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Mysticisms Answer To Your Personal Problems

Delivered by GILBERT N. HOLLOWAY, Jr ., K. R. C.
NOVEMBER 5, 1939
Mysticism and Social Change
Delivered by GILBERT N. HOLLOWAY, Jr ., K. R. C.
DECEMBER 3, 1939
Mysticism and the Eternal Now
Delivered by WILLIAM J. NORRIS
JANUARY 21, 1940
A series of three public lectures given under the auspices of
250 West 57th Street
New York, N. Y.
Mysticisms Answer To Your
Personal Problems
If there be one thing certain about every one of us here this
evening, it is that we are all deeply and vitally concerned about
problems rooted in our personal lives. Living, indeed, is prob
lem-solving, and the higher our aspirations, the more numerous
and difficult are the problems we confront. It is presumed that
you, our friends who are here this evening, have encountered in
your reading or conversations some of the teachings or ideas of
mysticism, and are wondering what these teachings may have to
offer toward the solution of your persistent personal problems.
With such a question in our minds for the next few minutes, let
us briefly consider some central ideas in the philosophy of
mysticism, and their relevance to our daily affairs and activities.
It may be asked at the outset: what is mysticism? Has it any
thing to do with magic, black or otherwise, or other question
able or spurious practices which the uninformed sometimes
suggest? There are no standard or universally agreed upon defi
nitions of the term, for the acceptable definition is in the last
analysis a personal realization in the mind of each individual.
However, the following is offered as a basis for our thinking to
gether this evening: Mysticism is the science or the way of Self
development, Self-knowledge, and Self-realization. Through it
man comes to know himself, to know the Supreme Intelligence of
the Universe, and the relationships existing between that Infinite
Intelligence and himself, and all mankind. It is the Way fol
lowed by all the great avatars or spiritual leaders of men down
through the ages. It is the science of life and all that is, the ulti
mate and final road to truth, wisdom, and understanding. Mys
Mysticism's Answer to Your Personal Problems
ticism has been sadly misunderstood and often greviously mis
represented in our times. The existence and activity of many
unprincipled and even ignorant metaphysicians and occultists
have given mystical philosophy a bad name in the minds of
many reasonable and idealistic persons. This is most unfortunate,
and one of the greatest tasks of reputable and acknowledged mys
tical organizations has been to dispel this false impression and
to spread abroad the marvellous truth concerning the tenets
and practices of mysticism. Experienced, business-like men and
women too often ignore the teachings of mystical philosophy,
having in their minds the thought that an investigation of such
a philosophy would have no practical and useful consequences
for them. They have no time for studies which do not add to
their personal effectiveness and capacity for service in the world
of affairs. Right they are in their demand for effectiveness and
utility, but misinformed as to the applicability and real life value
of mystical philosophy.
Properly understood and practiced, mysticism is highly prac
tical, scientific, and useful; that is to say, the process of acquiring
Self-knowledge and the realization of Cosmic, Divine laws and
principles involves definite techniques which yield unfailing
results. These results are of greatest consequence in the practical
life. Let us see how and why this statement is true.
For centuries the ancient Socratic admonition has puzzled and
challenged the seeking minds of each generation: the terse advice
to know thyself. This phrase is constantly on the lips of men, but
far too seldom is it understood in its deepest meaning. In modern
times the wisdom of the esoteric or mystery schools of ancient
Egypt and Greece too often seems lost in a world of men ob
sessed with outer things, absorbed in their material affairs, striv
ing for material gain and conquest. We live in one of the critical
periods of human history, in a world that sees itself torn and
divided again by the terrible tragedy of war, with unspeakable
horrors possibly yet to come. Voices are heard from every side
that twentieth century man has lost his soul, his knowledge of
his true self, in this mad rush for material, selfish gain. As with
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Mysticisms Answer to Your Personal Problems
countless individuals, so it is with the morality of nations: all
things for me or us, and the devil take the rest of the world. As
a result of this selfish, unsound living and thinking, our civiliza
tion finds itself heavily encumbered with psychological cases,
neurotics, persons who through ignorance or denial of Self
and the Divine, Infinite side of their natures have cracked up,
as we say, and faced the bitterness of personal tragedy and
It is a grim truth, and a sad commentary upon the usual
reflective and wisdom-seeking capacities of man, that he seems
to learn his most significant and lasting lessons through the
experiences of tragedy, suffering, and despair. The Divine Ruler
of All has so often been only a resource for desperate and
anguished men and women, a Power and Strengthener upon
whom they might call when all else has failed and their little
worlds are tumbling down about their ears. Periods like the
present always find man groping anxiously, questioningly, often
pitiably, finding that what he thought was the foundation of
his life was but sand and loose earth, disintegrating at the first
gale of circumstance. It is right that we should seek Divine
help and guidance when in trouble, but why only then? Are
not Cosmic, Divine law's and principles to be respected and
conformed with in all the periods of our lives? The average
individual, for example, would not think of wiring his home
for electricity without possessing a w'orking knowledge of the
laws governing the manifestations of electricity. And yet this
same person may be living his life in almost complete ignorance
of the fundamental, Cosmic laws governing the manifestation
of his own soul and body. The knowledge and application of
Cosmic Law gives the mystic power, effectiveness, and poise in
his particular channel of work and service.
So much of our present misunderstanding and confusion about
ourselves comes from the failure to realize that we are dual be
ings. Man is dual in nature; on the foundation of this firmly-held
realization a great edifice of understanding may be erected. Man
has a physical, material body . . . the most wonderful material,
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Mysticism's A nswer to Your Personal Problems
created thing of our Maker; no mystical student of any under
standing whatsoever would attempt to deny or belittle this funda
mental fact. To the contrary, his study of the physical body
and its functions and properties is most absorbing, for in its
workings he finds exemplified the most profound Universal
laws. This material body has an extraordinary mechanism which
we call the brain, and with this brain and spinal nervous system
are associated the five senses as we know them. These physical
receptors and transmitters of impressions orient us to the mate
rial world in which we all live, and to whose intricate workings
we must adjust in order to live happily and usefully.
However, this is not the whole story, as so many apostles of
materialism and Scientism would have us believe. Man has a
counterpart to this physical body. Indeed, the other half of this
duality has a supremely real existence. It is the subjective,
psychic, or spiritual bodycall it what you willwhich in turn
has its definite cognitive or knowing faculties and abilities.
Each of us has a subjective mind, as contrasted with our outer,
or objective mind. Just as the objective mind relates us to all
that occurs in the world about us, so the subjective mind relates
us to all that transpires within the inner consciousness, to all
sensations and vibrations of a Divine, Cosmic, or psychic nature.
To the sincere student of mysticism this fundamental duality
running throughout body, mind, and consciousness becomes
more than an interesting intellectual distinction; it becomes a
reality . . . the laws of which are tested, tried, and lived in all the
experiences of life. With the carrying forward of systematic
studies and experimentation in the teachings of a reliable mysti
cal school or organization, the student begins to discover within
himself not only a heightening of his objective powerssuch as
observation and concentrationbut even more important, a
quickening and sensitizing of his subjective, inner, Divine facul
ties, with results of inestimable benefit in his daily life.
One of the central problems of existence which every one of
us must face early in life is this: For what purpose, if any, am I
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Mysticism's Answer to Your Personal Problems
here? Why was I born? What is my task or mission in this life?
Or, have I any particular mission which it is my unique and
imperious responsibility to fulfill? A friend of mine has a
four year old son who is already pestering his Dad as to his life's
work. One day he is earnestly considering the merits of the role
of firemen in society, the next day it will be that of locomotive
engineers, and so on through the occupations which seem to have
peculiar fascination for the child-mind. This lad is very intelli
gent, and illustrates the capacity of thinking man, even while
young, to continually ask why and for what purpose is all he
beholds, including himself. Not one of us can escape this search
ing question as to our own role in the Cosmic drama. Avoid it
as we may, in some unguarded or introspective moment the
thought will out, and the voice of conscience will ask us for an
accounting of our past acts and future intentions. Thousands of
persons throughout America and many thousands more through
out the world today are floundering in mires of ignorance, inde
cision, lost ideals, and lost hope.
