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Filename: RC1070.TXT Source: "The Rosicrucian Philosophy In Questions & Answers, Vol. I" by Max Heindel [PAGE 2498] QUESTION NO. 52: WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF THE VAST NUMBER OF DEATHS WHICH OCCUR IN INFANCY AND CHILDHOOD? ANSWER: When the man passes out at death, he takes with him the mind, desire body, and vital body, the latter being the storehouse of the pictures of his past life. And during the three and one-half days following death these pictures are etched into the desire body to form the basis of the man's life in Purgatory and the First Heaven where the evil is expurgated and the good assimilated. The experience of the life itself is forgotten, as we have forgotten the process of learning to write, but have retained the faculty. So the cumulative extract of all his experiences, both during past earth lives and past existencies in Purgatory and the various heavens, are retained by the man and form his stock in trade in the next birth. The pains he has sustained speak to him as the voice of conscience, the good he has done gives him a more and more altruistic character. Now, when the three and a half days immediately following death are spent by the man under conditions of peace and quiet, he is able to concentrate much more upon the etching of his past life and the imprint upon the desire body will be deeper than if he is disturbed by the hysterical lamentations of his relatives or from other causes. And he will then experience a much keener feeling for either good or bad in Purgatory and in the First Heaven, and in after lives that keen feeling will speak to him with no unmistakable voice; but where the lamentations of relatives take away his attention or where a man passes out by an accident perhaps in a crowded street, in a train wreck, theater fire, or under other harrowing circumstances, there will, of course, be no opportunity for him to properly concentrate; neither can he concentrate upon a battle field if he is slain there, and yet it could not be just that he should lose the experiences of his life on account of passing out in such an untoward manner, so the law of cause and effect provides a compensation. [PAGE 2499] We usually think that when a child is born it is born and that is the end of it; but as during the period of gestation the dense body is shielded from the impact of the outside world by being placed within the protecting womb of the mother until it has arrived at sufficient maturity to meet the out- side conditions, so are also the vital body, desire body and mind in a state of gestation and are born at later periods because they have not had as long an evolution behind them as the dense body and, therefore, it takes a longer time for them to arrive at a sufficient state of maturity to become indi- vidualized. The vital body is born at the seventh year, when the period of excessive growth marks its advent. The desire body is born at the time of puberty, the fourteenth year, and the mind is born at twenty-one, when the child is said to have become a man or woman--to have reached majority. That which has not been quickened cannot die, and so when a child dies before the birth of the desire body it passes out into the invisible world in the First Heaven. It cannot ascend into the Second and Third Heaven be- cause the mind and desire body are not born and will not die, so it simply waits in the First Heaven until a new opportunity for embodiment offers, and where it has died in its previous life under the before-mentioned harrowing circumstances, by accident or upon the battle field or where the lamenta- tions of relatives rendered it impossible for it to gain as deep an impres- sion of the evil committed and the good accomplished as would have been the case had it died in peace, it is instructed when it has died in the next life as a child in the effects of passions and desires so that it learns the lessons then which it should have learned in the Purgatorial life had it re- mained undisturbed. It is then reborn with the proper development of [PAGE 2500] conscience so that it may continue its evolution. As in the past man has been exceedingly warlike and not at all careful of the relatives who passed out at death because of his ignorance, holding wakes over those who died in bed, which were few, perhaps, compared to those who died on the battle field, there must necessarily on that account be an enormous amount of infant mortality, but as humanity arrives at a better un- derstanding and realizes that we are never so much our brother's keeper as when he is passing out of this life and that we can help him enormously by being quiet and prayerful, so also will infant mortality cease to exist on such a large scale as at present. QUESTION NO. 53: DOES THE CREMATION OF THE DENSE BODY AFTER DEATH AFFECT THE SPIRIT IN ANY WAY? ANSWER: During life and in the waking state of consciousness, the ve- hicles of the Ego are all together and concentric, but at death the Ego, clothed in the mind and desire body, withdraws from the dense body, and as the vital functions are at an end, the vital body also is taken out of the [PAGE 2501] dense body, leaving it inanimate upon the bed. One little atom in the heart is taken out and the rest of the body disintegrates in due course. But at that time there is an extremely important process going on, and those who attend the passing spirit in the death chamber should be very careful that the utmost quiet reigns there and in the whole house, for the pictures of the whole past life which have been stored in the vital body are passing be- fore the eye of the spirit in a slow and orderly progression, IN REVERSE OR- DER, from death back to birth. This panorama of the past life lasts from a few hours to three and one-half days. The time is dependent upon the strength of the vital body which determines how long a man could keep awake under the most severe stress. Some persons can work for fifty, sixty and seventy hours before they fall down exhausted, while others are capable of keeping awake only a few hours. The reason why it is important that there should be quiet in the house of death during the three and one-half days im- mediately following death is this: During that time the panorama of the past life is being etched upon the desire body which will be the man's ve- hicle while he stays in Purgatory and the First Heaven, where he is reaping the good or ill that he has sown, according to the deeds done in the body. Now, where the life has been full of events and the man's vital body is strong, a longer time will be given to this etching than under conditions where the vital body is weak, but DURING ALL THAT TIME THE DENSE BODY IS CONNECTED WITH THE HIGHER VEHICLES BY THE SILVER CORD AND ANY HURT TO THE DENSE BODY IS FELT IN A MEASURE BY THE SPIRIT. So that embalming, post mortem examinations and cremation are all felt. therefore, these should be avoided during the first three and one-half days after the time of death, [PAGE 2502] for when the panorama has been fully etched into the desire body, then the silver cord is broken, the vital body gravitates back to the dense body and there is no more connection with the spirit, which is then free to go on with its higher life. When the body is buried, the vital body disintegrates slowly at the same time as the dense body, so that when, for instance, an arm has decayed in the grave, the etheric arm of the vital body which hovers over the grave also disappears, and so on until the last vestige of the body is gone. But where cremation is performed the vital body disintegrates at once, and as that is the store-house of the pictures of the past life, which, being etched upon the desire body to form the basis of life in Purgatory and the First Heaven, this would be a great calamity where cremation is performed before the three and a half days are past. Unless help were given, the passing spirit could not hold it together. And that is part of the work that is done by the invisible helpers for humanity. Sometimes they are as- sisted by nature spirits and others