Rosicrucian Writings Online
Cathedral Contacts[From The Rosicrucian Digest December 1946]
THE SEARCH OF THE MAGI
THE Three Wise Men of the East were searching for a king. In a sense, it is odd that at that time and place men should set out to find a king. Monarchs ruled many lands in those days. Many ruled justly--many were tyrants. Why three wise men should set out to look for a newborn king might be a key to a principle that has existed since man has sought for any thing. It is logical to believe that they could not have been searching for a king to rule only a physical kingdom. They brought gifts to this king in homage of what he might be and what he represented, rather than in consideration of the kingdom which he might rule. They were searching not so much for a new ruler as for what that king was to represent, and in paying homage to him they paid homage as an expression of the yearning of mankind that is illustrated in the age-old concepts of hope and faith. A hope that good would prevail over evil; a hope that happiness was more to be desired than all the riches of the world, and faith that these things could come about and that man's lot in life would be better. This we might term a never-ending or eternal hope and search.
The search of man to find his place in the vast complications of the Cosmic scheme in which he is born is a desire and the impetus for many actions, upon the part of all who have lived on this earth. It is not enough that men should be ruled or that they should govern, although these may be considered as means to an end by which man can arrive at a better adjustment to his surroundings; only those who have sought self-glorification and had a lust for their own power have wished possessions merely for their own sake.
The average man and woman of today, as in all ages of history, has sought to find the key to happiness. Almost every effort which we make is in some way connected with this desire. We strive to gain knowledge, to earn those things which we feel we need. To eat, to sleep, to be born, to pass on--these things are an ever-continuing tide of effort by man to come to a realization of himself, because after all the injunction of the ancient philosopher, "Man, know thyself," is the final desire of accomplishment, so that at last may be known the riddle of the universe, man's position in it and the ends and purposes which he is to attain.
It is to be presumed, and it has been accepted as a fact by the most intelligent of men, that this eventual aim or purpose of life will bring satisfaction and contentment individually and collectively. Man has sought these things through history and now, nearly two thousand years since the Wise Men of the East made their journey to lay gifts in the cradle of a king, we find that man is no less insistent upon attempting to attain this same goal. In these two thousand years alone, civilization has made great strides, but with the progress of civilization and the benefits and gain to man have also come parallel strides in the advancement of the means and the will to destruction and death.
It is difficult for us, with the perspective of the present day, to analyze all events in such manner as to determine whether in consideration of the totality of these things there is a surplus for good or evil. It is our desire that the surplus is for good and that man is nearer a stage of contentment today than he has been in the past. However, wishful thinking does not make the good permanent and enduring. It is a question as to whether man has learned from his errors and evil-doing that will be the final determination of whether or not good is enduring over all other things.
The spirit instilled with the beginning of the Christian era, and the spirit in which the birth of its leader is celebrated and remembered each year, if evidenced throughout the year, might do much to bring about the ends that man has so desired. The spirit of Christmas is conducive to contentment, happiness, and consideration of mankind. We still remember the origin of this day in the giving and receiving of gifts, as did the Wise Men of the East. It is obvious to those who will but observe that where this anniversary is considered a sacred day, all men upon that day seem to evidence the best of their natures. Expressions of happiness, of generosity, of tolerance and virtue are much more in evidence during this season than at any other time.
Why is it that on one day of the year man should exhibit these noble traits and ideas, and upon other days try to find the key to happiness, peace, and understanding by less obvious methods? If in our modern day the spirit of Christmas carries any message at all, it should carry primarily the conviction that the spontaneous attitudes and the virtuous expressions of this time are obviously one of the keys to happiness and peace. Might it not be wise for men and nations to give some thought to the perpetuation of these same feelings, traits, and ideals every day in the year?
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