Filename: +quot;RC1009.TXT+quot; Source: +quot;Blavatsky + the Secret Doctrine+quot; by Ma

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Filename: "RC1009.TXT" Source: "Blavatsky & the Secret Doctrine" by Max Heindel [PAGE 263] INFLUENCE OF THOUGHT: It is a law in the Desire World that as a man thinketh, so is he--literally and without qualification. A dense body formed of the inert substance of the Chemical Region, quick- ened and vitalized by the vital body composed of the ethers of the Etheric Region, receives the incentive to action from the desire body, and incentive which the animals follow absolutely, but which in man is checked by another factor--reason, which sometimes causes him to act contrary to desire. Were there no other realms in nature but the Physical World and the Desire World, that factor would be non-existent. We could have mineral, plant and animal, but man, a thinking, reasoning being, would be an impossibility in Nature. We, ourselves, as Egos, function directly in the subtle substance of the Region of Abstract Thought, which we have specialized within the periphery of our individual aura. Thence we view the impressions made by the outer world upon the vital body through the senses, together with the feelings and emotions generated by them in the desire body, and mirrored in the mind. From these mental images we form our conclusions, in the substance of the Region of Abstract Thought, concerning the subjects with which they deal. These conclusions are ideas. By the power of will we project an idea [PAGE 264] through the mind, where it takes concrete shape as a thought form by drawing mind stuff around itself from the Region of Concrete Thought. The mind is like the projecting lens of a stereopticon. It projects the image in one of three directions, according to the will of the thinker, which ensouls the thought form. (1) It may be projected against the desire body in an endeavor to arouse feeling which will lead to immediate action. (a) If the thought awakens Interest, one of the twin forces, Attraction or Repulsion, will be stirred up. If Attraction, the centripetal force, is aroused it seizes the thought, whirls it into the desire body, endows the image with added life and clothes it with desire stuff. Then the thought is able to act on the etheric brain, and propel the vital force through the appropriate brain centers and nerves to the voluntary muscles which perform the necessary action. Thus the force in the thought is expended and the image remains in the ether of the vital body as memory of the act and the feeling that caused it. (b) Repulsion is the centrifugal force and if that is aroused by the thought there will be a struggle between the spiritual force (the will of the man) within the thought form, and the desire body. This is the battle between conscience and desire, the higher and the lower nature. The spiritual force, in spite of resistance, will seek to clothe the thought form in the desire stuff needed to manipulate the brain and muscles. The force of Repulsion will endeavor to scatter the appropriated material and oust the thought. If the spiritual energy is strong it may force its way [PAGE 265] through to the brain centers and hold its clothing of desire stuff while ma- nipulating the vital force, thus compelling action, and will then leave upon the memory a vivid impression of the struggle and the victory. If the spiritual energy is exhausted before action has resulted, it will be over- come by the force of Repulsion, and will be stored in the memory, as are all other thought forms when they have expended their energy. We have in our body two nervous systems, the VOLUNTARY and the INVOLUN- TARY. The first named is operated directly by the DESIRE BODY, and controls the movements of the body, tends to break down and destroy, only partially restrained in its ruthless task by the mind. It is this war between the vital body and the desire body which produces consciousness in the Physical World, but did not the mind act as a brake on the desire body, our waking hours would be very short. So would our lives, for the vital body would soon be overridden in its beneficient offices by the reckless desire body, as evidenced in the exhaustion which follows a fit of temper. Temper is a condition where the man has "lost control" and the desire body rules unchecked. Disease takes many forms; one is insanity, and that also is of different kinds. Where the connection between the sense centers of the dense body and the vital body is askew, where sometimes the head of the vital body towers above the dense head instead of being concentric with it, the vital body is out of adjustment with both the higher vehicles and the dense body. Then we have the docile idiot. Where the dense and vital bodies are in adjustment but the break is between the vital body and the desire body, a similar [PAGE 266] condition obtains, but when the break is between the desire body and the mind we have the raving maniac, who is more ungovernable than a wild animal, for that is checked by the Group Spirit. In that case all the animal pro- pensities are followed blindly. The natural tendency of the desire body is to harden and consolidate all it comes into contact with. Materialistic thought accentuates this tendency to such an extent that it very often results in succeeding lives, in that dread disease, consumption, which is a hardening of the lungs. These should remain soft and elastic. It also sometimes happens that the desire body crushes the vital body in the next life, so that it fails altogether to counteract the hardening process, and then we have quick consumption. In some cases materialism makes the desire body brittle, as it were. Then it cannot perform its proper hardening work on the dense body, and as a result we have "rachitis," where the bones soften. So we see what dangers we run by entertaining materialistic tendencies: either hardening of the soft parts of the body, as in consumption, or softening of the hard bony parts, as in rachitis. Of course not every case of consumption shows that the suf- ferer was materialistic in a former life, but it is the teaching of occult science that such a result often follows materialism. Our thoughts are of vastly more importance than our acts, for if we will only think right, we shall always act right. No man can think love to his fellowmen, can scheme in his mind how to aid and help them, spiritually, mentally, or physically, without also acting out these thoughts at some time in his life, and if we will only cultivate such thoughts, we shall soon find sunshine spreading around us. We shall find that people will meet us in [PAGE 267] that same spirit that we send out, and if we would realize that the desire body (which surrounds each of us and extends about sixteen to eighteen inches beyond the periphery of the physical body) contains all these feel- ings and emotions, we would meet people differently. Then we would under- stand that everything we see is viewed through the atmosphere we have created around ourselves which colors all we behold in others. If the astronomer exercises his will and focuses the telescope as he de- sires, telling it to attend to its business of transmitting the rays that strike it, leaving the results to him, the work will proceed well, but if the lens has the stronger will and the mechanism of the telescope is in league with it, the astronomer will be seriously hampered in having to con- tend with a refractory instrument, and the result will be blurred pictures, of little or no value. Thus it is with the Ego. it works with a threefold body, which it con- trols, or should control through the mind. But, sad to say, this body has a will of its own and is often aided and abetted by the mind, thus frustrating the purposes of the Ego. This antagonistic "lower will" is an expression of the higher part of the desire body. When the division of the Sun, Moon, and Earth took place, in the early part of the Lemurian Epoch, the more advanced portion of humanity-in-the-making experienced a division of the desire body into a higher and a lower part. The rest of humanity did likewise in the early part of the Atlantean Epoch. This higher part of the desire body became a sort of animal soul. It built the cerebro-spinal nervous system and the voluntary muscles, by that means controlling the lower part of the threefold body until the link of mind was given. Then the mind "coalesced" with this animal soul and became [PAGE 268] a co-regent. The mind is thus bound up in desire; is enmeshed in the selfish lower na- ture, making it difficult for the Spirit to control the body. The focusing mind, which should be the ally of the higher nature, is alienated by and in league with the lower nature--enslaved by desire. The law of the Race Religions was given to emancipate intellect from de- sire. The "fear of God" was pitted against "the desires of the flesh." This, however, was not enough to enable one to become master of the body and secure its willing cooperation. It became necessary for the Spirit to find in the body another point of vantage, which was not under the sway of the desire nature. All muscles are expressions of the desire body and a straight road to the capital, where the traitorous mind is wedded to desire and reigns supreme. [PAGE 269] RELATIONSHIP TO CONSCIOUSNESS: To understand the degree of consciousness which results from the posses- sion of the vehicles used by the life evolving in the four kingdoms, we turn our attention to Diagram 4, which shows that man, the Ego, the Thinker, has descended into the Chemical Region of the Physical World. Here he has mar- shaled all his vehicles, thereby attaining the state of waking conscious- ness. He is learning to control his vehicles. The organs of neither the desire body nor the mind are yet evolved. The latter is not yet even a body. At present it is simply a link, a sheath for the use of the Ego as a focusing point. It is the last of the vehicles that have been built. The Spirit works gradually from finer into coarser substance, the vehicles also being built in fine substance first, then in coarser and coarser substance. The dense body was built first and has now come into its fourth stage of density; the vital body is in its third stage. The desire body is in its second, hence it is still cloud-like, and the sheath of mind is filmier still. As those vehicles have not, as yet, evolved any organs, it is clear that they ALONE would be useless as vehicles of consciousness. The Ego, however, enters INTO the dense body and connects these organless