Filename: RC1098.TXT Source: +quot;The Vital Body+quot; by Max Heindel [PAGE 3526] But it

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Filename: RC1098.TXT Source: "The Vital Body" by Max Heindel [PAGE 3526] But it is with great thankfulness that he records his conviction that we need have no fear on that score. Only when people are premeditatively mali- cious and vindictive, and persistently harbor a desire and a purpose to get even with some one, only when such feelings are hugged, nursed, and enter- tained do they harden the vital body and cause the interlocking grip of these vehicles. We know from the records of the great war that the rank and file have no such sentiments against one another, but that enemies meet as friends whenever chance brings them into such relationship that they may converse one with another. So, though war is responsible for the awful mor- tality now and will cause deplorable infant mortality in a future age, it will be blameless with regard to the dreadful diseases engendered by obses- sion and the crimes suggested by these demoniacal sin bodies. Though mental disabilities, when congenital, are generally traceable to abuse of the creative function in a past life, there is at least one notable exception to this rule, namely, cases such as mentioned in THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION and elsewhere in our literature, and described as follows: Where a Spirit, who has a particularly hard life before, it, comes down to rebirth and feels upon entering the womb that the panorama of the coming life then shown it marks an existence too hard for it to undergo, it some- times tries to run away from the school of life. At that time the Recording Angels or their agents have already made the connection between the vital body and the sense centers of the brain in the forming foetus; therefore the effort of the Spirit to escape from the mother's womb is frustrated, but the [PAGE 3527] wrench that is given by the Ego deranges the connection between the etheric and physical sense centers, so that the vital body is not concentric with the physical, causing the etheric head to extend above the physical cranium. Thus it is impossible for the Spirit to use the dense vehicle; it is tied to a mindless body which it cannot use, and the embodiment is practically wasted. We also find cases where a great shock later if life causes the Spirit to endeavor to run away with the invisible vehicles. As a result a similar wrench is given to the etheric sense centers in the brain, and the shock de- ranges the mental expression. Everybody has probably felt a similar sensa- tion on receiving a fright: a surging as of something endeavoring to get out of the dense body; that is the desire and vital bodies, which are so swift in their motion that an express train is as a snail by comparison. They see and feel the danger and are frightened before the scare is transmitted to the inert and slow physical body in which they are anchored, and which pre- vents their escape under ordinary strain. Insanity is always caused by a break in the chain of vehicles between the Ego an the physical body. This break may occur between the brain centers an the vital body, or it may be between the vital and the desire body, between the desire body and the mind, or between the mind and the Ego. The rupture may be complete or only partial. When the break is between the brain centers and the vital body, or be- tween that and the desire body, we have the idiots. When the break is [PAGE 3528] between the desire body and the mind, the violent and impulsive desire body rules and we have the raving maniac. When the break is between the Ego and the mind, the mind is the ruler over the other vehicles and we have the cun- ning maniac, who may deceive his keeper into believing that he is perfectly harmless until he has hatched some diabolical, cunning scheme. Then he may suddenly show his deranged mentality and cause a dreadful catastrophe. There is one cause of insanity that it may be well to explain, as it is sometimes possible to avoid it. When the Ego is returning from the invis- ible world toward re-embodiment, it is shown the various incarnations avail- able. It sees the coming life in its great and general events, much as a moving picture passing before its vision. Then it is given the choice, usu- ally, of several lives. It sees at that time the lessons it has to learn, the fate it has generated for itself in past lives, and what part of that fate it will have to liquidate in each of the embodiments offered. Then it makes its choice and is guided by the agent of the Recording Angeles to the country and family where it is to live its coming life. This panoramic view is seen in the Third Heaven where the Ego is naked and feels spiritually above sordid material considerations. It is much wiser then than it appears here on earth, where it is blinded by the flesh to an inconceivable extent. Later, when conception has taken place and the Ego draws into the womb of its mother, on about the eighteenth day after that event, it comes in contact with the etheric mold of its new physical body which has been made by the Recording Angels to give the brain formation [PAGE 3529] that will impress upon the Ego the tendencies necessary to work out its des- tiny. There the Ego sees again the pictures of the COMING life, as the drowning man perceives the pictures of his PAST life --in a flash. At that time the Ego is already partially blind to its spiritual nature, so that is the com- ing life seems to be a hard one, it will oftentimes shrink from entering the womb and making the proper brain connections. It may endeavor to draw it- self out quickly and then, instead of being concentric as the vital and the dense bodies should be, the vital body formed of ether may be drawn par- tially above the head of the dense body. It that case the connection be- tween the sense centers of the vital body an the dense body are disrupted and the result is congenital idiocy, epilepsy, St. Vitus dance, and similar nervous disorders. Insanity is a rupture in the vehicles between the Ego and the physical body, and this derangement may occur between the Ego and the mind, between the mind and the desire body, or between the desire body and the vital body, and also between the latter and the dense body. If the break is between the dense and the vital body or between that and the desire body, the Ego will be perfectly sane in the Desire World immediately