Filename: RC1073.TXT Source: +quot;The Rosicrucian Philosophy In Questions + Answers, Vol.

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Filename: RC1073.TXT Source: "The Rosicrucian Philosophy In Questions & Answers, Vol. I" by Max Heindel [PAGE 2602] QUESTION NO. 109: WHY DID THE LORD COMMEND THE UNJUST STEWARD AS RELATED IN THE SIXTEENTH CHAPTER OF ST. LUKE? ANSWER: The inquirer should read the chapter carefully. We are told of an unfaithful steward who was brought before his master, the latter being suspicious that his accounts were not quite right. This unfaithful steward made a bargain with the debtors of his master to secure himself against the day of discharge from his position. It is said in verse 8 that "the lord commended the unjust steward." When he rendered his accounts he must have fixed them so skilfully that his master was deceived, for the "lord" of the man--his master--was the one who commended him, as will be seen from the fact that the word "lord" is spelled with a small letter, whereas the capital letter is always used where the Christ is signified. QUESTION NO. 110: PLEASE EXPLAIN WHAT IS MEANT BY SINNING AGAINST THE HOLY GHOST. ANSWER: Speaking generally, the Holy Spirit is the creative power of God. For confirmation, remember the passage in the creed "Conceived by the [PAGE 2603] Holy Spirit," which Gabriel said to Mary should come upon her. By that all that is has been brought into being, and it is a ray from that attribute of God which is used by men for perpetuation of the race. When that is abused, that is to say, when it is used for sense gratification, whether in solitary or associated vice, with or without the legal marriage, that is the sin against the Holy Spirit. That sin, we are told, is not forgiven; it must be expiated. Humanity as a whole is now suffering for that sin. The de- bilitated bodies, the sickness that we see around us, has been caused by centuries of abuse, and until we learn to subdue our passions there can be no true health among the human race. We have been born of parents who thought that it was right to gratify their passions at any and all times. In consequence we suffer now, and by our attitude toward the sex question most of us are at the present time conferring the same maladies upon our children. Thus the sins of the fathers are being visited upon the children from generation to generation, and will continue to bring sorrow and suffer- ing until we shall understand that every child has a right to be well born and to receive the proper physical conditions during the period of antenatal life. [PAGE 2604] QUESTION NO. 111: IS THE CHRISTIAN CREED BASED UPON DIVINE AUTHORITY? ANSWER: There are three forms of the Christian creed. One of them is known as the APOSTLE'S CREED, although not composed by the apostles, but supposed to embody their beliefs. Another creed was formulated and adopted at the Council of Nice and is called the Nicene Creed. The Athanasian Creed was of still later date. They have no more divine authority than any other contention of men concerning the Bible. The Bible itself gives a creed, however, in the passage which states that THERE IS NO OTHER NAME GIVEN EXCEPT THE NAME OF CHRIST JESUS WHEREBY MEN MAY BE SAVED, and this is in harmony with the occult teaching, for Jehovah was the author of all the old Race Religions where the fear of God was pitted against the desires of the flesh and a law was imposed upon man to curb de- sire. Race Religions act educationally upon the desire nature by the means stated, but will in time be superseded by the Religion of Christ. This re- ligion of brotherhood and LOVE WILL CAST OUT THE FEAR engendered by the law of Jehovah. It will endeavor to do away with nations, with their laws, with struggle and strife, by working upon the vital body so that humanity shall be actuated entirely by love instead of by law. This is not the ultimate, however. When the kingdom shall have been fully established, He is to give it over to the Father. The Religion of the Father will be something higher even than the Religion of the Son. [PAGE 2605] QUESTION NO. 112: HOW DO YOU RECONCILE THE LAW OF CAUSE AND EFFECT WITH THE DOCTRINE OF THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS? ANSWER: The inability to believe in the forgiveness of sins has caused many to believe exclusively in the law of cause and effect, as taught in eastern countries under the name KARMA. There are also many who think that, because eastern religions teach that law and the law of rebirth more clearly than the western religion, Christianity, these eastern religions are better and more scientific than the western religion, which teaches, as popularly interpreted, that the Christ died for our sins and that in consequence be- lief in Him will bring us forgiveness. As a matter of fact, however, the Christian teaching also enunciates the doctrine that "as we sow so shall we also reap," and thus it teaches both the law of cause and effect and the forgiveness of sins. BOTH of these laws are vitally operative in the unfoldment of humanity, and there are good rea- sons why the earlier eastern religions have only one part of THE COMPLETE TEACHING WHICH IS FOUND IN THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. In those early days when the religions of the East were given to human- ity, mankind were still more spiritual in nature than the material beings of the present day Western World. They knew that we live many lives in differ- ent shapes and forms here upon this earth. In the East today they are yet thoroughly imbued with that idea, and as a consequence they are exceedingly indolent. They are more concerned with thought of Nirvana--the invisible world--where they may rest in peace and joy, than with taking advantage of [PAGE 2606] their present material resources for advancement. As a consequence, their country is arid and waste, their crops are small and often destroyed by a scorching sun and devastating flood. They suffer famine, they die by mil- lions, but although they teach the law of cause and effect, they seem to be unaware that their miserable conditions are brought about by indolence and indifference to material things. For naturally, when they have not worked here they have nothing to assimilate in the heaven life between death and a new birth, and as an organ or limb that is disused gradually atrophies, so a country that is not developed by the spirits incarnated therein gradually atrophies and becomes useless as a habitation for mankind. It was necessary to the evolution of humanity to enter this material world and develop all its resources. Therefore, the Great Leaders have taken various means to cause us to tem- porarily forget the spiritual