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  The Fellowship Of The Spirit

  Is The Realization of God

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Friends of the Rosicrucian Spirit

308 West Lakeside Street

Madison, Wisconsin  53715-2035

608 251-0254:

fellowshipofthespirit@yahoo.com

To All Our Friends Everywhere

Friends of the Rosicrucian Spirit, is hosting its annual Rosicrucian Fellowship conclave. The gathering will be from May 23 (Friday) through May 25 (Sunday), 2014.

You are invited to share in the fellowship of the spirit and participate by offering talks, workshops, inspirational readings, skits, games or whatever you have to share from your current study and aspiration. If you would like to offer something, please notify us by email at the address above or by phone so we can arrange a schedule.

Pickups will be provided for those using public transportation (plane, train or bus). If you use the train the nearest depot is Columbus, Wisconsin. Please provide us with as much advance notice as possible.

If you are traveling by automobile and would like a map with directions, please send us an email with your request.

Responses and inquiries can be directed to the email address above or to the people listed below.

Friday evening (23rd):  Open House

Saturday (24th): Presentations, entertainment, vegetarian meals and fellowship.

Sunday (25th):  Devotional service and talks, brunch, and fellowship.

Please share your email address with us if you did not receive this notice by email.

If you can’t attend, please send your greetings and they will be shared with those present. We all love to hear from and share with each other and this event is one of the high points of our year for doing that.

In Fellowship,

Friends of the Rosicrucian Spirit

Edgar Anderson  RFEAA@RFMMX.net   *

Earl Cooper  elcooper@wisc.edu

Richard Koepsel  koepsel@charter.net

* [The Rosicrucian Fellowship MMX provides the reader with an opportunity to study Preliminary Philosophy, Supplementary Philosophy, Western Wisdom Bible, or Astrology at no charge.  For more details or to enroll in a correspondence course, contact Education@RFMMX.net or write to RFMMX, P. O. Box 258046, Madison WI 53725] *

The forerunner of an epiphany is an enigma, a period of bafflement.  “Epiphany” from the Greek means ‘manifestation’ or ‘striking appearance.’  At Epiphany the Magi arrived to welcome the newborn babe, Jesus, thereby presenting a most striking and unexpected appearance to the humble scene.  Every year on January 6 Christians celebrate that event.  Today on the day of Epiphany 2014 our news sources continue to present an enigma that began in 1996, the striking story of a miracle in Buenos Aires, the forerunner of what may be an eventual epiphany

 magi against sky2

A consecrated Host becomes flesh and blood

At seven o’clock in the evening on August 18, 1996, Fr. Alejandro Pezet was saying Holy Mass at a Catholic church in the commercial center of Buenos Aires. As he was finishing distributing Holy Communion, a woman came up to tell him that she had found a discarded host on a candleholder at the back of the church. On going to the spot indicated, Fr. Alejandro saw the defiled Host. Since he was unable to consume it, he placed it in a container of water and put it away in the tabernacle of the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament.

On Monday, August 26, upon opening the tabernacle, he saw to his amazement that the Host had turned into a bloody substance. He informed Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who gave instructions that the Host be professionally photographed. The photos were taken on September 6. They clearly show that the Host, which had become a fragment of bloodied flesh, had grown significantly in size. For several years the Host remained in the tabernacle, the whole affair being kept a strict secret. Since the Host suffered no visible decomposition, Cardinal Bergoglio decided to have it scientifically analyzed.

On October 5, 1999, in the presence of the Cardinal’s representatives, Dr. Castanon took a sample of the bloody fragment and sent it to New York for analysis. Since he did not wish to prejudice the study, he purposely did not inform the team of scientists of its provenance. One of these scientists was Dr. Frederic Zugiba, the well-known cardiologist and forensic pathologist. He determined that the analyzed substance was real flesh and blood containing human DNA. Zugiba testified that, “the analyzed material is a fragment of the heart muscle found in the wall of the left ventricle close to the valves. This muscle is responsible for the contraction of the heart. It should be borne in mind that the left cardiac ventricle pumps blood to all parts of the body. The heart muscle is in an inflammatory condition and contains a large number of white blood cells. This indicates that the heart was alive at the time the sample was taken. It is my contention that the heart was alive, since white blood cells die outside a living organism. They require a living organism to sustain them. Thus, their presence indicates that the heart was alive when the sample was taken. What is more, these white blood cells had penetrated the tissue, which further indicates that the heart had been under severe stress, as if the owner had been beaten severely about the chest.”

