Source: "The Desire Body" by Max Heindel
Man, the indwelling Spirit, has at his present stage of development four
vehicles through which he functions: the dense body, the vital body, the
desire body, and the mind. Although these bodies are closely interrelated
and are affected by each other, it is helpful to the student in understand-
ing thoroughly their functions and possibilities to study each one
separately and intensively. To facilitate such study Max Heindel's material
concerning the desire body has been collected and published in this one con-
The desire body of man is his vehicle of feelings, desires, wishes, and
emotions. It is responsible for all his actions, reveling in unrestrained
motion. If unbridled it makes the body do all the unnecessary and
undignified things which are so detrimental to soul growth. However, that
temper which is such a great menace when it takes control, may be as
effective for service under proper guidance. Hence the temper of the desire
body must be controlled but not by any means killed.
The Western Wisdom Teachings therefore emphasize the TRANSMUTING of the
lower desires into higher ones through service motivated by devotion to high
ideals. This generates the Emotional Soul, essential nourishment for the
THE PLANETARY DESIRE WORLD:
ITS RELATIONSHIP TO MINERAL, PLANT, ANIMAL, AND MAN:
In the Rosicrucian teaching the universe is divided into seven different
Worlds, or states of matter, as follows:
1. World of God
2. World of Virgin Spirits
3. World of Divine Spirit
4. World of Life Spirit
5. World of Thought
6. Desire World
7. Physical World
This division is not arbitrary but necessary, because the substance of
each of these Worlds is amenable to laws which are practically inoperative
in the others. For instance, in the Physical World, matter is subject to
gravity, contraction, and expansion. In the Desire World there is neither
heat nor cold, and forms levitate as easily as they gravitate. Distance and
time are also governing factors of existence in the Physical World, but are
almost non-existent in the Desire World.
The matter of these worlds also varies in density, the Physical World be-
ing the densest of the seven.
Each World is subdivided into seven Regions or subdivisions of matter.
Desire stuff in the Desire World persists through its seven subdivisions
or regions as material for the embodiment of desire. As the Chemical Region
is the realm of form and as the Etheric Region is the home of the forces
carrying on life activities in these forms enabling them to live, move, and
propagate, so the forces in the Desire World, working in the quickened dense
body, impel it to move in this or that direction.
If there were only the activities of the Chemical and Etheric Regions of
the Physical World, there would be forms having life, able to move, but WITH
NO INCENTIVE FOR SO DOING. This incentive is supplied by the cosmic forces
active in the Desire World and without this activity playing through every
fibre of the vitalized body, urging action in this direction or that, there
would be no experience and no moral growth. The function of the different
ethers would take care of the growth of the form, for it is only in response
to the requirements of spiritual growth that forms evolve to higher states.
Thus we at once see the great importance of this realm of Nature.
Desires, wishes, passions, and feelings express themselves in the matter
of the different regions of the Desire World as form and feature express
themselves in the Chemical Region of the Physical World. They take forms
which last for a longer or shorter time, according to the intensity of the
desire, wish, or feeling embodied in them. In the Desire World the distinc-
tion between the forces and the matter is not so definite and apparent as in
the Physical World. One might almost say that here the ideas of force and
matter are identical or interchangeable. it is not quite so, but we may say
that to a certain extent the Desire World consists of force-matter.
When speaking of the matter of the Desire World, it is true that it is
one degree less dense than the matter of the Physical World, but we enter-
tain an entirely wrong idea if we imagine it is FINER physical matter.
Though the mountain and the daisy, the man, the horse, and a piece of
iron, are composed of one ultimate atomic substance, we do not say that the
daisy is a finer form of iron. Similarly it is impossible to explain in
words the change or difference in physical matter when it is broken into de-
sire stuff. If there were no difference it would be amenable to the laws of
the Physical World, which it is not.
The law of the Chemical Region is inertia--the tendency to remain in
STATU QUO. It takes a certain amount of force to overcome this inertia and
cause a body which is at rest to move, or to stop a body in motion. Not so
with the matter of the Desire World. That matter itself is almost living.
It is an unceasing motion, fluid, taking all imaginable and unimaginable
forms with inconceivable facility and rapidity, at the same time coruscating
and scintillating in a thousand ever-changing shades of color, incomparable
to anything we know in this physical state of consciousness. Something very
faintly resembling the action and appearance of this matter will be seen in
the play of colors on an abalone shell when held in the sunlight and moved
to and fro.
This is what the Desire World is--ever-changing light and color--in which
the forces of animal and man intermingle with the forces of innumerable Hi-
erarchies of spiritual beings which do not appear in our Physical World, but
which are as active in the Desire World as we are here.
The forces sent out by this vast and varied host of Beings mold the
everchanging matter of the Desire World into innumerable and differing forms
of more or less durability, according to the kinetic energy of the impulse
which gave them birth.
The three Worlds of our planet (World of Thought, Desire World, and
Physical World) are at present the field of evolution for a number of dif-
ferent kingdoms of life, at various stages of development. Only four of
these need concern us at present, viz.: the mineral, plant, animal, and hu-
These four kingdoms are related to the three Worlds in different ways,
according to the progress these groups of evolving life have made in the
school of experience.
To show feeling and emotion it is necessary to have a vehicle composed of
the materials of the Desire World.
It is necessary to have a separate vital BODY, desire BODY, etc., to ex-
press the qualities of a particular realm, because the atoms of the World of
Desire, of the World of Thought, and even of the higher worlds interpen-
etrate the mineral as well as the dense body. If the interpenetration of
the planetary ether, which is the ether that envelops the atoms of the min-
eral, were enough to make it feel and propagate, its interpenetration by the
planetary World of Thought would also be sufficient to make it think. This
it cannot do, because it lacks a SEPARATE vehicle. It is penetrated by the
planetary ether only, and is therefore incapable of individual growth. Only
the lowest of the four states of ether--the chemical--is active in the
mineral. The chemical forces in minerals are due to that fact.
