PATHS OF HEAVENLY SCIENCE

by W.Bro. BASIL POTTINGER, LGR, PM 5676, PPDepGReg (RA)

Part Two

And the righteous and elect shall have risen from the earth, and ceased to be of downcast countenance.

And they shall have been clothed with garments of glory,

And they shall be the garments of life from the Lord of Spints: And your garments shall not grow old, Nor your glory pass away before the Lord of Spirits.

(Book of Enoch)

Man, in the time scale of the evolution of this planet Earth, is only a late arrival in the physical sense. As a human Soul the story is different, for according to the tradition of the world religions, the Cosmos was formed so that Man, made in the Image of God as the ultimate Crown of Creation, could extend his god-like influence over all realms one more realm than the angelic hierarchy who perforce preceded him but assist to the utmost of their permitted ability as they are not allowed to override man's free will. In the great and glorious undertaking of Man, that of erecting an House to the honour and glory of His Holy Name of Goodness, Truth and Beauty by the actualization of and harmony between the innate perfection of all created things Man must start, like any good apprentice or trainee, by understanding the materials with which he must work, their differences and likeness. how they can be altered in themselves, and how they can be combined with others for a variety of purposes.

The mineral world as a natural resource is being exploited to a greater extent than ever before, as new processes to isolate and combine, become available to industry; in the vegetative world natural selection is being surpassed by artificial cross fertilising, grafting, cloning, etc.; in the animal kingdom we have cross breeding, artificial insemination, surrogate implants, and experiments in genetic engineering; while the human animal has extended his capacity of communication by sound and vision, travelling under the surface of the waters, through the air and

even outside the earth's atmosphere, and has created machines with colossal memories and calculating ability. He is externalizing abilities already inherent within himself.

In the creation myth the Waters were divided into two regions, an above and a below. Water is a symbol of Life, and the vehicle of life is Soul. Spirit, represented by Light, was prior to, but breathed into Soul, the formative principle which regulates, is the forerunner of the Astral World. The Astral, the formative principle of the Etheric. The Etheric, the mould or pattern on which Matter is formed or coheres. Each of these Worlds is divided into planes on the septenary scale, each plane having its own septenary scale or octave forming a descending ladder of slower vibrations and denser materia appropriate to its particular condition of existence.

Spirit, eternal, is held to be a unity, absolutely indivisible, but permeating all conditions of existence. Soul, perpetual, is also a unity in essence, but able to differentiate according to archetypal requirements. Matter, as prima materia, is indes tructible, but as we know it as manifested matter, is subject to formation and dissolution.

It follows that the creation of the Cosmos in time and space took place, and still is, in a plenum, not a vacuum; that our physical bodies, far from being as solid as we tend to consider them, are interpenetrated by other bodies of a higher vibratory rate and a more tenuous materia to our physical senses which is paradoxically denser. Indeed, the old theory that Ether was the quintessence of the four Elements of Air, Fire, Water, and Earth as conditions of existence or states of matter is now being accepted by modern scientists as the only feasible hypothesis to account for certain observable phenomena.

From this standpoint it is a logical conclusion that creation started in the apex of the objective realms, by a slow 'crystallizing out" process to use an analogy, which, as a symbol, conveys a distinct impression to the mind. The realm of Soul had to move from its apex into time and space and motion with intellect the guiding reign, into the Astral realms with its, to us, fluidic ever-changing forms where the desire for manifestation coalesced into stereotyped simple patterns leading to complex instinctual ones, on into the Etheric realms whose forms gathered around itself the necessary material appropriate to its particularised mode of manifestation comprehensible to our physical senses. Even the material of each world and plane becomes more and more viable as a means for the transmission of life by its adaptation to the finer forces of the seeds of perfection innate within itself, awaiting the time, place and condition for its blooming in full maturity.

The creation stories agree that our universe is the product of definite evolutionary stages, each starting from unity and moving to diversity, and overflowing, as it were, at the end of each stage into the next, like the annual inundations of the Nile. We are all familiar with the progression through the mineral, vegetables and animal stages; how combinations arose to form what we are pleased to call "precious stones," coal, oil and more evolved forms of animal life specifically adapted to particular environments yet capable of survival in areas foreign to their normal habitat. Underlying these stages is an inter-related cyclic progression of seasons occasioned by the axis of our planet and its elliptic path round the sun; the tidal effect of the moon in conjunction with the sun in its cyclic path round our planet; the moving continental plates slowly changing the relative position of land masses to the north and south poles, the equator, and the times of the solstices and equinoxes; and the four winds, whose significance is of such fundamental importance to the earth through the weathering of rocket the distribution of rain and snow, the carrying of seeds and scents the flight of birds, and the drifting of animals.

From the cosmic point of view there is a planetary spirit, soul, astral soul, and etheric soul with their communication in a descending order through each other and with like constituents of the universe, like individual cells in our own body with the whole. But in their formation in time and space the germinal essences became enveloped in successive layers or veils of materia, and these intrinsic ideas manifest as and when external conditions allow them to do so. Hence the scale of emergence of the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms, each dependent upon the former and upon each other for a variety of reasons. Each is reputed by those who have the necessary psychic faculty or by deductive reasoning, to possess a form of consciousness, however rudimentary we may consider this consciousness to be. It is derived from the collective unconscious mind of the planet with its various ministrants ranging from the Divine Perfections or Spiritual Lords working through Soul, the Celestial Hierarchy or Angelic Choirs working through Nature, and the Elementals or Nature Spirits working through the Etheric.

Each of these levels of the collective unconscious mind field, once their tasks have been completed become stereotyped, and the overplus of energy released becomes available for the emergence of the next stage in the Divine Plan. Although their task is completed as the very foundation on which the structure, and ultimately the superstructure, is being built, they must, of necessity, remain in operation, for without the foundation, the cosmic temple would crumble and fall. put in another way, there is a flow of power, energy or force through them which, through differentiation by the emergence of the next stage, works in conjunction with the new stage once it has been established, but appears to resist the change initially.

Out of the planetary collective unconscious arose the unconscious mind field of the various continents with varying climatic conditions, flora and fauna, requiring differing affinities with the astral and etheric regions. But over all regions, Nature held the balance, and will continue to do so. Man, a microcosm of the macrocosm, or miniature cosmos, came, in the time scale of the planet, as was said earlier, very late into physical manifestation. He was not brought into being in the astral realm, or Garden of Eden, until Nature had completed her task of clothing the planet in sentient life. While in that realm he "named all things," and to be able to name anything indicates a knowledge of its essence by being at one with it which in itself requires a similarity as quoted from the Hermetic Law of Correspondence and the consequent ability to control it

As an aside, in Freemasonry we cannot advance unless we can correctly sound the password to show that we have no defect in aspiration (how many Brethren, we have to wonder, have seen the esoteric significance of this phrase, for without aspiration an interior asking or elevation of the consciousness we would not advance of our own free will and accord, and would become an hindrance to our own progression by the use of automatic memory; even worse, the initiator partakes of any adverse karma created by premature disclosures). In some circles an initiate of certain levels takes on a new name to indicate that he is newly born and that name is never used outside the confines of the Lodge except in certain circumstances. It is also recorded in many places that to know the name of an Angel gives the power to invoke its presence even if the Angel knows that its presence may be to our detriment through misconceptions about our true purpose in life.