Two Australians, journalist Mike Willesee and lawyer Ron Tesoriero, witnessed these tests.  Knowing where the sample had come from, they were dumbfounded by Dr. Zugiba’s testimony. Mike Willesee asked the scientist how long the white blood cells would have remained alive if they had come from a piece of human tissue, which had been kept in water. They would have ceased to exist in a matter of minutes, Dr. Zugiba replied. The journalist then told the doctor that the source of the sample had first been kept in ordinary water for a month and then for another three years in a container of distilled water; only then had the sample been taken for analysis. Dr. Zugiba was at a loss to account for this fact. There was no way of explaining it scientifically, he stated. Only then did Mike Willesee inform Dr. Zugiba that the analyzed sample came from a consecrated Host (white, unleavened bread) that had mysteriously turned into bloody human flesh. Amazed by this information, Dr. Zugiba replied:

“How and why a consecrated Host would change its character and become living human flesh and blood will remain an inexplicable mystery to science–a mystery totally beyond her competence.”

[Excerpt from an article by  ks. Mieczysław Piotrowski TChr]

www.LOAmagazine.org

The Eucharistic miracle in Buenos Aires is an extraordinary sign attested to by science.  As an enigma, we may expect it to precede a revelation, an enlightening or astonishing disclosure through either empirical science or through spiritual science or both, since both created the enigma. 

Max Heindel, founder of The Rosicrucian Fellowship and deliverer of the enlightening disclosures of the Elder Brothers of The Rose Cross, heralded what will be a future merging of science and religion.  Appropriately, he made his transition at epiphany in the year 1919.   

[Photo of The Magi from www.Armenian Weekly.com] 

 

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The Light of God’s love—

 That Divine Spark within our hearts that is alive and vibrant,

 – waiting to be born anew, continues to guide our way through the darkness.

May the beautiful symbols of this season remind us of God’s ever-lasting Love:

Fragrant evergreens; shining stars; prayerful silences; songs of joy and hope;

Welcoming candles in a window; the warm embrace of family and friends –

 As you radiate this Love,

May it illuminate your life and our entire world

With Peace, Joy and Hope!

Wishing you a Joyful Christmas!

 

Exoterically the Sun has been worshipped as the giver of life from time immemorial, because the multitude was incapable of looking beyond the material symbol of a great spiritual truth.

The Invisible sun, which is the vehicle of the Father and the source of all, appears to the greatest human seers only as a higher octave of the photosphere of the Sun, a ring of violet blue luminosity behind the Sun. But we do not need to see; we can feel His love, and that feeling is never so great as at Christmas time when He is giving us the greatest of all gifts, the Christ of the New year.

 

PRAYERS AND PRECEPTS

OF THE ROSICRUCIAN FELLOWSHIP MMX

 

          When one grows into adulthood, especially one who is robust with physical attributes, a friend may remark, “He doesn’t know his own strength.”  As exercise is necessary for the development of physical muscle, so development of the moral nature is accomplished through temptation.

         In any search for truth, even the most authoritative works such as the books of the Holy Bible contain perplexing contradictions.  So, although one begins to understand the mysteries, incomplete knowledge may prompt the Ego to draw mixed conclusions.

            The Ego dwells in the World of Thought; this is its home. *  Students who practice mental exercises, including concentrated prayer, acquire new strengths; powers which although they are subtle, may surprise the neophyte with their potency.  But, until the Ego develops keen observation and discrimination, and grows through experience from innocence to virtue, uncertainties may engulf him, causing confusion and error. 

            The two attributes which best assist us in overcoming the temptations of Lucifer and which bring us out of the wilderness are Love and Duty.  The Student’s Prayer, although very brief, when recited with sincerity lifts the spiritual seeker into the protective realm of divine love and places the Ego on a firm foundation of noble intent.  During conclaves, students customarily repeat this prayer in unison at the conclusion of every presentation.

            All spiritual seekers may find the Student’s Prayer helpful.  The concluding sentence is Verse 14 of the Nineteenth Psalm, KJV.

