Source: "The Rosicrucian Christianity Lectures" by Max Heindel
SLEEP, DREAMS, TRANCE, HYPNOTISM, MEDIUMSHIP AND INSANITY
We have seen that man is a very complex organism, consisting of:
(1) The Dense Body, which is his tool in action.
(2) The Vital Body, a medium of "vitality" which makes action possible.
(3) The Desire Body whence comes desire and compels action.
(4) The Mind, a brake on impulse, giving purpose to action.
(5) The Ego, which acts and gathers experience from action.
The purpose of life is to transforms the powers latent in the Ego into
dynamic energy, whereby it may perfectly control its different vehicles and
act as IT pleases. We know that it does not have full sway now, or there
would be no warfare in our breasts, as we say, between the Spirit and the
flesh, but in reality, as we should say, between the Spirit and the flesh,
but in reality, as we should say, between the Spirit and the desire body.
It is this warfare that develops the spiritual muscle, as wrestling builds
the physical muscle. It is easy to bid others do this and that, but to en-
force obedience from ONESELF is the hardest task in the world, and it has
been truly said that "the man who conquers himself is greater than he who
takes a city." Goethe, the great initiate poet, gives us the reason why in
From every pow'r that holds the world in chains,
Man frees himself when self-control he gains.
Such a man is above all laws, whether made by man or God--not that he
would break them, far from it--but for just the opposite reason, that his
perfect obedience to them renders ALL laws as superfluous in respect to him
as the law "thou shalt not steal" is to one who has learned to respect the
property rights of others.
Sin or action contrary to the will of God, or the laws of Nature, was be-
fore all Law, and St. Paul well appreciates its beneficent action when he
says that "the law is a taskmaster to bring us to Christ, for without 'Law'
we had not known sin."
Whenever we break one of Nature's laws, that transgression, as a cause,
brings as effect a corresponding retribution. If we overeat, or eat improp-
erly, indigestion may result, or perhaps, if the disturbance we have caused
is serious, it may be necessary for Nature to burn it out on the physical
plane of action by means of a fever. If we sin against the laws of moral-
ity, social ostracism follows, and thus wrong on the moral plane brings ret-
ribution. But the man who uses his mental powers unworthily is the worst as
well as the most dangerous, for the gourmand may be an otherwise exceedingly
respectable and lovable person, practically injuring no one but himself.
The immoral person, the common brawl and the gossip are cancers on society,
dangerous to all. They can, however, be shunned and avoided, and thus the
dangers incident to contact with them may at least be minimized. They
may and sometimes do repent and reform, but the most insidious of all
wrong is that done upon the mental plane of action, where a man under the
guise of perfect respectability, often under the cloak of benevolence, can
blight the lives of others, bend their wills to his own ends, yet seemingly
remain irreproachable himself, and even be looked upon as a friend and bene-
factor by his victims.
Thus, without danger of detection he gains his end, whether that be gold
His transgression is seldom punished in the same life in which committed,
but often in later lives finds its expiation in congenital idiocy, without
the chance of repentance or forgiveness, such as, for instance, a realiza-
tion of wrong to another may bring in ordinary cases, when repentance is ac-
companied by reform. The crime of the determined hypnotist is in fact a
phase of what the Bible describes as "sin against the Holy Spirit,"
spiritual evil, the greatest danger to society.
The Holy Spirit is the creative principle in nature and the creative
force in man is its direct expression. The same force expresses itself
through the generative organs to create a new body and through the brain to
create new thoughts, which are afterwards crystallized to "things."
When anyone is victimized by a hypnotist he ceases to be his own master
and loses his faculty for independent thought under the spell of the
HYPNOTIST'S SUGGESTIONS--which ARE IN FACT COMMANDS, because the victim has
no choice, but MUST obey.
Therefore, as the hypnotist interferes with the expression of the cre-
ative faculty of thought in his victim, which faculty is a direct expression
of the Holy Spirit, he is committing a sin against the Holy Spirit.
To give point and force to the descriptions of such abnormal conditions
as exist in dreams, trance, hypnotism, mediumship, obsession, and insanity
we will begin with an explanation of the condition of man in the normal
state of waking and sleep, as viewed from the standpoint of occult science.
THE WAKING STATE.--In the waking state all the vehicles of man are con-
fined within the same space. As the bones, the flesh, and the various
juices of the body are confined within the skin, so all the bodies of man
are gathered within an egg-shaped cloud that reaches above the head, below
the feet and all around the visible body. No matter what position the dense
body may take, it is always in the center of this aura, as the yolk is in
the center of an egg. The aura surrounds man's dense body as the white of
the egg surrounds the yolk. But that is not all, for this aura composed of
man's finer vehicles not only surrounds the dense body, but permeates its
every particle as well, in a manner similar to the way in which the blood
pervades the whole dense body.
Thus we see that these bodies are nearer than hands and feet, and, though
as invisible as our breath, they are not less real or less necessary. Dur-
ing life man cannot ordinarily separate them; and unless they are all to-
gether he cannot move and act as he does in ordinary daily life.
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 vital body, on the other hand, has no other interest than the preser-
vation of the dense vehicle. By way of the spleen it specializes the color-
less solar energy with pervades space, and by some strange chemical process
transforms it into a vital fluid of a beautiful pale rose color, sending it
along every nerve and fiber of the body. The vital body ever aims to hus-
band the energy it has stored in the dense body. It is constantly concerned
in rebuilding the tissues when they are broken down and destroyed by the
powerful onslaughts of the rampant desire body.
This "vital fluid" has a function similar to that of electricity in a
telegraph system, for even when such a system is built with wires connecting
different stations, and operators at their keys, the system will be dead un-
til electricity speeds along the lines and carries the messages. So is the
dense body useless unless the nerves are traversed by this vital fluid.
When that fails in whole or in part, we say that the body is paralyzed to
that extent. We note the effect, but do not see the cause in the material
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. The involuntary system has its
particular vantage ground in the vital body; it governs the digestive and
respiratory organs, which rebuild and restore the dense body.
