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Self-Study Q&A Guide — The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception
Part 5 of 5

[The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception]

Q. How was an appreciated of concrete physical existence aroused in man?
A. By depriving him of the memory of his higher spiritual existence for a few lives.

Q. What was the result of this deprivation?
A. During his earth life he came to hold no positive knowledge of any other than the one present physical life, and was in this way impelled to earnestly apply himself to living it.

Q. What eventually happened?
A. The time came when it was no longer conducive to man's advancement that he should know the doctrine of Rebirth and Consequence, and ignorance concerning it came to be regarded as a sign of progress. Therefore we find that the Christian religion, as publicly taught, does not embody it.

Q. Why is the conquest of the world of matter being made by the humanity of the Western World?
A. Because Christianity, the religion of this portion of humanity does not teach this doctrine.

Q. Why was wine added to the food of previous epochs?
A. As some new addition to or change in the food of man had been in every epoch to meet its conditions and accomplish its purposes, so wine was then added on account of the benumbing effect upon the spiritual principle in man; also because no religion, in and of itself, could have made man forget his nature as a spirit, and have caused him to think of himself as "a worm of the dust," or made him believe that "we walk by the same force as that by which we think." In fact, it was never intended that we should go as far as that.

Q. When did the use of wine come into existence?
A. After the submergence of Atlantis (a continent which once existed between Europe and America, where the Atlantic Ocean now lies) those who escaped destruction began to cultivate the vine and make wine, as we find narrated in the Bible story of Noah. Noah symbolizes the remnant of the Atlantean races, which became the nucleus of the Fifth race, therefore our progenitors.

Q. What is the active principle of alcohol?
A. It is a "spirit," and as the humanity of the earlier epochs used the articles of food best suited to their vehicles, so this spirit, in the Fifth Epoch, was added to the foods previously used by evolving humanity.

Q. With what effect does it act?
A. It acts upon the spirit of the Fifth Epoch man, temporarily paralyzing it, that it may know, esteem, and conquer the physical world and value it at its proper worth.

Q. What is the result of this paralysis?
A. Man forgets for the time being his spiritual home, clinging to this form of existence, with all the tenacity of a feeling that this is all there is or at least preferring the certainty of this world to taking chances on a heaven which in his present muddled state he does not understand.

Q. Who appears at this time?
A. "Because," the god of wine, and under his sway the most advanced nations forget that there is a higher life.

Q. What is said of those who offer tribute to the counterfeit spirit of wine?
A. They can never know anything of the Higher Self, the true spirit, which is the very source of life for alcoholic liquor is the product of fermentation and decay.

Q. To what was all this preparatory?
A. To the coming of Christ, and it is of the highest significance that His first act was to change "water into wine." (John 2-11).

Q. What did Christ teach to His disciples?
A. In private He taught rebirth to His disciples. He not only taught them in words, but He took them "into the mountain." This is a mystic term meaning a place of Initiation.

Q. What did the disciples see in the course of Initiation?
A. They saw for themselves that rebirth is a fact, for then Elijah appeared before them, who, they were told, was also John the Baptist.

Q. What had Christ previously told them?
A. Christ in unequivocal terms had preciously told them, when speaking of John the Baptist: "This is Elijah who was for to come." He reiterates this at the transfiguration scene, saying, "Elijah has come already and they knew him not, but have done to him whatsoever they listed." And following this, it is said that "they understood He spoke of John the Baptist. (Matthew XVII: 12-13)

Q. What was this private teaching of Christ to His disciples intended to be?
A. This was to be for thousands of years an esoteric teaching, to be known only among a few pioneers who fitted themselves for the knowledge, pushing ahead to the stage of development when those truths will again be known generally.

Q. What Bible quotation shows clearly that Christ taught rebirth and also the Law of Consequence?
A. That regarding the man who had been born blind, where the disciples asked: "Who did sin, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? (John IX:2)

Q. If Christ had not taught rebirth and the Law of Consequence, what would have been the natural answer to the above questions of His disciples?
A. It would have been, "Nonsense, how could the man have sinned before he was born, and brought blindness upon himself as a result?"

[Pages 170-179, Cosmo-Conception]

Q. How did Christ answer His disciples?
A. "Neither has this man sinned nor his parents, but that the works of (the) God should be made manifest in him." He was not surprised at the question, nor did He treat it as being at all unusual, showing that it was quite in harmony with His teachings.

Q. What is the orthodox interpretation of the above quotation?
A. That the man was born blind in order that Christ might have the opportunity of performing a miracle to show Him power.

Q. Why is the above interpretation unreasonable?
A. Because it would have been a strange way for a God to obtain glory-to condemn a man to many years of blindness and misery that He might "show off" at a future time.

