Filename: RC5002.TXT REBIRTH: THE MASTER KEY: Have you ever stopped to think why the follo

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Filename: RC5002.TXT REBIRTH: THE MASTER KEY: Have you ever stopped to think why the following is true: that some people are poor, some rich; some deformed, some beautiful; some unfortunate, others lucky; some diseased and others healthy? Have you ever tried to find a reason for the inequality which is manifested everywhere in the world? Have you ever wondered why some members of the human family are inhabiting black bodies, o- thers brown, and still others white? And then, have you ever stopped to think just why we are here at all--what is the meaning of life which is at best is fleeting? Suppose you propound some of these questions to your friends, tabu- late their answers and compare them. It would be an interesting experiment. Some would say that the poor are shiftless and the rich thrifty. Others would tell you that the poor are just naturally unlucky, and the rich fortunate. Again, you might be told that it is not right to question the conditions found in God's world: that the Creator in His wisdom has ordained them and so they just naturally must be right. Still another explanation might be given that God is responsible for all that is good and a reprehensible being commonly known as the devil is the cause of all evil. Many there are who will look at you with tired eyes and make the following statements: that they do not know; that Christian orthodoxy does not satisfy their sense of reason; that the atheist's conclusions terrify them and consequently they are quite confused and know not which way to turn. If God is just, why does He favor some of His creations and not others? If He is not just, then certainly He is not God. On the other hand, if there is no God, then how did the world and there is therein coming to existence? Is there an answer to these various problems which are presenting themselves to the minds of the thinking people of today--an answer which is logical and which will stand the test of reason? There certainly is such an answer. The materialistic theory as postulated by the atheist can never be satisfactory to mankind. It is the child of despair. When the human mind has exhausted science, the laboratory, and the chemical retorts in its eager search for that intangible something which animates the human form, and has failed to discover it, in despair it declares that the illusive something for which it has so diligently searched is really nothing more than the result of certain correlations of matter, designated as mind, which perishes when the body disintegrates. Just why some individuals should possess a better quality of these "certain correlations" (mind) than others, this theory does not attempt to explain. The theory postulated by the orthodox theoligist is but little better. It asserts that all living things were created by God and have but one Earth life to live; that man alone was endowed with a Spirit which is immortal and, regardless of the station to which he was born, he is responsible for the deeds performed during life; that his happiness or misery after death for all eternity is determined by his actions during the short period which intervenes between birth and death. Animals, plants--in fact all else that exists--are supposed to have been created for his express convenience and use. Is it any wonder that the man or woman who really thinks ultimately rejects this theory also, and finally decides to indulge in any and all things which produce a sense of pleasure for the time being, and help him to forget that at some time he must face death, which at best is a plunge in the dark? Fortunately, there is another theory, a theory which is founded on truth. It is known by the name "rebirth." The doctrine of rebirth postulates a slow process of development carried on with unwavering persistence through repeated embodiments in forms or bodies of increasing efficiency. Through this process, all created beings will in time develop their latent potentialities into god- like powers. The God of our solar system creates in life waves and the beings belonging to each particular life wave do not cross into others. The life waves with which we are most familiar are the mineral, plant, animal, and human. Each life wave is composed of a large number of Virgin Spirits endowed in potentiality with all the powers of their Divine Creator, and the beings of each life wave will ultimately attain godhood. Each life wave develops in a manner particularly suited to its own inherent nature. The beings belonging to the angelic life wave will never become archangels. They will attain godhood by working along an entirely different line of development. Our humnaity will never become angels; our development will be entirely different. The animals will never become human beings such as we are, although they will pass through a "human-like" stage. We have never been animals, yet we have passed through an animal-like stage. Similarly, the plants will pass through an animal-like stage in a later period, and the minerals will reach the plant stage. In neither case, however, will they be of the same type as our present animals and plants. Each life wave has its own separate and distinct method of development, but eventually the Virgin Spirits composing it will attain perfection, for that is the ultimate object of evolution. Now let us see how the theory of rebirth answers the problems of life: Why are some people poor and others rich? Each life is one day in God's great school. Some of us are learning one kind of lesson and some are learning o- thers. Those who are poor in one particular life are learning lessons pertaining to the true value of certain commodities, lessons in inventiveness which pertain to the best way to get the greatest amount of supply. They are learning how to plan and to appreciate everything which they possess. Those who have wealth are learning what its true value is to them. They are learning its real purchasing power; whether it can exalt or degrade, whether it is a blessing or a curse. They are learning that it can sometimes buy a man's honor and a woman's virtue; that it may result in its owner's downfall, but that it can never purchase the things which are of true value to the Spirit. Eventually, all people entrusted with money must learn the lesson that they are only stewards of their possessions and that it behooves them to use wisely and well that with which they have been entrusted. Why are some deformed in body? Generally speaking, no Spirit can inhabit a better body than it has learned to build during its previous lives, but the following is the exception to the rule: with regard to physical abnormalities and deformities, the rule seems to be that indulgence in passion in one life reacts on the mental state in a later existence; and abuse of mental powers in one life leads to physical disabilities in later existences. On the other hand, a beautiful form denotes that the owner had done expert work in body building during previous lives, sometimes to the detriment of the mental processes. Unfortunate people are those who have wilfully neglected opportunities in previous lives. Now they are deprived of the very thing they once held lightly in order to teach them to appreciate opportunities when they are again presented. The lucky man or woman in one life has earned that which seems to come to him or her so easily in this life. It is in reality a reward of merit. The individual whose body is diseased has broken the laws of nature either in this life or some other one and is now paying the penalty. The healthy man or woman has paid much attention to perfect organ formation in the past. Why is one born in a particular race? each race is following a definite line of evolution. We all have certain lessons to learn and the Egos inhabiting bodies of various colors do so in order to experience soul growth, which can only be attained under the particular conditions supplied by these race differences. We should, therefore, make every attempt to profit by the conditions of our birth and regard each situation as a privilege accorded to us for spiritual advancement. When we fail to make the best use of our embodiments, we take a step backward in our evolutionary development and increase the time needed to free ourselves from the cycle of rebirth. Rebirth intelligently accounts for all the inequalities in life. Conditions as we find them are the composite results of all our past endeavors or lack of endeavors. Each man or woman is an exact sum of all his or her past activities and not the victim of a capricious God or scheming evil one. We have no one to blame but ourselves if we have made a mess of things. If we are not satisfied with life as we find it, now is the time to begin to prepare an improved environment for future lives; and if we are really wide awake at last and desperately in earnest, it is quite possible for us to improve our surroundings in the present incarnation. The intelligent person of today is no longer satisfied with platitudes when searching for truth in relation to life. Therefore, we ask each person who is seeking for a solution to the many problems which life presents to apply this master key, rebirth, and prove for himself or herself its true efficacy. UNDERSTANDING THE ANIMALS: Do animals think? We know that some animals appear to do so, but they are the highest domesticated animals which have come into close touch with man for generations and have thus developed a faculty not possessed by other animals which have not had that advantage. This is on the same principle that a highly charged wire will "induce" a weaker current of electricity in a wire brought close to it; or that a man of strong morals will arouse a like tendency in a weaker nature. All we do, say, or are reflects itself in our surroundings. This is why the domestic animals seem to think. They are the highest of their kind, almost to the point of individualization, and man's thought vibrations have "induced" in them a similar activity of a lower order. Only man possessed the complete chain of vehicles correlating him to all divisions of the three worlds. The animal lacks one link of this chain, the mind. The animal "Spirit" has in its descent reached only the Desire World. It has not yet evolved to the point where it can "enter" a dense body. There- fore the animal has no individual indwelling Spirit such as man possesses, but a Group-Spirit which directs it from without. The animal has the dense