As a sentient being in the physical world, Man subconsciously still knows the names of all things. He is also rooted in the collective unconscious mind field of the planet, the unconscious mind field of "that country from whence he derived his birth and infant nurture" symbolised by an emblematical signature, even as a Freemason is symbolised by the Square and Compasses and thereby is a Brother of the Mystic Tie.

Man also knows subconsciously what, at a previous stage, he knew consciously: his intimate relationship with Nature and his environment. To go into this aspect of his being one could do no better than read. The White Goddess by Robert q Graves, or The Golden Bough by J. G. Frazer. Suffice it to say, Man, as the microcosm, repeats in terms of himself, all the principles of the Cosmos in their cyclic manifestation. But it goes further than this, for Man is a composite being of Body, Soul and Spirit, and as each cycle is brought into consciousness, assimilated to its principle, then the way is opened to ascend to the next stage: we are now talking about the Path of Return, the journey from West to East, Regeneration, Reintegration. But how is this achieved?

It was said earlier that each level of consciousness is controlled from the level above it, for that which we are identified with is at one with us and carries us along on its course of expression, and we react rather than act. This is clearly demonstrated by crowd behaviour in a gentler way when neighbours "keep up" with each other in the fad of fashion of the time, the not quite so gentle scuffles at the sales held by big stores when people get caught up in the fever to buy a "bargain" whether it is really the item they sought or not, and the sometimes far from gentle crowd reactions at competitive sports; the persuasiveness of advertisements, emotive speeches, and professional illusionists. Lord Buddha counselled being self- recollected as a method of being divorced from that which is considered to be of the "not self," while in the West we tend more towards the terminology of objectifying that which we should, or wish to control. It involves the subjugation of the Nature Will to the Personal Will, a contest which takes the time, patience and understanding of an earnest student of the Mysteries or to rephrase it in line with the three theological symbols on the ladder of the First Tracing Board, faith in our ability to succeed, the hope of reward of stability when the struggle has been won, and charity towards the loser for although we resisted his domination we need his co-operation.

If we look into the past we find that man was coerced into objectifying aspects of his being by being made to conform to the moral law or code of his people; the thou shalt nots. He was primarily under the control of Nature. We can see that at this stage it was necessary to admit initiates in, and at, the realm of Nature, who obeyed the moral law out of a sense of duty or conscience, as against the fear of punishment for transgression against it, to be instructed in the principles of virtue for its own sake, the principles of moral truth being the balancing factor in the next degree leading on to intellectual truth as the acme of the system prior to Mastership and elevation to the Holy Royal Arch.

As the emerging lower mind, or estimation, continued to develop, the Soul followed the rule of closing down conscious contact with the level which preceded it in order to concentrate attention on the use of the new faculty with which we measure and analyse our outer world as presented to us through our five senses, our conscious communication through the sensorium with the realm of Nature remaining automatic and tending to become more and more ignored due to the dual factor that because of the increasing empirical knowledge of how to artificially regulate our environment, made a close conformity with the cycles and seasons apparently unnecessary, and the submergence of our awareness of them below the threshold of consciousness. An example of how mankind unwittingly becomes an instrument for his own salvation is shown by the cruel and ruthless manner in which the psychics, or witches, of yesteryear were persecuted and suppressed to eradicate the perpetuation of their negative psychicism. Granted there are many psychics today, and if it is a psychicism of a higher order working in conjunction with a trained mind kept alert and under conscious control all is well, but if it is produced by inducing a passive state of mind so that it drifts aimlessly then a backward step is being taken on the evolutionarypath that produces a weakening of the will, increased suggestibility, and a lack of control of emotion.

A further example of how mankind unwittingly becomes an instrument for his own salvation is the development of ecology. People became concerned with the loss of various species in nature by an emotional attachment to them, and as a result much research has, and is, being done, leading to a more informed knowledge of the interaction between man and his environment so that reasoned arguments can be presented against those who, wittingly or unwittingly, are the cause of destruction.

But Man, having developed his conscious mind to the extent of complying with the moral law by a sense of duty or conscience instead of the fear of punishment, is now amenable to the influence of self-evident moral truth when presented in the correct way to his intellect, and then has the task of bringing his instincts and emotions to conscious recognition in the light of their reason for existence in order to direct them to the higher office for which they were ordained.

This background knowledge is very useful if its relevance to the life we lead is seen, for the wellknown Delphic counsel "Know thyself" the bringing into consciousness our hidden motivations and our individual purpose for being in existence is difficult to see owing to the way we tend to rationalist our conduct in line with public opinion: usually a case of not being able to see the wood for the trees. Let us therefore examine a few examples taken from the Book of Nature so that we can see the principles as other than ourself, well knowing they are indigenous to ourselves also, look for them in our fellows, and, as is said in the address to the Wardens: "What you see praiseworthy in others you will carefully imitate, and what in them may appear defective, you will in yourselves amend. You ought to be patterns of good order and regularity, as it is only by a due observance to the laws in your own conduct that you can reasonably expect obedience to them from others." Imitation, the sincerest form of flattery, renders us outwardly conformable so as to receive interior illumination; patterns of good order and regularity, as we will see, are very important.

In the lakes, rivers and seas there are constant cycles of change taking place keeping the water oxygenated.

In the soil, the skin of our planet, there are a multitude of insects who perform acts of drainage, refuse disposal, and chemical change.

In the vegetative realm, whose chief characteristic is that of being rooted or anchored in one place, we see a dependence on other forms of life for pollination and seed carrying with attractive affinities involving shape, colour,taste and scent. In some cases simbiotic relationships occur.

In the insect realm shape, eolour, taste, camouflage, scent and sound, with some insects building permanent nests.

In the bird realm is the addition of courting displays and the bonding of permanent partnerships.

In the animal realm we have an additional factor of the dominant male of a herd perpetuating the species.

