Roger Schreiver Posted October 14, 2005 Share Posted October 14, 2005 Principles and Forms I The important thing in life is to put the same heart and soul, the same tireless love into everything you do and never to give up, for it is the things that endure that must have priority. If something is to last, however, its particles must continually be renewed, and this means that if you are unwilling to clean out and discard the dusty remnants of your old ways of thinking and feeling, you will never create anything durable. Of course I know that it is going to be difficult for you to appreciate the importance of this truth, because the person who says it is a nobody. You think that only those who are learned or famous can reveal the truth. But that is not so; you should be able to recognize and appreciate a truth whoever may say it, be it a child or a beggar. If something is to endure, it must constantly renew itself. And if the Church is disintegrating today, it is because it fails to renew itself; it continues to cling to old conceptions which are no longer valid and which need to be replaced. Of course I am not talking about the basic principles on which Christianity is built; no one will ever find principles more perfect than those of the Gospels. But why does the Church still burden itself with obsolete practices which no longer serve their purpose? Many people abandon the Christian religion because they think that science contradicts and nullifies the truth of the Gospels. This simply shows they have not understood the first thing about it, for it is just the opposite: the discoveries of science actually corrobate and emphasize the truths of the Gospels. I can show you - in fact I have often done so - that the discoveries of science prove the truth of initiatic science, but this is something that neither scientists nor religious people have ever understood. For me there is no contradiction between science and religion; they go hand in hand. In fact they go hand in hand with art too, for the three are intimately related. From science mankind receives light, from religion warmth, and from art activity. Why have human beings separated these three realms that were created to coexist and work together in nature and in human beings? Initiates have never separated science, religion and art, but today there is a gulf between them, and the result is that religion no longer has a hold on scientists; they reject it out of hand. They reject it, of course, because they do not possess the one true science. Their science focuses only on the physical, material world. They know nothing of the true science on which all religions are based. As for art, it fluctuates uncertainly between the two, in conflict first with one and then with the other. The true religion is initiatic science. In nature, I repeat, religion, science, and art are one. If they are not one today it is because human beings have separated them, and as long as they continue to separate them, they will never understand anything. Science, religion, and art form a unified whole, thanks to which everything can be understood and explained. Science corresponds to a need of the intellect, religion to a need of the heart, and art to a need of the will, which seeks to express something, to create and build. These three needs are closely related, for we begin by thinking something, but we have to feel it before we can make it a concrete reality. As a matter of fact, many initiates of the past have reincarnated today as scientists. Yes, many contemporary scientists were once high priests of the ancient Mysteries. Those who discovered radio and television, for instance, were once initiates in ancient Egypt, and they have simply applied the knowledge they acquired in the distant past to the material world. Our era is connected in many ways to Egyptian civilization, and the science of ancient Egypt will soon be known and will manifest itself in many technical applications. But let us get back to this idea that the Church should change some of its ideas and attitudes. Take just one example: the other day somebody sent me an article about a recent speech by the Pope in which he deplored the activity of the Devil who, he said, was poisoning the work of the Church by sowing doubt in the minds of the faithful. Yes, for centuries the devil has been blamed for everything that was wrong. Even now in the 20th century the faults and errors of human beings are still said to be the work of the devil. It is still the devil who moves human beings to act. Do you hear me talking constantly about the devil? Certainly not. Why is he still so conspicuously present in the discourses of religion leaders? In the Middle Ages the devil was present day and night in people's lives. Everything began and ended with him. Nothing else mattered. Even God took second place to Satan. It was he who was responsible for all miracles and prodigies. It was he who was said to heal the sick and utter prophecies. When a man or woman manifested exceptional gifts or talents they were always said that it was God who was omniscent and all-powerful. No, the all-powerful one was Satan. And the extraordinary thing is that even today, if someone works a miracle or achieves something truly unique, the Church is never very eager to acknowledge it as the work of God or of his angels; it is always suspicious, always ready to see the hand of the devil in everything. But believe me, the more you talk about the devil, the more you nourish and strengthen him and make it possible for him to act. It seems that people need to fear something, so the devil is held up as the great 'bogeyman'. But this is ridiculous, for the only result is that people get so used to him that they no longer fear him (just as birds get accustomed to an old scarecrow and no longer fear it). Now I am not saying that the devil does not exist; he does. But the less we talk about him the better. If you tell people you have done something really astounding they will often exclaim, 'The devil you did!' Why? What has the devil got to do with it? To invoke the name of the devil - and even the fact of being afraid of him - are forms of black magic by which you attract his attention. It is time the Church had a more intelligent grasp of esoteric science and stopped seeing the hand of the devil in everything. As it is, instead of acknowledging that people are abandoning religion because its representatives are unworthy of their calling, it blames the devil, saying that the devil has infiltrated the Church. How often I have explained to you that if you refuse to entertain the elements that attract the devil and keep your doors resolutely closed to him, he is powerless. This law is absolute. But instead of explaining this, the Church allows the faithful to think that he has the power to enter their inner being and that there is nothing they can do to stop him. We are asked to believe that human beings are so shoddily made (the Lord obviously did not do a very good job.) that, however pure and saintly they may be, the devil can always get into them. Well, this is simply not true. It is the knowledge contained in initiatic science that is lacking in the Church. Christianity is in need of major transformations, for it is still living in antiquated traditions that are no longer suited to our day and age. Mankind would be much better off today if religion as the Church understands it were really enough, but since it is little more than a series of empty forms, is there any wonder that most people cannot take it seriously any longer? In any case, people are more and more inclined to think things out for themselves and question what others tell them. In the past they were ready to swallow whatever the Church said because for them the Church was the authority; it was the Church that thought for them, that made decisions for them. But today nobody wants others to do their thinking for them, so they leave the Church. This shows that Christianity will be forced to accept the new forms that are being suggested to it by the invisible world. And the day will come when these new forms will wear out in their turn and will have to be replaced by others. Only principles endure, not forms. Cosmic intelligence has decreed that physical forms should not be permanent. The only function of a form is to keep the contents intact; it is a container, a boundary, a limitation. It is also a prison; and if the contents within a form are not to congreal and become rigid, that form must be broken open and the contents poured into a new, subtler, more flexible, more transparent form. This is why nothing that exists on the physical plane can be eternal. One day everything, even the great pyramids, even the sphinx, will disappear. Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov Principles and Forms II Time cannot affect principles, but it does affect forms. To say that all things are corroded and destroyed by time is true only in regard to forms, and Christians have not yet understood that the foms in which their religion was given to them centuries ago cannot last for ever; they are going to have to change them. But Christians are stubborn; they are unwilling to change anything. The Teaching of the Universal White Brotherhood offers no new principles, only new forms; that is to say, new methods, methods that allow the content, the spirit, to express and manifest itself more perfectly. The Universal White Brotherhood has no desire to introduce new principles, for principles are eternal; it wishes to renew only the forms, because forms are subject to the wear and tear of time. Remember this one thing therefore: only principles are eternal. When people are happy about something, they say, 'Long may it last!' Lovers for instance always want their love to last for ever, but unfortunetly this is impossible. Why? Because they cast it in fragile, perishable forms. If you want to express your love eternally you are going to have to change its form. Let me give you an example: if you express your love through your lower nature, your personality, even your eyes will reflect the desire to indulge your appetites without a thought for the good of the other person or the effect your actions will have on them. The only thing you want is to satisfy your own hunger and thirst. This is a coarse, cruel, selfish form of love, and the eyes of one who loves in this way become bloodshot and swollen with lust; they express something slimy, impure, and violent. But when human beings express their love through their individuality, their higher nature, beauty, light and transparency shine from their eyes because such love is selfless. It asks for nothing in return: it wants only to give and to help and enlighten others. This is the most beautiful form of love... and yet most women prefer to see the flame of desire in a man's eyes. When they see this, the poor things are pleased because they imagine that such a love is so intense, potent, and expressive that it will last for ever. The one thing that women long for is a love that will endure - and of course they are right to do so. The only trouble is that they are blind; they do not realize that a sensual look speaks of a love that cannot last. The fire they see is a flash in the pan that will die down as suddenly as it flared up. Why do women have so little discernment? It is up to you now to cultivate a broader outlook and, above all, to intensify your desire to evolve. For what is evolution? It is simply a change of form. The natural sciences have always had a keen interest in the question of evolution: some say that it is forms that evolve, while others say that forms are predetermined from all eternity and that beings migrate from one form to another. It is this second theory that is correct; forms do not evolve. All forms - whether of animals, insects, or plants - pre exist in the world of archetypes, and individual creatures assume these forms for a time and then discard them and move on to others, exactly as actors put on a new mask for each new play. So the form in which the spirit is clothed is always different, but forms themselves do not evolve. They were created from all eternity, and the future froms of plants and animals that are still unknown to us already exist as archetypes. New forms have been prepared and are ready and waiting for human beings as well. As our evolution progresses we shall assume these new forms, for we must constantly cast off the old forms and assume new ones that are, purer, more flexible, and more luminous. When we assume a new form we also acquire new and better means of action and manifestation. To remain tied to our old forms would be to limit our progress; we would never get any further. This si what Christians fail to understand. They try to perpetuate the form, but that is not possible. Their attitude is diametrically opposed to the decrees of cosmic intelligence. Cosmic Intelligence has no need to perpetuate forms on the physical plane; they are already eternal. Yes, but they are eternal only in the higher realms, in the world of archetypes. On that level all forms are eternal because they are there to serve cosmic intelligence. It is when men try to perpetuate them on earth, when they cling obstinately to one particular form, that the invisible world is obliged to set them free by taking its sledge-hammers and smashing that form. Human beings are scandalized by what they take to be cruelty on the part of cosmic intelligence, but how could they be free if they were permanently bound to the same form? Are you still not convinced? Very well, but think about what happens to human beings from one incarnation to the next. More often than not they change their sex. If you were a woman in a previous life, it was in order to learn to manifest the qualities of the feminine principle, and now that you are a man you must learn to manifest other qualities. This apparent cruelty on the part of the invisible world, which shatters old forms in order to create new ones, is not yet understood by the Church. But whether it understands or not I guarantee that its old forms will be destroyed. However hard Christians try to save their old forms, the invisible world is going to move on. Human beings always have a tendency to cling to their old ways, and this is precisely what they should not do. What is a materialist? A materialist is someone who clings to material forms. This is why materialists will also be broken, smashed, and wiped out - so that they may be freed. One day an angel, wishing to study the ways of animals and humans at first hand, decided to come down to earth in the form of a pig. He adapted himself so well to his new state that life in a pigsty seemed to him to be all that was most desireable. He stuffed himself with acorns and pigswill, he took a wife and was soon surrounded by innumerable offspring, and his happiness was complete. Nothing could induce him to abandon such bliss. In the meantime his brother angels were getting very worried about him and tried to decide how to get him back to heaven, for he was enjoying his life as a pig so much that he ignored all their messages. Finally, as a last resort, they decided that there was only one solution, and that was to send him to the slaughterhouse. Well, when the angel was released from his animal form and saw the carass being roasted for a banquet, he was astounded that he could have forgotten his own identity so completely and was full of gratitude ot his fellow angels for rescuing him. Unfortunetly a great many human beings are like that angel; they too have become 'pigs', and they too are destined to be butchered. All the philosophies, be shattered; only the principles will remain, and they will assume new forms. The Universal White Brotherhood is a new form of the religion of the Christ. Oh, I know, Christians are going to exclaim in horror and take up arms against us to show that they are faithful to the traditions they have inherited. But this is a battle they will not win, for the invisible world will intervene to show them that they are wrong. A new form is going to appear, and it will last for a certain time before it too makes way for yet another more perfect form. As you see, I am being perfectly fair and honest with you, I have no wish to deceive you by telling you that the forms introduced by our teaching are eternal. There will always be new expressions; expressions that will become more and more perfect and luminous. Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov Principles and forms III When people tell me that as Catholics they cannot accept the teaching of the Universal White Brotherhood, I say, 'Very well, if you feel more at home in the Church, stay there. But as for us, we are going to move on.' I ask you, what can you learn from all those sermons that explain nothing at all? Who is to blame if people listen to them and then go on doing all the things they should not do? They leave the Church because it has no answers to their questions, no words with which to allay their anguish. Their sermons are very poetic and also highly moral. Yes indeed, very pretty and very pathetic. I entirely approve of what they say, but you cannot learn much from their words because they contain no real understanding of the meaning and goal of human existence, the laws that govern it, or how to behave in harmony with those laws. It is all words, words; no mention of how to put those words into practice. Do you really believe that Christendom has ever put the Gospels into practice? No, the facts speak for themselves. For my part, I am in favour of radical changes; and such changes are coming. You will see them for yourselves. All those who decide to work with eternal, unchanging principles of Christ belong to the Universal White Brotherhood. They are not destroying anything; they are not working against Christ; they are not trying to promote new forms. And those who cling to the old forms show that they have not understood the principles. They rely on forms to save them, and they sleep soundly at night in the security of their protection. Yes, those who rely on forms fall asleep; whereas evolve very rapidly. Is this not a far better, far more benficial ideal? Jesus himself tells us how magnificent it is, for we read and that is exactly what I have been trying to explain. I am constantly urging you to turn toward the spirit that gives life. So, as I say, all those who give the priority to principles belong to the Great Universal White Brotherhood; not to the Brotherhood here on earth, but to that glorious Brotherhood that embraces all the most luminous creatures in the universe. Our role in the world is simply to provide these perfect beings with means and possibilities for action so that the kingdom of God may be established on earth. It is in this sense that the Universal White Brotherhood can be seen as a new form of the religion of Christ, and this is why I say that those who work with the principles of Christ belong to that great Brotherhood. They may not even know of our existence, but that does not matter; they are still members of the Universal White Brotherhood. Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov Principles and Forms IV Why do human beings cling so stubbornly to forms? The answer is that they are lazy. All their spiritual activity is dead; all that is left to them is to wave the banner of form. Take the case of all those people who wear a cross, for instance: their cross will not save them if they wear it only externally without any participation of the spirit. But if they cling to the principle behind the material cross and try to understand what it means and apply it to their lives, then it can help and protect them. Keep certain forms if you wish, but never lose sight of the spirit behind them, otherwise you too will be lost. Wear a cross if you like, but attach yourself to the spirit, for behind that form is the spirit. For me the cross is a fantastic symbol (a three-dimensional cross is composed of twenty-two planes, corresponding to the twenty-two letters of the Cabbalah with which God created the world). But the Christians of today are really to be pitied; they have no desire to learn. They oppose change in the belief that they are being faithful to human beings, to idiots, to people who are sick. We must be faithful to God, not to men. If you insist on being faithful to men, very well, that is your own business. I have no objection, but you will end up as dust. What was so special about all those people who ruled the Church for so many hundreds of years? What did they stand for? As often as not they were no different from all the other poor wretches on earth. In fact if any of them manifested a higher degree of understanding they were immediatly banished, excommunicated. Look at the historical record and you will see for yourselves: all those who really wanted to reform things were cast out and rejected. Yes, for the sake of forms. But form is not very productive; all it can do is imprison human beings. Form is a perfect prison. If you are a prisoner of form you can never escape. A form should be preserved only as long as necessary, as long as it is indispensable or simply useful. As soon as it becomes obsolete it means that a new phase has begun and we must either replace it or reach a much more profound understanding of it. There are a certain number of rites, such as Baptism, Marriage, the Mass, and Communion, that are founded on eternal laws and a knowledge of magic. This is particularly true of the Mass, which is pure magic. In fact it would be true to say that it is thanks to the Mass that the Church has endured until today. The sad thing is that a great many priests do not realize the profound significance of what they are doing when they celebrate the Mass. If they understood it, the power of the Mass would be even greater. Then there is the custom of lighting candles and votive lights in church. Take the example of the Easter ceremony in Orthodox churches: everyone in church holds a candle and the celebrant begins by lighting his own candle. He passes on the flame to the candle of the priest or deacon standing next to him, who passes it in turn to the person beside him. And so it goes on, each one receiving light from one neighbour and handing it on to another until the whole church is ablaze with light. Symbolically speaking, this means that there must be someone who begins by lighting his candle, that is to say, his intelligence, his mind. Once he holds a lighted candle others will come and light their candles, their intelligence, from his, until all the men and women in the world form a multitude of lighted candles. The symbolism of the votive light is identical to that of the candle except that a candle is a masculine symbol whereas a vigil light is feminine. But this is such a profound and sacred question that I dare not tell you any more than that. Man has a candle and woman has a votive light, but neither of them knows that they have something that needs to be set alight. Christians automatically light candles and votive lights, but I have never seen one who knew anything about the mystery involved in this act, who knew how and why they should be lit. And yet what great transformations they could work in themselves if only they knew. This is why I say that Christians have not yet begun their real work. Even if they go to church, light candles, bless themselves with holy water and receive Communion, they have still not begun, because they have not yet done these things inwardly. They hang a little icon of the Virgin Mary in their homes and imagine that whatever they do the Virgin will always be there to protect them, but this is nothing but superstition. They count on this and believe in that, but belief and faith are two quite different things. Most people who think they have faith actually have nothing but a collection of beliefs. Yes, because they are too attached to forms. They do not realize that even prayers can be no more than forms. There is a story about a monk who was in the habit of paying secret visits to the wine-cellar every evening. It was his péché mignon, his favourite weakness, and he was incapable of giving it up. Every night he would say his prayers and ask God to forgive him and then sleep soundly with a clear conscience - as though by mumbling an act of contrition he could put everything right. One night he was rudely awakened from sleep by someone shaking him and saying: 'Wake up, wake up! You forgot to say your prayers.' And whom did he see beside his bed but the devil himself. All of a sudden he understood that the devil had taken the trouble to come and remind him to say his prayers, because it was the devil who benefited from them, not he. If he continued to say his prayers in the belief that he was automatically forgiven, then he could go on drinking. It was certainly not the Lord who had come to wake him up. The Lord does not hear a drunkard's prayers. So you see, often enough it is the devil who hides behind forms and urges you to go to church, light a candle, say your prayers, or receive Communion. In this way he helps you to become more and more deeply entrenched in these old forms. I have nothing against Communion. The only thing is that I see so many Christians who receive Communion all their lives long, who have already swallowed wagonfuls of hosts and drunk barrels of wine, and who are still as vicious, aggressive, slanderous, and unjust as ever. Whereas if you communicate with the perfect, living host of the sun as it rises every morning and with the wine of life that flows from it, it will not be long before you find that you are obliged to transform yourself. Yes, because the sun is alive. This is what Jesus meant when he said, 'Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternyl life.' At the time Jesus said this people were incapable of understanding such advanced ideas; this is why they had to be given bread and wine. But that era belongs to the past; today we must go much further. The fact that a man can be a regular communicant and still continue to beat his wife or slander his neighbour is surely proof that this kind of Communion is not very effective. Communion can help, of course; if you have faith, it can help. However, in spite of your faith, in spite of the strength of your convictions, and in spite of the priest's blessing, the sun is more potent than any number of hosts. The blessing given by a priest is very important, that is true; but the quality of his blessing depends on his own elevation, purity, and faith. I am afraid that many priests are so sick of repeating the same gestures over and over again every day that they mumble the words of consecration without putting their soul or spirit into what they are saying. So the bread and wine are blessed, but with a blessing that is not very potent. Besides, even if a priest puts his whole heart and soul into the blessing I feel like asking: 'If you believe that the words of consecration are so powerful, could you not just as well consecrate some wood shavings or scraps of metal and distribute them to the faithful?' The truth is that in blessing bread a priest is blessing something that has already been blessed by the Creator. The wheat from which the host is made is alive, and this means that it has already been blessed by God. The blessing it contains is life itself. To conclude, let me repeat that it is time to do away with the old forms that you still stand up for and try to defend. You think I am exaggering, but I know that once you see the question more clearly you will not only agree with me, but you too will find these old forms irksome and intolerable and be anxious to free yourselves from them. Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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