body, the vital body, and the desire body. There is a point between the eye brows and about one half inch below the surface of the skin which has a corresponding point in the vital body of a human being. These two points were as far apart in the men and women of the early Atlantean days as they are in the animals of our day. They are closer together in the dog than in any other animal, execept perhaps, the elephant. The vital body and the desire body of an animal are not entirely within the dense body, especially where the head is concerned. For instance, the etheric head of a horse projects far beyond and above the dense, physical head. When, as in rare cases it happens, the etheric head of the horse draws into the head of the dense body, the horse can then learn to read, count, and work examples in elementary arithmetic, etc. Among the animal prodigies who were so accomplished and attracted attention from far and near were the four Elberfeld horses of West Prussia, in which scientists became interested just before World War I. All four horses died during the war, however, before any accepted explanation was forthcoming. There was also the shy little mare in the United States by the name of Lady Wonder. Her mistress had a typewriter especially built for her, on which she typed out the answers to questions from her many visitors. For the same reason it is a fact that horses, dogs, cats, and other domesticated animals sense the Desire World, though not always realizing the difference between it and the Physical World. A horse will shy at the sight of a figure invisible to the driver; a cat will go through the motions of rubbing itself against invisible legs. The cat sees the ghost, however, without realizing that it has no dense legs available for frictional purposes. The dog, wiser than the cat or horse, often will sense that there is something he does not understand about the appearance of a dead master whose hand it cannot lick. It will howl mournfully and slink into a corner. The following illustration may perhaps be of service to show the differ- ence between the man with his indwelling Spirit and the animal with his Group Spirit. Let us imagine a room divided by means of a curtain, one side of the curtain representing the Desire World and the other side the Physical World. There are two men in the room, one in each division; they cannot see each o- ther nor can they get into the same division. Ther are, however, ten holes in the curtain, and the man who is in the division, representing the Desire World, can put his ten fingers through these holes into the other divisions, representing the Physical World. He now furnishes an excellent representation of the Group Spirit which is in the Desire World. The fingers represent the animals belonging to one species. He is able to move them as he wishes, but he cannot use them as freely nor as intelligently as the man who is walking about in the physical division uses his body. The latter sees the fingers which are thrust through the curtain, and he observes that they all move, but he does not see the connection between them. To him it appears that they are all separate and distinct from one another. He cannot see that they are the fingers of the man behind the veil and are governed in their movements by his intelligence. If he hurts one of the fingers, it is not one of the fingers that is hurt, but chiefly the man on the other side of the curtain. If an animal is hurt, it suffers, but not to the degree that the Group Spirit does. The finger has no individual consciousness; it does as the man dictates; so do the animals move as the Group Spirit dictates. We hear of "animal instinct" and "blind instinct." There is nothing "blind" about the way the Group Spirit guides its members; there is WISDOM in the Desire World, spelled with capitals. The trained clarivoyant, when functioning in the Desire World, can communicate with these Spirits of the aninmal spe- cies and finds them much more intelligent than a large percentage of human beings. He can see the marvelous insight they display in marshalling the anmials which as their physical bodies. The separate animal Spirits are as yet not self-conscious, hence they act without question according to the sug- gestions of the Group Spirit. The Group Spirit is an entity belonging to a different evolution, and it functions in the invisible worlds where things are much more apparent than they are here. It follows, therefore, that what we call instinct is really the suggestions of the Group Spirit in the invisible world which guides the animals. The Spirit of the group gathers its flock of birds in the fall and compels them to migrate to the south, neither too early nor too late to escape the winter's chilly blast. It directs their return in the spring, causing them to fly at just the proper altitude, which differs for the different species. The Group Spirit of the beaver teaches it to build its dam across a stream at exactly a proper angle. It considers the rapidity of the flow and all the circumstances, precisely as a skilled engineer would do, showing that it is up-to-date in every particular of the craft as is the college bred, tech- nically educated man or woman. The wisdom of the Group Spirit directs the building of the hexagon cell of the bee with such geometrical nicety; it teaches the snail to fashion its house in an accurate, beautiful spiral; it teaches the ocean mollusk the art of decorating its iridescent shell. Wisdom, wisdom everywhere! so grand, so great, that one who looks with an observant eye is filled with amazement and reverence. Owing to the spiral path of evolution, the higher domesticated animals, particularly the dog, horse, cat, and elephant see objects somewhat similarly as man--in sharp, distinct outlines. The relation of plant, animal, and man to the life currents in the Earth's atmosphere are symbolically represented by the cross, and the animal, which is symbolized by the horizontal limb of the cross, is between the plant and the man. Its spine is in a horizontal position, and through it play the currents of the animal Group Spirit, which is the guardian of the animal Spirits. No animal can be made to remain constantly upright, because in that case the currents of the Group Spirit could not guide it, and if it were sufficiently individualized to endure the spiritual currents which enter the vertical human spine, it would die. Animals have only twenty-eight pairs of spinal nerves, and they are keyed to the lunar moth of twenty-eight days, as compared to man who has thirty-one pairs of spinal nerves which key him to the solar month. Therefore, the animal is dependent upon the Group Spirit for an infusion of stellar rays necessary to produce consciousness. They are altogether incapable of absorbing the direct rays of the Sun. The animals are our "younger brother" and though they are not now so finely organized, they eventually will reach a stage as high as our own. We then shall have ascended still higher. There are occult reasons clearly ex- plained in "The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception" by Max Heindel as to why the breeding of animals should be carefully supervised, for the well being and advancement of the entire animal kingdom. Animals in their wild state are exempt from sickness and pain because their propagation is carried on under the care and direction of the wise Group Spirit at only those times of the year which are propitious to that purpose. The enlightened know the animals to by their "younger brothers" and should help them as we are being helped along the path, and for an aspirant to high ideals to kill--either in person or by proxy--is out of the question. At the present stage of our evolu- tionary journey, everyone knows inherently that it is wrong to kill, and man will love and protect animals in all cases where his greed and selfish in- terests do not blind him to their rights. The law protects a cat or a dog against wanton cruelty. Except in "sports," that most wanton of all our cruelties against the animal creation, it is always for the sake of money that animals are murdered and bred to be murdered. By the devotees of "sport," the helpless creatures are shot down to no purpose save to build up a false idea of prowess upon the part of the huntsman. It is hard to understand how people who appear otherwise sane and kindly can trample upon all their gentle instincts and revert to savagery, killing for sheer lust of blood and joy in destruction. It is certainly a reversion to the lowest savage animal instincts, and can never be dignified into the remotest semblance of anything "manly." After death an animal persists for a longer or shorter time, according to the stage of its evolution, in a desire body made of the material of the Desire World. Even the beetle that is stepped upon on the road may be seen by the clairvoyant to walk a few feet away and then gradually fade to nothingness. It persists only a few moments in its shape before the Spirit returns to the central source of the Group Spirit. In the case of the horse or cow or any of the higher animals, there is a correspondingly longer time and more consciousness in the Desire World than in the case of these lower forms. The animal Spirits sent by the Group Spirit into incarnation from time to time into the animal bodies of its tribe, one Spirit to each body, return to the Group Spirit at death, having gained a higher grade of consciousness than when they were born. This helps the Group Spirit to evolve, and in re- turn it governs the spirits of the separate animals in its tribe. After the death of the physical body, the spirit of the animal passes out of the dead body and soon returns to the Group Spirit. The love and care which we have given them naturally furthers them greatly in their evolution. While the wild animals act entirely under the dictates of the Group Spirit by what we call instinct, the domestic animals show a capability of thought entirely beyond their normal evolution at the present time. Since we know the domestic animals learn from us and that every kind act we do for them aids them in their progress, we may safely infer that the animals which have become domesticated will in time become the teachers of their less advanced brothers. The service rendered by the lower to the higher as stepping-stones can only be paid for by SERVICE. The higher owes the lower a debt of gratitude. Christ recognized this, that without pupils there could be no teacher, and in gratitude for the privilege of teaching and bringing into the world