vehicles with the physical sense centers and thus attains the waking state of [PAGE 270] consciousness in the Physical World. The student should particularly note that it is because of their connec- tion with the splendidly organized mechanism of the dense body that these higher vehicles become of value at present. He will thus avoid a mistake frequently made by people who, when they come into the knowledge that there are higher bodies, grow to despise the dense body; to speak of it as "low" and "vile"--turning their eyes to heaven and wishing that they might soon be able to leave this earthly lump of clay and fly about in their "higher ve- hicles." Strange as the statement may seem, it is nevertheless true that the great majority of mankind are partially asleep most of the time, notwithstanding the fact that their physical bodies may seem to be intensely occupied in ac- tive work. Under ordinary conditions the desire body in the case of the great majority is the most awake part of composite man, who lives almost en- tirely in his feelings and emotions, but scarcely ever thinks of the problem of existence beyond what is necessary to keep body and soul together. Most of this class have probably never given the great questions of life, "Whence have we come, why are we here, and whither are we going?" any serious con- sideration. Their vital bodies are kept active repairing the ravages of the desire body upon the physical vehicle, and purveying the vitality which is later dissipated in gratifying the desires and emotions. It is this hard-fought battle between the vital and desire bodies which generates consciousness in the Physical World and makes men and women so in- tensely alert that, viewed from the standpoint of the Physical World, it [PAGE 271] seems to give the lie to our assertion that they are partially asleep. Nev- ertheless, upon examination of all the facts it will be found that this is the case, and we may also say that this state of affairs has come about by the desire of the great Hierarchs who have our evolution in charge. The particular stronghold of the desire body is in the muscles and the cerebro-spinal nervous system. The energy displayed by a person when labor- ing under great excitement or anger is an example of this. At such times the whole muscular system is tense and no hard labor is so exhausting as a "fit of temper." It sometimes leaves the body prostrated for weeks. There can be seen the necessity for improving the desire body by controlling the temper, thus sparing the dense body the suffering resulting from the ungoverned action of the desire body. Looking at the matter from an occult standpoint, all consciousness in the Physical World is the result of the constant war between the desire and the vital bodies. The tendency of the vital body is to soften and build. Its chief expres- sion is the blood and the glands, also the sympathetic nervous system, hav- ing obtained ingress into the stronghold of the desire body (the muscular and the voluntary nervous systems) when it began to develop the heart into a voluntary muscle. The tendency of the desire body is to harden, and it in turn has invaded the realm of the vital body, gaining possession of the spleen and making the white blood corpuscles, which are not "the policement of the system" as science now thinks, but destroyers. It uses the blood to carry these tiny destroyers all over the body. They pass through the walls of arteries and [PAGE 272] veins whenever annoyance is felt, and especially in times of great anger. Then the rush of forces in the desire body makes the arteries and veins swell and opens the way for the passage of the white blood corpuscles into the tissues of the body, where they form bases for the early matter which kills the body. During the waking state there is a constant war between the vital body and the desire body. The desires and impulses from the desire body are con- stantly impinging upon the dense body, impelling it to action, regardless of any damage resulting to the latter instrument, so that desire is gratified. It is the desire vehicle that urges the drunkard to fill his system with liquor, so that the chemical combustion of spirit may raise the vibrations of the dense body to such a pitch as to make it the willing tool of every mad impulse, wasting its stored energy with reckless prodigality. The desire body is the vehicle of our emotions, feelings, and desires which expends the energies in the dense body by the vital processes through control of the cerebro-spinal or voluntary nervous system. In its ac- tivities this desire body is constantly destroying and breaking down tissue built by the vital body and it is the war between these two vehicles which causes what we call consciousness in the Physical World. The etheric forces in the vital body act in such a manner that they convert as much of the food as possible into the blood, and this is the highest expression of the vital body. The spleen is the gateway of the vital body. There the solar force which abounds in the surrounding atmosphere enters in a constant stream, to aid us in the vital processes, and there also the war between the desire body and [PAGE 273] the vital body is waged most fiercely. Thoughts of worry, fear, and anger interfere with the processes of evaporation in the spleen. A speck of plasm is the result, and this is at once seized upon by a thought elemental which forms a nucleus and embodies itself therein. Then it commences to live a life of destruction, coalescing with other waste products and decaying elements wherever formed, making the body a charnel house instead of the temple of an indwelling living Spirit. This destruction is constantly going on and it is not possible to keep all the destroyers out, nor is such the intention. If the vital body had uninterrupted sway, it would build and build, using all the energy for that purpose. There would be no consciousness and thought. It is because the desire body checks and hardens the inner parts that consciousness develops. As has been previously explained, the desire body is an unorganized ovoid, holding the dense body as a dark spot within its center, as the white of an egg surrounds the yolk. There are a number of sense centers in the ovoid, which have appeared since the beginning of the Earth Period. In the average human being these centers appear merely as eddies in a current and are not awake, hence his desire body is of no use to him as a SEPARATE ve- hicle of consciousness; but when the sense centers are awakened they look like whirling vortices. [PAGE 274] DURING SLEEP: The Desire World is an ocean of wisdom and harmony. Into this the Ego takes the mind and the desire body when the lower vehicles have been left in sleep. There the first care of the Ego is the restoration of the rhythm and harmony of the mind and the desire body. This restoration is accomplished gradually as the harmonious vibrations of the Desire World flow through them. There is an essence in the Desire World corresponding to the vital fluid which permeates the dense body by means of the vital body. The higher vehicles, as it were, steep themselves in this elixir of life. When strengthened, they commence work on the vital body, which was left with the sleeping dense body. Then the vital body begins to specialize the solar en- ergy anew, rebuilding the dense body, using particularly the chemical ether as its medium in the process of restoration. It happens, however, that at times the desire body does not fully with- draw, so that part of it remains connected with the vital body, the vehicle for sense perception and memory. The result is that restoration is only partly accomplished and that the scenes and actions of the Desire World are brought into the physical consciousness as dreams. Of course most dreams are confused as the axis of perception is askew, because of the improper [PAGE 275] relation of one body to another. The memory is also confused by this incon- gruous relation of the vehicles and as a result of the loss of the restoring force, dream-filled sleep is restless and the body feels tired on awakening. What is it that makes sleep a restorative state? In the very term "re- storative" there is implied an activity. If a building is to be restored, it is necessary that the tenants move out, and that wear and tear cease. But that is not enough. Workmen must be brought in to repair the damage in- cident to the use of the building. Only when that work has been done is restoration complete and the building ready for reoccupancy by the tenants. So also with the temple of the Ego, our dense body, when that has been exhausted. It is then necessary that the Ego, mind, and desire body vacate and give the vital body full sway, that it may restore the tone of the dense body; and thus, when the dense body goes to sleep, there is a separation. The Ego and the mind, clothed in the desire body, draw out from the vital body and the dense body, the two latter remaining on the bed, while the higher vehicles hover above or near the sleeping body. The process of restoration now begins. In a fight in the Physical World the injuries are never all on one side; the winner always has some lesions. The fiercer the fight, and the more evenly the combatants are matched, the more lesions go to each. So with the combating vital and desire bodies, the desire body wins every time, yet its victory is always a defeat, for it is then forced to leave the battle field and the prize, the dense body, in the hands of the vanquished vital body, and withdraw to repair its own shattered harmony. [PAGE 276] When it withdraws from the sleeping body it enters that sea of force and harmony called the Desire World. Here it lives over the scenes of the day, but in REVERSE ORDER, from effects to causes, straightening out the tangles of the day, forming true pictures to replace the wrong impressions due to the limitations of the life in the dense body, and as the harmonies of the Desire World pervade it, and wisdom and truth replace error, it regains its rhythm and its tone, the time required to restore it varying according to how illusive, impulsive, and strenuous had been the life of the day. Then, and then only, does the work of restoring the vehicles left on the bed commence, and the restored desire body starts to revive the vital body, pumping rhythmic energy into it, and that in turn starts to work upon the dense body, eliminating the products of decay, principally by means of the sympathetic nervous system, with the result that the dense body is restored and overflowing with life when the