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The Order of the Temple of St Michael



Introduction

The Temple of St Michael acts as a forum for those who are, or who wish to become, Disciples of the New Age - the Age of Aquarius - the 21st Century.

The organisation of the Temple of St Michael will be flexible, adjusting to the needs and conditions of the times and of localities, without superficial ritual or ceremony.

Its teachings will be based on the Book of Levi - the Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ - the Light given for the Age of Aquarius, complemented by such further enlightenment as may be received from time to time, and on unconditional Love.

The Temple of St Michael fulfils one aspect of the objects of the parent corporation, an international charitable organisation, namely the preparation of mankind spiritually for life in the 21st century; preparation physically, mentally and spiritually for the Age of Cataclysm, which precedes it; to promote a fuller understanding of man?s relationship to his Creator as well as of the purpose of life upon this Earth. Its philosophy will be promoted passively.

The Temple of St Michael undertakes to provide participants in its operations with all their material needs in exchange for the provision of their expertise and ability in such fields as may be required by the divisions of the parent corporation from time to time.

The Board of Directors of Temple of St Michael constitutes a Board of Management within the framework of the parent corporation as outlined in its constitution.

In governmental and legal matters the term 'religion' must be used - i.e. we are a 'religious' charity, but the much more appropriate term is 'spirituality' and that is the term which will be used in matters regarding the Temple of St Michael. It is a spiritual organisation rather than a religion or religious group.

Activities of the Order

The activities of this universal Order will be the dissemination of information in connection with man's purpose on this Earth and his relationship to his Creator; and preparations for both the Age of Cataclysm and life in the 21st century.

The healing of the sick will be a significant aspect of the activities of the Order and the staff employed will reflect this concern: a majority of participants will understand the nature of illness or disease, will appreciate that spiritual healing must precede healing of the physical body, and have the ability to lead the sick back to health - or at least those who are willing to be led - and realise that those who assist, lead or direct such healing merely offer the tools for healing to take place, as all healing comes from within and the individual must heal himself.

The Philosophy of the Order

The philosophy of the Order is contained in the Doctrinal Statement of the parent corporation, which is an essential document in the registration of the parent corporation as a religious charity, and which will be provided separately to each applicant.

The Books of the Old Testament (in their original form) served as the Light for the enlightenment of mankind during the Age of Aries; the Books of the New Testament (in their original form) constituted the Light for the times of the Age of Pisces (the Christian era); and in the same way, the Book of Levi has been given as the Light for the current Age of Aquarius. But no sacred work is complete in itself.

Brief History of Religious Orders

Originally (during the 10th century) those belonging to a religious order (monks) lived communally in isolated seclusion in order to pursue religious devotions. This made for a generally unproductive life, as little information was disseminated to the rest of mankind. It is important to realise that a life of study is worthless unless the knowledge gained from such study has been passed on to one's fellow-man.

The term monk was subsequently used for those who led a semi-secluded life in a religious congregation under a fixed rule.

Monks lived in a monastery. Monasticism was a withdrawal from the world to achieve through asceticism or the exercises of self-abnegation the contemplation or love necessary for full union with God. The extent to which poverty was practised has varied widely. Canons differed from monks only in that they took no vow of poverty.

Although the practice of monastic orders in the past was to obtain vows of chastity, obedience and poverty from participants, the extent to which any of these vows were practised varied considerably. It can therefore be readily understood that these vows were not truly in line with what was essential for their purposes, and combined with the frailty of man?s nature, deviations from the original concept were commonplace, and even accepted practice.

Monks were not always known for their chastity, sobriety and modesty, so the guidelines for conduct were obviously inadequate. Such deprivatory rules exist to this day in many religious orders, with no more success than in days of old. Obviously a different approach is called for.

In the 12th century times called for the organisation of military religious orders and several were founded at that time - the Knights Templar, who were warriors who took the traditional vows and protected Christian pilgrims on the road to the Holy Places. They were very active in Europe and the Middle East for 200 years, becoming a very efficient financial and business group, supported by the Pope and European leaders.

