OF THE GOLDEN DAWN
one reaches this level of consciousness -- without knowing it -- he prepares
himself for the next point of initiation, whether he is in a temple or in his
own home. He is conditioning himself
to the state of mind in which he can and will receive the implications -- the
consciousness and the reactions which are necessary for him to attain and make
it possible for him to attain that initiation.
it an initiation; call it an experience in life.
But, the reality of it is that you will pass -- during your waking life,
and during your sleeping life -- through these experiences.
Life, of course, is a continuity of continued cycle.
You might call it a cosmic cycle. There
is no point of actual mental rest except that which you take when you have
control of mind.
arresting of our consciousness is always an impossibility.
The mind may be put at rest, but the consciousness may not.
We are continually moving forward in consciousness -- either as on a
plateau, or in a gradual ascent in the state of vibration and reality, world
at times, it seems as though life was a series of definite changes from one
point of view to another -- conception -- or attitude of mind to another.
The transition from this one such state to another may be so gradual that
we do not notice it. Suddenly, we
realize that our whole approach to life -- our interpretation of the
vicissitudes of life -- is different from the way in which it was five, ten or
twenty years ago. We are then,
allegorically, in another chamber -- so to speak.
We have passed from one part of life to another.
are three different ways in which our personal lives are enlarged.
One is by experience -- by seeing and hearing.
For example, a multitude of realities come into our existence.
This, we become conscious of. It
constitutes knowledge of the objective kind.
However, our lives are also enlarged by contemplation and reasoning, or
by abstract thought.
take an experience, some event, a lesson learned, or a phrase heard or analyzed,
and we then arrive at a personal understanding of it which constitutes an
advanced kind of knowledge. It
becomes thought in its purest essence of word.
few persons really think in this manner today.
Their thinking is made up of surface impressions.
It consists of ready-made ideas transmitted to them by word of mouth, or
by writing -- but not by a realistic living in consciousness.
manner of enlarging our lives -- which helps to fill in the panacea of life --
is by means of psychic apparitions, apprehensions, or the illumination that
comes through the intuitive self.
is derived principally from the art of meditation and it is not the consequence
of necessarily dwelling upon a particular thought.
In this regard, this third manner of enlarging our lives differs from the
reasoning and from the contemplation that one must attain for the Light of
Christ. One must remain passive if
he is to be successful in his meditation.
are flashes into his consciousness of some ideas which have great clarity and
which open up to him new vistas and agencies of thought.
Such new thought is actually an entrance into another environment -- an
entirely different level of life.
you will reflect for a moment, you will recall many of these different chambers
of mental attitudes in your life in which you have dwelt for various lengths of
time -- some for only a few moments -- some an hour.
example, do you recall what you considered to be a major interest and the real
value of the personal living when you were about 15 years of age?
How different were your interests, your hopes and aspirations, when you
attained the age of 22 years. Also,
how much at variance were your present ideas and concepts of life compared to
that which you are now holding in your own mind and are thoroughly convinced of
and you have seen the true reality of.
accordance with the introduction to these facts, this is the study of the
panacea of life. We are interested
in all of these things. We might
call it a word like an adytum, meaning a secret chamber, or an inner shrine of
some ancient place or temple. For,
in many cases, we are an ancient temple and within us, we hold the everlasting
knowledge. The discourse of some
principles or points or teaching will be revealed as we go through the
Illumination into the greater Light which comes.
This is placed upon the spiritual inclination and devotion to the impulse
dictates of the inner self.
This is sometimes called the female intuition, etc.
points out the materialism -- the devotion to central pursuits and to things of
the world. Eventually, apathy dulls
our sensitivity to the finer psychic and finer emotional vibrations of our
selves where we have focused our attention on the mass mind.
This must be broken through.
we must realize that we are more than intellectual beings, and more than mere
aggregates of appetites and desires. If
we do not admit this and act accordingly, we retrogress, for we do not stand
still in any way except mentally to the status of what might be called a lower
form of man.
At the same time, the body and its physical requirements do sometimes constitute an obstacle to the moral and spiritual being -- especially when a higher level of idealism is set to a certain extent. However, to consider that the body is a menace to spiritual awakening, or that it is an inherent evil, is not only illogical, but it is cosmically wrong.
a homely analogy, the wearing of shoes may be a burden to our feet.
They are relatively heavy and do not afford the comfort and freedom of
going barefoot. However, the burden
of wearing shoes is very minor when compared to the protection they afford
against insect bites, rough terrain and bitter cold of the winter seasons.
Thus, we cannot do without shoes. Neither
can we do without the body on this level of consciousness.
as real students of mysticism and the occult, will recognize that that body of
the living organism is a complex of natural laws.
The respiratory, circulatory, digestive and nervous systems, the bone
structure and tissues, as well as the cells by which they are composed, all
function in accordance with nature.
laws -- they carry out the inherent mandates to function as they do.
