The Sabian Philosophy
The Second Axiom
Everything that purports to be true is true. This is the axiom of necessary faith.
If philosophy is man's experience with ideas, religion in parallel fashion is his experience with truth. Religion is man's rehearsal of those elements in experience through which he has created an expectation beyond his own unaided hopes and powers.
In this enlarged fulfillment of himself he has come to know God, and in his inspired outreach beyond familiar limitations he also has come to know himself as a personage. He has acquired a dignity greater than mere animal training and rational conventionality. In his expanded consciousness he is the initiate, if but for the moment of his devotions. As he uses the powers he has unlocked within himself, and as he employs the higher potentials he has created for himself, he is able to serve his fellows. He becomes the prophet or seer if he chooses to undertake the long and arduous pilgrimage to eternal stature. Alternately he may feel called more to the immediate fellowship of a spiritual service here and now, and thus may give himself to full-time religious work.
Through the ages there is always the transcendental influence of the few who have affirmed a truth, and given it a personal dramatization until the spreading impact of their effort has created a new facet in the spiritual tradition. The great sagas of these avatars, or perhaps the less universal pioneers of faith, have been preserved in sacred scriptures of myriad form and content. The agonies and exaltations of the Great Ones in particular have come to be recreated over and over again, and thus have established an infinite variety of rituals. The Christian Eucharist is a familiar example. The origin of Sabian ceremonies and methods in the lives and works of Jesus, Ezekiel and the Babylonian Isaiah has been explained in the greatest detail.
In such rituals of higher self-discovery the least of men may have healing and regeneration, since in the religious experience they have made their own they share a reality with the spiritual giants who have gone before. This is the outreaching to the periphery of possible self-orientation. It is an almost paradoxical self-centering that has its effectiveness in the universality of the self-extension. For the moment man is all-man, or the totality of his fellows as well as himself. What in the operation of mind ramifies out from center, and is ordered through philosophy, is conversely and by the heart pulled in towards center as it is ordered by the senses and comes to be known as a manifestation of faith rather than reason. Religion, as the companion of philosophy, creates sympathy and good will as the complementation of understanding and insight. The religious exaltation or sustainment that brings men to their transcendental self-fulfillment in a sharing of immortal experience is a vital and constant revelation of human nature in its universal potential. The achievement of the ecstasy, and the accompanying sublimation of lower appetites and instincts, requires an uncompromising respect for personality in conjunction with the recognition of the integrity of experience on which an effective philosophy depends.
The all-important corollary realization is that it is in the individual's religious experience with all men collectively, whether in one fashion or another, that his relationship with God becomes a personal one. Through his own centering of the whole he gains the essential intimacy of any truly divine revelation, and thereupon rises above all the hopeless divisions and needlessly bitter competitions of everyday living. He becomes the healer and the mystic and indeed steward of everything that man may embrace in his journey toward fulfillment under the Solar Mysteries.
Here is the Sabian conception of a pure religion. The aspirant who desires an immortal realization without the need of any buttressing through reason or emotion must accept the basic rightness of his own motives and impulses. He must do this because the kingdom of heaven is within him.
In achieving a religious life he must (1) recognize the extent to which he creates his own actual reality by living his days in the light of the truth he accepts for the centering of his effort and (2) see to it that this truth is an exalted one. He learns to establish and hold in consciousness whatever he would have as the over-all pattern of manifestation for himself and those around him. To his study of man's commerce with ideas through the ages he adds an interest and participation in a healing ministry, in order that everything may be brought as far as possible to the full of its potentials here and now. He is taught to make his rehearsal of the past a blessing of the present through the ritualization of his life under the Solar Mysteries.