Joseph J. Weed
Recently the newspapers carried a story about a group of Hebrew scholars who had been studying the Ten Commandments of Moses and who had suggested certain changes in the presently accepted translations. Apparently, they had been troubled by the generally accepted interpretation of the Third Commandment and its translation as "Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord, thy God, in vain." The present understanding of this Commandment is that it is a warning against the use of profanity, of using the Name of the Lord to curse men, objects or circumstances, or to use it as a general expletive.
These scholars are of the opinion that profanity as we know it today did not then exist, but that people were wont to use the name of God when they wished to convince another of their sincerity. They would say, "I Swear by the name of God that this is true", or make some such statement and in fact we do the same thing today. Since in their readings of the original Masoretic texts, the meaning is not too clearly defined, these scholars of the Hebrew Union College and other Rabbinical Schools felt that their new interpretation was preferable and more likely to be accurate.
The original text, or as near to the original as can be found today, seems to warn against calling upon the Lord to participate in or assist in an unworthy or shallow purpose. When it was given, this warning apparently was clearly understood but today its full import is lost because times have changed and the abilities of men have altered.
At one time, long ago, most educated and trained men knew the secret of the control of material things by the mind. Sometimes for large projects an intermediary, such as sound, was introduced but seldom was any physical action required to accomplish the desired objective. Today, of course, physical action is necessary for material control, except in rare cases. However, there are many who carry in their consciousness a memory trace of this long-lost talent and endeavor, with varying degrees of success, to employ it. In fact, most successful men believe they have guided their destinies through thought.
At the time the Commandments were originally given, man had all but lost this ability due chiefly to his unwillingness, or inability, to exert himself to the necessary point of concentration. As a means to focus attention and aid in directing thought, certain short sentences and mantrams were used. These frequently included the name of the Lord. They were not prayers in the present day sense, although probably some of our modern ideas of prayer have come from them. They were rather requests for assistance from a powerful friend, assistance to accomplish a certain material objective which might very well be achieved without His assistance, but more quickly and easily with it. There was a knowledge and a confidence and a sureness of success which is today lacking in our attitude during prayer, a big difference.
Apparently, in his increasing laziness and inertia, man began to use his great mental ability for trivial objectives. This is what Moses, in His wisdom, warned against in the Third Commandment when He said, "Do not take the name of the Lord in vain." But now the time is rapidly approaching when men can and should reclaim this mental power which has been lost and forgotten for so many centuries. When God created humankind, he gave man dominion over this planet and at one time man, through his mind, exercised a much greater control of the material world than all modern science gives him today. Our science has become too complex and more simple controls must be sought. This simplicity lies in the use of nature's tools, the greatest of which is the human mind.
We, as Rosicrucians, are being instructed in the use of the mind. Many exercises and experiments in our monographs are designed to teach us mind control, but no one exercise can compare in effectiveness with the practice of daily meditation.
All mystical and esoteric teachings indicate the need for meditation on the part of the aspirant if he wishes to advance on the path of spiritual development. Our teaching puts considerable stress on the importance of regularity in all things, on the need to develop habitual rhythms in one's life, and recommends that daily meditation be included.
In spite of the great amount of written material on meditation which is presently available, and in the light of the many techniques that have been offered by competent Teachers, it is surprising that so few people really understand the meditative process or practice it properly. There are two general types of meditation. They may be described as passive meditation and active meditation.
Active meditation has three stages, each progressively higher and more difficult. These may be defined as:
All of us are being taught daily to react and respond to the impacts of energy. Gradually an awareness of energy as a cause of physical effects comes to us and we begin to see the true causes of the events that take place in our everyday lives. This is the beginning of a sensitivity which can be developed within us if we are conscious of it and work at learning about it. And once awareness comes, then training in the conscious manipulation of these energies, psychic energies, can be begun, a sense of psychic direction developed and successful creative effort accomplished. Creative workers in Hierarchy perform all three of these tasks simultaneously and proceed onward to higher forms of meditation.
But we must first learn these forms one by one, step by step. First to concentrate, then to visualize and finally to direct. This is the pattern for meditation. When we learn it and begin to achieve a skill in its practice, success will come and we may then qualify as an active co-worker with Hierarchy.
Joseph J. Weed
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A Rosicrucian Speaks
Joseph J. Weed
Copyright, The Chatsworth Press
Last Modified: January 19, 2014