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, and so would or
lives, for the vital body would soon be overridden in its beneficent offices
by the reckless desire body, as evidenced in the exhaustion which follows a
fit of temper, for temper is a condition where the man has "lost control"
and the desire body rules unchecked.
SLEEP AND NATURAL TRANCE.--In spite of all its efforts, however the vital
body slowly loses ground as the day goes along, the poisons of decaying tis-
sue accumulate and impede the flow of the vital fluid, its motion becomes
more and more sluggish. In consequence the visible body shows signs of ex-
haustion. At last the vital body, so to say, collapses; the vital fluid
ceases to flow along the nerves in sufficient quantity to maintain the poise
of the dense body, and that renders it unconscious and therefore unfit for
the use of the Spirit. That is sleep.
It is the idea of many people that sleep is a passive or negative state.
Nothing could be more erroneous, and if that were the case, the body would
awake as tired as when it went to sleep, or rather, it would never wake; for
it was its inability to receive the vital fluid (caused by being clogged
with poisons of decay) which sent it to sleep, and if the only effect of
that state were a negative cessation of waste and energy, the conditions
would remain in STATUS QUO, and the body would sleep on. Sometimes such a
conditions exists, lasting perhaps weeks or even months. The sleeper is
then said to be in a "trance." To keep up that state for any length of
time, and not have it result in death, functions of the vital body must not
be entirely suspended; it must take care of a limited amount of digestion.
What, then, is it that makes sleep a restorative state? In the very term
"restorative" there is implied an activity. If a building is to be re-
stored, it is necessary that the tenants move out, and that destruction,
wear and tear cease. But that is not enough. Workmen must be brought in to
repair the damage incident 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 battlefield and the prize, the dense body, in the
hands of the vanquished vital body and withdraw to repair its own shattered
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 projects 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.
DREAMS.--It sometimes happens, however, that we have become so absorbed
and interested 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 works of restoration; the de-
sire body will cling like grim death, is perhaps only dragged half out by
the Ego, and starts to ruminate over the happenings of the day in that posi-
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 po-
sitions 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.
The knowledge of this fact has caused many people to keep paper, pencil,
and a light by the bedside, and often they are rewarded by finding solutions
to their problems written in the morning, without having even a recollection
of writing. It is a good idea to follow.
Under such a condition, where there is no complete separation of the ve-
hicles, it is evident that waste is still going on and that restoration is
impeded, the dense body tossing on the bed in extreme cases, and in conse-
quence there is a tired feeling left in the morning, due to the imperfect
separation of the vehicles, which causes dreams and makes the sleep rest-
Not all dreams are confused, however; those, for instance, which bring
logical solutions to problems of life or prophetically warn of impending
trouble, often enable us to avoid or avert disaster. Such dreams generally
occur just before waking, and only when there has been a complete separation
of the vehicles previous to the awakening, for only then is it possible for
a dream to be logical, and in that case it is merely that the knowledge of
impending disaster seen by the Ego in the Desire World is successfully
transmitted to the brain. It is a great help in furthering such impressions
in the coming night if we hold the thought to the last on going to sleep: "I
want to know about so and so, and I AM GOING TO REMEMBER IT IN THE MORNING."
If this is the last thought on going to sleep, it will bring the memory of
the solution arrived at.
To take up the time giving instances to prove the value of dreams would
be a waste of time in a lecture. The daily press teems with instances of
providential escapes attributable to warning dreams. The records of the So-
ciety for Physical Research give voluminous evidence, and anyone in search
of evidence will have no trouble in finding it.
HYPNOTISM.--It is characteristic of the invisible bodies of man that they
are acted upon by WILL. Every impulse to action that comes from WITHIN
originates in the will of the man himself, while incentives to action aris-
ing from OUTSIDE sources, commonly called "circumstances" ORIGINATE IN THE
WILL OF OTHERS, and the difference between the man of STRONG CHARACTER, good
or bad, and the WEAK MAN, is that the former is impelled by HIS OWN WILL,
acting from within, which enables him, regardless of circumstances, to make
his way as he determines.
On the other hand, the weakling who has not will is the helpless sport of
the billows of circumstance, dominated by the will of others, driftwood on
the shoreless sea of life.
To control others by the exercise of will power is mental assault, and is
even more reprehensible than assault on the physical plane of action. It is
this mental assault which is called "hypnotism," and it is graded in its ef-
fect just as physical assault is. A strong man may administer a playful
slap to get another to do his bidding, or he may beat him to
unconsciousness. The hypnotist salesman administers just enough force to
make the customer buy something he does not want or cannot afford, and then
deludes himself by calling it legitimate business.
Bad and widespread as this is, it is at least not attended by any of the
after-effects incident to the practice of putting "subjects" into hypnotic
sleep. The enormity of this crime can only be appreciated when the effect
upon the invisible bodies of the subject is noted.
No strong-willed person can be dominated by a hypnotist to the extent of
being put to sleep, and not one who keeps a positive mental attitude can be
dominated, hence the unsuspecting victim is first told to be perfectly
negative and willing to be put to sleep. The passes of the hypnotist are
not directed to the head and impinge upon the head of the vital body,
squeezing it through the physical head, so that it lies around the neck in
thick rolls, something like the collar of a sweater.
Thus the connection between the Ego and the dense body is severed, as in
sleep, and the higher vehicles withdrawn. But there is now a different con-
dition than in the sleep state. The head of the vital body is not in its
proper place, enveloping and permeating the dense physical head of the vic-
tim. That is not pervaded by ether from the vital body of the hypnotist,
and thus he obtains power over his victim.
If we know what "wire-tapping" means we have the key to the relation
between the hypnotist and his victim, at least in a measure. If a man has a
private telephone connection from his home to his office, and someone makes
a connection in between, he will be able to intercept messages, impersonate
the business man, issue orders, etc. The hypnotist does something like
that. He taps the line of communication between the Ego and body of his
victim by interposing part of himself in the line, and by virtue of that
hold he may force the Ego to go out in the invisible world and get whatever
information he desires, as far as it is possible; or he may make the dense
body do foolish or criminal acts according to his pleasure.
