The Rosicrucian Philosophy
In Questions and Answers
PARTIAL LIST OF SUBJECTS
- The Science of Death.
- The First Heaven.
- The Second Heaven.
- The Third Heaven.
- Guardian Angels.
LIST OF DIAGRAMS
- The Supreme Being, God and Other Gods – Page 98
- A Life Cycle – Page 132
- The Father, Son and Holy Spirit – Page 260
- The Path of the Unused Sex-Currents – Page 304
- The Seven Days of Creation – Page 342
- As Above, So Below – Page 398
- Man’s Past, Present and Future Form – Page 399
- The Four Kingdoms – Page 400
- The Constitution of the Earth – Page 401
- The Seven Worlds – Page 402
- Diagram Showing the Comparative Reality of the Visible and Invisible Worlds by Using a Stereopticon as Illustration – Page 403
- The Seven World-Periods – Page 404
- Four Great Initiations – Page 405
A WORD OF EXPLANATION
The questions contained in this book have been asked of the writer after lectures delivered by him in various cities, and, in most cases, the questions reveal a certain knowledge of the subject on the part of the inquirer.
For the benefit of those who are not familiar with The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception, it may be well to give the following information concerning the philosophy and the terms used. With that key, it will be easy for anyone to understand the answer to the questions. It may also be in place to state at this point that each question has been answered regardless of what has been said in answer to any other question, so that each answer is complete in itself. This has occasioned repetition of some things said in answer to one questions when replying to another which is similar, but it will be found that in all cases where there is such repetition it presents a new aspect of the subject, so that the writer has no apology to make, for he considers the method used of greater value than a reference to some other answer which perhaps the inquirer might not have time to look up.
The Rosicrucian Philosophy teaches that man is a complex being who possesses:
(1) A Dense Body, which is the visible instrument he uses here in this world to fetch and carry; the body we ordinarily think of as the whole man.
(2) A Vital Body, which is made of Ether and pervades the visible body as ether permeates all other forms, except that human beings specialize a greater amount of the universal ether than other forms. That ethereal body is our instrument for specializing the vital energy of the sun.
(3) A Desire Body, which is our emotional nature. This finer vehicle pervades both the vital and dense bodies. It is seen by clairvoyant vision to extend about 16 inches outside our visible body, which is located in the center of this ovoid cloud as the yolk is in the center of an egg.
(4) The Mind, which is a mirror, reflecting the outer world and enabling the Ego to transmit its commands as thought and word, also to compel action.
The Ego is the threefold spirit which uses these vehicles to gather experience in the school of life.
QUESTIONS DEALING WITH LIFE ON EARTH
If we were pure spirit and a part of an all-knowing God, why was it necessary for us to take this long pilgrimage of sin and sorrow through matter?
Answer: In the beginning of manifestation, God differentiated within Himself a multitude of potential spiritual intelligences as sparks are emitted by a fire. These spiritual intelligences were thus potential flames or fires, but they were not yet fires, for, though endowed with the all-consciousness of God, they lacked self-consciousness; being potentially omnipotent as God, they lacked dynamic power available for use at any moment according to their will; and in order that these qualities might be evolved it was imperative that they should go through matter. Therefore, during Involution each Divine Spark was encased in various vehicles of sufficient density to shut off the outer world from its consciousness. Then the spirit within, no longer able to contact the without, turns and finds Itself. With wakening self-consciousness comes the spirit’s struggle to free itself from its prison, and during evolution the various vehicles which the spirit possess will be spiritualized into soul, so that, at the end of manifestation, the spirit will not only have gained self-consciousness but also soul-power.
There is a tendency upon the part of most people to believe that all that is the result of something else, leaving no place for any original new building. Those who study life usually speak only of Involution and Evolution; those who study the form, namely, the modern scientists, are concerned with Evolution only, but the most advanced among them are now beginning to find another factor, which they have called Epigenesis. Already, in 1757, Caspar Wolff issued his Theorea Generations, wherein he showed that in the development of the ovum, there are a series of new buildings not at all foreshown by what has gone before, and Haeckel, endorsing this work, says that nowadays we are no longer justified in called epigenesis a theory. For it is a fact which we may demonstrate, in the case of the lower forms where the changes are rapid, under a microscope. Since the mind was given to man, it is this original creative impulse, epigenesis, which has been the cause of all our development. Truly do we build upon that which has been already created, but there is also something new due to the activity of the spirit and thus it is that we become creators, for if we only imitated that which had already been laid out for us by God or Angel, it would never be possible for us to become creative intelligences; we would simply be imitators. And even though we make mistakes, it may be said that we often learn much more by our mistakes than by our successes. The sin and the suffering which the inquirer speaks about are merely the result of the mistakes we make, and their impression upon our consciousness causes us to be active along other lines which are found to be good–that is to say, in harmony with nature. Thus this world is a training school and not a vale of tears wherein we have been placed by a capricious God. (See Question No. 9)
If “God made man a little lower than the angels,” how is it possible that man is ultimately to become their superior in the spiritual world?
Answer: This question reveals a misapprehension upon the part of the inquirer. It has never been so stated in the Rosicrucian teachings, but something has been said which may have been so misconstrued. The fact of the matter is that evolution moves in a spiral and there is never a repetition of the same condition. Angels are an earlier stream of evolution who were human in a previous incarnation of the earth, called the Moon Period among Rosicrucians. The Archangels were the humanity of the Sun Period and the Lords of Mind, called by Paul the “Powers of Darkness,” were the humanity of the dark Saturn Period. We are the humanity of the fourth period of the present scheme of manifestation, the Earth Period. As all beings in the universe are progressing, the humanity of the previous periods have also progressed so that they are now at a higher stage than they were when they were human-they are superhuman. Therefore, it is perfectly true that God made man a little lower than the Angels. But as everything is in a state of spiral progression, it is also true that our present humanity is a higher and more evolved humanity than the Angels were; and that the Angels were a higher order of humanity than the Archangels were when they were human. In the next step we shall attain something like the stage of the Angels at the present time, but we shall be superior to what they are now.
Why should it be necessary for us to come into this physical existence? Could we not have learned the same lessons without being imprisoned and limited by the dense conditions of the material world?
Answer: The New Testament was written in Greek originally, and the word logos means both word and the thought which precedes the word, so that when John tells us in the first chapter of his Gospel that “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God,” we may also translate the verse: In the beginning was the thought, and the word was with God, and God was the word. Everything exists by virtue of that fact (the word). In that is “life.”
Everything that exists in the universe was first a thought, that thought then manifesting as a Word, a Sound, which built all Forms and itself manifested as the Life within those forms. That is the process of creation, and man, who was made in the image of God, creates in the same way to a certain extent. He has the capability of thinking; he may voice his thoughts and in that way, where he is not capable of carrying out his ideas alone, he may secure the help of others to realize them. But a time is coming when he will create directly by the word of his mouth, so that when in time he becomes able to use His Word to create directly he will know how. That training is absolutely necessary. At the present time he would make many mistakes. Besides, he is not yet good-he would bring into being demoniac creations.
In the earliest dawn of man’s endeavor, he used the solids; muscular force was his only means of performing work, and from bones and stones which he picked up from the ground, he shaped his first crude instruments to be wielded by his arm. Then came a time when in a crude dug-out he first trusted himself to the waters; a liquid and the water wheel was the first machinery. The liquid is already much stronger than the solid. A wave will raze the decks of a ship, tear out masts and twist the stoutest iron bar as it were a thin wire; but water power is a stationary force and therefore limited to work in its immediate vicinity. When man learned to use the still more subtle force which we call air, it became possible for him to erect windmills in any place to do his work and sailing vessels brought the whole world into communication. Thus, man’s next step in unfoldment was achieved by the use of a force still subtler than water and more universally applicable than that element. But wind was fickle and not to be depended upon; therefore, the advancement in human civilization achieved by its use paled into insignificance when man discovered how to utilize the still more subtle gas which is called steam, for that can be made anywhere and everywhere, and the progress of the world has been enormous since its advent. There is, however, the drawback to its utility that steam-power requires cumbersome transmission machinery. This drawback is practically eliminated by using a still subtler force, more readily transmissible; electricity, which is altogether invisible and intangible.
Thus, we see that the progress of man in the past has depended upon the utilization of forces of increasing subtlety, each force in the scale being more readily capable of transmission than the ones previously available, and
we can readily realize that further progress depends upon the discovery of still finer forces transmissible with still greater facility. We know that that which we call wireless telegraphy is accomplished without even the use of wires, but even that system is not ideal, for it depends upon energy generated in a central plant, which is stationary. It involves the use of costly machinery and is, therefore, out of reach of the majority. The ideal force would be a power which man could generate from himself at any moment without machinery.
A few decades ago Jules Verne thrilled us with delight when he conjured up before our imagination the submarine boat, the trip around the earth in eighty days, etc. Today the things he pictured have become facts surpassing even his imagination, and the day will come when we shall have available for use a power plant such as spoken of above. Bulwer Lytton, in his “Coming Race,” has pictured to us a force called “Vril,” which certain imaginary beings are possessed of and which they can use to propel themselves over land, through the air and in various other ways. Such a force is latent within every one of us, and we speak of it sometimes as emotion. We feel its far-reaching power at times as temper when it is unleashed, and say “a man has lost control of himself.” No amount of work can so tire the physical body and wreck it as when the enormous energy of the desire body is let loose in a fit of temper. Usually, at the present time, this enormous force sleeps, and it is well that it should be so until we have learned to use it by means of thought, which is a still more subtle force. This world is a school to teach us how to use these two subtle forces–the power of thought and the power of emotion.
An illustration will make clear how this world serves that purpose. An inventor gets an idea. The idea is not yet a thought, it is but as it were a flash which has not yet taken shape, but gradually he visualizes it in mind stuff. He forms in his thought a machine, and before his mental vision that machine appears with the wheels revolving this way and that, as necessary to accomplish the required work. Then he commences to draw the plans for the machine, and even at that stage of concretion it will most certainly appear that modification are necessary. Thus we see that already the physical conditions show the inventor where his thought was not correct. When he builds the machine in appropriate material for the accomplishment of the work, there are usually more modifications necessary. Perhaps, he may be obliged to throw the first machine away, entirely rearrange his conception and build a new machine. Thus the concrete physical conditions have enabled him to detect the flaw in his reasoning; they force him to make the necessary modifications in his original thought to bring out a machine that will do the work. Had there been only a World of Thought, he would not have known that he had made a mistake, but the concrete physical conditions show him where his thought was wrong.
The Physical World teaches the inventor to think aright, and his successful machines are the embodiments of right thought.
In the mercantile, social or philanthropic endeavors, the same principle holds good. If our ideas concerning the various matters in life are wrong, they are corrected when brought into so-called practical uses and thus this world is an absolute necessity to teach us how to wield the power of thought and desire, these forces being held in leash to a great extent at the present time by our material conditions. But as time goes on and we learn
to think aright more and more, we shall at last obtain such a power of thought and we shall be able to think the right thought at once in every case without experimenting, and then we shall also be able to speak our thought into actual being, as a thing. There was a time, in the far, far past, when man was yet a spiritual being and when the conditions of earth were more plastic. Then he was taught directly by the Gods to use the word as a means of creation and he worked thus formatively on the animals and the plants. We are told in the Bible that God brought the animals to man and he named them. This naming was not simply calling a lion a lion, but it was a formative process that gave man a power over the thing he named, and it was only when selfishness, cruelty and unbridled anger unfitted him for the mastership that the word of power spoken of by the masons was lost. When holiness shall have again taken the place of profanity, the word will be found again and will be the creative power of the divine man in a future age.
If this earth life is so important and really the basis of all our soul growth, the latter resulting from the experiences we gain here, why is our earth life so short in comparison with the life in the inner worlds, approximating a thousand years between two earth lives?
Answer: All that is in this world which has been made by the hand of man is crystallized thought; the chairs upon which we sit, the houses in which we live, the various conveniences, such as telephone, steamship, locomotive, etc. were once a thought in the mind of man. If it had not been for that thought, the thing would never have appeared. In similar manner, the trees, the flowers, the mountain and the seas are crystallized thought forms of the nature forces. Man, when he leaves this body after death and enters the Second Heaven, becomes one with those nature forces he works under the direction of the creative hierarchies, making for himself the environment which is necessary for his next step in unfoldment. There he builds in mind stuff” the archetypes of the land and the sea; he works upon the flora and the fauna; he creates everything in his environment as thought forms, as he changes the conditions, so they appear when he is reborn.
But working things out in mind stuff is very different from working thinks out in the concrete. At the present time we are very poor thinkers, and therefore it takes an enormous period of time for us to shape the thought forms in the second heaven; then, also, we must wait a considerable time before these thought forms have crystallized into the actual dense physical environment to which we are to come back. Therefore, it is necessary that we should stay in the Heaven World for a much longer time than we remain in the earth life. When we have learned to think aright, we shall be able to create things here in the Physical World in a much shorter time than it now takes to laboriously form them. Neither will it be necessary then to stay out of earth life as long as the present time.
How long will it be before we can do without the physical bodies, and function altogether in the spiritual worlds again?
Answer: This question reveals a state of mind which is all too common among people who have become acquainted with the fact that we possess spiritual bodies in which we may move through space with lightning rapidity, bodies which do not need the material raiment and, therefore, will require no care on the part of their owners. These people long then for the time when they may grown such figurative wings and shed this “low and vile mortal coil” altogether.
Such a state of mind is extremely unfortunate. We should be very thankful for the material instrument which we have, for that is the most valuable of all our vehicles. While it is perfectly true that our physical body is the lowest of all our vehicles, it is also a fact that this vehicle is the most finished of our instruments, and without that the other vehicles would be of little use to us at this time. For while this splendidly organized instrument enables us to meet the thousand and one conditions here, our higher vehicles are practically unorganized. The vital body is formed organ for organ as our dense physical body, but until it has been trained by esoteric exercises it is not a fit instrument to function in alone. The desire body has only a number of sense centers which are not even active in the great majority of people, and as for the mind, it is an unformed cloud with the great majority. We should aim today to spiritualize the physical instrument, and we should realize that we must train our higher vehicles before they can be of use. For the great mass of people that will take a long, long time. Therefore, it is best to do the duty that is close to our hands, then we hasten the day when we shall be able to use the higher vehicles, for that day depends upon ourselves.
Does the spirit enter the body at the time of conception or at the time of birth?
Answer: It has been ascertained by clairvoyant investigation that at the time of death the spirit takes with it the forces of one little atom located in the left ventricle of the heart, which is called the seed atom, for its the nucleus or seed around which all the material in the body gathers, and every atom in the body must be capable of vibrating in unison with that seed atom. Therefore, that atom is deposited in the semen of the father some time previous to conception, and later placed in the womb of the mother. But conception is not at all identical with the time of sexual union of the parents. The impregnated spermatozoa is sometimes not imbedded in the ovum until fourteen days after the union of the parents. It is this impregnation of the ovum that may be called the time of conception, for from the moment when the impregnated ovum leaves the Fallopian tube the period of gestation commences. During the first eighteen to twenty-one days, all the work is done by the mother, but at that time the reincarnating Ego, clothed in a bell-shaped cloud of desire and mind stuff, enters the womb of the mother and the bell-shaped cloud closes at the bottom so that it is then ovoid, or egg-shaped . Then the spirit is definitely enmeshed in the flesh and cannot escape any more, but must stay with the mother until liberated by birth. In the present stage of our unfoldment, the spirit does very little conscious work upon its coming vehicle, but it is present all the time and helps unconsciously in the task of providing its instrument. This is no more remarkable than that we are able to digest our food and work our respiratory organs without being conscious of the process.
What was the purpose in the division of the sexes?
Answer: The division of the sexes was brought about at a very early stage of man’s evolution, when he had as yet no brain or larynx. One-half of the creative force was then turned upward in order that these two organs might be built. The brain was made for the evolution of thought whereby man creates in the Physical World. Houses, cities, steamships, railways, everything made by the hand is crystallized human thought. The larynx was also made by the creative sex-force in order that man might express his thoughts. The connection between those organs will be evident when we remember that the boy who possesses the positive creative force changes his voice at the time of puberty, when he is first able to procreate his kind; also that the man who abuses his sex-force becomes an idiot, while the profound thinker who uses nearly all his creative force in thought will have little or no inclination for amorous practices.
Prior to this division man was, like some plants today, a complete creative unit capable of perpetuating his kind without the help of another. The faculties of thought and speech have been bought at the loss of this creative power; but now that half of the creative force which is expressed through brain and larynx may be used to create things in the world–houses, ships, etc.
Is the soul of a woman masculine and the soul of a man feminine?
Answer: Speaking generally, we might say “yes,” the vital body which is eventually transformed, transmuted and spiritualized into soul is of the opposite sex. It is formed organ for organ exactly like the dense physical body with this one exception, and this elucidates many facts otherwise unexplainable. The faculties inherent in the vital body are growth, propagation, assimilation and memory. The woman having the positive vital body is matured earlier than the male, the parts which remain plant-like, such as, for instance, the hair, grows longer and more luxuriant, and naturally a
positive vital body will generate more blood than the negative vital body possessed by the masculine, hence we have in woman a greater blood pressure, which it is necessary to relieve by the periodical flow, and when that ceases at the climacteric period there is a second growth in woman, particularly well expressed in the saying “fat and forty.”
The impulses of the desire body drive the blood through the system at varying rates of speed, according to the strength of the emotions. Woman, having an excess of blood, works under much higher pressure than man, and while this pressure is relieved by the periodical flow, there are times when it is necessary to have an extra outlet; then the tears of woman, which are white bleeding, act as a safety valve to remove the excessive fluid. Men, although they may have as strong emotions as women, are not given to tears because they have no more blood than they can comfortably use.
Being positively polarized in the Etheric Region of the Physical World, the sphere of woman has been the home and the church where she is surrounded by love and peace, while man fights the battle of the strong for the survival of the fittest, without quarter in the dense Physical World, where he is positive.
Do we keep the same temperament through all our lives?
Answer: The Ego may be likened unto a precious stone, a diamond in the rough. When it is taken out of the earth the stone is far from beautiful; a rough coating hides the splendor within, and before the rough diamond becomes a gem, it must be polished upon the hard grindstone. Each application to the stone removes a part of the rough coat and grinds a facet through which the light enters and is refracted at a different angle from the light thrown back by the other facets.
So it is with the Ego. A diamond in the rough, it enters the school of experience, the pilgrimage through matter, and each life is as an application of the gem to the stone. Each life in the school of experience removes part of the roughness of the Ego and admits the light of intelligence at a new angle, giving a different experience, and thus as the angles of light vary in the many facets of the diamond, so the temperament of the Ego differs in each life. In each life we can show forth only a small part of our spiritual natures, we can realize only a small part of the splendor of our divine possibilities, but every life tends to make us more rounded and our temperaments become more even. In fact, it is the work upon the temperament that is the principal part of our lesson, for self-mastery is the goal. As Goethe says,
"From every power which all the world enchains, Man liberates himself when self-control he gains."
Is the desire body subject to sickness and does it need nutrition and replenishment?
Answer: In a certain sense it is, during earth life; that is to say, sickness shows itself first in the desire body and in the vital body, which become thinner in texture and do not specialize the vital fluid in the same proportion as usual during health. Then the dense physical body becomes sick. When recovery takes place the higher vehicles show improvement before the manifestation of health is apparent in the physical world.
But if the inquirer means to ask concerning conditions after death, the matter is different. Although a person may be sick here, perhaps bedridden for years and unable to move about, when death has taken place, and he feels himself without the dense body, there is at once a sense of relief, a feeling of gladness and lightness which is unusual to him, and he suddenly wakes up to the fact that he has no pain and is able to move about. If he understands conditions, he will also know that it is unnecessary for him to take nourishment, for the desire vehicle needs no replenishment. Many people, however, are not aware of the fact and therefore we find in the lower regions of the Desire World that sometimes they will go through all the motions of ordinary house keeping. Hence the stories of some spiritualistic investigators, who have found these conditions in the Invisible World; and this also accounts for a great deal of that which George du Maurier has told of the life of Peter Ibbetson and the Countess of Towers, in his novel bearing the hero’s name. This novel is recommended to the reader as giving a fine illustration of the operation of the subconscious memory where the hero deals with his child-life, and of actual conditions in the lower regions of the Invisible World, where his experiences with the countess are concerned.
How is it that one atones for all sin in purgatory, then at rebirth must again suffer through the law of cause and effect for sins of a former life?
Answer: There are two distinct activities in Purgatory. First, there is the eradication of bad habits. For instance, the drunkard craves drink just as much as he did before death, but now he has no stomach and alimentary canal wherein to contain the liquor, so that, although he may go around to the various saloons, although he may even get inside the whiskey casks and steep himself in the liquor, he obtains no satisfaction, for there are no fumes as when chemical combustion takes place in a stomach. Thus he suffers all the tortures of Tantalus–“Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink.”
But, as desire in this world burns out when we realize that is cannot be gratified, so in time the drunkard is cured of his desire for drink, because he can obtain no liquor, and he is born innocent of evil so far as that particular vice is concerned. However, he must overcome that vice consciously, and so at a certain time temptation will come in his way. When he has grown up a companion may ask him to “come and have a drink.” Then it depends upon whether he yields or not. If he does, he sins anew and must be purged anew, till at last the cumulative pains of repeated purgatorial existence will cause him to have a disgust for drink. Then he will have consciously overcome temptation and there will be no more suffering from that source.
As to the evil that we have done to others, for instance, where we have dealt cruelly with a child placed under our care, where we have beaten and starved it or otherwise maltreated it, the scenes where we have thus done wrong will have impressed themselves upon the atom in the heart; later on, the etching will have been transferred to the desire body and the panorama of life, which unrolls backward, will again bring these scenes before our consciousness. We shall then ourselves feel as the child felt who was our victim; we shall feel the stripes that we inflicted just as the child felt them; we shall feel the mental anguish and mortification, we shall suffer pang for pang, and then, when we are reborn, we shall meet our victim and have the opportunity to do good to the victim instead of doing evil. If we do so, well and good; if our old enmity asserts itself as before, then further stripes in the next Purgatory will at last cause us to see that we ought to be merciful to those under our care. So we do not suffer anew for sins of a former life; we are born innocent through the blessed ministrations of Purgatory, and at least every evil act we commit is an act of free will. But temptations are placed before us in order to ascertain whether the purging has been sufficient to teach us the needed lessons, and it is our privilege either to yield or to stand strong and firm for the good.
Is conscience the voice of God or of our guardian angel?
Answer: When the spirit passes out of the body at death, the panorama of its past life passes before it during the first three and one-half days after its release from the body. These pictures are etched into the desire body and form the basis of life in Purgatory and the First Heaven, which are located in the Desire World. The past life is reproduced in pictures shifting backward so that the scenes which happened just previous to death are first gone over; then follows the life toward childhood and infancy. In Purgatory only the scenes where the soul did wrong are re-enacted, and the soul sees itself as being the one whom it wronged and suffers as those suffered whom it wronged in earth life. The record of these sufferings is indelibly engraved upon the seed atom, which is the only part of the dense
body the soul takes with it and keeps permanently from life to life. This is, in a way, the “book” of the “Recording Angel,” and as the suffering caused by a certain act has been engraved upon this seed atom in Purgatory, it is evident that when in a new life similar circumstances arise and the old temptations come before us, the suffering which we experienced because of that wrong deed is present in the seed atom to warn us that such and such a course of action is wrong. That is the “voice of conscience,” and if the suffering entailed in Purgatory was sufficiently intense, we shall have the power to resist whatever temptation comes before us. If, on the other hand, from certain different causes, the suffering was not keen enough, we may yield permanently or temporarily in another life to the same temptations that cost suffering in previous lives; we may yield even against the small murmurings of conscience. But when we are released from our bodies and pass into Purgatory the next time, we shall there have the added suffering caused by our yielding to temptation, and the cumulative effects of this suffering will at last be sufficient to restrain us from the course which caused us pain.
When a temptation has come before us in an earth life and has been put aside consciously, we have learned the lesson and conscience has accomplished its purpose.
Replying definitely to the question, we may therefore say that conscience is the spirit’s memory of past sufferings occasioned by the mistakes in previous lives.
What is genius?
Answer: From the ordinary standpoint, genius seems to be an accident. The theory of heredity will not account for it, for sometimes the most commonplace people bring a child into the world which is a genius, and the most highly educated and intellectual people have idiots for their children. At other times we find both idiots and geniuses in the same family. In fact, insanity and genius may be said to be the two extremes where the mental qualities of humanity meet.
If we try to account for genius by heredity, we cannot help asking ourselves why there is not a long line of mechanical ancestors before Thomas Edison, who might then be regarded as the flower of a family. But we find that in all cases the appearance of genius is not possible of deduction to any law when viewed from the mere material standpoint.
When we bring the law of causation and its companion law, the law of rebirth, to bear upon the problem, the matter is very different. This theory asserts that earth life is a school of experience; that at each new birth we are born with the accumulated experiences of all our past lives as our stock in trade, our capital; that some of us have attended this school of experience during many lives, and have gathered much store. Perhaps we have developed one particular faculty more than others, so that we have become extremely expert in one special line of endeavor. That is genius.
In order to express some of our faculties, for instance, music, it is necessary that we should have certain physical characteristics such as long and slender fingers, a delicate nervous system, and, particularly, the ear should be specially developed in order that we may express ourselves as musicians. Material required for that expression cannot be found anywhere, but the Law of Association would naturally draw a musician to other musicians, and there he will find ready to his hand the materials wherewith to build himself a body such as is required for the expression of his talent. Therefore, it sometimes seems as if musicians are born in families; for instance, twenty-nine musicians were born in the Bach family in two hundred and fifty years.
Is a soul that is born as a woman always a woman in its after lives, and can it never become a man? And what is the time between incarnations?
Answer: No, the spirit is double-sexed and usually expresses itself in its successive lives alternately as man and woman. There are, however, sometimes cases where, according to the Law of Consequences, it is preferable that a spirit should appear for several successive lives in a certain sex.
The law is this:
As the sun moves backward among the twelve constellations by the movement which we call the precession of the equinoxes, the climate of the earth, the flora and fauna are slowly changed, thus making a different environment for the human race in each successive age. It takes the sun about two thousand years to go through one of the signs by precession, and in that time the spirit is usually born twice, once as a man and once as a woman. The changes which take place in the thousand years between incarnations are not so great but that the spirit will be able to extract the experiences of that environment from the standpoint of both man and woman.
However, there may sometimes be cases where the time is also changed. None of these laws are inflexible as the laws of the Medes and the Persians, but are administered by Great Intelligences for the benefit of mankind, so that conditions may be changed in order to fit the exigencies of individual cases. For instance, in the case of a musician. He cannot find the material wherewith to build his body everywhere. He needs particular help to build the three semi-circular canals of his ear in such a manner that they will point as nearly as possible in the three directions of space; he also needs special help to build the delicate fibers of Corti, for his ability to distinguish shades of tone depends upon these features.
In such a case, when a family of musicians with whom he has connection is in a position to give birth to a child, he may be brought there, though his stay in the Heaven World should not ordinarily terminate for another hundred years, for perhaps another opportunity might not offer for two or three
hundred years after he should be born if the law were adhered to. Then, of course, such a man is ahead of his time, and not appreciated by the generation among which he lives. He is misunderstood, but even that is better than if he had been born later than he should have been, for then he would have been behind the times.
Thus it is that we so often see geniuses unappreciated by their contemporaries, though highly valued by succeeding generations who can understand their viewpoint.
When a man pays his debts, cares for his family and lives a moral life here, will he not be all right hereafter?
Answer: No, there is something more required, and there are many people of just that belief who have a rather unenviable time in the Desire World after death. They are, of course, to be looked up to from the standpoint of this life only, but at the present time we are required to at least cultivate some altruistic tendencies in order to progress beyond our present evolutionary status.
We find the people who have neglected the higher duties in the fourth region of the Desire World after death. There is the business man who paid a hundred cents on the dollar, who dealt honestly by everyone; who worked for the material improvement of his city and country as a good citizen, paid his employees fair wages, treated his wife and family with consideration, gave them all possible advantages, etc. He may even through them have built a church, or at least given very liberally to it, or he may have built libraries or founded institutes, etc. But he did not give himself. He only took interest in the church for the sake of his family or for the sake of respectability; he had not heart in it, all his heart was in his business, in making money or attaining a worldly position.
When he enters the Desire World after death he is too good to go to Purgatory and not good enough to go to heaven. He has dealt justly with everyone and wronged nobody. Therefore, he has nothing to expiate. But neither has he done any good that could give him a life in the First Heaven where the good of his past life is assimilated. Therefore, he is in the fourth region–between Heaven and Hell, as it were. The fourth region is the center of the Desire World and the feeling there is most intense; the man still feels a keen desire for business, but there he can neither buy nor sell, and so his life is a most dreadful monotony.
All that he gave to the churches, institutes, etc., counts as nothing because of his lack of heart. Only when we give for love will the gift avail to bring happiness hereafter. It is not the amount that we give, but the spirit that accompanies the gift, which matters; therefore, it is within the power of everyone to give and thus benefit himself and others. Indiscriminate money giving, however, often causes people to become thriftless and indigent, but by giving heartfelt sympathy; by helping people to believe in themselves and start in life with fresh ardor when they have fallen by
the wayside; by giving ourselves in services rendered humanity, we lay up treasure in heaven and give more than gold. Christ said: “The poor are with us always.” We may not be able to bring them from poverty to riches and that may not be best for them, but we can encourage them to learn the lesson that is to be learned in poverty; we can help them to a better view of life, and unless the man who is in the position designated by the inquirer does that also, he will not be “all right” when he passes out; he will suffer that dreadful monotony in order to teach him that he must fill his life with something of real value, and thus in a succeeding life his conscience will spur him on to do something better than to grind out dollars, though he will not neglect his material duties, for that is as bad as to spurn spiritual endeavor.
It is sometimes contended that we have a right to think what we will and are not responsible for our thoughts. Is that so from an occult point of view?
Answer: No, indeed; it is very much the reverse, and we do not need to go as far as what is usually called occultism; we find that idea expressed by Christ in the sermon on the
mount, where he tells us that “The man who has looked upon a woman with desire has, in fact, already committed adultery,” and when we realize that as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he, we shall have a much clearer conception of life if we only take into consideration the acts of men, for every act is the outcome of a previous thought but these thoughts are not always our own.
When we strike a tuning fork, another tuning fork of the same pitch being near, not only the one which is struck will ring, but the other will also commence to sing in sympathy. Likewise, when we think a thought and another person in our environment has been thinking along the same line, our thoughts coalesce with his and strengthen him for good or evil according to the nature of the thought. It is no mere fancy when in the play called “The Witching Hour,” the hero aims to help a scoundrel escape from the State of Kentucky, where the latter is about to be arrested for murder of the Governor. The hero, a man of considerable thought power feels that he may have prompted the criminal. He tells his sister that previous to the time of the murder he had thought that the murder could be committed just in the manner in which it was actually done. He is under the impression that his thought may have been caught by the brain of the murderer and have shown him the way to commit the murder.
When we go into a jury box and we see before ourselves the criminal, we behold only his act; we have no cognizance of the thought which prompted him. If we have been in the habit of thinking evil, malicious thoughts against one person or another, these thoughts may have been attractive to that criminal, and on the principle that when we have before ourselves a saturated solution of salt it will only take a single crystal to make that
salt solution solidify, so also if a man has saturated his brains with thoughts of murder, the thought that we sent out may be the last straw breaking the back of the camel, destroying the last barrier which would have held him from committing the act.
Therefore, our thoughts are of vastly more importance than our acts, for if we will only think right, we shall always act right. No man can think love to his fellowmen; can scheme in his mind how to aid and help them, spiritually, mentally or physically, without acting out these thoughts at some time in his life, and if we will only cultivate such thoughts, we shall soon find sunshine spreading around us; we shall find that people will meet us in the same spirit that we send out, and if we could realize that the desire body (which surrounds each of us and extends about sixteen to eighteen inches beyond the periphery of the physical body) contains all these feelings and emotions, then we would meet people differently, for we would understand that everything we see is viewed through the atmosphere which we have created around ourselves which colors all we behold in others.
If, then, we see meanness and smallness in the people whom we meet, it would be well to look within to ascertain if it is not the atmosphere we are looking through which colors them thus. Let us see if we have not within ourselves those undesirable qualities, and then being to remedy the defect within ourselves. The man who is mean and small will appear mean to him for he will call out from others the very qualities which he manifests, on the principle that the vibration of a tuning fork of a certain pitch, when struck, will cause another of identical pitch to vibrate. On the other hand, if we cultivate a serene attitude, an attitude that is free from
covetousness and is frankly honest and helpful, we shall call out the best in other people. Therefore let us realize that it is not until we have cultivated the better qualities in ourselves that we can expect to find them in others. We are thus in very truth responsible for our thoughts, we are indeed the keepers of our brothers, for as we think when we meet them, so do we appear to them, and they reflect our attitude. Applying the foregoing principle, if we want to obtain help to cultivate those better qualities, let us seek the company of people who are already good, for their attitude of mind will be of immense help to us to call forth in us the finer qualities.
If a person is constantly bothered by evil thoughts which keep coming into his mind, although he is constantly fighting them, is there any way in which he can cleanse his mind so that he will think only pure and good thoughts?
Answer: Yes, there is, and a very easy way at that. The inquirer has himself suggested the chief difficulty in his question, when he says that he is constantly fighting these thoughts. If we take an illustration we shall see the point.
Supposing we have a particular dislike for a certain person whom we meet every day upon the street, perhaps a number of times. If we stop each time we meet that person and berate him for walking upon the street, for not keeping out of our sight, we are each time adding fuel to the fire of our enmity, we are stirring him up, and for pure spite he may seek to waylay us so much the more. Both like and dislike have a tendency to attract a thought or an idea to us, and the added thought force which we send out to fight evil thoughts will keep them alive and bring them to our mind the oftener, in the same way that quarreling will cause the person we dislike to waylay us for spite. But if, instead of fighting him, we adopt the tactics of indifference. If we turn our heads the other way when we meet him upon the street, he will soon grow tired of follow us; and, on the same principle, when thoughts of evil come into our minds. If we will but turn away with indifference and apply our minds to something that is good and ideal, we shall find in a short time that we are rid of their companionship and have only the good thoughts we desire to entertain.
If woman is an emanation from man, as per the rib story, will she in the final return to unity be reabsorbed, losing her individuality in the masculine divinity?
Answer: The “rib story” is one of those instances of gross ignorance upon the part of the Bible translators–who possessed no occult knowledge–in dealing with the language of the Hebrews, which in writing was not divided into words and had no vowel points. By inserting vowels at different points and dividing words differently, various meanings to the same text may be obtained in many places. This is one case where a word pointed in one way reads “tsad” and in another way “tsela.” The Bible translators read the story that the God had taken something from Adam’s side (“tsela”), and they were puzzled as to what it was and so, perhaps, they thought it would have done him the least harm to take a rib (“tsad”), hence the foolish story.
The fact was that man had first been like the Gods, “made in their image,” male and female, a hermaphrodite, and later one side was taken away so that he became divided into two sexes. It may be further said that the first organ which was developed as it is now was the female organ, the feminine side having always existed in everything before the masculine, which came later, and, according to the law in evolution, that “the first shall be the last,” the feminine will remain a distinct sex longer than the masculine, and, therefore, the inquirer is altogether wrong in the supposition. It is the masculine that will be absorbed in the feminine. Even now it is seen that the masculine organ is gradually contracting at its base and will finally cease to be.
As for losing her individuality, such a thing is impossible, it is just the purpose of evolution that we should become individuals, self-conscious and separate during evolution, self-conscious and united during the interludes between manifestations.
Why has woman been cursed by inequality, assumed inferiority and injustice since the beginning of human existence upon this plane?
Answer: In the first place, we must remember that the spirit is neither male nor female, but manifests in that way alternately, as a rule. We have all been men and we have all been women. Therefore there can be no question of inequality if we look at life from the larger point of view. Certain lessons must be learned by the spirit in each age which can only be learned from the standpoint of a woman, and there are other lessons only to be learned by incarnation in a male body. Therefore, of a necessity, there must be the change in sex. It sometimes happens, of course, that for
reasons a person must appear as a male for several incarnations and then, of course, when he takes upon himself the female garb, it may jar considerably. In that case we have a very masculine woman, perhaps a suffragette of a militant nature. On the other hand, a spirit may sometimes have been embodied for several incarnations in a female garb and then may appear as a man of a very effeminate nature, a regular “sissy.” But even upon the hypothesis of alternating incarnations, many of us probably were incarnated in Rome in the opposite sex, and taking the law of causation into consideration, the treatment of women by the men of that time was not such as to cause these Roman women when incarnated now as men to give any great concessions to their former masters.
Why was the suffering of Marguerite so extreme and out of proportion to that of Faust, even to imprisonment and the death penalty, while his life, liberty and pursuit of happiness was unmolested?
Answer: This question has reference to one of the myths which have come down through the ages, and contrary to the popularly accepted opinion a myth is not a story made out of whole cloth, but is veiled truth, revealing in symbol great spiritual principles. These myths were given to infant
humanity for the same reason that we give our children ethical teachings in nursery stories and picture books, which impress themselves upon the infant mind in a way intellectual teaching would be incapable of doing.
Goethe, who was an initiate, has treated this Faust myth in a way that is wonderfully illuminative, and the key to the problem is found in the prologue, which is laid in Heaven, much in the same way as we find in the opening of the Book of Job. The Sons of God appear before the Throne and the Devil among them, for he is also one of the Sons of God. He is given permission to try to seduce Faust in order that the spiritual activities may be called forth and virtue developed. It is one of our great mistakes to regard innocence and virtue as synonymous; every one among us is born innocent, he comes here without any evil, that has all been purged away, but he has certain tendencies which may develop into vice and, therefore, he must be tried in every life to see whether he will yield to temptation and embrace vice, or whether he will stand firm and develop virtue. Faust is tempted, he falls, but afterwards he sincerely repents and transmutes the evil forces to good, so that at last he is saved. Repentance and reform before death has wrought his salvation, the impure passion he felt for Marguerite gave place to his pure love for Helen. Marguerite also yields to the temptation, she repents and is saved by means of the forgiveness of sins. Thus in the case of one it is salvation by acts. By his energy, which dominates the evil forces, he builds a new land, a land where a free people may live under better conditions; he is seeking to lift humanity to a higher plane, and by that act, by his unselfish work for others, he is redeemed from the powers of evil. In Marguerite’s case, salvation results
from prayer and repentance. Thus we have in that drama, as represented by Goethe, a perfect symbol of the Western teaching that there is both the forgiveness of sins and the expiration of a wrong act by a corresponding right act. Death is something that comes to all and the suffering which was incident to the wrong act in each case is surely none the less in the case of Faust, where it was prolonged over a long period of years, than in the case of Marguerite, where the life is ended in a much shorter time. The only difference is that Faust has overcome consciously and will in future life be immune to temptation, while the case of Marguerite is problematical. In a future earth life she will yet have to meet temptation in order that it may be made manifest whether or not she has developed the strength of character requisite to withstand the wrong and adhere to the right.
Is there any place, either in the Old or New Testament, wherein men were told to marry and then live as brother and sister at any time or under any condition? And if not in the Bible, why do you teach it?
Answer: The Original Semites were the fifth of the Atlantean races. They came out of the drowning Atlantis as told variously in the stories of
Noah and Moses. They were to go into a Promised Land, not little insignificant Palestine, but the whole earth as it is now constituted. It was promised because the earth was undergoing the changes usual when a new race is to take possession. Floods had destroyed the Atlantean civilization and in the wilderness of Gobi, in Central Asia, wandered the nucleus of the present Aryan races.
At the time when such a nucleus was to become a world peopling race, naturally, the begetting of children was a prime consideration. Therefore, it was looked upon as the duty of everyone to beget numerous children and be exceedingly fruitful. But we are not living in those times now; the world is well peopled and the re-incarnating Egos are taken care of without special endeavors at generation. We have never advocated generally celibacy, or that people should marry and then live at all times as brother and sister; but we have taught that married people, according to their circumstances, should help to perpetuate the race. That is to say, if both husband and wife are physically, morally and mentally able; when they are possessed of a home, wherein an incarnating Ego may obtain the chance of embodiment and experience, they should offer themselves as a living sacrifice upon the altar of humanity and give of the substance of their bodies to furnish an Ego with a vehicle, inviting it into their home as they would invite a dear guest, thankful that they may be able to do for it what others have done for them. But when the act of impregnation has been accomplished, they should refrain from further intercourse, until again they feel sufficiently fitted to generate the body for another child. Such is the teaching of the Rosicrucians concerning the ideal relation between husband and wife. They
hold that creative function should not be used for sensual purposes, but for the perpetuation of the race for which it has been, naturally, designed. This is an ideal condition and may be beyond most people at the present time, like the injunction to love our enemies; but if we do not have high ideals we shall make no progress.
Is there a soul-mate belonging to every soul through all eternity? If so, would it not be better to remain unmarried a thousand years than to marry the wrong mate?
Answer: As the light is refracted into the seven colors of the spectrum when passing through our atmosphere, so also the spirits which are differentiated within God are refracted into seven great rays. Each class is under the direct guidance and domination of one of the Seven Spirits before the Throne, which are the planetary genii, the Star Angels. All the Virgin spirits in their successive incarnations are continually intermingling in order that they may gain the most varied experiences; nevertheless, those who have emanated from the same Star Angel are always sister or twin souls, and when they seek the higher life, they must enter the path of initiation
through a lodge composed of members of the same ray from which they originally came, thence to return to their primal source. Therefore, all occult schools are divisible into seven, one for each class of spirits. That was the reason Jesus said to his disciples “Your father and mine”–None could have come into as close touch with him as these disciples were, except those belonging to the same ray.
Like all other mysteries, this beautiful doctrine has been degraded to a physical or material idea such as embodied in the popular conception of twin souls or affinities; that one is male and the other female, and very often each is somebody else’s wife or husband. In such cases the doctrine of twin souls is often made an excuse for elopement and adultery. This is an abominable perversion. Each spirit is complete in itself, it takes upon itself a male or a female body at different times in order to learn the lessons of life, and it is only during the present stage of its development that there is such a feature as sex at all. The Ego was before sex, and will persist after that phase of its manifestation has passed away.
Is it wrong for first, second or third cousins to marry, and if so, why?
Answer: The purpose of marriage is the perpetuation of the race, and according to the physical nature of the parents, plus their environment, will the child be. We find, for instance, that the emigrants who come to our shores are different from the children they beget, and that the children that they beget here in America are different from the children begotten in Europe. For instance, the long-headed Sicilians beget children who have a more rounded head, and the round-headed Jews beget children who have a more oval shaped head, thus showing in all races a tendency to amalgamate and bring into birth a new American Race.
These changes are not at all brought about by accident. The great leaders of humanity always aim to bring about certain conditions in order to produce certain types. For only in that way can the faculties be evolved that are necessary to the progress of the spirit and there was a time when it was necessary to the evolution of the Ego that they should marry in the family. At that time humanity was not so evolved and individualized as they are now. They were ruled by a family spirit which entered into the blood by means of the air they inspired to help the Ego control its instrument. Then humanity had what is known as second sight, and that second sight is yet found among people who have persisted largely in marrying inside the family, such, for instance, as the Scotch Highlanders and the Gypsies.
But it was necessary that men should forget the Spiritual World for a time and remember no life but the present. In order to bring this change in consciousness about, the great leaders took certain steps, one of them being the prohibition of marriages in the family. When we read in the fifth chapter of Genesis that Adam lived over 900 years and all the patriarchs lived for centuries, it does not really mean that the persons named lived themselves during that length of time, but the blood which coursed in their veins was transmitted directly to their descendants and this blood contained the pictures of our individual family as it now contains the pictures of our individual lives, for the blood is the storehouse of all experiences. Thus the descendants of the patriarchal families saw themselves as Adam, Methuselah, etc. Of course, during the centuries, these pictures gradually became faint and when the memory of Adam faded out from the blood of his direct descendants it was said that Adam ceased to live.
As man became more individualized, he was to learn to stand upon his own legs without the help of the family spirit. Then international marriages were permitted, or even commanded, and marrying inside the family was no longer allowed. That killed clairvoyance. Science has demonstrated that when the blood of one animal is inoculated into the veins of another animal, hemolysis, or the destruction of blood, takes place, so that the lower animal is killed. But the introduction of strange blood, in whatever way accomplished, always kills something, if not the form at least a faculty, and the strange blood introduced by marriage killed the clairvoyance possessed by primitive man. That this statement is true about strange blood being destructive can be noted in the case of hybrids. Where, for instance,
a horse and a donkey are mated the progeny is a mule, but that mule is minus the propagative faculty, for it is neither under the group spirit of the horses nor under the dominion of the group spirit of the donkeys, and if it should propagate, the result would be a species not under the dominion of any group spirit. The mule is not so far evolved, however, that it can guide its instrument without the assistance of a group spirit, and so the propagative faculty is denied the group spirit withholding the fructifying seed atom. With humanity it was different, however. When they had come to the stage where international marriages were commanded, they had arrived at the point in evolution of self-consciousness where they were able to steer their own bark and where they must cease to be God-guided automatons and become self-governing individuals. The greater the mixture of blood, the less the indwelling spirit can be influenced by any of the race or family spirits which influenced our ancestors. Thus greater scope is afforded the incoming Egos when we marry strangers than when we seek a cousin for a mate.
Would it be wise for two people of the same temperament to marry if they were both born under the same sign of the zodiac? In August, for instance?
Answer: It is said that a person is born every second of the day; thus there would be 3,600 born in an hour, 86,400 in a day of 24 hours, and about two millions and a half in a month. If they were supposed to have the same temperament and the same fate in life, we should only have twelve kinds of people, and yet we know that there are not two people exactly alike, so that it is foolish to say that people have the same temperament because they are born under the same sign of the zodiac, as determined by the month.
To cast a horoscope scientifically, it if necessary to take into consideration the day and the year when a person was born, for the planets do not arrive at the same relative positions more than once in twenty-five thousand, eight hundred and sixty-eight years. We must further take into consideration the hour of the birth and if possible try to get the minute, on account of the swiftly changing position of the moon. If we also take into consideration the place, we can calculate the rising sign, which gives the form of the body. Then we have an absolutely individual horoscope, for the degree of the zodiac rising on the eastern horizon changes every four minutes, so that even in the case of twins there would be a difference.
In order, then, that the astrologer may say whether the marriage of two people will be harmonious or otherwise, it is necessary for him to cast the horoscope of the two persons and endeavor to find out if they will be physically, morally, and mentally congenial. He judges by comparing the ascendants, or rising signs, which show the physical affinity. The positions of Mars and Venus will show whether they are morally of the same caliber, and the Sun and Moon show their mental characteristics. Thus he has an accurate gauge as to whether their natures will blend, but predictions based upon anything short of such a calculation are worthless.
Please give the views of the occultist regarding the white races intermarrying with the other races; also in regard to their children?
