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Question: 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 esoteric 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.
Question: 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.
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.
Question: 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.
Question: 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.
Question: 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.
Question: 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.
Question: 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.
Question: 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.
Contemporary Mystic Christianity
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