Filename: +quot;RC1010.TXT Source: +quot;The Desire Body+quot; by Max Heindel [PAGE 314] E

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Filename: "RC1010.TXT Source: "The Desire Body" by Max Heindel [PAGE 314] EARTHBOUND SPIRITS AND THEIR PREY: To understand mediumship it is necessary to know that at death the same separation takes place as in sleep, but it is permanent. The so-called dead have Ego, mind, and desire body and are often conscious of the world they have left for some time after. Some cling to the earth life, and cannot set their minds to learn the new lessons; we call them "earthbound Spirits." They cannot function in the visible world without a body, however, and so they take advantage of the fact that all Spirits are not confined with equal rigor to the prison of the dense body. Those who are most closely bound are the rank materialists; those who cords do not bind them so tightly are "im- pressionists," capable of answering in some measure to spiritual vibrations. Persons of positive character thus constituted, if they develop, do so by their own will, and become trained occultists. Those of weak will can only develop by the aid of others, and in a negative way. They are the prey of earthbound Spirits who constitute themselves "Spirit guides" and develop their victims as "trance mediums," or, if the connection between the victim's dense and vital bodies be particularly lax, into "materializing me- diums." Earthbound Spirits gravitate to the lower regions of the Desire World which interpenetrates the ether, and are in constant and close touch with [PAGE 315] those people on Earth most favorably situated for aiding them in their evil designs. They usually stay in this earthbound condition for fifty, sixty, or seventy-five years, but extreme cases have been found in which such people remain for centuries. So far as the writer has been able to discover up to the present time, there seems to be no limit to what they may do or how soon they will be let go. But all the while they are piling up for themselves an awful load of sin, nor can they escape suffering therefor; for the vital body reflects and etches deeply into the desire body a record of their misdeeds, and when at last they do let go and enter the purgatorial existence, they meet the retribution which they well deserve. This suffer- ing is naturally lengthy in proportion to the time they have continued their nefarious practices after the death of the dense body-another proof that "Though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small." When the Spirit has left the SIN BODY, as we call this vehicle, in con- trast to the soul body, to ascend to the Second Heaven, it does not disinte- grate as quickly as the ordinary shell left behind by normal people, for the consciousness in it is enhanced by its dual composition. That is to say, being composed of both a vital and a desire body, it has an individual or a personal consciousness that is very remarkable. It cannot reason, but there is a low cunning present which makes it seem as though it were actually en- dowed with a spiritual presence, an Ego, and this enables it to live a separate life for many centuries. The departed Spirit meanwhile enters the Second Heaven, but having done no work on Earth to desire or merit a pro- longed stay there or in the Third Heaven, it only stays there sufficiently [PAGE 316] long enough to create a new environment for itself and it is then reborn much earlier than usual-to satisfy the craving for material things which draw it so strongly. In such cases (people of an evil nature) where the animal nature has been paramount, where there has been no soul expression in the preceding earth life, the division in the vital body cannot take place at death, for there is no dividing line. In such a case, if the vital body should gravitate back to the dense body and there gradually disintegrate, the effect of a very evil life would not be so far-reaching, but unfortunately there is in such cases an interlocking grip of the vital and desire bodies which pre- vents separation. We have seen that where a man lives mostly in the higher nature, his spiritual vehicles are nourished to the detriment of the lower. Conversely, where his consciousness is centered in the lower vehicles he strengthens then immeasurably. It should be understood that the life of the desire body is not termi- nated by the departure of the Spirit; it has a residual life and conscious- ness. It is amazing when one searches the Memory of Nature of the past to find how prevalent this interlocking condition of the desire and vital bodies was in former centuries and milleniums . . . . That in our own historical times savagery should have been so common and so brutal, and that might was the measure of right absolutely and beyond dispute, was, to say the least, quite a shock to the writer. It has been taught that selfishness and desire were purposely fostered under the regime of Jehovah to give incentive to action. This is the course of time had so hardened the desire body that when the vent of Christ took [PAGE 317] place, there was almost no heaven life among the people then living. Nor were these ancient people content do all the evil they could in life and then get away, but they must even have their war horses killed, their weapons laid down in their coffins, and everything else possible done to keep them here, for the ether in those things which had belonged to them during life had an attraction for them, and was a means further to keep them within the Earth's atmosphere. It enabled them to haunt-for they actually did haunt-their castles for years and years, and of course it was not only the rich or the warrior classes, but also others. In cases of blood feuds where people were slain, the ghosts incited their relatives to avenge them by remaining about and helping them to carry out bloody deeds. Thus they perpetuated evil and kept the world in a turmoil of blood and strife; nor is this condition entirely broken in what we call modern days. Wherever a person dies who has fostered malice and hatred in his heart, these interlock the desire and vital bodies and make him a more serious men- ace to the community than anyone can imagine who has not investigated this subject. Therefore, if for no other reason, capital punishment should be abolished so that we may not let loose upon the community such dangerous characters to incite the morally weak to follow in their footsteps. The Desire World is the abode of those who have died, for some time sub- sequent to that event, and we may mention that the so-called "dead" very of- ten stay for a long while among their still living friends. Unseen by their relatives they go about the familiar rooms. At first they are often [PAGE 318] unaware of the condition mentioned: "that two persons may be in the same place at the same time," and when they seat themselves in a chair or at the table, a living relative may take the supposedly vacant seat. The man we mistakenly call dead will at first hurry out his seat to escape being sat upon, but he soon learns that being sat upon does not hurt him in his al- tered condition, and that he may remain in his chair regardless of the fact that his living relative is also sitting there. There are other classes who, so to speak, become immortal in evil. Not quite that, but the interlocking of their vital and desire bodies forces them to stay in the lower regions of the invisible world nearest to the Physical World in which we live. This class