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Filename: RC1103.TXT Source: "The Web of Destiny" by Max Heindel [PAGE 3704] THE OCCULT EFFECTS OF OUR EMOTIONS: THE FUNCTION OF DESIRE: Those who have given the matter study are familiar with the havoc which an acute attack of fear or worry plays with the physical body. We know how these emotions derange digestion, interfere with the metabolic changes and with elimination of waste, and, in short, upset the whole system, with the result that in some cases the person is forced to take to his bed for a longer or shorter time depending upon the severity of the attack and the re- sistive power of the constitution. But there is an occult effect which is equally serious or more so that is usually not understood, and it may there- fore be of considerable benefit to study the occult effect of poise and pas- sion, anger and love, pessimism and optimism. From the study of the Cosmo we learn that our desire body was generated in the Moon Period. If you wish to obtain a mental picture of the way things looked then, take an illustration of the foetus as shown in any book of anatomy. There are three principal parts: the PLACENTA, which is filled with the maternal blood, the UMBILICAL CORD, which carries this vital [PAGE 3705] stream, and THE FOETUS, which is nourished from embryo to maturity thereby. Fancy now, in that far off time, the firmament as one immense placenta from which there depended billions of umbilical cords, each with its foetal ap- pendage. Through the whole human family, then in the making, circulated the one universal essence of desire and emotion, generating in all the impulses to action which are now manifest in every phase of the world's work. These umbilical cords and foetal appendages were molded from the moist desire stuff by the emotions of THE LUNAR ANGELS, while the fiery desire currents which were endeavoring to stir the latent life in mankind, then in the mak- ing, were generated by the fiery martial Lucifer Spirits. The color of that first slow vibration which they set in motion in that emotional desire stuff was red. And while that tincture of trouble (for that is really what this ever-flowing, eternal restlessness is which even now drives us on without pause or peace) was circulating within us, the planet on which we dwelt also circled about a sun, not our present light-giver but a past embodiment of the substance which composes our present solar universe, and we in turn circled the globe on which we dwelt, from light to darkness, from heat to cold. We were thus worked upon from within and without in an endeavor to stir the sleeping consciousness. And there was a response, for though none [PAGE 3706] of the partially separated spirits dwelling in an individual foetal sac would have been able to feel these impacts, although they were very strong, the cumulative feelings of billions of such spirits were sensed as a sound in the universe, A COSMIC CRY--THE FIRST NOTE IN THE HARMONY OF THE SPHERES--played upon a single string. It was, nevertheless, expressive in an adequate measure of the latent longings and aspirations of the incipient human race of those far bygone days. This desire nature has since evolved; the fiery, martial sub-stratum of passion and the aqueous lunar basis of emotion have become capable of numer- ous combinations. As thought furrows the brain into convolutions and the face into lines, so have the passions, desires, and emotions marshaled the mobile desire stuff into curved lines and whorls, eddies, rapids, and whirl- pools, resembling a mountain torrent at the time when it is at its greatest disturbance--it is seldom ever at even comparative rest. This desire stuff has, in successive periods of its evolution, become responsive to one after another of the seven planetary vibrations emanating from the Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon, Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars. Each individual desire body has, during that time, been woven into a unique pattern, and as the shuttle of fate flies back and forth unceasingly upon the loom of destiny, this pattern [PAGE 3707] is being enlarged upon, embellished, and beautified, though we may not per- ceive it. As the weaver always does his work on the reverse side of his tapestry, so are we also weaving without fully understanding the ultimate design or seeing the sublime beauty thereof, because it is yet on the side away from us, the hidden side of nature. But in order that we may better understand, let us take up some of these tangled threads of passion and emotion to see what effect have have on the pattern which God, the Master-Weaver, wishes us to make. The ancient myths always shed a luminous light upon the problems of the soul, and we may profitably consider in this connection a certain part of the Masonic legend. The masons are a society of builders, "TEKTONS" in Greek--the same society in fact to which Joseph and Jesus belonged, for the latter are called in the Greek bible, "tektons"--builders--not carpenters, as in the orthodox version. The masons under Solomon were the builders of that mystic temple designed by God, the Grand Archetekton or Master Builder, and built without sound of hammer, which Manson speaks about in that wonder- ful play, "The Servant in the House." He tells us there that "it is no dead pile of stone and timber, but IT IS A LIVING THING. When you enter it you [PAGE 3708] hear a sound, a sound as of a mighty anthem chanted, that is, IF YOU HAVE EARS; and if you have eyes, you will presently see the temple itself, a mys- tery of looming shapes and shadows, leaping sheer from floor to dome. It is yet building and built upon; sometimes the work goes on in utter darkness, sometimes in blinding light." Every true mystic mason knows what this temple is and endeavors to build it. The ancient masonic legend tells us that when Hiram Abiff, the master mason in charge of the construction of Solomon's temple, a building of God made without sound of hammer, was pre- paring to make his masterpiece, the "molten sea," he gathered materials from all over the earth and placed them in A FIERY FURNACE, for he was a descen- dant of Cain, A SON OF FIRE, who in turn was a son of Lucifer, the spirit of fire. Hiram