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Man and His Bodies [continued]
The Desire Body and the Mind
1. The Purpose of Desire:
Minerals and plants have no motive or incentive to action due to the absence of a separate desire body, which is the vehicle that expresses desire and emotion. Man's individual desire body is responsible for all his actions, good, bad or indifferent; it comes into active manifestation at about the age of 14 years. Some oriental philosophers instruct their pupils to kill out desire, but that temper, which is a great menace when it gains control, becomes a power for much spiritual growth under proper guidance. We would not for one moment think of taking the temper out of steel; similarly, the temper of the desire body must not be killed, but controlled.
[You are welcome to e-mail your answers and/or comments to us. Please be sure to include the course name and Independent Study Module number in your e-mail to us. Or, you are also welcome to use the answer form below. (Java required) You will find the answers to the questions below in the next Core Concepts Independent Study Module.]
What purpose does the desire body serve? (Review The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)
2. Composition of the Desire Body:
The desire body of most human beings is composed of material from all the regions of the Desire World. The feelings of the least sophisticated humans are almost entirely concerned with the gratification of the lowest desires and passions, and we therefore find their bodies composed of the matter of the lower regions of the Desire World. As man progresses in the school of life, however, experience teaches him to live more in harmony with the laws of nature, and his desires become purer and better. Thus by degrees the material of his desire body undergoes a corresponding change.
Compare the desire body of an unsophisticated individual with that of a highly spiritual person. (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)
3. Centers of Perception:
The desire body is the principal field of operation for the voluntary nervous system and muscles, through which all activity takes place. It has no sense organs, but has centers of perception through which the clairvoyant contacts and gains knowledge of the desire world. These are located at the pineal gland, the pituitary body, the larynx, the liver, the sex organs, and the knees. The seed atom of the desire body is in the liver, where the great central vortex of desire is located.
What is the function of the centers of perception in the desire body? (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)
4. Results of Action of Desire Body:
The activities of the desire body during waking hours are constantly breaking down the tissue of the dense body. Those who have given the matter study are familiar with the havoc which an emotional upset may have on the physical body. Fear, worry, anger, etc., derange digestion, interfere with the metabolic changes and elimination of waste, and in short, upset the whole system. The effect upon our spiritual well-being is perhaps even more undesirable, no one being able to make spiritual progress until he has in a measure learned to transmute his desires and emotions.
Why is it necessary to master our desire body?
5. The Nature of the Mind:
The mind is now in the first or mineral stage of its evolution. It is not yet formed into a body, but is a luminous cloud composed of mind substance which surrounds and interpenetrates the head. It is the focusing point through which the Ego becomes aware of the material universe and uses it for the acquisition of knowledge of that realm; the age of its maturity is 21 years.
Describe the mind. (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)
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6. Importance of the Mind:
The mind, which is the link between the spirit and the body, is the path or bridge between the Ego and its vehicles—the only means of transmission of soul to spirit. And by means of this bridge the Ego attains self-consciousness in the Physical World.
7. The Dangers of Intellect:
The germ of the mind was given to man in the Atlantean Epoch to give purpose to action, but as the Ego was exceedingly weak and the desire nature strong, the nascent mind coalesced with the desire body. The mind is thus bound up in desire; is enmeshed in the selfish lower nature, making it difficult for the Spirit to control the body. The Lucifer Spirits are the instigators of all mental activity, therefore he who follows the intellectual path of development is subject to all the temptation relative to the desire body: pride, envy, greed, lust for power, et cetera.
What important union is necessary before man can attain to the highest development? (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)
Answers to Core Concepts Independent Study Module No. 6:
1. The chemical ether is the avenue for the forces which cause assimilation and excretion; the life ether for the forces which bring about propagation; the light ether for the forces generating blood heat and operating through the senses. The reflecting ether only reflects the real Memory of Nature and is the medium through which thought makes an impression on the human brain.
2. The vital body of a child protrudes farther than that of an adult because the material from which it is made has not yet been all appropriated by the Ego.