Behind this panorama of life there are cycles and cycles within cycles on various time scales. Astronomical records have been kept as far back as human history goes, and we know of the zodiacal year of 25,000 years; ice ages, etc. The Rosicrucians have kept records, and pin-pointed many cycles unknown to the majority of people, but we have to confine our attention to the basic ones: the sun who rules the day and measures the year, and the moon who governs the night and sets the agricultural calendar. Plants appear to respond in their seasonal growth cycle in relation to the length of day and night, but germination and flowering take into account the lunar rhythms which determine the reproductive cycles of insects and so on right through the complex food chain extending to man, all of whom have their own biological clock (The Clock of Living Nature by A. Emme). But the lunar year is 10.89 days less than the astronomical year and it takes 9.5 years for the new moon to commence at the same astronomical time. The four seasons are governed by the solstices and equinoxes but are affected by the lunar month, and further affected by the periodicity of the sun spot phenomena.

Man. too. has his own biological clock, related to different functions, which changes as he progresses through the seasons of life. But the human cycle is based on the circadian or diurnal rhythm for some functions (forty of which have been isolated and measured), on the lunar rhythm for others, and on the four seasons for others. His cyclic positive and negative flow of energy has been measured to conform physically to a 23 day cycle, his emotional activity to a 28 day cycle, and his mental ability to a 33 day cycle. The male is more solar orientated, and the female more lunar.

Hopefully we may have a clearer idea of our relative dependence upon the sun and the moon, but you may well say that without any guidance in the practical application of the information that it has merely gone into automatic memory. True. But it is also true that we are moving into the region where we need the superintendence of an experienced Master who will guide us according to our individual requirements, yet only outline guidance in principle can be given.

Our artificial mode of life wherein we largely ignore the rising and setting of the sun, and eat when the clock tells us to instead of by inner need; the breaking up of the close-knit community village life the herd instinct under whose cloak one used to spend the whole of ones life, the birth of children throughout the year setting aside seasonal reproduction: these are providential, but apparently fortuitous, means of breaking the unconscious thraldom of Nature. That in the distant past we had a definite reproductive cycle is indicated by the feminine urge of "spring cleaning" or the preparation of the birth place, and the old saw "In the spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of settling down, ' or the setting up of his own "patch." And that there is a time to die is statistically shown by the high death rate of old people in England in the months of February and August.

Though we may be breaking free from Nature's unconscious control of us by making the natural processes "other than" ourselves, they are still our energy springs while we are in physical life whose flow can be increased by conscious intelligent co- operation so that the overplus may be directed to the mental vehicle to be energised and developed by the practise of the seven liberating arts and sciences.

Energy follows thought, and the mind touches that which it thinks upon. The Moon, who governs the night, is a symbol of our passive, subconscious mind, through which we are linked to the very mainsprings of our existence on the natural level forces which are so powerful and never cease that it is dangerous to open doors that would allow an upsurge of power capable of overwhelming us unless the mental vehicle is fully operative and the personal will, which is elective, with the cooperation of the spiritual will, which is purposive, rules the nature will, which is impulsive. The picture is becoming a little clearer, and the trite admonitions to practise moral truth and virtue are taking on a new validity.

The Sun, who rules the day, is a symbol of our active and creative conscious mind, and its importance as a factor in our awakening from darkness to light is clearly demonstrated during the ceremony of Initiation. Esoterically the cosmic sun is the outward vehicle of the Sun of all Souls, and as such is to be revered. We are given three phases: rising setting, and the meridian splendour which becomes a permanent possession when we are fully enlightened but cannot tolerate without periods of refreshment during the course of development. Hence, we have three daily salutations: morning, noon, and evening.

The four seasons, which are variable in different parts of the globe but determine seasonal migrations, have several correspondences: birth, growth, maturity and death leading to rebirth on a higher cycle shown in the Masonic cycle as Initiation, Passing, Raising and Exaltation; in the daily work on ourselves there are the diurnal meditations on Beauty, Truth, Goodness and Unity in addition to the three salutations; while substanding these are the Four Elements and the Four Winds (Gk. Apheliotes, Notos, Zephyros and Boreas; Egy. Henkhisesui, Shehbui, Hutchaiaui and Quebui). Above them are the Four Inspirations of Plato (Musical, Telestic, Prophetic and Amatory) applicable to the Third Degree.

The four winds assume a greater importance the more one thinks about them. If we go back to the panoramic review of life and commence with the element left out, the mineral, we see that the winds move the air, water as rain and snow, and fire as combustion and heat to assist in the process of the disintegration of rocks; through ripples and waves on lakes, rivers and seas water is aerated; by it soil is dried and moved as dust; it carries the scents and seeds of the vegetative world and the scents and sounds of the insect world ( a tiny moth can attract a mate from miles away by scent); with its aid moths and birds fly vast distances on rrligratory routes; animals drift before it. The winds are great distributors, they are the heralds of the seasons, and without them the planet would have been bereft of life.

In the realm of the five senses, not surprisingly in view of the fact of our belief in the efficacy of the word, sound, or the sense of hearing is the common factor of communication in earth, water and air. Newly- born progeny in all realms instinctively understand the meaning behind sounds created by parents, whether warning or conciliatory, and modern exponents of language are now taking the view that there must be a universal language programmed in the collective unconscious of the human race to enable a child of any race to compose a sentence and talk in syntax which requires a high degree of sophistication.

The sense of touch is also universal but diverse in application. By it we can feel whether a thing is hard or soft, dry or moist, hot or cold, smooth or rough but how do we account for the fact that we like to touch some people but find touching others repulsive?

The sense of smell is another universal faculty used in all kingdoms of nature primarily for the purpose of pollination and insemination, but it has a strange or peculiar field of operation embracing the opposites of life and death, we can smell death, the intermediaries of fear and love, and the attractive power of scent when emanated by the female to attract a mate or by the male to delineate his territory. Women have always subconsciously known the attractive power of perfumes, giving a variety of reasons for using them such as "ego boosting>" and it does not detract from the fact that holiness emanates a perfume and that perfumes can elevate the consciousness. It is a pity that the use of incense is not better understood in our Lodges.

Taste, peculiarly enough, can be either instinctive or educated, and the word educated is used advisedly, for we are nominally on the level of the Second Degree, the aesthetic level of Beauty and inner Taste. Tastes change as we become more refined as is said: "One man's meat is another man's poison.

The faculty of sight is an emergent faculty with peculiar characteristics. Its power in the natural kingdoms varies considerably from blindness to the incredible vision of birds of prey. It was said earlier that camouflage was used as a defence mechanism in the insect world, and it is also used by birds and animals in conjunction with remaining still to move is to disclose your presence. Another device used in Nature is the camouflage line to conceal the distinctive eye or the converse of making them appear bigger to scare off predators and the artificial eyes on the wings of butterflys and the backs of insects for the same purpose. The human female has, for many millennia, used eye make-up, and the male, in his dress and headgear, has endeavoured to make himself appear bigger than he really is Our ritual, however, makes it abundantly clear that whenever we are restored to the blessings of material light it should be with a changed or added perception. Let us make sure we know what we are looking at, and why, and then we can set about opening our vision.

