Your OMCE Advisor is Jo-Ann Valentine
The O.M.C.E (Order of the Militia Crucifera Evangelica) was first organized on July 16, 1990. It is a perpetuation of the Tradition of the M.C.E. which was reorganized at the Cruce Signatorum Conventus held on July 27, 1586 in Luneberg, Germany. That Convention was chronicled by Simon Studion in his work "Naometria".
The purpose of the M.C.E. at that time was to activate the surviving remnants of the Order of the Temple in Jerusalem (the Knights Templar) and that of the Ancient Rosae Crucis, and to actualize the mystical and spiritual doctrinal teachings and practices of both to present to a world on the brink of religious crisis.
The outer purpose of the M.C.E. was to protect the religious and mystical significance of the Cross and to prevent its use as an instrument of war. Secondly, the M.C.E. was directed to peacefully promote religious freedom, freedom of thought, and freedom of inquiry.
The inner purpose of the M.C.E. was to establish an exoteric body of Servants of Light to direct and guide humanity towards mystical enlightenment. One of the resulting establishments was 17th Century Rosicrucianism, which was an activation of the Ancient Rosae Crucis.
Within the O.M.C.E. is the perpetuation of a Tradition as well as the source of a Tradition. Most importantly, however, is the dedication of the Order to accomplish its original mission and plan organized nine centuries ago and inspired many centuries previously. Simply put, that Mission is to serve humanity and all its aspects through esoteric, mystical, and spiritual work through the establishment of sacred principles of freedom, tolerance, harmony, and the foundation of the spiritual practice.
Since its establishment the M.C.E. has passed through active and passive periods of operation. From 1990 the Militia has been undergoing a world-wide resurgence in response to the demands of the times. The Militia follows the compatible Traditions of the Knights Templar, espoused by the concept of Chivalry, but the O.M.C.E. in this cycle does not claim to be the direct descendant of the Templars.
It is important to note that the Militia is not a military order at all in the physical sense. Its members are militant only in their personal attitudes about maintaining and fostering spiritual principles in their lives. One very basic principle concerns the law that the ends do not justify the means.
The O.M.C.E. is an international non-profit fraternal organization, open to all men and women over eighteen years of age who share its philosophy and who wish to improve themselves and serve the evolution of humanity. While the Order has a spiritual base, the members are free to follow their conscience in all matters, including that of their preferred faith.
The Purpose of the Militia
The O.M.C.E. has two main functions: Self Development and Service to Humanity.
Men and women who join the O.M.C.E. must have a sincere interest in esoteric, metaphysical, mystical, or non-sectarian spiritual concepts as well as the motivation to apply them to a good and active purpose. The Militia itself is not to be considered as an initial training ground for these disciplines - other organizations exist which perform this task admirably. Rather, the O.M.C.E. provides an arena of action for those who wish to put their training into practice in an effective manner.
Food for the Soul is provided to the members in the form of the Order's Doctrine which, in accordance with Natural Law, is an evolving and growing process. Doctrine does come down through the chain of command from higher officers but, in the O.M.C.E., doctrine also evolves from the members themselves. Each member is encouraged to give of their experience and insights by writing discourses that, if they are in accordance with the Order's principles, can be incorporated into the official doctrine of the Militia at the Commanderie, Preceptory, Priory or World level. Doctrine is disseminated to the membership via regular monograph mailings, and also at Commanderie or higher level gatherings. The esoteric and mystical development of the member is catered to by various rituals, meditations and initiations which can be conducted in Commanderies with other members, or in the privacy of one's own home.
Service to Humanity
In the Militia there is no true advancement except through service to humanity, and specifically to those outside the organization. A certain amount of energy is required to maintain the physical side of the Order, of course, but the O.M.C.E. and its members try to concentrate their efforts on helping others to grow and develop in accordance with their potential.
Commanderies adopt projects which are designed to assist, in a constructive manner, those in their local community, thereby putting their high ideals and aspirations into practice. Members isolated, or who are unable to participate in Commanderie work for a variety of reasons, are encouraged to assist by other means.
