Rosicrucian Writings Online
When God SpeaksIF THE TEMPTER CONTESTS THE COSMIC LAW
YOU MAY HEAR THE VOICE OF GOD
By Frater J. L. Williams
[From The Rosicrucian Digest April 1932]
The candidate who stands upon the threshold of initiation in one of our Rosicrucian Temples, either here in
Every time we decide to do something to improve our lives, to master some condition, to enter into a new field of activity, to render some kind deed, to eliminate some undesirable element from our natures, or to live a better life, we bring ourselves face to face with a threshold and an open portal through which we must pass. Here at this portal we may hesitate a moment because the Tempter, with his logical reasoning and his suave arguments and smooth tongue, is always ready to deter us or hold us still in our determination or desire while he argues against our convictions and tries to point out to us the glimmering, glittering beauties and benefits of earthly sins and earthly conditions. He is truly the Satanic power of the evil forces in the universe, and he represents also the lowest side of our nature, the grossly material side of our existence and the lurid glamours of life.
I am quite convinced from my own experience that this devil of a Tempter is more happy and more busy in trying to persuade mystics and students of mysticism from the straight and narrow path than he is in almost any other of his many forms of employment. The leading astray of an innocent victim is not nearly as great a victory for him nor half as much a display of his prowess as in being victor over a thinking conscience and determined being who seeks to lift himself above the common-place things of life and find regeneration and rebirth in a higher world of thought. And sometimes I think that the Evil One delights in picking out Rosicrucians and trying to see how far he can become victor over their carefully laid plans. At any rate, he seems to be ready for a contest at any time with any Rosicrucian who is about to take a forward step and who is at the very portal of a new chamber in the great
Ever since I have been a member of the Rosicrucian organization, the Tempter has been quite busy with me. He has appeared in various forms at various places and at sundry times. After I had carefully read and studied some of the earliest lectures in the First Grade, he appeared to me as a wise and learned student of life's philosophy, and cleverly pointed out to me the futility of studying any of the lessons that I was receiving because of their very nature and because they would take from me and from my life many of the worldly joys that he claimed were not equaled by anything offered in the Cosmic world. He also appeared to me as the teacher of special secret systems that were shorter and more direct; he appeared as a learned philosopher whose books we could find in a library, and which would give me a broader and better vision of life; he appeared as an old student who had long since abandoned the Rosicrucian teachings in favor of some modern Western World system that was far superior; he appeared as an economist who pointed out to me how I might secure the knowledge I sought by buying a few cheap pamphlets or by joining some organization that would accept from my miserly hand a few paltry coins as a voluntary donation in exchange for what I received; he appeared as a physician who tried to tell me that the science of modern medicine knew more about the ills of health and the cure of disease than I would ever learn through any of my studies; he came as an angel of light and tried to argue with me and convince me that the light he shed was the Light of the World, and was greater than the Light of a Heavenly God or a Cosmic realm of which I could never know anything divine.
As a Tempter he met me at every threshold of every portal of progress. He would urge that I turn backward and retrace my steps along the path I had trod. He pointed out the fact that the majority of men and women in the world were walking in the great highways of earthly pleasure and earthly success and that the portal before me led to a smaller by-way in life along which I would find lonesome souls seeking an ethereal something that did not exist.
How often he almost succeeded in having me turn my face from the East to the West, from Light to Darkness! What struggles I had to argue against his arguments, and to match my wits with his! How often I sought with great anxiety for some word or sign that I could give him and which would prove that I was right in my faith and my hopes and that he was wrong. Only in the last moment did my faith sustain me when I thought I was lost and that the Tempter had been victorious.
