Filename: RC1055.TXT Source: +quot;The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception+quot; by Max Heindel [

Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

Filename: RC1055.TXT Source: "The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception" by Max Heindel [PAGE 1990] THE FIRST HEAVEN: When the purgatorial existence is over the purified spirit rises into the first heaven, which is located in the three highest Regions of the De- sire World, where the results of its sufferings are incorporated in the seed-atom of the desire body, thus imparting to it the quality of right feeling, which acts as an impulse to good and a deterrent from evil in the future. Here the panorama of the past again unrolls itself backward, but this time it is the good acts of life that are the basis of feeling. When we come to scenes where we helped others we realize anew all the joy of helping which was ours at the time, and in addition we feel all the gratitude poured out to us by the recipient of our help. When we come to scenes where we were helped by others, we again feel all the gratitude that we then felt toward our benefactor. Thus we see the importance of appreci- ating the favors shown us by others, because gratitude makes for soul-growth. Our happiness in heaven depends upon the joy we gave others, and the valuation we placed upon what others did for us. It should be ever borne in mind that the power of giving is not vested chiefly in the monied man. Indiscriminate giving of money may even be an evil. It is well to give money for a purpose we are convinced is good, but service is a thousandfold better. As Whitman says, Behold! I do not give lectures, or a little charity; When I give, I give myself. A kind look, expression of confidence, a sympathetic and loving helpfulness--these can be given by all regardless of wealth. Moreover, we should particularly endeavor to help the needy one to help himself, whether physically, financially, morally, or mentally, and not cause him to become dependent upon us or others. The ethics of giving, with the effect on the giver as a spiritual les- son, are most beautifully shown in Lowell's "The Vision of Sir Launfal." The young and ambitious knight, Sir Launfal, clad in shining armor and [PAGE 1991] 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 ten- derness of Our Savior, 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 empty from his door. That is not true alms which the hand can hold; He gives only worthless gold Who gives from a send of duty; But he who gives from a slender mite, And gives to that which is out of sight-- That thread of 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 heart 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 re- sponds differently. And Sir Launfal said: "I behold in thee An image of Him Who died on the tree; Thou also hast had they crown of thorns, Thou also hast had the world's buffets and scorns, [PAGE 1992] 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 twain 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 by his side, But stood before him glorified, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . And the Voice that was softer that silence said, "Lo, it is I, be not afraid! In many lands, without avail, Thou has spent thy life for the Holy Grail; Behold, it is here!--This cup which thou Did'st fill at the streamlet for me but now; This crust is by body broken for thee, This water the blood I shed on the tree; The Holy Supper is kept, indeed, In whatso we share with another's need; Not what we five, 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." The first heaven is a place of joy without a single drop of bitterness. The spirit is beyond the influence of the material, earthly conditions, and assimilates all the good contained in the past life as it lives it over again. Here all ennobling pursuits to which the man aspired are realized in fullest measure. It is a place of rest, and the harder has been the life, the more keenly will rest be enjoyed. Sickness, sorrow, and pain are un- known quantities. This is the Summerland of the spiritualists. There the thoughts of the devout Christian have built the New Jerusalem. [PAGE 1993] Beautiful houses, flowers, etc., are the portion of those who aspired to them; they build them themselves by thought from the subtle desire stuff. Nevertheless these things are just as real and tangible to them as our mate- rial houses are to us. All gain here the satisfaction which earth life lacked for them. There is one class there who lead a particularly beautiful life--the children. If we could but see them we would quickly cease our grief. When a child dies before the birth of the desire body, which takes place about the fourteenth year, it does not go any higher than the first heaven, be- cause it is not responsible for its actions, any more than the unborn child is responsible for the pain it causes the mother by turning and twisting in her womb. Therefore the child has not purgatorial existence. That which is not quickened cannot die, hence the desire body of a child, together with the mind, will persist until a new birth, and for that reason such children are very apt to remember their previous life as instanced in the case cited elsewhere. For such children the first heaven is a waiting-place where they dwell from one to twenty years, until an opportunity for a new birth is offered. Yet it is more than simply a waiting-place, because there is much progress made during this interim. When a child dies there is always some relative awaiting it, or, failing that there are people who loved to "mother" children in the earth life who find delight in taking care of a little waif. The extreme plasticity of the desire stuff makes it easy to form the most exquisite living toys for the children, and their life is one beautiful play; nevertheless their instruc- tion is not neglected. They are formed into classes according to their tem- peraments, but quite regardless of age. In the Desire World it is easy to [PAGE 1994] give object-lessons in the influence of good and evil passions on conduct and happiness. These lessons are indelibly imprinted upon the child's sen- sitive and emotional desire body, and remain with it after rebirth, so that many a one living a noble life owes much of it to the fact that he was given this training. Often when a weak spirit is born, the Compassionate Ones (the invisible Leaders who guide our evolution) cause it to die in early life that it may have this extra training to fit it for what may be perhaps a hard life. This seems to be the case particularly where the etching on the desire body was weak in consequence of a dying person having been dis- turbed by the lamentations of his relatives, or because he met death by ac- cident or on the battle-field. He did not under those circumstances experi- ence the appropriate intensity of feeling in his POST MORTEM existence, therefore, when he is born and dies early life, the loss is made us as above. Often the duty of caring for such a child in the heaven life falls to those who were the cause of the anomaly. They are thus afforded a chance to make up for the fault and to learn better. Or perhaps they become the parents of the one they harmed and care for it during the few years it lives. It does not matter then if they do lament hysterically over its death, because there would be no pictures of any consequence in a child's vital body. This heaven is also a place of progression for all who have been studi- ous, artistic, or altruistic. The student and the philosopher have instant access to all the libraries of the world. The painter has endless delight in ever-changing color combinations. He soon learns that his thought blends and shapes these colors at will. His creations glow and scintillate with a life impossible of attainment to one works with the dull pigments of Earth. [PAGE 1995] He is, as it were, painting with living, glowing materials and able to ex- ecute his designs with a facility which fills his soul with delight. The musician has not yet reached the place where his art will express itself to the fullest extent. The Physical World is the world of FORM. The Desire World, where we find purgatory and the first heaven, is particularly the world of COLOR.; but the World of Thought, where the second and third heav- ens are located, is the sphere of TONE. Celestial music is a fact and not a mere figure of speech. Pythagoras was not romancing when spoke of the music of the spheres, for each one of the heavenly orbs has its definite tone and together they sound the celestial symphony which Goethe also mentions in the prolog to his "Faust," where the scene is laid in heaven. The Archangel Raphael says, The Sun intones his ancient song `Mid rival chant of brother spheres. His prescribed course he speeds along In thund'rous way throughout the years. Echoes of that heavenly music reach us even here in the Physical World. They are our most precious possession, even though they are as elusive as a will-o'-the-wisp, and cannot be permanently created, as can other works of art--a statue, a painting, or a book. In the Physical World tone dies and vanishes the moment after it is born. In the first heaven these echoes are, of course, much more beautiful and have more permanency, hence there the mu- sician hears sweeter strains than ever he did during earth life. The experiences of the poet are akin to those of the musician, for po- etry is the soul's expression of it innermost feelings in words which are ordered according to the same laws of harmony and rhythm that govern the [PAGE 1996] outpouring of the spirit in music. In addition, the poet finds a wonderful inspiration in the pictures and colors which are the chief characteristics of the Desire World. Thence he will draw the material for use in his next incarnation. In like manner does the author accumulate material and fac- ulty. The philanthropist works out his altruistic plans for the upliftment of man. If he failed in one life, he will see the reason for it in the first heaven and will there learn how to overcome the obstacles and avoid the errors that made his plan impracticable. In time a point is reached where the result of the pain and suffering incident to purgation, together with the joy extracted from the good actions of the past life, have been built into the seed-atom of the desire body. Together these constitute what we call conscience, that impelling force which warns us against evil as productive of pain and inclines us toward good as productive of happiness and joy. Then man leaves his desire body to disintegrate, as he left his dense body and vital body. He takes with him the forces only of the seed-atom, which are to form the