Having noted the relations of the four kingdoms to the Etheric Region of
the Physical World, we will next turn our attention to their relation to the
Here we find that both minerals and plants lack the separate desire body.
They are permeated only by the planetary desire body, the Desire World.
Lacking the separate vehicle, they are incapable of feeling, desire, and
emotion, which are faculties pertaining to the Desire World. When a stone
is broken, it does not feel; but it would be wrong to infer that there is no
feeling connected with such an action. That is the materialistic view taken
by the uncomprehending multitude. The occult scientist knows that there is
no act, great or small, which is not felt throughout the universe, and even
thought the stone, because it has no separate desire body, cannot feel, the
Spirit of the Earth feels because it is the Earth's desire body that perme-
ates the stone. When a man cuts his finger, the finger, having no separate
desire body, does not feel pain, but the man does, because it is his desire
body which permeates the finger. If a plant is torn up by the roots, it is
felt by the Spirit of the Earth as a man would feel if a hair were torn from
his head. This Earth is a living, feeling body, and all the forms which are
without separate desire bodies through which their informing Spirits may ex-
perience feeling, are included in the desire body of the Earth and THAT de-
sire body has feeling. The breaking of a stone and the breaking off of
flowers are productive of pleasure to the Earth, while the pulling out of
plants by the roots causes pain.
In the plant there is no separate desire body, hence it feels no passion.
It stretches its creative organ, the flower, chastely and unashamed toward
the Sun, a thing of beauty and a delight.
In man the individual desire body must necessarily cause passion and de-
sire unless subjugated by some ulterior means. Therefore man is the inver-
sion of the chaste plant, both figuratively and literally, for he is pas-
sionate and turns his creative organ towards the Earth and is ashamed of it.
The plant takes its food by way of the root; man's nourishment enters his
body by way of the head. Man inhales life-giving oxygen and exhales
death-dealing carbon dioxide. This is taken by the plant, which extracts
the poison and returns the vitalizing principle to man.
The Planetary World pulsates through the dense and vital bodies of animal
and man in the same way that it penetrates the mineral and plant, but in ad-
dition to this, animal and man have separate desire bodies, which enable
them to feel desire, emotion, and passion. There is a difference, however.
The desire body of the animal is built entirely of the material of the
denser regions of the Desire World, while in the case of even the lowest of
human races a little of the matter of the higher regions enters into the
composition of the desire body. The feelings of animals and the lowest hu-
man races are almost entirely concerned with the gratification of the lowest
desires and passions which find their expression in the matter of the lower
regions of the desire body.
The desire body is rooted in the liver, as the vital body is in the
In all warm-blooded creatures--which are the highest evolved and have
feelings, passions, and emotions; which reach outward into the world with
desire; which may be said really to live in the fuller meaning of the term
and not merely vegetate--the currents of the desire body flow outward from
the liver. The desire stuff is continually welling out in streams or cur-
rents which travel in curved lines to every point of the periphery of the
ovoid and then return to the liver through a number of vortices, much as
boiling water is continually welling outward from the source of heat and re-
turning to it after completing its cycle.
The plants are devoid of this impelling, energizing principle, hence they
cannot show life and motion as can the more highly developed organisms.
Where there is vitality and motion, but no RED blood, there is no
separate desire body. The creature is simply in the transition stage from
plant to animal and therefore it moves entirely in the strength of the Group
In the COLD-blooded animals which have a liver and RED blood, there is a
separate desire body and the Group Spirit directs the currents INWARD, be-
cause in their case the separate spirit (of the individual fish or reptile,
for instance) is entirely outside the dense vehicle.
When the organism has evolved so far that the separate spirit can com-
mence to draw into its vehicles then it (the individual Spirit) commences to
direct the currents OUTWARD, and we see the beginning of passionate exist-
ence and warm blood. It is the warm red blood in the liver of the organism
sufficiently evolved to have an INdwelling Spirit which energizes the outgo-
ing currents of desire stuff that cause the animal or the man to display
desire and passion. In the case of the animal the spirit is not as yet en-
tirely INdwelling. The present mammalia, which have in their animal stage
attained to the possession of warm, red blood, are capable of experiencing
desire and emotion to some extent.
The animal spirit has in its descent reached only the Desire World. It
has not yet evolved to the point where it can "enter" a dense body. There-
fore the animal has no individual INdwelling Spirit, but a Group Spirit
which directs it FROM WITHOUT. The animal has the dense body, the vital
body, and the desire body, but the Group Spirit which directs it is outside.
The vital body and the desire body of an animal are not entirely within the
dense body, especially where the head is concerned.
All forms are impelled into motion by desire:--the bird and the animal
roam land and air in their desire to secure food and shelter, or for the
purpose of breeding; man is also moved by these desires, but has in addition
other and higher incentives to spur him to effort, among them is desire for
rapidity of motion which led him to construct the steam engine and other de-
vices that move in obedience to HIS desire.
If there were no iron in the mountains man could not build machines. If
there were no clay in the soil, the bony structure of the skeleton would be
an impossibility, and if there were no Physical World at all, with its sol-
ids, liquids and gases, this dense body of ours could never have come into
existence. Reasoning along similar lines it must be at once apparent that
if there were no Desire World composed of desire stuff, we should have no
way of forming feelings, emotions, and desires. A planet composed of the
materials we perceive with our physical EYES and of no other substance,
might be the home of plants which grow unconsciously, but have no desires to
cause them to grow. The human and animal kingdoms, however, would be impos-
Both animals and man have a desire body and are swayed by the twin
feelings and the twin forces. A tigress in the jungle will pass a loaf of
bread with indifference but she will feel interested in the owner. Her in-
terest will rouse the force of attraction, yet she will endeavor to kill
him. The destructive act is not the end and the aim, however, but only a
necessary step toward assimilation. If she spies another beast of prey hav-
ing designs on what she considers her booty, that also will cause her to
feel interest. But in that case the feeling of interest will arouse the
force of repulsion, and if a fight ensues, destruction of her adversary will
be an end in itself. In the above case and in cases where the animal de-
sires of man are factors, the twin forces and twin feelings operate alike,
but there is a difference in the composition of the desire body of man and
The desire body of an animal is composed solely of matter from the four
lower regions of the Desire World. Hence it is incapable of feeling any but
the animal desires for food, shelter, and the like. A saint would feel the
keenest remorse if he had inadvertently spoken a hasty word; the tigress re-
mains undisturbed by any sense of wrong, though she kill daily. The reason
is that man's desire body is composed of the matter of all the seven regions
of the Desire World so that he is capable of feeling in a higher sense than
ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT OF MAN'S DESIRE BODY:
THROUGH THE SEPTENARY PERIODS:
The evolutionary scheme is carried through five Worlds in seven great Pe-
riods of Manifestation, during which the Virgin Spirit, or evolving life,
becomes first man--then, a God.