detailed by the Creative Hierarchies or leaders of humanity. There is also a loss where one is cremated before the silver cord has broken naturally, the imprint upon the desire body is never as deep as it would otherwise have been, and this has an effect upon future lives, for the deeper the imprint of the past life upon the desire body, the keener the sufferings in Purgatory for the ill committed and the keener also the pleasure in the First Heaven which results from the good deeds of the past life. It is these pains and pleasures of our past lives that create what we call conscience, so that where we have lost in suffering we lose also the realization of wrong which is to deter us in future lives from com- mitting the same mistakes over and over again. Therefore, the effects of [PAGE 2503] the premature cremation are very far reaching. Sad it is to say, that while we have a science of birth with obstetricians, trained nurses, antiseptics and everything else necessary to the comfort and well being of a little stranger, we sadly lack a science of death to help us to care for the de- parting friends of a lifetime. QUESTION NO. 54: IS A PERSON HAS LOST HIS MEMORY THROUGH NERVOUS SHOCK OR FEVER DOES THAT AFFECT HIS VITAL BODY AND PREVENT HIM FROM GETTING THE RECORD OF HIS LIFE IN THE THREE DAYS IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING DEATH? ANSWER: No. Memory is of three kinds: There is, in the first place, the record which is made by our senses. We look about us in the world, we see and hear things, these impressions are engraven upon the cells of our brain and we are able to consciously call them back--yet not always, but in varying degree, for this memory is extremely unreliable and capricious, and were this the only method of gaining a record of our lives the law of cause and effect would be invalidated--our after life would not be a sequence of what we have done or left undone in the past. [PAGE 2504] There must be another memory, and this is what scientists have called the subconscious mind. Just as ether carries to the camera of the photographer a record of the surrounding landscape and imprints it upon the sensitive plate to the minutest detail, regardless of whether the photographer ob- served these details or not, so also does the same ether which carries a picture to our eye and imprints it upon the retina carry into our lungs a similar picture which then is absorbed by the blood, and as the blood passes through the heart this record is indelibly inscribed upon the sensitive seed atom which is located in the left ventricle of the heart near the apex. The forces of that seed atom are taken out by the spirit at death and contain the record of the whole life to the minutest detail, so that, regardless of whether we have observed the facts in a certain scene or not, they are, nev- ertheless, there. George du Maurier has written a story called "Peter Ibbetson," wherein this theory of the subconscious memory is very clearly shown. Peter Ibbetson, a prisoner in an English penitentiary, learned how to "dream true," that is to say, by putting his body in a certain position he learned how to lock the currents of ether within himself so that at night he was able at will to keep in touch with any scene IN HIS PAST LIFE that he de- sired to; there he would see himself as a spectator (grown man that he was), and he would also see himself among his parents and playmates and in the en- vironment as he was at the time that scene was enacted. He would see the whole scene with many more details than he had been able to observe at the time when the events took place in this material world. That was because, under these circumstances, he could get in touch wit his own subconscious memory. HE WOULD HAVE BEEN UNABLE TO GAIN ANY INFORMATION CONCERNING THE FUTURE, but the past had been inscribed upon the tablet of his heart and [PAGE 2505] was, therefore, accessible under the proper conditions. It is from this subconscious memory that the record of life is taken after death, and as that is dependent upon the breath alone, it continues regardless of all other circumstances while life is in the body, and though a man may lose his conscious memory and become unable to recall past events AT WILL, the sub- conscious memory contains them all and will give them up at the proper time. QUESTION NO. 55: IF A DISEMBODIED SPIRIT CAN PASS THROUGH A WALL, CAN IT ALSO PASS THROUGH A MOUNTAIN AND THE EARTH, AND CAN IT SEE WHAT IS INSIDE? ANSWER: That depends upon what kind of a disembodied spirit the enquirer has in mind. When a man dies, he is just the same as he was before with the exception that he has no dense body and, therefore, it is perfectly possible for him to pass through a wall or mountain either. But he is not able to pass through the earth. It is a well known fact that, though most clairvoyants and ordinary psychics are capable of telling much about the sights and the scenes of the [PAGE 2506] Desire World, there is very little information at hand concerning the inside of the earth, for it is found by ordinary clairvoyants that if they attempt to enter the earth there is something like the same effect as when a man hurls himself against a wall. That is because the earth is the body of a great spirit and that spirit may not be approached in its inner recesses, except by the path of initiation. There are nine layers of varying thick- ness in the earth around the core, which forms, as it were, a tenth part, and the Lesser Mysteries are the gate which leads to that innermost core. There are nine degrees in the Lesser Mysteries, and in each degree the can- didate becomes able to penetrate into the corresponding layer of the earth, while the tenth initiation belongs to the Greater Mysteries where there are four divisions. The first teaches all that can be known by man in the Earth Period; the second of the great initiations would bring him the knowledge that will be gained by all humanity at the end of the Jupiter Period; the third of the great initiations would bring him the wisdom attained by human- ity at the end of the Venus Period, and the fourth would end his evolution in the present scheme. He would have the same standing as humanity will have at the end of the Vulcan Period. Then he will know all that the earth will contain in this embodiment and its future manifestations. The lesser Mysteries will also have taught him the evolution he went through in the three periods previous to our present Earth Period. It is these secrets which are locked up in the earth, until man has opened the door himself in the proper manner, so that no spirit, whether in the body or discarnate, can see what is inside the earth until the gate of initiation has opened its latent faculties. [PAGE 2507] QUESTION NO. 56: DO WE MEET OUR LOVED ONES AFTER DEATH, EVEN IF THEY HAVE HELD A DIFFERENT BELIEF FROM OUR OWN? OR PERHAPS, BEEN ATHEISTS? ANSWER: Yes, we certainly meet them and we know them, for there is no transforming power in death. The man will appear just as he was here be- cause he thinks of himself as being of that shape, but the place where we meet, of course depends upon several things. In the first place if we have lived a very religious life, so that we shall have no existence at all in Purgatory and but a very short existence in the First Heaven, going almost directly to the Second Heaven, whereas, the one whom we love was of such a nature that he would have a long stay in the Desire World, then, of course, we should not meet until he arrived in the Second Heaven. If we pass out shortly after our friend, the meeting would not take place for perhaps twenty years; but then, that would not mat- ter for in those regions a person is entirely unconscious of time. The materialistic friend, if he had lived a good moral life, as we usu- ally find that those people do, would remain in the fourth region of the De- sire World for a certain number of years, according to the length of time he had lived, and would then pass into the Second Heaven, though he would not have there as full and as perfect a consciousness as that possessed by a person who had been