Filename: RC1101.TXT Source: +quot;The Web of Destiny+quot; by Max Heindel [PAGE 3639] FOR

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Filename: RC1101.TXT Source: "The Web of Destiny" by Max Heindel [PAGE 3639] FOREWARD: The series of seventeen lessons printed in this volume are a part of the ninety-nine monthly lessons sent out by the author to his students during his last years in the body. The others have been printed in other volumes and under various titles. These books contain the priceless treasures of the latest investigations of this great mystic, and carry a message of Christian love mingled with di- vine wisdom, which only the Initiate into the deeper mysteries can give. We hope these lesson may be the means of leading many back to God and strengthening their reverence and love for the Christ. THE WEB OF DESTINY: SPIRITUAL RESEARCH--THE SOUL BODY: Although considerable new light and much information was given upon this subject in the "Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception" and our subsequent literature, letters have been coming to Headquarters from students at various times, re- questing more light upon such subjects as obsession, mediumship, insanity, abnormal conditions of character, etc. These have given the writer cause to investigate the subject more deeply than theretofore. The maxim that "prac- tice makes perfect" holds good in research of the spiritual realms as well as in physical things. Therefore it is hoped that the light upon this sub- ject, which will be contained in the following pages, may help the student to see more clearly into the causes that are productive of effects in this life. In order that we may thoroughly understand this subject, it will be nec- essary to begin at the beginning; to realize that the first fundamental facts of existence are the continuity of life and that action is the [PAGE 3640] expression of life in manifestation. As soon as the spirit has taken its first action, it has thereby generated a cause which must have its effect. This is an absolute necessity in order that the equilibrium of the universe may be maintained. If this action was physical, that is to say, performed by a spirit in a physical body, the reaction must of necessity be physical also. If this be granted, then it follows as a matter of course that we must take birth in this world from time to time, for it is a matter of ob- servation patent to everyone that we all generate causes in this world from day to day which cannot and do not have their adequate reaction, and if we cannot reap what we have sown in this body, we must certainly come back to reap in a new body or else the law is invalidated. If the law of Cause and Effect is true, periodical rebirth is a matter of absolute logical neces- sity. Thus, whether we realize it or not and whether we relish it or not, we are in a circle of necessity, and because of our own past actions, bound to come back to act and to react until we develop a power which shall be greater than the one that is now swirling us about. What this power is, Goethe, the great German mystic, indicated in the few words: "From ev'ry power that holds the world in chains, Man frees himself when self-control he gains." And as knowledge is power, it is evident that the more thorough our [PAGE 3641] understanding of the operation of the twin laws of Consequence and Rebirth, the easier we shall find the way to liberation, and also better know how to help others. Science is to be much commended for the ingenuity, the patience, and the persistency it displays in the invention of instruments wherewith to ferret out the secrets of nature. But while it can thus successfully deal with MATTER, the secrets of spirit and of life are to the savants a closed book, as Mephisto says with fine sarcasm to a scholar who knocks at the door of Faust, seeking admission to the college: "Who'er would know and treat of aught alive Seeks first the living spirit thence to drive. Then are the lifeless fragments in his hand, He lacks, alas! the vita spirit band." There is only one instrument which is adequate to investigate the things of the spirit, and that is the Spirit itself. Just as it is necessary to train a man for scientific research in the physical world, so also is a long and slow process required to fit oneself for investigation of the spiritual world. As the man of science must pay the price of his knowledge in months and years of unflinching, unremitting labor, so also the mystic investigator must give years of his life to understand and be capable of investigating by methods of the spirit. [PAGE 3642] As you know, that which is now THE PHYSICAL BODY was the first vehicle acquired by man as a thought form; it has undergone an immense period of evolution and organization until it is now the splendid instrument which serves him so well here; but it is hard, set, and difficult to act upon. The next vehicle acquired was THE VITAL BODY, which ha also gone through a long period of development and has condensed to the consistency of ether. The third vehicle, THE DESIRE BODY, has been comparatively lately acquired and is in a state of comparative flux. Lastly, there is the mind, which is only as an unformed cloud, not worthy of the name of vehicle, being as yet but a link between the three vehicles of man and the spirit. These three vehicles, the