The Divine Symbol Of Consecration

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To those to whom this train of ideas is unfamiliar I would recommend the perusal of a touching story entitled "Consolatrix Afllictorum" in Monsignor R. All students of Theosophy are aware of the existence of the mighty and glorious Hierarchy which is the inner and spiritual Government of the world. One who wishes to understand something of the organization of this Government would do well to consult a very clear and useful diagram which appears in Mr.

Jinarajadasa's First Principles of Theosophy Fig. From that diagram we see that while the Spiritual King, the Lord of the World, stands supreme above all, and the Lord Buddha stands next to Him as the spiritual Head of the Second Ray, the other five Rays [3] though each is directed by its own special Ruler or Chohan are all under the management of a high Official called the Mahachohan. We see then that the Lord Vaivasvata Manu, the Lord Maitreya Bodhisattva and our Lord the Mahachohan stand at a certain definite level as the representatives, as far as work on these lower planes is concerned, of the Three Aspects of the Solar Logos; and we know of no other Great Ones who stand at this level except some who, having held high office in the past, are now working elsewhere.

The grades of the Hierarchy being thus clearly laid down, and the arrangement of the different rays and their Leaders or Chohans tabulated, it will at once be seen that the work of the World-Mother could not be entered upon such a list, for the work does not belong to anyone Ray, but deals in a protective way with women-folk on all Rays. Furthermore, the list there given to us indicates the lines of activity of what we may call the human part of the Hierarchy only.

But it will be remembered that the Lord Maitreya is the Teacher of Angels as well as of men, and just in the same way the great Lord of the World is the [4] Spiritual King not only of the human evolution, but also of the Angelic kingdom on this planet as well. We know that there is an Angelic side of the Hierarchy, but we have not as yet any information which would enable us to compile a similar table for that.

We know that just as Adepts have divided the world into parishes, so that all nations have some sort of Adept guidance, so also has each nation its presiding Deva or Angel. We know furthermore that the Angels take a very great part in the direction of evolution — that they also preside over certain districts, and that there is an elaborate scheme of lesser and greater Devas, coming down even to the local spirit who acts as guardian to a wood, a valley, a lake. But our knowledge along all these lines is limited and fragmentary, and the political geography of the world from the point of view of the Angelic Hosts has yet to be written.

It is probably rash therefore to attempt any comparison between highly-advanced people of two evolutions; but I think we shall not be far wrong if we regard the World-Mother, Our Lady of Light, as being [5] of equal dignity with the Chohans who are Heads of the Rays. I am afraid that in most English-speaking countries the principal difficulty that we shall find in our way in endeavouring to explain the office and work of the World-Mother will be the extraordinarily bitter and unreasoning prejudice of the average Protestant against the Catholic doctrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

We shall inevitably be accused of trying to introduce Mariolatry, of secretly attempting to influence our readers in the direction of the teaching of the Roman Church; for there is a vast amount of misconception connected with this subject.

The nature of religious symbols and symbolization

The Roman and Greek Churches hold the name of the Blessed Virgin in deep reverence, although many of their members know little of the real meaning of the beautiful and poetic symbolism connected with that name. The Church of England has curtailed somewhat the reverence paid to Her, while those Christians who do not belong to her communion usually remark that it is idolatrous to worship a woman — an attitude of mind which is merely the result of narrowness and ignorance.

If we want really to understand the truth in these matters, we must begin by freeing our minds altogether from prejudice; and the first point to realize is that no one ever has worshipped a woman or a man either in the sense in which the rabid Protestant means the word. He is incapable of comprehending — he does not want to comprehend — the Catholic attitude towards Our Lady or the saints. We who are Theosophical students, however, must adopt a fairer position than that, and try to discover what the Catholic position really is before we condemn it. Let us quote from The Catholic Encyclopedia article "Worship" what may be taken as an approved and authoritative statement of the Roman view on the subject:.

