Rosicrucian Writings Online


The Eternal Truths

THE ANNUAL MESSAGE GIVEN AT THE OPENING
OF THE 1932 CONVENTION

 
By The Imperator
[H. Spencer Lewis]
 
[From The Rosicrucian Digest August 1932]
 
 
I HAVE a message for all actual Rosicrucians and all potential Rosicrucians, and among the latter I include those thinking men and women who in these troublesome times are lifting their eyes above the level of surrounding conditions and are seeing over the hills and occasional mountain peaks to the beautiful valleys and horizon that lie beyond.
 
Human beings are tempted in these times to think that with the rapid changes taking place and the established value of things falling to lower values and lower degrees of worthiness and dependable foundations crumbling away, that there is nothing or no one thing that is permanent and sure and worthy of being the solid rock upon which to cling for safety and security.
 
But there are things upon which we human beings can depend and there are foundations upon which we can stand and build not only for the present but for the eternal future and rest assured that as time changes and conditions vary and values of all kinds rise and fall, the foundation upon which we stand will remain adamantine and eternally sure.
 
We are seekers for truth and we pride ourselves upon the fact that in our search we have contacted the thoughts and philosophies, the discoveries and speculations of the world's great thinkers. We are happy in the fact that we are banded together as an organization or as a group of individuals for the purpose of exchanging ideas and thereby coming closer and closer to the great truths of life. We look upon these truths as the fundamental stones of a great foundation upon which civilization can build its structures and super-structures. We are sure that there are many great truths still unknown to us and we never become weary of itemizing the many great truths that we now possess as fundamental principles in our lives.
 
When all is said and done, however, we are probably deceived by the thought of the multiplicity of truths and misled in our search for the greatest truths by the idea that there are many truths and that these are much involved. After many years of search and study and after many years of personal contact with this great quest for knowledge, I have gradually come to the conclusion that there are only three great truths, three great eternal truths that constitute the entire foundation or the great rock of human knowledge as revealed by divine illumination. These three eternal truths are: God abides, man abides, and certain relationships between man and God abide. More than this we cannot be sure of. Our search must center itself around the mysteries of that truth which includes the relationships between God and man and man and God. Herein lies the foundation of material and spiritual values. Herein lies the entire field of Cosmic law and human obedience to such law. Herein lie the powers that man can exert and the powers that God does exert. Here is the mystery of our being, the mystery of our coming and our going.
 
It is in this field of study relating exclusively to the relationship of God and man that the Rosicrucians center their searching gaze and their inquiring mind. It, therefore, becomes a field of study, investigation, speculation, discovery, and ultimate revelation through experience. The knowledge we seek can come only through experience, for experience alone will reveal knowledge, and by re-experience of such knowledge we attain wisdom. The mere contemplation of such experiences and the meditation upon the possibility of such experience leads us into theoretical speculation. Out of such theoretical speculation has arisen the systematic schools of religion, science, and philosophy, and it is there, too, that have been born the various forms of religious worship, the various creeds or codes of interpretation and the arbitrary establishment of artificial gods and saints.
 
This great center field of an analytical study of the relationship existing between man and God has been turned at places into quagmires and beds of quicksands into which men have blindly ventured and have been lost. It has also been the blood-stained ground of religious battles and places of human persecution. It has been the site of monuments of intolerance erected by the self-appointed interpreters of untrue interpretations. It is the valley of Armageddon where millions of souls will be lost or millions saved.
 
In our search for the higher truths and the eternal truths we not only make the search more difficult and conceal the simpleness of the truths by our false belief that the truths are many and difficult to understand, but we create artificial values whereby we may judge them and in doing so we use as a standard of valuation the material things of life.
 
Right now we are in the midst of a period when material values are losing their former stability and we are actually coming to discover that material things have no value in actuality but merely in temporary reality. We will find that the great rocks and foundations of material life are but the quicksands of our imaginary creation. The things that we have tried to hold fast to as being all that was worthwhile and a saviour in time of trial and trouble are now proving themselves to be worthless and of such a corruptible nature that like the wooden beam that supports the walls of a home and is eaten by the termites, the outer form looks solid and dependable while the center is hollow and brittle and ready to crumble to dust at any moment.
 
