|Simplified Scientific Christianity|
"During the earlier years the forces operating along the negative pole of the reflecting ether are extremely active. The purest of our children are clairvoyant to this day while they remain in a state of sinless innocence. So also the Lemurians, who were yet innocent and pure, possessed an internal perception which gave them only a dim idea of the outward shape of any object, but illumined so much the brighter their inner nature, their soul-quality, by a spiritual apperception born of innocent purity. Likewise, in their early years 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" teaches them to desist. "
There is perhaps no subject of greater importance than the education of children. In the first place wise parents who are desirous of giving the child all advantages, commence before the birth, even before conception, to prayerfully turn their thoughts toward the task they are undertaking. They are careful to see that the union which is to bring about the germination takes place under the proper stellar influences, when the moon is passing through a sign which is appropriate to the building of a strong and healthy body, having, of course, their own bodies in the best possible physical, moral, and mental condition. Then during the period of gestation they hold before their mind's eye constantly the ideal of a strong, useful life for the incoming entity.
As soon as possible after birth has taken place they cast the horoscope of the child, for the wise parent is also an astrologer. If the parents have not the ability to cast the horoscope themselves they can at least study the stellar signs, which will enable them to intelligently understand what the astrologer tells them; but under no circumstances will they consult a professional astrologer to help them, one who prostitutes the science for gold, but they will seek the aid of a spiritual astrologer, though they may have to seek for some time. In the child's natal chart the strength and weakness of its character can be readily seen. The parents will then be in the best position to foster the good and take appropriate means to repress the evil before the tendencies work themselves out into actualities; and thus they may in a large measure help the incoming entity to overcome its faults.
Next, the parent must realize that that which we term birth is only the birth of the visible physical body, which is born and comes to its present high stage of efficiency in a shorter time than the invisible vehicles of man, because it has had the longest evolution. As the fetus is shielded from the impacts of the visible world by being encased in the protecting womb of the mother during the period of gestation, so are the subtler vehicles encased in envelopes of ether and desire stuff which protect them until they have sufficiently matured and are able to withstand the conditions of the outer world.
During the earlier years the forces operating along the negative pole of the reflecting ether are extremely active. The purest of our children are clairvoyant to this day while they remain in a state of sinless innocence. So also the Lemurians, who were yet innocent and pure, possessed an internal perception which gave them only a dim idea of the outward shape of any object, but illumined so much the brighter their inner nature, their soul-quality, by a spiritual apperception born of innocent purity. Likewise, in their early years 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" teaches them to desist.
It is deplorable that the little ones are forced to lie — or at least deny the truth — because of the incredulity of their "wise" elders. Even the investigations of the Society for Psychical Research have proved that children often have invisible playmates, who frequently visit them until they are several years old. During those years the clairvoyance of the children is of the same negative character as that of the medium.
It is the same with the forces working in the desire body. The passive capacity for feeling physical pain is present, while the feeling of emotion is almost entirely absent. The child will, of course, show emotion on the slightest provocation, but the duration of that emotion is but momentary. It is all on the surface. Thus it is shown that all the negative qualities are active in the newborn entity, but before it is able to use its different vehicles, the positive qualities must be ripened.
The child has the link of mind, but is almost incapable of individual thought activity. It is exceedingly sensitive to forces working along the negative pole of the mind, as is therefore imitative and teachable.
It must not be imagined that when the little body of a child has been born the process of birth is completed. The spirit having built many physical bodies produces them quickly, but the vital body is a later acquisition of the human being. For this reason we are not so experts in building that vehicle. Consequently it takes longer to construct the vital body from the materials not used up in making the lining of the archetype, and it is not born until the seventh year, or the time when the child cuts its second teeth. The desire body is a still later addition of the composite man, and is not brought to birth until the fourteenth year, or the time of puberty; while the mind, which makes man man, does not come to birth until the twenty-first year. In law that age is recognized as the earliest time at which the individual is fitted to exercise the franchise.