It was stated that Nature used attractive scent, colour, camouflage, courting displays, and aggresive domination. These are a suggestive few principles by way of example as to how Nature works through self- assertion, self-expression and self-preservation. Deception is rife and we deceive ourselves constantly as to our true motives with the aid of the thin veneer of civilisation, and as a consequence play Nature's game, perpetuating the cycles of energies within her sphere. The way out? Rise above it by, in addition to the three salutations and four short meditations, deliberately using one of the senses for a day at a time with the intention of understanding the purpose behind what the particular sense is presenting to you by using the critical faculty without condemnatory judgment, while at the same time looking for good in your fellows. This exercise serves several purposes: It removes glamour from the senses, in conjunction with the lower mind it re-directs surplus energy into the mental vehicle, extends our range of vision towards mystical insight, assists in the building of the antahkarana the direct link between the personality and the Soul on the Path of Return and evokes the best out of other people. These exercises teach us "to measure our actions by the Rule of rectitude, square our conduct by the principles of morality, guide our conversation and thoughts within the compass of propriety, and to moderate those passions the excess of which deforms and disorders the very Soul."

By such demeanour we suddenly discover that we are being actuated by the principles of moral truth, a tremendous step forward in development for we then see events and behaviour from a different viewpoint. For instance such phrases "childish behaviour" or "emotional immaturity" usually used quite glibly as a label take on a new significance. Freemasonry is an system evolving out of unchangeable Landmarks that requires a certain stage to be reached before admission would be sought or granted, and a strict sequence is expected to be followed by its members. It is a miniature replica in principle of the human race and the stages of adolescence and adulthood leading on to varying degrees of authority. A child follows the evolutionary stages of human race, recapitulating them in quick succession, and now reaches an adolescent maturity at a younger age than 50 years ago. Watching children at play in an imaginary world of make-believe it is easy to recognise the phantasy working of the subconscious mind allied to Nature, the striving to gain attention by any means, struggles for leadership amongst themselves, the destructive stage, the testing of parental authority, and so on. In adulthood the same aspects of personality are still to be seen in a different guise, and are called "moods" or '-wearing a different hat;" many adults acclimatise to a certain stage and never move beyond it, little understanding that though the body may be mature that considered from the emotional level they are still children, and how many people beyond middle age can exercise their intellect outside the field of the occupation and interests they had in their 30's? It is a sobering thought, but nevertheless a fact, that age can be measured physically, emotionally, and mentally, and that it is quite natural to reach a stage in any of them beyond which we do not progress without a deliberate attention on our part to do so: one simple example involving a skill which most of us have acquired should suffice to demonstrate this fact, and that is driving a car. A certificate of competence to drive on a public highway is a minimal requirement, but how many drivers have had practical experience in brake skids and engine skids; how many maintain their composure in adverse circumstances; how many understand the technique of road positioning; how many accept that it is not always the other driver who is at fault.

But let me hasten to add that the principles in Nature are not in themselves inimical, for we could not exist without them, the principles being derived from higher levels where they govern in a way suitable to the requirements of their particular realm. Once again it would be beneficial to use an example, and so we will have another look at the sense of smell with its positive attractive power and negative repulsive power. It was said that perfumes can be used to delineate a territory and can elevate the consciousness. A perfume is a material substance registered by the sense of smell and can be visible or invisible, as in the case of incense, when it is burning or exuding from a gum or resin. Clairvoyantly it is described as like a fine spray being given off from the mother substance, and this fine spray must of necessity have an etheric basis and an astral basis. When, at the opening of the Lodge, we perambulate round the Temple, a living wall of etheric, astral, and mental material is built of a vibration heightened by the intention of the brethren assembled in hallowed precincts, assisted by the use of a thurible by the censer (usually the Chaplain) which, by unconscious association through the sensorium, lifts the consciousness still higher, forming a living shield to ward off lower vibrations (the attacks of the insidious), the attendance of the angels who are only too pleased to assist in maintaining the shield under the guidance of the Lodge's Guardian until the Lodge is closed, and a vehicle through which the higher powers, of which the Master is the focal point, can pass. The principles and powers are the same, but are directed and transmuted to a higher level by intention.

Having referred to the Master as the focal point of incoming power or of raising the consciousness of the Lodge to a higher level we can confirm this by examining the Ritual. In the Opening of the Lodge the Master says: Assist me to Open the Lodge. The Closing of the Lodge is every bit as important in many ways even more so and a basic understanding of the reasons why are essential to all who wish to tread new ground with perfect safety. Assuming that you are able to meditate to some degree, are able to become oblivious of your surroundings when engaged in devotional pondering or deep study of the ritual, you will have noticed that if you rise suddenly you become slightly dizzy, the mind is a little out of focus and it is difficult to pay attention to detail. This can be due to three reasons: firstly, the mind is still engaged on a higher level than usual; secondly, the vehicles can be a little out of alignment; thirdly, you could have taken on more power than you are used to. After a meeting that has gone exceptionally well many brethren complain of headaches, everyone seems to talk and laugh louder than usual, alcohol takes effect quicker. It is similar to driving a high performance car you are not used to in a strange district with heavy traffic all around. The Master Opens the Lodge from the East, the Spiritual World, and passes the power to the two Wardens, Intellect and Life, who return it to the Master, Will, diffusing light and lustre to all within the sphere of the Lodge into which all invoke spiritual assistance. But the Senior Warden is also in charge of the Mundane World aspect of our being. It is his duty, when the Master commands us to assist in Closing the Lodge, to see "that every Brother has had his due," and this is done by every Brother in the Lodge focussing their attention upon him after they have joined together to send the power surplus to mundane requirements into the spiritual reservoir of the Lodge from whence it is re- called at subsequent meetings this is one of the reasons why each Lodge has its own individual "atmosphere" the Senior Warden then being able to Close the Lodge, by, of course, the command of the Master. Brethren should not leave the Lodge before it is formally closed unless they have had the necessary training in the requisite technique.

You may well ask that if this is so, why isn't such information more generally available. We do not advertise the fact that we are Freemasons, relying on our emanation of moral truth and virtue to attract those who sense an affinity with us and our work. As it says in the Lectures (First Lecture, Second Section): "Having sought in my mind, I asked of my friend, he knocked, and the door of Freemasonry became open unto me." This is a radical aspect of our nature, and a conservative aspect of it seeks to repudiate that which we do not understand, leading, if uncontrolled, to persecution and destruction. The quotation from Dr. Oliver, printed on some Lodge summons', illustrates this point: "Be very cautious whom you recommend as a candidate for Membership; one false step on this point may be fatal. If you introduce a disputatious person, confusion will be produced which may end in the dissolution of the Lodge."