physical, vital, and desire bodies, together with the link of mind, are the tools of the spirit in its evolution, and, contrary to the common conception, the ability of the spirit to investigate the higher realms does not depend upon the finest of these bodies as must as upon the denser. The proof of this assertion is close at hand, and indeed, anyone who has ever seriously tried has had this proof himself. If not, he may have it forthwith simply by following the directions for changing the condition of his mind. Let us say that a person has formed certain habits of thought which he does not like. Perhaps after a religious experience he [PAGE 3643] finds that in spite of all his desires these habits of thought will not leave him. But if he decides to cleanse his mind so that it shall contain nothing but pure and good thoughts, he may do this by simply refusing to ad- mit impure thoughts. He will find that after a week or two his mind is noticeably cleaner than at the commencement of his effort; that it holds by preference the religious thoughts he is seeking to generate in it. Even a most abnormally degenerate mind can be thoroughly cleansed inside of a few months. This is actual knowledge to many who have tried it, and anyone who wishes and is sufficiently persistent may have the same experience and enjoy a clean mind in a very short time. But while clean thoughts take us a long step on the path of attainment, the emotions and desires of the desire body are not so easily subdued, for that vehicle is already considerably more set than the mind. While the re- generate mind readily agrees to the idea that we should love our enemies, the desire body, the emotional and passionate nature, aims with every fibre of its begin to get even, to get an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Sometimes, even years and years after we think that the sleeping serpent is subdued, that we have at last gained mastery over it, and that it cannot mar our peace, it may suddenly rise and overthrow all our hopes, take the bit between its teeth, go on a rampage, and vow vengeance for some real or [PAGE 3644] fancied wrong. Then it takes the whole power of the higher nature to subdue this rebellious part of our being. This, the writer thinks, is the thorn in the flesh concerning which Paul besought the lord thrice and was given the answer: "My grace is sufficient for thee." It certainly does need all the grace one can command to overcome, and eternal vigilance is the price of safety, so let us "WATCH AND PRAY." It is the desire body which is responsible for all our actions, good, bad, or indifferent, and the oriental philosophers have therefore given di- rections to their disciples to KILL OUT OF DESIRE and to abstain from ac- tion, good or bad, as much as possible, in order that they may thus save themselves from the wheel of birth and death. But that temper which is such a great menace when it takes control, may be made as effective for service under our proper guidance. We would not for one moment think of taking the temper our of a knife; we should then be unable to cut anything therewith. The temper of the desire body must be controlled but not by any means killed. For the dynamic power of motion and action in the invisible world is stored in this desire body, and unless it is intact, we cannot expect to control ourselves there any more than an ocean liner whose engines were [PAGE 3645] disabled could buffet the ocean waves. There are certain societies which teach negative methods of development, and one of their first instructions to the pupil is to drop the jaw and make himself perfectly negative. Any one floated from the physical world toward the spiritual world by such meth- ods would certainly find himself as driftwood upon the ocean, cast hither and thither by the waves, they prey and the sport of every current. And there are in the inner worlds, as well as here, beings who are anything but benevolent, who are ready to take advantage of anyone that ventures into their world not fully prepared to protect himself against them. Thus we see the supreme importance of subjecting our desires to the will of the spirit HERE IN THIS WORLD, of forcing this desire before we attempt to enter the inner world. Here it is, in a very large measure, held in check by the fact that it is interpolated within the dense body, and therefore cannot sway us hither and yon in the same degree as it can when it has been released from the physical prison house. But even the subjection of the desire body, difficult as it is to accom- plish, will not serve to make a man CONSCIOUS in the invisible worlds, for the desire body has not evolved to such a point that it can at as a real in- strument of consciousness. It is unformed and cloud-like in the great [PAGE 3646] majority of people, and only a number of vortices are present as sense cen- ters or centers of consciousness; these are not yet sufficiently unfolded so that they can serve the purpose without some other help. Therefore it is necessary to work upon and educate the vital body in such a manner that it may be used in soul-flights. This vehicle, as we know, is composed of the four ethers. It is by means of this body that we manipulate the densest of all our vehicles, the physical body, which we usually think of as the whole man. The chemical and life ethers form a matrix for