|Simplified Scientific Christianity|
Q. What are the activities of man up to the moment of death?
A. He builds and sows, Then the seed-time and the periods of growth and ripening are past-the harvest time has come.
Q. What is the symbol of death?
A. The skeleton spectra with his scythe and hour-glass.
Q. What does the skeleton, the scythe and the hour-glass each symbolize?
A. The skeleton symbolizes the relatively permanent part of the body. The scythe represents the fact that his permanent part, which is about to be harvested by the spirit, is the fruitage of the life now drawing to a close. The hour-glass indicates that the hour does not strike until the full course has been run in harmony with unvarying laws. When the moment arrives, a separation of the vehicles takes place.
Q. As life is ended in the Physical World for the time being, what becomes of the vital body?
A. The vital body, which also belongs to the Physical World, is withdrawn by way of the head, leaving the dense body inanimate.
Q. What other vehicles, besides the vital body, leave the body at death?
A. The desire body and the mind.
Q. In what way do these three vehicles leave the dense body and what do they take with them?
A. They are seen to leave the dense body with a spiral movement, taking with them the soul of one dense atom; not the atom itself, but the forces that played through it.
Q. How is this particular soul atom stamped?
A. The results of the experiences passed through in the dense body during life have been impressed upon it.
Q. What else can you say in regard to this permanent soul atom?
A. It has remained stable and has been a part of every dense body ever used by a particular Ego. it reawakens at the dawn of a new physical life to serve again as the nucleus around which is built the new dense body to be used by the same Ego. it is therefore called the "Seed-Atom."
Q. Where is the physical seed-atom situated?
A. During life it is situated in the left ventricle of the heart, near the apex.
Q. What happens to the soul of the seed-atom at the time of death?
A. It rises to the brain by way of the pneumogastric nerve, leaving the dense body, together with the higher vehicles, by way of the sutures between the parietal and occipital bones.
Q. When the higher vehicles have left the dense body, are they still connected with it and, if so, how?
A. They are still connected with it by a slender, glistening, silvery cord shaped much like two figure sixes, one upright and one reversed, and connected at the extremities of the hooks.
Q. To what is this "silver cord" directly attached?
A. One end is fastened to the heart by means of the seed-atom; and it is the rupture of the seed-atom which causes the heart to stop. The cord itself is not snapped until the panorama of the past life, contained in the vital body, has been reviewed.
Q. Why should the body not be cremated or embalmed until at least three days after death?
A. For the reason that the vital body is still connected with the dense body by means of the "silver-cord," and any post-mortem examination or injury to the dense body will be felt in a measure by the man; and because cremation tends to disintegrate the vital body, which should be kept intact until the panorama of the past life has been etched into the desire body.
Q. Where does the "silver-cord" snap?
A. At the point where the so called sixes unite; one half remaining with the dense body and the other half with the higher vehicles. From the time the cord snaps the dense body is quite dead.
Q. What experiments have been made to determine whether anything leaves the dense body at death?
A. In 1906 Dr. McDougall, of the Massachusetts General Hospital, constructed a pair of scales capable of registering one-tenth of an ounce. The dying person and his bed were placed on one of the platforms of the scales and then balanced by weights placed on the opposite platform.
Q. What was noted from these experiments?
A. It was noted that at the precise moment when the dying person drew his last breath, the platform containing the weights dropped, lifting the bed and body, thus showing that something invisible, but having weight, had left the body.
Q. What was said of this experiment?
A. The newspapers announced that Dr. McDougall had "weighed the Soul."
Q. Then what was it that the scientists weighed?
A. It was the vital body, which is formed by the four ethers and which belong to the Physical World.
Q. Why does esotericism hail with joy the discoveries of modern
A. Because they invariably corroborate what esoteric science has long taught and what trained clairvoyants had seen, for many years previous to Dr. McDougall's discovery.
Q. Is this invisible "something" which the scientist weighted, the
A. The soul belongs to the higher realms and can never be weighed on physical scales, even though registering one-millionth part of a grain.
Q. How do the ethers add to the weight of plant, animal or man?
A. A certain amount of these ethers is super-imposed upon the ether which envelops the particles of the human body and is confined there during physical life, which adds in a slight degree to the weight of the dense body. At death it escapes, causing a diminution of weight.
Q. Do the above facts apply equally as well in the case of
A. They do, A kitten used in another experiment, by Prof. La V Twining, lost one hundred milligrams while dying and at its last gasp suddenly lost an additional sixty milligrams.
Q. What teaching of esoteric science do the above facts vindicate?
A. That animals have vital bodies, though they are proportionately lighter than in man.
Q. Why should the relatives and friends not give expression to
loud grief and lamentations over a dying person?
A. Because when the "silver cord" has been broken in the heart and man has been released from his dense body, a moment of highest importance comes to the Ego. (This will be made clearer when we come to the description of man's life in the desire world.)
Q. Why is it a crime to administer stimulants to a dying person?
A. It has the effect of forcing the higher vehicles back into the dense body with a jerk, thus imparting a great shock to the man.
Q. Is there any torture at the time of passing out?
A. There is none, but it is torture to be dragged back to endure further suffering, and some have told investigators that they had been kept dying for hours in that way and had prayed that their relatives would cease and let them die.
