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Self-Study Q&A Guide
The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception
Part 4 of 5

Preparation for Rebirth
[The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception]

Q. If we hold a magnet over a miscellaneous heap of filings and various metals, what do we observe?
A. We shall find that it selects iron filings only, and that even of them it will take no more than its strength enables it to lift.

Q. What similarity may be noted between the above property of the magnet and the power of the seed-atom?
A. The seed-atom can take in each region nothing except the material for which it has an affinity and nothing beyond a certain definite quantity of that.

Q. What kind of a vehicle is thus built around the seed-atom?
A. A vehicle that is an exact counterpart of the corresponding vehicle of the last incarnation, minus the evil which has been expurgated, and plus the quintessence of good which has been incorporated into the seed-atom.

Q. What form does the material selected by the three-fold spirit assume?
A. It forms itself into a great bell-shaped figure, open at the bottom and with the seed-atom at the top.

Q. With what may this be compared?
A. It may be compared to a diving-bell descending into a sea composed of fluids of increasing density. These correspond to the different subdivisions of each world.

Q. What effect does the matter taken into the texture of the bell- shaped body have?
A. It makes it heavier, so that it sinks into the next lower subdivision and takes from that its proper quota of matter.

Q. What is the ultimate result of this process?
A. The bell comes still heavier and sinks deeper until it has passed through the four subdivisions of the Region of Concrete Thought; then the sheath of the new mind of the man is completed.

Q. What next takes place?
A. The forces in the seed-atom of the desire body are awakened. The seed-atom then places itself at the top of the bell, inside, and the materials of the seventh region of the Desire World draw around it until it sinks into the sixth region. This process continues until the first region of the Desire World is reached.

Q. What does the bell now contain?
A. It now has two layers; the sheath of mind outside and the new desire body inside.

Q. After this what occurs?
A. The seed-atom of the vital body is next aroused into activity.

Q. Why is the process of formation of the vital body not so simple as in the case of the mind and the desire body?
A. Because, it must be remembered, those vehicles were comparatively unorganized, while the vital body and the dense body are more highly organized and completed.

Q. In what manner is the material for the vital body and the dense body attracted?
A. In the same manner and under the operation of the same law as in the case of the higher bodies.

Q. By whom is the building of the new dense body and its placement in the proper environment done?
A. By four great Beings of immeasurable wisdom, who are the Recording Angels, the "Lords of Destiny."

Q. How is this being accomplished?
A. They impress the reflecting ether of the vital body in such a way that the pictures of the coming life are reflected in it.

Q. In what manner and by whom is the vital body built?
A. By the inhabitants of the Heaven World and the elemental spirits in such a manner as to form a particular type of brain.

Q. What work does the ego itself do in this building process?
A. The incarnating ego incorporates therein the quintessence of its former vital bodies and in addition does a little original work.

Q. Why is this done?
A. So that in the coming life there may be some room for original and individual expression, not predetermined by past action.

Q. Previous to its dip into matter what is the condition of the three-fold spirit?
A. It is naked, having only the forces of the four seed-atoms, which are the nuclei of the three-fold body and the sheath of mind.

Q. How may this descent into matter be illustrated?
A. By the putting on several pairs of gloves of increasing thickness, as previously described.

Q. Where are the forces of the mind of the last incarnation awakened?
A. They are awakened from their latency in the seed-atom.

Q. How do these forces manifest themselves?
A. They begin to attract to themselves materials from the highest subdivision of the Region of Concrete Thought, in a manner similar to that in which a magnet draws to itself iron filings.


[Pages 133 to 139, Cosmo-Conception]

Q. If we hold a magnet over a miscellaneous heap of filings and various metals, what do we observe?
A. We shall find that it selects iron filings only, and that even of them it will take no more than its strength enables it to lift.

Q. What similarity may be noted between the above property of the magnet and the power of the seed-atom?
A. The seed-atom can take in each region nothing except the material for which it has an affinity and nothing beyond a certain definite quantity of that.

Q. What kind of a vehicle is thus built around the seed-atom?
A. A vehicle that is an exact counterpart of the corresponding vehicle of the last incarnation, minus the evil which has been expurgated, and plus the quintessence of good which has been incorporated into the seed-atom.

Q. What form does the material selected by the three-fold spirit assume?
A. It forms itself into a great bell-shaped figure, open at the bottom and with the seed-atom at the top.

Q. With what may this be compared?
A. It may be compared to a diving-bell descending into a sea composed of fluids of increasing density. These correspond to the different subdivisions of each world.

Q. What effect does the matter taken into the texture of the bell- shaped body have?
A. It makes it heavier, so that it sinks into the next lower subdivision and takes from that its proper quota of matter.

Q. What is the ultimate result of this process?
A. The bell becomes still heavier and sinks deeper until it has passed through the four subdivisions of the Region of Concrete Thought; then the sheath of the new mind of the man is completed.

Q. What next takes place?
A. The forces in the seed-atom of the desire body are awakened. The seed-atom then places itself at the top of the bell, inside, and the materials of the seventh region of the Desire World draw around it until it sinks into the sixth region. This process continues until the first region of the Desire World is reached.

Q. What does the bell now contain?
A. It now has two layers; the sheath of mind outside and the new desire body inside.

Q. After this what occurs?
A. The seed-atom of the vital body is next aroused into activity.

Q. Why is the process of formation of the vital body not so simple as in the case of the mind and the desire body?
A. Because, it must be remembered, those vehicles were comparatively unorganized, while the vital body and the dense body are more highly organized and completed.

