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Biblical Proof of Rebirth
Question No. 104.
Can you prove from the Bible that the Ego is born and reborn till it is fit to be in God's presence?
Answer: There are some people who believe that the Bible is absolutely true, word for word, from cover to cover. Moreover, in controversy they seem to argue as though it had originally been written in English and every word meant just what is said and nothing else.
As a matter of fact, the Bible has been translated, transcribed, edited, and re-edited so many times that interpolations have, of course, crept in. Some have been inserted unintentionally, due to the fact that a copyist will make a slip with the pen occasionally. There have also been cases where interpolations were put in to support a certain doctrine in which the copyist believed and which was not clearly enunciated. Among scholars it is well recognized that only a general outline of the original teachings remains with us today.
In all religions an exoteric side was always given to the multitude. this contained the more elementary teachings, but a deeper place was given to those who had fitted themselves by their lives for understanding the deeper mysteries. We may take the counsel of Christ to His disciples: "Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of the heavens but unto these in parables," as an indication that there is a similar arrangement in the Christian religion.
Among these mysteries was the doctrine of rebirth, which you will see He must have taught from the following conversation. He asked them: "Who do men say that I , the son of man, am?" They answered and said: "Some say that you are John the Baptist, some Elijah, and some that you are Jeremiah, or one of the prophets." These personages had all died and their bodies must have decayed in the grave. Yet we find people believing that Jesus was one of them reborn. If this principle of rebirth had been wrong, it would have been His duty as a teacher to have set His disciples right, and He would probably have said: "What nonsense! How can I be one of those? They have been gone for centuries." Instead He asks, "Who do you say that I am?"
In the case of Elijah He taught this doctrine outright, for he said to His disciples concerning John the Baptist: "This is Elijah if you will receive it." There is no equivocation, but a straight forward statement: "This is Elijah." This statement was reiterated later on when they left the Mount of Transfiguration, for on that occasion Christ said to His disciples: "Elijah has come and they have done to him as they listed." Then they knew that He spoke of John the Baptist.
If, as you say, Jesus' body was scattered to the four winds at the time of the burial, how then did Thomas touch Jesus after death? How did He say: "Handle me and see, for a spirit has not flesh and bones as ye see me have"? Later on it is said that He ate fish and honey. Is it possible for a spirit without a fleshy body to eat and to be touched?
Answer: This question is one that occurs very often. We might refer you to the back files where it has been answered, but as so many new people come in constantly, it seems that perhaps it is better to take it up anew. As the writer never refers to back numbers himself, he will each time take up these matters from a different angel which may give new points even to those who have had them answered before, and thus the reiteration will not be without benefit.
Our latest investigations indicate that where a man spiritualizes his vehicles, the constitution of the vital body, made of ether, is most materially changed. In the ordinary man there is always a preponderance of the two lower ethers—the chemical and life ethers—which have to do with the up-building and propagation of the physical body, and a minimum of the light and the reflecting ethers, which are concerned with sense perception and the higher spiritual qualities. After death the body of the ordinary man is laid in the grave and the vital body hovers about two feet above the mound, gradually disintegrating. The dense body disintegrates simultaneously. However, when we say it decays, we really mean that it becomes much more alive than it was while man inhabited it, for each little molecule is now taken charge of by a separate, individual life. It begins to associate with its neighbors; the unity of an individual life is superseded by a community of many lives.
Therefore we speak of such decaying corpses as alive with worms. the denser and the more gross this vehicle is, the longer time it will require for disintegration, because the vital body hovering above has a tenacious magnetic hold that keeps the dense molecules in check. The two higher ethers vibrate at a much more rapid rate than the lower, and where a man by spiritual thoughts has massed around him a great volume of this ether, which then composes his vital body, the vibrations of the dense body also become more intense. Consequently, when the man leaves his body at death there is little or nothing of the vital body left behind to keep the components of the physical body in check. The disintegration is therefore very rapid. This we cannot easily prove because very few people are sufficiently spiritual to make the difference noticeable, but you will recall that in the Bible it is said of certain characters that they were translated. Also, that the body of Moses was so vibrant that it shone, and his body was not found, etc.
These were cases where the body was rapidly returned to the elements, and when the Christ's body was laid in the grave its disintegration took place almost instantaneously.
However, so long as the archetype of the physical body persists, it endeavors to draw to itself physical materials which it then shapes according to the form of the vital body. Thus it is difficult for the invisible Helper who passes out of his body to refrain from materializing. The moment his will to keep away from himself all physical impediments is relaxed, materials from the surrounding atmosphere attach themselves to him as iron filings are drawn to a magnet, and he becomes visible and tangible to whatever extent he desires. Thus he is enabled to do actual physical work wherever it is necessary, no matter if he be thousands of miles away from his body. On the other hand, what really brings about death is the collapse of the archetype of the dense body. Therefore the Spirits who pass away from this earth life are unable to materialize save through a medium where they extract her living vital body, drape themselves therewith and thus attract the physical substances necessary to make themselves visible to the sitters.
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There is a third class, namely, the initiated Invisible Helpers who have passed out of this life. They have learned to attract or repel physical matter by their wills, as stated previously, and therefore they are able to materialize despite the fact that their archetype has collapsed.
The Christ naturally was at the head of this class and consequently able to pass through a wall in His vital body, for as the ether interpenetrates every physical molecule, so also the vital body, made of ether, may likewise pass through physical obstructions. Once in the room with His disciples, He attracted to Himself by an exercise of will sufficient physical matter to clothe Himself in a dense body. Then it was possible for His disciples to touch and handle Him as stated in the Gospels.
Respecting the eating of the fish and honey, there is a mystic significance to this which will be taken up in the Astral Ray department at a later date. You will note that fish is very, very prominent in all the Gospels. The disciples were fishermen and had miraculous drafts of fishes. Parables were told of them and people were fed with loaves and fishes. The story of Jonah and the whale and all other such narratives have an esoteric and astrological significance that will be brought out in the articles of which we speak, so we will not go into that part of the question at the present time. We will just answer the last part of your question: "Is it possible for a Spirit without a fleshly body to eat and drink?" In the lowest regions of the Desire World which interpenetrate the Etheric Region of the Physical World there are classes of Spirits of whom we hear a great deal in spiritualistic literature. They live in houses, they eat and drink. They have, in fact, all relations of life exactly as we have them here and continue very much the same manner of existence as they did when among us in the visible world. It is also possible for a materialized Spirit or for an initiate who materializes to eat and drink, but it would then be necessary to dispose of the materials taken into the body in a different method than by the ordinary process of assimilation.
How do you reconcile the statement of the Bible that Joseph knew not Mary until she had brought forth her first-born, Jesus, who was thus conceived of the Holy Spirit, with the Rosicrucian Teaching that Jesus was the son of a human father, Joseph, and Mary, his mother?
Answer: If you look at the genealogies of Jesus given in Matthew and Luke, you will find that the parentage is traced through Joseph to Adam; not one word is spoken about Mary. As we indicated in a previous answer, a copyist may have interpolated the passage to prove the materialistic sense of the Immaculate Conception.
If you take the esoteric doctrine of the Immaculate Conception no such judging is necessary. Jehovah, the Holy Spirit, the leader of the Angels, is everywhere in the Bible shown as the given of children. His messengers came to Sarah to announce the birth of Isaac to her; to Hannah to announce the birth of Samuel; to Mary to announce the advent of Jesus, whose vehicles were later given to the Christ. The power of the Holy Spirit fructifies the human ovum as well as the kernel of grain in the earth, and the original sin occurred when Adam knew his wife contrary to the approbation of Jehovah.
That transgression brought the stain of sin upon a scared function, but when a holy life has made pure the desires, a man becomes filled with a holy spirit and it is possible to perform the generative function without passion. Hence the conception is immaculate. The child born under such conditions is naturally superior, because the conception then is a sacred rite of self-sacrifice and not an act of self- gratification.
Astrological Origin of Conscientiousness
Question No. 107.
In the astrological readings you frequently refer to Jupiter as the planet of law, order, and ethics, and also to Saturn as the planet of system, justice, and virtue.
May I ask with just what planets and signs the sentiment of conscientiousness is most intimately associated, whether there is any one or more preeminent in that sentiment? Conscientiousness is of course at the root of law, ethics, justice, virute, etc.
Answer: According to the Rosicrucian Teachings, when the Spirit has passed out of the physical life at death, it sees the panorama of its past live passing before it in reverse order. At that time the pictures which make up this life story are etched into the finer vehicles, which the Ego takes with it into the invisible worlds. It is the reaction from the pictures where the Spirit has done some wrong, which causes the suffering that constitues its purgatorial experience. This eradicates the pictures from the life panorama, but leaves an aroma—that which we call conscience- -to warn the Spirit in its next life not to do the things which previously caused the purgatorial suffering. Conscientiousness is the positive quality of the negative conscience. Conscience prompts us not to do the things which are wrong; conscientiousness prompts us to do the things that are right.
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Mythologically, Saturn is the reaper with his seythe and hourglass, the angel of death, who ushers us from active life into the purgatorial existence where we reap what we have sown. Therefore, in that sense Saturn is at the root of conscience. He always warns us, saying "don't, don't, don't," and if by listening to his voice in the past we have him in a position where in this life he aspects the other planets well, notably Jupiter, the planet of law, order, ethics, and also the Sun, which gives us our loftiest ideals, then we have the conscientious man or woman, who always fulfills every duty in life, no matter how arduous the task and what perseverance and persistence is required, or what self-sacrifice is involved. Thus conscientiousness is not given by one planet alone but requires a combination of the highest virtues in several of the planets to bring it to its highest and most noble expression. Of course there are many people who are conscientious because of minor benefic configurations (astrologically speaking), but the highest phase requires the cooperation of the Sun, Jupiter, and Saturn.
