Rosicrucian Writings Online

Starting Our Lives Over

By Dr. Charles Fayett, K. R. C.
[From The Rosicrucian Digest March 1931]
ONE of the great dreams of the early alchemists and mystics was the discovery of the Elixir of Life, the Fountain of Youth and the principle of regeneration. These things, not as separate marvels but as associated manifestations of Cosmic power were sought for diligently not only in the fields of chemistry, biology, ontology but in the spiritual or Cosmic world. If we read hundreds of books that were published in the Middle Ages by these mystics we might become impressed with the idea that all that the ancient mystics and especially the Rosicrucians sought for was the secret of transmuting base metals into gold and the secret of transmuting their present lives into a new life with newer power, faculties, and abilities.
Today the search is the same but the thoughts associated with the search are expressed differently. The average man and woman seeking the aid of the Rosicrucian Order today is anxious to start life over and to begin anew in the struggle with the everyday obstacles to reach the desired heights and the ultimate goal of our ambitions. We have given new names to our desires and new terms to the processes used but our dreams are identical. We come to a point in our lives when we realize that we have either been a complete failure or that we are far from being successful and must either re-trace our steps on the path we are treading and start out on a new path or suddenly change our way of making progress and make each step more productive.
In dealing with this matter for over twenty-five years I have found that the average seeker for help and guidance in reaching a higher goal in life has come to the conclusion that nothing short of a new start or a new beginning will suffice. Even though this conclusion is more or less definite in the mind of these seekers for a new path, the method whereby such a change may come into their lives is a very vague conception indeed. In fact, the average seeker gives little thought to what must be actually done in order to make this new start in life but holds before him the one conviction that a new start must be made.
It is perfectly true that the Rosicrucians have held forth for many centuries that through their teachings and through their practices and experiences, through their guidance, the sincere seeker can find regeneration and a new start in life. This positive claim on the part of the Rosicrucians and the very evident fulfillment of that claim in the lives of so many thousands of persons in past history who have voluntarily paid tribute to the Rosicrucian work, has brought thousands of persons to the threshold of the organization seeking this mysterious regeneration in all sincerity, and it is to these persons now approaching the threshold of the Order with their petitions for help and to those thousands of other persons who are just across the threshold and dwelling in the first chamber of the organization that I wish to speak and help with a few analytical thoughts.
It is unquestionably true that when anyone of us discovers that we have made either a failure of our past lives or that we are on the wrong path leading to nowhere and accomplishing nothing that a few minutes' reflection will convince us that if our past has been wrong and unsuccessful it is due to the way we have been thinking and our lack of understanding of the necessary principles, plus a lack of ability to use certain powers and faculties which other persons use freely and efficiently. We may try to analyze our station and attempt to console ourselves with the thought that our past failure or past medium degree of success was due to the fact that we were not born of wealthy persons, or not born in fortunate surroundings, or in fortunate contact with persons who could help us, and we may try to console ourselves with the further thought that if we had been born under different conditions and cast in a different environment we might have had more success. But such thoughts when honestly examined become weak in their power to console us and less impressive in their importance when we recall that many men and women born in the most unfortunate and humble circumstances of life, in very poor and primitive environments, have risen to great heights without any aid or assistance on the part of any influential person. An honest analysis of the matter gradually convinces us that after all our individual failures are due to our individual and personal understanding and practices.
It is this growing conviction that tempts the sincere ones to believe that if they change their way of thinking, change their comprehension and understanding of the principles of life, and lay aside the wrong practices and adopt new ones, a change can take place in our lives and start them upon a new career leading assuredly to a realization of our desires and ambitions. If our analysis of the cause of our failures and dissatisfactions in the past did not convince us that these things were due to the lack of personal power or personal abilities or personal understanding, we would not seek to bring success and happiness into our lives by making a new start. In other words, if we were convinced that environment and the Fates were responsible for our conditions and our position in life then we would find no hope in any possibility of a new start unless we could change all of our past inheritance and stay the hand of destiny.
I find, however, that the average seeker who comes to the threshold of our organization thoroughly convinced that the Rosicrucians can help him to make a new start and to find regeneration and the beginning of a new career also believes that this new start can be made suddenly and that as though in the twinkling of an eye the recent status can be changed and all obligations, or obstacles, all deterring factors completely wiped away and a new path bordered by flowers and posies and sun-lit with the warmest rays of light can be spread before him in a miraculous manner.
Let us look at this matter sensibly and see just what the Rosicrucian organization does do for these sincere seekers and what we can expect in the way of real changes constituting the start of a new life. In the first place, joining the organization and beginning its studies as a member of the Society does not by and of itself, bring any real change into our hearts and minds except to the degree that we pledge ourselves to voluntarily lay aside those wrong practices and false conceptions which we have discovered to be detrimental. If the sincere seeker just entering the organization will analyze his past and discover the things that have interfered with his progress and will whole-heartedly cleanse his mind of all conceptions of life's principles and start his new career with the organization with an open mind and a clean slate so far as his habits and practices are concerned, he will undoubtedly make the greatest change in his life that can be made suddenly. From that moment on, however, his progress must be gradual and the changes that are to take place must be slow and incidental in manifestation.
Many members seem to think that by joining the organization the highest officers and workers will immediately affect the environment and surrounding conditions of the member and thus give him a new start. Now if it were possible for the highest officers to wield some magic wand and instantly change the conditions and faculties that surround each member and transmute them from undesirable elements into the most fortunate and desirable ones it would be equivalent to taking the member bodily out of his home and out of his social and business sphere and placing him in a new country among strange people and among entirely different habits and customs. Would this necessarily mean a change in the life of the individual and would it mean a change for the better? Is it not true that if a sudden change of this kind was made in the life of an individual that it would take time for that individual to gradually adjust himself to the new conditions? If, for instance, we took a man who was living in humble circumstances, surrounded by illness or sordid conditions and connected with unfortunate business activities and burdened with heavy responsibilities and obligations, and placed him suddenly in a family of cultured and highly educated persons of wealth and social standing with an opportunity of immediately associating himself with a progressive and successful business and coming in contact with helpful and influential friends, would he not find it necessary to gradually change his understanding and comprehension and his ways of living so that he harmonized with the changes that surround him? Could he instantly, or quickly, or even in a few months' time adjust himself to the new circumstances and derive from them the utmost benefit?
