Elbert Benjamine wrote ALL of the Brotherhood of Light lessons under
the pen name of C.C. Zain. So, when I speak of Elbert I mean the author
of the B. of L. lessons.
When reading these notes and looking at the pictures, the first sentence of the C. of L. Mantram should be kept in mind. “My soul is one with the Universe,” and as Elbert describes in lesson #56, and elsewhere, “The SOUL, MIND, Unconscious Mind and Character,” all mean the same thing.
To enter into a discusion of astronomical theory would set the wrong mood, so suffice it to say that a recent discovery of at least 1500 galaxies in the tiniest speck of space, previously thought to contain nothing, prompted one astronomer to radically alter his belief and say that “for all practical purposes the universe is infinite.” And, indeed, occultists for thousands of years have maintained the infinitude of time, space and galaxies. So be it!
Galaxies are without number -- or as another astronomer said, “Galaxies are as common as blades of grass in a meadow” . . . and in our teaching, each is a theatre for expression of life in some of its infinitude of forms.
A telephoto of a typical spiral galaxy, formally called a universe or island universe and called a universe in some of the B. of L. lessons. Galaxies vary in size and shape but all contain billions or hundreds of billions of stars or suns, which are the same thing. The nuclei of galaxies appear to be just many stars packed close together. “Even so, all stars are a few or many light years apart. A light year is the distance light travels in a year at the rate of 186,000 miles a second, or about 6 trillion miles. (A trillion is a fair sized number.) Astronomers have several other theories as to what may lie at the center of a galaxy, . . . none proven, of course.
Our own Milky Way, or “home town,” galaxy is thought to closely resemble that shown in picture 3, . . . with our solar system located in one of the spiral arms.
This galaxy of ours is estimated to be one hundred thousand light years across and to contain one hundred billion stars . . . and if our solar system is a prototype, which I believe it is, then it is eight to ten times this number of planets.
Picture 5 is a telephoto of a few thousand of the one hundred billion stars of our galaxy. Use a magnifying glass and note that the tiniest speck, as well as the larger ones, would be like our sun. Our sun is a typical star, though slightly smaller than the average.
Now our solar system, with its planets, equilibrium of gravity and centrifugal force – see picture 6 -- points to a representation of where our sun and solar system – a tiniest speck – would be in a spiral arm of our galaxy and we have to ask the question, “Why?”
In answer to the question, “Why are we here?” we must go to our Mantram and to one of its statements. “I am commissioned by the Infinite One to assist in the scheme of his creation.” What a tremendous statement! God actually needs you and me to help maintain and build more of this infinite structure, as creation goes on forever. And so will you.
This is further reiterated in lesson #182 where Elbert says, “Make no mistake about this, the most important thing about your existence is your ability to contribute your own work to cosmic welfare.” Your own special work in which you will find nothing but the greatest pleasure and joy in doing.
If the student has a strong desire to know, this desire can induce an intense feeling of AWE and WONDER at the magnitude and magnificence of God’s universe. It may then be translated into some degree of higher consciousness, right then and there, . . . an instant in which the student realizes the closeness and benevolence of the Infinite One, God the father. As the Bible says, “The Lord Thy God in midst of thee is mighty,” Zeph. 3:17. “Thou will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee.”
Johann von Goethe, a German philosopher and a very knowledgeable person, once said, “Those born with a talent that is meant to be used find their greatest joy in using it.”
The Solar System: Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars -- The planets exist in equilibrium between two forces: Gravity and Centrifugal Force. If the Earth were moved slightly inward, then gravity would gradually spiral us into the Sun. If the Earth were moved slightly outward, then Centrifugal Force would gradually swirl us out into deep space. Scientists are unable to account for giant meteors or asteroids striking the Earth or other planets without jarring them even slightly out of line but apparently they don’t. A few years ago, Jupiter was hit by an asteroid. Each planet radiates or broadcasts radio waves. There is a huge meteoric crater in Arizona. It is a mile wide and several hundred feet deep. A large meteor or asteroid apparently exploded when it hit, throwing small bits for some distance. Machines have been developed to gather these. They are then sold as souvenirs or for other purposes. I have a small bit in my billfold, and have had it there for more than 60 years. Elbert Benjamine says as a talisman, it protects one while travelling.
