Rosicrucian Writings Online


[H. Spencer Lewis]

[From The Rosicrucian Digest May 1937]
I LIKE to imagine Rosicrucians as being a God-like race of men and women--beautiful to look upon, of vibrant health, keen of intellect, poised, balanced, of wide sympathies, living examples of a great and noble philosophy. Are we not cognizant of the tradition that the Rosicrucians possess the secret of youth and vitality? Have we not read about the extraordinary vigor of the adepts? I remember how fascinated I was by Aselzion, the Master, when I first chanced upon Marie Corelli's Life Everlasting. Although he was an old man, he gave the impression of being in the prime of life. The heroine in Romance of Two Worlds, although thirty-seven years old, looked no more than seventeen.
When I attend a chapter meeting, or a gathering on a special occasion, I am invariably disappointed at seeing so many pale cheeks, forms that are too thin or too stout, eyes that lack sparkle, faces that lack animation, personalities that lack power. Of course, we welcome every aspiring soul to join our family circle. While beauty is not one of our requirements for admission, we do hope that beauty of soul and personality will be one of the results of our system of instruction. We come to this earth with hereditary handicaps in form, color, and complexion which may not be subject to entire eradication. Accidents, sickness, or other misfortunes may leave their indelible marks upon our features and forms; but notwithstanding these drawbacks, we can learn to acquire personalities that illumine our surroundings and overshadow our handicaps.
After only a short period of study I realized that the elixir portrayed in Marie Corelli's novels was only for those who had been students for years and had mastered a difficult technique. However, we do not have to wait until we become masters to achieve health and improve the attractiveness of our personalities. It is true that when we receive a telegram we do not refuse to receive it and read its contents because the boy who brought it to us was of a very slouchy and untidy appearance or that he had some physical defect that was objectionable to our esthetic taste and temperament. The subject is a very popular one today. The market is flooded with books and magazines that give excellent and reliable information on health and beauty. I think that the influence of the screen in making the population of our country beauty conscious has been a salutary one. Why should we consider ourselves too intellectual or too spiritual to be interested in our appearance and in the impression that it makes upon others? Why should we not consider health and beauty desirable objectives? If you are interested in being of service, your lack of strength and vitality will prove a serious detriment. Your progress through the grades will be surer if your health is reliable. If you have been a member for several years, people will judge the Order by what you are and what you look like. While the world may put too much emphasis on externals, you can rise superior to the world by combining inner worth with perfect grooming within your limitations.
Many members are under the impression that the breathing exercises and the contacts with the Cathedral of the Soul are sufficient for maintaining health. They do assist beautifully, but the physical requirements of the body cannot be ignored. How many exercise daily to keep the muscles pliable and the figure supple? How many know one sport well, such as tennis, golf, swimming, etc.? It took educators years to make the schools of our country recognize the importance of physical training and athletics, and it took even longer to educate our citizens to the necessity of being active in sports and not merely spectators. Now, when as a nation we recognize the value of fresh air, sunshine, physical training, and sports, when every community has the finest equipment, when excellent instruction is to be obtained practically free of charge at almost every beach, when the best books written in a simple and popular style are available on the subject, we find our members spending spare evenings indoors smoking and lounging. When they get sick they run to the Master of the chapter and ask for help.
"Brother," they say, "I am in a negative condition and do not know why. Won't you take a cigarette? No? Well, I am more comfortable smoking. Everybody has to have one little vice and this is mine." The member puffs away for a moment and then begins coughing. "Well, as I was saying, I am negative and I do not know why. It must be the nervous strain at the office. I am usually quite positive, you know." The Master of the chapter, being very polite, says nothing but proceeds to give a treatment. The effect of such treatment must prove temporary only. The Cosmic is not going to hand out as a gift something that is within the reach of everyone through intelligent effort.
If you expect to accomplish anything in life, excess vitality is a necessity. If you want to study at night, if you want to do extra work after office hours, if you want to lead a full and rich life, if you want to cultivate an art such as dancing, painting, or music, only excess vitality will help you carry out your plans. You can build up your health if you consider the task a problem to be tackled seriously and rationally. When your health is normal you can build up that extra vitality that will help you double your accomplishment in life.
Nature is part of God and the help that nature gives is Divine, is as Divine as purely spiritual methods. While it is important to hold the thought of health, while it is necessary to breathe properly, while it is refreshing to contact the Cathedral of the Soul, while it is essential to radiate lives of harmony and love and service, the beauty that is a social asset comes from very careful grooming; and the health that puts buoyancy into your step, light into your eyes, and color into your cheeks comes from the proper nourishing food, sunshine, fresh air, and plenty of exercise.
Webmaster's Note of Caution:
Exercising when you are sick or pushing yourself too hard can lead to severe complications, injuries, or death. In fact, anyone who is not in tip-top shape should exercise with caution. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle and are uncertain of your physical condition, please seek medical advice before doing exercises.

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