desire body, mind, and Ego enter in the morning and cause it to wake. It sometimes happens, however, that we have become so absorbed and inter- ested in the affairs of our mundane existence that even after the vital body has collapsed and rendered the dense body unconscious we cannot make up our minds to leave it and commence the work of restoration; the desire body will cling like grim death, is perhaps only half dragged out by the Ego, and starts to ruminate over the happenings of the day in that position. It is evident that this is an abnormal condition. The proper connection between the different vehicles is ruptured in the first place by the col- lapse of the vital body, and further disarranged by the unusual relative [PAGE 277] positions of the higher vehicles, which has partially disconnected the sense centers of the former from the latter, and the inevitable result is those confused dreams where the sounds and sights of the Desire World are mixed with the happenings of daily life in the most grotesque and impossible way. At times, when something in daily life has particularly agitated the de- sire body, it happens that when it has severed connection with the lower ve- hicles and is engaged in the work of restoration by the above-mentioned re- view, that when a trying incident of the day appears, and the desire body sees the solution, it will rush back into the dense body in order to impress the ideas on the brain, thereby causing the dense body to wake with a start. It is only in the fewest cases that it is able to bring back the solution that was so clear in the Desire World. Even if it does succeed in impress- ing the solution on the brain, it is usually forgotten in the morning. There are times of course when dreams are prophetic and come true, but such dreams result only AFTER complete extraction of the desire body, under circumstances where the Spirit has seen some danger perhaps, which may be- fall, and then impresses the fact upon the brain AT THE MOMENT OF AWAKENING. It also happens that the Spirit goes upon a soul flight and omits to per- form its part of the work of restoration. Then the body will not be fit to re-enter in the morning, so it sleeps on. The Spirit may thus roam afield for a number of days, or even weeks, before it again enters its physical body and assumes the normal routine of alternating waking and sleep. This condition is called TRANCE, and the Spirit may remember upon its return what it has seen and heard in the superphysical realm, or it may have forgotten, according to the stage of its development and the depth of the trance [PAGE 278] condition. When the trance is very light, the Spirit is usually present in the room where its body lies all the time, and upon its return to the body it will be able to recount to relatives all they said and did while its body lay unconscious. Where the trance is deeper, the returning Spirit will usu- ally be unconscious of what happened around its body, but may recount expe- riences from the invisible world. In ordinary life most people live to eat. They drink, gratify the sex-passion in an unrestrained manner, and lose their tempers on the slight- est provocation. Though outwardly these people may be very "respectable," they are, nearly every day of their lives, causing almost utter confusion in their organization. The entire period of sleep is spent by the desire and the vital bodies in repairing the damage done in the day time, leaving no time for outside work of any kind. But as the individual begins to feel the needs of the higher life, controls sex-force, and temper, and cultivates a serene disposition, there is less disturbance caused in the vehicles during waking hours. Consequently, less time is required to repair the damage dur- ing sleep. Thus it becomes possible to leave the dense body for long peri- ods during sleeping hours, and function in the inner worlds in the higher vehicles. As the desire body and the mind are not yet organized, they are of no use as separate vehicles of consciousness. Neither can the vital body leave the dense body, as that would cause death, so measures must be taken to provide an organized vehicle which is fluidic and so constructed that it will meet the needs of the Ego in the inner worlds as does the dense body in the Physical World. [PAGE 279] MAN'S DESIRE BODY IN THE INVISIBLE WORLDS: AT TIME OF DEATH: The silver cord which has grown from the seed atom of the dense body (lo- cated in the heart) since conception, is welded to the part (located in the liver), that has sprouted from the central vortex of the desire body, and when the silver cord is tied by the seed atom of the vital body (located in the solar plexus), the Spirit DIES to life in the supersensible world, and quickens the body it is to use in its coming earth life. This life on Earth lasts until the course of events foreshadowed in the wheel of life, the horoscope, has been run; and when the Spirit again reaches the realm of Samael, the Angel of Death, the mystic eighth house, the silver cord is loosed, and the Spirit returns to God who gave it, until the dawn of another life-day in the School of Earth beckons it to a new birth that it may ac- quire more skill in the arts and crafts of temple-building. The serpent said: "Ye shall not surely die, for the God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof YOUR EYES SHALL BE OPENED, and ye shall be as the gods, knowing good AND EVIL." The latter was then unknown to man. Acting upon this advice, the woman secured the cooperation of man and by the power of will they freed their desire bodies. That faculty was then much greater than now, for it is a law that each new faculty is always bought at the cost of weakening some previous power, as when the faculty of [PAGE 280] thought was bought at the price of half the creative force. Then the man's will power was such that the anxiety of the God "lest man eat also of 'the tree of life' and become immortal" was well founded, for had he secured pos- session of the secret of renewing the vital body as well as the dense body, he would have been ale to create a body and vitalize it forever. Then there would truly have been no death, but neither would there have been any evolu- tion. As man did not then, and does not yet, know how to build a perfect body, that would have been the greatest possible calamity. Death is not a curse, but a friend when it comes naturally, for it releases us from an en- vironment we have outgrown, and from a body that ties us, in order that we may get a new chance in a new and better body to learn new lessons. When the moment arrives which marks the completion of life in the Physical World, the usefulness of the dense body has ended, and the Ego withdraws from it by way of the head, taking with it the mind and the desire body, as it does every night during sleep, but now the vital body is use- less, so that, too, is withdrawn, and when the "silver cord" which united the higher to the lower vehicles snaps, it can never be repaired. The higher vehicles--vital body, desire body, and mind--are seen to leave the dense body with a spiral movement, taking with them the SOUL of one dense atom--not the atom itself, but THE FORCES that played through it. Cremation should be particularly avoided in the first three days after death, because it tends to disintegrate the vital body, which should be kept intact until the panorama of the past life has been etched into the desire body. [PAGE 281] During life and in the waking state of consciousness, the vehicles of the Ego are all together and concentric, but at death the Ego, clothed in the mind and desire body, withdraws from the dense body. As the vital functions are at an end, the vital body also is taken out of the dense body, leaving it inanimate upon the bed. One little atom in the heart is taken out and the rest of the body disintegrates in due course. But at that time there is an extremely important process going on, and those who attend the passing Spirit in the death chamber should be very careful that the utmost quiet reigns there and in the whole house. The pictures of the whole past life which have been stored in the vital body are passing before the eye of the Spirit in a slow and orderly progression, IN REVERSE ORDER--from death and back to birth. This panorama of the past life lasts from a few hours to three and one-half days. The time is dependent upon the strength of the vi- tal body, which determines how long a man could keep awake under the most severe stress. Some persons can work for fifty, sixty, or seventy hours be- fore they fall down exhausted, while others are capable of keeping awake only a few hours. The reason why it is important that there should be quiet in the house of death during the three and one-half days immediately follow- ing death is this: During that time the panorama of the past life is being etched upon the desire body which will be the man's vehicle while he stays in Purgatory and the First Heaven, where he is reaping the good or ill that he has sown, according to the deeds done in the body. When the man dies and loses his dense and vital bodies there is the same condition as when one falls asleep. The desire body, as has been explained, has no organs ready for use. It is now transformed from an ovoid to a [PAGE 282] figure resembling the dense body which has been abandoned. We can easily understand that there must be an interval of unconsciousness resembling sleep and then the man awakes in the Desire World. It not infrequently hap- pens, however, that such people are, for a long time, unaware of what has happened to them. They do not realize that they have died. They know that they are able to move and think. It is sometimes even a very hard matter to get them to believe that they are really "dead." They realize that some- thing is different, but they are not able to understand what it is. A cleavage takes place in the vital body (after death) similar to that made by the process of initiation. So much of this vehicle as can be termed "soul," coalesces with the higher vehicles and is the basis of consciousness in the invisible worlds after death. In leaving the vital body the process is much the same as when the dense body is discarded. The life forces of one atom are taken, to be used as a nucleus for the vital body of a future embodiment. Thus, upon his entrance into the Desire World the man has the seed atoms of the dense and the vital bodies, in addition to the desire body and the mind. [PAGE 283] CAUSES OF INFANT MORTALITY: It is often asked why children die. There are many causes. One is