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The Rosicrucian Philosophy in Questions & Answers
Material Wealth and the Higher Life
Question: Can anyone study occultism, live the higher life and be a millionaire? (Vol. I, #183)
Answer: Christ said to the rich young man, "Go get rid of all thou hast," but the young man, being very much taken up with the good things of this life, went away sadly, and the Christ remarked concerning the difficulty besetting the rich man's entrance into heaven. He did not say that it is impossible, but he knew what a snare and a temptation there is in riches. Nevertheless, a man may be a millionaire and still striving to live the higher life. Riches are a clog and a fetter, but it would be absolutely wrong to infer that riches prevent occult development. All depends upon what view a man takes of his riches. If he uses them for the purpose of self-aggrandizement and to oppress his fellowmen, of course there can be no spiritual growth, but where a man regards himself as the steward of his possessions, and where he aims to build factories having model conditions and model tenement houses, etc., where he works strenuously himself to see that his philanthropic ideas are being carried out, and that his fellowmen are receiving good conditions and every chance for self improvement, wealth is an enormous power for good. When a man works thus unselfishly for the welfare of others he will not have much chance to think of self-improvement, and his spiritual growth will be unconscious rather than otherwise. Nevertheless, he will progress enormously, and his opportunities to do better and greater work will increase as the years pass by in this life and also in future lives. That was really the meaning of the parable of the talents. Those who used their talents were made rulers over a number of cities in order to give them adequate employment in the evolutionary scheme. On the other hand, if a man owns a factory and becomes so imbued with a desire for occult development that he selfishly sells out his factory and throws his workmen out of employment in order that he may develop his own powers and live the higher life, such a man is shirking his duty and will undoubtedly receive a rebuke at the hands of the Master, for he has buried his talent and in a new life he will find himself deprived of the opportunity which he has neglected.
Reuniting With Loved Ones After Death
Question: Does the purgatorial experience of the Ego continue from death until the panorama reaches the birth of the life just ended, or are there periods of respite between the end of suffering for this, that, or the other deed and the beginning of suffering for the next? (Vol. II, #1)
Answer: Nature, which is God in Manifestation, always aims at the conservation of energy, attaining the greatest results with the least expenditure of force and the least waste of energy. The Law of Analogy applies to this case. If we study the effect of change in the physical world, we shall learn something of its consequence in the realm above us. A person who is here suffering acutely for a short time usually feels pain very intensely; whereas those who suffer for years in succession, though the pain which is inflicted upon them may be as severe, do not seem to feel the suffering in the same measure. They have, as it were, grown used thereto, and their frame has in a certain sense become emaciated and adjusted to pain; hence suffering is not felt as keenly by these as by the person in the first case.
It is similar in the purgatorial experience. When a person (man or woman) has been very hard and harsh in life, when he has thought nothing of the feelings of others, when he has inflicted severe pain here, there, and everywhere on whatever occasion offered, we shall find that his suffering in Purgatory will be severe, intensified of course by the fact that the purgatorial experience is shorter than the life lived upon Earth; but the pain is intensified in proportion. Now, therefore, it is evident that if his experience were continuous, if the pain engendered by one act were followed immediately by the next, much of the effect of the suffering would be lost upon the soul because it would not feel its full intensity. Therefore the experiences, as it were, come to them in waves so that there is a period of respite after each period of suffering in order that the full intensity of the next may be felt.
Some may think, of course, that this is cruel, and that it is inflicting pain needlessly, taking advantage of every finesse to make the suffering as acute as possible. This is not so, however. While the effect is there, the motive is a greater good, for nature, or God, never seeks to revenge or avenge any wrong, but only to teach those who permit themselves to do wrong not to repeat the act, by giving the wrongdoer exactly pain for pain. The tendency in a future life is to cause him to respect the feelings of others and so be merciful to all the world. Thus the very highest intensity in pain is necessary for the conservation of energy, and to make him good and pure sooner than would be the case if the pain were continuous and the suffering correspondingly lessened.
Reuniting With Loved Ones After Death
Question: If there is a strong attraction between two people which cannot reach a legitimate consummation in marriage because of previous ties and one of them passes out of this life with that longing in mind, will they be reunited in Heaven, and will they meet and mate in a future Earth life? (Vol. II, #5)
Answer: Yes, in all probability the attraction they feel for each other and which cannot find expression now will in many such cases bring them together even before the next life; for though there is no marriage in Heaven, those who love each other and are therefore in a sense necessary to each other's happines, are united in a bond of closest friendship during the stay in the First Heaven if they pass out at or near the same time. But if one remains in the body for a number of years after the other has passed over, the one who is in the Heaven World will with his or her loving thought create an image of the other and endow it with life; for we must remember that the Desire World is so constituted that we are able to give bodily shape to whatever we think of. Thus, although this image will only be ensouled by his thought and the thoughts of the other person still living in the physical region, it embodies all the conditions that are necessary to fill the cup of happiness of this inhabitant of the Heaven World.
Similarly, when the second person passes on, if the first person has progressed into the Second Heaven, his or her shell, so-called (the disintegrating desire body in which he or she lived), will answer the purpose and seem perfectly real to the second lover until his or her life in this realm is ended. Then when they both pass into the Second and Third Heavens, forgetfulness of the past comes over them, and they may part for one or more lives without loss. But sometime, somewhere, they will meet again, and the dynamic force which they have generated in the past by their yearnings for each other will unvaryingly draw them together so that their love may reach its legitimate consummation.
This applies not only to lovers in the generally accepted sense of the word, but the love existing between brothers and sisters, parents and children, or friends who are not related by blood will also work itself out in a similar manner. Our life in the First Heaven is always blessed and filled by the presence of those we love. If they are not in the spirit world and thus actually present, their images will be; and it must not be thought that these are pure illusion, for they are ensouled by the love and the friendship sent out by the absent ones toward the person of whose heaven life they are a part.
The Effects of Embalming
Question: In embalming the blood is drawn from the body while it is still warm and a fluid forced into the arteries. What is the effect of this operation? (Vol. II, #8)
Answer: The Spirit feels pain from embalming and consequently is disturbed in that most important of all things, the meditation over the panorama of life. We should realize that at the time of death the harvest is beginning; we have been sowing all through life, and when death comes the reaping begins. The first and most important fruitage comes from the study of the panorama of life as it unrolls in reverse order, showing first the events of the past life and then the causes that produced them. If the body is disturbed at that time by the lamentations of relatives or by moving it out to be buried, then the Spirit is disturbed in the same degree. And naturally a post-mortem examination or embalming will have far more detrimental effects. Therefore it is wrong to do either.
This article was adapted from "The Rosicrucian Philosophy in Questions
and Answers, Vol. I & II," by Max Heindel.
Contemporary Mystic Christianity
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