Rosicrucian Writings Online
Reflections on the Third Temple Grade
By Raymund Andrea, F.R.C.,
Grand Master, AMORC, Great Britain
[From The Mystic Triangle August 1928]
THE KEYNOTE of the present articles is realization. Our work on the path consists of a series of realizations, an entering into, with complete understanding, of one phase after another of life experience, through external contact, or inward cogitation, or the steady ascension of mental forces. Through external contact we realize the beauty of the world; we sense the ever-changing panorama of form, colour and sound expressed with infinite prodigality in the face of nature and of humanity. Poor indeed are we if we have not passed a long novitiate within the suffusing embrace of this living dream! Resting here, with clear senses and full appreciation, we clothe ourselves in the mystic garment of the ideal; we sense the immensity of God and feel within us the divine afflatus of the spirit of creation. Every man should be a creator after his kind, and in the temple of nature the aspirant must discover his first strength and learn his technique as an artist of the beautiful.
Through inward cogitation he interprets the dream of love as service. His reflection on the bountifulness and resourcefulness of nature teaches him the law of wise and timely expressiveness in the service of his fellowmen. He is to give himself royally in his chosen sphere of life and prove to the Powers that are ready to assist him that he is a reliable worker and not a mere theorist. No matter where his humble lot is cast, he is called to act a part that will shed a divine halo around it and be instrumental for good. Civilization, brilliant and culminating, yet proud and materialistic and ignorant of its goal, cries aloud for the sacrificial service of the humble aspirant. He must not fail it. He should know that occultism is not a soft religion for the attainment of a personal elysium, but the relentless light of the devastating truth that makes men ashamed in the presence of the soul. He must pass out of the conventional life and explore the lonely promontory of thought until he has that knowledge and conviction. He must not unwillingly suffer the peace derived from finite adjustment to be disturbed as he pushes forward to the higher peace of Cosmic attunement, intent upon radiating its assurance upon the turmoil of the world. He must realize that the soul is impregnated with creative power, and that power he must resurrect with dedicated purpose and total recklessness of the common and unenlightened opinion of those who fear for his sanity. He is on the road to Damascus, and when the full light comes all service will be sublime and he will give all and suffer all in the Master's name.
In all these realizations the conscious directing power of the soul is implied as the ever present and persistent motive. In the first realization the soul inspires the senses to a higher and more cultured observation of the manifested beauty of the Author of nature. In the second realization, by virtue of an enlargement and enrichment of the soul's qualities, we minister understandingly to the common life of our fellowmen in the way of everyday service. We have now to consider the intellectual life as the realization of the dream of poetry. The term is significant and admits of a wide application. The expression of life is rhythmical. From the vast and illimitable ocean of cosmic vibration issues with fervent appeal every inspired creation of the mind of man. And if we go at once to the fountainhead of the sublime and poetic, to the divinely inspired prophets, whose intellectual superiority and oracular utterances will never be eclipsed inasmuch as they were the august revelators of the truth of the things of time and eternity, who saw the things that were and foresaw those to come and whose rhythmic and prophetic speech has inspired and given an universal theme to many a prophet of the modern world, we shall do well. It is related of Bossuet, the famous orator, that on first reading the book of Isaiah, he was so struck with the beauty and sublimity of it that he became a man of one book. A remarkable tribute to his intellectual appreciation and an example not unworthy of imitation! For Isaiah is the revealer of facts and his outstanding characteristic is his many sidedness. He is the great anticipator of the Christ entering into human evolution. He has the triple sight of poetic genius: observation, imagination and intuition; from which arises that heavy burden of reproach and prophecy which descends with such majestic elocution upon the civilization of his time.
