Rosicrucian Writings Online

The Ethics of Mysticism

By The Imperator
[H. Spencer Lewis]
[From The Mystic Triangle March 1928]
A Personal Talk to Those
Members Who Are Advancing.
I am very happy to be able to address our members just at the dawn of another Rosicrucian Year on a subject that is of the most importance to those who are reaching a point in their studies and work where many problems of a practical nature confront them.
How well I understand your desires at times to manifest every degree of your understanding and mystical development! I have not forgotten my own early experiences with the Rosicrucian teachings and especially when I reached a point of confidence in my ability to use that knowledge and direct and control certain matters. I wondered what limit there was to the power I might use, and to what extent I could depend upon my knowledge to accomplish the desired results.
The beginner is very apt to think that once he has mastered the great laws which are contained in the Rosicrucian teachings he will be so mighty in all applications of those laws that the world itself will bow down to him and submit in humble recognition of his attainment. Of course he does not think in just those words, and he would probably resent the idea that he ever had such thoughts. But, to judge from the correspondence received at Headquarters from the average beginner, one discovers there is very little limitation to the beginner's expectations.
Then there is the correspondence from the advanced member. For years he has been progressing with his studies and has made many experiments proving that he can contact the minds of others, can foresee certain conditions and prepare to meet them, and even overcome most of the obstacles of his daily life. Now, suddenly, he is face to face with a serious situation and he wonders why he cannot use his mystical knowledge to bring the immediate results he desires. He writes to ask about it. In many cases we are forced to tell him that he may not do what he desires to do, and we tell him the ethical reasons and principles which he has overlooked in his studies.
And so, my Brothers and Sisters I want to tell you now what we have known and what we have found in our own application of the laws and principles of this grand universe in which we live.
First and above all, remember that each one of us is not yet infallible in our comprehension and understanding. It may be that we believe we are right in our judgment of persons and conditions, but just because we have an honest belief in that regard does not make our judgment correct. And, while we make occasional mistakes in our judgment of other persons and their affairs, we do not make many mistakes in the judgment of our own selves and our own affairs. Naturally we are biased in our own favor, and most naturally we believe that we understand our own selves so well that we can see many reasons for condoning, excusing and overlooking essential points.
Therefore when the average member prepares to meet some serious situation in his life, he believes that because he has proved his ability to apply certain laws, they should be used by him in all cases and for any purpose. The failure to have the desired results brings bitter disappointment in regard to the value of the instruction he has received, and at the same time leaves his problem in a more serious condition; for instead of taking the right means to meet his problem he has depended upon methods which should not be used, and now finds it is almost too late to do anything.
Perhaps the one great error made by members in regard to the application of mystical laws is in the effort to use them to force certain conclusions of their own into the minds of one or more other persons. For instance; a common desire is to make someone agree to or concede some point that is contrary to his belief. Here we have a serious problem indeed. It may be that one is seeking a certain privilege, a grant, a concession. It must come from some person in power or legal authority to give it. That person, for certain definite reasons, refuses to comply. Now, should the mystic use some occult powers to make that person do as desired, even against his desires to do so? That is the question often put to us.
Let us analyze such a problem. Let us say that one of our Brothers, (A), is seeking a loan on fair security from the bank, and the bank president, (B), after due consideration declines to do so. Not expecting such a result our Brother A. makes further pleas to the bank president, and he promises to look into the matter a little more, and again refuses. Now, Brother A. wonders if he can use any mystical principle to make B. comply, even against his decision. Brother A. says: "I have seen pieces of paper moved by my mind power; I have seen the flame of a candle bend its form one way or another as I concentrated upon it; I have read in many books (not AMORC books) that one who is highly developed and master of certain laws can force all issues, demand any result, and cause any desired result to manifest. Why cannot I simply apply any or all occult laws to have that loan come to me from the bank regardless of the president's decision?"