Respecting the influence which the birth of the various vehicles has upon life, we may say: Though the organs have been formed by the time the child comes to birth, during the time from birth to the seventh year, or change of teeth, the lines of growth of the physical body are determined. The sense organs take certain definite forms which give them their basic structural tendencies and determine their line of development in one direction or another. Later they grow, but all growth follows the lines laid down in those first seven years, and the mistakes or neglect of opportunities during this period can never be retrieved in after life. If the limbs and organs have taken the proper forms, the whole after-growth will be harmonious; but if malformation has taken place, then the little body will be more or less misshapen. It is the duty of the educator to give the proper environment to the little child in this period, as nature does before birth, for only that can give the sensitive organism the right direction and tendency of growth.
As sound is a builder, both of the great and small, we may well imagine that rhythm must have an enormous influence upon the growing child's organism. The apostle John in the first chapter of his gospel expresses this idea mystically in the beautiful words: "In the beginning was the Word....and without it was not anything made that was made....and the Word became flesh" The "Word" is a rhythmic sound which issued from the Creator, reverberated through the universe, and marshaled countless millions of atoms into the multiplex variety of shapes and forms which we see about us. The mountain, the mayflower, the mouse, and the man are all embodiments of that great Cosmic Word, which is still sounding through the universe, and which is still building and ever building though unheard by our insensitive ears. But though we do not hear that wonderful celestial sound, we may work upon the little child's body by means of terrestrial music. The nursery rhymes are without sense, but they are nevertheless bearers of a wonderful rhythm, and the more a child is taught to say, sing, and repeat them, to dance and to march to them, the more music that is incorporated into a child's daily life, the stronger and healthier will be its body in future years.
There are two mottoes which apply during this period, one to the child and the other to the parent: example and imitation. No creature under heaven is more imitative than a little child, and its conduct in after years will depend upon the example set by its parents during its early life. Everything in the child's environment leaves its impress for good or evil, and we should realize that our slightest action may do incalculable harm or good in the life of our children, and that we ought never to do anything in the presence of the child which we would not be perfectly willing to have it imitate. It is no use to teach it to mind or to moralize at this period: It has no mind, it has no reason. Example is the only teacher the child needs or heeds. It cannot help imitating any more than water can help running down hill, for that is its only method of growth in this epoch. Teaching morals and reasoning comes later; to apply them now is like taking a child out of the womb prematurely. If anyone should attempt to forcibly extract a babe from the protecting womb of its mother, the outrage would result in death, because the babe has not yet arrived at a maturity sufficient to endure the impacts of the physical world. In the three septenary periods which follow birth the invisible vehicles are still in the womb of Mother Nature. If we teach a child of tender years to memorize or to think, or if we arouse its feelings and emotions, we are in fact opening the protecting womb of nature, and the results are equally as disastrous in other respects as a forced premature birth. Child prodigies usually become men and women of less than ordinary intelligence. We should not hinder the child from learning or thinking of its own volition, but we should not goad it on as parents often do to gratify their own pride. All that the child is to acquire of thoughts, ideas, and imagination must come of itself in the same way that the eyes and ears develop before the birth of the dense body.
The child should be given playthings on which it may exercise its imitative faculty — something with life, or a doll jointed so that it can be put in different positions, and let the child dress it herself; in that way she exercise her formative force in the right manner. Give the boy tools and patterns, molds and clay. Never give children anything finished so that they have nothing to do but look at it. That leaves the brain no chance for development, and it must ever be the care and aim of the educator at this time to furnish the means of developing the physical organs harmoniously.
In regard to food, great care must be taken in this period, for a healthy or diseased appetite in after life will depend upon how it is fostered in the first septenary epoch. Here also example is the great teacher. Highly seasoned dishes spoil the organism; the plainer the food and the more it is conducive to thorough mastication, the more it promotes a healthy appetite that will guide the man through life and give him the health of body and ease of mind that is unknown to the gourmand. Let us not have one dish for ourselves, however, and another for our child. In that way we may keep it from eating certain foods at home, but we generate a hankering that will seek satisfaction when the child gets old enough to have a will of its own. The imitative faculty will then assert itself. Therefore it behooves every parent to remember from morning till night that watchful eyes are upon him all the time waiting for him to act in order to follow his example.
In regard to clothing, let us always be sure that a child's apparel is of full size, and is replaced before it becomes so small that it irritates. Many an immoral nature that has spoiled a life was first awakened by the chafing of a too small garment, particularly in the case of boys. Immorality is one of the worst and most tenacious plague spots in our civilization. To save our child let us attend to this point, and seek in every way to keep it unconscious of its sex organs before the seventh year. Corporal punishment is also an exceedingly fruitful factor in forcing the sex nature (which is already, perhaps, beyond the control of the growing boy), and cannot be sufficiently deprecated.
