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The evolutionary path from God to atom and back to God proceeds on a downward arc of differentiation, through an upward arc of unification, leading to a conscious return to the Godhead. In the complete cycle, some degree of self-consciousness is gained by the traveler on the path. All things and beings are on this evolutionary path; all are a part of God. Those entities which have been on this path longest have a greater awareness of their unity with God. Necessarily, there must be a point on this path where the return wave to the Godhead begins for each evolving unit, and the humanity of this cycle of manifestation on earth has been passing this nadir during our present centuries.
All progress on this return path is marked by what may be called organization. The animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms of nature are meticulous evidence of response to laws of organization. Our own awareness of life has extended from ourselves to our families, our race, and our nation — each a kind of organization. The strength derived from this extension of common bonds is reflected in guilds, college associations, labor unions, professional associations, political and religious affiliations. All of these recognize the possibilities of achievement for a group when the individual interests are aligned with the well-being of the group. Long ago, the Master indicated the mystical power to be attained “where two or three are gathered in my name.” The human body is a practical example of the endowment of an organization of cells with a higher degree of consciousness.
The critical point of return is where the physical being is compelled to separate its consciousness from animal needs and sensual satisfaction. The physical body is no less sacred, but a process of transmutation sets in whereby ideals, morals, ideas, ethics, principles and laws of life supersede individual rights. We begin to see those rights as depending on the rights of others. The awareness of this interdependence incarnates in each evolving person, one experience at a time. Eventually races and nations, or segments of them, come under the power of this consciousness, and dimly perceive what has been eternally proclaimed as humanity’s goal — the unity of all people.
Against such a background, the Temple of the People may well be included in the definition of an ordered group; however, the Temple definition may be qualified in part by what it is not. The Temple is not a secret organization. The Temple is not a casual grouping of people, sharing convenient interests of simply ordinary curiosity or purposes. Neither is it an academic society for stimulation or satisfaction of intellectual pursuits. Especially, it is not a private approach to what are popularly called extra-sensory perceptions, sensitivities or psychic phenomena, however defined. The Temple has no favors or concessions to offer any member, new or old. The Temple is not a status group at any level — individual or Cosmic. The Temple is subject to no change, success, or failure as determined by any worldly or personal standard. It is non-political and non-sectarian. The Temple is not a cooperative enterprise; neither is it intended as a refuge for a tiny band of people. The Temple is not a splinter group of any other organization. It is not committed to any school of philosophy, psychology, art, science, economics, politics, spiritualism, astrology, New Thought, vegetarianism or any other isolated fragment of similar definition. The Temple of the People is not another church or sect or religion, as these words are used conventionally.
The Temple is an organization based on centralization derived from the Hierarchy of Masters. The history of the Temple of the People is one of continuity, and is the progression of the work started by H. P. Blavatsky in New York City in 1875. With her death in 1891, the line of Agency for this Lodge movement fell on the shoulders of William Quan Judge. The formation of the Temple was known to both of these great souls, who themselves were building toward that end. In 1898 at Syracuse, New York, the Temple of the People was co-founded by Francia LaDue and William H. Dower, with Francia LaDue as the first Guardian in Chief of the Temple. Both of them were members of the Esoteric Section of the Theosophical Society under W. Q. Judge. Masters of the Great White Lodge who had directed the work of Blavatsky and Judge likewise directed the formation of the Temple, set forth its Teachings and organization and the appointment of the Temple Agents. In 1903, the Temple was moved to Halcyon, California, where it is incorporated under the laws of that state.
The fundamental Truths which have been, are, and will be the basis of all major and most lesser religions of all ages of the world are cyclically set forth for all races and civilizations, from the dawn to the night time of all human evolution. These Truths have never been lost. As with the light of the sun, they know no darkness; their Light shines somewhere constantly, no matter how clothed in orthodoxy or priestcraft. The Temple Teachings are one such vehicle by which those Truths are again presented to the world.
Being much more than exclusively religious, the spiritual Light of the White Lodge accounts for every effort, discovery and development for the good of humanity — in scientific and technical fields, in the arts, in all fields of economics, and their relation to all kingdoms of nature. This source of love, power and intelligence has dominated the present as it has dominated the past.
Since 1875, the White Lodge has used this movement as a focal point for the promotion, origin, and dissemination of this vital help to humanity. The motive was not to create change simply in technology and the material world, but in the thinking and feeling of people toward each other. The results of this effort have produced a new world.
