Chapter 17

            From the Philosophy of Sacramental Initiation by Holy Order of MANS



            It is vitally important to remember that in any study of sacraments or any spiritual techniques or practices, we must never allow the minutiae of the system we are considering to obscure the central primary purpose of all spiritual practices -- to reunite ourselves with God. We must always be able to rise above the rigors of our own logic, as it were. We must never mistake the accumulation of knowledge for spiritual attainment.


            Why must this be? Because of an absurdly obvious fact which everyone will too often agree with in theory but ignore in practice. God is not logic or book learning or dogma. Experience of God cannot come through creed or reading books, however holy or following traditions however time-honored. The reality of the Divine can never be grasped through the rational mind because it is only the mind of the material realm. Rather we must allow the reality of God's Mind to uplift man's nature by an experience of Him as He is, not according to man's presently limited vision.


            Let us never forget: God is not created in the image of man, but man is created in the image of God.


            Only true subjective or objective experience of God in Reality has spiritual validity. Out of such experiences and continue revelation, you can build an order or set up a system of spiritual practices, but these must always be in accord with the laws of creation. And not only must the immutable laws of God be considered, but also the dynamics of creation must be taken into account.


            The dynamics of creation are the movements and relationships of the forces and the beings that exist in the Body of God -- the spiritual-physical universe.


            While the essence of the Divine is unchanging and eternal, the substance of Creation is in constant movement: the pulsating flowing eternal dance of the angelic orders, the scintillating, coruscating glory of the electrostatic field of flux, the Cosmic Androgyne dancing the universe in serene ecstasy.


            Theological reflection about Christ Jesus and dogmatic assertions about the Creator too often become a screen of rigorous rational concepts which largely obscure the life-giving Light of the Son/Sun, and eclipse the cosmic dimensions of the "Life in Christ", and the real glory of Being.


            Only through a study of the true way of the Christos and the attributes of Light, Life and Love, will man come to a realization of the reality of the fact that in Him, all things live and move and have their being.


            Thus, the dynamics of creation result in constant evolution, growth, and epigenesis. Any formulation of sacraments, or religious organization, or any spiritual system that is not patterned after this fact of life is bound to be wrong and out of accord with God, at least to a certain extent.


            God is perfect. But Creation must evolve to reach that perfection. The sacraments are given to man to aid in this evolution. Can we, therefore, claim with utter certainty that there are only a certain number of sacraments which are set for all time? Should we limit ourselves to just the actions Jesus performed while on earth and declare these to be the only actions that bring peace? Is it wise to deny the possibility that Christ Jesus in His cosmic dimensions may bring other, more perfect forms of grace?


            In this book we have used a working definition of a sacrament which contained elements of the ancient mysteries, Christian revelation, and scientific principle.


            But I think it is wise to caution you that all definitions, no matter how accurate within their limitations, are only conveniently true. In other words, we used a rather precise formulation of sacrament to show how certain principles apply, and in doing so we ignored, for the sake of convenience, the infinity of God's Creation and its many faceted operation.


            Speaking more generally now, we have learned that sacraments are actually the manifestation of the cosmic symbols of creation. Living symbolism is the universal and eternal language of creation, and is the essence of any true sacrament.


            In the first place, sacraments are the spiritual bodies of the forms or processes being created. Put in another way, it is the ensouling of an astral form with spiritual force. This is the White Magic of the priest, who is the true magician of this age.


            Secondly, the symbols involved in the sacraments express a cosmic language through which those who do not have physical bodies at the present time (the White Brotherhood) and the angelic hosts can more readily express through the priesthood so that man may have the benefits of the purity of the Spirit while still in a more or less dense body where imperfections usually run rampant.


            Thirdly, through this same cosmic language, and through the priesthood, man may enjoy the fruits of a higher level of consciousness which is enjoyed by the priesthood and the Masters, even though he may be incapable as yet of attaining that degree of angelic consciousness.


            One of the most important tasks of our priesthood is to teach to the people of earth the reality of heaven. That is, the actual existence of worlds or realms or states of higher dimension, and that these realms of higher dimension exist in the same space as our familiar material world and are just as real and as actual as the physical. Of course, it is like teaching the blind to see, but it is still absolutely necessary that we do teach them this, because they have to learn how to live and move on these levels or they will be in for the shock of a lifetime.


            This means having control of mind and knowing the Law and prayer. It is not just a nameless void on the other side of transition, but a real world of higher vibration. And the sacraments help to condition them to accept this "new" state of existence and learn to live in it.


            You see, in the world of knowledge, the essential Form of Good (the vision of God) appears last of all and can barely be perceived. But when perceived, we know that it is the source of all true wisdom, of the ageless deathless Knowing, the source of all that is bright and beautiful. In the visible world It gives birth to light and its principle the Sun; in the invisible world It is all that "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard" of the true glory of Being.


            There is a faculty residing in the soul, that enables us to learn truly. The faculty is Faith, knowing without the knowledge, action with definition of the cause. This faculty, along with the entire soul, must be wheeled around from the perishing illusory world until it be able to endure the contemplation of the real world and the brightest part thereof, which is the Form of the God.


            The sacraments help the soul traverse the way leading from a kind of nightlike day up to a true day of real existence, illuminated by the great Day-star Himself.


            Throughout the sacraments there runs a common thread which is called the Golden Thread of the Sacraments. This is the total love of the Holy Family for mankind.


            It is through this magnificent gift, and the dedication of the lowly priest regardless of his path, whether it be devotion, contemplation, or service, either service to the Hosts direct in their angelic form, or material service in the way of feeding, clothing, and housing the needy, or teaching, aiding, and counseling to raise up this humanity to a higher level, that the sacraments act as the substantial form of God's love. Thus the Form of the Good, invisible to all but those of highest attainment, is made visible as the substance of divine gifts hoped for.


            It all points to one thing. There exists a Path that is never closed, a Way that leads ever onward, a Beyond that is always beckoning. Although its forms may vary with time and conditions, it is the ever-holy road to the All-Holy; the omnipotent Love of the Holy Family for man and woman.


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