But even this is not the worst about hypnotism. By far the gravest dan-
ger to the victim arises from the fact that, once a part of they hypnotist's
vital body has been introduced into his own, it cannot be entirely withdrawn
at the awakening. A small part remains and forms a nucleus by which the
hypnotist may gain ingress and subdue his victim more easily the next time,
and each succeeding time something is added to this nucleus, so that by de-
grees the poor victim becomes perfectly helpless, amenable to the will of
his master independent of the distance until the death of one or the other
breaks the connection.
This remnant of the hypnotist's vital body is also the storehouse for
commands to be carried out at a future time, involving the performance of a
certain act, on a certain day, at a certain hour. When the time arrives the
impulse is released like the spring of an alarm clock, and the victim must
carry out the command even to murder, yet has no idea that he is influenced
by someone else. Therefore, hypnotism is the greatest crime on earth and
the greatest danger to society.
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
solely 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 experience
called life, and no man can do his 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 own faults by his own will. If, there-
fore, 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 before
the hypnotist. But if the hypnotist dies first the man will inevitably 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 PERMANENTLY to master a vice is by one's own will.
At the death of a hypnotist all his victims are released, and no sugges-
tion for a subsequent date will compel them.
MEDIUMSHIP.--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
"Earth-bound 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 whose cords do not
bind them so tightly are "impressionists," capable of answering in some mea-
sure to spiritual vibrations. Persons of positive character thus consti-
tuted, if they develop, do so BY THEIR OWN WILL, and become trained occult-
ists. Those of weak will can only develop by the aid of others, and in a
negative way. They are the prey of Earth-bound Spirits who constitute them-
selves "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 mediums."
These Earth-bound Spirit controls are in every respect like the hypno-
tist, except that they are invisible to their victims and have more power
over them, because looked up to as "higher beings," "angels" devoid of evil,
and unselfishly aiming to diffuse happiness or wisdom.
As a matter of fact, there is no transforming power in death. The sinner
does not become a saint nor the ignoramus a Solomon because of it, and it is
a pathetic sight to the trained clairvoyant who sees the imposition prac-
ticed by unprincipled Spirit controls upon their unsuspecting victims, who
are so thoroughly unsophisticated that they fail to distinguish the true
character of the impostors and accept their inane, goody-goody phrases as
sublime wisdom. They have done some good in proving the reality of a life
after death, but much harm to mediums.
The modus operandi of the invisible manipulator is simply to push the
higher vehicles out of the lower bodies of the unresisting medium, step in
himself and take control. When he leaves, he also takes part of the
medium's vital body to use as a key or lever next time.
In some cases he is not satisfied to borrow a body, but steals one, and
keeps the owner out permanently. We see the same body, but there is another
soul within, which shows different habits and tastes altogether. That is
called "OBSESSION," and can be detected by the fact that the iris neither
responds to light nor distance by contraction or expansion, for the eye is
the window of the soul and only the owner can truly manipulate it; hence the
eyes of mediums under control are always closed, or have a glassy stare.
There are certain means of getting rid of an obsessing Spirit and restor-
ing the body to the owner, but that cannot be given publicly.
We have seen that in the waking state the dense body and the vital body
are surrounded and interpenetrated by an egg-shaped cloud comprising the de-
sire body and the mind. These vehicles are all CONCENTRIC, and form so
many links in a chain. It is the interpolation of one into the other, so
that the sense centers in one are in proper alignment with the sense centers
of the other, which enables the Ego to manipulate the complex organism and
perform in an ordered manner the life processes which we call reason,
speech, and action. If there is a maladjustment anywhere the Ego will be
correspondingly hampered in its expression. This perfect balance is health,
the opposite is disease.
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 con-
dition 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 propensi-
ties are followed blindly.
When the break is between the Ego and the mind, the latter takes charge
of the three vehicles, and we have the consummate cunning which character-
izes a certain class of insane. Such an one will successfully hide his
baneful designs and outwit all to attain revenge for fancied wrong or other
low desire until the victim is within his power. Then the brute nature of
the desire body will spend itself in some horrible outrage, or the mind may
even then dominate the desire body and exert its diabolical cunning in slow
torture before the desire body breaks away and ends the sufferings of the
victim, perhaps brutally, but far more mercifully than continued torture.
The object lesson to be learned from a knowledge of these matters is that
we must remain our own masters and never under any pretext allow ourselves
to be hypnotized or controlled by an outside agency; also that self-mastery
is our goal, and not mastery over others.
DEATH: AND LIFE IN PURGATORY
Amid all the uncertainties which are the characteristics of the world,
there is but one certainty--Death. At one time or another, after a short or
a long life, comes this termination to the material phrase of our existence
which is a birth into a new world, as that which we term "birth" is, in the
beautiful words of Wordsworth, a forgetting past.
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing Boy,
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,
He sees it in his joy;
The Youth, who daily farther from the east
Must travel, still is Nature's priest,
And by the vision splendid
Is on his way attended;
At length the Man perceives it die away,
And fade into the light of common day.
Birth and death may therefore be regarded as the shifting of man's
activity from one world to another, and it depends upon our own position
whether we designate such a change birth or death. If a man enters the
world in which we live, we call it birth, if he leaves our plane of exist-
ence to enter another world, we call it death; but to the individual con-
cerned the passage from one world to another is but as the removal to an-
other city here; he LIVES, unchanged; only his exterior surroundings and
condition are changed.
The passage from one world to another is often attended by more or less
unconsciousness, like sleep as Wordsworth says, and for that reason our con-
sciousness may be fixed upon the world we have left. In infancy heaven lies
about us in actual fact; children are all clairvoyant for a longer or
shorter time after birth, and whoever passes out at death still beholds the
material world for some time. If we pass out in the full vigor of physical
manhood or womanhood, with strong ties of family, friends, or other inter-
ests, the dense world will continue to attract our attention for a much
longer time than if death occurred at a "ripe old age," when the earthly
ties have been severed before the change we call death. This is on the same
principle that the seed clings to the flesh of unripe fruit, while it is
easily and cleanly detached from the ripe fruit. Therefore it is easier to
die at an advanced age than in youth.
