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The Rosicrucian Philosophy in Questions & Answers
The Number of Human Beings in the Rebirth Cycle
Question: Are all the human beings that people the Earth at the present time souls that have gone through Earth life before, or are new souls being created all the time? (Vol. I, #66)
Answer: The ingress of the spirits into the human bodies, as constituted at the present time, commenced in the stage of the world's solidification known as the Lemurian Epoch, and was not fully completed until the middle of the Atlantean Epoch, a period of time occupying, perhaps, millions of years. But since that time, there has been no further ingress; the door is definitely closed because we have now evolved so far that those who had not reached the stage where they could manipulate a human body at that time would be too far behind us to catch up with our further development. Since that time, the spirits which were embodied in human shapes have been evolving by repeated embodiments so that, without exception, every one of the human beings now on Earth has been embodied at different times and in different environments.
Question: How do we know beyond a doubt that rebirth is a fact? Is it not possible that those who so state may be suffering from hallucination? (Vol. I, #67)
Answer: The trained clairvoyant who is able to read in the memory of nature may follow the lives of people from their present state backward, through the years of childhood. He will then see them in infancy, follow them through the gestatory period to the time when the spirit entered the womb of the mother. He may go back through their heaven life, their life in Purgatory, arriving at the time of death in the previous life, then follow them backward and see the whole life. But in the case of an adult, the time involved is usually a thousand years or more, and of course, it is possible, were there no other means of verification, that this might be hallucination. In the cases of children, however, who have not reached puberty there is a comparatively short interval between incarnations. In such a case it is easy to verify a re- embodiment among one's own acquaintances, and that is in fact part of the education of a pupil of the Elder Brothers. He is shown a child which is about to die and is told to watch that child in the invisible world for perhaps one or two years, following it step by step until it takes a new embodiment— perhaps with the same and possibly with other parents. When the pupil has thus followed an Ego through the invisible worlds from one death to the next birth, he knows absolutely that the law of rebirth is a fact in nature, and he often has occasion on account of his other investigations, to pursue such studies of the past lives of many individuals.
Still, it may be urged, is not this clairvoyance of which he speaks as his means of investigation in itself a hallucination? May he not be, although perfectly honest, the victim of a chimerical vision? It may be stated in answer to that suggestion, that he has every day at his disposal the means for verifying his observations. When a man has visited the city of New York and has seen the city he will never be tempted to say, I wonder if i could have been mistaken? He has been there and knows it. So it is with the clairvoyant. At times when he leaves his body he meets and works with people whom he does not know in ordinary life. Later he may be invited to visit these friends from the invisible world; he may travel by their clairvoyant direction to a city where he is a stranger; he may find them in the street and house seen clairvoyantly, recognize them and be himself recognized. He may then converse with these friends of the things they did and the places they visited in their invisible bodies, and if he ever had any doubt of the reality of his life outside the dense physical world, he is then once and for all time convinced of the reality of his experiences while out of the body. He knows that they are not strange, he knows his life there, his work there and his experiences there are as real as his life, his work and his experiences here in the physical world.
Question: How can you believe in the theory of reincarnation that we come back here in the body of an animal? Is it not much more beautiful to believe in the Christian doctrine that we go to heaven with God and the angels? (Vol. I, #72)
Answer: The writer has never advocated the views attributed to him by the inquirer, who, evidently, has not studied the question at all. There is a doctrine among some in the East teaching the theory of transmigration, that the human spirit may incarnate in the bodies of animals, but that is very different from the doctrine of reincarnation, which holds that man is an evolving being progressing through the school of life by means of repeated embodiments in bodies of gradually improving texture. The Christ said to his disciples, "Be ye therefore perfect, as the Father in heaven is perfect." That was a definite command, and the Christ would never have given it if it were unattainable; but we all know that we cannot reach that goal in one short life. Given time and the opportunities afforded by repeated embodiments and changed environments, however, we shall some time accomplish the work of perfecting ourselves.
There is no authority in any of the sacred writings of the East, even, for such a belief as transmigration. The only semblance to such an idea is found in the Kathopanishad, Chapter 5, Verse 9, which says that some of the souls, according to their deeds, return to the womb to be reborn, but others go into the "motionless." Meaning, in the opinion of some, that they may reincarnate down even as low as the mineral kingdom. The Sanskrit word used in that place is "sthanu," which also means a pillar, and read thus it gives the same idea as the passage in Revelation which says: "Him that overcometh, I will make a pillar in the house of my God, thence he shall no more go out." When humanity has reached perfection, there will come a time when they will no more be tied to the wheel of births and deaths, but will remain in the Invisible Worlds to work thence for the upliftment of other beings.