may consequently be met with for a considerable number of years after they have passed away from the body. It is indeed a curious fact that sometimes these vile persons are sought by former friends who have passed out of the body and need help to contact the Physical World. The writer remembers such an instance occurring a few years ago, when an aged relative was about to pass over to the other side. She looked forward very anxiously to seeing her mate who had gone on before her. But as he had al- ready reached the First Heaven, his arms and body had passed away, and only the head remained. Therefore he would scarcely be able to show himself to her when she had passed over, much less influence conditions at the time of the passing, and these were far from being to his liking. Certain things were being done to retard the severance of the Spirit from the flesh and considerable distress was occasioned to the person thereby. In his anxiety over this condition the husband of the lady secured [PAGE 319] assistance from a friend whose interlocking vital and desire bodies made it easy for him to manifest. This Spirit took a have cane standing in the room, and knocked a book out of the hand of the passing lady's daughter, which so frightened those present that they stopped their demonstration, al- lowing the mother to pass out. The poor man who had performed this phenom- enon had already been more than twenty years in the invisible world, and so far as the writer can perceive there seemed to be no sign of dissolution of the sin body wherein he had clothed himself; he may remain there for perhaps twice or three times as long. The writer was at one time quite apprehensive of the effect which war might have in respect to locking the desire and vital bodies together and bring to birth legions of monsters to afflict future generations. But it is with great thankfulness that he records his conviction that we need have no fear on that score. Only when people are premeditatively malicious and vin- dictive, and persistently harbor a desire and a purpose to get even with someone, only when such feelings are hugged, nursed, and entertained do they harden the vital body and cause the interlocking grip of these vehicles. We know from the records of the Great War that the rank and file have no such sentiments against one another, but that enemies meet as friends whenever chance brings them into such relationship that they may converse one with another. So, though war is responsible for the awful mortality now and will cause deplorable infant mortality in a future age, it will be blameless with regard to the dreadful diseases engendered by obsession and the crimes sug- gested by these demoniacal sin bodies. [PAGE 320] Following the above investigations, the writer attempted a number of ex- periments with Spirits who were in the higher realms of the ether, having just passed out, and with people who had been in the Desire World for a longer or shorter time, some of them being almost ready for the First Heaven. A number of Spirits who had departed this life kindly cooperated as subjects. The aim of the experiments was to determine how far it would be possible for them to clothe themselves in the materials of the lower etheric and even the gaseous regions. It was noticed that those who had just passed out could quite readily endure the lower ether vibrations, although being of good character they were not well satisfied to remain there longer than nec- essary, for they were uncomfortable. But as we tried people from succes- sively higher regions of the Desire World up to the First Heaven, it became more and more difficult to wrap themselves in ether or descent into it. The consensus of opinion was that it was like going down into a deep well, there to smother. It was also found that it was absolutely impossible for anyone in the physical to see them. We tried by every method of suggestion to arouse the people in rooms which we visited, to a sense of our presence, but we found no response, though in a number of cases the forms which we con- densed were so opaque that it seemed to the writer as if they were nearly as dark as those physical people whom we desired to attract. We placed our ex- perimental subjects between the physical people and the light; nevertheless, we had no success, either with those who were from the higher realms or with those who had passed out recently and were able to stay in the given posi- tion and density for a considerable time. [PAGE 321] THE BORDERLAND: It is a mistake to think that heaven is a place of unalloyed happiness for all. No one can reap any more happiness than he sowed on Earth. The measure of our joy there will be the good deeds we did in earth life. The panorama of life etched into our desire bodies just after death forms the basis of our enjoyment in heaven, as it was the decreer of our suffering in Purgatory. There are two classes for whom post-mortem existence is particularly blank and monotonous; the materialist and the man who was so absorbed in his material business that he never gave a thought to the spiritual worlds. The reason not far to seek. They led good, moral lives as a rule, indulged in one of the vices which find their expurgation in the purgatorial regions of the lower Desire World, but neither have they done any good such as would find its fruition in feelings of joy in the First Heaven. To have given even large sums of money for the building of churches, libraries, or parks will help nothing there, unless the giver took particular interest in his gift, and thus gave himself with the money. Merely to give money will bring affluence in a future life, but to give oneself is more than money - it is soul-growth. The materialistic business man therefore goes to the fourth region, which is a sort of Borderland between Purgatory and the First [PAGE 322] Heaven. He is too good to suffer in Purgatory and not good enough to have a First Heaven Life. He has still a keen longing for business. With no in- terests, save desires that cannot be gratified there, his life is an unenviable monotony, though he suffers in no other way. The out-and-out materialist, who denies God and has the idea that death in annihilation, is in the worst of straits. He sees his mistake, yet hav- ing so disassociated himself from spiritual ideas, he often cannot believe but that this is a prelude to annihilation. The dreadful suspense wears terribly on such people, and it is not an uncommon sight to see them going about murmuring to themselves: Is it not soon the end? And, worst of all, if anyone who is instructed tries to inform them they will deny the exist- ence of spirit there as much as they did in earth life, calling him vision- ary for thinking that there is anything beyond. There are many people (of the belief that when a man pays his debts, cares for his family, and lives a moral life here, he will be all right thereafter) who have a rather unenviable time in the Desire World after death. They are, of course, to be looked up to from the standpoint of this life only, but at the present time we are required to cultivate at least some altruistic tendencies in order to progress beyond our present evolu- tionary status. We find the people who have neglected the higher duties in the fourth re- gion of the Desire World after death. There is the business man who paid a hundred cents on the dollar, who dealt honestly by everyone, who worked for the material improvement of his city and country as a good citizen, paid his employees