On my birthday in 1941, I went to the Museum in City Park in Denver to hear Dr. Harvey Mininger tell how he and a few others determined that the Arizona Crater and the craters on the surface of the Moon were actually meteoric rather than volcanic, as had previously been thought. Dr. Mininger had authored a little book entitled “A Meteor Strikes the Earth,” so the one I bought had a fragment in it, which I removed and it is the one I carry in my billfold now.
There is a quote by John Glenn, astronaut and Senator, in Awake Magazine. “The first American astronaut to orbit the earth exclaimed regarding th order in the universe, ‘Could this have just happened? . . . I can’t believe that.’ Then he added: “Some Power put all this into orbit and keeps it there.” (June 22, 1999 issue, page 9)
Now, let’s go back to the third and fourth lines in the Mantram: “I am assisting in the progressive evolution of creation.” This brings up the question, “In what way am I now assisting . . . and am I in some way using my Cosmic work?” Read Facts & Fancies, pages 215 and 216. Well, do I have even the groggiest idea of what my Cosmic Work is? How do I find out what this work is?
Elbert says in Delineating the Horoscope, “next to locating the dominant planet, the most important single factor to be considered in determining the individual’s natural bias is the decanate in which the sun is found at birth.”
There are definite statements in regard to the planets but not so with all of the decanates. Some are definite, but others give the method and other factors--which is fine and maybe even enough. But it is fun to analyse the decanate more thoroughly. Something in the Tarot corresponds to each decanate and more information is to be found in Spiritual Astrology. The Tablets of Aeth are listed in The Light of Egypt, Book 2, where Burgoyne gives a good analysis of the signs and planets in Book 1. I am very fond of Burgoyne’s writings, but the B. of L. lessons are primary with me. I like to make that clear. However, this is physical; what about my cosmic work?
I should go to the source, to my REAL SELF . . . to my “I AM” consciousness . . . and find the point, within my head, from which consciousness seems to arise. I do this by going into The Silence. Elbert speaks of The Silence in “Just How to Attain Realization,” p. 185, in Personal Alchemy. In proper meditation, the odyt is completely relaxed, the deeper the better. Meditation doesn’t require that any sentence be repeated over and over. Proper meditation is one of the best ways to achieve illumination.
Read “Avenues to Illumination,” page 87, in the same book. He recommends sitting in an easy chair or lying down. I like an easy chair for reading, but if I’m lying down I go to sleep. So, I like to use a footstool, with no back. I let my spine hold up my body and my head. I relax all over, but especially my shoulders and neck and forehead, where the worry lines form. I want to be comfortable enough so that I can forget and lose all feeling in my body. I become a mental creature. I stop thinking, for thinking makes the brain a Broadcaster – and I want to be a Receiver. I want to keep my attention ACTIVE, . . . spiraling upward to the pineal body. The pineal body is at the center of the base of the brain. It is different from other brain tissue.
Now in the early 1920s, everyone was interested in crystal sets. Everyone ate a lot of Quaker Oatmeal so that they could have the cardboard container to wrap the resonant coil of wire around, and cover that with galena. But, it was crystal detector that was the essential component.
The pineal gland is pine cone-shaped. It contains a calcarious substance, which could be described as “brain sand.” This substance is found nowhere else in the brain. To me, that calcarious substance acts in the same way as a crystal. It connects through the subconscious – I prefer the term “subconscious” to the “unconscious” -- a cat’s whisker portion of the astral subconscious mind to the brain, resulting in Self- Consciousness and the Mind.
Now, to this, any scientist would say, “Nuts, Nuts and Double Nuts.” But, anyway, I let my attention spiral upward through the billowing thought forms that connect the pineal with my subconscious mind . . . which is my SOUL. And “my soul is One with the Universe,” so says Elbert and the Brotherhood of Light Mantram. And I believe them. I really do.
So, you are here today. WHY? “I am commissioned by the Infinite One to assist in the scheme of his Creation.” But do you really know this? Ask yourself, “In what way am I assisting?.” Elbert Benjamine says that sooner or later you will find the dominant attitude, the dominant aim to contribute your utmost to Universal Welfare. Blessed is he or she who has found their cosmic work.
And how do you think of God? As a person? As an essence? Or what? There are many Bible verses that speak about God. “The Lord is in his holy temple. Let all the earth keep silence before him.” The words “All the earth” mean your body, your thoughts, . . . you. “And in silence and in confidence shall be your strength.” Now, that’s strange, isn’t it? “In silence” is your strength. What does it mean? “Be still and know that I am God.” That “I” is the important part. In you. Elijah went up to the mountaintop to see if God’s voice was in the wind. He felt a great wind, but the voice of God was not there. Then Elijah sought God’s voice in an earthquake, but the voice of God was not there. Elijah sought God’s voice in a great fire, but the voice of God was not there. Then Elijah sat down. He entered into the silence. And there he found the still, small voice of God.
