Initiation Ritual for the Eighth 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 your consciousness you be given a brief biography of these religious founders, these eminent personages.
Hero of Alexandria
A very interesting character is the one known as Hero or Heron of Alexandria. he was really a great natural magician and philosopher. although sometimes classified as a Greek geometer and writer. His strange life and his marvelous accomplishments and demonstrations, which aroused the interest of a large part of the world, demonstrate the value and power of knowledge. While all around him there were great rulers whose power was exalted to the highest degree, whose word was law, and who could command the highest respect or at least the highest recognition from all human beings, still Hero received the highest admiration, adoration, respect, love, and fear, not through any insistence on his part but through the power and wisdom which he displaced. Although nations may have feared the sword and the wrath of king or potentate, thousands of the same people feared the very touch of Hero's fingers or the glance of his eye, or the rendering of a single vowel sound. He was looked upon as a god by the heathen worshipers and idolators because his seemingly unlimited magical power and ability was quickly and easily applied and produced not the common forms of expression of wrath or displeasure such as storms, winds, fires, and dust storms but other things that man had never seen before.
There is uncertainty as to the exact years in which Hero lived, but it was somewhere between 250 B.C. and 150 B.C., or possibly as late as 106 B.C. He secured his knowledge of nature's fundamental laws in the schools of mysticism. He experimented and tested until he knew the real nature of fire, the real characteristics of water and air, and the true possibilities when these fundamentals were combined. Along with his profound knowledge he had a rare ability of knowing how to demonstrate these fundamental laws of nature in such a novel manner as to take the demonstrations out of the classroom or college laboratory into the everyday affairs of life. In other words, he made his knowledge serve practical purposes. Undoubtedly there were learned persons in his time who had received the so-called orthodox academic education in conservative classrooms or at the hands of dignified teachers who believed that the laws of
God and nature were either too sacred to be publicly demonstrated or too profound for the lay mind. But Hero was essentially a showman and undoubtedly smiled on many occasions when he performed fears or demonstrations such as Barnum might have used years later with his circus. or others might use today at state and national fairs before multitudes. Hero believed that through novelty and amusement the deeper senses could be reached and a more lasting impression made; that through the application of profound laws to the simple understandable things of life a greater respect for fundamental knowledge could be created among those who were not given to thinking deeply. And so he built such novel features as a water organ, a musical fountain, and novel siphons. He even created a device that was similar to a penny-in-the-slot machine, a fire engine, etc.
One of his really mystical and truly useful, though novel demonstrations was that of an altar built outside the heavy gates to his grounds. Groups of common people might enter his mystical grounds and see his many fountains and other novelties by first praying to God for admission before this altar outside the gates. The petitioners had to build a small fire upon the altar and burn something of little value as a symbol of sacrifice. After the fire was kindled and had burned for a time, seemingly sufficient to destroy or consume the thing sacrificed. the huge wooden and iron gates, hardly movable by a group of men, would mysteriously open, seemingly of their own volition or through divine intervention. The petitioners. awed by the demonstration, entered through the gates in reverence and with a mental attitude that prepared them for a proper regard of the other demonstrations. They did not know that the fire on the altar warmed the air underneath the altar, and that through pressure water was loosened in to huge buckets in a subterranean room, and that the dropping of these buckers pulled cables wound around the buckets and attached to the gates beneath the surface upon which they were mounted. Before he passed through transition, Hero wrote many books dealing with mechanics, physics, and with principles which he had demonstrated, and thus gave to the world some very valuable information after having mysteriously created the desire for this knowledge by his novel exhibitions. There are a number of books in English and other languages dealing with the life of Hero or Heron of Alexandria and all large encyclopedias contain interesting information about him. He was the type of mystic who used his knowledge to further the desire for a closer acquaintance with the principles of nature. He was typically a Rosicrucian at heart.
Fratres and Sorores, Greetings!
You have arrived at the second point of the Triangle in your third trip around it. Each time you have traversed the Triangle you have spiraled higher and higher. You are not to judge your progress merely by the number of the Degree that you are about to enter. The fact that you are now to be permitted to cross the threshold to the Eighth Degree is n o t an indication in itself that you are eight times as accomplished in these studies as the Neophyte in the First Degree. But the fact that you are now about to enter the Eighth Degree means that you have had the opportunity to take advantage of these teachings and principles, to make use of them eight times longer than the Neophyte who is crossing the threshold for the first time. It further means that you have had presented to you eight times the amount of knowledge that the candidate who first crosses the threshold has had. You must determine from a self-analysis, however, your status in the comprehension of these teachings--whether you are actually ready for the Eighth Degree in the sense that you have not only reached that numerical point in the studies, but that you know the work and teachings up to that point and are worthy of them.
