Introductory Core Concepts
Independent Study Module No. 3
The World of Thought
1. Nature of The Thought World:
The World of Thought is the highest world in which the human Ego functions while still bound to earthly existence. Through thought and the application of will, man will ultimately rule his destiny. Nothing can manifest unless it first exists in thought. The material of this world is often referred to as mind substance or mind stuff.
[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 are the two main regions of the World of Thought? (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception, and Diagram 2.)
2. Thought Force:
Thought force is the most powerful means of obtaining knowledge. If it is properly concentrated upon a subject, it will burn its way through any obstacle and solve any problem. If sufficient thought force is brought to bear, there is nothing beyond the power of human comprehension. So long as we scatter it, little can be accomplished. Thought existed before the brain. It built and is still building the brain for its expression. The four lower divisions of the World of Thought are known as the Region of Concrete Thought, and constitute what is termed the Second Heaven.
Name these four regions. (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)
3. The Archetype:
In the Region of Concrete Thought, before birth, the Ego, with the help of the Creative Hierarchies, particularly the Lords of Mind, forms the archetype of its future dense body, which is really a thought form—a living vibrating mold. The creative archetypes fashion the forms of the Physical World in their own likeness, each archetype giving part of itself to build the required form.
What archetypes are found in the four divisions of the Region of Concrete Thought? (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception, Diagram 2)
4. Thought Forms:
The Region of Abstract Thought consists of the finest thought substance of the World of Thought. The ideas germinated in the Region of Abstract Thought clothe themselves as thought forms in the mind stuff substance of the Region of Concrete Thought. The three upper divisions of the World of Thought are known as the Region of Abstract Thought, and constitute the Third Heaven.
What germinal ideas are found in these three regions? (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception, Diagram 2)
5. Matter a Reflection of Spirit:
The Region of Archetypal Forces is the most important in the five Worlds wherein man's entire evolution is carried on. From this Region Spirit works on matter in a formative way, the forms in the lower world being reflections of the spirit in the higher worlds.
In what Region are Abstract Thought, World of Life Spirit, and World of Divine Spirit reflected? (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)
6. Relation of The Worlds:
We must carefully keep in mind that the Worlds are not placed one above another, but interpenetrate.
In a few words describe the relation of the Physical, Desire, and Thought Worlds to each other. (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)
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7. Correlation of The Earth to Other Planets and Other Solar Systems:
In order to travel to other spheres we must use a vehicle correlated to the material of that sphere.
(a) Through what world are we correlated to the other planets of our solar system? (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)
(b) Through what world are we correlated to other solar systems? (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)
8. Study Guide Questions:
Complete The Rosicrucian Mysteries Study Guide, Section 3
9. Study Guide Questions:
Complete Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception Study Guide, Section 1
Answers to Core Concepts Independent Study Module No. 2:
1. The seven regions of the Desire World are:
2. The two great forces that hold sway in the Desire World are Attraction and Repulsion.
3. Anything happening in the Physical World builds its appropriate form in the Desire World. If an untrue account of the same occurrence is given, a form different and antagonistic to the first, or true one, is created. As they deal with the same occurrence, they are drawn together, but as their vibrations are so different they act upon each other with mutual destructiveness. The lie which starts this destruction not only kills the other form (murder) but by the same destructive vibrations destroys itself (suicide).
4. The esotericist always seeks for the good in so-called evil because this increases the number and power of the good forms and thus transmutes evil into good.
5. The Region of Passion and Sensual Desire, the Region of Impressionability, and the Region of Wishes give the substance for the forms which make for experience, soul-growth and evolution.
6. Interest and Indifference determine the fate of the object or idea which has been presented. Interest starts the forces of Attraction or Repulsion. Indifference withers the object or idea against which it is directed.
7. Art, altruism, and philanthropy are expressed through the higher regions of the Desire World.
Supplemental Student Material:
I. Machines Versus People
We are in a high technology age in which machines have been developed that can see (cameras); hear (tape recorders); speak (tape players); plant, cultivate, water, and harvest food; assist in many manufacturing processes; move on the ground (cars) and in the air (airplanes); and carry out logical processes (computers). These accomplishments have led many to ask whether machines can be constructed that can do everything that humans can do, and many researchers have been working with the aim of developing machines that can rival a human. These attempts, although they have resulted in machines with quite amazing abilities, have also encountered profound problems. Hubert L. Dreyfus, in his book "What Computers Can't Do," has made an extensive study of the limitations of computers (and thence also of computer-controlled machines). He notes that the main areas in which computers are unable to compete with humans are 1) seeing purpose and acting with purpose, 2) seeing a whole picture and making all parts fit in with the whole, 3) filling in unseen or unspecified details based on a sense of the whole, 4) deciding what is relevant and ignoring irrelevancies, 5) seeing similarities among situations.
