Rosicrucian Writings Online

The Bridge of Life

Some Day All of Us Will Cross This Mysterious Bridge
By The Imperator
[H. Spencer Lewis]
[From The Rosicrucian Digest May 1931]
I PRESUME that many have read that unique book called "The Bridge of San Luis Rey." If you have not read it you will find it in the public library and if you cannot find it there or do not know how to secure a copy of it, you may write to us to our Editorial Department and we may be able to tell you how to find a copy. It is a story in fiction form but pointing out one of the mysterious occurrences in life.
What I want to say at the present time, however, does not pertain to this particular bridge but to the bridge which was symbolized by this story. All of us will pass over the bridge that separates this life from the next and spans the great chasm that divides this country from that which lies beyond. I wonder sometimes how many of our members and readers think of the many forms in which this bridge is made manifest to us and in what strange ways we proceed to cross it and what unusual companionships we may have when the time comes to start the crossing.
As we journey through life we pass over many bridges and some of these we approach with joy and happiness, feeling sure that the bridge will carry us safely and giving no thought to the possibilities that may be ready to manifest at any moment. Other bridges we approach with reluctance and often with forebodings of trouble, sorrow, or suffering. Often these bridges that are the most difficult to cross and which constitute real problems in our lives are found to be bridges which we have built or created for ourselves and we are the sole traversers and the only ones whose feet are heard in a tedious journey across. Other bridges have been built for us by those who would test and try us or who would attempt to crucify us and we find some of these untravelled except by ourselves.
Then again we find it necessary to cross bridges which are upon the great highways of life and which are being approached by multitudes who surround us in our journey and who share with us the difficulties, the problems, the trials, and sufferings of our trip across the bridge.
Each bridge is of a different nature and as we stand in the center of some of these bridges and look upon those who are crossing with us we may speculate upon what different paths in lives have brought so many diversified natures and characters to the one bridge of similar experience at the same time.
We are often tempted to think that the individual paths upon which we are journeying in life are strange paths never travelled by humans before and created by some black magic or evil mind solely for the purpose of causing us to suffer and to have unnecessary tribulations. We are often tempted to think that our individual journeys through life are so unique that only one person in the whole world could have such an arduous path fraught with so many unnecessary, unreasonable, and inconsiderate obstacles. We are even tempted to think that if we could exchange places with almost any other person we would find their path, their road, more simple, more delightful, more easy, and more happy.
But when our path finally reaches the banks of a river or the edge of a chasm over which a bridge is spanned, we find that other paths than ours converge toward it and that thousands are coming together to cross over this same bridge and there in one large body participate in the very crux of the trials and tribulations of our journey and equally share all of the difficulties and tribulations of this one bridge. We realize then that regardless of the diversity of our paths there are certain places in the journey of life where we all meet and where we find that our troubles and griefs are common and our interests are common and our efforts to reach the goal of life are common.
On these bridges then we find that we are united in a human brotherhood in common interests despite our individual diversity and interests. From the mystical point of view these bridges are the meeting places of the converging lines of life and they demonstrate the principle of universal brotherhood.
The mystic, however, may well speculate upon what motives, what principles in life, what unseen and invisible guiding hands directed the foot-steps of various human beings on the many paths of life toward some of these bridges. The mystic may wonder as to what law or principle in the universe will bring men and women from points of the earth thousands of miles apart, along many strange highways converging toward one point, to cross over one bridge at the same time.
Whatever experiences that bridge may hold for those who start across it are evidently decreed and designed to be the experiences in the lives of those who are brought to its first steps. Men and women of different tongues, of different positions in life, of different character, and personalities, of different religious beliefs and indulgences, of different social and financial stations, meet as common pedestrians, as one body at the entrance of a bridge and there begin to share equally and alike whatever strange experiences this bridge may have for them and perhaps on the other side start again with similar and equal experiences in a new land, a new country, or a new region of progress.
These bridges may not always be structures across an open space. They may be but short walks or short rides through some unusual passage in the journey of life. Take, for instance, the group of children who froze to death and came face to face with sudden transition in the school buss in Colorado during the past month. These children were of different families, of different stations in life, and undoubtedly travelled along slightly different paths toward the future. Each one of them, no doubt, had a different hope for the future and could rightfully have hoped to live to different ages and to have had different experiences before passing from this earth. Yet by some law of the Cosmic these children were brought together at one bridge at the same time to have the same experience.
