Rosicrucian Writings Online
God and the CosmicTHE ROSICRUCIAN ASPECT OF THESE MOOTED TERMS
By The Imperator
[H. Spencer Lewis]
[From The Rosicrucian Digest March 1935]
EVERY few years it seems advisable for us to make some more or less public explanation of the Rosicrucian attitude toward certain religious matters and especially our understanding and interpretation of various religious terms. Our members who advance through the degrees and reach the higher ones are never left in doubt as to our attitude in these matters, but many of our younger members or those in the lower degrees and a great many of our readers and friends are deprived of any correct understanding of our attitude by being deprived of the fuller explanations that are gradually revealed through the graded instructions and monographs.
Some years ago the term Cosmic was more or less unknown to the mass of people and was restricted almost exclusively to the terminology of mystics and metaphysicians. To these persons it had a very definite meaning and was confusing to only a few. Today the term Cosmic is more or less popular and is not a surprisingly new word to those who are just entering the paths of mystical instruction. The popularity of the word Cosmic is based upon its varied applications and uses in the various fields of philosophical and scientific thought. We have to thank the eminent scientist, Harlan T. Stetson, research associate in geophysics at Harvard University, for the introduction into popular scientific lore of the term cosmecology, which he defines as a term which would include the studies of the earth in its relationship to the Cosmic scheme in which our planet is placed. But the popular use of the word Cosmic in connection with various rays of energy or power from the heavens and in connection with other astronomical and cosmological laws and principles has tended to confuse the popular mind in regard to the precise meaning which the mystic may attribute to the word Cosmic.
Many of our friends who are diligent readers of this magazine and other of our public writings, books, and pamphlets are often confused, also, by our use of the term Cosmic, inasmuch as it may be applied in many ways without creating a concrete definition in the minds of the readers. Very often the term Cosmic is associated with God or Divine Providence as an equation of the consciousness or mind of God or the will of God. This, of course, becomes confusing to those who are devout in their religions and who have accepted or who have become confirmed in their understanding of the nature and consciousness of God.
In attempting to explain these mooted terms, may we say as a preamble that all Rosicrucians agree upon this one fundamental, which is a basic law or concept for the understanding of any or all of the Rosicrucian teachings: That there is but one everliving God, the Creator of all created things, the Father of all human beings, loving, merciful, and just, omnipotent and omnipresent. The Rosicrucians have no other god but this God which is the God of the Christians, the God of the Jews, and the God of many other religious groups of people. Secondly, all Rosicrucians are agreed that the soul in man and in each and every segment of human life on earth is a part of the consciousness of God and that in this fact lies the manifestation or the essence of the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.
The two foregoing basic principles most certainly preclude the conception on the part of Rosicrucians of a secondary god of any nature, any quality, any kind, or any place, or of any intelligent power, any conscious energy, or any group intellect or providence co-equal with God or having any of the prerogatives attributed to God. For this reason, whatever we may think of the Cosmic or say about it and look to it for inspiration and guidance or revelation, or no matter how we may appeal through it as an intermediary in expressing the prayers on our lips or the thoughts in our hearts, the Cosmic does not for one moment supplant in our minds the omnipotence and the exclusive prerogatives and powers of God.
Recently in these pages one of our departmental officers attempted to explain some of the problems surrounding our understanding of the Cosmic and he made a statement to which some of our members and readers have taken exception because of their hurried reading and misunderstanding of the significant idea that was contained in his somewhat veiled expression. In referring to the tendency on the part of a great many individuals to throw all responsibility of our welfare and our future upon the Cosmic and to expect the Cosmic to guide and direct them as though it were an intelligent power invested with divine authority to intercede in the lives of individuals, Frater Miles in his article in the January issue of The Rosicrucian Digest, attempted to explain the fact that neither God nor the intelligent laws operating in the Cosmic world were concerned in the immediate and detailed affairs of our daily lives. He used the following expression, which was misunderstood by some of our readers: "We must learn through individual and personal contact with this force that God, or the Deity, has no personal interest in us as human beings. That which we call God manifests as a divine, ineffable law and that law is serviceable to our minds only when we comprehend it."
