|Simplified Scientific Christianity|
What is the difference between a clairvoyant, an initiate and an adept?
Answer: What a man sees depends upon the sensitiveness of his eye. Some people can distinguish objects at a distance which makes them invisible to other people. Artists perceive shades of color which ordinary people cannot distinguish and some people are color blind; there are even those who cannot see at all — they are blind.
The people who can see the farthest or distinguish the most delicate shades of color are more clairvoyant, or clear sighted, than the rest.
The majority among us are able to see most things in our environment, but we know very little about the things we see just because we see them. we had to be initiated into the use of the telephone, the bicycle, automobile, piano, etc.
But, though we may know how to use these instruments under ordinary circumstances, we are not so thoroughly familiar with their construction that we are able to build or repair them when they have become disabled. Before we become qualified for that work we must take a course of special training, and if we apply ourselves with our whole heart, we may become adepts in our special line.
If we apply this illustration to the problem before us, we may understand that a clairvoyant is a man whose sense of sight has become so extended that he perceives another world, which is invisible to most of us, and that he is able to see everything there.
But he does not "know all about" the things he sees there by the mere fact of perception any more than we know all about the things we see in this world. He must apply himself to gain that knowledge. Then, by degrees, he will become an Initiate, who understands the things he sees, and may be able to manipulate some of them under ordinary circumstances, as we are able to play upon a piano or ride a bicycle when we have learned these arts.
It will require further training to enable the Initiate to exercise power over the things and the forces in the invisible world as an Adept.
Thus the Clairvoyant is one who sees the invisible world; the Initiate both sees the invisible world and understands what he sees, while the Adept sees, knows and has power over things and forces there.
Why is it that trained clairvoyants do not offer to lend themselves to some simple but conclusive tests conducted by men of science which would convince everybody of the reality of faculties transcending the ordinary senses?
Answer: In the first place, trained clairvoyants have no axes to grind; they are not concerned in the smallest degree whether people believe or not; while it might make a great deal of difference to the people themselves were they to believe, it makes no difference whatever to the trained clairvoyant. He never seeks for money, or any other consideration that the world could offer him if convinced; he has no wish for worldly power, he never flaunts his faculty or boasts of it, but always speaks of it with exceeding modesty when he does so at all. If he does deeds that are meritorious, perhaps, in helping his fellow men, he does not care to have these facts known. He usually does not let "his left hand know what his right hand does."
A blind man does not see the colors and the light, although they are everywhere about him, and if he should come to us and ask us to submit to tests which would prove to him beyond a doubt that we perceive light and color, we should wonder what tests could possibly convince him of those facts. So does the trained clairvoyant wonder what tests would convince everybody. There has been no test devised yet that would not be open to some other explanation in the minds of some people, and the unfortunate clairvoyant who should lend himself to such tests would have to keep on and on forever, and yet generations of skeptics would denounce him as a fraud. He would be required to submit to the tests of every single one of the scientists, and scientists do not even believe their own eyes. If their reason says a thing is impossible they refuse to believe, though shown. Scientists are forced to be content to experiment under the laws of nature, when conducting their researches in chemistry, etc., of which they know something, but arrogate to themselves the right to prescribe conditions when testing superphysical matters of which they are confessedly ignorant. When mediums demand a darkened room for their experiments, the scientists usually say, "Ah, yes, that at once shows that they are frauds; they want the room darkened so that they can play their tricks undetected." The mediums usually do not know why the room should be darkened and therefore cannot explain, but a law underlies the demand of the medium.
It is this: Light rays set the ether into violent vibration and make it difficult for the communicating entities to work with it in that condition, to mold it into a body, a vocal organ, a hand, or other material manifestation. The darker the room the less the ether vibrates, and the easier it is for these entities to use it as required for the spiritualistic phenomena.
There are numerous other laws affecting super-physical phenomena, of which science has no conception, and this ignorance at once disqualifies the scientists for prescribing conditions. The way is always open for them, however, to know at first hand. They say to us, procure a number of lenses, ground in a certain way, place them in a tube in a certain manner, point that tube with your lenses in a certain direction in the sky and you will see eight moons revolving around Saturn. If we comply with their directions, we shall see that what they tell us is to be found there. If we refuse to provide the necessary instrument we cannot see the moons of Saturn. We say to them: live the life and perform the exercises, so that you may evolve in yourselves that faculty of which we speak. Then you will see that we have spoken the truth, and you will be compelled to assert the things we assert. If they are unwilling to comply with our directions, they may remain as unconvinced of the existence of super-physical realms as the man who will not procure a telescope may doubt the existence of the Saturnian moons, for all that the trained clairvoyants care.
If clairvoyance is such an accurate means of investigation, such a high spiritual faculty, why do we usually see it in possession of people of little education and coarse breeding; who have seemingly very little spirituality and who often tell lies?
Answer: There was a time in the far, far past when the human body was a very much less complicated organism than it is today, before the cerebrospinal nervous system had been evolved to give man voluntary control over his body. At that time the sympathetic or involuntary nervous system took care of the purely animal functions, much as it does today. Then man was a much more spiritual being than he is now, and his means of perception of the Spiritual Worlds were organs which are now temporarily in disuse. We have a number of organs in our bodies in various stages of completion, some of which are atrophying because they have served their uses. The muscles which move the ears in animals, for instance, are also present in man, but they are no longer needed and, therefore, most of us have lost the use of them. Other organs are in a state of development, such as, for instance, the heart, which is an involuntary muscle, but is being invested with cross-stripes like the voluntary muscles and will, at a future time, be capable of regulation at any desired speed.
Another class of organs are simply in a state or dormancy, and among these are the pituitary body and the pineal gland. If they were not to be used in the future, they would surely atrophy, as do all other organs when they have ceased to be useful. In the far past these organs were connected with the sympathetic system and invested man with involuntary clairvoyance, and because of their connection with the cerebrospinal system they will in the future enable mankind to effect a contact with the Spiritual Worlds at will.
It is easier to roll a stone down hill than to roll it up hill; retrogression is more readily accomplished than progression, and when people seek for development in a negative condition they readily renew the negative activity of the pituitary body and the pineal gland, and become negative clairvoyants. But as any faculty which is exercised by means of the involuntary nervous system cannot be exercised by the power of the will, this faculty is, of course, sporadic in mediums. At times, when the power is on, they can contact the Spiritual Worlds in a limited way. At other times, when the power is off, they are unable to see. Therefore, they often simulate in order to earn a needed fee.
The man who consciously evolves his spiritual faculty controls the vibration of the two little organs named by will power and has no "off" days. The power to see is his at any and all times. Thus, in his hands, clairvoyance is an accurate means of investigation, but it should be understood that as it is necessary to investigate in this world before we know, so it is also in that world. Many people are foolishly skeptical concerning the existence of superphysical worlds and senses, but people who think that when a man "sees" in the invisible worlds he at once knows everything about them are equally foolish. A blind man who has acquired the faculty of sight by an operation affords an illustration of the fact that we must learn to see here in the Physical World, for at first he very often shuts his eyes, declaring that it is easier to walk by feeling than by sight, because he has not yet learned to gauge distances. The infant which reaches for the moon or for something on the other side of the room also demonstrates this fact. As above, so below; before a man has been trained, the mere fact of clairvoyance is not of much use to him, and the idea that because he sees, he necessarily knows everything, is gratuitous. We who have seen here all our lives do not know all about everything in this world; neither do the people who "see' know all about the other world. Besides, the forms here are stable and do not easily change, while the matter of sight and knowledge is complicated in the Inner Worlds by the plasticity of the forms there, for they often change in the twinkling of an eye in response to the thoughts of entities who function there.
To evolve voluntary clairvoyance is an arduous task, and this faculty, therefore, is possessed by few, while negative clairvoyance, unfortunately, has been developed by many who had no high ideals to prevent prostitution of their faculty for gold.
What do you mean by initiation, and why are only men Initiates?
Answer: The ordinary idea of initiation is that of admittance into a secret order, usually in consideration of an initiation fee, but esoteric initiation is very different.
