Filename: RC1054.TXT Source: +quot;The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception+quot; by Max Heindel [

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Filename: RC1054.TXT Source: "The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception" by Max Heindel [PAGE 1952] The student should particularly note that it is because of their con- nection with the splendidly organized mechanism of the dense body that these higher vehicles become of value at present. He will thus avoid a mistake frequently made by people who, when they come into the knowledge that there are higher bodies, grow to despise the dense vehicle; to speak of it as "low" and "vile"--turning their eyes to heaven and wishing that they might soon be able to leave this earthly lump of clay and fly about in their "higher vehicles." These people generally do not realize the difference between "higher" and "perfect." Certainly, the dense body is the lowest vehicle in the sense that it is the most unwieldy, correlating man to the world of sense with all the limitations thus implied. As stated, it has an enormous period of evolution back of it; is in it fourth state of development and has now reached a great and marvelous degree of efficiency. It will, in time, reach perfection, but even at present it is the best organized of man's vehicles. The vital body is in its third stage of evolution, and less completely orga- nized than the dense body. The desire body and the mind are, as yet, mere clouds--almost entirely unorganized. In the very lowest human beings these vehicles are not even definite ovoids; they are more or less undefined in form. The dense body is a wonderfully constructed instrument and should be recognized as such by everyone pretending to have any knowledge of the con- stitution of man. Observe the femur, for instance. This bone carries the entire weight of the body. On the outside it is built of a thin layer of compact bone, strengthened on the inside by beams and cross-beams of cancellated bone, in such a marvelous manner that the most skilled bridge or construction engineer could never accomplish the feat of building a pillar of equal strength with so little weight. The bones of the skull are built [PAGE 1953] in a similar manner, always the least possible material is used and the maximum of strength obtained. Consider the wisdom manifested in the con- struction of the heart and then question if this superb mechanism deserves to be despised. The wise man is grateful for his dense body and takes the best possible care of it, because he knows that it is the most valuable of his present instruments. The animal spirit has in its descent reached only the Desire World. It has not yet evolved to the point where it can "enter" a dense body. There- fore the animal has no individual INdwelling spirit, but a group-spirit, which directs it FROM WITHOUT. The animal has the dense body, the vital body and the desire body, but the group-spirit which directs it is outside. The vital body and the desire body of an animal are not entirely within the dense body, especially where the head is concerned. For instance, the etheric head of a horse projects far beyond and above the dense physical head. When, as in rare cases it happens, the etheric head of a horse draws into the head of the dense body, that horse can learn to read, count and work examples in elementary arithmetic. To this peculiarity is also due the fact that horses, dogs, cats and other domesticated animals sense the Desire World, though not always realizing the difference between it and the Physical World. A horse will shy at the sight of a figure invisible to the driver; a cat will go through the motions of rubbing itself against invis- ible legs. The cat sees the ghost, however without realizing that it has no dense legs available for frictional purposes. The dog, wiser than a cat or horse, will often sense that there is something he does not understand about the appearance of a dead master whose hands it cannot lick. It will howl mournfully and slink into a corner with its tail between its legs. The fol- lowing illustration may perhaps be of service to show the difference between [PAGE 1954] the man with his indwelling spirit and the animal with its group-spirit. Let us imagine a room divided by means of a curtain, one side of the curtain representing the Desire World and the other the Physical. There are two men in the room, one in each division; they cannot see each other, nor can they get into the same division. There are, however, ten holes in the curtain and the man who is in the division representing the Desire World can put his ten fingers through these holes into the other division, represent- ing the Physical World. He now furnishes an excellent representation of the group-spirit which is in the Desire World. The fingers represent the animals belonging to one species. He is able to move them as he wills, but he cannot use them freely nor as intelligently as the man who is walking about in the Physical division uses his body. The latter sees the fingers which are thrust through the curtain and he observes that they all move, but he does not see the connection between them. To him it appears as if they were all separate and distinct from one another. He cannot see that they are fingers of the man behind the veil and are governed in their movements by his intelligence. If he hurts one of the fingers, it is not only the finger that he hurts, but chiefly the man on the other side of the curtain. If an animal is hurt, it suffers, but not to the degree that the group-spirit does. The finger has no individualized consciousness; it moves as the man dictates--so do the animals moves as the group-spirit dictates. We hear of "animal instinct" and "blind instinct." There is no such vague, indefinite thing as "blind" instinct. There is nothing "blind" about the way the group-spirit guides its members--there is Wisdom, spelled with [PAGE 1955] capitals. The trained clairvoyant, when functioning in the Desire World, can communicate with these spirits of the animal species and finds them much more intelligent than a large percent of human beings. He can see the mar- velous insight they display in marshaling the animals which are their physical bodies. It is the spirit of the group which gathers its flocks of birds in the fall and compels them to migrate to the south, neither too early nor too late to escape the winter's chilly blast; that directs their return in the spring, causing them to fly at just the proper altitude, which differs for the different species. The group-spirit of the beaver teaches it to build its dam across a stream at exactly the proper angle. It considers the rapidity of the flow, and all the circumstances, precisely as a skilled engineer would do, showing that it is as up-to-date in every particular of the craft as the college-bred, technically-educated man. It is the wisdom of the group-spirit that directs the building of the hexagon cell of the bee with such geometrical nicety; that teaches the snail to fashion its house in an accurate, beautiful spiral; that teaches the ocean mollusk the art of decorating its iridescent shell. Wisdom, wisdom everywhere! So grand, so great that one who looks with an observant eye is filed with amazement and reverence. At this point the thought will naturally occur that if the animal group-spirit is so wise, considering the short period of evolution of the animal as compared with that of man, why does not the latter display wisdom to a much greater degree and why must man be taught to build dams and geom- etrize, all of which the group spirit does without being taught? [PAGE 1956] The answer to that question has to do with the descent of the Universal Spirit into matter of ever-increasing density. In the higher Worlds, where its vehicles are fewer and finer, it is in closer touch with cosmic wisdom which shines out in a manner inconceivable in the dense Physical World, but as the spirit descends, the light of wisdom becomes tem- porarily more and more dimmed, until in the densest of all the Worlds, it is held almost entirely in abeyance. An illustration will make this clearer. The hand is man's most valu- able servant; its dexterity enables it to respond to his slightest bidding. In some vocations, such as bank teller, the delicate touch of the hand be- comes so sensitive, that it is able to distinguish a counterfeit coin from