Q. When man is freed from the dense body, which was the heaviest
clog upon his spiritual power, what happens?
A. His spiritual power comes back in some measure and he is able to read the pictures in the negative pole of the reflecting ether of his vital body, which is the seat of the sub-conscious memory.
Q. What do these pictures portray?
A. The whole of his past life passes before his sight, but in reverse order. The incidents of the days immediately preceding death come first and so on back. Everything is remembered.
Q. Does man have any feelings about these pictures as they pass?
A. He stands as a spectator before this panorama of his past life and the pictures impress themselves upon his higher vehicles, but there is no feeling. That is reserved until the time when he enters into the Desire World, the world of feeling and emotion. At present he is in the Ether Region of the Physical World.
Q. How long does this panorama last?
A. From a few hours to several days, depending upon the length of time the man could keep awake if still living.
Q. To what is this feature of life after death similar?
A. To that which takes place when one is drowning or falling from a height. In such cases the vital body leaves the dense body and the man sees his life in a flash, because he loses consciousness at once.
Q. Is it possible for a person to be resuscitated after the
"silver cord" is broken?
A. It is not.
Q. When the endurance of the vital body has reached its limit,
A. It collapses in the way described in the phenomenon of sleep, when the collapse terminates the waking hours; after death the collapse of the vital body terminates the panorama and forces the man to withdraw into the Desire World.
Q. What important difference is there between the division made
during sleep and after death?
A. The vital body returns to the dense body after death, but it no longer inter-penetrates it, but simply hovers over it.
Q. Why do trained clairvoyants uphold the practice of cremation?
A. Because they can see the nauseating sight of the vital body hovering over the grave, and decaying synchronously with the dense vehicle. Cremation restores the elements to the primordial condition without the objectionable features incident to the process of slow decay.
Q. When man enters into the Desire World, what does he carry with
A. The life forces of one seed-atom are taken, to be used as a nucleus for the vital body of a future birth.
Q. If the dying man could leave all desires behind, what would
A. The desire body would very quickly fall away from him, leaving him free to proceed into the heaven world.
Q. Why is this condition not generally the case, especially if
death occurs in the prime of life?
A. Because most people have many ties and much interest in life on earth; they have not altered their desires with the loss of their physical bodies; their desires are often augmented by a very intense longing to return. This acts in such a manner as to bind them to the Desire World. Old and decrepit persons, and those who are weakened by long illness and are tired of life pass on very quickly.
Q. Why is it hard for people to die who have been taken out of
their bodies by accident while at the height of their physical
A. This may be illustrated by the ease with which the seed falls out of the ripe fruit, no particle of the flesh clinging to it, while in the unripe fruit the seed clings to the flesh with the greatest tenacity. So it is hard for such people to break the ties of physical life.
Q. Why is the suicide, who tries to get away from the physical
life, in a most pitiable plight?
A. Because he is able to watch those whom he has disgraced, perhaps, by his act; and worst of all, he has an unspeakable feeling of being "hollowed" out.
Q. How is this "hollowed out" feeling brought about?
A. The part in the ovoid aura where the dense body used to be is empty, and although the desire body has taken the form of the discarded dense body, it feels like an empty shell, because the creative archetype of the body in the Region of Concrete Thought persists as an empty mold, so to speak, as long as the dense body should have lived under ordinary conditions.
Q. What comparison can you make between the person who dies a
natural death and a suicide?
A. When a person meets a natural death, even in the prime of life, the activity of the archetype ceases and the desire body adjusts itself so as to occupy the whole of the form, but in the case of the suicide that awful feeling of "emptiness" remains until the time comes when his death would have occurred naturally.
Q. What happens to the man who continues to entertain desires
connected with earth life?
A. He must remain in the desire body as long as these desires continue.
Q. What does the evolution of man require?
A. He must progress and pass on to higher Regions.
Q. What result does existence in the Desire World produce?
A. It must necessarily be purgative, tending to purify him from his binding desires.
Q. How may this point be illustrated?
A. The miser who loved his gold in earth life loves it just as dearly after death.
Q. Why can the miser not acquire any more gold after death?
A. Because he has no longer a dense body wherewith to grasp it; and furthermore he cannot keep what he hoarded during life.
Q. What may happen to such a miser after death?
A. He may go, perhaps, and sit by his cherished gold or bonds, but the heirs may appear with a jeer at the "stingy old fool." He both sees and hears them, but they do not see him. They will open his safe and though he tries to protect it, they will put their hands through him, neither knowing nor caring that he is there, taking and spending his hoard, while he suffers in sorrow and impotent rage.
Q. What will make his sufferings all the more terrible?
A. His sufferings will be felt keenly, because they will be entirely mental, even more so than when in the dense body, because the dense body dulls suffering to some extent.
Q. What then does he learn in the Desire World?
A. He learns that gold may be a curse. Then he gradually becomes contented with his lot and at last is freed form his desire body and is ready to go on.
Q. What happens to all desires in the Desire World?
A. They die for want of opportunity to gratify them.
Q. When man is purged from his desires, what is in store for him?
A. He is ready, so far as his habits are concerned, to leave this state of "purgatory" and ascend into the heaven world.
Q. What do we learn from the above illustration?
A. We learn that it is not an avenging Deity that makes purgatory or hell for us, but our own individual, evil habits and acts.