Contrasted with this indecision, uncertainty, and lack of vision,
the student of scientific mysticism finds early in his experience
and development that the gradual quickening and enlivening of
his inner, subjective faculties offers a way of guidance, a path
through the myriad problems and difficulties of life. The realiza
tion dawns upon him in all its power and tremendous import
that what he has come to know as the Inner, Subjective Mind
or the Inner Man is in constant attunement with the Cosmic
Mind, the Mind of God. Furthermore, this Mind within him
is ever seeking to offer guidance, advice, and encouragement in
all his efforts and aspirations that are in harmony with the Cos
mic, creative nature of the life force within. He no longer finds
himself in hopeless mental labyrinths, interminable quandaries
and perplexities. It is true that the varied problems of life never
cease to arise and confront him, but now he meets them with
confidence, understanding, and positive knowledge, as a man
that goetli forth unto battle and returneth with victory in his
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Mysticism's Answer to Your Personal Problems
This development of intuition, this sensitizing of the faculties
which lead to Cosmic attunement and guidance, is one of the
great rewards which unfailingly comes to the sincere student of
mysticism. Such guidance and inspiration may be had in every
situation and relationship of life, without exception, provided
the conditions under which it may be received and used are
kept. That is to say, the criminally-minded person, the one
whose purposes and motives in life are anti social, inhumane,
destructive, and negative, can expect no aid or counsel from the
Cosmic Mind. Since the nature or the very essence of the Cosmic
is loving, all-inclusive, merciful, just, and workingfor the benefit
of all, we can expect guidance in our personal problems and
Divine aid in our efforts only when our basic purposes are in
accord with Cosmic purpose and will. From the writings of the
mystics comes this beautiful petition: God of our Hearts, gram
us the desire to receive, that we may give, knowing well that we
can only receive as we are ready and willing to give.
Are you, an individual person in our gathering here tonight,
faced with a perplexing and harassing problem in your business
or personal life? Are you, like so many people, obsessed with
certain anxieties about situations in which you find yourself?
The all-knowing and omnipresent Cosmic Mind will guide you
to the solution that will be best for you and all concerned, if
you will seek such guidance properly, with understanding of the
laws involved. Have you a problem in family relations? Perhaps
the relationship with your marriage partner has a thorn in it, a
devious annoyance that defies analysis but is causing strain and
tension in your home. Perhaps you feel out of attunement with
your children, unable to understand them, their ambitions and
youthful peculiarities. I f you are a young man or woman, per
haps you are facing the difficult and tremendously consequential
decision as to the person whom you shall marry. A dear friend
of mine is in the midst of such weighty considerations at present,
and finds sole reliance upon the powers of objective analysis and
comparison not fully satisfactory. This is not to say that the use
of all objective data, evidence, and the reasoning therefrom is
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Mysticism's Answer to Your Personal Problems
unnecessary and undesirable when making a decision. It is to
say, however, that intuition, the voice from within, advises us
and helps us to decide on the basis of complete reasoning. Intui
tion is synthetic reason, the objective and subjective faculties
perfectly blended in one united and commanding response of
the whole mind.
We have thus far considered only a few of the manifold prob
lems of life. We may be wondering what school we should at
tend, or with what fraternal, social, or business organization we
should cast our lot and our aspirations. When the Divine, un
limited, immaterial, all-knowing part of our beings is allowed
to express itself through an awakened inner consciousness and
developed spiritual faculties, and when, with knowledge gained
through experience and reflection, we live in accord with Cosmic
Law, then we can be absolutely sure that the right answer will
be obtained for every one of the problems and difficulties listed
herebefore, and for each succeeding problem in life as it arises.
We may confidently and positively act upon the decision we
have intuited, knowing that the consequences flowing from such
action will work righteousness and justice to all parties con
cerned. Let us remember that the power of intuition, which
obtains for us Cosmic guidance, does not do away with the
problems of life or make of life the proverbial bed of roses. The
cross has always loomed significantly in the lives of men and
women close to the Cosmic beat of life. But there is a great
difference, on the one hand, between suffering and stumbling
blindly and ignorantly, and on the other, bearing the burdens
of life nobly and compassionately, with understanding, peace
and love centered in ones being.
Another advantage of greatest practical import accruing to
the student of mysticism is the abolition of fear. Human beings
tend to fear that which they do not know or understand. Where
knowledge is not, there may fear, doubt, and a host of negative
expressions quickly appear. Conversely, the coming of knowl
edge, like the advent of love, driveth out fear. How many persons
each one of us knows whose lives are perpetually ridden by one
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Mysticisms Answer to Your Personal Problems
fear after another! They are afraid of the future, suspicious of
their neighbors and even of their friends, fear their boss and
distrust their business associates, think every day that their job
is about to be taken from them and the bottom is to drop out
of everything, dread the coming of ill health (and thereby hasten
its arrival), abhor the thought of death, and so on and on . . .
with fears and worries too innumerable to mention. What an
incubus of fear so many persons carry about with them, and
all so unnecessarily! Fear is a negative, inhibiting, destructive,
and limiting expression, a veritable curse which men permit to
dwell among them, when they could drive it away in an instant
with a repolarization of consciousness. Modern psychologists
have carried on extensive researches in the psychology of fear,
and its effect upon the physical and mental powers of man.
Continued fearing is a first step toward some vitiating form of
neurosis, stripping the individual, man or woman, of dignity
of mind and stature, depth of comprehension, and ability to live
creatively and happily.
The mystic truly knows no fear. What, indeed, is there for
the Soul with understanding to fear? Caution, prudence, rea
soned deliberation . . . these are not to be confused or identified
with fear and negativeness. With the realization of his true
nature, of the marvellous duality of his existence and of the laws
and principles governing each aspect of the duality, comes the
shedding for the mystical student and aspirant of all the fears,
petty and otherwise, that harass the majority of mankind. Living
his life from day to day and moment to moment in the lap of
the Cosmic, intimately attuned with the Divine, creative, con
structive forces of the Universe, the thought of fear is completely
foreign to his consciousness. Love and fear cannot dwell in the
same consciousness simultaneously. The coming of impersonal
lovethe rock upon which the mystic builds his lifeforever
drives out all fear and similar negative expressions. With his con
sciousness raised in its polarity and consequent power to appre
hend the truths of life and all being, the realization comes to
the sincere seeker that Love is the great spiritual Law, the Su-
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Mysticisms Answ'er to Your Personal Problems
preme Power of the Universe. Love is the most suitable word
we can use in describing our Maker.
Through scientific mystical development we come to know
these truths of life, and not merely to have opinions about them,
as most of us had before. We come to know of the existence of
the Soul within, of the Divine Consciousness and how it may
guide and sustain us in every activity and problem of our lives.
There is a tremendous difference between knowledge and specu
lation concerning these matters. Every one sometime in his life
will probably speculate about God and the Cosmic purpose and
meaning of it all. Those who continue only to speculatenever
to test and live the underlying Cosmic Lawsusually end up
with atheistic or agnostic opinions, asserting that such specula
tion is essentially a waste of time. After a certain point it is,
undoubtedly. Speculation and mere theorizing beget opinion,
which is changed with relative ease and survives with difficulty
the knocks of adversity and the sharp blows of circumstance.
Intimate, personal, experiential knowledge, however, is an en
tirely different matter. Experience is the great source and testing
ground of knowledge and truth, and knowledge gained thereby
begets conviction, which results in the power to do and live, to
demonstrate what one knows. The true philosopher (whom
Socrates called the mystic) acts upon knowledge, gained through
experience and reflection, which gives the power of wide activity
and constructive achievement in the world of men and affairs
. . . as well as lending harmony, health, and balance to the
personal life.
We Americans are very proud of our scientific, rational tem
peraments, of our standing by the assertion that the truth shall
be known by its consequences. We point to the stupendous ac
complishments of American scientists, technicians, engineers,
and industrialists. Well may we take delight as a people in the
constructive achievements of these men, and in the philosophy
implicit in their researches and associated activities. The mod
ern, enlightened student of mystical philosophy does not shrink
from the challenge of this American and twentieth century scien-
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Mysticism's Answer to Your Personal Problems
tific thought. He is quite ready to assert with the experimental
ists" and philosophers oi science that generalities and theories
which have no demonstrable applicability to mens problems in
the here and now had best be ignored as unworthy of serious
attention. The fact is that every truth the mystic lives is grounded
and tested in experience, and may be demonstrated to the satis
faction of every person who will seek such truths sincerely.