proposed to make an alloy of crystal clarity, capable of re- flecting all the wisdom of the world. But, so runs the story, there were among the workmen certain traitors--spies from the Sons of Seth--who, through Adam and Eve, were descendants of the lunar god JEHOVAH, WHO HAD AN AFFINITY FOR WATER and who hated fire. These traitors poured water into the mold in which the molten sea, THE PHILOSOPHER'S STONE, was to be cast. Upon the meeting of the fire with the water there was a great explosion. Hiram Abiff, the master mason, being unable to blend the warring elements, saw [PAGE 3709] with unspeakable sorrow the destructive eruption of his attempted master- piece. While he was watching the battle of the spirits in the fire and wa- ter, Tubal-Cain, his ancestor, appeared and bade him jump into the seething mass. He was then conducted to the center of the earth where he met his first ancestor, Cain, who gave him A NEW WORD AND A NEW HAMMER which would enable him, when he had become skilled in the use thereof, to blend the an- tagonistic elements and make from them the Philosopher's Stone, the highest possible human achievement. There is in this symbolical story more wisdom than could be given in vol- umes concerning human soul growth. If the student will read between the lines and meditate upon these various symbolical expressions, he will gain much more than can ever be said, for true wisdom is always generated interi- orly and the mission of books is only to give a clue. Since this ancient time the lunar Angels have taken charge principally of the moist, aqueous vital body composed of the four ethers and concerned in the propagation and nourishment of the species, while the Lucifer Spirits are singularly active in the dry and fiery desire vehicles. The function of the vital body is to build and sustain the dense body, while that of the [PAGE 3710] desire body involves destruction of the tissues. Thus, there is a constant war going on between the desire and vital bodies, and it is this war in heaven that causes our physical consciousness on earth. Through many lives we have worked in every age and clime, and from each life we have extracted a certain amount of experience, garnered and stored as vibratory power in the seed-atoms of our various vehicles. Thus, each of us is a builder, building the temple of the immortal spirit without sound of hammer; each one is a Hiram Abiff, gathering material for soul-growth and throwing it in the furnace of his life-experience, there to be worked upon by the fire of pas- sion and desire. It is being slowly but surely melted, the dross is being purged in every purgatorial experience, and the quintessence of soul growth is being extracted through many lives. Every one of us is thus preparing for initiation,--preparing whether we know it or not--learning to blend the fiery passions with the softer, gentler emotions. The new hammer or gavel wherewith the master workman rules his subordinates is now a cross of sor- row, and the new word is self-control. [PAGE 3711] THE COLOR EFFECTS OF EMOTION IN ASSEMBLAGES OF PEOPLE--THE ISOLATING EFFECT OF WORRY: Let us now see how the desire body changes under the varying feelings, desires, passions, and emotions, so that we may learn to build wisely and well the mystic temple wherein we dwell. When we study one of the so-called physical sciences, such as anatomy or architecture, which deals with TANGIBLE THINGS, our task is facilitated by the fact that we have words which describe the things whereof we treat, but even then the mental picture conceived by a word differs with each indi- vidual. When we speak of a "bridge," one may make a mental picture of a million-dollar iron structure, another may think of a plank across a streamlet. The difficulty which we experience in conveying accurate impres- sions of our meaning increases apace when we attempt to convey ideas con- cerning nature's intangible forces, such as electricity. We measure the strength of the current in volts, the volume in amperes, and the resistance of the conductors in ohms, but, as a matter of actual fact, such terms are [PAGE 3712] only inventions to cover up our ignorance of the matter. We all know what a pound of coffee is, but the world's greatest scientist has no more accurate conception of what the volts, amperes, and ohms are of which he so learnedly discourses than the schoolboy who hears these terms for the first time. What wonder then that super-physical subjects are described in vague and often misleading terms, for we have no words in any physical language which will accurately describe these subjects, and one is almost helpless and ut- terly at a loss for descriptive terms wherewith to express oneself regarding them. If it were possible to throw colored moving pictures of the desire body upon the screen and there show how this restless vehicle changes con- tour and color according to the emotions, even then it would not give an ad- equate understanding to any one who was not capable of seeing these things himself, for the vehicles of every single human being differ from the ve- hicles of all others in the way they respond to certain emotions. That which causes one to feel intense love, hate, anger, fear, or any other emo- tion may leave another entirely untouched. The writer has a number of times watched crowds for the purpose of com- parison in this respect, and has always found something startlingly new and different from what had hitherto been observed. On one occasion a demagogue [PAGE 3713] was endeavoring to incite a labor union to strike; he was very much excited himself, and though the basic color of deep orange was perceivable, it was for the time being almost obliterated by a scarlet color of the brightest hue; the contour of his desire body was like the body of a porcupine with its quills sticking out. There was a strong element of opposition in the place, and as he talked one could clearly distinguish the two factions by the colors of their respective auras. One set of men showed the scarlet of anger, but in the other set this color was inter-mingled with a grey, the color of fear. It was also remarkable that, although the grey men were in the majority, the others carried the day, for each timid one believed him- self alone