Filename: RC1065.TXT Source: +quot;The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception+quot; by Max Heindel [

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Filename: RC1065.TXT Source: "The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception" by Max Heindel [PAGE 2338] THE PITUITARY BODY AND THE PINEAL GLAND: In the brain, and in approximately the positions shown in diagram 17, are two small organs called the pituitary body and the pineal gland. Medical science knows but little about these, or the other ductless glands of the body. It calls the pineal gland "the atrophied third eye," yet neither it nor the pituitary body are atrophying. This is very perplexing to scien- tists, for nature retains nothing useless. All over the body we find organs which are either atrophying or developing, the former being milestones, as it were, along the path which man has traveled to reach his present stage of development, the latter pointing out the lines for future improvement and development. For instance, the muscles which animals use to move the ears are present in man also, but as they are atrophying, few people can use them. The heart belongs to the class indicating future development; as al- ready shown, it is becoming a voluntary muscle. The pituitary body and the pineal gland belong to still another class of organs, which at the present time are neither evolving nor degenerating, but are dormant. In the far past, when man was in touch with the "inner" Worlds, these organs were his means of ingress thereto, and they will again serve that purpose at a later stage. They were connected with the involun- tary or sympathetic nervous system. Man then saw the inner Worlds, as in the Moon Period and the latter part of the Lemurian and early Atlantean Ep- ochs. Pictures presented themselves quite independent of his will. The sense centers of his desire body were spinning around counter-clockwise (following negatively the motion of the Earth, which revolves on its axis in that direction) as the sense centers of "mediums" do to this day. In most [PAGE 2339] people these sense-centers are inactive, but true development will set them spinning clockwise, as explained elsewhere. That is the difficult feature in the development of positive clairvoyance. The development of mediumship is much easier, because it is merely a re- vival of the mirror-like function possessed by man in the far past, by which the outside world was involuntarily reflected in him, and which function was afterward retained by inbreeding. With present day mediums this power is intermittent, which explains why they can sometimes "see" and at other times, for no apparent reason, fail utterly. Occasionally, the strong de- sire of the client enables them to get into touch with the information he is seeking, on which occasions they see correctly, but they are not always hon- est. Office rent and other expenses must be paid, so when the power (over which they have no conscious control) fails them, some resort to fraud and utter any absurdity that occurs to their minds, in order to satisfy their client and get his money, thus casting discredit upon what they really do see at other times. The aspirate to true spiritual sight and insight must first of all give proof of unselfishness, because the trained clairvoyant has no "off days." He is not in the least mirror-like, dependent upon the reflections which may happen to come his way. He is able to reach out at any time and in any di- rection, and read the thoughts and plans of others, provided he particularly turns his attention that way--not otherwise. The great danger to society which would result from the indiscriminate use of this power if possessed by an unworthy individual, can be easily un- derstood. He would be able to read the most secret thought. Therefore the [PAGE 2340] DIAGRAM 17: THE PATH OF THE UNUSED SEX CURRENTS IN: THE MYSTIC: THE OCCULTIST: THE ADEPT: |---------| |---------| |---------| | THE | | THE | | THE | | HUMAN | | HUMAN | | HUMAN | ORGANS OF | HEAD | | HEAD | | HEAD | KNOWLEDGE--------[BRAIN]------------[BRAIN]-------------------[BRAIN] | | | | | | | |---------| |---------| |---------| | | || | | || | | LARYNX----------->| * |----||--------| * |----||----CREATIVE---| * |<--THE | | || | | || ORGAN | | WORD | | || | | || | | | | || | | || | | _/\___/\_ || _/\___/\_ || _/\___/\_ ORGAN OF | THE | || | THE | || | THE | FEELING--------| HUMAN |-||-----| HUMAN |-||------------| HUMAN | \ HEART / || \ HEART / || \ HEART / \ / || \ / || \ / \___/ || \___/ || \___/ || || RIGHT SIDE || LEFT SIDE || SPINAL CORD--------------->|| SPINAL CORD-->|| || || || || THE MYSTIC: THE OCCULTIST: THE ADEPT: UNUSED SEX FORCE UNUSED SEX FORCE PERFECT POSITIVE IN HEART NEGATIVE IN HEART BALANCE NEGATIVE IN BRAIN POSITIVE IN BRAIN NOTE: As it is impossible to represent in ASCII text characters all of the information in the original diagram, the following explanation is given: In the Mystic, the path of the unused sex currents forms a figure eight. The upper part of the figure eight is in the brain and the currents are flowing in a counterclockwise direction if the human body is viewed from the left lateral position. The lower part of the figure eight includes the right side of the spinal cord and the heart and the forces here flow in a clockwise position. The two segments of this figure eight meet at the larynx. In the Occultist the pattern of the forces is identical to the Mystic, except that the direction of the forces is reversed. Therefore, in the brain the forces flow in a clockwise direction, and through the left side of the spinal cord and heart they flow in a counterclockwise direction. In the Adept the figure eight includes the larynx, heart and brain, which are in perfect balance, and the original diagram does not show either clockwise or counterclockwise flow of the forces. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- [PAGE 2341] initiate is bound by the most solemn vows never to use this power to serve his individual interest in the slightest degree, nor to save himself a pang. He may feed five thousand others if he will, but he must not turn a stone into bread to appease his own hunger. He may heal others of palsy and lep- rosy, but by the Law of the Universe, he is forbidden to stanch his own mor- tal wounds. Because he is bound by his vow of absolute unselfishness, it is ever true of the Initiate that although he saves others, himself he cannot save. So the trained clairvoyant who really has something to give will never hang out a sign offering to exercise his gifts for a fee, but will give and give freely where he considers it consistent with the ripe destiny generated under the law of consequence by the person to be helped. Trained clairvoyance is the kind used for investigating occult facts, and it is the only kind that is of any use for that purpose. Therefore the as- pirant must feel, not a wish to gratify an idle curiosity, but a holy and unselfish desire to help humanity. Until such a desire exists, no progress can be made in the attainment of positive clairvoyance. In the ages that have passed since the Lemurian Epoch humanity has been gradually building the cerebro-spinal nervous system, which is under the control of the will. In the latter part of the Atlantean Epoch, this was so far evolved that it became possible for the Ego to take full possession of the dense body. That was the time (previously described) when the point in the vital body came into correspondence with the point at the root of the nose in the dense body and the indwelling spirit became awake in the Physical World but, so far as the greater part of humanity was concerned, lost consciousness of the inner Worlds. [PAGE 2342] Since then, the connection of the pineal gland and the pituitary body with the cerebro-spinal nervous system has been slowly building, and is now all but complete. To regain contact with the inner Worlds, all that remains to be done is the reawakening of the pituitary body and the pineal gland. When that is accomplished, man will again possess the faculty of perception in the higher worlds, but on a grander scale than formerly, because it will be in connec- tion with the voluntary nervous system and therefore under the control of his Will. Through this inner perceptive facility all avenues of knowledge will be opened to him and he will have at his service a means of acquiring information compared with which all other methods of investigation are but child's play. The awakening of these organs is accomplished by Esoteric Training, which we will now describe, as far as may be done in public. ESOTERIC TRAINING: In the majority of people, the greater part of the sex force which may legitimately be used through the creative organs is expended for sense-gratification; therefore in such people there is very little of the ascending current shown in diagram 17. When the aspirant to the higher life begins to curb these excesses more and more, and to devote his attention to spiritual thoughts and efforts, the trained clairvoyant can perceive the unused sex force commencing to ascend. It surges upward in stronger and stronger volume, along the path indicated by the arrows in diagram 17, traversing the heart and the larynx or the spi- nal cord and the larynx or both, and then passing directly between the pitu- itary body and the pineal gland toward the dark point at the root of the [PAGE 2343] nose where "The Silent Watcher," the highest spirit, has its seat. These currents do not usually take one of the two paths indicated in the diagram to the entire exclusion of the other, but generally one path is traveled by the greater volume of the sex-currents, according to the tem- perament of the aspirant. In one who is seeking enlightenment along purely intellectual lines the current travels particularly over the spinal cord and only a small part goes over the path through the heart. In the mystic who feels rather than knows, the currents find their way upwards through the heart. Both are developing abnormally, and each must sometime take up the devel- opment he has neglected, so as to become fully rounded. Therefore the Rosicrucians aim to give a teaching that will satisfy both classes, although their main efforts are expended in reaching the intellectually minded, for their need is the greater. This current of itself, however, even though it assumes the proportions of a Niagara and flows until the crack of doom, will be useless. But still, as it is not only a necessary accompaniment, but a pre-requisite to self-conscious work in the inner World, it must be cultivated to some extend before the real esoteric training can begin. It will thus be seen that a moral life devoted to spiritual thought must be lived by the aspirant for a certain length of time before it is possible to commence the work that will give his