Clairvoyants can give added information as to why machines cannot do certain things that humans can do. Clairvoyants can see that humans have, in addition to their dense physical body, a vital body, a desire body, a concrete mind, a Human Spirit, a Life Spirit, and a Divine Spirit. Machines do not have these higher bodies and spirits, and man, in his present state of evolution, does not yet have the ability to endow machines with these bodies and spirits. Thence, machines will not be able to exhibit the characteristics that result from these bodies and spirits functioning through the dense body. The action of the vital body in the dense physical body enables the dense physical body to assimilate food, excrete whatever substances are not needed, grow heal, and reproduce itself. The vital body also stores a record of not only everything that a person does, but also stores the effects that these actions have had on other people. These effects will, in time, be felt by the person who initiated the actions, and thus people are held accountable for their actions and develop a feeling of responsibility. The action of the desire body in the dense and vital bodies permits feelings of love and hate, sympathy and antipathy, purpose and devotion. The action of the mind enables one to create an image of a whole situation in which all the parts are related. The mind can also operate intuitively (picking up ideas and meanings that have not been explicitly stated) and creatively.
The Human Spirit (which operates in the region of abstract thought) can give direction as to what rules of action should be used under what circumstances. For example, the "rules" of action that one uses in the wrokplace may be quite different from the "rules" of action one uses at a party. What is appropriate in one place may not be appropriate in the other place. (Computer robots generally have to be set up to operate under a very specific and limited set of conditions, and cannot operate outside the conditions for which they were constructed.)
The Life Spirit provides an intuitive feeling of what is right and what is wrong, and of what is good and what is bad, and what is valuable and what is useless. The wisdom stored in the Life Spirit is the extracted essence of the experiences of many lifetimes on earth. The Divine Spirit gives the ability to say "I will" and to act self-consciously and with initiative.
When they read the plan for the future evolution of mankind, clairvoyants tell us that in the Jupiter Period, men will develop the ability to give vital bodies to the machines that they create. In the Venus Period, men will develop the ability to also give a desire body to the machines that they create. In the Vulcan Period, men will develop the ability to add a mind to the machines that they create. Then the current dreams of creating living, feeling, and thinking bodies will be fulfilled. The spirits that inhabit these bodies will not, however, be created by man. They already exist and will simply be using the bodies as habitations in which to work and evolve.
The main pitfall of people in a technological age does not lie in the creating of super machines. The intellectual exercise is good for people's minds, and the machines can take over tasks that would be quite boring for humans to do. The main pitfall lies in seeing the machines take over (some) human tasks and inferring that humans are nothing more than machines, and then proceeding to treat humans as one would treat a machine. We must strive always to keep in mind the fact that humans are sparks of God, and are deserving of our respect and even wonder. All humans, however intellectually and spiritually blind they appear at present, have infinite potential, and will through the evolutionary process some day become as all-loving and all- wise and as creative as the Christ.
—Dreyfus, Hubert L. What Computers Can't Do new York: Harper and Row, 1979
Material scientists have observed that human bodies, in time, go through a process of aging. The body becomes clogged with earthy deposits. Cells in the various organs (heart, kidneys, brain, etc.) break down so that the capacity of the organs to function diminishes. The artery walls become inelastic and thicken, which makes it more difficult for blood to flow. The bones tend to lose strength.
Material scientists have studied means of slowing the aging process. To slow down the clogging of the body with mineral deposits, one can use foods and drinks that contain little earthy material, such as distilled water, milk, fresh vegetables and fruits. One also needs to maintain good elimination, so earthy matter taken in can be eliminated as readily as possible. In slowing down the cellular breakdown process, pantothenic acid, vitamin C, and vitamin E are important. Pantothenic acid is found in brewer's yeast, potatoes, peas, brown rice, sunflower seeds, and whole wheat. Vitamin C is found in all fresh fruits and vegetables. Vitamin E is found in whole grains, leafy green vegetables, nuts, beans, and peas. Also other B vitamins, selenium, and the amino acids cysteine, methionine, and ornithin aid in preventing cell breakdown. Unsaturated fats (because they contain free radicals) may promote cell breakdown. To slow down the hardening and thickening of the artery walls, one needs to avoid taking in too much cholesterol and fat. To do this, one should limit one's intake of milk fat, meat fat, egg yolks, coconut oil, coca, margarine, and oils. Skim milk may be used in place of whole milk. Grains, nuts, and legumes may be used in place of flesh foods. Exercise also helps keep cholesterol levels low.