Q. What would be a more logical explanation?
A. Not to impute to God conduct which in a human being we would denounce in the strongest terms.

Q. How does Christ differentiate between the physically blind body of the man and the God within-the Higher Self?
A. The dense body has committed no sin. The God within has done some deed which manifests in the particular affliction from which he is suffering.

Q. Why is it not stretching a point to call man a God?
A. Paul says, "Know ye not that ye are Gods?" And he also refers to the human body as the "temple of God," the indwelling spirit.

Q. Are there any people who remember their past lives?
A. Most people do not, although there are some who do.

Q. How may this knowledge be obtained?
A. All may know if they will live the life necessary to attain it.

Q. What does such a life require?
A. This requires great strength of character, because such knowledge will carry with it a knowledge of impending fate, which might manifest in dire disaster.

Q. What has nature done for us in this respect?
A. nature has graciously hidden the past and the future from us that we may not be robbed of peace of mind by suffering in anticipation of the pain in store for us.

Q. What shall we learn as we attain greater development?
A. We shall learn to welcome all things with equanimity, seeing in all trouble the result of past evil and feeling thankful that the obligations incurred thereby are being annulled, knowing that so much less stands between us and the day of liberation from the wheel of birth and death.

Q. Why do those who die in childhood in one life frequently remember that life when they return to earth again?
A. Because children who die under fourteen years do not journey around the entire cycle. This avoids the necessity of building a complete set of new vehicles.

Q. What happens to children who die under fourteen years of age?
A. They simply pass into the upper regions of the Desire World and there wait for a new birth, which usually takes place in from one to twenty years after death.

Q. What do they bring with them when they are reborn?
A. They bring with them the old mind and desire body, and if we listen to the prattle of children, we should often be able to discover and reconstruct the history of their past lives. (See The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception for a remarkable story of a child's former life.)

Q. What have we been considering in the previous sections?
A. We have been considering man in relation to three of the five worlds which form the field of his evolution.

Q. What has our consideration of these three worlds brought out?
A. We have partly described these worlds and noted the different vehicles of consciousness by means of which man is correlated to them. We have studied his relation to the other three kingdoms, mineral, plant, and animal; we have followed him through one life cycle in the three worlds, and have examined the operation of the twin laws of Consequence and Rebirth.

Q. In order to understand further details as to the progress of man, what becomes necessary?
A. It becomes necessary to study his relation to the Grand Architect of the Universe, to God and to the Hierarchies of Celestial Beings which stand upon the many different rungs of Jacob's ladder of attainment that stretches from man to God.

Q. Why is this a difficult task?
A. Because of the indefinite conceptions of God which exist in the minds of readers.

Q. What is said regarding the importance of the names that are used to describe God?
A. It is true that names, in and of themselves, are not important, but it matters greatly that we know what we mean by a name.

Q. Why is this so?
A. Because misunderstandings will otherwise result, and if a common nomenclature is not agreed upon by writers and teachers, the present confusion will be worse.

Q. What is meant when the name "God" is used?
A. This may mean either the Absolute, the One Existence, the Supreme Being who is the Great Architect of the Universe, or God who is the Architect of our solar system.

Q. What is said of the division of the Godhead into "Father," "Son," and "Holy Ghost?"
A. It is also confusing. Because although the Beings designated by these names are immeasurably above man and worthy of all the reverence and worship he is capable of rendering to his highest conception of Divinity, yet they are different from one another in actual fact. (See Diagrams 6 and 12, The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception.)

Q. What must be kept in mind regarding the different worlds?
A. That the worlds and Cosmic Planes are not one above another in space, but that the seven Cosmic Planes interpenetrate each other and all the seven worlds.

[The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception]

Q. What further is said of these seven worlds?
A. They are states of spirit-matter permeating one another, so that God and the other great Beings who are mentioned are not far away in space. They pervade every part of their own realms and realms of greater density then their own. They are all present in our world, and are actually and de facto "nearer than hands and fee."

Q. Why is it a literal truth when we say "In Him we live and move and have our being"?
A. Because none of us could live outside of these great Intelligences, who pervade and sustain our world and regions?
A. That the Etheric Region extends beyond the atmosphere of our dense earth; that the Desire World extends out into space further than the Etheric Region; also that the World of Thought extends further into inter-planetary space then either of the others.

Q. Why do the worlds of rarer substance occupy greater space than the physical world?
A. Because the latter has crystallized and condensed, thus occupying less space.

Q. Which is the densest of the seven Cosmic Planes?
A. The seventh. It must be borne in mind, however, that even with this comparatively restricted qualification as to its extent, it is still immeasurable vast, comprising within its limits millions of solar systems similar to our own.

