

Candlestick, obtaining a certain amount of cosmic knowledge, and THIS HE IS

REQUIRED TO USE IN THE SERVICE OF HIS FELLOW MEN; the Table of Shewbread

represents this in symbol.

[PAGE 32A] ANCIENT AND MODERN INITIATION

ILLUSTRATION:

EAST ROOM: THE HOLY PLACE

AND WEST ROOM: THE HOLY OF HOLIES

[PAGE 33] THE EAST ROOM OF THE TEMPLE

The grain from which this shewbread was made had been originally given by

God, but then it was planted by mankind, who had previously plowed and

tilled the soil. After planting their grain they must cultivate and water

it; then when the grain had borne fruit according to the nature of the soil

and the care bestowed upon it, it had to be harvested, threshed, ground, and

baked. Then the ancient SERVANTS OF GOD had to carry it into the Temple,

where it was placed before the Lord as bread to "SHEW" THAT THEY HAD PER-

FORMED THEIR TOIL AND RENDERED THE NECESSARY SERVICE.

The God-given grains of wheat in the twelve loaves represent the OPPORTU-

NITIES FOR SOUL GROWTH given by God, which come to all through the twelve

departments of life represented by the twelve houses of the horoscope, under

the dominion of the twelve divine Hierarchies known through the signs of the

zodiac. BUT IT IS THE TASK OF THE MYSTIC MASON, THE TRUE TEMPLE BUILDER, TO

EMBRACE THESE OPPORTUNITIES, TO CULTIVATE AND NOURISH THEM SO THAT HE MAY

REAP THEREFROM THE LIVING BREAD WHICH NURTURES THE SOUL.

We do not, however, assimilate our physical food IN TOTO; there is a

residue, a large proportion of ash, left after we have amalgamated the quin-

tessence into our system. Similarly, the shewbread was not burned or con-

sumed before the Lord, but two small heaps of frankincense were placed on

the two stacks of shewbread, one one each pile. This was conceived to be

the aroma thereof, and was later burned on the Altar of Incense. Likewise

the soul sustenance of service gathered daily by the ardent Mystic Mason is

[PAGE 34] ANCIENT AND MODERN INITIATION

thrown into the mill of retrospection at eventide when he retires to his

couch and performs there the scientific exercises given by the Elder

Brothers of the Rose Cross.

There is a time each month which is particularly propitious for extract-

ing the frankincense of soul growth and burning it before the lord so that

it may be a sweet savor, TO BE AMALGAMATED WITH THE SOUL BODY and form part

of that golden, radiant "wedding garment." This as at the time when the

moon is at the full. Then she is in the east, and the heavens are ablaze

with light as was the East Room of the ancient Atlantean Mystery Temple

where the priest garnered the pabulum of the soul, symbolized by the

shewbread and the fragrant essence, which delighted our Father in Heaven

then as now.

Let the Mystic Mason take particular note, however, that the loaves of

shewbread were not the musings of dreamers; they were not the product of

speculation upon the nature of God or light. THEY WERE THE PRODUCT OF AC-

TUAL TOIL, of orderly systematic work, and it behooves us to follow the path

of actual service if we would garner treasure in heaven. Unless we really

WORK and SERVE humanity, we shall have nothing to bring, no bread to "shew,"

at the Feast of the Full Moon; and at the mystic marriage of the higher to

the lower self we shall find ourselves minus the radiant golden sold body,

the mystic wedding garment without which the union with Christ can never be

consummated.

[PAGE 35] THE EAST ROOM OF THE TEMPLE

THE ALTER OF INCENSE

At the Altar of Incense, as we saw in the general description of the Tab-

ernacle and its furniture, incense was offered before the lord continually,

and the priest who stood before the altar ministering was at that time look-

ing toward the mercy Seat over the Ark, though it as impossible for him to

see it because of the SECOND VEIL which was interposed between the first and

second apartments of the Tabernacle, the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies.

We have also seen in the consideration of the "shewbread" that INCENSE sym-

bolizes the extract, THE AROMA OF THE SERVICE we have rendered according to

our opportunities; and just as the sacrificial animal upon the Brazen Altar

represents the deeds of wrongdoing committed during the day, so the incense

burned upon the Golden Altar, which is a sweet savor to the Lord, represents

the virtuous deeds of our lives.

