Universal Brotherhood – November 1897

CEREMONY: Laying of the Corner Stone SRLMA

ceremony

THE LAYING OF THE CORNER STONE S. R. L. M. A.
BY THE FOUNDER-DIRECTRESS, KATHERINE A. TINGLEY, AT POINT LOMA, SAN
DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, FEBRUARY 23, 1897, ASSISTED BY MR. E. T. HARGROVE,
MR. F. M. PIERCE, AND OTHERS.
SYNOPSIS OF REPORT.

After a selection of music Mr. Hargrove said: "We have met today to take part in the ceremony of laying the corner-stone of the Temple for the Revival of the Lost Mysteries of Antiquity. I simply wish to point out the solemnity of an occasion which in former ages brought people together from the ends of the earth. I would incidentally remark to the people of San Diego that it seems strange perhaps that Mrs. Katherine A. Tingley, the Founder-Directress of this school, should have selected this spot, never having visited the west coast of America; should have pointed out the exact location where the building was to be erected, and should have come herself only after all the preliminary arrangements had been made under her direction. It should be clearly understood that this school is under her direct supervision; she is the Founder-Directress, and those of you who get to know her better will soon appreciate why this is so, and why she meets with such hearty support. I need simply say in conclusion, that this spot, beautiful, as it is, as a picture of nature, will be made still more beautiful when this building is erected — a building which will be worthy of the objects of the school and worthy of its neighboring city, San Diego."

The Foundress approached the stone, which had been raised, and placed a purple-covered box in the opening underneath; then laying the cement with a silver trowel, she said, while soft music was being played:

I dedicate this stone, a perfect square, a fitting emblem of the perfect work that will be done in this temple for the benefit of humanity and to the glory of the ancient sages.

The sacred word was sounded as the stone was slowly lowered into place.

Assistants then brought corn, wine and oil, in silver vessels, to Mrs. Tingley who scattered the corn and poured the wine and oil over the newly laid stone. Other assistants brought forward symbols of the four elements, which she in turn cast upon the stone, saying:

Earth, the emblem of man's body; air, the emblem of man's breath; water, the emblem of man's inner self; fire, the emblem of man's spiritual power.

Fire was lighted upon the stone by Mr. Hargrove, who repeated:

May these fires be lighted and may they burn forevermore.

The Beatitudes from the New Testament were then read by Rev. W. Williams, following which Mr. Hargrove read the following passage from the Bhagavad Gita:

"Those who are wise in spiritual things grieve neither for the dead nor for the living. I myself never was not, nor thou, nor all the princes of the earth; nor shall we ever hereafter cease to be. As the lord of this mortal frame experienceth therein infancy, youth, and old age, so in future incarnations will it meet the same. One who is confirmed in this belief is not disturbed by anything that may come to pass. The senses, moving toward their appropriate objects, are producers of heat and cold, pleasure and pain, which come and go and are brief and changeable; these do thou endure, O son of Bharata! For the wise man, whom these disturb not, and to whom pain and pleasure are the same, is fitted for immortality. Learn that He by whom all things were formed is incorruptible, and that no one is able to effect the destruction of that Divine Spirit which is everlasting."

Quotations from the Sacred Scriptures of the World were then read by various assistants.

Proclus declares: "As the lesser mysteries are to be delivered before the greater, so also discipline must precede philosophy."

Hermes said: "As is the outer, so is the inner; as is the great, so is the small. There is but one eternal law, and he that worketh is one. Nothing is great, nothing is small in the divine economy."

St. Paul said: "Know ye not that ye are the temple of the living God, and that the spirit of God dwelleth in you."

In the Upanishads we read: "There is one eternal thinker thinking non-eternal thoughts. He though one, fulfills the desires of many. The wise who perceive him within their Self, to them belongs eternal joy, eternal peace."

In the Bible we read: "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna; I will give to him a white stone, and in that stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it."