In regard to the education of the temperament, it will be found that colors are of the greatest significance, although the matter involves not only a knowledge of the effect of colors but particularly of the complementary colors, also, for it is the latter that do the work in the organism of the child.
By the seventh year the vital body of the child has reached a perfection sufficient to allow it to receive impacts from the outside world. It sheds its protective covering of ether, and commences its free life. And now the time begins in which the educator may work on the vital body and help it in the formation of memory, conscience, good habits, and a harmonious temperament. Authority and discipleship are the watchwords of this epoch, when the child is to learn the meanings of things. We should not, if we have a precocious child, seek to goad it into a course of study which requires an enormous expenditure of thought. Child prodigies have usually as previously stated, become men and women of less than ordinary mentality. The child should be allowed to follow his own inclination in that respect. His faculty of observation should be cultivated: he should be taught especially by living examples. Let him see the drunkard and what vice has led him to; then show him the good man, and set before him high ideals. At this time he should be prepared to husband the force which is now being awakened in him, and which will enable him to generate his kind at the end of the second period of seven years. He should not be allowed to gather knowledge from polluted sources because the parents shirk the responsibility of telling him from a mistaken sense of modesty. It is the bounden duty of the educator to properly enlighten the child. Not to do this is like putting him blindfolded among innumerable pitfalls with the admonition not to stumble. Tear the bandage away at least; he will be handicapped sufficiently without that.
A flower may be taken as an object lesson, whence all the children from the smallest to the largest, may received the most beautiful instruction in the form of a fairy tale. They may be taught how flowers are like families, without bothering at all with botanical terms so long as the parents have studied in the slightest degree a little elementary botany. Show the children some flowers. Say to them, "Here is a flower family where there are all boys (a staminate flower), and here is another flower where there are only girls (a pistillate flower). Here is one where there are both boys and girls (a flower where there are both stamens and pistils). Show them the pollen in the anthers. Tell them that these little flower boys are just like the boys in the human families; that they are venturesome and want to go out into the world to fight the battle of life, while the girls (the pistils) stay at home. Show them the bees with the pollen baskets on their legs, and tell them, how the little flower boys bestride those winged steeds, like the knights of old, and go out into the world to seek the princess immured in the magic castle (the ovule hidden in the pistil); how the little pollen, the flower-boy knights, force their way through the pistil and enter the ovule. Then tell them how that signifies that the knight and the princess are married, that they live happy ever afterward and become the parents of many little flower boys and girls. When they have fully grasped this, they will understand also the generation in the animal and human kingdom, for there is no difference; one is just as pure and chaste and holy as the other. And the little children brought up in this way will always have a reverence for the creative function, which can be instilled in no better way.
This narrative may be varied and embellished to suit the fancy of the educator, and can later be supplemented with stories of birds and animals. It will awaken in the child an understanding of the genesis of its own body that will invest the love story of papa and mamma with all the romance of the flower boys and girls and obviate the slightest thought of odium connected with birth in the mind of the child. When a child has been thus equipped, it is well fortified for the birth of the desire body at the time of puberty.
In order, however, that the growing child should derive the proper benefit from the instruction of parents and teachers, it is of course necessary that he should have the greatest veneration for them and admiration for their wisdom. It behooves us then to comport ourselves so that he may always retain both, for if he sees us in frivolity, hears light talk, and observes generally loose conduct, we deprive him of the greatest staff of strength in life, faith and trust in others. It is in this age that cynics and skeptics are made. We are responsible to God for the lives committed to our care, and will have to answer to the Law of Consequence if we neglect through slothful conduct the great opportunity for guiding the early steps of a fellow being in the right path; and example is always better than precept.