fair wages, treated his wife and family with consideration, gave them all possible advantages, etc. He may even through them have built a [PAGE 323] church, or at least given liberally to it; or he may have built libraries or founded institutes, etc. But HE DID NOT GIVE HIMSELF. He took interest in the church only for the sake of his family or for the sake of respectabil- ity; he had no heart in it. All his heart was in his business, in making money, or in attaining a worldly position. When he enters the Desire World after death he is too good to go to Pur- gatory and not good enough to go to heaven. He has dealt justly with every- one and wronged nobody. Therefore, he has nothing to expiate. But neither has he done any good that could give him a life in the First Heaven where the good of his past life is assimilated. Therefore he is in the fourth region-between Heaven and Hell, as it were. The fourth region is the center of the Desire World and the feeling there is most intense. The man still feels a keen desire for business, but since he can neither buy nor sell there, his life is a most dreadful monotony. All that he gave to the churches, institutes, etc., counts as nothing be- cause of his lack of heart. ONLY WHEN WE GIVE FOR LOVE WILL THE GIFT AVAIL TO BRING HAPPINESS HEREAFTER. It is not the amount that we give, but the spirit that accompanies the gift, which matters. Therefore, it is within the power of everyone to give and thus benefit himself and others. Indis- criminate money giving, however, often causes people to become thriftless and indigent, but by giving heartfelt sympathy, by helping people to be- lieve in themselves and start life with fresh ardor when they have fallen by the wayside, by giving ourselves in service rendered humanity, we lay up treasures in heaven and give more than gold. Christ said: "The poor are [PAGE 324] with us always." We may not be able to bring them from poverty to riches and that may not be best for them, but we can encourage them to learn the lesson that is to be learned in poverty. We can help them to a better view of life, and unless the man does that also, he will not be "all right" when he passes out. He will suffer that dreadful monotony in order to learn that he must fill his life with something of real value, and thus is a succeeding life his conscience will spur him on to do something better than to grind out dollars. However, he will not neglect his material duties, for that is as bad as to spurn spiritual endeavor. [PAGE 325] THE FIRST HEAVEN: During the earlier part of its evolution mankind committed the most atro- cious crimes because actuated entirely by selfishness and disregard for other people's feelings. In those early lives we were cunning, cruel, and seldom did a good deed. In fact, it is recorded that at that time man spent the whole of the interval between lives in the purgatorial regions expiating the crimes he had committed during his physical life, and there was no heaven life to speak of. That was the condition spoke of in the Bible as "lost in trespasses and sin," which made it necessary for the Christ to en- ter the Earth and attempt the task of raising the vibrations, so that altruism might gradually conquer egoism and give us a heaven life upon which promotion and progression in our evolutionary career could be based. We saw in the last lecture how the evil acts of life and our undesirable habits are dealt with by the impersonal Law of Consequence, and make for good in future lives, and to illustrate we noted its operation in such cases as those of the murderer, suicide, drunkard, and miser. These are extreme cases, however, and there are many people who have lived good moral lives, tainted more by petty selfishness, which is the besetting sin of our age, than by actual pronounced evil. For them the stay in the purgatorial re- gions of the Desire World is of course correspondingly shortened and the [PAGE 326] incidental suffering is lightened. Thus in time all pass to the upper re- gions of the Desire World where the First Heaven is located. This is the "Summerland" of the Spiritualists. Of the matter of this re- gion and thoughts and fancies of people during life build the actual forms they see in their imagination. It is a characteristic of the inner worlds that the matter in them is readily molded by thought and will, and all these fantastic forms created by people to got about, ensouled by elementals and enduring as long as the thought or desire which formed them endures. Around Christmas time, for instance, Santa Claus actually lives and rides around in his sleigh. There are all sorts of variety of him, and he remains in vigor- ous health for a month or more until the desires of the children who created him cease to flow in that direction, then he fades away till he is re-cre- ated next year. The New Jerusalem, with its pearly streets and sea of glass, and all the other pious and moral fancies of the church people are there also. Purgatory has its thought form devil, with horns and cloven hoof, created by the thoughts of people, but in this upper part of the De- sire World we find only that which is good and desirable in human aspira- tions. Here the student revels in libraries and is able to pursue his stud- ies in a much more effective way than while confined to the dense body. If he desires a book, presto, it is there. The artist by his imagination shapes his models perfectly, he paints with living fiery colors instead of with the dead and dull pigments of earth, which are the physical artist's despair, for here in earth it is impossible for him to reproduce the tints he sees with his inner vision, but the Desire World is the world of color par excellence, and therefore he obtains his heart's desire in the First [PAGE 327] Heaven, and receives inspiration and power to continue his work in future lives. The sculptor likewise finds this part of the post-mortem state a joy and an upliftment; he shapes with facility the plastic materials of this world into the statues he dreamed of in earth life. The musician is also ben- efited, but he is not yet in the true world of tone. That ocean of harmony, where the heavenly "music of spheres" is heard, is in the part the Region of Concrete Thought which, in the esoteric Christian religion, we call Second Heaven; and so the musician hears only the echoes of the celestial strains; yet they are sweeter than any he ever heard on Earth, and his soul revels in their exquisite harmony, the earnest of better things to come. Here we also find all the little children, who go directly to this place after passing out, and if their friends could see them, there would be no mourning, for theirs is rather enviable life. They are always met by some relative or friend who has previously passed out, and are taken care of in every respect. There are people who lay up a great deal of treasure for themselves by giving much of their time to the invention of plays and toys for the little ones, and thus life in this First heaven is spent in the most beautiful way by the children, nor is their instruction neglected. There are brought together in classes, not only according to age and capability, but according to temperament, and particularly instructed in the effects of desires and emotions, which can so objectively demonstrated. Thus they are taught by object-lessons the benefit of cultivating good and altruistic de- sires, and many a soul who lives a moral life now, owes it to such a cause [PAGE 328] as the death in infancy and fifteen