or at least with very few supporters, and was therefore afraid to vote for or express his opinion. If one who was able to see this condition had been present and had gone to each one who manifested in his aura the signs of dissension, and had given him the assurance that he was one of a majority, the tide would have turned in the opposite direction. It is often so in human affairs, for at the present time the majority are unable to see beneath the surface of the physical body and thus to perceive the true state of the thoughts and feelings of others. On another occasion a revival meeting was visited where many thousands [PAGE 3714] were present to hear a speaker of national repute. At the beginning of the meeting it was evident from the state of the auras of the people that the great majority had come there with no other purpose than to have a good time and see some fun. The thoughts, feelings, and emotions connected with the ordinary life of each were plainly visible, but in a number a certain dark- ish blue color showed an attitude of worry; it seemed that they had had some disappointment in life and were very uneasy. When the speaker appeared, a curious phenomenon took place: desire bodies are usually in a state of restless motion, but at that moment it seemed as if the whole vast audience must have held its breath in an attitude of expectancy, for the varied color-play in the individual desire bodies ceased and the basic orange hue was plainly perceptible for an instant; presently each commenced his emo- tional activities as before, while the prelude was being played. Then com- menced the singing of hymns, and this showed the value and effect of music, for as all united in singing identical words to the same tune, the same rhythmic vibrations which surged through all these desire bodies seemed to blend them and make them, for the time being, almost one. Quite a number were sitting in the scoffers' seat, so to speak, refusing to sing and unite with the others. To the spiritual sight they appeared as men of steel, [PAGE 3715] clothed in an armor of that color, and from each one, without exception, went out a vibration which said so much plainer than mere words could ever have done, "Leave me alone, you shall not touch me." Something from within had drawn them there, but they were mortally afraid of giving way, and therefore their whole aura expressed this steel color of fear which is an armor of the soul against outside interference. When the first song was ended, the unity of color and vibration lapsed almost immediately, each one taking anew his customary thought atmosphere; and had nothing more been done, each would have lapsed into his habitual in- ner life. But the evangelist, though not able to see this, knew from past experience that his audience was not yet ripe, and a succession of songs were therefore sung to the accompaniment of clapping hands beating drums, and gesticulations from the leader aided by a trained chorus. This brought the scattered souls again into a bond of harmony; gradually people were overwhelmed with religious fervor, and the unity necessary for the next ef- fort was established. From the music, the leader's hand-clapping, and the stirring appeal of the songs, that vast audience had become as one, for the men of steel, the gray-tinted scoffers who thought themselves too wise to be fooled (when their emotion really was fear), were a negligible part in that [PAGE 3716] vast congregation. All were then attuned as the many strings upon one great instrument, and the evangelist who appeared before them was a master artist at playing upon their emotions. He moved them from laughter to tears, from sorrow to shame; great waves of the corresponding colors seemed to go over the whole audience, as bewildering as they were magnificent. Then there were the customary calls to "stand up for Jesus"; the invitation to the "mourners' bench," etc., and each brought forth from all over the audience a certain emotional response which was plainly shown in colors, golden and blue. Then there were more songs, more clapping and gesticulations which, for the time, furthered the unity and gave this audience an experience re- sembling the feeling of universal brotherhood and the reality of the Father- hood of God. The only ones upon whom the music had no effect were the men clad in the steel blue armor of fear. This color seems to be almost imper- vious to any other emotion; and even though the feelings experienced by the great majority were relatively impermanent, the people benefited in a mea- sure by the revival, with the exception of these men of steel. So far as the writer has been able to learn, the inner fear of yielding to emotion--fear being saturnine in effect and twin sister to worry--seems to require a shock that will take the person so affected out of his [PAGE 3717] environment and set him down in a NEW PLACE among NEW CONDITIONS before the old conditions can be overcome. Worry is a condition where the desire currents do not sweep in long curved lines in any part of the desire body, but where the vehicle is full of eddies--nothing but eddies in extreme cases. The person so affected does not endeavor to take action in any line; he sees calamities where there are none, and instead of generating currents which lead to action that may pre- vent the thing he fears, each thought of worry causes an eddy in the desire body, and he does nothing in consequence. This condition of worry in the desire body may be likened to water which is about to congeal under a lower- ing temperature; FEAR which expresses itself as skepticism, cynicism, and pessimism may be likened to that same water when it has frozen, for the de- sire bodies of such people are almost motionless, and nothing one can say or do seems to have the power to alter the condition. They have, to use a com- mon expression which fits the condition excellently, "DRAWN INTO A SHELL," and that saturnine shell must be broken before it is possible to get at the man and help him out of his pitiable state. These saturnine emotions of fear and worry are usually caused by the suffers' apprehension of economic or social difficulties. "Perhaps this [PAGE 3718] investment which I have made may depreciate or become a total loss; I may