Rosicrucian Writings Online
Our Brothers' KeeperBy Royle Thurston
[From The Mystic Triangle December 1926]
A Discussion of a Very General
Problem in the Lives of
IT APPEARS from the comments made in the correspondence of our members that they do not fully grasp the significance of the change that comes into the lives of many of them through affiliation with our Order.
The one thought that gives emphasis to this fact is that a few believe that the filing of an application for membership carries with it immunity to all disaster, all struggle, all test and trial in the future.
Nowhere in our literature is anything said which could be stressed to warrant such a belief. But there are certain assurances, and these I wish to present.
If one approaches a school of chemistry, let us say, and in sincerity applies for admission as an earnest student, the school is justified in saying that if the student follows diligently the course outlined, devotes a certain amount of time to home study and thought, carefully follows the experiments and practices, and maintains a good standard of attentiveness, he will become a chemist. That is the assurance of the school.
The pupil, on the other hand, has a right to believe that in exchange for his hours of study and practice he will be made proficient in the subjects taught, and may, as a graduate chemist, change the course of his living, enter a new profession, and succeed. That is his rightful belief.
Now the AMORC is a school. It is even more than this: it is a college, a University.
It offers its carefully graded and prepared course of instruction to its student-members. It has worked out every modern and approved method of presenting its lessons. Instead of using books or printed leaflets which must, perforce, be made in large quantities to cover a long period, it issues its lessons in personal, typewritten form so that from month to month it may add, or change, or amend its teachings to keep abreast of every new discovery, every announcement from official research sources and from its own continuous experiments.
It operates also as a Brotherhood in that it may meet its students on a level and in the spirit of cooperation. Because all of its members are pledged to work with the organization in the broader humanitarian principles of the movement, the AMORC is no simple system of education which has little or no interest in the student after the instruction is ended. In fact, the goal of the real efforts of AMORC still lies before its officers when the student-members begin to realize that the lessons are nearly at an end.
Furthermore, realizing that human knowledge has no real limit and that all of life is one great school of experience and study, the AMORC does not pretend to set any point at which the student may feel he has completed his studies and may rest upon his oars.
On the other hand, the AMORC does hold out the assurance that if the regular course of graded lessons, constituting a certain number of grades or degrees, is completed, the student will find himself or herself proficient and masterful, provided more than the mere reading of the lessons has been the students' method.
What is this proficiency, however? Is it Mastership of life's problems, or simply immunity from them? There is a great difference between these two endowments.
To be able to assure immunity from life's trials and tribulations, and leave naught for personal experience but success and happiness, would mean that the school would have to eliminate from its system the human equation and be superior to the frailties of all human beings. What sort of school could this be? The Great White Lodge? The College of the Masters of Thibet? Do not such questions produce in your mind the very essence of absurdity?
Were it possible for any men to have such a power of assuring anyone of immunity from tests and trials, the power itself would work to their own destruction.
There are certain laws in this grand universe which are immutable. They were decreed by God, established through the Cosmic Mind and made universal by the Cosmic Consciousness; and all men, including the greatest Masters who have known them, taught them and reduced them to perfect understanding, are subject to them, as is every one else.
The Master Jesus and His experiences illustrate this point, if any illustration is necessary.
But a great school of the Great Brotherhood can be its Brothers' Keeper. It can be the guide and mentor, teacher and companion, to every student-member. It cannot, however, be the guarantor of its Brothers' conduct.
When any school makes a student proficient in any art, it does so through having changed the student's viewpoint along many lines and through having given the student such knowledge as he may apply specifically or generally. It is through the changed viewpoint and the application of the knowledge that the student changes the course of his life and becomes more efficient, successful and happy. It is the modus operandi of his life that becomes the guarantee of his future success.
The same applies to the work of the AMORC. Thousands have testified to the fact that the first five or six grades of the lessons bring a great change in the student's viewpoint of the essentials of life. This of itself is sufficient to enable the student to guide his future course in life more discreetly and in keeping with the natural laws of personal and universal progress. But the student must do the actual work of controlling his course of action. The practical illustrations, the many examples of principles to be used, the definite laws given for immediate application in various circumstances--all these are the tools furnished to the AMORC student as his equipment with which to work. Whether he uses these tools or not, whether he applies them to the problems of life or not, depends upon his own devotion to his knowledge and understanding.