The phrase that seemed to astonish and surprise some of our readers was that which stated that "God has no personal interest in us as human beings." Proof that this statement was misunderstood lies in the fact that most of those who have quoted it in their enthusiastic arguments about the possible error of understanding on the part of Frater Miles, quoted the words as "God has no personal interest in us." It is highly significant that of the twenty-five or thirty letters that have come to my hands from various parts of this country and Europe in regard to this matter, all but two of the writers failed to add to the sentence the qualifying clause ". . . as human beings." It is quite evident that those writers thought that this point was of little significance and yet the entire contention on the part of Frater Miles has its essence and its heart in that qualifying phrase.
I stated above that the soul in man is a segment of the divine consciousness and omnipotence of God. Each living being on earth, as the Rosicrucian teachings state in the fundamentals of their ontology, is a living soul, not a mere human being. The fact that the soul is incarnated in a body of flesh or is resident within a human form has little more bearing upon the fact that man is a living soul than has the outer clothing which he wears over his physical body. Certainly we would not describe God's children here on earth as "dressed bodies." It is inconceivable to the mystic that God is concerned in any way with the human, physical part of our earthly existence. A part of God's soul and consciousness was not breathed into the clay body of man in the beginning of time or now in the present time for the purpose of aggrandizing a lifeless physical form and making it a majestic image. If we accept the idea that God created man in the image of Himself, it can only mean that we are spiritual images of our spiritual Father. Any other interpretation of this idea would be not only incongruous but wholly unsatisfactory to our spiritual natures. The purpose of the soul consciousness of God in its incarnations on earth is to give these segments of divinity certain experiences and the benefits of certain lessons which experiences and lessons it will gain through the trials and tribulations of the physical body, the physical man, the earthly composition of ourselves along with our purely mundane natures and sensations.
Since the divine purpose of the existence of souls on earth is to permit them to carry out and function in the manner decreed by God and to bring His earthly spiritual image into contact with such experiences as will aid in evolving the soul personality of each individual, it must be apparent that the purely physical part of man, or in other words, his body, is of little concern in this great scheme. This must become even more apparent when you stop to consider the fact that the physical body is constantly in the making. It is forever going through a process of change. There is nothing immortal or permanent about man's physical body. Not only is it true that the man or woman of adulthood no longer has the same physical cells and elements of the body possessed when a child, but every few weeks the various cells and parts of the body are renewed. We could not expect God to have any personal or sublime interest in this changing, inconstant part of ourselves known as the physical body. After transition this physical body will break down into the primary elements and lose its form, its nature, its worldly character, and will have no heritage to carry on into the future. The soul within, however, will remain the same and has been the same for aeons of time. It is immortal and unchangeable except that it evolves in personality and individual expression or character. After transition it will still function as a personality, an individuality despite the fact that it has thrown off a temporary robe in which it had little or no interest. We can understand, therefore, that God's interest in us is an interest in the evolving self within and not in the human part or human constitution.
As for the trials and experiences of life and any divine intervention, it must be reasonable for all students of mysticism to understand that God could unquestionably intervene in our human affairs if two principles were true: First, that God had an interest in us as human beings and in our human affairs, experiences, and sensations; and secondly, if the purpose of the soul within us and our spiritual existence here on earth were not for the purpose of benefiting by the experiences, lessons, trials and tribulations of life. If God's intervention and interest in us was constant and in any way related to the human side of our existence, we would all lead ideal lives not only in a spiritual sense but in a mental and physical sense. We would never commit any errors of any kind and, therefore, never suffer any sorrows or pains, spiritually, mentally, or physically. We would never become diseased and we would never strive to overcome temptations in life for there would be no temptations that could successfully tempt us. We would never seek to attain anything higher for there could be nothing higher than such an ideal life under God's intervention and direction and we would find that the divine intervention was defeating the purpose for which the soul was incarnated on earth.