The unconsciousness which usually attends the change of the incoming
spirit at birth, and the outgoing spirit at death is due to our inability to
adjust our focus instantly, and is similar to the difficulty we experience
when passing from a darkened room to the street on a light, sunny day, or
vice versa. Under those conditions some time elapses before we can distin-
guish objects about us; so with the newly born and to the newly dead, both
have to readjust their viewpoint to their new condition.
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.
We remember that the vital body is composed of ether, superimposed upon
the dense bodies of plant, animal, and man during life. Ether is physical
matter, and has therefore weight. The only reason why the scientists cannot
weigh it is because they are unable to gather a quantity and put it upon a
scale. But when it leaves the dense body at death a diminution in weight
will take place in every instance, showing that something having weight, yet
invisible, leaves the dense body at that time.
In 1906 Dr. McDougall, of Boston, weighed a number of dying persons by
putting their beds upon scales, which he balanced. It was noted that the
platform bearing the weights came down with startling suddenness at the mo-
ment when the last breath was drawn. The news was flashed all over the
Union that the soul had been weighed, an achievement that can never be ac-
complished, for the soul is not amenable to physical laws. Later Professor
Twining, of Los Angeles, supposedly weighed the soul of a mouse, but what
the scientists really did was to weigh the vital body as it leaves the dense
body at death.
A word should be spoken in regard to the treatment of dying persons, who
suffer unspeakable agony in many cases through the mistaken kindness of
friends. More suffering is caused by administering stimulants to the dying
than perhaps in any other way. It is not hard to pass out of the body, but
stimulants have the effect of throwing the departing Ego back into its body
with the force of a catapult, to experience anew the sufferings from which
it was just escaping. Departed souls have often complained to investiga-
tors, and one such person said that he had not suffered as much in all his
life as he did while kept from dying for many hours. The only rational way
is to leave Nature to take it course when it is seen that the end is
Another and more far-reaching sin against the passing Spirit is to give
vent to loud crying or lamentation in or near the death chamber. Just sub-
sequent to its release and from a few hours to a few days afterwards, the
Ego is engaged upon a matter of the utmost importance; a great deal of the
value of the past life depends upon the attention given to it by the passing
spirit. If distracted by the sobs and lamentations of loved ones, it will
lose much, as we shall see, but if strengthened by prayer and helped by si-
lence, much future sorrow to all concerned may be avoided. We are never so
much our brother's keeper as when he is passing through Gethsemane, and it
is one of our greatest opportunities for serving him and laying up heavenly
treasure for ourselves.
We have studied the phenomenon of birth, and have evolved a SCIENCE OF
BIRTH. We have qualified obstetricians and trained nurses to minister in
the best possible manner to both mother and child to make them comfortable,
but we are sadly, very sadly, in need of a SCIENCE OF DEATH. When a child
is coming into the world we bustle about in intelligent endeavor; when a
lifelong friend is about to leave us we stand helplessly about, ignorant of
how to aid, or worse, worse than all, we bungle, and cause suffering instead
Physical science knows that whatever the power which moves the heart, it
does not come from without, but is inside the heart. The occult scientist
sees a chamber in the left ventricle, near the apex, where a little atom
swims in a sea of the highest ether. The force in that atom, like the
forces in all other atoms is THE UNDIFFERENTIATED LIFE OF GOD; without that
force the mineral could not form matter into crystals, the plant, animal,
and human kingdoms would be unable to form their bodies. The deeper we go
the plainer it becomes to us how fundamentally true it is that in God we
live, move, and have our being.
That atom is called the "seed-atom." The force within it moves the heart
and keeps the organism alive. All the other atoms in the whole body must
vibrate in tune with this atom. The forces of the seed-atom have been im-
manent in every dense body ever possessed by the particular Ego to whom it
is attached, and upon its plastic tablet are inscribed all the experiences
of that particular Ego in all its lives. When we return to God, when we
shall all have become one in God once more, that record, which is peculiarly
God's record, will still remain, and thus we shall retain our individuality.
Our experiences we transmute, as will be described, into faculties; the evil
is transmuted into good and the good we retain as power for higher good, but
THE RECORD of the experiences is OF God, and IN God, in the most intimate
The "silver cord" which unites the higher and lower vehicles terminates
at the seed-atom in the heart. When material life comes to an end in the
natural manner the forces in the seed-atom disengage themselves, pass out-
ward along the pneumogastric nerve, the back of the head and along the sil-
ver cord together with the higher vehicles. It is this rupture in the heart
which marks physical death, but the connecting silver cord is not broken at
once, in some cases not for several days.
The vital body is the vehicle of sense-perception. As that remains with
the body of feeling and the etheric cord connects them with the discarded
dense body, it will be evident that until the cord is severed there must be
a certain amount of feeling experienced by the Ego when its dense body is
molested. Thus, it causes pain when the blood is extracted and embalming
fluid injected, when the body is opened for post-mortem examination, and
when the body is cremated.
A case was told the writer where a surgeon amputated three toes from a
(living) person under anaesthetics. He threw the severed toes into a bright
coal fire, and immediately the patient commenced to scream, for the rapid
disintegration of the material toes caused an equally rapid disintegration
of the etheric toes, which were connected with the higher vehicles. In like
manner molestations affect the discarnate Spirit from a few hours to three
and one-half days after death. Then all connection is severed, and the body
begins to decay.
Therefore great care should be taken not to cause the passing Spirit
discomfort by such measures. If laws or other circumstances prevent keeping
the body quietly in the room where death took place for a few days, it can
at least be interred for that length of time and then treated in any desired
way. Quiet and prayer are of enormous benefit at that time, and if we love
the departed Spirit wisely we shall be able to earn its lasting gratitude by
following the above instructions.