dwelling on the realities of life. We would see him, know him and be associated with him for centuries in the work upon our future environment, and there he would not be materialis- [PAGE 2508] tic at all, for when the spirit arrives in that region, it is not under the delusions which sometimes envelop it here in this material world. Each and every one knows himself as a spiritual being and feels the memory of this earth life as we feel a bad dream. The spirit, upon entering that world, wakes up to its own true nature in any case. QUESTION NO. 57: DO WE RECOGNIZE LOVED ONES WHO HAVE PASSED OUT THROUGH THE GATE OF DEATH? ANSWER: Yes, we certainly do. When a man passes out of this body, he is exactly the same as he was before. There is no difference whatever, except that he has no physical body; he sees himself in the Desire World, and as he retains in his consciousness a picture of himself as he looked here, this desire body will at once take the shape possessed by the physical body, so that anyone who had known him in earth life will also know him when he has passed over into the beyond. Besides, it may be well to add that there is no transforming power in death--that man is also mentally and morally the same person. We often hear people who have loved some one speak of the [PAGE 2509] dear, departed angel, even if they conceded that he was very much of a devil here in earth life, but they usually think it irreverent to refer to him as such when he has passed out. The fact remains, nevertheless, that only those who were good here are good there. QUESTION NO. 58: DOES THE MAN WHO COMMITS SUICIDE STAY LONGER IN PURGATORY THAN THE PEOPLE WHO DIE NATURALLY? ANSWER: When the Ego is coming down to rebirth it descends through the Second Heaven. There is is helped by the Creative Hierarchies to build the archetype for its coming body, and it instills into that archetype a life that will last for a certain number of years. These archetypes are hollow spaces and they have a singing, vibratory motion which draws the material of the Physical World into them and sets all the atoms in the body to vibrating in tune with a little atom that is in the heart, called the seed atom, which, like a tuning fork, gives the pitch to all the rest of the material in the body. At the time when the full life has been lived on the earth the vibrations in the archetype cease, the seed atom is withdrawn, the dense [PAGE 2510] body goes to decay and the desire body, wherein the Ego functions in Purga- tory and the First Heaven, takes upon itself the shape of the physical body. Then the man commences his work of expiating his evil habits and deeds in Purgatory and assimilating the good of his life in the First Heaven. The foregoing describes the ordinary conditions when the course of nature is undisturbed, but the case of the suicide is different. He has taken away the seed atom, but the hollow archetype still keeps on vibrating. Therefore he feels as if he were hollowed out and experiences a gnawing feeling inside that can best be likened to the pangs of intense hunger. Material for the building of a dense body is all around him, but seeing that he lacks the gauge of the seed atom, it is impossible for him to assimilate that matter and build it into a body. This dreadful hollowed-out feeling lasts as long as his ordinary life should have lasted. Thus the law of cause and effect teaches him that it is wrong to play truant from the school of life and that it cannot be done with impunity. Then in the next life, when difficulties beset his path, he will remember the sufferings of the past which resulted from suicide and go through with the experience that makes for his soul growth. [PAGE 2511] QUESTION NO. 59: DOES A GOOD MAN HAVE TO GO THROUGH PURGATORY AND BE CONSCIOUS OF ALL THE EVIL THERE BEFORE HE CAN GET INTO THE FIRST, SECOND AND THIRD HEAVEN; AND, IF SO, ISN'T THAT AN UNDESERVED PUNISHMENT FOR HIM? ANSWER: The inquirer should get away from the idea of punishment. There is no such thing as punishment. Whatever happens to a man is in consequence of immutable, invariable laws, and THERE IS NO PERSONAL GOD WHO GIVES RE- WARDS OR PUNISHMENTS AS HE SEES FIT, ACCORDING TO AN INSCRUTABLE WILL OR ANY OTHER SUCH METHOD. When the Ego invests itself with bodies, or when it di- vests itself of its vehicles, this is done on the very same principle and by the very same laws that govern, for instance, in the case of a planet. When a planet is being formed from the central firemist, a crystallization has taken place at the poles where motion is the slowest. The crystallized mat- ter is thrown out by centrifugal force and flies into space because it is heavier than the rest of the firemist. For similar reasons, when the body of the spirit which is densest has become so crystallized and heavy that the spirit can no longer use it to gain experience the process of disrobement is accomplished by the centrifugal force which naturally eliminates the dense body first. That is what we call death. Then the spirit is free for a time, but the coarsest desire matter which was the embodiment for the lowest passions and desires must also be thrown off, and it is the forcible ejec- tion of low desires that causes pain in Purgatory where the centrifugal force of repulsion is the strongest. If a man has any of that coarse matter in his desire body, naturally he will have to stay in Purgatory and undergo [PAGE 2512] the process of purgation before he can enter the First Heaven. There the centripetal force of attraction whirls all the good in the life inward to the spiritual center, where it is assimilated as soul power available for the use of the spirit in its next earth life as conscience. Thus our stay in Purgatory depends upon how much of the coarse desire matter there is in the man, and a good man naturally would have very little or nothing of that kind. Therefore, he would have no life to speak of in Purgatory; he would pass directly through those regions into the Heaven World. QUESTION NO. 60: WHAT IS THE CONDITION OF THE VICTIM OF A MURDER AND THE VICTIM OF AN AC- CIDENT SUBSEQUENT TO DEATH? ANSWER: There is no such thing as an accident at least where the acci- dent terminates fatally. The life of any person in its ultimate length is ordinarily decreed before birth, but there are certain points of life where there is as it were a parting of the ways, where certain opportunities for growth are placed before the person, which he may either take or leave. [PAGE 2513] Where he fails to use his opportunities, the life, as it were, runs into a blind alley, and terminates shortly afterward. That, however, is not usually the case in an accident, but there may be certain reasons which make it desirable that the man should be cast out of his body in a violent manner. He is then in the same position as all others when they have passed out; he commences his Purgatorial existence at once. The case of the victim of murder, like the case of the suicide, is dif- ferent. Man, on account of his divine nature, is the only being who has the prerogative of causing disorder in the scheme of his unfoldment, and as he may end his own life by an act of will, so may he also end the life of a fellow creature before its time has come. The suffering of the suicide would also be the suffering of the murdered, for the archetype of his body would keep on gathering material which it would be impossible for him to as- similate; but in his case, the intervention of other agencies prevent the suffering and he will be found floating about in his desire body, in a coma- tose state, for the length of time that he would ordinarily have lived. If the murderer is brought to justice, as we say, and suffers capital punish- ment, the magnetic attraction will bring him together with his victim, who will constantly remain before his gaze, and that is really a much more se- vere punishment than any which we could mete out to him; but the victim knows naught of the presence of its slayer. [PAGE 2514] QUESTION NO. 61: WHERE IS HEAVEN? ANSWER: The Christ said "Heaven is within," and yet we are shown that at the time when He left His