the wonderful Christian Religion. He washed His disciples' feet. In future aeons the lower kingdoms now acting as stepping-stones and a means of growth and experience to us will need help and service, which must then be given by us. Thus the human race, which now abuses the animals, will then have to act as their servitors, aiding them to attain the very utmost from the school of evolution as it will be carried on in that day. The animal spirits whose bodies are now tortured in the vivisection hells for no purpose, or slaughtered for food, will in that day become our pu- pils, and it will be our duty as their guardians to help them grow and propa- gate the life man now deprives them of. Vivisection is looked upon by all oc- cult students as an abomination and among the blackest of all crimes. If it were only possible for the vivisectionist to realize what is in store for them after death, vivisection would be abolished, and the torture chambers would be empty. As Christians we believe it to be our duty to avoid sacri- ficing the lives of animals for any purpose whatsoever. We hold vivisection to be diabolical and inhuman. It is evident that evolutionary progress is elevating the lower kingdoms as well as humanity. The animals, particularly the domesticated species, are nearing individualization, and their withdrawal from manifestation has al- ready commenced. As a result it will in time be impossible to obtain flesh food. Then the death knell of "King Alcohol" will have struck, for only flesh eaters crave liquor. In the Rosicrucian terminology, the names of the seven periods of our Earth are as follows: 1) The Saturn Period; 2) The Sun Period; 3) The Moon Period; 4) The Earth Period; 5) The Jupiter Period (Animals will reach a stage similar to ours in devel- opment but under different conditions in the Jupiter Period); 6) The Venus Period (Plants will be the humanity here under different condi- tions); 7) The Vulcan Period (Minerals will reach the human stage under the condi- tions here.). These periods are past, present, or future incarnations of our Earth, con- ditions through which it has passed, is now passing, or will pass in the fu- ture. From the point at which the pioneers our our life wave occupied ape-like forms, they have progressed to their present stage of development, while the "missing link" the scientists have been searching for these many years, have degenerated and are now ensouled by the last stragglers of the Saturn Period. The lower monkeys, instead of being the progenitors of the higher species, are stragglers occupying the most degenerated specimens of what was once the human form. Instead of man having ascended from the anthropoids, the re- verse is true--the anthropoids have degenerated from man. Material science, dealing ONLY with form, has thus misled itself and drawn erroneous conclusions in this matter. Each life-wave, however, remains definitely confined within its own bor- ders. The anthropoids may overtake us and become human beings, but no other animal will reach our particular point of development. They will reach a simi- lar stage, but under different conditions, in the Jupiter Period. Science has discovered that haemolysis results from the innoculation of the blood of one individual into the veins of another of a different spe- cies, causing the death of the lower of the two. Thus any animal innoculated with the blood of a man dies. The blood of a dog transfused into the veins of a bird kills the bird, but it will not hurt the dog to have the bird's blood innoculated into its veins. When the blood of a higher animal is innoculated into the veins of one from a lower species, the Spirit in the blood of the higher animal, of course, is stronger than the Spirit of the less evolved; hence, when it endeavors to assert itself, it kills the imprisoning form and liberates itself. When, on the other hand, the blood of a lower species is innoculated into the veins of a higher animal, the higher Spirit is capable of ousting the less evolved Spirit in the strange blood and assimilating the blood to its own purpose, therefore no VISIBLE catastrophe ensues. The Group Spirit always aims to preserve the integrity of its domain in the blood of the species under its charge. It resents the breeding of a- nimals which produce hybrids. When a horse and a donkey produce a mule for instance, the mixture of strange blood destroys the propagative faculty so as not to perpetuate the hybrid which is an abomination from the standpoint of the Group Spirit. The mule is not so definitely under the domination of the Group Spirit of the horse or of the Group Spirit of the donkey as is the pure breed, yet it is not so far away as to be entirely exempt from their in- fluence. Therefore, as the Group Spirit of the animals sends the separate Spirits of the animals into embodiment, it simply withholds the fertilizing seed- atom when animals of widely differing species are mated. It permits one of its charges to take advantage of an opportunity for re-embodiment when two animals of nearly the same nature are mated, but refuses to let the hybrids perpetuate themselves. Thus, we see that the infusion of strange blood weakens the hold of the Group Spirit, and that, therefore, it destroys either the form or the propagative faculty where it has the power. Ella Wheeler Wilcox offers the rightful claim of the entire animal kingdom in the following beautiful words: I am the voice of the voiceless; Through me the dumb shall speak, Till a deaf world's ear Shall be made to hear The wrongs of the wordless weak. The same force formed the sparrow That fashioned man the King. The God of the Whole Gave a spark of soul To furred and feathered thing. And I am my brother's keeper; And I will fight his fight, And speak the word For beast and bird Till the world shall set things right. EASTERN AND WESTERN SPIRITUAL ALTERNATIVES: SCIENTIFIC MATERIALISM: Present-day scientific materialism presents a great challenge to spiritual truth-seekers the world over. The purpose of this pamphlet is to discuss the major alternatives to materialism which are available to present-day spiritual aspirants. Scientific materialism is based on the premise that nothing can be known except that which is observed through the five senses or measured by machines. Thus, materialism recognizes only the Physical World and its laws. It originates from the theories of Charles Darwin, Auguste Comte, Herbert Spencer, Sigmund Freud, Karl Marx, and Friedrich Engels, among others. These theories hold that man, as well as all life-forms that exist on our planet, are the result of chemical forces which interact on a haphazard manner. Thus, man is an accidental end-result, without any real purpose for existence. Man's survival as a psychological organism requires balance between the inner forces, which surge from the unconscious, and the outer forces, which impinge from social and environmental sources. Although he must try to gratify his inner urges without provoking a threat from without, he has no direct control over either the inner or the outer forces. The solution to the human dilemma, according to the logical implications of materialism, is to control the inner urges through such things as drugs and behavior modification and to control the outer forces through direct manipulation of political, social, and economic structures. With this concept of man, there is no individual responsibility because, at any particular point in time, man is merely the result of factors over which he has no control. As an example, man's behavior often is blame on "genetics" or "education" or "poverty." In this theory, man does not have an individual free will for which he can be held responsible; he simply reacts to the inner and outer stimuli which he perceives. If responsibility for man's destiny is placed on social institutions, rather than on man himself, the intrinsic worth of the individual also is denied. As the materialistic view has grown stronger and stronger, especially in the Western World, there has been a corresponding increase in the number of people who reject it. They have grown disillusioned at the over-mechanized, over-intellectualized, de-humanized society which has resulted from materialistic thought. These truth-seekers perceive an intrinsic worth and integrity in the individual human being--something of a transcendental nature. They feel that people possess an individual free will which is not merely a response to social or biological stimuli, but an independent assertion of the identity of the individual. Also, they perceive that the Physical World is not all that exists--that beyond outer appearances lie inner realities which are the cause of what expresses itself outwardly. LIBERAL AND CONSERVATIVE CHURCHES: Where can this group of truth-seekers go to find confirmation for their beliefs? Many go to the churches in hopes of encountering a spiritual answer for their inquiries. Some find solace there, but some do not. Of those who leave the churches, many do so because they find in them the same materialistic philosophy which they are trying to avoid, even though it may be clothed with the appearance of spirituality. In particular, there are two trends in churches today which are likely to exemplify materialistic thought. One such trend is "liberal." "Liberal" churches attempt to "accommodate" themselves to the times by embracing the scientific, materialistic view of man. To them, salvation is collective rather than individual and is achieved by establishing a "Heaven-on-Earth" through social, economic, or political reform. They seem to have forgotten Christ's statement, "My kingdom is not of this world." (John 18:36) The other major trend is "conservative." "Conservative" churches are likely to place a literal, historic, and anthropomorphic interpretation on what are really spiritual experiences and cosmic symbols. While insisting on the physical reality of things such as Jonah's whale, they fail to perceive the spiritual reality behind such accounts. Thus, they interpret the Bible in the same way that scientific materialism interprets the Physical World: through the five senses. In addition, most churches limit their concept of man to one short life on Earth. The decisions he make here will affect his existence for all eternity. Thus, one can understand why there are spiritual truth-seekers who feel impelled to search elsewhere. TWO ALTERNATIVES: In the world today, there are two major alternatives to materialism. One is through the wisdom of the East; the other is through the wisdom of the West, or