Again we must impress upon you that initiation is not intended to be merely a fascinating introduction of your physical self into pleasant and mysterious surroundings, but a preparation of your mental and psychic self for further light. The object of the initiation is clearly explained on the cover of this manuscript-"Initiation brings into the realm of reason the purpose and into the realm of emotion the spirit of one's introduction into the Mysteries."
The diagram illustrates the manner in which your sanctum is to be arranged for the ceremony. The diagram, by the use of numbers and directional arrows, indicates your location in the sanctum while performing the initiation.
The little square with the number in its center indicates your exact location, and the arrow alludes to the direction you will take in reaching the location. As you move from place to place during the performance of the initiation you will be properly instructed as to how to make use of the diagram.
LIGHTS: In addition to having merely sufficient light to read by and to walk about the sanctum, one lighted candle should be placed on the altar instead of two as indicated in the diagram. The candle should be lit before you begin the ceremony.
APRON: If you have the Rosicrucian ritualistic apron, it should be placed upon your person.
INCENSE: Incense should be ignited and placed in the center of the altar preceding the ritual.
REPORT: We desire to receive your report stating briefly your experiences, whatever they were. For this purpose, please use only the report form enclosed and mail it to the Department of Instruction.
It is now presumed that your sanctum is properly arranged according to the diagram and instructions above.
As much as is possible under your circumstances, exclude all distracting sound. Seat yourself comfortably in a chair in the West of your sanctum (see diagram) and meditate for a moment upon the blessing of occasional solitude. It is not natural that man should at all times be separated from his fellow beings, because he is one of the human species and is dependent upon them. The improvement and progress of humanity come from the contribution of the individual to the whole, which, in turn, can come only from association of the individual with others. Yet in the world of man we are so busily engaged in segregating the impressions and sensations that we receive daily in our experiences that seldom do we have time to judge their real worth or to distinguish between them and true wisdom.
This outer knowledge that is taught man and which we experience in our daily lives is crowded into our consciousness so rapidly every hour of the day that instead of being an orderly arrangement of information that is helpful to us, it becomes a maze that distorts our thoughts and creates in our minds false illusions about life and its realities. In other words, if we become so busily occupied in worldly affairs, whatever their nature, that we have no time for reflection or meditation, eventually we lose sight of the very purpose of life. The inconsequential things appear of major importance because it is with them that we dwell mostly. It is because we permit them to dominate our consciousness, hold our attention, occupy our minds.
If we may use an analogy: It is as if a great artist conceives a magnificent landscape which will depict the grandeur of harmony in color. Before him on the screen of his consciousness is this beautiful mental picture. As a completed thing, not in its component parts, but as a whole, he proceeds to transfer this mental picture to canvas. He spends days in selecting the right texture of canvas, many other days in securing certain oils and pure colors, and perhaps weeks in the technical blending of the paints to produce other colors, until finally -he becomes involved in a myriad of details which so confuse his mind that the original conception he had of the painting, instead of being clear, is distorted, vague, confused with the thought impressions of the mechanical requirements of the painting.
In order that he may not lose sight of his original idea entirely, he finds it necessary to retire to his studio, get away from the particulars so that he may again embrace the pure idea which he recalls and retains uppermost in his consciousness. It soon takes on the vividness of life again. He then is in a position to return to his work and try to bring together the segments of color, paints, shading, and perspective on the material canvas so that they resemble the mental picture. This is necessary with many of us today. We concentrate upon and pursue with such vigor certain elements composing our existence in life that when we have obtained these elements, we cannot make the best use of them and we have lost the idea which we originally had for their us in life.
The things that we seek in life must be united into a harmonizing whole or they are merely an accumulation of separate things which bring us responsibility rather than happiness, inharmony rather than harmony, deformity rather than beauty. To keep constant and free from distortion the ideas and ideals we have in life we must retire at times, we must seek solitude, get away from the world, as it were, for a few minutes each day. While alone with our thoughts we cast away all memory of our daily experiences and recollect our fondest ideals and dreams. We not only recollect them, but feel again the thrill that comes from visualizing them and this acts as a stimulus to us to carry on.
Now proceed with the ceremony.
