Filename: RC1099.TXT Source: +quot;The Vital Body+quot; by Max Heindel [PAGE 3559] In lect

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Filename: RC1099.TXT Source: "The Vital Body" by Max Heindel [PAGE 3559] In lecture No. 3 we say that the vital body is the storehouse of both the conscious and subconscious memory; upon the vital body is branded indelibly every act and experience of the past life, as the scenery upon an exposed photographic plate. When the Ego has withdrawn it from the dense body, the whole life, as registered by the subconscious memory, is laid open to the eye of mind. It is the partial loosening of the vital body which causes a drowning person to see his whole past life, but then it is only like a flash, preceding unconscious; the silver cord remains intact, or there could be no resuscitation. In the case of a Spirit passing out at death, the movement is slower; the man stands as a spectator while the pictures succeed one another in the order from death to birth, so that he sees first the hap- penings just prior to death, the the years of manhood or womanhood unroll themselves; youth, childhood, and infancy follow, until it terminates at birth. The man, however, has no feeling about them at that time. The ob- ject is merely to etch the panorama into the desire body, which is the seat of feeling, and from that impress the feeling will be realized when the Ego enters the Desire World, but we may note here that the intensity of feeling realized depends upon the length of time consumed in the process of etching, and the attention given thereto by the man. If he was undisturbed for a long period by noise and hysteria, a deep, clear-cut impress will be made upon the desire body. He will feel the wrong he did more keenly in [PAGE 3560] Purgatory and be more abundantly strengthened in his good qualities in Heaven, and though the experience will be lost in a future life, the feel- ings will remain, as the "still, small voice." Where the feelings have been strongly indented upon the desire body of an Ego, this voice will speak in no vague and uncertain terms. It will impel him beyond gainslaying, forcing him to desist from that which caused pain in the life before, and compel him to yield to that which is good. Therefore the panorama passed BACKWARD, so that the Ego sees first the effects, and then the underlying causes. As to what determines the length of the panorama, we remember that it was the collapse of the vital body which forced the higher vehicles to withdraw, so after death, when the vital body collapses, the Ego has to withdraw, and thus the panorama comes to an end. The duration of the panaroma depends, therefore, upon the time the person could remain awake only a few hours, others can endure for a few days, depending on the strength of their vital body. When the Ego has left the vital body, the latter gravitates back to the dense body, remaining hovering above the grave, decaying as the dense body does, and it is indeed a noisome sight to the clairvoyant to pass through a cemetary and behold all those vital bodies whose state of decay clearly in- dicates the state of decomposition of the remains in the grave. If there were more clairvoyants, incineration would soon be adopted as a measure of protection to our feelings, if not for sanitary reasons. [PAGE 3561] Our latest investigations indicate that where a man spiritualizes his ve- hicles, the constitution of the vital body, made of ether, is most materi- ally changed. In the ordinary man there is always a preponderance of the two lower ethers--the chemical and life ethers--which have to do with the upbuilding and propagation of the physical body, and a minimum of light and reflecting ethers, which are concerned with sense perception and the higher spiritual qualities. After death the body of the ordinary man is laid in the grave and the vital body hovers about two feet above the mound, gradually disintegrating. The dense body disintegrates simultaneously. However, when we say it decays, we really mean that it becomes much more alive than it was while man inhabited it, for each little molecule is now taken charge of by a separate, individual life. It begins to associate with its neighbors; the unity of an individual life is superseded by a community of many lives. Therefore we speak of such decaying corpses as alive with worms. The denser and the more gross this vehicle is, the longer time it will require for disintegration, because the vital body hovering above the tenacious mag- netic hold that keeps the dense molecules in check. The two higher ethers vibrate at a much more rapid rate than the lower, and where a man by spiritual thoughts has massed around him a great volume of this ether, which then composes his vital body, the vibrations of the dense body also become more intense. Consequently, when the man leaves his body at death there is little or nothing of the vital body left behind to keep the components of [PAGE 3562] the physical body in check. The disintegration is therefore very rapid. This we cannot easily prove because very few people are sufficiently spiritual to make the difference noticeable, but you will recall that in the Bible it is said of certain characters that they were translated. Also, the the body of Moses was so vibrant that it shone, and this body was not found, etc. These were cases where the body was rapidly returned to the elements, and when the Christ's body was laid in the grave its disintegration took place almost instantaneously. However, so long as the archetype of the physical body persists, it en- deavors to draw to itself physical materials which it then shapes according to the form of the vital body. Thus it is difficult for the Invisible Helper who passes out of his body to refrain from materializing. The moment his will to keep away from himself all physical impediments is relaxed, ma- terials from the surrounding atmosphere attach themselves to him as iron filings are drawn to a magnet, and he becomes visible and tangible to what- ever extent he desires. Thus he is enabled to do actual physical work wher- ever it is necessary, no matter if he be thousands of miles away from his body. Therefore the Spirits who pass away from this earth life are unable to materialize