esoteric Christianity. It may surprise some that there really are Wisdom Teachings in the West. They may have thought that the popular, exoteric churches were all that Christianity had to offer. Yet all major world religions have had their deeper mystery teachings, and Christianity is no exception. There are very basic differences in the Eastern and Western approaches to materialism. According to the Eastern approach, the aspirant strives for direct spiritual enlightenment through meditative exercises. The goal is to attain illumination in the shortest time possible. In order to lead a meditative life, it becomes necessary to withdraw from the material world, at least to a certain extent. Therefore, non-Eastern people who espouse Eastern ideals often join an ashram of form a community in which part of their time may be spent in experiencing an awareness of God in all things. Western Wisdom teaches an altogether different approach to materialism. In the West, where materialism has reached its greatest strength, there has developed a rational approach to the world which has brought about great advances in understanding and using it. The advent of scientific thought in the West brought to an end the ignorance and superstition of the Middle Ages which caused untold misery and suffering. Therefore, Western Wisdom does not shy away from scientific discoveries and materiality. Rather, it would use them for spiritual purposes. In other words, whereas the Eastern approach advocates, explicitly or implicitly, the withdrawal from the material world, the Western Wisdom advocates work in and with the material world for the purpose of spiritualizing it. Its motto is "Be ye in the world, but not of it." Man, as a Spirit, has as his present field of activity the Physical World, and has as his instrument a physical body. These are not conditions to be shunned or avoided, for they are the results of the efforts of an all-wise Creator. They are to be used so that man, the Spirit, can learn to become a divine creative intelligence as is his Heavenly Father, able to create on all levels of existence. Having mentioned briefly the basic way in which the Eastern and Western philosophies differ in regard to materialism,let us consider other differences in these philosophies. CONCEPT OF CHRIST: The crucial way in which the two philosophies differ is in their concept of the Christ. Many Oriental teachings are silent on the subject. Some Eastern philosophies, especially those which are promulgated in the West, acknowledge Jesus as a great Teacher who attained Christ-consciousness, or enlightenment, similar to that attained by Krishna or Buddha. They teach that devotion to Jesus, to the exclusion of other great Teachers, unnecessarily limits an aspirant to truth. If truth is universal, then Teachers thoughout history are equally worthy of study. In fact, the more widely one studies from different sources, the more likely one is to arrive at a fuller understanding of the truth. The concept presented above indicates a lack of understanding regarding the spiritual evolution of our planet. It is quite possible to arrive at certain conclusions but, if one does not consider all the factors involved, no matter how logical the conclusions may sound, they will be erroneous because relevant factors have been left out. The factor left out in the Eastern philosophies is the Christ. Christ was not the man Jesus; He is not merely a lofty state of consciousness or an abstract concept. Christ is a divine, self-conscious Being, the highest Initiate of the archangelic life-wave. He is a representative of the Godhead: the "Word" which "was made flesh and dwelt among us." (John 1:14) His incarnation in the body of Jesus was totally unique in the history of the world. It enabled humanity to overcome the Physical World, transmute the physical body, and eventually conquer death itself. CHRIST, REGENT OF THE EARTH: Christ's entrance into the Earth at the time of the Crucifixion made Him the Regent of the Earth. This event was the most important spiritual impulse in the evolution of our planet. Previous to the coming of Christ, the Regent of the Moon, Jehovah, had guided our planet from without. He took the spiritual solar forces and reflected them indirectly to Earth, because mankind was not yet able to withstand the direct spiritual rays from the Sun. He did so by giving mankind tribal, national, and race religions, which include Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism, Taoism, Confucianism, Zoroastrianism, and all other Oriental religions. At the coming of the Christ, mankind was given the first direct spiritual impulse from the Sun. Ever since, the Christ Spirit incarnates into our planet at the Autuman Equinox each year, is "born" in the center of the Earth at Christmas, and "dies" and is "resurrected" into the higher worlds at Easter, bringing an increasingly stronger spiritual impulse from the Sun, the Source of all life and light in our solar system. Such all-important cosmic events are too important to be ignored by any philosophy which claims to lead men to God. Only through the solar forces brought by the Christ can we hope to enter into the etherealized condition of the Epoch to come. Even Eastern people, after passing through a stage of materialism, eventually must take the next step in their spiritual development and respond to the higher spiritual vibrations of the Christ. The concept of Oriental teachings concerning the Christ is deficient. It is to be expected that the Mystery Teaching of Christianity present a higher concept of the Christ than teachings from Eastern sources. Not only is there a serious discrepancy between Eastern and Western approaches concerning the central impulse development, but also the methods of spiritual attainment are quite different. THE WEDDING GARMENT: In the first place, the Western Teaching stresses physical action as a method of spiritualizing the higher bodies of the individual. Every action in harmony with the Christ impulse causes growth in the spiritual bodies. For the Westerner, it is only through orderly, systematic work for the Christ in the material world that he builds what Christ called "the Wedding Garment" in one of his parables (Matt. 22:11) or what Paul called "soma psuchicon" or "soul body." Meditation, dietary changes, and chanting may sensitize Western bodies to the spiritual worlds, but only work in materiality will cause the soul body to grow. It is essential that the soul body be built if we are to pass into the etherialized Epoch to come. Otherwise our future development will be retarded and we will become stragglers in evolution. SPIRITUAL EXERCISES: In the second place, ther are great differences in the type of exercises given for spiritual development. It is important that a distinction be made between the two approaches, because the brain organization is different in Eastern and Western bodies. The Eastern brain is especially adapted for metaphysical thought, because the ethers of the etheric body are as yet loosely interwoven with the physical body and are, therefore, passively receptive to spiritual impacts. However, the lack of tight organization causes difficulty for the individual Easterner in coping with and mastering the external world. On the other hand, the Westerner has a brain organization well-suited for work in the objective, material world. Because the ethers are closely interwoven in the Westerner's brain, the Eatern methods of development tend to derange the Westerner's faculties instead of spiritualizing them. Bodily positions which cause etheric currents to course in specific direc- tions may be detrimental to a Westerner, but the most harmful discipline for a Westerner to undertake is breathing exercises. Breathing exercises can cause severe reactions: from susceptibility to infectious diseases in some, to insanity and even death in others. Attempts to raise the spiritual spinal fire and open the sense centers, or chakras, are difficult for Westerners and would have severely deleterious results should they be accomplished without adequate development of the spiritual bodies. The safest exercises for Westerners are those given by the Mystery School relative to the Christian religion. REBIRTH: Another major difference is the Western and Eastern views of reincar- nation, or rebirth. The Western students of the Mysteries agree with their Eastern counterparts that human beings are reborn from age to age in different bodies under varying circumstances. The point of difference seems to be the purpose behind the fact of rebirth. The goal in the East is to escape from the wheel of reincarnation by reaching a state of Nirvana, or enlightenment. This state is attained by withdrawal from the material world and dedication to the elimination of desires and actions. The idea is that by refraining from every new cause, there eventually will be no more future karma to pay off and, therefore, no reason to return to physical existence. It is for this reason that the Eastern aspirant adapts a passive and disinterested attitude toward life. The Western aspirant, in contrast, sees material life as a school of experience which must be mastered if he is to become a creator like his Heavenly Father. Christ said, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do..." (John 14:12). Rather than trying to be liberated from the cycle of rebirth, the Western aspirant uses his sojourn in the material world to the greatest spiritual advantage possible. Thus, he builds the soul body and, in time, after having learned all the lessons the material world has to offer, he becomes an Adept and rises above the Law of Rebirth. However, even in that exalted state, he does not shirk his duty to his younger brothers, but assumes a physical body with which to serve them. Even the Christ "took upon himself the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of man." (Phil. 2:7) Service in our present environment is the shortest, safest, and most joyful road to God. LAW OF CAUSE AND EFFECT: The Eastern philosophies emphasize the fact of karma, that is, the Law of Cause and Effect. Each act we perform generates causes which later come back to us. If we have committed evil in past lives, we must "pay off" this evil in a later life by experiencing evil ourselves. This is why Easterners lead lives of asceticism. The Bible acknowledges this Law. "Whatever a man soweth, so also shall he reap." (Gal. 6:7) The Christ, however, fulfilled and superseded this Law with a new one: the Law of Grace. The Law of Grace affirms that we do not have to