Each age or religion of people recognizes what it calls God, by whatever name. This omnipotent entity is the Father/Mother, the source and control of all manifestation. And subordinate to God, but no less sacred, are hosts of Angels and Masters who act under Divine Law. Familiar to all religions is the Messiah, the Christ, the Avatar. Familiar to people in every race is the one basic, primordial law which comes from these Great Souls in one voice, a law which simply may not be superseded. It is known to us as the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would that they do unto you.” Every significant religion is founded on this law. Every great leader has proclaimed it; all of our history swirls around this ideal. There may be those who doubt that such a man as Jesus actually lived 2,000 years ago, but there can be no doubt that His Teaching has been by far the greatest influence in the succeeding centuries. The Teachings of the Temple have proclaimed the coming of an Avatar in this twentieth century. The mission of the Temple, its reason for being, has been to announce that arrival and to provide a groundwork of preparation and a center for spiritual work. Whether such an Avatar has been walking this earth in this time, 2,000 years after Jesus, whether or not anyone can claim to have seen that Teacher, no one can deny the quickening impact of Light and Power over the earth today. Such is overwhelmingly evident by the intensity of opposition to the Golden Rule, and the desperation of its opponents. Its force may be easily discernible in struggles on every level of our activities today, for each individual person on earth is a battleground for the Christ and the anti-Christ. The whole world is a mass reflection of its inhabitants, and we are a reflection of the world. Nothing that contradicts the Golden Rule may stand unexposed in its Light. The balance of Truth prevails.
Never in the history of this humanity has the possibility for a higher life been made more realistic to all inhabitants of this earth. The Temple relates these ideals to all people. People are daily choosing what they will have and, as does a seed, each choice will grow to its own fruition. This worldwide process of choosing marks a dividing of the evolutionary path: people are making their decisions here and now.
The Temple of the People represents to all beings one gate through which they may at some time freely walk to a state of more spiritual responsibility, or may as freely choose to remain behind in a world governed by self-interest until another comparable cycle comes into manifestation. This is the natural evolutionary step which we must now take or leave.
While most people know of the Golden Rule, few are aware of its power of attraction, which guides and draws their Higher Selves to the Light. This is the foundation of the Temple. It is a fixed place on the evolutionary path to which each atom and person has grown in consciousness. Only through this gate can we now proceed toward a greater consciousness of our fellow humans and their God, and recognize our dependence on both as we travel toward Masters, Angels and Christs. The Temple is a fixed point in this geometrical progression from atom to star, from atom to God.
The Great World Religion, embodied in its highest form, is called Truth. It is presented in this cycle, in part, as the Teachings of the Temple. Designed by the Masters of the Great White Lodge to help the humanity of this age, the work of the Temple of the People is not optional — it is essential, providing help of a lasting quality to every problem — spiritual mental, moral, material. The value of this help is not in theoretical concepts, but in the direct, matter-of-fact cause and effect relation of an ideal to its most material expression, however incomplete or distorted that expression may seem to be.
This help requires no waiting, no qualifying, no training, no vast expenditure of means, no mass conversion of people. Neither does it require the contacting of illusive Masters in remote and inaccessible seclusion, nor unnatural initiations or ceremonies or rituals of daily living. On the contrary, the Temple represents a truth that the fulfillment of any need, great or small, is nearest the need itself. The Teachings point out the relation of suffering to all healing — spiritual, mental, and physical. It points out the relation of hunger and deprivation to the fulfillment of the need by bodily food or spiritual sustenance. The supply has never failed, though it has often gone unused, abused or unrecognized. The most abstruse problem in science or philosophy will be better understood as it becomes related to the good of all humanity.
The relation of the world’s problems to their solutions may be referred to as opportunity. The Temple of the People involves all humanity, and is made up of people who recognize their indebtedness to the Hierarchy of Elder Brothers and Sisters who have traveled the path before them, whose wisdom and sacrifice have made it possible for people today to have reached this point in human development. Each person on the path is a bridge for others, and just as those before have smoothed the road for this time, so the present aspirants provide help and guidance for those who are “behind” them, so to speak, awaiting their help and guidance so they too may take their proper place and enter the gate. The design for sharing the true wealth and power of the world is through earning the right to understand it and pass it on in a useful form to the earth and her people.
The organization of the Temple contains the nucleus for the growth of unity between all people. It provides for that eventuality realistically, teaching that there cannot be had something for nothing. The war, starvation, disease and poverty that exist in every person must be changed by themselves into their opposites. The Temple teaches this law of transmutation. The powers of endurance, the correlation of self-examination and self-responsibility, the application of Spiritual Will to the facing of daily problems, pain and suffering — this constitutes the actual study of the Teachings. The development of tangible alignment with those who have won such understanding — this is the objective for studying the Teachings. The realization that divine power is not self-created but is simply earned, and may be passed on to others less fortunate — this realization of selflessness is the Temple-taught key to all attainment. These facts define the organization of the Temple. The power indicated by the word “compassion” is integrated by thought, word and deed into the Temple Teachings. Less than that is simply not the Temple. No principle, no law in all manifestation is ignored. No detail of their relation to us in everyday living is overlooked. The exact correlation of principle to application forms the substance of the Teachings; their enactment forms the organization of the Temple of the People.
In the geometrical plan for the building of this humanity, each member of the human race is being fitted for their proper emplacement as a living stone in the Temple of Humanity. While only the Master’s eyes may see and understand that plan in its total splendor, each one of us being so fitted may also see that eventuality taking place in our own daily life and needs. This perception gives essential meaning to each day.
— Harold E. Forgostein
Fourth Guardian in Chief