first-hand knowledge of the super-physical realms and enable him to become, in the truest sense, a helper of humanity. When the candidate has lived such a life for a time sufficient to estab- lish the current of spiritual force, and is found worthy and qualified to receive esoteric instruction, he is taught certain exercises, to set the [PAGE 2344] pituitary body in vibration. This vibration causes the pituitary body to impinge upon and slightly defect the nearest line of force (See diagram 17). This, in turn, impinges upon the line next to it, and so the process contin- ues until the force of the vibration has been spent. It is similar to the way in which the striking of one note on a piano will produce a number of overtones, by setting up a vibration in the other strings which are at proper intervals of pitch. When by the increased vibration of the pituitary body, the lines of force have been deflected sufficiently to reach the pineal gland, the object has been accomplished, the gap between these two organs has been bridged. This is the bridge between the World of Sense and the World of Desire. From the time it is built, man becomes clairvoyant and able to direct his gaze where he will. Solid objects are seen both inside and out. To him space and so- lidity, as hindrances to observation, have ceased to exist. He is not yet a TRAINED clairvoyant, but he IS a clairvoyant AT WILL, a voluntary clairvoyant. He is a very different faculty from that possessed by the medium, who is usually an involuntary clairvoyant and can see only what comes; or who has, at best, very little more than the purely negative faculty. But the person in whom this bridge is once built is always in sure touch with the inner Worlds, the connection being made and broken at his will. By degrees, the observer learns to control the vibration of the pitu- itary body in a manner enabling him to get in touch with any of the regions of the inner Worlds which he desires to visit. The faculty is completely under the control of his will. It is not necessary for him to go into a trance or do anything abnormal, to raise his consciousness to the Desire World. He simply WILLS to see, and sees. [PAGE 2345] As we explained in the earlier part of this work, the neophyte must learn to see in the Desire World, or rather, he must learn how to understand what he sees there. In the Physical World objects are dense, solid, and do not change in the twinkling of an eye. In the Desire World they change in the most erratic manner. This is a source of endless confusion to the negative involuntary clairvoyant, and even to the neophyte who enters under the guid- ance of a teacher, but the teaching soon brings the pupil to a point where the Form may change as often as it will; he can perceive the Life that causes the change, and knows it for what it is, despite all possible and puzzling changes. There is also another and most important distinction to be made. The power which enables on to PERCEIVE the objects in a world is NOT identical with the power of ENTERING that world and FUNCTIONING there. The voluntary clairvoyant, though he may have received some training, and is able to dis- tinguish from true from the false in the Desire World, is in practically the same relation to it as a prisoner behind a barred window is to the outside world--he can see it, but cannot function therein. Therefore esoteric training not only opens up the inner vision of the aspirant, but at the proper time further exercises are given to furnish him with a vehicle in which he can function in the inner Worlds in a perfectly self-conscious man- ner. HOW THE INNER VEHICLE IS BUILT: In ordinary life most people live to ear, they drink, gratify the sex-passion in an unrestrained manner, and lose their tempers on the slight- est provocation. Though outwardly these people may be very "respectable," they are, nearly every day of their lives, causing almost utter confusion in their organization. The entire period of sleep is spent by the desire and [PAGE 2346] the vital bodies in repairing the damage done in the day time, leaving no time for outside work of any kind. But as the individual begins to feel the needs of the higher life, control sex force, and temper, and cultivate a se- rene disposition, there is less disturbance caused in the vehicles during waking hours; consequently less time is required to repair the damage during sleep. Thus it becomes possible to leave the dense body for long periods during sleeping hours, and function in the inner Worlds in the higher ve- hicles. As the desire body and the mind are not yet organized, they are of no use as separate vehicles of consciousness. Neither can the vital body leave the dense body, as that would cause death, so it is evident that mea- sures must be taken to provide an organized vehicle which is fluidic and so constructed that it will meet the needs of the Ego in the inner Worlds as does the dense body in the Physical World. The vital body is such an organized vehicle, and if some means could be found to loosen it from the dense body without causing death, the problem would be solved. Besides, the vital body is the seat of memory, without which it would be impossible to bring back into our physical consciousness the remembrance of super-physical experiences and thus obtain the full ben- efit of them. We remember that the Hierophants of the old Mystery Temples segregated some of the people into