Understanding is not the reward of curiosity-seekers or idle
speculative wits, but comes only to those whose motives are ones
of service and love of mankind, and in whose hands the power
which comes with knowledge will not be misused or diverted
into destructive channels.
Along with the realization of the duality of his being and the
marvellous privilege of living in constant attunement and trust
ful relationship with the Cosmic forces and energies surrounding
him, comes a balance, a fundamental harmony into the life of
the student, which brings peace to the mind and health to
the body. Health is so essentially a matter of harmony, of regu
lated rhythm and right proportion in the daily life of the indi
vidual. Health in its deepest meaning is not just animal vitality
or magnetism; it is the harmonious and positive balance between
the subjective and objective aspects of our beings, united in
constructive activity which is fundamentally unselfish and for
the good of all with whom we associate. This type of living
brings happiness, that ideal yet elusive state of being which has
been the pursuit of men from time immemorial. Cheerfulness,
wit, tolerance, broadmindedness, and a deep inner peace . . . all
of these flow from the rightly motivated and harmonious life.
This life is the goal of every student of the Mysteries while living
upon this earth, and its attainment to some degree is assured
those who persevere and live the Laws.
Let us consider a final word about the time in which we live,
and its bearing upon the thought we have been sharing this
evening. We are in a period of fundamental, deep-seated social,
political, and economic transition. The forces loosed in the
world today will carry us we know not whither. We may be
Mysticism's Answer to Your Personal Problems
assured that the next decade will see no little change in the
material circumstances and surroundings of most of us. This is
a time of relative uncertainty, of ideological confusion and ma
terial unsettlement.
What has mysticism to say about this state of affairs? Certainly
one thing that it has always said: there never has been and there
never will be any lasting security or permanency in material
things, in the conditions and circumstances of the objective,
physical world, in which our Souls are gaining experience while
manifested in physical bodies. This does not mean in any sense
ignoring or slighting the material things of this life; to the
contrary, material problems and conditions are to be observed,
studied, experienced, reflected upon, and finally mastered. Mys
ticism does say that the only security we can ever hope to have is
that which we find within ourselves, in that Self within, which
is Divine, immortal, and unaffected by material change or catas
trophe. There is the solid foundation upon which to build our
lives; and while the habitations of those who have built mainly
upon outer things are being swept away in the swift tides of
social and political transition, he who builds upon the Cosmic
Rock shall never be dismayed or disheartened. How can one
err when his central values rest with that which is loving, all
wise, just, merciful, and all-powerful?
So, friends, rests the case with the student of mysticism, the
mystical philosopher. We have not been talking this evening
about super beings, about demi gods who may possess faculties
and sensory powers far beyond our limited sensitivities. All that
has been set forth is possible, is waiting for each one of you.
Just as wTe all possess senses of sight, hearing, smelling, and the
like, so do w'e all possess those latent Divine faculties which per
mit of spiritual and psychic development. In most of us these
faculties have lain dormant for years, perhaps nearly a lifetime.
Even so, it is never too late to arouse and develop them by syste
matic study and personal experimentation.
There are many paths w'hich lead to the Door of Truth. They
are not all the same, nor equally efficient. Some are not suited to
Mysticism's Answer to Your Personal Problems
the lives and responsibilities of people living in the culture of
Western Civilization. Other paths to wisdom and understanding,
such as the one given expression in the teachings of the Rosicru-
cian Order (the Ancient, Mystical Order Rosae Crucis) are
successful in adapting our great mystical heritage to the life
conditions and creative possibilities of twentieth century men
and women.
Your sincere and humble petition to the Divine Consciousness
within will lead you onto that path which is most suitable and
appropriate for you. The Mystic Way is not easy to follow. The
Creator does not make Himself manifest to cowards, or to those
who lack the earnestness and determination to persevere through
trials and tribulations. But know that even a glimpse of the
Greater Light that shines within is gloriously rewarding. Then it
is that the aspirant, the seeker, knows that his steps are leading
him to the Source of Life, to that Presence who manifests to
us as Light, Life, and Love.
Seek, and ye shall find; ask, and it shall be given unto you;
knock, and the Door is opened.
[' *]
Mysticism and Social Change
We hear a great deal these days about the possibility and
desirability of significant social change. The subject is discussed,
analyzed, and argued from every conceivable point of view.
Probably the only statement that would be acceptable to most
disputants and thinkers is the assertion that this nation, and
every nation, faces social, economic, and political changes of a
fundamental and deep-seated character.
An important fact to note is that the realization of these
coming changes in our forms of social organization is strongly
present in the minds of very many responsible and level-headed
men and women. One expects to hear the loud demand for
socio-economic alterations and reform from the confirmed
revolutionaries and malcontents. Such folk are always voicing
their opinions and solutions in a free country, and we gradually
become more or less inured to their condemnation of things
as they are. However, when many leaders in government,
industry, labor, education and the other great professions, and
all walks of life express publicly their consciousness of the
imminence and desirability of certain changes in our ways of
living and working together, we can be sure that time is well
spent in thinking more deeply into the causes and anticipated
results of the tremendous forces loosed in the world today.
This sincere and anxious thinking about social evils and
their remedies is particularly evident in the nations now at
war. Little comes to the surface of official public opinion in
Germany, of the undercurrents of private, individual question
ing, doubt, and troubled self-examination; but we may be
certain that great numbers of the people of that nation are not
throwing their energies and lives into this immense struggle
Mysticism and Social Change
without some thought as to the purposes and aims for which
they are fighting, and the type of national and international
society they would like to see evolve from the one which is
today in such travail. In the case of Great Britain and France
Britain especiallywe find an unusual sensitivity to what is
transpiring and a growing realization of some of the vital issues
at stake in the conflict. Leading English writers and thinkers
to mention H. G. Wells, George Bernard Shaw, Julian Huxley,
Harold J. Laski, and many othersare stimulating the public
consciousness to a supreme awareness of the critical state of
their form of government and society. Responsible leaders of
Britain and France are being pressed constantly for definite
and precise statements of their war aims. The expressed purpose
to destroy one individual and one political regime is not
accepted as a sufficiently inclusive aim, as one bearing with it
a real promise of removing the root causes which lead Europe
and the rest of the world into these recurrent and seemingly
futile wars.
This latest crisis forced by the war has brought up for con
sideration and deliberate discussion, probably as never before
in the history of the world, the idea of a world federation of
states, or at least of a federated United States of Europe. The
Marquess of Lothian, British ambassador to the United States,
in a recent public address in this city declared that
Some form of economic federation, perhaps even of political
federation, at any rate for part ol Europe, is . . . a necessary
condition of any stable world order.
Early in November, Foreign Secretary Halifax of Great Britain,
in a radio broadcast, stated that
'T here are some who believe that the new order will only come
through surrender in some measure by the nations of their
sovereign rights, in order to clear the way for more organic
The leaders of British Labor stand solidly for some form of
federative union with the states of Europe and, if possible, with
the nations of the world. With a realization in our minds, then,
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Mysticism and Sociai Change
of the profoundly disturbed, questioning, and withal, open
state of mind in so many people throughout the world, let us
raise the question of the bearing of mysticism, or mystical
philosophy, upon the present unhappy state of world affairs.
In an earlier lecture mysticism was defined as the science or
the way of Self-development, Self-knowledge, and Self-realiza
tion. It was said that man, through the sincere study of mystical
philosophy and the living to the best of his ability in accord
with Cosmic Law, might come to know himself, to know the
Supreme Intelligence of the Universe, and the relationships
existing between that Infinite Intelligence and himself, and all
mankind. Furthermore, it was stated that mysticism reveals to
the understanding of man the science of life and all being: that
it is the ultimate and final road to truth, wisdom, and complete
A central truth, found in the great enduring religions and
universal philosophies, is that all men are united in a vast
human brotherhood, sons together of a Divine and Infinite
Paternity. This truth is marvelously expressed in the ancient
Biblical saying, We are all members one of another. This
allness applies not only to Americans, Englishmen, Germans,
Jews, Arabs, Chinese, or South Sea islanders; there are no
exceptions. This spiritual, inner brotherhood is world-wide and
absolutely inclusive. The mystics have taught for centuries that
the Soul in man, his infinite, immaterial, unlimited, and Divine
aspect is indissolubly connected with the Soul of every other
human being: the aggregate of these Souls constituting the
Divine Soul, the Soul of God. The Souls incarnated in the
individual bodies of men may be regarded as unseparated seg
ments of the Divine, Universal Soul . . . which is their source,
with which they never lose their subtle connection, and to
which they ultimately return following transition, or so-called
death, and successive necessary experiences upon the earth.