nucleus of future desire bodies, as it was the persistent particle of his past vehicles of feeling. As stated above, the forces of the seed-atom are withdrawn. To the ma- terialist force and matter are inseparable. The occultist knows differ- ently. To him they are not two entirely distinct and separate concepts, but the two poles of one spirit. MATTER is crystallized spirit. FORCE is the same spirit not yet crystallized. This has been said before, but it cannot be too strongly impressed upon the mind. In this connection the illustration of the snail is very helpful. Matter, which is crystallized spirit, corresponds to the snail's house, [PAGE 1997] which is crystallized snail. The chemical force which moves matter, making it available for the building of form, and the snail which moves its house are also good correspondences. That which is now the snail will in time be- come the house, and that which is now force will in time become matter when it has crystallized further. The reverse process of resolving matter back into spirit is also going on continually. The coarser phase of this process we see as decay when a man is leaving his vehicles behind and at that time the spirit of an atom is easily detachable from the coarser spirit which has been manifesting as matter. THE SECOND HEAVEN: At last the man, the Ego, the threefold spirit, enters the second heaven. He is clad in the sheath of mind, which contains the three seed-atoms--the quintessence of the three discarded vehicles. When the man dies and loses his dense and vital bodies there is the same condition as when one falls asleep. The desire body, as has been explained, has no organs ready for use. It is now transformed from an ovoid to a fig- ure resembling the dense body which has been abandoned. We can easily un- derstand that there must be an interval of unconsciousness resembling sleep and then the man awakes in the Desire World. It not infrequently happens, however, that such people are, for a long time, unaware of what has happened to them. They do not realize that they have died. They know that they are able to move and think. It is sometimes even a very hard matter to get them to believe that they are really "dead." They realize that something is dif- ferent, but they are not able to understand what it is. [PAGE 1998] Not so, however, when the change is made from the first heaven, which is in the Desire World, to the second heaven, which is in the Region of Con- crete Thought. Then the man leaves his desire body. He is perfectly con- scious. He passes into a great stillness. For the time being everything seems to fade away. He cannot think. No faculty is alive, yet he knows that he IS. He has a feeling of standing in "The Great Forever;" of stand- ing utterly alone, yet unafraid; and his soul is filled with a wonderful peace, "which passeth all understanding." In occult science this is called "THE GREAT SILENCE." Then comes the awakening. The spirit is now in its home-World--heaven. Here the first awakening brings to the spirit the sound of "the music of the spheres." In our Earth life we are so immersed in the little noises and sounds of our limited environment that we are incapable of hearing the music of the marching orbs, but the occult scientist hears it. He knows that the twelve signs of the Zodiac and the seven planets from the sounding-board and strings of "Apollo's seven-stringed lyre." He knows that were a single dis- cord to mar the celestial harmony from that grand Instrument there would be "a wreck of matter and a crash of worlds." The power of rhythmic vibration is well known to all who have given the subject even the least study. For instance, soldiers are commanded to break step when crossing a bridge, otherwise their rhythmic tramp would shatter the strongest structure. The Bible story of the sounding of the ram's horn while marching around the walls of the city of Jericho is not nonsensical in the eyes of the occultist. In some cases similar things have happened with- out the world smiling in supercilious incredulity. A few years ago, a band [PAGE 1999] of musicians were practicing in a garden close to the very solid wall of an old castle. There occurred at a certain place in the music a prolonged and very piercing tone. When this note was sounded the wall of the castle sud- denly fell. The musicians has struck the keynote of the wall and it was sufficiently prolonged to shatter it. When it is said that this is the world of tone, it must not be thought that there are no colors. Many people know that there is an intimate con- nection between color and tone; than when a certain note is struck, a cer- tain color appears simultaneously. So it is also in the Heaven World. Color and sound are both present; but the tone is the originator of the color. Hence it is said, that this is particularly the world of tone, and it is this tone that builds all forms in the Physical World. The musician can hear certain tones in different parts of nature, such as the wind in the forest, the breaking of the surf on the beach, the roar of the ocean and the sounding of many waters. These combined tones make a whole which is the key-note of the Earth--its "tone." As geometrical figures are created by drawing a violin bow over the edge of a glass plate containing sand, so the forms we see around us are the crystallized sound-figures of the archetypal forces which play into the archetypes in the Heaven World. The work done my man is the Heaven World is many-sided. It is not in the least an inactive, dreamy not illusory existence. It is a time of the greatest and most important activity in preparing for the next life, as sleep is an active preparation for the work of the following day. Here the quintessence of the three bodies is built into the threefold spirit. As much of the desire body as the man had worked upon during life, [PAGE 2000] by purifying his desires and emotions, will be welded into the human spirit, thus giving an improved mind in the future. As much of the vital body as the life spirit had worked upon, trans- formed, spiritualized, and thus saved from the decay to which the rest of the vital body is subject, will be amalgamated with the life spirit to in- sure a better vital body and temperament in the succeeding lives. As much of the dense body as the divine spirit has save by right action will be worked into it and will bring better environment and opportunities. The spiritualization of the vehicle is accomplished by cultivation of the faculties of observation, discrimination and memory, devotion to high ideals, prayer, concentration, persistence and right use of the life forces. The second heaven is the real home of man--the Ego, the Thinker. Here he dwells for centuries, assimilating the fruit of the last earth life and preparing the earthly conditions which will be best suited for his next step in progress. The sound or tone which pervades this Region, and is every- where apparent as color, is his instrument, so to speak. It is this harmo- nious sound vibration which, as an elixir of life, builds into the threefold spirit the quintessence of the threefold body, upon which it depends for growth. The life in the second heaven is an exceedingly active one, varied in many different ways. The Ego assimilates the fruits of the last earth life and prepares the environment for a new physical existence. It is not enough to say that the new conditions will be determined by conduct and action in the life just closed. It is required that the fruits of the past be worked into the World which is to be the next scene of activity while the Ego is gaining fresh physical experiences and gathering further fruit. Therefore all the denizens of the Heaven World work upon the models of the Earth, all [PAGE 2001] of which are in the Region of Concrete Thought. They alter the physical features of the Earth, and bring about the gradual changes which vary its appearance, so that on each return to physical life a different environment has been prepared, wherein new experiences may be gained. Climate, FLORA, and FAUNA are altered by man under the direction of higher Beings, to be de- scribed later. Thus the world is just what we ourselves, individually and collectively, have made it; and it will be what we make it. The occult sci- entist sees in everything that happens a cause of a spiritual nature manifesting itself, not omitting the prevalence and alarmingly increasing frequency of seismic disturbances, which it traces to the materialistic thought of modern science. It is true that purely physical causes can bring about such distur- bances, but is that the last word on the subject? Can we always get the full explanation by merely recording what appears on the surface? Surely not! We see two men conversing on the street and one suddenly strikes the other, knocking him down. One observer may say that an angry knocked the man down. Another may scoff at this answer and declare that he saw the arm lifted, the muscles contract, the arm shooting out and coming in contact with the victim, who was knocked down. That is also true, but it is safe to say that had there not FIRST been the angry thought, the blow would not have been struck. In like manner the occultist says that if materialism had not been, seismic disturbances would not have occurred. Man's work in the Heaven World is not confined solely to the alternation of the surface of the Earth which is to be the scene of his future struggles in the subjugation of the Physical World. He is also actively engaged in [PAGE 2002] learning how to build a body which shall afford a better means of expres- sion. It is man's destiny to become a Creative Intelligence and he is serv- ing his apprenticeship all the time. During his heaven life he is learning to build all kinds of bodies--the human included. We have spoken of the forces which work along the positive and negative poles of the different ethers. MAN HIMSELF IS PART OF THAT FORCE. Those whom we call dead are the ones who help us to live. They in turn are helped by the so-called "nature spirits," which they command. Man is directed in this work by Teachers from the higher creative Hierarchies, which helped him to build his vehicles before he attained self-consciousness, in the same way he himself now builds his bodies in sleep. During heaven life they teach him consciously. The painter is taught to build an accurate eye, capable of taking in a perfect perspective and of distinguishing colors and shades to a degree inconceivable among those not interested in color and light. The mathematician has to deal with space, and the faculty for space per- ception is connected with the delicate adjustment of the three semi-circular canals which are situated inside the ear, each pointing