castes and tribes such as the Brahmins and the Levites, for the purpose of providing bodies for use of such Egos as were advanced enough to be ready for Initiation. This was done in such a manner that the vital body became separable into two parts, as were the desire bod- ies of all humanity at the beginning of the Earth Period. When the Hierophant took the pupils out of their bodies he left one part of the vital [PAGE 2347] body, comprising the first and second ethers, to perform the purely animal functions (they are the only ones active during sleep), the pupil taking with him a vehicle capable of perception, because of its connection with the sense-centers of the dense body; and also capable of memory. It possessed these capabilities because it was composed of the third and fourth ethers, which are the mediums of sense-perception and memory. This is, in fact, that part of the vital body which the aspirant retains from life to life, and immortalizes as the Intellectual Soul. Since Christ came and "took away the sin of the world," (not of the indi- vidual) purifying the desire body of our planet, the connection between all human dense and vital bodies has been loosened to such an extent that, by training, they are capable of separation as above described. Therefore Ini- tiation is open to all. The finer part of the desire body, which constitutes the Emotional Soul, is capable of separation in most people (in fact, it possessed that capabil- ity even before Christ came) and thus when, by concentration and the use of the proper formula, the finer parts of the vehicles have been segregated for use during sleep, or at any other time, the lower parts of the desire and vital bodies are still left to carry on the processes of restoration in the dense vehicle, the mere animal part. That part of the vital body which goes out is highly organized, as we have seen. It is an exact counterpart of the dense body. The desire body and the mind, not being organized, are of use only because they are con- nected with the highly organized dense body. When separated from it they are but poor instruments, therefore before man can withdraw from the dense [PAGE 2348] body, the sense-centers of the desire body must be awakened. In ordinary life the Ego is INSIDE its bodies and its force is directed OUTWARD. All man's will and energy are bent upon the task of subduing the outside world. At no time is he able to get away from the impressions of his outside environment and thus be free to work on himself in his waking hours. During sleep, when such an opportunity is afforded, because of the dense body having lost consciousness of the world, the Ego is OUTSIDE his bodies. If man is to work on his vehicle at all, it must be when the out- side world is shut out as in sleep, but yet the spirit still remains within and in full control of the faculties, as it is in the waking state. Not un- til such a state can be attained will it be possible for the spirit to work inwardly and properly sensitize its vehicles. Concentration is such a state. When in it, the senses are stilled and a person is outwardly in the same condition as in the deepest sleep, yet the spirit remains within and fully conscious. Most people have experienced this state, at least in some degree, when they have become interested in ab- sorption in a book. At such times they live in the scenes depicted by the author and are lost to their environment. When spoken to, they are oblivious to the sound, so to all else transpiring around them, yet they are fully awake to all they are reading, to the invisible world created by the author, living there and feeling the heart-beats of all the different char- acters in the story. They are not independent, but are bound in the life which some one has created from them in the book. The aspirant to the higher life cultivates the faculty of becoming ab- sorbed AT WILL in any subject he chooses, or rather not a subject usually, but a very simple object, which he imagines. Thus when the proper condition [PAGE 2349] or point of absorption has been reached where his senses are absolutely still, he concentrates his thought upon the different sense centers of the desire body and THEY START TO REVOLVE. At first their motion is slow and hard to bring about, but by degrees the sense centers of the desire body will make places for themselves within the dense and vital bodies, which learn to accommodate themselves to this new activity. Them some day, when the proper life has developed the requisite cleavage between the higher and lower parts of the vital body, there is a supreme effort of the will; a spiral motion in many directions takes place, and the aspirant stands OUTSIDE HIS DENSE BODY. He looks at it as at an- other person. The door of this prison house has been opened. He is free to come and go, as much at liberty in the inner worlds as in the Physical World, functioning at will, in the inner or outer World, a helper of all de- siring his services in any of them. Before the aspirant learns to voluntarily leave the body, he may have worked in the desire body during sleep, for in some people the desire body becomes organized before the separation can be brought about in the vital body. Under those conditions it is impossible to bring back these subjec- tive experiences to waking consciousness, but generally in such cases it will be noticed, as the first sign of development, that all confused dreams will