side of our nature. In the West, where the pioneers of the human race are found, they commanded marriage outside the family. They gave to the West a religion that did not definitely teach the doctrine of rebirth and the law of cause and effect as means of advancement. They also originated the use of alcohol, with its paralyzing effect upon the spiritual sensibilities of man. By these means we have in the West tempo- rarily forgotten that there is more than this one life on earth, and in con- sequence we apply ourselves with the utmost diligence to making the fullest possible use of what we believe to be our only opportunity here. Therefore, we have developed the West into a veritable garden; we have made for our- selves, BETWEEN INCARNATIONS, a land that is exceedingly fertile and rich in [PAGE 2607] the minerals which we need in our various industries, and thus we are con- quering the visible material world. It is evident, however, that the religious side of man's nature must not be entirely neglected, and as Christ, the great ideal of the Christian reli- gion, had been set before us for imitation, and we could not possible hope to become Christ-like in one life, which is all that we now have any knowl- edge of, there must be given us a compensatory doctrine, or we should cease to strive in despair, knowing that it would be futile. Therefore the West- ern World was taught the doctrine of the forgiveness of sins through the righteousness of Christ Jesus. It is equally certain, however, that no doctrine which is not a truth in nature can have any uplifting power, and, therefore, there must also be a sound basis behind the doctrine of the forgiveness of sins, which seems to vitiate the law of causation; it is this: When we look about us in the material world, we observe the different phenomena of nature, we meet other people and have various transactions with them, and all these sights, sounds and scenes are observed by means of our sense organs. Yet not all, for we are usually exceedingly unobservant of details. It is exasperatingly true when it is said that "we have eyes that see not and ears that hear not." We lose a great deal of experience on that account. Besides, our memory is woefully lacking; while we are able to re- call a little, most of our experiences are lost to us because we forget them. our conscious memory is weak. There is another memory, however. As the ether and the air carry to the photographic plate in a camera the im- pression of the landscape without, omitting, not the slightest detail, so also does the air and the ether which carries impressions from the outside [PAGE 2608] to our sense organs carry into the lungs, and thence to the blood, an actual picture and a record of everything with which we come in contact. Those pictures are stored in the minute seed atom resting in the left ventricle of the heart, and that little atom may be considered the Book of the Recording Angels, where all our deeds are inscribed. Thence it is mirrored in the Re- flecting Ether of our vital body. In the ordinary course of life, man passes into Purgatory at death and inscribed upon that atom. Later he assimilates all the good stored there in the First Heaven, working upon his future environment in the Second heaven. But a devout person realizes each day his shortcomings and failings. He ex- amines the events of this life daily and prays from a devout heart to be forgiven for sins he has committed. Then the pictures which have recorded the sins of omission and commission fade, and are wiped out of his life's record from day to day. For it is not the aim of God or nature TO "GET EVEN" as it would seem under the law of causation, which decrees an exact retribution for every transgression, as well as a reward or compensation for every good act. It is the aim of God that we should learn by experience here to do justly and well. When we have realized that we have done wrong and determine to do better, we have learned the lesson, and there is no necessity for PUNISHING us. Thus the doctrine of the forgiveness of sins is an actual fact in nature. If we repent, pray and reform, the sins we have repented of, prayed for and reformed from are forgiven and wiped out of our life's record. Otherwise, they are eradicated by corresponding pains in Purgatory after death. Thus the doctrine of Karma, or the law of cause and effect as taught in the East, [PAGE 2609] does not fully meet human needs, but the Christian teaching, which embodies BOTH the law of causation and the doctrine of the forgiveness of sins, gives a more complete teaching concerning the method employed by the Great Leaders to instruct us. QUESTION NO. 113: BY WHAT POWER DID PETER RAISE DORCAS FROM THE DEAD? ANSWER: Peter did not raise Dorcas from the dead, neither did the Christ raise Lazarus or anyone else, nor did he so claim. He said "HE IS NOT DEAD, he sleepeth." In order that this matter may be understood, we will explain what takes place at death and wherein death is different from the state of trance, for the persons mentioned were entranced at the time the supposed miracles took place. During the waking state, when the Ego is functioning consciously in the Physical World, its various vehicles are concentric--they occupy the same space--but at night, when the body is laid down to sleep, a separation takes place. The Ego, clothed in the mind and desire body, extricates itself from the dense body and the vital body, which are left upon the bed. The higher [PAGE 2610] vehicles hover above or near. They are connected to the denser vehicles by THE SILVER CORD, a thin glistening threat which takes the shape of two fig- ure sixes, one end being attached to the seed atom in the heart and the other to the center vortex of the desire body. At the moment of death, this thread is ruptured at the seed atom in the heart and the forces of this atom pass along the pneumogastric nerve, through the third ventricle of the brain, and thence outward through the su- ture between the occipital and parietal bones of the skull, along the silver cord and into the higher vehicles. Simultaneously with this rupture, the vital body is also disengaged and joins the higher vehicles which are hover- ing above the dead body. There it remains for about three and one-half days. Then the higher vehicles disengage themselves from the vital body, which disintegrates synchronously with the dense body, in ordinary cases. At the time of this last separation, the silver cord also breaks in the middle, and the Ego is freed from contact with the material world. During sleep the Ego also withdraws from the dense body, but the vital body remains with the dense body and the silver cord is left intact. It sometimes