after death, because it has then discarded the two vehicles which were afflicted. Where the break occurs between the desire body and the mind, the desire body is, as a matter of course, still rampant, and often causes the Ego much trouble during its existence in the Desire World; for the Ego, of course, is [PAGE 3530] at no time insane. What appears as insanity arises from the fact that the Ego has no control over its vehicles; the worst of all, obviously, is where the mind itself has become affected and the Ego is tied to the personality for a long time until these vehicles are worn away. We have seen that in the waking state the dense body and the vital body are surrounded and interpenetrated by an egg-shaped cloud comprising the de- sire body and the mind. These vehicles are all concentric, and form so many links in a chain. It is the interpolation of one into the other, so that the sense centers in one are in proper alignment with the sense centers of the other, which enables the Ego to manipulate the complex organism and per- form in an ordered manner the life processes which we call reason, speech, and action. If there is a maladjustment anywhere the Ego will be correspondingly hampered anywhere the Ego will be correspondingly hampered in its expression. This perfect balance is health, the opposite is disease. Disease takes many forms; one is insanity, and that also is of different kinds. Where the connection between the sense centers of the dense body and the vital body is askew, where sometimes the head of the vital body towers above the dense head instead of being concentric with it, the vital body is out of adjustment with both the higher vehicles and the dense body. Then we have the docile idiot. Where the dense and vital bodies are in adjustment but the break is between the vital body and the desire body, a similar [PAGE 3531] condition obtains, but when the break is between the desire body and the mind we have the raving maniac, who is more ungovernable that a wild animal, for that is checked by the Group Spirit. In that case all the animal pro- pensities are followed blindly. While there are very few who will defend the abuse of the generative function, many people who follow spiritual precepts in other things still have the feeling that frequent indulgence of the desire for sexual pleasure works no harm; some even have the idea that it is as necessary as the exer- cise of any other organic function. This is wrong for two reasons: First, each creative act requires a certain amount of force which burns up tissue that must be replenished b an extra amount of food. This strengthens and augments the chemical ether. Secondly, as the propagative force works through the life ether, this constituent of the vital body is also augmented with each indulgence. Thus we strengthen the two lower ethers of the vital ody by sending the creative force downwards for gratification of our desire for pleasure; and their interlocking grip upon the two higher ethers which form the soul body becomes tighter and more powerful as time goes on. As the evolution of our soul powers and the faculty of traveling in our finer vehicles depends upon the cleavage between the lower ethers and the soul body, it is evident that we frustrate the object we have in view and retard development by indulgence of the lower nature. As soon as the vital body has been placed the returning Ego, clothed in its bell-shaped covering, hovers constantly near the future mother. She [PAGE 3532] alone does the work upon the new dense body in the first eighteen to twenty-one days after fertilization, then the Ego enters the mother's body, drawing the bell-shaped covering down over the fetus. The opening at the bottom closes, and the Ego is once more incarcerated in the prison house of the dense body. The moment of entrance into the womb is one of great importance in life, for when the incoming Ego first contacts the before-mentioned matrix vital body it sees there again the panorama of the coming life which has been im- pressed upon the matrix by the Recording Angels in order to? vie it the ten- dencies required to work out the ripe causation due to be liquidated in the coming life. At this time, the Ego is already so much blinded by the veil of matter that it does not recognize the good end in vie in the same unbiased manner as when making its choice in the Region of Abstract Thought, and when a par- ticularly hard life reveals itself to the vision of the returning Ego at the moment of entering the womb, it sometimes happens that the Ego is so startled and frightened that its seeks to rush out again. The connection cannot be severed, however, but may be strained, so that instead of the vi- tal body being concentric with the dense body, the head of the vital body may be above the head of the dense body. Then we have a congenital idiot. As a vampire sucks the ether from the vital body of its victim and feeds upon it, so perpetual thoughts of regret and remorse concerning certain things become a desire-elemental which acts as a vampire and draws the very [PAGE 3533] life from the poor soul who has shaped it, and by the attraction of like for like, it fosters continuance of this morbid habit of regret. If we indulge in regrets and remorse during every waking hour as some do, we are outdoing Purgatory, for though the time there is spent in eradication of evil, the consciousness turns from each picture when it has been torn out by the force of repulsion. Here, because of the interlocking of the desire and vital bodies, we are enabled to revivify a picture in memory as oft as we please, and while the desire body is gradually dissolved in Purgatory by the expurgation of the panorama of life, a certain small amount is added while we are living in the Physical World, to take the place of that which is ejected by remorse. Thus, remorse and regret when continually indulged in have the same effect on the desire body as excessive bathing has on the vital body. Both vehicles are depleted of strength by excessive cleansing, and for that reason it is as dangerous to? the moral and spiritual health to indulge indiscriminately in feelings of regret and remorse as its is fatal to physical well being to bathe too much. Discrimination should govern in both cases. As the force latent in gunpowder and kindred explosive substances may be used to further the greatest objects of civilization or to outdo the most savage acts of barbarism, so also, this emotion of remorse