April, 1935, Vol. V. No. 5.
H. Spencer Lewis, Imperator
Manly Hall and Rosicrucianism
The Basque People
Thomas Jefferson’s Secret Writings
Jewish Persecution in Germany
The Great Masters and the Great White Lodge
Creation of Adam and Eve
Our good Frater Albersheim of New York now rises before the Forum to present his important question. You will note that he has introduced the subject of birth control but from a slightly new angle. He has just said that early in the beginning of this year a meeting was held in the East composed of physicians associated with the Roman Catholic Church and that they adopted a resolution strongly condemning birth control as contrary to religion and morals.
He wonders whether we as Rosicrucians would take a more generous position in this matter. He argues in the first place that Rosicrucians do not regard reproductive processes as sinful and that we have a different point of view in regard to the entering of the soul into the unborn child.
Now I do not think that the Rosicrucian Order should take any definite stand one way or the other in regard to birth control except upon purely ethical grounds. I think that I have touched upon this subject heretofore, but will say again that we agree with the view of Mr. Hitler, for instance, in Germany, who is expressing only the view-point that the ancient Greeks had and which all students of present-day social problems agree upon and which scientists have indorsed; namely, that there is too little restriction being placed upon who should marry and who should propagate the future generations of mankind.
In other words, I believe that the doctrine of eugenics should be made universal and enforced if possible and that in addition to the securing of a legal license for marriage in order that there may be no violation of legal laws in connection with marriage, there should be no violation of natural laws either. If we find it necessary to inquire into the past legal history of a man or woman to determine whether he or she is free to marry and are doing no legal injustice to anyone by getting married, we certainly should see to it that they are mentally and physically qualified to marry and that they are doing no physical injustice to the future race.
From the social point of view it is beyond questioning that something must be done to prevent the rapid increase of birth or the unnecessary increase of birth among the poor and unqualified. This alone would argue in favor of some method of birth control. Whether that control should begin with a proper examination of the individuals before marriage or thereafter, is a matter to be determined by those who make the closest study of the subject and not something to be determined by us through passing some impotent resolution. Certainly the resolution passed by the physicians in their assembly will have little or no effect upon the matter.
The individuals concerned will probably determine whether the physicians are right or wrong. The tendency today seems to be toward some method of birth control that is rational and reasonable and when a large majority of the human race decides upon something and has the support of scientific investigations and social experts, the chances are that the majority will follow its inclination despite the dictates of either the physicians or the church they represent.
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The Rosicrucian Forum
August, 1937, Vol. VIII. No. 1
H. Spencer Lewis, Imperator
Manly Hall and Rosicrucianism
Because of the many questions that have been submitted to the Forum in the past month regarding the lectures and claims set forth in the advertising and circular matter issued by Mr. Manly P. Hall of Los Angeles, we feel that it is only fair to our readers to privately make this following statement and answer their specific questions.
Mr. Hall for many years has been touring the United States as a public lecturer, sometimes following his public free appearance on the platform with private classes at very high tuitional fees. It is not what he is doing or what he pretends to teach that interests us, for such lecturers and self-appointed teachers have come and gone by the score in the past twenty years. Nearly every one of them has taken opportunity, as has Mr. Hall, to make derogatory remarks regarding the integrity, the stability, the honesty and the authenticity of AMORC. Yet nearly all of them have passed by the way and have gone into oblivion, and their highly featured programs and plans have completely failed, while AMORC has continued to exist and to grow.
Sometimes we think that the deliberate and exuberant criticisms of AMORC made by these traveling lecturers have done much to make AMORC better known and to redound to our credit inasmuch as persons in the audience, hearing an unknown organization belittled and besmattered with mud during lecture after lecture, decide that perhaps a little investigation should be made, or that perhaps they are unacquainted with something they should know about. And so much of this criticism has resulted in individuals making inquiries about AMORC and finally discovering that bias and prejudice alone were responsible for the unfair and untrue remarks that had been made. In such cases, of course, the individuals lose all faith in everything that is claimed and said by the lecturer, and their confidence and trust is directed toward our organization instead.
However, all of that is beside the question. We are not accusing Mr. Hall of being a serious or an important enemy of AMORC, and most certainly we cannot classify him as a friend.
But when Mr. Hall advertises widely that he is going to lecture on “The Secret Rites, Rituals and Teachings of the Rosicrucians and Freemasons,” or “The Mystical Elements of Freemasonry,” or “The Secret Brotherhood of the Rosicrucians,” and on Bacon and Shakespeare and similar subjects, thousands of our members and many more thousands of friends of our members and still more thousands of sincere seekers begin to ask a few pertinent questions. First of all, they ask, “Is Mr. Hall a member of the recognized Rosicrucian Brotherhood and a member of the Freemasonic Fraternity, and is he a recognized authority on the lives of Bacon and Shakespeare ?”
So far as the authentic and recognized Rosicrucian Order is concerned, we can definitely say that he is not known in Europe or in America as a member of the AMORC or any other branch of the recognized Rosicrucian activities throughout the world, nor has he ever been such a member. As to whether or not he is a Freemason, I am not qualified to say, although it is seriously questioned by those who are capable of making certain tests. But that is entirely beside the point of my present argument. As for my knowledge about the lives of Bacon and Shakespeare, from things I have read that he has written, he evidently knows less about Bacon than anyone I have ever known who claimed to be ready and prepared to speak or lecture on the subject.
Mr. Hall has written some books with titles which lead the reader to think that he is going to find many secrets revealed. Mr. Hall still has the old-fashioned and strange idea that “Christian Rosenkreutz” founded, established, invented or created the Rosicrucian Fraternity and first introduced it into Germany. And he has many other ideas about Rosicrucianism that are just as strange as that. He presents an interesting program in his circular matter and he certainly awakens the interest of a sincere seeker who has never heard of him before, and all are agreed that during the course of his lectures he expresses some ideas in such superlative and flowery language that one is not quite sure what he means; but as for revealing any secrets or telling the average seeker anything he does not know that will lead him to a real path of development and unfoldment, I have yet to hear of any real investigator who would endorse him as either a lecturer or a teacher.
Now I trust that none of our members are going to think that Mr. Hall is injuring the AMORC organization and that that is why we are making these remarks of a critical nature. Our members have asked what we knew of him and what we thought of him and I am trying to be frank and yet conservative. We have never lifted a finger of protest against the many erroneous statements Mr. Hall has made, although on occasions some of our members who could not remain reticent and silent during his unfair diatribes against AMORC have listened to his speeches and protested.
Mr. Hall and a hundred more like him making the same statements across the country could not do any real serious injury to AMORC unless they went far enough to indulge in incriminating charges which they happily evade doing. But we do not like to have our members and their friends go to the Manly Hall lectures and spend even a small admission fee or the carfare or gasoline to journey to the lecture and get a seat inside, if they are expecting any real knowledge or any real help. If they are seeking some form of entertainment, or want to study a man who is volubly lecturing on a subject of which he knows nothing, then Manly Hall proves quite satisfying and perhaps not at all disappointing.