save through a medium where they extract her living vital body, drape themselves therewith and thus attract the physical substances necessary to make themselves visible to the sitters. [PAGE 3563] During life and in the waking state of consciousness, the vehicles of the Ego are all together and concentric, but at death the Ego, clothed in the mind and desire body, withdraws from the dense body, and as the vital func- tions are at an end, the vital body also is taken out of the dense body, leaving it inanimate upon the bed. One little atom in the heart is taken out and the rest of the body disintegrates in due course. But at that time there is an extremely important process going on, and those who attend the passing Spirit in the death chamber should be very careful that the utmost quiet reigns there and in the whole house, for the pictures of the whole past life which have been stored in the vital body are passing before the eye of the Spirit in a slow and orderly progression, IN REVERSE ORDER, from death back to birth. This panorama of the past life lasts from a few hours to three and one-half days immediately following death is this: During that time the panorama of the past life is being etched upon the desire body which will be man's vehicle while he stays in Purgatory and the First Heaven, where he is reaping the good or ill that he has sown, according to the deeds done in the body. [PAGE 3564] Now, where the life has been full of events and the man's vital body is strong, a longer time will be given to this etching than under conditions where the vital body is weak, but DURING ALL THAT TIME THE DENSE BODY IS CONNECTED WITH THE HIGHER VEHICLES BY THE SILVER CORD AND ANY HURT TO THE DENSE BODY IS FELT IN A MEASURE BY THE SPIRIT, so that embalming, post mortem examinations and cremation are all felt. Therefore, these should be avoided during the first three and one-half days after the time of death, for when the panorama has been fully etched into the desire body, then the silver cord is broken, the vital body gravitates back to the dense body and there is no more connection with the Spirit, which is then free to go on with its higher life. When the body is buried, the vital body disintegrates slowly at the same time as the dense body, so that when, for instance, an arm has decayed in the grave, the etheric arm of the vital body which hovers over the grave also disappears, and so on until the last vestige of the body is gone. But where cremation is performed the vital body disintegrates at once, an as that is the storehouse of the pictures of past life, which being etched upon the desire body to form the basis of life in Purgatory and the First Heaven, this would be a great calamity where cremation is performed before the three and one-half days are past. Unless help were given, the passing of the work that is done by the Invisible Helpers for humanity. Sometimes they are as- sisted by nature spirits and others detailed by the Creative Hierarchies or leaders of humanity. There is also a loss where one is cremated before [PAGE 3565] the silver cord has broken naturally, the imprint upon the desire body is never as deep as it would otherwise have been, and this has an effect upon future lives, for the deeper the imprint of the past life upon the desire body, the keener the sufferings in Purgatory for the ill committed and the keener also the pleasure in the First Heaven which results from the good deeds of the past life. It is these pains and pleasures of our past lives that create what we call conscience, so that where we have lost in suffering we lose also the realization of wrong which is to deter us in future lives from committing the same mistakes over and over again. Therefore, the ef- fects of the premature cremation are very far reaching. A phenomenon similar to the panorama of life usually takes place when a person is drowning. People who have been resuscitated speak of having seen their whole life IN A FLASH. That is because under such conditions the vi- tal body also leaves the dense body. Of course there is no rupture of the silver cord, or life could not be restored. Unconsciousness following quickly in drowning, while in the usual post-mortem review the consciousness continues until the vital body collapses in the same manner that it does when we go to sleep. Then consciousness ceases for a while and the panorama is terminated. Therefore also the time occupied by the panorama varies with different persons, according to whether the vital body was strong and healthy, or had become thin and emaciated by protracted illness. The longer the time spent in review, and the more quiet and peaceful the surroundings, [PAGE 3566] the deeper will be the etching which is made in the desire body. As already said, that has been a most important and far-reaching effect, for then the sufferings which the Spirit will realize in Purgatory on account of bad hab- its and misdeeds will be much more keen that if there is only a slight im- pression, and in future life the still small voice of conscience will warn so much more insistently against mistakes which caused sufferings in the past. Never since the world was has there been such universal sorrow as there is at the present time (1914). But besides this, we must not forget we are now laying up for ourselves a great deal of future suffering; for, as has been explained in the Rosicrucian literature, it is impossible for these people who are now so ruthlessly and suddenly torn away from their bodies to review their past life, and thus the etching of the life panorama does not take place as it should. Therefore these Egos will not reap the fruit of their present existence as they should in Purgatory and the First Heaven. They will come back minus this experience at some future time; and it will be necessary, in order that they may regain what they have lost, to let then die in childhood so that they may have the new desire body and vital body imprinted with the essence of their present life. We saw that when the Ego had finished its day in the school of life the centrifugal force at Repulsion caused it to throw off its dense vehicle at death, then the vital body, which is the next coarsest. Next in Purgatory the coarsest desire stuff accumulated