In the Hebrew Scriptures we read: "Mark the perfect man and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace."

A Chinese sage has said: "Never will I seek nor receive individual salvation; never will I enter into final peace alone; but forever and everywhere will I live and strive for the universal redemption of every creature throughout the universe."

In the Orphic Mysteries it was said that "When the eyes that are below are closed then the eyes that are above are opened."

The Chinese scriptures say: "Conquer your foe by force and you increase his enmity; conquer by love and you reap no after sorrow."

Confucius said: "I only hand on, I cannot create new things; I believe in the ancients, and therefore I love them."

In the Indian Scriptures we read: "There is no other object higher than the attainment of the knowledge of the Self."

Montanus says: "The soul is like a lyre and breaks into sweet music when swept by the breath of the Holy Spirit."

Zuni prayer: "This day we have a Father, who from his ancient seat watches over us, holding us fast that we stumble not in the paths of our lives. If all goes well we shall meet, and the light of his face makes ours glad."

Emerson said: "The law of nature is to do the thing, and you shall have the power; they who do not the thing have not the power."

A noted teacher has said: "Scrupulously avoid all wicked actions, reverently perform all virtuous ones. This is the doctrine of all the teachers."

In the ancient Scriptures of Persia we read: "Profess good thoughts, good words and good deeds, and reject evil thoughts, evil words and evil deeds."

The Bible enjoins us to "mark the perfect man and behold him that is upright, for the end of that man is peace."

The Buddhist scriptures say: "Attack not the religions of other men, but seeking whatever may be beautiful in those religions, add that truth and that beauty to thine own, to the glory of thine own life, to the glory of thine own religion."

Miss Anne Brycethen read. "Preserve harmony in your own soul and it will flow out to all others, for its effects are more powerful than you understand, and more far-reaching. Sink all thought of self, all personal ambition, the small jealousies and suspicions which mar the heart's melodies, in love of the work and devotion to the cause. Listen to the great song of love, compassion, tenderness; and losing yourself in that, forget these passing shadows. United, harmonious, your power is limitless; without these you can do nothing. See to it then that your tone in the great instrument be pure and clear, else discord will result. Behind all sin and suffering — shadows, these — lie the divine harmonies of reality. These seek and finding lose not."

Mrs. C. E. Wright. — "The divine harmony of the World-Soul surges through our hearts in mighty waves will we but listen. In hours of meditation seek it, listen to it, it fadeth never, and a power and peace will be yours unspeakable, divine. From this knowledge rises knowledge of things spiritual, the gift of tongues and the healing fire. This is the song of life in which all nature joins, for reaching the heart of nature we reach the heart of all and read therein the most sacred mysteries of the ancients. Fail not nor falter in the endeavor to hear those harmonies. Remember that the cries of suffering and pain which so plainly reach our ears are but the discords which make the music finer, discords only to the untrained ear, and some day the whole grand symphony will be yours, to listen to, hearing it first in your own heart and then in the heart of the whole world. O suffering, struggling humanity, whose eyes know only tears, whose ears hear only discord, dying and death, awake and listen! The inner voice echoes a harmony sublime. Cease your conflict for an instant's space and you will hear a promise of salvation. Peace and power are yours, peace divine and power all powerful, so your deliverance has come; the light shines out, the hour is at hand, nature calls aloud with all her voices: Humanity shall sweat and toil no more in vain, man's feet shall be set upon that path which leads to final liberation."

The Foundress then said: "You have witnessed the laying of the cornerstone of the School for the Revival of Lost Mysteries of Antiquity. The objects of the school will later be described to you, and it remains for me to turn the thoughts of those present toward the future of the human race. Few can realize the vast significance of what has been done here today. In ancient times the founding of a temple was looked upon as of world-wide importance. Kings and princes from far-distant countries attended the ceremonies of the foundation. Sages gathered from all parts of the world to lend their presence at such a time; for the building of a temple was rightly regarded as a benefit conferred upon all humanity.