or twenty years in the First Heaven be- fore a new incarnation was entered upon. In the lower regions of the Desire World the whole body of each being may be seen, but in the highest regions only the head seems to remain. Raphael, who, like many other people in the middle ages, was gifted with a so-called second sight, pictures that condition for us in his Sistine Madonna, now in the Dresden Art Gallery, where Madonna and the Christ child are represented as floating in a golden atmosphere and surrounded by a host of genie-heads: conditions which the occult-investigator knows to be in harmony with actual facts. In the higher regions of the Desire World the confusion of tongues gives place to a universal mode of expression which absolutely prevents misunder- standings of our meaning. There each of our thoughts takes a definite form and color perceptible to all, and this thought symbol emits a certain tone, which is not a word, but it conveys our meaning to the one we address no matter what language he spoke on Earth. [PAGE 329] THE SECOND HEAVEN: In the course of time every man makes ready to ascend into the Second Heaven, which is located in the Region of Concrete Thought. All good aspi- rations and desires of the past life are etched into and branded upon the mind, which then contains all that is of permanent value. The Ego withdraws from the desire body, which is then but an empty shell, and, clothed only in the mind, it ascends into the Second Heaven. We remember, that after the termination of the panorama, just subsequent to death, when the Ego withdrew from the vital body, it went through a pe- riod of unconsciousness before it awoke in the Desire World. There is also an interval between the withdrawal from the desire body in the First Heaven to the awakening in the Second Heaven. But this time there is no uncon- sciousness; every faculty is keenly on the alert, there is a state of hyperconsciousness, as the Spirit passes through this interval, which is called "The Great Silence." No matter how materialistic a man may have be- come on Earth, that state of mind has now vanished, and the man knows that he is inherently divine when he reaches this Great Silence which is the por- tal of his heavenly home. It is as when on awakens after a dreadful dream, and draws a deep sigh of relief at finding that the occurrences of the dream were not realities. So the ego, when it enters this Great Silence, awakes [PAGE 330] from the delusions and illusions of earth life with a sense of infinite re- lief, is filled with a feeling of impregnable security, feels anew the rest- ful repose of being in the everlasting arms of the Great Universal Spirit. In time a point is reached were the result of the pain and suffering in- cident to purgation, together with the joy extracted from the good actions of the past life, have been built into the seed atom of the desire body. Together these constitute what we call conscience, that impelling force which warns us against evil as productive of pain and inclines us toward good as productive of happiness and joy. Then man leaves his desire body to disintegrate, as he left his dense body and vital body. He takes with him the forces only of the seed atom, which are to form the nucleus of future desire bodies, as it was the persistent particle of his past vehicles of feeling. The usual time of duration of one's stay in the Desire World, after leav- ing the body at death, is one-third the length of the life lived in the body, but this measure is only a general guide. There are many cases in which the stay is shortened or lengthened. For instance, if a person fol- lows The Rosicrucian Fellowship exercises, particularly the retrospection in the evening, he may in this scientific manner, provided he is very earnest and sincere in the performance thereof, entirely obviate the necessity of a purgatorial experience. The pictures of scenes where he wronged someone would have been wiped away from the seed atom in his heart by contrition and thus there would be for him no purgatorial expiation. Where he had done something commendable, that would be absorbed as pabulum for the soul, and this would materially shorten, if not entirely do away with, experience in the First Heaven. Thus such a person would be comparatively if not entirely [PAGE 331] free to devote himself to the service of humanity in the beyond, and as such he might remain in these lower regions. However, they would not, for him, constitute Purgatory or the First Heaven. Many of the most devout disciples do this humanitarian work for a number of years after passing over. There are some, however, who go to the Second Heaven at once. The soul growth at- tained during the life of helpfulness which freed them from the purgatorial and First Heaven existence also enables them to carry on certain investiga- tions there and go through a certain schooling which will fit them for a higher and better position as helpers of humanity in a future life. This class, therefore, could not be seen by any friend or relative going out of the body during sleep. The "Aerial Region" is the third division of the Region of Concrete Thought. Here we find the archetype of desires, passions, wishes, feelings, and emotions such as we experience in the Desire World. Here all the ac- tivities of the Desire World appear as atmospheric conditions. Like the kiss of the summer breeze come the feelings of pleasure and joy to the clairvoyant sense; as the sighing of the wind in the tree tops seem the longing of the soul and like flashes of lightening the passions of warring nations. In this Region of Concrete Thought are also pictures of the emo- tions of man and beast. Both color and form are there (in the Second Heaven), just as in the Physical World, but tone is the predominating feature of the World of Thought. Color is most accentuated in the Desire World and form in the Physical World, although it is true that the colors and forms of the Second Heaven are much more beautiful than in the other worlds. [PAGE 332] ON THE WAY TO REBIRTH: After a time (in the Third Heaven) comes the desire for new experience and the contemplation of a new birth. Previous to taking the dip into matter, the threefold Spirit is naked, having only the forces of the four seed atoms (which are the nuclei of the threefold body and the sheath of mind). It (the seed atom) can take, in each region, nothing except the material for which it has an affinity and nothing beyond a certain definite quantity even of that. Thus the vehicle build around this nucleus becomes an exact counterpart of the corresponding vehicle of the last life minus the evil which has been expurgated and plus the quintessence of good which has been incorporated in the seed atom. The material selected by the threefold Spirit forms itself into a great bell-shaped figure, open at the bottom and with the seed atom at the top. If we conceive of this illustration spiritually we may compare it to a diving-bell descending into a sea composed of fluids of increasing density. These correspond to the different subdivisions of each world. The matter taken into the texture of the bell-shaped body makes it heavier, so that it sinks into the next lower subdivision and it takes from that its [PAGE 333] proper quota of matter. Thus it becomes still heavier and sinks yet deeper until it has passed through the four subdivisions of the Region of Concrete Thought and the sheath of the new mind of the man is complete. Next the forces in the seed atom of the desire body