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This volume contains mystical writings of Max Heindel on the little understood subject of Nature Spirits and Nature Forces. It is a correlation from his many books, lovingly collected in one volume by one of Max Heindel's students.
Max Heindel is known as the most advanced of Western Mystics and has in his numerous books given to the world a mine of information about Nature Spirits, the little people with whom he had such interesting experiences. The writer has listened to many stories (which unfortunately have not been put in writing) of his experiences with these Spirits, of how they live and their appearance. He had many times remarked that he would sometime write an entire book on the Nature Spirits, but his very arduous work of pioneering interfered with this much needed work. However, from time to time he gave out information in his writings which has now been correlated and we are thus able to give it to the world in a condensed volume. In the fifty-four years in which he was permitted to occupy his physical vehicle, he gave to the world a number of most valuable books. The wonder book, The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception, has been translated into many languages. This is only one of a number of books which he left for the world to gain knowledge from and to enjoy. His astrological books are credited as being the most comprehensive textbooks on the market. His simple and clear manner in imparting knowledge is his greatest charm. —Augusta Foss Heindel —April 15, 1937
To speak of ethers as an avenue of forces conveys no meaning to the average mind, because force is invisible. But to an esoteric investigator the forces are not merely names such as steam, electricity, etc. He finds them to be intelligent beings of varying grades, both sub- and superhuman. What we call "laws of nature" are great intelligences which guide more elemental beings in accordance with certain rules designed to further their evolution.
In the Middle Ages, when many people were still endowed with a remnant of negative clairvoyance, they spoke of gnomes and elves or fairies, which roamed about the mountains and forests. These were the earth spirits. They also told of the undines or watersprites, which inhabited rivers and streams, of sylphs which were said to dwell in the mists above moat and moor as air spirits, but not much was said of the salamanders, as they are fire spirits, and therefore not so easily detected, nor so readily accessible to the majority of people.
The old folk-stories are now regarded as superstitions, but as a matter of fact, one endowed with etheric vision may yet perceive the little gnomes building green chlorophyll into the leaves of plants and giving to flowers the multiplicity of delicate tints which delight our eyes.
Scientists have attempted time and again to offer an adequate explanation of the phenomena of wind and storm but have failed signally, nor can they succeed while they seek a mechanical solution to what is really a manifestation of life. Could they see the hosts of sylphs winging their way hither and thither, they would know who and what is responsible for the fickleness of the wind; could they watch a storm at sea from the etheric viewpoint they would perceive that the saying "the war of the elements" is not an empty phrase, for the heaving sea is truly then a battlefield of sylphs and undines and the howling tempest is the war cry of spirits in the air.
Salamanders are found everywhere, and no fire is lighted without their help; but they are mostly active underground. They are responsible for explosions and volcanic eruptions.
The classes of beings which we have mentioned are still subhuman, but will all at sometime reach a stage in evolution corresponding to the human, though under different circumstances from those under which we evolve. But at present the wonderful intelligences we speak of as the laws of nature, marshal the armies of the less evolved entities mentioned.
To arrive at a better understanding of what these various beings are, and their relation to us, we may take an illustration: Let us suppose that a mechanic is making an engine, and meanwhile a dog is watching him. It sees the man at his labor, and how, from the crude iron, steel, brass, and other metals the engine slowly takes shape. The dog is a being from a lower evolution and does not comprehend the purpose of the mechanic but it sees the workman, his labor, and the result thereof, which manifests as an engine.
Let us suppose further that the dog were able to see only the materials which slowly change their shape, assemble, and become an engine but that it is unable to perceive the workman and to see the work he does. The dog would then be in the same relation to the mechanic as we are to the great intelligences we call laws of nature, and their assistants, the Nature Spirits, for we behold the manifestations of their work as force moving matter in various ways but always under immutable conditions.
In the ether we may also observe the angels, whose densest body is made of that material, as our dense body is formed of gases, liquids, and solids. These beings are one step beyond the human stage, as we are a degree in advance of the animal evolution. We have never been animals like our present fauna, however, but at a previous stage in the development of our planet we had an animal-like constitution. Then the angels were human, though they have never possessed a dense body such as ours, nor ever functioned in any material denser than ether. At some time, in a future condition, the earth will again become ethereal. Then man will be like the angels. Therefore the Bible tells us that man was made a little lower than the angels. (Hebrews 2:7. See marginal reading.)
As ether is the avenue of vital, creative forces, and as angels are such expert builders of ether, we may readily understand that they are eminently fitted to be warders of the propagative forces in plant, animal, and man. All through the Bible we find them thus engaged: Two angels came to Abraham and announced the birth of Isaac. They promised a child to the man who had obeyed God. Later these same angels destroyed Sodom for abuse of the creative force. Angels foretold to the parents of Samuel and Samson, the birth of these giants of brain and brawn. To Elizabeth came the angel (not archangel) Gabriel, and announced the birth of John; later he appeared also to Mary with the message that she was chosen to bear Jesus.