by the Ego as embodiment for its [PAGE 3567] lowest desires was purged by this centrifugal force. In the higher realms only the force of Attraction holds sway and keeps the good by centripetal action, which tends to draw everything from the periphery to the center. In the Second Heaven as much of the vital body as the Life Spirit had worked upon, transformed, spiritualized, and thus saved from the decay to which the rest of the vital body is subject, will be amalgamated with the Life Spirit to insure a better vital body and temperament in the succeeding lives. When we left the Ego in its pilgrimage through the invisible worlds, we had reached the point where it entered the Third Heaven after discarding the dense body at death, the vital body shortly afterwards, the desire body upon leaving Purgatory and the First Heaven, and finally before leaving the Sec- ond Heaven it also left the sheath of mind behind, and then entered the third Heaven absolutely free of encumbrance. All the discarded vehicles de- cay, only the Spirit persists, laving for a while in the great spiritual reservoir of force which we call the Third Heaven, in order to fortify it- self for the next rebirth into Earth-life. The vital body is composed of four ethers. The two lower ethers are par- ticular avenues of growth and propagation. In the vital body of a person whose chief concern is with the physical life, who lives as it were, en- tirely for the sensual enjoyment, these two ethers predominate, whereas in a person who is rather indifferent to the material enjoyment of life, but who [PAGE 3568] seeks to advance spiritually, the two higher ethers form the bulk of the vi- tal body. They are then what Paul calls the SOMA PSUCHICON, or soul body, which remains with man during his experiences in Purgatory and the First Heaven where the essence of the life lived is extracted. This extract is the soul, whose two chief qualities are conscience and virtue. The feeling of conscience is the fruit of mistakes in past earth lives, which will in future guide the Spirit aright and teach it how to avoid similar missteps. Virtue is the essence of all that was good in former lives, and acts as an encouragement to keep the Spirit ardently striving upon the path of aspira- tion. In the Third Heaven this amalgamates thoroughly with the Spirit and becomes a part thereof. Thus in the course of his lives man becomes more soulful, and the soul qualities of conscience and virtue become more strongly operative as guiding principles of conduct. But there are some people who are of such an evil nature that they ENJOY life spent in vice and degenerate practices, a brutal life, and who delight in giving pain. Sometimes they even cultivate the occult arts for evil purposes so that they may have a greater power over their victims. Then their fiendish, immoral practices result in hardening their vital body. In such extreme cases where the animal nature has been paramount, where there has been no soul expression in the preceding earth life, the division in the vital body spoken of before cannot take place at death, for there is no dividing line. In such a case, if the vital body should gravitate back [PAGE 3569] to the dense body and there gradually disintegrate, the effect of a very evil life would not be so far-reaching, but unfortunately there is in such cases an interlocking grip of the vital and desire bodies which prevents separation. We have seen that where a man lives mostly in the higher na- ture, his spiritual vehicles are nourished to the detriment of the lower. Conversely, where his consciousness us centered in the lower vehicles, he strengthens them immeasurably. It should be understood that the life of the desire body is not terminated by the departure of the Spirit; it has a re- sidual life and consciousness. The vital body is also able to sense things in a slight measure for a few days after death in ordinary cases (hence the suffering causes by embalming, post-mortem examinations, etc., immediately after death), but where a low life has hardened and endued it with great strength it has a tenacious hold on life and an ability to feed on odors and liquors. Sometimes, as a parasite, it even vampirizes people with whom it comes in contact. Such beings are therefore one of the greatest menaces to society imagin- able. They have sent countless victims to prison, broken up homes, and causes an unbelievable amount of unhappiness. They always leave their vic- tims to prison, broken up homes, and causes an unbelievable amount of unhap- piness. They always leave their victims when the latter have come into the clutches of the law. They gloat over their victims' sorrow and distress, this being a part of their fiendish scheme. There are other classes which delight in posing as "angels" in spiritualistic seances. They also find victims there and teach them immoral practices. The so-called "Poltergeist" which enjoys breaking dishes, upsetting tables, knocking hats over the heads [PAGE 3570] of the delighted audience, and similar horseplay, is also in this class. The strength and density of the vital body of such beings make it easier for them to give physical manifestations than for those who have passed beyond into the Desire World, in fact, the vital bodies of this class of Spirits are so dense that they are nearly physical, and it has been a mystery to the writer that some of the people who are taken in by such entities cannot see them. Were they once discovered, one look at their evil, sneering faces would very soon dispel the delusion that they are angels. Wherever a person dies who has fostered malice and hatred in his heart, these interlock the desire and vital bodies and make him a more serious men- ace to the community than anyone can imagine who has not investigated this subject. Earthbound Spirits, such as previously mentioned, gravitate to the lower regions of the Desire World which interpenetrate the ether, and are in con- stant and close touch with those people on earth most favorably situated for aiding them in their evil designs. They usually stay in this earthbound condition for fifty, sixty, or seventy-five years, but extreme cases have been found in which such people so remain for centuries. So far as the writer has been able to