White Pine County borders 8,904 square miles in the North, Northeast corner of Nevada. The population is 1.5 persons per square mile. At the southern-most tip of the county, near the boundary between Nevada and Utah, is the township of Baker: population 43.
Six miles west of Baker is a quiet, isolated farm, distinguished only be a weathered sign hanging at the gate:
School of the Natural Order
Past the farmhouse and beyond the scrubby orchard a rough trail intercepts the road and climbs a sagebrush hill. On the further side of a barren knoll, out of sight of the farm, the trail ends at a small private cemetery. No grass grows here. Only the natural foliage of cactus and sagebrush. The cemetery is chain fenced against marauding wolves and coyotes. The hills slope down to the Snake Valley below. Above, Mounts Wheeler and Moriah silhouette the sky.
In this quiet earth a partial few reside. They lie companion to one whose marker reads:
RALPH MORIARITY deBIT
December 25th 1883 -- June 29th 1964
Unnoted as a setting star he passed
And sect and party scarcely knew
When from their midst a sage and seer withdrew
To fitter audience where the great live on
In God's republic of the heart and mind.
Who was this Man?
In the dissolving pattern of this age it is the burden of our time to endure on all sides a plethora of Mahatmas, Maharishis, Swamis, Gurus, holy men and mendicants. They are either little men of cloistered minds and mystic moods, bewildered by their own conceit, or, more despicable, callous and calculating hucksters, offering truths two for a half-crown. But in either case they prey upon a perennial crop of groping faddists and earnest truth seekers alike, enriching themselves and detrimentally affecting all.
With Masters on every street corner and enlightenment available at your choice of financing, is it any surprise that men of sober mind ask, "Is there some obtainable 'Truth' that lies beyond the commonplace?" A separate reality, ultimately discoverable by finite mind, that can shape the course of consciousness and alter our perception of the universe and man's place in it? Or is the pursuit of wisdom and the attendant cognition so convincingly promised merely a cruel ruse devised to ease life's burden and absolve the pain of personal frustration and nothing more? The answer is--Truth does exist. But it is not what men take it to be; nor is it so easily obtainable.
Most petitioners after Truth prefer that the doctrines of salvation be preached in an agreeable manner consistent with their own conceptions and satisfying to their personal inclinations. And above all, it must be accessible after a brief period of contemplation before breakfast and at bedtime.
Strangely enough, the meticulous and rigorous disciplines recorded by spiritual aspirants in all periods of history remain for the most part ignored.
The Zen proposition...
"Tao has nothing to do with discipline. If you
say that it is attained by discipline, when you
finish the discipline you lose the Tao. To say
there is no discipline is to be the same as
...has become a kind of battle cry of indolence.
The error is a matter of focus. The first premise becomes the single object of attention. The second component of the proposition, which is what it is really all about, is totally ignored.
And so it goes. As God-seeking reaches the proportions of a national pastime, all barriers come tumbling down. We are exhorted to eliminate the obstacles to our attainment; particularly the idea that wisdom and insight are not immediately within arm's reach.
We are cautioned against "the distance of excessive reverence" and consequently we are moved to the presumption of embarrassing familiarity.
"Be still and know that I am God" is interpreted by shallow and boisterous minds to mean, "Close your eyes and call Me at any of the following numbers: "Om mani pade Om,' 'Om tat sat Om,' 'Nam-myoho-renge-kyo,' or 'Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Hare, Hare, Hare Krishna.'"
Can any reasonable intelligence accept such superficiality as the mandate for wisdom? The idea is preposterous. Only those equipped for acute perception will penetrate below the surface of the world of physical phenomena and grasp the forces at work there. They alone will dispel the bewildering complexities that lie in effect to cause; pierce the objective self-conscious state and view reality on its primal ground.
To follow such a path demands more than mantram and trance. Two prerequisites are mandatory: a thorough foundation in the precepts of the Cosmic Idea and a methodology to effect a conscious participation in it.