Q. What regulates the time and suffering in the expurgation of our
A. They are regulated according to the intensity of our desires. The miser cared greatly about his gold, and so the unerring law gave him that which was needed to purge him of his evil desires and habits.
Q. What law is symbolized in the above condition?
A. The law of cause and effect-the law that says, "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap;" the law that is symbolized by the scythe of the reaper — Death.
Q. Where does this law of cause and effect rule?
A. It rules all things in the three Worlds, in every realm of nature, physical, moral and mental.
Q. What does this inexorable law do?
A. It adjusts all things, restoring the equilibrium wherever the slightest action has brought about a disturbance, as all action must.
Q. when does this result manifest itself?
A. The result may manifest itself immediately, or it may be delayed for years or lives, but sometime, somewhere, just and equal retribution will be made.
Q. What should the student particularly note in regard to the law
of cause and effect, or consequence?
A. That its work is absolutely impersonal; that there is in the universe neither reward nor punishment; that all is the result of invariable law.
Q. How does this law operate in the Desire World?
A. It operates in purging man of the lower desires, weaknesses and vices which hinder his progress, by making him suffer in the manner best adapted to that purpose.
Q. How is this condition accomplished?
A. If he has made others suffer, or has dealt unjustly with them, he will be made to suffer in the same identical way.
Q. How may a person be purged of evil vices or acts, so that there
will not be a cause for purgatorial suffering after death?
A. If he has overcome his vices, or repented, and as far as possible made right the wrong done, such repentance, reform or restitution has purged him. The equilibrium has been restored and the lesson learned during the present life.
Q. How much faster is life lived in the Desire World than in the
A. About three times as fast. That is, a man who has lived to be fifty years of age in the Physical World would live through the same life events in the Desire World in about sixteen years.
Q. Will the above rule apply in all cases?
A. There are persons who remain in the Desire World much longer than the term of their physical life. Others who have lived lives with few gross desires pass through in a much shorter period. The above measure is for the average man of the present day.
Q. We have learned that as man leaves the dense body at death, his
past life passes before him in pictures? What feeling does this
A. At that time he has no feeling concerning them.
Q. Do these life pictures again appear to him?
A. During his life in the Desire World these pictures roll backwards as they did just after death.
Q. What feeling does he now have concerning these pictures?
A. He now has all the feeling that it is possible for him to have as the scenes pass before him one by one. Every incident in his past life is now lived over again.
Q. What is the effect when he comes to a point where he has
A. He feels the pain as the injured person felt it. He lives through all the sorrow and suffering he has caused to others and learns how hard they are to bear.
Q. Does he suffer in the same degree as did the person he injured?
A. The suffering is much keener, because he has no dense body to dull the pain.
Q. How does the above fact show nature's measures to be just and
A. In that the suffering may lose in duration what it gains in sharpness. Perhaps that is why the speed of life is tripled there.
Q. What other fact is peculiar to this phase of post-mortem
A. Distance is almost annihilated in the Desire World.
Q. How does this peculiarity affect man in the Desire World?
A. When a man dies, he at once seems to swell out in his vital body; he appears to himself to grow to immense proportions.
Q. To what is this feeling due?
A. Not to the fact that the vital body really grows, but to the fact that the perceptive faculties receive so many impressions from various sources all seeming to be close at hand.
Q. Can you mention one of the impressions that is thus produced?
A. The man seems to be present with all the people on earth with whom he had relations of a nature which require correction. If he has injured a man in San Francisco and another in New York, he will feel as if a part of him were in each place. This gives him a peculiar feeling of being cut to pieces.
Q. What is the importance of the panorama of the past life during
the purgative existence?
A. If his panorama lasted long and the man were undisturbed immediately after death, the full, deep, clear impression etched into the desire body would make life in the Desire World more vivid and conscious and purgation more thorough.
Q. Under adverse conditions, what would be the result?
A. On account of distress at the loud outbursts of grief on the part of his relatives at the death bed and during the three-day period previously mentioned, the man would have only a vague impression of his past life on account of his attention being diverted by the grief around him.
Q. What effect will distracted attention have on the panorama of
his past life?
A. The pictures will be blurred and less effective.
Q. Of what value is a sharp, clear-cut feeling in future lives?
A. It stamps upon the seed-atom of the desire body an ineffaceable impression of itself. The experiences will be forgotten in succeeding lives, but the "feeling" remains.
Q. What will this "feeling" do for us in later lives?
A. When opportunities occur to repeat the error, this "feeling" will speak to us clearly and unmistakably, advising against those errors.
Q. What figure of speech is used sometimes to designate this
A. The "still small voice" which warns us, though why we do not know; but the clearer and more definite the panoramas of past lives have been, the oftener, and the more strongly and clearly shall we hear this voice.
Q. Then why is it important to leave the passing spirit in
absolute quietness after death?
A. To help it reap the greatest possible benefit from the life just ended and to avoid perpetuating the same mistakes in future lives.
Q. What is the mission of purgatory?
A. To eradicate injurious habits by making their gratification impossible.
Q. What does man learn in purgatory?
A. As before stated, he suffers exactly as he has made others suffer, and because of this suffering he learns to act kindly, honestly, and with forbearance toward others in the future.