3. Sleep is necessary to rid the body of the poisons of decay which clog the physical atoms during waking hours.
4. Our dense body is made alive and capable of motion by the prismatic ether atoms which penetrate the atoms of the dense body.
5. The chemical and life ether atoms are prismatic and stationary, while the light and reflecting ether atoms are volatile and migratory.
6. The soul body is a vehicle composed of the two higher ethers of the vital body.
7. An Invisible Helper is one who has developed the soul body to the extent that he can function in it, consciously or unconsciously.
Supplemental Reading Material:
Material scientists have observed that as the Sun shines it heats some parts of the Earth more than others. As the Earth radiates its warmth to the air above it, some parts of the air become warmer than other parts. The warm patches of air are light and rise, the cool patches of air are heavy and fall, and a surface wind is created that blows from the high-pressure region (where the cool air fell) to the low-pressure region (where the warm air rose). As the winds blow, the rotation of the Earth also influences their motion. Warm winds may pick up moisture from damp regions of the Earth and carry this moisture until they cool down to such an extent that the can no longer carry the moisture. Then they release is as rain, snow, or some other form of precipitation. Based on these basic principles, plus observed data as to current weather conditions, scientists are able to make forecasts about future weather conditions. At present the accuracy of weather forecasts is quite limited.
Clairvoyants can give some added insight into the causes of weather patterns. The clairvoyant san see the inside of the Earth and the spiritual forces there that are influenced by the moral development of men and which in turn influence natural occurrences on Earth, such as weather, earthquakes, and volcanoes. Max Heindel notes (in The Rosicrucian Cosmo- Conception) that these forces can be clairvoyantly seen in the seventh layer of the earth, and that:
"In the beginning of the conscious career of man (these forces) were much worse than at present. But it appears that as humanity progresses in morals, these forces improve correspondingly; also that any lapse in morals has a tendency to unleash these nature forces and causes them to create havoc upon the Earth; while the striving for higher ideals makes them less inimical to man,...From the occult point of view, the "Hand of God" which smites a Sodom or a Gomorrah is not a foolish superstition, for as surely as there is individual responsibility to the Law of Consequence which brings to each person the just results of his deeds whether for good or evil, so is there also community and national responsibility, which brings upon groups of men corresponding results for their collective acts. Nature forces are the general agents of such retributive justice...."
One may ask if the views of the material scientist and the clairvoyant are compatible, as they each see weather patterns as arising from different causes. To answer this question, we may consider the following story (from Max Heindel, The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception): "We see two men conversing on the street and one suddenly strikes the other, knocking him down. One observer may say that an angry thought knocked the man down. Another may scoff at this answer and declare that he saw the arm lifted, the muscles contract, the arm shooting out and coming in contact with the victim, who was knocked down. That is also true, but it is safe to say that had there not first been the angry thought, the blow would not have been struck."
For weather patterns, the morality of people on Earth may act as a cause that influences the way in which the various parts of the air warm up or cool down, or gain or lose moisture, and that thereby influences weather patterns. Emotions such as hate, gloom, and fear can influence the flow of vital forces and blood within the human body, and can lead to disease. A similar thing may happen on a larger scale when a group of people engage in such feelings. They may thus influence the flow of energies through the Earth's atmosphere and thus may influence weather.
Another cause of weather patterns that the clairvoyant sees is astrological forces. These energize the thoughts and feelings of men (either harmoniously or disharmoniously), which in turn influence the flow of energies in the atmosphere, which in turn produce weather.
Above all these things stand the Recording Angels. They see all and know every person's evolutionary needs. They arrange the timing and location of all natural events and the paths of people so that each and every one encounters exactly what he needs for his development.
In Mark 4:35-41 is told the story of one time when Christ and his disciples in a boat were caught in a great storm and the boat was filling with water. But when Christ commanded, "Peace, be still!" the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. It is reasonable that just as disharmonious thoughts and feelings (such as those that Christ radiated) can bring calm.