discover up to the present time, there seems to be no limit to what they may do or how soon they will let go. But all the while they are piling up for themselves an awful load of sin, nor can they escape suffering therefore, for the vital body reflects and etches deeply into the desire body a record of their misdeeds, and when at last they do [PAGE 3571] let go and enter the purgatorial existence, they meet the retribution which they well deserve. This suffering is naturally lengthy in proportion to the time they have continued their nefarious practices after the death of the dense body--another proof that "Though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small." The red cloud of hate is lifting, the black veil of despair is gone, there are no volcanic outbursts of passion in either the living or the dead, but so far as the writer is able to read the signs of the times in the aura of the nations, there is a settled purpose to play the game to the end. Even in homes bereaved of many members, this seems to hold good. There is an intense longing for the friends beyond, but no hatred for the earthly foe. This longing is shared by the friends in the unseen and many are piercing the veil, for the intensity of their longing is awakening in the "dead" the power to manifest by attracting a quantity of ether and gas which often is taken from the vital body of a "sensitive" friend, as materializing Spirits use the vital body of an entranced medium. Thus the eyes blinded by tears are often opened by a yearning heart so that loved ones now in the spirit world are met again face to face, heart to heart. This is Nature's method of cultivating the sixth sense which will eventually enable all to know that man is an immortal Spirit and continuity of life a fact in nature. At every death the tears that are shed serve to dissolve the veil that [PAGE 3572] hides, the invisible world from our longing gaze. The deep-felt yearning and the sorrow at the parting of loved and loving ones on both sides of the veil are tearing this apart, and at some not far distant day the accumulated effect of all this will reveal the fact that there is no death, but that those who have passed beyond are as much alive as we. The potency of these tears, this sorrow, this yearning is not equal in all cases, however, and the effects differ widely according to whether the vital body has been awak- ened in any given person by acts of unselfishness and service according to the occult maxim that all development along spiritual lines begins with the vital body. This is the basis, and no superstructure can be built until the foundation has been laid. ON WAY TO REBIRTH: WHEN AN EGO IS ON ITS WAY TO REBIRTH THE SEED ATOM OF THE VITAL BODY GATHERS NEW MATERIAL. THE POLARITY OF THIS MATERIAL DETERMINES ITS SEX DUR- ING THE COMING LIFE. The seed atom of the vital body is next aroused into activity, but here the process of formation is not so simple as in the case of the mind and the desire body, for it must be remembered that those vehicles were compar- atively unorganized, while the vital body and the dense body are more orga- nized and very complicated. The material, of a given quantity and quality, is attracted in the same manner and under the operation of the same law as in the case of the higher bodies, but the building of the new body and the placement in the proper environment is done by four great Beings of immea- surable wisdom, which are the Recording Angels, the "Lords of Destiny." They impress the reflecting ether of the vital in such a way that the pic- tures of the coming life are reflected in it. It (the vital body) is built by the inhabitants of the heaven world and the elemental spirits in such a manner as to form a particular type of brain. But mark this, the returning Ego itself incorporates therein the quintessence of its former vital bodies [PAGE 3573] vital bodies and in addition to this also does a little original work. This is done that in the coming life there may be some room for original and in- dividual expression, not predetermined by past action. The vital body, having been molded by the Lords of Destiny, will give form to the dense body, organ for organ. This matrix or mold is then placed in the womb of the future mother. The seed atom for the dense body is in the triangular head of one of the spermatozoa in the semen of the father. This alone makes fertilization possible and here is the explanation of the fact that so many times sex-unions are unfruitful. The chemical con- stituents of the seminal fluid and the ova are the same at all times and were these the only requirements, the explanation of the phenomenon of unfertility, if sought in the material, visible world alone, would not be found. It becomes plain, however, when we understand that as the molecules of water freeze only along the lines of force in the water and manifest as ice crystals instead of freezing into a homogeneous mass, as would be the case if there can be no dense body built until there is a vital body into which to build the material,; also there must be a seed atom for the dense body, to act as gauge of the quality and quantity of the matter which is to be built into that dense body. Although at the present stage of development there is never full harmony in the materials of the body, because that would be a perfect body, yet the discord must not be so great as to be disruptive [PAGE 3574] of the organism. When the impregnation of the ovum has taken place, the desire body of the mother works upon it for a period of from eighteen to twenty-one days, the Ego remaining outside in its desire body and mind sheath, yet always in close touch with the mother. Upon the expiration of that time the Ego en- ters the mother's body. The bell-shaped vehicles draw themselves down over the head of the vital body and the bell closes at the bottom. From this time the Ego broods over its coming instrument until the birth of the child and the new earth life of the returning Ego commences. It is stated in THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION that the vital body of a woman is positive and the vital body of a man is negative. When the agents of the Recording Angles are assisting an Ego to come to birth, the matter of sex has already