in one of the three dimensions in space. Logical thought and mathematical ability are in pro- portion to the accuracy of the adjustment of these semi-circular canals. Musical ability is also dependent upon the same factor, but in addition to the necessity for the proper adjustment of the semi-circular canals, the musician requires extreme delicacy of the "fibres of Corti," of which there are about ten thousand in the human ear, each capable of interpreting about twenty-five gradations of tone. In the ears of the majority of people they do not respond to more than from three to ten of the possible gradations. [PAGE 2003] Among ordinary musical people the greatest degree of efficiency is about fifteen sounds to each fibre; but the master musician, who is able to inter- pret and bring down music from the Heaven World, requires a greater range to be able to distinguish the different notes and detect the slightest discord in the most complicated chords. Persons who require organs of such exceed- ing delicacy for the expression of their faculties are specially taken care of, as the higher state of their development merits and demands. None other ranks so high as the musician, which is reasonable when we consider that while the painter draws his inspiration chiefly from the world of color--the nearer Desire World--the musician attempts to bring us the atmosphere of our heavenly home world (where, as spirits, we are citizens), and to translate them into the sounds of earth life. His is the highest mission, because as a mode of expression for soul life, music reigns supreme. That music is different from and higher than all the other arts can be understood when we reflect that a statue or painting, when once created, is permanent. They are drawn from the Desire World and are therefore more easily crystallized, while music, being of the Heaven World, is more elusive and must be re-cre- ated each time we hear it. It cannot be imprisoned, as shown by the unsuc- cessful attempts to do so partially by means of such mechanical devices as phonographs and piano-players. The music so reproduced loses much of the soul-stirring sweetness it possesses when it comes fresh from its own world, carrying to the soul memories of its home and speaking to it in a language that no beauty expressed in marble or upon canvas can equal. The instrument through which man senses music is the most perfect sense organ in the human body. The eye is not by any means true, but the ear is, [PAGE 2004] in the sense that it hears every sound without distortion, while the eye of- ten distorts what it sees. In addition to the musical ear, the musician must also learn to build a long, fine hand with slender fingers and sensitive nerves, otherwise he would not be able to reproduce the melodies he hears. It is a law of nature that no one can inhabit a more efficient body that he is capable of building. He first learns to build a certain grade of body and afterwards he learns to live in it. In that way he discovers its de- fects and is taught how to remedy them. All men work unconsciously at the building of their bodies during ante-natal life until they have reached the point where the quintessence of former bodies--which they have saved--is to be built in. Then they work con- sciously. It will therefore be seen that the more a man advances and the more he works on his vehicles, thus making them immortal, the more power he has to build for a new life. The advanced pupil of an occult school some- times commences to build for himself as soon as the work during the first three weeks (which belongs exclusively to the mother) has been completed. When the period of unconscious building has passed the man has a chance to exercise his nascent creative power, and the true original creative process--"Epigenesis"--begins. Thus we see that man learns to BUILD his vehicles in the Heaven World, and to use them in the Physical World. Nature provides all phases of expe- rience in such a marvelous manner and with such consummate wisdom that as we learn to see deeper and deeper into her secrets we are more and more im- pressed with our own insignificance and with an ever-growing reverence for God, whose visible symbol nature is. The more we learn of her wonders, the [PAGE 2005] more we realize that this world system is not the vast perpetual motion ma- chine unthinking people would have us believe. It would be quite as logical to think that if we toss a box of loose type into the air the characters will have arranged themselves into the words of a beautiful poem by the time they reach the ground. The greater the complexity of the plan the greater the argumental weight in favor of the theory of an intelligent Divine Au- thor. THE THIRD HEAVEN: Having assimilated all the fruits of his last life and altered the ap- pearance of the Earth in such a manner as to afford him the necessary envi- ronment for his next step towards perfection; having also learned by work on the bodies of others, to build a suitable body through which to express him- self in the Physical World and having at last resolved the mind into the es- sence which builds the three-fold spirit, the naked individual spirit as- cends into the higher Region of the World of Thought--the third heaven, Here, by the ineffable harmony of this higher world, it is strengthened for its next dip into matter. After a time comes the desire for new experience and the contemplation of a new birth. This conjures up a series of pictures before the vision of the spirit--a panorama of the new life in store for it. But, mark this well--this panorama contains only principal events. The spirit has free will as to detail. It is as if a man going to a distant city had a time-limit ticket, with initial choice of route. After he has chosen and begun his journey it is not sure that he can change to another route during the trip. He may stop over in as many places as he wishes, within his time limit, but he cannot go back. Thus as he proceeds on his journey, he becomes more and [PAGE 2006] more limited by his past choice. If he had chosen a steam road, using soft coal, he must expect to be soiled and dusty. Had he chosen a road burning anthracite or using electricity he would have been cleaner. So it is with the man in a new life. He may have to live a hard life, but he is free to choose whether he will live it cleanly or wallow in the mire. Other condi- tions are also within his control, subject to limits of his past choices and acts. The pictures in the panorama of the coming life, of which we have just spoken, begin at the cradle and end at the grave. This is the opposite di- rection to that in which they travel in the after-death panorama, already explained, which passes before the vision of the spirit immediately follow- ing its release from the dense body. The reason for this radical difference in the two panoramas is that in the before-birth panorama the object is to show the returning Ego how certain CAUSES or acts always PRODUCE certain EF- FECTS. In the case of the after-death panorama the object is the reverse, i.e., to show how each event in the past life was the EFFECT of some CAUSE further back in the life. Nature, or God, does nothing without a logical reason, and the further we search the more apparent it becomes to us that Nature is a wise mother, always using the best means to accomplish her ends. But it may be asked, Why should we be reborn? Why must we return to this limited and miserable earth existence? Why can we not get experience in those higher realms without coming to Earth? We are tired of this dreary, weary earth life! Such queries are based upon misunderstandings of several kinds. In the first place, let us realize and engrave it deep upon the tablets of our memory that THE PURPOSE OF LIFE IS NOT HAPPINESS, BUT EXPERIENCE. Sorrow [PAGE 2007] and pain are our most benevolent teachers, while the joys of life are but fleeting. This seems a stern doctrine and the heart cries out passionately at even the thought that it may possibly be true. Nevertheless, it is true, and upon examination it will be found not such a stern doctrine after all. Consider the blessings of pain. If we could place our hand upon a hot stove and feel no pain, the hand might be allowed to remain until it and perhaps the arm were burned away, without our knowing anything about it un- til too late to save them. It is the pain resulting from the contact with the hot stove which makes us snatch our hand away before serious damage is done. Instead of losing the hand, we escape with a blister which quickly heals. This is an illustration from the Physical World. We find that same principle applies in the Moral and Mental Worlds. If we outrage morality the pangs of conscience bring us pain that will prevent us from repeating the act and if we do not heed the first lesson, nature will give us harder and harder experiences until at last the fact is forced into our conscious- ness that "the way of the transgressor is hard." This will continue until at last we are forced to turn in a new direction and take a step onward to- ward a better life. Experience is "knowledge of the effects which follow acts." This is the object of life, together with the development of "Will," which is the force whereby we apply the results of experience. Experience must be gained, but we have the choice whether we gain it by the hard path of personal experi- ence or by observation of other people's acts, reasoning and reflecting thereon, guided by the light of whatever experience we have already had. [PAGE 2008] This is the method by which the occult student should learn, instead of requiring the lash of adversity and pain. The more willing we are to learn in that way, the less we shall feel the stinging thorns of "the path of pain" and the more quickly shall we gain "the path of peace." The choice is ours, but so long as we have not learned all there is to learn in this world, we must come back to it. We cannot stay in the higher worlds and learn there until we have mastered the lessons of earth life. That would be as sensible as to send a child to kindergarten one day and to college the next. The child must return to the kindergarten day after day and spend years in the grammar school and the high school before its study has developed its capacity sufficiently to enable it to understand the les- sons taught in college. Man is also in school--the school of experience. He must return many times before he can hope to master all the knowledge in the world of sense. No one earth life, however rich in experience, could furnish the knowledge, so nature decrees that he must return to Earth, after intervals of rest, to take up his work where he dropped it, exactly as a child takes up its work in