"The future of this school will be closely associated with the future of the great American republic. While the school will be international in character, America will be its centre. This school will be a temple of living light, and illumine the dark places of the earth. And I appeal to all present to remember this day as one of great promise, for this new age must bring a blessing to all.

Through this school and its branches the children of the race will be taught the laws of spiritual life, and the laws of physical, moral and mental development. They will learn to live in harmony with nature. They will become compassionate lovers of all that breathes. They will grow strong in an understanding of themselves, and as they attain strength they will learn to use it for the good of the whole world. Rejoice with me, then, and may you all share in the blessings of this hour, and in the brightness of the future which contains so much of joy for all humanity."

At this point a chant was sung by those taking part in the ceremonies. Then a tone upon a bell was sounded, answered by others.

After the ceremony the American flag was unfurled to the breeze, and was shortly afterwards replaced by the purple and gold flag of the school. While this was being done exquisite music was played.

Mrs. Tingley and the Crusaders then took their seats upon the platform and further addresses were made by Mr. E. B. Rambo, of San Francisco, Mr. James Pryse, Mr. H. T. Patterson, President Hargrove, Mrs. Alice Cleather, of London, Rev. W. Williams, of Bradford, England, Dr. Wood, of Westerly, R. I., and Colonel Blackmer, of San Diego. As Colonel Blackmer's speech deals with the influence of the School on San Diego, we give it in full:

In estimating the influence that will come to our city and its people from the establishment of a school such as this in our midst we must look for it along three lines — the material, the intellectual and the spiritual. And first, what influence will it have upon the advancement and prosperity of our city? We may reasonably expect that it will bring to us an increase of population that will be in every way desirable.

These beautiful locations lying all about us, where nature has done so much to please the eye and where genial soil and balmy skies are so well adapted to supply our material wants, will in the not distant future be occupied as homes for a broad-minded, intelligent and progressive class of citizens whose influence in the material prosperity of our city will be both active and beneficent. They will be interested in all that pertains to our growth and prosperity, and add materially to our advancement in innumerable ways.

Furthermore, Point Loma and San Diego will be heralded from ocean to ocean by the cable under the sea with the message as it flies to other shores, until in every land and in every tongue the name and fame of our fair city shall be the shibboleth that will become a synonym of all that is beautiful, grand and ennobling.

Secondly, what of its intellectual influence? The faculty of the school to be established in the building of which we have this day laid the first foundation stone, will be men and women of intellectual ability and integrity, specially trained for this work, and here will be gathered the working tools for mental cultivation — books. Here will be stored the nucleus of a library that will in time grow to such proportions and along such lines that this will become the Mecca of students and thinkers from all lands; and our own people (and I feel warranted in saying that their number will not be few) will eagerly seek for true knowledge.

And, lastly, the influence it will exert upon the spiritual atmosphere of our fair city by the sea. Here I hope, trust and believe we shall reach the highest level in all our endeavor. It will be along this line that the most vital influence will come that shall be for the uplifting of the hopes and aspirations of us all. Human thought is the most potent factor in every undertaking. It transforms the wilderness into cultivated fields, builds towns and cities, spreads the white wings of commerce on the seas, and puts a girdle around the earth so that thought responds to thought and takes no note of space or time.

The thought of any people determines the line of their progress. If it is solely along material lines, material progress results; if turned toward intellectual pursuits, there is mental progress, and the mental development dominates the material. When the spiritual part of man's nature is stimulated into a healthy growth, the intellectual and material activities are lifted above the grosser phases of manifestation, and progress is made toward grander thoughts and nobler lives.

Such will be the influence of this school upon our city and its people. Here shall the sign of universal brotherhood be elevated, and the torch of fanaticism and destruction, should it ever approach us and our homes, will be quenched never to be rekindled, in the atmosphere of brotherly love that will henceforth and forever flow from this centre of spiritual life and force which we have this day consecrated.


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