a genuine in a way so marvelous that one would almost think the hand were en- dowed with individual intelligence. Its greatest efficiency is perhaps reached in the production of music. It is capable of producing the most beautiful, soul-stirring melodies. The delicate, caressing touch of the hand elicits the tenderest strains of soul-speech from the instrument, telling of the sorrows, the joys, the hopes, the fears and the longings of the soul in a way that nothing but mu- sic can do. It is the language of the heaven world, the spirit's true home, and comes to the divine spark imprisoned in flesh as a message from its na- tive land. Music appeals to all, regardless of race, creed, or other worldly distinction. The higher and more spiritual the individual the plainer does it speak to him and even "the savage breast" is not unmoved by it. Let us now imagine a master musician putting on thin gloves and trying to play his violin. We note at once that the delicate touch is less subtle; the soul of the music is gone. If he puts another and a heavier pair of [PAGE 1957] gloves over the first pair, his hand is hampered to such an extent that he may occasionally create a discord instead of the former harmony. Should he at last put on, in addition to the two pairs of gloves already hampering him, a pair of still heavier mittens, he would, temporarily, be entirely un- able to play, and one who had not heard him play previously to the time he put on the gloves and the mittens, would naturally think that he had never been able to do so, especially if ignorant of the hampering of his hands. So it is with the Spirit; every step down, every descent into coarser matter is to it what the putting on of a pair of gloves would be to the mu- sician. Every step down limits its power of expression until it has become accustomed to the limitations and has found its focus, in the same way that the eye must find its focus after we enter a house on a bright summer day. The pupil of the eye contracts to its limit in the glare of the sun and on entering the house all seems dark; but, as the pupil expands, and admits the light, the man is enabled to see as well in the dimmer light of the house as he did in the sunlight. The purpose of man's evolution here is to enable him to find his focus in the Physical World, where at present the light of wisdom seems obscured. But when in time we have "found the light," the wisdom of man will shine for forth in his actions, and far surpass the wisdom expressed by the group-spirit of the animal. Besides, a distinction must be made between the group spirit and the virgin spirits of the life wave now expressing itself as animals. The group-spirit belongs to a different evolution and is the guardian of the animal spirits. The dense body in which we function is composed of numerous cells, each having separate cellconsciousness, though of a very low order. While these cells from part of our body they are subjected to an dominated by OUR [PAGE 1958] consciousness. An animal group-spirit functions in a SPIRITUAL BODY, which is its lowest vehicle This vehicle consists of a varying number of virgin spirits imbued for the time being with the consciousness of the group-spirit. The latter directs the vehicles built by the virgin spirits in its charge, caring for them and helping them to evolve their vehicles. As its wards evolve, the group-spirit also evolves, undergoing a series of metamorphoses, in a manner similar to that in which we grow and gain experi- ence by taking into our bodies the cells of the food we eat, thereby also raising their consciousness by enduing them with ours for a time. Thus while a separate, self-conscious Ego is within each human body and dominates the actions of its particular vehicle, the spirit of the separate animal is not yet individualized and self-conscious, but forms part of the vehicle of a self-conscious entity belonging to a different evolution--the group-spirit. The group-spirit dominates the actions of the animals in harmony with cosmic law, until the virgin spirits in its charge shall have gained self-consciousness and become human. Then they will gradually manifest wills of their own, gaining more and more freedom from the group-spirit and becoming responsible for their own actions. The group-spirit will influence them, however (although in a decreasing degree), as race, tribe, community, or family spirit until each individual has become capable of acting in full harmony with cosmic law. Not until that time will the Ego be entirely free and independent of the group-spirit, which will then enter a higher phase of evolution. The position occupied by the group-spirit in the Desire World gives to [PAGE 1959] the animal a consciousness different form that of man, who has a clear, definite waking consciousness. Man sees things OUTSIDE of himself in sharp, distinct outlines. Owing to the spiral path of evolution, the higher domes- tic animals, particularly the dog, horse, cat and elephant see objects in somewhat the same way, though perhaps not so clearly defined. All other animals have an internal "picture consciousness" similar to the dream-state in man. When such an animal is confronted by an object, a picture is im- mediately perceived WITHIN, accompanied by a strong impression that the ob- ject is inimical or beneficial to its welfare. If the feeling is one of fear, it is associated with a suggestion from the group-spirit how to escape the threatened danger. This negative state of consciousness renders it easy for the group-spirit to guide the dense bodies of its charges by suggestion, as the animals have no will of their own. Man is not so easily managed from without, either with or without his consent. As evolution progresses and man's will develops more and more, he will become non-amenable to outside suggestion and free to do as he pleases regardless of suggestions from others. This is the chief difference between man and the other kingdoms. They act according to law and the dictates of the group-spirit (which we call instinct), while man is becoming more and more a law unto himself. We do not ask the mineral whether or not it will crystallize, nor the flower whether it will or will not bloom, nor the lion whether it will or will not cease to prey. They are all, in the smallest as in the greatest matter, under the absolute domination of the group-spirit, being without free will and initiative which, in some degree, are possessed by every human being. All animals of the same species look nearly alike, [PAGE 1960] because they emanate from the same group-spirit, while among the fifteen hundred millions of human beings who people the Earth no two look exactly alike, not even twins when adolescent, because the stamp that is put upon each by the indwelling individual Ego makes the difference in appearance as well as in character. That all oxen thrive on grass, and all lions eat flesh, while "one man's meat is another man's poison" is another illustration of the all-inclusive influence of the group-spirit as contrasted with the Ego which makes each human being require a different proportion of food from every other. Doctors note with perplexity the same peculiarity in administering medicine. Its acts differently upon different individuals, while the same medicine will produce identical effects on two animals of the same species, owing to the fact that animals all follow the dictates of the group-spirit and Cosmic Law--always act similarly in identical circumstances. Man alone is, in some measure, able to follow his own desires within certain limits. That his mistakes are many and grievous, is granted, and to many it might seem better if he were forced into the right way, but if this were done, he would never learn to do right. Lessons of discrimination between good and evil cannot be learned unless he is free to choose his own course and has learned to eschew the wrong as a veritable "womb of pain." If he did right only because he had no choice, and had no chance to do otherwise, he would be but an automaton and not an evolving God. As the builder learns by his mistakes, correcting past errors in future buildings, so man, by means of his blunders, and the pain they cause him, is attaining to a higher (because self-conscious) wisdom than the animal, which acts wisely because it is im- pelled to action by the group-spirit. In time the animal will become human, [PAGE 1961] have liberty of