There is also the question of punishment to be considered; that is an important factor at all times in awakening the sex nature and punishment should be carefully avoided. It is a crime to inflict corporal punishment upon a child at any age. Might is never right, and as the stronger, parents should always have compassion for the weaker. There is no child so refractory that it will not respond to the method of reward for good deeds and the withholding of privileges as retribution for disobedience. Let any parent look at this from the child's standpoint. How would any of us now like to live with some one whose authority we could not escape, who was much bigger than we, and have to submit to whippings day by day? Leave the whipping alone and much of the social evil will be done away with in a generation. We recognize the fact that whipping breaks the spirit of a dog, and we oftentimes complain that certain people have cultivated a wishbone instead of a backbone, that they are lacking in will. Much of that is due to whippings, mercilessly administered in childhood, for it is deplorable that some parents seem to regard it as their mission in life to break the spirit of their children with the rule of the rod. As parents we may remedy the evil in a large measure by guiding the wills of our children along such lines as are indicated by our own mature reason, so that we help them to grow a backbone instead of a wishbone, with which unfortunately most of us are afflicted. Therefore, never whip a child. When punishment is necessary, correct by withholding favors or withdrawing privileges.
The desire body is born about the 14th year, at the time of puberty. When the Ego has finished its day in the school of life, the centrifugal force of repulsion causes it to throw off its dense vehicle at death, then the vital body, which is the next coarsest. Next, in purgatory the coarsest desire stuff accumulated by the Ego as an embodiment for its lowest desires is purged away by this centrifugal force. In the higher realms only the Law of Attraction holds sway and keeps the good by centripetal force, which tends to draw everything from the periphery to the center.
This centripetal force of attraction also governs when the Ego is coming to rebirth. We know that we can throw a stone farther than we can throw a feather. Therefore, the coarsest matter is thrown outward after death by the force of repulsion, and for the same reason the coarsest material wherein the returning Ego embodies the tendency to evil is whirled inward to the center by the centripetal force of attraction, with the result that when a child is born all that is best and purest appears on the outside. The latent evil does not usually manifest until after the desire body is born and the currents in that vehicle commence to well outwards from the liver. That is the time when the feelings and passions are beginning to exercise their power upon the young man or woman, as the womb of desire stuff which formerly protected the nascent desire body is removed. When the desires and the emotions are unleashed, the child enters upon the most dangerous period of its life, the time of hot youth from fourteen to twenty-one, for then the desire body is rampant and the mind has not yet come to birth to act as a brake. This is in most cases a trying time, and it is well for the youth who has learned to look reverently to parents or teachers, for they will be to him an anchor of strength against the inrush of the feelings. If he has been accustomed to take the statements of his elders on trust and they have given him wise teaching, he will by now have developed an inherent sense of truth that will be a sure guide; but just in the measure that he has failed to do this will he be liable to go adrift.
In earlier years the child regards himself more as belonging to a family and subordinate to the wishes of its parents than it does after the fourteenth year. The reason is this: In the throat of the fetus and the young child there is a gland called the thymus gland, which is largest before birth, then gradually diminishes through the years of childhood and finally disappears at ages which vary according to the characteristics of the child. Anatomists have been puzzled as to the function of this organ and have not yet come to any settled conclusion, but it has been suggested that before development of the red marrow in the bones the child is not able to manufacture its own blood, and that therefore the thymus gland contains an essence, supplied by the parents, upon which the child may draw during infancy and childhood till able to manufacture its own blood. That theory is approximately true, and as the family blood flows in the child, it looks upon itself as part of the family and not as an Ego. But the moment it commences to manufacture its own blood, the Ego asserts itself. It is no longer Papa's girl or Mama's boy; it has "I"-dentity of its own. Then comes the critical age when parents reap what they have sown. The mind has not yet been born, nothing holds the desire nature in check, and much, very much, depends upon how the child has been taught in earlier years and what examples the parents have set. At this point in life self-assertion, the feeling "I am myself" is stronger than at any other time, and therefore authority should give place to advice. It is now the time when the child should be taught to investigate things for himself and thus to form individual opinions. Let us always impress upon him the necessity of careful investigation before he judges, and also the fact that the more fluidic he can keep his opinions, the better he will be able to examine new facts and acquire new knowledge.
During the period of adolescence the parent should practice the utmost tolerance, for at no time in life is a human being as much in need of sympathy as during the seven years from fourteen to twenty-one when the desire nature is rampant and unchecked. At this stage it is well for the child that has been brought up as here outlined, for its parents will then be a strength to tide it over that troublesome period until the time when it is full-grown, the age of twenty-one, when the mind is born.