In Lecture No. 3 we saw that the vital body is the storehouse of both the
conscious and subconscious memory; upon the vital body is branded indelibly
every act and experience of the past life, as the scenery upon an exposed
photographic plate. When the Ego has withdrawn it from the dense body, the
whole life, as registered by the subconscious memory, is laid open to the
eye of mind. It is the partial loosening of the vital body which causes a
drowning person to see his whole past life, but then it is only like a
flash, preceding unconsciousness; the silver cord remains intact, or there
could be no resuscitation. In the case of a Spirit passing out at death,
the movement is slower; the man stands as a spectator while the pictures
succeed one another in the order from death to birth, so that he sees first
the happenings just prior to death, then the years of manhood or womanhood
unroll themselves; youth, childhood and infancy follow, until it terminates
at birth. The man, however, has no feeling about them at that time, the ob-
ject is merely to etch the panorama into the desire body, which is the seat
of feeling, and from that impress the feeling will be realized when the Ego
enters the Desire World, but we may note here that the INTENSITY OF FEELING
REALIZED DEPENDS UPON THE LENGTH OF TIME CONSUMED IN THE PROCESS OF ETCHING,
AND THE ATTENTION GIVEN THERETO BY THE MAN. IF HE WAS UNDISTURBED FOR A
LONG PERIOD, BY NOISE AND HYSTERIA, A DEEP, CLEAR-CUT IMPRESS WILL BE MADE
UPON THE DESIRE BODY. HE WILL FEEL THE WRONG HE DID MORE KEENLY IN PURGA-
TORY, AND BE MORE ABUNDANTLY STRENGTHENED IN HIS GOOD QUALITIES IN HEAVEN,
and though the experience will be lost in a future life, THE FEELINGS WILL
REMAIN, as the "still, small voice." Where the feelings have been strongly
indented upon the desire body of an Ego, this voice will speak in no vague
and uncertain terms. It will impel him beyond gainsaying, forcing him to
desist from that which caused pain in the life before, and compel him to
yield to that which is good. Therefore the panorama passes BACKWARDS, so
that the Ego sees first the effects, and then the underlying causes.
As to what determines the length of the panorama, we remember that it was
the collapse of the vital body which forced the higher vehicles to withdraw;
so after death, when the vital body collapses, the Ego has to withdraw, and
thus the panorama comes to an end. The duration of the panorama depends,
therefore, upon the time the person could remain awake if necessary. Some
people can remain awake only a few hours, others can endure for a few days,
depending upon the strength of their vital body.
When the Ego has left the vital body, the latter gravitates back to the
dense body, remaining hovering above the grave, decaying as the dense body
does, and it is indeed a noisome sight to the clairvoyant to pass through a
cemetery and behold all those vital bodies whose state of decay clearly in-
dicates the state of decomposition of the remains in the grave. If there
were more clairvoyants, incineration would soon be adopted as a measure of
protection to our feelings, if not for sanitary reasons.
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 build 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 be-
longs to the lowest region of the Desire World. If a man has such, he is
building a coarse desire body, where the matter from the lowest regions pre-
dominates. If he persistently puts coarse desires away from himself, yield-
ing only to the pure and the good, his desire body will be formed of the ma-
terials 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; and 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
outside. 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
he 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 Repul-
sion, which tears the evil out of man and the allows him to pass upwards
into the First Heaven in the upper part of the Desire World, where the Force
of Attraction alone 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
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
independent 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
unsatisfied ambitions, this soul-less shell will often make the most
desperate efforts to get back to the Physical World, and much of the phenom-
ena of spiritualistic seances are due to the actions of these shells. The
fact that the communications received from many of these so-called "Spirits"
are utterly 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 of-
ten enables them to impose upon relatives by stating incidents not known to
others, 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. Gen-
erally they are classed under one heading as "elementals," although differ-
ing vastly in appearance, intelligence and characteristics. We will only
deal with them so far as their influence touches the postmortem state of
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.
It is these elements who are the originators of many of the spiritualis-
tic phenomena where more intelligence is displayed than can be accounted for
by the action of soul-less shells, particularly at materializations, at
least. Though shells may take part, phenomena are always directed by a be-
ing with intelligence. The difference between a materializing medium and an
ordinary person is that the connection between the dense body can be with-
drawn, and also some of the gases and even liquids of the medium's dense
body may be used to form the bodies of apparitions. This withdrawal and the
process of clothing the shells is generally performed by the elemental who
extracts the vital body of the medium out through the spleen. As a rule,
the body of the medium shrinks horribly in consequence. When the dense body
is thus deprived of its vital principle, it becomes terribly exhausted and
unfortunately the medium often seeks to restore the equilibrium by strong
drink, becoming a confirmed drunkard.
In Lecture No. 4 it was pointed out how dangerous it is to allow a hypno-
tist to dominate our will and deprive us of our liberty, but in that case
the victim can at least see, and may form an opinion of the hypnotist who
controls him. In the case of the medium the danger is multiplied a thou-
sandfold, for the dominating influence cannot be seen. The death of the
hypnotist releases his victims, but the gravest danger to the medium is
after death. Therefore, a negative state in which the whole body or even
the hand of a person is used automatically, apart from the individual's own
volition, is hazardous. It is not denied that sometimes there are genuine
communications from a departed Spirit, or that there are cases of benevolent
communications from beings outside our volition, but our purpose is to point
out the dangers to those who meddle with that they know not. Philanthro-
pists do not grow on every bush in the Desire World any more than here.
They are positively not great and good beings, angels, who enjoy knocking a
man's hat over his ears, spilling water down his neck, or doing any other of
the foolish tricks exhibited at the ordinary spiritualistic seance; those
are emphatically either the soul-less shells of scapegraces, or elementals
on a prank.
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 they 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 though he may and at
first often does, get into the whiskey casks of the saloons, it is no satis-
faction to him, for whiskey in a cask does not give out fumes as it does
during chemical combustion in the alimentary canal. He then tries the ef-
fect of getting into the dense body of drunkards on earth. He succeeds eas-
ily 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
last the desire burns itself out for want of gratification, as all desires
do, even in physical life.
This is "PURGATORY," and we note that it is not an avenging deity who
measures out the suffering, or a devil who executes the judgment, but the
evil desires cultivated in earth life, incapable of gratification in the
Desire World, that cause the suffering, until in time they burn out. Thus
the suffering is strictly proportionate to the strength of the evil habit.
