Rosicrucian Writings Online
THOUGHT OF THE MONTH
THE DEVELOPMENT OF SPIRITUALITY
By THE IMPERATOR
[H. Spencer Lewis]
[From The Rosicrucian Digest June 1933]
TODAY is Monday, April the 17th. It is the day after Easter. The newspaper accounts and the radio news reports are filled with exuberant, enthusiastic statements about the magnificent and wholly unexpected outburst of interest in spiritual things made manifest yesterday--Easter Day.
Here in the west of the United States we are accustomed to two magnificent Easter sunrise services. One is held in the southern part of the state and one near San Francisco. Also in these two localities a huge cross is erected upon a high point of land and persons of all Christian denominations are accustomed to traveling to the foothills surrounding these crosses and attending open air religious services at sunrise. But the reports of yesterday show that similar services were desired and asked for and granted at ten or more places along the Pacific Coast and at dozens of places inland and that audiences outnumbering anything ever witnessed in the way of religious pilgrimages were made manifest yesterday. And from other reports we learn that the churches had larger congregations, that every form of spiritual demonstration was indulged in with greater sincerity and more sacrifices on the part of the persons attending than at any other time in recent years.
In the history of the development of Christianity such an event as this should not have warranted the least comment on my part or on the part of anyone, for after nineteen hundred years of Christian progress, especially in this western world, we should find an increasing interest in a Christian Holy Day and even the birthrate in Christian families should bring a normal and natural increase in the number of Christian enthusiasts. But conditions have not been normal and the times have been of such a nature as to warrant many authorities in predicting that the increasing lack of interest in the church was a sign of the increasing lack of interest in things spiritual. It has been claimed that the race of man is becoming materialistic, scientific, cold-blooded, non-emotional, and indifferent toward the more sublime things of life. It has been said that the great World War was an indication of the downfall of religion and that the strifes and contentions, political and economical, throughout the world in recent years was a further sign of the materialistic, non-religious development of man's mind.
With such predictions still vibrating their postulations in the ear one could not help being astonished at the manifestations made everywhere yesterday. It was as though the nation rose up in its spiritual power and answered the challenging claims of materialism. It is not a question as to whether the American or North American or Western world or English speaking people are becoming more or less interested in the church but it is a question of the development of spirituality in the hearts and minds of everyone. There is something about Easter and certain holy days that finds a response in the sacred archives of the human consciousness regardless of whether the individuals belong to a church and attend that church regularly or not. Undoubtedly millions who walked and journeyed long and tediously for one or more hours early yesterday morning to be at sunrise service seldom go to church and perhaps belong to no definite church. Certainly a majority of them are not church goers or the churches would have no reason to complain of a lack of interest in church institutions. If the millions who went to these sunrise services yesterday were to start in next Sunday and attend churches with the same interest and enthusiasm as they displayed in the Easter services, the churches would think that the millennium had come.
What is there about Easter that attracted the attention of so many millions and awakened something within the spiritual consciousness of these people? Historically, Easter is a very, very old holy day. It had its origin with the pagans and the day itself is named after an old pagan goddess whose brilliant and colorful light was associated with the aurora borealis. The Christians adopted this ancient holy day and in the English language the name of Easter is spelled almost precisely as the ancient name of the goddess was written. But it isn't the origin or historical nature of the holy day that brought millions to the foot of the cross at sunrise. It is because the day was a symbol of a principle or a great law or a mystical manifestation that the human consciousness conceives as being true and good and uplifting. The day became a prophetic day in the minds of thousands of persons. It was a day of rebirth and regeneration. It came at a time in the United States when everyone was beginning to feel the hope of a new era and the possibility of a "new deal" in every sense including the religious and spiritual. It came at a time when in the history of the world there was much the same feeling. This Easter is truly symbolical of the rising spirit of new life freeing itself from the bondage of the tomb and having its old form of materialism crucified and returned to earth.
Within the heart and mind of every living creature who has had the opportunity to meditate and think there is a keen sense of spiritual values and spiritual powers that needs but the touch of mystical illumination to awaken and quicken it into an enthusiasm that is unequalled by any other human emotion.
I think we may safely say that what occurred yesterday throughout North America and in other lands is a sign and symbol of great power in the future for the betterment of the human race and the advancement of civilization. We still have to close the old tomb, we still have to throw away the burial robes. We still have the cross to take down and the wounds in the body to heal. But the vision of the future is now bright through the illumination of the rebirth and in this light we can walk safely and surely toward the greater goal where we will find the very foundation of the kingdom of heaven on earth.
Alcove for June
The ancient mystics claimed that each month of the year was an alcove in the year in which certain activities and industries of twelve different classifications were conducted. They assigned to each alcove a definite classification of human interest, and as the centuries pass by certain well-known characters came to be associated with each alcove not because they were born in the month represented by the alcove, but because their personal activities were of a nature associated or assigned to the alcove.
June was called the month of the benefactors. It was presumed that in this alcove persons of wealth and prosperity, influence and great material power came together to decide how they might best use their material possessions to help civilization. The persons who came to be associated with this alcove are Croesus, Aristobulus, Harpalos, Atticus, Maecenas, Inigo Jones, Cecil Rhodes, Fouque, Madero, Fugger, Robert Morris, Alexander Hamilton, J. J. Astor, Vanderbilt, A. T. Stewart, Wanamaker, C. W. Field, E. H. Harrison and John D. Rockefeller.
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