THINKING AND DESTINY
Harold W. Percival
THE GREAT WAY
The “Descent” of man. There is no evolution without, first, involution. The mystery of germ cell development. The future of the human. The Great Way. Brotherhoods. Ancient Mysteries. Initiations. Alchemists. Rosicrucians.
IN EVERY age a few individuals do find The Great Way. They do conquer death by regenerating and restoring their bodies to the Realm of Permanence. But this is an individual and private affair of each such doer. The world does not know; other human beings do not know it. The world does not know because public opinion and the weight of the world would be opposed to it, and would hold back the doers who choose to regenerate their bodies and restore them to the Realm of Permanence.
Before a human will even agree to the idea of a “Way” to a “Realm of Permanence,” he will have become estranged to the concept of an “ascent of man” or “evolution”; that is, that man, with his great gifts, has ascended from a mere speck of matter. On the contrary, he will have become convinced of the “descent” of man, from a higher estate to his present low condition in a perishable human body.
Evolution is preceded by involution. There cannot be an evolution unless there has been an involution of what is to be evolved.
It is not merely unreasonable, it is unscientific to suppose that any form of life can evolve from a germ cell that was not involved into that cell. An oak tree cannot evolve from the germ of a cabbage or a fern, even through countless developments from those germs. There must be the involution of an oak into its acorn in order that there can be the evolution from that acorn into an oak tree.
Likewise every man or woman has descended into this human world of change from an ancestral sexless being of the Realm of Permanence. The descent has been made by variation, modification, mutation, and division. The evidence of this procedure is shown by spermatogenesis and by ovulation, of the spermatozoon and the ovum into gametes, marriageable cells. Each cell must be changed from its original state or condition, and be modified and divided, until it is a distinctly male or female sex cell. These changes and divisions re-enact the biological records of the history of the cells, from the time of the ancestral type of sexlessness until they become male or female sex cells.
Heretofore no definite explanation has been given to account for these mysterious facts, but an understanding that the development of the sexes is the degeneration and departure from a former state of deathlessness into the lower human world of birth and death and re-existence, will explain the facts and open the way for understanding that there will be the return from the human to the former higher state. Here is part of the evidence:
Science has furnished evidence that in both spermatogenesis and ovulation the germ cells must divide twice before the spermatozoon can enter into the ovum and begin the generation of a new male or female body. The reason is that the spermatozoon is at first a sexless cell. By its first division it puts off that of itself which is sexless and is transformed into a male-female part; but as such it is not yet fit to marry. By its second division it throws off its female part and is then a gamete, a marriageable cell, and is ready for copulation. Similarly, the ovum is at first sexless; it must be changed into a sex cell before it can marry. By its first division it rids itself of its sexless part and is then a female-male cell, unfit for marriage. By its second division the male part is discarded and it is then the female sex cell ready for marriage.
For each life the history of the transition from an ancestral sexless body is re-enacted by each of the two germ cells. The changes which take place are determined by the thinking inscribed on the breath-form or living soul of the body through long series of lives of crucifixions and resurrections, each life being a crucifixion, followed by a return or resurrection. The breath-form has on it the original type of the sexless perfect body, but is changed into male or female according to the thinking of feeling-and-desire.
The conscious self in the body is feeling-and-desire, which is symbolically nailed through the body of sex to its cross.
Its cross is the invisible breath-form of the visible body. The body is the fleshly material of the body-cross.
Feeling-and-desire is bound into the body-cross by nerves, desire is bound into the body-cross by blood.
Sight, hearing, taste, and smell, are the four senses which are themselves a cross and which are the symbolical nails with which the conscious self is nailed to its breath-form cross.
By breathing, the self of feeling-and-desire is kept on its breath-form cross throughout the life of its body-cross.
When the self of feeling-and-desire gives up the breath, the body is dead. Then the self leaves the body-cross.
But, as the conscious self, it continues with its breath-form cross through its after death states, (Fig. V-D).
With its breath-form cross, the self will take on another body-cross of flesh and blood:—to be prepared for it for its next life on earth.
The conscious self of feeling-and-desire will again take on the body-cross of flesh and blood, and will be nailed to the objects of nature by sight and hearing, and by taste and smell.
So the conscious feeling-and-desire must continue its crucifixions life after life in this world of birth and death, until it regenerates its body of death into an everlasting body of life. Then, as the Son, it ascends and unites with its thinker and knower as the Father, the Triune Self complete in The Realm of Permanence from which it originally descended.
Teachings about the mysteries and initiations were not about The Great Way.
Information about The Great Way could not be made known to the rulers and conquerors, and the people who have made up the civilizations have been too savage and brutal. The civilizations have been based on conquest through murder.