choice and will make mistakes and learn by them as we do now. Diagram 4 shows that the group-spirit of the plant kingdom has its low- est vehicle in the Region of Concrete Thought. It is two steps removed from its dense vehicle and consequently the plants have a consciousness corre- sponding to that of DREAMLESS SLEEP. The group-spirit of the mineral has it slowest vehicle in the Region of Abstract Thought and it is, therefore, three steps removed from its dense vehicle; hence it is in a state of deep unconsciousness similar to the TRANCE condition. We have now shown that man is an individual indwelling spirit, an Ego separate from all other entities, directing and working in one set of ve- hicles from WITHIN , and that plants and animals are directed from WITHOUT by a group-spirit having jurisdiction over a number of animals or plants in our Physical World. They are separate only in appearance. The relations of plant, animal and man to the life currents in the Earth's atmosphere are symbolically represented by the cross. The Mineral Kingdom is not represented, because as we have seen, it possesses no indi- vidual vital body, hence cannot be the vehicle for currents belonging to the higher realms. Plato, who was an Initiate, often gave occult truths. He said "The World-Soul is crucified." The lower limb of the cross indicates the plant with its root in the chemical mineral soil. The group-spirits of plants are at the center of the Earth. They are (it will be remembered) in the Region of Concrete Thought, which inter-penetrates the Earth, as do all the other Worlds. From these group-spirits flow streams or currents in all directions to the periphery of [PAGE 1962] the Earth, passing outward through the length of plant or tree. Man is represented by the upper limb; his is the INVERTED PLANT. The plant takes its food through the root. Man takes his food through the head. The plant stretches its generative organs towards the sun. Man, the in- verted plant, turns his towards the center of the earth. The plant is sus- tained by the spiritual currents of the group-spirit in the center of the earth, which enter into it by way of the root. Later it will be shown that the highest spiritual influence comes to man from the sun, which sends its rays through man, the inverted plant, from the head downwards. The plant inhales the poisonous carbon-dioxide exhales by man and exhales the life-giving oxygen used by him. The animal, which is symbolized by the horizontal limb of the cross, is between the plant and the man. Its spine is in a horizontal position and through it play the currents of the animal group-spirit which encircle the Earth. No animal can be made to remain constantly upright, because in that case the currents of the group-spirit could not guide it, and if it were not sufficiently individualized to endure the spiritual currents which enter the vertical human spine, it would die. It is necessary that a vehicle for the expression of an individual Ego shall have three things--an upright walk, that it may come into touch with the currents just mentioned; an upright larynx, for only such a larynx is capable of speech (parrots and starlings are examples of this effect of the upright larynx); and, owing to the solar currents, it must have warm blood. The latter is of the utmost importance to the Ego, which will be logically explained and illustrated later. These requisites are simply mentioned here as the last words on the status of the four kingdoms in relation to each other and to the Worlds. [PAGE 1963] MAN AND THE METHOD OF EVOLUTION: ACTIVITIES OF LIFE; MEMORY AND SOUL-GROWTH: Our study thus far of the seven Worlds or states of matter has shown us that each serves a definite purpose in the economy of nature, and that God, the Great Spirit, in Whom we actually and in fact "live and move and have our being," is the Power that permeates and sustains the whole Universe with Its Life; but while that Life flows into and is immanent in every atom of the six lower Worlds and all contained therein, in the Seventh--the highest--the Triune God alone IS. The next highest or sixth realm is the World of Virgin Spirits. Here those sparks from the divine "Flame: have their being before they commence their long pilgrimage through the five denser Worlds for the purpose of de- veloping latent potentialities into dynamic powers. As the seed unfolds its hidden possibilities by being buried in the soil, so these virgin spirits will, in time, when they have passed through matter (the school of experi- ence), also become divine "Flames," capable of bringing forth universes from themselves. The five Worlds constitute the field of man's evolution, the three lower or denser being the scene of the present phase of his development. We will now consider his as related to these five Worlds by means of his appropriate vehicles, remembering the two grand divisions into which two of these Worlds are divided, and than man has a vehicle for each of these divisions. [PAGE 1964] DIAGRAM 4A: THE SEVENFOLD CONSTITUTION OF MAN: |---------------------------------------------------------------------------| | WORLD OR REGION: | CORRESPONDING VEHICLE: | |---------------------------------------|-----------------------------------| |5] World of Divine Spirit | Divine Spirit>| | |---------------------------------------| | The>>>>>| The | |4] World of Life Spirit | Life Spirit>>>|> Threefold>|>> | |---------------------------------------| | Spirit>>>| Ego | | | World >|> Region of Abstract | Human Spirit>>| | |3]<<| of >|>> Thought | | | |Thought >|> Region of Concrete | Mind [The Mind is the mirror | | Thought | through which the threefold | | | spirit reflects itself in the | | | threefold body; the focussing- | | | point. See Diagram 1] | |---------------------------------------|-----------------------------------| |2] Desire World | Desire Body>| | |---------------------------------------| | The Three-fold | |1] Physical World: | |>> Body; the Shadow | | Etheric Region | Vital Body>>| of the Three-fold | | Chemcial Region | Dense Body >| Spirit. | |---------------------------------------------------------------------------| In the waking state these vehicles are all together. They inter-penetrate one another as the blood, the lymph, and other juices of the body inter-penetrate. Thus is the Ego enabled to act in the Physical World. We ourselves, as Egos, function directly in the subtle substance of the Region of Abstract Thought, which we have specialized within the periphery of our individual aura. Thence we view the impressions made by the outer world upon the vital body through the senses, together with the feelings and emotions generated by them in the desire body, and mirrored in the mind. From these mental images we form our conclusions, in the substance of the Region of Abstract Thought, concerning the subjects with which they deal. Those conclusions are ideas. By the power of will we project an idea through the mind, where it takes concrete shape as a thought-form by drawing mind-stuff around itself from the Region of Concrete Thought. [PAGE 1965] The mind is like the projecting lens of a stereopticon. It projects the image in one of three directions, according to the will of the thinker, which ensouls the thought-form. (1) It may be projected against the desire body in an endeavor to arouse feeling which will lead to immediate action. (a) If the thought awakens Interest, one of the twin forces, Attraction or Repulsion, will be stirred up. If Attraction, the centripetal force, is aroused, it seizes the thought, whirls it into the desire body, endows the image with added life and clothes it with desire-stuff. Then the thought is able to act on the etheric brain, and propel the vital force through the appropriate brain centers and nerves to the voluntary muscles which perform the necessary action. Thus the force in the thought is expended and the image remains in the ether of the vital body as memory of the act and the feeling that caused it. (b) Repulsion is the centrifugal force and if that is aroused by the thought there will be a struggle between the spiritual force (the will of the man) within the thought-form, and the desire body. This is the battle between conscience and desire, the higher and the lower nature. The spiritual force, in spite of resistance will seek to clothe the thought-form in the desire-stuff needed to manipulate the brain and muscles. The