Filename: RC4003.TXT [PAGE 45] ROSICRUCIAN CHRISTIANITY PHILOSOPHY COURSE: LESSON NO. 20:

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Filename: RC4003.TXT [PAGE 45] ROSICRUCIAN CHRISTIANITY PHILOSOPHY COURSE: LESSON NO. 20: THE BENEFICENT EXPERIENCES OF PURGATORY: Let us not become alarmed by this word "purgatory," for although the ex- periences in this state may be painful, at the same time they are extremely beneficent, because they free the ego from the weights which would otherwise prevent it from rising into the higher regions. This is the reason why pur- gatory comes first after passing out in death. From our standpoint we might consider it desirable to have heaven first, particularly if we have had a hard earth life, but this is scientifically impossible; until our spiritual specific gravity is decreased, we cannot rise. Purgatory is located in the three lowest regions of the desire world. Its principal function is to tear out the coarse desire stuff which we have built into our desire bodies by wrong living during earth life. All coarse and selfish desires are torn out by the force of repulsion, which is the prevailing force in this region. Self-assertion is the mainspring in the force of repulsion. By means of this force all qualities based upon unbrotherly self-assertion are destroyed. The life panorama of the preceding life now unrolls before the ego, bringing with it the purging forces appropriate to each incident. Here the ego feels all the pain that it caused others. Here is suffers the pangs of destructive desires, such as those for liquor, tobacco, and drugs, because these desires can not possibly be gratified. It suffers until these desires die out for lack of gratification. The pain connected with this process is approximately three times as keen as that of similar experiences in earth life, because the process if three times as fast, and because the ego now has no physical body to dull the pain. The purgatorial period is ordinarily about one-third as long as the earth life just past. A practical lesson may be deduced from the above, namely, that the best way to get rid of evil desires here is simply to push them out of the con- sciousness and let them die out from nongratification. Fighting them cre- ates thought forms to which they attach themselves and which prolong their life. Starvation, therefore, is the only practical method. This applies particularly to clearing the mind of impure thoughts. Also we may note the foolishness of acquiring a lot of handicaps during life in the form of de- structive desires for such things as tobacco and drugs. But if we have ac- quired these desires, we may also see the great advisability of getting rid of them here during our earth life when we can do it with only one-third the pain and discomfort which would be required after passing to the other side. Even from a selfish standpoint it is only good sense to give these things up while we have the chance to do it easily. As a result of the experiences of purgatory conscience is developed, which will tend to restrain the ego in future lives from repeating its mis- takes; also it will come back in the next life freed from the binding ef- fects of evil desires and able to exercise free will, which it could not do if those desires had not been expurgated. The temptation, however, to gratify those same desires will be repeated until the ego has finally [PAGE 46] developed the will power to master them. Then they will no longer enter his consciousness. After going through the purgative processes the ego is able to proceed into the heaven worlds and enjoy the life there, which it could not possibly have done before. Many people labor under the delusion that if they could only get into heaven as soon as they die, they would be happy; but as a mat- ter of fact the vibrations of the heaven planes are so high that if the ordinary person were to be transported there before the purgative processes had been gone through with, he would be in the most intense agony, because his spiritual vehicles are vibrating at a very low rate, and to raise their rate of vibration suddenly to that of the heaven planes would bring on a condition analogous to that of electrocution. People who during earth life enjoy vice and cruelty or use black magic to gain power over others harden the vital body and cause it to become inter- locked with the desire body. The two them constitute what is known as the "sin body." Such individuals are earthbound after passing over into the purgatorial regions. The forces of purgatory are not able to disintegrate the sin body with the usual speed, with the result that these egos remain earthbound in some cases for hundreds of years. They still retain their evil disposition. Moreover, they are in our very midst, closer than hands or feet, and by mental suggestion they are able to incite those of weak men- tality to crime. Thus they are far more dangerous than the physical criminal. Now comes what is the most practical part of this lesson, namely, a method by which we may avoid purgatory if we will but take time by the fore- lock. This is the Rosicrucian method of retrospection. Each night we should go over the events of the day in reverse order, beginning with those of the evening and proceeding backward to those of the morning, examining each one very carefully to ascertain its spiritual quality of good or evil. We should let the experiences flow back into the consciousness, endeavoring to feel the pain which we have caused others, and also endeavoring to feel the unspiritual quality