Rosicrucian Writings Online

[H. Spencer Lewis]

[From The Rosicrucian Digest August 1937]
SELDOM do we take time in our periods of meditation and concentration to reflect upon the processes whereby we weave our destinies and determine our future lives and future activities. Too often we take it for granted that we have a definite work to do here in this life, and that we should concern ourselves with what lies immediately before us, and give no concern regarding the future--the great future beyond the present horizon. Too many of us feel that if we make good preparation for tomorrow and for the years that lie ahead of us just this side of the spiritual horizon, we will be doing our duty by God and man and laying a sufficient foundation for whatever existence there may be for us after transition. Very often we take the attitude that "the distant future will take care of itself if we are diligent and mindful of the immediate future."
But the truth of the fact is that while we are plotting and planning for tomorrow, and tomorrow's tomorrow, and seeing our path only so far as it reaches the borderline of transition, we are actually laying a foundation for a future existence. Whether we are believers in reincarnation or not, we are all of us believers in the immortality of the soul, the survival of personality, and the integrity and stability of character. On the other hand, we know that that character, that personality, are built out of the elements of the experiences of each day, and that we are tomorrow the result of what we experienced and thought and created this day. Whether that future existence is purely and wholly spiritual in an invisible and intangible kingdom called heaven, or whether it is an impersonal existence wherein we are absorbed into the Consciousness of God and become a part of God, with no knowledge of ourselves as entities, or whether we will dwell in this indefinite spiritual kingdom for a time, and again incarnate in a fleshly body to carry on again an earthly activity, the fact remains that whatever of us is to survive this life after transition will be a reflection of the sum total of our experiences, our ideas, our ideals, standards and convictions, while in the present earthly body.
For this reason we should be more mindful of our acts and our thinking and the molding of our characters hour by hour and day by day. We may feel that what we determine upon today that will be of benefit to us tomorrow, or next month, or next year, is all that is necessary for our future happiness and enjoyment of all of life's blessings, but we should keep in mind that the things we do today and tomorrow, and the things we plot and plan for next month or next year, may have a direct bearing and may arouse or create a reflex action of some kind in our lives and in our characters in a future existence, where the things we do today may become of greater importance than they will in the remainder of this life here on earth. Many things that we plan to do next month or next year, even with idealism, may be sufficient unto conditions that exist around us and in us in this earthly life; but if looked upon and analyzed in the light of the fact that those things have a bearing upon some very distant existence, we may modify our actions and we may remold our opinions and convictions and lay a better foundation for the immediate future as well as for the greater future.
Some years ago a famous book was based upon an incident which was supposed to have happened on a bridge at San Luis Rey. The theme of the story was this: What had occurred in the past lives of a number of persons that brought them in this life from distant points in various countries to one little bridge in one little village, where they all experienced transition through an accident, and yet without foreknowledge, forewarning, or any personal relationship to one another that would have brought them together to have such a mutual experience? The book was especially appealing to students of mysticism and occultism because it made one stop and ponder as to whether or not some great Master of the Game of Life did not after all move us around on this earthly checkerboard from place to place, and bring us into relationships that are unusual and into situations and conditions that are unique.
I have recently discovered a very similar illustration of this idea in studying the life of that famous French soldier, the Marshall of France, Michael Ney. He was Napoleon's great military leader, and known throughout Europe as "the bravest of the brave." He was born in the same year as Napoleon, and both of them as youngsters went to special schools for military training. Sometime during their youth they met, and a friendship grew between them which ended only with their transitions. As I pondered over the strange workings of Cosmic Law that brought these two highly specialized military minds together from different parts of Europe, I began to search the records of Napoleon's life and of the life of Marshal Ney, and I discovered that the twelve great leaders who were most active in the Napoleonic campaigns and who had tremendous influence on the destiny and national life of many countries of Europe were all born in the same year. The twelve included Napoleon and Marshal Ney. They were born in different parts of Europe and were unacquainted until some Cosmic Law brought them into contact with each other after having prepared each of them, not only for a military life, but for political activity, and having endowed them with special faculties and special qualities which would enable them to remold the political conditions of Europe.