suffer the consequences of our former acts if we so repent of them that we would never commit them again. We then come under grace through repentance and are "forgiven for our sins." The forgiveness of sins, rather than the painful and laborious expiation of them, is unique to Western Teachings. MASTER OR FRIEND: Another great difference in the two approaches is that the Mystery School for the Christian religion does not have masters or gurus. The Western pupils have no master. The Christ said, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you." (John 15:14,16) There is a tremendous difference between the position of a servant and that of a friend. The servant without any question obeys the commands of his master, as the Oriental pupil obeys the commands of his guru. However, the word "friend" implies equality. DEVELOPING SELF-RELIANCE: Rather than remain dependent on outside sources, Western pupils must stand alone and rely on their own inner forces. As a result, they develop self- reliance, independence, and self-determination. If we are to become creators in our own right, we must develop our own will-power, so that we can apply it to help and heal others. Only someone who is strong himself can hope to help others. Both Eastern and Western spiritual aspirants must confront the widespread growth of materialism, but the Christian Mystery School teaches that Western methods are best for Western people. Furthermore, it teaches that the Western approach eventually must be embraced by the Easterner. In the book "The Rosi- crucian Cosmo-Conception," Max Heindel states that esoteric Christianity is destined to be the world-religion: "Buddha, great, grand, and sublime, may be the Light of Asia, but Christ will yet be acknowledged the Light of the World. As the Sun outshines the brightest star in the heavens, dispels every vestige of darkness and gives life and light to all beings, so, in a not too distant future, will the true religion of Christ supersede and obliterate all other religions to the eternal benefit of mankind." THE AQUARIAN AGE: ASTROLOGICAL ASPECTS: Many statements are being made in public mass media about the Aquarian Age. Frequently an observer will comment that the Aqaurian Age has arrived, that it will last for this or that period of time, that it is the result of one or another astronomical or astrological phenomenon, that it has certain characteristics, or that, under its influence, human beings will be more apt to perform certain specific actions than others. In an attempt to clarify the confusion which exusts about this subject, The Rosicrucian Fellowship teachings about the Aquarian Age are presented here. The Aquarian Age has not yet arrived, although its influences are already being felt, and it will not be fully with us for over six hundred more years--or in approximately 2,600 A.D. The fact that, nevertheless, some authorities claim that we are already in the Aquarian Age possibly may be explained by the difference between the zodiacal constellations and the so-called "intellectual zodiac." A certain group of fixed stars in the heavens is called Aries; another group, located close to it, is called Taurus; a third group is called Gemini, and so on. These twelve constellations, or groups of stars, as seen in the heavens, always remain in the same group and in about the same relative position one to another. Through these constellations, the Sun circles from year to year with unvarying precision, but owing to the fact that the axis of the Earth inclines toward the Sun and has a wobbling motion, similar to that of a spinning top which has almost spent its force, the motion of the Sun appears to be uneven. Each year, when it enters the constellation Aries, crossing the Earth's equator, it is a little earlier than the year before. It precedes, and therefore astronomers speak of the "precession of the equinox." That is, the Sun appears to cross the equator at the vernal equinox, or the start of spring, each year, a short distance before it reaches the point where it crossed the preceding year. Thus if one year it crossed in the first degree of Aries, the next year it would cross slightly within the constellation Pisces. The following year it would be still farther away in Pisces from the first point of Aries, and so on. This backward motion, however, is so slow that it takes nearly seventy years to move through one degree, or twenty-one hundred years to go through one sign, or approximately twenty-six thousand years to go backward through the twelve signs. This latter period is called a Great Sidereal Year. Astronomers usually speak of "degrees of right ascension," by which they divide the circle of the heavens into the usual number of three hundred and sixty degrees, starting with the point where the Sun crosses the equator at the next preceding vernal equinox. But they also call the first thirty de- grees from that point Aries, the second thirty degrees Taurus, etc., as does the astrologer. Thus there is a natural zodiac composed of stars in the heavens which change so little that it is imperceptible in one lifetime or even in several hundred years, and the intellectual zodiac which starts from the point of the vernal equinox for any year. Seeing that the Sun by precession travels backward among the signs of the zodiac, it will be understood that there must come a time when the vernal equinox occurs in the first point of Aries; and thus during that year the in- tellectual and natural zodiacs agree. This occurred the last time in about the year 500 A.D., and as the Sun has been travelling backwards at its accus- tomed rate of one degree in about seventy years, it is evident that at the present time the vernal equinox occurs in about nine degrees of Pisces. Thus it will be about 2,600 A.D. before it actually enters the constellation Aqua- rius. The Aquarian Age may be said to start at that time, and it will last approximately 2,100 years while the Sun moves backward through the thirty de- grees of the sign Aquarius. There is, however, no definite and sharp cut-off such as we make when we say that we enter the year 1969 at midnight on the night of December 31, 1968, or that 1969 will continue until midnight of December 31, 1969. That is a mathematical division of time. The various e- pochs of human existence, however, depend upon vital influences in life, and are conditions of mind rather than division of time, though the two are linked. Therefore, astrologers recognize what is called an "orb of influence." To understand this, we must realize that every human being is something more than that which we see--that he has surrounding him an aura, an invisible atmosphere, a "something" which radiates from him and which partakes of his distinct and personal nature. Man has, in other words, certain vehicles which are invisible to ordinary vision and which extend beyond the physical body. Thus, when we stand close to another person, the invisible bodies intermingle, and at times when we are very quiet and passive these subtle influences are more readily felt than at other times, though they exist and are powerful factors in our lives at all times. Suppose that someone has his whole mind concentrated upon his work so that he neither hears nor sees what is happening about him. Gradually he becomes aware that someone else has entered the room--is, in fact, standing behind him--and he turns around to find a friend. He had not heard the friend enter because he was so absorbed in his work, but he FELT him, because the aura of the friend intermingled with his own auric atmosphere. Thus, though there was no physical contact, he knew that someone was close by. "As above, so below," and vice versa. This is the Law of Analogy, the master key to the mysteries. Man is the microcosm and the stars are the macrocosm. The constellations are groups of great Spirits who have immured themselves in their starry bodies in order to help less advanced intelligences gain the experiences of evolution. We may conclude that these great Spirits have subtle vehicles similar to the auric atmosphere of our Earth. Hence, the proximity of the Sun to the constellation Aquarius at the time of the vernal equinox transmits these influences to the Earth along with the solar rays, and as the spring is the particular time when everything on Earth is impregnated with life, we also may judge that the Aquarian Ray thus transmitted will make itself felf among the people of the Earth. We readily recognize the Piscean influence during the last two thousand years. The superstition, intellectual bondage, and blind faith through which civilization has passed are well known to historians. On the other hand, however, the influences of the Piscean Age were necessary in the process of evolution. The Teachings of love and altruism which Christ brought to our Earth were so foreign to the Religion of Law--and of fear--which had come before that they could not begin to take effect among the majority of mankind without the stressing of faith, even a blind faith which included the doctrine of the "Vicarious Atonement." During the Piscean Age--which will perhaps be remembered as the Age of Faith in contrast to the Aquarian Age of Reason--the tenets of the new Christianity (love and unselfishness) were taught to an ever-increasing circle of believers. Abstinence from flesh-eating was practiced on certain days. Reverence was paid to an Immaculate Virgin. Gradually man was and is being taught to forsake the lusts of the flesh and also lusting after the flesh. In the six hundred years which remain before the Aquarian Age is definitely ushered in, we in all probability will make great strides in both of these areas of consciousness. It is well to remember, also, that Jupiter, the planet of benevolence and philanthropy which is co-ruler of Pisces, has been a prominent factor in promoting altruism during the past two millenia. If we now can find out what the influence of the sign Aquarius is, we shall learn more about the Aquarian Age. AGE OF INNOVATIONS: Information about the influence of Aquarius comes to us through a study of astrology. Aquarius has an intellectual influence which is original, inventive, mystic, scientific, altruistic, and religious. If we apply the biblical standard, "By their fruits ye shall know them," we would expect to see that the Aquarian Age would be ushered in by original endeavors along all lines connected with science, religion, mysticism, and altruism. And indeed, this seems to be true. We now can look back upon a period of nearly a century in which the Sun by precession has