Q. What is the status of these other solar systems?
A. They are the fields for the evolution of many grades of beings of approximately our own status.

Q. What is the extent of our knowledge of the six Cosmic Planes above our own?
A. We know nothing of them save that we are told they are the fields of activity of great Hierarchies of Beings of indescribable splendor.

Q. Proceeding from our physical world to the inner and finer worlds and up through the Cosmic Planes, what do we find?
A. We find that God, the Architect of our solar system, the Source and Goal of our existence, is found in the highest division of the seventh Cosmic Plane.

Q. What does His realm include?
A. The systems of evolution employed on the other planets which belong to our system - Uranus, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Earth, Venus, Mercury and their satellites.

Q. What are the great Planetary Spirits called?
A. The "Seven Spirits before the Throne."

Q. What is their sphere of action?
A. They are His Ministers, each presiding over a certain department of the Kingdom of God, which is our solar system.

Q. What is said of the Sun?
A. The is the field of evolution of the most exalted Beings in our Cosmos. The sun is the nearest approach we have to a visible symbol of God, yet it is but a veil for That which is behind. What That is cannot be uttered publicly.

Q. What do we find when we try to discover the origin of the Architect of our solar system?
A. We find that we must pass to the highest of the seven Cosmic Planes. We are then in the realm of the Supreme Being, who emanated from the Absolute.

Q. Is it possible to describe the Absolute?
A. The Absolute is beyond comprehension. No expression nor simile which we are capable of conceiving can possibly convey any adequate idea of it.

Q. What does manifestation imply?
A. Manifestation implies limitation. Therefore, we may at best characterize the Absolute as Boundless Being, as the Root of Existence.

Q. What is meant by The One?
A. From the Root of Existence, the Absolute, proceeds the Supreme Being at the dawn of manifestation. This is The One.

Q. What is this Great Being called in the first chapter of John?
A. He is called God.

[The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception]

Q. What emanates from this Supreme Being?
A. The Word, the Creative Fiat "without whom was not anything made."

Q. And what is this Word?
A. This Word is the alone-begotten Son, born of His Father, the Supreme Being, Before all worlds.

Q. Is Christ that Exalted Being?
A. Christ is positively not this Exalted Being. Truly, "the Word was made flesh," but not in the limited sense of one body but the flesh of all that is.

Q. How may the First Aspect of the Supreme Being be characterized?
A. As Power.

Q. From what does the Second Aspect proceed?
A. From this first Power. It is the Word.

Q. And from what does the Third Aspect proceed, and what is it?
A. It proceeds from the First and Second aspects and it is Motion.

Q. What proceeds from this threefold Supreme Being?
A. The seven Great Logoi.

Q. What do these seven Great Logoi contain?
A. They contain within themselves all the great Hierarchies which differentiate more and more as they diffuse through the various Cosmic Planes. (See Diagram 6, The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)

Q. Who are the dwellers in the highest world of the seventh Cosmic Plane?
A. The God of our solar system and the Gods of all other solar systems in the universe.

Q. In what way do these Great Beings manifest?
A. They are threefold in manifestation like the Supreme Being. Their three aspects are Will, Wisdom and Activity.

Q. What can you tell about the seven Planetary Spirits?
A. Each proceeds from God and has charge of the evolution of life on one of the seven planets, and is also threefold and differentiates within itself Creative Hierarchies which go through a septenary evolution.

Q. Is the evolution carried on by one Planetary Spirit the same as that of the others?
A. It differs from the methods of development inaugurated by each of the others.

Q. What further may be stated regarding the original Planetary Spirit?
A. At least in the particular planetary scheme to which we belong, the entities farthest evolved in the earliest stages assume the functions of the original Planetary Spirit and continue the evolution, the original Planetary Spirit withdrawing from active participation but guiding its Regents.

Q. How are solar systems created?
A. They are born, die, and come to birth anew in cycles of activity and rest as does man.

Q. To what does this flaming out and dying down of activity in nature, correspond?
A. To the alternation of ebb and flow, day and night, summer and winter, life and death.

Q. Where and by whom are solar systems brought forth?
A. A certain Great Being, designated by the name of God in the western world, and by others names in other parts of the earth, limits Himself to a certain portion of space in which He elects to create a solar system for the evolution of added self-consciousness. (See Diagram 6, The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)

Q. What does He include in His own Being?
A. Hosts of glorious hierarchies, to us of immeasurable spiritual power and splendor.

Q. Who are these glorious hierarchies?
a. They are the fruitage of past manifestations of this same Being and also other intelligences in descending degrees of development.