of our wrong actions of the day. By doing so we shall be living our purgatory each night, and when we pass over to the other side, we shall not have to go through the intensified purgatorial experi- ences which the ordinary persons does. Thus we shall not only save our- selves much pain, but also much time, which we may use for service in the higher worlds, gaining added soul growth thereby: we shall also be able as a result to come back to rebirth sooner. In addition, this process of ret- rospection will release the emotional energy generated each day, and thus eliminate the possibility of its causing neurotic ailments later. This method really constitutes the daily forgiveness of sins, because from day to day we thus blot our our sins from the Book of God, namely the record within our own hearts. Please study the preceding lesson carefully; then without consulting it, answer fully but concisely the following questions, and send the answers to us. 1. Why does purgatory come before the heaven life? Could we enjoy heaven before passing through purgatory, and if not, why? 2. What is the nature of the purgatorial force, and how does it act? 3. What happens in purgatory to those who have injured others on earth? 4. What is the best method of getting rid of sensual desires, and why is this method the best? 5. What quality is developed as the result of purgatory? 6. What is the sin body, and what dangers to the living come from it? 7. How may we avoid purgatory, and what is the advantage of this? [PAGE 47] LESSON NO. 21: THE REALMS OF BLISS: Having reviewed the experiences encountered in the lower regions, we will now consider the so-called realms of bliss, namely, the various heaven worlds. But let us disabuse our minds of the idea that the sole function of these higher regions is to give us bliss. Bliss is only one of the products of the life that is led there. The more important functions of these re- gions are assimilative and educational. First, we assimilate and build into the consciousness the spiritual quality of the good actions which we per- formed during earth life. This gives us the quality of right feeling, which will be with us in future lives as an incentive to right action. Second, we are educated in the higher processes of life and body building. The first heaven, into which the ego proceeds after leaving purgatory, is situated in the three higher regions of the desire world. This is the world of color and of emotion. Here the life panorama again unrolls, but now it gives us joy instead of pain. We now feel all the happiness which we caused others in the preceding life and the gratitude which they felt. We also ex- perience joy from the spiritual qualities of the constructive acts which we performed. Thus we learn the lesson that good and truth and right bring a supreme reward. Here, also, the ego realizes the fruition of all the con- structive desires which it had during the preceding earth life but which were not then gratified. Here he is able to enjoy art and poetry if he has within him the qualities which correlate him with them. Character counts here--nothing else. Altruism and beneficence here receive their reward. Moreover, the plans are developed by which in succeeding lives the person may carry his hu- manitarian activities still farther. The studious have at their command un- limited facilities for the study of the sciences and arts. The artist has unrivalled facilities for developing his artistic conceptions. The colors with which he works are living colors, and he molds them with his thought. In the first heaven the children have a wonderful time, namely, those who die under the age of fourteen before the birth of the desire body. They are organized into classes, and are given systematic instruction in the spiritual principles of right living, so that when they return to earth, they may be far advanced in that direction. Many a weak spirit is caused to die young in order that it may get this training, by which greater success may be insured to it in future lives. After having exhausted all the experiences of the preceding life which had to do with the desires and emotions, the ego sloughs off its desire body and proceeds into the second heaven, which is located in the Region of Con- crete Thought, and which is the world of tone. Music of the most sublime character constitutes one of the special enjoyments of this region. The second heaven is the ego's real home. Here it remains for hundreds of years [PAGE 48] ordinarily, leading a very active existence. This is the region of arche- types. Nothing can exist on earth, from a physical body to the physical contour of a continent, until its archetype has been constructed in this re- gion. Here the ego undergoes an extensive course of instruction in the building of archetypes. It also examines the archetypes of the projects and structures upon which it worked during life and finds out wherein they were good or wherein they were defective; thus it discovers why it failed in car- rying out certain designs in the preceding life. An important part of the work in this region is to prepare archetypes for the vehicles of the next earth life. In general the ego is not permitted to inhabit a body better than it is capable of building, and here the ego takes a university course in this process. It also builds the quintessence of its discarded bodies into the threefold spirit, making it usable as future spiritual power and perception. In the last stages of this period the ego resolves its mind into the essence which feeds or builds the threefold