been determined, either by the law of alternation or a modification of that law by specific circumstances in the individual life of the Spirit, and the Ego is then helped to draw to itself as sufficient amount of the different kinds of ether as required by its development. These materials are all of certain polarity, either positive or negative. When a matrix made solely from positive etheric atoms is placed in the womb of the prospective mother, these atoms will unerringly drawn to themselves negative physical atoms, and the resultant child body becomes female in con- sequence. If, on the other hand, the matrix which is placed in the mother's [PAGE 3575] womb is composed of negative etheric atoms, it will attract the positive dense atoms with the result that the male sex organ is most developed and the sex therefore masculine. Life, like electricity, requires both positive and negative expression, otherwise it cannot manifest. When the Ego is on its way to rebirth through the Region of Concrete Thought, the Desire World, and the Etheric Region, it gathers a certain amount of material from each. The quality of this material is determined by the seed atom, on the principle that like attracts like. The quantity de- pends upon the amount of matter required by the archetype built by ourselves in the Second Heaven. From the quantity of prismatic ether atoms that are appropriated by a certain Spirit, the Recording Angels and their agents build an etheric form which is then placed in the mother's womb and gradually clothed with physical matter which then forms the visible body of the new-born child. The silver cord which has grown from the seed atom of the desire body (located in the heart) since conception, is welded to the part that has sprouted from the central vortex of the desire body, (located in the liver), and when the silver cord is tied by the seed atom of the vital body, (lo- cated in the solar plexus), the Spirit dies to life in the supersensible world, and quickens the body it is to use in its coming Earth life. [PAGE 3576] OF CHILDREN: A CHILD'S VITAL BODY AT BIRTH IS UNORGANIZED. UP UNTIL ABOUT THE AGE OF SEVEN, WHEN THE INDIVIDUAL VITAL BODY IS BORN, IT DRAWS FROM THE MICROCOSMIC VITAL BODY. In the period immediately following birth the different vehicles inter- penetrate one another, as, in our previous illustration, the sand penetrates the sponge and the water both sand and sponge. But, though they are all present, as in adult life, they are merely present. None of their positive faculties are active. The vital body cannot use the forces which operate along the positive pole of ethers. Assimilation, which works along the positive pole of the chemical ether, is very dainty during childhood and what there is of it is due to the macrocosmic vital body, the ethers of which act as a womb for the child's vital body until the seventh year, gradually ripening it during that period. The propagative faculty, which works along the positive pole of the life ether, is also latent. The heat- ing of the body--which is carried on along the positive pole of the light ether--and the circulation of the blood are due to the macrocosmic vital body, the ethers acting on the child and slowly developing it to the point where it can control these functions itself. The forces working along the [PAGE 3577] negative pole of ethers are so much the more active. The excretion of sol- ids, carried on along the negative pole of the chemical ether (corresponding to the solid subdivision of the Chemical Region), is too unrestrained, as is also the excretion of fluid, which is carried on along the negative pole of the life ether (corresponding to the second or fluid subdivision of the Chemical Region). The passive sense perception, which is due to the negative forces of the light ether, is also exceedingly prominent. The child is very impressionable and it is "all eyes and ears." Although the vital body of an infant is still comparatively unorganized at the time of birth, the ether which is to be used for its completion is within the aura, ready to be assimilated, and if anyone in its surroundings happens to be weak and anemic, and unconscious vampire, he or she draws from the unassimilated store of ether of the infant much more easily than from that of an adult whole vital body is fully organized. Naturally the weak person draws more easily ether that is negatively polarized, as in the body of a boy baby, than the positive ether of the girl baby. . .Massage of the spleen and stimulation of the splanchic nerves, CAREFULLY AND CONSERVATIVELY PRACTICED will aid the etheric counterpart of that organ in its activity of specializing the solar energy upon which the vital processes are as depen- dent as the lungs are on air. We usually think that when a child is born it is born and that is the end of it; but as during the period of gestation the dense body is shielded from [PAGE 3578] the impact of the outside world by being placed within the protecting womb of the mother until it has arrived at sufficient maturity to meet the out- side conditions, so are also the vital body, desire body, and mind in a state of gestation and are born at later periods because they have not had as long an evolution behind then as the dense body and, therefore, it takes a longer time for them to arrive at a sufficient state of maturity to become individualized. The vital body is born at the seventh year, when the period of excessive growth marks its advent. Only a small portion of the ether appropriated by a certain Ego is thus used, and the remainder of the child's vital body, or rather the material from which that vehicle will eventually be made, is thus outside the dense body. For that reason the vital body of a child protrudes much farther be- yond the periphery of the dense body than does that of the adult. During the period of growth this store of ether atoms is drawn upon to vitalize the accretions within the body until, at the time when the adult age is reached, the vital body protrudes only from one to one and a half inches beyond the periphery of the dense body. From the first to the seventh year the vital body grows and slowly ma- tures within the womb of the macrocosmic vital body and because of the greater wisdom of this vehicle