The existence and positive reality of this inner, subjective Soul
union and attunement between all men makes possible for
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Mysticism and Soci al Change
those who know the laws and principles involved, the scientific
phenomena commonly associated with telepathy and thought
transference, and many other important and useful psychic
manifestations. It accounts, too, for that oft inexpressible but
liberating feeling of love, sympathy, and compassion for ones
fellows that is the unforgettable experience of most of us at one
time or another. Love is the greatest uniting and positive force
in the universe, and the more an individual opens his heart to
the needs and suffering of his fellow men, the more surely will
he sense the universal and regenerating power of this Divine
Love, which seeks to express itself through the Souls and hearts
of all men.
A profound eastern philosopher, writing on the subject of
the present world crisis, has this to say of the struggle of forces
and ideals:
The issue is, in the last analysis, the right to express the will-to-
good, the right to express correct human relationships, un
trammelled by territorial barriers and national habits of
thought; it involves the right and felt necessity to show love to
all beings and thus stamp out all hate and separateness. It con
cerns the right of all nations to live at peace with their neighbors
and harmoniously with each other and to express the true and
subjective synthesis of humanity and not place national posses
sions, frontiers, culture, power, and ambition before the general
good and the happiness of the world of men.
Is not war the antithesis of the ideals expressed in such noble
thoughts, the negation of mans basic unity, the denial of
the unceasing aspiration for some outer, organized expression
in international terms of our sensed inner brotherhood? It is
absolutely imperative for the future of mans Soul evolution
that war as an instrument of national policy and aggression
be discarded and abandoned. And the only way that war
can be removed permanently from the ways of men is to raise
the consciousness of humanity to a realization of mans funda
mental, underlying unity and of the advantages to be derived
in every way from such oneness: and then to devise concrete,
specific patterns of international organization, trade, govern-
[ 4 ]
Mysticism and Social Change
ment, and communication which will make wars unnecessary
and impossible.
To some, especially the cynically-minded, it seems ridiculous
and inopportune indeed to be thinking in terms of world unity,
even of national unity, in a time of such world-wide strife and
unsettlement. On the other hand, let us again consider some
thoughts of the Marquess of Lothian, spoken last Armistice
Day in addressing a group of collegians. Replying to those who
were greatly depressed by present conditions, the ambassador
All the great crises of history are in reality opportunity for a
great advance. We are in crises because the old order has reached
a climax and a new order is being born. And on 11s will depend
whether that new order will he better or worse than the old. If
this generation has the insight to see what is really within its
grasp, if it has the courage, both to think imaginatively and to
work ceaselessly, as did the leaders of your Revolutionary armies
i-,o years ago, and as did those who served with Abraham
Lincoln 70 years ago, a transformation of the whole world is
possible, which will realize on an even ampler stage Lincolns
own dream that government of the people, lor the people, and
by the people shall not perish from the earth.
It is precisely because of this unsettlement, this tottering, fal
tering, and outright failure of many existing social, political,
economic, and religious institutions that man has in the years
immediately ahead probably the greatest opportunity in all
history to make a new synthesis, to create a more reasonable
and sensible society, to mould new and more useful outer forms
which will give more adequate expression to the vital, creative
forces pulsing within his inner life. No one individual or
nation, or group of nations, is responsible for the extraordinary
and difficult situation of today. We all share in the responsibility
for it, and the solution for our troubles, perplexities, and injus
tices must eventuate from the united and cooperative efforts
of all.
In the process of social change and evolution we are becom
ing more and more aware that needed reconstruction can
only come about following the breaking down and observable
[ 5 ]
Mysticism and Social Change
lack of usefulness of existing forms and institutions. The law
of necessity is seen working within all these changes; the
important and necessary thing is that lifehuman, social life
continue, that men advance and progress in their experiences
upon the earth. If existing institutions and socio-economic
arrangements do not serve the needs and demands of human
life, they should and will be changed or altered, and new insti
tutional and social patterns will arise in their stead. In these
days men are becoming universally more aware of process . . .
of the fact that change, growth, development, and decay go on
ceaselessly, and that it is futile and unwise to oppose such
natural, inevitable forces. The time in which we live is one
of those rare moments in history when the forces of social
change and adjustment are speeded up; the crystallizations of
existing institutional structures have made the lack of human
usefulness and the inappropriateness of very many of them
apparent to the eyes of the majority of men. Hence the world
wide unrest and the demand for new or refashioned economic,
political, and religious forms of expression which will better
serve the needs of men. It is demanded that institutionssocial
patternsbe means, not ends; and that individual human beings
be the ends of social organization, and not the means. Above
all else, it is affirmed, let society be so organized that individual
men and women may grow to their fullest stature, enabled
not impededby the arrangements and agreements of society
to give unselfishly to all men the products or services of their
talents and abilities.
Having considered briefly the mystical conception of the
Brotherhood of Mankind and its prospects in a world in crisis,
let us ponder for a while the role of America in these critical
months and years ahead. We are all very much aware of the
great stress this nation has placed upon the development of
an extensive material civilization. Nowhere else in the world
has modern science been applied so generously and fruitfully
in the economic activity of human beings. Ours is the greatest
industrial and technological civilization of this Age of Power,
[ 6 ]
Mysticism and Social Change
the twentieth century. We are the wealthiest nation in the
world. The passion for scientific advancement and material
improvement has made itself felt in all areas of American
life . . . our institutions of higher learning and many religious
organizations included. In the minds of many outsiders, we
are a nation of go-getters, of hard-driving salesmen, engineers,
advertisers, efficiency experts and politicians.
However, there is another and exceedingly important side
to America which many persons overlook. It is the great
spiritual, mystical tradition which has always been present in
our national life. We remember, of course, that the earliest
settlers upon these shores were, for the most part, men and
women of highest convictions and integrity, fleeing from per
secution, intolerance, and adverse conditions abroad. The out
standing men of our first national crisis, the epoch of the
Revolutionary War and the establishment of constitutional
government, were persons of real understanding and no little
mystical and esoteric comprehension. We may refer especially
to Benjamin Franklin, and to Thomas Jefferson, the sage of
Monticello, who not only was the inspiration of that memorable
human document, the Declaration of Independence, and an
outstanding champion of the American cause, but also was
associated with those men who devised the Great Seal of the
United States.
It will repay us to examine in some detail the Great Seal of
our country for the hints and suggestions its gives us as to the
destiny of this nation and its task or mission in the years imme
diately before it. The Great Seal is most commonly found on
the new type of dollar bill, and thus circulates at all times
throughout most of the population. Symbolism, like that found
upon the Great Seal, has been called the language of hidden
truth. Sometimes it is referred to as the language of the Soul.
There is wonderful truth presented in the symbolism of this
Seal, and it is suggested that each of you study and reflect upon
the national emblem and its mystical significance at your early
[ 7 ]
Mysticism and Social Change
convenience, if you have not done so frequently in the past.
The American Eagleappearing so often on our national
emblemsis, of course, a symbol of victory, but there is much
more in its symbolical use than that. An ancient and suggestive
legend concerning the eagle tells us that he has a remarkable
peculiarity among birds. When a raging storm occurs, other
birds do one of two things: either they hide from the fury of
the storm in some natural shelter, or they try to fight through
it as long as their strength will hold out. The eagle, however,
does neither of these things . . . he soars above the storm. He
neither hides from it, nor runs away, nor fights it uselessly
and in stupid fashion, but soars above it. This manoeuvre is
analogous to the mystical students approach to the problems
of life: not to run away from them in fright or cowardice, nor
to fight them solely and often uselessly with only the powers
of objective mind and will, but to go within the Self for
guidance and strengthening. Figuratively, the mystic soars
beyond the limiting conditions of his material expression and
consciousness, and utilizes the Divine, Cosmic powers and laws
expressed in and about his being.