In following the human spirit around a life cycle from birth to death and then rebirth we see how immutable law governs its every step and how it is ever encompassed by the loving care of the great and glorious Beings who are ministers of God. This knowledge is of the utmost importance to parents, as a proper understanding of the development which should take place in each of the septenary epochs enables them to work intelligently with nature and thus fulfill more thoroughly their trust than those who are ignorant of the Rosicrucian Mystery Teaching.
The question is repeatedly asked: "How do you explain the fact that a child so often inherits the bad characteristics of the parents?" We explain it by saying that it is not a fact. Unfortunately, people seem to lay their bad traits to heredity, blaming their parents for their own faults but taking to themselves all the credit for the good they possess. The very fact that we differentiate between that which is inherited and that which is our own, shows that there are two sides to man's nature, the side of the Form, and the Life side.
Regarding the form side, as has been stated heretofore, in the fetus, in the lower part of the throat just above the sternum or breastbone, there is a gland called the thymus, which is largest during the period of gestation, and which gradually atrophies as the child grows older; it disappears entirely by or before the fourteenth year, very often when the bones have been properly formed. Science has been very much puzzled as the use of this gland, and a few theories have been advanced to account for it. Among these theories one is that it supplies the material for the manufacture of the red blood corpuscles until the bones have been properly formed in the child so that it may manufacture its own blood corpuscles. That theory is correct.
As previously stated in the preceding section, during the earliest years the Ego who owns the child-body is not in full possession of it, and we recognize that the child is not responsible for its doings, at any rate not before the seventh year, and later we have extended it to the fourteenth year. During that time no legal liability for its action attaches itself to the child, and that is as it should be, for the Ego being in the blood can only function properly in blood of its own making, so that where, as in the child-body, the stock of the blood is furnished by the parents through the thymus gland, the child is not yet its own master or mistress. Thus it is that children do not speak of themselves so much as "I" in the earlier years, but identify themselves with the family; they are Papa's girl, Mamma's boy. The young child will say "Mary wants" this or "Johnny wants" that; but as soon as it has attained the age of puberty, and has begun to manufacture its own corpuscles, then we hear the boy or girl say, "I" will do this or "I" will do that. From that time on children begin to assert their own identity and to tear themselves loose from the family. Seeing then that the blood, as well as the body, throughout the years of childhood is inherited from the parents, the tendencies to disease are also carried over; not the disease itself but the tendency. After the fourteenth year, it depends a great deal upon the Ego itself whether or not these tendencies shall become manifested actualities in its life.
On the life side, we must realize that the man, the thinker, comes here equipped with a mental and a moral nature which are entirely his own, taking from his parents only the material for the physical body, as previously explained. We are drawn to certain people by the Law of Causation and the Law of Association. The same law which causes musicians to seek the company of one another in concert halls, gamblers to congregate at the race tracks or in pool rooms, people of a studious nature flock to libraries, etc., also cause people of similar tendencies, characteristics, and tastes to be born in the same family. Thus when we hear a person say, "Yes, I know I am thriftless, but then my people never were used to work; we always had servants," it shows that similarity of tastes and nothing more is needed to explain it. When another person says, "Oh, yes, I know I am extravagant, but I just cannot help it; it runs in the family," here again is the Law of Association manifesting, and the sooner we recognize that instead of making the Law of Heredity an excuse for our evil habits we should seek to conquer them and cultivate virtues, the better it will be for us. We would not recognize it as a valid excuse if the drunkard should say, "No, I cannot help drinking; all my associates drink." We would tell him to get away from them as quickly as possible and assert his own individuality, and we would advise people to cease shielding themselves behind their ancestors as an excuse for bad habits.
There are many causes for the death of children. We will give a few of the principal ones. In the first place, when an Ego returns to earth life it is drawn to a certain environment which is calculated to further its progress, and where it may liquidate a certain amount of the fate generated by itself in previous existences. But when parents make such radical changes in their lives that the Ego would not be able to get that experience or liquidate that destiny, the Ego is usually withdrawn and sent to another place where it may get the right conditions for its growth at that time. Or it may be withdrawn for a few years and then be reborn in the same family when it is seen that the required conditions can be obtained there at that later time.