When a person has endeavored to live the higher life for some time, has purified his vehicles by mental, moral and physical endeavors, he emits a light in the invisible world and accumulates a power within. In time a point of culmination is reached where this power must be given vent. Then there appears in his life a teacher who shows him the power he has cultivated, often unconsciously to himself, and its use. This demonstration is called initiation. It may take place in a temple or not; it may or may not be accompanied by a ceremony, as the circumstances demand. Let it be clearly understood that no ceremony can give to the candidate the powers which initiation teaches him to use, any ore than pulling the trigger of a pistol which is not loaded can cause an explosion. The initiatory ceremony would be worthless save as a culmination to the life of discipleship.
Thus it is evident that Initiation is the inevitable result of merit. It is never sold for money, though there is no lack of unscrupulous charlatans who offer to initiate anyone into the esoteric arts of which they know nothing themselves; nor are gullible fools wanting, or dishonest persons who hope to gain a sinister power over their fellow-man by purchase. If Simon, the sorcerer, merited the scathing rebuke of Peter when he attempted to buy a spiritual power for gold, we wonder what condemnation is adequate to meet the case of those who advertise them as commercial wares, particularly when, in the nature of things, they are unable to deliver the goods offered for sale. The inquirer is under a misapprehension when he believes that only men are Initiates, at least so far as the Lesser Mysteries are concerned. There are women Initiates and sometimes even Initiates of the Greater Mysteries take upon themselves a feminine body for the sake of a special work which they desire to accomplish. It is true, however, that those who have advanced so far that they have a choice regarding sex usually prefer a male body, and the reason is not far to seek. Woman has a positive vital body but a negative dense body and is, therefore, somewhat at a disadvantage in the world as at present constituted. Striving for the higher ideals and living the higher life, we spiritualize the vital body and transmute it into soul which is always positive — a power usable regardless of sex — and when the Initiate wears a masculine body also, he is thoroughly positive in the Physical World and has a better chance for advancement than when using a feminine vehicle.
Is it not the duty of one who is informed on subjects concerned with the Higher Life to give information and help the less informed?
Answer: Certainly, knowledge is the one thing which we may give to others and still retain ourselves. In fact, when we help others by disseminating our knowledge we are helping ourselves and increasing our own store. For no one really knows a thing until he has told and explained it to someone else, and we should understand that whatever knowledge we may obtain is not our exclusive property, but is to be used for the universal good. If we selfishly hoard it and refuse to enlighten others, it will act upon us in the same way as if we continued to eat physical food without getting rid of the ashes. There would come a time when we could hold no more and we would become sick. So with people who obtain knowledge concerning things of the higher life. When they hoard it up instead of using it for the benefit of others, they are very apt to become recluses, and may become insane.
What qualifications are necessary to become and Invisible Helper? Must the whole life be given over to spiritual endeavor?
Answer: No, not at all; in fact, no one is justified in giving his whole life to spiritual endeavor unless he has first fulfilled whatever material obligations he may have to others. The duties in the family are means of being visible helpers, and the man or woman who shirks duty here can surely not be depended upon to fulfill the duties of an Invisible Helper on the other side.
Therefore, a patient continuance in the performance of all our earthly duties to the very best of our ability is the first and most essential qualification of the aspirant. As a further qualification, we may mention self control. While we are living and working on our dense bodies, the desire body is in a measure held in check by imprisonment in dense, physical matter. If we lose our temper here, the result may be dangerous to ourselves and to those around us, but it is not a circumstance to the peril attendant upon loss of temper in the other world, for our desire body, as we know, can wreck our physical body in a fit of temper so that it may sometimes be sick for weeks as a result of a few minutes' loss of temper. But when outside the dense body, if its force were directed against anyone else, it could instantly kill an army.
Knowledge is also requisite to the aspirant. Unless we have studied conditions after death and are familiar with the scheme of evolution, have a comprehensive idea of the constitution of man and similar subjects it is impossible for us to instruct those who are less informed, and to set us the tasks of an Invisible Helper and instructor would be analogous to sending an ignorant boor to teach school.
Last, but not least, the Invisible Helper must be imbued with an all embracing love of humanity. We cannot be callous to the sufferings of our fellow creatures here and at the same time be filled with love and a desire to help in the other world, any more than a man who does not know a note in earth life can become a proficient musician by the mere fact of dying, or acquire such a passion for music that he is anxious to spend eternity tooting in a horn or playing on a harp. Therefore, we reiterate that to become an Invisible Helper there, we must first qualify by helping here.
What purpose has the person in going out of his body?
Answer: At the present stage of our evolution, the greater part of humanity are tied to their bodies during earth life. They are placed in a small and narrow environment because certain lessons may be learned there which can best be mastered by practically shutting out every other place and condition from view. But there comes a time when man has grown sufficiently in knowledge to make it desirable that he should have a wider scope for his activities. Then the body becomes a clog and a fetter which it is expedient to leave at times, and accordingly he is taught by the Elder Brothers to extricate himself at will. They themselves have been helped in the past by more advanced beings from other planets until they have now become capable of teaching the less evolved among humanity.
The purpose in going out is to gain a wider knowledge. But that knowledge in itself is only a means to an end, namely, to help others progress. Therefore, those who are capable of leaving their bodies are known as Invisible Helpers. Their work is to help both living and dead, according to ability.
Is it absolutely necessary to live a life of asceticism in order to become spiritual and endowed with psychic powers?
Answer: That depends upon what the inquirer means by asceticism. Some people in the East creep into a barrel of spikes and roll themselves about in order to mortify the flesh, or lash and maim themselves in various ways to attain a realization of spiritual powers. That, assuredly, is not right. They may and do at times become clairvoyant, but that course is as reprehensible and its results as transitory as the effects obtained by crystal gazing, the drug habit and similar methods.
We should realize that this physical body is our most valuable instrument, and that it is our duty to give it all reasonable care under conditions which are conducive to its health and well-being. Now power obtained by maltreating our body is of the highest kind, and therefore is neither lasting nor fully efficient.
But some people mean by asceticism, "living a clean and pure life." They want spiritual power without sacrifice of animal propensities; they desire to soar in the clouds at will, while at other times they claim liberty to wallow in the mire. They want to continue feeding on coarse food, to gorge themselves on meat, alcohol and tobacco, to indulge their passions and sensual desires in every direction, and at the same time they want to have spiritual powers.
That cannot be done. Our bodies are our tools. A good workman appreciates the value of good tools and keeps them in the very best condition — sharp and clean. When our senses have been dulled by alcohol and tobacco, when the system is forced to exert all its energy to digest or eliminate coarse food, is it to be expected that the man should be a sensitive? We cannot serve God and mammon; ours is the choice. If we want spiritual powers we must pay the price of clean lives; we must give our bodies pure food and conform to the rules of the simple life; we must abstain from everything that dulls the senses — alcohol, tobacco, and similar abuses. If that is called "a life of asceticism," then asceticism is absolutely necessary.
Are all children clairvoyant up to a certain age?
Answer: Yes, all are clairvoyant at least during the first year of their life. It depends upon the spirituality of the child to a great extent, also upon its environment, how long it will keep the faculty, for most children communicate all they see to their elders and the faculty of clairvoyance is affected by their attitude. Often children are ridiculed, and nothing so hurts their sensitive little natures. They soon learn to shut out the scenes which engender the ridicule of their elders, or at least they will learn to keep such experiences to themselves. When listened to, they often reveal wonderful things, and at times it is possible to trace a previous life by information from a little child. This happens particularly, of course if the child died as a child in its previous life, for then it would only have been in the Invisible World from one to twenty years, so that it is possible to verify its information. Children who, in their previous life, died as children, are much more apt to remember the past and to be clairvoyant than other children, because the desire body and vital body are not born at the same time as the physical birth of the child, but at seven and fourteen years of age, respectively, and what has not been quickened cannot die, so that if a child passes out before birth of the vital body or of the desire body, it will not go into the Second and Third Heavens, but will stay in the Desire World and will be reborn with the same desire body and mind that it possessed in its previous life, and therefore it will be very much more apt to remember what happened then. The writer came across such an instance a few years ago in Southern California.