Q. From what does rebirth free man?
A. When he is reborn, he is free from evil habits, and every evil act committed thereafter is one of free will.
Q. What tendencies of past lives remain after rebirth and what
must we learn from them?
A. The tendencies to repeat the evil of past lives, for we must learn to do right consciously and of our own will.
Q. Do the tendencies of past lives tempt us?
A. Upon occasions these tendencies tempt us, thereby affording us an opportunity of ranging ourselves on the side of mercy and virtue as against evil and cruelty.
Q. What is it that indicates right action and helps us to resist
the snares and wiles of temptation?
A. The feeling resulting from the expurgation of evil habits and the expiation of the wrong acts of past lives.
Q. If we heed the feeling, what will be the effect?
A. The temptation will cease. We have freed ourselves from it for all time.
Q. If we yield to the temptation, what will be the result?
A. We shall experience keener suffering than before until at last we have learned to live by the "golden rule."
Q. Is it enough if we do good to others because we want them to do
good to us?
A. It is not, because that is selfishness. We must learn to do good regardless of how we are treated by others; as Christ said, we must love even our enemies.
Q. Is it possible to live a life of purgation while on earth?
A. It is possible, and it is of inestimable benefit to know about the method and object of this purgation, thus advancing much faster than would otherwise be possible.
Q. How may we attain this purification?
A. By thinking over the happenings of the day after retiring at night, reviewing each incident of the day, in reverse order; taking particular note of the moral aspect, considering whether we acted rightly or wrongly in each particular case regarding action, mental attitude, and habits.
Q. What is to be gained by thus judging ourselves day by day and
endeavoring to correct mistakes and wrong actions?
A. We shall materially shorten or perhaps eliminate the necessity for purgatory, and be able to pass to the first heaven directly after death.
Q. What do we accomplish by this method?
A. We make a very material advance in the school of evolution.
Q. If we fail to correct our actions after thus judging ourselves,
will any benefit be derived?
A. We derive an immense benefit by generating aspirations toward good, which in time will surely bear fruit in right action.
Q. In retrospection should we congratulate ourselves on the good
we have done?
A. We should, and should determine to do still better.
Q. What do we gain by so doing?
A. We enhance the good by approval as much as we expurgate the evil by blame.
Q. What other factors are there in shortening the purgatorial
A. Repentance and reform are also powerful factors.
Q. When we realize the wrong habits or acts of our past life and
determine to eradicate them, what do we do for ourselves?
A. We are expunging the pictures of them from the sub-conscious memory, and they will not be there to judge us after death.
Q. Is it necessary to make complete restitution for a wrong?
A. The sincerity of our regret will suffice. Nature does not aim to "get even," nor to take revenge. Recompense may be given to our victim in other ways.
Q. Why is the practice of this important process earnestly
A. Because much progress ordinarily reserved for future lives will be made by the man who thus takes time by the forelock.
Q. What Regions are occupied by purgatory?
A. The three lower Regions of the Desire World.
Q. Where is the first heaven located?
A. In the three upper Regions of the Desire World.
Q. And where is the borderland?
A. The central Region is a sort of borderland-neither heaven nor hell.
Q. What kind of people do we find in the borderland?
A. Those who have been honest and upright, those who wronged no one, but who were deeply immersed in business and thought nothing of the higher life.
Q. Why is the Desire World, a stage of indescribable monotony for
A. Because there is no "business" there nor anything that will take its place. They have a very hard time until they learn to think of higher things than ledgers and drafts. (To be Continued)
Q. What other class of people feel this dreadful monotony?
A. Those who thought of the problem of life and came to the conclusion that "death ends it all'; who denied the existence of things outside of the material sense-world.
Q. What had they expected to encounter and what did they find?
A. They had expected annihilation of consciousness, but instead of that they found themselves with an augmented perception of everything about them.
Q. Why do such people often fancy the Desire World an
A. Because they had been accustomed to deny these things. They may be heard frequently exclaiming in the deepest despair, "When will it end."
Q. Why are such people in a pitiable state?
A. Because they are generally beyond the reach of any help whatever and suffer much longer than any one else.
Q. What can you say about their life in the Heaven World?
A. They have scarcely any life in the Heaven World, where the building of bodies for future use is taught.
Q. What kind of bodies do such people build?
A. They put all their crystallizing thoughts into the body they build for future life, and thus one is built that has the hardening tendencies we see, for instance, in consumption.
Q. How can the evolution of such decrepit bodies proceed?
A. Sometimes the suffering incident to such bodies will turn the thoughts of the entities ensouling them to God.
Q. Why have the Elder Brothers been seriously concerned regarding
the fate of the Western World during the last century?
A. Because in the materialistic mind lies the greatest danger of losing touch with the spirit and becoming an outcast.
Q. What has their special beneficent action averted?
A. A social cataclysm compared with which the French Revolution were child's play.
Q. What has the trained clairvoyant seen in this connection?
A. How narrowly humanity has escaped disasters of a nature so devastating that continents would have been swept into the sea. (Section XVIII gives a more extended exposition along this line.)
Q. Where does the skeptic hide when confronted with the facts and
A. Behind the wall of "coincidence."
Q. When the purgatorial existence is ended, where does the
purified spirit go?
A. It rises into the first heaven.
Q. Where is the first heaven located?
A. In the three highest regions of the Desire World. Here the results of its sufferings are incorporated into the seed-atom of the desire body.