force of Repulsion will endeavor to scatter the appropriated material and oust the thought. If the spiritual energy is strong it may force its way through to the brain centers and hold its clothing of desire-stuff while manipulating the vital force, thus compelling action, and will then leave upon the memory a vivid impression of the struggle and the victory. If the spiritual energy is exhausted before action has resulted, it will be overcome by the force of [PAGE 1966] Repulsion, and will be stored in the memory, as are all other thought-forms when they have expended their energy. (c) If the thought-form meets the withering feeling of Indifference it depends upon the spiritual energy contained in it whether it will be able to compel action, or simply leave a weak impress upon the reflecting ether of the vital body after its kinetic energy has been exhausted. (2) Where no immediate action is called for by the mental images of im- pacts from without, these may be projected directly upon the reflecting ether, together with the thoughts occasioned by them, to be used at some fu- ture time. The spirit, working through the mind, has instant access to the storehouse of conscious memory and may at any time resurrect any of the pic- tures found there, endue them with new spiritual force, and project them upon the desire body to compel action. Each time such a picture is thus used it will gain in vividness, strength and efficiency, and will compel ac- tion along its particular line grooves, and produces the phenomenon of thought, "gaining" or "growing" upon us by repetition. (3) A third way of using a thought-form is when the thinker projects it toward another mind to act as a suggestion, to carry information, etc., as in thought-transference, or it may be directed against the desire body of another person to compel action, as in the case of a hypnotist influencing a victim at a distance. It will then act in precisely the same manner as if it were the victim's own thought. If in line with his proclivities it will act as per paragraph 1a. If contrary to his nature, as described in 1b or 1c. When the work designed for such a projected thought-form has been ac- complished, or its energy expended in vain attempts to achieve its object, [PAGE 1967] it gravitates back to its creator, bearing with it the indelible record of the journey. It success or failure is imprinted on the negative atoms of the reflecting ether of its creator's vital body, where it forms that part of the record of the thinker's life and action which is sometimes called the sub-conscious mind. This record is much more important than the memory to which we have con- scious access, for the latter is made up from imperfect and illusive sense-perceptions and is the voluntary memory or conscious mind. The involuntary memory or sub-conscious mind comes into being in a dif- ferent way, altogether beyond our control at present. As the ether carries to the sensitive film in the camera an accurate impression of the surround- ing landscape, taking in the minutest detail regardless of whether the pho- tographer has observed it or not, so the ether contained in the air we in- spire carries with it an accurate and detailed picture of all our surroundings. Not only of material things, but also the conditions existing each moment within our aura. The slightest thought, feeling or emotion is transmitted to the lungs, where it is injected into the blood. The blood is one of the highest products of the vital body as it is the carrier of nour- ishment to every part of the body, and the direct vehicle of the Ego. The pictures it contains are impressed upon the negative atoms of the vital body, to serve as arbiters of the man's destiny in the POST MORTEM state. The memory (or so-called mind), both conscious and sub-conscious, re- lates WHOLLY to the experiences of this life. It consists of impressions of events on the vital body. These may be changed or even eradicated, as noted in the explanation concerning the forgiveness of sins which is given a few [PAGE 1968] pages further on, which change or eradication depends upon the elimination of these impressions from the ether of the vital body. There is also a superconscious memory. That is the storehouse of all faculties acquired and knowledge gained in previous lives, though perhaps latent in the present life. This record is indelibly engraven on the life spirit. It manifests ordinarily, thought not to the full extent, as con- science and character which ensoul all thought-forms, sometimes as counsel- lor, sometimes compelling action with resistless force, even contrary to reason and desire. In many women, in whom the vital body is positive, and in advanced people of either sex where the vital body has been sensitized by a pure and holy life, by prayer and concentration, this superconscious memory inherent in the life spirit is occasionally, to some extent, above the necessity of clothing itself in mind stuff and desire matter in order to compel action. It does not always need to incur the danger of being subjected to and per- haps overruled by a process of reasoning. Sometimes, in the form of intu- ition or teaching from within, it impresses itself directly upon the re- flecting ether of the vital body. The more readily we learn to recognize it and follow its dictates, the oftener it will speak, to our eternal welfare. By their activities during waking hours the desire body and the mind are constantly destroying the dense vehicle. Every thought and movement breaks down tissue. On the other hand, the vital body faithfully endeavors to re- store harmony and build up what the other vehicles are tearing down. It is not able, however, to entirely withstand the powerful onslaughts of the im- pulses and thoughts. It gradually loses ground and at last there comes a [PAGE 1969] time when it collapses. Its "points" shrivel-up, so to say. The vital fluid ceases to flow along the nerves is sufficient quantity; the body be- comes drowsy, the Thinker is hampered by its drowsiness and forced to with- draw, taking the desire body with him. This withdrawal of the higher ve- hicle leaves the dense body interpenetrated by the vital body in the senseless state we call sleep. Sleep, however, is not by any means an inactive state, as people gener- ally suppose. If it were, the body would be no different on awakening in the morning from its condition when it went to sleep at night; its fatigue would be just as great. On the contrary, sleep is a period of intense ac- tivity and the more intense it is the greater its value, for it eliminates the poisons resulting from tissue destroyed by the mental and physical ac- tivities of the day. The tissues are re-built and the rhythm of the body restored. The more thoroughly this work is done the greater the benefit ac- cruing from sleep. The Desire World is an ocean of wisdom and harmony. Into this the Ego takes the mind and the desire body when the lower vehicles have been left to sleep. There the first care of the Ego is the restoration of the rhythm and harmony of the mind and the desire body. This restoration is accomplished gradually as the harmonious vibrations of the Desire World flow through them. There is an essence in the Desire World corresponding to the vital fluid which permeates the dense body by means of the vital body. The higher vehicles, as it were, steep themselves in this elixir of life. When strengthened, they commence work on the vital body, which was left with the sleeping dense body. Then the vital body begins to specialize the solar [PAGE 1970] energy anew, rebuilding the dense body, using particularly the chemical ether as its medium in the process of restoration. It is this activity of the different vehicles during sleep which forms the basis for the activity of the following day. Without that there would be no awakening, for the Ego was forced to abandon his vehicles because their weariness rendered them useless. If the work of removing that fatigue were not done, the bodies would remain asleep, as sometimes happens in natural trance. It is just because of this harmonizing, recuperative activ- ity that sleep is better than doctor or medicine in preserving health. Mere rest is nothing is comparison with sleep. It is only while the higher ve- hicles are in the Desire World that there is a total suspension of waste and an influx of restoring force. It is true that during rest the vital body is not