Answer: The human spirit is neither colored nor white, but in different stages of its progress it has used black, yellow and white bodies, and it is the belief of the writer from certain indications that the next great race will be a beautiful blue. The races are only bodies, used for a time in the evolution of the spirit, as we at one time inhabited the black bodies. When we left them, other, and less advanced spirits took possession of the black race
bodies. We then occupied the yellow bodies. Later on we left also the yellow bodies, and at present are occupying the white ones. Under our tenancy these various bodies evolved and increased in efficiency, but naturally, when the other classes of spirits which are not as far advanced as we in the West, entered the bodies we left, those bodies gradually degenerated.
These lower classes of spirits, our weaker brothers, have to take our leavings; therefore, we naturally owe them a certain debt, and marriage with the lower races is necessary in order to create something higher. The Negro bodies of the South, the bodies of mulattoes, mestizoes and octoroons are much superior to the black bodies of the Negroes in Africa, and are, of course, inhabited by a much higher grade of Ego than the African Negro body; and thus there is an unbroken ladder maintained all the time between the pioneers and the lowest races. For, as the flower would be an impossibility if there were not the mineral soil wherein it can grow, so also is a white race with the sensitive bodies and high strung nerves such as we find in the West, an impossibility if it were not that we as spirits had had the experience gained in our advancement through the lower races. The debt we owe to those who have taken our leavings must be canceled, and that is most successfully accomplished by providing the intermediary links which bridge the gulf between race and race. In the case of the Southern Negro there are other reasons – a national destiny incurred by us on account of his compulsory importation and subsequent servitude.
Why is the Negro commonly said to be marked with the curse of Cain? If he is the descendant of Ham, according to Biblical ethnology, how can that race be any older than the sons of Shem or Japhet? Is not the most intellectual, successful and enduring race that history records, namely, the Jew, the one that has left itself most free from a mixture?
Answer: The Bible does not state anywhere that the Negroes are the descendants of Ham; besides it is well known that the Biblical ethnology as commonly understood among orthodox people is an utter impossibility in view of the facts of geology and ethnological research. We are past the day when anyone will dare to make a statement such as, for instance, was made by a learned Dean of Cambridge University less than a century ago, namely, that the World was created on Friday, the 10th of October, 4004 B.C., at nine o’clock in the morning. The Biblical ethnology also has the exact year of the flood and similar events fixed, but from the occult point of view, which as derived from a direct reading in the picture gallery of the past, which we call the Memory of Nature, the case is very different. We find there that there have been various epochs or great stages of unfoldment in the earth’s history, and that the Negro was the humanity of the third of these epochs, the Lemurian. The whole human race of that time was black skinned. Then came a time, called the Atlantean Epoch, when humanity was red, yellow, except one race which was white. These people were the Original Semites, the fifth of the Atlantean Races. These Atlanteans are called Niebelungen,
or Children of the Mist, in the old folk stories, for at that time the atmosphere of the earth was a very dense fog. In the latter half of the Atlantean Epoch this atmosphere condensed, floods resulted and gradually the sea covered the larger part of the globe. Then the atmosphere became clear above the earth. This point in evolution is described in the Bible where Noah, the leader of the Semites, came out from the drowning Atlantis and first saw the rainbow, a phenomenon impossible in the foggy atmosphere of early Atlantis. We also hear of that emigration in the story of Moses and the Israelites coming out from Egypt while the Egyptian king and his men drown in the waters of the Red Sea. These people had been chosen to become the progenitors of our present Aryan races, but not all of them were true to the commands of their leader. There were some of them who “went after strange flesh,” and that is the greatest crime possible at such a time, for when a leader is aiming to instill new faculties into a new race, the admixture of strange blood has a tendency to frustrate his plans. Therefore, some of these chosen people were lost, that is to say, they were abandoned by their leaders and did not become the forbears of the new humanity.
Those who were thus lost or left behind are, strange to say, the present day Jews, who at one time married into the families of their Atlantean brethren, contrary to the commands of their divine leader, and yet today think themselves the “chosen people” of God. There is no doubt that the earliest Jews remember their sin in marrying outside of their tribes. Thus they instilled into their descendants the strong dislike against mixing with other tribes, and so these rebels have since been faithful to the injunction not to marry among the Gentiles.
As for their being intellectual as a race, we say No! In the Polarian Epoch man evolved a dense body, and the vitalizing principle in the Hyperborean Epoch. In the Lemurian Epoch came the desire body to give incentive to action, and the mind was added in the Atlantean Epoch, giving to man cunning. Thought, or reason, is the faculty to be evolved in this Aryan epoch, and a study of facts will reveal to us that the Jews still are strongly actuated by the Atlantean faculty–cunning.
The leaders of humanity have been endeavoring to get these people to mix with the other races in order that they might be lifted out of their present condition. Their Bible tells us how they have been exiled time and again, without avail; they have remained a people apart. The Christ was sent to them as one of their own, because it was thought that they would take the word of one from among their midst, but “they chose Barabbas.” That as was the last straw; it was seen that it was impossible to save them in a body. Since then they have been scattered over the whole world, a people without a country, to induce them to amalgamate in that way, but such is the stiff-neckedness of this people that to this day they are still separate. Here in America, however, in “the Great Melting Pot,” they are beginning to slowly amalgamate. They were lost by marrying outside their tribe into a lower race, but in time they will be saved by marrying into the more advanced races, here upon the American continent.
Has the Rosicrucian Philosophy any specific teaching concerning the training of children?
Answer: There is perhaps no subject of greater importance than that. In the first place, wise parents who are desirous of giving the child all advantages, commence before the birth of the child, even before the conception, to prayerfully turn their thoughts toward the task they are undertaking, and are careful to see that the union which is to bring about the germination takes place under the proper stellar influences, when the moon is passing through signs which are appropriate to the building of a strong and healthy body, having, of course, their own bodies in the best possible physical, moral and mental condition.
Then during the period of gestation they hold before their mind’s eye constantly the ideal of a strong, useful life for the incoming entity, and as soon as possible after birth has taken place they cast the horoscope of the child, for the ideal parent is also an astrologer. If the parents have not the ability to cast the horoscope themselves they can at least study the stellar signs that will enable them to intelligently understand what the astrologer tells them; but under no circumstances will they consult a professional astrologer to help them, one who prostitutes the science for gold, but will seek the aid of a spiritual astrologer, though they may have to seek some time. From the child’s natal chart the strength and weaknesses of its character can be readily seen. The parents will then be in the best position possible to foster the good and take appropriate means to repress the evil before the tendencies work themselves out into actualities, and thus they may in a large measure help the incoming entity to overcome his faults.
Next, the parent must realize that that which we term birth is only the birth of the visible, physical body, which is born and comes to its present high stage of efficiency in a shorter time than the invisible vehicles of man, because it has had the longest evolution. As the fetus is shielded from the impacts of the visible world by being encased in the protecting womb of the mother during the period of gestation, so are also the subtler vehicles encased in envelopes of ether and desire stuff which protects them until they have sufficiently matured, and are able to withstand the conditions of the outer world.
Thus the vital body is born at about the age of seven, or the time when the child cuts its second teeth, and the desire body is born at about fourteen, or the time of puberty. The mind comes to birth at about twenty-one, when we say a man has reached majority.
There are certain important matters which can be taken care of only during the appropriate period of growth, and the parent should know what these are. Though the organs have been formed by the time the child comes to birth, the lines of growth are determined during the first seven years, and if they are not properly outlined during that time, an otherwise healthy child may become a sickly man or woman.
In the first chapter of St. John, we read that “In the beginning was the word . . . And without it was not anything made that was made . . . and the word became flesh.” The word is a rhythmic sound, and sound is the great cosmic builder, therefore during the first septenary epoch of its life the child should be surrounded by music of the right kind, by musical language–the swing and rhythm of nursery rhymes being particularly valuable. It does not matter about the sense at all; what matters is the rhythm; the more the child has of that, the healthier it will grow.
There are two great watchwords which apply to this period of a child’s life. They are called imitation and example. There is no creature in the world so imitative as a little child; it follows our example to the smallest detail so far as it is able. Therefore, the parents who seek to bring up their child well will ever be careful when in the presence of the little one. It is no use to teach it not to mind; the child has no mind, it has no reason, it can only imitate, and it cannot help imitating any more than water can help running down hill. If we have one kind of food for ourselves which is highly seasoned and cooked in French style, perhaps, and we give our child another dish, telling it that what we eat is not good for it, the child may not then be able to imitate us, but we implant the appetite for such food in the little one. When it grows up and can gratify its taste it will do so. Therefore, the careful parents should abstain from the foods and liquors they do not wish their child to partake of.
Regarding the clothing, we may say that at that time the child should be entirely unconscious of its sex organs, and therefore the clothing should be particularly loose at all times. This is specially necessary with little boys, for oftentimes a most seriously bad habit in later life may result from the rubbing of too tight clothing.
There is also the question of punishment to be considered; that too is an important factor at all times in awakening the sex nature and should be carefully avoided. There is no child so refractory that it will not respond to the method of reward for good deeds and the withholding of privileges as
retribution for disobedience. Besides, we recognize the fact that whipping breaks the spirit of a dog, and we oftentimes complain that certain people have cultivated a wishbone instead of a backbone–that they are lacking in will. Much of that is due to whippings, mercilessly administered in childhood. Let any parent look at this from the child’s standpoint. How would any of us now like to live with someone from whose authority we could not escape, who was much bigger than we, and have to submit to whippings day by day? Leave the whipping alone and much of the social evil will be done away with in a generation.
When the vital body has been brought to birth at the seventh year, the faculties of perception and memory are to be educated. The watchword for this period should be authority and discipleship. We should not, if we have a precocious child, seek to goad it into a course of study which requires an enormous expenditure of thought. Child prodigies have usually become men and women of less than ordinary mentality. The child should be allowed to follow his own inclination in that respect. His faculties of observation should be cultivated, he should be shown living examples. Let him see the drunkard and what vice has led him to; show him also the good man, and set before him high ideals. Teach him to take everything you say upon authority and endeavor to be such that he may respect your authority as parents and teachers. At this time he should also be prepared to husband the force which is now being awakened in him, and which will enable him to generate his kind at the end of the second period of seven years. He should not be allowed to gather that knowledge from polluted sources, because the parents shirk the responsibility of telling him from a mistaken sense of modesty.
A flower may be taken as an object lesson, whence all the children, from the smallest to the biggest, may receive the most beautiful instruction in the form of a fairy tale. They may be taught how flowers are like families without bothering at all with botanical terms, so long as the parents have studied in the slightest degree a little elementary botany. Show the children some flowers. Tell them “Here is a flower family where there are all boys (a staminate flower), and here is another flower where there are only girls (a pistillate flower). Here is one where there are both boys and girls (a flower where there are both stamen and pistils). Show them the pollen in the anthers. Tell them that these little flower boys are just like the boys in the human families; that they are adventuresome and want to go out into the world to fight the battle of life, while the girls (the pistils) stay at home. Show them the bees with the pollen baskets on their legs, and tell them how the little flower boys bestride those winged steeds, like the knights of old, and go out into the world to seek the princess immured in the magic castle (the ovule hidden in the pistil); how the pollen, the flower boy-knights, force their way through the pistil and enter the ovule; then tell them how that signifies that the knight and the princess are married, that they live happy ever afterward and become the parents of many little flower boys and girls. When they have fully grasped that, they will understand also the generation in the animal and human kingdom, for there is no difference; one is just as pure and chaste and holy as the other. And the little children brought up in that way will always have a reverence for the creative function that can be instilled in no better way.
When a child has been thus equipped, it is well fortified for the birth of the desire body at the time of puberty. When the desires and the emotions are unleashed, it enters upon the most dangerous period of life, the time of the hot youth from fourteen to twenty-one, for at that time the desire body is rampant and the mind has not yet come to birth to act as a brake. At this time it is well for the child that has been brought up as here outlined, for its parents will then be a strength and an anchor to it to tide it over that troublesome period until the time when it is full born–the age of twenty-one , when the mind is born.
Why are children born in a family where they are not welcome?
Answer: It shows a sad state of society when a question such as this can be relevant, as, unfortunately, it is. The primal purpose of marriage is the perpetuation of the race and people who are not willing to become parents have no right to marry. It should be the right of every child to be well born, and welcome. But while we are careful to seek out the best strain in the animals which we use for breeding purposes, in order that we may get the hardiest and best stock, we usually do not think at all of the physical, moral and mental fitness of the one we select to be the father
or mother of our children. In fact, it is usually considered indelicate if not indecent to think of children at all, and when they come in spite of preventatives, the parents are often distracted with grief. But the law of cause and effect is not to be thwarted. The mills of the Gods grind slowly but they are sure to grind very small, and though the centuries may pass by, there will come a time when the one who is an unwilling parent must himself seek an embodiment anew, and perhaps he will then be reborn into a family where he is not welcome. Or perhaps the unwilling parents of one life become childless in the next. Cases are know to the writer where such a couple has been blessed with numerous children whom they desired and passionately loved, but who died in childhood one after another to the great grief of the parents.
When children do not come to a man and wife who deeply long for them, is there not some way to induce some soul in the unseen world to accept their invitations to reincarnate? Where the conditions in the home are most favorable, it would seem that among the many souls awaiting incarnation one would find the conditions right.
Answer: This is undoubtedly one of the conditions where the would-be parents have some time in a previous life neglected their opportunity, or, perhaps, have taken precautions to avoid begetting children. Or, if this is not the case, it may be that at a later day their hopes will be fulfilled. The writer has observed a case where a spirit seeking incarnation followed the mother about, and he was told by someone else who had known the mother that that Ego had been following her from before her marriage. The marriage proved barren, however, and only recently came the news of the divorce. It was plain that although this Ego evidently desired incarnation through the mother, it refused the father. We sometimes hear of marriages which are barren, and then when the marriage contract has been dissolved and the partners have each remarried, both have become parents, showing that they were perfectly able to become parents from the physical standpoint, and that it was the incarnating Ego that was lacking. For this should be noted, that unless there is an Ego seeking embodiment through a married couple, their efforts will be fruitless. From the ordinary standpoint that would not appear to be so, but it will be readily seen that as the chemical constituents of the semen and the ova are at all times the same, there would be no reason why a union of the sexes should be fruitful at one time and barren at another if they were the only factors. We know that if we mix hydrogen and oxygen in proper proportions we always get water; we know that water will always flow down hill; and thus all the laws of nature are invariable, so that unless there were another factor than the chemical mixture of semen and ova there would always be issue. And this unknown and unseen factor is the reincarnating Ego which goes only where it pleases and without which there can be no issue.
If the inquirer will pray earnestly to the angel Gabriel, who is the ambassador or the Regent of the Moon to the Earth, and therefore a prime factor in the generation of bodies (see the Bible), it may possibly avail to bring the desired result. The best time is Monday at sunrise, and from the new Moon to the full.
How do you explain the fact that a child so often inherits the bad characteristics of the parents?
Answer: We explain by saying that it is not a fact. Unfortunately, people seem to lay their bad traits to heredity, blaming their parents for their faults, while taking to themselves all the credit for the good. The very fact that we differentiate between that which is inherited and that which is our own, shows that there are two sides to man’s nature, the side of the form and the life side.
The man, the thinker, comes here equipped with a mental and a moral nature, which are entirely his own, taking from his parents only the material for the physical body. We are drawn to certain people by the law of causation, and the law of association. The same law which causes musicians to seek the company of one another in concert halls, gamblers to congregate
at the race tracks or in pool rooms, people of a studious nature to flock to libraries, etc., also causes people of similar tendencies, characteristics, and tastes to be born in the same family. Thus, when we hear a person say, “Yes, I know I am thriftless, but then my people never were used to work, we always had servants,” it shows that similarity of tastes and nothing more is needed to explain it. When another person says, “Oh, yes, I know I am extravagant, but I just cannot help it, it runs in the family,” it is again the law of association, and the sooner we recognize that instead of making the law of heredity an excuse for our evil habits we should seek to conquer them and cultivate virtues instead, the better for us. We would not recognize it as a valid excuse if the drunkard should say, “No, I cannot help drinking, all my associates drink.” We would tell him to get away from them as quickly as possible and assert his own individuality, and we would advise people to cease shielding themselves behind their ancestors as an excuse for bad habits.
Does not the child inherit its blood and nervous system from its parents? If so, will it not inherit disease and nervous disorders also?
Answer: In the fetus, in the lower part of the throat just above the sternum or breast bone, there is a gland called the thymus gland, which is largest during the period of gestation and which gradually atrophies as the child grows older and disappears entirely by or before the fourteenth year, very often when the bones have been properly formed. Science has been very much puzzled as to the use of this gland, and few theories have been advanced to account for it. Among these theories one is that it supplies the material for the manufacture of the red blood corpuscles until the bones have been properly formed in the child so that it may manufacture its own blood corpuscles. That theory is correct.
During the earliest years the Ego which owns the child-body is not in full possession, and we recognize that the child is not responsible for its doings, at any rate not before the seventh year, and later we have extended it to the fourteenth year. During that time no legal liability for its action attaches to the child, and that is as it should be, for the Ego being in the blood can only function properly in blood of its own making, so that where, as in the child-body, the stock of the blood is furnished by the parents through the thymus gland, the child is not yet its own master or mistress. Thus it is that children do not speak of themselves so much as “I” in the earlier years, but identify themselves with the family; they are Papa’s girl and Mama’s boy. The young child will say “Mary wants” this
or “Johnny wants that,” but as soon as they have attained the age of puberty and have begun to manufacture their own blood corpuscles, then we hear the boy or girl say, “I” will do this or “I” will do that. From that time they begin to assert their own identity, and to tear themselves loose from the family.
Seeing, then, that the blood throughout the years of childhood, as well as the body, is inherited from the parents, the tendencies to disease are also carried over, not the disease itself but the tendency. After the fourteenth year, when the indwelling Ego has commenced to manufacture its own blood corpuscles, it depends a great deal upon itself whether or not these tendencies shall become manifested actualities in its life.
Can a person be influenced in a natural sleep as he can in hypnotic sleep, or is there a difference?
Answer: Yes, there is a difference. In the natural sleep the Ego, clothed in the mind and desire body, draws outside the physical body and usually hovers over the body, or at any rate remains close to it, connected by the silver cord, while the vital body and the dense body are resting upon the bed.
It is then possible to influence the person by instilling into his brain the thoughts and ideas we wish to communicate. Nevertheless, we cannot then get him to do anything or to entertain any idea except that which is in line with his natural proclivities. It is impossible to command him to do anything and to enforce obedience, the same as it is when he has been driven out by the passes of the hypnotist, for it is the brain which moves the muscles, and during the natural sleep his brain is interpenetrated by his own vital body and he is in perfect control himself, while during the hypnotic sleep the passes of the hypnotist have driven the ether of which his vital body is composed out of the brain, down to the shoulders of the victim, where it lies around his neck and resembles the collar of a sweater. The dense brain is then open to the ether from the hypnotist’s vital body, which displaces that of the proper owner. Thus in the hypnotic sleep the victim has no choice whatever as to the ideas he entertains or the movements he makes with his body, but in the ordinary sleep he is still a free agent. In fact, this method of suggestion during sleep is something which mothers will find extremely beneficial in treating refractory children, for if the mother will sit by the bed of the sleeping child, hold its hand, speak to it as she would speak when it is awake, instill into its brain ideas of such a nature as she would wish it to entertain, she will find that in the waking state many of these ideas will have taken root. Also in dealing with a person who is sick or is addicted to drink, if the mother, nurse or others use this method, they will find it possible to instill hope and healing, materially furthering recovery or aiding self-mastery. This method may of course be used for evil, but we cannot refrain from publishing it, as we believe that the good which can be done in this way will much more than offset the few cases where some misguided person may use it for the wrong purpose.
What are dreams? Have they all a significance, and how can we invite or induce dreams?
Answer: In the waking state, the different vehicles of the Ego, the mind, desire body, vital body and dense body are all concentric. They occupy the same space, and the Ego functions outwardly in the Physical World. But at night, during the dreamless sleep, the Ego, clothed in the desire body and the mind, withdraws, leaving the physical and the vital body upon the bed, there being no connection between the higher and the lower vehicles, save a thin, glistening thread, called the silver cord. It happens, however, that at times the Ego has been working so interestedly in the Physical World and the desire body has become so stirred up that it refuses to leave the lower vehicles and is only half withdrawn. Then the connection between the sense centers of the desire body and the sense centers of the
physical brain are partly ruptured. The Ego sees the sights and scenes of the Desire World which, in themselves, are extremely fantastic and illusory, and they are transmitted to the brain centers without being connected by reason. From this condition come all the foolish and fantastic dreams which we have.
It happens at times, however, that when the Ego is altogether outside the dense body, as in dreamless sleep, it sees an event concerning itself about to materialize, for coming events cast their shadows before, and before anything happens in the material world it has already happened in the spiritual worlds. If, upon awaking from such an experience, the Ego succeeds in impressing the brain with what it has seen, we have a prophetic dream, which in due time will come true, or which the Ego, if its Fate permits, may modify by a new action. For instance, if warned of an accident, it may take steps to counteract the impending calamity.
Regarding the second part of the question, “How can we invite or induce dreams,” we may say that, of course, it is of no advantage to invite or induce dreams of the confused and fantastic kind, and, as for the other kind, there comes a time in a man’s life when he begins to live the higher life. Then, gradually, by certain exercises, he evolves the faculty of leaving his body consciously at night or at any other time. He is then perfectly conscious in the invisible worlds. He can go wherever he pleased to the ends of the earth in minutes of time and as he learns how to consciously work in those invisible worlds, he does not “dream” any longer, but lives another life that is fuller or more real than the one he now lives.
What is sleep and what causes the body to go to sleep?
Answer: During the daytime the vital body specializes the colorless solar fluid which is all about us, through the organ we call the spleen. This vitality permeates the whole body and is seen by the clairvoyant as a fluid of a pale rose color, having been transmuted upon entering the physical body. It flows along every nerve, and when it is sent out by the brain centers in particularly large quantities it moves the muscles to which the nerves lead.
The vital body may be said to be built of points which stick out in all directions, inward, outward, upward and downward, all through the body, and each little point goes through the center of one of the chemical atoms, causing it to vibrate at a higher rate than its natural speed. This vital body interpenetrates the dense body from birth to death under all conditions except when, for instance, the blood circulation stops in a certain part, as when we rest a hand upon the edge of a table for some time and it “goes to sleep,” as we say. Then, if clairvoyant, we may see the etheric hand of the vital body hanging down below the visible hand as a glove, and the chemical atoms of the hand relapse into their natural slow rate of vibration. When we slap the hand to cause it to “wake up,” as we say, the peculiar prickling sensation we feel is caused by the points of the vital body which then reenter the sleeping atoms of the hand and start them into renewed vibration.
The vital body leaves the dense body in a similar manner when a person is dying. Drowning persons who have been resuscitated experience an intense agony caused by the entrance of these points, which they feel as a prickling sensation.
During the daytime, when the solar fluid is being absorbed by the man in great quantities, these points of the vital body are blown out or distended, as it were, by the vital fluid, but as the day advances and poisons of decay clog the physical body more and more, the vital fluid flows less rapidly; in the evening there comes a time when the points in the vital body do not get a full supply of the life giving fluid; they shrivel up and the atoms of the body move more sluggishly in consequence. Thus the Ego feels the body to be heavy, dull and tired. At last there comes a time when, as it were, the vital body collapses and the vibrations of the dense atoms become so slow that the Ego can no longer move the body. It is forced to withdraw in order that its vehicle may recuperate. Then we say the body has gone to sleep.
Sleep is not an inactive state, however; if it were there would be no difference in feeling in the morning and no restorative power in sleep. The very word restoration implies activity.
When a building has become dilapidated from constant wear and tear and it is necessary to renovate and restore it, the tenants must move out to give the workmen full play. For similar reasons the Ego moves out of its tenement at night. As the workmen work upon the building, to make it fit for re-occupancy, so the Ego must work upon its building before it will be fit to re-enter. And such a work is done by us during the nighttime, although we are not conscious of it in our waking state. It is this activity which removes the poisons from the system, and as a result the body is fresh and vigorous in the morning when the Ego enters at the time of waking.
Do the Rosicrucians believe in materia medica, or do they follow Christ’s method of healing?
Answer: It is generally acknowledged by the best practitioners that materia medica is an empirical science; that drugs do not act in the same way on all person, and that, therefore, it is necessary for the physician to experiment with his patients. Hence materia medica is unsatisfactory. Drugs cannot be relied upon to do the work at all times.
Observation shows that while all oxen will thrive on grass, and all lions are content with a diet of flesh, we find in the human being that there is always an individuality which makes each different from all the rest of his kind; and this peculiarity of the human race arises from the fact that while each species of animals is the expression of one single group spirit which guides the separate animals from without, there is in each human being an individual indwelling spirit, an Ego, and therefore one man’s meat is often another’s poison.
It is only when materia medica takes this point into consideration that it can be of real service in all cases, and the way to find out the peculiarities of the spirit that dwells in the patient body is to cast his horoscope to see when the times are propitious for the administration of drugs, giving the appropriate herbs at the proper time. Paracelsus did that, and therefore he was always successful with his patients; he never made a mistake. There are some who use astrology for that purpose today; the writer, for instance, has thus used it in diagnosis in many cases. He has then always been able to see the crises in the patient’s condition, the past, present and the future; and has thus been able to afford much
relief to persons suffering from various illnesses. It is to such uses that astrology should be put, and not degraded into fortune telling for the sake of gold, for, like all spiritual sciences, it ought to be used for the benefit of humanity, regardless of mercenary considerations. If physicians would study the science of astrology, they would thus with a very slight effort be able to diagnose their patient’s condition in a manner altogether impossible from the ordinary diagnostician’s point of view. Some physicians are waking up to that fact and have discovered by their experiences that the heavenly bodies have an influence upon the human frame. For instance, when the writer was in Portland, Oregon, a physician mentioned as his observation that whenever it was possible for him to perform an operation while the moon was increasing in light, that is to say, going from the new to the full moon, the operation was always successful and no complications would set in. On the other hand, he had found that when circumstances compelled him to perform an operation when the moon was going from the full to the dark there was great danger of trouble, and that such operations were never as satisfactory as those performed while the light of the moon was increasing.
There is also a tendency among physicians more and more to cure by suggestion, giving to the patient a harmless pill and a good suggestion. Every mother, whether she knows the potency of suggestion or not, at times unconsciously applies it in the case of her child. If the little one falls, she may by her suggestion cause it to either cry or laugh. If she says to the little one, “Oh, you poor little baby, you’ve hurt yourself very bad, that poor little head of yours,” the child will commence to cry; but if, on the other hand, she points to the floor and exclaims, “Oh, dear, how you hurt that poor floor, why that is too bad–kiss it!” the child will be very sorry it hurt the floor, thinking not at all of its own lesions.
In a similar manner the physician influences his patient, and it is criminal for a physician to enter the sickroom with a gloomy mien, asking the patient to make his will, telling him that he has not long to live. Those things act upon the patient in a manner far greater than realized, and many a physician has thus killed those whom he might have saved. On the other hand, if he is cheerful and comes into the sickroom with a smile and an encouraging word, if he gives a harmless cure and a good suggestion the patient is apt to recover where otherwise he might succumb to the disease. Thus, suggestion is far beyond materia medica. The faith which the patient has in the physician will work wonders, either for good or for evil, and faith was the method which Christ used in his healing. If the inquirer will look up the instances where the Christ healed the sick in the Bible, he will find that there was always a question concerning the faith of the one seeking healing. To each applicant the Christ said, “According to thy faith, be it unto you.”
That skepticism destroyed even His power is, perhaps, most evident from the passage where we are told that He journeyed to His native city and found that a prophet is not without honor save in his own country. This story is told in the thirteenth chapter of Matthew, also by Mark, and it is significant that the last verse in the thirteenth chapter of Matthew says that He did not do many mighty works because of their unbelief. Mark tells us that because of their skepticism He was only able to heal a very few people by laying His hands upon them.
The open mind is an essential requisite to all investigation and skepticism is absolutely fatal to the attainment of knowledge. As an illustration, we may mention that the writer was in Columbus a few years go and there went to a lecture by Professor Hyslop, the Secretary of the Society for Psychical Research. The subject of the lecture was “New Evidence of a Future Life.” The writer was astonished to find that Prof. Hyslop did not present in his lecture one single point which had not been brought out in the last twenty years in the reports of the Society to which he belongs. But the solution came after the lecture, when a question brought out the fact that Prof. Hyslop did not believe in anything that had been said in the Society’s reports. He did not believe in the results obtained by anyone but himself. This evidence which he had just presented had been collected by him; therefore it was new to him and he expected his audience to take his word, although he himself was unwilling to take the word of anyone else, and as an illustration of how skepticism acts, he unconsciously gave a very fine example, when he related that, going to a medium on a certain day, Richard Hodgson, deceased, spoke through the medium and Prof. Hyslop commenced to ask questions which, though quite simple, Mr. Hodgson had great difficulty in answering. Prof. Hyslop at last impatiently said, “Why, what is the matter with you, Richard; when you were alive you were quick enough; why can’t you answer now?” “Then,” said Prof. Hyslop, came the answer, quick as lightning, “Oh, every time I get into your wretched atmosphere I go all to pieces.” Prof. Hyslop could not understand the reason why, but anyone who has seen a pupil before a Board of Examiners which has made up its mind that he is a dunce will know why, and understand that it was Prof. Hyslop’s critical skeptical attitude of mind which caused Richard Hodgson’s great difficulty in communicating. We may, therefore,
say that we believe in materia medica when used in conjunction with astrology and also in Christ’s method of healing, which is Faith Cure, and in the power of suggestion and the various other systems of healing. They all contain some truth, though unfortunately many are made into fads and carried to extremes. Then they lose their power for good and become menaces to those who might otherwise have been benefited.
Since suffering is the result of our own actions, do you think it wrong to take medicine to remove pain if one is not hopelessly ill or dying?
Answer: This question reveals an attitude of mind that is extremely deplorable; as well ask if it is right to try to save one’s self if drowning, for falling in the water is also an effect of some self-generated cause. Certainly, it is our duty to take medicine administered by a properly qualified person, or attempt to cure the ills from which we suffer in any other way possible that appeals to us. We should be doing decidedly wrong
if we allowed our physical instrument to deteriorate for lack of proper care and attention. It is the most valuable tool we possess, and unless we use it circumspectly and care for it, we are amenable to the law of cause and effect for that neglect.
A question such as this reveals an altogether erroneous idea of the law of cause and effect. It is our duty to try to rise above conditions instead of allowing circumstances to guide our lives. There is a beautiful little poem which aptly enunciates this idea:
"One ship sails east and another sails west With the self same winds that blow; "Tis the set of the sail and not the gale Which determines the way they go. "As the winds of the sea are the ways of Fate As we voyage along through life, "Tis the act of the soul which determines the goal And not the calm or the strife."
If we endeavor to turn the sails of our bark of life aright, we shall always be able to modify if not to altogether change conditions, and make our lives what we will instead of sitting supinely waiting for the clouds to pass by, because we have made those clouds ourselves. The very fact that we have made them ought to be an inspiration to give us the courage and energy to unmake them, or push them away as quickly as possible.
What form of healing do you advise, physicians or practitioners, as in the Christian Science belief?
Answer: That depends upon the nature of the sickness and the temperament of the patient. If it is a case of a broken leg, a surgeon is obviously the one to call. If there is an internal disorder and it is possible to get a broad minded physician, then in certain cases he is the one to get. If, on the other hand, a mental healer, Christian Science healer or anyone else who is spiritually minded can be brought in, they may help a person who is himself strong in faith, for, as a tuning fork which is of certain pitch will respond when another tuning fork of the same pitch is struck, so will the person filled with faith respond to the ministrations of these last named ones. But where faith in their methods is lacking in the patient, it is far better to send for a regular physician in whom the patient has confidence, for health or sickness depends almost altogether upon the state of the mind, and in the conditions of sickness where a person is thwarted in his preferences. Besides, whatever good there is in any system of healing, the effects upon a certain person will be beneficial or the reverse in exact proportion to this faith in its healing power.
What is your opinion in regard to fasting as a means of curing disease?
Answer: We may readily conceive that there are more people in the West who die from over eating than from getting too little food. And under certain conditions fasting for a day or two is undoubtedly beneficial, but just as there are gourmands and gluttons, so there are also others who go to the opposite extreme and fast to excess. There lies a great danger. The better way is to eat in moderation and to eat the proper kinds of food; then it will not be necessary to fast at all.
If we study the chemistry of food we shall find that certain foods have properties of value to the system under certain conditions of disorder, and taken properly food is really medicine. All the citric fruits, for instance, are splendid antiseptics. They cleanse and purify the alimentary canal. Thus they prevent disease. All the cereals, particularly rice, are anti-toxins; they will kill disease and the germs of putrefaction. Thus, by knowing these medicinal properties of the different foods, we may very readily secure a supply of that which we need to cure our ordinary ailments by food instead of by fasting.
Do you consider it wrong to try to cure a bad habit, such as, for instance, drunkenness, by hypnotism?
Answer: Most decidedly yes. Looked at from the standpoint of one life, such methods as for instance those employed by the healers of the Immanuel movement, are undoubtedly productive of an immense amount of good. The patient is seated in a chair, put into a sleep and there he is given certain so called “suggestions.” He rises and is cured of his bad habit; from being a drunkard he becomes a respectable citizen who cares for his wife and family, and upon the face of it the good seems to be undeniable.
But looking at it from the deeper standpoint of the occultist, who views this life as only one in many, and looking at it from the effect it has upon the invisible vehicles of man, the case is vastly different. When a man is put into a hypnotic sleep, the hypnotist makes passes over him which have the effect of expelling the ether from the head of his dense body and substituting the ether of the hypnotist. The man is then under the perfect domination of another; he has no free will, and, therefore, the so called “suggestions” are in reality commands which the victim has no choice but to obey. Besides, when the hypnotist withdraws his ether and wakens the victim he is unable to remove all the ether he put into him. To use a simile, as a small part of the magnetism infused into an electric dynamo before it can be started for the first time is left behind and remains as residual magnetism to excite the fields of the dynamo every time it is started up,
so also there remains a small part of the ether of the hypnotist’s vital body in the medulla oblongata of the victim, which is a club the hypnotist holds over him all his life, and it is due to this fact that suggestions to be carried out at a period subsequent to the awakening of the victim are invariably followed.
Thus the victim of a hypnotic healer does not overcome the bad habit by his own strength, but is as much chained in that respect as if he were in solitary confinement, and although in this life he may seem to be a better citizen, when he returns to earth he will have the same weakness and have to struggle until at last he overcomes it himself.
Are there any methods of eradicating the calcareous matter which comes into our bodies by wrong methods of diet?
Answer: The question shows that the inquirer is aware that our bodies are gradually hardening from childhood to old age, on account of the chalky substances contained in most of the foods we usually nourish our bodies
upon. This calcareous matter is primarily deposited in the walls of the arteries and veins, causing what is known to the medical profession as arteriosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. The arteries of a little child are extremely soft and elastic, like a rubber tube, but gradually as we advance through childhood, youth and on toward old age, the walls of the arteries become harder in consequence of the deposits of chalk left by the passing blood. Thus in time they may become as stiff and unelastic as a pipe stem. There is a condition which is called pipe-stem artery. The arteries then become brittle and may break, causing hemorrhage and death. Therefore it is said truly that a man is as old as his arteries. If we can clear the arteries and capillaries of this earthy matter, we may greatly prolong life and the usefulness of our body.
From the occult standpoint, of course it is no matter whether we live or die, as the saying is, for death to us does not mean annihilation but only the shifting of the consciousness to other spheres; nevertheless, when we have brought a vehicle through the useless years of childhood, past the hot years of youth, and have come to the time of discretion when we are really beginning to gain experience, then the longer we can prolong the time of experience the more we may gain. For that reason it is of a certain value to prolong the life of the body.
In order to accomplish that result, we must first select the foods that are least impregnated with the choking substances which cause the induration of arteries and capillaries. These may be briefly stated to be the green vegetables and all fruits. Next, it is of importance to seek to eradicate the choking matter which we have already absorbed, if that is possible, but science has not yet found any food or medicine that will with certainty
produce that effect. Electric baths have been found to be exceedingly beneficial but not entirely satisfactory. Buttermilk is the best agent for eradicating this earthy substance, and next comes grape juice. If taken continually and in generous quantities, these substances will considerably ameliorate the hardened condition of the arteries.
Is not nature guilty of frequent physical malformations in the plant and animal world as well as in the human race, and can there be a perfectly whole and sane intelligence with a forceful will in a diseased or malformed body?
Answer: We would ask, what do you mean by nature? Bacon says that nature and God differ only as the print and the seal. Nature is the visible symbol of God, and we are too apt to think of nature nowadays in a materialistic sense. Back of every manifestation in nature there are forces, not blind forces, but intelligences. Perhaps an illustration will enable us to realize our relation to them.
Supposing we have materials and tools; we are engaged in making a table and a dog is sitting looking at us. Then the dog, a being of a lower kingdom, will gradually see us planing the wood and putting the top on the legs; it will see the table coming into existence by degrees; it may watch the process, though it may not know the use of the table and may not understand what is in our minds while we are fashioning the table. It simply beholds a manifestation, it sees us working and views the results. Supposing further, for the sake of illustration, the dog could see the materials and how they were gradually being shaped into a table, but could not see us working and putting the various pieces together to form this table; then the dog would be in about the same relation to us as we are to the nature forces. What we speak of as electricity, as magnetism, as expansion in steam, etc., are intelligences which work unseen to us when certain conditions are brought about. Nature spirits build the plants, form the crystals of the rock, and with numerous other hierarchies are working around and about us unseen, but nevertheless busy in making that which we call nature.
These are all evolving beings, like ourselves, and the very fact that they are evolving shows that they are imperfect and therefore apt to make mistakes which naturally result in malformations, so that it may be said in answer to the question that the invisible intelligences which make what we call nature are guilty of frequent mistakes as well as we.
As to the second part of the question, whether there can be a perfectly whole and sane intelligence with a forceful will in a diseased or malformed body, we may say “yes, undoubtedly,” but as the expression of that intelligence is dependent upon the efficiency of its instrument it may, naturally, be hampered by the physical deformity, on the same principle that no matter how skilled the workman is, his efficiency depends in a great measure upon the condition of his tools.
What is the effect of vaccination from the occult point of view?
Answer: Bacteriologists have discovered that many diseases are caused by microorganisms which invade our body, and also that when this invading army begins to create a disturbance the body commences to manufacture germs of an opposing nature or a substance which will poison the invaders. It is then a question of which are the strongest, the invaders or the defenders. If the defending microbes are more numerous than the invaders or if the poison which is noxious to the invaders is manufactured in sufficient quantities, the patient recovers. If the defenders are vanquished or the body is unable to manufacture a sufficient quantity of the serum necessary to poison the invaders, the patient succumbs to the disease. It was further discovered that when a certain person has once successfully recovered from a specific malady, he is immune from renewed attacks of that disease for the reason that he has in his body the serum which is death to the germs that cause the disease he has once weathered.
From the above facts certain conclusions were drawn:
(1) If a healthy person is inoculated with a few of the germs of a certain disease he will contract that disease in a mild form. He will then be able to develop the saving serum and thus he will become immune to that disease in the future.
That is the philosophy of vaccination as a means of preventing disease.
(2) When a person has contracted a disease and is unable to manufacture a sufficient quantity of the serum which will destroy the invading micro-organisms, his life may be saved by inoculation with the serum obtained from another who has become immune.
As it is not easy to get such antitoxins or cultures from human beings, these germ-cultures and poisons have been obtained from animals, and much has been written both for and against the use of such methods of fighting disease. With these we are not here concerned; the inquirers asks for the occult viewpoint, which goes deeper than the questions at issue as seen from the material side of life. There are undoubtedly cases where disease has been prevented by vaccination and cases where death has been prevented by the use of antitoxin; there are also cases where vaccination and antitoxin have caused the fatality they were designed to prevent, but that is beside the question. From the occult viewpoint vaccination and the use of antitoxin obtained by the processes in use in bacteriological institutes is to be deplored. These methods work a wrong on the helpless animals and poison the human body, making it difficult for the Ego to use its instrument.
If we study the chemistry of our food we shall find that nature has provided all necessary medicine, and if we eat right we shall be immune from disease without vaccination.
When in normal health the body specializes a far greater quantity of the solar energy than it can use. The surplus is radiated from the whole surface of the body with great force and prevents the entrance of microorganisms which lack the strength to battle against this outwelling current, nay, more! on the same principle than an exhaust fan will gather up particles of dust in a room and hurl them outward does this vital fluid cleanse the body of inimical matter, dangerous germs included. It must not surprise us that this force is intelligent and capable of selecting the materials which should be eliminated, leaving the beneficial and useful. Scientists recognize this fact of selective osmosis. They know that while a sieve will allow any particle of matter to pass through which is smaller than the mesh of the sieve, the kidneys, for instance, will keep certain fluids of use to the body, while allowing waste products to pass. In a similar manner the vital fluid makes a distinction, it rids the body of the poisons and impurities generated inside and repels similar products from without.
This emanation has been called N-rays, or Odic fluid, by scientists who have discovered it by means of chemical reagents which render it luminous. During the process of digestion it is weakest, for then an extra quantity of the solar energy is required for use inside the body in the metabolism of the food; it is the cementing factor in assimilation. The heartier we have eaten, the greater is the quantity of vital fluid expended within the body and the weaker the eliminative and protective outrushing current. Consequently we are in the greatest danger from an invasion by an army of inimical microorganisms when we have gorged ourselves.
On the other hand, if we eat sparingly and choose the foods which are most easily digestible, the diminution of the protective vital current will be correspondingly minimized and our immunity from disease will be much enhanced without the necessity of poisoning our body with vaccine.
If, as you state, the Ego dwells in the blood, is not then the practice of blood transfusion from a healthy to a diseased person dangerous. Does it affect or influence the Egos in any way, and if so, how?
Answer: Among the latest discoveries of science is hemolysis–the fact that inoculation of blood from the veins of a higher animal into one of a lower species, destroys the blood of the lower animal and causes its death. Thus the blood of man injected into the veins of any animal is fatal. But from man to man it is found that transfusion may take place, although at times there are deleterious effects.
In olden days people married in the family; it was then looked upon with horror if one should “seek after strange flesh.” When the sons of God married the daughters of men, that is to say, when the subjects of one leader married outside the tribe, there was great trouble, they were cast off by their leader and destroyed, for at that time certain qualities that we now possess were to be developed in humanity and were thus implanted in the common blood which ran pure in the family or small tribe. Later on when man was to be brought down into more material conditions, international marriages were commanded and, from that time on, it has been looked upon as equally horrible if persons within the same family united in marriage.
The old Vikings would not allow anyone to marry into their family unless they had first gone through the ceremony of mixing blood to see if the transfusion of the blood of the stranger into their family was detrimental or otherwise. All this was because in earlier times humanity was not as individualized as it is today. They were more under the domination of the race spirit or family spirit, which dwelt in their blood, as the group spirit of animals does in the blood of animals. Later the international marriages were given to free humanity from that yoke and make every separate Ego sole master of its own body without outside interference.
Science has lately found that the blood of different people has different crystals, so that it is possible now to tell the blood of a Negro from the blood of a white man; but there will come a day when they will know a still greater difference, for just as there is a difference in the crystals formed by the different races, so there is also a difference in the crystals formed by each individual man. The thumb-marks of no two people are alike, and it will be found in time that the blood of each human being is different from
the blood of every other individual. This difference is already evident to the occult investigator, and it is only a question of time when science will make the discovery, for the distinguishing features are becoming more marked as the human being grows less and less dependent, more and more self-sufficient.
This change in the blood is most important and in time, when it has become more marked, it will be productive of most far-reaching consequences. It is said that “nature geometrizes,” and nature is but the visible symbol of the invisible God whose offspring and image we are. Being made in His likeness, we are also beginning to geometrize, and naturally we starting on the substance where we, the Human Spirits, the Egos, have the greatest power, namely, in our blood.
When the blood courses through the arteries, which are deep in the body, it is a gas; but loss of heat nearer the surface of the body causes it to partially condense, and in that substance the Ego is learning to form mineral crystals. In the Jupiter Period we shall learn to invest them with a low form of vitality and set them out from ourselves as plant-like structures. In the Venus Period we shall be able to infuse desire into them and make them like animals. Finally, in the Vulcan Period, we shall give them a mind and rule over them as race spirits.
At the present time we are at the very beginning of this individualization of our blood. Therefore it is possible at present to transfuse blood from one human being to another, but the day is near at hand when that will be impossible. The blood of a white man will kill all who stand lower, and the blood of an advanced person will poison the less cultured. The child at present receives its supply of blood from the parents,
stored in the thymus gland, for the years of childhood. But the time will come when the Ego will be too far individualized to function in blood not generated by itself. Then the present mode of generation will have to be superseded by another whereby the Ego may create its own vehicle without the help of parents.
What are the causes of insanity?
Answer: To answer that question would require volumes, but we may say that from the occultist’s standpoint there are four classes of insanity.
Insanity is always caused by a break in the chain of vehicles between the Ego and the physical body. This break may occur between the brain centers and the vital body, or it may be between the vital and desire body, between the desire body and the mind, or between the mind and the Ego. The rupture may be complete or only partial.
When the break is between the brain centers and the vital body, or between that and the desire body, we have the idiots. When the break is between the desire body and the mind, the violent and impulsive desire body
rules and we have the raving maniac. When the break is between the Ego and the mind, the mind is the ruler over the other vehicles and we have the cunning maniac, who may deceive his keeper into believing that he is perfectly harmless until he has hatched some diabolical, cunning scheme. Then he may suddenly show his deranged mentality and cause a dreadful catastrophe.
There is one cause of insanity that it may be well to explain, as it is sometimes possible to avoid it. When the Ego is returning from the invisible world toward re-embodiment, it is shown the various incarnations available. It sees the coming life in its great and general events, much as a moving picture passing before its vision. Then it is given the choice usually, of several lives. It sees at that time the lessons it has to learn, the fate it has generated for itself in past lives, and what part of that fate it will have to liquidate in each of the embodiments offered. Then it makes its choice and is guided by the agents of the Recording Angels to the country and family where it is to live its coming life.
This panoramic view is seen in the Third Heaven where the Ego is naked and feels spiritually above sordid material considerations. It is much wiser then than it appears here on earth, where it is blinded by the flesh to an inconceivable extent. Later, when conception has taken place and the Ego draws into the womb of its mother, on about the eighteenth day after that event, it comes in contact with the etheric mold of its new physical body which has been made by the Recording Angels to give the brain formation that will impress upon the Ego the tendencies necessary to work out its destiny.
There the Ego sees again the pictures of its coming life, as the drowning man perceives the pictures of his past life–in a flash. At that time the Ego is already partially blind to its spiritual nature, so that if the coming life seems to be a hard one, it will oftentimes shrink from entering the womb and making the proper brain connections. It may endeavor to draw itself out quickly and then, instead of being concentric as the vital and the dense bodies should be, the vital body formed of ether may be drawn partially above the head of the dense body. In that case the connection between the sense centers of the vital body and the dense body are disrupted and the result is congenital idiocy, epilepsy, St. Vitus dance, and similar nervous disorders.
