The Divine Law
Perhaps no other phrase is used as much in the books of the Fraternitas Rosæ Crucis as the Divine Law.
There is nothing particularly mysterious about the Divine Law. It is simply the Universal Operating Law of Creation. It is a Law of Universal Balance, a Law of Equal Exchange. Each great spiritual teacher of humanity has taught its basic principles and adapted them to the people of the time. While each of these interpretations may seem to vary since they were conceived for a specific time and group of people, the underlying Law does not, and cannot, change. Divine Law is unchangeable because it is the only Law that allows the present state of Creation to exist. There is nothing arbitrary about the Divine Law, since all existence is completely dependent upon its absolute perfection of operation.
There is order in all creation. For such order to exist, there must be a balancing Law of exact debits and credits in all facets of our Universe. We are all “reimbursed,” be it good or not so good, for every thought, desire and deed. This reimbursement will usually be in kind, although not necessarily so.
This Law is simple, but infinitely complex in its execution. It leaves nothing to chance. If we all understood and accepted the fact that we are all under the Law of Equal Compensation, a man or woman would have to be insane to do ill to themselves or others.
This Law is found in business and science. In accounting we have the balance of debits and credits; we also have the expected compensation for every honest task performed. In science, we find even more exemplification of the Law of Equal Exchange. For every action there is an equal but opposite reaction. Matter cannot be destroyed or created (except by a nuclear reaction), only transformed. Each side of every chemical or mathematical equation must be equal.
The Divine Law is not an arbitrary Law. It is not just God's idea of how a Creation should be run. Rather, it was the only Law and set of rules and regulations that could create a Universe out of undefined matter. Take away the Divine Law, and you immediately return Creation to Chaos and consideration of humanity to only a vague memory.
This set of principles that God found to be essential to establish the Universe and to prevent it from immediately returning to Chaos is what we now call the Divine Law.
This Law is not arbitrary. It is simply the only functioning mechanism that is sufficiently balanced and powerful to sustain matter in its various organized forms to produce the Universe we now know and love. As such, it should be obvious that the Divine Law can show no partiality. It is, and must remain, completely neutral. It is for this reason that the Bible informs us:
“God (insert Divine Law) is no respecter of persons.”
God does not punish! No, like the Nazarene and other Master Teachers before him, God weeps to see the suffering of those who, out of ignorance or desire, attempt to defy the Divine Law and thereby bring upon themselves the reaction of this exact Law.
The Divine Law is not a capricious edict of the Creator. It is simply the only functioning mechanism under which our Universe can exist. When the various spiritual texts of each authentic religion admonished humanity to "obey" the will of God, they used language they felt the common people could understand and apply, but which, in fact, is not the full explanation. What they would have said if the people had ears to hear was:
“Learn to understand the Divine Law, and live in harmony with it. Since this is the basic Law of your existence, any attempt to defy God’s Law will always create an undesirable reaction for you.”
How the Divine Law Impacts Each Life
The Divine Law is nothing more or less than the functioning mechanism of our existence. It manifests in every conceivable manner, since there is nothing in all of life, human and otherwise, that can function in any way without interfacing with this Law. If our actions are in harmony with its principles, we prosper and gain all that is good and useful in life- both spiritually and worldly. If, on the other hand, we attempt to work counter to the principles of this functioning mechanism, we will suffer the consequences of our ignorance or defiance. Neither people nor God can set aside the reaction of this mechanism.
There is one thing that distinguishes humans from all other creatures that function under the Divine Law. We have a reasoning mind that allows us to decide, first, what is the Law and, second, whether we choose to follow the Divine Laws governing our existence. Unlike animals, we are not required by instinct or by external forces (like the stars and planets) to follow the Divine Law. We have been given a choice, and this Divine gift of free will introduces into Creation the factor of drama. Will we or will we not follow the Divine Law? Once we learn to do so, we will, as promised, become like the gods, knowing good and evil?
This is the great secret of all action and reaction in our world. No one sits in judgment on our actions; no one punishes us because we break some arbitrary rules set up by a jealous and vengeful God long ago. We create reactions only from the actions we perform of our own free will. If these actions are in harmony with the functioning mechanism of our existence (the Divine Law), the resulting reactions will be what we generally call “good.” If our actions are not in harmony with this functioning mechanism, they will be what we call “bad” or unpleasant.
Regardless of what others do, you can live in harmony with the Divine Law and reap the beneficial reaction of the good thoughts, desires and actions that you alone have created. The Nazarene stated this teaching point as,
“what difference does that make to you? You follow me.”
“Follow me” means follow the Divine Law no matter what others do. What matters most is that your good thoughts and actions return to you with more good. This is one of the most reassuring facets of the Divine Law.
The Law of Exchange: The Golden Rule
One of the most important principles of the Divine Law is its absolute reliance on balance and equal exchange. It is this principle that allowed the Creator to make Order out of Chaos. For this reason we have the assurance that “Order is Heaven's first Law,” and such order can only be obtained, and equally importantly, maintained by the reliance on balance and equal exchange.