Q. In what manner is the material for the vital body and the dense body attracted?
A. In the same manner and under the operation of the same law as in the case of the higher bodies.

Q. By whom is the building of the new dense body and its placement in the proper environment done?

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A. By four great Beings of immeasurable wisdom, who are the Recording Angels, the "Lords of Destiny."

Q. How is this being accomplished?
A. They impress the reflecting ether of the vital body in such a way that the pictures of the coming life are reflected in it.

Q. In what manner and by whom is the vital body built?
A. By the inhabitants of the Heaven World and the elemental spirits in such a manner as to form a particular type of brain.

Q. What work does the ego itself do in this building process?
A. The incarnating ego incorporates therein the quintessence of its former vital bodies and in addition does a little original work.

Q. Why is this done?
A. So that in the coming life there may be some room for original and individual expression, not predetermined by past action.

Q. What is said regarding the destiny to be worked out?
A. It is sometimes immaterial into which one of several environments the ego is incarnated, and when such is the case, it is allowed its choice as far as possible.

Q. When once an ego is allowed its choice, what takes place?
A. The agents of the Lords of Destiny watch, unseen, that no act of free will shall frustrate the working out to the portion of fate selected.

Q. What will happen if we do aught to circumvent that fate?
A. They will make another move so as to enforce its fulfillment.

Q. Does this make man helpless?
A. No. It is merely the same law that governs after we have fired a pistol. We are then unable to stop the bullet or even to deflect it from its course. Its direction was determined by the position in which the pistol was held. That could have been changed at any time before the trigger was pulled, as up to that time we had full control.

Q. What is this condition called?
A. It is called "ripe" fate, and it is this kind that is meant when it is said that the Lords of Destiny check every attempt to shirk it.

Q. What general conclusion may be formed from the foregoing conditions?
A. With regard to our past we are helpless, but in regard to future action we have full control, except in so far as we are hampered by our past actions.

Q. When we learn that we are the cause of our own sorrow or joy, what will be the result?
A. We shall awaken to the necessity of ordering our lives more in harmony with the laws of God, and thus rise above the laws of the physical world.

Q. What will this condition give us?
A. The key to emancipation.

Q. How does Goethe express this condition?
A. "From every power that holds the world of chains, Man frees himself when self-control he gains."

Q. What gives form to the dense body?
A. The vital body which has been molded by the Lords of Destiny.

Q. What process is carried on in the development of the dense body?
A. The matrix or mold is placed in the womb of the future mother, organ for organ. The seed atom for the dense body is in the triangular head of one of the spermatozoa in the semen of the father, and this makes fertilization possible.

Q. What is the explanation of the fact that so many sex unions are unfruitful?
A. The chemical constituents of the seminal fluid and the ovi are the same at all times, and were these the only requirements, the explanation of the phenomena of infertility, if sought in the visible world alone, would not be found. But when we understand that as the molecules of water freeze only along the lines of force, and manifest as ice crystals instead of freezing into homogeneous mass as would be the case if there were no lines of force previous to coagulation, so there can be no dense body built until there is a vital body in which to build the material; also there must be a seed atom for the dense body, to act as a gauge of the quality and quantity of the matter which is to be built into that dense body.

Q. At the present stage of man's development, is there full harmony in the materials of the body?
A. There is not, because that would mean a perfect body, and yet the discord must not be so great as to be disruptive of the organism.

Q. In what respect is heredity a factor?
A. Heredity in the first place is a fact only as regards the material of the dense body.

Q. Does heredity have an influence on the soul qualities of man?
A. It does not. The soul qualities are entirely individual.


[The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception]

Q. Does the incoming ego do any work on its dens body?
A. The ego does a certain amount of work on this body, incorporating in it the quintessence of its past physical qualities.

Q. What can you say of the qualities of the dense body as regards its parents?
A. Nobody is an exact mixture of the qualities of his parents, although the ego is restricted to the use of the materials taken from the bodies of the father and the mother.

Q. Where does the musician seek rebirth?
A. A musician is reborn where he can get the material to build the slender hand, and the delicate ear, with its sensitive fibers of Corti and its accurate adjustment of the three semicircular canals.

Q. How is the arrangement of these materials controlled?
A. They are, to the extent named, under the control of the ego.

Q. What illustration can you give as to the selection and arrangement of these materials?
A. It is as though a carpenter were given a pile of boards to use in building a house in which to live, but is left to his own judgment as to the kind of house he wishes to build.

Q. What is said about the quantity of his work of the ego?
A. This work of the ego is almost negligible at the present stage of man's evolution, except in the case of very highly developed beings.

Q. What scope is given in the building of various bodies?
A. The greatest scope is given in the building of the desire body, very little in that of the vital body and almost none in the dense body; yet even this little is sufficient to make each individual an expression of his own spirit and different from the parents.

Q. At what time and for how long does the desire body of the mother work upon the dense body?
A. When the impregnation of the ovum has taken place, the desire body of the mother works upon in for a period of from eighteen to twenty-one days, the ego outside remaining in its desire body and mind sheath, yet always in touch with the mother.

Q. At the expiration of that time, what does the ego do?
A. The ego then enters the mother's body; the bell-shaped vehicles draw themselves down over the head of the vital body and the bell close at the bottom.

Q. What occupies the attention of the ego after this time?
A. The ego broods over its coming instrument until the birth of the child and the new earth life of the returning ego commences.