To keep the bones from losing strength, one needs exercise, and appropriate amounts of vitamin C and calcium. Good sources of calcium are milk, soybeans, leafy green vegetables, sesame seeds, almonds, and sunflower seeds. Vitamin D (in eggs, milk, sprouted seeds, mushrooms, sunflower seeds, and sunshine) and the amino acid lysine aid calcium absorption.
Material science can only give suggestions for slowing the aging process. it still cannot stop the aging process. We still find ourselves in the situation noted by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow when he wrote,
Material scientists have noted that not only human bodies undergo aging, but also animal and plant bodies age and eventually die. The Earth ages as its deposits oc coal, oil, gas, and minerals are mined and used, and as its mountains wear down and are carried by running water into the sea, and as its interior gradually cools. The sun ages as it radiates heat and light into space. To replenish the heat and light lost, it steadily burns nuclear fuel in its interior. Each day, our sun burns 10 to the 13th power of its 10 to the 27th power tons of fuel in its center. The fuel supply is limited. Eventually, after about 10 billion years from the time when it started burning fuel (about 5 billion years from now), the sun will exhaust its nuclear fuel. Then it will ultimately cool and cease to shine.
Material scientists have, in fact, observed that all irreversible processes in the universe lead to the aging of the universe. This is summarized in what is called the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which states that, "In every irreversible process, the entropy of the universe increases." Entropy is a technical term that has a somewhat complicated mathematical definition, but roughly, entropy is a measure of the physical disorder in the universe. When a sheet of paper is torn into bits, the torn paper is more disordered than the whole sheet. The Second Law notes that we may start with a whole sheet and tear it up, but we cannot start with a torn sheet and put it back together again unless something else sacrifices its order to accomplish the process. If a human being expends energy in putting the paper back together, the increase in order of the paper will be less than the decrease in order caused by the consumption of plants (and sometimes animals) in order to have the energy to put the paper together. Thus the disorder of the universe increases and the universe has aged.
Clairvoyants can give added insight into the process of aging. They see that while earthly activities of humans cause aging of the dense body, they also cause growth of the human soul. The record of earthly activities is stored in the vital body. This record contains both what we did and what effects our actions had on others. In time, the spirit reviews these records either voluntarily during life in the exercise of retrospection, or automatically after death. [The exercise of retrospection involves reviewing the events of each day after retiring for the night before falling asleep. The events are reviewed in reverse order from that in which they occurred so that effects are seen first, then the causes are seen afterward. As the events are reviewed, one is supposed to try to feel what effects one's actions have had on other people, and to evaluate whether one's actions were right or wrong.] When the record is reviewed, the actions are noted and their effects are felt, and the spirit extracts from the total experience conclusions about what is right and wrong, what is good and bad, and what is valuable and worthless. The spirit stores these conclusions and thence grows in wisdom and power. The aging process, which appears to be a continuous decline from the physical point of view, is seen to be one of continuous growth and improvement from the spiritual point of view. As Paul said (1 Cor. 15:44), "What is sown a physical body is raised a spiritual (soul) body," and (2 Cor. 4:16), "Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed every day."
The clairvoyant can also see that, although the dense body ages, the pattern according to which the dense body was constructed remains unharmed by time. When the dense body has aged to the point that it is uninhabitable, the spirit leaves the dense body, but takes with it the pattern according to which the dense body was made. The spirit may make changes in the pattern if it has noticed any defects, and then it uses this pattern for building a new body within the womb of a new mother. Although bodies decline during a lifetime on Earth, the trend from lifetime to lifetime on earth is one of continued improvement.
Similarly, the Solar System can withdraw from manifestation when it "runs down" and needs to get a new start with renewed impetus and order.