school each day, after the intervening sleep of night. It is not argu- ment against this theory to say that man does not remember his former lives. We cannot recall all the events of our present lives. We do not recollect our labors in learning to write, yet we have acquired a knowledge of the art of writing, which proves that we did learn. All the faculties we possess are a proof that we acquired them sometime, somewhere. Some people do re- member their past, however, as a remarkable instance related at the end of the next chapter will show, and is but one among many. Again, if their were no return to Earth, what is the use of living? Why [PAGE 2009] strive for anything? Why should a life of happiness in an eternal heaven be the reward for a good life? What benefit could come from a good life in a heaven where everybody is already happy? Surely in a place where everybody is happy and contented there is no need for sympathy, self-sacrifice or wise counsel! No one would need them here; but on Earth there are many who need those very things and such humanitarian and altruistic qualities are of the greatest service to struggling humanity. Therefore the Great Law, which works for Good, brings man back to work again in the world for the benefit to himself and others, with his acquired treasures, instead of letting them go to waste in a heaven where no one needs them. PREPARATIONS FOR REBIRTH: Having thus seen the necessity for repeated embodiments, we will next consider the method by which this purpose is accomplished. Previous to taking the dip into matter, the threefold spirit is naked, having only the forces of the four seed-atoms (which are the nuclei of the threefold body and the sheath of mind). Its descent resembles the putting on of several pairs of gloves of increasing thickness, as previously illus- trated. The forces of the mind of the last life are awakened from their la- tency in the seed-atom. This begins to attract to itself materials from the highest subdivision of the Region of Concrete Thought, in a manner similar to that in which a magnet draws to itself iron filings. If we hold a magnet over a miscellaneous heap of filings of brass, sil- ver, gold, iron, lead and other metals, we shall find that it selects only iron filings and that even of them it will take no more than its strength [PAGE 2010] enables it to lift. Its attractive power is of a certain kind and is lim- ited to a certain quantity of that kind. The same is true of the seed-atom. It can take, in each Region, nothing except the material for which it has an affinity and nothing beyond a certain definite quantity even of that. Thus the vehicle built around this nucleus becomes an exact counterpart of the corresponding vehicle of the last life minus the evil which has been expur- gated and plus the quintessence of good which has been incorporated in the seed-atom. The material selected by the threefold spirit forms itself into a great bell-shaped figure, open at the bottom and with the seed-atom at the top. If we conceive of the illustration spiritually we may compare it to a div- ing-bell descending into a sea composed of fluids of increasing density. These correspond to the different subdivisions of each World. The matter taken into the texture of the bell-shaped body makes it heavier, so that it sinks into the next lower subdivision and it takes from that its proper quota of matter. Thus it becomes still heavier and sinks yet deeper until it has passed through the four subdivisions of the Region of Concrete Thought and the sheath of the new mind of the man is complete. Next the forces in the seed-atom of the desire body are awakened. It places itself at the top of the bell, INSIDE, and the materials of the seventh Region of the Desire World draw around it until it sinks to the sixth Region, getting more material there, and this process continues until the first Region of the Desire World is reached. The bell has now two layers-the sheath of mind outside and the new desire body inside. The seed-atom of the vital body is next aroused into activity, but here the process of information is not so simple as in the case of the mind and the desire body, for it must be remembered that those vehicles were [PAGE 2011] comparatively unorganized, while the vital body and the dense body are more organized and very complicated. The material, of a given quantity and qual- ity, is attracted in the same manner and under the operation of the same law as in the case of the higher bodies, but the building of the new body and the placement in the proper environment is done by four great Beings of im- measurable wisdom, which are the Recording Angels, the "Lords of Destiny." They impress the reflecting ether of the vital body in such a way that the pictures of the coming life are reflected in it. It (the vital body) is built by the inhabitants of the Heaven World and the elemental spirits in such a manner as to form a particular type of brain. But mark this, THE RE- TURNING EGO ITSELF INCORPORATES THEREIN THE QUINTESSENCE OF ITS FORMER VITAL BODIES AND IN ADDITION TO THIS ALSO DOES A LITTLE ORIGINAL WORK. This is done that in the coming life there may be some room for original and indi- vidual expression, not predetermined by past action. It is very important to remember this fact. There is too great a ten- dency to think that all which now exists is the result of something that previously existed, but if that were the case there would be no margin left for new and original effort and for new causes. The chain of cause and ef- fect is not a monotonous repetition. THERE IS AN INFLUX OF NEW AND ORIGINAL CAUSES ALL THE TIME. That is the real backbone of evolution--the only thing that gives it meaning and makes it other than an unrolling of latent actu- alities. This is "Epigenesis"--the free-will that consists of the freedom the inaugurate something entirely new, not merely a choice between two courses of action. This is the important factor which alone can explain the system to which we belong in a satisfactory manner. Involution and [PAGE 2012] Evolution is themselves are insufficient; but coupled with Epignesis we have a full triad of explanation. The fate of an individual generated under the law of Consequence, is of great complexity and involves association with Egos in and out of physical existence, at all times. Even those living at one time may not be living in the same locality, so that it is impossible for one individual's destiny to be all worked out in one lifetime or in one place. The Ego is therefore brought into a certain environment and family with which it is some way re- lated. As regards the fate to be worked out, it is sometimes immaterial into which one of several environmental the Ego is reborn, and when such is the case, it is allowed its choice as far as possible, but once an Ego is so placed the agents of the Lords of Destiny watch unseen, that no act of free will shall frustrate the working out of the portion of fate selected. If we do aught of such as to circumvent that part, they will make another move, so as to enforce fulfillment of the destiny. It cannot be too often reiter- ated, however, that this does not render man helpless. It is merely the same law that governs after we have fired a pistol. We are then unable to stop the bullet, or even to deflect it from its course in any way. Its di- rection was determined by the position in which the pistol was held when we fired. That could have been changed at any time before the trigger was pulled, as up to that time we had full control. The same is true regarding new actions which make future destiny. We may, up to a certain point, modify or even altogether counteract certain causes already set in motion, but once started, and no further action taken, they will get beyond our con- trol. This is called "ripe" fate and it is this kind that is meant when it is said that the Lords of Destiny check every attempt to shirk it. With [PAGE 2013] regard to out past we are to a great extent helpless, but in regard to fu- ture action we have full control, except insofar as we are hampered by our past actions. By and by, however, as we learn that we are the cause of our own sorrow or joy, we shall awake to the necessity of ordering our lives more in harmony with the laws of God and thus rise above these laws of the Physical World. That is the key to emancipation; as Goethe says: From every power that all the world enchains Man frees himself when self-control he gains. The vital body, having been molded by the Lords of Destiny, will give form to the dense body, organ of organ. This matrix or mold is then placed in the womb of the future mother. The seed-atom for the dense body is in the triangular head of one of the spermatozoa in the semen of the father. This alone makes fertilization possible and here is the explanation of the fact that so many times sex-unions are unfruitful. The chemical con- stituents of the seminal fluid and the ova are the same at all times and were these the only requirements, the explanation of the phenomenon of in- fertility, if sought in the material, visible world alone, would not be found. It becomes plain, however, when we understand that as the molecules of water freeze only along the lines of force in the water and manifest as ice crystals instead of freezing into a homogeneous mass, as would be the case if there were no lines of force previous to coagulation, so there can be no dense body built until there is a vital body in which to build the ma- terial; also there must be a seed-atom for the dense body, to act as gauge of the quality and quantity of the matter which is to be built into that dense body. Although at the present stage of development there is never [PAGE 2014] full harmony in the materials of the body, because that would mean a perfect body, yet the discord must not be so great as to be disruptive of the organ- ism. Thus while heredity in the first place is true only as regards the mate- rial of the dense body and not the soul qualities, which are entirely indi- vidual, the incoming Ego also does a certain amount of work on its dense body, incorporating in it the quintessence of its past physical qualities. No body is an exact mixture of the qualities of its parents, although the Ego is restricted to the use of the materials taken from the bodies of the father and mother. Hence a musician incarnates where he can get the mate- rial to build the slender hand and the delicate ear, with it sensitive fi- bres of Corti and its accurate adjustment of the three semicircular canals. The arrangement of these materials, however, is, to the extent named, under the control of the Ego. It is as though a carpenter were given a pile of boards to use in building a house