The inharmonious relation between the parents which sometimes exists is often the last straw that makes an Ego feel that it cannot enter such an environment. Therefore, it cannot be too seriously impressed upon prospective parents that during the gestatory period it is of the utmost importance that every thing should be done to keep the mother in a condition of contentment and harmony. For it is a very hard task for the Ego to go through the womb; it taxes all its sensibilities to the very utmost, and inharmonious conditions in the home it is entering are, of course an added source of discomfort which may result in the above named dreadful state of affairs.
When an insane person dies, will he still be insane in the Desire World?
Answer: That depends upon where the break is, for insanity is a rupture in the vehicles between the Ego and the physical body, and this derangement may occur between the Ego and the mind, between the mind and the desire body, or between the desire body and the vital body, and also between the latter and the dense body. If the break is between the dense and the vital body or between that and the desire body, the Ego will be perfectly sane in the Desire World immediately after death, because it has then discarded the two vehicles which were afflicted.
Where the break occurs between the desire body and the mind, the desire body is, as a matter of course, still rampant, and often causes the Ego much trouble during its existence in the Desire World; for the Ego, of course, is at no time insane. What appears as insanity arises from the fact that the Ego has no control over its vehicles; the worst of all, obviously, is where the mind itself has become affected and the Ego is tied to the personality for a long time until these vehicles are worn away.
QUESTIONS DEALING WITH LIFE AFTER DEATH
What is the use of knowing about the after-death state, what happens in the invisible world, and all these things? Is it not far better to take one world at a time? Sufficient unto the day is the trouble thereof. Why borrow more?
Answer: If we knew beyond a doubt that at some time we should be forced to leave our country and go to another place to live for a great many years before we would be allowed to return, would it not be a good policy for us to acquaint ourselves with the language, the customs, and the laws of that country? Thus equipped we would not feel so strange, and we would be able to take advantage of whatever opportunities for growth and study we should find there; we would not be apt to run contrary to its laws and get into trouble in consequence of our ignorance, and in many similar ways it would be to our advantage to know about that country.
The foregoing illustrates aptly our position with regard to the Invisible Worlds. After death we shall find ourselves there, and if we are able now to obtain information concerning the conditions there, it will surely benefit us greatly. In the first place, there is the advantage that knowledge will take away from us the fear of death, because we never fear that which we know. In the second place, by knowing about Purgatory and the First Heaven, and by knowing about the evening exercise where we
review the happenings of the day in reverse order, we may live our Purgatory here and now in small doses, obtaining the forgiveness of sins instead of waiting to expiate our evil deeds; and if we take advantage of our knowledge we shall be living in an attitude such as we would not attain before entering the future lives, by assimilating daily the good that we have done and expurgating the evil. Thus we shall be able to go soaring through Purgatory and the First Heaven immediately after death.
By knowing what we are expected to accomplish in the Second Heaven, we can more intelligently apply ourselves to the work there; we gain greater consciousness of that realm by familiarizing ourselves with it daily. Thus in various ways we shall be fitting ourselves to become invisible helpers, to live consciously all the time and shorten our evolution by millions of years.
Is there any limit of time set to the earth life before we are born?
Answer: Yes, at the time when the Ego is coming to rebirth, it forms the creative archetype of its physical form in the Second Heaven with the help of the Creative Hierarchies. That archetype is a singing, vibrating thing,
which is set into vibration by the Ego with a certain force commensurate with the length of the life to be lived upon earth, and until that archetype ceases to vibrate the form which is built of the chemical constituents of the earth will continue to live.
The law of cause and effect, however, is the arbiter of the way the life is to be lived, and certain opportunities for spiritual growth are set before the Ego at various points in its earth life. If these opportunities are made use of, the life will continue along the straight path, but if not it diverges, as we might say, into a blind alley where the life then is terminated by the creative hierarchies, which destroy the archetype in the Heaven World. Thus we may say that the ultimate length of an earth life is determined before we are born physically, but the life may be shortened if we neglect certain opportunities. There is also the possibility in the case of a few, where the life has been thoroughly lived, where it has been very full, and where the person has endeavored in all cases to live up to his opportunities, that more life may be infused into the archetype than had been done in the first place, and so the life may be prolonged, but as said, that is only in exceptional cases.
Is it possible to shorten the time between death and a new birth, so as to hasten one’s evolution, and, if so, how?
Answer: Yes, it is possible for everyone who will take the pains to review this life every day, in the reverse order, from evening until morning, judging himself for the things he has done amiss, promising himself to rectify his mistakes and doing it to the best of his endeavor. When he does that he will eradicate the sins he has committed from his life and he will steadily become a very much better man or woman than those who do not perform this simple exercise. Thus the sins which would otherwise be expurgated in Purgatory have been already dealt with in life and so the Purgatorial existence will be materially shortened. When at the time of the evening exercise, the man reviews the good he has done and promises himself to endeavor to do even better in the future he is also assimilating the good he has done each day, and will therefore make enormous strides in soul growth so that he will also obviate the necessity for life in the First Heaven. Such a man will then be definitely treading the path of initiation; he is then in reality outside the ordinary laws which govern mankind, for he is a helper in evolution and will, therefore, be given the opportunity to return to earth in that capacity much sooner than would otherwise be the case.
Are there any seasons and times, ages and epochs, in the other world?
Answer: No. We might say that there it is all one long day. There is no time, for that which makes time here is the rotation of the earth upon its axis and its orbital revolution around the sun. These motions make day and night, summer and winter, heat and cold, etc., because the earth’s opaque and solid composition renders it impervious to the rays of light and heat emitted by the sun, so that one-half of the earth is always cold and dark. But in that other world nothing is opaque nor solid, hence there is neither heat nor cold, there is neither summer nor winter, there is no light, there is no night, but it is one long bright day.
Therefore, we often find that those who have passed out by death, while fully remembering their past earth life, will have no sense of time since passing out, and may sometimes ask the question as to the length of time which has elapsed since that event.
There is only one method there of gauging time, and this is used by the trained clairvoyant in fixing events when he is reading in the memory of nature, namely, by astrology, by noting the positions of the stars. Of course, if the event he is looking for is something which happened in historical times, he may readily fix the year of the occurrence by noting some historical event which happened at the same time, but where he has to go back for many thousands of years, as, for instance, when he wishes to determine the time of the Atlantean floods, he uses particularly the
precession of the equinoxes, which is the motion of the sun backward through the twelve signs of the zodiac, a motion that requires about twenty-six thousand years to bring the sun once around the circle. He may then read back to the times of the Atlantean floods, counting how many of such periods of twenty-six thousand years elapsed between the first flood and the second, the second and the third, and then the years from then to our present time. If he is ignorant of the stellar science, he cannot do that, so that is one more reason why the student of occultism should familiarize himself with astronomy.
Does a person who has been buried alive become conscious of his condition? And how does the spirit get back to the body when it lies in the grave?
Answer: It is evident from the changed position of corpses in coffins that sometimes when a body has been buried before the spirit had definitely left it, that spirit has returned to the body and moved that body about in agonizing attempts to obtain the necessary air. And, of course, that would show consciousness had been regained in the body. The spirit, of course, is not at all hindered by the solid nature of the earth and the coffin from coming and going, a spirit passes just as easily through a wall or other opaque or dense obstacle as we pass through the air.
Why do children die?
Answer: There are many causes for the death of children. We will give a few of the principal ones. In the first place, when an Ego returns to earth life, it is drawn to a certain family because it can there get the environment which is calculated to further its progress, and where it may liquidate a certain amount of the fate generated by itself in previous existences. Then when parents make such radical changes in their lives that the Ego would not be able to get that experience, or liquidate that fate, the Ego is usually withdrawn and sent to another place where it may get the right conditions for its growth at that time. Or it may be withdrawn for a few years and reborn in the same family when it is seen that the conditions can be obtained there at that late time. But there is a cause that is responsible for infant mortality which lies much farther back, namely, in previous lives, and to understand this cause it is necessary to know something about what takes place at death and immediately after.
When a spirit is passing out of the body, it takes with it the desire body, the mind and the vital body, and the vital body is at that time the storehouse for the pictures of the past life. These are then etched into the desire body during the three and one-half days immediately following death. Then the desire body becomes the arbiter of man’s destiny in Purgatory and the First Heaven. The pains caused by expurgation of evil and the joy caused by the contemplation of the good in life are carried over to the next life as conscience to deter man from perpetuating the mistakes of past lives and to entice him to do that which caused him joy in the former life more abundantly.
When those next of kin to a dying person who are present in the death chamber burst into hysterical lamentations at the time the spirit passes out, and keep that up for the next few days, the spirit which is at that time in exceedingly close touch with the Physical World will be much moved by the grief of the dear ones, and will not be able to focus its attention closely upon the contemplation of its past life, and thus the etching made in the desire body will not be as deep as it would if the passing spirit were left in peace and undisturbed. Consequently the sufferings in Purgatory will not be as keen nor will the pleasures in the First Heaven be as great as otherwise and therefore, when the Ego returns to earth life, it will have lost a certain part of the experience from the previous life. that is to say, the voice of conscience will not speak with the same emphasis as would have been the case had the Ego been left undisturbed by lamentations.
In order to compensate for this lack, the Ego is then usually brought to birth among the same friends who lamented over it, and it is then taken away from them while yet in the years of childhood. Then it enters the Desire World, but, of course, a little child has not committed any sins that need to be expurgated and so its desire body and the mind remain intact; it then goes directly into the First Heaven to wait until a new embodiment offers, but this waiting time is used to school it directly in the effect of the different emotions, both good and evil. And often a relative meets it and takes it in charge, having the task of teaching it that which it had lost through the lamentation that person indulged in, or else it is taught by others. At any rate, the loss is more than made up, so that when the child returns to the second birth it will have as full a moral growth as it would have had under ordinary circumstances had there been no lamentation at the time when it passed out.
What is the cause of the vast number of deaths which occur in infancy and childhood?
Answer: When the man passes out at death, he takes with him the mind, desire body, and vital body, the latter being the storehouse of the pictures of his past life. And during the three and one-half days following death these pictures are etched into the desire body to form the basis of the man’s life in Purgatory and the First Heaven where the evil is expurgated and the good assimilated. The experience of the life itself is forgotten, as we have forgotten the process of learning to write, but have retained the faculty. So the cumulative extract of all his experiences, both during past earth lives and past existences in Purgatory and the various heavens, are retained by the man and form his stock in trade in the next birth. The pains he has sustained speak to him as the voice of conscience, the good he has done gives him a more and more altruistic character.
Now, when the three and a half days immediately following death are spent by the man under conditions of peace and quiet, he is able to concentrate much more upon the etching of his past life and the imprint upon the desire body will be deeper than if he is disturbed by the hysterical lamentations of his relatives or from other causes. And he will then experience a much keener feeling for either good or bad in Purgatory and in the First Heaven, and in after lives that keen feeling will speak to him with no unmistakable voice; but where the lamentations of relatives take away his attention or where a man passes out by an accident perhaps in a crowded street, in a train wreck, theater fire, or under other harrowing circumstances, there will, of course, be no opportunity for him to properly concentrate; neither can he concentrate upon a battle field if he is slain there, and yet it could not be just that he should lose the experiences of his life on account of passing out in such an untoward manner, so the law of cause and effect provides a compensation.
We usually think that when a child is born it is born and that is the end of it; but as during the period of gestation the dense body is shielded from the impact of the outside world by being placed within the protecting womb of the mother until it has arrived at sufficient maturity to meet the outside conditions, so are also the vital body, desire body and mind in a state of gestation and are born at later periods because they have not had as long an evolution behind them as the dense body and, therefore, it takes a longer time for them to arrive at a sufficient state of maturity to become individualized. The vital body is born at the seventh year, when the period of excessive growth marks its advent. The desire body is born at the time of puberty, the fourteenth year, and the mind is born at twenty-one, when the child is said to have become a man or woman–to have reached majority.
That which has not been quickened cannot die, and so when a child dies before the birth of the desire body it passes out into the invisible world in the First Heaven. It cannot ascend into the Second and Third Heaven because the mind and desire body are not born and will not die, so it simply waits in the First Heaven until a new opportunity for embodiment offers, and where it has died in its previous life under the before-mentioned harrowing circumstances, by accident or upon the battle field or where the lamentations of relatives rendered it impossible for it to gain as deep an impression of the evil committed and the good accomplished as would have been the case had it died in peace, it is instructed when it has died in the next life as a child in the effects of passions and desires so that it learns the lessons then which it should have learned in the Purgatorial life had it remained undisturbed. It is then reborn with the proper development of conscience so that it may continue its evolution.
As in the past man has been exceedingly warlike and not at all careful of the relatives who passed out at death because of his ignorance, holding wakes over those who died in bed, which were few, perhaps, compared to those who died on the battle field, there must necessarily on that account be an enormous amount of infant mortality, but as humanity arrives at a better understanding and realizes that we are never so much our brother’s keeper as when he is passing out of this life and that we can help him enormously by being quiet and prayerful, so also will infant mortality cease to exist on such a large scale as at present.
Does the cremation of the dense body after death affect the Spirit in any way?
Answer: During life and in the waking state of consciousness, the vehicles of the Ego are all together and concentric, but at death the Ego, clothed in the mind and desire body, withdraws from the dense body, and as the vital functions are at an end, the vital body also is taken out of the
dense body, leaving it inanimate upon the bed. One little atom in the heart is taken out and the rest of the body disintegrates in due course. But at that time there is an extremely important process going on, and those who attend the passing spirit in the death chamber should be very careful that the utmost quiet reigns there and in the whole house, for the pictures of the whole past life which have been stored in the vital body are passing before the eye of the spirit in a slow and orderly progression, in reverse order, from death back to birth. This panorama of the past life lasts from a few hours to three and one-half days. The time is dependent upon the strength of the vital body which determines how long a man could keep awake under the most severe stress. Some persons can work for fifty, sixty and seventy hours before they fall down exhausted, while others are capable of keeping awake only a few hours. The reason why it is important that there should be quiet in the house of death during the three and one-half days immediately following death is this: During that time the panorama of the past life is being etched upon the desire body which will be the man’s vehicle while he stays in Purgatory and the First Heaven, where he is reaping the good or ill that he has sown, according to the deeds done in the body.
Now, where the life has been full of events and the man’s vital body is strong, a longer time will be given to this etching than under conditions where the vital body is weak, but during all that time the dense body is connected with the higher vehicles by the silver cord and any hurt to the dense body is felt in a measure by the spirit. So that embalming, post-mortem examinations and cremation are all felt. therefore, these should be avoided during the first three and one-half days after the time of death,
for when the panorama has been fully etched into the desire body, then the silver cord is broken, the vital body gravitates back to the dense body and there is no more connection with the spirit, which is then free to go on with its higher life.
When the body is buried, the vital body disintegrates slowly at the same time as the dense body, so that when, for instance, an arm has decayed in the grave, the etheric arm of the vital body which hovers over the grave also disappears, and so on until the last vestige of the body is gone. But where cremation is performed the vital body disintegrates at once, and as that is the store-house of the pictures of the past life, which, being etched upon the desire body to form the basis of life in Purgatory and the First Heaven, this would be a great calamity where cremation is performed before the three and a half days are past. Unless help were given, the passing spirit could not hold it together. And that is part of the work that is done by the invisible helpers for humanity. Sometimes they are assisted by nature spirits and others detailed by the Creative Hierarchies or leaders of humanity. There is also a loss where one is cremated before the silver cord has broken naturally, the imprint upon the desire body is never as deep as it would otherwise have been, and this has an effect upon future lives, for the deeper the imprint of the past life upon the desire body, the keener the sufferings in Purgatory for the ill committed and the keener also the pleasure in the First Heaven which results from the good deeds of the past life. It is these pains and pleasures of our past lives that create what we call conscience, so that where we have lost in suffering we lose also the realization of wrong which is to deter us in future lives from committing the same mistakes over and over again. Therefore, the effects
of the premature cremation are very far reaching. Sad it is to say, that while we have a science of birth with obstetricians, trained nurses, antiseptics and everything else necessary to the comfort and well being of a little stranger, we sadly lack a science of death to help us to care for the departing friends of a lifetime.
If a person has lost his memory through nervous shock or fever does that affect his vital body and prevent him from getting the record of his life in the three days immediately following death?
Answer: No. Memory is of three kinds: There is, in the first place, the record which is made by our senses. We look about us in the world, we see and hear things, these impressions are engraved upon the cells of our brain and we are able to consciously call them back–yet not always, but in varying degree, for this memory is extremely unreliable and capricious, and were this the only method of gaining a record of our lives the law of cause and effect would be invalidated–our after life would not be a sequence of what we have done or left undone in the past.
There must be another memory, and this is what scientists have called the subconscious mind. Just as ether carries to the camera of the photographer a record of the surrounding landscape and imprints it upon the sensitive plate to the minutest detail, regardless of whether the photographer observed these details or not, so also does the same ether which carries a picture to our eye and imprints it upon the retina carry into our lungs a similar picture which then is absorbed by the blood, and as the blood passes through the heart this record is indelibly inscribed upon the sensitive seed atom which is located in the left ventricle of the heart near the apex. The forces of that seed atom are taken out by the spirit at death and contain the record of the whole life to the minutest detail, so that, regardless of whether we have observed the facts in a certain scene or not, they are, nevertheless, there.
George du Maurier has written a story called “Peter Ibbetson,” wherein this theory of the subconscious memory is very clearly shown. Peter Ibbetson, a prisoner in an English penitentiary, learned how to “dream true,” that is to say, by putting his body in a certain position he learned how to lock the currents of ether within himself so that at night he was able at will to keep in touch with any scene in his past life that he desired to; there he would see himself as a spectator (grown man that he was), and he would also see himself among his parents and playmates and in the environment as he was at the time that scene was enacted. He would see the whole scene with many more details than he had been able to observe at the time when the events took place in this material world. That was because, under these circumstances, he could get in touch with his own subconscious memory. He would have been unable to gain any information concerning the future, but the past had been inscribed upon the tablet of his heart and
was, therefore, accessible under the proper conditions. It is from this subconscious memory that the record of life is taken after death, and as that is dependent upon the breath alone, it continues regardless of all other circumstances while life is in the body, and though a man may lose his conscious memory and become unable to recall past events at will, the subconscious memory contains them all and will give them up at the proper time.
If a disembodied spirit can pass through a wall, can it also pass through a mountain and the Earth, and can it see what is inside?
Answer: That depends upon what kind of a disembodied spirit the enquirer has in mind. When a man dies, he is just the same as he was before with the exception that he has no dense body and, therefore, it is perfectly possible for him to pass through a wall or mountain either. But he is not able to pass through the earth.
It is a well known fact that, though most clairvoyants and ordinary psychics are capable of telling much about the sights and the scenes of the Desire World, there is very little information at hand concerning the inside of the earth, for it is found by ordinary clairvoyants that if they attempt to enter the earth there is something like the same effect as when a man hurls himself against a wall. That is because the earth is the body of a great spirit and that spirit may not be approached in its inner recesses, except by the path of initiation. There are nine layers of varying thickness in the earth around the core, which forms, as it were, a tenth part, and the Lesser Mysteries are the gate which leads to that innermost core. There are nine degrees in the Lesser Mysteries, and in each degree the candidate becomes able to penetrate into the corresponding layer of the earth, while the tenth initiation belongs to the Greater Mysteries where there are four divisions. The first teaches all that can be known by man in the Earth Period; the second of the great initiations would bring him the knowledge that will be gained by all humanity at the end of the Jupiter Period; the third of the great initiations would bring him the wisdom attained by humanity at the end of the Venus Period, and the fourth would end his evolution in the present scheme. He would have the same standing as humanity will have at the end of the Vulcan Period. Then he will know all that the earth will contain in this embodiment and its future manifestations. The lesser Mysteries will also have taught him the evolution he went through in the three periods previous to our present Earth Period. It is these secrets which are locked up in the earth, until man has opened the door himself in the proper manner, so that no spirit, whether in the body or discarnate, can see what is inside the earth until the gate of initiation has opened its latent faculties.
Do we meet our loved ones after death, even if they have held a different belief from our own? Or perhaps, been Atheists?
Answer: Yes, we certainly meet them and we know them, for there is no transforming power in death. The man will appear just as he was here because he thinks of himself as being of that shape, but the place where we meet, of course depends upon several things.
In the first place if we have lived a very religious life, so that we shall have no existence at all in Purgatory and but a very short existence in the First Heaven, going almost directly to the Second Heaven, whereas, the one whom we love was of such a nature that he would have a long stay in the Desire World, then, of course, we should not meet until he arrived in the Second Heaven. If we pass out shortly after our friend, the meeting would not take place for perhaps twenty years; but then, that would not matter for in those regions a person is entirely unconscious of time.
The materialistic friend, if he had lived a good moral life, as we usually find that those people do, would remain in the fourth region of the Desire World for a certain number of years, according to the length of time he had lived, and would then pass into the Second Heaven, though he would not have there as full and as perfect a consciousness as that possessed by a person who had been dwelling on the realities of life.
We would see him, know him and be associated with him for centuries in the work upon our future environment, and there he would not be materialistic at all, for when the spirit arrives in that region, it is not under the delusions which sometimes envelop it here in this material world. Each and every one knows himself as a spiritual being and feels the memory of this earth life as we feel a bad dream. The spirit, upon entering that world, wakes up to its own true nature in any case.
Do we recognize loved ones who have passed out through the gate of death?
Answer: Yes, we certainly do. When a man passes out of this body, he is exactly the same as he was before. There is no difference whatever, except that he has no physical body; he sees himself in the Desire World, and as he retains in his consciousness a picture of himself as he looked here, this desire body will at once take the shape possessed by the physical body, so that anyone who had known him in earth life will also know him when he has passed over into the beyond. Besides, it may be well to add that there is no transforming power in death–that man is also mentally and morally the same person. We often hear people who have loved some one speak of the
dear, departed angel, even if they conceded that he was very much of a devil here in earth life, but they usually think it irreverent to refer to him as such when he has passed out. The fact remains, nevertheless, that only those who were good here are good there.
Does the man who commits suicide stay longer in Purgatory than the people who die naturally?
Answer: When the Ego is coming down to rebirth it descends through the Second Heaven. There it is helped by the Creative Hierarchies to build the archetype for its coming body, and it instills into that archetype a life that will last for a certain number of years. These archetypes are hollow spaces and they have a singing, vibratory motion which draws the material of the Physical World into them and sets all the atoms in the body to vibrating in tune with a little atom that is in the heart, called the seed atom, which, like a tuning fork, gives the pitch to all the rest of the material in the body. At the time when the full life has been lived on the earth the vibrations in the archetype cease, the seed atom is withdrawn, the dense body goes to decay and the desire body, wherein the Ego
functions in Purgatory and the First Heaven, takes upon itself the shape of the physical body. Then the man commences his work of expiating his evil habits and deeds in Purgatory and assimilating the good of his life in the First Heaven.
The foregoing describes the ordinary conditions when the course of nature is undisturbed, but the case of the suicide is different. He has taken away the seed atom, but the hollow archetype still keeps on vibrating. Therefore he feels as if he were hollowed out and experiences a gnawing feeling inside that can best be likened to the pangs of intense hunger. Material for the building of a dense body is all around him, but seeing that he lacks the gauge of the seed atom, it is impossible for him to assimilate that matter and build it into a body. This dreadful hollowed-out feeling lasts as long as his ordinary life should have lasted. Thus the law of cause and effect teaches him that it is wrong to play truant from the school of life and that it cannot be done with impunity. Then in the next life, when difficulties beset his path, he will remember the sufferings of the past which resulted from suicide and go through with the experience that makes for his soul growth.
Does a good man have to go through Purgatory and be conscious of all the evil there before he can get into the First, Second and Third Heaven; and, if so, isn’t that an undeserved punishment for him?
Answer: The inquirer should get away from the idea of punishment. There is no such thing as punishment. Whatever happens to a man is in consequence of immutable, invariable laws, and there is no personal God who gives rewards or punishments as He sees fit, according to an inscrutable will or any other such method. When the Ego invests itself with bodies, or when it divests itself of its vehicles, this is done on the very same principle and by the very same laws that govern, for instance, in the case of a planet. When a planet is being formed from the central firemist, a crystallization has taken place at the poles where motion is the slowest. The crystallized matter is thrown out by centrifugal force and flies into space because it is heavier than the rest of the firemist. For similar reasons, when the body of the spirit which is densest has become so crystallized and heavy that the spirit can no longer use it to gain experience the process of disrobement is accomplished by the centrifugal force which naturally eliminates the dense body first. That is what we call death. Then the spirit is free for a time, but the coarsest desire matter which was the embodiment for the lowest passions and desires must also be thrown off, and it is the forcible ejection of low desires that causes pain in Purgatory where the centrifugal force of repulsion is the strongest. If a man has any of that coarse matter in his desire body, naturally he will have to stay in Purgatory
and undergo the process of purgation before he can enter the First Heaven. There the centripetal force of attraction whirls all the good in the life inward to the spiritual center, where it is assimilated as soul power available for the use of the spirit in its next earth life as conscience. Thus our stay in Purgatory depends upon how much of the coarse desire matter there is in the man, and a good man naturally would have very little or nothing of that kind. Therefore, he would have no life to speak of in Purgatory; he would pass directly through those regions into the Heaven World.
What is the condition of the victim of a murder and the victim of an accident subsequent to death?
Answer: There is no such thing as an accident at least where the accident terminates fatally. The life of any person in its ultimate length is ordinarily decreed before birth, but there are certain points of life where there is as it were a parting of the ways, where certain opportunities for growth are placed before the person, which he may either take or leave. Where he fails to use his opportunities, the life, as it were, runs into a blind alley, and terminates shortly afterward.
That, however, is not usually the case in an accident, but there may be certain reasons which make it desirable that the man should be cast out of his body in a violent manner. He is then in the same position as all others when they have passed out; he commences his Purgatorial existence at once.
The case of the victim of murder, like the case of the suicide, is different. Man, on account of his divine nature, is the only being who has the prerogative of causing disorder in the scheme of his unfoldment, and as he may end his own life by an act of will, so may he also end the life of a fellow creature before its time has come. The suffering of the suicide would also be the suffering of the murdered, for the archetype of his body would keep on gathering material which it would be impossible for him to assimilate; but in his case, the intervention of other agencies prevent the suffering and he will be found floating about in his desire body, in a comatose state, for the length of time that he would ordinarily have lived. If the murderer is brought to justice, as we say, and suffers capital punishment, the magnetic attraction will bring him together with his victim, who will constantly remain before his gaze, and that is really a much more severe punishment than any which we could mete out to him; but the victim knows naught of the presence of its slayer.
Where is Heaven?
Answer: The Christ said “Heaven is within,” and yet we are shown that at the time when He left His disciples, he ascended into heaven. to understand this, we must analyze the constitution of a planet, and according to the hermetic action “as above so below,” we shall understand better if we first analyze the constitution of man.
The man has first the dense body which we see with our eyes, but that dense body is not as solid as it appears; in fact it is permeated by a number of invisible vehicles. It is composed of the solids, the liquids and the gases of the Chemical Region, but these, science tells us, are interpenetrated by ether, for man’s body is no different from all other things in the world, and in the densest solid as in the rarest gas, science says, and says truly, every little atom is vibrating in a sea of ether. This ether is still physical matter; a considerable portion is specialized by man and forms an exact counterpart of our dense body, besides protruding about an inch and a half beyond the periphery of our visible body. It was this part that the doctors in Boston weighed by placing dying people on scales. They noted that when the last breath was drawn something having weight left the body and the side of the scales which had the weight on it fell to the floor with startling suddenness. The newspaper reporters claimed that the doctors had weighed the soul, but what they did weigh was this vital body composed of ether which leaves the body at death.
We have a still finer vehicle called the desire body, which is composed of what occultists call desire stuff, and it may be seen by one having the sixth sense unfolded as an egg-shaped cloud enveloping the dense body on all sides, so that the latter is located in the center of the desire body, as the yolk is in the center of the egg, with the difference only that while the white envelops the yolk but does not interpenetrate, this desire body permeates both the vital body and the dense body in every nook and cranny. There is a still finer material in the makeup of man which we may call “mind stuff,” composed of the coarsest material of the world of thought, the material wherein we form our concrete thoughts, and this envelops the indwelling Ego.
The world is similarly constituted. Besides this visible world which we see, composed of the solids, liquids and gases, and interpenetrated by ether, there is also a Desire World which permeates every part of the Physical World and reaches out into space beyond both air and ether. Then there is the World of Thought, and that also penetrates every part of our planet, from center to circumference, reaching out into space still farther than any of the other worlds.
During earth life, man lives upon this firm, visible earth, but after death, according to the deeds done in the body, he may be still imprisoned here, as the Purgatory regions are everywhere around and about us, also below in the inner recesses of the earth. The First Heaven is also here in a certain sense, insofar as similar material to that of which it is constituted is around and about us, but the First Heaven itself, the place where the spirits who have been liberated usually dwell, is beyond our atmosphere. The Second heaven may also be truly said to be within, for the material of which it is constituted is here and the spirits who are there might visit us, yet the conditions here, the thought currents, etc., would be derogatory to their work and development. Therefore, they prefer to stay in the farthermost, outermost part of our planet, where the pure mind stuff is unsullied by our selfish and deleterious thought currents.
The Third Heaven is a place in which very few people at the present stage of development have any consciousness, because most of us are guided in our thought activities more by emotions and feelings concerning concrete things than by abstract thought, which is the peculiar faculty pertaining to the Third Heaven. When we think of love, we usually think of love in connection with some person; that is a concrete thought. But of Love in the abstract, very few of us are able to think. We can think of a house, an animal, etc., they are concrete, but we dislike to think of an abstract proposition such as, for instance, that the square of the hypotenuse equals the square of the other two sides of a triangle. Therefore, most of us have very little consciousness in the Third Heaven, and consequently very little of the material of that world is in the makeup of our planet.
It is said that there is no sorrow in Heaven, but if our loved ones are met there and then pass on, does not the parting from them involve at least a sense of dissatisfaction?
Answer: No, it does not, for there we see things as they are. Here we are blinded. When the Ego comes into the Physical World, it is in one sense a cause for rejoicing, as we rejoice at the birth of a child, for this world affords us experience and material for soul growth. But looking at it from another point of view, when the Ego comes into this world and enters the prison house of the dense body, it is in the most limited condition imaginable, and to rejoice at the time when the child is born and lament when it is liberated by death is in reality analogous to rejoicing when a friend is put in jail and giving way to hysterical lamentations when he is liberated.
When the spirit passes into the heaven World, it meets a number of those with whom it has associated in earth life in the First Heaven, but there it has already become so spiritual and so much in touch with the realities that it knows there is no death. Therefore, when someone passes into the beyond there is a rejoicing and a pleasure at the preferment of one whom we hold dear, and the knowledge that we shall meet again will certainly take away any pang that might be felt by those who are left behind.
Please explain how to concentrate in order to help those in the other world? Do you mean sitting in the silence and sending out loving, helpful thoughts to them?
Answer: The ability to send out a thought and the power that that thought has to accomplish the purpose for which it is sent, depends upon the definiteness wherewith the thinker is able to visualize that which he desires to accomplish. And the usual occult schools, particularly those along the lines of Eastern thought, advise the method of concentration whereby thoughts are focused upon one single point, as the rays of the sun are brought to a focus in a magnifying glass for thus their forces are massed, and as the sun’s rays will burn when focused, so will the thought invariably accomplish its object when concentrated to a sufficient intensity.
It takes long practice, however, to learn how to do that, and there are very few people in the West who are able to thus direct their thoughts to any purpose. The western religion, recognizing this disability, teaches another method which is much more efficient than concentration, namely, prayer.
Therefore, if we wish to help those who have passed out of the body, we may pray earnestly for their welfare and that they may learn the lessons of this life thoroughly in their experiences in Purgatory and the First Heaven; then we shall accomplish much more than if we try the cold, intellectual method of concentration. The attitude of the body sometimes has a great deal to do with the intensity of the prayer, and if a kneeling position seems to facilitate the act, the kneeling position should be taken. On the other hand, as Emerson said:
"And though your knees are never bent To Heaven, your hourly prayers are sent; And, be they formed for good or ill, Are registered and answered still,"
so that the attitude of the body during the act of prayer is immaterial except as found to be conducive to produce the greatest intensity of purpose; for that is what makes the prayer effective.
Do those who have passed out of earth life keep watch and ward over us who are left behind; for instance, do mothers look after their little children, or even the larger ones?
Answer: Yes, very often a mother who has recently passed out will watch over her little children for a long time, and instances have been recorded where mothers have saved their babes from dangers. Though not knowing consciously how to materialize, love for the little ones and intense fear for their safety caused the mothers in such instances to draw to
themselves material so that they could be seen by the little ones. Those whom we call dead do not usually go away from the house where they have lived until quite a long time after the funeral. They stay in the familiar rooms and move about among us, although they are unseen by us. Of course, when their time comes to go into the First Heaven, they do not remain any longer in our houses, but very often they visit them. When in time they enter the Second Heaven, they are no longer conscious of this physical sphere in the sense of having homes, or friends, or relatives; they are then rather to be looked upon as nature forces, for the time being, for they work upon the earth and humanity in the very same manner as the nature forces who do not take human embodiment.
Thus it is perfectly true that they watch over their loved ones for a long time after they have passed out, and it has been often noted by persons attending the death of a mother whose children had passed out, perhaps a number of years before, that at the time of dying she would see the children around her bed and exclaim: “Why, there is Johnny, and what a big boy he has grown to be,” and so on. The people around the bed would probably think that it is a hallucination, but it is not, and it will be noted that a certain phenomenon always attends those visions, namely, when a person dies there comes over him a darkness which he feels descending upon him. Many persons pass out without again seeing the Physical World, that is the change from our light vibrations to the vibrations of the Desire World, and is similar to the darkness that spread over the earth at the time of the crucifixion. With other people it happens that the darkness lifts after a moment and then the person is clairvoyant, seeing both the present world and the Desire World, and there, of course, appear the loved ones, who have been attracted by the impending death, which is birth into their world.
Thus we may say that our loved ones are interested in our welfare for a long time after passing out, but it must be remembered that there is no transforming power in death; that it does not give them any special ability to care for us, and that they have no means of really influencing our affairs, so that it is not quite right to look upon them as our guardian angels. They are merely interested spectators except in a few specific cases where an intense love enables them to perform some slight service in case of great need. That service, however, would never take the form of enriching us or anything like that, but is more in the nature of a warning of danger or the like.
QUESTIONS CONCERNING REBIRTH
Why, with a few exceptions, are we reincarnated, without having the slightest knowledge of any previous existence, to suffer blindly in this life for transgressions committed in some former life of which we are now entirely ignorant? Could we not advance better and quicker spiritually if we knew where we had erred before and what acts we must correct before we can progress?
Answer: It is one of the greatest blessings to man that he does not know his previous experiences until he has attained considerable spiritual advancement, because there are in our past lives (when we were much more ignorant than we are now) dark deeds that call for retribution, and this fate is being gradually liquidated, so that did we know our past lives, did we know how and when the law of cause and effect will bring to us retribution for past misdeeds, we would see this impending calamity hovering over us, and fear of our fate would then be apt to rob us of the strength wherewith to battle against it, and at the time of its arrival we should stand appalled and helpless.
On the other hand, not knowing what is behind us, we escape knowing what is before us, and, therefore, we learn the lessons without being deprived of our strength by fear. Besides, for those who wish to know, there are certain means of knowing what lessons we are to learn and how best to learn them. For instance, our conscience tells what we are to do or not to
do. If we care to study the science of astrology the horoscope tells us our tendencies and the lines of least resistance, so that by working with these laws of nature we may advance quickly, and the more we follow the dictates of our conscience the more we study the laws of nature as revealed by astronomy, the quicker we shall be ready for first-hand knowledge.
In “Zanoni,” Bulwer Lytton speaks of a fearsome specter which met Glyndon as he was attempting to enter a step in unfoldment not hitherto attained by him, and that is called in Occultism the “Dweller on the Threshold.” Between the time of death and a new birth, this Dweller on the Threshold is not seen by man, but it is the embodiment of all our past evil deeds, that must first be passed by one who wishes to enter the inner worlds consciously and attain to a full knowledge of conditions there; but there is also another Dweller which is the embodiment of all our good deeds, and that one may be said to be our Guardian Angel.
If we have the courage to pass the hideous one, which is perceived first because formed of coarse desire matter, we shall soon obtain the conscious help of the other and then we shall have the strength to stand fearless in the storms of vilification that come to all who attempt the path of unselfishness. But before we have passed this specter we are not fitted for knowledge of our previous lives; we must rest content with the ordinary view given to mankind.
Are all the human beings that people the Earth at the present time souls that have gone through earth life before, or are new souls being created all the time?
Answer: The ingress of the spirits into the human bodies, as constituted at the present time, commenced in the stage of the world’s solidification known as the Lemurian Epoch, and was not fully completed until the middle of the Atlantean Epoch, a period of time occupying, perhaps, millions of years. But since that time, there has been no farther ingress; the door is definitely closed because we have now evolved so far that those who had not reached the stage where they could manipulate a human body at that time would be too far behind us to catch up with our further development. Since that time, the spirits which were embodied in human shapes have been evolving by repeated embodiments so that, without exception, every one of the human beings now on earth has been embodied at different times and in different environments.
How do we know beyond a doubt that rebirth is a fact? Is it not possible that those who so state may be suffering from hallucination?
Answer: The trained clairvoyant who is able to read in the memory of nature may follow the lives of people from their present state backward, through the years of childhood. He will then see them in infancy, follow them through the gestatory period to the time when the spirit entered the womb of the mother. He may go back through their heaven life, their life in Purgatory, arriving at the time of death in the previous life, then follow them backward and see the whole life. But in the case of an adult, the time involved is usually a thousand years or more, and of course, it is possible, were there no other means of verification, that this might be hallucination. In the cases of children, however, who have not reached puberty there is a comparatively short interval between incarnations. In such a case it is easy to verify a re-embodiment among one’s own acquaintances, and that is in fact part of the education of a pupil of the Elder Brothers. He is shown a child which is about to die and is told to watch that child in the invisible world for perhaps one or two years, following it step by step until it takes a new embodiment–perhaps with the same and possibly with other parents. When the pupil has thus followed an Ego through the invisible worlds from one death to the next birth, he knows absolutely that the law of rebirth is a fact in nature, and he often has occasion on account of his other investigations, to pursue such studies of the past lives of many individuals.
Still, it may be urged, is not this clairvoyance of which he speaks as his means of investigation in itself a hallucination? May he not be, although perfectly honest, the victim of a chimerical vision? It may be stated in answer to that suggestion, that he has every day at his disposal the means for verifying his observations. When a man has visited the city of New York and has seen the city he will never be tempted to say, I wonder if I could have been mistaken? He has been there and knows it. So it is with the clairvoyant. At times when he leaves his body he meets and works with people whom he does not know in ordinary life. Later he may be invited to visit these friends from the invisible world; he may travel by their clairvoyant direction to a city where he is a stranger; he may find them in the street and house seen clairvoyantly, recognize them and be himself recognized. He may then converse with these friends of the things they did and the places they visited in their invisible bodies, and if he ever had any doubt of the reality of his life outside the dense physical world, he is then once and for all time convinced of the reality of his experiences while out of the body. He knows that they are not strange, he knows that he cannot have been glamoured, but that his life there, his work there and his experiences there are as real as his life, his work and his experiences here.
Do the souls that have passed into Purgatory and through the First, Second and Third Heavens come back here and reincarnate in this Earth, or do they go to other spheres?
Answer: They come back to this earth again until they have learned the lessons that can be learned here. It is essentially the same principle as when we send a child to school. We do not send it to kindergarten one day, to grammar school the next, and to college the third day, but we send it to kindergarten day after day for a long time, until it has learned all the lessons that are to be learned there. The knowledge it has gained in kindergarten forms the basis for what it is to learn in the grammar school; that again is the foundation for the lessons of the high school and the college. By a similar process we have learned lessons under different conditions in the past, and in the future, when we have learned all that can be learned from our present earth environment, we shall also find the tasks of higher evolutions awaiting us. There is endless progress, for we are divine as our Father in heaven, and limitations are impossible.
Do we come in contact with the friends of one life when we are born again into a new earth life?
Answer: The law of rebirth has for its companion law the law of causation. It will be manifestly apparent that there are many causes set going by all of us which do not bring about effects in this life. For instance, a husband is sick and the wife cares for him with great self-sacrifice. There is obviously a debt there, and if the sickness continues until the end of the husband’s life, there is in that life no opportunity for a return of the favor. But if we know what the laws of nature are and how they operate, we shall understand that they are not set aside by such small matters as cessation of life in a certain body. If we break a limb it is not healed the next day, although we may have slept at night unconscious of our hurt; but when we awaken the limb is in about the same condition as on the previous day. So it is with the deeds done in the body in one life. Although we pass through the life between death and a new birth, and are now unconscious of former lives, nevertheless, when we enter upon a new life, the law of association, the causes generated in a former life, will bring us into a new environment where we shall find our old friends and our old foes. We know them, too, although perhaps we do not directly recognize them. Sometimes, however, we meet a person for the first time and are drawn to that person; we feel as if we had known that person all our lives, and that we could trust him or her with everything we have. That is because the spirit within sees an old friend and recognizes him, though unable to impress the
recognition upon the brain it now possesses. Or perhaps we may meet a person and feel that we would not care to be in his company; we instinctively dislike him though we have no reason from ordinary points of view; but there also it is the recognition of the spirit which bridges the past and sees an old-time enemy. Thus our instinctive likes and dislikes are guides, dictated by former experiences, and they will usually be found to be reliable in the light of subsequent experience.
Is the experience gained in each incarnation recorded separately and added to the previous ones, so that in the end the spirit will be entirely conscious of the complete sum of its experiences, or is the experience of one life more or less unconsciously absorbed by the next succeeding incarnation, so that only a general effect is obtained?
Answer: When we were children we learned to write and we went through many awkward motions before we had finally cultivated the faculty. In the years that have gone by we have forgotten all about the experiences we went through while learning, but our faculty remains ready for our use at any time required.
In a similar manner, experiences we have had in different lives are usually forgotten by the man, but the faculties he has cultivated remain and ready for his use at any time. Thus we sometimes see a man who has never had a lesson in painting who is nevertheless an artist to the very tips of his finger ends, able to paint the most wonderful pictures. He has brought over from past lives a faculty which he is now able to use. When we hear of a Mozart composing at three years of age, that also shows the accumulation of the sense of harmony in the past. Thus it may be said that, although we do not remember, we always have the faculties cultivated in our past lives for use in the present. It is that which makes the difference between man and man; between the dune and the sage.
There is, however, also a record in nature of our past lives in their minutest detail. The trained clairvoyant who is able to read in the memory of nature can follow the past lives of a man backwards, as, for instance, the film of a moving picture is unrolled in reverse order. He will see the man’s present life first, his birth, his previous sojourn in the invisible world, next the death of the previous life, which will then unroll itself in reverse order through old age, manhood, youth, childhood and infancy, back to that birth, and so on through the various lives.
When the spirit, coming down to rebirth, has drawn to itself its mind stuff and sinks into the Desire World, is it not then in Purgatory again?
Answer: The difficulty of the inquirer is that he has not fully comprehended what constitutes Purgatory. Purgatory is in the lower regions of the Desire World, but these regions are not Purgatory to those who have nothing to be purged from. The low desires of man are formed of the desire stuff from this region, and as they cannot be gratified, the man suffers. Besides, there the force of repulsion is supreme, and when the Ego is passing outward to the Heaven World it has in its desire body pictures of the evil acts it has committed. These pictures are formed also of coarse desire stuff, because they were generated by the passions of the man at the time he committed the evil act which they depict, and the centrifugal force of repulsion seeks to expel them from his makeup. It is the process of tearing them out that causes the pain he feels. When, on the other hand, the Ego passes through this region on its way to rebirth, the centripetal force of attraction brings new desire matter into its makeup. Then it is not Purgatory at all; neither is it Purgatory for the Invisible Helpers who go among the spirits in prison endeavoring to aid them in learning the lessons that shall make them better men and women. It is only where evil has to be expurgated by a spirit that it feels this region as being purgative.
How can you believe in the theory of reincarnation that we come back here in the body of an animal? Is it not much more beautiful to believe in the Christian doctrine that we go to heaven with God and the angels?
Answer: The writer has never advocated the views attributed to him by the inquirer, who, evidently, has not studied the question at all. There is a doctrine among some of the most ignorant tribes in the East teaching the theory of transmigration, that the human spirit may incarnate in the bodies of animals, but that is very different from the doctrine of reincarnation, which holds that man is an evolving being progressing through the school of life by means of repeated embodiments in bodies of gradually improving texture. The Christ said to his disciples, “Be ye therefore perfect, as the Father in heaven is perfect.” That was a definite command, and the Christ would never have given it if it were unattainable; but we all know that we cannot reach that goal in one short life. Given time and the opportunities afforded by repeated embodiments and changed environments, however, we shall some time accomplish the work of perfecting ourselves.
There is no authority in any of the sacred writings of the East, even, for such a belief as transmigration. The only semblance to such an idea is found in the Kathopanishad, Chapter 5, Verse 9, which says that some of the souls, according to their deeds, return to the womb to be reborn, but others go into the motionless. Meaning, in the opinion of some, that they may reincarnate down even as low as the mineral kingdom. The Sanskrit word used
in that place is sthanu, which also means a pillar, and read thus it gives the same idea as the passage in Revelation which says: “Him that overcometh, I will make a pillar in the house of my God, thence he shall no more go out.” When humanity has reached perfection, there will come a time when they will no more be tied to the wheel of births and deaths, but will remain in the Invisible Worlds to work thence for the upliftment of other beings.
Besides, transmigration is an impossibility in nature, because there is in every human body an indwelling individual spirit, while each tribe of animals is ruled by a common, or group spirit, of which these animals all form a part, and no self-conscious Ego can enter into a body ruled by another.
The inquirer asks whether it is not much more beautiful to believe in a heaven with God and the angels? Perhaps it is, but we are not concerned so much with that which may be pleasing to our passing fancy as with finding the truth, and although this doctrine of reincarnation is sometimes derided by wiseacres as impossible and a heathen doctrine, it is really not a question of whether it is heathen or not either. When we deal with a mathematical problem, we do not care who first solved it; all we are concerned with is, has it been properly solved? Likewise with this doctrine, no matter who taught it first, it is the only one that will solve all the problems of life in a rational manner, whereas, the theory that a man who perhaps never cared about music and did not know the first thing about harmony, immediately after he has died develops an insatiable passion for music and will remain content to toot in a trumpet or strum on a harp for all eternity, is rather more ridiculous.
QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE BIBLE TEACHINGS
Why is it that every sect interprets the Bible differently and that each one gets an apparent vindication for its ideas from that book?
Answer: That question, if asked by a skeptic, affords him a great deal of satisfaction, for he sees in it a vindication for his idea that all sects are wrong in their beliefs and that the Bible is a conglomerate mass of nonsense, while in fact the case is very much the other way. We do not contend for the Divinity of this Book or hold that it is the Word of God from cover to cover; we recognize the fact that it is a poor translation of the originals and that there are many interpolations which have been inserted at different times to support various ideas, but, nevertheless, the very fact that so much truth has been massed into such a small compass is a source of constant wonder to the occultist, who knows what that Book really is and has the key to its meaning.