Q. What is thus imparted to the purified spirit?
A. The quality of right feeling, which acts as an impulse to good and a deterrent from evil in the future.
Q. What takes place in the first heaven?
A. Here the panorama of the past again unrolls itself backward, but this time it is the good acts of life that are the basis of feeling.
Q. When we come to scenes where we were helped by others, what do
A. We again feel all the gratitude that we then felt toward our benefactor.
Q. What important lesson do we learn from this part of the
A. We see the importance of appreciating the favors shown us by others, because gratitude makes for soul growth.
Q. Upon what does our happiness depend in heaven?
A. Upon the joy we have given others and the valuation we placed upon what others did for us.
Q. What should we bear in mind in regard to the power of giving?
A. That it is not vested chiefly in the moneyed man.
Q. What is the danger of indiscriminate giving?
A. It may be an evil. It is well to give money for a specific purpose, but service is a thousand-fold better.
Q. What does Whitman tell us about giving?
A. "Behold! I do not give lectures or a little charity; When I give, I give myself."
Q. What can be given regardless of wealth?
A. A kind look, expressions of confidence, and sympathetic and loving help.
Q. What should we particularly endeavor to do?
A. To help the needy one to help himself, whether physically, financially, morally, or mentally, and not cause him to become dependent upon us or others.
Q. What is shown us in Lowell's poem, "The Vision of Sir Launfal"?
A. The ethics of giving is most beautifully shown, with the effect on the giver as a spiritual lesson.
Q. What is the first heaven?
A. A place of joy without a single drop of bitterness.
Q. What is said of the spirit in the first heaven?
A. The spirit is beyond the influence of the material, earthly conditions, and assimilates all the good contained in the past life as it lives it over again. Here all ennobling pursuits to which the man aspired are realized in the fullest measure.
Q. What further can be said of the first heaven?
A. It is a place of rest, and the harder the life has been the more keenly will the rest be enjoyed. Sickness, sorrow, and pain are unknown quantities.
Q. By what other name is this place known?
A. The Summerland of the Spiritualists.
Q. What has been built there?
A. There the thoughts of devout Christians have built the New Jerusalem. Beautiful houses, flowers, etc., are the portion of those who aspired to them; they build them themselves by thought from the subtle desire stuff.
Q. Are these things real and tangible?
A. They are just as real and tangible to them as our material houses are to us. All gain here the satisfaction which earth life lacked for them.
Q. What class leads a particularly beautiful life in the first
A. The children. When a child dies before the birth of the desire body, which takes place about the fourteenth year, it does not go any higher than the first heaven, because it is not responsible for its actions.
Q. Does the child have a purgatorial existence?
A. The child has no purgatorial existence. That which is not quickened cannot die, hence the desire body of the child, together with the mind, will persist until a new birth.
Q. What does this condition bring about?
A. Such children are very apt to remember their previous life.
Q. How long do children remain in the first heaven?
A. From one to twenty years; until an opportunity for rebirth is offered.
Q. Is any progress made in this waiting-place?
A. Yes, it is more than simply a waiting-place, because there is much progress made during the interim.
Q. When a child dies, who is waiting for it?
A. 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 little waif.
Q. What does the extreme plasticity of the desire stuff do for the
A. It makes it easy to form the most exquisite living toys for them, and their life is one long beautiful play.
Q. What can you say about their instruction in the first heaven?
A. They are formed into classes according to their temperament, but quite regardless of age.
Q. What kind of lessons are easily given in the Desire World?
A. Object lessons in the influence of good and evil passions on conduct and happiness.
Q. How are these lessons given?
A. They are indelibly imprinted upon the child's sensitive and emotional desire body and remain with it after rebirth.
Q. What is the result of these lessons?
A. Many a one living a noble life owes much of it to the fact that he was given this training.
Q. What is brought about by this extra training?
A. Often when a weak spirit is born the invisible Leaders who guide our evolution, cause it to die in early life so that it may be fitted for what may be a hard life.
Q. In what cases is this training particularly given?
A. Where the etching on the desire body was weak in consequence of a dying person having been disturbed by the lamentations of his relatives, or because he met death by accident or on the battlefield.
Q. Under such circumstances, what was lacking in his post-mortem
A. He did not experience the appropriate intensity of feeling, therefore, when he is born and dies in early life, the loss is made up as above.
Q. To whom does the duty of caring for such a child fall?
A. It often falls to those who were the cause of the anomaly. They are thus afforded a chance, perhaps as parents, to make up for the fault and to learn better.
Q. Why does it not matter if they do lament hysterically in such
an instance of death in childhood?
A. Because there would be no pictures of any consequence in a child's vital body.
Q. Why is the first heaven a place of progression for all who have
been studious, artistic, or altruistic?
A. Because the student and philosopher have instant access to all the libraries of the world. The painter has endless delight in the ever-changing color combinations.
Q. What does the painter learn here?
A. He soon learns that his thought blends and shapes these colors at will. His creations glow with a life impossible of attainment to the one who works with the dull pigments of earth.