of the macrocosm, the child's body is more rounded and well-built in later life. While the macrocosmic vital body guides the growth of the child's body it is guarded from the dangers which later threaten it when the unwise [PAGE 3579] individual vital body takes unchecked charge. This happens in the seventh year, when the period of excessive, dangerous growth begins, and continues through the next seven years. During this time the macrocosmic desire body performs the function of a womb for the individual desire body. Were the vital body to have continual and unrestrained sway in the human kingdom, as it has in the plant, man would grow to an enormous size. There was a time in the far distant past when man was constituted like a plant, having only a dense body and a vital body. The traditions of mythology and folk lore all over the world, concerning giants in olden times are abso- lutely true, because then men grew as tall as trees, and for the same rea- son. The vital body of the plant builds leaf after leaf, carrying the stem higher and higher. Were it not for the macrocosmic desire body it would keep in in that way indefinitely, but the macrocosmic desire body stops in at a certain point and checks further growth. The force that is not needed for further growth is then available for other purposes and is used to build the flower and the seed. In like manner the human vital body, when the dense body comes under its sway, after the seventh year, makes the latter grow very rapidly, but about the fourteenth year the individual desire body is born from the womb of the macrocosmic desire body and is then free to work on its dense body. The excessive growth is then checked and the force theretofore used for that purpose becomes available for propagation, that the human plant may flower and bring forth. Therefore the birth of the [PAGE 3580] personal desire body marks the period of puberty. From the period that at- traction toward the opposite sex is felt, being especially active and unrestrained in the third septenary period of life--from the fourteenth to the twenty-first year, because the restraining mind is still unborn. It will be remembered that assimilation and growth depend upon the forces working along the positive pole of the vital body's chemical ether. This is set free at the seventh year, together with the balance of the vital body. Only the chemical ether is fully ripe at that time; the other parts need more ripening. At the fourteenth year the life ether of the vital body, which has to do with propagation, is fully ripe. In the period from seven to fourteen years of age the excessive assimilation has stored up an amount of force which goes to the sex organs and is ready at the time the desire body is set free. By the seventh year the vital body of the child has reached a perfection sufficient to allow it to receive impacts from the outside world. It sheds its protective covering of ether, and commences its free life. And now the time begins in which the educator may work on the vital body and help it is in the formation of memory, conscience, good habits, and a harmonious tem- perament. AUTHORITY and DISCIPLESHIP are the watchwords of this epoch, when the child is to learn the meaning of things. In the first epoch it learns that things are, but must not be bothered about their meaning, except what it picks up of its own accord, but in the second epoch from seven to [PAGE 3581] fourteen years, it is essential that the child should learn the meaning of them, but should learn to take things on the autority of parents and teach- ers, memorizing their explanations, rather than reasoning for itself, for reason belongs to a later development, and though he may do so of his own accord, with profit, it is harmful at this period to force him to think. It must not be imagined, however, that when the little body of a child has been born, the process of birth is completed. The dense physical body has had the longest evolution, and as a shoemaker who has worked at his trade for a number of years is more expert than an apprentice and can make better shoes, and QUICKER, so also the Spirit which has built many physical bodies produces them quickly, but the vital body is a later acquisition of the human being. Therefore we are not so expert in building that vehicle. Consequently it takes longer to construct that from the materials not used up in making the lining of the archetype, and the vital body is not born until the seventh year. When the vital body is born at the age of seven a period of growth begins and a new motto, or relation rather, is established between parent and child. This may be expressed in the two words AUTHORITY and DISCIPLESHIP. In this period the child is taught certain lessons which it takes upon faith in the authority of its teachers, whether at home or at school, and as memory is a faculty of the vital body it can now memorize what is learned. It is therefore eminently teachable; particularly because it is unbiased by [PAGE 3582] preconceived opinions which prevent most of us from accepting new views. At the end of this second period, from about twelve to fourteen, the vital body has been so far developed that puberty is reached. Children who die before the seventh year have been born only so far as the dense and vital bodies are concerned and are not responsible to the Law of Consequence. Even up to twelve or fourteen years the desire body is in process of gestation, as will be more fully explained in the next lecture, and as that which has not been quickened cannot die, the dense and vital bodies alone go to decay when a child dies. It retains its desire body and mind to the next birth. Therefore it does not go around the whole path which the Ego usually traverses in a life cycle, but only ascends to the First Heaven to learn needed lessons, and after a wait of from one to twenty years it is reborn, often in the same family as a younger child. [PAGE 3583] VITAL BODY OF ANIMALS AND PLANTS: GENERAL NATURE AND FUNCTION: ANIMALS AND PLANTS HAVE A VITAL BODY, TOO. ALTHOUGH THIS VEHICLE IS LACKING IN THE MINERAL, THE DISINTEGRATION OF HARD ROCK, ETC., AFFECTS THE VITAL BODY OF THE EARTH. When we consider plant, animal, and man in relation to the Etheric Region we note that