Remember that when a public lecturer cannot identify himself with an authentic and recognized organization that is promoting the subjects upon which he lectures, you may look with suspicion upon the authoritativeness of his discourse. Freelance speakers do not go out and lecture in behalf of the teachings or postulations or activities of some philosophical or other school and do so freely and of their own accord, unless they have books for sale or some means of commercializing their activities, and that is precisely what Mr. Hall is doing, and I hope that no persons will be deceived into thinking that they are receiving any help in their studies with AMORC by attending his lectures. Otherwise Mr. Hall has our complete permission to continue his talks on Bacon, Shakespeare, Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, Theosophy, and what not.
One of his subjects is claimed to be a revelation that black magic still exists in the modern world. When any individual pretends to lecture on such a theme with sincerity, he must be either self-deceived or is attempting to deceive his audience. Furthermore, by claiming that black magic ever existed, let alone existing in the present day, he is contributing to the fear complexes, the sufferings, the anguish, and the heartaches of many individuals who do not understand. It is this phase of the work of Mr. Hall that we greatly regret and wholly condemn.
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In recent months members of our Order who have reached the highest degrees and have therefore developed very strong and energetic auras, and have also developed a strong and powerful quality of healing power throughout their bodies, have written to me that in repeating the experiment—contained in one of the lower degrees—of magnetizing a glass of water, they have had some most remarkable results. During our Rosicrucian tour I had a number of members of various ages and degrees of study in our Order experiment with me or in front of me with the magnetizing of a glass of water.
I found that what had been reported to me by the most advanced members or members in the highest degrees and what I had learned from my own work with the glass of water is a logical result of the inner development. In the cases where the aura has greatly developed and the healing power has become intensified through continued practice of the experiments in the various degrees, and through proper thinking and encouragement of the psychic development, the radiating power from the finger tips, the palms of the hands, while holding the glass of water, causes a very thin glass to crack and crumble in many pieces.
Quite a few members have said that they were very fortunate indeed in not cutting their fingers or having the water spill on their clothing. But all of them say that when this unusual power manifested itself, the thin glass which we recommended seemed to crumble and crack in many pieces.
Of course the members in lower degrees, and especially those who receive the instructions in their regular monographs regarding this experiment and try it for the first time need have no fear of the glass cracking because it takes many months of development and progress before the psychic power in the body reaches a degree of intensity that would affect the glass. It is preferable for the beginner and those experimenting with the magnetizing of water for the first time to use a thin glass like an ordinary table glass. But those members in the higher degrees, and those who have developed a great degree of psychic power and who find the thin glass becoming very brittle and cracking, may use a thicker glass because the energy from their hands will reach the water through a thicker glass and will produce a magnetic quality in the water just as readily as when a thinner glass is used.
Of course, members who have not had the proper instructions regarding the magnetizing of water, or who have not reached this point in their regular lessons and monographs should not attempt to experiment with magnetizing water because it is not the simple process that it appears to be, and failure to magnetize the water will only bring discouragement. The remarks I am making here about the breaking of the glass or the magnetizing of the water are intended for those who have received the monographs containing this experiment and are practicing the instructions in the proper way as part of their weekly experiments.
Throughout our recent cruise, and in contacting members in many cities where we visited, I found that remarkable cures have been made from drinking this magnetized water. Certain it is that it has a remarkable effect upon the kidneys, the bladder, and even the bowels. It strengthens the tissues and walls of these parts of the body. It acts as an excellent cleansing medium, purifying and making the system hygienically correct. In most cases it acts as an excellent germicidal or prophylactic agent. But it also has a very fine effect upon the blood and seems to be a general tonic to the entire system.
The drinking of the magnetized water just before going to sleep at night seems to produce sound sleep and a very peaceful sensation during relaxation. Of course, we all know that it helps to bring about a high degree of esoteric or Cosmic attunement.
A great many have reported that the drinking of a glass of magnetized water during the day or evening when a person has a headache or is tired or weary seems to produce a feeling of rest, or renewed energy, in ten or fifteen minutes, causing the headache and tired feeling to disappear.
Of course, if the magnetized water is drunk too frequently, that is, once or twice a week, the system may become so accustomed to it that the surprising effects or perhaps even the beneficial effects may become minimized. So the magnetized water should really be used only when the physical and mental systems are tired or depleted, or when the entire physical system needs a tonic. This should not be more than once or twice a month.
Of course, if there is a tendency toward any disease developing in the body, the drinking of one glass of the magnetized water will have an excellent protective effect, causing the blood and the other energizing powers of the body to bring back normal health. But again it must be remembered that too frequent use of this magnetized water will minimize its greatest effectiveness. On the other hand, there can be no harm in the use of the magnetized water even if used too frequently.
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The Basque People
Because of the recent civil war activities reaching into northern Spain, there has been much in the newspapers regarding the strange people living in the foothills of the Pyrenees and known as the Basques. The name has seemed rather new to a great many, and even newspaper editors and magazine writers have turned to encyclopedias and other sources of information trying to find some facts about the Basque people. The more one searches into their history or their origin, the more mysterious they become. A great many of our members have written to us about them and we are glad to give whatever information we have.
For many centuries they have been known in our records and other similar records as a very mystical class of persons, or deriving from a very early mystical race or group of individuals. The information available to us does not throw any light upon their real origin, but we have some facts regarding their present day and immediately past activities, customs and habits.
Most of the telegraphic news coming to our Western World at the present time regarding the war activities comes from the city of St. Jean de Luz. This name, literally interpreted as St. John of the Light, always arouses some interest in the minds of mystics because the name is quite symbolical. To see such an old and mystically named city mixed up in war affairs seems so incongruous and so sacrilegious that many of our members want to know more about the city itself.
Some years ago my wife accompanied me on a special tour into the Basque country, and naturally we made St. Jean de Luz our headquarters for an extensive investigation. We found it one of the coast towns in the foothills of the Pyrenees right at the mouth of the river Nivelle. At the time we visited it, it had a population of about six thousand. It is a very ancient port of considerable importance, and a home for mariners and fishermen. In fact, it was from this city that vessels first set out for Newfoundland back in 1519 and 1520. A number of great national conventions or congresses have been held in the city, and in 1660 the Treaty of the Pyrenees was signed in this city. Strange to say, at that time the population was fifteen thousand or more.
One of the interesting things which we especially wanted to see in the city was a Thirteenth Century church believed to have been built around 1210, according to some old mystical records, or around the time of the Crusades in France, and it was built as a principal secret meeting place for Knights of the Temple and the Rosicrucian Knights, both of which organizations were united, and of which Columbus was a member; and even his father had been associated with these knighthoods. In this old church, which has a large gallery around it that distinguishes it from other strictly Roman Catholic cathedrals, there is a wonderful organ, one that is larger in many respects than any other organ in Europe, and which rises from the ground floor high up above and beyond the gallery.
We were fortunate in securing the cooperation of an organist connected with the church who was a descendant of the old mystical brotherhood, and he played the organ for us and its tones were simply marvelous. We found carvings and markings and symbolical inscriptions in this old cathedral showing that it had been used very seriously and regularly by the knighthood, and was originally not intended to be a Roman Catholic cathedral but, we might almost say, a non-sectarian cathedral.