The bald-headed eagle (officially known as bald-headed
but possessing in fact a few light-colored feathers upon his
crown) has never been used before as the symbol of a great
nation. The adoption of the bald-headed eagle as the symbol
of the United States of America is no mere accident or coin
cidence, but a happening of real mystical significance. It is
important to remember that its use is expressly enjoined by an
Act of Congress. It signifies nothing less than the power of
direct Cosmic contact, or power of immediate attunement with
the Cosmic, Divine Mind. The top of the head has always been
used symbolically to signify the faculty of direct Cosmic attune
ment or Consciousness, as distinct from the approach to such
attunement and realization through any intermediate or outside
channel. This is because the above-mentioned spiritual faculty
of the real, inner man is expressed physically by the pineal
gland, centered in the head, and psychically by the centers of
[ 8 ]
Mysticism and Social Change
force that are in the head region and over the top of the head.
Now, a central purpose of true spiritual or mystical develop
ment is to make real, to bring to positive realization, our one
ness and close attunement with the Cosmic Mind and Con
sciousness, and as the aforementioned physical and psychic
centers develop (along with others in various parts of the body)
we gradually succeed in this quest of the Mystic Way. In the
priesthoods of the ancient world the top of the candidate's head
was shaven, or made bald, to symbolize the foregoing. In
America we have the bald-headed eagle telling us the same
thing in another way: that it is the destiny of the American
Nation to lead mankind into the form of national and inter
national society where personal freedom and true Self-realiza
tion will give man at once direct contact with the Cosmic and
all the powers pertaining thereto, and true dominion over his
own life.
The way in which the number 13 occurs in American history
and in the national emblems is most interesting and provoca
tive. Scientists (esoteric as well as material) tell us that the
material world is really a vast and complicated system of vibra
tions: that, and nothing more. All things are but systems and
rates of vibrations. What we call numbers are really but indexes
or measures of vibrations, and have a significance unsuspected
by most people. The number 13 is sometimes thought to be
unlucky, but such thinking is nonsense. There is no such
thing as luckgood or badin a universe governed by Law,
order, and system.
The number 13 is spiritually an expansion of the number 4
(or 1plus 3), and we find this number emerging throughout
American history. Thirteen original states, 13 signatures to the
Declaration of Independence, 13 stripes on the flag, 13 stars on
the Great Seal in the glory cloud above the eagles head, 13
arrows in the eagles claw, 13 leaves and 13 fruit on the olive
branch, 13 steps on the American pyramid, and 13 letters in
the motto E Pluribus Unumthese are familiar instances of
[ 9 ]
Mysticism and Social Change
the use of the number 13 in American symbology. The number
4 itself appears, for one example, as the 4th of July, the day upon
which the Declaration of Independence was signed, and upon
which the official order was given for a National Great Seal to
be prepared. The number 4, in symbology, stands as the expres
sion of foundational, definite, constructive, concrete work; and,
as we have seen, it is the great opportunity and destiny of the
United States of America to bring the realization of Cosmic
Consciousness and the possibility of Divine attunement and
cooperation directly and concretely into the life of the people.
The reverse side of the Great Seal of the United States is
even more interesting and remarkable. You will recall that
upon this side of the Seal one finds an unfinished pyramid of
13 steps, with a triangular capstone which has not yet been
lowered into place. Above the pyramid and within the triangle
with the point upward appears the ancient mystical symbol of
the All-Seeing Eye. This Eye refers to the fact that the Cosmic
Mind and Presence is everywhere watchful, vigilant, creative,
and powerful: in and throughout all things. The capstone is
unplaced to indicate that man may best accomplish his pur
poses when they are in accord and harmony with Cosmic pur
pose: that is, when they are completed with a Cosmic capstone.
Then his work will be speeded, and infinite energies and
wisdom will bring his right desires to happy and constructive
The two mottoes upon the Great Seal are very significant
and inspiring. Novus Or do Sec l o r u m . . . a New Order of
the Ages. Does not this portend Americas Divine mission?
A n n u i t Co ept i s . . . He has favored our undertakings, or He
has approved of our work. We have, then, the United States of
America: the foundation or pyramid nation, entrusted with
the mission and stupendous task of leading the nations of the
world into the New Order of the Ages!
Thus we are able to realize from a thoughtful examination
of the Great Seal of our country its mystical and prophetic
[ 10]
Mysticism and Soci al Change
meaning, and to see how the philosophy of mysticism has been
tied in from the beginning with the destiny of the United
States of America. However, one can go beyond the evidence
presented in our national symbolism to observe the probable
direction of social change in the Americas. The root ideal of
American democracy has always been that a type of social and
economic organization shall be provided that will secure the
fullest growth and expression of talent on the part of each
individual citizen, regardless of previous or inherited social
and economic position, race, or creed. The career open to the
talents and Equality of opportunity for all have been our
watchwords; never has the common man had a greater oppor
tunity for advancement than in the comparatively brief span
of this nations existence. The American ideal is in accord with
the highest conceptions of justice and righteousness in human
relations, The giving unto each of his own, the provision of
freedom for the individual in developing his personality and
talents to the fullest for the benefit of all.
It is true that we have never completely expressed this ideal
of democracy, of the Republic, in American society, but the
nearer we have come to its attainment, the stronger has been
the nation. The memory of Abraham Lincoln is hallowed for
the principal reason that he personifies our ideal . . . the plain,
common-sensed man of the people, coming from obscure
origins, stoutly championing the rights of the great majority
of men, and finally giving his life for the cause so dear to him.
Conversely, our national times of stress have followed periods
of social maladjustment, of malfunctioning in the body politic,
of ignoring our fundamental ideals. We are in trouble today
because our existing social, economic, educational, religious,
and political institutions are not doing their job; they are
not ministering adequately to the needs and desires of the
great majority of our citizens. The ambitions and latent
idealism of American youth are not finding dynamic, satisfac
tory expression. We have hardly begun to solve the grave prob
lem of unemployment. The long years since the first onset of the
Mysticism and Social Change
great depression have been crushing, psychologically, for tens
of thousands of normally buoyant, creative, unselfish people.
For these and many other reasons, the inclusion of which the
necessary length of this discussion does not permit, we may
anticipate needed social change. Were changes not to come,
the spirit of the nation would be frustrated and thwarted, and
our tasks would go unfulfilled. That cannot be.
The basic ideals of America are very sound from the point
of view of mystical philosophy. Since the purpose of the Soul's
existence upon the earth is to evolve, to grow and develop
through many and varied experiences, to advance in wisdom
through service to all men in the spirit of love, we can readily
see that the underlying ideals of American society lend them
selves at once to the purposes of the Soul. It is a law that the
lesser shall be made greater and higher, that all may go forward
together in progressive attainment and evolution. Since we are
all members one of another, the most advanced and liberated
individuals cannot proceed past a certain point without stop
ping, going back, and assisting their faltering and burdened
brothers along the way. This sacrifice, when it is such, is made
willingly, in understanding, love, and deeply-felt compassion.
A great unselfishness is hereby set forth as a prime necessity
for America. A bitter struggle is on and will continue for a
time, between the forces of selfishness, greed, materialism, and
undue private acquisition . . . and those groups and individuals
who stand for an unselfish, publicly-motivated, reasonable and
workable system of social organization, who proclaim the
supremacy of the spiritual realities and give evidence of their
convictions by their mode of life. This cleavage and conflict is
found not only in America, but throughout the world, with no
nations excepted. As was said in an earlier quotation, the
maladjustments and sufferings of today are the birth-pangs of
the new order, the New Age. We could not expect such an
elevation in purpose and consciousness without pronounced
dislocations and their attendant pains. But from such painful
[ 12]
Mysticism and Social Change
experience come wisdom, love, and patience . . . all most sorely
needed in a transitional social period.
The responsibility and opportunity for leadership in the
New America is great indeed. It must be leadership of the
highest order, in whatever line of active service. The dynamic,
positive, and courageous qualities of our erstwhile "go-getters
must be transformed and transmuted into the newer, subtler,
and infinitely more powerful expression of go-givers. This
is not a mere play on words, but contrasts in concise fashion
the differing ideals and motives of the two epochs. There is to
be no slackening in the courage, enterprise, and Self-reliance
of our citizens; but the frontier upon which their full energies
must be expended is the one of human organization and society.