There are several degrees of worship; if it is addressed directly to God, it is superior, absolute, supreme worship, or worship of adoration, or, according to the consecrated theological term, a worship of latria. Accentuate the second syllable pronouncing it exactly like the English word "try". When worship is addressed only indirectly to God — that is, when its object is the veneration of martyrs, of angels, or of saints, it is a subordinate worship, dependent on the first, and relative, in so far as it honours the creatures of God for their [7] peculiar relations with Him.

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Accentuate the second syllable, pronouncing it like the English "lie". The first syllable is pronounced like the English word "do".

Religious symbolism and iconography |

As the Blessed Virgin has a separate and absolutely super-eminent rank among the saints, the worship paid to her is called hyperdulia. That seems to me to make the whole matter admirably clear, and to present a correct and defensible attitude. Much confusion has arisen from the translation of those three Greek words, with their delicate shades of meaning, by the one English word "worship". I think that this mistake, coupled with the blank ignorance of most people of the niceties of theological distinctions, and their fatal readiness to believe ill of those from whom they differ, has been responsible for much of the misunderstanding and the consequent hatred.

Till of men a nobler pattern

But the point for us to bear in mind is that no instructed person has ever, anywhere or at any time, confused such reverence as may duly and properly be offered to all great and holy beings with that higher worship which may be given to God alone. Let there be no mistake about that fact. Much nonsense has been talked about idolatry, chiefly by people who are too anxious to force their own beliefs upon others to have either time or inclination to try to understand the point of view of wiser and more tolerant thinkers.

If they knew enough of etymology to be aware that the word idol means an image or representation, they might perhaps ask themselves of what this thing is an image, and whether it is not that reality behind which these much-maligned savages are worshipping, instead of the wood and stone about which missionaries prate so glibly. The image, the picture, the cross, the lingam of the Saivite, the sacred book of the Sikh — all these things are symbols; not in [9] themselves objects of worship, but reverenced by those who understand, precisely because they are intended to remind us of some aspect of God, and to turn our thoughts to Him.

In India these aspects are called by many different names, and the missionary makes haste to revile the Hindu as a polytheist; yet the coolie who works in his garden could tell him that there is but one God, and that all these are but aspects of Him, lines of approach to Him, divided and materialized in order to bring infinity a little nearer to the grasp of out very finite minds.

There is great need for charity and understanding, for a kindly and sympathetic attitude towards those who are travelling along another road to the feet of the God in whom all alike believe — the loving Father of whom the Christ tells us, the one true God who said through another of His manifestations: "All true worship comes to Me, through whatsoever name it may be offered"; and again: "By whatsoever path men approach Me, along that path do I meet them; for the paths by which men come from every side are Mine.

There is nothing but God; and for whomsoever we feel reverence, adoration, love, it is to the God manifesting through him however partially that that reverence, adoration or love is offered. Having thus endeavoured to rise above the miasma of ignorance and bigotry into the purer air of justice and comprehension, let us in that spirit approach the consideration of the beautiful and wonderful manifestation of the divine power and love which is enshrined within the name of the World-Mother.

I do not think that anyone with our Western education finds it easy to understand the wealth of symbolism which is used in Oriental religions; and people forget that Christianity is an Oriental religion, just as much as Buddhism, Hinduism or Zoroastrianism. The Christ took a Jewish body — an Oriental body; and those to whom He spoke had the Oriental methods of thought, and not ours at all. They have a wonderful and most elaborate method of symbolism in all these religions, and they [11] take great delight in their symbols; they weave them in and out and combine, them, and treat them lovingly in poetry and in art.

But our tendency is towards what we call practicality, and we are apt to materialize all these ideas, and often greatly degrade them in consequence. Let us never forget that our religion comes from the East, and that if we want to understand it, we must look at it first of all as an Oriental would look at it, and not apply our modern scientific theories until we are able to see how they fit in.

They can be made to fit in, but unless we know how, we are likely to make shipwreck of the whole thing, and we run a serious risk of assuming that the people who hold the allegory know nothing whatever, and are hopelessly wrong. They are not wrong at all. Those beautiful old myths convey the meaning, without necessarily putting the cold scientific facts before those who have not developed their minds sufficiently to grasp them in that form. That was well understood in the early Church.

