Sanctum Ritual number 2 for Plane 6
Salutes in omnibus punctis trianguli!
Beloved Members of the Esoteric Hierarchy:
We each of us at times have felt a strong affinity, an attachment to a place which we have visited for the first time. There is a familiarity about the environment; it may be a particular building, a street, a tower, or even an individual house. Also, such an experience may produce an emotional response that is not pleasant, a feeling of depression. There may be no single thing which causes one to have such a feeling of uneasiness or a sense of anxiety or the urge to leave a place in such circumstances.
The same experience sometimes is had when merely reading about a city or a foreign country, even if it has never been personally visited by the person. Why should one have such an emotional dislike or displeasure at the mere mention of a country or a period of history with which he had no intimate relationship?
Psychology has an answer for this kind of experience, but it is not wholly adequate. Psychology uses the technical term paramnesia. This is defined as "distortion of memory with confusion of fact with fancy." Simply, it implies that somehow what a person may have seen or read registered in his subconscious with an accompanying emotional response of which he was not objectively aware at the time. In other words, one may have no conscious memory of such an experience. Later, then, the individual may see or hear something which is somewhat similar to his original experience and then recalls, by association, a sense of familiarity with it. The person then is confused, since he cannot remember having had the original experience but only realizes the effect caused by it.
However, the psychological nature of this phenomenon goes deeper than the explanation offered by paramnesia . For example, could one have once lived in the strangely familiar place or seen it in another life? Further, is it possible that someone of blood relationship, though a distant relative, lived at that time and place and had a traumatic experience which was transmitted in the genes from him to the present individual? Could that experience be recalled at least partially in the sensations ne has of familiarity and the unaccounted-for emotional response?
One of such questions suggests that these experiences of having been some place before or seen something that cannot be related to this life are of a past incarnation. It is not possible to absolutely affirm that such phenomena are either due to paramnesia or reincarnation. There is one thing of which most of us can be certain, and that is that to some degree we have all had a similar experience during our lifetime.
Some of these instances, however, we can relate to a definite objective experience of this life. For example, we have all read a book, a novel, or a history of a certain period; or seen a movie or television play that impressed us greatly. It left a very strong emotional impact upon us; either one that was inspiring and uplifting morally, or greatly depressing and even perhaps causing anxiety. The memory of such remain in our conscious mind. We can freely recall an experience of that kind. Consequently, such a memory and its associated sensations are easily aroused by any other experience that seems related to them. More simply, whenever we see or hear something that has an associated relationship, we recall from memory the original experience.
Permit me to cite a personal experience as an example. My work in connection with AMORC's past and with the culture of the artifacts in our Rosicrucian Museum which is of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, has obliged me to do considerable reading of ancient history. Further, with AMORC's staff technician and with archaeologists, I have participated in professional motion picture filming and still photography of ancient centers of civilization throughout the world.
Center of Commerce
On one such occasion, we were filming in ancient Babylon. The ancient city is located in the Euphrates Valley in Asia; actually between two rivers—the Tigris and Euphrates. Approximately about 2100 B.C., Babylon became the capital of Babylonia, settled by people of the Semitic race. In the sixth century B.C., Babylonia was a vast empire extending westward as far as Egypt, and eastward to India. Babylon was then the greatest center of commerce and prosperity in the ancient world. It had a luxurious palace, villas, and a great temple to such gods as Marduk, the chief god and Ishtar, a mother goddess. The great stepped tower of the god with the temple at its top is referred to in the Bible. However, there were other similar temples in Babylonia.
It was in Babylon that the Jews were held in captivity, and their lamentations about their plight are also related in the Old Testament. The Jews were finally liberated by Cyrus, the Persian king, when he conquered Babylon.
In the city are the remains of the great Palace of Splendor of Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king who conquered Jerusalem, destroyed its temple, and deported the Jews into Babylonia (515 B.C.). This palace was one of the seven wonders of the world with its great "hanging gardens," that is, terraces with vines and flowers hanging down its sides like tropical flora on a mountainside.