One day in Santa Barbara, a man by the name of Roberts was walking along the street when a little child ran up to him, put her arms around his knees and called him "papa." Mr. Roberts thought someone was trying to foist a child upon him and indignantly freed himself. The mother of the child was also indignant at its action and took it away. But the child kept crying, "It is my papa, it is my papa." On account of circumstances which will appear later, the incident preyed upon Mr. Roberts' mind, and he went to a gentleman whom we will call "X". Together they sought the house where the little child lived with her parents, and after some parleying were allowed to question her. As soon as the little girl saw Mr. Roberts she ran to him again and called him "Papa." Then, in answer to intermittent questioning during the afternoon, the child told the story, which we give here connectedly.
Once upon a time she lived with Mr. Roberts as her father and another mama in a little house by a brook where flowers grew (here she ran out and fetched some pussy willows). There was a gang plank across the brook which she was forbidden to cross, lest she fall in the water. One day Mr. Roberts left her mama and herself never to return. After some time her mama laid down and moved no more. "She became so still, and she died." Then, said the child, "I died too; but I didn't die, I came here!"
Next, Mr. Roberts told his story. "About eighteen years previously he had lived with his father, a brewer, in England. He fell in love with their servant girl, but the father refused permission to marry. The young people ran off to London, were married, went to Australia, where he cleared a little farm in the bush, and built a house by a brook where pussy willows grew. There was a gang plank over the brook. A little child was born to them, and when that child was about two years of age, Mr. Roberts went one day to a clearing about a mile from the cabin and while there an officer of the law approached him with a gun and arrested him for a bank robbery committed on the night he left London.
"He protested his innocence, begged leave to visit wife and child to take care of them, but the officer feared a trap to get him into the hands of confederates, and drove Mr. Roberts to the coast at the point of the gun. He was taken to England, tried for the robbery and found not guilt. Not until then did the authorities listen to his constant ravings about a wife and child who must surely have starved in the wilds of Australia. A telegram was sent, a search party organized and in due time the answer came. They found the skeletons of the deserted ones, and Mr. Roberts departed for America, a heart-broken man."
The child was then shown a number of pictures, in a casual way, among them being two photographs of Mr. Roberts and his wife. Mr. Roberts' appearance had altered very much since that photograph was taken. Nevertheless, when the child came upon the picture, she joyously shouted, "Oh, there is Papa!" She also recognized the picture of her mother in the previous life. The little child was only about three years of age at the time when Mr. Roberts found her, and could not possibly have made up such a story. Later the case was investigated by one of the foremost newspapers in Southern California, the Los Angeles Times, and the facts found to be as here related.
What is the difference between White and Black Magic and what is the effect of the practice of Black Magic upon the Soul?
Answer: Magic is a process whereby we may accomplish certain results not achieved by means of laws ordinarily known. Some men have investigated laws of nature unknown to most people, and have become adepts in manipulating the finer forces. They use their power to help their fellow man, where that can be done in harmony with the laws of his growth. Others, having studied the laws and become capable of manipulating the hidden forces of the universe, use their knowledge for selfish ends to gain power over their fellow creatures. The first named class are White Magicians, the latter are Black. Both of them use and manipulate the same forces, the difference being the motive which prompts them. The White Magician is prompted altogether by love and benevolence. Although he is not actuated by thoughts of reward, a soul growth wonderful to contemplate results from his use of magic. He has put his talents out to usury and is gaining interest a hundredfold. The Black Magician, on the other hand, is in a sad state, for it is said that the "soul that sinneth, it shall die," and all we do contrary to the laws of God inevitably results in a deterioration of the soul qualities.
The Black Magician by his knowledge and art may, sometimes for several lives, maintain his position in evolution, but eventually there comes a time when the soul disintegrates and the Ego reverts into what we may call savagery.
Black magic in its minor forms, such as hypnotism, for instance, sometimes causes congenital idiocy in a future life. The hypnotist deprives his victims of the free use of their bodies. Under the law of consequence he is then tied to a body with a malformed brain, which prevents his expression. We must not infer, however, that every case of congenital idiocy is due to such malpractice on the part of the Ego in a past life; there are also other causes which may bring congenital idiocy as a result.
What is the difference between etheric sight, clairvoyance and the sight pertaining to the World of Thought?
Answer: When we look at a man with etheric sight, we first see his outside clothing, then the lining inside, his underclothing, his skin, ribs and the various organs of his body along the line of our vision; then the spinal column, the back of the ribs, the flesh, the skin and the clothing on his back. In other words, we see through him. By the etheric sight a man can see through books, papers, letters, walls, or anything else for a short distance. In fact, this faculty may be called X-ray sight. Only one substance is proof against its penetrative faculty. Glass is as opaque to etheric sight as a stone wall to ordinary physical sight for the same reason, perhaps, that glass is such a splendid insulator for electricity.
When we look at a person or a thing with ordinary clairvoyant sight, we see their desire bodies and the counterparts of their other vehicles inside and out — every particle at the same time. It is rather difficult to read a book or even a letter with etheric sight, because we must look through other pages which blur the one we wish to read. When we use ordinary clairvoyance it seems as if the book or letter is spread out so that we can ready any age or part without having to look through any other part. But when we look at an object with the sight pertaining to the four lower regions of the World of Thought, and the writer has personal knowledge of no higher realms, we find that instead of forms there are hollow spaces or molds, which speak to us and tell us about themselves. The necessity of investigation is eliminated from that world. There we know at once everything about whatever becomes an object of our attention. There is, however, a curious drawback to the knowledge gained in that manner — it dawns upon us all at once. The sum of this knowledge is a whole, and has neither beginning nor end. It is therefore usually a herculean task to unfold it into an orderly, sequential concept which may be comprehensively stated to ourselves and others.
Is it safe for a person in a greatly debilitated nervous condition to take esoteric training given by the Rosicrucians, or is it necessary for such a person to fist recover? Is health regained by esoteric training?
Answer: The only exercises given publicly by the Rosicrucians are the morning and evening exercises. The evening exercise consists of a retrospect of events of the day in reverse order. During this review the aspirant aims to cultivate a feeling of the most sincere contrition for anything he may have done amiss, and also to feel intensely glad when he has been able to better his previous conduct in any act during the past day. The morning exercise consists in concentration upon a high ideal, the Christ, for instance.
If a person of a nervous temperament will endeavor to calmly and quietly perform these exercises, he will experience a very beneficial effect, particularly if he will strive to relax every muscle of the body during the exercises.
The attitude of a cat watching a mouse hole affords an excellent illustration of relaxation. It sits in a perfectly easy position; calmly and quietly it waits for the appearance of the mouse. No energy is dissipated by fretfulness or anxiety. It quietly persists in the faith that sooner or later opportunity will come. All its strength is reserved for the supreme moment when it springs to secure its prey. If the pupil will completely relax his muscles, calmly and quietly review the day's happenings in the evening exercise and concentrate upon a high ideal in the morning exercise, the nervousness will gradually disappear, and one day the opportunity will come; the spiritual sight will unfold.
A sound body being necessary for spiritual unfoldment, what does the Rosicrucian Teaching hold out to one not at present in the best physcial condition? Will perfect health be one result of the study of this philosophy, and if the Teaching is practiced, will it tend to keep a person in good health?
Answer: The inquirer starts with a misconception, namely, that a sound body is necessary to true spiritual unfoldment, and, probably, also forgets the distinction between "sound" and "sensitive." Many people of low development have a most sound and healthy physical body, but are not at all sensitive with respect to spiritual vibrations. An illustration will elucidate: The writer has had an alarm clock, a low-priced time-piece, for a number of years. It has been packed at times in a trunk handled by baggagemen, porters, etc., in an exceedingly careless manner, and yet when taken out of the trunk, after all the shaking up and ill-usage, it will still go and keep time after a fashion, that is to say, if one does not mind a few moments' variation one way or the other. Such a time-piece is strong and sound but not accurate.
On the other hand, a chronometer used on board ships is an exceedingly delicate time-piece. it rests upon balances which always keep it in a horizontal position and compensate for the slightest motion of the ship, so that the chronometer may keep perfect time, for thousands of lives are at times dependent upon the extreme accuracy of that instrument. A captain launched upon the trackless ocean knows how far east or west he is from Greenwich, England, by means of this accurate time-piece — the chronometer. When he calculates the difference between noon of the place where he finds himself and the time shown by the chronometer he has a correct gauge of his location, a gauge to which he trusts the lives of all his passengers and the millions of dollars' worth of property in his care. A comparison of the sensitive chronometer and the rough and ready alarm clock illustrates the difference between "sensitive" and "sound."