I am not proposing a sermon for the aspirant on the book of Isaiah; the churches have given him so many that he has probably overlooked the sterling value and culture of the prophet and he lives in his memory but as a name. My aim is to suggest that he should put aside the ecclesiastical influence and permit these world poems to speak for themselves to his own reverent and searching mind in all their naked majesty until he gains something of the strength and nobility of their cosmic thinking. It is intimated by some that we Rosicrucians make little of the Bible; I suppose, because we are not always quoting it. If the inference were true, the fact would be recorded to our shame. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is, the truth of the Bible is so deeply engraved in our hearts that we endeavour to live it, instead of filling our lectures with quotations from it. That is the point I seek to impress on the aspirant. If he cannot realize the dream of poetry in the mighty strophe of Isaiah, he will either not realize it anywhere else, or his realization will be incomplete. I remember a good soul who, every time we met, would ask me with much concern whether I believed in the atonement? My belief or unbelief apparently settled the whole question for her whether or not I was entitled to the heaven she expected. Had she known how often I had repeated in my solitude, not without the deepest emotion, the poignant fifty-third chapter of our prophet, her interrogation would surely have been deemed unnecessary. We must not be disturbed by such interrogation, or by the cutting assertions that we depart from the standard of faith. Our faith is made of sterner stuff; it has an esoteric foundation which only the initiated know; it is rooted in the life blood of the primitive thought; and if we culture its passionate fervour in the rhythms of the heart we can forego the name in the conscious possession of the substance. That living substance is in the book of Isaiah. To imbibe its gorgeous rhetoric with full artistic appreciation is to ascend to one of the summits of the dream, far above the rude clamour and hideous babel of the world; but to endeavour to fashion his intellectual life after the lofty example of inward law and morality enjoined in it will raise the aspirant beyond this, to the plane of the epic mind where sublimity of thought and manly duty blend in lawful consent and reveal the granite laws of the ideal shining through the dream.
And in the other prophets he will find an unique field for the application of this special process of culture. They are the great primitive poets, men of profound vision, the God-intoxicated clairvoyants, denouncers and transformers of civilizations, from whose inspired lips issues an amazing and apocalyptic poetry which carries the mind out into the infinitudes of Cosmic thought and expands and enlightens it in the measure of its inborn nobleness. If it is asked: What has this to do with occult advancement? the answer must be: it has so much to do with it that nothing can take the place of it. Occult science demands in its disciples a large understanding: a small mind will do nothing with it. It is a science pre-eminently of grand and lofty conceptions, and unless the mind is gradually habituated to conceptions of this nature, how can it assimilate and expound the greatness and majesty of God as revealed in the living universe which this science teaches? By steeping himself in the works of these world writers he will contact their vibration and reflect the contagious fire and express the heavenly harmony of their lives, and insensibly will his entire nature be ennobled in vision and purpose for the fructifying of the soul life of his generation.
Here it cannot be too strongly insisted upon that the aspirant is not to be a man of a single idea, so to speak, even though it be an occult one. He must be able to touch life at many points. He must aim to become a full man; and only the assiduous culture of the intellectual life can make him that. I remember reading a very illuminating remark by an occultist to the effect, that if many students were subjected to clairvoyant investigation they would be found to be not "big enough" to handle the work of the Masters. That is a great truth and pertinent to my theme. That "bigness" can only come through entering with heart and soul into the all-inclusive realizations referred to in the Third. The Master requires the fourfold genius of man to be evolved and highly balanced before he may entrust him with any special phase of world service. The expectations of some aspirants, it must be said, transcend all the bounds of common sense in this matter. If the mere reading of occult literature and the passing technically through the grades were sufficient, how soon should we all be qualified initiates!
It is not my intention to outline a course of reading or propose a guide for the intellectual life. I only seek to impress upon the young aspirant the absolute necessity of gaining a broad mental outlook and of applying himself to this end in his own way. He will observe that in the Third there is not a word regarding specializing in literature, not a single direction as to author or book. The Rosicrucian is a thinker, and a hint is sufficient for him to expand a thought or suggestion into all its manifold possibilities. He is not asked to become a specialist in prose or prosody: a categorical statement is given of the content of the fourfold realization which constitutes perfection and it is for him to work out that realization in all its fulness and variety as perceived in the master mind. To propose for himself as an ideal the encyclopaedic knowledge of the epic mind of a Bacon or Shakespeare, for instance, may end in his throwing up his hands in despair; nevertheless, in the serious contemplation of epic minds lies a fertile source of inspiration and culture. In the realm of the dream he may approach the fountainhead of creation, whence issues that supreme psychic phenomenon, the inspiration or God-obsession which pervades the whole literature of great art. These epic minds are the benefactors of the race; they emerge radiant with light from the core of the world; they rise from the earth and contact the fulness of God in the ether; in them human thought attains its greatest intensity; they compress the infinite into a word which reverberates through all the ages of man; and withal, so vibrant is it with vision and power that it contests the very ground of religion itself. The poet, the artist and the philosopher traverse equally the immensities of the dream and return weighted with archetypal thoughts from the deep profound and cast their priceless treasures at the feet of poor man. And the Rosicrucian is a dreamer of the first magnitude, possessing the triple sight of the artist, the poet and the philosopher, but, with the added power of divinity, he so interprets the laws of destiny that all the bibles of humanity are revealed as one vast intonation of the Word of God, the same yesterday, today, and forever.
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