Are plants under the domination of planets and the signs? If so please explain how and why?
Answer: There are, as we know four different kingdoms now upon earth: the mineral, vegetable or plant, animal, and human kingdoms. The Spirits in these four life waves are evolving under the guidance and with the help of the other invisible hierarchies.
The Lords of Mind make their densest body of mind stuff from the Region of Concrete Thought. They are adapts in working with this material and therefore they influence humanity, who have a mind.
The Archangels make their densest body of desire stuff. They are adapts in the manipulation of this substance, and therefore they are especially fitted to aid less evolved beings who have vehicles made of that material. Hence they work with animal and man, who possess desire bodies.
The Angels make their densest body of ether, so they are well versed in the working of this grade of matter and eminently fitted to help others who are not so expert. Hence they exercise an influence for good over plants, animals, and men, who have vital bodies made of ether.
Human beings make their densest body of the chemical and mineral constituents of the earth, and ages of accumulated experience have fitted us to a certain degree to work with beings who have mineral bodies, such as the plants, animals, and human beings.
It should be remembered, however, that our evolution upon the earth is only half finished and that we have not yet attained fifty per cent of the proficiency in this work which will be ours when that part of our evolution is completed. IN the hoary past, before our eyes were opened we say interiorly, the creative energy was turned inwards for the purpose of building organs, as now our genius is used outwardly for building airships, bridges, houses, boats, etc. We use the dead mineral bodies of animals for shoe leather, billiard balls, food, and clothing, but as we can work only with these seemingly dead things our manipulation involves the process of destruction. We destroy the integrity of the mineral to extract the gold, silver, copper, or whatever other part seems precious to us. We destroy the trees in the forest to make doors, houses, etc. We kill the animals to make them into food, clothing, toys, and trinkets.
Not so with the Angels or the other creative hierarchies. They deal with life in a constructive manner.
The Archangels inhabit the Sun, and the Angels are located on the moons of the solar system. It is well known that planets love the Sun, for they are in the second period of their evolution, the Sun Period. As they are now constituted, however, they cannot endure the intense vibrations of the Archangels, which are dry and parching as the desire bodies wherein they live. The plants need, in addition to the light of the Sun, the water ruled by the Moon, and it is the gentle ray of that orb which carries the fertilizing agent and gives the growth to all that lives. Therefore, seed planted when the Moon is increasing in light, that is to say, from the new Moon to the full, grow a larger top than if planted when the Moon is dark, or decreasing in light, from the full to the new. Contrariwise, seeds sown while the Moon is decreasing in light will grow more under-ground than on top.
There are also certain signs that are more favorable than others to plant growth because they have certain affinities with the lunar vibrations. The watery signs, Scorpio and Pisces, are fruitful signs for that reason, and seeds planted while the Moon, the queen of the water, goes through one of these signs will produce better results than when the Moon is in the fiery signs, Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius. These are Sun signs and therefore calculated to burn up the vital spark in the seed. Much more might be said on this subject but the foregoing will probably give the information required.
I find in the Bible in the Book of Job the words: "Canst thou bind the sweet influence of the Pleiades or loose the bands of Orion?" Is there any influence of these stars upon men?
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Answer: Yes, there is no doubt that all the stars in the universe have an influence upon men, and some astrologers also make the positions of a number of fixed stars when they cast a horoscope. To our minds that is only a waste of time and work, for the average human mind is now put to a sufficiently severe test to balance the interacting influences of houses, signs, and aspecting planets in such a manner as to read accurately the full message of the stars as shown by these elementary factors. It may be stated, however, with respect to the Pleiades that it is one of three nebulous spots in the zodiac which has been found to exert an evil influence upon the eyes under certain horoscopic configurations of the Sun or Moon with Saturn, Mars, Uranus, and Neptune.
Many people realize these days that we are entering, or about to enter, a new age. Some understand that it is the Aquarian Age, and to a certain extent what it stands for. However, I have not as yet heard an intelligible explanation of just when our Earth or solar system would enter this age, and whether the Aquarian Age coincides with the passage of the Sun through the constellation Aquarius or through the zodiacal division by that name.
Answer: In this paragraph our correspondent takes up a number of points, and on the principle that "the last shall be first," we shall first consider the last part of his interrogation, where he makes a distinction between the constellation Aquarius and the zodiacal division by that name. This, in itself, is a great difficulty to many people, who do not know how to differentiate between the zodiacal constellations and the so-called intellectual zodiac. The explanation is as follows:
A certain group of stars in the heavens is called Aries; another group, located close to them, is called Taurus; a third group of fixed stars is called Gemini, and so on. These twelve constellations, or groups of stars, as seen in the heavens, always remain in the same relative position, and they are therefore unchangeable.
Through all the centuries of which we have record, these stars have remained in the same group and in about the same relative position, one to another. Through these constellations the Sun circles from year to year with unvarying precision, but owing to the fact that the axis of the earth inclines toward the Sun and has a wobbling motion, similar to that of a spinning top which has almost spend its force, the motion of the Sun appears to be uneven. Each year, when it enters the constellation Aries, crossing the earth's equator, it is a little earlier than the year before. It precedes. Thus the point where the Sun crosses the equator at the vernal equinox moves backwards from year to year at the rate of one degree in seventy-two years, and the whole twelve signs in twenty-five thousand eight hundred and fifty-six years. This latter period is called a Great Sidereal year.
It has been observed that no matter where in the zodiac the Sun crosses the equator, a certain physical effect takes place. The flowers begin to sprout out of the earth, the birds begin to mate, the mute earth awakens to new life, new hope, and new song. Also the spiritual effects following the Sun's entrance into the Northern hemisphere at the vernal equinox has been observed to remain unchanged. Therefore the first thirty degrees from that point, where the Sun crosses the equator, are called Aries, the next thirty degrees are called Taurus, the third thirty degrees are called Gemini, and so on through the twelve signs.
This intellectual division of the circle of the zodiac coincides with the constellations in the heavens only once in twenty-five thousand eight hundred and fifty-six years. During all the rest of the time the intellectual zodiac moves backwards, as explained, on account of the precession of the equinox. The last time when the starting point in the intellectual zodiac agreed with the zodiacal constellations was about 500 A.D. A year after these points were in exact agreement, the Sun crossed the equator about fifty seconds of space in the constellation Pisces. The year following it was one minute and forty seconds of space into Pisces, and it has been creeping backwards ever since, until at the present time the Sun crosses the equator in about ten degrees of the constellation Pisces. It will thus be about 700 years before it actually crosses the celestial equator in the constellation Aquarius.
The Aquarian Age may be said to start at the time when the Sun enters, by precession, the 30th degree of the constellation Aquarius, and it lasts 2,100 years, while the Sun moves backwards through the thirty degrees until it comes to the first degree of Aquarius. There is, however, no definite and sharp cut-off such as we make when we say we enter the year 1915, which begins at twelve o'clock on the night of the 31st of December, 1914, and lasts until the 31st of December, 1915 at 12 o'clock midnight. That is a mathematical division of time. The various epochs of human existence depend upon vital influences in life, and are conditions of mind rather than divisions of time, though the two are linked.
Therefore, astrologers recognize what is called an "orb of influence." To understand this, we must realize that every human being is something more than that which we see; that he has surrounding him an aura, an invisible atmosphere, a something which radiates from him and which partakes of his distinct and personal nature. We very often feel the effect of this aura though we do not understand the reason why. Suppose that someone has his whole mind concentrated upon his work so that he neither hears not sees what happens about him. Gradually he becomes aware that someone else has entered the room—is, in fact, standing behind him—and he turns around to find a friend there. He had not heard the friend enter on account of absorption in his work, but he felt him, because the aura of the friend intermingled with his own auric atmosphere. Thus, though there was no physical contact, he knew that someone was close by.
The constellations are groups of great Spirits who have immured themselves in these starry bodies, for the sake of less advanced intelligence to again the experience of evolution. Each of the fixed stars in a constellation also has its invisible bodies, which extend from one to the other, intermingle, and overlap. Therefore, when the Sun reached the tenth degree of Pisces, it touched the fringe of the influence of the constellation Aquarius, though we are still in the Piscean Age.
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That this influence is making itself felt, a glance of retrospection will soon show. We readily recognize the Piscean influence during the last two thousand years. The dark ages, the superstition and intellectual bondage then prevalent, are not entirely routed, but since the middle of the last century, when the Aquarian influence first began to make itself felt, an irresistible intellectual impulse has been instilled into our everyday life. Science has made such strides as never before. Invention has electrified the world and is now conquering the air, etc. This scientific intellectual influence will make itself felt more and more during the centuries which will pass before we definitely enter the constellation Aquarius by precession of the equinox. As the narrow, conservative Piscean influence diminishes, so will the broadening, inquiring Aquarian influence increase.
Regarding what the Aquarian Age stands for spiritually, we may realize that Aquarius is the only figure in the zodiac representing the full stature of a man. All the principal characters of the Old Testament were shepherds, having reference to "Aries," the sheep, ram or lamb. In the New Testament they are fishermen, referring to Pisces, the sign of the fishes, but the Son of Man is the subject of prophecy: of something yet to come. He is to usher in a glorious age, and therefore we may look for developments of a startling nature to take place in the nearest centuries before us.