each has a separate vital body in addition to being penetrated by the planetary ether which forms the Etheric Region. There is a differ- ence, however, between the vital bodies of the plants and the vital bodies of animal and man. In the vital body of the plant only the chemical and the life ethers are fully active. Hence the plant can grow by the action of the chemical ether and propagate its species through the activity of the life ether of the separate vital body which it possesses. The light ether is present, but is partially latent or dormant and the reflecting ether is lacking. Therefore it is evident that the faculties of sense-perception and memory, which are the qualities of these ethers, cannot be expressed by the plant kingdom. Turning our attention to the vital body of the animal we find that in it the chemical, life, and light ethers are dynamically active. Hence the animal has the faculties of assimulation and growth, caused by activities of [PAGE 3584] the chemical ether and the faculty of propagation by means of the life ether--these being the same as in plants. But in addition, consequent upon the action of the third or light ether, it has the faculties of generating internal heat and of sense-perception. The fourth ether, however, is inac- tive in the animal, hence it has no thought nor memory. That which appears as such will be shown later to be of a different nature. The separate Ego is definitely segregated within the Universal Spirit in the Region of Abstract Thought. It shows that only man possesses the com- plete chain of vehicles correlating him to all divisions of the three worlds. The animal lacks one link of the chain--the mind; the plant lacks two links--the mind and the desire body; and the mineral lacks three links in the chain of vehicles necessary to function in a self-conscious manner in the Physical World--the mind, the desire, and the vital bodies. When an animal is to be born, the Group Spirit, helped by nature spirits and Angels, fashion the vital body of the coming animal, which is then de- posited in the womb of the mother and the seed atoms are deposited in the semen of the male; then gestation takes place and an animal is born. With- out the presence of the seed atom and the matrix vital body no dense animal body can be formed. Similar conditions govern fecundation in the case of an egg, or a plant seed. They are like the female ova--they are so many OP- PORTUNITIES. If an egg is put into an incubator or under a hen, the Group Spirit sends forth the requisite life, accepting the opportunity for [PAGE 3585] embodiment. If a seed is dropped in the soil, that also is fertilized when the proper conditions have been made for its development, but not before. When an egg is crushed, cooked, or in other ways disqualified for its primal designation, or where a seed is stored for years perhaps, there is no life, and consequently we do no wrong when we use these products for food. It is even beneficial to plants when the ripe fruits are removed, because then they cease to take sap from the tree unnecessarily. The animal has no "individual" Spirit yet, but has a so-called Group Spirit, which informs all the members of a species. The separate animals have three bodies--a dense, a vital, and a desire body--but lack one link in the chain: mind. Hence animals do not ordinarily think, but as we "Induce" electricity in a wire by bringing it close to another which is charged, so in a similar way by contact with man a semblance of thought has been "in- duced" in the higher domestic animals, such as the dog, horse, and elephant. The other animals obey the prompting (which we call instinct) of the animal Group Spirit. They do not see objects in such clear outlines as does man; in the lower species in the animal consciousness resolves itself more and more into an internal "picture-consciousness," resembling man's dream state, except that their pictures are not confused, but convey perfectly to the animal the promptings of Group Spirit. The animal Spirit has in its descent reached only the Desire World. It has not yet evolved to the point where it can "enter" a dense body. [PAGE 3586] Therefore the animal has no individualized indwelling Spirit, but a Group Spirit, which directs it from without. The animal has the dense body, the vital body, and the desire body, but the Group Spirit which directs it is outside. The vital body and the desire body of an animal are not entirely within the dense body, especially where the head is concerned. For in- stance, the etheric head of a horse projects far beyond and above the dense physical head. When, as in rare cases it happens, the etheric head of a horse draws into the head of the dense body, that horse can learn to read, count, and work examples in elementary arithmetic. To this peculiarity is also due the fact that horses, dogs, cats, and other domestic animals sense the Desire World, though not always realizing the difference between it and the Physical World. A horse will shy at the sight of a figure invisible to the driver; a cat will go through the motions of rubbing itself against in- visible legs. The cats sees the ghost, however, without realizing that it has no dense legs available for frictional purposes. The dog, wiser than cat or horse, will often sense that there is something he does not under- stand about the appearance of a dead master whose hands it cannot lick. It will howl mournfully and slink into a corner with its tails between its legs. Dr. McDougall also tried his scales in weighing dying animals. No diminution was found here, though one of the animals was a large St. Bernard dog. That was taken to indicate that animals have no souls. A little later, however, Professor La V. Twining, head of the Science Department of the Los Angeles Polytechnic School, experimented with mice and kittens, [PAGE 3587] which he enclosed in hermetically sealed glass flasks. His scales were the most sensitive procurable and were enclosed in a glass case from which all moisture had been removed. It was found that all the animals observed lost weight at death. A good sized mouse, weighing 12.886 grams, suddenly lost 3.1 milligrams at death. A kitten used in another experiment lost one hundred milligrams while dy- ing and at its