our physical bodies. Each molecule of the physical body is imbedded in a meshwork of ether which permeates and infuses it with life. Through these ethers the bodily func- tions, such as respiration, etc., are carried on, and the density and con- sistency of these matrices of ether determine the state of health. But the part of the vita body formed of the two higher ethers, the light ether and the reflecting ether, is what we may term the SOUL BODY; that is to say, it is more closely linked with the desire body and the mind and also more ame- nable to the spirit's touch than are the two lower ethers. It is the ve- hicle of intellect, and responsible for all that makes man, man. Or obser- vations, our aspirations, our character, etc., are due to the work of the spirit in these two higher ethers, which become more or less luminous [PAGE 3647] according to the nature of our character and habits. Also, as the dense body assimilates particles of food and thus gains in flesh, so the two higher ethers assimilate our good deeds during the life and thus grow in volume as well. According to our doings in this present life we thus in- crease or decrease that which we brought with us at birth. If we are born with a good character, expressed in these two higher ethers, it will not be easy for us to change this because the vital body has become very, very set during the myriads of years through which we have evolved it. On the other hand, if we have been lax and negligent and indulgent in the habits which we call evil, if we have formed a bad character in past lives, then it is dif- ficult to overcome because of this set nature of the vital body, and it will require years of constant effort to change its structure. This is the rea- son the Western Wisdom Teaching says that ALL MYSTIC DEVELOPMENT BEGINS WITH THE VITAL BODY. [PAGE 3648] THE CHRIST WITHIN--THE MEMORY OF NATURE: There are a great many people who associate spirituality with a great show of emotionalism but as we saw in the last chapter, this idea has abso- lutely no foundation in fact; on the contrary, the kind of spirituality which is developed by and associated with the emotional nature of the desire body is unreliable in the extreme; this is the variety that is generated in revival meetings where emotionalism is brought up to a high pitch, causing a person to make a great splurge of religious fervor which soon spends itself and leaves him exactly as he was before, much to the chagrin of the revival- ists and other people who are engaged in evangelical work. But what else can they expect? They set out to save souls with drums and fifes, with rhythmic revival songs, with appeals made in a voice which is raised and lowered in harmonic waives, all of which are as powerfully effective on the desire body as storms which stir the sea to fury and then subside. The [PAGE 3649] vital body is much more set, and it is only when conversion affects this ve- hicle that it sticks and stays with a man or woman for life. Those who have the true spirituality do not feel saved one day, in the seventh heaven of ecstasy, and the next feel themselves down in the dumps and miserable sin- ners that can never be forgiven; for their religion is not based upon the emotional nature which feels these things, but is rooted in the vital body which is the vehicle of reason, set and persistent in the path it has once chose. As new forms are propagated through the second ether of the vital body, so the HIGHER SELF, the CHRIST WITHIN, is formed through this same ve- hicle of generation, the vital body, in its higher aspects embodied in the two upper ethers. But as a child that is born into the world requires nourishment, so also the Christ that is born WITHIN is a babe and requires to be nourished to the full stature of manhood. And as the physical body grows by a continual as- similation of material from the chemical region, the solids, liquids, and gases, so also, as the Christ grows, will the two higher ethers grow in vol- ume and form a luminous cloud around the man or woman sufficiently discern- ing to set his or her face heavenward; it will invest the pilgrim with light so brilliant that he "WALKS IN THE LIGHT," as a matter of actual fact. By the exercises given in the Western Mystery School of the Rosicrucians, it [PAGE 3650] becomes possible in time to detach the two higher ethers, and the man may then step away from his physical body, leaving it for a time invested and vitalized only by the two lower ethers; he is then what we call an INVISIBLE HELPER. There are various grades of spiritual sight. One grade enables a man to see the ordinarily invisible ether with the myriads of beings that invest that realm. Other and higher variants give him the faculty to see the desire world and even the world of thought while remaining in the physical body. But these faculties, though valuable when exercised under full con- trol of the human will, are not sufficient to read the "MEMORY OF NATURE" with absolute accuracy. To do this and to make the necessary investigations in order that one may understand how the "Web of Destiny" is made and un- made, it is necessary to be able at will to step from the physical body and function outside in that soul body which we have spoken of as composed of the two higher ethers, this being also invested with the desire body and the mind. Thus the