happens that the Ego does not enter the body in the morning to waken it as usual, but remains outside for a time varying from one to an indefinite number of days. Then we say that the body is in a natural trance. But the silver cord is not ruptured in either of the two places mentioned. Where these ruptures have once taken place no restoration is possible. The Christ and the apostle were clairvoyants; they saw that no rupture had taken place in the cases mentioned, hence the saying, "He is not [PAGE 2611] dead, he sleepeth." They also possessed the power to force the Ego into its body and restore the normal condition. Thus so-called miracles were per- formed by them. QUESTION NO. 114: DO YOU BELIEVE IN CONVERSION? ANSWER: Certainly, but there are conversions and conversions. There is the conversion which takes place in a revival meeting to the beating of drums, the clapping of hands, the singing of gospel hymns and the insistent calling of the revivalist to "come before it is too late." All these aids to conversion produce an intense hypnotic influence, which works upon the emotional nature of many people in such a way that these "sinners," so called, can no longer remain in their seats, but are FORCED in the most lit- eral sense to obey the command and come forward to "the mourner's bench." That kind of a conversion is usually of very little worth. Revivalists find that it is extremely easy to convert people in that manner. The exasperat- ingly difficult problem is, as one of them expressed it, "to make it stick," for when the victim of the hypnotic revivalist leaves the meeting, the [PAGE 2612] influence gradually wears off, and sooner or later he relapses into his original attitude. And though these "backsliders" may feel no pang at all when backsliding, the next revival meeting draws them to the mourners' bench again as surely as a magnet draws a needle. They are converted repeatedly and backslide regularly every time there is a revival meeting, to the dis- gust of the revivalist and the amusement of the community, who are unaware that it is a simple case of mild hypnotism. There is another conversion, however, always accompanied by planetary in- fluences, and according to the strength of these influences the conversion, or change in the life, will be more or less radical. It then shows that the soul has reached a certain point in its pilgrimage where it feels attraction to the higher life. The immediate cause of conversion may be a sermon, a lecture or a book, a verse in the Bible, or something in nature, but that is only the physical cause of something which was already a fact spiritually. From that moment the man or the woman will commence to take a new view of life, will lay aside the old vices, will follow new lines of thought and en- deavor. It may change his whole attitude toward life and also his environ- ment. In fact, very often a journey has brought him out of the usual envi- ronment for the time being, to give the proper condition for sowing of the new seed. [PAGE 2613] QUESTION NO. 115: IS THERE ANY VALUE IN CONFESSION AND ABSOLUTION? ANSWER: If the inquirer means confession and absolution in the sense in which it is practiced in the Catholic Church, it may be stated that the priest, certainly, has no power to forgive the sins of the penitent, and the practice of confession BY THE ORDER OF A CHURCH at the best is usually but an outward show of penitence, putting one in mind of the prayer of the Pharisee who went into the temple that he might be seen of men. If, on the other hand, confession is made in the spirit of the scribe, which is the spirit of true penitence, then there is a certain value, for as a little child who has committed a wrong feels conscience smitten and sorry, so may we feel extremely penitent for our sins of omission and commission. It is a fact often noticed by kind parents that penitence in silence is sometimes insufficient to the child which feels the need of going to the parent and CONFESSING ITS SIN. When the forgiveness of the parent has been obtained its conscience is at rest. So also with the child of God. We sin and we are sorry for our sins; we determine not to commit this or that wrong again; but if we can confess to someone in whom we have faith, and get their sympathy and assurance that this wrong will not be held against us, we shall feel easier in conscience. That was the principle underlying the command of the Bible "Confess your sins to one another." The one to whom we confess will, of course, be a person for whom we have a profound respect and love, and he or she will stand toward us at that moment as the representative of [PAGE 2614] God or our own higher nature, and we shall thus feel very much relieved at having received his sympathy. But we shall feel also that the pact we have made with ourselves not to commit the sin in question again has been strengthened by having him as a witness. If confession is made thus, and absolution so obtained, then it has undoubtedly a very beneficial effect. QUESTION NO. 116: IS THERE ANY VALUE IN THE LATIN RITUAL USED BY THE CATHOLIC CHURCH? WOULD IT NOT BE BETTER IF IT WERE TRANSLATED SO THAT PEOPLE COULD UNDER- STAND? AND ARE NOT THE EXTEMPORANEOUS SERMONS AND PRAYERS USED IN THE PROT- ESTANT CHURCHES MUCH TO BE PREFERRED TO THE RITUAL AND STEREOTYPES MASSES OF THE CATHOLICS? ANSWER: At the present time all humanity has evolved so far that they are above law in some respects. Most people obey the law "Thou shalt not steal," for instance. Law is a curb on the desire nature, but where occult or rather spiritual advancement is contemplated, the spiritualization of the vital body must also be accomplished. And that is attained by means of art and religion, in [PAGE 2615] OFT-REPEATED IMPACTS, for the keynote of the vital body is REPETITION, as we can see by looking at the plants which have only a dense body and a vital body. There stem and leaf follow each other in upward succession; the plant keeps on growing them alternately. it was the vital body that built the vertebrae of the human spine one after another by constant repetition. And memory, for instance, which is one of the faculties of the vital body, is strengthened and developed by constant iteration and reiteration. When the Protestants left the Catholic Church they truly left many of the abuses behind, but they also left almost everything of value. They aban- doned the ritual which everyone may know and understand regardless of poor enunciation upon the part of the preacher. Knowing the ritual, the laity could send their thoughts in the same direction as the thought of the priest who was reading, and thus an enormous volume of identical spiritual thought was massed together and projected