traveled a little over one degree in the orb towards Aquarius. During that time we find that there has been a very marked change in all lines of thought and endeavor from that which history records throughout the past two millenia. Consider only the inventions of the past century, from telephone, telegraph, and radar, to the new, highly complex machinery for space travel. These, and myriad more, are marking Aquarian progress in the physical world. We also note the rapid rate at which all the movements of liberal thought in religious matters are superseding the old creedbound conditions, and the increasing number of those who have developed spiritual sight and are investigating the trend in evolution in the higher planes. The study of astrology has assumed unheard of popularity in the last few years, and a visit to almost any bookstore cannot help but impress one with the incredible number of recent publications on occult matters and the "supernatural." The Aquarian Age will see the blending of religion and science to such a degree that a religious science and a scientific religion will be formed-- each respecting and learning from the findings of the other--which will pro- mote health, happiness, and enjoyment of life. UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD: The Aquarian Age will bring with it an era of universal brotherhood, in preparation for which we see the barriers of race prejudice being broken all around us. To be sure, this is presently being accomplished under conditions of bloodshed and revolt. We can be certain, however, that although the sword, which had its reign during the Piscean Age, still is powerful, SCIENCE and ALTRUISM will rule during the Aquarian Age. Since Aquarius is an airy, scientific, and intellectual sign, it is a forgone conclusion that the religion of that Age must be rooted in reason and able to solve the riddle of life and death in a manner that will satisfy both the mind and the religious instinct. In this respect, the Western Wisdom Teachings promulgated by the Rosicrucian Fellowship also are preparing the way for the Aquarian Age by preparing the way for the Aquarian Age by breaking down the fear of death engendered by the uncertainty surrounding the post-mortem existence. These Teachings show that life and consciousness conti- nue under Laws as immutable as God, which tend to raise man to increasingly higher, nobler, and loftier states of spirituality. As an airy sign, Aquarius has special rule over the ether. When the Sun enters Aquarius by precession, moisture on Earth gradually will be eliminated and visual vibrations, which are most easily transmitted by a dry etheric atmosphere, will become more intense. Under these conditions, etheric sight will be developed in the greatest majority of mankind, and we will be able to see residents of the etheric region, including our own friends and loved ones who have died. We then will be able to continue our companionship with them for a while after "death," and have time to accustom ourselves to the fact that they are going on to higher realms. When this point in evolution is reached, mankind also will be so much more enlightened that it will avoid many of the pitfalls which cause trouble today, and we will enjoy a much happier existence than has been the rule up to the present stage. We will be able to solve social problems in a manner equitable to all, and the use of improving machinery will free mankind from physical toil to a great extent and give him greater opportunity for intellectual and spiritual improvement. Although the blessings of the Aquarian Age assuredly will be ours in time, it is possible for those who truly aspire to a "better," or more spiritual life to bring themselves ever more in tune with the spirit of the coming Age and thus render themselves amenable far more quickly and completely than their contemporaries to Aquarian influences. He or she who does his or her best to live a life of service to humanity, and to exercise his of her powers of compassion, altruism, and beneficence, will find himself or herself ever more responsive to Aquarian influences, and his progress on the evolutionary path will be advanced accordingly. CLAIRVOYANCE: The word "clairvoyance" means "clear-sighted," or the ability to see in the invisible (to physical vision) worlds. It is a faculty latent in all and will eventually be possessed by every human being in the course of his or her spiritual unfoldment. Having acquired this spiritual sight, one may then investigate for himself or herself such matters as the state of the human Spirit before birth and after death, and life in the invisible worlds. Although each of us inherently has this faculty, a persistent effort is required to unfold it in a positive manner, and this seems to be a powerful deterrent. If it could be bought, many people would pay a high price for it. Few people, however, seem willing to live the life that is required to awak- en it. That awakening comes only by patient, persistent effort. It cannot be purchased: there is no royal road to its acquisition. There are two types of clairvoyance. Positive, voluntary clairvoyance is that in which the individual is able, at will, to see in and investigate the inner worlds, and is the master of himself and what he is doing. This type of clairvoyance is developed through pure, helpful living, and the individual must be carefully trained in its use, in order that it may be completely effective and useful. Negative, involuntary clairvoyance exists when the sights of the inner worlds are presented to an individual quite independently of his will; he sees what is given him to see and can in no way control this sight. This type of clairvoyance is dangerous, laying the individual open to possession by discarnate entities and, if permitted to go far enough, presenting the possibility that his or her life, in this world and the next, will quite literally not be his or her own. In the brain are two small organs called the pituitary body and the pine- al gland. Medical science knows but little about them, and calls the pineal gland "the atrophied third eye," yet neither it nor the pituitary body is a- trophying. This is very perplexing to scientists for Nature retains nothing useless. All over the body we find organs which are either atrophying or de- veloping. The pituitary body and the pineal gland belong to still another class of organs, however, which at the present time are neither evolving nor degener- ating, but are dormant. In the far past, when man was in touch with the inner worlds, these organs were his means of ingress thereto, and they will again serve that purpose at a later stage. They were connected with the in- voluntary or sympathetic nervous system. In earlier times (during the Moon Period and the latter part of the Lemurian and early Atlantean Epochs) man saw the inner worlds; pictures presented themselves quite independently of his will. The sense centers of his desire body were spinning around counter- clockwise (following negatively the motion of the Earth, which revolves on its axis in that direction) as the sense centers of "mediums" do to this day. In most people these sense centers are inactive, but true development will set them spinning clockwise. That is the difficult feature in the development of positive clairvoyance. The devlopment of negative clairvoyance, or mediumship, is much easier, because it is merely a revival of the mirror-like function possessed by man in the far past, by which the outside world was involuntarily reflected in him. This function was afterward retained by inbreeding. With present-day mediums this power is intermittent, which explains why they can sometimes "see" and at other times, for no apparent reason, fail utterly to do so. In the desire body of the properly trained voluntary clairvoyant, the de- sire currents turn clockwise, glowing with exceeding splendor, far surpass- ing the brilliant luminosity of the ordinary desire body. The centers of perception in the desire body around which these currents swirl furnish the voluntary clairvoyant with the means of perception of things in the Desire World, and he or she sees and investigates at will. The person whose centers turn counter-clockwise is like a mirror, reflecting only what passes before it. Such a person is incapable of reaching out for information. This one of the fundamental differences between a medium and a properly trained clairvoyant. It is impossible for most people to distinguish between the two; yet there is one infallible rule that can be followed by anyone: No genuine developed seer will ever exercise this faculty for money or its e- quivalent; nor will he or she use it to gratify curiosity, but only TO HELP HUMANITY. The great danger to society which would result from the indiscriminate use by an unworthy individual of the voluntary clairvoyant's power to inves- tigate and "see" at will can easily be understood. He or she would be able to read the most secret thought. Therefore, the aspirant to the true spiritual sight and insight must first of all give proof of unselfishness. The initiate is bound by the most solemn vows never to use this power to serve his or her individual interest in the slightest degree. Trained clairvoyance is the kind used for investigating occult facts, and it is the only kind that is of any use for that purpose. Therefore the aspirant must feel, not a wish to gratify an idle curiosity, but a holy and unselfish desire to help humanity. Until such a desire exists, no progress can be made in the attainment of positive clairvoyance. To regain contact with the inner worlds, it is necessary to establish the connection of the pineal gland and the pituitary body with the cerebro- spinal nervous system, and to reawaken the pituitary body and the pineal gland. When that is accomplished, man will again possess the faculty of per- ception in the higher worlds, but on a grander scale than it was in the dis- tant past, because it will be in connection with the voluntary nervous sys- tem and therefore under the control of his will. Through this inner perceptive faculty all avenues of knowledge will be opened to him and he or she will have at his or her service a means of acquiring information compared with which all other methods of investigation are but child's play. The awakening of these organs is accomplished by esoteric training, as follows: In the majority of people, the greater part of the sex force which may legitimately be used through the creative organs is expended for sense- gratification. When the aspirant