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Only three theories worthy of note have ever been brought forth to solve the riddle of life and death. Of these, the doctrine of rebirth is revealed by careful analysis to be the most sensible and logical. As evolution is a process of growth or development which is the result of the experiences of man, one short span of life is not sufficient to bring him to a state of perfection where no further experiences are necessary. It requires many lives to reach this high state of attainment. Life is in reality a school of experience wherein some have made much more rapid progress than others, and this fact accounts for the inequality in people and their various stations in the world.
The fact that man does not remember his former life is not an argument against this theory. We are all aware that we can only remember the principal events in our present life. It is well known that many of the great thinkers and writers of all ages understood, accepted, and taught evolution through rebirth. A few examples of the works which illustrate this are as follows: Wordsworth's "Ode on Intimations of Immortality"; Goethe's "Faust"; John Masefield's (Poet Laureate of England) "My Creed"; Rosetti's "I Have Been Here Before"; Oliver Wendell Holmes' "The Chambered Nautilus." Bible references are found in The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception.
[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.]
Give a brief summary of the three main theories brought forth to solve the riddle of life and death. (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)
Esoteric science teaches that all life evolves on a spiral path. Each loop of the spiral is a cycle. Each cycle merges into the next, as the loops of the spiral are continuous, each cycle being the improved product of those preceding it and the creator of those more developed states which succeed it.
Give facts to support the idea that the path of evolution is a spiral. (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)
3. Justice A Factor In the Laws of Rebirth and Consequence:
After careful analysis it will be found that the twin laws are entirely just, as well as logical.
Explain briefly how these laws satisfy a sense of justice. (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)
Without esoteric science much must be attributed to heredity. The esotericists have demonstrated, however, that heredity applies only to the physical body and not to the moral or intellectual attainments. These are acquired in proportion to the use we have made of our opportunities in previous lives.
What is genius and how is it acquired? (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)
During the Ego's earth lives many relations have been established with various people. These relations were pleasant or otherwise, involving on the one hand mutually profitable associations as friends or relatives; or on the other hand obligations not liquidated, or injuries unatoned with the consequent feeling of a strong tie between the injured and his enemy. An exact adjustment of accounts must eventually be made.
Why are we reborn into certain families and environments? (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)
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The Laws of Rebirth and Consequence are connected with the motion of the cosmic bodies, the Sun, the planets, and the signs of the zodiac. All move in harmony with these laws, guided in their orbits by their indwelling spiritual Intelligences—the Planetary Spirits.
Explain briefly how Astrology correlates with the operation of the Laws of Rebirth and Consequence. (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)
The great Leaders of humanity take everything into consideration, the food of man included. This has a great deal to do with his development.
What purpose has the use of alcoholic liquor served in our evolution? (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)
8. Study Guide Questions:
Complete The Rosicrucian Mysteries Study Guide, Section 2
1. The qualities inherent in the seed atom determine the kind of material attracted for the new bodies.
2. The material attracted by the seed atom of the mind forms itself into a bell-shaped figure, open at the bottom and with the seed atom at the top. This sinks into the next lower subdivision of the Region of Concrete Thought and takes from that its proper quota of matter. When it has passed through the four subdivisions the forces of the seed atom of the desire body are awakened. It places itself at the top of the bell, inside, and attracts material from the different regions of the Desire World as it descends. The seed atom of the vital body is next aroused into activity, and the material attracted is built into the new vital body under the direction of the Recording Angels.
3. Epigenesis is the ability of the Ego to inaugurate something entirely new - to set new causes into operation.
4. During early years the child has only the negative faculties of excretion, passive sense-perception, etc., active, while the positive faculties of assimilation, circulation of the blood, etc., are taken care of by the macrocosmic vital and desire bodies.
5. The vital body is born at the age of 7; the desire body at 14; the mind at 21.
6. The blood is the direct vehicle of the Ego, the means by which the Ego expresses itself in the physical world.
7. Seven years after physical birth the vital body is born; at 14 the desire body is born; and at 21 the mind is born. At 28 serious life begins; at 35 the prime of life; at 42 the change of life; at 49 the prime of mentality. After death the Ego passes through Purgatory, the First Heaven, the Second Heaven, and the Third Heaven, reaping the fruits of the past life and preparing for the next physical incarnation. It then descends through the Region of Abstract Thought, the Region of Concrete Thought, the Desire World, and the Etheric Region, attracting material for its new bodies. It is then ready for rebirth into the physical world.