We found many other mystical things about the city, showing that it had been really a headquarters of the knighthoods for a number of years, and that they had taken rare records to the place and had a secret archive in the crypts or cellars beneath the cathedral and in the fortified building in another part of the city, of which only a few ruins remain. But there are a number of sacred shrines in the city still standing which are truly sacred to Rosicrucians and mystics of all kinds. Descendants of these knighthoods still live in St. Jean and hold secret meetings there.
We found the natives in the city and around the countryside typical of the Basque people, very friendly and intelligent, rather religious and certainly very spiritual and mystical, with distinct costumes and many original and distinctive customs and habits. They were happy, more or less carefree, very musical indeed, and we enjoyed a musical performance in one of their own strange kind of theaters where we found their costume dancing, their singing, and forms of entertainment very enjoyable but quite different from anything else we had ever seen or heard.
The Basque people have always had a very wonderful reputation as mystics and as pious people without hypocrisy or insincerity. Fundamentally, they are an unusually honest race of people devoting themselves mostly to agriculture, although they manufacture some artistic types of unique clothing or dresswear. The Basque hats have become quite well known throughout the world and are imported by many countries and especially France and England. They are typical of the beret type of headwear. The women are charming in their appearance and complexion, in their magnetic personalities, sweet voices, pleasant mannerisms, and extreme cleanliness. The men, of course, are very industrious, and as a race the Basque people have fought very hard to maintain their own provinces as independent and neutral in all worldly affairs.
Many nations have respected their independence and contributed toward a protection for them against the inroad of other nations, politically and socially. Today they are victims of circumstance and victims of warring conditions around them, much as Belgium was in the great World War. It is horrifying to think, however, that these people are losing their homes, their lands and everything that has been dear to them for centuries through no attitude of their own. Undoubtedly it is a Karmic condition which they earned sometime way in the past, and we hope that when the present Karma is paid or adjusted the Basque people will again arise to the same glorious—though certainly not materialistically wealthy—status in which they have existed during the past centuries.
To think of these sacred shrines and cathedrals and other things in their city being bombarded or razed through warfare is discouraging indeed.
Because of their method of living and their mystical qualities, there was a popular idea for many years that the so-called gypsies who tour around the world were from the Basque country and were really members of the Basque people. Some investigation has shown, however, that while many of these so-called gypsies did depart from the Basque countries on their tours throughout Europe and even to America, they did not originate in the Basque country, but passed through it and remained there for a time because they found the Basque customs and habits, and even style of clothing, easily adaptable. The socalled gypsy whom we see in musical comedies, plays, paintings, and of whom we read in stories, does appear in dress costume and personal adornment much like the people of the Basque country.
Undoubtedly the gypsies of the past fifty or a hundred years have purchased and used the costumes and clothing of the Basque people because they found them so colorful, so ornamental and distinctive, that the wearing of them helped to identify them in their journeys throughout the world. But the so-called and reputed bad habits of many of these wandering gypsies, especially the reputed or alleged dishonesty and unreliability, would prove that the gypsies were not really descendants of the Basque people and had not adopted the Basque habits along with the Basque clothing. Probably the gypsies also learned or acquired their wonderful singing and dancing abilities and love for music from the Basque people.
St. Jean de Luz is near the city of Biarritz, the famous Southern France fall and winter beach resort, but it is also near that very wonderful city of Pau, which is situated up on a high plateau of the foothills of the Pyrenees. Pau was the location of the wonderful chateau of Henry IV, King of Navarre. He later became leader of the Huguenots, and was one of the representatives at an international Rosicrucian convention. He was a very great leader of the Rosicrucian Knights and the Knights of the Temple, and it was unfortunate that his non-Roman Catholic position led him eventually into the religious wars, which was not typical of the Rosicrucian spirit.
Strange to say, when the various castles and chateaus of eminent lords and kings of Prance were seized because of their participation in the protection of the heretics or the non-Catholics, the wonderful castle of Henry IV at Pau was overlooked. It was not taken over by the church. It therefore remains intact today and, being upon a high plateau, the view from its gardens overlooks the nearby Pyrenees and is one of the most scenic places in Southern France. My wife and I have spent many days in the shadows of that chateau and have been through every one of its rooms, and have taken photographs in it. The old original furniture, including the original beds, chairs, tables, dining room and kitchen equipment, rugs, ornaments, pictures, and armor remain intact.
The whole section of Southern France between Pau and St. Jean de Luz is spotted with Basque influence and Rosicrucian mysticism and Rosicrucian ideas. Any of our members ever visiting Southern France should certainly visit Pau and St. Jean. The best way to reach it is by train from Paris to the city of Bordeaux where a few hours or a day or night can be spent, then taking the train for a very short ride either to Pau and then St. Jean, or St. Jean and then to Pau. The climate is very warm in the summertime but the months of September, October, and April and May are delightful, and even the winter months are comfortable.
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Thomas Jefferson’s Secret Writings
I want to call the attention of our members in the Forum this morning to an interesting incident which I found related in one of the American magazines shortly after my return from Europe. I am not quite sure whether it is in the new and wonderful magazine called Life or in another similar magazine. It is an article by some individual who made it his business to gather together samples of the strange workings of the mind when a person is in meditation or in deep thought, as, for instance, when sitting at a table listening to a lecture or an address, or when awaiting a telephone call. You know that at such a time a person is apt to take a pencil and make marks in the form of scrawls and writing on anything that is close at hand. The magazine article shows specimens of such “written thoughts” of many famous persons.
One of the specimens was taken from some well preserved records of the life of Thomas Jefferson. His pencil had made on a sheet of paper a number of strange-looking characters which the writer of the article said appeared to be a cipher code of some kind invented by Thomas Jefferson. The moment I saw the cipher code I recognized it as one of the old Rosicrucian codes used for many years before Thomas Jefferson became a Rosicrucian, and still to be found in many of the ancient Rosicrucian secret manuscripts. The cipher was not accurate in every letter, probably because Jefferson was making his scrawls from memory, and not intending to write anything serious. But the ciphers represented all the letters of the alphabet in their proper order, and were very well made.
This is just another little bit of evidence to show how deeply Thomas Jefferson was concerned in Rosicrucian activities. It furthermore shows that he must have been one of the important officers of the Rosicrucian colony in and around Philadelphia, for otherwise he would not have had a copy of the secret code and would not have been so familiar with it.
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Jewish Persecution in Germany
I have here a letter from a good Frater in New Jersey who would like us to say something to counteract the general American idea that all Jews are being persecuted by Hitler or by the German government in Germany.
Very fortunately I made a thorough investigation of this matter while I was touring with some of the supreme officers and advanced members of our Order at the conclusion of the regular Mediterranean cruise. Now it is well enough for those who have been supporting the anti-German and anti-Hitler propaganda to claim that you cannot learn the truth by going as a stranger to Germany and asking a few questions. If that were all we had done in Germany I would not be making any statements now based upon the little information we would have gained. I know human nature well enough to know that if there were any real wide-spread serious propaganda in Germany against the Jews, and I—or a few of us—went into the highways of Germany and openly asked questions about it, we probably would get false answers because of the fear of the persons living in Germany of telling the truth.