Q. In this great collective Being, God, who else are contained?
A. Lesser beings of every grade of intelligence and stage of consciousness, from omniscience to an unconsciousness deeper than that of the deepest trance condition.

Q. What are these various grades of beings doing during the period of manifestation with which we are concerned?
A. They are working to acquire more experience than they possessed at the beginning of this period of existence.

Q. How is this work carried on?
A. Those who in previous manifestations have attained to the highest degree of development, work on those who have not yet evolved any consciousness. They induce in them a stage of self-consciousness from which they can take up further work themselves.

Q. How are those who had started their evolution in a former day of manifestation, but who had not progressed far at the close, taken care of?
A. They take up their task again, just as we take up our daily work in the morning where we left off the previous night.

Q. Do all of these different brings take up their evolution at the early stages of a new manifestation?
A. They do not. Some must wait until those who precede them have made the conditions which are necessary for their further development.

Q. How do the processes of nature work?
A. There are no instantaneous processes in nature. All is an exceedingly slow unfolding, a development which, though exceedingly slow, is yet absolutely certain to attain an ultimate perfection.

Q. To what are these progressive stages in the human life compared?
A. To childhood, youth, manhood or womanhood, and old age, just as in the macrocosm there are different stages corresponding to these various periods of the microcosmic life.

Q. Why can a child not take up the duties of fatherhood and motherhood?
A. Because its undeveloped mental and physical condition render it incapable of doing such work.

Q. Why is the above true of the less evolved beings in the beginning of manifestation?
A. Because they must wait until the higher evolved have made the proper conditions for them. The lower the grade of intelligence of the evolving being, the more it is dependent upon outside help.

Q. Can you describe how the evolving life has become man?
A. At the beginning, the highest beings, those who are the highest evolved-work upon those who have the greatest degree of unconsciousness. Later they turn them over to some of the less evolved entities, who are then able to carry the work a little farther, and at last self-consciousness is awakened.

[The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception]

Q. How does the self-conscious, individual ego proceed from this point?
A. From this point he must go on and expand his consciousness without outside help. Experience and thought are then to take the place of outside teachers.

Q. What is involution?
A. The period of time devoted to the attainment of self-consciousness and to the building of the vehicles through which the spirit in man manifests.

Q. What is evolution?
A. The subsequent period of existence, during which the individual human being develops self-consciousness into divine omniscience.

Q. What is meant by epigenesis?
A. The force within the evolving being which makes evolution what it is, and not a mere unfoldment of latent germinal possibilities, which makes the evolution of each individual differ from that of every other, which provides the element of originality and gives scope to the creative ability which the evolving being is to cultivate that he may become a God-the force that is called genius.

Q. Are involution and evolution generally recognized?
A. Yes, by many of the advanced philosophies of modern times.

Q. Which of these is recognized by science?
A. Evolution, because it (science) deals only with the form side of manifestation. Involution belongs to the life side, but the most advanced scientists regard epigenesis as a demonstrable fact.

Q. What ground is taken by the Rosicrucian teaching?
A. It combines all three as necessary to a full understanding of the past, present, and future development of the system to which we belong.

Q. When God desires to create a new world, how does He proceed?
A. He seeks out an appropriate place in space, which He fills with His aura, permeating every atom of the cosmic root-substance of that particular portion of space with His life, thus awakening the activity latent within every in-separate atom.

Q. How may the building of a cosmos be illustrated?
A. By taking the case of a man who wishes to establish a home in which to live. He first selects a suitable location and then proceeds to build a house, dividing it into various rooms to serve certain purposes.

Q. What is this cosmic root-substance?
A. It is an expression of the negative pole of the universal spirit.

Q. What is the positive energy of the universal spirit called?
A. It is God, the great Creative Being, of whom we, as spirits, are a part.

Q. What has resulted from the work of these forces one upon the other?
A. All that we see about us in the physical world has resulted. The oceans, the earth, everything we see manifesting as mineral, plant, animal, and human forms, all are crystallized space, emanated from this negative spirit-substance, which alone existed at the dawn of being.

Q. Can you give an apt illustration of this crystallization?
A. As surely as the hard and flinty house of the snail is the solidified juices of its soft body, so surely all forms are crystallization around the negative pole of spirit.

Q. Does God draw from the cosmic root-substance outside His immediate sphere?
A. He does, and thus the substance within the nascent cosmos becomes denser than it is in universal space, between solar systems.

Q. When God has thus prepared the material for his habitation, what next does He do?
A. He sets it in order. Every part of the system is pervaded by His consciousness, but a different modification of that consciousness is in each part or division. The cosmic root-substance is set in divers rates of vibration and is therefore differently constituted in its various regions.