disciples, he ASCENDED into heaven. to understand this, we must analyze the constitution of a planet, and according to the hermetic action "as above so below," we shall understand better if we first analyze the constitution of man. The man has first the DENSE BODY which we see with our eyes, but that dense body is not as solid as it appears; in fact it is permeated by a num- ber of invisible vehicles. It is composed of the solids, the liquids and the gases of THE CHEMICAL REGION, but these, science tells us, are interpen- etrated by ether, for man's body is no different from all other things in the world, and in the densest solid as in the rarest gas, science says, and says truly, every little atom is vibrating in a sea of ether. This ether is still physical matter; a consideration portion is specialized by man and forms an exact counterpart of our dense body, besides protruding about an inch and a half beyond the periphery of our visible body. It was this part that the doctors in Boston weighed by placing dying people on scales. They noted that when the last breath was drawn something having weight left the body and the side of the scales which had the weight on it fell to the floor with startling suddenneess. The newspaper reporters claimed that the doc- tors had weighed the soul, but what they did weigh was this VITAL BODY COM- POSED OF ETHER which leaves the body at death. We have a still finer vehicle called THE DESIRE BODY, WHICH IS COMPOSED OF WHAT OCCULTISTS CALL DESIRE STUFF, and it may be seen by one having the [PAGE 2515] sixth sense unfolded as an egg-shaped cloud enveloping the dense body on all sides, so that the latter is located in the center of the desire body, as the yolk is in the center of the egg, with the difference only that while the white envelops the yolk but does not interpenetrate, THIS DESIRE BODY PERMEATES BOTH THE VITAL BODY AND THE DENSE BODY IN EVERY NOOK AND CRANNY. There is a still finer material in the makeup of man which we may call "mind stuff," composed of the coarsest material of the world of thought, the mate- rial wherein we form our concrete thoughts, and this envelops the indwelling Ego. The world is similarly constituted. Besides this VISIBLE WORLD which we see, composed of the solids, liquids and gases, and interpenetrated by ether, there is also a DESIRE WORLD which permeates every part of the Physical World and reaches out into space beyond both air and ether. Then there is the WORLD OF THOUGHT, and that also penetrates every part of our planet, from center to circumference, REACHING OUT INTO SPACE STILL FARTHER THAN ANY OF THE OTHER WORLDS. During earth life, man lives upon this firm, visible earth, but after death, according to the deeds done in the body, he may be still imprisoned here, as the Purgatory regions are everywhere around and about us, also be- low in the inner recesses of the earth. The First Heaven is also here in a certain sense, insofar as similar material to that of which it is consti- tuted is around and about us, but the First Heaven itself, the place where the spirits who have been liberated usually dwell, is beyond our atmosphere. The Second heaven may also be truly said to be within, for the material of which it is constituted is here and the spirits who are there might visit us, yet the conditions here, the thought currents, etc., would be derogatory to their work and development. Therefore, they prefer to stay in the [PAGE 2516] farthermost, outermost part of our planet, WHERE THE PURE MIND STUFF IS UNSULLIED BY OUR SELFISH AND DELETERIOUS THOUGHT CURRENTS. The Third Heaven is a place in which very few people at the present stage of development have any consciousness, because most of us are guided in our thought activities more by emotions and feelings concerning concrete things than by abstract thought, which is the peculiar faculty pertaining to the Third Heaven. When we think of love, we usually think of love in connection with some person; that is a concrete thought. But of Love in the abstract, very few of us are able to think. We can think of a house, an animal, etc., they are concrete, but we dislike to think of an abstract proposition such as, for instance, that the square of the hypothenuse equals the square of the other two sides of a triangle. Therefore, most of us have very little consciousness in the Third Heaven, and consequently very little of the mate- rial of that world is in the makeup of our planet. [PAGE 2517] QUESTION NO. 62: IT IS SAID THAT THERE IS NO SORROW IN HEAVEN, BUT IF OUR LOVED ONES ARE MET THERE AND THEN PASS ON, DOES NOT THE PARTING FROM THEM INVOLVE AT LEAST A SENSE OF DISSATISFACTION? ANSWER: No, it does not, for there we see things as they are. Here we are blinded. When the Ego comes into the Physical World, it is in one sense a cause for rejoicing, as we rejoice at the birth of a child, for this world affords us experience and material for soul growth. But looking at it from another point of view, when the Ego comes into this world and enters the prison house of the dense body, it is in the most limited condition imagin- able, and to rejoice at the time when the child is born and lament when it is liberated by death is in reality analogous to rejoicing when a friend is put in jail and giving way to hysterical lamentations when he is liberated. When the spirit passes into the heaven World, it meets a number of those with whom it has associated in earth life in the First Heaven, but there it has already become so spiritual and so much in touch with the realities that it knows there is no death. Therefore, when someone passes into the beyond there is a rejoicing and a pleasure at the preferment of one whom we hold dear, and the knowledge that we shall meet again will certainly take away any pang that might be felt by those who are left behind. [PAGE 2518] QUESTION NO. 63: PLEASE EXPLAIN HOW TO CONCENTRATE IN ORDER TO HELP THOSE IN THE OTHER WORLD? DO YOU MEAN SITTING IN THE SILENCE AND SENDING OUT LOVING, HELPFUL THOUGHTS TO THEM? ANSWER: The ability to send out a thought and the power that that thought has to accomplish the purpose for which it is sent, depends upon the definiteness wherewith the thinker is able to visualize that which he de- sires to accomplish. And the usual occult schools, particularly those along the lines of Eastern thought, advise the method of concentration whereby thoughts are focused upon one single point, as the rays of the sun are brought to a focus in a magnifying glass for thus their forces are massed, and as the sun's rays will burn when focused, so will the thought invariably accomplish its object when concentrated to a sufficient intensity. It takes long practice, however, to learn how to do that, and there are very few people in the West who are able to thus direct their thoughts to any purpose. The western religion, recognizing this disability, teaches an- other method which is much more efficient than concentration, namely, prayer. Therefore, if we wish to help those who have passed out of the body, we may pray earnestly for their welfare and that they may learn the lessons of this life thoroughly in their experiences in Purgatory and the First Heaven; then we shall accomplish much more than if we try the cold, intellectual method of concentration. The attitude of the body sometimes has a great deal to do with the intensity of the prayer, and if a kneeling position [PAGE 2519] seems to facilitate the act, the kneeling position should be taken. On the other hand, as Emerson said: "And though your knees are never bent To Heaven, your hourly prayers are sent; And, be they formed for good or ill, Are registered and answered still," so that the attitude of the body during the act of prayer is immaterial ex- cept as found to be conducive to produce the greatest intensity of purpose; for that is what makes the prayer effective. QUESTION NO. 64: DO THOSE WHO HAVE PASSED OUT OF EARTH LIFE KEEP WATCH AND WARD OVER US WHO ARE LEFT BEHIND; FOR INSTANCE, DO MOTHERS LOOK AFTER THEIR LITTLE CHIL- DREN, OR EVEN THE LARGER ONES? ANSWER: Yes, very often a mother who has recently passed out will watch over