The Golden Star
The Symbol of the Cross
The glowing ardour of God’s Love* * *
Lights up the shining Rose upon the Cross
Of Man:—if he will hear the Message from
the Christ within.
And high above* * *
In dark blue Southern skies
There glitters Blessed Cross of Holy Stars;
The Everlasting Emblem of the Wisdom
And the Law; which made the Universe
By Trigon and the Square, surrounded by the Circle.
Red-blended, like the Ruby,* * *
Did drops of Sacrifice descend
Upon the trembling Earth, and blend
And gleam within the tears
That lay in agony
Upon the Countenance
Of that great Son; and sear
Our Minds which hear—
Within—the Sigh of Anguish,
Torn from out His Holy Breast,
When, pierced by sword and spear He breathed:—
“My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?”
Or later on, the Mind with Him rejoices;
When in a gust of jubilation
He speaks the Final Words:—
“Oh, Thou, my God: How I am Glorified!”
Beneath the wonderful Symbol in the heavens, the Messenger and Ma-u and Ma-uti stood for a while in silence; heads bowed and eyes filled with tears.
Then Neteru-Hem took them by the hand, and, smiling farewell to the Guardians of the Well, proceeded towards the white marble buildings which glistened in the distance.
The air was fragrant with the scent of flowers and vibrant with their lovely colours, as slowly they walked amongst that glory; deep in thought.
“Would you like to attend a lecture on the symbolism of the Cross, my children?” asked the Messenger.
“Oh, please, Messenger, we should love it!” cried the two.
When the buildings were reached once more, the Messenger entered one of them, taking his guests with him.
In a large auditorium, on marble seats, a vast audience was listening to one of the priests, who, dressed in a flowing white garment, was in the middle of delivering a lecture. Neteru-Hem, and Ma-u and Ma-uti seated themselves silently and followed the priest’s discourse with attention from the part he had reached when they entered.
“. . . and it therefore makes no difference how we interpret the cry from the Cross: ‘My God, my God, why hast Thou foresaken me?’ “or,” continued the priest: ‘My God, my God, how Thou dost glorify me!’—for there is very great Truth in both these renderings.
“Both these things happen in the great Initiations, and the sufferings of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, His Crucifixion and His Resurrection are indicative of a very high form of Initiation, namely, the Fourth, when the Candidate attunes with the nirvanic plane, after having been gradually prepared and developed in the buddhic consciousness during the stages following the first three Initiations.
“As you know, the Fourth Initiation is, as it were, a midway point on the path, and there may be seven more incarnations, or lives between the Fourth and the Fifth. These latter incarnations—if they do occur—follow each other rapidly, as the Initiate no longer needs the interludes of rest in the Astral Worlds between these Incarnations. He is the Arhat; the worthy, capable, venerable or perfect man who has reached a very high level of evolution.
“The Fourth Initiation is always a crucifixion, for it seems as if all friends forsake the Initiate for a time, and he stands alone in his grief; but this part of the path is also his glorification—when in the midst of traitors, who twist his every word and distort his every act; when all good things are taken from him, and all his beloved ones desert him; when a shower of abuse descends upon him, and his holiness is despised and rejected; and when he even wavers in his own inner belief in the Love of his Father in Heaven, and seems to be cut off from all Divine Inspiration and comfort—when, in spite of all these tribulations, he still keeps his faith and turns to God, then comes the moment in which he is truly glorified, and the Father stretches out a loving hand which raises up the sufferer and translates him from the path of blindness and despair to that of Sight and Bliss. The agony of the Cross has then become the beatification of the Higher Mind and Soul, and a choir of jubilation resounds and echoes in all the Heavens, for the Initiate has learned to stand apart from all external things and conditions, and he knows triumphantly that he is One with the Logos and that all else is illusion and temptation. The Cross has been conquered and the shining Pathway stretches straight before him and continues for all Eternity, leading from Glory to Glory.
“In the Christian teachings the three first Initiations are symbolised by the Birth, the Baptism, and the Transfiguration; and the ancient Egyptian formula for the Fourth runs: ‘Then shall the candidate be bound upon the wooden cross, he shall die, he shall be buried, and shall descend into the underworld; after the third day he shall be brought back from the dead.’ As the old proverb says: ‘No cross, no crown.’
“The sign of the cross as used in religious services and by individual members is a very powerful form of blessing and gives protection against the dark forces, especially if a strong sense of peace is held in the mind, together with a sincere wish that all the world may share in the benediction.
“The invocation of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, combined with this sign of power, adds to the potency of the sign, which has various aspects as a symbol.
“The active Logos is represented by the Greek cross—that with arms of equal length. The second aspect of the Logos, God the Son, the Second Person of the Blesséd Trinity, is typified by the Latin cross; that with the longer stem. It is used in all benedictions and exorcisms to impress the will of the Priest upon the person or object with which he is dealing. Great power flows through this Sign; it may flow from one Priest to another; or from on High into the Priest himself at certain parts of the Service; or upon a man when he makes the sign upon himself. It helps him to remember that when the Name is invoked no evil shall befall us. In this way it becomes a kind of miniature creed, for as we touch in succession the forehead, the solar plexus, the left shoulder and finally the right shoulder, we remember that Christ came down from the Father to the earth-plane; that He descended from earth to the lower Astral World (the left-hand path), and proceeded from there to the right-hand of the Father in Heaven; there to dwell in glory for ever.