Rosicrucian Writings Online

Wisdom of the Sages
By H. Spencer Lewis, Imperator of AMORC.
[From The Mystic Triangle June 1925]
SHALL we say that unto some men by selection has come all the Light, all the Wisdom, of the ages and that a few men are possessors of knowledge not common to all nor even comprehensible by all?
Not without modification can such a statement be made.
By whom selected? would be the logical question,--and why?
Comprehensible knowledge! Comprehension presupposes a basis of understanding and then a complete conscious realization. But, the basis of understanding is dependent upon relativity, and this upon the presentment of facts.
And, here is the key-note, the solution, possibly, of the problem,--the presentment of facts.
Our education from the first conscious moment of existence to the last comprehension of existing things, is based upon varied and varying methods of presenting facts, plus beliefs, theories, hopes, and aspirations.
We are told, academically, that knowledge is "the state of being or having become aware of fact or truth; intellectual recognition of or acquaintance with fact or truth; the condition of knowing."
The emphasis and reiteration is upon fact and truth. It is the possession of these--essentially one--that constitutes knowledge.
Education, we are told, is: "the imparting or acquisition of knowledge."
Summarizing, we find that our education should consist of the presentment of knowledge, that we may acquire knowledge consisting of fact and truth.
As the first ray of Light from his torch let the Mystic state what he holds in this regard.
"Knowledge," says the Mystic, "is the sum of facts and truths, and nothing but these, gleaned from experience, education or comprehension, without prejudice as to the channel through which the influx of knowledge may come, the source of the education, its nature, or the objectivity of the comprehension."
Bacon, the eminent Rosicrucian, said: "For knowledges are as pyramids, whereof history is the basis: so of Natural Philosophy the basis is Natural History; the stage next the basis is Physic; the stage next the vertical point is Metaphysic."
Sir W. Hamilton expressed the same idea in these words: "The knowledge of a cause of a phenomenon is different from the knowledge of that phenomenon simply as a fact; and these two cognitions or knowledges have, accordingly, received different names. The latter is called historical or empirical knowledge; the former is called philosophical, or scientific, or rational knowledge."
To the Mystic all phenomena deserve unbiased and careful observation, while the cause of each phenomenon commands and demands the most rigid investigation and study that it may be properly classified and related to other causes or the great primary and fundamental cause.
The days are gone when the Mystic is considered to be "one who holds to the possibility of direct conscious and unmistakable intercourse with God by a species of ecstasy," unless such ecstasy includes every sane, conservative and rational method or process of analysis, investigation, study and reasoning.
That the Mystic does have what he, in all sacredness and reverence, calls direct and unmistakable intercourse with God, is true. It is only when such intercourse is interpreted in the light of material or objective possibilities that the Mystic's claims seem to be unscientific or irrational.
If the existence of God is assumed,--and the Mystic substitutes his positive knowledge for the common assumption--then the Mystic sees and feels no strangeness in his communion with God through the medium of all phenomena. To him intercourse with God is not only possible but a constant reality through the observation and study of the most minute form of cell life.
But, to the Mystic comprehension is fundamental; he comprehends where others do not. He understands where others cannot. If the basis of understanding is relativity, the Mystic is most perfect in his understanding, for he is a Mystic only because, in the nature of things, he has discovered or become conscious of the true relation of all things, all laws, all principles and all phenomena.
Much is said by the Mystics of Light,--using the word as a term peculiar to their beliefs and understanding. To the casual mind the word seems synonymous with knowledge, or indicates a distinct form of education. But to the Mystic, true LIGHT means a conscious comprehension dawning upon the objective realization because of its firm establishment and conviction within the mind and soul. The dawning of this Light, the slow realization of any comprehension acceptable to the Mystic, is much like the dawn of day when the Great Light rises in the East and reveals to the eyes in darkness the wonders of nature and the beauties of the world surrounding us. For this reason, perhaps--and only perhaps--does the Mystic associate the Sun of the Heavens in his symbolism with the Divine Wisdom, the Greater Light of understanding, and the Mind of God.
Essentially, then, the Mystic is one whose comprehension is based upon a divine understanding of things fundamentally; and all that he perceives, observes, analyzes and studies must reveal facts, and these facts being absolute and true, conform with his understanding and comprehension, and associate themselves with the fundamentals well established in his consciousness.
Theories and mere abstractions can find no place in the knowledge of the Mystic. From the day the Great Light first dawns for him until the last hour of conscious comprehension, each offered principle or law must be demonstrable, and each must fit nicely in to the perfect scheme of things, as revealed to him through his unique comprehension and knowledge.
Can we not say, then, that unto a few men comes that wisdom which is not common to all? and is not the law of selection as consistent, as logical and as just as all other laws of nature?