investigator is in full possession of all his faculties, he knows all that he knew in the physical world, and has the ability to bring back into the physical consciousness the things which he has learned with- [PAGE 3651] out. When he as this ability he must also learn to balance himself, TO UN- DERSTAND the things which he sees outside, for mark this: It is not enough to be able to step outside the body into another world and to see things there; we do not by that fact become omniscient any more than we understand what everything is used for and how everything works here in this physical world because we live here from day to day and year to year. It requires study and application to become thoroughly familiar with the facts of the invisible world as it does with the facts of the world in which we are no living in our physical bodies. Therefore the book, the "Memory of Nature," is not read easily at the first attempt or at the second either, for just as it takes a child time to learn how to read our ordinary books here, so, also, it requires time and effort to decipher this wonderful scroll. It is a familiar fact to students of science that the history of th earth is written in unmistakable characters upon the rocks and by the glaciers. Upon every stone there is found some sing which guides the trained investi- gator in deciphering its message concerning the development of the earth during past ages, and it is wonderful to read in the text books upon this subject how well the scientific investigators have been able to make a con- nected story out of these many clues. It is also well known that wherever [PAGE 3652] we move individually, we leave behind us marks which may be traced though they are unseen even by ourselves. The wonderful ingenuity displayed by the Indians, as told by Fenimore Cooper and others, in tracing their friends or their foes through the virgin forest guided by broken twigs, etc., is far exceeded by scientists today, who trace the criminal by his finger prints. The seemingly fantastic exploits of Sherlock Holmes are duplicated by actual experience in criminal detection. The actions of men now living may be re- produced by the moving picture camera a hundred years hence when the real actors have long moldered in the grave; and so we can by the light of these later discoveries prepare our minds for the belief that there is an auto- matic record of every human life and of the lives of communities, kept in what we may call, for want of a better name, the Memory of Nature. This shows the stages in evolution attained by all living things, and gives the ministers of God, the Recording Angels, the needed perspective in order to aid us in our attainment of wisdom, knowledge, and power; the clue to what lessons are needed to carry us further on the Path. So far as the individual is concerned, this record starts at the moment when he draws the first breath and continues until the last respiration has emptied the arter- ies of blood. We know that the whole universe is vibrant with life, that [PAGE 3653] each object constantly emits from itself vibratory waves which reveal its nature and presence. We also know that when a child takes its first com- plete breath, the physiological conditions in the heart are changed, the fo- ramen ovale is closed, and the blood forced to circulate through the heart and lungs. There is meets the air charged with a picture of the surround- ings. Thus the blood, which is the vehicle of the Ego, absorbs in the lungs a complete picture of the outside world. When it rushes through the left ventricle of the heart, it leaves an impress upon the little seed atom situated at the apex and which corresponds to the film of the camera, nor should it be an obstacle to belief in this idea that a large number of pic- tures must be imprinted upon a very small surface. When we consider that the picture of the Moon which we see in the retina is less than one two-hundredth part of one inch in diameter, we can see that a very small picture can be very distinct, for even within that small space we note upon the Moon a number of mountains and valleys with the naked eye. The picture of a man at a distance of a hundred feet or so is not one-twentieth of an inch in size, according to an authority upon this subject, yet we distin- guish in that minute picture the expression of the face, the pattern of the clothing, etc. Similarly, there is upon this minute seed atom a picture of [PAGE 3654] every action ever performed, of every scene in which we have ever found our- selves, during the whole time from birth to death. George du Maurier and Jack London describe in "Peter ibbetson" and in "The Star Rover," how a prisoners in the flesh may live over again the scenes of his childhood, where he sees himself, his playmates, his parents, his whole environment, effectively reproduced from the etheric record of his child life or even of past lives. Any one who knows the secret of how to put himself in touch with these pictures may find and read the lives of the people with whom he comes in contact, as proved by mediums. But while fresh or contemporary records may be read with comparative ease, it becomes increasingly difficult to read as we go backwards, for the records which are made in the ether are fruit compared with the ones in the next higher realms and fade gradually. When a seer examines