In the Piscean Age, people lived under the rulership of various dictators [kings, priests, et cetera] who laid down laws and proclaimed what was true and right. Because everyone within a given society followed one dictator, there was little internal conflict. If two people within the society did have disagreement, they could go to the dictator, and he would say who was right and who was wrong and what needed to be done to resolve the conflict. Thus things proceeded peacefully and harmoniously.
In the Aquarian Age, there will be no one head who will make all the decisions and do all the thinking. Instead, everyone will do his own thinking. When many people, starting with different perspectives and exercising their creativity in different ways, are all independently generating opinions, a wide variety of opinions will arise, and some of these opinions may be in conflict with one another. The big problem that then arises is to find how to resolve these conflicts. There is no one authority to go to who provides the people with a definitive resolution of their conflicts. Somehow, they must work together to resolve the conflicts themselves.
The Aquarian Age is an age of reason. Thus, reason will be put to use in conflict resolution. Let us take a rational look at the causes and cures of conflicts.
People have needs and desires for physical necessities [food, clothing, shelter], safety, companionship, esteem and self-actualization [independent creativity, attainment of personal goals]. If the needs and desires of one person overlap those of another, then there is conflict.
One situation in which needs and desires will overlap is when there is overpopulation: too many people and not enough food, clothing, and shelter. The remedy for this type of conflict is to decrease the number of people within a given region and/or work to increase the amount of food, clothing, and shelter available.
Another situation in which conflicts occur is when one person oversteps his rightful needs and desires and thus infringes on the needs and desires of others. This occurs when one person steals from another; when one threatens or hurts another without cause; when one tries to force his presence or his ideas on another; when one tries to get ahead of another; or when one tries to dominate another. When this type of conflict occurs, people need to be led to the point where they can see things from the other person's point of view, so that they can recognize that everyone has needs and desires and that if people are to live harmoniously together, one cannot fulfill his needs and desires at the expense of another.
Some people may overstep their rightful needs and desires but may know of no other way to fulfill their own needs and desires. It may be useless to tell a starving man that it is not right to steal. In such cases, the only way to overcome the problem may be to help the person in need find a way to fulfill his needs. Give the starving man some food and a job, and he may not steal any more. If a person feels a need to be listened to and is annoying everyone with his talking, the problem may not be resolved by telling him to "shut up." Rather, someone may need to listen to the talker until his need to be heard has been fulfilled. If a person feels a need for esteem and consequently goes around bragging, the problem is not solved by telling the bragger that he hasn't done half the things which he claims to have done. Rather, the problem may be resolved if the bragger's need for esteem is fulfilled by giving him sufficient praise so that he begins to feel appreciated.
Sometimes the needs and desires of two people may be in conflict because one is overstepping his rights, but the one who is being imposed upon may avoid conflict simply by releasing some of his own desires. This is an especially useful technique in trivial matters that aren't worth fighting over. It may also be done when one person loves another and is willing to take burdens upon himself in order to make things easier for the other. It is dangerous to do this, however, unless one really releases one's own desires. Otherwise, inner tensions may be built up. John Powell notes in "Why Am I Afraid to Tell You Who I Am?," p. 64, "[If something you do bothers me], I may be tempted to believe that it would be better not to mention it. Our relationship will be more peaceful....So I keep it inside myself, and each time you do your thing my stomach keeps score ...2...3...4 ...5...6...7...8...until one day you do the same thing that you have always done and all hell breaks loose. All the while you were annoying me, I was keeping it inside and somewhere, secretly, learning to hate you. My good thoughts were turning to gall. When it finally erupted in one great emotional avalanche, you didn't understand. You thought that this kind of reaction was totally uncalled for."
Some people have conflicting needs and desires within themselves. They simultaneously want two things that cannot be had at the same time. They may want both to go out and stay at home. They may want both to eat lots of food and to stay slim. They may want both to get their work done and to play. Such people tend to be in conflict with all their associates because anything anyone does for them is in some way wrong. Such conflicts can only be resolved by helping the person to recognize that he cannot have his cake and eat it too and by encouraging him to clarify for himself his goals and what he needs to do to attain these goals.