But there is a cause that is responsible for infant mortality which lies much further back, namely, in previous lives, and to understand this cause it is necessary to know something about what takes place at death and immediately after. When a spirit is passing out of the body, it takes with it the desire body, the mind, and the vital body, the last named body being the storehouse for the pictures of the past life. These are etched from the vital body into the desire body during the three and one-half days immediately following death. Then the desire body becomes the arbiter of man's destiny in Purgatory and the First Heaven. The effect of the pain caused by expurgation of evil and the joy caused by the contemplation of the good in the previous life is carried over to the next life as conscience to deter man from perpetuating the mistakes of past lives and to stimulate him to do that which caused him joy more abundantly in the former life.
Now, when the three and one-half days immediately following death are spent by the man under conditions of peace and quiet, he is able to concentrate much more upon the etching of his past life, and the imprint upon the desire body will be deeper than if he is disturbed by the hysterical lamentations of his relatives or from other causes. He will then experience a much keener feeling from either good or bad in Purgatory and the First Heaven, and in after lives that keen feeling will speak to him with no unmistakable voice; the good he has done will give him a more and more altruistic character. But when a man passes out by an accident, perhaps in a crowded street, in a train wreck, theater fire, or under other harrowing circumstances, there will of course be no opportunity for him to properly concentrate; neither can he concentrate upon a battlefield if he is slain there. Yet it would not be just that he should lose the experiences of his life on account of passing out in such an untoward manner, so the Law of Cause and Effect provides a compensation.
Concentration is also impossible when those next of kin to a dying person who are present in the death chamber burst into hysterical lamentations at the time the spirit passes out and keep it up for the next few days. The spirit which is at that time in exceedingly close touch with the physical world will be much moved by the grief of the dear ones, and will not be able to focus its attention closely upon the contemplation of its past life, and thus the etching made in the desire body will not be as deep as it would be if the passing spirit were left in peace and undisturbed. Consequently the sufferings in Purgatory will not be as keen nor will the pleasures in the First Heaven be as great as otherwise, and therefore when the Ego returns to earth life, it will have lost a certain part of the experience from the previous life. That is to say, the voice of conscience will not speak with the same emphasis as would have been the case had the Ego been left undisturbed by lamentations.
In order to compensate for this lack the Ego is then usually brought to birth among the same friends who lamented over it, and is taken from them while yet in the years of childhood. Then it enters the Desire World, but it does not go any higher than the First Heaven, because it is not responsible for its actions any more than the unborn child is responsible for the pain it causes the mother by turning and twisting in her womb. Therefore the child has no purgatorial existence. That which is not quickened cannot die, hence the desire body of a child, together with the mind, will persist until a new birth, and for that reason such children are very apt to remember their previous life. Since the Ego cannot ascend into the Second and Third Heavens because the mind and desire body are not born and cannot die, it simply waits in the First Heaven until a new opportunity for embodiment offers. When a person dies in one life under the before mentioned harrowing circumstances, then is reborn, it is instructed in the First Heaven in the effects of the passions and desires so that it learns the lessons then which it should have learned in the purgatorial life. For such children the First Heaven is a waiting place where they dwell from one to twenty years; yet it is more than simply a waiting place, because there is much progress made in this interim.
When a child dies there is always some relative awaiting it, or failing that, there are people who loved to "mother" children in earth life who find delight in taking care of a little waif. The extreme plasticity of the desire stuff makes it easy to form the most exquisite living toys for the children, and their life is one beautiful play. Nevertheless, their instruction is not neglected. They are formed into classes according to their temperaments, but quite regardless of age. In the Desire World it is easy to give object lessons on the influence of good and evil passions, on conduct and happiness. These lessons are indelibly imprinted upon the child's sensitive and emotional desire body, and remain with it after rebirth. It is thus reborn with the proper development of conscience so that it may continue its evolution. Many a one living a noble life owes much of it to the fact that he was given this training.
Since in the past man has been exceedingly warlike and, because of his ignorance, not at all careful of the relatives who passed out at death, holding wakes over those who died in bed (which were few perhaps compared to those who died on the battle field), there must necessarily on that account be an enormous amount of infant mortality. However, as humanity arrives at a better understanding and realizes that we are never so much our brother's keeper as when he is passing out of this life, and that we can help him immensely by being quiet and prayerful, infant mortality will cease to occur on such a large scale as at present.