Neither requirement is an end in itself. The practitioner must be heedful lest the way become the obstacle. An intellectual comprehension of the cosmology alone, without active participation in the systematic practices, is the road map without the journey--useful only as a way to collect preaching material. The practice of one phase or another of the methodology without a comprehensive understanding of the structure, function, order of the cosmic process is activity without direction: a curious procedure designed to capture the ineffable by performing the mundane.
It is time that we understood.
We stand in the shadows of a pre-dawn. The Piscean Age is in the descendency of eclipse. We are emerging into the first light of a New Day. The Age of Aquarius. In the evolutionary mechanism of man's on-going process it is possible now, as at no previous time, that those spiritual heights, historically the gift of a special few, are within reach of the vast majority of mankind.
The new Cycle is upon us. There is a quickening in the race psyche of mankind. We are awakening to a new force in the content of our consciousness. The helical sweep of the evolutionary process is beginning a new round. It requires as representation a reformation of the Wisdom Teachings (Gnosis)--a new presentation and a new methodology for individual development. Mind perception in symbolic form--metaphysics, meditation and mantra--fail utterly as a means of knowing without a clear understanding of the formulative forces functioning within us and a practical system for consciously redirecting them.
But to whom or to what do we look for this knowledge? How do we make our way from the small private world of our personal spiritual inclinations to that greater common world of Light? The truth is, we are never without the grace and guidance of the "Watchers on the Heights"--those elder brothers who serve the Archetypal Gods and stand in man's behalf. They are with us now as they have always been--truly illumined ones who walk among us and teach the Ancient Gnosis, share their wisdom and direct the destiny of man. They are here, can we but recognize them and take the measure of their worth.
But if we are to differentiate between these real ones and false prophets, we must learn the first discipline of spiritual pursuit: discrimination. Intellectual keenness is the key to philosophical discernment. To thread the hapless maze of false ideas and conjured vagaries and emerge unscathed demands more than emotional response. Fleeting moments of euphoria and mystical flights of fancy offer at best temporary respite from travail. But reality lies along a different path.
If one can dismiss half-philosophies and pseudo-philosophy, then the way is open for true philosophy. Here one begins the search on his own basic level, taking nothing for granted, making no assumptions and accepting no dogmas. He proceeds solely by the use of reason--the acutest and sharpest reasoning ever practiced by man. The aspirant must apply himself to understanding the palingenetic process into which he is inextricably woven. He must pursue and encourage that dynamic urge within himself to become conscious of the very power with which he is conscious. He must rediscover those age-old methods that enable one to control and direct the underlying causative forces of his being, that he may order their integration to his own higher purpose. And at every turn he must subject his progress to the scrutiny of a discerning mind, weighing his discoveries to determine the real from the counterfeit, the experienced from the imagined.
Sri Ramakrishna, Bengal's much-revered yogi saint of a century ago, exhorted his devotees: "Test, test, test. Accept nothing from me that will not bear your testing." Vivekananda, Aurobindo Ghose, Walter Russell, Keyserling and Krishnamurti, among others, have echoed the same insistence. The genuine teacher has no reluctance to submitting either his life or his words to careful examination. He knows that nothing issuing from him is of him. He is not Light's source but its conduit. He has not invented truth, simply rediscovered it. His obligation is to serve the emerging awareness of mankind. He is not concerned about refutation. His message is beyond time and vicissitude.
Ralph M. deBit was one such teacher. The outpouring of his spiritual genius spanned nearly five decades. The productivity of his life was prodigious. He taught and wrote for 47 years. When he died in 1964 he left his legacy to the "Dawn of a New Day" one of the most comprehensive philosophical integrations of the Wisdom Teachings ever to be bestowed upon mankind. From his highly perceptive consciousness he channeled forth an extraordinary curriculum. The range and definitiveness of his work is an astonishing restatement, in contemporary terms, of the perennial tradition of the Inner Order, a presentation complete in its description; not the usual guarded and token offering, but a full statement of that ancient knowledge. The measure and merit of his work will, one day soon, be recognized in company with the great philosophical works of this or any Age.
The significance of his achievement is immeasurable. And yet this man was scarcely known in his lifetime. Only now, ten years after his death, is his work finally emerging to take its place along the literature of Truth.
Who, indeed, was this man?
next Chapter 1