Moreover, each of the foregoing ages has had its teachers. Osiris and Mithras were worshiped in Egypt and Persia, while the Sun was going through Taurus, the sign of the Bull. The Lamb was slain from the foundation of the Christian world, by Moses, while the Sun was going through the sign Aries. There was a great controversy concerning the symbol of Christ, on account whereof the Bishop's miter is still make in the form of a fish, to symbolize the fact that the phase of the Christian religion then inaugurated was to hold sway during the Piscean or Fish Age, in which we now are. Later the ideal of the Son of Man, or Superman, will furnish inspiration for the Aquarian Age, which is now being ushered in.
The Aquarian Age is not to be confounded with the kingdom of Christ, who is to come again. Neither is the Aquarian Age to be confounded with the Sixth (Galilean) Epoch, for to quote the words of Christ, "Of that day and hour (when He comes), knows no man; neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." It is absolutely preposterous and a mark of ignorance for anyone to predict that the coming of Christ will take place at a certain, specified time. Perhaps it is even presumptuous to guess at the approximate time when the Second Advent will take place, but the writer has the idea that, as the precessional cycles, so far as they are connected with the evolution of man, seem to commence with the Sun's entrance into Capricorn, there may be a development at that time. If that is correct, the Advent cannot take place for at least three thousand years.
A correspondent sends us a newspaper clipping in which someone asks the editor what is really the Aquarian Age, and the question is answered as follows: "There is no Aquarian Age; this fake was started by professional fakers by teaching that the solar system entered Aquarius recently. Not one tells when, and they write asking me the real date. The solar system is going directly away from Aquarius with the speed of twelve and a half miles per second. The solar system has never been and never can be anywhere near Aquarius. Yet pamphlets and monthly magazines are constantly issuing articles saying the same old thing, that the solar system has just entered Aquarius and great changes are coming to this human race, all of which is totally false."
Answer: Our correspondent wants our ideas on the matter, as we believe in and advocate the view that the Aquarian Age is at hand. We are therefore also among the class of publishers denounced by this editor as "fakers," but have no hesitation in complying with the request of our correspondent to shed more light on the subject of the Aquarian Age on that score. We are not disturbed by the attack when we consider the source.
The question is one which depends upon the point of view, in one of its phases. It is true, as he says, that the solar system has never been in Aquarius and never will be. It is in fact moving away from the constellation Aquarius. It is also true that the Sun has never "risen," and never will "rise," yet we do not denounce the man who makes use of that expression as a faker. We understand that from the point of view of an observer on the earth it appears as if the Sun rises, and the esotericist means something similar when he says that we are going into Aquarius by the precession of the equinox. We do not stop to say that by the rotation of the earth on its axis the Sun came in view at seven o'clock. We simply say that the Sun rose at seven o'clock. For similar reasons we do not say that "because of the precession of the equinox it now appears as if the Sun, when viewed from the earth, is nearing the constellation Aquarius at the time when it crosses the equator at the vernal equinox." If we did, all astronomers would agree with us concerning the phenomenon seen in the heavens, though they would disagree with us in our contention that this has an influence upon the affairs of humanity. Instead of using this long explanation we simply say that the "Sun is going into Aquarius," and people will just have to keep on criticizing until they have learned to understand what we mean by this expression, just the same as they understand what is meant when we say the Sun rises.
In the meantime students of esoteric philosophies ought to familiarize themselves with the astronomical facts so that they may be able to give an intelligent reason for their beliefs. It cannot be denied that when students who have studied the higher philosophy and thereby acquired a knowledge of super-physical facts are close at hand, such as given by astronomy and physiology, they do not impress the hearers very well. When we speak so learnedly about man's finer vehicles we ought also to know at least the main facts concerning the mechanical motions of the heavens as understood and known by astronomers. In order therefore that students who have not familiarized themselves with these things may gain an insight into the matter we will elucidate briefly. For a more thorough explanation the student is referred to our Simplified Scientific Astrology. The subject is there death with in the Philosophic Encyclopedia under the heading "The Intellectual Zodiac," and elsewhere.
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When the earth moves in its annual orbit around the Sun it seems, when viewed from the earth, that the Sun travels through the heavens in a narrow belt consisting of twelve constellations or groups of stars which have been given certain names: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, etc. If the axis of the earth were as stationary as the axle of a wheel the Sun would always be found at the same place in the constellation where it was on the same day the year before, but the axis of the earth has a wobbling motion somewhat resembling that of a spinning top, whose momentum is about spent. This changes the apparent position of the Sun as viewed from the earth in such a manner that it appears to reach any given position a little too early. It precedes, and therefore astronomers speak of the "precession of the equinox." That is to say, the Sun appears to cross the equator at the vernal equinox each year a short distance before it reaches the point where it crossed the preceding year. Thus if one year it crossed in the first degree of Aries, the next year it would cross slightly within the limits of the constellation Pisces. The following year it would still be farther away in Pisces from the first point of Aries and so on. This backward motion, however, is so slow that it takes nearly twenty-six thousand years to go backwards through the twelve signs, or twenty-one hundred years to go through one sign, or seventy years to move through one degree.
Astronomers usually speak of "degrees of right ascension," by which they divide the circle of the heavens into the usual number of three hundred and sixty degrees, starting with the point where the Sun crosses the equator at the next preceding vernal equinox. But they also call the first thirty degrees from the point Aries, the second thirty degrees, Taurus, etc., the same as the astrologer. Thus there is the natural zodiac composed of the twelve constellations or actual groups of stars in the heavens which change so little that it is imperceptible in one lifetime or even in several hundred years, and the intellectual zodiac which starts from the point of the vernal equinox for any given year.
Seeing that the Sun by precession travels backwards among the signs of the zodiac, it will be understood that there must come a time when the vernal equinox occurs in the first point of Aries; and thus during that year the intellectual and natural zodiac agree. This occurred the last time about the year 500 A.D., and as the Sun has been traveling backwards at its accustomed rate of one degree in about seventy years, it is evident that at the present time the vernal equinox occurs in about ten degrees of Pisces. Thus, it will be about A. D. 2,600, or seven hundred years, before it actually enters the constellation Aquarius. Or, to be in line with scientific facts, let us say, before it appears from the earth as if the Sun crosses the equator in the constellation Aquarius. During the twenty-one hundred years from the time, it will appear as if the Sun were in the constellation Aquarius every year at the time when it crosses the vernal equinox. Thus it may be said that the Aquarian Age comprises the twenty-one hundred years counting from about A. D., 2,600, during which the Sun by precession appears to be in the constellation Aquarius at the time when it crosses the equator and vernal equinox.
Has the reader ever sat quietly absorbed in a book or perhaps in writing or some other task, and then suddenly become aware that someone was standing behind his or her back, the approach of whom had been undetected because of absorption in the book or other matters? If so, though the person did not speak or move, the presence was felt more and more keenly until it made you turn. Surely this experience is so common that everyone is personally aware of the fact, but what is the explanation? I is simply this: besides the physical body which we all see, man has certain vehicles which are invisible to ordinary vision. These subtle sheaths extend beyond the physical body so that when we stand close to another person the ethereal bodies intermingle, and at times when we are very quiet and passive these subtle influences are more readily felt that at other times, though they exist and are powerful factors in our lives at all times.
"As above, so below," and vice versa. This is the law of analogy, the master key to the mysteries. Man is the microcosm and the stars are the macrocosm. Therefore we may conclude that these great stars which move in the heavens and are the bodies of Spirits have subtle vehicles similar to the auric atmosphere of our earth. Hence the proximity of the Sun to the constellation Aquarius at the time of the vernal equinox transmits these influences to the earth along with the solar rays, and as the spring is the particular time when everything on earth is impregnated with life, we may also judge that the Aquarian Ray thus transmitted will make itself felt among the people of the earth no matter whether they believe it or not. Thus if we can find out what the influence of Aquarius is we shall be able to answer the question, "What is the Aquarian Age?" from another point of view, and astrology gives us this information based on experience and observation.
Aquarius has an intellectual influence which is original, inventive, physic, scientific, altruistic, and religious. If we apply the Biblical standard, "By their fruits ye shall know them," to this problem, we would expect to see that the Aquarian Age would be ushered in by original endeavors along all lines connected with science, religion, mysticism, and altruism, and we can no look back upon a period of about seventy years in which the Sun by precession has traveled one degree in the orb towards Aquarius. During that time we find that there has been a very marked change in all lines of thought and endeavor from that which history records throughout the past two millennia. Almost all the inventions which make our life today what it is have been made during that time. The telegraph, the telephone, the use of electricity, the conquest of air and steam, the gas engine, which is superseding steam, and other inventions too numerous to mention are marking the Aquarian progress in the physical world.
We also note the rapid rate at which all the movements of liberal thought in religious matters are superseding the old creed bound conditions and the increasing number of those who have developed the spiritual sight and are investigating the trend of evolution in the higher phase. Note the rapidity with which the science of astrology is gaining ground, and in this respect we may mention that one firm which deals in astrological ephemerides used only for astrological calculations is reported to sell about half a million a year.