We are wont to speak of evolution, but do we ever analyze what it is that makes evolution, why it does not stop in stagnation? If we do, we must realize that there are forces back of the visible which make the alteration in the flora and fauna, the climatic and topographical changes which are constantly going on; and it is then but a natural question, what or who are the forces or agents in evolution?
Of course, we are well aware that scientists give certain mechanical explanations. They deserve great credit; they have accomplished much when we take into consideration that science is but an infant and has only five senses and ingenious instruments at its command. Its deductions are marvelously true, but that does not say that there may not be underlying causes which it cannot, as yet, perceive, but which give a more thorough understanding of the matter than the mere mechanical explanation affords. An illustration will elucidate the point.
Two men are conversing, when suddenly one knocks the other down. There we have an occurrence, a fact, and we may explain it in a mechanical way by saying: "I saw one man contract the muscles of his arm, direct a blow at the other, and knock him down." That is a true version, so far as it goes, but the esoteric scientist would see also the angry thought which inspired the blow, and would be giving a more complete version if he said that the man was knocked down by a thought; for the clenched fist was but the irresponsible instrument of aggression. Failing the impelling force of the angry thought, the hand would have remained inert and the blow would never have been struck.
Thus esoteric science refers all causes to the Region of Concrete Thought, and tells how they are generated there by human and superhuman spirits.
Remembering that the creative archetypes of everything we see in the visible world are in the World of Thought, which is the realm of tone, we are prepared to understand that the archetypal forces are constantly playing through these archetypes which then emit a certain tone, or, where a number of them have massed to create a species of plant, animal, or human forms, the different sounds blend into one grand chord. That single tone or chord, as the case may be, is then the keynote of the form thus created, and as long as it sounds, the form of the species endures; when it ceases the single form dies or the species dies out.
A jumble of sound is not music any more than words massed together haphazard are a sentence. But orderly rhythmic sound is the builder of all that is, as John says in the first verses of his gospel, "In the beginning was the Word...and without it was not anything made"; also "the Word was made flesh."
Thus we see that sound is the creator and sustainer of all form, and in the Second Heaven the Ego becomes one with the nature forces. With them he works upon the archetypes of land and sea, on flora and fauna, to bring about the changes which gradually alter the appearance and condition of the earth and thus afford a new environment, made by himself, in which he may reap new experience.
He is directed in this work by great Teachers belonging to the Creative Hierarchies, which are called angels, archangels, and other names, all of whom are God's ministers. They instruct him then consciously in the divine art of creation, both as to the world and the objects in it. They teach him how to build a form for himself, giving him the so-called "nature spirits" as helpers, and thus man is serving his apprenticeship to become a Creator each time he goes to the Second Heaven. There he builds the archetype of the form which he later externalizes at birth.
There are four ethers, called chemical, life, light and reflecting ethers. Forces work along the positive and negative poles of the different ethers. The egos in the Heaven World are part of those forces, and thus the very people whom we call dead are the ones who build our bodies and help us to live. We may also note that no one can have a better dense body than he can build. If one makes a mistake in his heaven world work, he finds it out when he comes to use such a defective body on earth, and thereby learns to correct the fault the next time he builds an archetype.
All the denizens of the Heaven World work upon the models of the earth, all of which are in the Region of Concrete Thought. They alter the physical features of the earth, and bring about the gradual changes which vary its appearance, so that on each return to physical life a different environment has been prepared, wherein new experiences may be gained. Climate, Flora, and Fauna are altered by man under the direction of higher Beings.
Thus the world is just what we ourselves, individually and collectively, have made it; and it will be what we make it. The esoteric scientist sees in everything that happens a cause of a spiritual nature manifesting itself, not omitting the prevalence and alarmingly increasing frequency of seismic disturbances, which it traces to the materialistic thought of modern science.
It is true that purely physical causes can bring about such disturbances, but is that the last word on the subject? Can we always get the full explanation by merely recording what appears on the surface? Surely not! The esotericist says that if materialism had not been, seismic disturbances would not have occurred.
Man's work in the Heaven World is not confined solely to the alteration of the surface of the earth which is to be the scene of his future struggles in the subjugation of the Physical World. He is also actively engaged in learning how to build a body which shall afford a better means of expression. It is man's destiny to become a Creative Intelligence and he is serving his apprenticeship all the time. During his heaven life he is learning to build all kinds of bodies—the human included.
Thus we see that man learns to build his vehicles in the Heaven World, and to use them in the Physical World. Nature provides all phases of experience in such a marvelous manner and with such consummate wisdom that as we learn to see deeper and deeper into her secrets we are more and more impressed with our own insignificance and with an ever growing reverence for God, whose visible symbol nature is.