Take the case of the miser; he loves gold as dearly after death as before,
but cannot gather any more; he has no physical hand wherewith to grasp, and
worst of all, cannot protect what he had. He may sit watching in front of
his safe, but the heirs may come and put their hands right through him, take
away his cherished gold, perhaps laughing at the "stingy old fool" while he
is nearly in a spasm with rage and mortification. He suffers terribly be-
cause unable to check them. At last, however, he learns to content himself;
he is automatically purges of grasping, as was the drunkard of drink, by the
Law of Consequence, which eradicates from each person his faults IN AN
IMPERSONAL WAY. There is in truth no punishment, all suffering is entirely
due to our self-acquired habits, is strictly proportionate to them. Be-
nevolently it rids us of our faults, so that in consequence of purgation we
are born innocent and may more easily acquire virtue when tempted anew, by
listening to the voice that warns. Each evil act, at least, is therefore an
act of free will.
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
We remember that when viewing this panorama just after death he had not
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 the dense body is so slow of vibra-
tion that it dulls even suffering, but in the Desire World, where we are mi-
nus physical vehicles, suffering is more acute, and 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.
There is a peculiar phase of this suffering, which also adds to its dis-
agreeable character. If in life a man had injured two men AT THE SAME TIME,
and one is living in Maine, the other in California, at the time when their
tormentor is undergoing his purgatorial realization of the sufferings he
caused them, HE WILL FEEL HIMSELF AS PRESENT WITH BOTH at the same time, as
if one part were in Maine and the other in California. It gives him a pecu-
liar but indescribable feeling of being torn to pieces.
There are two classes of people for whom the purgative process does not
commence at once, namely, the suicide and victim of murder. In the case of
the suicide it does not commence until the time when the body would have
died in the course of natural events, but in the meantime he suffers for his
act in a way that is as dreadful as it is peculiar. He has a feeling of be-
ing hollowed out, as it were, and of inhabiting an aching void, due to the
continued activity of the archetype of his form in the region of Concrete
Thought. In the case of people, young or old, who die naturally or by ac-
cident, archetypal activity ceases; the higher vehicles undergo a modifica-
tion at death, so that the loss of the dense body in itself gives no feeling
of discomfort; but the suicide experiences no such change until the arche-
type of his body ceases to work, at the time when death would have naturally
occurred. The space where his dense body ought to have been is empty, be-
cause the archetype is hollow, and it hurts indescribably. Thus he also
learns that it is not possible to play truant from the school of life with-
out bringing about unpleasant consequences, and in later lives when the way
seems hard he will remember in his soul that the cowardly attempt to escape
by suicide only brings added suffering.
There are people who commit suicide for unselfish reasons, to rid others
of a burden, and they of course have their reward in another way, but do not
escape the suffering of the suicide, any more than the man who enters a
burning building to save others is immune from burns.
The victim of murder escapes this suffering 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 accom-
pany this incessant re-enactment of his crime in all its horrible details.
This goes on for a time corresponding to the period of life of which he de-
prived 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 re-enactment of the crime.
Thus the Ego is purged of evil of every kind, by the impersonal action of
the Law of Consequence, made fit to enter heaven and become strengthened in
good, as it has been discouraged in evil.
LIFE AND ACTIVITY IN HEAVEN
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, and for them the stay in the purgatorial re-
gions of the Desire World is of course correspondingly shortened and the
suffering incidental 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 the 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 go about, ensouled by elementals and en-
during 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
vigorous 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-created 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-life 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 Heaven, and receives inspiration and power to continue his work in fu-
The sculptor likewise finds this part of the postmortem state a joy and
an upliftment; he shapes with facility the plastic materials of this world
into the statues he dreamt 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 the spheres" is heard, is in the part of the
Region of Concrete Thought which, in the esoteric Christian religion, we
call the second heaven; and so the musician only hears the echoes of the ce-
lestial 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
Here we also find all the little children, who go directly to this place
after passing out, and if their friends could see the, there would be no
mourning, for theirs is rather an 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. They are
brought together in classes, not only according to age and capability, but
according to temperament, and are particularly instructed in the effects of
desires and emotions, which can so easily be done in a world where those
things can be objectively demonstrated. Thus they are taught by
object-lessons the benefit of cultivating good and altruistic desires, and
many a soul who lives a moral life now, owes it to such a cause as the death
in infancy and fifteen or twenty years in the First Heaven before a new in-
carnation was entered upon. 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 battlefield in a previous life, for under such circumstances the de-
parting 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 die before the seventh year have only been born so far as
the dense and vital bodies are concerned and are not responsible to the Law
of Consequence. Even up to twelve of fourteen years the desire body is in
process of gestation, as will be more fully explained in the next lecture,
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.
It is a mistake to think that heaven is a place of unalloyed happiness
for all. No one can reap any more happiness than what 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
We remember, that as the panorama of the past life unrolled in Purgatory,
only the scenes in which we had injured people operated to produce suffer-
ing. In the First Heaven only the good desires and unselfish acts are pro-
ductive of feeling. When we behold a scene where we helped some one, sooth-
ing their sorrow and alleviating their suffering, we not only feel the most
intense personal satisfaction, but in addition we feel all that the re-
cipient of our favor felt in ease of body, of mental relief and gratitude to
the helper. It does not matter whether he knew who helped him or not, the
feeling he poured out to us when we helped him will be realized there, inde-
pendent of other circumstances. On the other hand, if we have ourselves
been grateful to our benefactors, we will feel the same feeling of relief
from distress and gratitude for the help over again. As all these feelings
and desires are built into the Ego by the spiritual alchemical forces gener-
ated when they are being realized there, and as they undergo a transmutation
into faculties, usable in future incarnations, it is easily seen HOW IMPOR-
TANT IT IS TO OUR OWN SOUL-GROWTH THAT WE SHOULD FEEL AND EXPRESS OUR
GRATITUDE FOR FAVORS SHOWN US, for thus we lay the foundation for the re-
ceipt of new favors both in this and future lives. It is said that the Lord
loves a cheerful giver; it is equally true that the "Law" (of Consequence)
loves an appreciative heart.