The next time that we encounter violent weather or other inimcal natural occurrences, we would do well to lift our hearts and minds to God. or better yet, if we can keep our hearts and minds lifted to God and can influence those around us to do likewise, we may help calm the winds of this troubled Earth.
—Heindel, Max. The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception.
A scientific law is a statement of an observed pattern of behavior of the world. Sometimes it is found that certain laws are only valid under certain conditions. Thus, some laws may be valid only at low temperatures, others may be valid at high temperatures. Some may be valid only for macroscopic objects, others may apply to microscopic objects. But under the same conditions, the world generally behaves in the same way at all times. A miracle may be defined as an event that is either highly improbable or impossible according to known laws. In the Bible, many miracles are described. How can these be fit into the scientific world-view (In the present day also, miracles are occasionally testified by reliably witnesses to have occurred. The same arguments that we will apply to biblical miracles can also be applied to current miracles.)
Some biblical miracles are allegories and are not meant to be taken as records of scientific observations. The story of Eve and Adam being tempted by a talking serpent, eating some fruit and becoming wise (Gen. 3) is an allegory that describes how the Lucifer Spirits (serpent) drew the awareness of humanity (Adam and Eve) to his dense body and to his ability to make decisions as to what he would or would not do. The story of Lot's wife looking back and turning into a pillar of salt (Gen. 19:26) is an allegory that points out that if people cling to old ways of doing things, their lives will become crystallized and no more progress can be made. The story of Samson, who had miraculous strength when his hair was long, but lost his strength when his hair was cut (Judges 16), is an allegorical representation of the sun, which gains power when its rays grow in spring and summer, but loses power when its rays lessen in the fall and winter. The story of Jonah's running away to sea to avoid having to do the task that God assigned to him, being thrown overboard and being swallowed by a whale, and being released (unharmed) from the belly of the whale and again asked to do the same task, is an allegory that shows that if a person commits suicide in order to escape from certain problems, those same problems will again confront him when he is reborn. The story that states that Jesus was born of a Virgin is an allegorical representation of the fact that Mary and Joseph, although they had intercourse, did so without passion, maintaining a pure and holy mental state. Because these stories are allegories, there is no need to explain the miracles that occur in them, any more than there is a need to explain how Cinderella's fairy godmother could turn a pumpkin into a coach.
Some biblical miracles do not actually contradict known scientific laws, but appear remarkable because of their timing. Known scientific law would allow that a strong wind could push back a sea, but the fact that the Red Sea was thus pushed back just when the Israelites wanted to cross and then immediately flowed back again (Exod. 14:21-31) is remarkable in its timing. Known scientific law would allow that lightning, storms, earthquakes, droughts, plagues, or other "natural" disasters can occur, and that people who have been sick sometimes recover, but it is remarkable that plagues struck Egypt when Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites go (Exod. 7-12); that the earth opened up and swallowed the tents of Korah and the others who had rebelled against Moses, but none of the faithful Israelites were hurt (Num. 16); that the Philistines were struck with tumors while they kept the Ark of the Covenant (1 Sam.5); that when the Philistines yoked cows to a cart carrying the Ark, the cows headed straight toward the land of the Israelites (1 Sam. 6); that Uzzah fell dead immediately after touching the Ark (2 Sam. 6:7); that fire from heaven consumed an offering that Elijah had set up (1 Kings 18:38); that Gehazi was struck with leprosy when he took payment from Naaman after Elisha had cured Naaman from leprosy (2 Kings 5); and that many people were healed when they touched Christ's garment, or when Christ touched them. These miracles indicate that God (or higher spiritual beings in general) often work in accordance with physical laws. If something needs to be destroyed or some people need to be punished, the easiest or most convenient way for God to accomplish it may be to release those energy currents that set the physical cause-effect chains in motion.