may be misused in such a manner that it becomes a detriment and a hindrance to the Ego in- stead of a help. When we indulge in remorse daily and hourly, we are [PAGE 3534] actually wasting a great power which might be used for the most noble ends of life, for the constant indulgence of regret affects the desire body in a manner similar to that which follows excessive bathing of the physical body. . . . . Water has a great affinity for ether and absorbs it most greedily . . . . . When we take a bath under normal conditions it removes a great deal of poisonous miasmatic ether from our vital bodies, providing we stay in the water a reasonable length of time. After a bath the vital body becomes somewhat attenuated and consequently gives us a feeling of weakness, but if we are in our usual good health and have not stayed in the bath too long, the deficiency is soon made good by the stream of force which flows into the body through the spleen. When this influx of fresh ether has replaced the poisoned substance carried off in the water, we feel renewed vigor which we rightly attribute to the bath, though usually without realizing the full facts as here stated. But when a person who is not in perfect health makes a habit of bathing every day, perhaps even twice or three times, an excess of ether is taken from the vital body. The supply entering by way of the spleen is also di- minished on account of the loss of tone of the seed atom located in the so- lar plexus and the attenuated condition of the vital body. Thus it is im- possible for such people to recuperate between such oft repeated depletions, and as a consequence the health of the dense body suffers; they lose strength continually and are apt to become confirmed invalids. [PAGE 3535] IN SLEEP AND DREAMS: THE VITAL BODY IS ACTIVE IN SLEEP AS WELL AS IN THE WAKING STATE AND MAY BE ACTED UPON BY THE POWER OF SUGGESTION. SLEEP MAY BE INDUCED BY HYPNOSIS. We have in our body two nervous systems, the VOLUNTARY and the INVOLUN- TARY. The first named is operated directly by the desire body, and controls the movements of the body, tends to break down and destroy, only partially restrained in its ruthless task by the mind. The involuntary system has its particular vantage ground in the vital body; it governs the digestive and respiratory organs, which rebuild and restore the dense body. It is this war between the vital body and the desire body which produces consciousness in the Physical World, but did not the mind act as a brake on the desire body, our waking hours would be very short, and so would our lives, for the vital body would soon be overridden in its beneficent offices by the reckless desire body, as evidenced in the exhaustion which follows a fit of temper, for temper is a condition where the man has "lost control" and the desire body rules unchecked. In spite of all its efforts, however, the vital body slowly loses ground as the day goes along, the poisons of decaying tissue accumulate and impede [PAGE 3536] the flow of the vital fluid, its motion become more and more sluggish. In consequence the visible body shows signs of exhaustion. At last the vital body, so to say, collapses, the vital fluid ceases to flow along the nerves in sufficient quantity to maintain the poise of the dense body, and that renders it unconscious and therefore unfit for the use of the Spirit. That is sleep. So also with the temple of the Ego, our dense body, when that has been exhausted. It is then necessary that the Ego, mind, and the desire body va- cate and give the vital body full sway, that it may restore the tone of the dense body; and thus, when the dense body goes to sleep, there is a separa- tion. The Ego and the mind, clothed in the desire body, draw out from the vital body and the dense body, the two latter remaining on the bed, while the higher vehicles hover above or near the sleeping body. The process of restoration now beings. In a fight in the Physical World the injuries are never all on one side; the winner always has some lesions. The fiercer the fight, and the more evenly the combatants are matched, the more lesions go to each. So with the combating vital and desire bodies, the desire body wins every time, yet its victory is always a defeat, for it is then forced to leave the battle field and the prize, the dense body, in the hands of the vanquished vital body and withdraw to repair its own shattered harmony. When it withdraws from the sleeping body it enters that sea of force and harmony called the Desire World. Here it lives over the scenes of the day, [PAGE 3537] but in reverse order, from effects to causes, straightening out the tangles of the day, forming true pictures to replace the wrong impressions due to the limitations of the life in the dense body, and as the harmonies of the Desire World pervade it, and wisdom and truth replace error, it regains its rhythm and its tone, the time required to restore it varying according to how illusive, impulsive, and strenuous had been the life of the day. Then, and then only, does the work of restoring the vehicles left on the bed commence, and the restored desire body starts to revive the vital body, jumping rhythmic energy into it, and that in turn starts to work upon the dense body, eliminating the products of decay, principally by means of the sympathetic nervous system, with the result that the dense body is restored and overflowing with life when the desire body, mind, the Ego enter in the morning and cause it to wake. It sometimes happens, however, that we have become so absorbed and inter- ested in the affairs of our mundane existence that even after the vial body has collapsed and rendered the dense body unconscious we cannot make up our minds to leave it and commence the work of restoration; the desire body will cling like grim death, is dragged perhaps only half out by the Ego, and starts to ruminate over the happenings of the day in that position. During the waking state, when the Ego is functioning consciously in the Physical World, its various vehicles are concentric--they occupy the same [PAGE 3538] 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 vehicles hover above or near. They are connected to the denser vehicles by THE SILVER CORD, a thin, glistening thread which take 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. 