There are cases, however, when a sickness is necessary to bring about certain changes in the body which are precursors of a higher step in spiritual unfoldment, and under such conditions, of course, sickness is a blessing and not a curse. In general, however, it may be said that the study of the highest philosophy will always tend to better one's health, because "knowledge is power" and the more we know the better we are able to cope with all conditions, provided, of course, we bring our knowledge into practice and live the Life — that we are not merely hearers of the word, but doers also, for no teaching is of any benefit to us unless it is carried into our lives and lived from day to day.
In what way will it help us in the life after death if we have cultivated clairvoyance in the present life?
Answer: In a number of ways. In the first place, many people have a great fear of death; the very mention of the word death sends the cold shivers down their backs, and they always avoid the subject. Fear of death generates thought forms of a hideous nature and when a person leaves the body at death to enter the Invisible World, he sees those dread forms surround him as so many fiends, and they sometimes drive him almost insane. They are his progeny, however, and he cannot rid himself of them until he learns that they have no power over him and fearlessly bids them begone. Then they vanish as dew before the sun.
The man who has cultivated clairvoyance during earth life is sometimes also tormented on his first entrance into the Invisible World by various elemental entities which take upon themselves most hideous forms. They recognize in the neophyte a possible future master and seek to sway him from his purpose by intimidation, but as he is usually helped by a teacher and is taught that these beings have no power over him, he very quickly overcomes fear. When later he leaves his body at death and enters the Invisible World, he is already familiar with many of the sights and scenes there; above all he has no fear to hamper him.
Would the contemplation of the God within, if persistently carried on, aid one in spiritual growth and bring one to adeptship?
Answer: We are living at the present time in the workaday Western World, where it is our duty to fill whatever niche is ours. Each of us has a work to do, and if we shirk it for the sake of a morbid introspection, we shall not only not grow, but we shall degenerate spiritually.
Some people, unfortunately, think themselves justified in leaving their earthly duties when they imagine spiritual progress calls them, but until we have fulfilled every duty here, there can be no true spiritual advancement; whatever may seem so will in the end turn out to be dust and ashes.
That is not true spirituality which does not promote the good of the whole world. It is sometimes said, that "every herring must hang by its own gill and every tub must stand upon its own bottom." But it is also true that what does not tend to life all will never lift anyone. A deepseated and heartfelt desire to further the common good is the only valid justification for expending the effort incident to cultivation of spiritual power. Stories have been told of mothers attending mothers' meetings to discuss how best to care for home and children, meanwhile leaving their children in a most untidy house without care. These stories are not merely exaggerations and jokes; they contain more truth than poetry. And the people who prate of spirituality, who desire to contemplate the angel within, to the neglect of their families and other obvious duties, are on a par with such mothers. The sooner we awake to a realization of the fact that no present duty, however humble, may be neglected with impunity for spiritual work, however exalted, the better for ourselves and all concerned. We would advise the inquirer to read Longfellow's poem, the "Legend Beautiful." It is very much in point: A monk is kneeling upon his floor of stone, when a beautiful vision of the Christ appears to him just as the noonday bell summons him to the gate where the poor are waiting for alms which it is his duty to give to them each day. There arises in the monk's mind the question, shall he stay and commune with the Blessed Visitor, or shall he leave Him for the sake of a parcel of hungry beggars? But a voice within him says,
He follows the behest of that voice, leaving the Vision in his cell wondering if it will be there when he returns. Yet he feels it is right to do his duty to others regardless of loss to himself, and when, after having dealt alms to the poor, he returns to his cell, the Vision greets him with the words: "Hadst thou stayed, I must have fled."
Has it not been recorded that certain individuals have developed spiritual power, clairvoyance, sixth sense or, or whatever we wish tocall it, by living a clean life in harmony with nature's laws, and do not the teachings of modern esotericists with so many terms of technicality have a tendency to create confusion rather than bring the desired result?
Answer: The path of development in all cases depends upon the temperament of the aspirant. There are two paths, the mystic and the intellectual. The Mystic is usually devoid of intellectual knowledge; he follows the dictates of his heart and strives to do the will of God as he feels it, lifting himself upward without being conscious of any definite goal, and in the end attains to knowledge. In the middle ages people were not as intellectual as we are nowadays, and those who felt the call of a higher life, usually followed the mystic path. But, during the last few hundred years, since the advent of modern science, a more intellectual humanity has peopled the earth; the head has completely overruled the heart, materialism has dominated all spiritual impulse and the majority of thinking people do not believe anything they cannot touch, taste or handle. Therefore, it is necessary that appeal should be made to their intellect in order that the heart may be allowed to believe what the intellect has sanctioned. As a response to this demand modern systems of esotericism aim to correlate scientific facts to spiritual verities. The materialistic attitude of mind is, of course, particularly adopted in the West, and the Rosicrucian Order was founded in the 13th century to prepare an antidote for poison of materialism which could be administered in doses to suit the exigencies of the case. Paracelsus, Comenius, Hellmond, Bacon and others gave in a more veiled manner the teachings now being definitely promulgated to demonstrate that science, art and religion are a trinity in unity which cannot be separated without distorting our view.
True Religion embodies both science and art, for it teaches a beautiful life in harmony with the laws of nature.
True Science is artistic and religious in the highest sense, for it teaches us to reverence and conform to the laws governing our well-being and explains why the religious life is conducive to health and beauty.
True Art is as educational as science and as uplifting in its influence as religion. In architecture we have a most sublime presentation of cosmic lines of force in the universe. It fills the spiritual beholder with a powerful devotion and adoration born of an awe-inspiring conception of the overwhelming grandeur and majesty of Deity. Sculpture and painting, music and literature inspire us with a sense of the transcendent loveliness of God, the immutable source and goal of all this beautiful world.
Nothing short of such an all-embracing teaching will answer the needs of a large and growing class, therefore the technico-devotional religion is absolutely necessary at the present time.
Is it possible to cultivate clairvoyance by the use of drugs, by crystal gazing or breathing exercises, and do these methods not bring results quicker than the methods you advocate?
Answer: Yes; it is possible to cultivate a certain kind of clairvoyance by any of the methods mentioned, but when a man cultivates the sixth sense by such means he is not master of his faculty; the power of producing clairvoyance is vested in the crystal and not in the man. He is in a similar position to one who learns horsemanship at a riding-academy where the horses are trained to allow themselves to be ridden. The pupils acquire no ability to deal with intractable animals, but simply ride by permission of their mount.
If a man learns to break a wild horse he can break others, and rides by virtue of his own power to master his horse, and when a man has used will power instead of drugs or a crystal to subdue his body and cultivate clairvoyance, he has acquired a soul quality which enables him to exercise his faculty in all future lives. But the crystal gazer and the drug fiend have lost their power at death, and must wait till they can obtain drugs or crystals in the new life to train the new body, and thus a great loss of time and effort results from the use of such methods. When we take into consideration the fact that drugs and breathing exercises have a dreadfully destructive effect upon the body, it will be seen that these methods are altogether undesirable. Many a man is today in the insane asylum or in the grave of the consumptive on account of breathing exercises, and the effects of drugs are well known.
Besides, there are various kinds of clairvoyants. There are some who have a faculty of such a nature that the clairvoyant may be likened to a prisoner who sits in his cell behind bars. The window in his cell opens upon a certain view; he cannot escape seeing whatever comes into the range of his vision, for he cannot turn away. There is also a shutter before his window which he cannot control either. Thus at all times when that shutter is open he must see whatever passes outside his window whether the sight pleases him or not. A faculty of that nature is an unmitigated curse, for sometimes the most dreadful scenes are enacted before the vision of such a clairvoyant. The writer remembers the case of a certain gentleman, who possessed that kind of a faculty. Lecturing before a certain society at the time of the War in the Philippines, a battle scene presented itself before his gaze. An encounter was taking place at that moment between Filipinos and our soldiers. He saw horses ripped open and falling with entrails on the ground, our men being hewn to pieces by the bolos of the natives, etc. Unable to shut off the vision, he turned deathly pale, but exercise of will-power enabled him to finish his lecture without attracting attention from the general audience.