The tests and trials will be increasingly moral and spiritual,
rather than predominantly material and physical. The ideal
of unselfish service and human brotherhood must and will come
into its own in American life. Here is an outstanding oppor
tunity in the history of man for tremendous advancement, and
we cannot fail in doing our part to manifest its possibilities.
The role of recognized, accredited, and reliable mystical
organizations and fraternities is a very responsible one in the
preparation for the changes in view. The Rosicrucian Order
(or, the Ancient, Mystical Order Rosae Crucis), for example,
takes no part as an organization in social, political, or religious
controversies. It is a philosophical fraternity, as all of its litera
ture proclaims, whose purpose is to so instruct its members in
the mastery and application of the higher principles of life as
found expressed in man and nature, that they may go forth as
individual citizens in the service of mankind and work with
greater understanding, peace, and power. Those men and
women throughout the world in all schools, organizations, and
fraternities who live their lives as best they can in accord with
Cosmic Law are working untiringly to bring into manifestation
the New Order of the Ages, the promised Spiritual Kingdom
of Man.
Mysticism and Social Change
You, an individual, progressive American, of whatever station
in life or degree of attainment, have an integral responsibility
in this great world wide effort of good will and cooperation.
First, every one of us must gain a deeper insight into the reali
ties, the Cosmic, Divine laws and principles, which will govern
the fundamental expression of the new society. We must under
stand the reasons for America's mission and, to play a creative
part in it, act in conformity with them. This is to be a group
effort, inspired and strengthened by group consciousness: in
which we, as individuals, will find our personal freedom and
highest Self-expression in activity for the good of all. .And as
we progress, the realization will finally come to us tfiat the only
true and ultimate freedom is that found in Divine unity.
There is a statement or petition, a great invocation, that is
being retained and repeated in the consciousness of many
people of good will and understanding in these days of crisis
and social change. It is so fitting that its use is appropriate for
our final thoughts upon this occasion:
Let the Forces of Light bring illumination to mankind.
Let the spirit of peace be spread abroad.
May men of good will everywhere meet in a spirit of
May forgiveness on the part of all men be the keynote
at this time.
May power attend the efforts of the Brothers of
So let it be and help us to do our part.
Mysticism and the Eternal Now
During every conscious moment of our lives we are living,
mentally, in one of the three divisions of time the past, the
present, or the future. The past offers a tempting refuge to
which u'e can escape from the realization of adversity and de
feat. When unable to find a solution to our problems, we are
prone to return in retrospect, to dwell and revel, in our past
glories and accomplishments. On the other hand, we may bury
the past, perhaps, try to forget it, and make every possible effort
to direct our attention to the future. We may, with determina
tion, set a much higher goal than we have ever attained, and
thus, figuratively speaking, focus our gaze so firmly upon the
mountain peak that, on the way up the mountain side, we may
stumble over a small mound and fall, injured, discouraged and
defeated. If wre have courage, we may review and analyze our
procedure, and find, that we did not give enough attention to
the performance of the essential elements required to reach our
goal, that we concentrated so intently on our objective that we
did not take care to plant each footstep firmly; or we may blame
the difficulties inherent in the task itself the roughness of the
mountainside then give up in despair never to try again.
We should feel proud of an honorable past, and look forward
to the future with hope, courage, and resolution; but should
concentrate on the present the now realizing that we are
building our future every moment of our lives by our thoughts
and our deeds. Not having had the privilege to acquire under
standing of universal or Cosmic laws, numerous men and
women either become indifferent, or lose every vestige of faith
they may have had in a Supreme Being, simply because they
were unable to reconcile their sufferings and adversities with
the edicts of a just, merciful, and loving God.
[ i ]
Mysticism and the Eternal Now
Why should this happen to me? This is the usual cry of every
normal man and woman in times of misfortune or distress, and
there seems to be a failing, or rather a tendency, in seeking the
answer to this question, to always start the search for the cause
outside of ourselves. It is rather sad, but true, that in times of
failure, adversity, or defeat, we will look with all our might
for something, or someone, upon whom we can place the blame
for our plight. But sadder still, is the attitude which usually
prevails in times of success. Then, of course, it is different. The
search for the cause is short and very sweet, indeed. There is no
question Why should this happen to me? We are quite sure
that we know there is seldom, if ever, any doubt. I am re
sponsible for my success. I am smart, I am clever, I know my
business, I put it over; and if someone presses us real hard for
the answer, we may break down and let him in on what we con
sider to be the real secret. So, with feigned modesty, we admit:
It was just plain hard work. I owe my success to hard work
alone still taking all the credit, nonetheless.
In the study of the fundamental principles of life, the student
comes to the realization, sooner or later, that, whether succeed
ing or failing, the responsibility does rest upon himself; inas
much as the cause, or the purpose, is definitely related to what
he has done, is doing, or will do in the future. But to say that
we are responsible for every misfortune or calamity that befalls
us, without an explanation of how and why we are responsible,
is to omit a most vital phase of a universal law the law of
cause and effect known by some as the law of Compensation,
and by others as the law of Karma.
This law manifests in various ways throughout the Universe,
on both the material and immaterial planes. It is as definite as
the law of gravitation, or the law which governs the movements
of the planets through space. In this law, we are able to discern
how man is the master of his fate and the captain of his soul,
and it is by this law that we can reconcile our sufferings and ad
versities with the edicts of a just, merciful, and loving God.
Mysticism and the Eternal Now
There are pseudo-metaphysicians and pseudo-mystics, who
drive distressed students to self-condemnation, by leading them
to believe that every misfortune is the result of some terrible
sin, that they themselves have committed; which does not seem
to be true in every case, because there seems to be a higher
motive, or purpose, which may subject us to adverse conditions,
as a training, or purification process, to fit us for a more useful
place in life.
We find in the Biblical account of the hardships of Jacobs
son Joseph, that, when his brothers, who sold him into Egypt,
came to him the second time to buy corn, he made himself
known to them. He said: I am Joseph, your brother, whom ye
sold into Egypt. They were so troubled and afraid, they could
not speak. They naturally thought that Joseph would take ven
geance for the terrible treatment, which they inflicted upon
him; but Joseph said: Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry
with yourselves that ye sold me hither, for God did send me be
fore you to preserve life. He did not say: Be not grieved nor
angry with yourselves that ye sold me hither, for I brought it
all on myself, I deserved it, I was punished for my sins. No,
Joseph was a good, intelligent lad, in whom the ability to inter
pret dreams manifested at an early age. He never harmed any
one. He was loved intensely by his father, hated by his brothers,
unjustly accused by his masters wife, and thrown into prison,
where he met and interpreted the dream of Pharaohs chief
butler; by whom he was later made known to Pharaoh, for
whom he interpreted the two famous dreams about the cattle
and the ears of corn. At last, Iris great moment was at hand. He
had successfully met the tests and trials of life, and stood at the
threshold of his eminent mission to preserve the lives of not
only the Egyptians, but his own people as well. Since this story
is contained in the worlds most widely distributed book, it is,
perhaps, too familiar to warrant further detail. It is because of
this assumption that I selected it to illustrate how one man was
led to his mission in life through adversity. But this Principle
[ 3 ]
Mysticism and the Eternal Now
did not begin, nor did it end, with Joseph. There have always
been, there are today, and there are perhaps here this evening,
some who are being conditioned for more useful places in life
by adversity. II they only knew it, rather than give in to worry
and despair, they could learn the lessons of adversity more
quickly and perhaps hasten its termination.
A brief analysis of this story of Joseph reveals that Joseph
bore his hardships with fortitude, mastering every situation in
which he was placed. By his diligence, he found grace in the
sight of the officer who bought him from the Ishmeelites, and
he made Joseph Overseer of his household. He likewise won
the respect and confidence of the prison keeper, and all the
prisoners were committed to his supervision. All of which tend
to prove that Joseph never despaired. He kept on keeping on
as the saying goes, concentrating on the work at hand the
ever present. Having been the object of both love and hate, he
learned the beauty and strength of one, and the baseness and
frailty of the other. Having been the victim of injustice, he
learned to evaluate justice. Those qualities which he already
possessed to a high degree, and which were most essential to
the fulfillment of his mission, were developed to a higher de
gree. Thus, by adversity, which would have broken the spirit
of many men, Joseph was strengthened, prepared, and quali
fied, for the high and exalted position to which Pharaoh ap
pointed him.