But, that is not the way we made our investigation, and I am going to state some facts that I know very well will be challenged by those individuals in America who are anxious to maintain the anti-Hitler propaganda and by those who will claim that the Imperator and the supreme officers are pro-German and anti-Jewish and pro-everything and anti-something-else.
I know that all of our members who have been in the Order for more than five years have been amused at times by criticisms made in other publications regarding AMORC and its officers and the attitude of the Order. For years we were accused of being not only essentially Roman Catholic in our spirit but a part and parcel of some form of Jesuit propaganda. This was followed soon by other articles of criticism which claimed to be based upon incontrovertible facts that proved that AMORC and its officers were being paid and sponsored by the Jewish propaganda that was being spread in America and that we were one hundred per cent anti-Roman Catholic. Then we were accused of being socialist supporters of Soviet Russia, anti-American, and what not. Every time we venture to state a truth regarding some movement, some individual, or some phase of human emotion, the persons who do not agree with us accuse us of being paid by and supported by those that represent the opinions we have expressed.
However, I am now going to lay myself open to further criticism of this kind, and I will be able to stand it just as I have all of the other criticisms for the past thirty or more years.
In the first place, those of us who were touring as representatives of the highest section of our Order deliberately went to parts of Germany where we could find the facts. We went to Cologne on the banks of the Rhine. We went to Berlin, one of the headquarters of Hitler, and his form of government. We went through other German cities and sections until we arrived at Munich, which is the other, or second, headquarters of Mr. Hitler and his form of Government.
In all of the larger cities and the smaller cities we found stores and various forms of businesses of all kinds and classifications being openly conducted and generously patronized by Jewish people, with Jewish names and every outward indication of being members of and adherents to the Jewish faith and Jewish synagogues. We talked with a great many of these shopkeepers, storekeepers and business men without asking them pointedly the questions that others might ask, but we found that they were orthodox Jews and openly acknowledged it right in the presence of scores of Germans, natives who were not Jews, and even on some occasions in the presence of officials of the German government.
We found Jewish synagogues in an excellent state of preservation in all of these cities, and even some new ones being built, and none in any form of destruction. We found that on Saturdays these synagogues were being attended in the usual manner and without any attempt on the part of the Jews to evade being seen going into or coming out of the synagogues. We noted that in some cities the leading business houses were conducted by Jews, and as well patronized as those that were conducted by Christians or those of no religious faith.
In several cities I talked with the rabbis or other leaders connected with the Jewish synagogues and found them to be much surprised and much annoyed by the propaganda in America that intimated that all Jews were being persecuted and that the Jewish religion was being interfered with. In each instance they told me that the membership of their church has not diminished but either held its own or has increased. Not one of them could recall a single instance where the regular services or activities of his synagogue or the practice of his faith had been interfered with by government decree, by local officers, or by any of Mr. Hitler’s rulings.
I also found this true in connection with the Roman Catholic church and the Roman Catholic religion. But I particularly learned, as did the others in my party, that the propaganda in America had led us to believe that all Jews in Germany were being persecuted because they were Jews, and not because of any outrageous acts that a few might have performed, and not because they had been violators of some law like any other human being. It is true that in Germany a violator of the law is punished regardless of his religion, but not one of them had been punished because he was a Jew, nor was his punishment made any more extreme or any different because he was a Jew.
I hope that these facts will help some to realize that there is a very definite form of false propaganda being carried on in the American newspapers and magazines because of European conditions and it is only fair to say that the same kind of false propaganda is being carried on in European newspapers regarding conditions in America. We learned and heard more surprising stories regarding conditions in America than we could ever have imagined. Yet the people of Europe are gradually being led to believe these stories and the purpose of this false propaganda is to create unrest and to bring factions and classes of people into contest and disagreement and help the tendencies toward national and international wars.
It is a horrible thing to think, but it is an absolute fact, that there are groups of individuals in every country of the world who are not righteous enough to pray for war but are devilish enough to invent every scheme and form of propaganda that will eventually lead to war. They have either commercial or business benefits to gain from international clashes, and of course, in some cases it is political benefit that animates some groups of individuals in sponsoring and promulgating the false propaganda in this country and in Europe.
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The Rosicrucian Forum
1933 April, Vol. III, No. 5
I believe that this issue of the Forum contains many helpful suggestions, explanations, and bits of instruction. Most of the matter seems to be very appropriate for this period of the year 1933. It is just one complete cycle of 144 years since the first President of the United States was elected and chosen by the electors as the President of the United States. It is just one complete cycle of 144 years since the people in Canada quietly layed their plans for the eventual establishment of the form of government that now makes this great nation one of the peaceful countries of the world and procured for them that distinctive position which Canada now occupies.
Therefore, for the major part of the North American Continent this year of 1933 is highly significant as the beginning of a new cycle of rebirth, regeneration, and progress along newer and higher lines. In a broader and yet perhaps more specific sense it is significant that the first great universal cycle of nineteen hundred years, beginning with the transition of Jesus the Christ and the establishment of His church (allowing for the discrepancy in calendar years) has come to an end, and a new universal cycle dealing with the spiritual advancement and progress of the peoples of the Western world is at hand.
What the next two thousand years will do for the spiritual and esoteric development of the people of the Western world and the next 144 years will do for the political, social, and cultural development of North America, is difficult to predict. Coming events not only cast their shadows before them, but likewise their great beams of radiant light, and we can already see the signs in the heavens, so to speak, and the influence they work in the consciousness of the people. 1933 is a year that will become highly significant to the new race, the new generation of men and women who will carry onward the ideals and principles of the several nations that constitute this great North American Continent.
And in other countries of the world other cycles are ending, bringing to an end also many phases of unrest, strife, and contention, and causing the great heavy sealed doors of future happiness and contentment to be opened revealing new and inexperienced chambers of marvels to be revealed to us. Rosicrucianism itself is on the very threshold of its greatest universal revival because so many of its individual jurisdictions will have their cycles of inactivity ending this year, and the cycles of renewed activity beginning, and because of the awakening consciousness of millions of beings who are realizing for the first time in their lives the value of spiritual powers; and, there will be a greater field of opportunity for the growth and development of Rosicrucianism than in any other time in the history of civilization.
But the evil forces of the universe are at work also, making their last great struggle in the natural contention that must exist between goodness and evil, truth and falsehood in order that goodness and truth may thrive through its constant endeavor to overcome the opposite, and may became stronger and more developed through its victories.
I am happy to say that on Monday, March 20th, the day of our New Year anniversary, I received a personal registered letter from our great Brother who is the international representative of the Great White Brotherhood. I refer to Nicholas Roerich. His letter came from the monastery in the Himalayas where he spends a part of each year in personal contact with the highest representatives of the Great White Brotherhood. From this sacred place came his message to us for the New Year, and with it a special article of inspiration and helpfulness to be published in the next issue of our Rosicrucian Digest.