The world's greatest materialists are learning the lesson and even those who in the past have centered their faith and hope upon material things now frankly admit that they have been grossly misled and have been fools in their thinking. Recently one of Europe's greatest economists, Sir Josiah Stamp, President of the London Midland and Scottish Railway and Director of the Bank of England, said to Bruce Barton in a conversation, "We used to talk about moral values and material values as though they were two different and contradictory things. The depression must have taught us that they were the same things, that without moral values there can be no material values. . . . There is only one basis of wealth, and that is character."
 
The foregoing words were not the words of a preacher or a mystic or a philosopher but of a hard-headed, cold, and deliberating economist who with all of his materialistic tendencies has discovered what some of our philosophers have failed to discover and that is that the spiritual values are what constitute real wealth and real power in our lives.
 
Among other eminent men who have made a life study of material values and who must have walked deeply into the quagmire of materialism in that center field of study and speculation to which I have referred, is Roger Babson. This man has become as familiar with the tendencies and trends of materialist values as the biologist is with the unconscious processes of the living cell and as the pathologist is with the germs and their actions under the powerful scrutiny of his large microscope. He can feel the distant and unseen pulse of business as keenly as can the trained physician feel the pulse of the human heart. He knows what every action will bring in re-action in the business world. He knows the value of time and its investment, of money and its power, of business and its possibilities, of speculation and its dangers, and of all the material things that human minds can conceive and create. Yet listen to what he says: "Business depressions are caused by dissipation, dishonesty, disobedience to God's will--a general collapse of moral character. Statistics show this plainly. With equal precision, they show how business depressions are cured. They are cured by moral awakening, spiritual revival, and the rehabilitation of righteousness."
 
The scientific and materialistic world was shocked a few years ago by the sudden transition of one of its most high-powered and most critical scrutinizers of material laws, the eminent Charles P. Steinmetz, who was such a master of electricity and the other hidden secret powers of the material universe that he seemed to be almost equal with a God in creating and controlling artificial lightning. A distorted, crippled, and grossly unpleasant being to look at, physically, one would have been inclined to believe that with his personal regret at God's gift to him of a crippled figure and with his close study of nature's material forces, he would have been steeped so deeply in materialism that the spiritual values of life would have meant nothing to him. Yet this man said, and it is recorded of him in permanent form, in answer to a question as to what would be the next great field of research and revelation for the human mind, "I think the greatest discoveries will be made along spiritual lines. History clearly teaches that spiritual forces have been the greatest power in the development of men and nations. Yet we have been playing with them, merely, and have never seriously studied them as we have the physical forces. Some day people will learn that material things do not bring happiness and are of little use in making men and women creative and powerful. When this day comes, the world will see more advancement in one generation than it has seen in the past four."
 
Think of an eminent scientist whose knowledge of and ability to control nature's forces was so pre-eminent, casting all of this knowledge and power aside and belittling its value and raising the standard of spiritual values to the heights of supremacy!
 
In a little pamphlet that I wrote last summer while returning from Europe, I tried to explain what the year 1932 meant for you. It is going to mean for all mankind the turning point in civilization. It was by no coincidence of war or man-made conditions or conditions beyond our control but of a material nature that all of the world was rocked in its material value in the same years and that the great god of money was shaken from its high pedestal and thrown to the earth where those who had worshipped it in adoration with gaze upturned and with the great light of the heavens blinding them to the true picture before them, could now examine their god closely and see that it was made of that which is corruptible, that which is changeable, mortal, and of the earth's grossest material. It was decreed in the Cosmic laws and plans that man might be given the opportunity to sail in the heavens of material power and rise to the artificial heights of vain-glorious worship in order that he might taste of the poison of material things and then drop to the earth suddenly and be awakened from his dreams to true realities.
 