Any organization operating in the physical world must have a regular and reliable source of "energy" to enable it to do so. Most organizations have set fees, dues or charges which they levy on the membership in order to guarantee an income. The O.M.C.E. does not levy dues, but relies on fundraising activities and donations from the members according to their means and consciences. Should the income be insufficient then obviously the work of the Order would suffer, but we rely on the integrity of the membership to support the material needs of the Militia.
Membership in O.M.C.E.
Membership in the O.M.C.E. is obtained by interview, selection and invitation. All sincere seekers and workers, who are prepared to work in harmony with the existing membership and to adhere to the rules of the Order, are eligible to apply. Members are expected to be guided by their conscience in all matters.
Benefits of Membership
We invite you to visit our web site at http://www.omcesite.org
Your Vital Spark advisor regarding the O.M.C.E. is Jo-Ann Valentine. You may direct your questions and comments to her at firstname.lastname@example.org
It seems ironic that even in some of the most advanced societies there exist people who are unable to care for themselves. I am not referring, in this instance, to individuals who are physically or mentally handicapped, or to those who have no control or direction over their lives. I am referring instead to individuals who have either initially chosen to live a lifestyle that substantially deviates from society's "norm", or who have seemingly become "victims" of the society in which they live.
In all instances, we, as students of mysticism, will recognize (or think that we recognize) that all people are responsible for creating their own circumstances. That is, each individual has created his or her own immediate situation based upon previous actions either in this lifetime or in a past incarnation. Thus, we can effectively debate the excuse often given for "victims of society" because at some point in time a choice was made that resulted in the present situation. To individuals who have a well-developed sense of knowledge and wisdom, it is apparent that people sometimes make unfortunate choices not based on any responsible and knowledgeable decision but as the result of ignorance or an ignorant act. In other words, the person did not realize the consequences of such an act which may have already manifested in an undesirable situation or will do so in the future.
The term that we use to describe this sequence of causal acts and the resulting effects is "karma". How often have we either heard or used the phrase, "That person is in trouble because he had bad karma" or, "She got the promotion because she chalked up some good karma points"? By making such statements, what are we actually saying? Are we acting out of knowledge and wisdom by saying or thinking such things? Or, are we, ourselves, creating an ignorant act that will have effects upon us at a later time?
In writing this article, my main concern is not with the helpless, or those who drift without any apparent direction in life, or even with those who have chosen, consciously or unconsciously, to be the outcasts ("victims") of society. My main concern here is with those individuals who use their understanding of karma (what they consider it to be) in an attempt to explain a given situation. Often these are the individuals who are trying to better society, to help those who are less fortunate. These are the individuals who have chosen to serve.
How does our knowledge of karma, our personal understanding of that concept affect our service to humanity? In answering this question, perhaps we should paraphrase the old clichΘ, "The more we learn, the less we know". After all, in acquiring knowledge, as soon as we find an answer to one question, a multiplicity of other questions will follow. Such is the nature of learning. This is how we evolve in our understanding.
Karma explains so much; it is an answer in itself. It opens doors that, with a little effort on our part, will explain an entire new dimension of learning. But it is also a question because it does open doors. And for those individuals who are not looking for pat or simple phrases to explain circumstances, karma will be seen, not as an end, but as a means ¡ - a tool to be applied in finding solutions.
What, then, is karma? Can we truly think of karma as being good or bad? What of those individuals who shrug off an explanation by saying that such-and-such occurred because of bad karma? Are such "answers" truly beneficial to humanity?
Persons who even loosely refer to the term karma in their conversations demonstrate a degree of knowledge that is essential to understanding what true service actually means. A familiarity with the term will hopefully imply a familiarity with the concept ¡ and, even an acceptance of its doctrine. But if our acquisition of knowledge about karma stops at this point, then no wisdom has been acquired. We must then ask if such persons can truly help others, or merely think that they can.
