Rosicrucian Writings Online
[From The Rosicrucian Digest June 1937]
WINDOWS OF THE SOULAS I sit here looking out of the window of this room, there comes to me the thought that a window, an accepted, rather insignificant thing, serves two great purposes: First, it permits light to enter this room--light which makes it possible not only for me to do the work that I must do here, but light from the source which furnishes life and vitality for all that lives. Also, on this day, it permits me to get a glimpse of what is outside the confines of this room and makes life better, because I not only can see what is there, but I can anticipate the pleasures and enjoyment of the outdoors in which I, and all other living things, can participate when the day's work is done.
This physical window, admitting actual light, will cause us to think even further of the windows of life that are the means by which enters the light of life, wisdom, and knowledge. Just as different rooms and different windows with different exposures, or possibly of different materials, affect the light which enters, so the soul of man looks out to the universe and is able to gain its conception of all that is, due to the window through which it looks.
There are those who have no other windows except the objective faculties which man is given to perceive the material world about him. To these people the world is limited to material standards, to material conceptions. There are not open to them the windows which let in all the light of the universe. Man, therefore, colors his whole life by that which he perceives. Someone has said, "To the pure, all things are pure;" and we might say in exact opposite, to the impure, all things are impure, negative and lacking in those qualities which are for the betterment of mankind.
Two individuals look out of their own beings and see, physically and objectively, the same thing; but one sees all that is good, all that is worthy in the object or act under observation, while the other sees one feature which, to him, is not good, not worthy of man's consideration, and from that one feature he conceives that the whole thing which he perceives is valueless or even immoral. Men see through the windows of their beings, windows colored with their own narrowness of perception, colored with their previous understanding and established opinions. In other words, man beholds what he is.
This might appear to be rather a hopeless state for man, because with this understanding man is apparently limited by his environment. However, man need not be limited by his environment because there remains the innate ability of man, not only to continue to perceive what he is, but to behold greater things--behold the best works of man expressed in art, music, in religion, in philosophy or even nature itself; and in so perceiving these better things he may raise his level of thinking; he may aspire toward the ideals which he sees or beholds and become like them.
Hawthorne told in his story, "The Great Stone Face," of how many sought to be the actual incorporation or incarnation of all the noble attributes as expressed in this face, yet it was the one man who contemplated the character of the face daily, and raised his thoughts through volition on his own part to that which he idealistically supposed the face represented, who became in actual life the living example of all good expressed in this face.
And so while we, as human beings, are ever inclined to project ourselves into our environment and behold it through our own narrow and limited opinions, we should at the same time strive to become what we behold by reaching out and seeking for something greater than what may be objectively manifest to us in our immediate environment.
A great task which lies before man, then, is to literally clean and brighten the windows of his soul, because just as pure sunlight cannot enter a discolored or dirty window, neither can the pure light of wisdom and the great sustaining and understanding light of the Cosmic and of God enter into the life of he who does not prepare the means by which his life may receive them.
Man has sought to contact these greater forces, to understand and utilize more completely the knowledge of the universe, and so many have, in order to accomplish this purpose, isolated themselves from all worldly things with the thought in mind that they could thus make it more possible to reach these higher levels. They attempted to put all temptation outside their environment. They hoped to attain what they did not have by eliminating what they did have. Thus, great mystics and philosophers of old have devoted their lives to untold hardship; have deprived themselves of many of the accepted needs of life in order to behold afar the true state of cosmic consciousness--of oneness with God--that they might be brought to a greater state of understanding and development by depriving themselves of material things of the world.
It is not necessary that the student on the path, or he who is a potential mystic, shall completely isolate himself at all times from his environment, but it is imperative that he who wishes to contact and gain knowledge and illumination from higher sources must at times take himself completely apart from the routine and daily cares and consecrate some time to the purpose which he has set before him.
All who so desire to meet together with others of like minds seeking to see beyond their material limitations, are invited to join with all those who come at regular periods to the Cathedral of the Soul--a cathedral assemblage where, from every part of the whole world, those who are masters and those who only seek to be masters, and possibly those who are only humble students merely trying to learn what they may behold through the windows of their souls, assemble daily for attunement. The combined efforts of all so assembled in this great cathedral aid each one to better his own life and the life of others.
To all who read this, whether members or not, the Rosicrucians issue an invitation to join in these daily periods of contact in the Cathedral of the Soul. Upon request we will send you the book, Liber 777, which describes and explains the purposes and aims of this great cathedral.
"The Great Stone Face" by Nathaniel Hawthorne is available in a Project Gutenberg Release. To download, visit this page (external link).
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