Because physical things appear to be in a continuous state of decline, one may become pessimistic and lacking in hope if one focuses one's attention only on the physical. Let us therefore strive to always keep in mind that the spirit is in a continuous state of growth, and that we are step-by-step moving toward a state of glory beyond all comparison.
Based on their observations of the nature of nuclear decay processes, material scientists have deduced various laws of nuclear decay. Applying these laws to various materials, it is possible to deduce how long the nuclear-decay processes have proceeded in an undisturbed manner within the material. In this manner the time since a rock solidified or the time since a plant or animal died can be determined from a sample of the rock, plant, or animal. Using these procedures, scientists have found that moon rocks are between five and six billion years old and the oldest earth rocks are between three and five billion years old. Fossils of plant and animal bodies have been found that have ages of up to about 560 million years. When these fossils are ordered according to the time when they were formed, it is observed that in earlier times only the simpler forms of life were present, and as time progressed more and more complex forms appeared. The oldest fossils are algae, jellyfish, soft corals, and primitive worms. Later the first shelled marine animals appeared, then later the first fish, then the first amphibians, then the first reptiles, then the first birds, then the first mammals, then later the first humans appeared.
The material scientist learns about the past by making present observations and then extrapolating backward according to scientific laws as he understands them. This method obviously has limitations as to how far back it can go and as to its accuracy. The clairvoyant can study the past with greater accuracy and can go further back than the material scientist because he can read the record of the past, which is stored in the superphysical worlds. The material scientist cannot see the superphysical powers that directed the development of the physical processes, but the clairvoyant can see what these powers did, and thus can help complete the picture.
The clairvoyant Max Heindel gives a detailed account of the evolution of the earth and life forms on it and of the spirits working in these life forms in The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception. He starts his account at a time that precedes even the existence of the present Solar System. He tells how present humanity, in the far distant past, were spiritual beings within God, and had no dense body or feelings or thoughts as we do now. We had no self-consciousness and no ability to exercise initiative. To help us develop self-consciousness, various creative hierarchies within God helped us build bodies through many lengthy steps, which involved many times construction of bodies, working through the bodies for a time, and then leaving those bodies, modifying the body plans, and then reconstructing the bodies. This had gone on for long ages even before the present earth came into existence. The spirits inhabiting present-day animal bodies had also been helped to start learning to build bodies prior to the present earth, but they generally started later than present humanity. The spirits inhabiting present-day plant bodies had also been helped to start learning to build bodies prior to the existence of the present earth, but they generally started later than the present animals.
The clairvoyants say that the steps in the construction of the life forms on the present earth were as follows: First humans (with the help of the various creative hierarchies) built mineral forms (various atomic and molecular combinations and crystal forms). Then the humans left the mineral forms and built (with help) plant forms and worked in and through these. Then they left the plant forms and built (with help) animal forms, and finally they built (with help) human forms, and are still building and improving these forms. Once a form has been constructed, it can be reproduced (by generation) and other spirits can inhabit the form than originally designed it. Thus the animal and plant spirits started functioning on earth by entering into the forms constructed originally by and for the humans. Being less advanced, the animals and plants could not do as well in body building as the humans had, so under the care of the animal and plant spirits (and the higher spirits who guide them, the forms that they had taken over from the humans sometimes initially degenerated. For example, after an "early ape" body had been formed by humans, some of these body forms (inhabited by human spirits) were improved to the present-day human form, and others (inhabited by animal spirits) degenerated to the present-day ape forms. In time, of course, as the animal spirits continue to work through their ape forms, they will gradually learn to improve them.
Material scientists have observed that the genetic pattern of the offspring is sometimes different than the genetic pattern of the parents. Material scientists are not able to see the powers that direct the changes in genetic patterns, because these powers have their origin in the superphysical worlds. Max Heindel describes in detail the many creative hierarchies who have directed and who are directing the body-building processes. These creative hierarchies build with purpose. They try to make the bodies capable of being more and more responsive to the Will of the Spirits that inhabit them. We, as humans, are among the creative hierarchies and we work both at improving the designs of animal and plant bodies. Most of this design work is done between earth lives, when our consciousness is focused in the higher worlds.
Some new body-forms are made and some go into extinction, some advance and some degenerate. The important thing to keep in mind, however, is that spirits never go into extinction and that they continually evolve (in general). The basic law of evolution is "Onward and Upward Forever."
—Supplemental Student Material Reference: Science and Religion, Elsa M. Glover, PhD