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All these things show, or give an inkling of, what may be expected to happen during the Aquarian Age. When such great strides have been made during seventy years while the Sun is just beginning to transmit the influence from the outskirts of Aquarius, what then may be expected when it enters the sign itself? Both the possibilities and the probabilities are far beyond the range of the wildest imagination, and this applies both to the physical and the psychical side of life. It is the opinion of the writer that at least the majority of mankind, if not by all, so that the sting of death will be removed at least partly by the companionship that will exist with our friends and relatives who have passed out of the body. We shall them continue to see them a while and have time to get used to the fact that they are going to higher realms. We shall not grieve at all for the little children who die and retain their vital bodies, for they will probably remain with their parents until it is time for them to take a new embodiment. This often occurs in the same family. In those cases there would be absolutely no sense of loss.
When this point in evolution is reached mankind will also be so much more enlightened that it will avoid many of the pitfalls which cause trouble today, and it therefore favors a much happier existence than has been the rule up to the present stage. The added intellect will help us solve the social problems in such a manner that it will be equitable to all, and the use of continually improving machinery will emancipate mankind from physical toil to a great extent and leave more room for intellectual and spiritual improvement.
Why do some astrologers give the year 1912 as the beginning of the Aquarian Age?
Answer: We have seen that statement made, but no reason is given. You don't need astrology for that calculation, for ordinary astronomy will give it very clearly. The vernal equinox at the present time is in 10 degrees of the constellation Pisces, and that of course is called by astronomers the first degree of Aries. They have the system we use in astrology of differentiating between the two zodiacs. They always start with the first point of Aries, which they call 0 degrees of longitude, at the same time when the Sun passes over the equator every year. They know and measure precession, at the rate of about fifty seconds of space ever year. When we go back that fifty seconds of space every year it amounts to one degree in about 72 years, and one sign in about 2,100 years, so that is the same measurement we are using astrology.
The Sun is at the present time crossing the equator in about 10 degrees of the constellation Pisces as already said, and as it precedes at the rate of 50 seconds a year or one degree in 72 years, you can easily figure when the Sun will by precession enter the constellation Aquarius: about the year 2638. Why anybody should say that the Aquarian Age begins in 1912 we don't know. This much may be said, however, that every one of us has an aura which interpenetrates the physical body and extends about 16 inches from its periphery. It grows larger as we become more spiritual, but that is the average. This accounts for the fact that sometimes we feel a person standing behind us. His aura and ours blend, and thereby we sense the presence and feel his vibration. It is the same with the Sun, Moon, earth, and all the other planets. Each has its particular aura. Thus as the Sun moved toward the constellation Aquarius, its aura went before it and contacted the Aquarian vibration, so that the influence began to be felt by us in about the middle of the last century.
If we will consider the fact that Spirit is the sign of invention, originality, and independence, changing the world to brighter and more liberal ideas, and them remember that since 1850 the religious and social ideas of the world have undergone a very complete revolution, and that science and invention have taken a wonderful turn, this seems to work out. Just think of the things that have come into the world since that time. Steamships were then beginning to be used, then the telegraph and telephone, wireless telegraphy, automobiles, airships, electrical appliances, and everything that has revolutionized life in the past 60 or 70 years. The whole world has been transformed with that Aquarian influence and this is being more and more felt every year. Therefore it may be said that we are in orb of Aquarius, but the Aquarian Age has not actually started. When Christ came the Sun by precession was in Seven degrees of Aries. It still had Seven degrees to go to Pisces, but it was in orb. In 498 A.D. the Sun crossed in 0 degrees of Aries, and from that it has been preceding into the sign Pisces and then the Piscean Age began.
It is usual for a great teacher to come in each age, and we may expect him to come through the Rosicrucian Teachings, because the Rosicrucian Teachings are the herald of the Aquarian Age as John the Baptist was the herald of the Piscean Age.
Is it right to use the guidance of the planetary hour tables for the purpose of pecuniary gain, or to gain the advantage over another person?
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Answer: It is certainly very wrong to use any means to get the advantage over another person, it doesn't matter what the reason is. If on the other hand, we want to help somebody—let us say that a person is sick and we want to pour out our vitality and give him all that we can spare—then we can do that best in the hours of Mars, the planet of dynamic energy. If we want to help somebody obtain a position, and we use the hour of the Sun to go and ask for a position for him, the Sun signifying an employer, then we are more likely to be successful than at another time. We are using it legitimately, also, if we have to go and face somebody that may harm us. If we can find a good hour it is all right.
The editor was in Germany in 1908, and over there in peace times everybody had to register. Those who were strangers had to register at the police station and go in person to show their papers and give a good account of themselves. The police secured a good description of them, asked about their religion, whether married or single, and how long they intended to stay. These and many more questions had to be answered, and if one moved around the corner to another place, the process had to be repeated. These officers were very brusque and it was not very pleasant to face them. So we thought we would go in the hour of the Sun when the Sun was well aspected, and everything was as harmonious as possible. We were treated very politely, and everything went beautifully. However, later we moved. That time we couldn't find an auspicious hour of the Sun, so went in another hour. They were so brusque that we were relived, pleased, and thankful to get out of the station with a whole skin. So planetary hours do have some effect, if that experience counts.
Would you tell us what was the origin of the symbols, and the shapes of these symbols representing the different signs of the zodiac, also the planets? Why are some quite easy to decipher, while others are just the reverse?
Answer: There seem to be about three factors in the symbols for the planets. There is a circle which means spirit, the half circle which we may take as a symbol of the soul, and the cross which we take as a symbol of matter. If we apply that key, we have in the Sun symbol a circle which stands as a symbol of Spirit. Then we have Mars which is composed of the circle and the cross above. The Spirit is under the cross, which we make take to mean that the Spirit is in bondage to matter and to the body. Thus we find the martial people very material. They usually do not believe in anything supernatural, as they call it—only what they can see, and might is right with them. The higher, finer, and nobler feeling are held in abeyance; there is mainly the physical side expressed. Everything is for self. Mars always asks: "What can I get for myself and how much pleasure can I get? What is the best I can do for myself and how can I oust everybody else?"
Venus is just the reverse. Mars will fight, but Venus doesn't fight. Her symbol has the Spirit above the cross of matter. The Spirit has the balance of power and therefore she is the planet of love. She says, "How much can I do for somebody else? I want to help somebody. I want to attract everybody to myself that I may do them some good."
Next we have the symbol of Saturn. There is the soul, or instinctual mind. symbolized by the half circle, under the dominance of matter, represented by a cross. Therefore the Saturn people are materialistic in the extreme. They are very selfish also in every way. They grasp everything for self. The heart and better nature are put underneath.
When you take the opposite combination, you have Jupiter, the soul above the cross of matter. The Jupiter person is the jovial, good- natured fellow, saying, "Well, how are you? Is there any way I can assist you?" He is always trying to be philanthropic and help somebody. Thus we see how well the planetary symbolism expresses nature.
We also have the half circle by itself, the Moon, but that is just the soul. The lunar people are emotional, but they haven't much backbone. Finally, we have the planetary symbol composed of all three factors. This is the planet of mind, Mercury, uniting all the attributes of body, soul, and Spirit. It is the pivot. Mercury enhances the good of both the reason and the reasoning mind, but is of no value except as colored by the other planets.
If we combine the planets symbolism is also seen. The Moon with Mars makes the person still more foolhardy and harebrained than he would otherwise be. The Moon together with Venus, makes that person more emotional and devotional than otherwise. If Mercury is with Mars, it gives a keener intelligence and reasoning power; with Saturn it gives him deeper thought and a grasping and selfish mind. Jupiter with Mercury enhances the good of both the reason and benevolence and they work together for philanthropic purposes. So with all the planets, because they are composed of these constituent parts of the symbols.
Why did the ancient priests of Egypt study astrology so thoroughly?
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Answer: Why, the whole fate of humanity is bound up by the stars. It doesn't matter whether we go to our own Bible or the textbook of any other religion. Everywhere we shall find that the stars are given a more prominent place. In our own Bible we know that they are called the Seven Spirits before the Throne. They are the Seven Star Angels as known particularly to the Catholic Church, the Seven Planetary Spirits that have had to do with our evolution every since humanity began to evolve on this planet. Therefore, naturally the course of the stars and their configurations are time markers in the history of humanity.
We hear Pythagoras speak of the music of the spheres. Most people think that a poetical expression. It is not; it is a fact. Anywhere we go we shall find there is a sound distinct from the sounds of other places. The rustle of the trees when the wind is blowing, the babbling brooks, all have peculiar sounds. No two brooks will give the same sound. Musicians who have a trained ear can hear the difference. If we go into a city there is a conglomerate noise, but all that noise blends into the tone of the city. The composite of all the sounds all over the world, the rustle of the winds in the trees, and all the noises are heard in space as a certain single tone—the tone of the earth.
These stellar orbs travel around, as is well known to astrologers, but not in a circle. They don't stay in one order, but come into different configurations with one another. The same is true of the Seven tones in the octave, which are the replica of the Seven Planetary Spirits. Just as they can be brought into different connections and make different chords, so also these different tones of the worlds that are moving through space make up the harmony of the spheres, and according to the change in these vibrations humanity is evolving. There is a different vibration every single moment of time, and as a new being comes into existence, these varying vibrations act upon him and make him different from all others. Therefore he has a certain fate.
It is the same in the microcosm and the macrocosm, the little world and the big world. We all have to with the stars. Everyone is bound up with the stars, without them there is nothing done or made. That is why the ancient priest of Egypt who knew, took up that phase of religion. That is why they studied astrology so thoroughly, and the day will come when a great many more people will study it. The science of astrology will be revived when we grow wiser.