In the Rosicrucian terminology, the names of the seven Periods are as
1. The Saturn Period
2. The Sun Period
3. The Moon Period
4. The Earth Period
5. The Jupiter Period
6. The Venus Period
7. The Vulcan Period
The three first mentioned periods (the Saturn, Sun, and Moon Periods)
have been passed through. We are now in the fourth, or Earth Period. When
this Earth Period of our Globe has been completed, we and it shall pass in
turn through the Jupiter, Venus, and Vulcan conditions before the great
septenary Day of Manifestation comes to an end, when all that now is will
once more be merged in the Absolute for a period of rest and assimilation of
the fruits of our evolution, to re-emerge for further and higher development
of another Great Day.
The three and one-half Periods already behind us have been spent in gain-
ing our present vehicles and consciousness. The remaining three and
one-half Periods will be devoted to perfecting these different vehicles and
expanding our consciousness into something akin to omniscience.
We have seen that man is a very complex organism, consisting of:
(1) The Dense Body, which is his tool in action.
(2) The Vital Body, a medium of "vitality" which makes action possible.
(3) The Desire Body, whence comes Desire and compels action.
(4) The Mind, a brake on impulse, giving purpose to action.
(5) The Ego, which acts and gathers experience from action.
The Human Spirit and the desire body commenced to evolve in the Moon Pe-
riod and are therefore the special wards of the Holy Spirit.
From the study of THE COSMO-CONCEPTION we learn that our desire body was
generated in the Moon Period. If you wish to obtain a mental picture of the
way things looked then, take an illustration of the foetus as shown in any
book on anatomy. There are three principle parts: the PLACENTA, which is
filled with the maternal blood, the UMBILICAL CORD, which carries this vital
stream, and the FOETUS, which is nourished from embryo to maturity thereby.
Fancy now, in that far-off time, the firmament as one immense placenta from
which there depended billions of umbilical cords, each with its foetal ap-
pendage. Through the whole human family, then in the making, circulated the
one universal essence of desire and emotion, generating in all the impulses
to action which are now manifest in every phase of the world's work. These
umbilical cords and foetal appendages were molded from the moist desire
stuff by the emotions of the LUNAR ANGELS, while the fiery desire currents
which were endeavoring to stir the latent life in mankind, then in the mak-
ing, were generated by the fiery martial Lucifer Spirits. The color of that
first slow vibration which they set in motion in that emotional desire stuff
In the Moon Period it was necessary to reconstruct the dense body to make
it capable of being interpenetrated by a desire body, and also capable of
evolving a nervous system, muscle, cartilage, and a rudimentary skeleton.
This reconstruction was the work of the Saturn Revolution of the Moon Pe-
In the second, or Sun Revolution, the vital body was also modified to
render it capable of being interpenetrated by a desire body, also of accom-
modating itself to the nervous system, muscle, skeleton, etc. The Lords of
Wisdom, who were the originators of the vital body, also helped the lords of
Individuality with this work.
From this moist substance (in the Moon Period) the densest body of these
"Water-men" was built. The thought form for the dense body had consolidated
to a moist gas, the thought form for our present vital body had descended
into the Desire World. It was formed of desire matter. To this twofold
body the thought form for our present desire body was added in the Moon Pe-
riod and the Seraphim awakened the third aspect of the Virgin-Spirit: "the
Human Spirit." The Virgin Spirit became an "Ego," so that at the close of
the Moon Period man-in-the-making possessed a threefold Spirit and a three-
Thus we see at the close of the Moon Period man possessed a threefold
body in varying stages of development; and also the germ of the threefold
Spirit. He had dense, vital, and desire bodies, and Divine, Life, and Human
Spirit. All he lacked was the link to connect them.
At the end of the Moon Period these classes possessed the vehicles as
they are classified in Diagram 10, and started with them in the beginning of
the Earth period. During the time which has elapsed since then, the human
kingdom has been evolving the link of mind, and has thereby attained full
waking consciousness. The animals have obtained a desire body; the plants a
vital body; the stragglers of the life wave which entered evolution in the
Moon Period have escaped the hard and fast conditions of rock formation and
now their dense bodies compose our softer soils; while the life wave that
entered evolution here in the Earth period forms the hard rocks and stones.
All of Class 2 whose desire bodies could be divided into two parts (as
was the case with all of Class 1) were fitted to become human vehicles and
were therefore advanced into the human group.
We must carefully remember that in the above paragraphs we are dealing
with Form, not with the Life which dwells in the Form. The instrument is
graded to suit the life that is to dwell in it. Those of Class 2, in whose
vehicles the above-mentioned division could be made were raised to the human
kingdom, but were given the indwelling Spirit at a point in time later than
Class 1. Hence, they are not now so far evolved as Class 1, and are there-
fore the lower races of mankind.
Those whose desire bodies were incapable of division were put into the
same division as Classes 3a and 3b. They are our present anthropoids.
These may yet overtake our evolution if they reach a sufficient degree of
advancement before the critical point already mentioned, which will come in
the middle of the Fifth Revolution. If they do not overtake us by that
time, they will have lost touch with OUR evolution.
