Adjusting the Teachings to the Understanding of Others

LETTER NO. 80 - July, 1917

Recently we received a letter from Seattle which gives good a suggestion that you may like to use. Our friend writes: "The other day while in Ballard I went into the library and called for the "COSMO." When I was ready to go, I turned over to the table of food values and took the open book up to the librarian's desk. I showed her this table and said: 'This is a valuable table.' She, examining it said: 'Why, I have been asked a number of times for tables of just this kind.' Then the thought came to me that when other students go into a library and ask for the "COSMO,: they might do the same as I had done. The librarian might then catalogue the book as containing hints on health and food, and in that way it might come into the hands of some who are seeking for just the light which it contains."

This is true to a much greater extent than we usually realize. Wonderful are the ways and the means and the places in which the Light strikes us, not only when we are not seeking consciously for it but even asserting that there is no such thing as light in the spiritual sense and decrying as frauds those who follow it. It has often been an inspiration and a source of great encouragement to me to think of Paul's journey to Damascus. He was a man who glorified in the zeal wherewith he persecuted the saints. None was as diligent as he in putting down that which he believed to be a damnable heresy. But strong souls are the darlings of the gods whether they work for good or for evil, because that indomitable, irresistible energy which drives them to action, even if temporarily used for bad purposes, will be just as strong when diverted into the channels of good. And so Paul was a special favorite of the gods, and therefore was given such a powerful light that it blinded him when he was least looking for such a thing, namely, while on the road to Damascus. Then and there he was given an understanding and a knowledge far superior to those of any of the other apostles. He was chosen for a special mission and given a particular gift in the shape of spiritual vision and the ability to be all things to all men.

Not infrequently our students complain that they cannot make their associates or relatives understand the teachings of the Rosicrucians. An illustration occurred to me the other day when I was looking through the tool chest on Mt. Ecclesia. There were a large number of wrenches in it, some large and some small, each one fitted to turn just one size bolt; there were also a few that were adjustable within certain limits. Now it occurred to me that sometimes a very small wrench may be far more valuable than one of large dimensions; it all depends upon the size of the bolt. For a small bolt you need the small wrench, and for a large one the large wrench. Similarly, when we meet people in the world, we must size them up and see what they require. Many of us have studied very deeply into the Mystery Teachings and have acquired a profound knowledge of these subjects. We are like large wrenches, but absolutely useless for turning the little bolts that have not been touched with this knowledge at all. In such cases we must not try to air our profound knowledge and talk over the heads of our audiences, but we must endeavor to come down to their level and explain things to them in exactly the same elementary manner that was required with us in the beginning.

In other words, we must be adjustable, like some of those wrenches in our tool chest. When we meet an audience of strangers, we must talk right down to their level and use the simplest language possible. Then, again, when we meet older students and are in a class where they are capable of grasping the profounder problems, we may expand to the very fullest of our ability with considerable profit and benefit to ourselves and all others concerned. But above all we must learn, with Paul, to be all things to all men, or we shall defeat the object we have in view of bringing light to seeking souls.