[PAGE 36] ANCIENT AND MODERN INITIATION

CHAPTER FOUR

THE ARK OF THE COVENANT

It is noteworthy and fraught with great mystic significance that the

aroma of VOLUNTARY SERVICE is represented as SWEET-SMELLING, FRAGRANT IN-

CENSE, while the odor of sin, selfishness, and transgression of the law,

represented by COMPULSORY SACRIFICE upon the Altar of service, is nauseat-

ing; for it needs no great imagination to understand that the cloud of smoke

which went up continually from the burning carcasses of the sacrificial

animals created a nauseating stench to show the exceeding loathsomeness of

it, while the perpetual incense offered upon the Altar before the second

veil showed by antithesis the beauty and sublimity of selfless service, thus

exhorting the Mystic Mason, as a CHILD OF LIGHT, to shun the one and cleave

to the other.

Let it be understood also that SERVICE does not consist in doing great

things only. Some of the heroes, so-called were mean and small in their

general lives, and rose only to the occasion upon one great and notable day.

[PAGE 37] THE ARK OF THE COVENANT

Martyrs have been put on the calendar of saints because they DIED for a

cause; but it is a greater heroism, it is a greater martyrdom sometimes, to

do the little things that no one notices and sacrifice self IN SIMPLE SER-

VICE TO OTHERS.

We have seen previously that the veil at the entrance to the outer court

and the veil in front of th East Room of the Tabernacle were both made in

four colors, blue, red, purple, and white. But THE SECOND VEIL, which di-

vided the East Room of the Tabernacle from the West Room, differed with re-

spect to make-up from the other two. It was wrought with the figures of

Cherubim. We will not consider, however, the significance of this fact un-

til we take up the subject of the NEW MOON AND INITIATION, but will now look

into the second apartment of the Tabernacle, the western room, called the

Most Holy or the Holy of Holies. Beyond the second veil, into this second

apartment, no mortal might ever pass save the HIGH PRIEST, and he was only

allowed to enter on one occasion in the whole year, namely, Yom Kippur, the

Day of Atonement, and then only after the most solemn preparation and with

the most reverential care. The Holiest of All was clothed with the solem-

nity of another world; it was filled with an unearthly grandeur. The whole

Tabernacle was the sanctuary of God, but here in this place was the awful

abode of His presence, the special dwelling place of the SHEKINAH GLORY, and

well might mortal man tremble to present himself within these sacred

[PAGE 38] ANCIENT AND MODERN INITIATION

precincts, as the High Priest must do on the Day of Atonement.

In the westernmost end of this apartment, the western end of the whole

Tabernacle, rested the "ARK OF THE COVENANT." It was a hollow receptacle

containing the GOLDEN POT OF MANNA, AARON'S ROD THAT BUDDED, AND THE TABLES

OF THE LAW which were given to Moses. While this Ark of the Covenant re-

mained in the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, TWO STAVES WERE ALWAYS WITHIN

THE FOUR RINGS OF THE ARK so that it could be picked up instantly and moved,

but when the Ark as finally taken to Solomon's Temple, the staves were taken

out. This is very important in its symbolical significance. Above the Ark

hovered the Cherubim, and between them dwelt the uncreated glory of God.

"Three," said He to Moses, "I will meet with thee, and I will commune with

thee from above the Mercy Seat, from between the two Cherubim which are upon

the Ark of the Testimony."

The glory of the Lord seen above the Mercy Seat was in the appearance of

a cloud. The Lord said to Moses, "Speak unto Aaron they brother that he

come not at all time into the Holiest Place within the veil before the Mercy

Seat which is upon the Ark, that he die not, for I will appear in the cloud

upon the Mercy Seat." This manifestation of the divine presence was called

among the Jews the SHEKINAH GLORY. Its appearance was attended no doubt

with a wonderful spiritual glory of which it is impossible to form any

proper conception. Out of this cloud the voice of God was heard with deep

[PAGE 39] THE ARK OF THE COVENANT

solemnity when He was consulted in behalf of the people.

When the aspirant has qualified to enter into this place behind the sec-

ond veil, he finds everything DARK to the physical eye, and it is necessary

that he should have another light WITHIN. When he first came to the eastern

Temple gate, he was "POOR, NAKED, AND BLIND," asking for LIGHT. He was then

shown the dim light which appeared in the smoke above the Altar of sacri-

fice, and told that in order to advance he must kindle within himself that

flame by remorse for wrongdoing. Later on he was shown the more excellent

light in the East Room of the Tabernacle, which proceeded from the

Seven-branched Candlestick; in other words he was given the light of knowl-

edge and of reason that by it he might advance further upon the path. But

it was required that BY SERVICE he should evolve within himself and around

himself another light, the golden "wedding garment," which is also THE

CHRIST LIGHT OF THE SOUL BODY. By lives of service this glorious

soul-substance gradually pervades his whole aura until it is ablaze with a

golden light. Not until he has evolved this INNER illumination can he enter

into the darkened precincts of the second Tabernacle, as the Most Holy place

is sometimes called.

