This is a wonderful period of the year.
We are always reminded of the beginning of life when the winter is at hand. Naturally we compare the winter months with the close of life, not because it suggests death but because it suggests change and transition.
For those of us living in the northern hemisphere, there is enough of the change taking place to make us realise that wintertime is change time, and that we are soon to come to that period of the year when all life renews itself.
It is not my purpose to direct your thought toward that event in our life known as transition, nor do I intend to make you feel very serious or sad by this little talk at this time.
But I do want to bring to your mind the fact that the outstanding feature of life is change.
In fact, were it not for the law of change, and if things did not continually change, life would not only be void of event but there would be no life, and, secondly, no interest in living. We must accustom ourselves to change. The much-talked-about theory of evolution is based upon this observed fact of nature.
True, many scientists have taken such facts from observation and have set those things into long and complicated imaginings and evolved a theory and process of life that is without foundation in many of its elements, or secondary principles, at least. But there is no doubt about the fact that evolution is a fundamental law of nature and we see it about us everywhere.
The old philosophers used to say that there is only one thing that is definite or unchangeable about matter and that is its changeableness.
In other words, life and all that composes it and of which it is composed, and by which elements it manifests, are constantly in a changeable state. One of the old philosophers said, lightly, that you could not put your finger on anything in the material world and say it is this or it is that because before you could speak the words it would have changed to something else.
Does not that remind you of our own experiences in life?
Can you not see that in your own life each day, if not each hour, has brought some change into the nature of your experiences, in the nature of your problems, the nature of your pleasures, your sorrows, your interests? And think for one moment what your life would be like if these changes suddenly stopped and if each day and each hour were exactly alike, and so much like unto those of the past that you could not readily and easily note the changes that are taking place.
These great changes are taking place in nature and, in fact, in the working of the Cosmic and its laws on earth.
What changes there may be constantly going on above this plane or on a higher plane than this we do not know. But we do know that from the lowest form of cell life up to the highest expression of such cell life, which is humankind, changes are taking place every year, every cycle, every great period of time.
Humanity, in order to evolve and become what nature and God intended us to be, must attune ourselves with this process of constant change. We must become a part of the great parade of onward marchers which constitute the army of evolution throughout nature.
The moment any man or woman ceases to be a part of that onward movement he or she does not stand still. He or she simply retrogrades because nature and all of mankind passes on and leaves him or her standing still, as it were, or moving backward until in a very short time he or she finds themselves among the primitive ones, among the undeveloped, the unprogressive, the ignorant, and the sufferers.
How Do We Begin?
I have just said that it is necessary for each man and woman to attune himself or herself with the onward progression. The question is, how shall we do this?
Can we just voluntarily proclaim ourselves a part of the progression? Can we simply stand up in the midst of all that surrounds us and say, “I too am moving forward!”
No, something more than this is necessary and it is because certain things must be done, certain methods followed, certain definite steps taken one at a time that there is such an organisation as AMORC and other ones like it, to point out and guide and direct the really progressive creatures to the right path where they may take the proper steps and truly become a part of the progression of the cosmic and material world.
First of all, we must become fundamentally sound in our understanding and in our reasoning.
We cannot reason properly if we do not understand properly, and we cannot understand properly unless our reason has been trained to function in the right and logical manner.
You have heard much in the last few years about the establishment of world peace, world harmony; but you must understand that peace and harmony and cooperation among different peoples of different tongues and different minds can never truly come about until all of these peoples, until all humankind, think alike.
Not until all people think alike can they act alike and agree on certain necessary fundamentals. And all people cannot think alike until they understand alike. We know, then, that the first necessary steps in the development of humanity to the highest standard of cooperative thinking and acting is to educate ourselves in those fundamental laws and principles, in those fundamental facts of nature about nature and of nature and of ourselves whereby we are able to comprehend, understand, and think properly.
This is what the Rosicrucian organisation and the Rosicrucian Masters have been doing for hundreds of years.