her little children for a long time, and instances have been recorded where mothers have saved their babes from dangers. Thought not knowing con- sciously how to materialize, love for the little ones and intense fear for their safety caused the mothers in such instances to draw to themselves [PAGE 2520] material so that they could be seen by the little ones. Those whom we call dead do not usually go away from the house where they have lived until quite a long time after the funeral. They stay in the familiar rooms and move about among us, although they are unseen by us. Of course, when their time comes to go into the First Heaven, they do not remain any longer in our houses, but very often they visit them. When in time they enter the Second Heaven, they are no longer conscious of this physical sphere in the sense of having homes, or friends, or relatives; they are then rather to be looked upon as nature forces, for the time being, for they work upon the earth and humanity in the very same manner as the nature forces who do not take human embodiment. Thus it is perfectly true that they watch over their loved ones for a long time after they have passed out, and it has been often noted by persons attending the death of a mother whose children had passed out, perhaps a number of years before, that at the time of dying she would see the children around her bed and exclaim: "Why, there is Johnny, and what a big boy he has grown to be," and so on. The people around the bed would probably think that a hallucination, but it is not, and it will be noted that a certain phenomenon always attends those visions, namely, when a person dies there comes over him a darkness which he feels descending upon him. Many persons pass out without again seeing the Physical World. that is the change from our light vibrations to the vibrations of the Desire World, and is similar to the darkness that spread over the earth at the time of the crucifixion. With other people it happens that the darkness lifts after a moment and then the person is clairvoyant, seeing both the present world and the Desire [PAGE 2521] World, and there, of course, appear the loved ones, who have been attracted by the impending death, which is birth into their world. Thus we may say that our loved ones are interested in our welfare for a long time after passing out, but it must be remembered that there is no transforming power in death; that it does not give them any special ability to care for us, and that they have no means of really influencing our af- fairs, so that it is not quite right to look upon them as our guardian angels. They are merely interested spectators except in a few specific cases where an intense love enables them to perform some slight service in case of great need. That service, however, would never take the form of en- riching us or anything like that, but is more in the nature of a warning of danger or the like. DIAGRAM 5A: |---------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 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 2522] QUESTIONS CONCERNING REBIRTH: QUESTION NO. 65: WHY, WITH A FEW EXCEPTIONS, ARE WE REINCARNATED, WITHOUT HAVING THE SLIGHTEST KNOWLEDGE OF ANY PREVIOUS EXISTENCE, TO SUFFER BLINDLY IN THIS LIFE FOR TRANSGRESSIONS COMMITTED IN SOME FORMER LIFE OF WHICH WE ARE NOW ENTIRELY IGNORANT? COULD WE NOT ADVANCE BETTER AND QUICKER SPIRITUALLY IF WE KNEW WHERE WE HAD ERRED BEFORE AND WHAT ACTS WE MUST CORRECT BEFORE WE CAN PROGRESS? ANSWER: It is one of the greatest blessings to man that he does not know his previous experiences until he has attained considerable spiritual ad- vancement, because there are in our past lives (when we were much more igno- rant than we are now) dark deeds that call for retribution, and this fate is being gradually liquidated, so that did we know our past lives, did we know how and when the law of cause and effect will bring to us retribution for past misdeeds, we would see this impending calamity hovering over us, and fear of our fate would then be apt to rob us of the strength wherewith to battle against it, and at the time of its arrival we should stand appalled and helpless. On the other hand, not knowing what is being us, we escape knowing what is before us, and, therefore, we learn the lessons without being deprived of our strength by fear. Besides, for those who wish to know, there are cer- tain means of knowing what lessons we are to learn and how best to learn them. For instance, OUR CONSCIENCE tells what we are to do or not to do. [PAGE 2523] If we care to study the science of astrology the horoscope tells us our ten- dencies and the lines of least resistance, so that by working with these laws of nature we may advance quickly, and the more we follow the dictates of our conscience the more we study the laws of nature as revealed by as- tronomy, the quicker we shall be ready for first-hand knowledge. In "Zanoni," Bulwer Lytton speaks of a fearsome specter which met Glyndon as he was attempting to enter a step in unfoldment not hitherto attained by him, and that is called in Occultism the "Dweller on the Threshold." Be- tween the time of death and a new birth, this Dweller on the Threshold is not seen by man, but it is the embodiment of all our past evil deeds, that must first be passed by one who wishes to enter the inner worlds consciously and attain to a full knowledge of conditions there; but there is also an- other Dweller which is the embodiment of all our good deeds, and that one may be said to be our Guardian Angel. If we have the courage to pass the hideous one, which is perceived first because formed of coarse desire matter, we shall soon obtain the conscious help of the other and then we shall have the strength to stand fearless in the storms of vilification that come to all who attempt the path of unself- ishness. But before we have passed this specter we are not fitted for knowledge of our previous lives; we must rest content with the ordinary view given to mankind. [PAGE 2524] QUESTION NO. 66: ARE ALL THE HUMAN BEINGS THAT PEOPLE THE EARTH AT THE PRESENT TIME SOULS THAT HAVE GONE THROUGH EARTH LIFE BEFORE, OR ARE NEW SOULS BEING CREATED ALL THE TIME? ANSWER: The ingress of the spirits into the human bodies, as constituted at the present time, commenced in the stage of the world's solidification known as the Lemurian Epoch, and was not fully completed until the middle of the Atlantean Epoch, a period of time occupying, perhaps, millions of years. But since that time, there has been no farther ingress; the door is definitely closed because we have now evolved so far that those who had not reached the stage where they could manipulate a human body at that time would be too far behind us to catch up with our further development. Since that time, the spirits which were embodied in human shapes have been evolv- ing by repeated embodiments so that, without exception, every one of the hu- man beings now on earth has been embodied at different times and in differ- ent environments. [PAGE 2525] QUESTION NO. 67: HOW DO WE KNOW BEYOND A DOUBT THAT REBIRTH IS A FACT? IS IT NOT POSSIBLE THAT THOSE WHO SO STATE MAY BE SUFFERING FROM HALLUCINATION? ANSWER: The trained clairvoyant who is able to read in the memory of na- ture may follow the lives of people from their present state BACKWARD, through the years of childhood. He will then see them in infancy, follow them through the gestatory period to the time when the spirit entered thewomb of the mother. He may go back through their heaven life, their life in Purgatory, arriving at the time of death in the previous life, then fol- low them backward and see the whole life. But in the case of an adult, the time involved is usually a thousand years or more, and of course, it is pos- sible, were there no other means of verification, that this might be hal- lucination. In the cases of children, however, who have not reached puberty there is a comparatively short interval between incarnations. In such a case it is easy to verify a reembodiment among one's own acquaintances, and that is in fact part of the education of a pupil of the Elder Brothers. He is