"GOD IS LIGHT; if we walk in the light as He is in the Light, we have

fellowship one with another." This is generally taken to indicate only the

fellowship of the Saints, but as a matter of fact it applies also to the

fellowship which we have with God. When the disciple enters the second Tab-

ernacle, THE LIGHT WITHIN HIMSELF VIBRATES TO THE LIGHT OF THE SHEKINAH

[PAGE 40] ANCIENT AND MODERN INITIATION

GLORY between the Cherubim, and he realizes the fellowship with his FATHER

FIRE.

As the Cherubim and the Father Fire which hover above th Ark represent

the divine Hierarchies which overshadow mankind during his pilgrimage

through the wilderness, so THE ARK WHICH IS FOUND THERE REPRESENTS MAN IN

HIS HIGHEST DEVELOPMENT. Three were, as already said, three things within

the Ark: the Golden Pot of Manna, the Budding Rod, and the Tables of the

Law. When the aspirant stood at the eastern gate as a child of sin, THE LAW

WAS WITHOUT AS A TASKMASTER to bring him to Christ. It exacted with unre-

lenting severity an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Every trans-

gression brought a just recompense, and man was circumscribed on every hand

by laws commanding him to do certain things and refrain from doing others.

But when THROUGH SACRIFICE AND SERVICE he has finally arrived at the stage

of evolution represented by the Ark in the western room of the Tabernacle,

the TABLES OF THE LAW ARE WITHIN. He has then become emancipated from all

outside interference with his actions; not that he would break any laws, but

because HE WORKS WITH THEM. Just as we have learned to respect the property

right of others and have therefore become emancipated from the commandment.

"Thou shalt not steal," so he who keeps all laws because he wants to do so

has on that account no longer need of an exterior taskmaster, but gladly

renders obedience in all things because HE IS A SERVANT OF THE LAW AND WORKS

WITH IT, FROM CHOICE AND NOT THROUGH NECESSITY.

[PAGE 41] THE ARK OF THE COVENANT

THE GOLDEN POT OF MANNA

Manas, mensch, mens, or man is readily associated with the MANNA that

came down from heaven. it is the HUMAN SPIRIT that descended from our Fa-

ther above for a pilgrimage through matter, and the Golden Pot wherein it

was kept symbolizes the golden aura of the soul body.

Although the Bible story is not in strict accordance with the events, it

gives the main facts of the mystic manna which fell from heaven. When we

want to learn what is the nature of this so-called BREAD, we may turn to the

sixth chapter of the Gospel of John, which relates how Christ fed the multi-

tudes with LOAVES AND FISHES, symbolizing the mystic doctrine of the 2000

years which He was then ushering in, for during that time the sun BY PRECES-

SION OF THE EQUINOX has been passing through the sign of the fishes, Pisces,

and the people have been taught to abstain at least one day during the week

(Friday) and at a certain time of the year from the fleshpots which belonged

to Egypt or ancient Atlantis. They have been given the Piscean water at the

temple door, and the Virginian Wafers at the communion table before the al-

tar when they worshiped the Immaculate Virgin, representing the celestial

sign Virgo (which is opposite the sign Pisces), and entered communion with

the sun begotten by her.

Christ also explained at that time in mystic but unmistakable language

what that LIVING BREAD, or manna, was, namely, the Ego. This explanation

will be found in verses thirty-three and thirty-five, where we read: "For

[PAGE 42] ANCIENT AND MODERN INITIATION

the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven and giveth light unto

the world--I am (EGO SUM) THE BREAD OF LIFE." This, then, is the symbol of

the golden pot of manna which was found in the Ark. This manna is the Ego

or human spirit, which gives life to the organisms that we behold in the

physical world. It is hidden within the Ark of each human being, and the

Golden pot or soul body or "wedding garment" is also latent within every

one. It is made more massive, lustrous, and resplendent by the spiritual

alchemy whereby service is transmuted to soul growth. It is THE HOUSE NOT

MADE WITH HANDS, eternal in the heavens, wherewith Paul longed to be

clothed, as said in the Epistle to the Corinthians. Every one who is striv-

ing to aid his fellow men thereby garners within himself that golden trea-

sure, laid up in heaven, where neither moth nor rust can destroy it.