upon the community for good or evil. Nowadays the congregation in a Protestant church listens to the extemporane- ous prayer or sermon of their minister, who usually does not think so much of the spiritual work before him as he does of how he may turn out the most euphonious phrases to tickle the ears of his congregation. They forget what he has said before they leave the church. Those who go to a Catholic church understanding the ritual are still today able to unite their thoughts in spiritual conclave and keep within memory that which has been gone through. Thus they are every time adding a little to the spiritualization of their vital bodies, while the Protestant church members have been affected only in [PAGE 2616] their emotional natures, and that effect is soon thrown out. The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing, and many have scoffed saying that if God is omniscient He knows whereof we have need without our prayer, and if He is not, He can most likely not be omnipotent, and therefore our prayers are not granted, so that it is useless to pray. But that command was indited from a knowledge of the nature of the vital body, which needs that repetition in order that it may be spiritualized. So much for the ritual. As to the use of the Latin language, it is stated in the first chapter of John that in the beginning was the word. . . and without it was nothing made that was made. Word is sound. If we take sand or plant spores and place them upon a brass or a glass plate, then take a violin bow and draw it across the edges, we shall produce a sound, and that sound will cause the spores or sand to arrange itself in geometrical figures, similar to the crystals of which all things are composed. EVERY SOUND PRODUCES A DIFFERENT FORMATION. Thus, if a certain sound produces a certain effect which we wish to produce, WE CANNOT CHANGE THE SOUND WITHOUT ALSO CHANGING THE EFFECT. If we emit a certain sound and say "Deum," then translate Deum and say God, the sound is very different, and as sound pro- duces certain effects upon our invisible bodies, the effects that were pro- duced by the original Latin ritual have been lost to the Protestant churches which changed it into English or dropped it altogether. It is often a wonder to people how the Catholic Church retains its power over its people, and it may be said that were they to abandon the Latin ritual there would not be one of their followers left in ten years. More- over, their truly occult rituals have not been transposed into English, and [PAGE 2617] even among the Rosicrucians, Latin rituals, though not those used in the Catholic Church, are in vogue at the services. QUESTION NO. 117: WHAT IS THE ACTUAL MERIT IN MARTYRDOM? DID THE MARTYRS REALLY BECOME SAINTS? ANSWER: Man lifts himself to a union with God through four great steps or stages. First he prays to or sacrifices to a God whom he fears and, therefore, seeks to propitiate, so that his God will not harm him. Next he learns to look upon this God as a mighty ally against his enemies and as a giver of all good things to him, that is, provided he obeys the God and sac- rifices to him of the material things which he possesses. In the third step he is taught TO SACRIFICE HIMSELF by living a life of righteousness, and ex- pects to be rewarded in a future state called heaven, where he is to live in eternal happiness as a compensation for whatever he may have endured during earth life. The martyrs were at the stage where they held this belief, and were thoroughly imbued with the verity and glory of heaven. Therefore it was to them an easy matter to sacrifice their lives and then attain to the [PAGE 2618] future glory at once. In reality, if martyrdom can unlock a heaven with eternal bliss, that is a most easy method of obtaining the reward. It may take courage to die, but after all it takes infinitely more courage to live. We are very apt to think that when a man has given his life he has given to the very utmost, and we often hear people say of a man who has committed suicide that "HE HAS PAID IT ALL." As a matter of fact, suicide is usually an expression of the greatest possible cowardice, and martyrdom is far less to be admired than the lives of people who day by day endeavor to follow the spiritual teach- ings of the Bible and live a noble life. Of course it is readily admitted that the martyrs are to be admired for stanchly adhering to their faith in the face of death and torture. Undoubtedly they will have greater opportu- nities for spiritual growth in later lives than they were deprived of when burned at the stake or otherwise exterminated. And we may also surely say that they were saints and holy people in the sense that their faith was even more to them than life, but we strenuously hold that the edict of a church is incapable of making a sinner a saint. [PAGE 2619] QUESTION NO. 118: IN ONE OF YOUR LECTURES YOU SAID IN EFFECT THAT IT WAS A MISTAKE TO SEND MISSIONARIES TO FOREIGN COUNTRIES; THAT THE RELIGIONS PRACTICED BY THE SO-CALLED HEATHENS ARE RIGHT FOR THEM AT THE PRESENT TIME, BUT THAT THESE MISSIONARIES HAVE DONE LITTLE HARM AS YET. HOW THEN DO YOU EXPLAIN THE COM- MAND OF CHRIST TO HIS APOSTLES, "GO YE INTO ALL THE WORLD AND PREACH THE GOSPEL TO EVERY CREATURE?" ANSWER: The meaning of the Christ's words obviously rest upon the inter- pretation of the word "world." If by that word we understand the whole earth, it may be right to send missionaries to foreign countries; but the Bible tells us that THE DISCIPLES TO WHOM THE COMMAND WAS GIVEN returned af- ter having accomplished their mission, showing that the word of command could not have been meant to include the whole earth. In this connection the word "world" should rather have been given the interpretation "polity," which will also be found in some of our dictionaries as another meaning for the word. At the time of Christ people did not know the whole world. We find even to this day the westernmost cape of Spain called Cape Finisterre--THE END OF THE EARTH. Therefore this term at the time when Christ spoke his command could not have included the whole earth as we know it today. The statement is, therefore, not contrary to Bible teachings. It is wrong to send missionaries out to the people we call "heathen," for their development is as yet such that they cannot understand a religion which preaches LOVE to one's neighbor, a religion which even we have not yet learned to practice. Besides, if the great Recording Angels who have charge [PAGE 2620] of men's evolution are capable of judging our needs, and placing each one in the environment where he will find the influences most conducive to progres- sion, we must also believe that they have given to