death under the dreadful strain of accident, by fire, or on the battle field in a previous life, for under such circumstances the departing Ego could not properly concentrate upon the panoramic view of its past life. This is also the case where loud lamentations of relatives hinder. The result is of course a weak imprint of the life-experiences upon the desire body, with an insipid purgatorial and First Heaven life. In such cases the Ego does not reap what it has sown, and so it might commit the same follies or sins life after life. To prevent such a contin- gency the new desire body which the Ego gathers before its next birth must be impressed with the needed lesson. The Ego is always unconscious on its way to rebirth, blinded by the matter it draws around itself, as we are blinded when we enter a house on a sunny day. Only after birth does the consciousness return in a measure. Then, when by death it passes into the First Heaven it is taught objectively in a different way the lesson it should have learned on its outward passage in the former life. When that lesson has been mastered and impressed upon the still unborn desire body the Ego is reborn on Earth and goes on in the ordinary manner. Children who died before the seventh year have been born only so far as [PAGE 284] the dense and vital bodies are concerned and are not responsible to the Law of Consequence. Even up to twelve or fourteen years the desire body is in process of gestation, and as that which has not been quickened cannot die, the dense and vital bodies alone go to decay when a child dies. It retains its desire body and mind to the next birth. Therefore, it does not go around the whole path which the Ego usually traverses in a life cycle, but only ascends to the First Heaven to learn needed lessons, and after a wait of from one to twenty years it is reborn, often in the same family as a younger child. Now, when the three and a half days immediately following death are spent by the man under conditions of peace and quiet, he is able to concentrate much more upon the etching of his past life, and the imprint upon his desire body will be deeper than if he is disturbed by the hysterical lamentations of his relatives or from other causes. He will then experience a much keener feeling for either good or bad in Purgatory and in the First Heaven, and in after lives that keen feeling will speak to him with no unmistakable voice; but where the lamentations of relatives take away his attention, or where a man passes out by an accident--perhaps in a crowded street, in a train wreck, theater fire, or under other harrowing circumstances--there will of course be no opportunity for him to concentrate properly. Neither can he concentrate upon a battle field if he is slain there. Yet it would not be just that he should lose the experiences of his life on account of passing out in such an untoward manner, so the Law of Cause and Effect pro- vides a compensation. We usually think that when a child is born it is born and that is the end of it. However as during the period of gestation the dense body is shielded [PAGE 285] from the impact of the outside world by being placed within the protecting womb of the mother until it has arrived at sufficient maturity to meet the outside conditions, so also are the vital body, desire body, and mind in a state of gestation and are born at later periods because they have not had as long an evolution behind them as the dense body. Therefore it takes a longer time for them to arrive at a sufficient state of maturity to become individualized. The vital body is born at the seventh year, when the period of excessive growth marks its advent. The desire body is born at the time of puberty, the fourteenth year, and the mind is born at twenty-one, when the child is said to have become a man or woman--to have reached majority. That which has not been quickened cannot die, so when a child dies before the birth of the desire body it passes out into the invisible world in the First Heaven. It cannot ascend into the Second and Third Heavens because the mind and desire body are not born and cannot die. The Ego simply waits in the First Heaven until a new opportunity for embodiment offers, and where it has died in its previous life under the before-mentioned harrowing cir- cumstances (by accident or upon the battle field, or where the lamentations of relatives rendered it impossible for it to gain as deep an impression of the evil committed and the good accomplished as would have been the case had it died in peace), it is instructed when it has died in the next life as a child in the effects of passions and desires so that it learns the lessons then which it should have learned in the purgatorial life had it remained undisturbed. It is then reborn with the proper development of conscience so that it may continue its evolution. [PAGE 286] As in the past man has been exceedingly warlike and not at all careful of the relatives who passed out at death, because of his ignorance, holding wakes over those who had died in bed (which were few, perhaps, compared to those who died on the battle field), there must necessarily be an enormous amount of infant mortality. But as humanity arrives at a better understand- ing and realizes that we are never so much our brother's keeper as when he is passing out of this life, and that we can help him enormously by being quiet and prayerful, so also will infant mortality cease to exist on such a large scale as at present. This is readily apparent as soon as we consider the gentle action of the vital body and contrast it with that of the desire body in a fit of temper, where it is said that a man has "lost control" of himself. Under such con- ditions the muscles become tense, and nervous energy is expended at a sui- cidal rate, so that after such an outbreak the body may sometimes be pros- trated for weeks. The hardest labor brings no such fatigue as a fit of temper; likewise a child conceived in passion under the crystallizing ten- dencies of the desire nature is naturally short-lived. The desire body becomes the arbiter of man's destiny in Purgatory and the First Heaven. The pains caused by expurgation of evil and the joy caused by the contemplation of the good in life are carried over to the next life as conscience to deter man from perpetuating the mistakes of past lives and to entice him to do more abundantly that which caused him joy in the former life. When those next of kin to a dying person who are present in the death chamber burst into hysterical lamentations at the time the Spirit passes out, and keep that up for the next few days, the Spirit which is at that [PAGE 287] time in exceedingly close touch with the Physical World will be much moved by the grief of the dear ones, and will not be able to focus its attention closely upon the contemplation of its past life. Thus the etching made in the desire body will not be as deep as it would if the passing Spirit were left in peace and undisturbed. Consequently the sufferings in Purgatory will not be as keen nor will the pleasures in the First Heaven be as great as otherwise. Therefore, when the Ego returns to Earth life, it will have lost a certain part of the experience from the previous life. That is to say, the voice of conscience will not speak with the same emphasis as would have been the case had the Ego been left undisturbed by lamentations. In order to compensate for this lack, the Ego is then usually brought to birth among the same friends who lamented over it, and it is then taken away from them while yet in the years of childhood. Then it enters the Desire World, but since a little child has not committed any sins that need to be expurgated its desire body and mind remain intact. It then goes directly into the First Heaven to wait until a new embodiment offers, but this wait- ing time is used to school it directly in the effect of the different emo- tions, both good and evil. Often a relative meets it and takes it in charge, having the task of teaching it that which it had lost through the lamentation that person indulged in, or else it is taught by others. At any rate, the loss is more than made up, so that when the child returns to the second birth it will have as full a moral growth as it would have had under ordinary circumstances had there been no lamentation at the time when it passed out. [PAGE 288] When a person passes out under untoward circumstances, such as a fire or a railroad accident, or suddenly as by a fall from a building or a mountain, or on a battle field, or when lamentations of relatives around the bedside of the newly dead make it impossible for him to concentrate upon the life-panorama, then the etching in the two higher ethers, the light and re- flecting ethers, and their amalgamation with the desire body does not take place. Man does not then lose consciousness, and because there is no etch- ing on the finer vehicles such as is normally the case, he has no purgato- rial existence; that is to say, he does not reap what he has sown, there is no suffering in consequence of his wrong-doings and no feeling of joy on ac- count of the good he has done. The fruitage of the life has been lost. To offset this great disaster the Spirit on entering its next Earth life is caused to die in childhood so far as the physical body is concerned, but the vital body, the desire body, and mind, which do not ordinarily come to birth until the dense body is seven, fourteen, and twenty-one years old, re- spectively, remain with the passing Spirit, as that which has not been quickened cannot die. Then in the First Heaven the Spirit stays from one to twenty years, receiving such instructions and object lessons as will teach it that which it would otherwise have learned by the accident which termi- nated it. So it is reborn, ready to take its proper place on the path of evolution. In the Desire World it is easy to give object-lessons in the influence of good and evil passions on conduct and happiness. These lessons are indel- ibly imprinted upon the child's sensitive and emotional desire body, and re- main with it after rebirth, so that many a one living a noble life owes much of it to the fact that he was given this training. Often when a weak Spirit [PAGE 289] is born, the Compassionate Ones (the invisible Leaders who guide our evolu- tion) cause it to die in early life that it may have this extra training to fit it for what may be perhaps a hard life. This seems to be the case par- ticularly where the etching on the desire body was weak in consequence of a dying person having been disturbed by the