Initiation Ritual for the Fourth Portal


The Story of Light

Each of the world's greatest religious founders, those who left to mankind a spiritual heritage, a system, doctrines or a code of living by which man could commune with the God within, was a beacon of Divine Light in a dark and saddened world of humanity. Their lives were shining examples of the truths they expounded. The reason bitterness oftentimes exists between the present-day exponents of these great religious movements is that they in their own lives and conduct do not, as their predecessors did, exemplify their religious principles. It is intriguing and inspiring to read The Story of Light, the beginning and evolution of the great religious movements, the construction of broad roads upon which man hopes to reach a closer understanding of his God. It is most befitting that with each initiation intended to evolve you r consciousness you be given a brief biography of these religious founders, these eminent personages.


Extremely little is known of Plotinus' life. Far more is known of his doctrines, which greatly influenced early Christianity and which live today in the creeds of the churches. The period of his life was from 205? to 270 A.D. He was born in Lycopolis, Egypt, and came to Rome in 244. He was a disciple of Ammonius Saccas at Alexandria. Egypt, many times referred to as the founder of Neo-Platonism. but Plotinus did far more to expound it than his teacher. He taught his philosophy in Rome for twenty-five years and included among his disciples an emperor and empress. Plotinus' ideas were also influenced by contact with the Persian religion during an expedition against that country by Emperor Gordian in which he nearly lost his life.
The Neo-Platonism of Plotinus was more than a philosophy; it became a religion and it spread so rapidly that for a while it threatened the growth of Christianity; Not only did the Christian church find much merit in its doctrines, but so did many of the old mystery schools who adopted it in nearly its entirety. Much of the mysticism taught by the modern secret schools is Neo-Platonism, even though many of the teachers of these societies either do not realize it or will not admit it.
Neo-Platonism, as the name indicates, was a revival of the Platonic philosophy with the inclusion of the Persian concepts of good and evil. Its doctrines held that the greatest reality of man. and that part of him which is closest to the divine, is his Soul. It is the good in him because it is closer to the infinite source of all-the Supreme Good. The body of man being of matter, and dominated by the appetites which tempt the Soul, consequently is, by comparison, evil, and far less real.
Broadly, this is the pure Platonic philosophy, but Plotinus went further. There is a constant conflict between these forces in man-the good and the evil; the Soul and the body. If man is to attain the final peace which comes from following the dictates of his divine nature, he must conquer the flesh. It is not sufficient, contended Plotinus, merely to suppress the desires and appetites, but the body, which is their vehicle, must be completely ignored. This latter declaration was the abstruse phase of Neo-Platonism. How was one to hold to a dualism of Soul and body, and yet declare the latter a minor reality to be ignored. The doctrine of emanation was offered as a reconciliatory measure.
First, there is the perfect or divine state and from this all other things emanate. The further the
emanations from the source, the lesser their degree of perfection; in other words, all things not completely absorbed into the source are on a graduated scale of perfection. The soul of man, though it too fell away from its once lofty estate, remains the nearest to the perfect state; therefore , it is the highest expression of man's nature. The body and all material things have emanated so far that they have practically no reality whatsoever. As all things are gradually drawn upward toward the perfect state again, they acquire greater reality. Man must consequently seek to be reabsorbed into the ONE of which he was once a part. If he follows the path of the flesh, he travels down the scale, getting further and further from the perfect reality.
In this way Plotinus postulates a duality of the divine and matter, and yet, there is the subtle bond of the emanations which makes for a monadic existence at all times. The spiritual beauty of Neo-Platonism cannot be denied and also it is more logical than the absolute dualism of Plato's teachings, for here at least is an explanation of matter's relationship to the perfect source, the infinite existence.

Fratres and Sorores, Greetings!


It is indeed gratifying to the Supreme Grand Lodge staff to be able to grant our students the privilege of participation in these special Temple Initiations. These initiations create the proper atmosphere and allegorically portray the particular cycle of progress in which you are in the work of the Order; therefore, it is best for your own welfare in this work of the Order that you conscientiously enact this ritual. If at the moment you do not have privacy in your home, read it through carefully, and later you can carry out this ceremony as instructed.
For this Initiation you are to YOUR CHAIR follow the direction-arrows and note the position numbers on the diagram as you have on other diagrams in previous initiations. It will be necessary, however, to prepare one additional feature for this ceremony. You will observe by an examination of the diagram that the word ladder appears, and opposite it a series of little strips, representing the rungs of a ladder. These are to be made by cutting seven strips of cardboard, 25 cm long and about 10 cm wide. Then place them on the floor of your Sanctum directly in front of the chair in the West of your Sanctum so that each strip is separated from the others by about 25 cm. When you have completed this arrangement you will have a series of strips of cardboard, all uniform in size and separated by a space of 25 cm. These strips of cardboard are to represent steps --the rungs--of a ladder. The top step, that is, the highest rung of the ladder, is the one which is nearest Figure 1 as shown in the diagram; and on that one you are to print the word Mathrem. The lowest step, of course, is the one directly in front of Figure 4 on your diagram.
APRON: Before performing the ceremony you are to place upon your person the ritualistic apron mentioned in previous initiations.
LIGHTS: Light your candles on the altar and illuminate your room sufficiently to read.
REPORT: When you have completed the ceremony, fill out the Initiation Report, indicating your impressions of the Initiation, and forward it to the Grand Lodge in San Jose.