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Birth of the Dense Body
[The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception]

Q. Do the vehicles of the newborn at once become active?
A. They do not. The dense body is helpless for a long time after birth.

Q. Is this the case with the higher vehicles?
A. Reasoning from analogy we can readily see that the same must be the case with the higher vehicles.

Q. At what time do the different vehicles commence to inter- penetrate one another?
A. In the period immediately following birth.

Q. What is the principal difference between the vehicles of a newborn and an adult person?
A. In the newborn the vehicles are merely present. None of their positive faculties are active. The vital body cannot use the forces which operate along the positive pole of the ethers.

Q. How is the body of a child heated while the positive faculties are latent?
A. The heating of the body and the circulation of the blood are due to the macrocosmic - the universal vital body, the ethers acting on the child and slowly developing it to the point where it can control these functions itself.

Q. What is the condition of the negative forces during this time?
A. The forces working along the negative pole of the ethers are so much the more active. The passive sense perception, which is due to the negative forces of the light ether, is also exceedingly prominent.

Q. What is the general condition of the child during this period?
A. The child is very impressionable and it is "all eyes and ears."

Q. During the earlier years of a child, what is said about the forces operating along the negative pole of the reflecting ether?
A. They are extremely active. Children can "see" the higher worlds and they often prattle about what they see until the ridicule of their elders, or punishment for "telling stories," causes them to desist.

Q. What has been proven along this line by the investigation of the Society of Psychical Research?
A. It has been proven that children often have invisible playmates, who frequently visit them until they are several years old.

Q. What is said of the clairvoyance of children during those younger years?
A. It is of the same negative character as that of the mediums.

Q. What can you say of the forces working in the desire body?
A. The passive feeling of physical pain is present, while the feeling of emotion is almost entirely absent. The child shows emotion on the slightest provocation, but its duration is but momentary.

Q. Why is a child almost incapable of individual thought activity?
A. Although it has the link of mind, it is exceedingly sensitive to forces working along the negative pole and is, therefore, imitative and teachable.


[The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception]

Q. What are some of the characteristics of the newborn entity?
A. All the negative qualities are active, but before the ego is able to use its different vehicles, the positive qualities must be ripened.

Q. How is each vehicle brought to maturity?
A. By the activity of the corresponding vehicle of the macrocosm, which acts as a womb for it until it is ready for birth.

Q. Why is a child's body more rounded and well built from the first to the seventh year than in later life?
A. Because the vital body grows and slowly matures within the womb of the macrocosmic vital body, and because of the greater wisdom of the macrocosm the vital body is better nourished during this period than later.


Birth of the Vital Body
[The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception]

Q. When does the individual vital body take charge?
A. During the seventh year, when the period of excessive, dangerous growth begins and which continues the next seven years.

Q. What does the macrocosmic desire body do during this period?
A. It performs the function of a womb for the individual desire body.

Q. If the vital body were to have unrestrained sway in the human kingdom as is has in the plant kingdom, what would happen?
A. Man would grow to an enormous size.

Q. Did such a condition ever exist?
A. There was a time in the far distant past when man was constituted like a plant, having only a dense body and a vital body.

Q. How may this fact be substantiated?
A. By the traditions of mythology and folklore all over the world concerning giants in olden times, which are absolutely true, because men then grew as tall as trees.


Birth of the Desire Body
[The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception]

Q. What does the vital body of a plant do?
A. It builds leaf after leaf, carrying the stem higher and higher.

Q. Why does the plant cease to grow taller after a certain period?
A. The macrocosmic desire body steps in at a certain point and checks further growth. Were it not for this fact the plant would keep on growing indefinitely.

Q. What becomes of the force that is not needed for further growth?
A. It is then available to build the flower and the seed.

Q. How can this be compared with the growth of the human body?
A. The human vital body acquires control over the dense body after the seventh year, making the latter grow very rapidly. About the fourteenth year the individual desire body is born from the womb of the macrocosmic desire body, and is then free to work on the dense body.

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Q. What becomes of the excess of vital force when rapid growth is checked at the fourteenth year?
A. It becomes available for propagation, that the human plant may flower and bring.


[The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception]

Q. What is the period called in which the birth of the personal desire occurs?
A. The period of puberty.

Q. What is the chief characteristic of this period?
A. The attraction towards the opposite sex is felt.

Q. During which years is this attraction most active and unrestrained, and why?
A. During the third septenary period of life, from the fourteenth to the twenty-first year, because the restraining mind is then still unborn.


Birth of the Mind
[The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception]

Q. After the fourteenth year, what takes place in man's evolution?
A. The mind is in turn brooded over and nurtured by the macrocosmic mind, unfolding its latent possibilities and making it capable of original thought.

Q. What transpires at the twenty-first year?
A. The personal mind or mental body is born. The forces of the individual's different vehicles have now been ripened to such a degree that he can use them all in his evolution, and the ego comes into possession of all its vehicles.

Q. How is this accomplished?
A. This is done by means of the blood heat and by developing the individual blood, and this in turn is brought about in connection with the full development of the light ether.

Q. Up to the fourteenth year, how are the blood corpuscles principally supplied?
A. By the thymus gland, which is the largest in the foetus and gradually diminishes as the individual blood making faculty develops in the growing child.

Q. What does the thymus gland contain?
A. A supply of blood corpuscles given by the parents, and consequently the child, which draws its blood from that source, does not realize its individuality.