shown a child which is about to die and is told to watch that child in the invisible world for perhaps one or two years, following it step by step until it takes a new embodiment--perhaps with the same and possibly with other parents. When the pupil has thus followed an Ego through the invis- ible worlds from one death to the next birth, he knows absolutely that the law of rebirth is a fact in nature, and he often has occasion on account of his other investigations, to pursue such studies of the past lives of many individuals. [PAGE 2526] Still, it may be urged, is not this clairvoyance of which he speaks as his means of investigation in itself a hallucination? May he not be, al- though perfectly honest, the victim of a chimerical vision? It may be stated in answer to that suggestion, that he has every day at his disposal the means for verifying his observations. When a man has visited the city of New York and has seen the city he will never be tempted to say, I wonder if I could have been mistaken? HE HAS BEEN THERE AND KNOWS IT. So it is with the clairvoyant. At times when he leaves his body he meets and works with people whom he does not know in ordinary life. Later he may be invited to visit these friends from the invisible world; he may travel by their clairvoyant direction to a city where he is a stranger; he may find them in the street and house seen clairvoyantly, recognize them and be himself rec- ognized. He may then converse with these friends of the things they did and the places they visited in their invisible bodies, and if he ever had any doubt of the reality of his life outside the dense physical world, he is then once and for all time convinced of the reality of his experiences while out of the body. He knows that they are not strange, he knows that he can- not have been glamoured, but that his life there, his work there and his ex- periences there are as real as his life, his work and his experiences here. [PAGE 2527] QUESTION NO. 68: DO THE SOULS THAT HAVE PASSED INTO PURGATORY AND THROUGH THE FIRST, SEC- OND AND THIRD HEAVENS COME BACK HERE AND REINCARNATION THIS EARTH, OR DO THEY GO TO OTHER SPHERES? ANSWER: They come back to this earth again until they have learned the lessons that can be learned here. It is essentially the same principle as when we send a child to school. We do not send it to kindergarten one day, to grammar school the next, and to college the third day, but we send it to kindergarten day after day for a long time, until it has learned all the lessons that are to be learned there. The knowledge it has gained in kin- dergarten forms the basis for what it is to learn in the grammar school; that again is the foundation for the lessons of the high school and the col- lege. By a similar process we have learned lessons under different condi- tions in the past, and in the future, when we have learned all that can be learned from our present earth environment, we shall also find the tasks of higher evolutions awaiting us. There is endless progress, for we are divine as our Father in heaven, and limitations are impossible. [PAGE 2528] QUESTION NO. 69: DO WE COME IN CONTACT WITH THE FRIENDS OF ONE LIFE WHEN WE ARE BORN AGAIN INTO A NEW EARTH LIFE? ANSWER: The law of rebirth has for its companion law the law of causa- tion. It will be manifestly apparent that there are many causes set going by all of us which do not bring about effects in this life. For instance, a husband is sick and the wife cares for him with great self-sacrifice. There is obviously a debt there, and if the sickness continues until the end of the husband's life, there is in that life no opportunity for a return of the favor. But if we know what the laws of nature are and how they operate, we shall understand that they are not set aside by such small matters as cessa- tion of life in a certain body. If we break a limb it is not healed the next day, although we may have slept at night unconscious of our hurt; but when we awaken the limb is in about the same condition as on the previous day. So it is with the deeds done in the body in one life. Although we pass through the life between death and a new birth, and are now unconscious of former lives, nevertheless, when we enter upon a new life, the law of as- sociation, the causes generated in a former life, will bring us into a new environment where we shall find our old friends and our old foes. We know them, too, although perhaps we do not directly recognize them. Sometimes, however, we meet a person for the first time and are drawn to that person; we feel as if we had known that person all our lives, and that we could trust him or her with everything we have. That is because the spirit within sees an old friend and recognizes him, though unable to impress the recog- [PAGE 2529] nition upon the brain it now possesses. Or perhaps we may meet a person and feel that we would not care to be in his company; we instinctively dislike him though we have no reason from ordinary points of view; but there also it is the recognition of the spirit which bridges the past and sees an old-time enemy. Thus our instinctive likes and dislikes are guides, dictated by former experiences, and they will usually be found to be reliable in the light of subsequent experience. QUESTION NO. 70: IS THE EXPERIENCE GAINED IN EACH INCARNATION RECORDED SEPARATELY AND ADDED TO THE PREVIOUS ONES, SO THAT IN THE END THE SPIRIT WILL BE ENTIRELY CONSCIOUS OF THE COMPLETE SUM OF ITS EXPERIENCES, OR IS THE EXPERIENCE OF ONE LIFE MORE OR LESS UNCONSCIOUSLY ABSORBED BY THE NEXT SUCCEEDING INCARNA- TION, SO THAT ONLY A GENERAL EFFECT IS OBTAINED? ANSWER: When we were children we learned to write and we went through many awkward motions before we had finally cultivated the faculty. In the years that have gone by we have forgotten all about the experiences we went through while learning, but our faculty remains ready for our use at any time required. [PAGE 2530] In a similar manner, experiences we have had in different lives are usu- ally forgotten by the man, but the faculties he has cultivated remain and ready for his use at any time. Thus we sometimes see a man who has never had a lesson in painting who is nevertheless an artist to the very tips of his finger ends, able to paint the most wonderful pictures. He has brought over from past lives a faculty which he is now able to use. When we hear of a Mozart composing at three years of age, that also shows the accumulation of the sense of harmony in the past. Thus it may be said that, although we do not remember, we always have the faculties cultivated in our past lives for use in the present. It is that which makes the difference between man and man; between the dune and the sage. There is, however, also a record in nature of our past lives in their mi- nutest detail. The trained clairvoyant who is able to read in the memory of nature can follow the past lives of a man backwards, as, for instance, the film of a moving picture is unrolled in reverse order. He will see the man's present life first, his birth, his previous sojourn in the invisible world, next the death of the previous life, which will then unroll itself in reverse order through old age, manhood, youth, childhood and infancy, back to that birth, and so on through the various lives. [PAGE 2531] QUESTION NO. 71: WHEN THE SPIRIT, COMING DOWN TO REBIRTH, HAS DRAWN TO ITSELF ITS MIND STUFF AND SINKS INTO THE DESIRE WORLD, IS IT NOT THEN IN PURGATORY AGAIN? ANSWER: The difficulty of the inquirer is that he has not fully compre- hended what constitutes Purgatory. Purgatory is in the lower regions of the Desire World, but these regions are not Purgatory to those who have nothing to be purged from. The low desires of man are formed of the desire stuff from this region, and as they cannot be gratified, the man suffers. Be- sides, there the force of repulsion is supreme, and when the Ego is passing outward to the Heaven World it has in its desire body pictures of the evil acts it has committed. These pictures are formed also of coarse desire stuff, because they were generated by the passions of the man at the time he committed