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Page 1
C
LASSICAL GREEK tragedy drama-
tizes the career of the protagonist
who falls from his high estate as the
result of a major flaw or blind spot in
his character. Most commonly, the
flaw is pride or hubris, as in Sophocles’ Oedipus
Rex, or in Shakespeare’s King Lear. This pattern
gives rise to the saying that pride cometh before
the fall, whose prototype is the heavenly fall of the
Lucifers, followed by the biblical “fall” (into mate-
rial consciousness) of early mankind.
A proud man acts out of the blindness that is
ignorance, in contravention of some universal law.
When, having violated his own humanity, Oedipus
stabs out his eyes and plunges his life into dark-
ness, he but objectifies his pre-existing moral
blindness. Collective or group pride is also possi-
ble. It can take many forms, including an excessive
estimation of one’s ethnicity (racism), country (jin-
goism), or gender (sexism).
Max Heindel reminds us that the besetting sins
of the Sons of Cain—among whom are the makers
and shakers, the world’s executives and executors,
the industrialists and scientists, the craftsmen and
capitalists—are pride of intellect and impatience
of restraint. True to form, and continuing the tradi-
tion inaugurated by their semi-divine progenitor
(according to the Masonic teaching), the Sons of
Cain are raising Cain, most notably in the field of
science. Premodern scientists sought to discover
what things are. They were more concerned with
essences, with gaining knowledge for its own sake.
Modern scientists want to know how things work
in order to change them. They are instrumentalists
and manipulators. What is most problematic, they
are hellbent on manipulating the manipulator—
man himself—with the idea of improving on
nature. Welcome brave new world!
The arrogance is stunning. Proponents of eso-
teric Christianity have a sacramental regard for
nature, knowing it to be the emanation of divine
creative Hierarchies. Not so the materialist scien-
tist, for whom nature, including man, is but a
mechanism, at most, a cosmic clock, with which
he can tinker to make it more efficient.
Our besetting sin is not wanting to know, for
ultimately, “ignorance is the only sin, and applied
knowledge is the only salvation.” We are called to
know, but crucial is how we go about acquiring
knowledge, and what we do with it. First and fore-
most we are called to know Him who says, “I am
the Lord your God, and you shall have no gods but
me,” for there are none other—certainly not pre-
sent-day humans. Without this guiding and hum-
bling a priori certainty of a living, unerring Creator,
pursuit of knowledge is as vain and dangerous as
driving a car with one’s eyes closed. Nature should
inspire and teach us, not be subject to our invasive,
prurient dissections. Currently, human nature “lies
on the operating table, ready for to be altered for
eugenic and neuropsychic ‘enhancement,’ for
wholesale redesign.” This is a diabolical project.
It is not nature that needs improving, but our-
selves; and not from without, by genetic manipula-
tion, but from within, by self-restraint, love, and
doing all things as unto God. The knowledge that
saves will ever hide from the intellectual vivisec-
tor. When we approach nature with the deference
and honor due any of God’s creations, even as we
would an altar, then may we rightly expect to be
found worthy to know the mysteries of life, and to
know to our heart’s content.
Ë
RAYS 03
3
Having the Eyes of Their Understanding Darkened
EDITORIAL