It was said that man had built his threefold body by the help of others
higher than he, but in the previous period there was no coordinating power;
the threefold Spirit, the Ego, was separate and apart from its vehicles.
Now the time had come to unite the Spirit and the body.
Where the desire body separated, the higher part became somewhat master
over the lower part and over the dense and vital bodies. It formed a sort
of animal-soul with which the Spirit could unite by means of the link of
mind. Where there was no division of the desire body, the vehicle was given
over to desires and passions without any check, and could therefore not be
used as a vehicle WITHIN which the Spirit could dwell. So it was put under
the control of a Group Spirit which ruled it from WITHOUT. It became an
animal body, and that kind has now degenerated into the body of the anthro-
Where there was a division of the desire body, the dense body gradually
assumed a vertical position, thus taking the spine out of the horizontal
currents of the Desire World in which the Group Spirit acts upon the animal
through the horizontal spine. The Ego could then enter, work in, and ex-
press itself through the vertical spine and build the vertical larynx and
brain for its adequate expression in the dense body. A horizontal larynx is
also under the domination of the Group Spirit. While it is true that some
animals, as the starling, raven, parrot, etc., previously mentioned, are
able, because of the possession of a vertical larynx, to UTTER words, they
cannot use them understandingly. THE USE OF WORDS TO EXPRESS THOUGHT IS THE
HIGHEST HUMAN PRIVILEGE and can be exercised only by a reasoning, thinking
entity like man.
In the Polarian Epoch man acquired the dense body as an instrument of ac-
tion. In the Hyperborean Epoch the vital body was added to give power of
motion necessary to action. In the Lemurian Epoch the desire body furnished
incentive to action.
In the third, or Lemurian Epoch, man cultivated a desire body, a vehicle
of passions and emotions, and was then constituted as the animal. Then
milk, a product of living animals, was added to his diet, for this substance
is most easily worked upon by the emotions. ABEL, the man of that time, is
described as a shepherd. It is nowhere stated that he killed an animal for
The third, or Lemurian Epoch, presents conditions analogous to the Moon
Period, but denser. The fiery core of the Earth is in the center, the boil-
ing, seething water next, and the steamy atmosphere or "fire-fog" outside,
for thus "God had divided the land from the waters," as Genesis says; the
dense moisture from the steam, and there man lived on islands of the forming
solid crust scattered in the sea of fire or boiling water. His form was
then quite firm and solid, it had a trunk, limbs, and the head was beginning
to form. The desire body was added, and man brought under the dominion of
In the far past, when man was in touch with the "inner" worlds, these or-
gans (pituitary body and pineal gland) were his means of ingress thereto,
and they will again serve that purpose at a later stage. They were con-
nected with the involuntary or sympathetic nervous system. Man then saw the
inner worlds, as in the Moon Period and the latter part of the Lemurian and
early Atlantean Epochs. Pictures presented themselves quite independent of
his will. The sense centers of his desire body were spinning around
counter-clockwise (following negatively the motion of the Earth, which re-
volves on its axis in that direction) as the sense centers of "mediums" do
to this day. In most people these sense centers are inactive, but true de-
velopment will set them spinning clockwise.
The mind was given to man in the Atlantean Epoch to give purpose to ac-
tion, but as the Ego was exceedingly weak and the desire nature strong, the
nascent mind coalesced with the desire body; the faculty of Cunning resulted
and was the cause of all the wickedness of the middle third of the Atlantean
In a far distant future man's desire body will become as definitely orga-
nized as are the vital and dense bodies. When that stage is reached we
shall all have the power to function in the desire body as we now do in the
dense body, which is the oldest and best organized of these bodies of
man--the desire body being the youngest.
In the Hyperborean Epoch, before man possessed a desire body, there was
but one universal mode of communication and when the desire body has become
sufficiently purified, all men will again be able to understand one another,
for then the separative Race differentiation will have passed away.
The desire body was started in the Moon Period, reconstructed in the
Earth Period, will be further modified in the Jupiter Period, reaching per-
fection in the Venus Period.
Globe D of the Venus Period is located in the Desire World (see Diagram 8
in the COSMO-CONCEPTION), hence neither a dense nor a vital body could be
used as an instrument of consciousness, therefore the essences of the per-
fected dense and vital bodies are incorporated in the completed desire body,
the latter thus becoming a vehicle of transcendent qualities, marvelously
adaptable and so responsive to the slightest wish of the indwelling Spirit
that in our present limitations, it is beyond our utmost conception.
Ye the efficiency of even this splendid vehicle will be transcended when
in the Vulcan Period its essence, together with the essences of the dense
and vital bodies, are added to the mind body, which becomes the highest of
man's vehicles, containing within itself the quintessence of all that was
best in all the vehicles.
MAN'S DESIRE BODY IN THE PHYSICAL WORLD:
FROM INFANCY TO PUBERTY:
The vehicles of the new-born do not at once become active. The dense
body is helpless for a long time after birth.
It is the same with the forces working in the desire body. The passive
feeling of physical pain is present, while the feeling of emotion is almost
entirely absent. The child will, of course, show emotion on the slightest
provocation, but the duration of that emotion is but momentary. It is all
on the surface.
The vital body of the plant builds leaf after leaf, carrying the stem
higher and higher. Were it not for the macrocosmic desire body it would
keep on in that way indefinitely, but the macrocosmic desire body steps in
at a certain point and checks further growth. The force that is not needed
for further growth is then available for other purposes and is used to build
the flower and the seed. In like manner the human vital body, when the
dense body comes under its sway, after the seventh year, makes the latter
grow very rapidly, but about the fourteenth year the individual desire body
is born from the womb of the macrocosmic desire body and is then free to
work on its dense body. The excessive growth is then checked and the force
theretofore used for that purpose becomes available for propagation that the
human plant may flower and bring forth. Therefore the birth of the personal
desire body marks the period of puberty. From this period the attraction
towards the opposite sex is felt, being especially active and unrestrained
in the third septenary period of life--from the fourteenth to the
twenty-first year--because the restraining mind is then still unborn.