are awakened. It places itself at the top of the bell, INSIDE, and the materials of the seventh region of the Desire World draw around it until it sinks to the sixth region, getting more material there, and this process continues until the first region of the Desire World is reached. The bell has now two layers-the sheath of mind outside and the new desire body inside. Except in the case of a very highly developed being, this work of the Ego (building its vehicles) is most negligible at the present stage of man's evolution. The greatest scope is given in the building of the desire body, very little in that of the vital body, and almost none in the dense body; yet this little suffices to make each individual an expression of his own Spirit and different from the parents. When the impregnation of the ovum has taken place, the desire body of the mother works upon it for a period of from about eighteen to twenty-one days, the Ego remaining outside in its desire body and mind sheath, yet always in close touch with the mother. We know that the silver chord is grown anew in each life, that one part sprouts from the seed atom of the desire body in the great vortex of the liver, that the other part grows out of the seed atom of the dense body in the heart, that both parts meet in the seed atom of the vital body in the solar plexus, and that this union of the higher and lower vehicles causes the quickening. [PAGE 334] SPIRITUALIZATION OF MAN'S DESIRE BODY: HIGHER BEINGS AS FACTORS: The Archangels became experts at building a body of desire stuff, the densest matter of the Sun Period. Therefore, they are able to teach and guide such less evolved beings as man and animal how to mold and use a de- sire body. Again we have a seeming anomaly, for the Archangels were the humanity of the Sun Period when the vital body was started, at a time when man had as yet no desire body, but the difficulty vanishes when we remember that each of our bodies is the shadow of one of the aspects of the Spirit, and that the vehicles are not given by these Hierarchies. They are merely helpers of man in training a particular vehicle, because of a special fitness. Thus the Archangels are trainers of our desire bodies, because they became ex- perts at building and using such a vehicle when they were human in the Sun Period, for them they build their densest bodies of "desire stuff," as we are now building ours from chemical mineral matter. In the Moon Revolution of the Earth Period the Archangels (humanity of the Sun Period) and the Lords of Form took charge of the reconstruction of the desire body, but they were not alone in that work. When the separation of the Globe into two parts occurred, there was a similar division in the desire bodies of some of the evolving beings. We have already noted that [PAGE 335] where this division took place, the form was ready to become the vehicle of an indwelling Spirit, and in order to further this purpose the Lords of Mind (humanity of the Saturn Period) took possession of the higher part of the desire body and implanted in it the separate selfhood, without which the present man with all his glorious possibilities, could never have existed. Thus in the latter part of the Moon Revolution the first germ of separate personality was implanted in the higher part of the desire body by the Lords of Mind. The Archangels were active in the lower part of the desire body, giving it the purely animal desires. They also worked in the desire bodies where there was no division. Some of these were to become the vehicles of the animal Group Spirits, which work on them from without, but do not enter wholly into the animal forms, as the individual Spirit does into the human body. The desire body was reconstructed to render it capable of being interpen- etrated by the germinal mind which, during the Earth Period, will be im- planted in all those desire bodies in which it was possible to make the before-mentioned division. The Lords of Mind took charge of the higher part of the desire body and of the germinal mind, impregnating them with the quality of separate selfhood, without which no separate, self-contained beings such as we are today would be possible. As when reflected in a pond, the images of trees appear inverted, the fo- liage seeming to be the deepest down in the water, so the highest aspect of the Spirit (the Divine Spirit) finds its counterpart in the lowest of the three bodies (the dense body). The next highest Spirit (the Life Spirit) [PAGE 336] is reflected in the next lowest body (the vital body). The third Spirit (the Human Spirit) and its reflection, the third body (the desire body), ap- pear closest of all the the reflecting mirror, which is the mind, the latter corresponding to the surface of the pond-the reflecting medium in our anal- ogy. The lowest vehicle of the Archangels is the desire body. Our desire body was added in the Moon Period, at which time Jehovah was the highest Ini- tiate. Therefore Jehovah is able to deal with man's desire body. Jehovah's lowest vehicle is the Human Spirit and its counterpart is the desire body. The Archangels are His helpers because they are able to manage the Spiritual Sun forces and the desire body is their lowest vehicle. Thus they are able to work with and prepare humanity for the time when it can receive the spiritual impulses directly from the Solar Orb, without the intervention of the Moon. Jehovah helped man to get control over the mind and desire body by giving Law and decreeing punishment for its transgression. The fear of God was pitted against the desires of the flesh. Thus sin became manifest in the world. The Angels cause man's corn and grapes to grow or wither, his cattle to increase or not, his family to multiply or die out, as required to bless him for obedience to the law of the chief Race Spirit Jehovah, or to punish him for transgression against the law. Under his sway all the Race Reli- gions: Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, Judaism, etc., have flourished and worked in the desire body as Religions of the Holy Spirit. Jehovah helps man to curb the desire body because that was started in the Moon Period. [PAGE 337] The Angels worked alone with man in the Hyperborean Epoch, when he had only a dense and a vital body, but in the Lemurian Epoch, when the desire body was added, the Archangels also took a hand, to help the infant human Spirit to control its future vehicles. They neutralized the desire body so that it was sexually active only at certain times of the year. At stated times of the year (during the Lemurian Epoch) the Archangels withdrew their restraining influence on the desire body and the Angels mar- shaled humanity to great temples where the generative act was performed at times when the constellations were propitious. Our present-day honeymoon trips are atavistic reminders of those migrations for propagative purposes, and show a connection with the heavenly bodies in the name HONEYMOON. When propagation had been accomplished, the desire body was again neu- tralized, and in consequence there was no more pain connected with parturi- tion than is the case with the animals at present, where similar conditions obtain now. The human Ego was very weak (in the middle third of Atlantis) and had to get help from someone else. Therefore Jehovah, the highest Initiate of the Moon Period, the ruler over the Angels and Archangels that work with men, breathes into man's nostrils, gives him lungs, and gives him the Race Spirit in the air that is to curb the