There is one fact that the skeptic fails to see. His idea is that if a certain interpretation is true, all other interpretations must necessarily be false. That idea is most emphatically wrong. Truth is many sided and eternal; the quest for truth must also be all embracing and never ending. We may liken truth to a mountain, and the various interpretations of that truth to different paths leading up to the
summit. Many people are traveling along all of these paths and every one thinks his path is the only one while he is at the bottom; he sees only a small part of the mountain and may therefore be justified in crying to his brothers, “You are wrong; come over in my path; this is the only one that leads to the top.” But as all these people progress upward, they shall see that the paths converge at the top and that they are all one in the ultimate.
It may be said most emphatically that no system of thought which has ever been able to attract and hold the attention of a large number of people for a considerable time has been without its truth; and whether we perceive it or not, there is in every sect the kernel of divine teaching which is gradually bringing them upward toward the top of the mountain, and therefore we should practice the utmost toleration for every belief.
What is meant by the Second Aspect of the Triune God?
Answer: God is one, just as the light is one, but, as the light passing through the atmosphere is refracted into three primary colors–red, yellow and blue–so also God, when he manifests or reflects himself in nature, is threefold in his manifestation. There is first the Creative principle, next there is the Preservative principle, and in the third place there is the principle of Destruction of the forms which have been created, preserved for a time while useful, then to be destroyed in order that the material from which they were constructed may be used in the building of new forms.
These three principles of God have been called by different names in different religions, and much ink and many goose quills have been used in latter years to defend or decry the idea of a Trinity, though that ought to be manifest to anyone who will look about him in nature with a thoughtful mind. In the Western World, we have been used to calling the Second Aspect of the Triune God, the unified preserving principle, Christ; and it is very appropriate in a certain sense, because the Christ came as the teacher of Love and Universal Brotherhood which was to supersede nations that war against one another, and He Himself said that there was a still higher stage when the kingdom He was to establish should be delivered to the Father and all should be one in Him.
Are the Recording Angels individual beings?
Answer: Yes, they are mighty Individualities, the ambassadors of the Great Planetary Angels, and as such they are concerned in the birth of man, helping him in the selection of his environment and
allotting to each life the right destiny which is ready to be worked out into effects. They guide the stellar influences so that they affect each one in such a way as to facilitate the liquidation of his past indebtedness to others, helping him, also, to reap the benefit of whatever good he has done in past lives.
In this the Recording Angels are helped by a mighty host of agents and the nature spirits, which are not individualized yet, but work under the direction of these Great Beings unconsciously, much as the animals are guided by group spirits.
Do the angels and archangels watch over us individually as well as collectively and know just what our lives are?
Answer: The Lords of Mind, which Paul calls the “Powers of Darkness” because they were the humanity of the dark Saturn period when the universe was just coming out of chaos, work only with man.
The Archangels, who were human in the fiery Sun Period where the universe was of the consistency of “desire stuff,” work now as the helpers of the group spirits of the animals and as race spirits for humanity, because these classes of beings have a desire body.
The Angels, who were the humanity of the Moon Period, work with man, animal and plant, for in the Moon Period the universe was of the consistency of “ether” and the vital bodies of the three kingdoms named is formed of that material. The Angels are, therefore, properly helpers in the vital functions such as assimilation, growth and propagation, and in their work with humanity they are family spirits. They cause the increase in the family, in man’s cattle and in the yield of his fields.
Man, himself, who is a little lower than the Angels, works with the minerals, which are found in the chemical region of the Physical World, composed of the gases, liquids and solids. He is to the minerals what the Higher Beings are to us. He is gradually waking them to life by molding them into houses, bridges, railways, etc.
In a future incarnation of the earth, when these minerals have become plant-like, man will have learned to work with life and will then be in a similar position with regard to them as the Angels occupy now with regard to us. Thus there is endless progression, the higher always helping the less evolved, until all shall have reached perfection.
Answering the question more specifically, we may say that the Archangels work with the nations and the races of the earth, while the Angels are concerned particularly with the families and the individuals in the family. The “Guardian Angel,” however, is not exactly an entity from a higher evolution, but is rather the personified embodiment of our good deeds in all our past lives, which, though unseen by us, is still with us always, impelling us toward right action and the doing of more good.
Have angels wings as shown in pictures?
Answer: No; none of them have such bird wings as they are shown to have in pictures, but there are some classes of Beings in the Spirit World which have wing-like appendages. These, however, are not for the purpose of flying or moving through space, but are currents of outwelling force that may be hurled in one direction or another, as we use our arms and limbs. Thus an Archangel who is impelling the armies of two nations to battle may send out a current of spiritual force in one direction, numbing the soldiers of one army with fear, and may send another force to imbue the opposing army with added courage, thus influencing the battle in a manner little dreamed of by the contestants.
Do the Rosicrucians accept the Bible as the “Word of God” from cover to cover?
Answer: Certainly not, and more particularly not in the extremely narrow interpretation of some people who think that the book we now have with us is the only genuine one ever given to humanity. At most, it could be only one of the books of God, for there are many other sacred writings which have a claim to recognition and cannot be ruled out of court by a few wiseacres such as those who have delegated the so-called apocryphal books to the literary scrap heap.
In the first place it should be remembered that the Old Testament was written in Hebrew at various times and by numerous writers, and that no collection of these writings was made prior to Ezra. Of these Hebrew writings, there is not now a single scrap in existence. Even as long ago as 280 B.C. the Hebrew language had been abandoned, so far as scriptural writing was concerned, and the Septuagint, or Greek Translation, was in general use. That was the only Bible in existence at the time of the birth of Christ. Later some of the Hebrew writings were collected and collated by the Masoretes, a sect which existed about 700 A.D. This is the best and most accurate text.
The English translation, most in use today, is the King James Version, but His Majesty was not so much after accuracy in translation as after peace, and the act which authorized the translation of the Bible prohibited the translators from translating any passages in such a way that it would interfere with existing beliefs. This was done to avoid any uprising or dissension in his kingdom, and of the forty-seven translators, only three were Hebrew scholars and two of them died before the Psalms had been translated. A number of the books were thrown aside as apocryphal, and altogether words were wrenched out of their original meaning to conform to the superstition of the age. Martin Luther, in Germany, translated from the Latin text which had itself been translated from the Greek and thus the chances of conveying wrong meanings have been
enhanced in many and various ways. Add to this that in the old style Hebrew vowel points are omitted and there is no division into words, so that by inserting vowel points in different ways, words and sentences of entirely different meanings may be obtained from almost any sentence. In view of these facts it is evident that the chances of our getting an accurate version of what was originally written are small indeed.
Moreover, it was not intended by the original writers to make the Bible an open “Book of God,” as can well be seen by the following quotation from the Zohar: “Woe to the man who sees in the Torah (the law–the Bible) only simple recitals and ordinary words, because if in truth it contained only these, we would even today be able to compose a Torah more worthy of admiration. But it is not so; each word in the Torah contains an elevated meaning and a sublime mystery…The recitals of the Torah are the vestments of the Torah…Woe to him who takes this vestment of the Torah for the Torah itself…The simple take notice of the garments and recitals of the Torah alone; they know no other thing, they see not that which is concealed under the vestment; the more instructed men do not pay attention to the vestment, but to that which it envelops”…
In other words, they pay no attention to the letter, but take only the spirit. And, as in a field sown with potatoes there are not only these vegetables, but also the soil in which they are hidden, so in the Bible the pearls of occult truth are hidden in what are often hideous garments. The occultist who has fitted himself to possess these pearls has received the key, and sees them plainly. To others they remain obscure until they also have worked for that key. Thus, while the story of the wanderings of the children of Israel and the dealings of a certain God with
them are partially true, there is also a spiritual significance that is far more important than that material history. Even though the Gospels contain the great outlines of the life of an individual called Jesus, they are formulae of initiation showing the experiences which everyone must eventually pass through on the way to the truth and the life.
This path was foreseen by the various persons who wrote the Bible and who were thus prophets and seers, but only in so far as that was possible at their time and age. A new era will require a new Bible, a new word.
What is the viewpoint of the Rosicrucians concerning the creation of the world in seven days?
Answer: There are two creation stories in the Bible. One commences with the first verse of the opening chapter and ends with the third verse of the second chapter of Genesis. Another account commences with the fourth verse.
These two creation stories seem to be greatly at variance in several particulars. The first account states that in the beginning the earth was covered with water; the second avers that it was dry. The first informs us that man was created last; the second version
says he was the first creature, etc. These discrepancies seem to be irreconcilable, and afford the skeptic great satisfaction when he recounts them with a smile of supercilious pity for the poor ignorant fools who believe such silly nonsense. Yet the two accounts are not really incongruous, they are complementary and in harmony with scientific facts. The first account deals with the genesis of form, the second chapter with the evolution of consciousness. The human form as at present constituted is the chef-d’oeuvre of evolution, built upon the basis of all lower forms which have gone before. The life which is man, the thinker, is without beginning or end, eternal as God Himself, and that life was here before all forms, as told by the second creation story.
Regarding the time in which this creation of form is said to have taken place, the Rosicrucians do not teach or believe that it was accomplished in seven days of twenty-four hours each, but in our scheme of manifestation seven great transformations of the earth are necessary to facilitate the full evolution of self-consciousness and soul power by the evolving spirits. Three and one-half of these periods have been spent in obtaining vehicles; the remainder will be required for the evolution of consciousness.
The opening verse of the Bible states that in the beginning the earth was dark and without definite form. That was in the Saturn Period, when the incipient firemist was forming from the root substance of space.
The third verse informs us that God said “Let there by Light,” a passage which has been jeered at as showing the ignorance of the authors and the inconsistency of the account with scientific facts; for, says the scoffer, “When the sun and moon were not created till the fourth day, how could there be light previous to that time? We are not dealing with
the world as it is today, a solid mass. That, of course, would be dark without an outside source of light, but at that time the earth was a world in the making, and according to the nebular theory there must first be the stage of dark heat to which we have given the name Saturn Period. Later the mist is ignited and luminous; the light is within and is not dependent upon an exterior sun and moon. This second stage in the development of our planet is called the Sun Period.
Next we are told that God said, “Let there be ‘an expansion’ in the waters to divide the water from the water.” The word here rendered “expansion” is translated “firmament” in the authorized version, but we use the Masoretic text, which was translated by translators of knowledge, who were unrestricted by a royal edict such as that which hampered King James’s translators. The use of the term “expansion” harmonizes the Bible with the nebular theory, for, when a firemist appears in space moisture is generated by the contact of this heated mass with the surrounding space, which is cold. This moisture becomes heated AND EXPANDS into steam which rushes outward from the fiery core, is there cooled, and condensed, and gravitates back to the source of heat. Thus the expansion in the waters divided the water from the water, the dense moisture remaining nearest the fiery core and the steam outside. This stage in the consolidation of the earth is called the Moon Period.
The continual boiling of the water surrounding the fiery core finally caused an incrustation and dry land appeared. We are told that “God called the dry land Earth.”
During the first part of the present Period the earth was as dark as in the Saturn Period. Only mineral substances existed them. This stage is called the Polarian Epoch.
The fiery Sun Period finds its replica in the Hyperborean Epoch, which is described in verses 11-19 as the time when plants were generated, and the earth became a planet lighted from without by sun and moon. This ends the work described as having been performed on the fourth great day in the development of our earth.
In the Lemurian Epoch we have a recapitulation of conditions during the Moon Period, a fiery core and an atmosphere of fire fog, also the genesis of the lower grades of animals, described in the Bible story as the work of the fifth day.
In the Atlantean Epoch the vertebrate mammals and man were formed, as described under the heading of the sixth day, and when man became a reasoning being in the present Aryan Epoch, the Gods rested to let him work out his own salvation under the twin laws of Rebirth and Causation.
The Bible teaches the immortality of the soul in an authoritative manner. The Rosicrucian Philosophy teaches the same professedly by appealing to reason. Are there no positive proofs of immortality?
Answer: The inquirer is mistaken when he says that the Bible teaches the immortality of the soul. There is not a single mention of the word immortality or heaven in the sense of a possession of man in the Old Testament. There it is explicitly stated that “Heaven, even the heavens are the Lord’s, but the Earth has he given to the children of men”; Psalms 115, 16th verse. It is explicitly taught that “the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” If the soul were immortal that would be an impossibility. In the New Testament the word “immortal” or “immortality” is only used six times. It is designated as something to be striven for, or something which is an attribute of God.
So far as the Spirit is concerned, however, the case is different, and even where that is the theme, the word immortal is not used. Immortality is implied in the same way that the doctrine of rebirth is implied in so many passages, but even the doctrine of rebirth has the advantage of the doctrine of immortality of the human spirit, for the doctrine of rebirth was taught definitely at least once in Matthew 11:14, where the Christ said of John the Baptist, “This is Elijah.” In this teaching the doctrine of immortality was again implied, for if the spirit Elijah was reborn as John the Baptist he must have survived bodily death. The teaching of immortality was at that time one of the mystery teachings, and even to this day it can hardly be received until a man has entered the path of initiation and there sees for himself the continuity of life.
It may be stated, however, in answer to the question, that everything hinges upon what is meant by “positive proof,” and what the qualifications of the person are who asks for the proof to judge of these proofs? We cannot prove a problem in trigonometry to an infant, but if the infant is given time to grow and is properly taught the preliminaries, it will be easy to prove the problem. Neither can we prove
the existence of color and light to a man who was born blind; they are facts which he cannot appreciate, because lacking in the requisite faculty. But if he acquires the faculty to sight by an operation, it will be unnecessary to prove these facts to him, he will then see their verity. For similar reason no one can appreciate proofs of the immortality of the spirit until he has fitted himself to see the spirit; then it will be easy for him to obtain positive proof of the immortality of spirit, its existence prior to birth and persistence after death. Until he has thus qualified himself, he must be satisfied with reasonable inferences such as may be obtained in many ways.
Is there any authority in the Bible for the theory of rebirth?
Answer: Yes, there is plenty of authority, although it is only taught directly in one place. The Jewish priests believed in the theory of rebirth, or they would not have sent to ask John the Baptist “Art thou Elijah?” as it is recorded in the first Chapter
of John in the twenty-first verse; and in the Gospel of Matthew, we have the words of Christ concerning John the Baptist which are unambiguous and unequivocal. He said, “This is Elijah.” Also on the later occasion, at the time when they had been upon the Mount of Transfiguration, the Christ said, “Elijah has come and they have done to him as they listed,” and we are told that the disciples “knew He was speaking of John” who had then been beheaded by Herod.
In Matthew, the 16th chapter, 14th verse, He is asking His disciples “Who do the people say I am?” and the answer which they give Him is “Some say that you are John the Baptist, others say that you are Elijah, and again other say that you are Jeremiah or one of the Prophets.” It is noteworthy that the Christ did not contradict them at all, for He was a teacher, and if they had entertained a wrong idea concerning the doctrine of rebirth, it would have been His undoubted duty to set them right. But He did not do that. He moreover taught it directly, as per the above passage.
There are also cases mentioned in the Bible, where a person has been chosen for a certain work before his birth. An Angel foretold the coming of Samson and his mission–to slay the Philistines. The Lord said to the prophet Jeremiah, “Before thou camest out of the womb, I sanctified thee and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” John and Jesus had their mission allotted to them before they were born. A person is chosen for a mission because of a special fitness. Proficiency presupposes practice and practice prior to birth must have been in a previous life. Thus the doctrine of rebirth is also taught by implication in the cases cited.
According to the Bible only man was given a soul. Why do you then say that the animals have a Group Spirit?
Answer: In the first chapter of Genesis, verse 20, we are told that God said: “Let the water bring forth abundantly the moving creature that has life.” The world used in Hebrew is nephesh, which means “breath.” That word is also used in the second chapter, verse 7, where it is said that “The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (nephesh), and man became a ‘nephesh chayim,’ a breathing creature.” Not a living soul, as there translated. The translation of King James has been modified by people who had a little more regard for the truth than for preconceived ideas; they have consented to put the word “soul” in the margin as an alternative reading of the word in chapter 1, verse 20, where the creation of the animals is recorded, so that even in the Bibles of today, it is admitted that animals have a soul.
This translation is not correct, however; nephesh means breath and not soul; the Hebrew word for soul is neshamah. Soul is not synonymous with spirit, which is called ruach, so that Genesis does not mention the spirit of either man or animal, for spirit has no genesis, It Is. The forms of animal and man which are sustained by breath had a beginning and that is what Genesis records. That idea is perfectly in line with the words of Solomon in Ecclesiastes 3:19, where we are told that (so far as the body formed of the dust is concerned) man has no pre-eminence above the beast, for as one dieth so dieth the other, they have all one breath (nephesh) and as one dieth so dieth the other. All go unto one place (namely, the Desire World).
If the inquirer accepts only the English word and version of the Bible, as if that book had been written directly in our language, it would seem fair to ask: If man obtained his soul as described in the Bible, where did woman receive her soul; or is she without a soul?
Is it true that Eve was taken out of Adam’s side?
Answer: Among the forty-seven translators of King James’s Bible only three understood Hebrew and two of them died before the Psalms had been translated. Besides, in the Hebrew language, particularly the old style writing, the vowel points are never put in, and thus a word may be given different meanings, according to the way these points are entered. In the case of the story of Adam’s rib, the word translated “rib” when pointed in one way reads tsad, which really means rib, but pointed another way it reads tsela, which means side. The occult teaching concerning the development of the earth and man states that there was
a time when man was like the God or Elohim who created him, in one particular–sex. He was both male and female, a hermaphrodite, capable of generating another being from himself. Later it became necessary to his further evolution that a brain should be evolved, and whereas he had previously sent out from himself the double creative force, positive and negative, half of that was then retained for the purpose of building a brain, a larynx, and a nervous system, as organs of thought and a keyboard whereby the spirit might manipulate its organism and express itself vocally. Some of the spirit retain the positive creative force and send out only the negative, or female force, while others retain the female or negative force and send out the positive. Thus it may be said that God took away from the one SIDE of their being, but not the rib. This reading of the word has as good a claim to recognition as the translation RIB, and also has the further merit that it helps to explain an otherwise unexplainable fact.
If God made man in his image and likeness, supposedly perfect, why were the different epochs prior to the fall of Adam and Eve necessary?
Answer: The inquirer is laboring under a misapprehension. The Bible says that God saw his work, and that is was “good,” but not perfect. Had it been perfect, there would have been nothing further to do, and evolution would have been superfluous. The human race did not become definitely human until the latter part of the Lemurian Epoch when the spirit commenced to draw into the bodies. The humanity of that time, Adam and Eve, were very different from our present day humanity. They were also products of evolution, for there is no instantaneous creation. These beings had progressed through stage of plant-like and animal-like development from the mineral kingdom wherein they started, and it was not a single pair, as is usually understood by orthodox religionists, but a humanity that was both male and female at the time mentioned in the Bible. It is said that male and female created He them, moreover, it was not the first time that man had been upon the earth, or that the earth had been peopled, as can be seen from Genesis 1:28, where they were commanded to go out and re-plenish the earth, showing that the earth had been the abode of certain other beings previous to the advent of those which are called Adam and Eve. Josephus says that Adam means “red earth” and the Hebrew “Admah,” from which Adam is derived, means “firm ground”; that described the state very well. ADM (as it is given in the Hebrew text), did not come upon the earth until it had solidified and become firm, yet he came before the earth had become properly cooled as it is now, and so the earth was really in a red and fiery state at that time. He had been here before. During the earlier Epochs before the Lemurian, the spirits hovered over the fiery earth and helped to form and mold it as it is now. The human spirits were at that time learning lesson with which we have no present concern. We were unconscious at that time, but did the work just as well as, for instance, our digestive organs perform the chemical operations necessary to digestion and assimilation although we are unaware of these
processes in our conscious mind. It must be plain, however, that as the work of children in the kindergarten and grammar school is the all important foundation for the later teachings of high school and college, so were the earlier epochs the foundation stones for our present conditions. They were as necessary as it is to learn the alphabet before we attempt to read.
What was the sin or fall in Eden?
Answer: When the earth came out of chaos, it was at first in the dark red stage known as the Polarian Epoch. There humanity first evolved a dense body, not at all like our present vehicle, of course. When the condition of the earth became fiery, as in the Hyperborean Epoch, the vital body was added and man became plant-like, that is to say, he had the same vehicles as our plants have today, and also a similar consciousness, or, rather, unconsciousness, to that which we have in dreamless sleep when the dense and vital bodies are left upon the bed.
At that time, in the Hyperborean Epoch, the body of man was like an enormous gas bag, floating outside the fiery earth, and it threw off plant-like spores, which then grew and were used by other incoming entities. At that time man was double sexed, a hermaphrodite.
In the Lemurian Epoch, when the earth had somewhat cooled and islands of crust had begun to form amid boiling seas, then also man’s body had somewhat solidified and had become more like the body we see today. It was ape-like, a short trunk with enormous arms and limbs, the heels projecting backward and almost no head–at least the upper part of the head was nearly entirely wanting. Man lived in the atmosphere of steam which occultists call fire-fog, and had no lungs, but breathed by means of tubes. He had a bladder-like organ inside, which he inflated with heated air to help him leap enormous chasms when volcanic eruptions destroyed the land upon which he was living. From the back of his head there projected an organ which has now been drawn into the head and is called by anatomists the pineal gland, or the third eye, although it was never an eye, but a localized organ of feeling. The body was then devoid of feeling, but when man came too close to a volcanic crater, the heat was registered by this organ to warn him away before his body was destroyed.
At that time the body had already so far solidified that it was impossible for man to continue to propagate by spores, and it was necessary that he should evolve an organ of thought, a brain. The creative force which we now use to build railways, steamships, etc., in the outer world, was then used inwardly for the building of organs. Like all forces it was positive and negative. One pole was turned upward to build
the brain, leaving the other pole available for the creation of another body. Thus man was no longer a complete creative unit. Each possessed only half the creative force, and it was therefore necessary for him to seek his complement outside himself.
But at that time, “their eyes had not been opened,” and the human beings of that age were unconscious of each other in the Physical World, though well aware and awake in the Spiritual World. Therefore, under the guidance of the Angels, who were particularly fitted to help them in respect to propagation, they were herded together in great temples at certain times of the year when the lines of force running between the planets were propitious, and there the creative act was performed as a religious sacrifice. And when this primal man Adam came into the intimate sexual contact with the woman, the spirit for the moment pierced the flesh and “Adam knew (or became aware of) his wife;” he sensed her physically. It is this which the Bible has recorded, using that chaste expression all through its leaves, for we are told that “Elkanah knew his wife Hannah, and she bore Samuel.” Even in the New Testament where the angel comes to Mary telling her that she is to be the mother of the Savior, she answers, “How shall that be possible seeing I know not a man?”
Sin is action contrary to law, and while humanity propagated under the guidance of the Angels, who understood the cosmic lines of force, parturition was painless, as it is now among wild animals, which propagate only at the proper time of the year under the guidance of the group spirit. But when man, acting on the advice of certain spirits half-way between humanity and the Angels, undertook to create at any and all times of the year, regardless of cosmic lines of force, that sin, or “eating of the tree of knowledge,” caused the painful parturition which the Angel proclaimed to Eve. He did not curse her, but simply stated what would be the result of the ignorant and indiscriminate use of the creative function.
Is the Tree of Life spoken of in the Bible the same as the Philosopher’s Stone of the alchemists?
Answer: Yes and no. To understand the matter it is necessary to go back in the history of mankind. There was a time when humanity was double sexed and capable of generating a body without the help of another. But when it became necessary to build the brain in order that the spirit might be able to create by thought as well as in the Physical World, one-half the sex force was retained to build an organ of thought. Then it became necessary for each to seek the cooperation of another who expressed the opposite pole of the creative force which he had available himself for sex purposes. Having no brain, and as “their eyes had not been opened,” they were of course unconscious in the Physical World and unable to guide themselves. Therefore, the Angels herded them together at certain times of
the year when the planetary forces were propitious to perform the generative act as a religious sacrifice, whereby they gave up part of their bodies for the generation of a vehicle for another spirit. In that close embrace, the spirit first pierced the veil of the flesh and Adam “knew” his wife. Later on, when the consciousness of humanity had become focused a little more upon the Physical World and a few among them had begun dimly to perceive the bodies of which we now are so thoroughly conscious, these pioneers began to preach the gospel of the body, telling the others that they possessed a physical body, for the majority were then unconscious of that instrument as we are now of having a stomach when in good health.
Then it was noticed that those bodies died, and the question arose among the pioneers as to how such a body could be replaced. The solution was given to man by a certain class of spirits who were stragglers from the evolution of the Angels, demi-gods, as we might say. These Lucifer Spirits, or light givers, enlightened nascent humanity regarding their powers of generating a body at any time. But these bodies were not perfect then–they are not perfect today–and of course generation without reference to the planetary conditions has produced even inferior bodies to what would have been otherwise generated, in addition to the painful parturition prophesied by the Angel.
Since then the generative function has been exercised unrestrictedly by the ignorant human race. But by the fact of death it has been possible for the Angels to teach humanity between death and a new birth how to build a gradually improving body. Had man learned in that far past how to renew his vital body, as he was taught to generate a dense vehicle at his own pleasure, then death would indeed have been an impossibility and man would have become immortal as the Gods. But he would
then have immortalized his imperfections and made progress an impossibility. It is the renewal of this vital body which is expressed in the Bible as “eating of the Tree of Life.” At the time of his enlightenment concerning generation man was a spiritual being whose eyes were not yet blinded by the material world, and he might have learned the secret of vitalizing his body at will, thus frustrating evolution. Thus we see that death, when it comes naturally, is not a curse but our greatest and best friend, for it frees us from an instrument from which we can learn no more; it takes us out of an environment which we have outgrown, that we may learn to build a better body in an environment of wider scope in which we can make more progress toward the goal of perfection.
In this pilgrimage there comes at last a time when man is fitted to have the powers of life. The body which he has made for himself becomes pure and is of service for a much longer time than heretofore. Then he begins to seek after the philosopher’s stone, the elixir vitae, or whatever name he may choose to employ. The alchemists aimed to manufacture this pure and holy vehicle, but not by a chemical process in a laboratory, as supposed by the ignorant multitude. Nomenclature which gave color to that idea was made necessary because they lived in an age when a dominant and apostate church could have brought them to death had the truth been known. When they spoke of transmuting base metals to gold, they spoke the truth not only from the material standpoint but also from the spiritual, for gold has ever been the symbol of spirit and these alchemists aimed to spiritualize their bodies, which are of baser mixture.
Everywhere the pure and beautiful symbol of transparency has been given to designate the power of purity. In the Old Testament we hear of the Temple of Solomon that was “built without sound of hammer.” The most beautiful ornament there was the molten sea. Hiram Abiff, the master-workman, as his final achievement, succeeded in smelting all the metals of the earth into an alloy as transparent as glass. In the New Testament we are told the last about a beautiful city having in its midst a sea of glass. In the East, the initiate aims to become the diamond-soul, pure and transparent. In the West the Philosopher’s Stone is the symbol of the purified soul extracted from the bodies which have been transmuted and spiritualized. The soul that sinneth, it shall die, but the pure soul is immortalized by the elixir vitae, the “tree of life,” into a vital body that will last millenniums as a vehicle for the spirit.
The Lord had respect unto Abel and his bloody offering, but unto Cain and his sweet and clean offering, he had not respect. Why?
Answer: The inquirer is under a misapprehension. The offering of Abel was not a bloody offering. It is nowhere stated that Abel killed an animal. The legend of the occult free masons, which we will give in part, tells the story:
Once upon a time, the Elohim created Eve; he united with her and she bore Cain; he left her before the birth of Cain and Cain was thus “the son of a widow.” Then the Elohim Jehovah created Adam who united with Eve and she bore Abel. In time Cain and Abel brought their offerings to Jehovah. Abel brought of his flocks created by God while Cain brought the work of his own hands, the grain. And Jehovah received the gift which Abel had found ready to his hand, made by nature, but he despised the sacrifice which was the outcome of the creative ability of Cain. Then Cain slew Abel and was cursed. Adam again united with Eve, and she bore Seth.
From Cain and Seth came two classes of people. The descendants of Cain were Tubal-Cain and Hiram Abiff, cunning master workmen, who knew how to fashion things with their hands, having within themselves the divine ability of creation, of making two blades of grass grow where there was only one before, and from them come all those who work with their hands and strive to conquer the earth and its resources.
From Seth descended the kings and the priests, who received their wisdom ready made from the gods, and took things as they found them. Among them was Solomon, the wisest of men, but he had not worked for his wisdom himself, he received it as a gift of God. These two classes are still found upon earth today and are battling for supremacy. One is the progressive temporal Powers, the other the conservative Priest-craft.
The reason, then, why Jehovah accepted the offering of Abel was because he had taken things as they were found created; he was a son of a man, and did not aspire to divine creatorship. But Cain was of a divine nature; he had within him the creative instinct; and that was not to the liking of the God.
What is the esoteric significance of the Ark of the Covenant?
Answer: We read in the earliest chapters of the Bible about the Fall in Eden, when man took the creative force into his own hands, used it ignorantly and thus sinned against the laws of nature. Propagation is a faculty of the vital body which is the shadow of the Life Spirit, the second aspect of the threefold spirit in man.
Cherubim are described as having been put on guard with a flaming sword when man was driven out from Eden, lest he eat of the Tree of Life and become immortal, for they are the great creative hierarchy which had charge over the earth in the Sun Period, when the vital body germinated and the life spirit was awakened.
Then commenced the long pilgrimage through the wilderness of matter, and the ark of the covenant was the symbol of man in this migratory phase of his existence. During the pilgrimage in the wilderness, the staves which were used to carry the ark were always left in their places to show that it had no abiding place, but when it came to the temple made without sound of hammer, the Temple of Solomon, its pilgrimage was ended, and the staves were removed.
In its character as a symbol of man the ark contained the Book of the Law, given to teach man right action. There was the Rod of Aaron which budded, a wand of power, symbolizing the spiritual force latent in every man. This rod was a replica of the spear of Parsifal, which was an instrument of harm in the hands of Klingsor, the Black Magician, and likewise in the hands of the Roman soldier, but the pure and spiritual Parsifal used it to heal the wounds of Amfortas. The rod of Aaron had been used among the Egyptians to cause distress and sorrow, an was the hidden within the ark, symbolical of the fact that man had at one time possessed and misused the spiritual power now hidden within.
There was the Pot of Manna. This was not a food for the body as materialistically explained. The word manna is almost universal. In the Sanskrit we have “manas,” the thinker. In German, the English, the Scandinavian languages, and in many others, we have the same word “man” to designate the thinker. The placing of the pot of manna within the ark commemorates the time when the Ego drew into the form it had built and became an indwelling individual spirit.
That was the “fall” into material conditions, necessitating the generation of dense bodies. When man arrogated to himself the power to generate at any time, he was exiled from the Etheric Region lest he possess himself of the secret of vitalizing the imperfect bodies he generates and render evolution impossible.
It is stated in the first part of our answer, the Cherubim were the authors of our vital powers, so they must guard them until man is qualified to have control himself. Therefore they are said to have been placed at the garden of Eden with a Flaming Sword, and it is of the greatest significance that upon the doors to the Temple of Solomon there stood the Cherubim, holding in their hands no longer the Flaming Sword, but an open flower. The flower is the generative organ of the plant, which accomplishes the act of generation in a pure, passionless manner, and when man has learned how to become pure and passionless so that each and every form is immaculately conceived, he can enter into the temple of God as the ark entered the Temple of Solomon, and he may remain there, as signified by the removal of the staves, and as prophetically told in Revelation where the spirit said: “Him that overcometh, I will make a pillar in the House of God: Thence he shall no more go out.”
Is there an occult significance in the various Christian feasts of the year?
Answer: Yes, the feasts of the year have the very deepest occult significance. From the material point of view, the planets are but so many masses of matter going about in their orbits in obedience to so-called blind laws, but to the occultists they appear as Great Spirits, moving about in space as we move in the world.
When a man is seen gesticulating, we attach a certain significance to his gestures. If he shakes his head, we know that he is negativing a certain proposition, but if he nods, we infer he agrees. If he beckons, having the palms of his hands turned toward him, we know that he is motioning for someone to come to him, but if he turns the palms outward, we understand that he is warning someone to stay away. In the case of the universe, we usually do not think that there is any significance to the altered position of the planets, but to the occultist there is the very deepest meaning in all the varied phenomena of the heavens. They correspond to the gestures of man.
Krishna means anointed, and anyone who had a special mission to perform was so anointed in olden times. When, in the winter time, the sun is below the equator at the nadir point of its travel, the spiritual impulses are the greatest in the world. For our material welfare, however, it is necessary that the sun should come again into the northern hemisphere, and so we speak of the time when the sun starts upon its journey northward as Christmas, the birthday of the Savior, anointed to save us from the famine and cold which would ensue if he were to stay at the nadir point always.
As the sun passes toward the equator, it goes through the sign Aquarius, the water-man, at that time the earth is deluged with rain, symbolizing the baptism of the Savior. Then comes the passage of the sun through the sign Pisces, the fishes, in the month of March. The stores of the past year have been all consumed, and the food of man is scant, hence we have the long fast of Lent, where the eating of fish symbolizes
this feature of the solar journey. Then comes the Passover, when the sun passed over the equator. This is the time of Easter, when the sun is at his eastern node, and this crossing of the equator is symbolized by the crossification or Crucifixion, so called, of the Savior; the sun then goes into the sign of Aries, the Ram, and becomes the Lamb of God, which is given for the salvation of the world at the time when the plants begin to sprout. In order that the sacrifice may be of benefit to man, however, he (the sun) must ascend into the heavens where his rays will have power to ripen the grape and the corn, and so we have the feast of the Ascension of the Savior to the Throne of the Father, which is at the summer solstice in June. There the sun remains for three days, when the saying “Thence he shall return” takes effect as the sun commences his passage toward the western node. At the time when he enters the sign Virgo, the Virgin, we have the feast of the Assumption and later on, when he leaves the sign Virgo, the Nativity of the virgin, who seems, as it were, to be born from the sun.
The Jewish Feast of Tabernacles occurred at the time when the sun was crossing the equator on its passage into the winter months, and this feast was accompanied by the weighing in of the corn and the harvest of the wine, which were the gifts of the solar God to his human worshipers.
Thus all the feasts of the year are connected with the motions of the stars through space.
I understand you to say that the Christ has been incarnated only once in Jesus; was he not previously incarnated in Gautama Buddha and still earlier in Krishna?
Answer: No. Jesus Himself was a spirit belonging to our human evolution, and so was Gautama Buddha. The writer has no information concerning Krishna, but is inclined to believe that he was also a spirit belonging to the human race, because the Indian stories concerning him tell of how he entered heaven and what took place there. The Christ spirit which entered the body of Jesus when Jesus himself vacated it, was a ray from the cosmic Christ. We may follow Jesus back in his previous incarnations, and we can trace his growth to the present day. The Christ spirit, on the contrary, is not to be found among our human spirits at all.
We may say that before the coming of Christ, He worked upon the earth from the outside, much as the group spirit works with the animals from without, guiding and helping them, until they become sufficiently individualized to be the abode of an individual spirit. There was no indwelling spirit in the earth prior to the coming of Christ, but at the time when the sacrifice upon Golgotha had been consummated and the Christ spirit was liberated from the body of Jesus, it drew into the earth and is now the indwelling Earth Spirit, which Paul says “is groaning and travailing, waiting for the day of liberation,” for, contrary to the accepted opinion, the sacrifice upon Golgotha was not completed with the death of the body of Jesus; in fact, that event may be said to be only the beginning; the sacrifice will continue until such time as we shall have evolved the altruism and love that will liberate the Earth Spirit from the cramping conditions of material existence, when the necessity for guiding us shall have passed away.
We are told that “God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not die but have everlasting life.” How can we reconcile that idea with the words of Christ, “I came not to bring peace but a sword”?
Answer: It is said that the “law and the prophets were until Christ,” and there are four steps whereby man lifts himself to God. At first, when he awakens to a consciousness in the Physical World and is in the savage state, he finds himself surrounded by other men, who by the very stress of circumstances are forced to fight for life, men among whom “might is right”; here he learns to rely upon his own strength to save him from the onslaughts of wild animals and other men. But he perceives around him the nature powers, and of them he is afraid, for he knows their ability to kill and his own impotence to cope with them. He therefore begins to worship, seeking to propitiate the God he fears by bloody sacrifices.
Then comes the time when he begins to look to God as the giver of things, who will reward him here and now for obedience to his law and punish him instantly for disobedience. A mighty ally against his enemies but a powerful enemy, and therefore, much to be feared also. And so, he worships and sacrifices animals through fear and avarice.
Then comes the stage when he is taught to worship a God of love and to sacrifice himself from day to day, through his whole life, for a reward in a future state which he is to believe in by faith and which is not even clearly outlined.
Finally man will reach a stage when he will recognize his divinity and do right because it is right without thought of fear or bribe.
The Jews had reached the second of these stages and were under the law. The Christian religion is gradually working through the third stage, though not yet freed from the second. All of us are yet under laws made by God and by man in order to curb our desire bodies by fear, but to advance us spiritually from now on we must sensitize our vital body which is amenable to love while not at all cognizant of law which governs the desire nature.
In order to prepare this coming state the priests, who were more advanced than the ordinary people, kept separate and apart from them. We hear in the East that only a certain caste, the Brahmins, were allowed to enter the temples and perform the temple services. Among the Jews, only the Levites were allowed to approach the holy place, and among other nations it was the same. The priests were always a distinct class, who were not allowed to marry among the ordinary people. They were separate and apart in every respect.
That was because the leaders of humanity could only use the strain where there existed a certain laxity between the vital body and the dense body. And so they bred these priests and herded them around the temples, regulating their life, sexually and otherwise, in every respect. But at the time when Christ was liberated from the body of Jesus and diffused His Being throughout the whole earth, the veil was rent, as a symbol of the fact, that the need for any special condition had passed away. From that time on the ether has been changing in the earth. An increasingly higher rate of vibration allows for the expression of altruistic qualities. It was the starting of that enormous vibration which caused the darkness said to have attended crucifixion. That was not darkness at all, but an intense light which blinded people for the time being until the vibrations slowed down by immersion in the dense, physical earth. A few hours later the radiant Christ Spirit had drawn into the earth sufficiently to restore normal conditions. But gradually that power from within is gaining the ascendency, and the etheric vibrations are being accelerated, increasing altruism and spiritual growth. Thus the conditions are now such that no special or privileged class need exist, but each and every one may aspire to enter the path of initiation.
Old conditions die hard, however; under the regime of Jehovah, the Spirit of the Moon, humanity had been broken up into nations, and in order that He might guide them it was necessary that He should at times use one nation to punish another, for humanity was not then amenable to love–it would only obey under the lash of fear. Before the great Universal Brotherhood of Love can be inaugurated it is necessary to break up these nations on the same principle that if we have a number of buildings,
composed of bricks and we wish to build them into one grand structure, it is necessary first to break them to pieces so that the individual bricks will be available for use in the larger building. Therefore the Christ said, “I come not to bring peace, but a sword.”
We must outgrow patriotism and learn to say as that great soul, Thomas Paine, “The world is my country, and to do good is my religion.” Until that time, the wars must go on and the more the better, for thereby the sooner will the horror become sufficiently appalling to compel peace.
On the holy night when the Christ child was born, the angels sang a song, “Peace on Earth and Good Will among Men.” Later the child grew up and said, “I came not to bring peace, but a sword,” and the Christian religion has been the bloodiest of all religions of humanity. It has carried desolation and sorrow with it wherever it has gone, but out of all that travail there will yet come the day when the song of the Angels will become a fact and the words of the Christ uttered at other times concerning love to one’s neighbor will be lived. When the sword has done its work it will be beaten into plow shares, and there will be no more war, for there will be no more nations.
What is meant by everlasting salvation and damnation?
Answer: The orthodox religions say that those who have done well in this life are saved, that is to say, they will go to a heaven not very clearly defined, and those who fail to reach this salvation are plunged into a hell of which not very much is known save that it is a place of misery. The good and the bad stay in their respective places, once they have been judged; there is no redemption for the lost souls, and no danger of a fall for those once saved.
Such an interpretation is radically wrong, if the Greek dictionary is taken as authority, for obviously the meaning hinges upon the word translated “everlasting.” That word is aionian, and in the dictionary it is translated to mean “an age, an indefinite period, a lifetime,” etc. What, then, is the true meaning of the passage quoted we may ask ourselves, and in order to find that meaning it will be necessary to take a comprehensive view of life.
In the beginning of manifestation, God, a great flame, differentiates a vast number of incipient flames or sparks within Himself, not from Himself, for it is an actual fact that “In Him we live and move and have our being.” Nothing can exist outside God. So within Himself, God differentiates these countless souls. Each of them is potentially divine, each enfolds all His powers as the seed enfolds the plant, but as the seed must be buried in the ground to bring forth the plant, so it is necessary that these divine sparks should be immersed in material vehicles in order that they may learn lessons that can be mastered only in such a separative existence as there is in the world.
The world may be regarded as a training school for the evolving spirits. Some of them started early and applied themselves diligently to the task before them; consequently they progressed rapidly. Others started later and are laggards. They are therefore left behind in the race; but all will ultimately attain the goal of perfection. In consequence of the foregoing fact there are a number of classes of these pilgrim spirits, and before one set, or class, of spirits can be moved up another step in evolution it is necessary that they should have attained a certain standard of proficiency. They are saved from a lower condition which they have outgrown. Once this measure of efficiency has been acquired, they are promoted into another race, another epoch. But among a large number there are always laggards, and these are condemned to stay in the class where they are until they have arrived at the stage of growth required for advancement. The plan is similar to the method in which children in a school are promoted into the next higher class at the yearly examinations if they have attained a certain standard of knowledge; if not, they are condemned to stay behind–not forever, but only until another year’s examination proves that they have qualified.
The foregoing is not a distorted or a wrong representation of the meaning of the word aionian. It has been used other places in the Bible in a manner which bears out our contention. For instance, in Paul’s letter to Philemon, where he returns to him the slave Onesimus with the words, “Perhaps it was well that you should lose him for a time that he might be given back to you forever.” The word “forever” is the same word aionian which is translated everlasting in connection with damnation and salvation, and it will be readily seen that in this case it can only mean a part of a lifetime, for neither Paul or Philemon, as such, would live forever.
What is the teaching of the Rosicrucians concerning the Immaculate Conception?
Answer: The Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is, perhaps, one of the most sublime mysteries of the Christian religion, and perhaps for that reason it has suffered more from being dragged down into materiality than any of the other mysteries. It has suffered alike from the interpretation of its clumsy supporters and the sneers of the skeptics. When, for instance, we see in churches a picture of God as an old man sitting up in the skies with a blow-pipe in his mouth in the act of blowing the infant Jesus into the side of Mary, it is more than ridiculous, it is pathetic!
The popular, but erroneous, idea is that about 2000 years ago an individual named Jesus Christ was born of a mother without the cooperation of an earthly father, and this incident is regarded as unique in the history of the world. In reality, it is not unparalleled; the immaculate conception has taken place many times in the history of the world and will become universal in the future.
The anticipated history of man is written in the stars–man being the little world as the stars are great worlds. There the ideal, the prototype of the Immaculate Conception is dramatically presented from year to year. The sun is the life giver of the world; it is the light of the world also. And as the more advanced beings who are saviors of mankind appear when the greatest spiritual darkness is upon earth, so the sun is born anew at the winter solstice and starts its journey toward the equator on the darkest night of the year, the night between the 24th and the 25th of December. At that time, the zodiacal sign Virgo rises upon the eastern horizon in all northern latitudes, which are the most populous parts of the earth.
Thus, the light of the world is each year immaculately conceived by the celestial virgin mother and starts upon his journey northward to give his life for humanity as he ripens the corn and the grape. By analogy the spiritual teachers are born at time when spiritual darkness is greatest, and they give to man the bread of life which feeds the soul.
Men do not gather grapes of thorns, but like always begets like; an entity that is vile must be born of a mother who is vile, and before a savior can be born a pure virgin mother must be found. But when we say “virgin,” we do not mean virgin in a physical sense. We all possess physical virginity in the early years of our lives, but virginity of the spirit is a quality of soul acquired by lives of pure thought and lofty aspirations. It is not dependent upon the state of the body. A true virgin may bear several children and remain “virgin.”
Whether a child is conceived in sin or immaculately conceived is thus dependent upon its own inherent soul quality, for if the Ego to be born is pure and chaste it will naturally be born to a mother who is also of the same pure and beautiful nature. And the physical act, which in the case of most people is dictated by passion and desire for sensual gratification, is performed by the pure and the chaste of soul in a spirit of prayer as a sacrifice. Thus the child is begotten without the sin of passion; it is immaculately conceived.
Such a one is never an accidental child. His coming has been heralded and looked forward to with anticipation of pleasure and joy, and there are many cases at the present day where people come very close to an imitation of the Immaculate Conception; cases where both the parents are pure and chaste; where they perform the generative act in the spirit of pure love; where the mother is unmolested during the gestatory period and the child is born in almost as pure a manner as foreshadowed in the symbolical immaculate conceptions. In time, when humanity grows more and more altruistic, passion will be superseded by pure love and all men will be immaculately begotten.
Was not the Star of Bethlehem a comet?
Answer: No; the Star of Bethlehem shines at midnight of every night as it shone upon the night which is recorded in the Bible, and may be seen by anyone among the wise men of today, though hidden from all others.
The key to the mystery is this:
The Gospels are not simply stories of the life of an individual; they depict dramatically and in symbol the incidents in the path of attainment; they are formulae of initiation.
In the summertime, when the whole earth is exerting itself to bring forth the bread of life for all who live upon it, the sun is high in the heavens, sending forth its life giving rays toward our planet. Then all the physical activities are to the fore and man is engrossed in material occupations necessary to his existence. But when in winter the sun is below the equator and nature slumbers, spiritual influences sent forth from the sun are most potent. When the physical darkness increases the spiritual light burns more brightly and culminates in the birth of saviors on the darkest night in the year, between the twenty-fourth and the twenty-fifth of December, at the time the sun starts on its journey northward to save humanity from the cold and famine which would result if it remained in the southern latitudes.
On that particular night of the year the spiritual vibrations are strongest. It is the Holy Night of the year par excellence. On that night it is easiest for the neophyte to come into conscious touch with spiritual vibrations. Therefore it was customary to take neophytes into the
temples on yon Holy Night. There they were entranced under the guidance of wise men and taught to leave their bodies consciously by an act of will. The earth then became transparent to their gaze and they saw behind it the Sun at midnight–the blazing star. Not, of course, the physical sun, but the spiritual sun which is the true Christ-star, for the cosmic Christ is the highest Initiate among the luminous sun spirits, the Archangels.
What were the gifts of the Wise Men?
Answer: The Bible tells us that they were gold, myrrh and frankincense.
Gold has always been regarded as the emblem of spirit in the old legends and symbology. In the story of the Ring of the Niebelung, dramatized by Wagner, we hear how the Rhine maidens played in their watery element on the bottom of the river Rhine. The water was lighted by the flame of the gold. This legend takes us back to the time when these Children of the Mist were living in the beautiful conditions of early Atlantis, where they were one vast brotherhood, innocent and childlike, and the Universal Spirit had not yet drawn into the separate bodies.