Another situation in which conflicts occur is when people think that their needs and desires conflict due to misunderstandings. Note that the needs and desires are not in actual conflict, so that removal of the misunderstanding removes the conflict. Misunderstandings can be removed by communication. The communication needs to be continuous, frank, and two-way. Both sides need to listen to one another without prejudice so that resonance can occur and produce sympathy and understanding between the parties. Each party needs to be able to see the other party's point of view. People need to learn to see the thought behind the words used to express the thought, so that two people with the same thought do not continue to argue over words.
Many people are in conflict, not because there is any current overlapping of needs or desires, but because there was some past overlapping, and they hold on to the memory of the past. Such conflicts would readily disappear and cease to plague people if they would just let go of their memories of wrong and forgive their debtors. Some people do not want to forgive their debtors because they feel that justice has not been carried out. Man, however, is a poor judge of justice, because, although he may have seen certain incidents, he is not able to see the complete picture with all the various debits and credits involved [some of which may have occurred in previous lifetimes on Earth.] Thus, man might better leave justice to the hands of God. Saint Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans [12:19], "Never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God; for it is written, `Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.'"
Conflicts, if they are to be resolved, must be approached with the right attitude. It is important to realisze that people can disagree and still be friends. Disagreements should be kept at the intellectual level and not allowed to degenerate into emotional attacks of one person on another. Calling names never settled a disagreement. But it may be possible to settle a disagreement if each side calmly tells the other side its reasons for its beliefs. If one side sees what they consider to be an error in the reasoning of the other side, they may gently point out what they think is wrong and why. If the other side accepts the correction, then they can modify their opinion. If they see an error in the first side's reasoning, they can gently give a rebuttal. During such a discussion it is highly important that both sides listen to what the other side is saying, remain open to new ideas, and remain flexible and capable of changing if some opinion is shown to be unsupportable.
Also, when trying to resolve conflicts, people should try to view the overall situation and try to determine what will be best for everyone involved, not just look at how they can gain the greatest advantage for themselves. Principles of justice should be applied uniformly to all involved, not just to some and not to others. The human rights of all should be respected.
Lastly, conflicts should be approached with the attitude that they can be resolved. Nothing can be accomplished when people have lost hope. People can do what they think they can do.
-Nye, Robert D. Conflict Among Humans. New York: Springer Publishing Co., 1973
-Powell, John. Why Am I Afraid to Tell You Who I Am?. Allen, Texas: Argus Communications, 1969.
-Tolstoy, Leo N. Tolstoy's Tales of Courage and Conflict. Garden City, New York: Hanover House, 1958 [Neglect a Fire and It Spreads, pp. 311-22]
The true purpose of education is to draw out inherent faculties, rather than only to drive in ideas from without.
In the Piscean Age, people within a given society were generally of similar background and beliefs, and children were taught and expected to believe what everyone else in the society believed. In the Aquarian Age, however, children will be exposed to a barrage of varying beliefs on television, on radio, through movies, and through travel. Consequently, Aquarian children are likely to question the validity of any given set of beliefs, because they know that other people hold other beliefs. Aquarian children will resist any attempt to impose upon them a given set of beliefs.
In the Piscean Age, the amount of known knowledge was relatively small. The known knowledge was written in books, and children were then supposed to learn it. The Aquarian Age is an age of research, and as research proceeds, the body of knowledge grows. In time the body of knowledge becomes so great that even in one field it is impossible for one person to know everything. Then the aim of education can no longer be to teach young people everything that is known. Nor is it possible to know, from among the many facts available, which child will need which facts in the future.
In the Piscean Age, many jobs required people to perform repetitive, predetermined tasks. To prepare young people for the job market, teachers taught them to remember what they were told and to follow directions. With the coming of the Aquarian Age, most repetitive, predetermined tasks are being taken over by machines [tape recorders, cameras, manufacturing machines, computers, and robots]. Thus, the young person who has learned only to do what he has been told to do will not find it easy to get a job.