In his personal letter he states that he would warn all of us to be watchful at this very critical period of transition from the old cycle to the new, and from the old race of thinking men and women to the newer race of evolving beings, and to watch out for the last and most desperate attempts of the forces of evil to try to destroy or prevent the activities of goodness and truth. Those who become fearful and submissive will be lost when just on the very threshold of rebirth into newer and greater power. But only those who will face toward the greater light and remain firm in their journey on the Path, fearless, dauntless, and persistent at this important time of transition, will be victorious.
The critical period is from March of this year 1933 to the end of November of this year. For just a few months the last and final struggle will be waged with a relentlessness unequaled in the history of the world. Nations of peoples, countries, provinces, districts, and even communities will be tormented with the tempter’s prodding and the evil urge to enter into warfare, strife, and rebellion. The very foundations of nations throughout the world will tremble as the earth trembled just a thousand years ago when the Great High Representative of Goodness was contesting the powers of evil and became the victor of death. Goodness will prevail universally, truth will sustain itself everywhere, but all peoples will not be victorious. Some must fall. Death and infamy, evil and deceit must have their victims. Be sure that you are not among those who will go down into the denths of the abyss and be lost in the progress toward the ineffable goal.
Let not the voice of the tempter deceive you. Let him turn you not from the path of righteousness to the path of darkness. Listen not to his silvered tongue with its smooth arguments contending that your present interests are wrong, that your studies and application of principles are deceiving you, that your associations are misleading you, that a newer and better path lies to your right or your left, that a better method, a better system awaits your acceptance. Do not be deceived into believing that you may turn your back upon those who have helped you, or that you can withdraw your hand of fellowship from those who are trying to lead you, or that you can deny the good your Master has done, or that you can forsake your obligations, your duties, and abandon your appreciation of what has been your privilege in the past.
Do not believe that just beyond the hill lies a valley of greater peace and power, or that the mountain before you need not be scaled to reach the heights of your ambitions. Do not allow the seeds of doubt and hesitancy to be sawn in your consciousness. Do not listen to the story intended to blacken the character or personality of those in whom you have had faith and trust. Do not allow yourself to be attuned with a new God, a new Master, a new leader whose virtues are untried and whose praises are being sung by lips that dare not speak in the presence of the God of our Hearts.
The flower of our ambitions lies like an unopened bud in the very heart of our souls. The maturing power is love. The vitalizing energy is faith and trust. Brother Roerich says that from the snow-capped mountains of the Himalayas, and from the hot plains of the deserts around them, is sent forth to all of us the love vibrations of those who know what is taking place in the world, and who pray for our salvation through strength to remain steadfast and constant in our present endeavors. The guilded, fascinating, scintillating idol which the forces of evil hold forth as a greater God than we now have is made of clay, and will soon disintegrate into the earthly substance of which it is made.
The forces of evil know that that which their representatives offer to the Children of Light will not live to lead them on to any victory or any accomplishment of their desires, but will crumble away into dust before the distant horizon is half reached. But they also know that in abandoning the path on which they now tread, and directing their eyes and footsteps toward the deceptive idol, they will be fulfilling the great desires of the darker forces, and in this they find ample satisfaction. Harken, therefore, to the voice and the words of those who know, and remain children of Light, walking unhesitatingly along the path so well known and so well trammeled by the footsteps of those who have gone on before and have reached the great goal of peace and power.
There is a clarion call being sent forth at this time throughout the world calling upon every enlightened and faithful follower of the Rosy Cross and of its allied associations representing the Great White Brotherhood of the world to unite in one grand army of indefatigable and fearless workers. Each and every one must do his utmost to assist others, and to assist the organized forms of workers for truth in maintaining their activities.
We know only too well how the evil forces are at work. Here in our own country the enemies of truth and light are broadcasting false and deceitful information designed to break down the faith of our followers and injure the reputation of your leaders. Falsehoods and glib words of deception are used by them to mislead the seekers and misdirect those who are on the Path. Stories without foundation and fact, newspaper articles misrepresenting the truth, falsifying reports of legal actions presumed to be taken, forged letters and documents, misquotations wilfully altered and cleverly extracted from reliable books are being circulated.
Our enemies will stoop to anything, and hesitate at nothing, for they have nothing to lose, and no pangs of conscience for they are so hardened by their associations with evil that the voice of goodness finds no place in which to speak within them. Each day brings us new evidences of the wilful, malicious campaigns of those who are now in the very midst of their last campaign of destruction. Here and there unthinking minds submit to the false arguments and their weak faiths are lowered to mistrust, while a few are taken from the light and led into the darkness.
There are thousands, on the other hand, who have discovered the deception, and the evil purpose back of it, and have felt an increasing strength rising in them, urging them to combat this last stand of the forces of evil, and hold a brave front against the last attack. Already their united strength is making mad the low and sordid minds of the evil ones, and whom the gods would destroy they first make mad. But in their savage madness, equaled only by the wildest beasts that are cornered at last in their final attacks, they have thrown all discretion to the winds, abandoned all honor and respect for truth, and are determined that as they fall into the pits of Hell they shall drag down with them the hesitant and doubtful, and those who fail to think, to investigate, to analyze, and to take means to learn the truth.
This, then, is our warning. To the evil-minded it is a message of challenge, and to the loyal and devoted ones it is a message of hope and good cheer for the coming new cycle. Make sure that you are on the side of truth and victory, and not among those who are to be forgotten or forever damned in the pitfalls of deceit and eternal darkness.
H. Spencer Lewis.
March 22, 1933.
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The Great Masters and the
Great White Lodge
Now we come to an examination of another very important question or group of questions which I feel sure interests a large portion of our membership. The questions come in a letter from our good Brother Marshall who is connected with one of the large banks in Shanghai and who has been a very sincere and analytical student for a long time and very active in the work in China. Since his questions deal with matters that have been published in English literature, he feels that we may be able to answer these questions better than some of those authorities living in Oriental lands.
Reducing his long letter to as few words as possible, he says that he has recently read a book that claims to contain some of the correspondence that passed between the Great Masters K.H. and M. to a member of the Theosophical Society. He said that in reading these letters, or what purports to be extracts or complete copies of them, he has found that the philosophy expressed in these letters differs considerably from some of the principles given in our Rosicrucian teachings and since we as Rosicrucians look upon these Great Masters as eminent authorities of the past and as supporters of the Rosicrucian activities in the past and present he wonders how it is that these Great Masters in their correspondence seem to extoll the doctrines of Buddha, for instance, as superior to those of Jesus and that the only reference made in those letters to Jesus would indicate that Jesus merely became an adept and not a Master, whereas, we, as Rosicrucians, look upon Him as the greatest of all Masters, even superior to Buddha.
He says further that the letters published in this book would seem to indicate that the two Great Masters referred to considered the Christian Bible in a more or less contemptuous manner and that the Christian dogmatic creeds have been responsible for much evil in the world and were brought to Europe through the near East from Egypt merely for the sake of giving the Western world some philosophy that would appeal to them. He says that in further examining these letters from the Masters there is much that would seem to indicate that they looked upon the existence of a Supreme God as a myth created in ignorance and having no real spiritual or other existence at all, while we, as Rosicrucians, have the very opposite point of view.