After you have concluded all arrangements of your Sanctum, including the lighting of the candles on the altar, be seated in the chair in the West of the Sanctum (see diagram). You will remain seated in a passive mood until you are inwardly aware of your attunement with the Cosmic, until you sense a feeling of quiet and peace. Then you will proceed with the ceremony.
(Read, not aloud)
And I say unto you that as ye lift up your hands unto Heaven and seek that which is not revealed, so shall ye lift up your voice in praise of God! Let us pray: Unto Thee, our God, do we give our understanding in this holy Sanctum tonight, that it may be charged with that wonderful, Divine knowledge which taxes man's comprehension and maketh him confounded by its sublime perfection. We beseech Thy conscious presence here tonight that we may know the secrets of all nature, the laws of the universe, for our God we praise and adore Thee; Thou, God, art Light, Life, Love, and Truth, Strength, and Power, and Goodness Everlasting. Cromaat!
(Read, not aloud)
Respected Guardian, do you affirm that the Temple is properly tiled? (Secure against intrusion; proper privacy.)
You will recall that your conscience is your inner guardian; therefore, if you have the conviction that your Sanctum is tiled, you will answer in the affirmative.
CANDIDATE: Arise, stand erect, and face your altar. (See diagram, Fig. 1) (Read aloud softly):
I do, Beloved Master.
(Read, not aloud)
Respected Candidate, do you affirm that you were duly admitted into the Degree of Theoricus? (Theoricus is the title given you in the Second Degree Initiation.)
If you have performed the Second Degree Initiation as instructed, you should answer in the affirmative. If you have not as yet performed the Second Degree Initiation, you will not proceed further with this ritual until you have.
CANDIDATE: (Read aloud softly)
I do, Beloved Master.
(Read, not aloud)
Then I charge you to make the sign of supplication.
(Place your fingertips together in front of your chest so that the palms are separated by about 5 cm, the hands in position for prayer. This is the same sign given you in the Second Degree Initiation.) Now the sign of the compass. (Place your heels together so that the toes of the feet are separated by 25 cm.)
(Read, not aloud)
Beloved Candidate, you may now be seated.
CANDIDATE: Be seated in the chair from which you arose in the West of the Sanctum.
(Read, not aloud)
Beloved Candidate, I will, as your servant, assist you in your researches, and may Heaven prosper our united endeavors. So mote it be.
MASTER (continues):
I now declare the Third Degree closed and the Sanctum prepared for and opened in the sublime Fourth Degree. I now charge the Candidate to come forward to the East of the Sanctum.
CANDIDATE: Arise and walk to a place directly in front of your altar taking the ritual with you so you may read.
Approach your altar by way of the South of your Sanctum.
(See diagram, direction-arrows, and Fig.2.)
(Read, not aloud)
Do you pledge upon your honor, as a worthy initiate into the sublime mysteries of this Degree, that you will persevere through the studies of this Degree, that you will conceal the secrets from those who cannot satisfactorily prove initiation into this Degree?
CANDIDATE: (Read aloud)
I do.
(Read, not aloud)
: You are about to be initiated into the symbolism of this Degree. You have withstood certain tests and trials and have persevered in your notable determination to understand the laws of God as expressed in all nature. At this time you are to be advanced to that title which will honor you as a true student of our inner work and sacred philosophy. You shall become a Philosopher of the Orient and as such shall hold within your hands the key to the most marvelous decrees of God.
(Read, not aloud)
MASTER (continues):
Beloved Candidate, I address you from the East of your Sanctum, the East from whence came the great knowledge of this Order. It is in the East that the Sun rises each morning. Its rays of light illumine the skies at sunrise and tinge the dome of heaven with the fiery red of Life, the rose hue of vitality. As the Sun in splendor rises and to the West its course devises, darkness is dispelled, until at last, in fiery splendor once again, it casts its rays of golden hue and symbolizes the day is done in gold, which with the rose was well begun. So it is in the East we seek the coming of the light, while in the North darkness reigns untouched and the South is warmed by the passing Sun. But to the West we must ever turn to see the gold which shows a worthy action done.
(Read, not aloud)
MASTER (continues):
Now face the North. (Candidate will turn and face the different stations of the Sanctum as directed.)
[Members living south of the equator will nevertheless conform to the orientation or geographical directions indicated in the monograph, even though the significance in their country may be different, because these geographical directions are traditional and symbolical.]