lamentations of his relatives, or because he met death by accident or on the battle field. He did not under those circumstances experience the appropriate intensity of feeling in his POST-MORTEM existence. Therefore, when he is born and dies in early life, the loss is made up as above. Often the duty of caring for such a child in the heaven life falls to those who were the cause of the anomaly. They are thus afforded a chance to make up for the fault and to learn better. Or perhaps they become the parents of the one they harmed and care for it during the few years it lives. It does not matter then if they do lament hysterically over its death, because there would be no pictures of any con- sequence in a child's vital body. [PAGE 290] PURGATORY: The Ego after death gradually ascends through the various spiritual realms to the Third Heaven, and at the time of rebirth it gradually descends through the Region of Concrete Thought, the Desire World, and the ether to the physical plane....The writer.....feels certain that none of his acquain- tances have ever mounted to the higher parts of the Desire World or the Re- gion of Concrete Thought without first passing through the ether and the lower Desire World strata, namely the purgatorial region. Purgatory occupies the three lower regions of the Desire World. The First Heaven is in the three upper regions. The central Region is a sort of borderland--neither heaven nor hell. The mission of Purgatory is to eradicate the injurious habits by making their gratification impossible. The individual suffers exactly as he has made others suffer through his dishonesty, cruelty, intolerance, or what not. Because of this suffering he learns to act kindly, honestly, and with forbearance toward others in future. The law we are now considering is called the Law of Consequence. In the Desire World it operates in purging man of the baser desires and the correc- tion of the weaknesses and vices which hinder his progress, by making him [PAGE 291] suffer in the manner best adapted to that purpose. If he has made others suffer, or has dealt unjustly with them, he will be made to suffer in that identical way. Be it noted, however, that if a person has been subject to vices, or repented and, as far as possible, made right the wrong done, such repentance, reform, and restitution have purged him of those special vices and evil acts. The equilibrium has been restored and the lesson learned during that embodiment, and therefore will not be a cause of suffering after death. In the Desire World life is lived about three times as rapidly as in the Physical World. A man who has lived to be fifty years of age in the Physical World would live through the same life events in the Desire World in about sixteen years. This is, of course, only a general gauge. There are persons who remain in the Desire World much longer than their term of physical life. Others, again, who have led lives with few gross desires, pass through in a much shorter period, but the measure above given is very nearly correct for the average man of the present day. It will be remembered that as the man leaves the dense body at death, his past life passes before him in pictures; but at that time he has no feeling concerning them. During his life in the Desire World also these life pictures roll back- wards, as before; but now the man has all the feelings that it is possible for him to have as, one by one, the scenes pass before him. Every incident in his past life is now lived over again. When he comes to a point where he has injured someone, he himself feels the pain as the injured person felt [PAGE 292] it. He lives through all the sorrow and suffering he has caused to others and learns just how painful is the hurt and how hard to bear is the sorrow he has caused. In addition there is the fact already mentioned that the suffering is much keener because he has no dense body to dull the pain. Perhaps that is why the speed of life there is tripled--that the suffering may lose in duration what it gains in sharpness. Nature's measures are won- derfully just and true. There is another characteristic peculiar to this phase of post-mortem ex- istence which is intimately connected with the fact (already mentioned) that distance is almost annihilated in the Desire World. When a man dies, he at once seems to swell out in his vital body; he appears to himself to grow into immense proportions. This feeling is due to the fact, not that the body really grows, but that the perceptive faculties receive so many impres- sions from various sources, all seeming to be close at hand. The same is true of the desire body. The man seems to be present with all the people with whom on Earth he had relations of a nature which require correction. If he has injured one man in San Francisco and another in New York, he will feel as if part of him were in each place. This gives him a peculiar feel- ing of being cut to pieces. The student will now understand the importance of the panorama of the past life during the purgative existence, where this panorama is realized in definite feelings. If it lasted long and the man were undisturbed, the full, deep, clear impression etched into the desire body would make life in the Desire World more vivid and conscious and the purgation more thorough [PAGE 293] than if, because of distress at the loud outbursts of grief on the part of his relatives, at the death bed and during the three-day period previously mentioned the man had only a vague impression of his past life. The Spirit which has etched a deep clear record into its desire body will realize the mistakes of the past life so much more clearly and definitely than if the pictures were blurred on account of the individual's attention being di- verted by the suffering and grief around him. His feeling concerning the things which cause his present suffering in the Desire World will be much more definite if they are drawn from a dis- tinct panoramic impression than if the process were short. It is possible for the so-called dead to form by their thoughts any ar- ticle of clothing they desire. They usually think of themselves as being clothed in the conventional garb of the country in which they lived prior to their passing into the Desire World, and therefore they appear so clothed without any particular effort of thought. But when they desire to obtain something new or an unusual article of clothing, naturally they have to use their will power to bring that thing into existence; and such an article of clothing will last as long as the person thinks of himself as being clad in that apparel. But this amenability of desire stuff to the molding power of thought is also used in other directions. Generally speaking, when a person leaves the present world in consequence of an accident, he thinks of himself as being disfigured by that accident in a certain manner, perhaps minus a leg or arm or with a hole in the head. This does not inconvenience him at all; he can move about there of course just as easily without arms or legs as with them; [PAGE 294] but it shows the tendency of thought to shape the desire body. At the be- ginning of the war (World War I) when great numbers of soldiers passed over into the Desire World with lesions of the most horrible nature, the Elder Brothers and their pupils taught these men that by merely holding the thought that they were sound of limb and body, they would at once be healed of their disfiguring wounds. This they immediately did. Now all newcomers, when they are able to understand matters over there, are at once healed of their wounds and amputations in this manner, so that to look at them nobody would think they had passed over in consequence of an accident in the Physical World. As a result this knowledge has become so general that many people who have passed over since have availed themselves of this property of desire stuff and have molded it by thought in case they wanted to change their bodily appearance. Sometimes those who are very corpulent want to appear more slim and vice versa, those who are very thin want to appear as if they had more flesh. This change or transformation is not permanently success- ful, however, on account of the archetype. The extra flesh put on a thin person or the quantity taken off one who is corpulent does not stay on or off permanently, but after a while the man who was originally thin returns to his original stature, while the person who tries to take off flesh finds himself putting it back on by degrees, and then has to go through the pro- cess anew. It is similar with people who attempt to mold their features and change them to an appearance that suits them better than their original one. However, changes affecting the features are less permanent because the fa- cial expression there as here is an indication of the nature of the soul; therefore, whatever is sham is quickly dispersed by the habitual thought [PAGE 295] of the person. During physical life the desire body is shaped more or less like an ovoid cloud surrounding the dense body. But as soon as the person gains con- sciousness in the Desire World and begins to think of himself as having the shape of the dense body, then the desire body begins to assume that form. This transformation is facilitated by the fact that the soul body, composes of the two higher ethers, the light and reflecting ethers, is still with the man, the Ego. To put it more clearly and bring in a helpful comparison, we may remember that at the time when the Ego is coming down to rebirth the two lower ethers gathered around the seed atom of the vital body are molded into a matrix by the Lords of Destiny--the Recording Angels and their agents. This matrix is placed in the womb of the mother, where the physical par- ticles are embedded in it so that they gradually form the body of the child, which is then born. At that time the child has no soul body. Whatever there may be of the two higher ethers is not assimilated until later in life and is built upon by deeds that are good and true. When the soul body has reached a certain density, it is possible for the person to function in it as an Invisible Helper, and during his soul flights the desire body molds itself readily into this prepared matrix. When he returns to the physical body, the effort of will whereby he enters it automatically dissolves the intimate connection between the desire body and the soul body. Later on when the life in the Physical World has been finished and the two lower ethers discarded with the dense body, the luminous soul body of "Golden Wed- ding Garment" still