The bridge in this case was the school bus that was to take them from the school to their homes; yet the buss served the purpose of carrying them from this world into the next. Here a group of children unrelated to each other and with different Karmas in the past, and with different ends to meet, different purposes to serve, were brought together by the Cosmic because it had been decreed in the scheme of things that their transition was to occur at the same time in the same place and in the same manner. Some of these children had come into that district a few years previous from other states and from other localities. Some were of different nationalities, some were of different religious beliefs, and some were of different hopes and aspirations. Although they were on different paths of life, yet their paths converged on this day at this time in order that they might cross the bridge together.
The same instance is brought to our attention through the sudden wrecking of the air express which served as a bridge to carry out of this life and into the next, eight men, among them being a famous football coach. Each of these men had journeyed along different paths of life, expected to reach different goals, and in no way related or known to each other and having no reason to believe that at any time on this earth their paths would cross or converge. Yet with all of the differences that might have been in their past Karma, and with all of the differences they believed they had in their future careers, the Cosmic brought together eight men from eight different paths, eight different starting points, eight different purposes, and placed them on the same bridge at the same time that the great law might be fulfilled.
It is interesting for the mystic to speculate on the lives of these eight persons and to wonder what each one of them had done in a previous incarnation, or in this one, that although they were of different nationalities, different positions, and stations in life, of different interests and different occupations, living in different localities and unacquainted with one another, their past acts had created identical Karmas in so far as each of them was to pass through transition at the same time in the same manner and at the same location away from their homes and normal places of activity, and that each one of them was to start his Cosmic period of existence on the same day and same hour and at practically the same minute, although each of them was of different age and of different position in the cycles of existence.
The mystic often speculates upon the fact that a child born in Turkey, in the family of a foreign missionary, travels through various parts of the Orient, being educated in China, and meets somewhere in foreign lands a boy of foreign birth, and then continuing to travel around the world, finally comes to America and there meets the former boyhood companion and marries him and lives in this country to carry on their joint activities and eventually bring into life other children who would have a different nationality and different tongue. It is interesting to trace the Cosmic's way of doing things and how it will reach out to the extreme points of the world and select two persons who are unknown to each other and of different tongue and social position and bring them from the extreme antipodean positions to a new land to meet for the first time and unite in matrimony and give to the world a third being of an entirely different combination of blood and language.
But it is stranger to speculate on the lives of eight or ten persons drawn from the various cities and states of this wide country in different occupations and positions and brought together at one point at one time to cross the great bridge in the same instant, and to begin an identical career although previously their careers had been as diversified as it was possible to make them. Is it possible that in a previous incarnation these eight men knew each other and were united in some small band or unit of human effort and that they passed out of that incarnation as they did out of this one? Is it possible that in a previous life their activities were so related and so identical that each of them created for this life an identical Karmic transition even though in the interval they did not know each other and their paths never crossed?
These are the thoughts that a mystic gathers from the news of the world and the events of current life. It is such thinking that leads to a greater understanding of the complexities of life and the simplicity of the Cosmic principle for, after all, there is a simpleness in such a scheme that would allow eight persons to be widely separated after having been united in one transition and then bring them together again in order that the Karma which was decreed for one might be fulfilled for each in consistency and justice. Each one of these eight had earned by his actions in the past, or created through his methods of life, the time, place, and condition of the present transition, and if the other seven were associated with him in identical efforts and methods of living then the simplicity of justice and the fairness of Cosmic law would bring them all together to share alike in the Karma which was right for each.
Each of us is this very day facing on our path an unexpected bridge. It may be that our entrance into a theater, a train, a trolley car, a crowded thoroughfare, or any other public place will be the entering upon the last bridge for those of us who are thus brought together. That which occurs at that time and affects a number of us is by Cosmic law the Karma of our lives and our united participation in this Karma proves that we are brothers and closely related in the Cosmic mind through having created identical Karmic conditions.
By living each day in harmony with the highest laws and principles and refraining from doing any injustice or unfair thing, and by keeping ourselves attuned with the good and the harmonious things of life, we will bring ourselves to the ultimate bridge of our lives in company with those who, like ourselves, are deserving of the richest rewards when we have crossed the bridge and we will find ourselves in companionship with those who have attained and earned the highest of Cosmic blessings. We do not know when we shall come face to face with that great bridge that spans the unknown period of existence but we do know that beyond the bridge and thereafter lies a land and a world that will be just what we deserve and create for ourselves here and now.

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