Rosicrucian Writings Online
Reflections on the Third Temple (Postulant)
By Raymund Andrea, K.R.C.
Grand Master, AMORC, Great Britain.
[From The Mystic Triangle January 1928]
AT THIS time perhaps it would be as well to mention that in these particular articles I address myself, not to those who have made considerable progress in the grades and in occultism generally, but chiefly to young aspirants who have comparatively recently entered upon this study, whose interest is keen and their enthusiasm high, but who, in many instances, have not made a proper survey of the path to their objective. I hope I shall be pardoned if I say that this undue haste to achieve the goal without having first taken careful measure of the various stages of progress thereto, is more characteristic of the American than of the European student; although it is more or less in evidence in groups of every nationality. However, it is a fault which always brings disquieting thoughts and doubts in its train, and it can be avoided if the aspirant will give sufficient thought to the basic work outlined in the Third, and thoroughly realize that there is no dramatic short cut to mastery within some insignificant time limit he chooses to set for himself.
I recall the case of a member in my jurisdiction who recently took up our work. He was keen, enthusiastic and studious, but had little knowledge of occultism. Only a few weeks had passed when letter after letter reached me in feverish succession, expressing the utmost anxiety because certain objectives had not been made almost immediately and urgently requesting special assistance in these matters. Now, the instruction he had received was entirely new to him; it had opened up a distinct and original line of reflection; and he confessed that it had proved a tremendous help to him and brought fresh interest into his life! Well, what more could be expected, what more was necessary in his case, in the early stages of the National (correspondence) work? Surely nothing; for the new knowledge had entered like a flood of light and created a veritable happy chaos among his established philosophy of life. He found he would have to rearrange his whole mental programme and lay an entirely new foundation of thought. Surely the first steps had proved very productive ones.
Several similar cases could be mentioned, and one is prompted to say to young aspirants: do not try to push on the lines, but take time to develop. Enthusiasm alone can never achieve; it must be accompanied by calm and sustained thinking and reflection. In these early stages we are but clearing the ground for action; and when the Third is reached a further large field opens and demands thinking and reflection of a far more comprehensive nature, some aspects of which I am endeavoring to suggest in these articles.
We are to deal here with the realization of the dream of love. And the burden of my theme is: the aspirant must be a lover of souls. No man can become a Rosicrucian who does not widely serve. No man is worthy of that sacred name who does not feel a pure and spontaneous joy in the service of others. He may call himself a mystic or an occultist because of his much reading, but any other name will have just as little value if he has not so lived and wrought and sacrificed that the spirit of service dominates his life. The aspirant often finds this a hard saying. He cannot conceive why the doctrine of service should be so strongly insisted upon when there is admittedly so much to do for himself. It is true; he has very much to do for himself. But on the occult path he comes within the working of a stern law whereby, no matter how much knowledge he has absorbed, he cannot realize the full value of, nor truly profit by it, until in some form of service he distributes it. The extent of the sacrificial service of a great soul is a revelation when one first becomes aware of it. It is so ready and painstaking, that the average person is astonished and doubts the pure intention of it--which is quite understandable, for a rare virtue indeed is true disinterestedness. A man may devote himself to the study of an art or science and be perfectly happy in the facility gained in it and the diversion he derives from it; but soul unfoldment is of another order. The awakening soul must find its reactions in the world of men at every step of advancement.
It may be said that I am merely voicing what every aspirant knows. So much the better if he does; but experience shows that a large percentage of students of theosophy and occultism do not act upon what they know. Their interest cannot be disputed, but they are chiefly interested for themselves. They add volume to volume with tireless persistency; nay, they are little short of occult encyclopaedias; they have devoured more books than I shall probably see in a lifetime. Yet they are at a stand--because they have occultism on the brain, but not in the heart. Occult truth, to be of any use, most become life experience; it must descend into the heart, pass through the fires of love and transfiguration, and rise again into the highest, a spiritual creation, to be shed abroad for the blessing of the world.
