Initiation Ritual for the Sixth 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.
Buddha was born about 485 B.C. This date is problematic; originally it was thought to be 543 B.C. The true facts of his life have been greatly interwoven with the legends, making it difficult to distinguish one from the other. He was of an aristocratic family. Legends generally relate that he was a prince. At nineteen he married his cousin. His first teachers were Brahmans. When he was twenty-nine he retired to the forest and became a rigid ascetic for a period of six years. At that time he was in the company of five others. Finally he tired of his unnatural life and spent forty days in a period of profound contemplation beneath a pipal tree, where finally he became "illumined" with a new conception of life and its spiritual beauty. His Sermon explaining this new conception he entitled, "The Foundation of the Kingdom of Righteousness." He returned to the forest, converted the other five ascetics, and enrolled them in his new order. The order was monastic in nature and spread rapidly over western Asia. The initiates had to renounce worldly interests, practice celibacy, and exist solely upon solicited alms.
Buddha was about eighty years old when he died. After his death his teachings were incorporated into various religious systems-branches of Buddhism-some of which, had he lived, he may not have recognized or countenanced as being his own views. The mystical principles he expounded, however, prevail at the heart of Buddhism throughout the world today. An outline of his teachings appears in Sacred Books of the East, and the most famous interpretation of his life is Arnold's long poem, The Light of Asia.
Fratres and Sorores, Greetings!
We are glad to know that so many members are making a special effort to arrange a Sanctum in their homes or elsewhere where they may have privacy to conduct these special initiation ceremonies. Your Sanctum may be very small, but you can still carry out the ritual satisfactorily and have a keen appreciation of its symbolical significance and its allegorical meaning. Your Sanctum need not be so spacious that it requires you to walk many steps from one station to another in the performance of the ritual; it may be necessary for you only to take two or three steps to change your position from the East to the North, or from the West to the South, and still the meaning will be equally the same. We repeat, if it is not possible to perform these beautiful, inspirational initiations, read them over and familiarize yourself with the ritual.
Make a study of the password, the signs, and the symbols; and when you have performed the initiation, please send us your brief report on the enclosed form only. We want you to read the instructions which precede this initiation very carefully:
This is another diagram to help you arrange your room as previously instructed in other initiations and to assume the different positions in your Sanctum for the performance of this initiation. The numbers indicate the position you will take in this initiation, and the arrows indicate the direction you should go in walking from one position to another.
LIGHTS: Be sure that the candles are again on your altar and lighted before you start the ceremony. You should also have other lighting to read by. Glaring overhead lights should be either eliminated or subdued. Do not forget to burn your incense.
APRON: DO NOT wear your Rosicrucian ritualistic apron during this particular ceremony.
PURE OIL: It will be necessary for you to secure about 2 Tbsp of pure oil (a vegetable or olive oil, for example). Be sure to obtain this a day or two before your ceremony so that on the night of the ceremony you may go through it without any delay. At the time of the ceremony, take a small saucer or dish and pour oil into it and place it on the altar between your candles. Its use will be explained as you proceed with the ritual.
CORDELIERE: It is necessary that you obtain a robe cord, similar to the cord that is worn on dressing gowns or bathrobes. The color, material, or nature of the cord is immaterial. This should be coiled neatly and also placed on your altar next to the receptacle containing the oil. The use of this cordeliere will be explained in your ritual.
Arrangement of Sanctum
Again it is necessary to prepare the candidate for this solemn undertaking. It is to be realized that the sanctity of a place is not brought about by the material elements composing it but by the psychic condition created in it. An elaborate structure built of rare marble and the finest hardwoods, and ornamented with an array of costly gems and metals, lends, of course, physical beauty and harmony; but the sense of peace, quiet, and inspiration, the intangible elements that go to make the material structure a home or a temple must be built into the structure by the mind of man and by the psychic forces and not material elements. A little room, like your Sanctum or the grottos of the ancient mystics, can be heavily charged with the intense vibrations of love, peace, and cosmic harmony. The right thoughts, your sincerity, and your devotion will properly dedicate your Sanctum and make it a powerful nucleus of cosmic energy because, by the proper mood, you attract to it the right vibratory forces. If you are inwardly skeptical, dubious, or impatient in the performance of your studies or your rituals, the atmosphere of your Sanctum takes on this condition. It becomes filled with the distracting radiations of your own aura. Instead of spiritual sublimity and the sense of regeneration you should feel, you will be depressed and irritable. This is merely an example of creating your own environment. Once you create your environment by your thinking and your doing, be that environment elevating or depressing, your outer self is greatly affected by it. The life you make, you live. The environment you mentally create, you must physically accept. This, we find, is the demonstration of the law, "the body, a slave to the mind."
You will, therefore, seat yourself comfortably in the chair in the West of your Sanctum (see diagram). This brief period of rest is the period of meditation and outward preparation. After a few moments you will feel ready to proceed, and then do so.
(Read, not aloud)
MASTER: I declare the Sanctum open for the preliminary work of the Sixth Degree. Before proceeding further, it is necessary that the Candidate assist in the preparation of the Sanctum. This is done by walking to the East by way of the North, thence down the South side to the West from where you started. You will slowly continue this journey until you have passed the East station five times.
CANDIDATE: Kindly arise and do as instructed. Note your diagram. Follow arrow from No. l, which is your present position, to No. 2 in the North; then follow the arrow to No. 3 thence to No. 4, and finally back to No. l. Repeat this five times, then be seated as before.