The very first command in the decalogue of the Law of Selection is:
Doubt is, and always has been, the poisoned spear of the Evil One, with which he prods us on in our inquiries and searches, but tortures us so greatly that naught is finally desired but relief from the poison of the specific anxiety. Doubt leads us through a long, dark passageway toward that door where we anticipate finding light, and rejoices in the fact that it keeps us in darkness and prevents us from perceiving the many, many doorways which we pass unnoticed and unknown.
The second command of this decalogue is:
Credulity is defined as "a weak or ignorant disregard of the nature or strength of the evidence upon which a belief is founded: in general, a disposition, arising from weakness or ignorance, to believe too readily, especially impossible or absurd things."
Wherein do doubt and credulity essentially differ? In doubting, do we not disregard offered evidence? do we not show a disposition to believe? do we not substitute one belief--often our own precious credulity--for that which someone else possesses?
The Mystic neither doubts, nor is he credulous. He demands proof and seeks it. He believes nothing, but either knows or does not know.
The third command of the decalogue is:
How simple--because logical and therefore easy--this seems. But we venture to say that the average business man does not open his morning paper with the desire to learn certain facts, nor open his morning mail with the purpose of learning other facts, without a certain determination to find therein that which he must find to verify his predetermined ideas, or strengthen his doubts and credulity.
An open mind? The shifting of membership in the average denominational church is accounted for, by those who know, as a direct result of the determination of the seeker for Biblical truth or Holy Light to have only such revelations made to him as coincide with his predetermined ideas or meet the changing beliefs of his vacillating mind.
An open mind? The average patient visiting his physician expects and secretly demands that the learned doctor, to maintain his reputation as wise and experienced, must finally conclude his examination and consideration of the symptoms with a diagnosis which completely verifies and substantiates the patient's own beliefs as to the nature of the trouble and its cause and remedy.
An open mind? The average seeker for Light--unusual knowledge--demands of the one who offers the key to the chamber of learning an outline of what may be expected therein. Truth must first establish her ability to resemble the character of things within the seeker's mind, or, forsooth, the inquirer will not enter the chamber and learn!
The fourth command of the decalogue is:
To the humble all things are possible. This is not an abstraction nor a truism with the Mystic; for he knows it to be so. The history of man's progress and the history of nations are fraught with the events that have brought chaos and disaster because man has believed that might makes right, greatness gives dominion, and aggrandizement conquers. The field of evolution is covered with the skeletons of vain-glorious attempts to master nature and revolutionize staid simpleness by egotistical world-power.
Humbleness is not meekness in the sense that meekness precludes the existence of character, moral strength and personal magnetism; it rather directs these into the most efficient channels and tends to give more free expression to the personality within while the outer cloak is silently dropped.
One must learn that the soul is but a part of the infinite, temporarily resident within a mortal body; and that comprehension and attunement with perfect, harmonious understanding is dependent upon the realization of the soul's humility and divine association, free from worldly titles and honors or material powers of any kind.
Sincerity seems an obvious qualification; yet, like an open mind, it seldom exists to that degree which is necessary to fulfill the dictum of this command. Lord Lytton, another eminent Rosicrucian, said: "Enthusiasm is the genius of sincerity," and unless one's sincerity manifests itself in the nature of enthusiasm, with an attending degree of willingness to make sacrifices in behalf of the quest--the search for anything like the Light which revealeth itself only to the humble and sincere, is without fruition.
The fifth command of the decalogue is:
In the sense that that which is sanctified is Holy, we can agree with the Mystic's statement: "I sanctify that which is purified and purged and made free from moral, physical and spiritual error and sin; and that which is elevated in character, pure, inviolable and proves to be an efficient means for soul-happiness and spiritual blessing, is truly sanctified."
In this regard Dr. Andrew Pattison, Professor of Logic and Metaphysics in the University of Edinburgh, says that the philosophy of the Mystics "appears in connection with the endeavor of the human mind to grasp the divine essence or ultimate reality of things. . . . The thought that is most intensely present with the Mystic is that of a supreme, all-pervading, and indwelling power, in whom all things are one."
The truth is that the Mystic, newly initiated or profoundly learned, is ever conscious of the fact (not theory) that in God and through God are all things. In the working of every law and the evolution of every principle throughout all natural (not supernatural) phenomena, the Mystic sees the mind of God and recognizes divinity. To the Mystic all is sacred and holy by its very nature and because it exists at all.
To approach the threshold of mystic knowledge with reverence is like unto approaching the presence of God with holiness of heart and mind.