It must not be imagined, however, that when the little body of a child
has been born, the process of birth is completed. The dense physical body
has had the longest evolution, and as a shoemaker who has worked at his
trade for a number of years is more expert than an apprentice and can make
better shoes and QUICKER, so also the Spirit which has built many physical
bodies produces them quickly, but the vital body is a later acquisition of
the human being. Therefore, we are not so expert in building that vehicle.
Consequently it takes longer to construct that from the materials not used
up in making the lining of the archetype, and the vital body is not born un-
til the seventh year. Then the period of rapid growth commences. The de-
sire body is a still later addition of composite man, and is not brought to
birth until the fourteenth year when the desire nature expresses itself most
strongly during so-called "hot" youth, and the mind, which makes man man,
does not come to birth until the twenty-first year. In law that age is rec-
ognize as the earliest time he is fitted to exercise a franchise.
At the age of fourteen we have the birth of the desire body, which marks
the commencement of self-assertion. In earlier years the child regards it-
self more as belonging to a family and subordinate to the wishes of its par-
ents than after the fourteenth year. The reason is this: in the throat of
the foetus and the young child there is a gland called the thymus gland,
which is largest before birth, then gradually diminishes through the years
of childhood and finally disappears at ages which vary according to the
characteristics of the child. Anatomists have been puzzled as to the func-
tion of this organ and have not yet come to any settled conclusion, but it
has been suggested that before development of the red marrow bones, the
child is not able to manufacture its own blood, and that therefore the thy-
mus gland contains an essence, supplied by the parents, upon which the child
may draw during infancy and childhood, till able to manufacture its own
blood. That theory is approximately true, and as the family blood flows in
the child, it looks upon itself as part of the family and not as an Ego.
But the moment it commences to manufacture its own blood, the Ego asserts
itself, it is no longer papa's girl or mamma's boy. It has an "I"-dentity
of its own. Then comes the critical age when parents reap what they have
sown. The mind has not yet born born, nothing holds the desire nature in
check, and much, very much, depends upon how the child has been taught in
earlier years and what example the parents have set. At this point in life
self-assertion, the feeling "I am myself," is stronger than at any other
time and therefore authority should give place to ADVICE. The parent should
practice the utmost tolerance, for at no time in life is a human being as
much in need of sympathy as during the seven years from fourteen to
twenty-one when the desire nature is rampant and unchecked.
The desire body requires protection from the onslaughts of the Desire
World until at about the fourteenth year it is born at the time we call
puberty; and the mind is not sufficiently ripe to be released from its pro-
tective cover until the man reaches his majority at about twenty-one. These
periods are only approximately correct, for each person differs from all
others in regard to exact time periods, but those given are near enough.
We saw that when the Ego had finished its day in the school of life the
centrifugal force of Repulsion caused it to throw off its dense vehicle at
death, then the vital body, which is the next coarsest. Next in Purgatory
the coarsest desire stuff accumulated by the Ego as embodiment for its low-
est desires was purged by this centrifugal force. In the higher realms only
the force of Attraction holds sway and keeps the good by centripetal action,
which tends to draw everything from the periphery to the center.
This centripetal force of Attraction also governs when the Ego is coming
to rebirth. We know that we can throw a stone farther than we can throw a
feather. Therefore, the coarsest matter was thrown outwards after death by
the force of Repulsion, and for the same reason the coarsest material
wherein the returning Ego embodies the tendencies to evil is whirled inwards
to the center by the centripetal force of Attraction, with the result that
when a child is born all that is best and purest appears on the outside.
The latent evil does not usually manifest until after the desire body is
born at about the age of fourteen, and the currents in that vehicle commence
to well outwards from the liver. At that time the Ego commences to "live"
its individual life and show what is within.
The desire body is born about the 14th year, at the time of puberty.
That is the time the feelings and passions are beginning to exercise their
power upon the young man or woman, as the womb of desire-stuff which for-
merly protected the nascent desire body is removed. This is in most cases a
trying time, and it is well for the youth who has learned to reverently look
to parents or teachers, for they will be to him an anchor of strength
against the inrush of the feelings. If he has been accustomed to take the
statements of his elders on trust, and they have given him wise teaching, he
will by now have developed an inherent sense of truth that will be a sure
guide but just in the measure that he has failed to do so will he be liable
to go adrift.
When a person dies in childhood in one life, he or she not infrequently
remembers that life in the next body, because children under fourteen years
do not journey around the entire life cycle, which necessitates the building
of a complete set of new vehicles. They simply pass into the upper regions
of the Desire World and there wait for a new embodiment, which usually takes
place in from one to twenty years after death. When the return to birth,
they bring with them the old mind and desire body.
ITS APPEARANCE AND FUNCTIONS:
In addition to the visible body and the vital body we also have a body
made of desire stuff from which we form our feelings and emotions. This ve-
hicle also impels us to seek sense gratification. But while the two instru-
ments of which we have already spoken, are well organized, the desire body
appears to spiritual sight as an ovoid cloud extending from sixteen to
twenty inches beyond the physical body. It is above the head and below the
feet so that our dense body sits in the center of this egg-shaped cloud as
the yolk is in the center of an egg.
The reason for the rudimentary state of this vehicle is that is has been
added to the human constitution more recently than the bodies previously
mentioned. Evolution of form may be likened to the manner in which the
juices in the snail first condense into flesh and later become a hard shell.
When our present visible body first germinated in the Spirit, it was a
thought form, but gradually it has become denser and more concrete until it
is now a chemical crystallization. The vital body was next emanated by the
Spirit as a thought form and is in the third stage of concretion, which is
etheric. The desire body is a still later acquisition. That also was a
thought form at its inception, but has now condensed to desire stuff. The
mind, only recently received, is still but a mere cloudy thought form.