each nation the religion most salutary to its unfoldment. Therefore, when a man has been placed in a country where the Christian religion is taught, that religion holds the ideal which he should strive for, but to try to force it upon other people who have been placed in a different sphere is to set our judgment up as greater than the judgment of God and His ministers, the Recording Angels. However, as said, the Christian missionaries have done little harm to the people they have visited, but they might have done more good at home. We do not need to go away from home to find heathen who need instruction in the Bible. Professor Wilbur L. Cross of Yale mentions, for instance, that in a class of forty students not one could place Judas Iscariot; that he had a Jewish student who had never heard of Moses and that in answer to a question concerning the nature of the Pilgrim's Progress, the best answer was that it is the basis of New England history. If the missionaries were brought into contact with these heathen, perhaps they might do some good. More harm, however, is done when the East sends its missionaries over here to convert us to Hindooism and kindred religions, for often these Hindoos teach breathing exercises which cause insanity or consumption, be- cause our western bodies are not at all fitted for such practices. it is safest to rest in the religion of our country, to study and practice that, leaving to other nations the privilege of doing the same in respect to their own religions. [PAGE 2621] QUESTIONS CONCERNING SPIRITUALISTIC PHENOMENA: QUESTION NO. 119: IS MEDIUMSHIP INJURIOUS TO HEALTH? ANSWER: That depends: Where a person becomes the medium for a disembod- ied spirit which enters the body, as in the case of the trance mediums, where it takes possession of this body and uses it as the owner might do, there is little if any harm done, provided the spirit control does not abuse his privilege. In fact, there are some cases where spirit controls have a better idea of caring for a body than the owner himself, and may sometimes improve the health. But spirits of a high ethical nature do not usually control a medium, it is rather earthbound and low spirits such as Indians and others of a like nature who obtain a control over mediumistic persons, and when in possession of the body they may use it to gratify their low pas- sions for drink and sex. Thus they cause a disturbance to the system and a deterioration of the instrument. In the case of the materializing medium, we may say that the influence is always injurious. The materializing spirit entrances the victim and then draws the ether of the vital body out through the spleen, for the difference between the materializing medium and the ordinary person is the fact that the connection between the vital body and the dense body is exceedingly lax, so that it is possible to withdraw this vital body to a very great extent. The vital body is the vehicle whereby the solar currents which give us [PAGE 2622] vitality are specialized. Deprived of the vitalizing principle, the body of the medium at the time of a materialization sometimes shrinks to almost one-half its usually size; the flesh becomes flabby and the spark of life burns very low. When the seance is over and the vital body replaced, the medium is awakened and in normal consciousness. He then experiences a feel- ing of the most terrible exhaustion and sometimes, unfortunately, resorts to drink to revive the vital forces. In that case, of course, the health will very soon suffer and the medium will become a total wreck. At any rate, mediumship should be avoided, for apart from this danger to the instrument there are other and far more serious considerations in connection with the more subtle bodies, and particularly in connection with the after-death state. QUESTION NO. 120: WHERE MEDIUMS MAKE SO-CALLED SOUL TRIPS, WHAT IS IT THAT LEAVES THE PHYSICAL BODY, AND CAN IT LEAVE IN THE WAKING STATE TO GATHER DATA? ANSWER: A medium is a negative or involuntary clairvoyant and under the control of a spirit from the Desire World. He or she corresponds to the victim of a hypnotist in the Physical World. In the case of the hypnotist, [PAGE 2623] he is seen by his victim in the waking state, while the medium does not see the spirit which hypnotizes her until she has been driven out of her body. She is then clothed in her desire body and therefore usually unable to bring her experiences back. All her experiences take place while the physical body is in a trance. It is the Ego clothed in the mind and desire body which leaves the physical body behind, and the same separation takes place then as in ordinary dream- less sleep, with the difference, however, that the physical body is not left tenantless upon the bed, but the spirit control usually enters the physical body of the medium, taking possession and using it according to pleasure, often to the great detriment of the medium. For when such a spirit control has been a drunkard or libertine during earth life, it will often use the medium's body to gratify its craving for liquor or its base, sensual in- stincts. We cannot too seriously impress upon people that this physical body is our most valuable instrument, and that it is very wrong for anyone to abandon it to the tender mercies of either a hypnotist or a spirit con- trol. In the case of mediums, there is a still graver danger, for sometimes it is not an ordinary human Ego which is the control, but an elemental that cannot ordinarily function in the Physical World. When the medium at death enters the Desire World, the elemental has obtained such a power over the desire body of the medium that it may rob the owner of his vehicle. The de- sire body is the vehicle whence comes the spring to action, and therefore when an Ego is deprived of that vehicle there is nothing to cause it to re- incarnate. The elemental may keep this body even for millions of years, and so, while the result of humanity is progressing, the unfortunate Ego, [PAGE 2624] deprived of its desire body, is left inert and will be far behind all its fellows, perhaps, before it is released from the bondage of this entity. Therefore, mediumship is the gravest danger to the soul the writer knows of or is able to conceive, except the practice of black magic. QUESTION NO. 121: I HAVE TAKEN MANY SOUL FLIGHTS, AND ON ONE OF THESE JOURNEYS MY GUIDE TOOK ME THROUGH GATES INTO A CRYSTAL CITY AND ON INTO A TEMPLE FILLED WITH ETHEREAL PEOPLE, SAYING, "THIS IS GOD'S HOLY CITY." WILL YOU KINDLY TELL ME WHERE THIS IS, WHEY THERE ARE GATES AND WALLS AROUND THE CITY, AND WHY EV- ERYTHING LOOKED LIKE CRYSTAL? ANSWER: It is one of the peculiarities of desire stuff, which is the matter of the Desire