In dealing with the secrets of Nature we have to bear in mind two salient facts: that the subject needs a sympathetic approach to remove the barriers existing between levels of consciousness, as at our Initiation when we were halted at the close tyled door of the Lodge "meeting an obstruction and afterwards gaining admission:" that though extrasensory perception is now accepted as a valid field of investigation in many universities, it is still pooh-poohed by some scientists who demand concrete proof that can be weighed and measured. This is being achieved by experiments involving the mind and the will in relation to inanimate objects, emotional influence on plants and animals, Kirlian photography of the etheric structure of minerals and plants, the Kilner dicyanin screen through which the astral vehicle can be viewed.

These two fundamental aspects of our being are always present and attain a dynamic equilibrium when we achieve their synthesis on a higher plane to enable us to walk justly and uprightly in the performance of the strict line of our duty, only to swing out of balance again as we move to the next stage of our development, otherwise there would be no progression against the inertia encountered seemingly to bar our progress, but which disappears as we develop the appropriate facility to use a faculty on a higher level, as did those worthy masons employed on building the Holy City who worked with trowel in hand (a composite symbol formed by the three implements with which we were tested in each degree) and sword by their side (demonstrated by the Tyler as being effectively used by the three primal faculties of the Soul of heart, mind and will). What is in our favour is the fact that what we are trying to achieve is written in our destiny: we are not trying to create something new, but trying to consciously activate a dormant ability. We do not create an organ and then try to learn to use it, for philosophically the lesser cannot create the greater; Nature creates or modifies an organ in advance of our requirements from the patterns supplied to her from the Archetypal World, where our ultimate perfection is already known.

Every esoteric system teaches methods of urifolding our own Potential as an integral part of their teaching, and we are drawn to aparticular system by the ray on which we are working which is a sub-ray of our SpiritualMaster. In some systems the guidance and supervision of one experienced in that particular system is necessary to guard us from deviation due to illusion and delusion about our own worthiness and ability, and their capacity to hold us steady when we "reel and stagger faint and bleeding" as it were. To those of you who are new to the subject, and would care to exercise themselves a little so that an attractive force may be generated whereby you come into contact, apparently fortuitously, with a system congenial to you, a small book The Knowledge of the Higher Worlds, by Dr. Rudolph Steiner, is in my opinion one which is capable of leading one in a positive manner to a preliminary knowledge and control of ourselves without the guidance of a personal teacher and the danger of drifting into a state of passivity for it is the cerebrospinal nervous system that is being exercised, not the sympathetic nervous system.

Assuming we are all prepared to accept the hypothesis that we have bodies not perceptible by the physical senses - which has been attested to in every age and every clime what is their function, and how do they relate to each other and to the whole?

The physical body has a system of ductless glands, known as the endocrine system, which release hormones into the blood stream. Hormone means messenger, and the glands themselves are the governors in a very real sense of all the systems comprising our physical body. We also have the two nervous systems just mentioned, the cerebrospinal whose main "trunk line" is laid along the spine and the sympathetic which has two "trunk lines" either side that cross over at intervals as shown in the symbol of the caduceus of Hermes, these cross-overs corresponding in the spine to the various parts of the body where nerves cross over each other in varying complexity like a telephone exchange. The body also has a horizontal division, the diaphragm, and a vertical division, the dexter and sinister sides or positive and negative.

The physical body itself is not a principles but the effect of which the etheric body is the cause; take the etheric away and the physical body disintegrates into its natural components. For this reason the physical/etheric body is considered to be a single entity. As it is the end product of a chain of causation, a microcosm of the macrocosm or recipient of all that has preceded its manifestation, we should expect to find a correspondence of these principles in our bodies and in the Lodge itself. The etheric/physical entity is represented by the two guards who work in unison throughout the period when the Lodge is Open when our attention is withdrawn from the outer world to our inner world.

When the egg of any invertebrate passes the first stage of growth and the spherical mass of cells begin taking on specialised roles, the first thing to develop is the brain and spinal column with the twin rudimentary nervous systems. The cerebro-spinal we can learn to control, the sympathetic we cannot control directly, but there is a connecting link called the vagus nerve which is situated at the right-hand side of the chest level with the heart, and is shown symbolically on some medieval drawings and was known to the yoga masters. The spinal column is composed of five groups of vertebrae which are, starting from the top: 1, 7 cervical, corresponding in number to the seven worlds or conditions of existence, and the seven principal officers of the Lodge; 2, 12 dorsal, the 12 zodiacal or macrocosmic principles constituting the greater year or cycle of 25,000 years, and the microcosmic principles or banners of the HRA; 3, 5 lumbar, five gnostic powers of the Soul, five principals of the Fellowcraft Lodge; 4, 5 sacral, five senses, five pranic airs; 5, 4 coccygeal that are welded into one, the four elements necessary for mundane existence. The total number of segments in the spine is 33, the highest degree in our system, and a number associated with such people as Lord Buddha and Jesus Christ.

The list of such correspondences is long and could prove tedious and so only those germane to our subject will be quoted, one of which is the division of the body into the threefold grouping of head,thorax, and abdomen being related to our threefold constitution of Spirit, Soul and Body because we need to know the mode of communication.

The endocrine system comprises seven types of ductless gland, which are, once again starting from the top, the pineal, pituitary, thyroid, thymus, pancreas, gonads, and adrenals. Seven types, with reputedly seven levels of function, equating once again with the seven worlds and their seven planes. The etheric body communicates through what is known as a chakra (plural chakras or chakrum), a Sanskrit (sacred language of India) word meaning "wheel." These chakras are located on the surface of the etheric body and clairvoyantly look like irridescent rotating discs of light, each chakra having the appearance of a number of spokes or petals of a particular hue (they are sometimes referred to as a lotus or flower), and vary in size and apparent speed of rotation in proportion to the development of the person concerned. Each has a special function, and is enlarged and intensified in relation to the inner development of each individual, so that some chakras may be well developed and others hardly active at all. The root of these chakras are situated in relation to the location of one of the ductless glands and/or a major junction or plexii of nerves, and may be defined as focal points for the reception and transmission of various energies. Looked at from the side they look like a convolvulous or acquilegia flower. The seven quoted are the primary ones, for there are 14 secondary, and 21 tertiary, a total of 42, which is equal to the number of the Egyptian spiritual principles or Neteru.