We find that the Mystery Schools and Master Teachers throughout the ages, including the Master from Galilee, taught the Law of balance and compensation in different words, so that the Law would be adapted to those to whom they spoke. However, in all instances the message was the same:
There is an exact balance to the Divine Law. You will be treated by the Law in exact proportion to the way you treat the Law and thereby others. Whatever actions you take will create an equal reaction that will, in time, return to you with interest, be that good or ill.
It is just for this reason that the Golden Rule exists as one of the main tenets of the world’s oldest religions:
“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”
“Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
“What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellowman. This is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary. Talmud, Shaddab 3id
“No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself. Sunnah
“Do not do to others what you would not like yourself. Then there will be no resentment against you, either in the family or in the state.” Analects 12:2
“Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.” Unana-Varga 5,1
“This is the sum of duty; do naught onto others what you would not have them do unto you.” Mahabharata 5,1517
“Regard your neighbor’s gain as your gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.” Tai Shang Kan Yin P’ien
“That nature alone is good which refrains from doing to another whatsoever is not good for itself.” Dadisten-I-dinik,94,5
“He sought for others the good he desired for himself. Let him pass on.”
The Divine Law is not only the Law of balance and equal compensation; it is also the Law of power. It is the Law of all positive and negative energy. It is the Law of Yin and Yang; male and female; day and night; Summer and Winter; growth and death and, then, rebirth once again. It is the Law of motion and action, for motion is life and there can be no life without motion and there can be no motion without such opposites.
Cause, Effect and Consequences
God does not, and would not, attempt to circumvent the Divine Law. The rest of Nature (animal, vegetable and mineral) cannot circumvent the Divine Law. Only humans, possessing both a mind and free will, have the ability to attempt to circumvent the Divine Law. The Bible describes the attempt to defy Divine Law as “sin” and the resultant consequence as “punishment.”
At the beginning of Creation God set the Divine Law into motion as the only possible way of maintaining order in the Universe. God well knew that not even God could alter this Law once it was set into motion without destroying the entire Creation. This Law, this Divine Law, is self- perpetuating and self-maintaining. It does not, cannot, show favorites; to do so would be to destroy the balance of the Law and this, as discussed, would instantly destroy the Law itself and with it all of God's Creation.
We do not find the scientific nature of this “cause and effect” reaction of Divine Law explained in Scripture because the people were not yet that far advanced. However, it is easily explained today. Under the Divine Law all must remain in balance, or the entire system will return to Chaos; there is no middle ground. To maintain this essential exact order, the Divine Law must be self-maintaining. That is, the action of the Law must be such that any movement in one direction must at the same time be compensated by a reactive motion in the opposite direction.
Thus evil, sin, wrongdoing, misfortune, catastrophe, call it what you will, is the result of our attempted defiance of the Divine Law. God will not (and the rest of existence cannot) attempt to defy God’s own Divine Law. We, not God, not other individuals, and not fate are responsible for the good and adverse reactions that come to us. We have been the creators of all the good and bad reactions we find in our world. Furthermore, if the bad is to be corrected and changed, it is we and we alone who must do the correcting and changing, because the balanced reactive nature of the Divine Law will allow for no other corrective measures.
Equal exchange has to be one of the obvious principles of a just and orderly Law. The Divine Law is just that. For whatever we receive in this life we must be willing, even eager, to make full and just compensation. This is essential to maintain the necessary balance required by the Divine Law. As we become more and more acquainted with the Divine Law, we come to understand that all so called “sin” is nothing more or less than an attempt to take that which we do not deserve, because under the Divine Law we have not yet paid the price. That is, we were not willing to make the proper compensation to the Divine Law so as to allow it to preserve its required balance. Since the Divine Law cannot become unbalanced, whenever we attempt to take that which we have not earned, the Law must take from us that which we have earned previously to compensate it for the loss. This is a hard concept to accept at first, but it is the only way the Divine Law can maintain the required Universal Order.
Since there is always a certain amount of interest to be extracted by the Divine Law so that its “books” are balanced in regard to the time interval between the attempted “stealing” and the “payback,” there is always a steady loss to all those who insist on “stealing” from the Law. Some may take exception to the word “stealing” and yet there is none better, for that is exactly what transpires. When you attempt to take that which you have not yet earned, you must, under the reaction of the Law, attempt to take from someone who has earned it. All that exists belongs to someone or something, and you cannot legitimately attempt to take it unless you give just compensation in return. To do otherwise is to set into motion an adverse reaction of the Divine Law to the perpetrator.
Perhaps the best example of this principle of cause and effect of Divine Law is the exercise of the sexual nature of men and women. God’s Divine Law arranged the sexual nature of men and women to provide all good things for them and the world we know as Earth. God carefully designed things so that this sexual function, like everything else in life, provided both privileges and responsibilities. The privileges are the undeniable pleasures of the sexual embrace. The responsibilities, on the part of the husband is the care and protection of his wife and family, and on the part of the wife is the trials and dangers of bearing children as well as the required dedication to raising them. Under these circumstances, we should not be surprised to discover that one of man's and woman’s first efforts to circumvent the Divine Law was an attempt to enjoy the pleasures of sexual congress without accepting the natural consequences of such acts.