to the higher life begins to curb these ex- cesses and to devote his or her attention to spiritual thoughts and efforts, the unused sex force commences to ascend. It surges upward in stronger and stronger volume, traversing the heart and larynx, or the spinal cord and the larynx, or both, and then passing directly between the pituitary body and the pineal gland toward the point at the root of the nose where the Spirit has its seat. This current, however, no matter how great, must be cultivated to some ex- tent before the real esoteric training can begin. It is not only a necessary accompaniment, but also a pre-requisite, to self-conscious work in the in- ner worlds. Thus, a moral life devoted to spiritual thought must be lived by the aspirant for a certain length of time before it is possible to commence the work that will give him first hand knowledge of the super-physical realms and enable him or her to become, in the truest sense, a helper of humanity. When the candidate has lived such a life for a time sufficient to establish the current of spiritual force,and is found worthy and qualified to receive esoteric instruction, he is taught certain exercises to set the pitutitary body in vibration. This vibration causes the pituitary body to impinge upon and slightly deflect the nearest line of force which, in turn, impinges upon the next line to it, and so the process continues until the force of the vibration has been spent. When these lines of force have been deflected sufficiently to reach the pineal gland, the object has been accomplished: the gap between the two organs has been bridged. This is the bridge between the World of Sense and the World of Desire. From the time it is built, man becomes clairvoyant and able to direct his or her gaze where he or she will. Solid objects are seen both inside and out. Space and solidity, as hindrances to observation, have ceased to exist. He is not yet a trained clairvoyant, but he is a clairvoyant at will,a voluntary clairvoyant. His is a very different faculty from that possessed by the medium. The person in whom this bridge is once built is always in sure touch with the inner worlds, the connection being made and broken at his will. By de- grees, the observer learns to control the vibration of the pituitary body in a manner enabling him or her to get in touch with any of the regions of the inner worlds which he or she desires to visit. The faculty is completely under the control of his or her will. It is not necessary for him or her to go into a trance or do anything abnormal to raise his consciousness to the Desire World. He or she simply wills to see, and he or she sees. Having attained this faculty, however, the neophyte must now learn to understand what he or she sees in the Desire World. Many people seem to think that once a person is clairvoyant, all truth is at once open to him or her, and that when he or she can "see," he or she at once "knows all about" the higher worlds. This is a great mistake. We know that those of us who have been able to see things about us in the Physical World all our lives are far from having a universal knowledge of them. It requires much study and application to know about even that infinitesimal part of physical things which we handle in our daily lives. In the Physcial World, objects at least are dense, solid, and do not change in the twinkling of an eye. In the Desire World they change in the most erratic manner. This is a source of endless confusion to the negative, involuntary clairvoyant, and even to the neophyte who enters under the gui- dance of a teacher. The teaching the neophyte receives, however, soon brings him or her to a point where he or she can perceive the Life that causes the change in Form. and knows it for what it is, despite all possible and puzz- ling changes. Thus clairvoyants must first be trained before their observations are of any real value, and the more proficient they become, the more modest they are about telling of what they see; the more do they defer to the versions of others, knowing how much there is to learn and realizing how little the single investigator can grasp of all the detail incident to his or her investigations. This also accounts for the varied versions of the higher worlds, which are, for superficial people, an argument against the existence of these worlds. They contend that it these worlds exist, investigators must neces- sarily bring back identical descriptions. But just as, in the Physical World, if twenty people set out to describe a city, there would be twenty different versions, so too is it true of accounts made by investigators of the higher worlds. Each has his or her own peculiar way of looking at things and can describe what he or she sees only from his or her particular point of view. The account he or she gives may differ from those of others, yet all may be equally truthful from each individual observer's viewpoint. There is also another and most important distinction to be made. The power which enables one to perceive the objects in a world is not identical with the power of entering that world and functioning there. The voluntary clairvoyant, though he or she may have received some training and is able to distinguish the true from the false in the Desire World, is in practically the same relation to it as is a prisoner behind a barred window to the outside world--he or she can see it, but cannot function therein. Therefore, at the proper time, further exercises are given the aspirant to furnish him or her with a vehicle in which he or she can function in the inner worlds in a perfectly self-conscious manner. The faculty of clairvoyance indicates a loose connection between the vital body and dense body. During the epochs of our Earth's history in which all men were involuntarily clairvoyant, it was looseness of this connection that made them so. Since those times, the vital body has become much more firmly inter-woven with the dense body in the majority of people, but in all sensitives it is loose. That looseness constitutes the difference between the psychic and the ordinary person who is unconscious of all but the vibrations contacted by means of the five senses. All human beings have to pass through this period of close connection of the vehicles and experience the consequent limitation of consciousness. There are, therefore, two classes of sensitives: those who have not become firmly enmeshed in matter and those who are in the vanguard of evolution. The latter are emerging from the acme of materiality and are again divisible into two kinds: voluntary and involuntary. When the connection between the vital body and the dense body of a man or woman is somewhat lax, the individual will be sensitive to spiritual vibra- tions, and if positive he or she will BY HIS OR HER OWN WILL develop his or her spiritual faculties, live a spiritual life, and in time receive the teaching necessary to become a trained cliarvoyant and a master of his or her faculty at any and all times, free to exercise it or not, as he or she pleases. If a person has this slight laxity between the vital and dense bodies, and is of a negative temperament, he or she is likely to become the prey of discarnate Spirits, as a medium. When the connection between the vital and dense bodies is very lax, so that it may be withdrawn, and the man or woman is positive, he or she may become an Invisible Helper, capable of taking the two higher ethers away from his or her dense body at will and using them as a vehicle for sense perception and memory. He or she can then function consciously in the Spiritual World and bring back a recollection of everything he or she has done there, so that, for instance, when he or she leaves his or her body at night he or she takes up the life in the Invisible Worlds in a fully conscious manner, as we do here when we wake up in the morning after sleep and perform our worldly duties. When a person has this lax connection between the vital and the dense body and is of a negative temperament, entities which are earthbound seek to manifest here may withdraw his or her vital body by way of the spleen and temporarily use the ether of which it is composed to materialize spirit forms, returning the ether to the medium after the seance is over. Since the vital body is the vehicle whereby the solar currents which give us vitality are specialized, the body of the medium at the time of materialization sometimes shrinks to almost one-half its usual size because it has been deprived of the vitalizing principle. His or her flesh become flabby and the spark of life burns very low. When the seance is over, the medium is awakened to normal consciousness and experiences a feeling of the most terrible exhaustion. It is extremely harmful to any individual to permit himself to become so negative that his or her vehicles and faculties can be taken over by a dis- carnate entity, which is what occurs when a medium is "working." The enti- ty can exert his or her control over the individual to the point where the individual can no longer exercise choice in any manner, but must live only as the entity wishes him or her to live. This control can continue in the individual's life after death, when his or her desire body can be appropriated by the entity. It is extremely difficult to break away from the entity once this has happened. In addition to these various types of clairvoyants, all children are clairvoyant, at least during the first year of life. How long the child will keep its faculty depends upon its spirituality and also upon its environment, because most children communicate all they see to their elders and the faculty of clairvoyance is affected by their attitude. Often children are ridiculed for telling of things that, their elders believe, can only be the result of "imagination," and they soon learn to shut out scenes with engender such ridicule, or at least to keep these things to themselves. Thus we see that, although both positive and negative clairvoyance exist, it is only with positive clairvoyance that an individual can accurately see and investigate the inner worlds and advance himself along the evolutionary path. Negative clairvoyance cannot be counted upon as a reliable tool of in- vestigation, often brings about the highly undesirable situation of person- al control from an outside source, and can, at least among peoples of the Western World, cause evolutionary regression of the individual concerned. THE SCIENCE OF DEATH: When the birth of a child is expected the parents prepare for its coming months in advance, usually with