cease. Then, after while, the dreams will become more vivid and per- fectly logical. The aspirant will dream of being in places and with people (whether known to him in waking hours or not matters little), conducting himself in as reasonable a way as if he were in the waking state. If the place of which he dreams is accessible to him in waking hours, he may some- times get proof of the reality of his dream if he will note some physical [PAGE 2350] detail of the scene and verify his nocturnal impression next day. He will next find that he can, during sleeping hours, visit any place he desires upon the face of the Earth and investigate it a great deal more thoroughly than if he had gone there in the dense body, because in his de- sire body he has access to all places, regardless of locks and bars. If he persists, there will at last come a day when he need not wait for sleep to dissolve the connection between his vehicles, but can consciously set him- self free. Specific directions for freeing the higher vehicles cannot be given in- discriminately. The separation is brought about, not by a set formula of WORDS, but rather by AN ACT OF WILL, yet the manner in which the will is di- rected is individual, and can therefore be given only by a competent teacher. Like all other real esoteric information, it is never sold, but comes only as a result of the pupil qualifying himself to receive it. All that can be done here is to give an indication of the first steps which lead up to the acquirement of the faculty of voluntary clairvoyance. The most favorable time to exercise is on first awakening in the morning, before any of the worries and cares of daily life have entered the mind. At that time one is fresh from the inner Worlds and therefore more easily brought back into touch with them than at any other time of the day. Do not wait to dress, or sit up in bed, but relax the body perfectly and let the exercises be the first waking thought. Relaxation does not mean simply a comfortable position; it is possible to have every muscle tense WITH EXPEC- TATION and that of itself frustrates the object, for in that condition the desire body is gripping the muscles. It cannot do otherwise till we calm the mind. [PAGE 2351] CONCENTRATION: The first thing to practice is fixing one's thoughts upon some ideal and holding them there WITHOUT LETTING THEM SWERVE. It is an exceedingly hard task, but, to some extend at least, it must be accomplished before it is possible to make any further progress. Thought is the power we use in mak- ing images, pictures, thought forms, according to ideas from within. It is our principal power, and we must learn to have absolute control of it, so that what we produce is not wild illusion induced by outside conditions, but true imagination generated by the spirit from within (see diagram 1). Sceptics say that it is ALL imagination but, as said before, if the in- ventor had not been able to imagine the telephone, etc., we would not today possess those things. His imaginings were not generally correct or true at first, otherwise the inventions would have worked successfully from the be- ginning, without the many failures and apparently useless experiments that have nearly always preceded the production of the practical and serviceable instrument or machine. Neither is the imagination of the budding occult scientist correct at first. The only way to make it true is by uninter- rupted practice, day after day, exercising the will to keep the thought fo- cussed upon one subject, object, or idea, exclusive all else. Thought is a great power which we have been accustomed to waste. It has been allowed to flow on aimlessly, as water flows over a precipice before it is made to turn the wheel. The rays of the Sun, diffused over the entire surface of the Earth, pro- duce only a moderate warmth, but if even a few of them are concentrated by means of a glass, they are capable of producing fire at the focusing point. [PAGE 2352] Thought-force is the most powerful means of obtaining knowledge. If it is concentrated upon a subject, it will burn its way through any obstacle and solve the problem. If the requisite amount of thought-force is brought to bear, there is nothing that is beyond the power of human comprehension. So long as we scatter it, thought-force is of little use to us, but as soon as we are prepared to take the trouble necessary to harness it, all knowl- edge is ours. We often hear people exclaim petulantly, "Oh, I cannot think of a hundred things at once!" when really that is exactly what they have been doing, and what has caused the very trouble of which they complain. People are con- stantly thinking of a hundred things other than the one they have in hand. Every success has been accomplished by persistent concentration upon the de- sired end. This is something the aspirant to the higher life must positively learn to do. There is no other way. At first he will find himself thinking of everything under the sun instead of the ideal upon which he has decided to concentrate, but he must not let that discourage him. In time he will find it easier to still his senses and hold his thoughts steady. Persistence, PERSISTENCE, and always PERSISTENCE will win at last. Without that, how- ever, no results can be expected. It is of no use to perform the exercises for two or three mornings or weeks and then neglect them for as long. To be effective they must be done faithfully