We may see this sort of thing done in the moving picture plays or in novels, but I ask each one of you to consider it from the personal view-point, and try to picture the problems that would confront you if such a change was suddenly made in your life. You will admit that the first thing you would have to do would be to study or contemplate and analyze and gradually comprehend the new ways of thinking and acting, the new customs and habits, the new view-point on every issue, the new vision from every angle in order that you might relate yourself properly to every incident of your daily life. Unless you did this you most certainly would derive no benefit from your sudden change, and would probably be more unhappy and less successful than you had been in the past. Therefore, you must realize that even if the organization could magically change your entire surroundings in the twinkling of an eye, or in a few months' time, it would not necessarily mean that you would be changed also and derive any benefit from the change.
Fortunately, the organization does not claim to make any such changes in our lives, and, happily, the process of regeneration begins with us and not with our environment and our surroundings.
The organization realizes that sudden changes either within us or around us are not fortunate or beneficial in any sense, inasmuch as they would naturally resolve themselves into revolutions rather than evolutions of our present conditions. For this reason, the work of the organization is carefully and systematically graded so that the changes take place in a manner least likely to disturb the harmonium of our present status and most likely prepare us to thoroughly understand each simple change before another one is instituted. I have come in contact with many educators, many engineers of economical problems in life and many workers in behalf of human welfare and they have all agreed with me that the system used by the Rosicrucian organization in gradually changing the comprehension and vision of the individual before instructing him how to bring changes about in his environment is the most efficient and the most harmonious way of bringing about permanent results.
Each new lesson or lecture of the work, each demonstration of simple principles, each helpful suggestion sent in the many letters of personal guidance, carries with it the conviction of understanding of a new law or the working of a new faculty within our beings upon which we can always rely and which we plainly see can serve us in many ways. Each change in our understanding and comprehension not only eliminates and casts out forever some former erroneous or false conception that has enslaved or held us back in our progress, but it broadens our vision and gives us a new view-point and, therefore, a new power to use in the mastership of our lives.
Each new experience which we have, as a result of our lessons, or as a result of the help given by the executives of the organization, or by the various department workers, not only demonstrates to us how the principles work, and not only helps us in overcoming some immediate problem or obstacle, but convinces us of the correctness of our new way of living and the dependability of the path upon which we have started. Thus we journey along the new road as though we had just been born again into this world, learning for the first time, the great knowledge of life itself. In fact, this is the only way that we must look upon our new start, once we have sincerely entered upon the path. We must look upon it as though we had been born again and have left behind, as though part of a previous incarnation, all of our previous beliefs, practices, customs, and habits, and now face the world with a blank mind or an open mind, ready to receive new knowledge as a child receives its first lesson. With such an attitude the new member soon finds that while adjustments are taking place within him and consequently around him and in his relationship with his environment, and while these adjustments cause some disturbance and often make for a restless period, lacking in many of the essentials of peace, harmony, and success, it is only a temporary period of adjustment that will soon be overcome and be followed by the enjoyment of the new blessings which result from the adjustments.
We cannot change from one social position to another, from one business activity to another, or from one field of thought to another, without passing through an intermediate stage of restlessness and lack of harmony and peace. But even when a building is in the process of alteration and looks its very worst, those who are most concerned realize that whereas the present status is far worse than the previous objectionable conditions and nothing like what is hoped for and planned for, still there is the definite knowledge that when the changes are completed, the hoped for benefits and blessings will become evident and manifest.
From the very beginning of membership in the organization, the surprising revelations of great truths supplanting the false misunderstandings, we have had clearly pointed out to us that while we must change our view-point and change our practices and habits and while we are sure to be restless for a while in making these changes, we know that the new revelations will constitute the foundation of the blessings we have been looking for, and gradually these principles come into play in our every day affairs and before we realize it we find ourselves mastering situations that used to trouble us and occasionally held us within unpleasant limitations.
We find ourselves possessing new power to create and bring into manifestation, new expressions of life, new results in our activities, and more success in our plans. As the weeks and months pass by, our advancement becomes not only more definite but our victory over past conditions and our ability to attract the things we desire become more manifest to us and to our friends and acquaintances and soon we are enthralled by the attainment we are making and our rapid approach toward our goal.
It is here at this point that the progressive ones begin to change the standard of his goal and the ideal of his life. Just as he begins to realize that he is nearing the realization of that change he dreamed for so many years, he discovers that he has the ability to create a bigger and better and a more glorious goal or ideal for his life and he begins to embellish and ornament the picture he holds as the ultimate realization. This makes his goal a little more distant and lengthens the journey he must take, but all the while he is experiencing the joy and happiness of realizing the things that he had previously set as his standard in life now become to him a continuous journey of new realizations of accomplishments. His health improves, his power increases, his desire to live longer becomes a dominant factor and life itself is now a great book with many chapters constantly being added, while he journeys on and on and enjoys every page of the story, hoping that the end will never come, for in the realization of his ambition and in the enjoyment of his hopes, life is one grand song.
Let us all keep these things in mind and remember that the great changes in our lives must begin first of all within us in a subtle manner, free from outward demonstration or manifestation, until we are ready to re-create our surroundings and adjust ourselves harmoniously with them.

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