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. The Desire World is an ocean of wisdom and harmony. Into this the Ego takes the mind and the desire body when the lower vehicles have been left in sleep. There the first care of the Ego is the restoration of the rhythm and harmony of the mind and the desire body. This restoration is accomplished gradually as the harmonious vibrations of the Desire World flow through them. There is an essence in the Desire World corresponding to the vital fluid which permeates the dense body by means of the vital body. The higher vehicles, as it were, steep themselves in this elixir of life. When strengthened, they commence work on the vital body, which was left with the sleeping dense body. Then the vital body begins to specialize the solar en- ergy anew, rebuilding the dense body, using particularly the chemical ether [PAGE 3539] as its medium in the process of restoration. In the waking state, the different vehicles of the Ego, the mind, desire body, vital body, and dense body are all concentric. They occupy the same space, and the Ego functions outwardly in the Physical World. But at night, during the dreamless sleep, the Ego, clothed in the desire body and the mind, withdraws, leaving the physical and the vital body upon the bed, there being no connection between the higher and lower vehicles, save a thin, glistening thread, called the silver cord. It happens, however, that at times the Ego has been working so interestedly in the Physical World and the desire body has become so stirred up that it refuses to leave the lower ve- hicles and is only half withdrawn. Then the connection between the sense centers of the desire body and the sense centers of the physical brain are partly ruptured. The Ego sees the sights and scenes of the Desire World which, in themselves, are extremely fantastic and illusory, and they are transmitted to the brain centers without being connected by reason. From this condition come all the foolish and fantastic dreams which we have. It happens, however, that at times the desire body does not fully with- draw, so that part of its remains connected with the vital body, the vehicle of sense perception and memory. The result is that restoration is only partly accomplished and that the scenes and actions of the Desire World are brought into the physical consciousness as dreams. Of course most dreams are confused as the axis of perception is askew, because of the improper [PAGE 3540] relation of one body to another. The memory is also confused by this incon- gruous relation of the vehicles and as a result of the loss of the restoring force, dream-filled sleep is restless and the body feels tired on awakening. The vital body may be said to be built of points which stick out in all directions, inward, outward, upward, and downward, all through the body, and each little point goes through the center of one of the chemical atoms, causing it to vibrate at a higher rate than its natural speed. This vital body interpenetrates the dense body from birth to death under all conditions except when, for instance, the blood circulation stops in a certain part, as when we rest a hand upon the edge of a table for some time and it "goes to sleep,' as we say. Then, if clairvoyant, we may see the etheric hand of the vital body hanging down below the visible hand as a glove, and the chemical atoms of the hand relapse into their natural slow rate of vibration. When we slap the hand to cause it to "wake up," as we say, the peculiar prickling sensation we feel is caused by the points of the vital body which then re-enter the sleeping atoms of the hand and start them into renewed vibra- tion. The vital body leaves the dense body in a similar manner when a person is dying. Drowning persons who have been resuscitated experience an intense agony caused by the entrance of these points, which they feel as a prickling sensation. During the daytime, when the solar fluid is being absorbed by the man in great quantities, these points of the vital body are blown out or distended, [PAGE 3541] as it were, by the vital fluid, but as the day advances and poisons of decay clog the physical body more and more, the vital fluid flows less rapidly; in the evening there comes a time when the points in the vital body do not get a full supply of the life-giving fluid; they drivel up and the atoms of the body move more sluggishly in consequence. Thus the Ego feels the body to be heavy, dull, and tired. at last there comes a time when, as it were, the vital body collapses and the vibrations of the dense atoms become so slow that the Ego can no longer move the body. It is forced to withdraw in order that its vehicle may recuperate. Then we say the body has gone to sleep. Sleep is not an inactive state, however; if it were there would be no difference in feeling in the morning and no restorative power in sleep. The very word RESTORATION implies activity. When a building has become dilapidated from constant wear and tear and it? is necessary to renovate and restore it, the tenants must move out to give the workmen full play. For similar reasons the Ego moves out of its tenement at night. As the workmen work upon the building, to make it fit for re-occupancy, so the Ego must work upon its building before it will be fit to re-enter. And such a work is done by us during the nighttime, al- though we are not conscious of it in our waking state. It is this activity which removes the poisons from the system, and as a result the body is fresh and vigorous in the morning when the Ego enters at the time of waking. It depends upon the manner in which we have used our dense bodies in the [PAGE 3542] daytime as to how long the desire body requires to perform the work of res- toration of rhythm to the vital body and the dense body. If we have used our bodies strenuously during the previous day, in harmonies will, of course, be correspondingly prominent, and it will take the desire body most of the night to restore harmony and rhythm. Thus the man will be tied to? his body day and night. But when he learns skill in action, controls his energy in the daytime, and ceases to waste his strength on unnecessary words and actions, when he commences to govern his temper and to stop in harmony due to incorrect observation, th desire body will not occupied during the entire time of sleep in restoring the dense body. A part of the night may be used for work outside. If the sense centers of the desire body are suf- ficiently evolved, as they are with most of the intelligent class, the man may and does then slip the cable and soar into the Desire World. He takes in the sights and scenes