EXTRACTS FROM COMMUNICATIONS RECEIVED
April 29th 1936
I want to talk to you first about the work in general and then about its Christian aspect in particular. Because it is only by considering the work in general that we can see the place of its Christian aspect. I want you all to have the scheme clearly in your minds, and then you will be able to see the part played by each aspect in relation to the whole, because each one of you has a partial aspect of the work to fulfil, and by your various contributions the whole is made up. No man can do another`s work: each is a part: none is the whole.
This work, as you know, is a pendant of the Greater Mysteries, wherein all these partial aspects are summed up and united into a single cohesive whole. When you come to the Greater Mysteries there is neither pagan nor Christian as you understand them, for the Greater Mysteries lie beyond the partial expression of things. Therefore the symbolism of the Greater Mysteries is neither pagan nor Christian but purely abstract.
To understand this, you must understand the nature of the Christ. The Christ is the redemptive force that harmonises the pairs of opposites in the Cosmos, and in the individual unites the pairs of opposites – the higher and lower nature. In other words, it is the exaltation of consciousness. The illuminating power of the Christ is not a person, but a potency – the aspect of the One God aptly called the Son.
The Christ is represented symbolically in Tiphareth – the illuminating aspect. The Redeemers and Saviours of all faiths are represented symbolically as Sun gods in Tiphareth.
Each of the great cultures have their Christs, their Avatars, who are incarnations of this force. There is one Jesus, but many Christs, and in the Greater Mysteries the Christ force is not the person of Jesus, nor Osiris, nor Apollo, but the Tiphareth potency manifested by the Redeemer and Saviour bringing Illumination.
And this is the key to the Lesser Mysteries. The three Paths of the Lesser Mysteries prepare the personality for union with the Higher Self. And these three paths are three modes of discipline – three ways of dealing with human souls, and souls must needs be approached by the door that is open. And with some it is by means of devotion that they rise into the higher consciousness, and some can only approach realisation by reason, and some are exalted by beauty. And these three paths meet in the Greater Mysteries. And there are these three paths because the needs of man are various, not because there are three Gods.
Therefore we must take each man as we find him and deal with him according to his needs. And let us perfect each path after its kind, in no wise modifying a path, because each is true in its own way – each an aspect of the truth.
And you will find that the younger and less evolved souls are more extreme in type and less able to attain realisation outside their own limitations. And more highly evolved souls are more able to sympathise and understand the other aspects, but all aim at the same end – redemption and illumination.
The Redeemer is the equilibrator of the personality, harmonising it within itself. The Illuminator is the unifier of the Lower and Higher selves; and Adepthood unifies the macrocosm with the microcosm. Therefore remember, you keep each path true to type. But as they rise higher, they are made on in the Greater Mysteries. Therefore the Hermetic or central say must be kept free from Pagan or Christian symbolism or influence, it is purely intellectual.
Upon the Pagan aspect in the lower ranges are the Elemental forces – the Nature gods, and it rises through the Culture gods to the Greater ones. These are purer and of a more abstract nature and lead those who follow this path to the realisation of the One, passing through the Elemental forces, through Beauty, to Devotion.
Equally with the Christian – in the lower rangers you have the ethical and moral teaching. You will find there are souls of a certain type who are drawn towards the central pillar of the Christian path which gives a broader range, and they will receive illumination through philosophical understanding of the significance of the Sacrament. Then again, you will have souls of a purely devotional type, who will aspire through love of service. Others, in whom the beauty aspect predominates, and they require the poetical aspect to give wings to their soul.
And you get these three aspects on all three Rays, in their own manner.
This evening, however, as we are considering the Christian only, we see we have those who are at the level where they need devotional service. They do not want a profound philosophy, but a way of life to inspire their ideals. And on either hand are those that need something deeper. On the one side the philosophy of Christianity that approximates with the Hermetic and needs a deeper understanding of the significance of the Sacraments, and on the other those that love Beauty, and they find this in the ancient traditions of the Christian faith in these islands. And these three aspects are gathered up in the Graal ideal, which contains a way of life and aspires to the ideal symbolised by the Cup.
Therefore in the Guild of the Master Jesus you concentrate not upon the personality of the Master, but upon the Graal, because this represents a higher and more mystical symbolism than the incarnated personality. The person of the Master is the object of devotion of those who are purely devotional and ethical, who go by the way of the good life; but there are the other two aspects of the Christian, and these three can meet in the Graal.
For some people the cult of the Master Jesus is a way they can understand, but behind the Master shines the Light of the Graal, and the Master brings us the Graal, and the symbolism of the Graal is the cult of the Illuminati. Therefore take for your symbol – for your concentration – the Graal, which enshrines the Christian power - and then shall come the fuller illumination.
The Graal is the Cup into which the power of the Holy Ghost is drawn, and in the Graal symbolism you find the esoteric significance of Christianity. And as you will remember, when you first designed your symbol, it was the symbol of the Cup.
September 25th, 1936
I have invited you to meet me tonight in order that we may discuss the development of the Guild of the Master Jesus.
There are certain things you want to bear in mind when developing this aspect of our work. You want to realise its significance and relationship to the work as a whole. First, you must realise that the keynote is given by the old Rabbis who said of God: “One is He, and His permutations are One.” All religions are different modes of presentation of the One – are permutations of the One. Whatever nomenclature employed, whatever symbols employed, it all amounts to the same thing in the end. They are various adaptations to men`s temperaments and circumstances; and their end is to bring men to God, they are not ends in themselves. Therefore remember that the Christian faith is one of the paths – not the only path, and men come to God by the path on which they find themselves.