lose my position and find myself starving upon the street; everything I un- dertake seems to go wrong; my neighbors are slandering me and trying to un- dermine my social position; my husband (or wife) does not care for me any more; my children are neglecting me;" and a thousand and one kindred sugges- tions present themselves to the mind. He should remember that every time one of these thought is indulged in, it helps to congeal the currents in the desire body and build a steel blue shell in which the person who habitually fosters fear and worry will some time find himself shut off from the love, sympathy, and help of all the world. Therefore we ought to strive to be cheerful, even under adverse circumstances, or we may find ourselves in a serious condition here and hereafter. "It is easy enough to be pleasant When life flows along like a song, But the man worth while Is the one who will smile When everything goes dead wrong." [PAGE 3719] EFFECTS OF WAR UPON THE DESIRE BODY--THE VITAL BODY AS AFFECTED BY THE DETONATIONS OF BIG GUNS: In the beginning of the Great War the emotions of Europe ran riot in a most horrible manner, first among the so-called "living," and then among the killed--when they awoke. This awakening took a long time because of the large guns used--but more of that later. The whole atmosphere of the coun- tries involved was seething with currents of anger and hate, like a cloud of dark crimson it hung around every human being and over the land. Then there were dark-tinted streaks like a funeral pall, which seem always to be gener- ated in crises of sudden disaster when reason is at a standstill and despair grips the heart. This was doubtless caused by the fact that the peoples in- volved realized that a catastrophe of a magnitude which they were unable to comprehend was happening. The desire bodies of the majority whirled at high speed in long waves of rhythmic pulsation which said more plainly than [PAGE 3720] words, "Just kill, kill, kill." When two or three or a crowd met and com- menced to discuss the war, the rhythmic pulsations indicating the settled purpose to do and dare ceased, and the thoughts and feelings of excitement generated by the discussion or speech took shape as conical projections which rapidly grew to a height of about six or eight inches, then they burst and emitted a tongue of flame. Some people generated a number of these vol- canic structures at one time, in others there were only one or two at the same time. When one of these bubbles had burst in one place, another ap- peared somewhere else on the desire body while the discussion lasted, and it was the flames from them that colored the cloud over the land scarlet. When a crowd disbanded or friends parted after such a discussion, the bubbling and eruptions grew smaller and less frequent, finally ceasing and giving place again to the long rhythmic pulsations first mentioned. These conditions are now seldom if ever seen; the explosive anger at the enemy thus indicated is a thing of the past so far as the great majority are concerned. The basic orange color of the western peoples' aura is again visible, and both officers and men seem to have settled down to war as to a game; each is anxious to outdo and outwit the other. The war is now mainly a channel for their ingenuity; but a number of the lay-brothers of the [PAGE 3721] Rosicrucian Order believe that the condition of anger will return in a modified form when active hostilities cease and peace negotiations commence. This form of emotion we may call abstract anger, and it differs widely from what is observed in the case of two persons who become angry with each other in private life, whether they start to fight physically or not. Seen from the hidden side of nature, there are hostilities before blows are struck. Jagged, dagger-like desire-forms project themselves from one to the other like spears until the fury which generated them has expended itself. In the patriotic anger there is no personal enemy, therefore the desire-forms are more blunt and explode without leaving the person who generated them. The "steel man" so common in private life where worry over the thousand one things that never happen crystallizes an armor around the person who al- lows old Saturn to thus grip him, were are are conspicuous by their absence. The writer accounts for it on the hypothesis that the tension in their envi- ronment forced them to enlist and the shock broke the shell; then familiar- ity with danger bred contempt for it. It is certain that these people have benefited greatly by the war, for there is no state more hampering to soul-growth than constant fear and worry. It is also a remarkable fact that [PAGE 3722] though the men engaged in war suffer awful privations, the mass of them are cultivating a tinge of soft sky-blue which stands for hope, optimism, and a dawning religious feeling, giving an altruistic touch to the character. It is an indication that that universal fellow-feeling which knows no distinc- tions of creed, color, or country is growing in the human heart. In the beginning of the war the desire bodies of the combatants whirled at an awful rate, and it was noted that while people passing over from sick- ness, old age, or ordinary accidents regain consciousness in a short time, varying from a few minutes to a few days, those killed in war were in a great many cases unconscious for several weeks, and strange to say, those who were almost torn to pieces seemed to wake up much quicker than thousands that had only insignificant wounds. This puzzle was not solved for many months. Before we study the causes underlying this phenomenon, we must first record that when the people who had thus died in intense anger during the first part of the war awoke in the invisible world, they usually started to fight their enemies anew, and until the great educational work started by the Elder Brothers and their Invisible Helpers bore fruit, these people went about with maimed bodies and in great anguish because of their dear ones left behind. Now such occurrences are extremely rare and soon settled, for [PAGE 3723] all have been taught that thought will create a new arm, limb, or face; the patriotic hatred is gone, and "enemies" able to speak each other's