remains with the higher vehicles, and into this matrix [PAGE 296] the desire body is molded at its birth into the invisible world. So as the body of the child was made in conformity to the matrix of the two lower ethers before coming to physical birth, similarly the birth into the invis- ible world which follows death in the physical region is attended by an im- pregnation with desire stuff of the matrix formed of the two higher ethers, to form the vehicle that will be used in that world. But the so-called dead are not the only ones who have the power thus to mold desire stuff into any shape they please. This power is shared by all the other denizens of the Desire World even down to the elementals, and they very often use this faculty of transformation to frighten or mislead the newcomer, as many a neophyte has found out to his consternation when he first entered that realm. For these little imps are quick to know when a person is a stranger and not conversant with the nature of things there, and they seem to take a special delight in annoying newcomers by transforming themselves into the most grotesque and terrifying monsters. Then they may feign atrocious attacks upon him, and it seems to give them the keenest de- light if they are able to chase him into a corner and make him cringe with fear while they stand gnashing their teeth as if ready to devour him. But the moment the neophyte learns that in reality there is nothing that can hurt him, that in his finer vehicles he is immune from all danger of being torn to pieces or devoured, and that a quiet laugh at the harmless creatures and a stern command to take themselves off is all that is needed to cause them to turn their attention elsewhere, they soon learn to leave him alone. Thus he learns to force them to do his will, for in that world all creatures which have not been individualized are compelled to do the bidding of higher [PAGE 297] intelligences, and man is among the latter. It is a curious fact that subhuman elementals sometimes attach themselves to certain persons, to a family, or even to a religious society; but in such cases it was always found that their vehicle did not consist of the hardened sin body composes of an interlocking desire and vital body, but that the ve- hicle had been obtained through mediumship practiced by a person of ordi- narily good character, and that the ether of this vehicle was in a state of disintegration. To offset this and to prolong their hold on such a vehicle, they demand of those whom they serve, regular offerings of food and the burning of incense. Though they cannot of course assimilate the physical food, they can and do live upon the ether fumes and odors which arise from it, also upon the fumes of incense. When the Ego has freed itself from the vital body, its last tie with the Physical World is broken, and it enters the Desire World. The ovoid form of the desire body now changes its form, assuming the likeness of the discarded dense body. There is, however, a peculiar arrangement of the materials out of which it is formed, that has great significance in regard to the kind of life the departed will lead there. The desire body of man is composed of matter from all the seven regions of the Desire World, as a dense body is built of the solids, liquids, and gases of this world. But the quantity of matter from each region in the de- sire body of a man depends upon the nature of the desires which he cher- ishes. Coarse desires are built of the coarsest desire stuff, which belongs to the lowest region of the Desire World. If a man has such, he is building [PAGE 298] a coarse desire body where the matter from the lowest regions predominates. If he persistently puts coarse desires away from himself, yielding only to the pure and the good, his desire body will be formed of the materials of the higher regions. At present no man is wholly evil, and none wholly good; we are all mix- tures of both; but there may be and is a difference in our make-up. In the desire bodies of some there is a preponderance of coarse and in others of fine desire stuff. That makes all the difference in the environment and status of the man when he enters the Desire World after death, for then the matter of his desire body, while taking on the likeness of the discarded dense body, at the same time arranges itself so that the subtlest matter which belongs to the higher regions of the Desire World forms the center of the vehicle, and the matter from the three densest regions is on the out- side. When the Ego's earth life is ended it exerts centrifugal force to free itself from its vehicles. Following out the same law which causes a planet to throw that part of itself which is most dense and crystallized out into space, it first discards its dense body. When it enters the Desire World this centrifugal force also acts so as to throw the coarsest matter in the desire body outwards, and thus man is forced to stay in the lower re- gions until he has been purged of the coarser desires which were embodied in the densest desire matter. The coarsest desire matter is therefore always on the outside of his desire body while he is passing through Purgatory, and is gradually eliminated by the purging centrifugal force--the force of Re- pulsion, which tears the evil out of man and then allows him to pass upwards into the First Heaven in the upper part of the Desire World, where the force [PAGE 299] of Attraction holds sway and builds the good of the past life into the Ego as soul power. The discarded part of the desire body is left as an empty "shell." When the Ego has left its dense body, that dies QUICKLY. Physical matter becomes inert the moment it is deprived of the quickening, life-giving en- ergy; it dissolves as a form. Not so with the matter of the Desire World; once life has been communicated to it, that energy will subsist for a con- siderable time after the influx of life has ceased, varying as to the strength of the impulse. The result is that after the Ego has left them these "shells" subsist for a longer or a shorter time. They live an inde- pendent life, and if that Ego to which they belonged was very much given to worldly desires, perhaps cut off in the prime of life, with strong and un- satisfied ambitions, this soul-less shell will often make the most desperate efforts to get back to the Physical World, and much of the phenomena of spiritualistic seances is due to the actions of these shells. The fact that the communications received from many of these so-called "Spirits" are ut- terly devoid of sense is easily accounted for when we realize that they are not Spirits at all, but only a soul-less part of the garment of the departed Spirit, and therefore without intelligence. They have a memory of the past life, owing to the panorama which was etched after death, which often en- ables them to impose upon relatives by stating incidents now known to oth- ers, but the fact remains that they are but the cast-off garment of the Ego, endowed with an independent life for the time being. It is not always, however, that these shells remain soul-less, for there are different classes of beings in the Desire World, whose evolution naturally belongs there. They are good and bad, as are human beings. [PAGE 300] Generally they are classed under one heading as "elementals," although dif- fering vastly in appearance, intelligence, and characteristics. We will deal with them only so far as their influence touches the post-mortem state of man. It sometimes happens, especially where a man has been in the habit of in- voking Spirits, that these beings take possession of his dense body in earth life and make him an irresponsible medium. They generally lure him at first with seemingly high teachings, but by degrees lead to gross immorality, and, worst of all, they may take possession of his desire body after he has left it and ascended into heaven. As the impulses contained in the desire body are the basis of the life in heaven, and also the springs of action which cause man to reincarnate for renewed growth, this is indeed a very serious matter, for the whole evolution of a man may be stopped for ages, before the elemental releases his desire body. When both the good and evil of a life have been extracted, the Spirit discards its desire body and ascends to the Second Heaven. The desire body then commences to disintegrate as the physical body and the vital body have done, but it is a peculiarity of desire stuff, that once it has been formed and inspired with life, it persists for a considerable time. Even after that life has fled it lives a semi-conscious, independent life. Sometimes it is drawn by magnetic attraction to relatives of the Spirit whose clothing it was, and at spiritualistic seances these SHELLS generally impersonate the departed Spirit and deceive its relatives. As the panorama of the past life is etched into the shells they have a memory of incidents in connection with these relatives, which facilitates the deception. But as the intelligence [PAGE 301] has fled, they are of course unable to give any true counsel, and that ac- counts for the inane, goody-goody nonsense of which these things deliver themselves. When a man wakes up in the Desire World he is with one exception the very same man in every respect as before death. Anyone seeing him there would know him if he had known him here. There is no transforming power in death; the man's character has not changed, the vicious man and the drunkard are vicious and dissipated still, the miser is a miser still, the thief is as dishonest as ever, but there is one great and important change in them all--they have all lost their dense body, and THAT MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN REGARD TO THE GRATIFICATION OF THEIR VARIOUS DESIRES. The drunkard cannot drink; he lacks the stomach, and thought he may and at first often does, get into the whiskey casks of the saloons, it is no satisfaction to him, since whiskey in a cask does not give out fumes as it does during chemical combustion in the alimentary canal. He then tries the effect of getting into the dense body of drunkards on Earth. He succeeds easily for the desire body is so constituted that it is no inconvenience to occupy the same space with another person. "Dead" people, at first, are of- ten annoyed when their friends sit down in the chair they are occupying, but after a while they learn that it is not necessary to hurry out of their seat because a friend yet in earth life is approaching to sit down. It does not hurt the desire body "to be sat on"; both persons can occupy the same chair