Q. When does the child commence to think for itself?
A. Not until the blood is made by the child and the thymus gland disappears at the age of fourteen. Then the "I" feeling reaches its full expression, for then the blood is made and dominated entirely by the ego.

Q. Upon what does assimilation and growth depend?
A. Upon the forces working along the positive pole of the vital body's chemical ether.

Q. When are these forces set free?
A. At the seventh year, together with the other forces of the vital body. Only the chemical ether is fully ripe at that time; the other parts need more ripening.

Q. When is the life ether of the vital body fully ripe?
A. At the fourteenth year. The life ether has to do with propagation.

Q. From the seventh to the fourteenth year, what becomes of the excess of vital force?
A. It has been stored up and becomes available as sex force at the time the desire body is set free.

Q. Where is this force of sex stored during the third of the seven year periods?
A. In the blood. At that time the light ether, which is the avenue for the blood heat, is developed and controls the heart, so that the body is neither too hot nor too cold.

Q. What often happens to the blood in early childhood?
A. It often rises to an abnormal temperature.

Q. And what frequently happens during the period of excessive growth?
A. The reverse often occurs. In hot headed, unrestrained youth, passion and temper very often drive the ego out by overheating the blood.

Q. What is the condition very appropriately called?
A. An ebullition or boiling over of temper, and we describe the effect as causing the person to "lose his head"; that is, to become incapable of thought.

Q. When the ego is driven outside the body by passion, rage, or temper, how do we describe the condition?
A. We say of such a person that "He has lost control of himself." The ego is outside of its vehicles, and they are running amuck, bereft of the guiding influence of thought.

Q. What is the great danger of such outbursts?
A. It is that before the owner re-enters his body, some disembodied entity may take possession of it and keep him out.


[The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception]

Q. What is the condition called where another entity takes possession of one's body?
A. Obsession. Only the man who keeps cool and does not allow excess of passion to drive him out of his body can think properly.

Q. What proof have we that the ego cannot work in the body when the blood is either too hot or too cold?
A. The fact that excessive heat makes one sleepy, and if carried beyond a certain point, it drives the ego out, leaving the body in a faint, that is, unconscious.

Q. What condition does excessive cold bring about?
A. It also has a tendency to make the body sleepy or unconscious. It is only when the blood is at or near the normal temperature that the ego can use it as a vehicle of consciousness.

Q. What further connection of the ego with the blood can be shown?
A. The burning blush of shame, which is an evidence of the manner in which the blood is driven to the head, thus overheating the brain and paralyzing thought.

Q. When the ego wants to barricade itself against some outside danger what does it do?
A. It drives the blood to the center and the person grows pale, because the blood has left the surface of the body.

Q. What is said of this condition?
A. The person's blood "freezes," he shivers, and his teeth chatter as when the temperature is lowered by atmospheric conditions. In fever the excess of heat causes delirium.

Q. What is the difference between a full blooded person and one who is anemic?
A. The former, when the blood is not too hot, is active in body and mind, while the latter is sleepy. In the former the ego has better control.

Q. What does the ego do when it wants to think?
A. It drives blood at the proper heat to the brain. When a heavy meal centers the activity of the ego upon the digestive organs, the man cannot think well; he is sleepy.

Q. In what way did the old Norsemen and the Scots recognize that the ego is in the blood?
A. No stranger could become associated with them as a relative until he had "mind blood" with them and thus become one of them.

Q. How die Goethe, the Initiate, show this in "Faust"?
A. Faust, who is about to sign the contract with Mephistopheles, asks why he should not sign with ordinary ink. Why not blood?
Mephisto answers, "Blood is a most peculiar essence." He knows that he who has the blood has the man; that without the warm blood, no ego can gain experience.

Q. When is the proper heat for the real expression of the ego present?
A. Not until the mind is born from the macrocosmic Concrete Mind, when the individual is about twenty-one years old.


Rebirth and the Law of Consequence
[The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception]

Q. How many theories have been brought forward to solve the Riddle of Life and Death?
A. Only three, worthy of note.

Q. Which one of these theories has herein been partly explained?
A. Rebirth, together with its companion Law of Consequence.

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Q. What stand does the esotericist take in regard to the theory of rebirth?
A. He does not say that he "believes" in it any more than we say that we believe in the blooming of the rose or the flowing of the river. We say that we know, because we see them. So the esoteric scientist can say "I know" in regard to rebirth and the Law of Consequence.

Q. Is what way does he arrive at this knowledge?
A. He sees the ego and can trace its path after it has passed out of the dense body at death until it has reappeared on earth through a new birth. Therefore, to him no "belief" is necessary.

Q. What are the three theories so far advanced?
A. The materialistic theory, the theory of theology, and the theory of rebirth.

Q. What does the materialistic theory hold?
A. It holds that life is only a journey from birth to death; that mind is the result of certain correlations of matter; that man is the highest intelligence in the cosmos, and that his intelligence perishes when the body disintegrates at death.

Q. What theory is put forward by theology?
A. Theology asserts that at each birth a newly created soul enters the arena of life fresh from the hand of God, passing from an invisible state through the gate of birth into visible existence; that at the end of one short span of life in the material world, it passes out through the gate of death into the invisible beyond from whence it returns no more; that its happiness or misery there is determined for all eternity by its action during the short period intervening between birth and death.