spirit, and it is then ready to take another flight to still higher regions. The world which the ego now enters is called the third heaven, located in the Region of Abstract Thought. The threefold spirit is now naked, having left its four lower vehicles behind it, but retaining, however, the seed at- oms of each for future use in building new vehicles. For the ordinary indi- vidual at our stage of evolution the third heaven is not a place of activ- ity. Its vibrations are too far above him. About all the ego can ordinarily do here is to rest, bathing in the divine harmony which pervades this region and gaining the strength to come back to rebirth. When suffi- cient spiritual force has thus been assimilated, the ego is imbued with a desire for new experiences, and proceeds on its way to rebirth. The process of nightly retrospection is a great aid to the ego in connec- tion with this phase of the post-mortem existence, because by practicing retrospection each night the first heaven life (as well as the purgatorial life) may be lived on earth, leaving the ego free to proceed immediately into the second heaven after it has passed out of the body. By so doing it is able to make far greater progress in its spiritual education in the higher regions than otherwise, and also it is able to return to earth for service in the plan of evolution at an earlier date. We should begin by ex- amining in reverse order all the acts of the day where we helped others or made them happy in any way. We should endeavor to feel the happiness and gratitude which they experienced, and also to realize the spiritual quality of our good actions. This process is earnestly recommended to the esoteric student who wishes to make rapid progress. Please study the preceding lesson carefully; then without consulting it answer fully but concisely the following questions. 1] What are the most important functions of the heaven worlds? 2] What is the origin of the happiness experienced in heaven? 3] Where is the first heaven located, and what are some of its activities? 4] Describe the second heaven existence. 5] Where and how do we learn to build our bodies? 6] Where is the third heaven, and what does it do for the ego? 7] Why do we leave heaven after having once got there? [PAGE 49] LESSON NO. 22: REBIRTH AND CONSEQUENCE: The real object of life is not present happiness but experience whereby we may unfold our latent spiritual powers and develop them into faculties for greater service in God's plan of evolution. God is evolving through us. We are cells in the cosmic body of God. We are spiritualizing matter for Him so that it may be a vehicle in which He may function. We are as neces- sary to God as God is to us. It is our business, therefore, to develop our spiritual qualities and our latent talents to the utmost in order that we may co-operate with this great plan. The three great objects of evolution through matter are: First, the spiritualizing of the character; second, the development of the will, whereby we direct the faculties gained by experience; third, the development of the creative mind, by which we shall eventually create directly and con- sciously. If we co-operate with the plan, happiness will be a constant by-product. To gain all this development it is necessary for the ego to be reborn in a physical body many times. When all the experience of any life has been spiritually assimilated in the higher worlds, the spirit feels the urge to gain new experience. This desire impels it irresistibly to rebirth. Our knowledge of rebirth does not rest upon speculation. Rebirth is one of the first facts demonstrated to the pupil of the Mystery School. He is taught to watch a child in the act of dying; then to follow that child through the invisible world, day by day, until it comes to rebirth within a period of a few years. After the pupil has done this, he knows with absolute certainty that rebirth is a fact and not merely a metaphysical theory. The first step when the ego starts towards rebirth is to select its par- ents or have them selected for it. This is not a matter of blind chance. We ordinarily have parents assigned to us whom we have served in preceding lives so that they are in duty bound to do this service for us. In this connection we may see our duty to provide when possible the means whereby egos may come back to us as children in order that later they may do us similar service. When the ego has toits credit a certain amount of good destiny, it is given a panoramic view of several different lives involving different parents and allowed to make a selection. After the choice has been made, the main outlines of the life have been determined, and the ego no longer has free will with reference to them. It still, however, has free will as to details. These may be executed in a spirit of love, helpfulness, and tolerance, or in a rebellious spirit, hating the environment in which the ego has been placed. Thus may it generate for itself either good or bad destiny for a future life. In the actual progress of coming back to rebirth the various seed atoms first attract to themselves the materials for a new set of vehicles, namely, a mind, a desire body, a vital body, and a physical body. These materials are eventually built into the new vehicles, at which time the ego comes to physical rebirth. This occurs at a time when the planetary forces are in [PAGE 50] harmony with the destiny engendered by the ego in preceding lives. It can- not be reborn at any other time, because the forces inherent in its seed at- oms will prevent. After