In some of your literature you say, "To us, astrology is a phase of religion." Please tell us wherein astrology co-ordinates with the Christian Teachings.
Answer: The preceding question ought to answer this. The Seven Spirits before the Throne are the Planetary Spirits of the marching orbs. We cannot separate them from religion. Even in the earliest times we find everywhere the stars are a part of religion and without them there could be no religion.
Can you explain the precise way in which astrological influences act? It seems extraordinary that because a man's horoscope contains no evidence of a violent death he can have such miraculous escapes. For example, in the present European War there are scores of instances of men exposing themselves most recklessly in the midst of a perfect hail of bullets and coming thorugh unscathed. There was a French general, so fat that he could scarcely walk, who would perch himself on a camp stool outside the trench and be potted at for quite long periods. He was never hurt. Again, a British aviator descended quite low over the German trenches, and competent observers say that although for ten minutes thousands of shells were fired at him, he was untouched. In what mysterious way is such protection as this afforded by stellar influences?
Answer: Astrologers who have investigated the horoscopes of a number of victims of accidents like those of the "Eastland" and the "General Slocum" always have been able to find serious afflictions in the victim's horoscope, and one of the European astrologers, we believe it was "Sepharial" recently compared the horoscope of forty people slain on the battle field in the same engagement. The result showed severe afflictions in every case, and it is equally certain that anyone who has a miraculous escape must be under good directions at the time.
A study of the nativities reveals that fact that while certain people are immune from accidents all their lives, other people are subject to them at every turn. A third class will have many hairbreadth escapes from the cradle to the grave. In The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception we cite the case of a man belonging to the class which is always meeting with accidents. He was not by any means a reckless or careless man. On one occasion he was hurt while climbing into a buggy. On the occasion cited in The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception he was riding on a street car and could not be blamed for the misfortune which overtook him. However, both of these accidents and others were foreshown very clearly in his horoscope. It was further seen that this was the result of an inexorable fate, for the writer had warned him and predicted the exact date of the railroad accident months before. The poor man was anxious to escape and had stayed at home on the day preceding the accident under the impression that that was the fateful day. Afterwards it was found that he had become confused on the date and therefore fell a victim.
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On another occasion the writer predicted an accident for a man of the class who always escapes. If memory serves us right this man had Leo rising, and the Sun, which ruled the Ascendant, in the eighth house, square to Saturn. Jupiter was trine to the Sun or the Ascendant, or both. Thus it was evident that this man would come within a hair's breadth of losing his life many times, but would always escape. However, in the year 1906 or 1907 there was an eclipse of the Sun within one or two degrees of his radical Sun, also some minor afflictions. This we believed might be the terminus vitae, but it was not. One the day when the direction fell he stumbled in the middle of the street and a heavy touring car bore down upon him. It was stopped about one inch from his body, so that the benefic ray of Jupiter had again overridden the sinister Saturn. So far as known to the writer, the man still lives and has probably escaped death a number of times since then.
There must be a similar configurations in the cases of those mentioned by our friend. Such persons bear a charmed life, and there is no other explanation that will give a satisfactory solution to the problem except that the stellar rays are potent powers in our lives.
Nor should this surprise us when we consider that the stars are living, pulsating bodies of great Intelligences which are the ministers of God. If a puny wireless plant made with human hands can send wireless waves thousands of miles into space and there move a lever, light a lamp, or operate a telegraph key, according to the will of the sender, why should it be impossible for the dynamic energy of such great Spirits to send abroad in the universe rays of force or potency capable of operating many millions of miles away from them? Whether we realize it or whether we believe it, the fact remains, nevertheless, and all the skeptic needs to do to find evidence is to watch the movements of the Moon and Mars.
These two planets play a very considerable part at the present time, for people have allowed themselves to yield to their impulses for the last two years. It is true that we strengthen our characters by ruling our stars and fortifying ourselves against their impelling influences. It is also a fact that the more readily we yield to them at one time, the more potent we shall feel their influences the next.
Why do you call Neptune the higher octave of Mercury?
Answer: Mercury is usually associated with reason and intelligence; to him is ascribed ruler over the nervous system, which is the medium of transmission between the embodied Spirit and the world without. Thus, as Neptune signifies the sub and superhuman intelligences who live and move in the spiritual realms of the universe, but who work with and upon us, so Mercury indicates the human intelligence focused upon the terrestrial physical world wherein we live from birth to death. Therefore, it may be said that Neptune is the octave of Mercury, but there is a deeper sense.
Reference to a textbook of anatomy or physiology will show that lengthwise fissures in the spinal cord divide it into three parts, which enclose a hollow tube. Each of these columns is ruled by one of the Hierarchies in closest touch with us, the lunar, martial or mercurial, predominating, according to the stage in evolution of the individual. In the spinal canal the rays of Neptune kindle the spinal spirit-fire whereby the human spirit is enabled to pierce the veil of flesh and contact the worlds beyond. This vision is colored according to the column of the cord most actively excited.
In the childhood days of mankind the creative force which is now turned outwards to build ships, houses, railways, telephones, etc., was used inwardly to build the organs of our body, and as the surrounding physical world is photographed upon the table of a camera obscura, so the spiritual world is reflected in the spinal canal. There man beheld first the lunar God, Jehovah, whose Angels were then his tutors. Later, Angels who had fallen behind the standard of their compeers, and whose evolutionary requirements were therefore different, forced entrance to the spinal cord of man. The spiritual inner vision of mankind faded when "their eyes were opened and they saw they were naked."
Then they lost touch with the higher self. They saw only the person, and the docile creature of Jehovah was soon transformed to a savage and a brute under the impulse of Lucifer Spirits, the hierarchy of Mars. However, by their promptings man has also learned to conquer material obstacles, to build outwardly and become architect of the world. To counteract the unmitigated selfishness bred by the martial Angels and to make mankind humane, our Elder Brothers from Mercury, human like ourselves, whose high state of evolution required the higher vibration generated and prevailing in close proximity to the Sun, were required to invest the spinal cord of mankind also. Through their labors civilization has taken on a different form. Mankind is again beginning to look inwards, and when the mercurial rays meets the ray of Neptune in the spinal canal, man finds again his higher self—the Christ is born within.
Thus there is a connection between the Moon, Mercury, and Neptune. Those who come in touch with Neptune through the Moon may become irresponsible mediums, victims of obsession, etc., but where Mercury is the fate, reason and understanding guide the aspiring Spirit. An afflicted Mercury may sometimes tempt seekers to enter by the wrong door, and mental trouble may result. If aware of the danger, however, continual care and persistence usually unlock the door of the temple, for the good forces are in the ascendancy now and grow stronger as time passes.
I noticed in the magazine for April just to hand you welcome queries relating to discrepancies in astrological delineations, so I should be pleased if you would point out the line of thought to make the following statements agree.
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In the horoscope for Doris A., in the February Rays, you say she is going to have an easy life, for there is not a single bad aspect in the figure. Now, Venus is in the twelfth house, and in The Message of the Stars it is stated, speaking of Venus in the house of sorrow, presumably the twelfth, "There the smile of love is drowned in tears."
Answer: When you judge the effect of planets in any horoscope you should remember in the first place that no single aspect or position is sufficient to cause any important effects in the life, but that the general tenor of the horoscope must always be taken into consideration. In the next place it is important to remember that aspects between the planets have a stronger effect than mere house or sign position. If the general indications of a horoscope show a good and easy life, Venus placed in the twelfth house will not alone be able to change the validity of this judgment. If she were afflicted by a square or opposition of Saturn, the case would be different, and the general judgment must be modified to conform to this fact. However, if she were to receive a trine from the Sun or Jupiter, the mere fact of her placement in the twelfth house would be almost nil in comparison with the effect of such powerful aspects. So if you will just keep these points in mind and remember that the influences of an unaspected planet is weak, no matter where it is placed in the horoscope, and that no single aspect is decisive at any time, you will have no difficulty in reconciling our statements.
In training children it is advised that parents get an astrological reading of the child's potentialities so as to inhibit detrimental tendencies and strengthen the benficent. Does this pay? Is it not necessary and ultimately beneficial for the child to pass through the so-called adverse moods and experiences? Will not the spiritual nature be stronger when they are overcome? Is not acquired virtue better than innocence or purity through evasion?
Answer: No, we do not advise parents to get an astrological reading for their children. We advise them to study astrology for themselves so as to be able to study and read their children's horoscopes. We do this because although strange astrologers, professional or otherwise, may be much more competent to read the children's horoscopes than the parents, they lack the keen vital interest and the sympathy which will intuitively guide the parent to a much better understanding of what is contained in that little figure than ever an outsider can.
The parent will have a much keener appreciation of what is shown in the child's horoscope when he had to dig it out for himself and seems it there in symbolical form, than when it is simply put down for him ready to read on a typewritten page, for he or she will then be much better fitted and qualified by a deeper insight to help the child foster the good tendencies and avoid the pitfalls shown by the bad.
Now our correspondent asks does this pay. Is the child not going to be much better off by just simply wading through the mire and blundering along than by avoiding the pitfalls that are shown? Surely not. What would we think of a captain of a ship who set out on a voyage without either chart or compass because he though it would be far better to learn by experience than to avoid the rocks and shoals already charted by others? We should call him a foolhardy man, and be surprised if he did not put his ship on the rocks and smash it to pieces. If very one refused to take the experience of others as contained in books and the general knowledge now available in the world, how limited would be the experience of each! All the world would commit the same blunders over and over again.