Then there is another point. Each change in life brings with it an accompanying period of adjustment. This is true in the progress of national, state and city affairs as well as in the individual case with each person.
Very often these periods of adjustment manifest as periods of unrest, uneasiness, inhibition of activities, and a seeming check in the progress being made. Especially is this so when a truly revolutionary change is being made. Then, to swing the pendulum from one rhythmic motion to another, it must be arrested in its motion, readjusted in its position, and started again. There can be no change from the low gear of motion to the high without a neutral position for a short period.
Such periods are often discouraging to the new student who mistakingly expects his progress to be one continuous development without interruption or rest. A radical change, approved by the Cosmic, logically resulting from the principles set in motion, may be misunderstood as a detrimental situation. Then the human temptor whispers his words of discouragement, depression seizes the mind, the proper viewpoint is forgotten, doubt inhibits the mind, and the man or woman is lost for the time being.
One illustration will suffice to make the points emphasized in the foregoing remarks. A man who had worked for a glass-blowing concern for twenty-seven years--ever since he entered the firm as a clerk--had reached as high a position with the firm as it was possible for him to reach. He was married, had two children, a definite home budget to maintain and certain ideals in life which were becoming stronger and more tantalizing as he progressed through the first few grades of our Order. He had always been a great reader and student. He desired to have a better home and hoped to be able to give his two children an excellent education. His salary was a fair amount, but not sufficient to carry out his big plans for the future. He knew that an increase in salary was impossible, for he was receiving the maximum in the field in which he labored. He also believed that to seek another position would mean starting at a lower salary and climbing upward again. This he could not afford to do from a financial point of view. So he remained fixed in his position. Finally, he reached a point in our work where the development within just could not contain itself and it manifested in a broadening of his viewpoint of life, a comprehension of the many fundamental principles of the sciences and arts, and in a certain desire to express himself in various ways. But he held fast to his position and stifled the urges from within.
Then, one day, without any warning, the firm told him that his services were no longer desired. It stunned him; he was thrown into a fit of depression. The temptor's voice spoke loudly, and he wrote to us saying, briefly: "After all these years of loyalty to the Order, after living the life, striving to do what was best toward all men, and looking for future success, here I am out of a position without any cause, facing ruin, because I have no other training and there are no openings in my line. Where is the guarantee of success that I expected from the AMORC?"
Was he justified in his attitude? Before you judge him, put yourself in his place. We knew, and understood. He needed careful advice now, or all might be lost. We urged him to go into the silence and permit the Cosmic to speak to him. We implored him to listen to the inspiration that was most surely ready to guide him. He doubted and hesitated for a long time--several weeks. Then in desperation he threw himself into Cosmic attunement with complete resignment. The inspiration came. He realized that his studies for several years with AMORC had prepared him for a better place in life. He saw his real development and his real possibilities. He called upon the editor of a magazine devoted to education. Several interviews proved to the editor that he would be a valuable assistant in a great campaign for higher education. He was engaged at a salary just a little more than double his former salary, and with every opportunity for advancement. In six months he was sent to China--with his wife and children, whose expenses were included--to assist in establishing some American schools in that country. Then he went to India and other foreign lands. For two years he travelled, living with all the comforts possible in foreign lands, giving his wife a greatly needed rest and his children the most unusual opportunities for education and culture, even beyond his fondest dreams.
Today he is a prominent educator along definite lines, deriving an income from several sources.
Hearken to what his wife now says: "He would never have left that glass-blowing concern, for fear of being unable to make a good living in any other line. The beneficent forces of the universe simply had to cast him out of his position when the unrest he felt did not succeed in doing it. My greatest concern was about his attitude during the period of change, for I was glad that he was out of the rut he was in but fearful that he would yield to his doubts and temptations and sever forever the tie that united him with the Cosmic and the AMORC."
Are there changes occurring in your life? Do you feel that the AMORC or the Cosmic is its Brothers' Keeper and should protect you against the passing changes or conditions? Be careful, Brother or Sister! The very thing you have most wished for in life may be right at hand. The gears of your car of life may be in neutral. Make sure that you do not wilfully slip them into low, rather than into high.
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