in which to live, but is left to his own judgement as to the kind of house he wishes to build. Except in the case of a very highly developed being, this work of the Ego is almost negligible at the present stage of man's evolution. The greatest scope is given in the building of the desire body, very little in that of the vital body and almost none in the dense body; yet even this little is sufficient to make each individual an expression of his own spirit and different from the parents. When the impregnation of the ovum has taken place, the desire body of the mother works upon it for a period of from eighteen to twenty-one days, the Ego remaining outside in its desire body and mind sheath, yet always in close touch with the mother. Upon the expiration of that time the Ego en- ters the mother's body. The bell-shaped vehicles draw themselves down over [PAGE 2015] the head of the vital body and the bell closes at the bottom. From this time the Ego broods over its coming instrument until the birth of the child and the new earth life of the returning Ego commences. BIRTH OF THE DENSE BODY: The vehicles of the new-born do not at once become active. The dense body is helpless for a long time after birth. Reasoning from analogy we can readily see that the same must be the case with the higher vehicles. The occult scientist sees it, but even without clairvoyance reason will show that this must be so. As the dense body is slowly prepared for the separate, individual life within the protecting cover of the womb, so the other bodies are gradually born and nurtured into activity, and while the times given in the following description are but approximate, they are nev- ertheless accurate enough for general purposes and show the connection be- tween the Microcosm and the Macrocosm--the individual and the world. In the period immediately following birth the different vehicles inter-penetrate one another, as, in our previous illustration, the sand pen- etrates the sponge and the water both sand and sponge. But, though they are all present, as in adult life, they are MERELY PRESENT. None of their positive faculties are active. The vital body cannot use the forces which operate along the positive pole of the ethers. Assimilation, which works along the positive pole of the chemical ether, is very dainty during child- hood and what there is of it is due to the macrocosmic vital body, the ethers of which act as a womb for the child's vital body until the seventh year, gradually ripening it during that period. The propagative faculty, [PAGE 2016] which works along the positive pole of the life ether, is also latent. The heating of the body--which is carried on along the positive pole of the light ether--and the circulation of the blood are due to the macrocosmic vital body, the ethers acting on the child and slowly developing it to the point where it can control these functions itself. The forces working along the negative pole of the ethers are so much the more active. The excretion of solids, carried on along the negative pole of the chemical ether (corresponding to the solid subdivision of the Chemical Region), is too unrestrained, as is also the excretion of fluid, which is carried on along the negative pole of the life ether (corresponding to the second or fluid subdivision of the Chemical Region). The passive sense-perception, which is due to the negative forces of the light ether, is also exceedingly prominent. The child is very impressionable and it is "all eyes and ears." During the earlier years the forces operating along the negative pole of the reflecting ether are also extremely active. In those years children can "see" the higher Worlds and they often prattle about what they see until the ridicule of their elders or punishment for "telling stories" teaches them to desist. It is deplorable that the little ones are forced to lie--or at least to deny the truth--because of the incredulity of their "wise" elders. Even the investigations of the Society for Psychical Research have proven that children often have invisible playmates, who frequently visit them until they are several years old. During those years the clairvoyance of the children is of the same negative character as that of the mediums. It is the same with the forces working in the desire body. The passive feeling of physical pain is present, while the feeling of emotion is almost [PAGE 2017] entirely absent. The child will, of course, show emotion on the slightest provocation, but the duration of that emotion is but momentary. It all on the surface. The child also has the link of mind, but is almost incapable of indi- vidual thought activity. It is exceedingly sensitive to forces working along the negative pole and is therefore imitative and teachable. Thus it is shown that all the negative qualities are active in the new-born entity, but before it is able to use its different vehicles, the positive qualities must be ripened. Each vehicle is therefore brought to a certain degree of maturity by the activity of the corresponding vehicle of the macrocosm, which acts as a womb for it until that degree is reached. From the first to the seventh year the vital body grows and slowly ma- tures within the womb of the macrocosmic vital body and because of the greater wisdom of this vehicle of the macrocosm the child's body is more rounded and well-built than in later life. BIRTH OF THE VITAL BODY: While the macrocosmic vital body guides the growth of the child's body it is guarded from the dangers which later threaten it when the unwise indi- vidual vital body takes unchecked charge. This happens in the seventh year, when the period of excessive, dangerous growth begins, and continues through the next seven years. During this time the macrocosmic desire body performs the function of a womb for the individual desire body. Were the vital body to have continual and unrestrained sway in the human kingdom, as it has in the plant, man would grow to an enormous size. There was a time in the far distant past when man was constituted like a plant, [PAGE 2018] having only a dense body and a vital body. The traditions of mythology and folk-lore all over the world concerning giants in olden times are absolutely true, because then men grew as tall trees, and for the same reason. BIRTH OF THE DESIRE BODY: The vital body of the plant builds leaf after leaf, carrying the stem higher and higher. Were it not for the macrocosmic desire body it would keep on in that way indefinitely, but the macrocosmic desire body steps in at a certain point and checks further growth. The force that is not needed for further growth is then available for other purposes and is used to build the flower and the seed. In like manner the human vital body, when the dense body comes under its sway, after the seventh year, makes the latter grow very rapidly, but about the fourteenth year the individual desire body is born from the womb of the macrocosmic desire body and is then free to work on its dense body. The excessive growth is then checked and the force theretofore used for that purpose becomes available for propagation, that the human plant may flower and bring forth. Therefore the birth of the per- sonal desire body marks the period of puberty. From this period the attrac- tion towards the opposite sex is felt, being especially active and unrestrained in the third septenary period of life--from the fourteenth to the twenty-first year, because the restraining mind is then still unborn. BIRTH OF THE MIND: After the fourteenth year, the mind is in turn brooded over and nurtured by the macrocosmic mind, unfolding its latent possibilities and making it capable of original thought. The forces of the individual's different [PAGE 2019] vehicles have now been ripened to such a degree that he can use them all in his evolution, therefore at the twenty-first year the Ego comes into posses- sion of its complete vehicle. It does this by means of the blood-heat and by developing individual blood. This is done in connection with the full development of the light ether. THE BLOOD THE VEHICLE OF THE EGO: In infancy, and up to the fourteenth year, the red marrow-bones do not make all the blood corpuscles. Most of them are supplied by the thymus gland, which is largest in the fetus and gradually diminishes as the indi- vidual blood-making faculty develops in the growing child. The thymus gland contains, as it were, a supply of blood corpuscles given by the parents, and consequently the child, which draws its blood from that source, does not re- alize its individuality. Not until the blood is made by the child does it think of itself as "I," and when the thymus gland disappears, at the age of fourteen, the "I" feeling reaches its full expression, for then the blood is made and dominated entirely by the Ego. The following will make clear the idea and its logic: It will be remembered that assimilation and growth depend upon the forces working along the positive pole of the vital body's chemical ether. That is set free at the seventh year, together with the balance of the vital body. Only the chemical ether is fully ripe at that time; the other parts need more ripening. At the fourteenth year the life ether of the vital body, which has to do with propagation, is fully ripe. In the period from seven to fourteen years of age the excessive assimilation has stored up an amount of force which goes to the sex organs and is ready at the time the desire body is set free. [PAGE 2020] This force of sex is stored in the blood during the third of the seven-year periods and in that time the light ether, which is the avenue for the blood-heat, is developed and controls the heart, so that the body is neither too hot nor too cold. In early childhood the blood very often rises to an abnormal temperature. During the period of excessive growth it is frequently the reverse, but in the hot-headed, unrestrained youth, passion and temper very often drive the Ego out by over-heating the blood. We very appropriately call this an ebullition or boiling over of temper and describe the effect as causing the person to "lose his head," i.e., become incapable of thought. That is exactly what happens when passion, rage, or temper overheats the blood, thus drawing the Ego outside the bodies. The descrip- tion is accurate when, of a person in such a state, we say, "He has lost control of himself." The Ego is outside of his vehicles and they are run- ning amuck, bereft of the guiding influence of thought, part of the work of which is to act as a brake on impulse. The great and terrible danger of such outbursts is that before the owner re-enters his body some disembodied entity may take possession of it and keep him out. This is called "obses- sion." Only the man who keeps