Q. What is taught by the theory of rebirth?
A. It teaches that each soul is an intelligent part of God, enfolding all divine possibilities as the seed enfolds the plant; that by means of repeated existence in an earthy body of gradually improving quality, the latent possibilities are slowly developed into dynamic powers; that no one is lost by this process, but that all mankind will ultimately attain the goal of perfection and reunion with God.

Q. What is the principal difference between these three theories?
A. The first of these theories is monistic. it seeks to explain all facts of existence as due to processes within the material world. The other two theories agree in being dualistic, that is, they ascribe some of the facts and phases of existence to a super- physical, invisible state, but they differ widely on other points.

Q. When we bring the materialistic theory into comparison with the known laws of the universe, what doe we find?
A. We find that the continuity of force is as well established as the continuity of matter, and both are beyond the need of elucidation.

Q. Are matter and force inseparable in the physical world?
A. They are.

Q. What is the materialistic theory regarding this point?
A. It holds that mind perishes at death.

Q. What well established fact does the above theory contradict?
A. The fact that nothing can be destroyed, in which mind must be included.

Q. What argument proves the fallacy of the materialistic theory?
A. It has been discovered that the particles of our bodies change once in every seven years. If the materialistic theory were true, the consciousness ought also to undergo an entire change, with no memory of that which preceded, so that at no time could men remember any event more than seven years.

Q. How else do we know that the materialistic theory is not true?
A. We remember the events of our childhood. Many of the most trivial incidents, though forgotten in ordinary consciousness, have been distinctly recalled in a swift vision of the whole life by drowning person, who have related the experience after resuscitation.

Q. Is materialism able to account for these phases?
A. It is not. It ignores them.

Q. What is the objection to the orthodox theological doctrine?
A. Its entire and confessed inadequacy as it is expounded.

Q. How can this inadequacy be shown?
A. Of the myriads of souls which have been created and have inhabited this globe since the beginning of existence, even if that beginning dates back no further than 6000 years, only the insignificant number of 144,000 are to be saved.

Q. What becomes of the remainder of humanity according to this theory?
A. They are to be tortured forever and ever.

Q. What did Buddha say in regard to such a condition?
A. "If God permits such misery to exist He cannot be good, and if he is powerless to prevent it, he cannot be God."

Q. Is there anything in nature analogous to such a method of creation in order that destruction may follow?
A. There is not. God desires that ALL should be saved, and yet this plan of salvation fails to save.

Q. Would it be considered a satisfactory plan of salvation if a fast motor boat were sent out to rescue 2 or 3 people from a sinking liner with 3000 aboard?
A. It certainly would not. It would more likely be denounced as a plan of destruction if adequate means were not provided for the saving of at least the majority of those in danger.

Q. Why is the theologians' plan of salvation even worse than the above plan?
A.

Q. Has he evolved a more efficacious plan?
A. He has, and the above is only the theory of the theologian. The teaching of the Bible is very different as will appear later.

Q. In considering the doctrine of rebirth, what do we find?
A. We find that it postulates' a slow process of development, carried on with unwavering persistence through repeated embodiments in forms of increasing efficiency, whereby in time all will be brought to a height of spiritual splendor at present inconceivable to us.

Q. Why is there nothing unreasonable or difficult to accept in the latter theory?
A. As we look about us we find everywhere in nature this striving for perfection in a slow persistent manner. We find no sudden process of creation or destruction such as the theologian postulates, but we do find evolution.

Q. What is evolution?
A. "The history of the progression of the spirit in time."

Q. What peculiarity may be observed in this progression?
A. In all the varied phenomena of the universe, we find that the path of evolution is a spiral. 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.

Q. What comparison illustrates the theories of the materialist and the theologian?
A. A straight line is but the extension of a point. It occupies but one dimension in space. The materialist makes the line of life start at birth, and to be consistent the death hour must terminate it. The theologian commences his line with the creation of the soul just previous to birth. After death the soul lives on, its fate irretrievably determined by the deeds of a few short years. There is no coming back to correct mistakes. The line runs straight on implying a modicum of experience and no elevation for the soul after death.

Q. What does natural progression show us?
A. That it does not follow a straight line such as those two theories imply nor even a circular path, for both would imply a never ending round of the same experiences, and the latter, the use of only two dimensions in space.

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Q. How do all things move in nature?
A. All things move in progressive cycles, and in order to take full advantage of all the opportunities for advancement offered by our three-dimensional universe, it is necessary that the evolving life should take the three-dimensional path, the spiral which goes ever onward and upward.

Q. Where do we find the three-dimensional path illustrated?
A. We find it in the modest little plant in our gardens as well as in the giant sequoia with its forty fee diameter. It is always the same. Every branch, twig, and leaf will be found growing in either a single or a double spiral, or in opposite pairs, each balancing the other, analogous to ebb and flow, day and night, life and death, and other alternating features of nature.

Q. What other activities of nature illustrate the spiral path?
A. Examine the vaulted arch of the sky and observe the fiery nebulae or the path of the solar system; everywhere the spiral meets the eye. In the spring the earth discards its white blanket and emerges from its period of rest. All activities are exerted to bring forth new life everywhere. Time passes. The corn and the grape are ripened and harvested. Again the busy summer fades into the silence and inactivity of the winter, and again the snowy coverlet enwraps the earth. But her sleep is not forever. She will awake again to the song of the new spring, which will mark for her a little further progress along the pathway of time. So with the sun. he rises in the morning of each day, but each morning he is further along on his journey through the year. Everywhere the spiral: Onward, Upward forever.