Disagreements however ended in charges of heresy and witchcraft and the execution of 120 of its leaders in France and the dissolving of the Order. It does remain today however as an underground organisation. Its assets were transferred to another order, the Knights Hospitalers, founded around the same time, but for hospital or hostelry work. It was only at a later stage that armed knights were included in the order. As the Knights of Rhodes, they ruled that island for 200 years, then Malta for a further two centuries, becoming the Knights of Malta, until the Protestant Reformation suppressed their activities and gave away their assets. As the Knights of St John they still exist as a sovereign order within the Roman Catholic Church but few take monastic vows and their work is primarily in hospitals.

The Requirements for Today - and Tomorrow

The Disciples of the New Age or Aquarian Templar - will not be monastic in character, (i.e. live a life of seclusion), but will be regarded as a regular cleric, devoted to teaching, healing and or writing. Adherents may be of any race or colour, male or female, with equal rights in participation at all levels. A vow of poverty may or may not be taken, as the individual deems fit.

The dawning of a New Age, the 21st century or the Age of Aquarius, calls for a different attitude in these matters. The level of spiritual awareness will in fact be increased, not decreased, but the empty rituals of the past, the narrow dogmas and uncompromising attitude to one's fellowman have no place in an Age of Enlightenment.

It must be borne in mind at all times - although it has frequently been overlooked by many religious orders - that man is a spiritual creature whose soul inhabits a physical body, and that this body must be adequately maintained at all times in order to ensure that life is not foreshortened but sustained for as long as is necessary to complete the task or necessary experiences of the individual on this Earth plane. Poverty, like many other things, must be considered relative.

Maintenance of the body depends upon mental and physical well-being, therefore it would be quite inappropriate to practise physical penance or to inflict suffering of any kind on the physical body, to restrict its capabilities or to short-change it in any way. A long life devoted to serving mankind can only be attained in a highly functional physical frame: any physical shortcoming will be reflected in the quality of service possible or desirable. Health is therefore paramount - and primarily a matter of nutrition, a positive attitude and unconditional love for all of mankind. Material needs are a necessity, but not to excess.

Clothing: Although the practice of those in spiritual orders was generally to wear an unpretentious habit or uniform - to infer sobriety, discipline and an aura of poverty, this was not always so and there appears to be good reason for avoiding anything which resembles a uniform. A uniform dress of any nature, however unpretentious, causes the wearer to stand out in the crowd, or among non-members of an order, and for this reason alone may be considered inadvisable. The higher clergy of some churches are still dressed in apparel which cannot be termed unostentatious.

That which may be termed modern-day clothing can be considered just as appropriate as any conceivable monastic garb, so long as it is comfortable, economical and practical. Unless the wearer is young enough to be still growing, a long-wearing, higher-cost cloth may be more cost-effective than a cheaper cloth which wears out within a short space of time, so the initial purchase price of clothing is not necessarily a criterion for its effective cost.

This will not necessarily preclude the Temple of St Michael from prescribing or recommending for or against any matter regarding attire.

Accommodation, including adequate furnishings, may be provided at the location where the participant is normally in residence, as well as at other established locations which the participant may be visiting, or, when this is not available or not feasible, alternative accommodation may be provided at corporate expense for the period of such official visitation.

Meals will be provided centrally in the rooms provided by the corporation for this purpose, but where meals must be taken outside of these premises, and packed meals cannot reasonably be provided, a meal allowance will be paid in advance to the participant at a rate which will cover wholesome meals in that particular vicinity.

Transportation needs will be met by the corporation whenever travel is required or desirable. This may extend to the provision of a vehicle, the payment of coach, rail or air-fares, supplementary expenses such as taxi fares, and, in the case of the vehicle, gas, maintenance and repair costs. Whenever possible, advance bookings will be made in order to take advantage of lower fares for public transportation.