The sixth command of the decalogue is:
It is so easy to believe that knowledge should be the common property of all men by right. It is true that God hath given us eyes with which to see, ears with which to hear and a brain with which to understand and remember. But these gifts are privileges, and all that is retained in the brain or consciousness as a result of the functioning of the eyes and ears and other faculties is a privilege and cannot be claimed as a right. So, says the Mystic.
The acceptance of a gift carries with it no greater obligation of appreciation and reciprocity than the use of a privilege obligates us to realize the unselfishness of our benefactor. Therefore, with logic and rational reasoning. the Mystic finds agreement with the next command of the decalogue:
The wine which fills the body with the spirit of life, and the bread which strengthens the tissues of mortal being: of these the Mystic partakes with an unselfish heart.
Unselfish? to seek knowledge that one might become greatly learned and boast of the power thus attained or acquired, or to use such unusual knowledge as a means solely for self-advancement in any channel, or to withhold from others whatever service or assistance might be properly rendered through the advantages such knowledge gives one,--all this in its entirety or in part constitutes that selfishness which must be purged from the heart and mind before the illumination from the divine may manifest itself in comprehension of the greater truths and laws.
The eighth command of the decalogue is:
It may seem purely philosophical to say that all Love is of God. If we qualify the term Love and interpret it as being the principle of sympathetic or pleasurable attraction in sentient and thinking beings which is good, pure, free from sin and lust, and inspiring to nobleness and kindness,--then we may safely agree with the Mystic that Love is of God and is God in manifestation to us on earth.
With this Love from God--the Love that God hath given to and inspired in us--should we love our fellow beings.
The Mystic realizes, along with many other realizations of a similar nature, how impossible it is practically and in the circumstances of human weakness and frailties, to love his neighbor as himself. But it is possible, as the life and every act and thought of the true Mystic proves, to love his fellow man with that inspiration to be kind and tolerant, fair and considerate, tender and helpful, which each man expects God to manifest toward him, because of the Love that abides in God.
This is the essence, the seed, of the bond which makes for the great universal brotherhood existing between all true Mystics. To them there is no other need or necessity for the establishment of an universal brotherhood than the Love of God which is, potentially, in the heart of all humans. As the dawning of mystic consciousness comes to the neophyte mystic, there comes a realization, never to be altered or removed, that all mankind constitutes a human brotherhood divinely united by an infinite bond.
The ninth command of the decalogue is:
Born to fulfill a mission in life! This is what is often said of those who accomplish some great purpose or inaugurate some unique and praiseworthy undertaking of an altruistic, religious or humanitarian nature. But why should the use of the word or term be limited to such accomplishments? It is not necessary to believe that each soul born into a physical body on earth is so placed because of a predetermined mission it must fulfill, to believe that each of us must perform that mission in life which fate, destiny, coincidence, chance, luck, goodness, planetary influence or any other motive or accident affords an opportunity or impulse for performing.
As indicated by the preceding explanations we come into this life ignorant and without power or abilities, except those which God hath given us. With these gifts we acquire, through privileges, other abilities and knowledge; and the privileges and gifts obligate us to use them for the purpose that God has in mind when they are given to us,--and this becomes our mission in life: to do that which will help and benefit others and bring the Light of knowledge and the peace of understanding to those who have them not.
And, we are to prepare ourselves for this mission. We are to learn to see well; for the more perfect we make our sight and the more correct we interpret what we see, the better will be our comprehension of our perceptions. We are to improve our hearing, train it and educate it, so that we may more perfectly and understandingly interpret the multiplex sound vibrations registered upon that organ. We are to increase our store-house of memory so that we may avail ourselves of the faculty and function of recalling that which will serve us or others when most desired. We are to make ourselves acquainted with the laws of nature that we may avail ourselves of the potent possibilities which are ever about us and always await our application. We are to prepare ourselves so that when the opportunity or command comes for the fulfillment of the mission, we will be ready and efficient in knowledge and experience to do that thing which our preparation inspires us to do as our mission, individually.
The tenth and last command of the decalogue is:
And, this last command reveals the purpose of this article. It is to offer you an opportunity to enter into ways and means of abiding by the commands of the decalogue and, with that preparation which can come only to the few, fulfill your mission in life; and with consecration to principle and ideals, co-operation with others similarly inspired, assist in an organized way to spread the great Light in the darkened valleys of our country.
Consider this, then, an invitation to inquire further and to obey the third and fourth commandments herein. And, having digested well this message, you shall, in accordance with the seventh commandment, pass it on and on to those who should feast with you and share with you the opportunity which has so freely come to you. In this wise this message will come to many and not remain in the heart of but one. You shall consider yourself chosen to select from your acquaintances those who might be interested, and in turn they shall pass it on to others. In silence and without name or personality it will reach some who are hoping and seeking; thereby the mission of a simple printed paper is fulfilled.

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