there, though he does not usually remember them un- til he has effected a cleavage between the higher and lower parts of the vi- tal body, as previously explained. In the natural sleep the Ego, clothed in the mind and desire body, draws outside the physical body and usually hovers over the body, or at any rate remains close to it, connected by the silver cord, while the vital body and the dense body are resting upon the bed. It is then possible to influence the person by instilling into his brain the thoughts and ideas we wish to communicate. Nevertheless, we cannot then [PAGE 3543] get him to do anything or to entertain any idea except that which is in line with his natural proclivities. It is impossible to command him to do any- thing and to enforce obedience, the same as it is when he has been driven out by the passes of the hypnotist, for it is the brain which moves the muscles, and during the natural sleep his brain is interpenetrated by his own vital body and he is in perfect control of himself, while during the hypnotic sleep the passes of the hypnotist have driven the ether of which its vital body is composed out of the brain, down to the shoulders of the victim, where it lies around his neck and resembles the collar of a sweater. The dense brain is then open to the ether from the hypnotist's vital body, which displaces that of the proper owner. Thus IN THE HYPNOTIC SLEEP THE VICTIM HAS NO CHOICE WHATEVER A TO THE IDEAS HE ENTERTAINS OR THE MOVEMENTS HE MAKES WITH HIS BODY, but in the ordinary sleep he is still a free agent. In fact, this method of suggestion during sleep is something which mothers will find extremely beneficial in treating refractory children, for if the mother will sit by the bed of the sleeping child, hold its hand, speak to it as she would speak when it is awake, instill into his brain ideas of such a nature as she would wish it to entertain, she will find that in the waking state many of these ideas will have taken root. Also in dealing with a per- son who is sick or is addicted to drink, if the mother, nurse, or others use this method, they will find it possible to instill hope and healing, materi- ally furthering recovery or aiding self-mastery. [PAGE 3544] This method may of course be used for evil, but we cannot refrain from publishing it, as we believe that the good which can be done in this way will much more than offset the few cases where some misguided person may use it for the wrong purpose. Looked at from the standpoint of one life, such methods as for instance those employed by the healers of the Immanuel movement, are undoubtedly pro- ductive of an immense amount of good. The patient is seated in a chair, put into a sleep, and there he is given certain so-called "suggestions." He rises and is cured of his bad habit; from being a drunkard he becomes a re- spectable citizen who cares for his wife and family, and upon the face of it the good seems to be undeniable. But looking at it from the deeper standpoint of the occultist, who views this life as only one in many, and looking at it from the effect it has upon the invisible vehicles of man, the case is vastly different. When a man is put into a hypnotic sleep, the hypnotist makes passes over him which have the effect of expelling th ether from the head of his dense body and substi- tuting the ether of the hypnotist. the man is then under the perfect domination of another; he has no free will, and, therefore, the so-called "suggestions" are in reality COMMANDS which the victim has no choice but to obey. Besides, when the hypnotist withdraws his ether and wakens the victim he is unable to remove all the ether he put into him. To use a simile, as a small part of the magnetism infused into an electric dynamo before it can be started for the first time is left behind and remains as residual magnetism [PAGE 3545] to excite the fields of the dynamo every time it is started up, so also there remains a small part of the ether of the hypnotist's vital body in the medulla oblongata of the victim, which is a club the hypnotist holds over him all his life, and it is due to this fact that suggestions to be carried out at a period subsequent to the awakening of the victim are invariably followed. AT DEATH AND IN INVISIBLE WORLDS: AT DEATH, THERE IS A CLEAVAGE OF THE VITAL BODY AND THE HIGHER PARTS EN- TER THE INVISIBLE WORLDS. ITS SEED ATOM IS RETAINED BY THE EGO WHEN PASSING THROUGH THE HEAVEN WORLDS TO BE USED AS A NUCLEUS FOR THE VITAL BODY OF A FUTURE EMBODIMENT. This life on Earth lasts until the course of events foreshadowed in the wheel of life, the horoscope, has been run; and when the Spirit again reaches the realm of Samael, the Angel of Death, the mystic eighth house, the silver cord is loosed, and the Spirit returns to God who gave it, until the dawn of another life-day in the School of Earth beckons it to a new birth that it may acquire more skill in the arts and crafts of temple-building. By the fact of death if has been possible for the Angels to teach human- ity between death and a new birth how to build a gradually improving body. Had man learned in that far past how to renew his vital body, as he was taught to generate a dense vehicle at his own pleasure, then death would in- deed have been an impossibility and man would have become as immortal as the gods. But he would then have immortalized his imperfections and made progress an impossibility. It is the renewal of this vital body which is [PAGE 3546] expressed in the Bible as "eating of the Tree of Life." At the time of his enlightenment concerning generation man was a spiritual being whose eyes were not yet blinded by the material world, and he might have learned the secret of vitalizing his body at will, thus frustrating evolution. Thus we see that death, when it comes naturally, is not a curse but our greatest and best friend, for it frees us from an instrument from which we can learn no more; it takes us out of an environment which we have outgrown, that we may learn to build a better body in an environment of wider scope in which we can make more progress toward the goal of perfection. During life the collapse of the vital body at night terminates our view of the world about us, and causes us to lose ourselves in the unconscious- ness of sleep. When the vital body collapses just subsequent to death, and the panorama of life is terminated, we also lose consciousness for a time which varies according to the individual. A darkness seems to fall upon the