Also in the etheric body is a nerve-like system which substands our physical nervous system called nadis in the Tantric system, and we could expect them to be identical with the meridians of the Chinese accupuncture system.

The chakras of the etheric body are coincident with similar ones in the astral and mental bodies through which energies are drawn from those realms but they have a slightly different function which will be dealt with later.

Man, repeating in himself the principles of the Cosmos, has a positive and a negative pole, and a positive and negative side to his body, the dexter and sinister (heraldic), or shakti and shakta of the Hindus which are shown in all pantheons as a god and goddess relationship, and the two strands of the sympathetic system known as the Ida and Pingala referred, at one level, to the sun and the moon as a masculine and feminine relationship. The positive pole is above the head, the entrance of the energies which are spiritual, being through the crown chakra, or sahasrara, related to the pineal gland, and shown as the halo just above the head of holy people. The initial energies of this chakra are stored, or taken up, by the heart chakra, or anahata, related to the thymus. The negative pole is just beneath the feet, the energies, which are the natural forces of the life principle, being taken up from the planetary astral body by the etheric muladhara chakra, which is related to the adrenals and situated at the base of the spine.

The second chakra in the head is the brow chakra, or ajna, between but slightly above the eyes, related to the pituitary body. Its functioning indicates the integrality of the individuality for it is the primary connection with the mental vehicle that can only take place when the etheric, astral, and mental vehicles are aligned to permit the un impeded flow of thought into the personality. Continuing downward to the spinal chakras, there is the throat chakra, or vishuddha, over the thyroid glands, our area of the physical creative manifestation of thought by speech; the heart chakra, already mentioned; the solar plexus chakra, or manipura, related to the pancreas and diaphragm, the clearing house of feeling and desire and the main link with the astral vehicle; the sex chakra, or svadhisthana, but the centre also deals with the polarity of all the vehicles as well as physical sexual union, based in the gonads and the lumbar region of the spine; and the base chakra, or muladhara, situated at the apex of the sacrum, also already mentioned.

This narration of the seven major chakras does not agree with many of the older books published on the subject for two reasons, the first being that there are differences in the chakrum balance of Eastern and Western etheric bodies in the same way that there are differences in the basic emotional reactions of different races, and secondly that there has been a tremendous amount of independent research carried out in the last half-century by psychics and healers equating with the publicising of what used to be classified information.

One of the secondary chakras is situated at the nape of the neck in the region of the alta major this is stated for the benefit of Royal Arch Companions. The spleen chakra, obviously connected with the spleen, although the major "doorway" of prana, or vital energy, into the etheric body, is now considered to be a secondary chakra. The reason for this is that the seven chakras enumerated as the major ones are believed to handle the same powers, forces and energies in a lesser degree of course - emanated during the course of the formation of the seven worlds; the pranic energy handled by our etheric body is a scaled-down reflection of them.

The etheric vehicle is called the vital body because its main function in respect to the physical body is that of receiving, assimilating, and emitting the vitality globules in the atmosphere which are generated by the sun, the body responding to the magnetic, or tattvic, tides set up by the sun in the same way that the astral body responds to the life tides of the moon. These vitality globules have a seven-fold structure, and all living things absorb from them that which they need, and re-distribute that which they do not.

The human being can only absorb part of five of these pranic airs at the present stage of evolution, so that on the splitting up the globule on its welling up through the spleen chakra to its constituent

parts for distribution to the major chakras, two of them combine with one other so that we deal with proportions of only five parts. Our constitution also extracts prana from the air we breathe, the amount of prana available being in proportion to the amount of sunlight pervading the atmosphere, and is also extracted from the food we eat. There are also two other secondary chakras that receive prana into the system, forming, with the spleen, what is known as the pranic triangle. This pranic triangle is known of and used by many esoteric schools in their healing groups. Doubtless you have noticed that once again there is a triadic principle at work.

Yoga students of hatha and pranayama will know these five differentiations of prana as Vyana, or the unity of prana in the human body; Upana, from the top of the head to the nose; Prana, extending from the nose to the heart; Samana, extending from the heart to the solar plexus; and Apana, whose sphere of influence is from the solar plexus to the soles of the feet.

They have another nomenclature in respect of the sevenfold constitution of the etheric/physical body: the etheric has a unity and four- fold division and the physical a three fold division, the etheric unity or quintessence being known as Ether, and the four divisions as Elemental Air, Fire, Water and Earth, with the three physical divisions of gaseous, liquid and solid. The etheric constituents are also known as the Tattvic Akasa symbolised by a (black egg), Vayu (blue disc), Tejas (red equilateral triangle), Apas (silver crescent), and Prithivi (yellow square) and are considered to be the realm of the Nature Spirits. In the Tattvic tides each of the five predominates in turn for a period of under two hours with a cyclic secondary change through the remaining four during that period.

So far we have dealt with the etheric body as the matrix or formative principle of the physical body, and its role as collector and transmitter of energies. Its third role is that of being the bridge between the physical body and the astral body with its associated natural desires and appetencies

13 linked to the planetary astral and the unconscious and subconscious levels of the human race, our own particular race and environment, and with the mental levels that work with and through the astral planes via the medium of the chakras.

The chakras in the astral vehicle are more interior than those of the etheric but communicate through them. It is the astral vehicle that makes sensation possible and translates sensation as desires and aversions into emotions, and via the etheric vehicle and prana is the medium between the physical brain and mind. Under the influence of thought and its associated emotion, shown in the astral vehicle as colours of coarse or more beautiful pastal shades and positioned according to the appropriate chakra being used, we stand revealed to a clairvoyant and any attempt to dissimulate is completely unavailing. It is from this realm we reincarnate and derive our individuality according to the way we have conducted ourselves in previous lives, this individuality shining through and modifying the personality in proportion to the way in which we continue to listen to the voice of Nature with knowledge and understanding: the frank recognition that Nature governs us with stereotyped stimulus-reaction patterns based on the survival of the fittest techniques in conjunction with our racial subconscious mind and the record of our previous endeavours, and that by transmuting the life forces away from the perpetuation of such a cycle by the practice of virtue and brotherly love "to walk justly and uprightly before God and man; neither turning to the right nor the left from the strict path of virtue . . . but giving up every selfish consideration which might have a tendency to injure others, to steer the barque of life over the rough sea of passion without quitting the helm of rectitude" lifts our life energies upwards to a higher centre or chakra and allows them to unfold in conformity with the higher laws to which we become more and more receptive as our astral body becomes less responsive to the coarser, slower vibrations, and more responsive to the higher, quicker vibrations, the influence of the reasoning mind, and the control of the personal will.