World that it is exceedingly plastic and readily molded by thought. In the twinkling of an eye it takes the most different shapes according to the thought that ensouls it, and where many people upon earth think along similar lines all their thoughts mass themselves and form one grand whole. Thus in the lower regions of the Desire World, the thoughts of people who believe in a fiery, furnace-like Hell make of the desire stuff there such a [PAGE 2625] place of torture. There we may see devils with horns, hoofs and tails, prodding the unhappy sinners with pitchforks, and often when people pass out at death, after having lived in that belief, they are in a sad state of fear on beholding this place which they have helped to create. There is also in the higher regions of the Desire World a city such as you describe, a New Jerusalem with pearly gates, with a sea of glass and its great white throne upon which is seated a thought form of God, created by these people and ap- pearing like an old man. It is probable that you visited this place, which is a permanent feature of the Desire World, and will remain so as long as people continue to think of the New Jerusalem in that way, for these forms have no life apart from the sustained thoughts of mankind, and when in time humanity shall have outgrown that faith, the city created by their thoughts will cease to exist. Its crystal-like appearance is due to the exceeding brilliance of the desire stuff of which it is built. The old alchemists called the Desire World "astral," "starry," on that account. [PAGE 2626] QUESTION NO. 122: ARE NOT THE DESIRE BODIES LEFT BY PROGRESSING EGOS USED BY ELEMENTALS TO DECEIVE FRIENDS AND RELATIVES OF THE DECEASED PERSON? HOW CAN THEY BE DE- TECTED AND RECOGNIZED? ANSWER: When the spirit has passed out at death, and after a stay in Purgatory of shorter or longer duration enters the First Heaven, it still has with it the desire body used during the earth life, but when it enters the Second Heaven that desire body is left behind in a like manner as the vital and dense bodies were left at death and shortly after. But, while the dense body goest to decay and disintegrates, becomes inert and useless AT ONCE when the spirit has left it, it is very different with the desire body. The material of which that body is composed is so much more vitalized by the UNIVERSAL Spirit that it will retain the ability to move about a long time after the spirit has left. The shell is drawn by magnetic attraction to those with whom it associated during earth life and a memory of that past life very often enables it to pose successfully as a deceased relative. This is particularly the case when the shell is used by an elemental entity. These empty shells ensouled by elementals account very satisfactorily for most of the phenomena encountered at spiritualistic seances. The pranks of these elementals in spilling water down the necks of the sitters, throwing chairs, tables and the like about, are specimens of what may be done by such empty shells when in the possession of elementals. As to how they may be detected or recognized by us, it will be evident that while our deceased friends and relatives during earth life possessed [PAGE 2627] common sense, there is nothing to be gained from the inane nonsensical com- munications of these empty shells, for the spirit which was in reality our friend has passed away, leaving the house empty. Therefore we may judge them by words and acts as we judge people here. QUESTION NO. 123: CAN ELEMENTALS ASSUME THE SHAPE OF ANIMALS OR REPTILES, AND WHAT CAN BE DONE TO STOP THEM? ANSWER: In this material world all the forms are stable and do not eas- ily change. The Desire World is widely different in that respect. The fairy tales, like the metamorphosis of Cinderella's mice, etc., are actual facts in the Desire World, for the forms change at the will of the ensouled life with a lightening-like rapidity, which is very bewildering to one who enters that world as a neophyte. It is, therefore, necessary for the clair- voyant to be trained, in order to escape being glamoured by THE FORM, which is always changing and may assume any shape at any moment. When we are able to see the ensouling LIFE, it does not matter what form it takes upon itself for the time being, we are not deceived. Like all others in the Desire [PAGE 2628] World, elementals have this faculty of changing their shape, and it is due to that fact that so many strange tales or visions seen are thought true by untrained clairvoyants. Nothing can be done to stop elementals from chang- ing their shape, but we may shoo them away from us as we chase a serenading feline from below our bedroom window. QUESTION NO. 124: HOW CAN ONE AVOID BECOMING OBSESSED? ANSWER: Obsession is a state where a discarnate spirit has taken perma- nent possession of the body of someone after dispossessing the owner. but sometimes people who have formed a habit of drunkenness or some other low vice seek to excuse themselves by claiming to be obsessed. Wherever a per- son makes that statement concerning himself, one may nearly always be sure that it is nothing but an excuse, for a thief who has stolen something here in the material world does not go about and tell people of his theft, nei- ther does an obsessing entity go around proclaiming the fact. It is very certain that such an entity does not care what is thought about the man [PAGE 2629] whose body he has stolen, so that there is no reason why he should tell and risk being exorcised. There is an infallible means of knowing whether a person is really ob- sessed, namely, by diagnosis of the eye. "The eye is the window of the soul," and only the true owner is capable of contracting and expanding the iris, or pupil of the eye, so that if we take a person who claims to be ob- sessed or whom we think is obsessed, to a room which is darkened, we shall find that the pupil of his eye will not expand if he is obsessed. Neither will the pupil contract when we bring him into the sunlight, nor expand if we ask him to look at an object at a distance or contract when he is asked to read small type. In short, the pupil of the eye will respond neither to light nor to distance when a person is obsessed, but there is also a certain disease called locomotor ataxia, where the iris will not respond to distance but is responsive to light. No one who maintains a positive attitude of mind can ever become ob- sessed, for so long as we assert our individuality that is strong enough to keep all outsiders away. But in spiritualistic seances where the sitters are negative there is always a great danger. The best way to avoid becoming obsessed would be to maintain this positive attitude. And anyone who