There are other clairvoyants who have only a partial control of their sight and who cannot count on the power at any time. To this class belongs the ordinary medium who prostitutes the faculty for a fee. At times, when the power is on, she may give exceedingly good readings and tell the truth, but at other times, when the power is off, there may be a temptation to secure the fees needed for office rent and personal expenses by simulating. The only safe way to cultivate the faculty of clairvoyance is by means of exercises given by the mystery schools, but these exercises and lessons in the development of the higher faculties are never sold for gold or any material consideration. They are always given without money as a reward of merit. The man who possesses this faculty, cultivated by their method, has no off days, but he will never consent to use it to gratify anyone's curiosity, for tests or other frivolous purpose. He directs all his energy to aid in uplifting humanity.
What time in the morning is best for concentration?
Answer: The object of the exercises, both morning and evening, is to bring the pupil into conscious touch with the invisible worlds, and there is no time so good as the morning, for during the night the spirit withdraws from the dense body and enters the invisible world, leaving the body asleep upon the bed; and it is the return of the spirit in the morning which causes the body to awake and focuses our consciousness upon the material world Through the sense organs. Wordsworth says in his beautiful "Ode to Immortality":
During the life of a person, the Inner Worlds are closest to him in childhood's years, as Wordsworth says, for that is life's morning, and so it is with us; when we waken in the morning we are in closer touch with the Spirit Worlds than at any other time of day, and then it is easiest to return to them. Therefore, the pupil should commence his exercises the very moment he wakens, without allowing his mind to rest upon anything else. He should be particular to relax his body perfectly so that no muscle is tense and fix his mind upon a high ideal or upon the first five verses of the Gospel of St. John, either sentence by sentence, or as a whole. That will put him in touch with cosmic vibrations. He should still the senses so that he can hear nothing and see nothing in his room. When he succeeds the scenes of the Desire World will present themselves to his inner vision. First spasmodically, later more and more clearly, as practice makes him perfect.
For most persons, however, the evening exercise is of the greater importance and will probably bring results quicker, because that works upon the life we lead and ennobles us in a way that the morning exercise cannot.
It is difficult for me to review the vents of the dsay in reverse order when doing my evening exercises. Is this absolutely necessary, and if so, why?
Answer: In the evening exercise the pupil reviews and judges his life for that day. He is then doing the work ordinarily reserved to Purgatory and the First Heaven. There the life is lived backward from effects to causes in order that we may see how and why suffering results from our mistakes. Reviewing our daily life, in reverse order, from effects to causes, we note that our troubles and trials have all been caused by previous acts during the past day or some other day of our life.
It is our task to find that cause and to analyze the reason which leads up to every development, so that we may know in future how to take advantage of opportunities for soul growth and avoid evil. Thus if we follow up the day's experience in reverse order we profit by the experiences gained right away instead of waiting until we have passed out of this life and are forced to reap the fruits of our deeds in Purgatory and the First Heaven.
What value are breathing exercises in developing body and mind?
Answer: The value of breathing exercises depends upon the knowledge of the person who gives them. Breathing exercises given in books and by so-called teachers, who advertise courses in psychic development, are exceedingly dangerous and many a person is in the insane asylum today on account of having attempted to use them, or, perhaps, sleeps under the sod in the grave of a consumptive.
Every human being is an individual and needs individual exercises. The appropriate exercises can only be given by a person who is clairvoyant and also able to watch the growth of certain etheric organs in the physical body of his pupil. He must also know what this growth should be in each individual case. Anyone who has the ability to thus give this individual exercise also knows how to check undesirable developments. But such a teacher does not advertise psychic developments for so much per lesson. Such exercises are never sold for money, but are always given for merit.
The reason is evident. One who has the faculty of clairvoyance at command has an enormous power; if misused it can work more harm than any earthly weapon. it could cause a panic in the markets of the world, bring about wars and enmities among people anywhere and everywhere, and thus the possessor would become a scourge to society unless he were also of such a mind that he would never use his faculty save for good. The powers behind evolution, the Elder Brothers of humanity who have developed these powers and are capable of teaching them, take exceeding good care that no one shall attain to this power until they have given proofs of unselfishness and have been bound by vows and restrictions. Therefore it may be said that no one should undertake breathing exercises unless prescribed by the proper teacher, and neither is it necessary to run about the world seeking such a teacher. The aspirant ought rather to strive to do good and use the faculties which he now possesses in the environment where he is, for that is the only proper stepping stone towards a higher power. When he has sufficiently fitted himself, the teacher will appear in his life and he will not for a moment be in doubt of the genuineness of the teaching that will then be given. In this respect we may quote a little poem that is exceedingly beautiful:
Is not the invisible world of which you speak very unreal and shadowy in comparison to this world in which we now live?
Answer: God is the Prime Reality. The Desire World and the World of Thought are one and two steps nearer to that central source of energy and hence they are more real. By "real" the inquirer presumably means that in this world the forms are stable and do not easily change, whereas in the Invisible Worlds they are more than plastic and change with the rapidity of thought, but the life within is the reality and not the form. Stability is not a mark of reality. Everything in the world which is now crystallized and stable has first existed in a plastic condition in the Invisible World. Everything which has been made by the hand of man was first a thought form in the mind of its maker.
When an architect desires to build a house, he first thinks it out. He seeks to form an idea as clearly as possible of what the house is to be. Could the workmen see the thought form in the mind of the architect, they would be able to work from that without plans, but the architect's idea is hidden from them by the veil of flesh and, therefore, it is necessary for the architect to put his idea on paper and make a plan. This is the first stage of crystallization; afterward the workmen build the house in iron, wood and stone.
According to the ideas of most people this house is much more real than the thought form in the mind of the architect, but in reality that is not so. The concrete house may be destroyed in a moment by earthquake, by dynamite, or in other ways, but the idea in the architect's mind will last as long as he lives and from that idea a new house, or a dozen, may be built at any time, yes, even after the death of the architect the house will still exist as a model in the ether, and any clairvoyant capable of contacting the Invisible Worlds and reading in the memory of nature is capable of seeing it there at any time, though millions of years may elapse. Thus the Invisible World is the source and everlasting record of all that is or was here, hence it is the prime reality.
Is it possible that astrology and palmistry can be true, inasmuch as we could avert coming disaster by being forewarned in that manner? And would this not interfere with our destiny?
Answer: The destiny which we generate under the law of causation by our own acts may be divided into three kinds. In the first place, there is the destiny which from the very nature of the case we cannot expiate in the present life; for instance, when a man commits murder, whether he suffers the penalty for it here or not, the prison life usually does not have the effect of making him more mellow and kind. Sometimes it does the reverse; it makes him bitter and turns his hand against all. Before nature will be satisfied, he must learn that he may not deprive a fellow being of his form; he must learn to serve. Thus the case is not satisfied until he has had the opportunity at a future time to render service of importance to his previous victim.
A second kind of destiny we reap from day to day; it is, we might say, as a cash transaction, we pay as we go. If we overeat, we have indigestion; if we go out without sufficient clothing, we take cold, etc.
A third kind is called "ripe" or "mature" destiny. It is the result of our actions in past lives or in our early years, which has matured into effect so far that it is embodied in the pictures shown a spirit as the panorama of its coming life when starting toward rebirth. Once the spirit has chosen a certain life with the 'ripe" destiny allotted for liquidation by the Recording Angels, it is bound by its choice. The tendencies to act in a manner conducive to adjustment of this mature destiny are inherent in the body and inscribed in the stars, for the stellar influences are the source of man's activity, and therefore this mature destiny may be seen from the horoscope at birth, standing out with exceeding clearness, so that it is very plain and patent to the spiritually minded astrologer or palmist. He can also see the other kinds of destiny and may sometimes mistake one kind for the other and hence be wrong in his view as to whether an event can be avoided or not. If it is "ripe" destiny, it will be impossible to avoid it despite all warnings, as perhaps the following instance may serve to show:
In 1906 the writer gave some lessons in astrology to Mr. L., a well known lecturer, in Los Angeles, using the gentleman's own horoscope for purposes of instruction, as that enables the pupil to check the truth of the interpretations of the symbols so far as the past is concerned, and lends more interest than when using the horoscope of a stranger. It was found that Mr. L. had had a number of accidents; these were figured to the day when they happened. An impending accident, due to occur at the time of the new moon, July 21, 1906, was also noted. Mr. L. was, therefore, warned to stay in the house on that day and the seventh day after, the latter date being regarded as the more dangerous. He was told that there would be danger of an accident to the lower part of the head, the neck, breast and arms, in consequence of a short journey by bicycle, buggy or electric car.