Q. Which world is the world of Force?
A. the Physical World.
Q. Which world is the world of Color?
A. The Desire World, where we find purgatory and the first heaven.
Q. And which world is the sphere of Tone?
A. The World of Thought, where the second and third heavens are located.
Q. What do we learn about celestial music?
A. That it is a fact and not a mere figure of speech.
Q. Why was Pythagoras right when he spoke of "the music of the
A. Because each one of the heavenly orbs has its definite tone.
Q. What else can you say about celestial music?
A. Goethe also mentions the celestial symphony in the prologue to his "Faust," where the scene is laid in heaven.
Q. Do the echoes of that heavenly music reach us here in the
A. They do, and they are our most precious possession.
Q. What contrast is there between music in the Physical World and
that in the first heaven?
A. In the Physical World tone dies and vanishes the moment after it is born. In the first heaven these echoes are much more beautiful and have more permanency, and the strains are sweeter.
Q. What is said of the experiences of the poet?
A. They are akin to those of the musician, for poetry is the soul's expression of its inner most feelings in words, which are ordered according to the same laws of harmony and rhythm that govern the outpouring of the spirit in music.
Q. What additional inspiration does the poet find here?
A. The pictures and colors which are the chief characteristics of the Desire World. Thence he will draw the material for use in his next life.
Q. If the author or philanthropist failed in one life, what will
he learn in the first heaven?
A. He will learn how to overcome the obstacles and avoid the errors that made his plans impracticable.
Q. What is finally attained by these lessons?
A. In time a point is reached where the result of the pain and suffering incident to purgation, together with the joy extracted from the good actions of the past life, have been built into the seed-atom of the desire body. These experiences constitute what we call conscience, that impelling force which warns us against evil as productive of pain, and inclines us toward good as productive of happiness and joy.
Q. What then happens to man?
A. He leaves his desire body to disintegrate as he left his dense body and vital body.
Q. Does he take anything with him?
A. The forces only of the seed-atom which are to form the nucleus of future desire bodies, as it was the persistent part of his past vehicles of feeling.
Q. What does the materialist say of force and matter?
A. The materialist contends that they are inseparable.
Q. What does the esotericist know about the force and matter?
A. To him they are not two entirely distinct concepts, but the two poles of the one spirit.
Q. What is matter?
A. It is crystallized spirit.
Q. What is force?
A. It is the same spirit not yet crystallized.
Q. Can you give an illustration that is helpful in this
A. The illustration of the snail in a previous section. Matter, which is crystallized spirit corresponds to the snail's house, which is crystallized snail. That which is now the snail will in time become the house, and that which is now force will in time become matter when it has crystallized further.
Q. Is there a reverse process of resolving matter back into
A. There is such a process and it is continually going on.
Q. Where do we see this process in action?
A. We see the coarser phase of this process as decay when man is leaving his vehicles behind.
Q. What does the first awakening bring?
A. It brings to the spirit the sound of "the music of the spheres."
Q. Why do we not hear the music of the "marching orbs" in our
A. Because we are so immersed in the little noises and sounds of our limited environment that we are incapable of hearing it, but the esoteric scientist hears it.
Q. What does the esotericist know in regard to "the music of the
A. He knows that the twelve signs of the zodiac and the seven planets form the sounding board and strings of "Apollo's seven- stringed lyre." He knows that were a single discord to mar the celestial harmony from that grand instrument, there would be "a wreck of matter and a crash of worlds."
Q. What illustration can you give of the power of rhythmic
A. When crossing a bridge soldiers are commanded to break step, otherwise their rhythmic tramp would in time shatter it.
Q. What Bible story refers to this fact?
A. The sounding of the ram's horn while marching around the walls of the city of Jericho.
Q. When the key-note of a structure is sounded, what may happen?
A. If it is sufficiently prolonged, it will shatter the wall or structure.
Q. Is there any connection between tone and color?
A. Many people know that there is an intimate connection between color and tone; that when a particular note is struck a certain color appears simultaneously.
Q. Are color and sound both present in the Second Heaven?
A. They are, but the tone is the originator of the color. Hence it is said that this is particularly the world of tone, and it is this tone that builds all forms in the Physical World.
Q. Can the musician hear certain musical tones in different parts
A. He can, such as in the wind in the forest, the breaking of the surf on the beach, and the sounding of many waters.
Q. What do these combined tones make?
A. They make a whole which is the key-note of the earth-its "tone."
Q. What does this key-note produce?
A. As geometrical figures are created by drawing a violin bow over the edge of a glass plate, so the forms we see around us are the crystallized sound-figures of the archetypal forces which play into the archetypes in the Heaven World.
Q. Is time in the Heaven World an inactive, dreamy, or illusory
A. The work done by man in the Heaven World is many-sided. It is a time of the greatest and most important activity in preparing for the next life, as sleep is an active preparation for the work of the following day.
Q. What is accomplished in the Heaven World?
A. Here the quintessence of the three bodies is built into the three-fold spirit.
Q. How is this accomplished as regards the desire body?
A. As much of the desire body as man had worked upon during life, by purifying his desires and emotions, will be welded into the human spirit, thus giving an improved mind in the future.
Q. How is the vital body worked upon in this connection?
A. As much of the vital body as the life spirit had worked upon, transformed, and spiritualized, will be amalgamated with the life spirit to insure a better vital body and temperament in succeeding lives.
Q. And what is done for the dense body here?
A. As much of the dense body as the divine spirit has saved by right of action, will be worked into it and will bring better environment and opportunities.