last gasp it suddenly lost an additional sixty milligrams. After that it lost weight slowly, due to evaporation. Thus the teaching of occult science in regard to the possession of vital bodies by animals was also vindicated when sufficiently fine scales were used, and the case where the rather insensitive scales did not show diminu- tion in the weight of the St. Bernard dog shows that the vital bodies of animals are proportionately lighter than in man. The Angels are particularly active in the vital bodies of the plants, for the stream of life ensouling that kingdom started its evolution in the Moon Period, when the Angels were human, and they worked with the plants as we are now working with our minerals. There is therefore a particular affinity between Angels and plant Group Spirit. Thus we can account for the enormous assimilation, growth, and fecundity of the plants. Man also grew to an enormous size in the second or Hyperborean Epoch, where the Angeles had principal charge. So does the child in its second septenary epoch of life, because then the Angels have full sway, and at the end of that epoch, at [PAGE 3588] fourteen, the child has reached puberty and is able to reproduce its kind; also due to the work of the Angels. They were the molds which drew to themselves the dense material forming the plant-bodies of the present day and also of the plant-forms of the past, which are embedded in the geological strata of our Earth globe. These ethereal plant forms were aided in their formation when the heat came from the outside, after the separation of the Earth from the Sun and Moon. That heat gave them the vital force to draw to themselves the denser substance. The vital body is the most important principle of the plant, it is that which makes the plant grow stem and long in alternating succession, so that the plant grows taller and taller; but there is no variety, the plant goes on repeating all the time. Stem, leaf, and branch--ever the same. The plants have only a dense body and a vital body; hence they can nei- ther feel nor think. They lack desire body and mind, and therefore a greater gap exists between the plant and its Group Spirit than between the animal and its Group Spirit; hence the consciousness of the plants is cor- respondingly dimmer, resembling our state of dreamless sleep. The mineral has only a dense body. It lacks three links to connect it with its Group Spirit. It therefore is inert and its unconscious resembles that of the dense human body in the "trance" state when the human spirit, [PAGE 3589] the Ego, has passed correspondingly beyond it. In conclusion, let us note that the three worlds in which we live are not separated by space. They are all about us, as light and color, imbedded in the physical matter; as lines of cleavage in the mineral. If we let a dish of water freeze, and examine it under a microscope, we shall see the ice crystals divided off from one another by lines. These were present though unseen in the water as lines of force, invisible until the proper condition brought them out. So one world lies imbedded in the next above, unseen to us until we provide the proper conditions; but when we have fitted our- selves, Nature, who is ever ready to unfold to us her wonders, expresses ar- dent joy over every one who has a helper in evolution thus attains to citizenship in the invisible realms. As we saw in Lecture No. 3, the plants have a dense and a vital body, which enables them to do this work; their consciousness we also saw, was as a deep, dreamless sleep. Thus it is easy for the Ego to overpower the veg- etable cells and keep then in subjection for a long time, hence the great sustaining power of the vegetables. To function in any world, and express the qualities peculiar to it, we must first possess a vehicle made of its material. In order to function in the dense Physical World, it is necessary to have a dense body, adapted to our environment. Otherwise we should be ghosts, as they are commonly called, and be invisible to most physical beings. So we must have a vital [PAGE 3590] body before we can express life, grow, or externalize the other qualities peculiar to the Etheric Region. When we examine the four kingdoms in relation to the Etheric Region, we find that the mineral does not possess a separate vital body, and at once we see the reason why it cannot grow, propagate, or show sentient life. As an hypothesis necessary to account for other known facts, material science holds that in the densest solid, as in the rarest and most at- tenuated gas, no two atoms touch each other; that there is an envelope of ether around each atom; that the atoms in the universe float in an ocean of ether. As sensation in animals and men is due to their separate vital bodies, so the feeling of the Earth is particularly active in this sixth stratum, which corresponds to the World of Life Spirit. To understand the pleasure felt when mining operations are disintegrating the hard rock, and the pain when deposits gather, we must remember that the Earth is the dense body of a Great Spirit, and to furnish us with an environment in which we could live and gather experience, it had to crystallize this body into its present solid condition. The vital body of the plant is composed only of the two densest ethers--the CHEMICAL ETHER and the LIFE ETHER--which enable the plant to grow and propagate, but it lacks the two higher ethers--the LIGHT ETHER and REFLECTING ETHER. Hence it has no sensation or memory of what passes around it. Therefore, amputation of a limb will not be felt by the plant, and in the case of the cliff which is blasted, only the CHEMICAL ETHER is present, so that the crystals will have no feelings at all. Still, it would be wrong to infer that there is no feeling in either of these cases, for though the plants and the minerals have no individual means of feeling, they are envel- oped and interpenetrated by the ethers and the Desire World of the planet, and the PLANETARY SPIRIT FEELS everything, on the same principle that our finer, having no INDIVIDUAL desire body, cannot feel, but we, the indwelling Spirits inhabiting the body, feel any hurt done to the finger. Continued with file "RC1100.TXT" End of File


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