Mr. L. was much impressed and promised to stay at home on the dates named. The writer went North and from there wrote reminding Mr. L. of his danger just before the time it was due. He received a letter assuring him that Mr. L. would be careful.
The next communication regarding the matter came from a mutual friend and stated that Mr. L. had gone to Sierra Madre to lecture on the twenty-eighth of July and had been hurt in the places mentioned in the prediction by a collision with a locomotive. The writer wondered why his instructions had been so disregarded, and the answer came three months later when Mr. L. thanked him for the information which had been very valuable to him, as he said, in proving the truth of astrology. The reason for the accident was that he had forgotten the date. He wrote "I thought the 28th was the 29th."
This case, in the estimation of the writer, shows that mature destiny cannot be interfered with and that we may safely do anything we can to avoid impending danger without fear of interfering with the law of causation. There are invisible agencies around us to counteract any move upon our part which would interfere, and in the opinion of the writer they were responsible for Mr. L.'s confusion of dates.
Is it wrong to use palmistry, astrology or phrenology as a means of livelihood?
Answer: What is right or wrong depends upon the viewpoint of the individual. Less than fifty years ago it was thought right to kill a refractory slave. His master could do so with impunity as he may nowadays kill a hog or a horse. Today we would consider that murder. Some people today look upon astrology as merely a matter of calculation and upon palmistry and phrenology as material sciences, without any spiritual significance. Who thus views these sciences would be blameless if he used them as a means of livelihood, while anyone who had obtained an idea of the spiritual side of these sciences would, in the estimation of the writer, be prostituting his knowledge. Besides, no one who thus belittles these spiritual sciences can ever give the highest and best advice to his clients, for the glimmer of gold will always obscure the judgment. Such has been the experience of the writer and many others who hold the same views. The inquirer, at any rate, would do wrong to use his knowledge of these spiritual sciences for a livelihood, for his question shows that he must have misgivings; and then he is already judged from within if he prostitutes his talent.
There is a reward that is much more than gold. If we use our knowledge to heal and to help we shall never lack means of living and we shall be laying up treasure in heaven where neither moth nor rust corrupt. Greater and better opportunities for service will be ours if we devote our talents to unselfish service.
Are Mars, Jupiter and other planets inhabited; if so, are those people superior to the people on Earth; do the Souls from the Earth ever reincarnate on other planets and vice verse?
Answer: All the planets in the solar system are inhabited and are fields of evolution for different classes of spirits at various stages of development. The planets nearest to the sun support the beings which are most evolved. Jupiter forms an exception to this rule; it is peopled by a humanity slightly higher than that of the earth.
The principle is this: The highest vibrations exist in the central sun, which at one time contained all the beings now dwelling upon the different planets. But not all were able to sustain the terrific vibrations of that central firemist; therefore, a crystallization took place at the poles; gradually the crystallized matter gravitated toward the equator and was expelled, with the spirits dwelling thereon. That first emanation became Uranus. Later on other classes of spirits have crystallized a part of the sun and been expelled to move in orbits at varying distances from the central source, according to the rate of vibration necessary for the unfoldment of the spirits upon them, forming eventually the solar system as we know it now.
Each class of spirits stays in its environment, being under the direct tutelage and guidance of one of the Planetary Spirits whose body is the planet where they dwell. As the spirits have been incarnated on different planets because they are at widely different stages of spiritual unfoldment, they do not usually incarnate upon the other planets, save that at times some from the inner planets are sent as teachers' to the outer spheres. This, at least, was the case when our humanity needed teachers, embodied and visible. Then some of the beings from Venus and Mercury were brought to the earth to guide nascent humanity. They were known as messengers of the Gods and these lords from Venus were the first kings and rulers over the human race. Later on the most precocious among human beings were turned over to the lords of mercury who initiated them into the mysteries and these, in turn, became the rulers over their brethren. They were then truly kings by the grace of God, ruling the people for their upliftment and good, regardless of power and self aggrandizement.
Does not the nebular theory account for the existence of the universe in a much more scientific manner than the creation stories of the Bible?
Answer: The nebular theory was rejected by Herbert Spencer because, like the Bible, it postulates a first cause.
Viewed briefly, the theory is this, that at one time there appeared in space a firemist, spontaneously. Within that firemist, currents started, also spontaneously, and that under the impact of these currents, the firemist took a spherical shape, revolving with intense rapidity. The centrifugal force caused it to throw off a ring which disintegrated, the fragments coalesced and became a planet revolving in an orbit around the central mass. Thus different planets were brought into existence one after another. They cooled gradually, and at last the solar system was complete. Upon one of these planets at least, there appeared, spontaneously, Life, or protoplasm, which gradually evolved through the different classes of Radiates, Mollusks, Articulates and Vertebrates, finally flowering in man, who is the highest Intelligence in the Cosmos, lord of all he surveys.
This the scientist says, with a wise mien, and may also add: "Don't you see how simple and reasonable this is? If not, let me show you by a demonstration." He may then take a basin full of water and pour a little oil upon the surface, the water to represent space and the oil the firemist. He may then take a needle and commence to stir the oil in imitation of the currents generated in the firemist, and under his stirring the oil will take a spherical shape. Gradually the sphere will bulge at the equator, a ring will be thrown off and shape itself into a planet which will revolve around its primary and the scientist will then triumphantly say: "There, don't you see how natural it is, not the slightest need for your God!"
We only wonder that the men who have a mind capable of conceiving this splendid demonstration can at the same time be so dull that they do not see that they, themselves, take the place of God, who thought out and brought into being the universe as the scientists conceived their demonstration, and carried it into execution. God by his power preserves our universe and moves the planets as the scientist moves his oil-planet, and were God to cease his activity for a single moment, cosmos would instantly resolve itself into a conglomerate chaos as the oil-sun and planet cease to be the moment the scientist discontinues his operation.
Therefore, so far from refuting the assertion of the Bible that God is the Creator and sustainer of the cosmos, the nebular theory demonstrates the necessity for divine interference most thoroughly, and when properly understood, there is no essential difference between the scientific and religion conception.
What are comets?
Answer: Contemplating the wisdom of the Great Creative Hierarchies as compared with our own, we would naturally feel inclined to think that they are above mistakes; but upon second thought it appears reasonable that as they are yet evolving, though learning lessons far beyond us, they must at times make mistakes. They are active in the Macrocosm, the "Great World," the Body of God, as we are working in the Microcosm, the "Little World," composed of our different vehicles, and just as we make mistakes in handling our affairs and in learning the lessons we are learning, so also the Great Creative hierarchies at times fail in their labors.
We know that when bringing a child to birth there may be a miscarriage. The foetus is then expelled from the system and at once commences to decay. There is a similar risk when a world is in the making, namely, that it crystallizes or sets before it has completed the period of gestation in the Desire World. Then it has not been properly molded, and may be likened to plaster of Paris mixed by a sculptor to form a beautiful statue, but set before it was molded — a shapeless, useless mass. When this happens in the making of the world, we have what is known as a comet, and the elliptic orbit which it travels is the path of a current in the Desire World. We have something similar to the comets in the appearance of the Ego before it enters the womb of the mother. Then that is also such a bell-shaped thing with a nucleus at the top and a great deal of material flowing behind it similar to the tail of the comet. And these bell shaped reincarnating Egos also traverse elliptic orbits around the earth, until it is necessary for them to enter the womb of the future mother.
Does the movement of a planet through space create a noise?