We find the same thing in our colleges as compared with the manually trained mechanics. The boy who goes into a shop and learns only by practice what work is done there may become fairly proficient in his trade during the time another spends in a technical school, but once the technical student has graduated and entered the ship, he not only quickly catches up with the man who has learned only by experience, but soon passes him and goes to the top. Such is the universal experience in all parts and departments of life, that by adding the practical experience of others contained in books and taught in school to our experience we acquire a vast amount of knowledge that could not be obtained in any other way.
It is the same in the school of life with respect to ethics and morals. If someone who is interested in us knows just at what point we fall short, is able to supply the needed training or encourage us to train ourselves in that particular branch of morals and ethics, or is ready to help and restrain us when we would rush headlong into a pit, he may help us acquire the same faculties and qualities in a different way then would be the case if we were left to our own devices and forced to learn by experience. Thus we shall be able to advance upon the path of evolution much better than if we had to learn through our own sin and suffering.
If we see in the horoscope of a little child a tendency toward drunkenness, and we take it during its years of childhood when the nature is sympathetic and sensitive, to places where others are making beasts of themselves, to homes where children are being beaten by a drunken father, and to any other place where an object lesson that will appeal to the sympathies of the child may be had, the changes are that we may instill in such a little on a horror for a drink that will last throughout life and keep it on the straight path so far as that vice is concerned. Then the child has learned the lesson equally as well by the sorrows of theirs as if it had to go through the mire itself, and the object has been attained.
Besides, the parent or guardian who has done the child such a wonderful service will have laid up for himself a treasure in heaven that is precious beyond all that words can express. Therefore we shall continue to urge parents and guardians to study the science of astrology and apply it in the training of children. By our simplified system it is easy to do the mathematical part, nor is the reading difficult when love points the way.
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In drawing a horoscope does one take into consideration the conditions and environment which affect the life of a certain person or are the rules laid down in astrological books correct as applied to any person, and at any time of his or her life?
Answer: No, the readings are not correct as applied to any time of life. We must always say that such and such aspects and configurations in a horoscope give such and such tendencies. Just as a plant has to have time to grow and unfold its various little leaves and flowers, so also the human plant must grow, and things that are latent at birth will be gradually unfolded in the course of life. That is to say, as far as his or her environment permits.
Aspects means something different to people placed in different circumstances. To name a historical case, if memory serves correctly, a child was born at the very same minute in the lower part of the city as George III was born in the palace at Windsor. These two children grew up and each entered an independent career on the same day., that is, one became a monarch and the other went into business. They married on the same day, had the same number of children (but that could be only coincident, because children are dependent upon the other party's horoscope also), and they also died on the same day. Thus the main events of their lives were similar, yet they were different because of being placed in different environments. One was asking, the other an ironmonger. If you will read the article in The Message of the Stars, "The Measure of Amenability to Planetary Vibrations," you will see that humanity learns to respond to one after another of the planets. Many of us are beginning to respond to Uranus, but very few people respond to the vibrations of Neptune.
You say that Mercury is colorless and neutral in its influence. Would not that indicate that the humanity of Mercury is at a very low stage of development, and if so how can they have an influence upon the mind of humanity in such a manner that it promotes reason?
Answer: During the first three and a half Revolutions of the Earth Period the influence of Mars had been paramount to galvanize humanity into action, but since the middle of the Atlantean Epoch when mind had been given to all, evolution and epigenesis (the exercise of man's own original creative talent) are gradually bringing us Godward. While the influence of Mars was paramount as said, the mercurial influence was almost nil, for the planet Mercury had been in obscuration, undergoing one of the periodical planetary rests from which it began to emerge during the Atlantean Epoch, when the Lords of Mercury were called upon by Jehovah to aid Him in counterbalancing the influence of the Lucifer Spirits upon humanity. Since that time the influence of Mercury has been constantly increasing, but it will probably take many millennia before its full influence is felt. There are no sudden processes in nature and it takes a long time for a planet to go to rest or come out from a period of obscuration. It must not be forgotten either that we are not mentally qualified to take full advantage of the Mercurial vibrations as they exist at the present time, for the humanity of Mercury is far beyond our stage of development, though they as well as all the other planets are following different lines of evolution form that which is going on upon the earth.
With respect to the color of Mercury, we may say that when one is in the physical body and focuses his sight upon the World of Concrete Thought, the first color he sees is blue-black or indigo, something like the intensified color of the blue core of a gas flame. At times it appears darker than others, though probably that may be due to conditions in the observer, but it seems entirely vacuous. The feeling and sensation is something similar to that which one has after being out in very bright sunlight when one suddenly enters the house. The sight has to be adjusted to conditions there and until that time all appears black or dark. Then gradually one perceives a white light in and through everything.
The whole Region of Concrete Thought is basically a dazzling, brilliant white, or perhaps colorless, and in that the different things take unto themselves a color which stands out all the more sharply and brilliantly because of the absolutely colorless light which pervades the whole region. It is probably because of that absolutely crystal clearness that there is not space perception possible. The mind is formed of this colorless mind stuff and because it is perfectly neutral it is able to show others things in their true colors.
Perhaps the whole matter can be best explained by the illustration of field glass. If we take one that is of poor quality, we shall find that the glass is not quite clear and that it shows a number of colors in the lenses. Thus the objects upon which this glass it focused are seen but indistinctly, their colors not being shown up true, but when we obtain a first class instrument it is, as we say, chromatic. It will not show any colors in the glass, and therefore it can properly transmit the true colors of objects upon which it is focused. Being perfectly clear and absolutely neutral it may be focused upon distant objects. The mercurial rays are singularly well adapted to express the mental faculty for the similar reason that they are colorless themselves.
Will you kindly explain in the Astral Ray this apparent discrepancy of statement: In the current issue of Rays, page 110, last lines of first paragraph, it is stated, ". . .and that when we seem to delay or accelerate birth we really are aiding nature to take its predetermined course. . ." Whereas in your article on the triplets last year it was written: ". . .It would be absolutely wrong if a physician hurried someone across the threshold when he was about to die. . .It is in no way different from what the physician does when he hurries the birth of a child. . .Then we may see a reason for the fact that certain people do not seem to fit into their environment. They were hurried into the world under a planetary vibration that was not at all intended for them." I had fixed firmly in my mind the admonition contained in the "Triplet" article, but these later remarks seem to modify it.
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There are also two other points on which I am seeking light. In this same article in the February number it is said: ". . .It is better to be born when the Moon is increasing in light. . .The growing Moon always increases vitality and furthers our affairs." But in several past readings it has been pointed out that the conjunction of the Moon with the Sun is one of the best auguries for health and general prosperity. How do you reconcile these statements?
In a recent vocational reading, writing of the squares of Saturn and Mercury, it is said: "This makes you critical and sarcastic, particularly to those you work with." Saturn is, however, the planet of diplomacy, and in former readings it was stated: ". . .While if Mercury is in the Saturnine signs Capricorn and Aquarius, or Saturn is in the Mercurial signs Gemini and Virgo, or Saturn and Mercury are configurated, it gives the person caution, tact, and diplomacy."
Answer: The article on the tardy triplets appeared in the February, 1916 issue, and for the benefit of those who have not read it we may say that the lady who gave birth to these triplets had no regular obstetrician in attendance, but was look after by her aunt who allowed nature to take its course. The first of the triplets was born September 22nd 1915, at 1:50 A.M.. Triplet No. 2 was born September 24th, 1915, at 1:15 A.M., and triplet No. 3 was born ten minutes later. Thus there was an interval of forty eight hours between the birth of the first and the last one.
This is an abnormal case which comes near being in the same category as a Seven months' birth, and we have never seen the horoscope of a Seven month's child that fitted. Neither have we seen a Seven months' child who fitted into his environment. There is always something wrong in the life when the period of gestation has been interfered with and the person has received his planetary baptism at a time when the stellar configuration were unsuited to his case and condition. Therefore, we said and think that it is criminal to bring a child to birth under such conditions. In the case of these triplets the mother did not have labor pains from the time the first one was born until the second one was nearly ready to enter the world. Had an obstetrician brought them to birth in spite of this, two days before the appointed time, he would, in our opinion, have caused trouble for the two last ones. Although we did not express it in the article on the triplets, it has always been our opinion that just on that account the lady was left without a professional attendant and given a nurse who would not take drastic measures.
We think that it is sometimes possible for an astrologer to give advice which may interfere with the ripe destiny of someone else, and we may cite in illustration of this the case mentioned in the Cosmo where the editor warned a man of an accident on a railway which would happen on a certain day. The man went on the railway, however, and was hurt according to the prediction. He thought that the twenty-eighth was the twenty-ninth, and we believe to counteract the prediction of the editor the Lords of Destiny or their agents made the man forget. Thus we believe that they interfere in all things which are not to be altered by human interference, and on that account we think the mother of the triplets was provided with someone who would allow nature to take its course. Special cases are taken care of in a special manner, there probably being a reason for the untimely birth, but we have never had the time or the opportunity to investigate that.
With respect to the point brought up in the second paragraph, it is perfectly true that we have said all these things, and there is no reason to modify any of them. The conjunction of the Sun and the Moon is one of the best auguries for health and general success. At a conjunction the Moon begins to increase in light and continues to do so until the time of the full Moon. Truly, it is better to be born while the Moon is increasing in light than front the full Moon to the next conjunction when the light of the Moon is on the wane.
