Tuesday, October 16, 2018

SFTS Lodge Heritage: Clear Light Invocation


"The Clear Light is the source of light hat ligheth everyone of humankind that cometh into the world.
It is the radiance of Cosmic Consciousness. 
Yogins realize it while still in the fleshly body
And all humans glimpse it at the moment of death. 
It is the light of the Buddha, the Christ and all Masters of Life. 
And to the devotee in whom it shines unimpededly, it is the Guru and the Deliverer."

The Theosophical Society Lodge of San Francisco has a deep, rich heritage stretching back to 1901.

Among the many mystical treasures that have been swept up into the Lodge's ongoing narrative are two powerful invocations, the First Ray and the Clear Light. Every Friday night meeting opens with one or the other. Each has a story that flows along with it into the future.

Both of these stories are told in Richard Power's Great Song: Life and Teachings of Joe Miller.

The Clear Light came to us from Dr. W.Y. Evans-Wentz through Joe Miller.

The great scholar-mystic was an important influence on Joe.

In the oral history included in Great Song, Joe tells both the story of their friendship and the origins of the Clear Light as it is uttered at the SFTS Lodge to this day:
  • "In the late 1950s, Joe wrote an essay on the Clear Light, which Evans-Wentz edited for him Although the short piece was never published, it gave Joe an opportunity to formulate some ideas. In his edit, Evans-Wentz struck a paragraph of Joe's and contributed one of his own as a substitute. Evans-Wentz's contribution was one of Joe's treasures, and he recited it at the conclusion of his Lenten readings of the Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation:  The Clear Light is the source of light that ligheth everyone of humankind that cometh into the world. It is the radiance of Cosmic Consciousness. Yogins realize it while still in the fleshly bodyAnd all humans glimpse it at the moment of death. It is the light of the Buddha, the Christ and all Masters of Life. And to the devotee in whom it shines unimpededly, it is the Guru and the Deliverer." (Great Song, pp. 226-227.)


SFTS Lodge Heritage: First Ray Invocation


May the Holy Ones show us the Light we seek
And give us the strong aid of their Compassion and their Wisdom
There is a Peace that Passeth All Understanding 
It abides in the hearts of those who live in the Eternal
There is a Power that maketh all things new
And it lives and moves in those who know the Self as One
May that Peace brood over us, and that Power uplift us
Until we stand where the One Initiator is invoked
Until we see that star shine forth

The Theosophical Society Lodge of San Francisco has a deep, rich heritage stretching back to 1901.

Among the many mystical treasures that have been swept up into the Lodge's ongoing narrative are two powerful invocations, the First Ray and the Clear Light. Every Friday night meeting opens with one or the other. Each has a story that flows along with it into the future.

Both stories are told in Richard Power's Great Song: Life and Teachings of Joe Miller.

The First Ray came to us from Annie Besant through Joe Miller.

Besant and Miller had a brief but profound encounter early in Miller's life. In the oral history included in Great Song, Joe tells the story of his meeting with Annie and all that came from it.

He also recounts the origins of the First Ray as it is uttered at the SFTS Lodge to this day:
  • "Now in the LLC (Liberal Catholic Church), just as in the Roman Catholic Church, women couldn't be inside the sanctuary while a service was underway. So when they called Annie Besant in for the snapper, she just walked up in front of the rail to read this First Ray Invocation: May the Holy Ones show us the Light we seek. And give us the strong aid of their Compassion and their Wisdom. There is a Peace that Passeth All Understanding. It abides in the hearts of those who live in the Eternal. There is a Power that maketh all things new, and it lives and moves in those who know the Self as One. May that Peace brood over us, and that Power uplift us. Until we stand where the One Initiator is invoked. Until we see that star shine forth. I said, 'Wow, I gotta learn this!' And I did. But, in those days, no one was supposed to use it unless they were a priest in the LCC. Well, naturally, when I heard that I knew immediately I was going to learn it and use it. There was another line that I dropped. I didn't like the feel of it. It sounded like you should grovel. It seemed a bit slavish to me, so I just cut it out. It went, 'May the Holy Ones, whose disciples we aspire to be …' I just figure that if the desire is there, the aspiration, then you're IN, and there's no audition." (Great Song, p. 155.)


Thursday, October 4, 2018

Dharma Message October 2018: "I define the soul as ..."

 

Annie Besant, circa 1880s



"I define the Soul as that which individualises the Universal Spirit, which focuses the Universal Light into a single point; which is, as it were, a receptacle into which is poured the Spirit; so that that which in Itself is universal, poured into this receptacle appears as separate, identical in its essence always but separated now in its manifestation; the purpose of this separation being that an individual may develop and grow; that there may be an individualised life potent on every plane in the Universe; that it may know on the physical and on the psychical planes as it knows on the spiritual, and have no break in consciousness of any kind ; that it may make for itself the vehicles that it needs for acquiring consciousness beyond its own plane, and then may gradually purify them one by one until they no longer act as blinds or as hindrances, but as pure and translucent media through which all knowledge on every plane may come." -- Annie Besant, In the Outer Court (1898)