Arms and limbs, ears and eyes are not necessary to use the desire body,
for it can glide through space more swiftly than wind without such means of
locomotion as we require in this visible world.
When viewed by spiritual sight, it appears that there are in this desire
body a number of whirling vortices. It is a characteristic of desire stuff
to be in constant motion, and from the main vortex in the region of the
liver there is a constant outwelling flow which radiates towards the periph-
ery of this egg-shaped body and returns to the center through a number of
other vortices. The desire body exhibits all the colors and shades which we
know and a vast number of others which are indescribable in earthly lan-
guage. Those colors vary in every person according to his characteristics
and temperament and they also vary from moment to moment as passing moods,
fancies, or emotions are experienced by him. There is, however, in each one
a certain basic color dependent upon the ruling star at the moment of his
birth. The man in whose horoscope Mars is peculiarly strong usually has a
crimson tint in his aura. Where Jupiter is the strongest planet the pre-
vailing tint seems to be a bluish tone, and so on with the other planets.
There was a time in the Earth's past history when incrustation was not
yet complete, and human beings of that time lived upon islands here and
there, amid boiling seas. They had not yet evolved eyes or ears, but a
little organ: the pineal gland, which anatomists have called the THIRD EYE,
protruded through the back of the head and was a LOCALIZED ORGAN OF FEELING,
which warned the man when he came too near a volcanic crater and thus en-
abled him to escape destruction. Since then the cerebral hemispheres have
covered the pineal gland, and instead of a single organ of feeling, the
whole body inside and out is sensitive to impacts, which of course is a much
higher state of development.
In the desire body every particle is sensitive to vibrations similar to
those we call sight, sound, and feeling, and every particle is in incessant
motion, rapidly swirling about so that in the same instant it may be at the
top and bottom of the desire body and impart at all points to all the other
particles a sensation of that which it has experienced. Thus every particle
of desire stuff in this vehicle of ours will instantly feel any sensation
experienced by any single particle. Therefore, the desire body is of an ex-
ceedingly sensitive nature, capable of most intense feelings and emotions.
The desire body is the vehicle of feelings and emotions which are always
changing from moment to moment. Though it has been said that the ether
which forms our soul body is in constant motion and mingles with the blood
stream, that motion is relatively slow compared to the rapidity of the cur-
rent of the desire body.
Desire stuff moves with inconceivable rapidity comparable only with
The impulses of the desire body drive the blood through the system at
varying rates of speed according to the strength of the emotions.
At present the materials of both the lower and the higher regions enter
into the composition of the desire bodies of the great majority of mankind.
None are so bad but that they have some good trait. This is expressed in
the materials of the higher regions which we find in their desire bodies.
But, on the other hand, very, very few are so good that they do not use some
of the materials of the lower regions.
In the same way that the planetary vital and desire bodies interpenetrate
the dense material of the Earth, as we saw in the illustration of the
sponge, the sand, and the water, so the vital and desire bodies interpen-
etrate the dense body of plant, animal, and man. But during the life of man
his desire body is not shaped like his dense and vital bodies. After death
it assumes that shape. During life it has the appearance of a luminous
ovoid which, in waking hours, completely surrounds the dense body, as the
albumen does the yolk of an egg. It extends from twelve to sixteen inches
beyond the dense body. In this desire body there are a number of sense cen-
ters, but, in the great majority of people, they are latent. It is the
awakening of these centers of perception that corresponds to the opening of
the blind man's eyes in our former illustration. The matter in the human
desire body is in incessant motion of inconceivable rapidity. There is in
it no settled place for any particle, as in the dense body. The matter that
is at the head one moment may be at the feet in the next and back again.
There are no organs in the desire body, as in the dense and vital bodies,
but there are centers of perception, which, when active, appear as vortices,
always remaining in the same relative position to the dense body, most of
them about the head. In the majority of people they are mere eddies and are
of no use as centers of perception. They may be awakened in all, however
but different methods produce different results.
In the involuntary clairvoyant developed along improper, negative lines,
these vortices turn from right to left, or in the opposite direction to the
hands of a clock--counter-clockwise.
In the desire body of the properly trained voluntary clairvoyant, they
turn in the same direction as the hands of a clock--clockwise, glowing with
exceeding splendor, far surpassing the brilliant luminosity of the ordinary
desire body. These centers furnish him with means for the perception of
things in the Desire World and he sees, and investigates as he wills, while
the person whose centers turn counter-clockwise is like a mirror, which re-
flects what passes before it. Such a person is incapable of reaching out
for information. The above is one of the fundamental differences between a
medium and a properly trained clairvoyant. It is impossible for most people
to distinguish between the two; yet there is one infallible rule that can be
followed by anyone: NO GENUINELY DEVELOPED SEER WILL EVER EXERCISE THIS
FACULTY FOR MONEY OR ITS EQUIVALENT; NOR WILL HE USE IT TO GRATIFY CURIOS-
ITY, BUT ONLY TO HELP HUMANITY.
EFFECT OF EMOTIONS ON CONTOUR AND COLOR:
Christ said, "Let your light shine." To the spiritual vision each human
being appears as a flame of light, variously colored according to tem-
perament, and of greater or less brilliancy in proportion to purity of char-
acter. Science has discovered that all matter is in a state of flux, that
the particles which compose our bodies continually decay and are eliminated
from the system, to be replaced by others which remain for a short time un-
til they also decompose. Likewise our moods, emotions, and desires change
with every passing moment, the old giving place to the new in an intermi-
nable succession. Therefore, they also must be composed of matter and sub-
ject to laws similar to those which govern visible physical substances.
Let us now see how the desire body changes under the varying feelings,
desires, passions, and emotions, so that we may learn to build wisely and
well the mystic temple wherein we dwell.