Darkness reigns. Now face the South. In the Heaven is the glory of God, the Light and Life of the universe enthroned. Now face the West; in the West do we see the sublime achievement of God's divine laws of Love. As we face the golden lights of the West, let us pray: God of our Hearts, again we stand before Thy glorious symbol and await its benediction. Instill in our hearts tolerance, kindness, goodness, and Love and Peace. May our constant endeavors be for the greatest perfection of man's soul personality on Earth. Cromaat. You will now return to the West and be seated.
CANDIDATE: Turn and walk at right angles until you reach your chair in the West of the Sanctum; then be seated. (See diagram, direction-arrows, and Fig. 3.)
(Read, not aloud)
Let us now proceed with the advancement into the Fourth Degree. We have made ready for our progress and it is well that we make haste. This is the Degree of the Ladder of Seven Steps. (That term as well as the term Fourth Degree is only an exoteric term. These terms are used in public reference to this Degree, but they do not carry the real significance of the Degree.)
It must be apparent to you that the sublime symbolism of this Degree must be carefully veiled. We have given to the public just one symbol of this initiation, that of the Ladder of Seven Steps. Therefore, on official papers you will find this Degree symbolized by the
Ladder of Seven Steps. Naturally you may refer to the same symbol, but never speak of its real significance or place in this Initiation. The real sacred and secret name of the Degree is written at the head of the ladder.
There in the West you will find the name of this Degree written upon the highest step, originally written in the Atlantean language, the basic mystical language. In one sense this word is The Word, because it embodies the lost word, the word which each one of you will assist in finding.
Translated into English, the name of this Degree is MATHREM.
Bear in mind that this word is never to be spoken outside of our Temples, and only when in Convocations of the Fourth Degree or higher Degrees. The 'Lost Word' consists of five letters in the original language. Translated into English it has six letters, but we consider only the five. Each of these letters has a distinct and independent meaning. The five letters with their meaning explain a Great Law, and the word itself, as a whole, has one other meaning, which we shall appreciate.
As we progress through this Degree and four others, we shall attain this word, letter by letter; that is, we shall learn and understand the meaning of one letter in each Degree, until in the Eighth Degree, the Degree of Awakening, we shall discover the true meaning of The Word itself. The first letter--M-represents the mother influence, the protecting and maturing influence of mind and body.
In its modernized form The Word is used as the password of this Degree, and, as such, will be given to you later. However, to approach The Word as embodied in the name of this Degree we must reach the sublime heights of the Altar in the West. The Word, as I mentioned to you, came from Atlantis. This great country, from which came so much understanding and knowledge of the laws of God, was in the West, as the founders of this Order then considered its location.
In Atlantis there was a great mountain, the highest known to man. Its peak, to this day, rises above the sea and is given the name Pico. It is one of the group of islands known as the Azores. The name Pico was not given arbitrarily, but has a special signif1cance aside from being a translation of the word mountain. This mountain was symbolical of an uplifted spiritual state, a higher plane of consciousness, and upon it was placed a great altar facing the East, and this Altar was given the name Mathrem. To it went the sincere and devout to worship once a year. It is in commemoration of this that we have a similar ceremony in this, the Fourth Degree.
The top of the mountain was approached by seven planes. The journey usually occupied one day for each plane and at the close of each day, a service of worship and enlightenment was held. You appreciate now that the seven steps are, in fact, seven planes. Being prepared here at this time to journey to this Altar and be enlightened by its mystery, we shall now proceed to journey to the Altar of Mathrem by way of the Ladder of the Seven Steps.
Let us proceed with sincerity, rejoicing, thankfulness, and praise. So mote it be.
(Read, not aloud)
MASTER (continues):
The Candidate will arise and walk to a point directly facing the first step of the ladder—that nearest the Shekinah--and step carefully on each rung of that ladder (the strips of cardboard; see diagram), approaching the West until you have reached the seventh. There you can stand with your feet upon the rung in the position as described earlier in this Initiation. Facing the West, say 'Mathra,' make the Sign of the Cross, and return to your position in the West of the Sanctum.
CANDIDATE: Do as instructed, then return to your chair in the West as shown in the diagram. (See direction arrow and Fig. 5.)
(Read, not aloud)