We also become capable of transferring our consciousness to the astral vehicle at will (we do this automatically when we go to sleep) to preserve a continuity of consciousness, and when so separated, for the astral vehicle does separate from the physical although still joined by the silver cord, we can look at the physical vehicle we have just left, but as travel in the astral realms is governed by desire generated in response to thought, our initial reaction would be to immediately re-enter the physical body unless we are held firm by a higher principle. At this point we can hold in our minds the significance of the cable tow, of our consideration of the emblems of mortality in the Third Degree, and our re-union with the companions of our former toil.

We are not normally conscious of our astral vehicle or of its actions because there is a barrier placed between different levels of consciousness for the specific purpose of providing a foundation on which to base our on-going work, the stereotyped activities being kept below the threshold of consciousness in the same way that our habit patterns in normal life free our awareness for other considerations. These barriers are esoterically the "Walls of Jericho" to be broken down in the process of reintegration by the "seven trumpets" or chakras, for each chakra has its own note, and when they are working in balanced harmony produce a chord. From this point of view we can look on each note as a letter, and each chord as a word halve it, and a response is evoked complete with harmonics from a higher level.

Let us consider this statement in a little more detail, for it is important. In the communication of a word it is first given in full by the initiating principle, the first half is then repeated by the conducting principle who had unfolded it on his involutionary journey, and it is again repeated by the ego,whowas subconsciously inpossessionofit but had to bring it into conscious awareness on his evolutionary, or return journey until the ego has further unfolded his innate knowledge he cannot give the word in full on the presentation to the other two principal officers the conducting principle and the ego give the first half for the word to be completed by the principle officer. It is only when the work of a degree has been completed that the ego is in a position to give the word in full as proof of his proficiency when preferment to the next stage is sought. In the third degree, having been raised to the comparable intellectual level of the principal officers, the ego has transcended his conducting principle and the communication needs no intermediaries.

Although a certain amount of background knowledge concerning the chakras has hard to be given it is not intended to give a long dissertation on them other than their recognition and some of their use in the three Craft Degrees, so let us go back in our memory to our entrance into Freemasonry in a state of helpless indigience which was, we were told later, an emblematical representation of the entrance of all men into this, their mortal existence. True. But it was also emblematical of our entrance, while in this mortal existence, of our conscious entrance into the inner realms of our Soul. Quite frankly we were disorientated, halt and lame. The tongue of good report had already been heard in our favour, but a series of questions to which affirmative answers were given the better to enable us to become receptive to instruction, the benefit of prayer, a perambulation to receive the impress of the focussed attention of each member of the Lodge, the sense of entering or moving into a new realm instilled by the Wardens, more questions to imbue us with purpose and intention to elevate our consciousness to the level required on which to make a formal obligation, the restitution in full consciousness to a recognition of that which had previously been below the level of awareness, and the sealing in by personally awakening the appropriate chakra by an act of will with the assistance of the stimulus provided by the Master, to be repeated on the stream of Intellect and Life.

The first chakra to be brought into conscious recognition and stimulated was the throat chakra, the vishuddha. The tongue of good report having been heard in our favour, we were given the opportunity to develop our own capacity of creatively expressing our newly-affirmed ideals. To this centre is assigned the lower mind and the faculty of clairaudience or inner hearing which can only be exercised when the virtue of silence is partially realised in the lower nature. This may seem a contradiction at first sight, but like so many of the teachings of the wise that appear as foolishness to the man of the popular world, there is a simple explanation. Earlier it was said that man was a miniature replica of the cosmos implying a subjective and objective aspect, and that the body was divided into an upper and lower part by the diaphragm. The lower part is our animal nature which can be spiritualised when its energies are transmuted to the higher by ordination the innocence of purity - to allow the downflow of the higher energies. It therefore follows that there must be a specific relationship between certain chakras, and in this case the relationship is between the two creative chakras: the sexual chakra, or svadhistana, and the throat chakra, the throat chakra being recognised as the first of the spiritual gateways and as such must be unlocked before any other.

To understand more fully the unlocking and stimulation of a chakra it is necessary to consider the hand and the way in which it is used. The pranic energy running through the body follows well defined pathways, much of the surplus flowing through the hands, and this energy can be directed by the will, a fact known by priests and healers throughout the world. But the five pranic airs, separated out by the spleen chakra, may be used separately as required. The spiritual power (akasa) flows through the thumb, elemental water through the index finger, earth through the middle finger, fire through the third finger, and air through the little finger; all four will flow through the palm of the hand when the fingers are kept together, and all five when the thumb is kept alongside the index finger which should be of particular interest to RA Companions in relation to the five regular Platonic bodies. This is also an indication of why priests use different finger and hand positions in giving blessings, and the .importance of the esoteric significance of our penalties.

We can now appreciate why we experience subtle sensations when giving the signs and the increase of sensitivity that accompanies them, and the validity of the closing sign to bring our consciousness back to the level of mundane existence before aquitting our safe retreat of peace and friendship." The penal sign of the First Degree is the complete severance of the channel through which the spiritual power descends from the crown chakra, or sasharara, to the heart chakra, or anahata.

The chakra having been opened in its triple aspect of will, intellect and life of vivify the ego, or candidate (candidatus = glittering, white) with the potency of the Great Architect the next stage we experienced was that of being invested with our Apron of pure white, an emblem of innocency and symbol of the spiritual body we had begun to build, and it was confered on us by the Life or formative principle (S.W.) by the command of the Will principle (W.M.). This apron covered the region of the chakras governing the physical energies of our material body, the up- pointing flap indicating the elevation of the energies to the control and use of our emergent higher consciousness instead of them being dissipated downward and outward under the due processes of Nature.

In the Second Degree the pattern was somewhat similar to the former, except that on the first perambulation we were able to salute and communicate in full instead of dully, and although it was by command of the Will we were again permitted to receive the individual impress of each member of the Lodge, it was to the Life principle we had to prove we were capable of assimilating further instruction.

The sign mainly concerns the heart chakra, traditionally the seat of the affectional and aspirational nature, but it also has an intellectual aspect as, as was said earlier, it is the collecting and storage point of the spiritual powers entering the crown chakra. The crown chakra is different in construction from the other major chakras, having at its centre a subsidiary chakra with the same number of petals and colour as the heart chakra. The heart chakra also receives the ascending forces from the chakras covered by the apron via the solar plexus chakra. We can perceive that the thumb indicates the spiritual connection between the heart and crown centres, while the palm of the hand concentrates the four elements into the chakra itself. (To avoid confusion, it must be stated that there are the four Elements of the Wise, of which the four realms of the Elementals are a reflection.)