"God is Light," says the Bible, and we are unable to conceive of a grander simile of His Omnipresence or mode of His manifestation. Even the greatest telescopes have failed to reach the boundaries of light, though they reveal to us stars millions of miles from the earth. We may well ask ourselves, as did the Psalmist of old, "Whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell (the Hebrew word means grave and not hell), behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me."
When in the dawn of Being God The Father enunciated The Word, and The Holy Spirit moved upon the sea of homogeneous Virgin Matter, primeval darkness was turned to Light. That is therefore the prime manifestation of Deity, and a study of the principles of Light will reveal to the mystic intuition a wonderful source of spiritual inspiration. As it would take us too far afield from our subject, we shall not enter into an elucidation of that theme here except so far as to give an elementary idea of how divine Life energizes the human frame and stimulates to action.
Truly, God is One and undivided. He enfolds within His Being all that is, as the white light embraces all colors. But He appears threefold in manifestation, as the white light is refracted into three primary colors: Blue, Yellow, and Red. Wherever we see these colors they are emblematical of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These three primary rays of divine Life are diffused or radiated through the sun, and produce Life, Consciousness, and Form upon each of the seven light bearers, the planets, which are called "the Seven Spirits before the Throne." Their names are: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus. Bode's law proves that Neptune does not belong to our solar system and the reader is referred to Simplified Scientific Astrology by the present writer for mathematical demonstration of this contention.
Each of the seven planets receives the light of the sun in a different measure according to its proximity to the central orb and the constitution of its atmosphere. The beings upon each, according to their stage of development, have affinity for some of the solar rays. They absorb the color or colors congruous to them, and reflect the remainder upon the other planets. The reflected ray bears with it an impulse of the nature of the beings with whom it has been in contact.
Thus the divine Light and Life come to each planet either directly from the sun or reflected from its six sister planets, and as the summer breeze which has been wafted over blooming fields carries upon its silent, invisible wings the blended fragrance of a multitude of flowers, so also the subtle influences from the garden of God bring to us the commingled impulses of all the spirits, and in that varicolored light we live and move and have our being.
The rays which come directly from the sun are productive of spiritual illumination; the reflected rays from other planets make for added consciousness and moral development; and the rays reflected by way of the moon give physical growth.
But as each planet can only absorb a certain quantity of one or more colors according to the general stage of evolution there, so each being upon earth — mineral, plant, animal, and man — can only absorb and thrive upon a certain quantity of the various rays projected upon the earth. The remainder do not affect it or produce sensation any more than the blind are conscious of light and color which exist everywhere around them. Therefore when man returns to earth to reap that which he has sown in previous lives and to sow anew the seeds which make for future experience, each Ego is differently affected by the stellar rays. The stars are the heavenly time-keepers which measure the year; the moon indicates the month when the time will be propitious to harvest or to sow. Thus the science of astrology is a fundamental truth in nature, of enormous benefit in the attainment of spiritual growth.
The child is a mystery to us all; we can only know its propensities as they slowly develop into characteristics, but it is usually too late to check it when evil habits have been formed and the youth is upon the downward grade. A horoscope erected for the time of birth in a scientific manner shows the tendencies to good or evil in the child, and if a parent will take the time and trouble necessary to study the science of the stars, he or she may do the child entrusted to his or her care an inestimable service by fostering tendencies to good and repressing the evil bent before it has crystallized into habit.
Do not imagine that a superior mathematical knowledge is necessary to erect a horoscope. Many construct a horoscope in such an involved manner, so "fearfully and wonderfully made," that it is unreadable by themselves or others, while a simple figure, easy of reading, may be constructed by anyone who knows how to add and subtract. This method has been thoroughly elucidated in Simplified Scientific Astrology, which is a complete textbook, though small and inexpensive, and any parent who has the welfare of his or her children thoroughly at heart should endeavor to learn to do this work for himself. Even though his ability may not compare with that of a professional astrologer, his intimate knowledge of the child and deep interest will more than compensate for such lack and enable him to see most deeply into the child's character by means of its horoscope. Thus shall we all come to know clearly how to discharge our duty as parents, and bring forth most abundantly the spiritual potencies of the souls committed to our care.
(Editor's Note: — The following discussion by Max Heindel is an apt illustration of the application of the Rosicrucian principles of education of children to a specific example. It is reprinted from the Question Department of the "Rays" for September, 1916.)