Answer: Pythagoras spoke of the harmony of the spheres, and he did not use that expression simply as a poetical allusion. There is such a harmony. We are told by John that in the beginning was the word . . . and without it was nothing made that was made. That was the creative fiat which first started the world into being. The familiar experiment of placing sand upon a glass plate and creating geometrical figures by bowing the edge with a violin bow, illustrates the creative ability of sound. And we hear of celestial music, for from the point of the heaven World, everything is first created in terms of sound, which then molds concrete matter into the multitudinous forms which we see around us.
In the esotericist's sphere of vision, the whole solar system is one vast musical instrument, spoken of in the Greek mythology as "the seven-stringed lyre of Apollo, the radiant Sun God." As there are twelve semi-tones in the chromatic scale, so we have in the heavens, twelve signs of the zodiac, and as we have the seven white keys or whole tones on the keyboard of the piano, we have seven planets. The signs of the zodiac may be said to be the sounding-board of the cosmic harp and the seven planets are the strings; they emit different sounds as they pass through the various signs, and therefore they influence mankind in diverse manner. Should the harmony fail for one single moment, should there be the slightest discord in that heavenly band, this whole universe as such must crumble. For music can destroy as well as build. This has been well proven by great musicians. For instance, the grandson of the immortal Felix Mendelssohn has for several years been experimenting with the power of sound in that direction. He has come to the conclusion that once we find the keynote of a building, bridge or other structure, we may raze that structure to the ground by sounding that not sufficiently loud and long. An illustration in point occurs to the writer:
"A few years ago a band of musicians were rehearsing near an old ruin outside the city of heidelberg, Germany. At one point in their exercises they came to an extremely high pitched and long continued note, and as they sounded it the massive wall of the nearby ruin tumbled to the ground with a tremendous crash. They had struck the keynote of that wall and it fell." In view of these facts, our supercilious smiles of bygone days when listening to the story of Joshua and the walls of Jericho are no longer in place. The sound of the ram's horn undoubtedly struck the keynote of those walls which had been much sensitized by the rhythmic tramp of his army in preparation for this final climax. The rhythmic tramp of many feet will destroy any bridge, and therefore soldiers are instructed to break step when crossing a bridge. So that we may say in answer to the question that every plant gives out a certain keynote which is the sum total of all the noises upon it, blended and harmonized by the indwelling Planetary Spirit. That sound can be heard by the spirit ear. As Goethe says:
This, from the first part of Faust, the prologue in heaven. And also in the second part of Faust, spirits of air greet the rising sun with the words:
What is the esoteric significance of the use of the names of the twelve sons of Jacob in connection with the twelve signs of the zodiac, and are these used in connection with the Earth's zodiac or the Sun's zodiac, or both?
Answer: There is only one zodiac, the twelve constellations which we call Aries, Taurus, etc. These are the stars, located in a narrow belt about eight degrees each side of the ecliptic, or the sun's path, as viewed from the earth. The twelve sons and one daughter of Jacob are identified with the twelve constellations, because Josephus mentions that the Israelites wandering in the wilderness carried emblems of these twelve groups of stars on their banner. In the 49th chapter of Genesis and the 33rd chapter of Deuteronomy, are pronounced blessings upon his twelve sons in such a manner that it is impossible to one who knows astronomy not to see a resemblance between the description of these sons and the twelve signs of the zodiac.
Also, if we regard the manner of pitching the camp of the Israelites — grouping the twelve tribes around the tabernacle where the seven branched candlestick was — we see again a reference to the astronomical disposition of the twelve signs of the zodiac outside of the seven planets, which are the lights of the solar system, the House of God.
The spiritual reason of the analogy between Jacob, his wives, their children and the cosmos, may be found in the hermetic axiom, as above, so below. Jacob, with his four wives, symbolize the sun and the four phases of the moon, which are the givers of life to all that live upon earth; the twelve sons and one daughter symbolize the Creative Hierarchies, which have been active in the evolution of our solar system and have brought not only humanity but also all the various other kingdoms to their present stage of evolutionary attainment, and are working with them now in order to still further develop them into spiritual beings. It was they who made man in their likeness. Even to this day humanity is stamped with the characteristics of the twelve celestial signs. Therefore the original Semites, who were to be the progenitors of a new race, were divided into twelve classes by their leader, each class representing one of the constellations.
Can you give an idea of the difference bewteen heliocentric and geocentric astrology? Is the geocentric concerned only with the affairs of this Earth, the material life, and the heliocentric with the soul or the spiritual side? The Sun, being the spiritual planet and the ruler of our solar system, would lead to this conclusion, inasmuch as we use the Sun's zodiac in heliocentric astrology and the Earth's zodiac in geocentric. Can predicitons in this life ever be made by the Sun's zodiac, or is the latter simply concerned with the spiritual side of a person's nature?
Answer: One of the objections raised to the ancient system of astrology is that it regards the earth as the center of the solar system in the same manner as the ancients did, and that since Copernicus showed us that the planets move around the sun, many people regard astrology as "an exploded science," a palpably proven fallacy, and in order to overcome this objection, certain astrologers in modern times have invented what is called "heliocentric Astrology," which regards the sun as the center of our solar system and the planets as moving about it.
It is perfectly true that, scientifically speaking, the geocentric system of astrology, which regards the earth as a center, is incorrect. And it is wrong when we say that the sun is in Cancer when it is really the earth traveling in its orbit that has come to the sign Capricorn and, therefore, it appears to us here upon the earth as if the sun were in Cancer. But that is not the crux; it really does not matter which of the two bodies has moved, the astrologer judges by the positions of the planets relative to the Earth. And it is much more convenient to regard the planets as moving round the earth as the center than it is to use the opposite system, for in the geocentric system we note the relationships of the planets as they appear from our Earth and note the effects upon various people at the time when such planetary influences were felt, and so, by experience, we have come to our present system of judgment, which is, therefore, as true today as it ever was. "The proof of the pudding is in the eating," says the homely old proverb. The proof of astrology is in the truth of its predictions, and no one who has honestly studied this science and has tried to test it for himself can fail to find this truth.
Predictions sometimes fail because the astrologer misinterprets, but even allowing for the fallibility of the astrologer, there is, nevertheless, such a mass of predictions which come true that it is quite beyond explanation as a coincidence.
The geocentric system is correct and takes in all sides of man's nature, not only the material manifestation but also the spiritual side. The heliocentric system, on the other hand, has been trumped up by people who aim to conform to science and have no concern with the spiritual side of nature, therefore that is the least satisfactory. Besides, while those who have used the geocentric astrology for many centuries have recorded their observations of the effects of the planets from that standpoint, there is very little of such empirical knowledge from the standpoint of the heliocentric system, which we would advise the inquirer to leave alone.
How is it possible to get on good terms with Saturn? The inquirer has been under his influence all his life. Sickness, poverty, loss of inheritance and accidents are bad enough, but can Saturn also cause us trouble spiritually; can he put barriers up for our unfoldment when our spirit is struggling for the good, and are we liberated from his influence when we pass out at death?
Answer: Materialistic astrologers speak of Uranus, Saturn, and Mars as evil, while Venus and Jupiter are called good. in God's kingdom there is nothing evil. That which appears so is only good in the making. Neither must it be imagined that the influences from any of the planets operate to harass men. We have come into this world in order to get certain experiences necessary to our spiritual unfoldment, and when we seek to understand the stellar influences we shall find that they are potent factors in helping us to gain just that experience. Saturn is the chastener. When we have gone astray from the path of righteousness, willfully or unwittingly, we are not allowed to continue in evil, for Saturn comes to stop us. Perhaps we have gained an inheritance; we misuse and squander it in every direction. In doing so, we usually abuse our body as well. Then comes an aspect to Saturn, a sickness ensues and we are laid low. We are forced to diet and to give our system a rest, and as a result we arise from our sick-bed a new man or a new woman. But the question is, have we learned our lesson? During our repose upon the sick-bed, we have had time to think over the life we have been leading. Have we analyzed our life, so that we understand the causes that brought us low? If so, we have profited. For then we shall know how to do better and avoid the pitfalls that caused our sickness in the future. Or, our inheritance being altogether squandered we stand with empty pockets upon the street. Perhaps we can turn nowhere for help; we are then forced to think and to break a way for ourselves. Our talents were useless while we were squandering our money. In poverty they are turned to account, we are forced to use them in doing our share of the world's work. We have lost our inheritance, but the world has gained a worker, and if we have learned our lesson in that way, then the influence of Saturn has been a blessing in disguise.