every morning without fail. Any subject may be selected, according to the temperament and mental per- suasion of the aspirant, so long as it is pure and mentally uplifting it its tendency. Christ will do for some; others, who flowers particularly, and most easily helped by taking one as the subject of concentration. The ob- ject matters little, but whatever it is we must imagine it true to life in [PAGE 2353] all details. If it is Christ, we must imagine a real Christ, with mobile features, life in His eyes, and an expression that is not stony and dead. We must build a living ideal, not a statue. If it is a flower, we must, in imagination, take the seed and having buried it in the ground, fix our mind upon it steadily. Presently we shall see it burst, shooting forth its roots, which penetrate the Earth in a spiral manner. From the main branches of the roots we watch the myriads of minute rootlets, as they branch out and ramify in all directions. Then the stem begins to shoot upward, bursting through the surface of the earth and coming forth as a tiny green stalk. It grows, presently there is an off-set; a tiny twig shoots out from the main stem. It grows; another off-set and a branch appears; from the branches, little stalks with buds at the end shoot out; presently there are a number of leaves. Then comes a bud at the top; it grow larger until it begins to burst and the red leaves of the rose show beneath the green. It unfolds in the air, emitting an exquisite perfume, which we sense perfectly as it is wafted to us on the balmy summer breeze which gently sways the beautiful creation before the mind's eye. Only when we "imagine" in such clear and complete outlines as these, do we enter into the spirit of concentration. There must be no shadowy, faint resemblance. Those who have traveled in India have told of fakirs showing them a seed, which was planted and grew before the eyes of the astonished witness, bear- ing fruit which the traveler tasted. That was done by concentration so in- tense that the picture was visible, not only to the fakir himself, but also the spectators. A case is recorded where the members of a committee of sci- entist all saw the wonderful things done before their eyes, under conditions where sleight-of-hand was impossible, yet the photographs which they [PAGE 2354] obtained while the experiment was in progress, came to naught. There was no impression on the sensitive plates, because there had been no material, con- crete objects. At first the pictures which the aspirant builds will be but shadowy and poor likenesses, but in the end he can, by concentration, conjure up an image more real and alive than things in the Physical World. When the aspirant has become able to form such pictures and has succeeded in holding his mind upon the picture thus created, he may try to drop the picture suddenly and, holding his mind steady without any thought, wait to see what comes into the vacuum. For a long time nothing may appear and the aspirant must carefully guard against making visions for himself, but if he keeps on faithfully and pa- tiently every morning, there will come a time when, the moment he has let the imaged picture drop, in a flash the surrounding Desire World will open up to his inner eye. At first it may be but a mere glimpse, but it is an earnest of what will later come at will. MEDITATION: When the aspirant has practiced concentration for some time, focussing the mind upon some simple object, building a living thought form by means of the imaginative faculty, he will, by means of Meditation, learn all about the object thus created. Supposing that the aspirant has, by concentration, called up the image of the Christ. It is very easy to meditatively recall the incidents of His life, suffering and resurrection, but much beyond that can be learned by meditation. Knowledge never before dreamed of will flood the soul with a [PAGE 2355] glorious light. Yet something that is uninteresting and does not of itself suggest anything marvelous, is better for practice. Try to find out all about--say, a match, or a common table. When the image of the table has been clearly formed in the mind, think what kind of wood it is and whence it came. Go back to the time when, as a tiny seed, the tree from which the wood was cut first feel into the forest soil. Watch it grow from year to year, covered by the snows of winter and warmed by the summer Sun, steadily growing upward--its roots meanwhile con- stantly spreading under the ground. First it is a tender sapling, swaying in the breeze; then, as a young tree, it gradually stretches higher and higher toward the air and the sunshine. As the years pass, its girth be- comes greater and greater, until at last one day the logger comes, with his axe and saw gleaming as they reflect the rays of the winter Sun. Our tree is felled and shorn if its branches, leaving by the trunk; that is cut into logs, which are hauled over the frozen roads to the river bank, there to await the springtime when the melting snow swells the streams. A great raft of the logs is made, the pieces of our tree being among them. We know every little peculiarity about them and would recognize them instantly among thou- sand, so clearly have we marked them in our mind. We follow the raft down the stream, noting the passing landscape and become familiar with the men who have the care of the raft and who sleep upon little huts built upon their floating