The gold resting upon the rock at the bottom of the water was the symbol of the Universal Spirit illuminating all mankind. Later it is stolen and welded into a ring by Alberich, the Niebelung, who forswears love to possess this gold. Then it becomes the symbol of the separate Ego in the present loveless age of selfishness. The man who has become wise and sees the evils of selfishness offers gold to the Christ as a symbol of his desire for the return to the Universal spirit of Love.
The second gift, myrrh, is an aromatic plant growing in Arabia which is very rare and scarce. It is the symbol of the soul. We are told in legends of saints who have been so holy that they emitted an aroma. This is thought to be a pious fable, but it is an actual fact that a man may become so holy that he emits a most beautiful perfume.
The third gift, frankincense, is a symbol of the dense body, which has been etherealized by a holy life, for frankincense is a physical vapor. The minister of the interior of Serbia, one of the conspirators who planned the regicide in that country less than a decade ago, has since written his memoirs. It appears, according to him, that when they burned incense at the time they invited people to join them in their conspiracy, they invariably succeeded in winning over the one whom they sought. He did not know why, he simply mentioned it as a curious coincidence. But to the occultist the matter is plain.
No spirit can work in any world without a vehicle made of the material of that world. To function in the Physical World, to fetch and carry, we must have a dense body and a vital body; both are made of various grades of physical matter, solids, liquids, gas and ether. We
may obtain such vehicles in the ordinary way, by going through the womb to birth, or we may extract ether from the body of a medium and temporarily use that to materialize, or we may use the fumes of incense. In the Catholic Church, where certain spirits are invoked, incense furnishes the vehicle whereby they may operate upon the assembled congregation as the discarnate spirits did to favor the Serbian regicides.
Thus we see that the gifts of the wise men are spirit, soul and body, devoted to the service of humanity. To give oneself is to imitate Christ, to follow in His steps.
Was not Jesus a Jew? If so, what did he mean by saying “before Abraham was, I am”? For even if he reincarnated, Abraham was the father of the Jewish race.
Answer: In olden times, and even up to the present day, patriotism is looked upon as one of the prime virtues, but from the occult standpoint there is of course but the One Spirit, and the races are but an evanescent phase of the scheme of evolution; in fact, a very dangerous
phase, for while in the Periods and great Epochs of evolution there is an abundance of time, and it is possible for the leaders to bring most of the spirits in line for promotion, the races and nations are born and die in such a comparatively short time, there is great danger that the spirits may become enmeshed in the race bodies and not follow the bulk of humanity in their progress.
This is just what happened to the Jews. They were so intensely patriotic that no Jew thought of himself as an individual at all. Primarily, and when using the highest terms, he would speak of himself as “Abraham’s seed.” Secondarily, he thought of himself as belonging to a certain tribe, and lastly, perhaps he was Solomon Levi or Moses Cohen.
The Christ combated this idea of identity with the race when he said, “Before Abraham was, I am.” The Ego existed before Abraham; Abraham was an incarnation of an Ego, a spirit. He, and the Jewish race descended from him, were simply bodies, but the Egos which inhabited them existed before the race bodies. Thus the Christ advised his hearers to look from the evanescent to the eternal.
In another place He said, “Unless a man leave Father and mother, he cannot follow me.” Father and mother are also race bodies. We have no right to leave dependent relatives to follow the higher life; we must fulfill all our duties here before we selfishly take up the study of the higher life, but we are not to identify ourselves with the race, the nation, or the family into which we are born. Every one of us is an individual spirit, which existed before the bodies we call races and will exist after they have ceased to be. Failing to keep that fact in mind, we may crystallize and stay with the race instead of progressing. That is just what the Jews have done. Their intense patriotism has caused them as spirits to reincarnate in the Jewish race bodies for millenniums.
The leaders of humanity had sought in various ways to get them to amalgamate with others, that they might progress, but always in vain, and Christ was sent to them for the same reason that Booker T. Washington has been sent to the Negroes. Though a more advanced soul than his race brethren, he was incarnated in a black body to enable him to help the Negroes in the most efficient manner. Had he been embodied in a white skin, there would always have been a seeming patronage. Similar reasons decreed the birth of Christ as a Jew. It was hoped that they would receive His teachings because coming from one of their own race. But instead of honoring their traditions and looking up to Abraham in a reverential attitude of mind, He cast down their ideals, He spoke of a new heaven and a new earth, He asserted the priority of the individual to the race, and, therefore, they would have none of Him–“they chose Barabbas.”
Jesus was baptized at thirty, receiving the “Christ Spirit.” please explain this baptism.
Answer: The earth has not always been as it is now. Science tells us that there was a time when it was blended firemist. The Bible goes back even further and speaks of a time before that mist, when the earth became glowing and luminous as fire; a time when darkness reigned.
There have been in all four epochs or stages in this development of the earth. First there was this dark stage, which is called in the Rosicrucian terminology the “Polarian” Epoch. Then the substance which now forms the earth was a dark mass, hot and gaseous. In the second stage, called the Hyperborean Epoch, this dark mass was ignited. We are told “God said: ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” Then came the stage when the heat of this firemist in contact with cold space generated moisture, and this moisture was densest near the fiery core, where it was heated to steam that rushed outward from the center–“God divided the waters from the waters,” that is, the dense water nearest the core from the light steam outside. Finally there came an incrustation, such as always takes place where water is boiled over and over again, and thus the crust over the earth, the dry land, was formed.
When that crust had been completed, there was no water upon the surface of the earth, but as the Bible says, “A mist went up from the surface,” and no herb had yet grown upon the face of the earth. At that time, however, vegetation began to appear and nascent humanity lived there. But they were not a humanity constituted as we are today. Their form was very much different and they were not nearly as evolved as we are at the present time. In fact, body and spirit were not perfectly together; the spirits hovered partly outside and therefore “man’s eyes had not yet been opened.”
Old folk stories such as we hear of in Germany and different places in the Old World, speak of them as the Niebelungen. “Niebel” means mist and “ungen” is children. They were the “Children of the Mist,” for the clear atmosphere of today did not then exist; the sun appeared like an arc lamp in the street on a very foggy day, on account of the density of the mist which rose from the earth.
While humanity lived in that state, they were not as far advanced mentally as we are now. They could not see things outside themselves, but they had an inner perception. They saw the soul qualities of all who lived around them and they perceived themselves as spiritual rather than material. At that time there were no nations at all, but humanity was one vast brotherhood. All were partially outside their bodies and therefore in touch with the Universal Spirit, which has now been obscured in the separateness of egotism which causes each man to feel himself distinct and apart from all the rest of humanity; where brotherhood is forgotten and selfishness rules.
When any one has progressed so far that he appreciates the blessings of brotherhood, where he endeavors to abolish egotism and cultivate altruism, he may go through the rite of baptism. He enters the water as a symbol of his return to the ideal conditions of brotherhood which existed when all humanity lived, so to speak, in water. Therefore, we see Jesus, the herald of universal Brotherhood, at the beginning of his ministry entering the waters of the Jordan and being baptized there. When he rose from the waters, the Universal Spirit rested upon Him as a dove, and from that time on he was not simply Jesus, but Christ Jesus, the potential Savior of the world imbued with the Universal Spirit, which shall eventually take away all the evils of selfishness and restore mankind to the blessings of brotherhood which will be realized when the Universal Spirit has become immanent in all mankind.
In your teaching you state that we stay for a time, averaging about one-third of the length of the earth life, in Purgatory in order that our sins may be expiated prior to going to heaven. How then do you reconcile this teaching with the words of the Christ to the dying thief: “Today thou shalt be with me in paradise”?
Answer: The New Testament was written in Greek, a language in which no punctuation marks are used. The punctuation marks in our Bible have been inserted by our later Bible translators, and punctuation often very radically changes the meaning of a sentence, as the following story will illustrate:
In a prayer meeting some one handed in a request which the pastor read thus: “A sailor going to sea, his mother-in-law desires the prayers of the congregation for his safe return to wife and child.” The request was not punctuated at all, but would imply that the young man’s mother-in-law was very solicitous to have him return safely to his wife and child and therefore desired the prayers of the congregation. Had the pastor read it without the comma, it would have implied that the sailor, going to see his mother-in-law, desired the prayers of the congregation for his safe return to wife and child, and one would naturally think that the lady in question must be a Tartar when it was necessary for the young man to ask the prayers of the congregation before facing her. In this case, if the words of Christ are read thus: “Verily I say unto thee today, thou shalt be with me in Paradise,” they would imply that the thief would be with the Christ at some future time not defined. But where the comma is placed before the world today, as in the Bible, it gives the idea ordinarily held by people.
That this idea is absolutely wrong can be seen by the remark of the Christ just after His resurrection, when He said to the woman, “Touch me not, for I have not yet ascended to my Father.” If He promised the Thief that he should be with Him in Paradise on the day of the crucifixion and three days later declared that He had not yet been there, the Christ would have been guilty of a contradiction which, of course, is an impossibility. Placing of the comma as suggested fully reconciles the meaning of the two passages, and besides Peter tells us that in the interval He worked with the Spirits in Purgatory.
What is the esoteric meaning of the two thieves and the cross?
Answer: Contrary to the ordinarily accepted opinion, the four Gospels are not at all the biography of Jesus, the Christ; they are Formulae of initiation of four different Mystery Schools, and in order to veil their esoteric meaning, the life and ministry of the Christ is also intermingled. That could be easily done as all initiates, being cosmic characters, have similar experiences. It is
truly said that unto the multitude the Christ spoke in parables, but the hidden meaning was given to His disciples in private. Paul also gave the milk to the weak and the meat to the strong ones. It was never intended at any time to give the hidden symbols to ordinary people, or to make the Bible “an open book of God,” as people nowadays believe.
When reading in the memory of nature, we find that at the time of the crucifixion, there were not only two, but a number, who were crucified. The people of that time meted out capital punishment for the slightest offenses and there were always plenty to suffer these barbarous deaths. Thus, those who wanted to veil the hidden meaning of the gospels were at no loss to find something wherewith to fill out the tale and obscure the points which are really vital in the crucifixion. The part of the story relating to the thieves is, therefore, a true incident, without having anything to do with the esoteric meaning at all.
What is the meaning of the cross? Is it simply an instrument of torture as usually taught in the orthodox religion?
Answer: Like all other symbols, the meanings of the cross are many. Plato gave one of these meanings when he said, “The Worldsoul is crucified,” that is to say: We have four kingdoms in the world–the mineral, the plant, the animal and the man.
The mineral kingdom ensouls all chemical substance of whatever kind, so that the cross, of whatever material it is made, is first a symbol of that kingdom.
The upright lower limb of the cross is a symbol of the plant kingdom because the currents of the group spirits which give life to the plants come from the center of the earth where these group spirits are located and reach out toward the periphery of our planet and into space.
The upper limb of the cross is the symbol of man, because the life currents of the human kingdom pass downward from the sun through the vertical spine. Thus man is the inverted plant, for as the plant takes its food through the root, passing it upward, so does the man take his nourishment by way of the head, passing it downward. The plant is chaste, pure and passionless, and stretches its creative organ, the flower, chastely and unashamed toward the sun, a thing of beauty and delight. Man turns his passion filled generative organ toward the earth. Man inhales the life giving oxygen and exhales the poisonous carbon dioxide. The plant takes the poison exhaled by man, building its body therefrom, and returning to us the elixir of life, the cleansed oxygen.
Between the plant and the human kingdom stands the animal with the horizontal spine, and in the horizontal spine the life currents of the animal group spirit play as they circle around our globe. Therefore the horizontal limb of the cross is the symbol of the animal kingdom.
In esotericism the cross was never looked upon as an instrument of torture, and it was not until the sixth century that the crucified Christ was shown in pictures. Previous to that time the symbol of the Christ was a cross and a lamb resting at its foot, to convey the idea that at the time when the Christ was born the sun at the vernal equinox crossed the equator in the sign Aries, the Lamb. The symbols of the different religions have always been made in that way. At the time when the sun by precession crossed the vernal equinox in the sign Taurus, the Bull, a religion was founded in Egypt where they worshiped the Bull Apis in the same sense that we worship the Lamb of God. At a much earlier date, we hear of the Norse God Thor driving his twin goats across the sky. That was at the time when the vernal equinox was in the sign Gemini, the Twins. At the time of the birth of Christ, the vernal equinox was in about 7 degrees of Aries, the Lamb, therefore our Savior was called the Lamb of God. There was a dispute in the earlier centuries regarding the propriety of having the lamb as a symbol of our Savior. Some claimed that the vernal equinox at His birth was really in the sign Pisces, the Fishes, and that the symbol of our Savior should have been a fish. It is in memory of that dispute that the bishop’s mitre still takes the form of the head of a fish.
Could not the mission of Christ have been accomplished without such a drastic method as the crucifixion?
Answer: It could, of course, have been accomplished without the specific method of crucifixion, but it was an absolute necessity that the blood should flow. There are various grades of teachers and they require different conditions for the accomplishment of their task. Some teachers, like Moses and the Buddha, come to a nation and help it to a certain a point, they themselves growing thereby; and both of the teachers mentioned attained to the point in their own development where their bodies became luminous. We hear how the face of Moses shone so that it become necessary for him to use a veil,. The Buddha become luminous at the time of his death. The Christ attained the stage of luminosity at the time of His transfiguration, and it is very significant that the most important part of His work, His suffering and death, took place after the event of the Transfiguration. And while it become necessary for Moses, Elijah, Buddha and the other previous teachers to be born in a physical body again and again, in order to bear the sins of their people, the Christ has only appeared once in a physical body and will not need again to take upon Himself such an instrument. For when the spirit leaves the body in the natural way it takes along certain impurities as it slowly withdraws from the congealing blood. Even in such a pure body as the body of Jesus, there were impurities, and the violent death which caused the blood to run liberated the Ego of Christ from the blood with a quick wrench, leaving behind whatever impurity there may have been, so that the Christ emerged from the body of Jesus unsullied and without the tie of destiny usually attendant on life in the dense body.
On the same principle it is a fact that although at the present time we have wars that are to be regretted from the mere human standpoint, it is nevertheless a fact which is patent to the occultist that these wars have cleansed the blood of the race considerably, so that gradually humanity is becoming less and less passionate and more and more spiritual. Also we may say that in this fact lies the redeeming feature of the slaughter of animals. When humanity went through the animal stage it had no red passion filled blood as our animals have; we were not as highly evolved. The animals of today, though behind us in evolution, are on a higher spiral and while we now are suffering under the law of consequence because of having to overcome our passions in our own strength, the animals are being helped and held in check by their group spirits. And when they reach the human stage in the Jupiter Period, they will be a higher humanity, free from the passions which have made this world such a sorrowful place. Thus nature always transmutes whatever evil we may commit into a higher good.
Answering the question, we may therefore say that in the case of Christ the violent death was necessary because it enabled the Christ Spirit to withdraw from the body of Jesus without retaining any of the impurities attached to that merely human vehicle.
According to the Rosicrucian teaching, when will Christ come again?
Answer: The Bible says truly that the “day and the hour knoweth no man,” and the people who have been trying to fix a certain date or a certain year for the Second Coming have entirely misunderstood the object of the Christ’s mission on earth. His teaching was given to humanity in order that the law, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” might be abolished–that the law of fear (of God) might be swallowed up by the law of love. “The law and the prophets were until Christ,” it is said, but we know that even today law is, and is necessary. Therefore, it is evident that law was not abolished at the physical coming of Christ. It is the coming of Christ into “the within,” the inner nature of man, that is to abolish law. Paul speaks of this advent as the “Christ being formed in ye,” and until the Christ has been formed in us we are not ready for the Second Coming. Angelus Silesius says:
"Though Christ a thousand times in Bethlehem be born, And not within thyself, thy soul will be forlorn. The cross on Golgotha thou lookest to in vain, Unless within thyself it be set up again."
The Second Coming of Christ depends upon how soon a sufficient number of people have become Christ-like and attuned to the Christ principle, so that, as tuning forks of the same pitch sing together when one is struck, they will be able to respond to the Christ vibrations that will be set up at the return of the Savior. Therefore, this event is not to be calculated. Every time we endeavor to imitate Christ and fulfill His teachings, we are hastening His Coming; so let us thus strive.
What is meant by the saying that Christ was made a high priest forever after the Order of Melchisedec?
Answer: We are told that this Melchisedec was king of Salem and also a high priest. We are told that his priesthood was far above that of Aaron, for it was unchangeable, while that of Aaron and the Levites was subject to frequent change.
During the times of which we have records in history, there has always been a division of the temporal and the ecclesiastical powers. Moses was the temporal ruler and leader of the Jewish people, while Aaron was the priest who looked after their spiritual welfare, and down the ages this division of the church and the state has ever been apparent, at times causing great strife and bloodshed, for their interests seem ever to be diametrically opposite. But at the time of this Melchisedec, king of Salem, which interpreted means “peace,” there was no such division, the two offices were combined in one individual. The story of Melchisedec, a Being without earthly pedigree, refers, of course, to the time in early Atlantis when humanity had not yet been divided into warring nations, but were one vast, peaceful brotherhood, and the leaders of the people were Divine Beings, who were both kings and priests.
The later division of church and state has been one of the most fruitful sources of enmity and war among humanity, for each of these powers has striven for supremacy over the other, while in reality there should be no prejudice, for no one who is not as spiritual as a priest should be fit to rule as a king, and no one who is not as wise and just as
a king should be fit to have the spiritual guidance of humanity as the priests have. When these qualities are combined in one leader again, the reign of universal peace and brotherhood will become a fact. The Christ has been heralded as such a leader, capable of uniting church and state as king and priest after the order of Melchisedec. His Second Coming inaugurates the millennium, the age of peace and joy, where the symbolical New Jerusalem, the city of peace (for Jer-u-salem, means “There shall be peace“), reigns over the nations of the earth, united into one universal brotherhood. There shall be Peace on Earth and Goodwill among Men.
What did Christ mean when He said, “All who came before me were thieves and robbers”?
Answer: We read in the Bible about two great cities, strangely similar yet directly opposite. One is the city of Babylon, the birthplace of confusion, where men ceased to be brothers and separated from one another. It lies upon seven hills by a river and is ruled over by a king, Lucifer–the “day star”–the light giver. His fall from heaven is lamented exceedingly in the fourteenth chapter of Isaiah, and later on we hear of the fall of that great city, which has become an abomination, is called a harlot, having caused war, trouble and desolation among all the people of the earth.
Then, in supreme antithesis, we are told of another city called the New Jerusalem, which occupies the honored position as bride. In that city there is not a flowing river but a sea of glass. It also lies upon seven hills, is ruled over by another light giver who is called “the light of the world,” and it is a city of peace where the gates are never closed although the precious Tree of Life is within. This city is not a city of this world, but a city which has come down from heaven.
To understand this symbology, it is necessary to go back into the far distant past when man-in-the-making had not yet attained the development he has today. When he first came upon this earth the dense body was built in the Polarian Epoch, and was vitalized by the interpenetration of a vital body in the Hyperborean Epoch. At that time man was like the Angels, male-female, a complete creative unit, able to create from himself by projecting his whole creative forces–which is love.
Later it becomes necessary for man to evolve a brain, and in order to accomplish that object one-half of his creative force was turned inward in order to build the necessary organs. From that time on, man must seek the cooperation of some one having the other half of the sex force available for propagation. Now he loves selfishly to obtain the cooperation of another in propagation; the other half of the creative force wherewith he built his brain and larynx he also uses selfishly to think, because he desires to obtain knowledge.
Previously man had projected his whole creative force without reserve, unselfishly. Since the division of the sex force man has eventually become selfish and therefore by attraction a prey to others of like nature.
The Angels were the humanity of the Moon Period and have since attained to their present high development, but as in every great company there are stragglers, so also in the case of the Angels there were some who did not attain–a class of beings which were behind the Angels but above humanity. They were in a sad state, for they could not follow the present development of the Angels and neither could they sink as low into matter as man. They could not, as the Angels, dispense with a brain, yet they were incapable of building one for themselves, so when humanity evolved the brain and spinal cord they saw an opportunity in woman, who expresses the negative pole of the creative force, imagination, the faculty which enables her to build a body in the womb. In order to gain access to her consciousness this intelligence took advantages of a perplexity then disturbing the woman on account of her exercise of the imaginative faculty.
At that time the eyes of humanity had not yet been opened; they were spiritual beings, not quite conscious of the possession of a physical body. The woman was the first to dimly observe that she and others possessed such an instrument, and she had observed that at certain times some of her friends whom she had previously perceived as having this physical appendage, had lost it, so she was troubled. From the Angels she could obtain no information, but this intelligence which appeared within herself in the serpentine spinal cord, enlightened her, and “the serpent said unto the woman, ‘Hath God said, ye shall not eat of every Tree in the Garden?'” to which she answered that they had been forbidden “to eat of the
Tree of Knowledge” under penalty of death. But the serpent said: “Ye shall not surely die, for God knows that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” The woman secured the cooperation of the man according to the instructions of Lucifer, the Light Giver, and since then their eyes have been opened, they have known good and evil. But prior to that time man had been unconscious of the possession of his body; it had fallen away from him at times, as the leaf falls from the tree, without inconveniencing or disturbing him, for his consciousness had been focused in the Spiritual World at all times. But the Lucifer spirits desired a power over him, a foothold in his brain and spinal cord. They incited him to break away from the yoke of the Angels and take the creative function in his own hands. By the oft repeated and ignorant abuse of that faculty the consciousness of man was withdrawn from the Spiritual Worlds and focused in the Physical World. Then came death in all its present terrible aspects, for man now regards this earth life as the only real life. When that ends, he enters an existence of which he knows nothing and which he consequently fears.
Thus, on account of listening to Lucifer, the false light giver, man has become subject to sorrow, pain and death. He has been robbed of his innocence and peace. The Christ came into the world to save humanity from sin, sorrow and death. Therefore He called Himself the True Light, and the others, who had come before, He characterized as thieves and robbers, for they had robbed man of the spiritual sight though they had enlightened him in the physical sense.
What did the Christ mean when He said, “Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall not enter therein”?
Answer: In the world around us we see the kingdom of men, where every one is endeavoring to maintain his own position and depends upon his own ideas and his own self-assertion to hold that position against all comers. When anything new is presented to him, his mental attitude is usually tinged with skepticism. He fears to be deceived.
The attitude of a little child with regard to what it sees or hears is exactly the reverse of the position of its elders. The little child has no overwhelming sense of its own superior knowledge, but is frankly ignorant and therefore eminently teachable, and it was to this trait that the Savior referred in the passage quoted.
When we enter the higher life, we must first forget everything that we knew in the world. We must commence to look at things in an entirely different way, and when a new teaching is brought before us we must endeavor to receive it regardless of other facts previously observed. This in order that we may be perfectly unbiased. Of course, we are not supposed to believe offhand that “black is white,” but if some one seriously asserts that an object which we have hitherto regarded as black is really white, our mind should be sufficiently open to prevent us from passing judgment at once and saying, “Why, I know that that object is black.” We should be willing to re-examine the object to see if there may not be a point of view whence that thing which we have thought black appears to be white. Only when we have made thorough examination and have found that the thing is really black from whatever point of view may we return to our previous opinion.
There is nothing so remarkable about a child as the flexible attitude of its mind which renders it so teachable, and the pupil who endeavors to live the higher life should always aim to keep his mind in that fluidic state, for as soon as our ideas have become set and incapable of being changed, our progress ceases. That was the great truth which the Christ was endeavoring to present to his hearers when he made the remark which has occasioned the question.
Did not Jesus eat fish? Why then are the Rosicrucians vegetarians?
Answer: After the Resurrection the Christ at one time appeared among His disciples while they were in a locked room. They did not recognize Him at once and did not believe that His was a material body. But the vehicle in which He appeared was the vital body of Jesus, and it was
possible for Him, as for anyone else capable of functioning in that vehicle, to draw matter of the chemical region around Himself and build a perfectly tangible, dense body in a moment. In order to convince them that He was as usual, He asked for something to eat and was given a piece of a honeycomb and some fish. It is stated that he ate, but not that he ate the fish, and one who had been brought up among strict vegetarians like the Essenes would not have eaten the fish any more than he would have eaten flesh if it had been set before him.
It is also related of the Buddha that he died after gorging himself upon boar’s flesh, which is highly amusing to anyone aware of the fact that he taught his disciples the simple and harmless life–to sustain the body upon the purest and best foods as they come directly from the ground–and was moved to the greatest pity at the sight of suffering on the part of man or beast. The esoteric student understands that in olden times the boar was a symbol of the esoteric knowledge. One may give of his knowledge; the more we give the more we have–at least the same amount of knowledge always remains. This truth was taught in a symbol of the Norse mythology: In Valhalla the warriors who had fought the good fight were seated around tables feasting upon the flesh of a boar, which was so constituted that as often as they cut a part of its flesh away the flesh grew out at once, so that there was always plenty, no matter how much was taken or how many ate. The Buddha in his earth life had gorged himself upon this sacred knowledge, and when he died he was full thereof.
Nevertheless, the inquirer has a wrong idea. The Rosicrucians do not teach that everyone should be a vegetarian at once. In fact they teach that the vegetarian diet generates an abundance of energy, much more than flesh foods. This energy is not only physical but
spiritual, so that if a man leads a sedentary life and is of a material disposition, engaged, perhaps, in sordid business transactions or in other lines of strictly material endeavor, this spiritual energy can find no vent and is apt to cause systemic disturbances. Only those who live an active, outdoor life, where the abundance of energy generated by the vegetarian food can be thrown off, or who transmute that energy into spiritual endeavor, can thrive on the vegetarian diet. Besides, we recognize that the heredity of many generations has made man partly carnivorous, so that in the case of most people the change from a mixed diet to vegetables should be gradual. The diet which suits one man is not fitted for another, vide the old proverb that “one man’s meat is another man’s poison,” and no hard and fast rules can be laid down which will apply equally to all people. Therefore, everything that we eat as well as everything else connected with our personality should be determined by ourselves individually.
The Bible says truly that it is not that which goeth into the mouth that defileth us. If we crave and support ourselves upon loathsome food, it is the craving that is the sin, and not the food itself. If a man is in a place where he cannot obtain the pure foods which he desires and craves, he ought to take the food which is obtainable, even flesh food, without loathing, just as thankfully as he takes the pure food. It will not defile him because of his attitude of mind.
If Christ fed the multitude with fish, why is it wrong for us to use them, or even flesh, as food?
Answer: It is the nature of a beast of prey to eat any animal that comes in its path, and its organs are such that it must have that kind of a diet to exist, but everything is in a stage of becoming; it is always changing to something higher. Man, in his earlier stages of unfoldment, was also like the beasts of prey in certain respects; however, he is to become God-like and thus he must cease to destroy at some time in order that he may commence to create. The Jews were still in a position where their animal natures were so much to the fore that they had exceedingly small ideas of altruism. They clung closely to the law, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,” and were not at all merciful in any respect. We have gone a little further along the path of evolution, and altruism is coming to the fore more and more.
We have been taught that there is no life in the universe but the life of God. That “in Him we live and move and have our being.” That His life animates everything that is and therefore we naturally understand that as soon as we take life we are destroying the form built by God for His manifestation. The lower animals are evolving spirits and have sensibilities. It is their desire for experience that causes them to build their various forms, and when we take their forms away from them we deprive them of their opportunity for gaining experience. We hinder their evolution instead of helping them. It is excusable in the cannibal, who knows no better, when he eats his fellow men. We now regard cannibalism with horror, and the day will also come when we shall feel a like disgust at the thought of making our stomachs the burying ground of the carcasses of murdered animals.
It is natural that we should desire the very best of food, but every animal body has in it the poisons of decay. The venous blood is filled with carbon dioxide and other noxious products on their way to the kidneys or the pores of the skin to be expelled as urine or perspiration. These loathsome substances are in every part of the flesh and when we eat such food we are filling our own bodies with toxic poisons. Much sickness is due to our use of flesh foods.
When we cry to the Bible as authority for flesh eating we should also be willing to follow its injunctions and stop eating pork, which is the most horrible food of all. It is a notable fact that the orthodox Jews who abstain from the foods interdicted in the Bible are immune from consumption and cancer.
In a great many places where the Bible speaks of “meat,” it is very plain that flesh food is not meant. The chapter in Genesis where man’s food is first allotted to him says that he should eat of every tree and herb bearing seed, “and to you it shall be for meat.” The most evolved people at all times have abstained from flesh foods. We see, for instance, Daniel, who was a holy man and a wise man, beg that he might not be forced to eat meat, but that he and his companions be given pulse. The children of Israel in the wilderness are spoken of as “lusting after flesh,” and their God is angry with them in consequence.
There is an esoteric meaning to the feeding of the multitude where fish was used as food, but looking to the purely material aspect we may sum up the points made in our answer by reiterating that we shall some time outgrow flesh and fish eating as we have risen above cannibalism. Whatever license may have been given in the barbaric past will disappear in the altruistic future, when more refined sensibilities shall have awakened us to a fuller sense of the horrors involved in the gratification of a carnivorous taste.
For a very full presentation of the question, “Does the Bible justify Flesh Eating,” we would refer the inquirer to a little pamphlet by that name issued by the Unity Society of Kansas City, Missouri, which gives the pro and the con with great impartiality, and shows that it was only as a concession to the before mentioned lust for flesh that the practice was tolerated at all.
Please explain why the fatted calf was not killed for the righteous son instead of the prodigal. Was that not giving a reward for wrong doing?
Answer: The story of the prodigal son was a parable whereby the Christ intended to teach a lesson and not an actual fact. It is a story which tells of the spirit’s pilgrimage through matter. There are different classes of spirits. Some, but not all, have gone
into the school of experience, the world. They have descended from their high estate in the World of God gradually deeper and deeper into the sea of matter which blinds them. At last they find themselves enmeshed in the dense matter of the Physical World. That is the turning point where they wake up; where the unconscious path of involution ends; where self-consciousness is attained plus a consciousness of the world without. But the spirit within is not content to remain in this world. Re-awakened to a sense of its inherent divinity it feels drawn anew to the highest spheres, and says “I will arise and go to my father.”
Then comes the toil of stripping off the various vehicles in which it has become enmeshed and of raising itself once more to the conscious communion with God. While engaged in this arduous task “the Father meets it a long way off”; the still small voice from within begins to speak and tell of the heavenly glories and, at last, when either the evolution of humanity has been completed or the single spirit has taken the short cut of initiation, there is a reunion with God and the other brothers who have not yet gone out into the school of experience. Naturally there is more rejoicing over the return of one who has fought the good fight and has come back to his heavenly home, than over the one who has not yet sought to improve his opportunity.
Why did the Lord commend the unjust steward as related in the sixteenth chapter of St. Luke?
Answer: The inquirer should read the chapter carefully. We are told of an unfaithful steward who was brought before his master, the latter being suspicious that his accounts were not quite right. This unfaithful steward made a bargain with the debtors of his master to secure himself against the day of discharge from his position. It is said in verse 8 that “the lord commended the unjust steward.” When he rendered his accounts he must have fixed them so skillfully that his master was deceived, for the “lord” of the man–his master–was the one who commended him, as will be seen from the fact that the word “lord” is spelled with a small letter, whereas the capital letter is always used where the Christ is signified.
Please explain what is meant by sinning against the Holy Ghost.
Answer: Speaking generally, the Holy Spirit is the creative power of God. For confirmation, remember the passage in the creed “Conceived by the Holy Spirit,” which Gabriel said to Mary should come upon her. By that all that is has been brought into being, and it is a ray from that attribute of God which is used by men for perpetuation of the race. When that is abused, that is to say, when it is used for sense gratification, whether in solitary or associated vice, with or without the legal marriage, that is the sin against the Holy Spirit. That sin, we are told, is not forgiven; it must be expiated. Humanity as a whole is now suffering for that sin. The debilitated bodies, the sickness that we see around us, has been caused by centuries of abuse, and until we learn to subdue our passions there can be no true health among the human race. We have been born of parents who thought that it was right to gratify their passions at any and all times. In consequence we suffer now, and by our attitude toward the sex question most of us are at the present time conferring the same maladies upon our children. Thus the sins of the fathers are being visited upon the children from generation to generation, and will continue to bring sorrow and suffering until we shall understand that every child has a right to be well born and to receive the proper physical conditions during the period of antenatal life.
Is the Christian creed based upon divine authority?
Answer: There are three forms of the Christian creed. One of them is known as the Apostle’s Creed, although not composed by the apostles, but supposed to embody their beliefs. Another creed was formulated and adopted at the Council of Nice and is called the Nicene Creed. The Athanasian Creed was of still later date. They have no more divine authority than any other contention of men concerning the Bible.
The Bible itself gives a creed, however, in the passage which states that there is no other name given except the name of Christ Jesus whereby men may be saved, and this is in harmony with the occult teaching, for Jehovah was the author of all the old Race Religions where the fear of God was pitted against the desires of the flesh and a law was imposed upon man to curb desire. Race Religions act educationally upon the desire nature by the means stated, but will in time be superseded by the Religion of Christ. This religion of brotherhood and love will cast out the fear engendered by the law of Jehovah. It will endeavor to do away with nations, with their laws, with struggle and strife, by working upon the vital body so that humanity shall be actuated entirely by love instead of by law. This is not the ultimate, however. When the kingdom shall have been fully established, He is to give it over to the Father. The Religion of the Father will be something higher even than the Religion of the Son.
How do you reconcile the Law of Cause and Effect with the doctrine of the forgiveness of sins?
Answer: The inability to believe in the forgiveness of sins has caused many to believe exclusively in the law of cause and effect, as taught in eastern countries under the name KARMA. There are also many who think that, because eastern religions teach that law and the law of rebirth more clearly than the western religion, Christianity, these eastern religions are better and more scientific than the western religion, which teaches, as popularly interpreted, that the Christ died for our sins and that in consequence belief in Him will bring us forgiveness.
As a matter of fact, however, the Christian teaching also enunciates the doctrine that “as we sow so shall we also reap,” and thus it teaches both the law of cause and effect and the forgiveness of sins. Both of these laws are vitally operative in the unfoldment of humanity, and there are good reasons why the earlier eastern religions have only one part of the complete teaching which is found in the Christian Religion.
In those early days when the religions of the East were given to humanity, mankind were still more spiritual in nature than the material beings of the present day Western World. They knew that we live many lives in different shapes and forms here upon this earth. In the East today they are yet thoroughly imbued with that idea, and as a consequence they are exceedingly indolent. They are more concerned with thought of Nirvana–the invisible world–where they may rest in peace and joy, than with taking
advantage of their present material resources for advancement. As a consequence, their country is arid and waste, their crops are small and often destroyed by a scorching sun and devastating flood. They suffer famine, they die by millions, but although they teach the law of cause and effect, they seem to be unaware that their miserable conditions are brought about by indolence and indifference to material things. For naturally, when they have not worked here they have nothing to assimilate in the heaven life between death and a new birth, and as an organ or limb that is disused gradually atrophies, so a country that is not developed by the spirits incarnated therein gradually atrophies and becomes useless as a habitation for mankind. It was necessary to the evolution of humanity to enter this material world and develop all its resources.
Therefore, the Great Leaders have taken various means to cause us to temporarily forget the spiritual side of our nature. In the West, where the pioneers of the human race are found, they commanded marriage outside the family. They gave to the West a religion that did not definitely teach the doctrine of rebirth and the law of cause and effect as means of advancement. They also originated the use of alcohol, with its paralyzing effect upon the spiritual sensibilities of man. By these means we have in the West temporarily forgotten that there is more than this one life on earth, and in consequence we apply ourselves with the utmost diligence to making the fullest possible use of what we believe to be our only opportunity here. Therefore, we have developed the West into a veritable garden; we have made for ourselves, between incarnations, a land that is exceedingly fertile and rich in the minerals which we need in our various industries, and thus we are conquering the visible material world.
It is evident, however, that the religious side of man’s nature must not be entirely neglected, and as Christ, the great ideal of the Christian religion, had been set before us for imitation, and we could not possible hope to become Christ-like in one life, which is all that we now have any knowledge of, there must be given us a compensatory doctrine, or we should cease to strive in despair, knowing that it would be futile. Therefore the Western World was taught the doctrine of the forgiveness of sins through the righteousness of Christ Jesus.
It is equally certain, however, that no doctrine which is not a truth in nature can have any uplifting power, and, therefore, there must also be a sound basis behind the doctrine of the forgiveness of sins, which seems to vitiate the law of causation; it is this:
When we look about us in the material world, we observe the different phenomena of nature, we meet other people and have various transactions with them, and all these sights, sounds and scenes are observed by means of our sense organs. Yet not all, for we are usually exceedingly unobservant of details. It is exasperatingly true when it is said that “we have eyes that see not and ears that hear not.” We lose a great deal of experience on that account. Besides, our memory is woefully lacking; while we are able to recall a little, most of our experiences are lost to us because we forget them. our conscious memory is weak. There is another memory, however. As the ether and the air carry to the photographic plate in a camera the impression of the landscape without, omitting, not the slightest detail, so also does the air and the ether which carries
impressions from the outside to our sense organs carry into the lungs, and thence to the blood, an actual picture and a record of everything with which we come in contact. Those pictures are stored in the minute seed atom resting in the left ventricle of the heart, and that little atom may be considered the Book of the Recording Angels, where all our deeds are inscribed. Thence it is mirrored in the Reflecting Ether of our vital body.
In the ordinary course of life, man passes into Purgatory at death and expiates the sin inscribed upon that atom. Later he assimilates all the good stored there in the First Heaven, working upon his future environment in the Second heaven. But a devout person realizes each day his shortcomings and failings. He examines the events of this life daily and prays from a devout heart to be forgiven for sins he has committed. Then the pictures which have recorded the sins of omission and commission fade, and are wiped out of his life’s record from day to day. For it is not the aim of God or nature to “get even” as it would seem under the law of causation, which decrees an exact retribution for every transgression, as well as a reward or compensation for every good act. It is the aim of God that we should learn by experience here to do justly and well. When we have realized that we have done wrong and determine to do better, we have learned the lesson, and there is no necessity for punishing us.
Thus the doctrine of the forgiveness of sins is an actual fact in nature. If we repent, pray and reform, the sins we have repented of, prayed for and reformed from are forgiven and wiped out of our life’s record. Otherwise, they are eradicated by corresponding pains in Purgatory after death. Thus the doctrine of Karma, or the law of cause and
effect as taught in the East, does not fully meet human needs, but the Christian teaching, which embodies both the law of causation and the doctrine of the forgiveness of sins, gives a more complete teaching concerning the method employed by the Great Leaders to instruct us.
By what power did Peter raise Dorcas from the dead?
Answer: Peter did not raise Dorcas from the dead, neither did the Christ raise Lazarus or anyone else, nor did he so claim. He said “He is not dead, he sleepeth.”
In order that this matter may be understood, we will explain what takes place at death and wherein death is different from the state of trance, for the persons mentioned were entranced at the time the supposed miracles took place.
During the waking state, when the Ego is functioning consciously in the Physical World, its various vehicles are concentric–they occupy the same space–but at night, when the body is laid down to sleep, a separation takes place. The Ego, clothed in the mind and desire body, extricates itself from the dense body and the vital body, which are
left upon the bed. The higher vehicles hover above or near. They are connected to the denser vehicles by the silver cord, a thin glistening thread which takes the shape of two figure sixes, one end being attached to the seed atom in the heart and the other to the center vortex of the desire body.
At the moment of death, this thread is ruptured at the seed atom in the heart and the forces of this atom pass along the pneumogastric nerve, through the third ventricle of the brain, and thence outward through the suture between the occipital and parietal bones of the skull, along the silver cord and into the higher vehicles. Simultaneously with this rupture, the vital body is also disengaged and joins the higher vehicles which are hovering above the dead body. There it remains for about three and one-half days. Then the higher vehicles disengage themselves from the vital body, which disintegrates synchronously with the dense body, in ordinary cases.
At the time of this last separation, the silver cord also breaks in the middle, and the Ego is freed from contact with the material world.
During sleep the Ego also withdraws from the dense body, but the vital body remains with the dense body and the silver cord is left intact.
It sometimes happens that the Ego does not enter the body in the morning to waken it as usual, but remains outside for a time varying from one to an indefinite number of days. Then we say that the body is in a natural trance. But the silver cord is not ruptured in either of the two places mentioned. Where these ruptures have once taken place no restoration is possible. The Christ and the apostle were clairvoyants; they saw that no rupture had taken place in the cases mentioned, hence the saying, “He is not dead, he sleepeth.” They also possessed the power to force the Ego into its body and restore the normal condition. Thus so-called miracles were performed by them.
Do you believe in conversion?
Answer: Certainly, but there are conversions and conversions. There is the conversion which takes place in a revival meeting to the beating of drums, the clapping of hands, the singing of gospel hymns and the insistent calling of the revivalist to “come before it is too late.” All these aids to conversion produce an intense hypnotic influence, which works upon the emotional nature of many people in such a way that these “sinners,” so called, can no longer remain in their seats, but are forced in the most literal sense to obey the command and come forward to “the mourner’s bench.” That kind of a conversion is usually of very little worth. Revivalists find that it is extremely easy to convert people in that manner. The exasperatingly difficult problem is, as one of them expressed it, “to make it stick,” for when the victim of the hypnotic revivalist leaves the
meeting, the influence gradually wears off, and sooner or later he relapses into his original attitude. And though these “backsliders” may feel no pang at all when backsliding, the next revival meeting draws them to the mourners’ bench again as surely as a magnet draws a needle. They are converted repeatedly and backslide regularly every time there is a revival meeting, to the disgust of the revivalist and the amusement of the community, who are unaware that it is a simple case of mild hypnotism.
There is another conversion, however, always accompanied by planetary influences, and according to the strength of these influences the conversion, or change in the life, will be more or less radical. It then shows that the soul has reached a certain point in its pilgrimage where it feels attraction to the higher life. The immediate cause of conversion may be a sermon, a lecture or a book, a verse in the Bible, or something in nature, but that is only the physical cause of something which was already a fact spiritually. From that moment the man or the woman will commence to take a new view of life, will lay aside the old vices, will follow new lines of thought and endeavor. It may change his whole attitude toward life and also his environment. In fact, very often a journey has brought him out of the usual environment for the time being, to give the proper condition for sowing of the new seed.
Is there any value in confession and absolution?
Answer: If the inquirer means confession and absolution in the sense in which it is practiced in the Catholic Church, it may be stated that the priest, certainly, has no power to forgive the sins of the penitent, and the practice of confession by the order of a Church at the best is usually but an outward show of penitence, putting one in mind of the prayer of the Pharisee who went into the temple that he might be seen of men.
If, on the other hand, confession is made in the spirit of the scribe, which is the spirit of true penitence, then there is a certain value, for as a little child who has committed a wrong feels conscience smitten and sorry, so may we feel extremely penitent for our sins of omission and commission.
It is a fact often noticed by kind parents that penitence in silence is sometimes insufficient to the child which feels the need of going to the parent and confessing its sin. When the forgiveness of the parent has been obtained its conscience is at rest. So also with the child of God. We sin and we are sorry for our sins; we determine not to commit this or that wrong again; but if we can confess to someone in whom we have faith, and get their sympathy and assurance that this wrong will not be held against us, we shall feel easier in conscience. That was the principle underlying the command of the Bible “Confess your sins to one another.” The one to whom we confess will, of course, be a person for whom we have a profound respect and love, and he or she will stand toward us at that moment as the
representative of God or our own higher nature, and we shall thus feel very much relieved at having received his sympathy. But we shall feel also that the pact we have made with ourselves not to commit the sin in question again has been strengthened by having him as a witness. If confession is made thus, and absolution so obtained, then it has undoubtedly a very beneficial effect.
Is there any value in the Latin ritual used by the Catholic Church? Would it not be better if it were translated so that people could understand? And are not the extemporaneous sermons and prayers used in the Protestant Churches much to be preferred to the ritual and stereotypes masses of the Catholics?
Answer: At the present time all humanity has evolved so far that they are above law in some respects. Most people obey the law “Thou shalt not steal,” for instance.
Law is a curb on the desire nature, but where occult or rather spiritual advancement is contemplated, the spiritualization of the vital body must also be accomplished. And that is attained by means of art
and religion, in oft-repeated impacts, for the keynote of the vital body is repetition, as we can see by looking at the plants which have only a dense body and a vital body. There stem and leaf follow each other in upward succession; the plant keeps on growing them alternately. It was the vital body that built the vertebrae of the human spine one after another by constant repetition. And memory, for instance, which is one of the faculties of the vital body, is strengthened and developed by constant iteration and reiteration.
When the Protestants left the Catholic Church they truly left many of the abuses behind, but they also left almost everything of value. They abandoned the ritual which everyone may know and understand regardless of poor enunciation upon the part of the preacher. Knowing the ritual, the laity could send their thoughts in the same direction as the thought of the priest who was reading, and thus an enormous volume of identical spiritual thought was massed together and projected upon the community for good or evil. Nowadays the congregation in a Protestant church listens to the extemporaneous prayer or sermon of their minister, who usually does not think so much of the spiritual work before him as he does of how he may turn out the most euphonious phrases to tickle the ears of his congregation. They forget what he has said before they leave the church. Those who go to a Catholic church understanding the ritual are still today able to unite their thoughts in spiritual conclave and keep within memory that which has been gone through. Thus they are every time adding a little to the spiritualization of their vital bodies, while the Protestant church
members have been affected only in their emotional natures, and that effect is soon thrown out. The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing, and many have scoffed saying that if God is omniscient He knows whereof we have need without our prayer, and if He is not, He can most likely not be omnipotent, and therefore our prayers are not granted, so that it is useless to pray. But that command was indited from a knowledge of the nature of the vital body, which needs that repetition in order that it may be spiritualized.
So much for the ritual. As to the use of the Latin language, it is stated in the first chapter of John that in the beginning was the word. . . and without it was nothing made that was made. Word is sound. If we take sand or plant spores and place them upon a brass or a glass plate, then take a violin bow and draw it across the edges, we shall produce a sound, and that sound will cause the spores or sand to arrange itself in geometrical figures, similar to the crystals of which all things are composed. Every sound produces a different formation. Thus, if a certain sound produces a certain effect which we wish to produce, we cannot change the sound without also changing the effect. If we emit a certain sound and say “Deum,” then translate Deum and say God, the sound is very different, and as sound produces certain effects upon our invisible bodies, the effects that were produced by the original Latin ritual have been lost to the Protestant churches which changed it into English or dropped it altogether.
It is often a wonder to people how the Catholic Church retains its power over its people, and it may be said that were they to abandon the Latin ritual there would not be one of their followers left in ten years. Moreover, their truly occult rituals have not been transposed into English, and even among the Rosicrucians, Latin rituals, though not those used in the Catholic Church, are in vogue at the services.
What is the actual merit in martyrdom? Did the martyrs really become saints?