Q. How is the spiritualization of vehicles accomplished?
A. By the cultivation of the faculties of observation, discrimination, and memory; devotion to high ideals, prayer, concentration, persistence, and right use of the life forces.
Q. Where is the real home of man, the Ego, the Thinker?
A. In the Second Heaven. Here he dwells for centuries, assimilating the fruits of the last earth life and preparing the earth conditions which will be best suited for his next step in progress.
Q. What is the dominant characteristic of the second heaven?
A. It is harmonious sound vibration, which, as an elixir of life, builds into the three-fold spirit the quintessence of the three- fold body.
Q. Is life in the second heaven an active one?
A. It is exceedingly active and varied in many different ways.
Q. What is accomplished there?
A. The Ego assimilates the fruits of the last earth life and prepares the environment for a new physical existence.
Q. Upon what are the inhabitants of the Heaven World at work?
A. Upon the models of various parts of the earth, all of which are in the region of Concrete Thought.
Q. What is accomplished by this work?
A. It alters the physical features of the earth, and brings about the gradual changes which vary its appearance, so that on each return to physical life a different environment has been prepared wherein new experiences may be gained.
Q. do we each have a hand in the making of the world?
A. Yes. The world is just what we ourselves, individually and collectively, have made it, and it will be in the future what we make it.
Q. What does the esoteric scientist see in everything that happens?
A. He sees a cause of a spiritual nature manifesting itself.
Q. To what does he trace the prevalence and increasing frequency
of seismic disturbances?
A. To the materialistic though of modern science.
Q. Are such disturbances brought about by physical causes?
A. They are, but behind these are spiritual causes.
Q. How may this point be illustrated?
A. We see two men conversing, one suddenly strikes the other, knocking him down. Once observer may say that an angry thought knocked the man; another may scoff at this answer and declare that he saw the arm lifted and shoot out, knocking the man down; but if there had not first been the angry thought, the blow would not have been struck.
Q. Is man's work in the Heaven World confined to the alteration of
the surface of the earth?
A. It is not. He is also actively engaged in learning how to build a body which shall afford a better means of expression.
Q. What is man's destiny?
A. To become a Creative Intelligence and he is serving his apprenticeship all the time. During his heaven life he is learning to build all kinds of bodies, the human included.
Q. What do those whom we call dead do for us?
A. They help to keep us alive, and they in turn are helped by the so-called "nature spirits," which they command.
Q. How is man directed in this work?
A. By Teachers from the higher creative Hierarchies, which helped him build his vehicles before he attained self-consciousness, in the same way that he now rebuilds his body in sleep.
Q. How is man taught during heaven life?
A. He is taught consciously. The painter is taught to build an accurate eye, capable of taking in a perfect perspective and of distinguishing colors and shades to a degree inconceivable among those not interested in color and light.
Q. Upon what is the faculty of space perception dependent?
A. Upon the delicate adjustment of the three semi-circular canals which are situated inside the ear, each pointing in one of the three dimensions of space.
Q. Upon what are logical thought and mathematical ability
A. Upon the accuracy of the adjustment of these semi-circular canals.
Q. Is musical ability also dependent upon the same factor?
A. It is, but in addition the musician requires extreme delicacy of the "fibers of Corti," of which there are about three thousand in the human ear, capable of interpreting about twenty-five gradations of tone.
Q. How many gradations are responded to by these fibres in the
ears of the majority of people?
A. Not more than from three to ten, each.
Q. What is the greatest degree of efficiency among ordinary
A. About fifteen sounds to each fiber.
Q. What does the master musician require?
A. One who is able to interpret and bring down music from the Heaven World requires a still greater range than the others to be able to distinguish the different notes and detect the slightest discord.
Q. Are persons who require organs of such exceeding delicacy for
the expression of their faculties specially taken care of?
A. They are, as the higher state if their development merits and demands.
Q. What class ranks the highest in this respect?
A. The musician, because, as a mode of expression for soul life, music reigns supreme.
Q. From where does the painter draw his inspiration?
A. Chiefly from the world of color-the nearer Desire World.
Q. Why is music different from and higher than all the other arts?
A. This can be understood when we reflect that a statue or a painting, when once created, is permanent, while music is more elusive and must be re-created each time we hear it.
Q. Can music be imprisoned by mechanical devices?
A. Yes, but music so produced loses much of the soul-stirring sweetness it possesses when it comes fresh from its own world.
Q. Which is the most perfect sense organ in the human body?
A. The instrument through which man senses music.
Q. why is the ear more perfect than the eye?
A. Because the ear hears every sound without distortion, while the eye often distorts what it sees.
Q. In addition to the musical ear, what else must the musician
learn to build?
A. A long, fine hand with slender fingers and sensitive nerves.
Q. Why can no one inhabit a more efficient body than he is capable
A. Because he first learns to build a certain grade of body and afterwards learns to live in it. In that way he learns to discern its defects and is taught how to remedy them.
Q. At what does man work unconsciously during the ante-natal life?
A. At the building of his body.
Q. When does he work consciously?
A. When he has reached the point where the quintessence of former bodies, which he has saved, is to be built in; then he works consciously.
Q. What gives man power to build for a new life?
A. The more a man advances and the more he works on his vehicles, thus making them immortal, the more power he has to build for a new life.