This is the first time in any historic period when, it is said, there is freedom of speech; and that one may choose to be, to think, and to do what he thinks best, especially if it is for the benefit of others. That is why information about The Great Way is now given—for those who choose and will.
When The Great Way is made known to the few, they will make it known to the people. When it becomes generally known, those of the people who are weary of the treadmill of human life, who want something more than the glory of possessions and fame and pageantry and power, will rejoice at the good news of The Great Way. Then the few individuals who have made their destiny for The Way will be free to give the information to those who desire and choose to be on The Way.
In the past, growths into the inner worlds were not unusual; in fact, that was the normal course of progress. And unless this civilization is brought to an end by continued rapacity and sexual indulgence out of season, they will in the future become frequent again. Then human beings will not have to go against the whole of nature, because their physical bodies will be developed along the lines here indicated. They will begin to rebuild a vertebrate column in front, (Fig. VI-D), containing a front- or nature-cord. Into this front-cord are blended the right and the left cords of the present involuntary nervous system. The cord branches out laterally and into the pelvis, abdomen, and thorax, replacing the internal organs there at present; its ramifications fill these cavities with nervous structures somewhat as the cephalic brain now fills the cavity of the skull. So there will eventually be four brains,—a brain, each, in the pelvis for the perfect body, in the abdomen for the doer, in the thorax for the thinker, and in the head for the knower. The bodies will have forms in which matter will become conscious in higher degrees more easily than it does at present.
The doer-in-the-body is conscious mainly of feeling-and-desire and, to a lesser degree, of thinking, but it is not conscious as feeling-and-desire, nor as thinking; still less is it conscious as its identity. It is conscious of a difference between feeling and desiring, but not conscious of a difference between rightness-and-reason, as two different aspects of the thinker of the Triune Self. Nor is it conscious of its three minds of which human beings use chiefly the body-mind. Of conscience, which comes from selfness speaking through rightness, it is not conscious as coming from the higher source. It is not conscious of the three parts of its Triune Self and is not conscious of the Light of the Intelligence. It is conscious of nature as reported by the four senses, but is not conscious as nature, or even of nature in the flesh in which it dwells. It feels aches or comfort in parts of the body, but then it is conscious of feeling a sensation and not conscious as nature or as feeling. When there are sensations, that is, elementals playing on the nerves in which the feeling aspect of the doer is, the human is not conscious of or as the elementals, or that they are elementals, or even as feeling apart from these elementals, but he is conscious of the feeling as sensations. One does not know how to distinguish between himself as feeling and the sensations which he feels, and he must therefore become conscious of himself as that which feels, as distinct from the impression of nature that is made on feeling. To overcome these limitations the human must become conscious of his breath-form, of the way in which it operates, and of the actions of the four senses. When these limitations are overcome, the doer portion is conscious as feeling-and-desire, but the feeling-and-desire are heightened and refined. They take in the feeling-and-desire in all humanity, in nature in the body, and through that in nature outside.
In the present age the stages in which human beings are conscious are so low that special training is required. They themselves must prepare themselves; they cannot get anyone to teach them or to do the work for them. They do this by learning from their experiences, through thinking.
But what of the teachers, initiations, brotherhoods and lodges of which so much is heard? What of secret symbols, cryptic language and “The Way”? The answer is that these are not concerned with The Great Way here spoken of, which is found and traveled by the aid of the Light of the Intelligence. They are concerned with the legendary path, which at its best is only a related part of what is The Great Way. They have to do with symbols and language referring to the lunar germs, though not by that name, and to transformations in the physical body which the preservation of these germs brings about.
There are brotherhoods composed of those who have command over many of the forces of nature, and who have knowledge of much that is hidden from the senses of the run of human beings and is equally unknown to the learned men of the world. In these brotherhoods are members who have disciples, taken out of the world from time to time. There is no way in which the public or those not fitted can enter these schools. When the inner development of a human shows him to be fitted to become a disciple of one of these lodges, he is called to it. He has to comply with certain rules in his daily life, follow a course of study, go through trials, temptations, dangers, initiations and ceremonies. These lodges exist for the purpose of developing the human in worship of a deity.