the evil act which they depict, and the centrifugal force of re- pulsion seeks to expel them from his makeup. It is the process of tearing them out that causes the pain he feels. When, on the other hand, the Ego passes through this region on its way to rebirth, the centripetal force of attraction brings new desire matter into its makeup. Then it is not Purgatory at all; neither is it Purgatory for the Invisible Helpers who go among the spirits in prison endeavoring to aid them in learning the lessons that shall make them better men and women. It is only where evil has to be expurgated by a spirit that it feels this region as being purgative. [PAGE 2532] QUESTION NO. 72: HOW CAN YOU BELIEVE IN THE THEORY OF REINCARNATION THAT WE COME BACK HERE IN THE BODY OF AN ANIMAL? IS IT NOT MUCH MORE BEAUTIFUL TO BELIEVE IN THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE THAT WE GO TO HEAVEN WITH GOD AND THE ANGELS? ANSWER: The writer has never advocated the views attributed to him by the inquirer, who, evidently, has not studied the question at all. There is a doctrine among some of the most ignorant tribes in the East teaching the theory of transmigration, that the human spirit may incarnate in the bodies of animals, but that is very different from the doctrine of reincarnation, which holds that man is an evolving being progressing through the school of life by means of repeated embodiments in bodies of gradually improving tex- ture. The Christ said to his disciples, "Be ye therefore perfect, as the Father in heaven is perfect." That was a definite command, and the Christ would never have given it if it were unattainable; but we all know that we cannot reach that goal in one short life. Given time and the opportunities afforded by repeated embodiments and changed environments, however, we shall some time accomplish the work of perfecting ourselves. There is no authority in any of the sacred writings of the East, even, for such a belief as transmigration. The only semblance to such an idea is found in the Kathopanishad, Chapter 5, Verse 9, which says that some of the souls, according to their deeds, return to the womb to be reborn, but others go into THE MOTIONLESS. Meaning, in the opinion of some, that they may re- incarnate down even as low as the mineral kingdom. The Sanskrit word used [PAGE 2533] in that place is STHANU, which also means a pillar, and read thus it gives the same idea as the passage in Revelation which says: "Him that overcometh, I will make a pillar in the house of my God, thence he shall no more go out." When humanity has reached perfection, there will come a time when they will not more be tied to the wheel of births and deaths, but will remain in the Invisible Worlds to work thence for the upliftment of other beings. Besides, transmigration is an impossibility in nature, because there is in every human body AN INDWELLING INDIVIDUAL SPIRIT, while each tribe of animals is ruled by A COMMON, OR GROUP SPIRIT, of which these animals all form a part, and no self-conscious Ego can enter into a body ruled by an- other. The inquirer asks whether it is not much more beautiful to believe in a heaven with God and the angels? Perhaps it is, but we are not concerned so much with that which may be pleasing to our passing fancy as with finding THE TRUTH, and although this doctrine of reincarnation is sometimes derided by wiseacres as impossible and a heathen doctrine, it is really not a ques- tion of whether it is heathen or not either. When we deal with a mathemati- cal problem, we do not care who first solved it; all we are concerned with is, has it been properly solved? Likewise with this doctrine, no matter who taught it first, it is the only one that will solve all the problems of life in a rational manner, whereas, the theory that a man who perhaps never cared about music and did not know the first thing about harmony, immediately af- ter he has died develops an insatiable passion for music and will remain content to toot in a trumpet or strum on a harp for all eternity, is rather more ridiculous. [PAGE 2534] QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE BIBLE TEACHINGS: QUESTION NO. 73: WHY IS IT THAT EVERY SECT INTERPRETS THE BIBLE DIFFERENTLY AND THAT EACH ONE GETS AN APPARENT VINDICATION FOR ITS IDEAS FROM THAT BOOK? ANSWER: That question, if asked by a skeptic, affords him a great deal of satisfaction, for he sees in it A VINDICATION FOR HIS IDEA that all sects are wrong in their beliefs and that the Bible is a conglomerate mass of non- sense, while in fact the case is very much the other way. We do not contend for the Divinity of this Book or hold that it is the Word of God from cover to cover; we recognize the fact that it is a poor translation of the originals and that there are many interpolations which have been inserted at different times to support various ideas, but, nevertheless, the very fact that so much truth has been massed into such a small compass is a source of constant wonder to the occultist, who knows what that Book really is and has the key to its meaning. There is one fact that the skeptic fails to see. His idea is that if a certain interpretation is true, all other interpretations must necessarily be false. That idea is most emphatically wrong. TRUTH IS MANY SIDED and eternal; the quest for truth must also be all embracing and never ending. We may liken truth to a mountain, and the various interpretations of that truth to different paths leading up to the summit. Many people are [PAGE 2535] traveling along all of these paths and every one thinks his path is the only one while he is at the bottom; he sees only a small part of the mountain and may therefore be justified in crying to his brothers, "You are wrong; come over in my path; this is the only one that leads to the top." But as all these people progress upward, they shall see that the paths converge at the top and that they are all one in the ultimate. It may be said most emphatically that no system of thought which has ever been able to attract and hold the attention of a large number of people for a considerable time has been without its truth; and whether we perceive it or not, there is in every sect the kernel of divine teaching which is gradually bringing them upward toward the top of the mountain, and therefore we should practice the utmost toleration for every belief. QUESTION NO. 74: WHAT IS MEANT BY THE SECOND ASPECT OF THE TRIUNE GOD? ANSWER: God is one, just as the light is one, but, as the light passing through the atmosphere is refracted into three primary colors--red, yellow and blue--so also God, when he manifests or reflects himself in nature, is threefold in his manifestation. There is first the Creative principle, next there is the Preservative principle, and in the third place there is the [PAGE 2536] principle of Destruction of THE FORMS which have been created, preserved for a time while useful, then to be destroyed in order that the material from which they were constructed may be used in the building of new forms. These three principles of God have been called by different names in dif- ferent religions, and much ink and many goosequills have been used in latter years to defend or decry the idea of a Trinity, though that ought to be manifest to anyone who will look about him in nature with a thoughtful mind. In the Western World, we have been used to calling the Second Aspect of the Triune God, the unified preserving principle, CHRIST; and it is very appro- priate in a certain sense, because the Christ came as the teacher of Love and Universal Brotherhood which was to supersede nations that war against one another, and He Himself said that there was a still higher stage when the kingdom He was to establish should be delivered to THE FATHER and all should be one in Him. QUESTION NO. 75: ARE THE RECORDING ANGELS INDIVIDUAL BEINGS? ANSWER: Yes, they are mighty Individualities, the ambassadors of the Great Planetary Angels, and as such they are concerned in the birth of man, [PAGE 2537] helping him in the selection of his environment and allotting to each life the right destiny which is ready to be worked out