Certainly Brother Marshall has touched upon some very delicate points and I do not know whether I am fully qualified to answer all of them as completely as they should be answered. But at least I can tell you what I have gained from my understanding and study of the Rosicrucian teachings and from an examination of many rare manuscripts dealing with the history of both our Order and its basis for its teachings and also an examination of the writings of the Great Masters to whom he refers.
In the first place, it is manifestly unfair to the two Great Masters to attempt to judge them and their beliefs, and faith, and understanding of great Cosmic and universal principles by reading only a few of their letters or a collection of extracts taken from their letters regardless of who may have prepared the book containing these letters and extracts. I do not want to infer that the author of that book, or those who assisted in gathering the letters, were wilfully or deliberately unfair or biased or prejudiced, but I do want to say, and say very definitely, that my reading of the same book and one or two others that contained extracts from the letters of these Great Masters plainly indicated that the authors of the books or compilers of the books were not attempting to publish all of the correspondence of these Masters, nor all of their writings, nor giving a complete and extremely broad representation of the teachings, beliefs, faiths, and practices of these Masters.
Each of the books that I have seen has been compiled by a Theosophist or a member of the Theosophical Society with the frank acknowledgment that his purpose was to take such portions of the writings of these Masters as would throw light upon some of the Theosophical arguments and principles or upon the teachings presented by Madam Blavatsky or the problems that she had to face in her life in connection with her Theosophical work. Now such a frank and definite purpose on the part of the compilers is bound to bias or limit or categorically classify his selection of extracts and letters without any malicious intent.
Let us say, for instance, that we took the life of the late President Woodrow Wilson, whom I happened to know as a great mystic and whose familiarity with various mystical studies I once wrote about in one of our magazines, and attempted to go through all of his personal and private correspondence of past years, with the permission of his family and relatives and friends, solely for the purpose of extracting from that correspondence and any other of his writings such letters or parts of letters or even parts of sentences and paragraphs that indicated or expressed his mystical beliefs. And suppose I put all of these letters and extracts into a book and called it a presentation of Woodrow Wilson’s sympathetic understanding of the Rosicrucian mystical principles or a sympathetic understanding of Wilson’s Rosicrucian philosophical beliefs.
Would it be fair for the Christian Church or the representatives of the Hebrew religion or representatives of the Buddhist Church or any other philosophy or religious organization to read that book in an attempt to prove that Mr. Wilson never expressed a religious or philosophical idea that was not connected with or in sympathy with the Rasicrucian principles ?
Such a thing would be unfair because the book would have purposely eliminated all matter that would be extraneous to the theme of the book or its thesis. If the book were dealing with the whole of Wilson’s philosophy and religious expressions and ideas or claiming to present every angle of his faith and beliefs, then it would be fair to examine the book with an attempt to criticize what he believed and what he did not believe. But when only a part, and a carefully selected part, of his statements are used it is manifestly unfair to claim that because the extracts did not express a Christian belief or a Hebrew belief the writer had none.
If I am to judge from what I have read in the books being referred to and what I have read in other writings, the two Great Masters referred to did a great deal of writing and gave Madam Blavatsky many notations in the form of suggestions, psychic comments, expressions of opinion and belief and mystical revelations. Not more than one tenth, or possibly one hundredth, of these writings have been revealed in any of the books thus far published and, therefore, more was written than has been published and we have only a carefully selected representation of their beliefs and faiths.
Secondly, it is unfair to judge a statement in a paragraph or even in a whole letter that is separated from all of the arguments, claims, statements, and ideas that preceded either the paragraph or letter and which followed. They say it is possible to prove almost any side of any argument or any question or any point, ancient or modern, by taking a sentence or part of a sentence or part of a paragraph from some part of the Christian Bible. The very opposite points of an argument can be proved in this manner. Certainly this would make the Christian Bible appear to be a master book of contradictions and inconsistencies. It is only when the complete paragraph or the complete chapter is read in connection with what preceded and followed it that the truth is revealed.
In the next place, Rosicrucianism is not a religion but a system of metaphysics, science and philosophy purposely directed into practical channels. It has always claimed to give free religious expression to its members and to be non-sectarian in its attitude. This leaves it possible for me as a person born in the Christian religion and raised in the Christian Church to have Christian leanings and Christian tendencies, if I so choose, and to view many of the fundamental mystical principles of Rosicrucianism from my Christian viewpoint, and it gives the same privilege to our good Brother Marx in Philadelphia to view every one of these same principles from the religious point of view of the Hebrews and it gives our Roman Catholic members the right to see many of them from the view-point of Roman religion and so with the Buddhist and others of the Orient.
That the two Great Masters referred to were inclined to look upon Buddha as the greatest of the living Masters is understandable to me from two points of view; first, they had their actual earthly preparation and religious training in those days when they were in their earthly incarnations, passing through the earthly trials and tribulations leading to mastership, while Buddha was still with them in the flesh and was undoubtedly the greatest religious or philosophical and mystical leader of the world. They are, therefore, more familiar with his teachings through their actual physical and mental contact with them than with those of the Master Jesus who came to the world long after these Great Masters had discontinued their work among the people of the world exclusively as earthly beings.
Secondly, these two great Masters are essentially Oriental in their mental and spiritual development and while we may look upon spiritual development as universal and broader and greater than geographical or racial limitations, nevertheless, these spiritual ideas held within the soul and mind are expressible in worldly language and earthly terminology only through the material and physical equipment of the brain. And the brain that is trained to view everything and express everything from the Oriental point of view becomes colored, as does the brain that views everything from the Western world point of view, and all expressions of those interpretations will be colored.
Our Rosicrucian teachings in the Western world are slightly colored by the view-point of experience in the Western world and that is why the Rosicrucian teachings of the Western world are particularly helpful and extremely practical for Western world students and would not be as helpful to those of the Eastern world. And by the same token the Rosicrucian teachings as extolled and practiced in the Oriental countries today would not be as interesting, as understandable, nor anywhere nearly as practical for our Western world people, even though the fundamental principles and laws in each section of the world are presented by the Rosicrucian organization in identically the same form.
But in spite of all that I have just said and which offers some explanation or excuse for the possible different view-point regarding Jesus, the Christian teachings, and the Christian Bible and God as expressed by these Great Masters, I still insist that without all of their correspondence and without all of their complete expressions of ideas and faith, it is manifestly unfair to pass any judgment. Personally, from my reading or what the Great Masters have written and said, I cannot believe that they ever deliberately or intentionally expressed an idea that was meant to convey to anyone the very thought that there is no God, or Supreme Being, or Ruler of the Universe. This is so contrary to many things that they said otherwise than in messages to some of the Theosophical leaders and even so contrary to some of the early fundamental teachings of Theosophy and certainly so contrary to the high principles and religious teachings of the Great White Lodge, that I must condemn such a thought as being erroneously interpreted.
