A Pilgrim's Progress (Part IV of a 1980 East Coast Convention Address) William Dunbar Buchan, Hermetician

A Pilgrim's Progress (Part IV of a 1980 East Coast Convention Address) William Dunbar Buchan, Hermetician

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To avoid negative thoughts and feelings, a distinct and intensely pleasurable emotion must be cultivated whenever one succeeds in replacing the detrimental expression of the thought family with one which is both harmonious and constructive; whenever one succeeds in thinking harmoniously about the things represented by the two thought families in their relation to each other; and whenever one succeeds in thinking harmoniously about the department of life over which the thought-compound has influence. The trick is to make artificial associations perform the function of priming the pump, so to speak, for while they provide both pleasant Conditioning energy and pleasant thought-elements, they serve to create the habit of feeling pleasure in the constructive expression of the thought elements, toward the end that they will be so strongly conditioned to feel pleasure when thus expressing, that there will be no need to continue to associate them with the realization of other desires. C.C. Zain observes that when the discordant stellar compound is composed of mental antidotes, it can be effectively changed for the better only by conversion. As far as Mental Antidotes are concerned, we are told that mental antidotes are more easily applied effectively than is the process of conversion, because the family of thoughts that are cultivated to overcome the difficulty is different, and consequently not already associated with discordant Conditioning energy where the special compound to be treated is concerned. As noted, before, each family of thought-elements can express constructively or destructively, and in the application of mental antidotes, no less than in conversion, the thoughts and feelings should be exclusively those of the constructive side of the thought-element's expression. To do the work required of it, the mental antidote must be applied along with an unusual volume and intensity of pleasure, and only thoughts and experiences relating to the proper thought family should be used. Yet one can learn to take a high degree of pleasure in any type· of experience or trend of thinking, we are told, by associating it 14 as intimately as possible in the mind with thoughts of experiences which habitually give much pleasure. Finally, C.C. Zain closes with a list of essentials in applying either conversion or mental antidotes, and reminds us that in either case, the most important thing to be sought is that the individual after a time should be able to think, and without artificial association to. act as priming, the kind of thoughts he has selected to apply, and that they should give rise to feelings well-charged with pleasure. C.C. Zain says that in order that the thought elements thus cultivated and thus charged with harmonious conditioning energy shall reach and enter the compound within the astral body selected for alteration, the Law of Association is employed in three distinct ways:

1) When thoughts come into the objective thinking belonging to the family of thought elements which are dominant in the compound to be changed, the new and selected type of thinking is immediately substituted for them. The selected thinking, substituted for the old, is thus added directly to the dynamic stellar structure requiring change.

2) Whenever thoughts come into the mind relating to the department of life chiefly affected by the compound to be changed, the new and selected thinking should be used. And opportunity should from time to time be cultivated to think of this department of life in association with the new and selected kind of thinking. Thus, will this new thinking be added to the same compartment within the astral body in which the compound requiring change resides.

3) When the attention is attracted to the relation existing between those things in life signified by the· two thought-elements of the compound, or between the departments of life which they chiefly influence, the selected kind of thinking should be associated with these things. This will add the energy and the thought elements of the selected mental activity directly to the compounds the composition of which it is desired to alter.

Thus, we have seen through the experiences of one traveler on the path an adventure in behavior modification. For me, an early life that seemed to be casual and without unity, direction, or purpose was greatly enriched, clarified, and deepened through the study of astrology. Formal instruction in horoscope construction and delineation was followed by much reading, practice, and study. Efforts at self-improvement, very possibly motivated by the get-rich-quick, get-something-for-nothing idea, resulted in the purchase and close perusal of many books. An attempt was made by the author to analyze and synthesize, to get the most usable elements out of each, and to develop a personal occult philosophy of ideas, principles, and beliefs which would make progress along the path a reality. My discussion of early occult experiences began with my study of astrology, ran the gamut from practical self-help books to works on psychic energy, spells. and incantations, and even white magic and forces of nature rituals, but was all over the map psychically, philosophically, and intellectually until I joined the Church of Light and began the systematic and sequential study of the Brotherhood of Light lessons-and coming at last full circle, as a Hermetician I am back where I started once again, with my continuing and ever-rewarding study of astrology.

Astrology, · according to C.C. Zain, is the science of finding and utilizing the natural potentialities as indicated in the planetary chart of birth. It becomes a religion when it shows the individual how these natural tendencies can and should be utilized for the benefit of all mankind and the furtherance of the purpose of Deity.