In the Piscean Age, conditions were relatively static. Customs, traditions, and ways of dealing with human problems were about the same from generation to generation. Thus, children were taught the customs, traditions, and ways of dealing with human problems, and what they learned in childhood served them well in their adult life. For each situation that they might encounter in life they had been given a solution. In the Aquarian Age, life is no longer this simple. People from faraway places bring in new ways of doing things. Social structures changes. New machines are invented which radically change the way things are produced, the types of jobs available, and the way life is lived. Change is so rapid and unpredictable that it becomes quite impossible to know what children will encounter when they grow up, and thus it is not possible to give ready-made solutions to life's problems.
If, in the Aquarian Age, it is useless to try to impose a set of beliefs on young people [because they will not believe you], if it is useless to try to teach any specific set of facts or procedures [because the actual facts and procedures needed in life after graduation may be different], and if it is useless to try to give solutions to life's problems [because the actual problems encountered later may be different], what then should be done in the schools?
The children need to be given the opportunity to observe the world. They will be able to believe what they have seen. They need to be taught to perform controlled experiments [experiments in which the variables are controlled so that the effects of varying one factor at a time may be observed], so that they can determine cause-effect relationships. They need to be encouraged to ask questions and then to learn to make the observations or do the research needed to obtain the information to find answers to their questions. They need to be taught how to analyze data, how to find patterns in data, and how to draw conclusions from data. They need to be taught problem-solving techniques so that they will be able to generate for themselves solutions to new problems and new ways of doing things.
In the Piscean classroom, the two main teaching techniques used were lecturing and recitation. In the Aquarian classroom, lecturing and recitation will be kept to a minimum. Rather, the teacher will stimulate individual thinking in the students by asking questions and encouraging all to participate in the discussion of ideas. When the teacher wants to bring to the students' attention a particular concept, he will ask a sequence of questions which will encourage the students to make or recall relevant observations, and then to think through the steps needed to draw the conclusion from these observations. This is called Socratic questioning.
In the Piscean school, a major emphasis was placed on copying and memorizing. In the Aquarian school, the emphasis will shift from memorizing facts to thinking about ideas. In the Aquarian school, emphasis will shift from copying others to creating your own.
In the Piscean school, students were all expected to fit into one mold, or perhaps one of several molds. In the Aquarian school, students will be allowed to think and act differently from one another, to develop individual inclinations, and to follow different learning procedures.
In the Piscean school, the teacher was supposed to maintain control over the students. The teacher would lay down laws and give orders. In the Aquarian school, the student will begiven more responsibility to direct and control himself. The children themselves will be allowed to help plan what, when, and how they will do things.
In the Piscean school, conflicts were "resolved" by force. Teachers made children obey by beating the children or otherwise punishing them if they didn't obey. In the Aquarian Age, reason will be used to resolve conflicts. When a conflict arises between teachers and students or between students and students, the matter will be discussed. Each side will try to understand the other's point of view, and a solution will be sought which will be satisfactory to all.
Training in resonance will be an important part of the Aquarian students' education. The students will be taught to avoid prejudice [which prevents resonance from occurring]. They will be taught astrology [which can help people to understand other peoples' point of view.] They will study literature, art, and music [which, to be understood, require resonance]. They will be taught to develop an inner feeling of peace and quiet and a reverence for all living creatures and for God [which also are needed for resonance to occur].
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created
equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable
rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
In the Piscean Age, people often were uneducated and uninformed about the various issues of the day. The governors of the people [whether they were kings, or some specially chosen nobles] were informed by various advisors and wise men with whom they surrounded themselves, and it was the governors' responsibility, then, to guide the people. In the Aquarian Age, however, educational opportunities and information will be available equally to all. All will have access to libraries, radio, television, and computer information banks. Through electronic communication devices wise men will share their thinking with everyone as easily as previously they could share it with one. Thus, in the Aquarian Age, the government will no longer have a "corner" on wisdom. There will no longer be any reason to believe that government is any more capable of making judgments about what is right and wrong than the people. Thus, the Piscean view that society will become corrupted unless the government tells the people what is right and wrong [and makes them do what is right] will gradually be replaced by the Aquarian view that people themselves have as much ability to make choices and moral decisions as the government.