cool and does not allow excess of heat to drive him out can think properly. As proof of the assertion that the Ego cannot work in the body when the blood is either tool hot or too cold we will call attention to the well-known fact that excessive heat makes one sleepy and, if carried beyond a certain point, it drives the Ego out, leav- ing the body in a faint, that is, unconscious. Excessive cold has also a tendency to make the body sleepy or unconscious. It is only when the blood is at or near the normal temperature that the Ego can use it as a vehicle of consciousness. [PAGE 2021] To further show the connection of the ego with the blood we may mention the burning blush of shame, which is an evidence of the manner in which the blood is driven to the head, thus over-heating the brain and paralyzing thought. Fear is the state when the Ego wants to barricade himself against some outside danger. He then drives the blood to the center and grows pale, because the blood has left the periphery of the body and has lost heat, thus paralyzing thought. His blood "freezes," he shivers and his teeth chatter, as when the temperature is lowered by atmospheric conditions. In fever the excess of heat causes delirium. The full-blooded person, when the blood is not too hot, is active in body and mind, while the anemic person is sleepy. In one the Ego has better control; in the other less. When the Ego wants to think it drives blood, at the proper heat, to the brain. When a heavy meal centers the activity of the Ego upon the digestive tracts, the man cannot think; he is sleepy. The old Norsemen and the Scots recognized that the Ego is in the blood. No stranger could become associated with them as a relative until he had "mixed blood" with them and thus become one of them. Goethe, who was an Initiate, also showed this in his "Faust." Faust is about to sign the com- pact with Mephistopheles and asks, "Why not sign with ordinary ink? Why use blood?" Mephisto answers, "Blood is a most peculiar essence." He knows, that who has the blood has the man; that without the warm blood, no Ego can find expression. The proper heat for the real expression of the Ego is not present until the mind is born from the macrocosmic Concrete Mind, when the individual [PAGE 2022] is about twenty-one years old. Statutory law also recognizes this as the earliest age when the man is deemed fit to exercise a franchise. At the present stage of human development the man goes through these principal stages in each life cycle, from one birth to the next. DIAGRAM 5B: |---------------------------------------------------------------------------| | A LIFE CYCLE | |---------------------------------------------------------------------------| |Mind "Essence of Right >->->-> Desire for Experience | | |Thought" & Soul-Essence /|\|---|\|/ and Soul-Growth draws | WORLD | |of "Right Feeling" |>->| |EGO| |>->| the Ego To Re-Birth | | |built into Spirit as /|\ /|\|---|\|/ \|/ | OF | |basis for Future | <-<-<-< | | | |"Right Acts" /|\ 3RD HEAVEN \|/ | ABSTRACT | |----------------------|---------------|------------------------------------| |Good in past life /|\ \|/ It Gathers Materials | AND | |built into the Mind | 2ND | for A New Mind | | |as Right Thought; /|\ \|/ | CONCRETE | |also work on New | HEAVEN | | | |Environment /|\ \|/ | THOUGHT | |----------------------|---------------|------------------------------------| |Essence of Pain /|\ 1ST \|/ | | |built into Soul as | HEAVEN | A New | DESIRE | |Right Feeling; /|\ \|/ | | |Suffering purges | | Desire Body | WORLD | |Soul /|\ PURGATORY \|/ | | |----------------------|---------------|------------------------------------| |Soul views panorama /|\ \|/ A New Vital Body | | |of past life | THE ETHER | Birth of Dense Body | | | /|\ \|/ | | |-------------DEATH>>>>|---------------|------------------------------------| | Prime of Mentality /|\ \|/ Birth of Vital Body-- | | | | | Growth | | |---------------------/|\<40 7>\|/-----------------------| THE | | Change of life | | Birth of Desire Body--| | | /|\ \|/ Puberty | PHYSICAL | |----------------------| <42 14>|------------------------| | | Prime of Life /|\ \|/ Birth of Mind-- | WORLD | | 2nd Growth | 33 28 | Majority | | |---------------------/|\ \/ \/ 21>\|/-----------------------| | | |-<--<--<--<--<-| | | | /^\ | | | | | | | Beginning of Serious Life | | |---------------------------------------------------------------|-----------| [PAGE 2023] REBIRTH AND THE LAW OF CONSEQUENCE: Only three theories worthy of note have ever been brought forward to solve the riddle of Life and Death. In the previous chapter we have, to some extent, explained one of these three theories--that of Rebirth, together with it companion law, the law of Consequence. It may not be out of place to compare the theory of Re- birth with the other two theories advanced, with a view to ascertaining their relative and foundation in nature. To the occultist there can be no question. He does not say what he "believes" in it any more than we need to say that we "believe" as to the blooming of the rose or the flowing of the river, or the operation of any of the visible workings of the material world, which are continually going on before our eyes. We do not say of these things that we "believe;" we say that we "know," because we see them. So the occult scientist can say "I know" in regard to Rebirth, the law of Consequence and their corollaries. He sees the Ego and can trace its path after it has passed out of the dense body at death until it has reappeared on earth through a new birth. Therefore to him no "belief" is necessary. For the satisfaction of others, however, it may be well to examine these three theories of life and death in order to arrive at an intelligent con- clusion. [PAGE 2024] Any great law of nature must necessarily be in harmony with all her other laws. Therefore it may be very helpful to the inquirer to examine these theories in their relation to what are admitted by all parties to be "known laws of nature," as observed in that part of our universe with which we are more familiar. To this end we will first state the three theories: (1) The Materialistic Theory holds that life is a journey from the womb to the tomb; that mind is the result of certain correlations of matter; than man is the highest intelligence in the Cosmos; and, that his intelligence perishes when the body disintegrates at death. (2) The Theory of Theology asserts that at each birth a newly-created soul enters the arena of life fresh from the hand of God, passing from an invisible state through the gate of birth into visible existence; that at the end of one short span of life in the material world it passes out through the gate of death into the invisible beyond, whence it re- turns no more; that its happiness or misery there is determined for all eternity by its actions during the infinitesimal period intervening between birth and death. (3) The Theory of Rebirth teaches that each soul is an integral part of God, enfolding all divine possibilities as the seed enfolds the plant; that by means of repeated existences in an earthly body of gradually improving quality, the latent possibilities are slowly developed into dynamic powers; that none are lost by this process, but that all man- kind will ultimately attain the goal of perfection and re-union with God. [PAGE 2025] The first of these theories is monistic. It seeks to explain all facts of existence as processes within the material world. The two other theories agree in being dualistic, that is, they ascribe some of the facts and phases of existence to a super-physical, invisible state, but they differ widely on other points. Bringing the materialistic theory into comparison with the known laws of the universe, we find that the continuity of force is as well estab- lished as the continuity of matter and both are beyond the need of elucida- tion. We also know that matter and force are inseparable in the Physical World. This is contrary to the materialistic theory, which holds that mind perishes at death. When nothing can be destroyed, mind must be included. Moreover we know that mind is superior to matter, for it molds the fact, so that it becomes a reflection or mirror of the mind. We have discovered that the particles of our bodies are constantly changing; that at least once in seven years there is a change in every atom of matter composing them. If the materialistic theory were true, the consciousness ought also to undergo an entire change, with no memory of that which preceded, so that at no time could man remember any event more than seven years. We know that is not the case. We remember the events of our childhood. Many of the most trivial incidents though forgotten in ordinary consciousness, have been distinctly recalled in a swift vision of the whole life by drowning persons, who have related the experience after resuscitation. Similar ex- periences in states of trance are also common. Materialism is unable to account for these phases of sub- and super-consciousness. It ignores them. At the present stage of scientific investigation, where leading scientists have established beyond a doubt the existence of these phenomena, the policy of ignoring them is a serious defect in a theory claiming to solve the greatest problem of life--Life itself. [PAGE 2026] We may therefore safely pass from the materialistic theory as being in- adequate to solve the mystery of life and death and turn to a consideration of the next theory. One of the greatest objections to the orthodox theological doctrine, as it is expounded, is its entire and confessed inadequacy. Of the myriads of souls which have been created and have inhabited this Globe since the be- ginning of existence, even if that beginning dates back no further than six thousand years, the insignificant number of only "one hundred and forty and four thousand" are to be saved! The rest are to be tortured forever and ever! The devil gets the best of it all the time. One cannot help saying with Buddha, "If God permits such misery to exist He cannot be good, and if He is powerless to prevent it, He cannot be God." Nothing in nature is analogous to such a method of creation in order that destruction may follow. It is represented that God desires ALL should be saved and is averse to the destruction of any, having for their salva- tion "given His only Son," and yet this "glorious plan of salvation" fails to save! If a trans-Atlantic liner with two thousand souls on board sent a wire- less message that she was sinking just off Sandy Hook, would it be regarded as a "glorious plan of salvation" if a fast motor-boat capable of rescuing only two or three people, were sent to her aid? Certainly not! It would more likely be denounced as a "plan of