into effects. They guide the stellar influences so that they affect each one in such a way as to fa- cilitate the liquidation of his past indebtedness to others, helping him, also, to reap the benefit of whatever good he has done in past lives. In this the Recording Angels are helped by a mighty host of agents and the nature spirits, which are not individualized yet, but work under the di- rection of these Great Beings unconsciously, much as the animals are guided by group spirits. QUESTION NO. 76: DO THE ANGELS AND ARCHANGELS WATCH OVER US INDIVIDUALLY AS WELL AS COL- LECTIVELY AND KNOW JUST WHAT OUR LIVES ARE? ANSWER: THE LORDS OF MIND, which Paul calls the "Powers of Darkness" be- cause they were the humanity of the dark Saturn period when the universe was just coming out of chaos, WORK ONLY WITH MAN. THE ARCHANGELS, who were human in the fiery Sun Period where the universe was of the consistency of "desire stuff," work now as the HELPERS OF THE [PAGE 2538] GROUP SPIRITS OF THE ANIMALS AND AS RACE SPIRITS FOR HUMANITY, because these classes of beings have a desire body. THE ANGELS, who were the humanity of the Moon Period, WORK WITH MAN, ANIMAL AND PLANT, for in the Moon Period the universe was of the consistency of "ether" and the vital bodies of the three kingdoms named is formed of that material. The Angels are, therefore, properly helpers in the vital functions such as assimilation, growth and propagation, and in their work with humanity they are family spirits. They cause the increase in the fam- ily, in man's cattle and in the yield of his fields. MAN, himself, who is a little lower than the Angels, WORKS WITH THE MINERALS, which are found in the chemical region of the Physical World, com- posed of the gases, liquids and solids. He is to the minerals what the Higher Beings are to us. He is gradually waking them to life by molding them into houses, bridges, railways, etc. In a future incarnation of the earth, when these minerals have become plant-like, man will have learned to work with life and will then be in a similar position with regard to them as the Angels occupy now with regard to us. Thus there is endless progression, the higher always helping the less evolved, until all shall have reached perfection. Answering the question more specifically, we may say that the Archangels work with the nations and the races of the earth, while the Angels are con- cerned particularly with the families and the individuals in the family. The "Guardian Angel," however, is not exactly an entity from a higher evolu- tion, but is rather the personified embodiment of our good deeds in all our past lives, which, though unseen by us, is still with us always, impelling us toward right action and the doing of more good. [PAGE 2539] QUESTION NO. 77: HAVE ANGELS WINGS AS SHOWN IN PICTURES? ANSWER: No; none of them have such bird wings as they are shown to have in pictures, but there are some classes of Beings in the Spirit World which have wing-like appendages. These, however, are not for the purpose of fly- ing or moving through space, but are currents of outwelling force that may be hurled in one direction or another, as we use our arms and limbs. Thus an Archangel who is impelling the armies of two nations to battle may send out a current of spiritual force in one direction, numbing the soldiers of one army with fear, and may send another force to imbue the opposing army with added courage, thus influencing the battle in a manner little dreamed of by the contestants. QUESTION NO. 78: DO THE ROSICRUCIANS ACCEPT THE BIBLE AS THE "WORD OF GOD" FROM COVER TO COVER? ANSWER: Certainly not, and more particularly not in the extremely narrow interpretation of some people who think that the book we now have with us is the only genuine one ever given to humanity. At most, it could be only one of the BOOKS of God, for there are many other sacred writings which have a claim to recognition and cannot be ruled out of court by a few wiseacres such as those who have delegated the so-called apocryphal books to the lit- erary scrap heap. In the first place it should be remembered that the Old Testament was written in Hebrew at various times and by numerous writers, and that no col- lection of these writings was made prior to Ezra. Of these Hebrew writings, there is not now a single scrap in existence. Even as long ago as 280 B.C. the Hebrew language had been abandoned, so far as scriptural writing was concerned, and the Septuagint, or Greek Translation, was in general use. That was the only Bible in existence at the time of the birth of Christ. Later some of the Hebrew writings were collected and collated by the Masoretes, a sect which existed about 700 A.D. This is the best and most accurate text. The English translation, most in use today, is the King James Version, but His Majesty was not so much after accuracy in translation as after peace, and the act which authorized the translation of the Bible prohibited the translators from translating any passages in such a way that it would interfere with existing beliefs. This was done to avoid any uprising or dissension in his kingdom, and of the forty-seven translators, only three were Hebrew scholars and two of them died before the Psalms had been trans- lated. A number of the books were thrown aside as apocryphal, and alto- gether words were wrenched out of their original meaning to conform to the superstition of the age. Martin Luther, in Germany, translated from the Latin text which had itself been translated from the Greek and thus the chances of conveying wrong meanings have been enhanced in many and various [PAGE 2540] ways. Add to this that in the old style Hebrew vowel points are omitted and there is no division into words, so that by inserting vowel points in dif- ferent ways, words and sentences of entirely different meanings may be ob- tained from almost any sentence. In view of these facts it is evident that the chances of our getting an accurate version of what was originally writ- ten are small indeed. Moreover, it was not intended by the original writers to make the Bible an open "Book of God," as can well be seen by the following quotation from the Zohar: "Woe to the man who sees in the Thorah (the law--the Bible) only simple recitals and ordinary words, because if in truth it contained only these, we would even today be able to compose a Thorah more worthy of admi- ration. But it is not so; each word in the Thorah contains an elevated meaning and a sublime mystery...The recitals of the Thorah are the vestments of the Thorah...Woe to him who takes this vestment of the Thorah for the Thorah itself...The simple take notice of the garments and recitals of the Thorah alone; they know no other thin, they see not that which is concealed under the vestment; the more instructed men do not pay attention to the vestment, but to that which it envelops"... In other words, they pay no attention to the letter, but take only the spirit. And, as in a field sown with potatoes there are not only these VEG- ETABLES, but also THE SOIL in which they are hidden, SO IN THE BIBLE THE PEARLS OF OCCULT TRUTH ARE HIDDEN IN WHAT ARE OFTEN HIDEOUS GARMENTS. The occultist who has fitted himself to possess these pearls has received the key, and sees them plainly. To others they remain obscure until they also have worked for that key. Thus, while the story of the wanderings of the children of Israel and the dealings of a certain God with them are partially true, there is also a spiritual significance that is far more important than that material history. Even though the Gospels contain the great outlines of the life of an individual called Jesus, they are formulae of initiation showing the experiences which everyone must eventually pass through on THE WAY TO THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE. This path was foreseen by the various persons who wrote the Bible and who were thus prophets and seers, but only in so far as that was possible at their time and age. A new era will require a new Bible, a new word. Continued with file "RC1071.TXT" End of File


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