The Religion of the Stars teaches that every person in the world should have freedom from want, freedom from fear, freedom of expression, and freedom of religion; that to obtain these in proper measure, people must become familiar with the facts of astrology, the facts of extrasensory perception, the facts of induced emotion, and the facts of directed thinking; and that instead of working to grab all he can for himself, each must learn to take pleasure in Contributing His Utmost to Universal Welfare. In the final months of his earthly existence, C.C. Zain wrote the following magnificent passage, currently available as the foreword to the Church of Light Index: "Religion should give instructions in optimum living. Optimum living embraces more than a few hilarious days, a few enjoyable weeks, or a few years of health and material prosperity which are followed by a long period of illness and misery. Optimum living gets the best out of life relative to its entire span. Considering the tremendous accumulation of scientific evidence that life persists after the dissolution of the physical, religion must embrace both life on earth and life beyond the tomb.

For living to best advantage after life on earth is done, man must know as much as possible about the inner-plane realm, about its energies and properties. And it is becoming increasingly evident that for him to live to best advantage while still in the physical form, he must know as much as possible about these inner-plane energies.

University scientists have demonstrated extrasensory perception. Man's soul often acquires information, usually unknown to himself, upon which he acts successfully to adapt himself to future conditions he could not have perceived through his reason arid physical senses. This extrasensory perception, through which all information must be acquired after he loses his physical body, is equally valuable during and after physical life. University scientists have also demonstrated psychokinesis. As man will have no physical muscles, and as objects of the inner plane do not respond to gravitation or physical pressure of any kind; after leaving the physical, to move or build anything, or to go anywhere, man must exercise psychokinesis. While still on earth, he often is able to bring psychokinesis into play to heal the sick and amazingly demonstrate other desirable physical conditions. Because of this, the use of psychokinesis on earth is equally as valuable as its use after earthly life is done. On the inner plane there is no air, no moisture, and no molecular vibrations which constitute heat. Thus, after he leaves the physical, he is not influenced by physical weather. He is influenced markedly by astrological vibrations, which constitute the inner-plane weather. Though he may not be aware of it while on earth, the inner-plane weather has as much or more influence over his life as the outer-plane weather. Therefore, knowledge of how to forecast these astrological conditions and what precautionary actions should be taken relative to them, is equally important to man in the after15 earth life as it is while he still occupies a physical form. · It seems inevitable that The Religion of The Stars shall become the world religion of the future because it includes all significant demonstrated facts of both the outer plane and the inner plane. Not that these are as yet all known, or that we expect a day to come when all of them will be known. But as fast as they are discovered and properly verified, if they are sufficiently important facts, they will be integrated into The Religion of The Stars. Mankind is becoming too well educated to be guided either in religion or in its political view: by blind belief in propaganda. More and more it is demanding demonstrated facts from those who advocate some economic or political system. And in due time it will demand demonstrated facts on which to base its religion. In 210 Brotherhood of Light Lessons the writer has striven to set forth as many such significant outer-plane and inner-plane facts, and the logical inferences to be derived from them, as possible. The writer believes The Religion of The Stars will be the world religion of the future not merely from the facts and logical inferences presented in these 210 Lessons, but because these facts will be supplemented by additional facts as fast as they are discovered and verified. The Religion of The Stars is not a static religion. It will progress as fast as there is progress in demonstrable knowledge. This writer is not so foolish (as) to believe that what has already been published in the 210 Brotherhood of Light Lessons is the last word, or that no errors have been made in them, or that new, demonstrated facts may not make necessary some revision of the ideas there presented. He all too well remembers that when he went to college, the atom of each of the many chemical elements was indivisible, unchangeable, and indestructible. Einstein had not yet published his Theory of Relativity. And four things, which since his youth have so, greatly changed civilization, yet had no' existence: automobiles, airplanes, the cinema, and the radio. While he is still on this earth, he will do all in his power to acquire new significant facts and revise the Brotherhood of Light Lessons ·to include them. When he has passed to the next plane undoubtedly new significant facts will be discovered that should be included in The Religion of The Stars. However, as orthodoxy will certainly try to get sufficient control to slant them into conformity with orthodox opinion, he. 