Naturally we tell Brother A. that it cannot be done--and furthermore, as a good Rosicrucian, he should not try to do it. He is surprised and probably disappointed in the value of all he has been studying. But, let us now calmly examine the matter. A piece of paper floating on water has no mind of its own and is indifferent as to whether it floats in one direction or another. By concentrating your mind upon it, you give it mental direction and cause it to move in accordance with your will. That is perfectly proper, perfectly ethical. It is also one of the most marvelous demonstrations of the influence of mind over matter. A candle flame is not endowed with any will power or mind of its own. The flame burns upward in a straight manner because of the vibratory conditions around it. You can use your mind to change those conditions and make the flame bend in some angle. That, too, is perfectly proper and ethical.
Mankind, has however, been endowed with mind and will. These are God's greatest gifts to living, conscious, beings. Furthermore, God intended man to use his mind, to exercise and express his will and determination and become masters over the inanimate things of the earth and over his own evil desires as well.
All of our teachings are intended to help men and women to make their minds stronger in their ability to hold fast to convictions and conclusions, and to so educate men and women that they will be able to properly judge, reason, decide and come to fair and honest conclusions. If occult or mystical training and development would give to one person the power to override the decisions and will of another, or to inhibit the reason faculties of another person, it would be the most unfair, unjust and unGodly principle to be found in the whole universe. Fortunately, and praise be to all the Divine Laws, it is not so. Man's mind is just as safe in its sovereign domain against the domination of other minds as is God in His domain against the dominations of evil.
I have said that it is not possible for one mind to arbitrarily control another against its will, and therefore it is useless for the student of mysticism to think of trying it. I must say, however, that from the Rosicrucian point of view, it is also a serious matter to try to do so. It is a violation of the ethics of Rosicrucian mysticism for any Rosicrucian to attempt to force his mind upon another or to attempt to refute the honest decision that another mind has reached by any process that is occult.
Who established such ethical laws? The Cosmic! Perhaps you have never realized that there are ethical laws in the mystical world and that it is more dangerous to attempt to violate those laws than it is to attempt to violate any of the man-made laws of this earth.
The Cosmic laws say that a man's personal, private affairs are to remain private and personal so long as he chooses to have them so. Any attempt on the part of another person to use mystical or occult methods to pry into those affairs, is a violation of the ethics of mysticism. The Cosmic laws also say that whatever a group or body of men or women have agreed upon as sacred, private and limited to certain times and conditions, shall remain so, and any attempt on the part of one or more persons to use occult or mystical laws to thwart that decision, is also a violation of the ethical laws of mysticism. The Cosmic laws also say that a man's ability and divine gift to reason, analyze, conclude and decide for himself shall remain his privilege and prerogative, and he shall also have the right and will power to carry out his decisions--whether wrong or right--without any occult means being used to inhibit that power. Any attempt to interfere with that power by occult or mystical means, is a violation of the ethical laws.
All violations of the ethical laws are punished automatically by the laws of Karma or Compensation, as are all other violations of natural or divine laws.
I have just said that each person is guaranteed by the Cosmic the power to reach his own decisions--when in sane and sound mind and body--and to carry out such decisions, whether right or wrong. God has given man a mind that can reason, and his memory was given to him so that he could remember and bring to his aid, all the experiences and lessons he has learned so that he may be able to make proper and logical decisions. MAN IS MOST CERTAINLY FREE TO CHOOSE, and is a free agent in all his acts, but he must compensate if he makes a wrong decision and acts, just as he receives reward for deciding correctly and acting correctly. God might have arranged the scheme of things so that man had the mind of God and the love of God in his heart and being, and could do no wrong or even think no wrong. In that case man would not have been a free agent and he would have no need for a mind that can reason, a consciousness that could choose or a will that could determine what to do. But, as it is, man has ever had the ability to discern between the urge to do evil and the urge to do good; he has always had the mind to analyze, reason, and reach an INDEPENDENT DECISION OF HIS OWN, with the still greater power and ability to CARRY OUT HIS DECISION. God does not attempt to stop man when he reaches a wrong decision and is about to yield and carry out an error. Instead, man is permitted to work out his decision, discover his error, suffer the consequences and learn a lesson that will enable him to make a better decision the next time he is confronted with the same problem.
And, if God does not attempt to use his OMNIPOTENT powers to stay a man in his decisions, or checkmate him in his determination to commit an error, it is most certainly not within the power of another earthly mortal to do it, even in the name of mysticism; and any attempt on the part of man to do it, is an attempt to use a power not even assumed by God. Therein lies the ethical violation. It is an attempt on the part of man to assume that he is greater than God or more privileged than the Father of all.