one who is about to become ill, he will find that the vital body is actually becoming more attenuated, and when it has reached a point of tenuity where it can no longer support the physical body, the latter commences to manifest signs of what we call disease. Again, some time before we see physical recovery, the vital body gradually becomes more dense in structure; then the period of convalescence commences. It is also patent to all who have to do with victims of accidents that they do not [PAGE 3655] suffer as keenly just after the accident as later; this is because the vital body at the time of the accident is uninjured, and therefore the whole effect of the accident is not felt until this vehicle has become attenuated and unable to support the vital processes. Thus we see that there are changes in the ether of a human being; and according to they mystic axiom, "As above, so below," and vice-versa, there are also changes in the plan- etary ether which constitutes the vital body of the Earth Spirit. As the conscious memory of recent events which is strong in the human being gradually fades, so also the etheric record, which is the lowest aspect of the Memory of Nature, fades in time. In the highest sub-division of the Region of Concrete Thought, just on the border line between pure spirit and matter, an impress is made of the things and events in this world which is relatively much clearer and more lasting than the etheric record, for while events inscribed upon the etheric record fade away in spots in a few hundred years, and even important events may last only one or two thousand years, the record found in the highest sub-division of the Region of Concrete Thought lasts for the Earth Period. While the records made on the reflecting ether may be read by the unin- structed who have just a little spiritual sight, several initiations are [PAGE 3656] required before it is possible for any one to read the records kept in the higher region noted above. You will readily understand the relation of this record to the one made in the ether, and also to the absolutely permanent record which is inscribed in the World of Life Spirit, if you examine diagram No. 1 on page 52 of the Cosmo. Paracelsus calls the record made in the ether, Sidereal Light; and Eliphas Levi, the great Kabalist, speaks of these records as being kept in the Astral light. This is in a sense cor- rect, for though they have nothing to do with the stars, as the name would seem to imply, they are found in the Etheric Region outside the earth's at- mosphere. The medium or hypnotic victim who leaves the body by negative processes under outside control, levitates towards these realms as naturally as our physical body gravitates towards the earth. As stated in the Cosmo in connection with the constitution of our planet, the path of initiation goes through the earth from circumference to center, one stratum at a time, and though our physical bodies are drawn that way by the force of gravitation, their density prevents trespass as effectually as the force of levitation which repels the uninstructed class spoken of from sacred precincts. Only when by the power of our own spirit we have left our dense body, instructed by and because of right living, are we able to read [PAGE 3657] the etheric record to best advantage. At a farther point of progress the "water stratum" in the earth is opened to the Initiate, and he is then in a position to read the record of past events permanently engraved in the liv- ing substance of the Region of Archetypal Forces, where duration and space are practically non-existent, and where all is an eternal Here and Now. "THE DWELLER ON THE THRESHOLD" EARTH-BOUND SPIRITS: While we are studying "The Web of Destiny, How Made and Unmade," it is expedient that we devote some time to the mysterious "Dweller on the Thresh- old," a subject that is quite misunderstood. Our investigations of the pre- vious lives of a number of people who have applied to the Fellowship head- quarters for relief from so-called obsession, have proved that their trouble is due to one phase of what has been mistakenly called by previous investi- gators, "The Dweller on the Threshold." When cases are examined merely by the use of spiritual sight or by reading in the etheric record, such a mis- take may very easily be made as to confuse that apparition with the true Dweller on the Threshold. But as soon as we look the cases up in the imper- ishable records contained in the Region of Archetypal Forces, the matter is at once cleared up and the facts developed in these investigations may be summed up as follows: [PAGE 3658] 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 it, for a time varying from a number of hours to three and one half days. The determining 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 the reflecting 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 to personally 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- [PAGE 3659] 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 process of initiation. So much of this vehicle as can be terms "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 cases, as stated in the Cosmo. This cleavage of the vital body is not the same in all person but depends upon the nature of the 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 investigated from headquarters; in fact it