It is simple for persons who do not make the important connection between their present circumstances and their past actions to live their lives without really showing any concern for issues that relate to the welfare of others. However, when that connection between past actions and present circumstances is understood, we will find a greater complexity of variables that need to be responsibly weighed and considered before any true service can be accomplished. In other words, unless we apply our learning with dedicated responsibility, we run the risk of doing more harm that good. It then becomes apparent that both knowledge and wisdom must be utilized as our actions produce more widespread and lasting effects. Perhaps persons acting out of ignorance willingly affect themselves to no great extent. But knowledgeable persons acting without wisdom produce a much wider sphere of influence that can adversely affect others, in addition to themselves.
How are we to view karma in this light? Let us interpret karma in three different ways. First, let us think of karma as being a positive attribute in the service of others. Within this definition of karma we find people who think and act out of altruistic motives, that is, people who are devoted to the well being of those around them. These individuals want to promote the greatest good for the greatest possible number of people. They may be involved in distributing food to the starving masses around the world, and, when doing so, demonstrate that some people in the world really care. Perhaps we can say such devoted individuals are creating good karma.
Secondly, let us consider karma in a negative connotation, such as with people who are acting out of purely selfish motives. An example would be those people who try to discredit others so as to give credit to themselves. Finally, let us also consider karma from a neutral position which is neither positive nor negative, good nor bad.
In the first instance, I think that we would all agree that the act of giving food to starving people is not only noble, but also vitally important. But an important principle lies hidden here. Let us say that the persons donating food are doing so either because it makes them feel good, or simply because they know that there are hungry people, and the act of giving is just that ¡ an act existing without any thought behind it. What if these humanitarians actually contribute to the weaknesses of others by acting in such a way that the recipients do not help themselves? Does the act then remain altruistic and positive or has it become selfish and negative, either consciously because the giver feels guilty and wants to remove that guilt, or unconsciously through ignorance of understanding the true situation which may not be apparent without applying knowledge and understanding?
Perhaps we can see that our altruistic, positive example has become transformed into our second instance of karma - ¡ that of selfishness and negativity in the example of doing only to remove guilt. Even the person acting unconsciously out of ignorance, though with noble purpose, has a problem. For example, let us consider a situation that has most likely happened to all of us at some point in time. Remember the last time you were stopped on the street by an individual who, by his appearance would be considered by some to be a derelict. This person, perhaps, asked for money so he could buy food, but our impression was that he really wanted alcohol. We were in a situation where we were asked for help. What did we do and what did we feel?
Did we ignore this person? Did we go through the motions of giving money just to be rid of him and to alleviate any discomfort we may have felt? Did we refuse on the premise that the money would probably be misspent and we could not really help him by supporting his alcoholism? Did we perhaps even erroneously think that by contributing we would be taking on his karma? Or, did we give the money, thinking that what he did with it was his problem? And, finally, did we either give money or refuse assistance because of a true and sincere feeling of compassion for the other person? Only you know what you truly felt.
Unfortunately, certain people would use such a situation to their own advantage, that is, to ridicule another who is less fortunate so as to build a false sense of their own self-esteem. Ironically, such people are often quick to point out what appear to be faults and acts of selfishness in others. "What good is your education, your efforts to achieve success, and your success unless you give your money to me so I can feed the starving?" Verily, are our attempts to better ourselves simply selfish acts? Does not the process of self-concern and self-betterment create an environment that allows the opportunity to serve more effectively? If such an attitude is held by an individual, does not the seemingly selfish act become a selfless act? Perhaps we don't consciously give in a manner that others expect us to, but maybe our wisdom has transcended the normal understanding held by others. If this is true, does not the seemingly selfish act become an altruistic one? Even further, is it really our acquired wisdom which causes us to act in a manner that we do?