hardening tendencies of the desire body and help him to get it under control. The desire body has control of the volun- tary muscles. Every movement we make is caused by desire, and every exer- tion breaks down tissue, and hardens more and more every particle of our tissue. [PAGE 338] There are three steps by which this work (UNION WITH THE HIGHER SELF) conquers the lower nature, but they are not completely taken one after the other. In a certain sense they go together, so that at the present stage the first receives the most attention, the second less, and the third least of all. In time, when the first step has been wholly taken, naturally more attention can be paid to the other two. There are three helps given in attaining these three stages. They can be seen in the outside world, where the great Leaders of humanity have placed them. The first help is Race Religions, which by aiding humanity to OVERCOME THE DESIRE BODY, prepare for it for union with the Holy Spirit. The full operation of this help was seen on the Day of Pentecost. As the Holy Spirit is the Race God, all languages are expression of it. That is why the apostles, when fully united and filled with the Holy spirit, spoke with different tongues and were able to convince their hearers. Their de- sire bodies had been sufficiently purified to being about the wish-for union and this is an earnest of what the disciple will one day attain to-the power to speak all tongues. It may also be cited as a modern, historical example, that the Compte de St. Germain (who was one of the later incarnations of Christian Rosenkreuz, the founder of our sacred Order), spoke all languages, so that all to whom he spoke thought he belonged to the same nation as they. He also had achieved union with the Holy Spirit. The effect of this (Ancient Initiation) was to produce a race having the proper degree of laxity between the dense and vital bodies; also to wake the [PAGE 339] desire body from its state of lethargy during sleep. Thus a special few were made fit for Initiation and were given special opportunities that could not be given to all. We see instances of this method among the Jews, where the tribe of Levi were the chosen Templars; also in the case of the Brah- mins, who were the only priestly class among the Hindus. When the blood flowed from these centers, the great Sun-Spirit Christ was liberated from the physical vehicle of Jesus and found Himself in the Earth, with individual vehicles. The already existing planetary vehicles He perme- ated with His own vehicles and, in the twinkling of an eye, diffused His own desire body over the planet, which has enabled Him thenceforth to work upon the Earth and its humanity from within. At that moment a tremendous wave of spiritual sunlight flooded the Earth. It rent the veil which the Race Spirit had hung before the Temple to keep out all but the chose few, and it made the Path of Initiation free thence- forth to whomsoever will. So far as concerned the spiritual worlds, this wave transformed the conditions of Earth like a flash of lightning, but the dense, concrete conditions are, of course, much more slowly affected. Like all rapid and high vibrations of light, this great wave blinded the people by its dazzling brilliance, therefore it was said that "the Sun was darkened." The very opposite was what actually occurred. The Sun was not darkened, but shone out in glorious splendor. It was the excess of light that blinded the people, and only as the entire Earth absorbed the desire body of the bright Sun-Spirit did the vibration return to a more normal rate. [PAGE 340] In the Sun Period, the lowest of the Globes was in the Desire World, and therefore the Archangels have the desire body as their lowest vehicle yet; but Christ has gone beyond. He has raised Himself higher, so He has the Life Spirit as his lowest vehicle today, and ordinarily uses no denser ve- hicle. Only by the power of the Life Spirit can the national tendency be overcome and a universal brotherhood of man become a fact. The vehicles pertaining to the World of Thought, the Ego, and the mind, make for separateness. They have that for their characteristic. But the Life Spirit is the unifying principle in the universe, and therefore Christ is the only one fitted to bring about brotherhood. Christ, as an Archangel, had learned to build down to the desire body, but the vital body and the dense body He had never learned to build. The Archangels had worked on humanity FROM WITHOUT before, as Group Spirits do; but that was not enough. The help had to come FROM WITHIN. That was made possible by the combination of Christ and Jesus and therefore it is true, in the very highest sense, in the most literal sense, when Paul says: "There is but one mediator between God and man-Christ Jesus, the righ- teous." On the other hand, the Initiates have progressed and evolved for them- selves higher vehicles, discontinuing the ordinary use of the lowest vehicle when the ability to use a new and higher one has been attained. Ordinarily, the lowest vehicle of an Archangel is the desire body, but Christ, who is the highest Initiate of the Sun Period, ordinarily uses the Life Spirit as lowest vehicle, functioning as consciously in the World of Life Spirit as we do in the Physical World. The student is requested to note this [PAGE 341] point particularly, as the World of Life Spirit is the first uni- versal world, as explained in the chapter on worlds. It is the world in which differentiation ceases and unity begins to be realized, so far as our solar system is concerned. Christ could not be born in a dense body, because He had never passed through an evolution such as the Earth Period, therefore He would first have had to acquire the ability to build a dense body such as ours. But even had He possessed that ability, it would have been inexpedient for such an ex- alted Being to expend for that purpose the energy necessary for body-building through an ante-natal life, childhood and youth, to bring it to sufficient maturity for use. He had ceased to use, ordinarily, vehicles such as would correspond to our Human Spirit, mind, and desire body, al- though He had learned to build them in the Sun Period, and retained the ability to build and function in them wherever desired or required. He used all His own vehicles, taking only the vital and dense bodies from Jesus. When the latter was thirty years of age Christ entered these bodies and used them until the climax of his Mission of Golgotha. After the destruction of the dense body, Christ appeared among His disciples in the vital body, in which He functioned for some time. The vital body is the vehicle which He will use when He appears again, for He will never take another dense body. [PAGE 342] UNRELIABILITY OF DESIRE BODY: How then are we to unfold our spiritual power? What is the way, the truth, and the life? We have had the threefold path shown us in the glori- ous teaching of the Christ. Ordinary humanity all over the world are being worked up by law, which works upon the desire body and holds it in check. The thinker is pitted against the flesh. But under law no one can be saved. The Christian religion has not yet had time to accomplish this great ob- ject (Universal Brotherhood). Man is still in the toils of the dominant Race Spirit and the ideals of Christianity are yet too high for him. the intellect can see some of its beauties, and readily admits that we should love our enemies, but the passions of the desire body are still too strong. The law of