Answer: Man lifts himself to a union with God through four great steps or stages. First he prays to or sacrifices to a God whom he fears and, therefore, seeks to propitiate, so that his God will not harm him. Next he learns to look upon this God as a mighty ally against his enemies and as a giver of all good things to him, that is, provided he obeys the God and sacrifices to him of the material things which he possesses. In the third step he is taught to sacrifice himself by living a life of righteousness, and expects to be rewarded in a future state called heaven, where he is to live in eternal happiness as a compensation for whatever he may have endured during earth life. The martyrs were at the stage where they held this belief, and were thoroughly imbued with the verity and glory of heaven. Therefore it was to them an easy matter to sacrifice their lives and then attain to the future glory at once.
In reality, if martyrdom can unlock a heaven with eternal bliss, that is a most easy method of obtaining the reward. It may take courage to die, but after all it takes infinitely more courage to live. We are very apt to think that when a man has given his life he has given to the very utmost, and we often hear people say of a man who has committed suicide that “He has paid it all.” As a matter of fact, suicide is usually an expression of the greatest possible cowardice, and martyrdom is far less to be admired than the lives of people who day by day endeavor to follow the spiritual teachings of the Bible and live a noble life. Of course it is readily admitted that the martyrs are to be admired for staunchly adhering to their faith in the face of death and torture. Undoubtedly they will have greater opportunities for spiritual growth in later lives than they were deprived of when burned at the stake or otherwise exterminated. And we may also surely say that they were saints and holy people in the sense that their faith was even more to them than life, but we strenuously hold that the edict of a church is incapable of making a sinner a saint.
In one of your lectures you said in effect that it was a mistake to send missionaries to foreign countries; that the religions practiced by the so-called heathens are right for them at the present time, but that these missionaries have done little harm as yet. How then do you explain the command of Christ to his apostles, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature?”
Answer: The meaning of the Christ’s words obviously rest upon the interpretation of the word “world.” If by that word we understand the whole earth, it may be right to send missionaries to foreign countries; but the Bible tells us that the Disciples to whom the command was given returned after having accomplished their mission, showing that the word of command could not have been meant to include the whole earth. In this connection the word “world” should rather have been given the interpretation “polity,” which will also be found in some of our dictionaries as another meaning for the word. At the time of Christ people did not know the whole world. We find even to this day the westernmost cape of Spain called Cape Finisterre–the end of the earth. Therefore this term at the time when Christ spoke his command could not have included the whole earth as we know it today. The statement is, therefore, not contrary to Bible teachings. It is wrong to send missionaries out to the people we call “heathen,” for their development is as yet such that they cannot understand a religion which preaches love to one’s neighbor, a religion which even we have not yet learned to practice. Besides, if the great Recording Angels who have charge of men’s evolution are
capable of judging our needs, and placing each one in the environment where he will find the influences most conducive to progression, we must also believe that they have given to each nation the religion most salutary to its unfoldment. Therefore, when a man has been placed in a country where the Christian religion is taught, that religion holds the ideal which he should strive for, but to try to force it upon other people who have been placed in a different sphere is to set our judgment up as greater than the judgment of God and His ministers, the Recording Angels. However, as said, the Christian missionaries have done little harm to the people they have visited, but they might have done more good at home. We do not need to go away from home to find heathen who need instruction in the Bible. Professor Wilbur L. Cross of Yale mentions, for instance, that in a class of forty students not one could place Judas Iscariot; that he had a Jewish student who had never heard of Moses and that in answer to a question concerning the nature of the Pilgrim’s Progress, the best answer was that it is the basis of New England history. If the missionaries were brought into contact with these heathen, perhaps they might do some good.
More harm, however, is done when the East sends its missionaries over here to convert us to Hinduism and kindred religions, for often these Hindus teach breathing exercises which cause insanity or consumption, because our western bodies are not at all fitted for such practices. It is safest to rest in the religion of our country, to study and practice that, leaving to other nations the privilege of doing the same in respect to their own religions.
QUESTIONS CONCERNING SPIRITUALISTIC PHENOMENA
Is mediumship injurious to health?
Answer: That depends: Where a person becomes the medium for a disembodied spirit which enters the body, as in the case of the trance mediums, where it takes possession of this body and uses it as the owner might do, there is little if any harm done, provided the spirit control does not abuse his privilege. In fact, there are some cases where spirit controls have a better idea of caring for a body than the owner himself, and may sometimes improve the health. But spirits of a high ethical nature do not usually control a medium, it is rather earthbound and low spirits such as Indians and others of a like nature who obtain a control over mediumistic persons, and when in possession of the body they may use it to gratify their low passions for drink and sex. Thus they cause a disturbance to the system and a deterioration of the instrument.
In the case of the materializing medium, we may say that the influence is always injurious. The materializing spirit entrances the victim and then draws the ether of the vital body out through the spleen, for the difference between the materializing medium and the ordinary person is the fact that the connection between the vital body and the dense body is exceedingly lax, so that it is possible to withdraw this vital body to a very
great extent. The vital body is the vehicle whereby the solar currents which give us vitality are specialized. Deprived of the vitalizing principle, the body of the medium at the time of a materialization sometimes shrinks to almost one-half its usually size; the flesh becomes flabby and the spark of life burns very low. When the seance is over and the vital body replaced, the medium is awakened and in normal consciousness. He then experiences a feeling of the most terrible exhaustion and sometimes, unfortunately, resorts to drink to revive the vital forces. In that case, of course, the health will very soon suffer and the medium will become a total wreck. At any rate, mediumship should be avoided, for apart from this danger to the instrument there are other and far more serious considerations in connection with the more subtle bodies, and particularly in connection with the after-death state.
Where mediums make so-called soul trips, what is it that leaves the physical body, and can it leave in the waking state to gather data?
Answer: A medium is a negative or involuntary clairvoyant and under the control of a spirit from the Desire World. He or she corresponds to the victim of a hypnotist in the Physical World. In the case of the hypnotist, he is seen by his victim in the waking state, while the medium does not see the spirit which hypnotizes her until she has been driven out of her body. She is then clothed in her desire body and therefore usually unable to bring her experiences back.
All her experiences take place while the physical body is in a trance. It is the Ego clothed in the mind and desire body which leaves the physical body behind, and the same separation takes place then as in ordinary dreamless sleep, with the difference, however, that the physical body is not left tenantless upon the bed, but the spirit control usually enters the physical body of the medium, taking possession and using it according to pleasure, often to the great detriment of the medium. For when such a spirit control has been a drunkard or libertine during earth life, it will often use the medium’s body to gratify its craving for liquor or its base, sensual instincts. We cannot too seriously impress upon people that this physical body is our most valuable instrument, and that it is very wrong for anyone to abandon it to the tender mercies of either a hypnotist or a spirit control. In the case of mediums, there is a still graver danger, for sometimes it is not an ordinary human Ego which is the control, but an elemental that cannot ordinarily function in the Physical World. When the medium at death enters the Desire World, the elemental has obtained such a power over the desire body of the medium that it may rob the owner of his vehicle. The desire body is the vehicle whence comes the spring to action, and therefore when an Ego is deprived of that vehicle there is nothing to cause it to reincarnate. The elemental may keep this body even for millions of years, and so, while the result of humanity is progressing, the unfortunate Ego, deprived of its desire body, is left inert and will be far behind all its fellows, perhaps, before it is released from the bondage of this entity. Therefore, mediumship is the gravest danger to the soul the writer knows of or is able to conceive, except the practice of black magic.
I have taken many soul flights, and on one of these journeys my guide took me through gates into a crystal city and on into a temple filled with ethereal people, saying, “This is God’s holy city.” Will you kindly tell me where this is, why there are gates and walls around the city, and why everything looked like crystal?
Answer: It is one of the peculiarities of desire stuff, which is the matter of the Desire World that it is exceedingly plastic and readily molded by thought. In the twinkling of an eye it takes the most different shapes according to the thought that ensouls it, and where many people upon earth think along similar lines all their thoughts mass themselves and form one grand whole.
Thus in the lower regions of the Desire World, the thoughts of people who believe in a fiery, furnace-like Hell make of the desire stuff there such a place of torture. There we may see devils with horns, hoofs and tails, prodding the unhappy sinners with pitchforks, and often when people pass out at death, after having lived in that belief, they are in a sad state of fear on beholding this place which they have helped to create. There is also in the higher regions of the Desire World a city such as you describe, a New Jerusalem with pearly gates, with a sea of glass and its great white throne upon which is seated a thought form of God, created by these people and appearing like an old man. It is probable that you visited this place, which is a permanent feature of the Desire World, and will remain so as long as people continue to think of the New Jerusalem in that way, for these forms have no life apart from the sustained thoughts of mankind, and when in time humanity shall have outgrown that faith, the city created by their thoughts will cease to exist. Its crystal-like appearance is due to the exceeding brilliance of the desire stuff of which it is built. The old alchemists called the Desire World “astral,” “starry,” on that account.
Are not the desire bodies left by progressing Egos used by elementals to deceive friends and relatives of the deceased person? How can they be detected and recognized?
Answer: When the spirit has passed out at death, and after a stay in Purgatory of shorter or longer duration enters the First Heaven, it still has with it the desire body used during the earth life, but when it enters the Second Heaven that desire body is left behind in a like manner as the vital and dense bodies were left at death and shortly after. But, while the dense body goes to decay and disintegrates, becomes inert and useless at once when the spirit has left it, it is very different with the desire body. The material of which that body is composed is so much more vitalized by the Universal Spirit that it will retain the ability to move about a long time after the spirit has left. The shell is drawn by magnetic attraction to those with whom it associated during earth life and a memory of that past life very often enables it to pose successfully as a deceased relative. This is particularly the case when the shell is used by an elemental entity.
These empty shells ensouled by elementals account very satisfactorily for most of the phenomena encountered at spiritualistic seances. The pranks of these elementals in spilling water down the necks of the sitters, throwing chairs, tables and the like about, are specimens of what may be done by such empty shells when in the possession of elementals.
As to how they may be detected or recognized by us, it will be evident that while our deceased friends and relatives during earth life possessed common sense, there is nothing to be gained from the inane nonsensical communications of these empty shells, for the spirit which was in reality our friend has passed away, leaving the house empty. Therefore we may judge them by words and acts as we judge people here.
Can elementals assume the shape of animals or reptiles, and what can be done to stop them?
Answer: In this material world all the forms are stable and do not easily change. The Desire World is widely different in that respect. The fairy tales, like the metamorphosis of Cinderella’s mice, etc., are actual facts in the Desire World, for the forms change at the will of the ensouled life with a lightning-like rapidity, which is very bewildering to one who enters that world as a neophyte. It is, therefore, necessary for the clairvoyant to be trained, in order to escape being glamoured by the form, which is always changing and may assume any shape at any moment. When we are able to see the ensouling life, it does not matter what form it takes upon itself for the time being, we are not deceived.
Like all others in the Desire World, elementals have this faculty of changing their shape, and it is due to that fact that so many strange tales or visions seen are thought true by untrained clairvoyants. Nothing can be done to stop elementals from changing their shape, but we may shoo them away from us as we chase a serenading feline from below our bedroom window.
How can one avoid becoming obsessed?
Answer: Obsession is a state where a discarnate spirit has taken permanent possession of the body of someone after dispossessing the owner. But sometimes people who have formed a habit of drunkenness or some other low vice seek to excuse themselves by claiming to be obsessed. Wherever a person makes that statement concerning himself, one may nearly always be sure that it is nothing but an excuse, for a thief who has stolen something here in the material world does not go about and tell people of his theft, neither does an obsessing entity go around proclaiming the fact. It is very certain that such an entity does not care what is thought about the man whose body he has stolen, so that there is no reason why he should tell and risk being exorcised.
There is an infallible means of knowing whether a person is really obsessed, namely, by diagnosis of the eye. “The eye is the window of the soul,” and only the true owner is capable of contracting and expanding the iris, or pupil of the eye, so that if we take a person who claims to be obsessed or whom we think is obsessed, to a room which is darkened, we shall find that the pupil of his eye will not expand if he is obsessed. Neither will the pupil contract when we bring him into the sunlight, nor expand if we ask him to look at an object at a distance or contract when he is asked to read small type. In short, the pupil of the eye will respond neither to light nor to distance when a person is obsessed, but there is also a certain disease called locomotor ataxia, where the iris will not respond to distance but is responsive to light.
No one who maintains a positive attitude of mind can ever become obsessed, for so long as we assert our individuality that is strong enough to keep all outsiders away. But in spiritualistic seances where the sitters are negative there is always a great danger. The best way to avoid becoming obsessed would be to maintain this positive attitude. And anyone who is at all negatively inclined should avoid spiritualistic seances, crystal gazing and other methods of evoking spirits. That is bad practice anyway, for those who have gone beyond have their work to do there and should not be brought back here.
What is psychometry?
Answer: Science teaches us that every particle of matter in the Physical World is interpenetrated by ether, so that the chemical atoms of every substance, no matter how dense, do not touch one another, but each little atom vibrates in a field of this all-pervading ether. The vibrations of this ether emitted by every object carry to our eyes a picture of the things about us. This picture is not lost. The pictures of all things which we have consciously observed still exist in the ether of our vital body, and it only depends upon our ability to call them back whether we remember them or not.
There is also in the ether pervading every object a picture of the whole surroundings of that object. On the walls of our rooms are inscribed all the scenes, every incident that ever happened in that room, and even though we strip them of lath and plaster, it may be impossible to get rid of all the pictures inscribed there. If we take a piece of plaster from such a room and bring it to a person who has cultivated etheric sight, it is possible for that person to see the ether in that piece of plaster, and to tell about the scenes which happened where that plaster came from. If we show him a piece of stone taken from the pyramids of Egypt, he will see those pyramids just as well as if we had brought him a photograph, for it is the ether from an object such as the pyramid that makes the impression upon the photographer’s sensitive plate, and the only difference between that impression and the impression we receive through the eye is that we are able to fix it on the photographic plate, and may take a look at the photograph at any time, while we are not yet able to clearly visualize the scenes of our past under ordinary circumstances. But the psychometrist who can read the ether has a wonderful picture gallery at his disposal.
Is it true that at spiritualistic seances persons are sometimes transported bodily from one place to another by invisible hands; that flowers are brought into the room through closed windows and doors, and if so, how can that be done?
Answer: Yes, it is perfectly true that such phenomena as you have mentioned take place at times under conditions where no fraud is at all possible. As to the movement of objects, that may be accomplished by the spirits in charge of the seance in various ways. Hands may be materialized which are either visible or invisible, and they may lift objects or persons from one place to another, or else these objects may be lifted by the suspension of the law of gravity so far as that object is concerned. As to the passage of flowers through a wall, a closed window or
other material object, we should remember that these objects are not really as solid as we usually think. Science recognizes the fact that no two atoms in any substance touch one another, but each atom swings and vibrates at a varying rate of speed in the sea of ether which permeates all matter. It is well known also that all substances may be reduced to gas. Iron, stone, water, or whatever other substance we name is capable of being thus reduced. Realizing this, it is only a step further to the idea that as these substances are reduced to a gaseous state and as readily resolved back into their original state, so a flower may be resolved into ether, passed between the atoms in a wall and then resolved back into its existence as a flower. That is in fact what happens.
But the inquirer may say, “Yes, but if you take a silver dollar, melt it in a crucible, or retort and change it into a gas, it will not take the shape of a silver dollar when it is resolved back into the metallic state but will become simply a lump of metal.” That is true where the operation is performed by an ordinary man, who is incapable of separating the dense material from its etheric counterpart during the process of melting, but the spiritual entities who perform the feats spoken of are capable of thus detaching the ether part of the flower from the dense material. And it is that etheric part which retains its shape and forms the matrix or mold which gives form to the material of the flower when liberated in the room after having been passed through the wall.
Will you kindly explain the use of the planchette (Ouija board)? and state if it is advisable to try to produce the phenomena among amateurs.
Answer: The planchette (Ouija board) is a small board placed upon wheels with a device for holding a pencil in a vertical position, so that when the medium’s hand is placed upon the board and moved about by the spirits the pencil will write their messages on a sheet of paper. Like all other spiritualistic phenomena, planchette writing is produced by a disembodied spirit through a negative medium.
When an entity has passed out of earth life and entered the Invisible Beyond, an evolution of a different nature from ours awaits him in Purgatory and the various heavens. It is a retrogression when he tries to communicate with us here under ordinary circumstances. Therefore, all spiritualistic phenomena which bring the disembodied spirit into contact with the Physical World are to be deprecated as having a bad effect upon the spirits concerned. The communicating entities are also dangerous to the negative sitters in a circle, who abandon their will powers and their bodies to a certain extent.
Of course in planchette writing the whole body may not be in trance, although it sometimes is; but at least an arm is abandoned to the control of a discarnate spirit whom the sitter does not see, and who may or may not be what it represents. If a tramp came to our door and tried to persuade us to abandon our house and allow him to take possession for a little while, we would indignantly refuse, but when a tramp from the Desire
World asks us to let him have possession of our most valuable house, our body, many at once comply, flattered in the belief that “a dear Angel” has visited them. But “dear Angels” and philanthropists do not grow on every bush in the Desire World any more than here. It cannot be too often reiterated that there is no transforming power in death; that an ignorant Indian does not suddenly become all wise by the mere fact of having passed out at death. As it is necessary to study in order to gain knowledge in this world, so must the departed spirits apply themselves if desiring to learn about conditions in that world, and until they have had the requisite amount of experience, the departed are no more fit to guide us from there than they were while here. The safest plan is to leave all negative phenomena alone, concentrating all our energies on living the life, and doing exercises which foster in us the faculty of entering that world at will, either traveling in our finer vehicles or clairvoyantly observing it while still within our dense body. That is progress; when we have that ability we can see the disembodied entities face to face and judge for ourselves whether it is advisable to listen to their counsel or not. Until we can do that we are at a disadvantage, and caution should teach us to keep on the safe side.
Is a vampire the same as a werewolf?
Answer: No, a vampire is a person who absorbs the vitality of another, while that which was called a werewolf in medieval times was the vital body of a low order of black magician. He would give a gruesome shape to his vital body, and partly stud it with dense matter in order to inflict harm upon other people. The old folk stories said that it was no use to strike such a thing, blows would not hurt it. But if it were stabbed with a knife or another sharp instrument, it would commence to disgorge the blood of its victims, run away yelping to its home, and there the black magician who had manifested as a wolf could be found suffering from a wound in the precise place where the wolf had been hurt. This is on account of a curious circumstance known to occultists as Repercussion, and the same phenomena may be seen where spirits materialize at a seance. The ether in which these spirits materialize has been taken from the body of the medium, and if a piece is cut out of the robe of such a spirit, a piece will be found missing from the garment of the medium at the close of the seance. This fact has been used by skeptical investigators ignorant of the law of repercussion to stamp mediums as frauds, when in fact they have been perfectly honest, though incapable of explaining away the seemingly damning evidence.
What is the difference between a trance medium, a materializing medium, the trained clairvoyant and the ordinary person?
Answer: Roughly speaking, we may say that humanity today is divided into two classes–those in whom the connection between the vital body and the dense body is very close, and another class where the connection is more loose. The former class is the ordinary person who is engaged in material pursuits and is altogether out of touch with the Spiritual Worlds. The latter class is the so-called sensitives, and is again divided into two classes. One class is actuated by the will from within and is positive. From this class comes the trained clairvoyant and the Invisible Helper. The other class is negative and is amendable to the will of others. From this class mediums are recruited.
When the connection between the vital body and the dense body of a man is somewhat lax, he will be sensitive to spiritual vibrations, and if positive he will by his own will develop his spiritual faculties, live a spiritual life and in time receive the teaching necessary to become a trained clairvoyant and a master of his faculty at any and all times, free to exercise it or not, as he pleases.
If a person has this slight laxity between the vital and dense bodies, and is of a negative temperament, he is liable to become the prey of discarnate spirits, as a medium.
Where the connection between the vital and dense body is very lax, so that it may be withdrawn, and the man is positive, he may become an Invisible Helper, capable of taking the two higher ethers away from his dense body at will and using them as a vehicle for sense
perception and memory. He can then function consciously in the Spiritual World and bring back a recollection of everything he has done there, so that, for instance, when he leaves his body at night he takes up the life in the Invisible World in a fully conscious manner, as we do here when we wake up in the morning after sleep and perform our various duties in the visible world.
When a person has this lax connection between the vital body and the dense body and is of a negative temperament, the spirits which are earth bound and seek to manifest here may withdraw his 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.
If mediumship is so dangerous, why do not the mediums cease to allow themselves to be controlled?
Answer: In the first place, of course, the great majority of the mediums do not realize that there is danger. They are particularly unaware of the enormous danger which threatens them after death. The desire body may then be appropriated by the spirit control. If they
were to try to stop the influence of the spirit control while still here in the body they would find that that entity has an exceedingly strong hold upon them, a control it is very difficult to break, and they ought to realize that naturally when death brings them into the same world with these spirit controls the danger will be still greater.
The writer has known certain cases where mediums have balked and tried to escape from the toils of the spirit control, but have failed to break the strong hold of that entity. They were helpless. Mediums have come to the writer for help and told him that they were almost irresistibly compelled by their spirit controls to commit suicide and murder; that they had begged and pleaded with the spirit controls to leave them alone, but without avail. Cases are known also where spirit controls have mercilessly dragged their victims out of bed in the middle of night against their will and forced them to listen to their importunities. Only seldom does one hear that they show mercy. Though the writer has known mediums who have been ill from such treatment, he has only known of one case where the sickness of the medium induced the spirit controls to listen to his plea and leave him alone for a few months while he recuperated.
Thus it will be seen that mediumship, once entered into, is not usually a matter of choice with the mediums; they lose the power to shut out spirit controls. While they do the bidding of their taskmasters and are docile, they may not feel the bit; but let one of them try to balk, and he or she will soon feel that the spirit control has both bit and spur, and is merciless in his use of them.
QUESTIONS CONCERNING CLAIRVOYANCE
What is the difference between a Clairvoyant, an Initiate and an Adept?
Answer: What a man sees depends upon the sensitiveness of his eye. Some people can distinguish objects at a distance which makes them invisible to other people. Artists perceive shades of color which ordinary people cannot distinguish and some people are color blind; there are even those who cannot see at all–they are blind.
The people who can see the farthest or distinguish the most delicate shades of color are more clairvoyant, or clearsighted, than the rest.
The majority among us are able to see most things in our environment, but we know very little about the things we see just because we see them. We had to be initiated into the use of the telephone, the bicycle, automobile, piano, etc.
But, though we may know how to use these instruments under ordinary circumstances, we are not so thoroughly familiar with their construction that we are able to build or repair them when they have become disabled. Before we become qualified for that work we must take a course of special training, and if we apply ourselves with our whole heart, we may become adepts in our special line.
If we apply this illustration to the problem before us, we may understand that a clairvoyant is a man whose sense of sight has become so extended that he perceives another world, which is invisible to most of us, and that he is able to see everything there.
But he does not “know all about” the things he sees there by the mere fact of perception any more than we know all about the things we see in this world. He must apply himself to gain that knowledge. Then, by degrees, he will become an Initiate, who understands the things he sees, and may be able to manipulate some of them under ordinary circumstances, as we are able to play upon a piano or ride a bicycle when we have learned these arts.
It will require further training to enable the Initiate to exercise power over the things and the forces in the invisible world as an Adept.
Thus the Clairvoyant is one who sees the invisible world; the Initiate both sees the invisible world and understands what he sees, while the Adept sees, knows and has power over things and forces there.
Why is it that trained clairvoyants do not offer to lend themselves to some simple but conclusive tests conducted by men of science which would convince everybody of the reality of faculties transcending the ordinary senses?
Answer: In the first place, trained clairvoyants have no axes to grind; they are not concerned in the smallest degree whether people believe or not; while it might make a great deal of difference to the people themselves were they to believe, it makes no difference whatever to the trained clairvoyant. He never seeks for money, or any other consideration that the world could offer him if convinced; he has no wish for worldly power, he never flaunts his faculty or boasts of it, but always speaks of it with exceeding modesty when he does so at all. If he does deeds that are meritorious, perhaps, in helping his fellow men, he does not care to have these facts known. He usually does not let “his left hand know what his right hand does.”
A blind man does not see the colors and the light, although they are everywhere about him, and if he should come to us and ask us to submit to tests which would prove to him beyond a doubt that we perceive light and color, we should wonder what tests could possibly convince him of those facts. So does the trained clairvoyant wonder what tests would convince everybody. There has been no test devised yet that would not be open to some other explanation in the minds of some people, and the unfortunate clairvoyant who should lend himself to such tests would have to keep on and on forever, and yet generations of skeptics would denounce him as a fraud. He would be required to submit to the tests of every single one of the scientists, and scientists do not even believe their own eyes. If their reason says a thing is impossible they refuse to believe, though shown. Scientists are forced to be content to experiment under the laws of nature, when conducting their researches in chemistry, etc., of which they know something, but arrogate to themselves the right to prescribe conditions when testing superphysical matters of which they are confessedly ignorant. When mediums demand a darkened room for their experiments, the scientists usually say,
“Ah, yes, that at once shows that they are frauds; they want the room darkened so that they can play their tricks undetected.” The mediums usually do not know WHY the room should be darkened and therefore cannot explain, but a law underlies the demand of the medium.
It is this: Light rays set the ether into violent vibration and make it difficult for the communicating entities to work with it in that condition, to mold it into a body, a vocal organ, a hand, or other material manifestation. The darker the room the less the ether vibrates, and the easier it is for these entities to use it as required for the spiritualistic phenomena.
There are numerous other laws affecting superphysical phenomena, of which science has no conception, and this ignorance at once disqualifies the scientists for prescribing conditions. The way is always open for them, however, to know at first hand. They say to us, procure a number of lenses, ground in a certain way, place them in a tube in a certain manner, point that tube with your lenses in a certain direction in the sky and you will see eight moons revolving around Saturn. If we comply with their directions, we shall see that what they tell us is to be found there. If we refuse to provide the necessary instrument we cannot see the moons of Saturn. We say to them: live the life and perform the exercises, so that you may evolve in yourselves that faculty of which we speak. Then you will see that we have spoken the truth, and you will be compelled to assert the things we assert. If they are unwilling to comply with our directions, they may remain as unconvinced of the existence of super-physical realms as the man who will not procure a telescope may doubt the existence of the Saturnian moons, for all that the trained clairvoyants care.
If clairvoyance is such an accurate means of investigation, such a high spiritual faculty, why do we usually see it in possession of people of little education and coarse breeding; who have seemingly very little spirituality and who often tell lies?
Answer: There was a time in the far, far past when the human body was a very much less complicated organism than it is today, before the cerebro-spinal nervous system had been evolved to give man voluntary control over his body. At that time the sympathetic or involuntary nervous system took care of the purely animal functions, much as it does today. Then man was a much more spiritual being than he is now, and his means of perception of the Spiritual Worlds were organs which are now temporarily in disuse. We have a number of organs in our bodies in various stages of completion, some of which are atrophying because they have served their uses. The muscles which move the ears in animals, for instance, are also present in man, but
they are no longer needed and, therefore, most of us have lost the use of them. Other organs are in a state of development, such as, for instance, the heart, which is an involuntary muscle, but is being invested with cross-stripes like the voluntary muscles and will, at a future time, be capable of regulation at any desired speed.
Another class of organs are simply in a state of dormancy, and among these are the pituitary body and the pineal gland. If they were not to be used in the future, they would surely atrophy, as do all other organs when they have ceased to be useful. In the far past these organs were connected with the sympathetic system and invested man with involuntary clairvoyance, and because of their connection with the cerebro-spinal system they will in the future enable mankind to effect a contact with the Spiritual Worlds at will.
It is easier to roll a stone down hill than to roll it up hill; retrogression is more readily accomplished than progression, and when people seek for development in a negative condition they readily renew the negative activity of the pituitary body and the pineal gland, and become negative clairvoyants. But as any faculty which is exercised by means of the involuntary nervous system cannot be exercised by the power of the will, this faculty is, of course, sporadic in mediums. At times, when the power is on, they can contact the Spiritual Worlds in a limited way. At other times, when the power is off, they are unable to see. Therefore, they often simulate in order to earn a needed fee.
The man who consciously evolves his spiritual faculty controls the vibration of the two little organs named by will power and has no “off” days. The power to see is his at any and all times. Thus, in his hands, clairvoyance is an accurate means of investigation, but it should be understood that as it is necessary to investigate in this world before we know, so it is also in that world. Many people are foolishly skeptical concerning the existence of superphysical worlds and senses, but people who think that when a man “sees” in the invisible worlds he at once knows everything about them are equally foolish. A blind man who has acquired the faculty of sight by an operation affords an illustration of the fact that we must learn to see here in the Physical World, for at first he very often shuts his eyes, declaring that it is easier to walk by feeling than by sight, because he has not yet learned to gauge distances. The infant which reaches for the moon or for something on the other side of the room also demonstrates this fact. As above, so below; before a man has been trained, the mere fact of clairvoyance is not of much use to him, and the idea that because he sees, he necessarily knows everything, is gratuitous. We who have seen here all our lives do not know all about everything in this world; neither do the people who “see’ know all about the other world. Besides, the forms here are stable and do not easily change, while the matter of sight and knowledge is complicated in the Inner Worlds by the plasticity of the forms there, for they often change in the twinkling of an eye in response to the thoughts of entities who function there.
To evolve voluntary clairvoyance is an arduous task, and this faculty, therefore, is possessed by few, while negative clairvoyance, unfortunately, has been developed by many who had no high ideals to prevent prostitution of their faculty for gold.
What do you mean by initiation, and why are only men initiates?
Answer: The ordinary idea of initiation is that of admittance into a secret order, usually in consideration of an initiation fee, but occult initiation is very different.
When a person has endeavored to live the higher life for some time, has purified his vehicles by mental, moral and physical endeavors, he emits a light in the invisible world and accumulates a power within. In time a point of culmination is reached where this power must be given vent. Then there appears in his life a teacher who shows him the power he has cultivated, often unconsciously to himself, and its use. This demonstration is called initiation. It may take place in a temple or not; it may or may not be accompanied by a ceremony, as the circumstances demand. Let it be clearly understood that no ceremony can give to the candidate the powers which initiation teaches him to use, any more than pulling the trigger of a pistol which is not loaded can cause an explosion. The initiatory ceremony would be worthless save as a culmination to the life of discipleship.
Thus it is evident that Initiation is the inevitable result of merit. It is never sold for money, though there is no lack of unscrupulous charlatans who offer to initiate anyone into the occult arts of which they know nothing themselves; nor are gullible fools wanting, or dishonest persons who hope to gain a sinister power over their fellow-man by purchase. If Simon, the sorcerer, merited the scathing rebuke of Peter when he attempted to buy a spiritual power for gold, we wonder what condemnation is adequate to meet
the case of those who advertise them as commercial wares, particularly when, in the nature of things, they are unable to deliver the goods offered for sale. The inquirer is under a misapprehension when he believes that only men are Initiates, at least so far as the Lesser Mysteries are concerned. There are women Initiates and sometimes even Initiates of the Greater Mysteries take upon themselves a feminine body for the sake of a special work which they desire to accomplish. It is true, however, that those who have advanced so far that they have a choice regarding sex usually prefer a male body, and the reason is not far to seek. Woman has a positive vital body but a negative dense body and is, therefore, somewhat at a disadvantage in the world as at present constituted. Striving for the higher ideals and living the higher life, we spiritualize the vital body and transmute it into soul which is always positive–a power usable regardless of sex–and when the Initiate wears a masculine body also, he is thoroughly positive in the Physical World and has a better chance for advancement than when using a feminine vehicle.
Is it not the duty of one who is informed on subjects concerned with the higher life to give information and help to the less informed?
Answer: Certainly, knowledge is the one thing which we may give to others and still retain ourselves. In fact, when we help others by disseminating our knowledge we are helping ourselves and increasing our own store. For no one really knows a thing until he has told and explained it to someone else, and we should understand that whatever knowledge we may obtain is not our exclusive property, but is to be used for the universal good. If we selfishly hoard it and refuse to enlighten others, it will act upon us in the same way as if we continued to eat physical food without getting rid of the ashes. There would come a time when we could hold no more and we would become sick. So with people who obtain knowledge concerning things of the higher life. When they hoard it up instead of using it for the benefit of others, they are very apt to become recluses, and may become insane.
What qualifications are necessary to become an Invisible Helper? Must the whole life be given over to spiritual endeavor?
Answer: No, not at all; in fact, no one is justified in giving his whole life to spiritual endeavor unless he has first fulfilled whatever material obligations he may have to others. The duties in the family are means of being visible helpers, and the man or woman who shirks duty here can surely not be depended upon to fulfill the duties of an Invisible Helper on the other side.
Therefore, a patient continuance in the performance of all our earthly duties to the very best of our ability is the first and most essential qualification of the aspirant. As a further qualification, we may mention self-control. While we are living and working on our dense bodies, the desire body is in a measure held in check by imprisonment in dense, physical matter. If we lose our temper here, the result may be dangerous to ourselves and to those around us, but it is not a circumstance to the peril attendant upon loss of temper in the other world, for our desire body, as we know, can wreck our physical body in a fit of temper so that it may sometimes be sick for weeks as a result of a few minutes’ loss of temper. But when outside the dense body, if its force were directed against anyone else, it could instantly kill an army.
Knowledge is also requisite to the aspirant. Unless we have studied conditions after death and are familiar with the scheme of evolution, have a comprehensive idea of the constitution of man and similar subjects it is impossible for us to instruct those who are less informed, and to set us the tasks of an Invisible Helper and instructor would be analogous to sending an ignorant boor to teach school.
Last, but not least, the Invisible Helper must be imbued with an all embracing love of humanity. We cannot be callous to the sufferings of our fellow creatures here and at the same time be filled with love and a desire to help in the other world, any more than a man who does not know a note in earth life can become a proficient musician by the mere fact of dying, or acquire such a passion for music that he is anxious to spend eternity tooting in a horn or playing on a harp. Therefore, we reiterate that to become an Invisible Helper there, we must first qualify by helping here.
What purpose has the person in going out of his body?
Answer: At the present stage of our evolution, the greater part of humanity are tied to their bodies during earth life. They are placed in a small and narrow environment because certain lessons may be learned there
which can best be mastered by practically shutting out every other place and condition from view. But there comes a time when man has grown sufficiently in knowledge to make it desirable that he should have a wider scope for his activities. Then the body becomes a clog and a fetter which it is expedient to leave at times, and accordingly he is taught by the Elder Brothers to extricate himself at will. They themselves have been helped in the past by more advanced beings from other planets until they have now become capable of teaching the less evolved among humanity.
The purpose in going out is to gain a wider knowledge. But that knowledge in itself is only a means to an end, namely, to help others progress. Therefore, those who are capable of leaving their bodies are known as Invisible Helpers. Their work is to help both living and dead, according to ability.
Is it absolutely necessary to live a life of asceticism in order to become spiritual and endowed with psychic powers?
Answer: That depends upon what the inquirer means by asceticism. Some people in the East creep into a barrel of spikes and roll themselves about in order to mortify the flesh, or lash and maim themselves in various ways to attain a realization of spiritual powers. That, assuredly, is not right. They may and do at times become clairvoyant, but that course is as reprehensible and its results as transitory as the effects obtained by crystal gazing, the drug habit and similar methods.
We should realize that this physical body is our most valuable instrument, and that it is our duty to give it all reasonable care under conditions which are conducive to its health and well-being. No power obtained by maltreating our body is of the highest kind, and therefore is neither lasting nor fully efficient.
But some people mean by asceticism, “living a clean and pure life.” They want spiritual power without sacrifice of animal propensities; they desire to soar in the clouds at will, while at other times they claim liberty to wallow in the mire. They want to continue feeding on coarse food, to gorge themselves on meat, alcohol and tobacco, to indulge their passions and sensual desires in every direction, and at the same time they want to have spiritual powers.
That cannot be done. Our bodies are our tools. A good workman appreciates the value of good tools and keeps them in the very best condition–sharp and clean. When our senses have been dulled by alcohol and tobacco, when the system is forced to exert all its energy to digest or eliminate coarse food, is it to be expected that the man should be a sensitive? We cannot serve God and mammon; ours is the choice. If we want spiritual powers we must pay the price of clean lives; we must give our bodies pure food and conform to the rules of the simple life; we must abstain from everything that dulls the senses–alcohol, tobacco, and similar abuses. If that is called “a life of asceticism,” then asceticism is absolutely necessary.
Are all children clairvoyant up to a certain age?
Answer: Yes, all are clairvoyant at least during the first year of their life. It depends upon the spirituality of the child to a great extent, also upon its environment, how long it will keep the faculty, for most children communicate all they see to their elders and the faculty of clairvoyance is affected by their attitude. Often children are ridiculed, and nothing so hurts their sensitive little natures. They soon learn to shut out the scenes which engender the ridicule of their elders, or at least they will learn to keep such experiences to themselves. When listened to, they often
reveal wonderful things, and at times it is possible to trace a previous life by information from a little child. This happens particularly, of course if the child died as a child in its previous life, for then it would only have been in the Invisible World from one to twenty years, so that it is possible to verify its information. Children who, in their previous life, died as children, are much more apt to remember the past and to be clairvoyant than other children, because the desire body and vital body are not born at the same time as the physical birth of the child, but at seven and fourteen years of age, respectively, and what has not been quickened cannot die, so that if a child passes out before birth of the vital body or of the desire body, it will not go into the Second and Third Heavens, but will stay in the Desire World and will be reborn with the same desire body and mind that it possessed in its previous life, and therefore it will be very much more apt to remember what happened then. The writer came across such an instance a few years ago in Southern California.
One day in Santa Barbara, a man by the name of Roberts was walking along the street when a little child ran up to him, put her arms around his knees and called him “papa.” Mr. Roberts thought someone was trying to foist a child upon him and indignantly freed himself. The mother of the child was also indignant at its action and took it away. But the child kept crying, “It is my papa, it is my papa.” On account of circumstances which will appear later, the incident preyed upon Mr. Roberts’ mind, and he went to a gentleman whom we will call “X”. Together they sought the house where the little child lived with her parents, and after some parleying were allowed to question her. As soon as the little girl saw Mr. Roberts she ran to him again and called him “Papa.” Then, in answer to intermittent questioning during the afternoon, the child told the story, which we give here connectedly.
Once upon a time she lived with Mr. Roberts as her father and another mama in a little house by a brook where flowers grew (here she ran out and fetched some pussy willows). There was a gang plank across the brook which she was forbidden to cross, lest she fall in the water. One day Mr. Roberts left her mama and herself never to return. After some time her mama laid down and moved no more. “She became so still, and she died.” Then, said the child, “I died too; but I didn’t die, I came here!”
Next, Mr. Roberts told his story. “About eighteen years previously he had lived with his father, a brewer, in England. He fell in love with their servant girl, but the father refused permission to marry. The young people ran off to London, were married, went to Australia, where he cleared a little farm in the bush, and built a house by a brook where pussy willows grew. There was a gang plank over the brook. A little child was born to them, and when that child was about two years of age, Mr. Roberts went one day to a clearing about a mile from the cabin and while there an officer of the law approached him with a gun and arrested him for a bank robbery committed on the night he left London.
“He protested his innocence, begged leave to visit wife and child to take care of them, but the officer feared a trap to get him into the hands of confederates, and drove Mr. Roberts to the coast at the point of the gun. He was taken to England, tried for the robbery and found not guilt. Not until then did the authorities listen to his constant ravings about a wife and child who must surely have starved in the wilds of Australia. A telegram was sent, a search party organized and in due time the answer came. They found the skeletons of the deserted ones, and Mr. Roberts departed for America, a heart-broken man.”
The child was then shown a number of pictures, in a casual way, among them being two photographs of Mr. Roberts and his wife. Mr. Roberts’ appearance had altered very much since that photograph was taken. Nevertheless, when the child came upon the picture, she joyously shouted, “Oh, there is Papa!” She also recognized the picture of her mother in the previous life. The little child was only about three years of age at the time when Mr. Roberts found her, and could not possibly have made up such a story. Later the case was investigated by one of the foremost newspapers in Southern California, the Los Angeles Times, and the facts found to be as here related.
What is the difference between White and Black Magic and what is the effect of the practice of Black Magic upon the soul?
Answer: Magic is a process whereby we may accomplish certain results not achieved by means of laws ordinarily known. Some men have investigated laws of nature unknown to most people, and have become adepts in manipulating the finer forces. They use their power to help their fellow man, where that can be done in harmony with the laws of his growth. Others, having studied the laws and become capable of manipulating the hidden forces of the universe, use their knowledge for selfish ends to gain power over their fellow creatures. The first named class are White Magicians, the latter are Black. Both of them use and manipulate the same forces, the difference being the motive which prompts them. The White Magician is prompted altogether by love and benevolence. Although he is not actuated by thoughts of reward, a soul growth wonderful to contemplate results from his use of magic. He has put his talents out to usury and is gaining interest a hundredfold. The Black Magician, on the other hand, is in a sad state, for it is said that the “soul that sinneth, it shall die,” and all we do contrary to the laws of God inevitably results in a deterioration of the soul qualities.
The Black Magician by his knowledge and art may, sometimes for several lives, maintain his position in evolution, but eventually there comes a time when the soul disintegrates and the Ego reverts into what we may call savagery.
Black magic in its minor forms, such as hypnotism, for instance, sometimes causes congenital idiocy in a future life. The hypnotist deprives his victims of the free use of their bodies. Under the law of consequence he is then tied to a body with a malformed brain, which prevents his expression. We must not infer, however, that every case of congenital idiocy is due to such malpractice on the part of the Ego in a past life; there are also other causes which may bring congenital idiocy as a result.
You speak of the western and the eastern schools of occultism. Is not the western school the better, and if so, why?
Answer: There are a number of different races upon earth at present. The Hindus are the first race in the present Aryan Epoch, and the Anglo-Saxon is the fifth. Naturally the latest teaching is given to the most advanced people. Therefore the western religion, Christianity, is far superior to the Hinduism and Buddhism of the East. The mystery teachings of the East are not as advanced as in the West either. In the East, great stress is laid upon subjection of the body in order to cultivate the
spiritual faculties. They place the body in certain positions while undertaking arduous breathing exercises and other physical exercises not necessary by the western method. In fact, the western body is not at all responsive to those methods. Besides, the pupil in the East is under the absolute control of his teacher, whom he calls “Master,” and whose commands he must obey to the most minute detail, without asking why. In the West, we follow the teachings of the Christ, who said to his disciples, “Henceforth, I call you friends, for the servant knoweth not what his master doeth, but I have taught you all things which I have learned of my Father.” (John 15:15.) Therefore, the teacher in the West is on terms of the most intimate friendship with his pupil and always ready to answer his questions so far as compatible with his stage of development.
There are, of course, some very advanced people in the East, people who are far advanced in the teachings of their school, but a corresponding stage is usually reached by the western method in a shorter time and with less effort.
What is the difference between etheric sight, clairvoyance and the sight pertaining to the World of Thought?
Answer: When we look at a man with etheric sight, we first see his outside clothing, then the lining inside, his underclothing, his skin, ribs and the various organs of his body along the line of our vision; then the spinal column, the back of the ribs, the flesh, the skin and the clothing on his back. In other words, we see through him. By the etheric sight a man can see through books, papers, letters, walls, or anything else for a short distance. In fact, this faculty may be called X-ray sight. Only one substance is proof against its penetrative faculty. Glass is as opaque to etheric sight as a stone wall to ordinary physical sight for the same reason, perhaps, that glass is such a splendid insulator for electricity.
When we look at a person or a thing with ordinary clairvoyant sight, we see their desire bodies and the counterparts of their other vehicles inside and out–every particle at the same time. It is rather difficult to read a book or even a letter with etheric sight, because we must look through other pages which blur the one we wish to read. When we use ordinary clairvoyance it seems as if the book or letter is spread out so that we can ready any age or part without having to look through any other part. But when we look at an object with the sight pertaining to the four lower regions of the World of Thought, and the writer has personal knowledge of no higher realms, we find that instead of forms there are hollow spaces or molds, which speak to us and tell us about themselves. The necessity of investigation is eliminated from that world. There we know at once everything about whatever becomes an object of our attention. There is, however, a curious drawback to the knowledge gained in that manner–it dawns upon us all at once. The sum of this knowledge is a whole, and has neither beginning nor end. It is therefore usually a Herculean task to unfold it into an orderly, sequential concept which may be comprehensively stated to ourselves and others.
Is it safe for a person in a greatly debilitated nervous condition to take occult training given by the Rosicrucians, or is it necessary for such a person to first recover? Is health regained by occult training?
Answer: The only exercises given publicly by Rosicrucians are the morning and evening exercises. The evening exercise consists of a retrospect of events of the day in reverse order. During this review the aspirant aims to cultivate a feeling of the most sincere contrition for anything he may have done amiss, and also to feel intensely glad when he has been able to better his previous conduct in any act during the past day. The morning exercise consists in concentration upon a high ideal, the Christ, for instance.
If a person of a nervous temperament will endeavor to calmly and quietly perform these exercises, he will experience a very beneficial effect, particularly if he will strive to relax every muscle of the body during the exercises.
The attitude of a cat watching a mouse hole affords an excellent illustration of relaxation. It sits in a perfectly easy position; calmly and quietly it waits for the appearance of the mouse. No energy is dissipated by fretfulness or anxiety. It quietly persists in the faith that sooner or later opportunity will come. All its strength is reserved for the supreme moment when it springs to secure its prey. If the pupil will completely relax his muscles, calmly and quietly review the day’s happenings in the evening exercise and concentrate upon a high ideal in the morning exercise, the nervousness will gradually disappear, and one day the opportunity will come; the spiritual sight will unfold.
A sound body being necessary for spiritual unfoldment, what does the Rosicrucian teaching hold out to one not at present in the best physical condition? Will perfect health be one result of the study of this philosophy, and if the teaching is practiced, will it tend to keep a person in good health?
Answer: The inquirer starts with a misconception, namely, that a sound body is necessary to true spiritual unfoldment, and, probably, also forgets the distinction between “sound” and “sensitive.” Many people of low
development have a most sound and healthy physical body, but are not at all sensitive with respect to spiritual vibrations. An illustration will elucidate: The writer has had an alarm clock, a low-priced time-piece, for a number of years. It has been packed at times in a trunk handled by baggagemen, porters, etc., in an exceedingly careless manner, and yet when taken out of the trunk, after all the shaking up and ill-usage, it will still go and keep time after a fashion, that is to say, if one does not mind a few moments’ variation one way or the other. Such a time-piece is strong and sound but not accurate.
On the other hand, a chronometer used on board ships is an exceedingly delicate time-piece. It rests upon balances which always keep it in a horizontal position and compensate for the slightest motion of the ship, so that the chronometer may keep perfect time, for thousands of lives are at times dependent upon the extreme accuracy of that instrument. A captain launched upon the trackless ocean knows how far east or west he is from Greenwich, England, by means of this accurate time-piece–the chronometer. When he calculates the difference between noon of the place where he finds himself and the time shown by the chronometer he has a correct gauge of his location, a gauge to which he trusts the lives of all his passengers and the millions of dollars’ worth of property in his care. A comparison of the sensitive chronometer and the rough and ready alarm clock illustrates the difference between “sensitive” and “sound.”
When we understand the higher philosophies, when we live the life that is taught by them, our body becomes extremely sensitive and must be given more care than is necessary to the body of an Indian or a Negro in the wilds of Africa. They have no delicately organized nervous system like the white race. Those who are interested along the lines of spiritual development are particularly high-strung, therefore, as we progress it becomes necessary to take more and more care of this instrument. But we also learn the laws of its nature and how to conform to them. If we apply our knowledge it is possible for us to have a sensitive instrument and keep it in comparative health.