Whenever we are confronted by one of nature's mysteries which we are at a loss to explain, we simply add a new name to our vocabulary which we then use in learned juggling to hide our ignorance of the subject. Such are the ampere which we use to measure the volume of the electric current, the volt which we say indicates the strength of the current, and the ohm which we use to show what resistance a given conductor offers to the passage of the current. Thus by much study of words and figures, the master minds of electrical science attempt to persuade themselves and others that they have fathomed the mysteries of the elusive force which plays such an important part in the world's work; but when all is said and they are in a confidential mood, they admit that the brightest lights of electrical science know but very little more about it than the schoolboy who is just beginning to experiment with his cells and batteries.
Similarly in the other sciences: Anatomists cannot distinguish the canine from the human embryo for a long time, and while the physiologist talks learnedly about metabolism, he cannot escape the admission that the laboratory tests whereby he endeavors to imitate our digestive processes must be and are widely different from the transmutations undergone in the chemical laboratory of the body by the nourishment we take. This is not said to disparage or belittle the wonderful achievements of science, but to emphasize the fact that there are factors behind all manifestations of nature—intelligences of varying degrees of consciousness, builders and destroyers, who perform important parts in the economy of nature—and until these agencies are recognized and their work studied, we can never have an adequate conception of the way the nature forces work, which we call heat, electricity, gravity, chemical action, etc. To those who have cultivated the spiritual sight, it is evident that the so-called dead spend part of their time in learning to build bodies under the guidance of certain spiritual Hierarchies. They are the agents in the metabolic and anabolic processes; they are the unseen factors in assimilation, and it is therefore literally true that we should be unable to live save for the important aid rendered to us by those whom we call dead.
In relation to the nature forces we learnedly explain how heat from the sun evaporates the water of the rivers and oceans, causing it to ascend to the cooler regions of the air where it condenses to clouds which finally become so saturated with moisture that they gravitate towards the earth as rain to replenish the rivers and oceans and be again evaporated. It is all perfectly simple, a nice automatic perpetual motion process. But is that all? Are there not a number of holes in this theory? We know that there are, though we can not digress too far from our subject to discuss them. One thing is lacking to fully explain it, namely, the semi-intelligent action of the sylphs who lift the finely divided vaporized particles of water prepared by the undines, from the surface of the sea and carry them as high as they may before partial condensation takes place and clouds are formed. These particles of water they keep until forced by the undines to release them. When we say it storms, battles are being fought on the surface of the sea and in the air, sometimes with the aid of salamanders to light the lightning torch of separated hydrogen and oxygen and send its awe-inspiring shaft crashing zigzag through the inky darkness, followed by ponderous peals of thunder that reverberate in the clearing atmosphere, while the undines triumphantly hurl the rescued raindrops to earth that they may be again restored to union with their mother element.
The little gnomes are needed to build the plants and the flowers. It is their work to tint them with the innumerable shades of color which delight our eyes. They also cut the crystals in all the minerals and make the priceless gems that gleam from golden diadems. Without them there would be no iron for our machinery nor gold wherewith to pay for it. They are everywhere and the proverbial bee is not busier. To the bee, however, is given credit for the work it does, while the little Nature Spirits that play such an immensely important part in the world's work are unknown save to a few so-called dreamers.
At the summer solstice the physical activities of nature are at their apex or zenith. Therefore "Midsummer Night" is the great festival of the fairies who have wrought to build the material universe, nourished the cattle, nurtured the grain and are hailing with joy and thanksgiving the crest wave of force which is their tool in shaping the flowers into the astonishing variety of delicate shapes called for by their archetypes and in tinting them in unnumbered hues which are the artist's delight and despair. On this greatest of all nights of the glad summer season they flock from fen and forest, from glen and dale, to the Festival of the Fairies. They really bake and brew their etheric foods and afterwards dance in ecstasies of joy, the joy of having brought forth and served their important purpose in the economy of nature.
It is an axiom of science that nature tolerates nothing that is useless. Parasites and drones are an abomination; the organ that has become superfluous atrophies; so does the limb or eye that is no longer used. Nature has work to do and requires work of all who would justify their existence and continue as part of her. This applies to plant and planet, man and beast, and to the fairies as well. They have their work to do; they are busy folk and their activities are the solution to many of nature's multifarious mysteries, as already explained.
Later, at the time of the winter solstice, we are at the other pole of the yearly cycle where the days are short and the nights long; physically speaking, darkness hangs over the Northern Hemisphere; but the wave of spiritual light and life which will be the basis of next year's growth and progress is now at its greatest height and power. On Christmas night at the winter solstice when the celestial sign of the Immaculate Virgin stands upon the eastern horizon at midnight, the sun of the new year is born to save humanity from the cold and the famine which would ensue were its beneficent light withheld. At that time the Christ Spirit is born into the earth and commences to leaven and fertilize the millions of seeds which the fairies build and water that we may have physical food. But, "Man shall not live by bread alone." Important as is the work of the fairies, it fades into insignificance compared with the mission of Christ who brings to us each year the spiritual food needed to advance us upon the path of progress, that we may attain perfection in love with all which that implies.
Contemporary Mystic Christianity
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