AN ESOTERIC CATECHISM !
The following are some words from Archive XIII of the Masters' Records, 
that carry with them a message for the struggler on the Way. They are 
somewhat on the line of an old catechism, and used to be recited by the 
participants in the lesser mysteries before they passed on into the greater.

1. What seest thou, O Pilgrim? Lift up thine eyes and tell what thou beholdest. I see a ladder, mounting within the vault of blue, its feet lost sight of in the mists and fogs that circle round our planet. 2. Where standest thou, O Pilgrim? On what are placed thy feet? I stand upon a portion of the ladder, the fourth division well nigh mounted; its latter part stretches before me into the darkness of a stormy night. Beyond that sphere of utter gloom I see the ladder rise again, radiant and glowing in its fifth division. 3. What marks those portions which you thus describe as separated from another part? Do not all form but one completed ladder of clearly marked proportions Always a gap appeareth to the eye, which (when approached more closely) resolveth then itself into a Cross, by which one mounteth to the next division. 4. What causeth then the Cross? How mount you by its aid? The Cross is formed by aspirations, instilled by Godlike urge, which cut athwart the lower world desires, implanted by the life developed from below. 5. Explain more clearly what you mean, and how that Cross becomes the Way. The arms that form the Cross become the great dividing line, placed twixt the lower and the higher. Upon those arms the hands are nailed,—the hands that grasp and hold, ministering to the lower needs, trained thus through many aeons. Lo, when the hands are helpless held, and cannot grasp and hold, the inner life slips from its sheath, mounting the limb upright. It passeth from the lower fourth, and the Cross doth bridge the gap. 6. Pass they with ease that mount that limb, and leave the fourth behind? They pass through tears, through clouds and mists they suffer and they die. They bid adieu to all earth's friends; they mount the way alone they bridge the gap with loving deeds done in the pain of living; they lift one hand aloft to Him who standeth just above; they lean one downward to the man who standeth next below. The hands, freed from the transverse arms, are freed but to be held. Only the empty nail-marked hands can keep the chain complete. 7. Where ends the ladder's length? What point of gloom is pierced by it and where projects its end? It cuts the crystallising sphere with all its myriad forms; it pierces through the watery plane, washed by the swirling tides; it passes through the nethermost hell, down into densest maya, and ends within the latent fire, the molten lake of fiercest burning, touching the denizens of fire, the Agnichaitans of the scarlet heat. 8. Where mounts the ladder's length? Where is its consummation? It mounteth through the radiant spheres, through all their six divisions. It riseth to the mighty Seat within the final fifth, and passeth from that mighty Seat to yet another greater. 9. Who sits upon that mighty Seat within the final fifth? He with the Name we mention not, save in utter adoration; the Youth of Endless Summers, the Light of Life itself, the Wondrous One, the Ancient One, Lord of Venusian Love, the great Kumara with the Flaming Sword, the peace of all the Earth. 10. Sits He alone, this Wondrous One, upon His sapphire throne? He sits alone, yet close upon the rainbow steps there stand three other Lords, garnering the product of Their work and sacrificing all Their gain to aid the Lord of Love. 11. Are They assisted in Their work? Do other Ones of greater powers than ours stand too upon the ladder? These mighty Four, Action and Love, in wise co-operation work with Their brothers of a lesser grade, the three Great Lords We know. 12. Who aid these mighty Lords Who carry on Their work, linking the lower with the higher? The Brothers of Logoic Love in all Their many grades. They stay within the final fifth till it absorbeth all the fourth. 13. Where mounts the ladder then? To the greatest Lord of all, before Whom e'en that Ancient One bends in obeisance low; before Whose throne of effulgent light Angels of highest rank, Masters and Lords of uttermost compassion, prostrate Themselves and humbly bend, awaiting the Word to rise. 14. When sounds that Word and what transpires when it echoes through the spheres? That Word sounds not till all is done, until the Lord of endless love deemeth the work correct. He uttereth then a lesser Word that vibrateth through the scheme. The greater Lord of cosmic Love, hearing the circling sound, addeth completion to the chord, and breatheth forth the whole. 15. What will be seen, O Pilgrim on the Way, when sounds that final chord? The music of the endless spheres, the merging of the seven; the end of tears, of sin, of strife, the shattering of forms; the finish of the ladder, the blending in the All, completion of the circling spheres and their entry into peace. 16. What part, O Pilgrim on the Way. play you within this scheme? How will you enter into peace? How stand before your Lord? I play my part with stern resolve, with earnest aspiration; I look above, I help below; I dream not, nor I rest; I toil; I serve; I reap; I pray; I am the Cross; I am the Way; I tread upon the work I do; I mount upon my slain self; I kill desire, and I strive, forgetting all reward. I forego peace; I forfeit rest, and in the stress of pain I lose myself and find Myself and enter into peace.

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