Moses details this “original sin,” our first attempt to circumvent the Divine Law, in his story of Adam, Eve and the serpent. This initial act of humans trying to defy Divine Law is expressed as Adam and Eve experiencing their new sense of “nakedness” (Genesis 3:7). Moses used the story of Adam and Eve to explain the consequences of our actions under Divine Law.
Adam and Eve symbolize the beginning of human desire to transgress the Divine Law by attempting to “steal” sexual pleasure while refusing to accept the responsibilities for their actions. In fact, such desires and resultant actions are the root of nearly all the “sin,” disease and suffering in the world today. It does seem that many continue to follow in the footsteps of Adam and Eve. Such actions create the same debt that forced Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden, the same debt that brought about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the same debt that produced the downfall of Greece and Rome. It was, and is, our greatest obstacle to finding true health and happiness on this planet.
Our Creator set into motion a great law to give all of us humans the best of everything. This Divine Law assures us that if we are willing to do our part we can always count on it to do its part. It shows no favorites, it is no respecter of persons; it treats rich and poor alike. It has neither creed, nor color, nor gender bias. Its basic principle is simple:
Whatever you give to me, I will give back to you in kind. If you bring me love, I will return to you love in abundance. If you bring me hate, it is hate that you shall receive until it is overflowing. You make the choice. I only reflect your choice-with interest.
Biblical Teachings Concerning The Divine Law
There is nothing arbitrary about the Divine Law, since all existence is completely dependent upon its absolute perfection of operation. The Nazarene intimated the degree of this perfection when he stated,
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And yet not one of them will fall on the ground without your Father’s will. But so far as you are concerned, even the hairs of your head are all numbered.”
If we substitute “the Divine Law” for “your Father’s will” this statement is in full harmony with all that has been taught in the “Mysteries.” The Nazarene did not mean that God went around counting hairs of people’s heads. The Nazarene is teaching us that the Divine Law of God is omnipresence and omnipotence. The Divine Law is so inclusive in its monitoring of Creation that no detail, no matter how minuscule, could be overlooked by it in its efforts to maintain order and prevent a return to Chaos.
This same inference (that of the Father being a synonym for the Divine Law) is given in the statement,
“Therefore, you become perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
What the Nazarene is telling his listeners is, “Learn to function in harmony with the Divine Law which, by its very nature, must be perfect or the world as you know it would immediately return to Chaos.”
Moses taught this Divine Law as,
“Life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.”
While most think of these verses only as the command for punishment, it is actually a statement of the Law of Equal Exchange. Moses meant his people to understand that not only were they to extract such punishment, but that under the Law of Exchange, such punishment would be visited on them if they broke the Law.
In the Gospel of St. Matthew we find the same Law but in different words from the mouth of the Teacher from Galilee,
“For with the same judgment that you judge, you will be judged, and with the same measure with which you measure, it will be measured to you.”
Saint Paul restated the Divine Law when he assured his listeners:
“But let every man examine his own work, and then may he glory within himself alone and not among others. For every man shall bear his own burden. Let him who is taught the word become a partaker with him who teaches all good things. Do not be deceived; God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap. He who sows things of the flesh, from the flesh shall reap corruption; he who sows things of the Spirit, from the Spirit shall reap life everlasting.”
To show the fineness of the Law we have more words from the Nazarene,
“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”
This verse from Matthew tells us that there is no detail so seemingly insignificant that it does not come under the Law of Equal Exchange and Balance. Every single hair (every thought, word and deed) is counted under Divine Law.
Lastly, the Nazarene tells us that we are not free of the consequences of our attempts to defy Divine Law until we, by our own efforts, make exact compensation for them:
“Try to get reconciled with your accuser promptly, while you are going on the road with him; for your accuser might surrender you to the judge, and the judge would commit you to the jailer, and you will be cast into prison.
Truly I say to you, that you would never come out thence until you had paid the last cent.”
If you break the Divine Law of Equal Exchange you will not be free of the reaction of your initial act until you have paid all back to the smallest possible fraction, a “cent” as it were.
The Divine Law is the functioning Law of Creation. It is not a capricious creation of God or people. The Divine Law is the only functioning mechanism that can hold the Creative material of Chaos together to form the Universe. Humans are unique in that we have the ability to work in harmony with the Divine Law OR attempt to circumvent it. We have this ability because we were given the gift of free will.
When we attempt to circumvent Divine Law, we always bring reactions that are in direct proportion to the extent of the attempted circumventions. The Law is utterly impartial. It returns whatever is sent forth on its “waters.” Send all things good and positive and they shall return to you in abundance. Send those things that hurt and destroy and these too will be returned by the Divine Law with equal enthusiasm.
The Divine Law is with us to stay. We can either live
a life that is at odds with the Law in almost everything we do and consequently
reap the husks and noxious weeds of existence or we can learn to work in
harmony with it and prosper in every possible way . The choice is ours. The
greatest gift we have from our Creator is the ability to make this