language often fraternize with benefit to both. The red cloud of hate if lifting, the black veil of despair is gone, there are no volcanic outbursts of pas- sion in either the living or the dead, but so far as th 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 mem- bers, 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 en- tranced medium. Thus the eyes blinded by tears are often opened by a yearn- ing heart so that loved ones now in th 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 spi- rit and continuity of life a fact in nature. To understand the slowness wherewith those slain in the war regain [PAGE 3724] consciousness in the unseen world, we must first undertake a more intimate study of the four ethers than has hitherto been given in "The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception." The atoms of the chemical and life ethers gathered around the nuclear seed-atom located in the solar plexus are shaped like prisms. They are all located in such a manner that when the solar energy enters our body through the spleen, the refracted ray is red. This is the color of the creative as- pect of the Trinity, namely Jehovah, the Holy Spirit, who rules Luna, the planet of fecundation. Therefore the vital fluid from the sun which enters the human body by way of the spleen becomes tinged with a pale rose color, often noted by seers when it courses along the nerves as electricity does in the wires of an electric system. Thus charged, the chemical and life ethers are the avenues of assimilation which preserve the individual, and of fecun- dation which perpetuates the race. During life each prismatic vital atom penetrates a physical atom and vi- brates it. to form a picture of this combination, imagine a pear-shaped wire basket having walls of spirally curved wire running obliquely from pole to pole. this is the physical atom; it is shaped nearly like our earth, and the prismatic vital atom is inserted from the top, which is widest and cor- responds to the north pole of the earth. Thus the point of the prism [PAGE 3725] penetrates the physical atom at the narrowest point, which corresponds to the south pole of our earth, and the whole resembles a top swinging, sway- ing, and vibrating. In this manner our body is made alive and capable of motion. (It is noteworthy that our earth is similarly permeated by a cosmic body of ether, and that those manifestations which we note as the Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis are etheric currents circling the earth from pole to equator as currents in the physical atoms do.) The light and reflecting ethers are avenues of consciousness and memory. They are somewhat attenuated in the average individual and have not yet taken definite form; they interpenetrate the atom as air interpenetrates a sponge, and they form a slight auric atmosphere outside each atom. At death a separation takes place; the seed atom is withdrawn from the apex of the heart along the saturnine pneumogastric nerve, through the ven- tricles and out of the skull (Golgotha); all the atoms of the vital body are liberated from the cross of the dense body by the same spiral motion, which unscrews each prismatic atom of ether from its physical envelope. This process is attended with more or less violence according to the cause of death. An aged person whose vitality has been slowly ebbing may [PAGE 3726] fall asleep and wake up on the other side of the veil without the slightest consciousness of how the change took place; a devout and religious person who has been prepared by prayer and meditation on the beyond would also be able to make an easy egress; people who freeze to death meet with what the writer believes to be the easiest of accidental deaths, drowning being next. But when a person is young and healthy, especially if of an irreligious or atheistic turn of mind, the prismatic ether atom is so tightly entwined by the physical atom that a considerable wrench is required to separate the vital body. When the separation of the physical body from the higher ve- hicles has been accomplished and the person is dead, as we say, the light and reflecting ethers are separated from the prismatic atom. It is this stuff, as described in the Cosmo, which is molded into the pictures of the past life and etched into the desire body, which then begins to feel what- ever there was of pain or pleasure in the life. The part of the vital body composed of the prismatic atoms of the chemical and life ethers then returns to the physical body, hovering above the grave and disintegrating synchro- nously with it. Now comes the crux of our explanation. Ether is physical matter, and while people shot with small arms in a minor engagement may sometimes be [PAGE 3727] seen walking away somewhat dazed but nevertheless conscious, the awful detonations of the big guns used so extensively have the effect of throwing the prismatic ether atoms topsy-turvy, and shattering (not scattering) the auric envelope of light and reflecting ethers which is the basis of sense-perception and memory. Until this resolves itself into its original relativity, the man remains in a stunned, comatose condition which often lasts for weeks. Under such conditions this fine etheric stuff does not lend itself to the formation of pictures of the past life--it is congealed to a certain extent. [PAGE 3728] THE NATURE OF ETHER ATOMS--THE NECESSITY OF POISE: 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. 