If I might be allowed to relate a personal experience, a few years ago, when I was in India, I spent several days in Bodh Gaya, the place where the Buddha attained enlightenment. Literally hundreds of lepers lined the streets of this small town begging for money so they could survive. I observed many different attitudes from different people. Some threw coins at locations where it would be extremely difficult for the recipients to reach them, thereby attempting to make a joke of the situation. Some individuals really tried to help by giving coins, but you could tell by their faces that they knew the giving was futile because there were so many lepers and not enough money. And some simply ignored those who were begging.
I asked myself at the time as I am asking you now: Which act did the most good?
I think that if we tried to answer this question, or tried to judge another's motive, we would become lost in an eternal philosophical debate that would never have an appropriate and final answer. Therefore, we must find another solution.
The temporary solution that I found was not in anything that I could give, but rather in what I was given. I distinctly remember the faces of three individuals with leprosy. They gave more to me than I could ever give to them. They are the authors of this message in that they inspired this feeble attempt to think about and to express their wisdom.
So, how do we truly serve? Who is really serving? Is service an act? Or is it something else? Perhaps in the consideration of karma, the third instance of neutrality will afford us an answer. Karma is simply cause and effect. It is neither good nor bad, but merely neutral. It is only a situation created by an act made by one individual or by many. If we view karma in this light, perhaps we will discover that acts considered in a purely physical manner are truly secondary to the true acts of motive and attitude. The reasons behind why we give or do something will create and form our true state of affairs which is not measured in our physical state of being or environment. It is not measured by our degree of mastership or attainment, but by our spirituality. Spirituality is not measured by appearance, environment or attainment. It simply knows nothing but itself because it is all that truly exists. It is true that there are physical laws of cause and effect, which we can also call karma, but the true essence of karma transcends all of that. With the proper attitude and motive developed from within, we realize that everyone and all things are of perfection.
Again, how can we truly be of service? Service, in a sense, is related to morality, to notions of good and bad as related to the welfare of society. In this way, we can have true service and acts of service. Acts of service can be either sincere or insincere, or which the ultimate outcome in either instance may be good or bad, detrimental or helpful, depending upon the variables of purpose, motive, and attitude. True service, then, consists of those variables of purpose, motive and attitude which are the source and essence of acts. To truly be of service, to truly understand karma, perhaps we should concentrate our efforts on the spirituality within, and apply our acquired wisdom so as to manifest as the foundation of whatever act we choose to perform.
We do not have to look long and hard to discover that Rosicrucianism is based upon and teaches inherent wisdom and its application. We can be of true service by attuning to that essence and simply manifesting it in our beings because it is really knowledge and understanding that is needed in today's world.
To what extent are we able to direct the affairs of our lives and exert our influence over the natural laws which govern the universe? Are we able to direct, or, in any other manner, influence that ontological essence of Oneness that we call the Cosmic? Do we, as individual expressions of that Essence, really have that attribute known as freedom - freedom of will, thought, action and expression?
The concept of free will is one that has interested and influenced many philosophers and mystics throughout countless centuries. As students of Rosicrucianism and aspiring students of mysticism on the Path, we are aware that this concept has often been foremost in our thoughts, and each of us has come to some resolution in our mind that reflects upon our everyday actions. But we still must address a problem that each of us needs to individually resolve. That is, are we correct in our thinking? Are we absolutely certain that our understanding is pure and in accordance with the natural laws as we are able to understand them? Is it not possible that we are being deceived - not by another person or thing - but by the grandest deceptor of all, ourselves?
Philosophically, the concept of freedom has played an essential role as a foundation for the various branches of philosophy. Still, there has never been one definitive conclusion upon which all concerned would agree. Mystical philosophy may assist us in arriving at a more acceptable conclusion in that its field of study and understanding far exceeds the limitations of the more mundane philosophies. We have available to us the tools of thought, intuition, psychic aspects and mystical illumination, if we just learn how to use them.
Perhaps the first obstacle we must overcome in the attempt to assess an understanding of freedom is to determine just exactly what we mean when we say that we are either free or not free. Does freedom mean that we can do anything that we please, or are there limitations that must be observed? If there are limitations, then can we say that we are truly free?