The creation of living matter is as much the result of spiritual causes
as is that which man calls Soul -- for in here are the records.
a further analogy, the lower notes are as much a part of the Dionic musical
scale as are the higher notes. Man's
preference for one or the other does not change their relationship to the whole
too, the mass of matter of man's body is as much a cosmic manifestation as any
part of his complex self. It is not
rational, nor is it proper to deny the physical aspects of our being to the
degree of abusing it in any effort to attain spiritual development.
the body is conceived as a vehicle for that expression of the self
in which we term Soul. The
consciousness of the Soul personality needs the body for self-expression
and realization. It is the body --
with its organism, brain and nervous system -- that provides the medium for that
very highly developed self
consciousness that is heralded as mystical attainment and cosmic consciousness.
most beautiful musical compositions we know need the lower instruments as a
means for the rendition. Likewise,
then, we need the body for its similar reason.
has played a very important part in religion since antiquity. The word
asceticism is derived from the Greek term meaning training.
The ascetic was one who was thus preparing for spiritual training, or
mystical enlightenment. But, as we
have many noble ideas and principles, asceticism became distorted and vague and
different in many conceptions.
us devote very little time to asceticism, but a great deal of time to the light,
because light concerns the subject of this -- our reality.
is of two kinds. The first is the
discipline of the body. This
requires the modification of temperature and appetite.
It is involved in control and understanding -- the philosophy of life
that gives physical pleasure to the highest good.
Such a form of asceticism -- the discipline of
other type of asceticism is one of distrust of the body.
This concept is that the body is inherently evil.
It constitutes an obstruction to the Soul and, therefore, should be
migrated to a point and minimized so that it is eventually disposed of.
This latter concept of asceticism results in self-mortification and
abdication of the body's needs.
ascetic of this type often did not bathe. They
did not nourish themselves properly. To
further indicate their disregard for the body, they would subject themselves to
a variety of torture such as piercing the flesh with needles, sleeping on sharp
stones, or flagellating themselves with rods or whips.
This is a panorama of the world and man's way of attainment.
authentic mysteries of
whose principle advocate was Platonius, taught that there were emanation from
the divine or cosmic, and the further these animations extended downward from
their source, the less perfect and the less divine the being became.
was considered to be at the virtual lower end of these emanations, and was thus
thought to be corrupt. Into the
category was placed the human body.
our journeys to
bodies are extremely emaciated and often covered with sores.
Their eyes -- if they consented to gaze at you -- were distended and
reddened -- perhaps by infection. This
is the way of producing self-mortification of the body with the hope that it
will bring about spiritual salvation.
a milder form, many ascetics consisted of one's becoming a recluse in caves, or
dwelling in the open forest. Such
individuals show disdain for the advantages of civilization.
They consider that the body comforts are a hindrance to the spiritual
advancement. These hermit ascetics
wear rough primitive clothes of animal skins, go barefoot, or wear sandals.
They usually eat raw vegetables. Such
refinements as cooked foods are condemned by them.
has included some forms of asceticism. In
its various sects, the early monks were extremists in this regard during the
rise of the Roman Church in the Middle Ages.
Second coming of Christ was anticipated as an early event.
The turbulence of the people, the licentiousness, placed emphasis on the
needs of man to do penance if salvation was to be obtained.
As a result, men retired from the world by the multitudes to become
monks. Perhaps some just wanted to
escape the rigors of life and be supported rather than put up with the ordeal of
these monasteries, they subjected themselves to severe self-discipline.
The abdication of their bodily needs eventually caused the ruin of their
health in the majority.
an example of this practice, the life of Pope Gregory the Great in 1590 is
shown. He was the son of a wealthy
Roman Senator, who through the influence of his father, was appointed by the
emperor to the office of Perfect.
he felt that his prominent position and fine clothes would make him vain.
His mother was a pious woman and under her influence, he studied the
works of the Christian father -- Father Augustine.
All of these factors caused him to abandon his position and way of life
his father had died, he used a portion of his inheritance to be received into a
monastery. He subjected himself to
such severe discipline that it seriously affected his health.
the year of 526, St. Benedict drew up rules to govern the lives of the monks
since monasteries were then spread throughout the Christian world.
St. Benedict, however, did not form the monastic order which subsequently
took his name. These rules which he
prepared, mainly prevail today as the regulation of a monk's life.
rules require a solemn vow of obedience, poverty, and chastity.
The monks, as ascetics, were not allowed to marry for such relationships
would interfere with their religious studies and duties.
They had to raise their own food and produce nearly all of the things
they needed. However, the
Benedictine rules were reasonable. They
forbade self-mortification, or living in any manner that did destroy the health
or wealth of the monk.
inner awarenesses began a reality and they eventually found that which they