Today I rejoice in the fact that even though he has recently tempted me again, I have learned to be master of my own life, and have at last found Divine support through the Cosmic. Not long ago this Tempter appeared before me again at a crucial time in my progress through the Rosicrucian teachings and tried to delay me in the entrance to the portal of the greatest chamber of all. Here was the most crucial time in my life. If I failed to pass through this portal, all that I had conquered and won in the past would be lost. There would be nothing left for me to do but to turn around and go backwards along the long path which I had so successfully covered for several years. If I could enter this new chamber, I was sure it would lead to Divine attunement, Cosmic Consciousness, and eternal self-mastership.
Here was to be the great contest between the evil forces of the world and Cosmic majesty, and I was to be the one to decide whether in my own life I would permit the Cosmic power to hold me fast or yield to the Tempter, and forevermore be one of his slaves.
But there came to me the words of the great Rosicrucian Chant, "Ad Rosam per Crucem; ad Crucem per Rosam; in eaeis gemmatus resurgam. Non Nobis, Non Nobis, Domine, Sed nominis tuie gloriae solae." ("To the Rose by way of the Cross; to the Cross by way of the Rose; in this way, adorned, I shall be resurrected. Not for us, not for us, oh, Lord! But the sole glory of Thy Name.")
The Tempter tried to convince me that all of the benefits that I believed I had received in the past from the Cosmic and through my studies and Rosicrucian membership had been manufactured in my own brain. He tried to illustrate in his argument by comparing my psychic visions to a filmy strip of moving pictures that I had mentally created and projected into my consciousness as fiction. All that I had accepted in good faith was false and unreal, he argued. For several days he held me in his spell, but the Rose and the Cross were before me, and I was adorned and ensconced by them.
Then one night in sheer despondency and exhaustion I threw myself upon my bed and tuned my whole consciousness to the Cosmic to permit it to give me strength to battle against the worldly wisdom of the Tempter. I had not fallen asleep nor even approached the borderline of sleepiness when out of the silence came clear and distinctly the words, "I am the Father, Son and Holy Ghost!" This was followed by a moment of intense silence during which the vibrations in the room became so impressive that I felt them throughout my entire being. Then in the midst of the inky darkness around me there was suddenly extended a large hand and the forepart of an arm. In this great hand there was a purple ribbon and two triangles interlaced to form a six-pointed star which seemed to be made out of bright silver and attached to the ribbon as a medal. The hand moved slowly toward me as though offering me the ribbon and the star as a token; and then came these words: "Wear this on the left breast, and as a further token I give thee the words, 'The Holy Ghost.'" As the hand and arm advanced in the space above me, I was impressed with the desire to pray, and I prayed, as I was inspired to do. I was not asleep, but wide awake, and nothing of the experience had the nature of a dream in any sense.
When the prayers were completed I felt that I had been reborn, and was a master of my environment and of all of the problems of my life. Thrilled and elated I arose from the bed and stood upright, like a man that had been freed from prison, and was now the conqueror of all I could survey; and yet the Tempter stood there with his soft and tempting voice, sarcastically laughing at my faith in what I had seen and heard. He argued with me that I was childish to believe that the Cosmic could decorate me with a sacred token, and he challenged me to prove that I could even enter the Cathedral of the Soul. He tried to make me feel ashamed of myself for having any belief in what had just occurred, but his arguments were now of no avail. His voice had lost its power to influence me. His magnetism was now repellant instead of appealing. His very presence was objectionable and the ideas that he presented fired my being to even greater faith in the existence of the Cosmic's power to overcome even the strength of earthly creatures.
I am happy to say that the six-pointed star is still on my left breast, and that as long as I live it will remain there. I am now a dweller in the great chamber of Cosmic benediction, and in all humility I write this report and place this experience upon record with no sense of boastfulness, or no degree of superiority in my estimate of myself, for I now know that I am but the humblest of students on the path, but I have been given the word and the power as well as the token to help others that they may not be influenced by the voice of the Tempter. And thus I sign my name that it may be distinguished from the reports of others, and for no other reason; and I trust that the new life given to me will remain a continuous dedication to the greatness of the Cosmic and the glory of our great Brotherhood.
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