birth the planetary forces impinging upon the ve- hicles of the ego from day to day impel it in certain directions in harmony with its previously created destiny, and thus become the automatic executors of that destiny. Planetary forces, however, DO NOT COMPEL. When a man uses his will to work with evolution, he masters and directs the planetary forces. The Law of Consequence or the Law of Cause and Effect is continually op- erating. From the minute of birth the forces which were set into operation in preceding lives and which have not yet expended themselves begin to oper- ate upon the child and its vehicles. All the old hates and loves come to the surface. Ancient enemies present themselves in order that the ego may work out its destiny with them and transform them into friends. Former friends help the ego and work with it to the mutual advantage of both. Thus do we slowly but irresistibly move onwards towards universal friendship. Through the Law of Consequence man learns that every act carries responsi- bility, and that every force which he sets into operation must have a cor- responding effect. If by carelessness or selfishness he causes pain or loss to others, the Law of Consequences will bring similar conditions upon him at a later date, and thus he will learn the injustice of acting in this manner. If he does not heed the lesson, nature will give him even harder experiences until he finally makes the necessary effort and actually obtains the power to control himself. If the acts which we not perform are constructive and considerate of the rights of others, then in a future life we shall be born under conditions which will bring us success and happiness. If, on the contrary, we yield to our passions, disregard others, or are indolent and careless, we shall surely be reborn under conditions and among people who will make our lives apparent failures and bring us much unhappiness. By these failures, how- ever, we shall learn were we erred in preceding lives, and also what it is necessary for us to do in order to retrieve the past. Then when we apply our wills to the solution of the problem, we shall achieve success, and the Law of Consequence thenceforth will work for us instead of against us. Throughout life the quality which the Rosicrucians call Epigenesis is a work; that is, the power to set into operation a limited number of new causes which are not determined or forced upon us by our acts of the past. If were were totally bound by the past and unable to generate new causes, we should be unable to develop original creative power or free will. But the spiritual faculty of Epigenesis here comes to our rescue, and enables us, if we will, to work our way into ever greater spheres of power and usefulness. Please study the preceding lesson carefully; then without consulting it answer fully but concisely the following questions. 1] What is our relation and our duty to God? 2] What are the object of life and evolution? 3] How are the outlines and environment of an earth life determined? 4] How do we acquire a new set of bodies, and how do planetary forces influence us? 5] Describe the operation of the Law of Consequence? 6] How is the era of universal friendship being brought about? 7] How may we retrieve the past? 8] What is Epigenesis? [PAGE 51] LESSON NO. 23: THE SOUL, SOUL BODY, AND SOUL GROWTH: There is much confusion in the popular mind as to the distinctions be- tween soul, soul body, and spirit. In Rosicrucian parlance these terms re- fer to separate and distinct realities, whereas in ordinary usage they are used more of less interchangeably. In the Rosicrucian literature the soul is spoken of as the quintessence of the three lower vehicles and the experi- ences obtained in those vehicles which involve right thought and right ac- tion. This essence is extracted by the spirit or ego and used as a pabulum by it. The soul builds up the powers of the spirit, adds to its conscious- ness, and enables it to extend its field of operation. Ordinarily the experiences of life, recorded through the breath in the vital body, are ground in the mill of retrospection in purgatory and the first heaven, where their essence is extracted and built into the spirit in the form of soul power. We do not need to delay, however, the extraction of the soul qualities and their coalition with the spirit until we arrive in purgatory or the first heaven. We may, if we will, go thought this process each night by the use of retrospection exercise which has been described in earlier lessons in this course. The complete amalgamation of the soul with spirit does not take place until near the end of our great Day of Manifesta- tion. We add to our soul by the experiences of every life, and after we have lived many lives, particularly if they have been well lived, we become soulful. When we have the quality of soulfulness, it is recognized by those around us. The soul is threefold, as follows: The conscious soul is the spiritual extract of the physical body and the experiences in it, and is correlated to the Divine Spirit. The intellectual soul is the extract of the vital body, and is correlated to the Life Spirit. The emotional soul is the extract of the desire body, and is correlated to the Human Spirit. All the experiences of our daily lives are being utilized through the processes of evolution and built into soul for our use in future lives, either on this plane or higher planes. The soul body is a distinct entity. It is not an extract as is the soul. It is one of the vehicles of the spirit or one of its bodies. It is