Spirit. Then after a while it wakes up and begins dimly to perceive the light of the other world, but is only gradually accustomed to the altered conditions. It is an experience similar to that which we have when coming out of a darkened room into sunlight, which blinds us by its brilliancy, un- til the pupils of our eyes have contracted so that they admit a quantity of light bearable to our organism. When the man passes out a death, he takes with him the mind, desire body and vital body, the latter being the storehouse of the pictures of his past [PAGE 3547] 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 Pur- gatory and the First Heaven where evil is expurgated and the good as- similated. The experience of the life itself is forgotten, as we have for- gotten the process of learning to write, but have retained the faculty. So the cumulative extract of all his experiences 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. No matter how long we may keep the Spirit from passing out, however, at last there will come a time then no stimulant can hold it and the last breath is drawn. Then the silver cord, of which the Bible speaks, and which holds the higher and the lower vehicles together, snaps the heart and causes that organ to stop. That rupture releases the vital body, and that, with the desire body and mind, floats above the visible body for from one to three and one-half days while the Spirit is engaged in reviewing the past life, an exceedingly important part of its post-mortem experience. Upon what review depends its whole existence from death to a new birth. All ancient people, whether in the East or in the West, know much about birth and death which has been forgotten in modern times, because second sight was more prevalent then. To this day, for instance, many peasants in [PAGE 3548] Norway assert ability to see the Spirit passing out of the body at death, as a long narrow while cloud, which is, of course, the vital body; and the Rosicrucian teaching--that the deceased hover around their earthly abode for some time after death, that they assume a luminous body and are sorely af- flicted by the grief of dear ones--was common knowledge among the ancient Northmen. When the deceased King Helfe of Denmark materialized to assuage the grief of his widow, and she exclaimed in anguish, "The dew of death has bathed his warrior body," he answered: `TIS THOU, SIGRUNA ART CAUSE ALONE, THAT HELGE IS BATHED WITH DEW OF SORROW THOU WILT NOT CEASE THEY GRIEF, NOR DRY THE BITTER TEARS. EACH BLOODY TEAR FALLS ON MY BREAST, ICY COLD. THEY WILL NOT LET ME REST. When she (the author of THE MINISTRY OF ANGELS) was about eighteen years of age, a girl friend called Maggie was suddenly taken very ill and died in her arms. Immediately after her heart had ceased to beat, she says, "I dis- tinctly saw ascend from her body something in appearance like smoke or steam as it rises from a kettle in which water is boiling. The emanation rose only a little distance and there resolved itself into a form like that of my friend who had just died. This form, shadowy at first, gradually changed [PAGE 3549] until it become well defined and clad in a pearly white, cloud-like robe, beneath which the outlines of the figure were distinctly visible. The face was that of my friend, but glorified with no trace upon it of the spasm of pain which had seized her just before she died." This is just as we have taught: at the moment of death, when the silver cord has been ruptured in the heart, the vital body rises out through the sutures in the skull and hovers a few feet above the body. When a Spirit is passing out of the body, it takes with it the desire body, the mind, and the vital body, and the vital body is at that time the storehouse for the pictures of the past life. These are then etched into the desire body during the three and one-half days immediately following death. Then the desire body becomes the arbiter of man's destiny in Purga- tory and the First Heaven. The pains caused by expurgation of evil and the joy caused by the contemplation of the good in life are carried over to the next life as conscience to deter man from perpetuating the mistakes of past lives and to entice him to do that which caused him joy in the former life more abundantly. At the moment of death when the seed atom in the heart is ruptured which contains all the experience of the past life in a panoramic picture, the Spirit leaves its physical body, taking with it the finer bodies. It then hovers over the dense body which is now dead, as we call if, for a time varying from a number of hours to three and one-half days. The determining [PAGE 3550] factor as to the time is the strength of the vital body, the vehicle which constitutes the soul body spoken of in the Bible. There is then a pictorial reproduction of the life, a panorama in reverse order from death to birth, and the pictures are etched upon the desire body through the medium of re- flecting ether in this vital body. During this time the consciousness of the Spirit is concentrated in the vital body, or at least it should be, and it has therefore no feeling about this matter. The picture that is im- pressed upon the vehicle of feeling and emotion, the desire body, is the ba- sis of subsequent suffering in the life in Purgatory for evil deeds, and of enjoyment in the First Heaven on account of the good done in the past life. These were the main facts which the writer was able personally to observe about death at the time when the Teachings were first given to him and when he was introduced by the help of the Teacher to the panoramic reproductions of life when persons were going through the gate of death, but the investi- gations of later years have revealed the additional fact that there is an- other process going on during these important days following death. A cleavage takes place in the vital body similar to that made by the pro- cess of initiation. So much of this vehicle as can be termed "soul," coalesces with the higher vehicles and is the basis of consciousness in the invisible worlds after death. The lower part, which is discarded, returns to the physical body and hovers over the grave in the great majority of the cases, as stated in THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION. This cleavage of the vital body is not the same in all persons but depends upon the nature of the [PAGE 3551] life lived and the character of the person that is passing out. In extreme cases this division