AARON'S ROD

An ancient legend relates that when Adam was expelled from the Garden of

Eden, he took with him three slips of the TREE OF LIFE, which were then

planted by Seth. Seth, the second son of Adam, is, according to the Masonic

legend, father of the spiritual hierarchy of CHURCHMEN working with humanity

through Catholicism, while the sons of Cain are the CRAFTSMEN of the world.

The latter are active in Freemasonry, promoting material and industrial

progress, as builders of the temple of Solomon, the universe, should be.

[PAGE 43] THE ARK OF THE COVENANT

The three sprouts planted by Seth have had important missions in the

spiritual development of humanity, and one of them is said to be the Rod of

Aaron.

In the beginning of concrete existence generation was carried on under

the wise guidance of the angels, who saw to it that the creative act was ac-

complished at times when the interplanetary rays of force were propitious;

and man was also forbidden to eat of the Tree of Knowledge. The nature of

that tree is readily determined from such sentences as "Adam KNEW his wife,

and she bore Cain"; "Adam KNEW his wife, and she bore Seth'; "how shall I

bear a child seeing that I KNOW not a man?" as said by Mary to the angel

Gabriel. In the light of this interpretation the STATEMENT of the Angel (it

was not a curse) when he discovered that his precepts had been disobeyed,

namely, "dying thou shalt die," is also intelligible, for the bodies gener-

ated regardless of cosmic influences could not be expected to persist.

Hence man was exiled from the etheric realms of spiritual force (Eden),

where grows the tree of vital power; exiled to concrete existence in the

dense physical bodies which he has made for himself by generation. This was

surely a blessing, for who has a body sufficiently good and perfect in his

own estimation that he would like to live in it forever? Death, then, is a

boon to the spiritual realms for a season, and build better vehicles each

time we return to earth life. As Oliver Wendell Holmes says:

[PAGE 44] ANCIENT AND MODERN INITIATION

"Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul!

As the swift seasons roll.

Leave thy low-vaulted past,

Let each new temple, nobler than the last,

Shut tree from Heaven with a dome more vast,

Till thou at length art free,

Leaving thine outgrown shell

by life's unresting sea."

In the course of time when we learn to shun the pride of life and the

lust of the flesh, generation will cease to sap our vitality. The vital en-

ergy will then be used for regeneration, and the spiritual powers, symbol-

ized by Aaron's Rod, will be developed.

The wand of the magician, the holy spear of parsifal the Grail king, and

the budding Rod of Aaron are emblems of this divine creative force, which

works wonders of such a nature that we call them miracles. But let it be

clearly understood that no one who has evolved to the point in evolution

where he is symbolized by the Ark of the Covenant in the West Room of the

Tabernacle ever uses this power for selfish ends. When Parsifal, the hero

of the soul myth by that name, had witnessed the temptation of Kundry and

proved himself to be emancipated from the greatest sin of all, the sin of

lust and unchastity, he recovered the sacred spear taken by the black magi-

cian, Klingsor, from the fallen and unchaste rail king, Amfortas. Then for

many years he traveled in the world, seeking again the Castle of the Grail,

and he said: "Often was I sorely beset by enemies and tempted to use the

[PAGE 45] THE ARK OF THE COVENANT

spear in self-defense, but I knew that THE SACRED SPEAR MUST NEVER BE USED

TO HURT, ONLY TO HEAL."

An that is the attitude of everyone who develops within him the budding

Rod of Aaron. Though he may turn this spiritual faculty to good account in

order to provide bread for a multitude, he would never think of turning a

single stone to bread FOR HIMSELF that his hunger might be appeased. Though

he were nailed to the cross to die, he would not free himself by spiritual

power which he had readily exercised to save others from the grave. Though

he were reviled every day of his life as a fraud or charlatan, he would

never misuse his spiritual power to show a sign whereby the world might know

without the shadow of a doubt that he was regenerate or heaven-born. This

was the attitude of Christ Jesus, and its has been and is imitated by every-

one who is a Christ-in-the-making.

[PAGE 46] ANCIENT AND MODERN INITIATION

CHAPTER FIVE

THE SACRED SHEKINAH GLORY

The Western Room of the Tabernacle was as dark as the heavens are at the

time when the lesser light, the moon, is in the western portion of sky at

eventide with the sun; that is to say, at the new moon, which begins a new

cycle in a new sign of the zodiac. In the westernmost part of this darkened

sanctuary stood the Ark of the Covenant, with the Cherubim hovering above,

and also the fiery Shekinah Glory, out of which the Father of Light communed

with His worshipers, but which to the physical vision was invisible and

therefore dark.