Q. Is it possible that this awakes the life in the plant to new growth will wake the human being to new experience, to further progress toward the goal of perfection. Therefore the theory of rebirth, which teaches repeated embodiment in gradually improving vehicles, is in perfect accord with evolution and the phenomena of nature, while the other two theories are not.

Q. Regarding life from an ethical point of view, what do we find?
A. We find the Law of Consequence, gives the only theory that will satisfy a sense of justice, in harmony with the facts of life as we se them about us.

Q. What argument can you give that upholds rebirth and the Law of Consequence?
A. It is not easy for the logical mind to understand how a just and loving God can require the same virtues from one whom He has been pleased to place in unfortunate circumstances according to no apparent rule or system and according to His won capricious mood, as from one who has had every advantage. One lives in luxury, the other on crusts, one has a moral education and high ideals, the other is place in squalid surroundings.

Q. Is it logical to require the same of one as of the other?
A. No. It is more logical to think that we may have misinterpreted the Bible than to impute such a monstrous and unreasonable plan and method to a just and loving God.

Q. Why is it unnecessary to say that we must not inquire into the mysteries of God, that they are past our finding out?
A. Because the inequalities of life can be satisfactorily explained by the twin laws of Rebirth and Consequence, and made to harmonize with the conception of a just and loving God as taught by Christ.

Q. What else is shown by these twin laws?
A. A way to emancipation from one's present undesirable position or environment is shown, together with the means of attaining to any degree of development.

Q. What is the result of our own actions in the past?
A. What we are, what we have, all our qualities.

Q. What may we gain in the future?
A. All we lack in physical, moral, or mental excellence may yet be ours in the future.

Q. How is this brought about?
A. As we cannot do otherwise we laid them down the preceding night, so by our work in previous lives we have made the conditions under which we now live and labor. Similarly, we are at present creating the conditions of our future lives.

Q. If one child plays beautifully on a musical instrument while another, despite persistent effort is a poor player in comparison, what does it show?
A. It merely shows that one expended the effort in a previous life and is easily gaining a former proficiency, while the efforts of the other have been started only in the present life.


[The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception]

Q. Why is it immaterial that we do not remember the efforts made in acquiring a faculty?
A. Because it does not alter the fact that the faculty remains with us.

Q. What is the hall mark of an advanced soul?
A. Genius, which by hard labor in many previous lives has developed itself in some direction beyond the normal achievements of the race.

Q. What does this reveal?
A. It reveals the degree of attainment which will be the common possession of the coming race.

Q. Can genius be accounted for by heredity?
A. It cannot, because heredity applies mainly only to the dense body and not to qualities of the soul.

Q. If genius could be accounted for by heredity, what would be the natural result?
A. Each individual in a particular line would be more capable than his predecessor.

Q. In cases where the expression of specially constructed organs, how is this accomplished?
A. The ego naturally is reborn in a family, the members of which have labored for generations to build a similar organ.

Q. Can you mention an instance of this kind?
A. Twenty-nine musicians of more or less genius were born in the Bach family during a period of 250 years.

Q. What relation does the body bear to the work it does?
A. The body is simply an instrument, the work it yields being dependent upon the ego which guides it, as the quality of the melody is dependent upon the musician's skill aided by the timbre of the instrument.

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Q. Can a good musician fully express himself upon a poor instrument?
A. He cannot, and even upon the same instrument, all musicians do not and cannot play alike.

Q. Because an ego is reborn as the son of a great musician, does it necessarily follow that he must be a still greater genius?
A. It does not. In such an event physical heredity would be a fact and genius would not be a soul quality.

Q. In what way does the "law of attraction" account for the facts we ascribe to heredity?
A. We know that people of like tastes will seek one another. If we were looking for a friend in the city and were ignorant of his address, we would naturally be governed by the law of association. If he were a musician, he would most likely be found where musicians assemble.

Q. Why does the ego ordinarily gravitate to the most congenial associates?
A. It is constrained to do so by one of the twin forces of the Desire World, the force of attraction.

Q. How do we account for the fact that there are people of entirely different tastes, even bitter enemies, in the same family?
A. The explanation of such cases is that during the ego's earth lives many relations had been established with various people. These relations were pleasant or otherwise, involving on the one hand obligations which were not liquidated at the time, or on the other hand involving the infliction of an injury and a feeling of very strong hate.

Q. What does the law of consequence require?
A. The law of consequence requires an exact adjustment of the score. Death does not pay it all.

Q. What is the purpose of God in bringing enemies together in the same family?
A. It is the purpose of God that all shall love one another. Hate must be transformed into love, and though they may spend many lives "fighting it out," they will at some time learn the lesson and become friends.

Q. What is it that brings such people together?
A. The interest they have in one another sets in action the force of attraction. Had they been mutually indifferent, they could not have become associated.

Q. What do the twin laws of rebirth and consequence solve?
A. They solve in a rational manner all the problems incident to human life as man steadily advances toward the next stage in evolution, that of superman.

Q. In which direction is the trend of humanity's progress?
A. Onward and upward forever.

Q. What is the teaching of some Indian tribes regarding rebirth?
A. Some of the Indian tribes believe that man is reincarnated in animals or plants.

Q. What would such an incarnation mean?
A. Retrogression.

Q. Can any authority be found in nature, or in the sacred books of any religion for this doctrine of retrogression?
A. It cannot be found, except in one of the religious writings of India, the Kathopanishad (Ch V. Verse 9) which has been interpreted to mean that some men, because of their sins, go back to the motionless plant kingdom.