charge. At last we see it arrive at a sawmill and disbanded. One by one the logs are grasped by prongs on an endless chain and hauled out of the water. Here comes one of our logs, the widest part of which will be made into the top of our table. It is hauled out of the water to the log- [PAGE 2356] deck and rolled about by men with peavies. We hear the hungry whine of the great circular saws as they revolve so fast that they appear as mere blurs before our eyes. Our log is placed upon a carriage which is propelled to- ward one of them, and in a moment those teeth of steel are tearing their way through its body and dividing it into boards and planks. Some of the wood is selected to form part of a building, but the best of it is taken to a furniture factory and put into a kiln, where it is dried by steam so that it will not shrink after it has been made into furniture. Then it is taken out and put through a great planing machine with many sharp knives, which makes it smooth. Next it is sawn off into different lengths and glued together to form table-tops. The legs are turned from thicker pieces and set into the frame which supports the top; then the whole article is smoothed again with sandpaper, varnished and polished, thus completing the table in every re- spect. It is next sent out, with other furniture, to the store where we bought it, and we follow it as it is carted from that place to our home and left in our dining room. Thus, by meditation, we have become conversant with the various branches of industry necessary to convert a forest tree into a piece of furniture. WE have seen all the machines and the men, and noted the peculiarities of the various places. We have even followed the life process whereby that tree has grown from a tiny seed, and have learned that back of seemingly very commonplace things there is a great and absorbingly interesting his- tory. A pin; the match with which we light the gas; the gas itself; and the room in which that has is burned--all have interesting histories, well worth learning. [PAGE 2357] OBSERVATION: One of the most important aids to the aspirant in its efforts is observa- tion. Most people go through life blind-folded. Of them it is literally true that they "have eyes, and see not; . . . have ears, and hear not." Upon the part of the majority of humanity there is a deplorable lack of ob- servation. Most people are, to some extent, excusable for this, because their sight is not normal. Urban life has caused untold damage to the eyes. In the country the child learns to use the muscles of the eye to the full extend, relaxing of contracting them as required to see objects at considerable dis- tances in the open, or close at hand in and about the house. But the city-bred child sees practically EVERYTHING close at hand and the muscles of its eyes are seldom used to observe objects at any great distance, therefore that faculty is to a great extent lost, resulting in a prevalence of near-sightedness and other eye troubles. It is very important to one aspiring to the higher life that he be able to see all things about him in clear, definite outlines, and in full detail. To one suffering from defective sight, the use of glasses is like opening up a new world. Instead of the former mistiness, everything is seen clearly and definitely. If the condition of the sight requires the use of two foci, one should not be content with having two pairs of glasses, one for near and one for far seeing, thus necessitating frequent changes. Not only are the changes wearisome, but one is very apt to forget one pair when leaving home. The two foci can be had in one pair of bi-focal glasses, and such should be worn, to facilitate observation of the minutest details. [PAGE 2358] DISCRIMINATION: When the aspirant has attended to his eyesight, he should systematically observe everything and everybody, drawing conclusions from actions, to cul- tivate the faculty of logical reasoning. logic is the best teacher in the Physical World, as well as the safest and surest guide in any world. While practicing this method of observation, it should always be kept in mind that it must be used only to gather facts and not for purposes of criticism, at least not wanton criticism. Constructive criticism, which points out defects and the means of remedying them, is the basis of progress; but destructive criticism, which vandalistically demolishes good and bad alike with aiming at any higher attainment, is an ulcer on the char- acter and must be eradicated. Gossip and idle tale-bearing are clogs and hindrances. While it is not required that we shall say that black is white and overlook manifestly wrong conduct, criticism should be made for the pur- pose of helping, not to wantonly besmirch the character of a fellow-being because we have found a little stain. Remembering the parable of the mote and the beam, we should turn our most unsparing criticism toward ourselves. None is so perfect that there is no room for improvement. The more blame- less the man, the less prone he is to find fault and cast the first stone at another. If we point out faults and suggests ways for improvement, it must be done without personal feeling. We must always seek the good which is hidden in everything. The cultivation of this attitude of discrimination is particularly important. When the aspirant to first-hand knowledge has practiced concentration and meditation exercises for some time, and has