com- posed of the two higher ethers of the vital body, namely, the light and re- flecting ethers. The soul body is built by a life of love and service to humanity. Such a life not only attracts and builds in a large proportion of the two higher ethers, but in time it also causes a cleavage to take place between them and the two lower ethers. After this cleavage has been accom- plished, the soul body is separate and distinct from the lower ethers, and [PAGE 52] is available as a separate vehicle or body for use in soul flights. It is spoken of in the New Testament in the Greek version as the "soma psuchicon." It constitutes the gold and blue of our aura, and it may be seen with our etheric vision. It distinguishes the saint from the ordinary man. We are helped to built it by Christ, the indwelling Planetary Spirit of the earth, through His etheric emanations, which pass from the center of the earth out- ward and through our vital bodies on the way. The soul body is retained by the ego through the purgatorial and first heaven existences; that is, it coalesces with the desire body and the mind, and accompanies them through these two regions. Humanitarian work builds the soul body, but a low and sensual life prevents it from growing, causing the two ethers to be build in to the exclusion of the higher. When the soul body has been built, the person who possesses it is capable of leaving his physical body at will, and after some instruction he is able to traverse space from one place to another with the utmost freedom. He is able to "travel in foreign countries"; that is, he is able to go to any part of the world which he wishes, and practically with the speed of thought. The soul body does not pass through space by means of walking, neither does it fly by the aid of wings. It is propelled by the will in conjunction with the thought, and follows the direction indicated by thought. It travels almost with the speed of light, and to think oneself to be in a certain place is to be there almost instantaneously. This is a wonderfully satisfying and con- venience mode of travel. It is entirely independent of vehicles such as trains and steamboats. Moreover, there is not necessity of purchasing tick- ets or going through the trouble of getting passports. We can visit in the soul body all the countries of the world, observe their inhabitants and con- ditions and the activities going on there, then return at will to our physical bodies and surroundings. Among the important activities which are carried on in the soul body are those of an "Invisible Helper." When one has developed the soul body to the point where he can function in it during sleep, he is capable of being an Invisible Helper. He is then able to take part in the healing activities under the direction of higher beings, and is able to give help to the sick and afflicted which would otherwise be impossible. The Invisible Helpers are taught to direct streams of magnetic healing force to their patients, and some are able to materialize hands with which to manipulate the diseased portion of the patient's etheric or vital body. In addition, they are taught to speak the creative word of power, which removes diseased tissue and builds in new cells. (To be continued) Please study the preceding lesson carefully; then without consulting it, answer fully but concisely the following questions. 1] What is the difference between soul, soul body, and spirit? 2] Describe the different kinds of soul, and tell how they are obtained. 3] How may we hasten the process of soul growth? 4] How is the soul body built, and how differentiated form the lower ethers? 5] How long is the soul body retained? 6] Describe travel in the soul body. 7] What are the Invisible Helpers, and how do they heal? [PAGE 53] LESSON NO. 24: THE SOUL, SOUL BODY, AND SOUL GROWTH (Continued): During the Great War many Invisible Helpers were developed to work on the battle fields with the wounded soldiers. At the beginning of the war, how- ever, there are few available, because very few of humanity had attained to this development. As the war progressed, more and more Invisible Helpers were developed to meet the emergency, and at the end of it there were a great number at work. The soul body continues to grow after it has been born, that is, after it has been separated by cleavage from the lower ethers--provided it is fed. Like any other body it must receive food in order to grow and remain in a condition of health and strength. But if we fail to provide suitable good for the soul body after its birth, we shall experience a great soul hunger, compared with which physical hunger is as nothing. The good which must be given to its consists in acts and thoughts of love and service to others and to humanity in general as opportunity permits. Self-forgetting, self-sacrificing service builds the soul body and attracts the golden soul ethers. In the beginning of our Day of Manifestation we all started as Virgin Spirits, but even then some were more adaptable, more willing, and more pro- gressive than others, and some, therefore, proceeded into involution with greater speed and greater enthusiasm than others. Those are the ones who have become the pioneers of our present day. Those are the ones who have developed soul and the soul body more rapidly than the others. Those are the ones of whom we speak as "old souls," as contrasted with the more back- wards ones whom we call, "young souls"; not young in point of time but young as regards development. The very young ones are spoken of as the "strag- glers," those who