In a country such as ours most of us go through at least one,
or all, of the stages or levels of formal education, struggling
with various subjects, passing examinations and tests, for which
we are compensated with knowledge of a number of material
facts and awarded diplomas and degrees. Then we go out into
the business world to serve in our respective vocations and pro
fessions, lor which we are compensated with salary and re
warded with promotion and self-satisfaction. We are, therefore,
ever receiving as we have given and reaping what we have sown.
But all do not succeed, and for various reasons. Some choose
[ 4 ]
Mysticism and the Eternal Now
vocations for which they are not adapted and are, therefore,
unable to meet the requirements of situations in which they
are placed. These people are referred to as square pegs in round
holes. Their errors in vocational selection are compensated by
failure. There are some who are victims of injustices as Joseph
was; but having the will to press onward, they are compensated
by the development of their character, and are thus strength
ened to fight their way to victory.
Throughout all nature we see evidence of cause and effect,
action and reaction, operating in accordance with law and rea
son. Even the most materialistic logician will proudly proclaim
that his own mundane or worldly affairs, with which he is solely
concerned, must be conducted in accordance with certain rules,
regulations, and material laws, or failure is inevitable. The one
who attributes his success to hard work alone, unconsciously
makes concession to the law of compensation, for he implies
that as he has given in mental and physical energy he has re
ceived in the attainment of success.
There is a universal principle of justice in all things, espe
cially in the course of human life, which demands that we shall
earn what we get, deserve what we require, and merit what we
seek. This principle also assures us that we shall not get what
we have not earned, nor deserved. The law of reaping what we
have sown, therefore, is not a theological, sentimental, religious,
or ethical decree; but a scientific, universal Cosmic principle
the basis of justice. There are some who negate this principle,
and say that many never get their just deserts; and we often see
cases which appear to justify their stand. We see the good suffer
ing, the innocent being punished, and we wonder why. Some
attribute it to the sins of ancestry and others to the Will of
God. If by the Will of God, we mean universal laws, created
by God, then how are justice, mercy, and love, manifested by
these laws in man, so as to make him responsible for his condi
tion here in this earthly existence? Before dealing with this
[ 5 ]
Mysticism and the Eternal Now
question, we must first consider another question What is
It is universally accepted by all religions that man is a dual
being, consisting of a material body, within which resides a
soul; the body being mortal or corruptible, and the Soul im
mortal or incorruptible. Science has found that the human
body consists of about sixteen chemical, earthly elements,
which, it is said, can be bought in any drug store for about one
dollar. Material science does not seem to be concerned with the
Soul. The Mystics of all ages, however, have ever sought to
know the nature of mans entire being, and by the application
of certain principles, much knowledge about the spiritual, or
Soul phase of man has been revealed to them. The Mystic,
therefore, says that man is a dual being; but Soul, clothed with
a material body, and, therefore, a living Soul; that man in the
material phase is a finite, mortal, limited creature; and that
without Soul and the Divine Consciousness, which is an attri
bute of Soul, man is a mere composition of earthly substances.
The Mystic also says that Soul is immortal; but goes further and
says that Soul, being immortal after so-called death, must be
immortal before birth because, if there is no ending, there is no
beginning. Soul, is therefore reborn, or reincarnated many
times in physical, human bodies.
The law of human rebirth, or reincarnation, in its pure and
original form, as taught by the Rosicrucian Order, contains
nothing that the orthodox religionist, or one with scientific
training cannot accept. But there are popular, perverted ideas
about it that are so absurd the logical man or woman feels it
is a presumption upon his or her intelligence to even consider
it. Reincarnation, not being a religious doctrine, is said to be
accepted by about three-fourths of the worlds thinking, analyz
ing minds of all religious faiths. Many persons of the keenest
intellects in the business, scientific, and religious fields, accept
or give their approval and credence to this law. The New York
Times Magazine Section, of July 24, 1938, carried an article,
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Mysticism and the Eternal Now
titled Henry Ford, at 75, States His Faith Simply. I have a
copy of that issue here with me, and I shall take a moment to
read that portion of this article in which Mr. Ford states briefly
his philosophy of life. . . .
Mr. Ford remarks about inheriting from ourselves, our own
past; little children knowing things they could not possibly
have learned in this life; going to places for the first time and
feeling sure you have been there before; that a mistake may
turn out to be necessary to a worth-while achievement; being
true to ourselves; and we are here to get experience. A logical
and reasonable explanation for all these statements is found in
the principles of life contained in the pure and unperverted
law of reincarnation. That this industrial genius is no doubt
quite familiar with these principles is evident by the fact that
he started a great, new enterprise at an age when the average
man feels he is too old to start anything new. This is typical of
the way one is affected by an understanding of the law of rein
Although the term reincarnation is not used in the Bible,
references to the principles of reincarnation are made in con
nection with both Moses and Jesus. There are many references
which leave no doubt in the analytical mind that Jesus and his
disciples knew this law and gave it their approval, even though
they did not use the specific word reincarnation. It is interest
ing to note that, neither did Mr. Ford use any term to designate
the principles implicated in his statements. In everyday con
versation, or writing about home life, for instance, it might be
necessary to refer to the furnace or the lights; but we may never
use scientific electrical or heating terms, such as volts, amperes,
ohms, farads, or thermal units. These terms have no place in a
book on Home Life. We simply speak about lighting and heat
ing without going into the principles of electricity or thermo
dynamics. Therefore, detailed information about the principles
of reincarnation has no more reason for being in the Bible, than
the principles of electricity, embryology, or the laws pertaining
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Mysticism and the Eternal Now
to child-birth; but Jesus and his disciples on many occasions
made statements which leave no doubt of their knowledge and
approval of this law. In the Gospel of St. Matthew, chapter 17,
verses to, it, 12 and 13, the disciples asked Jesus why the
scribes were saying that Elias must first come. He answered
them and said: Elias truly shall first come and restore all
things. But I say unto you Elias is come already, and they knew
him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed, and
added that they would treat him likewise. In the 13th verse is
stated: Then the disciples understood that he spoke unto them
of John the Baptist. Again in the same Gospel, chapter 11,
verses 11 and 14, Jesus spoke to the multitudes about John, say
ing: "Verily, I say unto you, among them that are born of
women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist,
and said in the 14th verse: And if ye will receive it, this is
Elias which was for to come.
The doctrine of reincarnation had no more important place
in the great message which Jesus brought to the world than
many other universally accepted scientific convictions and philo
sophical beliefs, therefore, its presentation in the writings of
the Apostles was not necessary. Ur. H. Spencer Lewis, late Im-
perator of the Rosicrucian Order, states in his book, Mansions
of the Soul, that The law of reincarnation was generally ac
cepted, and universally established among the philosophers and
Mystics of the Jewish people during the time of the birth and
life of Jesus, and quotes from the writings of Moses Gaster,
Ph.D., chief Rabbi of the Jewish congregation of London, and
Vice-President of the Royal Asiatic Society, who is a widely
recognized author on various subjects of Jewish religion, beliefs
and practices. This eminent authority writes about the belief
in the migration or reincarnation of the Soul, quoting from
such standard Jewish sacred books as The Zohar, The Ma-
nesseh, and others.
That reincarnation was generally accepted during the time
of the birth and life of Jesus is indicated by the belief of many
Mysticism and the Eternal Now
that he was the reincarnation of one of the great prophets. In
the lGth chapter of Matthew, 13th, 14th and 15th verses, Jesus
discusses this point with his disciples he asked them: Whom
do men say I the Son of Man am? and they answered saying:
Some say that Thou art John the Baptist, some Elias and
others Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
The public, generally, knew that Jesus was from Galilee, the
son of Mary, and believed that Joseph was his father. He knew,
therefore, that so far as his material, or physical identity was
concerned, it was well established who he was. So when he
asked: Whom do men say I am? he surely must have meant:
the Soul, or personality, of what person, who formerly lived on
earth, do men say I azn the reincarnation of? and the disciples
accepted the question to mean just that, and answered him ac
cordingly. Then when he asked them: But whom say ye that
I am? and when Peter gave his famous answer, Jesus did not
say that the answers of the others were foolish, but simply told
Peter: ----Hesh and blood hath not revealed it unto you,
meaning that Peter had not learned it from anyone else, or
through his objective faculties; but had received it from the
Divine Mind, through his subjective or psychic faculties.