Q. When does the advanced esotericist commence to build for himself?
A. Sometimes as soon as the work during the first three weeks (which belongs exclusively to the mother) has been completed.
Q. When does "Epigenesis" begin?
A. When the period of unconscious building has passed the man has a chance to exercise his nascent creative power. Then the true original creative process begins.
Q. Where does man learn to build his vehicles?
A. In the Heaven World.
Q. And where does man learn to use his vehicles?
A. In the Physical World.
Q. What does nature provide and teach us?
A. It provides all phases of experience in such a marvelous manner and with such consummate wisdom, that as we learn to see deeper into her secrets we are more impressed with our own insignificance and gain an ever-growing reverence for God.
Q. What can be deduced from the great complexity of nature?
A. The fact of an intelligent Divine Author of the Universe.
Q. Where is the third heaven located?
A. In the lower region of the World of Thought.
Q. What does the spirit gain here?
A. Here it is strengthened for its next dip into matter.
Q. What is brought forth here?
A. The desire for new experience and the contemplation of a new birth.
Q. What does this desire produce?
A. It conjures up a series of pictures before the vision of the spirit — a panorama of the life in store for it.
Q. What does this panorama contain?
A. It contains only the principal events.
Q. Does the spirit have free will as to detail?
A. Yes, this may be compared to a man traveling on a time-limit ticket. After he has chosen his route, it is difficult to change to another route during the trip. He may stop over in as many places as he wishes, but he cannot go back.
Q. Does he become more limited as he proceeds on his journey?
A. He does. If he has chosen a road using soft coal, he must expect to be soiled and dusty. Had he chosen a road using electricity, he would have been cleaner.
Q. How does this compare with a man in a new life?
A. He may have to live a hard life, but he is free to choose whether he will live it cleanly or wallow in the mire.
Q. When do the pictures begin and end in the panorama of the
A. They begin at the cradle and end at the grave.
Q. What is the difference between this panorama and the one after
A. It proceeds in the opposite direction from the panorama which passes before the vision of the spirit following its release from the dense body.
Q. What is the reason for this radical difference in the two
A. The reason is that in the before-birth panorama the object is to show the incarnating Ego how certain causes produce certain effects. In the after-death panorama the object is to show how each event in the past life was the effect of some cause further back in the life.
Q. Why is nature a wise mother?
A. Because nature, or God, does nothing without a logical reason, always using the best means to accomplish the object in view.
Q. Why should we incarnate?
A. Because the purpose of life is not happiness, but experience. Sorrow and pain are our most benevolent teachers, while the joys of life are but fleeting.
Q. Why does this seem a stern doctrine?
A. Because the heart cries out passionately at even the thought that it may possibly be true.
Q. Can you give an illustration of the blessings of pain?
A. If we could place our hand upon a hot stove and feel no pain, it might be allowed to remain there until it burned away without our knowing anything about it, and until too late to save it.
Q. What is it that makes us snatch our hand away?
A. The pain. Instead of losing our hand we escape with only a blister.
Q. Where does this principle apply?
A. In the Moral and Mental Worlds as well as in the Physical World.
Q. If we outrage morality, what results?
A. The pangs of conscience bring us pain that will prevent us from repeating the act, and if we do not heed the first lesson, nature will give us harder and harder experiences until at last the fact is forced into our consciousness that "the way of the transgressor is hard."
Q. How long will the lesson continue?
A. They will continue until we are forced to turn in a new direction and take a step onward toward a better life.
Q. What is the result of experience?
A. The knowledge of the effect which follow causes.
Q. What is will?
A. The force whereby we apply the results of experience.
Q. What choice do we have in gaining experience?
A. We have the choice of whether we gain it by personal experience or by the observation of other people's acts.
Q. How should the esoteric student learn?
A. By the method of observation.
Q. What advantage does this method give us?
A. We avoid the stinging thorns of "the path of pain" and quickly gain "the path of peace."
Q. If we have not learned all there is to learning in this world,
what must we do?
A. We must come back to it.
Q. Why is this the case?
A. Because we cannot stay in the higher worlds until we have mastered the lessons of earth life.
Q. How is this point illustrated?
A. By the fact that it would be no more sensible than to send a child to a kindergarten one day and to college the next. The study must be gradually developed as must also man's evolution.
Q. Is man also in school?
A. He is in the school of experience, and he must return many times before he can hope to master all the knowledge in the world of sense.
Q. Could one earth life furnish the experience and knowledge
necessary for man's complete development?
A. It could not, so nature decrees that he must return to earth after intervals of rest, to take up his work where he dropped it.
Q. Is it an argument against this theory to say that man does not
remember his former lives?
A. It is not, because we cannot recall all the events of our present lives. All the faculties we possess are a proof that we acquired them sometime, somewhere.
Q. If there were no return to earth, what condition would it bring
A. There would be no necessity for living or striving for anything. No benefit could come from a good life in a heaven where everybody is already happy. There would be no need for sympathy, self-sacrifice, or wise counsel.
Q. What does the Great Law, which works for good, do for humanity?
A. It brings man back to work again in the world for the benefit of himself and others, with his acquired treasures, instead of letting them go to waste in a heaven where no one needs them.
Contemporary Mystic Christianity
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