In our own times, in our own country, this organisation has been leading the thoughts, directing the thinking, and promulgating the teachings which lead to a comprehensive understanding of nature, of God, and of humanity’s relation to both of these great divine principles and powers.
Incidentally, the teachings have also educated humanity in regard to many of the other laws and principles of this material world, which enable us to live better, more happily, more healthfully, and more successfully in our various spheres.
This is the first step toward bringing humanity into the line of progression and attuning ourselves with the onward march of nature.
The Great Work
We do not have to go back to the writings of the ancients nor do we have to refer to the writings and records of those of the Middle Ages to discover the fact that the Rosicrucians and many other similar organisations have had a great bearing upon the advancement of man and especially upon the freedom that it has brought about from those enslaving conditions of ignorance and superstition.
We see daily, in our correspondence, we learn weekly from our contact with members, those who have been with us a long time, and those who have only recently joined, that the work which the Rosicrucians are doing is certainly manifesting in the greater development of humanity’s comprehension and leading us onward to mastership.
If you could see the results of such great work you would come to realise that the greatest blessing that can be given to humanity is the blessing of understanding, of knowledge, of mental power.
We learn through the correspondence and through the contact with the members how they are overcoming problems, how they are meeting conditions, how they are removing obstacles, how they are throwing themselves forward and onward to a greater degree than ever before by simply knowing the laws and applying them in every instance whenever they understand that there is a contrast between them and those things that constitute the obstacles in life, the tests and trials of endurance.
We read of the changed mental attitude on the part of thousands and we hear from their own lips the testimony of how they have conquered, how their vision has been broadened, how their outlook has been made keen and with greater perspective, and how their discouragement has been wiped away, and how power to do, power to dare, has come to them through knowledge, through hope, through Life, Light, and Love. This constitutes the reward that we have for the efforts we have put forward and for the ideals we hold in our hearts.
Quest for Knowledge
We hope that none of our members believe today, as did many in the Middle Ages, that the learned men of science and the adepts of mysticism can reveal to the inquiring mind some simple process where, by the snapping of the fingers or by the use of some magical word, the great laws of nature will hold back their powers or will exert themselves unduly to produce a miracle.
We know today that the power to do comes from the power of understanding and we know that the power of understanding is the natural result of knowledge. And we know, furthermore, that knowledge that begets such power as this is not acquired quickly nor easily.
Furthermore, we know that if the knowledge we seek is for the purpose of developing faculties and functions within us that we must proceed slowly with such knowledge and give time to the faculties within our being to develop coordinately and systematically along with our comprehension.
There is a springtime of life coming to each one of us – not necessarily at the time of transition, when we cast off this physical body and the soul within us rises to go to other planes or perhaps return again and occupy another body.
But there is that springtime of awakening and rebirth, when we suddenly realise that we are on the mountaintop of Illumination and face to face with the ineffable Light of understanding and realisation of our true selves, our true being, our divinity, and our power.
Such rebirth and such springtime of life may come at any moment to those who are on the Path.
It is as though we were journeying along the mountain between low hills that cut off our vision and suddenly, at the turn of the path, we find ourselves upon a great plateau of broad vision and broad beauty.
It may not be the highest plateau of the mountain, it may not be the very height that we have looked forward to in our dreams and visions, but at least we are out in the great sunlight of Illumination, we are out in the great perspective of nature, we are out in the open, perhaps alone with only God and our inner selves; but it is springtime there and all of the winter of the past is left behind and we know how lovely it is to live, how wonderful is Light and Life and Love.
These are my thoughts at this wintertime of the year, and I pass them on to you that you may reflect upon them and see in them an inspiration at this time of your lives.
Adaptation of ‘Change and Illumination’ by Dr. H Spencer Lewis . From the Rosicrucian Digest November 1980 (reprinted from the February 1926 edition of the Mystic Triangle)