 

 book

 

The Student’s Prayer

 

Oh, God, increase my love for Thee

so that I may serve thee better from day to  day. 

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart

be acceptable in thy sight,

O LORD, my strength and my redeemer.

 

          Prayer is like the turning on of an electric switch. It does not create the current; it simply provides a channel through which the electric current may flow. In like manner prayer creates a channel through which the divine life and light may pour itself into us for our spiritual illumination.

          If the switch were made of wood or glass it would be of no use; in fact, it would be a barrier through which the electric current could not possibly pass, because that is contrary to its nature. To be effective the switch must be made of a conducting metal; then it is in harmony with the laws of electrical manifestation.

          If our prayers are selfish, worldly, and inconsiderate of our neighbor, they are like the wooden switch; they defeat the very purpose they were intended to serve, because they are contrary to God’s purpose. To be of use, prayer must be in harmony with the nature of God, which is Love. The following lines appeared in London Light a number of years ago and have been treasured by the writer as—

 

AN IDEAL PRAYER

 

“The Rosicrucian Fellowship Prayer”

By Florence May Holbrook

 
             Not more of light we ask, O God,
                But eyes to see what is;
 
             Not sweeter songs, but ears to hear
                The present melodies;
 
             Not greater strength, but how to use
                The power that we possess;
 
             Not more of love, but skill to turn
                A frown to a caress;
 
             Nor more of joy, but how to feel
                Its kindling presence near,
 
             To give to others all we have
                Of courage and of cheer.
 
             No other gift, dear God, we ask,
                But only sense to see
 
             How best those precious gifts to use
                We have received from Thee.
 
             Give us all fears to dominate,
                All holy joys to know,
 
             To be the friends we wish to be,
                To speak the truth we know,
 
             To love the pure, to seek the good,
                To lift with all our might,
 
             All souls to dwell in harmony,
                In freedom's perfect light.

         

 

          That is the kind of a prayer that lifts, that ennobles a man, and the more a man or woman cultivates that attitude of mind and entertains those lofty aspirations, the more he is lifting the two higher ethers out of the vital body, and so the churches say, “Pray, pray, pray;” and they are well within the occult teaching, for in that way the vital body is being worked upon by the constant repetition of lofty aspirations.

          Before we can proceed along the occult path we must of necessity have laxity between the upper and the lower ethers so that we can function outside, leaving the dense body to be taken care of by the two lower ethers, and herein lies the trouble with the medium, and others who develop a certain phase of involuntary clairvoyance by breathing exercises. When such a person goes out of the body he does it involuntarily; he takes three ethers along with him, and the body therefore is not taken care of. On this road lies mental and moral decline, and oftentimes insanity.

            There is only one safe way to develop our latent faculties. No matter what any one may say to the contrary, experience will prove that attainment to spiritual powers depends upon purification and unselfish aspiration; and that is what the mysteries taught in the olden times.  Rosicrucian Christianity Lectures by Max Heindel, 277 – 279.

From Old Invocation4  

Precepts for the Rosicrucian Student

 

Christ Jesus will be his ideal.

 

            Remembering the admonition of the Christ; “He who would be the greatest among you, Let him be the servant of all,” he will endeavor each day to serve his fellow men with love, modesty, and humility, in whatever capacity may be offered.

            With a firm faith in the wisdom and goodness of God, he will work with the trend of evolution by endeavoring to speak, act and see only the good in his daily associations with others.

            As truth, honesty, and justice are fundamental qualities of the divinity within, he will strive to express them in all of his thoughts, words, and deeds.

            He will waste no time in envying others, but devote himself to exercising his divine prerogative of free will, sowing good seeds for the morrow; knowing that his present conditions are a result of past actions, and that he may determine future conditions by present actions.

             He will ever seek environments of peace, poise, and quietness, realizing that silence is one of the greatest helps in soul growth.

            As a spiritual aspirant, he will strive to practice the cardinal virtue of self reliance in thought as well as in deed.

            Knowing The Within to be the only worthy tribunal of truth, he will endeavor to establish this tribunal and refer all matter to it for final jurisdiction.

             Each day he will devote a certain period of time to meditation and prayer, endeavoring to lift himself on the wings of love and aspiration to the very throne of the Father.[

            Knowing that failure lies only in ceasing to try, he will, in the face of all obstacles, continue patiently and persistently to strive for the high ideals taught by the Christ.