No government of any land, no ruler of any people, no political power of any class is responsible for the lessons being learned today, for God decreed and the Cosmic carried out the divine will. Out of the ashes of this international fire will rise not only a new realization in the hearts and minds of those who have become old in their idolatry of material things, but there will rise a new generation of people who will cast the money changers out of the human temples and who will destroy the golden idols and replace them with spiritual things and characters of high morals and high ideals. Even the rising generation is passing through the crucible and through the fire of transition, and in preparation for its great awakening and first stage of evolution the new generation is intolerant of old customs and habits of man-made morals and creeds, of age-old conventions and principles, and in the period of change they have thrown to the four winds that which we have considered their characters and moral fortitude. But it is only part of the great change taking place and already we see among the young people of the new generation the sign of restlessness. The sins that tempted them out of the high places of security into the valleys of evil and sorrow are no longer powerful in their ability to tempt and have already revealed their shallowness and their lack of ability to fascinate and enthrall. Gradually the young people are realizing that in sin and evil there is an end to all pleasure and an end to the variety of life. They have tasted of the inside of the cup and have drunk to the very dregs at the bottom to find that the bottom was too close to the top and that life was not a mystery that could be found within the cup but rather on the outside of it. Out of this discovery is rising a conviction that character counts, that goodness has its own inevitable rewards, and that purity of mind and soul will bring joy and peace as nothing else will.
 
The closer we examine into the lives of those now in high schools and colleges we will find that the abandonment of several years ago and the utter disregard of moral laws and principles of last year are being thrown into discard and that now goodness of some degree and that spiritual values of some kind are entering into their considerations. The boys and girls alike, even in their teens, have learned the lesson that we adults learned only late in life. The weak are being led onward while the strong ones are being led upward. Character is being re-made, spiritual truths revealed, and new values placed upon life. This will continue until these young people, reaching adulthood, will constitute the new generation in a few years. To their hands will come the duty, the work, the labor, of re-building nations, re-building our business principles, re-building our home lives, and re-building our spiritual existence here on earth. Into their hearts and minds will come the inspirations and the urges from Cosmic decrees to re-create life upon a new basis.
 
We who are the losers today as adults will have to retire and re-mould our thoughts while looking upon the stage of life and seeing our offspring, the rising generation, daring to do that which we dared not do. They have dared to taste of life early. They have dared to find whether the material things of life really held the power that we had claimed for them. They have seen us struggle and save, labor and stint, accumulate and sacrifice in order that we might place with our dependents these same material things that they are now finding worthless, deceiving, shallow, and easily discredited in the light of truth. They have dared to experiment. They have dared to discuss freely and analyze those things that we looked upon as taboo or improper, unconventional or mysterious. They have torn the multicolored robe from the figure of Truth and brazenly faced its nakedness with neither shame nor regret, and in their astonishment great light has come to them revealing the hypocrisy of our lives and the false value of standards we had established. To condemn them now in the midst of their investigation, at the very hour of their desertion from what we made them to what they will become, is to condemn our own shortcomings, our own hypocrisy, our own false living, and our own weaknesses. They have dared to do what we did not dare to do, and they will dare to accomplish in the future what we have hesitated to do.
 
Character will become the standard of personal evaluation. Gold will become the footstool beneath their feet and physical and material power will be but as simple weapons in their hands compared to the spiritual power they will create and mature within their beings.
 
Three eternal truths will constitute the triangle that will represent the emblem of their lives--the three truths that you and I must prove to ourselves now through our studies and our efforts to re-create our lives. Again, I say, these truths are the eternal truths which constitute the foundation of all existence; namely, God abides, man abides, and the relationships between God and man abide.
 
Let us go onward then and forward with our banner of Rosicrucianism not merely leading a grand parade of those who are leaders and pioneers in thinking, but acting as a guide to those who would follow, ever mindful of the weak and the tottering, the lame and the halt, who strive to be with us and keep up with us and share in our knowledge. Let us never push onward so rapidly that we do not have time to stop and reach back with a strong arm and hand to help those who cannot keep apace with us. Let our searching eyes move in all directions that we may be watchful for the signals sent out by those who would hail us and join with us. But ever let us keep the standard high that our banner may be above and beyond the reach of hands that would defile it or despoil it. Let it become pure in the light of the Cosmic. Let it be brightened by the sunlight of the heights. Let it be lofty in every sense. Let us honor it but never worship it. Let us respect it but never adore it. Let us add power to it but seek no power in it, for our worship, our adoration, should be given to God and in Him alone should we find the source of all power and all human earthly values.
   

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