(Read, not aloud)
MASTER: Beloved Candidate, you are now about to enter the Sixth Degree. You have just assisted in preparing the Sanctum, and the five journeys past the altar were to symbolize your five previous initiations in our Order.
You are on the brink of a new and important undertaking. You are again at the threshold-not the threshold of terror, but the Great Threshold of Illumination and Practical Instruction. In this Degree you become adepts of a higher rank-not the highest rank, but advanced to Preliminary Mastership. Your title will be Adeptus Major, and each Adeptus Major shall strive to perfect himself or herself toward a higher state which will lead eventually to complete Mastership.
Beloved Candidate, it becomes my sacred duty and privilege to instruct you how to mark yourself with the sign and symbol of Adeptus Major. I shall, therefore, require you to arise and approach the altar, then stand erect facing the East.
CANDIDATE: Follow direction arrow from No. l to No. 2, then to No. 3. Pick up the cordeliere and put it around your waist with the Adept's knot or tie at the left side. The Adept's tie is made by merely crossing the cord on the left side, ends hanging. You shall now dip your right forefinger in the pure oil (vegetable or olive oil) and make upon your forehead the mark of the cross with oil, the cross being the size and form made on the forehead in the First Degree (about 5 cm in length).
(Read, not aloud)
MASTER: With the cordeliere you are endowed with the dignity of Adeptus Major. With the sign you are endowed with the mark of life. The Candidate will kindly return to his seat in the West.
CANDIDATE: Turn about face and retrace your steps from No. 3 to No. 2, and thence to your chair in the West and be seated. (See diagram.)
(Read , not aloud)
MASTER: Beloved Candidate, it has been my privilege to initiate you into the Sixth Degree of our Sacred Order. By the cordeliere you have been bound by the mystic tie to all other Adepts of advanced degree. The cord has girdled your loins that your body may be bound, as are your mind and soul, to the work of this Degree. The cross was made upon your forehead with oil that you may feel and KNOW the burden of the cross 'and be conscious of its presence at this time.'
(Read, not aloud)
MASTER (continues): The secret password of this Degree is one which begins with the combined third and fourth letters of the Lost Word: Mathra. In its original Atlantean form the third letter is a combination of the sounds of TH; thus the password of the Sixth Degree is easily remembered by joining the third and fourth letters and making the password THOKATH. The meaning is, endowed or attained power. In this Degree the lessons and teachings prepare you to assert a wonderful power over many forces of nature. Through your learning you become endowed with wonderful power. Knowledge will make you powerful and this power, endowed or attained, is represented by the word THOKATH.
(Read, not aloud)
MASTER (continues): In the Fourth Degree you learned that the M of MATHRA meant 'the mother,' or 'prime intelligence.' In the Fifth Degree you learned that the A, the second letter of the word, meant 'astro,' or the stellar influences.
Now you learn that the third and fourth letters mean in one syllable 'strength and power.' You have now acquired more than half of the meaning of the Lost Word. Its further development will explain why it is such a mighty word.
(Read, not aloud)
MASTER: (continues): Beloved Candidate, we will now close this initiation by the use of certain vibrations which will attune your inner self with the infinite forces. You will kindly make these vowel sounds, the vibrations of which will strengthen your whole body, vitality, and mentality. Please take a deep breath and say 'RA' (softly drawing out the R and A as long as you can; thus: er-r-rr ah-h-h-h). Repeat this five times. Then say 'MA,' drawing the sound out thus: m-m- m-m ah-h-h-h. Repeat five times, also.
SPECIAL NOTE TO THE CANDIDATE: If you have the Rosicrucian phonograph records, this is an excellent time to use record No. 7, Sanctum Invocation, and Exercise in Vowel Sounds. This will greatly assist: you in this part of the initiation. If you do not have this record, then follow the vowel instructions above. (The Rosicrucian records may be purchased from the Rosicrucian Supply Bureau.)
(Read, not aloud)
MASTER: Kindly arise and face the East.
CANDIDATE: Stand erect and face the East of your Sanctum (see diagram).
(Read, not aloud)
MASTER (continues) Before the Sign of the Cross, in the name of our Order, and before the altar in the East, I dismiss you in the bonds of Adeptship, Love, and Peace Profound.
Please make your brief report of this initiation as instructed on page one and mail it to the Department of Instruction.
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.
There are two extremes, O Bhikkhus, which the man who has given up the world ought not to follow-the habitual practice, on the one hand, of those things whose attraction depends upon the passions, and especially of sensuality-a low and pagan way (of seeking satisfaction), unworthy, unprofitable, and fit only for the worldly-minded- and the habitual practice, on the other hand, of asceticism (or self-mortification), which is painful, unworthy and unprofitable.
There is a middle path, O Bhikkhus, avoiding these two extremes, discovered by the Tathagata- a path which opens the eyes, and bestows understanding, which leads to peace of mind, to the higher wisdom, to full enlightenment, to Nirvana!
What is that middle path, O Bhikkhus, avoiding these two extremes, discovered by the Tathagata-that path which opens the eyes, and bestows understanding, which leads to peace of mind, to the higher wisdom, to full enlightenment, to Nirvana? Verily! it is this noble eightfold path; that is to say:
Right mindfulness; and
This, O Bhikkhus, is that middle path, avoiding these two extremes, discovered by the Tathagata-that path which opens the eyes, and bestows understanding, which leads to peace of mind, to the hi? her wisdom, to full enlightenment, to Nirvana!