Q. Why are spirits reborn?
A. To gain experience, to conquer the world, to overcome the lower self and attain self mastery.

Q. When we realize all this, what are we brought to understand?
A. That there comes a time when there is no further need for rebirth because the lessons have all been learned.

Q. What significant words do we find in the Book of Revelation bearing on this subject?
A. "Him that over-cometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God and he shall go no more out," referring to concrete existence.

Q. Is there any authority for the belief in the transmigration of souls?
A. There is nowhere any authority for such a belief. A man who has evolved so far as to have an individual, separate soul cannot turn back in his progress and enter the vehicle of an animal or plant, which is under a group spirit. The individual spirit is of a higher evolution than the group spirit and the lesser cannot contain the greater.

Q. What beautiful poem illustrates this idea of constant progression in gradually improving vehicles and finally liberation?
A. The Chambered Nautilus, by Oliver Wendell Holmes. The nautilus builds its spiral shell in chambered sections, constantly leaving the smaller ones, which it has outgrown, for the one last built.

Q. What interesting phase of the twin laws of rebirth and consequence are brought to mind by the necessity of obtaining an organ of a specific nature?
A. These laws 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.

Q. What does the precession of the equinoxes cause the sun to do?
A. To move backwards through the twelve signs of the zodiac, at the rate of approximately one degree of space in seventy-two years, and through each sign (30 degrees of space) in about twenty-one hundred years, or around the whole circle in about twenty-six thousand years.


[The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception]

Q. To what is this backward motion, the precession of the equinoxes, due?
A. To the fact that the earth does not spin upon a stationary axis. Its axis has a slow swinging motion of its own, just like the wobble of a spinning top that has almost spent its force, so that it describes a circle in space and thus one star after another becomes polestar.

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Q. On account of this wobbling motion, what does it cause?
A. it causes the sun to cross the equator at a different place each year, a few hundred rods further back, hence the name, the "precession of the equinoxes," because the equinox precedes, comes too early.

Q. What are connected with this and other cosmic movements?
A. All happenings on the earth with the other cosmic bodies and their inhabitants. so are also the laws of rebirth and consequence.

Q. As the sun passes through the different signs, what do we observe?
A. The climatic and other changes affect man and his activities in different ways.

Q. What does the passage of the sun by precession through the twelve signs of the zodiac bring about?
A. It brings about conditions on the earth of a varied nature.

Q. Why is this necessary?
A. It is necessary for the growth of the soul that it should experience them all. As we have seen, the man himself makes these conditions while in the Heaven World between rebirths.

Q. How often is the ego born while the sun is passing through one sign of the zodiac?
A. Every ego is born twice during this period, or once in about one thousand years.

Q. What else can you relate in regard to the rebirth of the spirit?
A. As the spirit is necessarily double sexed, in order to obtain all experiences, it is born alternately in a male and a female body.

Q. Why is this so?
A. Because the experience of one sex differs widely from that of another. The outside conditions are not greatly altered in one thousand years and therefore, permit the entity to receive experience in the same identical environment from the standpoint of both man and woman.

Q. Is this law of rebirth subject to modifications?
A. As it is not a blind law, it is subject to frequent modifications, determined by the Lords of Destiny, the Recording Angels.

Q. What instance or example can you give of such a modification?
A. In a case where an ego needs a sensitive eye or ear and where there is an opportunity for giving it the required instrument in a family with which relations have previously been established. The time for the rebirth of the ego in question may lack, perhaps two hundred years of being ripe, but it is seen by the Lords of Destiny that unless this opportunity is embraced, the ego will have to spend, perhaps, four or five hundred years in heaven in excess of the time required, before another chance will present itself.

Q. In the event that the ego is brought to rebirth ahead of schedule time, so to speak, what results?
A. The deficiency of rest in the Third Heaven is made up at another time.

Q. What do we learn from this condition?
A. We see that, not only do the departed work on us from the Heaven World, but we also work on the, attracting or repelling them.

Q. If the ego had not met with a favorable opportunity for procuring a suitable instrument, what would have resulted?
A. He would have been kept longer in heaven and the surplus time deducted from his succeeding heaven lives.

Q. Why does the law of consequence also work in harmony with the stars?
A. So that a man is born at a time when the position of the bodies in the solar system will give the conditions necessary to his experience and advancement in the school of life.

Q. Why is astrology an absolutely true science?
A. Because it works in harmony with the law of consequence.

Q. Are all astrologers infallible?
A. They are not, because even the best astrologer may misinterpret and because, like all other human beings, he is fallible.

Q. What do the stars show in a man's life?
A. They show accurately the time when the debt the Lords of Destiny have selected is due. They even show the very day, although we are not always able to read the date correctly, and to evade it is beyond the power of man.

Q. What may the stars be called?
A. The "Clock of Destiny." The twelve signs of the zodiac correspond to the dial; the sun and planets to the hour hand, which indicates the year, and the moon to the minute hand, indicating the year when the different items in the score of ripe fate allotted to each life are due to work themselves out.

Q. What can you say in regard to man's free will as regards destiny?
A. It cannot be sufficiently emphasized, however, that though there are some things that cannot be escaped, man has a certain scope of free will in modifying causes already set going.

Q. What is the great points to be grasped?
A. That our present actions determine future conditions.

Q. What argument is used by orthodox religionists and those who profess no religion at all, against the law of rebirth?
A. They bring forward as one of their strongest objections that it is taught in India to the "ignorant heathen," who believe in it.