hampered in its work by tissue being broken down by active motion and tense muscles, but still it must contend with the wasting energy of thought and it does not then receive the OUTSIDE recuperative force from the desire body as during sleep. It happens, however, that at times the desire body does not fully with- draw, so that part of it remains connected with the vital body, the vehicle for sense perception and memory. The result is that restoration is only partly accomplished and that the senses and actions of the Desire World are brought into the physical consciousness as dreams. Of course most dreams are confused as the axis of perception is askew, because of the improper re- lation of one body to another. The memory is also confused by this incon- gruous relation of the vehicles and as a result of the loss of the restoring force, dream-filled sleep is restless and the body feels tired on awakening. During the life the threefold spirit, the Ego, works on and in the [PAGE 1971] threefold body, to which it is connected by the link of mind. This work brings the threefold soul into being. The soul is the spiritualized product of the body. DIAGRAM 5: |---------------------------------------------------------------------------| | >--->THE DIVINE SPIRIT>----->---->----->---->--->THE DENSE BODY>-----> | | /|\ | | | | >-->THE LIFE SPIRIT>-->---->---->---->THE VITAL BODY>--> \|/ | | /|\ /|\ | | | | | | >->THE HUMAN SPIRIT>-->THE DESIRE BODY>--> | | | | | | | | \|/ \|/ | | | /|\ /|\ \|/ | | | | | | | | | | | | /|\ | | |-------------| | | \|/ | | | | | | MIND: | | \|/ | | | | /|\ /|\ | the link or | \|/ | | | | | | | | focus | | | | | | | | | |-------------| | | \|/ | | /|\ | | | \|/ | | | | /|\ /|\ \|/ | | | | | | | | | | | | | | <----<----|emanates|> The Dense Body >|extracting|> Conscious Soul The Life Spirit >| from |> The Vital Body >| as |>Intellectual Soul The Human Spirit >| itself |> The Desire Body >| pabulum |> Emotional Soul The mirror of Mind also contributes increasingly to spiritual growth as the thoughts which it transmits to and from the Spirit polish it to greater brightness, sharpening and intensifying its focus more and more to a single point, perfectly flexible and under the control of the Spirit. [PAGE 1972] As proper food feeds the body in a material sense, so the activity of the spirit in the dense body, which results in RIGHT ACTION, promotes the growth of the Conscious Soul. As the forces from the sun play in the vital body and nourish it, that it may act on the dense body, so the memory of ac- tions done in the dense body-the desires, feelings and emotions of the de- sire body and the thoughts and ideas in the mind-cause the growth of the In- tellectual Soul. In like manner the HIGHEST DESIRES and EMOTIONS of the desire body form the Emotional Soul. This threefold soul in turn enhances the consciousness of the threefold spirit. The Emotional Soul, which is the extract of the desire body, adds to the efficiency of the Human Spirit, which is the spiritual counterpart of the desire body. The Intellectual Soul gives added power to the Life Spirit, because the Intellectual Soul is extracted from the vital body, which is the material counterpart of the Life Spirit. The Conscious Soul increases the consciousness of the Divine Spirit be- cause it (the Conscious Soul) is the extract of the dense body, which latter is the counterpart of the Divine Spirit. DEATH AND PURGATORY: So man builds and sows until the moment of death arrives. Then the seed-time and the periods of growth and ripening are past. The harvest time has come, when the skeleton spectre of Death arrives with his scythe and hour-glass. That is a good symbol. The skeleton symbolizes the relatively permanent part of the body. The scythe represents the fact that this perma- nent part, which is about to be harvested by the spirit, is the fruitage of [PAGE 1973] the life now drawing to a close. The hour-glass in his hand indicates that the hour does not strike until the full course has been run in harmony with unvarying laws. When that moment arrives a separation of the vehicles takes place. As his life in the Physical World is ended for the time being, it is not necessary for man to retain his dense body. The vital body, which as we have explained, also belongs to the Physical World, is withdrawn by way of the head, leaving the dense body inanimate. The higher vehicles--vital body, desire body and mind-are seen to leave the dense body with a spiral movement, taking with them the SOUL of one dense atom. Not the atom itself, but THE FORCES that played through it. The results of the experiences passed through in the dense body during the life just ended have been impressed upon this particular atom. While all the other atoms of the dense body have been renewed from time to time, this permanent atom has remained. It has remained stable, not only through one life, but it has been a part of every dense body ever used by a particular Ego. It is withdrawn at death only to reawaken at the dawn of another physical life, to serve again as the nucleus around which is built the new dense body to be used by the same Ego. It is therefore called the "Seed-Atom." During life the seed-atom is situated in the left ventricle of the heart, near the apex. At death it rises to the brain by way of the pneumogastric nerve, leaving the dense body, together with the higher ve- hicles, by way of the sutures between the parietal and occipital bones. When the higher vehicles have left the dense body they are still con- nected with it by a slender, glistening, silvery cord shaped much like two [PAGE 1974] figure sixes reversed, one upright and one horizontally placed, the two con- nected at the extremities of the hooks. (See diagram 5 1/2.) One end is fastened to the heart by means of the seed-atom, and it is the rupture of the seed-atom which causes the heart to stop. The cord it- self is not snapped until the panorama of the past life, contained in the vital body, has been reviewed. Care should be taken, however, not to cremate or embalm the body until at least three days after death, for while the vital body is with the higher vehicles, and they are still connected with the dense body by means of the silver cord, any POST MORTEM examination or other injury to the dense body will be felt, in a measure, by the man. DIAGRAM NO. 5 1/2: THE SILVER CORD: -------------------------------------| | |--------------------------| | | | | | -----------------| | | | | | | | | | -------| | | | | | | | | | | POINT OF SEPARATION>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>*-----| | | | | | | | | | |-----------------| | | | | | |--------------------------| | |------------------------------------- Cremation should be particularly avoided in the first three days after death, because it tends to disintegrate the vital body, which should be kept intact until the panorama of the past life has been etched into the desire body. The silver cord snaps at the point where the sixes unite, half remaining with the dense body and the other half with the higher vehicles. From the [PAGE 1975] time the cord snaps the dense body is quite dead. In the beginning of 1906 Dr. McDougall made a series of experiments in the Massachusetts General Hospital, to determine, if possible, whether any- thing not ordinarily visible left the body at death. For this purpose he constructed a pair of scales capable of registering differences of one-tenth of an ounce. The dying person and his bed were placed on one of the platforms of the scale, which was then balanced by weights placed on the opposite platform. In every instance it was noted that at the precise moment when the dying person drew the last breath, the platform containing the weights dropped with startling suddenness, lifting the bed and the body, thus showing that something invisible, but having weight, had left the body. Thereupon the newspapers all over the country announced in glaring headlines that Dr. McDougall had "weighed the soul." Occultism hails with joy the discoveries of modern science, as they in- variably corroborate what occult science has long taught. The experiments of Dr. McDougall showed conclusively that something invisible to ordinary sight left the body at death, as trained clairvoyants had seen, and as had been stated in lectures and literature for many years previous to Dr. McDougall's discovery. But this invisible "something" is not the