We do not usually realize that the whole world is afire, that fire is in

the water, that it burns continually in plant, animal, and man; yes, there

is nothing in the work that is not ensouled by fire. The reason why we do

not perceive this more clearly is that we cannot dissociate fire and flame.

But as a matter of fact, FIRE bears the same relation to FLAME as SPIRIT to

[PAGE 47] THE SACRED SHEKINAH GLORY

the BODY; it is the unseen but potent power of manifestation. In other

words, the true fire is dark, invisible to the physical sight. IT IS ONLY

CLOTHED IN FLAME WHEN CONSUMING PHYSICAL MATTER. Consider, for illustra-

tion, how fire leaps out of the flint when struck, and how a gas flame has

the darkened core beneath the light-giving portion; also how a wire may

carry electricity and be perfectly cold, yet it will emit a flame under cer-

tain conditions.

At this point it may be expedient to mark the difference between the Tab-

ernacle in the Wilderness, Solomon's Temple, and the later Temple built by

Herod. There is a very vital difference. Both the MIRACULOUSLY ENKINDLED

FIRE on the Brazen Altar in the eastern part of the Tabernacle and the in-

visible SHEKINAH GLORY in the distant western part of the sanctuary were

also present in Solomon's Temple. These were thus sanctuaries in a sense

not equaled by the Temple built by Herod. The latter was, nevertheless, in

a sense the most glorious of the three, for IT WAS GRACED BY THE BODILY

PRESENCE OF OUR LORD, CHRIST JESUS, IN WHOM DWELT THE GODHEAD. Christ made

the first selfsacrifice, thereby abrogating the sacrifice of animals, and

finally at the consummation of His work in the visible world RENT THE VEIL

and opened a way into the Holy of Holies, not only for the favored few, the

priests and Levites, but that WHOSOEVER WILL may come and serve the Deity

whom we know as our Father. Having fulfilled the law and the prophets

Christ has done away with the OUTWARD sanctuary, and from henceforth the Al-

tar of Burnt Offerings must be set up WITHIN the heart to atone for wrong-

[PAGE 48] ANCIENT AND MODERN INITIATION

doing; the Golden Candlestick must be lighted WITHIN the heart to guide us

upon our way, as the Christ WITHIN, the Shekinah Glory of the Father, must

dwell WITHIN the sacred precincts of our own God Consciousness.

THE SHADOW OF THE CROSS

Paul in his letter to the Hebrews gives a description of the Tabernacle

and much information about the customs used there which it would benefit the

student to know. Among other things note that he calls the Tabernacle "a

shadow of good things to come." There is in this ancient Mystery Temple a

promise given which has not yet been fulfilled, a promise that holds good

today just as well as upon the day it was given. If we visualize in our

mind the arrangement of things inside the Tabernacle, we shall readily see

the shadow of the Cross. Commencing at the eastern gate there was the ALTAR

OF BURNT OFFERINGS; a little farther along the path to the Tabernacle itself

we find the LAVER OF CONSECRATION, the Molten Sea, in which the priests

washed. Then upon entering the East Room of the Temple we find an article

of furniture, THE GOLDEN CANDLESTICK, at the EXTREME LEFT, and the TABLE OF

SHEWBREAD at the EXTREME RIGHT, the two forming a cross with the path we

have been pursuing toward and within the Tabernacle. In the center in front

of the second veil we find the ALTAR OF INCENSE, which forms the center of

the cross, while the Ark placed in the westernmost part of the West Room,

the Holy of Holies, gives the short or upper limb of the cross. In this

[PAGE 48A] ANCIENT AND MODERN INITIATION

ILLUSTRATION:

THE TABERNACLE IN THE WILDERNESS

"THE SHADOW OF GOOD THINGS TO COME." PAUL

[PAGE 49] THE SACRED SHEKINAH GLORY

manner the symbol of spiritual unfoldment which is our particular ideal

today was shadowed forth in the ancient Mystery Temple, and that consumma-

tion which is attained at the end of the cross, the achievement of getting

the law WITHIN as it was within the Ark itself, is the one that we must all

concern ourselves with at the present time. The light that shines over the

Mercy Seat in the Holy of Holies at the head of the cross, at the end of the

path in this world, is a light or reflection from the invisible world into

which the candidate seeks to enter when all the world has grown dark and

black about him. Only when we have attained to that stage where we perceive

the spiritual light that beckons us on, the light that floats over the Ark,

only when we stand in the shadow of the cross, can we really know the mean-

ing, the object, and the goal of life.