destruction" if adequate means were not provided for the saving of at least majority of those in danger. But the theologians' plan of salvation is vastly worse than this, be- cause two or three of two thousand is an immensely greater proportion than [PAGE 2027] the orthodox theological plan of saving only 144,000 out of all the myriads of souls created. We may safely reject this theory also, as being untrue, because unreasonable. If God were allwise He would have evolved a more ef- ficacious plan. So He has, and the above is only the theory of the theolo- gian. The teaching of the Bible is very different, as will appear later. We turn now to consider the doctrine of Rebirth, which postulates a slow process of development, carried on with unwavering persistence through repeated embodiments in forms of increasing efficiency whereby all are, in time, brought to a height of spiritual splendor at present inconceivable to us. There is nothing unreasonable nor difficult to accept in such a theory. As we look about us we find everywhere in nature this striving for perfection in a slow, persistent manner. We find no sudden process of cre- ation or destruction, such as the theologian postulates, but we do find "Evolution." Evolution is "the history of the progression of the Spirit in Time." Everywhere, as we see about us the varied phenomena in the universe, we re- alize that the path of evolution is a spiral. Each loop of the spiral is a cycle. Each cycle merges into the next, as the loops of the spiral are continuous, each cycle being the improved product of those preceding it and the creator of those more developed states which succeed it. A straight line is but the extension of a point. It occupies but one dimension in space. The theory of the materialist and that of the theolo- gian would be analogous to this line. The materialist makes the line of life start at birth, and to be consistent, the death hour must terminate it. The theologian commences his line with the creation of the soul just [PAGE 2028] previous to birth. After death the soul lives on, it fate irretrievably determined by the deeds of a few short years. There is no coming back to correct mistakes. The line runs straight on, implying a modicum of experi- ence and no elevation for the soul after death. Natural progression does not follow a straight line such as these two theories imply; nor even a circular path, for that would imply a never-ending round of the same experiences and the use of only two dimen- sions in space. All things move in progressive cycles and in order to take full advantages of all the opportunities for advancement offered by our three-dimensional universe, it is necessary that the evolving life should take the three-dimensional path--the spiral--which goes ever onward and up- ward. Whether we look at the modest little plant in our garden, or go to the redwood district of California and examine one of the giant Sequoias with its thirty-foot diameter, it is always the same--every branch, twig or leaf will be found growing in either a single or a double spiral, or in opposite pairs, each balancing either, analogous to ebb and flow, day and night, life and death and other ALTERNATING activities in nature. Examine the vaulted arch of the sky and observe the fiery nebulae or the path of the Solar-Systems--everywhere the spiral meets the eye. In the spring the Earth discards its white blanket and emerges from its period of rest its winter sleep. All activities are exerted to bring forth new life everywhere. Time passes. The corn and the grape are ripened and har- vested. Again the busy summer fades into the silence and inactivity of the winter. Again the snowy coverlet enwraps the Earth. But her sleep is not [PAGE 2029] forever; she will wake again to the song of the new spring, which will mark for her a little further progress along the pathway of time. So with the Sun. He rises in the morning of each day, but each morning he is further along on his journey through the year. Everywhere the spiral--ONWARD, UPWARD, FOREVER! Is it possible that this law, so universal in all other realms, should be inoperative in the life of man? Shall the earth wake each year from its winter sleep; shall the tree and the flower live again and man die? It cannot be! The same law that wakes the life in the plant to new growth will wake the human being to new experience, to further progress toward the goal of perfection. Therefore the theory of Rebirth, which teaches re- peated embodiment in gradually improving vehicles, is in perfect accord with evolution and the phenomena of nature, which the other two theories are not. Regarding life from an ethical viewpoint, we find that the law of Re- birth coupled with the companion law of Consequence, is the only theory that will satisfy a sense of justice, in harmony with the facts of life as we see them about us. It is not easy for the logical mind to understand how a "just and lov- ing" God can require the same virtues from the milliards whom He has been "pleased to place in differing circumstances" according to no apparent rule nor system, but willy-nilly, according to His own capricious mood. One lives in luxury; the other on "kicks and crusts." One has a moral educa- tion and an atmosphere of high ideals; the other is placed in squalid sur- roundings and taught to lie and steal and that the more he does of both, the more of a success he is. It is just to require the same of both? Is it right to reward one for living a good life when he was placed in an [PAGE 2030] environment that made it extremely difficult for him to go astray, or to punish the other, who was handicapped to such an extent that he never had an idea of what constitutes true morality. Surely not! Is it not more logical to think that we may have misinterpreted the Bible than to impute to God such a monstrous plan and method of procedure? It is useless to say that we must not inquire into the mysteries of God; that they are past our finding out. The inequalities of life can be satisfactorily explained by the twin laws of Rebirth and Consequence and made to harmonize with the conception of a just and loving God, as taught by Christ Himself. Moreover, by means of these twin laws a way to emancipation from present undesirable position or environment is show, together with the means of attaining to any degree of development, no matter how imperfect we may be now. What we are, what we have, all our good qualities are the result of our own actions in the past. What we lack in physical, moral, or mental excel- lence may yet be ours in the future. Exactly as we cannot do otherwise than take up our lives each morning where we laid them down the preceding night, so by our work in previous lives have we made the conditions under which we now live and labor, and are at present creating the conditions of our future lives. Instead of be- moaning the lack of this or that faculty which we covet, we must set to work to acquire it. If one child plays beautifully on a musical instrument, with hardly an effort at learning, while another, despite persistent effort, is a poor player in comparison, it merely shows that one expended the effort in a [PAGE 2031] previous life and is easily regaining a former proficiency, while the ef- forts of the other have been started only in the present life, and in con- sequence we see the uphill work. But, if the latter persist, he may, even in the present life, become superior to the former unless the former con- stantly improves. That we do not remember the effort made in acquiring a faculty by hard work is immaterial, it does not alter the fact that the faculty remains with us. Genius is the hall-mark of the advanced soul, which by hard work in many previous lives has developed itself in some way beyond the normal achievements of the race. It reveals a glimpse of the degree of attainment which will be the common possession of the coming Race. It cannot be ac- counted for by heredity, which applies only in part to the dense body and not to qualities of the soul. If genius could be accounted for by hered- ity, why is there not a long line of mechanical ancestry previous to Thomas Edison, each more capable than his predecessor? Why does not genius propagate itself? Why is not Siegfried the son, greater than Richard Wagner, the father? In cases where the expression of genius depends upon the possession of specially constructed organs, requiring ages of development, the Ego naturally is reborn in a family the Egos of which have, for generations, labored to build a similar organism. That is why twenty-nine musicians of more or less genius were born in the Bach family during a period of two hundred and fifty years. That genius is an expression of the soul and not of the body is shown by the fact that it did not gradually improve and reach efflorescence in the person of John Sebastian Bach, but that the pro- ficiency which reached its highest expression in him towered high above an- cestors and descendants alike. [PAGE 2032] The body is simply an instrument, the work it yields being dependent upon the Ego which guides it, as the quality of the melody is dependent upon the musician's skill, aided by the TIMBRE of the instrument. A good musician cannot fully express himself on a poor instrument, and even upon the same instrument, all musicians do not and cannot play alike. Because an Ego seeks rebirth as the son of a great musician it does not necessarily follow that he must be a still greater genius, as would be the case if the physical heredity were a fact and genius were not a soul-quality. The "Law of Attraction" accounts in quite as satisfactory manner for the facts we ascribe to heredity. We know that people of like tastes will seek another. If we know that a friend is in a certain city, but are igno- rant of his address, we will naturally be governed by the law of asso- ciation in our efforts to find him. If he is a musician, he will most likely be found where musicians are wont to assemble; if he is a student inquiry will be made at public libraries, reading-rooms and book stores, or if he is a sporting man we would seek him at race tracks, pool-rooms or sa- loons. It is not probable that the musician or the student would frequent the latter places and it is safe to say that our search for the sporting man would not be successful if we sought him in a library or at a classical concert. Similarly, the Ego ordinarily gravitates to the most congenial asso- ciations. It is constrained to do so by one of the twin forces of the De- sire World--the force of Attraction. The objection may be urged that there are people of entirely opposite tastes, or bitter enemies even, in the same family, and if the law of As- sociation governed why should they be