This massive six-foot-high stone cross, with its unusual 400-word epitaph, has stood in the Ajo Cemetery since the 1930's. After Louis Conde's death in 1931, his widow commissioned the construction of this unusual marker to memorialize his spiritual philosophy and teachings. With each letter manually formed from copper wire, then soldered to a nail and embedded in the concrete face of the cross, this is a monument built to last. Indeed, more than seventy years later, the marker still stands in good, legible condition. Here's the full text of the epitaph:
The Master Lahissa
LOUIS CONDE -- 18__ to 1931
For all races -- for all peoples, for all beliefs, -- he came and they knew him not.
Teacher & helper of humanity
Actuated by the same spirit that has guided all the teachers, he came to lead human beings into a new era. A new step in evolution and progress the era of man's full consciousness of the power within him. "Man's power is unlimited" he said, 50 & 10 years ago. "Mind, intelligence, is God; & Man can reach out and get what he wants from that universal mind. He is in contact with it thru his brain. As it has taken him an eternity of the past -- of reincarnative evolution -- to develop 1/6 of his brain, just think what he can do when he has unfolded 2/6 and more! He will overcome the so-called laws of nature. He will go around the earth in the flash of a moment, & to the planets."
"Life is activity; it is eternal" he said "A continuous cycle, never ending, never beginning. -- All things are vibrations. There is no wall separating the material & the spiritual; one blends into the other."
"All beliefs are right" Lahissa taught. "Each one is a spoke in the wheel -- leading to the same center." & "Your God -- no matter what you call it -- is just but cold -- without sentiment or feelings. It is not concerned about you the individual, but works by certain definite laws -- and you must obey those laws or pay the price. &" "As you give life and your fellowman, so shall you receive from life and your fellowman: that is the inevitable law of compensation. -- Give at all times now, the best there is in you thus will you find happiness and when you are happy, then your God will smile upon you."
Indeed, Lahissa showed the way. He lived all phases of life and mastered its conditions, -- was persecuted and prosecuted, until his earthly career was ended. And his spirit is still guiding into the 'new', when the teachings of all great teachers will be the accepted law of life: "Love, tolerance, forgiveness & the seeking of truth and understanding."
The foundation has been laid. It is left to others to bring into being: The Brotherhood of Man.
--1934 THE LAHISSA TEMPLE--
Directions: The cemetery entrance is on 1st Avenue between McKinley and Ash Streets. The cross is about one-third of the way back, close to the west edge of the cemetery.
Last visited: November 2008.
Standard disclaimer: Sites are described for entertainment purposes only, as they were at the time of my last visit. I can not vouch for the current condition of the site or its accessibility.