Besides, transmigration is an impossibility in nature, because there is in every human body an indwelling individual spirit, while each tribe of animals is ruled by a common, or group spirit, of which these animals all form a part, and no self-conscious Ego can enter into a body ruled by another.
The inquirer asks whether it is not much more beautiful to believe in a heaven with God and the angels. Perhaps it is, but we are not concerned so much with that which may be pleasing to our passing fancy as with finding the Truth, and although this doctrine of reincarnation is sometimes derided by some as impossible and a heathen doctrine, it is really not a question of whether it is heathen or not either. When we deal with a mathematical problem, we do not care who first solved it; all we are concerned with is, has it been properly solved? Likewise with this doctrine, no matter who taught if first, it is the only one that will solve all the problems of life in a rational manner, whereas, the theory that a man who perhaps never cared about music and did not know the first thing about harmony, immediately after he has died develops develops an insatiable passion for music and will remain content to toot in a trumpet or strum on a harp for all eternity, is rather more ridiculous.
Question: Why is it that every sect interprets the Bible differently and that each one gets an apparent vindication for its ideas from that book? (Vol. I, #73)
Answer: That question, if asked by a skeptic, affords him a great deal of satisfaction, for he sees in it a vindication for his idea that all sects are wrong in their beliefs and that the Bible is a conglomerate mass of nonsense, while in fact the case is very much the other way. We do not contend for the Divinity of this Book or hold that it is the Word of God from cover to cover; we recognize the fact that it is a poor translation of the originals and that there are many interpolations which have been inserted at different times to support various ideas, but, nevertheless, the very fact that so much truth has been massed into such a small compass is a source of constant wonder to the occultist, who knows what that Book really is and has the key to its meaning.
There is one fact that the skeptic fails to see. His idea is that if a certain interpretation is true, all other interpretations must necessarily be false. That idea is most emphatically wrong. Truth is many sided and eternal; the quest for truth must also be all embracing and never ending. We may liken truth to a mountain, and the various interpretations of that truth to different paths leading up to the summit. Many people are traveling along all of these paths and every one thinks his path is the only one while he is at the bottom; he sees only a small part of the mountain and may therefore be justified in crying to his brothers, "You are wrong; come over in my path; this is the only one that leads to the top." But as all these people progress upward, they shall see that the paths converge at the top and that they are all one in the ultimate.
It may be said most emphatically that no system of thought which has ever been able to attract and hold the attention of a large number of people for a considerable time has been without its truth; and whether we perceive it or not, there is in every sect the kernel of divine teaching which is gradually bringing them upward toward the top of the mountain, and therefore we should practice the utmost toleration for every belief.
Question: Do the Angels and Archangels watch over us individually as well as collectively and know just what our lives are? (Vol. I, #76)
Answer: The Lords of Mind, which Paul calls the "Power of Darkness" because they were the humanity of the dark Saturn period when the universe was just coming out of chaos, work only with man.
The Archangels, who were human in the fiery Sun Period, where the universe was of the consistency of "desire stuff," work now as the helpers of the group spirits of the animals and as race spirits for humanity, because these classes of beings have a desire body.
The Angels, who were the humanity of the Moon Period, work with man, animal and plant, for in the Moon Period the universe was of the consistency of "ether" and the vital bodies of the three kingdoms named is formed of that material. The Angels are, therefore, properly helpers in the vital functions such as assimilation, growth and propagation, and in their work with humanity they are family spirits. They cause the increase in the family, in man's cattle and in the yield of his fields.
Man, himself, who is a little lower than the Angels, works with the minerals, which are found in the chemical region of the Physical World,composed of the gases, liquids and solids. He is to the minerals what the Higher Beings are to us. He is gradually waking them to life by molding them into houses, bridges, railways, etc.
In a future incarnation of the Earth, when these minerals have become plant-like, man will have learned to work with life and will then be in a similar position with regard to them as the Angels occupy now with regard to us. Thus there is endless progression, the higher always helping the less evolved, until all shall have reached perfection.
Answering the question more specifically, we may say that the Archangels work with the nations and the races of the Earth, while the Angels are concerned particularly with the families and the individuals in the family. The "Guardian Angel," however, is not exactly an entity from a higher evolution, but is rather the personified embodiment of our good deeds in all our past lives, which, though unseen by us, is still with us always, impelling us toward right action and the doing of more good.
— This article was adapted from "The Rosicrucian Philosophy in Questions and Answers, Vol. I," by Max Heindel.
Contemporary Mystic Christianity
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