Some miracles do appear to contradict known scientific laws. One reason for this contradiction may be that conditions have changed, making the current patterns of action different from the previous. In Genesis 5-9 are listed seven persons (Adam, Seth, Enosh, Kenan, Jared, Methuselah, and Noah) who all lived to be over nine hundred years old. Clairvoyant investigation shows that in those days physical bodies were just as subject to aging as they are today, but in those days a father was able to pass his memories on to his descendants and thus the father "lived in memory" in the descendants for a number of generations. Because the condition needed for passing this memory on (namely, intermarriage within a small tribe of family, see The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception) are no longer present, such lengthy lives are no longer observed.
Another reason why miracles may contradict known scientific laws may be that some unknown law may be in operation. Clairvoyants, who can see in the spiritual worlds and thus can see the patterns of operation of these worlds and how these "higher worlds" influence the physical world, can extend the range of known laws so that what before appeared miraculous then becomes understood. Clairvoyants see that in the higher worlds the past and the future exist simultaneously with the present. Thus they can understand how prophets could foresee the future, or how someone's consciousness could stay at a given time or move backward in time to make the Sun and Moon appear to stand still (Josh. 10:11-14) or to make the shadow of the Sun appear to go back ten degrees on a sundial (2 Kings 20:9-11). Clairvoyants can project their consciousness so that they can see things that are not in the line of sight of their physical eyes. Thus they can understand how Elisha knew that Gehazi had received (undeserved) payment from Naaman (2 Kings 5:26); and how Christ could tell the Samaritan woman at the well all about her family (John 4:17-19) and could tell Nathanael that he had previously been sitting under a fig tree (John 1:47-50) and could tell his disciples where to place their nets to get them full of fish (John 21:4-14).
In the spiritual worlds, the clairvoyant can see the archetypes according to which all forms are built and the various vibration patterns that bring into being the various types of materials on earth (see Ancient and Modern Initiation). Thus he sees how vibration patterns can be modified so that stones can be turned into bread or water into wine or food can be created out of air. He can then understand how manna could appear out of "nowhere" (Exod. 16:14-35); how the widow's oil and meal could be continuously replenished (1 Kings 17:14-16), how Christ could turn water into wine (John 2:1-11); and how Christ, starting with seven loaves and a few small fish, was able to feed four thousand men, besides women and children (Matt. 15:32-38). When the archetype is mentally held together even in the presence of fire, then one can walk in fire without being burned, as did Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (Dan. 3:19-27). When an archetype of a human body has lost its vibration energy, the person dies. The clairvoyant can see how a run-down archetype can be re-energized and how the departed spirit can then return to the body and thus the dead can be brought back to life. Thus the raising from the dead of the widow's son by Elijah (1 Kings 17:17-24), of the Shunammite's son by Elisha (2 Kings 4:18-37), and of the widow's son by Christ (Luke 7:11-17) become understandable.
As men make more and more observations (both physically and clairvoyantly), and from these gain more and more understanding of the laws according to which the universe operates, they find that phenomena that they previously considered to be miracles now appear to be working out of laws. Each new set of observations, however, also brings in new unexplained phenomena, and thus drives the scientist to seek further explanations. it is an occult maxim that, "Veil upon veil will lift, but there is veil upon veil behind."
—Heindel, Max. Ancient and Modern Initiation,
—Heindel, Max. The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception.
III. Increasing Power
Material scientists observe that when several forces are present, maximum effect is obtained if all the forces push in the same direction. When molecules of air fly randomly in all directions, they exert no observable forces on objects. But if a substantial fraction are moving in a given direction (as occurs when the wind blows, or when a fan or propeller of an airplane sets air in motion, or when a jet engine is operating), the air cannot only move small things about but may blow down trees and houses, and lift airplanes into the air. Every atom in a piece of iron is a small magnet, but the iron cannot exert any noticeable forces on other pieces of iron until a substantial fraction of the individual atomic magnets are aligned so that their north poles point in the same direction.