There are other groups of initiates which are not so numerous today as they were in the past when they flourished with the ancient Mysteries. The object of all such Mysteries—Eleusinian, Bacchic, Mithraic, Orphic, Egyptian and Druidic,—was nature worship; their gods were nature gods. In the rites of these religious institutions was often something that gave, if one cared to receive it, information about the nature and the powers of the doer-in-the-human. So the teaching of the Hall of the Two Truths was a fair representation of the Judgment that awaits the human after death, when he stands naked—not clothed with the breath-form—in the Light of his Intelligence. In the Druidic Mysteries the first ray at sunrise entering the stone circle at the vernal equinox, remained from an unknown past as a symbol of the influx of the Light of the Intelligence to meet the solar germ at its entrance into the head, indicated by the stone circles which were symbols of the skull and the brain. The Druids interpreted this symbol, of course, as relating to the awakening of nature or to the procreative act, and accordingly the outer stone circle was the pelvis and the inner the uterus.
Generally, in the Mysteries, sacrificing animals was a degenerate representation of a disciple sacrificing his own passions, which the bull or goat symbolized; human sacrifices were a degenerate misrepresentation of the giving up of one’s human sexual life for a regenerate life. But these inner meanings of what became brutal, noisy and sensuous displays, were lost.
The mysteries, that is, those that were secret, were adapted to the seasons of the year. The meaning had to do with the life of the doer in nature. Gods and Goddesses personified nature. The coming of the portion of the doer into physical life, its descent into the body, the dangers and allurements encountered during life, and death and the state of the doer after death, were dramatically presented.
There were also initiations which the neophyte had to pass. Privations and sufferings, dangers, encounters and obstacles had to be overcome before he could be initiated and join the purified. After he had gained the highest initiation, he discovered that the years it had taken him to qualify were filled with symbolic teachings of what the after death states would be, so that when death actually did come and he had to pass through death, he had been so trained in these mysteries that he knew what to do. That was the inner object of the mysteries and of course was not told to the world, nor was it discovered by all who took part in them. None but superior persons could go through them. A true disciple, in any age, could through these forms get an insight into the real path beyond them. The training he received was a preparation to fit him in some life for The Great Way.
Among fraternities of a later date Alchemists and Rosicrucians have acquired notoriety. The disfavor in which they are sometimes held is due to impostors and charlatans who pretended to belong to the true orders.
The Alchemists, while they studied or appeared to study laws of external nature, concerned themselves with transmuting and refining the baser metals of the physical body, which was to become a refined astral body and by them called a “spiritual” body. Their fanciful terms can be interpreted as referring to alchemical processes in the flesh body by which the fourfold matter of it was refined and transmuted. The Philosopher’s Stone, the Red Lion and the White Eagle, the White Tincture and the Red, the White Powder and the Red Powder, the Sun and the Moon, the Seven Planets, Salt, Sulphur and Mercury, the Elixir and many strange terms placed together in an unintelligible jargon, conceal definite meanings. When they had arrived at a certain stage, where they could through their own bodies command some of the forces of nature, they could transform lead and other base metals into gold. But as they then had no desire or use for possessions, the making of gold was no object. The alchemical steps which lead to the making of gold were processes in their own bodies and built up and vitalized organs so that these would hold the elixir of life. The elixir was the conserved essence of the procreative stream in the generative system. When the organs were able to hold the elixir, the lunar germ could extract Light from the contents of the organs. When enough had been gathered by the lunar germ, the solar germ was discovered to be the Philosopher’s Stone.
The Rosicrucians were much like the Alchemists. They were a body of men who tried to grow into an inner life while they lived in the mask of their worldly stations. In the Middle Ages they let the existence of their order be known by the name of Brothers of the Rosy Cross or Rosicrucians, for the benefit of any who found themselves not in accord with the Church, and who wanted to lead an inner life. Their publications appeared with symbols and strange language. Those known to the world are not likely to have been real Brothers though some of them may have been disciples. Anyone who, having heard of their teachings, tried to live an inner life, was discovered to them by his earnest effort. He was called, and if he could go through their course, he became a Brother of the Rosy Cross. The Red Rose is the new heart which is opened by the Light of the Intelligence in thinking, and the Golden Cross is the new astral body which has been developed within the solid physical body. The ordinary heart is like a rose with petals closed. When it opens to the Light and feels the needs of the world, it is symbolized by the rose with petals opened. It was to them a “spiritual” thing and so was the new body, though in reality the opened rose was a stage, namely, a mental stage of the psychic degree, and the new body was the astral body which when developed had a golden luster. This body of gold was to be transmuted out of the ordinary body, which is like lead. It passed from lead to mercury, to silver and then to gold. The heart was called a living rose on a golden cross. They had to do alchemical work to transmute the body of lead into the body of gold. The furnaces, crucibles, retorts and alembics were organs in the body. The powders were the ferments in the body, which at critical stages caused, like catalysts, a change from one alchemical element or stage into another. By the stone and the elixir they changed in these organs the metals of the body from lead to gold.
Copyright 1974 by The Word Foundation, Inc.