There is always much more behind these quaint and poetical thoughts of the men of old [12] than most people believe. It is foolish to be filled with ignorant prejudice; it is better by far to try to understand. Whatever in religion anywhere has been artistic and helpful to man has always behind it a real truth.

It is for us to disinter that truth; it is for us to clear away the crust of the ages and to let the truth shine forth. That is true with regard to the beautiful Christian glyph of the Blessed Virgin Mary. There are three distinct ideas involved in the ordinary thought of Her:.

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  5. The story of the mother of the disciple Jesus; what She was and what She afterwards became. The sea of virgin matter, the Great Deep, the water over the face of which the Spirit of God moved. These ideas have in the course of centuries been confused, degraded, materialized, until in the form in which the story is now presented, it has become impossible for any thinking man.

    But that is not so if we analyze it and understand its real meaning, if we separate the myth and the symbol from the chronicle of the living person. The first of these events is contrary to the laws of Nature which are the laws of God, the expression of His will and therefore cannot possibly have happened. The second is, I think, usually supposed by those at least who have not made a special study of theology to mean that Our Lady was conceived, like Her divine Son, by the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost; but on referring to authorized Roman Catholic publications I see that this is not so, for the teaching is that She was conceived in the ordinary manner, like the rest of mankind, Her parents being St.

    Joachim and St. It is explained that the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception means only that the mythical primal curse of what they call original sin supposed to have been inherited from Adam was not imposed by God upon the embryo of Our Lady. I wish to be absolutely fair in my statement of this remarkable doctrine; but I must admit that it seems to me an unnecessary and even fantastic theological invention. I have never [14] found the slightest historical evidence for the grotesque story of Adam and Eve and the apple; and I believe that the whole theory of original sin is simply a clumsy way of stating the fact that man brings over with him from his previous birth a certain amount of karma.

    If one tries to interpret it along that line, perhaps this doctrine of the Immaculate Conception might be taken as amounting to a statement that Our Lady had already worked out all evil karma and consequently entered upon Her life in Palestine practically karma-less. On that subject I have no information. To present these ideas as actual occurrences in the life of a Jewish lady is an error; they could not have been so, therefore they were not so.

    But if we understand them as symbols of a certain stage in the process of creation, of the evolution of a solar system, they fall quite naturally into place, and are seen to be beautiful and significant. Divested of them, the life-story is coherent and credible. The same Church represents the Festival of the Assumption as commemorating the carrying up of a physical body into the heaven-world — once more a manifest impossibility; [15] but when we realize that this is but a poetic description of the entry of a triumphant Adept into the Angelic kingdom, we see at once the appropriateness of much that has been written about it, and of the wonderful paintings which it has inspired.

    Let us then first of all consider the last physical life of Our Lady of Light, and the consequences which followed it and led up later on to Her acceptance of the Office which She at present holds.

    10 Christian Symbols Explained

    It must be understood that the disciple Jesus was born precisely as other men are born. This strange doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, an attempt to explain which we have just made, the story of the overshadowing of the Blessed Virgin by the Holy Ghost, and of the Virgin Birth — all that group of ideas refers to the myth, to the symbol; it has a real meaning and a beautiful interpretation, as I shall presently try to show, but it is not concerned with the physical body of the disciple Jesus.

    The mother of that physical [16] body was a Jewish lady of noble birth, but, if tradition is to be believed, of no great wealth. We need not think of Joseph who, remember, was also of the seed of David as a carpenter, because that is part of the symbolism, and not of the history. In that symbolism Joseph is the guardian of the Blessed Virgin — of the soul in man.

    He represents the mind; and because the mind is not the creator of the soul, but only its furnisher and its decorator, Joseph is not a mason, like the Great Architect of the Universe, but a carpenter. We need not think of Our Lord as working in a carpenter's shop; that is simply an instance of the confusion and materialization introduced by those who do not understand the symbolism. The mother of Jesus, then, was a noble-woman of Judaea, a descendant of the royal house of David.