varies very much from normal. This important point was brought out in many cases of supposed Spirit obsession which have been in- vestigated from Headquarters; in fact it was these cases which developed the far-reaching and astounding discoveries brought out by our most recent re- searches into the nature of the obsession from which the people who appealed to us were suffering. As might be expected, of course, the division in these cases showed a preponderance of evil, and efforts were them made to find out if there was not also another class of people where a different di- vision with a preponderance of good takes place. It is a pleasure to record that this was found to be the case, and after weighing the facts discovered, balancing one with another, the following seems to be a correct description of the conditions and their reasons: The vital body aims to build the physical, whereas our desires and emo- tions tear down. It is the struggle between the vital body and the desire body which produces consciousness in the Physical World, and which hardens the tissues so that the soft body of the child gradually becomes tough and shrunken in old age, followed by death. The morality or immorality of our desires and emotions acts in a similar manner on the vital body. Where de- votion to high ideals is the mainspring of action, where the devotional na- ture has been allowed for years to express itself freely and frequently, and particularly where this has been accompanied by the scientific exercises given Probationers in The Rosicrucian Fellowship, the quantity of the chemical and life ethers gradually diminishes as the animal appetites [PAGE 3552] vanish, and an increased amount of the light and reflecting ethers takes their place. As a consequence, physical health is not as robust among people who follow the higher path as among people whose indulgence of the lower nature attracts the chemical and life ethers, in proportion to the ex- tend and nature of their vice, to the partial or total exclusion of the two higher ethers. Several very important consequences connected with death follow this fact. As it is the chemical ether which cements the molecules of the body in their places and keeps them there during life, when only a minimum of ma- terial is present, disintegration of the physical vehicle after death must be very rapid. At death a separation takes place; the seed atom is withdrawn from the apex of the heart along the saturnine pneumogastric nerve, through the ven- tricles and out the skull (Golgotha); all the atoms of the vital body are liberated from the cross of the dense body by the same spiral motion, which unscrews each prismatic atom of ether from its physical envelope. This process is attended with more or less violence according to the cause of death. An aged person whose vitality has been slowly ebbing may fall asleep and wake up on the other side of the veil without the slightest consciousness of how the change took place; a devout and religious person who has been prepared by prayer and meditation on the beyond would also be able to make an easy egress; people who freeze to death meet with what the writer believes to be the easiest of accidental deaths, drowning being next. But when a person is young and healthy, especially if of an irreligious [PAGE 3553] or atheistic turn of mind, the prismatic ether atom is so tightly entwined by the physical atom that a considerable wrench is required to separate the vital body. When the separation of the physical body from the higher ve- hicles has been accomplished and the person is dead, as we say, the light and reflecting ethers are separated from the prismatic atom. It is this stuff, as described in the COSMO-CONCEPTION, which is molded into pictures of the past life and etched into the desire body, which them begins to feel whatever there was of pain or pleasure in the life. The part of the vital body composed of the prismatic chemical and life ethers then returns to the physical body, hovering above the grave and disintegrating synchronously with it. The higher vehicles--vital body, desire body and mind--are seen to leave the desire body with a spiral movement, taking with them the soul of one dense atom. Not the atom itself, but the forces that played through it. The results of the experiences passed through in the desire body during the life just ended have been impressed upon this particular atom. While all other atoms of the desire body have been renewed from time to time, this permanent atom has remained. It has remained stable, not only through one life, but it has been a part of every desire body ever used by a particular Ego. It is withdrawn at death only to reawaken at the dawn of another physical life, to serve again as the nucleus around which is built the new desire body to be used by the same Ego. It is therefore called the SEED ATOM. During life the seed atom is situated in the left ventricle of the heart, near the apex. At death it rises to the brain by way of the [PAGE 3554] pneumogastric nerve, leaving the desire body, together with the higher vehicles, by way of the sutures between the parietal and occipital bones. When the higher vehicles have left the desire body they are still con- nected with it by a slender, glistening, silvery cord shaped much like two figure sixes reversed, one upright and one horizontally placed, the two con- nected at the extremities of the hooks. One end is fastened to the heart by means of the seed atom, and it is the rupture of the seed atom which causes the heart to stop. The cord itself is not snapped until the panorama of the past life, contained in the vital body, has been reviewed. Care should be taken, however, not to cremate or embalm the body until at least three days after death, for while the vital body is with the higher vehicles, and they are still connected with the desire body by means of the silver cord, any post-mortem examination or other injury to the dense body will be felt, in a measure, by the man. Cremation should be particularly avoided in the first three days after death, because it tends to disinte- grate the vital body, which should be kept intact until the panorama of the past life has been etched into the desire body. The silver cord snaps at the point where the sixes unite, half remaining with the desire body and the other half with the higher vehicles. From the time the cord snaps the desire body is quite dead. In the beginning of 1906 Dr. McDougall made a series of