When we study one of the so-called physical sciences, such as anatomy or
architecture, which deals with tangible things, our task is facilitated by
the fact that we have words which describe the things whereof we treat, but
even then the mental picture conceived by a word differs with each
individual. When we speak of a "bridge," one may make a mental picture of a
million-dollar iron structure, another may think of a plank across a
streamlet. The difficulty which we experience in conveying accurate impres-
sions of our meaning increases apace when we attempt to convey ideas con-
cerning Nature's intangible forces, such as electricity. We measure the
strength of the current in volts, the volume in amperes, and the resistance
of the conductor in ohms, but, as a matter of fact, such terms are only in-
ventions to cover up our ignorance of the matter. We all know what a pound
of coffee is, but the world's greatest scientist has no more accurate con-
ception of what the volts, amperes and ohms are of which he so learnedly
discourses than the schoolboy who hears these terms for the first time.
What wonder then that superphysical subjects are described in vague and
often misleading terms, for we have no words in any physical language which
will accurately describe these subjects, and one is almost helpless and ut-
terly at a loss for descriptive terms wherewith to express oneself regarding
them. If it were possible to throw colored moving pictures of the desire
body upon the screen and there show how this restless vehicle changes con-
tour and color according to the emotions, even then it would not give an ad-
equate understanding to anyone who was not capable of seeing these things
himself, for the vehicles of every single human being differ from the ve-
hicles of all others in the way they respond to certain emotions. That
which causes one to feel intense love, hate, anger, fear, or any other emo-
tion may leave another entirely untouched.
The writer has a number of times watched crowds for the purpose of com-
parison in this respect, and has always found something startingly new and
different from what had hitherto been observed. On one occasion a demogogue
was endeavoring to incite a labor union to strike; he was very much excited
himself, and though the basic color of deep orange was perceivable, it was
for the time being almost obliterated by a scarlet color of the brightest
hue; the contour of his desire body was like the body of a porcupine with
its quills sticking out. There was a strong element of opposition in the
place, and as he talked one could clearly distinguish the two factions by
the colors of their respective auras. One set of men showed the scarlet of
anger but in the other set this color was intermingled with a grey, the
color of fear.
It was also remarkable that, although the grey men were in the majority,
the others carried the day, for each timid one believed himself alone or at
least with a very few supporters, and was therefore afraid to vote for or
express his opinion. If one who was able to see this condition had been
present and had gone to each one who manifested in his aura the signs of
dissension, and had given him the assurance that he was one of a majority,
the tide would have turned in the opposite direction. It is often so in hu-
man affairs, for at the present time the majority are unable to see beneath
the surface of the physical body and thus to perceive the true state of the
thoughts and feelings of others.
On another occasion a revival meeting was visited where many thousands
were present to hear a speaker of national repute. At the beginning of the
meeting it was evident from the state of the auras of the people that the
great majority had come there with no other purpose than to have a good time
and see some fun. The thoughts feelings, and emotions connection with the
ordinary life of each were plainly visible, but in a number a certain dark-
ish blue color showed an attitude of worry; it seemed that they had had some
disappointment in life and were very uneasy. When the speaker appeared, a
curious phenomenon took place. Desire bodies are usually in a state of
restless motion, but at that moment it seemed as if the whole vast audience
must have held its breath in an attitude of expectancy, for the varied
colorplay in the individual desire bodies ceased and the basic orange hue
was plainly perceptible for an instant. Presently each commenced his emo-
tional activities as before, while the prelude was being played. Then com-
menced the singing of hymns, and this showed the value and effect of music,
for as all united in singing identical words to the same tune, the same
rhythmic vibrations which surged through all these desire bodies seemed to
blend them and make them, for the time being, almost one. Quite a number
were sitting in the scoffer's seat, so to speak, refusing to sing and unite
with the others. To the spiritual sight they appeared as men of steel,
clothed in an armor of that color, and from each one, without exception went
out a vibration which said so much plainer than mere words could ever have
done, "Leave me alone, you shall not touch me." Something from within had
drawn them there, but they were mortally afraid of giving way, and therefore
their whole aura expressed this steel color of fear which is an armor of the
soul against outside interference.
When the first song was ended, the unity of color and vibration lapsed
almost immediately, each one taking anew his customary thought atmosphere;
and had nothing more been done, each would have lapsed into his habitual
inner life. But the evangelist, thought not able to see this, knew from
past experience that his audience was not yet ripe, and a succession of
songs were therefore sung the accompaniment of clapping hands, beating
drums, and gesticulations from the leader, aided by a trained chorus. This
brought the scattered souls again into a bond of harmony; gradually people
were overwhelmed with religious fervor, and the unity necessary for the next
effort was established. From the music, the leader's handclapping, and the
stirring appeal of the songs, that vast audience had become as one, for the
men of steel, the grey-tinted scoffers who thought themselves too wise to be
fooled (when their emotion was really fear), were a negligible part in that
vast congregation. All were then attuned as the many strings upon one great
instrument, and the evangelist who appeared before them was a master artist
at playing upon their emotions. He moved them from laughter to tears, from
sorrow to shame; great waves of the corresponding colors seemed to go over
the whole audience, as bewildering as they were magnificent. Then there
were the customary calls to "stand up for Jesus"; the invitation to the
"mourner's bench," etc., and each brought forth from all over the audience a
certain emotional response which was plainly shown in colors, golden and
blue. Then there were more songs, more clappings and gesticulations which,
for the time, furthered the unity and gave this audience an experience re-
sembling the feeling of universal brotherhood and the reality of the Father-
hood of God. The only ones upon whom the music had no effect were the men
clad in the steel-blue armor of fear. This color seems to be almost
impervious to any other emotion; and even thought the feelings experienced
by the great majority were relatively impermanent, the people benefited in a
measure by the revival, with the exception of these men of steel.
So far as the writer has been able to learn, the inner fear of yielding
to emotion--fear being saturnine in effect and twin sister to worry--seems
to require a shock that will take the person so affected out of his environ-
ment and set him down in a NEW PLACE among NEW CONDITIONS before the old
conditions can be overcome.