soul. There is a great dif- ference. The reporters jump at conclusions when they state that the scien- tists have "weighed the soul." The soul belongs to higher realms and can never be weighed on physical scales, even though they registered variations of one-millionth part of a grain instead of one-tenth of an ounce. [PAGE 1976] IT WAS THE VITAL BODY WHICH THE SCIENTIST WEIGHED. It is formed of the four ethers and they belong to the Physical World. As we have seen, a certain amount of this ether is "superimposed" upon the ether which envelops the particles of the human body and is confined there during physical life, adding in a slight degree to the weight of the dense body of plant, animal and man. In death it escapes; hence the diminu- tion in weight noticed by Dr. McDougall when the persons with whom he ex- perimented expired. Dr. McDougall also tried his scales in weighing dying animals. No diminution was found here, though one of the animals was a St. Bernard dog. That was taken to indicate that animals have no souls. A little later, how- ever, Professor La V. Twining, head of the Science Department of the Los Angeles Polytechnic School, experimented with mice and kittens, which he en- closed in hermetically sealed glass flasks. His scales were the most sensi- tive procurable and were enclosed in a glass case from which all moisture had been removed. It was found that all the animals observed lost weight at death. A good sized mouse, weighing 12.886 grams, suddenly lost 3.1 mil- ligrams at death. A kitten used in another experiment lost one hundred milligrams while dying and at its last gasp it suddenly lost an additional sixty milligrams. After that it lost weight slowly, due to evaporation. Thus the teaching of occult science in regard to the possession of vital bodies by animals was also vindicated when sufficiently fine scales were used, and the case where the rather insensitive scales did not show diminu- tion in the weight of the St. Bernard dog shows that the vital bodies of animals are proportionately lighter than in man. [PAGE 1977] When the "silver cord" is loosened in the heart, and man has been re- leased from his dense body, a moment of the highest importance comes to the Ego, and it cannot be too seriously impressed upon the relatives of a dying person that it is a great crime against the departing soul to give expres- sion to loud grief and lamentations, for it is just then engaged in a matter of supreme importance and a great deal of the value of the past life depends upon how much attention the soul can give to this matter. This will be made clearer when we come to the description of man's life in the Desire World. It is also a crime against the dying to administer stimulants which have the effect of forcing the higher vehicles back into the dense body with a jerk, thus imparting a great shock to the man. It is not torture to pass out, but it is torture to be dragged back to endure further suffering. Some who have passed out have told investigators that they had, in that way, been kept dying for hours and had prayed that their relatives would cease their mistaken kindness and let them die. When the man is freed from the dense body, which was the heaviest clog upon his spiritual power (like the heavy mitten on the hand of the musician in our previous illustration), his spiritual power comes back in some mea- sure, and he is able to read the pictures in the negative pole of the re- flecting ether of his vital body, which is the seat of the sub-conscious memory. The whole of his past life passes before his sight like a panorama, the events being presented IN REVERSE ORDER. The incidents of the days immedi- ately preceding death come first and so on back through manhood or womanhood to youth, childhood and infancy. Everything is remembered. [PAGE 1978] The man stands as a spectator before this panorama of his past life. He sees the pictures as they pass and they impress themselves upon his higher vehicles, but he has no feeling about them at this time. That is reserved until the time when he enters into the Desire World, which is the world of feeling and emotion. At present he is only in the Etheric Region of the Physical World. This panorama lasts from a few hours to several days, depending upon the length of time the man could keep awake, if necessary. Some people can keep awake only twelve hours, or even less; others can do so, upon occasion, for a number of days, but as long as the man can remain awake, the panorama lasts. This feature of life after death is similar to that with takes place when one is drowning or falling from a height. In such cases the vital body also leaves the dense body and the man sees his life in a flash, because he loses consciousness at once. Of course the "silver cord" is not broken, or there could be no resuscitation. When the endurance of the vital body has reached its limit, it collapses in the way described when we were considering the phenomenon of sleep. Dur- ing physical life, when the Ego controls its vehicles, this collapse termi- nates the waking hours; after death the collapse of the vital body termi- nates the panorama and forces the man to withdraw into the Desire World. The silver cord breaks at the point where the sixes unite (see diagram 5 1/2), and the same division is made as during sleep, but with this important difference, that thought the vital body returns to the dense body, it no longer interpenetrates it, but simply hovers over it. It remains floating over the grave, decaying synchronously with the dense vehicle. Hence, to the trained clairvoyant, a graveyard is a nauseating sight and if only more [PAGE 1979] people could see it as he does, little argument would be necessary to induce them to change from the present unsanitary method of disposing of the dead to the more rational method of cremation, which restores the elements to their primordial condition without the objectionable features incident to the process of slow decay. In leaving the vital body the process is much the same as when the dense body is discarded. The life forces of one atom are taken, to be used as a nucleus for the vital body of a future embodiment. Thus, upon his entrance into the Desire World the man has the seed-atoms of the dense and the vital bodies, in addition to the desire body and the mind. If the dying man could leave all desires behind, the desire body would very quickly fall away from him, leaving him free to proceed into the heaven world, but that is not generally the case. Most people, especially if they die in the prime of life, have many ties and much interest in life on earth. They have not altered their desires because they have lost their physical bodies. In fact often their desires are even augmented by a very intense longing to return. This acts in such a manner as to bind them to the Desire World in a very unpleasant way, although unfortunately, they do not realize it. On the other hand, old and decrepit persons and those who are weakened by long illness and are tired of life, pass on very quickly. The matter may be illustrated by the ease with which the seed falls out of the ripe fruit, no particle of the flesh clinging to it, while in the unripe fruit the seed clings to the flesh with the greatest tenacity. Thus it is especially hard for people to die who were taken out of their bodies by accident while at the height of their physical health and strength, en- gaged in numerous ways in the activities of physical life; held by the ties [PAGE 1980] of wife, family, relatives, friends, pursuits of business and pleasure. The suicide, who tries to get away from life, only to find that he is as much alive as ever, is in the most pitiable plight. He is able to watch those whom he has, perhaps, disgraced by his act, and worst of all, he has an unspeakable feeling of being "hollowed out." The part in the ovoid aura where the dense body used to be is empty and although the desire body has taken the form of the discarded dense body, it feels like an empty shell, because the creative archetype of the body in the Region of Concrete Thought persists as an empty mold, so to speak, as long as the dense body should properly have lived. When a person meets a natural death, even in the prime of life, the activity of the archetype ceases, and the desire body adjusts itself so as to occupy the whole of the form, but in the case of suicide that awful feeling of "emptiness" remains