declined to take up the work of involution and evolution, and who in many cases refused to advance, with the result that they have fallen very far behind the pioneers. Soul is the spiritualized product of the body--the result of the spirit's work in the body. There is no standing still in nature nor in evolution. We must either go forward or backward. If we go forward, we continually add to the soul which we have built in the past. If we go backward, the trans- mutation of the threefold body into soul is retarded, and evolution depends upon soul growth. In other words, the soul, really being pabulum or food for the spirit, is continually used to nourish the spirit, and it must be [PAGE 54] continually replenished if the spirit is to progress. If the lower self be- comes so strong that it overrules the ego or spirit and insists upon going backward, we become soulless. During this process the work upon the soul body ceases, because it is intimately connected with the soul. The breath record of our evil acts, which is etched into the desire body after death, is sometimes spoken of as "the soul that sinneth" and which dies through ex- purgation. This has been fully described in the lesson on purgatory. Another danger which results when the lower self becomes unruly and re- fuses to follow the promptings of the spirits is that the vehicles which it has built by involution and partially spiritualized may be lost by disinte- gration, namely, the physical, vital, desire, and mental bodies, together with their corresponding seed atoms. This is a very serious matter, because when the ego has lost its vehicles and their seed atoms it is no further means of continuing its evolution in this Day of Manifestation. It must, therefore, go back into chaos and re- main there until a new life wave starts to which it may attach itself and thus continue its evolution. But this is a great loss, and the spirit suf- fers greatly from it. The spirit or ego, however, does not die. The spirit is deathless. It was differentiated in God at the beginning as part of God, and it will forever remain such. It cannot die, but it can lose its bodies, and thus for a time be practically impotent and helpless. When the ego has lost its seed atoms, it is no longer able to come to re- birth in its present life wave. This, however, is not a total loss, because when it starts forward again in another life wave, it will start at a higher point than it did in the present cycle. This is due to the fact that since the beginning of the Saturn Period the Virgin Spirit has acquired the three veils of Divine, Life, and Human Spirit, respectively, which together with the Virgin Spirit itself constitutes the Ego. The veils of Divine, Life, and Human Spirit thus gained are retained through chaos, and give the Virgin Spirit a start in a later evolutionary day. Nevertheless the loss is great. Therefore it behooves us all to improve our opportunities to the utmost and live the life of righteousness or right-doing in order that we may accom- plish that which it was designed that we should accomplish, and incidentally gain the great joy and peace and power which will result therefrom. There is another possibility, however, that of losing all seven vehicles, thus leaving the Virgin Spirit entirely naked, so that all the work done since the beginning of the Saturn Period is lost. This is the result of ex- treme materialism and is a matter of grave concern to occult scientists. 1] What is necessary in order for the soul body to continue to grow? 2] What is the food required by the soul body? 3] What is soul hunger? 4] What do we mean by old souls, young souls, and stragglers? 5] What is the connection between evolution and soul growth? 6] What happens when the lower self refuses to follow the guidance of the spirit? 7] What results from the loss of the seed atoms, and why? 8] Why does good sense require us to live the best lives possible? 9] What causes greatest apprehension to occult scientists? [PAGE 55] LESSON NO. 25: THE PATH OF ATTAINMENT, FIRST-HAND KNOWLEDGE, AND SPIRITUAL SIGHT: The Path of Attainment is the path on which we develop our spiritual sight and spiritual powers. Spiritual sight is often spoken of as the sixth sense. Ordinary humanity has only five senses, but we all have the sixth sense dormant, and some of the pioneers have developed it. There was a time when we only had four senses fully developed; another, when we possessed three, and so on. In the period, for instance, when we only had four active senses, there were undoubtedly some who said that it was impossible to have a fifth sense; that those visionaries who told of a fifth sense were de- luded. History repeats itself. Today the rank and file of humanity have five senses, but some report the existence of a sixth. They are often re- garded by the others as being deluded. When these advanced individuals tell of realms and visions and powers of which we are not made aware by our five senses, there are always some to say that they are the product of imagina- tion. Yet we know that they are not. We know that these higher regions and powers exist. The first evidence of the development of the sixth sense consists in sen- sitiveness to the vibrations from the planes above the physical. When we have become sensitive to these vibrations, even if our sixth sense is not actively developed, we sense the fact that these higher planes exists, and we also perceive the truth in philosophies which describe them. In this class are the majority of the students of esoteric philosophy. The mere fact that