Joseph J. Weed
One sunny summer afternoon about a hundred years ago, a young peasant girl walked slowly along the bank of the River Gave de Pau where it flows through southwestern France at the foot of the Pyrenees. The air was warm and mild with the sweetness of new grass and clover, the birds sang and the tree locusts buzzed their song of contentment. Yet the young girl seemed unaware of the beauty around her as she walked with hesitant steps and downcast eves, thoughtful, as if intent on some inner problem. For she was indeed caught up in a reverie of recollection as she relived over again the experience which had just been hers.
Not far from the river there was a cave, a sort of grotto with a spring and a small pool, which she had visited more than once. She liked this place. It was quiet and peaceful and the little spring made a soothing sound as it trickled over the rocks and dripped into the pool. But more than this, the place made her feel good. It was not something she could define. It was just that a definite sense of well-being pervaded her when she sat there. Always before it had been pleasant and peaceful, nothing more, but today something unusual had occurred, something amazing! For as she sat there, as she had so often in the past, the whole grotto seemed to glow with a golden light. This was no light of the sun from outside, but the very air in the grotto seemed to become luminous. And with this change she felt an exhilaration, a sense of excitement and expectancy.
She had not long to wait. Before her eyes the luminosity seemed to increase, to become brighter and more intense. A form seemed to shape itself in the light and a most beautiful Being gradually came into view before her. This Being seemed to be made of light with long luminous hair and softly flowing luminous garments. The face was of unearthly beauty and it shone like the sun. The long hair and flowing garments suggested femininity. Surely this must be the Holy Mother Herself.
As this thought came to the young girl, the Beautiful Being smiled and pointed to the pool. The inference was obvious. The girl stretched out her hand and dipped it into the water. It was cool but it made her tingle all over. Then another amazing thing occurred. The open sore on her finger, where she had cut it three days before, healed right before her eyes, healed without a mark or a scar! This was a miracle! Now there was no longer any doubt in her mind. This was the Blessed Mother, Herself.
As she walked back to her home, little Bernadette Soubirous was trying to decide if she should tell what had occurred to her and if she did, what she should say. Finally, in spite of the healed finger and the sense of exhalation, she decided to say nothing. And this time, she said nothing. But this experience was repeated and finally Bernadette told her story. Her story was not quite the way it had happened, for who could tell of the amazing exhilaration or describe the Divine Creature. But she told it as best she could within the limits of her education and her understanding. She told how the Divine Mother had appeared to her and had healed her finger by means of the miraculous water that flowed from a rock in the grotto on the left bank of the Gave. Authorities checked and found the waters had the capacity to heal not only Bernadette but others and so the spot became a shrine, the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes.
I tell you this because Lourdes is one of the best known of the Sacred Places. It matters not whether Bernadette actually saw Mary, the Divine Mother, or whether she saw the Deva guardian of the grotto, or whether this appearance was just a figment of her imagination. This part is not important. What is important is that since that day several million, I repeat, several million people have experienced help and cure by drinking or bathing in Lourdes water. Every year since 1858, when Bernadette first revealed her experience in the grotto, about 600,000 pilgrims a year have visited this Shrine. Among this number there are each year a certain number of complete cures and a certain number, which while not cured, are greatly helped. Before 1900 there were often as many as 20,000 authenticated cures a year, plus many thousands more who were definitely helped. But in recent years the potency of the waters has dwindled and today cures are rare, possibly not more than 50 to 100 per year. Even one cure is miracle enough, but the dwindling power of the waters should give rise to thought.
There are many such places in the world. Some are recognized and some not. In Catholic countries they are usually shrines dedicated to the Virgin Mary. In Quebec we have the Shrine of St. Anne de Beaupre, in Mexico City the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadeloupe, in New Jersey the Shrine of the Little Flower, to mention a few, and of course there are many others in all parts of the world, France, Italy, England, India, China, nearly everywhere.
Our late Imperator, Dr. H. Spencer Lewis, referred to these spots as magnetic centers and described them as having varying degrees of potency. Some are quite weak and can be discerned only by means of sensitive instruments, but they appear to manifest in almost every gradation of power and vitality right on up to a center like Lourdes that cures millions.
Now let us see if we can find a scientific explanation for these phenomena, an explanation acceptable to Rosicrucians. For much of the information we will have to go back to the early writings and statements of Dr. Lewis. He said that the simplest form of magnetic center in the earth's surface was usually caused by the flow of water. Water makes a friction as it flows through the earth and this creates a magnetic or electrical current. At a point where two or three underground streams cross, a magnetic center is formed by the different directions of the electrical flow. Large and powerful streams will create a strong current and a fairly significant magnetic center, small streams create only a weak center or no noticeable magnetic influence.
As you are aware, magnetic centers of this type are purely physical manifestations caused by physical means. Today we have sensitive meters which can detect their location but in years gone by, they were discovered by a practice called "dowsing". A man who was an accomplished "dowser", usually someone with a strongly magnetic aura, would take a forked birch-stick and taking hold of the two arms of the Y in his hands, would walk along with the end of the stick held loosely out in front of him. When he passed over a magnetic area, the end of the stick would have a tendency to pull down toward the ground. This technique was employed to find water. When a hole was dug beneath the place where the stick bobbed downward, water was almost invariably discovered in ample quantity.