At present we may take the opportunities which are offered and perform

service more or less efficiently, but it is only when we have by that ser-

vice evolved the spiritual light WITHIN ourselves, which is the SOUL BODY,

and when we have thus gained admission to the West Room, called the Hall of

Liberation, that we can really perceive and understand why we are in the

world, and what we need in order to make ourselves properly useful. We may

not remain, however, when access has been gained. The High Priest was only

allowed to enter ONCE A YEAR; there was a very long interval of time between

these glimpses of the real purpose of existence. In the times between it

was necessary for the High Priest to go out and function among his brethren,

[PAGE 50] ANCIENT AND MODERN INITIATION

humanity, and serve them to the very best of his ability, also to sin,

because he was not yet perfect, and then reenter the Holy of Holies after

having made proper amends for his sins.

Similar it is with ourselves at this day. We at times attain glimpses of

the things that are in store for us and the things we must do to follow

Christ to that place where He went. You remember that He said to His dis-

ciples: Ye cannot follow me now, but ye shall follow me later. And so it

is with us. We have to look again and again into the darkened temple, the

Holy of Holies, before we are really fit to stay there; before we are really

fitted to take the last step and leap to the summit of the cross, THE PLACE

OF THE SKULL, that point in our heads where the spirit takes its departure

when it finally leaves the body, or off and on as an Invisible Helper. That

Golgotha is the ultimate of human attainment, and we must be prepared to en-

ter the darkened roon many times begore we are fitted for the final climax.

THE FULL MOON AS A FACTOR IN SOUL GROWTH

Let us now consider the Path of Initiation as symbolically shown in the

ancient Temples with the Ark, Fire, and Shekinah, and in the later Temples

where Christ taught. Note first that when man was expelled from the Garden

of Eden because he had eaten of the Tree of Knowledge, Cherubim guarded the

entrance with a flaming sword. Passages like the following, "Adam KNEW Eve,

and she bore Abel"; "Adam KNEW Eve, and she bore Seth"; "Elkanah KNEW

[PAGE 51] THE SACRED SHEKINAH GLORY

Hannah, and she bore Samuel"; also Mary's question to the angel Gabriel,

"How shall I conceive seeing that I KNOW not a man?" all show plainly that

indulgence of the passions in the creative act was meant by the phrase,

"eating the Tree of Knowledge." When the creative act was performed under

inauspicious planetary rays it was a sin committed against the laws of na-

ture, which brought pain and death into the world, estranged us from our

primal guardians, and forced us to roam the wilderness of the world for

ages.

At the gate of the mystic Temple of Solomon we find the Cherubim, but the

fiery sword is not longer in their hand; instead they hold a FLOWER, a sym-

bol full of mystic meaning. Let us compare man with a flower that we may

know the great import and signigicance of this emblem. Man takes his good

by way of the head, whence it goes downward. The plant takes nourishment

through the root and forces it upward. Man is passionate in love, and he

turns the generative organ toward the earth and hides it in shame because of

this taint of passion. The plant knows no passion, fertilization is accom-

plished in the most pure and chaste manner imaginable, therefore it projects

its generative organ, the flower, TOWARD THE SUN, a thing of beauty which

delights all who behold it. Passionate fallen man exhales THE DEADLY CARBON

DIOXINE; the chaste flower inhales this poison, transmutes it, and gives it

back pure, sweet, and scented, a fragrant elixir of life.

This was the mystery of the Grail Cup; this is the emblematic sig-

nificance of the Cup of Communion, which is called "KELCH" in German "Calix"

[PAGE 52] ANCIENT AND MODERN INITIATION

in Latin, both names signifying the seed pod of the flower. The Communion

Cup with its mystic blood cleansed from the passion incident to generation

brings to him who truly drinks thereof eternal life, and thus it becomes the

vehicle of regeneration, of the mystic birth into a higher sphere, a "for-

eign country," where he who has served his apprenticeship in Temple building

and has mastered the "art and crafts" of this world may learn higher things.