The Great Masters did in other places and at other times express their acknowledgment of the high attainment of Jesus. The word adept is translatable into many terms according to the Oriental and Occidental point of view, and therefore, we cannot argue the use of that word but outside of mere terms the very ideas of respect and adoration expressed by these Masters for Jesus and His work are unquestionably of the highest. I know that some years ago we were criticized by several Theosophical representatives of the International organization for publishing pictures of these two Great Masters in our magazine.
The criticism was based upon the contention that it was almost a sacrilege to place these pictures in any material form for general (not commercial) circulation. In arguing that it was not considered by the Christians as a sacrilege to publish pictures of Jesus in proper form and in the proper way, I was astounded to hear my contention answered with the statement that to the Theosophists the two Great Masters were considered even greater and more divine than Jesus. I do not know whether these representatives were correctly speaking in behalf of official Theosophy or not, but I do know that thousands of Theosophists whom I have met do not agree with that point of view.
If the compiler of the books we have been referring to actually believed that the two Great Masters were more divine and more superior in every spiritual and mystical sense than Jesus, then we can understand why they would naturally, unconsciously (not wilfully and maliciously) select for publication in their book such letters or extracts from letters written by the Great Masters as would agree with that opinion or seem to agree with or express that opinion.
So once again I contend it is unfair to attempt to pass judgment upon these matters without having had before us all of the writings and all of the many statements made by these Great Masters throughout the past and up to the present time without any editorial limitations or deletions of any kind. Of course, such matters would constitute a book beyond the size and cost within the possibility of any compiler or publisher and would not serve the particular purposes which represented the honest and sincere purposes of the compiler of the books to which we have referred.
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The Rosicrucian Forum
1932 August, Vol. III. No. 1
I have here an interesting letter that I feel should be brought into our discussions so that our comments may become a matter of record. One of our good members in Kansas has called our attention to the fact that in the May, 1932, magazine called The New Age, published by the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry in Washington, D.C., there is a comment to the effect that the "Illuminati" is not connected with Freemasonry and is a very undesirable movement of same kind, having had its origin in European countries some years ago and was discredited by Freemasonry even during the life of George Washington.
I think in fairness to all concerned we should call attention to the fact that the organization, referred to in this comment as the "Illuminati," was a separate organization entirely and in no way connected with either Freemasonry or Rosicrucianism, although the group of men who founded the so-called Illuminati in Germany did try in various ways to associate their strange organization with both Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry.
These men who founded or organized this undesirable movement became acquainted with the fact that in the Rosicrucian Order there is a division or a section of the work referred to as the Illuminati or, in other words, the illuminated ones. Taking advantage of this use of the name these men started a group of students that spread throughout all of Germany until it was condemned in most places and had to attempt to establish itself in America in order to increase its activities. The leader of this unique movement was one Weishaupt, and the average encyclopedia will give the story of the Illuminati and the history of its activities.
It was considered an undesirable movement because it eventually proved to be purely political and of a destructive rather than constructive nature. It never had any connection with the Illuminati of Rosicrucianism and no connection with any part of Freemasonry despite the claims that were made for it. It is only another illustration of how the good name of some other organization can be wrongly adopted.
At various times in the past history of the United States attempts have been made to stop this German political organization in America by various foreigners, some German, same French, and some Italian. Back in the early days of our own activities when we were establishing the first lodge in New York under the new regime, there came to us a German who made application for membership in the usual way.
The investigating committee found among other things that he was the American representative of the German Illuminati and that he had some sort of charter empowering him to establish branches of the Illuminati in New York and other eastern states. We questioned the man and found he was sincere in his desire to be a member of our organization and that he had only made a few attempts to establish the German Illuminati in New York and that he did not know that the movement he represented was undesirable from both a Rosicrucian and Freemasonic point of view.
We informed him that in order to become a member of the AMORC he would have to cease all of his activities connected with the Illuminati. He finally agreed to this and to make the situation absolutely clear and sure an agreement was drawn up by our attorney between the AMORC and the man representing the Illuminati. In this agreement the man agreed to turn over to us, to be kept in our vaults, his charter for the Illuminati for America and all of the rituals and paraphernalia he possessed that pertained to the Illuminati. We, on the other hand, were to keep these documents in our files as long as he was a member of the AMORC and thereby prevent him or anyone else from carrying an the undesirable activities. For a number of years the man was an earnest student of our work, but was constantly urged by some foreign persons to go ahead with his Illuminati activities.
Consequently he came to us and tendered his resignation as a Rosicrucian and asked for the return of his documents and papers. On the day when these were returned to him he signed a paper attached to the original agreement and wrote across the face of the agreement the fact that all of the original papers turned over to us were being returned to him intact under the seals with which he had sealed them and that to the best of his knowledge the rituals and papers had not been opened by us, used by us, or given to anyone else to use.
This agreement and attached paper and statements are in our files at the present time and we are happy to say that through other means used by us we succeeded in preventing the Illuminati from being established as a political organization in this country. Whether the man has continued same activities in a personal, private way, or not, we have not learned, but the fact of the matter is that there is no largely organized form of the Weishaupt’s "Illuminati" in America today and we doubt if there ever will be.
From a description of the rituals and ceremonies of that organization as published in foreign books, we find that every feature and every phrase of the ritual and instructions is so entirely different from anything found in Freemasonry, or in our own Rosicrucian work, that there could not be any mistake in associating the two.
We trust, therefore, that none of our members hearing of the use of the word Illuminati in connection with our Rosicrucian work will confuse it with the German organization that was entirely separate. The use of the word in connection with Rosicrucianism was well established far a century or more before Weishaupt and his friends organized a separate society in Germany.
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Here is another question asking whether we approve of the teachings and doctrines of Koreshanity. I presume that this question refers to the doctrines expounded by the late Dr. "Koresh." I met Mr. Koresh before his transition, and I have visited the headquarters of his organization, and while I cannot personally agree with all of the teachings included in his system, I can endorse the high, idealistic, spiritual nature of them, and certainly I endorse the beautiful motives that inspired him to devote his life to his work. It is his organization that expounds the doctrine of the Cellular Cosmogony, as outlined in some of our supplementary lessons.
That Cosmogony is as nearly perfect as any human conception of Cosmogony can be, and is certainly far more correct than the present Copernican Cosmogony; in fact, the latter system is a conglomeration of guesses and imaginary principles put together in childlike fashion, as though to tell a fairy story to a child in answer to his question as to what makes the wheels go round.
The man who invented it merely offered an answer to a question, and more or less apologized far his answer, for he admitted that it was neither scientific nor proven. Every year since it was invented has seen problems arising that cast more doubt upon the system, and convinces us that the Cellular system, or some other nearly like it, is more correct.
The Rosicrucians do not believe in cooperative communities, whereas Koresh and his followers have adopted this system to demonstrate its possibilities. There are same other similar differences in thought and action, but the distinct difference between the work of Dr. Koresh and ours is that ours deals with the practical sciences in a practical manner. We have never failed to say good things about the work of Dr. Koresh, and his book dealing with the Cellular Cosmogony has been in the libraries of our various branches and lodges for the past fifteen years, and from time to time in the past years we have referred to it in our magazine articles.