they are students of this philosophy and that they are able to sense the truth in it proves that they have become more or less sensitive to superphysical vibrations. The sixth sense, or the spiritual sight by which we obtain firsthand knowledge of the higher planes, is threefold. The lowest grade is etheric sight, that by which we perceive the etheric world and the etheric entities therein, such as the nature spirits. By etheric sight we are able to see through physical objects and observe conditions in any part of them. This applies to all substances except glass. the second grade of spiritual sight is the clairvoyance of the desire world. By this sight we perceive the desire world and the desire bodies of entities living therein. In clairvoyance an object appears to be spread out before us so that we see the whole of it at a single glance. Clairaudience is another method of contacting the desire world. This enables one to hear the spiritual voices of those who live there. The third grade of spiritual sight is that by which we perceive the spiritual realities in the world of thought. Here we contact the archetypes of all existing things. These archetypes, being living entities, speak to us and convey knowledge to us about themselves. It is difficult to put knowledge obtained by this method into logical order, because we perceive it as a whole, and not as made up of parts as in the cause of our physical vi- sion. [PAGE 56] Spiritual sight may be positive or negative. The positive form is that which the student of a positive occult school develops. It is developed by living a life of purity and service, thus awakening the pituitary body and pineal gland. By certain exercises, after a spiritual life has been lived the proper length of time, the pituitary body is set into vibration in such a way that if deflects the lines of ascending sex force and causes then to pass through the pituitary body and pineal gland, thus bridging the gap be- tween the two. Thereby positive spiritual vision is obtained, which is un- der the control of the will. In the case of the occultist the greater part of the current of sex force flows upward through the spinal canal and larynx to the brain, then downward through the heart. The occultist develops the intellectual side of his nature to a greater degree than the devotional side. In the cause of the mystic the greater part of the current flow up- wards through the heart and larynx before reaching the brain. The mystic develops the heart or devotional side of nature to a greater degree than the intellectual. Both forms come under the head of positive spiritual develop- ment. The negative path of development is that of mediumship, which is devel- oped through the solar plexus and the sympathetic nervous system instead of through the brain and cerebro-spinal system. The spiritual sight which is developed by the medium is not under his control, and is not subject to his will; therefore it is a very poor kind of sight. Moreover, it is not re- tained during future lives, whereas the positive spiritual sight gained by the true occultists or mystic is thus retained. The occultist and the mystic must each in time attain the development of the other; in other words, the heart side and the head side of the nature must eventually be equally developed. The negative mediumistic stage is one which is frequently passed through by the aspirant on his way to the devel- opment of positive spiritual sight. The mediumistic state, however, is one which we should not cultivate, and it is not necessary to pass through it at all. Spiritual sight and occult powers can be safely developed only in connec- tion with a life of service to humanity. If we develop these powers from any other motive than that of co-operating with the great plan of evolution, we are in danger. If our motive in developing is the selfish desire for power for our own purposes and our own individual advantage exclusively, then we are opening up our aura to evil entities who will service us tempo- rarily in obtaining the power which we desire, but whom in turn we must eventually serve. They will exact the payment of the debt to the uttermost, and in paying the debt the aspirant is often dragged down to the depths of degradation. (To be continued) Please study the preceding lesson carefully; then without consulting it, answer fully but concisely the following questions. 1] What is the Path of Attainment? 2] Describe the sixth sense. What is the first evidence of its development? 3] Describe the three grades of spiritual sight. 4] Describe the development of positive spiritual sight. 5] How is negative spiritual vision developed, and what are its disadvantages? 6] What is the difference between the occultist and the mystic, and what must each eventually do? [PAGE 57] LESSON NO. 26: THE PATH OF ATTAINMENT, FIRST-HAND KNOWLEDGE, AND SPIRITUAL SIGHT: (Continued) Vanity over one's spiritual development admits elementals to his aura which often bring about his downfall. Therefore the Bible is scientifically correct when it warns us against pride. This is particularly dangerous af- ter we have started on the Path of Attainment. The aspirant's vehicles are sensitized on his path by the pure living which he practices and by the ex- ercises which he pursues. He must be much more careful, therefore, than the ordinary person to avoid sensuality in any form, because it will pull him down with greater rapidity than it will others. Among the first exercises which the aspirant to first-hand knowledge must practice is that of keen observation of