Modern banking methods may be used to facilitate the payment of necessary expenses incurred by those who travel frequently or when otherwise deemed expedient.

The Vow of Poverty

A participant within the parent corporation who sincerely wishes to devote his career or life to any aspect of the operations of Temple of St Michael, and who has been initiated into this Religious Order, may take a vow of poverty at any time during membership in the Order.

Those who elect to take this Vow of Poverty would cease to pay income tax as well as contributions to Canada Pension Plan and Unemployment Insurance. Employer deductions also cease, eliminating in effect a double deduction when an individual is self-employed. At current rates (January 1987) the deductions amount to $1,092.06 for the individual and $1,351.24 for the employer. This should not however be a consideration In deciding whether or not to take such a vow.

Income, when made over to the Temple of St Michael and classified as earned income, is NOT taxable. When tax is deducted automatically at source, this is refundable at year-end, once an income-tax return has been filed. Income which is unearned, such as interest, dividends, other investment etc is however taxable.

The corporation must certify annually that a person has taken a vow of perpetual poverty and has transferred all earned income, superannuation and pension benefits for the current year to the funds or account of the religious order.

It should be noted that despite the fact that a person has signed a vow of perpetual poverty, it is not irrevocable, and the person can be released from this vow at a future date, should circumstances warrant it or the person change his mind.

In return therefore for the services and any income of the participant, the Temple of St Michael will provide the participant, and his dependents if necessary, with all their material needs.

Although a vow of perpetual poverty may be taken by all, active participants in the active operations of Temple of St Michael, this does not preclude the Order itself from owning corporately any estate or effects.

Location

During the early years of the Christian Church there was no reference to church buildings, or buildings specifically reserved for worship. The people were the Church, and they met in each other's homes when required. Nothing has changed. For the purpose of worship therefor there is no prerequisite for a designated building. At the same time however this does not preclude the construction of the sole use of the Order, nor for joint use with any other division of the parent corporation or other organisation.

In each Centre or other facility used by the parent corporation an appropriate room will be designated specifically for meditation, prayer, healing and other services and will be available for such purposes at all times.

Doctrinal Statement

Technically, the advancement of religion involves the promulgation and promotion of a doctrine or articles of faith which explore man's relationship to a deity. In the case of the Temple of St Michael, the Doctrinal Statement can be summarised as follows:-


    (a) The philosophy of (the parent corporation) and its teachings are based on the Book of Levi, the Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ, the Light given for the Age of Aquarius, enhanced by other sacred works, given through the Ages, and such other enlightenment as may be continued to be received from a higher plane.
    (b) Man is in essence spiritual, not material or physical: the body may be destroyed, but the spirit or soul therein is immortal.
    (c) Man's sojourn on this plane from time to time is a period of testing, a planned educational experience in a program of soul growth with the ultimate aim of returning from whence he came, of being reunited with his Creator.
    (d) In order to enjoy the advantages of the Age of Aquarius, an age of enlightenment, of peace and brotherly Love, man's consciousness must be raised to a higher level through greater understanding of what he is, why he is here and his purpose on this plane in this lifetime.
    (e) Let patience and love be thy guide.

Application to Serve in the Order

Any person desirous of participating in the Temple of St Michael may become a full-time or part-time participant, subject to the following conditions:-


    a) The Board of Directors of the Temple of St Michael have minuted their agreement that the applicant complies with the minimum requirements for a participant in the activities of the parent corporation, and that they are satisfied that the applicant is suited for work within the outlined activities of the Order.
    b) No debts nor financial obligations of the applicant may or will be assumed by the parent corporation now or hereafter other than such as are expressly agreed to in writing at the time of acceptance into the Order and which concern material needs.
    c) The effective date of acceptance into the Order will be the date of first application for membership within the Order.

Indications of interest in serving mankind through the activities of the Temple of St Michael should be addressed in the first place to:-[removed]

1st January, 1987.

© COPYRIGHT 1987 Milson Macleod

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