MASTER: Beloved Candidate, you have successfully journeyed to the Altar of Mathrem and have there uttered the sacred word, 'Mathra.' That word is the English equivalent of The Word, (NOTE: The word Mathra which has just been revealed to you is pronounced by sounding the A's as the A in father) the long lost Sacred Word. It is the password of this Degree. Ever shall it be kept secret and held in most sincere respect by you. Its very utterance brings to the soul of the devout the vibrations of power, success, love, and peace, from the Masters throughout the universe. Its sound vibrations you will learn, are of a nature and number which neutralize all opposing vibrations and bring attunement with the mystic vibrations of the universe.
Because you faced this Altar, because you attained the heights of Pico, you are properly titled with the distinction of Philosophus which is your title in this Degree.
(Read, not aloud)
MASTER (continues):
Now, Beloved Candidate, I will explain the method whereby you may judge or recognize a member of this Degree. First, we have the physical. If you approach one whom you believe to be a 'Philosophus,' and you desire to show that you, too, belong to this Degree, you shall stand still upon your first observance of that person and, facing him or her, take seven ordinary steps forward or backward until the other person shows that he or she has recognized your sign. These seven steps shall always be taken in an ordinary, inconspicuous manner. Whenever the seven steps are taken by yourself or another, the sign shall be answered by looking into the eye of the person taking the seven steps and holding this gaze steadily for a few seconds; then the person taking the steps shall say to the one responding to the gaze 'And to what heights have you gone?' Having been initiated into the Fourth Degree, the person asked will understand the question and reply: 'I have gone to the Altar in the West.' Then, if further proof is required, the first party may say: 'I will give but one letter of that word if you will give the one preceding it.' First one party will then say: 'A' or 'M' as he or she chooses, and the second will reply, 'M' or 'E' or as the case may be. In this way you test others for the name of this Degree, Mathrem.
Whenever you feel that vibrations of any kind are opposing you, when you feel that disaster, worry, or evil is near, stop, and in silence with eyes gazing steadily ahead say mentally The Word 'Mathra' three times, slowly. All will be neutralized and you will feel love, harmony, and peace come to your mind and soul. If ever anyone seeks to do you an injustice or speaks ill of you, or threatens to bring disaster upon you or those in your care, gaze at him steadily and say The Word as previously explained. Immediately, he will be powerless or prevented from saying that which will bring injury to you, or those you protect. There is no other word in the world, known to any tongue, in any language, which is so strong magnetically and mighty for good as this word. It is The Word which God spoke when the vibrations went forth to establish the world and place therein life, love, power, might, goodness, truth, and peace. May you ever worship God according to this Law of MATHRA!
(Read, not aloud)
MASTER (continues):
Please rise! (Candidate will rise and face the East of his Sanctum, the altar.) With your eyes toward the East and your heart filled with the sublime joy of the West, we part and separate to go to the North and South, the East and the West, spreading the Divine laws of God, in every act, inspiration, and thought of our daily tasks. With the bonds of peace, fellowship and secrecy, we now leave this, our sacred Sanctum. Now, please write a brief report, using only the enclosed report form, giving your impressions of the Initiat1on, and mail to the Department of Instruction.

The design of a ladder appearing in the triangle in the lower left-hand corner of each page of your present monographs is an arcane symbol. It has long depicted to mystics, Rosicrucians, and philosophers alike, the way of attainment. It represents man's climb upward in search of Light, Life, and Love. It is the symbol of this Fourth Rosicrucian Temple Degree.


The Words of the Illumined

Many Are the Vistas That Are Revealed to Him
Who Has Attained the Mountaintop
The worldly lives of those recognized as the fathers of our religions are, in most instances, rely a matter of chronological record, but their personal cosmic illumination is best determined from the truth which flowed from their mouths, for it is that, and that alone, which elevates them above all men. Below are brought to you some beautiful reflections of the great avatar whose biography has been given you in the forepart of this manuscript.
His mind must be dull and sluggish in the extreme, and incapable of being incited to anything else, who, in seeing all the beautiful objects of the sensible world, all this symmetry and great arrangement of things, and the form apparent in the stars, though so remote, is not from this view mentally agitated, and does not venerate them as admirable productions of still more admirable causes . . . .
The soul perceives temperance and justice in the intellection of herself and of that which she formerly was, and views them like statues established in herself which through time have become covered with rust. These she then purifies, just as if gold were animated and, in consequence of being incrusted with earth, not perceiving itself to be gold, should be ignorant of itself; but afterward, shaking off the earth which adheres to it, should be filled with admiration in beholding itself pure and alone.
This therefore is the life of the gods and of divine and happy men-a liberation from all terrene affairs, a life unaccompanied with human pleasures, a flight of the alone to the alone.
This is the true end of the soul, to come into contact with his light, and to behold him through it, not by the light of another thing, but to perceive that very thing itself through which it sees.