the Race Spirit being an "An eye for an eye," the feeling is "I'll get even!" The heart prays for love; the desire body hopes for re- venge. The intellect sees, IN THE ABSTRACT, the beauty of loving one's en- emies, but in concrete cases it allies itself with the vengeful feeling of the desire body, pleading, as an excuse for "getting even," that "the social organism must be protected." While the clean thoughts take us a long step on the path of attainment, the emotions and desires of the desire body are not so easily subdued, for that vehicle is already considerably more set than the mind. While the [PAGE 343] regenerate mind readily agrees to the idea that we should love our enemies, the desire body (the emotional and passionate nature) aims with every fiber of its being to get even-to get an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Sometimes, even years and years after we think that the sleeping serpent is subdued, that we have at last gained mastery over it, and that it cannot mar our peace, it may suddenly rise and overthrow all our hopes, take the bit between its teeth, go on a rampage, and vow vengeance for some real or fan- cied wrong. Then it takes the whole power of the higher nature to subdue this rebellious part of our being. This, the writer thinks, is the thorn in the flesh concerning which Paul besought the Lord thrice and was given the answer: "My grace is sufficient for thee." It certainly does need all the grace one can command to overcome, and eternal vigilance is the price of safety, so let us "watch and pray." It is the desire body which is responsible for all our actions, good, bad, or indifferent, and the oriental philosophers have therefore given di- rections to their disciples to KILL OUT DESIRE and to abstain from action, good or bad, as much as possible, in order that they may thus save them- selves from the wheel of birth and death. But that temper, which is such a great menace when it takes control, may be made as effective for service un- der our proper guidance. We would not for one moment think of taking the temper out of a knife; we should then be unable to cut anything therewith. The temper of the desire body must be controlled but not by any means killed. For the dynamic power of motion and action in the invisible world is stored in this desire body, and unless it is intact, we cannot [PAGE 344] expect to control ourselves there any more than an ocean liner whose engines were disabled could buffet the ocean waves. There are certain societies which teach negative methods of development, and one of their first instruc- tions to the pupil is to drop the jaw and make himself perfectly negative. Anyone floated from the Physical World toward the Spiritual World by such methods would certainly find himself as driftwood upon the ocean, cast hither and tither by the waves, the prey and the sport of every current. There are in the inner worlds, as well as here, beings who are anything but benevolent, who are ready to take advantage of anyone that ventures into their world not fully prepared to protect himself against them. Thus we see the supreme importance of subjecting our desires to the will of the Spirit HERE IN THIS WORLD, of forcing this desire body of ours into subjection so that it may be trained before we attempt to enter the inner world. Here it is, in a very large measure, held in check by the fact that it is interpo- lated within the dense body, and therefore cannot sway us hither and yon in the same degree as it can when it has been released from the physical prison-house. Even the subjection of the desire body, difficult as it is to accomplish, will not serve to make a man conscious in the invisible worlds, for the de- sire body has not evolved to such a point that it can act as a real instru- ment of consciousness. It is unformed and cloudlike in the great majority of people, and only a number of vortices are present as sense centers or centers of consciousness; these are not yet sufficiently unfolded so that they can serve the purpose without some other help. Therefore, it is neces- sary to work upon and educate the vital body in such a manner that [PAGE 345] it may be used in soul-flights. The part of the vital body formed of the two higher ethers, the light ethers and the reflecting ether, is what we may term the SOUL BODY; that is to say, it is more closely linked with the de- sire body and the mind and also more amenable to the Spirit's touch than are the two lower ethers. There are a great many people who associate spirituality with a great show of emotionalism, but this idea has absolutely no foundation if fact. On the contrary, the kind of spirituality which is developed by and associ- ated with the emotional nature of the desire body is unreliable in the ex- treme; this the the variety that is generated in revival meetings where emo- tionalism is brought up to a high pitch, causing a person to make a great splurge of religious fervor which soon spends itself and leaves him exactly as he was before, much to the chagrin of the revivalists and other people who are engaged in evangelical work. But what else can they expect? They set out to save souls with drums and fifes, with rhythmic revival songs, with appeals made in a voice which is raised and lowered in harmonic waves, all of which are as powerfully effective on the desire body as storms which stir the sea to fury and then subside. When newspapers start out to inculcate certain ideas into the public mind, they do not expect to accomplish this by a single editorial, no matter how powerfully written, but by articles of daily recurrence they gradually create the desired sentiment in the public mind. The Bible has been preach- ing the principle of love for two thousand years, Sunday after Sunday, day after day, from hundreds of thousands of pulpits. War has not yet been abolished, but the sentiment in favor of universal peace is growing stronger [PAGE 346] as time passes. These sermons have had but a slight effect in so far as the world at large in concerned, no matter how powerfully a particular audience might be moved for the time being; for the desire body is that part of the composite man which was impressed at the time and was stirred thereby. The desire body is a later acquisition than the vital body, hence not so crystallized, and therefore more impressionable. Because it is of a finer texture than the vital body, it is less retentive, and the emotions so eas- ily generated are also dissipated. It is sometimes contended that hypnotism may be used benevolently for the cure of drunkenness and other vices, and it is readily admitted that, viewed, soley from the material standpoint, that appears to be true. But from the viewpoint of occult science it is far otherwise. Like all other desires, the craving for liquor is in the desire body, and it is the duty of the Ego to master it by will power. That is why he is in the school of ex- perience called life, and no man can do him moral growing for him, any more than he can digest another's dinner for him. Nature is not to be cheated; each must solve his own problems overcome his faults by his own will. If, therefore, a hypnotist overpowers the desire body of a drunkard, the Ego in the drunkard will have to learn its lesson in a future life, if he dies be- fore the hypnotists. But if the hypnotist dies first the man will inevita- bly turn to drink again, for then the part of the hypnotist's vital body which held the evil desire in check gravitates back to its source, and the