without inconveniencing each other's movements. So the drunkard enters into the body of people who are drinking, but even there he receives no real sat- isfaction, and in consequence he suffers the tortures of Tantalus, until at [PAGE 302] last the desire burns itself out for want of gratification, as all desires do, even in physical life. While our EVIL HABITS are dealt with in this general way, our SPECIFIC EVIL ACTIONS in the past life are dealt with in the same automatic manner by means of the life panorama which was etched into the desire body. That pan- orama begins to unfold BACKWARDS from death to birth, upon our entrance into the Desire World. It unfolds backwards at the rate of about three times the speed of the physical life, so that a man who was 60 years of age at the time of death would live over his past life in the Desire World in about 20 years. We remember that when viewing this panorama just after death he had no feeling at all about it, standing there merely AS A SPECTATOR, looking at the pictures as they unrolled. Not so when they appear in his consciousness in Purgatory. There the good makes no impression, but all the evil reacts upon him in such a way that in the scenes where he had made another suffer he himself feels as the injured one. He suffers all the pain and anguish his victim felt in life, and as the speed of the life is tripled, so is the suffering. It is even more acute, for while the dense body is so slow of vibration that it dulls even suffering, in the Desire World, where we are minus physical vehicles, suffering is more acute. THE MORE CLEAR-CUT THE PANORAMIC IMPRESSION OF THE PAST LIFE WAS ETCHED INTO THE DESIRE BODY AT THE TIME OF DEATH THE MORE THE MAN SUFFERS AND THE MORE CLEARLY HE WILL FEEL IN AFTER LIVES THAT TRANSGRESSION IS TO BE AVOIDED. The Desire World, the ethers, and the Physical World interpenetrate one another so that the miser is right here among us just the same as he was when he had a physical body to wear. It is not generally understood, [PAGE 303] however, that the densest desire stuff of which the lower regions of the De- sire World are composed, and the Chemical Ether which is the lowest of the four ethers, and even the physical gases, are exceedingly closely knit and form the outside layer of all Spirits which have just been released from the physical body. They are therefore living in the lower region of the Desire World in such close touch with the physical that it is amazing to the writer than people cannot see them. Thus the miser and all others who have just left the physical body see the people in this world much more clearly than they see the things of the Desire World where they are; for as the man who goes out in the sunshine must first accustom himself to see things by adjusting the focus of his eyes, so also the Spirits which have just entered the Desire World after death require a little time for this readjustment. And the densest material in their being, which is thrown out toward the periphery by the centrifugal force of Repulsion, keeps them earthbound for a longer or a shorter time un- til they have shed this coarsest material and are able to contact the finer vibrations of the higher regions. For that reason the miser, the drunkard, the sensualist, and similar people whose desires are naturally low and vi- cious, remain in these nether regions, which may well be called hell, for a much longer time than people with high ideals and spiritual aspirations who have endeavored during life to eradicate their vices and to subdue their lower nature. Their desire bodies contain comparatively little coarse mate- rial and that is soon worn away, leaving them free to soar to higher spheres. There are no specialized sense organs in the finer vehicles, but just as [PAGE 304] we feel with the whole surface of our body, so the Spirits see and hear, not only with the surface, but with every single atom of their spiritual body, inside and out. What they perceive is not really the physical things which we see with our physical eyes, but every chair, desk, or other physical implement is interpenetrated by both ethers and desire stuff--it is this that they perceive, and that to them is as real and tangible as the physical forms are to our senses. It is true that the atmosphere of the Earth revolves with it, and so does the desire stuff which constitutes the Desire World of our planet. However, those who have shed the mortal coil and are in the Desire World see through the Earth just as easily as we see through a pane of glass. The victim of murder escapes this suffering in Purgatory because he is in a comatose state as a rule, until the time when natural death should have occurred, and is taken care of in that respect, like the victims of so-called accidents, but the latter are always conscious at once or shortly after death. If the murderer is executed between the time of the murder and the time when his victim would naturally have died, the comatose desire body of the latter floats to its slayer by magnetic attraction, following him wherever he goes, without a moment's respite. The picture of the murder is always before him, causing him to feel the suffering and anguish which must inevitably accompany this incessant reenactment of his crime in all its hor- rible details. This goes on for a time corresponding to the period of life of which he deprived his victim. If the murderer escaped hanging, so that his victim has passed beyond Purgatory before he dies, the "shell" of his victim remains to act the part of Nemesis in the drama of reenactment of the [PAGE 305] crime. The sufferings of Purgatory are the results of moral delinquencies and the resentment of those who are injured thereby. A surgeon who performs a constructive operation is doing a service which merits the gratitude of the person operated upon, and the picture of such an operation in the panorama of life will react upon him in the First Heaven with the gratitude of the person he helped. It will make him more ambitious to serve his fellow men. On the other hand, those unscrupulous surgeons who persuade people to have operations performed for the love of experimentation, or who take them out of charitable institutions for that purpose will certainly be as se- verely dealt with as they deserve. As for the vivisectionist's Purgatory, we have seen some cases compared with which the orthodox hell with its devil and pitchfork is a place of mild amusement. Yet there are no exterior agents of outraged Nature to punish such an one--only the agonies of the tortured animal contained in his life panorama reacting upon him with three- fold intensity (because the purgatorial existence is only one-third the du- ration of the physical life). Those people do not realize what they are storing up for themselves, or the torture chambers would soon be emptied and there would be one horror less in the world. When a person (man or woman) has been very hard and harsh in life, when he has thought nothing of the feelings of others, when he has inflicted pain here, and everywhere on whatever occasion offered, we shall find that his suffering in Purgatory will be very severe, intensified of course by the fact that the purgatorial experience is shorter than the life lived upon Earth; but the pain is intensified in proportion. Now, therefore, it is [PAGE 306] evident that if his experience were continuous, if the pain engendered by one act were followed immediately by the next, much of the effect of the suffering would be lost upon the soul because it would not feel its full in- tensity. Therefore, the experiences, as it were, come to it in waves so that there is a period of respite after each period of suffering in order that the full intensity of the next may be felt. God never seeks to revenge or avenge any wrong, but only to teach those who permit themselves to do wrong not to repeat the act, by giving the wrongdoer exactly pain for pain. The tendency in a future life is to cause him to respect the feelings of others and so be merciful to all the world. Thus the very highest intensity in pain is necessary for the conservation of energy, and to make him good and pure sooner than would be the case if the pain were continuous and the suffering correspondingly lessened. If the dying man could leave all desires behind, the desire body would very quickly fall away from him, leaving him free to proceed into the heaven world, but that is not generally the case. Most people, especially if they die in the prime of life, have many ties and much interest in life on Earth. They have not altered their desires because they have lost their physical bodies. In fact often their desires are even augmented by a very intense longing to return. This acts in such a manner as to bind them to the Desire World in a very unpleasant way, although unfortunately, they do not realize it. On the other hand, old and decrepit persons and those who are weakened by long illness and are tired of life, pass on very quickly. The matter may be illustrated by the ease with which the seed falls out [PAGE 307] of the ripe fruit, no particle of the flesh clinging to it, while in the unripe fruit the seed clings to the flesh with the greatest tenacity. Thus it is especially hard for people to die who were taken out of their bodies by accident while at the height of their physical health and strength, en- gaged in numerous ways in the activities of physical life, held by the ties of wife, family, relatives, friends, and pursuits of business and pleasure. The suicide, who tries to get away from life, only to find that he is as much alive as ever, is in the most pitiable plight. He is able to watch those whom he has, perhaps, disgraced by his act, and worst of all, he has an unspeakable feeling of being "hollowed out." The part in the ovoid aura where the dense body used to be is empty and although the desire body has taken the form of the discarded dense body it feels like an empty shell, be- cause the creative archetype of the body in the Region of Concrete Thought persists as an empty mold, so to speak, as long as the dense body should properly have lived. When a person meets a natural death, even in the prime of life, the activity of the archetype ceases, and the desire body adjusts itself so as to occupy the whole of the form, but in the case of the suicide that awful feeling of "emptiness" remains until the time comes when, in the natural course of events, his death would have occurred. As long as the man entertains the desires connected with earth life he must stay in his desire body and as the progress of the