The symbol of the Cherubim with the open flower placed upon the door of

Solomon's Temple delivers the message to the aspirant that PURITY IS THE KEY

by which alone he can hope to unlock the gate to God; or as Christ expressed

it, "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God." The flesh must

be consumed on the Altar of self-sacrifice, and the sold must be washed in

the Laver of Consecration to the higher life where it may approach the

Temple door. When "naked," "poor," and "blinded" by tears of contrition it

gropes in darkness, seeking the Temple door, it shall find entrance to the

Hall of Service, the East Room of the Tabernacle, which is ablaze with light

from the Seven-branched Candlestick, emblematic of the luminosity of the

full moon, the moon changing in cycles of seven days. In this Hall of Ser-

vice the aspirant is taught to weave the luminour vesture of flame which

Paul called "some psuchicon," or soul body (1st Cor., 15:44), from the aroma

of the shewbread.

When we speak of the soul body we mean exactly what we say, and this ve-

hicle is in nowise to be confused with the soul that permeates it.

[PAGE 53] THE SACRED SHEKINAH GLORY

The Invisible Helper who uses it on soul flights knows it to be as real and

tangible as the dense body of flesh blood. But within that golden "wedding

garment" there is an INTANGIBLE SOMETHING cognized by the spirit of intro-

spection. It is unnameable and indescribable; it evades the most persistent

efforts to fathom it, yet it is there just as certainly as the vehicle which

it fills-yes, and more so. It is not life, love, beauty, wisdom, nor can

any other human concept convey an idea of what it is, for it is the sum of

all human faculties, attributes, and concepts of good, immeasurably intensi-

fied. If everything else were taken from us, that prime reality would still

remain, and we should be rich in its possession, for through it we feel the

drawing power of our Father in Heaven, that inner urge which all aspirants

know so well.

To this inner something Christ referred when He said: No man cometh to me

except my Father draw him. Just as the true fire is hidden in the flame

that encloses it, so that unnameable, intangible something hides in the

sould body and burns up the frankincense extracted from the shrewbread; thus

it lights the fire which makes the soul body luminous. And the AROMA OF

LOVING SERVICE to others penetrates the veil as a sweet savor to God, who

dwells in the Shekinah Glory similar created above the Ark in the innermost

sanctuary, the Holy of Holies.

[PAGE 54] ANCIENT AND MODERN INITIATION

CHAPTER SIX

THE NEW MOON AND INITIATION

When the candidate entered at the eastern gate of the Temple looking for

light, he was confronted by the fire on he Altar of Burnt Offerings, which

emitted a dim light enveloped in clouds of smoke. He was then in the

spiritually darkened condition of the ordinary man; he lacked the light

within and therefore it was necessary to give him the light without. But

when he has arrived at the point when he is ready to have evolved the lumi-

nous soul body in the service of humanity. Then he is thought to have the

light within himself, "the light that lighteth every man." Unless he has

that, he cannot enter the dark room of the Temple.

What takes place secretly in the Temple is shown openly in the heavens.

As the moon gathers light from the sun during her passage from the new to

the full, so the man who treads the path of holiness by use of his golden

[PAGE 55] THE NEW MOON AND INITIATION

opportunities in the East Room of selfless service gathers the materials

wherewith to make his luminous "wedding garment," and that material is best

amalgamated on the night of the full moon. But conversely, as the moon

gradually dissipates the accumulated light and draws nearer the sun in order

to make a fresh start upon a new cycle at the time of the new moon, so also

according to the law of analogy those who have gathered their treasures and

laid them up in heaven by service are at a certain time of the month closer

to their Source and their Maker, their Father Fire in the higher spheres,

than at any other time. As the great saviors of mankind are born at the

winter solstice on the longest and darkest night of the year, so also the

process of Initiation which brings to birth in the invisible world one of

the lesser saviors, THE INVISIBLE HELPER, is most easily accomplished on the

longest and darkest night of the month, that is to say, on the night of the

new moon when the lunar orb is in the westernmost part of the heavens.

All occult development begins with the vital body, and the keynote of

that vehicle is "repetition." To get the best out of any subject repetition

is necessary. In order to understand the final consummation to which all

this has been leading up, let us take a final look from another angle at the

three kinds of fire within the Temple.

Near the eastern gate was the Altar of Burnt Offering. On that altar

smoke was continually generated by the bodies of the sacrifices, and the

pillar of smoke was seen far and wide by the multitude who were instructed

[PAGE 56] ANCIENT AND MODERN INITIATION

in the inner mysteries of life. The flame, the light, hidden in this cloud

of smoke was at best but dimly perceived. This showed that the great major-

ity of mankind are taught principally by the immutable laws of nature, which

exact from them a sacrifice whether they know it or not. As the flame of

purification was then fed by the more coarsely constructed and baser bodies

of animal sacrifices, exacted under the Mosaic law, so also today the baser

and more passionate mass of humanity is being brought into subjection by

fear of punishment by the law in the present world-more than by apprehension

of what my follow in the world to come.