With respect to the matter mentioned in the last paragraph, the student should realize that the virtues conveyed by a planet are brought out by its favorable aspects, the sextile or trine, in particular, while the vices of a planet are expressed by the square or opposition, which are unfavorable aspects. If now we set some of the virtues of Saturn down as tact and diplomacy, we could not expect to find them under a square of Saturn and Mercury, but we would look for the vices of Saturn and conclude that a person with that configuration must be cynical, critical, and sarcastic. We do not recollect where the reading is in which we said that if Mercury is in the saturnine sign Capricorn or Aquarius, or Saturn in the mercurial sign Gemini or Virgo, or Saturn and Mercury are configurated, it gives the person caution, tact, and diplomacy. However, that is true if they are configurated by favorable aspects. Then the virtues of Saturn are brought out, but if the configuration is by adverse aspects, as the square and opposition, it brings out the vices. We may have been speaking of a good aspect in that case and had forgotten to mention also the modifying effect of a bad aspect. If so we trust that the foregoing will make it clear.
In conclusion we may say that we are very glad to have the students bring up any points where they think there is a discrepancy, or where we have not made ourselves clear. In that way we shall get the most benefit out of these studies.
Accoring to astrology, when is the best time to be born?
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Answer: In the light of esoteric investigation of some of the modern methods it appears that birth is an event we are powerless to control. When we seem to do so in a slight degree we are really agents of destiny to accelerate or delay it till the proper moment has arrived. This view is also justified by the author's experience in horary astrology. The philosophy of horary astrology is that at the time one is impelled to ask a question concerning an important matter the heavens contain also the answer, and a figure set for that time will contain the solution to the problem. But it should be particularly noted that the time to set the figure is when the inquirer asks the question of the astrologer, when this is done in person. When it is done by mail the astrologer sets the figure for the time he reads the question in the letter.
On a number of occasions we have received letters containing questions which bore marks of having been delayed by flood or fire, but the figure cast for the moment of reading gave the answer, showing that the death had a part in the plan. Nor should it surprise us that the great Intelligences which are the ministers of destiny, foresee and make allowance for contingencies beyond the grasp of the human mind. When the Infinite Mind bestows equal care when designing the anatomy of a fly, a mouse, or a lion, may we not conclude that a similar attention to the minutiae prevails in all departments of life? When we seem to delay or accelerate birth are we not really aiding nature to takes it predetermined course, as said in the opening sentence of this article?
Nevertheless, people often ask the astrologer when is the best time to be born. Young astrologers also frequently want to know—not that they have any ideal of controlling birth, but so that on seeing a horoscope, or being told a person's time of birth, they may make a quick mental calculation to determine whether he has a so-called good or bad horoscope. Such a judgment would of course be founded only on the position of the Sun by sign, and approximate house, hence general in the extreme. It may be said, however, that other planetary positions being equal, it is better to be born when the Moon is increasing in light, for the new to the full, that when she is decreasing, from the full to the new, for the growing Moon also increases vitality and furthers our affairs.
It is fortunate to be born in April or August when the life-giving Sun is in its exaltation sign Aries, or Leo, its home, for then we enter the sea of life on the erest wave of vitality and are backed in the battle of existence by an abundant fund of energy.
It is also good to be born in May and July when the life-light of the Sun is focused through the exaltation sign and home of the Moon, Taurus and Cancer, especially, as said, when the lesser light is increasing. Those configurations also furnish an abundance of vitality which is such a great asset in physical life.
With respect to the time of day most favorable for birth, it may be said that children born about sunrise or during the forenoon from 8 to 12, while the Sun is transversing the houses of friends and social prestige, are the "luckiest," for they are helped on every hand. Children born between noon and midnight are less "lucky." When the Sun comes to the nadir, the "luck" turns again, for although the children are born in the early morning while the day star is ascending toward the eastern horizon will have to carve their own way in the world, opportunities will be given them in abundance.
We may therefore sum up our conclusions by saying that it is best to be born at sunrise, or in the forenoon, preferably in April or August, when the Moon is increasing in light.
Finally, it should always be born in mind that there is no "luck" in the commonly accepted sense, but that what we have or lack in any respect is due to our own actions in the past and that in the future we may have what we now lack by proper application.
Is sorrow necessary in the great scheme of things? Is it not a part of god's plan for us to be joyful?
Answer: When Tannhauser, driven by his unholy passion for the noble, pure , and virtuous Elizabeth, wandered into the mountain and was attracted to the cave of Venus as steel to a magnet, he was not only allowed, but encouraged to gratify his sensual desires to the fullest extent. Naturally, he was soon satiated with passion and he prayed to be released fro the goddess Venus and to be allowed to return to the earth. In the course of his plea he utters the truism that at the present stage of development man requires both joy and sorrow for his proper development. In the philosophic mind this sentiment evokes instant assent, for although we are all human enough to crave joy and dread sorrow, we cannot upon proper though fail to realize the fact that a life of constant joy without the slightest sorrow to mar it would be absolutely insipid and colorless. It is the proper blend of light and shadow that gives beauty to a picture or landscape, and a similar arrangement of sorrow and joy is required to lend zest to life and make it worthwhile.
From the astrological standpoint the light and the shadow of life is furnished by the position and aspects of Jupiter and Saturn at birth, together with their progression and transits in respect to the horoscope of any person. The joy and laughter come from Jupiter, the planet of benevolence and optimism, who bestows upon us the favors of the gods in the measure which we have deserved their bounties. On the other hand, Saturn, the planet of pessimism and obstruction, is the dispenser of disfavors which we have incurred by actions inharmonious with the law, and as we are still ignorant of how to work in harmony with God's great plan of the universe, it is small wonder that the switch of Saturn is needed to whip us into live when we have departed from the path of virtue. However, it is a most significant sign of our Father's love that Jupiter travels three times around the horoscope, making aspects and bringing opportunities for good, to every revolution of Saturn, which brings to us the experiences which are called evil by those who lack understanding.
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What a wonderful blessing astrology is, giving us an insight into the infinite plan of evolution, whereby we are all slowly being educated from ignorance to omniscience! Saturn is one of the main factors in this process of enlightenment. To those who do not know astrology it may seem as if sorrows come upon them for no reason that they can discover, and they very often envy those who are more fortunate seemingly than themselves. However, once they have learned to look for light through astrology the whole viewpoint of life is changed. It then becomes evident that we are there not for pleasure but for experience, and no matter how sad or how disastrous these experiences may be the true student of astrology welcomes them and seeks to find out the reason from the astrological viewpoint, and the lessons to be learned. Furthermore, he derives the comfort from his knowledge that the aspects which produce disastrous effects are only passing and that in due season, which he can definitely calculate, the whiplash of Saturn will disappear and the benefic ray of Jupiter will again dispel the saturnine gloom and heal the hurt. This knowledge naturally gives him courage to bear up in the days of trial and keeps him in a hopeful attitude of mind looking forward to the time when the tribulation will be over.
When we live in ignorance of God's great plan and have no conception of the cyclic ministrations of sorrow and joy brought into our lives for our good by Saturn and Jupiter, we are apt to become too elated and overjoyed when Jupiter showers the good gifts of the gods—health, wealth, friends, success, and prosperity—upon us. We are also prone to become unduly downcast, when under the scourge of Saturn, we are deprived of all that makes life worth living. However, when the book of life has been opened up to us by the sacred science of astrology and we recognize therein the benevolent purpose of God and His ministers toward us, we gradually learn to keep out balance so that when the joys of Jupiter come our way we are not too joyous, but receive them in a chastened spirit and learn to consider ourselves stewards of all good things that are thus given into our hands. We learn that we are to use them, but for our own selfish interests and purposes, but for the good of all, and that some day an accounting will be required of us where we must show how we have used the stores of our Lord.
On the other hand, the whiplash of Saturn will not be long or often applied to one who uses self-examination to see wherein he is falling short and to find the fault that is causing him tribulation whereunder he is suffering. That lesson will certainly be found by the sincere seeker and when it has been discovered the joy at having found a valuable pearl of knowledge will far overbalance the pain involved in learning the lesson. In the course of years there will be evolved that most valuable of all the Ego's possession, equipoise, which lifts the man who has it above the surging sea of emotions into the realm of eternal peace that passes all understanding. When he has arrived at that point in his development neither Saturn, Jupiter, nor any other Planetary Spirits will have the power to move him, for he has then learned to rule his stars and regulate his fate according to his own divine will.
Speaking of planetary polarity for marriage, Moon and Venus being significators in a man's horoscope and sun and Mars in a woman's, you say that if these planets are harmoniously configurated, etc., harmony will prevail. Does the configuration referred to mean the configuration of Moon to Venus and of Mars to Sun in the respective horoscopes, or if Moon and Venus in one horoscope to Sun and Mars in the other? How would it be if the man's Sun antagonized his own Moon but harmonized with the prospective mate's Moon? In the case the ASC is not known, what is the best basis for estimating compatibility? Is it the harmony or otherwise of the two Moon signs?