individual requires that he pass on to higher regions, the existence in the Desire World must necessarily become purgative, tending to purify him from his desires. How this is done is best seen by taking some radical instances. [PAGE 308] This miser who loved his gold in earth life loves it just as dearly after death; but in the first place he cannot acquire any more, because he has no longer a dense body wherewith to grasp it, and worst of all, he cannot even keep what he hoarded during life. He will, perhaps, go and sit by his safe and watch the cherished gold or bonds; but the heirs appear and with, it may be, a stinging jeer at the "stingy old fool" (whom they do not see, but who sees and hears them), will open his safe, and though he may throw himself over his gold to protect it, they will put their hands through him, neither knowing nor caring that he is there, and will then proceed to spend his hoard, while he suffers in sorrow and impotent rage. He will suffer keenly, his sufferings all the more terrible on account of being entirely mental, because the dense body dulls even suffering to some extent. In the Desire World, however, these sufferings have full sway and the man suffers until he learns that gold may be a curse. Thus he gradually becomes contented with his lot and at last is freed from his desire body and is ready to go on. Or take the case of the drunkard. He is just as fond of intoxicants af- ter death as he was before. It is not the dense body that craves drink. It is made sick by alcohol and would rather be without it. It vainly protests in different ways, but the desire body of the drunkard craves the drink and forces the dense body to take it, that the desire body may have the sensa- tion of pleasure resulting from the increased vibration. That desire re- mains after the death of the dense body, but the drunkard has in his desire body neither mouth to drink nor stomach to contain physical liquor. He may and does get into saloons, where he interpolates his body into the bodies of [PAGE 309] the drinkers to get a little of their vibrations by induction, but that is too weak to give him much satisfaction. He may and also does sometimes get inside a whiskey cask, but that is of no avail either for there are in the cask no such fumes as are generated in the digestive organs of a tippler. it has no effect upon him and he is like a man in an open boat on the ocean, "Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink"; consequently he suffers intensely. In time, however, he learns the uselessness of longing for drink which he cannot obtain. As with so many of our desires in the earth life, all desires in the Desire World die for want of opportunity to gratify them. When the drunkard has been purged, he is ready, so far as this habit is con- cerned, to leave this state of "Purgatory" and ascend into the heaven world. The drunkards in the Desire World usually attempt to manufacture the drink for which they crave when they have once learned that it is possible so to mold desire stuff that it becomes whatever you want it to be; but they all declare unanimously that the strong drink or the drugs which they manufacture in that manner give no satisfaction. They can imitate the taste perfectly, but the drink thus manufactured has no power to make them drunk. The nearest they can get to the satisfaction of a real drunk is to insinuate their bodies into those of drunkards who are still in the Physical World. Therefore, they are continually haunting bar-rooms and endeavoring to get the frequenters of these places to take an excess dose of intoxicants. They also say that they get considerable satisfaction from the fumes car- ried by the breath of drunkards in the physical body and the more heavy and [PAGE 310] pungent the atmosphere is in the bar-rooms, the nearer they come to finding the satisfaction for which they are seeking. If only the weaklings who visit such places could see and understand the disgusting tactics of the in- visible reprobates hanging about such places, surely it would be an awaken- ing which would probably help those who are not too far gone to retrace their steps to the path of decency and honest living. But, thank God (both for the visible and the invisible drunkards), it is impossible for them to create a den of vice in the desire stuff because the force of Repulsion tends to destroy it as fast as they can bring it into existence. Let us take as an illustration a drunkard who makes a beast of himself and at the same time abuses his children, depriving them of the necessities of life and the education which they ought to have, who beats his wife, set- ting the children an example they may follow, and generally lowering their moral standards. After death that man will feel in Purgatory, first, the tortures of a craving for drink, which he is not able to satisfy, and second, he will feel all the suffering which he inflicted upon his family. He has then paid for his wrong-doing, and it is true that he comes back to rebirth with a per- fectly clean slate so far as the actual suffering which he caused them is concerned. But he took a vow to love and cherish the woman who became his wife, and by the performance of the creative act and furnishing the nucleus for a body he assumed the responsibilities of fatherhood toward the children which came to him for help and a suitable environment. The parental respon- sibilities he also neglected to fulfill, and there is consequently a tie [PAGE 311] between him and the members of his family. He still owes them a debt of love and service which must be rendered at some future time and therefore in a later life these Egos will be brought together and so placed that he may have an opportunity for doing good toward them. If he does not then take the opportunity, he may in a still later life render an adequate service to someone else. It is for his sake that service must be rendered so that the love nature may be evolved and expanded to become universal and all inclu- sive. The same rule holds good in all other cases and as the extreme conditions make the best illustrations, we may take as another instance the relation- ship between a murderer and his victim. After death he suffered in Purga- tory and the actual debt is there wiped out. But a tie has been established between these two Egos, and in a future life they will again meet so that the murderer may have the opportunity of serving his erstwhile victim, that they may become reconciled as friends. Fellow feeling must become univer- sal, since it is the basic principle in the Kingdom of God. When the break occurs between the desire body and the mind, the desire body (of an insane person who dies) is, as a matter of course, still ram- pant, and often causes the Ego much trouble during its existence in the De- sire World; for the Ego, of course is at no time insane. What appears as insanity arises from the fact that the Ego has no control over its vehicles; the worst of all, obviously is where the mind itself has become affected and the Ego is tied to the personality for a long time until these vehicles are worn away. [PAGE 312] In the beginning of the war the desire bodies of the combatants whirled at an awful rate, and it was noted that while people passing over from sick- ness, old age, or ordinary accidents regain consciousness in a short time, varying from a few minutes to a few days, those killed in war were in a great many cases unconscious for several weeks, and strange to say, those who were almost torn to pieces seemed to wake up much quicker than thousands that had only insignificant wounds. This puzzle was not solved for many months. Before we study the causes underlying this phenomenon, we must first record that when the people who had thus died in intense anger during the first part of the war awoke in the invisible world, they usually started to fight their enemies anew, and until the great educational work started by the Elder Brothers and their Invisible Helpers bore fruit, these people went about with maimed bodies and in great anguish because of their dear ones left behind. Now such occurrences are extremely rare and soon settled, for all have been taught that thought will create a new arm, limb, or face; the patriotic hatred is gone, and "enemies" able to speak each other's language often fraternize with benefit to both. Purgatory is far from being a place of PUNISHMENT, it is perhaps the most beneficent realm in Nature, for BECAUSE OF PURGATION WE ARE BORN INNOCENT life after life. The tendencies to commit the same evil for which we suf- fered remain with us and temptations to commit the same wrongs will be placed in our path until we have consciously overcome the evil here; tempta- tion is not sin, however, the sin is in yielding. Thus we see that it is not an avenging Deity that makes Purgatory or hell [PAGE 313] for us, but our own individual evil habits and acts. According to the in- tensity of our desires will be the time of our suffering entailed in their expurgation. In the cases mentioned it would have been no suffering to the drunkard to lose his worldly possessions. If he had any, he did not cling to them. Neither would it have caused the miser any pain to have been de- prived of intoxicants. It is safe to say that he would not have cared had there not been a drop of liquor in the world. But he did care about his gold, and the drunkard cared about his drink, and so the unerring law gave to each that which was needed to purge him of his unhallowed desires and evil habits. This is the law that is symbolized in the scythe of the reaper, Death; the law that says, "whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." It is the Law of Cause and Effect, which rules all things in the three worlds, in every realm of Nature--physical, moral, and mental. Everywhere it works inexorably, adjusting all things, restoring the equilibrium, wherever even the slightest action has brought about a disturbance, as all action must. The result may be manifested immediately or it may be delayed for years or for lives, but sometime, somewhere, just and equal retribution will be made. The student should particularly note that its work is absolutely impersonal. There is in the universe neither reward nor punishment. All is the result of invariable law. To sum up then we may say that all our debts are paid in Purgatory, so far as the commission of wrong is concerned; our debts of love, friendship, and service remain for liquidation in later lives. Continued with file "RC1010.TXT" End of File


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