* [The Rosicrucian Fellowship MMX provides the reader with an opportunity to study Western Wisdom through correspondence courses offered at no charge.  The Rosicrucian Philosophy is a logical and sequential Christian teaching concerning the origin, evolution, and future development of the world and man, presenting both spiritual and scientific aspects.

Courses include Preliminary Philosophy, Supplementary Philosophy, Western Wisdom Bible, and Astrology.  The basic text for the philosophy courses is The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception by Max Heindel which covers the teachings of the Elder Brothers of the Rose Cross, as imparted to Heindel during the early years of the Twentieth Century.   For more details or to enroll in a course the reader may contact:

The Rosicrucian Fellowship MMX

P. O. Box 258046

Madison, Wisconsin 53725]*

 

Visitation - Mariotto Albertinellli - Oil on Wood 1474 - 1515

Visitation – Mariotto Albertinellli – Oil on Wood 1474 – 1515

from Disciplines

If there is a prayer, there is a mother kneeling.

by Dawn Lundy Martin

If there is prayer, there is a mother kneeling, hands folded to a private sign. We recognize it. If there is a mother kneeling, hands a tent, she is praying or she is crying or crying and praying at the same time. Although it is recognized, the signals of it, it is private and no one knows, perhaps not even she, the content of the prayer, and perhaps its object. If there is a mother praying, she is on her knees over some object, as one does not often pray in the middle of the room. One prays at the window or over the bed, the head bent slightly up or down, the eyes open or closed. This is a prayer for prayers, you know, a wanting something equal to a prayer, even though I am not a mother.

THE ESOTERIC SIGNIFICANCE OF EASTER AND THE INCEPTION OF THE ROSICRUCIAN PHILOSOPHY

by Max Heindel [illustrations added]

AGAIN the earth has reached the vernal equinox in its annual circle dance about the sun, and we have Easter. The spiritual ray sent out by the Cosmic Christ each autumn to replenish the smoldering vitality of the earth is about to ascend to the Father’s Throne. The spiritual activities of fecundation and germination which have been carried on during the winter and spring will be followed by material growth and a ripening process during the coming summer and fall under the influence of the indwelling Earth Spirit. The cycle ends at “Harvest Home.” Thus the great World Drama is acted and re-enacted from year to year, an eternal contest between life and death; each in turn becoming victor and being vanquished as the cycles roll on.

Image by Via Moi

Image by Via Moi

This great cyclic influx and efflux are not confined in their effects to the earth and its flora and fauna. They exercise an equally compelling influence upon mankind, though most individuals are unaware of what impels them to act in one direction or another.  Scarlet Tanager 2   Independent of one’s cognition, the same earthy vibration which gaudily adorns bird and beast in the spring moves the human desire to don gay colors and brighter raiment in that season. The same “call of the wild,” in summer drives mankind to relaxation amid rural scenes where nature spirits weave their magic art in field and forest, and man recuperates from the strain of artificial conditions in congested cities.

On the other hand, the “fall” of the spiritual Ray from the sun in autumn causes a resumption of the mental and spiritual activities in winter. The same germinative force which leavens the seed in the earth and prepares it to reproduce a multitude of its kind stirs also the human mind and fosters altruistic activities that make the world better. This great wave of selfless Cosmic Love culminates at Christmas, vibrating peace and good will, filling our breasts with a holiday feeling and engendering a desire to make others happy; without this universal wave of generosity, Christmas gifts would be impossible, and we would all suffer loss.

Jesus Washing Peter's Feet - Ford Madox Brown 1821 - 1893

Jesus Washing Peter’s Feet – Ford Madox Brown 1821 – 1893

As the Christ walked day by day hither and yon, over the hills and the valleys of Judea and Galilee, teaching the multitudes, all were benefited. But He communed most with His disciples, and they, of course, grew rapidly each day. The bond of love became closer as time went on until one day ruthless hands took away the beloved Teacher and put Him to a shameful death. But though He had died in the flesh, he continued for some time to commune with them in spirit.

At last, however, He ascended to higher spheres and direct touch with Him was lost; sadly these men looked into each other’s faces as they asked, “Is this the end?” They had hoped so much, had entertained such high aspirations, and though the verdant glory was as fresh upon the sun-kissed landscape as before He went, the earth seemed cold and dreary, for black desolation gnawed at their hearts.