Let us first consider the physical plane of existence. Are there limitations? Can we, for example, run faster than 100 miles per hour or jump to the moon? In that sphere of existence we can easily see restrictions placed upon our abilities.
But what about freedom of thought? Are we free to think anything we choose? Upon first consideration, we may see that this is relative to our ability to be creative. And, after a deeper examination, we even begin to see a more subtle type of limitation. That is, we can only think of those things that have been conceived or experienced. The possibility that something exists which we cannot possibly conceive of is very real. Again, we become aware of limitations. This is also true of the psychic and cosmic spheres of existence as related to our abilities to comprehend and experience. Limitations do exist.
The second obstacle that we must overcome is concerned with the philosophical concept of determinism. It is here that we find an important key to understanding freedom. First of all, there is much confusion with what is meant by determinism. Often this concept is confused with what is known as predeterminism. Predeterminism espouses that all things, actions and events were arranged to occur prior to the actual occurrence - that we do not have any say in the matter, and that no matter what we have done in the past or present, our future has been preplanned. This concept leads to a belief in fatalism which has serious effects on most, if not all, adherents to this philosophy. They become lethargic in their attitude toward themselves and the world around them.
However, we should not confuse predeterminism with determinism. Determinism is merely the neutral cause-and-effect sequence that we, as Rosicrucians, call karma. There is no teleological function of a deterministic philosophy in that there was no first cause, nor will there be a final effect. On both an individual and universal basis, the act or event that is in the process of happening was a result of prior acts or events that consolidate to one point in time, and that one point is merely a part of a sequence that will determine future events. Further, any one cause - if it is possible to isolate such from prior causes - may produce any given number of effects, depending upon all the processes going on in a state of activity. What is known as 100 percent determinism states that all things are governed by this karmic or cause-and-effect sequence, and if any cause were exactly duplicated, the effect would be identical.
What we may conclude, then, is that a deterministic philosophy is one of system, and that, from a mystical standpoint, we have a system of natural laws stemming from one essence which governs the universe. But how does this apply to freedom? If we realize that we have a natural system, we can understand what is meant by limitation. Because a cause-and-effect sequence does not allow for the occurrence of chance or an unrelated effect stemming from a given cause, we can know what tools we have to work with. With this knowledge we can work with an unlimited potential and thereby direct the activities of our thoughts and actions. The key here is the word "direct".
Limitations and freedom then take on an entirely different connotation. Limitations are not really limiting, but merely an orderly system which we can choose to attune to and work with. Freedom then becomes an unlimited way in which we can direct certain activities through the understanding of those deterministic laws ever apparent. It is only when we think that freedom consists of doing whatever we wish, without regard to the existing system, that we truly become enslaved. This realization is true simplicity in that we see ourselves as not being distinct or separate from the Cosmic, but an integral part of it. We are perfect beings as the Cosmic itself is perfect. We merely need to realize this.
The subject of dreams has always been a topic that has fascinated a multitude of people throughout time. Today, we may find on the shelves of libraries and bookstores a wide array of information that exemplifies this interest. We may find books on the interpretation of dreams, the symbology of dreams, the psychological ramification of dreams to our personal lives, et cetera. Also, we may find individuals, both laymen and professionals, who will afford us an analysis of our dreams for the purpose of assisting us to become a 'better' or more 'adjusted' person.
Judging from the multiplicity of information on this topic, it is apparent that many people are seriously thinking about and sincerely trying to assess the value of their sleep-time experiences. It is further apparent, from the wealth of available information - and it should be noted by each of us - that many people will either consult information from a written work or seek personal assistance to evaluate those experiences. That is, if we have a particularly interesting dream, and perhaps we intuit that this dream may have a significant meaning to us, many people will be satisfied merely with knowing that it is important and should be consciously investigated. However, the quality of the inner experience is left in the remembrance of it, and a perusal of an objective interpretation is usually left for someone else to do.
