Max Heindel – The Path of Initiation


Max Heindel


The transition of the adept from the dominion of death to the realm of immortality was foreshadowed in the daring leap of hiram abiff, the grand master-workman of solomon’s temple, into the seething sea of molten metal and his passage through the nine arch-like strata of the earth which form the path of initiation. We also remember that at the end of that journey hiram abiff, the son of cain, received from his ancestor a new hammer and a new word for use in the new age. According to the gospels we also find that jesus, the son of seth, immediately after his descent from golgotha entered the subterranean strata where he remained for some time in communion with the spirits who dwell there.

Thus the various strata of the earth from the circumference to the center form the path of initiation, both for the sons of seth and the sons of cain, and that is the reason why little or nothing is said of the inner construction of the earth in the multitude of books dealing with subjects of occultism. Those who are simply psychics do not know, and those who do know are not saying much. There is a chapter on the subject in the rosicrucian cosmo-conception which gives about all that one dares to tell, and to that the reader is referred for further information than here given.

The path of initiation is guarded in various ways. While we walk the earth in our physical bodies, we are drawn toward the center of the earth by the force of gravitation; but our bodies being solid, that is to say, of the same density as the material whereof our globe is composed, we are thus prevented from sinking through the earth by displacement as we would sink in water, or by interpenetration as we would pass through ether. When death comes and we shed this so-called mortal coil, we find ourselves in vehicles that are finer than the elements of the earth. A person clothed in these finer vehicles could easily penetrate through the various strata of our globe to the center if there were no other obstacles. Having shed the dense body, he is no longer subject to gravitation, but to levitation, and on that account he usually finds it sufficiently difficult to stay upon the surface of the earth.

Only during the first part of his post-mortem experience when he is still loaded down with the coarsest ether and desire stuff is this possible for him. The more he has gathered of that denser substance by indulgence of his lower nature and cultivation of the habit of drunkenness, covetousness, hatred, malice, immoral emotions, and disreputable vices, the easier it is for him to stay around low saloons, gambling houses, red-light districts, and kindred places. But the man of high ideals and lofty aspirations, who would be the one likely to seek the path of initiation, feels the impelling force of levitation drawing him outward into the purer strata of the air where the first heaven is located, and is thus effectually prevented from trespassing upon the path of initiation.

Stories are told of initiates having overcome the law of gravitation in order to rise in the air at certain times for a definite purpose while still in the dense body. Initiates are also taught how to suspend the law of levitation when they are in their soul bodies, and how to pass through the nine strata of the earth. It is said that jesus was the son of a carpenter, but the greek word is tekton, and means builder; arche is the greek name of primordial matter. It is also said that jesus was a carpenter (tekton) himself. It is true, he was a tekton, builder or mason, a son of god, the grand archetekton. At the age of thirty-three, when he had taken the three-times-three (9) degrees of mystic masonry, he descended to the center of the earth. So does every other tekton, mason or phree messen, (child of light,) as the egyptian called such, descend through the nine arch-like strata of the earth. We shall find at the time of the first advent of christ both hiram abiff, the son of cain, and solomon, the son of seth, reborn to take from him the next great initiation into the christian mysteries.

In the last chapter we saw while considering “the philosopher’s stone” that the spinal cord is the principal laboratory for the alchemist, and that the spinal spirit fire, generated by turning the creative force upward through the spinal canal, passing it between the pituitary body and the pineal gland in the brain, gives to man a third eye as it were wherewith to see in the spiritual worlds. When this serpentine spirit fire has been sufficiently evolved, he may read by its light the wisdom of the ages. Therefore christ exhorted his disciples to be wise as serpents. The egyptian word naja, which means serpent, is used at least once in the hebrew bible in the 58th psalm. In ancient egypt the pharaohs were kings and priests, holding a double office, and they therefore wore a double crown with a uraeus or serpent head so placed that when wearing this crown the uraeus seemed to protrude from the emperor’s forehead between the eyebrows. The serpentine uraeus was therefore an apt symbol of the wisdom of the wearer.