A light of a different nature shone in the East Room of the Tabernacle.

Instead of drawing its nourishment from the sinful and passionate flesh of

the animal sacrifices, it was fed by olive oil procured from the chaste

plant kingdom; and its flame was not shrouded in smoke, but was clear and

distinct, so that it might illuminate the room and guide the priests, who

were the servants of the Temple, in their ministrations. The priests were

endeavoring to work in harmony with the divine plan, therefore they saw the

light more clearly that the uninstructed and careless multitude. Today also

the mystic light shines for all who are endeavoring to really serve at the

shrine of self-sacrifice-particularly for the pledged pupils of a Mystery

School such as the Rosicrucian Order. They are waling in a light not seen

by the multitude, and if they are really serving, they have th true guidance

of the Elder Brothers of humanity, who are always ready to help them at the

[PAGE 57] THE NEW MOON AND INITIATION

difficult points on the Path.

But the most sacred fire of all was the Shekinah Glory in the West Room

of the Tabernacle above the Mercy Seat. As this West Room was dark, we un-

derstand that it was an invisible fire, a light from another world.

Now mark this, the fire that was shrouded in smoke and flame upon the Al-

tar of Burnt Offerings, consuming the sacrifices brought there in expiation

of sins committed under the law, was the symbol of JEHOVAH THE LAWGIVER; and

we remember that the law was given to brings us to Christ. The clear and

beautiful light which shone in the Hall of Service, the East Room of the

Tabernacle, is the golden-hued Christ light, which guides those who endeavor

to follow in His steps upon the path of self-forgetting service.

As the Christ said, "I go to my Father," when He was about to be cruci-

fied, so also the Servant of the Cross who has made the most of his opportu-

nities in the visible world is allowed to enter the glory of his Father

Fire, the invisible Shekinah Glory. He ceases then to see through the dark

glass of the body, and beholds his Father face to face in the invisible

realms of nature.

The church steeple is very broad at the bottom, but gradually it narrows

more and more until at the top it is just a point with the cross above it.

So it is with the path of holiness; at the beginning there are many things

which we may permit ourselves, but as we advance, one after another of these

digressions must be done away with, and we must devote ourselves more and

[PAGE 58] ANCIENT AND MODERN INITIATION

more exclusively to the service of holiness. At last there comes a point

where this path is as sharp as the razor's edge, and we can then only grasp

at the cross. But when we have attained that point, when we can climb this

narrowest of all paths, then we are fitted to follow Christ into the beyond

and serve there as we have served here.

Thus this ancient symbol shadowed forth the trial and triumph of the

faithful servant, and thought it has been superseded by other and greater

symbols holding forth a higher ideal and a greater promise, the basic prin-

ciples embodies in it are as valid today as ever.

In the Altar of Burnt Offerings we see clearly the nauseating nature of

sin and the necessity of expiation and justification.

By the Molten Sea we are still taught that we must live the stainless

life that of holiness and consecration.

From the East Room we learn today how to make diligent use of our oppor-

tunities to grow the golden grain of selfless service and make that "living

bread" which feeds the soul, the Christ within.

And when we have ascended the steps of Justification, Consecration, and

Self-Abnegation, we reach the West Room, which is the threshold of Lib-

eration. Over it we are conducted into greater realms, where greater soul

unfoldment may be accomplished.

But through this ancient Temple stands no longer upon the plains where

the wandering hosts pitched their camps in the hoary past, it may be made a

much more potent factor for soul growth by any aspirant of today that it was

by the ancient Israelites provided he will build it according to pattern.

[PAGE 59] THE NEW MOON AND INITIATION

Nor need the lack of gold wherewith to build distress anyone, for now the

true tabernacle must be built in heaven-and "HEAVEN IS WITH YOU." To build

well and true, according to the rules of the ancient craft of Mystic Ma-

sonry, the aspirant must learn first to build within himself the altar with

its sacrifices, then he must watch and pray while patiently waiting for the

divine fire to consume offering. Then he must bathe himself with tears of

contrition till he has washed away the stains of sin. Meanwhile he must

keep the lamp of divine guidance filled that he may perceive how, when, and

where to serve; he must work hard to have abundance of "bread of shew," and

the incense of aspiration and prayer must be ever in his heart and on his

lips. Then YOM KIPPUR, the Great Day of At-one-ment, will surely find him

ready to go to his Father, and learn how better to help his younger brothers

to ascent the Path.