In the Aquarian Age, people are supposed to be developing the Light within and learning to direct their own lives. People can only learn to govern their own lives if they have the freedom to make choices, if they experience the effects of their choices, and if they then use their rational minds to see connections between choices [causes] and effects, so that in the future they can govern their choices accordingly. Michael Newbrough writes [in Liberty and Consciousness, p. 63]:
Growth cannot come about through repression...So, the sooner we get on with the adventures [and the mistakes], the sooner we learn what works and what doesn't work, where happiness and fulfillment lie and where they don't. We won't really begin to know excellence and virtue until we've confronted the second rate, the self-destructive and the unworthy. We'll not know what's `enough' of some experience, unfortunately, until we've had too much. And inner peace won't seem valuable until we're exhausted from chasing the illusions of the relative, time-bound, material world-view...Experience is the great teacher.
In the Aquarian Age, government must avoid interference with this process of development. It must allow people to make free choices as long as they do not violate the identical rights of others to pursue their paths. The government must allow people to choose what they will believe, what their value system will be, what their life-style will be, what they will say and do, how they will vote, et cetera, as long as the people not interfere with the free rights of others to make similar choices.
Governments must allow people to experience the effects of their choices. If people have the feeling that the government will take care of them whatever they do, then they may cease to feel responsible for keeping themselves out of trouble or for providing for their own needs.
If the government does not try to exercise control over people and does not try to make decisions for people or shield people form the effects of their decisions, then what will the government do? Government may act as a centralized organization for helping people exchange information, for helping the various parts of the society better communicate with one another, and for helping facilitate the making of collective decisions or agreements.
In the Aquarian Age, people who hold similar values may unite in small, loosely structured groups and thence give one another mutual support, enrich one another, and cooperate and share with one another. Such small groups may be self-generating, self-organizing, and [when desired] self-destructing. Membership in such groups generally will be open to all who are interested. Leadership in the groups may pass from person to person, depending on the needs of the moment. A group may change its activities over time as the needs and interests of its members fluctuate. Coalitions of groups may form networks, but even with the coalitions the individual segments of the networks remain self-sufficient. [See Marilyn Ferguson, The Aquarian Conspiracy, pp. 213-21.]
-Ferguson, Marilyn. The Aquarian Conspiracy. Los Angeles, California: J.P. Tarcher, Inc., 1980
-Newbrough, Michael. Liberty and Consciousness. San Marcos, California: Palomar College, 1984
The man who has not anything to boast of but his illustrious ancestors
is like a potato — the only good belonging to him is underground.
—Sir Thomas Overbury
In the Piscean Age, countries are ruled under the dictatorship of kings. In the Aquarian Age, countries are led democratically by presidents. The way in which someone becomes a king is significantly different from the way in which a person becomes a president. Some people become king by divine direction. Anyone who is reputed to be God's anointed representative is given leadership in the Piscean Age. In the Piscean Age, some people become king by birth. If the law states that the eldest son of the current king will be the future king, then the Ego born into this position takes on the job of ruler [unless someone overcomes him by force]. In the Piscean Age, some people become king by means of material wealth. If someone has great wealth he may be able to buy the allegiance of the people and to hire an army to protect his position. In the Piscean Age, some people become king by means of physical strength and courage. The boldest warrior may become commander of the troops of soldiers and thence of the country. In the Aquarian Age, the person who is to rise to the position of president uses his intellect to recognize what the country needs to do, and then intellectually persuades the people that he can lead the country to accomplish those things, and then the people vote him into office.
In the Piscean Age, the responsibility of the masses of people is to be good followers. Regardless of who they are following, as long as they all follow the one leader, peace within the country is maintained. In the Aquarian Age, the responsibility of the people is to be informed and to vote wisely. The Aquarian citizen must avoid being swayed by bribes, falsehoods, high-sounding names, military valor, by what he thinks others will vote for, or by social pressures. He must independently exercise his own reasoning powers.
The Piscean leader was set on a pedestal, above the masses of people, and was reverenced and admired. The people were not expected to comprehend what he saw from his lofty point of view or what he did. The Aquarian leader is not supposed to be on a pedestal above the masses, and the people are supposed to be able to understand what he does and why he does it, and the people need to be kept informed about all his actions. The people are free to criticize the Aquarian leader and he should listen to their criticism and respond to it by either explaining to the satisfaction of the people why he does things as he does or by changing his ways. Christ set the example when he told his disciples, "No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you." [John 15:15]
Supplemental Reading Material Reference: The Aquarian Age, Elsa M. Glover, PhD
Contemporary Mystic Christianity
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