Question: "We find the horoscope of Marjorie in the magazine for this month. We have been hoping for it, and are more grateful than we can tell you. (The child is three and one-half years old.)
"The energy that spends itself in loss of temper is already in evidence (sun in conjunction with Mars and square to Uranus), and every attempt at restraint is met with determined resistance, both mental and physical. How to transmute that energy is our problem. To quote from the horoscope: 'Be sure that you start right away and that you start right.' We have studied and tried to obtain results. She does not respond to kindness, and just before getting the horoscope we had almost decided that corporal punishment was the only means. I know from results that I witnessed in — that correction should be done by other means. But many things are possible at school that are not practical in the home, besides I never learned any of the methods employed with children of Marjorie's age. Mrs. R. has read many authorities on child training all of which deprecate physical punishment, but no one says what to use instead. Reasoning, the child takes as an opportunity for argument.
"How can we secure obedience without physical punishment? We keep our word to her in the smallest detail and she never forgets, but reward begets a sort of selfishness.
"If you can, give us some concrete example, your suggestion of method, some idea of how and what to do. We want above all things in this world to work this miracle of transmutation, and I think, though it may hurt, that we can both accept the ingratitude of the child and not complain. But honestly we do not know how."
Answer: Some children are more difficult to manage than others. As a matter of fact we ought to rejoice when we get such a one as Marjorie, for such children have spirit and individuality. The so-called good children who are models of deportment and obedience should really give us much more concern because of the lack of initiative in their nature. Difficult children are bound always to make their way in the world and to gather experience either directly by a life of virtuous action and glorious service or else indirectly through a life of wrong-doing, which is later corrected and transmuted in Purgatory. But the good child which never gives its parents an uneasy moment is very apt to grow up in just the same way, and go through life without doing either good or bad.
You remember in the Apocalypse, how the Spirit speaks to the seven churches. To some of them there was praise, to others blame, but the most scathing, startling denouncement was given to one church in the words: "I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot I will spue thee out of my mouth." If there is one character that is fixed firmly upon the path of virtue it is a converted bad man, for it is an axiom that "the greater the sinner, the greater the saint." Whoever treads the paths of vice with a firm step will also be strong for virtue when his feet are turned about. But the lukewarm people who are neither hot nor cold, they are the ones that should cause us real concern. Therefore you need have no fear for Marjorie whatever. She will come out all right in the end. Only a strong soul has such configurations and shows such marked characteristics in consequence.
Now for a method of guiding her feet into the path of well-doing. We have found that it is best to take no notice of the minor delinquencies, those which may be called offenses, save by occasional advice such as, "I would not do this or that; no really nice girls do so and so; and you do not want people to think that you are not nice." Unless you give latitude to the child and make allowance for the fact that the vital body is in the course of formation during the first seven years, you miss the mark. It is the vehicle of habit, therefore the child forms one habit after another, breaking itself of the old ones almost as rapidly as the new ones are formed.
By bearing this in mind you will escape continual correction of the child, which dulls its respect when truly important matters are taken up in which a certain line of conduct must be insisted upon for its good. When you come to such an issue, it is important to know what particular thing the child loves best in food, play, dress, or outdoor liberties. Then the screw can be put on, gently at first but with increasing pressure until the object at issue is accomplished. A growing child should never be deprived of its meals, but the necessary nourishment can be given without the delicacies it loves; it is quite legitimate to apply the "tortures of Tantalus" by placing the prescribed delicacies on the table and allowing the child to see mother and father enjoy them and express their delight while they are eating cake or honey which is denied to the recalcitrant until he of she agrees to do the thing required. This we have found is one of the most effective methods of securing obedience. If the child is very fond of dress, have an ugly frock or suit which it must wear when disobedient. Then it will not want to go out among its associates, or if it does they will very soon find out the cause and with the customary cruelty of children they will jeer and sneer at the little culprit who fears that treatment more than anything that mamma might do. Thus the screw will very soon pinch it into obedience, resulting perhaps in a request to have the "naughty-dress" removed.
There are various other methods along the same line which will suggest themselves to parents. But such correctives should only be used very infrequently and as last resorts or the child will become hardened to them. In general, the appeal to its love for the parents, its desire to be well thought of, and its reason, so far as that can be appealed to, should be invoked.
Contemporary Mystic Christianity
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