the greatest joy. Sometimes the entire fa- mily, especially the feminine part of it, will assist in preparing the most wonderful creations for the comfort of the tiny stranger who has not yet made its appearance. For a few years this little life is sheltered if it is fortunate enough to be attracted to parents who have been blessed with this world's goods; but the greater number are among the poorer classes who are unable to provide the child with the material necessities for its well-be- ing. While they may welcome and love it, still their lives are more or less filled with adversities and sorrows, and the child grows to manhood or wo- manhood amidst hardships and suffering. Yet with all this suffering which often makes man's life a burden to him, he clings to life tenaciously, and the thought of death fills him with horror. The writer visited some of the helpless, hopeless, and aged invalids in one of the large county hospitals. She found that a number of them looked upon death with fear. Some repeatedly read their Bibles, but the fear of death could not be removed. We find aged ones, feeble, tottering, surrounded by grandchildren whose flippant and more modern ways often elicit criticism from the neglected and lonely grandparents. The latter are often made to feel that they are in the way, yet when the time arrives for one of them to journey into the Great Beyond, he or she usually meets this period with fear and regret. The doctor is called, and the grandparent who at one time felt that the grandparent was in the way, now do their utmost to prevent the exit of this Spirit into the unknown world. Why should the thought of this journey into the life beyond be filled with so much horror, especially in a Christian nation which accepts the teachings of the Great Master, THE CHRIST, Whose mission upon Earth was to take away the sting of death? The ancient history of mankind as recorded in the Bible from the time of Adam and Eve, when the Lord turned mankind out of the Garden of Eden, shows that death has always been associated with the idea of punishment. In Gene- sis, 2nd chapter 17th verse, the Lord threatened Adam with death if he ate of the Tree of Knowledge. All through the history of the ancient Israelites we find that their Lord, Jehovah, constantly threatened them with the pu- nishment of death for their sins. This fear was implanted in the minds of these earlier races, whose infantile minds were not yet able to reason, and who could only comprehend through fear. They could not conceive of a God of love, but responded only to an angry God Who would thrust them into unknown darkness for their sins. The ancient people were very superstitious, and they used a great deal of ceremonial to free themselves from the powers of darkness. The fear of death created in them a desire to preserve their bodies which resulted in embalm- ing of various kinds. Among the ancient Egyptians embalming became an art. After the body had been put through a preservative process by the priests, it was placed in a sycamore box fashioned in the form of the body and returned to the relative, who often kept it in the home, and sometimes in a privatte vault or sepulcher. Some of these mummies may be found in our museums. The ideas of death have undergone various alterations in accordance with man's evolution, but the deep mystery of life after death was not explained until after the advent of Christ, Who through His death upon the Cross brought to man the hope of salvation. St. John, 5th chapter, 24th verse, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth my words and believeth on him that sent me hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life." The Apostle Paul states in the second epistle of Timothy, 1st chapter, 9th and 10th verses, "God hath saved us and called us, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, Who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel." How has the world grasped the opportunity of Christ's supreme sacrifice to bring to the world the hope of immortality? Has the fear of death dimin- ished? Has the method of caring for the bodies of the dead changed from that of the ancient Jews or Greeks? Has the science of death kept up with evolu- tion? Let us see if a change is perceptible. Among the more advanced among us mourning robes are slowly disappearing. The method of embalming has been changed, the viscera and brain are no longer removed as in olden times, but a fluid is injected into the main arteries which temporarily keeps the body from putrefaction. But the fear of death and great grief are still preva- lent. Fabulous sums are expended on costly funerals and floral pieces. This extravagance has been carried to great extremes and has become a custom which is often very embarrassing to the relatives, who may be restricted in this world's goods. The relatives must pay for the plot of ground, the sexton is paid for digging the grave, and the undertaker for his casket, robe, and conveyances to take the relatives to the funeral. To add to the loss of their loved ones, the funeral expenses are often a burden to the bereaved ones. It is also customary with many ministers to prolong the services, and in their great zeal for converts to grasp this opportunity to appeal to the emotions of those present, thereby adding to the mourner's grief and strengthening the fear of death and the life beyond. Since World War I mankind has become greatly interested in life after death. The world has been flooded with books supposedly dictated by the so- called dead, who have used mediums to transmit their message. Numbers, through their great grief and longing to communicate with loved ones, have rent the veil and have been able to see into the beyond. But with the fear of death removed, which is a great step forward and a wonderful comfort to mankind, what is being done to prepare the Spirit for the change called death? Are such careful preparations made for this journey as for the entrance of the Spirit into the physical body (birth)? Is this passing from physical life made pleasant by love and good wished of friends? Alas! no. This greatest of all journeys into the home of the Spirit is still attended by grief, the way is paved with fears, and washed with tears. The traveler is not attended by the love and joy which awaited his entrance into Earth life. The Spirit often enters into this new life unprepared, unhappy on account of the grief of relatives. The question may be asked: What is the science of death? we will answer this from the Rosicrucian standpoint. Death, so called, is but a passing of the Spirit into a larger sphere--a birth. It should be prepared for with the greatest care. The physical body is but a vehicle which the Spirit uses to gain experience in thise school day of life. At the end of this life the Ego must assimilate what it has experienced, and in order to extract the best from its experiences certain conditions must be prepared for it at the time of the severing of the silver cord. This usually occurs about three and one- half days after death. Now in order to explain why the period immediately after the passing out of the Spirit is of vital importance, we must understand that man's body is fourfold, consisting of the physical or dense body, the vital body, the desire body, and the mind or mental body. At what is called death the Spirit withdraws with the two higher vehicles, which are tied to the etheric and physical bodies by a slender cord. This when seen with the eyes of the Spirit has a silvery sheen, and is in the shape to two figure sixes, connected at the points of the two hooks; he upper end is connected with the two higher vehicles while the lower end is still in touch with the the physical body. At death the desire and mental bodies leave the physical, taking with them but one permanent atom, which during life was deposited within the left ven- tricle of the heart. This atom, like the negative film of the camera, has been impressed with all the experiences of the life just ended. At death the force of this atom leaves the body and all these impressions are transferred from the vital(etheric) body (which is the storehouse of these experiences) into the desire body, which then forms the basis of the man or woman's life in purgatory and the first heaven. This transfer is done by the Spirit during the first three and one-half days after the rupture of the connection between the seed atom and the heart, ordinarily known as death. We may thus see that death is not complete until this transfer has been accomplished. Sensation is still present, and the Spirit suffers through inharmonious surroundings. It can feel somewhat during post-mortem examination or embalming. When the body is mutilated or cremated before the silver cord is severed, the Spirit suffers pain. The doctors and undertakers, believing the person "dead," usually do not handle the body with the same care that they would if they knew the real facts. Cases have been reported where those whose bodies were mutilated immediately after death were able to communicate with those in the body and complained that they had suffered. In one case a woman stated that they had butchered her, and she was helpless to make the undertaker understand that she could feel the knife. If it were more generally known that our dead can feel physical pain up to a certain time, embalming would be discontinued and the body kept on ice instead. When the panorama of life has been fully etched into the desire body and the silver cord broken, the two lower ethers of the vital body gravitate back to the physical body, leaving the Spirit free to go on into the higher realms. The two higher ethers coalesce with the desire body. When the physical body is buried, that part of the vital body which remains disintegrates synchronously with it. When the body is cremated, the Spirit is freed much more quickly from all ties that bind it to the wornout physical robe. As the interest and belief in a life after death becomes more universal, the necessity for a scientific method for the care of those who are passing into the higher life will be impressed upon the people, and we shall then have nurses, doctors, and ministers who are versed in the science of death as well as in the science of birth. The Spirit will then be surrounded not only with love, but with peace and quiet at the time of passing. It will also have a deeper and clearer record with which to begin its life work in it new state. Continued with file "RC5003.TXT" End of File

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