But, says the student, can no laws or principles be used to help ourselves, in such cases as the one cited? Suppose that the loan from the bank was an absolute necessity, and not wholly a selfish need; and suppose that the security was good and my motives right, and I knew that I could repay the loan in the proper way; can I do nothing to make that bank president see the truth of the matter and agree to the loan? Here we have another matter, altogether. The very wording of the question suggests the answer. It is one thing to convince a man that his reasoning is faulty, his decision unjust or unfair, and have him agree to your proposition, and it is an entirely different thing to attempt to inhibit the man's reasoning, and while he still believes he is doing the wrong thing, submit to some psychological or mystical power and agree to what he believes is wrong. Do you see the point of difference? It is an ethical point, it is a Godly point.
Truly we may use every means to convince another of a sound argument based on truth. In fact it is our duty to use every method available to help another reason properly and reach a correct conclusion. But the conclusion must be reached after free and independent reasoning. The conclusion must be a result of analysis and study.
In the case of the bank president--and this case is simply typical of hundreds of others--he may be laboring under some false impressions which he would freely and quickly cast aside if he knew the truth. But it is his inalienable right to reason freely and exercise every bit of his reasoning powers without external inhibition. He may be prejudiced against the person asking for the loan, and every reasonable method should be used to help him see that his prejudice is unfounded. He may not see or realize the safety of the security offered, and every reasonable method may be used to help him see that point. Mystical methods may also be used to help in these matters, by concentrating on him and sending to him the true facts as you know them, but not attempting to force him to make his decision. That he must be allowed to do of his own accord after you have sent him, mystically or otherwise, the facts that he should consider.
I know only too well that some systems of occult or mystical philosophy try to make the student believe he is justified in using any occult method he thinks he knows, or any psychological trick they try to teach, to make himself a master of other persons' minds. But it is a false system, it is a harmful system, it is a failure in producing results and a harm in the reaction it brings to the student from the Cosmic.
In the Rosicrucian teachings we try to make each and every member understand the proper process of reasoning. We try to show him how he can get facts to use in his reasoning. We attempt to show him wherein he has been misled and mistaught in the past in regard to many things which have an important bearing upon his reasoning. All of this is to enable him to reach better decisions. This will eventually prevent him from reaching erroneous conclusions and acting in error. We also teach him how he may transmit to the mind of another the impressions he wishes to transmit, but we constantly warn him that to attempt to transmit falsehoods, evil, and unjust thoughts, will not only FAIL in its sinister purpose, but bring a Cosmic reaction upon him as a rebuke from the Cosmic Laws.
To the Rosicrucian of sound training, there is no need for moral laws made by man, nor legal rulings by the courts of the land. If he cannot ethically do anything, he cannot do it at all. The Cosmic code of ethics will cover every act of man, and all of the man-made laws are simply attempt on the part of man to interpret the Cosmic laws. The interpretations are generally very crude, indeed, and do not nearly serve the mystic so well as the ethical laws of the Cosmic.
Take the Ten Commandments as interpreted by Moses. Is there one of them that the true Rosicrucian and the true mystic cannot find in its pristine form in the ethical laws of the Cosmic? To the Rosicrucian there is no need for the words "Thou shalt not kill!" as a moral commandment, for ethically he could not dare to kill. The same is true of all the commandments.
To the mystic the ethics of mysticism and of life generally, constitute all the principles of every religion, of every code of law that man has made. He knows that he dares to do many things if he is willing to pay the price of the Cosmic Laws of Karma. But, what a price! Man, too, has arranged a set of punishments for violations of his interpretations of the Cosmic laws, but man smiles at these very often. Many men have been willing to pay the price that man demands, but would never agree to pay the price that the Cosmic inevitably and relentlessly exacts.
Men who are ignorant of the Cosmic laws and the price exacted or the reward bestowed for our actions, are willing to take a chance with man-made laws, and often succeed in evading punishment at the hands of man. But the mystic knows better than to attempt any violation for he knows also that he can never evade a just compensation--never in his whole life, eternally and forever.

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