    Truly She who was chosen for so high an honour must have been pure and true and of flawless character — a great saint; for none but such could have given birth to so pure, so wonderful, so glorious a body. A saintly and a godly life She led; one of terrible suffering which She bore with marvellous patience and nobility of soul yet with [17] wondrous consolations.

    We know but little of its details; we glimpse it only occasionally in the scant contemporary narrative; but it was a life which it will do us good to imagine to ourselves, an example for which we may well thank God. It carried Her far along the upward path — far enough to make possible a curious and beautiful later development, which I must now explain. Students of the inner life know that when man has reached the end of the purely human part of his evolution — when the next step will lift him into the superhuman condition of the Adept — into a kingdom as definitely above humanity as man is above the animal kingdom —.

    Occasionally, too, there are conditions under which this choice may be to some extent anticipated. This is not the place to discuss the alternative; let it suffice here to say that one of the possibilities is to become a great [18] Angel or messenger of God — to join the Deva evolution, as an Indian would put it. And this was the line which the Lady Mary chose, when She reached the level at which human birth was no longer necessary for Her. Vast numbers of Angels have never been human because their evolution has come along another line, but there are Angels who have been men, who at a certain stage of this development have chosen to follow the Angel line; and a very glorious, magnificent and helpful line it is.

    So She, who, two thousand years ago, bore the body of Jesus in order that it might later on be taken by the Christ, is now a mighty Spirit. Much beautiful enthusiasm and devotion has all through the centuries been poured out at Her feet; thousands upon thousands of monks and nuns, thousands upon thousands of suffering men and women, have come before Her and poured out their sorrows, and have prayed to Her that She in turn would present their petition to Her Son. This last prayer is a misconception, because He who is the Eternal Son of God and at the same the Christ within everyone of us, needs none to [19] intercede with Him for us.

    He knows before we speak far better than we what is best for us. We are in Him, and through Him were we made, and without Him was not anything made which was made, neither we nor the smallest speck of dust in all the universe. One does not pray to great Angels for intercession if one understands, because one knows that He, in whom all Angels live and move and have their being, is already doing for every one of us very best that can be done. But just as one may ask help from a human friend in the flesh — as, for example, one may ask of him the encouragement of his thought — so may one ask aid from the same human friend when he has cast aside his robe of flesh; and in the same way one may ask the same kind of help from these great Spirits at their higher level.

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    There is nothing unreasonable or unscientific in this. I myself have often had letters from people who know that I have studied these matters, telling me that at such-and-such a time they would be going through some [20] difficulty — a surgical operation perhaps, or some other specially trying experience — and asking me to think of them at that moment, and to send them helpful thought.

    Naturally I always do it. And as I know there can be no effect without a cause, and in exactly the same way there can be no due cause which does not produce its effect, I know that if I or if any of you take the trouble to fix our thought upon anyone in sorrow or difficulty, and try to send him helpful ideas, try to put before him something which will strengthen him in his troubles, we may be perfectly sure that that thought-force does produce its effect, that it goes and reacts upon that person.

    To what extent it will help him depends on his receptivity, upon the strength of the thought, and upon various other circumstances; but that some effect will be produced we may be absolutely sure. And so when we send a request for kindly, helpful, strengthening thought to one of these great ones — whether it be a saint now in the flesh, or one who has laid aside that flesh, or one of the great Angels — assuredly that help will come to us, and will strengthen us.

    That is the case with the World-Mother; yet there are those who would have us believe that all that splendid good feeling, all that love and uttermost devotion, have run to waste and been useless. Incredible as it appears to us who are used to wider and saner thought, I really think that in their curious ignorance the more rabid enemies of the Church actually believe this. They even go further still, and say that it is wrong, wicked and blasphemous for a man to feel that love and devotion towards Her! It sounds like madness, but I am afraid it is true that there are such people.