It will be remembered that according to the bible story the lucifer spirit appeared to eve as a serpent, a son of wisdom. Cain according to the masonic legend, was born from this union with eve. It is also stated that the lucifer spirit then left eve, who thus became a widow, and cain was thus the son of the lucifer spirit, the serpent of wisdom, and eve, the widow. Every initiate to this day has the serpent symbol on his brow and is known to his fellows by that token as a son of the widow and the lucifer spirit. Therefore we shall trace hiram abiff to his next embodiment by that mark, and as evidence given by a party against his own interest is particularly valuable according to law, we call special attention to the following points gained from the catholic latin testament:

In 1st samuel 19, king james version, naioth is spoken of as a place where a school of prophets and seers dwelt, samuel among others. Naioth is the feminine plural of naja, a serpent, which we have already mentioned as being an egyptian word used in the bible. In the latin version the same place is spoken of as naim, and eusebius says it was located near endor, famous as the abode of the witch, through whose instrumentality saul spoke with samuel after the latter had passed on. But it is not to be supposed that naioth and naim are places, or that they were used interchangeably. They describe two widely different classes of spiritually gifted people, which the ancient egyptians had marked by placing the uraeus upon the brows of one and at the navels of the other.

The latter were mediumistic persons, receiving impressions from spirit controls through the solar plexus. They were properly designated naioth by the hebrews who used the feminine suffix to indicate their negative qualities. But the voluntary clairvoyant and the initiate, represented by the egyptians as having the serpentine uraeus in the forehead, were called naim by the hebrews who used the male suffix to designate the positive spiritual faculty which they possess. And the latin catholic version of the new testament (luke, chapter vii, verses 11 to 15,) speaks of the person raised by christ as the widow’s son of nain.

As the serpent is not fully unfolded until the ninth arch of the lesser mysteries has been passed and the candidates become aspirants to the greater mysteries, and further because the lodge of phree messen (children of light) of ancient egypt are now transferred to the various branches of the anglo-saxon race, where the sound nain means “nine,” the original word has been corrupted to mislead all not entitled to the knowledge.

But all things change on this terrestrial sphere, and this applies also to the methods of initiation and the requirements thereof. Hiram abiff failed in his great effort to make the molten sea at the time when he was building solomon’s temple, because he, the son of the fiery lucifer spirits, did not know how to blend the element fire with the water poured into his mold by the sons of seth, the creatures of the water god, jehovah. At that time he was given a new hammer and a new word. The hammer was in the form of a cross.

The word was written upon a disc, before he was finally slain by his adversaries. And so he slept until as lazarus, the widow’s son of nain, he was raised by the strong grip of the lion’s paw, the lion of judah. Then the disc was found, also the new cruciform hammer, and upon the disc the mystic symbol, the rose. In these two symbols lie hidden the great secret of life, the blending of water and fire, as symbolized by the earthborn fluidic sap ascending through the stem and calyx of the flower to the fire tinted petals, born in the purity of the sun, but still guarded by the thorns of the martial lucifer spirits.

Exoteric masonry, which is only the husks of the mystic order formed by the sons of cain, has in modern times attracted the masculine element with its positively polarized physical vehicles, and educated them in industry and statecraft, thus controlling the material development of the world. The sons of seth, constituting themselves the priestcraft, have worked their spell over the positive vital bodies of the feminine element of dominate spiritual development. And whereas, the sons of cain working through freemasonry and kindred movements, have openly fought for the temporal power, the priestcraft has fought as strenuously and perhaps more effectively by stealth to retain their hold upon the spiritual development of the feminine element.

To the casual onlooker it would seem as if there were no decided antagonism between these two movements at the present time; but though freemasonry of today is but a shell of its true ancient mystic self, and though catholicism has been terribly tarnished by the touch of time, in this one thing there is no difference, namely, that the war is as keen as ever. The efforts of the church are not concentrated upon the masses, however, as much as upon those who are seeking to live the higher life so that they may gain admission to the mystery temple and learn how to make the philosopher’s stone.

As mankind advances in evolution, the vital body becomes more permanently positively polarized, giving to both sexes a greater desire for spirituality, and though we change from the masculine to feminine in alternate embodiments, positive polarity of the vital body is becoming more pronounced regardless of sex. This accounts for the growing tendency towards altruism which is even being brought out by the suffering entailed by the great war we are now fighting, (1918) for all agree that the nations are seeking to obtain a lasting peace where the swords may be made into plowshares, and the spears into pruning hooks.

In the past, humanity has been claiming universal brotherhood as a great ideal, but we must come closer than that to being in full accord with the christ. He said to his disciples “ye are my friends.” Among brothers and sisters, hate and enmity may exist, but friendship is the expression of love and cannot exist apart from that. Universal friendship is therefore the magic word which will eventually level all distinctions, bring peace upon earth and good will among men. This is the great ideal which points the shortest way to the new heaven and the new earth, where the sons of cain and the sons of seth will eventually be united.