Worry is a condition where the desire currents do not sweep in long
curved lines in any part of the desire body, but where the vehicle is full
of eddies--nothing but eddies in extreme cases. The person so affected does
not endeavor to take action in any line; he sees calamities where there are
none, and instead of generating currents which lead to action that may pre-
vent the thing he fears, each thought of worry causes an eddy in the desire
body, and he does nothing in consequence. This condition of worry in the
desire body may be likened to water which is about to congeal under a lower-
ing temperature; fear which expresses itself as skepticism, cynicism, and
pessimism may be likened to that same water when it has frozen, for the de-
sire bodies of such people are almost motionless, and nothing one can say or
do seems to have the power to alter the condition. They have, to use a com-
mon expression which fits the condition excellently, "DRAWN INTO A SHELL,"
and that saturnine shell must be broken before it is possible to get at the
man and help him out of his pitiable state.
These saturnine emotions of fear and worry are usually caused by the
sufferer's apprehension of economic or social difficulties. "perhaps this
investment which I have made may depreciate or become a total loss. I may
lose my position and find myself starving upon the street; everything I un-
dertake seems to go wrong; my neighbors are slandering me and trying to un-
dermine my social position; my husband (or wife) does not care for me any
more; my children are neglecting me"; and a thousand and one kindred sugges-
tions present themselves to the mind. He should remember that every time
one of these thoughts is indulged in, it helps to congeal the currents in
the desire body and build a steel-blue shell in which the person who ha-
bitually fosters fear and worry will some time find himself shut off from
the love, sympathy, and help of all the world. Therefore, we ought to
strive to be cheerful, even under adverse circumstances or we may find our-
selves in a serious condition here and hereafter.
In the beginning of the Great War the emotions of Europe ran riot in a
most horrible manner, first among the so-called "living," and then among the
killed--when they awoke. This awakening took a long time because of the
large guns used--but more of that later. The whole atmosphere of the coun-
tries involved was seething with currents of anger and hate; like a cloud of
dark crimson it hung around every human being and over the land. Then there
were dark, tinted streaks like a funeral pall, which seems always to be gen-
erated in crises of sudden disaster when reason is at a standstill and de-
spair grips the heart. This was undoubtedly caused the fact that the
peoples involved realized that a catastrophe of a magnitude which they were
unable to comprehend was happening. The desire bodies of the majority
whirled at high speed in long waves of rhythmic pulsation which said more
plainly than words, "Just kill, kill, kill."
When two or three or a crowd met and commenced to discuss the war, the
rhythmic pulsations indicating the settled purpose to do and dare ceased,
and the thoughts and feelings of excitement generated by the discussion or
speech took shape as conical projections which rapidly grew to a height of
about six or eight inches, then they burst and emitted a tongue of flame.
Some people generated a number of these volcanic structures at one time, in
others there were only one or two at the same time. When one of these
bubbles had burst in one place, another appeared somewhere else on the de-
sire body while the discussion lasted, and it was the flames from them that
colored the cloud over the land scarlet. When a crowd disbanded or friends
parted after such a discussion, the bubbling and eruptions grew smaller and
less frequent, finally ceasing and giving place again to the long rhythmic
pulsations first mentioned.
These conditions are now (1916) seldom if ever seen; the explosive anger
at the enemy thus indicated is a thing of the past so far as the great ma-
jority are concerned. The basic orange color of the western people's aura
is again visible, and both officers and men seem to have settled down to war
as to a game; each is anxious to outdo and outwit the other. The war is now
mainly a channel for their ingenuity; but a number of the lay brothers of
the Rosicrucian Order believe that the condition of anger will return in a
modified form when active hostilities cease and peace negotiations commence.
This form of emotion we may call abstract anger, and it differs widely
from what is observed in the case of two persons who become angry with each
other in private life, whether they start to fight physically or not. Seen
from the hidden side of Nature, there are hostilities before blows are
struck. Jagged, dagger-like desire forms project themselves from one to the
other like spears until the fury which generated them has expended itself.
In the patriotic anger there is no personal enemy, therefore the desire
forms are more blunt and explode without leaving the person who generated
The "steel men" so common in private life where worry over the thousand
and one things that never happen crystallizes an armor around the person who
allows old Saturn thus to grip him, were and are conspicuous by their ab-
sence. The writer accounts for it on the hypothesis that the tension in
their environment forced them to enlist and the shock broke the shell; then
familiarity with danger bred contempt for it. It is certain that these
people have benefited greatly by the war, for there is no state more hamper-
ing to soul growth than constant fear and worry.
It is also a remarkable fact that thought the men engaged in war suffer
awful privations, the mass of them are cultivating a tinge of soft sky-blue
which stands for hope, optimism, and a dawning religious feeling, giving an
altruistic touch to the character. It is an indication that that universal
fellow-feeling which knows no distinctions of creed, color, or country is
growing in the human heart.
The red cloud of hate if lifting, the black veil of despair is gone,
there are no volcanic outbursts of passion in either the living or the dead,
but so far as the writer is able to read the signs of the times in the aura
of the nations, there is a settled purpose to play the game to the end.
Even in homes bereaved of many members, this seems to hold good. There is
an intense longing for the friends beyond but no hatred for the earthly foe.
This longing is shared by the friends in the unseen and many are piercing
the veil, for the intensity of their longing is awakening in the "dead" the
power to manifest by attracting a quantity of ether and gas which often is
taken from the vital body of a "sensitive" friend, as materializing Spirits
use the vital body of an entranced medium. Thus the eyes blinded by tears
are often opened by a yearning heart so that loved ones now in the spirit
world are met again face to face, heart to heart. This is Nature's method
of cultivating the sixth sense which will eventually enable all to know that
man is an immortal Spirit and continuity of life a fact in Nature.spirit
world are met again face to face, heart to heart. This is Nature's method
of cultivating the sixth sense which will eventually enable all to know that
man is an immortal Spirit and continuity of life a fact in Nature.
Continued with file "RC1009.TXT"
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