There is a long stone-lined processional way leading to an imposing large gate which was the portal to a courtyard, or pronaos, of this so-called "Tower of Babel," to which we have referred. This portal is known as the Ishtar Gate--the gate dedicated to the goddess. The facade of the portal was originally covered with beautiful colored tile with designs of mythical animals. Standing there, I could envision the solemn processional of the devotees marching along to the rhythmic beat of drums and accompanied by the cadence of the chanting priests; the acolytes, each bearing a sacerdotal offering to Ishtar and Marduk which they finally carried up the steep exterior stairs on the face of the tower to the temple at its summit.
A short distance away are heaps of mud bricks of what was once Nebuchadnezzar's palace; built by him for a mountain princess who had dwelt far north of the hot flat land of Babylon. The underside of the mud bricks was coated with an asphalt substance made of bitumen, a property common to that area. It was used to cause the mud bricks to adhere rigidly. The outer side of the bricks had baked-in colors, giving them a magnificent glossy or tile surface.
Herodotus, the Greek historian (485-425 B.C.) referred to Babylon as a most splendid city.
I stood gazing at each of the ruins before me, pondering the result of man's passion for power, fame, and wealth. I visualized the humble craftsmen exercising their skill and producing the handiwork of the times; the scribes, seated in the shade of awnings of bright colors affixed to the walls of structures along the stone streets, pressing their wedgelike reeds in soft clay tablets to form the letters of their alphabet and to record what the king's ministers had requested, and to issue other documents of the day.
Looking westward there laid crumbling portions of a mud brick wall. In my mind's eye, I could see them as they were once, their massive bulk and height. Their bronze gates opened to allow slaves to enter after crossing the moatlike canal which was just beyond the wall. Each slave carried heavy burdens of treasures from the conquered vassals of Babylonia. The soldiers prodded the laggards with their short bronze swords.
Yes, it was all realistic to me, a reconstruction of what I knew of history, combined with the actuality of my present surroundings. The parts I saw all filled in what my reading had not revealed. I was for the moment enraptured by my surroundings. My memory, my previous reading actualized the scene before me. The whole experience was now an empathy. I was vicariously taking the place of one of these people of nearly 3,000 years ago! I suddenly came back to the realization of myself as of now and of the true perspective of my surroundings.
The question often since perplexed me: Was I just a victim of the memory of events read about this period of history and the emotional stimulus of surroundings that gave realism to it? Or was it retrogression to an actual period of life at a time of Babylonian splendor and its great ceremonial processions? There was a vividness about the event that seemed to obviate the idea that it was only the result of my interest in Babylonia. Rather, there was an intuitive denial that kept me saying to myself that all of this was not an illusion or a lapse into fancy. And there was an intimacy to it all that haunted me at the time and lingered on for years.
Certainly each of you, fratres and sorores, have had some experience that caused you to wonder: Is it my imagination, fancy, or a recollections of a past forgotten to my conscious mind?
On this occasion, we would like you to conduct a Ritual Exercise that may evoke this phenomenon for you. Perhaps it will have such an efficacy, be so self-evident, that you may consider it a recollection of a past life; some element of it perhaps you can confirm by referring to a history or other reference source.
A - Light one candle on your Sanctum altar.
B - Ignite your incense.
C - Dim the lights in your room.
D - Gaze at the single lighted candle; look at nothing else until you feel relaxed.
E - Now take the tip of the first finger of each hand and press it gently against each closed eye.
F - Breathe deeply several times and exhale slowly, but without stress, that is, without discomfort.
G - Now think of a country or an area or a place or a type of architecture that for some unknown reason strongly appeals to you.
H - Whatever ideas or feelings you may have at this time and which seem to be associated with that experience should now be kept paramount in your mind.
I - With the feelings and impressions, there should eventually come an eidetic image, that is, a mental picture which is as vivid at the time as if you were actually perceiving it with your physical eyes.
J - This Ritual Exercise, if it is to be a success, if it is going to result in retrogression to an actual experience, (one subjectively had) should now occur in a matter of ten or fifteen minutes.
K - If the place or object that you are concentrating upon becomes fleeting, goes and comes, we then suggest that you close your Ritual Demonstration at that time, drop your hands in your lap, and rest quietly for a few moments. You must be the one to determine whether the experience you may have had was psychological or a recall of a past incarnation.
This exercise should be tried several times until the results are satisfactory to you.
Your reports on this Sanctum Exercise will be appreciated.
Sincerely and fraternally,
YOUR CLASS MASTER