There are cases, however, when a sickness is necessary to bring about certain changes in the body which are precursors of a higher step in spiritual unfoldment, and under such conditions, of course, sickness is a blessing and not a curse. In general, however, it may be said that the study of the highest philosophy will always tend to better one’s health, because “knowledge is power” and the more we know the better we are able to cope with all conditions, provided, of course, we bring our knowledge into practice and live the life–that we are not merely hearers of the word, but doers also, for no teaching is of any benefit to us unless it is carried into our lives and lived from day to day.
In what way will it help us in the life after death if we have cultivated clairvoyance in the present life?
Answer: In a number of ways. In the first place, many people have a great fear of death; the very mention of the word death sends the cold shivers down their backs, and they always avoid the subject. Fear of death generates thought forms of a hideous nature and when a person leaves the body at death to enter the Invisible World, he sees those dread forms surround him as so many fiends, and they sometimes drive him almost insane. They are his progeny, however, and he cannot rid himself of them until he learns that they have no power over him and fearlessly bids them begone. Then they vanish as dew before the sun.
The man who has cultivated clairvoyance during earth life is sometimes also tormented on his first entrance into the Invisible World by various elemental entities which take upon themselves most hideous forms. They recognize in the neophyte a possible future master and seek to sway him from his purpose by intimidation, but as he is usually helped by a teacher and is taught that these beings have no power over him, he very quickly overcomes fear. When later he leaves his body at death and enters the Invisible World, he is already familiar with many of the sights and scenes there; above all he has no fear to hamper him.
Would the contemplation of the God within, if persistently carried on, aid one in spiritual growth and bring one to Adeptship?
Answer: We are living at the present time in the workaday Western World, where it is our duty to fill whatever niche is ours. Each of us has a work to do, and if we shirk it for the sake of a morbid introspection, we shall not only not grow, but we shall degenerate spiritually.
Some people, unfortunately, think themselves justified in leaving their earthly duties when they imagine spiritual progress calls them, but until we have fulfilled every duty here, there can be no true spiritual advancement; whatever may seem so will in the end turn out to be dust and ashes.
The far Eastern countries illustrate, by horrible example, the evil results of neglect of material duties for the indiscriminate pursuit of what they imagine to be spiritual power. There people emaciate and deform the body by such practices as holding an arm above the head until it withers. That is not true spirituality which does not promote the good of the whole world. It is sometimes said, that “every herring must hang by its own gill and every tub must stand upon its own bottom.” But it is also true that what does not tend to lift all will never lift anyone. A deep-seated and heartfelt desire to further the common good is the only valid justification for expending the effort incident to cultivation of spiritual power. Stories have been told of mothers attending mothers’ meetings to discuss how best to care for home and children, meanwhile leaving their children in
a most untidy house without care. These stories are not merely exaggerations and jokes; they contain more truth than poetry. And the people who prate of spirituality, who desire to contemplate the angel within, to the neglect of their families and other obvious duties, are on a par with such mothers. The sooner we awake to a realization of the fact that no present duty, however humble, may be neglected with impunity for spiritual work, however exalted, the better for ourselves and all concerned. We would advise the inquirer to read Longfellow’s poem, the “Legend Beautiful.” It is very much in point: A monk is kneeling upon his floor of stone, when a beautiful vision of the Christ appears to him just as the noonday bell summons him to the gate where the poor are waiting for alms which it is his duty to give to them each day. There arises in the monk’s mind the question, shall he stay and commune with the Blessed Visitor, or shall he leave Him for the sake of a parcel of hungry beggars? But a voice within him says,
"Do thy duty, that is best, Leave unto thy Lord the rest."
He follows the behest of that voice, leaving the Vision in his cell wondering if it will be there when he returns. Yet he feels it is right to do his duty to others regardless of loss to himself, and when, after having dealt alms to the poor, he returns to his cell, the Vision greets him with the words: “Hadst thou stayed, I must have fled.”
Has it not been recorded that certain individuals have developed spiritual power, clairvoyance, sixth sense, or whatever we wish to call it, by living a clean life in harmony with nature’s laws, and do not the teachings of modern occultists with so many terms of technicality have a tendency to create confusion rather than bring the desired results?
Answer: The path of development in all cases depends upon the temperament of the aspirant. There are two paths, the Mystic and the Intellectual. The Mystic is usually devoid of intellectual knowledge; he follows the dictates of his heart and strives to do the will of God as he feels it, lifting himself upward without being conscious of any definite goal, and in the end attains to knowledge. In the middle ages people were not as intellectual as we are nowadays, and those who felt the call of a higher life, usually followed the mystic path. But, during the last few hundred years, since the advent of modern science, a more intellectual humanity has peopled the earth; the head has completely overruled the heart, materialism has dominated all spiritual impulse and the majority of thinking people do not believe anything they cannot touch, taste or handle. Therefore, it is necessary that appeal should be made to their intellect in order that the heart may be allowed to believe what the intellect has sanctioned. As a response to this demand modern systems of occultism aim to correlate scientific facts to spiritual verities. The materialistic attitude of mind is, of course, particularly adopted in the West, and the Rosicrucian Order was founded in the 13th century to prepare an antidote for
poison of materialism which could be administered in doses to suit the exigencies of the case. Paracelsus, Comenius, Hellmond, Bacon and others gave in a more veiled manner the teachings now being definitely promulgated to demonstrate that science, art and religion are a trinity in unity which cannot be separated without distorting our view.
True Religion embodies both science and art, for it teaches a beautiful life in harmony with the laws of nature.
True Science is artistic and religious in the highest sense, for it teaches us to reverence and conform to the laws governing our well-being and explains why the religious life is conducive to health and beauty.
True Art is as educational as science and as uplifting in its influence as religion. In architecture we have a most sublime presentation of cosmic lines of force in the universe. It fills the spiritual beholder with a powerful devotion and adoration born of an awe-inspiring conception of the overwhelming grandeur and majesty of Deity. Sculpture and painting, music and literature inspire us with a sense of the transcendent loveliness of God, the immutable source and goal of all this beautiful world.
Nothing short of such an all-embracing teaching will answer the needs of a large and growing class, therefore the technico-devotional religion is absolutely necessary at the present time.
Is it possible to cultivate clairvoyance by the use of drugs, by crystal gazing or breathing exercises, and do these methods not bring results quicker than the methods you advocate?
Answer: Yes; it is possible to cultivate a certain kind of clairvoyance by any of the methods mentioned, but when a man cultivates the sixth sense by such means he is not master of his faculty; the power of producing clairvoyance is vested in the crystal and not in the man. He is in a similar position to one who learns horsemanship at a riding-academy where the horses are trained to allow themselves to be ridden. The pupils acquire no ability to deal with intractable animals, but simply ride by permission of their mount.
If a man learns to break a wild horse he can break others, and rides by virtue of his own power to master his horse, and when a man has used will power instead of drugs or a crystal to subdue his body and cultivate clairvoyance, he has acquired a soul quality which enables him to exercise his faculty in all future lives. But the crystal gazer and the drug fiend have lost their power at death, and must wait till they can obtain drugs or crystals in the new life to train the new body, and thus a great loss of time and effort results from the use of such methods. When we take into consideration the fact that drugs and breathing exercises have a dreadfully destructive effect upon the body, it will be seen that these methods are altogether undesirable. Many a man is today in the insane asylum or in the grave of the consumptive on account of breathing exercises, and the effects of drugs are well known.
Besides, there are various kinds of clairvoyants. There are some who have a faculty of such a nature that the clairvoyant may be likened to a prisoner who sits in his cell behind bars. The window in his cell opens upon a certain view; he cannot escape seeing whatever comes into the range of his vision, for he cannot turn away. There is also a shutter before his window which he cannot control either. Thus at all times when that shutter is open he must see whatever passes outside his window whether the sight pleases him or not. A faculty of that nature is an unmitigated curse, for sometimes the most dreadful scenes are enacted before the vision of such a clairvoyant. The writer remembers the case of a certain gentleman, who possessed that kind of a faculty. Lecturing before a certain society at the time of the War in the Philippines, a battle scene presented itself before his gaze. An encounter was taking place at that moment between Filipinos and our soldiers. He saw horses ripped open and falling with entrails on the ground, our men being hewn to pieces by the bolos of the natives, etc. Unable to shut off the vision, he turned deathly pale, but exercise of will-power enabled him to finish his lecture without attracting attention from the general audience.
There are other clairvoyants who have only a partial control of their sight and who cannot count on the power at any time. To this class belongs the ordinary medium who prostitutes the faculty for a fee. At times, when the power is on, she may give exceedingly good readings and tell the truth, but at other times, when the power is off, there may be a temptation to secure the fees needed for office rent and personal expenses by simulating.
The only safe way to cultivate the faculty of clairvoyance is by means of exercises given by the mystery schools, but these exercises and lessons in the development of the higher faculties are never sold for gold or any material consideration. They are always given without money as a reward of merit. The man who possesses this faculty, cultivated by their method, has no off days, but he will never consent to use it to gratify anyone’s curiosity, for tests or other frivolous purpose. He directs all his energy to aid in uplifting humanity.
What time in the morning is best for concentration?
Answer: The object of the exercises, both morning and evening, is to bring the pupil into conscious touch with the invisible worlds, and there is no time so good as the morning, for during the night the spirit withdraws from the dense body and enters the invisible world, leaving the body asleep upon the bed; and it is the return of the spirit in the morning which causes the body to awake and focuses our consciousness upon the material world through the sense organs. Wordsworth says in his beautiful “Ode to Immortality”:
"Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting: The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star, Hath had elsewhere its setting, and cometh from afar: Not in entire forgetfulness, and not in utter nakedness, But trailing clouds of glory do we come from God, who is our home: "Heaven lies about us in our infancy! Shades of the prison-house begin to close Upon the growing Boy, But He beholds the light, and whence it flows, He sees it in his joy. "The Youth, who daily farther from the east Must travel, still is Nature's Priest, And by the vision splendid Is on his way attended; At length the Man perceives it die away, And fade into the light of common day."
During the life of a person, the Inner Worlds are closest to him in childhood’s years, as Wordsworth says, for that is life’s morning, and so it is with us; when we waken in the morning we are in closer touch with the Spirit Worlds than at any other time of day, and then it is easiest to return to them. Therefore, the pupil should commence his exercises the very moment he wakens, without allowing his mind to rest upon anything else. He should be particular to relax his body perfectly so that no muscle is tense and fix his mind upon a high ideal or upon the first five verses of the Gospel of St. John, either sentence by sentence, or as a whole. That will put him
in touch with cosmic vibrations. He should still the senses so that he can hear nothing and see nothing in his room. When he succeeds the scenes of the Desire World will present themselves to his inner vision. First spasmodically, later more and more clearly, as practice makes him perfect.
For most persons, however, the evening exercise is of the greater importance and will probably bring results quicker, because that works upon the life we lead and ennobles us in a way that the morning exercise cannot.
It is difficult for me to review the events of the day in reverse order when doing my evening exercises. Is this absolutely necessary, and if so, why?
Answer: In the evening exercise the pupil reviews and judges his life for that day. He is then doing the work ordinarily reserved to Purgatory and the First Heaven. There the life is lived backward from effects to causes in order that we may see how and why suffering results from our mistakes. Reviewing our daily life, in reverse order, from effects to causes, we note that our troubles and trials have all been caused by previous acts during the past day or some other day of our life.
It is our task to find that cause and to analyze the reason which leads up to every development, so that we may know in future how to take advantage of opportunities for soul growth and avoid evil. Thus if we follow up the day’s experience in reverse order we profit by the experiences gained right away instead of waiting until we have passed out of this life and are forced to reap the fruits of our deeds in Purgatory and the First Heaven.
What value are breathing exercises in developing body and mind?
Answer: The value of breathing exercises depends upon the knowledge of the person who gives them. Breathing exercises given in books and by so-called teachers, who advertise courses in psychic development, are exceedingly dangerous and many a person is in the insane asylum today on account of having attempted to use them, or, perhaps, sleeps under the sod in the grave of a consumptive.
Every human being is an individual and needs individual exercises. The appropriate exercises can only be given by a person who is clairvoyant and also able to watch the growth of certain etheric organs in the physical body of his pupil. He must also know what this growth should be in each individual case. Anyone who has the ability to thus give this individual exercise also knows how to check undesirable developments. But such a teacher does not advertise psychic developments for so much per lesson. Such exercises are never sold for money, but are always given for merit.
The reason is evident. One who has the faculty of clairvoyance at command has an enormous power; if misused it can work more harm than any earthly weapon. It could cause a panic in the markets of the world, bring about wars and enmities among people anywhere and everywhere, and thus the possessor would become a scourge to society unless he were also of such a mind that he would never use his faculty save for good. The powers behind evolution, the Elder Brothers of humanity who have developed these powers and are capable of teaching them, take exceeding good care that no one shall attain to this power until they have given proofs of unselfishness and have been bound by vows and restrictions. Therefore it may be said that no one should undertake breathing exercises unless prescribed by the proper teacher, and neither is it necessary to run about the world seeking such a teacher. The aspirant ought rather to strive to do good and use the faculties which he now possesses in the environment where he is, for that is the only proper stepping stone towards a higher power. When he has sufficiently fitted himself, the teacher will appear in his life and he will not for a moment be in doubt of the genuineness of the teaching that will then be given. In this respect we may quote a little poem that is exceedingly beautiful:
"Don't waste your time in longing For bright, impossible things; Don't sit supinely waiting For the sprouting of angel wings. Don't scorn to be a rushlight, Everyone can not be a star; But brighten some of the darkness By shining just where you are. "There's need of the tiniest candle As well as the garish sun, And the humblest deed is ennobled When it is worthily done; You may never be called on to brighten Darkened regions afar, So fill day by day your mission By shining just where you are."
Is not the invisible world of which you speak very unreal and shadowy in comparison to this world in which we now live?
Answer: God is the Prime Reality. The Desire World and the World of Thought are one and two steps nearer to that central source of energy and hence they are more real. By “real” the inquirer presumably means that in this world the forms are stable and do not easily change, whereas in the Invisible Worlds they are more than plastic and change with the rapidity of thought, but the life within is the reality and not the form. Stability is not a mark of reality. Everything in the world which is now crystallized and stable has first existed in a plastic condition in the Invisible World. Everything which has been made by the hand of man was first a thought form in the mind of its maker.
When an architect desires to build a house, he first thinks it out. He seeks to form an idea as clearly as possible of what the house is to be. Could the workmen see the thought form in the mind of the architect, they would be able to work from that without plans, but the architect’s idea is hidden from them by the veil of flesh and, therefore, it is necessary for the architect to put his idea on paper and make a plan. This is the first stage of crystallization; afterward the workmen build the house in iron, wood and stone.
According to the ideas of most people this house is much more real than the thought form in the mind of the architect, but in reality that is not so. The concrete house may be destroyed in a moment by earthquake, by dynamite, or in other ways, but the idea in the architect’s mind will last as long as he lives and from that idea a new house, or a dozen, may be built at any time, yes, even after the death of the architect the house will still exist as a model in the ether, and any clairvoyant capable of contacting the Invisible Worlds and reading in the memory of nature is capable of seeing it there at any time, though millions of years may elapse. Thus the Invisible World is the source and everlasting record of all that is or was here, hence it is the prime reality.
QUESTIONS CONCERNING ASTROLOGY
Is it possible that astrology and palmistry can be true, inasmuch as we could avert coming disaster by being forewarned in that manner? And would this not interfere with our destiny?
Answer: The destiny which we generate under the law of causation by our own acts may be divided into three kinds. In the first place, there is the destiny which from the very nature of the case we cannot expiate in the present life; for instance, when a man commits murder, whether he suffers the penalty for it here or not, the prison life usually does not have the effect of making him more mellow and kind. Sometimes it does the reverse; it makes him bitter and turns his hand against all. Before nature will be satisfied, he must learn that he may not deprive a fellow being of his form; he must learn to serve. Thus the case is not satisfied until he has had the opportunity at a future time to render service of importance to his previous victim.
A second kind of destiny we reap from day to day; it is, we might say, as a cash transaction, we pay as we go. If we overeat, we have indigestion; if we go out without sufficient clothing, we take cold, etc.
A third kind is called “ripe” or “mature” destiny. It is the result of our actions in past lives or in our early years, which has matured into effect so far that it is embodied in the pictures shown a spirit as the panorama of its coming life when starting toward rebirth. Once the spirit has chosen a certain life with the ‘ripe” destiny allotted for liquidation by the Recording Angels, it is bound by its choice. The tendencies to act in a manner conducive to adjustment of this mature destiny are inherent in the body and inscribed in the stars, for the stellar influences are the source of man’s activity, and therefore this mature destiny may be seen from the horoscope at birth, standing out with exceeding clearness, so that it is very plain and patent to the spiritually minded astrologer or palmist. He can also see the other kinds of destiny and may sometimes mistake one kind for the other and hence be wrong in his view as to whether an event can be avoided or not. If it is “ripe” destiny, it will be impossible to avoid it despite all warnings, as perhaps the following instance may serve to show:
In 1906 the writer gave some lessons in astrology to Mr. L., a well known lecturer, in Los Angeles, using the gentleman’s own horoscope for purposes of instruction, as that enables the pupil to check the truth of the interpretations of the symbols so far as the past is concerned, and lends more interest than when using the horoscope of a stranger. It was found that Mr. L. has had a number of accidents; these were figured to the day when they happened. An impending accident, due to occur at the time of the new moon, July 21, 1906, was also noted. Mr. L. was, therefore, warned to stay in the house on that day and the seventh day after, the latter date being regarded as the more dangerous. He was told that there would be danger of an accident to the lower part of the head, the neck, breast and arms, in consequence of a short journey by bicycle, buggy or electric car.
Mr. L. was much impressed and promised to stay at home on the dates named. The writer went North and from there wrote reminding Mr. L. of his danger just before the time it was due. He received a letter assuring him that Mr. L. would be careful.
The next communication regarding the matter came from a mutual friend and stated that Mr. L. had gone to Sierra Madre to lecture on the twenty-eighth of July and had been hurt in the places mentioned in the prediction by a collision with a locomotive. The writer wondered why his instructions had been so disregarded, and the answer came three months later when Mr. L. thanked him for the information which had been very valuable to him, as he said, in proving the truth of astrology. The reason for the accident was that he had forgotten the date. He wrote “I thought the 28th was the 29th.”
This case, in the estimation of the writer, shows that mature destiny cannot be interfered with and that we may safely do anything we can to avoid impending danger without fear of interfering with the law of causation. There are invisible agencies around us to counteract any move upon our part which would interfere, and in the opinion of the writer they were responsible for Mr. L.’s confusion of dates.
Is it wrong to use palmistry, astrology or phrenology as a means of livelihood?
Answer: What is right or wrong depends upon the viewpoint of the individual. Less than fifty years ago it was thought right to kill a refractory Negro. His master could do so with impunity as he may nowadays kill a hog or a horse. Today we would consider that murder. Some people today look upon astrology as merely a matter of calculation and upon palmistry and phrenology as material sciences, without any spiritual significance. Who thus views these sciences would be blameless if he used them as a means of livelihood, while anyone who had obtained an idea of the spiritual side of these sciences would, in the estimation of the writer, be prostituting his knowledge. Besides, no one who thus belittles these spiritual sciences can ever give the highest and best advice to his clients, for the glimmer of gold will always obscure the judgment. Such has been the experience of the writer and many others who hold the same views. The inquirer, at any rate, would do wrong to use his knowledge of these spiritual sciences for a livelihood, for his question shows that he must have misgivings; and then he is already judged from within if he prostitutes his talent.
There is a reward that is much more than gold. If we use our knowledge to heal and to help we shall never lack means of living and we shall be laying up treasure in heaven where neither moth nor rust corrupt. Greater and better opportunities for service will be ours if we devote our talents to unselfish service.
Are Mars, Jupiter and other planets inhabited; if so, are those people superior to the people on the earth; do the souls from the earth ever reincarnate on other planets and vice versa?
Answer: All the planets in the solar system are inhabited and are fields of evolution for different classes of spirits at various stages of development. The planets nearest to the sun support the beings which are most evolved. Jupiter forms an exception to this rule; it is peopled by a humanity slightly higher than that of the earth.
The principle is this: The highest vibrations exist in the central sun, which at one time contained all the beings now dwelling upon the different planets. But not all were able to sustain the terrific vibrations of that central firemist; therefore, a crystallization took place at the poles; gradually the crystallized matter gravitated toward the equator and was expelled, with the spirits dwelling thereon. That first emanation became Uranus. Later on other classes of spirits have crystallized a part of the sun and been expelled to move in orbits at varying distances from the central source, according to the rate of vibration necessary for the unfoldment of the spirits upon them, forming eventually the solar system as we know it now.
Each class of spirits stays in its environment, being under the direct tutelage and guidance of one of the Planetary Spirits whose body is the planet where they dwell. As the spirits have been incarnated on different planets because they are at widely different stages of spiritual unfoldment,
they do not usually incarnate upon the other planets, save that at times some from the inner planets are sent as teachers’ to the outer spheres. This, at least, was the case when our humanity needed teachers, embodied and visible. Then some of the beings from Venus and Mercury were brought to the earth to guide nascent humanity. They were known as messengers of the Gods and these Lords from Venus were the first kings and rulers over the human race. Later on the most precocious among human beings were turned over to the Lords of Mercury who initiated them into the mysteries and these, in turn, became the rulers over their brethren. They were then truly kings by the grace of God, ruling the people for their upliftment and good, regardless of power and self aggrandizement.
Does not the Nebular Theory account for the existence of the universe in a much more scientific manner than the creation stories of the Bible?
Answer: The Nebular Theory was rejected by Herbert Spencer because, like the Bible, it postulates a first cause.
Viewed briefly, the theory is this, that at one time there appeared in space a firemist, spontaneously. Within that firemist, currents started, also spontaneously, and that under the impact of these currents, the firemist took a spherical shape, revolving with intense rapidity. The centrifugal force caused it to throw off a ring which disintegrated, the fragments coalesced and became a planet revolving in an orbit around the central mass. Thus different planets were brought into existence one after another. They cooled gradually, and at last the solar system was complete. Upon one of these planets at least, there appeared, spontaneously, Life, or protoplasm, which gradually evolved through the different classes of Radiates, Mollusks, Articulates and Vertebrates, finally flowering in man, who is the highest Intelligence in the Cosmos, lord of all he surveys.
This the scientist says, with a wise mien, and may also add: “Don’t you see how simple and reasonable this is? If not, let me show you by a demonstration.” He may then take a basin full of water and pour a little oil upon the surface, the water to represent space and the oil the firemist. He may then take a needle and commence to stir the oil in imitation of the currents generated in the firemist, and under his stirring the oil will take a spherical shape. Gradually the sphere will bulge at the equator, a ring will be thrown off and shape itself into a planet which will revolve around its primary and the scientist will then triumphantly say: “There, don’t you see how natural it is, not the slightest need for your God!”
We only wonder that the men who have a mind capable of conceiving this splendid demonstration can at the same time be so dull that they do not see that they, themselves, take the place of God, who thought out and brought into being the universe as the scientists conceived their demonstration, and carried it into execution. God by his power preserves our universe and moves the planets as the scientist moves his oil-planet, and were God to cease his activity for a single moment, cosmos would instantly resolve itself into a conglomerate chaos as the oil-sun and planet cease to be the moment the scientist discontinues his operation.
Therefore, so far from refuting the assertion of the Bible that God is the Creator and sustainer of the cosmos, the nebular theory demonstrates the necessity for divine interference most thoroughly, and when properly understood, there is no essential difference between the scientific and religion conception.
What are comets?
Answer: Contemplating the wisdom of the Great Creative Hierarchies as compared with our own, we would naturally feel inclined to think that they are above mistakes; but upon second thought it appears reasonable that as they are yet evolving, though learning lessons far beyond us, they must at times make mistakes. They are active in the Macrocosm, the “Great World,” the Body of God, as we are working in the Microcosm, the “Little World,” composed of our different vehicles, and just as we make mistakes in handling our affairs and in learning the lessons we are learning, so also the Great Creative hierarchies at times fail in their labors.
We know that when bringing a child to birth there may be a miscarriage. The fetus is then expelled from the system and at once commences to decay. There is a similar risk when a world is in the making, namely, that it crystallizes or sets before it has completed the period of gestation in the Desire World. Then it has not been properly molded, and may be likened to plaster of Paris mixed by a sculptor to form a beautiful statue, but set before it was molded–a shapeless, useless mass. When this happens in the making of the world, we have what is known as a comet, and the elliptic orbit which it travels is the path of a current in the Desire World. We have something similar to the comets in the appearance of the Ego before it enters the womb of the mother. Then that is also such a bell-shaped thing with a nucleus at the top and a great deal of material flowing behind it similar to the tail of the comet. And these bell shaped reincarnating Egos also traverse elliptic orbits around the earth, until it is necessary for them to enter the womb of the future mother.
Does the movement of a planet through space create a noise?
Answer: Pythagoras spoke of the harmony of the spheres, and he did not use that expression simply as a poetical allusion. There is such a harmony. We are told by John that in the beginning was the word . . . and without it was nothing made that was made. That was the creative fiat which first started the world into being. The familiar experiment of placing sand upon a glass plate and creating geometrical figures by bowing the edge with a violin bow, illustrates the creative ability of sound. And we hear of celestial music, for from the point of the heaven World, everything is first created in terms of sound, which then molds concrete matter into the multitudinous forms which we see around us.
In the occultist’s sphere of vision, the whole solar system is one vast musical instrument, spoken of in the Greek mythology as “the seven-stringed lyre of Apollo, the radiant Sun God.” As there are twelve semi-tones in the chromatic scale, so we have in the heavens, twelve signs of the zodiac, and as we have the seven white keys or whole tones on the keyboard of the piano, we have seven planets. The signs of the zodiac may be said to be the sounding-board of the cosmic harp and the seven planets are the strings; they emit different sounds as they pass through the various signs, and therefore they influence mankind in diverse manner. Should the harmony fail for one single moment, should there be the slightest discord in that heavenly band, this whole universe as such must crumble. For music
can destroy as well as build. This has been well proven by great musicians. For instance, the grandson of the immortal Felix Mendelssohn has for several years been experimenting with the power of sound in that direction. He has come to the conclusion that once we find the keynote of a building, bridge or other structure, we may raze that structure to the ground by sounding that note sufficiently loud and long. An illustration in point occurs to the writer:
“A few years ago a band of musicians were rehearsing near an old ruin outside the city of Heidelberg, Germany. At one point in their exercises they came to an extremely high pitched and long continued note, and as they sounded it the massive wall of the nearby ruin tumbled to the ground with a tremendous crash. They had struck the keynote of that wall and it fell.” In view of these facts, our supercilious smiles of bygone days when listening to the story of Joshua and the walls of Jericho are no longer in place. The sound of the ram’s horn undoubtedly struck the keynote of those walls which had been much sensitized by the rhythmic tramp of his army in preparation for this final climax. The rhythmic tramp of many feet will destroy any bridge, and therefore soldiers are instructed to break step when crossing a bridge. So that we may say in answer to the question that every planet gives out a certain keynote which is the sum total of all the noises upon it, blended and harmonized by the indwelling Planetary Spirit. That sound can be heard by the spirit ear. As Goethe says:
"The sun intones his ancient song Mid rival chant of brother spheres; His prescribed course he speeds along In thunderous way, throughout the years."
This, from the first part of Faust, the prologue in heaven. And also in the second part of Faust, spirits of air greet the rising sun with the words:
"Sound unto the spirit ear proclaims the new born day is here; Rocky gates are creaking, rattling, Phoebus' wheels are rolling, singing-- What sound intense the light is bringing."
What is the esoteric significance of the use of the names of the twelve sons of Jacob in connection with the twelve signs of the Zodiac, and are these used in connection with the Earth’s zodiac or the Sun’s zodiac, or both?
Answer: There is only one zodiac, the twelve constellations which we call Aries, Taurus, etc. These are the stars, located in a narrow belt about eight degrees each side of the ecliptic, or the sun’s path, as viewed from the earth. The twelve sons and one daughter of Jacob are identified with the twelve constellations, because Josephus mentions that the Israelites wandering in the wilderness carried emblems of these twelve groups of stars on their banner. In the 49th chapter of Genesis and the 33rd chapter of Deuteronomy, are pronounced blessings upon his twelve sons in such a manner that it is impossible to one who knows astronomy not to see a resemblance between the description of these sons and the twelve signs of the zodiac.
Also, if we regard the manner of pitching the camp of the Israelites–grouping the twelve tribes around the tabernacle where the seven branched candlestick was–we see again a reference to the astronomical disposition of the twelve signs of the zodiac outside of the seven planets, which are the lights of the solar system, the House of God.
The spiritual reason of the analogy between Jacob, his wives, their children and the cosmos, may be found in the hermetic axiom, as above, so below. Jacob, with his four wives, symbolize the sun and the four phases of the moon, which are the givers of life to all that live upon earth; the twelve sons and one daughter symbolize the Creative Hierarchies, which have been active in the evolution of our solar system and have brought not only humanity but also all the various other kingdoms to their present stage of evolutionary attainment, and are working with them now in order to still further develop them into spiritual beings. It was they who made man in their likeness. Even to this day humanity is stamped with the characteristics of the twelve celestial signs. Therefore the original Semites, who were to be the progenitors of a new race, were divided into twelve classes by their leader, each class representing one of the constellations.
Can you give an idea of the difference between heliocentric and geocentric astrology? Is the geocentric concerned only with the affairs of this earth the material life, and the heliocentric with the soul or the spiritual side? The Sun, being the spiritual planet and the ruler of our solar system, would lead to this conclusion, inasmuch as we use the Sun’s zodiac in heliocentric astrology and the Earth’s zodiac in geocentric. Can predictions in this life ever be made by the Sun’s zodiac, or is the latter simply concerned with the spiritual side of a person’s nature?
Answer: One of the objections raised to the ancient system of astrology is that it regards the earth as the consul of the solar system in the same manner as the ancients did, and that since Copernicus showed us that the planets move around the sun, many people regard astrology as “an exploded science,” a palpably proven fallacy, and in order to overcome this objection, certain astrologers in modern times have invented what is called “heliocentric Astrology,” which regards the sun as the consul of our solar system and the planets as moving about it.
It is perfectly true that, scientifically speaking, the geocentric system of astrology, which regards the earth as a consul, is incorrect. And it is wrong when we say that the sun is in Cancer when it is really the earth traveling in its orbit that has come to the sign Capricorn and, therefore, it appears to us here upon the earth as if the sun were in Cancer. But that is not the crux; it really does not matter which of the two bodies has moved, the astrologer judges by the positions of the planets relative to the Earth. And it is much more convenient to regard the planets as moving round
the earth as the center than it is to use the opposite system, for in the geocentric system we note the relationships of the planets as they appear from our earth and note the effects upon various people at the time when such planetary influences were felt, and so, by experience, we have come to our present system of judgment, which is, therefore, as true today as it ever was. “The proof of the pudding is in the eating,” says the homely old proverb. The proof of astrology is in the truth of its predictions, and no one who has honestly studied this science and has tried to test it for himself can fail to find this truth.
Predictions sometimes fail because the astrologer misinterprets, but even allowing for the fallibility of the astrologer, there is, nevertheless, such a mass of predictions which come true that it is quite beyond explanation as a coincidence.
The geocentric system is correct and takes in all sides of man’s nature, not only the material manifestation but also the spiritual side. The heliocentric system, on the other hand, has been trumped up by people who aim to conform to science and have no concern with the spiritual side of nature, therefore that is the least satisfactory. Besides, while those who have used the geocentric astrology for many centuries have recorded their observations of the effects of the planets from that standpoint, there is very little of such empirical knowledge from the standpoint of the heliocentric system, which we would advise the inquirer to leave alone.
How is it possible to get on good terms with Saturn? The inquirer has been under his influence all his life. Sickness, poverty, loss of inheritance and accidents are bad enough, but can Saturn also cause us trouble spiritually; can he put barriers up for our unfoldment when our spirit is struggling for the good, and are we liberated from his influence when we pass out at death?
Answer: Materialistic astrologers speak of Uranus, Saturn, and Mars as evil, while Venus and Jupiter are called good. In God’s kingdom there is nothing evil. That which appears so is only good in the making. Neither must it be imagined that the influences from any of the planets operate to harass men. We have come into this world in order to get certain experiences necessary to our spiritual unfoldment, and when we seek to understand the stellar influences we shall find that they are potent factors in helping us to gain just that experience. Saturn is the chastener. When we have gone astray from the path of righteousness, willfully or unwittingly, we are not allowed to continue in evil, for Saturn comes to stop us. Perhaps we have gained an inheritance; we misuse and squander it in every direction. In doing so, we usually abuse our body as well. Then comes an aspect to Saturn, a sickness ensues and we are laid low. We are forced to diet and to give our system a rest, and as a result we arise from our sick-bed a new man or a new woman. But the question is, have we learned our lesson? During our repose upon the sick-bed, we have had time to think over the life we have been leading. Have we analyzed our life, so that we understand the causes that brought us low? If so, we have profited. For
then we shall know how to do better and avoid the pitfalls that caused our sickness in the future. Or, our inheritance being altogether squandered we stand with empty pockets upon the street. Perhaps we can turn nowhere for help; we are then forced to think and to break a way for ourselves. Our talents were useless while we were squandering our money. In poverty they are turned to account, we are forced to use them in doing our share of the world’s work. We have lost our inheritance, but the world has gained a worker, and if we have learned our lesson in that way, then the influence of Saturn has been a blessing in disguise.
And so it is with everything in the horoscope that may appear evil. Besides, the more spiritual we grow the less will these so-called evil planets or evil aspects affect us adversely. They are transmuted to good. Saturn will not give disaster to the spiritual man, but persistence; not sickness, but strength; and thus, by conforming to the laws of nature, by living our lives in harmony with the stars, we rule them and change our lives as we desire.
The greater part of humanity drifts with the tide and acts according to the tendencies implanted by the stellar influences. Therefore, the astrologer can predict what they will do with wonderful accuracy. But the more a man or woman lives the spiritual life the more he becomes a factor to be taken into consideration, and the predictions of the astrologer will fail as far as he is concerned in a measure corresponding to his attainment.
The stars are our helpers in evolution. They are not dead bodies of matter but the living, throbbing and vibrating bodies of great spiritual intelligences called in the Christian religion the Seven Spirits before the throne. As we change, their influence upon us changes, but we do not
escape from that influence by the mere incident of death. When the morning of a new life dawns for us, we shall arise with a new horoscope, and if we have aimed to grow spiritually, to learn the lessons that the Star Angeles have aimed to teach us in the past life, we shall have new aspects and new positions of the planets to help us further along the path of evolution. On the other hand, if we have “kicked against the pricks” in a previous life, we shall find that the screws will have been put on a little harder, that we will have been placed under influences a little stronger, so that in the end we must learn the lessons. And the quicker we do so, the better for us.
How may we pray to or address Saturn when he is in the ruling star causing us trouble and sorrow?
Answer: To understand what prayer is, let us use the illustration of an electric power house with wires to the different houses in the city. In each house there is a switch and when we turn that, the power which was hitherto outside in the wires and in the power house, enters our dwelling, illuminates it or runs motors, according to the laws of its manifestation. We may say that God primarily and the Seven planetary Spirits secondarily correspond to the power house which is wired to everyone of us, and prayer may be said to be the switch whereby we put ourselves in touch with the divine light and life, allowing it to flow into us and illuminate us for our spiritual uplifting.
It is a law that electricity will flow readily along copper or other metals, but is barred by glass, and before we can get the electricity into our houses we must have a switch made in conformity with this law, a copper switch. If we used a glass switch we would obtain no electricity; the glass switch would be a most effective way of altogether barring the electric fluid from our dwelling. In similar manner, if our prayers (which correspond to the switch) are in conformity with the laws of God, the divine purpose can manifest through us and our prayers are answered, but if we pray contrary to the will of God, naturally, such a prayer would operate in a similar manner to a glass switch in an electric circuit.
As a great nation sends its ambassador and plenipotentiaries to other nations, so there are also ambassadors from each one of the great Star Angels present upon our earth. Their names are as follows:
Ithuriel is the ambassador from Uranus. Cassiel is the ambassador from Saturn. Zachariel is the ambassador from Jupiter. Samael is the ambassador from Mars. Anael is the ambassador from Venus. Raphael is the ambassador from Mercury. Michael is the ambassador from the Sun. Gabriel is the ambassador from the Moon.
The moon is our satellite and is not in the same position as those of the other planets. The ambassadors from those planets are Archangels, while Gabriel is an Angel.
Ordinarily humanity prays to God. These prayers are at the present time mostly selfish and ignorant. The prayers of such people cannot receive attention from the ambassadors who have charge over the different departments of life, but are generally attended to, as far as may be, by the Invisible Helpers who work for the upliftment of their brethren. The occult astrologer, however, who knows what he wants and is able to work in harmony with the stellar forces, addresses the ambassadors of the Star Angels directly and obtains his desire more easily in that way. He studies the planetary hours when those stars have rule and at that time proffers his request which is usually for someone else, or for spiritual illumination concerning certain matters to be used for the common good.
QUESTIONS CONCERNING ANIMALS
Why do animals, which are a lower evolution, have an instinct which seems so much more reliable than the reason of human beings?
Answer: The answer to that question has to do with the descent of the Ego into matter, but in the first place, we must differentiate between the separate animal spirits and the group spirit, which is their guardian. The separate animal spirits are as yet not self-conscious, hence they act without question according to the suggestions of the group spirit. The latter 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 human spirits, on the other hand, have descended directly into the Physical World and are, consequently, blinded to a certain extent by the denser matter of this plane of existence. An illustration may perhaps serve to elucidate the reason of the fact that although the spirit is exceedingly wise in the higher worlds, the increased materiality which it attains on account of its descent necessarily obscures that wisdom.
The hand is the most valuable instrument of man and its dexterity is perhaps nowhere more apparent than in the case of a musician. A master musician may produce from his beloved instrument the most soul stirring melody by the caressing touch of his well trained and sensitive fingers, but let him put on a pair of gloves and at once the delicate touch has vanished; if he adds a second pair of gloves over the first pair and these are thicker and of heavier material, he will probably be unable to produce even a melody, and should he finally put a pair of mitts over the gloves, he would be unable to play at all, but would produce discord should he make the attempt. The various gloves on the hand of a musician find their counterpart in the different vehicles which the spirit puts on in its descent into matter. The mitt corresponds to the physical body.
Anyone seeing the musician attempt to play with the mitt on his hand, and who had not heard him play before he put on gloves, might suppose him incapable of playing, but the inference would be wrong. The human Ego is in a similar position, its spiritual powers have been obscured by the vehicles in which it is at present incased, but there will come a time when it has learned how to use these vehicles properly and then its spiritual power will shine forth in a splendor at present unimaginable.
Can you throw some light on what our attitude toward the lower forms of life should be?
Have we the right to kill anything harmless, since every living thing is in a sense our brother?
How about the venomous insects and reptiles?
Answer: There is only One Life in the Universe, which is God’s life. “In Him we live, and move and have our being.” And not only we, but all that lives is thus a manifestation of God. We are in time to become creators, as He is a Creator. But so long as we brutally destroy the forms of other beings we are hindering ourselves. The inquirer is right when he says that the lower animals are our brothers, but, sad to say, instead of caring for them and inspiring them with confidence and love, we have managed to make ourselves feared by every animal upon the face of the earth by the ruthless destruction we have spread among them, and it seems but a just retribution that we, ourselves, should be in constant fear of microscopic life in the form of bacilli, which cannot be killed by gun or knife.
As for the destructive insects and reptiles, they may in many cases be said to be an embodiment of our own evil thoughts and produced by our own unclean habits. Science has shows us how by proper sanitation we may get rid of them, at least in a very great measure, without the necessity of killing them. The larger reptiles, such as snakes, are not as dangerous as they are often thought to be. In the temples in India, where certain classes of people have cultivated an attitude of absolute harmlessness by refusing to kill even the smallest thing, one may see as a daily occurrence
venomous snakes crawling among the people congregated there, never doing them the slightest harm, and if we would cultivate a harmless attitude toward the lower creatures they would soon learn to trust us as they now fear us. Stories are on record of sailors who went to desert islands where man’s foot had never before trodden, and found the birds there perfectly devoid of fear until a number had been killed by the invading ruffians. Then the birds learned to fly away at the approach of man.
We have also made human beings into beasts of prey–thieves and robbers we call them–who waylay their fellow-men, deprive them of their goods and often harm them bodily, even to committing murder, and all as a result of our harsh treatment which is dictated by fear. If we had love we should have no fear, “for perfect love casteth out all fear”; and if we had no fear, nothing could harm us, for the fearless and trusting attitude is a safer protection than pistol and lock. Therefore, we should cultivate that attitude of love for everything that lives and breathes; we should cease killing the lower animals by the millions for food, and for sport, which is the worst form of cruelty. An attitude of love toward our fellow men would generate in them similar emotions and locksmiths and gunmakers would very soon be useless. We complain of the enormous taxes necessary to support a strong police force, the machinery of the courts, great jails and penitentiaries, but all of these institutions would disappear as if by magic if we would replace fear by love. The Bible pictures to us a time when the lion and the ox, the little child and the venomous reptile shall all play together in peace. That may indeed become a fact, for the beasts of prey have not always been carnivorous. In the far past man had his share in their development, and in the future it will be his task to change these conditions.
Are not venomous and destructive reptiles created by the evil thoughts of men, so far as the form is concerned? And, therefore, is it not an act of love to kill them and thus liberate the divine spark within so that it may occupy a higher form?
Answer: None of the animal forms which we see about us have been created by man. All these forms, from the highest to the lowest, are the emanations of group spirits, which are spiritual entities belonging to another evolution than the human kingdom, But man is a creator by means of his thoughts, and the evil thoughts, the thoughts of fear and hatred, do take form and in the course of centuries they crystallize into what we know as bacilli. The bacilli of infectious diseases are particularly the embodiments of fear and hate, and therefore they are also vanquished by the opposite force, courage. As a tuning fork will commence to vibrate when we strike another tuning fork of the same pitch, so also will these microscopic germs. If we enter the presence of a person infection with a contagious
disease in fear and trembling, we most assuredly draw to ourselves the death dealing poisonous microbes. If on the other hand, we approach that person in a perfectly fearless attitude, we shall escape the infection, particularly if we are prompted by love. But love does not prompt us to kill in the usual sense of the word. It is true that if we could deal directly with the life of evil and poisonous things and help them into a higher form, we might be doing good; but in the first place we are not capable of judging when that present form has outlived its usefulness, and, therefore, we cannot presume to take the responsibility of depriving the informing life of its instrument in loving kindness. The only time when we may sometimes properly kill for love is in case an animal has been maimed beyond chance of recovery, and we kill it to end its sufferings.
What is a Group Spirit, where is it, and what does it look like?
Answer: As a man has a body composed of many cells, each with an individual consciousness, so is a group spirit an entity functioning in the Spiritual Worlds and possessing a spiritual body composed of many
separate animal spirits. The group spirit itself cannot function in the Physical World, but it evolves by sending the different animal spirits into a form of body which it creates, and which then forms a species or tribe of animals, and the group spirit guides all these animal bodies by means of suggestions which we call instinct. When the body of an animal dies, the animal spirit has unconsciously derived a certain experience from functioning in that vehicle, and after a time it is reabsorbed into the spiritual body of the group spirit, where it remains for some time while the group spirit assimilates the experience gathered by that separate animal spirit. Thus in time the group spirit grows and evolves. So do the animal spirits which are its wards. They will become human in a future incarnation of the earth, and then the group spirit will look after them as race or a national spirit until they have become perfectly capable of taking care of themselves individually. The group spirits of the animals are in the Desire World and circle the surface of the earth. The group spirits of the plants are in that part of the Region of Concrete Thought which occupies the center of the earth, and the group spirits of the minerals have not yet properly entered the atmosphere of our earth. They are in the Region of Abstract Thought.
The group spirits of the animals are very often seen in the Desire World having human bodies and animal heads. The illustrations upon the Egyptian temples represent in a crude way the appearance of these group spirits. The trained investigator finds no difficulty in conversing with them and often he has cause to marvel at their erudition.
Are animals amenable to the Law of Causation?
Answer: No, not in the sense of being morally responsible. Of course, if an animal jumps out a window from a high building, that as a cause will produce lesions according to the nature of the fall it sustains, just as when a human beings jumps out of the window. But in the case of the animal there is only the physical effect shown by the hurt it suffers, while the man who deliberately commits such an act not only sustains certain lesions, but he is also morally responsible for the instrument which he possesses, and the law of causation brings to him an adequate moral retribution of such a nature that he will learn to take care of his instrument and not seek to destroy it by such acts in the future.
The reason why the animal has no moral responsibility is that is has no reasoning power, but ordinarily acts by direction of the group spirit which we call instinct, and it may be that instinct has instilled a fear into the animal which causes it to commit an act resulting in injury to its body. Before anyone can be morally responsible to the law of causation, he must have a certain free will and choice, also the power of reasoning properly, and, therefore, we reiterate that as animals are devoid of these attributes, they are not at all amenable morally to the law of causation.
Do animals live after death?
Answer: That which lives is the Spirit, which has neither beginning nor end, It Is. But what you mean is, most likely, does it persist in the shape of an animal? To that question we may say yes, it persists for a longer or a 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 crawls over the sidewalk and is stepped upon may be seen by the clairvoyant to walk a few feet away and then gradually fade to nothingness. It persists only for a few moments in its shape before the spirit returns to the central source of the group spirit. In the case of a horse, a 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. As an illustration we may mention a case which attracted considerable attention a few years ago when Rider Haggard, the English novelist, published a remarkable dream. He had a dog to whom he was very much attached, and one night he dreamed that the dog came to him showing signs of embarrassment and distress, beckoning him to come along. Rider Haggard in his dream followed the dog which led the way some distance to a brook. There among some bulrushes, it showed Rider Haggard itself lying dead, looking up at him in mute and piteous appeal for an explanation.
When Rider Haggard woke the following morning, he remembered the dream most vividly, but took no notice of it until later in the day when it was discovered that the dog was missing. After a search had been made in the immediate neighborhood, Rider Haggard finally betook himself to the spot seen in his dream. There he found among the bulrushes the body of his dog in the very position he had seen it in his dream. Explanations, of course, could not be given; it was a puzzling experience and that was all. But to the occultist it is very plain that the intelligent dog, having met death and finding itself in the Desire World at night, went to its master, who was at that time also outside his body, and brought him to the place of the accident in order to obtain his help and explanation.
When a pet dog or cat dies, does the entire Group Spirit to which it belongs die at the same time? Also what becomes of the animal soul, and does the human love and care it has received help it on its upward journey?