(Read, not aloud)
MASTER: In the name of our Sacred Sign, I open this special convocation for initiation into the Eighth Degree of the A. M. O. R. C.
The candidate will kindly arise and come to the Shekinah and there stand facing the East.
CANDIDATE: Please take this manuscript, rise, and proceed to the Shekinah by following the direction of the arrow from Figure 1 to Figure 2 (see diagram). Stand erect and face the East of your sanctum.
(Read, not aloud)
MASTER: The candidate is directed to give the title and password he received in the Seventh Degree and thereby prove that he attained the Seventh Degree.
CANDIDATE: You must recall and say, softly the title and password W you received in the Seventh Degree. If you cannot, proceed no further until you ascertain them.
(Read the following, not aloud)
MASTER: (Proceed with this only if you have given the title and password requested.)
It is well. Be seated in the West.
CANDIDATE: Return to Figure 1 (see diagram); then be seated.
(Read, not aloud)
MASTER: Objectively you are within your sacred sanctum, the place where, more than any other, you should find not only peace, contentment, and relief from the worldly strife which surrounds you elsewhere but also communion with kindred souls and minds. This attunement with other minds brings to your realization the common purpose uniting us and, being stronger than any emotion or stimulation of our consciousness, an appreciation of the All in All. For this reason, your sanctum on these occasions should be sacred, sweet, and holy to you and when the time and occasion provide you with a ceremony fraught with sacred symbolism or subconscious impressions, then you are richly paid for your devotion to that which should mean all that life holds or offers on this plane.
(Read, not aloud)
MASTER (continues): The occasion for celebrating your continuance with the work and your united advancement into the higher studies should cause you to realize the exact purpose of the various Degree Initiations. If you were climbing a mountainside you would pause at times to rest and meditate or, at least, to appreciate your efforts. At such times you would sense objectively and subconsciously that you had risen from one plane to another. Thus, you have passed from the various Degrees in this Order, having had such periods for rest and meditation with a formal ceremony to mark and distinguish the various planes of your intellectual and psychic development.
Now, you are to give a little thought to the fact that you have passed another mark, another stone, another Chamber, another grade in your progress. Each Degree, each plane of your journey has been clearly defined and distinguished by certain subjects of study, certain domains of research, and certain spheres of transcendental occupation. Between these you have had your ceremonial occasions--Initiations--to mark more clearly the ending and beginning of your periodical rising in your progressive course.
It is not so much what the Master of your Class has to say to you at these times, nor what form of ceremony is prescribed, nor what part you may have in such a ceremony that should deeply impress you. It is the fact--the simple fact--that you are here to meditate upon the glories of the chamber you have just passed through and to prepare yourself for the newer and unvisited chamber through which you must now pass in your studies and work of the next few months. Therefore, I direct that you partake of the simple ceremony and symbolism of this occasion and, thereafter, meditate upon its significance. Kindly arise.
CANDIDATE: Arise and face the East of your sanctum (see diagram).
(Read, not aloud)
MASTER: You will please walk to the South of your sanctum, thence to the East, thence to the North, and thence return to the West.
CANDIDATE: You will proceed as instructed. You will follow the directional arrows from Figure 1 to 3, thence to 4 and to 5, and return to Figure 1 again where you will remain standing facing the East of your sanctum. In proceeding from one figure to another as indicated by the arrows, you will make your turns at sharp angles (see diagram).
(Read, not aloud)
MASTER: The candidate will now kindly journey to the Southeast, thence across the Northeast, and return to his station in the West so that the path he has taken will form an equilateral triangle with the point of the triangle toward the West.
CANDIDATE: This is not difficult to perform. Read the following instructions carefully and study your diagram for a moment. You will see this is quite simple. Proceed from Figure 1 in the West at an angle to Figure 6; then across to Figure 7; and then back to Figure 1 and remain standing.
(Read, not aloud)
MASTER: Thus you have made a square and, within the square, the Sacred Triangle. Please be seated.
CANDIDATE: Be seated in the West of the sanctum (see diagram).
(Read, not aloud)
MASTER (continues): Face the lighted candle and sit in silence a moment with your eyes concentrated upon the flame. (Read this first; then do as instructed.) In this wise you shall have a central point of concentration and with the square and triangle, which you have just formed in your travels, we shall have a united symbol--one which embraces all symbols, for all are formed of points, lines, and curves-of angles, squares, and circles. The square formed by the four points of the compass, North, South, East, and West, or the stations of your sanctum (see diagram), reminds us of the cube and the number eight, the number of the Degree you are about to enter. The three points you made traversing the sanctum a few moments ago formed a triangle which reminds us of the Sixth Degree from which you passed into the Seventh. Thus you can find much symbolism in the positions you assumed in your sanctum to make you remember the occasion and appreciate its significance.
(Read, not aloud)
MASTER (continues): The subjects that you will study in this Degree which is titled Magister Templi, are of a nature that will reveal to you another great law or principle of the Lost Word. This is indicated by the power and the meaning of the word that is used as a password for this Degree. The word is EMINEO. It means that the letter E in the Lost Word adds to the power of that word-the power to free oneself, to separate oneself, or to so distinguish or elevate oneself that one is above or away from all others or from the gross, common, and material. In other words, this letter E, forming the sound in the Lost Word, adds the power of rising above, free from, and disassociated from all the material shackles that bind us to a material life. It is pronounced thus: aim-ee-nay-o.
You will keep this password secret, of course. But you will also speculate and meditate upon it. Remember, the Lost Word is MATHREM. A letter of that word is given in each Degree, beginning with the Fourth Degree. You have had M in the Fourth Degree; A in the Fifth; TH in the Sixth; R in the Seventh; and now you have E in this, the Eighth Degree. In the next Degree you complete the word with the letter M again and then study its completed power with all its mystical uses. The word MATHRA, formed from the Lost Word, has its power and so has any and every word formed from Mathrem. Thus, in this Degree, you can form the word MATHRE and others, which you will carefully study.
(Read, not aloud)
MASTER (continues): Now you shall sit in silence for about ten minutes and meditate upon this occasion and draw from the time, the place, the occasion, and the association here your individual impressions which will help you to remember this ceremony. During your first sanctum sessions of this Degree you will have more light thrown upon the purpose of this Degree and the purpose of tonight's ceremony.
CANDIDATE: Kindly do as instructed above and after a lapse of about ten minutes, rise, face the East of your sanctum (see diagram), make the Sign of the Cross, and say aloud, softly, "In the bonds of Peace, Love, Fellowship, and Secrecy, I close this convocation."
Now, please write the brief report of your initiation as instructed.
The sign or symbol appearing in the center of the triangle on each page of the monographs of this Degree is of ancient Egyptian origin. It, in fact, depicts a meaning that the Christian religion borrowed from the ancient Osirian religion. The Egyptians called it Thet. To them it represented the blood of the Goddess Isis which washed away the sins of anyone who wore the little amulet. Today, the Rosicrucians use it to depict mystically vital spiritual power and reverence.
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, merely 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.
Among the varied writings by Hero and translated and retranslated in various periods of the past, we find some very appropriate thoughts that are true and therefore interesting as well as appropriate to humanity at the present time. Some of these translated and interpreted passages are as follows:
Nature is always fundamentally constructive or happy in its creative power. What we look upon as destruction is but the natural half-phase of a constructive process.
Nature 's laws are invariably dependable and whatever variations may appear in their manifestations are due to errors in application. Even the seasons and their changes in the weather will have an effect upon the application of a natural law, and that which appears to
be of a distinct and eternally fixed principle in the summertime may seem contrariwise or otherwise in the wintertime. To question the validity or immutability of natural law because of its varying manifestations is to question God's wisdom.
There are certain elements in nature which are naturally opposed to each other, as, for instance, heat will overcome cold, and cold will overcome heat. The two cannot be blended and yet retain their individuality in the result of the process. Where two such opposing forces are brought into action upon each other, a third or neutral condition is established.
The degrees of manifestation of the neutral thus brought into existence are fixed by law in accordance with the degree of the opposing elements that are brought together. The fixed principles made manifest in this process enable the experimenter to reach definite results in each experiment providing he is working in harmony with the fixed principles.
As long as the world exists the simple elements with which I have been dealing will continue to manifest. Not one of them could cease to exist without the entire universe ceasing to exist, and not one of them could become anything different than it is without a cataclysmic change in the whole scheme of the universe.
From the above remarks it should be evident that Hero recognized a uniformity and stability of natural laws, and he probably would have subscribed to the late doctrine that whatever existed thousands of years ago or exists today in the way of fundamental powers and energizing forces and agencies of force, existed from the very beginning of time and will exist eternally. It is this recognition of the fixed laws of the universe that enables the scientist as well as the philosopher to theorize on paper in anticipation of what will happen a day, a month, or a year distant.