Very well then, the Christian religion is for those to whom it is temperamentally suited – other paths for other temperaments. But as it is the faith of this land, the vast majority will find they are temperamentally suited to one or another of its presentations. And there are many ways of presenting it. The basic concept is common to all faiths, but the presentation can be adapted to a wide range of temperaments. You cannot approach that wide range within the confines of one sheep-fold, and we have our work to do in the Guild and it is highly specialised work, and there is no one else can do what we have to do, and it is not our task to do what is being done effectively by other people.
The Guild, then, is concerned with initiation by the Way of the Cross. That is to say, those persons who seek initiation and whose Master is the Master Jesus, are suitable for the discipline of the Guild; but behind the Guild is something bigger. Just as the Greater Mysteries are behind the Lesser Mysteries, so behind the Guild of the Master Jesus is the Church of the Graal. You have in the Guild and the Graal an exact analogy of the Lesser and Greater Mysteries. The Lesser Mysteries are concerned with the personality and the Greater with the higher self and the Cosmos. I do not propose at the moment to deal with the Lesser Mysteries and the Guild, but rather with the Greater Mystery aspect of the Church of the Graal.
Now the Guild and the Lesser Mysteries are concerned with the redemption of the personality, but the Greater Mystery aspect of the Christian tradition – the Church of the Graal – is concerned with the descent of the Pentecostal power of the Holy Ghost, and the object of adoration in the Church of the Graal is the Third Person of the Trinity, and its sacred symbol is not the Cross but the Cup.
So you get the two aspects of antithesis – the pairs of opposites – wanting one particular aspect, but the equilibrium is found in the soul of the initiate – the perfected man. For the aim here is the same as in the Hermetic mysteries – the perfection of man, but we approach that goal after another manner.
The Cross is the symbol of sacrifice and it is only be sacrifice that power is generated. It is an extremely important symbol, but if you meditate on it too much you bring destruction. We destroy ourselves by over-much sacrifice, and that is the bane of the Christian religion.
The Cup is the symbol of receptivity. We lift the Cup to receive the wine – the down-pouring of the Holy Spirit. In the symbol of the Cross adoration is to the Second Person of the Trinity; and we have to realise there is not power without sacrifice, and in devotion to the Master Jesus the personality is sacrificed to free the individuality. But that aspect alone is too negative; we must also have the Graal aspect of adoration to the Third Person of the Trinity – the lifting of the Cup for inspiration.
The Crucifixion is only completed with the Resurrection and Ascension and the coming of the Holy Spirit. That completes the Christian cycle. But in the exoteric church, the cycle is completed with the Ascension – the withdrawal, and we are left to await the Second Coming, which ever recedes into the distance like the horizon.
The real key, then, to the Guild is in the Graal and the object of meditation should be the Graal and not the Cross; the descent of the Holy Spirit and not the historical Jesus; the present, not the past nor the future. If you train your students to meditate on the Cross you will bring them to suffering – too much suffering – if they meditate on that alone. The Cross is an important symbol and one cannot experience the higher aspect of the Ascension without it, but one can have too much of it, my children. The focus and nucleus of your work should be the Graal – the adoration of the Third Person, not the Second.
For this purpose there should be a meditation system, and this should start where the exoteric teaching ends. It should start with the Resurrection and Ascension and the descent of the Holy Spirit as a wind that bloweth where it listeth – and tongues of fire conferring power, and the bringing of the Graal to these Islands. And it should develop through all the Graal Mysteries – the removal of the Cup into the care of the Fisher King – and its Quest and Vision.
Therefore teach in your inner group of the Guild the Graal and not the Cross, for from the Graal comes illumination.
And I am particularly anxious that the art of prayer and meditation should be most carefully taught in the Guild. Doctrine matters little. Teach them how to approach the light and they will learn by themselves. Train most carefully, just as carefully as for the Lodge. There should be no distinction in the training. It is most important. There should be a regular system of the visualising of symbol pictures just as in the Lodge and there should be group meditation to build the atmosphere, (and now that you have certain members drawn from the Lodge to form the diaconate of the Guild, they will put the power into it. Gather these persons together in group meditation. Those of your Guild members who are suitable can be admitted to this circle and trained therein. Thus you will make the Guild into a potent thing). Remember, ceremonies are magical, they are more than congregational worship. They are the link between the seen and the unseen, and the ceremonies of the Guild should be worked in the same magical way as those of the Lodge. Then they will be a channel of power from God to man.
In answer to question re meditation and training:
Commence with the Annunciation – the Angelic contacts.
The Birth in the stable.
The visit of the wise men.
The Flight into Egypt.
The Child Jesus in the Temple.
The withdrawal to the Essenes.
The return and the Baptism by John.
The Temptation in the Wilderness.
The teaching on the Mount.
The passing on to Gethsemene.
The holy women at the foot of the Cross.
The Descent of the Holy Spirit.
Take all the events right through. It is the Master Jesus who prepares character. Without His influence something is lacking, but go on to the coming of Power. Do not take your Guild on to meditation on the Crucifixion. It is too profound.
We have covered much this year and everything is coming together into shape.