This brings us at once to the question of prayer. It might appear from a casual reading of Frater Miles' argument in his article that he had little or no faith in prayer as it is generally understood, and doubted that God would answer our prayers to the extent of intervening in most of the experiences of life. Those who have read our little book entitled, Mystics at Prayer, will understand the Rosicrucian attitude regarding prayer, but we may briefly state here that the true mystic never prays to God with a petition that He intervene in human affairs in accordance with a conclusion reached by the petitioner. The mystic, in other words, never attempts to analyze human situations and pass judgment upon them and on the basis of that judgment petition God to intervene in a manner that will adjust conditions in accordance with the human conception. The mystic knows that to attempt to do this is to attempt to assume the infinite understanding of our human problems and to put one's human self and human conception and understanding on a par with Divine understanding. The mystic knows that it is necessary to go further than merely say, "If it is Thy will, so and so should be done." Even this is a presumption. What the truly humble and understanding petitioner should express in his prayers is the most rational and reasonable desires of his heart based upon his comprehension of universal law and order and universal justice. The mystic would not ask for that which he might need and yet realize that it is something that if granted to him would deprive someone else of it, nor would he ask for that which he should earn or create or produce himself or obtain by the sweat of the brow, nor would he ask for that which if given to him would constitute a unique or extraordinary expression of divine mercy and love unless he has earned it through some extraordinary gifts to human kind given in the name of God, nor would he ask that certain things be done that are of purely local value and interest to a few and of no concern to the majority or perhaps of opposite value to a majority.
Take, for instance, the conditions that existed during the great World War when many Christian countries were lined up on either side of the battle field as enemies. Throughout all of the Christian countries involved in the war there were constant prayers offered not only in the homes of individuals but in the churches on Sundays and other days by representatives of the religion. These prayers were often long petitions to the God of the universe to make the individual country in which the church was located, victorious in the war. It meant that during the World War there were thousands of ministers in six or eight countries asking that God bring sorrow, grief, pain, and suffering, loss of life, and vanquished positions to thousands on the battle field while in other countries ministers devoted to the same Christian religion or other forms of religion were praying to their God that their people be saved from pain and so-called death but that the soldiers on the opposite side be visited with His wrath and judgment. Can any mystic or any sane and rational person believe that God took any interest in our human affairs at that time to such an extent that He would have listened to these petitions and granted victory to one side and disgrace to the other? And can we believe that if God had any personal interest in us as human beings He would have allowed the World War to have been started or to continue for even a day let alone several years? It is only when we believe and understand that God was interested in the souls of these persons and realized the lessons that they would learn through such conflict, through such resort to primitive instincts, to such violation of divine and man-made laws and to such repudiation of the higher instincts of human brotherhood that He permitted the war to take place or that He permits other wars or other things here on earth to affect our existence.
The mystic cannot believe that God is concerned in our human experiences to such an extent that He is watching what we eat and ready to intervene and interfere with our partaking of wrong food because it may cause us ill health or, having an interest in our human welfare, and therefore, knowing of our wrongful acts, remains wholly indifferent refusing to intervene and deliberately allowing us to suffer while He is conscious of our human situation. It is for these and various reasons that the mystic claims that God is not interested in us as human beings and will not grant us the petitions we utter as human beings and will not intervene in our purely human experiences but is mindful constantly of the spiritual evolution taking place within us and does guide and direct our affairs so that this evolution may be maintained and increased in its value and ultimate contribution to our spiritual unfoldment and progress.
But looking at the statements made by Frater Miles and other writers in this regard, we come to understand better what Jesus meant in many of His statements and what He intended to convey in many of His parables and allegories but which we in modern times have set aside in the false belief that we may substitute our judgment in place of the divine decree and petition God to intervene in purely human, worldly affairs because of God's direct, personal interest in us as human beings instead of spiritual segments of His own sublime consciousness and omnipotence.
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