The second part of the sign is usually given wrongly as the arm should be held horizontal to the shoulders a very tiring position or asan so that the hand can act as a collecting point for the spiritual forces emanating from the crown chakra, the reason, it is held, that Joshua used that position while praying to the Almighty that He would continue the light of day until he had completed the overthrow of his enemies or lower nature. This takes us to the third aspect of the sign: the chakra covered by the apron. The basal chakra, or muladhara, the collecting point of the natural forces rising from the negative pole beneath the feet, is also the seat of kundalini, the serpent power or fire. This force, said to be coiled like a serpent, is separate and distinct from prana, but likewise has a sevenfold gradation of power which is released in conformity to our development and the refinement and purity of our vehicles. The basal chakra is a reflection of the crown chakra in one sense, or coupled with it in another sense, and the kundalini fire rises through the spine, circulating through each chakra in a special order, purifying and vivifying as it ascends to the crown on its mission of our spiritual regeneration. We therefore have a triple flow of energy conforming to the two divisions of the body given previously, the right and left sides or executive and receptive, and the upper and lower parts. The right hand is feeding in, the left hand is collecting, and the basal chakra is transmuting to the crown chakra and we are once again looking at the caducous of Hermes, the Messenger of the Gods, and the correspondence on the First Tracing Board of the sun, moon and sevenpointed star of initiation. The penal sign should now be self- explanatory, for if the four elements of the etheric body are removed from our "heart" (the physical heart has four chambers) it means we have failed in our purpose in this life and the soul has withdrawn, leaving just an empty vehicle behind, void of moral worth and aesthetic taste for true beauty.

The apron with which we are invested had the flap downwards, denoting the infiltration of conscious control over our lower propensities, and the two rosettes of blue, the overall colour of the mental vehicle, showed that the two chakras covered by the apron were being controlled through the mind by your growing knowledge of the eternal verities and inner meanings substanding our existence.

The Third Degree repeats, in initiatic structure, the two previous Degrees. Certain variations occur due to the fact that in that degree we transcend, for a while, the astral vehicle (which is not immortal) and our two attendants, the two Deacons, who are rooted in the astral realm. Our actual Raising is performed by the three principal officers of the Lodge, and as we have risen to the planes of mind by the exercise of intellect in the abstract liberating sciences of the cosmos to express them as the true art of living in the planes of form, the words, chords or harmonies were communicated to us directly by the Master who had descended to our level to do so, but we will not probe further into this degree except to examine some of the signs.

The first one we are given is one of recoiling in horror at a dreadful and afflicting sight: the Dweller on the Threshold. If we had the misfortune to confront this monstrosity before this stage was reached we would have found it extremely difficult to re1iiain stabile and cope with it, as attested to throughout the ages It is our dark self, the thing we have built up over many lives by the refusal to deal with temptations by running away from them, emotional crises we would not face up to, fears we rationalised or lied to ourselves about to excuse our cowardice, and so on; it is all that we have dealt with by repression and dissociation instead of sublimation and regeneration and it has to be dealt with before any further spiritual progression is possible. The second one is sympathy, the sympathetic understanding of a mind above the physical senses and emotion. We will leave the third sign for the time being and move to the fourth which is concerned with grief and distress, for these signs are intimately associated with the brow chakra, or ajna, the seat of the higher clairvoyant faculty and primary link with the mental body, which raises the question as to why they are described in emotional terms. There are two answers to such a question: firstly, emotion (e = out + movers to move) and we move out towards that which we love, adore or revere, for love is the cohesive force of the universe, and as such mystics have ever used the poeties imagery of love to describe their yearning for union with the supernal source and goal of their very being; secondly, how else could one describe a vision to one who is blind save in terms he would understand? Our mental equipment has an abiding, proceeding and returning aspect of its own, and the Ego dwells in the abiding aspect, proceeds into mundane existence via the astral world, and returns through the higher mental vehicle we are in the process of building in the second half of the second degree.

To amplify this statement a little further it could be said that any abiding principle innately contains in its being all the essences in terms of itself to fulfill its divine purpose; the proceeding principle is conscious of itself and its activities but identified with them; the returning principle is self-conscious and non-identified with his vehicle or working tool and understands the reasons why it is what it is.

In relation to the Dweller on the Threshold, and our lower nature as a whole, it is necessary for us to always bear in mind that each level of con sciousness is ruled from the one above it: instinct and emotion are directed and controlled by reason supported by the will to goodness and beauty, and this is why' in our journey from the West to the East the signposts are pointing the way to Wisdom, Strength and Beauty the wisdom of the good mind, the strength of reason, and the beauty of virtue. When we have acquired a sufficiency of these we are- entitled to demand that last and greatest trial, that of facing our unregenerate lower -self who was blocking the free flow of energy as complexes which, if happily effected and raised into consciousness, becomes reunited as an energetic companion .

If we do not succeed, then the penalty comes into force, and the penalty involves the solar plexus chakra, or manipura. This centre is the mid-way house between the upper and lower part of our body divided by the diaphragm and is the main gateway in us of forces from the astral body. The solar plexus is called the little brain of the body in yoga systems, and as most of us know to our cost a traumatic emotional experience makes us feel quite sick, or can create such a flow of energy that our muscles quiver to dispel it. It is through this centre that the natural forces are uplifted through purity of intention, and the higher forces are infused to regenerate the lower, and if this connection between the higher and lower were severed we would be condemned to live a life under the control of the lower astral planes and suffer in the fires of purification until we redeemed ourselves sufficiently to be given another chance. This chakra is symbolised on Past Masters collars by a silver ball.

To sum up the signs, they are concerned with the relationship between the Soul and her companion Mind, Mind with Nature, and Nature with Body, which allows the four cardinal Winds of Heaven to perform their alloted task of breathing new life into our endeavours; while the penalties break this relationship in the etheric regions of water, air, earth and fire which condemns our existence to the regions of the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms this is specifically stated in the penalties.

The last sign we will consider is one spontaneously used when we are moved to intense joy and exultation, such as when the kundalini fire rushes up the shushuma canal and out through the crown chakra as a brilliant golden fountain. When this happens a direct line of communication is formed with our higher mental vehicle, enabling us to by-pass the intermediaries.

The apron with which we were invested in that degree shows, by the blue edging and backing, our involvement with the mental world, the con sideration of which will have to await a future occasion, but it is hoped that this paper has shown somewhat the importance of elevating the consciousness before attempting to deal directly with the subconscious and unconscious levels of our being which has to be done sooner or later to allow an unimpeded flow of power through our vehicles that the knowledge, although somewhat sketchy, will give an indication of how we can work in conjunction with a progression laid down for ourpursuit before time ever was, and that this small insight into the wonderful foundations on which our Order, as custodian of the Ancient Mysteries, is based, will lead you to a more fruitful and understanding participation in our ceremonies.

And may they ever continue in unity and peace.

So mote it be.