    Of course the truth is that no devotion, no love, no good feeling has ever been wrong, to whomsoever it has been sent. It may have been wrongly directed. Devotion and affection have often been lavished on unworthy objects, but it has not been a wrong act on the part of the lavisher — only a lack of discrimination; always it has been good for him that he should pour himself out in love, and develop his soul thereby.

    Remember that if we love any person, it is the God within that person that we are loving; the God within us recognizes the God within [22] him; deep calleth unto deep, and the recognition of the Godhead is bliss. The lover often sees in the beloved qualities which no one else can discern; but those good qualities are there in latency, because the Spirit of God is within everyone of us; and the earnest belief and strong affection of the lover tend to call those latent qualities into manifestation.

    He who idealizes another tends to make that other what he thinks him to be. Could we suppose then that all the wonderful and beautiful devotion addressed to the World-Mother has been wasted? Any man who thinks so must understand the divine economy very poorly. No true and holy feeling has ever been wasted since time began, or ever will be; for God, who knows us all, so arranges that the least touch of devotion, the least feeling of comprehension, the least thought of worship, shall always be received, shall always work out to its fullest possibility, and shall always bring its response from Him.

    In this case in His loving-kindness He has appointed the Mother of Jesus as a mighty Angel to receive those prayers — to be a channel for them, to accept that devotion, and to forward [23] it to Him. Therefore the reverence offered to Her, and the love poured out at Her feet have never for one moment been wasted; they have brought their result, they have done their work. Century after century the richest treasures of art have drawn their inspiration from the beauty of Her divine motherhood; Her glories have been hymned in the measured tones of the most magnificent music; Her wisdom has inspired the great doctors and teachers of the Church, for She is the Heart of Wisdom, the Mother of fair love, of patience and perseverance and of holy hope — She who kept all the sayings of Jesus in Her heart.

    If we try to understand it, we shall see how very far grander is that reality than the barren conception that all high thought, all worship, all praise not directed through a particular Name must inevitably go astray. Why should God limit Himself by our mistakes as to names? He looks at the heart; not at the words. It was also the subject of strong theological debates and diatribes. Some saw in the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus a manifestation of idolatry, as an object made of flesh and related only to the body.

    For others it was clearly a purely symbolic value, a representation of the love of Christ.

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    Another subject of discussion was also the apparition of Jesus to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. The feast of the Sacred Heart was started in France around , but was later recognized by the whole Church. It is celebrated between May 29 th and July 2 nd depending on the date on which Easter falls.

    While it is a symbol of the womb, at times it is also a symbol of the tomb, and in this it corresponds with the Old Woman, Hag or Crone; with this correspondence it may also be joined with spiritual works of the wrathful palace, becoming a symbol of Kali Imma and Lilatu. There are also various ways of gazing with a cauldron to invoke dreams and visions, or prophecy, similar to the black mirror or bowl of water; these practices correspond with inner teachings of the Order of St.

    Mary Magdalene that intersect with those of the Order of St.

    What Is Consecration and Why Do I Need to Consecrate Myself to God?

    Gabriel, the way of the navim. When this is done, dancing around the cauldron, and holding the conscious intention of drawing in souls of higher grades, again and again we leap over the cauldron as a gesture of bringing in these souls, along with maggidim, angels. Sometimes the cauldron is also used in place of the fire pit in the rite of fire offering, or in various rites of offering, the cauldron being the receptacle of the offerings. There are other ways it is used as well, but these give insight into the consecration of a cauldron when it is time — and time is another attribute of the cauldron, by the way, shifting space and time!

    Did I mention the cauldron is a sacred object corresponding with the End-Of-Days? Generally speaking, a cauldron is not consecrated by an individual alone, but rather it is consecrated by a matrix of initiates in sacred ceremony together, and in our tradition, it would be consecrated by female and male initiates praying and invoking together, the fullness of Imma Gadol below.

    This is how we are taught to consecrate a sacred cauldron when there is a need and it is time in community.