'Believes the. Brotherhood of Light Lessons as he leaves them should remain unchanged. It would be unethical for someone to insert opinions or discoveries in these lessons and not take both the credit-and the blame for them. The writer does not want the credit for the ideas or the errors of some other person. He asks that the printed pages of each lesson be left as he has last revised it. However, in reprinting, it is easy to increase any lesson to 36 or 40, or any multiple of four pages. He suggests, therefore, that any errors he has made, or new discoveries, or logical opinions derived from these discoveries, be set forth and elaborated in an appendix following the 32 pages of the lesson which it is thought should be thus amended. Before this is done the writer of the appendix should submit what he has thus written to The Church of Light Board of Directors and secure their approval. And his name should appear in the appendix as the author of such commentary. The author of the 210 Brotherhood of Light Lessons desires that they be permanently retained as the Stellarian Beliefs as he has written them up to the date of his physical demise, and that subsequent amendments should be credited to the persons who make them.'' The foregoing passage is testimony to the fad that The Church of Light is a dynamic, modern religion, unlike any other, truly in touch with the times, and, because it is the only religion of, which this speaker has knowledge based solely upon demonstrable fact, we believe The Church of Light is certainly what C. C. Zain calls, The World Religion of The Future. Because of the widely. scattered nature of the membership, it is sometimes very difficult to comprehend the intensity and accomplishment and depth of our organization's followers, or how strong and persuasive and convincing our ranks really are, because except for our large metropolitan areas, we are ones and twos, threes, and fives, sprinkled largely across the landscapes of the United States, Canada, Mexico, England, Australia, Nigeria, and many other countries of the Free World. Only at a convention or gathering such as this do we glimpse the tremendous untapped potential and the breadth and diversity of human resources and talent inherent in our own East Coast Region, not to mention the Church of Light as a whole. I am reminded of the rare and beautiful atmosphere of togetherness, unity of purpose, fellowship, mutual respect, and understanding which literally permeated last year's East Coast Convention in Albany, and I like to think we are as eagles, few, but proud, mighty, and ever vigilant. It is our responsibility, however, to enlarge our numbers, to spread the Light, so to speak, if we intend to ensure the continuity of the Religion of The. Stars as a viable force in a troubled world. Once again, the prolific writings of Elbert Benjamine, our own C.C. Zain, provide not only the reasons for furthering the Religion of The Stars, but also the methodology. In an article entitled "Elbert Benjamine’s Answer" in a Church of Light Quarterly of long ago, when an earnest neophyte asked our Founder how he could help spread the Light, Elbert Benjamine answered: By prayer; By attending Church of Light classes, or by home study becoming a student Hermetitician; and through the knowledge so gained making new stellarians. By telling others of the benefits to' be derived from attending these classes, and studying the Brotherhood of Light Lessons; By explaining to others the nature of the foundation and four pillars of The Religion of The Stars, and why they must support the new civilization; By distributing Church of Light literature among your acquaintances; By placing the Church of Light on your tithing account; and By remembering The Church of Light with a bequest in a Last Will and Testament. And, just as C. C. Zain often wrote of the need to concern one's self with the outer-plane physical environment equally as much as with the inner-plane spiritual one, we need to provide the physical building blocks- money, advancement in The Brotherhood Of Light courses and passing the spoken or written word-with enthusiasm-to friends and associates about The Religion of The Stars in order that its ranks may multiply and its spiritual benefits be brought to great numbers of people the world over. We have already discussed some of the benefits of active membership in The Church of Light for the individual member, but acceptance, understanding, and practice of the Nine-Point Principle of The Church of Light and the teachings outlined within the 21 volumes of the Brotherhood of Light courses by people on every part of the globe, in the opinion of this speaker, holds the greatest chance possible for world peace, harmony, and Universal Welfare. oorooooorooooooooooooooooooorooooooooooooooooororooooooorooooooooooooooororooooo SPIRITUAL maturity comes only through individual effort. NO ONE can grant spirituality as a gift. Every effort we make to improve ourselves, to refine our emotions, to live with a feeling of kindliness to all living things, are steps building our effort toward spirituality. The Maturity comes when we. hold our dominant vibratory rate at spiritual levels without difficulty. ***** TO strongly suggest steadfastness, tolerance, discipline, and self-sacrifice is not too popular with people in general. In our modern social trends, going with the general mores is much more appealing. It is the relatively few that desire to change themselves and then their world. The general trend is a preference to change the world to our pleasures. - H.S.D. Starnaman oooorooooooororooooororooorororooooorooorororooorooooorooorooorororororooorororo

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