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 [PAGE 3729] 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. It has been determined by physical science that the atoms in our dense body are constantly changing so that all the material which composes our present vehicle at this moment will have disappeared in a few years, but it is common knowledge that scars and other blemishes perpetuate themselves from childhood to old age. The reason for this is that the prismatic ether atoms which compose our vital body remain unchanged from the cradle to the grave. They are always in the same relative position--that is to say, the prismatic ether atoms which vibrate the physical atoms in the toes or in the fingers do not get to the hands, legs, or any other part of the body, but remain in exactly the same place where they were placed in the beginning. A lesion of the physical atoms involves a similar impression on the prismatic ether atoms. The new physical matter molded over them continues to take on shape and texture similar to those which originally obtained. [PAGE 3730] The foregoing remarks apply only to the prismatic ether atoms which cor- respond to solids and liquids in the physical world, because they assume a certain definite shape which they preserve. But in addition each human be- ing at this stage of evolution has a certain amount of the light and re- flecting ethers, which are the vehicles of sense perception and memory, in- termingled in his vital body. We may say that the light ether corresponds to the gases in our physical world; perhaps the best description that can be given of the reflecting ether is to call it hyper-etheric. It is a vacuous substance of a bluish color resembling in appearance the blue core of a gas flame. It appears transparent and seems to reveal everything that is within it, but nevertheless it hides all the secrets of nature and humanity. In it is found one record of the Memory of Nature. The light and reflecting ethers are of an exactly opposite nature to that of the stationary prismatic ether atoms. They are volatile and migratory. However much or little a man possesses of this material, it is an accretion, a fruitage, derived from his experiences in life. Inside the body it mingles with the blood stream and when it has grown by service and sacrifice in life's school so that it can no longer be contained within the body, it is seen on the outside as a soul body of gold and blue. Blue shows the highest type of spirituality, there- [PAGE 3731] fore it is smallest in volume and may be compared to the blue core of the gas flame, while the golden hue forms the larger part and corresponds to the yellow light which surrounds the core in the gas ring. The blue color does not appear outside the dense body save in the very greatest of saints--only yellow is usually observable there. At death this part of the vital body is etched into the desire body with the life panorama which it contains. The quintessence of all our life experience is then eventually impressed upon the seed atom as conscience or virtue which urges us to avoid evil and to do good in a coming life. Thus the quality of the seed atom is altered from life to life. The quintessence of good extracted from the migratory part of the vital body in one life determines the quality of the prismatic station- ary ether atoms in the next life. The highest in one life becomes the low- est in the next and thus we gradually climb the ladder of evolution towards divinity. From the foregoing it will be evident that the vital body is a vehicle of habit; all parents know that during the first seven years of childhood when this vehicle is in course of gestation that children form one habit after another. Repetition is the keynote of the vital body and habits depend upon repetition. It is different with the desire body, the vehicle of feelings and emotions which are always changing from moment to moment; thought it has [PAGE 3732] been said that the ether which forms our soul body is in constant motion and mingles with the blood stream, that motion is relatively slow compared to the rapidity of the current of the desire body; we may say that the ether moves like a snail compared with light. The points brought out by the foregoing may be summed up as follows: Desire stuff moves with inconceivable rapidity comparable only with light. The two higher ethers also travel with great speed though far slower than desire stuff. The prismatic ether atoms composing the lower ethers are stationary but have a high rate of vibratory motion. The dense atoms are as motionless as the crystal in the rock. No matter what people say to us or about us, their words have no intrin- sic power to hurt--it is our own mental attitude towards their utterances which determines the effect of their words upon us for good or ill. Paul, when facing persecution and slander, testified that "NONE OF THESE THINGS MOVE ME." All who hope to advance spiritually must cultivate EQUIPOISE, for without it the desire body will either run riot or congeal, according to the nature of the emotions generated by intercourse with others whether worry, [PAGE 3733] anger, or fear. We know that the dense body is our vehicle of action, that the vital body gives it the power to act, that the desire body furnishes the incentive to action, and that the mind was given as a brake on impulse. We learn from the "Cosmo-Conception" that thought-forms from within and without the body are being continually projected upon the desire body in an endeavor to arouse feeling which will lead to action, and that reason ought to rule the lower nature and leave the higher self scope for expression of its divine proclivities. We also know that HABITUAL thought has power to mold even physical matter, for the nature of the sensualist is plainly dis- cernible in his features which are as coarse and gross as the features of the spiritually minded are delicate and fine. The power of thought is still greater in its potency to mold the finer vestures. We have already seen how thoughts of fear and worry congeal the desire body of any one who indulges in that habit, and it is equally certain that by cultivating an optimistic frame of mind under all circumstances we can attune our desire bodies to any key we wish. AFTER A TIME, THAT WILL BECOME A HABIT. It must be confessed that it is difficult to HOLD the desire body down to any definite lines, but it can be done, and the attempt must be made by all who aspire to spiritual advancement. [PAGE 3734] Regarding the effect from the occult standpoint of this polarization, we may learn much from certain customs in so-called secret societies. As you know, such organizations always place at the door a guard who is instructed to deny admittance to anyone not supplied with the proper pass-word and signs, and that works very well so far as the people are concerned who func- tion only in their physical body. But the so-called secrets of these orga- nizations are not in any sense secrets to those who are able to enter their places of assembly in their vital