was these cases which developed the far-reaching and astounding dis- coveries brought out by our most recent researches 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 then made to find out if there were not also an- other class of people where a different division with a preponderance of good takes place. It is a pleasure to record that this was found to be the [PAGE 3660] case, and after weighing the facts discovered, balancing one with another, the following seems to be a correct description of the conditions and their reason: 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 tissue 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 desire and emotions acts in a similar manner on the vital body. Where devo- tion to high ideals is the mainspring of action, where the devotional nature has been allowed for years to express itself freely and frequently, and par- ticularly 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 vanish, and an in- creased amount of the light and reflecting ether 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 extent and nature of their vice, to the partial or total exclusion of the two higher ethers. [PAGE 3661] 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 this material is present, disintegration of the physical vehicle after death must be very rapid. This the writer has not been able to verify because it is difficult to find me of high spiritual proclivities who have passed out recently, but it would seem that this is so from the fact recorded in the Bible that the body of Christ was not found in the tomb when the people came to look for it. As we have said before in relation to this matter, the Christ spiritualized the body of Jesus so highly, made it so vibrant, that it was almost impossible to keep the particles in place during his ministry. This was a fact known to the writer by the teachings of the Elder Brothers and by what investigation he has made of the subject in the memory of Na- ture, but the bearing of this fact upon the general subject of death and the after-existence was not know until lately. The real "Dweller on the Threshold" is the composite elemental entity created on the invisible planes by all our untransmuted evil thoughts and acts during all the past period of our evolution. This "dweller" stands guard at the entrance to the invisible worlds and challenges our right to enter therein. This entity must be redeemed or transmuted eventually. We [PAGE 3662] must generate poise and will power sufficient to face and command it before we can consciously enter the super-physical worlds. As before stated, a worldly life increases the proportion of the lower ethers in the vital body to that of the higher. Where, in addition, a so-called "clean life" is lived and excesses avoided, the health during life is more robust than that of the aspirant to the higher life, because the latter's attitude to life builds a vital body composed principally of the higher ethers. He loves "the bread of life" more than physical sustenance, and therefore his instrument become increasingly high-strung, nervous, and delicate, a sensitive condition which greatly furthers the objects of the spirit, but which is a hardship from the physical viewpoint. In the great majority of mankind there is such a preponderance of self- ishness and a desire to get the most out of life as they view that matter, that either they are busy keeping the wolf from the door or accumulating possessions and taking care of them, and hence they have very little time or inclination to undertake the soul culture so necessary to true success in life. The writer has often heard them contend that if they pay the minister to study the Bible during the six days and give them on the seventh an [PAGE 3663] epitome of what he has found, that should be all that is required to get a ticket to heaven. They subscribe to the church and to the things ordinarily called for in life as honorable and upright; for the rest, they have "a good time." Therefore there is so little that persists in each life of the ma- jority and evolution is so frightfully slow that until one is able to vie the act of death from the higher regions of the World of Concrete Thought and, so to say, look downwards, it does not appear that anything is saved of the vital body. This body seems to return complete to the physical body and to hover over the grave, there it disintegrate simultaneously with the lat- ter. As a matter of fact, an increasing part cleaves to the higher vehicles and goes with them into the desire world, there to be a basis of conscious- ness in, and to live through, the purgatorial and heaven lives, generally persisting until man enters the second heaven and unites with the nature forces there in his efforts to create for himself a new environment. By that time, it has been absorbed by the spirit or almost so, and whatever may remain of a material nature will quickly fade away. Thus the personality of the past life has vanished and the spirit will not meet with it in the fu- ture lives upon this earth. But there are some people who are of such an evil nature that they ENJOY a life spent in vice and degenerate practices, a brutal life, and who [PAGE 3664] 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 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 is 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 