Haydn, the great composer, wrote one hundred and five symphonies. The higher-numbered symphonies are especially sublime. His music was light and airy, and, of course, there was a Critic, who asked, “Why don’t you write some serious music?” Haydn answered, “When I think of God, my heart leaps with joy and I can’t help writing beautiful pieces.”
Beethoven was another famous composer. His music carries me right up to the throne of God, . . . especially his fifth and ninth symphonies. His finest symphonies were written after he had become totally deaf. In order to get the vibration of his compositions, Beethoven had to get down on the floor, and there he could feel the vibration of his music through the floor boards. His ninth symphony is called the Choral Symphony. Beethoven broke all the conventional rules. He wanted to honor Schiller’s poem, Ode to Joy. So, he incorporated that in this composition. I once attended a concert in Denver, where they had gathered 3000 choir members together to perform this work. Listening to them, my soul was right there at the foot of the throne of God.
God is Infinite. Our egos are a spark of God. Therefore, we partake of some of the Infinite . . . the Eternal. The Universe is Infinite. Yet, there is always the Infinite Beyond.
It seems perfectly normal for each of us to be here physically on the Earth. The same will always be true . . . on the astral plane and on the spiritual plane and on the celestial plane . . . and on and on and on.
My consciousness and I are the most obvious example of this . . . even if seldom recognized and thought about. We have always been taught that when you say, “I am going to do something.” You think of the body doing it, you picture it. And then you carry out that thought.
The pineal gland contains a calcarious substance in it which you don’t find anywhere else. Calcarious refers to crystalline. There is a crystal in the pineal gland. Way back there used to be crystal sets. I built my first one in the house down on Pine Street in Boulder. So, the calcarious substance in the pineal gland acts in the same way, like a crystal in an old crystal set – a receiver. The brain substance is just tissue except for the pineal gland, which lies at the center of the brain. This is the seat of consciousness. Scientists have tried to locate where the seat of consciousness lies. They’ll never find it because they’re looking for something physical, . . . but it’s not physical. It is the point of contact between the unconscious and the conscious mind. In Egypt, the head of the cobra worn on a headdress signified the pineal gland in the center of the brain. The Hindus in India have images of Buddha with a red gem right in the middle of his forehead – another symbol for the pineal gland.
When Jesus said, “I and the Father are one,” it has been interpreted as referring to the body of Jesus. But what it really means is that God is in each one of our physical bodies. “Behold, I come quickly and my reward is with Thee.” The Bible says it. “I” means the ego. Plato said it. And our Mantram says it. The Mind, the Body and the Spirit are One.
Moses saw a burning bush. In the Bible, flames signify spirit. So, Moses was about to have a spiritual experience. Moses went to Mt. Horeb, asking God how to lead the people of Israel out of bondage. God answered, “My name is “I am.” Moses said, “Well, yes, but who is I am?” Then great revelation came to him: I am that I am. We are . . . and you are.
Picture the planets in their orbits, and ask as John Glenn did, “Could this have just happened? . . . I can’t believe that. . . . Some Power put all this into orbit and keeps it there.” Think of Gravity and Centrifugal Force and Meteors breaking out of orbit and hurtling into the planet Jupiter.
In the 1800s Phillips Brooks was a very prominent and popular preacher of his day. He was the minister at Trinity Episcopal Church in Boston. He told a story of great spirituality and then retired to his room, saying that he must not be disturbed. He was the author of the Christmas hymn, O Little town of Bethlehem, whose words describe “how silently, how silently thy wondrous gift is given; no ear may hear his coming but this world of sin where meek souls will receive him, still the dear christ enters in.”
Earlier I quoted a Bible verse: “In silence and in confidence shall be your strength.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said, “Let us then labor for an inward stillness, . . . an inward stillness and an inward healing. That perfect silence where lips and heart are still, and we no longer entertain our own imperfect thoughts and vain opinions. But God alone speaks in us, and we wait in singleness of heart, that we may know his will and in the silence of our spirit, that we may do his will and do that only. . . . The Lord is in his Holy Temple, in you let all earth keep silence before him”
I recall a hymn which a minister I used to know would include at the close of every Sunday service: “In the living, throbbing silence, may I find the work I have to do.”