bodies. It is otherwise in a true esoteric order such as, for instance, the Rosicrucians. No guard is on duty at the door of that Temple when the Mystic Midnight Mass is said each night of the week. The door is wide open to all who have learned to speak the open sesame. But that is not a spoken password; the initiate who desires to attend must know how to attune his soul body to the particular rate of vi- bration maintained on that night. Furthermore, this vibration differs on the various nights of the week so that those who have learned to attune themselves to the vibration maintained on Saturday night when the first de- gree meets are as effectually barred from entering the Temple with those who carry on the work Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, etc., as any ordinary person. [PAGE 3735] The cosmic law under which this is done applies also to the control and effect of our thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Paul well said that WE ARE THE TEMPLE of the living God (our Higher Self). We have also created a subtle aura about us under th guardianship of the Divine Hierarchies reign- ing over the seven planets, Saturn, Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, and Venus. The Universe, or great world, is mystically called the seven-stringed lyre of Apollo. our individual organism or microcosm is a replica or image of God, and it behooves us to awaken in ourselves an echo of this music of the spheres. Most of us have learned to respond too much to the saturnine vibrations of sorrow, gloom, fear, and worry, which congeal our desire bodies, and it would be to the lasting benefit of all to try to cultivate the spiritual vibrations of the Sun, filling our lives with opti- mism and sunshine which will dispel the saturnine gloom and despondency and prevent such thoughts entering our aura in the future. The prime necessity of advancement is equipoise. All who aspire ought to adopt Paul's motto, "None of these things move me." [PAGE 3736] THE EFFECTS OF REMORSE--THE DANGERS OF EXCESSIVE BATHING: As there are many among the Rosicrucian students who perform the exer- cises given by the Elder Brothers for the purpose of furthering soul-growth, though they have not felt inclined to enter the Path, it is thought to be well to consider the occult effect of the emotions engendered by these exer- cises. When in the exercise of retrospection the aspirant to the higher life re- views the happenings of the day IN REVERSE ORDER and meets an incident in which he hurt some one or failed to help another or in any other way did not live up to that which he holds as his ideal of conduct, he is taught to cul- tivate intense remorse for whatever he has done wrong for the purpose of eradicating the record from the seed-atom in the heart where it has been im- printed by the act, and where it will remain until it is wiped out by suf- ferings in purgatory unless previously expunged by artificial means such as this exercise. [PAGE 3737] In purgatory the cleansing process is accomplished by the centrifugal force of repulsion which tugs and tears the desire stuff, in which the pic- ture is formed over its matrix of ether, out of the desire body. At that particular time the soul suffers as it made others suffer, because of a sin- gular condition in the lower regions of the Desire World where purgatory is located. Some seers who are unable to contact the higher regions speak of the Desire World as illusory, and they are right so far as the lower regions are concerned, FOR THERE ALL THINGS APPEAR REVERSED AS WE SEE THEM IN A GLASS. This peculiarity is not purposeless--nothing in God's kingdom is; all things serve a wise end. This reversal places the erring soul in the position of its victim, so that when a scene unrolls on the screen of its past life where it did a wrong to some one, the soul does not stand as a mere spectator and see the scene re-enacted, but it becomes, for the time being, the victim of the wrong and it feels the pain felt by that wronged one, for the centrifugal force of repulsion exerted to tear the picture from th desire body of the wrongdoer must at least equal the hate and anger of the victim which impressed the picture upon the seed-atom at the time of oc- currence. During retrospection the aspirant endeavors to imitate these conditions; he tries to visualize the scenes where he did something wrong, and the re- morse he endeavors to feel must at least equal the resentment felt by [PAGE 3738] whomever he wronged. It then has the same effect of expunging the record of the injury as does the centrifugal force of repulsion, which accomplishes the eradication of evil in purgatory FOR THE PURPOSE OF EXTRACTING THEREFROM THE QUALITY OF THE SOUL WHICH WE KNOW AS CONSCIENCE, and which acts as a de- terrent in hours of temptation. Thus used, the emotion of remorse cleanses and purifies the desire body of weeds and tares, leaving the soil free and fostering the growth of manifold virtues that blossom into spiritual ad- vancement and bring greater opportunities for service in the Master's vine- yard. But as the force latent in gunpowder and kindred explosive substances may be used to further greatest objects of civilization or to outdo the most savage acts of barbarism, so also, this emotion of remorse may be misused in such a manner that it becomes a detriment and a hindrance to the soul in- stead of a help. When we indulge in remorse daily and hourly, we are actu- ally wasting a great power which might be used for the most noble ends of life, for the constant indulgence of regret affects the desire body in a manner similar to that which follows excessive bathing of the physical body, as described in the "VICE OF EXCESSIVE CLEANLINESS," an article which ap- peared in our magazine, "RAYS FROM THE ROSE CROSS." It was there stated [PAGE 3739] that water has a great affinity for ether and absorbs it most greedily, sev- eral illustrations being given to demonstrate the fact; it was also stated that when we take a bath under normal conditions, it removes a great deal of poisonous miasmatic ether from our vital bodies, provided we stay in the wa- ter a reasonable length of time. After a bath the vital body becomes some- what attenuated and consequently gives us a feeling of