Thus it is also with us who aim to walk after the spirit and to strive with the flesh, though the analogy may not be apparent. When the “fall” of the Christ ray commences in autumn and ushers in the season of spiritual supremacy, we sense it at once and begin to lave our souls in the blessed tide with avidity. We experience a feeling akin to that of the apostles when they walked with Christ, and as the season wears on it becomes easier and easier to commune with Him, face to face as it were.

But in the annual course of events Easter and the ascension of the “risen” Christ ray to the Father leave us in the identical position of the apostles when their beloved Teacher went away. We are desolate and sad; we look upon the world as a dreary waste and cannot comprehend the reason for our loss, which is as natural as the changes of ebb and flood and day and night—phases of the present age of alternating cycles.

Image by James Jordan

Image by James Jordan

There is a danger in this attitude of mind. If it is allowed to grow upon us, we are apt to cease our work in the world and become dreamers, lose our balance, and excite just criticism from our fellow men. Such a course of conduct is entirely wrong, for as the earth exerts itself in material endeavor to bring forth abundantly in summer after receiving the spiritual impetus in winter, so ought we also to exert ourselves to greater purpose in the world’s work when it has been our privilege to commune with the spirit. If we do thus we shall be more apt to excite emulation than reproach.

We are inclined to think of a miser as one who hoards gold, and such people are generally objects of contempt. But there are people who strive as assiduously to acquire knowledge as the miser struggles to accumulate gold; they will stoop to any subterfuge to obtain their desire, and will as jealously guard their knowledge as the miser guards his hoard. They do not understand that by such a method they are effectually closing the door to greater wisdom.

The Old Norse theology contained a parable which symbolically elucidates the matter. It held that all those who died fighting on the battle field (the strong souls who fought the good fight until the end) were carried to Valhalla to be with the gods; while those who died in bed or from disease (the souls who drifted weakly through life) went to the dismal Niflheim. The doughty warriors in Valhalla feasted daily upon the flesh of the boar called Scrimner, which was so constituted that whenever a portion was cut from the flesh it at once grew again, so that it was never consumed no matter how much was carved. Thus it aptly symbolized “knowledge,” for no matter how much of this we give to others, we always retain the original.

Niflheim - The Land of Mists

Niflheim – The Land of Mists

There is thus a certain obligation to pass on what we have of knowledge, and “to whom much is given of him much will be required.” Perhaps it may not be out of place to recount an experience which will illustrate the point, for it was the final “test” applied to myself before I was entrusted with the teaching embodied in The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception, although I was, of course, at the time unaware that I was being weighed. It occurred at a time when I had gone to Europe in search of a teacher who, I believed, was able to aid me to advance on the path of attainment. But when I had probed his teaching to the bottom and forced him to admit certain inconsistencies in it which he could not explain, I was in a veritable “slough of despond,”* ready to return to America.

As I sat in my chair ruminating over my disappointment, the feeling that some one else was present came over me, and I looked up and beheld the One who has since become my Teacher. With shame I remember how gruffly I asked who had sent him and what he wanted, for I was thoroughly disgruntled, and I hesitated considerably before accepting his help on the points that had caused me to come to Europe.

During the next few days my new acquaintance appeared in my room a number of times, answering my questions and helping me to solve problems that had previously baffled me, but as my spiritual sight was then poorly developed and not always under control, I felt rather skeptical in the matter. Might it not be hallucination? I discussed the question with a friend. The answers to my queries as given by the apparition were clear, concise, and logical to a high degree. They were strictly to the point and altogether beyond anything I was capable of conceiving, so we concluded that the experience must be real.

A few days later my new friend told me that the Order to which he belonged had a complete solution to the riddle of the universe, much more far-reaching than any publicly known teaching, and that they would impart that teaching to me provided I agreed to keep it as an inviolable secret.

Then I turned on him in anger: “Ah! do I see the cloven hoof at last! No, if you have what you say and if it is good for the world to know. The Bible expressly forbids us to hide the Light, and I care not to feast at the source of knowledge while thousands of souls hunger for a solution to their problems as I do now.” My visitor then left me and stayed away, and I concluded that he was an emissary from the Black Brothers.