Throughout the Bible, there are numerous places where refer
ence is made to reincarnation. It is stated that Moses in his
ascent to heaven saw the Souls of the great and pious, and those
who have lived on earth, and those who are to come to life
Students of the Universal laws of life and nature will readily
discern the principles of reincarnation in whatever book or
reading matter they may find it, regardless of the terms by
which it may be expressed; just as the engineer or the student
of engineering will readily discern the use of the principles of
electricity and thermodynamics in the home, by the words,
light, and temperature, when reading a book on home life. Just
one more reference to the discourses of Jesus with his disciples,
in which his recognition and approval of the principles of rein-
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Mysticism and the Eternal Now
carnation were disclosed will, perhaps, impress even the most
skeptical. In the 9th chapter of St. John, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd verses,
is a most interesting case which deals exclusively with rein
carnation and the law of compensation, or Karma. Jesus and his
disciples met a man on the highway who was known to have
been born blind. His disciples asked him: Master, who did sin,
this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus an
swered: Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents; but
that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
Before analyzing this question and the answer, it is perhaps
well to mention one thing about which the New Testament is
replete with evidence that Jesus taught the esoteric, Univer
sal principles, to his disciples in private. Time will not permit
a discourse on this point, but it is clearly indicated in numer
ous places, one of which is the 13th chapter of Matthew, verses
10 and 11. When Jesus had finished speaking to the multitudes
in parables of the mustard seed, the tares, etcetera, his disciples
asked him: "Why speaketh thou to them in parables? He said:
Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the king
dom of heaven, but to them it is not. In other words, they
wanted to know why He did not speak to the multitudes as he
spoke in his private meetings with them. The word mysteries
was used many times by Jesus and his apostles, and is said to
have been used to designate that which was known only to the
initiated. Now we shall return to the blind man. When the
disciples saw this man who was born blind they considered this
an excellent and rare opportunity to learn more about the
cause of human suffering and the law of Karma, wdiich the
Master had taught them privately. If his parents had sinned, his
blindness could have been caused by disease, or accident during
the pre-natal period. This is easy enough to understand; but
how could his own sins have caused his blindness? We must
bear in mind that this man was born blind came into his pres
ent life without sight therefore, if his blindness was caused
by his own sins, these sins could not have possibly been com-
Mysticism and the EternaJ Now
mitted by him, at any time, other than in a previous incarna
tion or life on earth. Therefore, when the disciples asked: Who
did sin, this man or his parents? the possibility of the sin hav
ing been committed in a previous life on earth was implied,
and Jesus answer indicates that he accepted the implication.
There can be no doubt that he accepted the question as a sane
one, and within the realm of possibility, for he did not correct
his disciples, which he never hesitated to do when they were in
error. The last part of his answer, that the man was born blind
in order that the works of God should be made manifest in him,
bears out the statement made earlier that every misfortune
is not necessarily the result of ones sins or errors; but may be
brought upon one to develop certain traits of character neces
sary for one's evolution or advancement. It is interesting to note
that although Jesus was indignant at times towards some of the
people for their erroneous thinking, beliefs, and practices, there
is no mention of his having censured those who believed he was
the incarnation of Jeremias, Elias, or one of the prophets; but
accepted these speculations without comment indicating that
he knew it to be possible. And he, himself, said: John the Bap
tist is Elias, in other words, that John the Baptist was the
reincarnation of Elias.
The number of principles involved in the law of reincarna
tion make it impracticable to deal with it completely in one
lecture. There are among other principles Heredity, Personality
evolution, the difference between Spirit and Soul, memory of
past incarnations, the Periodicity or Cycles of incarnations, and
the principle explaining why a human Soul cannot incarnate
in the body of a monkey, a bat, a cow, or any other animal. A
series of lectures, therefore, would be required to present this
subject in its entirety. So. may it suffice, if for the next few
minutes, I try to explain in simple, non technical, non-mystical
terms, something about this immaterial, immortal part of our
Being, which Theology calls The Soul, Philosophy the con
sciousness of Self, and which the Mystic, who is more precise
Mysticism and the Eternal Now
in these matters, designates Personality or Ego. There is
but one Soul the Universal Soul essence, a segment of which
enters the body with the first breath of life. It is The Life. Ex
isting in, and borne into the body with the Soul Essence is the
Divine consciousness, and an evolving Personality. The exist
ence of the Personality is continuous and eternal, having come
into existence in the beginning of all creation, it has there
fore, always existed and will exist into eternity. The soul es
sence, the Divine Consciousness, and the Personality, constitute
the Soul Entity the immortal, Real, part of our Being. If I
may use a simple, material, analogy: the soul essence seems to
be to the Personality, what the earth or soil is to the seed, for
in the Soul Essence the Personality lives and grows.
The Personality is an aggregation of all past experiences in
physical bodies, plus the experiences on the Cosmic plane be
tween incarnations, and the influence received by its contact
with the Divine Consciousness. It is this influence of the Divine
Consciousness on the Personality that we commonly call our
Conscience, and which is said to annoy and persecute even the
most hardened criminal for his errors. This inner Self, there
fore, is the guiding force which tends to, and often does, frus
trate our tendencies to do wrong. The late Dr. H. Spencer
Lewis, who was a great Mystic and Teacher, has said: there are
three reasons for the incarnation of the Soul-Entity in a physi
cal body. First, the Soul Entity is to have certain earthly expe
riences; secondly, the physical human body is to have the advan
tage of spiritual knowledge and illumination, in addition to its
mundane, or earthly knowledge; thirdly, that the character of
man and the personality may be perfected.
The Personality is, therefore, ever becoming being added to
or developed by our thoughts, our convictions, and by what we
actually do. Although apart from character, which has to do with
our habits, morals, and general conduct, the Personality while
in the physical body seems to be dependent upon the character
for its development or evolution, because man has free will to
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Mysticism and the Eternal Now
choose his experiences or course in life, and whether his choos
ing is good or bad is largely governed by his character. The
Creator of all things has decreed that the Personality must be
perfected before it can establish permanent residence in the
Heavenly or Cosmic realm. Therefore, the effects of all evil,
erroneous experiences must be eliminated from the Personality
through subjection of the physical, objective phase of man to
the types of experience best suited to develop virtues or traits
of character that will annul not only the errors committed in
past incarnations, but those committed in this one yesterday
and today. It may not be necessary to go through long periods
of suffering if we recognize the condition as a Karmic debt and
make the necessary changes in our character by living a new life
of constructive thought and action.
Whether the adversity is due to errors committed in this or
some past life on earth, or has come upon us to develop traits
of character or virtues which we failed to develop in the past,
and thus prepare us for some particular place in this or some
future life, the purpose is the same to build our character
and thus perfect the Personality. Since man has free will to
choose his way this is his responsibility, and we should not de
spair nor worry over the consequences; but should try to learn
the lessons of adversity and the lessons of life in general. This
is how man is responsible for his condition. Thus, we may dis
cern what the Mystic means when he says that Character is
Fate! And when do we build this character of ours which
evolves the Personality, and thus determines our future? Every
conscious moment of our lives. We are today, the result of Our
past, and we shall be tomorrow, the result of today.
So may we strive to know ourselves the nature of our being
and learn the application of universal principles, which will
eventually establish within ourselves that harmonious state or
condition called Peace. Make affirmations of Peace if you will.
Send forth thoughts of I.ove and Peace to all mankind . . . yes!
but vitally more important are deeds of Love and Peace, which
Mysticism and the Eternal Now
are possible only in proportion to the state of Peace within us,
individually and collectively, and it is to this degree, only, that
Peace can ever come on earth.
We may return in retrospect for short periods, if we like, to
dwell and revel in past glories and accomplishments; we may,
at times, project our thoughts and plans into the future; but
we should ever be aware that Our future My future, Your
future is determined by the work at hand, now . . . The
Eternal Now.
[ >4 ]