caused by embalming, postmortem examinations, etc., immediately after death), but where a low life has hardened and endued it with great [PAGE 3665] strength, it has a tenacious hold on life and an ability to feed on odors of foods and liquors. Sometimes, as a parasite, it even vampirizes people with whom it comes in contact. Thus an evil man may life for many, many years unseen in our very midst, yet so close that he is nearer than hands and feet. He is far more danger- ous than the physical criminal for he is able to prompt others of a similar bent to criminal or degenerate practices without fear of detection or pun- ishment by law. Such beings are therefore one of the greatest menaces to society imagin- able. They have sent countless victims to prison, broken up homes and caused an unbelievable amount of unhappiness. They always leave their vic- tims 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, upset- ting tables, knocking hats over the heads of the delighted audience, and similar horseplay, is also in this class. The strength and density of the vital body of such beings makes it easier for them to give physical manifes- tations than for those who have passed beyond into the desire world; in fact [PAGE 3666] 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 discov- ered, one look at their evil sneering faces would very soon dispel the delu- sion that they are angels. There is another class of spirits belonging to this same category who ap- peal to person seeking spiritual development outside the spiritualistic line, by posing to them as INDIVIDUAL TEACHERS and giving them a lot of goody-goody nonsense. They also play upon the credulity of their victims in an almost unbelievable manner, and even though for years they may keep their intentions secret, sometime or other they will show themselves in their true colors. Therefore it cannot be reiterated too often that no one should ac- cept from any one else, either visible or invisible, teachings in the slightest degree contrary to his own highest conception of ethics. It is dangerous to trust absolutely to people in this world and admit them to our full confidence; we know this by experience and act accordingly. We ought, naturally, to be much more careful when the question comes to matters of the soul, and not trust that most important of all matters, our spiritual [PAGE 3667] welfare, in the hands of some one we cannot at least see and judge accord- ingly. There are many spirits, of course, who have not the wits to do any- thing very evil with their victims, and who just lead them around by the nose for years and years without any particularly harmful results. But SELF RELIANCE is the most essential virtue to be cultivated by us at this stage of our evolution; the mystic maxim, "If thou art Christ, help thyself," is always sounded in the ears of those who endeavor to tread the true path. Hence we ought to guide ourselves without fear or favor from any spirit. It is amazing when one searches the Memory of Nature of the past to find how prevalent this interlocking condition of the desire and vital bodies was in former centuries and millenniums. We realize, of course, in a sort of an abstract way, that the further we go back into the history of men the more savage we find them, but that in our own historical times this savagery should have been so common and so brutal an that might was the measure of right absolutely and beyond dispute, was, to say the least, quite a shock to the writer. It has been taught that selfishness and desire were purposely fostered under the regime of Jehovah to give incentive to action. This in the course of time had so hardened the desire body that when the advent of [PAGE 3668] Christ took place, there was almost no heaven life among the people then living; but the writer, personally, never realized what this fact implied until the recent investigations of "The Web of Destiny" were commenced. Nor were these ancient people content to do all the evil they could in life and then get away, but they must even have their war horses killed, their weapons laid down in their coffins, and everything else possible done to keep them here, for the ether in those things which had belonged to them during life had an attraction for them, and was a means to further keeping them within the earth's sphere. It enabled them to haunt, for they actually did haunt, their castles for years and years, and of course it was not only the rich or the warrior classes but also others. In cases of blood feuds where people were slain, the ghosts incited their relatives to avenge them by remaining about and helping them to carry out the bloody deeds. Thus they perpetuated evil and kept the world in a turmoil of blood and strife; nor is this condition entirely broker in what we call modern days. Wherever a person dies who has fostered malice and hatred in his heart, these inter- lock the desire and vital bodies and make him a more serious menace to the community than anyone can imagine who has not investigated this subject. Therefore, if for no other reason, capital punishment should be abolished so that we may not let loose upon the community such dangerous characters to incite the morally weak to follow in their footsteps. Continued with file "RC1102.TXT" End of File


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