When "GIVING" is under consideration let us beware of the fallacious idea
that only the moneyed man can give. Indiscriminate gifts of money are a
curse to both the giver and the recipient. Only when the giver bestows
thought and heart also may gold be of value. But what is gold carelessly
given compared to sympathy? Expression of faith in a man may give him the
courage to go in and win; stirring his ambition we help him to help himself,
where financial aid would render him helplessly dependent on our bounty.
When we give, let us give OURSELVES first.
The ethics of giving, with the effect on the giver as a spiritual lesson,
are most beautifully shown in Lowell's THE VISION OF SIR LAUNFAL. The young
and ambitious knight, Sir Launfal, clad in shining armor and astride a
splendid charger, is setting out from his castle to seek The Holy Grail. On
his shield gleams the cross, the symbol of the benignity and tenderness of
Our Saviour, the meek and lowly One, but the knight's heart is filled with
pride and haughty disdain for the poor and needy. He meets a leper asking
alms and with a contemptuous frown throws him a coin, as one might cast a
bone to a hungry cur, but--
The leper raised not the gold from the dust:
"Better to me the poor man's crust,
Better the blessing of the poor,
Though I turn me empty from his door;
That is no true alms which the hand can hold;
He gives nothing but worthless gold
Who gives from a sense of duty;
But he who gives but a slender mite,
And gives to that which is out of sight,
That thread of the all-sustaining Beauty
Which runs through all and doth all unite--
The hand cannot clasp the whole of his alms,
The heart outstretches its eager palms,
For a god goes with it and makes it store
To the soul that was starving in darkness before."
On his return Sir Launfal finds another in possession of his castle, and
is driven from the gate.
An old, bent man, worn out and frail,
He came back from seeking the Holy Grail;
Little he recked of his earldom's loss,
No more on his surcoat was blazoned the cross,
But deep in his soul the sign he wore,
The badge of the suffering and the poor.
Again he meets the leper, who again asks alms. This time the knight
And Sir Launfal said, "I behold in thee
An image of Him who dies on the tree;
Thou also hast had thy crown of thorns,--
Thou also hast had the world's buffets and scorns,--
And to thy life were not denied
The wounds in the hands and feet and side;
Mild Mary's Son, acknowledge me;
Behold, through him, I give to Thee!"
A look in the leper's eye brings remembrance and recognition, and
The heart within him was ashes and dust;
He parted in twin his single crust,
He broke the ice on the streamlet's brink,
And gave the leper to eat and drink.
A transformation takes place:
The leper no longer crouched at his side,
But stood before him glorified,
. . . . . . . . . . . .
And the Voice that was calmer than silence said,
"Lo it is I, be not afraid!
In many climes, without avail,
Thou hast spent thy life for the Holy Grail;
Behold, it is here,--this cup which thou
Didst fill at the streamlet for me but now;
This crust is my body broken for thee,
This water His blood that died on the tree;
The Holy Supper is kept, indeed,
In whatso we share with another's need;
Not what we give, but what we share--
For the gift without the giver is bare;
Who gives himself with his alms feeds three--
Himself, his hungering neighbor, and Me."
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 is not far to seek. They led good, moral lives as a rule, indulged
in none of the vices 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 ONE-
SELF 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 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 interests, save desires that cannot be gratified
there, his life is an unenviable monotony, though he suffers in no other
The out-and-out materialist, who denies God and has the idea that death
is annihilation, is in the worst of straits. He sees his mistake, yet hav-
ing so dissociated himself from spiritual ideas, he often cannot believe but
that this is a prelude to annihilation. The dreadful suspense wears ter-
ribly 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
existence of spirit there as much as they did in Earth-life, calling him vi-
sionary for thinking that there is anything beyond.
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 sufferer
was a materialist in a former life, but it is the teaching of occult science
that such a result often follows materialism. There is another cause for
the prevalence of this dread disease back in the Middle Ages.
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 been
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 portal to
his heavenly home. It is as when one 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
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.
Presently there break upon the Ego's ear the indescribable harmonies of
celestial music which fills this Region incessantly. It is no figment of
the fancy when celestial music is spoken of, although it is untrue that the
dead people who had little or no sense for music during Earth-life have sud-
denly developed a passion for and the faculty of expressing music at death.
The fact of the matter is, that the World of Thought, where the Second
Heaven is located, is also the realm of tone, as the Desire World is the
world of light and color, and the Physical World is the world of form. The
artist gets his color-schemes and his light-effects from the Desire World,
but the musician must draw upon the more subtle World of Thought for his in-
spirations, and in this fact we have the reason why music is the highest art
we possess. The painter draws upon a world closer at hand, and is therefore
able to fix his creation once for all upon canvas, there to be seen by all
who have eyes at any time. Music cannot be thus fixed; it is more elusive,
it must be re-created each time, and at once vanishes into silence. In re-
turn, however, it has so much greater power to speak to us than even the
greatest painting, for it comes directly from the heaven world, fresh and
fragrant with echoes from the home of the Ego, awakening memories of and
putting us in touch with that which we so often forget in our material ex-
istence. Therefore music, above all other human arts, alone has power to
still the savage breast and affect us in a way that nothing else can.
Goethe was an initiate, and in his "Faust" emphasizes twice the fact that
in the heavenly realms all things are reducible to terms of sound. The
opening scene is laid in heaven, and the Archangel Raphael is represented as
"The sun intones his ancient SONG,
`Mid rival CHANT of brother-spheres.
His prescribed course he speeds along,
In thunderous way throughout the years."
Again, in the second part:
"SOUND unto the spirit-ear
Proclaims the coming day is near.
Rocky gates are creaking, rattling,
Phoebus' wheels are rolling, singing--
What intense SOUND the light is bringing."
Pythagoras' "music of the spheres" is a fact in the Second Heaven, and to
some musicians this is not at all a far-fetched idea, for they know that ev-
ery city, every lake and forest has its own peculiar tone. The babbling
brook and the summer zephyr which stirs the young leaves in the wood speak
the language of the Universal Soul. The true musician hears its grand, ma-
jestic voice in the mountain torrent and in the storm upon the great deep.