weakness, but if we are in our usual good health and have not stayed in the bath too long, the deficiency is soon made good by the stream of force which flows into the body through the spleen. When this influx of fresh ether has replaced the poisoned substance carried off in the water, we feel renewed vigor which we rightly attribute to the bath, though usually without realizing the full facts as here stated. But when a person who is not in perfect health makes a habit of bathing every day, perhaps even twice or three times, an excess of ether is taken from the vital body. The supply entering by way of the spleen is also diminished on account of the loss of tone of the seed-atom located in the solar plexus and the attenuated condition of the vital body. Thus it is im- possible for such people to recuperate between such oft repeated depletions, and as a consequence the health of the dense body suffers; they lose strength continually and are apt to become confirmed invalids. [PAGE 3740] "AS ABOVE SO BELOW, AND AS BELOW, SO ABOVE," says the Hermetic aphorism, enunciating thereby the great law of analogy which is the master-key to all mysteries. When we use the centrifugal force of remorse to eradicate the acts of evil from our hearts during the evening exercise of retrospection, the effect is similar to the action of the water which removes the miasmatic poisoned ether from our vital bodies during the bath, and thus leaves room for an influx of pure health-promoting ether. After we have burned out the wrong-doings in the sacrificial fire of remorse, the poisonous substance thus eradicated leaves room for the influx of desire stuff which is MORALLY healthier and better soil for noble deeds. The more thoroughly we are purged by this remorse, the greater the vacuum produced and the better the grade of new material we attract to our subtler vehicles. But, on the other hand, if we indulge in regrets and remorse during every waking hour as some do, we are outdoing purgatory, for though the time there is spent in eradication of evil, the consciousness turns from each picture when it has been torn out by the force of repulsion. Here, because of the interlocking of the desire and vital bodies, we are enabled to revivify the picture in memory as oft as we please, and while the desire body is gradually dissolved in purgatory by the expurgation of the panorama of life, [PAGE 3741] certain small amount is added while we are living in the physical world, to take the place of that which is ejected by remorse. Thus, remorse and re- gret when continually indulged in have the same effect on the desire body as excessive bathing has on the vital body. Both vehicles are depleted of strength by excessive cleansing, and for that reason it is as dangerous to the moral and spiritual health to indulge indiscriminately in feelings of regret and remorse as it is fatal to physical wellbeing to bathe too much. Discrimination should govern in both cases. When we perform the exercise of retrospection, we should give ourselves over to the feelings of regret and remorse with our whole soul; we should endeavor to shed tears of fire that may burn into our very innermost being; we should make the cleansing process as thorough as possible, to the end that we may grow in grace thereby to the utmost. BUT HAVING FINISHED THE EXERCISE WE SHOULD DO THE SAME AS IS DONE IN PURGATORY--CONSIDER THE INCI- DENTS OF THE DAY CLOSED AND FORGET ALL ABOUT THEM, save in so far as they demand restitution of something, the making of an apology, or such subse- quent acts to satisfy the demands of conscience. And having thus paid the debt, our attitude ought to be one of unfailing optimism. "THOUGH YOUR SINS BE AS SCARLET, THEY SHALL BE AS WHITE AS SNOW." "If God be for us, who can [PAGE 3742] be against us?" B y that attitude we die daily to the old life and we are born each day to walk in the newness of the spiritual life, for our desire bodies are thus renewed and ready to serve a higher aim in life than the day before. And while we are discussing regret and remorse as applied to the problem of soul-growth, with their effect on our subtle bodies, we may also profit- ably mention the effect of regret directed into other channels. There are people who live with regret as with a boon companion, who take it to bed with them at night and get up with it in the morning; they take it to the office, shop, or church, they sit with it at meals, they nurse it as the most precious thing in their possession, and they would sooner part with life itself than give up their regret for this, that, or the other thing. As a vampire sucks the ether from the vital body of its victim and feeds upon it, so perpetual thoughts of regret and remorse concerning certain things become a desire-elemental which acts as a vampire and draws the very life from the poor soul who has shaped it, and by the attraction of like for like, it fosters continuance of this morbid habit of regret. We are not helping the loved ones who have departed this life by our re- grets which we love to fancy are evidences of our faithfulness, but we are [PAGE 3743] hindering them. They have left the present sphere of experience and are go- ing onwards to other realms where there are other lessons to be learned, and we are holding them back by our thoughts, for they feel us most acutely for some time after they have passed over, and we owe them a duty to think thoughts of cheer and love instead of selfish regret which hurts both us and them. Regret is subversive of all spiritual growth, for while the thought-elemental thus created hangs about us as a vampire we cannot climb the rugged path. Loathsome as the vulture which feeds upon the noxious, decomposing car- casses of the dead are the vain regrets which live upon the morbid contem- plation of the past and its mistakes. It is our duty to drive them out of our mental habitation as we would eject a vulture from our physical abode were it to seek entrance. Instead, let us cultivate an attitude of optimism in all things, for all things work together for good--God is at the helm, nothing can go really wrong, and all will turn out right in God's good time. Continued with file "RC1104.TXT" End of File


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