And so it is with everything in the horoscope that may appear evil. Besides, the more spiritual we grow the less will these so-called evil planets or evil aspects affect us adversely. They are transmuted to good. Saturn will not give disaster to the spiritual man, but persistence; not sickness, but strength; and thus, by conforming to the laws of nature, by living our lives in harmony with the stars, we rule them and change our lives as we desire.
The greater part of humanity drifts with the tide and acts according to the tendencies implanted by the stellar influences. Therefore, the astrologer can predict what they will do with wonderful accuracy. But the more a man or woman lives the spiritual life the more he becomes a factor to be taken into consideration, and the predictions of the astrologer will fail as far as he is concerned in a measure corresponding to his attainment.
The stars are our helpers in evolution. They are not dead bodies of matter but the living, throbbing and vibrating bodies of great spiritual intelligences called in the Christian religion the Seven Spirits before the throne. As we change, their influence upon us changes, but we do not escape from that influence by the mere incident of death. When the morning of a new life dawns for us, we shall arise with a new horoscope, and if we have aimed to grow spiritually, to learn the lessons that the Star Angeles have aimed to teach us in the past life, we shall have new aspects and new positions of the planets to help us further along the path of evolution. On the other hand, if we have "kicked against the pricks" in a previous life, we shall find that the screws will have been put on a little harder, that we will have been placed under influences a little stronger, so that in the end we must learn the lessons. And the quicker we do so, the better for us.
How may we pray to or address Saturn when he is in the ruling star causing us trouble and sorrow?
Answer: To understand what prayer is, let us use the illustration of an electric power house with wires to the different houses in the city. In each house there is a switch and when we turn that, the power which was hitherto outside in the wires and in the power house, enters our dwelling, illuminates it or runs motors, according to the laws of its manifestation. We may say that God primarily and the Seven planetary Spirits secondarily correspond to the power house which is wired to everyone of us, and prayer may be said to be the switch whereby we put ourselves in touch with the divine light and life, allowing it to flow into us and illuminate us for our spiritual uplifting.
It is a law that electricity will flow readily along copper or other metals, but is barred by glass, and before we can get the electricity into our houses we must have a switch made in conformity with this law, a copper switch. If we used a glass switch we would obtain no electricity; the glass switch would be a most effective way of altogether barring the electric fluid from our dwelling. In similar manner, if our prayers (which correspond to the switch) are in conformity with the laws of God, the divine purpose can manifest through us and our prayers are answered, but if we pray contrary to the will of God, naturally, such a prayer would operate in a similar manner to a glass switch in an electric circuit.
As a great nation sends its ambassador and plenipotentiaries to other nations, so there are also ambassadors from each one of the great Star Angels present upon our earth. Their names are as follows:
The moon is our satellite and is not in the same position as those of the other planets. The ambassadors from those planets are Archangels, while Gabriel is an Angel.
Ordinarily humanity prays to God. These prayers are at the present time mostly selfish and ignorant. The prayers of such people cannot receive attention from the ambassadors who have charge over the different departments of life, but are generally attended to, as far as may be, by the Invisible Helpers who work for the upliftment of their brethren. The esoteric astrologer, however, who knows what he wants and is able to work in harmony with the stellar forces, addresses the ambassadors of the Star Angels directly and obtains his desire more easily in that way. He studies the planetary hours when those stars have rule and at that time proffers his request which is usually for someone else, or for spiritual illumination concerning certain matters to be used for the common good.
Why do animals, which are a lower evolution, have an instinct which seems so much more reliable than the reason of human beings?
Answer: The answer to that question has to do with the descent of the Ego into matter, but in the first place, we must differentiate between the separate animal spirits and the group spirit, which is their guardian. The separate animal spirits are as yet not self-conscious, hence they act without question according to the suggestions of the group spirit. The latter is an entity belonging to a different evolution, and it functions in the Invisible Worlds where things are much more apparent than they are here. It follows, therefore, that what we call instinct is really the suggestions of the group spirit in the Invisible World which guides the animals.
The human spirits, on the other hand, have descended directly into the Physical World and are, consequently, blinded to a certain extent by the denser matter of this plane of existence. An illustration may perhaps serve to elucidate the reason of the fact that although the spirit is exceedingly wise in the higher worlds, the increased materiality which it attains on account of its descent necessarily obscures that wisdom.
The hand is the most valuable instrument of man and its dexterity is perhaps nowhere more apparent than in the case of a musician. A master musician may produce from his beloved instrument the most soul stirring melody by the caressing touch of his well trained and sensitive fingers, but let him put on a pair of gloves and at once the delicate touch has vanished; if he adds a second pair of gloves over the first pair and these are thicker and of heavier material, he will probably be unable to produce even a melody, and should he finally put a pair of mitts over the gloves, he would be unable to play at all, but would produce discord should he make the attempt. The various gloves on the hand of a musician find their counterpart in the different vehicles which the spirit puts on in its descent into matter. The mitt corresponds to the physical body.
Anyone seeing the musician attempt to play with the mitt on his hand, and who had not heard him play before he put on gloves, might suppose him incapable of playing, but the inference would be wrong. The human Ego is in a similar position, its spiritual powers have been obscured by the vehicles in which it is at present encased, but there will come a time when it has learned how to use these vehicles properly and then its spiritual power will shine forth in a splendor at present unimaginable.
Can you throw some light on what our attitude toward the lower forms of life should be?
Have we the right to kill anything harmless, since every living thing is in a sense our brother?
How about the venomous insects and reptiles?
Answer: There is only One Life in the Universe, which is God's life. "In Him we live, and move and have our being." And not only we, but all that lives is thus a manifestation of God. We are in time to become creators, as He is a Creator. But so long as we brutally destroy the forms of other beings we are hindering ourselves. The inquirer is right when he says that the lower animals are our brothers, but, sad to say, instead of caring for them and inspiring them with confidence and love, we have managed to make ourselves feared by every animal upon the face of the earth by the ruthless destruction we have spread among them, and it seems but a just retribution that we, ourselves, should be in constant fear of microscopic life in the form of bacilli, which cannot be killed by gun or knife.
As for the destructive insects and reptiles, they may in many cases be said to be an embodiment of our own evil thoughts and produced by our own unclean habits. Science has shows us how by proper sanitation we may get rid of them, at least in a very great measure, without the necessity of killing them. The larger reptiles, such as snakes, are not as dangerous as they are often thought to be. In the temples in India, where certain classes of people have cultivated an attitude of absolute harmlessness by refusing to kill even the smallest thing, one may see as a daily occurrence venomous snakes crawling among the people congregated there, never doing them the slightest harm, and if we would cultivate a harmless attitude toward the lower creatures they would soon learn to trust us as they now fear us. Stories are on record of sailors who went to desert islands where man's foot had never before trodden, and found the birds there perfectly devoid of fear until a number had been killed by the invading ruffians. Then the birds learned to fly away at the approach of man.
We have also made human beings into beasts of prey — thieves and robbers we call them — who waylay their fellow-men, deprive them of their goods and often harm them bodily, even to committing murder, and all as a result of our harsh treatment which is dictated by fear. If we had love we should have no fear, "for perfect love casteth out all fear"; and if we had no fear, nothing could harm us, for the fearless and trusting attitude is a safer protection than pistol and lock. Therefore, we should cultivate that attitude of love for everything that lives and breathes; we should cease killing the lower animals by the million for food, and for sport, which is the worst form of cruelty. An attitude of love toward our fellow men would generate in them similar emotions and locksmiths and gun makers would very soon be useless. We complain of the enormous taxes necessary to support a strong police force, the machinery of the courts, great jails and penitentiaries, but all of these institutions would disappear as if by magic if we would replace fear by love. The Bible pictures to us a time when the lion and the ox, the little child and the venomous reptile shall all play together in peace. That may indeed become a fact, for the beasts of prey have not always been carnivorous. In the far past man had his share in their development, and in the future it will be his task to change these conditions.
Contemporary Mystic Christianity
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