No mere intellectual conception of God, life and superphysical things can
every reach the sublime heights achieved by him, for he knows.
In Purgatory the evil habits and acts of life produced suffering which
was transmuted into RIGHT FEELING in the First Heaven. The good in the past
life was extracted in the First Heaven, and when the Ego enters the Second
Heaven it broods over the good in such a way as to transmute it into RIGHT
THOUGHT to act as a guide in future lives on Earth. Thus at every new birth
the Ego brings with it, as capital, the accumulated wisdom derived from the
experiences of all its past lives, which is its capital or stock in trade.
The experience in each new life is interest, which in the Second Heaven is
added to the capital.
Man there is also preparing himself for his next dip into matter,
qualifying himself for the new battle with ignorance in the coming life-day
in God's great school. If any worthy ambitions had failed of realization,
he sees where the fault lay, and learns to carry out next time his designs
on improved lines. The musician takes with him grander melodies when he re-
turns, to gladden the heart of man in his exile to Earth conditions. The
painter brings new aspirations, for it must not be supposed that the Second
Heaven is devoid of color because it was called the region of tone. Both
color and form are there, 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 also true
that the colors and forms of the Second Heaven are much more beautiful than
in either of the two other worlds.
We have spoken of this process of brooding and assimulation of the good
and lasting part extracted from the experiences of the past life as if it
were a negative process, and many students have the idea that existence in
the Second Heaven is a dreamy, illusory experience. Nothing could be more
erroneous, for the actual activities of life in heaven are manifold. Man
not only reviews or lives his past, but he is also actively preparing his
We are wont to speak of evolution, but do we ever analyze what it is that
makes evolution, why it does not stop in stagnation? If we do, we must re-
alize that there are forces back of the visible which make the alteration in
the flora and fauna, the climatic and topographical changes which are con-
stantly going on; and it is then but a natural question, What or who are the
forces or agents in evolution?
Of course, we are well aware that scientists give certain mechanical ex-
planations. They deserve great credit; they have accomplished much, when we
take into consideration that science is but an infant and has only five
senses and ingenious instruments at its command. Its deductions are marvel-
ously true, but that does not say that there may not be underlying causes
which it cannot, as yet, perceive, but which give a more thorough under-
standing of the matter than the mere mechanical explanation affords. An il-
lustration will elucidate the point.
Two men are conversing, when suddenly one knocks the other down. There
we have an occurrence, a fact, and we may explain it in a mechanical way by
saying: "I saw one man contract the muscles of his arm, direct a blow at the
other, and knock him down." That is a true version, so far as it goes, but
the occult scientist would see also the angry thought which inspired the
blow, and would be giving a more complete version if he said that the man
was knocked down by a thought, for the clenched fist was but the irrespon-
sible instrument of aggression. Failing the impelling force of the angry
thought, the hand would have remained inert and the blow would never have
Thus the occult scientist refers all causes to the Region of Concrete
Thought, and tells how they are generated there by human and superhuman
Remembering that the creative archetypes of everything we see in the vis-
ible world are in the World of Thought, which is the realm of tone, we are
prepared to understand that the archetypal forces are constantly playing
through these archetypes which then emit a certain tone, or, where a number
of them have massed to create a species of plant, animal, or human FORMS,
the different sounds blend into one grand chord. That single tone or chord,
as the case may be, is then the keynote of the form thus created, and as
long as it sounds, the form or the species endures; when it ceases the
single form dies or the species dies out.
A jumble of sound is not music any more than words massed together hap-
hazardly are a sentence, but ORDERLY RHYTHMIC SOUND is the builder of all
that is, as John says in the first verses of his gospel, "In the beginning
was the WORD, . . . and without it was not anything made"; also "the Word
was made flesh."
Thus we see that sound is the creator and sustainer of all form, and in
the Second Heaven the Ego becomes one with the nature forces. With them he
works upon the archetypes of land and sea, on flora and fauna, to bring
about the changes which gradually alter the appearance and condition of the
Earth, and thus afford a new environment, MADE BY HIMSELF, in which he may
reap new experience.
He is directed in his work by great teachers belonging to the Creative
Hierarchies, which are called Angels, Archangels, and other names, who are
God's ministers. They instruct him then consciously in the divine art of
creation, both as to the world and the objects in it. They teach him how to
build a FORM for himself, giving him the so-called "nature-spirits" as help-
ers, and thus man is serving his apprenticeship to become a creator each
time he goes to the Second Heaven. There he builds the archetype of the
form which he later externalizes at birth.
In Lecture No. 3 we spoke about the four ethers, and we said the forces
of assimilation work in the chemical ether. The Egos in the heaven world
are those forces and thus the very people whom we call dead are the ones who
build our bodies and help us to live. We may also note that no one can have
a better dense body than he can build. If they make mistakes in heaven,
they find it out when they come to use such a defective body on Earth, and
thereby learn to correct the fault next time.
This brings to mind an interesting phase of the Law of Consequence, as in
the case of Egos who require a body of peculiar construction, like musi-
cians, where not only the hand, but also the ear has to be specially ad-
justed, so that the three semicircular canals point as accurately as
possible to the three dimensions of space, and the fibres of Corti have to
be unusually delicate; such an instrument cannot be formed out of raw mate-
rials, and therefore such an Ego must be born in a family where others have
build along similar lines, and that is not always to be found.
Supposing, then, that an occasion offers 100 years before the time such
an Ego should be normally reborn, and that the Recording Angels who have
charge of the administrations of the Law of Consequence, see that another
opportunity will not occur for perhaps 300 years, that Ego may then be
brought into birth 100 years ahead of time, and the loss of time in heaven
made up at another time. Thus we see that the living and the so-called dead
are constantly acting and reacting upon each other while traveling onwards
along the path of evolution.
Having thus progressed through the Second Heaven, the Ego at last with-
draws from the sheath of mind, which was its garment there, and thus en-
tirely free and untrammeled enters the Third Heaven, which is the highest
point attainable by man at his present stage of development. Thither we
will follow him in the next lecture.
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