Certainly, when we become interested in learning more about a situation, an intellectual pursuit is a great advantage and assistance as a tool to discovery. However, for a deep understanding of an experience, we must also pursue a knowledge of that experience from within, through the utilization of such inner resources as our higher mind and our intuitive and psychic faculties. It is important that we maintain an attitude that will allow us to incorporate all aspects of our being to acquire an understanding. To rely upon others to do the work for us will lessen and possibly negate the intrinsic value and importance of our experience. We must take full responsibility for our endeavors.
Since it is understood that the reader will recognize this important point, and it is assumed that the dream state is familiar to each of us, we will not go to any lengths to define dreams or pursue the psychological aspects of dreaming. Rather, we will confine ourselves to the mystical significance of dreams and we will put forth a few guidelines by which one can differentiate between purely mechanical subconscious brain activity and a meaningful psychic or mystical experience had while asleep.
When in a state of sleep, we find that certain activity which normally blocks or prohibits our conscious awareness of such inner activities as psychic or mystical experiences is held at abeyance. That activity is, naturally, our objectivity, or that aspect of ourselves which is principally concerned with our five senses and our conscious awareness of the external world. While sleeping, by definition, the objective mind is stilled, and when we dream we find that an entire new world opens up before us. We become conscious of activities that appear to be real (as we conceive reality to be), but are in truth non-corporeal. We often find ourselves doing things, seeing or discussing things or events with others, and even thinking as if we were actually awake and walking about our physical world. But, when we do awaken, we realize that it was all a dream and did not really happen. Or did it? How can we determine if our 'dream' was merely the result of external stimulation of the brain or an actual psychic or mystical experience?
The following approximate guidelines can assist us in this regard. When asleep, as previously mentioned, our objective senses are sufficiently stilled so as to lessen their interference. Therefore, our analysis can be confined to a simple determination of whether the dream has significance or not. How many of you dream or have dreams in color? Try to recall several dreams that you had in color and attempt to see if you can determine a difference in their quality. That is, have you noticed that perhaps a percentage of those dreams have a different and distinct quality in the clarity and sharpness to the colors? Or, have you noticed that perhaps a different type of lighting is apparent - a warm, soothing, but yet, a sharp and almost surrealistic effect taking place?
During this type of dream, what were you doing? Were you not either an active participant in whatever activity was taking place, or an objective observer who, most importantly, was thinking rationally during the experience? Were you able to actively determine effects or create results? If so, then we can safely determine that your 'dream' was actually a psychic or mystical experience. Whether it was a psychic or mystical experience is determined by the quality and noetic value of what occurred.
The important distinction is not whether the dream was in color or the type of color but, rather, in the activity that occurred. The color quality appears to be an accompanying and identifying effect. The activity, the placement of yourself in the experience as being the instigator of a consistent and logical sphere of action is what determines the quality of the experience. If the dream is logical and consistent, if a continuous related cause-and-effect sequence manifests, and you are an active instigator of events, then you can safely assess that the dream was, in reality, of a psychic nature. If the dream was logical and you were a passive observer, then that can also be called psychic. However, if you were a passive recipient of an influx of pertinent and applicable knowledge, then it was of a mystical nature. The degree of the mystical experience would be determined by your applied wisdom and understanding of the knowledge acquired.
Finally, if your dream is a mishmash of inconsistent, illogical and unrelated events in which you appear to be manipulated like a puppet on a string with no direction in your activity, then the dream is nothing more than a dream and a vague awareness of a mechanical functioning of the brain.
Naturally, you must realize that what is written above is not definite and absolute. They are merely points to consider that are an application of our teachings and attitude to a specific concern. Their value as a guide lies within yourself and how you interpret your own personal experiences. Dreams are just that - personal experiences. The interpretation of them must, ultimately, come from within yourself and not from the opinion of another person.