Answer: It really means both to have harmony. A person with Mars square to Venus will not be very successful in love affairs, but if Mars in a woman's horoscope be in the place of Venus in a man's horoscope, then it is a case of love at first sight. However, that love is of the earth earthy—it is the lower phase of love. The Sun of one person on the other's Moon brings a very spiritually harmonious condition. It is also true that even the opposition of the two luminaries from one horoscope to another will bring harmony, because they are opposite. It doesn't act that way with the squares, but the opposition we have found to produce harmony. The Sun and Moon square always renders a man vacillating. He never knows his own mind. He is torn between two ideas all the time. Nevertheless, he may be very harmonious with somebody else of the other sex, if his Moon is in the place of the woman's Sun, or trine. That would certainly bring spiritual harmony.
Would it always be running a great risk to put temptation in the way of a person whose horoscope shows either Mercury or Neptune afflicted by Saturn, regardless of counterbalancing testimonies?
Answer: That is just what we are here for, to have temptation. Did you ever realize that temptation is one of the greatest blessings that we possibly can have, because if we stand firm for the good then we have won and we have acquired a definite virtue. If we do not, we will suffer the consequences and will learn by the pain that will come to us.
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There is in the Bible an instance in point. In one place we are told how King David was tempted by Satan to go and number the people, and when he did so certain terrible things happened to him; a number of the people died of pestilence. In another place we read that God tempted David to go and number the people, and then God said: "I am going to punish you. You will be defeated by your own enemies, or you will have pestilences, or you will have death going through your camp," and David said: "Rather let me fall into the hands of God." Then many thousands of the children of Israel were cut off by the angel of death. These two accounts are identical. One states that Satan tempted, and the other says God tempted David. At the first it seems very, very strange that God should have tempted David, or commanded David to be a certain thing and then punish him for having done what he was told. However, when we look at it a little closer we can see it is simply a case of the teacher tempting his pupil to do something that is wrong or setting a trap for him in order to see whether he has learned a certain lesson.
An examination before a school board is held to see if the pupil understands. If he doesn't, the teacher wants to find it out so he may know how to teach him later on. Satan in the Bible does not mean a monster that goes around with horns and tail, but it means an adversary. Christ called Peter, Satan, when Peter said: "Oh, no Lord, you shall not go up to Jerusalem to suffer." He was an adversary. At the examination the teacher as an adversary of the pupil. God said to David, "Go and number your men because there is going to be a fight with the Moabites," and He expected David would say, "What is the use of numbering the people of Israel, men do not count. It is you, Lord, that counts. It is you we trust, not our own strength." If he had learned to do that then he would have learned his lesson. Instead of that he went and numbered Israel and perhaps he felt, "Well, I guess we will be able to wipe out these Moabites, and I don't think we need the Lord so much anyway." The Lord had to show both him and the Israelites that they weren't fit to trust in themselves—that they did need the Lord—and in one night he cut off many thousands and reduced them to a handful. Then He said, "Now, I will go out and fight for you, and you will know it is I who gave you the victory." Thus temptation is for good, to test whether we are strong enough in character and whether we have learned our lesson. So whether a person puts a glass of liquor before you or tempts you some other way doesn't matter. If one is weak enough so that he can be tempted he has a lesson to learn in that respect.
Questions Dealing With Miscellaneous Subjects
Is it possible for a mother who has passed into the Invisible World to help her children directly or indirectly? Does she make hands of flesh with which to work, or in what way does she aid them?
Answer: The Society for Physical Research has investigated a number of cases where it has been shown that the mother has materialized in order to save her small children from disaster or accidents. There is no doubt that many young mothers are earth-bound for a long time by the love they bear their small and helpless children. We feel certain that if they were able they would often manifest to give them help and comfort, but, the seed atom having been ruptured at the time of death, they are not able to draw to themselves even the most attenuated gaseous matter that would make them visible, except in a very few cases where the need is so great that it begets in the mother a desire of such dynamic intensity that for a moment or two it compels the physical atoms to marshal themselves into her body and enables her to do that which she desires. Thus she performs a magical feat, without knowing how she has done it, and of course she cannot repeat it unless it happens under similar circumstances.
In this respect the people who have passed into the invisible worlds differ radically from the Invisible Helpers who leave their body at will. The silver cord is intact in their case, and this gives them a continuous connection with the physical seed atom. Its magnetism is therefore exerted and it requires a subconscious effort on the part of the Invisible Helper to keep the physical particles from flowing into the etheric vehicle in which he travels. On the other hand, when he desires to aid anyone who may be in distress, or to perform a certain work, he materializes a hand or an arm with the greatest of ease simply by consciously allowing the physical atoms in his closest environment to flow into the etheric matrix. When he has performed the desired task, another effort of thought scatters the strange atoms and dematerializes the hand or arm. Thus, for instance, when working inside the body of a patient to manipulate a diseased organ or stanch the blood in an artery, fingers are made temporarily from the flesh of the patient without causing him the least discomfort, and are as readily dissolved when the work is done.
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What became of the people who had not evolved lungs at the time of the flood? Were the given an opportunity to build later?
Answer: This refers to the people in the Atlantean Epoch when the mists were beginning to condense. At that time humanity lived down in the mist-filled basins of the earth. They were the Niebelung, or children of the mist, and they breathed by gill clefts. We find this in the Memory of Nature, and we find it also in the prenatal development of the child in the stage when it breathe by gill clefts. In order to come up here on the highlands to live in the purified atmosphere we have today, it was necessary they should build lungs, otherwise they would be asphyxiated. Some worked with the law of evolution and built the lungs, others did not.
During the time when we went through these various periods there was the growth of the threefold body. This work was carried on until we came to the Atlantean Epoch, which was the time of involution. At that time we didn't see outwardly as we see now, but we saw inwardly. All our forces were turned inward and we built organs at that time. That was our means of evolution. Now we are turning that creative force outward and building ships, houses, and such things, and we are growing on in that direction. However, at that time we had to build the organs, and those who did not build the organs were left behind.
Now comes the question as to what became of them. Why, they have to wait until they can catch up. They will get a chance to build later on, .... Whether they will catch up and be fit to go into the next epoch when we build the vital body we don't know. We are transforming the world by epigenesis. We are going along the line of evolution and being lifted out of matter and we are spiritualizing these bodies into soul. By the services we are doing, voluntary service, we are building a soul body, and those who have not evolved it will be left behind. As we read in the Bible, those who have not the golden wedding garment cannot come in to the feast. Thus these people were left behind, and some of them are the Spirits spoken of by Peter that were left behind and to whom Christ preached during the time between the bodily death of Jesus and what is known as the Resurrection. Whether they will catch up is a question. We don't know, but it is to be hoped they will.
Please tell what sleepwalking really is and if there is any way to help those who are subject to that condition.
Answer: Rosicrucian Christianity Lecture No. 4 deals with dreams, sleep, hypnotism, mediumship, and insanity. That is to say, the abnormal conditions of consciousness, and in that Lecture a very thorough explanation has been given of these various conditions with the exception of sleepwalking, which however, resembles dreams in a great measure. We cannot give so full an explanation here, but suffice it to say that during the daytime the physical body which we call man is surrounded by an auric atmosphere composed of his finer vehicles just as the yolk of an egg is surrounded by the white. These finer vehicles interpenetrate the physical body so that in the evening it, so to say, collapses and the finer vehicles draw out of it leaving it helpless, sleeping upon the bed. When this complete separation has taken place the sleep is dreamless.
However, sometimes the Ego becomes so intent upon the things in the physical world that it is with great difficulty that it can tear itself loose from the physical vehicle. It may then be half in and half out of the body. Thus the normal connection between the Ego and the brain is wrenched but not fully ruptured. Under these circumstances the Ego sees the things of the physical world, and this accounts for those fantastic and foolish dreams which we sometimes have. Under such a condition the body may toss about on the bed, It may even speak and gesticulate, and from that condition it is only a step to sleepwalking where the Ego compels the vehicle to leave the bed and wander about, sometimes aimlessly, but at other times with a definite purpose in view.
If we remember that when the Ego is outside its physical vehicle during the hours when the latter is left sleeping on the bed, the Spirit moves with the same facility through the window or the wall that is goes through the open door. When we realize that it cannot be burned by fire nor drowned by water or fall from a house top, we can readily realize that, being unconscious of the fact that its physical vehicle is with it, it may attempt to go out of a window. Should the window be open, the physical body naturally drops to the ground and is hurt more or less according to the distance of its fall. We can all walk a very narrow plank is lifted up only a few feet a sense of fear comes over us. We would probably fall off a very wide plank were it placed hundreds of feet from the earth, but when the body is manipulated by the Spirit from without it is itself unconscious and therefore fearless. Consequently, it walks with impunity wherever it can get a foothold, and the only danger is that the sleeper may awake—that the Ego may draw into its vehicle and assume the normal position. Then the fear will almost inevitably cause him to fall from whatever perilous position he may be in, and in consequence there is an injury of more or less seriousness.
As to the remedy for this trouble we would suggest the practice of conscious relaxation of the body. It is the desire body which keeps a grip on the dense vehicle, and during relaxation this desire body is taught to let go and leave the dense body inert so that if an arm or a limb is lifted it drops immediately to the bed. This practice will in time stop sleepwalking, but in the meantime if wet towels are placed on the floor, they will probably have the effect of awakening the person the moment he steps out of bed. The higher vehicles of a nature somewhat akin to electricity, and we know that water has a wonderful drawing effect with respect to the electric current. Similarly, when the feet of the body contact the wet towels on the floor, the finer vehicles are drawn into the central position with respect to the body and consciousness is restored. Thus the body is awakened and the danger of sleepwalking is averted for the time being.
Contemporary Mystic Christianity
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