is at all negatively inclined should avoid spiritualistic seances, crystal gazing and other methods of evoking spirits. That is bad practice anyway, for those who have gone beyond have their work to do there and should not be brought back here. [PAGE 2630] QUESTION NO. 125: WHAT IS PSYCHOMETRY? ANSWER: Science teaches us that every particle of matter in the Physical World is interpenetrated by ether, so that the chemical atoms of every sub- stance, no matter how dense, do not touch one another, but each little atom vibrates in a field of this all-pervading ether. The vibrations of this ether emitted by every object carry to our eyes a picture of the things about us. This picture is not lost. The pictures of all things which we have consciously observed still exist in the ether of our vital body, and it only depends upon our ability to call them back whether we remember them or not. There is also in the ether pervading every object a picture of the whole surroundings of that object. On the walls of our rooms are inscribed all the scenes, every incident that ever happened in that room, and even though we strip them of lath and plaster, it may be impossible to get rid of all the pictures inscribed there. If we take a piece of plaster from such a room and bring it to a person who has cultivated etheric sight, it is pos- sible for that person to see the ether in that piece of plaster, and to tell about the scenes which happened where that plaster came from. If we show him a piece of stone taken from the pyramids of Egypt, he will see those pyramids just as well as if we had brought him a photograph, for it is the ether from an object such as the pyramid that makes the impression upon the photographer's sensitive plate, and the only difference between that impres- sion and the impression we receive through the eye is that we are able to fix it on the photographic plate, and may take a look at the photograph at [PAGE 2631] any time, while we are not yet able to clearly visualize the scenes of our past under ordinary circumstances. But the psychometrist who can read the ether has a wonderful picture gallery at his disposal. QUESTION NO. 126: IS IT TRUE THAT AT SPIRITUALISTIC SEANCES PERSONS ARE SOMETIMES TRANS- PORTED BODILY FROM ONE PLACE TO ANOTHER BY INVISIBLE HANDS; THAT FLOWERS ARE BROUGHT INTO THE ROOM THROUGH CLOSED WINDOWS AND DOORS, AND IF SO, HOW CAN THAT BE DONE? ANSWER: Yes, it is perfectly true that such phenomena as you have men- tioned take place at times under conditions where no fraud is at all pos- sible. As to the movement of objects, that may be accomplished by the spir- its in charge of the seance in various ways. Hands may be materialized which are either visible or invisible, and they may lift objects or persons from one place to another, or else these objects may be lifted by the sus- pension of the law of gravity so far as that object is concerned. As to the passage of flowers through a wall, a closed window or other material object, [PAGE 2632] we should remember that these objects are not really as solid as we usually think. Science recognizes the fact that no two atoms in any substance touch one another, but each atom swings and vibrates at a varying rate of speed in the sea of ether which permeates all matter. It is well known also that all substances may be reduced to gas. Iron, stone, water, or whatever other substance we name is capable of being thus reduced. Realizing this, it is only a step further to the idea that as these substances are reduced to a gaseous state and as readily resolved back into their original state, so a flower may be resolved into ether, passed between the atoms in a wall and then resolved back into its existence as a flower. That is in fact what happens. But the inquirer may say, "Yes, but if you take a silver dollar, melt it in a crucible, or retort and change it into a gas, it will not take the shape of a silver dollar when it is resolved back into the metallic state but will become simply a lump of metal." That is true where the operation is performed by an ordinary man, who is incapable of separating the dense material from its etheric counterpart during the process of melting, but the spiritual entities who perform the feats spoken of are capable of thus de- taching the ether part of the flower from the dense material. And it is that etheric part which retains its shape and forms the matrix or mold which gives form to the material of the flower when liberated in the room after having been passed through the wall. [PAGE 2633] QUESTION NO. 127: WILL YOU KINDLY EXPLAIN THE USE OF THE PLANCHETTE? AND STATE IF IT IS ADVISABLE TO TRY TO PRODUCE THE PHENOMENA AMONG AMATEURS. ANSWER: The planchette is a small board placed upon wheels with a device for holding a pencil in a vertical position, so that when the medium's hand is placed upon the board and moved about by the spirits the pencil will write their messages on a sheet of paper. Like all other spiritualistic phenomena, planchette writing is produced by a disembodied spirit through a negative medium. When an entity has passed out of earth life and entered the Invisible Be- yond, an evolution of a different nature from ours awaits him in Purgatory and the various heavens. It is a retrogression when he tries to communicate with us here under ordinary circumstances. Therefore, all spiritualistic phenomena which bring the disembodied spirit into contact with the Physical World are to be deprecated as having a bad effect upon the spirits con- cerned. The communicating entities are also dangerous to the negative sit- ters in a circle, who abandon their will powers and their bodies to a cer- tain extent. Of course in planchette writing the whole body may not be in trance, al- though it sometimes is; but at least an arm is abandoned to the control of a discarnate spirit whom the sitter does not see, and who may or may not be what it represents. If a tramp came to our door and tried to persuade us to abandon our house and allow him to take possession for a little while, we would indignantly refuse, but when a tramp from the Desire World asks us to [PAGE 2634] let him have possession of our most valuable house, our body, many at once comply, flattered in the belief that "a dear Angel" has visited them. But "dear Angels" and philanthropists do not grow on every bush in the Desire World any more than here. It cannot be too often reiterated that there is no transforming power in death; that an ignorant Indian does not suddenly become all wise by the mere fact of having passed out at death. As it is necessary to study in order to gain knowledge in this world, so must the de- parted spirits apply themselves if desiring to learn about conditions