Material scientists observe that when forces are drawn together and not allowed to scatter, increased strength is obtained. It is much easier to drive a nail point-first into wood than to drive the nail in head-first, because with the point on the wood, all the driving force is concentrated on a small location and thence entry into the wood is obtained. When a river flows in a wide bed, the current is gentle, but when the channel narrows, the current becomes strong. When steam is allowed to escape in all directions from a cooking pot, the steam has little force, but if the steam is channeled into a single narrow pipe, it is capable of exerting tremendous pressure. Near the Sun the light and heat from the Sun are very intense, but the farther one goes from the Sun, the more the rays spread out and the less intense the radiations become. Thus the planets closer to the Sun get more heat from the Sun than the planets farther from the Sun. The rays of the Sun spread over the surface of the Earth produce only moderate warming, but if a lens or concave mirror is used to make the rays converge, the rays can be used to start a fire or to bake food.
Material scientists also observe that the longer a force is applied, the more effect is has. When a baseball is being batted, the longer the bat can be kept in contact with and pushing on the ball, the farther the ball will go.
Thus, in the material world, the three basic ways of increasing power are:
The Hermetic axiom states, "As above, so below." Corresponding to each method of increasing power in the material world is an analogous method for increasing spiritual powers. Let us consider some spiritual applications of each of the above three methods.
1] Alignment of forces so they all push in the same direction: If we would develop spiritual powers, we must live our lives so that every action leads toward this goal. We must avoid actions that lead us away from this goal—such as drinking alcohol, taking drugs for pleasure, smoking, eating meat, and degenerating of the creative force. We must also avoid actions, which, although not leading us away, do not lead us toward the goal—such as wasting time and energy gathering and caring for material possessions that we have no real use for, reading books and viewing shows that are not uplifting, seeking knowledge for which we have no use, and talking about trivia that no one will benefit by hearing. We must fill our waking hours with those activities that lead toward the development of spiritual powers—such as doing the spiritual exercises of Concentration and Retrospection, gathering knowledge that will aid us in perfecting our own being and in serving humanity, doing loving self-forgetting service to others, saying that which can help others, etc.
We must not allow our minds to waver between "I can" and "I can't" "I will" and "I won't" "I want" and "I don't want," etc. If we would obtain spiritual power, we must decide what needs to be done, convince ourselves that we can do it, resolve to do it, and then let nothing (other than realization that the resolution was in error) hinder us from doing it.
2] Not allowing forces to scatter and concentrating them on a point: The constant barrage of sense impressions that come to us during our waking hours tends to defocus our minds (as they are diverted from one sense impression to another) and scatter our spiritual powers. Some sense stimuli we may try to avoid. One can try to stay away from loud, disharmonious noise and one may try to take care of the dense body so that it does not feel discomfort. It is generally not possible, however, to remove all disturbances. Thus we ultimately need to train our mind to ignore to refuse to receive those impressions that are of ni use to it, and to concentrate its full attention on those impressions that are of use or on its own inner activity.
We need to learn to focus our mind on one thing at a time. If we are observing some object, we should for a few moments focus all our attention on that object and observe all its details accurately. if we are listening to someone, we should focus all our attention on him and block everything else out of our mind. If we are thinking about some subject, we should not let our mind wander onto other subjects until we consciously give it permission to do so.
3] Extend the time over which the forces act: If some goal is not attained in one minute, work on it two minutes. If a goal is not attained in one hour, work on it two hours. If a goal is not attained in one year, work on it two years, or twenty years or a lifetime. If a goal is not attained in a lifetime, continue working on it in the next lifetime. The more time one spends directing one's efforts in a given direction, the more spiritual power is built up, and eventually the power will be sufficient to accomplish its object. Anyone can do anything if he works at it long enough and hard enough.
When the material scientist uses his knowledge of how to increase power, he can do such things as make roads through mountains, and build skyscrapers and bridges. he can make heavy rockets lift into the air, fly faster than sound, and even fly to the moon. When the spiritual scientist uses his knowledge of how to increase spiritual power, he will be able to speak to others by means of thoughts, to heal the sick, and to create by means of the spoken word.
Supplemental Material Reference: Science and Religion, Elsa M. Glover, PhD
Contemporary Mystic Christianity
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