until the time comes when, in the natural course of events, his death would have occurred. As long as the man entertains the desires connected with earth life he must stay in his desire body and as the progress of the individual requires that he pass on to higher Regions, the existence in the Desire World must necessarily become purgative, tending to purify him from his binding de- sires. How this is done is best seen by taking some radical instances. The miser who loved his gold in earth life loves it just as dearly after death; but in the first place he cannot acquire any more, because he has no longer a dense body wherewith to grasp it and worst of all, he cannot even keep what he hoarded during life. He will, perhaps, go and sit by his safe and watch the cherished gold or bonds; but the heirs appear and with, it may be, a stinging jeer at the "stingy old fool" (whom they do not see, but who [PAGE 1981] both sees and hears them), will open his safe, and though he may throw himself over his gold to protect it, they will put their hands through him, neither knowing nor caring that he is there, and will then proceed to spend his hoard, while he suffers in sorrow and impotent rage. He will suffer keenly, his sufferings all the more terrible on account of being entirely mental, because the dense body dulls even suffering to some extent. In the Desire World, however, these sufferings have full sway and the man suffers until he learns that gold may be a curse. Thus he gradually becomes contented with his lot and at last is freed from his de- sire body and is ready to go on. Or take the case of the drunkard. He is just as fond of intoxicants af- ter death as he was before. It is not the dense body that craves drink. It is made sick by alcohol and would rather be without it. It vainly protests in different ways, but the desire body of the drunkard craves the drink and forces the dense body to take it, that the desire body may have the sensa- tion of pleasure resulting from the increased vibration. That desire re- mains after the death of the dense body, but the drunkard has in his desire body neither mouth to drink not stomach to contain physical liquor. He may and does get into saloons, where he interpolates his body into to bodies of the drinkers to get a little of their vibrations by induction, but that is too weak to give him much satisfaction. He may and also does sometimes get inside a whiskey cask, but that is of no avail either for there are in the cask no such fumes as are generated in the digestive organs of a tippler. It has no effect upon him and he is like a man in an open boat on the ocean. "Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink;" consequently he suffers [PAGE 1982] intensely. In time, however, he learns the uselessness of longing for drink which he cannot obtain. As with so many of our desires in the Earth life, all desires in the Desire World die for want of opportunity to gratify them. When the drunkard has been purged, he is ready, so far as this habit is concerned, to leave this state of "purgatory" and ascend into the heaven world. Thus we see that it is not an avenging Deity that makes purgatory or hell for us, but our own individual evil habits and acts. According to the intensity of our desires will be the time and suffering entailed in their expurgation. In the cases mentioned it would have been no suffering to the drunkard to lose his worldly possessions. If he had any, he did not cling to them. Neither would it have caused the miser any paid to have been de- prived of intoxicants. It is safe to say that he would not have cared if there were not a drop of liquor in the world. But he did care about his gold, and the drunkard cared about his drink and so the unerring law gave to each that which was needed to purge him of his unhallowed desires and evil habits. This is the law that is symbolized in the scythe of the reaper, Death; the law that says, "whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." It is the law of cause and effect, which rules all things in the three Worlds, in every realm of nature--physical, moral and mental. Everywhere it works inexorably, adjusting all things, restoring the equilibrium wherever even the slightest action has brought about a disturbance, as all action must. The result may be manifested immediately or it may be delayed for years or for lives, but sometime, somewhere, just and equal retribution will be made. The student should particularly note that its work is absolutely impersonal. [PAGE 1983] There is in the universe neither reward nor punishment. All is the result of invariable law. The action of this law will be more fully elucidated in the next chapter, where we shall find it associated with another Great Law of the Cosmos, which also operates in the evolution of man. The law we are now considering is called the law of Consequence. In the Desire World it operates in purging man of the baser desires and the correction of the weaknesses and vices which hinder his progress, by making him suffer in the manner best adapted to that purpose. If he had made others suffer, or has dealt unjustly with them, he will be made to suf- fer in that identical way. Be it noted, however, that if a person has been subject to vices, or has done wrong to others, but has overcome his vices, or repented and, as far as possible, made right the wrong done, such repen- tance, reform and restitution have purged him of those special vices and evil acts. The equilibrium has been restored and the lesson learned during that embodiment, and therefore will not b a cause of suffering after death. In the Desire World life is lived about three times as rapidly as in the Physical World. A man who has lived to be fifty years of age in the Physical World would live through the same life events in the Desire World in about sixteen years. This is, of course, only a general gauge. There are persons who remain in the Desire World much longer than their term of physical life. Others again, who have led lives with few gross desires, pass through in a much shorter period, but the measure above given is very nearly correct for the average man of present day. [PAGE 1984] It will be remembered that as the man leaves the dense body at death, his past life passes before him in pictures; but at that time he has no feeling concerning them. During his life in the Desire World also these life pictures roll back- wards, as before; but not the man has all the feelings that it is possible for him to have as, one by one, the scenes pass before him. Every incident in his past life is now lived over again. When he comes to a point where he has injured someone, he himself feels the pain as the injured person felt it. He lives through all the sorrow and suffering he has caused to others and learns just how painful is the hurt and how hard to bear is the sorrow he has caused. In addition there is the fact already mentioned that the suffering is much keener because he has no dense body to dull the pain. Perhaps that is why the speed of life there is tripled--that the suffering may lose in duration what it gains in sharpness. Nature's measures are won- derfully just and true. There is another characteristic peculiar to this phase of post mortem existence which intimately connected with the fact (already mentioned) that distance is almost annihilated in the Desire World. When a man dies, he at once seems to swell out in his vital body; he appears to himself to grow into immense proportions. This feeling is due to the fact, not that the body really grows, but that the perceptive faculties receive so many impres- sions from various sources, all seeming to be close at hand. The same is true of the desire body. The man seems to be present with all the people with whom on earth he had relations of a nature which require correction. If he has injured one man in San Francisco and another in New York, he will feel as if part of him were in each place. This gives him a peculiar feel- ing of being cut to pieces. [PAGE 1985] The student will now understand the importance of the panorama of the past life during the purgative existence, where this panorama is realized in definite feelings. If it lasted long and the man were undisturbed, the full, deep, clear impression etched into the desire body would make life in the Desire World more vivid and conscious and the purgation more thorough than if, because of distress