As I write this it is now late July and we are moving into that time of the year which seems largely influenced by the fiery energies of the Sun. Indeed from one point of view we are moving into the season ruled by the Lion, a time to reflect on all of the first Ray attributes and qualities Strength, Power, Will, Perseverance, Steadfastness.
A life inspired and motivated by the ideal of Spiritual stability is a life built upon the firm bedrock of a solid character. It is said that in a particular Mystery School one of the words of power given to aspirants at a certain level was "Constancy". Sadly, in an age of "quick fixes" and "instant answers", there is the tendency is to look for solutions via a click of a mouse. Fewer and fewer people wish to commit themselves to the discipline required to develop that Constancy of Character. Many start on the Searchers Path and are initially attracted to the tantalizing thought of self discovery or realization. However they bring with them little or no attentiveness and even less willingness to "pay the price". Remember the parable of the Sower: the seed which fell upon stony ground sprang up for a while but quickly withered and died.
Dr. Annie Besant, in her wonderful book In The Outer Court says that the person who wishes to build character will begin with right thought. She says such a person must strive to understand the nature of thought and its power to create. Dr. Besant quotes from the Upanishads "Man is a creature of reflection, what he reflects upon he becomes."
The same words are mirrored (forgive the pun) in 2Cor 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Our first Regionary Bishop Irving S Cooper wrote in his book The Secret of Happiness: "It is a great privilege to think strong, beautiful and helpful thoughts; and when we deliberately practice the sending of thoughts along useful channels for the helping of others, we actually create a host of winged messengers which speed to those about whom we are thinking and encourage or comfort according to the nature of the thoughts that gave them birth."
Some symbolic depictions of the quality or aspect of STRENGTH show a woman clothed in white subduing, controlling or guiding a Lion. She holds the lion by its jaws. This symbol of Strength would represent the Higher Self as the guiding influence over the Life Force symbolized by the Lion. It is not much of a stretch to realize the beginning of that kind of spiritual strength also involves control of speech (the jaws). The picture is one of great strength but at the same time a quiet gentleness!
In my travels around our Province I find a level of steadfast faithfulness evidenced by enthusiasm and hopeful optimism within the hearts and lives of our people. In recent months I have traveled to Northern California, Chicago IL, Dubuque IA, and New York City and have been happy to meet in fellowship with friends in each place. In the next few months I will be in Michigan and St Louis MO. I hope to see as many as can come to the Provincial Assembly in October in Rio Rancho, NM.
Finally please join me by following the words of advice given by St Paul to the Phillipians " whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Blessings to All.
The Right Reverend William S.H. Downey
Regionary Bishop for the USA
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