cure is nil. The only way to permanently to master a vice is by one's own will The desire body is the perverted expression of the Ego. It converts the [PAGE 347] "Selfhood" of the Spirit into "selfishness." Selfhood seeks not its own at the expense of others. Selfishness seeks gain regardless of others. The seat of the Human Spirit is primarily in the pineal gland and secondarily in the brain and cerebro-spinal nervous system which control the voluntary muscles. The desire body, which we sense as our emotional nature, is always seeking something new. This desire for change of condition, change of scene, change of mood, love of emotion and sensation is due to the ac- tivities of the desire body, which is like the sea in a storm, full of waves, tossing hither and thither, at random and without design, each one powerful and destructive when unbridled and without allegiance to the cen- tral directing power. The mind, indeed, is the focus through which the Spirit endeavors to sub- due the lower personality and guide it according to the ability acquired during its evolutionary period. But at the present time it is so vague a quantity that among the great majority of people it cannot be reckoned with, and they are therefore led principally by their feelings and emotions, with- out much amenability to reason and thought. Recognizing the great and wonderful power of the emotional body and its amenability to "rhythm," which may be said to be its keynote, progressive theology has addressed itself to and focused its efforts upon appeals to this vehicle. It is this part of our nature which enjoys the entertainments of the sensational vaudeville pastor. This vehicle it is that sways and groans under the rhythmic rant of the revivalist, itself vibrant with emo- tion, rising and falling in the well calculated measure of the speaker's voice. Unity of pitch is soon established, a state of actual hypnosis where [PAGE 348] the victim can no more help going to "mourners bench" than water can refrain from running down hill. They realize powerfully for the time being the enormity of their sins and they are equally anxious to start a better life. Alas, however, the next wave of attraction to their emotional nature washes away all the preacher has said, as well as their resolutions, and they stand exactly where they were before, much to the chagrin and sorrow of the evan- gelist concerned. Thus all efforts to elevate humanity by work upon the unstable desire body are and must always prove futile. This the occult schools of all ages have recognized and they have therefore addressed themselves to the changing of the vital body by working with its keynote, which is repetition. [PAGE 349] PREPARATION FOR THE HIGHER LIFE: The expression, "prepared the Earth," means that all evolution on a planet is accompanied by? the evolution of THAT PLANET ITSELF. Had some ob- server gifted with spiritual sight watched the evolution of our Earth from some distant star, he would have noticed a gradual change taking place in the Earth's desire body. Under the old dispensation the desire bodies of people in general were improved by means of the law. This work is still going on in the majority of people, who are thus preparing themselves for the higher life. The Group Spirit works upon animals through their desire bodies, calling up pictures which give to the animal a feeling and a suggestion of what it must do. Likewise, the allegorical pictures, which are contained in myths, laid the foundation in man for his present and future development. Subcon- sciously these myths worked upon him and brought him to the stage where he is today. Without that preparation he would have been unable to accomplish that work which he is now doing. The Ego has several instruments-a dense body, a vital body, a desire body, and a mind. these are its tools and upon their quality and condition depends how much or how little it can accomplish in its work of gathering [PAGE 350] experience in each life. If the instruments are poor and dull there will be little spiritual growth and the life will be a barren one, so far as the Spirit is concerned. If strict attention is paid to hygiene and diet, the dense body is the one principally affected, but at the same time there is also an effect on the vital body and the desire body because, as purer and better materials are built into the dense body, the particles are enveloped in purer plan- etary ether and desire stuff also. Therefore, the planetary parts of the vital and desire bodies become purer. If attention is paid to food and hy- giene only, the personal vital and desire bodies may remain almost as impure as before, but it has become just a little easier to get into touch with the good than if gross food were used. No matter what people say to us or about us, their words have no intrin- sic power to hurt-it is our own mental attitude towards their utterances which determines the effect of their words upon us for good or ill. Paul, when facing persecution and slander, testified that "None of these things move me." All who hope to advance spiritually must cultivate equipoise, for without it the desire body will either run riot or congeal, according to the nature of the emotions generated by intercourse with others, whether worry, anger, or fear. We know that the dense body is our vehicle of action, that the vital body gives it the power to act, that the desire body furnishes the incentive to action, and that the mind was given as a brake on impulse. We learn from the COSMO-CONCEPTION, pp. 89-91, that thought forms from within and without the body are being continually projected upon the desire body in an endeavor the arouse feeling which will lead to action, and that reason ought to rule the lower nature and leave the higher self scope for [PAGE 351] expression of its divine proclivities. We also know that habitual thought has power to mold even physical matter, for the nature of the sensualist is plainly discernible in his features which are as coarse and gross as the features of the spiritually minded are delicate and fine. The power of thought is still greater in its potency to mold the finer vestures. We have already seen how thoughts of fear and worry congeal the desire body of anyone who indulges in that habit, and it is equally certain that by cultivating an optimistic frame of mind under all circumstances we can at- tune our desire bodies to any key we wish. AFTER A TIME, THAT WILL BECOME A HABIT. It must be confessed that it is difficult to hold the desire body down to any definite lines, but it can be done, and the attempt must be made by all who aspire to spiritual advancement. We have created a subtle aura about us under the guardianship of the Di- vine Hierarchies reigning over the seven planets: Saturn, Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, and Venus. The Universe, or great world, is mystically called the seven-stringed lyre of Apollo. Our individual organism or micro- cosm is a replica or image of God, and it behooves us to awaken in ourselves an echo of this music of the spheres. Most of us have learned to respond too much to saturnine vibrations of sorrow, gloom, fear, and worry, which congeal our desire bodies, and it would be to the lasting benefit of all to try to cultivate the spiritual vibrations of the Sun, filling our lives with optimism and sunshine which will dispel the saturnine gloom and despondency and prevent such thoughts entering our aura in the future. 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