at the loud outbursts of grief on the part of his relatives, at the death bed and during the three-day period previously mentioned the man had only vague impression of his past life. The spirit which has etched a deep clear record into its desire body will realize the mistakes of the past life so much more clearly and definitely than if the pictures were blurred on account of the individual's attention being di- verted by the suffering and grief around him. His feeling concerning the things which cause his present suffering in the Desire World will be much more definite if they are drawn from a distinct panoramic impression than if the duration of the process were short. This sharp, clear-cut feeling is of immense value in future lives. It stamps upon the seed-atom of the desire body an ineffaceable impression of itself. THE EXPERIENCES WILL BE FORGOTTEN IN SUCCEEDING LIVES, BUT THE FEELING REMAINS. When opportunities occur to repeat the error in later lives, this Feeling will speak to us clearly and unmistakably. It is the "still, small voice" which warns us, though we do not know why; but the clearer and more definite the panoramas of past lives has been, the oftener, stronger and clearer shall we hear this voice. Thus we see how important it is that we leave the passing spirit in absolute quietness after death. By so doing we help it to reap the greatest possible benefit from the life just ended and to avoid perpetuating the same mistakes in future lives, while our [PAGE 1986] selfish, hysterical lamentations may deprive it of much of the value of the life it has just concluded. The mission of purgatory is to eradicate the injurious habits by making their gratification impossible. The individual suffers exactly as he has made others suffer through his dishonesty, cruelty, intolerance, or what not. Because of this suffering he learns to act kindly, honestly, and with forbearance toward others in future. Thus, in consequence of the existence of this beneficent state, man learns virtue and right action. When he is reborn he is free from evil habits, at least every evil act committed is one of free will. The tendencies to repeat the evil of past lives remain, for we must learn to do right consciously and of our own will. Upon occasion these tendencies tempt us, thereby affording us an opportunity of ranging ourselves on the side of mercy and virtue as against vice and cruelty. But to indicate right action and to help us resist the snares and wiles of temp- tation, we have the feeling resulting from the expurgation of evil habits and the expiation of the wrong acts of past lives. If we heed that feeling and abstain from the particular evil involved, the temptation will cease. We have freed ourselves from it for all time. If we yield we shall experi- ence keener suffering than before until at last we have learned to live by the Golden Rule, because the way of the transgressor is hard. Even then we have not reached the ultimate. To good to others because we want them to do good to us is essentially selfish. In time we must learn to do good REGARD- LESS of how we are treated by others; as Christ said, we must love even our enemies. There is an inestimable benefit in knowing about the method and object of this purgation, because we are thus enabled to forestall it by living our [PAGE 1987] purgatory here and now day by day, thus advancing much faster than would otherwise be possible. An exercise is given in the latter part of this work, the object of which is purification as an aid to the development of spiritual sight. It consists of thinking over the happenings of the day af- ter retiring at night. We review each incident of the day, in reverse or- der, taking particular note of the moral aspect, considering whether we acted rightly or wrongly in each particular case regarding actions, mental attitude and actions, mental attitude and habits. By thus judging ourselves day by day, endeavoring to correct mistakes and wrong actions, we shall ma- terially shorten or perhaps even eliminate the necessity for purgatory and be able to pass to the first heaven directly after death. If in this man- ner, we consciously overcome our weaknesses, we also make a very material advance in the school of evolution. Even if we fail to correct our actions, we derive an immense benefit from judging ourselves, thereby generating as- pirations toward good, which in time will surely bear fruit in right action. In reviewing the day's happenings and blaming ourselves for wrong, we should not forget to impersonally approve of the good we have done and de- termine to do still better. In this way we enhance the good by approval as much as we abjure the evil by blame. Repentance and reform are also powerful factors in shortening the purga- torial existence, for nature never wastes effort in useless processes. When we realize the wrong of certain habits or acts in our past life, and deter- mine to eradicate the habit and to redress the wrong committed, we are ex- punging the pictures of them from the sub-conscious memory and they will not be there to judge us after death. Even though we are not able to make [PAGE 1988] restitution for a wrong, the sincerity of our regret will suffice. Nature does not aim to "get even," or to take revenge. Recompense may be given to our victim in other ways. Much progress ordinarily reserved for future lives will be made by the man who thus takes time by the forelock, judging himself and eradicating vice by reforming his character. This practice is earnestly recommended. It is perhaps the most important teaching in the present work. THE BORDERLAND: Purgatory occupies the three lower Regions of the Desire World. The first heaven is in the upper Regions. The central Regions is a sort of borderland--neither heaven nor hell. In this Region we find people who are honest and upright; who wronged no one, but were deeply immersed in business and thought nothing of the higher life. For them the Desire World is a state of the most indescribable monotony. There is no "business" in that world nor is there, for a man of that kind, anything that will take its place. He has a very hard time until he learns to think of higher things than ledgers and drafts. The men who thought of the problem of life and came to the conclusion that "death ends it all;" who denied the existence of things outside the material-sense world--these men also feel this dreadful monotony. They had expected annihilation of consciousness, but instead of that they find themselves with an augmented perception of persons and things about them. They had been accustomed to denying these things so vehemently that they often fancy the Desire World an hallucination, and may frequently be heard exclaiming in the deepest despair, "When will it end? When will it end?" [PAGE 1989] Such people are really in a pitiable state. They are generally beyond the reach of any help whatever and suffer much longer than almost anyone else. Besides, they have scarcely any life in the Heaven world, where the building of bodies for future use is taught, so they put all their crystal- lizing thoughts into whatsoever body they build for a future life, and thus a body is built that has the hardening tendencies we see, for instance, in consumption. Sometimes the suffering incident to such decrepit bodies will turn the thoughts of the entities ensouling them to God, and their evolution can proceed; but in the materialistic mind lies the greatest danger of los- ing touch with the spirit and becoming an outcast. Therefore the Elder Brothers have been very seriously concerned for the last century regarding the fate of the Western World and were it not for their special beneficent action in its behalf, we should have had a social cataclysm compared with which the French Revolution were child's play. The trained clairvoyant can see how narrowly humanity has escaped disasters of a nature so devastating that continents would have been swept into the sea. The reader will find below a more extended and thorough exposition of the connection of material- ism with volcanic outbursts where the list of the eruptions of Vesuvius would seem to corroborate the statement of such a connection, un- less it is credited to "coincidence," as the sceptic generally does when confronted with facts and figures he cannot explain. Continued with file "RC1055.TXT" End of File

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