Q. What is the answer to this objection?
A. If the law of rebirth is a natural law, there is no objection strong enough to invalidate it or make it inoperative. And before we speak of "ignorant heathen," or send missionaries to them, it might be well to examine our own knowledge a little.

Q. What illustration can you give of the startling causes of ignorance among our college students of today?
A. Prof. Wilbur L. Cross, of Yale, mentions the fact that in a class of forty students, not one could place Judas Iscariot. Educators everywhere complain of superficiality on the part of our students.


[The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception]

Q. Why could the labors of missionaries be diverted profitably from "heathen" countries and from slum work?
A. To enlighten the ignorant Christians of our own country on the principle that "charity begins at home," and, as God will not let the ignorant heathen perish, it would seem better to leave him in ignorance when he is sure of heaven than to enlighten him and so render his chances of going to hell, legion.

Q. What well known quotation illustrates the above answer?
A. "Where ignorance is bliss 'tis folly to be wise." We would be doing ourselves and the heathen a signal service by letting him alone and looking after the ignorant Christians nearer home.

Q. Does it disprove this doctrine because it is called a heathen doctrine?
A. It does not. Its assumed priority in the East is no more an argument against it than the accuracy of the solution of a mathematical problem is invalidated because we do not happen to like the person who first solved it.

Q. What is the real question to be decided?
A. Is it correct? If so, it is absolutely immaterial whence the solution first came.

Q. Why have all other religions been a leading up to the Christian religion?
A. Because they were race religions and contained only in part that which Christianity has in a fuller measure.

Q. Has the real esoteric Christianity been taught publicly?
A. It has not, nor will it be, until humanity has passed the materialistic stage and becomes fitted to receive it.

Q. Have the laws of rebirth and consequence been taught at all?
A. They have been secretly taught all the time, but by the direct command of Christ, as we shall see, these two laws have not been publicly taught in the Western World for the past two thousand years.

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Q. Where must we go to understand the reason for this omission and the means employed to obscure these teachings?
A. We must go back to the beginning of man's history and see how far, for his own good, he has been led by the Great Teacher of humanity.

Q. In the teachings of esoteric science, how are the stages of development on the earth divided?
A. They are divided into periods called epochs, as follows: The Polarian, the Hyperborean, the Lemurian, and the Atlantean. The present epoch is called the Aryan Epoch.

Q. In what state was humanity in the first or Polarian Epoch?
A. Humanity at that time had only a dense body as the minerals have now, hence he was mineral-like.

Q. What was added in the second or Hyperborean Epoch?
A. A vital body was added and man in the making then possessed a body constituted as are those of plants. He was not a plant, but was plant-like.

Q. What did he obtain in the third or Lemurian Epoch?
A. He obtained his desire body and became constituted like the animal-an animal-man.

Q. What development was unfolded in the fourth or Atlantean Epoch?
A. Mind was unfolded and now, as far as his principles are concerned, he steps upon the stage of physical life as man.

Q. What will be accomplished in the present, the fifth or Aryan Epoch?
A. Man will in some degree unfold the third or lowest aspect of his threefold spirit, the ego.

Q. What should the student strongly impress upon his mind?
A. The emphatic statement that in the process of evolution, up to the time when man gained self-consciousness, absolutely nothing was left to chance.

Q. After gaining self-consciousness what is left for man to do?
A. There is a certain scope for the exercise of man's own individual will to enable him to unfold his divine spiritual powers.

Q. What is taken into consideration by the great leaders of mankind?
A. Everything is taken into consideration, the food of man included. This has a great deal to do with his development.

Q. What familiar quotation illustrates this point?
A. "Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are." This is not a far-fetched idea, but a great truth in nature.

Q. In what state was man during the first epoch?
A. Man was ethereal. That does not contradict the statement that he was mineral-like, for all gases are mineral. The earth was still soft, not yet having been solidified. In the Bible man is called Adam and it is said that he was made of earth.

Q. By whom is the second epoch symbolized?
A. By Cain, and he is described as an agriculturist. He had a vital body like the plants which sustained him.

Q. In the third epoch, how was food obtained?
A. Food was obtained from living animals to supplement the former plant food. Milk was the means used for evolving the desire body, which made mankind of that time animal-like. This is what is meant by the Bible statement that "Abel was a shepherd." It is nowhere stated that he killed animals.

Q. In what condition do we find man in the fourth epoch?
A. He had evolved beyond the animal; he had mind. Thought breaks down nerve cells, kills, destroys, and causes decay. Therefore the food of the Atlantean was, by analogy, dead carcasses. He killed to eat and that is why the Bible states that "Nimrod was a mighty hunter." Nimrod represents the man of the fourth epoch.

Q. In the meanwhile what had happened to man?
A. Man had descended deeper and deeper into matter.

Q. What became of his former ethereal body?
A. If formed the skeleton within and had become solid. he had also lost by degrees the spiritual perception which was possessed by him in the earlier epoch.

Q. Will his former spiritual perception be regained?
A. He is destined to get it back at a higher stage, plus the self- consciousness which he did not then possess.

Q. What advanced knowledge did he have during the first four epoch?
A. He had a greater knowledge of the spiritual worlds. He knew he did not die and that when one body wasted away it was like the drying of a leaf on a tree in the autumn: another body would grow to take its place.

Q. How did the knowledge affect him?
A. He had no real appreciation of the opportunities and advantages of this earth life of concrete existence.




Contemporary Mystic Christianity



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