Answer: The question shows that the inquire has not the proper idea of what a group spirit is. As our body is composed of innumerable cells, each cell having its own little cell life, but all the cells subjected to our own central intelligence, so the group spirit of a species of animals is
a spiritual entity belonging to a different evolution and having a spiritual body composed of many evolving animal spirits. These animal spirits it sends into incarnation from time to time into the animal bodies of its tribe, one spirit to each body, and at death they return to the group spirit, having gained a higher grade of consciousness than when they were born. This helps the group spirit to evolve, and in return it governs the spirits of the separate animals in its tribe. Like all other spirits, a group spirit cannot die. It is the guardian of the animal spirits, and as they evolve the spiritual body of the group spirit undergoes a metamorphosis. When the separate animal spirits have evolved sufficiently, they become individualized human beings, but continue in charge of the same group spirit, as we see nations or races under the domination of a race spirit. They do not become their own masters until they have evolved even beyond the point of having family or national ties. That was why Christ said that “unless a man leave father and mother he cannot follow me,” for father and mother are bodies–they are ties and clogs. The spirits have no father and no mother, but are all one in the ultimate.
As to what becomes of the animal soul at death, we may say that after passing out of this body it soon returns to the group spirit, and the love and care which we have given it naturally further it greatly in its evolution, for while the wild animals act entirely under the dictates of the group spirit by that which we call instinct, the domestic animals show a capability of thought, entirely beyond their normal evolution at the present time. They have received that ability from us on the same principle that when we take a wire highly charged with electricity and place another wire which is not charged close to it, the uncharged wire will become charged
with electricity of a lower voltage. In a similar manner the animal which comes in contact with human beings is not itself capable of thinking, but learns to do so in a measure by this contact. And we may safely infer that those animals which have become domesticated will in time become the teachers of their less advanced brothers.
What substance does a person or animal throw off whereby they can be traced, as, for example, criminals are traced by bloodhounds?
Answer: When a clairvoyant looks at other persons with etheric sight for the first time, he is usually astonished at beholding showers of stars, pyramids, double pyramids and all other geometrical forms issuing from their hands and faces, and he wonders greatly what they are. Later on, he learns that they are the crystals of which his body is composed and which are thus being excreted by the skin. Most of the excretions remain in the clothing, and furnish bloodhounds or dogs with the necessary starting point for their search. As these atoms decay, they emit an effluvia similar to that of all
decaying bodies. This effluvia we sense ourselves where soiled clothing is left unlaundered for some time. The dogs, having a keener scent than human beings, distinguish between the effluvia from one person and another, and as the atoms left by a person fleeing from justice are strewn along the path he has taken, it is easy for the bloodhound to distinguish these from the atoms of other people or animals for a short time after the fugitive has passed.
What is the origin of life?
Answer: When that question is asked a scientist, he will commence to tell us about protoplasm, protyle or something else of a like nature, but that is form. No matter how small, insignificant and simple that form may be, it is still a form, and from the occultist’s point of view, the question is poorly put, for the spirit, is, was and will always be. As Sir Edwin Arnold says in his beautiful poem, “The Song Celestial”:
"Never the spirit was born; the spirit shall cease to be never; Never was time it was not; End and Beginning are dreams! Birthless and deathless and changeless remaineth the spirit for ever; Death hath not touched it at all, dead though the house of it seems! "Nay, but as when one layeth his worn-out robes away,, And, taking new ones, sayeth, 'These will I wear today!' So putteth by the spirit lightly its garb of flesh, And passeth to inherit a residence afresh."
It is Life that builds the Forms and uses them for a time in order that it may progress thereby. When their usefulness has ceased the life passes on, leaving the forms behind, and then they are dead. Thus the question should rather be “How did the dead originate?” for life IS–it has neither origin nor termination.
What is matter? Is it not unreal?
Answer: There are various theories of matter. If we ask the materialist he, of course, maintains that matter is the one reality; that all and everything is matter and that nothing can exist except that. The Christian Scientist is of the very opposite opinion. He holds that matter is nonexistent–a delusion; that everything that is, is Spirit, and so those two classes of people are the very antitheses of one another. But the truth is between.
When God desires to manifest, He emanates within Himself the thought forms of such a universe as he desires to create, and these archetypal ideas are spirit when first emanated in that central source. But under the influence of time and space, they slowly crystallize and become that which we know as matter. This is a similar process to that which we may observe in the case of a snail. The juices of its soft and flexible body gradually crystallize into the hard and flinty shell which is incapable of moving save as propelled by the snail. Thus, as the house of the snail is
crystallized snail, so matter is crystallized Spirit. And as the house of the snail remains stationary when not moved by the snail, so matter is immobile save when moved by the spirit. But in the course of time the snail’s house goes to decay. The matter of which it was formed is broken up into minute particles and becomes available for the building of other flexible forms–it may become the body of a snail again. So, also the crystallized spirit–matter–is re-etherealized and becomes spirit again. Matter evolves as well as spirit, for it becomes more ethereal, more flexible, and more amenable to the impacts of spirit when it is built into different forms time after time.
Thus we may say with the Christian Scientist that all is spirit, that which appears as matter being in reality spirit in a state of crystallization, and we may also agree with the materialist that all is matter, for spirit which has not yet crystallized into matter will eventually do so. It is a mistake to consider anything in God’s Universe as unreal; both matter and spirit are real. They are the positive and negative poles of God.
You said in a previous lecture that the Earth is the body of a Spirit which gives its life for the dwellers upon the surface. Why does it give flowers and fruit to some and earthquake and famine to others?
Answer: During the interval between death and a new birth, the discarnate spirits who have reached the Second Heaven where the archetypes of everything are, build their future environment in which they reap what they have sown. If they have been diligent in past lives, if they have tilled the soil and made two blades of grass to grow where there was only one, they will build for themselves a still more fertile land which will yield greater fruits for less labor. If they have spent their time thinking of Nirvana, a heavenly place of rest and indolence, and have loved more to enter into metaphysical discussion than to look after material things, they will continue to do so in the Second Heaven, and in consequence their land will be arid when they come back to earth life. They will then experience famine, flood and earthquake, so that they may realize the necessity of providing for material conditions. Thus they will in time learn their lesson and strive to conquer this world as we have done in the West, for, of course, the inquirer has reference to the people of the East who suffer from flood and famine. They are our younger brethren, behind us in evolution, and must follow in our footsteps. They must learn to forget, for a time, the spiritual worlds in order to attain the development which only the material world can give them. Thus, there is a deep purpose in the famine which is at present their lot and there is a purpose as deep in our
prosperity. Their famine will eventually drive them into more material conditions, but we, having a land of plenty with all the good things of this world, where ingenious inventions make life easier on every hand, will eventually say to ourselves, when we have been satisfied with these material blessings, “What is the good of it all? Give us, rather, the spiritual things,” and we will then enter a spiritual development much higher than that of the East.
What is meant by the sentence “Man, know thyself?”
Answer: This sentence was found above the entrance to a Greek mystery temple as an indication of the fact that it is obligatory upon man to thoroughly understand the mystery of his own nature, which is much deeper than is apparent on the surface. This, on the principle of the hermetic axiom, “as above, so below.” When he understands himself and knows himself, he will be able by analogy to know about God. For it is truly said that “Man was made in the image of God.”
But to know himself it is not only necessary that he should understand that which he sees, the physical body, but also the invisible bodies which are the causes of his thoughts, feelings and emotions. This was the teaching given in the mystery temples.
There is still another and a far deeper meaning to that sentence. When we ask ourselves the causes of all the sorrow and the misery in the world, we must revert to the earliest epochs of the earth’s existence to solve our problem. In the first two Epochs, the Polarian and the Hyperborean, man was a complete creative unit, capable of sending forth from himself the forces which generated a body for another being. But in the Lemurian Epoch, when it became necessary to build a brain and a larynx, the sex force was divided and one half retained in order to accomplish that object. Only the other half remained available for generation. Then man ceased to know himself, but “Adam knew his wife,” and as a result she bore him children.
The spirit inherently feels its own divine creative nature and secretly rebels against the necessity of seeking the cooperation of another to generate. As a result, sorrow, trouble and pain have come into the world, and will exist so long as the present method of procreation makes it necessary for two to cooperate to perpetuate the species. And it was the glorious goal that is set before humanity in the future–the coalition of the two poles of the creative force which will again make man an individual Creator complete in himself–that was adumbrated in the mystery words, “Man, know thyself.”
The Apostle John, in his First Epistle, the 3rd chapter, 8th verse, tells us the way of attainment where he says that “He that commiteth sin is of the devil…For this purpose was the Son of God manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil….Whosoever is born of God does not commit sin, for his seed remaineth in him.”
Where the animal propensities are catered to and an abnormal use is made of the sex force, a man is apt to become an idiot, but the thoughts of a spiritual man are pure, chaste and full of wisdom.
At the present time, cooperation of the sexes is necessary to procreation of vehicles for Egos who are coming to rebirth, but the time will come when man will cease to create in that manner. He will know himselfF. Concentrated thought as the seed will remain within himself, but he will manifest it by means of the larynx as a Creative Word, a word that will form things in the Physical World. Then it will no longer be necessary for mankind to seek the cooperation of one another in providing new vehicles. This he was taught in the mystery schools, which are way stations upon the path of attainment, and therefore the saying “Man, know thyself” was inscribed upon the Delphian oracle.
What is the Holy Grail?
Answer: The story of the Holy Grail is one of the myths used by the great leaders of humanity to convey to us spiritual truths in symbols which would at that time have been incomprehensible to our infant intellect.
The Grail story is found, variously told, in all the earlier races as far back as we can trace religious teaching, and libraries have been written about this wonderful mystic panacea for all ills.
In medieval times many versions of this legend were recited by minstrels, minnesingers, troubadours or master-singers. Most beautiful, perhaps, was the simple version of Wolfram von Eschenbach, which was taken in hand by the master artist of the nineteenth century, Richard Wagner, in his famous music drama “Parsifal.”
The story relates that on the night when our Savior ate the last supper with His disciples, He drank from a certain cup or chalice, and later on, when the lifeblood flowed from His wounded side, Joseph of Arimathea caught the life blood of our dying Savior in yon chalice. He also took the spear wherewith that wound had been inflicted. These relics he carried with him for many years, and such was the wonderful life giving power of the Savior’s blood that it sustained him throughout all his privations, in prison, and on his wanderings. At last, the relics were taken up into heaven for a time in the care of Angels, but one night there appeared a mystic messenger sent from God to the holy Titurel with command that he build a castle high in the air, upon a mountain top, and there gather around himself a bank of knights, who must be chaste and pure. These Grail Knights were permitted to behold the sacred relics at stated times and thus they became inspired with desire and power to go into the world to do mighty spiritual deeds. In time Titurel gave the wardership of the Grail to his son Amfortas and in his reign as King of the Grail, a sad calamity befell the Grail Knights.
There lived in “a heathen vale” below the castle a black knight by the name of Klingsor who desired to become a Knight of the Grail. He was not chaste, so in order to meet the condition he mutilated himself in such a manner that it became impossible for him to gratify desire. But when he applied to the holy Titurel, the latter saw his heart and refused him admittance. Then Klingsor swore that if he might not serve the Grail, the Grail should serve him. He peopled the garden of his magic castle with illusory phantasmic flower maidens who waylaid the Knights of the Grail on their passage to and from the castle, seduced them and thus disqualified them for further service as Grail Knights.
Fearing that all the Knights of the Grail would become prisoners of Klingsor, Amfortas decided to fight the black magician. He took with him the holy spear to accomplish his object. But Klingsor evoked Kundry, who is a creature of two existences. At one time she is the faithful and willing servitor of the Grail, at another time the unwilling tool of Klingsor. When serving the Grail, she is humble, obedient and simply clad. Under the spell of Klingsor, she becomes beautiful in the extreme, a woman of seducing charms, and these she is forced to use as Klingsor bids her, for he has power over her by virtue of the fact that he is not susceptible to her charms on account of his act of mutilation.
Kundry meets Amfortas, who falls before her charms. While lying in her arms the spear falls from his hand and is snatched by the waiting Klingsor, who inflicts a wound that cannot heal, and for many years the King suffers tortures, particularly when he unveils the Holy Grail for the benefit of his knights. Then the spear wound commences to bleed anew, causing him the most excruciating pain.
Roughly speaking, the giving one of the several valid interpretations which appertain to the Grail mystery, as to other symbols, Kundry is the negative dense body which at one time is under the control of the higher nature symbolized by the Grail Knights, and another time ruled by the lower desire nature symbolized by Klingsor, which tempts the spirit to forsake its higher ideals, and causes suffering when temptation is yielded to. In Parsifal, the pure and guileless one, we see the man who overcomes and therefore succeeds to the wardership of the Grail.
On Good Friday morning, 1857, Richard Wagner sat at the Villa Wesendonck by the Zurich Sea, and as he looked about him the sun was shining, all nature was smiling and from the millions of seeds buried in the ground around him, innumerable plants and flowers were sprouting. The thought struck Wagner, “What is the connection between the death of the Savior at this time of the year and this manifold sprouting life,” and in that thought he came very near to the key to the mystery of the Grail, for the Grail was a Mystery School, one of many which existed in the Middle Ages. The stories of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table are not fables, they are facts. There was such a Mystery School in Wales as late as the time of Queen Elizabeth. And these Mystery Schools exist to the very present day, though not as publicly known as they were in the more spiritual medieval times. The Mystery of King Arthur dealt more with the material and temporal side of life than the Mystery of the Grail, which was altogether pure and spiritual. And there the pupil was taught, not in words, but the feeling was given to him, a teaching from within, which we may express as follows:
You see all around you the various kingdoms in the world. There is man, animal, plant and mineral. The life which is in each of these kingdoms is the one universal life of God, which manifests through all these various forms. When the forms decay it becomes necessary to provide other forms in their places, hence the generative activity which serves this purpose. In the plant kingdom, which is beneath you, that activity is pure, chaste and immaculate. There is no passion connected with it in any respect.
In the kingdoms of the Gods, which are beyond you, it is also carried on as a process of regeneration which is pure and holy. But in the kingdoms which stand between the plant and the gods, conditions are the reverse of chaste. Man and animal are passionate. Man is, in fact, the inverted plant. The plant is unashamed and stretches its creative organ, the flower, towards the sun, a thing of beauty and delight, pure, chaste and passionless. Man turns his creative organ toward the earth; he hides it with shame because it is filled with passion. In time man is to become a god, he is to use his creative ability for the benefit of others and not for sense gratification. And so in time man must become plant-like on a higher scale. Therefore, you see this symbol: The pod of the plant which holds the seed is the Grail Cup, and the spear which brings that seed forth from the flower is the ray of the sun. You, also, must learn to take the solar force, which is the builder of all forms, and use it in your creative organ without passion, so that that which you create shall be immaculately conceived and not as now begotten in sin.
The juice of the plant flows through its green stem and leaves uncolored, pure and chaste. Your blood is red and filled with passion, but in the regeneration that blood must be cleansed by the spiritual force which will come to you from the spiritual sun, as the forces from the physical sun bring forth the juice of the plant. And having become thus regenerated, you will die as a man to be resurrected a God.
What was the connection between the pyramid builders of Egypt and the pyramid builders of Central America? Which is the older civilization?
Answer: Anthropological researches have shown that the Negro races have a long, narrow head, narrow eye sockets and flat hair. The Mongolian races, the Indians, etc., have round heads, round eye sockets and their hair is round. The head of the white races is oval, so are the eye sockets and the hair, showing that we have upon earth three kinds of people and these are the remnants of the Lemurian Race which lived in the Third Epoch of the earth’s development. The Mongolians, Indians, etc., are the remnants of the Atlantean peoples and the white races are the present Aryans. Upon examination, it will be found that the Egyptians belonged to our present Aryan races, while the Aztecs show the peculiarities of skull, orbit and hair distinctive of the Atlantean people. Therefore that civilization is older than the Egyptian.
Not much has been written concerning the pyramids of Central America, but Piazzi Smith and Richard Proctor, both professional astronomers, have written considerable concerning the pyramids of Egypt, and have endeavored to find out what their use was. From the measurements of the pyramids, Piazzi Smith deduces the theory that they were built by divine architects, a theory which Professor Proctor ridicules, although he finds the measurements support the theories of Professor Smith, but he attributes it to coincidence. When the base of the pyramid measures as many hundreds of inches as there are days in a year; when the diagonals of the base show the same number of inches as there are years in the great sidereal world year, it merely happened so, in the estimation of Professor Proctor. These coincidences are so numerous, however, that to an unbiased mind they appear to be an embodiment of a definite design. Professor Proctor, being an unwilling witness for the theory that the Pyramid was designed for astrological purposes, gives augmented value to his testimony when he admits that of all the theories advanced concerning the use of the pyramids, the theory that they were built for astrological purposes, is the only one that can withstand the weight of the contrary evidence. Therefore, though he characterizes it as a wild theory, it is the only tenable one, according to evidence.
As a matter of fact, the pyramids were temples of initiation, built by the Hierophants of the lesser mysteries, and as initiation of candidates is founded upon the passage of the heavenly bodies, the stars, through the twelve signs of the zodiac, so naturally, these temples of initiation embodied all the cosmic measurements. Only the pyramid of Cheops among the Egyptian group was thus used. The others were simply imitations built at later times by some of the Pharaohs. The lesser mysteries have
existed in different parts of the world and at various times. In India, in Egypt, in Greece, and also in Central America. Therefore, the connection between the pyramid builders of one part of the world and another is that they were all the Hierophants of the lesser mysteries and that their temples were used for purposes of initiations.
What is the essential difference between the teachings of the Rosicrucian Philosophy and the Orthodox Church?
Answer: There are many, but perhaps the principal one is the teaching of orthodoxy that at each birth a newly created soul enters material existence fresh from the hand of God, that it lives here in a material body for a longer or shorter span of time and then passes out by death into the invisible beyond, there to remain for all eternity in a state of happiness or misery according to what it did while here in the body.
The Rosicrucian teaching is that each soul is an integral part of God, which is seeking to gain experience by repeated existences in gradually improving material bodies and that, therefore, it passes into and out of material existences many times; that each time it gathers a little more experience than it previously possessed and in time is nourished from nescience to omniscience–from impotence to omnipotence–by means of these experiences.
Our sense of justice revolts against a teaching which sends one soul into a home of culture and a noble family where it has the advantage of wealth, where moral teachings are implanted in the growing child, but sends another into the slums, its father a thief and the mother, perhaps, immoral, and where its teachings consist in lying, stealing, etc. If here only once, all should have the same chance if they are to be judged by the same laws, and we know that no two people have the same experiences in life. We know that where one meets many temptations, another lives comparatively untouched by the storms of life. Therefore, when one soul is placed in a moral environment and another in immoral surroundings, it is not right to send the one to a heaven of enjoyment and eternal bliss for doing the right he could not help doing, nor is it just to send the other to a hell for stealing and robbing when the environment and the conditions into which he was thrown were such that he could not help himself.
Therefore, the Rosicrucian teaching holds that we come into whatever place is best fitted for us by our previous experiences in former lives, and that we get just what we deserve in all cases; that all experiences which come to us are just what we need to give us the appropriate impetus for our next step in unfoldment.
Kindly state the essentials wherein the Rosicrucian Philosophy differs from Theosophy.
Answer: We are not as much concerned in seeking out differences as in finding agreements. It may be said, however, that the Rosicrucian Philosophy is the Western teaching given to the Western people at this time for their advancement. If we take Theosophy as meaning Theo Sophia (Divine Wisdom), then, of course, the Rosicrucian Philosophy is only a part of that Divine Wisdom, like all other religious systems. But if we take theosophy to mean the philosophy promulgated by the Theosophical Society, or Societies, for there are several brands, then we may say that the Rosicrucian teaching is much more comprehensive and complete. Besides, in teaching their philosophy the Rosicrucians are diametrically opposed to the method of the Theosophical Society, which has for its objects:
First, The formation of a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood,
Second, The study of comparative religion, and
Third, The investigation of the unexplained laws in nature and the power latent in man.
The Brothers of the Rosy Cross contend that the majority of advanced people are in sympathy with the idea of Universal Brotherhood, and that we need not be theosophists to have that idea at heart. Countless other societies have altruistic ideas along the lines of brotherhood. Many scientists are studying comparative religion and doing it exceedingly well. It is not necessary to be a theosophist in order to follow that object, but it is necessary to be an occultist in order to follow out the third object of the Theosophical Society, namely, the study of the unexplained laws of nature and the powers latent in man.
Therefore, the Rosicrucians recommend that all thoughts be centered upon living such a life and practicing such exercises as will develop the latent powers in each pupil so that he may see and know the invisible worlds whence come the causes we see manifested here. When this object is attained, and not till then, is he capable of investigating the unexplained laws of nature. He is then also in a much better position than the scientists or anyone else to study comparative religion, for he sees the central source from when all religions sprang, each being adapted to the people to whom given. He also sees how they fit into the grand scheme of evolution, and when he has become capable of reaching the consciousness of the inner worlds the unity of life is so apparent that he does not need to trouble himself about the first object of the Theosophical Society, the universality of the One Life which makes brotherhood a fact in nature, beyond necessity of statement.
To reach that last step, we must have the true view of the matter. We may preach to a stove that its duty is to heat and warm us, but unless we comply with the laws of its nature and put fuel into it, our preaching will be of no avail. On similar principle, unless we reach the step of exaltation where our hearts are filled with the divine love, we may preach and put forth teachings concerning Universal Brotherhood, but it will do no good. If we fill the stove with fuel, it will heat us, and if we fill our hearts with love they will radiate that quality without statement of objects such as the first one mentioned.
Therefore, the principal difference between the Theosophical Society and the Rosicrucian Fellowship is a complete reversion of method. For, whereas the Theosophical Society aims to form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood by the study of comparative religion and only take up the development of the hidden side of man’s nature last–and many even decry development of the hidden powers–the Rosicrucian teaching urges the pupil first of all to live the life, to concentrate all the powers of his being to so walk that he may be fitted for possession of the soul-powers absolutely essential to the investigations he contemplates.
Is the White Lodge of the Theosophical Society the same as the Temple of the Rosicrucians?
Answer: No, the Theosophical Society is simply an exoteric organization for the dissemination of a certain philosophy, mostly derived from the Eastern Religions, while the Rosicrucian Fellowship aims to promulgate the teachings of the Western Mystery School, the Order of Rosicrucians, which is secret and not accessible to anyone except upon direct invitation.
As to the relation of the Order of Rosicrucians and kindred Mystery Order to the White Lodge, we may say that there are in different places of the earth a number of these schools of the lesser mysteries, each of them composed of twelve brethren, and also a thirteenth member. The latter is the link between the different schools, and all these heads or thirteenth members compose what is ordinarily known as the White Lodge, namely, a supreme conclave of the Eldest among our Brothers, who are now in full charge of human evolution and plan the steps we are to follow in order to advance.
What do you understand by the term Master, and is the Rosicrucian Fellowship movement inspired by them?
Answer: In the far East the pupil who aspires to the higher life seeks a “Master” and is bound hand and foot, figuratively speaking, to that Master. He must blindly follow the instructions of his Master, without the least hesitancy or exhibition of curiosity concerning the purpose of whatever directions are given him. He must render the Master personal service of whatever kind required and at whatever cost or inconvenience to himself, and thus, in short, he becomes virtually the slave of an often very exacting taskmaster.
That seems to be a very barbaric method, but it is doubtless the only way to overcome the indolence of the Oriental, and as they are a backward class of Egos they are accustomed to servility and subserviency, so that it works no hardship to their finer feelings. But here in the West such a method would be altogether degrading, for we have advanced to such a stage of individuality that we can only progress by action from within, and if we make any promises or take any vows we ought not to obligate ourselves to anyone else, but make our promises and vows to ourselves; for if we cannot keep our vows to ourselves, we certainly cannot keep promises made to others.
Furthermore, we may break a promise given to someone else and deceive him into believing that we have kept our faith, but we cannot deceive ourselves. If we break a promise made to ourselves we know it at once, and therefore the pupil in the West is instructed to make his promises to himself, for that is stronger than any vow to an outsider. The teacher in the West is the closest friend and adviser of the pupil, for he follows the example of the Christ, who said to his disciples: “This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you. Ye are my friends if ye do what I command you (and) 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, chapter 15, verses 12, 14, 15.
The Rosicrucian Fellowship is not backed by these teachers or inspired by them; they gave certain teachings to the writer on the condition that he should spread them to the best of his ability, and announced their readiness to help others who would qualify for that instruction. Students of these teachings have banded together for the benefit of associated study, but there is no hard and fast organization, nor is it intended to form one, but to let people obtain this teaching anywhere they please. We prefer that they should remain in their churches.
If one who believes in the teachings advanced by the Rosicrucians earnestly maintains that they are true, is he not in danger of becoming dogmatic and intolerant of the opinions of others? And what should be his attitude towards those who refuse to accept these teachings?
Answer: It is of utmost importance that we should recognize the fact that, at least in our present limited existence, we cannot possible arrive at truth in the ultimate. Therefore, that which seems to us “truth, and the whole truth” is most likely after all only a part of the truth. As we evolve and become capable of understanding more and more, our conceptions of life, the world, and God, change. Therefore, we ought at all times to have the open mind so that we may receive new truth, we should never forget the fact that there are still greater truths which we have not yet learned. Then we are open minded and cannot become creed bound or hide bound.
Some people grow so extremely enthusiastic when they have found something which appeals to them as truth, that they at once commence a veritable crusade to compel others to share it with them. That is a great mistake. If we go into a church and commence asking questions which raise doubts in the minds of the members and make them uneasy concerning their faith, we may easily cause a sad state of disturbance. If that which we have to give appeals to them and becomes an anchor to them, so that they may rest in the new and higher faith, well and good. But if it so happens that that which we have to give is beyond them, is unacceptable, we may lead them into an extremely unhappy frame of mind and they may turn to materialism, atheism or some other dreadful, skeptical attitude. Their life, in that case, will lie at our door. We should always make it a rule in the world to be very quiet about what we believe or do not believe, though never neglectful to say a little word where an opportunity is given, and if that word brings an inquiry we should answer it fearlessly. Thus we may gradually lead the inquirer on. He will not be thus led unless he is seeking, and when we find out that he desires the information, we should give him all he wants and give it freely. But we reiterate that it is a serious responsibility to thrust our opinion upon ears that are unwilling or not ready.
How is it that not many who study the highest philosophy interest themselves in bettering industrial conditions, such as the abolition of wage slavery, which is as degrading and brutal as Negro slavery?
Answer: All occultists recognize the crying needs of the day, and none long more ardently for the day of liberation, the day when brotherly love shall be a fact, when the nations shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks, as prophesied by Isaiah, but they go about making these conditions in a different way. Socialistic Labor Unions and such like organizations are seeking to better conditions, but the occultist maintains that their methods are inefficient, and frustrate lasting realization of their object, for there can be no doubt that it is men who make conditions and not conditions that make the men. If, therefore, we seek to better humanity and raise their standard of right and wrong, if we seek to elevate their ideals, then when men have become better, as a natural consequence, conditions will be better.
Under the present conditions, when labor unions, by strike or through the employer’s fear of a strike, have succeeded in gaining a better condition, the employer at once commences to plot how he may checkmate them and frustrate their object. He bands together with other employers for mutual protection and these organizations are always at war with the labor unions. The better conditions which are obtained by one are continually changed by the other. When, however, the employer as well as the employed have been Christianized an have learned to do unto others as they would have
others do unto them, there will be no necessity for labor unions, for the employers will look out for the welfare of their employees and anticipate their wants. This state of affairs, the occultist believes, can be brought about by thinking about it, because all things and all conditions have first been thoughts in the minds of men. Therefore, he earnestly prays that the minds of men may be opened to the fact of universal brotherhood, that they may take into their hearts the love of God and become united in seeking to do the right instead of separately planning how to oppress and intimidate others.
Can anyone study occultism, live the higher life and be a millionaire?
Answer: Christ said to the rich young man, “Go, get rid of all thou hast,” but the young man, being very much taken up with the good things of this life, went away sadly, and the Christ remarked concerning the difficulty besetting the rich man’s entrance into heaven. He did not say that it is impossible, but he knew what a snare and a temptation there is in riches. Nevertheless, a man may be a millionaire and still striving to
live the higher life. Riches are a clog and a fetter, but it would be absolutely wrong to infer that riches prevent occult development. All depends upon what vie a man takes of his riches. If he uses them for the purpose of self-aggrandizement and to oppress his fellowmen, of course there can be no spiritual growth, but where a man regards himself as the steward of his possessions, and where he aims to build factories having model conditions and model tenement houses, etc., where he works strenuously himself to see that his philanthropic ideas are being carried out, and that his fellowmen are receiving good conditions and every chance for self improvement, wealth is an enormous power for good. When a man works thus unselfishly for the welfare of others he will not have much chance to think of self-improvement, and his spiritual growth will be unconscious rather than obvious. Nevertheless, he will progress enormously, and his opportunities to do better and greater work will increase as the years pass by in this life and also in future lives. That was really the meaning of the parable of the talents. Those who used their talents were made rulers over a number of cities in order to give them adequate employment in the evolutionary scheme. On the other hand, if a man owns a factory and becomes so imbued with a desire for occult development that he selfishly sells out his factory and throws his workmen out of employment in order that he may develop his own powers and live the higher life, such a man is shirking his duty and will undoubtedly receive a rebuke at the hands of the Master, for he has buried his talent and in a new life he will find himself deprived of the opportunity which he has neglected.
Do you believe in capital punishment? Is it not better and more merciful than imprisonment for life?
Answer: Among the savages might is right, the stronger always overpowers the weaker. We pride ourselves that in our civilization we have come to a higher stage, and that we practice altruism in all departments of our polity. Nevertheless, although we do not go out with a club and promiscuously murder our fancied adversaries, except in war, we do murder in a refined way by what we call law. There was a time when the thief was hanged by law. Nowadays we designate such punishment barbaric, but capital punishment is still a blot upon our civilization. Besides, we are much more refined in our cruelty than the people in older civilizations, for they hanged or beheaded the so-called criminal in short order, while we keep him incarcerated for years, subject him to the torture of long jury trials, set the day for his execution a long way ahead and allow him in the meantime to suffer death by anticipation during all the intervening time.
We profess that our object is not retaliation, but plead that it is necessary to safeguard society and to deter others from committing like crimes, but capital punishment promotes murder. When a man has homicidal tendencies, he should be properly restrained so that he may not hurt his fellowmen. To kill him, however, does not restrain him; death liberates him in the Desire World, and as the Desire World is all about us he is at perfect liberty to go among people and instill into them thoughts of hatred and vengeance against society. Therefore, murder is
multiplied. Besides, homicidal mania is aided by the press. The glaring headlines which recite the ghastly minutiae of the crime incite others to go and at likewise. If the press would only be silent about murders and suicides we should have a great deal less crime in the land, and it is very gratifying to see that there are at least some newspapers, for instance a Christian Science publication, which refuses to print anything that is not good.
As to the part of the question which says, “Is death not better than imprisonment for life?” we may say “Perhaps, under the present conditions of prison regime, it is.” But that branch of our institutions also calls for reform and we have much to do and undo in our treatment of those whom we call criminals. They are our brothers, just as much as the so-called respectable members of society who have not yet committed the unpardonable crime of being found out. It is true that we have made prison life somewhat better and less barbaric than it used to be. It is also true that we have probation and suspended sentences nowadays, but we are far from treating these weaker brothers properly yet. If we could understand thoroughly that they are our brothers and treat them as we would treat a weak brother who was the son of our own mother, we should be doing nearer right, for who amongst us if his own brother committed a wrong would send him to prison with scorn or call him “jail bird” when he had served his sentence, or ostracize him for life because of a weakness? When a person is sick with typhoid fever we do not get angry with him and send him to the hospital for a month; we send him there until cured, we take good care of him, and aim to aid him in recovering his health, and we rejoice with him when he is well. A criminal is weak and mentally sick. He should not be sent to prison for a term, but should be sent to an institution where
he could be properly taught and helped to overcome his weakness. Not until we treat our weaker brothers with such loving care may we say that we have risen above the barbarian maxim of demanding an eye for an eye. How can we dare to pray “forgive us our transgressions as we forgive those who trespass against us,” while we treat these poor brothers as we do even now?
What is the viewpoint of the Rosicrucians on woman suffrage?
Answer: The spirit is neither male nor female, but manifests alternately as man and woman, so that looking at woman suffrage from the larger standpoint, it would be to the advantage of the men of the present day to grant women that which is really their right–a full and complete equality in every particular. The double social standard which obtains at the present time, where by a man may commit the social sin without being ostracized, should be done away with. Woman’s work should be paid as much as man’s work, and in every case the lines which are laid down so admirably in Edward Bellamy’s novel, “Looking Backward,” should be followed.
The advisability of this equitable social arrangement will be evident if we look at life from the viewpoint that this earth life is but one in many, and that we are born as men and women alternately; but there are other reasons why woman should be given the franchise. In man the dense body is positive and man’s positive forces are therefore particularly focused upon the Chemical Region of the Physical World. He is most particularly interested in that which he can weigh, measure, analyze and work with in his daily life; his development is particularly along the material lines, shaping the earth and everything upon it to suit his fancy, but taking little or not interest in the spiritual side of things.
Woman, on the other hand, has the positive vital body and as a result is intuitively in touch with the spiritual vibrations of the universe. She is more idealistic and imaginative, taking a great interest in all the things which make for the moral upliftment of the race, and as it is only by the moral and the spiritual growth that humanity can advance at this time, she is really the prime factor in evolution. It would be of an enormous benefit to the race if she were given an equal right with man in every particular. For not until then can we hope to see reforms brought about that will really unite humanity. We see that by analogy if we will look into the home, where woman is really the central pillar around which both husband and children cluster. According to her ability she makes the home what it is, she is the cementing influence and the peacemaker. The father may pass out by death or otherwise, the children may leave, while the mother remains, the home is there; but when the mother is taken away by death, the home is at once broken up.
Some have argued, “Yes, but when she is taken away by politics the home will be broken up just as much.” But of that there need be no fear. During the transition stage while women have to fight for their rights, and, possibly, a short time afterward, until they have adjusted themselves, there may in some cases a neglect of the home, but in the places where it has already been tried no homes have been broken up and much good has been achieved, for women can always be counted upon to stand for any improvement which makes for morality. While laws are only makeshifts to bring humanity to a higher plane where each one will be a law unto himself, doing right without coercion, it is nevertheless necessary that such reforms should be brought about at the present time by legislation.
If occultists abstain from flesh eating because it requires a tragedy in its preparation, and they do not wish to be a party to taking life, either directly or by proxy, is it not also taking life when we eat eggs or fruit, vegetables, etc.?
Answer: The case mentioned by the inquirer is very different from taking life by killing an animal. In fact, while it is necessary to kill an animal in order to obtain its flesh, and we are, therefore, doing it harm, we are actually helping a tree when we take the fruit away from it, as will be readily seen when we understand the process of germination.
The process is the same with animals as with human beings, and in fact with all kingdoms. When an animal is to be born, the group spirit, helped by nature spirits and angels, fashions the vital body of the coming animal, which is then deposited in the womb of the mother and the seed atoms are deposited in the semen of the male; then gestation takes place and an animal is born. Without the presence of the seed atom and the matrix vital body no dense animal body can be formed. Similar conditions govern fecundation in the case of an egg, or of a plant seed. They are like the female ova–they are so many opportunities. If an egg is put into an incubator or under a hen, the group spirit sends for the requisite life, accepting the opportunity for embodiment. If a seed is dropped in the soil, that is also fertilized when the proper conditions have been made for its development, but not before. When an egg is crushed, cooked or in other ways disqualified for its primal designation, or where a seed is stored for years perhaps, there is no life, and consequently we do no wrong when we use these products for food. It is even beneficial to plants when the ripe fruits are removed, because then they cease to take sap from the tree unnecessarily.
Is that terrible entity which Glyndon saw in Bulwer Lytton’s “Zanoni” the same as Mr. Hyde in Robert l. Stevenson’s story?
Answer: No. There is a similarity in certain respects, but in other points there is a very great difference. The dreadful entity seen by Glyndon is spoken of in occultism as the “Dweller on the Threshold.” When the neophyte enters into the Desire World consciously, having left his physical body behind in sleep, he must pass an entity such as that described by Glyndon. This is the embodiment of all the evil deeds of his past which, having not yet been expiated, await eradication in future lives. He must recognize and acknowledge that entity as part of himself. He must promise himself to liquidate, as soon as possible, all the debts represented by that terrible shape.
This entity is not even apparent to the ordinary man during the times between death and a new birth, though ever present. It is a demon, and is offset by another shape which represents all the good a man has done in the past, and may be called his guardian angel, but these twin forms, as said, are invisible to the ordinary man at all times, though ever potent in his life.
It sometimes happens, however, that an individual passes out at death with a desire nature so extremely strong that after he has expiated the deeds it contained in Purgatory, and has entered the Second Heaven, this shell holds together and lasts until the man is reborn. It is then drawn to him by magnetic attraction and he possesses, as it were, a double desire body. The desire body of the old life may then at times make itself
felt and cause him to lead a double life, substantially as related by Robert Louis Stevenson, impelling him to do deeds which he loathes, because the suffering engendered in expurgating them is acting as conscience and causing him to repel the evil. Fortunately, however, such cases are extremely rare at this present date.
If we amputate the arm of a man, saw off the limb of a tree and blast away a portion of a cliff, will the invisible counterpart of these different objects also be severed?
Answer: In the case of the arm which is amputated, the etheric counterpart will still remain with the vital body, although there is a certain magnetic tie between that and the physical arm which is buried. A case is on record of a man who, having had his arm amputated, complained bitterly of pains as if something were piercing the flesh of his arm. This pain continued for several weeks, when the arm was at last exhumed and it was found that in boxing a nail had been driven through the flesh in the place where the man felt pain. When the nail was removed the pain ceased. Persons who have had arms or limbs amputated sometimes complain of pain in the member for a few years after the operation. Then the pain ceases because the etheric arm has decayed synchronously with the limb in the grave.
The vital body of the plant is only composed of the two densest ethers–the Chemical Ether and the Life Ether–which enable the plant to grow and propagate, but it lacks the two higher ethers–the Light Ether and Reflecting Ether–hence it has no sensation or memory of what passes around it. Therefore, amputation of a limb will not be felt by the plant, and in the case of the cliff which is blasted, only the Chemical Ether is present, so that the crystals will have no feelings at all. Still, it would be wrong to infer that there is no feeling in either of these cases, for though the plants and the minerals have no individual means of feeling, they are enveloped and interpenetrated by the ethers and the Desire World of the planet, and the Planetary Spirit feels everything, on the same principle that our finger, having no individual desire body, cannot feel, but we, the indwelling spirits inhabiting the body, feel any hurt done to the finger.
Do you know of a place, a home or retreat where one may go to live this beautiful, simple and harmless life you are advocating?
Answer: No, we do not know of any home, and if a home were founded for that purpose, we should feel very sorry for its inmates. If we have a high temper and go into the mountains to live as recluses where there are not people to rile our sensibilities, it is small credit to us that we do not become impatient with others. If we find it difficult to overcome our vices or faults in the city, and go into the wilds where those temptations do not exist, small is our credit for not yielding. We have been placed in cities and among our fellows in order that we should accustom and accommodate ourselves to them, and learn to keep our tempers despite any riling–learn to shun temptations where they exist. One may be in the mountains and his heart in the city, or he may immure himself in a monastery and yet be longing of the pleasures of the world. It is best to stay in the place where we are found and there develop the spiritual qualities that shall make us better men and women. There is work to be done in the world, and if we fly from the world, how shall we do it? We have a responsibility to our fellowmen. unless we discharge that responsibility we are shirking our duty, and fate will bring us back in such an environment that we cannot escape. Therefore, it is better to aim to learn all the lessons that are at our hands instead of running away from them.
CLASSIFIED LIST OF QUESTIONS
QUESTIONS CONCERNING LIFE ON EARTH
3.- Why should it be necessary for us to come into this physical existence? Could we not have learned the same lessons without being imprisoned and limited by the dense conditions of the material world?
4.- If this earth life is so important, and really the basis of all our soul growth, the latter resulting from the experiences we gain here, why is our earth life so short in comparison with the life in the inner worlds, approximating a thousand years between two earth lives?
17.- If a person is constantly bothered by evil thoughts which keep coming into his mind although he is always fighting them, is there any way in which he can cleanse his mind so that he will think only good and pure thoughts?
21.- Is there any place, either in the Old or New Testament, where men were told to marry and then live as brother and sister at any time or under any conditions? And if not in the Bible, why do you teach it?
25.- In the case of death by violent means is the next life, when the person dies as a child, lived by a body of the same sex as before or the opposite; that is, will a soldier killed on the battle field be reborn as a boy or a girl, or does sex play little part when the life is a very short one?
26.- Why is the Negro commonly said to be marked with the curse of Cain, if he is the descendant of Ham, according to Biblical ethnology? How can that race be any older than the sons of Shem and Japheth? Is not the most intellectual, successful and enduring race that history records, namely the Jews, the one that has kept itself most free from mixture?
29.- When children do not come to a man and wife who deeply long for them, is there not some way to induce some soul in the unseen world to accept their invitation to reincarnate? Where the conditions in the home are most favorable, it would seem that among the many souls awaiting incarnation one would find the conditions right?
41.- Is not nature guilty of frequent physical malformation in the plant and animal world, as well as the human race, and can there be a perfectly whole and sane intelligence with a forceful will in a diseased or malformed body?
43.- If, as you state, the Ego dwells in the blood, is not the practice of blood transfusion from a healthy to a diseased person dangerous? Does it affect or influence the Ego in any way, and if so, how?
46.- What is the use of knowing about the after death state, what happens in the Invisible World, and all these things? Is it not far better to take one world at a time? Sufficient unto the day is the trouble thereof, why borrow more?
59.- Does a good man have to go through Purgatory and be conscious of all the evil that is there before he can get into the First, Second and Third Heavens, and if so, isn’t that an undeserved punishment?
65.- Why, with a few exceptions, are we reincarnated without having the slightest knowledge of any previous existence, and thus suffer blindly in this life for transgressions of which we are entirely ignorant, committed in some former life? Does it not seem as though we could get better and quicker spiritual advancement if we knew how and why we had erred before, and what acts we must correct before we can progress?
70.- Is the experience gained in each incarnation recorded separately and added to the previous ones, so that in the ultimate the spirit is entirely conscious of the complete sum of its experiences, or is that experience more or less unconsciously absorbed by the next succeeding incarnation, so that only a general effect is obtained?
72.- How can you believe in the theory of reincarnation–that we come back here in the body of an animal? Is it not much more beautiful to believe in the Christian doctrine that we go to heaven with God and the Angels?
91.- We are told that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him shall not die but have everlasting life. How do you reconcile that idea with the words of Christ, “I came not to bring peace, but a sword.”
98.- In your teaching you state that we stay for a time averaging one-third of the length of the earth life in Purgatory, in order that our sins may be expiated prior to going to heaven. How, then, do you reconcile this teaching with the words of the Christ to the dying thief, “Today thou shalt be with Me in Paradise.”
116.- Is there any value in the Latin ritual used by the Catholic Church? Would it not be better if it were translated so that people could understand it, and are not the extemporaneous prayers used in the Protestant Churches much to be preferred to the ritual and stereotyped masses of the Catholics?
118.- In one of your lectures, you said in effect that it was a mistake to send missionaries to foreign countries; that the religions practiced by the so-called heathen are right for them at the present time, but that the missionaries have done little harm as yet. How, then, do you reconcile the command of the Christ, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”
121.- I have taken many soul flights, and on one of these journeys my guide took me through gates into a crystal city and on into a temple filled with ethereal people, saying, “This is God’s Holy City.” Will you kindly tell me where this is and why there are gates and walls around the city, and why everything looked like crystal?
122.- Are not the desire bodies left by those who have progressed beyond the Desire World used by elementals to deceive friends and relatives of the deceased person? How can they be detected and recognized by them?
126.- Is it true that at spiritualistic seances persons are sometimes transported bodily from one place to another by invisible hands, flowers are brought into the room through closed windows and doors, and if so, how can that be done?
132.- Why is it that trained clairvoyants do not offer to lend themselves to some simple but conclusive tests conducted by men of science which would convince everybody of the reality of faculties transcending the physical senses?
133.- If clairvoyance is such an accurate means of investigation, such a high spiritual faculty, why do we usually see it in possession of people of little education and coarse breeding, who have seemingly very little spirituality and who often tell lies?
143.- Is it safe for a person in a greatly debilitated nervous condition to take occult training given by the Rosicrucians, or is it necessary for such a person to first recover? Is health regained by occult training?
144.- A sound body being necessary for spiritual unfoldment, what does the Rosicrucian teaching hold out to one not at present in the best physical condition? Will perfect health be one result of the study of this philosophy, and if the teaching is practiced, will it tend to keep a person in good health?
147.- Has it not been recorded that certain individuals have developed spiritual power, clairvoyance, sixth sense, or whatever we wish to call it, by living a clean life in harmony with nature’s laws, and does not the teachings of modern occultists with so many terms of technicality have a tendency to create confusion rather than bring the desired results?
159.- What is the esoteric significance of the use of the names of the twelve sons of Jacob in connection with the twelve signs of the zodiac, and are these used in connection with the earth’s zodiac or the sun’s zodiac, or both?
160.- Can you give an idea of the difference between heliocentric and geocentric astrology? Is the geocentric concerned only with the affairs of this earth, the material life, and the heliocentric with the soul or the spiritual side? The sun, being the spiritual planet and the ruler of our solar system, would lead to this conclusion. Inasmuch as we use the sun’s zodiac in heliocentric astrology and the earth’s zodiac in geocentric. Can predictions in this life ever be made by the sun’s zodiac, or is the latter simply concerned with the spiritual side of a person’s nature?
161.- How is it possible to get on good terms with Saturn? The inquirer has been under his influence all his life. Sickness, poverty, loss of inheritance, and accidents are bad enough, but can Saturn also cause us trouble spiritually; can he put barriers up for our unfoldment when our spirit is struggling for the good, and are we liberated from his influence when we pass out at death?
164.- Can you throw some light on what our attitude toward the lower forms of life should be? Have we the right to kill anything harmless, since every living thing is in a sense our brother? How about the venomous insects and reptiles?
165.- Are not enormous and destructive reptiles created by the evil thoughts of men, so far as the form is concerned? And, therefore, is it not an act of love to kill them and thus liberate the divine spark within so that it may occupy a higher form?
169.- When a pet dog or cat dies, does the entire group spirit to which it belongs die at the same time? Also what becomes of the animal soul, and does the human love and care it has received help it on its upward journey?
173.- You said in a previous lecture that the earth is the body of a spirit which gives its life for the dwellers upon the surface. Why does it give flowers and fruits to some and earthquake and famine to others?
181.- If one who believes in the teachings advanced by the Rosicrucians earnestly maintains that they are true, is he not in danger of becoming dogmatic and intolerant of the opinions of others? And what should be his attitude toward those who refuse to accept these teachings?
182.- How is it that not many who have studied the highest philosophy interest themselves in bettering industrial conditions, such as the abolition of wage slavery, which is as degrading and brutal as Negro slavery?
186.- If occultists abstain from flesh eating because it requires a tragedy in its preparation, and they do not wish to be a party to taking life, either directly or by proxy, is it not also taking life when we eat eggs or fruit, vegetables, etc.?