In studying the lives and activities of these twelve men, I discovered that their destinies and their fates were much alike, and that each and every one of them passed through transition under peculiar circumstances and with historical notation, and with more or less fame and glory. Their lives ran along so parallel, their methods of thinking were so similar, their friendships were so strong and sincere, that they constituted an empire of human minds probably unequalled at any other time in the history of civilization. Even to the extent of being exiled or imprisoned or separated from their homes and friends at the time of transition, the parallels in their lives were striking. We may take, for example, the fact that while Napoleon was exiled on an island, his most intimate friend and one of the group of twelve, Marshal Ney, was self-exiled in America after having escaped from an "official execution" in Paris that never took place. On the other hand, a Murat, brother-in-law of Napoleon and one of the twelve, was exiled in a place where, like most of the others, he met transition through a murderous attack.
However we may look upon the life of Napoleon, and especially upon his ambitions and military ideas and political schemes, we have to admit that he had a tremendous influence upon the remolding of political, social and economic and other conditions throughout Europe; that he made as many friends as he made enemies, both politically and socially; that he reawakened the spirit of patriotism in the hearts of the people of France, particularly when such patriotism was at its lowest ebb and a glorious nation was face to face with threatened annihilation. He inspired many ideals, inflamed many magnificent passions in the hearts of men and women. We may view many of his acts as being ignoble in motive or purpose, but we cannot deny that many other of his acts and intentions were as noble as any man ever conceived. He had as many strong points of character as weak ones, and he had surrounded himself with eleven similar minds and similar characters. Even today there are many cities and towns and many thousands of persons in Europe who pay high tribute to him and to his companions. Switzerland, for instance, will never forget that it was Marshal Ney, cooperating with the idealistic plans of Napoleon, who saved the country of Switzerland from dissolution through its continued quarrels and wars among its cantons. The patriots of Switzerland will always feel that the bejeweled snuff box which they officially presented to Ney, the monument they built to him, are only small tokens of the still greater monuments they have erected in their hearts to his memory and his achievements. Even the Duke of Wellington of England, the political and military opponent of Napoleon and of Marshal Ney, paid the highest tribute possible to Ney and assisted in planning for his escape from the unreasonable execution that had been ordered and decreed by the revengeful mind of Louis XVIII. And all of England concurred in Wellington's opinion. In fact, Napoleon and his group made friends of their enemies and won the admiration of their opponents. So far as love and esteem are concerned, Napoleon's great defeat was truly a victory.
But in thinking of these things we must remember that somewhere, sometime in the past, and undoubtedly in a previous existence, these twelve men had labored together or labored individually in behalf of some great plan, some great scheme, which laid the foundation for their coming together again in such a strange and fortunate manner. It would be interesting indeed to know what each of them had achieved in a previous incarnation, or in a previous existence, what foundation each one of them had laid for the future, and what high ideals or what very definite convictions and beliefs they carried with them across the borderline at the time of their previous transitions.
No doubt many of us today who are associated directly or indirectly in our campaign for the awakening and developing of the inner self in the mass of mankind are laying foundations for the future and creating our courses of destiny, our paths of achievement, our careers of experience. No doubt many of us will be rejoined and reunited in perhaps closer companionship and in more intense activity, and historians of the time may wonder at the strange trick of fate that brought together so many persons of diversified nationality or tongue or social position in life.
Just as surely as we enjoy tomorrow and next week and next month and next year the fruits of our actions, the accumulative effect of our thinking, our studies and our experiences of today and tomorrow, so we shall be face to face with a standard of character and a path of activity in the distant future, resulting from these same efforts of today. We are all builders of our destinies, creators of our fate. But the stones in such a building and the elements of such creation are laid unconsciously and consciously in the things that we do and think, believe and take unto ourselves as parts of our character and our personality in each conscious and unconscious moment of the present time.
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Approach nature with expectancy, hoping to learn and not presuming to know.

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