We receive their magazine every month, and send them ours. We tell our members in our correspondence what they are doing; and we are happy to note that in their magazine they have said kind things about us, and in their correspondence they have spoken excellently of the Rosicrucian organization, and so we are at peace and harmony and have always been so, and probably always will be so, for the Rosicrucian organization is not given to any petty emotions of rivalry or jealousy.
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Creation of Adam and Eve
This morning I want to give you a little talk on a subject that often arises in connection with the study of the Bible and in connection with some of our lectures that deal with the original creation of man.
You know there are two distinctly different stories in the Christian Bible regarding the creation of man. It is strange, too, to notice that some Christian denominations quote only one of those two stories in their doctrines, while some other denominations take the opposite version and seem to base some of their doctrines on that version.
No matter how you analyze those two versions in the face of Christian teachings you cannot make them agree. It is only when you view them from outside of Christian orthodoxy that you can find an agreement.
In the one version we are told that after everything else was created God created man and woman and He created them both male and female and created both of them at the same time. In the second version we are told that God created man first and then a little later caused a deep sleep to came upon him and during this sleep a "rib" was removed from man and out of this woman was made as a help-meet. The Bible says further that man and woman were created in God’s image. Christian doctrines tend to create in the mind of young people and most adults, the idea of a God in a personal form much like a human being and when the Bible account says that man was created in God’s image the impression created by the Christian church is of a perfected man and perfected woman called Adam and Eve and looking much like man and woman of today or a few hundred or a thousand years ago excepting, of course, the form of dress.
We see, therefore, that we are confronted with the problem of making the two accounts agree in any fundamentals. If Adam and Eve were created as distinctly separated male and female beings and created at the same instant of time, we have two beings created on the same day and independently of each other in any physiological sense. I think that is the common understanding of the statement in the Bible.
The other version leads us to believe that Adam may have been created a week or a month or several years before Eve was created, all depending upon how long we consider a day to have been in the cycle of creation. However, regardless of the time element involved we are distinctly told that Adam was created first as a complete, sentient being, but that Eve was created in an entirely different manner by having a part of the body of Adam removed and this enlarged or added to until it became a female being.
The interesting point in the second version is the statement that Eve was created out of a "rib" from Adam’s body. Even to youthful minds this has not only been a mystery but an almost inconceivable thing, and the question naturally arises as to why it was necessary to take even a rib from the body of Adam to create Eve when God had created all the other creatures independently of each other and was just as capable of creating a complete woman without any part of a man’s body as He was of creating Adam. Certainly, it was not a physiological necessity to have a rib of Adam to begin with and it is only natural that we should think there is some mystery or some mystical or other law involved in this taking of a rib from Adam.
It is only natural, therefore, that we should look into the definition of this word "rib" and make sure of its real meaning before we attempt to analyze the story of creation. We find that the word "rib" when translated from English into other languages, even modern French, can have many meanings.
We find that it not only means one of the bones that is attached to the vertebrae and therefore acts as a circular division of the body or constitutes a hill-like protrusion around the body, but it actually means a hill or mountain of lowlands that rises above the level of surrounding territory, and it also means a division or separation of one territory or district from another and you have a meaning similar to that of the border-line between one State or country and another or a border-line between the water and the land at the shore-line. For instance, in the French language there is the word cote, which is equivalent to the word rib in English, and the word cote can apply to a mountain ridge, or it can apply to a piece of meat called a rib steak and which is called entre cote.
I will admit that this understanding of the word "rib" does not help us very much except to show us that the word does not necessarily mean one of the rib bones or even any part of the skeleton.
Delving more deeply into the matter, however, and by consulting the original Hebrew version with the translations and marginal annotations of Rotherhans and other scholars, we find that the Hebrew word that has been translated into rib has a number of meanings in the Hebrew language as side chamber and cell. This interpretation of the word opens up interesting facts for us.
In the first place, a study of the physiology of man and of the physiology of the animal kingdom generally shows that many of the species of living creatures in their early stages were dually sexed. In fact, we have many such animals existing today. There is every indication in the physical, mental, and psychic nature of man today to prove that at one time both men and women were dually sexed. This leads us to conclude that at the time that man was created by God as the highest species of living animals, He created man both male and female precisely as the first version in the book of Genesis tells us and that this creature combined all of the physiological, psychological, psychic, and mental qualities of a dual being.
Some time later, however, when God’s plans of evolution were being carried out and His universe was gradually improved step by step to meet the requirements of the divine scheme, certain species of animals were separated in their physical nature and among these changes was that which caused a period of inactivity to came into the life of man while his physical body underwent a marvelous change. During this change the female cells of his body were separated from him and the independent body of Eve was created. This explains the second version in the book of Genesis where it says that after Adam had been created Gad caused a deep sleep to came upon him and during that sleep a rib—a cell or chamber—was removed from his body and this became the primary substance from which the body of Eve was evolved.
We see, therefore, that by considering Adam as a hermaphrodite and the division of this dual nature separated into two beings, we have a perfect blending of the two stories of creation in the Bible which cannot otherwise be understood or made to agree.
As I said a few moments ago, one has to step outside of Christian orthodoxy in order to arrive at this understanding of the two versions and make them agree because the thought of Adam being dually sexed is not generally acceptable to Christian scholars, but acceptable to all other profound thinkers of all the other religious schools, and I am glad to note that in recent years even many of the deep thinkers of the Christian denominations are accepting this view-point.
This understanding also helps us to understand human nature and many of the problems of life. We plainly see that since this separation of Adam and Eve all the descendants of the first man and woman thus are imperfect bodies, inasmuch as each is lacking a part of the other, and for this reason there would be a natural desire for mating or the coming together of those elements of a perfect being which would create a sense of completion. This would not only account for all of the mating instincts in all species of animals where such separation has taken place, but in man it would account for the higher emotion of love and many other human emotions.
Of course, this understanding does intimate that there is a mate or a companion for every male and female and perhaps one who is a more qualified or agreeable companion than any other, but it does not necessarily follow that such mates are "soul mates" or that there is a true affinity for each one of us whom we should seek and find even though we have already mated and married. In other words, there is nothing in this understanding of the separation of the sex natures of men and women to warrant the practice of seeking for an ideal mate after marriage on the basis that the present selected companion has been found to be lacking in certain qualities.
It has often seemed strange to me that so many persons start seeking their soul mates after they have been married a time and want an excuse for philandering. It is not likely that there is one particular woman anywhere in the universe who is wholly or exclusively a companion for some particular man and that no marriage is either holy or sacred or binding until these two came together. There are other elements of human nature to be considered in addition to that of balanced sex natures.
If a male and female mind and other emotional functionings and interests agree harmoniously, there can be a perfect marriage and a long and happy companionship whether these two are the perfect physiological and sexual compliments of each other or not. So we find no excuse in this doctrine of the duality of men and women for promiscuous contacts in an endeavor to find their "soul mates" or original companions.
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