About a month later I decided that I could obtain no greater illumination in Europe and therefore made reservation on a steamer for New York. As travel was heavy, I had to wait a month for a berth.

When I returned to my rooms after having purchased my ticket, there stood my slighted Teacher and he again offered me instruction on condition that I keep it secret. This time my refusal was perhaps more emphatic and indignant than before, but he did not leave. Instead he said, “I am glad to hear you refuse, my brother, and I hope you will always be as zealous in disseminating our teachings without fear or favor as you have been in this refusal. That is the real condition of receiving the teachings.”

How directions were then given me to take a certain train at a certain depot and go to a place I had not heard of before, how I there met the Brother in the flesh, was taken to the Temple, and received the main instructions embodied in our literature, are matters of small interest.

The point is that had I agreed to keep the instructions secret, I should naturally have been unfit to be a messenger of the Brothers, and they would have had to seek another. Likewise with any of us: if we hoard the spiritual blessings we have received, evil is at our door, so let us imitate the earth at this Easter time. Let us bring forth in the physical world of action the fruits of the spirit sown in our souls during the past wintry season. So shall we be more abundantly blessed from year to year.

AND again it is Easter. The dark, dreary days of winter are past. Mother nature is taking the cold, snowy coverlids off the earth, and the millions and millions of seeds sheltered in the soft soil are bursting its crust and clothing the earth in summer robes, a riot of gay and glorious colors, preparing the bridal bower for the mating of beasts and birds. Even in this war-torn year the song of life sounds loudly above the dirge of death. “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” Christ has arisen—the first fruits. He is the resurrection and the life; whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

Thus at the present season the mind of the civilized world is turned toward the feast we call Easter, commemorating the death and resurrection of the individual whose life story is written in the Gospels, the noble individual known to the world by the name of Jesus. But a Christian mystic takes a deeper and more far-reaching view of this annually recurring cosmic event.

For him there is an annual impregnation of the earth with the cosmic Christ life; an inbreathing which takes place during the fall months and culminates at the winter solstice when we celebrate Christmas, and an out-breathing which finds its completion at the time of Easter. The inbreathing or impregnation is manifested to us in the seeming inactivity of winter, but the out-breathing of the Christ life manifests as the resurrection force which gives new life to all that lives and moves upon the earth, life abundant, not only to sustain but to propagate and perpetuate.

Thus the cosmic drama of life and death is played annually among all evolving creatures and things from the highest to the lowest, for even the great and sublime cosmic Christ in His compassion becomes subject to death by entering the cramping conditions of our earth for a part of the year. It may therefore be appropriate to call to mind a few ideas concerning death and rebirth which we are sometimes prone to forget.

Resurrection and the Egg as a Creative Symbol

From Teachings of an Initiate – The Lesson of Easter

Among the cosmic symbols which have been handed down to us from antiquity none is more common than the symbol of the egg. It is found in every religion. We find it in the Elder Eddas of the Scandinavians, hoary with age, which tell of the mundane egg cooled by the icy blast of Niebelheim but heated by the fiery breath of Muspelheim until the various worlds and man had come into being.

Egg 5

If we turn to the sunny south we find in the Vedas of India the same story in the Kalahansa, the Swan in time and space, which laid the egg that finally became the world. Among the Egyptians we find the winged globe and the oviparous serpent, symbolizing the wisdom manifest in this world of ours.

winged globe

Then the Greeks took this symbol and venerated it in their Mysteries. It was preserved by the Druids; it was known to the builders of the great serpent mound in Ohio; and it has kept its place in sacred symbolism even to this day, though most are blind to the Mysterium Magnum which it hides and reveals—the mystery of life.

eggy

When we break open the shell of an egg, we find inside only some varicolored viscous fluids of various consistencies. But placed in the requisite temperature a series of changes soon take place, and within a short time a living creature breaks open the shell and emerges, ready to take its place among its kin. It is possible for the wizards of the laboratory to duplicate the substances in the egg; they may be enclosed in a shell, and a perfect replica so far as most tests go may be made of the natural egg. But in one point it differs from the natural egg, namely, that no living thing can be hatched from the artificial product. Therefore it is evident that a certain intangible something must be present in one and absent in the other.