attracted thereto? [PAGE 2033] The explanation of such cases is that during the Ego's earth lives many relations have been established with various people. These relations were pleasant or otherwise, involving on one hand obligation which were not liq- uidated at the time; or on the other involving the infliction of an injury and a feeling of very strong hate between the injured and his enemy. The law of Consequence requires an exact adjustment of the score. Death does not "pay it all" any more than moving to another city will liquidate a mon- etary debt. The time comes when the two enemies will meet again. The old hate has brought them together in the same family, because it is the pur- pose of God that all shall love one another; therefore hate must be trans- formed into love and though, perchance, they may spend many lives "fighting it out," they will at some time learn the lesson and become friends and mu- tual benefactors instead of enemies. In such cases the Interest these people had in one another set in action the force of Attraction, and that brought them together. Had they simply been mutually Indifferent they could not have become associated. Thus do the twin laws of Rebirth and Consequence solve, in a rational manner, all the problems incident to human life as man steadily advances toward the next stage in evolution--the Superman. The trend of humanity's progress is onward and upward forever, says this theory--not as some people think who have confounded the doctrine of Rebirth with the foolish teaching of some Indian tribes who believe that man is reborn in animals or plants. That would be retrogression. No authority for this doctrine of retrogression can be found in nature or in the sacred books of any [PAGE 2034] religion. In one (and one only) of the religious writings of India is it touched upon. In the Kathopanishad (ch. v, verse 9) it is stated that "Some men, according to their deeds, go into the womb and others into the "sthanu." "Sthanu" is a Sanskrit word, which means "motionless," but it also means "a pillar," and has been interpreted to mean that some men, be- cause of their sins, go back to the motionless plant kingdom. Spirits incarnate only to gain experience; to conquer the world; to overcome the lower self and attain self-mastery. When we realize this we shall understand that there comes a time when there is no further need for incarnation because the lessons have all been learned. The teaching of the Kathopanishad indicates that instead of remaining tied to the wheel of birth and death, man will at some time go into the motionless state of "Nirvana." In the Book of Revelation we find these worlds: "Him that overcometh will I make a PILLAR in the temple of my God AND HE SHALL GO NO MORE OUT," referring to entire liberation from concrete existence. Nowhere is there any authority for the doctrine of the transmigration of souls. A man who has evolved so far as to have an individual, separate soul cannot turn back in his progress and enter the vehicle of animal or plant, which are under a group-spirit. The individual spirit is a higher evolution that the group-spirit and the lesser cannot obtain the greater. Oliver Wendell Holmes, in his beautiful poem, "The Chambered Nautilus," has embodied this idea of constant progression in gradually improving ve- hicles, and final liberation. The nautilus builds its spiral shell in chambered sections, constantly leaving the smaller ones, which it has out- grown, for the one last built: [PAGE 2035] Year after year beheld the silent toil That spread his lustrous coil; Still, as the spiral grew, He left the past year's dwelling for the new, Stole with soft step its shining archway through, Built up its idle door, Stretched in his last-found home, and knew the old no more. Thanks for the heavenly message brought by thee, Child of the wandering sea, Cast from her lap forlorn! From thy dead lips a clearer note is born Than ever Triton blew from wreathed horn! While on mine ear it rings, Through the deep caves of thought I hear a voice that sings: Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul! As the swift seasons roll! Leave they low-vaulted past! Let each new temple, nobler than the last, Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast, 'Till thou at length art free, Leaving thine outgrown shell by life's unresting sea! The necessity, previously referred to, of obtaining an organism of a specific nature, brings to mind an interesting phase of the twin laws of Rebirth and Consequence. These laws are connected with the motion of the Cosmic bodies, the Sun, the planets and the signs of the Zodiac. All move in harmony with these laws, guided in their orbits by their indwelling spiritual Intelligences--the Planetary Spirits. On account of the precession of the equinoxes the Sun moves backward through the twelve signs of the Zodiac at the rate of approximately one de- gree of space in 72 years, and through each sign (30 degrees of space) in about 2,100 years, or around the whole circle in about 26,000 years. This is due to the fact that the Earth does not spin upon a stationary axis. Its axis has a slow, swinging motion of its own (just like the wabble of a spinning top that has almost spent its force), so that it [PAGE 2036] describes a circle in space and thus one star after another becomes Pole Star. Because of this wabbling motion the Sun does not cross the equator in the same place every year, but a few hundred rods further back, hence the name, the "precession of the equinoxes," because the equinox "precedes"-- comes to early. All happenings on the Earth in connection with the other Cosmic bodies and their inhabitants are connected with this and other Cosmic movements. So are also the laws of Rebirth and Consequence. As the Sun passes through the different signs of in the course of the year, the climatic and other changes affect man and his activities in dif- ferent ways. Similarly the passage of the Sun by the procession of the equinoxes, through the twelve signs of the Zodiac--which is called a World-year, brings about conditions on the Earth of a far greater variety. It is necessary to the growth of the soul that it should experience them all. In fact, as we have seen, the man himself makes these conditions while in the Heaven World between births. Therefore, every Ego is born twice during the time the Sun is passing through one sign of the Zodiac; and, as the soul itself is necessarily double-sexed, in order to obtain all experiences, it is reborn alternately in a male and a female body. This is because the experience of one sex differs widely from that of the other. At the same time, the outside conditions are not greatly altered in one thousand years and therefore permit the entity to receive experience in the same identical environment from the standpoint of both man and woman. These are the general terms upon with the law of Rebirth operates, but as it is not a blind law, it is subject to frequent modifications, deter- mined by the Lords of Destiny, the Recording Angels, as, for instance, in a [PAGE 2037] case where an Ego needs a sensitive eye or ear and there is an opportunity for giving it the required instrument in a family with which relations have previously been established. The time for the re-embodiment of the Ego is question may lack, perhaps, two hundred years of being ripe according to the average period, but it is seen by the Lords of Destiny that unless this opportunity is embraced, the Ego will perhaps have to spend four or five hundred years in heaven in excess of the time required, before another chance will present itself. Therefore the Ego is brought to rebirth ahead of schedule time, so to speak, the deficiency of rest in the third heaven being made up at another time. So we see that, not only do the departed work on us from the Heaven World, but we also work on them, attracting or repelling them. A favorable opportunity for procuring a suitable instru- ment may attract an Ego to rebirth. Had no instrument been available, he would have been kept longer in heaven and the surplus time deducted from his succeeding heaven lives. The law of Consequence also works in harmony with the stars, so that A MAN IS BORN AT THE TIME WHEN THE POSITIONS OF THE BODIES IN THE SOLAR SYS- TEM WILL GIVE THE CONDITIONS NECESSARY TO HIS EXPERIENCE AND ADVANCEMENT IN THE SCHOOL OF LIFE. That is why Astrology is an absolutely true science, though even the best astrologer may misinterpret it, because, like all other human beings, he is fallible. The stars show accurately the time in a man's life when the debt which the Lords of Destiny have selected for payment is due, and to evade it is beyond the power of man. Yes, they show the very day, although we are not always able to read them correctly. Perhaps the most striking instance known to the writer of this [PAGE 2038] inability to escape what is written in the stars, though perfectly cogni- zant of it, occurred in Los Angeles, California, in 1906. Some instruc- tions in astrology were given to Mr. L., a well-known lecturer. Mr. L.'s own horoscope was taken up, because a pupil will be more interested in that than in the nativity of a stranger. He is also enabled to check the ac- curacy of the interpretation of the signs which are given to him. The horoscope revealed a liability to accidents and Mr. L. was shown how ac- cidents and other events in the past figured to the time of occurrence. In addition, he was told that another accident would befall him and that it would occur on the twenty-first of the following July, or the seventh day after, i.e., one the twenty-eighth, the latter day being regarded as the more dangerous. He was warned against conveyances of any kind and the place of the threatened injury was designated as the breast, shoulders, arms and lower part of the head. He was thoroughly convinced of the danger and promised to remain at home on that day. The writer went north to Seattle and a few days before the critical time wrote to Mr. L. and again warned him. Mr. L. answered that he remem- bered the warning and would act accordingly. The next communication in regard to the matter came from a mutual friend, who stated that on the 29th of July Mr. L. had gone to Sierra Madre on an electric car which had collided with a railroad train, Mr. L. sus- taining injuries of the exact description mentioned and also having a ten- don cut in the left leg. The question was why Mr. L., having entire faith in the prediction, had disregarded the advice. The explanation came three months later, when he had recovered sufficiently to write. The letter said, "I thought the 28th was the 29th." Continued with file "RC1056.TXT" End of File


E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank