Initiation Ritual for the First Portal
The Story of Light
Each of the world's great moral leaders, those who left to mankind a spiritual heritage, a system, doctrines, or a code of living by which man could commune with the Cosmic, was a beacon of 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 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 and moral movements, the construction of broad roads upon which man hopes to reach a closer understanding of the Cosmic. 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.
Akhnaton (Amenhotep IV)
To us, as Rosicrucians, Pharaoh Amenhotep IV of Egypt was a mortal truly illuminated by the Cosmic. Today those of the scientific and literary world, even when not Rosicrucians, regard him as "The first individual in history." His conduct and his conceptions were centuries beyond the level of human thought of his time. Biologists refer to him as an example of "saltation," a leaping ahead in the progressive order of the evolution of mentality.
Amenhotep IV reigned during the period of 1361-1350 B .C. (Allowing for discrepancies in the various ancient calendars.) He was of the eighteenth dynasty, the son of Amenhotep III and Tia. He despised the ignorance and superstitious practices of the priesthood. He thrust aside the multitudinous deities of Egypt and the mythologies of Heliopolis. He respected the sun as the visible source of life, creation, growth, and activity-the symbol of an everlasting God. He declared that God was a vital intelligence existing as a single deity upon which all things in the universe depended. The creative forces of this God, he expounded, radiated through the sun. Let us realize the courage and forethought it took to defy all existing conventions and religious beliefs, and for the first time in recorded history deny polytheism, or the existence of many gods, and declare that there was but one God and that He was Supreme.
This was thirteen hundred years before Christianity adopted the doctrine of a belief in a single God. He established this new religious movement and was declared a heretic by the priesthood of Ammon. His dislike for the priesthood was so great that he changed his name meaning "Ammon is satisfied" to Akhenaten, "Pious to Aten." Aten was the name he gave to this single God which manifests through the sun. He was the world's first great pacifist. He despised war and tried to discourage it, which resulted in Egypt's losing a great deal of her temporal power, especially in Syria. He left the traditional capital at Thebes and built a new and splendid city known as Tell el-Amama. In this new city he gathered together the most learned men and women of the time and organized them into a great brotherhood, the foundation of a vast mystery school, the teachings and ideals of which were to spread across the face of the earth. All had to pay adoration to this one God and devote themselves to the study of science, religion, or art. It was the most revolutionary step ever taken to further the cultural interests of man. Akhnaton married the great Nefertiti, meaning "beauty's arrival." They had seven daughters who were always portrayed as participating in the sacred rites of the new religion. We must hail the memory of this great individualist who was neither swayed by public opinion nor bound by traditions.
RESPECTED NEOPHYTE: Initiation is a ritual drama. Initiations are intended to dramatically portray some principles or point of knowledge. That which may move us emotionally has often a more lasting effect than that which is just purely intellectual presentation. In the little booklet accompanying this manuscript, entitled Rosicrucian Initiation, we briefly relate the history and purpose of initiations. You know that participating in some important event is more personally stimulating and certainly more intimate than merely reading about it. Consequently, regalia and devices are used in initiations for this very sound psychological reason.
In modern Rosicrucian initiations-as in the ancient ones-candles are a part of the accouterment. To the Neophyte, the beginning Rosicrucian, the use of candles is sometimes misunderstood. To them such practices seem to be of a religious or sectarian nature.
The facts are that the candle and candle flame have a profound spiritual and metaphysical connotation. Candles, or tapers, and the flame had a mystical meaning long before church rituals were even formulated.
Let us be a little more specific. Fire is one of the four great principles or manifestations of nature. It, therefore, impressed itself upon the mind of man at an early time. Perhaps the very first fire that man saw was caused by lightning-the crackling sound in the sky, the flashing of intense light which kindled the dry leaves and brush, and then the flame, sharply defined against the dark sky, was an unforgettable experience. Perhaps another form of introducing fire to primitive man was a volcanic eruption-the terrible rumbling sound, the midnight sky suddenly lighted by the eerie flame, the searing heat-all of these must have struck terror into the heart of primitive man.
Mystical Meaning of Fire
Gradually, fire, as a symbol of mystical truth, found its way into the literature of the ancients. Fire represented the burning desire of man's spiritual self to reach upward and find union with the powers that transcended it.
There has always been a considerable fascination for candles in the home as a means of illumination. Candles are often used for decoration to create a certain atmosphere by persons who are not even mystically inclined. You know of their use in restaurants as table decorations and the feeling of intimacy and quietude they create. The reason for this is that, within the memory of the inner consciousness, the flame arouses man's early meditations which were centered upon fire. Another reason for the fascination is that a flame seems alive in its constant weaving and changing of its many colors. No artificial light can produce the same emotional and psychic effect upon us as that of the candle flame.
You have noticed persons seated before an open hearth lost deep in thought as they gaze into the darting flames. Perhaps you, too, have done this. The flame, even that of a candle, becomes the focal point of our thought. The flame so holds our visual attention that nothing
else of a visual nature is easily discerned by us. As a result of its becoming the focal point of our concentration, we can enter the subconscious meditative state more easily.
You will now understand why the Rosicrucians used-and still use-candles in certain of their rituals and initiation ceremonies, but not for superstitious or religious reasons. Behind their use lie the psychic and the psychological facts which we have related. The use of candles on the telesterion (table or shelf) of the Home Sanctums of the members and on the Shekinah of our fraternal temples or lodges must be understood in this sense-not from any religious point of view. (Note: The word telesterion (tēlíēs-tēírī-ōn) is an ancient one meaning, "A place for initiation in the mysteries.")
We have spoken of the two minds, or more definitely, the two selves of man. We have explained how the inner mind, or self, is an extension of the great Cosmic Mind. As such, mind is supreme in its potential wisdom. We say potential because it only becomes knowledge as it reaches down into our objective consciousness, or brain, and is there interpreted. A communication must be established between this superior intelligence of the inner self and the more finite, or limited, intelligence of the brain. Simply put, we have access to this reservoir of universal Cosmic Intelligence, as the previous monograph explained, if we but learn to resort to it.
Every normal person confers with himself-not aloud, of course, or in the presence of others, but within himself. It is a natural psychological thing to do for the conscious outer self to turn to the subconscious self for enlightenment. How many times have you said to yourself when confronted with some specific problem, "Now, I wonder whether I should do this or if it would be better if I waited before acting." Then, suddenly there would flash into your consciousness, your thinking mind, a satisfactory answer. It would be definite and concise, as well as comforting. This is the intuitive knowledge of the inner self of which we have previously spoken. Sometimes you have hoped that such illuminating, intimate answers would come upon demand.
There is, then, nothing mysterious, occult, or fantastic about self-communication. Every philosopher, great mystic, or eminent thinker gained his exalted ideas from this method of self-communication. They were the ones who knew the technique of such communications as you are now learning. In the initiation which you are to confer upon yourself, you will demonstrate this communication between your inner cosmic self--the subconscious one--and the conscious outer self.
And now for another important point related to initiation. We all have inhibitions. These are mental restrictions or blocks which we have consciously or unconsciously acquired in the past. They manifest in each of us somewhat differently. It may be, for example, that for some reason or other we may fear to do something. Then again it may be that we hesitate to admit something that we should, or that we perhaps refuse to confront some condition which we should master. Such inhibitions, no matter how they are acquired, become spiritual and psychological obstacles in our progress in life.
In extreme cases, an individual may need the help of another trained in such matters to remove the inhibition. But most of us can remove them by a mental catharsis, that is, by a self-purging of these unwanted obstructions. Religion calls this method confession; we, however, are not concerned with confessing to another, but to ourselves. When we do, through this catharsis, our lives are then freer and more productive in personal attainment as a result of the renewed confidence which we gain.
Initiation-and especially Rosicrucian initiation-is most effective in accomplishing the removal of these inhibitions. It permits to come from the depths of our being, from the perception and understanding of the cosmic self within us, the frank evaluation of ourselves. In other words, we are brought face to face with our real self. We direct questions to it by means of the self-communication method, which we frankly answer and do not evade as we might in confessing to another person. The answers we get are inspiring, informative, and reliable. There is no deception involved because we are conscious that we are communicating with our inner self which knows our faults as well as our aspirations.
We have already stated that initiation ceremonies are necessarily ritual dramas. Every drama has its characters that portray some significant role. They convey by their presence, their words and actions, a thought, or perhaps induce within us particular emotions, or sentiments, that we should experience. In Rosicrucian temples, that is, lodges of our Order, there are ritualistic or initiatory officers who assume these roles in a solemn and impressive manner. Sometime you will perhaps have the opportunity of visiting one of these lodges and at the right time participate in one of the ceremonies.
But now you are to perform this self-initiation in the privacy of your own Sanctum. You will therefore note in the ritual to follow a reference to "Master" or Master of the Lodge. This alludes to the role of the ritual master, the one who you are to presume is directing your initiation. You will presume that there is present one of our ritualistic officers actually assisting you in your initiation. It will be as if you were in one of the great Rosicrucian temples of antiquity, being led with other candidates, or Neophytes, into the large, impressive, initiation chamber. You would stand before the telesterion in the symbolic East of the temple and the Master would address you and direct that there be conferred upon you the time-honored solemn rites.
Now before proceeding with the actual initiation ritual, we shall summarize briefly the important points which we have explained:
A. Initiation rituals require certain regalia or appurtenances to create the necessary emotional and psychic conditions.
B. Rosicrucian and all truly traditional, mystical initiations provide a communication between man's two selves-the outer and the inner, or the conscious and the subconscious.
C. Rosicrucian initiation provides a mystical and psychological catharsis. We come to know ourselves by removing unwanted inhibitions and thus giving vent to self-expression.
D. Rosicrucian initiation, it must be understood, has no relation to ancient or modern superstitions, occult practices, selfhypnosis, or trance states. Such are not and never have been a part of the Rosicrucian studies.
E. Initiation is a ritual drama. The initiate (that is, you) is one of the actors. There are others necessary who play important roles. Therefore, references to Master in the ritual allude to the one who directs you as if you were personally in an actual Rosicrucian temple.
Before beginning to read the following pages, make certain that you are alone in a room with subdued light and where you can say a few words softly or in a whisper and not be heard. You have been told how to arrange your sanctum. Do not light the candles now, but have one light of some source just sufficient to read by. Have matches ready to light the candles when required. Place a chair before what you have arranged as your telesterion-and standing, begin reading. Remember, the word Neophyte refers to you as a candidate in this initiation.
MASTER OF THE LODGE: (Read the following words softly, as though you were being addressed by one of the Rosicrucian Lodge Masters in our temples throughout the world.)
"My Beloved Neophyte, Greetings on all points of our Sacred Triangle! As Master of your Lodge, I greet you and reach out my hand to guide you in your steps of initiation at this time. I ask for your solemn at tent ion, your devotion, and your trust, so that your induction into the sublime Order of the Rosy Cross may be peaceful and illuminating.
"I now direct you to step to your telesterion and light the candle that is nearest to your left side while you face the mirror. Now light it! "
(Do as instructed-here is the first step in removing inhibitions and prejudices. You must repel any objections to that which may be new or different. You must maintain an open, inquiring mind.)
MASTER OF THE LODGE: (He continues addressing you-read softly as before.)
"Now say these words: Sacred Light, symbol of the Greater Light of Cosmic Wisdom, cast thy rays in the midst of darkness and illuminate my path!"
(Now light the other candle nearest your right side and say these words in a soft voice):
"Unto Light is added Light, that the crossbeams may soften the lines and the shadows and symbolize the easing of pain and sorrow as did the coming of the Greater Light of Cosmic Wisdom to man."
NEOPHYTE: (You will now be seated carefully in the chair before the telesterion and as close to it as possible, so that the light of the candles, the symbolic lights, will illuminate your face. Now say these words in a soft whisper): "Before I cross the mental and spiritual Threshold of greater understanding, I must courageously face those realities, those notions, that have for so long stood in the shadows of my mind to taunt and thwart me. I now need the strength of the Cosmic within me."
(Relax in thought for one minute.)
NEOPHYTE: (Now arise from your seat and stand close to the telesterion. With the forefinger of your right hand trace a cross on the face of the mirror. Do this by marking with the finger a straight line downward in the center of the mirror and about five inches long. The natural oil of the finger will leave a faint mark. Then draw a line across it from left to right, making a typical cross. The significance of this cross-as a symbol and having no sectarian religious connotation in this instance-will be explained to you later.)
(Now stand back from the telesterion. Face the cross you have just made, and then say the words below in a soft voice. Remember, however, that you are participating in an initiation. Think of yourself as one of many other candidates who would be assembled to participate in a similar experience. In your mind's eye, visualize the ritualistic officers in attendance-who would direct and guide you-as standing in various places in the temple or lodge room. Only in this instance, we repeat, you are performing your own initiation.)
"Hail, O sacred Symbol of Life, Love, and Resurrection! In the center of thy cosmic body shall come the Rose, the soul of Man's being, and thou shalt be my sign! Hail, Rosy Cross!"
NEOPHYTE: (Now remain standing, concentrate for a minute longer upon the invisible cross which you have made. Realize that it, as a symbol, will represent your sincerity and the solemnity of this occasion.)
(Now be seated. You are ready for the self-communication of the initiation. You (the objective self) are to ask the inner self a question and you are to receive from it an answer. Your reaction to this part of the initiation may be surprising in the thoughts that come to you. Consider the inner and outer selves as facing each other. Then say your answer softly. Be prepared to say yes or no to each question. Remember, this is to establish a mystical and psychological bond between your two selves. It will aid in removing any barrier that may exist between them.)
l. "Wouldst thou know the mystery of thy being?" (answer)
2. "Wilt thou harken to the voice that answers?" (answer)
3. "Doth skepticism now stand between thine outer self and thine inner self?" (answer)
4. "Doth thine outer self know thine inner self?" (answer)
5. "Hast thou heard of conscience?" (answer)
6. "Knowest thou that conscience is the inner voice and that it will speak when given opportunity?" (answer)
7. "Wilt thou give it freedom to speak to thee?" (answer)
8. "Knowest thou that thy Conscience is thy Guardian?" (answer)
9. "And knowest thou that this Holy Guardian will ever be present in the Sanctum to guide and protect thee?" (answer)
(Objectively, you have directed these questions to your inner self and it has answered them. Read them again, each one slowly; do not utter any sound. Ponder carefully the new and different thoughts that arise in connection with each of the nine questions. Read the following softly):
MASTER OF THE LODGE: "Having meditated over the question you have asked your reflected self which is symbolic of the Cosmic Consciousness within you, and having pondered upon the answers given, you must realize that you have appointed and acknowledged a Guardian of this Sacred Sanctum. This, then, is your Lodge, your Sanctum, and your Sacred Place. You are the Neophyte on the Threshold of Initiation, in the presense of the most dependable Guardian that man can ever have: the real inner self, the Conscience of man, the Cosmic Mind within him.
"Hereafter, remember as you enter the Sanctum that 'thy Guardian, thy Conscience, enters with thee' and is ever present as witness to all that you think, say, or do; and that he watches over your thinking and your actions in every waking hour of your life, in every temptation, in every victory of Right over Wrong."
NEOPHYTE: (You will arise and extinguish the candle on your left. Then extinguish the candle on the right and say softly): "Before the Sign of the Cross and in the Sanctum of my Guardian, I plead for Light and Strength to now enter the Portal to the Temple of Instruction. So Mote It Be!"
This ends the first step of your induction into the Order. Next week at this time you will come into your Sanctum again. You will then prepare to receive your next lesson in the graded instruction.
Before concluding, we shall consider again the term Rosy Cross. The following meaning is mystical and metaphysical. It is not the definition of any religious sect. Fundamentally, the Rose is symbolic of the evolving soul personality. For this reason, it is always a rose partially opened-never a bud and never completely unfolded. Its color is red because, through all antiquity, red was the symbol of the Spiritual, or Divine Consciousness.
From the earliest times, the Cross has been the symbol of earthly trials. There are nearly three hundred different types of crosses. Forms of the Cross can be found on some of the walls of the ancient Egyptian tombs and upon their obelisks. As used by the Rosicrucians, it means man's body with arms outstretched and represents the ordeals of the physical body through tests, trials, and the sufferings of earthly experiences, or simply-learning as we live.
The Rose placed on the Cross, therefore, symbolizes the soul personality experiencing its evolution through the trials of the lessons of earthly life. This is the keynote of the Rosicrucian teachings; out of our experiences, trials, and sufferings-all of the objective self-we refine the self and free the evolving soul personality. It is finally released, rises from the Cross-from bodily limitations.
The phrase, "So Mote It Be," used in this initiation and which you will find in our rituals is an old Rosicrucian term meaning so be it.
Now write a brief report of the ritual using only the enclosed form. Mail it to the Department of Instruction.
Fraternally, YOUR CLASS MASTER
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.
Thy dawning is beautiful in the horizon of heaven,
O living Aten, Beginning of life!
When thou risest in the eastern horizon of heaven,
Thou fillest every land with Thy beauty;
For Thou art beautiful, great, glittering, high over the earth;
Thy rays, they encompass the lands, even all Thou hast made.
Thou art Ra, and Thou hast carried them all away captive;
Thou bindest them by Thy love.
Though Thou art afar, Thy rays are upon the earth;
Though Tnou art on high, Thy footprints are the day.
How manifold are all Thy works!
They are hidden from before us,
O Thou sole God, whose powers no other possesseth.
Thou didst create the earth according to Thy desire.
While Thou wast alone;
Men, all cattle large and small
All that are upon the earth,
That go about upon their feet;
All that are on high,
That fly with their wings.
The countries of Syria and Nubia,
The land of Egypt;
Thou settest every man in his place,
Thou suppliest their necessities.
Every one hath his possessions,
And his days are reckoned.
Their tongues are divers in speech,
Their forms likewise and their skins,
For Thou, divider, hath divided the peoples.
Thou makest the Nile in the nether world,
Thou bringest it at Thy desire, to preserve the people alive.
O Lord of them all, when feebleness is in them,
O Lord of every house, who risest for them
O Sun of day, the fear of every distant land,
Thou makest (also) their life.
Thou hast set a Nile in Heaven,
That it may fall for them,
Making floods upon the mountains, like the great sea,
And watering their fields among their town.