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What is a temple service?

The pupils of the Spiritual School of the Rosycross regularly attend temple services. Temple services are the instrument by which the powerfield is vivified again and again -- and through which it works. If a pupil participates in a temple service, he is a fellow builder of the powerfield of the Spiritual School, and at the same time, he strengthens the effect of this powerfield.

The outer temple as a symbol

Why do we speak about a «temple service»? Is it because the pupil can be found in a stone temple? And what does such a service consist of? The outer temple is merely the symbol of the inner temple, which has to be created in every pupil, in the whole group and, one day, in the whole of humanity. This is the reason that a cross with an open rose is hanging in the consecrated temples, to depict the state of being of the pupil who has reached the end of his path. This is why the caduceus with its two serpents, symbolising the path of the seekers and the pupils, as well as that of the whole of humanity, is hanging in the temples of all the main conference centres. This is why a fountain, symbolising the flowing water of the new soul, can be found in the centre of the temple. Every temple also has a seven-branched candelabrum as a symbol of the new consciousness, ignited in the Seven-Spirit, and an open Bible, which symbolises the divine word that must be realised in every human being.

The threefold service

Hence, «Temple service» means that all participants in the temple of the Spirit serve the new human being that must develop in them. They serve the temple of the Spirit in three respects. Firstly, they serve the changed individual microcosm in which the other one, the spirit human being, can become active. Secondly, they serve the community, the living body of the Spiritual School, in which the Spirit becomes active. And thirdly, in the long run, they serve the great organism of humanity, in which Christ will live. All three aspects are inextricably linked. Each individual pupil is a living cell in the living body of the School. When, during a temple service, the pupil serves the temple of his own microcosm, he serves at the same time the temple of the living body and the temple of the organism of humanity, because everything that occurs in a cell is passed on to the whole organism. When a cell changes, the living body of the Spiritual School and a part of the organism of humanity also change. If the living body changes, the individual cells change as well. One for all, all for one. If a cell works with gnostic forces, they are assimilated and passed on to the entire living body.

Service not for the I

Thus, a «Temple service» does not mean that the pupil assimilates new knowledge in the outer temple with his I-centred intellect, so that he can pass it on with his will. A «Temple service» does not mean that the pupil receives beautiful impressions of surrender and joy with his I-centred feelings so that he can pass them on to others through his will. This would not be a service in the temple of the living body and of humanity, but rather a service for the I.

So, what does «Temple service» really mean? It means keeping the heart free from I-centred emotions, becoming silent and assimilating the powers of the Gnosis in the heart. It means keeping the head free from all images and convictions that are focused on the I and allowing the universal teachings to enter our thinking. Then the power of the universal teachings will dwell in the heart and the head and turn the pupil into a temple. Then the pupil serves in his own inner temple. And then the teachings and the power will, without the interference of the pupil, radiate and work in the living body. They will build the temple from below upward and work in the temple of the group. In the long run, they will also build the temple of humanity and work in it, because in the Christ power all people are linked.

New function of thought, feeling and will

Should our thoughts, feelings and will be silent during the temple service? No, on the contrary. The I-centrality of our thoughts, feelings and will should be silent. This concerns the inclination of our mind to maintain its current convictions, the inclination of our feeling to maintain itself in pleasant events and the inclination of our will to change the world in its own specific way. When the heart and head open to the Gnosis and the will is neutralised, when all I-centred inclinations are silenced, then our thoughts, feelings and will become vessels for new insights, powers and vital energies. Then they allow the Gnosis to work for the microcosmic temple, the temple of the living body and the temple of humanity, in a gnostic way, and they consciously participate in it, as servants. In this way, the pupil is a servant of the teachings during the temple service, and the power of the Gnosis works in and through him for the benefit of others. He is like a relay station. He spreads the universal teachings as a power in the living body and, through the living body, to humanity. Then the Gnosis works through him in the way the Gnosis wills and not as the pupil wills.

A single person -- Jesus, the Buddha and others -- can cause a tremendous effect, once he has become a very conscious instrument of the Gnosis. The Spiritual School of the Rosycross can be compared to such an influential human being. Through it, the universal teachings and the power of the Gnosis flow into humanity. Through it, humanity experiences, directly or indirectly, the reality of a divine world, the reality of fallen dialectics, the human being as a microcosm, the spirit-spark in the microcosm, the path of the spirit-spark from imprisonment in matter to freedom in the kingdom of the Spirit. Through it, humanity experiences the many intentional and unintentional mutilations of the Gnosis that have occurred throughout history. And the seekers can look forward, they can choose. They can find the path.

Every pupil living in the Gnosis, cooperates in the living body of the Spiritual School, which is an instrument of the truth. It comes into this world «to seek and bless what has been lost». This is a temple service, a service to the temple for the benefit of the other one, the Christ in the living body of the Spiritual School and service to the Christ in the temple of humanity.

Source: Rosicrucians through the ages, Rozekruis Pers, 2005

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Hear the Bird Sing

God is the dancer
creation the dance
Be silent and contemplate the dance
Just look …
a star, a flower, a leaf, a bird, a stone
Look, listen, touch, taste, smell …
it won’t be long before you meet
the dancer in the dance.

The disciple was always complaining to his Master,
“You are hiding the final secret of Zen from me.”
And he would not accept the Master’s denials.

One day they were walking in the hills
when they heard a bird sing.
“Did you hear that bird sing?”
said the Master.
“Yes,” said the disciple.
“Well, now you know that I have hidden nothing from you.”
“Yes.”

–  Anthony de Mello, The Song of the Bird 

 

God is everywhere

God is everywhere-
In all things;
And in nothing.
God is in trees and seas;
In birds and in beasts,
In the soil under my feet;
And in my soul.
Why am I wandering from
Temple to temple
Looking for God?
When I stop searching I realise
That God is in me
And I am in God.

Kabir