details. It is true of the ordinary person that he has eyes but does not see. The aspirant must practice seeing everything about him with great minuteness; otherwise there will be conflict between the conscious records in the mind and the subconscious records in the vital body, and this will produce inharmony. As we pass along a street, we can improve our observation by noting distinctly all the houses and their details, including the lawns, the style of architecture, et cetera; later on we should endeavor to recall these details. By so doing we shall increase our power of observation to a marked degree. Concentration and positive thought are the next mental powers to be de- veloped. In practicing these we must hold our mind to a point and not let it wander. Though wandering destroys though power; concentration builds it up. Positive thought will ordinarily accomplish wonders in any field of en- deavor, and which will make us a success. Negative thought opens up our au- ras to entities of an undesirable nature, and if continued long enough we may become subject to their domination and helpless to protect ourselves from them. Therefore practice concentration at all times. Higher exercises for the aspirant are those of meditation and discrimina- tion, contemplation and adoration. Information regarding these can be ob- tained from the "Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception," and their study is highly recommended. The systematic repetition of spiritual truths builds them into the vital body and gradually makes them a part of the character if they are fortified by works. By this means one can make his character whatever the wishes it to be; and character is destiny. The aspirant often retards his progress by anxiety, which is a form of fear. This creates fear elementals in the mind. The aspirant should do the things which he knows to be right and then have no anxiety for the future. "Perfect love casteth out fear." Therefore if we have a tendency to fear of any kind, we can build up our finer vehicles by the practice of love in one [PAGE 58] way or another so that eventually we shall be fear-proof. This is necessary before we develop our occult powers to any great degree, because unless we are masters of fear, it is not safe for us to expose ourselves on the invis- ible planes, and it is not safe for us to travel on those planes away from the protection of our physical bodies. While we are still subject to fear, we are subject to the malevolent activities of beings on the invisible planes who would do us harm. The very fact that we feel fear proves that we are not fully capable of defending ourselves against these entities. Fear, therefore, is the first great enemy which the occult student must overcome. Some mystic students fall into the error of developing spiritual sight through the aid of drugs, crystal gazing, or wrong breathing exercises. In time disease or obsession is likely to result from these practices, because they are negative in character. They develop the spiritual sight thought he counter-clockwise vibration instead of the clockwise, and thereby those who practice them open themselves to the lower desire world and the depraved en- tities which live there. Eastern breathing exercises, not being adapted to the Westerner, in some cases life the whole vital body out of the physical, rupturing the connection between the etheric sense centers and the brain cells, causing insanity. In other cases they produce a cleavage between the life and chemical ethers, resulting in consumption. Our students are ear- nestly advised against the slightest beginnings of these practices. Deep hygienic breathing, however, is good and is recommended. Finally, equipoise on all planes is the great object to be gained by the occult student. This is threefold, consisting, first, of mental concentra- tion; second, of emotional balance; third, of spiritual power. But even when this has been obtained, even when the higher vision has been developed and we are able to leave our bodies consciously, we do not possess omni- science. We are then only at the point of beginning our education in the spiritual worlds. We must learn there exactly as we learn by a long course of patient work and patient applications to the problems of our new environ- ment. We can see, therefore, how foolish it is to follow after teachers who have developed perhaps only one of the three grades of spiritual sight, and that one perhaps imperfectly. We can also see how foolish it is to indulge in hero worship relative to any one on account of his clairvoyant develop- ment, or to take everything which he may give out as being unqualifiedly true and worthy of acceptance. Everything which is obtained from the inner world through any grade of spiritual sight must be subjected to the tests of logic and common sense, and if it cannot pass these tests, we are justified either in rejecting it or, at least, in investigating further before accept- ing it. 1] How only may occult powers be developed safely? 2] What is the effect upon the aspirant of spiritual vanity? 3] Why must the occult student guard particularly against sensuality? 4] Why should we cultivate keen observation? 5] Contrast positive thought with negative thought. Why is the former advisable? 6] What are the occult results of anxiety and fear? 7] Describe the effects of drugs, crystal gazing, and wrong breathing exercises? 8] How must first-hand spiritual knowledge be obtained? Continued with file "RC4004.TXT" End of File

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