Q. Of what is the above an outline?
A. The above is the manner in which the worlds come into being and are fitted to serve different purposes in the evolutionary scheme, the same as the various rooms in a house are fitted to serve the purpose of everyday life.

Q. What do we learn in regard to the seven worlds, previously described?
A. That these worlds each have a different measure and rate of vibration.

Q. What is said of the measure of vibration in the physical world?
A. It is infinitesimal when compared to the rapidity of the vibration in the Desire World, though light waves reach a rate of hundreds of millions per second.

Q. In what way may we get some conception of the rapidity of vibration?
A. By watching the heat vibrations rising from a very hot stove, or from a steam radiator near a window.

Q. What must be born constantly in mind?
A. That these worlds are not separated by space or distance as is the earth from the other planets.

Q. Then what are these various worlds?
A. They are states of matter of varying density and vibration, as are the solids, liquids and gases of our physical world.

Q. What is said regarding the creation of those worlds?
A. These worlds are not instantaneously created at the beginning of the day of manifestation, nor do they last until the end.

Q. How are these worlds differentiated?
A. As a spider spins its web thread by thread, so God differentiates one after another of the worlds within Himself, as the necessity arises for new conditions in the scheme of evolution in which He is engaged.

Q. Which worlds are created first, and why?
A. The highest worlds are created first, and as involution is to slowly carry the life into denser and denser matter for the building of forms, the finer worlds gradually condense and new worlds are differentiated within God to furnish the necessary links between Himself and the worlds which have been consolidated.

Q. What point is eventually reached?
A. In due time, the point of greatest density, the nadir of materially is reached.

[The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception]

Q. What transpires at that point?
A. From that point the life begins to ascend into higher worlds, as evolution proceeds.

Q. As the evolution proceeds, what is the result?
A. It leaves the denser worlds depopulated one by one.

Q. When the purpose has been served for which a certain world has been created, what takes place?
A. God ends its existence, which has become superfluous, by ceasing within Himself the particular activity which brought into being and sustained that world.

Q. What is said of the three worlds in which our present phase of evolution is carried on?
A. The highest (the finest, rarest, and most ethereal) worlds are the first created and the last eliminated, while the three densest worlds, in which our present phase of evolution is carried on, are but comparatively evanescent phenomena incident to the spirit's dip into matter.

Q. How is the evolutionary scheme carried on through these five worlds?
A. It is carried on in seven great periods of manifestation during which the virgin spirit, or evolving life, becomes first man, then a God.

Q. What does God do at the beginning of manifestation?
A. He differentiates within (not from) Himself these virgin spirits, as sparks from a flame of the same nature, capable of being fanned into flames themselves. Evolution is the fanning process which is to accomplish that end.

Q. What are enfolded in these virgin spirits?
A. All the possibilities of their divine Father, including the germ of independent will which makes them capable of originating new phases not latent in it.

Q. What becomes of the latent possibilities?
A. They are transformed into dynamic powers and available faculties during evolution, while the independent will institutes new and original departures, or epigenesis.

Q. Where is the virgin spirit found prior to the beginning of the pilgrimage through matter?
A. In the World of Virgin Spirits, the next to the highest of the seven worlds.

Q. What faculties did it originally possess?
A. It had divine consciousness, but not self-consciousness. That with soul power, and the creative mind, are faculties or powers attained to by evolution.

Q. What happens to the virgin spirit when it is immersed in the World of Divine Spirit?
A. It is blinded and rendered utterly unconsciousness prevails during the first period.

Q. What takes place in the second and third periods?
A. It rises to the dreamless sleep state in the second period, and reaches the dream stage in the third period.

Q. What is attained in the fourth period?
A. In the middle of the Fourth Period, at which we have now arrived, the full waking consciousness pertaining only to the lowest one of the seven worlds.

Q. During the remaining half of this period, and also the three remaining periods, what must man do?
A. He must expand his consciousness so as to include all of the six worlds above this Physical World.

Q. How were man's energies directed when he passed through these worlds in his descent?
A. They were directed by higher Beings, who assisted him to turn his unconscious energy inward, for the building of proper vehicles.

Q. When he was far enough advanced, and equipped with the threefold body as a necessary instrument, what did these higher Beings do for him?
A. They "opened his eyes" and turned his gaze outward upon the chemical region of the Physical World, that his energies might conquer it.

Q. After fitting himself by his work in the chemical region, what comes next?
A. His next step in progress will be towards an expansion in consciousness that will include the etheric region, then the Desire World and finally all the inner worlds.

Contemporary Mystic Christianity

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