While useful to indicate the location of underground water, these weak magnetic centers have very little other value. Certainly there is not enough energy in them to affect a human organism in anyway, either to help or to hurt. But there are other and more powerful magnetic centers which are the result in some cases of emotional force and in the most powerful, the result of psychic energy.
The centers which have been created by powerful concentrations of emotional force are fortunately not very numerous. For in the main these centers radiate an unhealthy and sometimes harmful influence. Some of these emotional whirlpools are created by the powerful emotions of one person which appear to stamp themselves into a certain location and persist for years, sometimes centuries. The so-called haunted houses are usually the result of the fear, the anguish or the hate which some strong personality experienced in that spot. The powerful emotions released there out picture themselves over and over again in the ether and sometimes in the physical atmosphere in the very location where they were originally experienced. Of course, where groups have gathered to plan some deed of hate or revenge, the influence is greater and persists longer. Sometimes vegetation will not even grow in the area. But this subject of the emotional poisons generated by men and their effect upon our planet is a vast subject and not a particularly pleasant one. So for the present, we will just observe that there are such things as harmful magnetic centers and that fortunately their force or power is diluted by the merciful protection of our Heavenly Mother, the Mother of the World.
The most powerful magnetic centers are centers of psychic force or physical areas endowed by great psychic energy. A few of these were created consciously and for a purpose by a super Being, by a great Avatar or Saint, or by an Extraplanetary Being come here to help humanity. But most often these beneficent centers are the work of people like ourselves. What think you is the basic reason for a church? Surely, it is not to give certain clergy a rich and easy life, as some think. Nor is it just to remind people to pray, although some need this often enough. Why do we gather together in rallies ? Is it solely for our personal benefit ? What does the ritual mean when it says, "We come to this sacred place, made sacred by our thoughts and by our conduct ?" What did Christ mean when He said "Where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there I am in the midst of them."? Is it not clear that pure thoughts, high motives and a desire to serve on the part of a group meeting together form a magnetic center of psychic energy which persists even after the group has disbanded. These centers radiate outward the psychic energy with which they are endowed and this energy tends to absorb and counteract the putrefaction and decay caused by men's evil thoughts, desires and actions.
One wonders sometimes at the locations some Rosicrucian Lodges and Chapters have found for themselves. Economic conditions seem to dictate in most cases for no Lodge or Chapter could be called rich. But is this the whole story ? It is not possible that Chapters and Lodges have a tendency to locate in an area where their influence is most greatly needed ? For a Rosicrucian meeting does generate a good influence. True, this is not always as powerful as it might be with occasionally only twenty or thirty in attendance and quite a variety of mixed emotions and thoughts. But underneath, there is, I know, a desire to serve in every heart. This draws psychic energy like a magnet and focusses it onto the Altar from where it passes into the Skekinah and is distributed outward. The work of counteracting and absorbing the psychic refuse caused by low thoughts and evil desires will, in a day or two, consume the higher energy provided by the unselfish hearts of those who met in convocation, and by the time a week has passed another meeting is necessary.
If this is not the work of God, what is? If this is not serving Hierarchy, this counteracting and removing pollution from the earth's atmosphere, what better way is open to us ? Is this not a privilege to be a co-worker with Hierarchy ? Yes, Fraters and Sorors, it is a privilege, a rare privilege. And if we know what we are doing, if we consciously strive to radiate love and peace as we sit in meditation, then our efforts will be even more effective. The Great Being who endowed Lourdes was so powerful that the psychic energy released there has absorbed the pollution and corrected the imbalance in millions, and has lasted over 100 years. But even this great endowment has dissipated itself over the years and if not renewed or recharged, the magnetic influence will eventually disappear entirely.
We are learning to deal with energy and force. Psychic energy is higher than mental and emotional and physical energy. Because of this, it can absorb, nullify and control the energies which are lower than it in the scale. But in doing so, it in turn is absorbed or neutralized. We need to renew our own psychic energy each day, just as we need to eat and to breathe. Thus, we should spend some time each day in meditation and quiet. Not long --- fifteen to thirty minutes is ample. Better short and dynamic than long and dreamy. If we do this each day, we will eventually become a radiating center of psychic energy, just as a dedicated group, meeting and meditating together, becomes a radiating center of beneficent and helpful energies. By thoughtful dedicated attendance at convocations, we can do our part, and more, to change the balance of the world from evil to good. In the thick of the battle, victory is to see, but we are nearer success than anyone of us imagines.
There, Fraters and Sorors, is the great challenge before us. We, who know, must ever each day renew our own strength, and in convocation with our brothers, recharge at regular intervals the magnetic centers we have created. Thus, we may serve. Thus, we contribute our share to the building of the new age. Thus, we cooperate with Hierarchy and help to fulfill the plan of God. Thus, we earn the right to be called "co-worker."
Joseph J. Weed
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A Rosicrucian Speaks
Joseph J. Weed
Copyright: The Chatsworth Press
Last Modified on: January 19, 2014