experiments in the Massachusetts General Hospital, to determine, if possible, whether any- thing not ordinarily visible left the body at death. For this purpose he constructed a pair of scales capable of registering differences of one-tenth [PAGE 3555] of an ounce. The dying person and his bed were placed on one of the platforms of the scale, which was then balanced by weights placed on the opposite platform. In every instance it was noted that at the precise moment when the dying person drew the last breath, the platform containing the weights dropped with a startling suddenness, lifting the bed and the body, thus showing that something invisible, but having weight, had left the body. Thereupon the newspapers all over the country announced in glaring headlines that Dr. McDougall had "weighed the soul." Occultism hails with joy the discoveries of modern science, as they in- variably corroborate what occult science has long taught. The experiments of Dr. McDougall showed conclusively that something invisible to ordinary sight left the body at death, as trained clairvoyants had seen, and as had been stated in lectures and literature for many years previous to Dr. McDougall's discovery. But this invisible "something: is not the soul. There is a great differ- ence. The reporters jump at conclusions when they state that the scientist have "weighed the soul." The soul belongs to higher realms and can never be weighed on physical scales, even though they registered variations of one-millionth part of a grain instead of one-tenth of an ounce. It was the vital body which the scientists weighted. It is formed of the four ethers and they belong to the Physical World. As we have seen, a certain amount of this ether is "superimposed" upon [PAGE 3556] the ether which envelopes the particles of the human body and is confined there during physical life, adding in a slight degree to the weight of the desire body of plant, animal, and man. In death it escapes; hence the diminution in weight noticed by Dr. McDougall when the persons with whom he experimented expired. This feature of life after death is similar to that which takes place when one is drowning or falling from a height. In such cases the vital body also leaves the desire body and the man sees his life in a flash, because he loses consciousness at once. Of course the silver cord is not broken, or there could be no resuscitation. When the endurance of the vital body has reached its limit, collapses in the way described when we were considering the phenomenon of sleep. During physical life, when the Ego controls its vehicles, this collapse terminates the waking hours; after death the collapse of the vital body terminates the panorama and forces man to withdraw into the Desire World. The silver cord breaks at the point where the SIXES unite, and the same division is made as during sleep, but with this important difference, that though the vital body returns to the desire body, it no longer interpenetrates it, but simply hov- ers over it. It remains floating over the grave, decaying synchronously with the dense vehicle. Hence, to the trained clairvoyant, a graveyard is a nauseating sight and if only more people could see it as he does, little ar- gument would be necessary to induce them to change from the present unsanitary method of disposing of the dead to the more rational method of [PAGE 3557] cremation, which restores the elements to other primordial condition without the objectionable features incident to the process of slow decay. In leaving the vital body the process is much the same as when the desire body is discarded. The life forces of one atom are taken, to be used as a nucleus for the vital body of a future embodiment. Thus, upon his entrance into the Desire World, the man has the seed atoms of the dense and the vital bodies, in addition to the desire body and the mind. When a man dies, he at once seems to swell out in his vital body; he ap- pears to himself to grow into immense proportions. This feeling is due to the fact, not that the body really grows, but that the perceptive faculties receive so many impressions from various sources, all seeming to be close at hand. When the man dies and loses his dense and vital bodies there is the same condition as when one falls asleep. The desire body, as has been explained, has no organs ready to use. It is now transformed from an ovoid to a figure resembling the desire body which has been abandoned. We can easily under- stand that there must be an interval of unconscious resembling sleep and them the man awakes in the Desire World. If not infrequently happens, how- ever, that such people are, for a long time, unaware of what has happened to them. They do not realize that they have died. They know that they are able to move and think. It is sometimes even a very hard matter to get them to believe that they are really "dead." They realize that something is dif- ferent, but they are not able to understand what it is. [PAGE 3558] When the moment arrives which marks the completion of life in the Physical World, the usefulness of the desire body has ended, and the Ego withdraws from it by way of the head, taking with it the mind and the desire body, as it does every night during sleep, but now the vital body is use- less, so that too is withdrawn, and when the "silver cord" which united the higher to the lower vehicles snaps, it can never be repaired. We remember that the vital body is composed of ether, superimposed upon the dense bodies of plant, animal, and man during life. Ether is physical matter, and therefore has weight. The only reason why the scientists cannot weight it is because they are unable to gather a quantity and put it upon a scale. But when it leaves the dense body at death a diminution in weight will take place in every instance, showing that something having weight, yet invisible, leaves the dense body at that time. The "silver cord" which units the higher and lower vehicles terminates at the seed-atom in the heart. When material life comes to an end in the natural manner the forces in the seed-atom disengage themselves, pass out- ward along the pneumogastric nerve, the back of the head and along the sil- ver cord, together with the higher vehicles. It is this rupture in the heart which marks physical death, but the connecting silver cord is not broken at once, in some cases not for several days. Continued with file "RC1099.TXT" End of File

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