in that world, and until they have had the requisite amount of experience, the departed are no more fit to guide us from there than they were while here. The safest plan is to leave all negative phenomena alone, concentrating all our energies on LIVING THE LIFE, and doing exercises which foster in us the faculty of entering that world at will, either traveling in our finer ve- hicles or clairvoyantly observing it while still within our dense body. THAT IS PROGRESS; when we have that ability we can see the disembodied enti- ties face to face and judge for ourselves whether it is advisable to listen to their counsel or not. Until we can do that we are at a disadvantage, and caution should teach us to keep on the safe side. [PAGE 2635] QUESTION NO. 128: IS A VAMPIRE THE SAME AS A WEREWOLF? ANSWER: No, a vampire is a person who absorbs the vitality of another, while that which was called a werewolf in mediaeval times was the vital body of a low order of black magician. He would give a gruesome shape to his vi- tal body, and partly stud it with dense matter in order to inflict harm upon other people. The old folk stories said that it was no use to strike such a thing, blows would not hurt it. But if it were stabbed with a knife or an- other sharp instrument, it would commence to disgorge the blood of its victims, run away yelping to its home, and there the black magician who had manifested as a wolf could be found suffering from a wound in the precise place where the wolf had been hurt. This is on account of a curious circum- stance known to occultists as REPERCUSSION, and the same phenomena may be seen where spirits materialize at a seance. The ether in which these spir- its materialize has been taken from the body of the medium, and if a piece is cut out of the robe of such a spirit, a piece will be found missing from the garment of the medium at the close of the seance. This fact has been used by skeptical investigators ignorant of the law of repercussion to stamp mediums as frauds, when in fact they have been perfectly honest, though in- capable of explaining away the seemingly damning evidence. [PAGE 2636] QUESTION NO. 129: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A TRANCE MEDIUM, A MATERIALIZING MEDIUM, THE TRAINED CLAIRVOYANT AND THE ORDINARY PERSON? ANSWER: Roughly speaking, we may say that humanity today is divided into two classes--those in whom the connection between the vital body and the dense body is very close, and another class where the connection is more loose. The former class is the ordinary person who is engaged in material pursuits and is altogether out of touch with the Spiritual Worlds. The lat- ter class is the so-called sensitives, and is again divided into two classes. One class is ACTUATED BY THE WILL FROM WITHIN and is positive. From this class comes the trained clairvoyant and the Invisible Helper. The other class is negative and is AMENDABLE TO THE WILL OF OTHERS. From this class mediums are recruited. When the connection between the vital body and the dense body of a man is somewhat lax, he will be sensitive to spiritual vibrations, and if positive he will BY HIS OWN WILL develop his spiritual faculties, live a spiritual life and in time receive the teaching necessary to become a trained clair- voyant and a master of his faculty at any and all times, free to exercise it or not, as he pleases. If a person has this slight laxity between the vital and dense bodies, and is of a negative temperament, he is liable to become the prey of discarnate spirits, as a medium. Where the connection between the vital and dense body is very lax, so that it may be withdrawn, and the man is positive, he may become an Invis- ible Helper, capable of taking the two higher ethers away from his dense body AT WILL and using them as a vehicle for sense perception and memory. [PAGE 2637] He can then function consciously in the Spiritual World and bring back a recollection of everything he has done there, so that, for instance, when he leaves his body at night he takes up the life in the Invisible World in a fully conscious manner, as we do here when we wake up in the morning after sleep and perform our various duties in the visible world. When a person has this lax connection between the vital body and the dense body and is of a negative temperament, the spirits which are earth bound and seek to manifest here may withdraw his vital body by way of the spleen and temporarily use the ether of which it is composed to materialize spirit forms, returning the ether to the medium after the seance is over. QUESTION NO. 130: IF MEDIUMSHIP IS SO DANGEROUS, WHY DO NOT THE MEDIUMS CEASE TO ALLOW THEMSELVES TO BE CONTROLLED? ANSWER: In the first place, of course, the great majority of the mediums do not realize that there is danger. They are particularly unaware of the enormous danger which threatens them after death. The desire body may then be appropriated by the spirit control. If they were to try to stop the [PAGE 2638] influence of the spirit control while still here in the body they would find that that entity has an exceedingly strong hold upon them, a control it is very difficult to break, and they ought to realize that naturally when death brings them into the same world with these spirit controls the danger will be still greater. The writer has known certain cases where mediums have balked and tried to escape from the toils of the spirit control, but have failed to break the strong hold of that entity. They were helpless. Mediums have come to the writer for help and told him that they were almost irresistibly compelled by their spirit controls to commit suicide and murder; that they had begged and pleaded with the spirit controls to leave them alone, but without avail. Cases are known also where spirit controls have mercilessly dragged their victims out of bed in the middle of night against their will and forced them to listen to their importunities. Only seldom does one hear that they show mercy. Though the writer has known mediums who have been ill from such treatment, he has only known of one case where the sickness of the medium induced the spirit controls to listen to his plea and leave him alone for a few months while he recuperated. Thus it will be seen that mediumship, once entered into, is not usually a matter of choice with the mediums; they lose the power to shut out spirit controls. While they do the bidding of their taskmasters and are docile, they may not feel the bit; but let one of them try to balk, and he or she will soon feel that the spirit control has both bit and spur, and is merci- less in his use of them. Continued with file "RC1074.TXT" End of File

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