become fairly proficient in [PAGE 2359] them, there is a still higher step to be taken. We have seen that concentration is focusing thought upon a single object. It is the means whereby we build a clear, objective, and living image of the form about which we wish to acquire knowledge. Meditation is the exercise whereby the history of the object of our in- vestigation is traced and, so to say, entered into, to pick out of it every shred of evidence as to its relation to the world in general. These two mental exercises deal, in the deepest and most thorough manner, imaginable, with THINGS. They lead up to a higher, deeper and more subtle stage of mental development, which deals with the very SOUL OF THINGS. The name of that stage is Contemplation. CONTEMPLATION: In contemplation there is no reaching out in thought or imagination for the sake of getting information, as was the case in Meditation. It is sim- ply the holding of the object before our mental vision and letting the soul of it speak to us. We repose quietly and relaxed upon a couch or bed--not negatively, but thoroughly on the alert--watching for the information that will surely come if we have reached the proper development. Then the FORM of the object seems to vanish and we see only the LIFE at work. Contempla- tion will teach us about the Life side, as Meditation taught us about the Form side. When we reach this stage and have before us, say, a tree in the forest, we lost sight of the Form entirely, and see only the Life, which in this case is a group spirit. We shall find, to our astonishment, that the group spirit of the tree includes the various insects which feed upon it; that the [PAGE 2360] parasite and its host are emanations from one and the same group spirit, for the higher we ascend in the invisible realms, the fewer the separate and distinct forms, and the more completely the One Life predominates, impress- ing upon the investigator the supreme fact that there is but the One Life--the Universal Life of God, in Whom it is an actual fact that "we live, and move, and have our being." Mineral, plant, animal, and man--all, with- out exception--are manifestations of God, and this fact furnishes the true basis of brotherhood--a brotherhood which includes everything from the atom to the Sun, because all are emanations from God. Conceptions of brotherhood based upon any other foundation, such as class distinctions, Race affinity, similarity of occupation, etc., fall far short of this true basis, as the occult scientist clearly realizes when he sees the Universal Life flowing in all that exists. ADORATION: When this height has been reached by Contemplation, and the aspirant has realized that he is in truth beholding God in the Life that permeates all things, there remains still to be taken the highest step, Adoration, whereby he unites himself with the Source of all things, reaching by that act the highest goal possible of attainment by man until the time when the permanent union takes place at the end of the great Day of Manifestation. It is the writer's opinion that neither the heights of Contemplation, nor the final step of Adoration can be attained without the aid of a teacher. The aspirant need never fear, however, that for want of a teacher he will be delayed in taking these steps; nor need he be concerned about looking for a [PAGE 2361] teacher. All that is necessary for him to do is start to improve himself, and to earnestly and PERSISTENTLY continue therein. In that way he will pu- rify his vehicles. They will commence to shine in the inner Worlds, and cannot fail to attract the attention of the teachers, who are always watch- ing for just such cases and are more than eager and glad to help those who, because of their earnest efforts to purify themselves, have won the right to receive help. Humanity is sorely in need of helpers who are able to work from the inner Worlds, therefore "seek and ye shall find," but let us not imagine that by going about from one professed teacher to another, we are seeking. "Seeking," in that sense of the word, will avail nothing in this dark world. We ourselves must kindle the light--the light which invariably radiates from the vehicles of the earnest aspirant. That is the star which will lead us to the teacher, or rather the teacher to us. The time required to bring results from the performance of the exercises varies with each individual and is dependent upon his application, his stage in evolution and his record in the book of destiny; therefore no general time can be set. Some, who are almost ready, obtain results in a few days or weeks; others have to work months, years, and even their whole life with- out VISIBLE results, yet the results will be there, and the aspirant who faithfully persists will some day, i this or a future life, behold his pa- tience and faithfulness rewarded and the inner Worlds open to his gaze, finding himself a citizen of realms where the opportunities are immeasurably greater than in the Physical World only. From that time--awake or asleep, through what men call life, and through what men call death--his consciousness will be unbroken. He will lead a consciously continuous existence, having the benefit of all the conditions which make for more rapid advancement to every higher positions of trust, to be used in the unlifting of the race. Continued with file "RC1066.TXT" End of File

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