Mysticism is defined as the mental tendencies, or habits of thought and feeling, that are characteristic of 'mystics' who believe in the possibility of a union with the Divine nature (God) by means of ecstatic contemplation or a reliance on spiritual intuition as a method of acquiring knowledge that is inaccessible to intellectual apprehension. In other words, mysticism tells us that there exists in the universe 'something' that transcends the mundane world, its physical laws, and our ability to intellectually perceive the true nature of existence.
Naturally, a belief in mysticism would imply that there exists a means by which the 'transcendent reality' can become known to the individual. A mystic is not a person who believes that an understanding is inaccessible. If such a notion was held, we would rightfully call it superstition. A mystic is a person who either believes that the mystical experience is a viable source of knowledge and strives toward attaining that experience, or one who has already had the experience and is applying it to his life for the betterment of himself so as to better serve all of humanity.
From the above statement it is apparent that there are generally two types of mystics: The first are those who have responsible faith in the reality of the mystical experience and who strive toward attaining that end; and the second are those who have had the experience and know of its Truth. However, there is one important and subtle common denominator that unifies the two types, and it can be summed up in the phrase "singleness of purpose".
Regardless of which category of mystic one falls into, regardless of whether the motivating factor in our individual quest is a search for the mystical experience or an application of that experience, the real value and determining factor of a true mystic is his/her dedication, sincerity and purity of motive. Such attributes constitute what we mean by singleness of purpose, and the truly dedicated individual will naturally incorporate what may be called 'responsible mysticism' into his life. One does not need to have had a mystical experience to be responsible in his mysticism, in the same way that one who has had a mystical experience is not necessarily responsible in application. It is here that we find our unifying subtlety of the two types of mystics. That is, sincere responsibility of either reasoned faith or knowledge results in action and purpose in the individual.
When we speak of a mystic, we are not considering that type of person who is enraptured with the word 'mysticism' and who perceives it as a desirable end and as a method of attaining an egotistical form of entertainment, thereby creating a phenomenalistic mystical fantasy. Rather, we are referring to a person who is down to earth, rational, confident, and works toward a specific end - that is, a person who has sincere purpose in his life. Such an individual may not call himself a mystic, or even a student of mysticism for that matter, but through individual effort, he is attuning to the mystical idealism which often motivates him in his actions.
In this way, we can describe the mystic as one who is working, one who is serving his highest ideals. St. Anselm, a Christian philosopher and mystic of the Middle Ages, attempted to logically prove the existence of God. He defined God as that of which nothing greater could be thought. As a logical proof of the existence of God, he failed. But what he succeeded in doing was to logically demonstrate the elements of mystical thought and its process. He succeeded in putting forth the need to expand, to go beyond our intellectual limitation and explore the higher realms of human consciousness - that is, our mysticism, our idealism.
It is the responsible person who turns this 'idealism' into practical action. In our definition of mysticism, we have defined the mystical experience as a state of ecstatic contemplation or a reliance on spiritual intuition. On the one hand, we could have an experience that affects us as an earth-shaking revelation and, on the other, a subtle influx of applicable knowledge - so subtle perhaps that we do not always recognize its source. This is why, when we hear or read a truth for the first time, we so readily accept it - the elements of the truth's nature are already incorporated into our beings.
The important factors involved are varied, but basically, the most important is the fact that each individual will experience a mystical awareness that is unique to himself. Sometimes, when we read of a mystic's description of his or her own 'ecstatic illumination', we have a tendency to think that unless we have the same type of experience that we think the mystic is describing, then we have not had illumination. This thought can be frustrating to some students, and many of them then commence a search for the glitter and glamour of what they reason the mystical experience to be.
It must be noted here that one of the characteristics of the experience is that it is passive in nature, in that we are not the motivators of the experience. Rather, we are recipients in that it is happening to us. At the same time, there is no denying that the experience is happening and it is noetic in nature. We are receiving a definite influx of knowledge.
It is how the mystical experience affects us that is the determining factor in whether we can rightfully be called a true mystic. Just because we call the experience passive in nature does not mean that we become passive in response and in our attitudes. No matter whether the experience be earth shattering or a subtle influx of intuitive knowledge, how we respond is left entirely up to us. Yet the fact remains that the person who understands the experience will apply the knowledge actively to his life. Perhaps the word 'action' does not represent the appropriate means of application because it can sometimes be construed to be militant and even irrational in the method of application. The phrase 'passive action' may very well exemplify the true meaning or intent more adequately.
With this understanding, singleness of purpose becomes a primary factor in the motive of the mystic. The goal, work and service to humanity the mystic is engaged in transcends any thought of self-advancement that takes place. Because we are seen as we truly exist, we become harmonizing agents in which self-advancement becomes a secondary feature of the True Work that we are accomplishing. Time is of little or no concern because we understand that our individual work in accordance with cosmic laws is evolutionary rather than revolutionary. We are adding to the sum of human and arcane wisdom - not becoming the cause of such additions.
If we look at the great mystics of the past, we realize that very few, if any, were recognized in their own time. It was perhaps generations or even centuries upon centuries before their work was realized for its true contribution to humanity. Perhaps these people became known in their lifetimes for great contributions. In this century mankind was advanced by people like Mahatma Gandhi who contributed much to the immediate resolution of the human condition, or Albert Einstein who contributed to the discovery of 'new' realms of modern science. But when will their true work be fully realized? Perhaps they saw a condition that most people did not see, and that vision motivated them to act accordingly in an environment which was restrictive in nature.
Let us all look with a new perspective at the various methods of expression, such as philosophy, art, science, et cetera, and see if we cannot find an ever-present source that created the elements of human knowledge. It is sometimes thought that science denies spirituality or that a little philosophy will create atheists. But, it is also said that a lot of philosophy will reveal an underlying essence or thought foundation. That foundation is mysticism.
Gary Stewart is known for his scholarship in the western esoteric tradition. He is the author of 'Awakened Attitude' and is the present Imperator of the Confraternity of the Rose Cross, Knight Commander of the OMCE and Sovereign Grand Master of the British Martinist Order.
Presented with the permission of Gary L. Stewart, Knight Commander, O.M.C.E.
The Code is based upon Two Great Virtues of which we should ever be mindful:
Simplicity is the key to success. All you need to do is dedicate about two to three minutes twice daily (morning and evening). It can be done anywhere silently or aloud.
Enter the circle to meet the day
Begin with a salutation. A bow of the head can be appropriate. Then proceed.
If you live in the Northern Hemisphere of the world, face the Equator by facing geographical south. If you live in the Southern Hemisphere you would face geographical north.
Imagine the equator of the earth to be a circle of men and women that goes around the world. See this as a circle of Light and add your Light to it. Place yourself in that circle along with all other participants.
From a point where you stand in the circle sound the OM (verbally or mentally) and visualize it traveling in a clockwise direction circulating the energy. The sound of the OM will be like an energy belt circling the earth. Intone the OM softly then increase the volume and then let your breath trail to silence. Take another breath and repeat the OM sound. Do this seven times.
Pause to allow the OM vibrations to be released into motion and build up an energy flow.
Ending: Bow your head and say - "It is done".
Throughout the day and night, whenever and wherever you feel so moved, you may silently attune with the circle by simply thinking OM and/or intoning it mentally or verbally. Each time you access into the circle, you are strengthening the circulatory flow of spiritual energies. You are also contacting all like-minded individuals so assembled in the Work. In meditations of this sort, you may utilize the spiritual energy from the Circle of Light for performing services to others and to help maintain harmony and balance in your own life.
Exit the circle to meet the night
To symbolically exit the circle and meet the night, simply face the opposite geographical direction from which you opened the day. Repeat the same procedure as you performed to meet the day. Then say - "It is done".
You may wish to exit the circle and meet the night at the same time you meet the day. In other words, twelve hours later. This will require concentration and discipline. Regardless of what time you pick, remember that you are part of a worldwide group and that someone will be linking in each minute of the day. By working together in this way we are sharing the love in our hearts with all.