We are considering the very highest aspect of the realization of the dream of love. I do [not] overlook other aspects of the expression of personal love in a more restricted sphere; these have their place in the aspirant's development and will be fulfilled according to temperament and in the ordinary course of life. I have in mind here that form of service which is peculiar to the aspirant and which is imperative for his rapid advancement in spiritual knowledge and world response and in bringing him within a sphere of occult observation in which he will receive an unusual access of higher influences and be gradually fitted for greater work and responsibility in the science he has adopted. And let it be remembered that he is not to wait and be carefully selective as to the form of service he shall render. That is a common error. He is disposed to think that he is only ordained to some mysterious highclass occult service, that if it does not bear the dignified insignia of occultism, the opportunity is beneath him. That is a very narrow, orthodox error. Spiritual service has no selective channel for its operation; it is the attitude of an ever watchful soul which inspires hand and brain to act in any conceivable way that circumstances suggest to assist, uplift or alleviate. It is precisely the attitude of the Imperator, mentioned in the August magazine: "The call comes; it is the call of opportunity to serve, and such a call is a command to the mystic." There can be no higher ideal than that; and the greater the master mind the more gloriously is it possessed with this ideal.
I know of nothing so profoundly stimulating as adept service. The supremacy of the adept rests entirely upon the universality of his service. Is it necessary to remind the aspirant that Christ was a servant? It is sometimes necessary; for he often fails to see any connection between his study and the way of the Cross. Indeed, there is no other way. The sign of the Cross is before him directly he enters the portals of our Order, and he must be prepared to see it dramatically change at any moment into personal experience. It is at this point that fear descends upon him and his persistence is put to severe trial. Every step he takes toward higher unfoldment calls for some fresh adjustment in his objective life.
H. P. Blavatsky once said that true occultism is altruism and it throws him who practices it out of the calculation of the ranks of the living altogether. That is wonderfully true. It is not in the nature of the unreclaimed human self to think and act for the good of others, to pour out its life for the world; it is far too intent upon self-appropriation, often at the expense of others. It is vehement in its pursuit of its personal rights and manifests the instincts of lower evolution. The aspirant, on the other hand, is endeavoring to leave all this behind him; he is thinking earnestly of the higher possibilities of man; he is putting aside the worldly standard and becoming a force in the work of the evolution of the soul. That is what throws him out of the calculation of the ranks of the living. He will be misunderstood and criticised, his strength will be considered weakness, and the hell that lurks in the depths of human nature will rise to defeat him. But is it not a privilege that he should suffer because of the stronger manhood within him? Is it not a manifest sign to him that already some powerful law has wrought a change in his nature that the world puts it to the searching question? If he is wise he will turn his eyes upon himself as never before and in that deep scrutiny think upon the master mind who is his ideal. Now is he engaged in the first real battle in the arena of selfhood and he will need to study carefully the temper of his weapons. This experience will give him a clear insight of the great suffering which the master mind has known who has advanced infinitely beyond him and who has endured the world's frown and its bitter opposition along the whole path of his sublime service. That has made the master mind intrinsically what he is. But now he is in peace.
Height, although it has its perils and is the more easily singled out as a target for the animosity of the world, has also its own inestimable privileges. The good law provides for that. The great soul must indeed suffer all; but Cosmic susceptibility brings also the inward poise and force to detach himself from the ever present burden of souls, or inevitably he must falter, and thus is he able to dispense his power serenely and uninterruptedly within the sphere of a perpetual peace. The aspirant would do well to ponder this point and deduce an analogy for himself. Every step of his upward progress brings him within range of a more refined working of the evolutionary law; he passes through a series of miniature rebirths of the soul; and the more steadfast he is in translating his increasing knowledge into forms of world service the more inwardly productive will these rebirths be. Service releases the soul; it creates peace and power in self; it enables him to know himself and others to a degree never deemed possible. The influence of his life upon others will be so instant and reactionary that it will not be long before he demonstrates for and in himself what the law does in the master mind, in perfecting in him the power and peace to persist through all circumstances until he, too, stands upon the heights.
The dream of the realization of love is a very practical matter. It is not the expression of a sickly sentimentality enjoined upon its adherents by certain sections of the Christian community: it is the intelligent and well-timed expression of force which gradually reveals the true majesty of the soul. It calls for the steady assertion of real manhood, regardless of many probable consequences which render the average man actionless. The aspirant must clear his mind here and now of all illusions respecting it. Some of the difficulties which will confront him have been hinted at, but they should not deter him. It is a fact of experience that "the more his feet bleed, the whiter will he himself be washed." If he will try to grasp that fact now, in the Third, he will build a sound basis for future ascent. It will enable him to crucify fear at the threshold and make him inwardly undeviatingly fixed upon his goal. For in the heart of the true server there is a resurrected power which is irresistible and equal to any foe.
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