Rosicrucian Writings Online
[From The Rosicrucian Digest October 1939]
DEVELOPING OUR ABILITIESTHERE is probably not a serious-minded person who has not at some time or other in the course of his life realized that the average individual does not make full use of all his potential possibilities.
There are many examples which arise to show the almost unlimited possibilities of the human body, such as in the case of illness or accidents where life still exists when according to all accepted scientific knowledge it appears impossible. In an emergency the strength and possibilities of the human body are found to be beyond what we usually consider them, and any student who has even superficially studied the psychological phases of human existence realizes that the possibilities of the non-material functions of the human body have not yet been explored; these possibilities remain unlimited.
It is not necessary to go beyond our physical perception to realize that we are equipped with many means of accomplishing certain ends, and it is regrettable that we should have available all these abilities which are only used in a limited sense. Think of those individuals who have accomplished great things with limited use of their senses or of their bodies. Each of us can probably think of individuals who, in spite of being crippled, or in some way only partially equipped to meet the various needs of life, have nevertheless adjusted themselves and lived as nearly as possible a normal, useful existence. To many the lack of a physical ability has been a challenge. One of the greatest musicians of all times, Beethoven, became deaf, but he continued composing music. If Beethoven could create beautiful melodies which he himself could not hear, does that not make us, who have full use of all our five sense faculties, feel that possibly we are not using these faculties to their greatest possibility? Thomas Edison also overcame the lack of the sense of hearing, and there have been many other examples of individuals who triumphed in spite of limitations, but it is particularly outstanding in the case of Beethoven because it seems that of all the artists who would need the sense of hearing in order to perfect their work, certainly this would be most needed by a musician, a composer. Nevertheless, in spite of his handicaps he proceeded, because he learned, probably through bitter experience, to cease to connect all manifestation with a physical sense.
It may be true that the realization of music to its fullest extent is made possible to the average individual through the sense of hearing, but that does not mean that music, as an actuality, cannot exist without the physical sense of hearing. Beethoven heard his music, but not through the medium of a physical instrument or a physical organism. He heard it within his own being because music existed and exists whether or not a physical means is available for its expression on a physical plane.
The melodies that Beethoven composed became complete within himself and from that point they were set into motion in the sense that all things are vibratory in action. The average individual cannot appreciate these vibrations as melodies or as music until they are physically manifested through the medium of a physical instrument, but this man's conception was above a physical instrument and, from the melodies within his own being, he made it possible that the melody he created be expressed through physical mediums for those who were, in the physical sense, more fortunate than he--but, while more fortunate than he insofar as physical equipment is concerned, were less fortunate in the sense that his own music to him expressed a feeling, a comprehension of melody within his own being that he was scarcely ever able to cause to manifest through a physical medium. In other words, I like to contemplate the music of Beethoven as a physical reflection of the music which existed in the soul of a great artist, the real melody being far beyond that which will ever be heard by the physical ear or expressed through the medium of man-made instruments.
How are we ever to reach the stage where we can grasp a comprehension of melody, of beauty, of love, of all the higher attributes without direct connection with a physical medium? To consider these ideals without physical manifestation seems difficult, seems as if they exist only in part, but yet the pureness of these abstract qualities must exist somewhere or we would never be conscious of their limited expression in terms of a physical medium. It is necessary then for man not only to avail himself of expression, but to explore into those fields which open his soul for experiences and for growth.
To help in making it possible for those individuals who so desire to attain an ability of extended perception, and to unite with a definite effort and purpose, to avail themselves individually or collectively of these qualities, the Cathedral of the Soul was conceived. The details of its purposes and methods are explained in the booklet, "Liber 777," which is available to all those who will merely ask for it.
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