This mystery of the ages which produces the living creature is what we call life. Seeing that it cannot be cognized among the elements of the egg by even the most powerful microscope (though it must be there to bring about the changes), it must be able to exist independently of matter. Thus we are taught by the sacred symbol of the egg that though life is able to mold matter, it does not depend upon it for its existence. It is self-existent, and having no beginning it can have no end. This is symbolized by the ovoid shape of the egg.

We are appalled at the carnage on the European battle fields, and rightly so because of the manner in which the victims are being taken out of physical life. But when we consider that the average human life is only fifty years or less, so that death reaps a harvest of fifteen hundred million in half a century, or thirty million per annum, or two and one-half million every month, we see that the total has not been so greatly increased after all.

Egg 4

And when we have the true knowledge conveyed by the egg symbol that life is without beginning and without end, it enables us to take heart and realize that those who are now being taken out of physical existence are only passing through a cyclic journey similar to that of the cosmic Christ life which enters the earth in the fall and leaves it at Easter. Those who are killed are only going into the invisible realms, where they will later take a new dip into physical matter, entering as all living things do the egg of the mother. After a period of gestation they will re-emerge into physical life to learn new lessons in the great school. Thus we see how the great law of analogy works in all phases and under all circumstances of life. What happens in the great world to a cosmic Christ will manifest also in the lives of those who are Christs in the making; and this will enable us to look more cheerfully upon the present struggle than would otherwise be the case.

Furthermore, we must realize that death is a cosmic necessity under the present circumstances for if we were imprisoned in a body of the kind we now use and placed in an environment such as we find today, there to live forever, the infirmities of the body and the unsatisfactory nature of the environment would very soon make us so tired of life that we would cry for release. It would block all progress and make it impossible for us to evolve to greater heights such as we may evolve to by re-embodiment in new vehicles and placement in new environments which give us new possibilities of growth.

egg11

Thus we may thank God that so long as birth into a concrete body is necessary for our further development, release by death has been provided to free us from the outgrown instrument.  Resurrection and a new birth under the smiling skies of a new environment furnish us with another chance to begin life with a clean slate and learn the lessons which we failed to master before. By this method we shall at some time become perfect as is the risen Christ. He commanded it, and he will aid us to achieve it.

* [The Slough of Despond: a deep bog into which Christian falls on the way from the City of Destruction and from which Help saves him in the allegory Pilgrim's Progress (1678) by John Bunyan]

From The Christian Year by John Keble.

Forms of Prayer to Be Used at Sea

Chrisit in the Storm on the Lake At Galilee - detail - Rembrandt

Chrisit in the Storm on the Lake At Galilee – detail – Rembrandt

When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee.  Isaiah 43:2

The shower of moonlight falls as still and clear

Upon this desert main

As where sweet flowers some pastoral garden cheer

With fragrance after rain:

The wild winds rustle in piping shrouds,

As in the quivering trees:

Like summer fields, beneath the shadowy clouds

The yielding waters darken in the breeze.

 

Thou too art here with thy soft inland tones,

Mother of our new birth;

The lonely ocean learns thy orisons,

And loves thy sacred mirth:

When storms are high, or when the fires of war

Come lightening round our course,

Thou breath’st a note like music from afar,

Tempering rude hearts with calm angelic force.

 

Far, far away, the homesick seaman’s hoard,

Thy fragrant tokens live,

Like flower-leaves in a previous volume stored,

To solace and relieve

Some heart too weary of the restless world;

Or like thy Sabbath Cross,

That o’er this brightening billow streams unfurled,

Whatever gale the labouring vessel toss.

 

Oh, kindly soothing in high Victory’s hour,

Or when a comrade dies,

In whose sweet presence Sorrow dares not lower,

Nor Expectation rise Too high for earth;

What mother’s heart could spare

To the cold cheerless deep

Her flower and hope? but Thou art with him there,

Pledge of the untired arm and eye that cannot sleep:

 

The eye that watches o’er wild Ocean’s dead,

Each in his coral cave,

Fondly as if the green turf wrapt his head

Fast by his father’s grave,

One moment, and the seeds of life shall spring

Out of the waste abyss,

And happy warriors triumph with their King

In worlds without a sea, unchanging orbs of bliss.

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Jesus Mocked By The Soldiers – Manet

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